Jan 28, 2019 19:42:54

Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman.

by @hwilliams | 296 words | 76🔥 | 76💌

Harry Williams

Current day streak: 76🔥
Total posts: 76💌
Total words: 20411 (81 pages 📄)

This year I've been participating in the Startup Book Club, with the intention of reading 26 books that have been recommended by the best in technology and business.

After the fantastic Atomic Habits, I was somewhat hesitant to pick up Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman, having previously attempted to read it about ten years ago, only to abandon it after a couple of chapters.

It seems that, at least when it comes to Feynman, my brain has not changed much from when I was 15 (take from that what you will). 

The first couple of chapters frame Feynman as distinctly annoying. He speaks with a kind of certainty about the world and other people's place in it. it takes a while to get used to this directness, yet what is annoying at first seems to become more and more compelling, the more time you spend with him.

It takes a while to understand Feynman's point of view, but after a while, it just seems to click. He's so naturally charming and persuasive that he has you convinced. 

By the end of the book, you come to truly appreciate the uniqueness of man who is so naturally inquisitive, so driven to understand why things work, that he would follow ants around his bathtub with the same childlike glee that led him to new discoveries in science.

You begin to question why we aren't all enamoured with the minutiae and mysteries we encounter every single day.

Yet amongst all the crazy stories, from safecracking at the Manhatten Project to composing drum beats for a series of ballets, what penetrates, again and again, is Feynman's willingness to learn often (disparate) new things, practice incessantly, and follow the path of natural curiosity to its very limits.

  • 1

    @hwilliams thanks for the link to startup book club! Looks like great fun! Just signed up.

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 29, 2019 12:44:00
    • 1

      @jasonleow Will keep an eye out for you on the discussions!

      Harry Williams avatar Harry Williams | Jan 29, 2019 18:27:46
  • 1

    @hwilliams Surely, You're Joking Mr. Feynman is actually the next book on my reading list. I have yet to finish 4 hr workweek. I'm excited already to read it.

    Yaki avatar Yaki | Jan 29, 2019 01:44:08
contact: email - twitter - facebook