Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Richard Feynman On Doing Things For The Fun Of It

In an age where it's easy to find all the answers with a quick Google search, there's something to be said for having a go yourself. Even if you eventually resort to the infinite wisdom the internet, at least you got the cogs in your head turning... not to mention how good it feels to figure something out on your own, especially when you know it's within your reach. It's an emotion physicist Richard Feynman knew all too well -- in fact, the joy of discovery was one of his main motivations.

It's just one of the things Feynman talks about in "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out", a 50-minute long and candid documentary filmed in 1981. During the chat, the physicist talks about his approach to his work and how trying to meet his own expectations and that of others wasn't the way to go. He realised the importance in taking pleasure out of what he did:

They expected me to be wonderful ... But I wasn't wonderful. And therfore I realised a new principle: I'm not responsible for what other people think I'm able to do. I don't have to be good because they think I'm going to be good.

And somehow or other, I could relax about this. I thought to myself 'I haven't done anything important, well, I'm never going to do anything important.' ... So I decided I'm only going to do things for the fun of it.

Feynman is very easy to listen to, explaining complex science in simple terms. Whether you have a passing interest in physics, or are keen to hear Feynman's life philosophies, you're sure to find something in this doco.

The Pleasure Of Finding Things Out [YouTube]


    Noble Prize?

    Feynman's anecdotal autobiography "Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman" is a great read, some hilarious bits and some incredibly interesting problems that he describes. As a non-physicist geek, I found it hard to put down and would recommend it to anyone if you can find an old copy somewhere.

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