am 13. Mai 1997
Well, what can I say about this book? The truth is, it left me in such laughing fits I looked utterly and totally maniacal while reading it in public. Who would have thought that a brain that he was (mind you he was a Nobel prize winner who worked with some of the greatest minds known to date, was involved in the making of the atomic bomb, lectured in Cornell, etc etc) was as warped as he?! I mean, this guy went through life playing pranks on people, doing the most weirdest experiments (such as ferrying ants to determine if they left trails and if they had a sense of geometry, and persisted in controlling his dreams to the point where he could navigate himself in full colour), tried to prove a point by peeing while doing a head-stand and hung out six times a week in a topless bar even while still a professor in Caltech! Feynman was a real character to say the least. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and truly don't remember the last time I loved a book this much for its style, its seeminly identifiable everyday-like experiences but with a hilarious Feynman twist to it, and most of all Feynman's life, pranks and adventures. Interestingly, he also tried to explain some (few) physics laws in humourous ways (probably for the scientifically impaired such as myself) and highlights the problem of rote-learning, which most encouragingly, he says is also practiced by MIT students. Finally, his insight into MIT and Princeton makes some of the best stories in this must-read book. A very enlightening and inspirational man. Very very very highly recommended
am 13. Dezember 2013
Ich habe die ersten 30 gesellen Seiten und ich fühlte mich gut unterhalten. Schwierig ist, dass es keinen roten Faden gibt und eine chronologische Reihenfolge fehlt. Der Beschenkte hatte den gleichen Eindruck, man muss sich reinlesen und drauf einlassen, dann hat man eine gute Wahl getroffen.
am 4. Juni 2000
One of our times' most well known physicists tells some supposedly amusing anecdotes from his life in 'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!', but in many cases I fail to see the humor. The writing is rather pedestrian, but the author does not purport to create great literature, only to amuse. Some of these anecdotes can be described as funny, but in many of the stories Feynman shows a glaring lack of empathy with his fellow man, and seems to be completely unaware of his shortcoming in this respect. Feynman was among other things involved in the Manhattan project, and if this is what passed for humor among the people who created the bomb, their moral stance (or lack thereof) becomes more tangible. It is a very chilling realization.
am 13. Februar 2015
Das Buch ist von einem Dritten geschrieben. Der stellt über große Strecken Feynman als Nerd, als Sonderling, als Außenseiter, ja als unsozial dar.
So verbringt Feynman seine Abende in topless bars und macht da ein wenig Mathematik. Oder, er läuft im Wald um einen Baum und trommelt. Erfreut sich an der "Dummheit" anderer. Große Strecken des Buches haben erhebliche Längen, so etwa über das Malenlernen, das Trommeln, seine Rolle als "Zuhälter" in Las Vegas, Spielereien mit Sicherheitsschlössern.
Der restliche Teil ist hochinteressant und beschreibt erschreckend realistisch die Art und Weise, wie in den USA (aber auch anderswo) Studenten behandelt werden (etwa Neulinge in den Verbindungen), Industrie und Handel funktioniert (Metaplast Corporation, Produkterprobung beim Kunden, unerfahrene Entwickler), Forschung betrieben wird (etwa in Princeton, an den Forschungszentren, ohne Struktur, chaotische Versuche), Sachen beurteilt werden (etwa die Schulbücher in Kalifornien, anhand der Buchumschläge), Datensicherheit funktioniert (etwa beim Militär, nämlich überhaupt nicht), statistische Erhebungen beurteilt werden ("der Löscheimer sich neben dem Kerzenweihnachtsbaum bewährt hat, auch wenn es 20 Jahre nicht gebrannt hat").
Feynman hat immer bedeutende Förderer gefunden und ist sofort in die einflußreiche Kreise gekommen (etwa in der Physik und Mathematik). Erstaunlich wenig wird über seine Zeit und institutionellen Erfahrungen in CalTech, Pasadena geschrieben, schließlich ist er dort 25 Jahre gewesen. Da wird nur einmal eine Kunstaustellung im Atheneum beschrieben.
Wenn man bei den Längen durchhält, ist das Buch sehr interessant zu lesen.
am 28. Juni 2006
This writing is depicting the story of one genius scientist in twentieth century. Curious boy in his early life, eager in how the nature works chronicles the odissey to search for his joyful and meaning of the life. In part of Manhattan Project, from MIT to Caltech sojourning in Los Alamos he portrays such a consistent life in the field of expertise and his contribution as well. The book frequently tells about his embarassing story from kind of genius character, not lousy, full of excitement life and his experiencing the world ; showing about the seemingly usual life but full of what is living for and how to enjoy it innocently.
This book is not drawing much about technical stuff or going much into detail; depends on the preference of the reader, it tells the brief life and what the author intended for ubiquitous readers. Some curiosities is there, some ingenious exists.
Some story is somehow too unimportant or boring, since that part is going to indirection. However thats only a little part. And the book is valuable to reader's expense and, of course, time.
am 25. Dezember 1997
I was flipping through TV channels one day, around 4 or 5 years ago, when I came upon a show with this guy playing bongo drums and singing about orange juice! Since I am a drummer, I was curious as to who the person was - he didn't look at all like a drummer. In fact, he looked more like a professor of some kind or another. I was intrigued and I kept watching this guy wailing away at the drums. Well, it of course turned out to be Richard Feynman. It was the first time I ever heard of Richard Feynman, but it was not the last. The TV show (it turned out to be a PBS special) was about Feynman and his quest to visit a place called Tuva something. Anyway, they talked about Feynman and his life in physics and teaching, and I was mesmorized. After watching this show, I purchased a copy of the book "Surely, Your Joking, Mr. Feynman" and I have become a Feynman fan ever since. The book is inspirational. Feynman comes across as a "doer" who understands the difference between awareness and knowledge, and points out that you can only really ever know anything by doing. My only regret is that I never got to see a live Feynman lecture. However, one can follow his example and continually challenge themselves by separating facts from opinions and assumptions, and by proving the facts themselves (therein lies true knowledge). All in all, an amazing book I would recomend to just about anyone!
am 7. Juni 1999
Recently, during a course in Quantum Mechanics, my professor suggested reading this book and I feel that my life has a new meaning now. Richard Feynman was a true genius and anyone remotely interested in the field or the man must read this book. Feynman's autobiography brings to light an amazing man who fixes radios since he was ten, who cracks safes, who can smell like a dog, does tricks like a conjurer and even picks rooms directly opposite to the girls' dormitory!!! One of the most brilliant minds of twentieth century, the autobiography also portrays him as a human being who didnt do extraordinary things but ordinary things extraordinarily well. A must read for students or even for ordinary people because the book also shows that human capability is in the will and the mind. We set boundaries and limitations to our abilities ourselves not bothering to think that we are capable of a lot more if we put ourselves to the task. For a more scientific approach to his work, you may wish to read the book, 'QED' which has a series of his lectures at Caltech for the general public and the famed 'Feynman's Lectures on Physics' his lectures in college physics at Caltech during 1965-66.
am 2. Januar 1998
Feynman challenges the Challenger Commission Inquiry (pun intended) with an in-your-face, simple demonstration of thermal expansion/contraction for the O-Ring seals. Wasn't he the only one of this select group not kowtowing and susceptible to employment retribution [NASA, Ride, et al.]? Imagine if everyone actually said it as it is? Feynman, in a bar, says he'll buy a woman drinks (after first being asked to by her) only if she first agrees to bedding w/him afterwards. Conditions point blank. Cold. No silly games. Too intelligent and life's too short. Feynman had great disdain for affectation: a pope's gown, military bars & stars, long titles. I don't recall the book giving you all of this, but you do get a very refreshing insight into a real person - Dr. Richard P. of Rockaway. And you know that question: Of all the people ...whom would you like to have a dinner with? Sorry, D-Cups.
am 24. November 1998
This book is extraordinarily funny, and not in a subtle or literary way. Quite simply it will have you rolling on the floor as the Nobel-laureate tells of his stint playing the frigideira (a sort of inverted metal pot) in a Brazilian school of Samba, of the time he was declared mentally unfit to serve in the army because he insisted he could sometimes hear voices in his head, or the time he serendipitoulsy pointed out a fatal flaw in the design of an uranium enriching facility even though he couldn't tell whether the symbols in the blueprints were valves or windows. Whether the stories he tells are all true or not, you have to admire Prof. Feynman's sheer inventiveness and his unmatched talent as a narrator and a humorist. A word of caution, however: a faithful movie adaptation of these memoirs would not be rated PG.
am 24. Juni 1998
Don't be misled into thinking the "Curious" in the sub-title of this book means "strange." The word is meant to be taken literally, for indeed Feynman was curious about everything in the world around him. Surely one of the most gifted physicists of our time, Feynman won the Nobel proze for Physics in 1965. Feynman talks about boyhood adventures fixing radios, and then goes on to speak about his work on the Manhattan project, his meetings with Bohr, Einstein and Oppenheimer, and various other adventures in his personal and professional life. This book will have you laughing out loud even if you do not understand anything about quantum mechanics. Especially interesting is the chapter titled "Safecracker meets Safecracker."