Richard Feynman

I hesitated. “I’m sad because you’re going to die.”

“Yeah,” he sighed, “that bugs me sometimes too. But not so much as you think.” And after a few more steps, “When you get as old as I am, you start to realize that you’ve told most of the good stuff you know to other people anyway.”

~ Danny Hillis and Richard Feynman from,


When I’m reading, pull-quotes leap out. It hard to catch the actual process, but what I think happens is that my mind free-associates to something that resonates. I think it’s the strength of the resonance that slams my attention onto the particular bit I’m reading. My mind races off along connections. It is rare that I read something through, and then think: “I should share this,” or, “I should write about this.” It is rare that I have to hunt around for something to quote; Rather it’s the usually metaphorical blinding flash, but sometimes visceral embodied flash, of the pull-quote that tells me I should share it.

After the third blinding flash of, “that’s a pull-quote I have to share,” I stopped counting. I spent an hour with this short read—it’s only a few minutes of reading. Over and over I was struck by some bit, and my mind raced off. Each time, delighted to see where I was going, and with no intention of reigning in my train of thought.

…but this bit that I pull-quoted — I really hesitated. It’s almost a bit of spoiler. I certainly hope you don’t feel like it’s a spoiler. I certainly hope you do go over and read it.