And you begin to get a very interesting understanding of the world and all its complications. If you try to follow anything up, you go deeper and deeper in various directions.~ Richard Feyman from, https://fs.blog/2012/01/richard-feynman-on-why-questions/
Asking ‘why’ is a well-known way to dig deeper into things. But being able to answer a ‘why’ question is something I don’t hear discussed. My mind is stuffed with information, ideas, skills, and experiences. (Yours is too.) That’s not particularly interesting, and it’s certainly not useful.
What is useful is being able to dive into all that stored information and experiences to then craft a thread which leads the questioner on a small journey of learning. Sure we can take the highway and zoom past all these details. But something it’s the better choice to drop into the off-ramp, and onto the secondary roads; Probably still don’t want to come to a complete stop—if we can help it—but if we take the scenic route and point out more of the details… well, we’re effectively, (both metaphorically and literally,) compressing our knowledge and passing it along.
To the secondary roads!
PS Please excuse my not mailing this — but I don’t know your new address.
~ Richard Feynman
If you click thru, DON’T skim… read thru to the end.
I wonder how many Sundays are between June 17th 2012 and today?
Ho. Lee. Crap. That’s awesome.
You do know about WolframAlpha, right? …the “computational knowledge engine”? No? Go there. Ask it things.
Stephen Wolfram is a character. (But anyone whose thesis committee contains Richard Feynman gets a complete pass in my book.) “This math stuff is annoying…” Bam! Mathematica. And if you want to really go “whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!”, try to wrap your brain around, A New Kind of Science.
We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. There are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions and pass them on. It is our responsibility to leave the men of the future a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young and ignorant; if we suppress all discussion, all criticism, saying, ‘This is it, boys, man is saved!’ and thus doom man for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before.
~ Richard Feynman
Feynman wrote several great, short books that are not hard science. This, and “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”, are great places to start.