The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Being Kind of a Jerk in the Natural Sciences

I’m a fan of Richard Feynman: have read a couple of his books, and even convinced myself that I understood most of them. So I watched the above with a mixture of pleasure and horror. It’s clear that Feynman is enjoying himself, and it’s just as clear that in terms of normal human communication, he’s being a complete dick. He even manages to slip a moderately good explanation of magnets in amongst the self-amused, pedantic blather about how it’s impossible to explain it to a lay audience.

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One response to “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Being Kind of a Jerk in the Natural Sciences

  1. For some reason I have always found Feynman annoying, but feel compelled to defend the likes of Richard Dawkins.

    It’s interesting that in his discussion of “why” questions Feynman repeatedly states that he can’t answer them because of the limits of his expressiveness and the interviewer’s understanding, but never because of the absence of a tractable theory. More of a positivist than most physicists today I expect.

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