Found 18 comments on HN
technofire · 2017-07-23 · Original thread
> as well as the characters

While I cannot recommend any books on physics itself, I can recommend a couple light reads on Richard Feynman, the Nobel prize-winning physicist (links below). Each is structured as a series of short autobiographical stories so they're very easy reads that shed light on some of Feynman's life, both within and without academia.

[1] Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)

http://amzn.to/2gTVXa5

[2] "What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character

http://amzn.to/2gTWfOd

wimagguc · 2017-03-01 · Original thread
Feynman has many interesting stories about playing about with all sorts of stuff from picking locks to the Manhattan project. His book, "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" is just a fantastic read: https://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Cha...
jaredsohn · 2016-12-16 · Original thread
Surely, he's joking about Mr. Feynman. (context: https://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Cha...)
alok-g · 2016-08-09 · Original thread
Minds, Brains and Machines by Geoffrey Brown [1] for introducing me to the complexities of the mind-body problem. It did not show the answers of course, but helped me think right about it.

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse [2] for contributing to helping me come out of excessive questioning of everything (philosophy) to science that helps towards actually answering the questions answerable.

Feynman Lectures in Physics [3] and Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman [4], with no need to explain "how". :-)

The Ghost in the Atom [5] for explaining varied views on the nature of science, especially Quantum Mechanics, and what goes in the minds of the top-notch scientists working on these problems.

Parsing Techniques by Dick Grune [6] for teaching me the fundamentals of computer science and helping me proceed with my deep interest in Artificial Intelligence.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Minds-Brains-Machines-Mind-Matters/dp...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Siddhartha-Hermann-Hesse/dp/161382378...

[3] http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/

[4] https://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Cha...

[5] https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Atom-Discussion-Mysteries-Quant...

[6] https://www.amazon.com/Parsing-Techniques-Practical-Monograp...

rckrd · 2013-05-05 · Original thread
Interesting read, but if anyone is interested in more personal anecdotes like this, I suggest:

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

[2]http://www.amazon.com/What-Care-Other-People-Think/dp/039332...

mylons · 2013-04-30 · Original thread
There are more anecdotal stories like this in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

Feynman's entire approach to life seems to be to "play" with it. He's an expert troll, the original pick up artist, nobel prize winning physicist, guest biologist, expert safe cracker, computer programmer, etc. His stories are fantastic, and a reminder that life is a ride. You should enjoy the ride, above all else.

glurgh · 2013-01-18 · Original thread
possibly because he existed "before PC"

Or more likely because the situation, context and Feynman's actions were highly dissimilar. If you haven't had a chance, take a look at the story in the original source, it's a lot more detailed than an aside in a PG essay.

http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

hkmurakami · 2013-01-13 · Original thread
If you're interested in reading more about it, his shenanigans are told in further detail in "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!"

http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

lithelulu · 2012-06-22 · Original thread
Depends on what you're interested in. Do you want something heavy and factual?

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Epic-History-Medicine-Commerce/d...

Do you want a first-hand account?

http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

http://www.amazon.com/Dancing-Naked-Mind-Field-Mullis/dp/067...

Any particular area of science that interests you?

Also, if you want something non-fictional and thrilling, look into accounts of epidemology.

http://www.amazon.com/Virus-Hunter-Thirty-Battling-Viruses/d...

Also, I read alot of medical thrillers which are fiction by the author Robin Cook. There are many true facts about science mixed in so you might want to consider that.

danso · 2011-11-13 · Original thread
I highly recommend both of Feynman's memoirs:

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

"What Do You Care What Other People Think?" http://www.amazon.com/What-Care-Other-People-Think/dp/039332...

He's of course a good writer. But if you didn't know any better, you'd think him to be a sort of adult-Pollyanna, someone of innocent optimism and immense curiosity. It reminds me a lot of reading Woz's autobiography, in fact; I guess it makes sense that this characteristic of constantly questioning and challenging the norms is what leads to great innovation.

In a chapter from "Surely You're Joking", Feynman describes how he was curious about the accepted fact that dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans. So he went around sniffing objects held by humans, even getting down on the carpet on his hands and knees to see if he could smell his own footprints: http://goo.gl/WBbw1

It's an amusing story, but one that is very telling of Feynman's insatiable curiosity and scientific mind. He did these smell-experiments not as a child, but when he was a scientist at Los Alamos.

jcallahan · 2011-06-13 · Original thread
Read something REALLY fun, enlightening and TRUE: Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a curious character) and What do you care what other people think (Further adventures of a curious character)

ObAmazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Care-Other-People-Think/dp/039332...

ObAmazon: http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

farnsworth · 2011-04-26 · Original thread
Then this will be the most interesting book you've read this year: http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...
misterm · 2011-01-13 · Original thread
The book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! sounds like it would be a great read for you.

http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

As far as mailing lists go, I also would be interested in this.

For those who dont know

This is an excerpt from the awesome book "Surely you're joking Mr. Feyman" The whole book is full of short anecdotes like this and is an amazing read.

http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

Edit: spelling

jakevoytko · 2010-07-22 · Original thread
I'm late to this party, so I'll give you two quick pointers: "You and Your Research" by Richard Hamming [0], and "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" [1]

Read both in their entirety.

You will gain a new perspective on those who make great achievements. They experience the same self-doubt you do! Feynman notes in dismay that other researchers at Los Alamos effortlessly solved problems mentally after he'd spend days working out the solution. He also mentions when he starts in academia, he was overwhelmed by an academic paper being discussed at a conference because he didn't understand it. Richard Hamming notes a few extra pressures, specifically the pressure to solve great problems instead of small problems, and how this pressure ruins your work

Both books have similar lessons. Feynman says it implicitly, and Hamming says it explicitly: Keep modern, work with others, understand the twists and turns of your field, think about the future, and solve the small problems. You can't force yourself to do great things, but you can stack the deck in your favor.

[0] http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/YouAndYourResearch.html

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

lionhearted · 2009-07-25 · Original thread
I'm just finishing "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman" - what a damn good book.

For a few years, I'd read references and anecdotes and cool snippets and meant to read it, but I never got around to it. And now I'm kicking myself that I didn't earlier, because it's wonderful and illuminating and my worldview is greatly expanded.

You, yes YOU, if you haven't read it yet, get your copy and read it. You'll be happy you did. It reads fast, and you'll learn a lot about society and love and engineering and science and mixing with people very different than you. Just an amazing read. It's worth taking a 30 minute break from Hacker News each day for a month to read it, it's like the essence of Hacker News distilled into witty, insightful, gorgeous easy-yet-deep reading.

Amazon, no affiliate link (really, add it to your cart and get it with your next order - no excuse not to, anyone who likes this site will love this book):

http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Char...

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