Sunday, December 03, 2006

The pleasure of finding things out

This video is an excellent 40 min interview with Nobel laurete and physicist Richard Feynman. I liked his answer to the question whether he considered his work worthy enough to win a nobel prize. Here is the text transcript of his answer.

Richard Feynman:

I don’t know . I don’t know anything about the nobel prize and whats worth what. If the people in the Swedish academy decide that x y or z wins a nobel prize, then so be it

I don’t have anything to do with the Nobel prize, It’s a pain in the neck. I don’t like honours. I am appreciated for the work I did and the people who appreciated and I noted other physicists who used my work, I don’t need anything else. I don’t think there is any sense to anything else. I don’t see that it makes a point that some one in the Swedish academy decides that this work is noble enough to receive a prize. I already got the prize, the prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out. The kick in a discovery. The observation of other people use it. Those are the real things. The honors are unreal to me. I don’t believe in honors. That bothers me . Honors bothers me. Honors are epaulets, honors are uniforms, My Pop brought me up this way. I cant stand it. It hurts me.

When I was in High school, one of the first honors I got was to be a member of the arista, which is a group of kids, who got good grades. And everybody wanted to be a member of the Arista. When I got into the arista I discovered is that what they did in their meetings was to sit around to discuss who else was worthy to join the wonderful group we are. This kind of thing bothers me psychologically for one or another reason, I don’t understand myself. Honors from that date to now always bothered me.

Here is the video

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