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“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character -Richard P. Feynman

“Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that’s the end of you.”

Sci-fi is never a genre I pick myself, so when the sci-fi bookclub had a biography of a famous Nobel Prize winner as a book of the month I was fairly excited.

I do enjoy reading this book, even though a part of it in Feynman lingo was blah blah blah blah rickety doo to me.

But before I get into the good things about this book, let me get one thing out of my chest first. I know the condition of women in the early twentieth century and I know that their representation in science and technology was rare. So, even though it was hurting that there won’t be mentions of women in science, I was still prepared. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the representation of women only as sexual objects throughout the book. And it somehow irked me like anything. So, yes, Feynman was a great physicist and had so many qualities for which he should be admired, but I somehow couldn’t garner respect for him due to this point.

Now, coming to the good things. As told in the title itself, Feynman was one curious character and had a curious mind. The way he wanted to try out things and to learn new things was quite inspiring. One of the best things about him was that he tried and exceled in all the things in his life just because he was curious or was having fun. And that is I guess one of the most important thing I take away from his biography.

I know some of most important discoveries in the field of science and technology happend in 20th century, especially during the War. Hence, it was quite intresting to read a book from the point of view of a prominent physicist of that time who contributed much to this field.

I love this show Big Bang Theory and somehow this book reminded me of this show. I won’t be surprised if some of the characters in the show were inspired by Feynman. I love nerdy people. I feel they are people with the purest heart, who care only about science, computers, and academics and are not corrupted by the world’s ways. And Feynman was one such person.

Like the show, I read the book skipping most of the science part, not because it was boring and is written academically. I am pretty sure Feynman has described most things in most layman terms but still it totally went above my head. But this shortcoming was never a hurdle to me in enjoying this book. Yes, it made me feel stupid many times that’s for sure. But as said by Feynman himself

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing.”
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