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Aquilius Cratus

Ričard Fajnman-umetnik u nauci.

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U maju ove godine preminuo je jedan od poslednjih "dinosaurusa" fizike 20. veka - Džon Viler (više o njemu ovde i ovde). Međutim malo ko se setio da spomene da je se ove godine navršava 90 godina od rođenja i 20 godina od smrti njegovog učenika - Ričarda Fajnmana, jednog od najvećih legendi fizike.

Zašto Fajnman? Ja smatram da je ovo jedan od retkih ljudi savremenog doba koji može da bude jedna od pozitivnih zvezda vodilja za svakog mladog čoveka.

Ovaj tekst je nastao kao mešavina mog teksta za Viva fizika i anegdota iz Fajnmanovog života.

U porodici beloruskog imigranta, Nelvila Fajnmana, 11. maja 1918. godine rođen je dečak kome su dali ime Ričard. Nelvil se bavio proizvodnjom uniforma, ali je pored toga bio na neki način popularizator nauke za svog sina. Svako veče pred spavanje čitao je sinu poneki zanimljiv tekst iz "Britanike". Evo kako je to izgledalo:

"Ova stvar je 25 stopa visoka i glava je preko 6 stopa", onda bi stao i rekao, "Da vidimo šta to znači. To bi znacilo da ako on stoji ispred dvorišta, bio bi dovoljno visok da stavi svoju glavu kroz prozor, ali ne sasvim, jer glava mu je dosta šira i razbio bi prozor pru ulasku".

Sve što smo čitali pretvarano je najbolje sto smo mogli u neku realnost pa sam naučio da sve što čitam pokušavam da shvatim šta to stvarno znaci...

Richard Faynman - Pleasure of finding things out

Tyrannosaurus in the Window

Fajnman je bio jedan od najboljih učenika u školi, sa 15 godina je savladao infinitezimalni račun. U sedamnaestoj godini odlazi na MIT. U toku 4 godine školovanja na MIT-u, Fajnmana su pratili razni događaji. Ipak spomenućemo jedan događaj koji je sam po sebi smešan. Fajnman je voleo da pravi parodije na velika književna dela, tako da je recimo umesto dela Hakslija „On a Piece of Chalk“ Fajnman delo pretvorio u „On a Piece of Dust“. Ipak problemi su nastali kod Geteovog „Fausta“. Mladi Ričard nikako nije mogao da napravi parodiju na delo pa je potražio savet od članova bratstva. Rekli su mu da napiše bilo šta za temu, i on je pisao o granicama nauke. Onda su mu za predlog dali da to ubaci u svoj esej o Faustu. Nevoljno se složio i ubacio pola eseja o granicama nauke kao esej o Faustu. Profesor mu je dao vrlo dobru ocenu, razlog zbog koje nije dobio odličnu ocenu je bio kratak zaključak.

Nakon MIT-a odlazi na Prinston. Doktorira 1942. godine, a na njegovom prvom predavanju su bili Albert Ajnštajn, Džon fon Nojman i Volfgang Pauli. Nakon doktorata, priključuje se projketu "Menhetn". Tvrdio je da je bio jedini koji je eksploziju atomske bombe na "Triniti testu" posmatrao bez zaštitnih naočara, nego kroz vetrobransko staklo kamiona. Zapravo svi ostali su tokom eksplozije nosili zatamnjena stakla i ležali na podu, tako da je on jedini čovek koji je video tu eksploziju.

Tokom "Menhetn" projekta mu umire supruga. Posle "Triniti testa" počinje da se zanima za obijanje sefova. Shvatio je prost način da otvori jedan, a onda mu nije bilo teško da otvara ostale sefove. Jedne prilike obio je sef poručnika da bi mu pokazao da su sefovi nesigurni. U sefu su se nalazila tajna dokumenta vezana za projekat, a Fajnman je ostavio poruku na papiriću - "Obijač sefova Fajnman LA 4312", a zatim je obio još dva sefa koja su imala istu kombinaciju i ostavlja poruke: "Ovo nije bilo teže otvoriti nego druge - Uviđajan tip" i "Kada su sve kombinacije iste, onda ništa teže od prethodnih - Isti momak". Umesto da zamene sefove, on je naredio ostalima da ne dopuštaju Fajnmanu pristup sefovima.

Rat se završava a Fajnman odlazi na Kornel da radi sa Hansom Beteom. Međutim uskoro napušta Kornel i odlazi na Kalteh (Caltech). Tokom rada na Kaltehu bavio se kvantnom elektrodinamikom (od jednog predavanja koje je držao na Novom Zelandu nastala je i knjiga Kvantna Elektrodinamika), fizikom superfluida, modelom slabog raspada itd... Došavši na Kornel, išao je na studentske zabave. Tada bi zamolio i neku devojku za ples. Ova bi pristala a onda bi ovako tekao (R. P. Feynman - Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman (The Dignifed Professor):

"Plesao sam sa drugom devojkom a onda su ponovo došla uobičajena pitanja: "Da li si student ili diplomac?" (Tamo je bilo dosta studenata koji su izgledali starije jer su bili u armiji).

"Ne, ja sam profesor."

"Oh, profesor čega?"

"Teorijske fizike."

"Pretpostavljam da si radio na atomskoj bombi."

"Da. Bio sam u Los Alamosu za vreme rata."

Ona bi rekla: "Ti prokleti lažovu!" i odšetala.

Ovo mi je oživelo odličnu ideju. Sve je objašnjavalo. Govorio sam svim prostoumnim devojkama, glupu istinu, i nikada nisam znao u čemu je bio problem.

...

Onda sam pokusao da izbegnem sva ova pitanja, i to je imalo suprotan efekat:

"Da li si nov ovde?"

"Pa, ne."

"Da li si diplomac?"

"Ne."

"Šta si ti?"

"Ne zelim da kazem."

"Zašto ne želiš da nam kažeš šta si?"

"Ne želim..." i onda bi nastavile da razgovaraju sa mnom!

Završio sam sa dve devojke kod moje kuce, i jedna od njih mi je rekla da ne bi trebalo da se osećam neugodno zato što sam nov; bilo je mnogo momaka koji su u mojim godinama započinjali koledž; i to je bilo stvarno u redu. One su bile na drugoj godini i bile su pomalo materinski nastrojene, obe. Radile su mnogo na mojoj psihologiji, ali nisam želeo da dobijem izopačenu situaciju i neprihvatljivu, pa sam ih rekao da sam profesor. Bile su veoma uznemirene jer sam ih nasamario. Imao sam gomilu problema dok sam bio profesor na Kornelu.

Nobelovu nagradu je podelio zajedno sa Švingerom i Tomonagom. Slikovito se kaže da je Tomonaga pokazao da problem može da se reši, Švinger je pokazao da on može da ga reši, Fajnam je pokazao da svako može da ga reši.

Ovo je jedan od meni najboljih delova iz njegovog života, ne zbog nagrade, nego zato što ovde dolazi do izražaja njegov duh.

Da je dobio Nobelovu nagradu, saznao je od novinara koji ga je zvao rano ujutro da mu javi i čestita. Fajnman mu samo spušta slušalicu. Kada ga ponovo zove da mu kaže, odgovor je samo: "Yeah" i spušta mu slušalicu. Sam Fajnman nikako nije želeo nagradu, želeo je ako je ikako moguce da je ne primi.

Kako sam Fajnman u intevjuu za BBC-jevu emisiju o njemu kaze:

"Ne volim odlikovanja. ... Nagrada je u zadovoljstvu pronalaženja stvari ... Znam da veliki broj fizičara koristi moje radove, meni ništa drugo i ne treba..."

Fajnmana smatraju ocem nanotehnologije. U svom predavanju pred Amerčkim fizičarskim društvom 1959. godine naznačio je da budućnost leži u minijaturizaciji: kako celu enciklopediju "Britaniku" smestiti na vrh čiode (There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom).

Za vreme boravka na Kaltehu napisao je i seriju predavanja iz fizike za studente (Lectures on Physics). Tvrdio je da ne postoji problem koji se studentima ne može prikazati i olakšati njegovo rešavanje. I danas je to delo jedno najpopularnijih među studentima fizike. Njegovi studenti su se bukvalno otimali za delić njegove pažnje.

1986. godine bio je u komisiji koja je ispitivala nesreću spejs šatla Čelendžer (Challenger). Njegov zaključak se potpuno razlikovao od zaključka radne grupe. Nakon mnogo povlačenja njegov zaključak je dodat u konačnom izveštaju.

Sam Fajnman je bio osoba slobodnih pogleda na svet. Kada je vlast htela da zatvori toples bar u Pasadeni, on je svedočio na sudu u odbranu toples bara. Tvrdio je da mu toples bar pomaže u radu na fizici. Priznao je da je probao LSD. Za sebe je govorio da su mu hobiji bongo bubnjevi, obijanje sefova, hijeroglifi Maja, računarstvo. Mrzeo je pompeznost.

Rekli su o Fajnmanu:

"Postoje dva tipa genija. Obični geniji rade velike stvari, ali vas ostavljaju u uverenju da i vi to možete samo ako dovoljno naporno radite. Ali tu su i mađioničari, i vi nemate pojma kako oni to rade. Fajnman je bio mađioničar".

Hans Bete

Fajnmanovi citati:

"Za razliku od matematičara, fizičar uvek mora da zna šta da očekuje od svoje teorije."

"Fizika je kao seks, daje praktične rezultate ali to nije razlog zbog koga se bavimo njome".

"Naučite iz nauke da nikada do kraja ne verujete naučnicima!"

Ako Vam se makar delić ovoga iz života Fajnmana zainteresovalo, onda Vam predlažem da sledeće knjige:

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman - Adventures of a curious character - R. Feynman

What Do You Care What Other People Think? - R. Feynman

I na YouTube-u postoji dosta materijala, kao i ceo intervju za BBC - The pleasure of finding things out

http://blog.b92.net/text/3552/Ricard-Fajnman/

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Kako sam Fajnman u intevjuu za BBC-jevu emisiju o njemu kaze:

"Ne volim odlikovanja. ... Nagrada je u zadovoljstvu pronalaženja stvari ... Znam da veliki broj fizičara koristi moje radove, meni ništa drugo i ne treba..."

Ех... Изгледа да се и он врти у гробу данас.

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Kako sam Fajnman u intevjuu za BBC-jevu emisiju o njemu kaze:

"Ne volim odlikovanja. ... Nagrada je u zadovoljstvu pronalaženja stvari ... Znam da veliki broj fizičara koristi moje radove, meni ništa drugo i ne treba..."

Ех... Изгледа да се и он врти у гробу данас.

Upravo.

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Završio sam sa dve devojke kod moje kuce, i jedna od njih mi je rekla da ne bi trebalo da se osećam neugodno zato što sam nov; bilo je mnogo momaka koji su u mojim godinama započinjali koledž; i to je bilo stvarno u redu. One su bile na drugoj godini i bile su pomalo materinski nastrojene, obe. Radile su mnogo na mojoj psihologiji, ali nisam želeo da dobijem izopačenu situaciju i neprihvatljivu, pa sam ih rekao da sam profesor. Bile su veoma uznemirene jer sam ih nasamario. Imao sam gomilu problema dok sam bio profesor na Kornelu.

Sam Fajnman je bio osoba slobodnih pogleda na svet. Kada je vlast htela da zatvori toples bar u Pasadeni, on je svedočio na sudu u odbranu toples bara. Tvrdio je da mu toples bar pomaže u radu na fizici. Priznao je da je probao LSD. Za sebe je govorio da su mu hobiji bongo bubnjevi, obijanje sefova, hijeroglifi Maja, računarstvo. Mrzeo je pompeznost.

Ричи деструктивац.  4chsmu1

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Završio sam sa dve devojke kod moje kuce, i jedna od njih mi je rekla da ne bi trebalo da se osećam neugodno zato što sam nov; bilo je mnogo momaka koji su u mojim godinama započinjali koledž; i to je bilo stvarno u redu. One su bile na drugoj godini i bile su pomalo materinski nastrojene, obe. Radile su mnogo na mojoj psihologiji, ali nisam želeo da dobijem izopačenu situaciju i neprihvatljivu, pa sam ih rekao da sam profesor. Bile su veoma uznemirene jer sam ih nasamario. Imao sam gomilu problema dok sam bio profesor na Kornelu.

Sam Fajnman je bio osoba slobodnih pogleda na svet. Kada je vlast htela da zatvori toples bar u Pasadeni, on je svedočio na sudu u odbranu toples bara. Tvrdio je da mu toples bar pomaže u radu na fizici. Priznao je da je probao LSD. Za sebe je govorio da su mu hobiji bongo bubnjevi, obijanje sefova, hijeroglifi Maja, računarstvo. Mrzeo je pompeznost.

Ричи деструктивац.  4chsmu1

Ihaaaa, a onda su ga opseli pali andjeli koje nije mogao da vidi zbog 0.4-0.7 mikrometarskog ogranicenja

i lekari su jedino mogli da mu daju tabletu za spavanje.

  4chsmu1 4chsmu1

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The Value of Science

Richard Feynman

One of Feynman's most eloquent public lectures. Published in What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman as told to Ralph Leighton (1988). Also available in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard Feynman (1999, pp. 141-149).

Of all its many values, the greatest must be the freedom to doubt.

From time to time, people suggest to me that scientists ought to give more consideration to social problems -- especially that they should be more responsible in considering the impact of science upon society. This same suggestion must be made to many other scientists, and it seems to be generally believed that if the scientists would only look at these very difficult social problems and not spend so much time fooling with the less vital scientific ones, great success would come of it.

It seems to me that we do think about these problems from time to time, but we don't put full-time effort into them -- the reason being that we know we don't have any magic formula for solving problems, that social problems are very much harder than scientific ones, and that we usually don't get anywhere when we do think about them.

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy -- and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter. Since the question of the value of science is not a scientific subject, this discussion is dedicated to proving my point -- by example.

The first way in which science is of value is familiar to everyone. It is that scientific knowledge enables us to do all kinds of things and to make all kinds of things. Of course if we make good things, it is not only to the credit of science; it is also to the credit of the moral choice which led us to good work. Scientific knowledge is an enabling power to do either good or bad -- but it does not carry instructions on how to use it. Such power has evident value -- even though the power may be negated by what one does.

I learned a way of expressing this common human problem on a trip to Honolulu. In a Buddhist temple there, the man in charge explained a little bit about the Buddhist religion for tourists, and then ended his talk by telling them he had something to say to them that they would never forget -- and I have never forgotten it. It was a proverb of the Buddhist religion:

"To every man is given the key to the gates of he aven; the same key opens the gates of hell."

What, then, is the value of the key to he aven? It is true that if we lack clear instructions that determine which is the gate to he aven and which the gate to hell, the key may be a dangerous object to use, but it obviously has value. How can we enter he aven without it?

The instructions, also, would be of no value without the key. So it is evident that, in spite of the fact that science could produce enormous horror in the world, it is of value because it can produce something.

Another value of science is the fun called intellectual enjoyment which some people get from reading and learning and thinking about it, and which others get from working in it. This is a very real and important point and one which is not considered enough by those who tell us it is our social responsibility to reflect on the impact of science on society.

Is this mere personal enjoyment of value to society as a whole? No! But it is also a responsibility to consider the value of society itself. Is it, in the last analysis, to arrange things so that people can enjoy things? If so, the enjoyment of science is as important as anything else.

But I would like not to underestimate the value of the worldview which is the result of scientific effort. We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvellous than the imaginings of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for us to be stuck -- half of us upside down -- by a mysterious attraction, to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years, than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.

I have thought about these things so many times alone that I hope you will excuse me if I remind you of some thoughts that I am sure you have all had -- or this type of thought -- which no one could ever have had in the past, because people then didn't have the information we have about the world today.

For instance, I stand at the seashore, alone, and start to think. There are the rushing waves ... mountains of molecules, each stupidly minding its own business ... trillions apart ... yet forming white surf in unison.

Ages on ages ... before any eyes could see ... year after year ... thunderously pounding the shore as now. For whom, for what? ... on a dead planet, with no life to entertain.

Never at rest ... tortured by energy ... wasted prodigiously by the sun ... poured into space. A mite makes the sea roar.

Deep in the sea, all molecules repeat the patterns of one another till complex new ones are formed. They make others like themselves ... and a new dance starts.

Growing in size and complexity ... living things, masses of atoms, DNA, protein ... dancing a pattern ever more intricate.

Out of the cradle onto the dry land ... here it is standing ... atoms with consciousness ... matter with curiosity.

Stands at the sea ... wonders at wondering ... I ... a universe of atoms ... an atom in the universe.

  • The Grand Adventure

The same thrill, the same awe and mystery, come again and again when we look at any problem deeply enough. With more knowledge comes deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate deeper still. Never concerned that the answer may prove disappointing, but with pleasure and confidence we turn over each new stone to find unimagined strangeness leading on to more wonderful questions and mysteries -- certainly a grand adventure!

It is true that few unscientific people have this particular type of religious experience. Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. I don't know why. Is nobody inspired by our present picture of the universe? The value of science remains unsung by singers, so you are reduced to hearing -- not a song or a poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.

Perhaps one of the reasons is that you have to know how to read the music. For instance, the scientific article says, perhaps, something like this: "The radioactive phosphorus content of the cerebrum of the rat decreases to one-half in a period of two weeks." Now, what does that mean?

It means that phosphorus that is in the brain of a rat (and also in mine, and yours) is not the same phosphorus as it was two weeks ago, but that all of the atoms that are in the brain are being replaced, and the ones that were there before have gone away.

So what is this mind, what are these atoms with consciousness? Last week's potatoes! That is what now can remember what was going on in my mind a year ago -- a mind which has long ago been replaced.

This is what it means when one discovers how long it takes for the atoms of the brain to be replaced by other atoms, to note that the thing which I call my individuality is only a pattern or dance. The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, then go out; always new atoms but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.

  • The Remarkable id ea

When we read about this in the newspaper, it says, "The scientist says that this discovery may have importance in the cure of cancer." The paper is only interested in the use of the id ea, not the id ea itself. Hardly anyone can understand the importance of the id ea, it is so remarkable. Except that, possibly, some children catch on. And when a child catches on to an id ea like that, we have a scientist. These id eas do filter down (in spite of all the conversation about TV replacing thinking), and lots of kids get the spirit -- and when they have the spirit you have a scientist. It's too late for them to get the spirit when they are in our universities, so we must attempt to explain these id eas to children.

I would now like to turn to a third value that science has. It is a little more indirect, but not much. The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize the ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain.

Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure -- that it is possible to live and not know. But I don't know whether everyone realizes that this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle. Permit us to question -- to doubt, that's all -- not to be sure. And I think it is important that we do not forget the importance of this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained. Here lies a responsibility to society.

We are all sad when we think of the wondrous potentialities human beings seem to have, as contrasted with their small accomplishments. Again and again people have thought that we could do much better. They of the past saw in the nightmare of their times a dream for the future. We, of their future, see that their dreams, in certain ways surpassed, have in many ways remained dreams. The hopes for the future today are, in good share, those of yesterday.

  • Education, for Good and Evil

Once some thought that the possibilities people had were not developed because most of these people were ignorant. With education universal, could all men be Voltaires? Bad can be taught at least as efficiently as good. Education is a strong force, but for either good or evil.

Communications between nations must promote understanding: So went another dream. But the machines of communication can be channeled or choked. What is communicated can be truth or lie. Communication is a strong force also, but for either good or bad.

The applied scientists should free men of material problems at least. Medicine controls diseases. And the record here seems all to the good. Yet there are men patiently working to create great plagues and poisons. They are to be used in warfare tomorrow.

Nearly everybody dislikes war. Our dream today is peace. In peace, man can develop best the enormous possibilities he seems to have. But maybe future men will find that peace, too, can be good and bad. Perhaps peaceful men will drink out of boredom. Then perhaps drink will become the great problem which seems to keep man from getting all he thinks he should out of his abilities.

Clearly, peace is a great force, as is sobriety, as are material power, communication, education, honesty, and the id eals of many dreamers.

We have more of these forces to control than did the ancients. And maybe we are doing a little better than most of them could do. But what we ought to be able to do seems gigantic compared with our con fused accomplishments.

Why is this? Why can't we conquer ourselves?

Because we find that even great forces and abilities do not seem to carry with them clear instructions on how to use them. As an example, the great accumulation of understanding as to how the physical world behaves only convinces one that this behavior seems to have a kind of meaninglessness. The sciences do not directly teach good or bad.

Through all ages men have tried to fathom the meaning of life. They have realized that if some direction or meaning could be given to our actions, great human forces would be unleashed. So, very many answers must have been given to the question of the meaning of it all. But they have been of all different sorts, and the proponents of one answer have looked with horror at the actions of the believers of another. Horror, because from a disagreeing point of view all the great potentialities of the race are being channeled into a false and confining blind alley. In fact, it is from the history of the enormous monstrosities created by false belief that philosophers have realized the apparently infinite and wondrous capacities of human beings. The dream is to find the open channel.

What, then, is the meaning of it all? What can we say to dispel the mystery of experience?

If we take everything into account, not only what the ancients knew, but all of what we know today that they didn't know, then I think that we must frankly admit that we do not know.

But in admitting this, we have probably found the open channel.

This is not a new id ea; this is the id ea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided the men who made the democracy that we live under. The id ea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the id ea that we should arrange a system by which new id eas could be developed, tried out, tossed out, more new id eas brought in; a trial and error system. This method was a result of the fact that science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the 18th century. Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of the possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar.

  • Our Responsibility as Scientists

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.

It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress and great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress that is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom, to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed, and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations.

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t1larg.jillette_penn.jpg

I try to claim that I was friends with the genius Richard Feynman. He came to our show a few times and was very complimentary, and I had dinner with him a couple times, and we chatted on the phone several times. I'd call him to get quick tutoring on physics so I could pretend to read his books.

No matter how much I want to brag, it's overstating it to call him a friend. I would never have called him to help me move a couch. I did, however, call him once to ask how we could score some liquid nitrogen for a Letterman spot we wanted to do. He was the only physicist I knew at the time. He explained patiently that he didn't know. He was a theoretical physicist and I needed a hands-on guy, but he'd try to find one for me.

About a half-hour later a physics teacher from a community college in Brooklyn called me and said, "I don't know what kind of practical joke this is, but a Nobel Prize-winning scientist just called me here at the community college, gave me this number, and told me to call Penn of Penn & Teller to help with a Letterman appearance."

I guess that's close to a friend.

My friend Richard Feynman said, "I don't know." I heard him say it several times. He said it just like Harold, the mentally handicapped dishwasher I worked with when I was a young man making minimum wage at Famous Bill's Restaurant in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

"I don't know" is not an apology. There's no shame. It's a simple statement of fact. When Richard Feynman didn't know, he often worked harder than anyone else to find out, but while he didn't know, he said, "I don't know."

I like to think I fit in somewhere between my friends Harold and Richard. I don't know. I try to remember to say "I don't know" just the way they both did, as a simple statement of fact. It doesn't always work, but I try.

Last week I was interviewed for Piers Morgan's show (which used to be Larry King's show). Piers beat me up a bit for being an atheist (that's his job) and then beat me up a bit for being a libertarian (also his job). He did this by asking me impossible questions, questions that none of us, Harold, Richard, me, (or Piers), could ever answer.

He started with "How did you get here?" and I started talking about my road to showbiz and atheism and he interrupted and said he meant how the universe was created. I said, "I don't know."

He said, "God," an answer that meant Piers didn't know either, but he had a word for it that was supposed to make me feel left out of his enlightened club.

Then he asked me what we could do to help poor people. I said I donated money, food, medical care, and services and he said, "No," he meant, what could society do to solve the problem of poor people. Again, I was stumped.

He said the government had to do it, which I interpreted as another way of saying he didn't know, but he thought that made me look mean ... even though I do care and do try to help.

What makes me libertarian is what makes me an atheist -- I don't know. If I don't know, I don't believe. I don't know exactly how we got here, and I don't think anyone else does, either. We have some of the pieces of the puzzle and we'll get more, but I'm not going to use faith to fill in the gaps. I'm not going to believe things that TV hosts state without proof. I'll wait for real evidence and then I'll believe.

And I don't think anyone really knows how to help everyone. I don't even know what's best for me. Take my uncertainty about what's best for me and multiply that by every combination of the over 300 million people in the United States and I have no idea what the government should do.

President Obama sure looks and acts way smarter than me, but no one is 2 to the 300 millionth power times smarter than me. No one is even 2 to the 300 millionth times smarter than a squirrel. I sure don't know what to do about an AA+ rating and if we should live beyond our means and about compromise and sacrifice. I have no idea. I'm scared to death of being in debt. I was a street juggler and carny trash -- I couldn't get my debt limit raised, I couldn't even get a debt limit -- my only choice was to live within my means. That's all I understand from my experience, and that's not much.

It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

People try to argue that government isn't really force. You believe that? Try not paying your taxes. (This is only a thought experiment -- suggesting on CNN.com that someone not pay his or her taxes is probably a federal offense, and I'm a nut, but I'm not crazy.). When they come to get you for not paying your taxes, try not going to court. Guns will be drawn. Government is force -- literally, not figuratively.

I don't believe the majority always knows what's best for everyone. The fact that the majority thinks they have a way to get something good does not give them the right to use force on the minority that don't want to pay for it. If you have to use a gun, I don't believe you really know jack. Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It's just ganging up against the weird kid, and I'm always the weird kid.

How did we get here and how do we save everyone? I don't know, but I'm doing the best I can. Sorry Piers, that's all I got.

Tekst koji se samo prvom polovinom odnosi na Fajnmana, ali koji je sjajan da vredi preneti ga celog.

---

Je l moguce da ovaj forum nema opciju spoiler?

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Kako sam Fajnman u intevjuu za BBC-jevu emisiju o njemu kaze:

"Ne volim odlikovanja. ... Nagrada je u zadovoljstvu pronalaženja stvari ... Znam da veliki broj fizičara koristi moje radove, meni ništa drugo i ne treba..."

Ех... Изгледа да се и он врти у гробу данас.

sto?

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Kako sam Fajnman u intevjuu za BBC-jevu emisiju o njemu kaze:

"Ne volim odlikovanja. ... Nagrada je u zadovoljstvu pronalaženja stvari ... Znam da veliki broj fizičara koristi moje radove, meni ništa drugo i ne treba..."

Ех... Изгледа да се и он врти у гробу данас.

sto?

Зато што се данас у његовој рођеној земљи данас све врти око признања и примена. Задовољство проналажења ствари је потиснуто ко зна где...

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