[extropy-chat] Modesty (was RE: Peak Oil meta-news)
lcorbin at tsoft.com
Thu Mar 9 00:47:26 UTC 2006
For maybe twenty years I was suckered by Feynman into believing
that he was quite modest. Especially cute was his praise of a
nameless teacher who inspired a student to extend the principle
of least action to a key element in the 1940's quantum revolution.
(Lectures on Physics, Volume 2, Chapter 19.)
If you know a bit about the principle of least action, and you
know what happened in the late 1940's, then you gradually deduce
that Feynman was praising *his* own teacher, and giving that
teacher credit for inspiring him to develop the path formulation.
It really *is* charming.
But from tales of safe-cracking (which, Feynman fails to inform
anyone was de rigeur among all the students), to hints from a
number of colleagues, to a careful reading of "Surely You're
Joking", describing him as modest is a really big laugh!
I don't know about Einstein; could be. But let's not be gulled by
a person's *own* writings!
> I'd be interested in your or anyone else's pointers to things people take to
> be the theoretical consensus on modesty. Do you have particular quotes
> by Einstein and Feynman in mind, for example?
More information about the extropy-chat