Richard Feynman: In His Own Words
"If it disagrees with experiment, it's WRONG!"
"It's scientific only to say what's more likely or less likely and not to be proving all the time possible and impossible."
(After seeing a 37 million dollar device to test one of his theories:)
"You don't trust me?
photos courtesy of the archives California Institute of Technology
"I find that teaching and the students keep life going, and I would never accept any position in which somebody has invented a happy situation for me where I don't have to teach. Never".
"God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore".
"I don't like honors. I'm appreciated for the work that I did, and for people who appreciate it, and I notice that other physicists use my work. I don't need anything else. I don't think there's any sense to anything else. I don't see that it makes any point that someone in the Swedish Academy decides that this work is noble enough to receive a prize. I've already got the prize. The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it. Those are the real things. The honors are unreal to me. I don't believe in honors.
It bothers me, honors. Honors is epilets, honors is uniforms. My poppa brought me up this way. I can't 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. Everybody wanted to be a member of the Arista. I discovered that what they did in their meetings was to sit around to discuss who else was worthy to join this wonderful group that we are. OK So we sat around trying to decide who would get to be allowed into this Arista. This kind of thing bothers me psychologically for one or another reason. I don't understand myself. Honors, and from that day to this, always bothered me. I had trouble when I became a member of the National Academy of Science, and I had ultimately to resign. Because there was another organization, most of whose time was spent in choosing who was illustrious enough to be allowed to join us in our organization. Including such questions as: 'we physicists have to stick together because there's a very good chemist that they're trying to get in and we haven't got enough room...'. What's the matter with chemists? The whole thing was rotten . Because the purpose was mostly to decide who could have this honor. OK? I don't like honors."
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