“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”

I bought this book at the New Hanover County Library book sale for $1.  It was first published in 1985.  It was well worth the price.  The book, written by physicist Richard P. Feynman, is a very humorous series of stories about his life as a scientist.  But, the real value of the book is the portrait it draws of a person who is dedicated to the discovery of the truth about the world.  Professor Feynman had an unquenchable curiosity that led him to inquiry about nearly anything that he encountered from ants to locks to atomic theory to sense-deprivation tanks.  Yet, his inquiries were always guided and influenced by scientific method.

His commencement lecture on scientific method and pseudo-science, which is included at the end of the book, can be found here:

Cargo Cult Science

If you want to read more, I suggest checking out the CFCC library copy of

Classic Feynman : all the adventures of a curious character / Richard P. Feynman ; edited by Ralph Leighton
Book Book | W.W. Norton | 2006 | First edition.
Available at Wilm Circulating Books (QC 16 .F49 A3 2006) plus 1 more
This book contains material from “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” and a subsequent volume of his memoirs.

 

 

America’s Young Chess Stars

Here is a story about Wesley So and Ray Robson finishing first and second at on open chess tournament in Las Vegas.  They won $100,000 and $50,000 respectively.  They are both on the chess team at Webster University.

The author of the article played chess himself and was very excited by one of the game’s won by Robson.  You can read the article here:

Las Vegas Chess Tournament

Philosophical Disquisitions

A very interesting blog that examines current issues in philosophy.  The presentation of various philosophical arguments is clear and enlightening.  An excellent place for undergraduate students to see what analysis of a philosophical argument looks like.  

Uploading the Mind

I haven’t read this yet, but here is an interesting book that was just published.

Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds (2014)

by Russell Blackford  (Editor), Damien Broderick (Editor)
   
It is about the possibility of uploading our minds into more robust physical systems such as an awesome robot with a built-in jet pack. (I don’t think jet packs are mentioned in the book, but that’s what I would want built in to my new body.)

Pre-Punishment

An interesting problem in ethics is the idea of punishing someone for a crime that the person will or will likely commit in the future.  This is called pre-punishment.  It is the idea at the root of the movie Minority Report based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.  However, this is not science fiction anymore as a recent New York Times article makes clear.  The American criminal justice system is already punishing people for future crimes.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/opinion/sentencing-by-the-numbers.html?referrer=&_r=3

Here is a link to a philosophy blog that discusses recent articles by philosophers on pre-punishment.

http://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.ie/2012/07/the-ethics-of-prepunishment-part-one.html

This a very good philosophy blog, and I would recommend reading some more of the posts.

http://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.ie/