What do you care what other people think

date Jul 19, 2007
authors Richard P. Feynman
reading time 3 mins
  • Book Title: What do you care what other people think? Further Adventures of a Curious Character
  • Author: Richard P. Feynman
  • Year published: 1988
  • Summary: it’s sort of an autobiography where Feynman himself wrote stories about his childhood, the Manhattan project, his love and about the time when he was in the Commission for investigating the Challenger Shuttle disaster.
  • Contents page:
  1. A curious character
  2. the making of a scientist
  3. what do you care what other people think?
  4. It’s simple as one, two, three
  5. getting ahead
  6. hotel city
  7. who the hell is Herman
  8. Feynman Sexist Pig
  9. it just shook his hand, can you believe it?
  10. Letters
  11. Photos and Drawings
  12. Feynman goes to Washington: Investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
  13. Preliminaries
  14. Committing Suicide
  15. The Cold Facts
  16. Check Six!
  17. Gumshoes
  18. Fantastic Figures
  19. An Inflamed Appendix
  20. The 10th Recommendation
  21. Meet the Press
  22. Afterthoughts

Santa Claus and miracles in religion…

Santa Claus was a particular custom we celebrated in our family, and it wasn’t very serious. But the miracles I was hearing about were connected with real things: there as the temple, where people would go every week; there was the Sunday school, where rabbis taught the children about miracles; it was much more of a dramatic thing. Santa Claus didn’t involve big institutions like the temple, which I knew was real.

About English…

I was terrible in English. I couldn’t stand the subject. It seemed to me ridiculous to worry about whether you spelled something wrong or not, because English spelling is just a human invention - it has nothing to do with anything real, anything from the nature. Any word can be spelled just as well a different way. I was impatient with all this English stuff.

about dieing and the human spirit…

It’s hard to explain. If a Martian (who we’ll imagine never dies expect by accident) came to earth and saw this peculiar race of creatures - these humans who live about 70 or 80 years, knowing that death is going to come - it would look to him a terrible problem of psychology to live under those circumstances, knowing that life is only temporary. Well, we humans somehow figure out how to live despite this problem: we laugh, we joke, we live.

about seeing the real part of a city…

The driver started right off to go up and see some palace saying, “I’ll show you all the fancy places.” I said, “No thank you; That’s similar in every city. I want to see the bottom part of the city where the poor people live….”

about public enquiry when he was involved in the Challenger space shuttle disaster…

The main thing learned at that meeting was how inefficient a public inquiry is: most of the time, other people are asking questions you already know the answer to - or are not interested in 0 you get so fogged out that your’re hardly listening  when important points are being passed over.

on bureaucratic and safety challenges faced during the public commission for the Challenger…

The foreman, Mr. Fichtel, said he wrote a memo with this suggestion to his superiors 2 years ago, but nothing had happened yet. When he asked why, he was told the suggestion was too expensive. “Too expensive to just 4 little lines?” I said in disbelief. > They all laughed. “It’s not the paint; it’s the paperwork,” Mr. Fitchel said. “They would have to revise all the manuals”.