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Richard Feynman - Smartest Man Since Einstein?

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yevaud

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Youtube Six-Part Video <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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dragon04

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Youtube Six-Part Video <br /> Posted by yevaud</DIV></p><p>Wow! THANKS for digging this out and posting it up!!!!!!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Best mind since Einstein? Maybe best mind <em>including </em>Einstein. This documentary is absolutely delicious.</p><p>Prior to seeing this, all I knew of Feynman was what I've read about him and read by him. After watching this video, I think he would like that I don't see him the same way I used to.</p><p>He was Hercules holding up the world. A Titan. Now, he's just a personable guy with a New York accent that happens to be a mental giant. Also one who I think could teach anyone anything.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p>Indeed.&nbsp; Always interesting to see these guys outside the classroom, lab, lecture circuits, etc.&nbsp; They're normal guys with relatively normal lives.&nbsp; Someone you could sit down with, have a beer, and talk about the local sports team.</p><p>I, certainly, wouldn't argue against him being the smartest since.&nbsp; Definitely, the most influential in his field.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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dragon04

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Indeed.&nbsp; Always interesting to see these guys outside the classroom, lab, lecture circuits, etc.&nbsp; They're normal guys with relatively normal lives.&nbsp; Someone you could sit down with, have a beer, and talk about the local sports team.I, certainly, wouldn't argue against him being the smartest since.&nbsp; Definitely, the most influential in his field.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by derekmcd</DIV></p><p>It seems to me that he had an inherent ability to think outside the box. Or maybe more accurately, he lived outside the box. &nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Indeed.&nbsp; Always interesting to see these guys outside the classroom, lab, lecture circuits, etc.&nbsp; They're normal guys with relatively normal lives.&nbsp; Someone you could sit down with, have a beer, and talk about the local sports team.I, certainly, wouldn't argue against him being the smartest since.&nbsp; Definitely, the most influential in his field.&nbsp; <br />Posted by derekmcd</DIV></p><p>I'm not sure who you mean by "these guys", but I guess that you are referring to top-ranked theoretical scientists and mathematicians.&nbsp; Some are pretty normal guys, and some are not.&nbsp; Some have gigantic egos, and some do not.&nbsp; I did not know Feynman directly, but I do know people who did know him and he was on the eccentric side.&nbsp; Eugene Wigner was also rather prominent, but he was also quite humble.&nbsp; When I was in school he would sometimes sit down at table in the student union with the students, and he was embarrassed when he was recognized.&nbsp; (Wigner was one of the three guys who wrote the letter that Einstein signed that was sent to Roosevelt to start the Manhattan project.)&nbsp;</p><p>A gentleman of my acquaintance (still living and very approachable but who will remain unidentified at this juncture) who served on panels with Edward Teller, tells me that Teller had the habit of going off on the most unlikely tangents and had to be reined in regularly and abruptly&nbsp;to keep him on track.&nbsp; </p><p>Rene Thom, who received the Fields Medal for his work in developing catastrophe theory gave the most&nbsp;opaque talk that I have ever attended -- completely unfathomable to everyone in attendance except the departmental secretary !!&nbsp; On the other hand John Milnor, also a Fields Medalist gave the most easily understood coloquim lecture of my experience.</p><p>Lou Auslander, a well-known mathematician was quite approachable, but often incomprehensible.&nbsp; I attended a talk of his at which he attributed some the work about which he was speaking to a student of his -- Richie T.&nbsp; About 15 minutes into the talk Richie, who was seated beside me, leaned over and whispered to me "What the hell is he talking about"?</p><p>&nbsp;So just as with other people, my experience is that "these guys" are quite diverse in personality and behavior.&nbsp; The one common denominator is that they work extremely hard at their profession, and tend to speak very precisely about topics in which they are expert.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p>Thank you very kindly for your personal insights.&nbsp; </p><p>I, certainly, hope you didn't interpret my comment, "these guys", was is in anyway derisive or standoffish.&nbsp; I hold 'these guys' in high regards as true pioneers and legends (living or not).</p><p>The degrees of separation between myself and 'these guys' is quite extreme and so I place them on this pedestal in my mind.&nbsp; This is why I refer to them as such.</p><p>It's nice to be reminded on occasion that even those you hold up as idols are just regular joes.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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a_lost_packet_

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Youtube Six-Part Video <br /> Posted by yevaud</DIV></p><p>WOOT!</p><p>THANK YOU!</p><p>I love "all things Feynman!"&nbsp; I'll definitely be watching this!</p><p>As far as smartest man since Einstein?&nbsp; Well, I don't know about smarter.&nbsp; However, there are very close parrallels between the two.&nbsp; They both thought "out of the box,"&nbsp; they both were "visual" thinkers (they tended to favor visual representations of their ideas in order to be able to work with them better) and they both appeared to have a great sense of humor.&nbsp; Considering the type of topics they were exploring, I think having a great sense of humor, along with a deep passion for physics, accounted for much of their success. :) </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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a_lost_packet_

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<p>BTW, I couldn't help myself and watched all the vids right after I posted above.</p><p>Thanks!&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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EJA

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<p>[</p><p>Einstein was an idiot savant...very bright in one, or two, areas, and a moron in others.&nbsp; He never did learn to tie his shoes; which is why he always wore loafers.&nbsp; Failing to understand the science of genetics-and the inheritance of defective genes-he married a first cousin.&nbsp; The thing he based most of his scientific career on-The Cosmological Constant-turned out to be a myth...which he finally acknowledged to have been so.&nbsp; I give him credit for what he did well, but I can't worship Einstein as most do.&nbsp; Feynman is a bit smarter than Einstein, actually, but even he is no god.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>QUOTE]Indeed.&nbsp; Always interesting to see these guys outside the classroom, lab, lecture circuits, etc.&nbsp; They're normal guys with relatively normal lives.&nbsp; Someone you could sit down with, have a beer, and talk about the local sports team.I, certainly, wouldn't argue against him being the smartest since.&nbsp; Definitely, the most influential in his field.&nbsp; <br />Posted by derekmcd[/QUOTE]<br /></p>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>[Einstein was an idiot savant...very bright in one, or two, areas, and a moron in others.&nbsp; He never did learn to tie his shoes; which is why he always wore loafers.&nbsp; Failing to understand the science of genetics-and the inheritance of defective genes-he married a first cousin.&nbsp; The thing he based most of his scientific career on-The Cosmological Constant-turned out to be a myth...which he finally acknowledged to have been so.&nbsp; I give him credit for what he did well, but I can't worship Einstein as most do.&nbsp; Feynman is a bit smarter than Einstein, actually, but even he is no god.&nbsp;&nbsp;QUOTE]Posted by EJA</DIV></p><p>Maybe you ought to do a little research on what an idiot savant is, or at least wath "Rainman".&nbsp; Einstein was most definitely not an idiot savant.</p><p>Einstein was perhaps a bit casual in his dress, particularly later in life.&nbsp; I think he probably had the ability to tie a bow knot, but perhaps not always the inclination.&nbsp; He once said, "I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don't have to."</p><p>Einstein's three children were with his first wife, Maric and not with Elsa.&nbsp; Maybe he understoon genetics better than you think.</p><p>Einstein's career was most certainly not based on the cosmological constant, which he considered his "greatest mistake" -- and which may be making a comeback in any case.&nbsp; He received the Nobel Prize in Physics for an explanatin of the photoelectric effect.&nbsp; He explained Brownian motion and used it to give strong evidence for the existence of the atom.&nbsp; He developed the special theory of relativity and followed that up with the general theory of relativity.&nbsp; General relativity remains one of the two pillars of modern physics and is the best explanation of gravity that we have to this day.</p><p>Worshipping Einstein or any other man is rather naive, at best.&nbsp; Respect is appropriate.&nbsp; So is getting your facts straight and your mind in gear before letting out the clutch on your mouth.</p><p>There have been a lot of smart people.&nbsp; Einstein was one.&nbsp; Feynman was another.&nbsp; In my opinion Newton topped both of them, but that is a subjective opinion.&nbsp; Others of equal stature include Gauss and Archimedes.&nbsp; Riemann laid the foundations for much of Einstein's work by laying the foundations of differential geometry.&nbsp; More recent figures include Gelfand, Pontryagin, Weiner, Shannon, Von Neumann, Morse.</p><p>Marston Morse not only worked at the Institute for Advanced as a contemporary of Einstein, he may have matched him in absent-mindedness (and Von Neumann who was also there may have surpassed him).&nbsp; Marston was once backing out his driveway to drive to work and nearly backed over a pedestrian on the sidewalk -- Albert.&nbsp; I don't know if Einstein was wearing socks (or shoes) at the time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>So is getting your facts straight and your mind in gear before letting out the clutch on your mouth.<br /> Posted by DrRocket</DIV></p><p>I, quite literally, laughed out loud.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I just want to add, that being smart doesn't always translate into results and achieving notariety.&nbsp; Einstein, while brilliant, was likely not even the smartest man in his era, much less in history.&nbsp; But his work was (and still is) so profound, his stature was elevated to those of previous giant amongst which shoulders have been stood on.&nbsp; "Smartest" is such a relative term, one can not effectively determine a ranking structure.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;I just want to add, that being smart doesn't always translate into results and achieving notariety.&nbsp; Einstein, while brilliant, was likely not even the smartest man in his era, much less in history.&nbsp; But his work was (and still is) so profound, his stature was elevated to those of previous giant amongst which shoulders have been stood on.&nbsp; "Smartest" is such a relative term, one can not effectively determine a ranking structure. <br />Posted by derekmcd</DIV></p><p>I completely agree.&nbsp; Intelligence is not really definable, let alone accurately measurable.&nbsp;IQ is not the answer.&nbsp; One can perhaps make a better judgment based on achievements, but&nbsp;such judgments are not totally objective.&nbsp; Neither achievements nor intelligence can be linearly ordered ("better" may have no meaning).&nbsp; Sometimes genius is subtle.&nbsp;&nbsp;Stupidity is often blatant.</p><p>Richard Feynman was once approached by someone recruiting him for Mensa.&nbsp; When the requirements were explained to him (an IQ score) he was delighted to say that he did not qualify.&nbsp; That says more about the IQ test than it says about Feynman.</p><p>I knew a mathematics professor at the University of Connecticut who told me his tested IQ was 105.&nbsp; Ok, but certainly nothing spectacular.&nbsp; He is one of the smarter people that I have known.</p><p>There have been Rhodes Scholars who, as politicians, have exhibited some incredibly stupid behavior.&nbsp; Stupid is as stupid does -- Forest Gump.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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Indeed.&nbsp; Big difference between being smart and the ability to apply what you are capable of to something constructive.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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