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No. of Recommendations: 9
jan-

right there with you. huge feynman fan, for the reasons you mention.
"6 easy pieces" is fantastic - hell, my opinion is you should do your best to read everything the man wrote (outside the academic pubs, unless you're just bent like that)

however, if i had to make just one feynman recommendation for a general audience - on the original tip this thread started out on (the big ideas that cross over to other disciplines, learning how to think)...
...my personal recommendation would be to start with "the character of physical law". (i mean, with a title like that, 150 pages or so, how can you go wrong???)

don't be scared. there's like no math. i forget who feynman was giving the lecture for, but he wanted to present a synopsis of the real essence of physical thinking (e.g. symmetry) for a lay audience.
succeeded admirably.

just read it.
if i were in charge of the world, "the character of physical law" would be required reading for every student right after high school physics.

like buffett, feynman was an american national treasure.

do you remember when the space shuttle exploded?
feynman was on the congressional investigation panel.
everyone's scurrying around, freaking out, complex engineering diagrams are being pored over, emotions are high, careers are on the line, blame is being shifted, total chaos.
feynman kind of tunes everyone out, leans back, reviews the facts, and starts from scratch. in his mind, he visualizes the system, the forces involved. starting in each fuel tank, he imagines himself moving through the system, sees & feels every element of this environment.
he opens his eyes.
he's got a hunch.
he calls over an aide & murmurs a request. the aide soon comes back with an o-ring - the type used in a certain key juncture in the shuttle's fuel delivery system.

right then & there, on the floor of the senate chambers, with confusion & pandemonium all around, he does the simplest possible experiment.

he drops the o-ring into his glass of ice water.
it cracks.

he stands up & moves to speak.
case closed.

ladies & gentlemen, THAT is a scientist.

do yourself a favor & read what the man wrote.
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