xkcd: Unscientific, or Feynman Returns!

xkcd: Unscientific, or Feynman Returns!

Flying Saucers

[Richard Feynman shakes off the reversal of the burden of proof.]

Some years ago I had a conversation with a layman about flying saucers […] I said, “I don’t think there are flying saucers.” So my antagonist said, “Is it impossible that there are flying saucers? Can you prove that it’s impossible?”

“No,” I said, “I can’t prove it’s impossible. It’s just very unlikely.” At that he said, “You are very unscientific. If you can’t prove it impossible, then how can you say that it’s unlikely?” But that is the way that is scientific. It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible.

Richard Feynman was probably more of the “gentlemen don’t snoop into other’s mail” school.

David B. Benson, an alumnus from CalTech.

Via Maria Popova.

Distasteful Big Dogs

WebHubTelescope,

Chief can write poetry with zest and gusto and may have been the only denizen to ever outplay me in philosophy. It does you a disservice to constantly sneer at what amounts to two simple stanzas:

A World of Chaos
Not enough data.

If you really want to understand why he clings to these stanzas, why wouldn’t you take a chance to try to understand him? He left enough breadcrumbs to reveal his own humanity.

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(Source: judithcurry.com)

I have a philosophy that it doesn’t do any good to go and make regrets about what you did before but to try to remember how you made the decision at the time .

Richard Feynman, about his implication in building an atomic bomb.

You’re a helluva long way from the pituitary, man!

Richard Feynman, blowing off his cover.

Nature doesn’t care how smart you are. You can still be wrong.

The master gave me a lesson on what to do, and I flunked. I bought her $1.10 worth of sandwiches, and hadn’t asked her anything, and now I know I’m gonna get nothing! I have to recover, if only for the pride of my teacher.

Richard Feynman, being taught that you have to ask women to sleep with her before buying them anything.
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