Richard Feynman


“Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!”

Adventures of a Curious Character


by Richard P. Feynman


I know I told you that we would be focusing all of April on books that focus solely on quotes, but…well, I lied. I didn’t intentionally lie, so I guess it’s not a lie per se. I just changed my mind I guess. (How dare this Buri guy do that! I was hoping to see Cheryl Strayed’s “Brave Enough” on this next next. Where is “Brave Enough” Buri?!?! Argh! Stupid free blog with great free articles.)

Sorry about that. Security, can you remove that gentleman from the room. Give him a free Nothing Any Good hat on his way out for his troubles.

The point is, we’re don’t doing any more books of quotes, at least not right now. Our next Sticky Book is one that is by my second favorite contemporary scientist (after Albert Einstein of course) and should be required reading for any science lover. It is funny and captivating and awe-inspiring.



“All the time you’re saying to yourself, ‘I could do that, but I won’t,’ — which is just another way of saying that you can’t.”


“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”


“Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that’s the end of you.”


“Learn what the rest of the world is like. The variety is worthwhile.”


“That’s the trouble with not being in your own field: You don’t take it seriously.”


“Anything can happen, in spite of what you’re pretty sure should happen.”


“I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding; they learn by some other way—by rote, or something. Their knowledge is so fragile!”


“The individual member of the social community often receives his information via visual, symbolic channels.” I went back and forth over it [trying to understand it], and translated. You know what it means? “People read.”


“There were lot of fools at the conference – pompous fools – and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are alright; you can talk to them and try to help them out. But pompous fools – guys who are fools and covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus – THAT, I CANNOT STAND! An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is alright. But a dishonest fool is terrible!”


“So I have just one wish for you – the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.”


“Professor Feynman?” “Hey! Why are you bothering me at this time in the morning?” “I thought you’d like to know that you’ve won the Nobel Prize.” “Yeah, but I’m sleeping! It would have been better if you had called me in the morning.”—and I hung up.”


“How much do you value life?” “Sixty-four.”


Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

Sticky Books are those that you just can’t get out of your head. They stick with you long after you have put the book down and have moved on to something else. These are some of my Sticky Books. I don’t enjoy reviewing books myself. I find I am either full of far too much praise for the book because I know how difficult it can be to write a book, or I am far too negative about a book because, well, I guess I was just in a bad mood. So instead of reviews, I have pulled some of my favorite quotes from each Sticky Book.