feynman

February 11, 2001
Quote and Links of the Moment
"Hey, what's the matter?"
"I'm sad because you're going to die."
"Yeah, that bugs me sometimes too. But not so much as you think... ...When you get as old as I am, you start to realize that you've told most of the good stuff you know to other people anyway."
--Richard Feynman and Danny Hillis.

If you don't know about Richard Feynman, you might be scientifically literate, and you might be culturally literate, but you're not literate in scientific culture, and you should at least check out this site. Feynman has taught a lot of people what science is and how it should be done (from his groundbreaking work in particle physics to his speculative musings on nanotechnology ("There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom!") to his integrity on the committee investigating the explosion of the Challenger) --and also how life outside of science should be lived, how we can do interesting things in fields we're not 'experts' in, like how Feynman become a drummer for a ballet troop without knowing anything about music except how it sounds, or his love for the mysterious remote country of Tuva.

This quote is interesting in the way it relates meme theory and mortality-- how our ideas can live on beyond us, and passing on those memes might be more important than passing on our genes. (Speaking of which, random note: Mo worked with Feynman's son.)

Tax Code of the Moment
Mo found the following gem from the 2000 Massachusetts Resident Income Tax Form 1:

Uh yeah, I'll be sure to get right on that.