The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist - Richard P. Feynman A publication of three lectures given by Feynman at the University of Washington in 1963. His musings are a quick read and give the feeling of a slightly drunk bar conversation with good friends. Not terribly probing, but comfortably contemplative. Since this is a transcription of a lecture, it rambles a bit but the book is short enough that I didn't really notice.

He seems to have fun with his last lecture and opens by stating "I have completely run out of organized ideas, but I have a large number of uncomfortable feelings about the world which I haven't been able to put into some obvious, logical, and sensible form."

The agnostic in me appreciates this one: "People say to me, 'Well, how can you teach your children what is right and wrong if you don't know?' Because I'm pretty sure of what's right and wrong. I'm not absolutely sure; some experiences may change my mind. But I know what I would expect to teach them. But, of course, a child won't learn what you teach him."

In referring to "The Dan Smoot Report", something related to the voting record of Congressman and whether they were voting "for" or "against" the Constitution as originally drafted: "I tried to explain that they violate their own principles. According to the Constitution there are supposed to be votes. It isn't supposed to be automatically determinable ahead of time on each one of the items what's right and what's wrong. Otherwise there wouldn't be the bother to invent the Senate to have the votes. As long as you have the votes at all, then the purpose of the votes is to try to make up your mind which is the way to go."

And for a hint of self-aware hypocrisy: (Regarding medieval Arabian scholars) "They did a little bit of science themselves, yes, but they wrote commentaries on the great men that came before them. They wrote commentaries on commentaries. They described what each wrote about the other. They just kept writing these commentaries. Writing commentaries is some kind of disease of the intellect. Tradition is very important. And freedom of new ideas, new possibilities, are disregarded on the grounds that the way it was is better than anything I can do."