if someone just dictated him telling stories. There was a light at the end of the tunnel though, in this singularly genius passage (my emphasis added):
I just finished, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” and had been a bit dissatisfied with the book. It’s not much of a read, it is as
..the idea of distributing everything evenly is based on a theory that there’s only X amount of stuff in the world, that somehow we took it away from the poorer countries in the first place, and therefore we should give it back to them. But this theory doesn’t take into account the real reason for the differences between countries — that is, the development of new techniques for growing food, the development of machinery to grow food and to do other things, and the fact that all this machinery requires the concentration of capital. It isn’t the stuff, but the power to make the stuff, that is important. But I realize now that these people were not in science; they didn’t understand it. They didn’t understand technology; they didn’t understand their time.
He followed it right up with another similarly genius observation:
…worse than a Rorschach text: There’s a meaningless inkblot and the others ask you what you think you see, but when you tell them, they start arguing with you!
And one that I will share with the Boy Scouts next Monday:
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.
Give that man a Nobel Prize! …oh wait, already did that.