Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Adventures of a Curious Character

Richard P. Feynman

Funny. So famous that you need to read it.


[…] settle down to a number which is higher. Why didn’t they discover that the new number was higher right away? It’s a thing that scientists are ashamed of—this history—because it’s apparent that people did things like this: When they got a number that was too high above Millikan’s, they thought something must be wrong—and they would look for and find a reason why something might be wrong. When they got a number closer to Millikan’s value they didn’t look so hard. And so they eliminated the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that. We’ve learned those tricks nowadays, and now we don’t have that kind of a disease. But this long history of learning how to not fool ourselves—of having utter scientific integrity—is, I’m sorry to say, something that we haven’t specifically included in any particular course that I know of. We just hope you’ve caught on by osmosis. The

| The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.

January 24, 2019 |