Day 113: Feynman’s Father

by ashleighpenrod

Two very good friends of mine became parents today. They are wonderful, intelligent and curious people, and I can only imagine their inquisitiveness will emerge in their daughter as well. I’m excited to watch her learn and grow.

Richard Feynman (1918—1988) was a theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner who introduced the concept of nanotechnoloy to the world in 1959. He was a brilliant and innovative man who, by all accounts, was delighted (tickled, really) with beauty and mystery of the world.

I don’t remember how I stumbled onto this footage of Feynman describing his relationship with his father, but it’s incredibly telling. Feynman describes a man who taught his son how to think critically, relate concepts to reality and seek deep understanding over base memorization. Although the video starts a little slowly, it’s a great six-minute watch.

“He knew the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something, which I learned very early … So, that’s the way I was educated by my father, with those kind of examples and discussions. With no pressure, just lovely, interesting discussion.” – Richard Feynman