'What Do You Care What Other People Think?'
'What Do You Care What Other People Think?'

'What Do You Care What Other People Think?'

Table of Contents

Part 1

Everything he read to me he would translate as best he could into some reality. (Location 96)

Tags: broadcast, learning, reading

Note: relate reading to reality

But I learned from my father to translate: everything I read I try to figure out what it really means, what it’s really saying. (Location 98)

Tags: learning, reading

Note: .reading translate all readings to something tangible in the real world

“See that bird?” he says. “It’s a Spencer’s warbler.” (I knew he didn’t know the real name.) “Well, in Italian, it’s a Chutto Lapittida. In Portuguese, it’s a Bom da Peida. In Chinese, it’s a Chung-long-tah, and in Japanese, it’s a Katano Tekeda. You can know the name of that bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird. You’ll only know about humans in different places, and what they call the bird. So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing—that’s what counts.” (I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.) (Location 109)

Tags: broadcast, knowledge, learning

Note: .learning there is a large difference in knowing the name of something and knowing something

That story was probably incorrect in detail, but what he was telling me was right in principle. (Location 129)

Tags: principle

Note: .principle understand the principles rather than just the details

the highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion. (Location 204)

It seemed to me ridiculous to worry about whether you spelled something wrong or not, because English spelling is just a human convention—it has nothing to do with anything real, anything from nature. Any word can be spelled just as well a different way. I was impatient with all this English stuff. (Location 373)

Tags: favorite, language, spelling

Note: .spelling

I had passed over the obvious possibility by using circumstantial evidence and by assuming the doctors were more intelligent than they were. Otherwise, I would have suggested it right off, and perhaps the doctor would have diagnosed Arlene’s disease way back then as “tuberculosis of the lymphatic gland (Location 532)

Tags: medicine, doctors

Note: Dont assume others havent seen the obvious example

Why make yourself miserable saying things like,

- Why do we have such bad luck?

- What has God done to us?

- What have we done to deserve this?

All of which, if you understand reality and take it completely into your heart, are irrelevant and unsolvable. They are just things that nobody can know. Your situation is just an accident of life. (Location 712)

Tags: attitude

They decided they can’t handle the situation. They can’t take care of foreigners. I say, “What’s the trouble?” Our host telephones the inn and asks what the problem is. He turns to us and says, “It’s the toilet—they don’t have a Western-style toilet.” I say, “Tell them that the last time my wife and I went on a trip, we carried a small shovel and toilet paper, and dug holes for ourselves in the dirt. Ask him, ‘Shall we bring our shovel?’ “ Our host explains this over the telephone, and they say, “It’s okay. You can come for one night. You don’t need to bring your shovel.” (Location 1084)

The head priest says something in Japanese which I do not believe is what I said (although I couldn’t really tell), because he had never understood anything I had said to him previously! But he acted as if he understood exactly what I said, and he “translated” it with complete confidence for everyone. He was much like I am, in this respect. (Location 1134)

Tags: translate, confidence

Note: .confidence act to the crowd like he completely understood

In the air force we have a rule: check six.” He explained, “A guy is flying along, looking in all directions, and feeling very safe. Another guy flies up behind him (at ‘six o’clock’—‘twelve o’clock’ is directly in front), and shoots. Most airplanes are shot down that way. Thinking that you’re safe is very dangerous! (Location 2004)

Tags: weaknesses

Note: .weaknesses check six

I only knew how to ask simpleminded questions. So I said, “Could you tell me, sirs, the names of your four best seals experts, in order of ability?” “Roger Boisjoly and Arnie Thompson are one and two. Then there’s Jack Kapp and, uh… Jerry Burns.” I turned to Mr. Boisjoly, who was right there, at the meeting. “Mr. Boisjoly, were you in agreement that it was okay to fly?” He says, “No, I was not.” (Location 2090)

Tags: experts

Note: .experts ask what the most knowledgeable people are saying

They cooled a room down to about 40 degrees, and put a big block of ice in it—with ice, you can be sure the surface temperature is 32 degrees. Then they brought in the scanning gun from a room which was 70 degrees inside, and made measurements of the ice block every 30 seconds. They were able to measure how far off the instrument was as a function of time. (Location 2132)

Tags: science, ice

Note: .ice you can always be sure of the surface temperature of ice

“Dr. Feynman, we’ve been going for two hours, now. There are 123 pages, and we’ve only covered 20 so far.” My first reaction was to say, “Well, it isn’t really going to take such a long time. I’m always a little slow at the beginning; it takes me a while to catch on. We’ll be able to go much faster near the end.” (Location 2369)

Because of the exaggeration at the top being inconsistent with the reality at the bottom, communication got slowed up and ultimately jammed. That’s how it’s possible that the higher-ups didn’t know. (Location 2831)

Tags: stakeholders, hierarchy, communication

Note: .communication .hierarchy

The only way to have real success in science, the field I’m familiar with, is to describe the evidence very carefully without regard to the way you feel it should be. If you have a theory, you must try to explain what’s good and what’s bad about it equally. In science, you learn a kind of standard integrity and honesty. (Location 2874)

Tags: science

Note: .science

We have also found that certification criteria used in flight readiness reviews often develop a gradually decreasing strictness. The argument that the same risk was flown before without failure is often accepted as an argument for the safety of accepting it again. Because of this, obvious weaknesses are accepted again and again—sometimes without a sufficiently serious attempt to remedy them, sometimes without a flight delay because of their continued presence. (Location 2906)

Note: Just because something didnt go wrong it is then accepted to be safe

The Challenger flight is an excellent example: there are several references to previous flights; the acceptance and success of these flights are taken as evidence of safety. But erosion and blowby are not what the design expected. They are warnings that something is wrong.

The equipment is not operating as expected, and therefore there is a danger that it can operate with even wider deviations in this unexpected and not thoroughly understood way. The fact that this danger did not lead to a catastrophe before is no guarantee that it will not the next time, unless it is completely understood. When playing Russian roulette, the fact that the first shot got off safely is of little comfort for the next. (Location 2943)

Tags: russian roulette

This is a strange use of the engineer’s term “safety factor.” If a bridge is built to withstand a certain load without the beams permanently deforming, cracking, or breaking, it may be designed for the materials used to actually stand up under three times the load.

This “safety factor” is to allow for uncertain excesses of load, or unknown extra loads, or weaknesses in the material that might have unexpected flaws, et cetera. But if the expected load comes on to the new bridge and a crack appears in a beam, this is a failure of the design. There was no safety factor at all, even though the bridge did not actually collapse because the crack only went one-third of the way through the beam. (Location 2955)

Tags: safety factor

One might add that the elaborate system could be very much improved by modern hardware and programming techniques. Any outside competition would have all the advantages of starting over. Whether modern hardware is a good idea for NASA should be carefully considered now. (Location 3115)

Tags: spacex, nasa

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. (Location 3141)

Tags: stakeholders, pr, software

Note: don't let pr influence tech too much. This can be seen when product and marketing departments over promise to senior stakeholders.

Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty—some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. (Location 3242)

Tags: science

Note: .science