the septenary (diapholom) wrote,
the septenary

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you're winning (faggots)

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Feynman had got to know [biologist James] Watson during the sabbatical year that Dick had spent as a 'graduate student' in biology. He had an opportunity to renew the acquaintance when he visited Chicago early in 1967, and when they met Watson gave Feynman a copy of the typescript of what was to become his famous book The Double Helix, about his discovery, together with Francis Crick, of the structure of DNA. Feynman read the book straight through, the same day. He had been accompanied on that trip by David Goodstein, then a young physicist just completing his PhD at Caltech, and late that night Feynman collared Goodstein and told him that he had to read Watson's book -- immediately. Goodstein did as he was told, reading through the night while Feynman paced up and down, or sat doodling on a pad of paper. Some time towards dawn, Goodstein looked up and commented to Feynman that the surprising thing was that Watson had been involved in making such a fundamental advance in science, and yet he had been completely out of touch with what everybody else in his field was doing.

Feynman held up the pad he had been doodling on. In the middle, surrounded by all kinds of scribble, was one word, in capitals: DISREGARD. That, he told Goodstein, was the whole point. That was what he had forgotten, and why he had been making so little progress. The way for researchers like himself and Watson to make a breakthrough was to be ignorant of what everybody else was doing and plough their own furrow.

Tags: ah science true love

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