Was Richard Feynman really intelligent?
Richard Feynman’s mind discovered secrets of natural law as if it were compelled to, of this attribute who has any doubt? Feynman was known for his uncanny ability at peering into the quantum foam and divining the mysteries of the universes. However, he was not a magician, but a primordial poet. Pulling on the secrets of potential existence, miniature big bangs contained in an elegant symphony of symbols. For all his beautiful brilliance therein lay fallacies of flaw: logic. His theories and discoveries (Feynman Diagrams) have been illustrated unalterable thoroughly and rigorously proven to be correct, still standing against the test of time. In what is he correct though? Elegance? Symbols? Strung together numbers quantifying the unquantifiable? A seeker, searching out the bottomless pit of observable action? Atomic in his energy race for the penultimate pinnacle of “that which there is no whicher”? And what is its symbol? A Bohr Model surrounding Manhattan?
Richard Feynman said that during the building of the atomic bomb, he never thought about the human lives the testing of the bomb portended. After the Trinity Test ended, he and the other scientists celebrated. What we, the beneficiaries of the atomic race, know and remember of that era are the photographs depicting the burned victims and stock footage of the atomic tests released by the military; and known by its true name, Destruction.
Richard Feynman celebrated the precursor of searing, fleshless death to tens of thousands because a product of his brilliant mind succeeded. To Richard Feynman the magnificent glow of what would ten days later become Little Boy was the affirmation of success. To the residents of Hiroshima, it was the wrath of god. Richard Feynman, theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize winner, professor, joker, father, friend, husband, and child of the universe played the drums and drank wine to the tune of death’s bell. Is that not disgusting? Is that not an heinous act? Does that not make one want to deny someone as prestigious as a Nobel Prize recipient could be so. . . EVIL?
Richard Feynman did not think.
Man’s celebration of his labor pangs can be awfully unwinding. Man’s attempt at supernatural godhood can create a monster of focus that life itself fails notice. In all other aspects of his life, Feynman displayed great depths of empathy, generosity, and kindness as profound as his natural talent. Feynman was not a monster of a man, but was the ilk of great men recorded by human history. His feats are not small in impact on human consciousness leaping into the future (Feynman whispered the beginnings of the current technologically advanced computer age into the builders of the digital revolution [quantum computing]).
Initially, Feynman’s focus was such that he did not consider consequences of success, even after the rational reasons for developing this type of mass destruction no longer applied. As the soldiers hired to drop the bombs thought nothing of the life below the peering eye of their scope, Feynman did not realize until later the impact and totality of the act he committed. Beyond the air, below the looming devastation lay only a target, a completion of a mission, the following of orders, nothing more. Nothing more. Where it lay as the greatest war in the belly of the hired soldier; this kind of conditioned response is almost necessary under such extreme psychological provisions, elsewise the hired soldier might not drop the bomb (or build it). Words are chosen carefully so as instruction overrides conscience, what Feynman lacked in his focus to solve the problem of nuclear fission. He simply did not think.
Let us delve deeper into the quantum foam—
I once thought logic superior to thinking, as if to think were some diseased form of logic. I was delightfully mistaken. Logic has within its very philosophy an inherent and obvious flaw, it mimics thinking. Logic can be described as a series of instructions strictly adhered to, through which process one can conclude true or false, an unthinking (as with thinking there needn’t be any instructions strictly adhered to). As such, logic cannot sustain under its own power, as it can tend toward massive destruction (however, this is not altogether negative as massive destruction transitions into massive construction). Lest duality be the term conjured in mind, know nonduality waits always behind apparent duality. How the universe (“the which from which there is no whicher” ~Alan Watts) holds no bias for any life, animate and inanimate.
That confusion of life, animate and inanimate, is often made. Inanimation cannot, nor does not, oppose life; life includes the animate and the inanimate. Whatever exists is life is the universe. Whether or not its resonance falls under category as animate or inanimate does not apply. For example, a robot animates like a human, is it life? A human being mimics an inanimate vegetable or mineral, is he/she life? What line of distinction marks life from animate and inanimate? Animate merely implies that a form of life is imbibed with motion, with motivation and will, with mind and all its capacities. An inanimate object implies that a form of life can be without motion, motivation and will, and without full capacity of mind.
[This does not sound terribly enlightening.
Rest assured, though, that a future writing should elaborate more on this apparent problem of animate vs inanimate. In the meanwhile, let us return to Ritty Feynman.]
The preceding idea Feynman did not fully comprehend until later. Feynman’s brilliant mind could imagine multi-dimensional abstractions layered upon one another in chaotic complexities; he could grasp the madness of the quantum and return with insights so illuminating as to be frightening. Nevertheless, Feynman did not realize the breadth of such an idea (the nonduality of natural law, of quantum mechanics [perhaps the leap of imagination Einstein supposedly could not stomach about quantum mechanics?] until later in his life.
The focused single mind needs equilibrium (as disequilibrium can be no different from the bicameral mind Julian Jaynes discusses about consciousness) to recycle destruction into construction. It was only after he realized that he did not think and why that Feynman erased the line between this or that. The secret of quantum mechanics and answer to the immortal question: But how could it be that way?
This or that becomes this and that, before it becomes thisthat, then thatthis . . . thathis . . .thaits . . . and so forth. Like galaxies colliding [except this is a slight misnomer. When spring arrives there is no clean exact line marking the first day of spring and the last of winter. Spring weaves through winter, tendrils of the awakening days to come ride the last of winter’s wonder]. . . Galaxies so-call collide, but they don’t hit one another like two walls meeting each other in the middle of an otherwise empty room, they weave through one another, until one can hardly tell one from the other (at a distance) . . . then something new emerges. Two galaxies wrestle but for no reward and under no competition, only the struggle and then oneness again. Just as a paradigm shift ushers a new era, and as a great innovation charts the way for a new kind of culture and mentality.
Feynman played with physics until the day he died, the pleasure of finding things out continued as his mantra well into his last days. One cannot divine pleasure from finding things out until one has forgone his detachment from all other life. Leggo the ego. . .
The day Man touches that obelisk could be the day he always remembers to think.
“I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.” ~Richard P. Feynman
“Richard Feynman Digital Painting” by Balamurugan Bhaskar
“Hydrogen Density Plots” by Windell H. Oskay, EvilMadScientist
“Substatics Quantum Mechanics Maxi Single” by AlphaDesigner
“Galaxies” by Daniele Nicolucci
“Feynman on complementarity between science and religion” by Martin LaBar
For Your Pleasure: Men’s Madness: The Myth of Male Reason (this is a documentary about logic run wild in a society)
- Richard Feynman Biographical Comic Out Today (tested.com)
- Not-so-Serious Sunday 46: Richard Feynman’s Ode to a Flower (oncirculation.com)
- Richard Feynman: The Pleasure of Fnding Things Out (ritholtz.com)
- Horizon: Richard Feynman – No Ordinary Genius (BBC Horizon 1993) (thedisquisitionist.wordpress.com)
- Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine (longnow.org)
- Feynman’s double-slit experiment preserved (nanowerk.com)
- Learn How Richard Feynman Cracked the Safes with Atomic Secrets at Los Alamos (openculture.com)
- The Common Character Trait of Geniuses: A Passion for Abstraction (bigthink.com)