Engineering, Technology, and DIY
Dr. Feynman or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Uncertainty
Many people fear uncertainty. It makes them uncomfortable. They don’t feel in control when everything isn’t crystal clear. Many will seek out some explanation and stubbornly cling to it, closing their minds for fear of being sucked into the shadow of doubt once more. Attacking the other possibilities, rationalizing one’s own decision, trying desperately to make it completely true to ease the mind. Agnostics, for example, are often criticized by theists and atheists alike as being afraid of commitment, trying to play both sides, and so forth, and this is quite unfortunate.
Dr. Feynman makes several excellent points. The first is in regards to the purpose of science and scientific discovery. Too often do people see science as a way to answer particular questions. While it’s not impossible for this to work out, in the vast majority of cases, such a mindset is at best going to lead to a letdown, and at worst going to cause the results to be manipulated and shoehorned into a desired answer. He says, “We shouldn’t pre-decide what it is we’re trying to do, except to find out more about it.” One must think of science as simply exploring and documenting. Every discovery is important. Going in with an unbiased mind is the only way to appreciate it all.
The other point is more general, but more important. Uncertainty itself is not something to be feared or to avoid, but instead, embraced. It forces one to keep questioning, learning, discovering. One doesn’t need answers to everything, and it’s these unsolved mysteries that keep life interesting. Look for the beauty in both the known and the unknown — in it there is comfort and happiness.
Note: It seems the entirety of The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is online is on youtube in five parts (total time of 50min). I highly recommend you check it out
Click here for Part 1