Thursday, August 06, 2009

Along rides Bill Gates ... and Richard Feynman

If you've ever listened to or watched videos of the brilliant American physicist Richard Feynman, you must inevitably consider the majesty of the human mind. Feynman had such a powerfully concrete grasp of physics that he could explain it to laymen perhaps better than any other well-known physicist. He was able to connect the most abstract theories back to nature, as all minds can do and should do.

So, along rides Bill Gates in one of his more inspired ventures. Gates, who has always loved Feynman's work, bought rights to that work and has created Project Tuva, which creates a web portal for seeing Feynman's most famous lectures on the Einsteinian universe, quantum physics and more. To watch Feynman at work is to see genius. His explanations of even the most difficult abstract matter are lucid and enlightening. You also get a peek into culture with his gentlemanly wit (something rarely seen in our hoi polloi-revering age) and the usual mid-20th-century corny humor.

The other matter that impressed me yet again, besides Feynman's genius, was my reverence for technology and the great minds that have created the Internet and related technology. I'm remain thrilled to live in an age when I may access genius at the stroke of a key, and sit back with my wine and let it flow over me -- free of charge. Thank you, Bill Gates, and thank you, Mr. Feynman, and all you other lovely men and women who've explored our wondrous universe and brought it to my lap.

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