To Main Site for the Book: That Little Hardback

 

e Introduction   f

 

These are the thoughts more of a man than of a physicist.

There is no calculus here and little reference to such a

language. I am free. I may think and speak critically, and

some of that free speaking is "That Little Hardback."

The earliest thoughts came from age 13, found in the

essay, "Kick a Rock." There is no intent to induce any

reader to agree with anything, with one exception: each

person should be in charge of his or her own thoughts and

beliefs; we should not let other people determine what

we are to believe. All our other freedoms are made

possible by having freedom of thought. There is an intent

to stimulate thinking and debate, which, for me, are

useful and enjoyable. Younger, I thought I knew many

things with certainty. Having grappled with physics for

more than 50 years, I know how little I know. I will never

again believe that my opinions establish facts.

 

They are points of view.

 

Each thought is given a number and space

enough to write notes. Controversy is not unfriendly just

because both sides are heard, but when someone wants

only one side to be heard. Friendly controversy is one

of our most valuable tools.

 

There is a little sarcasm in these pages, but not much, and

there is a little devilís advocacy, but not much. Though

these thoughts often run counter to the mainstream, they

are nonetheless actual thoughts, not insincerely contrived.

Some will be ideas repeated on other pages, in different

words. Others appear a contradiction to some other, and

they probably are. The book is not laid out chronologically.

The order was determined using a computerís random

generator, with only a few then re-positioned to fit a

picture, or to make repeated ideas not too near each other.

 

Since boxes of books like these sometimes end up in authorsí

garages, they may be handed out at my funeral. I would like

that better than any stone.

 

Do as I have done, and write your thoughts down. Journals,

diaries, or thoughts put in writing, are more valuable than

we know. If not a single copy of this little book is ever

sold, it will be worth it to have it for my own family,

including those not yet born, and for friends.

 

 

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv