Nov 7
no comments

“‘See that bird?’ my father had said. ‘It’s a Spencer’s warbler.’ (I knew he didn’t know the real name and was just making it up.) ‘Well, in Italian, it’s a Chutto Lapottida. In Portuguese, it’s a Bom da Pieda. In Chinese, it’s a Chung-long-tah, and in Japanese, it’s a Latano Tekeda,’ he said, though I realized these names were also made up by him. ‘You can know the name of that bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird. All you know are what humans in different places call the bird. So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing—that’s what counts.’ (So, this was an important lesson for me. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and really knowing something about the world.”
—Richard Feynman, “The Making of a Scientist”


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.