My Encounter with the Galactic Minds: Feynman TEDX Caltech and Stephen Hawkings

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This week is very exciting for me. I will be attending Caltech’s TEDx event on January 14, 2011 “Feynman’s Vision: The Next 50 Years”. I am also attending a Caltech lecture by Stephen Hawking.


This will be a galactic week and encounters with the warped minds. What a fantastic event this will be. Please see the list of speakers for the event. I understand the sessions will be shown live.

“Here’s what to expect: Using the fast-paced and engaging format of TED talks, distinguished scientists, business leaders, bold entrepreneurs and a few extraordinary Caltech student speakers will explore broad themes in three thought provoking sessions. The day will be punctuated with generous breaks for conversation, connections and . . . food! From breakfast to a post-event reception, registration includes all meals and snacks, including a complimentary espresso and siphon coffee bar provided by the gourmet coffee company, Intelligentsia. It promises to be an exciting and entertaining intellectual adventure—a time to unplug from the day-to-day routine.”

The CaltechTEDx is a dedication to the vision of Richard Feynman Here are quotations from Feynman:
“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
“I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”
 “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”
I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.”

As I read Feynman’s book, specially his book on, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, I can not help but be reminded that our quest for learning is always about “leaving doors ajar.” There is so much to learn and to know and having excitement of the unknown only adds to the fun.

STEPHEN HAWKING Lecture at Caltech

Hawking belongs to the third kind. I see him often at Caltech’s Athenaeum Club and this will be my first to see him in a live lecture.

Play the Hawking’s video presentation. 

Stephen Hawking asks big questions about the universe

These are warpped quotes from Hawking:

“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”
“When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have”
“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”
“To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.”
“It matters if you just don’t give up”
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.”
“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

I will update you daily on the two events. This is the week I will probably be in techie heaven, if there is such a thing.

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Ray Jimenez, PhD
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

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