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Tuva or Bust!

I really liked this documentary about physicist Richard P. Feynman. Not only was he a Nobel laureate and a scientist on the Manhattan Project, but also an avid Bongo player, and probably the most controversial member of the Rogers Commission, which investigated the Challenger disaster.

The focus of this documentary is on Feynman’s obsession, shared by Ralph Leighton, over going to Tuva. Besides being a hilariously funny story in and of its own, for me it illustrates one of the most intriguing aspects of research – curiosity and obsession over a problem, and the relentless exploration of any possible option to solve it.


Another thing that stuck with me is Feynman’s criticism of so-called cargo-cult science, which maintains the outer appearance of good science, while disposing of the rigor and critical attitude that is so essential to its usefulness. I think that a certain “cargo cult” attitude is creeping into a lot of fields of research, and most definitely into the software engineering practice.

Let us remain critical and truthful in whatever we pursue, and not lose that curiosity and explorative spirit which has brought us there in the first place.

Tuva or bust!

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