I feel it critically important that everybody read Carl Sagan’s The Varieties of Scientific Experience. It’s not my place to say that one should agree with the premise, but it’s a treatise worth understanding if only to compare one’s own beliefs with a set of beliefs well honed by science.
It’s probably little surprise, then, that the Sagan Series is something I think worth watching. It is beautiful, elegant, and poignant.
And that leads us to the Feynman Series. His locution is not nearly so poignant, succinct, and meaningful in and of itself. The videos of the Feynman series seem visually coherent but verbally incoherent. Grasping at straws, full of struggle, curiosity, and confusion.
And, for that, they are beautiful. For, as elegant and poignant as Sagan’s prose is, most of us can more easily identify with Feynman and his flustered confusion about all things. He’s with us, wondering just what the fuck is going on, and not really knowing what the answer to that is, and attempting to be okay with it. I mean, he’s a physicist that talks as much about dating and other random shit as he does about particle and nuclear physics. What a badass. He’s confused and bewildered. It’s strangely comforting.
So, go watch the Sagan Series, and marvel at it, for it is beautiful. But, go watch the Feynman series and cry, because it is human.