On ego: It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.
I’m a geek. A math-brained artist. A misfit in a tribe of misfits.
Thought I might share with you advice from my heroes – largely scientists, but I’m omnivorous when it comes to philosophy.
Hope this is interesting and inspirational, or at the very least, entertaining.
On the definition of a well-written play: Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.
On writing, or any endeavor: The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.
On feedback: The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.
On the Einsteinian 90%: Physicists like to think that all you have to do is say, these are the conditions, now what happens next?
On task: Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.
On survival: You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.
On the egregious difficulty of making a living as a playwright: Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don’t think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn’t stop you from doing anything at all.
On collaboration: I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.
On everything (substitute “anything” for “science”): If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part.
and one of my credos as playwright and person
On why we do what we do: The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.