Studying Quotes (10 quotes)
I am never content until I have constructed a mechanical model of the subject I am studying. If I succeed in making one, I understand. Otherwise, I do not. [Attributed; source unverified.]
I do not like to see all the fine boys turning to the study of law, instead of to the study of science or technology. Japan wants no more lawyers now; and I think the professions of literature and of teaching give small promise. What Japan needs are scientific men; and she will need more and more of them every year.
I think the light of science is so dazzling that it can be evaluated only by studying its reflection from the absorbing mirror of life; and life brings one back to wildness.
Never leave an unsolved difficulty behind. I mean, dont go any further in that book till the difficulty is conquered. In this point, Mathematics differs entirely from most other subjects. Suppose you are reading an Italian book, and come to a hopelessly obscure sentencedont waste too much time on it, skip it, and go on; you will do very well without it. But if you skip a mathematical difficulty, it is sure to crop up again: you will find some other proof depending on it, and you will only get deeper and deeper into the mud.
Often the great scientists, by turning the problem around a bit, changed a defect to an asset. For example, many scientists when they found they couldn't do a problem finally began to study why not. They then turned it around the other way and said, “But of course, this is what it is” and got an important result.
Only go on working so long as the brain is quite clear. The moment you feel the ideas getting confused leave off and rest, or your penalty will be that you will never learn Mathematics at all!
Some things mankind can finish and be done with, but not ... science, that persists, and changes from ancient Chaldeans studying the stars to a new telescope with a 200-inch reflector and beyond; not religion, that persists, and changes from old credulities and world views to new thoughts of God and larger apprehensions of his meaning.
The theoretical broadening which comes from having many humanities subjects on the campus is offset by the general dopiness of the people who study these things and by the Department of Home Economics.
When you have made a thorough and reasonably long effort, to understand a thing, and still feel puzzled by it, stop, you will only hurt yourself by going on. Put it aside till the next morning; and if then you cant make it out, and have no one to explain it to you, put it aside entirely, and go back to that part of the subject which you do understand.
[Public cynicism towards professional expertise is] entirely wrong, and its the road back to the cave. The way we got out of the caves and into modern civilisation is through the process of understanding and thinking. Those things were not done by gut instinct. Being an expert does not mean that you are someone with a vested interest in something; it means you spend your life studying something. Youre not necessarily rightbut youre more likely to be right than someone whos not spent their life studying it.