Richard Feynman on Knowing vs. Understanding

Richard Feynman was one of the most brilliant thinkers of the 20th century. His specialty was physics, but he had an amazing ability to clarify a problem, cut through unnecessary detail, and explain complex concepts. His techniques for problem-solving are valuable to anyone, in any field.


This is a short clip of Feynman explaining how we should think about competing theories, and why understanding the philosophical basis for a problem is more important than having a black box model that can spit out an answer. The parallels to investing couldn’t be clearer.

To anyone interested in learning more about Feynman, I strongly suggest the autobiographical book Surely You’re Joking, Mister Feynman as well as Genius by James Gleik.