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Feynman Quote

  1. Jul 17, 2008 #1
    "You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight. I was coming here, on the way to the lecture, and I came in through the parking lot. And you won't believe what happened. I saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing!"

    I was looking through Richard Feynman's page on Wikiquotes and found this but it didn't list a source. Does anyone know what he might have been talking about? I was thinking the anthropic principle...
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  3. Jul 17, 2008 #2


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    I don't think that so much as talking about the pitfalls of retrospectively finding in data things that may have no relevance other than happenstance.
  4. Jul 17, 2008 #3
    It applies in the context of the (misuse of the) anthropic principle but is more general. The book says
    seems trivial but it's a good principle to remember...
  5. Jul 17, 2008 #4


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    Getting ARW 357 as a vanity plate would be a very subtle inside joke for a physicist.

    One might wonder if it was Feynman's plate number even.
  6. Jul 18, 2008 #5


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    That would be an interesting example of observation affecting a phenomenon. He'd see ARW 357 plates in the parking lots of every lecture he gave.
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