Freeman Dyson as remembered by Tim O'Reilly

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Dyson was a genius physicist and mathematician, but his views on climate change were disturbing at best.


I’m not going to defend Dyson’s views, but urge those who want to know why this great man thought weird things to go to a source. Unquestionably Dyson was worried about sustainable world questions; e.g. check out his discussion of “ice ponds” here.

I was lucky enough to dine with him for several nights at a “festival della matematica” we both spoke at, and he was absolutely delightful. I am grateful he lived as long as he did, and wrote as much as he did.


I read the headline as “remembered by Bill O’Reilly” and thought ‘Hoo, boy.’

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It’s worth mentioning Kenneth Brower’s “The Starship and the Canoe”, which is about both Freeman (and Project Orion) and George his son (and his kayak building).

I can’t remember if I’d read of Project Orion before that, but it’s certainly in the book, which I got in paperback in Boston in Feb 1980, forty years ago. Oddly, I’ve only seen a used copy of the book once, just a few years ago.

George even intersects with the early days of Greenpeace, so I assume people I used to know knew him.

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