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The Open Mind

  • N. Metropolis
  • Gian-Carlo Rota
  • David Sharp
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer

Abstract

a few weeks ago the president of a college in the prairie states came to see me. Clearly, when he tried to look into the future, he did not like what he saw: the grim prospects for the maintenance of peace, for the preservation of freedom, for the flourishing and growth of the humane values of our civilization. He seemed to have in mind that it might be well for people, even in his small college, to try to take some part in turning these prospects to a happier end; but what he said came as rather a shock. He said, “I wonder if you can help me. I have a very peculiar problem. You see, out there, most of the students, and the teachers too, come from the farm. They are used to planting seed, and then waiting for it to grow, and then harvesting it. They believe in time and in nature. It is rather hard to get them to take things into their own hands.” Perhaps, as much as anything, my theme will have to do with enlisting time and nature in the conduct of our international affairs: in the quest for peace and a freer world. This is not meant mystically, for the nature which we must enlist is that of man; and if there is hope in it, that lies not in man’s reason. What elements are there in the conduct of foreign affairs which may be conducive to the exercise of that reason, which may provide a climate for the growth of new experience, new insight and new understanding? How can we recognize such growth, and be sensitive to its hopeful meaning, while there is yet time, through action based on understanding, to direct the outcome?

Keywords

Atomic Energy Foreign Affair Open Mind Free World Soviet State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Metropolis
  • Gian-Carlo Rota
  • David Sharp
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer

There are no affiliations available

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