December 31, 1961 9 AM
Nearing the end of a pleasant holiday of reading, some work, some carousing, much affection, family in abundant evidence, penny-ante poker and blackjack en famille, good food and much of wine and whiskey to drink. In New York two days.
Was up at this morning to aid Paul who had to vomit. He is without fever, without other pain. The vomit shows a lentil soup of yesterday afternoon. A germ in the stomach probably prevented its digestion, immobilizing the organ, and bringing on the nerve reactions.
Thereafter I tucked him in bed and made coffee, read the Sunday Times, and some pages of Juvenal's Satires. I have lately read Koestler's The Lotus and the Robot which examines Japan and India and concludes that Zen and Yogi have very little to offer the Western mind and soul, with which I agree. He examines the general civilizations of both countries in a half-scientific spirit (I fear he comes too late to social science and scholarship) and asserts the same. Again I agree, but find his treatment of Japanese society confused.
I carefully read and thoroughly enjoyed Velikovsky's Oedipus and Akhenaton. I read in Sherlock Holmes, in John Maurice & Clark's Competition, in sundry magazines, fugitive materials, student papers and theses -- all the chores of a teacher and journal editor.
Christmas is always burdened with material exchanges, ours less than most. We scattered modest gifts around. The family, the service people, and a very few friends. I received pajamas, a razor, a book, and the handiwork of the two smallest boys. Jill and I had compacted not to buy gifts for each other, she saying that a pair of Italian gold earrings I had bought for her months ago were enough, but then she gave me pajamas and I gave her a red iron Belgian casserole. Stephanie bought a copy of an ancient Egyptian dancing girl for me, but was angry at me just before Christmas and returned it. I gave her a little blue, green and gold peacock pin which delighted her, but, when she returned to the store to get my present again, they had sold the statue.
Vicky wanted a party dress for tonight, but Stephanie thought she had none when I asked her. Then she called Jill & said she couldn't fit into one she had never worn. Jill stopped in to see her and pick it up on her way to see her Aunt Renée, who was leaving for Florida. The dress was not too fancy and made Vicky jump for joy. It needed only a little shortening.
Postulate a perfect social system. Can or would man do evil or good with it? This inquiry would get one to the basic question: What would man be like (not in a state of nature as old philosophers used to go at the problem) if he were in perfect control of a high civilization.
This is perhaps the only model of how to answer the thoughtful pessimist who says that man will make the worst of what he has.
Man is both good and bad by nature. He creates communities of the same kind; whether they are more good than bad depends upon his intelligence and fortune. And whether he is better or worse depends upon the community and upon his individual will and wisdom.
Modern man is faced by the most terrible problem in history -- his enemies, for the first time, are all within his domain. Everything that he does now to others he does to himself, in a way never realized before. For the world is one and no action occurs but is reacted to by a public, if first a small public, then later a world public. No attitude nor act now is lost upon the outside, nor visited upon strangers.
Communists and nationalists every day become more alike - preserving the tainted inheritance of the disasters of history. Each in their own way fights a bloody, useless war long ago settled without benefit.
Fundamentals Principles of Physics
a. Are time-space matter and electricity basic (or not)
b. Conservation laws (energy, momentum and charge)
c. second law of thermodynamics (i.e. prob. that things will happen in many rather than a few ways)* (*See Alpher Review of Modern Physics, April 1950, p. 180. for whole see Royal M. Frye, Professor of Physics Simmons College, pp. 392 ff. in Found of World Orgn, 1952). E.g., in 3,500,000,000 there was 0 entropy.
d. Heisenberg principle of indeterminacy in quantum mechanics and atomic theory.
e. Purpose in biology ("good" of the organism)
But Mind is more fundamental and Frye says "mind primary and the inanimate world studied under the name of physics a specially restricted case."
1. Mind dominates time
2. Mind does not obey laws of conservation
3. Mind reduces disorder to order
4. Mind has consciousness (projects itself) and emotions.
In 3,500,000,000 BC there was pure mind and no physical universe.
Note how God stands out as a necessity from the theory of the obverse page.
[this probably also belongs to 1960] ??
Letter to family from Licodia Eubeau Sicily home of AuntSister Francesca)
of loam thick from centuries of fill. It has 30 orange trees, lemons, apple trees, figs, a peach tree, a pomegranate, persimmons, and holes dug for thirty more orange trees. Below the trees grow broccoli, artichokes, spinach and everything else. There are grottos in the sites where there should be pigs, who would grow fat on the dropped fruit and chickens. A well and conduit system provide ample water throughout.
The grapes and figs and pears grow up here and higher on the hill are forests of almond trees. Zia's ground floor is half filled now with huge sacks of grain from her piece of ground some distance away.
Too bad I cannot load an automobile with fruit and vegetables for you all. But when and if you ever come you will find the oranges and lemons ripe, the berries and apples too, and even purple grapes that last until March.
I arrived in Rome yesterday about one o'clock and lunched with Don Carlo Ferrero and Dr. Luccatello, the Dean, whom I had also known before. They have made good progress with the Universitá Internazionale and have been offered a set of buildings at Bergamo, near Milano, where they wish to institute a center for applied social research in collaboration with an American University. I promised to help them. They are now building a new classroom structure in Roma. Their neighborhood is very pretty. Rome seemed magnificent yesterday. it makes Florence appear to be a small town. I was provided with a limousine to take me to the airport when all was done, and dropped in on Natalina Piazza for a moment, in this splendid style, to say hello.
From the plane, where we were fed dinner even at nine-thirty, I saw fires welling up from the crater of Etna. At the landing there was Zia with a chaperon and a young man with a car to take me into the country. The half-moon was red and the mountains mysterious. One owl stood plumply in the road and scarcely blinked as we went by. Another fluttered off.
Most human action is social, but little is innovation and less is invention. All is evaluatively loaded and therefore all is applied. If it is correct it is correctly applied social science, if not it is incorrectly applied social science.