April 1, 1964 AM
On p. 215, de Chardin's Phenomenon of Man (1959) exclaims at the limited world of man even to the 18th century, whose "stars turned around the earth and had been doing so for less than six thousand years. In a cosmic atmosphere which would suffocate us from the first moment, and in perspectives in which it is physically impossible for us to enter, they breathed without any inconvenience, if not very deeply."
The break-out, into the solar system and beyond, into the subconscious, into the age of discovery, the age of invention, the age of rapid communications, the age of high explosives, has created another man whom we cannot yet understand. The Biblical man is there in the past. well-contained, on earth a brief time so that he can see whence and when he came and foresee by myth where he will go; he is still most numerous by far among men. Because men, even if they will answer at T & F test correctly on the nature of the new world, will live in the old tenaciously.
1) The problem of discovering and understanding "new men", "men from our new world space."
2) The confirmation of theories of ideology and material sociology in the congruence between the world of cognition, the world of perception, and the social world.
How many of our culture-traits connect directly with the old world view?
3) What criteria are to be used to distinguish New World Culture Traits? And of course what social philosophy could possibly contain them?
April 1, 1964 1 PM
Possible Sponsors: NASA, Department of Defense; any organization with a beginning to end process handling hard materials -- construction, missile, supply.
Hypothesis: For every material movement (event) there is a corresponding social movement (event).
e. e. applied correlation. There should be a human relations overlay on every material process (flow) chart.
Behavioral science will "come into its own", will be explicit and clear when it is seen to supply a function analogous to the material function at every stage of the production or purposive action sequence (process).
Can this also be extended to political process?
To religious process?
April 2, 1964 5 AM
We are in a kind of hut and tent village and we have received word at one end of it that Phil and Betty Jacob would like to see me. I walk around the village and come upon them sitting at a camp table away from the cabins. I sit down. It is dark. The night grows black. I say "Do you mean that you went up in this weather?" A terrific lightning bolt crackles across the sky on my left. The night grows fierce above. They say "Yes" calmly. I marvel at their courage. Flying a plane in this weather is brave in the extreme. For the cause, I think what the cause is. I know it but I don't identify it. It is not an important cause -- the substance of it evades me. But they do it. I am relieved somehow at the thought of their indomitableness, happy to be a coward. At supper, I recall I was practically a braggart before herb Neuman and meant it, that I would go up in a satellite. "What is so great about that," I said. But it is clear now what would scare me. And the lightning continues. A bolt scampers along the ground not ten feet away. I had said to Herb "The world is full of heroes, unacclaimed. In [Timour] apartment building in Brooklyn where you visited 50 flats today were more heroes than the astronauts. They don't know it. No one knows them. The Jacobs, my unassuming heroes, move out of the storm into their bunkhouse. Several of my boys including Carl are staying in an adjoining cabin. We note but do not engage one another. I decline the Jacob invitation to stay the night. It is partly for sexual reasons. I do not want to have Betty nor tempt her nor sleep alone. I think of Jill and take the path, the roundabout path, which leads, I know clearly, to home.
April 8, 1964 8 AM
Read George Beadle's article on the transmission of heredity: deals with the languages of genes, DNA, etc. Uses terms such as "templates" the sort of concept that occurs in machine-stamping too. The permutations and combinations possible from very few simple units have never cease to astonish me. The theorized translation from the first "language" of being to the protean language is a marvel of existence and thought about existence. The explanation of individual differences is plausible (accidents of matching) and the continuity between these individual changes and species changes is simply comprehensible.
Human language is imitation of this basic language of the species. Or is it (as I believe) that the species language, like all of man's artifacts, is an imitation of himself?
April 10, 1964 9:00 AM Sunday
Last night with Jean Ives Beigbeider and Anique Turabian (?) who works for Air France at Idlewild. Jean full of gusto and murdering English language, she ugly but nice and a good figure, I butchering French. We ate at Lena di Pre's on Greenwich Avenue near 7th Avenue. Lena was happy to see me. She is remotely connected by marriage, a Trentina, runs a tight little restaurant.
* * * * *
I am to arrange translation and publication of B's 31 African country studies. He is to publish the ABS in French from his office in Paris.
* * * * *
A Journal can be written as a series of novelettes, each day in a different character or facet of character. (How many of them are there?). The language, the style, the thoughts, expressions, incidents -- all recite a different life particular to that one day. All change the next day.
Each act is unique. Every day has an infinitude of actions, practically speaking. From this universe, we choose and present a small part. The number of facets equals only the capacity of the imagination -- one, one hundred, a thousand and more. This would be super-objective writing. For objectivity is as numerous as perspective. it would of course also be super-subjective, for subjectivity depends upon capacity to uncover all of the self, not just a one part. It is conscious too, but then it depends also upon the unconscious, role-playing. Thus it is this, that, everything, -- thus approach.
Examples of the first sentence of each day, each and every one a factual occurrence. (Thus we are writing personal history -- but it is fiction. all history is fiction. here is the proof, right in the statement that we could write no better novel yet no truer history.)
1. He awoke with a nightmare strangling him, driving over a cliff to escape his attackers.
2. Eyes glued together, little by little opened, exhausted by a late night of studying.
3. Warm, cozy hollow bed; has the milk been delivered?
4. He broke the day with a thunderous fart.
5. The silly and beautiful birds whistled into his unconsciousness and drew him forward into light.
6. Bacon smelling, the kitchen alive, a day of deals, of motion. That new Pontiac will wind up to 80 on the bright hot flat plain this morning.
7. Why leave my beloved? Whenever can I return? How can one gt too much of a soft warm body?
8. Debts, bills, never enough money. This crappy awakening each day. My mouth tastes like old dollar bills crumpled up and dissolved pastily in it.
9. ... n et al ...
1. ... n And the whole day through is the day of "another" man or woman.
April 13, 1964 11:30 PM
Jill and I took a walk tonight in the sweet air that blew over Princeton after the rain. We broke into a fairly intense though subdued argument with most of the marks of our typical quarrel. Trifles, names, disputations of small cause, philosophies, enlarged grossly. I reproached her for wasting her time. "You fill cruddy baskets with leaves. Why? You gossip with anyone who knocks at the door." "But this is my pleasure. You don't understand it." "I do understand it. But the time is coming when you will be freer. The children are growing up. Will you give yourself completely to this slovenliness of energies?" "I will work." "If you will work, you should go on to get your Masters Degree. Teaching in a college would be the freest work, and best paid." "I hate sociology". "You must belittle. You must find fault." "Then study literature". "I am not qualified. I cannot follow a course." "Nonsense". "Why do you insist I do something. I am happy." "You are not, or at least will not be." "Why should I work for years more. My mother died at 53 and I am 45." "You should not take your mother as the measure of your life. I think you do so and will not plan for anything therefore. But you will outlive me. Women outlive their men. They all do." So it went, with many a turning back, heated exchanges, verbal detours. "I am happy. Except that you are unhappy with me and that makes me unhappy." I let this by. it seemed to make her feel better and kindle her warmth towards me. "You should have gotten a women more suited to you." "You forever say that. I never say that. I doubt it very much." She is even more pleased. But a little while later we are chatting amiably by the telephone. She sits on my knee and counts some change for the children's lunches that she has exacted from me. I ask idly when the sabbatical year for professors comes -- on the seventh year or after the seventh? On the seventh. Perhaps we can go to Italy and live modestly. Modestly," she says, "is impossible. You know how prices have gone up." "Don't exaggerate," I say. "We can find a modest place this time." "Where?" "We can set up an endless flow of crates from my aunt's farm in Sicily." "How shall we live there? You are fantastic." I am incensed. "I don't mean to live in Sicily." "Oh, I thought that's what you said." But I am irritated again. "You dream-spoiler." And she is that. I work very hard and at things that pay me less than I might otherwise earn. I depend heavily upon hidden sources of support. I need more too, because my work is tiring; writing is hard. Yet Jill is forever argumentative, rarely warm, never sympathetic to the many imaginary travels, purchases, inventions and wants that crowd from my lips in compensation for my rigid crouching at my writing desk. I want to do so much more than I have time for; I call out for them sometimes gaily, sometimes seriously, often with seemingly carefully spun plan; and then I am chilled and angered at her refusal to play along.
April 15, 1964 Bryant Square, 9:30 AM Wednesday New York City
Cf. my idea about the Division of Labor concept of A. Smith being restatable. "For every division of labor 'increment' in one direction, a division of labor 'increment' in another culture complex is lost."
Cf. also the theory that productivity has not increased much if at all. (Solomon Fabricant, "Productivity and Economic Growth" in E. Ginzberg, ed., Technology and Social Change 1964).
Cf. Idea that much of the "efficiency" of a new industry or device is exhausted in social costs.
Cf. idea that increase in education costs of a society is readily construed as increase in capital investment. And therefore each industry of the country affected by education should have a cost added to it, thus decreasing its productivity.
Ergo new general theory:
The productivity of a society does not increase. It is transformed.
The share of a segment of society (A) may increase, but at someone else's cost.
Some of His hawsers cut, man jerks away at the remaining ropes to his foundations.
electronic music (succeeding dissonant music)
single generation family
no long-term construction (strange that in the age when man realizes that his history has been long -- a million years -- and how long it may be that he builds for a day, whereas the Egyptians, Aztecs, Romans and men of the middle ages built for eternity).
Now he is stripped clean. He has used culture as an abrasive tool to reduce himself to a shiny primitive. Now he seeks to find himself anew, as a babe, tabula rasa, someone without antecedents, and to go on from there.
But there is no 'new'. The 'new' in the ages of man is like the new of feral man -- he cannot subsist, as Robinson Crusoe did -- for the cleanest job of stripping, a vast culture is needed. The "shiny primitive" is then a culture-stuffed dummy.
April 21, 1964 3 PM Thursday
On my way back to NYC on the Eastern AA shuttle. Due in 4:15. Due in class to discuss social invention 415. Will be late by half an hour and have just telephoned Cardyn Jornible to appear at the class and take the floor meanwhile.
Arose at 5:45 Am though I slept only till 5. I worked until midnight, finally ending by dictating to Julia the outline of a chapter on the "Republican force" in Congressional Reform. Afterwards I read Marguerite Duras' novelette, Moderato Cantabile. She writes well -- is Gide and the new wave together. By 6:15 I was out of the house, 5th Avenue deserted, and took a cab to La Guardia Airport. The driver missed the turnoff from the superhighway and we lost time. At the terminal, I took coffee and roll, picked up my boarding pass, and we took off on time at 7 AM.
At the Washington airport, I bumped into Harold Lasswell with whom I exchanged cordial greetings but from whom I had to part immediately since he was going to an International Law Conference and I to the Capitol where hearings on the Poverty Bill are being held. I telephoned from the airport to the Minority Counsel to say I was on my way and arrived shortly thereafter to discover the program was mixed up. Counsel Charles Radelight, who on behalf of Congressman Freylingheusen, had asked me to appear, had left my name off the morning roster. He rearranged things immediately not without having suffered in his cheerful Ivy League way from several evil glances.
Congressman Curtis was first to testify. I came on at 11:10 AM, following a prolonged exchange wherein Curtis (R) criticized the lack of coordination and Thompson (NJ Democrat) defended the dismal haste. I declared support of Curtis only after Thompson, who appeared to me to be possibly a dirty player despite his great charm, had promised to place my report into the record of the hearings. Thereupon I offered my verbal testimony, which consisted of a severe indictment of the bill, section by section. The Office of Economic Opportunity, I said, overlapped numerous existing functions, placed dangerous power in the hands of its Director, was launched without proper research and foresight. At the end of half an hour I was questioned snidely by James Roosevelt, Thompson (temporarily in the chair) looked a little disgusted and despondent, and several desultory queries came from Gibbons and another Congressman. Freylingheusen, who was in and out of the hall, asked me about the organizational features of the bill. I told him I thought that the Secretary of H. W. E and the Head of the Office of Education may not be sleeping well; the undefined and swollen jurisdiction given the Director was most threatening. Actually the President had only to hire an Expeditor and maybe ask for a little money to get what the bill overtly asked for. I finished and passed through to the hall. Several congratulated me. A stranger squeezed my arm cordially.
I ate lunch with Earl Voss, the journalist, and Jim Johnson of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Drinks, a steak and so aloft.
April 29, 1964 9 AM 7-13 Washington Square North NYC
Am mostly settled into my new little apartment on the corner of 5th Avenue and Washington Square North. John Appel helped me yesterday to hang paintings and complete the fitting of the black metal bookcase. There are about a thousand books in it. Another two thousand are in Princeton and a hundred at my NYU office. I was amused when I opened my eyes this morning from my couch and saw all the books, for I had selected to read while falling asleep a Rieu translation of the Gospels and John Dewey's Question of Certainty. The more the new, the better the old?
Now I thought in the bathroom of a Negative Information Retrieval Stimulator. The new social and behavioral sciences index (computerized) that I am presently developing will offer the student a control over the materials of the past and over present output that he could only fancy before. We shall be able to provide a printed-out bibliography, annotated and sub-indexed, on a given subject of up to a dozen descriptors as a daily service. But I thought, "this will only lead to pursuit of knowledge along the lines of what is already known or at least already studied. Yet isn't this precisely what one major failure of formal learning consists of? True my classification system will dig out many unusual combinations of topics and methodologies, permitting some stimulus to imagination. This is insufficient, though good in itself. But the machine is most effectively used when it strains man to do those things that he should wish to do and is kept from doing by his own physical and mental limitations.
A negative IR stimulator would be a computer system that would be programmed to analogize experienced tasks into novel ones. If a study has been done on the displacement of holy images onto secular art in Alaskan Eskimo culture, the system should present not only all other studies already done that resemble this, but some possible studies in other cultures or on other types of displacements, or, going farther out, studies of existing contrary direction, I. e. anti-hypothesis, null-hypothesis studies. This will go, of course, into models for we can construct contra-models or negative models.
Thus the IR system will no longer be fundamentally for retrieval purposes but for creative purposes. Yet it is built as perhaps all machines (and human minds?) must be, on the foundations of retrieval, i. e. something stored, some prior date or sensing provides the "new" stimulus.
April 30, 1964 NYC
Jay called but I was not home to talk. I wonder how he's doing with Barry Goldwater's campaign. Jay is the best strategist I know -- his knowledge of practical politics in the U. S. is unequaled. i must tell him again about the 'people's march upon the Republican convention' to put B. G. over the top. They should come from everywhere, by bus, train, and wagon and plane -- Barry's our Boy, Go for Goldwater, Bust the Bosses, Principle not Purse!