June 6, 1966
Meeting 2 12:30 - 2:00 lunch
1 keypunch 60 professional hours per week
1 sorter 40 secretarial - clerical per week
1 accounter printer
Problems often need translating from solutions in to needs
Subjective + objective test of existence of problem
NAM Librarian? available
1. Dave AdeG will produce sketch of "Early Warning System"
2. Pat on social needs
Questions to ask of NASA's design of new managerial systems
Stu Baeder V-P NAM International Division re James Webb
Chuck Adams "Mind" Staff of NAM
plus Pat or Dave will go in staff capacity
Are print needed of Schwartz article on automation
June 9, 1966 ½ day
Sketch "Early Warning System
System I of 4 contemplated systems for Welfare Activity and Control.
A. Raw data Procurement and Screening
Government documents (NSL)
Mags. (bills, etc.)
P O Polls
Aa Raw Data
B. Problem Area Listing
Ba Problem lists: Definitions, Translation
Bb Validating basic list - Subjective test - Objective test
C. Coding Classification
Ca. The class if system
Cb. Code of the Class if
Cc. Matching problem input (x) to Problem category into which it falls
Cd. Coding problem
C2 Machine storage
D. Filing the problem - specimens (how many?)
Da. For identification by category Film
Db. For identification by technique (Film)
E. Regular Warning Scan (Monthly) Runs (trial) Ref. Runs (1 yr)
Ea. Notify Newsletter
Eb. Notify Control Center
G. Special Warning Scan
H. Would there be many overlaps between the warning system proper and a technique system so as to make two cost much less than one.
I. Newsletter (beginning occasional?) Design
I1 Temperature chart of approximately 1000 problem-areas
I2. Technique news (to come later?) Build Receiver list
J. System II
June 13, 1966 6:30 PM
The weather is cloudy. Can it be that I have been depressed all day for that reason? That reason among others, since I have had many optimistic if not happy cloudy days in my life. Can it be because I punched and slapped Carl for calling his mother obscene names. It did make me feel bad and I know it was a major factor. Carl is always misbehaving, reckless, abusive, surly, recalcitrant; he is unpopular with the family though he is well treated by them. (It is indeed the highest compliment to Jill and me as parents that they deal so nicely with him and rarely make a row.) Still I look at him and feel profoundly that he is a good and generous soul who is bound up in some small and complicated organic psychic hell that makes him overtly diabolical and I am sorry, whatever the provocation, to take that crust for the whole of him and to react to it. But then what else -- I missed my train; it drew out while I was parking my Triumph the other side of the tracks. Today I was not even irritated by it; I was already committed to gloom, and awaited the next train peacefully.
What clear thoughts come to me, but they are all bad for the passage through life, bad for mankind's future if anything can worsen that destiny. I feel the futility of work, I am compelled to pass a fatal verdict upon our civilization -- not in comparison with others, but absolutely. All that was and may be does not cheer me up. Each civilization -- if it cannot be appreciated for itself -- cannot be appreciated at all. All can be known and foreseen by the one.
So the day's work, passed through this depressive sieve, gives the same drippy substance of melancholy. The hundreds of pages I have hurried through are all of the same quality in the end. The scientists in the several forms that they present themselves during the day, the politicians, the wars, the theories, the grocers, appear in the same miserable light. The auto industry, the shipping industry, my friends in business, the publishers of books, the labor unions -- they all do their bit, nasty, selfish, stupid -- making a peaceful, joyful life impossible -- for me or for others. Let us say it: if you are born with the organ of happiness in you, you enjoy life; if you are not, you hate it in one of many ways, your own way, and hate yourself. And nothing can prove you wrong, no sir, nothing: you are right and it is every inch, every micromeasure as bad as you perceive it to be -- doubt your senses as you will.
Love, love regardless. When that is taken away, there is nothing at all left, nothing. You can prove nothing is good. If you love it, it is good. If you don't, that is the end. And that goes for yourself too. Look at yourself in the mirror. If you love yourself, you are well. If you are sad or dislike what you see, you are sick. Don't hope for science to prove you right or wrong. You are right at first glance. I wish I could say something else. I wish I might say: take this, do that, and you will see that what you don't love is lovable in this or that regard; what you love is irrational, don't be led into it -- and highest absurdity, life is generally lovable!
And all these things that you love pass, even as those you hate. But that is the agony of life that, though you can easily tolerate the tout passe that refers to the hateful, the passage of time over your love is itself a continuous crime of assassination. Must we, can we, then ever be happy?
June 14, 1966
III Meeting 10:30 - 1:50; 2-5:30 PM NAM offices
F. V. W. Information Center
Discussion of memo of AdeG on System I occupied most of session.
Newsletter came in for some discussion too.
Difficult question -- the output to what not to "input" if we are to be efficient.
1. NASA Conference on Computer Management
2. George Gallup to draw up proposal re Look, NICB collaboration.
3. List of dissertation topics in social issues and voluntary welfare field
Gallup The Miracle Ahead
4. Publication of American Welfare as an Annual.
June 16, 1966 night
Jill, who is studying violence around the world for Princeton University, at $3 per hour, chortled over a report from the Central African Republic the other day and pointed to a paragraph, wherein is stated, as one of the first laws of the new revolutionary junta, "It is forbidden to play the drums or lie in the sun except on Saturdays."
Today, the NY Times carried a story from New Jersey. The State Civil Rights authorities are being asked to act against a Nudist Colony. A woman and her family had responded to a solicitation by mail from the nudists and were invited to come. But when they arrived and it was seen that they were Negroes, they were refused admittance. It is ironical that the nudists, who themselves are victims of narrow-minded and prejudiced legislation and law enforcement, should be so cruelly prejudiced when their turn came to be tested.
The American Jewish Committee, that group of fat-cats, who cannot decide whether to assimilate or to remain distinct and pluralist as Jews and therefore try to achieve both, recently announced the results of a study of the number of Jews in executive posts of a number of large respectable companies: with a chutspah second to none they declared that whereas the Jews made up 8% of the college degree graduates, they only made up 5% of the executives. Apart from other absurdities is the fact that, if the quota system is so applied, only four or five % of the college graduates should be Jewish.
So the AJC uses a quota that on its face "discriminates" in favor of the Jews in order to attack a quota that on its face "discriminates" against the jews. It would be a sad day, indeed, when 'society" would say, "Very well, Jews (thus getting together a great many people who are not partisans of the AJC, the American Jewish Congress, or like groups), you shall now have equal and non-discriminatory treatment: you will have exactly your percentage of everything, no more and no less. If there are four percent of Americans who claim they are Jewish, you shall have a quota at Harvard of 4%, a quota of Mississippians of 4%, a quota of script-writers and motion picture producers of 4%, and so on in every statistical category."
June 17, 1966
The sanctioning of law in our country is confused. As many people feel that punishment does no good to the criminal or society as believe that the penalties for violating law ought generally to be much more severe. If there ever were a split in consensus, it is here. I have numerous friends who are on diametrically opposite sides of this issue.
The uncertainty and conflict of belief in punishment itself causes the reinforcement of the stern position. It creates confusion of mind, heightens the general sense of lawlessness, that is, of a society without rule, brings a suspicion that criminal thinking (among the soft-headed) is even more prevalent and so sets in motion the frustration-aggression process, all the more certainly since the question in itself has to do with violence to others and the displacement of affect has an obvious target.
Furthermore, the criminal element itself is subject to the same psychological force (the criminal-to-be is after all still mostly a full-fledged member of society) and commits more crimes. And the criminal too is encouraged by the split of the forces against him.
My own belief is that of the two opposing points of view, the stern theory is the more destructive of freedom, and has doubtful effects on crime. A great many creative and individually-fulfilling activities will be made into crimes by the onrush of vindictiveness and any liberality of thought will be suspect as proto-criminal. There would be some gain but greater loss.
I believe that therapeutic "punishment" is superior, and that to contain, control and reduce crimes of violence, crimes against property, and most important crimes of intolerance (which particularly affect the young and freedom), proper and efficient police and court behavior are most needed.
Illustrated History of the Behavioral Sciences
I. "Normal" attrition of truth by history, i. e. what is expected of the mythical history because it happens usually with the "best" of written history. Does it happen?
II. "Oral"transmission: The laws of rumor and gossip should be transferred over, exaggeration, simplism, conformity to expectations and conventions, removal of inconsistencies in the story.
Does it happen to the myth?
III. "Authoritative" transformation: the closer to dealing with questions of creation, god and kings, the greater the distortion where otherwise inconsistent (i. e. a story already consistent will be distorted less).
IV, "Traumatic" effect: where the shock of the events is great because of physical disaster, death of loved ones, violation of taboos, and partial extinction of the ego and superego defenses, the myth should transform history more readily.
Now, we give ratings to these categories and their suborders, after defining them as precisely as we can.
Then we go to the myths and break them down into units of meaning. Then we reconstruct the units of meaning by adding and subtracting weights of our analytic measures, and then, finally we may have a considerably closer approximation of "truth".
June 18, 1966
Membrane social physics = the study of the transition of ideas, psychology, motivation and other "intangibles" into structures, and vice versa
One problem: What is the membrane? Unlike m. p. in natural science, there is none unless we create it. Why should we create it? To understand the transition between minds and structures. Such would be a special language translating system, because now we are not only blocked in following through the process, but are blocked by the language which differs greatly on the two sides of the barrier. Better perhaps to call this "Transitive Polistics".
POLISTICS is a good general term for political science, especially connoting the newer so-called "behavioral approach".
June 20, 1966
Company over the weekend. On Friday evening visiting and dining with Laura Bergquist and her husband Fletcher Knebel. On Saturday afternoon Elizabeth and Gilbert Bettman came to stay the night. Dante and Cathy Matelli also arrived and stayed over. So it was a jolly talkative weekend, which gave me a sore throat from drinking whiskey, smoking, and talking. Dante and I played tennis Sunday afternoon nevertheless. Though I beat him in 2 sets, it is clear to me that he will soon straighten himself out and be able to win most of the time. I am no longer fast, my eye is no longer perfect. I should exercise more now that I am 46, not less, and a daily regimen should be followed. I weight about 180 pounds, stripped, and I would look better and be more agile at 170. But when I put my mind on health, I have to take it off of thoughts that I much prefer and activities that are pleasurable. Still I should do so.
If myth tells of history is must follow rules. Since it was almost entirely orally transmitted, these rules would be the rules of reporting by word of mouth. Other features would characterize the rules of myth also: the authority element, since history is usually carried by authoritative sanction (there is no "free speech" around a council fire or in God-ruled Empires). the trauma element, if traumatic events are connected with the stories being told.
Let us then take examples of myths: say the myth of Phaeton, the myth of Oedipus, the myth of Jericho, the myth of the Maze at Knossos, and others, and subject them to a frame of analysis, deductively or axiomatically put.
June 22, 1966
Rex Hopper died Friday. End of the road for a good guy and gentleman. I suppose that all the tensions of the destruction of Project Camelot, which he had directed, contributed to his heart failure. And there are those who object to using military symbolism to refer to the passage of life. A large part of all deaths have to be considered casualties, and the costs of the maimed are correspondingly high. It is only that war lacerates the skin (one cannot even say cuts into the organs); so it is distinguished from the struggles of "normal" "peaceful" lives.
June 23, 1966 New York
I slept in New York last night and Jill telephoned me at 8:30. She awakened me; I had walked from the Appels in the company of John and when we arrived here we still had much to talk about (he bubbles over with all that he has heard and learned at the University of Michigan).
Jill was in rare cheer for the time of day and began by asking me to bring home a little suitcase that she wished to take along to Chicago next week. I assured her that I would. Then she said that daughter Jessie had phoned last evening from Chicago and was pleased to know of her mother's coming. "That's all the good news," chirped Jill, "everything is alright otherwise". "Good," said I, "by the way, I called the Triumph Motor Company and they refused to pay for installing sealed beam lamps on the car, but I asked how much are we arguing about and he said $8 to $10 and any gas station can do the job. So I called off the discussion. Do you think you could bring in the car to Esso?" Jill said yes and "oh, there was one piece of bad news; Paul and Ann are not coming. I got a letter first exclaiming how pleased they were at seeing us after so many years and next a card saying that Paul couldn't get away from his construction work. They would come in October instead." I was disappointed. I like my brother-in-law and his wife and had been happy with the idea of a week's visit with them and their two daughters after eight years' separation, from the time that we moved East from California.
Then I reported to Jill that I had gone yesterday to the Luxor baths on 46th Street with Herb Neuman whose father was a member and had enjoyed a swim, steam baths, a vigorous water hosing, and finally a massage for the first time in my robustly healthy life. She thought it a fine idea.
She went on to talk of Rex Hopper's dying, thinking I suppose of us as of the same age (he was twenty years older than I), and exhorted me to ever greater physical culture. I submitted to her that almost all of the men I had seen in the baths, not excepting the attendants, were sloping shouldered and heavy paunched. She allowed that her dear father had been a denizen of bathhouses and a great walker who tripped along daily from 88th Street to 22nd Street from home to office, and he had had a "corporation" as they used to call it.
I asked again about Jessie. Had Tom Anderson visited her and Jill reported that he had, further, that they had decided to disengage their close relationship. This too was a piece of sad news, because Jill had especially liked young "Dr. Kildare" and I have a high opinion of him too. But Jess is flying high and mighty. I can understand her conduct. And I must even admire her independent and grandiose spirit.
So we said a fond good-bye and hung up. Jill was still sounding full of cheer. And we come to the point: more bad is always happening than good. And good spirits are independent of the balance of good over bad news.
Oh, there is so much more to say -- about Jill's character, for example, which has long low sweeps and then perks up on occasion, and the relative quality of events when, as now, the general background of stability and achievement in the family paints a comforting and good picture, and when the mind selects positive thoughts and rejects negative ones, momentarily or as a constant practice -- but it cannot be paid here; let the lesser points be made.
Morse Peckham, in Man's Rage for Chaos: "My own experience includes an individual who may have been precipitated into psychosis by intense intellectual experience with poetry characterized by a high and very difficult metaphorical content." This is the kind of fact that theorists about LSD and other hallucinogens should bear in mind.
June 26, 1966
I am plumbing among the 400 or so books that may help me with the writing of the New World Order, and begin to notice what I detected while doing the parallel operation with Republic in Crisis: for dealing with the important problems of an important subject the impressive volume of studies of recent years reduces to very little that is of use. For example, the book by Russett, Alker, Deutsch and Lasswell, which I applauded so vigorously in a published review, is before me now, and I cannot seem to find in it the kinds of helpful fact, not to mention theoretical entrees, that are needed to study world order. To be specific, of the many thousands of figures and implicit hypotheses, only a few isolated numbers act as aids, these to place national strengths or weaknesses in relation to one another in the event that one has forgotten the relations -- e. g. Israel and Algeria will perhaps have nearly the same GNP in 1975. Are the indicators poorly chosen? Are facts infinite and therefore the facts must be found uniquely for each problem-focus of a writer such as myself? And this is one of the dozen best of the 400 works!
A man commonly seen about town has been charged with making an obscene display of himself. A perplexing issue. Usually harmless. Yet insufferably embarrassing. Mr. X will probably end by leaving Princeton. Professor Y, a friend, was defending a similar person one day before Jill and myself and Jill scolded him, saying how shocking such displays of the genitals are to prim starched little girls. She remembers an incident in Central Park from the age of 8. Later I mention to her that Professor Y had been required to leave a University position for an incident whose vague description indicated exhibitionism.
Whenever I deal with correlational statistics as they are found in empirical works of contemporary social sciences, I get nudged by a simple idea that is almost too naive to express. The universal practice is to seek high positive or negative correlations between two variables, and if they don't occur by simple correlation, to perform partial or multiple correlations to seek the appropriate dependence. An absence of relation is considered a disappointment and the evidence is thrown into the waste basked.
This procedure is obviously one that limits severely the findings, for it says that only that is true that can fit the mold of correlational technique. But what bothers me even more is another question: Are we not really saying that what is most important to know is by definition excluded? That is, taking two sets of events that we are anxious to understand, we find that "they do not relate in any way" and we give them a permanent divorce, letting them join individually only with other sets of figures, most of whose relations with them are already fairly obvious. Thus we discover that the Kennedy-for-President vote is highly correlated with the percentage of Catholics of election districts or that the percent Muslim of a country's people correlates - 73 with the percent - female-of-work-force, and we are pleased, and then we see a correlation of -38 between Muslims and an index of radio ownership and we know very little except that we know Muslim-ism will not "predict" radio diffusion or vice versa. We go on and on over hundreds of these little hillocks and never get into the tall mountains. We don't know what a Muslim makes of a radio and a radio of a Muslim.
But of course many refinements exist so that the "linear r" becomes just baby talk. The basic limits always remain, however, and also the doubt in my mind that the whole practice of relating two sets of figures destroys the possibility of dynamic causal analysis.
June 29, 1966
On Catastrophe and Religion:
There is more than catastrophe in the origins of religion, though disasters play an important role. There is a synthesizing of elements -- as occurs in all development of social phenomena -- nothing is singularly caused nor purely portrayed.
My present theory is that religiousness inheres in the nature of symbols and may even hover in the earliest complicated brains.
At a later stage it would be "extrojected" in a more institutionalized form, i. e., as a clustering of recognizable and durable 'external" appearances.
It would attach itself to the stones, rocks, trees, sun, and moon, to the highest mountains, the deepest caves, and always to the remains of ancestors out of the memories of lives lived together and in relation to the physical world around us.
Apart from the biological function of catastrophe in creating a new kind of "flesh" capable of harboring a holier kind of "spirit", a profound psychological force comes from catastrophe -- the shaking up of much that was sacred and secure, the displacing of old gods by new ones, the maintenance over many thousands of years of types of religious beliefs and practices, that might otherwise have been overcome, and disappeared.
I do not think that man can by his nature be irreligious, any more than he can be de-sexed, or de-intellectualized. There are altogether too many elements in the conditions of his internal and external being that bespeak religion. But profound modifications are possible in his religious nature -- and in the practices, objects, and nomenclatures of religion.
Theogony / sociogony / cosmogony // all must be reconciled and integrated: The Construction of History occurs in this process, and the "Facts of History" take on variegated coloring to serve each special, all special, and the general theory. A given single myth (which modern "science" says is impossible to accept as fact) can be received as 3 kinds of fact originally on separate missions that have brilliantly but fallibly combined into a single overall collective mission.
June 29, 1966 7:30 A.M.
[Journal - Copy to American Image file]
There seems to be little change of proper financing of the American Image Project at this time. The Office of Education, despite its millions in research funds, wants to be more practical. The "New Regime", Frank Keppel, Fritz Ianni, and their cohorts, were supposed to back it, but they became involved in successive reorganizations until finally they resigned and left with arms rolling and flags flying, having accomplished very little, whether on our pet project or on many another that I know about. How little do men know, Really Practically Know, Operationally Know, about the passage of time in the brambles of bureaucracy!!
This morning another means of accomplishing the American Image project came to me. The great expense is the sample selection (which SRC will let us have from their next national sample) of the American people; then the photographs (preferably some in motion) of the American people, and finally the analysis (which will be managed somehow once the material is in, and its richness is revealed). If funds cannot be obtained elsewhere, why cannot we find The Association of Amateur Photographers and their members around the country to seek out the sampled persons to take their pictures? There would probably be a cooperative member in every locality. Perhaps we might give small prizes. Each photographer would be honorably mentioned and would find his photos published. The cost would be very low by contrast with the professional teams.