Here and there


Free admission for MIT students to Boston's Museum of Science has been assured through March 1996, with the presentation of a $5,000 check to the museum to renew MIT's Horizon Benefactor Corporate Membership.

The program was begun in 1982 under an arrangement inaugurated by the MIT Chapter of the Tau Beta Pi Association, Inc., a national engineering honor society, and its chief faculty advisor, John A. Tucker, lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The Tau Beta Pi Museum Admission Fund is supported by gifts from Tau Beta Pi Alumni/ae. Earlier start-up support came from MIT's then president, Dr. Paul E. Gray, the deans of science and engineering, and the late Professor Harold E. Edgerton and Mrs. Edgerton.

The arrangement with the museum includes the service of MIT student members and eligibles of Tau Beta Pi as guides, docents and developers of new exhibits. This focus especially interested Professor Edgerton, who served on the museum's board.
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In a book to be published in September, Dr. Elzbieta Ettinger Chodakowska, professor of writing, tells the story of a remarkable love affair between two philosophers-one a Jew and the other a Nazi.

According to The Toronto Star, Professsor Chodakowska was working on a biography of Hannah Arendt when she obtained access to Martin Heidegger's previously sealed archives.

"I myself was so impressed and intrigued by their love affair that I wrote this short book," Dr. Chodakowski told the Star, referring to Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger (Yale University Press).

As recounted by the Star, Arendt and Heidegger met in 1924 when she was an 18-year-old student at the University of Marburg in Germany. He was her professor, 35 years old and married.

"Everyone thought it was a one-year affair. It was not known that it lasted five or six years," Dr. Chodakowska said.

In 1933, the Star continues, "when Germany became uninhabitable for Jews, Arendt moved to France for seven years. In 1941, still fleeing the encroaching Nazis, she emigrated to the US. Meanwhile, for 12 years, Heidegger was a member of the Nazi party until it fell apart.

"Arendt and Heidegger didn't see each other again until 1950 when she was in Freiburg, Germany, and wrote him a note that she was staying at a nearby hotel."

Said Dr. Chodakowska: "She renewed their friendship. It was at her initiative. The physical affair didn't continue, but for Hannah Arendt it was a life affair. She never got rid of this man."

According to Dr. Chodakowska, Arendt continued to see Heidegger every year, including the summer just before her death in 1975, always accepting of his past behavior. "She wouldn't upbraid him about anything."

Why was this? "She blinded herself," Dr. Chodakowska told the Star.
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Here is what The Manchester Guardian has to say about Japan in War and Peace, a collection of published articles and essays by Dr. John W. Dower, professor of history and Henry R. Luce Professor in International Cooperation and Global Stability:

"The trouble with most books on Japan is that they fall into the trap of accepting the Asian powerhouse as a uniquely consensual and directed society.

"It is a theory as much supported by the right wing within the country, who would have Japan a racially pure and superior people, as by critics without, who see Japan as a country set in its course of industrial domination.

"But is the country so different from ours? Is it quite as efficient and long-sighted as we make it out?

"John Dower has written extensively on the Pacific War and the racial tensions it released. In Japan in War and Peace. he covers the extraordinary story of Japan's post-war recovery during and after the American occupation.

"Not for him the easy assumption that Japan was driven during the war by single-minded obedience to authority, or that it changed itself completely after. Much of the wartime system of directed economy was, Dower argues, carried by the same bureaucrats straight into the post-war drive for industrial rebirth. On the other hand, looking at wartime films and popular culture, he suggests that there was plenty of disagreement within society during the war, as well as in the aftermath of defeat.

"On the Emperor's role in war and its aftermath he is more ambiguous. He argues that Hirohito was implicated in the horrors of the Japanese conquests and that, if he had been forced to abdicate in 1945, the elements then pushing for a dramatic change in Japanese politics and society would have had more influence. Yet he admires General MacArthur's political sense, against the initial intentions of the allies, to keep the Emperor on the throne to ensure continuity in defeat."

QUOTES:

"Ultimately, it's economics and regulation rather than technology that will determine how all this plays out. If there weren't an infrastructure to be replaced, the technology would be in place right now." - Dr. V. Michael Bove, associate professor of media technology and Sony Corporation Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, on recent media mergers, in The Christian Science Monitor.

"You couldn't be more mainstream than Disney or ABC. They're experts in mainstream."-Dr. Henry Jenkins, associate professor of literature and Class of 1942 Career Development Professor, on the purchase by Walt Disney Co. of Capital Cities/ABC Inc., in The Phoenix Gazette

"Adolescence used to be a time-out, sexually speaking. But in the age of AIDS, sexual experimentation is a deadly game. The Internet is becoming a way to play with identity, where adolescents can develop a sense of themselves."-Dr. Sherry R. Turkle, professor of sociology of science, on the debate over pornography on the Internet, in The Guardian.

"You know. everyone's going to blame the UN. I don't just mean the nuts out there in the bushes who think the UN's going to attack them with black helicopters. The UN doesn't have any helicopters, it doesn't have any soldiers, it doesn't have anything. It doesn't have any money. It has what the Americans give it. and what the British, and the French and the Russians and the Chinese and others give it, and it's an instrument of our policies."-Dr. Lincoln P. Bloomfield, professor of political science emeritus, on distrust and criticism of the United Nations, in a round-table discussion on National Public Radio marking the 50th anniversary of the UN founding.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 13, 1995.


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