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November 14, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-11-14

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s4L 3;rimq n ear
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

Finding the answers inside some tiny glass

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-05521

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily exp ress thy- individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.


NOVEMBER 14, 1968





IF IT WEREN'T for inventions, someone once said, then
there would be no progress.
Consider the world without universal jointed air-pow-
ered screw drivers or 99 per cent pure Kentucky blue grass
seed. Consider life without machines, hate without wea-
pons or love without a porchlight lamp.
And every once in a while comes one invention which
is'much greater than common inventions. For example,
think of the magnamity of Edison's lightbulb when com-
pared to the light of a bonfire; or Harrison's trido-buteyl
rubber for Sealy posturepedic mattresses when compared
to straw beds.
And such a time has arrived again. Science has an-
nounced an invention hailed as the most important dis-
covery since the discovery of the transistor. And we all
know how important the invention of the transistor was:
(It was hailed as the most important invention since the
invention of the vacuum tube, and we all know how im-
portant that was.)
THIS NEW THING, science says, will allow us to have
television sets that we can hang on the wall or computers
we can carry in our pockets.
"'Science says this new thing that looks like some tiny
ball of glass will replace and supplement transistors.
Specifically, the new thing is supposed to have a better
memory than a transistor. I know this sounds funny, but
that's what the New York Times said. Apparently tran-
sistors haye memory-not as good memory as the new
thing, bud memory. I'm not sure, if vacuum tubes have
memory or not, but more than likely they at least have
Furthermore, we are told that a pocket computer has
the potential for adaptation to many specific physiological
functiors. And it could be used by a person to increase
his sensitivity to his surroundings.
FOR EXAMPLE you call your mother in Florida, say,
"Hello, how are you?" and ask "How's the weather, Mom?"
"We have an isobaric cold front moving in from the
east-southeast at 2.653 miles per hour, trailed by 671.1
cubic meters of cold mass of which at least 428.6 cubic
meters are below 34.2 degrees centigrade."
The computer would increase the absurdities in life.
Consider the picayune housewife, who tpday won't buy a
dented can of chicken noodle coup because she associates
the dent in the can with the soup. Imagine what would
happen when she discovers with the aid of her computer
that the pressure in the Motts Apple Sauce jar .2 psi below
what the label says it is.
But there are more serious applications of the new
thing. Education would simply be a matter of plugging
one's new computer into other more experienced computers
and transferring facts. This is of course, simply an im-
provement over modern day education.
WE WOULD BE ABLE to gather the facts much more
quickly because of the computer's transfer systems. We
would retain the knowledge without error or misconcep-
tion. We would become the perfect student.
And if the computers could transfer methods of reason-
ing and prejudice, bias and passion, in their determination
of conclusion, then we wouldn't have to be brought up in

. . .We could put the names of thoseto be born into a hat, pull them randomly
and match certain bodies with certain computer personalitiesand characters. We
could make some people prejudiced against celery or Saturday evenings at home
or anything . .. On the other hand, we could erase all prejudices .

a family or particular surroundings to develop into the
unique persons we are today. Our computers would do
it all for us.
We could be arbitrary about it if we want to maintain
the status quo. We could put the names of those to be born
into a hat, pull them randomly and match, certain bodies
with certain computer personalities and characters. We
could make some people prejudiced against celery or
Saturday evenings at home or anything.
On the other hand, we could also erase all prejudices
by a completely scientific approach in determining our
BUT FIRST, and I think we must begirt this endeavor
immediately since science is progressing so rapidly, we
must choose who will make the initial determinations. Who
will decide whether there should be prejudice or not, and
what kind, for whom, etc. I don't want to be in such a
position, and I know of a lot of other people I don't want
in that position either.
I suppose 1ve will have to gather together everyone who

wants to be in that position and then have them fight it
out. The new thing has even made this an objective pos-
sibility. For the new thing makes simpler !bombs and
It makes missiles and bombs impervious to target dis-
tortion. Present antiquated missiles and bombs can be
diverted from their target by many ways: destroyed by
a counter missile, mixed up by jamming transistors with
radiation, made impotent by certain electrical emissions-
but this thing can only be stopped one way. The only pos-
sible way this thing can be stopped is by knocking it down
with a duplication of itself before it gets to its target
WAR WOULD be much fairer.
Still, I think the greatest asset of this new thing is in
the realm of personal affairs. I have difficulty in deciding
who I really love and if I can really hate. All I'd have to
do is ask my thing: "Say, thing, do I hate blacks?"
Or like at the porch door when she asks if I really
love her, simply pull out my computer, feed it my impulses,
give her the perfect ticker-tape answer and leave. Peace.

We must seek peace alone
-- without Thieu

THE 'DUPLICITY of t h e actions sur-
rounding the bombing halt and the
subsequent diplomatic disruptions be-,
comes clearer every day. And Saigon's{
announcement yesterday that it will con-
sider all peace negotiations between the
United States and North Vietnam inval-
id can only serve to clarify further the
direction in which blame must fall.
Though it seems likely that President
Johnson's decision to ,halt the bombing
of North Vietnam involved political con-
siderations, the real culpability for the
diplomatic fiasco which has resulted can-
not be placed on the President.
Although it is possible to accuse him
of political maneuvering, it cannot be
maintained that he would sacrifice the
peace talks in order to help Hubert Hum-
phrey. The President would not h a v e
risked the possibility of Thieu's refusal
to attend the Paris talks if only because
that refusal would hurt, as it did, the
Vice-President's chances for election: Nor
would the President have taken that risk
in the face of his desire tp place himself
in history as the man who brought peace
to Vietnam.
INSTEAD, the man on whom the onus
must fall for endangering the Paris
talks is Nguyen Van Thieu, President of
South Vietnam, Faced with a possible end
to a war he does not care to end, and his
own loss of power in a more democratic
regime, Thieu made a ruthless and self-
seeking stab at not only the President
and his country, but the security of the
entire world.
All of the diplomatic sources in Saigon
indicate that Thieu had entirely agreed
to the provisions he now claims he never
agreed to. He told United States Ambas-
sador Ellsworth Bunker that the South
Vietnamese government would agree to
talks, following a bombing halt, 'in which
the National Liberation Front would take
part as a separate entity. But only a few
days later he announced that his govern-
ment would not attend the talks.

It is obvious what Thieu hoped would
arise from his actions. In the Presidential
race Thieu could easily see where his best
interests lay, and he attempted to pro-
mote them. By making his statement and
timing it for effect he hoped to bring in-
to power an American president more
favorable to his dictatorial position.,
THIEU'S DESIRE to block peace efforts
is further demonstrated by his recent
invitation to Richard Nixon to visit South
Vietn'am. The machiavellian cast of
Thieu's suggestion that Nixon come over
and "make an on-the-spot assessment of'
the war and the situation" cannot be
taken for anything other than a blatant
attempt .to circumvent the attempts of'
the President to end the war. It is greatly
to the credit of Nixon that he refused the
The United States must now make a
choice - the alternatives ,are outlined in
bold relief. We may continue to allow
Thieu to make the controlling and ob-
structing decisions which have and will
continue to block any peace settlement
or we may, as Secretary of Defense Clark
Cliffoid suggested yesterday, proceedj
without him to seek peace. '
If Thieu continues in his course of blat-
ant intransigence this country should
pursue that second alternative - all po-
litical support for the Thieu regime
should be withdrawn and t h e United
States should enter substantive talks in
Paris with representatives f r o m North
Vietnam and the National Liberation
THIS ACTION on the part, of the United
States would most likely bring to a
cdlose Thieu's undemocratic regime. Thieu
would hopefully be overthrown by those
with a greater concern for the people of
South Vietnam and a willingness to come
to Paris to find peace.

Irly one mo rning *
OME PERVERSE urge found me seated one morning last week on
one of those fiendishly uncomfortable cold stone benches in the
Fishbowl desperately clutching a morning newspaper to shade my eyes
from the bright light of early morning.
At times like this when I retreat behind a newspaper as the nearest
substitute for a cup of hot coffee, my mood can best be described as
So when a tall sandy-haired fellow looked down at me with a "don't
you remember me" expression, I inwardly prayed for a case of mistaken
This hope faded as he said, "Hi, how's it going?" and sat down be-
side me. Trying to recognize the speaker, I saw nothing more disting-
uishable from the hundreds of faces passed every day than a pair of
brown rimmed glasses and a dark blue Michigan windbreaker.
In the nett 45 seconds I was gently reminded that I had met hin
at a friend's apartment over eight months ago. Desperately trying to
make conversation, I asked him where he was living now, although I
had no knowledge and little interest even in where he had been living.
EVEN THIS siall conversational opening was enough to start him
going on what turned out to be almost his life stor.
"When I came here as a freshman last year they assigned me to
live in Baits way out on North Campus and I lived with two grad stu-
dents, but neither of them are here anymore. This year I' really didn't
have anyone to live with, so I got a room by myself near the new Ad-
ministration Building."
"Good location," was about all I could say in reply,
"Yeah, but most of the other people in the building are graduate
students or foreign students studying things like physics or math. You
know, I really don't have many friends.here. Back in high school I had
a lot of friends and I really thought it would be the same way here,"
TRERE REALLY isn't too much you can say in response to self
deprecating comments like this, so I tried to change the subject_ by
asking how he was doing academically.
"I'm really not doing that well, I have just barely a two point. But
-I'd have a 2.9 if it wasn't for the two E's I got in my Spanish courses
last year. And it looks like I'm flunking Spanish again this semester."
"Don't you study." I asked since I had heard the same lament be-
y fore from people who had opened their Spanish books twice all semes-
g "I try to, but I really don't seem to get anywhere. It really screws
me up when I try to study for anything else, as well."
Grasping at straws I asked, "Have you talked at all to your coun-
s selor about this?
e "Yeah, but he keeps telling me that I've got to fulfill my language
t requirement to graduate. I'd like to try one semester without taking a
s language, but he wouldn't let me. What I may do is drop out- for a
e semester and take a job. Then I'd come back here in the summer be-
cause I've heard that counselors aren't nearly as strict then."
d THAT WAS just too much - I burst out caffine &privation head-
ache and all. "Haven't you tried to see another counselor, have you tried
s talking- to anybody but your counselor?"
d "I didn't know you could do that," he said apologetically.
Then I remembered something else I had heard about language
v requirements. "Hasn't anyone told you that there is a test you can take
d to see 'if you're congenitally unable to learn another language? There
d are people who just can't learn a language for that reason and they're
excused from the requirement."
Now he was really amazed, "Do you know where I can sign up to
n take this test?"
d With the suggestion that he try the counseling office. he drifted
- off and I retreated back to my morning paper,
e The other day he passed me on the street and said, "I've taken the


' ! '

StTr Ig a lo er7ih9

Comments by the Secretary of Defense

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
remarks are excerpts taken from a
press conference held Monday by
Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford.)
DO NOT BELIEVE that you can work
along with your partner up to the very
last instant, with the understanding full
and complete as to what the arrangement
is, and then suddenly have Saigon change
its mind and decide not to go ahead.
"I think the president owed it, under
his constitutional duty, I think he owed
it to the American people to proceed with
the talks.

has the constitutional responsibility of
proceeding with the talks, '
"There are a great many subjects that
can be covered between the United States
,and Hanoi of a military nature and that's
our real function.
"BUT WE CAN work out arrangements
with Hanoi in Paris that could be very
valuable. We could work out steps that
could lead to a diminution in the level of
the combat, which we all desire very
"I cannot speculate on what came
up that caused the Government in Saigon

NEW YORK, Nov. 7 - T he
President-elect's first public
appearance as such had the grace
note of the revelation that Julie
Nixon had spent what time she
could wrest from the family en-
terprise embroidering the Presi-
dential Seal for her father.
It was an affecting gesture to a
man both lonely and single-mind-
ed; but it did suggest that there
is absent from the new F i r s t
Family that mockery which tinges
the relationship between even the
best parents and the bestachild-
r'en these days. It is just a little
out-of-date, as Mr. Nixon is
without being quite as refreshing-
ly so.
But then, the whole election'was
out-of-date, belonging somewhere
in the '50s, rather as though some
angry god had decided just to
wipe :out the last eight years, to
begin all over again with the 1960
election and to give Mr. N i x o n
those tiny fractions of the big
states which were so whimsically
and cruelly withheld from h i m

seems permanently enmeshed in
it. If majesty was absent from his
words, we cannot blame him too
much; we live in the '60s, where
the angst is over national pur-
pose; Mr. Nixon comes from the
'40s when the fret was over per-
sonal careers. The problem he will
present as a President is whether
a man who has had to spend all
this time worrying about himself
can now rise to worrying about all
of us.
For he remains so intact a man
of his time, which is just not ours.
It is hard to believe that he can
make the leap. The night before
he was elected, he found himself
warning with no more visible evi-
dence than Mr. Johnson used to
'have that, thanks to the bombing
halt, the North Vietnam local of
the teamsters union was loading
its 10-ton trucks and pouring
them down the Ho Chi Minh
Trail. He was crying out that we
had betrayed our allies in South

flict us and the world. Secretary
Dulles never had to learn the les
son of the experience of carryin
his language to the logical con
clusion of action, because Gen. Ei
senhower always denied it to him
Eisenhower used to call Dulles hi
conscience - which meant hi
could safely be repressed - bu
Nixon plainly felt that Dulles wa
his teacher, which meant that th
studies were sacred.
MR. NIXON learned the world
on State Dept. tours, which means
that all he knowsis the resulta
shaking hands with tyrants as
various as Trujillo, Batista an
Nkrumah. He is cursed by the no
tion that. all you need to know
about a country can be gained
from conversation with its hea(
of state. He even has faith in gen
erals; could any illusion seem
more comic to President Johnson
after What he has learned or more
dangerous to us who have live
through eight years with a his-
tory of nations made no more
aft: n hby h~ar1, nf -t~tahan, by

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