July 7, 1998
I appreciate the opportunity, given by the kind invitation of
Professor Yamaguchi, to address you as the FOCAS seminar for 1998 is about to start.
You are meeting once again at a time when the world is a rather dangerous place,
not only because nature's energies all too often may lead to environmental catastrophes,
but also because of human behavior. It appears that controlling some of nature's
great forces is currently well beyond our capacity. On the other hand, we may ask
whether human behavior can be influenced sufficiently to effect desired changes for
This question overtly and subtly is inherent in many of the topics of your seminar. It is a question that is much easier to ask than to answer. If answers are to be found, however, they may very well come from your seminars and the use of the netwrok to spread the thoughts and concepts that derive from them. In a world in which population growth is out of control, natural resources are being depleted at a great rate and violence between humans is broadly threatened or in progress, your current seminar certainly has background issues that play an important role in your deliberations.
I send greetings and best wishes for good progress in your efforts.