Jon Kofas writes: I have recently come to the conclusion that there is no task more challenging and time-consuming than reading all of the incoming WAISer emails, deciding how to arrange them thematically, deciding what makes a worthy contribution to pertinent issues, and then posting them with minor editorial adjustments to satisfy the entire membership, and to the larger readership that may visit WAIS web site. Every human being is endowed with their own ideas about issues, their feelings, their prejudices, their fears and hopes, etc. More dangerous, human beings gravitate toward absolutes and, as Giovanni Pico noted more than 500 years ago, people have a propensity to believe that they have monopoly on Truth & Wisdom, denying the same to the other. That you have managed the WAIS task all these years is a testament to your considerable sense of humor and evenhanded disposition, given that you are dealing with such a disparate population of intellectuals who understandably wish their views displayed. The task becomes even more challenging when controversial issues emerge that are bound to offend some, while delighting others. In the last analysis, pleasing every one is not only impossible, but actually undesirable.
Your comments are invited. Read the home page of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu Mail to Ronald Hilton, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Please inform us of any change of e-mail address.
Ronald Hilton 2004
December 5, 2004