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LETTERS
"Mearsheimer's clarity is reductive"

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Realism and the real world
Professor John Mearsheimer's article "Liberal Talk, Realist Thinking" (February/02) leaves out the tie that binds: action. Close work, careful listening, and reconciliation of not only different views but also different paradigms are as always the key to producing results. Also, the idea that liberalism does not respect or understand power is naive.
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Ugly, ugly, ugly
If a building doesn't provoke emotion, it's just construction," says architect Ricardo Legoretta about the negative comments received about his hideous neon blocks ("Lifestyles of the Young and Studious," February/02) which have ruined (ruined!) the University's integrity. Is that all he has to say for himself?

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Food for thought
Thanks for another great issue of the magazine, including "Physics for Breakfast" (February/02). Once again it reconfirms my view, first formed by listening to the University of Chicago Round Table on the radio more than 50 years ago, of the University of Chicago as a place where the intellectually curious and the intellectually insatiable gather to think and talk about anything and everything.

Franklin Sherman, AM'52, PhD'61
Allentown, Pennsylvania



The hands have it
Your article on Susan Goldin-Meadow's work on gesture ("Investigations," February/02) reminded me of psycholinguistic research that Bill Eilfort [AM'86] and I did at the U of C in 1984-1987. I was a visiting grad student in cognitive communication, and Bill was in the linguistics graduate program.

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Give Burton his due
Just to pick a couple more nits with the nit-picking article about the new translation of the Kamasutra by Drs. Doniger and Kakar ("Investigations," February/02). The Magazine's excerpts of the London Independent's interview gave the impression that Burton, in his 1883 translation of that lubricious text, attempted to de-emphasize the role of women, citing the Great G-Spot Controversy as evidence.

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Changing times
I was so glad to read "Out and About: Mentoring program helps students get comfortable with their sexual identities" in the February issue ("College Report"). Anyone who remembers the threats against gay students in 1991, when many of us protested that the administration was not doing enough to respond, knows how much the University has changed in only a decade.
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What remains to be said
It did not occur to me, when I read the insightful "Remains of the Day" (December/01) that it would be received other than gratefully. The less than grateful letters in the February issue prove me wrong.
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Physics for lunch
The wonderful letters (February/02) about Enrico Fermi, especially that from Champion Ward about Professor Fermi's "habit of seeing physical problems in daily experience," prompt me to report this. In 1949, as a waiter at the Quadrangle Club, I frequently served Fermi. The custom was for diners to fill out a chit after viewing the menu. Fermi wrote: "roast beef, mashed spectrum, peas, coffee," and signed it. I knew what he meant, and have since wished I had paid for his lunch and kept the chit.

Lewis P. Lipsitt, AB'50
Providence, Rhode Island



Ubiquitous U.?
I have been following the discussion ("Letters," December/01 and February/02) about the importance of rankings of universities. I have no solution except to remark that if rankings lead to snobbery they are bad, while if they lead people to choose the right university they are good.

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Penn State counterpoint

I noticed Judith van Herik's (AB'68) class news of her retirement from Penn State University, which she attributed to Penn State's persistent refusal to "even imagine, let alone embrace, interdisciplinarity."

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Woodward lamented

I don't think you were correct to state that "[f]ew alumni are sorry to see the demise of Woodward Court" ("College Report," December/01). Granted, it was not the most comfortable place to live, but it was probably the most social dorm on campus, especially the hyper-frenetic Flint houses.

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  APRIL 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 4


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Auteur! Auteur!
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A Run for Our Money
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My Life as a Mind
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Thinking Inside the Box
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Home, home in the Reg


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