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Naomi Standen wrote: "I agree about the unbraining capacity of television, and its immense power, but I think you do "the masses" a disservice. While we despair at the ignorance of 18-year-olds just entering university, older people of all classes are more aware of what has happened (not least because they were there for some of it) and have had longer to think about what it means and whether it was the right thing to do. Your view of what the results of this are likely to be depends on how you view those outside the ivory towers and the intelligentsia. But I'm not trying to say everything is fine and dandy. The process I suggested has only just begun (as my qualified statements intended to show), but the fact that it CAN begin (the NZ govt giving land back to the Maoris, for instance) is, for me (a hopeless optimist), an encouragement to think about ways that the process can be improved, spread and accelerated. Since I hope I have several decades of career ahead of me, I cannot afford to take on counsels of despair just yet!" Teodoru: We are face to face with an issue parents have debated for centuries: doesmaturity comes only with responsibility? In teaching physiology, anatomy and physical diagnosis, I had found students in the health field totally nonplussed about the suffering of people who are ill. They are not studying to understand human suffering, only human diseases. Yet, this seems paradoxical because, in contrast to past generations, today's youths were somewhat more exempt from war, crime, catastrophe, etc.-- all those things that supposedly hardened youth into non-sentimental "carry-on" types-- in past generations that had to survive all those calamities. But that raises the issue of *existentialism* in the creation of the humanistic subjectivity discussed by Prof. Martin in HISTORY AND THEORY. In contrast to emotions, that are imprinted in the brain, based on enteroceptive "sign stimuli," feelings are developed via associations through experience. In their ontogeny, feelings aquire a projective quality that depends on a commonality of recall. In that sense, personal history is as important as culture and as social history, which in turn, is as important as national history, if one is to vicariously "understand" history. Recently, a woman held up traffic on a bridge as she, in her despair, contemplated commiting suicide. The commuters stuck in their cars were shouting: "jump, jump, jump!"-- so she did. This crass uncaring is a tribute to the stability in most people's lives; they can appreciate and, thus, share the common feeling of being delayed by stalled traffic, but not the despair that drives a young woman to suicide. As I watched grad students in history seminars in several universities, these last few years, I was amazed at how unmoved they seemed to be by the drama of human beings living through historical events. Far too many were there, in the seminars, to "do what it takes" to obtain a PhD on their way to the secure low stress tenured faculty position that will free them from having to face the real world about which they soon will be writing "learned" tomes; in sum, I rarely saw the passion about history I see in people who gather to discuss, remember and learn why they had to live through the kind of history they lived through (i.e. as veterans studying military history). The same question came to my mind back in the 1960s when I watched UC Berkeley history grad students trying to fit history into Marxism, awkwardly like a square peg into a round hole. As one who grew up under "Marxism- Leninism," I was shocked at how little they related to theories instead of to experiences, even though, presumably, we were all there for the same reason-- to analyze the Cold War. It seems to me, in conclusion, that when history is *existentially foreign* to young people, it ends up serving as MEANS instead of ENDS; history becomes a tool for validating mythical theories rather than something sacred but confusing, to be, hopefully, understood. I hope my running thoughts make sense and my query is clear: is experience a must so that one will treat the past with respect, devoted to veracity in a humbling search for understanding? Daniel E. Teodoru