Robert Oppenheimer on making sense of the world (1958)

“I think that the unity that we can seek lies really in two things. One is that the knowledge which comes to us at such a terrifyingly, inhumanly rapid rate has some order to it. We are allowed to forget a great deal, as well as to learn. This order is never adequate. The mass of ununderstood things, which cannot be summarized, or wholly ordered, always grows greater; but a great deal does get understood.

“The second is simply this: we can have each other to dinner. We ourselves, an with each other by our converse, can create not an architecture of global scope, but an immense, intricate network of intimacy, illumination, and understanding. Everything cannot be connected with everything in the world we live in.
Everything can be connected with anything.”
– Robert Oppenheimer
“The Growth of Science and the Structure of Culture”, Daedalus, winter 1958 (according to the same issue of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Feb 1959)

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