The Graduate: How I learned about the 60s


“The Gradate” was a good movie to fill me in on “The Sixties”, an era Vivian and I missed. I was glad to hear you describe the chronology between you and the 60s. If I had been at the MIT Campus in Cambridge, I would probably have been fully aware of the events and issues.

Instead Vivian and I were doing a great job of raising four children. We went to England which gave us all a very different view of the larger world.

Most of the 60s, I was at MIT Lincoln Lab growing crystals for me and others to study. It was an Ivory Tower of real research which suited me fine. When I was going to sleep last night, I thought about what I was doing then. I looked on Wikipedia and found:

Tri-arc furnace for Czochralski growth with a cold crucible by TB Reed – 1968 – Cited by 48 – Related articles
Journal of Crystal Growth 2 (1968) 243-247 North-Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam TRI-ARC FURNACE FOR CZOCHRALSKI GROWTH WITH A COLD …

I’m not into politics. What I learned and applied there still stands. But we all live in a political world, and can’t ignore politics, even if we’d like to.


I looked up “The Graduate” in Wiki and was disappointed in the short shrift they gave the background.

Next I looked up “The Sixties”. Wow!

The 1960s was a decade that began on 1 January 1960 and ended on 31 December 1969.[1] The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe. This “cultural decade” is more loosely defined than the actual decade, beginning around 1963 and ending around 1974.[2][3]
In the United States of America, “the Sixties”, as they are known in popular culture, is a term used by historians, journalists, and other objective academics; in some cases nostalgically to describe the counterculture and social revolution near the end of the decade; and pejoratively to describe the era as one of irresponsible excess and flamboyance. The decade was also labeled the Swinging Sixties because of the fall or relaxation of some social taboos especially relating to racism and sexism that occurred during this time. The 1960s have become synonymous with the new, radical, and subversive events and trends of the period, which continued to develop in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and beyond. In Africa the 1960s was a period of radical political change as 32 countries gained independence from their European colonial rulers. Some commentators[4] have seen in this era a classicalJungian nightmare cycle, where a rigid culture, unable to contain the demands for greater individual freedom, broke free of the social constraints of the previous age through extreme deviation from the norm. Christopher Bookercharts the rise, success, fall/nightmare and explosion in the London scene of the 1960s. However, this alone does not explain the mass nature of the phenomenon.


Wow! Glad we saw The Gradate and opened these two very different pages on our disparate histories.

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