Freedom and Involuntariness

Authored by: Nikolai Demidov , Andrei Malaev-Babel , Margarita Laskina , Andrei Malaev-Babel , Alexander Rojavin

Nikolai Demidov

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138776494
eBook ISBN: 9781315621685
Adobe ISBN:


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About 30 years ago, at the first meeting with the new crop of students, we got acquainted, congratulated the young people on being admitted, told them all kinds of nice words about their giftedness (after all, we accepted 10 out of a 1,000!). After that, without further ado, we declared quite categorically: “Nevertheless . . . dear young men and young ladies, do bear in mind that you are essentially ignorant. You are just raw material, and we, great masters of our craft, will strive to transform you into brilliant talents.” We were not as blunt, of course, but . . . this was the meaning of our speeches.

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