Today’s New York Times (may it live long and prosper) has an editorial, Back From the Brink, that describes a collaboration by two former antagonists that has resulted in their agreement on a course of action to preserve the oceans’ fishing stocks.
What struck me was this line: “…rather than hunker down in opposing camps, the two men met on a rich field of data.”
“A rich field of data.” What a wonderful turn of phrase.
If only the antagonists over health care reform, the financial crisis, climate change, and other societal problems could meet “on a rich field of data.”
Of course, a rich field of theory might help as well.
As President Clinton said in his acceptance speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention:
“As a teenager, I heard John Kennedy’s summons to citizenship. And then, as a student at Georgetown, I heard that call clarified by a professor named Carroll Quigley, who said to us that America was the greatest Nation in history because our people had always believed in two things–that tomorrow can be better than today and that every one of us has a personal moral responsibility to make it so.”
I am one of a dwindling number of Americans who met Jack Kennedy and shook his hand – although it’s hard to believe it was over fifty years ago. I’m still working on ‘what I can do for my country.’ This blog is just about it.
And “a rich field of data” – and theory – just about describes its mission.