Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chapter Three, Part Four

“I’m blind!” Dr. Speransky screamed. “Call a doctor, fast!” ”The people attending the camp are a very strange mixture. Many simply go because they are expected to, and because, like me, they are afraid to lose their jobs.” Returning to the experiment, Dr. Frolov did not look to see, but he knew the light was still flaring in the sky. “Now you are really being unfair. You can’t honestly believe that Germany could still be saved with minor reforms.” He grabbed Dr. Speransky’s arms. During the next few days the weather proved changeable and we went on a number of excursions, some long, others short. “Get away from me! Don’t touch me.” Jerking free, Dr. Speransky fumbled his way into the special laboratory. The immediate prewar years, or rather what part of them I spent in Germany, struck me as a period of unspeakable loneliness. The Nazi regime had become so firmly entrenched that there was no longer the slightest hope of a change from within. Dr. Frolov did not wait to see more. Nor did he try to use his car. “Now you are really being unfair. You can’t honestly believe that Germany could still be saved with minor reforms.” Ever since 1918 things have been going from bad to worse. Dr. Frolov knew this, knew that inside the building all the research rooms (four to each floor) were isolated from one another by a cross-shaped corridor; the top and ground floors, where these rooms were situated, were separated by an intermediate floor. “Even if you were right about that, I would not like to call a forced retreat by others a genuine achievement of your movement or of Hitler.” Each experiment began with the special stimulus of a buzzer or a metronome—yet another important factor in determining the rate of experimental extinction is the length of pause between successive repetitions of the special stimulus without reinforcement. “Nor is it our business to prescribe to God how He should run the world.”

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