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“Anatol Rapoport, Abridged”, Systems Sciences Meetup, February 18, 2010

In the Toronto area, we have had a legacy of many systems scientists as residents.  Although many Meetup attendees were familiar with Anatol Rapoport in association with the prisoner’s dilemma, they did not know that had had been a professor at the University of Toronto since 1970, and resided in the city until his passing in 2007.

One systems scientist who knew him well is Helmut (Ken) Burkhardt, professor emeritus of physics at Ryerson University.  We were delighted when Ken agreed to speak on “Anatol Rapoport, Abridged“.  As a bonus, Ken coordinated the meeting so that Anatol’s wife Gwen and son Tony could join in the discussion.

For those who were unable to attend the February 18 meetup, Ken agreed to allow me to post the notes from his talk on this blog.

<< begin paste >>


Anatol Rapoport as I Remember Him

Helmut (Ken) Burkhardt

Anatol’s biography as given in the Wikipedia is pretty good, therefore, I will report on what cannot be read in the Wikipedia, my personal impressions of Anatol as

  • Concert Pianist,
  • Systems Science pioneer,
  • Peace Researcher, and
  • Ethicist.

Anatol the Pianist

I heard Anatol play the piano very forcefully in a public concert at the Hart House of the University of Toronto.  It reminded me of a story told about Beethoven, who played so forcefully that pianos would break.  I was afraid for the piano at the Hart House would not survive Anatol’s concert.  It did.

At one of the Canadian Section of ISSS conferences, Anatol declined to play piano for the group because the instrument we had on site did not meet his standards of quality.

In the Toronto area, we have had a legacy of many systems scientists as residents.  Although many Meetup attendees were familiar with Anatol Rapoport in association with the prisoner’s dilemma, they did not know that had had been a professor at the University of Toronto since 1970, and resided in the city until his passing in 2007.

One systems scientist who knew him well is Helmut (Ken) Burkhardt, professor emeritus of physics at Ryerson University.  We were delighted when Ken agreed to speak on “Anatol Rapoport, Abridged“.  As a bonus, Ken coordinated the meeting so that Anatol’s wife Gwen and son Tony could join in the discussion.

For those who were unable to attend the February 18 meetup, Ken agreed to allow me to post the notes from his talk on this blog.

<< begin paste >>


Anatol Rapoport as I Remember Him

Helmut (Ken) Burkhardt

Anatol’s biography as given in the Wikipedia is pretty good, therefore, I will report on what cannot be read in the Wikipedia, my personal impressions of Anatol as

  • Concert Pianist,
  • Systems Science pioneer,
  • Peace Researcher, and
  • Ethicist.

Anatol the Pianist

I heard Anatol play the piano very forcefully in a public concert at the Hart House of the University of Toronto.  It reminded me of a story told about Beethoven, who played so forcefully that pianos would break.  I was afraid for the piano at the Hart House would not survive Anatol’s concert.  It did.

At one of the Canadian Section of ISSS conferences, Anatol declined to play piano for the group because the instrument we had on site did not meet his standards of quality.

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