We married as polar opposites.
Marty loves logic and taught electrical engineering at MIT and Stanford. Dorothie is intuitive and puts more stock in feelings.
Not understanding those differences nearly destroyed our marriage. By learning to honor each other’s perspective, we were able to create a loving space in which we recaptured the true love we felt in our initial infatuation.
That also led us to fall in love with the world as a whole, and we found that the same principles that saved our marriage — compassionate holistic thinking — will save the Earth.
I am a world class fool and proud of it. My research on encryption was originally seen as a fool’s errand, but recently won me and a colleague the ACM’s million dollar Turing Award – often regarded as the Nobel Prize in computing. Following Dorothie down an uncharted path that even she could not fully describe until we reclaimed the true love that we felt when we first met also seemed like a fool’s errand, but proved even more rewarding – even a million dollars can’t buy true love.
Thirty-five years ago, during the height of the Cold War and with Dorothie acting as a catalyst, I shifted my research from encryption to international security. What was the point in developing fantastic, new encryption schemes if no one might be around to use them in fifty to a hundred years?
In the late 1980s I co-edited a book with Moscow’s Prof. Anatoly Gromyko aimed at discovering the equations of survival needed for the nuclear age. Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking received critical acclaim from individuals ranging from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to former CIA Director William Colby and former Republican National Chairman Mary Louise Smith.
As a professor at Stanford University, I am affiliated with its Center for International Security and Cooperation, where I work on bringing a risk informed approach to our nation’s nuclear strategy. To do that, I have intensively researched international conflicts that could escalate to nuclear threats and even use. Seven of those conflicts are included as case studies in the book. If you’re not yet tired of hearing about me, there’s lots more information on my Stanford web site.
After spending several decades following a relationship map that had me repeatedly driving off cliffs, I found the courage to tear it up and piece together a new map that allowed me to reach the place of love, acceptance and peace where I’d always wanted to dwell. To get there, I have spent more than half my life studying anger, fear and grief, as well as joy, love and compassion. Practicing compassion was particularly important in my journey and is the centerpiece of my part of this book.
I was trained as a CPA and worked at Touche Ross – now Deloitte. I left that career to become a full-time volunteer at the Beyond War Foundation, where I served as Vice President for Financial Support in the 1980s.
Marty and I have been together for fifty years and, as you’ll learn from this book, we had to navigate some very rocky patches and fall in love with our planet to recover true love at home.