- When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir? [attributed to John Maynard Keynes]
- A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications. [Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Atria Books, 2012), p. 139.]
- Bayesian reasoning promises to bring our views gradually into line with reality and so has become an invaluable tool for scientists of all sorts and, indeed, for anyone who wants, putting it grandiloquently, to sync up with the universe. If you are not thinking like a Bayesian, perhaps you should be. [Bayes’ theorem: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines and Emerged Triumphant From Two Centuries of Controversy (Yale University Press, 2011).]
- The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar . . . Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen. [Aldous Huxley]
Being open-minded requires an openness to many explanations.
- Ken Follett, Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy (Dutton, 2010): "This is the book's main theme: the superiority of broad-mindedness and liberal thinking over unthinking adherence to the old ways . . ."
- David Quamenn, The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life (Simon & Schuster, 2018): “Genetics is revealing that the branches on Darwin’s tree of life are not so separate from each other as was once thought . . .”
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Margaret Wilkinson, Changing Minds In Therapy: Emotion, Attachment, Trauma & Neurobiology (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010).
- Howard Gardner, Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People's Minds (Harvard Business Review Press, 2004).
- Jeremy W. Hayward, Shifting Worlds, Changing Minds: Where the Sciences and Buddhism Meet (Shambhala, 1987).
- Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines and Emerged Triumphant From Two Centuries of Controversy (Yale University Press, 2011): “Bayesian reasoning promises to bring our views gradually into line with reality and so has become an invaluable tool for scientists of all sorts and, indeed, for anyone who wants, putting it grandiloquently, to sync up with the universe. If you are not thinking like a Bayesian, perhaps you should be.” [Bayes’ theorem]
- Video on open-mindedness
Documentary and Educational Films
- Salvador Dali, Invisible Bust of Voltaire (1941)
- Wassily Kandinsky, Farbstudie Quadrante (1913)
- Rembrandt van Rijn, Philosopher in Meditation (1632)
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
- The Köln concert
- Standards, trio with Gary Peacock and Jack Dejohnette
- Standards II, trio with Gary Peacock and Jack Dejohnette
- Organ solo in Stockholm, 1972
- Live in Paris, 1972
- Live in Molde, 1972
- Quartet in Hannover, 1974
- “Belonging Quartet” in Oslo, 1974
- Live in Freiberg, Germany, 1975
- Vermont solo, 1977
- Solo in Tokyo, December 12, 1978
- Live in Lille, France, 1981
- Solo concert, Tokyo, 1984
- Live at North Sea Jazz Festival, 1985
- Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, live in Troy, New York, 1987
- Solo in Madrid, 1988
- various "classical" tracks
- The Art of Improvisation (documentary)
An opera and an album of eclectic music:
- Szymanowski, King Roger, M55, Op. 24 (1924): a king comes to see religion in a new way
- TriBeCaStan’s “New Deli” album incorporates musical influences from “Western China, Cuba, Morocco, Uzbekistan and just about any and every where else.” The collaboration heard on this album could only have come about in an urban and cosmopolitan environment where people are keenly aware of other cultures and open to learning from them.
- Raga Shuddh Kalyan, an early evening Hindustani raag (performances by Ramnath, Kumar and Amonkar)
- Nordheim, Tenebrae, concerto for cello & orchestra (1980)
- Roger Kellaway, “The Many Open Minds of Roger Kellaway”
Among twenty snowy mountains, / The only moving thing / Was the eye of the blackbird.
I was of three minds, / Like a tree / In which there are three blackbirds.
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds. / It was a small part of the pantomime.
A man and a woman / Are one. / A man and a woman and a blackbird / Are one.
I do not know which to prefer, / The beauty of inflections / Or the beauty of innuendoes, / The blackbird whistling / Or just after.
Icicles filled the long window / With barbaric glass. / The shadow of the blackbird / Crossed it, to and fro. / The mood / Traced in the shadow / An indecipherable cause.
O thin men of Haddam, / Why do you imagine golden birds? / Do you not see how the blackbird / Walks around the feet / Of the women about you?
I know noble accents / And lucid, inescapable rhythms; / But I know, too, / That the blackbird is involved / In what I know.
When the blackbird flew out of sight, / It marked the edge / Of one of many circles.
At the sight of blackbirds / Flying in a green light, / Even the bawds of euphony / Would cry out sharply.
He rode over Connecticut / In a glass coach. / Once, a fear pierced him, / In that he mistook / The shadow of his equipage / For blackbirds.
The river is moving. / The blackbird must be flying.
It was evening all afternoon. / It was snowing / And it was going to snow. / The blackbird sat / In the cedar-limbs.
[Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”]
- Megha Majumdar, A Burning: A Novel (Knopf, 2020): each of three characters knows something the others do not, and sees events in a different way from theirs.