Cover: The Small World

The Small World

Published 1959

by John D. Williams


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Part of a broader investigation concerned with the place of mathematics in the changing society, prepared in response to an invitation from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The Paper discusses the implications of certain striking features of our times, external and internal to our society, such as the rate of change of technology and population growth. The fact is emphasized that we have a lot of thinking to do and not much time to do it in and that it would be wise to make decisions and choices deliberately while there are real alternatives, rather than by default when there are none.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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