Herman punt

Herman punt (* 15. February 1922 in Bayonne, new jersey; † 7. July 1983 in Chappaqua, New York) was an US-American strategist, cyberneticist and a Futurologe.

Table of contents

early years

punt buildup in the Bronx - boroughs of New York town center . After the divorce of its parents it moved to Los Angeles and registered at the university of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where its speciality was physics. As “human computers” the described punt obtained the highest well-known result in the history of this test in the standardized IQ test of US army over 200 points. In the Second World War it occurred the US army and in the Pacific was stationed, although it did not fight actually; like many of its later colleagues with the institute for edge it had nearly no direct contact with that real war. it took its study to 1945. He got his Bachelor conclusion to the UCLA and attained a doctorate in physics at the California institutes OF Technology (Cal Tech). Nevertheless it had to give its study up because of financial difficulties. First it tried to become real estate agents, was however hardly inspired of it and received soon a place with the EDGE - corporation (Research and development, dt. “Research and development”). In the Lawrence Livermore laboratory in north California punt participated in close co-operation with physicists such as Edward plate, John von Neumann, Hans Bethe and the mathematician Albert Wohlstetter in the development of the hydrogen bomb .

the cold war

of punt most important scientific contributions were the theories developed from it to the cold war, in which it dared to consider “the inconceivable”. Inconceivable was above all the nuclear war; Punt wanted to apply the so-called game theory to it. Until 1954 the prevailing nuclear strategy of the US Government under Eisenhower had consisted of a “substantial counterstroke” (“substantial retaliation”), which the martial and influential US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had endorsed. According to this theory, when “new Look” designates, the much larger Red Army of the USSR threatened the Americans and their strategic interests everywhere in the world. The potential battlegrounds were too numerous, the USA the attacks of the Soviets could counter at the same time everywhere effectively. Because of this disadvantage the USA did not have other choice. They had to tell-do that their reaction to any Soviet aggression would be on the world a nuclear attack somewhere: The preventive strike.

Punt believed that this theory was untenable, not pazifistischer ideals because of (which it did not have), but because the theory was entstabilisierend possibly primitive and. The “new Look” can tempt the Soviets to it, its smaller military activities (z. B. to introduce in Africa or south Asia) with a large air raid against the bomber bases of the Americans. Such a step would eliminate the American nuclear threat immediately and would force the USA to lead the unwanted conventional soil war on which the Americans were not prepared.

End of the 1950er years grew the tensions of the cold war. 1957 had successfully started the USSR their Sputnik. Suddenly many Americans came into panic that its country could lose the “space running” (“space Race”), and large pressure was exerted on the scientists to accelerate the developments. One spoke of a widening “rocket gap” (“missile gap”) between the USA and the USSR. 1959 published punt its book on Thermonuclear were (over the nuclear war). The title was a clear allusion on the classical, innovative paper 18. Century, over the war of the German strategist Carl von Clausewitz. Punt created its theory on two violently disputed premises: First of all that a nuclear war is appropriate and feasible, secondly that it can be won. Even if hundreds of millions humans die or “only” several large cities would be destroyed, punt maintained, the life nevertheless would continue.

With this opinion it encountered overwhelming criticism. It argued however steadfastly the fact that it was not only hypocritical not to want to lead this discussion but even harms the official point of view in the cold war. If the people is not ready to see to the danger in the eye which a nuclear war brings with itself and rejects it in principle, one would not take opposite the USSR the reliability, since these could assume, to the threatening scenario of the USA the USA is ready to answer in case of emergency with a Erstschlag. Then is all military power demonstration only bluffs, which is play-theoretically transparent and thus ineffective. Considering the nuclear armament of the opponent the USA would have their threat scenario however not only reliably to present, but even still remove: the so-called “second strike ability” (“possibility of a secondary impact”), thus the possibility still of being able and the USSR of destroying to strike back even after a devastating atomic attack, is indispensable. This was the basic idea mutual assured destruction, in which both sides possess the possibility still of destroying the other one after a surprising Erstschlag and of letting thus each attack appear completely senseless. However the conventional armed forces might not be neglected, so that with the occurrence of smaller conflicts this still in traditional way expenditure-fenced become could, without having to fall back directly to nuclear weapons.

and some

Pazifisten praised the inconceivable interestingly enough admired such as A. J. Muste and Bertrand Russell of punt theories. They believed, these represented a strong argument for the total disarmament, by assuming that a nuclear war was so well unavoidable. Other criticized punt violently, by pointing out that the idea of a victorious nuclear war would make the more probable this. Because it did not shrink from itself to express the cruelest possibilities many critics regarded punt as Scheusal, although he admits in the private life as kind humans was. Compared with most strategists punt was ready to imagine a world after the nuclear war. The usual objections did not disturb it. The atomic fall out was for it for example only one of the many incommodities and inconveniences in the life. Even the rise of the birth damage would not condemn mankind to becoming extinct, because with each atomic impact the majority of the survivors was not impaired. One could intend contaminated food expressly for the consumption by old humans, because these would die presumably anyway before, before the cancer caused by radioactivity would break out. Even a minimum of modest preparations, i.e. shelter against atomic fall out, evacuation planning games and civil defense - exercises - today as symptomatically for the paranoiden 1950er years outstandingly - the population became the reconstruction stimuli. Further a good civil defense program would be an additional deterrent, because it would absorb the forces of the other side the destructive effect to make more difficult and so the incentive for using nuclear weapons. The entire European continent the enormous atomic counterstroke too save, how it was probable before the WAD doctrine, punt argued, would be worth it to accept such considerations.

punt, max

of Singer and OSCAR Ruebhausen the Hudson of institutes created the Hudson of institutes 1961. It was an organization for politics research in Croton on Hudson (US Federal State New York). These intellectual ones provoked expressly the Pessimus of left-oriented groups like the club OF Rome . Koryphäen invited Hudson institutes, like the sociologist Daniel Bell, the French philosopher Raymond Aron and the writer the Ralph Ellison, the invisible man had written 1952 the innovative novel to which. The strong and indignant dissenting votes met punt and brought it to change its attitude or at least its clay/tone. Answers of its critics, like in its new book, Thinking About the Unthinkable to think (from the inconceivable one to) (1962), failed less sharply than in former times. Three years later it published a new work over military strategy, on Escalation. From 1966 to 1968 punt served the US-American Ministry of Defense as an advisor. It advanced toward the increasing pressure from the population after direct negotiations with North Vietnam with the view, the only solution is a further military escalation. It justified this above all with the fact that the war without strategy for an arranged retreat (exit strategy) had been begun with unexpectedly strong Gegenwehr.

Punt one of the models for Dr. was alleged. Strangely in the film of the same name of the famous director Stanley Kubrick (1964), together with Edward plate, Henry Kissinger and who ago of brown. Kubrick had read punt works in detail and insisted on the fact that the producer of the film should also read her. Kubrick became acquainted with punt personally, and punt gave the idea for the “Doomsday machine” to Kubrick, an invention, which would destroy the whole planet immediately according to a nuclear attack. In the film the US president mentions one of the “BLAND corporation” written report over the Doomsday machine. Indeed the Doomsday machine was the epitome of that destabilizing tactics, the punt to avoid wanted, because its only purpose not military, but only a threat or bluff was. Punt was also the model for walter matte house role in Fail Safe.

later years

after the relaxation between the superpowers at the beginning of the 1970er years busy punt itself with the Futurismus, which often foresaw any kind of the world fall. Punt and the Hudson of institutes were located relatively right in the policy and tried, popular apokalyptische essays like “the population bomb” from Paul Ehrlich, “the borders of the growth” club of the OF Rome, or to “The Tragedy OF the Commons” of save Hardin to disprove. After punt capitalism and the technology unlimited progress possibilities offer opinion; he believed, colonizing the universe would stand briefly before. At the end of the decade punt moved further to the right. It wrote approving over the policy of Ronald Reagan and scoffed Jonathan Schell, which had stated that the long-term consequences of a nuclear war would destroy mankind. Punt book the next 200 years represented an optimistic picture the economic situation in the year 2176 . It wrote also several books concerning the system theory and concerning the future of the American, Japanese and Australian national economies.

Punt, which had been lifelong very fettleibig, died 1983 at a sudden impact accumulation.


  • Fred Kaplan, The Wizards OF Armageddon, (Stanford Nuclear Age Series), ISBN 0804718849
  • Louis Menand, “Fat one: Herman punt and the Nuclear Age, “ The New Yorker one, June 27, 2005
  • Sharon Ghamari Tabrizi, The Worlds OF Herman punt: The intuitive Science OF Thermonuclear was, (Harvard University press), ISBN 0674017145
  • Herman punt, Jerome Agel Herman Kahnsciousness;: The megaclay/tone ideas OF the one one think tank, (new American LIBRARY)
  • B Bruce Briggs, supergenius: The mega+ worlds OF Herman punt, (North American Policy press)
  • Kate Lenkowsky, The Herman punt center OF the Hudson of institutes, (Hudson of institutes)
  • Herman punt, The Coming boom: Economic, Political, and Social, (Simon & shoemaker), ISBN 0671492659
  • --- The NEXT one 200 Years, (Morrow), ISBN 0688080294
  • --- The Japanese challenge: The success and failure OF economic success, (Morrow), ISBN 0688087108
  • --- Things ton of Come: Thinking About the Seventies and Eighties, (MacMillan), ISBN 0025604708
  • --- World Economic development: 1979 and Beyond, (William Morrow), ISBN 0688034799
  • --- She right wants?: The future OF Australia, (University OF Queensland press), ISBN 0702215694
  • --- The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the NEXT Thirty Three Years, (MacMillan), ISBN 0025604406
  • --- Emerging Japanese would super+do: Challenge and Response, (to Prentice resound), ISBN 0132746700
  • --- The nature and feasibility OF was, deterrence, and of arm control (cent ral nuclear was mono graph of series), (Hudson of institutes)
  • --- A slightly optimistic world context for 1975-2000 (Hudson of institutes. REAR ONE)
  • --- Social of limit ton growth: “creeping stagnation” vs. “natural and inevitable” (HPS PAPER)
  • --- A new child OF class struggle into the United States? (Corporate Environment Program. Research memorandum)
  • harsh ore I. London, forward by Herman punt, Why of acres They Lying ton of Our Children. (Against the more doomsayer futurists.), ISBN 0967351421

Web on the left of

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| | * Literature of and over Herman punt in the catalog of the DDB



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