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Web of Stories offers you the chance to listen to some of the greatest people of our time telling their life stories.
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Primo Levi and other survivors

Philip Roth


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Curiosity is the key to finding solutions

Desmond Morris - Writer

And that was another thing that interested me was that, when I studied artists, it was clear that you could have an artist who was extremely pleasant and friendly and down to earth – someone like Henry Moore. Henry... I knew Henry Moore and he was... he was a really sort of pleasant man. I loved his company and there was nothing strange about him at all. Down to earth; he could've been a Yorkshire farmer, you know. And then, there were people like Caravaggio who were murderous thugs and who produced masterpieces. And when you look at sort of Henry Moore and Caravaggio, you know, here you have two completely different human beings. And I started asking this question about what it is that goes with being intensely creative. I'm still asking that question today because there are still... for me... although I'm 86 now, I can't stop asking questions because so many unanswered questions, so many things I want to know about and it's that that keeps me going now in my old age and I'm still writing books and painting pictures because I'm driven by a mature form of childlike playfulness.

Adult play is the key, I think, to human success because, as a species, we have this incredible curiosity, a very high level of investigativeness. We want to investigate everything, we want to... we want to analyse things, we want to study, we want to understand things. And as long as we have this level of curiosity and playfulness, we'll be a successful species because every time we throw up a problem for ourselves, we'll find a solution to it. And there are going to be some solutions that I won't see in the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years, which will make the present day seem medieval. I'm very optimistic about the future. Everybody says, oh, the planet is dying and we're killing the planet and warfare continues. Yes, it does – the horrors are still with us. But we are an ingenious animal. We're the most ingenious animal that has ever existed on this planet and we're going to go on using that inventiveness and that ingenuity to find new solutions. And they're going to be new solutions of a kind that obviously we can't even dream about at the moment, otherwise we'd have them.

People say, what do you think will happen in the future? I say, well, if I knew that, they'd happen now. You can't guess. I mean, nobody... I mean, when I was a child, there was no television. Nobody could've guessed television when I was a child in the... in the 30s. Nobody could've guessed the computer and... the worldwide web. I mean, this is extraordinary new development. And there will be other major developments like this which will change our lives. And the next major one is going to be anti-gravity. People are already researching on that now.

Murray Gell-Mann - Scientist
Murray Gell-Mann - Scientist
Freeman Dyson - Scientist
Murray Gell-Mann - Scientist
George Daniels - Master watchmaker