In response to our article about the experimental network in Chile in the 1970s, we recently received an email from the son of the article’s subject, Stafford Beer. The letter writer has kindly given us permission to share the email:
Although I must accept that my opinion is possibly skewed, for me, this is without exception, the most accurate assessment of what happened in Chile in 1973 and Stafford Beer’s part in it, that I have ever read.
So thank you so much for correcting some of the appalling bias that my father’s work has attracted in North America.
It’s hard for me to express my gratitude to you all for putting the record straight. Nevertheless, please accept my heartfelt thanks.
A little factual correction, Stafford was not a particularly wealthy man although he did live in a big house. He had quite a lot of kids. People rather than money were what mattered to him.
For most of his life he was an inveterate cigar smoker and was quite proud of the fact that he used the money from his book sales to fund his smoking habit. The cigars had the last laugh; they killed him in the end.
By the way, Stafford never drank whiskey from a hip flask. It wasn’t his style. I’ve seen this reported in other articles so I’m not complaining, these things get into the literature and then you’re stuck with them.
Again my thanks, and forgive my nit-picking. (He wouldn’t have bothered correcting it; he didn’t care what people thought of him)
My sincere best wishes to you all,