Dear Friends and Lovers of Compatibility,
According to Greek Hellenic tradition, a Symposium was a gathering for people to “debate, plot, boast or simply revel with others.”
 Symposia were also forums for welcoming young people into society.
By all indications from our time together in August, we are keeping the ancient traditions going.
In Plato’s classic piece
Symposium, penned about 2,400 years ago,
Socrates and his pals retire at the residence of
Agathon who was celebrating a victory in a drama competition. The assembled consider how to spend the evening. A discourse of great and weighty matters ensues, include how much libation should be enjoyed and the formation of the universe and the god Eros, representing Love.
irst Chaos came,
And then broad-bosomed Earth, the everlasting seat of all that is,
…numerous are the witnesses who acknowledge Love to be the eldest of the gods.”
Each of the attendees is then challenged to give a speech in praise of Love.
The conversation continues around the room, the debate revolving around the nature of Love, its meaning and many forms and manifestations, from the physical to the spiritual.
Taking his turn, Socrates relates how he came to be instructed in the art and meaning of Love by an old woman named Diotma, who explained that Love “is not itself, wise or beautiful, but the desire for those things...expressed through propagation and reproduction…exchanging and reproducing of ideas. The greatest knowledge being the knowledge of the ‘form of beauty’
which humans must try to achieve.”
A thing of beauty, to an engineer, is a well-formed system that operates as intended, whether it fly, float, zoom, hum, crouch in a closet or lay on a counter. EMC, by its very nature, is a necessary element that enables all the ‘forms of beauty’ that enhance our lives, keep us safe, make us productive and allow us to explore and enjoy the “everlasting seat of all that is.”
We were delighted to have you in Washington. Keep up the Love.
Mike Violette, General Chair
2017 EMC+SIPI Symposium