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Abstract

The title of this keynote address is a play upon the title of Milan Kundera’s anti-totalitarian novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Kundera found the life of each of us greatly shaped by chance, largely indeterminate, noting our resistance to rules and customs, yet constrained by comfort, fear, and habit. He spoke of lives as events occurring but once, each moment unique in vital ways and too weak a guide to events still to come. “Everything occurs but once,” he said.

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