My Faults My Own

One's ponens is another's tollens.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and else­wise a recently-graduated student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: April 2)

A collection of things that I was happy I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


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Blog: Don't Worry About the Vase | On Automoderation -- Zvi concretizes much the the vague disease I was feeling around Automoderation, despite it being an eminently plausible approach to its design specification.


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Blog: JeffTK | Slack tool: predict -- Note that Jeff's implementation is of a market mechanism that's not budget-balanced, and rewards marginal improvements of the "last price", rather than marginal improvements of the "current best price". I suspect that these design decisions have the net effect of denoising the signal of predicter quality.

Blog: Schneier on Security | New Gmail Phishing Scam -- "The article is right; this is frighteningly good."

Blog: Marginal Revolution | The Baffling Politics

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Putting money where my mouth is


To be clear: I have a huge problem with the fact that John Paulson convinced my school to deface its name for his own gratification; I don't actually have a huge problem that he gave $400M to Harvard SEAS instead of leaving it in his other sundry investments. (And I don't have a problem with the fact that he earned the money on Wall Street.) This post is a continuation of my thoughts, in something of a stream of consciousness.


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Lots of other people do have a problem with the donation, though. Matt Levine, writing at the Bloomberg View with his tongue firmly in-cheek, sums them up without taking much of a side:

It's possible that there's a secret club of billionaires competing to give tons of money to the philanthropies that make people angriest. The Koch Brothers and George Soros could be

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Okay, you can stop it now.

note: Unapologetic Harvard privilege. Optimistic, idealistic belief that my opinion as a lowly undergrad matters in any way.

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Great.

Now I'm a student and employee of the (checks thecrimson.com) Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Typical Crimson pro-Harvard-Campaign article here. Q&A (mostly about fundraising) with formerly-interim-Dean of SEAS Harry Lewis here.

Great.

Back when the School of Public Health sold its name for $350M, Michael Mitzenmacher asked:

I can't help but wonder what the naming rights of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences could go for? In the course of our capital campaign, will I have the chance to find out? Maybe we could get a bidding war going? How much would SEAS have to get for me to feel good about having "Harvard's XXXX School of Engineering and Applied Sciences" on my letterhead for some appropriate name XXXX? (...)

$400M for

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