My Faults My Own

…beleaguered by the same

negation and despair,

show an affirming flame.

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

Reading Feed (last update: October 15)

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.


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Is the World Bank lending too much to China? — "As I understand it, the World Bank makes money on these loans and there is a cross-subsidy of other Bank activities, most of all aid. A World Bank that stopped such loans would be poorer and less skilled, and over time could devolve into one of the poorer, less effective poverty-fighting parts of the United Nations, without much of a political power base at that."


Blog: Marginal Revolution | Blade Runner 2049 (some Straussian spoilers) — "It hardly makes any concessions to the Hollywood vices of this millennium and indeed much of the Tysons Corner


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.


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


Okay, you can stop it now.

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



Now I'm a student and employee of the (checks 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.


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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