My Faults My Own

…willing to sacrifice something we don't have

for something we won't have, so somebody will someday.

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: July 28)

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: Marginal Revolution | How well is Germany dealing with the migration crisis? — "Whatever respite Germany may have gained this week is offset, and then some, by the arrival of a new and frightening political dynamic. Mr. Seehofer succeeded by going nuclear; chances are, he won’t be the last. The politics of fear and menace may be here to stay, undermining the foundations of democracy. In sound democracies, policies are the results of compromise between parties representing a majority of the voters. Through the politics of artificial crisis, minorities take the system hostage. They create policies redeeming fictional problems for fictional

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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 co-presidents, and John Paulson shot to the top of the league table in 2012 when he gave a $100 million

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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 the name HJAPSEAS was, in my mind, the wrong number. J.A.P. wasn't even a Harvard A.B.!

But

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