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: June 21)

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 | Which technological advances have improved the working of autocracy? — The big innovation in authoritarian governance has been this: subsequent autocratic leaders, most of all in China, have found ways of both liberalizing and staying in power.

Blog: Schneier on Security | Free Societies are at a Disadvantage in National Cybersecurity — "I do worry that these disadvantages will someday become intolerable. Dan Geer often said that "the price of freedom is the probability of crime." We are willing to pay this price because it isn't that high. As technology makes individual and small-group actors more powerful, this price will

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Mass Ave, Mt Auburn, and a Tale of Two Schools

Still, this report shows that Harvard could learn a lot from MIT about how to run a university.

Harry Lewis, "The Report Harvard Should Have Asked For", 2013


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Around the time I came to Harvard, both Mass Ave schools were dealing with the fallout of embarrassing, messy institutional mistakes. Both started with relatively small incidents, compounded by administrative decisions that were incredibly contentious during and after the fact.

Harvard's began with the Gov 1310 cheating scandal -- and it escalated when scandal erupted over the administration's search of faculty emails to find which sub-dean had spoken to the press, raising both privacy concerns and unease about the relationship between the faculty and the administration.

MIT's began with the arrest of Aaron Swartz for downloading academic articles from JSTOR -- and escalated over the Institute's complicity with the US Attorney's Office, which many members of the community felt betrayed the school's values.

That fall and spring, I was a freshman overburdened with courses that I could just barely keep

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At What Price ‘Progress’?

Some people are ecstatic at the news. Some people are furious. It'll hit the national news cycle in about twelve hours.

Basically, it's another Friday at Harvard.

Every lunchtime conversation is about the same topic, in hushed tones. Friends measure their words, not quite sure whether what they're about to say will cause offense to their closest friends. One can't sit in the dining hall without overhearing tense, but hushed, conversations about it. "How about that President Faust?" is acceptable as a casual greeting between friends.

It's not just another Friday at all.


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Today President Faust announced by email that she's accepting Dean Khurana's recommendations that:

  1. For students matriculating in the fall of 2017 and thereafter: any such students who become members of unrecognized single-gender social organization will not be eligible to hold leadership positions in recognized student organizations or athletic teams. Currently enrolled students and those who are matriculating in the fall of 2016 will be exempt from these new policies.

  2. ...any such students who become members of

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