20
Feb
12

Quote of the day, in-praise-of-avarice edition

Karl Smith:

It is this blog’s overarching conceit that none do more harm than those who seek to do a principled good. The selfish will always accept a Coasian bargain. True believers will stop at nothing.

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3 Responses to “Quote of the day, in-praise-of-avarice edition”


  1. February 20, 2012 at 19:59

    If my principle is the end to coercion, then I have to accept bargains, if I am indeed a true believer. A simple request should be enough.

    Unless they’re asking to be allowed to continue coercing, but if so there must be a coercee, who is by definition being harmed already.

  2. February 21, 2012 at 08:34

    When in doubt, take something old and slap a fresh layer of modern on it.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    It’s like Star Trek! Look out! The Red Matter is aimed at Mark Sisson!

  3. 3 TMI
    February 21, 2012 at 22:09

    “I got a little fired up working on this issue’s cover story about OSU’s efforts to improve student success, helping more freshmen make it all the way through to their diplomas.”

    “Susie Brubaker-Cole, who as associate provost for academic success and engagement is leading the quest to help more OSU students succeed and reach their dreams, left me encouraged that the university is attacking the problem with more resolve than ever.

    “But I remain troubled by one of the sentiments I encountered along the way. I heard it in different forms from several people, including alumni whose lives were made better by an Oregon State education. Summed up, it goes like this: ‘Isn’t that part of what college is supposed to do, weed out the ones who don’t belong? I made it through; why can’t they?’

    “Well, one answer is: Although it’s actually harder than ever to get into Oregon State, more students are arriving ill-prepared for college work at a time when the university’s teaching resources are stretched to the breaking point. That’s not OSU’s fault, but it’s OSU’s problem once the students are here.”

    “I was very much an academic weed when I enrolled at Oregon State as a pre-med student, if one accepts the textbook definition of “weed” as something that sprouts where it shouldn’t.

    “I had no business being a doctor, which was painfully obvious as soon as I encountered college-level work in the sciences, not to mention calculus, which I still believe is not actually math, but a collection of unfathomable and evil spells signified by strange symbols.”

    “Instead they kept repotting me and moving me from one academic greenhouse to another, until they found a major where I bloomed, and I left Corvallis with great passion and a fine education for a vocation that turned out to be my life’s work.

    “So let’s can the talk about weeding out people.”

    The weird thing is, the particular issue of the “Oregon Stater” that this quote was obtained, is now behind a firewall. How weird is that?
    .


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