Who, What, and Wyatt
I frankly don’t have the energy or desire to try to draw conclusions from last week’s events in Boston. My own hunch is that there is little we could have done to prevent them from happening (though I defer to others for more researched conclusions). Instead I just want to leave an honest account on my own reactions to it all.
Terrorism has always felt very distant to me. Growing up in the Midwest, I knew no one remotely near Manhattan on 9/11. Terrorism was something that happened on my television screen. To have what appears to have been terrorism pierce that mental cushion and come to the town you live in is a strange thing. The collision of the normal and the bizarre is jarring.
There are two major justifications for racial preferences in college admissions: that they diversify classes and level the playing field. In both respects, these preferences are disappointing.
I’ve been giving President Drew G. Faust the benefit of the doubt through the many Harvard scandals over the past year, but her handling of the Resident Dean email search debacle is where I draw the line.
Faust’s response has been three-pronged: simultaneously deny responsibility for the searches, assure others of their proper execution, and refuse to address the searches’ ethical implications.
I was recently on a panel of Harvard students at a conference when a high school student asked, “Are you ashamed that Bill O’Reilly graduated from Harvard?”
As someone who arrived at Harvard as a Tea Party supporter and subsequently moderated, I recognized the questioner as the kind of arrogant liberal that is unfortunately common on campus and who contributes to Harvard’s rocky relationship with conservatives.
I’m probably the only one, but with all the talk about depression at Harvard my mind has been jumping to John Stuart Mill, who once argued, “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.”
I said it to my Social Studies tutorial sophomore year and I’ll say it again: I’d be a happy pig over a miserable man any day. Mill offers various reasons why he thinks few people would agree to become one of the “lower” animals, including pride, independence, power, and dignity. None of those things really get me inspired to be an unhappy human being. And I certainly wouldn’t care much about them if I were a pig (though future pig research may prove me wrong). Give me some slop and some mud, and you can go on contemplating the meaninglessness of life.