60 Asian American groups file lawsuit against Harvard

I keep trying to leave, but they keep pulling me back in. I’m talking about the progress (not “progressive”-ness) that more than 60 brave and honorable Asian American organizations made when they filed a discrimination complaint against Harvard. In doing so, these brave individuals raised the ire of the Far Left, which has its own agenda. (thanks to GuitarDude and Sengge for sending this along.)

“Want an ethical career? Become a banker.”

The title comes from a talk given by Will McAskill, which was referenced here.

In his latest column The Way To Produce a Person, David Brooks raises a great question again, one that I’m sure many Asian American people–and probably many people, for that matter, ask themselves. Is it better to take a job that makes lots of money, and then use that money to do something great? Or is it better just to do something great? In other words, is it better to work for the Red Cross, standing on the front lines and handing out food, or is it better to buy that food and to donate it with money that you earn on Wall Street? In the article, Brooks talks about a young Wall Street guy named Jason Trigg who donates lots of money to fight malaria and discusses his situation and life choices.

Creative Monopolists

David Brooks

David Brooks writes about Peter Thiel: The Creative Monopoly. He writes:

One of his core points is that we tend to confuse capitalism with competition. We tend to think that whoever competes best comes out ahead. In the race to be more competitive, we sometimes confuse what is hard with what is valuable. The intensity of competition becomes a proxy for value.

In fact, Thiel argues, we often shouldn’t seek to be really good competitors. We should seek to be really good monopolists. Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, it’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it. The profit margins are much bigger, and the value to society is often bigger, too.

The Other-Directed Personality

David Brooks hits another one out of the ballpark in his article about Mitt Romney: The Crowd Pleaser.

In the article, Brooks talks about how Mitt Romney rarely talks about his roots, where he comes from, or his family history. Mitt never had an industry that he fell in love with, choosing instead to invest in diverse industries and to specialize in “management of management.” Mitt seems to be pure marketing and sales, and many people, including conservative pundits, think that maybe that’s all there is to him.

Highlighted Comment on David Brooks’s Article

Check out David Brooks’s column: It’s Not About You.  David Brooks is my favorite NY Times columnist.

Then check out my comment, which got highlighted!  “Highlighted” means that it’s one of the more interesting comments, and it therefore goes to the front page of the comments. Woo hoo! And I commented with a book that a reader recommended, on a topic that we’ve been discussing lots at bigWOWO: Education.

Anyway, my comment to David Brooks is below. Check out the original article, and sound off to my sound off if you so please!


Great Essays/Articles from 2010: Brooks’s Sidney Awards

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: David Brooks is my favorite opinion columnist.  If you have extra time in the next week, check out the essays and articles that he recommends in his 2010 Sidney Awards.  Here are the ones I’ve read:

1. The End of Men by Hanna Rosin.  Essay in the Atlantic that discusses how women are now the majority in the American workforce, are getting college degrees at a higher rate than men, and are poised to overtake men in other areas.  Rosin discusses whether women have talents that are more relevant in the modern workforce.  She brings out a lot of the points that I brought out in my last days on the 44s.  (Man, I was just ahead of my time!)

Activist to Writer or Writer to Activist?

David Brooks has an excellent tribute to Leo Tolstoy here.  Tolstoy started as a writer and became his own activist, unlike the opposite path that many people today take.  As Brooks astutely remarks, the gifted writer Tolstoy observed and was noted for being able to describe his observations.  The activist “tried to heal the world directly.”  In Tolstoy’s case, the writer was more successful.

David Brooks: Well Planned vs. Summoned

David Brooks nails it again.  The guy is a national treasure.

In his latest column, he writes about two different ways in which people plan their lives.  The first he calls the Well-Planned Life, and he references this article by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen (It’s a brilliant piece in itself, so please check it out.  Actually, I was thinking of blogging about this article by itself, but time constraints are preventing me.  I might do it in the future.  Maybe.  No promises.).  Christensen planned his own life by spending an hour a day thinking about “why God put [him] on this earth.”  Through dedicated effort, he found his purpose.  Brooks correlates this mindset with Christensen’s Christianity.  This to me was very interesting since Kobukson recently spoke about how Christianity affects culture.

Internet vs. Books

David Brooks, my favorite NY Times columnist, hits it again in his latest: The Medium is the MediumI strongly suggest reading this piece.  In this column, he talks about how the internet is good for disseminating information and keeping you informed, while books are a superior vehicle for developing an individual mind, much because of the fact that the internet shuns hierarchy, while books force a reader to defer to the wisdom of an author.

The Internet helps you become well informed — knowledgeable about current events, the latest controversies and important trends. The Internet also helps you become hip — to learn about what’s going on, as Epstein writes, “in those lively waters outside the boring mainstream.”

The Big Shaggy

Excellent article by David Brooks here.  It’s about how people tend to forego education in the humanities when the economy is down.  Brooks, however, makes a compelling case for why the humanities are still important and relevant in the world today. He writes about how the humanities teach you to communicate, how they teach you the language of emotion, how they help you to understand analogies, and how they put you in touch with the “Big Shaggy,” that human inner beast that causes people to do crazy things.  I’m not sure why Brooks named the beast after a character from Scooby Doo, but it works for me.  It reminds me a bit of the Hairy Man from Iron John.  If that’s where it comes from, I wonder if the imagery is or should be the same for women.