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November 24, 2010


Sam Barr

Well, I don't think all arbitrary procedures are equally objectionable, and I didn't say that. You offer good reasons to prefer certain arbitrary procedures over others. Just seemed to me a funny proposal for mitigating the effects of arbitrariness: a lottery! And the scenes portrayed in, say, "Waiting for Superman" do make me somewhat suspicious of the idea that people aren't harmed by lotteries that don't make comments on their characters. In any case, equalizing resources between elite and non-elite institutions, as you say, and while we're doing that, getting those "elites" to do something worthwhile with their lives, both seem like good ideas.

Re: my mix-up, I think on a certain level I just didn't expect to read a sincere luck-egalitarian argument in the Crimson. Seemed more likely to me you had just read some Rawls, as most people do here. And I read what I wanted to read, because Rawls provided a way to bring up the issue of what graduates do with their lives.

Rottin' in Denmark

Maybe I'm unconsciously defending the status quo here, but isn't it in a society's best interest to create 'best of the best' institutions such as the Ivy League? Creating a ladder of achievement pools the genuises and gives them resources to achieve things they couldn't if they were spread evenly throughout the population.

I know this isn't perfectly the case now, but 'greatest minds' institutions have a role to play in scientific and literary advancement that would be diminished if they could not pool and nurture talent.

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