Two graduation speeches of note. First one I’d like to which I’d like to call your attention is this gem by Ben Bernanke; the quote about meritocracy has gone viral, but is worth repeating in full:
We have been taught that meritocratic institutions and societies are fair. Putting aside the reality that no system, including our own, is really entirely meritocratic, meritocracies may be fairer and more efficient than some alternatives. But fair in an absolute sense? Think about it. A meritocracy is a system in which the people who are the luckiest in their health and genetic endowment; luckiest in terms of family support, encouragement, and, probably, income; luckiest in their educational and career opportunities; and luckiest in so many other ways difficult to enumerate — these are the folks who reap the largest rewards. The only way for even a putative meritocracy to hope to pass ethical muster, to be considered fair, is if those who are the luckiest in all of those respects also have the greatest responsibility to work hard, to contribute to the betterment of the world, and to share their luck with others.
The other, by Jonathan Safran Foer, makes a point I’m well aware of and do not speak about enough. We are experts at using technology to keep others at a distance.
A few other things:
- Sviatoslav Richter plays Bach’s Well Tempered Clavichord, First Part, No.2 in C Minor BWV 847
- Svetlana Chmakova’s Sherlock Holmes fan girl comic is a lot of fun. You’ll have to look at the right side of the page to navigate it in order, I think.
- Been enjoying Mike Prada’s basketball analysis greatly. I’m still a big fan of Charley Rosen’s, though I disagree with his prediction of San Antonio winning the series. As awesome as Game 1 was, I think I saw that the Spurs offense really depends on how well they know a defense. Change up your defense and they’ll start showing hesitation that can be exploited. True for any team, but maybe more true of the Spurs given the brand of basketball they play. I also think Rosen is forgetting how good a coach Spoelstra is. He’s not overmatched in the least. His adjustments are simpler and he has created a devastating defense despite a lack of powerful bigs. In any case, here’s Prada dissecting a certain block very, very well.