Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest

This month, Ronan Farrow published an excellent piece on The New Yorker’s site, describing how Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) accepted financial contributions from Jeffrey Epstein after it was clear they shouldn’t have been associating with him. Some people’s immediate reaction may be to ask, “What’s the problem?  They need the money, and this doesn’t mean they were abetting his crimes.” There is a problem, though, especially when it isn’t just sincere generosity.  Some charities receive small donations from average people with no implied quid pro quo agreement, and those charities might innocently stay ignorant of donors’ backgrounds with no problems.  However, when the … Continue reading Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest

Subtle Children’s Fiction

I developed an aversion to reading when I was a child.  The reasons were complicated, and I’ve spent most of my life overcoming it. For years, it was necessary to chew gum while reading because otherwise I’d vent the stress by chewing on the inside of my mouth. To this day, remembering what I’ve read is hit or miss, but just being able to appreciate books is something to be proud of.  It wasn’t easy to get this far. Sadly, I didn’t read Arnold Lobel’s Frog And Toad stories when they were new.  The first was published when I was about ten, … Continue reading Subtle Children’s Fiction