Thursday, January 27, 2011

first day blues

Typical pre-semester anxieties last night woke me at 4 AM, from a bizarre dream in which the Chancellor of the CSU had imposed a policy on remediation involving providing milk to students. (This is a highly expurgated account of the dream. I don't want to go into more detail. Please don't ask. Imagine the weirdest possible ramifications of this. Now make it weirder, and ultimately cruel. There you go.)

I met my first class this morning. I forgot my "JOKE" sign. Note to self: remember that tomorrow morning. Bioethics requires its use.

Now I'm Pandora-ing through my office hour, and starting The Federalist Papers. Check this out:

Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.

And yet, however just these sentiments will be allowed to be, we have already sufficient indications that it will happen in this as in all former cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectives.

That's Hamilton in 1787.

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