Some Big Think from Harvard

As an emeritus Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, I like to read the Crimson and this piece introduced me to some “big ideas” generated at Harvard. Permit me to quote 3;

1. “Most questions about life and death have no answers,” Lepore said. “No one has ever answered these questions and nobody ever will, but everyone tries. Trying is the human condition and history is the chronicle of asking.”

2. But human and evolutionary biology professor Daniel E. Lieberman ’86 said in his talk that people do have a definite path—and it points toward junk food.  Lieberman said that industrialized humans are evolutionarily inclined to eat up “all the Twinkies and sweets that come our way.”  “For most of evolutionary history, there was a struggle of human survival. We didn’t evolve to like exercising or celery,” Lieberman said. “Recently, we are able to indulge these desires to an extent that natural selection never let us in the past.”

3. Literature carries, as Shakespeare understood, a unique record of experience,” Greenblatt said. “To grapple with literature is to speak with the dead.”



Author: Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics at UCLA.

6 thoughts on “Some Big Think from Harvard”

  1. I see what you did there.
    Choose a smart statement (1),
    a banal statement (2),
    and a stupid statement (3).

    Nice work.

    1. That’s funny. I thought he just chose three exceedingly trite statements, illustrating the opposite of “deep.”

  2. To grapple with literature is to ask those who ate to many Twinkies questions they have never answered.

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