Worthwhile Tabs

Paul Graham points out why the things you think about in the shower are so important. This one is for my sweetheart.
David Weinberger appreciates Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of Good, a book that’s also important to my teacher Stan Hauerwas (so that many of us in the doctoral program read it).
• I bookmarked this early in the week, when the BBC was devoting hourly outrage to the idea that a head teacher who turned an urban school from the pits to the pinnacle of education would be paid more than the Prime Minister. David Mitchell hits the nail on the head: conventional wisdom holds that teachers aren’t worth paying, whereas managers, executives, lawyers, and so on truly deserve higher salaries.
  If one steps away from the status quo and brainstorms what one would want for a healthy, productive society, it’s hard to imagine that one would say, “Let the teachers who prepare children for their futures be paid a pittance; let the people who direct the flow of widgets, or who decide to produce widgets rather than wodgets, or who devise the slogan that makes wadgets even more popular, roll in wealth.”
• I had a chance to see Derek Jarman’s movie Wittgenstein the other night. Although I approached the arty treatment of the philosopher (this is not a biopic) with trepidation, the presentation (and especially Karl Johnson’s portrayal of Wittgenstein himself) rang true. The green alien, not entirely; but overall, Jarman (working from a script by Terry Eagleton) did excellent work squeezing important aspects of Wittgenstein’s identity and thought into an hour and nine minutes.
• Getting back to teaching and management, it seems the future of the Warburg Institute is threatened by a series of administrative mandates and policies emanating from its (theoretical) protector institution, London University. “University of London policies decree that all libraries come under common management,” and “whereas historically we paid between 20 percent and 30 percent of our grant for our premises, we now pay more than 60 percent.” The problem with those golden-egg-laying geese, after all, is that they aren’t exactly like the other geese, which generates inefficiencies. Better to make all geese the same, and manage without the eggs.

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