Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here


It destroys your ability to be fair. It destroys your ability to be honest. It puts you in a very particular sort of position: the position of having to agree, whether or not you happen to agree.

This is a lesson that politicians, most famously, have failed to learn, but it appears that I may have failed to learn it also.

Be careful, children; it is easy to sell your soul without meaning to do so. This is the nature of the free market—of markets of any kind. In order to avoid doing it, you must always actively work against the possibility; it is not enough to passively wait for the opportunity to turn down offers to buy it. They won’t arrive by post, after all; they will enter your house like Nosferatu, and once you open the door, they have been invited.

The rewards are immediate, if unexpected, and they are also seductive; the bill, which arrives later, can no longer be negotiated.

You are owned.

Academics can either be a futile campaign against innumerable windmills or simple whorism. The former is noble, if a bit stupid; the latter is base. I pursue the former precisely because I am an idiot, and a generally agreeable one at that. I wish to avoid the latter precisely because I do not wish to be a whore.