Dead students

It turns out that dead students don’t pay tuition.

Likewise, chronically ill students tend to drop out and stop paying tuition.

You can chalk it up cynically or benevolently, but either way institutions benefit when their students are healthy, and they have strong incentives to keep them that way.

We err when we seek intentionally bad actors, because competitive markets will systemically weed out institutions that can’t keep their students healthy.

A posture of possibility

Life is either an upward spiral of possibility or a downward spiral of cynicism.

Those adopting the later posture often refer to themselves as realists, while referring to their former counterparts as naïve. But this is backwards.

Reality begins in the hearts of men.

If you can’t decide, the answer is no

Not sure if she’s the one? If you like her? Then she’s not, and you don’t.

Not sure if you want to apply for this job or that school? Then you don’t.

Not sure if you should do X? Then don’t do X.

It’s the hardest thing, resisting the temptation to do something, when nature just wants to take its course. Calamities are wrought every day by humans doing too much.

Not partying

Everything, everything is another chance to practice.

Notice the desire to party; notice the desire to lose control; notice the desire to socialize. Just notice, and nothing else.

Something will emerge that’s better than a drunken stupor.

Retention is just loving students

Even when they screw up; perhaps especially when they screw up.

From Sam Harris:

“In your relationships with people–your spouse, your kids–your job, really, is just to love them. That’s your fundamental job. It’s not change them, improve them, coerce them into doing what you think they should do to live better lives.” (“Moral Illusions“, 58:00).

Alcohol and men

The Harvard Grant Study, published in 2017, is the largest ever conducted on human happiness. It took over 300 nineteen-year-old men and tracked them for 75 years to find out what factors produced happiness and unhappiness.

The number one factor predicting unhappiness, leading to failed marriages, career disaster, and early death? Alcohol use.

Other interesting tidbits from the study:

  • Aging liberals have more sex than aging conservatives.
  • Warmth of relationships matters more toward financial success than intelligence.
  • Warmth of relationships with mothers is correlated with financial success, work effectiveness, and less risk of dementia.