The “Free Inquiry on Campus: A Statement of Principles by a Collection of Middlebury College Professors” document, published in the “Aftermath at Middlebury” is well worth reading and pondering.
On March 2, 2017, roughly 100 of our 2500 students prevented a controversial visiting speaker, Dr. Charles Murray, from communicating with his audience on the campus of Middlebury College. Afterwards, a group of unidentified assailants mobbed the speaker, and one of our faculty members was seriously injured. In view of these unacceptable acts, we have produced this document stating core principles that seem to us unassailable in the context of higher education within a free society.
I am proud to be a member of the Heterodox Academy (see http://heterodoxacademy.org/). Heterodox Academy members are all professors who have endorsed the following statement: “I believe that university life requires that people with diverse viewpoints and perspectives encounter each other in an environment where they feel free to speak up and challenge each other. I am concerned that many academic fields and universities currently lack sufficient viewpoint diversity—particularly political diversity. I will support viewpoint diversity in my academic field, my university, my department, and my classroom.”
Tip of the hat to Free Enterprise at The Baugh Center for posting this video of Dr. Brooks’ April 21 talk at Baylor University entitled “Capitalism Without Attachment: Creating a prosperous society without losing our souls”:
In my opinion, the following 3 books are particularly worthwhile for students who are interested in learning more about finance and risk management:
- Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk, by Peter L. Bernstein.
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing, by Burton G. Malkiel.
- Stocks for the Long Run : The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns and Long-Term Investment Strategies, by Jeremy J. Siegel.
Philosophically, these books present what I would consider to be an “orthodox” perspective; i.e., they fit well with the so-called rational choice, efficient markets view of the world which is prevalent in most departments of finance and economics. For some “heterodox” alternatives, I like (but am nevertheless highly critical of) both of Nicholas Taleb’s books:
- Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (read this first).
- The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (the sequel to “Fooled by Randomness”).
Finally, I would be remiss to not also include two other favorites which are not books on finance or economics; rather they deal with the history and philosophy of applied mathematics. These books include:
- Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos.
- A Brief History of Infinity, by Brian Clegg.