Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Graduation Advice

I finally have gotten around to reading P.J. O'Rourke's wonderful advice for graduates, only a solid 1 month after it was published. FWIW, here is what my advice for graduates would be:
  1. Don't change the world.
  2. Don't recycle unless it makes financial sense, like if someone pays you to do it.
  3. Consider smoking, but also consider that it is very difficult to quit.
I think the graduate who considers why these things can be argued for will have a good understanding of the world. The hidden messages are:
  1. The world is a pretty good place if you are able to read/listen to this, drastic changes are not necessary.
  2. If recycling actually uses fewer resources than it consumes, it will be an opportunity for profit that entrepreneurs will not pass up. Remember that when you are choking on the fumes of the recycling truck that goes around picking up small blue bins.
  3. There is more to living than maximizing life expectancy, but be careful with decisions that are hard to reverse.


rolub said...

I'm going to take a leap of faith and say that by saying "There is more to living", you are saying that you should enjoy yourself while you're alive.

Not smoking isn't only about maximizing life expectancy. It's about not getting cancer, which I'd imagine causes some pain while you're alive.

So I agree, there is more to living, but I'd prefer to live pain-free as much as I can determine myself.

Matt E. Ryan said...

Well, preferences are certainly subjective. I'm reminded of Russ Sobel's charge to "have all my organs fail at the same time."

I'd add: Never bet teams at exactly +200, but hammer teams between +201 and +209.