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A Precommitment

Summary:
Academia has been good to me so far.  For as long as I’ve been a professor, I have tried to speak politely, thoughtfully, and candidly –  privately as well publicly.  From where I’m sitting, the system treats me quite well. Perhaps, however, I’ve simply been lucky.  Or perhaps the system is swiftly decaying right before my unperceiving eyes. In case either of these pessimistic scenarios turn out to be correct, I am now making a precommitment.  Namely: I will never apologize for politely saying or writing anything that seems reasonable to me… except under extreme duress. So if I ever do so apologize, please assume extreme duress. P.S. If I politely say or write something that seems reasonable to me, but later conclude is false, I will acknowledge and correct my

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Academia has been good to me so far.  For as long as I’ve been a professor, I have tried to speak politely, thoughtfully, and candidly –  privately as well publicly.  From where I’m sitting, the system treats me quite well.

Perhaps, however, I’ve simply been lucky.  Or perhaps the system is swiftly decaying right before my unperceiving eyes.

In case either of these pessimistic scenarios turn out to be correct, I am now making a precommitment.  Namely:

I will never apologize for politely saying or writing anything that seems reasonable to me… except under extreme duress.

So if I ever do so apologize, please assume extreme duress.

P.S. If I politely say or write something that seems reasonable to me, but later conclude is false, I will acknowledge and correct my mistake.  But as long as one has applied this due diligence, error is not blameworthy and warrants no apology.

Bryan Caplan
Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Bryan Caplan blogs on EconLog.

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