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LETTERS
"Sure, the flag is an icon. It's a fine one."


Nobel notes
Allen Sanderson's interesting article, "Wealth of Notions" (December/01), omitted at least one other economics Nobelist who had an affiliation with Chicago, albeit not becoming a member of the Chicago School of Economics.
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What remains
I can't help feeling uneasy reading your three articles on 9/11 ("The Remains of the Day," December/01). They were thoughtful and rational in their stylized way, from the ethicist Jean Bethke Elshtain's use of Aristotelian methodology to analyze a just war vs. a holy war (funny how her categories just reek of the Aristotelian bias of Chicago) to the iconologist W. J. T. Mitchell's pop references to video games and his focus on "image" to philosopher Jonathan Lear's attempt to understand 9/11 through psychoanalysis.

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Fermi remembered
The University's celebration of the life and work of Enrico Fermi ("Beyond the Bomb," December/01) reminded me of his habit, often cited gratefully by his students, of seeing physical problems in daily experience. I remember two examples.
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Teens and intact families
Harris School assistant professors Thomas DeLeire and Ariel Kalil ("Citations," December/01) confirmed numerous other longitudinal studies by finding that children of divorced or never-married parents fare far worse on many social indicators compared with children from intact families.

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The proof isn't in the provenance
In your December/01 issue, one of your correspondents who addressed the subject of college rankings referred to them as absurdities. In my 40-plus years as a college teacher of history, I have also found them to be irrelevant. Citing a few among many examples, I can verify this contention.

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Is Stanford really the standard?
I think the University should not concern itself about its relative status vis-à- vis Stanford [as suggested by Gautam Parikh in "Letters," December/01] and the Ivies, or whether Chicago is the first or other choice of its students.
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Some like it, some like it not
John David Sturman ("Letters," December/01) writes that the new Max Palevsky Residential Commons is "unsightly, disagreeable, distasteful, repellent, repugnant, repulsive, and ill-conceived." While I don't quite agree with the University of Chicago Chronicle's claim that the complex is "a blast of Mexican sunshine on any gray Chicago day," I do take issue with Sturman's opinion.
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Buying and spending we lay waste
Jennifer Thurber's letter on advertising-fueled consumption (December/01) raised issues which have been of great concern to me for a long time. While I recognize the long-term risks to the environment of overconsumption, I am more concerned about what our society has become, with much of human activity centered around work and making money for the specific purpose of funding that consumption.
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Collectors we missed
Your feature "Collective Efforts" (October/01) struck a responsive chord. My husband was out of town when it arrived, and I read sections aloud over the telephone so he did not have to wait to hear about the joys of collecting bobbers and ceramic cow creamers.

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Dean Boyer gets high marks

The College and the University are blessed with good fortune in the appointment of John Boyer to a third term as dean of the College (College Report).

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  FEBRUARY 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 3


  FEATURES
  > >
Liberal talk, realist thinking
  > >
The winning punch line
  > >
Physics for breakfast
  > > The young and studious


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