First letter to Jeff Jacoby

Dear Jeff,

Both family and friends have suggested to me that I would enjoy writing a blog. I thought hard about what to include in a blog, and decided to include several topics including politics, undergraduate teaching, research within my field of Operations Research, as well as other eclectic comments that come to mind.   One of the first topics that I decided to write about was a blog of responses to your op-ed pieces in the Boston Globe.

I often read editorials, generally ones that share my pragmatic, slightly left of center viewpoint, as well as some that are more liberal.  I rarely read conservative editorialists.  But you are a notable exception.  I regularly read your op-ed pieces.

I like your writing style and your thoughtful approach.  At the same time, I am often frustrated with your leaps of logic, and often disagree with your conclusions.  Ultimately, I enjoy your editorials because they are intellectually engaging, and they often lead me to think through issues deeper than I might otherwise do.

This blog is an opportunity for me to share the thoughts I have after reading your op-ed pieces.   I intend to write responses phrased as letters to you.   This is (or will be) my first post. Subsequently, I’ll start each of these posts with a brief descriptor of your editorial as well as a link, followed by a letter to you explaining why I disagree with what you wrote , or possibly why I agree.  I don’t expect to respond to all of your editorials, but hope to respond to at least one per week on average.

You are welcome to respond to these posts or not, as you see fit.  For me, this blog is an avocation.  For you, your op-ed writings are part of your vocation.  I understand that our incentives are quite different.  But I do want you to know that you will always be a welcome guest.

Best regards, Jim Orlin

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