difference

70 They don’t fit

The story At University of Chicago, my physics professor (structure of matter course) tricked us with a priceless lesson. The homework solution was not an exact answer. We were to place sixteen readings into a four-by-four table so that they filled a consistent progression of energy levels. It was easy to sort the numbers into columns such that each number was a fixed step lower than the number above it—except for the last column. After I filled three columns, it was impossible to arrange the remaining four numbers to match the pattern. In discussing the homework solution, we students complained, …

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46 Difference is essential to meaning

After my contracts course in law school, Professor Levin taught an exam review session. I was uncomfortable because his position was quite different from mine on almost every issue. Later he posted grades and returned the test booklets to us. He had given me the highest grade in the class–not because I agreed with him, but because I had covered every issue. Using Professor Levin’s philosophy, I give you questions, not answers. If you stay with me, you are the one who changes the world. Separating “us” from “them” is the road to destruction. It is the macro version of …

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