Monday, June 18, 2012

Aldo Leopold

Once in awhile you come across a thinker whose writing echoes the most charitable interpretation of your own thoughts, and whose personal inclinations mirror your own so closely (or so you project), that you end up excitedly underlining every other line of a paper about him and prattling on like an infatuated schoolgirl to anyone who will listen.

I love Aldo Leopold.

I knew I loved A Sand County Almanac, but never read about him personally. It turns out that in addition to being a naturalist and a posthumous hero of the environmental movement, he was (sort of) trained as an economist and was in the Agricultural Economics department at the University of Wisconsin! That sure explains his keen understanding of human nature/institutions and his comments relating to economics.

(Although, he uses that term in a narrow-enough sense to be denigrating; I again would prefer that the 'single-minded money-grubbing' connotation be reserved for 'business(/men)' not to 'economi(cs/sts)'.)

To boot, he is amazing with words. But I wouldn't be able to choose among a thousand quotes to put here, so you'll just have to go read it yourself.

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