On Naming Institutions after Nasty People
At Yale, they're considering renaming buildings named after people who are currently considered nasty. On the one hand, we might not want to honor them. On the other hand, we should not simply erase them from history. My recommendation is to name nasty things after nasty people. For example:
- The Pete Seeger Sewage Treatment Plant. (If idealists who defended slavery don't get a free ride, I see no reason idealists who defended Stalinism should get a free ride.)
- The Karl Marx Toxic Waste Dump.
- The LBJ postage due stamp.
We should vote on that now. If we wait until 2116, we might find the potential organizers in 2116 are unwilling to organize.