Modernity has replaced ethics with legalese, and the law can be gamed with a good lawyer.
If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.
many writers and scholars speak in private, say, after half a bottle of wine, differently from the way they do in print. Their writing is certifiably fake, fake.
Compromising is condoning. The only modern dictum I follow is one by George Santayana: A man is morally free when … he judges the world, and judges other men, with uncompromising sincerity. This is not just an aim but an obligation.
Commerce is fun, thrilling, lively, and natural; academia as currently professionalized is none of these.
My experience is that money and transactions purify relations; ideas and abstract matters like “recognition” and “credit” warp them, creating an atmosphere of perpetual rivalry. I grew to find people greedy for credentials nauseating, repulsive, and untrustworthy.
Commerce, business, Levantine souks (though not large-scale markets and corporations) are activities and places that bring out the best in people, making most of them forgiving, honest, loving, trusting, and open-minded. As a member of the Christian minority in the Near East, I can vouch that commerce, particularly small commerce, is the door to tolerance—the only door, in my opinion, to any form of tolerance. It beats rationalizations and lectures. Like antifragile tinkering, mistakes are small and rapidly forgotten.