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James Flynn


Flynn '20.5: No, Brown should not change its motto

In her column last week, Rebecca Aman ’20 argued that Brown should change its Latin motto from “In Deo Speramus,” — meaning “In God We Hope” — to “Speramus,” — meaning “We hope.” The original motto, she writes, “is not only contradictory to our founding values but also undermines ...


Flynn '20.5: We should decriminalize psychedelics

Last week, Johns Hopkins Medicine launched the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. The Center, which is the second of its kind in the world to open, will study the medical uses of psychedelic drugs such as LSD (acid) and psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in magic mushroom or ...


Flynn '20: Brown should ban laptops from the classroom

Laptops are ubiquitous in Brown’s classrooms. Whether in a 100-student lecture or a small seminar, many students spend most of the class staring intently at the screen a few feet in front of them, rather than at the professor or the board. Just a cursory glance from the back of the classroom will ...


Flynn '20: Pledge one percent to One for the World

A chapter of One for the World is opening at Brown. OFTW is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to promote effective altruism — finding the most effective means of benefiting others, as informed by hard evidence — on college campuses. Started by Wharton MBA students, OFTW already has chapters ...


Flynn '20: Brown should calculate GPA

Most undergrads who have applied to an organization outside of Brown — virtually everyone — have had to take the annoying step of calculating their GPA. In the spirit of its unique educational philosophy, Brown refuses to calculate GPA; but other organizations, obviously, do not share this philosophy. ...


Flynn '20: Learn to look beyond the sensational

“The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions is a statistic,” Joseph Stalin was reputed to have said. This (likely misattributed) quotation still bears a certain eeriness by its connection to the 20th century dictator, whose regime bore responsibility for millions of deaths by ethnic ...

The Setonian

Flynn '20: Herald, employ the Oxford comma

Anyone who has written for the Brown Daily Herald has had to put up with the stain of barbarism that persists in its style guide. I am referring to the rule that prohibits the use of the Oxford comma, or the serial comma, which is the comma placed before the coordinating conjunction in a series of three ...

The Setonian

Flynn '20: The pursuit of happiness

“Happiness, then, is apparently something complete and self-sufficient, since it is the end of the things achievable in action,” Aristotle said. Writing in the fourth century B.C.E., he believed that happiness was distinct among humans’ goals in that “we always choose it because of itself, never ...

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