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William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University, joint with Africa House, and Co-Director of the NYU Development Research Institute. He is also a non-resident Fellow of the[…]

One that is not intellectually lazy.

I think a life well lived is one where you combine a desire to help other people, and to put your skills and your talents at the service of other people that you want to see helped, whose problems you want to see alleviated. Combined with kind of a ruthless, intellectual honesty that you are not going to be intellectually lazy and go in for kind of the clichéd solutions, the tried and true clichés that have always been repeated but have never been actually tested to see whether they worked or not. That you resist clichés. You resist tired, old formulas. And you’re intellectually honest about what works, what doesn’t work. You’re pragmatic. You’re fiercely pragmatic about what works. And you confront the bad news when you need to when something’s not working, and you try to fix it.


Recorded On: 7/6/07