Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In defense of diving

I feel badly because I have not actually been to one of the more serious America's Future Foundation events in months. Wednesday nights are usually bad. Still, in perhaps yet further demonstration of my total lack of intellectual substance, to this post-Valentine's Day intra-movement dating panel.

Admittedly, I am not sure what the argument against diving is supposed to be. Yes, obviously dating somebody who is your direct superior or supervisee is a bad idea. I would hope that this is obvious and does not need to be explained. I would also generally avoid dating someone who works for the same small organization, but dating someone who works in a very different arm of a sufficiently large organization (say, Heritage) might be fine. Again, everyone in the world already knows this.

But if I'm understanding the blurb correctly, then two of the panelists are speaking out against dating someone who just works in the same movement generally. This I don't understand. One, the libertarian movement is not that big, but it's not so small that an ex can't be avoided with a little work. Two, it's possible that I am just anti-social, but I don't think that there is that much professional risk from having something end badly. The movement is not high school. Nobody spends weeks analyzing whether Jane was too mean to Joe and whether that means Jane shouldn't get to be president of Cato in 2028. Most libertarians have other pleasures and hobbies competing for our attention, and so we can't get (totally) hooked on movement gossip. Three, only when like marries like can there be any happiness. That doesn't mean that everybody in the world should impose rigid political litmus tests on their partners. For some people, being alike on other dimensions will be more important. But compatibility in political interests and professional interests is nice. It rarely hurts to have it and may often help.

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