June 16th, 2011


Interesting value judgment

From today's fascinating NYT obituary of the chairman of the committee that standardized the UPC:

Mr. Haberman’s committee comprised more than half a dozen type-A businessmen, and discussion could be fractious. At one meeting, in San Francisco in the early 1970s, as Mr. Brown’s book reports, Mr. Haberman found a spectacularly good way to smooth dissent. First he organized a dinner at one of the city’s finest restaurants. Then he took everyone to a local movie theater to see “Deep Throat.”

"Spectacularly good way" is an interesting choice of words. It may well have been effective, but to call it "good" implies that the author and publisher of the obituary acknowledge that Mr. Haberman's tactic was controversial -- especially given the history of that particular film -- and are endorsing it.