Daily Bafflements

The BafflerMay 05, 2015
The invisible Gerald Chan recently bought this building for $17.5 million. / Jamie

The invisible Gerald Chan recently bought this building for $17.5 million. / Jamie

• Today in Billionaires: Harvard is renaming its public health school, according to an overfond profile of donor Gerald Chan in the Boston Globe (title: “Meet Boston’s Invisible Billionaire”). Chan, a mammonish yet modest real estate magnate, is buying up Harvard Square and has made the largest ever gift to the university: “As thanks for that $350 million, Harvard renamed its public health school after Chan’s late father — it’s now the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It was the first time the university had named one of its schools after a benefactor since 1639, when the donation of 400 books and 779 pounds earned immortality for a minister by the name of John Harvard.”

• Bay Area publishing house McSweeney’s, where Baffler senior editor Chris Lehmann stocks up on irony, is the latest literary enterprise to turn to Kickstarter to raise funds. Catching up with the platform, we were chagrined to note that it has not yet taken Josh MacPhee up on his sensible idea to communize the crowdfunding process, as detailed in Baffler no. 21: “Those who use the platform to raise money should control the platform, collectively, and share in the benefits generated.” 

• George Packer has been named a replacement table host at today’s PEN America Center gala where Charlie Hebdo will be honored. He informally applied for the place card back in January.

• For-Profit Educators in Moral-Bankruptcy Shocker. (Thanks to The Intercept.)