"Each of these institutions comes with certain rules and obligations that tell us how to do what we’re supposed to do. Journalism imposes habits that help reporters keep a mental distance from those they cover. Scientists have obligations to the community of researchers. In the process of absorbing the rules of the institutions we inhabit, we become who we are. [¶¶]
"... Lack of institutional awareness has bred cynicism and undermined habits of behavior. Bankers, for example, used to have a code that made them a bit stodgy and which held them up for ridicule in movies like 'Mary Poppins.' But the banker’s code has eroded, and the result was not liberation but self-destruction.
"Institutions do all the things that are supposed to be bad. They impede personal exploration. They enforce conformity.
"But they often save us from our weaknesses and give meaning to life."
--David Brooks, What LIfe Asks of Us, NY Times, Jan. 26, 2008.