Assorted links

by on December 9, 2013 at 11:23 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. The success of Broadway theatrical productions in Seoul.

2. Economics Nobel Prize lectures on YouTube.

3. Who is Izabella Kaminska?  I am not so interested in the Sumner back and forth, this is a fantastic piece of mini-biography.

4. Immigration authorities should not have access to so much medical information.  Among other issues.

5. The Megan McArdle holiday kitchen gift guide.

john personna December 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

I liked the gift guide, but am actually anti-rediculously-expensive knives. Irrational utility.

Ray Lopez December 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

“Kyocera ceramic slicer, $20 ” – doesn’t seem too expensive, if you want to stay on the cutting edge in kitchen cutlery.

john personna December 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I guess, but to offer one of my own, here is a really good bread knife, for $6.20

(Many people have bread-cutting phobia. They’ve never had a good bread knife!)

RR December 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Good pun ! You sure have the edge.

Wonks Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Preventing someone who was institutionalized for depression seems silly, depression isn’t much of a threat to others. But I fail to understand his complaint at the end about how prohibiting the entry of persons with a transmissable & potentially deadly disease constitutes “bigotry”.

FC December 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm

It’s ableism, you ableist. (That’s the trendiest new bigotry, BTW.)

Wonks Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm

HIV is not a disability, it’s a transmittable disease.

Patrik December 10, 2013 at 4:31 am

Well, the more interesting aspect of the story to me is how the customs official knew about her condition. From the article it seems that it wasn’t the woman herself who supplied that information. So how do medical details become available to the border guards?

Hadur December 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Only 75-90% of musicals make money? I suppose successful musicals must be extremely successful and theaters must have a quick hook for low performers. Is it like modern TV, where unsuccessful musicals are killed very quickly?

student December 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm

love mcardle’s writing, but most of the gear she suggests isn’t worth buying. not even as gifts.

Thor December 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I think you have to accept that she’s either using a lot more stuff than normal cooks do, and that she’s got a lot more space (at least more than I do).

I like her recommendation lists but tend to pick through them critically.

I do insist that she’s spot on with the rarity of a good basting brush, with the need for good tongs, with the affordable grinder for spices, with the iron skillet for searing, with the Le Creuset style coated cast iron, and with the All-Clad saute pan, among other straightforward recommendations.

Think about it, Student:

A small non-stick, a searing pan, a sauteeing pan, a rice cooker and a Le Creuset style dutch oven for braising and stews. Throw in a roasting pan and seriously, what else does a simple kitchen need?

Everyone I know who has a good rice-cooker raves about it.

dearieme December 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Rice cooks well in an Aga.

john personna December 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

As long as you live in a climate that needs daily heat, the signature purchase works fine. When the Aga continually fights the air-conditioning, less so.

“Quite aside from their environmental impact, an Aga makes cooking many dishes unnecessarily difficult and others impossible. So what’s the attraction?”

student December 10, 2013 at 7:46 am

I’m probably cooking a similar volume (six nights a week) with similar equipment, though I rely on a relatively small group (pressure cooker, immersion circulator, cast iron skillet, rice cooker… adding an iSi whipper and Smoking Gun this year). I think our tastes (and preferred sources) just differ.

john personna December 10, 2013 at 11:07 am

Hah, had to look up the Smoking Gun. I guess I’m lucky to have a Big Green Egg on the patio, and a more natural delivery of the carcinogens in apple smoke.

John Mansfield December 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm

“People in treatment for mental illnesses do not have a higher rate of violence than people without mental illnesses.”

That seems like a sentence carefully worded to be correct, but how about those no longer “in treatment”? Some amount of violence does stem from mental illness. Is there a counterbalancing amount of non-violence also found in the mentally ill?

dearieme December 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm

If you’ve stopped taking your pills you are presumably no longer “in treatment”.
Well spotted, Mansfield.

chuck martel December 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Bovines from countries with just a hint of various diseases are forbidden to even set foot on US shores. Ultra-pampered race horses from foreign locales are subject to quarantine when they get to the US.

RR December 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Well the non-violence never makes the news. Like the silent majority.

ChrisA December 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I occasionally read Kamiska because I like the FT Alphaville blog. But like Scott I never really understood what she was saying, I thought it was just myself (maybe it is). Anyway I see from her Bio that she has almost no training or background in economics or finance (and not a great experience of business, internal communications is hardly at the heart of BP). So I suspect, along with her somewhat opaque prose and non-conventional thinking (for instance her insistence that there is a lack of safe assets when in fact Government issued debt from both the US and UK held by the public has both rapidly increased in recent times and is at an all time high) if she wasn’t writing in the FT she would have a very small audience. It is an interesting case of how writing can be privileged by the status of the institution, a trend that I thought was dying out due to the internet. Policy makers in business and politics are still extraordinarily influenced by journalists, who many times have only a very limited or basic understanding of the subject they write about.

Vivian Darkbloom December 10, 2013 at 4:13 am

This is not about Kaminska. She might be an example among many, so there is no reason to single her out. Over the past 10 or 20 years I’ve perceived a real change in how economic news and views are presented to the public through the media. It used to be that journalists reporting the “news” on economic matters would primarily go to the “experts”, that is those with substantial relevant academic training and/or actual experience in the field and report, or “translate” if you will, that news to the public. The journalist’s job was primarily that of facilitating communication between experts and a lay audience. These reporters were not generally in the business of expressing their own views or opinions.

The role of the economics journalist (and journalists in general) has changed. Journalists, and Kaminska may be an example, after a time of being on the economics beat, gradually shift their role from reporting the views of others to reporting their own views. After a time (and often insufficient time) the reporter wakes up and says “Hey, I can do this stuff, too, and I’ve now got a platform to express my own personal views”. The migration from reporter to an expert expressing his or her own views is often gradual and subtle, but increasingly inevitable. There’s nothing wrong with on-the-job training, and sometimes that is better than mere academic training, but the ideal is a combination of both, and ideally neither should be vicariously obtained by interviewing others in business or academia. Ironically, it is precisely the journalists who are supposed to be specialized in communication who we should understand; but, writing skills don’t help mask their own confusion over subject matter.

I notice this not only in print and blogs but also on programs such as Charlie Rose. Charlie is great, but I (too) often find that he puts on his programs journalists to express *their* views on economic matters when there are plenty of practicing economists who have done real research , business people, etc., who be much better sources of expertise. If you are going to ask someone to be on a show to express expert views, why not get the best?

It is indeed “the status of the institution” that gives credence to many of the journalists, but more importantly it is that the institution gives one the ability to become a media “celebrity” rather than an economics expert per se. And, here, like everywhere else, it is the *celebrity* that counts more than anything.

JohnC December 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm

“Swivel Store spice rack, $9 The kitchen guide has, over the years, chronicled my attempts to solve the Spice Problem. The Swivel Store so far appears to be the terminal solution. ”

As someone who has 75-100 different spices at any one time (due to things things like Espresso powder, Asafetida, Sumac, 7 different salts, home mixes, etc.), and not-very-large kitchens, I have had my own spice-rack battles.

In the end, using test tubes, with or without test tube racks, takes up the least space, while being aesthetically acceptable.

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