Assorted links

by on April 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. How Germans romanticize Russia.

2. What we are learning about Medicare expenditures on pharmaceuticals.

3. What happened to Tom Lehrer?

4. The email culture that is France.

5. Markets in everything, Ayn Rand musical edition.

Marie April 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm

#2, duh.

Just reading Middlemarch, and the progressive doctor character that was moving to prescribing drugs other people dispensed, not the doctor himself.

Local doctor has moved to nutritional medicine, incorporating alternative with his MD doctoring. Sounds really good. Took my kid to him once, nice guy. But he’s inclining more and more to the alternative and less and less to the traditional. Coincidentally, there is a line of supplements that he relies heavily upon for, as far as I can tell, almost all his patients, who seem to more and more have conditions that are helped by these supplements. He’s “let” you buy other brands of the same formulas, but insists that really this brand is the only one that works properly. And you have to buy through him, really, you should, you get a better deal. . . .

Same with our vet, oddly. Old vet. Prescription pet food that you can only easily buy through a veterinary office seems to be a big component of veterinary medicine these days.

When you have barriers to entering your career that involve going into massive debt, it tend to influence the way you conduct your work.

Mark Thorson April 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

If those vitamins are from a company called Standard Process, they are utter quackery. They are usually sold through chiropractors, but other “alternative” practitioners carry them too. To give you an idea how quacky they are, the supplement for eye health is made from cattle eyeballs and the supplement for brain health is made from dried cattle brains. The notions they are based upon would have seemed reasonable in the 19th century, but they are completely at odds with modern nutritional science.

Marie April 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I just took a look, it’s not them and not so wiggy, stuff like l-glutamine for digestive problems. So, not cow eyes, but still.

Ted Craig April 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm

5. I thought it would be an adaptation of “Night of January 16th.”

wiki April 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Interesting that the article suggests that the mirror relationship between Germany and Russia only goes back to the two World Wars. Actually it extends further back, at least in Russia. Ethnic Germans formed a big part of the professional elite, administrative bureaucracy, and banking communities of Moscow and St. Petersburg from the 18th century onwards. Given these ties and given the fact that many important Russian institutions (not least of which were the universities) were so closely modeled on the Germans’ one could see why Russians might not be so quick to see Germany as the Other or to blame German people — as opposed to Hitler and the Nazis — for the cruelties of WW2. The feeling does exist but it is mingled with fellow feeling and admiration for much of German culture and civilization.

Urso April 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

cf the Waste Land, where a female character indignantly[?] states “Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.”

Axa April 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm

#4: the French are more worried about life quality than long term economic survival. Time to make some popcorn, take a seat and wait for the effects of “culture” on business.

JWatts April 11, 2014 at 7:34 pm

The email law seems more trivial than this did:

“France’s strict labour laws saw Apple fined for making staff in France work nights last year, as the law forbids shifts between 9pm and 6am unless the work plays an important role in the economy or is socially useful.”

Pierre April 12, 2014 at 5:29 am

Actually the Guardian article is wrong.
Many other newspapers told about what was really happening but of course they were less shared, because it didn’t support the “lazy french people” meme.
So the real deal: this is not a law, but a IT sector agreement that says that a tech worker cannot be fired for not answering his emails outside of working hours. So your boss can send you emails at 2am, and you can answer them if you want. But if you fail to answer, you cannot be fired for that.
And nobody in the tech industry finish their day at 6pm. More like 8pm. Or 1am in start-ups, just as everywhere else in the world.

Oh and also French people work more hours per year than German people, with a better productivity. But it doesn’t fit with the American view of the French, so it is seldom reported.

Axa April 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Relax, Africa is opening. When the ex-colonies discover there’s a big world of free trade, good luck finding who to sell all those Peugeots :)

Pierre April 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Ha the anglo myth that France can only survive despite its “socialism” thanks to its ex-colonies.
Of course it is just a myth, that has nothing to do with actual figures.
Africa accounts for 6% of French exportations. (http://insee.maquettes.cndp.fr/comext/qui/quiexport.htm) Africa is the region in the world to which France exports the least, except for the middle east. French exportations are only 30% of its GDP. Which means that exportations to Africa are responsible for roughly 2% of France GDP.
Which is by the way less than France military budget, used mainly to help African countries not killing each other.

prior_approval April 11, 2014 at 1:59 pm

So, the previous post – http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/04/jurgen-osterhammel-on-the-crimean-war.html – wasn’t good enough?

Because given the chance, the Spiegel will ride this topic until it is completely flogged.

And be thankful for anyone willing to play along.

It almost makes one think that this web site is not really all concerned with accuracy.

genauer April 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm

That thing is actually harmless, just the usual boiler of all available stereotypes.

You should read the other stuff of “Spiegel International” to get really agitated.

Over the years they sold the gullible non-Germans, that since Hartz IV East Germans die 2 years earlier,

that the CDU would support anti German Ukranian faschists, and much more.

Completely shameless hate peddling.

Das April 20, 2014 at 8:31 pm

It is spiegel online. It’s what they do. You don’t go there to get information but to get your daily dose of disinformation.

The sad fact is though that there are few German news outlets that offer english language news. Thus spiegel online has an enormous influence even on intelligent readers: They just have no alternatives.

Dan Weber April 11, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Maybe Germans find it interesting when someone starts annexing pieces of a country that borders Slovakia.

Donald Pretari April 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm

#3…I only discovered Tom Lehrer late in my college career, since which time I’ve been a devotee. Since then, as well, I’m sorry to tell Berkeley, but I wish I’d gone to Santa Cruz, which I remember as my second choice on my UC application. I’m a connoisseur of regrets.

Donald Pretari April 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm

“I will pay,” Lehrer responded. “It’s the least I can do, and that’s why I’m doing it.”

I wish I’d said that, and I probably will.

brad April 11, 2014 at 6:04 pm

My parents had “An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer” as one of their relatively few records, so I grew up listening to it. I rarely meet people who have ever heard of him.

Marie April 11, 2014 at 7:53 pm

He’s a part of our curriculum. His elements song, his new math song — and sometimes that pigeon one. . . .

byomtov April 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm

But the case of epoetin alfa, a drug used to treat anemia in dialysis patients, shows that when the financial incentive is taken away, doctors may use less of the drug.

In 2011, a change by Medicare removed the 6 percent payment incentive; instead, dialysis centers were paid per overall patient treatment. The use of the drug in dialysis patients has dropped 34 percent since then, said Dennis Cotter, president of the Medical Technology and Practice Patterns Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Bethesda, Md.

Now there’s a shocker. Why 6%? Does the cost of administering a drug vary with the drug’s price?

Marie April 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm

If the alternative is to pay a set fee per dose no matter the medication, that could have a worse effect.

Anon. April 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Goddamnit, I was tricked into clicking a Gawker link.

Benjamin Constant April 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

This legend about the french banning email is not YET true – just bad journalism…
Give it some time that may self correct!

http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2014/04/11/la-legende-de-l-interdiction-des-mails-professionnels-apres-18-heures_4399675_4355770.html

genauer April 11, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Even the FT cannot stand the obnoxious anglo prejudice about the French in this case

http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2014/04/mon-dieu-french-stereotyped-over-after-work-emails/

Pierre April 12, 2014 at 5:33 am

France is supposed to be lazy, so everytime there are some elements that could support this prejudice, it is grossely exagerated or even completely reinvented in the anglo news.
Same things happen with Japan. Japan is supposed to be weird, so we can read all the time articles like “New trend in Japan, Japanese women inject silicon in their forehead.” When in fact, only one person among 120 millions has done it and an article was written only about that very specific person.

Demento, RN April 11, 2014 at 7:13 pm

3. “I Got It From Agnes” network effects lol

Adam Smythe April 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm

#3 Note that the intellectual left went away and hasn’t reappeared since Lehrer. Mob rule since then.

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