There are several tabs in my browser that have been sitting out there waiting to be noted for a while. I think I saw most of them on Kottke, but at this point I’m not sure. If he didn’t post them, I’m sure it was just an oversight on his part!
First of all there is a new series of articles by Errol Morris in the NY Times called “Bamboozling Ourselves“. In the past he’s written in the Times about some famous photos from the Crimean and US Civil Wars. Now he’s moved on to paintings, and in particular, forged paintings. If you recall, one of the photos he wrote about previously was “forged” in a way, so Morris hasn’t changed his focus, just his medium. Morris uses art forgery to explore why folks ignore all sorts of red flags that would normally tell them not believe something. In this specific case, he looks at why the most preeminent art historians of the late 1930’s believed that some incredibly kitchy — and Nazi-inspired — paintings were actually painted by Vermeer.
Secondly, there were several articles on introverts that various folks have linked to. The most interesting is “Caring for Your Introvert,” from The Atlantic. There were also a few posts on introverted travelers and traveling. Now, I’d like to believe that I’m one of the noble introverts portrayed in these pieces, but I’m afraid the truth is that I’m just anti-social.
Finally, there is an incredible article in the New Yorker about huge differences in the amount spent on medical care in different cities. The example, the cost of health care is twice as high in McAllen, TX than it is in El Paso, at the other end of the Texas/Mexico border. After considering and discarding a whole bunch of possible reasons for this disparity, Dr. Atul Gawande, the author of the article, presents an extremely compelling argument as to what the real cause is and what we need to learn from the situation. I do find it hopeful that Peter Orszag, the White House Budget Director, has taken to quoting Dr. Gawande’s article to help explain why the Obama administration is bothering with health care reform during a time when so many other things need attention.