Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Rose’

Monday Medley

What we read while almost leading the Bears’ fourth-quarter comeback…

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In Defense of Duke

As we at NPI have previously hinted, we have all emanated from that majestic and triumphant institution of higher learning, Duke University. In fact, it is fair to say that, without Duke, this blog would not exist. Other gifts to humanity that Duke has bestowed include basketball extraordinaire Jason Williams, former Heroes star Jack Coleman, novelist Reynolds Price, journalist Charlie Rose, and former NFL star Sonny Jurgensen. That’s not a bad list, and it’s by no means everybody.

Of course, Tim, Josh, and I would not say that Duke is perfect. For one, we’re not the kind of people that love institutions unconditionally. It’s pretty obvious that every university has its flaws. In fact, we probably wouldn’t object if you said that Duke has more flaws than your average elite institution.

But when someone who writes for a prominent magazine—like, I don’t know, let’s say The Atlantic—writes an unjustified hatchet-job that is illogical, mean-spirited, and not supported by any hard evidence…well, that really grinds our gears. See, hating Duke has been trendy for about two decades now (it probably started when Christian Laettner stepped on Aminu Timberlake). There are a lot of reasons for this that I won’t bother going into here, but suffice it to say that sometime around 2006, when three members of the Duke lacrosse team were accused of rape,* members of the non-sports media realized they could churn out “polarizing” columns by regurgitating the same accusations of racism and elitism that had been levied against the basketball team for 15 years. Continue reading

An Alternative View from the Wing (and the hotel bed)

I never watch Larry King. If I were to have a dishonorable mention for retiree of the year, King would be it. Yet, recently while staying in a hotel, I watched nearly ten minutes of Larry King. I have other more systematic preference shifts when in different contexts. On airplanes, I almost always order tomato juice despite rarely ordering it on the ground.*

*I do remember taking a flight once in which they oddly took the drink orders before the plane left the ground. After regaining my composure, I believe I opted for no drink.

This phenomenon of changing preferences with changing environments is not limited to me. A German study found that tomato juice is incredibly popular on airplanes, for example. And, apparently, Ginger Ale is also disproportionately popular on airplanes.*

*A quick Google and Google Scholar search did not reveal anything on the hotel television preference issue. There is plenty, however, on Larry King’s awfulness.

Now, a shift to some classic economic theory: revealed preference theory holds that a consumer’s preferences are revealed by their behavior, or purchasing habits. So, if a woman usually buys two apples each week rather than two oranges, the revealed preference theorist would say that she prefers the bundle of two apples.*

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MLB Postseason Preview: Twins vs. Yankees

New York Yankees (95-67) at Minnesota Twins (94-68)

OVERVIEW

In many ways, this is a rematch of last year’s Division Series—the main way being that these same two teams played each other in last year’s Division Series. But things are much different now. The Twins are no longer the underdogs that snuck into the playoffs at the last minute, and the Yankees are no longer the dominant force in the AL. The Twins went 48-26 after the All-Star Break, essentially wrapping up the AL Central with a month to go. The Yankees, on the other hand, stumbled down the stretch, losing the AL East to Tampa Bay and settling for the Wild Card thanks to a 13-17 record in September/October. In other words, do not expect a repeat of last year’s one-sided Yankees sweep.

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Welcome To My Mind: On The Road With David Foster Wallace

“If by some paradox, this whole fuss could get me some kind of even just like a five-minute cup of tea with Alanis Morissette, that would be more than reward enough”—David Foster Wallace, 1996

In early March of 1996, Rolling Stone sent David Lipsky to join David Foster Wallace for the end of his book tour. Lipsky was to do yet another profile of Wallace, who was then the biggest literary celebrity of the world; his mammoth novel Infinite Jest was being covered in Time and Newsweek, in addition to the traditional literary avenues like The New York Times Book Review. The two spent five days together, at Wallace’s house, in Wallace’s classroom, at the airport while Wallace waited to go to his last book reading, in the car en route to Minneapolis after all flights were grounded, with the Escort who took Wallace to his reading, at McDonald’s, with Wallace’s dogs (Drone and Jeeves), etc.

The profile never ran. Tragically, Lipsky would only get the chance to use this material in “The Lost Years & Last Days of David Foster Wallace,” which Rolling Stone ran in the aftermath of Wallace’s suicide in 2008 (and which, deservedly, won Lipsky a National Magazine Award).

Fortunately for Wallace fans, Lipsky wasn’t done. He has taken the complete transcript of the audio recordings from those five days and presented them relatively unedited in Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. Continue reading