Friday, April 25, 2008

FT Weekend #4 (a little late)

Several weeks ago I started a tradition for myself of posting the interesting articles from the Financial Times Weekend edition. I missed it a couple of weeks ago, and have been meaning to get that post up ever since. So, herewith is the good stuff from the FT for the weekend of April 12th and 13th.

I always like reading their series Expat Lives. It's sort of an interview/essay by someone who is living in a different country from the one they were born in. This week the subject is Richard Pontzious, an American who has lived in Asia for many years and founded the Asian Youth Orchestra.

On the back page of the House & Home section is Julie Myerson's column "Home Is Where. . ." This week, she describes doing research for a novel in a semi-abandoned old prison in London. She ended up wandering around subterranean passages that were supposed to constitute a museum, but were completely empty. She did not have a good time, and doesn't rule the possibility that it was haunted. The moral of the story is that if you're going to be wandering around a dark, dreary underground tunnel where thousands of people suffered horrible pain and many probably died, bring a friend.

The guest for Lunch with the FT is Sir Richard Cohen, founder of a private equity firm. The name suggests a good old-fashioned Brit, but he's actually an Egyptian-born Jew who didn't speak English until he was 11. He's a firm believer in bringing business and economics into play in any attempt to broker peace, and is attempting to do so in the West Bank.

Whitney Tilson examines the role of information in making investment decisions, and proposes the somewhat novel thesis that too much information is a bad thing, because people with too much information tend to overreact to bad news. Come to think of it, I think that phenomenon can be used to explain a fair amount of how people are dealing with this American presidential campaign. When you have constant access to information, every little bit affects you, and you feel compelled to digest and react to it. A good thing to keep in mind. When feeling inundated, have some tea and don't make a decision for a day. Really good thing to keep in mind.

Vanessa Friedman compares two Audreys famous for wearing the right clothes in their movies, Hepburn and Tautou, and notes that
The clothes give both Audreys credibility: they look so good in their expensive dresses that they somehow seem to deserve them, and not only them, but the life associated with them. These girls aren’t sleeping their way to the top; they’re simply claiming their rightful place, and we root for them to get there.

I will try to keep that in mind the next time I am talking to a costume designer.

That's a fair selection, and I feel much better. I doubt I will ever post about the FT Weekend within a day or two; usually I'll take several days to digest it and wander through the pages. But two weeks is too much. Not going to do that again

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