Monday, August 11, 2008

I just got back from Tijuana, and have a ton to catch up on (such as the entire first week of medical school- God, I'm gonna be so anti-social the entire week. I haaaate those weeks of "Adina repents for making foolish time management choices").
Anyway, I will just post a review of the Milton Friedman essay that I read today (excerpted from the book

In arguably his most provocative essay, Milton Friedman addresses one of the thorniest issues of our time: the relative superiority of the hamantash (triangle shaped cookie, filled with jam or chocolate and eaten on Purim) vs. the latke (oily potato pancake eaten on Chanuka). For one, Milton Friedman points out, it is unclear whether unhealthy Jewish holiday food constitutes a normative or positive discipline. I understand this epistomological conundrum. On the one hand, flavor is largely experiential and subjective. On the other hand, my bubbe makes the best latkes in town, as determined in a high powered longitudinal cohort study with p<0.05.Nobody's hamantashan or latkes ever came close.
Generally, we attempt to overcome bias by presenting both variables neutrally, but Friedman, goes one step further, and makes the radical suggestion of using "negative" terminology for the foods, namely "lob" (as in lobster) and "ham" (as in the pig product). This is Friedman at his most bold, and I am surprised that Naomi Klein hasn't come out with a "carefully" written expose about these most shocking of Friedman's viewpoints.

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