That Would Need to Be an Awfully Good Donut

by Scott McLemee on March 9, 2007

Via Shakespeare’s Sister, word of what sounds like an urban legend, though evidently it’s for real. But like many urban legends, it’s also a cautionary tale. An Atlanta TV station, doing a hard-hitting story on the new whole-wheat donut from Krispy Kreme, used an image someone in the art department probably grabbed online shortly before going on the air:


(You can watch the video at ShakeSis.)

Ordinarily I would expect this to have been discussed at Romenesko by now, but so far don’t see anything. All the more surprising given the nonstop debates there in 2003 over nuances of the journalistic ethics involved in covering the opening of Krispy Kreme stores as news.

Suggestion to the Poynter Institute, which not only hosts the Romenesko news blog but sponsors workshops and seminars for editors and reporters: Devote a course to the perils of Google Images, and soon.

Unions, organizational form and efficiency

by Henry Farrell on March 9, 2007

Tyler Cowen has a “new post”: which clarifies “why he objects”: to pro-union legislation.

Labor-run firms are common in law, book agency, real estate, landscaping, and many other sectors; we even see them in airlines. When labor in charge creates more value, labor starts its own firms or buys out the capitalist or buys greater control rights. Growing capital markets make these evolutions easier all the time. Cooperatives, which are governed by consumers, also are found. Mutuals, non-profits, and yes unionized firms are common too. I heart all of these organizational forms. Keep in mind that if both workers and customers will be better off, yes it probably can happen; it is naive to think that liquidity problems are the major issues preventing workers from enjoying greater control rights. In the short run, the mental model of the left-wing bloggers is a bunch of janitors trying to get better working conditions but opposed by employers. In the longer run what is striking is the competition across different organizational forms. It doesn’t always make sense to give labor residual control rights over capital goods, or the right to halt production.

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The Times has published a really quite bad piece of science journalism on the subject of the Lancet study. When the topic is sampling theory, your heart really does sink when you see something like this:

Several academics have tried to find out how the Lancet study was conducted; none regards their queries as having been addressed satisfactorily. Researchers contacted by The Times talk of unreturned e-mails or phone calls, or of being sent information that raises fresh doubts.

Yes indeed, out of the population of people with outstanding questions, none of them have had their questions resolved.
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