Tyler Cowen had the opportunity to try out 23andMe, the genetic testing company that uses a swab of your saliva to tell you things like inherited traits, genealogy and possible congenital risk factors. It's backed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and advertisements have been everywhere (you may have heard about it on a radio program, or on an internet ad). Cowen's main reasons for turning down the opportunity were "worry cost" (worrying about potential negative information he'd receive), and some privacy concerns (allowing a privately held company to store information about his genetic data).
My favorite foodie economist
Tyler Cowen argues today that you shouldn't judge a restaurant that doesn't have long lines or tends to be empty because those two things are not always indicators that a place is actually good. I usually eat at places based on recommendations from friends or from reviews I've read, and those places have been generally busy. And dining in an empty restaurant can feel strange—Why is it so empty
, you think or whisper to your dining companion, and then crack a joke about money laundering. I'm going to conduct an experiment in which I eat at one of the more empty restaurants in my neighborhood. I'm sure it'll be fine, maybe even great.
Our health care system needs reforming—we can all agree on that. What we can't agree on is how to go about doing it. Tyler Cowen made a list of some options for health care coverage reform
I’m here to convince you to shop at your local ethnic grocery stores.
I live in Philadelphia. The map above of where people of different ethnicities live in Philadelphia has red dots for whites, blue dots for blacks, and yellow dots for Hispanics. In the middle of the map, there’s a place in North Philadelphia where the north-south swath of Hispanic neighborhoods tapers down to a point and mixes with the black and white neighborhoods to the west and east. And right there, there’s a locally-owned grocery store called Cousin’s. Not surprisingly, it’s a fantastic place to shop for food.
It’s made even better by the fact that there’s a fairly strong Muslim community in North Philadelphia. So: Take a full service American supermarket, add two big aisles of Mexican/Spanish produce, meats and groceries (including all manner of hot peppers, salsas, queso fresco, chorizos, octopus, salt cod, all of those different kinds of beans and cornmeal, etc.), and then add a halal meat counter, Lebanese yogurt, and a whole aisle of Middle Eastern specialties (halva, tahini, sardines in spicy oil, etc.). It’s a dream to shop there. The prices are rock bottom, the selection is amazing, and the food quality is equal to or higher than any other major, regular-priced supermarket I’ve tried.
It’s become my favorite place to grocery shop, but I’ve had a tough time convincing any of my friends to give it a shot.