Everything (Well, Some Things) You Know Is (Are) Wrong

Today’s news chum brings three articles demonstrate the errors of some “wisdom” touted today:

  • Chasids and Ethnic Communities Can’t Coexist in Brooklyn. The NY Times has a very interesting article on the Basil Pizza and Wine Bar in Crown Heights: an attempt to create an upscale kosher fine-dining experiences that isn’t just for Chasids. I found this a fascinating read for the insight it gives on the various cultures in the neighborhood.
  • Cold Symptoms Are Caused By Cold Viruses. An interesting op-ed piece in the NY Times points out that cold viruses doesn’t cause the cold symptoms. Whereas influenza viruses damage the respiratory tracks creating misery, cold viruses don’t damage nasal tracks. They only infect a small number of cells. So what creates the problem? Our own immune system overreacts and inflames our cells and tissues. Thus, you get worse cold symptoms the stronger your immune system is. Note that this isn’t the only time our immune system is bad for us: consider the case of sepsis, which can turn fatal very fast. Infections that go into the blood are bad news; back in September, a staph infection threatening to go into the blood resulted in the removal of 38KKK implants from a young woman.
  • TARP was bad for the USA. Specifically, there are claims floating out there that (1) The TARP cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars; (2) The TARP was a gift for Wall Street that did nothing for the common people; (3) The TARP was a quick fix for the market meltdown but left our financial system weak; (4) The TARP worsened concentration in the banking sector, leaving it more vulnerable to another crisis; and (5) The TARP was the centerpiece of a strategy by President Obama to assert more government control over the economy. All are wrong, as pointed out by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in this “Five myths about TARP” column from the Washington Post.