Why Steve Jobs' magic doesn't work in medicine: Matthew Herper: "The kind of innovation Steve Jobs practiced, probably the type of innovation we mythologize and lionize most since personal computers started changing the fabric of society three decades ago, does not and has not translated to medicine in the same way." (Forbes)
In case you missed it: Mona Simpson's moving eulogy for Jobs. (NYT)
What is good capitalism? John Kay says it's what the O.W.S. protestors should be rooting for: "A semantic confusion leads us to use the word market to describe both the process which puts food on our table and the activity of gambling in credit default swaps. That confusion has enabled people to claim the virtues of the former for the latter." But "capitalism need not be about greed and gambling." (Financial Times)
Eliminate bonuses for bankers: Great op-ed by Nassim Taleb on how bonuses incentivize bankers to take huge risks, while bailouts insulate them from bonuses. ": Any person who works for a company that, regardless of its current financial health, would require a taxpayer-financed bailout if it failed should not get a bonus.... Nearly 4,000 years ago, Hammurabi’s code specified this: 'If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction firm, and the house which he has built collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house, that builder shall be put to death.' This was simply the best risk-management rule ever." (NYT)
T.S. Eliot's letters to Groucho Marx: Not a joke. Eliot, in a fan letter: “This is to let you know that your portrait has arrived and has given me great joy and will soon appear in its frame on my wall with other famous friends such as W.B. Yeats and Paul Valery.” The correspondence culminating in a friendly, yet awkward, dinner. (Intelligent Life)
Letter from Madonna: At age 20, in search of a movie role: "By the time I was in the fifth grade, I knew I either wanted to be a nun or a movie star.... During high school, I became slightly schizophrenic as I couldn't choose between class virgin or the other kind." (Letters of Note)
Against the daddy long-legs: A very strong case.
Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His last article for Ideas was about choosing Congress by lottery.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.