Tag: calculated risk

Working Through or Worked Over by the Coronavirus?


My parents’ generation has some badly needed perspective. My father commented recently, after I told him I was recovering from whooping cough*, that he and his generation went through every disease my generation was inoculated against: mumps, measles, chicken pox, and German measles. Oh, and they had to dodge polio, against which we were inoculated. And there were bad flu seasons.

A writer in City Journal has now spoken that wisdom in “Say Your Prayers and Take Your Chances: Remembering the 1957 Asian flu pandemic:”

For those who grew up in the 1930s and 1940s, there was nothing unusual about finding yourself threatened by contagious disease. Mumps, measles, chicken pox, and German measles swept through entire schools and towns; I had all four. Polio took a heavy annual toll, leaving thousands of people (mostly children) paralyzed or dead. There were no vaccines. Growing up meant running an unavoidable gauntlet of infectious disease. For college students in 1957, the Asian flu was a familiar hurdle on the road to adulthood. For everyone older, the flu was a familiar foe. There was no possibility of working at home. You had to go out and face the danger.

Economist Allison Schrager joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss her new book, An Economist Walks Into A Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk.

Risk is a universal fact of life, but some of us manage more of it than others. Schrager examined how a broad cross section of people handle it: horse breeders in Kentucky, members of an elite tank unit during the Gulf War, paparazzi who stalk celebrities, prostitutes in Nevada brothels. She lays out five principles for dealing with risk and explains how financial tools can help guide people through uncertainty.

Quote of the Day: Skin in the Game


“In those early days, the Chief Engineer was almost always the Chief Pilot as well. This had the automatic result of eliminating poor engineering very early in aviation.” — Igor I. Sikorsky

This little pearl of wisdom from Igor has a real resonance with yours truly. I knew that the onset of summer was when I first strapped my backside in an airplane that was built with the labors of me and my flying buddy Tom. A quick review of my logbook confirmed that I did my first flight in N914KD on June 29, 2012, so I missed my first flight anniversary for a Quote of the Day by a week.