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by
Glenn Reynolds

Bio

July 20, 2011 - 8:58 am

When Capital Is Nowhere In View:

A Travel Channel episode of No Reservations, a cooking-focused show narrated by Anthony Bourdain, took viewers to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I had heard that the show offered unique insight into the country and its troubles. I couldn’t imagine how. But it turns out to be true. Through the lens of food, we can gain an insight into culture, and from culture to economy, and from economy to politics and finally to what’s wrong in this country and what can be done about it.

Through this micro lens, we gain more insight than we would have if the program were entirely focused on economic issues. Such an episode on economics would have featured dull interviews with treasury officials and IMF experts and lots of talk about trade balances and other macroeconomic aggregates that miss the point entirely.

Instead, with the focus on food and cooking, we can see what it is that drives daily life among the Haitian multitudes. And what we find is surprising in so many ways.

A very interesting essay.

WHO IS GLENN REYNOLDS? I’m a law professor at the University of Tennessee. I write various law review articles, opeds, and other stuff. I’m a Contributing Editor at Popular Mechanics. I’m a columnist at The Washington Examiner. My most recent book is An Army of Davids : How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths. My next most recent book is The Appearance of Impropriety: How the Ethics Wars Have Undermined American Government, Business and Society, (The Free Press, 1997) coauthored with Peter W. Morgan. For something completely different, see Environmental Regulation of Nanotechnology: Some Preliminary Observations, from the April, 2001 Environmental Law Reporter. Some of my other law review writings can be found in PDF form here. I’ve also written for The Atlantic Monthly, URB, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. I’m interested in everything, but my chief interest is in the intersection between advanced technologies and individual liberty. The vast majority of my writing touches on this in one way or another.

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