An interview with Philip Glass.

The kind of music I was doing in the Seventies was very radical. The structure became the music itself. It became identical. In that way it was closer in a way to maybe Jasper Johns was painting and I was very influenced by his painting — when Jasper Johns did a painting of a flag, he painted a flag. So the question is: is it the flag or is it the painting of the flag? In the same way when I did a piece, I had reduced everything to scales and to a few simple notes. The process of the music became the structure of the music. So what was interesting for me was that the content and the form were identical — that was a very radical idea in music and in many ways it may still be a radical idea.


Atul Gawande turns his investigative eye towards the high cost of healthcare in the United States in this week's New Yorker.

Providing health care is like building a house. The task requires experts, expensive equipment and materials, and a huge amount of coördination. Imagine that, instead of paying a contractor to pull a team together and keep them on track, you paid an electrician for every outlet he recommends, a plumber for every faucet, and a carpenter for every cabinet. Would you be surprised if you got a house with a thousand outlets, faucets, and cabinets, at three times the cost you expected, and the whole thing fell apart a couple of years later? Getting the country’s best electrician on the job (he trained at Harvard, somebody tells you) isn’t going to solve this problem. Nor will changing the person who writes him the check.

In an earlier Q&A online, Gawande noted:

The most important transformation going on in health care worldwide, I think, is that the complexity of medical know-how has exceeded the abilities of individuals. Medicine now requires teams of people to work together to prevent and treat disease for patients successfully. Medical schools don’t teach students how to work in teams or how to bring teams to be successful at this work. It requires communication skills and an ability to monitor and improve team performance. Some of this I touched on in a previous article called “The Checklist.