The generic British word for journalist — now unofficially adopted by all English-speaking foreign correspondents — is ‘hack.’ This represents an effort to draw the sting from an insult by annexing it to oneself. Other self-descriptions, such as ‘reporter’ or ‘correspondent,’ represent an attempt to professionalize what began as a craft or trade. One hack of my acquaintance used the word ‘writer’ as his official occupation on his passport because, as he said, it could by the stroke of a pen be changed to ‘waiter’ if the officials at the frontier post looked menacing or uncooperative.
Yet to be considered a ‘writer’ is the highest aspiration of the hack. It is something that can only be said of you by others, not something you can lay claim to yourself. In the course of this spring at the school of journalism, I have been attempting to highlight those moments in American history when mere journalism rose to the level of literature. I thought this might be good for morale.
”—Christopher Hitchens’ course description for his UC Berkeley j-school class, as recalled in this month’s alumni newsletter.
“I was an economics major in college, and I’ve been grateful ever since for the few key concepts it drilled into me: things like opportunity cost, sunk cost, and marginal cost. I think about this stuff all the time in my everyday life. Sometimes I consider the marginal cost of, like, making myself another sandwich.”—Stock and flow « Snarkmarket
“For Mr. Cook, the focus on Asia “came down to two things,” said one former high-ranking Apple executive. Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” The result is that “we can’t compete at this point,” the executive said.”—Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class - NYTimes.com