The Sunday Post for July 17, 2016

The Suit That Couldn’t Be Copied

Akhil Sharma tracks his attempt to copy one of Davide Taub’s suits, crafted so excellently they even “suggest a controlled intelligence.” Sharma’s piece is surprisingly fascinating and sheds light on various aspects of being a designer on Savile Row.

When I saw Taub’s clothes, I was struck with desire. I have always dressed like a schlub; to do otherwise feels like competing to make myself attractive, which feels like setting myself up for humiliation. But I had the sense that if I wore a garment by Taub, I would become a different person. It was this desire — combined with the fact that one of his overcoats starts at around six thousand dollars, and one of his suits at eight thousand — that made me wonder if I could get a tailor in some less expensive part of the world to copy one of his garments.
Don’t Blame My ‘Broken Windows’ Theory For Poor Policing

George Kelling and James Q. Wilson co-authored a theory in the early 80s which essentially states that small signs of disrepair and lack of care in a community — such as broken windows — can lead to more serious issues. This criminological theory has garnered a lot of attention recently as the spotlight shines on policing — good and bad. But Kelling says his theory has been seriously misunderstood and is here to clear things up. This YouTube video about a “spot-fixing” project in India reflects Kelling’s idea that good policing seeks to address a community’s broken windows.

First of all, broken windows was never intended to be a high-arrest program. Although it has been practiced as such in many cities, neither Wilson nor I ever conceived of it in those terms. Broken-windows policing is a highly discretionary set of activities that seeks the least intrusive means of solving a problem — whether that problem is street prostitution, drug dealing in a park, graffiti, abandoned buildings, or actions such as public drunkenness. Moreover, depending on the problem, good broken windows policing seeks partners to address it: social workers, city code enforcers, business improvement district staff, teachers, medical personnel, clergy, and others. The goal is to reduce the level of disorder in public spaces so that citizens feel safe, are able to use them, and businesses thrive. Arrest of an offender is supposed to be a last resort — not the first.
At Sea, and Seeking a Safe Harbor

In her New York Times essay, Hugo House student Putsata Reang discusses identity in an incredibly compelling way. She attempts to reconcile a sense of self and loyalty to her mother, a struggle present in several of her life’s most important moments.

We’re left wedged inside too tight a space, Ma and me. If I am to be a good Cambodian daughter, I must sacrifice an essential part of who I am and lose my partner, who loves me with her full nurturing force. If I am true to myself, I cause Ma to lose a fundamental part of who she is as a Cambodian mother.

I see no middle ground, no safe harbor for us to come ashore together. But I know who I am, and how I am like her. I know that same impulse of hope in Ma is alive in me, beating beneath my ribs, something she breathed into my soul on a wayward ship so long ago.

Do no harm

Hospitals have seen thousands of deaths — nearly 10,000 in 2013 — caused by a preventable infection. Sarah Kliff explores the history and progress of central line infections, caused by bacteria entering a central line catheter that goes directly to a patient’s heart.

Researchers showed that doctors could significantly reduce, and in nearly all cases eliminate, central line infections if they followed a short safety checklist.

Central line infections fell 46 percent between 2008 and 2013, a huge success for public health. At the same time, these figures exasperate experts: Given everything we know about preventing central line infections, why do they happen at all? And why did they happen, four times, to Nora?