Monday, May 20, 2013
The New Science of Giving
Thanks to Serge for passing this along.
LIKE ANY POPULAR food writer, Gary Taubes gets more than his share of e-mails about his work. So he didn't give it much thought one day two years ago when he got a five-line comment about a podcast he'd given the week before. It was plainly signed "John."
The man was intrigued by Taubes's theories on why people get fat—more specifically, the food writer's argument that most of the science on obesity is either badly flawed or inconclusive. What was needed, Taubes had said, was a comprehensive experiment that can answer some of the key questions about how our bodies process food. The problem is that such a study is hugely expensive. "From the little I know about the science of nutrition, your study makes a lot of sense," the listener wrote, adding that he ran a foundation focused on public policy.
Taubes noticed that the full name in the email was John Arnold, and a quick Google search turned up a curious figure under that name: a wunderkind natural-gas trader at Enron who later founded his own hedge fund. The fund was secretive—little-known in its hometown, Houston, much less the rest of the country—but legendary in hedge-fund circles for its mega-returns. It was starting to get interesting.
Related previous post:
The Manhattan Project to End Fad Diets – By Tim Ferriss