White House Interns are Superheroes

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March 19, 2019 5:58 p.m.

Martha Gimbel used to work at the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and has noticed that a new report for the CEA has some unusual interns:

This falls under the “Brown M&M” principle, whereby small failures on the margins might point to larger problems. As Vox explains:

These are small matters, of course, but inattention to detail as a habit can be very consequential.

Van Halen used to famously insist that the band be provisioned before playing a show with bowls of M&Ms from which all the brown M&Ms had been removed. This would be buried in the midst of a longish contract document, and the point wasn’t to be fussy about candy; it was to offer a quick way to check whether the organizers had actually read the thing and paid attention to detail.

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