Gongol.com Archives: November 2006
Brian Gongol

November 28, 2006

News Interview with Robert Pirsig
Author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance asks, "Why, for example, should a group of simple, stable compounds of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen struggle for billions of years to organise themselves into a professor of chemistry? What's the motive?" People are still writing important books, even with the Internet around to siphon away some of that writing talent.

Iowa "Can miners" make $100 to $500 per football game
A cadre of people either supplements their income (or makes all of it) collecting cans that can be recycled for 5 cents apiece after Iowa Hawkeye football games. These are the kinds of people who are hurt by a higher minimum wage: They're willing to do work with a low payoff rather than just take handouts. And why shouldn't they have the option to accept low-wage jobs, if those jobs exist?

CommerceBucket "Anti-Social Media"
What's wrong with "user-generated content"

Graphics In the Smoking Room

The American Way It's President Bush vs. Lou Dobbs
Dobbs is on CNN every night, pushing an anti-trade, anti-immigrant message that makes the ears bleed. But if you tell a big enough lie often enough... That means the President has to start fighting back in the court of public opinion, lest the incoming Democratic Congress seek to demolish the free-trade gains of the last 15 years. And that's exactly what they want to do: Not because it's the right thing to do (it isn't), but because it's politically popular. And it's only politically popular because the President and other free-trade opinion leaders have been too timid about explaining the benefits of trade, like cheaper goods, stable international relations, and better ties with developing nations. The work the President does now to influence the nation's attitude about trade could make or break the next free-trade Presidential candidate, like Sen. Chuck Hagel.

News A history of the London Times masthead

The American Way What's easily forgotten about the James Bond mystique
Part of the appeal of early James Bond books was that they provided a sense of escapism for British readers mired in the economic doldrums after WWII.

Agriculture How to grow an avocado tree

Water News Nebraska irrigators could be forced to give up years' worth of water