Gongol.com Archives: September 2007
Brian Gongol

September 25, 2007

Graphics Graphic of the day: Dairy Economics

Water News EPA orders dairies to use lined lagoons

Threats and Hazards Keep your mouth shut at Canterbury University
The University of Canterbury in New Zealand is reviewing a new draft policy on intellectual property that would lay claim "to all ideas, concepts, improvements on existing products and all other developments that would normally be patented as university property" -- and it would apply not only to professors and other staff, but also to students and visitors.

News How the right words can be a matter of life and death
Two Supreme Court justices use two very different narratives to describe the same murder. How they get from start to finish makes all the difference in the world.

Threats and Hazards Columbia University president calls Iranian president a "petty and cruel dictator"...to Ahmadinejad's face
C-SPAN offers the full pair of speeches online

Business and Finance Union strike at GM will cost 0.3% of GDP each week
That's a short-range problem; a long-range problem of colossal size is the future of massive public debt, exacerbated by elderly populations in countries around the world -- most certainly including the US. America's politicians have almost completely ignored the immediate and pending crisis in Social Security and in Medicare. Education may help overcome the productivity losses as more retirees depend on fewer workers to keep the economy going, but it's going to be difficult to overcome. China may have it even worse.

Business and Finance Bailouts of big banks and lenders: Good or bad idea?
Related: Alan Greenspan says home-equity borrowing is probably going to worsen the results of mortgage-lending hassles.

The American Way BBC interviewer stands up to anti-market nonsense
Naomi Klein was interviewed on the BBC's "Business Daily" program last week, and the host (Steve Evans) was stronger than most media hosts at standing up to her illogic. She (quite wrongly) identifies President Bush as a Chicago-School economist. He's far from it. In fact, she reveals just how little she understands about the Chicago School by suggesting that Milton Friedman favored a completely unfettered market; that's patently untrue. One of the defining differences between the Chicago school and the Austrian school is that Chicagoists believe that government intervention can be sensibly applied -- but only to redeem negative externalities. Austrians are even more anarchic. Bush is vastly more statist than either the Austrians or the Chicagoists. Free markets under the rule of law are still best.

Socialism Doesn't Work Red China to Hong Kong: Prepare to be assimilated

Science and Technology Why can't science overtake reality TV?
The root of the problem really comes down to this: The people who tell great stories are rarely the people who do great science -- and vice-versa. And those few people who take the necessary role of acting as popularizers often find themselves pummeled with complaints by know-it-alls who insist upon arguing minutiae rather than realizing that popularization necessitates a little bit of rounding error.

Computers and the Internet The "one laptop per child" computer will hit commercial markets soon
It'll be available briefly in November to Americans, for $399. That sum will buy two computers; one for the consumer, one for a child in the developing world.

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