Gongol.com Archives: April 2009
Brian Gongol

April 8, 2009

The American Way Bill Gates is getting smarter all the time
He started off seeming like a naive but highly ambitious computer programmer. Then he started to get rich. Then he wrote a pretty weak book. Then he got incredibly rich. Now that he's spending most of his time trying to solve big problems, he actually seems to have become much more focused and much wiser than he was probably ever given credit for being before. As maligned as he's been for all these years, the man has really put himself out in front of the solution train. His recent stunt at the TED conference was a brilliant move to highlight just how bad the malaria problem is around the world. (Watch the speech.) In some ways, it's almost as though he's absorbed the "learning machine" model from his friend Warren Buffett -- and that's a very good thing for one of the three richest people in the world to have done. On a related note, it will be fascinating to watch what happens to some of the other young billionaires as they search out new things to do. Facebook won't be on top of the world forever, but Mark Zuckerberg (if he's smart) will have an entire lifetime to do fascinating things.

Computers and the Internet We need a lot more online education, and quickly
Unfortunately, lots of school systems appear to be obstructing the process. There are some things that can be learned only in a classroom, and then there are lots of other things that really don't require a physical presence. Knowing how to distribute the most of each as efficiently as we can will help us better prepare people to do well.

Business and Finance Life-insurance companies now seek Federal bailout funding
Amid everything else that's been going on, one has to wonder: How bad is the situation faced now by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation? It's been obvious since at least 2005 that American pensions were vastly under-funded, and the market's upheaval lately absolutely hasn't helped.

Broadcasting Podcast: The ugly habit of "no policy without a crisis"
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Broadcasting Podcast: The land sailboat
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Water News Computer threats to American infrastructure

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