Gongol.com Archives: June 2009
Brian Gongol


June 26, 2009

Broadcasting Show notes from WHO Radio - June 26, 2009
There's a better way to control greenhouse-gas emissions than cap-and-trade

Broadcasting Podcast: Renaming the Sears Tower
Listen to the MP3 file, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe using iTunes

Broadcasting Podcast: Data rot
Listen to the MP3 file, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe using iTunes

Water News When people flush, they want the water to go away

Computers and the Internet China's government might break its own Internet access
By trying to force the entire country to adopt a program to censor Internet access, it may very likely be opening a gigantic security hole on every single computer in the country. Crashing its own Internet in order to cut off political dissent actually means the Chinese government has shot itself in the metaphorical foot twice: First, the obvious losses in breaking their connection to one of the greatest commercial tools ever created. But in smacking down dissent, political or otherwise, they discourage innovation, which is one of the prime reasons the American economy has done so well for centuries. Creativity, innovation, and dissent are cultural values that cause people to think in different ways than they would if they simply obeyed. This sort of mental acculturation means that, everything else being equal, the person who grows up with a culture of dissent is likely to be more creative than one who does not. That's good for an economy -- and shutting it down is bad.

Computers and the Internet When will we get tired of hearing everything everyone thinks about everything?
Particularly thanks to the Internet, it's possible for everyone -- virtually every soul on the planet -- to share an opinion about almost anything. Local rules and regulations may keep the lid on things, but the technology itself -- from Twitter to Facebook to Blogger -- means that every opinion can be set out to float on the sea of bits and bytes that make up the Internet. And with comment features on weblogs and Wikipedia entries open to everyone, we don't even need to visit message boards to get caught in the crossfire of a flame war any longer. But at least one writer thinks we may be close to "opinion exhaustion." And he could be right. There's only so much we can stand to hear about how people feel about things before we simply want to be amused or informed without being opined to. There's only so long we can spend listening to others call other things "failures". Fortunately, good ideas still make their way through the noise, even if that requires creative means of getting around dictators and their petty rules.

Humor and Good News Rap impersonator
(Video) It's really impressive

The United States of America Chair of Republican Governors Association tells Iowa Republicans to avoid debates on ideological purity
Haley Barbour spoke in Des Moines and made the salient point that American political parties are coalitions formed before Election Day. In the legislatures of our European and other parliamentary counterparts, the presence of many parties leads to coalition-building after the election is over. But in the US, the coalitions are formed well before the election. And coalitions they are: Republicans draw limited-government enthusiasts, social conservatives, and fiscal conservatives together, among others. They don't always agree, but that was what drove Ronald Reagan's huge electoral victories under his "Big Tent" formula. Iowa's Republican Party is completely out of power at the statehouse, so speculation about who will emerge as the candidate for Governor is obviously quite widespread.

Broadcasting Satellite radio now to stream to iPhones
But it won't be free...listeners will still need to pay a subscription fee. The content had better be pretty amazing to be worth a subscription fee, since services like Pandora and Last.fm already stream music to phones for free, and an abundance of radio stations already offer free streaming and free podcasts.

News More than 750,000 tickets had been sold to Michael Jackson's concert tour
Jackson was one of the first truly global celebrities. It's unlikely that any of today's global celebrities -- or even ones who come generations from now -- will be fully equipped to deal with the psychology of being "known" by most of the people on the planet. And for any number of reasons, the public wants to and gets to know more and more about every moment in a celebrity's life.

Weather and Disasters Vortex 2 project wraps up for the summer
They'll go back to chasing tornadoes next year. Meantime, expect some good video when Storm Chasers comes back to the Discovery Channel.

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