Gongol.com Archives: May 2012
Brian Gongol

May 15, 2012

Science and Technology This is why America will survive anything
Some goofball at MIT has built his own real-life Mario Kart. It's preposterous, it's silly, it's a complete frivolity. But it's hilarious and ingenious as well. And it's an example of what happens when someone wants something -- even if it's just for fun -- and has the resources, knowledge, and freedom to create it. Command economies scoff at things like this, instead taking resources from all of the individuals in the land and turning them over the the authorities, who build their own preposterous monuments -- but do so in the name "of the people". ■ The truth is that exotic and ridiculous Stalinist projects like the Ryugyong Hotel are really just meant to glorify the state and the people who run it. Sure, the Moscow Metro has some magnificently beautiful stations, but did the people of Moscow need a fabulous subway station in 1938, or did they really just need an opportunity to keep more of their own resources in the middle of the Great Purge? ■ Even non-Stalinist states are often too quick to turn over profits to governments which then use them in pursuit of ego trips...the colossal Burj Khalifa/Burj Dubai was heavily funded by government spending. Free economies have their excesses, too -- any trip down the Las Vegas Strip will tell a person that. But what's most important is that individuals have the opportunity to make their own decisions about what to create and how to invest their time. ■ There will be plenty of people who chose to fritter away their lives in front of dull television programming every night. But there will be others who will tinker and experiment and create, and reap the rewards -- whether those are financial or just visceral (like riding a real Mario Kart). And as long as that occasional genius is rewarded and allowed to flourish, everyone else gets a free ride on the results.

Socialism Doesn't Work Taxpayers will contribute $498 million to the new Vikings stadium
The team will pay $477 million. But the team's finances will remain a secret to their partners, the general public.

Science and Technology Honda's new motorized wheelchair looks nothing like what's been built before
Further proof that life keeps getting better -- whether or not people recognize that fact

The American Way Charlie Munger: "I think civilized people don't buy gold. They invest in productive businesses."
Also: "Take the rapid trading by the computer geniuses with the computer algorithms. Those people have the social utility of a bunch of rats admitted to a granary."

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