Gongol.com Archives: August 2012
Brian Gongol


August 22, 2012

Humor and Good News "Area man regrets investing in Facebook"
The Onion's spoof has Mark Zuckerberg saying, "[T]here’s not a whole lot of room for long-term growth there, or any real solid plan for the future". It's funny because it's true.

Health Electronic medical records with a real purpose
IBM's Watson supercomputer is being used to analyze patient records and improve medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. This is exactly the kind of thing for which better computing power should be used. IBM has obviously found a partnership from which to start. It would seem obvious that companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft -- all drowning in cash and packed to the gills with smart people and high technology -- should be looking for problems like these, where they have competitive advantages and can establish profitable new divisions that don't depend upon advertising revenues for their success.

Business and Finance A Federal deficit of 7.3% of the entire economy
Look: We can deficit-spend from year to year, but only at something less than the rate at which the economy is growing. If you know you're going to make $50,000 this year and $55,000 next year, then if you can borrow the money at something close to a 0% interest rate (which the Federal government can do right now), then spending $52,000 isn't really a crisis -- the deficit is more than made-up by a rising income. But the economy isn't growing at 7.3% a year -- not even close to it. And every year we overspend at a rate that much more than how fast we grow, we just make the future pain many times worse.

Threats and Hazards At least four dozen people killed in Kenya over cattle-grazing rights
A tragedy of property rights and tribalism. A government that cannot maintain the rule of law needs to be replaced.

The United States of America American manufacturing is not -- and never has been -- dead
Particularly for sophisticated work where high quality is essential

News When the collective memory will forget things
In ten years, the Reagan years will be nothing more than history lessons to half the population

Humor and Good News Pale skin as a sign of high status
Full-body beachwear -- in the form of the "facekini" -- is finding its way to popularity in China, where a lack of pigment suggests one has risen above field work. Of course, in the US, a tan suggests that the person has enough money to afford leisure time to sit in the sun. Unless it's a farmer tan.

Iowa 60% of college-bound high school graduates aren't ready for college
A report from the makers of the ACT test say that only 40% of the students taking their test met more than half of the benchmarks on the test for college-preparedness. And that's among the young people who are signaling their intent to go to college. Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin have the highest overall scores on the test, yet even those students are performing only marginally better on those preparedness standards than the rest of the country. Schools and school districts should pay careful attention to trends in the numbers -- after all, benchmarks are important, and what gets measured gets managed.

News Former Pakistani ambassador to the US says we should all stop fooling ourselves
He suggests that if we stop pretending like there's a real partnership going on between the US and Pakistan, then we can start getting around to setting real terms and conditions for working together.

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