Gongol.com Archives: September 2012
Brian Gongol

September 22, 2012

Socialism Doesn't Work Communists would be funny if they weren't so stupid -- and harmful
A sample item from the North Korean propaganda agency includes these lines: "They referred to the need for officials and workers to boost the production of fertilizers for socialist rural areas" and "He said that enterprises play very important roles in building an economic power and improving the people's standard of living, calling on the workers to take the lead in the on-going advance for great surge". These are quotes from one of their Central Committee figureheads, and they reveal the massive, gaping hole in Communist thought: Every economy is subject to market forces, whether Communists like it or not. Trying to ignore those forces is like trying to avoid the wind and the tides. You can say they're not there, but they are whether you like it or not. And in any market, prices are the signal that tell producers when to make more and when to make less. Stripping away the role of prices and just walking around a factory, admonishing workers to do more because it's part of a "great surge" is about the stupidest thing a person can do. Prices signal us when and how to act. It's as simple as that.

News Everyone's life is a combination of luck (good and bad) and choices (good and bad)
Unfortunately for the Chicago Tribune, they recently ran a sob story on a longtime substitute teacher and his descent into homelessness, but forgot to look into the records that would have told them he lost $180,000 to gambling. The Des Moines Register runs a sob story of a similar type virtually every alternating Sunday, and it gets tiresome. All too often, those featured had a bout of bad luck, but not without a string of really bad personal choices. We do ourselves no good if we always celebrate/highlight/talk about those stories without doing much more to celebrate those who overcame bad luck by making good choices instead. Especially when people are going to call for government intervention to help those who made the bad decisions (as the Register almost always does).

Business and Finance Federal Reserve promises low interest rates through at least 2015
Great for borrowers, bad for traditional savers. Maybe inflationary for the stock market.

Computers and the Internet Microsoft issues emergency patch for Internet Explorer
Which may explain why your computer wants you to do an update reboot cycle

Humor and Good News 1500 ping-pong balls and a liquid nitrogen bomb
(Video) Awesome and just plain fun science

Aviation News Space Shuttle Endeavour flyover at the Golden Gate Bridge
(Video) Now, if only we as a country would have planned ahead and done something to replace the Space Shuttle long ago...

News Who are the nerds, and who are the geeks?

News Police and protesters storm Libyan militia bases

Computers and the Internet Is HP in the hunt to buy Research In Motion (the BlackBerry makers)?

Computers and the Internet Thinking of the Internet not as an audience, but as neighbors

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