Gongol.com Archives: March 2013
Brian Gongol

March 2, 2013

News Mr. Rodman goes to Pyongyang
And other recent oddities of the North Korea relationship

Computers and the Internet Knowing yourself a little better
The Myers-Briggs test isn't a bad way to figure out some of the characteristics that make us who we are -- and explain what makes us "tick". It may throw people off at first if they find that the results strongly correlate with their own life experience; after all, we are frequently told what unique snowflakes we all are. But if knowing more about yourself can in turn help you to discover ways of getting along better with co-workers, family, friends, and the world at large, then perhaps it would be wise for everyone to know their personality type. We are not far away from the time when personality engines will be programmed into computers and other electronics, and it may be well worth knowing which personality types help round out our thinking and expose blind spots.

The United States of America The sequester starts...now
The effect -- unless a replacement plan is found -- amounts to 13% cuts in the defense budget and 9% cuts outside defense. The truth of the matter is that we spend too much and show too little interest in paying for what we vote to give ourselves. The sequestration plan isn't pretty, but it's pretty real in terms of the cuts that we need to make. It's odd that we generally don't impose efficiency expectations on government like we do on business. People go to business school to become private-sector managers, but to public administration classes to become public-sector managers. Yet both categories of work require balancing budgets, satisfying customers, and managing people. Moore's Law and its corollaries insist that computers do more work faster and more efficiently all the time. We in turn apply those gains in the private sector to deliver great leaps in products like cell phones. If we have a "Chief Technology Officer" of the United States, shouldn't we have some serious commitment to applying technology improvements to the services government delivers?

Computers and the Internet Fast, cheap, and worth every penny
Western Digital's "My Passport" portable hard drive costs around $100 for 1 terabyte. It's a work of art.

Iowa Talk of raising the gas tax in Iowa