Gongol.com Archives: January 2016

Brian Gongol

January 18, 2016

News YouTube "celebrity" questions didn't really add to the Democratic Presidential debate

Debates undoubtedly play a storied role in our political tradition, and we don't have to do away with them. But they are assuredly not an effective means of really teasing out the information that voters really need in order to make an informed decision about any candidate, particularly not for something as complex as a Presidential race. And the obsession with trying to make use of the "new" in these debates -- via questions from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube -- has to be done in an effort to ask better, broader questions in the debates. Unfortunately, the YouTube "stars" clunkily inserted into the last debate didn't really edify anything. In a far better universe, we would have interesting and thoughtful interviews with the candidates conducted by intelligent interviewers with a solid grasp of the facts and a sense of fearlessness about pursuing lines of inquiry -- not the pandering lap-dog behavior we see all too often today. And in a truly ideal universe, we could put candidates through something like an Oval Office simulator -- though that would probably be impossible to conduct squarely. The next-best thing is probably to give preference to candidates who have served as state governors, which is likely the closest thing.

News Turkey has an estimated 2,000,000 refugees

An astonishing number -- greater than the entire population of Nebraska

News Good question

Why pay $200,000 to hear a canned speech?

Computers and the Internet Whatever his take on the issues, Sen. Cory Booker is largely right about using technology in government

Tools that shine more sunlight are valuable things

Aviation News SpaceX didn't stick the sea landing

Better luck next time. But a really pyrotechnic video survives the latest attempt.