Gongol.com Archives: 2016 Weekly Archives
Brian Gongol


April 24, 2016

Threats and Hazards Bystanders let a man die in a Chicago street

The appalling consequences of the diffusion of responsibility

News Steve Wozniak has good advice on learning

It may start in school, but it's a terrible idea to let it end there

Science and Technology San Francisco to require solar panels

Always beware mandates like this one: Ordering everyone to do the same thing in the same way, even on a scale as small as a city, leaves no room for the subtle variances in life that make things that can be seemingly sensible turn into total disasters. Today's solar panels are better than yesterday's, and tomorrow's will almost certainly be better still. Requiring people to install technology that is in the middle of a rapid evolution can backfire: What if all houses in 1990 had been required to include giant satellite dishes, or all cars of the same time required to be equipped with bag phones? And what of flexible circumstances -- like a house that's always in the shade, due to hills, trees, or tall surrounding buildings? It's not like San Francisco is a place of cheap real estate to begin with -- it's already preposterously expensive. Mandates only compound that effect, raising the cost of living for people who already may be finding it hard to get by.

Computers and the Internet Kanye West may come to regret making promises on Twitter

Words like "never" can be costly when you're trying to get people to pay for things you're selling

Socialism Doesn't Work They might have had the capability to destroy us, but the Soviets weren't entirely crazy

People watching "The Americans" can be forgiven if they feel a tinge of nostalgia for the Cold War. "Ivan" might have been terrible, but he also didn't have a particular interest in dying. Today's foes aren't always quite so attached to their own skins, and that makes them unsettling in a way that Soviet nuclear weapons never really could be.


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