Gongol.com Archives: March 2019

Brian Gongol

March 6, 2019

Humor and Good News Every kid deserves a loving home

Indiana nurse adopts abandoned baby with serious health problems, and the adoption almost certainly saved his life: "[L]iterally no one had ever asked to foster a child [...] with such serious conditions as Marcus"

The United States of America Moderation doesn't mean an absence of principles

Public intellectual Brad Delong has recently offered an indigestion-inducing argument that the center-right should be abandoned by its correspondents on the center-left. Among the many problems with that analysis is the conflation of party registrations with identity. Twitter addicts notwithstanding, most Americans are largely disinterested in politics. It's the disinterest in politics that leads generally moderate people to register as independents or abstain from voting, giving much greater leverage to the radicals in the primaries and (consequently) in general elections. ■ Tall buildings in seismic zones need oscillation dampers to keep them from tipping over. Both the left and right need vibrant idea centers with a moderate inclination to keep them from tipping over -- especially in populist earthquakes. The ordinary, mostly-disengaged voter needs to hear sound ideas that generally comport with their basic worldview. Most people aren't really tuned-in most of the time! A moderate, non-radical revival on either side of center is a good thing. ■ As John Stuart Mill once wrote, "The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful, is the cause of half their errors. A contemporary author has well spoken of 'the deep slumber of a decided opinion.'" The sane members of the center-right need to make the case for their principles as though nobody has ever heard them before. And to make them over and over and over again, without tiring. The colossal level of stupidity is on full display by members of Congress who think they're in the old game played in 3rd grade -- the one when kids discover a forbidden word and compete to see who can whisper it loudest before the substitute teacher flips out. It's not going to get better if those within a reasonable radius of the center decide to give up the fight and let others run wild. Civilization depends on a surprising amount of persuasion.

Computers and the Internet Facebook's leadership still doesn't get what they really are

Mark Zuckerberg is trying vastly too hard with his metaphors. Facebook isn't a town square, and it's not a living room. It's a busy and long-neglected subway stop full of buskers and confused old people, where nobody can hear the announcements but the walls are covered in posters.

Health Giant study from Denmark shows no sign of link between autism and MMR vaccine

The risks associated with vaccines are minimal. The risks associated without vaccines are huge. Snake oil salesmen have been around forever. We don't have to give them room in the public conversation.

Humor and Good News Taking out your frustrations on the wrong target

Members of the WHO-TV staff had a little fun with chief meteorologist Ed Wilson. But paybacks can be something.

@briangongol on Twitter