Gongol.com Archives: October 2019

Brian Gongol

October 25, 2019

Business and Finance Crass political pressure on trade isn't good for anything

It would be very nice to return political risk to the margins of economic analysis, rather than having it shoved front and center at all times. But, alas, that's where we are.

News A million protesters in Chile

Think of what it takes to assemble a million people for any reason anywhere.

Broadcasting I'm feeling lucky

Why haven't Netflix and Hulu come up with "I'm Feeling Lucky" buttons of their own? Let users preselect 5 or 50 series, click a button, and watch some random episode. We don't always want to commit to rewatching every season of "The West Wing" or "30 Rock" from start to finish, but sometimes it's nice to just let serendipity pick an episode of a beloved program.

Business and Finance "Spreading fear" among investors

A renowned financial columnist says he's been pressured by financial advisors not to point out what could go wrong in the economy. A reasonable person wouldn't trust a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer who didn't address the worst-case scenario and help the patient or client to prepare for it. Why should anyone trust a financial advisor who fears an honest conversation about how things could go wrong?

The American Way Would high-status license plates get more people to drive electric cars?

People might be surprised at just how eager their fellow humans often are to pay for the privilege of adopting some form of status signal. Can pro-social decisions be turned into high-value products for people to buy?

News Don't hope for "the generals" to save us

It's imperative to model -- and recognize -- virtuous behavior in all sectors of leadership. Inside government, in the military, in the nonprofit sector, and (definitely) in business, too. We should resist the casual and cynical indictment of "all-leaders-except-for-those-in-uniform".

News All lives have equal value

Dozens of people died in the back of a truck in England. Indications are that they were migrants from southeast Asia. Their lives were worth no amount of dignity less than any of our own.

The United States of America Putting history to good use

Herbert Hoover earned the nickname "The Great Humanitarian". Instead of heaping scorn on a caricature of the man as President, we ought to give a little more attention to the great and honorable things he did that culminated in his becoming President in the first place. He is far more useful to us as a model for his pre-Presidential behavior than as a foil for the mistakes he made as President.

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