Gongol.com Archives: January 2024

Brian Gongol

January 20, 2024

Business and Finance Grocery-store appreciation

It shouldn't escape our occasional celebration that the modern American grocery store is the kind of place that would have blown the minds of almost all of our ancestors

News When the icons overstate the case

Office Depot is posting MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) along with some of the product listings in its online store. But the icon they've chosen to use is the radioactivity symbol, which might be a little too alarmist for the purpose.

News The not-very-South-Siders

A vibrant rumor is circulating that the Chicago White Sox might move to a site touted as being within light walking distance of the Loop. Some observers are cheered by the possibility that a baseball park could be built with the Chicago River running along the third-base line. Some lightheartedly dream of spectators jumping into the river to retrieve home-run balls and emerging with diseases. Of course, giardia isn't giardiniera.

News History is like jazz

Human history is like jazz: It'll never sound exactly the same way twice, but you're never really hearing it for the first time. There will always be particular details that are novel or original about an event, but the themes are really unfailingly familiar. That's because humans today are overwhelmingly the same as humans yesterday. On the whole, we're better-fed and face fewer challenges to our physical welfare than our predecessors -- and that contributes favorably to our collective decision-making. ■ But those are marginal differences, not changes to the fundamental stuff of human nature. To reach for an ancient recorded example, the contents of the Book of Proverbs are more than 2,000 years old, yet easy modern parallels can be found to its complaints about lazy children, protests against dishonest business practices, and warnings about liars. ■ This doesn't mean that all of the answers to our problems are hidden in old history books. But if the virtues and vices, motivations and limitations on us are all roughly the same as they've ever been, then it's mostly a matter of learning to recognize the fundamental patterns underlying the (metaphorical) tempo and key changes. In the words of Jeffery Tyler Syck: "The weirdest thing about studying history is that you realize that things never really change but they are also never really the same."

The United States of America Worthwhile thoughts on equality

You haven't heard of everyone who made a contribution

Socialism Doesn't Work

Perhaps the greatest check on the reach of the DSA is their utter contempt for (and resulting ignorance of) Federalism.

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