Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - February 21, 2010

Brian Gongol

A few highlights from tonight's show:

As a nation, we're wearing some incredible debt handcuffs. We owe $12.4 trillion in Federal government debt alone (that's about $40,000 per person), and China (which has lent us more of that money than any country except Japan) has been reducing the amount it lends us at a rapid rate. The fact that we're the debtors and China is the lender makes it harder and harder for us to act on the moral high ground of freedom. Borrowers can't tell the bank to take a hike without suffering consequences.

It's not just the Federal government that's messed up. The State of Iowa is in huge budgetary trouble, too, according to state auditor David Vaudt. We can't put off fixing our problems -- Federal, state, local, or personal -- forever.

In the era of Facebook status updates, Google Buzz, Twitter, and "America's Got Talent", does anyone have a reasonable expectation of obscurity anymore? Quite possibly not. We might think that we're just little drops in a big stream of human behavior, but it's almost impossible to guarantee that we won't be the little drops that someone might scoop out and put under the microscope. This poses a serious ethical dilemma for social scientists.

We're probably not going to be sitting around drinking mint juleps while robots do all of our work in 2035, but it sure won't hurt to have machines doing more of our routine labor in the future.

And...the Gettysburg Address as a PowerPoint presentation.

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter throughout the week.

- Brian Gongol

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