Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - May 19, 2018
Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.
Segment 1: (11 min)
BUT FIRST: The opening essay
7 days, 7 states
Airline customer counter in Chicago. Rental car franchise in Montgomery. Hotel in Tupelo. Uber in New Orleans.
Commerce makes us nicer
It's not a cure-all. People still need to be raised well.
But there's little that does more to civilize people and get them to look past petty disputes than a voluntary exchange of money for goods and services.
Deep dish needs sauce
Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day
The people speak (in a totally unscientific survey): They want A/C
Live read: iHeartRadio app
iHeartRadio app: Graduation playlists at graduationplaylist.com
Segment 2: (8 min)
Don't amplify the school shooter
Another instance of violence in the ongoing public-health emergency of violence in American schools. This would be a very good time to examine the "No Notoriety" movement -- which asks the media to refrain from publicizing the name, likeness, or ideas of any mass murderer unless necessary to aid in an apprehension. Mass killings have an element of social contagion, so there is a role for media outlets to play in stopping the spread.
I am, sadly, going to retweet an earlier thread. Media: please donít put the killerís face on loop, on front pages, on your app notifications. Donít sensationally publicize manifestos. Focus on victims and structural causes. Donít help inspire the next killer. https://t.co/egkm3rhYBR— zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) May 18, 2018
Shared with endorsement.— Brian Gongol (@briangongol) May 19, 2018
And, news audiences, do not reward any "Who is [killer's name]?" articles with so much as a click. They should wither, unviewed. https://t.co/4uku51isYC
Segment 3: (14 min)
Live read: Contest
$16K Every Day
Mortgage interest rates are rising (they're still low by historic standards, but they're at a 7-year high), so it's a big market for sellers of residential real estate
The measurable results of the experiment won't be shared for a while, but it's being suggested that the UBI under examination wasn't big enough to achieve really ground-breaking results -- they were still too small to sustain even the most modest lifestyle. There are good reasons to experiment with (and study) the UBI, as well as good reasons to avoid it.
If built, that would make the third major observation deck with some kind of gimmick in Chicago
Clean up after yourself
@realDonaldTrump we farmers plant THEN the expectation of successful is toĒrowĒthe new seeding. Hopefully an abundance harvest Farmers gamble markets and nature Iowans count on NAFTA Mexico our big market GET NAFTA CONCLUDED pic.twitter.com/ecNExDlFT3— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) May 19, 2018
"We could lose 50 to 60 jobs easily", says the chair of a Nebraska company that depends on steel to make parts. Even domestic steel has risen in price under the threat of tariffs (for what else should anyone have expected?), and that's a "tremendous burden" to the company. Hardly an isolated situation.
US authorities claimed that China had agreed to cut its trade surplus to the United States by $200 billion. Chinese outlets with quasi-official government status have declared to the contrary. A $200 billion cut would be large and dramatic -- not to mention difficult for both economies to accommodate. It's hard to imagine China voluntarily reducing its economic output by $145 per person without some kind of massive compensation in return. And it's almost certain that such cuts would have a huge impact on both the US consumer and producer markets.
As Dwight Eisenhower said: "Our concern over these affairs illustrates forcibly the old truism that political considerations can never be wholly separated from military ones and that war is a mere continuation of political policy in the field of force."
Segment 4: (5 min)
By the numbers
An uncompromising view: "Those who break the law will face on-the-spot fines of up to Ä750". The bill appears to have passed in France's lower legislative chamber and is headed to the upper chamber for approval.
A massive eight times its sale price in 2011. But, sure, everything's perfectly normal in the real-estate market.
Mind your business
The awful economics of metro-scale newspapers are having a serious effect
Live read: Smart speakers (hour 1)
Segment 5: (11 min)
Logically, shouldn't the exit door from the fire stairs on the ground floor have a panic bar that opens outward? In a fire, nobody's coming in and climbing up (other than firefighters).
Tin Foil Hat Award
When the byproduct of something is so much entropy that it could heat a room, then that thing needs to justify itself in a much bigger way than cryptocurrency ever has. Cryptocurrency is a mania, not a paradigm shift.
21st Century conservatism
Rex Tillerson, to the graduating class at VMI: "It is only by a fierce defense of the truth and a common set of facts that we create the conditions for a democratic free society [...] If our leaders seek to conceal the truth or we as a people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on the pathway to relinquishing our freedom."
Conservatism's roots in individual dignity should be conservatism's main appeal to people of all backgrounds: A belief in pluralism and the security of individual liberty, as goods in themselves -- regardless of race or faith or color or origin.
Conservatives need to reject blind traditionalism, and the left has to resist the urge to recycle demonstrably failed experiments. The vigorous generation of new ideas (not just new policies) is good for everyone.
Live read: iHeartRadio app
"Four bearded tenors trying to harmonize while one of them tickles a banjo ironically" is NOT a subgenre of alternative rock. Stop playing that crap on alternative rock stations.
iHeartRadio app: Graduation playlists at graduationplaylist.com
Segment 6: (8 min)
An ambiguous synthesized pronunciation of the word "laurel" sounds like "yanny", depending on the characteristics of the speakers through which it plays. Finding out where the sound crosses over from one to the other is a passing exercise in mass culture, the likes of which are rare now that people watch fewer things in common than in the past.
Your role in cyberwar
The data from one such personality quiz (tied to Facebook) got released onto the Internet, exposing quite a lot about 3 million users. There's nothing wrong with a quest to better know the self -- but there's a lot to worry about when the shortcuts to the answers are being peddled online with the help of quizzes that are without accountability for the data.
Wired reports that Jigsaw "will start offering free protection from distributed denial of service attacks to US political campaigns".
Segment 7: (14 min)
Live read: Smart speakers (hour 2)
Contrary to popular opinion
The one-paragraph answer to every cheap shot taken at the Electoral College or the nature of the Senate: We have a Federal government, not a national one.
- This issue got me into a heated debate this week
- My counterpart was adamant that he wants a big and aggressive national government
- Yet somehow he also claimed to believe in being a conservative
- Can't do that
The week in technology
There has to be a technological solution to this. Maybe a motion sensor tied to a thermometer and a small cell that dials 911? It can't be too hard or too expensive for Silicon Valley to figure out. We need this to prevent tragedies. While it is evident that technological answers to the problem could end up having unintended consequences (like making some parents less careful), that line of reason mainly reinforces the case for making sure that technologists have a firm grasp on the humanity of the issues on which they work -- from the social implications to the human factors involved.
Someone called 911 from a Jiffy Lube in Austin, Texas, to plant a fake report that sent a swarm of police to a house in West Des Moines in pursuit of a murder that hadn't happened
Segment 8: (5 min)
Stop the deliberate ignorance
This cannot be viewed apart from an apparent vendetta against Jeff Bezos, who started Amazon and who (separately) owns the Washington Post (which isn't gentle to the President, nor should it be). The President does not deserve credit for reportedly donating his government salary if he is simultaneously using the government to advance his own personal business agenda or to punish others for behavior he doesn't like. It's not consistent.
The damage that could be done by a Federal government quest to discredit vaccines is almost unfathomable
Unsorted and leftovers:
The extraordinary case of an American becoming a member of the House of Windsor shows just how many hoops a person in Britain must jump through in order to marry a foreigner for love
The city's planning commission approved the center, so next it goes to the zoning commission. It's a half-billion-dollar plan, so there's understandable interest.
Laudably, they're being designed with setbacks
Quote of the Week
Hyperbole is going to kill us all
Curiosity, competence, and humility
Have a little empathy
Yay Capitalism Prize
Capitalist solution of the week
As adults, the three all work in the same hospital -- the one where they were born. Quite a story.
It's low-lying, but not that low-lying
A truck traveling down the highway with a ladder barely clinging to the bed
One of the few movies that can turn any red-blooded American misty-eyed.
A proposal is out to convert a big abandoned office complex in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, into a "metroburb" -- a micro-suburb within a sprawling building
One year ago
Five years ago
Ten years ago
SUNDAY: 4:35pm: Barnstormers pregame
5:05pm-8:30pm: Barnstormers @ Arizona Rattlers