Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - July 28, 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
- Facebook and Twitter both laid some real eggs on the stock market this week
- Connection itself isn't a cure-all
- Much power to do good ("Finding Mollie Tibbetts" group)
- Much power to do harm (misinformation on missing kids)
- It's like dynamite -- or any other tool
- People's opinions are frequently wrong
- That's why we make rules
- (And, by the way, that's why we do trade and diplomacy according to rules, not personal chemistry. Remember when George W. Bush looked into Putin's eyes and "saw his soul"?)
- What are your rules?
- Facebook: Family, classmates, coworkers, or had a drink together
- LinkedIn: Never accept from "open networkers", generous within industry, stingy outside it
- Twitter: Am I curious about any of your last five posts? No Nazis or white supremacists. Block people of bad faith. Amplify useful tweets. Reply to everyone at least once.
- And no overexposure of friends, family, or especially kids, without permission.
- Rules are good for us. Leave us mental energy for new things and novel challenges.
- Facebook and social media in general need more self-imposed rules
- Keith Joseph: "The worship of instinct, of spontaneity, the rejection of self-discipline, is not progress -- it is degeneration."
- Facebook finally suspended Alex Jones for 30 days, and it's about time
- If you see anyone -- up to and including Mark Zuckerberg or the President -- rejecting an orderly world of self-imposed rules, beware.
- A person without a code never knows when they're in truly uncharted territory.
Segment 2: (8 min)
No real spike in missing persons
Segment 3: (14 min)
It is metaphysically impossible to screw up a pretzel order, and that means the dunce in front of you, no matter how stupid, will still be out of your way in no more than 90 seconds.
Tin Foil Hat Award
San Francisco politicians want to ban new workplace cafeterias so that "People will have to go out and each lunch with the rest of us". Seems like a rather dumb priority to think worthy of legislation.
Bad policymaking isn't excused by good intentions
Segment 4: (5 min)
Your role in cyberwar
"[F]oreign spies have been showing up uninvited to San Francisco and Silicon Valley for a very long time"
Segment 5: (11 min)
Tin Foil Hat Award
- Venezuela's hyperinflation
- Tariffs are not "the greatest"
- 4.1% GDP growth is nice, but beware the sugar rush
- No joke: Beware stagflation
- Cost-push inflation
- Fundamentals missing (no rising productivity, unemployment flatlined but wage growth flat, huge evidence of skills gaps)
- Entitlement apocalypse coming
- Obvious shortfalls in infrastructure
- Big gray-zone risks (Russia got into our electrical grid)
- Education cost inflation (and nobody likes the value that's coming out of the spending)
- Just...cork the bubbly, OK?
Segment 6: (8 min)
Tariffs (listener call):
- Negotiating tactic?
- Protecting whom?
- "Taking advantage"?
Segment 7: (14 min)
21st Century conservatism
Contrary to the claims of those on the left who want to see every issue nationalized (and their counterparts on some parts of the right), some of us are advocates for more true Federalism -- placing decisions as close as possible to the people affected by them, with the maximum allowable room for local/regional customization possible without infringing on the personal liberties of individuals. This is especially valid thinking, considering that most states today are at or near the same population as the entire USA in 1790 (4 million). Not everything needs to be a national issue, and in many cases, many things ought not to be. Time, effort, and psychological commitment expended in pursuit of national agendas (that don't need to be national) sap the country of the motivation and accountability to grapple with the big issues that truly do require Washington's attention. Thus we find ourselves polarized by stupid things and ignoring important ones -- like having a true cybersecurity policy or putting appropriate resources into trade and technology adjustment assistance where entire regions are struggling economically. Local conditions vary widely: The current average sale price for residential real estate in San Francisco is $1,057 per square foot , which is more than the $989 monthly rent on a decent 950-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom, apartment in suburban Des Moines. That's not an apples-to-apples comparison, of course, but when buying 12 square feet in one place would rent an entire apartment for a year in another place, maybe the same policies need not apply uniformly everywhere. It might be bad for cable TV punditry, but it would be very healthy for the country if we advanced a model that insisted on maximal localism (and accountability), reserving the Federal for truly national needs and for those instances where personal liberties were under threat from negligent, malicious, or hostile state and local governments.
Some things aren't quite war...but they aren't exactly diplomacy, either. That they lack a clear conventional definition shouldn't be the reason they fall through the cracks.
Segment 8: (5 min)
Unsorted and leftovers:
By the numbers
Clean up after yourself
Mind your business
Quote of the Week
The week in technology
Contrary to popular opinion
Hyperbole is going to kill us all
Curiosity, competence, and humility
Have a little empathy
Stop the deliberate ignorance
Yay Capitalism Prize
Capitalist solution of the week
Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day
One year ago
Five years ago
Ten years ago
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