GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL….Megan McArdle reviews Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel today. She likes it but has a couple of complaints. I liked it too, and I don’t even have the complaints she does. It was, simply, a terrific book, with a truly eye-opening and compelling explanation for why Eurasian civilizations were the ones… Read more »
DEPARTMENT OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES….A friend of mine tells me that some local residents where he lives complained about a dangerous stretch of road a few years ago. The city finally agreed to put in a light, which was installed two years ago. But it turned out that people didn’t know the light was there, so… Read more »
NORTH KOREA….David Adesnik of OxBlog wants to talk about North Korea, and points to his contribution to the debate here. So let’s talk. What are the options for dealing with North Korea? There are three: A military strike. Clinton considered this eight years ago, but backed off for obvious reasons. And quite aside from a… Read more »
YOU CELEBRATE YOUR WAY, WE’LL CELEBRATE OURS…. How did you spend New Year’s Day? If you’re a human, you spent it recovering from a hangover, watching football, eating leftovers, or engaging in some other activity requiring higher intellectual skills. If you’re one of my cats, you spent it proving that nature really is red in… Read more »
2002 BOOK REVIEW….Recommended books from my 2002 reading: A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasar. I read the book after I saw the movie and was genuinely shocked that the movie was essentially completely fabricated: aside from the fact that it’s about a mathematician who goes crazy and then eventually wins a Nobel Prize, there’s barely… Read more »
THE FREEDOM TO BREATHE….Ah, the eternal struggle between principle and self-interest. Looks like self-interest might be getting the upper hand this time. And by coincidence, the source of Megan’s inner conflict was the subject my first ever blog post! My advice: just relax and wallow in a bit of pure unprincipled selfishness. Hell, everyone else… Read more »
STRATEGY VS. EXECUTION….IT’S EXECUTION BY A LANDSLIDE!….Charles Murtaugh, in his year-end wrap-up, recommends this article from the New Yorker titled “The Talent Myth.” It’s a good piece and makes a point that too few people pay attention to these days: it’s important to hire smart people, but it’s more important to have a good organization… Read more »
TIME MAGAZINE: PAWN OF THE REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE?….With all due respect to my fellow liberals, can someone tell me why the lefty blogosphere has been obsessing over this Time/CNN poll showing that Bush’s approval numbers have now dropped to 55%? I mean, it did appear in Time magazine, and as much as we internet-savvy bloggers… Read more »
EDUCATION TODAY….My friend’s 16-year-old daughter says her English class is studying 21st century literature. “That sounds like sort of a thin subject,” I said. “Oh, actually that class isn’t until next year.” Well, in that case, there should be plenty of material….
HAPPY NEW YEAR!….And for all you pessimists out there, remember that long term statistical trends predict that 2003 will be a better year than 2002.