Saturday, June 11, 2005

If The Rich Get Richer, Should We Care?

If The Rich Get Richer, Should We Care?

Coyote Blog has a well-crafted post discussing the issue of how many publications seem to think that the rich getting richer is a bad thing.

I won't bother restating his arguments here. What I will say is that any of his arguments nonwithstanding, income equality is a bad thing. People are jealous of the rich. But the answer is not to tear down and tax the rich, it is to give people better opportunities to create value on their own.

Today, it takes less capital than ever to create businesses and value. Ideas reign supreme. That is why education is now the most important issue facing us.

To me, it doesn't make sense to decry income inequality, then refuse to subject a hideously inefficient educational system to market forces and accountability. On the other hand, it also doesn't make sense to claim that we shouldn't do anything for the poor (only 3% of students at top colleges come from the lowest income quartile) when they have clearly been jobbed by the system (which is a combination of free markets and regulation--both wise and unwise).

Don't worry about the rich getting richer. Let them continue to create wealth. (Except for Paris Hilton, whom CB memorably dubs the "super-tramp.") Worry about giving the poor an opportunity to become rich.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Nerds Are Sexy

Nerds Are Sexy

What do Elin Nordegren, Courtney Cox, and Christina Aguilera all have in common? They are now part of the hot new trend for smokin' babes to go after nerdy men.

I was fortunate enough that my wife was ahead of the curve, but best of luck to my fellow nerds out there.

The Most Spammed Man In The World

The Most Spammed Man In The World

That's what happens when you own the domain, acme.com.

The QuickPad Rocks

The QuickPad Rocks

As I promised in my last post about the QuickPad, I'm going to give you my opinion of this cheap and portable word processor.

In a word, it rocks.

Having a computer that you can turn on and off instantly, and use without any fear of running out of power is incredible.

Yes, it can only support plain text, and yes, the LCD display is tiny and crude. But it gets the job done.

I ended up paying $30 in shipping to make sure that I got it in time for my trip. Well worth it. I wrote a book on the flight out (to be more precise, 7,000 words on my theory of dating for single women). I wrote half a book on the flight back. I took notes in class, on a bus, whenever I felt like it.

After I got back, I actually visited the wonderful folks at QuickPAD Technology Corporation in Mountain View, and they sold me an infrared receiver that let me quickly transfer my files to my laptop.

I think I'm going to like this new toy!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Work Out While You Work

Work Out While You Work

The folks at the Mayo Clinic have designed an office which combines a desk and a treadmill so that you can work out while you work.

I could definitely use one of those. When I was younger, my family had a simple unpowered treadmill. You held on to two poles and then walked. My dad added a simple belt so that I could read while I was working out.

I'm definitely going to have something like this when I finally buy a house!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Would You Let One Of These Guys Run The Country?

Would You Let One Of These Guys Run The Country?
The Boston Globe has this article on Bush and Kerry's grades. It's worth a read just for the yearbook pictures alone!

Of course, as long as were on the subject of colleges, it might be worth reading this USA Today article on whether or not it's worth it to go to Harvard. (I'll give you a hint--their answer is yes.)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Education of the 21st Century

The Education of the 21st Century

While this article on what you can learn from video games is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, there is an essential truth here. By the end of this century, I suspect that people will be doing more of their learning from sims and games than the traditional classroom. How will this impact the educational system?

Personally, I think the first company that figure out a way to cram a full education into a series of addictive videogames will rule the market.

Baguette and Curry

Baguette and Curry

Posting's been a bit slow, because I've been attending my HBS reunion, but I thought I'd share this little quote from Tom Friedman:

"It is interesting because French voters are trying to preserve a 35-hour work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day. Good luck."

Good luck indeed. I'd better invest in some Provigil!