Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bookworming: Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman, ****
Eminently readable. Tales of gods and monsters from ancient times often come off stilted due to language or cultural context translations, and this one suffers from none of that. Those expecting serious literature may be surprised how silly many of the tales are. Much like the Greek myths, the gods here are flawed, and the stories are often nonsensical. And yet, the imagery within persists. This is an easy choice for anyone with interest in mythology, especially if you have not read these tales before.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The iPhone Healthcare Comparison

Congressman Jason Chaffetz recently stepped in a hornets' nest by implying the people should maybe not buy luxury smartphones and invest in their own healthcare instead. His statement was remarkably out of touch, and has been dismantled by the media (and social media), but there is something that I think has been missed. Here's my question: should a poor person buy a smartphone?

The view of the smartphone as a luxury add-on, convenient but not necessary, reminds me of The Innovator's Dilemma in business. It's old-way thinking. A different perspective, where the smartphone replaces instead of supplementing, may change the economics considerably. A mid-range smartphone and a reasonable data plan means you don't have to buy a computer, landline service, and internet service. (Also sat nav, still and video cameras, alarm clocks, etc.) It seems to me like a poor person should at least run the numbers, because they might just be better off with the smartphone.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Quote of the Moment

“The worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism, will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.” –“The End of History?”, Fukuyama (1989)

Hat tip to PBS Idea Channel episode "Has The World already Ended? Or Just History?".