I have never been one to write about the latest new web-based gadget, especially not before it has launched.  You, my readers, told me the last time that I asked, that social media gizmos were not something that you wanted to hear about. But the announcement of google+ has me more excited about a web tool than I have been in a long time.

It’s not just because I see a strong competitor for facebook, a platform I dislike.  There is a philosophy behind this new platform that is far stronger than the elements of their presentation.

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Risky Business

The headlines have been screaming it for a week – “Markets soft due to ongoing Greek Crisis,” or something similar.  But like The Onion, these headlines often have all the punchline in them and the article doesn’t give much more.  Why is the Greek crisis important for US stocks and our economy?  Why should we care?

The answer is  complicated and hard to explain in an article of less than a few thousand words.  The short version of it is very scary – because a Greek default could bring down many financial institutions across the developed world.  News outlets have been shying away from this and done, on balance, a lousy job portraying the real problem with Greece.

Not that something awful is about to happen – but the odds of cataclysm are high enough that they have become scary.  That means we have to understand that worst case scenario to understand why even a small threat of it multiplies out to a huge risk.

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Throw Away the Key

A brief “News Poem” on the pending shutdown of Minnesota’s state government.

Running a state is no big piece of cake
It takes lots of courage through give and through take.
At the end of the day when they’ve all had their say
Our elected officials all want it their way.
But today there’s no center, just angry decree –
“Shut it down, lock it up, throw away the key!”

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Restructuring Our Economy – a Plan

It’s one thing to complain about the economy – anyone can do that.  But what should be done to fix it?  Longtime readers know that I believe that our economic situation is a Managed Depression and that only a fundamental restructuring will end it.  This is my Six Point Plan to do exactly that.  It describes action by the Federal Government, which is to say that it is a political platform – meaning it is incomplete and taken from a certain perspective.  If you have questions, please follow the links.

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At the end of a fun summer Saturday, just before Father’s Day, my son and I sat ourselves down and decided to see what was on teevee.  There, on the Science Channel, was just what we were hoping for – the RoboGames with Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame.  It’s a competition of remote controlled devices that thrash, rip, and sometimes shoot fire at each other in a metal wrestling match running amok.  It’s great stuff.  There’s spectacle, destruction and competition – the battle to prove you are the best.

It’s enough to make my son get out his drawing notebook and talk about a father son trip to the Ax Man surplus store, too.

This may seem like a simple father-son moment of geekdom, but it’s much more than that.  Competition is the best way to fire the imagination, engaging heart and arm and brain.  It could even be an important tool of public policy.

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