One of my favorite books is Robert Pirsig’s classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values. In it Pirsig states that many times when we are faced with what appears to be a dilemma, a choice between two mutually-exclusive paths in which neither is optimal, the best course of action is […]Read more "The Engineer’s Dilemma: Options for Graduates"
I’m an engineer. For as long as I can remember I have loved to build new things and take old things apart. As a kid I had an electronics kit and a chemistry set and preferred reading the encyclopedia to playing football after school. I taught myself how to program our Apple II+ while I […]Read more "The Engineer’s Dilemma: Introduction"
For the majority of STEM graduates who end up working outside their chosen fields of study, the seeds of the Engineer’s Dilemma are sown in their university experience. But they are nurtured and come to full fruition as graduates begin their post-university employment. Employers exist to create profit, and with good reason. Profitable companies have […]Read more "The Engineer’s Dilemma: Employers and Planned Obsolescence"
The majority of US college graduates who hold STEM degrees no longer work in their fields of study. These millions of career changes create significant costs for STEM graduates and their employers, and they hurt society as experienced workers move on to new careers and are replaced by less-experienced ones. To understand this problem we […]Read more "The Engineer’s Dilemma: The Role of Universities"
My experience with Argentina goes back nearly two decades to when I spent two years as a Mormon missionary in the Patagonia. I learned that the Argentine people are wonderful, the food is exquisite, the scenery is breathtaking, and the economy is never more than 5 years away from being a complete disaster. While Argentina […]Read more "It’s time to cry for Argentina (again)"
We seem to be living in perilous times. Parts of the United States government are shut down because the House and Senate can’t agree to either fund or defund Obamacare, whose rollout this month has been an unmitigated disaster. This impasse now threatens the looming deadline to raise the debt limit before the Treasury supposedly runs out of […]Read more "Why default is inevitable"
One percent of Americans now earn a greater share of income than at any time since the 1920s, according to this article posted today. The top 1% of income earners, those who earned more than $394,000 last year, accounted for more than 19% of all income reported to the IRS, while the top 10%, or those who earned […]Read more "The 1%: They’re at it again…"
Today Microsoft announced that Steve Ballmer will retire from the company within the next 12 months, a move that the market applauded. It is hard to imagine Microsoft without him. Steve has more energy and passion for the business than anyone else on the planet. He’s a consummate salesman who loves his products so much that […]Read more "Steve Ballmer: In memoriam"
This is the third installment in a series on the gun control issue. In our first episode we examined data that demonstrate a correlation between fewer guns and an increased variance in the homicide rate. In the second we explored game theory as a hypothesis to explain this phenomenon. This time around we’ll look into […]Read more "Gun Control, Part 3: Back to the Present"
In my last post we undertook a cursory analysis of data related to firearm ownership and homicide rates across various jurisdictions. We concluded that strict gun-control laws and reduced firearm ownership are correlated with increased variance in the total homicide rate: In other words, the worst-case scenarios are worse under strict gun-control laws and lower rates […]Read more "Gun Control, Part 2: Shall we play a game?"