Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A list worth knowing

I didn't know about this bug which would have been catastrophic.
1. A faulty Soviet early warning system nearly caused World War III. In 1983, a software bug in the Soviet system reported that the U.S. launched five ballistic missiles.
Certainly not a feature! I venture to say that even today we place too much trust in software. Then there's this:
4. Two partners used different and incompatible versions of the same software to design and assemble the Airbus A380 jetliner in 2006. When Airbus tried to bring together two halves of the aircraft, the wiring on one did not match the wiring in the other. That caused at least a one-year and very costly delay to the project.
I bet someone at Airbus was really having a bad hair day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Good news America is still number 1

David Brooks the optimist in America.
So it’s worth pointing out now more than ever that Dobbsianism is fundamentally wrong. It plays on legitimate anxieties, but it rests at heart on a more existential fear — the fear that America is under assault and is fundamentally fragile. It rests on fears that the America we once knew is bleeding away.

And that’s just not true. In the first place, despite the ups and downs of the business cycle, the United States still possesses the most potent economy on earth. Recently the World Economic Forum and the International Institute for Management Development produced global competitiveness indexes, and once again they both ranked the United States first in the world.

In the World Economic Forum survey, the U.S. comes in just ahead of Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany (China is 34th). The U.S. gets poor marks for macroeconomic stability (the long-term federal debt), for its tax structure and for the low savings rate. But it leads the world in a range of categories: higher education and training, labor market flexibility, the ability to attract global talent, the availability of venture capital, the quality of corporate management and the capacity to innovate.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The era of small government is over

Should conservatives throw in the towel in the fight to slow down the growth of Big Government? Yes says this author. Meanwhile, we are tempted to ask: Where have you gone Barry Goldwater?