Automotive Valley

Silicon Valley may have started out making silicon chips, but the Valley is protean. Chipmaking peaked in about 1985. After chips, we made disk drives. Then PC software, enterprise databases, and...

“Get a New History”: Building the Next Silicon Valley

Cities around the world want to become "the next Silicon Valley" and the race to be the next Silicon Something is already a bit of a joke. New York has Silicon...

Subsidize Motherhood, not Apple Pie

During the Democratic Primary, the question of paid family leave got a moment in the sun. Bernie Sanders cited Denmark as his model and Hillary, the smart kid who does her...

The Remarkable Ted W. Hall

Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an op ed politely suggesting that the British give up pound sterling and switch to greenbacks. It is the kind of strange idea that is...

Why We Rarely Run Out of Anything: Boomsters vs. Doomsters

Economists and environmentalists often end up with a slightly different angle on global warming. Which group does a better job of predicting environmental problems? It's not a zero-sum question: economists and environmentalists...

On a City Bike, all Traffic Lights are Yellow

Bicycles have grown wildly popular in both US and European cities. According to the League of American Bicyclists (which endorses none of this), bike use has risen 39 percent nationally since...

A Cable Car Named Desire

In Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett delivers what may be her strongest performance yet. Her frenetic, scheming, recast Blanche Dubois tops even her jaw-dropping performance in I’m Not There — the 2007...

Grading College Admissions Essay Questions.

As second son applies to  college, the applications have exposed me once again to the college admissions racket. The process is broken beyond recognition. We would probably be better off pooling...

Early Warning Signs

Business competition is always interesting, in part because smart companies figure out how to avoid competition by specializing and differentiating their product or service. When Sun Tzu admonished his generals against...

Francis

Religion helps a lot of people. It reinforces admirable values and provides community, kinship, charity, music, a moral compass, and stories. To me, religious faith is stone soup: like the soldiers...

The Store is Closing: What Happens to Brick and Mortar Retail?

In 1997, I thought that this new Internet thing might be a great way to aggregate millions of used, rare, and out of print books from around the world. We could...

Strengthening California’s Income Escalator

Generations hence will wonder in amazement why Californians acquiesced to the steady weakening of the state system of higher education in the early twenty-first century. California’s three-tiered system of higher education...

Whatever Happened to the United Farmworkers?

On New Year’s Day, a friend mentioned that Frank Bardacke had published his long-anticipated history of the rise and fall of Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers. It was worth the...

Remembering December, 2011

Shakespeare's immortal eulogy delivered by Mark Anthony for Julius Caesar resonates this week: “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.” We lost...

When Protection Makes You Weaker

A recent best-selling book suggests that people were Born to Run, yet data suggest that between a third and half of runners get hurt running every year. Why is this? Journalist...