11 March 2010

I listened to BBC radio during lunch today, and this story made me cry: Risking life to go to school. So if you are feeling up for hearing about the things that some kids have to go through just to attend school, check it out.... Be sure to listen to the audio half-way down the page, which has children in Bristol, England, and Kabul, Afghanistan, talking to each other about the importance of education and what they must risk to go to school.

4 December 2009

I spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm doing vs. what I could be doing, and what's important in life -- finding meaning in life, rather than looking for The Meaning of Life. Several books have helped draw my thoughts together, including Melissa Everett's Making a Living While Making a Difference, which I read more than 10 years ago, and two I read more recently: the Dalai Lama's Ethics for a New Millennium, and Viktor E. Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. Here are some thoughts:

4 June 2009

In the United States at least, people with a post-secondary degree tend to earn more than people without one. For instance, looking at the statistics for people aged 25-34 in 2007, the median annual income for high-school graduates was about $25,000, while people with an Associates (2-year) degree earned $31,000, and those with a Bachelor's (4-year) degree earned nearly $41,000.

24 April 2009

What is going on with California lately? Last year, they passed an initiative that banned gay marriage.

17 February 2009

I recently read The Green Collar Economy, by Van Jones (with a forward by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.). I think President Obama must have read it too, since the ideas he's been talking about lately for fixing the economy are basically the same as what Jones sets out in his book. This is a good thing, in my opinion. Here are the main points from this book:

16 December 2008

I took a trip to Asia this past August and September with my dad, for six weeks. We visited the Russian Far East, Siberia, Mongolia, and China, traveling independently; most of the traveling was via the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. I plan to get some photos and thoughts posted here eventually, but as you probably know if you read this blog regularly, I don't make time for writing very often, so I'm not sure when.

18 October 2008

Because I used to work on Wall Street, some people I know are under the (incorrect) impression that I'm an expert in all things financial, and they have been asking me if I can explain how we got into our current state of financial collapse. So, I thought I would write a short summary of my understanding of how rampant greed around the practice of sub-prime lending led to a full-scale financial crisis.

First, let's set the scene: the sub-prime lending market. Here's a brief summary of how it worked:

4 June 2008

World leaders are finally realizing that we're facing a food crisis: they're currently having a meeting in Rome to discuss it, and UN chief Ban Ki-moon recently stated that we need to grow 50% more food by 2030 to satisfy needs (I believe this is a conservative estimate). This is not much of a surprise to me -- I mentioned the upcoming food crisis in my earlier article on biofuels, and it's also related to the energy situation I discussed before that .

1 May 2008

I have been thinking a lot lately about economic growth. It seems like the news media, and practically everyone else, assumes that if the economy is growing, it's a good thing, and if it isn't, something terrible is occurring. This assumption has been bothering me for a while, and I recently read a book that put my vague uneasiness into words: Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben. In this book, McKibben makes the following points: