Yesterday, I went to a talk by Ralph Nader about the problem with Big-Time College Sports. It was a fantastic talk - a very cohesive tale story detailing how the athletic scholarship and intercollegiate sports have damaged physical education and intramural sports for the rest of us, how athletes' top priority is not education but sports, and how all this brings our society down what he termed the "sensuality ladder."
Today, I went to a talk on game theory in which Tim Roughgarden explained that the "price of anarchy," or inefficiency in letting a group of players all act toward locally optimal strategies rather than having a benevolent dictator provide a globally optimal strategy, is low. It also turns out that games that have a Nash equillibrium wind up with the same price of anarchy as games that are merely "no regret" (a much weaker assumption). A fantastic amount of this talk went over my head, and Tim carefully avoided making any claims as to political outcomes of this research, but I find it interesting to (probably improperly) apply this to politics and say that the cost of libertarianism is "low."
Also today, Steve Jobs died. I had the good fortune to grow up with a father who loves technology and an Apple computer in the house. I wonder how different my life would be now, had that not been the case.
It is upsetting to think that I can only be great at a handful of things before I die. Thank you for choosing those things you found important, Steve. You built a revolution in a garage.