Episode #180: Free-rider Friday - February 2018

Ron’s Topics

The Human Freedom Index, 2017, CATO Institute, FRASER Institute

United States slips to #17. Why?


“The Upchuck wagon,” The Economist, Feb 3, 2018

23% of those survey say they will never ride in an autonomous car.

Nausea afflicts 5-10% of the population. Another issue for Uber and Lyft. Luckily a patent has been filed on a technology that claims to solve motion sickness.

Passing of Fidel Castro, Jr.


In late Jauary, Fidel Jr. (“Fidelito”—Little Fidel), 68, killed himself—he battled depression most of his life—as reported by Cuba’s state media.

He was never close to power. Fidel Castro had 10 or 15 kids, no one really knows.

Fidel Jr. studied nuclear physics in USSR, married a Russian woman, resulting in several children. In 1980 he took aa job at Cuba’s Atomic Energy Commission. In 1992, Fidel fired him, accusing him of mismanagement and incompetence.

In 2000, he was rehabilitated and worked for the Cuban Academy of Sciences, traveling around the world as a “science advisor.”


The government doesn’t insure cargo that goes into space. On January 7, cargo code named Zuma was launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets.

The cargo was a $3 billion Northrop Grumman satellite, which is classified so there’s no detailed information.

It didn’t blow up on launch, like two others, but the satellite it was caring failed to maintain orbit, believed to have ended up in the Indian Ocean.

When the Pentagon was asked about the failure it referred to SpaceX, and when SpaceX  was asked, spokesperson replied: “Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night.”

Is there a moral hazard here, knowing taxpayers will suffer any losses? Would insurance make sense?

At the least, taxpayers should be made aware of details.

And, from historian Victor David Hanson, “Will train overpasses become California’s Stonehenge?

“Life on the edge,” The Economist, January 20, 2018


There’s a big shift taking place in the tech industry: Computing is moving from the cloud back to the “edge” of local networks and intelligent devices.

Who will colonize the edge (IOT), etc? Devices on the edge are becoming more powerful.

For example, a self-driving cars produces 25 gigabytes per hour, 30 times more than a HD video stream. By time data is uploaded and instructions sent back, the pedestrian has been hit.

Last May, Microsoft changed slogan from “Mobile first, cloud first” to “Intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.”

Amazon Web Services (AWS) service Greengas, turns clusters of IOT devices into mini-clouds.

Supporting this view is an interview in Forbes with George Gilder: “Why Technology Prophet George Gilder Predicts Big Tech’s Disruption,” Rich Karlgaard, Forbes, February 9, 2018.

We highly recommend you read this interview, and watch for Gilder’s latest book, Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, due out July 16.

At some point, we will have Gilder back on to discuss these issues, and more.

Ed’s Topics

Gender gap in pay is about being a parent NOT discrimination. A few articles:

Ron recommends reading the economic literature on this topic, which is overwhelming that the gap doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with discrimination. It’s more personal choices and biological. One book: Why Mean Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap—and What Women Can Do About It.

Ed takes his first flight in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner

 It was nice, but not significantly noticeable. 

Dave Chapelle understands international free trade better than Donald Trump

Great line: “I want to wear Nikes not make them.” Video is NSFW!


Ed Kless

Ed Kless joined Sage in July of 2003 and is currently the senior director of partner development and strategy. He develops and delivers curriculum for Sage business partners on the art and practice of small business consulting. Courses include: Sage Consulting Academy, Business Strategy and Customer Experience Workshops. Ed is the author of The Soul of Enterprise: Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy, a compendium of a few of the episodes of his VoiceAmerica talk-show The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the Knowledge Economy with Ron Baker, founder of the VeraSage Institute where Ed is also a senior fellow.