Ryan P: “Bloomberg is highly displeasing in the debates. He’s totally unlikable and takes responsibility for almost nothing. He has a lot of marks against him in both his policies and personal behavior in the past, and doesn’t seem to really even be a Democrat. What am I missing?”
→ He was terrible in the first debate and not good Tuesday night. Which is a shame, because as a manager — whether running a company or a city — he’s shown himself to be the best. And his massive philanthropy has shown him to care deeply about making the world better, in thoughtful strategic ways. If he were a natural politician, it would be perfect. He’s clearly not. But calm competence at leading massive organizations is sure something to be considered as we select whoever is going to lead the country.
As for not being a Democrat (a label Bernie has also shunned), look at his plans and record and see whether they align with your own. If they do, consider that his having been a Republican for a while, and an independent, might actually appeal to moderate Republicans and independents, who don’t care so much about labels as they do about getting things done. Likewise, were he ever negotiating with Republicans in Congress — they might find it easier to find common ground with him than with some of our other terrific candidates.
Finally, I refer you again to the Tom Friedman column from yesterday’s post that I trust everyone, at the highest levels, is thinking about.
As we speak, 90% of the world’s population is addicted to caffeine. Michael Pollan’s quick listen, subtitled, “How Caffeine Created The Modern World” (an hour twenty at 1.5X speed, since it’s about caffeine, after all), is free to Audible members . . . and documents, among much else, his experiment with kicking the habit.
On a related note listen to this, from Steven Johnson’s TED talk (as 5 million others already have):
. . . [T]he English coffeehouse . . . played such a big role in the birth of the Enlightenment, in part, because of what people were drinking there. Because, before the spread of coffee and tea through British culture, what people drank — both elite and mass folks drank — day-in and day-out, from dawn until dusk was alcohol. Alcohol was the daytime beverage of choice. You would drink a little beer with breakfast and have a little wine at lunch, a little gin — particularly around 1650 — and top it off with a little beer and wine at the end of the day. That was the healthy choice — right — because the water wasn’t safe to drink. And so, effectively until the rise of the coffeehouse, you had an entire population that was effectively drunk all day. And you can imagine what that would be like, right, in your own life — and I know this is true of some of you — if you were drinking all day, and then you switched from a depressant to a stimulant in your life, you would have better ideas. You would be sharper and more alert. And so it’s not an accident that a great flowering of innovation happened as England switched to tea and coffee.
Have a great weekend. How cool is it that we get an extra day this month?
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Never answer a question from a farmer.~Hubert Humphrey
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