Is this really wise? We feed our cars almost as much grain as we feed our livestock.

We are diverting increasing amounts of corn into ethanol which goes into our gasoline. That is driving up grain prices. That in turn is driving up food prices here in the U.S. and around the world.

And that at a time when our domestic oil production is going through the roof.

Carpe Diem reminds us of two older articles in More on the lunacy of turning corn into demon ethanol.

The first is from Slate, in July 2012 – Food as Fuel. The second is from far left economist Paul Krugman from April 2008 – Grains Gone Wild.

In the Carpe Diem post, Prof. Perry says that anytime you have Paul Krugman agreeing with fifteen named sources (including commentators from both left and right) that ethanol is a lousy policy …

… you know that ethanol has to be one of the most misguided public policies in U.S. history.

Continue reading “Is this really wise? We feed our cars almost as much grain as we feed our livestock.”

Price of admission to the American frontier was steep – part 2

The Homestead Act, signed into law 150 years ago in May 1862, opened up the American frontier.

This was the deal:  Claim 160 acres of land, farm it for five years and then the government gave you title for no charge.

Does that mean it was free land? Not a chance.

The price of admission was extremely steep.

Continue reading “Price of admission to the American frontier was steep – part 2”

The frontier is open again – part 1

The frontier is a major part of American history. It is a huge factor in our identity in the U.S.

From passing of the Homestead Act in May 1962 in the middle of the American Civil War until around the turn-of-the-century, the frontier was wide open.

What was the appeal?

New opportunities.

You could leave the crowded, rodent infested tenements of the East Coast for lands of unlimited opportunities.

Get in a covered wagon, head across the plains, stake a claim, work the land, and make as good a future for you and your family as you wanted.  Farm the land for 5 years and it’s yours.

Price for admission?

Continue reading “The frontier is open again – part 1”

Don’t project backward

Don’t ever make the mistake of projecting into the past what we know today about the result of an event. – from Prof. Gary Gallagher.

That’s a rough paraphrase of a comment by Prof. Gallagher in his course on the American Civil War from Great Courses.

That’s a powerful concept.

Continue reading “Don’t project backward”

Recorded lectures are a great starting point for online education

I finished listening to two series of lectures from Great Courses. This is the first time I’ve used their material. They have great stuff.

I’ve long thought that the concept of taking their recorded, college-level lectures and adding a reading list plus a test could produce a high-quality, college-level class. I’m more convinced now than before.

The courses were presented by subject experts. Even with my above average level of knowledge on these two topics, I learned a lot and was stretched intellectually.

The courses were Continue reading “Recorded lectures are a great starting point for online education”

At one of the state universities, do students pay tuition to fund instructors or the non-instructional support staff?

My central point: Merely based on cost structure, the emerging alternatives to traditional higher education have tremendous room to maneuver.  There are huge opportunities.

By way of background, there is a host of comments I want to make about education, the energy industry, publishing and space exploration. Yes, I plan to tie them all together, but haven’t allocated the time to do so. One part of that discussion will be the radical changes taking place in higher ed.  Bear with me while this posts advances those yet-to-be-introduced ideas.

Carpe Diem suggests the answer to my question in their headline title – Administrative bloat at Ohio State, where the ratio of full-time non-instructional staff to full-time faculty is more than 6-to-1.

Continue reading “At one of the state universities, do students pay tuition to fund instructors or the non-instructional support staff?”

If you don’t know something, it is so easy to look it up

Several times recently I was wondering about the meaning of a phrase in common use. Spent a couple of minutes searching the ‘net and learned.

When I get a cold call from a potential client, first thing I do is check out their website and browse the 990. Then I return the call.

It is so easy to get simple information.

That’s the whole point of the post from Seth Godin earlier this week. In his post, The curious imperative, he says: Continue reading “If you don’t know something, it is so easy to look it up”

On buying pixels by the terabyte

I followed a link from one article, to another, and to yet another site.  There I found a blogger at the site with this tagline:

Never pick fight with a man who buys pixels by the terabyte.

There’s two funny things in that line that got me chuckling.

Continue reading “On buying pixels by the terabyte”

What number did you have in mind?

The executive search committee had narrowed down the candidates for the company’s next president to four people.  The final four:  a high school algebra teacher, an attorney, an engineer, and a CPA.

The subcommittee had one final question to distinguish between the four. With everyone gathered together, they asked “What is 2 and 2?”

Continue reading “What number did you have in mind?”

2nd Blogiversary

(cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update with minor changes.)

August 29th marked the 2 year blogiversary of my blog Nonprofit Update, which talks about nonprofit issues. I split off posts of interest to CPAs to this blog (Attestation Update) on October 14, 2010 and started this blog, Outrun Change , on October 3, 2011.

Nonprofit Update is my lead blog and I consider its start to be the birth of all three blogs. So, this is also the blogiversary of Outrun change .

Thanks so much to those who have stopped by.  I hope it has been a blessing to you.  In case you can’t tell, I’ve been having a blast.

Most visitors and page views are coming in from internet search engines. That is really cool.

One of the best things in the last year is a growing number of people interested enough is my musings to follow by e-mail or Google RSS feed.  Thanks very much for stopping by.

For the second year, I will report some stats for my sites.  Here’s some stuff for those interested in such things. I will adjust this time around to an August 31 cutoff instead of the 29th.  I’ll list stats for this year with the prior year in parentheses.

I’ll provide this data for two reasons. First, to let those who may be interested in blogging see what data looks like for a really small blogger. Second, since I am active on three sites with different topics, it provides a test bed to see what different sites may look like for different blogs from the same author.

Continue reading “2nd Blogiversary”

Tweets I wish I’d sent from the 2012 Chick-FIl-A LeaderCast

  • #PatrickLencioni   we live in time of nanosecond technology change
  • #AngelaAhrendts   don’t be intimidated by the rate of change
  • #DrRolandFryer – educational spending in US per child $13K – 4th highest spending in OECD, 20th highest performance
  • #JohnMaxwell   People without passion in life are already dead – they just haven’t made it official

I had a great time watching the LeaderCast.  After going through my notes a couple of times, wish I’d sent the above tweets.  I have a few more here and here.

I have much more to say after hearing Dr. Fryer. See previous post Waste.

The more things change, the more they stay the same as 2,442 years ago

Since I am even less trendy than John Bredehoft, I wasn’t aware of this funny line that is making the rounds until he called attention to it in his post, 430 BC and 2012 AD – remarkable parallels, or coincidence?

Greece is collapsing,

Iranians are getting aggressive

& Rome is in disarray.

Welcome back to 430 BC!

Continue reading “The more things change, the more they stay the same as 2,442 years ago”

Three skills for living in a social media world

Mark Schaefer has a great post at {grow} listing three careers that will be in high demand at companies living in the social media space.  I think those ideas translates into skills we will all need to work on – Three careers that will dominate social media (and it’s not what you think)

Continue reading “Three skills for living in a social media world”