Hamilton, Trump, and the Harvard Class of `77

I just finished reading the wonderful book Hamilton by Ron Chernow. The fights among politicians were as awful then as now, but those were more capable and impressive people. Where are Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison today?

The answer is that they are not in politics. Take a look at the Harvard Class of ’77, about to celebrate its 40th reunion. My 1600 classmates from Bill Gates on down include leaders of science, medicine, law, business, and the arts. Where are the senators, congressmen/women, governors, and mayors? Zero. Politics these days is the dimmest career choice, and the USA is paying the price.

[23 September 2017]

Sidewalk tables of Paris and New York

In Paris as in New York, on a nice evening, you’ll find people sitting at tables along the edges of restaurants, half indoors and half outdoors. Legally speaking, the tables in Paris are outdoors — because smoking indoors is against the law. By the same principle, the tables in New York are legally indoors — because drinking outdoors is against the law.

[23 September 2017]


Everybody seems to be wired these days, and yesterday I stood on Broadway and took a tally as 100 people walked by. 45 were using a phone or at least had wires in their ears, and 18 were holding a phone without apparently using it. Just 37 showed no sign of an electronic device.

My first thought was, how awful! How sad that we are so wrapped up in our wired worlds! My second thought was, just imagine twenty years from now. We’ll be more networked than ever, but the phones and the wires won’t be visible any more. Our hands will be free and our minds will be who knows where.

[22 September 2017]