Posted in March 2011

Oxygen at Google—getting management right


Project Oxygen—that’s what they called it at Google when statisticians at the company looked inward to analyze data related to such things as performance reviews to find out what made for better managers at this very successful company. You would think that at a place famous for the latitude given to employees to be creative … Continue reading

Is our tax structure creating feudalism?


I sent my tax information to my CPA last week. I wait anxiously to find out whether I will be depressed because I owe additional money or will rejoice because I receive a refund. G.E., America’s largest corporation, already knows the answer about its tax bill for the year past. Its business was booming in … Continue reading

Libya and the morality of intervention


Col. Roméo Dallaire, in charge of UN forces in Rwanda in 1994, made a desperate call to NY to receive authorization to use force to protect the lives of innocent civilians. He didn’t receive it. The UN was in this central African country as peacekeepers, not peace enforcers, he was told. Shortly after that call, … Continue reading

Divine retribution is immoral


A nine-year-old I know loves weather, the more extreme the better. Together we watch shows about chasing tornadoes, tracking storms, forest fires and other natural disasters. Naturally we talked about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. “How terrible,” I said. “Nothing good comes from this.” “Well, not exactly,” the boy said. “One good thing was that … Continue reading

Second place in science, first in ethics—a Long Island winner


In this month of March Madness, where there much anticipation about the NCAA basketball championship, Long Island already has a second-place winner, not in athletics but in science. Last week Michelle Hackman, from Great Neck, took next-to-best in the 70th anniversary of the nationally prestigious Intel science competition, formerly known as the Westinghouse Science Talent … Continue reading

Melting reactors, dissolving forks and sacrifice


As we know from the unfolding drama in Japan, nuclear power is frighteningly dangerous. There are no guarantees that a disaster won’t unfold, one that can affect generations to come. But those who are concerned about climate warming see nuclear power as the only viable”clean” energy to sustain the needs of the industrial world. This … Continue reading