Michael C Hogan

Agile Product Development & Innovation Strategy


“The Trouble with Dilbert”

Norman Solomon critiques the cartoon “Dilbert” in this series of essays collected as “The Trouble with Dilbert”.


Solomon investigates the hypothesis that companies allow Dilbert to be successful, and pay Dilbert’s author to speak at company events, because the cartoon conditions employees to accept a certain set of working conditions as normal so that they will not seek change. Who knows if it’s true, but it’s pretty interesting.


Warren Buffet on Choosing a Career, the Relative Value of Wealth, and Social Security

Asked at 11:00 how he would advise people that aren’t necessarily going into high paying fields Buffet recommends people do what they love. He makes a few notable observations:

  • A market system does not pay as well in some activities as might seem appropriate given the value of those activities to society
  • Many people make a fundamental choice between doing something they love or doing something to make money
  • He can’t recall speaking with someone who spent their whole life doing something they loved and wished in old age they’d made more money instead
  • The day-to-day reality of how he lives his life really isn’t that different from how most people in the United States live, except for the notable example of traveling by private jet (listen to him explain it because he’s more convincing on this point that I expected)

Asked about Welfare and Social Security at 51:51 (2nd to last question), Buffet challenges the students to think of the world as a lottery they’re born into and to think about what rules it might be worth having in place to take care of the people who draw an unlucky ticket.

Watch the full lecture and Q&A on YouTube


Vaccination is safe. About as safe as sending a child to school in the United States.

This week, the anti-vaxer movement hit home as I found myself in a conversation with someone who is against vaccines. I did some research so that I could respond to this anti-vaxer’s false claims and hyperbole. In the end, it turns out that getting a child vaccinated is no more risky to that child’s health than being sent to school in the United States. In the state of California, no one is forced to get a vaccine against his or her will, so please choose to vaccinate.

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