In 16th-century England, Thomas Gresham formulated what is now known as Gresham’s law, which stipulates that bad money drives out good. Paper money tends to circulate more freely than silver, and silver more freely than gold, because people hoard whatever type of money is seen as best. It’s why we spend those torn dollar bills first.
When it comes to collecting huge amounts of personal data, the National Security Agency had an ancient and illustrious model. One of the first iterations of the idea can be seen in the National Archives in London, in a special chest that looks like it was meant for a pirate’s treasure. Its parchment pages are worn, but still perfectly legible for those who can decipher its 900-year-old Latin script.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to have private companies design and build a new Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River can serve as a cost-saving model, said Alex Marshall of the Regional Plan Association.
Ten years ago, at a panel discussion in Wales, I was asked about a particularly contentious issue of U.S. foreign policy. To the disappointment of my hosts, I responded by apologizing for being a bit old- fashioned about such matters: I was raised to a rather traditional sort of patriotism, and didn’t believe in bashing my country while traveling abroad.
A number of years ago in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a young friend from Germany turned to me and commented on the potholed and patched streets that surrounded us, as well as the uneven sidewalks and assorted other rough edges.
This election is making me feel oh so special. One party is gallantly protecting me from the other party’s “war on women.” The president wants my vote so badly that he’s trying to scare me with his opponent’s plan to return to “the social policy of the 1950s,” which I assume means back-alley abortions. Both parties are aggressively courting me in their quest for the women’s vote.