Sunday, May 17, 2009

Question of the Day

If you had $100 million, how would you use it to improve a university? I'd like a solution with maximal impact.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How the Intertubes Can Help Fix Corrupt Governments

(Fine, it's been a month since I last posted -- sue me, I've been busy.)

Ok, so the Guatemalan president is being accused of ordering the assassination of a well respected businessman, his daughter, and even his lawyer. It's like in the movies: the lawyer was gunned down on Sunday and on Monday this video (in Spanish) appeared on YouTube, in which the now dead lawyer basically says "if you're seeing this, it's because I've been assassinated by the president of Guatemala." Gotta love the third world.

But this whole thing got me thinking. Guatemala, like many other third world nations, has a severe corruption problem. Every single president I can remember has been accused of stealing, laundering money, trafficking drugs, genocide, murder, and even killing a catholic bishop with a cinder block. Maybe half or all of these accusation are false, but the fact remains that the population simply has little to no trust in their government. (By the way, as far as I can remember, 100% of the presidential candidates in the last 25 years have run on the promise of ending government corruption.) The problem with such deep-rooted corruption (or perception of corruption) is that even if a truly honest guy becomes president, they cannot change anything because: (a) no matter what, the public believes the president is corrupt, and/or (b) since the rest of the government is so corrupt, an honest president is threatened to death if they don't cooperate with the corruption.

So here's my proposal for the next honest guy who gets elected (I'm assuming that *some* of these guys actually want to fix the country): stick a camera and a microphone in your head and transmit 100% of your life live on the internet. And I mean 100%, so that nobody can ever accuse you of wrongdoings.

And, come to think of it, why can't the US president do this? I know some of you will tell me that the public is not ready or fit to see all the presidential decisions, but I don't buy that. Let's try the experiment on some small country like Guatemala :)