"Tennis Great Andre Agassi Serves Up School Buildings to 69 Charters — and Counting"

Andre is one former athlete who's making a big difference.

Why go this route, business instead of philanthropy?

I think it’s a function of scalability and it’s a function of sustainability. I think if you want to treat a problem in society, the government or philanthropy does just fine, and I think it’s a very important part, and I still have a huge working foundation that does that. But if you want real scalable change, you’ve got to figure out how to bring a lot of people to the table to create a win that makes it scalable and sustainable.

This is our 69th school. It took me 15 years to build one philanthropically, and it’s taken me four years to build 69, [with] 36,000 school seats. I like the economy of scale.

Link courtesy of my older daughter.


"When Lunatics Run the Asylum You Get Monty Python"

Steven Greenhut with still more on the lunacy of government pensions, particularly California's.

Related: "CalPERS says town defaulted on pension debt. What’s next for tiny Loyalton?"

The default means the CalPERS board can move to reduce retirees’ benefits in Loyalton by about 60 percent, according to a formula that takes into account the dollars the city has already paid into the pension system. That would mark the first time in state history that CalPERS has reduced retirees’ benefits because of a municipality’s failure to pay its pension bills.


"Is Our Economic Future Behind Us?"

Joel Mokyr, a distinguished economic historian--one of the very best--thinks probably not

The history of technology is full of examples of this feedback loop. The seventeenth-century scientific revolution was made possible partly by new, technologically advanced tools, such as telescopes, barometers, and vacuum pumps. One cannot discuss the emergence of germ theory in the 1870s without mentioning prior improvements in the microscope. The techniques of x-ray crystallography used by Rosalind Franklin were critical to the discovery of the structure of DNA, as well as to discoveries that led to over 20 Nobel prizes.

The instruments available to science today include modern versions of old tools that would have been unimaginable even a quarter-century ago.