Patrick Byrne: Whom would you like to interview, and what would you ask?
Patrick M. Byrne is the CEO of the Internet retailer Overstock.com. Byrne received his B.A. from Dartmouth, studied at Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, and earned a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University. He co-founded Overstock.com in 1997 and became CEO in 1999. In 2005, Byrne initiated a controversial campaign against "naked short selling" in which he accused a "Sith Lord" and various financial firms of sabotaging Overstock's share price. Byrne also serves as head of First Class Education, an education lobbying group that seeks to require that 65% of all educational spending be spent "in the classroom." A strong proponent of school vouchers, Byrne spent almost four million dollars in advertising for a bill that would have given Utah residents who enroll their children in private schools taxpayer-supported subsidies. The bill lost, 62-38%.
Patrick Byrne: I’d probably want to interview Jeffrey Sachs. I’d probably want to . . . When I . . . What I would wanna ask him is what he is proposing is . . . seems so clearly wrong to many other sensible people in his field that . . . and it’s . . . It certainly is divorced from my own experience. It seems to be ideas that have been tried and proven to be pernicious. What is he thinking of? Now I know that would be a loaded question and he would have to find a nice way to answer it; but he won’t answer . . . To me if we really think of international development as one of the major issues that the world faces, I’d wanna know what his . . . his . . . what can he be . . . I really wanna say what can he possibly be thinking of? But maybe there’s something in there that I’m missing. And the other one I would ask is . . . of Ahmadinejad or somebody from Iran, what is their solution on Israel? It’s a non-starter to say we’re gonna wipe ‘em into the sea. We’re gonna nuke ‘em and stuff. What is their solution? What is their proposal – a serious proposal? And if they don’t have one, you know, I . . . I would try to find that out.
Recorded on: 10/29/07
Byrne wants to know about the Mideast and development.
The TRUTHS mission aims to collect extremely precise data on how much radiation Earth absorbs and reflects.
- TRUTHS would use state-of-the-art technology to precisely measure Earth's so-called "radiation budget."
- The new technology would also help calibrate instruments aboard existing satellites.
- The European Space Agency and UK Space Agency are expected to launch the mission in 2026.
Is information the fifth form of matter?
- Researchers have been trying for over 60 years to detect dark matter.
- There are many theories about it, but none are supported by evidence.
- The mass-energy-information equivalence principle combines several theories to offer an alternative to dark matter.
Does the President get to decide when to ignore the law?
- During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln decided to suspend habeas corpus, a protection in the Constitution that prohibited imprisonment without a trial.
- From Lincoln's point of view, following the law to the letter during that unprecedented and pivotal moment in history (i.e. the threat of war and secession from the Union) would put lawfulness itself at risk, so some restrictions of civil liberties were necessary.
- The war and the president's actions changed how the founding document is interpreted and sometimes challenged by the rule of men.