So, I was thinking the other day, what is it that really makes America great? Certainly you can read about this just about everywhere, especially post-9/11; Andy Sullivan sure talks about it a lot (or at least used to, I don't read his blog too much anymore). You hear a lot of different postulates: Our nation is great because:
And while those arguments certainly have merit, I think it's something a bit simpler. This nation is great because of – drum roll, please – the NCAA tournament!
Don't laugh (well, not yet, anyway). I feel that the great impetus behind the USA's greatness is our superior research capabilities; certainly that is why our army can kick any other army's butt (unless they break the Geneva conventions and don't fight a straightforward war, viz. Vietnam and what was tried in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even then we will probably win – but I digress). So where is most research undertaken? In universities.
OK, that's great, but how do I connect the research departments with the basketball teams? Simple. The most prestigious universities would, one would imagine, have the easiest time recruiting professors. Oxford, Cambridge, whatever great universities are on the European Continent (go ahead, call me provincial) should have an easy go of it. But for some reason, many scientists seem to move to the U.S. to do research; for example, look at just Nobel laureates. Many of them seem to have left Europe to some to the U.S. Why is that? Sure, Harvard or some other Ivy League school can talk someone into coming over to join their staff. But the other schools, the state schools, have economic reserves to draw from that might not be available if it weren't for intercollegiate athletics. Therefore, the Michigans and the North Carolinas (and dare I say it, the Indianas) can afford to wave moolah at the brains to bring them here.
OK, you can laugh now.
Boy, talk about a generic blog. What can I say, I'm not a design guy. My brother says he'll design a template for me if I want...
These are the sites that I read the most:
Marvelous ways to waste an afternoon