I think it is possible to be more sophisticated about possible human motivations other than having a gun pointed at your head, but your outline of the tyranny of democracy is compelling and persuasive.
I think European IT has less soul (or at any rate less coherence in its culture) than does the US flava. And dibs where dibs are due: when the Americans put their mind to something (like IT) they really can be rather competent. But there's a lot of German hackers out there who would not agree that they lack soul. And logiciel libre can have une certaine elegance.
I don't think he'd get far with that line of argument if British local authority planners were involved in the dispute. Ancient English common law traditions of land use have much to commend them, though I do not know if the potential for their writ stretches to the moon's surface or not.
No doubt he's bought the vehicle, but it seems like the ownership of the parking spot may still be contested. Still, I guess he's got a better excuse than most to mount a private space program so he can go and pick it up. In this instance, the moon artefact was bought direct from its owner, but it's also fun to think about the problems the delivery page would have caused eBay's programmers if it had passed through the used space vehicle market that way.
I too am a physician. >The only way doctors are going to go to EMR systems is when they improve the bottom line. may be true, but reflects the lamentable ethics of the American profession. The bottom line you should care about is the outcome for the patient, who is a member of a population. Good recordkeeping is a keystone of good medical practice, and EMRs offer many potential benefits for both the individual and society: but you insist on privileging the capitalist discourse in all this. Error. Financial incentives may have their place, but to place them at the apex of the value system of a culture is dismal and wrong.
I had a lot of fun with machines equipped with low end hard drives at a time when 40MB seemed like a big deal compared with 20. The old Mac Plus, the first 9" B&W classic. Of course, its users were normally well content with an 800kB floppy drive, but the former owner had lashed out on a 20MB external hard drive whose audible chattering betrayed its good humour and continuing health. I believe it was powered mainly by clockwork, but it also had a SCSI controller, oldie stylie 50 PIN cables, and a military-grade steel case of generous proportions and massive weight, and a hardworking fan. The sound it made as it booted from off was lovely: like a miniature knife-grinding museum starting up at 11am for Visitors' Hour. But hey! If it's worked this long, it'll probably work a bit longer. I'd advise techniques that use the absolute minimum of violence on the hardware. And once you've got the data backed up and reformatted for the modern reader, think of all the fun you can have if you network up that machine and use it as a webserver for a couple of novels or something.