# Vacation mailbag

### Mexico takes from Mexico — plus the movies I'm looking forward to and what's up with video games

I’ve been enjoying vacation, but you can’t keep me away from the laptop so here’s some mailbag for you all.

Back with regularly scheduled commentary on Monday!

**Ollie Sayeed: Who was the best person of the 20th century in raw utilitarian terms? Deng Xiaoping, Norman Borlaug...?**

There’s an interesting big picture question lurking behind this about the causal role of scientific innovators in the world. We have famous cases of very clear-cut joint or overlapping discovery. While calculus is obviously very important, it’s also pretty unambiguous that if you went back in time and assassinated Isaac Newton, Leibniz was waiting right behind him to basically do the same work.

And in a world with no Albert Einstein, someone else probably would have come up with general relativity. At the end of the day, the beauty of a scientific insight like that is it *really does solve the problem,* so if enough people think about the problem for long enough, someone is going to come up with it.

Politics feels …