1. William McNeill on material abundance

    Historian William McNeill, concluding The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community (1962):

    ... The secularist hopes and theories of the West which have won partial hold over men's minds all round the globe are remarkably generous ones. Like the ideals of earlier religions, they may yet demonstrate …

    read more
  2. Canadian politics ELI5

    Someone on /r/canadapolitics asked for an introduction to Canadian politics, at the ELI5 (explain like I'm five) level.

    1. Taxation and public spending as collective shopping - Scarry

    Okay, I'm going to start by taking you literally: The best explanation I've seen for five-year-olds is the story "Building a new …

    read more
  3. Machiavelli on foresight

    In The Prince, Machiavelli writes:

    ... the Romans did in these instances what all prudent princes ought to do, who have to regard not only present troubles, but also future ones, for which they must prepare with every energy, because, when foreseen, it is easy to remedy them; but if you …

    read more
  4. American security and the balance of power

    American security depends on the balance of power in Europe and Asia. If a single power were able to dominate the continent (France under Napoleon, Germany under Wilhelm II or Hitler, the Soviet Union), it would also be strong enough to threaten the US.

    As Jefferson put it: the enduring …

    read more
  5. Conservation of energy

    A few days after my latest post, John Robson hadn't responded, so I asked on Twitter whether I'd persuaded him that CO2 traps heat. He replied:

    In a jar, sure. Have I persuaded you the climate is a lot more complicated than a jar?

    I was hoping for a little …

    read more
  6. Louis Halle on power vs. force

    Louis Halle, The Cold War as History (1967):

    ... real power is always something far greater than military power alone. A balance of power is not a balance of military power alone: it is, rather, a balance in which military power is one element. Even in its crudest aspect, power represents …

    read more
  7. John Robson on global warming

    If you didn't know anything at all about the shape of the earth, and you just looked around you, how could you tell that the earth isn't flat? You can't see the curvature of the earth, so it's natural to think of the earth as a flat circle supporting the …

    read more
  8. Checking the reliability of information

    There's a lot of partisan misinformation on the Internet. This isn't a new problem. Orwell wrote in 1945:

    Much of the propagandist writing of our time amounts to plain forgery. Material facts are suppressed, dates altered, quotations removed from their context and doctored so as to change their meaning. Events …

    read more

« Page 2 / 3 »

blogroll

social