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Archive for December 10th, 2006

Sunday, December 10th, 2006


A lengthy one, with ” nation-building”, pro and con, as a theme. Some comments to boot.

Dr. Barnett – “Nation building on our plate

For those that follow theory, you can see where Tom has synthesized aspects of 4GW that critically impact the ability to carry out a Sys Admin action without adopting a Kaplanesque worldview.

Fabius Maximus at DNI – “What should we do in Iraq?Part II of a series

(The first part was “Situation Report on the Expedition to Iraq“). Fabius Maximus offers a 4GW school counterpoint to Dr. Barnett, rejecting both “nation building” and connecting the Gap as a useful employment of American military power.

Gregory Scoblete at TCS – “What Rumsfeld’s Critics Don’t Get

I have to endorse Greg’s take on Rumsfeld’s tenure at DoD and the ideological split between Rumsfeld and the second generation Neocons like Bill Kristol (despite Rummy being lumped together with them, he’s a Nixonian hardliner, not a neocon). I believe he has that nuance exactly right. One of those rare pieces of which I can say ” Hmmm – wish I had written that.” ( Big hat tip my friend Bruce Kesler who sends me many useful things).

Chirol at Coming Anarchy – “Corporate Armies

Chirol spurred a wickedly interesting debate on PMC’s, Free Companies, mercenaries and nation-building by corporations.

raf at Aqoul – “Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection

raf reviews the work of Oliver Roy and Mariam Abou Zahab. I note that Aqoul is also a Weblog Award finalist.

I will now shift gears entirely in terms of topic:

Dan of tdaxp has a new, and as usual, excellent, series – Classrooms Evolved – for which he has already posted “Introduction: A Philosophy of Teaching“, ” PartI: Traditional Methods“,
Part II: Social Grading” and “Part III: Deliberative Learning

Dan offers many incisive criticisms of current practice – and some solutions. A must read for those in the classroom.

Dr. Von picks up where I left off with ” Physics is a Good Domain for Horizontal Thinking

like Von, I’m an enthusiast for the ability of physics to shed light in the inner workings of many other domains, from economics to microbiology (so long as we avoid the simplification trying to reduce everything to mechanistic physics – an error of the Newtonian oriented philosophical determinists of the 19th century who were unaware of quantum mechanics or relativity).

That’s it !

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