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Recommended Reading

Very busy week and we are hosting my nephew this weekend, so this may be short:

Top Billing!  James V. DeLong’s  The Coming of the Fourth American Republic ( hat tip to Barnabus and Pundita)

Probably the most provocative analytical political piece of the past month. Reminds me slightly of an internal version of The Shield of Achilles.

Global GuerillasPAKISTAN AND OPEN SOURCE WARFARE and JOURNAL: An Open Source Counter-insurgency for Pakistan?

John estimates Pakistan’s chances and finds them to be slim. Good back and forth with Dr. Chet Richards on How afraid should we be? in addition.

MountainRunnerGuest Post: How to win the GWOT – or whatever it’s called today

Matt Armstrong turns over his blog to some former NSC staff members, Mark Pfeifle and Jonathan Thompson.

WIREDArmy Looks to Keep Troops Forever Young

I could use some of this anti-aging elixir this morning! 🙂

Scientific AmericanHow Room Designs Affect Your Work and Mood

The neuroscience implies that the average workspace design for offices and schools promotes a feeling of jet lag and depression. LOL! How true.

Proceeedings – “The Overstated Threat” by Commander John Patch, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

The pirates 15 minutes of fame should be over, according to Patch.

The Jamestown FoundationIngushetia is Still Burning

In case you feel a need for an update for the troubles of Russo-Transcaucasian backwater.

 The Annual Edge Question 2009 – “What will change everything?… What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?

That’s it!



4 Responses to “Recommended Reading”

  1. Dave Schuler Says:

    I was underwhelmed by James DeLong’s piece.  I disagreed with his interpretation of history.  For example thing why not delineate the coming of Jacksonian democracy, the contributions of the 19th century progressives (popular election of the Senate, anti-trust laws, the income tax), or the Reagan Revolution as a “republic”? 
    America is in permanent, controlled revolution.  That’s its nature.   I don’t think there’s much special about today’s political scene that wasn’t special about four, eight, twelve, sixteen and so on years ago.

  2. zen Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I put the essay up because it was provocative and is creating a stir. I agree that there’s an arbitrariness about how De Long chooses to frame his "republic" and I’d probably have made different observations – cough – if I had time these days to write essays 🙂

  3. JV DeLong Says:

    Two points:
    1) One can argue the continuing revolution point, but some changes are much more decisive than others, and I think the Civil War era and the New Deal qualify. I am hardly the first to make this point — law profs have been saying it for years, and using those same two inflection points. I included the point for perspective; otherwise, the idea of a constitutional revolution tends to be regarded as absurd.
    2) I was not familiar with The Shield of Achilles, so thank you — and thanks to Amazon’s one click, it is even now on its way.
    Jim DeLong

  4. zen Says:

    Hi Jim,
    Welcome! I think you will enjoy The Shield of Achilles because constitutional revolutions in the nature of the state form a core part of Bobbitt’s thesis on international relations and strategy.

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