Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Murdoch Crime Family

Berlusconi's Italy is not such a distant nightmare in Cameron's Britain
says Henry Porter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Innovation and innovation

The deeper and more pernicious problem with Gates’ framing is the implication that technology is where we innovate; in all other areas of life, we just ... manage. This taps into some deep archetypes that are worth digging up...

Innovations in the way we think, interact, and structure our lives require just as much imagination, intelligence, persistence, and funding as innovations in technology.
-- David Roberts

Curious Werner

Hat tip: Dan Colman,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Special problems

A few days ago it was reported that a US military jet had succeeded in using a laser to hit a missile. By coincidence or in connection with this, NPR rebroadcast an interview with David E. Hoffman, author of The Dead Hand, which reminds how societies ostensibly committed to life and freedom carry with them a shadow of death and destruction on an almost unimaginable scale. [1] Lessons from the first 'Star Wars' are still worth attention:
there's been a long myth that Reagan's Star Wars forced the Soviet Union to collapse, forced it into bankruptcy. But that's not really what happened. Certainly, Reagan's vision gave them a fright, but in the end, Reagan didn't build it, the Soviet Union didn't build one, and the Soviet Union imploded of its own weight and its own failures.
Inevitably, given the audience for the program, Iran was a focus of the presenter's questions. But other states, including China and Israel, are likely pursuing special projects too.

[1] see transcript