02 Jun 2014

Losing it…

Please pardon me quoting myself, but… My clearest reading of 2014’s tea leaves is ‘instability:’ worldwide instability and in my opinion this instability has its origins at the heart of the most developed economies of the western world. The causes? We are undergoing a technological revolution and process of globalized

14 May 2014

What is Really Behind the Ukraine Crisis

Russia’s reaction to the move to overthrow Ukraine’s government, take it into the EU and from there, probably into NATO was the most predictable thing in the world, just the sort of thing that George H.W. Bush, Kohl, Mitterrand and yes, even Margaret Thatcher wanted to avoid. In American terms

27 Apr 2014

Artificial Intelligence: The Central Question

AI in the hands of Goldman Sachs? One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at

19 Apr 2014

The “butterfly effect” revisited

Moth by night In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from

22 Mar 2014

How isolated is Russia?

With Russia facing sanctions from the US and some other countries after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine, India on Wednesday made it clear that it will not support any “unilateral measures” against Russian government. Times of India Based on the fact that Russia and Ukraine have deep cultural, historical and

16 Mar 2014

#MH370: Ocean’s Eleven Meets Charles Manson?

The question nobody seems to be asking about the mysterious, disappearing, Malaysian flight is: was there anything of extraordinary value riding in the baggage hold? What could that be? Anybody’s guess. If this were a “caper” movie, what is in the baggage hold would be its “MacGuffin,” which is simply

04 Mar 2014

Ukraine: Belling the cat

In situations of conflict there is an acknowledged advantage given to those with their back to the wall. With survival at stake the ones with nothing to lose by fighting are at an advantage. In previous posts I’ve suggested that Americans could better understand the Russian position if they imagined

26 Feb 2014

A note (rant) on the Ukraine

I have to say something about the situation(s) in the Ukraine, I haven’t had much time to post recently, being in the middle of moving house, so instead of a neatly constructed post this will take the form of a simple rant. First reality: any attempt to deny Russia access

18 Feb 2014

Political Paralysis: What Would Jesus Do?

Wingnuts are always framing any question that comes into their heads with a  “what would Jesus do,” so I thought I would approach the subject of America’s political paralysis in the same terms. What would Jesus do it he were elected president of the USA? Well of course, if the

15 Feb 2014

Don’t cheapen the Holocaust by making it shopworn

Humanity has seen many genocides since our ancestors killed off all the Neanderthals… The Holocaust is different. How is this genocide different from all other genocides? There is a qualitative difference between ordinary enraged insanity and the carefully planned and managed destruction of an entire people (one of the founders