Month: May 2008

Technology’s Wide Angle: A Response to Samantha Power

In the US, it’s been an interesting week of political debate on appeasement and diplomacy. In the UK, there’s been a good deal of concern over radicalization and academic freedom, in the wake of a terrorism researcher’s arrest at the University of Nottingham. In light of all the hyperventilating, SP’s timely poke at social media raises some interesting issues for debates on radicalization, mobilization, and the potential for early warning.

Rashid on Suicide Jihad

My publisher at Hurst just tipped me off to Ahmed Rashid’s review essay in the latest New York Review of Books. Three of the seven books (Nasiri, Lia, and Giustozzi) under review are Hurst publications in North American release. Rashid,… Read More ›

Surveillance, Augmentation… and Landscaping

Kazys Vanelis, Director of Columbia University’s Network Architecture Lab, has an interesting blogpost, Surveillance Society, citing Naomi Klein’s Rolling Stone write-up on the situation in China (and you thought the UK was over-Big Brothered?).

In "The Return of the Intergalactic Planetary Landscape Architect," Alexander Trevi at Pruned blogs on defence-funded contractors building better exoskeletons, and how they might help with… gardening. Warning: Trevi’s piece is tongue-in-cheek and entertaining.  

Military Culture, Causation, and Human Terrain

Tony Waters, a Professor of Sociology at California State University, Chico and a blogger at, has written up an interesting piece on the human terrain issue. In a 15 May blog post, he suggested the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System needs "an experimental control." Waters doesn’t pass judgment on the role of social science in war (not the way others have, in any case), except to generally laud military interest in better understanding context and culture. Instead, citing Col. Martin Sweitzer’s 23 April testimony "before two House Armed Service Committee Subcommittees", he writes: