A brief foray into distraction’s history

This looks interesting: A Crisis of Short Attention Spans, 250 Years Ago By Natalie M. Phillips | January 01, 2017 When most people think of distraction, they think of flooded inboxes, cellphone beeps, Twitter feeds. An ever-present and unavoidable consequence of our fast-paced contemporary world, distraction is cast as a — if not the — … Continue reading A brief foray into distraction’s history

Maps: Telling a Story of Imagined Omniscience

In lieu of something original from me, I offer you something insightful by someone else - Michael Caines, in the Times Literary Supplement, reviewing a new British Library exhibition entitled Maps and the Twentieth Century: Drawing the line. It tells "a story of imagined omniscience," Caines writes, "of the world seen in a series of … Continue reading Maps: Telling a Story of Imagined Omniscience

Missiles of Outrage and Anger

In the early pages of his memoir Known and Unknown, Donald Rumsfeld described boyhood memories of an America struggling to come to grips with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. One of those recollections was of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's reassuring voice, its "formal, almost aristocratic tone" cutting across the airwaves. "Outlining the indictment against the … Continue reading Missiles of Outrage and Anger

COIN-Love Redux

Alternate title: "why smart people diversify, and why those who don't go splat face-first into the pavement". An interesting piece in The New Republic from Senior Editor Michael Crowley, on COIN-love. Crowley writes about how CNAS has staked its claim as guru-central for counterinsurgency, and throws a few subtle barbs about the quality of its salesmanship vice the … Continue reading COIN-Love Redux

The View From the Veranda

Last week I gave a talk to some students at the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), at the University of Leeds. I've been an honorary Visiting Research Fellow with POLIS since April 2006, and it's a rare occasion when I'm actually on-site. In fact, this was only the second time, the first being a … Continue reading The View From the Veranda