Category Archives: analysis

Anti-terror policy and the Muslim black box

Last month, at a seminar in Washington DC, I gained access to a large body of raw data pertaining to global terrorism.  Although the chatter around me was mostly the professional jargon of the terror industry, the charts, I thought, … Continue reading

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Data and terror

I recently attended a half-day seminar at the Institute of Peace in Washington DC, on what I thought was a provocative question:  “Does better data make for better counterterrorism policy?” Only four days had passed since the attacks in Paris.  … Continue reading

Posted in analysis, cataclysm, democracy | 2 Comments

Foreign policy in the age of Obama: First principles

The Swirl of Events Barack Obama has presided for six years and change over the government of the most powerful nation on earth:  time enough for decisions and revisions, and for consequences to be manifested. During his tenure, the Middle … Continue reading

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Andrey Miroshnichenko’s review of The Revolt of the Public

Andrey Miroshnichenko is the author of Human as Media, a book I have cited often in this blog.  He and I became connected as fellow scholars who turn out to have an astoundingly similar perspective on the impact of media … Continue reading

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The problem is…

This is a post about analysis.  I mean nothing magical by that word, just the ways by which we subtract a little from our ignorance.  We need a frame to understand the world, and facts to make that frame helpful … Continue reading

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The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority

I have just published a book dealing with many of the themes that are discussed in this blog.  The title is The Revolt of the Public, the subtitle is The Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium, and the link … Continue reading

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A fable on the decline of human systems

Imagine an institution – say, a university (but it can be a company, a government, a military unit, a social club) – in which every person is perfectly suited to his function.  The system is optimal.  There is zero waste.  … Continue reading

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Analyzing events: Equilibrium and perturbation

In an earlier post, I touched on the problem of analyzing events.  Here I’d like to extend the analysis of analysis, considered in light of Terrence Deacon’s difficult book, Incomplete Nature.  Some of the positions taken below contradict the earlier … Continue reading

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Analyzing events

Readers of Duncan Watts’ Everything Is Obvious know that most attempts to analyze human events are shot through with fallacy and error.  This is true of ordinary persons watching the evening news, but also of the professional analysts in CIA … Continue reading

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