Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Stack Gets Bigger

Some books that have recently arrived:

Cowboy Capitalism: European Myths, American Reality by Olaf Gersemann

The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas by John Howkins

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer

Pop: Why Bubbles are Great for the Economy by Daniel Gross

They look good on the shelf, now if I can just find the time to read them...

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Fair Victory

Well, there's been a small victory for freedom of speech and press with this vote against the "fairness" doctrine:

"The House votes 309-115 for a Mike Pence amendment barring the FCC from imposing it". (via Instapundit)

The Pence amendment would "prohibit funds in the Financial Services Appropriations bill (H.R. 2829) from being used by the Federal Communications Commission to impose the "Fairness Doctrine" on radio broadcasters."

Unfortunately this will not be the end of efforts to impose the "fairness" doctrine or other means of cracking down on our rights to free speech and free press. This vote doesn't change anyone's views and the supporters of imposing the "fairness" doctrine are going to continue their efforts.

UPDATE: Here's a more detailed report from The Hill.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Congratulations!

Happy Wedding, Dan and Fei!

(Making the bridesmaids joyous: Priceless.)

"Miniature Infinitessimal Deities"

Beneath all the specific constitutional grievances against British authority lay a more elusive social and political rancor that lent passion to the Revolutionary movement and without which the Americans' devotion to republicanism is incomprehensible. The Whigs' language suggests a widespread anger and frustration with the way relationships of power and esteem seemed to be crystalizing by the middle of the eighteenth century, under the apparent direction of the Crown. Among all the grievances voiced against executive power, what appears to have particularly rankled the colonists, or at least was most directly confronted in their Whig literature, was the abuse of royal authority in creating political and hence social distinctions, the manipulation of official appointments that enabled those creatures with the proper connections, those filled with the most flattery, those "miniature infinitessimal Deities" John Adams called them, to leap ahead of those equally--if not better--qualified into lucrative positions of power and prestige.
...
For most Americans...this was the deeply felt meaning of the Revolution: they had created a new world, a republican world. No one doubted that the new polities would be republics, and, as Thomas Paine pointed out, "What is called a republic, is not any particular form of government." Republicanism meant more for Americans than simply the elimination of a king and the institution of an elective system. It added a moral dimension, a utopian depth, to the political separation from England--a depth that involved the very character of their society. "We are now really another people," exclaimed Paine in 1782.

Socially, of course, they were not really another people, despite much economic unsettling and the emigration of thousands of Tories. But intellectually and culturally they were--and this is what Paine meant. "Our style and manner of thinking have undergone a revolution more extraordinary than the political revolution of the country. We see with other eyes; we hear with other ears; and think with other thoughts, than those we formerly used." Republicanism did not signal the immediate collapse of the traditional social organization; but it did possess a profound social significance. The Revolution was intended in fact to "form a new era and give a new turn to human affairs." From the moment in 1774 and 1775 when independence and hence the formation of new governments became a distinct possibility, and continuing throughout the war, nearly every piece of writing concerned with the future of the new republics was filled with extraordinarily idealistic hopes for the social and political transformation of America. The Americans had come to believe that the Revolution would mean nothing less than a reordering of eighteenth-century society and politics as they had known and despised them--a reordering that was summed up by the conception of republicanism.
...
The sacrifice of the individual interests to the greater good of the whole formed the essence of republicanism and comprehended for Americans the idealistic goal of their Revolution. From this goal flowed all of the Americans' exhortatory literature and all that made their ideology truly revolutionary. This republican ideology both presumed and helped shape the Americans' conception of the way their society and politics should be structured and operated--a vision so divorced from the realities of American society, so contrary to the previous century of American experience, that it alone was enough to make the Revolution one of the great utopian movements of American history.
...
By definition it [republican government] had no other end than the welfare of the people: res publica, the public affairs, or the public good. "The word 'republic'," said Thomas Paine, "means the public good, or the good of the whole, in contradistinction to the despotic forms, which makes the good of the sovereign, or of one man, the only object of government." Its most exact English equivalent was commonwealth, by which was meant, as Edmund Pendleton suggested, a state belonging to the whole people rather than the Crown.


From The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 by Gordon Wood.

Glenn Reynolds links today to a report that:

A $1 million earmark request by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) would allow the Interior Department to expand a wilderness area neighboring properties the Congressman owns.

And this is just one grain of sand on the seashore. Today it is not some king making the good of one man the only object of government, but rather Congress making the good of 535 men and women (with maybe a handful of exceptions) the only object of government. In a blind taste-test, would we be able to distinguish between our Congress and some third-world kleptocracy? "Shrinking the gap" begins at home.

OH YEAH: Almost forgot that the "miniature infinitessimal Deities" voted themselves a pay raise.

Dan Riehl: I can't think of a time when I have been more disenchanted with America's political class and that is saying something, as I basically distrust them to start.

Yeah, Baby.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Fairness" Doctrine Blues

I have my disagreements with Lou Dobbs, but this report from his show on the "Fairness" Doctrine is right on:

The Tethered Man

Entrepreneurship is, I believe, the best vehicle for promoting classical liberal ideas, as opposed to focusing on theories of market economics. And Sweden would be a good place to target a pro-entrepreneurship campaign, given that it has become the archetypal social democratic paradise for many American liberals. It seems that some Swedish classical liberals are working on this; hopefully they will have success.

...Sweden has many of the prerequisites for being a good country for running a business. On the whole, one could say that Sweden has good infrastructure, limited corruption, political stability and high educated people. One factor that has made Sweden fall from being one of the richest countries to an average industrial country is policies that punish entrepreneurship.

But another factor is people’s attitude towards capitalism. Entrepreneurs are associated with greed rather than hard work and innovativeness; profit interests are automatically regarded as a destructive force. On a personal level, it isn’t OK to be openly proud of one's career successes. The Swedish dream is to be moderately successful. Anymore than that and people start looking down at you. When the social rewards for entrepreneurship are diminished in this way, fewer are attracted by the prospect of becoming a successful businessperson.

It is thus important not only to strive towards political reforms that open up the Swedish economy, but also to present a more positive view of entrepreneurship. Luckily the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise has launched the campaign “Fri Företagsamhet” (“Free Entrepreneurship”) to do just that; show the human face behind business and encourage people to themselves take up roles as entrepreneurs.

This campaign has an interesting historical background. During the seventies, one of the organizations that would later found the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise launched a campaign featuring “The tethered man” – a symbol of entrepreneurs struggling against a socialist system. During an age where the social democrats were working towards removing private ownership and putting all companies in the hands of the labour unions, the tethered man became a strong symbol for those who believed in ownership and a free economy.

Today the message is renewed. The tethered man has broken from his chains and is looking towards creating opportunities in a globalized world. Can this symbol of free enterprise change people’s perceptions of capitalism and capitalists? Can the tethered man transform Sweden into a country where it is no longer shameful to become rich, and where more people strive to do just that? A single campaign cannot change nation's attitude, but one can only hope that it will give a nudge in the right direction.

Nima Sanandaji is the president of the Swedish free market think tank Captus and publisher of the weekly online Swedish magazine Captus Tidning. He is also a PhD student at The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hammes Podcast

Here's a podcast of Col. Thomas Hammes on the Kojo Nnamdi Show (a Washington DC area public radio program) from January 2005 with a discussion of The Sling and the Stone. It's very good and runs just under an hour. It includes a brief discussion of Hammes thoughts on 5GW. It requires RealPlayer.

When in the Course of Human Events...

Columnist George Pascoe Watson writes in The Sun:

TONY Blair heads to Brussels today to negotiate an EU treaty which could hand over British powers to Europe.
...
It will rob us of powers to set our own laws and put industry back 30 years
...
Britain’s VETOES will be axed in as many as 51 areas.
This means we will no longer be able to opt out of EU laws that would harm our economy or way of life.
Our POLICING and our JUSTICE systems would also be set by Brussels.
...
The power to set TAX and SPEND policy could also be stripped away.
...
Experts say the draft Treaty would mean huge changes to BRITISH LAW.
They say a Charter of Fundamental Rights would become more legally-binding than UK law.

Hmm. That's sounds very familiar: British subjects objecting to being ruled and taxed by some distant and unaccountable government and are concerned about the survival of their free system of English laws. Hmm. Now where have I heard that before? Oh well, I'm sure it will come to me. Anyway, I gotta go run some errands, I need to see if I can pick up some fireworks for the Fourth of July.

(via Cato at Liberty)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Today's Quote: It’s a Contest Between Producers with Stories.

Perceptions may trump or displace reality within the information dimension of counter-insurgency. In the Information Age, perceptual isolation will be even harder if not impossible. There are too many sources and means of transmitting ideas and images in real time today. The battle of ideas has always been a central competition within an insurgency, but in the past governments had some advantages. Now, the IT revolution magnifies the ability of the modern insurgent to exploit his limited success. A sophisticated insurgent can exploit the communications revolution to extend his influence and maximize his credibility by continuously flaunting his tactical successes all out of proportion to their accumulative operational effect. This is where a true competition exists, best captured by General Rupert Smith’s analogy of rival commanders as film producers, competing with each other for the best narrative and the imagery to support it in order to influence people. Instead of Clausewitz’s duel, it’s a contest between producers with stories. Combat and casualties are no longer the key cash transaction of war; it’s an exchange of carefully choreographed images and stories to produce an effect. Rather than physical effects, the psychological impact of all actions has to be considered. As Kilcullen has noted “In the battlefield, popular perceptions and rumor are more important than a hundred tanks.”

We need to fully exploit the cognitive terrain of conflict and “maneuver” in the minds of our allies, friends, neutrals and the enemy. But how does one “clear, hold and build” in the virtual dimension?


From NEO-COIN? by Frank Hoffman at the Small Wars Journal

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Arctic Monkeys

I'm probably a little late to the party, but I just discovered the Arctic Monkeys. Over the past few years I've slowly stopped listening to music which is odd for me. Ever since I was a kid there was always that everpresent soundtrack to my life. But a few years ago I got tired of listening to what I had been listening to and didn't find anything new (I guess I'm out of the loop.) I like guitar-driven rock and roll and the Arctic Monkeys are pretty good, especially Fake Tales of San Francisco and I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.

Barnett at TED

I was browsing around the website that had the Burt Rutan talk I posted yesterday and found a video of Tom Barnett.

Friday, June 22, 2007

"The Goal is Fun"

Burt Rutan is one of my heros. Invention, entrepreneurship, aviation all whirl together into a very unique individual. In 2004 when his SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X Prize I was so excited. It was the same excitement I felt while watching the first space shuttle launch when I was in junior high. We definitely need more entrepreneurial, creative thinkers like Rutan. Below is a link to a talk given by Rutan on spaceflight entrepreneurship (via Personal Spaceflight blog).

"I look forward to a new capitalist space race"

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Iranians Find Aussies Not An Easy Target

Why I like the Australians:

When Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured the British sailors and Royal Marines in March, it was not exactly their first attempt.

It turns out that Iranian forces made an earlier concerted attempt to seize a boarding party from the Royal Australian Navy.

The Australians, though, to quote one military source, "were having none of it".

The BBC has been told the Australians re-boarded the vessel they had just searched, aimed their machine guns at the approaching Iranians and warned them to back off, using what was said to be "highly colourful language".

The Iranians withdrew, and the Australians were reportedly lifted off the ship by one of their own helicopters.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

National Security & Self-Confidence in the American Enterprise

Over the course of the life of our nation, our military will go through many changes. It will be organized, equipped and trained in various ways depending on our role in the world, existing and potential threats, our goals and other factors. Mark at Zenpundit had a recent post linking to the introduction of Chet Richards' forthcoming book that looks like it will be a useful contribution to the ongoing discussion about how we should organize our military for 21st century realities. The Introduction is worth reading in whole, but I'm going to pull out one part. Richards says:

My model [for the book] is the famous “Long Telegram” written by a senior American diplomat, George Kennan, in 1946 from his vantage point in Moscow. In it, Kennan made the case that communism suffered from such incurable internal contradictions, that if we could just contain it long enough – not doing anything really stupid in the meantime – it would collapse of its own accord. And so it came to pass.

My advice on implementation, then, is conceptually the same as Kennan’s:

Finally we must have courage and self-confidence to cling to our own methods and conceptions of human society. After all, the greatest danger that can befall us in coping with this problem of Soviet communism is that we shall allow ourselves to become like those with whom we are coping. (Kennan, 1946).

One of the most serious problems we face today is that we DO NOT have the "courage and self-confidence to cling to our own methods and conceptions of human society."

As Robert Kaplan says in a recent article:

...the real threat to our national security may be our own lack of faith in ourselves, meaning not just faith in a God who has a special care for America, but faith in the American national enterprise itself, in whatever form.

Over the past 40 years or so, the "hey-hey, ho-ho, Western Civ has got to go" crowd have been waging a successful campaign to debunk, deconstruct, and delegitimize the "American national enterprise." We are suffering from an existential crisis of confidence as a nation. Al Qaeda et al. would not be as significant a threat to us if we had a strong faith and confidence in the "American national enterprise." Because of this lack of confidence, we are weak willed and easily manipulated by our adversary's media campaigns. Any effort to reorganize our national security institutions must address this issue. We must develop a forward-looking vision of America that is relevant to 21st century realities. A vision that can bring us together as a people and give us something to strive toward. A vision that can inspire people to take the initiative and act creatively in the interest of our country. A vision that will give immigrants and their children a reason to assimilate. A vision that will give Americans in general a feeling that they are a part of something special. If we can achieve this, then our nation will enjoy a security that comes from a great inner strength. If we can't then it doesn't matter how well we reorganize and equip our military. We won't have the will to defend ourselves because we won't believe that there is anything worth defending or even that America should have ever been founded. Our adversaries, having the "courage and self-confidence to cling to [their] own methods and conceptions of human society," will be able to hold on and achieve victory resulting from the internal weakness of a people who don't believe in their own country.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

COIN Podcasts

Here are links to a couple of recent podcasts discussing counterinsurgency and Iraq that are worth listening to. In topic 2 of the Kilcullen podcast is a very interesting discussion of the importance of narrative which I think is relevant not only for counterinsurgency but can also be applied to domestic politics. For example, one of the challenges we have today is developing an inspiring narrative of America that can appeal to the large variety of immigrants from different backgrounds, but that is a topic for another post.

Blog Week in Review's Austin Bay interview with David Kilcullen.

Powerline's Northern Alliance radio show interview with Lt. Col. John Nagl.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007

A War of Ideas Miscellany

One of the great things about the internet is that we have access to all manner of articles, papers, and studies; unfortunately it also means that there is so much to read that there is not enough time to actually read it all. Here are several papers all on the theme of the war of ideas that I have come across through googling, various blogs and other websites. I haven't had time to read them yet and hope others will find them useful.

Public Diplomacy: War By Other Means

This paper’s objective is to redefine the threat and its source in the context of the
war on terror, and offer an alternative approach for success. It rests on the belief that the
most direct threat to the United States is not terrorism per se, but the radical, globalized
ideology which promotes its use. The first section argues that the war on terrorism is as
much a battle of ideas as it is a military struggle, and that public diplomacy is the most
effective instrument in this context. It underscores that public diplomacy’s significance
is also in its departure from traditional diplomacy, which is becoming increasingly
anachronistic and in some regions irrelevant. In the second section, the paper offers a
survey of post-9/11 public diplomacy efforts, as they are: coordinated on the interagency
level, led by the State Department, and conducted in local posts overseas. Significant
structural problems, institutional dilemmas, and crucial missing elements are identified.
Finally, in the third section, relevant policy prescriptions and recommendations are
provided. Five years after the 9/11-terrorist attacks, it is critical to reestablish the
fundamental root of the problem and offer a more comprehensive strategy, in the hope
that the “Long War” does not become an eternal struggle.


Winning the War of Ideas: Assessing the Effectiveness of Public Diplomacy

The National Strategy for Combating Terrorism calls for the United States to act on four
fronts to stop terrorist attacks. The fourth front, acting to diminish the underlying conditions that
terrorists seek to exploit, establishes an objective to wage a war of ideas to eliminate the
conditions and ideologies that promote terrorism. However, recent U.S. attempts at waging a
war of ideas have rallied support in the Arab and Muslim world for extremists seeking redress of
political and ideological grievances through violence and terrorism. This has created fertile
conditions where adherents of radical ideologies use misinformation to stir civil unrest and
undermine U.S. interests in the region. This paper examines the effectiveness of public
diplomacy in mitigating the sources of Anti-Americanism that threaten a favorable outcome in
the war of ideas. This is accomplished by discussing the realities and consequences of Anti-
Americanism, defining the current policy that implements the war of ideas, and assessing the
effectiveness of the policy through an analysis of ends, ways, means, and risk. The paper
concludes with suggested alternatives to the current U.S. policy on the use of the information
component of national power in support of the war of ideas.


A 21st Century Model for Communication in the
Global War of Ideas: From Simplistic Influence to Pragmatic Complexity


In the global war of ideas, the United States finds itself facing a
systems problem that cannot be solved by simply delivering the right
message. The question is not “how can we construct a more persuasive
message?” Rather it is “what kind of reality has this particular system [that
we are trying to influence] constructed for itself?”
The present strategic communication efforts by the U.S. and its
allies rest on an outdated, 20th century message influence model that is no
longer effective in the complex global war of ideas. Relying on this
model, our well-intentioned communication has become dysfunctional.
Rather than drawing the world into a consensus on issues of terrorism,
diplomacy, and international security, it instead unwittingly contributes to
our diminished status among world opinion leaders and furthers the
recruitment goals of violent extremists.
In this paper we explain why message influence strategies fail and
what must be done to break the cycle of communication dysfunction.
Changing communication systems requires, first, understanding the
dynamics at work; and, second, using communication as a strategy to
disrupt and perturb existing systems such that they can begin to organize
around new meaning-making frameworks. After describing a new
pragmatic complexity model, we offer four principles of effective
communication in the global war of ideas based on this model: (1)
Deemphasize control and embrace complexity, (2) replace repetition with
variation, (3) consider disruptive moves, and (4) expect and plan for
failure.


Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War: Messages to Defeat the Terrorists
J.Michael Waller

Those on the front lines realize better than most that we are losing
a propaganda war and that we can and must win.
The reality of course is that there is so much more that the country which brought
down the Soviet Union can do to win the war of ideas. Most of
measures we need to implement will take a long time to put in place.
That said, there is so much that we can do now. That is why this
book is not about the long-term. It’s about the now. It offers a way
to wage this pivotal battle in the immediate-term: Cost-effective,
realistic solutions that the U.S. and its allies can implement quickly,
without bureaucratic reorganization or unusual reprogramming of
funds. The book’s focus will not therefore be on structures and
processes, but on the nature and content of the messages themselves
and the positive effects that can be achieved in Iraq and around the
world.

The War of Ideas: An Abandoned Front in the Global War on Terror

This paper, which was prepared using a historical research methodology, argues
that the U.S. is losing the “war of ideas,” and it provides recommendations that can
support a comeback. The importance of the U.S. Department of State in the global war on
terror is briefly introduced; as the lead agency for strategic communications in the war of
ideas, it is distinguished from the U.S. Department of Defense, which leads the physical
struggle. To develop a sense of urgency in resolving the State Department’s
subsequently outlined problems, the argument is made that the ideological struggle is
strategic in nature, as it can target the underlying source of terrorism. Key statements
made by U.S. spokespeople are reviewed to identify the State Department’s
communications strategy. Polling data is then reviewed to demonstrate the Department’s
performance. The lackluster track record in the war of ideas is linked to three problem
areas: resources, organization, and strategy. Each problem area has contributed to a
precariously weak wartime posture. Recommendations that can help resolve these issues
include: a study to better determine the enemy’s propaganda expenditures; an
approximate three-fold increase in resources (funding and personnel) for State’s public
diplomacy activities; an organizational architecture that provides unity of command,
centralized control, decentralized execution, interagency coordination, and implicit
communications across the chain of command; and the development of a new
communications strategy that aims more directly at the underlying source or cause of
terrorism.

Today's Quote: What Do We Mean By "Modernity"?

What do we mean by this word "modernity"? When did it begin? Some believe it began with the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the discovery of America; others claim it originated with the birth of nation-states and the institution of banking, the rise of mercantile capitalism and the emergence of the bourgeoisie; and others emphasize the scientific and philosophical revolutions of the seventeenth century, without which we would have neither technology nor industry. Each of these opinions has something to recommend it. By itself, each is only partially correct; together, they form a coherent explanation. For that reason, perhaps, most cultural historians tend to favor the eighteenth century: not only did it inherit these changes and innovations, but it was also consciously aware of many of the characteristics that would one day be our own. Was that age a prefiguration, then, of the age we live in today? Yes and no. It would be more accurate to say that ours has been the age of the distortion of the ideas and visions of that great century.

Modernity began as a critique of religion, philosophy, morality, law, history, economics, and politics. Criticism was its most distinctive feature, its hallmark. Everything the Modern Age represents has been the work of criticism, in the sense of a method of investigation, creation, and action. The key concepts of the Modern Age--progress, evolution, revolution, freedom, democracy, science, technology--had their origin in criticism. In the eighteenth century, reason turned to the criticism of the world and of itself, thereby radically transforming classical rationalism and its timeless geometries. A criticism of itself: reason renounced the grandiose constructions that made it synonymous with Being, Good, or Truth; it ceased to be the Mansion of the Idea and became instead a path, a means of exploration. A criticism of the world, of the past and present; a criticism of certainties and traditional values; a criticism of institutions and beliefs, of the Throne and the Altar; a criticism of mores, passions, sensibility, and sexuality: Rousseau, Diderot, Choderlos de Laclos, Sade. And the historical criticism of Gibbon and Montesquieu: the discovery of the "other" in the Chinese, the Persian, the American Indian. The changes in perspective in astronomy, geography, physics, biology. In the end, a criticism embodied in historical events: the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the independence movements of the Spanish and Portuguese colonies. (For reasons I have discussed in other writings, the revolution for independence in Spanish and Portuguese America failed both politically and socially. Our modernity is incomplete--or, more precisely, it is a historical hybrid.)

It is no accident that these great revolutions, the roots of modern history, were inspired by eighteenth-century thought. It was an age that produced an abundance of utopias and projects for social reform. It has been said that these utopias are the least auspicious aspect of the eighteenth century's legacy. Yet we can neither ignore nor condemn them: though many horrors have been committed in their name, we also owe to them nearly all the humanitarian acts and dreams of the Modern Age. The utopias of the eighteenth century were the great ferment that set in motion the history of the next two centuries. Utopia is the reverse side of criticism, and only a critical age can be the inventor of such dreams. The empty spaces left by the demolitions of the critical spirit are almost always filled by utopian constructions. Utopias are the dreams of reason--dreams that can turn, active, into revolutions and reforms. Each age may be identified by its vision of time, and in ours the continual presence of revolutionary utopias bears witness to the privileged place we give the future. The past was no better than the present is; perfection lies not behind us, but ahead of us. It is not a forsaken paradise, but a territory we must one day colonize, a city we must one day build.


From The Other Voice: Essays on Modern Poetry by Octavio Paz.

Related Posts:
The Emergence of the Modern Mind
Paz on Sartre

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Diet Vodka?

Civilization keeps advancing:

The diet vodka includes a herbal ingredient, Garcinia, and is priced at an 8-10% premium to the original Romanov vodka. It all began three years back when the UB-owned Vitthal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation filed for patent of the Garcinia herb, an extract from the kokum fruit, known to increase body metabolism and help burn body fat, thereby helping in weight control.

After bagging the patent, Garcinia-enriched vodka became the buzzword at USL last year. All this, since vodka is considered a youth drink, a segment drained by increasing stress levels and health fetish.

"An increasing number of youngsters are looking for healthier alternatives that fit into their lifestyle," adds Mr Shyam. While McDowell's No. 1 diet whisky has stabilised at 8% of its mother brand's volume of 9.5 million cases sold last year, USL expects diet vodka to cover at least 10% of Romanov's total sales within just a year of operation.

State Issues New Public Diplomacy Strategy

J. Michael Waller is inviting comments on the State Department's new National Strategy on Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy at his PoliticalWarfare blog. It only took the State Department 5 1/2 years after 9/11 to issue their PD strategy! Brilliant!

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Nature of Networks Exhibition

Ines Mergel, of the Complexity and Social Networks Blog, visits an exhibition on networks and has a groovy experience:

Everyone had to experience for themselves how connections on the Internet are created for example, how a hub connects to the closest spokes around him (we were all standing on a light show type of board, where each of us was a node and when you move around the connections are changing, depending on the shortest path). There were also real spiders creating a spider web.