I was inspired to write this post by a recent episode of Sea Control (the Center For International and Maritime Security’s podcast) that focused on the future of Chinese journalism and the role Xinhua News Agency plays in promoting Chinese soft power. Dean Cheng, senior research fellow for Asia policy at the Heritage Foundation, was […]
Monthly Archives: July 2015
The OODA Loop, Ancient China Style
The theories of John Boyd are an interesting example of a general historical principle: medium changes message. The physical medium used to communicate information changes the way information is organized and understood. For example, historians often credit the short, clipped and rhyming phrases of texts like Sunzi’s Art of War, The Analects or the Dao […]
Iran: The Debate We Should Be Having
Major religions in the Middle EastImage Source: Columbia University’s Gulf 2000 Project I am not a specialist in arms control or nuclear technology. I must rely on the judgement of others with relevant expertise to assess the viability of the new agreement with Iran. This makes things difficult, for the opinions of experts I trust […]
Is a Science of Cultural Change Possible?
Peter Turchin is one of the leading minds behind cliodynamics, an effort to make the study of history a fully scientific discipline with the same sort of theoretical and mathematical rigor that under-girds modern scholarship in disciplines like ecology or evolutionary biology. In a 2008 essay written for Nature he justified this project in the […]
What History Should An American Know?
A Serbian Gypsy Family at Ellis Island. “Gitanos Augustus” by Augustus Sherman (1917), displayed at Statue of Liberty National Park. Image Credit: Wikimedia. What history should an educated American be expected to know?The most recent issue of Democracy Journal includes a long essay by Eric Liu on “cultural literacy,” a term coined by E.D. Hersh […]
The CNRP Won’t Save the South China Sea
A map of “Khmer Krom,” territory once dominated by Khmer speakers before it was conquered by Vietnam in the 18th and 19th centuries. Image Source: Douc Sokha, “សហគមន៍ខ្មែរក្រោមថារកឃើញឯកសារជាង៤០០០ទំព័រ ទាក់ទងនឹងការកាត់ទឹកដីកម្ពុជាក្រោមឲ្យវៀតណាម“, Vod Hot News (15 February 2015) Americans are rarely disinterested observers when watching elections held in foreign climes. The further outside the Western world Americans roam the […]