Beware the Alcibiades Point

A supposed bust of Alcibiades. Image source. I spent the later part of my teenage years in the forbidding climes of southeastern Minnesota. In those days I’d often hear a joke that I sometimes still repeat: β€œIn Minnesota we have four seasons: near-winter, winter, still-winter,… and road construction.” Minnesota’s northern reaches are pockmarked with lakes […]

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China Was Never an Empire of the Mind

“Let us go forward as with other matters and other measures similar in aim and effect – let us go forward in malice to none and good will to all. Such plans offer far better prizes than taking away other people’s provinces or lands or grinding them down in exploitation. The empires of the future […]

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Darwin and War in Ancient China, Sengoku Japan, and Early Modern Europe

What does Darwin have to do with terracotta warriors, samurai armies, or Napoleon’s conquests? Quite a lot. Or at least this is what I argue in a paper I finished back in April. I anticipated refining it with extra research in the months since then. This hope was not realized. Other projects have consumed my […]

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Why do Humans Cooperate?

Many of the Stage’s readers will be familiar with the work of “Pseudoerasmus,” currently the internet’s best blogger working on both economic development and macro-history. His most recent post is titled “Where do Pro-Social Institutions Comes From?“  I strongly urge you read it. In essence, Pseudoerasmus’s post tries to answer two questions:  Why do humans cooperate? […]

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Notes From All Over (3/09/15): Chinese Media, Ancient War, and Strategic Theory

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING  “Down With the Nihilists!” and “Love Thy Country““T.J. Ma.” Chublic Opinion. (31 & 6 August 2015). I was led to this blog by the recommendation of Kaiser Kuo and instantly knew that it needed to be on the blog roll. “T.J. Ma” writes […]

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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 […]

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