Notes From All Over 2/11/2010

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit – abridged addition this time around.
Razib Khan. Gene Expression. 10 October 2010.
An extremely important survey of global demographic trends over the next forty years.The post focuses on the difference between the birth rates of religious and secular sections of the world’s population at several different levels (e.g. regions within countries, countries themselves, and regions that supersede individual states). While the post will be of interest to anybody following the “shall the religious inherit the Earth” debate, Mr Khan’s summary has more practical uses. For example, many demographic projections place countries like Israel and Russia in a state of perpetual and permanent demographic decline for the next half century. These models ignore societal variation, however – if the pious parts of the population continue to have more children than their secular counterparts, eventually a tipping point will be reached and the religious will be having enough children to reverse existing population trends!  
For more insights of this kind, please read the whole piece.

Ashwin Parameswaran. Macroeconomic Resilience. 18 October 2010.
Mr. Parameswaran’s blog has been a great favorite of mine for several months now, and it is because of posts like this. This post concerns a feature inherent to many complex systems: interventions that promote system stability reduce system resilience. Mr. Parameswaran describes the macroeconomic implications of this brilliantly.
Offstumped. 9 October 2010.
Prompted by a hung legislature in Karnataka, the Offstumped commentators suggest how India could reform its often-defective legislative system. As the Indian government closely follows British forms, the points raised in this discussion can be applied to much more than India. For those (like myself) that reserve a particular animus for the Westminister system, this Offstumped post is a fascinating bit of political theory.

“Joseph Fouche”. The Committee of Public Safety. 23 October 2010.
Citizen Fouche offers a compelling synthesis of the strategic thought of Admiral Wylie, von Clausewitz, and Mr. Alexander Hamilton, among others. Much recommended.
Nick Nielson (“Geopoliticratus”). 23 October 2010.
Nick Nielson (“Geopoliticratus”). Grand Strategy: The View From Oregon. 26 October 2010.
Geopoliticratus takes issue with the strategic thought of John Boyd and 4GW theory.
Timothy Thomas. Special Warfare. April 2003.
Chinese 5GW?

“Maddy.” Historic Alleys. 09 October 2010.
Using a blog template suspiciously similar to my own, Indian history blogger “Maddy” asks an interesting question: why did Britain come to control India? Why not some other colonial power – say, France?

Tip of the Hat to Varnam.
Jason Pappas. American Creation. 19 October 2010.
Debates rage about the intentions of America’s founding fathers. Did they wish to build a Christian nation? Perhaps, says Mr. Pappas, but not near so bad as they desired a Roman one. 

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