Category Archives: general

Flip-flopping Between Deterrence and Appeasement | The National Interest Blog

On the other hand, Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave in the Baltic is strategically vulnerable—surrounded by NATO nations. In a time of crisis, all Russian overland links to this region would be fully cut, while sea and air communication through international waters—used at present for military transit—could be compromised. A Russian move to force open a land corridor to Kaliningrad in time of escalating crisis with the West would make much more military sense than a presumed “corridor to Crimea.”

Today, as NATO seeks to reinforce its defenses in the Baltics, the Russian high command (the General Staff) may be in a dilemma: To sit and wait as Western battalions and brigades arrive, solidifying a barrier surrounding Kaliningrad, or do something preventively. Russian military planning tends to be extremely rational, but its raison d’être seems to constantly elude Western comprehension.

Flip-flopping Between Deterrence and Appeasement | The National Interest Blog

The liberal international order is under fire. The United States must defend it. – The Washington Post

HARDLY A day goes by without evidence that the liberal international order of the past seven decades is being eroded. China and Russia are attempting to fashion a world in their own illiberal image; Britain is debating a departure from the European Union; Austria’s front-running presidential contender espouses fear of migrants, trade and globalization; and far-right parties are thriving in Europe. The radical Islamic State group wields merciless violence on its own lands in Iraq and Syria and exports terrorism beyond. In the United States, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has attracted millions of voters by campaigning against some of the foundations of American leadership in the world such as the defense alliance with Japan and South Korea, while Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has drawn millions more with the false promise of trade protectionism.

This poses an enormous trial for the next U.S. president. …

The liberal international order is under fire. The United States must defend it. – The Washington Post

Pentagon: China is restructuring itself for war | Business Insider India

China’s military underwent a major restructuring last year in a bid to prepare its military for conflict, the Pentagon said in its latest annual assessment of the Communist Party-controlled People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The armed forces were reformed with new military regions, a new command structure, and updated strategies to better fight regional, high technology warfare, the 145-page report to Congress says.

Pentagon: China is restructuring itself for war | Business Insider India

An Attack on Philosophy

The vast majority of philosophy departments in the United States offer courses only on philosophy derived from Europe and the English-speaking world. For example, of the 118 doctoral programs in philosophy in the United States and Canada, only 10 percent have a specialist in Chinese philosophy as part of their regular faculty. Most philosophy departments also offer no courses on Africana, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, Latin American, Native American or other non-European traditions. Indeed, of the top 50 philosophy doctoral programs in the English-speaking world, only 15 percent have any regular faculty members who teach any non-Western philosophy.

Of course, we believe that renaming departments would not be nearly as valuable as actually broadening the philosophical curriculum and retaining the name “philosophy.” Philosophy as a discipline has a serious diversity problem, with women and minorities underrepresented at all levels among students and faculty, even while the percentage of these groups increases among college students. Part of the problem is the perception that philosophy departments are nothing but temples to the achievement of males of European descent. Our recommendation is straightforward: Those who are comfortable with that perception should confirm it in good faith and defend it honestly; if they cannot do so, we urge them to diversify their faculty and their curriculum.

If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is – NYTimes.com

What is philosophy?

Philosophy (meaning the “love of wisdom”) is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The term was probably coined by the pre-Socratic thinker Pythagoras (570 – 495 BC). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and the systematic presentation of big ideas.

Philosophy is the general and fundamental study of almost any topic. For example, philosophers might ask highly abstract and theoretical questions: is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? However, philosophers might also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if you can get away with it)? Do humans have free will or not?

Historically, the general term “philosophy” encompassed any body of knowledge. Specific terms like “natural philosophy” encompassed disciplines today associated with sciences like astronomy, medicine, and physics. For example, Newton’s 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics.

In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize. In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally seen as part of philosophy split off to become new academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics. Other investigations that are closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics (“concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being”), epistemology (about the “nature and grounds of knowledge [and]…its limits and validity”), ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, logic, philosophy of science and the history of western philosophy.

In the 2000s, contemporary philosophers contributed to society primarily as professors, researchers, and writers. However, many of those who study philosophy in undergraduate or graduate programs contribute in the fields of law, journalism, politics, religion, science, business, and various art and entertainment activities.

Philosophy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philosophy is about seeking fundamental truth in order to raise standards. Diversity is not about raising standards. In fact, it is typically about lowering standards in order to meet diversity goals. And really how can diversity possibly raise standards when all other civilizations are inferior to western civilization? Perhaps I should say “were inferior” as the new western civilization seems to be racing to the bottom. But the area of philosophy seems to be the one remaining beacon of light in the humanities department at universities.

The amazing 1969 prophecy that racial preferences would cause the exact grievances of protesters today | HeterodoxAcademy.org

Judge Fleming explained why he believed this new policy was a dangerous experiment that was likely to cause harmful stereotypes, rather than reduce them. His argument is essentially the one that Jussim and I made 47 years later. Here is what he wrote:

The immediate damage to the standards of Yale Law School needs no elaboration. But beyond this, it seems to me the admission policy adopted by the Law School faculty will serve to perpetuate the very ideas and prejudices it is designed to combat. If in a given class the great majority of the black students are at the bottom of the class, this factor is bound to instill, unconsciously at least, some sense of intellectual superiority among the white students and some sense of intellectual inferiority among the black students. Such a pairing in the same school of the brightest white students in the country with black students of mediocre academic qualifications is social experiment with loaded dice and a stacked deck. The faculty can talk around the clock about disadvantaged background, and it can excuse inferior performance because of poverty, environment, inadequate cultural tradition, lack of educational opportunity, etc. The fact remains that black and white students will be exposed to each other under circumstances in which demonstrated intellectual superiority rests with the whites.

But Judge Fleming went much further. He made specific predictions about what the new policy would do to black students over the years, and how they would react. Here is his prophecy:

The amazing 1969 prophecy that racial preferences would cause the exact grievances of protesters today | HeterodoxAcademy.org

Hard Truths About Race on Campus – WSJ

… The president of Yale pledged to spend $50 million to increase faculty diversity and to satisfy other demands. The president of Brown pledged $100 million for diversity training and other steps to create a more “just and inclusive campus.”

What harm could it do?

We are social psychologists who study the psychology of morality (Haidt) and the causes and consequences of prejudice and stereotypes (Jussim). As far as we can tell, the existing research literature suggests that such reforms will fail to achieve their stated aims of reducing discrimination and inequality. In fact, we think that they are likely to damage race relations and to make campus life more uncomfortable for everyone, particularly black students.

… If a school commits to doubling the number of black students, it will have to reach deeper into its pool of black applicants, admitting those with weaker qualifications, particularly if most other schools are doing the same thing. This is likely to make racial gaps larger, which would strengthen the negative stereotypes that students of color find when they arrive on campus.

Hard Truths About Race on Campus – WSJ

What is the impact of allocating more money to programs and departments focused on specific ethnic groups?

“… membership in ethnically oriented student organizations actually increased the perception that ethnic groups are locked into zero-sum competition with one another and the feeling of victimization by virtue of one’s ethnicity.”

In other words, these programs just make things worse.

Just more evidence that colleges have already jumped off a cliff. They haven’t hit bottom yet, but that is coming.

The Truth About Karl Marx, Or The Fat Man Who Wrote a Diet Book

The Truth About Karl Marx

Karl Heinrich Marx is known as a German philosopher, economist and revolutionary socialist. How did the man who railed against economic and sexual exploitation treat those around him? What is the truth about Karl Marx?

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Marx was a child of his time, the mid-nineteenth century, and Marxism was a characteristic nineteenth-century philosophy in that it claimed to be scientific. ‘Scientific’ was Marx’s strongest expression of approval, which he habitually used to distinguish himself from his many enemies. He and his work were ‘scientific'; they were not. He felt he had found a scientific explanation of human behaviour in history akin to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

He felt he had found a scientific explanation of human behaviour in history akin to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Seems to have been a passionate Christian.

For a few years, in the 1860s and 1870s, he was again involved in revolutionary politics, running the International Working Men’s Association. But most of his time in London, until his death on 14 March 1883 — that is, thirty-four years — was spent in the British Museum, finding material for a gigantic study of capital, and trying to get it into publishable shape. He saw one volume through the press (1867) but the second and third were compiled from his notes by his colleague Friedrich Engels and published after his death.

He began writing poetry as a boy, around two main themes: his love for the girl next door, Jenny von Westphalen, of Prussian — Scotch descent, whom he married in 1841; and world destruction. He wrote a great deal of poetry, three manuscript volumes of which were sent to Jenny, were inherited by their daughter Laura and vanished after her death in 1911.

They were entitled ‘Savage Songs’, and savagery is a characteristic note of his verse, together with intense pessimism about the human condition, hatred, a fascination with corruption and violence, suicide pacts and pacts with the devil. ‘We are chained, shattered, empty, frightened/ Eternally chained to this marble block of being,’ wrote the young Marx , ‘… We are the apes of a cold God.’ He has himself, in the person of God, say: ‘I shall howl gigantic curses at mankind,’ and below the surface of much of his poetry is the notion of a general world-crisis building up. 4 He was fond of quoting Mephistopheles’ line from Goethe’s Faust, ‘Everything that exists deserves to perish';

He found it in his hatred of usury and moneylenders, a passionate feeling directly related (as we shall see) to his own money difficulties.

Hegel’s followers were all in varying degrees anti-Semitic, and in 1843 Bruno Bauer, the anti-Semitic leader of the Hegelian left, published an essay demanding that the Jews abandon Judaism completely. Marx’s essays were a reply to this. He did not object to Bauer’s anti-Semitism; indeed he shared it, endorsed it and quoted it with approval. But he disagreed with Bauer’s solution. Marx rejected Bauer’s belief that the anti-social nature of the Jew was religious in origin and could be remedied by tearing the Jew away from his faith. In Marx’s opinion, the evil was social and economic. He wrote: ‘Let us consider the real Jew. Not the Sabbath Jew … but the everyday Jew.’ What , he asked, was ‘the profane basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly cult of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly god? Money.’ The Jews had gradually spread this ‘practical’ religion to all society:

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The Truth About Karl Marx – YouTube

EmDrive: the propulsion technology that seems to defy physics

In 2001, a researcher named Roger Shawyer created something he called the EmDrive. He described it as a new space propulsion technology that can create thrust without propellant. It uses microwaves and electricity and he claimed it could theoretically push spacecraft through space without using any rocket fuel. If it really works, it will revolutionise space travel. We could get to Mars in 10 weeks without propellant.

Although Shawyer created a working model, the EmDrive wasn’t accepted by the scientific community. For it to work the way Shawyer describes it, the EmDrive must defy our current understanding of physics. He wasn’t the first person to make physics-defying claims so it’s no surprise that physicists didn’t take him seriously. Shawyer and his creation probably would have faded into obscurity if it wasn’t for the fact that 4 independent labs, including NASA’s Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory, have recreated the drive and reported that it does create thrust. They just can’t explain why.

News about the EmDrive has been buzzing again recently because a paper has been published with another controversial hypothesis but it’s one of the most interesting so far. The author, Dr Mike McCulloch of Plymouth University, claims that the drive’s thrust might mean we need a new theory of inertia and he has suggestions. His idea is controversial, but it’s also testable. That’s what makes it worth considering. Also, if true, it could explain the thrust without violating the conservation of momentum.

EmDrive: the propulsion technology that seems to defy physics

Feminism Blinds Students to the Truth About Men | Quillette

When I started taking Women’s Studies classes 4 years ago, I was seduced by feminist ideology. Mentally tabulating my oppression cards became a hobby.  Unfortunately, being steeped in feminism didn’t just make me blind to the truth about men—it made me actively resist learning about it.

Thankfully, while feminism taught me that women were on the losing side of everything—real life taught me that disadvantage is more nuanced than that.

Men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide. As schizophrenia is arguably one of the worst mental illnesses, men are also 2-3x more likely to fall ill to it. Research tends to concur that men are anywhere from 2-15x more likely to have autism. Men also are also twice as likely to develop alcohol addiction, which is a debilitating and destructive disease that has ramifications for everyone, including women and children.

Published by Toni Airaksinen

Feminism Blinds Students to the Truth About Men | Quillette

Who cares what feminists think? Well, not so fast. Feminism is about equality, but equality is really about communism. The feminist movement is about turning men and women into interchangeable bricks in a communism society.

Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminists typically advocate or support the rights and equality of women.

Feminism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are a couple of problems in pushing for equality:

  1. What does equality mean?
  2. How can you stop?

Women can’t really be equal to men until they take on all the roles of men, and men take on all the roles of women. So equality looks a whole lot like the same.

Where can one stop short of communism in the push for equality? There is simply no natural stopping point. Well, we could just become Sweden. Except Sweden is on a path that will lead to the danger of collapse due to massive immigration. Sweden is now the rape capitol of Europe because of Muslim immigration from the Middle East.

Marxist Feminism, Marriage and MGTOW – YouTube

I´m bringing this up because I see feminists as key influencers in the drive to undermine western civilization.

Google’s New YouTube Analysis App Crowdsources War Reporting | WIRED

To handle that flood of digital footage, his team has been testing a tool called Montage. Montage was built by the human rights-focused tech incubator Jigsaw, the subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet that was formerly known as a Google Ideas, to sort, map, and tag video evidence from conflict zones. Over the last few months, it allowed six Carter Center analysts to categorize video coming out of Syria—identifying government forces and each of the slew of armed opposition groups, recording the appearance of different armaments and vehicles, and keeping all of that data carefully marked with time stamps and locations to create a searchable, sortable and mappable catalog of the Syrian conflict. “Some of our Montage investigations have had over 600 videos in them,” says McNaboe. “Even with a small team we’ve been able to go through days worth of video in a relatively short amount of time.”

Google’s New YouTube Analysis App Crowdsources War Reporting | WIRED

Montage

The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion

If the world is at a religious precipice, then we’ve been moving slowly toward it for decades. Fifty years ago, Time asked in a famous headline, “Is God Dead?” The magazine wondered whether religion was relevant to modern life in the post-atomic age when communism was spreading and science was explaining more about our natural world than ever before.

We’re still asking the same question. But the response isn’t limited to yes or no. A chunk of the population born after the article was printed may respond to the provocative question with, “God who?” In Europe and North America, the unaffiliated tend to be several years younger than the population average. And 11 percent of Americans born after 1970 were raised in secular homes.

The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion