Jan 272007

I have decided to use another blog of mine to cover the Iraq situation and perhaps other politics without an obvious link to the Attention Economy. If the topic is of interest please go there . I should add however, that one reason differing opinions on Iraq are now getting exposure is that that is now an excellent way to get attention. Even before the war began, dissent to the prevailing wisdom was one way […]

Jan 042007

We have reached a crucial turning point in American history. The November elections and current polls have made clear that Americans have soured on the Iraq war, and want the troops to be withdrawn rapidly. One question now is how best to try to influence the new Congress to act successfully to help end, if not the complex of war, revenge and banditry now swirling through Iraq, then at least direct American participation. But that […]

Nov 082006

On this blog, I don’t normally discuss raw politics or admit my preference for Democrats, but tonight, I am celebrating, so here goes: The Democrats manged to flip about 53 seats in the House. I notice an interesting pattern. Every single one of those flipped districts was adjacent to one or more existing Democratic districts. SEE MAP Democratic tendencies are spreading, oozing, perhaps, like blue maple syrup on a waffle. Neighbors don’t let neighbors vote […]

Oct 302006

Note: The following is my contribution to a disucssion about war called underfire (Thanks to Jordan Crandall for conveing this discussion and inviting me. This is especially in response to the remarks of Saskia Sassen on borders, Alain Joxe on structured chaos and Paul Edwards on weak discipline.) As Immanuel Wallerstein once pointed out, old empires did not survive if they took more than forty days travel to cross from end to end. On that […]

Oct 242006

A few months ago I gave a talk in the offices of Root Markets in NYC. In the audience, was an editor from Vanity Fair, who declared that the days of stardom are over. I don’t think so…… In the past few days: •A major news outlet (CNN?) reports that most Americans had probably never heard of Malawi until the brouhaha over Madonna adopting a child there. •Maureen Dowd in the NY Times (October 21, […]

Sep 142006

It has been five years since the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York with its horrible loss of life. With it, even more shockingly, perhaps, came the disappearance of what had become an essential part of the New York skyline. And what made it all even worse was that it seemed to be an intentional act of suicide terror, by an implacable foe, that had struck from far away. The fact that […]

Jul 132006

What follows is a long extract from an op-ed by Katha Pollitt in the NY Times of July 12, 2006. It illustrates very well (a) that some people want attention more than money, and (b) how (other) people think about it. (I used to read Pollitt’s columns in “The Nation” regularly, and probably still would, if I could spare the attention. The review to which she refers was also published in the Times, and begins […]

Jun 212006

Some lumber to be erected into an essay. Plank 1 “The present king of France.” This is phrase much beloved for thinking about by (Anglo-American) philosophers, because there is no such animal. But there used to be. In fact, the kings of France were the ultimate feudal lords, the area around Paris having been the very birth place and center of pure feudalism, and the French kings the most successful agglomerators of feudal power. (I […]