The Case For and Against Progress

For most of my life as a thinking individual I’ve struggled with two opposing ideas: On the one hand, humans are horrible–taken as a species–both self-serving and self-destructive, weirdly.   And yet they are at the same time extraordinary, overcoming obstacles...
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Remember Hiroshima: North Korea, Trump and Nuclear War

Thinking through Trump’s Nuclear “strategy,” and his relationship with North Korea, it would be useful for him to understand some background. Long before North Korea was a household name in America, the Nuclear genie was out of the box. At 05:29:45 on July 16,...
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The Creative Side of War. Part 2: Ancient Egypt

War is the father of all, king of all. Some it makes gods, some it makes men, some slaves, some free. Heraclitus. The Narmer Palette is carved from a single piece of schist dated to around 3200 BCE. It tells the tale, in picture and hieroglyph, of the military conquest by King...
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The Creative Side of War. Part One: China

When an army feeds its horses with grain, and kills its cattle for food, and when the men do not hang the cooking pots over the camp fire, you may know that they are determined to fight to the death. Sun  Tzu, The Art of War. War. Possibly the Alpha and Omega of Human history....
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AI Likely to be our undoing?

The Doomsday Invention Last year, a curious nonfiction book became a Times best-seller: a dense meditation on artificial intelligence by the philosopher Nick Bostrom, who holds an appointment at Oxford. Titled “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies,” it argues...
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Ten Biggest Milestones in Human History

In my humble opinion, most of history’s really really big deals happened relatively early  in our species’ existence. Bear in mind that we’re talking some 200,000 years since Homo Sapiens first appeared in the fossil record. In this top ten list below, 7 out of...
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