The rise of the west and the changing sociopolitical landscape

Aeon this weekend highlighted a 2017 article by Joel Mokyr looking at how Europe became the richest part of the world (or at least one of the richest).  Historically, there have been many theories, ranging from racist rationals, cultural ones, to it merely being Europe and the overall west's turn to be on top. That … Continue reading The rise of the west and the changing sociopolitical landscape

China will have the world’s largest economy in 2020

At least, according to a report by Standard Charter Bank as reported by Big Think: The Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational banking and financial services company, recently issued a report to clients outlining projections about the world economy up until 2030. The report predicts Asian economies will grow significantly in the next decade, taking … Continue reading China will have the world’s largest economy in 2020

A Democrat in a two party system

John Scalzi, as he periodically does, is responding to reader questions, and one was on his attitude toward Republicans.  If you're familiar with Scalzi, then you can probably guess that his attitude toward Republican politicians isn't generally positive.  I found a lot to agree with in his post, notably on his social positions such as being pro-choice … Continue reading A Democrat in a two party system

Magnets in helmets might make American football safer

A few weeks ago, I linked to an article on the problems with concussions in American football, pointing out that it wasn't just the acute concussions you had to worry about, but the gradual damage from head blows that added up silently over the years.  My advice was, if you are a parent, to carefully consider whether … Continue reading Magnets in helmets might make American football safer

The conquest of the Americas

This morning, I came across an essay by Howard Zinn, the famous historian and activist (now deceased), on the real historical Christopher Columbus.  I suspect Zinn's portrayal of events was a bit one sided (I doubt the Native Americans were quite the lambs that he portrayed), but he probably overcompensated to some extent for the version we … Continue reading The conquest of the Americas

The Great Recession was less severe than the Great Depression because we do learn from history.

As is quickly becoming usual, Tina at Diotima's Ladder asks excellent questions: Roosevelt and Obama: Did we avoid a Great Depression? | Diotima's Ladder. For the past week I’ve been rushing home every night to catch The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Ken Burns. I’m not really a big Ken Burns fan. And yes, it’s the fiddle music. … Continue reading The Great Recession was less severe than the Great Depression because we do learn from history.

The War Photo No One Would Publish – The Atlantic

Stan Hummel called my attention to this article: The War Photo No One Would Publish - The Atlantic.  I didn't embed the specific image here.  If you want to see it, you can follow the link.  Warning: it may not be something many people want to see. The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over … Continue reading The War Photo No One Would Publish – The Atlantic