To understand the War on Terror see Tom Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow”

Summary: Every war brings forth a film that captures its special nature. For the American war in Vietnam that was Apocalypse Now, showing the violent purposeless madness that it became. For our post-9/11 interventions (weirdly named the "War on Terror") that film is Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. It perfectly captures the repetitive nature … Continue reading To understand the War on Terror see Tom Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow”

Lessons from the hysteria about peak oil (2005-2013)

Summary: The peak oil hysteria provides rich lessons for us today about learning from activists and the value of listening to our major professional institutions. Easy cynicism led people to believe outlandish forecasts, wasting valuable time and resources. Worse, we have had many such barrages by doomsters -- aided by their clickbait-seeking enablers in the … Continue reading Lessons from the hysteria about peak oil (2005-2013)

Tom Engelhardt: the key to winning wars in the 21st Century

Summary: The greatest US tragedy since 9/11 is our failure to learn from our failed wars, making it impossible to win future wars. We roll on from one disaster to another even larger disaster. Our wars are the seldom-mentioned elephant stalking our candidates on the campaign trail (other than GOP chants to bomb bomb, bomb). … Continue reading Tom Engelhardt: the key to winning wars in the 21st Century

We live in the now. That makes it difficult for us to learn.

Summary: Can we cope with the challenges of the 21st century? If not, why? These are among the questions most worth asking, although lost in the tide of factoids and daily trivia that fill the news. Here are some examples that suggest one of our core problems: we live in the now and so find … Continue reading We live in the now. That makes it difficult for us to learn.

Martin van Creveld: it’s the age of failed airpower. Yet we try, try, try again.

Summary: Today Martin van Creveld examines one of the great oddities of our time -- our persistent and absurdly unjustified faith in the power of airpower to defeat 4th generation foes. Future historians will marvel at our inability to learn from experience, of which this is just one example. When Will They Ever Learn? By … Continue reading Martin van Creveld: it’s the age of failed airpower. Yet we try, try, try again.