Sunday, March 15, 2009

Potpourri IV

There's more evidence that Elvis is among the living than Osama bin Laden. I'm inclined to agree. The writer linked to also has some interesting things to say about the assumptions behind the War on Terror.

Rogue environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg on a "second Green Revolution," genetically modified food to help the starving peoples of the world.

A couple of articles on postmodernism: one from The New Atlantis, and another from Summit Ministries. For people who believe that philosophy does not connect to "real life," I strongly urge you to check those assumptions. Also, this article on how philosophy affects the relationship between the individual and the state deserves some consideration.

Some more from The New Atlantis. One article on the ethics of counterinsurgency, and another on the ethical use of robots in combat (if you ever wonder how the "Skynet" of the Terminator movies might be possible, this article answers the question quite chillingly).

And because I keep forgetting to give this topic the treatment it deserves, I'll just write a paragraph and leave the rest to the reader. For those who still hold that the French are cowards in battle, that they haven't mattered to our history, or that they still owe us for World War II, I commend to your attention the life of Pierre Beaumarchais, a French inventor, playwright, and merchant who helped sell arms to the colonies during the American Revolution. As a watchmaker, he created a watch so small that it fit on a woman's ring. As a playwright, he wrote The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, both of which poked fun at aristocracy (hastening the French Revolution) and eventually inspired operas by the same names. I found his story fascinating...and found it a bit disappointing that I knew nothing about his ties to this country's founding.

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