mutually assured destruction

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pages: 392 words: 106,532

The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis


anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, full employment, land reform, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine

It is what Eisenhower had understood when he ruled out fighting limited nuclear wars: his strategy left no option other than an assurance of total destruction, on the assumption that this, rather than trying to orchestrate levels of destruction while a war was going on, would best prevent any war at all from breaking out. McNamara, characteristically, transformed this reliance on irrationality into a new kind of rationality in the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis. He now repudiated his earlier idea of targeting only military facilities: instead each side should target the other’s cities, with a view to causing the maximum number of casualties possible.70 The new strategy became known as “Mutual Assured Destruction”—its acronym, with wicked appropriateness, was MAD. The assumption behind it was that if no one could be sure of surviving a nuclear war, there would not be one. That, however, was simply a restatement of what Eisenhower had long since concluded: that the advent of thermonuclear weapons meant that war could no longer be an instrument of statecraft—rather, the survival of states required that there be no war at all.

Most intriguingly, though, the Soviet Union and the United States also signed, in 1972, an Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that banned defenses against long-range missiles. This was the first formal acknowledgment, by both sides, of Churchill’s—and Eisenhower’s—idea that the vulnerability that came with the prospect of instant annihilation could become the basis for a stable, long-term, Soviet-American relationship. It also reflected Moscow’s acceptance, not easily arrived at, of Mutual Assured Destruction: persuading the Russians that it was a bad idea to try to defend themselves had been a negotiating challenge of the first order. The success of the effort—that American officials could now be educating their Soviet counterparts on how to think about national security—suggests how far things had come since each side’s development of nuclear weapons, in the first years of the Cold War, had terrified the other.

It would have been difficult, by any traditional moral principle, to justify the artificial division of entire countries like Germany, Korea, and Vietnam—and yet the United States and its allies had expended thousands of lives and billions of dollars to maintain those divisions. It strained democratic values to embrace right-wing dictatorships throughout much of the “third world” as a way of preventing the emergence of left-wing dictatorships, and yet every administration since Truman’s had done this. And surely Mutual Assured Destruction could only be defended if one considered hostage-taking on a massive scale—deliberately placing civilian populations at risk for nuclear annihilation—to be a humane act. American strategists did just that, however, because they saw no better way to deter a much greater evil, the possibility of an all-out nuclear war. As the Cold War wore on, they went from regarding these compromises as regrettable to considering them necessary, then normal, and then even desirable.58 A kind of moral anesthesia settled in, leaving the stability of the Soviet-American relationship to be valued over its fairness because the alternative was too frightening to contemplate.

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The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman


active measures, anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, failed state, joint-stock company, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, zero-sum game

McNamara capped the number of Minuteman missiles to be built at one thousand. His analysts concluded, "The main reason for stopping at 1,000 Minuteman missiles, 41 Polaris submarines and some 500 strategic bombers is that having more would not be worth the cost." McNamara hoped that the Soviets would also reach a plateau--and stop building. 7 A critic of McNamara proposed adding "mutual" to "assured destruction" and the idea of Mutual Assured Destruction, known pointedly as MAD, was born. For many Americans, this idea of equal vulnerability and mutual deterrence came to define the Cold War. 8 Locked in global confrontation, the United States and the Soviet Union were each rooted in centuries of radically different history, geography, culture and experience. Peering through a veil of suspicion, the superpowers often wrongly judged each other's intentions and actions.

The outsiders were led by Richard Pipes, professor of history at Harvard, long a fierce critic of Soviet communism; the others on Team B were also drawn from critics of detente who had been warning of a Soviet quest for military superiority. When finished in November, the Team B report on Soviet intentions was unequivocal that Moscow was on a dangerous drive for supremacy, and that the CIA had badly underestimated it. Soviet leaders "think not in terms of nuclear stability, mutual assured destruction or strategic sufficiency, but of an effective nuclear war-fighting capability," they wrote. 19 On the other side of the exercise, Team A did not share the shrill sense of alarm. They said the Soviets might want to achieve nuclear war-fighting capability and superiority, but that it wasn't a realistic, practical goal. When completed, the overall yearly intelligence estimate hewed to Team A's view that the Soviets "cannot be certain about future U.S. behavior or about their own future strategic capabilities relative to those of the U.S."

Anderson argued that missile defense would be "far more appealing to the American people" than just nuclear retaliation and revenge.5 Despite the recommendation of Policy Memorandum No. 3, in the campaign that unfolded in the next fifteen months, Reagan did not talk about missile defense. The subject was just too delicate. A statement on the topic was put into the Republican Party platform, but it was not part of Reagan's campaign stump speech nor did it figure in his major campaign addresses on foreign policy. Nonetheless, Reagan held radical notions about nuclear weapons: he dreamed of abolishing them. Personally, he recoiled from the concept of mutual assured destruction, or MAD. 6 Reagan also intensely disliked the idea that he, as president, would have to make decisions about nuclear weapons in the event of a sudden crisis. He worried that a nuclear explosion would lead to the end of the Earth and expressed belief in the biblical story of Armageddon. "I swear I believe Armageddon is near," he wrote in his diary on the day Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. 7 In his desk drawer, Reagan kept a collection of 3 x 5 cards.

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Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat


3D printing, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Automated Insights, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, drone strike, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

So, there’s hundreds of thousands of people in the world, very smart people, who are working on things that lead to superhuman intelligence. And probably most of them don’t even look at it that way. They look at it as faster, cheaper, better, more profitable.” Vinge compares it to the Cold War strategy called MAD—mutually assured destruction. Coined by acronym-loving John von Neumann (also the creator of an early computer with the winning initials, MANIAC), MAD maintained Cold War peace through the promise of mutual obliteration. Like MAD, superintelligence boasts a lot of researchers secretly working to develop technologies with catastrophic potential. But it’s like mutually assured destruction without any commonsense brakes. No one will know who is ahead, so everyone will assume someone else is. And as we’ve seen, the winner won’t take all. The winner in the AI arms race will win the dubious distinction of being the first to confront the Busy Child.

Lynn III told The Washington Post hundreds of cyberattacks against the DoD and contractors have resulted in the theft of “our most sensitive systems, including aircraft avionics, surveillance technologies, satellite communications systems, and network security protocols.” Superintelligence won’t be boxed in by anyone who can’t do something as comparatively easy as keeping human hackers out. However, we can draw some important insights from the history of arms control. Since the creation of nuclear weapons, only the United States has used them against an enemy. Nuclear powers have managed to avoid Mutually Assured Destruction. No nuclear power has suffered accidental detonations that we know about. The record of nuclear stewardship is a good one (although the threat’s not over). But here’s my point. Too few people know that we need to have an ongoing international conversation about AGI comparable to those we have about nuclear weapons. Too many people think the frontiers of AI are delineated by harmless search engines, smart phones, and now Watson.

., III Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) Singularity Summit machine learning Madoff, Bernie malware Mazzafro, Joe McCarthy, John McGurk, Sean military battlefield robots and drones DARPA, see DARPA energy infrastructure and nuclear weapons, see nuclear weapons Mind Children (Moravec) Minsky, Marvin Mitchell, Tom mobile phones see also iPhone Monster Cat Moore, Gordon Moore’s Law morality see also Friendly AI Moravec, Hans Moravec’s Paradox mortality, see immortality mortgage crisis Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) nano assemblers nanotechnology “gray goo” problem and natural language processing (NLP) natural selection Nekomata (Monster Cat) NELL (Never-Ending-Language-Learning system) neural networks neurons New Scientist New York Times Newman, Max Newton, Isaac Ng, Andrew 9/11 attacks Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies (Perrow) normalcy bias North Korea Norvig, Peter Novamente nuclear fission nuclear power plant disasters nuclear weapons of Iran Numenta Ohana, Steve Olympic Games (cyberwar campaign) Omohundro, Stephen OpenCog Otellini, Paul Page, Larry paper clip maximizer scenario parallel processing pattern recognition Pendleton, Leslie Perceptron Perrow, Charles Piaget, Jean power grid Precautionary Principle programming bad evolutionary genetic ordinary self-improving, see self-improvement Rackspace rational agent theory of economics recombinant DNA Reflections on Artificial Intelligence (Whitby) resource acquisition risks of artificial intelligence apoptotic systems and Asilomar Guidelines and Busy Child scenario and, see Busy Child scenario defenses against lack of dialogue about malicious AI Precautionary Principle and runaway AI Safe-AI Scaffolding Approach and Stuxnet and unintended consequences robots, robotics Asimov’s Three Laws of in dangerous and service jobs in sportswriting Rosenblatt, Frank Rowling, J.

pages: 372 words: 115,094

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War by Ken Adelman


anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Sinatra Doctrine, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

“Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles,” he told the UN General Assembly in September 1961, “hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness.” Kennedy’s secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, shortened the president’s “madness” to MAD as he adopted an approach which assured that every man, woman, and child would live under Damocles’s nuclear sword forevermore. MAD was short for “mutually assured destruction,” an idea that had been around for years before McNamara embraced it. The idea, though appalling, was appealingly simple: if both sides had enough nuclear arms to wipe out the other, then the prospect of mutually assured destruction would render their use irrational and hence preclude such use. As became unmistakable at Reykjavik, the MAD doctrine offended Reagan’s moral sense. It was what George Orwell might have included as a scheme so stupid that only an intellectual could have created it. Reagan’s opposition to MAD propelled him toward the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was disparagingly dubbed Star Wars.

The ABM Treaty says that we cannot defend ourselves, except by means of systems we have never deployed. The treaty says that if someone wants to blow us up, the other will retaliate. Such a regime does not give protection. It limits protection. Why the Hell should the world have to live for another ten years under this threat of nuclear weapons? I fail to see the magic of the ABM regime, whose only assurance is the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction. Instead, we should give the world a means of protection that would put the nuclear genie back in his bottle. The next generation would reap the benefits when we are no longer around. The fact that Reagan’s quasi-rant ran contrary to official U.S. policy of every administration since John F. Kennedy’s, including his own, seemed not to bother him a bit. Instead, Reagan trashed the MAD doctrine with a ferocity rare in debates over strategic doctrine.

He called the Soviet radar in Siberia “a violation of the ABM Treaty,” and threw in that “the Soviet Union is violating another agreement—the Helsinki Accords they had signed in 1975.” He refrained from mentioning that he had harshly condemned those accords as a symbol of weak-kneed détente when President Gerald R. Ford signed them back then. Reagan repeated what he had told Gorbachev—that the postwar policy of mutually assured destruction was “uncivilized” and should be scrapped. As before, he vastly exaggerated SDI’s promise by claiming that “our scientists . . . [are] convinced it is practical,” so much so that within a very few years, “we can have such a system ready to deploy.” If this optimistically inaccurate statement caused consternation among some American scientists, it must have caused heartburn in Gorbachev, as it confirmed his worst fears.

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The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld


Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Kennedy used the medium of television to talk about the bomb, not only to the American people, but also to the leadership in Havana and Moscow, bypassing the customary diplomatic notification procedures entirely. The family lore is that my parents stayed up all that night in terror for themselves and for me. All throughout my college years, I would occasionally look over my shoulder to see if there was a vapor trail in the sky pointing the way to atomic apocalypse. The history of the bomb is imprinted in our deepest reptilian brain; it is a history of fear, mutually assured destruction, and a blinding light followed by darkness. xi INTRODUCTION If the first sibling came out as the biggest bully that the world had ever seen, what of the next one to emerge on the world stage? I may not be the best person to answer this question. A neighbor of mine wrote one of the first antitelevision books, The Plug-in Drug, and for years my parents didn’t even allow me to watch the tube.

All hyperlinks current as of October 1, 2010 197 INDEX Adobe Systems, 55 Adstar, 177 Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), 152, 158 Advertisement, 184nn12,15 bespoke futures and, 107 culture machine and, 175–177 stickiness and, 23, 31 unimodernism and, 52, 57, 59 Affordances, 183n4 bespoke futures and, 121, 124, 129, 136 stickiness and, 16–17, 24, 28–35 unimodernism and, 68, 75 Web n.0 and, 80–82, 90 Afghanistan, 100 African National Congress, 113, 41–42 Agee, James, 40–42 Age of Aquarius, 159 Agribusiness, 4, 10 Airplanes, xiii Alessi, 64 Algorithms, 46, 144, 174–177 Allen, Paul, 164 “All You Need Is Love” (Beatles), 62 Al-Muhajiroun, 134 Al-Qaeda, 134 Altair personal computer, 161, 164 Alto personal computer, 162 Amazing Stories (comic book), 108–110 Amazon, 68, 99, 145 Amis, Kinsley, 32 Animation, 55–56, 58, 110, 118 Antiglobalization activists, 98 AOL, 9, 53, 99 Apartheid, 112–113 Apple, 144, 163–167, 172, 186n12 Appropriate scale, 57 Aquarians, 24, 152, 159, 168–169 description of term, xv Engelbart and, 144, 157–167 Kay and, 144, 157, 160–167, 195nn16,17 Nelson and, 168 networked computers and, xv Sutherland and, 160–161 Arcades, 15, 71 Architectural Forum magazine, 84 Ariadne, 11 Arnold, Matthew, 14 Ars Electronica, 169–170 Art nouveau, 44, 66 “As We May Think” (Bush), 149, 157 AT&T, 144, 195n10 Atari, 165 Atlantic Monthly, 149 Atomic age, 146 as catalyst, xi Cuban Missile Crisis and, xi description of, xv emergence of, xi–xii 198 Atomic age (continued) Hiroshima and, 100–101 Manhattan Project and, 150 mutually assured destruction and, xi terrorism and, 100–101 Avant-gardism, 31, 44, 61, 117–120, 133 Babbage, Charles, 149 Bakri Muhammad, Omar, 134–135 Bali, 100 Ballmer, Steve, 164 Balzac, Honoré de, 44 Banham, Reyner, 10 Barr, Alfred, 117–118 Bauhaus, 117 BBC, 10 Beatles, 54–55, 62 Bebop, 25–27 Beirut, Michael, 102 Bellamy, Edward, 108 Benjamin, Walter, 88 Berg, Alban, 45 Berlin Wall, xvi, 85, 97, 99, 104 Bernays, Edward L., 123–124 Berners-Lee, Tim, 144, 167–169, 175 Bespoke futures adopting future as client and, 110–113 anticipated technology and, 108–110 crafting, 113–116 design and, 102, 105–106, 110–111, 115–116, 119–120, 124–125, 137 downloading and, 97, 123, 132, 138 dynamic equilibrium and, 117–120 89/11 and, xvi, 97, 100–102, 105, 130 Enlightenment and, xvi, 129–139 information and, 98, 100–101, 124–126 lack of vision and, 106–108 markets and, 97–104, 118, 120, 127, 131–132, 137–138 MaSAI (Massively Synchronous Applications of the Imagination) and, xvi, 112, 120–123, 127, 193n32 199 modernists and, 105–108 mutants and, 105–108 networks and, 98–101, 108, 112–113, 116, 119–126, 133, 137 New Economy and, 97, 99, 104, 131, 138, 144–145, 190n3 participation and, 98–99, 120–121, 129 plutopian meliorism and, xvi, 127–129, 133, 137–138 prosumers and, 120–121 reperceiving and, 112–113 R-PR (Really Public Relations) and, 123–127 scenario planning and, 111–119, 191n19, 192n20 simulation and, 98, 121, 124, 126–127 strange attractors and, xvi, 117–120, 192n27 technology and, 98–104, 107–113, 116, 119, 125–127, 131–133, 136–139 television and, 101, 108, 124, 127–129, 133–137 unfinish and, 127–129, 136 uploading and, 97, 120–123, 128–129, 132 Best use, 10, 13–15, 138 Bezos, Jeff, 145 Bible, 28, 137 BitTorrent, 92 Black Album, The (Jay Z), 55 Blade Runner (Scott), 107 Blogger, 177 Blogosphere, xvii bespoke futures and, 101 culture machine and, 175, 177 Facebook and, 81, 145, 180n2 stickiness and, 30, 34 Twitter and, 34, 180n2 unimodernism and, 49, 68 Web n.0 and, 80, 92–93 INDEX Bohème, La (Puccini), 61 Boing Boing magazine, 68–69 Bollywood, 62 Bourgeoisie, 31 Bowie, David, 62 Braque, Georges, 93 Breuer, Marcel, 45 Brillat-Savarin, Jean Anthèlme, 3 Brin, Sergey, 144, 174–176 Broadband technology, 9, 57 Brownian motion, 49 Burroughs, Allie Mae, 40–42 Burroughs, William, 52 Bush, Vannevar, 52, 194n6 culture machine and, 144, 147–152, 157 Engelbart and, 157 Memex and, 108, 149–151 Oppenheimer and, 150 systems theory and, 151 war effort and, 150–151 Business 2.0 magazine, 145 C3I , 146–147 Cabrini Green, 85 Calypso, 25–27 Cambodia, 107 Cambridge, 17, 36 “Can-Can” (“Orpheus in the Underworld”) (Offenbach), 62 Capitalism, 4, 13 bespoke futures and, 97–100, 103–105 Sears and, 103–105 stickiness and, 13 unimodernism and, 66, 75 Web n.0 and, 90 Capitulationism, 7, 24, 30, 182n1 Carnegie, Andrew, 166 Casablanca (film), 90 Cassette tapes, 2 CATIA 3–D software, 39 Cell phones, xiii, xvii, 17, 23, 42, 53, 56, 76, 101 Chaos theory, 117–120 Chaplin, Charlie, 45 Cheney, Dick, 99 China, 104, 107 Christians, 135 Cicero, 47 Cinema, 8, 10 micro, 56–60 stickiness and, 15 unimodernism and, 47, 52, 56–60, 63, 71 Clarke, Arthur C., 174 CNN, 58 Cobain, Kurt, 62 Code breaking, 17–18 Cold war, 101 Cole, Nat King, 62 Commercial culture, 4–5, 8 bespoke futures and, 98, 102, 108, 120, 132–134 culture machine and, 153–156, 167, 170, 172, 175–177 copyright and, 54, 88–95, 123, 164, 166, 173, 177 Mickey Mouse Protection Act and, 90 open source and, 36, 61, 69, 74–75, 91–92, 116, 121–126, 144, 170– 173, 177, 189n12 propaganda and, 124 scenario planning and, 111–119 stickiness and, 23, 28–31, 37 unimodernism and, 41, 69 Web n.0 and, 82–86 Commercial syndrome, 85–86 Communism, 97–98, 103 Compact discs (CDs), 2, 48, 53 Complex City (Simon), 39 “Computable Numbers, On” (Turing), 18 Computer Data Systems, 145 Computers, xi.

Intergalactic Computer Network and, 108, 152, 168 Machine Histories, 64 Macintosh computer, 165–167 Macrotelevision, 56–60 Madonna, 63 Madrid, 100, 130 Mahabharata, 28 MAKE magazine, 68–69 MAKER Faires, 68–69 Manchester Mark I computer, 18 “Man-Computer Symbiosis” (Licklider), 151 Mandela, Nelson, 113 Mandiberg, Michael, 41–42 Manhattan Project, 150 Manual labor, 3 Many Eyes, 126, 193n37 Mao Zedong, 86 Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso, 44 Markets bespoke futures and, 97–104, 118, 207 INDEX Markets (continued) 120, 127, 131–132, 137–138 capitalism and, 13, 66, 75, 97–100, 104–105 (see also Commercial culture) culture machine and, 156, 161–167, 173 empowerment and, 8 entrepreneurs and, 99, 109, 156–157, 174 FIRE, 99–100 Global Business Network (GBN) and, 113, 115, 191n18 Great Depression and, 107 Greed and, 100 Internet television and, 9 mass culture and, 184n16 NASDAQ, 99 New Economy and, 97, 99, 104, 131, 138, 144–145, 190n3 prosumers and, 120–121 retail, 103–105 scenario planning and, 111–119, 191n19, 192n20 September 11, 2001 and, 99–101, 130 Slow Food and, 5–6 social campaigns and, 190n8 stickiness and, 13, 16, 24, 30–33, 37 technofabulism and, 99–100 textile, 11 unimodernism and, 45, 48, 58–59, 71, 75 Web n.0 and, 81, 83, 86, 90 Martha Stewart Living magazine, 69 MaSAI (Massively Public Applications of the Imagination), xvi, 112, 120–123, 127, 193nn32 Masai tribe, 193n32 Mashing, 25, 54–55, 57, 74 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 71, 117, 144, 148, 151 Matrix, The (film series), 39 Mau, Bruce, 55–56, 102, 190n8 Mauchly, John, 148 McDonald’s, 5 McLuhan, Marshall, 2, 14, 116 Meaningfulness, xvi, 173 bespoke futures and, 119, 123, 128– 129, 133 categorization of, 29–30 defining, 27–29 disrupting flow and, 23–24 Enlightenment and, 129–139 play and, 32–34 power and, 32–34 stickiness and, 14, 17, 20 (see also Stickiness) toggling and, 33–34, 43, 102, 197n30 tweaking and, 32–35, 185nn22,23 unimodernism and, 42, 67, 77 uploading and, xvi, 29 Web n.0 and, 79 Mechanical calculator, 149 Mechanization, 44–45 Medium specificity, 56–57 Meliorism, xvi, 127–129, 133, 137–138 Melodium label, 27 Memex, 108, 149–151 Memory, 46–47, 60, 67, 71, 109, 149, 194nn1,6 Metcalfe, Bob, 86–87 Metro Pictures gallery, 41 Michnik, Adam, 104 Mickey Mouse, 65, 88–90 Mickey Mouse Protection Act, 90 Microcinema, 56–60 Microfilm, 149–150 Microsoft, 144–145, 163–166, 172–173, 175, 196n21 Middle-class, 44 Mindfulness, 77, 79, 183n6 bespoke futures and, 123, 129 capitalism and, 4, 13, 66, 75, 90, 103–105 208 INDEX Mindfulness (continued) disrupting flow and, 23–24 info-triage and, xvi, 20–23, 121, 132, 143 stickiness and, 14, 17, 20–24, 27–29, 42 Mobility, 81–82, 128 Modders, 69–70 “Model B32” (Breuer), 45 Modernism, 36–37, 105–108 Modern Times (film), 45 Moore, Gordon, 156 Moore’s law, 156, 195n13 Morpheus, 92 Moses, Robert, 84 Motorola, 116 Moulin Rouge (Luhrmann), 60–63 Mouse, 158–159 MP3s, 2, 27 MS-DOS, 165–166 MTV, 31, 63 Murakami, Takashi, 49 Murger, Henri, 61 Musée du quai Branly, 66 Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), 42, 117 Music bebop, 25–27 calypso, 35–37 hip-hop, 53–54, 61 jazz, 25–27, 160 Napster and, 54, 92 remixing and, 53–55 (see also Remixing) Mutually assured destruction, xi MySpace, 81 Napoleonic Wars, 21 Napster, 54, 92 Narrative, 2, 8 bespoke futures and, 108, 110, 129–139 blogosphere and, xvii, 30, 34, 49, 68, 80, 92–93, 101, 175, 177, 181n7 capitulationism and, 7, 24, 182n1 209 development of computer and, 143– 145, 174, 178 Enlightenment Electrified and, 129–139 gaming and, 188n25 isotypes and, 44, 125, 193n34 negative dialectics and, 29–30 Oprah and, xv, 180nn3,4 samizdat and, 59 storyline and, 59 unimodernism and, 58–59, 67, 71, 76 NASA, 51, 123 NASDAQ, 99 National Center for Biotechnology Information, 81 “Nature Boy” (Cole), 62 Nelson, Ted, 145, 168, 52 Netscape, 169 Networks bespoke futures and, 98–101, 108, 112–113, 116, 119–126, 133, 137 commercial, 4–5 (see also Commercial culture) culture machine and, 143–144, 152, 167–168, 172–175, 178 development of computer, 8–9 flexibility of digital, 10 Global Business Network (GBN) and, 113, 115, 191n18 Intergalactic Computer Network and, 108, 152, 168 Metcalfe’s corollary and, 86–87 patio potato and, 10, 13 peer-to-peer, 15, 54, 92, 116, 126 stickiness and, 16–17, 22, 24, 29–36 unimodernism and, 39, 47–48, 54–57, 60, 64–65, 68–69, 73–74 Web n.0 and, 79–95 Neurath, Otto, 44, 125 New Economy, 190n3 bespoke futures and, 97, 99, 104, 131, 138 INDEX New Economy (continued) dot-com bubble and, 145 fantasies of, 104 Hustlers and, 144 Newtonian physics, 118 New York City, 25–26, 84–86, 100, 130 New Yorker, 135 New York Museum of Modern Art, 42 New York Times, 61, 103 NeXT Cube, 167–168 Nirvana, 62 NLS (oN-Line System), 160 Nobel Prize, 156 Norman, Don, 16 Nouvel, Jean, 66 Noyce, Philip, 156 “Nude on a Red Background” (Léger), 45 Obama, Barack, 31 Odyssey (Homer), 28, 94–95 Offenbach, Jacques, 62 Ogilvy, Jay, 113–114 Open source, 36, 189n12 Creative Commons and, 90–93, 123, 173 development of computer and, 144, 170–173, 177 GNU and, 171, 173 Linux and, 75, 169–173, 197n27 Raymond and, 172 Stallman and, 170–171 Torvalds and, 144, 167–173 unimodernism and, 61, 69, 74–75 Web n.0 and, 116, 121–126 Opera, 40, 45, 60–63, 187n18 Oppenheimer, J.

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Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer


airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, Parag Khanna, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Europe’s larger networks and the ongoing political push for a pan-European electric system push the risk of attack there even higher. Hackers aren’t the only threats here. Governments are also developing offensive (often unidentifiable) computer capabilities as a new way to project power in a world where direct military strikes are much more expensive and exponentially more dangerous. During the Cold War, the risk of mutually assured destruction made nuclear weapons all but unusable. Everyone knew when and from where a missile was fired and could retaliate in kind. That’s not true for cyberweapons. States are now in the process of putting national cybersecurity strategies into place. The creation of a separate U.S. cybercommand in 2010 reveals a growing military emphasis on cyberwarfare. Other governments, particularly in Europe and Asia, are following suit.4 In a world dominated by the West, the United States and its allies might work together to shield public resources, like power grids, from cyberattacks, but in a G-Zero world they aren’t likely to succeed in a consistent and coordinated way.

Or maybe a defective Chinese product kills dozens of U.S. consumers, igniting a trade war that takes on a life of its own. A seemingly endless number of such potential flash points could provoke many different forms of fighting, and this confrontation might force other states to take sides. As to what any confrontation might look like, it’s tempting to fall back on the Cold War model—two superpowers staring one another down from behind their nuclear arsenals with only the threat of mutually assured destruction stilling hands. But that scenario ignores an important point. During the U.S.-Soviet conflict, the Iron Curtain was not just the prison wall that kept invaders out and prisoners in. It was a buffer between the capitalist and communist worlds. The Soviet Union was an important energy supplier for Europe, but other East–West trade ties were extremely limited. The world was a more zero-sum place in which one side could inflict harm on the other without damaging its own interests.

., Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, 75 Hu Jintao, 162 Human Rights Watch, 135 Hungary, 53 Hussein, Saddam, 124 Hu Yaobang, 53 hydrocarbon energy, 99 hyperinflation, 37 IAEA, 207n Iceland, in Arctic Council, 96–97 India, 3, 9, 10, 16, 24–25, 26, 28, 33, 40, 55, 79, 117, 122, 155, 161, 167–68, 170, 183, 187 biofuel production in, 100 China’s rivalry with, 25, 70, 115, 173, 178 climate change and, 94 defense spending of, 129 demand for grain in, 98–99 economic growth in, 98–99, 148, 166 energy imported by, 30 famine in, 100 food riots in, 98 nuclear program of, 57, 76 Pakistan’s conflict with, 25, 70, 152, 158, 165–66 urbanization in, 99, 118 water security in, 105 in World Bank and IMF, 29–30 Indochina, 40 Indonesia, 48, 51, 55, 70, 71, 76, 114, 120, 122, 194 biofuel production in, 100 economic growth in, 99 multinationals in, 80 industrialization, 104 inflation, 32, 39, 49, 60 information revolution, 92–93 intellectual property, 84 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UN, 109 International Energy Agency, 94, 100 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 4, 22, 27–28, 29–30, 80, 118, 120, 134, 135, 167 American and European influence in, 42, 43–44 creation of, 39, 43 Greece aided by, 45 world currency and debt crises resolved by, 38 International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 88–89 Internet, 22, 33, 87–91, 93, 94, 180 Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), 87, 88 Internet Engineering Task Force, 87 Internet Society, 87 Iran, 14, 47, 48, 69, 117, 123, 125, 136, 139, 154 Internet in, 90, 92 nuclear program of, 15, 55, 56, 58–59, 73, 123–24, 158 protests in, 192 revolution in, 112–13 Iraq, 15, 47, 48, 58, 64, 69, 113, 117, 124, 127, 175, 183, 187, 202n U.S. withdrawal from, 32, 202n Ireland, 126 Ismay, Hastings Lionel, 133 Israel, 48–49, 56, 69, 113, 117, 129, 130 as exposed state, 136 Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 17, 136, 158 nuclear program of, 57, 207n Italy, 19, 25, 39, 45, 47, 181 Japan, 15, 16, 19–20, 22, 25, 30, 47, 50, 70, 82–83, 114, 120, 121, 129, 143, 148, 155, 166 aging population of, 120 biofuel production in, 100 China’s tension with, 69, 71, 114, 135–36, 173, 177–78 climate change and, 94 debt problems of, 20 as exposed state, 135–36 grain production, 104 oil imported by, 47 political and economic malaise of, 3 post–World War II reconstruction and growth of, 39, 45–47, 50–51 reduced role of, 194 Jiang Zemin, 60 job creation, 32 Johnson, Lyndon, 100 Jordan, 48, 69, 113, 176 JPMorgan Chase, 75 Kan, Naoto, 20 Kawasaki, 127 Kazakhstan, 54, 122, 137, 141, 177, 179 Kenya, 72, 106, 177 Kimberley Process (KP), 131–32 Korb, Lawrence, 191 Kosovo, 181 Kuwait, 48, 71 Kyoto Protocol, 94 Lagarde, Christine, 27–28 Lake Victoria, 106 Lampedusa Tunisian Collective, 19 Laos, 105 Latin America, 40, 59, 85 Chinese investments in, 80 cooperation in, 115–16, 174 corruption in, 115–16 debt crisis in, 37 League of Nations, 170 Liberal Democratic Party, Japanese, 20 Libya, 19, 30, 48, 69, 134, 138–39, 192 civil war in, 112, 113, 175, 202n oil exports of, 117 Lizza, Ryan, 113n Lockheed Martin, 129 London, 33, 121 Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio, 55 Maastricht Treaty, 54 MacArthur, Douglas, 39, 45–46, 109 Mack, Mary Bono, 75 McKinsey & Company, 146 McKinsey Global Institute, 99 Madagascar, 102 mad cow disease, 103 Mahbubani, Kishore, 114–15 Malaysia, 51 Maldives, 9, 109–10 Mandelbaum, Michael, 11 Marange mine, 131–32 Margrethe, queen of Denmark, 7–8 Martin, Paul, 1–2 MasterCard, 75 Medicaid, 12 Medicare, 12, 189 Medvedev, Dmitry, 203n Merkel, Angela, 9, 18 metals, 147 Mexico, 55, 122 borrowing by, 37 food riots in, 98 as shadow state, 136–37 Middle East, 40, 48, 59, 136, 175 as potential hotspot, 69–72, 113–14, 152 water scarcity in, 104 minerals, 147 Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Japan, 46 Mongolia, 122 Morgenthau, Henry, Jr., 41 Morocco, 69, 101, 113, 176 Mozambique, 102, 120 Mubarak, Hosni, 89, 113, 192–93 Mugabe, Robert, 7–8, 131–32 multinational companies, 74–75, 79, 80, 83, 91, 119, 126–28, 139–40 mutually assured destruction, 172 Myanmar, 123, 124, 125 Chinese companies in, 80 nanotechnology, 147 Napoleon I, emperor of France, 11 Napoleonic Wars, 167 Nasdaq, 75 Nasheed, Mohamed, 9, 110 National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, 157 National Development and Reform Commission, 130 National Institute of Standards and Technology, 73 natural gas, 58, 63, 147, 181, 182 in Arctic, 97 Navy, U.S., 24 Nehru, Jawaharlal, 24–25, 55 New York, N.Y., 121 NGOs, 135 Nigeria, 48, 72, 177, 182 Nile, 106 Nixon, Richard, 44, 49–50 Noda, Yoshihiko, 20 North Africa, 18, 48, 136, 139, 175, 187 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 17, 19, 30, 117, 133–34, 192 North Korea, 70, 91, 123, 125, 152, 154, 165, 208n nuclear program of, 15, 57, 58–59, 124, 158, 161 Norway, in Arctic Council, 96–97 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), 57–59 Obama, Barack, 8–9, 11, 64, 65, 100, 113, 190, 202n oil, 3, 22, 23, 30–31, 37, 47–49, 58, 61, 114, 116, 117, 120, 125–26, 127, 141–42, 147, 160, 181–82 in Arctic, 97 OPEC’s embargos of, 48–49, 50 as priced in dollars, 81–82 oilseeds, 100 Oman, 71 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), 48–49, 50, 100 Paine, Thomas, 185 Pakistan, 14, 57, 70, 115, 161, 182, 183 food riots in, 98 India’s conflict with, 25, 70, 152, 158, 165–66 U.S. drone attacks in, 111 Palestinians, 17, 25, 136, 158 Pan Am Flight 103, 139 Panetta, Leon, 73 PayPal, 75 Peace Corps, 90–91 Pearl Harbor, 187 People’s Action Party, Singapore, 121 People’s Liberation Army, 146 Peru, 177 Petrobras, 125–26 Pew Research Center, 13 Philippines, 23, 51, 70, 114, 129, 194 pivot states, 115–20, 136, 140–41, 155, 165, 177, 178–79 Poland, 55 pollution, 104–5 population growth, 104 Portugal, 17 power grids, 169, 171 protectionism, 77–79 protectors, 128–30 Prussia, 167 Putin, Vladimir, 24, 54, 82, 137, 141, 182 Qatar, 48, 71 Rapaport, 132 Raytheon, 129 Reagan, Ronald, 65 “Red Dragon Rising: The Coming War with China” (board game), 170–71 referees, 133–35 regional development banks, 38 Research in Motion (RIM), 33 Resolution 1973, 192 Roach, Stephen, 12 rogue states, 123–25, 138–39 Roosevelt, Franklin, 42–43 Rosneft, 127 Royal Dutch Shell, 97 Rudd, Kevin, 203n Russia, 24, 28, 30, 54, 55, 69, 73, 77, 84, 102, 121, 122, 125, 141, 168, 169, 170, 177, 183, 203n in Arctic Council, 96, 97 climate change and, 94 default on debt in, 37 energy exported by, 30 Georgia’s war with, 32, 141 grain exports banned by, 102 Internet in, 88, 89, 91, 92 nuclear program of, 59 oil prices and, 141 Peace Corps unwelcome in, 90–91 state capitalism in, 78 suspicions of U.S. in, 91 Ukraine’s ties with, 54, 137–38, 141 water security in, 105 Russian Empire, 167, 182 Rwanda, 32, 106 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 9, 38 Sata, Michael, 119 Saudi Arabia, 26, 30, 33, 48, 67, 69, 71, 114, 128, 155, 182 foreign land purchased by, 102 grain production in, 104 Internet in, 92 local hegemony of, 175–76 oil of, 114 state capitalism in, 78 Schäuble, Wolfgang, 18 Schengen Agreement, 18, 176 Schularick, Moritz, 158 Scowcroft, Brent, 163 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks of, 13, 32, 64, 188 Serageldin, Ismail, 104 shadow states, 136–38 Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 122 Shaw, George Bernard, 37 Shi Lang, 23 Siemens, 127 Sierra Leone, 130 Singapore, 51, 71, 120, 121–22, 194 Singh, Manmohan, 26 smart grids, 72, 73 Social Security, 12, 189 Somalia, 14, 183 Sony, 75 Soreq Nuclear Research Center, 207n South Africa, 10, 26, 28, 72, 131, 177 biofuel production in, 100 South Asia, water scarcity in, 104 South China Sea, 23, 129 Southeast Asia, 59, 102 urbanization in, 99 Southern African Development Community, 120 South Korea, 15, 51, 55, 70, 71, 114, 129, 165, 173, 208n foreign land purchased by, 102 U.S. beef banned by, 103 sovereign wealth funds, 125 Soviet Union, 39, 44, 45, 47, 52, 53, 54, 72–73, 138, 168, 173, 186 coup attempt in, 92 efforts at reform in, 179–80 nuclear program of, 57 post–World War II reconstruction needed in, 39–40 shifting borders of, 182 Spain, 17, 169 separatist movements in, 181 Spiegel, Der, 8 Spielberg, Steven, 119 Splinternet, 90 Standard Chartered Bank, 3 State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC), 129, 140 state-owned companies, 78–79, 119, 125, 139–40, 160 in China, 59, 61, 86, 144, 148 Stoltenberg, Jens, 9 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (2010), 59 Strategy & Tactics, 170–71 Strauss-Kahn, Dominique, 27 Stuxnet, 56, 72–73 Sudan, 32, 106, 119 Sweden, in Arctic Council, 96–97 Syria, 48, 69, 112, 117, 123, 175, 183 Taiwan, 51, 114, 129, 172–73 as exposed state, 136 Tanzania, 106 tariffs, 79 Tata Group, 128 TD-SCDMA, 86 tech bubble, 64 telecommunications standards, 33, 83–94 terrorism, 3, 70, 93, 116, 128, 170, 183 Texas, 47, 48 Thailand, 51, 71, 114, 124, 168–69, 194 collapse of currency in, 37 multinationals in, 80 water security in, 105 3G mobile phone standard, 86 Three Gorges Dam, 105 Tiananmen Square, 53, 59, 148, 163 Time, 75 trade, global, 68, 70–71, 76–80, 178, 193–95 protectionist trend in, 77–79 trade balances, 32 trade routes, 15, 24, 59 Trans-Pacific Partnership, 71 Treasury Department, U.S., 38 Tunisia, 19, 69, 112, 175 Turkey, 3, 25, 26, 55, 69, 76, 141, 148, 155, 161, 166, 179, 187 as pivot state, 117 Turkmenistan, 54 Twitter, 91 Uganda, 72, 106 Ukraine, 54, 141, 177 as shadow state, 137–38 United Arab Emirates, 26, 48, 71 United Nations, 44, 89, 97, 104, 131 Food and Agriculture Organization, 100, 103 General Assembly of, 21, 44 Security Council of, 3, 25, 44, 57, 192 World Food Program of, 103 United States, 16, 21, 25, 30, 39, 44, 47, 50, 122, 148–49, 170, 182 in Arctic Council, 96–97 as Asian power, 70–71 beef production in, 103, 105 biofuels produced in, 100 United States (cont.)

pages: 252 words: 73,131

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us by Tim Sullivan


Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, creative destruction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, helicopter parent, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel,, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy

Although technical, some of von Neumann and Morgenstern’s ideas eventually filtered into the mainstream, and so resonated with the public imagination that the two researchers found themselves on the front page of the New York Times in 1946 under the headline, “Mathematical Theory of Poker Is Applied to Business Problems.”12 Game theory, though, was about much more than just business. Most famously, perhaps, RAND economists and mathematicians developed the doctrine of nuclear deterrence by mutually assured destruction (MAD) under the guidance of then defense secretary Robert McNamara (himself an economist by training). Von Neumann and Morgenstern’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior is, in concentrated form, the story of how the new mathematical science of economics could operate and change the way the world works in arenas small (poker) and earth shattering (thermonuclear war). Von Neumann is alleged to have fine-tuned his mathematical models of strategic interaction based on the poker games he played with American generals during the Manhattan Project.

Morgenstern concluded that if “chess is the Russian national pastime and poker is ours, we ought to be more skillful than they in applying its precepts.”13 This overlap between some quite esoteric mathematical game theory and the real world reflects the overall argument of The Inner Lives of Markets: von Neumann and Morgenstern took something instinctual and messy and provided a clear path forward using logical and coherent math. Arcane mathematical, economic reasoning found fertile ground in real-world interactions like poker and mutually assured destruction. Their Theory of Games gave precision to the way we think about strategy—and also the way we strategize. But this begs the question of why right-leaning RAND and left-leaning Cowles each turned to math. One reason it was seen as useful at both organizations is that, unlike words, mathematical theorizing presented what seemed a coldly objective analysis, devoid of political considerations.

.), 164–165 kidneys sales, 160–161 transplant exchange algorithm, 162–166 King Rat (Clavell), 175–177 Klein, Joel, 143–144 labor markets, 48, 64–66 labor theory of value, 23 ladies night at bars, 123 laundry service platform, 112 lemon markets theory, 44–51, 58–59, 64, 112 “Let Them Eat Pollution” (article), 167 life insurance, 1840s, 153 Lincoln Elementary, 1–2 Little, I. M. D., 22 Liu, Qihong, 128–129 Lyft car service, 173 MAD (doctrine of nuclear deterrence by mutually assured destruction), 26 mail-in-bids, for auctions, 83–84 “The Market for Lemons” (Akerlof), 44–51, 64 market frictions, 169–174 market fundamentalists, 16–17 market insights, 14–15 market makers, 107–110, 118–121 markets 18th-century book, 90–91 competitive, 35, 124–126, 172–174, 180–181 design, 133, 137–142 dysfunction of, 36, 75–77, 143 economics of platform, 107–112 equilibrium, 33 fixed-price versus auctions, 96–97 food bank system, 154–160 image problem of, 152–153 labor, 48, 64–66 lemon, 44–51, 58–59, 64, 112 multisided, 108–112, 118–124 one-sided, 108–112 in POW camps, 4, 7–13, 175–177 rules for platform, 112–117 school choice in Sweden, 151–152 selfishness in, 177–179 technology and, 169–173 trade with uninformed parties, 166–169 transformation of, 13–17 two-sided, 108–112, 118–124 See also auctions; economics; platforms Marx, Karl, 20, 23 matching problems middle school dance partners, 131–132, 134, 137–140 student to school, 138–139, 141–142, 143–149 mathematics algebraic topology, 44–45 economic theory transformed by, 15, 19–27 game theory, 136 general equilibrium model, 29, 31–34, 36–37, 40, 45, 76 kidney exchange algorithm, 163–165 models, 20, 24–25, 30 in real world economics, 35–37 Samuelson connecting economics and, 28–29 Shapley-Gale algorithm, 137–140 Matsuzaka, Daisuke, 79–81, 87–89 Maxwell, James Clark, 24 McManus, Brian, 73–75 mechanism design, 133, 134 medical residency programs, 140 merchant from Prato, 105–107 middle school dance-matching, 131–132, 134, 137–140 Milgrom, Paul, 70–71, 98, 102–103 mobile market platform, 116 modeling applied theory, 45, 50, 75–76 competition, 35, 166, 172–173 congestion pricing, 86, 94 dysfunction of, 75–77 economic, 15, 24–29 mathematical, 20, 24–25, 30 reality-based economic, 35–37, 45, 49–51, 141 models auction, 82–84 eBay, 43, 46, 48 general equilibrium, 31–34, 36–37, 40, 76 lemons, 44–51, 58–59, 64, 112 Solow, 35 See also platforms; signaling model Moldovanu, Benny, 90–91 money burning costs, 70–71 money-back guarantees, 69–71 Morals & Markets: The Development of Life Insurance in the United States (Zelizer), 153 Morgenstern, Oskar, 25–27 mortality rates, of Japanese vs German POW camps, 10–13 MS-13 gang, 67 multisided markets, 108–112, 118–124 multisided platform, 14 multiunit Vickrey auction, 93 Murphy, Frank, 9 Nasar, Sylvia, 29 Nash, John, 32 National Archives’ World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 11 network externalities, 121–124 New England Program for Kidney Exchange, 164–165 New York Department of Education, 143–144, 145, 149 Nobel Prize in Economics, 34 See also Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel noncustomers, paying, 123–124 Nordstrom’s return policy, 69–70 no-risk money-back guarantees, 69–71 normal good, 180 no-trade rule, Japanese POW camps, 10–13 nuclear deterrence, 26 Omidyar, Pierre, 39–40 one-sided markets, 108–112 online retail, 41–43, 52–55 optimized efficiency, 85–86, 133 organ sales, 160–161 organizations, sick, 142–143 out-of-town bids, for auctions, 83–84 Pareto, Vilfredo, 20, 21–22 Pareto efficiency, 22 Penny Black stamp, 82–84 Percy P.

The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz


airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, source of truth, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog

(The mechanisms for introducing such chaos would not be the relatively clumsy denial-of-service attacks that we saw in Russia's assaults on Estonia and Georgia, but rather the "back doors" planted in Internet systems, which would be activated in such a way as to cause appropriate damage in case 140 Chapter 7 of attack-"appropriate" being the level of damage required to achieve one's strategic goals under the conditions as they unfold, which need not involve full implementation of "cyberwar" capability.) Details, of course, are classified, but it is reasonable to expect that, even now, a new "balance of terror" based on "mutual assured destruction" is evolving on the cyber battlefield. And in the realm of asymmetric warfare, cyberspace is also the obvious place for less technologically advanced nations and for non-governmental organizations to go if they wish to inflict relatively undirected damage on a sophisticated opponent. The third realm, Revolutions in Civilian Systems (RCS), is one of the main themes of this book, so we will touch on it only briefly here.

For example, although we both suspect that, had we been of age during the early decades of the Cold War, we would have strongly supported efforts to prevent the development and proliferation of thermonuclear weapons, the historian Richard Rhodes (who wrote the authoritative histories of the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs) has suggested, not implausibly, that the threat of mutually assured destruction In Front of Our Nose 183 helped to deliver 50 years of relative peace to the U.S., its allies, and the Soviet Bloc. l l Ethical uncertainty begins to look surprisingly like factual uncertainty when it comes to the techno-human condition. Neither ethical nor scientific analysis has much hope of predicting the future accurately enough to dictate appropriate behavior in the present. Moral dialog with a continually evolving and uncertain system means that different, even mutually exclusive worldviews are aspects of effective action. 12 But the path of effectiveness is not of the Enlightenment type (problem definition, factual certainty, moral clarity); rather, it is to be found in a recognition of the need for continuous dialog, for eternal vigilance-and, yes, for muddling as an important ethical process.

., 93 Long-Term Capital Management,92 "Long waves" of innovation, 79££ Maginot Line, 135 Malaria, 47££, 53 Malaysia, 139 Maoism, 31, 121 Marlboro Man, 135 Marne, Battle of, 76 Marxism, 110, 114, 121, 172 Marx, K., 64, 70, 173 Maslow, A., 33 McKibben,~.,21, 101 McKinsey & Company, 49 McNeill, ]. R., 80 Medical Journal of Australia, 122 Memory-enhancing pharmaceuticals, 113 Mexico, 125, 133 Microsoft, 173 Millenarian utopianism, 120 Modafinil, 24 Moltke, H. von, 75, 105, 106 Money, 80, 81 Moravec, H., 8, 18 Mumford, L., 33, 36, 45 Mutually assured destruction, in cyberspace, 140 Nanotechnology, 8, 80, 178 National Institute of Health, 89 National Science Foundation, 8, 89,90 Natural Born Cyborgs, 9 Nature, as sacred, 100ff Nature's Metropolis, 115 Nazi Germany, 22, 31,121,131 Needle gun, 75 Negligible senescence, engineered,82 Neoconservatives, 91, 110 Neuropharmaceuticals, 3, 18, 24,88,95 New Atlantis, 18 New Jerusalem, 11, 77, 78 New Scientist, 122, 124 Newton, I., 101, 173, 179 Nitrogen cycle, 10, 110, 192 Noble, D., 18 Notice-and-comment rulemaking, 165 Nuclear power, 174ff Nuclear winter, 67, 78 Occupational health and safety, 52 Office of Naval Research, 89 Olympic Games, 3, 4 Oppenheimer,].

pages: 684 words: 188,584

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson


Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, William Langewiesche, éminence grise

Since he wasn’t part of the immense no-thought-but-Trinity rush to successfully engineer the first nuclear weapons, he had time to think, and in March 1944 he tried to convince Vannevar Bush that the nation’s leaders needed to prepare for a future of “armed peace,” with several countries having atomic arsenals able to stalemate each other. Bush, and the others Leo approached, weren’t interested in what seemed so distant, but of course international stalemate would become the Cold War tenet Mutual Assured Destruction—MAD—the seemingly crazy notion that would keep the Cold War cold. The only French resident of the Hill, Françoise Ulam, was nursing her baby when she heard Rabi playing “La Marseillaise” outside her window on his comb. It was August 24, 1944, and Paris had been liberated. While pretending to be a scientist divorced from the politics of the real world in Vichy Paris, Frédéric Joliot made explosives and radio equipment for the Resistance and became president of the National Front.

Defense Secretary Robert McNamara announced on September 18, 1967, “The cornerstone of our strategic policy continues to be to deter nuclear attack upon the United States or its allies. We do this by maintaining a highly reliable ability to inflict unacceptable damage upon any single aggressor or combination of aggressors at any time during the course of a strategic nuclear exchange, even after absorbing a surprise first strike. This can be defined as our assured-destruction capability.” The strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction—MAD—was accompanied by the Pentagon’s Nuclear Utilization Target Selection: NUTS. In the nuclear arms race, “each individual decision along the way seemed rational at the time. But the result was insane,” admitted McNamara. “Each of the decisions, taken by itself, appeared rational or inescapable. But the fact is that they were made without reference to any overall master plan or long-term objective.

Consider the point of view of another professional, the doctor who knows that his patient is suffering from an incurable disease. He cannot for that reason abandon further efforts. . . . To make no plans for [a nuclear war] would be openly to proclaim our helplessness. It would be psychologically wrong.” Physicist Herbert York: “Let’s put it this way, in more understandable terms. All roads in the strategic equation lead to MAD [Mutual Assured Destruction]. All the other ones . . . are games, are window dressings, and they are window dressing for upmanship. . . . But when you take away all these layers of cloth, at the bottom of the thing, basically, is MAD, and no one likes it.” Nikita Khrushchev’s son, Sergei: “For thousands of years peoples have resolved their conflicts by armed clashes. There was good reason for Karl von Clausewitz to write that war is a continuation of politics by other means.

pages: 304 words: 88,773

The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks. by Steven Johnson


call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Dean Kamen, digital map, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, peak oil, side project, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, trade route, unbiased observer, working poor

That we know about. On a planet of more than 6 billion people, there have to be thousands and thousands of lost souls ready and willing to detonate one of those weapons in a crowded urban center. How long before those two sets intersect? That driver with the rigged SUV isn’t going to be deterred by the conventional logic of détente-era nuclear politics. Mutually assured destruction isn’t much of a deterrent to him. Mutually assured destruction, in fact, sounds like a pretty good outcome. Game theory has always had trouble accounting for players with no rational self-interest, and the theories of nuclear deterrence are no exception. And once the bomb goes off, there’s no second line of defense—no vaccines or quarantines to block off the worst-case scenario. There will be maps, but they’ll be maps of incineration and fallout and mass graves.

page 253 but detection is hardly a fail-safe option I described some of the latest advances in radiation detection—and speculated on how they might be employed to defend large metropolitan areas from nuclear terrorism—in the essay “Stopping Loose Nukes,” published in Wired, November 2002. page 254 But if the trends of asymmetric warfare continue The one thing we can do now to prevent such a dark future is to radically reduce, if not eliminate, the current stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the world. The United States alone has around 10,000 weapons in its active arsenal. This is madness in an age of asymmetric warfare, where mutually assured destruction is meaningless. (It was madness in the cold war too, but for different reasons.) If all the nuclear powers agreed to limit their stockpiles to no more than ten weapons per country—thereby reducing the total number of weapons in the world from 20,000 to less than a hundred—we would reduce by more than an order of magnitude the risk that a weapon would fall into the wrong hands. We would still retain the ability to kill 100 million people and do untold environmental damage with those ten nukes, but at least we would be making significant progress against the growing menace of proliferation.

pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow


book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man,, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

So long as everyone with a huge portfolio of unexamined, overlapping, generous patents was competing with similarly situated manufacturers, there was a mutually assured destruction — a kind of detente represented by cross-licensing deals for patent portfolios. But the rise of the patent troll changed all that. Patent trolls don't make products. They make lawsuits. They buy up the ridiculous patents of failed companies and sue the everloving hell out of everyone they can find, building up a war-chest from easy victories against little guys that can be used to fund more serious campaigns against larger organizations. Since there are no products to disrupt with a countersuit, there's no mutually assured destruction. If a shakedown artist can buy up some bogus patents and use them to put the screws to you, then it's only a matter of time until the same grifters latch onto the innumerable "agreements" that your company has formed with a desperate dot-bomb looking for an exit strategy.

pages: 214 words: 57,614

America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy by Francis Fukuyama


affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, European colonialism, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Internet Archive, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

Small, nascent nuclear forces were much more likely to promote instability by tempting opponents to preemptive measures. It is not clear whether Albert Wohlstetter ever came to regard himself as a neoconservative, but he and his students merged more or less seamlessly with this movement because of his dark view of the threat posed by the Soviet Union. He did not accept the received wisdom of the 1960s and 1970s that mutual assured destruction (MAD) would be sufficient to deter the Soviet Union. Wohlstetter argued that the threat to wipe out tens or hundreds of millions of civilians was both immoral and noncredible. He noted that with increasing ICBM accuracies and the deployment of multiple warheads, a so-called counterforce war might one day become thinkable—for example, if the Soviets launched a first strike on American nuclear bases, wiping out the bulk of U.S. land-based nuclear forces and holding back enough weapons to deter a submarine-based counterstrike on cities.

.: as instrument of foreign policy, 36, 62-64; limits of, 181-82, 188-89; role of, in Cold War, 59 Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), 147-48, 153-54 Millennium Challenge Corporation, H9> 153 Millennium Development Goals, 142, 2iin 33 Milosevic, Slobodan, 42, 136 MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles), 35 Mises, Ludwigvon, 39 modernity, philosophical crisis of, 22 modernization, 54, 57, 139; in Japan, 129; and jihadism, 74; and political development, 125-26 Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, 15, 16-17, 18-19, 2 °> 37 multilateralism, 11,64-65, 153-54, 163, 173; in Asia, 174-75 multi-multilateralism, 158, 168-69, 172, 2i5n2 222 Murray, Charles, 18-19, 2 ° Muslims, 69-70; cultural diversity of, 75. See also jihadists mutual assured destruction (MAD), 33 Myroie, Laurie, 2031121 Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 85 National Democratic Institute (NDI), 150 National Endowment for Democracy (NED), 134, 137, 150, 187 national greatness, 42-43 National Interest, 20, 40 National Security Strategy of the United States (NSS), 3, 81-83, 88 > IOI » io 4> 142, 184, 2oi-2nn nation-building, 9-10, 63-64, 131, 151-52; George W. Bush's views on, 46; and democracy promotion, 125; in North and South Vietnam, 121; United Nation's role in, 161.

pages: 215 words: 56,215

The Second Intelligent Species: How Humans Will Become as Irrelevant as Cockroaches by Marshall Brain


Amazon Web Services, basic income, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, digital map,, full employment, income inequality, job automation, knowledge worker, mutually assured destruction, Occupy movement, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, working poor

Just to take the planet's nuclear arsenals as one simple example: We find ourselves in a situation where the United States has approximately 5,000 operational nuclear warheads. And Russia has about the same. Each warhead can destroy an entire city, killing millions of people. Why do we have all of these missiles, which pose an immediate existential threat to the entire ecosystem of the planet as well as our own species? We call it the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. "Mutually Assured Destruction" - MAD - even the name sounds like we are insane. Yet this is the best idea we have been able to come up with as a species for dealing with nuclear bombs. And many other countries have warheads as well that they could unleash at any moment for any insane reason. In addition, we worry that terrorists will get hold of a nuclear device and detonate it in a major city, killing millions.

pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace


3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk,, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

The superintelligence could proceed to polish off the rest of us at its leisure by commandeering every weapon, vehicle and machine with the facility for remote control. Or it could release deadly pathogens into the environment, plundering and replicating samples from research labs which store smallpox, mustard gas and whatever other neurotoxins we have lying around. Or it could take control of our nuclear weapons and execute the mutual assured destruction scenarios which we have managed (sometimes narrowly) to avoid ever since the beginning of the cold war. Humanity versus a fully fledged superintelligence with internet access would be like the Amish versus the US Army. How do I destroy thee? Let me count the ways . . . The Terminator scenario is not the worst thing we have to worry about. Forgive the personal question, but would you rather be killed quickly and painlessly, or after many years of excruciating pain?

Most people are aware that the world came close to this annihilation during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962; fewer know that we have also come close to a similar fate another four times since then, in 1979, 1980, 1983 and 1995. (52) In 1962 and 1983 we were saved by individual Soviet military officers who decided not to follow prescribed procedure. Today, while the world hangs on every utterance of Justin Bieber and the Kardashian family, relatively few of us even know the names of Vasili Arkhipov and Stanislav Petrov, two men who quite literally saved the world. Perhaps this survival illustrates our ingenuity. There was an ingenious logic in the repellent but effective doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD). More likely we have simply been lucky. We have time to rise to the challenge of superintelligence – probably a few decades. However, it would be unwise to rely on that period of grace: a sudden breakthrough in machine learning or cognitive neuroscience could telescope the timing dramatically, and it is worth bearing in mind the powerful effect of exponential growth in the computing resource which underpins AI research and a lot of research in other fields too. 9.7 – It’s time to talk What we need now is a serious, reasoned debate about superintelligence – a debate which avoids the twin perils of complacency and despair.

pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, call centre, carried interest, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, TaskRabbit, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

Although the Cold War involved near-misses, most notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the Americans and the Soviets gradually came to understand each other’s signals. Eventually each was able to read the other’s nuclear grammar fluently. After 1962 the two sides set up a nuclear hotline and even agreed to exchanges of personnel so that they could minimise the risk they would stumble into war. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction worked because it was based on an understanding between two highly organised actors. Russia and the United States have both cut their stockpiles of nuclear weapons drastically since the end of the Cold War. Today their arsenals stand at roughly a tenth of where they were at their peak. Yet today’s nuclear world is far more dangerous than during the Cold War. Instead of having five nuclear weapons states – the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the USSR, the US, France, China and the UK) – the world now has nine.

Or an electric grid outage that caused a surge in mortality. Suppose also that you knew the identity of the attacker. Would a military response be merited? If not, why not? If so, where do you stop? The line between reality and virtual reality is blurring. Some of America’s best strategists have been working on the problem for almost a decade. They have yet to come up with a clear doctrine. Mutually assured destruction does not work, yet nothing has emerged to take its place. The US Cyber Command believes the next global war will start in cyberspace. Doubtless they are talking up their own book. But they are right to worry that the temptation to strike by stealth is irresistible on a battlefield in which there are no rules of engagement. Nor are there any limits to the battlefield. ‘[Because] of the seamless worldwide network, the packets, and the Internet of Things, cyber war [will] involve not just soldiers, sailors, and pilots but, inexorably, the rest of us,’ says Fred Kaplan, author of Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War.

pages: 956 words: 267,746

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion ofSafety by Eric Schlosser


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, impulse control, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, life extension, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stanislav Petrov, Stewart Brand, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche

Number—a unique eight-digit number that identifies each of the targets in the Air Force’s Bombing Encyclopedia BMEWS—Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, the radar system built after Sputnik to detect Soviet missiles heading toward the United States BOMARC—a ground-launched antiaircraft missile with an atomic warhead, designed by Boeing (BO) and the Michigan Aerospace Research Center (MARC), that was deployed at sites in the United States and Canada CND—Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a British antiwar group whose logo later became known as the “peace symbol” DEFCON—Defense Readiness Condition, the American military’s readiness for hostilities, ranked on a scale from DEFCON 5 (the lowest level of alert) to DEFCON 1 (nuclear war) DEW Line—the Distant Early Warning Line, a radar system that extended across the Arctic in North America to detect Soviet bombers DIRECT—Defense Improved Emergency Message Automatic Transmission System Replacement Command and Control Terminal, the Pentagon computer system currently deployed to send and receive a nuclear attack order DUL—the Deliberate, Unauthorized Launch of a missile ENIAC—the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, America’s first large-scale electronic, digital computer, built for the Army to calculate the trajectory of artillery shells and later used at Los Alamos to help design a thermonuclear weapon EOD—Explosive Ordnance Disposal, the rendering safe of warheads, bombs, and anything else that might detonate FCDA—the Federal Civil Defense Administration, which from 1951 until 1979 advised the American public on how to survive a nuclear war H-Bomb—a hydrogen bomb, the most powerful weapon ever invented, deriving its explosive force not only from nuclear fission but also from nuclear fusion, the elemental power of the sun ICBM—Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, a missile that can propel a nuclear warhead more than 3,400 miles JAG—the nickname for a military attorney, a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps K crew—a backup crew for the Titan II missile, on call to give advice during an emergency LOX—liquid oxygen, a propellant that was used as an oxidizer, in combination with rocket fuel, to launch Atlas and Titan I missiles MAD—Mutually Assured Destruction, a nuclear strategy that seeks to maintain peace by ensuring that adversaries have the capability to destroy one another MANIAC—the Mathematical Analyzer, Numerical Integrator, and Computer, an early electronic, digital computer used at Los Alamos to help design the first hydrogen bombs MART—Missile Alarm Response Team, the security police who responded to problems at Titan II missile sites MFT—Mobile Fire Team, a heavily armed four-man team of Air Force security officers MIMS—Missile Inspection and Maintenance Squadron, the repair crews who kept Titan II missiles ready to launch MIRV—Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicle, a ballistic missile carrying two or more warheads that can be aimed at different targets MIT—Massachusetts Institute of Technology MSA—a nickname for the vapor-detection equipment built by the Mine Safety Appliance Company and installed in Titan II silos NATO—North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military alliance formed in 1949 to defend Western Europe against an attack by the Soviet Union NORAD—North American Air Defense Command, an organization created in 1958 by the United States and Canada to defend against a Soviet attack, later renamed the North American Aerospace Defense Command NRC—Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that licenses and regulates civilian nuclear power plants OPLAN—Operations Plan, the term used since 2003 to describe the nuclear war plans of the United States PAL—Permissive Action Link, a coded device installed within a nuclear warhead or bomb, much like a lock, to prevent unauthorized use of the weapon PK—Probability of Kill, the likelihood of a target being destroyed PPM—Parts per Million PTPMU—Propellant Tank Pressure Monitor Unit, the gauge in a Titan II launch control center that provided digital readouts of the fuel and oxidizer pressures within the missile PTS—Propellant Transfer System, the facilities and equipment used to handle the fuel and oxidizer for a Titan II missile RAF—Royal Air Force, the armed service in Great Britain that during the Cold War was responsible for land-based aircraft and missiles RAND—a think tank in Santa Monica, California, created by the Air Force after the Second World War, whose name was derived from the phrase “Research ANd Development” RFHCO—Rocket Fuel Handler’s Clothing Outfit, a liquidproof, vaporproof outfit with an air pack and a bubble helmet that looked like a space suit, commonly known among Titan II crews as a “ref-co” RV—Reentry Vehicle, the nose cone of a missile containing its warhead SAC—Strategic Air Command, the organization that until 1992 was responsible for the long-range bombers, the land-based missiles, and most of the nuclear weapons deployed by the U.S.

Informed by a reporter that the Soviets were hardening their silos to protect the missiles from an American attack, McNamara said, “Thank God.” The move would improve “crisis stability.” Once the Soviets felt confident that they could retaliate after being attacked, they’d feel much less pressure to strike first. Leaving the cities of the United States and the Soviet Union vulnerable to annihilation, McNamara now thought, would keep them safe. The strategy was soon known as MAD: “mutually assured destruction.” The strategic thinking at the White House and the Department of Defense, however, didn’t correspond to the targeting policies at SAC headquarters in Omaha. The gulf between theory and practice remained vast. Although the SIOP had been revised during the Kennedy administration, General Power had blocked significant changes in weapon allocation. The new SIOP divided the “optimum mix” into three separate target groups: Soviet nuclear forces, conventional military forces, and urban-industrial areas.

The Nixon administration was stuck with the Titan II—getting rid of fifty-four ballistic missiles, without getting anything in return from the Soviets, made little sense in the midst of an arms race. The failed attempt to decommission an aging weapon system reflected the new balance of power. Robert McNamara had assumed that once the Soviet Union felt confident about its ability to destroy the United States in any nuclear exchange, it would stop building new missiles. But the Soviets didn’t share McNamara’s faith in mutually assured destruction. After the humiliation of the Cuban Missile Crisis, one of their diplomats had told an American counterpart, “You Americans will never be able to do this to us again.” In a rivalry where a nation’s power was measured numerically in warheads and bombs, the Soviet Union now sought to gain the upper hand. Within a decade of removing strategic weapons from Cuba, the Soviet Union increased the number of its long-range, land-based missiles from about 56 to more than 1,500.

pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman


4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, drone strike, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, zero-sum game

Of note, it wouldn’t just be able to respond with counter cyber weapons, but also would include “Global selective strike systems e.g. penetrating bomber, submarines with long range cruise missiles, and Conventional Prompt Global Strike [a ballistic missile].” Foreign Policy magazine’s reaction to the news perhaps sums it up the best: “Wow.” When we think about deterrence, what most often comes to mind is the Cold War model of MAD, mutually assured destruction. Any attack would be met with an overwhelming counterstrike that would destroy the aggressor as well as most life on the planet, making any first strike literally mad. Yet rather than just getting MAD, deterrence really is about the ability to alter an adversary’s actions by changing its cost-benefit calculations. It reflects subjective, psychological assessments, a “state of mind,” as the US Department of Defense says, “brought about by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable counteraction.”

money mules: Individuals or networks who act as intermediate steps in the transfer of money or goods, undermining detection efforts and reducing risk to the criminals. multifactor authentication: A layered approach to security uses two or more mechanisms to authenticate identity, such as something the user knows, like a password, something the user has (like a smart card), where the user is, and/or something the user is physically, such as a biometric characteristic like the fingerprint. mutually assured destruction (MAD): The military strategy of a “balance of terror” that held during the Cold War. The great powers shied away from direct conflict by MAD guaranteeing that the initiator of any hostilities would also be destroyed. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Located in the US Department of Commerce, NIST is the federal agency that works to develop and apply new standards and frameworks, especially for areas where industry has no clear consensus.

See digital currency logic bomb, 93, 124 Lucas, George, 119 Lynn, William, 97–98, 135–136 malware characteristics of, 33–34, 154, 157–159, 174, 251 consequences of, 132, 147–149 defending against, 60–62, 205–206, 212, 224–225 (see also Conficker; DNS Changer Virus; Stuxnet) examples of, 58, 65, 72–73, 75, 91, 115–119 Mandiant, 76, 226 Manning, Bradley, 38, 52–53, 55, Markov, Sergei, 110 McAfee, 60, 91, 157 McConnell, Mike, 99, 151, 196 McGeehan, Ryan, 216 metadata, 104, 250 mobile device, 14, 32, 246, 250–252 Moltke, Helmuth Graf, 212 money mules, 86, 217 Moore, Tyler, 231 Morse code, 181 multifactor authentication, 244 Mulvenon, James, 139, 161 mutually assured destruction (MAD), 145 Nacht, Michael, 157 Nasibett, John, 248 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 201, 204, 212 National Security Agency (NSA), 50, 104, 134, 140–141, 199–200, 209 network-centric, 129 New York Times, 76, 95, 128, 141, 213, 226 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 122–124 North Korea, 126–127, 151, 182, 191, nuclear weapons, 7, 71, 99, 137–138, 144–147, 160–162, 190, 247 Nye, Joseph, 3, 152 Obama, Barrack, 2–3, 202, 204 Operation Orchard, 126–128 Operation Shady RAT, 58, 91–93 packet, 17–18, 23–24, 166 Pac-Man, 46 Pakistan, 21, 25, 102 Palmer, Alan, 237 Panetta, Leon, 146 password, 32, 40, 60, 65, 103, 241–244 patch, 62–63, 72, 139, 218, 245 patriotic hacking, 74, 110–114, 142, 179–180, 186 PayPal, 54, 83, 195, 206–207 Pearl Harbor, 37, 68, 70, 165, People’s Liberation Army (PLA), 114, 140–143 Petraeus, David, 33 phishing, 40–41, 57–58, 86, 217, 222–223 piracy cyber, 83, 139, 179–180, 189, 194 maritime, 177–179 pornography, 20, 40, 105, 109, 206–207 Postel, Jon, 26, 29 privacy, 33–35, 74, 106, 108–110, 175, 199, 208, 218, 228, 234 protocol, 18, 22–23, 110, 140, 227 pwn, 41, 58 Pyrrhic Victory, 156 Pyrrhus of Epirus.

pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jitney, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

Offense can consist of either first-strike disruption or second-strike retaliation. In game theory, offense and defense converge, since second-strike retaliation can be sufficiently destructive to deter first-strike attacks. This line of reasoning was the same doctrine Andy Marshall helped develop in nuclear-war-fighting scenarios during the Cold War in the early 1960s. The doctrine was called Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). Now a new doctrine of Mutual Assured Financial Destruction was emerging. To Andy Marshall, financial weapons were new, but deterrence theory was not. The distinction between offensive and defensive capabilities in financial warfare is not the only dichotomy. There is also a distinction between physical targets, such as exchange computers, and virtual targets, such as business relationships.

A scenario can arise where the U.S. president stands down from military action to defend Taiwan because China has made it clear than any such action would result in the destruction of a trillion dollars or more in U.S. paper wealth. In this scenario, Taiwan is left to its fate. Andy Marshall’s Air-Sea Battle is deterred by China’s weapons of wealth destruction. Perhaps the greatest financial threat is that these scenarios might play out by accident. In the mid-1960s, at the height of Cold War hysteria about nuclear attacks and Mutual Assured Destruction, two films, Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove, dealt with nuclear-war-fighting scenarios between the United States and the Soviet Union. As portrayed in these films, neither side wanted war, but it was launched nonetheless due to computer glitches and actions of rogue officers. Capital markets today are anything but fail-safe. In fact, they are increasingly failure-prone, as the Knight Capital incident and the curious May 6, 2010, flash crash demonstrate.

., 286–88 Mitbestimmung (codetermination), 123–24 Mitterrand, François, 116 Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh, 154 monetarism (quantity theory of money), 168–69 money contract theory of, 165–67, 169 defined, 165–66 fiat, 168–69 gold as, 217, 220–25 gold’s role in enforcing money contract, 169–71 quantity theory of, 168–69 quantity theory of credit, 168–69 SDRs as, 207 state theory of, 168–69 money illusion, 7–8 money printing. See easy-money policy of Federal Reserve Monnet, Jean, 116 Montenegro, 136 Morell, Mike, 37–39 Morgan, J. P., 220 Morgan Stanley, 32–33, 262 Morocco, 152, 153 Mourdock, Richard, 205 M-Subzero, 280, 283–84 Mubarak, Hosni, 156 Mulheren, John, 18–19, 32–33 Mundell, Robert, 125 Mussolini, Benito, 294 Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), 46, 63 Mutual Assured Financial Destruction, 46 “Myth of Asia’s Miracle, The” (Krugman), 94 M-Zero (M0), 280 Nakamoto, Satoshi, 254 Napoleon Bonaparte, 114 Napoleonic Wars, 115 NASDAQ Stock Market closure, August 22, 2013, 60, 296–97 National Defense University, 59 National Journal, 63 National Security Agency (NSA), 53 negative real interest rates, 183–84 neofascism, 294–95 Netherlands, 233 New Scotland Yard, 37 New York Times, The, 39, 51, 55, 133, 144 9/11 attacks continuity of government operations, failure of, 63 as failure of imagination, 256, 257 9/11 attacks, and insider trading, 17–28, 63 Mulheren’s opinion of, 18 9/11 Commission’s failure to find connection between, 21–22, 23, 25–27 Poteshman’s statistical analysis of, 22–23 signal amplification and, 24, 25, 26, 27 social network analysis of, 19–20, 25 Swiss Finance Institute study of, 23 9/11 Commission, 21–22, 23, 25–27 9/11 Truth Movement, 27 Nitze, Paul, 43 Nixon, Richard, 1, 2, 5, 58, 85, 209, 220, 235, 252, 285 Nolan, Dave, 32–33 numeraire, gold as, 219–20 Obama, Barack, 37, 57, 129, 156, 202–3, 206, 252–53 Obamacare legislation, 247–48 offensive aspects of financial war, 46 Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO), 53–54 Oman, 152 one-child policy, China, 95, 102 O’Neill, Jim, 139–40, 146, 150 Operation Duplex-Barbara, 59 Otto I, Emperor, 114 Outline of Reform (C-20), 235 Pakistan, 30, 151, 156 panic dynamic, 62 Panic of 1907, 198 Panic of 2008, 46, 47, 52, 76, 77, 170, 188, 196, 201–2, 211, 296 panics, 224 paper gold transactions, 275–76, 284–86 Paulson, Hank, 206 Pei, Minxin, 106 permanent disability, 246 Peterson, Peter G., 51 Petraeus, David, 37 Pettis, Michael, 108–9 phase transitions, 172, 265, 289–90 Ph.D. standard, 177 physical targets, in financial war, 46 piecemeal engineering, 292 piggyback trading, 24 Plaza Accord, 1985, 118–19 Pleines, Günter, 277 Poland, 200, 233 Ponzi scheme, in wealth management products (WMPs), 102–3 Popper, Karl, 292 Portugal, 128, 200 Poteshman, Allen M., 22–23 pound sterling, 157, 161, 209 price discovery, 68 primary deficit sustainability (PDS) framework, 177–83 Project Prophesy, 28–34 Pufeng, Wang, 44, 45 Putin, Vladimir, 151 Qatar, 152 Qiao Liang (Unrestricted Warfare), 44–45 Qin Dynasty, 90 Qing Dynasty, 90, 91 quantitative easing (QE), 159–61 end of, implications of, 297 by Federal Reserve, 184–85 in Japan, 160–61 in United Kingdom, 160 quantity theory of credit (creditism), 168 quantity theory of money (monetarism), 168–69 Quantum Dawn 2, 54 Rajoy, Mariano, 134 Ramo, Joshua Cooper, 120 random numbers, 268–69 Rauf, Rashid, 37 Ray, Chris, 35–36, 38, 40 Raymond, Lenny, 35 Reagan, Ronald, 2, 63, 118, 166, 176–77, 210 Reagan administration, 235 real incomes, decline in, 78–79 regime uncertainty, 84–87, 125–26 regional trade currency blocs, 255–56 regression analyses, 4–5 Reinhart, Carmen, 182, 183 repatriation of gold, 40, 231–34 Republicans, 175–76, 179, 180, 205, 294 Reserve Bank of Australia, 52–53 revolution in military affairs (RMA), 43–44 Rise of the Warrior Cop (Balko), 294 risk financial, 85, 268–70 gold as risk-free asset, 219 investments and, 218–19 systemic, 11–12, 81, 188, 249–50, 251, 259, 270 uncertainty distinguished, 85, 268 Risk, Uncertainty and Profit (Knight), 268 Roett, Riordan, 192 Rogoff, Kenneth, 182 Rollover (film), 1, 3 Roman Empire, fall of, 5 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 85, 295 Rothschild, Nathan, 216 Rouhani, Hassan, 57, 152 Rubin, Robert, 177, 195, 196 rule-of-law society, 166–67 Russia, 139, 151, 152, 233.

pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam


Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, working-age population, zero-sum game

To threaten Grexit involved a heady game of brinkmanship with the EU, the European markets and the banking system, a degree of brinkmanship beyond any ever previously imagined. True drachmail. It risked what US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner had referred to as ‘the threat of cascading default, bank runs, and catastrophic risk’. But Syriza did not have the same fear. Alexis Tsipras’s line was that he would do ‘as much as I can’ to keep Greece in the euro. He also used the analogy of ‘mutually assured destruction’ (MAD for short), the Cold War theory behind nuclear deterrence, and firmly believed there was no legal basis to throw Greece out. But he clearly implied that there was a price for euro membership that he believed was not worth paying. Greece’s European partners started to make contingencies for what Grexit would mean for their tourists. Plans were made for flying in money to embassies to distribute to holiday islands, and even for the evacuation of tourists from the Greek islands.

The public face of Syriza has certainly moved to the centre, in what might be called the ‘Syriza shuffle’. After the May election the threat of a disorderly euro exit was Greece’s fundamental bargaining chip in a renegotiation of the EU loan agreement. By June, drachmail had been replaced by pragmatism. Syriza said it would stick to some of the headline targets of the Troika deal, but achieve them through tax rises rather than spending cuts. Within a month, all talk of mutually assured destruction had disappeared. New Democracy knew their trump card. At their final rally in Syntagma Square before the June election, there were flares, dodgy dance music, and an attempt at an impassioned speech from Greece’s would-be euro saviour, the ND leader Antonis Samaras. ‘The first choice Greece must make,’ he declaimed, ‘is: euro or drachma?’ The mood was not helped when the Financial Times Deutschland published an open letter to Greeks, advising them to vote for Samaras, and ‘resist the Demagogue Tsipras’.

China slowly began to readjust the value of its currency against the dollar and other currencies. The fundamental imbalance, however, between Western debts and over-consumption, and Eastern surpluses and overproduction, got even worse. In the USA, the defence secretary and others have played down any potential leverage that China might possess with its still massive stock of US government debt. The situation is broadly described as ‘mutually assured destruction’. China would sustain massive collateral damage if, for example, it attempted to dump its bond holdings. In this situation, the USA does appear to have obliged China to become a forced lender, a type of bonded banker for its ever-growing debts. It is a form of international financial repression. China’s currency policy, in effect, holds down the living standards of its people, obliging them, and the nation generally, to lend its hard-earned dollars back to the USA.

pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman


3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Today many of these tools, or instructions for how to build them, are easily downloadable from the cloud by anyone with a Visa card. So breakers can tap this energy source to amplify their power of one—and to connect, communicate, and collaborate with those of like mind—just as easily as any maker. If today’s breakers are much more empowered, they are also less easily deterred. There is no mutual assured destruction—MAD—doctrine keeping Al Qaeda or ISIS from going to extremes. Just the opposite: for the jihadist suicide bombers, mutual assured destruction is like an invitation to a party and a date with ninety-nine virgins. As the Harvard University strategist Graham Allison summed it up: “Historically, there has always been a gap between people’s individual anger and what they could do with their anger. But thanks to modern technology, and the willingness of people to commit suicide, really angry individuals can now kill millions of people if they can get the right materials.”

The two superpowers even maintained a “hotline”—a special communication system connecting the White House and the Kremlin—so each could clear up any misunderstanding with the other to prevent any direct hot wars with nuclear weapons. Strategically, both sides deployed enough nuclear weapons to guarantee not only a first-strike capability but also a retaliatory second-strike capability if the other side fired first, creating a system of “mutual assured destruction,” or MAD, which all but guaranteed that neither side would ever use any of their atomic weapons. More important, though, the intense competition between America and the Soviet Union to collect allies on their respective sides of the chessboard provided a steady flow of resources to create and reinforce order in so many of these new states, which enabled many of them to get by with just C+ leadership—or, to put it in human terms, to get by without exercising regularly, lowering their cholesterol, building muscle, studying hard, or increasing their heart rate.

Moore’s law; climate change and; computing power and; financial flows and; the Market and morality, see ethics, innovation in Morning Edition (radio show) mortality rates Mortenson, David Mother Nature; adaptability of; as complex system; as entrepreneurial; interdependence in; as political mentor; resilience of Mother Nature, human impact on; black elephants in; deniers of; Great Acceleration in; natural buffers and adaptive responses to; novel entities introduced by; planetary boundaries of, see planetary boundaries; stewardship and; see also biodiversity loss; climate change; population growth Mubarak, Hosni Mukunda, Gautam Muller, Wayne Mundie, Craig Muñoz, Andrés, Jr. Murthy, Vivek Muse (Somali pirate) Muslim Brotherhood mutation mutual assured destruction (MAD) Myers, Richard Namib desert beetle Namibia nanotechnology Naranya NASSCOM Nasser, Gamal Abdel National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) National Geographic Channel National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Public Radio national security Native Americans NATO natural selection Nature Navarro, Joe Naylor, Kit NBD Nano Ndiaeye, Mayoro Ndiamaguene, Senegal Ndiaye, Ndiougua Ndiaye, Ousmane neo-Nazis Neota Logic .NET Netflix Netscape networking; fiber optics and; latency in; Moore’s law and; software-enabled; wireless Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice New Deal New Media Inc.

pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock,, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

The Soviets tested a bomb in 1949 and by 1954 both sides had hydrogen bombs a thousand times more violent than the weapon that eviscerated Hiroshima—as far beyond it, Churchill wrote in his diary, as the “atomic bomb itself from the bow and arrow.” A Kremlin report concluded that war might “create on the whole globe conditions impossible for life.” Yet the mushroom cloud had a silver lining: “Strange as it may seem,” Churchill told the British Parliament, “it is to the universality of potential destruction that I think we may look with hope and even confidence.” The doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction had been born, and although a string of terrifying slip-ups brought the world several times to the brink of Armageddon, in the end the West fought no Third World War. Instead, it fought a war in the Third World over the ruins of the western European and Japanese empires, waged mostly through proxies (normally rural revolutionaries for the Soviets and thuggish dictators for the Americans).

But there would still be one-half left; imperialism would be razed to the ground and the whole world would become socialist. After a number of years, the world’s population would once again reach 2.7 billion and certainly become even bigger. Fortunately for us all, the men who actually made the decisions in the Soviet Union and United States in the 1950s realized that the only way to handle nuclear weapons was through Mutual Assured Destruction, a no-middle-ground doctrine where one false move would mean annihilation all around. The details of how to play this game remained nail-bitingly murky, and there were some close calls, particularly when John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev tried to work out the rules in the autumn of 1962. Khrushchev, alarmed by American saber rattling, had installed Soviet missiles on Cuba, and Kennedy, worried, had blockaded the island.

For thirty years brinksmanship and blunders produced an agonizing sequence of glimpses of the outer darkness, but the worst never came to the worst. Since 1986 the number of warheads in the world has fallen by two-thirds, with further big reductions agreed upon in 2010. The thousands of weapons that the Americans and Russians still have could kill everyone on earth with megatons to spare, but Nightfall now seems far less likely than it did during the forty years of Mutual Assured Destruction. Biology, sociology, and geography continue to weave their webs; history goes on. FOUNDATION Asimov’s story “Nightfall” has not, so far at least, provided a very good model for explaining the onward march of history, but perhaps his Foundation novels can do better. Far, far in the future, says Asimov, a young mathematician named Hari Seldon takes a spaceship to Trantor, the mighty capital of a Galactic Empire that has endured for twelve thousand years.

pages: 250 words: 88,762

The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World by Tim Harford


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser,, endowment effect, European colonialism, experimental economics, experimental subject, George Akerlof, income per capita, invention of the telephone, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, law of one price, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

By the time Theory of Games was published, von Neumann was a leading mathematician on the Manhattan Project, where his proposal for a way to trigger the explosion of the atomic bomb was credited with dramatically accelerating its development. If it had been up to von Neumann’s purely intellectual reasoning alone, many of the bombs he helped to create would have exploded on the Soviet Union. Thankfully, there was another thinker on hand, whose deeper grasp of human foibles added a new dimension to game theory that, among other things, helped save the world from mutually assured destruction. Enter Thomas Schelling. CAMP DAVID, MARYLAND, SEPTEMBER 1961 SOME OF AMERICA’S best foreign policy and military strategists were in the room: a young Henry Kissinger; Colonel DeWitt Armstrong, the Pentagon’s top authority on Berlin; McGeorge Bundy, President Kennedy’s national security adviser; and John McNaughton, the top arms control aide of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

It is also a game with well-defined rules. War is neither well defined nor a zero-sum game. (Nor is life. Von Neumann was too quick to draw the parallel between life and poker.) It is much more desirable to avoid war altogether than to fight a destructive war that does not change the balance of power, so while war is certainly a conflict of interests, there is nothing zero-sum about it. Compared to the likely alternative of mutually assured destruction, the cold war was a win for both sides. Thomas Schelling’s war games were part of his effort to bring that mutual win about. The war games were, in a way, a prelude to John List’s field experiments with Minnie Mouse pins. Schelling realized that however compelling the equations of game theory might be, you could not take the human element out of war. While von Neumann was the consummate mathematician, Schelling, originally a trade negotiator, was more interested in concepts that eluded mathematical formalization—credible threats, deterrence, and taboos—and his ideas pushed the academic discipline of game theory away from the abstract and intellectual pursuits pioneered by von Neumann and further into the mainstream of everyday human experience.

pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff


algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

And so the RAND Corporation was hired to conduct experiments (like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, which we looked at earlier), determine probable outcomes, and then program computers to respond appropriately in any number of individual circumstances. Led by the as yet undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic John Nash (the mathematician portrayed in the movie A Beautiful Mind), they adopted a principle called MAD, or mutually assured destruction, which held that if the use of any nuclear device could effectively guarantee the complete and utter annihilation of both sides in the conflict, then neither side would opt to use them. While this didn’t stop the superpowers from fighting smaller proxy wars around the world, it did serve as a deterrent to direct conflict. Encouraged by this success, Nash applied his game theory to all forms of human interaction.

., 4 LifeWaves, 107 Lilla, Mark, 53 Lincoln, Abraham, 82 Linnaeus, Carolus, 90 Lippman, Walter, 45 local economic transfer systems (LETS), 149 long now, overwinding and, 140–49, 193, 194 Lost (TV show), 32, 34, 39, 199 Luntz, Frank, 47 machines: digiphrenia and, 93, 95, 98–99; event-based, 98–99; fractalnoia and, 224, 225, 230, 231; humans as, 95; needs of, 81; new “now” and, 4–5; off-loading of time intensive tasks to, 93. See also computers MacLeish, Archibald, 223–24 Macy’s, 160 MAD (mutually assured destruction), 221 Mafia Wars (game), 63 Major League Baseball, 41, 89 makeup, overwinding and, 149–59 management: role of, 187; scientific, 81 Mandlebrot, Benoit, 201, 229 manhood, 39 March, James G., 125 marketing/market research, 6, 85, 128, 158, 240 mashup, 149–59 mass production, 161–62, 165 Mayer-Schonberger, Viktor, 157 McCain, John, 41 McDonald, Mark, 86 McKenna, Dennis, 251–52 McKenna, Terence, 251–53 McLuhan, Marshall, 115, 202, 214–15, 219 Mead, Margaret, 225 media: apocalypto and, 248; change and, 265; consumers and, 166, 167; digiphrenia and, 7; fractalnoia and, 202, 203–4, 205, 210–11, 214–15, 223; global, 214–15; overwinding and, 166, 167; zombie movement and, 248.

pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey


3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, V2 rocket, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

After the failure of Kennedy’s covert plan to topple Fidel Castro, the Soviets increased their military support for Cuba. In Europe, American and Soviet tanks were facing off across the newly constructed Berlin Wall. When the Soviets prepared to install nuclear missiles in Cuba in October 1962, it felt as if the world had come to the brink. The United States had more than 30,000 nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union was rapidly catching up. The deterrence logic of “mutually assured destruction” was scant solace. So began the Apollo program, the largest and most complex technical undertaking in human history.5 At its peak, it involved 500,000 people and 20,000 companies. Its cost in present-day dollars was more than $100 billion. To get to the Moon so quickly, NASA needed a huge budget and a tight and single-minded focus on the goal. At the time of Kennedy’s speech, only two humans had ever traveled in space.

., 239 Los Angeles Times, 71 Losing My Virginity (Branson), 86, 87 Louis IX, king of France, 23 Louis XVI, king of France, 68 Lovelock, James, 286 Lowell, Percival, 163–64 Lucian of Samosata, 20 Lucretius, 18–19 Luna program, 50–51 Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, 156 Lunokhod rover, 143 Lynx rocket plane, 101 M5 fiber, 161 McAuliffe, Christa, 55, 74 Mack 3 Blackbird, 69 McKay, Chris, 173 McLellan, William, 283 magnetic implants, 207 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 190 magnetic sails, 186, 223 magnitude of time, 248–50, 249 Manhattan Project, 36, 221 Manifest Destiny, applied to space, 146–47, 199 Manned Habitat Unit, 169 many worlds concept, 17–20, 17, 49, 267 Mao Zedong, 141 Marconi, Guglielmo, 237 Mariner 2, 51 Mariner 4, 164 Marino, Lori, 190 Marriott hotels, 145 Mars, 28, 237, 270 challenges of travel to, 166–70 distance from Earth to, 50, 148, 166 Earth compared to, 171–72, 216 establishing a colony on, 166–71, 169, 192, 195, 200–201, 203, 214, 248 evidence of water on, 124–25, 163–66, 165, 173 fly-bys of, 51, 170 imaginative perceptions of, 163–65 latency on, 178 map of, 163 obstacles to exploration of, 66–67, 148 one-way journey to, 166, 170–71, 200 as potentially habitable, 124–25, 163, 165–66, 171, 172–74, 234, 278 privately funded missions to, 170–71 probes to, 40, 51, 52, 164–65, 176, 246 projected exploration of, 94–98, 101, 104, 115, 119, 157, 161, 163–74, 178, 181, 182 property rights on, 145, 198–99 sex and reproduction on, 200 simulated journey to, 169–70 soil of, 170 staging points for, 161 terraforming of, 172–74, 182, 216, 227 tests for life on, 52 Mars Direct, 169 Mars500 mission, 169 Mars One, 170–71, 198–201 Mars Society, 166 Mars 3 lander, 51 Masai people, 120 Massachusetts General Hospital, 250 Masson-Zwaan, Tanja, 199 mathematics, 19 as universal language, 236–37 Matrix, The, 260 matter, manipulation of, 258 matter-antimatter annihilation, 220, 220, 221–22 Mavroidis, Constantinos, 182 Max-Q (maximum aerodynamic stress), 46 Maxwell, James Clerk, 183 Mayor, Michel, 126–28, 133 medicine: challenges and innovation in, 92–93, 263 cyborgs in, 205 medicine (continued) as lacking in space, 200 in life extension, 259 nanotechnology in, 225, 259 robots in, 180, 181, 182, 205 mediocrity, principle of, 261 Mendez, Abel, 278 mental models, 13–17, 18–19 Mercury: orbit of, 126, 215 property rights on, 145 as uninhabitable, 124 mercury poisoning, 118 Mercury program, 41, 42, 71, 74, 272 meta-intelligence, 94 meteorites, 152, 160, 160, 164, 195 methane, 52–53, 125, 132, 278 as biomarker, 217–18 methanogens, 217 “Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, A” (Goddard), 30, 31 Methuselah, 131 mice, in scientific research, 48–49, 250–51 microbes, microbial life, 97–98, 173, 174, 217, 241, 246, 286 habitable environments for, 122–25, 165–66, 186 microcephaly, 203 microgravity, 115 microsatellites, 90 Microsoft, 84, 188 microwaves: beaming of, 223–24 signals, 187 Microwave Sciences, 223 Middle East, population dispersion into, 8, 118 migration: early human population dispersion through, 5–9, 9, 15, 19 motivation for, 9–12, 11 military: covert projects of, 69–72 Eisenhower’s caveat about, 79 in Internet development, 77, 78–79 nanotechnology in, 180–81, 225 in rocket development, 30, 32–39, 55–56, 71 in space programs, 73, 76, 79, 144, 153 Milky Way galaxy, 227, 240, 253, 263, 270 ancient Greek concept of, 18 Drake equation for detectable life in, 188, 233–35 Earth-like exoplanets in, 129–33, 233, 291 formation and age of, 235 size of, 242 Millis, Marc, 290 mind control, 245 mind uploading, 259 miniaturization, see nanotechnology minimum viable population, 201, 251 mining: of asteroids, 155–56, 182, 214 of Enceladus, 227 on Moon, 214 by robots, 178, 182 Minsky, Marvin, 177, 179 MirCorp, 75 mirrors, 173 Mir Space Station, 75, 115, 167–68 Miss Baker (monkey), 47–48, 48 Mission Control, 43, 100, 158, 269 MIT, 38, 77, 90, 141, 226, 257 mitochondrial DNA, 6, 9 Mittelwerk factory, 33, 35 Mojave Desert, 71, 82, 83 population adaptation to heat in, 118–19 molecules, in nanotechnology, 151 Mongols, 23, 24 monkeys, in space research, 47–48, 48 Montgolfier brothers, 68 Moon: age of, 50 ancient Greek concept of, 18 in asteroid capture, 156 distance from Earth to, 49–50, 150, 166, 267 first animals on, 49 first man on, 71, 158 latency on, 178 lunar base proposed for, 157–63, 158, 160, 195, 214, 248 manned landings on, 44–45, 49–50, 54, 56, 63, 71, 84, 99, 104, 108, 143, 157, 158, 176, 219, 270, 272 obstacles to exploration of, 66 orbit of, 25 probes to, 40, 51, 129, 140, 143 projected missions to, 92, 143, 157–63, 166, 214, 275 property rights on, 145–47, 198–99 proposed commercial flights to, 102 in science fiction, 20, 26 soil of, 159, 160, 162 as staging point for Mars, 161 staging points for, 148 telescopic views of, 31, 49–50 as uninhabitable, 124, 166 US commitment to reach, 41–45 Moon Treaty (1979), 146 Moon Treaty, UN (1984), 279 Moore, John, 203 Moravec, 259–60 Morgan, Barbara, 74 Morrison, Philip, 187, 239 Mosaic web browser, 79 Moses, 148 motion, Newton’s laws of, 25, 67–68 multistage rockets, 29 multiverse, 252–57, 255 Musk, Elon, 94–98, 97, 100–101, 112–13, 148, 205 mutation, 6–7 cosmic rays and, 204 7R, 10–12, 11, 15 mutually assured destruction, 42 Mylar, 184, 225 N1/L3 rocket, 44, 54 nanobots, 179–82, 181, 224–28 NanoSail-D, 184, 185 nanosponges, 180 nanotechnology, 151–52, 179–82, 208, 214, 245, 280, 283 projected future of, 257–59 see also nanobots National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 83, 90, 96, 97–98, 114, 116–17, 128, 144, 153, 156, 176, 178, 182, 184–85, 185, 195, 200, 205, 206, 216, 224, 226, 271, 275, 280, 290 and Air Force, 71 artistic depiction of space colonies by, 196, 196 budget of, 39, 42, 43, 49, 54, 64, 75, 99, 104, 140, 144, 158, 166, 188, 238, 270, 272, 284 cut back of, 45, 49, 54, 188 formation of, 38–39, 145, 269 private and commercial collaboration with, 99–102, 104 revival of, 103–5 space program of, 51, 55–56, 71–76, 92, 157–58, 285–86 stagnation of, 63–67, 141, 147, 166 National Geographic Society, 7, 265 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 187–88 National Science Foundation (NSF), 78–79 Native Americans, 118 naturalness, 256 natural selection, 6, 16, 123, 164, 251, 291 Nature, 187 Naval Research lab, 37 Navy, US: Bureau of Aeronautics, 30 in rocket development, 36–37 Nayr, Ernst, 238 Nazis, 48 Propaganda Ministry of, 32 von Braun and, 32–34, 141, 269 NBC, 75 Nedelin, Mitrofan, 43 “needle in a haystack” problem, 188–89, 242–43 “Nell” (rocket), 29 Neptune, 127, 131, 225 as uninhabitable, 125 Nergal, 163 Netscape, 80 New Mexico, 88, 88, 105 Newton, Isaac, 24–25, 25, 30, 67–68, 110, 262, 267 New York Times, 30, 94 Nicholas, Henry, 214 Niven, Larry, 198, 253 Nixon, Richard, 108, 167 Nobel Prize, 126, 180, 214 nomad planets, 128 Noonan, James, 266 nuclear fission, 220, 220, 221 nuclear fusion, 110, 161–62, 220, 221, 221, 222 nuclear reactors, 224 nuclear weapons, 36, 42, 78, 129, 146, 197–98, 222, 234–35, 244, 245, 246, 286 Nuremberg Chronicles, 17 Nyberg, Karen, 200 Obama, Barack, 104 Oberth, Hermann, 28, 31–32, 36, 268 oceans: acidification of, 195 sealed ecosystem proposed for, 197 Oculus Rift, 176 Ohio, astronauts from, 74 Okuda, Michael, 228 Olsen, Ken, 213 100 Year Starship project, 224 100 Year Starship Symposium, 229 101955 Bennu (asteroid), 156 O’Neill, Gerard, 196, 251–52 Opportunity rover, 165 optical SETI, 190, 243 Orbital Sciences Corporation, 100–101, 275 orbits: concept of, 25 geostationary, 149–50, 150 legislation on, 146 low Earth, 49, 54, 63, 70–71, 70, 74–75, 97, 100, 110, 113–14, 151, 155, 184 manned, 40–41, 141–42 staging points from, 148 orcas, 190 Orion spacecraft, 104 Orteig, Raymond, 90 Orteig Prize, 90–91 Orwell, George, 35 OSIRIS-REx, 156 Outer Space Treaty (1967), 145–47, 198–99 “Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking” (Clarke), 201 oxygen, 156, 159, 161, 170, 172, 173–74, 182, 193–95, 214 Oymyakon, Siberia, population adaptation to cold in, 119–20 ozone, as biomarker, 217 Pacific Ocean, 9, 224 Pac-Man, 175 Page, Larry, 92 Paine, Thomas, 167 Pale Blue Dot (Sagan), 121 “Pale Blue Dot,” Earth as, 53, 118–22, 121, 130 Paperclip, Operation, 141 parabolic flight, 93 paradox, as term, 241 Paratrechina longicornis (crazy ant), 193 Parkinson’s disease, 202–3 particle physics, standard model of, 256 Pascal, Blaise, 120 Pauley, Phil, 196–97 PayPal, 95, 97 Pensées (Pascal), 120 People’s Daily, 162 People’s Liberation Army, 144 Pericles, 18 Pettit, Don, 100, 273 phenotype, 6 philanthropy, 95 PhoneSat, 185 photons, 183, 186 in teleportation, 229, 230, 231 photosynthesis, as biomarker, 217 pigs, 250 Pinker, Steven, 16 Pioneer probes, 50, 51–52 piracy, 24 Pitcairn Island, 202 planetary engineering, 172 Planetary Resources, 156 planetary science, 51–52, 176 Planetary Society, 184 planets: exploration of, 49–53 formation of, 156 plate techtonics, 132, 241 play, imagination in, 10, 14 pluralism, 17–20, 17, 49 plutonium, 66 poetry, space, 272–73 politics, space exploration and, 63–64, 104, 141, 214, 238 Polyakov, Valeri, 115, 167–68 population bottleneck, 201–2, 287 Poynter, Jane, 193 Princess of Mars, A (Burroughs), 164 Principia (Newton), 25 Project Orion, 221, 221 Project Ozma, 187–88, 237, 253 prokaryotes, 172 property rights, in space, 145–47, 198 Proton rockets, 65, 113 proton scoop, 222–23 Proxmire, William, 238 Puerto Rico, 239, 243 pulsar, 131 Pythagorean Theorem, 238 Qian Xuesen, 141 Qi Jiguang, 24 Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, 92 quantum entanglement, 230–32, 230 quantum genesis, 255 quantum mechanics, 258 quantum teleportation, 230–32, 230 quantum theory, 189 qubits, 230 Queloz, Didier, 126–28, 133 R-7 rocket, 37 R-16 rocket, 43 radiation, infrared, 109, 253–54, 254 radioactivity, as energy source, 124, 181 radio waves, 66, 187, 189, 242 ramjets, 222–23 RAND Corporation, 222 Rare Earth hypothesis, 241 RCS Energia, 106 RD-180 engine, 72 Reagan, Ronald, administration of, 167, 271 reality TV, 75, 171, 214, 282 “Realm of Fear,” 229 reasoning, human capacity for, 13–17, 18–19 red dwarfs, 131 Red Mars (Stanley), 174 Red Scare, 141 Redstone rocket, 36–37, 71 reindeer, 119–20 remote sensing, 175–91, 224 RepRap Project, 227 reproduction, sexual, 6, 172 Ride, Sally, 74 “Right Stuff,” as term, 71, 114 Right Stuff, The (Wolfe), 272 Ringworld series (Niven), 253 risk: as basic to human nature, 9, 262 genetic factor in, 10–12 of living on Mars, 167–70 in pushing human limits, 120 of space tourism, 102, 105–9, 155 of space travel, 42–43, 55–56, 56, 106–9, 152–53 Robinson, Kim Stanley, 174 robonaut project, 179 robots, robotics: as aids to humans, 249, 250 in asteroid redirection, 104 commercial, 178 ethical issues of, 179 nanotechnology in, 179–82, 181 remote control of, 177–78 remote sensing through, 176 self-assembly and self-replication by, 226–28, 258, 259 in spacecraft, 50, 100, 100 space exploration by, 53–57, 66, 98, 133, 161, 177–79, 179, 208, 224–28 see also cyborgs; nanobots Rocketdyne, 112 rocket equation, 27, 53, 72–73, 110–11, 111, 148, 220, 268 rocket fuel, 110–13, 148, 156, 159, 161 comparison of efficiency of, 219–24 Rocket Performance Calculator, 222 rockets: alternatives to, 148–53 “bible” of, 267 challenges in launching of, 43–44, 46–49, 106, 107, 111–12, 148 comparison of US and Soviet, 44 cost of, 112–13, 113 developing technology of, 21–39, 43, 101, 103, 112–13, 183, 262 fuel for, 110–13, 148, 156, 159, 161, 220–21 launched from planes, 84 liquid-fueled, 28–29, 29 physics and function of, 110–14 proposed energy technologies for, 220–24 reusable, 101, 103, 111, 112, 113 solar sails compared to, 183 as term, 23 visionaries in development of, 26–30, 94 in warfare, 22–24, 30, 32–34 see also specific rockets “Rockets to the Planets in Space, The” (Oberth), 28 Rogers Commission, 271 Rohrabacher, Dana, 284 Rome, ancient, 18, 67, 163 Rovekamp, Roger, 207 rovers, 66–67, 92, 125, 140, 143, 158, 165, 167 nanotechnology in, 181–82 remote sensing through, 176 Rozier, Jean-François de, 68 RP-1 kerosine, 110 RS-25 rocket, 112 Russia, 23, 26–27, 149, 178 space program of, 37, 65–66, 72, 75, 84, 91, 104, 106, 107–8, 113, 114, 140, 143, 168, 184, 195, 200, 271 space tourism by, 75, 102 tensions between US and, 72 see also Soviet Union Russian Revolution, 27, 47 Russian Space Agency, 102 Rutan, Burt, 72, 82–86, 85, 88, 88, 89, 91, 97–98, 105–6, 214 Rutan, Dick, 83–84 Rutan Aircraft Factory, 83 Saberhagen, Fred, 177, 259 Sagan, Carl, 53, 121–22, 121, 176–77, 184, 198, 234–35, 238, 240 Sahakian, Barbara, 98 Sahara Desert, 238 sails: solar, 183–86, 185 wind-driven, 67–68, 183, 262 Salyut space station, 54, 108 satellites: artificial Earth, 36–39, 37, 40, 65, 71, 106 commercial, 96, 105 communications, 101, 142, 153 in energy capture, 253 geostationary, 149 GPS, 144 launching of, 154, 154 miniature, 90, 184–85 Saturn: moon of, 125, 227 probes to, 52–53 as uninhabitable, 125 Saturn V rocket, 43, 44, 46, 54, 83, 104, 111, 113, 113, 166 Scaled Composites, 83, 89 science fiction, 192, 196, 222, 223, 239, 250, 253 aliens in, 186–87 in film, 28, 204 Mars in, 164, 174 roots of, 20 technologies of, 228–32, 259 see also specific authors and works scientific method, 213 Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), 187–90, 234, 239, 254 evolution and technology of, 237–39, 242–43, 242 lack of signals detected by, 236–37, 240–44 new paradigms for, 258 “Searching for Interstellar Communications” (Cocconi and Morrison), 187 sea travel: early human migration through, 8, 9 exploration by, 109, 262 propulsion in, 67–68 self-replication, 226–28, 258, 259 Senate, US, Armed Services Preparedness Committee of, 39 SETI Institute, 188 78–6 (pig), 250 sex: promiscuous, 12 in reproduction, 6, 172 in space, 200, 214 Shackleton Energy Company, 161 Shane, Scott, 98 Shatner, William, 88–89 Shelley, Mary, 206 Shenlong (“Divine Dragon”), 145 Shenzhou 10, 142–43 Shepard, Alan, 41, 84 Shostak, Seth, 243 Siberia, 65, 119–20, 238 population dispersion into, 8, 118, 218 Sidereal Messenger, The (Galileo), 270 Siemienowicz, Kazimierz, 267 Simonyi, Charles, 75 Sims, 175 simulation: infinite regression in, 261 living in, 257–62 simulation hypothesis, 261 Sinatra, Frank, 45 singularity, 207 in origin of cosmos, 255 and simulation, 257–62 technological, 258–59 Singularity University, 94, 259 Skylab space station, 54, 116 Skype video, 176 smart motes, 181, 225 smartphones, 92, 185 Smithsonian Institution, 30, 81 Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, 85, 91, 271 Snow Crash (Stephenson), 103 Snowden, Edward, 178 social media, 195 Sojourner rover, 165 SolarCity, 96–97 solar flares, 167 solar power, 96, 181, 183–86 solar sails, solar sailing, 183–86, 185, 223, 225, 227 Solar System: discovery of first planet beyond, 126–27 edge of, 50, 53, 121 formation of, 156 habitability potential in, 122, 124–26 latency variations in, 178 probes into, 51–52, 66, 177, 185–86, 208, 270 projected travel within, 248–49, 263 property rights in, 145–47, 198 worlds beyond, 126–29, 156, 208, 215, 250, 263 solar wind, 162, 223 sound barrier, breaking of, 69, 71 South America, 11, 202, 218 Soviet Union, 30, 34, 37, 141 fall of, 47, 65, 75, 197, 271–72 rocket development in, 35–39 space program failures and losses of, 43, 47, 50–51, 54, 269 space program of, 37–39, 40–43, 141, 149, 237, 271 Soyuz spacecraft, 43, 55, 75, 84, 91, 102, 106, 113, 143 crash of, 107–8 space: civilians in, 55, 74 civilian vs. military control of, 37–39, 69–71, 79, 153 commercialization of, 55, 63, 73–76, 79–80, 88–89, 92, 97, 99–109, 100, 110, 147, 153–56, 154, 199, 214, 249, 275 debris in, 144, 152 first American in, 41 first man in, 40–41, 41 first women in, 40, 74 as infinite, 18, 19, 22 as inhospitable to human beings, 53–54, 114–17, 121 legislation on, 39, 78, 90, 144, 145–47, 198–200 living in, 192–208 “living off the land” in, 166, 200 peaceful exploration of, 39 potential for human habitabilty in, 123 prototype for sealed ecosystem in, 192–97 Space Act (1958), 39, 90 Space Adventures, 102, 275 space colonization: challenges of, 197–201 cyborgs in, 204–8 evolutionary diversion in, 201–4 legal issues in, 198–200 of Mars, 166–71, 169, 192, 195, 203 off-Earth human beings in, 215, 250–51 prototype experiments for, 192–97 space elevators, 27, 148–53, 150, 160–61, 185, 280 “Space Exploration via Telepresence,” 178 Spaceflight Society, 28 space hotels, 102–3 Space Launch System (SLS), 104 space mining, 155–56, 161–62 “Space Oddity,” 142 spaceplanes, 71–72, 85, 144 Spaceport America, 1–6, 105 Space Race, 35–39, 37, 40–43, 50, 55, 139 SpaceShipOne, 72, 85, 85, 88–89, 88, 91 SpaceShipTwo, 88, 101, 105 Space Shuttle, 45, 46, 49, 64, 72, 84, 85, 111–13, 112, 159, 167, 194, 219–20, 222, 275 disasters of, 55–56, 56, 74–75, 107, 111–13 final flight of, 271 limitations of, 55–56, 64–65 as reusable vehicle, 54–55 space sickness, 114 spacesuits, 89, 182, 195–96 space-time, 255, 255 manipulation of, 258 space tourism, 63, 73, 75–76, 79–80, 88–89, 91, 101–3, 154, 170, 214 celebrities in, 88, 101–2 revenue from, 154–55, 155 risks of, 102, 105–9, 155 rules for, 105 space travel: beyond Solar System, see interstellar travel bureaucracy of, 105–10, 271 cost of, 39, 42, 45, 49, 54, 55, 66, 75, 81–82, 91, 112–14, 113, 139–49, 153, 155–56, 158–59, 161, 166, 179, 183, 198, 214, 217, 222, 224–26, 252, 270, 275, 284 early attempts at, 21–22, 22 effect of rocket equation in, see rocket equation entrepreneurs of, 81–98 erroneous predictions about, 214 failures and disasters in, 21–22, 22, 38, 43, 47, 50–51, 54–56, 56, 63–64, 68, 72, 74–75, 101, 102, 107, 142, 184, 269, 271, 275 fatality rate of, 107–9 fictional vignettes of, 1–4, 59–62, 135–38, 209–12 Internet compared to, 76–80, 77, 80 life extension for, 250–51 lifetimes lived in, 251 living conditions in, 114–17 new business model for, 99–105 Newton’s theories as basis of, 25 obstacles to, 21, 63, 66–67, 105–109 space travel (continued) as part of simulation, 261–62 public engagement in, 45, 73, 85, 93, 162, 177, 217 remote sensing vs., 175–91 risks of, 43–44, 83, 89, 93, 105–9 speculation on future of, 76–80, 133, 213–32, 248–52 suborbital, 84 telescopic observation vs., 49–50 visionaries of, 26–39, 80, 94, 109 SpaceX, 96, 97, 100–103, 113–14, 275 SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, 96, 100, 100, 102, 170 special theory of relativity, 228, 231 specific impulse, 220 spectroscopy, 127, 165, 176 spectrum analyzer, 237 Speer, Albert, 34 Spielberg, Steven, 238 Spirit of St.

pages: 391 words: 102,301

Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety by Gideon Rachman


Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sinatra Doctrine, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, zero-sum game

Like a stern bank manager with a loose-living creditor, Wen Jiabao urged America to “maintain its credibility, honour its commitments and guarantee the safety of Chinese assets.”9 When in 2009, Tim Geithner, the U.S. Treasury secretary, attempted to reassure an audience of Chinese students that the country’s investments were safe in the United States, he was met with derisive laughter.10 It has become a cliché that the relationship between American debtor and Chinese creditor is now so dependent that it represents a new form of “mutually assured destruction”—a financial version of the nuclear balance of terror between the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war. It is clear that neither country’s situation is entirely comfortable, but it is surely worse to be the debtor nation. Shakespeare warned, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” But in international affairs, if you have to be one or the other, it is probably better to be a lender.

., 122, 182, 265–66 Mao Tse-tung, 22, 23, 26, 237 Marchais, Georges, 46 Marcos, Ferdinand, 18, 43 Marx, Karl, 2 Marxism, 2, 27, 54 Medvedev, Dmitry, 283, 287 Merkel, Angela, 189, 194–95, 269–70 Mexico, 9, 71, 73, 77, 122, 188, 206, 271 as failed state, 210–11, 256–60 NAFTA and, 74, 116, 157, 259 Mexico City, 258 Microsoft, 120, 155, 261 middle class, 6, 140, 141, 205, 238 Middle East, 4, 10, 18, 85, 89, 96, 185, 195, 212, 233, 241, 245, 256, 257, 272, 288 see also Gulf War; specific countries Mihailova, Nadezhda, 148 Miles, James, 169, 284 missile tests, Chinese, 136–37, 187 Mitchell, Andrea, 108 Mitterrand, François, 45–49 Monnet, Jean, 216, 219 Morales, Evo, 78 Morgan Stanley, 110 Moscow, 53, 54, 55, 57, 238, 279 Mubarak, Hosni, 257 Mullen, Michael, 185–86 multinationals, 17, 81, 157, 193 Muslims, 147, 226, 245, 257, 260, 269, 288 see also Islamists mutually assured destruction, 183 Nabokov, Vladimir, 311n Naim, Moises, 77, 229–30, 241 National Intelligence Council (NIC), 180–81, 193, 267 National Interest, 100 nationalism, nationalists, 129, 147, 160, 263, 290 in China, 152, 220, 238, 261, 268–69, 283 U.S., 152, 157–58, 220, 267–68, 269 Nationalists, Chinese, 136 nationalization, 191–92 National Security Strategy, 184 national sovereignty, 203, 213, 216, 220, 222, 223, 230, 240, 246, 248, 275 nation building, 149, 209–10 nation reconstruction, 149 NATO, 96, 132, 133, 230, 234, 235, 236, 240, 253, 312n–13n Nehru, Jawaharlal, 80, 81 neoconservatives (neocons), 96, 103–5, 146, 165–68, 240, 307n Netherlands, 151, 158, 215, 219, 221, 269 New Asian Hemisphere, The (Mahbubani), 139 New Deal, 38, 296n new world order, 4, 8, 90, 93, 95–96, 176, 230 Bush Sr. and, 63, 87, 88, 225 New World Order, The (Robertson), 161 New York, N.Y., 16, 18, 221 9/11 in, 90, 96, 161–62, 164, 199, 280 New York Times, 168, 238, 261 Nicaragua, 43, 73, 242 9/11, 10–11, 90, 96, 103, 104, 134, 164–65, 167, 184, 199, 254, 273 antiglobalization and, 156–57 Europe and, 146–47 NonZero (Wright), 124 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 74, 116, 157, 259 North Korea, 159, 168, 186, 229, 273, 275, 311n nuclear deterrence, 183, 272 nuclear disarmament, 222, 287, 288 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), 212 nuclear proliferation, 3–4, 5, 9, 10, 176, 198, 199, 220, 223, 224, 226, 227, 229, 241, 242, 243, 248, 249, 280, 286, 287, 288, 311n terrorism and, 211–12 zero-sum future and, 262, 272–73, 275 Obama, Barack, 2, 173, 176, 182, 184–87, 196–99, 203, 222, 240, 243, 285, 287 Afghanistan war and, 230, 252–53, 254, 314n in election of 2008, 170, 179, 245, 268 election of 2010 and, 292 global problems and, 9, 197–99, 210, 211, 212, 224–27, 244, 272, 288, 291 Japanese relations and, 190 at UN, 9, 197–99 Of Paradise and Power (Kagan), 152 oil, 9, 48, 81, 89–90, 125, 175, 204–5, 221, 244, 272, 274, 275, 288 financial crisis and, 192–95 price controls removed from, 37, 39 price of, 204, 236, 242, 247, 248 Soviet, 55, 60, 66 Okinawa, 186, 190 Oklahoma City bombing (1994), 161 O’Neill, Jim, 76 Opel, 195 opinion polls, 140, 158, 165, 170, 196, 238, 245, 254–55, 264, 284, 316n Opium Wars, 17, 135–36 Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, 110, 259 O’Rourke, Kevin, 271 outsourcing, 122, 168 Ozawa, Ichiro, 190 Pacific, 185, 186, 187, 190–91, 274, 280 Pakistan, 10, 208, 251–52, 254, 255–56, 258, 273, 274, 311n terrorism in, 211, 212, 251, 252, 256, 313n Pale Fire (Nabokov), 311n Palestine, 207, 241, 272 pandemics, 9, 198, 199, 225 Paris, 46, 152 Parsons, Sir Anthony, 31 Paulson, Hank, 112 peace, 103, 118, 126–34 democratic, theory of, 5–6, 94, 127–31, 134, 140, 174, 283, 304n globalization and, 5–6, 10, 127–28, 140 peace dividend, 103 peacekeeping activities, 131, 199, 223, 225, 230, 255, 288–89, 316n People’s Daily, 22, 239 perestroika, 54–60 Perot, Ross, 157, 158, 267 Persian Gulf, 184, 193, 205, 241, 247, 272 see also Gulf War Peshawar, 251–52, 254, 313n Peskov, Dmitry, 235–36, 237 Peterson Institute for International Economics, 181–82 Pew polls, 158, 196, 254–55, 284 Philippines, 18, 43, 138, 206 Pinochet, Augusto, 36, 71, 75 piracy, Somali, 209, 210, 256 Pittsburgh G20 summit (Sept. 2009), 217, 218–19, 221, 225 Poland, Poles, 64–67, 100, 146, 147, 149, 150, 158, 165, 235, 270, 279, 280 population, 146, 206–9, 240, 257, 263, 269, 285 Portugal, Portuguese, 72, 147, 165, 188, 235 Post-American World, The (Zakaria), 181, 262 poverty, 27, 80, 81, 109, 115, 118, 138, 139, 149, 175, 189, 238, 272, 281 globalization and, 157, 255 global problems and, 198, 199, 202, 206–9, 220, 229 in Obama’s UN speech, 9, 198, 199 power, 118, 126, 162–70, 248 in Asia, 6, 142–43 of European Union, 151, 160 technological, 93, 94, 128 U.S., 10, 93, 96, 162–70, 173, 174, 176, 179, 180–81, 183–88, 213, 246, 249, 253 Prior, Jim, 31 privatization, 24, 57, 94, 191 in France, 47–48 in Great Britain, 17, 32–35 in Latin America, 72, 74, 75 productivity, 119, 122, 151 progress, 118–26 Project for the New American Century (PNAC), 104 prosperity, 10, 107–18, 133, 134, 140, 173, 194, 196, 249 protectionism, 80, 83, 158, 192, 195, 206, 218, 280 in Latin America, 72–75, 77 zero-sum future and, 262–68, 274 Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), 253 Putin, Vladimir, 146, 168, 235–36, 237, 283 Rand, Ayn, 108–9, 110 Rao, Narasimha, 79–83 Reagan, Ronald, 16, 17, 18, 35–45, 64, 74, 87, 114, 118, 119, 191, 213, 225, 296n defense buildup and, 55 Fukuyama and, 99, 104 Greenspan and, 42, 107 Latin America and, 75, 76 Soviet Union vs.

pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters


Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

The 1950s saw a dizzying number of potentially revolutionary technologies become popular—atomic and hydrogen bombs, nuclear power plants, Sputnik, the double helix, passenger jets, dishwashers, polio vaccines, the lobotomy (invented in the 1930s), television, and transistor radios—and other trends, such as rock & roll and suburban housing developments. The disruptive influences of modern science and technology continued to be felt in the 1960s as quarks, lasers, Apollo, nylon, Pampers, the pill, LSD, napalm, DDT, mutually assured destruction, and the ARPANET entered the world stage. The most disruptive and destructive of all was the development of computers around the work of John von Neumann at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton to study and control the effects of nuclear bombs.29 The technocratic promise of the computer seemed to promise both delivery and destruction. If computers could help civilize the terrible and awesome power of the atom bomb, thought the scientists of the day, then perhaps it might help stabilize lesser disruptions of modern science and technology.

Soviet cyberneticists were not alone in employing this strained logic. If Wiener was right in arguing that information arms all its possessors equally, double heaps of suspicion may support an ultrarational strategy that strains toward the irrationality found across cold war discourse. Kolman’s counterdefense of cybernetics against other Soviet critics, for example, resembles a game-theoretic scenario in which (like the policy of mutually assured destruction) both parties seek to settle their disagreements in order to avoid a larger collective loss.100 The basic logic of this cybernetic worldview, asserts historian Peter Galison, is to adopt the logic of the “enemy Other” and to preempt and predict the behavior of the intelligent and rational foe to the point where the positions are reversed and foe and friend become indistinguishable.101 Cybernetics—like its sister disciplines of game theory, information theory, and others—appears as a method for rationalizing the enemy, distributing structural strategy evenly across opponents and flattening the chances that an enemy will have to take strategic or logical advantage over an ally.

pages: 344 words: 93,858

The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria


affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

If it stays together, you can see a path out of the woods. If it splits up, say goodbye to globalization.” For now, the forces of integration have triumphed, in both Beijing and Washington. The Chinese-American economic relationship is one of mutual dependence. China needs the American market to sell its goods; the United States needs China to finance its debt. It’s globalization’s equivalent of the nuclear age’s Mutual Assured Destruction. (And to add to the forces of stability, the Chinese and American nuclear arsenals also act as deterrents.) The best scenario would be for China and the United States to work together to slowly unwind their suicide pact. China would benefit by having more money to reinvest in its domestic economy. The United States would benefit from being forced to make some hard economic decisions that will ultimately make it better off.

Raja, 166 monarchy, 76, 123–24 Mondale, Walter, 251 Monier-Williams, Monier, 170 Montgomery, Bernard Law, 254 Morocco, 17, 209, 239–41, 278 Morocco bombings (2003), 17 Morris, James, 184 mortgages, 42, 46, 85, 152, 217, 222, 225 Mountbatten, Louis, 36, 164 Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, 74 MRI machines, 30 Mugabe, Robert, 109, 131 multiculturalism, 65 multilateralism, 246–55, 267–69 multipolar order, 1–5, 39, 52–53, 233, 241–42, 243–50, 266–69, 274 multi-spindle wheel, 72 Mumbai, 150, 173, 180, 210 Mumtaz Mahal, 70–71 Mussolini, Benito, 195 Mutual Assured Destruction, 140 Naím, Moisés, 130 Nanjing, 63 nanotechnology, 200–202, 215 Napoleon I, Emperor of France, 100 Nasser, Gamal Abdul, 84–85 National Academy of Sciences, 204 national debt, 46–49, 130, 138, 140, 217–19, 241–42 National Debt Clock, 46 nationalism, 34–42, 43, 76, 101, 134–35, 143, 145, 158–59, 180–83, 192, 274 nationalization, 197 national saving, 218 National Science Foundation, 205 nation-states, 34–42, 75 natural gas, 31, 129, 260 natural resources, 6, 30–34, 38, 65, 103–4, 115, 129–32, 232, 260 Nazism, 10, 25, 36–37, 143, 266, 275, 276 Needham, Joseph, 122–23 Nehru, Jawaharlal, 84, 86, 154, 156, 162–65, 169, 173, 177, 181 neoconservatives, 141–42, 247, 253 Netherlands, 67, 72, 79, 80, 188, 209 New Delhi, India, 150 Newsweek, 96, 227 New World, 79, 80, 187 “new world order,” 38 New York, N.Y., 48, 221, 224 New York Times, 163, 188, 203, 258 Nigeria, 60, 86, 98, 130, 149 Nixon, Richard M., 233, 284 Nobel Prize, 139, 210, 215 nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU), 217 nonalignment policy, 163–66, 177 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), 5, 34, 39, 57, 168, 173, 272 North Africa, 12–13, 20, 80 North America, 78–79 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 13, 173, 247, 268 North Korea, 6, 19, 20, 141, 175, 235–36, 246, 259, 264 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (1968), 174–78, 265 nuclear weapons, 6, 17, 29, 34, 96, 140, 142, 167, 174–78, 249, 251, 256, 259–60, 265, 273, 275 Nunn, Sam, 265 Nye, Joseph, 121 Obama, Barack, xii, 139, 178, 251, 256, 259, 266, 279 Odah, Salman al-, 14–15 Oglethorpe University, 276 oil, 6, 30–32, 38, 115, 232–33, 260 Olympic Games, 5, 103, 105, 137, 187 Omdurman, Battle of, 188 one-child policy, 148, 214n O’Neill, Thomas P.

Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, battle of ideas, biofilm, fear of failure, Henri Poincaré, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Mark Zuckerberg, mutually assured destruction, nuclear paranoia, Saturday Night Live, Vernor Vinge

Though the word was never uttered in 1984’s seminal teen-computer-hacker-political-thriller War Games, the idea lies at the heart of the conflict that fuels the movie: a new Pentagon supercomputer that controls the nation’s nuclear launch codes is caught up in a relentless war-game simulation trying to answer the question, “How can the United States win a nuclear war?” We all know it’s a flawed question—the whole point of the Cold War arms-race theory of “mutual assured destruction” was that, in a world of opposing superpowers, the sheer volume of weaponry is meant to deter the use of any nukes at all. But back in 1984, when computer networks were new and exotic, it seemed entirely reasonable to worry that an artificial intelligence might start firing missiles based on the inhuman outcome of an algorithm. Of course, the computer finally found its Zen. What about you—can you tell when it’s time to remove yourself from a defective game board?

Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomksy


American Legislative Exchange Council, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, energy security, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

Abbreviations ACHRE: Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments AEC: Atomic Energy Commission ALEC: American Legislative Exchange Council API: American Petroleum Institute ARPA-E: Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy BIOT: British Indian Ocean Territory BLEEX: Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton BP: British Petroleum CDB: China Development Bank CIA: Central Intelligence Agency CND: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament COP: Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC CTBT: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty CW: chemical weapons DARPA: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DEFCON: defense readiness condition DOD: Department of Defense DOE: Department of Energy DU: depleted uranium EPA: Environmental Protection Agency GE: General Electric HEU: highly enriched uranium IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency IBM: International Business Machines ISN: Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies IT: Information Technology LEU: low-enriched uranium MAD: mutually assured destruction MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology NAM: Non-Aligned Movement NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization NAVSTAR GPS: navigation system for timing and ranging, Global Positioning System NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act NIH: National Institutes of Health NNI: National Nanotechnology Initiative NPT: Non-Proliferation Treaty NSC: National Security Council NSF: National Science Foundation NSG: Nuclear Suppliers Group NWFZ: nuclear-weapon-free zone OPEC: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OSRD: Office of Scientific Research and Development PNE: peaceful nuclear explosion POW: prisoner of war PTBT: Partial Test Ban Treaty R&D: research and development RADAR: radio detection and ranging SDS: Students for a Democratic Society START: Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty TRIPS: Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights UN: United Nations UNFCCC: UN Framework on Convention on Climate Change WgU: weapon-grade uranium WTO: World Trade Organization 1.

pages: 631 words: 171,391

One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs


air freight, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, global village, Google Earth, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, stakhanovite, yellow journalism

Deploying missiles to Cuba strengthened Khrushchev's hand, and compensated for his shortage of intercontinental missiles. On the other hand, Khrushchev could not deliver a knockout blow against the United States under any circumstances. The surviving U.S. nuclear strike force would still be able to wreak much greater damage on the Soviet Union than the Soviets had inflicted on America. The doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction—MAD for short—was alive and well even after the deployment of Soviet missiles to Cuba. An army was on the move. To prepare for a possible invasion of Cuba, the president had ordered the greatest emergency mobilization of U.S. troops since World War II. All of a sudden, everybody in the military seemed to be heading toward Florida, by road, rail, and air, accompanied by huge amounts of equipment.

The president and his aides had explored the pros and cons of a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union, often in the context of a Soviet attack on Berlin. Some military leaders, such as LeMay and Power, were enthusiastic proponents of the first-strike option. The idea repelled and frightened Kennedy—he agreed with McNamara that it was impossible to guarantee the destruction of all Soviet nuclear weapons—but the plans were drawn up anyway. The nuclear debate was shifting from an abstract faith in deterrence through "mutual assured destruction" to practical considerations on how to fight and win a limited nuclear war. The American nuclear war plan was known as the Single Integrated Operational Plan, SIOP for short. Kennedy had been horrified by the first such plan, SIOP-62, which called for the dispatch of 2,258 missiles and bombers carrying 3,423 nuclear weapons against 1,077 "military and urban-industrial targets" scattered throughout the "Sino-Soviet bloc."

., radar in Morse code experts (diddy chasers) Moscow Knox in military parades in Presidium meetings in submarine communications with as target U.S. Embassy in Moscow State University Mount Weather MRBMs (medium-range ballistic missiles) in Cuba Khrushchev's confirmation of low-level photos of as strategic weapons in Turkey see also R-12 missiles Munich, appeasement at Murmansk Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) Naftali, Timothy Nagasaki Napoleon I, Emperor of France Napoleonic wars National Airlines National Archives National Intelligence Estimate National Photographic Interpretation Center National Press Club National Security Agency (NSA) National Security Council, Executive Committee of, see ExComm NATO Cuba-Turkey swap and NATO Council naval blockade (quarantine) Berlin and communications and Coolangatta and effectiveness of ending of Grozny and JFK and, see Kennedy, John F., naval blockade and Khrushchev's denunciation of press and pros and cons of public relations aspect of radiation detection devices and RFK's favoring of Russell's views on Soviet demonstrations against Soviet ships approach to Soviet submarines and NAVFAC Grand Turk Navy, Soviet see also specific ships Navy, U.S.

pages: 620 words: 214,639

House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street by William D. Cohan

asset-backed security, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, Hyman Minsky, Irwin Jacobs, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, merger arbitrage, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, Northern Rock, Renaissance Technologies, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, traveling salesman, Y2K, yield curve

He opened that the move was “absolutely necessary because Bear Stearns has a balance sheet that is about $400 billion in size and it has about $176 billion worth of securities plus it has $42 billion in loans outstanding to others who own securities. If Bear Stearns had gone under, virtually all of these securities would become available for sale and be pushed into the market”—at prices that would have forced all securities firms to mark their own assets down in what surely might have led to the financial equivalent of mutually assured destruction—“and the result would have been a fairly significant financial collapse. So the Fed had no choice but to bail out Bear Stearns. This is a too-big-to-fail situation.” Inside Bear, the news about the Fed facility was announced around the firm. “We went out and we announced it to the trading floor,” Friedman said. “I got high-fives. Oh, man, we were doing a victory lap. One of the salespeople made the comment, ‘We're now a sovereign credit.

There was, however, brewing inside the boardroom a slight variant to the liquidation option, which became known as the “nuclear card.” The idea was to reject the lowball offers to buy the company and threaten to blow the company up by filing for bankruptcy. With the company would go the global financial system, to which Bear Stearns was so deeply connected. The thinking was that nobody—not the federal government, not JPMorgan, not other banks and investment banks—would want to experience the consequences of such mutually assured destruction and that, accordingly, the threat of such an option would be sufficient to award Bear more time—for instance, a real twenty-eight days—to fashion an orderly sale process or to be offered a price for the firm that would allow everyone to save face. It was just a germ of an idea, but one that was largely in keeping with the firm's image of being a bunch of rough-and-tumble iconoclasts.

That would have been the end of it, except that Cayne latched on to a clever idea. He and Flexner somehow figured out that the Saudis had not obtained the air rights over nearby Grand Central Station that would be needed for them to build a skyscraper on the site. So Bear Stearns bought an option on the air rights from billionaire Carl Lindner for around $10 million contingent on Bear Stearns getting control of the site. “This was the true mutual assured destruction kind of deal because if you buy the air rights and you can never cut a deal with the owner of the building, then you've just lost 100 percent of whatever you paid for the air rights because they're only good for that building,” Flexner explained. “But they weren't that expensive and we could get an option on them for a few weeks or months or something. We could use that as leverage.” The Saudis' lawyers went ballistic.

pages: 488 words: 144,145

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen


Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, debt deflation, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global reserve currency, housing crisis, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, non-tariff barriers, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

The Cold War colored the thinking of generations of Americans and especially in Washington. The domestic political contest between the Democrats and Republicans turned on how the Cold War was or was not being won. JFK gained the upper hand in his campaign against Richard Nixon by alleging that a “missile gap” between the United States and the Soviets had developed under Eisenhower. The widely shared view of the likelihood of global conflict was captured in phases such as “mutually assured destruction” and influenced many areas of American policy, including the international role of the dollar and the growth of U.S. trade with nations outside the Soviet bloc. American leaders in politics, business, and the defense community believed that increasing the flow of goods between the United States and the other nations of the free world was an effective bulwark against communism. They believed that free trade was more effective than merely lending nations money—but the United States did plenty of lending as well, directly and indirectly through the IMF and the World Bank.

Mills, Ogden Mini-Depression (1937-1938) Mini recession, Greenspan/FOMC response Minneapolis Fed, open presidency Minton, Bruce Fat Years and the Lean Mintz, Steven Missouri Pacific Railroad, purchase Mitchell, Charles Mitchell, John Mondale, Fritz Mondale, Walter Monetary order Monetary policy, unification (implication) Money changes, biblical view functions fungibility hoarding issuance, federal government control one-to-one substitute perspective, change printing, power Roosevelt impact state role, increase turnover/velocity Wilson perspective Money supply adequacy, public concern flexibility change increase gold/silver, role (debate) increase Fed, impact public clamor stability Money Trusts attack breaking, fight Bryan perspective, change challenge panic impact power, increase Pujo Committee investigation Republican viewpoint rise Monopoly NRA protection power, attack profits, enhancement Moral hazard Morgan, Iwan Deficit Government Morgan, J.P. buyout campaign contributions control investments, pooling panic impact power Strong, interaction Morgenthau, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Henry Morrow, Dwight Multilateral trade framework Murphy, Charles Muskie, Edmund Mussolini, Benito rise Mutually assured destruction (MAD) Myers, Margaret National Bank Act (1865) passage National Banking Act, enactment National Bank of Commerce, Houston bank rescue National banks branch establishment, restrictions closure, FDR authority creation number (1935) National Citizens League, Laughlin organization National City Bank campaign contributions National currency adoption creation devaluation Roosevelt impact National Currency Act (1863) National Industrial Recovery Act National Monetary Commission Aldrich group meetings banking reform bill blue-ribbon report establishment National monetary system, infrastructure (establishment) National Recovery Administration centralization FDR attempt Johnson control National Reserve Association banker control proposal Near-banks, status Negative liberty Neo-Keynesian economic policies, comparison Neo-Keynesian socialists, impact New Deal authoritarian nature, displeasure Baruch analysis Boom (1933) criticism FDR statist initiatives, Fed Board (impact) FDR tempering, Hoover deal Federal Reserve System, role laws, Supreme Court void price controls/rationing private investment rate, decline RFC, impact sensitivity New Dealers, The New Deal III New Era Investing New era thinking New York Clearing House bailout, organization clearing claims reduction treatment trust membership, absence New York Reserve Bank actions, Fed control (inability) New York Stock Exchange, decline Nixon, Richard betrayal China trip devaluation dollar/gold link, cessation financial legacy gold convertibility, cessation Keynesian claim NEP resignation unemployment observation wages/prices, 90-day freeze Nixonomics Nominal economic growth, driving Non-military discretionary expenditures, funding Norman, Montagu Norris, George North, Gary North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), formation Northern Pacific Railroad Cooke control insolvency Northern Securities Company, anti-trust action Norton, Charles D.

pages: 637 words: 128,673

Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin


affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mass incarceration, money market fund, mutually assured destruction, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, single-payer health, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen

As then Vice President Nixon explained, “tactical atomic explosives are now conventional.”52 When the Cold War threatened to become too normal and abstract, déjà vu all over again, there would be “war scares,” including air raid drills during which children practiced protecting themselves from nuclear attacks by huddling under their schoolroom desks.53 Perhaps the most unnerving example of the mentality at work constructing a Cold War power imaginary was the doctrine of “Mutual Assured Destruction” formulated in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Instead of targeting an enemy’s military facilities “each side should target the other’s cities” in order to cause the most casualties possible. “The assumption behind it,” according to one historian, “was that if no one could be sure of surviving a nuclear war, there would not be one.”54 If there had been one, incinerated parents could die comforted with the knowledge that, thanks to school desks, their children would have been spared.

Bush’s signing statements, 236 and government, 199 and inequality, 147 and inverted totalitarianism, 45, 47, 61 and Iraq War, 93 and McCarthy, 37 and The National Security Strategy of the United States, 83, 88 privatization of, 213, 284 and Reagan, 272 and religion, 116 and Republican Party, 199, 200 and science, 125 and September 11, 2001, attacks, 5 and Superpower, 60, 62, 132, 147 support for, 112, 198–200 and terrorism, 73 universal training for, 34–35, 39 and World War II, 106 Mill, John Stuart, 219 Miller, Zell, 199 Missouri Compromise of 1820, 208 Mommsen, Hans, 41 monarchy, xxi, 53, 96, 171, 234, 248, 253. See also sovereign Mubarak, Hosni, 47 Musharraf, Pervez, 175 Muslims, 124, 181, 199 Mussolini, Benito, xvii, 21, 22, 44, 51, 53, 84–85, 112, 169 Mutual Assured Destruction, 33 myth: and Cold War, 223 cosmic, 10–11 definition of, 10 democratic, 52 and elections, 148 and George W. Bush, 1–2 and Iraq War, 10 and media, 2, 12–13 and The National Security Strategy of the United States, 83 of new world, 69–71, 72 and NSC-68, 29 and presidency, 102–3 and Reagan, 271 and Riefenstahl, 1 and September 11, 2001, attacks, 9–10, 13–14 and Smith, 123 and Strauss, 169 and technology, 12 Weber on, 12 and World War II, 25 Nader, Ralph, 166, 205–6, 216 Nagasaki, 183 Napoleon I, 95 nationalism, 35, 112, 116, 204 National Security Council, 28, 167 The National Security Strategy of the United States (2002), 70, 71, 72, 82, 83, 84–93 National Union for Social Justice, 23 natural rights, 252 Nazi Germany, 66 comparison with, xvii and Huntington, 181 mobilization in, 106, 107 plebiscites in, 64 and Reichstag fire, 4 social services in, 196 and Strauss, 169 as totalitarian, xxi Zakaria on, 176 Nazis: American understanding of, 25 and business, 63, 112 and capitalism, 47 and constitution, 51 coordination by, 215 and democracy, 52–54 and economy, 55, 67, 108 and elections, 53, 54, 64, 101, 166 and elitism, 162 labor camps of, 57 and Lebensraum, 48, 49 and The National Security Strategy of the United States, 85 and opinion surveys, 59 overreaching by, 49 politicization by, 65–66 and preemptive war, 48 and race, 300n58 and Riefenstahl, 1, 3 social control by, 55–56 and Superpower, 62 and Vichy government, 96 and war, 55, 67 Negroponte, John, 134 neoconservatives, 19, 48, 74, 93, 130, 154, 165, 224, 264, 326n9, 327n10, 333 n13 neoliberalism, 221 neomercantilism, 219–20 New Deal, xxiii, 21, 22–23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 36, 38, 39, 156, 188, 203, 220, 221, 270, 273 New York Times, 8 Nicaraguan contras, 271 Niebuhr, Reinhold, 27, 40, 298n27 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 118, 170, 171, 173 Nixon, Richard, 33, 65, 104, 156, 230, 304n29 North Korea, 124 NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security, 28–31, 301n70 nuclear weapons, 14, 16–17, 30, 33, 39, 50 Nunn, Sam, 103 oil/energy policy, 47, 49, 133, 197, 309n20 Olin Foundation, 171 opinion surveys, 59–60 Oppenheimer, J.

pages: 465 words: 124,074

Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda by John Mueller


airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, energy security, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, side project, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

To achieve this balance each side had to maintain sufficient nuclear capability to retaliate with equal or greater force and to persuade the other side that it was willing to do so if attacked. It sounds simple, but it required careful calculations, convincing communications, and complex negotiations aimed at preventing either side from gaining a destabilizing advantage. Deterrence was maintained by mutual assured destruction (MAD), a tense standoff aimed at preventing nuclear war.23 The simple existence of the nuclear arsenals, therefore, somehow required all sorts of exquisite theorizing about their precise capacities and about how they should be deployed. The theory then ingeniously looped back on itself to further require that the arsenal be big and impressive enough to be persuasive to the presumed perspective of the theorists on the other side.

bin Laden’s interest in, network, 213 intelligence agencies closing operation, 164–165 selling secrets, 169–170, 207 Khattab, Ibn, connection to bin Laden, 202–203 Khrushchev, Nikita Britain and France reversing invasion at Suez, 249n.12 Cuban missile crisis, 39–40 struggle against capitalism, 34–35 supporting Shevchenko, 248n.31 world war, 33 Korean War, 38, 47–48, 50 Kornienko, Georgy, world war and Soviets, 33 Kosko, Bart, government overestimating threat, 220 Kramer, Stanley, On the Beach, 57 Krauthammer, Charles, Arab world, 261n.1, 261n.4 Kremlin, 246n.15, 247n.22 Kristof, Nicholas, Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, 181 Kristol, William, 261n.4 Langewiesche, William Atomic Bazaar, 183, 268n.5 book jacket flap, 268n.5 constructing bomb, 111, 173 obtaining nuclear weapons, 105 odds against terrorists, 184 passed “point of no return,” 93 Lapp, Ralph, A-bombs, 242n.19 Laqueur, Walter, proliferation of WMD, 228 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 266–267n.43 leadership, nuclear weapons programs, 113 Lenin, Vladimir, 34 Levi, Michael, 165, 171, 175, 184, 187, 189, 213, 264n.6 Lewis, Jeffrey, 178, 191 Libya, 124–126, 145, 258n.31 likelihood acceptable risk, 197–198 acquisition scenarios, 190–191 arraying barriers, 184, 186 assessing, 186–191 assigning and calculating probabilities, 187–189 comparisons of improbable events, 191–193 multiple attempts, 189–190 policy for reducing, 193–197 probability of nuclear fission bomb, 267n.48 terrorist bomb, 183, 238 World at Risk, 182 Lockerbie bombing, 125, 258n.32 London, image of destruction, 24 longer-term effects, nuclear attack, 8 The Looming Tower, Wright, 201 “loose nukes,”165–168, 208–210, 238 Los Alamos National Laboratory, 267n.48 Los Alamos scientists bomb design, 173–174 difficulties of making nuclear weapons, 174–175 sensitive detection equipment, 176 Los Angeles, port security, 141 Los Angeles International Airport, 19 lottery tickets, terrorism comparison, 191 Lugar, Senator Richard, 20, 171, 181, 194 McCain, Senator John, 130–131, 230 McCarthyism, Communist menace, 49 McCone, CIA Director John, Chinese threat, 91, 96 McNamara, Robert, 66–67, 68, 248n.33 McNaugher, Thomas, missiles, 116 McPhee, John, sense of urgency, 162 Mahmood, Sultan Bachiruddin, 203–205, 271n.16 Majid, Abdul, Pakistani nuclear scientist, 203–204 marijuana bale, smuggling atomic device, 177 Martin, Susan, 232 measured ambiguity, catchphrase, 86 melancholy thought, Winston Churchill, 35 Middle East, 225, 261n.4 Milhollin, Gary, 174, 175 military, Canada, 106 military attacks, appeal of nuclear weapons, 147 military planning, nuclear weapons, 14–15 military strategy, stabilizing or destabilizing, 66 military value, nuclear weapons, 108–110, 236, 237–238 Mir, Hamid, 164, 210–211, 264n.7 credibility of, 273n.36 missile capacity, 153, 154 missile crisis, Cuba, 40 The Missiles of October, Cuba, 40 Mohammed, Khalid Sheikh, 9/11 attack, 206 morality, Canada without weapons, 112–113 Morison, Samuel Eliot, 269n.23 Morrison, Phillip, chance for working peace, 26 Mowatt–Larssen, Rolf, xi, 20 Mueller, Robert, xi, 228, 274n.16, 276n.37 Mukhatzhanova, Gaukhar, points of no return, 94–95 Muller, Richard, 146, 172, 192 multiple groups, likelihood, 189–190 Musharraf, General Pervez, criticism, 260n.24 Muslim extremists, publications of violence, 223 mustard gas, calculation for causalties, 12 mutual assured destruction (MAD), deterrence, 64 Myers, General Richard, 20, 22 Naftali, Timothy, 76, 249n.12, 263n.29 Nagasaki atomic bomb, 9–10 human costs, 141 military value of atomic bomb, 10 surrender of Japanese, 43 taboo of nuclear weapons, 61–63 napalm, 243n.30 National Intelligence Estimate (1958), 119 National Intelligence Estimate (2007), 274n.16 National Planning Association, diffusion, 104 national security threat, terrorism and U.S., 233 NATO missiles, European demonstrations, 60 “naughty child” effect, Russia, 108 neglect, cold war, 86 Negroponte, John, probability of attack, 181 nerve gas, calculation for causalties, 12 Netanyahu, Benjamin, 264n.33 Neufeld, Michael, missiles, 116 neutron bomb, 4, 14, 81 New Jersey Lottery, 270n.6 Nimitz, Admiral Chester W., 269n.23 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), nuclear, 119–121 North Korea American-led forced invading, 247n.27 attention, 108, 238 axis of evil, 144 calm policy discussion, 151, 152–153 deterrence, 262n.19 “eating problem,” 152 hysteria, 263n.25 invasion of South Korea, 49 nuclear weapon, x proliferation, 93 proliferation fixation, 135–137 sanctions, 136, 145 “supreme priority” of, 149–150 Nth country problem, nuclear weapons, 91 nuclear age, verge of new, x nuclear arsenals, 64–65, 145, 237 nuclear bomb, 17, 269n.16 “The Nuclear Bomb of Islam,” bin Laden, 211–212 nuclear crisis, Cuba, 39 nuclear diffusion, 237 nuclear energy, security, 139–140 “nuclear era,” Hiroshima, ix nuclear explosion, 61–62, 181, 243n.9 nuclear fears classic cold war, 56–57 declining again, 60–61 On the Beach, 57 reviving in early 1980s, 58–60 subsiding in 1960s and 1970s, 57–58 nuclear fission bomb, probability of attack, 267n.48 nuclear forensics, 155, 164, 190, 194, 264n.6 nuclear fuel, cartelization, 260n.28 nuclear metaphysics, deterrence, 63–67 nuclear proliferation, xiii, 89 nuclear radiation, dirty bomb, 18 nuclear reactor meltdown, Chernobyl, 7 Nuclear Regulatory Agency, radiation, 7 The Nuclear Revolution, Mandelbaum, 246n.7 nuclear sting operation, 194 Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, Kristof, 181 nuclear tipping point, Brookings Institution, 93–94 nuclear virginity, Canada, 112 nuclear war, x, 64 nuclear weapons.

pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber


AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman,, experimental economics, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, intangible asset, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra, your tax dollars at work

RAND’s strategic thinking on this subject is the source of its Dr. Strangelovian reputation, and its widely underappreciated solutions are arguably why we are still here. The idea of the strategic triad— nuclear missiles, submarines, and bombers—and the equally important fourth element—space- and ground-based electronic early warning systems—has suffered from the unfortunate moniker of “Mutually Assured Destruction.” What the four were, in concept and in fact, were Mutally Assured Survival. The use of MAD instead of MAS is one of history’s greatest marketing errors. There is a voluminous literature on this.4 For those disinclined to read any of it, the 1983 movie War Games (with uncredited technical advisers from RAND) ended with the WOPR computer explaining the central insight of the Cold War: “What a strange game.

Stupid Engineering Tricks Engineers have had some great ideas. History’s greatest technological advances are often cited as fire, the wheel, and storing instructions as data. The first is arguably a discovery, but the others are inventions. We can add a few more—the time value of money, the automobile, the transistor, and the World Wide Web. In the Introduction, the structure of Mutually Assured Survival (dreadfully mislabeled as Mutually Assured Destruction) was given high marks. Not all military technology ideas had similar merit. In Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld, Defense Technology International editor Sharon Weinberger tells the remarkable story of how tens of millions of dollars were spent on a crackpot idea for what amounted to a nuclear hand grenade, despite the efforts of the most senior Pentagon scientists to scuttle the project, and the dubious utility of such a weapon.

pages: 349 words: 134,041

Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives by Satyajit Das


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, beat the dealer, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, call centre, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, financial innovation, fixed income, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, John Meriwether, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass affluent, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Journalism, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Parkinson's law, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, technology bubble, the medium is the message, the new new thing, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, yield curve, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

It was supposedly secret. Few things remain a secret in trading rooms and financial markets for long. In the end, the bond desk’s attempts to best Meriwether precipitated a scandal. Salomon’s was accused of breakng the rules that governed the US government bond auctions. Both Paul Mozer, who had succeeded Coats as the head of Government bond trading, and Meriwether were forced to leave Salomons. It was MAD (mutually assured destruction).5 Modus operandi After leaving Salomon’s, Meriwether gradually put together LTCM. He assembled his old team; this time they would be in complete control; their profits would not have to subsidize the bloated and unprofitable activities of a full-service investment bank. The presence of Merton, Scholes and Mullins was puzzling. Merton and Scholes were at heart academics engrossed in research; despite consulting gigs, they were unworldly when it came to the trading wars.

We had a few meetings; the dealer was steadfast; we were on the verge of giving up. There was one final meeting; if there was no progress, then we would give it away. The meeting was ugly. Sensing victory, the dealer’s lawyers became aggressive and attacked us personally. Now lawyers and expert advisors have principles; we didn’t like being called ‘scum’. Legally, we were on weak ground – it was time for the MAD (mutually assured destruction) strategy. We set up a last meeting, claiming that we had new evidence. How were they to know that we had nothing of the sort? We were going to use standover tactics; if we were scum then we were going to give them something to support their views. At the meeting, we laid out the position. Our client was prepared to take the matter to court and just to show our intent, we had lodged the appropriate papers with the court that morning.

pages: 542 words: 132,010

The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner


Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Doomsday Clock, feminist movement, haute couture, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mandatory minimum, medical residency, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Y2K, young professional

In November 2007, the esteemed professor of Near Eastern studies Bernard Lewis cast the fight against terrorism as the third great fight against totalitarianism, after the struggles against Naziism and Communism. But there is an important difference, Lewis wrote. The Nazis “had no weapons of mass destruction. The Soviets had them, but were deterred from using them by what came to be known as ‘mutually assured destruction.’ Our present adversaries either have or will soon have weapons of mass destruction, but for them, with their apocalyptic mind-set, mutual assured destruction would not be a deterrent; it would be an inducement. ” Thus, according to Lewis, neither a genocidal maniac who came within a hair of conquering Europe and dominating the planet nor a superpower capable of snuffing out civilization on 15 minutes notice were as dangerous as scattered bands of fanatics who may, someday, get their hands on a WMD or two. 267: “. . . of death or 9/11 increased support for the president.”

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend


1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

At the time, Baran had been tasked with developing a scheme for an indestructible telecommunications network for the US Air Force. Cold War planners feared that the hub-and-spoke structure of the telephone system was vulnerable to a preemptive Soviet first strike. Without a working communications network, the United States would not be able to coordinate a counterattack, and the strategic balance of “mutually assured destruction” between the superpowers would be upset. What Baran proposed, according to Harvard University science historian Peter Galison, “was a plan to remove, completely, critical nodes from the telephone system.”15 In “On Distributed Communications” and a series of pamphlets that followed, he demonstrated mathematically how a less centralized latticework of network hubs, interconnected by redundant links, could sustain heavy damage without becoming split into isolated sections.16 The idea was picked up by the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), a group set up to fast-track R&D after the embarrassment of the Soviet space program’s Sputnik launch in 1957.

In the early 1960s, the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union entered a new and alarming phase. At first, American strategy was based on deterrence. By matching Soviet buildup, the United States could ensure that nuclear war would cause such total annihilation that it would be an unthinkable option for the enemy. But some thinkers, led by Herman Kahn at RAND, didn’t buy the “mutually assured destruction” doctrine. In a controversial 1962 treatise, titled Thinking About the Unthinkable, published after he left RAND to found his own group, the Hudson Institute, Kahn argued that not only was a nuclear war winnable, but “the living would not envy the dead” as conventional thinking held.71 Many, if not most of the population, would survive. Life would continue. Kahn’s simple point—that the overly simplistic assumption of total annihilation prevented the consideration of other possible scenarios—had huge impacts on US strategy.

pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham


1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, creative destruction, deindustrialization, digital map, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, megastructure, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

No matter how powerful the arrays of technological eyes ranged above the ground, the continued physical opacity of the ground to their gaze – what Bishop calls the ‘triumph of the surface’ – remains (for now at least). Such vertical axes of surveillance, targeting and burrowing are far from new, however. Rather, current incarnations echo and intensify centuries of burrowing against attack from above – in medieval siege warfare, in the trenches of World War I, in the vast concrete bunkers of World War II, and in the preparations for ‘mutually assured destruction’ of the Cold War. (American journalist Albert Kahn memorably quoted one child’s fear when researching the psychological effects of the latter. ‘Please mother!’ the child pleaded. ‘Can’t we go some place where there isn’t any sky?’2) All of these outbursts of bunkering have repeatedly reworked prevailing notions of the use of warfare from above to try to destroy defensive and military architectures on or below ground.

Whatever dark tourists’ motivations, Don DeLillo stresses in his novel Underworld (1997) that these days a considerable number of them ‘travel somewhere not for museums and sunsets but for ruins, bombed-out terrain, for the moss-grown memory of torture and war’.45 The end of the Cold War, in particular, has left the subsurface of cities and the interstices between them pitted with a ‘dismantled landscape’ of hugely expensive tunnels and bunkers.46 These spark a particularly deep and troubling fascination – a technological sublime. Their brute, immovable materiality strongly evokes collective and personal memories of what archaeologist Graham Fairclough has called ‘a remembered past’. Here emerges a powerful series of resonances with the way the excavation of bunkers linked seamlessly in the Cold War with constructions of modernist Brutalism above the surface47 within an all-powerful rhetoric of mutually assured destruction or ‘exterminism’.48 Such complexes – ‘ruins of the twentieth century, of ideologies, conflicts, and dreams of mastery through reinforced concrete’49 – lie ready for exploration by a spectrum of groups, from conspiracy theorists, archaeologists, architects, place marketers, to photographers and developers. In parallel, the worlds of professional archaeology are now seriously engaged in researching, preserving and opening up Cold War tunnels and bunkers to public visitation.50 Just as Brutalist architecture, built in Western cities between the 1950s and 1970s to directly imitate the functionalist and aggressive concrete of World War II military bunkers, is blasted away and demolished because of its current unpopularity,51 so some of those military bunkers, woven into the very geology, are being revalorised as tourist sites.

pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari


23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, drone strike, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

Despite the support of all these colonels and generals, militarily the Warsaw Pact had a huge numerical superiority over NATO. In order to reach parity in conventional armament, Western countries would probably have had to scrap liberal democracy and the free market, and become totalitarian states on a permanent war footing. Liberal democracy was saved only by nuclear weapons. NATO adopted the doctrine of MAD (mutual assured destruction), according to which even conventional Soviet attacks would be answered by an all-out nuclear strike. ‘If you attack us,’ threatened the liberals, ‘we will make sure nobody comes out of it alive.’ Behind this monstrous shield, liberal democracy and the free market managed to hold out in their last bastions, and Westerners could enjoy sex, drugs and rock and roll, as well as washing machines, refrigerators and televisions.

(game show) 315–16, 315 Jesus Christ 91, 155, 183, 187, 271, 274, 297 Jews/Judaism: ancient/biblical 60, 90–1, 94, 172–3, 174, 181, 193, 194–5, 268, 390; animal welfare and 94; expulsions from early modern Europe 197, 198; Great Jewish Revolt (AD 70) 194; homosexuality and 225–6; Second World War and 164–5, 165, 182 Jolie, Angelina 332–3, 335, 347 Jones, Lieutenant Henry 254 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 354–5 Joyce, James: Ulysses 240 JSTOR digital library 383 Jung, Carl 223–4 Kahneman, Daniel 294, 295–6, 338–9 Kasparov, Garry 320–1, 320 Khmer Rouge 264 Khrushchev, Nikita 263, 273–4 Kurzweil, Ray 24, 25, 27; The Singularity is Near 381 Kyoto protocol, 1997 215–16 Lake Fayum engineering project, Egypt 161–2, 175, 178 Larson, Professor Steve 324–5 Law of the Jungle 14–21 lawns 58–64, 62, 63 lawyers, replacement by artificial intelligence of 314 Lea, Tom: That 2,000 Yard Stare (1944) 244, 245, 246 Lenin Academy for Agricultural Sciences 371–2 Lenin, Vladimir 181, 207, 251, 271, 272, 273, 375 Levy, Professor Frank 322 liberal humanism/liberalism 98, 181, 247; contemporary alternatives to 267–77; free will and 281–90, 304; humanism and see humanism; humanist wars of religion, 1914– 1991 and 261–7; individualism, belief in 290–304, 305; meaning of life and 304, 305; schism within humanism and 246–57; science undermines foundations of 281–306; technological challenge to 305–6, 307–50; value of experience and 257–9, 260, 387–8; victory of 265–7 life expectancy 5, 25–7, 32–4, 50 ‘logic bombs’ (malicious software codes) 17 Louis XIV, King 4, 64, 227 lucid dreaming 361–2 Luther, Martin 185–7, 275, 276 Luther King, Martin 263–4, 275 Lysenko, Trofim 371–2 MAD (mutual assured destruction) 265 malaria 12, 19, 315 malnutrition 3, 5, 6, 10, 27, 55 Mao Zedong 27, 165, 167, 251, 259, 263, 375 Maris, Bill 24 marriage: artificial intelligence and 337–8, 343; gay 275, 276; humanism and 223–5, 275, 276, 291, 303–4, 338, 364; life expectancy and 26 Marx, Karl/Marxism 56–7, 60, 183, 207, 247–8, 271–4; Communist Manifesto 217; Das Kapital 57, 274 Mattersight Corporation 317–18 Mazzini, Giuseppe 249–50 meaning of life 184, 222, 223, 299–306, 338, 386 Memphis, Egypt 158–9 Mendes, Aristides de Sousa 164–5, 164 Merkel, Angela 248–9 Mesopotamia 93 Mexico 8–9, 11, 263 Michelangelo 27, 253; David 260 Microsoft 15, 157, 330–1; Band 330–1; Cortana 342–3 Mill, John Stuart 35 ‘mind-reading’ helmet 44–5 Mindojo 314 MIT 322, 383 modern covenant 199–219, 220 Modi, Narendra 206, 207 money: credit and 201–5; Dataism and 352, 365, 379; intersubjective nature of 144, 145, 171, 177; invention of 157, 158, 352, 379; investment in growth 209–11 mother–infant bond 88–90 Mubarak, Hosni 137 Muhammad 188, 226, 270, 391 Murnane, Professor Richard 322 Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar 64 Muslims: Charlie Hebdo attack and 226; Crusades and 146, 147, 148, 149; economic growth, belief in 206; evaluating success of 174; evolution and 103; expulsions of from early modern Europe 197, 198; free will and 285; lawns and 64; LGBT community and 225 see also Islam Mussolini, Benito 302 Myanmar 144, 206 Nagel, Thomas 357 nanotechnology 23, 25, 51, 98, 212, 269, 344, 353 National Health Service, UK 334–5 National Salvation Front, Romania 136 NATO 264–5 Naveh, Danny 76, 96 Nayaka people 75–6, 96 Nazism 98, 164–5, 181, 182, 247, 255–7, 262–3, 375, 376, 396 Ne Win, General 144 Neanderthals 49, 156, 261, 273, 356, 378 Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylonia 172–3, 310 Nelson, Shawn 255 New York Times 309, 332–4, 347, 370 New Zealand: Animal Welfare Amendment Act, 2015 122 Newton, Isaac 27, 97–8, 143, 197 Nietzsche, Friedrich 234, 254, 268 non-organic beings 43, 45 Norenzayan, Ara 354–5 Novartis 330 nuclear weapons 15, 16, 17, 17, 131, 149, 163, 216, 265, 372 Nyerere, Julius 166 Oakland Athletics 321 Obama, President Barack 313, 375 obesity 5–6, 18, 54 OncoFinder 323 Ottoman Empire 197, 207 ‘Our Boys Didn’t Die in Vain’ syndrome 300–3, 301 Page, Larry 28 paradox of knowledge 55–8 Paris Agreement, 2015 216 Pathway Pharmaceuticals 323 Petsuchos 161–2 Pfungst, Oskar 129 pharmacists 317 pigs, domesticated 79–83, 82, 87–8, 90, 98, 99, 100, 101, 231 Pinker, Steven 305 Pius IX, Pope 270–1 Pixie Scientific 330 plague/infectious disease 1–2, 6–14 politics: automation of 338–41; biochemical pursuit of happiness and 41; liberalism and 226–7, 229, 232, 232, 234, 247–50, 247n, 252; life expectancy and 26–7, 29; revolution and 132–7; speed of change in 58 pollution 20, 176, 213–14, 215–16, 341–2 poverty 3–6, 19, 33, 55, 205–6, 250, 251, 262, 349 Presley, Elvis 159–60, 159 Problem of Other Minds 119–20, 126–7 Protestant Reformation 185–7, 198, 242–4, 242, 243 psychology: evolutionary 82–3; focus of research 353–6, 360–2; Freudian 117; humanism and 223–4, 251–2; positive 360–2 Putin, Vladimir 26, 375 pygmy chimpanzees (bonobos) 138–9 Quantified Self movement 331 quantum physics 103, 170, 182, 234 Qur’an 170, 174, 269, 270 rats, laboratory 38, 39, 101, 122–4, 123, 127–8, 286–7 Redelmeier, Donald 296 relativity, theory of 102, 103, 170 religion: animals and 75–8, 90–8, 173; animist 75–8, 91, 92, 96–7, 173; challenge to liberalism 268; Dataism 367–97 see also Dataism; defining 180–7; ethical judgments 195–7; evolution and see evolution; formula for knowledge 235–7; God, death of 67, 234, 261, 268; humanist ethic and 234–5; monotheist 101–2, 173; science, relationship with 187–95, 197–8; scriptures, belief in 172–4; spirituality and 184–7; theist religions 90–6, 98, 274 revolutions 57, 60, 132–7, 155, 263–4, 308, 310–11 Ritalin 39, 364 robo-rat 286–7 Roman Empire 98, 191, 192, 194, 240, 373 Romanian Revolution, 1989 133–7, 138 Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) 365–6 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 223, 282, 305 Russian Revolution, 1917 132–3, 136 Rwanda 15 Saarinen, Sharon 53 Saladin 146, 147, 148, 150–1 Santino (chimpanzee) 125–7 Saraswati, Dayananda 270, 271, 273 Scientific Revolution 96–9, 197–8, 212, 236–7, 379 Scotland 4, 303–4, 303 Second World War, 1939–45 21, 34, 55, 115, 164, 253, 262–3, 292 self: animal self-consciousness 124–7; Dataism and 386–7, 392–3; evolutionary theory and 103–4; experiencing and narrating self 294–305, 337, 338–9, 343; free will and 222–3, 230, 247, 281–90, 304, 305, 306, 338; life sciences undermine liberal idea of 281–306, 328–9; monotheism and 173, 174; single authentic self, humanist idea of 226–7, 235–6, 251, 281–306, 328–41, 363–6, 390–1; socialism and self-reflection 251–2; soul and 285; techno-humanism and 363–6; technological challenge to liberal idea of 327–46, 363–6; transcranial stimulator and 289 Seligman, Martin 360 Senusret III 161, 162 September 11 attacks, New York, 2011 18, 374 Shavan, Shlomi 331 Shedet, Egypt 161–2 Silico Medicine 323 Silicon Valley 15, 24, 25, 268, 274, 351, 381 Sima Qian 173, 174 Singapore 32, 207 smallpox 8–9, 10, 11 Snayers, Pieter: Battle of White Mountain 242–4, 243, 246 Sobek 161–2, 163, 171, 178–9 socialist humanism/socialism 247–8, 250–2, 256, 259–60, 261–2, 263, 264, 265, 266–7, 271–4, 325, 351, 376 soul 29, 92, 101–6, 115–16, 128, 130, 132, 138, 146, 147, 148, 150, 160, 184–5, 186, 189, 195, 229, 272, 282, 283, 285, 291, 324, 325, 381 South Korea 33, 151, 264, 266, 294, 349 Soviet Union: communism and 206, 208, 370, 371–2; data processing and 370, 370, 371–2; disappearance/collapse of 132–3, 135, 136, 145, 145, 266; economy and 206, 208, 370, 370, 371–2; Second World War and 263 Spanish Flu 9–10, 11 Sperry, Professor Roger Wolcott 292 St Augustine 275, 276 Stalin, Joseph 26–7, 256, 391 stock exchange 105–10, 203, 210, 294, 313, 369–70, 371 Stone Age 33–4, 60, 74, 80, 131, 155, 156, 157, 163, 176, 261 subjective experience 34, 80, 82–3, 105–17, 143–4, 155, 179, 229, 237, 312, 388, 393 Sudan 270, 271, 273 suicide rates 2, 15, 33 Sumerians 156–8, 159, 162–3, 323 Survivor (TV reality show) 240 Swartz, Aaron 382–3; Guerilla Open Access Manifesto 383 Sylvester I, Pope 190–1 Syria 3, 19, 149, 171, 220, 275, 313 Taiping Rebellion, 1850–64 271 Talwar, Professor Sanjiv 286–7 techno-humanism: definition of 352–3; focus of psychological research and 353–9; human will and 363–6; upgrading of mind 359–66 technology: Dataism and see Dataism; inequality and future 346–50; liberal idea of individual challenged by 327–46; renders humans economically and militarily useless 307–27; techno-humanism and see techno-humanism Tekmira 203 terrorism 14, 18–19, 226, 288, 290, 311 Tesla 114, 322 Thatcher, Margaret 57, 372 Thiel, Peter 24–5 Third Man, The (movie) 253–4 Thirty Years War, 1618–48 242–3 Three Gorges Dam, 163, 188, 196 Thucydides 173, 174 Toyota 230, 294, 323 transcranial stimulators 44–5, 287–90, 362–3, 364 Tree of Knowledge, biblical 76–7, 77, 97, 98 tuberculosis 9, 19, 23, 24 Turing, Alan 120, 367 Turing Machine 367 Turing Test 120 23andMe 336 Twitter 47, 137, 313, 387 US Army 287–90, 362–3, 364 Uganda 192–3, 195 United States: Dataism and 374; energy usage and happiness levels in 34; evolution, suspicion of within 102; Kyoto protocol, 1997 and 215–16; liberalism, view of within 247n; nuclear weapons and 163; pursuit of happiness and 31; value of life in compared to Afghan life 100; Vietnam War and 264, 265; well-being levels 34 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 21, 24, 31 Urban II, Pope 227–8 Uruk 156–7 Valla, Lorenzo 192 Valle Giulia, Battle of, 1968 263 vampire bats 204–5 Vedas 170, 181, 270 Vietnam War, 1954–75 57, 244, 264, 265 virtual-reality worlds 326–7 VITAL 322–3 Voyager golden record 258–9 Waal, Frans de 140–1 Walter, Jean-Jacques: Gustav Adolph of Sweden at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) 242, 243, 244–5 war 1–3, 14–19; humanism and narratives of 241–6, 242, 245, 253–6 Warsaw Pact 264–5 Watson (artificial intelligence system) 315–17, 315, 330 Watson, John 88–9, 90 Waze 341–2 web of meaning 143–9 WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic) countries, psychology research focus on 354–5, 359, 360 West Africa: Ebola and 11, 13, 203 ‘What Is It Like to Be a Bat?’

The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard


affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, colonial rule, Columbine, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Live Aid, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

The idea behind the policy was that present fears were less than horrible imaginings. If the Soviet Union knew a confrontation would end hopelessly with bombs and rockets hitting Moscow, then the chances for peace would be greater, or so the theory went. John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State under Dwight Eisenhower, called the policy ‘‘massive retaliation.’’ Later it would become ‘‘mutually assured destruction,’’ with the more fitting acronym MAD. Ronald Reagan had lived through World War II and the Cold War. He was opposed to this policy, which had been pursued by both Democratic and Republican presidents with the Soviets. American presidents dating back to 1969 were of the belief that if the United States waited and played its cards right, it could have security on the cheap without war or confrontation.

See also Bitburg fiasco Korean Airlines Flight 007, 54 Koresh, David, 154 Kosovo, 189–91 Kuwait, 125–26, 128–29, 131, 134, 137 Lebanon: Iran-Contra scandal, 89–90; 1983 involvement, 59–62; TWA 847 hijacking, 88–89 Lennon, John, 72 leveraged buyout, 67 Lewinsky, Monica, 193–96 Lieberman, Senator Joe, 208–9, 233–34 Live Aid concert, 73 Los Angeles riots, 170–72 Luce, Henry, ‘‘The American Century,’’ Life magazine, 76 280 Index MAD (mutually assured destruction), 52 Madonna, 73 McCain, John, 205–7 McFarlane, Robert ‘‘Bud,’’ National Security Advisor, 88–89 McVeigh, Timothy, 176–78 media, 194; campaigns, 81–82, 146, 149, 188; domestic affairs, 172–74, 177, 203; foreign affairs, 131, 134, 160; politics, 140, 194–96 media markets, 31–32, 86, 113, 150, 188, 196, 207, 209, 237– 40 Medicare, 121, 185, 187 Microsoft, 163–64 Middle East, 14, 129, 141, 175, 224, 237, 243 Middle East Peace Accord, 155–57 midterm elections, 79, 129, 157, 204, 224 Milken, Michael, 67–68 Milosevic, Slobodan, 189–91 misery index, 27 modernism, 71–72 Mogadishu, 156 Mondale, Walter, 80–82 ‘‘Morning in America,’’ 83, 85, 187 MTV, 72 1980s, 25, 31–32, 35–36, 46– 47, 65–66, 69–70, 72, 77 1990s, 32, 131, 141, 152, 163, 165, 169, 176, 180–81, 196, 199–200 Nixon, Richard, 4, 17 ‘‘No Child Left Behind,’’ 213, 237 noblesse oblige, 112 Noriega, Manuel Antonio, 118–19 North, Oliver, 89–92 nuclear: freeze, 55, 56; prospect, 96; war, 55–57 Nader, Ralph, 208 NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), 142, 161 Nagin, Ray, 243– 44 NASA, 93, 95 NASDAQ, 162 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), 189–91 Nelson, Prince Rogers, ‘‘Prince,’’ 72 New Democrat, 145, 157, 184 New Orleans, 243– 45 New Right, 28, 29 New York City, 220.

pages: 428 words: 136,945

The Happiness Effect: How Social Media Is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost by Donna Freitas

4chan, fear of failure, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Skype, Snapchat

4.The Selfie Generation: Why Social Media Is More of a “Girl Thing” 5.Performing for God: Religion On (and Off) Social Media 6.Virtual Playgrounds: The Rise of Yik Yak, the Joys of Snapchat, and Why Anonymity Is Just So Liberating 7.An Acceptable Level of Meanness: The Bullies, the Bullied, and the Problem of Vulnerability 8.So You Wanna Make That Facebook Official? 9.The Ethics of Sexting: Tinder, Dating, and the Promise of Mutually Assured Destruction 10.My Smartphone and Me: A Love-Hate Relationship 11.Taking a Timeout from the Timeline: Students Who Quit Social Media and Why Conclusion: Virtues for a Generation of Social Media Pioneers Taking Control of Our Smartphones: How Student Affairs Professionals, Faculty, and Parents Can Help Young Adults Feel Empowered with Respect to Social Media and Their Devices Acknowledgments Appendix: Methodology Notes Index FOREWORD Margaret has to avoid Facebook because seeing how happy everyone else appears online makes her unhappy by comparison.

Some lament that nobody really talks anymore, and that “friend has changed as a word” because of Facebook. It’s not only friendships, either, that college students still prefer to strike up in person. When it comes to dating, romance, sex, and hooking up, their preference for an in-person, face-to-face spark is undeniable. 9 THE ETHICS OF SEXTING TINDER, DATING, AND THE PROMISE OF MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION Sexting responsibly would mean, if you’re not sending your pictures or, like, sexy text messages to somebody you don’t know. Jeremy, sophomore, Catholic university I do not know of any peers who engage in [sexting] now, as it is widely known to negatively impact your reputation on campus. We are now adults as well, and many more worry about their futures, and whether or not future employers will see these images.

pages: 108 words: 63,808

The State of the Art by Iain M. Banks


Brownian motion, mutually assured destruction, South China Sea

'We're the ones who're different, we're the self-mutilated, the self-mutated. This is the mainstream; we're just like very smart kids; infants with a brilliant construction kit. They're real because they live the way they have to. We aren't because we live the way we want to.' 'Linter,' I said, sitting beside him. 'This is the fucking mental home; the land of the midnight brain. This is the place that gave us Mutual Assured Destruction; they've thrown people into boiling water to cure diseases; they use Electro-Convulsive Therapy; a nation with a law against cruel and unusual punishments electrocutes people to death -' 'Go on; mention the death camps,' Linter said, blinking at the blue distance. 'It was never Eden. It isn't ever going to be, but it might progress. You're turning your back on every advance we've made beyond where they are now, and you're insulting them as well as the Culture.'

pages: 173 words: 14,313

Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-To-Peer Debates by John Logie


1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, peer-to-peer, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, publication bias, Richard Stallman, search inside the book, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog

In a 2005 speech, Litman sharply criticized the combatants: We are not going to be able to rebuild the law that we’re destroying in this war without a great deal of compromise, many concessions, and a large dose of mutual trust, and we’ve just spent the past ten years proving to one another that we can’t be trusted. There’s a great deal of mistrust right now and it certainly looks to me as if most of it is richly deserved. There’s been an inordinate amount of bullying and threats, a fair amount over-zealous advocacy on all sides that has sometimes crossed the line into bad faith litigation or deceptive lobbying. (“War and Peace”) Litman’s language here echoes the Cold War threat of “mutually assured destruction,” and even if the stakes of the copyright cold war are comparatively minor, the time has come for the combatants to stand down. Refusal to engage in the rhetoric of warfare is both a form of conscientious objection and a long overdue step on the path toward copyright policies tailored to the practical realities and the immense potential of digital media. The next step is the articulation of ethical stances that reflect the conscience implicit in the objection.

pages: 217 words: 61,407

Twilight of Abundance: Why the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short by David Archibald


Bakken shale, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), means of production, mutually assured destruction, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, peak oil, price discovery process, rising living standards, sceptred isle, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

It has been estimated that as of November 2012, Iran had 7.6 metric tons of uranium enriched to 3.5 percent U235 and 232 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent U235. Further enriched, the latter quantity is estimated to provide enough uranium for one bomb with a fifty-kilogram core of 90 percent U235. GUARANTEED SECOND STRIKE The U.S.-Russian nuclear standoff gave mankind the most peaceful period in world history. This was the period of mutually assured destruction, or MAD, that made the nuclear powers cautious in their dealings with each other. Each power feared that any use of its own nuclear weapons would trigger massive retaliation ensuring its own complete destruction. We no longer have MAD to keep the peace, and the international fabric is being degraded by questions such as whether Iran will launch an “out of the blue” nuclear strike on Israel as soon as it is capable of doing so.

pages: 159 words: 45,073

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle


Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, double entry bookkeeping,, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial intermediation, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, mutually assured destruction, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, new economy, Occupy movement, purchasing power parity, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, University of East Anglia, working-age population

When the oil-producing countries in OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, dominated by Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries) then dramatically increased the price of oil in 1973 and again in 1975, recession was unavoidable. The second challenge was the intensity of the Cold War. We tend now to think of the 1950s as being its height because of the political conformism of the McCarthy era, the Korean War, and the development of the insane but (as it turned out) correct theory of Mutually Assured Destruction. Yet the fact that it had persisted for twenty more years with no abatement was surprisingly demoralizing. Although it was clear to internal dissidents that the communist economies were failing, the disastrous results of central planning would not be understood in the West for another decade because of the publication of false statistics by the Soviet Union. A third challenge came from the emerging environmental movement.

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz


Doomsday Book, mutually assured destruction

Almost every night you had nightmares that made the ones the president was having in Dreamscape look like pussyplay. In your dreams the bombs were always going off, evaporating you while you walked, while you ate a chicken wing, while you took the bus to school, while you fucked Paloma. You would wake up biting your own tongue in terror, the blood dribbling down your chin. Someone really should have medicated you. Paloma thought you were being ridiculous. She didn’t want to hear about Mutual Assured Destruction, The Late Great Planet Earth, We begin bombing in five minutes, SALT II, The Day After, Threads, Red Dawn, WarGames, Gamma World, any of it. She called you Mr. Depressing. And she didn’t need any more depressing than she had already. She lived in a one-bedroom apartment with four younger siblings and a disabled mom and she was taking care of all of them. That and honors classes. She didn’t have time for anything and mostly stayed with you, you suspected, because she felt bad for what had happened with your brother.

pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Towards a more secure world In the face of these challenges, how do we persuade people to take the security threats from emerging technologies seriously? Even more importantly, can we engender cooperation between the public and private sectors on the global scale to mitigate these threats? Over the second half of the last century, the fear of nuclear warfare gradually gave way to the relative stability of mutually assured destruction (MAD), and a nuclear taboo seems to have emerged. If the logic of MAD has worked so far it is because only a limited number of entities possessed the power to destroy each other completely and they balanced each other out. A proliferation of potentially lethal actors, however, could undermine this equilibrium, which was why nuclear states agreed to cooperate to keep the nuclear club small, negotiating the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in the late 1960s.

pages: 322 words: 77,341

I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester


asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black-Scholes formula, Celtic Tiger, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, George Akerlof, greed is good, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, intangible asset, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Martin Wolf, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, new economy, Nick Leeson, Norman Mailer, Northern Rock, Own Your Own Home, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Great Moderation, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, value at risk

Niall Ferguson has called the resulting economic hybrid “Chimerica.”3 I don’t think there’s any historical parallel for this new transnational economic entity, and the look of it, frankly, gives me the willies: there’s something profoundly unnatural about such a skewed trans-Pacific balance of saving and spending. The Chinese would, I suspect, dearly love to dump a significant proportion of the T-bills and diversify into other areas of savings, but they can’t, because it would be an act of economic mutually assured destruction: the dollar would crash, which would wipe out (a) American consumption and (b) Chinese savings, with consequences roughly equal to a smallish world war. But the European Union had no equivalent phenomenon and therefore no China to blame; and, as Greenspan points out in that piece, it also had historically low interest rates. It had a doozy of a bubble, too, though it was one which was concentrated on specific countries such as Spain and Ireland.

pages: 252 words: 75,349

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs


barriers to entry, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, cashless society, defense in depth, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, John Markoff, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pirate software, placebo effect, ransomware, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, the payments system, transaction costs, web application

“Moscow is a good place to stay when you have money and good friends who can help you with your problems,” Gusev said in a phone interview in November 2010. “I’m trying to ruin his ChronoPay because if he will not have money, he will hopefully stop all these things.” Not long after that interview with Gusev, Vrublevsky finally acknowledged that the Pharma Wars, as many were calling their feud, had progressed beyond the point of return. Rather, Vrublevsky said wryly, neither side appeared to be deterred by “mutual assured destruction.” Here he was referring to a doctrine of military strategy in which both sides in a nuclear arms race are discouraged from launching a first strike based on the certainty that the aggressor’s action will trigger an equivalent response. “The problem is that Gusev is not trying to hit me with his weapons, but he is trying to scare me,” Vrublevsky said in one of his many phone calls to this author.

pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna


Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

The Kurdistan variant of “land for peace” is being called “oil for soil”: Kurdistan could defer its total claim over the oil-rich and Kurdish populated Kirkuk in exchange for security guarantees and the right to substantial profits. Another option is to cede Kirkuk to Kurdistan—but since Kurdistan is landlocked, it would have to share revenues fairly with Baghdad, lest the rump Iraqi government spike taxes on Kurdistan for exporting through its territory (which Kurdistan’s other neighbors, including Syria and Turkey, could do as well). Through such territorial compromises, the Mideast may graduate from mutually assured destruction to mutual assurances—and use its armies to guard pipelines instead of borders. Arabs want to restore the glory they enjoyed during the European Middle Ages, and they actually have the wealth to do so. But even more pointless territorial disputes stand in the way of regional integration. Iran and the United Arab Emirates continue to dispute three tiny Persian Gulf islands, while Saudi Arabia has disputed borders with all its Gulf neighbors.

pages: 230 words: 79,229

Respectable: The Experience of Class by Lynsey Hanley

Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Etonian, full employment, housing crisis, illegal immigration, invisible hand, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent

(The phrase ‘Fact me till I fart’, from the nineties BBC satirical series The Day Today, inevitably comes to mind here.) While growing up I colluded with the papers I relied on to give me a sense of the world outside, knowing they were offering up only one small part of it, but needing those offerings all the same. The idea that we all might die, unfathomably horribly, because of something called MAD – the Cold War nuclear doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction – was so terrifying to me that I needed to know more about it; and yet the more I found out, the more frightened I became. The exposure was too early and – ironically for newspapers which even then I understood to be biased – too raw, too graphic, for me to comprehend without going bananas in the process. The Daily Mirror and the Sun remained classic tabloids, classifiable as such mainly due to their ‘dissident, ironic, mickey-taking quality’, which Richard Hoggart identified as a hallmark of working-class communication.4 The Mirror, however, reserved a stentorian boom for the most serious events of the day.

pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker


1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser,, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Only if you are committed to disprove any suspicion of weakness, to avenge all trespasses and settle all scores, will your policy of deterrence be credible. Thus we have an explanation of the incentive to invade for trifles: a word, a smile, and any other sign of undervalue. Hobbes called it “glory”; more commonly it is called “honor”; the most accurate descriptor is “credibility.” The policy of deterrence is also known as the balance of terror and, during the Cold War, was called mutual assured destruction (MAD). Whatever peace a policy of deterrence may promise is fragile, because deterrence reduces violence only by a threat of violence. Each side must react to any nonviolent sign of disrespect with a violent demonstration of mettle, whereupon one act of violence can lead to another in an endless cycle of retaliation. As we shall see in chapter 8, a major design feature in human nature, self-serving biases, can make each side believe that its own violence was an act of justified retaliation while the other’s was an act of unprovoked aggression.

It’s not just that the great powers avoided the mutual suicide of an all-out nuclear war. They also avoided using the smaller, “tactical” nuclear weapons, many of them comparable to conventional explosives, on the battlefield or in the bombing of enemy facilities. And the United States refrained from using its nuclear arsenal in the late 1940s when it held a nuclear monopoly and did not have to worry about mutually assured destruction. I’ve been quantifying violence throughout this book using proportions. If one were to calculate the amount of destruction that nations have actually perpetrated as a proportion of how much they could perpetrate, given the destructive capacity available to them, the postwar decades would be many orders of magnitudes more peaceable than any time in history. None of this was a foregone conclusion.

death toll in Clark, Gregory clash of civilizations Clauset, Aaron Clausewitz, Karl von Clay, Henry Cleaver, Eldridge Cleveland, Robert Nasruk climate change Clinton, Bill Clockwork Orange, A (film) cluster illusion Cobden, Richard Cochran, Gregory Cockburn, J. S. code of the streets; see also honor cognitive dissonance cognitive illusions, xxiii; see also availability heuristic; cluster illusion; conjunction fallacy; loss aversion; overconfidence; positive illusions; sunk-cost fallacy Cohen, Dov Cohen, Jonathan Cold War end of interstate wars in Europe mutually assured destruction proxy wars superpower confrontations Cole, Michael Collier, Paul Collins, Randall Colombia Columbine High School commerce: Christian ideology vs. cooperation in and genocide growth of international trade and money protectionist tariffs and transportation see also gentle commerce common knowledge communality, see Community, ethic of communal violence, see intercommunal conflict communism collapse of and genocide ideology of Community, ethic of compartmentalization, moral compassion see also empathy; sympathy complex systems, science of Concert of Europe concrete operations, Piagetian stage Conflict Catalog conformity Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC) Congo Free State conjunction fallacy conquest Conquest, Robert Conrad, Joseph conscience; see also moral sense conscientious objection consciousness conscription, see military conscription conservatism and intelligence and morality and treatment of animals see also liberalism, and conservatism Constantine, Emperor Constitution, U.S.: amendments: Second Eighth Thirteenth Nineteenth design of and gentle commerce Cool Hand Luke (film) Cooney, Mark cooperation in commerce evolution of and intelligence norms of in Prisoner’s Dilemma games and Tragedy of the Commons coordination games corporal punishment: of children and torture Correlates of War Project Cosmides, Leda cosmopolitanism and democracy and end of Cold War vs. genocidal ideologies introduction to concept and liberalism vs. macho dominance opposition to and Rights Revolutions costly signaling counter-Enlightenment Country Joe and the Fish Coupland, Reginald coups d’état Courtwright, David Cousins, Norman Cramb, J.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil


additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence,, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter,, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Nuclear proliferation and the widespread availability of nuclear materials and know-how is another grave concern, although not an existential one for our civilization. (That is, only an all-out thermonuclear war involving the ICBM arsenals poses a risk to survival of all humans.) Nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism belong to the "profound-local" category of risk, along with genocide. However, the concern is certainly severe because the logic of mutual assured destruction does not work in the context of suicide terrorists. Debatably we've now added another existential risk, which is the possibility of a bioengineered virus that spreads easily, has a long incubation period, and delivers an ultimately deadly payload. Some viruses are easily communicable, such as the flu and common cold. Others are deadly, such as HIV. It is rare for a virus to combine both attributes.

The nature of terrorist attacks and the philosophies of the organizations behind them highlight how civil liberties can be at odds with legitimate state interests in surveillance and control. Our law-enforcement system—and indeed, much of our thinking about security—is based on the assumption that people are motivated to preserve their own lives and well-being. That logic underlies all our strategies, from protection at the local level to mutual assured destruction on the world stage. But a foe that values the destruction of both its enemy and itself is not amenable to this line of reasoning. The implications of dealing with an enemy that does not value its own survival are deeply troublesome and have led to controversy that will only intensify as the stakes continue to escalate. For example, when the FBI identifies a likely terrorist cell, it will arrest the participants, even though there may be insufficient evidence to convict them of a crime and they may not yet even have committed a crime.

pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson,, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Money Changes Everything The Financial Times advertises the new Zeitgeist: “We live in financial times.” Earlier, Heinrich Heine, the German poet, also identified the change: “Money is the God of our time.”1 In the later half of the twentieth century, individuals became true believers. Human history is a sequence of ‘ations’—civilization, industrialization, urbanization, globalization; interspersed with actual or threatened annihilation (war, genocide, or the mutually assured destruction [MAD] pact of the Cold War). The most recent “ation” is financialization—the conversion of everything into monetary form (known as another “ation”—monetization). Increasing wealth, increasing consumption, increased borrowing, and the need to save for retirement has financialized individual lives. It has provided scope for other “ations”—manipulation and, its sibling, exploitation. Mrs.

., 324 Morning Joe, 93 mortality, Japan, 49 mortgages, 179-182 adjusted rate mortgages (ARMs), 183-184 brokers, 186 decline of housing prices, 337-338 defaults, 171, 179 repackaging of, 271-272 scrutiny of ratings agencies, 283 subprime, 70 Moss, Allan, 159, 314 Mossin, Jab, 117 Motherwell, Robert, 200 Motorola, 60 Movement of the Machines, 275 Mozilo, Angelo R., 183, 328 MSNBC, 93 Mullins, David, 144, 248 multistrategy, 243 Mumbai Stock Exchange, 91 Münchau, Wolfgang, 351 Mundell, Robert, 170 municipal bonds, 211-214 TOBs (tender option bonds), 222 Murakami, Takashi, 324 Murder on the Orient Express, 302 Murdoch, Rupert, 149, 164, 322 Museum of Modern Art, 324 mutually assured destruction (MAD), 38 My Broker: A Monk Tycoon Reveals the 7 Laws of Spiritual Growth, 98 N Nader, Ralph, 326 Narvik, Norway, 221 National Australia Bank (NAB), 228 National City Bank, 342 national debt clock, 34 National Economic Council, 215 National Health Service, 47 National Homeownership Strategy, 181 National Public Radio (NPR), 185 natural gas, 251 negative amortization, 182 Nemesis, 366 nest eggs, 27 net risk, 240 networks, 270 vulnerability of, 272-273 Neues Deutschland, 260 Neutron Jack.

pages: 660 words: 213,945

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson


Colonization of Mars, double helix, gravity well, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then there was a white flash, and when the black sky returned the asteroid was gone; a shimmering of stars to the right of the screen indicated the passage of fragments, then they steadied and it was over. No fiery white cloud, no roar on the soundtrack; just a reporter’s tinny voice, chattering about the end of the Martian rioters’ doomsday threat, and the vindication of the concept of strategic defense. Although apparently the missiles had come from the Amex lunar base, launched by rail gun. “I never did like the idea,” Arkady said. “It was mutual assured destruction all over again.” Roald said, “But if there’s mutual assured destruction, and one side loses the capability . . . “We haven’t lost the capability here, though. And they value what’s here as much as we do. So now we’re back to the Swiss defense.” Destroy what they wanted and take to the hills, for resistance forever. It was more to his liking. “It’s weaker,” Roald said bluntly. He had voted with the majority, in favor of sending Nemesis on its course toward the Earth.

pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson


agricultural Revolution, double helix, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

“I don’t know,” Wahram said uneasily. “There’s been talk about the conflict between Earth and Mars, how it could even lead to war.” “Yes,” she said, “but the talk always goes on to declare this impossible, because everyone is so vulnerable. Mutual assured destruction, as always.” “I’ve always wondered about that,” Wahram admitted. “What if a first strike is made to look like an accident, and is so successful that no one knows who did it, and meanwhile the victim is mostly vaporized? A scenario like that might make one think there is not any certain mutually assured destruction.” “Who would feel that way?” Swan asked. “Almost any power on Earth could make the calculation. They’re safer than any of us. And Mars is notoriously self-absorbed, and also can’t be punctured with a single dart. No, I’m not convinced there can’t be a power out there that harbors a feeling of invulnerability.

pages: 589 words: 197,971

A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon by Neil Sheehan


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, double helix, European colonialism, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, operation paperclip, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, uranium enrichment

The thought was an idea he had absorbed from Gardner and was to reiterate over and over in the years to come. Once the missile existed the Soviets were “unlikely to miscalculate our capability to retaliate” and would be afraid to attack. The ICBM would thus achieve its highest purpose. It would have “deterred Total War.” Schriever was articulating a concept that would subsequently become known as Mutual Assured Destruction. And once they had attained the means to penetrate what he called the “New Environment—outer space,” they could move on to the next contribution to “preserve the peace.” They would power their rockets to even higher speeds than 20,000 feet per second in order to fling into orbit around the earth the spy satellites Arnold and von Kármán had envisioned. The “constant surveillance,” the regular flow of information on “enemy intentions” provided by these spy satellites, would deny the Soviets the possibility of a surprise attack, of a nuclear Pearl Harbor, the dread of which haunted many, including Eisenhower. 43.

The same dilemma applied to the United States once the Soviets reached parity with their own solid-fuel ICBMs and missile-firing submarines around 1970. No American leader could contemplate a first strike, as it was called, against the Soviet Union without knowing that enough of Russia’s nuclear arsenal would survive intact to destroy the United States in turn. A nuclear stalemate was complete. The strategists referred to the condition as Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD. There was nothing mad about the grim equation. It made perfect sense by enforcing a nuclear peace. The arms race should have ended there. It was senseless to go on, but go on it did on both sides at the cost of trillions. Technology was in the saddle of a horse named Fear in a race of human folly. Minuteman went through two transformations into missiles always bigger and better.

pages: 901 words: 234,905

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The policy that you will inflict as much harm on others as they inflicted on you cancels their incentive to raid for gain, and the policy that you will not strike first cancels their incentive to raid for mistrust. This is reinforced by the policy to retaliate with no more harm than they inflicted on you, because it allays the fear that you will use a flimsy pretext to justify a massive opportunistic raid. The nuclear strategy of “Mutual Assured Destruction” is the most obvious contemporary example of the law of retaliation. But it is an explicit version of an ancient impulse, the emotion of vengeance, that may have been installed in our brains by natural selection. Daly and Wilson observe, “In societies from every corner of the world, we can read of vows to avenge a slain father or brother, and of rituals that sanctify those vows—of a mother raising her son to avenge a father who died in the avenger’s infancy, of graveside vows, of drinking the deceased kinsman’s blood as a covenant, or keeping his bloody garment as a relic.”73 Modern states often find themselves at odds with their citizens’ craving for revenge.

mind: as complex system computational theory of concept of dualism and East Pole–West Pole debate over in Judeo-Christian theory of human nature levels of analysis of limits of modules of theory of, see theory of mind universal mechanisms in mind-matter divide behavioral genetics and cognitive science and evolutionary psychology and neuroscience and mind-matter divide (continued) see also dualism; Ghost in the Machine; soul Minogue, Kenneth Minsky, Marvin “Misbehavior of Organisms, The” (Breland and Breland) Mismeasure of Man, The (Gould) M’Naughten rule modernism Money, John Montagu, Ashley Monty Python’s Flying Circus Moore, G. E. moralistic fallacy moralization morality basis of cross-cultural differences in emotions and religion and science and self-deception and universality of Moral Majority moral progress Mount, Ferdinand Muller, Hermann Murdoch Iris Murdock, George Murray, Charles music Mutual Assured Destruction mutualism Myth of the First Three Years, The (Bruer) Napoleon I, emperor of France National Center for Science Education National Endowment for the Arts National Institute of Mental Health National Institutes of Health National Public Radio National Science Foundation Native Americans Natural Classicism natural history, intuitive Natural History of Rape, A (Thornhill and Palmer) naturalistic fallacy natural selection Dawkins on sex ratios and see also evolution Navajo language Nazism Neel, James Neill, A.

pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway


Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

A similar litany from 1996 reads: “netwar is about Hamas more than the PLO, Mexico’s Zapatistas more than Cuba’s Fidelistas, the Christian Identity Movement more than the Ku Klux Klan, the Asian Triads more than the Sicilian Mafia, and Chicago’s Gangsta Disciples more than the Al Capone Gang.” See John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, The Advent of Netwar (Santa Monica: Rand, 1996), p. 5. Chapter 6 196 serving as useful asset managers at one historical moment, then disappearing, or perhaps fading only to reemerge later as useful again. The Cold War was synonymous with a specific military diagram—bilateral symmetry, mutual assured destruction (MAD), massiveness, might, containment, deterrence, negotiation; the war against drugs has a different diagram—multiplicity, specificity, law and criminality, personal fear, public awareness. This book is largely about one specific diagram, or organizational design, called distribution, and its approximate relationship in a larger historical transformation involving digital computers and ultimately the control mechanism called protocol.61 In this diagramatic narrative it is possible to pick sides and describe one diagram as the protagonist and another as the antagonist.

pages: 220 words: 88,994

1989 The Berlin Wall: My Part in Its Downfall by Peter Millar


anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, urban sprawl, working-age population

East versus West, with the old continent of Europe in the middle, the fault line running through the heart of Germany. The nineteenth-century German military philosopher Clausewitz had famously declared politics to be the ‘continuation of war by other means’. By the mid-twentieth century the Cold War had become the new definition of those ‘other means’. Everyone assumed it would last forever. Some – primarily on the Western side – were even thankful for it. Peace was assured by the policy of Mutual Assured Destruction, which had the pleasing acronym MAD: whichever side started a nuclear conflict would assure its own annihilation. Retaliation was inevitable, therefore war was unthinkable. The Cold War was a stalemate that had once been known as the Balance of Power. That balance had not been achieved easily. The Germany of the immediate post-war years was a country in ruins and under occupation. Vast swathes of its territory in the East had been carved off forever, most given to the new communist-dominated Poland which had literally been shifted several hundred miles westward.

pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade


Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, white picket fence, women in the workforce

They also fulfi led Cousins’s personal program of keeping the horrors of atomic war front and center while attempting to provide an alternative perspective on the arms race through his writings and through organizations like the United World Federalists and SANE, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, which chose its nonacronymic name because of its sharp contrast with MAD, mutually assured destruction, the ugly reality underlying the cold war arms race. Less well known than “Modern Man Is Obsolete” is Cousins’s piece concerning the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.59 In 1946, what was then called Operation Crossroads tested two 23-kiloton atmospheric nuclear weapons. Efforts to curtail military spending had begun just hours after the Japanese surrender, with the cancellation of hundreds of millions of dollars in wartime manufacturing contracts.

pages: 292 words: 88,319

The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless by John D. Barrow


Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, cosmological principle, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, George Santayana, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, mutually assured destruction, Olbers’ paradox, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, short selling, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine

If all possible combinations of the constants of Nature are to be found amongst the ensemble of all possible worlds, then is it not inevitable that we find ourselves inhabiting one of that relatively small number in which the constants take on values which permit living complexity to evolve and persist?24 Could such an approach help us out of our ethical problems with an infinite Universe? It would have to be that a host of possible worlds were defunct because they made the existence and persistence of conscious life impossible. While this is believable for the extreme cases in which all possible moral outrages are committed so that mutual assured destruction always occurs, it is not a convincing panacea. After all, many of those other worlds that display an abundance of bad behaviour look embarrassingly like parts of our own history. It is not too hard to imagine the victory of evil over good. It need not lead to extinction, merely tyranny. There is no easy answer to the ethical problems presented by an infinite Universe. Perhaps there is something wrong with our Earth-centred view of ethics.

pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens


4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

Vladimir Putin was in the Russian KGB for 16 years before retiring to move into politics. Though George H. W. Bush was director of the CIA for just over a year, Russ Baker claims in Family of Secrets, with much research, that the Bush family played a central part in US politics and secret services for half a century. These men had made phony war their business for decades, and ran the largest budgets in the world, so when their era of "mutually assured destruction" ended, they were presumably looking for new work. I would, in their place. I think that by the end of the last century, Islam was selected as the best candidate for a Bad Guy to replace the crumbling East-West divide with its slowing profits for the military-industrial complex. We have the mass immigration of North Africans and Turks into Europe as the basis for anti-Islamic public policies in Europe.

pages: 422 words: 104,457

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin


AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

The evidence suggests that human surveillance, or perceived surveillance through pictures of human eyes or cameras actively monitored by humans, can modify behavior to promote positive social habits, such as clearing up dishes in a communal cafeteria, and sometimes can deter property crimes. However, there is some evidence that suggests that street lighting may be just as effective. Mutually assured surveillance also appears to have helped prevent mutually assured destruction during the Cold War. However, surveillance does not appear to be good for predicting terrorism, as many terrorist events have slipped through the dragnets. Even the Stasi failed to predict the collapse of the East German regime in 1989. And the flood of surveillance data can be overwhelming and confounding to those who are charged with sorting through it to find terrorists. But ubiquitous, covert surveillance does appear to be very good at repression.

pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford


Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley,, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize, zero-sum game

’ – Robert Friedel 1 ‘A most interesting experiment’ In 1931, the British Air Ministry sent out a demanding new specification for a fighter aircraft. It was a remarkable document for two reasons. The first was that throughout its existence the Royal Air Force had been dismissive of fighters. The conventional wisdom was that bombers could not be stopped. Instead, foreshadowing the nuclear doctrine of mutually assured destruction, the correct use of air power was widely presumed to be to build the largest possible fleet of bombers and strike any enemy with overwhelming force. The second reason was that the specification’s demands seemed almost impossible to meet. Rather than rely on known technology, the bureaucrats wanted aviation engineers to abandon their orthodoxies and produce something completely new. The immediate response was disappointing: three designs were selected for prototyping, and none of them proved to be much use.

pages: 340 words: 96,149

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex by Shane Harris


Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Brian Krebs, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, computer age, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, failed state, Firefox, John Markoff, Julian Assange, mutually assured destruction, peer-to-peer, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

The Schriever Wargame was designed so that China or North Korea would preemptively launch a cyber attack. Of course, they might not. Maybe in a real standoff they would fear a cyber counterstrike by the United States—or worse, a nuclear one. Arguably, one lesson of the war game was that the military should reexamine its premises and assess how likely another country was to launch a first strike in cyberspace, given the mutually assured destruction that the military believed would follow. Instead, the game reinforced the military’s natural disposition toward war. And it convinced senior military and Pentagon leaders that if a cyber war ever did break out, it would happen “at the speed of light,” with practically no warning. From now on, whenever they testified before Congress or gave public speeches and press interviews, they warned about the instantly devastating nature of cyber warfare.

pages: 323 words: 95,188

The Year That Changed the World: The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Michael Meyer


Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, call centre, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, haute couture, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, union organizing

Postwar investment in Japan and the network of international trade and security organizations that spanned the globe, from SEATO to NATO to the Warsaw Pact, Cominterm and the Common Market cum European Union. All were creatures of the Cold War. It usurped Western culture, which in turn diffused throughout the world. In American schools of the 1950s and early 1960s, kids “ducked and tucked” under their desks against atomic blasts. When they grew up, they explored the trade-offs between guns and butter in Economics 101. They were fluent in the lexicon of confrontation: containment, mutually assured destruction, the domino theory. Everyone knew about the nuclear button, the “hotline” between Washington and Moscow, the briefcase, aka the football, the satchel of nuclear codes that to this day accompanies the president everywhere. The Cold War was hip: James Bond, The Third Man, Graham Greene, John le Carré, Tom Clancy. It was the stuff of pop-culture thrillers and avant-garde films: Z, State of Siege, Dr.

pages: 312 words: 91,538

The Fear Index by Robert Harris


algorithmic trading, backtesting, banking crisis, dark matter, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, fixed income, Flash crash, God and Mammon, high net worth, implied volatility, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Renaissance Technologies, speech recognition

One thing we’ve been able to do, for instance, is correlate recent market fluctuations with the frequency rate of fear-related words in the media – terror, alarm, panic, horror, dismay, dread, scare, anthrax, nuclear. Our conclusion is that fear is driving the world as never before.’ Elmira Gulzhan said, ‘That is al-Qaeda.’ ‘Partly. But why should al-Qaeda arouse more fear than the threat of mutually assured destruction did during the Cold War in the fifties and sixties – which, incidentally, were times of great market growth and stability? Our conclusion is that digitalisation itself is creating an epidemic of fear, and that Epictetus had it right: we live in a world not of real things but of opinion and fantasy. The rise in market volatility, in our opinion, is a function of digitalisation, which is exaggerating human mood swings by the unprecedented dissemination of information via the internet.’

pages: 313 words: 95,361

The Vast Unknown: America's First Ascent of Everest by Broughton Coburn


Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, medical residency, mutually assured destruction, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile

The eerie beep beep beep that it broadcast from outer space—becoming louder as it passed overhead, then fading as it continued along its orbit—was the sound track to a suspicion that our adversaries might soon control an ominous and strategic high ground. The Soviet Union—and, by association, communism—had pulled off a propaganda coup, fueling visions that outer space might provide the venue for the next act in the Cold War. Space offered a frightening new artery for delivering weapons. It became easy to picture a celestial battle spiraling out of control, ending in the “mutually assured destruction” of the United States, the USSR, and perhaps the rest of the world. Twenty-three months before Gordon Cooper’s flight, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had become the first human launched into space. Then—nine months before Faith 7—the Soviets sent up Vostoks 3 and 4, a day apart. Each Vostok capsule held a single cosmonaut. They circled the earth sixty-four and forty-eight times, respectively, approaching within a few miles of each other while in orbit.

pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson


23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

So, for instance, the US stops buying goods from abroad. Economies dependent on American trade go into a tailspin, igniting a global economic crisis. (2) Nanotechnology arms race. Nations terrified of the threat posed by foreign powers who might possess this technology ahead of them race to produce their own version, driven by the same desires that saw nuclear arms proliferation. Once again, Mutually Assured Destruction via powerful nano-engineered weapons is on the table and the world lives in fear of, or worse, suffers an all-out nano-war. (3) Welcome back Hitler. At the 2008 Global Catastrophic Risks conference, Mike Treder, co-founder of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, said, ‘If you can make any product you want on your desk in your home, what happens to all the people whose jobs rely on finding raw materials, manufacturing those products, delivering them – transportation, storage, wholesale, retail – all of those people might someday be left jobless … Such social disruption can leave a vacuum that allows a powerful charismatic personality to take hold.

pages: 445 words: 105,255

Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization by K. Eric Drexler


3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Bill Joy: nanobots, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crowdsourcing, dark matter, double helix, failed state, global supply chain, industrial robot, iterative process, Mars Rover, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, performance metric, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Thomas Malthus, V2 rocket, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

The remaining external threats to vital national interests have a circular character, in which responses to threats to security give rise to reciprocal threats in a cycle that can become autonomous when past events, not fundamental interests, shape the dynamics. During the United States/Soviet arms race, for example, military threats were disproportionate to conflicts of material interests—the United States and Soviet Union scarcely competed for markets or natural resources, yet wrestled for power while counting warheads and contemplating mutual assured destruction. By contrast, the United States and Europe compete in every dimension of economic affairs, yet they show no perceptible concerns regarding imbalances in military power: the United States, Britain, and France have stockpiles of thermonuclear weapons of greatly different sizes (thousands vs. hundreds), yet without a recent history of reciprocal threats, these disparities are not regarded as important.

pages: 351 words: 93,982

Leading From the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies by Otto Scharmer, Katrin Kaufer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping,, European colonialism, Fractional reserve banking, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, peak oil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Washington Consensus, working poor, Zipcar

[of] the magnitude of the nuclear volcano our countries are sitting on. Not just our two countries, but the entire world!”11 A year and a half after Chernobyl, Gorbachev retired all of the Soviet Union’s nuclear warheads with a range of five hundred to five thousand kilometers. Watching the catastrophic events of Chernobyl unfold, Gorbachev allowed his thoughts to slow down and his mind to become aware, to let go of the old military logic of MAD—mutually assured destruction—and to let the seeds of disarmament germinate and grow. These seeds ended up changing the course of world history for the better.12 This story raises an obvious question: How should the course of disruptive events, those beginning to shake up our planet as we speak, affect our thoughts and awareness as a global community today? What is it that we need to let go of? And what seeds of the future do we need to let germinate and grow?

pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin


affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, information asymmetry, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Mutually Assured Surveillance MOLIÈRE Sometimes the wisdom of a policy can be known only in retrospect. A strategy of reciprocal deterrence seemed extremely dangerous during the Cold War, forcing us all to live in fear of a nuclear apocalypse. But it worked. Although direct warfare between large nations had been routine for many thousands of years, this persistent nasty habit was abruptly broken when two mighty empires faced MAD—or mutually assured destruction—a threat of total annihilation if either of them initiated head-on conflict. Despite a litany of shameful and costly surrogate wars, this fifty-year experiment had one valuable outcome: it proved that people and nations may sometimes behave more soberly when they face inescapable accountability for their actions. This notion of reciprocal accountability as a balance of power can be seen elsewhere in many forms.

pages: 476 words: 118,381

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil Degrasse Tyson, Avis Lang


Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, carbon-based life, centralized clearinghouse, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, Gordon Gekko, informal economy, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Karl Jansky, Kuiper Belt, Louis Blériot, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Pluto: dwarf planet, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, space pen, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, trade route, V2 rocket

Over the area of your hands, it only comes to about a millionth of an ounce. But out in space, even a pressure as small as that can be important—for it’s acting all the time, hour after hour, day after day. Unlike rocket fuel, it’s free and unlimited. If we want to, we can use it; we can build sails to catch the radiation blowing from the sun. In the 1990s, a group of US and Russian rocket scientists who preferred to collaborate rather than contribute to mutual assured destruction (aptly known as MAD) began working on solar sails through a privately funded collaboration led by the Planetary Society. The fruit of their labor, Cosmos 1, was an engineless, 220-pound spacecraft shaped like a supersize daisy. This celestial sailboat folded inside an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile left over from the Soviet Union’s Cold War arsenal and was launched from a Russian submarine.

pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley


23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser,, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Moreover, sparing, targeted use of DDT against malarial mosquitoes can be done without any such threat to wildlife, for example by spraying the inside walls of houses. Nuclear Armageddon There were very good reasons to be a nuclear pessimist in the Cold War: the build-up of weapons, the confrontations over Berlin and Cuba, the gung-ho rhetoric of some military commanders. Given how most arms races end, it seemed only a matter of time before the Cold War turned hot, very hot. If you had said at the time that you believed that mutually assured destruction would prevent large direct wars between the superpowers, that the Cold War would end, the Soviet empire would disintegrate, global arms spending would fall by 30 per cent and three-quarters of all nuclear missiles would be dismantled, you would have been dismissed as a fool. ‘Historians will view nuclear arms reduction as such an incredible accomplishment,’ says Greg Easterbrook, ‘that it will seem bizarre in retrospect that so little attention was paid while it was happening.’

pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith


anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

Men can’t turn their emotions on and off like a tap like some women can.’38 CHAPTER 3 PROTEST AND SURIVIVE Away from the small islands ruled by Margaret Thatcher, the continent of Europe was split between the vast military alliances, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, who eyed each across a physical and ideological border that sliced Germany into two and kept Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania sealed off from their neighbours to the west and south. NATO’s strategists feared that a ‘missile gap’ was developing that might threaten the principle of mutually assured destruction that supposedly deterred the hostile alliances from going to war. The nuclear weapons that NATO held in Europe were carried by ageing British Vulcan bombers and American F1-11s. If these aircraft were scrapped and not replaced, NATO would be unable to launch a nuclear strike against the Warsaw Pact other than with long-range missiles held in silos in the USA. But would the Americans want to fire those missiles and risk retaliatory strikes on their cities, if the Red Army rolled into West Germany?

pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham


airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence

Within a few years … bombing moved from the selective destruction of key sites within cities to extensive attacks on urban areas and, finally, to instantaneous annihilation of entire urban spaces and populations.’48 Sometimes, exact replicas of the vernacular architecture of the cities to be bombed were built to facilitate the honing of the process. In Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, for example, the US Army Air Force built exact replicas of Berlin tenements beside Japanese villages of wood and rice paper, and burned them repeatedly so as to perfect the design of its incendiary bombs.49 THE BOMBARDIER’S EYE With the mutually assured destruction of the Cold War, such subtleties became less necessary. ‘With the inter-continental missile’, writes Martin Shaw, ‘the capacity to simultaneously destroy all major centres of urban life became a symbol of the degeneration of war.’50 Nevertheless, great efforts were made in the US during the Cold War to construct a bastion against both nuclear Armageddon and the Communist menace.51 From these efforts emerged the nuclear family, the suburban house, and the nuclear state, fused into the political-cultural bastion of American life.

pages: 503 words: 131,064

Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier


airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K, zero-sum game

When I hired a contractor to perform renovation work on my home, the contract stipulated several partial payments at different milestones during the project. This step-by-step approach—me paying the contractor partially, him doing some of the work, me paying some more, him doing some more work, etc.—helped both of us trust each other during the entire project because the severity of defection was lessened. This was also the general idea behind the Cold War doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Both the U.S. and the USSR worked to convince the other that they were committed to massive retaliation in the event of a first strike. The result was that neither side was willing to use nuclear weapons; the two countries might not have trusted each other in general, but they both trusted that the other side was crazy enough to follow through on its commitment. A third way to signal commitment is ritual.

pages: 470 words: 144,455

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier


Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, business process, butterfly effect, cashless society, Columbine, defense in depth, double entry bookkeeping, fault tolerance, game design, IFF: identification friend or foe, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, pez dispenser, pirate software, profit motive, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, slashdot, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, the payments system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

One solution is to go on the offensive. We don’t fight crime by making our banks 100 percent immune to attack;we fight crime by catching criminals. Luckily, criminals are pretty stupid. And given the kind of salary a good computer security expert can command, computer crime doesn’t pay nearly as well. If the United States was ever the target of a nuclear attack by the USSR, the planned response was to counterattack. Mutual assured destruction is about as surreal as a security defense gets, but it worked. The Pinkerton Detective Agency was established in 1852. One of their early services was to protect trains from robbers in the American West. Early on, they realized that it was expensive to put a Pinkerton guard on every train. They also realized that robbing a train was a complicated operation—you needed an insider who knew the schedule, a dozen or so people, horses, pack animals, and so forth—and that only a few criminals were capable of pulling it off.

pages: 574 words: 164,509

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom


agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk,, endogenous growth, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Oshima, Hideki, and Katayama, Yoichi. 2010. “Neuroethics of Deep Brain Stimulation for Mental Disorders: Brain Stimulation Reward in Humans.” Neurologia medico-chirurgica 50 (9): 845–52. Parfit, Derek. 1986. Reasons and Persons. New York: Oxford University Press. Parfit, Derek. 2011. On What Matters. 2 vols. The Berkeley Tanner Lectures. New York: Oxford University Press. Parrington, Alan J. 1997. “Mutually Assured Destruction Revisited.” Airpower Journal 11 (4). Pasqualotto, Emanuele, Federici, Stefano, and Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti. 2012. “Toward Functioning and Usable Brain–Computer Interfaces (BCIs): A Literature Review.” Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology 7 (2): 89–103. Pearl, Judea. 2009. Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. Perlmutter, J.

pages: 526 words: 155,174

Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson


dumpster diving, energy security, full employment, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), McMansion, megacity, mutually assured destruction, off grid, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, urban decay, Works Progress Administration

Thus the Chinese bureaucrats wandered the conference halls looking fat and dangerous, as if explosives were strapped to their waists, implying with their looks and their cryptic comments that if their requirements were not met they would explode their carbon and cook the world. The United States meanwhile still had the biggest carbon burn ongoing, and from time to time in the negotiations could threaten to claim that it was proving harder to cut back than they had thought. So all the big players had their cards, and in a way it was a case of mutual assured destruction all over again. Everyone had to agree on the need to act, or it wouldn’t work for any of them. So all the carbon traders and diplomats were in the halls dealing, the Americans as much as anyone. Indeed they, as the newcomers to the table, seemed the ones most desperate for a global deal. It was like a giant game of chicken. And in a game of chicken everyone thought the Chinese would win.

pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen


3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

On the other hand, war by digital proxy could lead to further misdirection and false accusations, with countries exploiting the lack of attribution for their own political or economic gain. As with the Cold War, there will be little civilian involvement, awareness or direct harm, which deleteriously affects how states perceive the risks of such activities. States with ambition but a lack of experience in cyber warfare might go too far and unintentionally start a conflict that actually does harm their populations. Eventually, mutually-assured-destruction doctrines might emerge between states that stabilize these dynamics, but the multipolarity of the landscape promises to keep some measure of volatility in the system. More important, there will be a great deal of room for error in the new Code War. The misperceptions, misdirection and mistakes that characterized the Cold War era will reappear with vigor as all participants go through the process of learning how to use the powerful new tools at their disposal.

pages: 607 words: 133,452

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine


accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, cognitive bias, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping,, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, financial innovation, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jean Tirole, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, peer-to-peer, pirate software, placebo effect, price discrimination, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, the market place, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Y2K

They find that their data is consistent with the hypothesis that preliminary injunctive relief is a predatory weapon in patent cases.10 This situation is akin to that of the cold war, when we used to hold thousands of expensive nuclear weapons for “defensive purposes.” Here, firms are spending vast amounts of money to obtain and hold defensive patents. This leads to an equilibrium that is equally socially bad (because lots of resources are spent to build weapons that should never be used) but desperately more insane than the “threat of mutual assured destruction” was during the cold war. Then, at least, we were trying to protect ourselves from a real and external Communist threat we had not created. In the current defensive patents equilibrium, there is no external threat to our well-being – the threat is entirely one we have created by picking the wrong legislation. In short, a vast expenditure in defensive patents is entirely a product of our “intellectual property” legislation.

pages: 366 words: 123,151

The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today by Ted Conover


airport security, Atahualpa, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Google Earth, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, Ronald Reagan, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, urban renewal

Not everything he said was absurd (“When will we see the house of an Israeli bulldozed for his having killed a Palestinian?”). But as I pressed him on his views we finally arrived at his bottom line: Khalid declared that he was in favor of an Islamic caliphate—strict Muslim rule of the world. Contrary to the beliefs of some in the West, he said, the Middle East would be a lot safer and more stable if many nations had nuclear weapons, instead of just one (Israel). Then, at least, there would be mutually assured destruction. With that he seemed to take a breath. Latifa appeared and poured us all more tea. I was wondering how a person embracing this ideology could possibly function as a journalist. It was difficult at the moment, Khalid replied; his permission to travel had been revoked by Israel after he had filed a story in Egypt for al-Jazeera that evidently provoked someone in Israeli intelligence.

pages: 462 words: 142,240

Iron Sunrise by Stross, Charles


blood diamonds, dumpster diving, gravity well, hiring and firing, industrial robot, life extension, loose coupling, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, phenotype, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, RFID, side project, speech recognition, technological singularity, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

Rachel nodded. It was an old, familiar picture. With nine hundred permanent seats on the UN Security SIG, the only miracle was that anything ever got done at all. Still, if anything could stimulate cooperation, it was the lethal combination of household nanofactories and cheap black-market weapons-grade fissiles. The right to self-defense did not, it was generally held, extend as far as mutually assured destruction — at least, not in built-up areas. Hence the SXB volunteers, and her recurring nightmares and subsequent move to the diplomatic corps’ covert arms control team. Which was basically the same job on an interstellar scale, with the benefit that governments usually tended to be more rational about the disposition of their strategic interstellar deterrents than bampot street performers with a grudge against society and a home brew nuke.

Jennifer Morgue by Stross, Charles


call centre, correlation does not imply causation, disintermediation, dumpster diving, Etonian, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Maui Hawaii, mutually assured destruction, planetary scale, RFID, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, stem cell, telepresence, traveling salesman, Turing machine

It was, to use the appropriate adjective, a truly Lovecraftian age, dominated by the cold reality that our lives could be interrupted by torment and death at virtually any time; normal existence was conducted in a soap-bubble universe sustained only by our determination to shut out awareness of the true horrors lurking in the darkness outside it an abyss presided over by chilly alien warriors devoted to death-cult ideologies and dreams of Mutually Assured Destruction. Decades of distance have bought us some relief, thickening the wall of the bubble — memories misting over with the comforting illusion that the Cold War wasn't really as bad as it seemed at the time — but who do we think we're kidding? The Cold War wasn't about us. It was about the Spies, and the Secret Masters, and the Hidden Knowledge. It's no coincidence that the Cold War was the golden age of spying — the peak of the second-oldest profession, the diggers in the dark, the seekers after unclean knowledge and secret wisdom.

pages: 326 words: 48,727

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard


Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth,, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fixed income, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, peak oil, Port of Oakland, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, the built environment, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, University of East Anglia, urban planning

Mark Lynas, who was in Copenhagen serving as an unpaid science adviser to the government of the Maldives, rejected such rationalizations as a recipe for global catastrophe. "The historical responsibility argument makes sense in one way only: as an argument for adaptation financing," he told me. Historical responsibility "is not an argument for others to pollute just as much.... That is the logic of 'mutually assured destruction'—where human concepts of equity triumph over the necessity for planetary survival." But the historical responsibility argument cannot be so easily dismissed. As Schellnhuber's WBGU study pointed out, humanity has a limited amount of carbon it can emit over the next fifty years if it wishes to stay within the 2°C limit. The main reason the amount is so limited is that rich industrial nations have emitted so much carbon over the last two hundred years.

pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier


3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart,, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Perhaps there would be more of a sense of privacy in big numbers. At some point no one would care anymore if a congressman tweeted a picture of his penis. Yawn. When people don’t care enough to look, then privacy will be restored. This is a common hope in the “transparency” movement. The golden rule might become hard to distinguish from ambient blackmail if blackmail really becomes ambient enough. A society-wide “mutually assured destruction” effect could motivate a mutually respectful social contract, improving security. If everyone were equally vulnerable to creepiness, then there would be less creepiness. If a lulz-seeker were always just as easy to identify and harass as a victim of online humiliation, then there would be a lot less online humiliation. It’s an interesting idea, and yet that’s neither the world we live in, nor the one we are approaching if we keep to the present course.

pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff


affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, peer-to-peer, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional, zero-sum game

And what better model existed for the high-stakes nuclear standoff between the United States and the U.S.S.R.? Offering to give up all of one’s weapons was impossible, because there was no way of knowing whether the enemy had really done the same or merely bluffed about his holdings. Instead, each nation had to maintain a nuclear arsenal in order to deter the other from using its own, and bringing about what was known as mutually assured destruction, or MAD. The fact that a nuclear war did not break out served as the best evidence that Nash’s theoretical framework was sound. Encouraged by this success as well as by the voices in his head, Nash applied his game theory to all forms of human interaction. He won a Nobel Prize for showing that a system driven by suspicion and self-interest could reach a state of equilibrium in which everyone’s needs were met.

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna


1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

-Chinese supply chains. This is why Admiral Samuel Locklear, former chief of U.S. Pacific Command, has said that the United States and China converge on 80 percent of everything. The commonsense truth is that while leaders talk about “red lines” for public consumption, and navies come dangerously close to trading direct fire, the stock markets churn forward, knowing that there are two kinds of mutually assured destruction at play: military and economic. Military maneuvers don’t tell us enough about what drives leverage among great powers nor what they are willing to fight over. The tangled complexities of today’s system force leaders to think beyond borders and make functional calculations about the cost-benefit utility of their strategies—knowing full well that supply chain warfare involves not just an enemy “over there” but also one’s own deep interests “over there.”

pages: 692 words: 127,032

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

Because of this, Wilson’s goal was a hard sell. The nation was already spending unprecedented amounts of money on the risky Apollo program. Science was unpopular with the general public, which saw the spending as wasteful when so many pressing social needs were going unmet. Science was despoiling the environment, and nuclear physics in particular had embroiled us in an arms race that would perhaps end us all in mutually assured destruction. By 1969 the nation had tumbled into yet another recession, the emerging baby boom was loudly questioning America’s priorities, and Congress was looking for ways to cut spending. There was no political capital to be gained by funding a massive new science investment like a particle accelerator unless there was some greater justification. Wilson was called up before the congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and asked to supply just that.

pages: 789 words: 213,716

The uplift war by David Brin


mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, out of africa, trade route

Before their discovery by Galactic culture, their primitive “tribes” often used ritual to hold in check the cycles of ever-increasing violence normally to be expected from such an unguided species. (No doubt these traditions derived from warped memories of their long lost patron race.) Among the simple but effective methods used by pre-Contact humans (see citations) were the method of counting coup for honor among the “american indians,” trial by champion among the “medieval europeans,” and deterrence by mutual assured destruction, among the “continental tribal states.” Of course, these techniques lacked the subtlety, the delicate balance and homeostasis, of the modern rules of behavior laid out by the Institute for Civilized Warfare . . . “That’s it. Break time. I’m puttin’ a T on it. Enough.” Gailet blinked, her eyes unfocusing as the rude voice drew her back out of her reading trance. The library unit sensed this and froze the text in front of her.

pages: 845 words: 197,050

The Gun by C. J. Chivers


air freight, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, South China Sea, trade route, Transnistria

The Times of London had come to the not especially difficult conclusion that with a Gatling gun “a continuous shower of ounce bullets can be poured upon the spot where the enemy is the thickest, swept along the line of troops or scattered over the field like a jet of water from a fire hose.”56 Other newspapers noted similar Gatling gun properties, even if the analysis they derived from what they saw could be a stretch. “So destructive has its efficiency been made that it may almost be termed a peace preserver rather than a demolisher,” the Washington Post declared. The Indianapolis Sentinel went further, invoking deterrence with the certitude of those who would later embrace the security of mutual assured destruction in the nuclear age. “We believe the Gatling gun will change the whole aspect of war in due time,” its editors wrote. “When six guns can pour a steady stream of bullets at the rate of 3,000 a minute into the enemy, it is easy enough to see that 100 guns would make it prudent not to advance an inch; but on the contrary, retire as soon as possible. With a few hundred Gatlings on both sides, armies would melt away like dew before the sun, and men would soon learn to settle their disputes by arbitration, or some other means less destructive of life.”

pages: 546 words: 176,169

The Cold War by Robert Cowley


anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, friendly fire, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, transcontinental railway

As if in recognition of technology's dominance, the Cold War became the era of the acronym: the ICBM; its little sisters, the IRBM (intermedi-ate-range) and the SLBM (submarine-launched); the missile tip with several warheads, MIRV (multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles); ABMs (antiballistic missiles); PALs (permissive action links), the remote-controlled digital codes that could unlock and activate a nuclear weapon; TELs (mobile transporter-erector-launchers); SIOP (single integrated operation plan), which identified all Soviet and Chinese targets to be attacked, enabling the simultaneous use of every available nuclear weapon; SDI (strategic defense initiative), the “star wars” chimera that is still with us; and, of course, that most tellingly sinister acronym of all, MAD (mutual assured destruction). “Like the early fathers of the church” (the writer John Newhouse's phrase), the brethren of the nuclear priesthood squabbled over positions that might have seemed the stuff of theology had not their implications been so real. The disputants did not just conjure hell; they held the keys to it. Should there be more emphasis on first-strike or secondstrike capability? Should the defense of cities be put on a par with the protection of missile sites and airbases?

pages: 650 words: 203,191

After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 by John Darwin


agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, deglobalization, deindustrialization, European colonialism, failed state, Francisco Pizarro, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, price mechanism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade

Indeed, it could have been argued that the collateral damage of late-twentieth-century imperialism – the destabilizing effects of covert intervention, the financial succour lent to authoritarian rulers, and the militarization of politics encouraged by the vast traffic in weapons90 – was at least as great as that of its late-nineteenth-century version. It certainly seemed that the dangerous uncertainty of ‘competitive coexistence’ (with the appalling prospect of ‘mutually assured destruction’ in an atomic exchange) was the inevitable price of a bipolar world. But it did not turn out like that. The reversal was astounding. In the mid-1980s the scope of Soviet ambition seemed greater than ever. From a forward base at Camranh Bay in southern Vietnam, the Soviet navy could make its presence felt across the main sea lanes running through South East Asia and in the Indian Ocean, a ‘British lake’ until the 1950s.91 By laying down huge newaircraft carriers like the Leonid Brezhnev, Moscownowaimed to rival the Americans’ capacity to intervene around the globe.

pages: 728 words: 233,687

My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith by Kevin Smith


back-to-the-land, British Empire, Burning Man, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Wall-E

And you don’t need Nostradamus to figure out the end of the world is gonna have something to do with that region. For years, this country was deeply afraid of the Russians. Now, the Middle East makes Khrushchev beating his shoe on a podium and telling the US “We will bury you!” seem as threatening as Elmer Fudd during wabbit season. I mean, back during the Cold War, the two “Super Powers” held one another in check with the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction; neither side would rush into battle, because neither side saw the benefit in being dead. But with Middle Eastern extremists, you have an adversary who couldn’t give a fuck about M.A.D., so long as the decadence of the west is wiped out (not to mention all western inhabitants). Even in their most cartoonish, Rambo-like villainy, the “Commies” still seemed human; and that, I believe, had a lot to do with their investment in this world.

The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy


active measures, airport security, cuban missile crisis, invisible hand, mutually assured destruction, Stephen Hawking

Secretary, if you think the ability to turn every city, every home in my country into a fire like the one you have right there-" "My country, too, Ryan," Narmonov said. "Yes, sir, your country, too, and a bunch of others. You can kill most every civilian in my country, and we can murder almost every person in your country, in sixty minutes or less from the time you pick up the phone-or my President does. And what do we call that? We call it 'stability.' " "It is stability, Ryan," Narmonov said. "No, sir, the technical name we use is MAD: Mutual Assured Destruction, which isn't even good grammar, but it's accurate enough. The situation we have now is mad, all right, and the fact that supposedly intelligent people have thought it up doesn't make it any more sensible." "It works, doesn't it?" "Sir, why is it stabilizing to have several hundred million people less than an hour away from death? Why do we view weapons that might protect those people to be dangerous?

pages: 726 words: 210,048

Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger, Thomas Petzinger Jr.


airline deregulation, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, index card, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, the medium is the message, The Predators' Ball, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, yield management, zero-sum game

Through it all management was blind to the monster it was creating: an employee group, and a union leader in particular, hailed as exemplars of employee participation when in fact there was really no employee participation at all. All the unions had really received was access to Eastern’s confidential internal documents and three out of sixteen votes on a board of directors, which might as well have been three in a million. Those concessions had established a detente in the cold war at Eastern, but no peace. And both sides remained sufficiently armed to fulfill the Cold War concept of mutually assured destruction. If there was any doubt about the fragility of the peace, it was erased in April of 1985, when the machinists’ contract once again came up for renewal. The Colonel wanted yet another BOHICA deal, preserving some of the concessions already in place. And amazingly Charlie Bryan, now playing the role of union statesman, urged his members to assent. They did not. Over the advice of their beloved leader, the aircraft mechanics and baggage handlers and fuel loaders who made up the IAM voted down the proposed new contract in a ratification vote.

pages: 564 words: 182,946

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989 by Frederick Taylor


anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, German hyperinflation, land reform, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, oil shock, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, the market place, young professional, éminence grise

Khruschev’s remarks, though not so aggresively meant as some thought at the time, did indicate a new sense of self-confidence. A quarter of a century later, Reagan’s words were intended to convey the same. There followed a period of nervous stand-off. The Pershings and ‘cruise’ missiles were introduced into Western Europe, despite protests throughout the continent. Then in 1983 Reagan pulled what many still regard as a stroke of genius. He announced his intention to break the stalemate of ‘mutually assured destruction’ by developing a futuristic anti-missile system capable of preventing Soviet warheads from reaching American soil. This idea seemed to come straight from a Hollywood sci-fi epic (much talk of laser beams) and became known as the ‘Star Wars’ project. In Moscow, Reagan’s announcement caused something approaching panic and, as the conviction strengthened that perhaps the Americans could carry out their threat, a steady sense of demoralisation.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton


anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, centre right, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, cosmic microwave background, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, double helix, East Village, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, horn antenna, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index card, Jacques de Vaucanson, Kowloon Walled City, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Tunguska event, urban sprawl, Vesna Vulović, white picket fence, wikimedia commons, working poor

Hall of Mosses Forks · Hike along a gothic, untamed trail of trees that drip with strands of moss. FOUR CORNERS AND THE SOUTHWEST AND GREAT PLAINS Four Corners and the Southwest ARIZONA Titan Missile Museum GREEN VALLEY When you go underground at the Titan Missile Museum just south of Tucson, you travel back in time to the Soviet-fearing days of “duck and cover,” big red buttons, and mutually assured destruction. The museum, formerly known as Complex 571-7, is one of 54 subterranean missile sites across the country that were active during the Cold War. Decommissioned in 1982, the silo still contains a 108-foot (33 m) missile—with the lethal bits removed. The Titan II missile was capable of rapidly delivering a nine-megaton nuclear warhead to a target 6,300 miles (10,138 km) away. In other words, it could nuke Moscow within 30 minutes.

pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

One answer lies in the second part of our principle: to face down violent intimidation. As with the Salvation and Skeleton Armies, you have to work out where the threat originates. If your counterthreat is genuinely defensive, it can be legitimate. ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’, said the ancient Romans. Nuclear deterrence in the Cold War involved states making threats of violence on such a scale—mutually assured destruction, or MAD for short—that neither side would dare to use its nuclear weapons. President Barack Obama devoted part of his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to explaining why it could be appropriate for the commander in chief of a nation engaged in two wars to accept a prize for services to peace.34 Without going into all the intricacies of ‘just war’ theory, as applied to our time, let us simply agree that a legitimate, UN-sanctioned use or threat of force by states must be distinguished from the generality of ‘threats of violence’ we seek to prevent, prohibit and counter.35 Yet it would be naïve in the extreme to believe that states habitually abide by these fine criteria when they make propaganda for war, in chronic violation of Article 20.1.

pages: 1,117 words: 270,127

On Thermonuclear War by Herman Kahn


British Empire, defense in depth, John von Neumann, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, RAND corporation, zero-sum game

In 1955, fifty-two Nobel laureates signed the Mainu Declaration that any nation unwilling to denounce force as a final resort would “cease to exist.” Many thought that further study into the matter was not only counterproductive, but immoral. And, at that, official public policy regarding the use of nuclear weapons left much to be desired: “Nuclear Tripwire,” “Massive Retaliation,” and what later became known as Mutual Assured Destruction (“MAD”). Kahn, a military analyst at Rand since 1948, understood that a defense based on that sort of inconceivable presumption was morally questionable and not credible. One European critic bitterly observed that in order to defend Europe, America had promised to commit murder-suicide: “We urge you to break this promise.” And, partly as a result of this book (and its “sequels”), official policy came to rely more and more on the doctrine of “flexible response.”

pages: 913 words: 265,787

How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, double helix, experimental subject, feminist movement, four colour theorem, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Henri Poincaré, income per capita, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, John von Neumann, lake wobegon effect, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Necker cube, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sexual politics, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, urban decay, Yogi Berra

He was meant to symbolize a kind of intellectual who until recently was prominent in the public’s imagination: the nuclear strategist, paid to think the unthinkable. These men, who included Henry Kissinger (on whom Sellers based his portrayal), Herman Kahn, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller, were stereotyped as amoral nerds who cheerfully filled blackboards with equations about megadeaths and mutual assured destruction. Perhaps the scariest thing about them was their paradoxical conclusions—for example, that safety in the nuclear age comes from exposing one’s cities and protecting one’s missiles. But the unsettling paradoxes of nuclear strategy apply to any conflict between parties whose interests are partly competing and partly shared. Common sense says that victory goes to the side with the most intelligence, self-interest, coolness, options, power, and clear lines of communication.

pages: 1,261 words: 294,715

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden,, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Strength: it doesn’t bear the cost of making the toxin and is insensitive to it. Weakness: it doesn’t absorb as much nutrients. Thus, destruction of strain 2 by strain 1 causes the demise of strain 1 thanks to strain 3. The study showed that the strains could exist in equilibrium, each limiting its growth. Cool. But it doesn’t quite fit our intuitions about cooperation. Rock/paper/scissors is to cooperation as peace due to nuclear weapons–based mutually assured destruction is to the Garden of Eden. Which raises a third fundamental, alongside individual selection and kin selection: reciprocal altruism. “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. I’d rather not actually scratch yours if I can get away with it. And I’m watching you in case you try the same.” Despite what you might expect from kin selection, unrelated animals frequently cooperate.