mutually assured destruction

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pages: 400 words: 121,708

1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink by Taylor Downing

active measures, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear paranoia, nuclear winter, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Stanislav Petrov, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Yom Kippur War

An attack on the sites would no doubt have provoked a nuclear retaliation against the US mainland, and this would almost certainly have triggered a nuclear Armageddon.11 Robert McNamara, Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense, brought several strategists from the RAND Corporation, a defence think-tank, into the Pentagon. He came up with a new concept called ‘Assured Destruction’. Neither side would attack the other because they knew it was suicidal: if one superpower attacked, the other had enough nuclear capacity to strike back, causing massive destruction. Someone added the word ‘Mutual’ to this new phrase, and ‘Mutual Assured Destruction’, better known by its acronym MAD, became one of the central tenets underpinning the Cold War. McNamara insisted it was far from madness, that it created a form of stability, as long as neither side perceived it had an advantage over the other.12 However, the technology continued to advance at a dizzying pace. In the mid-sixties the Soviets began to develop anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) intended to intercept incoming missiles.

Negotiations between the two continued at a snail’s pace but eventually resulted in the signing of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) by President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev at a summit in Moscow in May 1972. Alongside this came a treaty to prevent the development of ABMs. The treaties effectively froze the nuclear arsenals of both superpowers while ensuring that Mutual Assured Destruction continued to be possible. In other words, each side still had more than enough nuclear weapons to destroy the other. The SALT treaty ushered in a new era of détente between the superpowers that lasted for much of the 1970s. And in Europe, a newly prosperous West Germany recognised the existence of East Germany, ushering in what appeared to be a form of East–West reconciliation. In 1975 the Helsinki Accords were signed.

That is as true today between America, the West and, say, the leaders of North Korea, Iran or Islamic State as it was with the Soviet Union several decades ago. It shows how intelligence can be misused or just misunderstood. And it shows how dangerous the use or even the threat of the use of nuclear weapons can be without proper crisis management systems in place. In our multi-polar world of the twenty-first century, some people feel nostalgic about the era of Mutual Assured Destruction in the bi-polar world of the late twentieth century. I hope after reading this book that no one will want to return to the crazy world of 1983 at the brink of nuclear war. In the summer of 1983, cinema audiences flocked to see the latest James Bond movie in which Roger Moore defeats a Soviet general who attempts to fire a nuclear weapon against the West.15 People loved the film but believed that the storyline was entirely fictional, if not totally absurd.


pages: 392 words: 106,532

The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis

American ideology, 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.


pages: 379 words: 118,576

On Her Majesty's Nuclear Service by Eric Thompson

amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Parkinson's law, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War, young professional

I am from the luckiest generation and am truly grateful for that, but peace did not happen by accident; I have lived under a nuclear umbrella through the forty-six years of the Cold War. After the horrors of the Second World War, Churchill said: ‘It must never happen again.’ To ensure it did not, the victors equipped themselves with nuclear weapons, weapons so devastating that they were the ultimate deterrent to a third world war. The principle was called Mutually Assured Destruction. Inspired by the heroes of the Second World War, I joined the Royal Navy in 1961, volunteered for submarines and served On Her Majesty’s Nuclear Service. My career spanned thirty-seven years and ended as Commodore in charge at Faslane, the operating base for our Strategic Nuclear Deterrent submarines. I was but one of thousands of men engaged in this peacekeeping mission. We were all anonymous, quietly doing our duty and far from the public eye.

Soviet President Khrushchev’s calculation had been that the young President Kennedy was weak and indecisive and would merely accept the missiles as a fait accompli when their presence was discovered. Castro’s view was more hawkish: if the Americans were to invade Cuba, he would launch a nuclear strike accepting that Cuba would be destroyed in retaliation – an alarming new Latin American variation on Mutually Assured Destruction. Russia would then retaliate by invading West Berlin and that would trigger nuclear war in Europe. Neither Russia nor America wanted a Third World War but Kennedy had an election to face and had to be seen to act tough. Khrushchev, on the other hand, had the prestige of International Communism at stake and could not be seen to back down. It was power politics at its most terrifying, a game of political poker with the future of the human race at stake.

By the time Barrosa had reached Aden, America had given the Soviets an ultimatum: if they did not stop supplying arms to Cuba, America would blockade the island. The Soviets refused to give way and both superpowers went on to a war footing. We were on the brink of World War Three. The Cuba missile crisis was the nearest the world has ever come to nuclear war. Thank God (or Lenin), the Soviets blinked first and backed down. As Krushchev said later: ‘They talk about who won and who lost. Human reason won.’ The principle of Mutually Assured Destruction had been validated. Churchill had been spot on when he said: ‘There is nothing the Russians admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than weakness, especially military weakness.’ **** The Cuba crisis had barely subsided when I received a newspaper cutting from my parents. Britain had just signed the Bahamas Agreement with the United States and would be buying the Polaris weapon system.


pages: 719 words: 209,224

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, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, standardized shipping container, Stanislav Petrov, Thomas L Friedman, undersea cable, 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.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

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

AI winter, AltaVista, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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.


pages: 590 words: 152,595

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

There would be no credible way to demonstrate that one had, in fact, tied one’s hands. It would be the equivalent of ripping out the steering wheel, but being unable to throw it out the window. (Similarly, the Soviets could program their ships to run the blockade without any option for turning back, but there would be no way to prove to the Americans they had done so.) Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove explores the bizarre logic of deterrence and mutual assured destruction. In the film, the Soviet ambassador explains to an assembled group of American military and political leaders that the Soviet Union has built a “doomsday machine” which, if the Soviet Union is attacked, will automatically launch a massive nuclear counterattack that will destroy humanity. The title character Dr. Strangelove explains, “because of the automated and irrevocable decision-making process, which rules out human meddling, the doomsday machine is terrifying . . . . and completely capable and convincing.”

If Perimeter were to falsely detect an event, as the Soviet Oko satellite system did in 1983 when it falsely detected U.S. ICBM launches, or if Soviet leaders were unable to stop the mechanism once it was activated, the system would obliterate humanity. By some accounts, Perimeter is still operational within Russia today. STABILITY-INSTABILITY PARADOX AND THE MAD ROBOT THEORY The logic of mutual assured destruction (MAD) is to make any nuclear attack inherently suicidal. If a retaliatory response is assured, then attacking the enemy is akin to attacking oneself. This dynamic is stabilizing in the sense that it deters both sides from using nuclear weapons. Ironically, though, over time strategists began to worry that too much stability was a bad thing. This became known as the “stability-instability paradox.”

Returning to the gunslingers in their standoff, if stabilizing measures are those that make it less likely that a gunslinger will draw his weapon, too much stability might encourage other forms of aggression. One might be willing to insult or even steal from the other gunslinger, confident that he wouldn’t draw his gun, since doing so would be suicidal. One response to this paradox is the “madman theory.” As the acronym MAD implies, the logic of mutual assured destruction is fundamentally insane. Only a mad person would launch a nuclear weapon. The principle behind the madman theory, espoused by President Richard Nixon, is to convince the enemy’s leadership that a nation’s leaders are so volatile and irrational that they just might push the button. Mutual suicide or no, one would hesitate to insult a gunslinger with a reputation for rash, even self-destructive acts.


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, Charles Lindbergh, 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, low earth orbit, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, 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: 377 words: 121,996

Live and Let Spy: BRIXMIS - the Last Cold War Mission by Steve Gibson

Berlin Wall, British Empire, corporate social responsibility, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, John Nash: game theory, libertarian paternalism, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, unbiased observer, WikiLeaks

Contents Title Foreword Acknowledgements Maps I General map of East Germany II Europe and disposition of Warsaw Pact forces in East Germany III Soviet disposition of forces in central Europe, 1989 Introduction Chapter 1 The Stuff of Touring Chapter 2 Selection Chapter 3 Tommy Chapter 4 To Catch a Train Chapter 5 Scoop Chapter 6 Just Another Prick on the Wall Chapter 7 Detained Chapter 8 2A-65 Chapter 9 The Last Mission Epilogue Reflections Appendices I Robertson-Malinin Agreement II Tour Equipment Plates Copyright Foreword This is a book of two parts. For those wanting to read an action-based first-hand account of ‘licensed’ spying operations behind enemy lines, the story remains unchanged. For those who want a case-study in intelligence’s fundamental relationship with power and politics, then the additional new chapter – ‘Reflections’ – charts a route from the mutually assured destruction strategy of the early Cold War years to the contemporary context that Western nations are constructing for themselves post-1989. This book was originally conceived by Stevyn Gibson as a personal story. It was intended as an individual account of a private experience set down for the record. The addition of the final chapter is a continuation of that personal experience. The new chapter cradles the original story in an analytical framework that pays tribute to the role of intelligence – Brixmis specifically – in ‘winning’ the Cold War.

As ever the diplomatic and political interpretation of events contrasted deeply with the picture on the ground. They were way ahead of themselves. If ever there was a delicate moment in the Cold War then this was it – the last bit. The Berlin airlift in 1948–9, the Bay of Pigs and U2 debacles in 1961 (not to mention the Wall itself), the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962 (itself uniquely allied to the Berlin crisis at the time), the birth of the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction, Philby, Burgess, Blake and Maclean, not to mention a host of less infamous traitors, the invasions of Hungary and the near invasion of Poland in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, Afghanistan in 1979 and all the other incidents that went to make the Cold War, each in their own way provided a degree of worldwide tension, reaction and threat. This was something new and yet nothing new. Once the Wall came down the next phase of the Cold War proffered a wholly different set of circumstances.

The edifice of communism, represented so graphically by the Berlin Wall, finally began to crumble. However, it would have taken a clever man in the 1980s to spot the Soviets panting for breath, a brave one to broadcast the view and probably a certifiable one to predict the end of communism, let alone plan new defence budgets and strategies accordingly. The superpowers and their respective blocs had taken themselves to the brink of mutually assured destruction and back in the space of forty-five years. If you had set out to invent the Cold War you couldn’t have done it. The whole thing was absurd. If it is conceivable to summarise the rationale behind the Cold War then in my opinion it was very simply a lack of trust. That the Mission had played a very important role in bringing us back from the brink of disaster by building confidences and trust was clear and very rewarding to know.


pages: 518 words: 128,324

Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides's Trap by Graham Allison

9 dash line, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, game design, George Santayana, Haber-Bosch Process, industrial robot, Internet of things, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal world order, long peace, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, one-China policy, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, the rule of 72, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, UNCLOS, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Thus nuclear weapons have what students of international relations call a “crystal ball effect.”58 Any leader contemplating a nuclear attack on a state with a nuclear arsenal capable of retaliation must confront the specter of killing tens or even hundreds of millions of his own people. Understandably and repeatedly, this has led them to think again.59 Clue 7: MAD really does make all-out war madness. After exploding its first bomb in 1949, the Soviet Union rapidly developed a nuclear arsenal so substantial and sophisticated that it created what nuclear strategists recognized as mutual assured destruction: MAD. This described a condition in which neither the US nor the USSR could be sure of destroying its opponent’s arsenal with a nuclear first strike before the enemy could launch a fatal nuclear response. Under such conditions, one state’s decision to kill another is simultaneously a choice to commit national suicide. Technology, in effect, made the US and USSR (and now Russia) inseparable Siamese twins.

If we follow Reagan’s lead, do the US and China today face threats analogous to an alien invasion—challenges so severe that both sides are compelled to work together? One does not have to stretch too far to answer affirmatively. Four “mega-threats” loom above all: nuclear Armageddon; nuclear anarchy; global terrorism, especially as threatened by Islamic jihadism; and climate change. In confronting each of these, the vital national interests the two powers share are much greater than those that divide them. Because of the inescapable logic of mutual assured destruction, if the US and China were to stumble into a war in which their full nuclear arsenals were launched, both nations would be erased from the map. Thus their most vital interest is to avoid such a war. Moreover, they must find combinations of compromise and constraint that avoid repeated games of chicken that could inadvertently lead to this dreaded outcome. Nuclear anarchy poses a distinct mega-threat of its own.

China has also been strengthening its nuclear arsenal. For decades after becoming a nuclear power in 1964, Beijing maintained a small arsenal of silo-based ICBMs, which left it vulnerable to an adversary’s first strike. Since the mid-1990s it has been deploying more survivable nuclear forces, most recently road-mobile and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. As a result, the US has been forced to accept a condition of “mutual assured destruction” between China and the United States, similar to the one that existed with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This was reflected in the 2010 US Nuclear Posture Review’s assertion that the US would not take any action that could negatively affect “the stability of our nuclear relationships with Russia or China.” [back] 63. Since 1988, China has spent an average of 2.01 percent of GDP on its military, while the US has spent an average of 3.9 percent.


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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, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, 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.)


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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, anti-globalists, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, 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, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, 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 AfterSherrieLevine.com, 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 Net.art, 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.


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

airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, 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: 252 words: 73,131

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

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, 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, pets.com, 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, uber lyft, 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.


Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

He says (in a computer voice): A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess? The reason that there is no winner in Global Thermonuclear War is that both sides have amassed enough weapons to destroy the other side and so any nuclear conflict would quickly escalate to mutually assured destruction (MAD). As a result, neither side has any incentive to use its weapons offensively or to disarm completely, leading to a stable, albeit tense, peace. Mutually assured destruction isn’t just a military model. A parallel in business is when companies amass large patent portfolios, but generally don’t use them on one another for fear of escalating lawsuits that could potentially destabilize all the companies involved. Occasionally you see these suits and countersuits, such as the ones between Apple and Qualcomm (over chip patents), Oracle and Google (over Java patents), and Uber and Google (over autonomous vehicle patents), but these companies often have so many patents (sometimes tens of thousands each) that there could be literally hundreds of suits like these if not for MAD.

For example, drawn-out divorce battles can be harmful to the children. That’s why it makes sense to consider conflict prevention measures like mediation, or, more generally, diplomacy (see win-win in Chapter 4 for some related mental models). If diplomacy by itself doesn’t work, though, there is another set of models to turn to, starting with deterrence, or using a threat to prevent (deter) an action by an adversary. Credible mutually assured destruction makes an excellent deterrent. But even one nuclear blast is so undesirable that simply the possession of a nuclear weapon has proven to be a powerful deterrent. For example, North Korea seemingly developed nuclear weapons to secure its survival as a state, despite being an authoritarian dictatorship with a well-documented history of human rights violations. So far, this tactic is working as a deterrence strategy along with other strategies it pursues, including threats of conventional bombing of South Korea and aligning with China.

., 91 Kodak, 302–3, 308–10, 312 Koenigswald, Gustav Heinrich Ralph von, 50 Kohl’s, 15 Kopelman, Josh, 301 Korea, 229, 231, 235, 238 Kristof, Nicholas, 254 Krokodil, 49 Kruger, Justin, 269 Kuhn, Thomas, 24 Kutcher, Ashton, 121 labor market, 283–84 laggards, 116–17 landlords, 178, 179, 182, 188 Laplace, Pierre-Simon, 132 large numbers, law of, 143–44 Latané, Bibb, 259 late majority, 116–17 lateral thinking, 201 law of diminishing returns, 81–83 law of diminishing utility, 81–82 law of inertia, 102–3, 105–8, 110, 112, 113, 119, 120, 129, 290, 296 law of large numbers, 143–44 law of small numbers, 143, 144 Lawson, Jerry, 289 lawsuits, 231 leadership, 248, 255, 260, 265, 271, 275, 276, 278–80 learned helplessness, 22–23 learning, 262, 269, 295 from past events, 271–72 learning curve, 269 Le Chatelier, Henri-Louis, 193 Le Chatelier’s principle, 193–94 left to their own devices, 275 Leibniz, Gottfried, 291 lemons into lemonade, 121 Lernaean Hydra, 51 Levav, Jonathan, 63 lever, 78 leverage, 78–80, 83, 115 high-leverage activities, 79–81, 83, 107, 113 leveraged buyout, 79 leveraging up, 78–79 Levitt, Steven, 44–45 Levitt, Theodore, 296 Lewis, Michael, 289 Lichtenstein, Sarah, 17 lightning, 145 liking, 216–17, 220 Lincoln, Abraham, 97 Lindy effect, 105, 106, 112 line in the sand, 238 LinkedIn, 7 littering, 41, 42 Lloyd, William, 37 loans, 180, 182–83 lobbyists, 216, 306 local optimum, 195–96 lock-in, 305 lock in your gains, 90 long-term negative scenarios, 60 loose versus tight, in organizational culture, 274 Lorenz, Edward, 121 loss, 91 loss aversion, 90–91 loss leader strategy, 236–37 lost at sea, 68 lottery, 85–86, 126, 145 low-context communication, 273–74 low-hanging fruit, 81 loyalists versus mercenaries, 276–77 luck, 128 making your own, 122 luck surface area, 122, 124, 128 Luft, Joseph, 196 LuLaRoe, 217 lung cancer, 133–34, 173 Lyautey, Hubert, 276 Lyft, ix, 288 Madoff, Bernie, 232 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 291 magnets, 194 maker’s schedule versus manager’s schedule, 277–78 Making of Economic Society, The (Heilbroner), 49 mammograms, 160–61 management debt, 56 manager’s schedule versus maker’s schedule, 277–78 managing to the person, 255 Manhattan Project, 195 Man in the High Castle, The (Dick), 201 manipulative insincerity, 264 man-month, 279 Mansfield, Peter, 291 manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), 15 margin of error, 154 markets, 42–43, 46–47, 106 failure in, 47–49 labor, 283–84 market norms versus social norms, 222–24 market power, 283–85, 312 product/market fit, 292–96, 302 secondary, 281–82 winner-take-most, 308 marriage: divorce, 231, 305 same-sex, 117, 118 Maslow, Abraham, 177, 270–71 Maslow’s hammer, xi, 177, 255, 297, 317 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, 270–71 mathematics, ix–x, 3, 4, 132, 178 Singapore math, 23–24 matrices, 2 × 2, 125–26 consensus-contrarian, 285–86, 290 consequence-conviction, 265–66 Eisenhower Decision Matrix, 72–74, 89, 124, 125 of knowns and unknowns, 197–98 payoff, 212–15, 238 radical candor, 263–64 scatter plot on top of, 126 McCain, John, 241 mean, 146, 149, 151 regression to, 146, 286 standard deviation from, 149, 150–51, 154 variance from, 149 measles, 39, 40 measurable target, 49–50 median, 147 Medicare, 54–55 meetings, 113 weekly one-on-one, 262–63 Megginson, Leon, 101 mental models, vii–xii, 2, 3, 31, 35, 65, 131, 289, 315–17 mentorship, 23, 260, 262, 264, 265 mercenaries versus loyalists, 276–77 Merck, 283 merry-go-round, 108 meta-analysis, 172–73 Metcalfe, Robert, 118 Metcalfe’s law, 118 #MeToo movement, 113 metrics, 137 proxy, 139 Michaels, 15 Microsoft, 241 mid-mortems, 92 Miklaszewski, Jim, 196 Milgram, Stanley, 219, 220 military, 141, 229, 279, 294, 300 milkshakes, 297 Miller, Reggie, 246 Mills, Alan, 58 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Dweck), 266 mindset, fixed, 266–67, 272 mindset, growth, 266–67 minimum viable product (MVP), 7–8, 81, 294 mirroring, 217 mission, 276 mission statement, 68 MIT, 53, 85 moats, 302–5, 307–8, 310, 312 mode, 147 Moltke, Helmuth von, 7 momentum, 107–10, 119, 129 Monday morning quarterbacking, 271 Moneyball (Lewis), 289 monopolies, 283, 285 Monte Carlo fallacy, 144 Monte Carlo simulation, 195 Moore, Geoffrey, 311 moral hazard, 43–45, 47 most respectful interpretation (MRI), 19–20 moths, 99–101 Mountain Dew, 35 moving target, 136 multiple discovery, 291–92 multiplication, ix, xi multitasking, 70–72, 74, 76, 110 Munger, Charlie, viii, x–xi, 30, 286, 318 Murphy, Edward, 65 Murphy’s law, 64–65, 132 Musk, Elon, 5, 302 mutually assured destruction (MAD), 231 MVP (minimum viable product), 7–8, 81, 294 Mylan, 283 mythical man-month, 279 name-calling, 226 NASA, 4, 32, 33 Nash, John, 213 Nash equilibrium, 213–14, 226, 235 National Football League (NFL), 225–26 National Institutes of Health, 36 National Security Agency, 52 natural selection, 99–100, 102, 291, 295 nature versus nurture, 249–50 negative compounding, 85 negative externalities, 41–43, 47 negative returns, 82–83, 93 negotiations, 127–28 net benefit, 181–82, 184 Netflix, 69, 95, 203 net present value (NPV), 86, 181 network effects, 117–20, 308 neuroticism, 250 New Orleans, La., 41 Newport, Cal, 72 news headlines, 12–13, 221 newspapers, 106 Newsweek, 290 Newton, Isaac, 102, 291 New York Times, 27, 220, 254 Nielsen Holdings, 217 ninety-ninety rule, 89 Nintendo, 296 Nobel Prize, 32, 42, 220, 291, 306 nocebo effect, 137 nodes, 118, 119 No Fly List, 53–54 noise and signal, 311 nonresponse bias, 140, 142, 143 normal distribution (bell curve), 150–52, 153, 163–66, 191 North Korea, 229, 231, 238 north star, 68–70, 275 nothing in excess, 60 not ready for prime time, 242 “now what” questions, 291 NPR, 239 nuclear chain reaction, viii, 114, 120 nuclear industry, 305–6 nuclear option, 238 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), 305–6 nuclear weapons, 114, 118, 195, 209, 230–31, 233, 238 nudging, 13–14 null hypothesis, 163, 164 numbers, 130, 146 large, law of, 143–44 small, law of, 143, 144 see also data; statistics nurses, 284 Oakland Athletics, 289 Obama, Barack, 64, 241 objective versus subjective, in organizational culture, 274 obnoxious aggression, 264 observe, orient, decide, act (OODA), 294–95 observer effect, 52, 54 observer-expectancy bias, 136, 139 Ockham’s razor, 8–10 Odum, William E., 38 oil, 105–6 Olympics, 209, 246–48, 285 O’Neal, Shaquille, 246 one-hundred-year floods, 192 Onion, 211–12 On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (Darwin), 100 OODA loop, 294–95 openness to experience, 250 Operation Ceasefire, 232 opinion, diversity of, 205, 206 opioids, 36 opportunity cost, 76–77, 80, 83, 179, 182, 188, 305 of capital, 77, 179, 182 optimistic probability bias, 33 optimization, premature, 7 optimums, local and global, 195–96 optionality, preserving, 58–59 Oracle, 231, 291, 299 order, 124 balance between chaos and, 128 organizations: culture in, 107–8, 113, 273–80, 293 size and growth of, 278–79 teams in, see teams ostrich with its head in the sand, 55 out-group bias, 127 outliers, 148 Outliers (Gladwell), 261 overfitting, 10–11 overwork, 82 Paine, Thomas, 221–22 pain relievers, 36, 137 Pampered Chef, 217 Pangea, 24–25 paradigm shift, 24, 289 paradox of choice, 62–63 parallel processing, 96 paranoia, 308, 309, 311 Pareto, Vilfredo, 80 Pareto principle, 80–81 Pariser, Eli, 17 Parkinson, Cyril, 74–75, 89 Parkinson’s law, 89 Parkinson’s Law (Parkinson), 74–75 Parkinson’s law of triviality, 74, 89 passwords, 94, 97 past, 201, 271–72, 309–10 Pasteur, Louis, 26 path dependence, 57–59, 194 path of least resistance, 88 Patton, Bruce, 19 Pauling, Linus, 220 payoff matrix, 212–15, 238 PayPal, 72, 291, 296 peak, 105, 106, 112 peak oil, 105 Penny, Jonathon, 52 pent-up energy, 112 perfect, 89–90 as enemy of the good, 61, 89–90 personality traits, 249–50 person-month, 279 perspective, 11 persuasion, see influence models perverse incentives, 50–51, 54 Peter, Laurence, 256 Peter principle, 256, 257 Peterson, Tom, 108–9 Petrified Forest National Park, 217–18 Pew Research, 53 p-hacking, 169, 172 phishing, 97 phones, 116–17, 290 photography, 302–3, 308–10 physics, x, 114, 194, 293 quantum, 200–201 pick your battles, 238 Pinker, Steven, 144 Pirahã, x Pitbull, 36 pivoting, 295–96, 298–301, 308, 311, 312 placebo, 137 placebo effect, 137 Planck, Max, 24 Playskool, 111 Podesta, John, 97 point of no return, 244 Polaris, 67–68 polarity, 125–26 police, in organizations and projects, 253–54 politics, 70, 104 ads and statements in, 225–26 elections, 206, 218, 233, 241, 271, 293, 299 failure and, 47 influence in, 216 predictions in, 206 polls and surveys, 142–43, 152–54, 160 approval ratings, 152–54, 158 employee engagement, 140, 142 postmortems, 32, 92 Potemkin village, 228–29 potential energy, 112 power, 162 power drills, 296 power law distribution, 80–81 power vacuum, 259–60 practice, deliberate, 260–62, 264, 266 precautionary principle, 59–60 Predictably Irrational (Ariely), 14, 222–23 predictions and forecasts, 132, 173 market for, 205–7 superforecasters and, 206–7 PredictIt, 206 premature optimization, 7 premises, see principles pre-mortems, 92 present bias, 85, 87, 93, 113 preserving optionality, 58–59 pressure point, 112 prices, 188, 231, 299 arbitrage and, 282–83 bait and switch and, 228, 229 inflation in, 179–80, 182–83 loss leader strategy and, 236–37 manufacturer’s suggested retail, 15 monopolies and, 283 principal, 44–45 principal-agent problem, 44–45 principles (premises), 207 first, 4–7, 31, 207 prior, 159 prioritizing, 68 prisoners, 63, 232 prisoner’s dilemma, 212–14, 226, 234–35, 244 privacy, 55 probability, 132, 173, 194 bias, optimistic, 33 conditional, 156 probability distributions, 150, 151 bell curve (normal), 150–52, 153, 163–66, 191 Bernoulli, 152 central limit theorem and, 152–53, 163 fat-tailed, 191 power law, 80–81 sample, 152–53 pro-con lists, 175–78, 185, 189 procrastination, 83–85, 87, 89 product development, 294 product/market fit, 292–96, 302 promotions, 256, 275 proximate cause, 31, 117 proxy endpoint, 137 proxy metric, 139 psychology, 168 Psychology of Science, The (Maslow), 177 Ptolemy, Claudius, 8 publication bias, 170, 173 public goods, 39 punching above your weight, 242 p-values, 164, 165, 167–69, 172 Pygmalion effect, 267–68 Pyrrhus, King, 239 Qualcomm, 231 quantum physics, 200–201 quarantine, 234 questions: now what, 291 what if, 122, 201 why, 32, 33 why now, 291 quick and dirty, 234 quid pro quo, 215 Rabois, Keith, 72, 265 Rachleff, Andy, 285–86, 292–93 radical candor, 263–64 Radical Candor (Scott), 263 radiology, 291 randomized controlled experiment, 136 randomness, 201 rats, 51 Rawls, John, 21 Regan, Ronald, 183 real estate agents, 44–45 recessions, 121–22 reciprocity, 215–16, 220, 222, 229, 289 recommendations, 217 red line, 238 referrals, 217 reframe the problem, 96–97 refugee asylum cases, 144 regression to the mean, 146, 286 regret, 87 regulations, 183–84, 231–32 regulatory capture, 305–7 reinventing the wheel, 92 relationships, 53, 55, 63, 91, 111, 124, 159, 271, 296, 298 being locked into, 305 dating, 8–10, 95 replication crisis, 168–72 Republican Party, 104 reputation, 215 research: meta-analysis of, 172–73 publication bias and, 170, 173 systematic reviews of, 172, 173 see also experiments resonance, 293–94 response bias, 142, 143 responsibility, diffusion of, 259 restaurants, 297 menus at, 14, 62 RetailMeNot, 281 retaliation, 238 returns: diminishing, 81–83 negative, 82–83, 93 reversible decisions, 61–62 revolving door, 306 rewards, 275 Riccio, Jim, 306 rise to the occasion, 268 risk, 43, 46, 90, 288 cost-benefit analysis and, 180 de-risking, 6–7, 10, 294 moral hazard and, 43–45, 47 Road Ahead, The (Gates), 69 Roberts, Jason, 122 Roberts, John, 27 Rogers, Everett, 116 Rogers, William, 31 Rogers Commission Report, 31–33 roles, 256–58, 260, 271, 293 roly-poly toy, 111–12 root cause, 31–33, 234 roulette, 144 Rubicon River, 244 ruinous empathy, 264 Rumsfeld, Donald, 196–97, 247 Rumsfeld’s Rule, 247 Russia, 218, 241 Germany and, 70, 238–39 see also Soviet Union Sacred Heart University (SHU), 217, 218 sacrifice play, 239 Sagan, Carl, 220 sales, 81, 216–17 Salesforce, 299 same-sex marriage, 117, 118 Sample, Steven, 28 sample distribution, 152–53 sample size, 143, 160, 162, 163, 165–68, 172 Sánchez, Ricardo, 234 sanctions and fines, 232 Sanders, Bernie, 70, 182, 293 Sayre, Wallace, 74 Sayre’s law, 74 scarcity, 219, 220 scatter plot, 126 scenario analysis (scenario planning), 198–99, 201–3, 207 schools, see education and schools Schrödinger, Erwin, 200 Schrödinger’s cat, 200 Schultz, Howard, 296 Schwartz, Barry, 62–63 science, 133, 220 cargo cult, 315–16 Scientific Autobiography and other Papers (Planck), 24 scientific evidence, 139 scientific experiments, see experiments scientific method, 101–2, 294 scorched-earth tactics, 243 Scott, Kim, 263 S curves, 117, 120 secondary markets, 281–82 second law of thermodynamics, 124 secrets, 288–90, 292 Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S., 228 security, false sense of, 44 security services, 229 selection, adverse, 46–47 selection bias, 139–40, 143, 170 self-control, 87 self-fulfilling prophecies, 267 self-serving bias, 21, 272 Seligman, Martin, 22 Semmelweis, Ignaz, 25–26 Semmelweis reflex, 26 Seneca, Marcus, 60 sensitivity analysis, 181–82, 185, 188 dynamic, 195 Sequoia Capital, 291 Sessions, Roger, 8 sexual predators, 113 Shakespeare, William, 105 Sheets Energy Strips, 36 Shermer, Michael, 133 Shirky, Clay, 104 Shirky principle, 104, 112 Short History of Nearly Everything, A (Bryson), 50 short-termism, 55–56, 58, 60, 68, 85 side effects, 137 signal and noise, 311 significance, 167 statistical, 164–67, 170 Silicon Valley, 288, 289 simulations, 193–95 simultaneous invention, 291–92 Singapore math, 23–24 Sir David Attenborough, RSS, 35 Skeptics Society, 133 sleep meditation app, 162–68 slippery slope argument, 235 slow (high-concentration) thinking, 30, 33, 70–71 small numbers, law of, 143, 144 smartphones, 117, 290, 309, 310 smoking, 41, 42, 133–34, 139, 173 Snap, 299 Snowden, Edward, 52, 53 social engineering, 97 social equality, 117 social media, 81, 94, 113, 217–19, 241 Facebook, 18, 36, 94, 119, 219, 233, 247, 305, 308 Instagram, 220, 247, 291, 310 YouTube, 220, 291 social networks, 117 Dunbar’s number and, 278 social norms versus market norms, 222–24 social proof, 217–20, 229 societal change, 100–101 software, 56, 57 simulations, 192–94 solitaire, 195 solution space, 97 Somalia, 243 sophomore slump, 145–46 South Korea, 229, 231, 238 Soviet Union: Germany and, 70, 238–39 Gosplan in, 49 in Cold War, 209, 235 space exploration, 209 spacing effect, 262 Spain, 243–44 spam, 37, 161, 192–93, 234 specialists, 252–53 species, 120 spending, 38, 74–75 federal, 75–76 spillover effects, 41, 43 sports, 82–83 baseball, 83, 145–46, 289 football, 226, 243 Olympics, 209, 246–48, 285 Spotify, 299 spreadsheets, 179, 180, 182, 299 Srinivasan, Balaji, 301 standard deviation, 149, 150–51, 154 standard error, 154 standards, 93 Stanford Law School, x Starbucks, 296 startup business idea, 6–7 statistics, 130–32, 146, 173, 289, 297 base rate in, 157, 159, 160 base rate fallacy in, 157, 158, 170 Bayesian, 157–60 confidence intervals in, 154–56, 159 confidence level in, 154, 155, 161 frequentist, 158–60 p-hacking in, 169, 172 p-values in, 164, 165, 167–69, 172 standard deviation in, 149, 150–51, 154 standard error in, 154 statistical significance, 164–67, 170 summary, 146, 147 see also data; experiments; probability distributions Staubach, Roger, 243 Sternberg, Robert, 290 stock and flow diagrams, 192 Stone, Douglas, 19 stop the bleeding, 234 strategy, 107–8 exit, 242–43 loss leader, 236–37 pivoting and, 295–96, 298–301, 308, 311, 312 tactics versus, 256–57 strategy tax, 103–4, 112 Stiglitz, Joseph, 306 straw man, 225–26 Streisand, Barbra, 51 Streisand effect, 51, 52 Stroll, Cliff, 290 Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The (Kuhn), 24 subjective versus objective, in organizational culture, 274 suicide, 218 summary statistics, 146, 147 sunk-cost fallacy, 91 superforecasters, 206–7 Superforecasting (Tetlock), 206–7 super models, viii–xii super thinking, viii–ix, 3, 316, 318 surface area, 122 luck, 122, 124, 128 surgery, 136–37 Surowiecki, James, 203–5 surrogate endpoint, 137 surveys, see polls and surveys survivorship bias, 140–43, 170, 272 sustainable competitive advantage, 283, 285 switching costs, 305 systematic review, 172, 173 systems thinking, 192, 195, 198 tactics, 256–57 Tajfel, Henri, 127 take a step back, 298 Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, 2, 105 talk past each other, 225 Target, 236, 252 target, measurable, 49–50 taxes, 39, 40, 56, 104, 193–94 T cells, 194 teams, 246–48, 275 roles in, 256–58, 260 size of, 278 10x, 248, 249, 255, 260, 273, 280, 294 Tech, 83 technical debt, 56, 57 technologies, 289–90, 295 adoption curves of, 115 adoption life cycles of, 116–17, 129, 289, 290, 311–12 disruptive, 308, 310–11 telephone, 118–19 temperature: body, 146–50 thermostats and, 194 tennis, 2 10,000-Hour Rule, 261 10x individuals, 247–48 10x teams, 248, 249, 255, 260, 273, 280, 294 terrorism, 52, 234 Tesla, Inc., 300–301 testing culture, 50 Tetlock, Philip E., 206–7 Texas sharpshooter fallacy, 136 textbooks, 262 Thaler, Richard, 87 Theranos, 228 thermodynamics, 124 thermostats, 194 Thiel, Peter, 72, 288, 289 thinking: black-and-white, 126–28, 168, 272 convergent, 203 counterfactual, 201, 272, 309–10 critical, 201 divergent, 203 fast (low-concentration), 30, 70–71 gray, 28 inverse, 1–2, 291 lateral, 201 outside the box, 201 slow (high-concentration), 30, 33, 70–71 super, viii–ix, 3, 316, 318 systems, 192, 195, 198 writing and, 316 Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman), 30 third story, 19, 92 thought experiment, 199–201 throwing good money after bad, 91 throwing more money at the problem, 94 tight versus loose, in organizational culture, 274 timeboxing, 75 time: management of, 38 as money, 77 work and, 89 tipping point, 115, 117, 119, 120 tit-for-tat, 214–15 Tōgō Heihachirō, 241 tolerance, 117 tools, 95 too much of a good thing, 60 top idea in your mind, 71, 72 toxic culture, 275 Toys “R” Us, 281 trade-offs, 77–78 traditions, 275 tragedy of the commons, 37–40, 43, 47, 49 transparency, 307 tribalism, 28 Trojan horse, 228 Truman Show, The, 229 Trump, Donald, 15, 206, 293 Trump: The Art of the Deal (Trump and Schwartz), 15 trust, 20, 124, 215, 217 trying too hard, 82 Tsushima, Battle of, 241 Tupperware, 217 TurboTax, 104 Turner, John, 127 turn lemons into lemonade, 121 Tversky, Amos, 9, 90 Twain, Mark, 106 Twitter, 233, 234, 296 two-front wars, 70 type I error, 161 type II error, 161 tyranny of small decisions, 38, 55 Tyson, Mike, 7 Uber, 231, 275, 288, 290 Ulam, Stanislaw, 195 ultimatum game, 224, 244 uncertainty, 2, 132, 173, 180, 182, 185 unforced error, 2, 10, 33 unicorn candidate, 257–58 unintended consequences, 35–36, 53–55, 57, 64–65, 192, 232 Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), 306 unique value proposition, 211 University of Chicago, 144 unknown knowns, 198, 203 unknowns: known, 197–98 unknown, 196–98, 203 urgency, false, 74 used car market, 46–47 U.S.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

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

"Robert Solow", 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, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hedonic treadmill, 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: 627 words: 127,613

Transcending the Cold War: Summits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970–1990 by Kristina Spohr, David Reynolds

anti-communist, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, liberal capitalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, oil shock, open borders, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shared worldview, Thomas L Friedman, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

‘The Bonn/Moscow Alliance: The War is Over’ (Der Spiegel, 23 July 1990) List of Abbreviations ABM Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty CBMs confidence-building measures CCP Chinese Communist Party CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany (Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands) CPSU Communist Party of the Soviet Union CSCE Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe CSU Christian Social Union (Christlich-Soziale Union) CTBT Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty DMZ De-Militarized Zone DRV Democratic Republic of Vietnam EC European Community EU European Union ERWs enhanced radiation warheads FBS forward-based systems FRC Foreign Relations Committee, US Senate FRG Federal Republic of Germany GDR German Democratic Republic GLCM ground-launched cruise missiles G7 Group of Seven HVA Main Directorate for Reconnaissance, GDR (Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung) ICBMs intercontinental ballistic missiles INFs intermediate-range nuclear forces MAD Mutual Assured Destruction MBFR mutual and balanced force reduction (talks) MFN Most Favoured Nation trade status MIRVs multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization NORAD North American Aerospace Defense Command NSC National Security Council NSDD National Security Decision Directive NVA National People’s Army of the GDR (Nationale Volksarmee) PRC People’s Republic of China SALT Strategic Arms Limitation Talks SDI Strategic Defense Initiative SED Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) SLBMs submarine-launched ballistic missiles SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) SRINFs shorter-range INFs UN United Nations List of Contributors James Cameron is a Stanton Research Fellow at Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil.

He warned that stark ultimatums would ‘make it impossible for them to give in’; his preference was to ‘sit around a table and tell the Russians quietly’.6 Even though any summit was clearly a long way off, Reagan’s private letters to Soviet leaders were intended to establish some kind of personal rapport.7 George Shultz, secretary of state from 1982 to 1989, supported the president, believing that a two-pronged strategy of fortifying national strength while conducting limited and firm dialogue could yield ‘a more stable’, if still ‘competitive’, Soviet-American relationship.8 Reagan’s intellectual complexities were most evident in his approach to nuclear weapons. It is ironic that the president who advocated ‘peace through strength’ and authorized one of the biggest arms build-ups of the Cold War did not, at heart, believe in the nuclear option. He was convinced that the Pentagon’s deterrence doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) was literally mad because the human cost of a major US-Soviet nuclear war would be annihilation. Many of Reagan’s advisers believed that he could never have brought himself to authorize the use of nuclear weapons. Since his days in Hollywood, Reagan held what has been described as a ‘visionary, even utopian’ belief in nuclear abolitionism. His gut instinct was confirmed by a visit in the summer of 1979 to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs—nerve centre for tracking a potential nuclear attack—which was carved into the Rocky Mountains and encased in steel and concrete.

At their second meeting in Reykjavik in October 1986, this trust emboldened them into a passionate dialogue about a nuclear-free world. Even though pulling back from the brink of such a revolutionary step, much to the relief of their aides, the two men had clearly developed radically new conceptions of security. On his side, Reagan repudiated the traditional American doctrine of deterring war though Mutual Assured Destruction as literally mad: his Star Wars project (SDI) was intended to abolish nuclear weapons for the benefit of the world. Gorbachev, likewise, moved beyond security as a zero-sum game, benefiting one side only at the expense of the other, to talk about ‘sufficient security’ rather than superiority. In December 1987, at their third meeting in Washington, the two men finally realized some of their hopes by signing the INF treaty, which represented an unprecedented breakthrough after four decades of the Cold War.


pages: 592 words: 161,798

The Future of War by Lawrence Freedman

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Glasses, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, long peace, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

DESPITE THE VISIONS OF ARMAGEDDON, BY THE MID-1960S fears had eased of a technological arms race that might encourage either side to unleash a surprise attack. For the foreseeable future each side could eliminate the other as a modern industrial state. Robert McNamara, the US secretary of defense for much of that decade, argued that the two superpowers could impose ‘unacceptable damage,’ put at 25 per cent of population and 50 per cent of industry, on each other. Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) conveyed exactly what it was supposed to convey—destruction would be assured and mutual and certainly unacceptable. Contrary to what had been assumed, therefore, the system tended towards stability. This was not so much a deliberate policy choice but recognition of a condition which confirmed the risks involved in any attempt to achieve a decisive victory through a knockout blow.

This turned out to be a programme that could convince the systems operating nuclear missiles that this was the real thing. When he realised what he had done, and after arrest by the FBI for the hack, Lightman reached the embittered, dying scientist who had invented the programme to persuade him to give him the clue to turning it off. This was done seconds away from catastrophe. As WOPR was a learning machine it could realise that some games led to futility, which became a metaphor for mutual assured destruction. After this point was reached through a drawn game of tic-tac-toe the computer had the last line: ‘A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?’5 As with the doomsday machine in the earlier movies, the plot depended on a prior decision to give deterrence a form of automaticity that prevented human beings interrupting the launch sequence. The movie opened with a surprise drill in which, when confronted with an incoming nuclear attack, the USAF personnel supposed to turn the keys to launch retaliatory strikes failed to do so.

.), 114–115 Lettres sur la Philosophie del’Histoire (Barot), 115 Levi, Michael, 272 Levy, Jack, 137 Lewis, Bernard, 181 liberalism, nationalism and, 46–47 See also war, liberal vision of Liberia, 172 Libya, xv, 174, 219, 250 Lieber, Francis, 30–31, 33 limited war, 30 Lincoln, Abraham, 37 Livermore, Thomas, 128 Locarno Treaties, 49 Long Peace, xi Low, David, 61 Ludendorff, Erich, 57 Luttwak, Edward, 217, 273 Lyall, Jason, 206–207 MacArthur, Douglas, 90 machine guns, 12, 14 MacMillan, Margaret, 43 MAD. See mutually assured destruction de Madariaga y Rojo, Salvador, 49–50, 84, 174 Malaysia, 169, 197 Mali, 172, 262 al-Maliki, Nouri, 269 The Man Who Ended War (Godfrey), 20 Manhattan Project, 71 Mao Zedong, 122, 195, 203 Master of the World (Verne), 20 Mattis, James, 223 McConnell, Mike, 234 McCune, Emma, 214–215 McFate, Montgomery, 195 McMaster, H. R., 250, 279 McNamara, Robert, 89 media, 166–167, 202, 229 megacities, 255–258 Mein Kampf (Hitler), 52 Meitner, Lise, 71 Mexico, 33, 257, 258 MID.


The End of the Cold War: 1985-1991 by Robert Service

active measures, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

Like most of his fellow citizens, he had assumed that the Americans had a reliable system against attack by Soviet missiles. His technical advisers – Richard Allen, Fred Iklé and William Van Cleave – had always known otherwise. Their words failed to hit home until Reagan made his own enquiries.6 He learned to his horror that America could not prevent a nuclear ‘first strike’. The Americans could only retaliate – which would mean that they would blow Moscow to bits: this was the logic of ‘mutually assured destruction’. The problem was that the entire planet would suffer from blast, fire, radiation and smoke that would kill hundreds of millions of people, perhaps billions. America too would be devastated, and Reagan found little consolation in the thought that the Russians would suffer an equal calamity. At the start of the First World War, British Foreign Secretary Earl Grey had commented that the lights were going out all over Europe.

Mike Beaver, his spokesman, claimed that it was Brylcreem that gave him the dark gloss.22 There was an underestimation of Reagan’s ultimate purposes even at high levels in his own administration. National Security Adviser Richard Allen sought to rectify the situation by spreading the word that the President was serious about making nuclear war impossible.23 Reagan had been talking about ‘defensive concepts’ since 1973. Hating the idea of mutually assured destruction, he searched for a way of protecting America from the threat of nuclear holocaust. Among those who knew his thoughts were theoretical physicist Edward Teller and President Nixon’s Office of Management and Budget Director Caspar Weinberger, and after entering the White House he continued to talk about possibilities with them as well as with Ed Meese, Martin Anderson and Richard Allen.24 Meese held some exploratory meetings, and Reagan in early 1982 instructed the National Security Council staff to explore ways of moving beyond traditional defence strategy.

He banked on impressing on all NATO countries that they would risk estrangement from Washington if they failed to show the same toughness.25 As he drafted his Christmas message to the American people, Poland remained close to his heart: ‘We can’t let this revolution against Communism fail without offering a hand.’26 Thatcher expressed her support but other NATO leaders were more guarded in their statements.27 Even the Vatican took a cautious view. Cardinal Casaroli assured Reagan in December 1981 that ‘the time was not yet ripe for major change in Eastern Europe’. Reagan explained his general strategy as moving beyond the constraints of mutually assured destruction towards big reductions in the number of weapons on both sides.28 Casaroli in the same year was intervening with the Kremlin frequently on the Polish question.29 Neither Pope nor General Secretary wished to see violent trouble in Warsaw. John Paul II made his second papal visit to Poland in August 1983. Having spent years combating communism as Archbishop of Kraków, he knew the tricks needed to undermine the communist order.


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, global pandemic, 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: 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, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, income inequality, job automation, knowledge worker, low earth orbit, 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: 189 words: 57,632

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

AltaVista, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, Mitch Kapor, 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: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, 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 pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, 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, reshoring, 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, telepresence, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, 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: 453 words: 111,010

Licence to be Bad by Jonathan Aldred

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, framing effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, full employment, George Akerlof, glass ceiling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, nudge unit, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, spectrum auction, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, zero-sum game

The first major ascent in this Everest project was achieved by Reinhard Selten in 1965. To address the problem of multiple Nash equilibria, the obvious line of attack is to find grounds for ruling out some of these equilibria as inferior. Selten argued that some equilibria are inferior because they can only emerge when players make threats which are not credible. For example, the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) doctrine of nuclear deterrence relies on nuclear powers threatening catastrophic retaliation in response to a nuclear attack. But the threat is not credible if the recipient of the threat does not believe it would be carried out. In Dr Strangelove the Russians designed their Doomsday machine to trigger catastrophic retaliation automatically and irrevocably once an attack had been detected, removing any possibility of non-retaliation and hence making their threat completely credible.fn3 In business, a monopoly firm in a particular market will often loudly threaten a price war to any firm considering entering the market as a competitor.

THE NOBEL CONSOLATION PRIZE FOR ECONOMICS It is easy to pigeonhole Tom Schelling. His career reads like that of a Grade-A Cold War defence hawk. From 1948 to 1953 he worked for the Marshall Plan and then the White House; after that he had stints at RAND and various consultancy jobs in Washington drawing on his expertise in military strategy. Although it was John von Neumann who invented the infamous nuclear war jargon ‘mutually assured destruction’ (largely because he liked the acronym MAD), it was Schelling who became a MAD expert. Schelling was close to some of the most influential figures in the Cold War. In his day job as an economics professor at Harvard he co-taught a course on foreign policy with one of the dominant minds behind post-war US foreign policy, Henry Kissinger. And Schelling was reputed to have more influence than anyone else on the thinking of Secretary of State Robert McNamara.

objection, 107, 119–20 Friedman, Milton, 4–5, 56, 69, 84, 88, 126, 189 awarded Nobel Prize, 132 and business responsibility, 2, 152 debate with Coase at Director’s house, 50, 132 as dominant Chicago thinker, 50, 132 on fairness and justice, 60 flawed arguments of, 132–3 influence on modern economics, 131–2 and monetarism, 87, 132, 232 at Mont Pèlerin, 5, 132 rejects need for realistic assumptions, 132–3 Sheraton Hall address (December 1967), 132 ‘The Methodology of Positive Economics’ (essay, 1953), 132–3 ‘The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits’ (article, 1970), 2, 152 Frost, Gerald, Antony Fisher: Champion of Liberty (2002), 7* Galbraith, John Kenneth, 242–3 game theory assumptions of ‘rational behaviour’, 18, 28, 29–32, 35–8, 41–3, 70, 124 Axelrod’s law of the instrument, 41 backward induction procedure, 36–7, 38 and Cold War nuclear strategy, 18, 20, 21–2, 24, 27, 33–4, 35, 70, 73, 198 focus on consequences alone, 43 as form of zombie science, 41 and human awareness, 21–3, 24–32 and interdependence, 23 limitations of, 32, 33–4, 37–40, 41–3 minimax solution, 22 multiplicity problem, 33–4, 35–7, 38 Nash equilibrium, 22–3, 24, 25, 27–8, 33–4, 41–2 the Nash program, 25 and nature of trust, 28–31, 41 the Prisoner’s Dilemma, 26–8, 29–32, 42–3 real world as problem for, 21–2, 24–5, 29, 31–2, 37–8, 39–40, 41–3 rise of in economics, 40–41 and Russell’s Chicken, 33–4 and Schelling, 138–9 and spectrum auctions, 39–40 theory of repeated games, 29–30, 35 tit-for-tat, 30–31 and trust, 29, 30–31, 32, 41 uses of, 23–4, 34, 38–9 view of humanity as non-cooperative/distrustful, 18, 21–2, 25–32, 36–8, 41–3 Von Neumann as father of, 18, 19, 20–22, 25, 26, 28, 30, 34, 41 zero-sum games, 21–2 Gates, Bill, 221–2 Geithner, Tim, 105 gender, 127–8, 130–31, 133, 156 General Electric, 159 General Motors (GM), 215–16 George, Prince of Cambridge, 98 Glass–Steagall Act, repeal of, 194 globalization, 215, 220 Goldman Sachs, 182, 184, 192 Google, 105 Gore, Al, 39 Great Reform Act (1832), 120 greed, 1–2, 196, 197, 204, 229, 238 Greenspan, Alan, 57, 203 Gruber, Jonathan, 245 Haifa, Israel, 158, 161 Harper, ‘Baldy’, 7 Harsanyi, John, 34–5, 40 Harvard Business Review, 153 Hayek, Friedrich and Arrow’s framework, 78–9 economics as all of life, 8 and Antony Fisher, 6–7 influence on Thatcher, 6, 7 and Keynesian economics, 5–6 and legal frameworks, 7* at LSE, 4 at Mont Pèlerin, 4, 5, 6, 15 and Olson’s analysis, 104 and public choice theory, 89 rejection of incentive schemes, 156 ‘spontaneous order’ idea, 30 The Road to Serfdom (1944), 4, 5, 6, 78–9, 94 healthcare, 91–2, 93, 178, 230, 236 hedge funds, 201, 219, 243–4 Heilbroner, Robert, The Worldly Philosophers, 252 Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, 98, 107, 243–4 Helmsley, Leona, 105 hero myths, 221–3, 224 Hewlett-Packard, 159 hippie countercultural, 100 Hoffman, Abbie, Steal This Book, 100 Holmström, Bengt, 229–30 homo economicus, 9, 10, 12, 140, 156–7 and Gary Becker, 126, 129, 133, 136 and behaviour of real people, 15, 136, 144–5, 171, 172, 173, 250–51 and behavioural economics, 170, 171, 172, 255 long shadow cast by, 248 and Nudge economists, 13, 172, 173, 174–5, 177 Hooke, Robert, 223 housing market, 128–9, 196, 240–41 separate doors for poor people, 243 Hume, David, 111 Huxley, Thomas, 114 IBM, 181, 222 identity, 32, 165–6, 168, 180 Illinois, state of, 46–7 immigration, 125, 146 Impossibility Theorem, 72, 73–4, 75, 89, 97 Arrow’s assumptions, 80, 81, 82 and Duncan Black, 77–8 and free marketeers, 78–9, 82 as misunderstood and misrepresented, 76–7, 79–82 ‘paradox of voting’, 75–7 as readily solved, 76–7, 79–80 Sen’s mathematical framework, 80–81 incentives adverse effect on autonomy, 164, 165–6, 168, 169–70, 180 authority figure–autonomy contradiction, 180 and behavioural economics, 171, 175, 176–7 cash and non-cash gifts, 161–2 context and culture, 175–6 contrast with rewards and punishments, 176–7 ‘crowding in’, 176 crowding out of prior motives, 160–61, 162–3, 164, 165–6, 171, 176 impact of economists’ ideas, 156–7, 178–80 and intrinsic motivations, 158–60, 161–3, 164, 165–6, 176 and moral disengagement, 162, 163, 164, 166 morally wrong/corrupting, 168–9 origins in behaviourism, 154 and orthodox theory of motivation, 157–8, 164, 166–7, 168–70, 178–9 payments to blood donors, 162–3, 164, 169, 176 as pervasive in modern era, 155–6 respectful use of, 175, 177–8 successful, 159–60 as tools of control/power, 155–7, 158–60, 161, 164, 167, 178 Indecent Proposal (film, 1993), 168 India, 123, 175 individualism, 82, 117 and Becker, 134, 135–8 see also freedom, individual Industrial Revolution, 223 inequality and access to lifeboats, 150–51 and climate change, 207–9 correlation with low social mobility, 227–8, 243 and demand for positional goods, 239–41 and economic imperialism, 145–7, 148, 151, 207 and efficiency wages, 237–8 entrenched self-deluding justifications for, 242–3 and executive pay, 215–16, 219, 224, 228–30, 234, 238 as falling in 1940–80 period, 215, 216 Great Gatsby Curve, 227–8, 243 hero myths, 221–3, 224 increases in as self-perpetuating, 227–8, 230–31, 243 as increasing since 1970s, 2–3, 215–16, 220–21 and lower growth levels, 239 mainstream political consensus on, 216, 217, 218, 219–21 marginal productivity theory, 223–4, 228 new doctrine on taxation since 1970s, 232–5 and Pareto, 217, 218–19, 220 poverty as waste of productive capacity, 238–9 public attitudes to, 221, 226–8 rises in as not inevitable, 220, 221, 242 role of luck downplayed, 222, 224–6, 243 scale-invariant nature of, 219, 220 ‘socialism for the rich’, 230 Thatcher’s praise of, 216 and top-rate tax cuts, 231, 233–5, 239 trickle-down economics, 232–3 US and European attitudes to, 226–7 ‘you deserve what you get’ belief, 223–6, 227–8, 236, 243 innovation, 222–3, 242 Inside Job (documentary, 2010), 88 Institute of Economic Affairs, 7–8, 15, 162–3 intellectual property law, 57, 68, 236 Ishiguro, Kazuo, Never Let Me Go, 148 Jensen, Michael, 229 Journal of Law and Economics, 49 justice, 1, 55, 57–62, 125, 137 Kahn, Herman, 18, 33 Kahneman, Daniel, 170–72, 173, 179, 202–3, 212, 226 Kennedy, President John, 139–40 Keynes, John Maynard, 11, 21, 162, 186, 204 and Buchanan’s ideology, 87 dentistry comparison, 258–9, 261 on economics as moral science, 252–3 Friedman’s challenge to orthodoxy of, 132 Hayek’s view of, 5–6 massive influence of, 3–4, 5–6 on power of economic ideas, 15 and probability, 185, 186–7, 188–9, 190, 210 vision of the ideal economist, 20 General Theory (1936), 15, 188–9 Khomeini, Ayatollah, 128 Khrushchev, Nikita, 139–40, 181 Kilburn Grammar School, 48 Kildall, Gary, 222 Kissinger, Henry, 184 Knight, Frank, 185–6, 212 Krugman, Paul, 248 Kubrick, Stanley, 35*, 139 labour child labour, 124, 146 and efficiency wages, 237–8 labour-intensive services, 90, 92–3 lumpenproletariat, 237 Olson’s hostility to unions, 104 Adam Smith’s ‘division of labour’ concept, 128 Laffer, Arthur, 232–3, 234 Lancet (medical journal), 257 Larkin, Philip, 67 law and economics movement, 40, 55, 56–63, 64–7 Lazear, Edward, ‘Economic Imperialism’, 246 legal system, 7* and blame for accidents, 55, 60–61 and Chicago School, 49, 50–52, 55 and Coase Theorem, 47, 49, 50–55, 63–6 criminal responsibility, 111, 137, 152 economic imperialist view of, 137 law and economics movement, 40, 55, 56–63, 64–7 ‘mimic the market’ approach, 61–3, 65 Posner’s wealth-maximization principle, 57–63, 64–7, 137 precautionary principle, 211–12, 214 transaction costs, 51–3, 54–5, 61, 62, 63–4, 68 Lehmann Brothers, 194 Lexecon, 58, 68 Linda Problem, 202–3 LineStanding.com, 123 Little Zheng, 123, 124 Lloyd Webber, Andrew, 234–5, 236 lobbying, 7, 8, 88, 115, 123, 125, 146, 230, 231, 238 loft-insulation schemes, 172–3 logic, mathematical, 74–5 The Logic of Life (Tim Harford, 2008), 130 London School of Economics (LSE), 4, 48 Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM), 201, 257 Machiavelli, Niccoló, 89, 94 Mafia, 30 malaria treatments, 125, 149 management science, 153–4, 155 Mandelbrot, Benoît, 195, 196, 201 Mankiw, Greg, 11 marginal productivity theory, 223–4 Markowitz, Harry, 196–7, 201, 213 Marx, Karl, 11, 101, 102, 104, 111, 223 lumpenproletariat, 237 mathematics, 9–10, 17–18, 19, 21–4, 26, 247, 248, 255, 259 of 2007 financial crash, 194, 195–6 and Ken Arrow, 71, 72, 73–5, 76–7, 82–3, 97 axioms (abstract assumptions), 198 fractals (scale-invariance), 194, 195–6, 201, 219 and orthodox decision theory, 190–91, 214 Ramsey Rule on discounting, 208–9, 212 and Savage, 189–90, 193, 197, 198, 199, 205 and Schelling, 139 Sen’s framework on voting systems, 80–81 standard deviation, 182, 192, 194 and stock market statistics, 190–91, 195–6 use of for military ends, 71–2 maximizing behaviour and Becker, 129–31, 133–4, 147 and catastrophe, 211 and Coase, 47, 55, 59, 61, 63–9 economic imperialism, 124–5, 129–31, 133–4, 147, 148–9 Posner’s wealth-maximization principle, 57–63, 64–7, 137 profit-maximizing firms, 228 see also wealth-maximization principle; welfare maximization McCluskey, Kirsty, 194 McNamara, Robert, 138 median voter theorem, 77, 95–6 Merton, Robert, 201 Meucci, Antonio, 222 microeconomics, 9, 232, 259 Microsoft, 222 Miles, David, 258 Mill, John Stuart, 102, 111, 243 minimum wage, national, 96 mobility, economic and social correlation with inequality, 226–8, 243 as low in UK, 227 as low in USA, 226–7 US–Europe comparisons, 226–7 Modern Times (Chaplin film, 1936), 154 modernism, 67 Moivre, Abraham de, 193 monetarism, 87, 89, 132, 232 monopolies and cartels, 101, 102, 103–4 public sector, 48–9, 50–51, 93–4 Mont Pèlerin Society, 3–9, 13, 15, 132 Morgenstern, Oskar, 20–22, 24–5, 28, 35, 124, 129, 189, 190 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 91, 92–3 Murphy, Kevin, 229 Mussolini, Benito, 216, 219 Nash equilibrium, 22–3, 24, 25, 27–8, 33–4, 41–2 Nash, John, 17–18, 22–3, 24, 25–6, 27–8, 33–4, 41–2 awarded Nobel Prize, 34–5, 38, 39, 40 mental health problems, 25, 26, 34 National Health Service, 106, 162 ‘neoliberalism’, avoidance of term, 3* Neumann, John von ambition to make economics a science, 20–21, 24–5, 26, 35, 125, 151, 189 as Cold War warrior, 20, 26, 138 and expansion of scope of economics, 124–5 as father of game theory, 18, 19, 20–22, 25, 26, 28, 30, 34, 41 final illness and death of, 19, 34, 35, 43–4 genius of, 19–20 as inspiration for Dr Strangelove, 19 and Nash’s equilibrium, 22–3, 25, 38* simplistic view of humanity, 28 theory of decision-making, 189, 190, 203 neuroscience, 14 New Deal, US, 4, 194, 231 Newton, Isaac, 223 Newtonian mechanics, 21, 24–5 Nixon, Richard, 56, 184, 200 NORAD, Colorado Springs, 181 nuclear weapons, 18–19, 20, 22, 27, 181 and Ellsberg, 200 and game theory, 18, 20, 21–2, 24, 27, 33–4, 35, 70, 73, 198 MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), 35, 138 and Russell’s Chicken, 33–4 and Schelling, 138, 139 Nudge economists, 13, 171–5, 177–8, 179, 180, 251 Oaten, Mark, 121 Obama, Barack, 110, 121, 157, 172, 180 Olson, Mancur, 103, 108, 109, 119–20, 122 The Logic of Collective Action (1965), 103–4 On the Waterfront (Kazan film, 1954), 165 online invisibility, 100* organs, human, trade in, 65, 123, 124, 145, 147–8 Orwell, George, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 42–3 Osborne, George, 233–4 Packard, David, 159 Paine, Tom, 243 Pareto, Vilfredo 80/20 rule’ 218 and inequality, 217, 218–19, 220 life and background of, 216–17 Pareto efficiency, 217–18, 256* Paul the octopus (World Cup predictor, 2010), 133 pensions, workplace, 172, 174 physics envy, 9, 20–21, 41, 116, 175–6, 212, 247 Piketty, Thomas, 234, 235 plastic shopping bag tax, 159–60 Plato’s Republic, 100–101, 122 political scientists and Duncan Black, 78, 95–6 Black’s median voter theorem, 95–6 Buchanan’s ideology, 84–5 crises of the 1970s, 85–6 influence of Arrow, 72, 81–2, 83 see also public choice theory; social choice theory Posner, Richard, 54, 56–63, 137 ‘mimic the market’ approach, 61–3, 65 ‘The Economics of the Baby Shortage’ (1978), 61 precautionary principle, 211–12, 214 price-fixing, 101, 102, 103–4 Princeton University, 17, 19–20 Prisoner’s Dilemma, 26–8, 29–32, 42–3 prisons, cell upgrades in, 123 privatization, 50, 54, 88, 93–4 probability, 182–4 and Keynes, 185, 186–7, 188–9, 210 Linda Problem, 202–3 modern ideas of, 184–5 Ramsey’s personal probabilities (beliefs as probabilities), 187–8, 190, 197, 198, 199, 204–5 and Savage, 190, 193, 197, 198, 199, 203, 205 ‘Truth and Probability’ (Ramsey paper), 186–8, 189, 190 see also risk and uncertainty Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 22 productivity Baumol’s cost disease, 90–92, 93, 94 and efficiency wages, 237–8 improvement in labour-intensive services, 92–3 labour input, 92 protectionism, 246, 255 psychology availability heuristic, 226 behaviourism, 154–8, 237 and behavioural economics, 12, 170–71 cognitive dissonance, 113–14 and financial incentives, 156–7, 158–60, 163–4, 171 framing effects, 170–71, 259 of free-riding, 113–14, 115 intrinsic motivations, 158–60, 161–3, 164, 165–6, 176 irrational behaviour, 12, 15, 171 learning of social behaviour, 163–4 moral disengagement, 162, 163, 164, 166 motivated beliefs, 227 ‘self-command’ strategies, 140 view of in game theory, 26–31 view of in public choice theory, 85–6 and welfare maximization, 149 ‘you deserve what you get’ belief, 223–6, 227–8, 236, 243 public choice theory as consensus view, 84–5 and crises of the 1970s, 85–6 foolish voter assumption, 86–8 ‘paradox of voter turnout’, 88–9, 95–6, 115–16 partial/self-contradictory application of, 86, 87–9 ‘political overload’ argument, 85, 86–7 ‘public bad, private good’ mantra, 93–4, 97 and resistance to tax rises, 94, 241 self-fulfilling prophecies, 95–7 and selfishness, 85–6, 87–8, 89, 94, 95–7 as time-bomb waiting to explode, 85 public expenditure in 1970s and ’80s, 89 Baumol’s cost disease, 90–92, 93, 94 and Keynesian economics, 4 and public choice theory, 85–8, 89, 241 and tax rises, 241–2 public-sector monopolies, 48–9, 50–51, 93–4 Puzzle of the Harmless Torturers, 118–19 queue-jumping, 123, 124 QWERTY layout, 42 racial discrimination, 126–7, 133, 136, 140 Ramsey, Frank, 186–8, 189, 190, 205, 208 Ramsey Rule, 208–9, 212 RAND Corporation, 17, 41, 103, 138, 139 and Ken Arrow, 70–71, 72–3, 74, 75–6, 77, 78 and behaviourism, 154 and Cold War military strategy, 18, 20, 21–2, 24, 27, 33–4, 70, 73, 75–6, 141, 200, 213 and Ellsberg, 182–4, 187, 197–8, 200 and Russell’s Chicken, 33 Santa Monica offices of, 18 self-image as defender of freedom, 78 rational behaviour assumptions in game theory, 18, 28, 29–32, 35–8, 41–3, 70, 124 axioms (abstract mathematical assumptions), 198 Becker’s version of, 128–9, 135, 140, 151 behavioural economics/Nudge view of, 173, 174–5 distinction between values and tastes, 136–8 economic imperialist view of, 135, 136–8, 140, 151 and free-riding theory, 100–101, 102, 103–4, 107–8, 109–10, 115–16 and orthodox decision theory, 198, 199 public choice theory relates selfishness to, 86 term as scientific-sounding cover, 12 see also homo economicus Reader’s Digest, 5, 6 Reagan, Ronald, 2, 87–8, 89, 104, 132 election of as turning point, 6, 216, 220–21 and top-rate tax cuts, 231, 233 regulators, 1–2 Chicago view of, 40 Reinhart, Carmen, 258 religion, decline of in modern societies, 15, 185 renewable energy, 116 rent-seeking, 230, 238 ‘right to recline’, 63–4 risk and uncertainty bell curve distribution, 191–4, 195, 196–7, 201, 203–4, 257 catastrophes, 181–2, 191, 192, 201, 203–4, 211–12 delusions of quantitative ‘risk management’, 196, 213 Ellsberg’s experiment (1961), 182–4, 187, 197, 198–200 errors in conventional thinking about, 191–2, 193–4, 195–7, 204–5, 213 financial orthodoxy on risk, 196–7, 201–2 and First World War, 185 and fractals (scale-invariance), 194, 195–6, 201 hasard and fortuit, 185* ‘making sense’ of through stories, 202–3 ‘measurable’ and ‘unmeasurable’ distinction, 185–6, 187–9, 190, 210–11, 212–13 measurement in numerical terms, 181–4, 187, 189, 190–94, 196–7, 201–2, 203–5, 212–13 orthodox decision theory, 183–4, 185–6, 189–91, 193–4, 201–2, 203–5, 211, 212–14 our contemporary orthodoxy, 189–91 personal probabilities (beliefs as probabilities), 187–8, 190, 197, 198, 199, 204–5 precautionary principle, 211–12, 214 pure uncertainty, 182–3, 185–6, 187–9, 190, 197, 198–9, 210, 211, 212, 214, 251 redefined as ‘volatility’, 197, 213 the Savage orthodoxy, 190–91, 197, 198–200, 203, 205 scenario planning as crucial, 251 Taleb’s black swans, 192, 194, 201, 203–4 ‘Truth and Probability’ (Ramsey paper), 186–8, 189, 190 urge to actuarial alchemy, 190–91, 197, 201 value of human life (‘statistical lives’), 141–5, 207 see also probability Robertson, Dennis, 13–14 Robinson, Joan, 260 Rodrik, Dani, 255, 260–61 Rogoff, Ken, 258 Rothko, Mark, 4–5 Rumsfeld, Donald, 232–3 Russell, Bertrand, 33–4, 74, 97, 186, 188 Ryanair, 106 Sachs, Jeffrey, 257 Santa Monica, California, 18 Sargent, Tom, 257–8 Savage, Leonard ‘Jimmie’, 189–90, 193, 203, 205scale-invariance, 194, 195–6, 201, 219 Scandinavian countries, 103, 149 Schelling, Thomas, 35* on access to lifeboats, 150–51 awarded Nobel Prize, 138–9 and Cold War nuclear strategy, 138, 139–40 and economic imperialism, 141–5 and game theory, 138–9 and Washington–Moscow hotline, 139–40 work on value of human life, 141–5, 207 ‘The Intimate Contest for Self-command’ (essay, 1980), 140, 145 ‘The Life You Save May be Your Own’ (essay, 1968), 142–5, 207 Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, 172 Schmidt, Eric, 105 Scholes, Myron, 201 Schwarzman, Stephen, 235 Second World War, 3, 189, 210 selfishness, 41–3, 178–9 and Becker, 129–30 and defence of inequality, 242–3 as free marketeers’ starting point, 10–12, 13–14, 41, 86, 178–9 and game theory, 18 and public choice theory, 85–6, 87–8, 89, 94, 95–7 Selten, Reinhard, 34–5, 36, 38, 40 Sen, Amartya, 29, 80–81 service sector, 90–93, 94 Shakespeare, William, Measure for Measure, 169 Shaw, George Bernard, 101 Shiller, Robert, 247 Simon, Herbert, 223 Skinner, Burrhus, 154–5, 158 Smith, Adam, 101, 111, 122 The Wealth of Nations (1776), 10–11, 188–9 snowflakes, 195 social choice theory, 72 and Ken Arrow, 71–83, 89, 95, 97, 124–5, 129 and Duncan Black, 78, 95 and free marketeers, 79, 82 Sen’s mathematical framework, 80–81 social media, 100* solar panels, 116 Solow, Bob, 163, 223 Sorites paradox, 117–18, 119 sovereign fantasy, 116–17 Soviet Union, 20, 22, 70, 73, 82, 101, 104, 167, 237 spectrum auctions, 39–40, 47, 49 Stalin, Joseph, 70, 73, 101 the state anti-government attitudes in USA, 83–5 antitrust regulation, 56–8 dismissal of almost any role for, 94, 135, 235–6, 241 duty over full employment, 5 economic imperialist arguments for ‘small government’, 135 increased economic role from 1940s, 3–4, 5 interventions over ‘inefficient’ outcomes, 53 and monetarism, 87, 89 and Mont Pèlerin Society, 3, 4, 5 and privatization, 50, 54, 88, 93–4 public-sector monopolies, 48–50, 93–4 replacing of with markets, 79 vital role of, 236 statistical lives, 141–5, 207 Stern, Nick, 206, 209–10 Stigler, George, 50, 51, 56, 69, 88 De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum (with Becker, 1977), 135–6 Stiglitz, Joseph, 237 stock markets ‘Black Monday’ (1987), 192 and fractals (scale-invariance), 194, 195–6, 201 orthodox decision theory, 190–91, 193–4, 201 Strittmatter, Father, 43–4 Summers, Larry, 10, 14 Sunstein, Cass, 173 Nudge (with Richard Thaler, 2008), 171–2, 175 Taleb, Nassim, 192 Tarski, Alfred, 74–5 taxation and Baumol’s cost disease, 94 and demand for positional goods, 239–41 as good thing, 231, 241–2, 243 Laffer curve, 232–3, 234 new doctrine of since 1970s, 232–4 property rights as interdependent with, 235–6 public resistance to tax rises, 94, 239, 241–2 and public spending, 241–2 revenue-maximizing top tax rate, 233–4, 235 tax avoidance and evasion, 99, 105–6, 112–13, 175, 215 ‘tax revolt’ campaigns (1970s USA), 87 ‘tax as theft’ culture, 235–6 top-rate cuts and inequality, 231, 233–5, 239 whines from the super-rich, 234–5, 243 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 153–4, 155, 167, 178, 237 Thaler, Richard, 13 Nudge (with Cass Sunstein, 2008), 171–2, 175 Thatcher, Margaret, 2, 88, 89, 104, 132 election of as turning point, 6, 216, 220–21 and Hayek, 6, 7 and inequality, 216, 227 privatization programme, 93–4 and top-rate tax cuts, 231 Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (Von Neumann and Morgenstern, 1944), 20, 21, 25, 189 Titanic, sinking of (1912), 150 Titmuss, Richard, The Gift Relationship, 162–3 tobacco-industry lobbyists, 8 totalitarian regimes, 4, 82, 167–8, 216, 219 see also Soviet Union trade union movement, 104 Tragedy of the Commons, 27 Truman, Harry, 20, 237 Trump, Donald, 233 Tucker, Albert, 26–7 Tversky, Amos, 170–72, 173, 202–3, 212, 226 Twitter, 100* Uber, 257 uncertainty see risk and uncertainty The Undercover Economist (Tim Harford, 2005), 130 unemployment and Coase Theorem, 45–7, 64 during Great Depression, 3–4 and Keynesian economics, 4, 5 United Nations, 96 universities auctioning of places, 124, 149–50 incentivization as pervasive, 156 Vietnam War, 56, 198, 200, 249 Villari, Pasquale, 30 Vinci, Leonardo da, 186 Viniar, David, 182, 192 Volkswagen scandal (2016), 2, 151–2 Vonnegut, Kurt, 243–4 voting systems, 72–4, 77, 80, 97 Arrow’s ‘Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives’, 81, 82 Arrow’s ‘Universal Domain’, 81, 82 and free marketeers, 79 ‘hanging chads’ in Florida (2000), 121 recount process in UK, 121 Sen’s mathematical framework, 80–81 Waldfogel, Joel, 161* Wanniski, Jude, 232 Watertown Arsenal, Massachusetts, 153–4 Watson Jr, Thomas J., 181 wealth-maximization principle, 57–63 and Coase, 47, 55, 59, 63–9 as core principle of current economics, 253 created markets, 65–7 extension of scope of, 124–5 and justice, 55, 57–62, 137 and knee space on planes, 63–4 practical problems with negotiations, 62–3 and values more important than efficiency, 64–5, 66–7 welfare maximization, 124–5, 129–31, 133–4, 148–9, 176 behavioural economics/Nudge view of, 173 and vulnerable/powerless people, 146–7, 150 welfare state, 4, 162 Wilson, Charlie, 215 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 186, 188 Wolfenschiessen (Swiss village), 158, 166–7 Woolf, Virginia, 67 World Bank, 96 World Cup football tournament (2010), 133 World Health Organization, 207 Yale Saturday Evening Pest, 4–5 Yellen, Janet, 237 THE BEGINNING Let the conversation begin … Follow the Penguin twitter.com/penguinukbooks Keep up-to-date with all our stories youtube.com/penguinbooks Pin ‘Penguin Books’ to your pinterest.com/penguinukbooks Like ‘Penguin Books’ on facebook.com/penguinbooks Listen to Penguin at soundcloud.com/penguin-books Find out more about the author and discover more stories like this at penguin.co.uk ALLEN LANE UK | USA | Canada | Ireland | Australia India | New Zealand | South Africa Allen Lane is part of the Penguin Random House group of companies whose addresses can be found at global.penguinrandomhouse.com First published 2019 Copyright © Jonathan Aldred, 2019 The moral right of the author has been asserted Jacket photograph © Getty Images ISBN: 978-0-241-32544-5 This ebook is copyright 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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: 558 words: 164,627

The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, John Markoff, John von Neumann, license plate recognition, Livingstone, I presume, low earth orbit, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, place-making, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, zero-sum game

But as his assistants entered more and more complicated computational requests, von Neumann finally did what human beings do: he erred. The computer did not. It was a revelatory moment in the history of defense science. A machine had just outperformed a brain the Pentagon relied on, one of the greatest minds in the world. The Pentagon’s strategy for nuclear deterrence in the 1950s was based on a notion called mutual assured destruction, or MAD. This was the proposition that neither the Soviets nor the Americans would be willing to launch a nuclear attack against the other because that action would ensure a reciprocal action and ultimately guarantee both sides’ demise. At RAND, analysts began applying the Prisoner’s Dilemma strategy to a nuclear launch, keeping in mind that the driving principle of the dilemma was distrust.

President Eisenhower, age seventy-one when he left office, had been a five-star general and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. President Kennedy was a dashing young war hero, full of idealism and enthusiasm, and just forty-three years old. Kennedy sought a more adaptable, collegial style of policy making when it came to issues of national security. The Eisenhower doctrine was based on mutual assured destruction, or MAD. The Kennedy doctrine would become known as “flexible response.” The new president believed that the U.S. military needed to be able to fight limited wars, quickly and with flexibility, anywhere around the world where communism threatened democracy. In describing his approach, Kennedy said that the nation must be ready “to deter all wars, general or limited, nuclear or conventional, large or small.”

In 1961 his findings were published as a book that caused a national outcry. Gouré claimed that during his trip to Moscow, he had seen firsthand evidence indicating that the Soviet Union had built a vast network of underground bunkers, which would protect the Russian people after a nuclear first strike against the United States. The Soviet action would inevitably be followed by a U.S. nuclear response. The concept of mutual assured destruction was based on the idea that the superpowers would not attack each other, provided they remained equally vulnerable to a nuclear strike. Gouré’s frightening premise suggested that the Soviet Politburo believed they could survive a nuclear war and protect the majority of their population as well. Like Albert Wohlstetter’s second-strike theory, Gouré’s findings suggested that since the Soviets believed they could survive, they might attempt a decapitating first strike.


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, do-ocracy, 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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: 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 cycle, 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 pandemic, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, 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: 1,073 words: 314,528

Strategy: A History by Lawrence Freedman

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Black Swan, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, defense in depth, desegregation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, endowment effect, Ford paid five dollars a day, framing effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, lateral thinking, linear programming, loose coupling, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mental accounting, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Nelson Mandela, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Torches of Freedom, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, unemployed young men, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Attempts to develop effective defenses against nuclear attack proved futile. By the mid-1960s, fears eased of a technological arms race that might encourage either side to unleash a surprise attack. For the foreseeable future, each side could eliminate the other as a modern industrial state. Robert McNamara, as secretary of defense, argued that so long as the two superpowers had confidence in their capacity for mutual assured destruction—an ability to impose “unacceptable damage” defined as 25 percent of population and 50 percent of industry—the relationship between the two would be stable. These levels, it should be noted, reflected less a judgment about the tolerances of modern societies and more the point at which extra explosions would result in diminishing marginal returns measured by new damage and casualties, the point at which—to use Winston Churchill’s vivid phrase—“all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce.”

They did not think they could win a “guerrilla war”—success at this level would allow them to move on to the next stage defined by the familiar clash of regular armies. What they thought was truly distinctive to their type of warfare was the attention paid to political education and propaganda. Vietnam, a war for which the civilian strategists had not prepared and on which they had relatively little of value to say, marked the end of the “golden age” of strategic studies. Just as the arrival of mutual assured destruction and a period of relative calm took the urgency out of the Cold War, Vietnam “poisoned the academic well.”43 Colin Gray charged the civilian “men of ideas” with being overconfident about the ease with which theory might be transferred to the “world of action.” The prophets had become courtiers, living off their intellectual capital. Their “dual-loyalty” to the needs of problem-oriented officials on the one hand and the disinterested “policy-neutral” standards of scholarship on the other “had tended to produce both irrelevant policy advice and poor scholarship.”44 In response to this criticism, Brodie praised policy engagement and defended the small group of civilian strategists who had accepted the burden of making sense of the new nuclear world, because the military were incapable of doing so.

Furthermore, while the United States’ evident military superiority in a particular type of war was likely to encourage others to fight in different ways, that military capacity would also constrain opponents’ ambitions. As a regular conventional war against the United States appeared to be an increasingly foolish proposition, especially after its convincing performance in the 1991 Gulf War, one form of potential challenge to American predominance was removed, just as the prospect of mutual assured destruction had earlier removed nuclear war as a serious policy option. Nonetheless, the presentation of the RMA was shaped by political preferences about the sort of war the Americans would like to fight. It offered a neat fit between a desire to reduce the risks of high casualties or Vietnam-style campaigns and a Western ethical tradition that stressed discrimination and proportionality in warfare.


pages: 238 words: 73,121

Does Capitalism Have a Future? by Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian, Craig Calhoun, Stephen Hoye, Audible Studios

affirmative action, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, butterfly effect, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, distributed generation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Isaac Newton, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, loose coupling, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

There was a Soviet bloc, which would come to be defined as running from the Oder-Neisse line in central Europe to the 38th Parallel in Korea (and including mainland China, after the definitive defeat of the Kuomintang by the Chinese Communist Party forces in 1949). What the United States and the Soviet Union in effect agreed to observe was the primary (virtually exclusive) right of each to decide matters within its sphere. A crucial element of this de facto agreement was there would be no attempt to change these boundaries by military (or even political) means. After 1949, this accord was reinforced by the concept of “mutually assured destruction” based on the fact that both sides had sufficient nuclear strength to respond to any attack and destroy the other. The second part of the tacit agreement was the de facto economic disjuncture of the two zones. The United States would offer no assistance in the reconstruction of the Soviet bloc. Its aid would be limited to its zone—the Marshall Plan in western Europe, comparable aid to Japan and later to South Korea and Taiwan in east Asia.

The first global threat is the military one of nuclear war. The severity of this threat is almost completely unpredictable since it depends on a whole sequence of events any one of which might not happen. So far there have only been two-power confrontations, first the United States (and its British and French allies) against the Soviets, then India against Pakistan, flanked by a rather passive China. In these cases the threat of mutually assured destruction has been obvious to the two sides and the response, after a couple of half-crises, has been disciplined avoidance of escalation. Nuclear deterrence has worked. However, when more than two powers are involved in more complex conflicts, outcomes become more fraught. It was multipower conflicts in which some could not read the intentions of others which produced both world wars. In the Middle East Israel already has nuclear weapons, Iran is nearing that goal, and that might provoke neighboring powers to drive for them as well.


pages: 245 words: 72,893

How Democracy Ends by David Runciman

barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Internet of things, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norman Mailer, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, Yogi Berra

At the height of the Cold War, nuclear weapons were the drivers of political paranoia. Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 masterpiece Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is the great cinematic representation of the paranoid style in American politics. It satirised the world of conspiracy theories and it helped to fuel them. The inevitable secrecy of the nuclear state made it ripe for the wildest kinds of suspicion – in the upside-down universe of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) nothing was too crazy to be believable. Today, though we live in an age when conspiracy theories are everywhere, few of them concern nuclear weapons. The paranoia has spread its wings and moved on. Kissinger, once the pre-eminent symbol of the sinister underside of American democracy, is now just another has-been on the international conference circuit. When it turned out Kissinger had been advising Trump behind the scenes, most people weren’t terrified.

Is the history of our continued peaceful existence just a meaningless pattern of near-misses that could be made redundant at any moment by some terrible accident or design? The next time a nuclear weapon is detonated with human beings in the firing line everything changes. Until that happens – or until nuclear weapons are abolished – nothing really changes. The uncertainty persists. The irony is that the use of nuclear weapons is now more likely than it was a generation ago. We no longer live in a world of mutually assured destruction. Nuclear warfare could take place without destroying everything. Terrorists may acquire crude versions of nuclear weapons, in which case any taboo against their use would be meaningless. Equally, the super-sophisticated versions now available to the American military may tempt a commander-in-chief to see them as an extension of conventional warfare, capable of tactical precision and contained fall-out.


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, business cycle, buy and hold, 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, 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, undersea cable, 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: 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

addicted to oil, 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, en.wikipedia.org, 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, Kickstarter, 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: 330 words: 83,319

The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder by Sean McFate

active measures, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, hive mind, index fund, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero day, zero-sum game

Containment reminds us what grand strategy entails. It had four components. First, it sought to maximize US influence and minimize the USSR’s influence abroad. Second, it avoided direct confrontation with the USSR to avert nuclear war. Third, it tried to prevent a regional “domino effect” favoring the USSR. Fourth, it contained communist expansion through a variety of discrete strategies, such as nuclear deterrence through mutually assured destruction (or “MAD”), security cooperation efforts like NATO, coercive diplomacy, covert operations, proxy wars in places like Korea and Vietnam, the “rollback” of communist governments through regime change, and aiding democratic nations, also known as the Truman Doctrine. These facets of containment lasted throughout every administration, both Democrat and Republican, although each had a slightly different take on it.

(West Point), 235, 236 Military budget, 37–38, 41, 46, 47, 50, 102, 106–7, 445 Military contractors, 51, 101–2, 128–31 Military education, 235–40 Military force, declining utility of, 104–8 Military-industrial complex, 50, 166–67 Militias, 3, 101, 123–24, 153 Mimicry operations, 191 Mitchell, William “Billy,” 17–19, 20, 238, 249, 250 Mobutu Sese Seko, 157 Montgomery, Bernard, 234 Moral corruption, 113 “Moral hazard,” 186–87 More, Thomas, 127 Morocco, 97 Mueller, Robert, 202 Mutually assured destruction (“MAD”), 78–79 Myanmar, 150 My Lai massacre, 122 Myth-busting, 111 Myth of bifurcated victory, 232–33, 235 Napoleon Bonaparte, 32, 230, 250 Narco-wars. See Drug wars Narrative, controlling the, 41, 66, 67–68, 108–13, 227 Nash equilibrium, 161 Nasrallah, Hassan, 242 Natanz nuclear facility, 16 National debt, 46, 167 National Defense University, 23, 71, 232–33, 237–38 National guard vs. active duty, realignment of, 38–40 Nationalism, 105 National Security Agency, 137–38, 202 National Security Strategy, 75, 76–77 Nation-building, 4, 93–94, 150 Nation-states, 8, 247 conventional war and, 30–32 retreat of, 147–50 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), 2, 13, 21, 33, 37, 103–4, 168, 200, 245 Naval training, 55–57 Navy SEALs, 38, 172 Newbold, Gregory, 263n New Rules of War, 6, 9–10, 80, 248 New superpowers.


pages: 286 words: 82,970

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard Haass

access to a mobile phone, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, central bank independence, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, global pandemic, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, immigration reform, invisible hand, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, open economy, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special drawing rights, Steven Pinker, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

Elsewhere, the tie between nuclear weapons and what might happen was more latent, namely, that each side could introduce them into a situation if it determined that local interests and circumstances warranted. Expressed differently, nuclear weapons had the effect of dampening down competition between the two dominant powers of their day because leaders understood that a nuclear war would be disproportionately costly regardless of the interests at stake. Behind that was the sinister genius of mutually assured destruction (popularly known as MAD) and what was known as second-strike capability, namely, the ability to absorb a nuclear strike by the other side and still be in a position to retaliate on a scale that would deter (assuming rationality was at work) the other side from acting in the first place. Nuclear weapons, by eliminating the incentive to go first because there was little or no advantage in so doing, constituted a big innovation in the annals of order.

See Gulf War Latin America, 10, 48, 71, 192–93, 283–84 League of Nations, 31 legitimacy, 21–22, 31–32, 101, 105, 195–98, 200–201, 225–27 and Iraq War, 123–24, 196 See also sovereign obligation; world order liberal democratic order, 55–73, 210–11 Libya intervention (2011), 89, 115, 117, 136, 160–63, 235, 236 linkage, 220–21 Lisbon Treaty (2009), 190 Maastricht Treaty (1992), 188–89 MAD (mutually assured destruction), 42, 43 major-power relations, 201, 202–3, 215–24, 233, 326n2 post–Cold War, 12, 77–79, 101 post–World War II, 59, 153 in Westphalian order, 22–23 See also China; Cold War; Russia al-Maliki, Nouri, 174 Mao Tse-tung, 80, 84 Marshall Plan, 39, 70 Medvedev, Dmitry, 100 Middle East, 8–9, 50, 62–63, 71, 151–77, 180, 268–83 and Arab Spring, 118, 155–60, 163, 172, 230 and Iran, 131, 132, 273, 274–75 and Iraq War, 89, 122–24, 153–55 and Israel, 125, 275–76 and military force, 276–77 and oil, 269–70 and stateless groups, 279–83 and Yemen, 172–73 See also Iraq War; Syrian crisis military force, 22–23, 28–29, 59, 99, 132, 133, 165–66, 170, 234 and Cold War, 38–41 preventive vs. preemptive, 123–24, 127–28, 240–42 and self-determination, 107 and terrorism, 120–22 and U.S. foreign policy, 217, 240–43, 273, 276–77 monetary systems, 147–49, 249, 251 and China, 81–82 and European integration, 189, 190 post–World War II, 56–57, 65–66 Monroe Doctrine, 48 multilateralism, 198, 254–55 multipolarity, 203 Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 63 nationalism.


pages: 288 words: 81,253

Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Filter Bubble, hindsight bias, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, loss aversion, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, p-value, phenotype, prediction markets, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, urban planning, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

After a twenty-year period in which he contributed to practically every branch of mathematics, this is what he did in the last ten years of his life: played a key role on the Manhattan Project, pioneered the physics behind the hydrogen bomb, developed the first computers, figured out the optimal way to route bombers and choose targets at the end of World War II, and created the concept of mutually assured destruction (MAD), the governing geopolitical principle of survival throughout the Cold War. Even after being diagnosed with cancer in 1955 at the age of fifty-two, he served in the first civilian agency overseeing atomic research and development, attending meetings, though in great pain, in a wheelchair for as long as he was physically able. Despite all he accomplished in science, somehow von Neumann’s legacy in popular culture is as one of the models for the title character in Stanley Kubrick’s apocalyptic comedy, Dr. Strangelove: a heavily accented, crumpled, wheelchair-bound genius whose strategy of relying on mutually assured destruction goes awry when an insane general sends a single bomber on an unauthorized mission that could trigger the automated firing of all American and Soviet nuclear weapons.


pages: 501 words: 145,943

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

With or without Interpol, the greatest nightmare cities like Tokyo, Mumbai, New York, São Paulo, and London face in securing themselves against terrorism—with consequences no nation qua nation will directly face—is a downtown bomb strike by a terrorist group. It is too easy to imagine a cell securing a loose nuke or dirty bomb (clad in fissionable radioactive material) and importing it on one of those ubiquitous container ships that enter ports around the world, mostly uninspected. The second half of the twentieth century was marked by the unthinkable peril of nuclear winter, a thermonuclear exchange among state superpowers devoted to “mutual assured destruction”—the so-called MAD strategy of threatening reciprocal annihilation in order to deter conflict altogether. The first half of the twenty-first century will be marked by the “lesser” peril of a singular random act by a terrorist madman, a peril that may however seem even more horrific to urban dwellers. It is more than frightening to witness individual strikes with everyday weaponry—like the one in which two London extremists ran down and then slaughtered a British soldier in mid-afternoon London in May 2013.

See also Johnson, Boris London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), 186, 379n32 Los Angeles: carbon emissions, 319; inequalities in transportation, 195, 196; mitigation, 230–233; participatory budgeting, 306, 396n14 Los Angeles Microfinance Network (LAMN), 230 Lovelock, James, 17–18 Lübeck in Hanseatic League, 109 Luzhkov, Yury, 86, 172–174, 331, 400n48 Ma, Yo-Yo, 272, 287–288 MacArthur Park, 232–233 MAD (mutual assured destruction) strategy, 127 Mafia, 50–52, 107–108 Mailer, Norman, 10, 27, 37 “Make-work” jobs, 200 Malls, 44–45, 47, 276 Market fundamentalism, 226, 227 Marketplace, 14–15, 16 Market privatization of digital media, 254 Martindale, Don, 65 Maslin, Paul, 84 Masur, Kurt, 287 Mau, Bruce, 46–47, 366n46 Mayer, Marissa, 220 Mayors, 83–102; ambitions, 94–95, 98–99; characteristics, 87–100; corrupt, 89; expectations, 92–93; as homeboys, 98; how cities shape, 100–102; humor, 89–90; as managers, 92; mobilization of relationships by, 93; and NRA, 89; personal engagement by, 95–98; personality, 85–86, 88–89, 99–100; popularity, 84–85; pragmatism, 90–92; unique role, 350–352; work of, 86–87.

See also Global parliament of mayors Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 6, 113, 122–123, 129, 317 Mayors for Peace, 122–123, 128, 317 McCarthy, Kathleen, 117 McWorld, 143, 180 MedCities, 132–133 Megacities, 15–16 Menon, Anil, 106 Mer-Khamis, Juliano, 287 Metropolis, 16, 164, 316 Mexico, crime, 202, 381–382n66 Mexico City business revival, 223 Mexico City Pact (2010), 6 Michigan, emergency managers, 321 Microfinance, 229–230, 385–386n32 Millennium Development Goals, 134, 183, 204, 290–291 Mitigation of inequality, 213–237; best-practices approach, 233–237; example, 230–233; informal economy in, 228–230; injustice in, 224–228; poverty in, 216–224; and pragmatism of cities, 215 MNCs (multinational corporations), 168–169, 310–315 Mobility, 217–219 Mockus, Antanas, 295–298 Moore, Clover, 337 Moral freedom, 161 Moscow. See Luzhkov, Yury Moussa, Qadoura, 91, 268–270 MoveOn.org, 242, 260 Mumbai, 188, 200–201 Multiculturalism, 156–157, 283–286 Multinational corporations (MNCs), 168–169, 310–315 Mumford, Lewis, 36, 62 Musa, Kadara. See Moussa, Qadoura Music file-sharing techniques, 266 Mutual assured destruction (MAD) strategy, 127 mySociety, 263 Napster, 266 Nationalism, 115 Nationality, failure of, 154–157 National League of Cities, 111 National Rifle Association (NRA), 89, 112–113, 148–149, 325, 399n41 “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act” (proposed), 148 National self-determination, 160–161 Nation-states, 145–163; as autonomous, 115; cities as alternatives, 3–4, 18–19; climate negotiations, 146; communities of, 156; cooperation by, 152; democracy in, 155; and failure of nationality, 154–157; and failure of sovereignty, 157–163; as global actors, 74–78, 147–148, 154; jurisdictional disputes, 9–11, 75–77, 147–150; origins and development, 114, 153–154; relationship of cities to, 8–11, 145–147 “Natural” human differences, 180 Naturalism, artificial, 35 Naturalness of country life, 29–31 Natural networks, 113–117 Nature, inequality in, 205–208 “Necropolis,” 36, 62 Nenshi, Naheed, 170, 177, 213, 217 Neocolonialism, 182 Neo-Nazis, 253 Networks, 5–8, 106–140; current, 11–12, 117–121; electronic, 262–267; environmental, 130–138; historical, 107–113; intercity, 135, 136, 301, 316–319; natural, 113–117; node and synapse metaphor of, 112; security, 121–130 Network society, 243 New cities, 55–58, 384n17 Newsom, Gavin, 95, 260, 265, 387n3 New Songdo City (South Korea), 16 Newtown, Connecticut, massacre (2012), 129, 148 New York City: bike-share program, 137; bridging capital, 115–116; carbon emissions, 319; crime, 203; culture, 278; fiscal crisis, 145; inequality in, 184; Mailer on, 10; MTA rail service, 151; parks, 45–46, 207–208; personality of mayors, 88; Police Department, 124.


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, Boris Johnson, 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, WikiLeaks, 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: 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, business cycle, colonial rule, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, 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: 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.


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: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Charles Lindbergh, 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, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, private space industry, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, 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, 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: 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, business cycle, 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 pandemic, 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, lateral thinking, 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: 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, Nelson Mandela, 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.


Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomsky, Laray Polk

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: 518 words: 107,836

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

Albert Einstein, American ideology, 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, 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.


The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhy

affirmative action, Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Sinatra Doctrine, Stanislav Petrov, Transnistria

In 1963 the two leaders signed the first accord to bring the nuclear arms race under control—the Limited Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. It had taken eight years to negotiate such a document, and the beginning was modest indeed, but it was a step in the right direction. From then on, while continuing to compete globally and fighting proxy wars throughout the world, from Vietnam to Angola, the two superpowers kept negotiating to reduce their nuclear arsenals, finding solace in the doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD), according to which both countries had enough weapons to wipe each other off the face of the earth and were thus obliged to negotiate in order to survive. Nixon flew to Moscow in May 1972 to sign SALT I—the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty—with Brezhnev, and President Jimmy Carter flew to Vienna in 1979 to sign SALT II with the same leader. Both treaties placed caps on the production of nuclear weapons.

See Ukraine Kyrgyzstan Akayev and, 224, 345–346 CIS and, 322, 345–346 military forces, 346 nuclear weapons and, 346 sovereignty and, 173 U.S. and, 345–346, 382 Landsbergis, Vytautas, 197–198 Language, of Ukraine’s military, 289, 290 Lapychak, Chrystyna, 292 Latvia, 45, 191 annexation of, 192 sovereignty and, 174, 175, 197 Lebed, Aleksandr, 108, 118 Lenin, Vladimir, xiii, 328, 395, 398 Lezginka (dance), 288 Ligachev, Yegor, 28–29 Likhachev, Dmitrii, 175–176 Limited Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, 6 Lincoln, Abraham, 67, 101 Lithuania, 45, 191, 197 demonstrations in, 50–51, 117–118 sovereignty and, 34, 37, 38, 50, 174, 198 Lobov, Vladimir, 209–210 Loyalty, 289 Lubianka Square, 139–140 Lukashenka, Aliaksandr, 324–325 Lukianenko, Levko, 60, 165–169, 278, 279 Lukianov, Anatolii, 125 Luzhkov, Yurii, 94, 122 MAD. See Mutual assured destruction Madrid peace conference. See Middle East Peace Conference Major, John, 75, 113, 209, 378 Make Way for Ducklings (McCloskey), 20 Makhamov, Kakhahr, 163 The Malachite Casket (Bazhov), 228 Malkina, Tatiana, 98 Maria (Yeltsin’s granddaughter), 100 Marshall, George, 329 Marshall Plan, for Soviet Union, 205–206, 329–331, 341 Massacres Babyn Yar, 66–67, 266, 285 Katyn Forest, 369 Tiananmen Square, 77 Matlock, Jack, 26, 48, 65, 69, 76, 193, 206 Bush, George H.

See Multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles Missiles Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, 51 Cuban Missile Crisis, 6 ICBMs, 209 MIRVs, 209, 211 tests, 15–17 Mitterand, François, 75, 112, 209, 235, 240–241 Mlynář, Zdenĕk, 12 Moiseev, Mikhail, 81, 127, 135, 136, 137–138 Moldova (Moldavia), 50, 65, 193 CIS and, 360, 361 local nationalism in, 34 sovereignty and, 173, 178 Transnistria, 177, 360, 361, 362 U.S. and, 382 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, xviii, 34, 193, 301, 369, 400 Morozov, Kostiantyn, 287–291, 324 Moscow, xix coup d’état of August 1991 and, 102–104, 107–109, 118–120, 134, 139–141, 142–143 food shortage in, 205 Moscow Echo (radio station), 103, 108, 115 Moscow Summer Olympics, 6 Most-favored-nation trade status Soviet Union and, 21 Ukraine and, 62 Mulroney, Brian, 75, 79 Multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles (MIRVs), 209, 211 “Muslim Charter,” 355 Mutalibov, Ayaz, 224, 357, 361 See also Azerbaijan Mutual assured destruction (MAD), 6 Nagornyi Karabakh, 360, 362 cease fire in, 213 ethnic clashes in, 33–34, 213, 357, 361 Nairobi, 32 Najibullah, Mohammad, 203 Narodna Rada (People’s Council), 165 National Security Council, xxi Nationality with mixed ethnicity, 288–289 Ukraine military and passport, 289 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), 7, 25, 339, 406 Natural gas, 226, 270, 297, 301, 353 Nazarbayev, Nursultan, 14, 25, 44, 83, 88, 215, 219, 310–311, 402 Almaty summit and, 363, 364 Belavezha Agreement and, 320, 321, 348 biography, 350 CIS and, 345, 346–353, 356 coup d’état of August 1991 and, 114 economic reform and, 222 legacy, 185–186, 213, 405 with new union treaty, 41, 163, 185 nuclear arms and, 346, 348–349 political standing, 352 sovereignty of Kazakhstan and, 179, 181, 182, 249, 351 “10 + 1” and, 184–185, 186 See also Kazakhstan Nazis, 66, 67, 192, 281, 329 Neto, Agostinho, 8 New York, 32 New Zealand, 210 News media, 215, 235, 261, 266, 272, 279, 292, 298, 344, 347, 356, 364 censorship of, 98, 116, 137 coup d’état of August and, 98–99, 103, 108, 113, 115–116, 118–119, 138, 158, 161 foreign press, 98, 115–116, 118, 161, 372, 373–374, 377 radio stations, 103, 108, 115, 118 Ukrainian sovereignty and, 263 See also specific news outlets Nezavisimaia gazeta (Independent Newspaper), 98, 171, 230 Nicholas I (Tsar), 20 Nicholas II (Tsar), 28, 323, 338 Niiazov, Saparmurat, 249 Nikolaevich, Boris, 218 Niles, Thomas, 299, 379 9/11, xvi Nixon, Richard, 8, 63, 65, 117, 290 Brezhnev and, 3, 6, 51, 53 Niyazov, Saparmurat, 224, 352–353 See also Turkmenistan North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


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, 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?


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, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, 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, en.wikipedia.org, 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, 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, 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: 394 words: 117,982

The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David E. Sanger

active measures, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, computer age, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, ransomware, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

Naturally, the first temptation of Washington policy makers is to compare the problem to something more familiar: defending the country against nuclear weapons. But the nuclear comparison is faulty, and as the cyber expert James Lewis has pointed out, the false analogy has kept us from accurately understanding how cyber plays into the daily geopolitical conflict. Nuclear arms were designed solely for fighting and winning an overwhelming victory. “Mutually assured destruction’’ deterred nuclear exchanges because both sides understood they could be utterly destroyed. Cyberweapons, in contrast, come in many subtle shades, ranging from the highly destructive to the psychologically manipulative. Until recently, Americans were fixated on the most destructive class of cyberweapons, the ones that could turn off a nation’s power or interfere with its nuclear command-and-control systems.

There were exceptions, of course, moments of national terror: the British burned Washington in the War of 1812, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and al Qaeda brought down the Twin Towers and struck the Pentagon. But we knew the only attack that could threaten the existence of the country would come at the tip of a Soviet or Chinese intercontinental missile, or in the form of terrorists with access to nuclear weapons. And after some terrifying close calls, notably the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, we found an uneasy balance of power with our primary adversaries—mutually assured destruction—to deter the worst. It worked, or has so far, because the cost of failure is so high. In the cyber age, we have not found that balance, and probably never will. Cyberweapons are entirely different from nuclear arms, and their effects have so far remained relatively modest. But to assume that will continue to be true is to assume we understand the destructive power of the technology we have unleashed and that we can manage it.


pages: 637 words: 199,158

The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by John J. Mearsheimer

active measures, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, deindustrialization, discrete time, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Yom Kippur War

Nor were the Soviets able to gain a decisive nuclear advantage over the Americans at any time during the Cold War. Thus, each side was forced to live with the fact that no matter how it employed its own nuclear forces, the other side was still likely to have a survivable nuclear retaliatory force that could inflict unacceptable damage on an attacker. This “Texas standoff” came to be called “mutual assured destruction” (MAD), because both sides probably would have been destroyed if either initiated a nuclear war. However desirable it might be for any state to transcend MAD and establish nuclear superiority, it is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.135 Military Power in a MAD World A MAD world is highly stable at the nuclear level, because there is no incentive for any great power to start a nuclear war that it could not win; indeed, such a war would probably lead to its destruction as a functioning society.

Also, the balance of land power would be of minor importance in a world dominated by a nuclear hegemon. It is difficult, however, to achieve and maintain nuclear superiority, because rival states will go to great lengths to develop a nuclear retaliatory force of their own. As emphasized in Chapter 4, great powers are likely to find themselves operating in a world of nuclear powers with the assured capacity to destroy their enemies—a world of mutual assured destruction, or MAD. Some scholars, especially defensive realists, argue that it makes no sense for nuclear-armed states in a MAD world to pursue nuclear superiority.9 In particular, they should not build counterforce weapons—i.e., those that could strike the other side’s nuclear arsenal—and they should not build defensive systems that could shoot down the adversary’s incoming nuclear warheads, because the essence of a MAD world is that no state can be assured that it has destroyed all of its rival’s nuclear weapons, and thus would remain vulnerable to nuclear devastation.

Finally, I examine the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Defensive realists suggest that once nuclear-armed rivals develop the capability to destroy each other as functioning societies, they should be content with the world they have created and not attempt to change it. In other words, they should become status quo powers at the nuclear level. According to offensive realism, however, those rival nuclear powers will not simply accept mutual assured destruction (MAD) but instead will strive to gain nuclear superiority over the other side. I will attempt to show that the nuclear weapons policies of both superpowers were largely consistent with the predictions of offensive realism. With the exception of the American and British cases, which are discussed in the next chapter, my four different cuts at the historical record are dealt with here in the order in which they were described above.


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, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, 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, Sam Altman, 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, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber 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: 637 words: 128,673

Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, coherent worldview, 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: 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: 159 words: 45,073

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial intermediation, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Johannes Kepler, 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.


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), lateral thinking, mandatory minimum, medical residency, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, 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: 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 and hold, 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: 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, Joan Didion, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Skype, Snapchat, Year of Magical Thinking

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: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, 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, low earth orbit, 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: 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, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, 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, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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 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, undersea cable, 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.


Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11 by James Donovan

Charles Lindbergh, Hans Lippershey, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, white flight

And the Soviets weren’t the only ones rattling their nukes. In 1953, Eisenhower had threatened to use a hydrogen bomb against China, and U.S. senators had often called publicly for an atomic bomb to be dropped on Russia. Soon after the Soviet Union had detonated its own nuclear device, the two superpowers had begun to coexist under an unwritten but clearly understood doctrine known as “mutually assured destruction,” meaning that everyone was aware that the full-scale use of nuclear weapons would cause the almost complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender. This knowledge—and each country’s fear of a massive, preemptive nuclear strike from the other—was all that kept the Cold War from becoming hot. Both developed massive forces of nuclear weapons and long-range bombers and missiles, more than a thousand on each side, though the Russian Tu-4 bomber, a direct copy of the American B-29, was inferior to most of the U.S. fleet.

He took great pains to point out the difference between satellites and rockets designed for scientific purposes and those intended for military use. But neither the public nor the press seemed to care about the distinction, and the May 15, 1958, successful launch into orbit of Sputnik 3, a 2,926-pound research satellite with a large array of instruments, only increased the nation’s anxiety. The United States and the USSR had yet to engage in full-scale combat, but each side was heavily armed, and the doctrine of mutually assured destruction was of little comfort. Further fueled by an almost constant barrage of opinion pieces and articles on the imminent dangers of Soviets in space, not to mention speeches and statements by Senator Lyndon Johnson and other Democratic congressmen eager to exploit the purported missile gap for their own political gain, Americans quickly began demanding a full-fledged space program. The president grudgingly conceded, though he dreaded adding another bureaucracy and the expenditures it would create.


The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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.


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: 736 words: 233,366

Roller-Coaster: Europe, 1950-2017 by Ian Kershaw

airport security, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, centre right, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, illegal immigration, income inequality, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour market flexibility, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, The Chicago School, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, young professional

In fact, though American political and military leaders continued to be almost paranoid about the ‘missile gap’ with the Soviet Union, believing they were lagging behind, by the time John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States in November 1960 the Americans had perhaps seventeen times as many usable nuclear weapons as the Soviets. Which of the superpowers possessed the larger nuclear arsenal had by now, however, become largely meaningless. For by the early 1960s the nuclear arms race had long reached the point of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), as it was aptly labelled. Interballistic missiles could deliver their devastating load within minutes. Fleets of bombers and submarines were armed with nuclear weapons, ready to unleash them should the command be given. The world had to live with the possibility that a crisis could escalate to the point where the button would be pressed; or that a nuclear bomb could wreak devastation by accident (such as came close to wiping out East Anglia when in 1957 an American bomber crashed into a repository holding three nuclear bombs).

Earlier in the year Reagan had announced a new nuclear programme, the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), dubbed ‘Star Wars’ since it aimed at a comprehensive anti-missile defence system located in space. It threatened to tip the nuclear balance decisively in America’s favour. The Soviets did not have the resources to match it. But when they tried to ensure that restrictions on it be included in talks on nuclear arms limitation, the Americans refused. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) remained much as it had been. It provided its own perverse brand of security of a sort. Not that this was how ordinary people saw it. Fear returned. The new Cold War brought new anxieties about a nuclear holocaust. These were not at the same pitch as they had been during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. They were real and acute nonetheless. Peace movements, particularly in Britain and West Germany, gathered even greater strength than they had possessed in the 1950s.

The sense of physical insecurity has also intensified as the incidence of, especially, Islamist terrorism – a legacy in good measure of Europe’s involvement in wars in the Middle East, and of its imperial past – has increased. It has become ever clearer that what happens abroad can no longer be detached from daily life at home. If, nonetheless, despite significant downsides change in Europe over the past seventy years has been substantially positive, this derives in no small measure from two post-war developments: NATO and the European Community. A third element – the ‘mutually assured destruction’ of nuclear weapons – was perhaps most important of all in deterring any descent into another major conflagration in Europe. The shield of NATO and active American engagement were essential guarantees of the post-war order in Western Europe. Especially since the Vietnam War there has been widespread – often justified – hostility in Europe towards American foreign policy. The image of the United States abroad has often clashed with the benign American self-image of the land of the free as the international safeguard of freedom.


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, business cycle, buy and hold, 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: 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, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, 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?’


Global Catastrophic Risks by Nick Bostrom, Milan M. Cirkovic

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, availability heuristic, Bill Joy: nanobots, Black Swan, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, death of newspapers, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, Doomsday Clock, Drosophila, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, feminist movement, framing effect, friendly AI, Georg Cantor, global pandemic, global village, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, P = NP, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, South China Sea, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, Tunguska event, twin studies, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, War on Poverty, Westphalian system, Y2K

In conclusion, they offer the following rather alarming assessment: In the absence of some type of preventive or protective force, the power of molecular manufacturing products could allow a large number of actors of varying types including individuals, groups, corporations, and nations - to obtain sufficient capability to destroy all unprotected humans. The likelihood of at least one powerful actor being insane is not small. The likelihood that devastating weapons will be built and released accidentally (possibly through overly sensitive automated systems) is also considerable. Finally, the likelihood of a conflict between two [powers capable of unleashing a mutually assured destruction scenario] escalating until one feels compelled to exercise a doomsday option is also non-zero. This indicates that unless adequate defences can be prepared against weapons intended to be ultimately destructive - a point that urgently needs research - the number of actors trying to possess such weapons must be minimized. The last chapter of the book, authored by Bryan Caplan, addresses totalitarianism as a global catastrophic risk.

And even if no one deliberately launched a strike, interpenetrating forces with the necessary autonomy and fast reaction times could produce accidental escalation. 490 Global catastrophic risks During the Cold War period, the world's military power was largely concentrated in two camps, one dominated by the United States and the other by the Soviet Union. As both sides continued to develop and stockpile massive amounts of nuclear weapons, the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) emerged. Full-scale war could have resulted in the annihilation ofboth powers, and so neither one made the first move. Unfortunately, many of the factors that allowed MAD to work in deterring World War I I I may not be present in an arms race involving nano-built weapons: 1. The Cold War involved only two primary players; once a rough parity was achieved (or perceived) , the resulting standoff was comparatively stable.

Stock 80 meteor impact, as cause of mass extinctions 255, 258-9 meteor showers 227, 228 meteor strike risk 1 4- 1 5 meteoroids, a s source o f atmospheric dust 232-3 methane, release from permafrost 274 methane hydrate, release from oceans 273 method of moments 156 microbial toxins 300, 453 use in bioterrorism 456 microcephalin genes 58 global frequencies 59-60 M iddle East, nuclear programmes 397-9, 400 Milankovitch cycles 239-41 Milky Way, collision with Andromeda 37-8 millenarianism 77 millenialism 9, 73-4 amillenialism 75-6 apocalypticism 77, 78, 409, 417 dysfunctional manifestations 84-5 positive effects 83-4 post-millenialism 76 premillenialism 74-5 techno-apocalypticism 81-3 techno-millenialism 79-81 utopianism 77-8 Millenia/ism, Utopianism, and Progress, Olson, T. 86 Millennium Bug 82-3, 340 M illerism 74-5 mind projection fallacy 3 1 0 mini-black holes 349-50 minimal standard model 354 Minuteman ballistic missiles 382 consequences of strike 389 mistakes, as cause of nuclear war 2 1 , 382, 383, 384, 426-7 mitigation policy 29 climate change 16, 277, 279-81 see also risk mitigation model risk 176, 180 model uncertainty, climate change 275-6 molecular manipulators 331 molecular manufacturing 24-5, 481 , 482, 484-6, 498-9 global catastrophic risks 488-9 destructive global governance 492 economic and social disruption 492 ecophagy 495-6 enhanced intelligences 494 environmental degradation 494-5 war 489-92 products 486-7 weapons 487-8 risk mitigation 496-8 molecular nanotechnology 33 1-2 Monod, J. 308 Moon, impact craters 127, 223-4 Moore's Law 79, 328, 450 Moore's Law of Mad Science 338 moral satisfaction, purchase of 106 Moravec, H.P. 1 37 Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind 79-80 morbidity of infectious diseases 291-2 mortality rates of infectious diseases 292 mosquitoes, disease transmission 289, 296 motivated cognition (rationalization) 99 motivated scepticism (disconfirmation bias) 99, 100 motivation artificial intelligence 3 1 6 , 3 1 7 for nuclear terrorism 406-1 1 mousepox research 457 Mt Pinatubo eruption, effect on climate 270 Mt St Helens eruption ( 1980) , cooling effect 208 Index Mulhall, D., Our Molecular Future 500 Mulligan, J. 464 multiple catastrophic events 167 multiple reliabilities 161-2 multiplier effects, social collapse 367 multiregional hypothesis, origin of modern humans 2 1 1 multi-stakeholder partnerships, role in biotechnology risk management 462-3 muons, effect on life 249, 254 mutation 49 mutual insurance 170 Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) 490 Myers, N . and Knoll A.H. 69 Nagasaki bomb 428 nano-built weaponry 487-8, 489-92 nanofactories 485-6, 495, 498 block-assembly operation 497 products 486-7 Nanofuture, Hall, J . S . 500 nanomachines 486 Nanomedicine, Vol I: Basic Capabilities, Freitas, R.A. Jr 501 nanoparticles, environmental and health risks 484 nanorobots 486 nanoscale machines 482 nanoscale technologies 481 associated risks 483-4 product simplicity 482-3 Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing and Computation, Drexler, K.E. 501-2 nanotechnology 24-5, 81, 481-2 interaction with AI 328-9, 33 1-2, 338 see also molecular manufacturing National Research Council ( N RC), guidelines on biotechnological research 460-1 Native Americans, effect of smallpox 296 natural disasters, perceived risk 168 natural selection 49-50 effect on human intelligence 325-6 naval fuel, H E U 413 Nazi Germany, totalitarianism 505, 506 ideology 5 14 stability 507 Nazism 1919-1945, Noakes, J. and Pridham, G. 5 1 8 Neanderthals 9 , 56, 57 near-Earth objects 545 dynamical analysis 226-9 see also asteroids; comets near-Earth object searches 14, 226 neo-catastrophic explanations, Fermi paradox 1 34 neural networks 312, 340 tank classifier problem 321-2 neutron stars 39 hyperons 351 Newby-Clark, I.R. et a!.


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 for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, 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: 236 words: 62,158

Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock

4chan, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, anti-work, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, butterfly effect, call centre, collective bargaining, Columbine, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, David Graeber, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket

The same year, Raytheon developed a simulation of the Cold War for the US military. The simulation was too complex for most users, so an alternative analog version was developed.29 In 1962, two major events in the early history of videogames took place. The first followed the Cuban Missile Crisis, which saw the launch of the computer war game STAGE (Simulation of Total Atomic Global Exchange) by the US Department of Defense. Rather than ending in mutually assured destruction, the simulation predicted that the United States would defeat the Soviet Union in a thermonuclear war.30 Unfortunately, unlike in WarGames, there is no record of the simulation playing tic-tac-toe to show otherwise (luckily, this has never been tested in practice; otherwise the history of videogames—and the rest of the world—would be much shorter.) Within the “military-academic-industrial complex” that emerged, computer systems became “integral to this closed world, a crucial means to calculate the options of nuclear strategy, to think the unthinkable.”31 Also around this time, an MIT student named Steve Russell invented the game Spacewar!


pages: 239 words: 62,005

Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason by Dave Rubin

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, butterfly effect, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Donald Trump, failed state, gender pay gap, illegal immigration, immigration reform, job automation, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, school choice, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, unpaid internship, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Not apologizing is exactly the right thing to do. That’s exactly the message your audience—and the average American—needs to hear. “We’ve watched years of the mob coming for everybody. It’s time we stop giving in to it. Not just so that a guy like you isn’t taken out, but the average American doesn’t fear that something they said twenty years ago might be used against them today. “That idea of mutually assured destruction is not the America that I want to be part of. I want to be part of something that has a little bit of forgiveness, that understands we’re all imperfect creatures and is a little more respectful of our ability to disagree, which our country was founded on.” “So how can people fight back and stand strong?” he asks me, pulling his trademark “puzzled” face. To answer, I dig deep into my own experience and tell it straight.


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, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, 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: 213 words: 70,742

Notes From an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back by Mark O'Connell

Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Carrington event, clean water, Colonization of Mars, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, Elon Musk, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, life extension, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-work, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the built environment, yield curve

Is it possible, I mean, to be bored of terror—if not of the kind of literal terror that privileged people like me rarely experience, at least the kind of abstract terror that is released like a soporific gas from the whole topic of ecological catastrophe? The threat of nuclear war that hung over much of the twentieth century at least had the advantage of focusing the mind. Nuclear war, for all its considerable flaws, you at least have to admit was gripping. It adhered to certain established narrative conventions. You had near misses, global panics. You had mutually assured destruction, game theory, mushroom clouds, total and instant annihilation. You had plot, was what you had: you had drama. And even more crucially, you had characters. You had protagonists and antagonists, guys with fingers on buttons who either did or did not choose to push them. And when it came to protestors on the streets calling for complete nuclear disarmament, you had an entirely rational and achievable demand.


pages: 247 words: 68,918

The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Mutually Assured Economic Destruction The growing gulf between free-market and state capitalism has created a high-stakes competition between economic models, one that distorts the performance of the global economy and creates friction in international politics. Though this isn’t a new Cold War, that conflict offers a useful metaphor for how the battle for free markets can be managed. For decades, the United States and the Soviet Union amassed nuclear arsenals large enough to destroy Earth many times over. The resulting stalemate, which came to be known as mutually assured destruction, helped prevent catastrophic conflict. Today, there are no ties more important for the future of the free market than those that bind America and China—the world’s most powerful advocate of free trade and open markets and the largest and most influential practitioner of state capitalism. U.S. policy makers can’t afford to simply ignore the many disputes that burden commercial relations between the two states.


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, business cycle, 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, en.wikipedia.org, 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, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, 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, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, 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.


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, business cycle, 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, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, 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, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, 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, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, 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 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: 572 words: 179,024

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, drone strike, Maui Hawaii, mutually assured destruction, operation paperclip, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Project Plowshare, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, zero day

A Strategic Air Command bomber flying with four armed hydrogen bombs—with yields between 70 kilotons and 1.45 megatons—collided midair with a refueling tanker over the Spanish countryside. On the morning of the accident, an Air Force pilot and his six-man crew were participating in an exercise that was part of Operation Chrome Dome, something that had begun in the late 1950s as part of Strategic Air Command. In a show of force inherent to the military doctrine of the day—something called mutual assured destruction, or MAD—airplanes regularly circled Earth carrying thermonuclear bombs. The idea behind MAD was that if the Soviet Union were to make a sneak attack on America, SAC bombers would already be airborne to strike back at Moscow with nuclear weapons of their own, thereby assuring the mutual destruction of both sides. That morning, the bomber lined up with the tanker and had just begun refueling when, in the words of pilot Larry Messinger, “all of a sudden, all hell seemed to break loose” and the two aircraft collided.

The satellite was traveling at speeds of around sixteen thousand miles per hour, and the ballistic missile was traveling approximately eighteen thousand miles per hour. The hit was dead-on. As radical and impressive as it sounds, the technology was not what raised flags and eyebrows at the Pentagon. The significance of the event came from the fact that with China’s satellite kill, the world moved one dangerous step closer to the very wicked problem of weaponizing space. To enter into that game means entering into the kind of mutual-assured-destruction military industrial–complex madness that has not been engaged in since the height of the Cold War. Actions of this magnitude, certainly by those of a superpower like China, are almost always met by the U.S. military with a response, either overt or veiled, and the Chinese satellite kill was no exception. Seven months later, in February of 2008, an SM-3 Raytheon missile was launched off the deck of the USS Lake Erie in the North Pacific.


pages: 559 words: 178,279

The Cold War: Stories From the Big Freeze by Bridget Kendall

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, open borders, Ronald Reagan, white flight

‘The country was left with no protection at all’ The Angolan Civil War (1975–2002) BY THE MID-1970S, the Cold War had moved into a new phase. Europe’s division was now a fact of life. Further afield, and complicating the new ‘Great Game’, a nuclear-armed China had joined the fray. Skirmishes on the Soviet–China border had been alarming but had not turned into a full-scale war and, given the stockpiles of missiles building up, all sides seemed to want to keep it that way. The deadly logic of the doctrine of ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ had also delivered détente between the United States and the Soviet Union, yielding not just the SALT I arms-control deal, but also an agreement between Washington and Moscow that they would not – in theory at least – take advantage of each other by upsetting the equilibrium in the ‘Third World’. Yet precisely because it was too dangerous for the major powers to go to war with each other, the temptation to do it through intermediaries was becoming greater.

and Berlin Wall 212, 213 and Cuban Missile Crisis 229, 230–1, 238 and Indochina 295 Kent, Bruce 430 KGB, Soviet Union Andropov as head 245, 279, 352 power of 163, 172, 250–1, 255, 256, 439, 479, ‘Reminder for the Arrested’ 253 Khmer Rouge 332–3 Khrushchev, Nikita 167 and art 248 and Berlin Wall 213, 214 and Cuba 230, 231, 236, 243 deposing of 163, 243–6 and de-Stalinisation 246, 277 fear of West German success 212 and Hungarian Revolution 180 and International Youth Festival 252 as leader 161–3, 169, 299, 300 and Nixon 163, 253 Secret Speech 159–74, 178, 259 ‘thaw’ 163, 255, 259 and transformation of Soviet Union 169 Kim Il Sung 83 Király, Major-General Béla 191 Kissinger, Henry 313, 314, 317, 320, 349 KKE (Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas) (Communist Party of Greece) 3, 9 Kohl, Helmut 456, 457 Komsomol (Young Communist League) 247 KOR (Komitet Obrony Robotników) (Workers’ Defence Committee) 405, 409, 410 Korean War 81–97 armistice 86 casualties 85 fear of nuclear weapons 117 US losses 295 Kosygin, Alexei 244, 259 Kryuchkov, Vladimir 477, 492 Lattimore, Owen 108–11 Latvia 32, 475–6, 477, 478, 486 Laur, Reni 462 Lefortovo Prison, Moscow 250 Lefteri Nea (‘Free Young’) 7, 8 Leipzig 136, 455 ‘Lenin’s lessons’ 394 Lenin Shipyard, Gdańsk 406–9 Leopold II, King of Belgium 196, 202 Léopoldville, Congo 196, 202 Levin, Mikhail 247 Ligachev, Yegor 440 Lisboa, Angola (later Huambo) 374 Lithuania 32, 475–6, 477, 478, 486 ‘Little Red Book’ 261 Litvinov, Maxim 246 Lityński, Jan and Krystyna 410 Liu Shaoqi 269 Long March 113 Los Alamos 118, 121, 122 Luanda, Angola 368, 370 Lucky Dragon (Japanese fishing boat) 119, 125–9 Lumumba, Patrice 196, 197–8, 202, 203, 204–7 L’Unità (newspaper) 47 Ly Quy Chung 339 MacArthur, General Douglas 84, 89, 92 Makronisi prison camp 18 Manhattan Project 101 Mao Zedong 67–70, 76, 78, 84, 259, 261 Maoism 263, 332, 368 Márquez, García, ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ 321 Marshall, General George 68 Marshall Island 120 Marshall Plan Czechoslovakian refusal of 22, 23, 25 in Italy 38, 39, 40, 43 Stalin fear of 52 in West Germany 133 Marx-Engels Platz, East Berlin 139, 143 Marxism 111, 229, 314, 367, 369, 387 Marxism–Leninism 211, 259, 260, 370, 422 Masaryk, Jan 23, 25 Masaryk, Tomáš 23 Matlock, Jack 492 McCarran Committee 110 McCarthy, Joseph 101, 102, 103, 104, 108, 109 McCarthyism 99–114 blacklisting 103, 113 entertainment industry 103 US army and 103 Middle East 84, 149 Minh, Duong Van 331 Missing (film) (Costa-Gavras) 326 Mobutu, Colonel Joseph-Désiré (Mobutu Sese Seko) 197, 207, 208, 368 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 150, 151, 152, 154 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact see Nazi–Soviet Non-Aggression Pact MNC (Mouvement National Congolais) see National Congolese Movement Monroe Doctrine 313 Montalva, Eduardo Frei 313 Mosaddegh, Mohammad 149, 150–7 Moscow News (newspaper) 443, 449 Moscow Olympics, US boycott 352, 387 Moscow Protocol 280 Moskva (magazine) 254 Movimento para a Indepêndencia da Angola (Movement for the Independence of Angola) 371 MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola) (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) 368, 369, 370, 372, 374, 375, 383 mujahidin, Afghan resistance 388, 389–90, 396, 397 Munich agreement 1938 23 Mussolini, Benito 37 ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ 367 Nagasaki 117, 118 Nagy, Imre 178, 179, 180, 184, 185, 190 Namibia 377, 380 Nanjing 68 Naples, Italy 40, 41 National Congolese Movement (Mouvement National Congolais) (MNC) 196, 201 National Liberation Front see EAM (Ethnikó Apeleftherotikó Métopo) National Security Council, Washington 39 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Able Archer exercise 421 and Congo Crisis 205 formation of 24, 54, 55 Germany and 133, 457 Greek membership of 7 and Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia 280 Nazarbayev, Nursultan 492 Nazi–Soviet Non-Aggression Pact (Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact) 476 Neto, Agostinho 368, 370, 380 New Cold War 419–35 first-hand accounts 124–35 Nezavisimaya Gazeta (newspaper) 447 9/11 390 Nitschke, Karl-Heinz 362 Nixon, Richard and Chile 313, 314 and China 260, 349 television debate 163, 252, 253 and Vietnam War 297, 299, 332 NLF (National Liberation Front of South Vietnam) see Vietcong Non Aligned Movement 6 North Atlantic Treaty Organization see NATO North China Daily News (newspaper) 74 Novaya Zemlya 120 Novotný, President Antonín 277, 282 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 349 Ogoniok (newspaper) 449 Operation Ajax 151 Operation Boot 151 Operation Carlotta 379 Organisation of African Unity 368, 370 Orwell, George, Nineteen Eighty-Four 248, 260, 478 Osama bin Laden 390 Ostpolitik 350–64 first-hand accounts 352, 353–64 Outer Space Treaty 349 Palach, Jan 280, 290, 291 Partial Test Ban Treaty 349 Pastenak, Boris, Dr Zhivago 174 Pearl Harbor 67 Pentagon Papers 299, 307 ‘percentages agreement’ 6 perestroika 163, 246, 389, 439–51 first-hand accounts 443–51 Pershing II ballistic missiles 422 Phnom Penh, Cambodia 332, 333 PIDE (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado) (International and State Defence Police) 371 Pienkowska, Alina 416 Pinochet, General Augusto 315, 316, 322, 327 Pinter, Harold 281 Platz der Luftbrücke, Berlin 55 Pleiku, Vietnam 296 Pol Pot 333 Poland Czechoslovakia and 278, 279 invasion in Second World War 476 Khrushchev’s secret speech and 178 martial law 408, 421 Soviet influence in 21 uprising 135, 259 Workers’ Defence Committee 405 see also Solidarity movement Polish United Workers’ Party 407 Pope Paul II 405 Pope Pius XII 45 Portugal 367, 368, 371 Potsdam agreement 39, 51, 52 Poznan, Poland 178, 182 Prague Spring 275–91 first-hand accounts 281–91 Soviet policy reaction 244, 245, 249, 250 Pravda (newspaper) 180 ‘Project Matterhorn,’ Princeton University 118 PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) 309 Pugo, Boris 492 Putin, Vladimir 245, 457 racial segregation 195, 200, 232 Radio Free Europe (Radio Liberty) 181, 182, 248, 409 Radio Londra 41 Radio Moscow 198 RAF (Royal Air Force) 4, 12 RAF Alconbury 425, 428 RAF Molesworth 423, 424, 426, 427, 428, 429, 431 Rathausstrasse, East Berlin 143 Reagan, Ronald and Angola 370 and Gorbachev 440, 444, 445 on shooting down of airliner 421 and Soviet Union 352, 422, 423, 424 ‘Reagan Doctrine’ 422, 423 Red Army 9, 21, 51, 68 Red Guards 261, 262, 263, 265, 266, 270–1 Red Scare see McCarthyism refugees camps 29, 30, 31–2, 33 East German 211, 215, 220, 222, 351 in Korean War 85–6, 91, 92 and Vietnam War 332, 334, 337, 338 Reichsmark 51 reparations 51, 133, 177 Reuter, Ernst 54 Revolution (newspaper) 237 Riesaer Petition 362 Roberto, Holden 368 Robotnik(newspaper) 405, 410 Romania 6, 21, 279, 442 Roosevelt, President F.D. 6, 44, 47, 102 Rosenberg, Julius and Ethel 101 RIAS (Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor) 134 Rusk, Dean 214 ‘Russification’ 475 Rutskoy, Aleksandr 501 Ryzhkov, Nikolai 498 Saigon, fall of 297, 298, 331–45 first-hand accounts 335–45 Sakharov, Dr Andrei 119, 245, 440, 444, 446 SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) I and SALT II 349 Sariwon, Korea 90 Savimbi, Jonas 368, 370, 374, 379 Schabowski, Günter 456 Scobie, General Ronald 3, 4 Scout movement 28 Second World War Baltic republics 475 and Greece 3, 5, 6 and Iran 149 nuclear weapons 117, 118 Sino-Japanese War and 67, 76 and Soviet Union 392 SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) (Socialist Unity Party) 133, 142, 143 Semipalatinsk 117, 120 Seoul 84 Seven Days War, Israel 282 Shanghai, fall of 65–79 first-hand accounts 70, 71–9 Shevardnadze, Eduard 443 Sinatra, Frank 38 Sino-Japanese war 67 Sino-Soviet Treaty 70 Sinyavsky, Andrei (Abram Tertz) 245, 248, 249, 255 Slánský, Rudolf 278 Slovakia 27, 28 Smith, Walter Bedell 111 Smith Act 1940 104, 106 Snow, Edgar 111, 112, 113–14 Journey to the Beginning 113 Socialist Republic of Vietnam 332 Solidarity movement, Poland 135, 403–18 first-hand accounts 408, 409–18 Solovki prison 164 Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr 245, 248, 251 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich 163, 164 The First Circle 247 The Gulag Archipelago 440 South Africa 368, 369–70, 371, 372, 374, 375, 377–81 South African Defence Force 372, 381 South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO) 377 Soviet Air Defence Command 421 Soviet Union 159–74, 489–503 and Angola 369, 370 and atomic bomb 48, 83, 117, 121, 149 backing for decolonisation 195 and Berlin Blockade 53–4 building programmes 169 and China 68, 70, 161, 259, 333, 334 and Congo Crisis 197, 206 and Cuba 229, 230 culture in 162, 245, 253–5, 440, 448 and Czechoslovakia 22–8, 278–80 declaration of war on Japan 83 economy 244 expansionism 5, 32, 37, 52 500 Days Plan 497 and Greece 7 H-bomb research 119 housebuilding programme 163 and Italy 39, 41, 47 labour camps 161, 164, 245, 247, 251, 252, 254 ‘Law on the Press and Other Forms of Mass Information’ 446 liberalisation 162, 163 and Middle East 149 ‘perestroika’ reforms 163, 246, 389, 439–51 and Polish strike 407 and post war Germany 52, 53, 135 psychiatric hospitals 245, 249 purges 161 samizdat 245, 247, 248, 249, 440 Union Treaty 492 and Vietnam 333 view of Stalin 134, 161, 162 Yalta agreement 21 and Yugoslavia 6 see also Hungarian Revolution space race 244, 300 SS Meredith Victory 85 Stalin, Josef banishments 164 Berlin Blockade 54 and Cuba 236 cult of 248 and Czechoslovakia 22, 25 death of 161, 164, 165, 166, 168, 247 and Greece 5, 6 and Italian election 39 and Italy 41 and Khrushchev 168 and Korea 83 and post war Germany 51, 133 ‘spheres of influence’ 21 and Tito 6 Yalta agreement 47 Stalin statue 179, 184, 187, 188 Stalingrad 41 ‘Star Wars’ 422 START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) 445 Stasi police 144, 224, 352, 361, 362 Strategic Arms Limitation Talks see SALT Suez Crisis 181 Suslov, Mikhail 388, 408 SWAPO see South West African People’s Organization Syngman Rhee 83 Taiwan 70, 71 Taraki, Nur Mohammad 387, 388 Tehran 150, 151 Teller, Edward 118, 121, 122, 124 Tempelhof Airport, Berlin 53, 55, 60, 62 Tempo (magazine) 25 Tertz, Abram see Sinyavsky, Andrei Tet Offensive 298, 309, 335, 339 Thatcher, Margaret 422, 423, 457 Tito, Marshal Josip 6, 21, 69, 182 Tobadamaru (Japanese cargo ship) 93, 94 Treaty of Friendship 68 Treaty of Varkiza 17 Trieste 44 Trikeri prison camp 18 Truman, President Harry on Communist infiltrators 101 and Czechoslovakia 23 and Iran 150 on Italy 37 and Korea 84, 85 McCarthyism and 102 on Soviet atomic bomb 117 Truman Doctrine 7, 18 Turkey 7, 230, 231 ‘The Two Thousand Words’ 278, 283 Ulam, Stanisław 118, 122 Ulbricht, Walter 133, 134–5, 141, 211, 212, 213, 278, 350 Un-American Activities Committee see HUAC Uncle Sam 74 The Uncounted Enemy (CBS documentary) 309 Union of Czechoslovak Writers 277 UNITA (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola) (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) 368, 369, 370, 374–5, 377, 379, 383 United Nations Congo crisis 197, 205 Korean War 84, 85 Vietnamese Boat People 334 US and Afghanistan 390 and Angola 368, 370 anti-war demonstrations 298–9, 306, 309 backing for decolonisation 195 Berlin airlift 53 in Central and Latin America 313 and Chile 313, 314, 317, 327 and China 67, 68, 69 and Congo Crisis 197, 204, 205 covert interventions 38, 39 and Czechoslovakia 23, 24, 280 and Greece 5, 6, 7 H-bomb research 118 and Hungarian revolution 181 increased defence spending 422 and Indochina 295–6 and Iran 149, 150 and Italian election 37–9, 43–4 and NATO 54, 55 nuclear warheads 230 popular culture 103, 136, 177, 359 and post war Germany 52–4, 55 and Sino-Soviet split 259, 260 Yalta agreement 21 see also Cuban Missile crisis; Korean War; Marshall Plan; McCarthyism; Vietnam War USS Maddox 296 Ustinov, Dmitri 388 Vietnam currency 342, 343 New Economic Zone 332, 343 re-education camps 332, 342, 344 Vietnam Veterans Against the War 307, 308–9 Vietnam War 293–310 aftermath 331–45 distraction of détente 349 public opinion in US 298–9 Vietnam–Cambodia war 333–4 Vietnam–China war 334 Vietnamese Boat People 334 Vietcong (National Liberation Front) 298, 331, 335, 339, 340 Viljoen, Major-General 372, 379 Voice of America 198, 247 Volpin, Aleksandr 249, 253 Walentynowicz, Anna 406, 411, 412, 413 ‘war games’ 235, 421 Warsaw Pact 177, 178, 180, 279, 407 Wałęsa, Lech 406–8, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 418 Watergate scandal 299 Die Wende 458 West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) border with East 211 currency 52 economic success 212 relationship with East 350–1, 456, 457, 458 symbolic of West 135 US missile base 422 Westmoreland, Colonel 309 Wheeler, John 121, 124 Wheeler, Lois 113, 114 ‘Winter Soldier Investigation’ 299, 307 Worker (journal) 409 World Festival of Youth and Students Moscow 1957 163 Yakovlev, Aleksandr 498, 499 Yakovlev, Yegor 443 Yalta agreement 1945 6, 21, 39, 47, 51, 478 Yanayev, Gennady 492 Yeltsin, Boris 441, 450, 477, 482, 491, 492, 493–4, 498 Young Pioneers 181, 247 Yugoslavia 6, 9 Zaire see Congo Zervas, Napoleon 11 Zinn, Howard, Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal 306 Zuchthaus 146 Acknowledgements This book began as two fifteen-episode series for BBC Radio 4, Cold War: Stories from the Big Freeze, the first of which was broadcast in July 2016, the second in July 2017.


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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, Blythe Masters, 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, hedonic treadmill, 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, Kickstarter, 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: 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, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, 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: 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: 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, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, double helix, European colonialism, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Norman Macrae, nuclear winter, operation paperclip, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, undersea cable, 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: 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, Kickstarter, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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: 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, Isaac Newton, mutually assured destruction, Olbers’ paradox, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, scientific worldview, 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: 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: 301 words: 85,263

New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle

AI winter, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, congestion charging, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Snowden, fear of failure, Flash crash, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, late capitalism, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, oil shock, p-value, pattern recognition, peak oil, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stem cell, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, Uber for X, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

We have traced the ways in which computational thinking, evolved with the help of the machines, developed to build the atomic bomb, and how the architecture of contemporary processing and networking was forged in the crucible of the Manhattan Project. We have also seen the ways in which data leaks and breaches: the critical excursions and chain reactions that lead to privacy meltdowns and the rhizomatic mushroom cloud. These analogies are not mere speculations: they are the inherent and totalising effects of our social and engineering choices. Just as we spent forty-five years locked in a Cold War perpetuated by the spectre of mutually assured destruction, we find ourselves in an intellectual, ontological dead end today. The primary method we have for evaluating the world – more data – is faltering. It’s failing to account for complex, human-driven systems, and its failure is becoming obvious – not least because we’ve built a vast, planet-spanning information-sharing system for making it obvious to us. The mutually assured privacy meltdown of state surveillance and leak-driven countersurveillance activism is one example of this failure, as is the confusion caused by real-time information overload from surveillance itself.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

Most of these critical reviews actually pulled punches. The broken bed frame murdered my spine every night. The overcrowding was absurd. It sometimes took as long as an hour to get a turn in the bathroom, which was filthy, and where the only roll of toilet paper had MIKE scrawled across the top in Sharpie. The prevalence of misleadingly positive reviews could only be explained by the system of mutually assured destruction implicit in the Airbnb review process. Praise was usually repaid in kind. However, the merest tremble of complaint, however valid, was sure to be answered with devastating slander. One previous guest wrote that when she and her boyfriend accidentally checked out late, Luna “threatened to keep our airbnb deposit unless we gave her a positive review.” “I was not blackmailing her,” Luna replied.


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: 384 words: 89,250

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

Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, 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: 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: 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: 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, undersea cable, 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: 317 words: 98,745

Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert

4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day

We are wrapping ourselves in expanding layers of digital instructions, protocols, and authentication mechanisms, some of them open, scrutinized, and regulated, but many closed, amorphous, and poised for abuse, buried in the black arts of espionage, intelligence gathering, and cyber and military affairs. Is it only a matter of time before the whole system collapses? “If one extrapolates into the future,” Arthur Koestler once said with respect to the nuclear predicament, “the probability of disaster approaches statistical certainty.” Is cyberspace any different? Analogies to the Cold War and the logic of mutual assured destruction (MAD) come to mind. In those recent times, humans let their baser competitive instincts threaten civilization itself. But it didn’t happen. And now? With critical infrastructure a vector for armed conflict and all of us interdependent to such a substantial degree, shouldn’t the same perverse logic that restrained policy-makers from dropping the atomic bomb restrain them from dropping cyber bombs?


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: 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, en.wikipedia.org, 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, Kickstarter, 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?


Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System by Alexander Betts, Paul Collier

Alvin Roth, anti-communist, centre right, charter city, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, global supply chain, informal economy, Kibera, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rising living standards, risk/return, school choice, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, trade route, urban planning, zero-sum game

Fragility has increased because of a combination of several major global changes: we suggest five of them. In each case, their effects on fragility have been incidental to their rationale. An implication is that there are no easy fixes. Humpty cannot be restored to his seat on the wall. MAD no more Paradoxically, one factor might have been the end of the Cold War between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. The Cold War was defined by fear of ‘mutual assured destruction’ (MAD) from nuclear weapons, something that people who have grown up after 1991 find it hard to appreciate. Both sides recruited allies, so a conflict almost anywhere might draw in the superpowers and escalate, as had happened at the onset of the First World War. This made even conflicts in out-of-the-way places potentially so dangerous that they were discouraged. Broadly, each superpower was allowed to keep its client regimes in power.


pages: 307 words: 88,745

War for Eternity: Inside Bannon's Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers by Benjamin R. Teitelbaum

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Etonian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Saturday Night Live, school choice, side project, Skype, South China Sea, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks

Roxane drove, and behind her, to my left, sat an assistant—along, it seemed, for the primary purpose of recording me. Olavo doubts the ability of journalists and scholars to write about him fairly, and their parallel surveillance seemed to be a precautionary measure to contest a false quotation. That was the most logical explanation. But perhaps he was planning to write about me as well, or at least to give himself the option to do so in colorful terms should some form of retaliation be warranted. Mutually assured destruction: I had experienced it before as an ethnographer, and it often yielded the best interviews. When “subjects” know they can fight back, they often speak more freely. I rested my recorder on the back shoulder of his seat during the ride. His assistant sat with her recorder in hand, the receiver pointed at me as we headed east to a shopping mall complex at the edge of Petersburg. Circling through the empty parking lot—it was nearly ten P.M.


pages: 761 words: 231,902

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 cycle, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, coronavirus, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, 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, 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, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, 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, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, 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: 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, Joan Didion, 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 Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, 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: 1,057 words: 239,915

The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 by Adam Tooze

anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, credit crunch, failed state, fear of failure, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, German hyperinflation, imperial preference, labour mobility, liberal world order, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, price stability, reserve currency, Right to Buy, the payments system, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, zero-sum game

In the end, the risks involved in seeking to create and uphold a new international order depended on the plausibility of the moral order to be imposed, its chance of gaining general acceptance on its own merits, and the force mustered to support it. After 1945 in the global Cold War clash between the United States and the Soviet Union, the world would witness the logic of confrontation taken to its extreme. Two global coalitions, self-confidently proclaiming antagonistic ideologies, each armed with massive arsenals of nuclear weapons, threatened humanity with Mutually Assured Destruction. And there are many historians who want to see in 1918–19 a precursor to the Cold War, with Wilson squaring off against Lenin. But though this analogy may be tempting, it is misleading in that in 1919 there was nothing like the symmetry that prevailed in 1945.22 By November 1918 not only was Germany on its knees, but Russia too. The balance of world politics in 1919 resembled the unipolar moment of 1989 far more than the divided world of 1945.

A. 398 Madras 180, 188, 386 Maginot, André 442 Mahan, Alfred Thayer 35 Majority SPD, (MSPD) Germany 73, 75, 130 Makino Nobuaki 144, 258, 259 Malvy, Louis 175 Manchester Guardian 56 Manchuria and Japan 22, 93, 96, 322, 403, 484–5, 499–500 Russian rights over railway system 420 manganese 125, 148, 153 Mannerheim, Carl Gustaf 150–51 Mao Zedong 91, 330, 421, 479, 481 ‘autumn harvest’ uprising in Hunan 483 Marshall, George 291 Marshall Plan 277 martial law 157 Marx, Karl 138 Marxism in China 91 entering fourth generation 414–15 in Germany 237 and the peasantry 408 and Sinn Fein 79 view of history 141–2 see also Bolshevism/Bolsheviks; Communism Masaryk, Tomas Garrigue 157–8, 284 Massachusetts Democrats 343 Matsuoka Yosuke 501–2 Max von Baden, Prince 140, 220, 222, 225 Mazzini, Giuseppe 177 Mellon, Andrew 469 Mellon-Berenger accord 469, 473, 497 Menshevism/Mensheviks 80, 83, 84, 85–6, 126, 138 Constituent Assembly elections (1917) 85, 85 expulsion from Central Executive Committee of All-Russian Congress 157 Merriman, Charles 309 Mesopotamia 186, 193, 375, 381 Indian Muslims in 390 Mesopotamian campaign 186 Mexico 44 proposed alliance with Germany 65–6 US private long-term investment (December 1930) 477 Michaelis, Georg 111 Middle East and Britain 22, 193–7, 364, 374, 377–82, 463; deployment of Imperial Forces, February 1920 375 and France 193–4, 378, 380 and the US 193–6, 378 see also specific countries Milan, Perez 354 militarism challenged by Germany’s surrender 8 German see Germany: militarism Japanese see Japan: militarism military power and the new order 8 Miliukov, Pavel Nikolayevich 71, 161, 194 Millard, Thomas Franklin Fairfax 88, 89, 92 Miller, David H. 324 Miller, Yevgeny 234 Millerand, Alexandre 361 Milner, Alfred, 1st Viscount 194, 377, 379–80 Miners’ Federation of Great Britain 248 Minseito (Constitutional People’s Government Party, Japan) 485–6 Mirbach, Count Wilhelm von 164–5 modernity, US problematic entry into 27–9 Monnet, Jean 205, 290, 291 Monroe doctrine 15, 269, 310 Montagu, Edwin Samuel 186, 187–8, 195, 383, 384, 385, 387, 388, 389, 391, 392, 436 Montagu-Chelmsford reforms 188–9, 210, 382, 383, 385 moral authority, and the new order 8 moral entrepreneurship 23 moral order 10 Morgan, John Pierpont 461 Moscow assassination attempt on Lenin (August 1918) 168 Comintern: First Congress 241, 408–9; Third Congress 419 Fourth All-Russian congress 138, 145–6, 164 move of Bolshevik capital to 413 unarmed German troops sent to 165 Motono Ichiro 98, 146 MSPD (Majority Social Democratic Party, Germany) 73, 75, 130 Mukden 499–500, 503 Murmansk front 166 Operation Capstone plans 166–7, 170 Muslim League 181, 188 Mussolini, Benito 10, 174, 307, 311–12, 402, 441–2, 452, 491, 502, 511 and the Corfu crisis 446–7 effect of World War I on 305 and Hitler 305–6 and Lloyd George 306 Mutsu (Japanese cruiser) 399 Mutually Assured Destruction 10 Nanjing 482, 483, 485 Napoleon III 273 Nassau 274 National Equal Rights League, US 339 National Liberal League, India 386 national planned economy model 199–200 national republicanism 221, 515 see also Chinese National Republican Army (NRA) National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) 450, 503, 506, 515 Nazi Germany 472, 513 nationalism American see United States of America: nationalism Chinese 90, 91, 96, 100, 103, 106, 327–9, 404, 419, 435, 475–83, 499 Czech 158, 159, 284 Egyptian 378–80 and financial hegemony 435 German see Germany: nationalism Indian see India: nationalism Irish 179–80, 190–93, 376–7 Italian 306, 308 Japanese 259, 324, 329–30, 485, 499–500 of the ‘old world’ 233 Polish 284 and ‘positive’ economics 488 Russian 150, 411 Turkish 381–2, 437–8 Ukrainian 122, 125 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) 109, 276, 277 Naumann, Friedrich 220 Mitteleuropa 113 naval arms race 35–6, 248, 268–70, 396 naval blockade 34–5, 39, 56, 473 naval disarmament London Conference 474, 486, 490–93, 499, 512 Washington Conference 397–402 Nazism Nazi Germany 472, 513 NSDAP see National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) NEP see New Economic Policy Netherlands, wartime wholesale price dislocation 213 New Deal 505, 517 New Economic Policy (NEP) 423, 424, 435, 483 new world order America’s overshadowing of see United States of America and the armistice document 227–9 breaching wall between foreign policy and domestic politics 9 British Empire secured as key pillar to 198 Churchill’s vision 4, 8, 9, 18, 23 and Communism’s reinvention 408–34 and deflation 354, 358–73 and democracy see democracy and diplomacy see diplomacy and disarmament/armaments limitation 45, 53, 227, 264–5, 277, 280, 313; naval see naval disarmament and economic supremacy 8, 12–16; of the US 12–16, 36, 206–9, 211 and freedom of the seas 16, 45, 53, 75, 120, 226, 228, 257, 268–70 French subordination in 289–90 Hitler’s vision 4–5, 18, 23, 26 and imperialism see imperialism/colonialism internationalism see internationalism and the League of Nations see League of Nations levelling of wealth across Europe 250–51 and liberalism see liberalism and limitations of the 1919 ‘worldwide’ revolution 233 and Locarno 4, 23, 462 and London’s debt settlement with Washington 439 and military power 8 see also militarism and the modern ‘chain gang’ 30, 463, 511, 517–18 and moral authority 8 Mussolini’s denunciation of 10 new hierarchy in reconstruction of world economy 362 and patterns in the frustration of power 463–4 peace settlements 4, 5 see also specific treaties and power shift through interaction of military force, economics and diplomacy 23–30 and power vacuums see power vacuum ‘pyramids of peace’ 8, 9 and the quest for pacification and appeasement strategies 26 and regime change 9 and Trotsky 8, 11–12, 18, 23, 26, 29–30 and Versailles Treaty see Versailles/Paris peace conferences and Treaty and the Washington Naval Conference see Washington Naval Conference Wilson on 45 and the Wilsonian fiasco 333–50; undermining of domestic progressive coalitions 243–4 Wilson’s view of French and British imperialism as main threat to 223–4 New York Times 55 New Zealand and the Commonwealth 394 Hoover moratorium 498 racial discrimination 393 US private long-term investment (December 1930) 477 wartime wholesale price dislocation 213 NGOs 23 Nicholas II of Russia 165 Nishihara Kamezo 96, 99, 101, 104, 105, 143, 323 Nitti, Francesco 176, 306, 311, 312, 320, 361, 466 Nivelle, Robert Georges 74 Norman, Montagu, 1st Baron 373 Northcliffe, Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount 184 Norway, wartime wholesale price dislocation 213 Noske, Gustav 238, 239, 317, 318, 319 NRA (Chinese National Republican Army) 480–81, 482–3, 485 NSDAP see National Socialist German Workers’ Party nuclear weapons 10 October Revolution (1917) 83–6 oil 39, 47, 148, 153, 167, 394, 415 Okuma Shigenobu 94, 95 Open Door policy, US 15–16, 44, 103, 205 and the Washington Conference 397, 405 Operation Capstone plans 166–8, 170 Orlando, Vittorio 176, 177, 178, 306, 307, 308, 309–10, 311 Osaka Asahi Shimbun (newspaper) 363 Ottoman Empire 3, 5, 9, 33, 173, 176, 195, 337, 378, 437 British protection against Tsarist expansion 193 Entente policy of dismantling 381 Entente self-determination demands 52 and the Raj and Khilafat movement 384–5, 416 and Russia/USSR 193, 194 and Wilson’s 14 Points manifesto 121 see also Turkey Ozaki Yukio 94, 96, 144, 324, 364 Pacific Treaties 4, 11, 397, 400–402, 474 see also Washington Naval Conference Page, Walter Hines 45 Palestine 195–6, 377, 380 deployment of Imperial Forces, February 1920 375 Indian Muslims in 390 Palmer, A.


pages: 324 words: 96,491

Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Manning, Climatic Research Unit, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Julian Assange, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

American capitalism had exponentially outpaced Communism, providing the United States with significantly more military spending and economic power. Nuclear programs, combined with America’s much vaunted new “Star Wars” missile defense system, put the Kremlin at a severe disadvantage at a time when the Soviets were experiencing their own calamitous war in Afghanistan. NATO further challenged the Soviet Union’s grip on Eastern Europe. Short of the mutually assured destruction of a nuclear exchange, the Soviet Union would lose any major conflict with the United States and its broad range of allies. Economically, the USSR’s closed planned economy was doomed to failure. The Soviets needed a new, cost-effective approach if they were to keep pace in the Cold War. If the Soviet Union couldn’t defeat the United States from the outside in, then it would have to collapse the United States from the inside out.


pages: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

First, the project of remaking the planet so that it is undeniably ours, a project whose exhaust, the poison of emissions, now casually works its way through millennia of ice so quickly you can see the melt with a naked eye, destroying the environmental conditions that have held stable and steadily governed for literally all of human history. That has been the work of a single generation. The second generation faces a very different task: the project of preserving our collective future, forestalling that devastation and engineering an alternate path. There is simply no analogy to draw on, outside of mythology and theology—and perhaps the Cold War prospect of mutually assured destruction. Few feel like gods in the face of warming, but that the totality of climate change should make us feel so passive—that is another of its delusions. In folklore and comic books and church pews and movie theaters, stories about the fate of the earth often perversely counsel passivity in their audiences, and perhaps it should not surprise us that the threat of climate change is no different.


pages: 328 words: 96,141

Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race by Tim Fernholz

Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, business climate, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, high net worth, Iridium satellite, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, multiplanetary species, mutually assured destruction, new economy, nuclear paranoia, paypal mafia, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pets.com, planetary scale, private space industry, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, trade route, undersea cable, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize, Y2K

He pointed out that, alongside the Apollo program, NASA had launched planetary missions like Mariner and Viking, flown earth-observing satellites, and created the X-15 rocket plane that had inspired Burt Rutan. But his key influence was the Reagan-era program known derisively as Star Wars but properly called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). It had arisen as something of a parallel space program to satisfy the new president’s ideological objectives. The Reagan administration wanted to find a trump card in nuclear strategy to replace the deterrence logic of “mutually assured destruction,” which theoretically forestalled nuclear war by presenting it as a murder-suicide. This program would develop new technology to escape this situation. It considered everything from missiles to lasers to magnetic rail guns in its search for tools to eliminate an incoming wave of nuclear-tipped missiles. For example, one of the most well-known schemes under the SDI umbrella arose after it was observed that a ballistic missile would only need to be hit by a small rock to be destroyed, so fast were their flight speeds—recall the devastating effect of the foam block on Columbia.


pages: 385 words: 98,015

Einstein's Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum by Lee Smolin

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, Ernest Rutherford, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Turing machine

Milan: Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2014. Rovelli, Carlo. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. New York: Riverhead Books, 2016. // Sette brevi lezioni di fisica. Milan: Adelphi Edizioni, 2014. Tegmark, Max. Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014. Biographies of Key Figures Byrne, Peter. The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Farmelo, Graham. The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom. New York: Basic Books, 2009. Gribbin, John. Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2013. Hoffmann, Banesh, with Helen Dukas. Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel.


pages: 417 words: 97,577

The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition by Jonathan Tepper

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, diversification, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, income inequality, index fund, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, means of production, merger arbitrage, Metcalfe's law, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, passive investing, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, undersea cable, Vanguard fund, very high income, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Not all mergers necessarily raise prices, and many are intended purely to squeeze workers, suppliers, and business partners.30 By crushing their counterparties, they transfer wealth to themselves. This is most evident when you look at the profitability of agricultural giants as farm incomes have fallen and bankruptcies increased. In other cases, mergers are a direct response to a competitor's merger. Companies are in an arm's race to get bigger and bigger. It is a game of mutually assured destruction, where fewer smaller companies survive. Walmart's rise as a grocer triggered two massive waves of industry consolidation in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The first was a wave of mergers by Walmart competitors, for example, Kroger and Fred Meyer. The second wave of consolidation came as meatpackers, dairy companies, and food processors merged to avoid being crushed by Walmart and supermarkets.


pages: 323 words: 100,772

Prisoner's Dilemma: John Von Neumann, Game Theory, and the Puzzle of the Bomb by William Poundstone

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, cuban missile crisis, Douglas Hofstadter, Frank Gehry, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Jacquard loom, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, statistical model, the market place, zero-sum game

Game theorists have tended to focus on the prisoner’s dilemma precisely because it is a problematic case. Most conflicts are not prisoner’s dilemmas, though. No example of a prisoner’s dilemma has been more popular, both in technical articles and the popular press, than a nuclear arms rivalry. This is so much the case that the term “prisoner’s dilemma” is sometimes taken to be part of the jargon of nuclear strategy, along with “mutual assured destruction” and “MIRV.” The perception that arms races pose prisoner’s dilemmas may overshadow the reality, but it has become one of the paradigms of our time. Flood says he wasn’t thinking specifically of the nuclear situation when he and Dresher formulated their game—rather, of Nash equilibriums. Of course, it quickly became apparent that there were parallels, and defense in the nuclear age was the underlying purpose of all RAND’s research.


pages: 349 words: 98,868

Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason by William Davies

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, Colonization of Mars, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, credit crunch, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, Filter Bubble, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gig economy, housing crisis, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mutually assured destruction, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, post-industrial society, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Turing machine, Uber for X, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The threat of catastrophic aerial attack during the Cold War then led to the construction of Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) in the late 1950s, a control room consisting of screens and visualization tools, aimed at detecting incoming enemy bombers. US defense agencies first sought to connect up university computers in the mid-1960s, creating an embryonic version of the Internet, on the assumption that a computational network would be more resilient to nuclear attack than a central hub. It was only the emergency of the Second World War, then the Cold War threat of mutually assured destruction, that created sufficient political intensity for digital computers to be built at all. The Second World War brought the scientific and military establishments into a tight alliance which, in the United States at least, has remained intact ever since. The formation of the National Defense Research Committee in 1940 created the template for a new style of research investment, which was high-budget, high-risk, often classified, and aimed at matters of the greatest national urgency.


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

It’s not that deterrence itself is irrelevant: World War II showed that conventional tanks, artillery, and bombers were already massively destructive, and no nation was eager for an encore.104 Far from easing the world into a stable equilibrium (the so-called balance of terror), nuclear weapons can poise it on a knife’s edge. In a crisis, nuclear weapon states are like an armed homeowner confronting an armed burglar, each tempted to shoot first to avoid being shot.105 In theory this security dilemma or Hobbesian trap can be defused if each side has a second-strike capability, such as missiles in submarines or airborne bombers that can elude a first strike and exact devastating revenge—the condition of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). But some debates in nuclear metaphysics raise doubts about whether a second strike can be guaranteed in every conceivable scenario, and whether a nation that depended on it might still be vulnerable to nuclear blackmail. So the United States and Russia maintain the option of “launch on warning,” in which a leader who is advised that his missiles are under attack can decide in the next few minutes whether to use them or lose them.

See sex differences; women mental health and illness cognitive behavioral therapy, 175, 282 depression, 280–83, 284, 476n74 disease mongering/concept creep, 281–2 drugs for, 281, 282 and freedom, 285 paradox of, 282 as percentage of global burden of disease, 282 rates of depression and anxiety, 282–3, 476n74 See also anxiety; suicide mental models, 22–3 Mercier, Hugo, 380 Merton, Robert, xvii–xviii methane (natural gas), 136, 143, 147, 183 methodological naturalism, 421–2 Mexican-American War (1946–48), 163 Mexico agriculture in, 76 homicide rates in, 169, 170, 172 literacy in, 236 Mexican Revolution, 199 social spending in, 109 Trump and immigration from, 336 women’s rights in, 222 Meyer, Bruce, 116 microwave ovens, 252 Midas, King, 299 Middle Ages accidental death rates in, 180–81 belief in external forces, 9–10 cost of artificial light in, 253, 253 homicide in, 43, 168 poverty and, 79–80 private militias as ubiquitous in, 197 racism and slavery of, 397 middle class globalization and effects on, 112, 113, 118–19, 339, 340 worldwide increase of, 86, 459–60n18 Middle East and North Africa carbon emissions of, 144 communist governments in, 200 education in, 236–7, 237 emancipative values in, 227–8, 227, 439 imperialist interventions in, 439 literacy and, 236 refugees from, and European populism, 338 See also Arab countries; Muslim countries; individual countries Milanović, Branko, 104–5, 111, 112, 113 military governments, 200 military spending, 162, 467n18 Millennials, 225 depression and, 476n74 digital technology and, 244 happiness and, 273 as increasingly liberal, 217 low voter turnout in Trump’s election, 343 secularization and, 437 suicide and, 280 well-being of, 283 Miller, George, 314 Mill, John Stuart, 373, 417 Milošević, Slobodan, 447 mind-body dualism, 3, 22, 422, 427 mining safety and working conditions, 185, 230 minority rights, populist disregard for, 333, 340 misanthropy of cultural criticism, 34, 247, 446 of traditional environmentalism, 122, 134, 154 Mishima, Yukio, 446 Missouri, capital punishment in, 211 mobile phones/smartphones, 94–5, 257, 331 Mokyr, Joel, 82–3, 332 Molière, 411 Monbiot, George, 264 Mongolia, 85, 86 Monitoring the Future (youth survey), 185 monotonicity, 44 Montefiore, Hugh, 465n76 Montesquieu, 8, 10, 12, 13, 223 Monty Python’s Flying Circus, 392 Mooney, Chris, 387 Moore, Patrick, 465n76 Moore’s Law, 46, 298, 330 morality as balancing desires conflicting with others’, 414 basis of, 412–15, 419 capital punishment abolition and, 211–12, 213 deontological, 416–18 evolution as selecting for, 415 humanism and, 395, 410 impartiality and, 412–13, 415 progress in, as cumulative, 327 relativists vs. realists, 429–30 and safety regulations, 190 social contracts against harm, 27–8 sympathy and, 415 utilitarian, 415–19 and violence, vulnerability to, 414–15 See also theism and theistic morality moral sense abstract reasoning and honing of, 243 deficits in, 26, 140 root-causism and, 169–70 sacrifice and, 140–41 Morgenthau, Hans, 309 Morrison, Philip, 308 Morton, Oliver, 154 Moss, Jonathan, 402 Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 178 motor vehicles accident deaths, 42, 176–8, 177 deaths in, vs. terrorist deaths, 192, 193 decline in demand for, 135 drunk driving, 178 robotic cars, 180 safety, development of, 177–8, 190 Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, 200 Mozambique, escape from poverty of, 85, 86 Mozgovoi, Aleksandr, 479n93 Mueller, John, 205–6, 263, 305, 310–311, 313 Mugabe, Robert, 91 Mukherjee, Bharati, 284 Muller, Richard, 313 multiethnic communities, 405, 448, 450 multiverse theory, 424–5 Munroe, Randall, 127, 128, 430, 489n52 music, 260, 407 Musk, Elon, 296 Muslim countries atheists in, 435 cohorts, 442, 491n106 cruel punishments in, 439, 440 emancipative values weakest in, 223, 227–8, 227, 240, 439, 442 female genital mutilation in, 439 fertility decreasing in, 126, 436 homosexuality as crime in, 223, 439, 440 “honor killings” of women in, 439 and humanism, lack of progress in, 439–42 humanistic revolution in, 442–3, 491n106 human rights violations and, 439 separation of mosque and state, 441 theocracies and, 201 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 418–19 women’s rights in, 222, 439, 442, 491n106 See also Arab countries; Islam; Islamist extremists; Muslims Muslims conspiracy theories and, 67, 336 hate crimes targeting, 219–20, 220 literal readings of Quran, 440, 490n96 percentage of world population, 436 sharia law and, 440, 490n96 as strongly religious, 440 Trump and immigration of, 336 Mussolini, Benito, 445, 446, 447, 491n118 Mutar, Faisal Saeed Al-, 442 Myanmar (Burma), 203, 419 Myhrvold, Nathan, 477n20 Naam, Ramez, 298, 477n20 Nabokov, Vladimir, 261 Nader, Ralph, 177 Nagel, Thomas, 351–2, 412, 413, 427, 429, 482n4, 488n43 Nalin, David, 64 Namazie, Maryam, 443 Namibia, 203 NASA, 295, 300 Nasr, Amir Ahmad, 443 Nasrin, Taslima, 443 nationalism as counter-Enlightenment value, 30–31, 448 political ideologies and, 31 romantic nationalism, 165–6, 447, 448, 449–51 Russian, 159 vs. social contract, 31 See also populism National Science Foundation, 356–7, 387 nation-states cyber-sabotage accomplished by, 304 as putative units of group selection, 31, 448, 450 romantic nationalism, 165, 447, 448, 449–51 tribalism and, 450 natural disaster deaths, 187–9, 188 destruction of civilizations, 295–6 extinction of human species, 294–5 natural gas (methane), 136, 143, 147, 183 naturalism, 392, 421–2, 486n17 Natural Resources Defense Council, 465n76 natural selection, 18–19 homeostasis discovered by, 22 human intelligence and, 297 humanism and, 413–14 reality as selection pressure, 355 See also evolution nature competition and arms races in, 19, 24–5 environmentalism, traditional view of, 122 purpose in, science as refuting, 8, 24, 394–5, 434–5 as robust, 133 Romanticism and, 30, 121 See also natural selection Nawaz, Maajid, 443 Nazi Germany Christianity of, 430 counter-Enlightenment ideology of, 397 eugenics and, 399 Holocaust, 161, 397, 399, 430 intellectual fans of, 447 Nietzsche as influence on, 445 public health invoked by, 399 “scientific racism” of, 397–8 See also Germany; Hitler, Adolf Negativity bias, 47–8, 293 Negroponte, John, 310 Nemirow, Jason, 140 neo-fascism, 419, 448, 451 neo-reaction, 419, 451 Nepal, 203 Netherlands commerce, embrace of, 84–5 emancipative values in, 225–7, 226, 227 happiness ranking of, 475n30 homicide rates in, 169, 170 life expectancy in, 95 literacy in, 236 populism repudiated in, 338–9 secularization and, 436 social spending in, 108 New Deal, 107–8 New England, homicide rates in, 169, 170 New Peace, 43 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, 317, 318 Newton, Sir Isaac, 24 New York City, 172, 286–7, 380 New York Times, 44, 50, 74, 97, 151, 280, 292, 373, 409, 420 New Zealand economic freedom in, 365, 483n39 education in, 237 and escape from poverty, 85 happiness and, 451, 475n30 IQ gains in, 241, 241 secularization and, 437, 438–9 social spending in, 365, 483n39 well-being and, 438–9, 451 women’s rights in, 222 Nicaragua, 158 Niebuhr, Reinhold, 311 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 443–7 cultural pessimism, advocate of, 39–40, 406 intellectuals and artists as fans, 445, 446–7, 452 quotations from, 444–5 See also romantic heroism Niger, 203 Nigeria democratization of, 203 famine in, 73 killings by Boko Haram in, 162 polio in, 65 secularization and, 436 terrorist deaths in, 193 Nisbet, Robert, 40 Nixon, Richard, 119 Nobel Peace Prize, 203, 232, 240, 316 Nomani, Asra, 443 Non-Proliferation Treaty (1970), 316–17 No Nukes concert and film (1979), 147 nonviolent resistance, success rate of, 405 non-Western Enlightenments, 29–30, 419, 439, 442–3, 456n2 Norberg, Johan, 54–5, 68, 79, 125, 203–4 Nordhaus, Ted, 122, 141–2, 147, 253–4 Nordhaus, William, 138, 253 Nordic countries egalitarian income distribution in, 98 emancipative values in, 225–7, 226, 227 environment of, 130 and escape from poverty, 85 forced sterilization laws of, 399 human rights in, 208, 208 Norma Rae (film), 113 Norris, Pippa, 224, 340 North, Douglass, 83 North Korea Arduous March, 78 as autocratic, 201–2 conflict with South Korea, 158 democratization and, 206 famine in, 78 human rights in, 208, 208 nuclear weapons and, 317, 320 poverty in, 90 Norvig, Peter, 477n20 Norway emancipative values in, 225–7, 226, 227 happiness ranking of, 475n30 human rights in, 208, 208 income per capita in, 271 populism and, 341 nostalgia, 48, 113, 256 Nozick, Robert, 99 nuclear power, 144–5, 146–50, 330, 465n76 nuclear war, 307–321 balance of terror, 315 ban on (Global Zero), 315–17, 320–21 close calls, 310, 312–13, 318, 479nn93,95 deterrence and, 312, 314–15, 317 fear, failure to mobilize public, 308–311, 479n80 Graduated Reciprocation in Tension-Reduction (GRIT), 318, 320 historical pessimism and, 308 and international relations, 312, 315 launch on warning (hair trigger), 315, 319–20 Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), 315 nations with capacity, 313, 317–18, 318 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), 317, 318 no-first-use pledge, 320 Non-Proliferation Treaty (1970), 316–17 nuclear winter, 308, 310 probability of nuclear war, 312–13 proliferation limited, 313 reduction of arsenal, 317–19, 318, 480nn113,117,121 second-strike capacity, 315, 319 security dilemma (Hobbesian trap) of, 315 Trump and, 336–7 nuclear weapons arms race during Cold War, 291, 308, 311 complacency about, 286 Hiroshima bombing, 305 Manhattan Project and development of, 314 terrorism as threat, 310–311, 313–14 treaty banning atmospheric testing, 133–4 uranium extracted for power plants, 149, 317 Nunn, Sam, 316, 319 Nussbaum, Martha, 248, 264, 413 Nye, Bill, 434 Nyerere, Julius, 447 Obama, Barack approval rating on departure, 338 bullying as issue for, 49 conspiracy theories about, 336, 358 farewell speech and Enlightenment, 338, 481n30 as first African American U.S. president, 214 health care and, 109 on income inequality, 97 on “now” as best time to be born, 37 and nuclear weapons, 316, 319, 320–21, 336–7 racism and, 217 Republican obstructionism and, 432 theoconservatives and, 449 Obamacare, 109 Obama, Michelle, 214 obesity epidemic, 69 objective measurement actuarial formulas outperforming experts, 403–4 as goal of scientific literacy, 403–5 as morally enlightened, 43 Naomi Klein’s dismissal of, 139 resisters of scientific thinking objecting to, 403 See also data occupational safety and accident deaths, 185–7, 187 Occupy Wall Street, 97 Oceania, postcolonial governments of, 201 oceans acidification of, 137, 138, 153 and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, 136, 150 deep-sea vents as biological energy source, 19 desalination of water, 129, 149 fisheries, 325 geoengineering and, 150, 152–3 marine conservation areas, 132–3, 133 sea level rise, 137, 138 species extinctions and, 463n32 Oklahoma City bombing (1995), 194 Olds, Jacqueline, 274 O’Neill, Eugene, 446 O’Neill, William, 286 Ono, Yoko, 166 On the Waterfront (film), 113 opioid overdoses, 184–5 Oppenheimer, J.


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, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, 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: 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, 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: 370 words: 107,791

Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Tim Mohr

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sexual politics, side project

Not surprisingly, given the fact that their country was bristling with missiles and nukes and regarded as the likely flash point for World War III, West Germans seemed to have the most angst of this sort. A couple of huge international pop hits by German artists brought home the point. At first blush, Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” for instance, seemed to be a sweet ditty about typical teen yearnings. Except for one little thing: the reason we might remain forever young was because we could all be fried in a global blast of mutually assured destruction. Or take Nena’s “99 Luftballons.” One minute a couple is holding hands as they watch their balloons float into the sky; the next minute an early warning system picks up the dirigibles and triggers an all-out nuclear exchange. Then there were all the British bands with songs on the topic, many of them hits in West Germany and across Europe. Ultravox’s “Dancing with Tears in my Eyes” chronicled a couple’s final minutes on Earth before it goes up in flames; the Smiths’s “Ask” suggested the bomb would bring us together in a common destiny as radioactive ash; the Police’s “When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around” described life in a fallout shelter; Kate Bush’s “Breathing” was narrated by a fetus with a somewhat improbable knowledge of fission reactions and their aftermath.


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, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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: 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, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, 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: 354 words: 105,322

The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis by James Rickards

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, jitney, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Pierre-Simon Laplace, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, reserve currency, RFID, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, stocks for the long run, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transfer pricing, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

These newer bombs used fission to cause a secondary fusion implosion, releasing far greater energy and achieving a new order of destruction. These advances in technology and destructive force were not ends in themselves. They were guided by new nuclear war fighting doctrines developed first at RAND Corporation, and later expanded at Harvard University and other elite schools. The doctrine, called Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD, was the product of game theory in which participants based their actions on expected reactions of other participants who, in turn, acted based on expected reactions of the initial actor, and so on recursively until a behavioral equilibrium was reached. What RAND Corporation discovered is that winning a nuclear arms race was destabilizing and likely to result in nuclear war. If either the United States or Russia built enough nuclear weapons to destroy the other in a first strike, with no chance of a retaliatory second strike by the victim, the superior power’s motivation was to launch the first strike and win the war.


pages: 370 words: 107,983

Rage Inside the Machine: The Prejudice of Algorithms, and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All by Robert Elliott Smith

Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, AI winter, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, animal electricity, autonomous vehicles, Black Swan, British Empire, cellular automata, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, corporate personhood, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Gerolamo Cardano, gig economy, Gödel, Escher, Bach, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, p-value, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, women in the workforce

Von Neumann was an American-Hungarian genius and polymath, and his work designing nuclear weapons was only one of the ways in which he changed the world forever. The others include devising a way to make ENIAC (arguably the world’s first real computer) programmable; making substantial contributions to quantum physics6 and equilibrium theories in economics; and, inventing game theory, an area of mathematical research which shaped cold war politics for a generation through his descriptions of a game-theoretic construct he called “mutually assured destruction.” Inspired by Turing’s papers on computation, von Neumann also came up with the modern conception of Babbage’s ‘store’ and ‘mill’ computer structure, in what is now called the ‘von Neumann architecture’, the architecture at the heart of almost all modern computers. Amongst this world-changing productivity, von Neumann also speculated about how computer programs, like genetic organisms, might be able to self-replicate.


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, Johannes Kepler, Karl Jansky, Kuiper Belt, Louis Blériot, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, 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

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: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, 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 Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, 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, twin studies, 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: 382 words: 116,351

Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed by Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, business climate, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, mutually assured destruction, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, upwardly mobile, Yom Kippur War

LeMay was also sore about our close relationship to the CIA because in his view the agency had no right to have its own independent air wing, furnished by the Skunk Works. But now LeMay whisked in with his entourage and a shopping list that included converting the Blackbird into an extended-range deep-penetration bomber that the Russians could not stop. LeMay had fathered the SAC strategy called MAD—Mutual Assured Destruction. That said it all. Our Blackbird would nuke ’em back to the Stone Age. Kelly briefed LeMay personally and invited several of us who were experts on various components of the airplane to sit in just in case the general had technical questions. I was intrigued watching the big, two-fisted LeMay puffing on a thick cigar, his shrewd eyes focused in concentration as Kelly zipped through a classified slide show detailing all the performance characteristics of the new airplane.


pages: 389 words: 119,487

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon-based life, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deglobalization, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, obamacare, pattern recognition, post-work, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

Whatever you think about regulating disruptive technologies, ask yourself whether these regulations are likely to hold even if climate change causes global food shortages, floods cities all over the world, and sends hundreds of millions of refugees across borders. In turn, technological disruptions might increase the danger of apocalyptic wars, not just by increasing global tensions, but also by destabilising the nuclear balance of power. Since the 1950s, superpowers avoided conflicts with one another because they all knew that war meant mutually assured destruction. But as new kinds of offensive and defensive weapons appear, a rising technological superpower might conclude that it can destroy its enemies with impunity. Conversely, a declining power might fear that its traditional nuclear weapons might soon become obsolete, and that it had better use them before it loses them. Traditionally, nuclear confrontations resembled a hyper-rational chess game.


pages: 384 words: 112,971

What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, c