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This category contains 5 posts

Never fear, only humans can kill

The Pentagon recently released a statement, ostensibly to make people feel more secure or to show some degree of humanity, that, despite the increasingly capable technology, only a human being will decide to kill another human being.  This policy assumes that human judgement over decisions to kill people is always superior to a machine’s. One … Continue reading

Searching for meaning but finding a Nietzsche

A Nietzschean Approach to Positive Psychology sounds like a method designed to send more people to the loony bin.  However, a forthcoming study in The Journal of Positive Psychology ends with the kind of call to action Nietzsche would write, if he were an academic. Nietzsche believed that a person could only become great through suffering.  Not the … Continue reading

How new is sharing, even in economics?

Currency and the economy are not mutually inclusive: goods and services moved among people long before monetary standards; there’s a reason a dowry includes cows rather than cash.  Money, doesn’t have to be currency, it does have to be a unit of account, a store of value, and a means of payment. Economies move far … Continue reading

Elections matter even when history stands still

Pierre Goubert famously described Louis XIV, the man who dominates 17th century foreign policy and chapter 6 of most European history textbooks, as a giant gesticulating insect. Goubert used the image to show that while Louis was busy playing on battle fields and in bedrooms, peasants still lived, breathed, and ate bread. The sun still … Continue reading

New constitutions and (really) old arguments

Joseph deMaistre, considered the first conservative by some, took several volumes to argue against a written constitution.  Before declaring deMaistre a relic of a reactionary, remember (or perhaps learn that) the United Kingdom has no codified constitution and, except for a minor blip in 1649, has enjoyed consistent stability for much longer than many countries … Continue reading