Research Program

What I’m Reading

  1. What They Teach You At Harvard Business School by Philip Delves Broughton (New York: Penguin, 2009). I first read this book about 15 years ago when I was in Swinburne University’s strategic foresight program, and it was originally titled Ahead of the Curve. Revisiting it I am picking up far more about Harvard Business School’s dynamics and the MBA curriculum.
  2. At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for the Future (Exeter, England: Imprint Academic, 2018). Dutton is editor of the controversial journal Mankind Quarterley and Woodley of Menie has emerged as an influential Life History theorist. Reading this book – and the accompanying journal articles in Intelligence – is giving me a good primer on Data and Decisions skills, and the background debates to the Alt-Right’s emergence.
  3. Managerial Economics: A Game Theoretic Approach by Timothy C.G. Fisher and Robert G. Waschik (New York and London: Routledge, 2002). One of the things that emerged from my PhD‘s working notes was that I needed to study more game theory. This is a good primer on both game theory and managerial economics – the latter the ‘killer app’ of managerial decision-making.
  4. Q: In This World Perfection Is Everything by Christina Dalcher (London: HQ Fiction, 2020). A return to eugenics and social stratification are two motivational drivers of Alt-Right metapolitical thinking. Dalcher’s novel is both a sign that Handmaid’s Tale-style dystopian fiction is popular with both publishers and readers, and that Alt-Right thinking may ‘cross the chasm’ to diffuse from a political subculture into mainstream thinking.
  5. The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future by Jeff Booth (Stanley Press, 2020). Deflation was a key macroeconomic driver of Japan’s ‘lost decades’ and it has also influenced contemporary debates about the post-COVID-19 world. Booth argues that deflation and the falling price of technology infrastructure hold the key to future prosperity. One implication of this is that cost structures are going to fall in price. This was the promise 20-25 years ago of the Dotcom era.
Research Program

Friday Links

  1. Three reasons stocks are rising.
  2. All this chaos might be giving you ‘crisis fatigue’.
  3. Will we actually get to vote in November?
  4. How things could go very wrong in America.
  5. How drones change the risks that nations are willing to take.
  6. The stock market is an engine of civic destruction.
  7. Obama sees hope in protests: “there is something different here.”
  8. Larry Kramer’s righteous rage.
  9. Social bubbles may be the best way for societies to emerge from lockdown.
  10. The return to studying economics is fairly high.
Research Program

Thursday Links

  1. How one mine ate a a town.
  2. Trump cannot deescalate.
  3. Why Hong Kong could be the flashpoint of a new financial war.
  4. The police take the side of white vigilantes.
  5. Resist the urge to simplify the story.
  6. How COVID is affecting elections in Africa.
  7. Mark Zuckerberg believes only in Mark Zuckerberg.
  8. Snap says it will stop promoting Trump’s account.
  9. Tyler Cowen converses with Ashley Mears.
  10. Retired generals and the civ-mil community.
Research Program

Radicalisation’s Core

Zin Derfoufi has a new article in Terrorism and Political Violence on the radicalisation-terrorism nexus. Derfoufi’s analysis of potential selection bias in terrorism studies has implications for the inclusion criteria of terrorists and terrorist organisations. The article’s abstract:

Is radicalization inherently conducive to terrorism? This paper addresses this fault-line within discourses on radicalization by analyzing the political awakening and mobilization of British Muslims operating in environments targeted by violent-extremists. The results show that despite undergoing the “root causes” and “triggers” associated with radicalization, and even having direct contact with violent-extremists, research participants still rejected terrorism. This paper analyzes why participants’ radicalism promoted resilience to political violence rather than propel them toward it. It challenges the selection bias within terrorism and radicalization studies which constrain our ability to understand this phenomenon by focusing on the rare cases of people who support terrorism while ignoring its more common trajectories of non-terror related activism (or apathy). In correcting this bias, this paper proposes a more holistic definition of radicalization grounded in the lived realities of people undergoing that process and concludes with a discussion on what the findings mean for the assumptions underpinning academic discourses on this matter and state counterterrorism policies.

Research Program

Wednesday Links

  1. This is how Trump wants to be seen.
  2. The police were a mistake.
  3. Why Wall Street is calm in the face of US unrest.
  4. Buying gold through the pandemic.
  5. Fury at America and its values spreads globally.
  6. The troubling origins of birthright politics.
  7. ‘Nonlethal’ crowd control weapons can cause serious harm.
  8. In defence of Antifa.
  9. China, all the way to New York.
  10. Condemning systemic racism.
Research Program

Tuesday Links

  1. The American nightmare.
  2. Hackers claim to have ‘dirty laundry’ about Trump.
  3. Remove Trump now.
  4. Barbara Ehrenreich still wants to be surprised.
  5. An American uprising.
  6. How world leaders are like high schoolers.
  7. Venkatesh Rao has a new ebook out.
  8. Breaking the Renaissance myth.
  9. A new Space Age beckons.
  10. Time for qualified immunity to go.
Research Program

Covid-19 and US Racial Inequality

Doctoral student Meg Guilford on trying to write a dissertation during the Covid-19 pandemic and the George Floyd killing-inspired riots:

Sadly, it took the extrajudicial killing of yet another unarmed black man at the hands of the police for me to find my voice about finishing a dissertation under quarantine during a pandemic. I have considered whether or not I should write something every day since my quarantine began on March 16th but could never nail down what that would actually accomplish. It wasn’t important or noteworthy that I was neither mentally prepared nor had the infrastructure in place to write extensively and exclusively from home. It wasn’t important or noteworthy that I was under veritable house arrest because contracting COVID-19 with a compromised immune system could kill me.

And yet, the environment in which the expectations of academia are entirely divorced from the realities in which so many students exist is both important and noteworthy.

Research Program

Monday Links

An America uprising.

The chaos makes sense.

SpaceX launched two astronauts – changing spaceflight forever.

Christo, RIP.

We wasted our chance for a quick economic recovery.

America’s social contract is broken.

It’s time to listen to the doomsday planners.

The US military is monitoring protests in 7 states.

How COVID-19 affected American schools.

How not to do platform regulation.

Research Program

Friday Links

  1. Surviving the pandemic, reading Late Victorian Holocausts.
  2. Trump’s social media executive order is just for show.
  3. Building a modern military: the force meets geopolitical realities.
  4. The Good Web Project.
  5. Why the United States will need a new foreign policy in 2020.
  6. How innovation works, with Matt Ridley.
  7. The wealth of generations, with special attention to the millennials.
  8. The end of the backlash to big tech.
  9. Can Christopher Nolan save the summer?
  10. There is only one way we can prevent economic ruin.
Research Program

Thursday Links

  1. Tyler Cowen reviews Stephanie Kelton’s MMT book The Deficit Myth.
  2. Could Donald Trump be re-elected by a major economic turnaround?
  3. Companies reducing their reliance on China must deal with currency volatility.
  4. US says Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China.
  5. How Estonia has moved its government services online.
  6. Will the US face an arms race with Russia and China?
  7. The right-wing legal network now pushing conspiracy theories.
  8. A graduate student solves the epic Conway Knot problem.
  9. What will post-pandemic warfare look like?
  10. Calculating the costs of declining industries.