Posts

Lying about Libya

My latest op-ed, “Lying about Libya,” appeared today in Mises Daily, a publication of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.  You can read the article here. In it, I write:

“What was sold to the American public as a humanitarian intervention morphed almost immediately into unreserved support of one side in Libya’s civil war and a commitment to overthrowing Libya’s existing government. … To decide whether a military action undertaken in our name is prudent and just, we must adopt a skeptical stance toward politicians’ stories and rationalizations.

Use of Predators Sets Dangerous Precedent

My op-ed “Use of Predators Sets Dangerous Precedent” appeared today on Antiwar.com. In it, I criticize President Obama’s decision to authorize drone warfare in Libya. I write:

“The expediency of drones makes it all-too-tempting for governments to use them frequently and carelessly, brushing aside the ethical questions they raise and ignoring the long-term security consequences their use could entail.” Click here to read the full article. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Excerpts from Klein, Warren, Chirelstein, and Gluck

Customs grow out of social processes whose details are highly individuated in regards to the type of activity, the individuals involved, their reputational pedigree, the knowledge they have about each other, and so on.  Viewing cultural evolution as deeply and densely rooted process may make one doubt the wisdom of government attempts to fine tune, guide, or supplant it.  It is highly unlikely that the blunt instruments of government will be well suited to cultivating the growth of delicate, teeming, unique interactions.

Book received: 'The Crimean War: A New History'

Thanks to Henry Holt and Company for sending a review copy of Orlando Figes’ The Crimean War: A History.”  I look forward to reading it.

Authors and publishers interested in sending review copies of books in the social sciences or humanities - especially education and international relations - should contact me by email at ryan (dot) mccarl (at) wideawakeminds (dot) com.— Ryan McCarl Homepage: http://ryanmccarl.com Wide Awake Minds: http://www.wideawakeminds.com Blog: http://blog.

Robert Nozick's 'Experience Machine'

The following is political philosopher Robert Nozick’s incredible allegory of the “Experience Machine,” from his book Anarchy, State, and Utopia. The allegory makes a case against hedonism, the idea that sensory pleasure is the highest good: — Suppose there were an experience machine that would give you any experience you desired. Superduper neuropsychologists could stimulate your brain so that you would think and feel you were writing a great novel, or making a friend, or reading an interesting book.

Discussing the Libya War on 'Russia Today'

I appeared on Russia Today (RT) yesterday to discuss the U.S./NATO intervention in Libya as well as the situation in Syria - feel free to check it out if you are interested:

My related article, “Rolling the Dice in Libya,” appeared on Antiwar.com yesterday. Another, unrelated op-ed of mine appeared yesterday as well in the Michigan Education Report: “National standards will stifle innovation.” In it, I argue that “strict standards risk forcing students and teachers alike into a curricular straitjacket, alienating creative teachers and sapping the motivation of students.

Rolling the dice in Libya

My latest op-ed, “Rolling the dice in Libya,” appeared today on Antiwar.com. You can find the op-ed here as well as pasted below. If you enjoy it, please consider sharing it on your Facebook wall, mentioning it on Twitter, or emailing it to a friend. Thanks, as always, for reading. — Rolling the dice in Libya Ryan McCarl President Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008 partly by reminding the party‚Äôs base of his early, prescient criticisms of the ill-fated decision to invade Iraq.

Excerpts from Jacques Barzun, 'From Dawn to Decadence'

(Note: The excerpts below are related to issues outside of education; I will post education-related excerpts from From Dawn to Decadenceon Wide Awake Minds, my education blog. You can find these here if you are interested.)

Here are a few excerpts from what I’ve read so far: — In any art a new technical power leads to uses and ideas not suspected at first. … Another singularity in Petrarch’s life was that he climbed a high hill in southern France in order to admire the view.

Excerpts from Benedict Anderson, Gottfried Benn, and Bob Altemeyer

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I am spending it in Boulder, CO, one of the most beautiful cities in America. From “Static Poems” Deafness to imperatives is profundity in the wise man, children and grandchildren don’t bother him, don’t alarm him. To represent a particular outlook, to act, to travel hither and yon are all signs of a world that doesn’t see clearly. –Gottfried Benn (in Poetry, 11⁄09.) Adult authoritarians tend to be highly ethnocentric and heavy users of the “consensual validation pill” (Newcomb, 1961).

Two cents about COIN

My latest op-ed, “Two cents about COIN,” appeared today on Antiwar.com. It discusses the the growing faith of U.S. political and military leaders in the military doctrine of COIN, or manpower-intensive counterinsurgency warfare. You can find the op-ed here as well as pasted below; if you enjoy it, please consider sharing it on your Facebook wall, mentioning it on Twitter, or linking to it on your blog. Thanks, as always, for reading.