Eugene Linden
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Lastest Musing
Time Warp on Climate Change

 

In yesterday's New York Times, there were two articles on climate change. The first was a front page piece about how President Obama will try to end-run Congressional paralysis on dealing with climate change by seeking to update the existing Kyoto treaty in ways that comm...
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Featured Book

The Ragged Edge of the World
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Articles by Category
endangered animals
rapid climate change
global deforestation
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Books

Winds of Change
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Afterword to the softbound edition.


The Octopus and the Orangutan
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The Future In Plain Sight
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The Parrot's Lament
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Silent Partners
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Affluence and Discontent
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The Alms Race
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Apes, Men, & Language
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thealmsrace

The Alms Race examines the sorry history of aid projects in Africa as a way to explore the charitable impulse. It asks the question, why do voluntary aid organizations perpetually repeat projects that fail to help the poor, and finds that the answer is that those projects are magically transformed into successes when viewed in terms of the benefits they bring to the donors. The book argues that the basic purpose of voluntary aid abroad is to extend the boundaries of the consumer society. This book set the stage for Affluence and Discontent.

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Short Take

How is it, that afterthe debacle of Vietnam, we make the same mistakes in Iraq and then Afghanistan -- of fighting the war we were prepared to fight rather than preparing for the circumstances of the conflict at hand? Of course, it's not just u,s as evidenced by the French in World War II, or all the generals in World War I who thought that cavalry and trench warfare were effective strategies in an era that introduced the machine gun and poison gas.

The whole sad, wasteful history of feckless military strategies bears witness to the point that a society or civilization is only as advanced as the deployment of its collective intelligence. In every case of failed military strategy, there were military minds that knew better, but who either muted their voices or  were ignored.



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