Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Just some links

1. Edward Luttwak in the LRB on Napoleon and strategy, including why Guatemala joined in our side in the Second World War. All good stuff.

2. The plasticity of human nature - and why that supports conservatism. Is there any link to what the New Yorker calls the "central joke and point" of Houellebecq's “Soumission" namely that "the French √©lite are cravenly eager to collaborate with the new regime, delighted not only to convert but to submit to a bracing and self-assured authoritarianism. Like the oversophisticated Hellenists in Cavafy’s poem, they have been secretly waiting for the barbarians all their lives."? Perhaps at some level.

3. Some tricks of game theory. Like getting people to pay $200 for a $20 bill.

4. Lord Ashcroft's marginal constituency polls. Worth studying carefully if you are putting money on the next general election.

5. "The result was that middle-class children developed an “emerging sense of entitlement” which we might view as [...]" Fill in the blank in your own mind before clicking through to this link on class war in sociology. Then try substituting 'male' and 'female' for 'middle-class' and 'working-class' and apply a bit of feminist reasoning: i.e. imagine that a male sociologist had (ages ago) explained how males acquire sets of beliefs that assist them in life while females do not - is that a problem with the beliefs or with society?

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