Tag: Geopolitics and International Relations

In a fascinating account of the private space programs of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, Christian Davenport explains how the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) has its origins in the geopolitics of the Cold War. From pg 59: Eisenhower entered the room at 10: 31 a.m., and decided to get right to it, asking, “Do […]

Japan in the Digital Age Call for Papers for a one-day Symposium Saturday 28th October, 2017 The Shed, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Keynote Speakers Prof. Ian Condry, Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mr. Kazuhito Gen-I (?? ??), award-winning media practitioner, working on 2.5 Dimension project (theatre adaptation of anime, manga and […]

From And The Weak Suffer What They Must? By Yanis Varoufakis, loc 353-368: What this means is that a closed, autarkic (meaning self-sufficient) economy, like that of Robinson Crusoe in literature or perhaps North Korea today, may be poor, solitary and undemocratic, but at least it is free of problems caused by other economies, by […]

From No Such Thing as a Free Gift, by Linsey McGoey, loc 2771: The tendency for political objectives to drive economic decisions –which are then propagated as purely technical policies geared at improving economic growth –is a well-known operating principle within the IMF. The late economist Jacques Polak, a former IMF director of research and […]

From Zizek’s Trouble in Paradise, pg 46. A mechanism which operates at every level, from the individual to the international: A decade or so ago, Argentina decided to repay its debt to the IMF ahead of time (with financial help from Venezuela). The IMF’s reaction was on the face of it surprising: instead of being […]

From Spam, by Finn Brunton, pg 67-68: The business of phone sex is structured around arbitraging the different settlement rates—how much it costs to call a given country from the United States. A company in the United States leases lines in another country to route the calls and takes a per-minute cut of the settlement […]

From Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate, by Abdel Bari Atwan, pg 137: Islamic State battalions and units are extremely adaptable to changing situations and new developments on the ground, and field commanders are given total autonomy in implementing the operations they are charged with. This flexibility, and confident delegation, makes IS’s war effort extremely effective […]