Monday, January 07, 2008

My Appointed Rounds

CKR has posted the first installments of her inter-blog debate on nuclear strategy. Here's part one, and here's part two (and here's my contribution in full).

There's broad agreement on the main points; the specific details are a bit more knotty (don't you hate it when that happens?). For me, much of this debate hinges on national sovereignty's likely fate under what Zygmunt Bauman has called "the divorce of power and politics." Most participants agree that the Cold War model is outdated; I'd argue that the elements that make this model outdated are the very ones that people tend to hold onto: its statism, and its rather essentialist view of America's role in the world.

Apropos of which, Bryan Finoki, in a post on floating prisons, quotes Keller Easterling to good effect:

Worlds and empires shelter and fatten offshore, dropping into protected enclaves, free economic zones, and paper sovereignties long enough to avoid taxes, engage inexpensive labor, or launder an identity. Streamlined logistics and loosened legalities are among the bullet-pointed features of every logistics park and free economic zone in the world. Their segregation from other worlds and other nations helps them to garner power, and shapes them into distended and dominating territories that are constantly expanding and excluding. They are the world with their own seas.
Meanwhile, Smokewriting discusses nuclear power and intergenerational equity:
It gives a good example of how the principle of consent can lead to massive injustice, given that the consent sought is that of a small subset of the present generation to collude with the Government in imposing unasked-for and unfair burdens on future generations. The risks of long term disposal, unquantifiable as they are, are inevitably inequitably shunted into the future.
And Echidne dissects an article on the "market for sex" among monkeys:
How do we know that what Gumert describes is a market with a currency? If we were to force monkey behavior into the human construct of a marketplace, then the one he describes sounds a lot more like one of barter: a situation where two monkeys trade services. Why can't we view the market as one for grooming, where the female monkeys are buying grooming services and paying for it with sex? That would make the male monkeys into the sellers and the female monkeys into the buyers. See how deciding that this is a market for sex and not for grooming warps our views and prepares us to superimpose all the human values and all the human biases on what is happening?
Last, Eli is impressed with the new and improved Taser:
Just think of the compliments and admiring looks your sexy new leopard print taser will garner in between agonized screams! And if you get tired of the screams, well you can just tune them right out with that nifty MP3-playing holster! Awesome!

I predict that next year they will partner up with a cellphone company to develop the Motorola TAZR - zap ‘em and then call the cops with the same convenient device!
(Illustration: With Us or Against Us by Francesca Berrini.)

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