TCS Daily : July 2003 Archives

The Clausewitz Curse

Author's Note: In June of last year, when I was writing my essay "Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology," the question on everyone's mind was, 'Was the U.S. prepared to handle another Al Qaeda strike?'   Needless to say, this question was... Read More

Just Add Water

Last week, President Bush announced that the water problem in Iraq would be alleviated in two months. Given the complexity of the task, that wouldn't be a bad performance time utilizing the best 20th century technology.   This is,... Read More

A Renaissance Revival?

Today, fine art and engineering are about as far apart as two disciplines can get. One is all about aesthetics and beauty; the other is all about functionality and measurement.   Those few people who try and bridge the gap... Read More

The New WMD?

Hans Blix did not find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq because he was apparently looking in the wrong place. Like that sought-after document in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Purloined Letter," a weapon of mass destruction was right there... Read More

God's Physics Experiment

Physicist Stephen M. Barr has fired the latest broadside in the contentious debate over what science tells us about the existence of God. His book Modern Physics and Ancient Faith presents a case that developments in physics and related fields... Read More

The Great Race

The movie-going public is being treated to a depiction of the rivalry between two Depression-era horses -- War Admiral and Seabiscuit. One can view the future outlook for the United States economy as a similar contest, in this case... Read More

'Regime Decapitation'

Let's not worry much about criticism of the Pentagon's decision to show the images of the late Uday and Qusay Hussein -- RNIP, Rest Not In Peace. Instead, let's worry about what's not being said about the targeting of specific... Read More

The Virtues of Being Virtual

Education in this country is often seen as unresponsive to changes in society and dismissive of innovative ideas, but let's not forget that some of these innovative ideas have become fundamental to the education of our children.   Around... Read More

Where's the Epidemic?

"The war on fat has reached the point where the systematic distortion of the evidence has become the norm, rather than the exception," wrote Paul Campos in the Rocky Mountain News on April 2, 2003. Campos is professor of... Read More

Greenpeace and Nanotechnology

Greenpeace has just released a report on nanotechnology and artificial intelligence entitled Future Technologies, Today's Choices: Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics; A Technical, Political and Institutional Map of Emerging Technologies. That Gre Read More

They're 'Against Us'

Don't we have a right to know if a "friendly country" bankrolled the 9-11 attacks, and continues funding terrorists bent on destroying more of America?   Obviously so.   Then why is President George W. Bush hiding evidence of... Read More

World Wide Web of Taxes

Fearful that overtaxed consumers might want to escape the value-added tax, the European Union concocted a plan to impose VAT on software, videos, computer games and music downloaded via the Internet from non-EU companies. This raises the possibility that... Read More

Futures Shock

You would think that if any member of the Senate Armed Services Committee understood a thing or two about futures markets, it would be the Cattle Queen of Arkansas, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not only did Clinton display Soros-esque market... Read More


The current hysterical assault on industries that deal in intellectual property, primarily pharmaceuticals and entertainment, seems utterly baffling. These industries spew out extraordinary floods of worthy things: life-saving, life-enhancing drugs; breathtaking mo Read More

Foes of the Earth

Those who call themselves advocates for the environment continue in their desperate campaign against biotech-improved crops -- the most critically needed farming technology in half a century. In a world that already farms nearly half the non-ice covered land... Read More

Thank You, Pew!

You've got to hand it to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change -- their timing is impeccable. Pew's latest big-splash report, U.S. Energy Scenarios for the 21st Century, hit congressional offices just as members began debating amendments to... Read More

Stasis vs. Dynamism

Michael Jackson, the "Gloved One," might lead a strange life, but he expresses a common sentiment when he says "I am speechless about the idea of putting music fans -- mostly teenagers -- in jail for downloading music." Jackson was... Read More

'Enemy Mine'

Who is the enemy? Victory depends on our answer.   We think of the enemy as "the other" -- either as our opposite, or as a dark mirror of ourselves -- so how we define the enemy also defines... Read More

To Your Health

Frances Berg, M.S., wrote in a March/April 1999 Healthy Weight Journal editorial that the then new federal guidelines, labeling over half of Americans overweight and "recommending that millions of already weight-obsessed Americans lose weight, are dangerous in tha Read More

Tipping Toward Google

The conventional wisdom about the IPO market holds that only a big, splashy IPO from a company like Google will be able to pry open the IPO window, paving the way for other, smaller technology companies to raise money... Read More

The Globalization of Gaza

Suicide-bombing is spreading. In May 2003 five simultaneous attacks ripped through Casablanca, Morocco. Earlier this month two female suicide-bombers triggered explosive belts at an outdoor concert in Moscow. On the same day three Sunni Muslims blew themselves up i Read More

Churchill Would Understand

We often hear about the importance of the separation of power among the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. But for the general welfare it is just as important to maintain a clear separation of government and the Fourth Estate,... Read More

Mandatory Libertarianism

"I'm a geneticist," the woman said, as she began an impassioned speech against vouchers and school choice. "I don't want to see schools where students are not taught evolution. And I want to make sure that they get sex education... Read More

An Antietam Moment

The deaths of Saddam Hussein's heirs apparent -- Uday and Qusay -- gave the Bush administration a much-needed Antietam moment.   An Antietam moment is something all good politicians know about. It's about using a successful event to make... Read More

Virtual Barbed Wire

In Iraq, clear and secure property rights are sorely lacking. Hernando de Soto explains in The Mystery of Capital that a big problem in the Third World is the fractured and uncertain state of land rights. Much land is owned... Read More

What About Freedom?

Polls show that Bulgarians strongly support their country's effort to join the European Union. This is striking when compared to the situation in the former communist countries acceding to the Union next year. Sure, Bulgaria's EU prospects are rather... Read More

Tribal Warfare

I like to help reduce communication barriers that isolate and alienate people. This task is especially compelling when individuals share core values. However, the exchange of ideas across ideological camps is difficult and rare. The debate over benefits and costs.. Read More

Here's the Plan

On Thursday Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans released the Bush administration's Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) strategic plan. According to the press announcement: "The strategic plan describes the research activities to Read More

Dietary Demons

When the FDA announced its ruling last month requiring food labels to specify the amount of trans fatty acids (TFAs) present in products, media coverage was prodigious, completely one-sided, and lacking in any scientific perspective.   The take-home message wa Read More

Close the Internet?

The Baby Bells are an awful lot like Little Orphan Annies. For when it comes to broadband investment, it's always tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya', tomorrow. And tomorrow is always just a Federal Communications Commission decision away. The latest rendition... Read More

Needed: An Endangered Marines Act

"Our new radar -- it's a remarkable scientific achievement capable of spotting an intruder in the air at quite a long range... But we can't get permission to put her up [on top of the mountain from] the National Park... Read More

Gangland Slaying

Few things say more about a society than how it imagines its future. Until not long ago, Iraq thought its future would be dominated by one or both of the sons of Saddam Hussein, Uday and Qusay. And that... Read More

Early Birds Get Returns

To invest is to defer. It's an act of faith, the abnegation of desire. When you buy a company's stock or a government agency's bonds, you decide not to consume your cash today but to entrust it to an institution... Read More

One-Click Treason

Accusations of treason fly when a nation goes to war. Sometimes, those claims stick. After World War II, the U.S. punished several of its citizens for having served as paid Axis propagandists. Recent terrorist attacks on the U.S. have triggered... Read More

Rolling the Rx Highway

It's hard to use things that don't exist, no matter how much you're willing to pay for them. That's one thought to keep in mind in observing the new hands-across-the-border rage in American and Canadian relations -- cross-border trips... Read More

Occupational Hazards

To better understand what's happening in Iraq today, it's useful to examine previous American military occupations. The study of the American experience in Germany, for example, is revealing in that it shatters some commonly held myths regarding the post-World War. Read More

The War on Fat's Casualties

With all of the pressure to be thin, the onslaught of diet messages finds a ready audience. At any given time, up to 80 million American adults are on a diet.   Women and children are the primary victims of... Read More

Much Ado About Nothing?

The last year has been a bad one for future AIDS victims. The U.N. AIDS conference in Barcelona was an activist circus. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson was shouted off stage by activists, unable to complete... Read More

A Perversion of Free Trade

As a consistent libertarian, there are few values that I hold in greater esteem than free trade, in domestic and foreign markets alike. As a matter of principle, we should be deeply suspicious of any competitor who portrays himself... Read More

Chill Pill

"Closed markets invite monopolistic abuse, punish consumers and mock free enterprise," writes Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton in the Indianapolis Star. "Free markets for prescription drugs, as for most other products, work." Burton has a point. The United States Read More

Tomorrow's Economy Today

A new international study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that Social Security causes workers to retire earlier. The retirement age chosen for a Social Security program causes a reduction in labor force participation around that... Read More

Here Comes the Sun

More proof of the causes of climate change came earlier this month when the Geological Society of America's GSA Today published a study by a Canadian geologist and an Israeli astrophysicist which shows conclusively that over the past half-billion... Read More

Importing Socialism

Legislation that would allow the re-importation of drugs from Canada to the United States heads to the House floor Wednesday and has a chance to pass. Sadly, the bill is the work of members of Congress who should know better... Read More

The Coming Class Struggle

The political right now owns much of the left's former property. Take the expression "politically correct," for example, with its origins in Stalinist Russia. It migrated to the American New Left of the 1960s, gaining a bit of ironic... Read More

Opening Up the Airwaves

A while back, I challenged FCC Chairman Michael Powell to stand up for free expression on the Internet. Now, undeterred by the lack of any visible response, I'm going to go that one better, and challenge him to stand... Read More

Dying to Be Thin

"At no time in history have women been so pressured to be thin," wrote Frances Berg, M.S., L.N., in Women Afraid to Eat -- Breaking Free in Today's Weight-Obsessed World (Healthy Weight Network, 2000). Women and girls are bombarded... Read More

All Mixed Up

June 9, 2003 brought the release of "The Second Interim Report of Dick Thornburgh Bankruptcy Court Examiner," a riveting 218-page document chronicling the ascent and discombobulating of WorldCom. According to Mr. Thornburgh, little effort was ever made by WorldCom Read More

Moonshine State

It's been more than thirty years since man last set foot on the moon. We planted a flag, collected a few rocks and then went home. And home is where we stayed. The space race had been won, after all.... Read More

Time to Buy Candles

Propellers are clustering on the cold, windy coasts of Europe. Germany already prides itself in producing half of Europe's wind energy, and plans more offshore wind parks along the North Sea and Baltic coasts. Ending nuclear generation has been... Read More

Science and the GOP

Editor's note: this is part of a continuing series on the interplay of religion, science, and politics. Pinkerton last touched on these themes in his June 6 piece. Are you a "Bright"? If you're reading TCS, it wouldn't be a... Read More

A Risky Shot In the Dark

The latest word is that the bill to permit reimportation of drugs mentioned in my previous piece is very close to having enough votes to pass. The reason the bill is so close to becoming law is that a... Read More

Who Is Failing .hu?

Driving through central Budapest last autumn, my fellow passenger, a top Hungarian politician, pointed out the car window at a massive shopping mall with pride. He explained that the owner of the Mammut mall made his fortune in Silicon Valley... Read More

Emission Improbable

It's a Saturday morning in summer, and I'm going back and forth to the local Ohio E-Check station, getting emissions tests for the two family cars. The Environmental Protection Agency has just reported that the United States achieved a... Read More

Aerial Fertilizer

One of the global problems formally addressed by the United Nations for more than a decade is desertification, particularly in Africa. In many of the world's dryland areas, poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing, bad irrigation practices, and n Read More

The Eclectic Skeptic

Martin Gardner is a prolific author who has written broadly on science, philosophy, mathematics, religion and literature. For many years, he wrote the popular "Mathematical Games" column at Scientific American. More recently, he wrote a regular column for Skeptical Read More

They ALSOS Served

America started trying to fathom the nuclear ambitions of hostile powers before the birth of the atomic bomb. It's never been easy. Early in World War II, General George Marshall ordered secret missions to "cover all principal scientific military developments... Read More

How We Called North Korea's Bluff

Toward the end of Stanley Kubrick's Cold War classic, Dr. Strangelove, the Soviet ambassador announces that his country has just succeeded in creating a Doomsday's device. It works like this: The moment a nuclear attack takes place on Russian... Read More

Your Brain on Drugs

Congress is poised to pass a new law that will make it legal to import drugs from foreign nations. This "reimportation" bill has strong bipartisan support, and may well become law. If it does, the results will be disastrous. The... Read More

Storms on the Trade Horizon

'Climate Change has always been the implicit driving force in the trade and environment debate. From the EU perspective, the economic imperative to achieve WTO cover for protectionist actions, which might be taken pursuant to the Climate Change Convention, has... Read More

The Route to Poverty

The farmers' market in Bozeman, Montana is a charming way to purchase locally grown produce and handicrafts. The ideal of self-sufficiency such markets imply is often advocated by environmentalists and community food co-ops, e.g., "Be a yokel, buy local." But... Read More

Energetic Eggs in One Basket

Long ago, our mothers and fathers told us not to put all our eggs in one basket. But this is what U.S. electrical utilities have done in the past few years. Now they, and their customers, are paying the price.... Read More

Cleaning House

Agricultural biotechnology suddenly is headline news -- the focus of a vitriolic transatlantic trade squabble, and the subject of pointed public comments recently by President Bush. At a conference in Washington, he extolled biotechnology's achievements and its pot Read More

The Diet Problem

Looking back 40 or more years, the movie stars and bathing beauties we admired were healthy full-figured gals with plenty of jiggle and cellulite. The nation didn't have a "weight problem." The difference between then and now is that "diet"... Read More

More Than Race

  The controversy over the Supreme Court's recent decisions on affirmative action stems from our nation's inability to break free from its deeply ingrained, narrow framing of the issue. One side argues reverse discrimination and holds up the ideal of... Read More

From Businesses to Consumers?

There are several reasons voice over IP (frequently abbreviated to "VoIP", and pronounced just as it's spelled) is quickly becoming the way businesses are connecting their phone systems: more flexibility in routing customer's calls among several offices, the possib Read More

"Bring Back Saddam!"

The Democrats are smelling blood. They believe they have finally found a way to bring George Bush down in the next election. Time magazine has already announced the campaign theme -- Untruth and Consequences: How Flawed was the case for... Read More

Let Them Eat Subsidies

In September, the world's trade ministers will meet in Cancun to check on the health of the so-called "development round" started in Doha two months after the September 11th attacks. The general consensus was for this round of World Trade... Read More

Freedom, Lies and the Constitution

The following is an excerpt from a longer poem, entitled On the Field of Life, on the Battlefield of Truth. The poem concerns the experience of major illness and hospitalization, and the sense of being trapped that results. It sets... Read More

War Profiteers

"War profiteers" are those who use military conflict to make a quick buck or push an agenda that would fail in peacetime. That describes various extremist environmental groups and their champion, New Jersey Democratic Senator Jon Corzine. For over a... Read More

The Skinny on Fat

A host of sinful foods have been demonized as the root of obesity and poor health of American adults and children. Fast food restaurants have been sued, accused of contributing to customers' obesity because their food tastes too good and... Read More

Share and Share Alike?

The music industry is ratcheting up its legal fight against Internet piracy. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has announced that it will take legal action against those who illegally distribute ("upload") copyrighted music files on the Internet, Read More

The Uranium War

The topic on everyone's mind (and lips) these days is President Bush's January State of the Union address. I have heard it said many times - mostly in the liberal press - that President Bush lied when he said that... Read More

Talking Turkey

Washington is trying to "get Turkey right" after the Iraq war. Until the election of the Islamist AK Party in the fall of 2002, Turkey looked like the staunchest U.S. ally in the region. In the aftermath of its Parliament's... Read More

Gipper Ship

NORFOLK, Virginia -- The commissioning of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier on Saturday was a perfect blend of ceremony, reunion, and nostalgia. The ceremony was to activate into the fleet our 13th carrier -- a massive floating city and... Read More

Dubble Bubble?

Is high tech really back, or are we headed for Dubble Bubble? Whitney Tilson, venerable and circumspect columnist for the Motley Fool, has no doubts: "Times like these make me sigh, hold my head in my hands, and groan,... Read More

The Case for Complementarity

The following is a speech that was delivered to an international conference on "America's Changing Role in the World: Implications for World Order and Transatlantic Relations", organized by the German Council on Foreign Relations (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärt Read More

Bill of Frights

Senator Schumer's "Cell Phone User Bill of Rights" -- introduced June 9th -- will harm the consumers he wants to help. His proposals, similar to stringent regulations proposed in California, will reduce consumer choices and increase their monthly bills. The... Read More

A Revolution's Lessons

The July 9th protests against the Islamic regime in Iran started out with the reform movement announcing that it would cancel protests because of concerns that the regime would crack down harshly on the protestors. In reward for the forbearance,... Read More

Taxing and Chilling Speech

Last month in Boston, nannyists, trial lawyers and the obesity police gathered at Northeastern School of Law for a hush-hush strategy session on how to get rich off America's expanding waistline. Attendees were required to sign an affidavit promising... Read More

Storm Front

"We wrote this book," Professors Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick state, "because we got tired of opening the newspaper or turning on the TV news and seeing a river of idiotic, alarmist nonsense rushing out at the public" on catastrophic... Read More

Terror War? What Terror War?

I've been skeptical of "homeland security" for a long time. In fact, back on September 11, I warned: It's Not Just Terrorists Who Take Advantage: Someone will propose new "Antiterrorism" legislation. It will be full of things off of... Read More

The Truth About Obesity

In the fight against obesity, we're told: 'Being fat is simply a matter of energy balance. It's easy to lose weight, just eat 3,500 calories less than you burn and you'll lose a pound. We've become a fat nation because... Read More

No Subs for Subs

In the Cold War, U.S. subs slinked around the north Atlantic, carrying multi-ton torpedoes that were meant to be fired at the Soviets. In the Iraq War, at least one U.S. sub slinked around the Persian Gulf carrying commandos armed... Read More

Cosmic Ray Days

The global warming debate has been complicated in recent years by a growing body of evidence that the sun's variability is a major factor in climate change. Some recent research affirms this emphasis on the sun, but also suggests that... Read More

Please, Outsource to My Daughter

"...many of us have our shirts laundered at professional cleaners rather than wash and iron them ourselves. Anyone who advised us to "protect" ourselves from the "unfair competition" of low-paid laundry workers by doing our own wash would be thought... Read More

Telecom Investment Bonanza

The Federal Communications Commission should not quarrel with success. Telecommunications investments -- a sparkplug of economic growth and prosperity -- have boomed since the inauguration of competition for local exchange service under the umbrella of the 1996 Te Read More

The Decade of the Mind

The new brain sciences are full of technological promise. Through them we may be able to find and explain the deepest recesses of our thoughts and actions, and our decade could become "the decade of the mind." In less than... Read More

High Sierra

On its website for student activists, the Sierra Club makes the following criticism of free trade: Countries cannot raise environmental or labor standards, because if they do, the corporations that have built factories in that country because of its... Read More

Triple Threat

"The triple bottom line (TBL) focuses corporations not just on the economic value they add, but also on the environmental and social value they add -- and destroy. At its narrowest, the term 'triple bottom line' is used as a... Read More

The Threat to Medical Innovation

The dog days of summer are here. And like mad dogs and Englishmen, Senate Republicans ventured into the heat to introduce their version of medical liability reform -- the Patients First Act of 2003. For although the measure called... Read More

Kissing Cousins No More

In a great variety of areas -- foreign policy, demography, religion, economics -- Americans and Europeans are growing apart. Some Europeans complain that the U.S. is increasingly heading off on its own without them. They are right. America's psychic link... Read More

Warming, Italian Style

Europe has been suffering a heat wave for a month or so, but the temperature is finally getting cooler. Everywhere, that is, except for Italy. But this "global warming" is being fueled by the heated political climate surrounding Italian... Read More

Totally Recalling Vanilla Sky's Matrix

The idea that reality as we experience it may be a technologically based simulation is a staple of science fiction, showing up in films such as The Matrix, Total Recall and Vanilla Sky. It also has been of some interest... Read More

Brand Matters

The gay marriage debate is really a fight over whether to expand the marriage brand name. Successful brand names signal quality. Companies like brand names because they quickly convey information to consumers; for example, even though you may never have... Read More

How to Cripple an Economy

Energy, as the late Julian Simon said, is the "master resource." It enables virtually all the activities that make modern life possible. It is the linchpin of our economy. The latest information from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), one of... Read More

The Bad News Bearers

There was news recently that some medical researchers in Australia discovered an effective treatment for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. If true, it would be a wonderful breakthrough. The article I read was properly cautious about the preliminary... Read More

When Efficiency Is Bad

With one hand they giveth and with the other they taketh away -- and so it is with taxes in the European Union. Recently the German government announced it would lighten the very heavy tax burden on its citizens... Read More

Left in the Organic Dust

For the next several decades, biotechnology will be a leading area of science and industry, of employment, and for enhancing our quality of life. It has the potential to improve our quality of life through medical applications, improved and safer... Read More

SDI: The Next Generation

Recent revelations that North Korea is designing nuclear weapons to fit on its ballistic missiles are really bad news. Having the vilest weapons on earth controlled by the vilest tyrant on earth poses the #1 danger facing America today. Ditto... Read More

A Lunar Klondike?

It's happening again. With commercial interest in space exploration beginning to pick up steam, scientists are complaining that someone is stepping on their turf, as an article (sadly, not available on the Web) from last week's Financial Times makes clear:... Read More

Meet Iran's Future Leaders

With all of the attention being paid to the effort to effect regime change in Iran, it is only natural to ask what candidates might replace the clerically dominated Islamic government in any new secular administration. Learning about these candidates... Read More

'Culturally Appropriate'

The priorities of famine relief would seem obvious to most of us. Yet it increasingly appears that only the naïve think that its purpose is first and foremost to avert starvation. At the World Food Summit in Rome last year... Read More

Walden Puddle's Candidate

"I believe decentralization is THE theme for our times. It's what the Net and the Web were about in the first place. It's what Cluetrain was about. It's what the successes of Net-roots movements like MeetUp, MoveOn,, AOTC, Warblogging,... Read More

The 'Critical Mass' Mess

Two weeks have passed since the Supreme Court handed down its momentous decision on the Michigan affirmative action cases. While the Court's highly political "split decision" has prompted much discussion, nearly all commentary has overlooked the simple fact that th Read More

A Singular Sensation?

After World War II some 900,000 Jews lived in the Arab world, most of them middle class, which in that time and place meant servants, a fine apartment or house, good restaurants, a rich cultural life. Some of them were... Read More

Smarter, Harder Patriot

The Patriot Act gave the government sweeping authority to gather intelligence on American citizens and imprison them for long periods without due process. Ever since the law was passed, libertarians and liberals have been decrying the government's newfound ability Read More

The Pain Caucus

In his June 30 column, Arnold Kling is exactly correct in discussing the future financial problems of Social Security and how they result from the program's pay-as-you-go financial structure. Under that structure, current tax payments are not saved and... Read More

The Dose Makes the Poison

Humans have many uses for mercury: in light bulbs, pesticides, batteries, paint, thermometers and barometers. Over the past few decades, the ubiquitous and persistent nature of mercury has become known and made it an environmental and human health concern. During.. Read More

Blood and Iron

It is a truth so large as to almost be a truism that democracies can hardly conduct a foreign policy; that the thing must be left to an oligarchy, to an elite class of soi-disant experts. The Demos is too... Read More

A Bit, But Not Too Much?

Germany's most prominent political figure these days is Horst Seehofer. The 54-year-old conservative, who served six years as minister of health in Helmut Kohl's government, represents the current discussion about the future of public health care. Seehofer is torn Read More

Perfect Pitch

Next time you walk into your local Tower Records, you may be surprised by the following label on Miss Fortune, the new CD by singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, apparently placed at the behest of her producer, R.S. Fields: "Absolutely no vocal... Read More

Digital Divisions, Tunnel Visions

Before the arrival of the "digital divide" cult, the issue used to be simple. Citizens of rich countries swim in the overcapacity of communication networks, while billions of people in poor countries have never made a phone call. Forget the... Read More

The Hyperactive Corporation

On the surface, USA Interactive (recently re-named InterActiveCorp) and AOL Time Warner appear to be corporate twins separated at birth. Both are Internet era conglomerates, both played up the "convergence story" on a madcap e-commerce acquisition binge and both ar Read More

The Future of Iranian Nationalism

The twists and turns of domestic Iranian politics can be tracked by examining the evolution of Iranian nationalism throughout the 20th century, and how nationalism has shaped modern day Iran. Nationalism will continue to be a significant influence on Iran's... Read More

Germany Rising

More than 9,000 German peacekeeping troops are currently deployed in South East Europe, the Caucasus, Afghanistan and Africa. And, practically unnoticed by the rest of the world, the number is steadily increasing. Is Germany clandestinely becoming a military power Read More


For a long time, internet users and commentators had nothing but praise for the increasingly popular search engine Google. But today, Google tends to come in for trenchant criticism. Why? Google started off when two computer science Ph.D. students, Sergey... Read More

Transformation Not Yet Done

Judging by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's reported interest in devoting Army troops to a non-UN, standing international peacekeeping force, his highly unusual decision to pass over the current crop of Army leaders to choose a retired general as Army chief... Read More

Bush's Critics as Repeat Offenders

The response to my inaugural column in TCS, "Bush's Critics Meet the Logic Police," was overwhelming and, I must admit, gratifying. Unfortunately, much of the response was confused. As you may recall, I argued in the column that one can... Read More

Reality and the Code

Science fiction writers have written about mind uploading for years. Somehow (the actual process is generally left a bit vague in the stories, though the technology seems to be developing), you copy your mind from the organic computer that... Read More

Socialism's Farewell Note

The proposed European Constitution represents the last gasp of European socialism. With its 260 pages and 70,000 words, it is one of the longest and most uninspiring farewell notes in human history. Like the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who tried to... Read More

Junking Junk Science

The label "junk science" has been one of the most powerful tools in ensuring that political and legal decisions are taken based on only the soundest of footings. Alarmism, hype and scaremongering have all been avoided by scrutinizing scientific data... Read More

Progress Report

The farm reforms agreed by the Europeans last week 'gives the EU a very good platform in the WTO negotiations. The ball has now been played to the other WTO partners', claimed Renate Kunast, Germany's Farm Minister. Her claims are... Read More

Pandora's Cornucopia

It was warm work, but the stevedores of Texas City were glad to be loading the good ship Grandcamp. The Marshall Plan was ploughsharing ammonium nitrate once bound for bomb casings into fertilizer for the fields of France. Hungry... Read More

Techno-Judgment Day

"Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines" may be a shamelessly money-lusting sequel that puts special effects ahead of creativity. It may also be an attempt at propelling Arnold Schwarzenegger's political career; if he's a good and resourceful cyborg, why... Read More

Wise Move?

Flush with its victory letting it pry the names of computer users from their internet service providers, the Recording Industry Association of America is on the attack again. With a full-page ad in the New York Times Thursday, RIAA has... Read More

Musical Scares

The Record Industry Association of America dropped the other shoe last Wednesday when it said that its anti-downloading enforcement actions will no longer be limited to the purveyors of swapping software. It will go after the users themselves, finding them... Read More

Hot Soil?

The May 23 science update from the online journal Nature highlighted a paper just published in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters by climate researchers from the prestigious U.K. Hadley Centre. The update noted that the "[h]olistic model Read More

Wanted: Fewer Troops in Iraq

Citing chaos, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean told NBC's Tim Russert, "We need more troops in Afghanistan. We need more troops in Iraq now." This issue is a hot topic as coalition soldiers are ambushed almost daily. Besides Dean,... Read More

Webfare Warfare

Ladies and gentlemen, as we prepare for takeoff, please turn off your cellular phones and secure your laptop computers. The use of cellular phones and other electronic devices not on the approved list located in the seat pocket in front... Read More

Punishing the Good for Being Good

Commissioner Margot Wallström has long worked to color the EU's environmental policy much greener, even if it hits her native Sweden quite hard. By signing the Kyoto treaty in 1997, the EU committed itself to reducing its emissions of greenhouse... Read More

TCS Daily Archives