Author Archives: Bryan Alexander

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

The new Adam Curtis documentary has started to appear.  Here’s the first part of “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”.  It’s a rich, challenging mix of ideas, connecting Ayn Rand to cybernetics to national internet policy. Curtis is … Continue reading

Posted in film | 2 Comments

The digital world through Google’s eyes

Here’s a bracing look at the digital world, from Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt: He said four big companies dominate the Internet: Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. Google has all the world’s information; Apple is the king of elegant design; Facebook … Continue reading

Posted in The Internet | 1 Comment

US-Pakistan relations: a handy, up-to-date guide

What’s the story about US-Pakistan relations? The excellent ProPublica team just released this guide, which is both accessible and informative.

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Towards peak oil: a surprising Wall Street Journal article

We’re facing the end of cheap, easily obtained oil. This is classic peak oil theory: first, we take the easier to get stuff. Next, we’re left with the increasingly hard-to-get matter, which ramps up costs and builds scarcity. So says … Continue reading

Posted in economy, energy, Geopolitics | 1 Comment

Pakistan-American relations worsen

Relations between Pakistan and the United States sunk even lower today, thanks to a firefight among ostensibly friendly forces.  American helicopters were shot at, and Pakistani soldiers wounded. More here.

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Baluchistan rising

Is the US quietly building up a Baluchistani nationalist movement? Maybe – what? Baluch (also Baloch) peoples can be found across a spread of central Asian nations (see map to right).  They are significant minorities in both Iran and Pakistan. For … Continue reading

Posted in energy, Geopolitics | 1 Comment

Look, it’s a superjob!

What’s a good euphemisms for businesses making employees work extra jobs and more hours for no additional compensation? Hm, how about superjobs.  That’s it.  Like supermodels, or Superman. Stories from the jobless recovery/Great Recession.

Posted in economy | 1 Comment

Pakistan and America: bad tidings

What’s next in US-Pakistani relations? Lawrence Wright, author of the excellent The Looming Tower (2006), considers. Wright usefully sketches out the history of US support for Pakistan, starting after WWII.  The connection was driven for decades by Cold War logic.  Next … Continue reading

Posted in Geopolitics, history | 1 Comment

bin Laden’s death: Pakistan’s visible guilt

The revelation of Osama bin Laden’s hiding place reveals Pakistan’s long-term support for al Qaeda’s leader.  So says Steven Coll, arguing that “bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control”, and that an American ally was playing a … Continue reading

Posted in Geopolitics | 1 Comment

Today in the Arab Revolt

The Arab Spring, the Arab Revolt – whatever we end up calling it, the thing is continuing. ITEM: Elements of the Syrian army might be siding with protesters in that country’s unrest. units of the 4th Army Division, headed by … Continue reading

Posted in Geopolitics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment