A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘former yugoslavia

[NEWS] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • Al Jazeera notes the inequitable terms of a trade agreement between the European Union and West Africa, observes that so far north Kazakhstan isn’t vulnerable to Russian irredentism in the same way as east Ukraine, explores the Northern Gateway pipeline controversy, detects Kurdish-Turkmen tension in the city of Kirkuk, and looks at the Japanese-Brazilian community.
  • The Atlantic explains why poor American women increasingly don’t wait for marriage or even relationships to become parents (what else do they have to do?) and notes the successful treatment of a mentally ill bonobo.
  • BusinessWeek notes that authors of best-sellers tend to be successful American presidential candidates, comments on potential problems of Russia’s South Stream pipeline project in Serbia, and notes that more airlines are cutting service to a Venezuela that doesn’t want to pay their costs in scarce American dollars.
  • CBC notes that Scottish independence could cause change in the flag of the United Kingdom, observes the beginning of peace talks in eastern Ukraine, notes the contamination of a salmon river in eastern Quebec by a municipal dump.
  • MacLean’s examines the collapse of the Iraqi military, looks at the psychology of online abusers, and explains the import of some archeological discoveries in Yukon.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • The Big Picture shares pictures of the devastating flooding in the Balkans.
  • Crooked Timber discusses the ethics of immigration, with particular emphasis on the United Kingdom.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the discovery of a Neptune-mass planet orbiting nearby brown dwarf Gliese 687.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that increased soot and rising temperatures have been responsible for the shrinkage of the Greenland ice cap since the late 19th century.
  • Far Outliers notes that hundreds of British prisoners of war taken in Singapore were used as forced labourers in the Solomon Islands.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh notes the pressures on the Eurozone for changing policies.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis notes the recent election in India shows the BJP dominating most of India save for the southeast where regionalist parties reign.
  • Peter Rukavina shares a map of his movements around Charlottetown, tracked by social media apps.
  • Steve Munro uses traffic data to suggest that the new articulated buses haven’t improved things on the Bathurst Street route.
  • Torontoist reacts to the recent arrest of a driver of Rob Ford’s Escalade.
  • Transit Toronto examines the various TTC-related locations open for Doors Open this year, including a new streetcar.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that some Tatars in the adjoining republic of Bashkortostan want their territory to secede to Tatarstan.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO has a visual history of the Toronto Islands up.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at GU Piscium b and Beta Pictoris b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper examining two concepts for theoretical nuclear fusion-fueled space drives, one using additional coolant and one not.
  • Eastern Approaches examines the disastrous floods in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Joe. My. God. reports on a study suggesting church attendance is exaggerated by traditional self-reporting methods.
  • Language Log notes the success in the digitization of ancient Persian manuscripts, including of a bilingual Persian/Gujarati Zoroastrian text.
  • Registan notes the influence of the Internet and social media in reshaping Islam in Uzbekistan.
  • Savage Minds features a post by Nick Seaver talking about the ways in which anthropology can get involved with computer-mediated processes, like the algorithms which recommend tunes.
  • Towleroad examines Dolly Parton as a gay icon.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russian academic disinterest in Ukrainian culture and covers the Crimean Tatars’ commemoration of their deportation in the context of Russian occupation.

[FORUM] Is mass war in the 21st century likely?

The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer linked to a blog post by one Martin Skold responding to the Crimean crisis. Skold argues that massive wars like the First World War aren’t likely for six reasons. (I quote Maurer’s summary below.)

1. We have nuclear weapons now, and we don’t make light of them.
2. It is more difficult to hold onto conquered territory, and less useful to try.
3. There is no military conscription in most great powers today, and there are demographic and technological reasons why it is unfeasible.
4. The great powers are broke.
5. Finance is globalized.
6. And finally: people are older, richer, more heavily taxed, more heavily subsidized, and more cynical.

Maurer has some issues with these: “The first two points I agree with. The third is incomplete. The penultimate two are incorrect. And the last is irrelevant.” I’d suggest that the last four points could be compressed to a matter of whether or not people want to incur the costs of waging war, whether by going into debt or introducing conscription. He in turn raises the example of Yugoslav republics opting for war instead of a more rational peaceful settlement of their issues, but I’d suggest that choice was made as a product of previous choices, past history, and ongoing developments that included an “apocalypse culture” borne out of disenchantment with the Titoist order. Yugoslav republics opted for war because they wanted to; if things had gone differently, somehow, they wouldn’t have.

War, just like peace, is an option if we want it. So is mass warfare.

Do we want it? Does anyone especially, whether in eastern Europe or East Asia or elsewhere? What will go on, military wise, in the coming years?


Written by Randy McDonald

May 18, 2014 at 3:58 am

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO shares pictures of Church Street up to the 1980s. The street looks surprisingly different, rather less nice.
  • At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly describes a week in her life as a writer.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that Stickney crater on Mars’ larger moon Phobos is ancient, 4.2 billion years old.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that Tea Party e-mail lists–ones coordinating opposition to Obamacare–also seem to share a lot of pseudo-medical spam.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer continues to write (1, 2) about the Unted States’ undue problems with residential density.
  • Savage Minds’ Alex Golub is unhappy that Lawrence & Wishart, the publishers who hold the English-language copyrights to the works of Marx and Engels, are getting marxists.org to take the material with rights they own off their website.
  • Torontoist describes how, in the 1960s and 1970s, terrorism by expatriate Yugoslav groups–Croats and Serbs alike–was not uncommon in Toronto.
  • Towleroad shares the first single from the new collaboration by Robyn and Röyksopp.
  • Window on Eurasia links to a historian who argues that Russia needs a new pseudo-Stalinist campaign against cosmopolitans.
  • Wonkman points out that changes in staffing in modern companies–specifically, outsourcing–makes it impossible for young people to advance up the ranks as in the days of yore.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the sponsorship by Google of conferences on Internet policy.

[BLOG] Some Monday Crimea links

  • Eastern Approaches follows the story of Crimean Tatars who are now refugees in western Ukraine.
  • At the Financial Times‘ The World blog, John Reed examines the unlikely media star who is Crimean attorney-general Natalia Poklonskaya.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ David Weman notes the United Nations vote against the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
  • Geocurrents has a series of posts on Ukraine and its area: one on the Moldovan region of Transnistria, a possible western anchor for Russia; one on Transcarpathia, a Ruthene-populated enclave in western Ukraine not quite Ukrainian; one on Ukraine’s energy reserves.
  • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Robert Farley notes the Russian takeover of the Ukrainian Black Sea fleet ships based in Crimea.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Eugene Volokh points out the many, many ways in which Kosovo does not compare to Crimea.
  • Window on Eurasia has a veritable brace of posts. Crimeans aren’t taking up Russian passports with much enthusiasm, it seems, while the financial costs of annexation will be significant indeed. A Russian war in southeastern Ukraine would be a difficult war to fight, while post-Soviet space has already been destabilized (1, 2). Will South Ossetia be next to be annexed? (Northern California is not so likely.) Meanwhile, Turkish support for Turkic peoples can be destabilizing.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little takes a social science approach to the Russian annexation. What does it mean for the international system’s future? Will there be more annexations?

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • io9 links to a map showing the Milky Way Galaxy’s location in nearer intergalactic space.
  • The Big Picture has pictures from the Sochi Paralympics.
  • blogTO shares an array of pictures from Toronto in the 1980s.
  • D-Brief notes the recent finding that star HR 5171A is one of the largest stars discovered, a massive yellow hypergiant visible to the naked eye despite being twenty thousand light-years away.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes recent studies suggesting that M-class red dwarfs are almost guaranteed to have planets.
  • Eastern Approaches argues that the lawsuits of Serbia and Croatia posed against each other on charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice will do little but cause harm.
  • Far Outliers explores how Australian colonists in the late 19th century feared German ambitions in New Guinea.
  • The Financial Times World blog suggests that, in its mendacity, Russia is behaving in Crimea much as the Soviet Union did in Lithuania in 1990.
  • Geocurrents notes that the Belarusian language seems to be nearing extinction, displaced by Russian in Belarus (and Polish to some extent, too).
  • Joe. My. God. notes the protests of tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews in New York City against mandatory conscription laws in Israel that would see their co-sectarians do service.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that, in pre-Israeli Palestine, local Arabs wanted to be part of a greater Syria.</li?
  • Otto Pohl notes the connections of Crimean Tatars to a wider Turkic world and their fear that a Russian Crimea might see their persecution.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Venezuela has attacked Panama in retaliation for a vote against it by confiscating the assets of its companies there. In turn, Panama has promised to reveal the banking accounts of Venezuelan officials in Panama.
  • John Scalzi of Whatever is unimpressed with the cultic adoration of Robert Heinlein’s novels by some science fiction fans.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Centauri Dreams notes a new, sensitive technique that can distinguish the signals of planets from those of their stars. (Tau Boötis b was the subject.)
  • Crooked Timber has a whole series of posts on Ukraine’s issues, one on ethnic and language issues, and two–one here and one here–about institutional issues.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a new model for the Fomalhaut system and observes the discovery of two Jupiter-analog planets.
  • The role of gas warfare in the First World War’s final year is expanded upon at Far Outliers.
  • Geocurrents notes that Norway and Slovenia are big winners at the Olympics measured in medals per capita.
  • Marginal Revolution observes that foreign aid can boost group.
  • Justin Petrone writes about his experience in Estonia under Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, retired after nine years.
  • Russian Demographics links to a chart showing the different languages spoken in the United States. The rapid decline of most European immigrant languages–though, curiously, not French–is noteworthy, as is the ascent of Spanish and Asian languages.
  • Supernova Condensate’s stunning true-colour image of the Martian surface got more forty thousand shares on Tumblr.
  • Towleroad notes that Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands have diverted aid from the Ugandan government following that country’s recent passage of a terrible anti-gay law.

[NEWS] Some Tuesday links

  • The Globe and Mail notes that the Ukrainian revolution isn’t so popular in Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, largely Russophone and Rusasophile.
  • Al Jazeera profiles the first generation of children born into the large ex-Yugoslav community in the American city of St. Louis and examines the ongoing persecution of Sikhs in Afghanistan.
  • CBC observes uproar on Prince Edward Island about changes in employment insurance requiring people in the more prosperous area of Charlottetown to work more to qualify, and reports on a worrying polls suggesting half of Québec’s non-Francophones are considering leaving the province.
  • National Geographic chronicles the stress on water reserves in Jordan placed by the huge influx of Syrian refugees.
  • The New York Times features an op-ed suggesting that the European Union should signal to Ukraine that membership is possible.
  • Open Democracy notes worries in Tajikistan that the withdrawal of foreign troops in Afghanistan will leave it exposed to instability there.
  • New Europe observes that, in fact, hordes of Romanians and Bulgarians haven’t overwhelmed the United Kingdom.

[NEWS] Some Tuesday links

  • Here on Livejournal, Elf Sternberg notes that the sort of homophobia that reduces same-sex partners to sex acts and anatomical parts is also really unflattering to heterosexuals, too.
  • The New Scientist notes a recent paleogenetic study suggesting that among the legacies left to Homo sapiens by Neanderthals may be lighter skin and straighter hair.
  • Bloomberg notes that growing official homophobia is making lives for GLBT people across Africa more difficult than ever before.
  • The Guardian suggests suggests that the growing crackdown on student visas in the United Kingdom may be alienating future professionals from Britain, and notes that migrants from Mali are going to Africa much more than Europe nowadays.
  • Al Jazeera provides background to the ethnic conflict ongoing in the Central African Republic and notes the popularity of Korean popular culture in northeastern India based–among other things–on shared race.
  • New York magazine notes the absurdity of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas claiming that Georgia in the 1960s was race-neutral.
  • In the Caucasus, Eurasianet notes that Georgia wants to join NATO to get its lost territories back (another reason not to let it in) and that Abkhazia has not benefitted from the Olympics as some had hoped.
  • Radio Free Europe notes that Serbian and Bosnian Serb migrant workers at Sochi seem to have gotten screwed over.
  • The New York Post traces the genesis of Suzanne Vega’s songs in different places around New York City.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 360 other followers