Weekday Squib: Move over Tom Friedman

…and make way for a new theory of conflict prevention

Via Manoranjitam
Picture: Manoranjitam

Anand Ramachandran’s Evil Twin doesn’t say so explicitly (via Desipundit), but he’s onto something: countries that have Gopal Palpodi don’t go to war with each other.

[It is possible that there is also an Ayurvedic Soap Theory of Conflict Prevention, based on countries that have Medimix and Chandrika Soap. Proof of this hypothesis is left as an exercise for Keralite graduate students]

Towards a quantum theory of international relations

A metaphor and beyond

Nikolas Gvosdev is struck by a comment by Commodore C Uday Bhaskar on new ways of thinking about international relations.

He suggested that policymakers take a page from the sciences, specifically quantum computing. Unlike in traditional computing, based on a binary system—something is either a one or a zero, quantum computing works from the model that you can have a one, a zero, or a quantum superposition of the one and zero simultaneously.

Bhaskar argues that in foreign policy governments and analysts have to become more comfortable with balancing competitive and cooperative approaches simultaneously with the same country in terms of the bilateral relationship. It is a further reminder that we are moving away from a system where the assumption that if states cooperate on one set of issues, they will cooperate on everything else is no longer operative. And the fact that a country may have very serious competitive issues with another will not remove the obligation and the need to cooperate on other issues which are of vital interest to both. [The Washington Realist]

Now it is quite likely that the good commodore was talking metaphorically. But one commenter on Dr Gvosdev’s blog points a paper by Alexander Wendt, titled “Social Theory as Cartesian Science: An auto-critique from a quantum perspective“. That surely is some academic mixing of drinks.

Sunday Levity: Feluda and the Golden Fortress

We take a break for some Satyajit Ray

Courtesy of the ‘BBC’, here’s an hour-long radio drama featuring Feluda, Topshe and Lal Mohan “Jatayu” Ganguly.

In “Feluda: The Golden Fortress” one of the most popular of the Feluda adventure stories was specially recorded in Mumbai, and brings together a host of top Indian actors for a very special production.

Stepping into Feluda’s super sleuth shoes is Rahul Bose, while Anupam Kher plays sidekick, Lalmohan Ganguly. Special guest stars also appear as friends and foes.

 Listen to audio

Offence is the best defence

But who says Americans can’t learn about nuclear security from the Pakistanis?

The Pakistani Army’s Brigadier Atta M. Iqhman and Colonel Bom Zhalot are not the ones to take questions from uppity Western journalists lying down. In the Bulletin Online, Hugh Gusterson reports that they were concerned about the custodial security of nuclear weapons. America’s.

“The United States needs to develop new protocols for storing and loading nuclear weapons, and it needs to do a better job of recruiting and training the personnel who handle them,” Iqhman said.

Iqhman added the Pakistani government would be willing to offer technical advice and assistance to the United States on improving its nuclear weapons handling procedures. Speaking anonymously because of the issue’s sensitivity, senior Pentagon officials said it is Washington’s role to give, not receive, advice on nuclear weapons safety and surety issues.

(Col Zhalot said), “We also worry that the U.S. commander-in-chief has confessed to having been an alcoholic. Here in Pakistan, alcohol is ‘haram,’ so this isn’t a problem for us. Studies have also found that one-fifth of U.S. military personnel are heavy drinkers. How many of those have responsibility for nuclear weapons?”[Bulletin Online]

The good reader (“BOK”) who drew attention to this suggested that it is good material for the Sunday Levity series. That it is.

But isn’t it rather rich of those anonymous Pentagon officials to declare that their role is only to give advice. Scary.

Weekday Squib: Goulash is not Vindaloo!

Britain’s curry crisis

You are in Britain. You want to try the local cuisine. The vindaloo tastes like…goulash. You feel cheated. And demand to see the chef. He steps out of the kitchen, and speaks…Hungarian.

The ‘BBC’ got it wrong. This is not a curry crisis. It’s an evil EU conspiracy to reverse the course of British culinary history.

…restrictions on lower-skilled workers from outside the EU are causing a labour shortage so severe it could cause “irreparable damage” to the curry industry….attempts to get eastern Europeans to work in curry restaurants have failed because they do not have the “cultural sensitivity” required. [‘BBC’]

Bangladesh must rescue Britain from Brussels.

Weekday Squib: Psst…want to make $25 million?

It’s good to share the goodies

Look what got caught in the anti-spam dragnet:

From the spam dragnet

Since this blogger is not in immediate need of $25m this information is being passed on to you readers.

(Warning: In case any intrepid reader wishes to nose around, even for the sake of mere curiosity, just make sure your computer security settings are robust. You may not find the al-Qaeda tapeworm, but malware might find you)