Showing posts from February, 2013
There is a worthwhile approach linking the game of Go to questions of national security and international relations in a course at Penn State called  "Using Serious Games to Promote Strategic Thinking and Analysis ".  I'd consider using Go in this way as well, if I had anything but the most rudimentary approach to it.  I used to like to watch the old timers play down by the stream side in our neighborhood in Seoul. A bunch of people would gather around these games.  I could follow some individual moves but definitely have no operative sense of strategic flow in the game. What I really need in terms of strategic training is an afternoon or full day sitting in Seoul streamside, playing Go with the old timers.  There must be a grant application in this concept...
I just read what I thought was an interesting book called The Scientific Buddha: His Short and Happy Life, by Donald Lopez. In it, Lopez details the European colonial invention/imagination of a scientific Buddha that was utterly unlike the Buddha in context in Asia, and critiques (if not outright dismantles) the connections made between science and Buddhism in the past century and a half.  But this post is not about the book so much as the response, which (as you might guess) has been pretty strong on all sides. Poking around for some reviews I've come across this avowedly provocative site from Glenn Wallis, which is worth reading if you are in a strident frame of mind at the moment: Speculative Non-Buddhism .  Also its related publication "Non + x," which bills itself as "an experimental e-journal dedicated to the critique of Buddhist and other contemporary cultural materials."  The review of Lopez's book is here ,  (coupled with a review of Buddha’s Brai

yup, nuclear war apps exist

I'm teaching a class on the U.S. since 1979 this year, so we are spending some time talking about the Reagan military buildup and the anti-nuclear movement in the early eighties. This means we are also talking about the meaning of possible nuclear war, which is not actually something my students have spent much time thinking about.  I was surprised, but then again the Cold War is paleolithic to them in most respects, even in a military town. So, to focus the mind, it was necessary for the class first to listen to the Minutemen circa 1983 , who keep thinking about World War III. The onto to this weirdly compelling nuclear war app , which allows you to track the devasation of a wide array of weapons (from 1945 early U.S. bombs to the largest in the arsenals to recent North Korean sized weapons) on any map you wish.  (There are actually quite a few similar programs.) Here is the radius for a Minutemen missle landing on my house .  And to the size of the damage that would be pr

some thoughts on "DIY devices"

People are beginning to wonder how long it will be before someone in the US decides to arm a drone himself ( and yes, it's likely, though not certain, to be a guy). Remember this is the country where people are now  printing totally functional high capacity guns with 3D plastic printers So it won't surprise you that arming drones is already here for people with a little (very little) money to burn.
I have been pretty busy though, despite a couple of weeks dragging around barely surviving. Last weekend I had a great time at this Southern music conference down at UNC .  This was an exploration of the global in Southern musical cultures. And like a lot of music conferences, there were not only interesting papers on musical topics, there was a fair bit of music being played as well.  Conferences are always much better with live music sufusing them. Historians, take note!  Here you can see the array of topics, fascinating stuff .  One of the most interesting ones was Erich Nunn's totally unexpected paper on South African musicians who modeled there music and their yodeling on Jimmie Rodgers. The conference worked out perfectly for my research into some different Mexican migrant music cultures and music at Virgin of the Guadalupe celebrations.  I'm especially always happy to talk about jaripeos, Mexican rodeos that take place throughout the South and especially in North
Next year I won't wait so long to get the flu shot.  Not a good way to start the new semester.