Ming the Mechanic:
Unexpected Revolutions

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Unexpected Revolutions2004-01-01 15:57
picture by Flemming Funch

Article in NY Times about how history often will demonstrate huge consequences of initially very casual decisions. The countries in the middle east were created by arbitrary lines drawn on empty maps by bureaucrats trying to split up the former Ottoman Empire. Such lines being the cause of much strife in following decades. Or the world changing effects of little changes and improvements in material.
We never know where change will take us. In a 1994 essay on military revolutions, "Cavalry to Computer," the historian Andrew F. Krepinevich described the advent of the six-foot yew longbow during the Hundred Years' War in the 1300's and 1400's. By substituting yew for heavier woods, an archer could carry a bow into battle that could pierce the armor of a cavalryman. Mr. Krepinevich warns that technology alone does not change the course of war; any advance must be coupled with changes in the structure and operation of a military unit. But the changes made possible by the yew longbow were a factor in a more powerful role for the infantry, and a competitive advantage for England in that conflict and beyond.

Of course, if we actually try deliberately to transform the world, the question becomes which decisions and improvements we can fairly easily make today which will have the most beneficial effect on the future. What memes can we create that surprisingly turn into something hugely wonderful later on.

Tim Berners-Lee just received a knighthood. The guy who invented the World Wide Web. Same thing there. It was 'just another program' he said. Yeah, but the right kind of program at the right time to change the world.

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5 Jan 2004 @ 15:02 by sharie : Heck yeah, the borders were arbitrary...
That was done on purpose... to keep them fighting amongst one another... which will make them great weapons customers...

Who made up the borders? Someone looking to keep peace?

Or someone looking for the best way to take advantage of the wealthy muslims?  

5 Jan 2004 @ 15:10 by ming : Borders
Maybe they merely thought of it as "Hey, there's nothing there", and the fine distinctions between the cultures there didn't get much attention before later.  

19 Dec 2014 @ 20:50 by Child @ : bGyXqsibqxADNSlLIgr
. According to , Title IX is the law that requires unervesitiis to give equal funding to men's and women's athletics. On the contrary, Title IX actually says, No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. There is no mention in Title IX of athletics at all.This basic mistake undercuts Sommers's entire argument, which is premised on the idea that President Obama is illegitimately importing the sex equality in college athletics that Title IX requires, into areas like science education where Title IX never has applied. On the contrary, Title IX always has applied to any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, which includes most university laboratories.Had Sommers bothered to check the statute she discusses or even read the she could have made a much sounder argument about how the Department of Education's regulatory interpretations of the statute have straitjacketed unervesitiis with regard to athletics, and that such interpretations should not be expanded to other programs and activities. Instead, she has misled Post readers about what Title IX says.  

23 Dec 2014 @ 17:30 by Rayane @ : CsHwtCzCnDUg
I always enjoy Seth's ihsignts as a breath of fresh air especially with CBS embracing people like Billy Packer, whose over-stated commentary got old quickly then his replacement Clark Kellogg's his faux-Clyde routine One of the things Seth conveniently forgets is that some of the cupcake games are regionally politically correct I think that UCONN being on the bubble might be more of a reality with Coach Calhoun's medical leave of absence Coach Blainey was a genius hire but he's not Coach Calhoun I am hoping the American Sports Vatican (aka Notre Dame) falls off that bubble they need to establish a reputation of athletic excellence, not just a memory of the Digger Days !!!Glad to see someone speaking nationally about Da Hall and I agree with his evalaution !!!Lastly, I certainly hope Duke's Singler stays for his senior year it will help the team and recognize that he's not an NBA calibre player now and might never be  

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2007-06-22 22:18: Elementary magic
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2007-03-15 01:06: Structural holes
2007-02-27 23:50: Leverage

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