Quote of the Day

"The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one's curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between."

– Diane Ackerman in A Natural History of the Senses.

On the same page she says that "uncertainty is the essence of romance," which is interesting.

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James Fallows had the best analysis of what Google pulling out of China means. What Afghanistan can learn from Colombia. Robin Hanson's pithy take on efficient markets hypothesis in response to John Cochrane's piece and the ensuing pile-on against the Chicago School. How DNA Testing is Changing Fatherhood is haunting and well-written.

2 Responses to Quote of the Day

  1. Re: James Fallows’ post in the Atlantic.

    Fallows insists that China is not a “threat” and that its development is good news for mankind, even as China enters his so-called “Bush-Cheney era”, but he contradicts himself.

    Let’s pretend that the comparison makes sense.

    If China is really “entering its Bush-Cheney era”, we should expect it to behave similarly to the namesakes of that axis of evil, i.e., to act as if it has the mandate of heaven.

    Then it is a threat and the US has to look at Russia.

    The key to understanding the geopolitics of Eurasia is to consider it as a grand chess game.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter, explained in his book, The Grand Chessboard, published in 1997, that to hold its position as world superpower, Washington should have a two-prong strategy to cut off China’s land access to oil and natural gas supplies from Russia, the Middle East, and the lands around the Caspian Sea.

    U.S. military bases in Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan that were once part of the Soviet empire are necessary to control the pipeline routes that China covets.

    And a strategic containment of Russia through a chain of military bases from eastern Europe–Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic to Georgia and Ukraine would enable NATO to control pipeline routes between Russia and the European Union.

    We can be sure that the Chinese government is acutely aware of these geopolitical realities and plans political and military strategies accordingly.

  2. PS:

    Zbigniew Brzezinski has been one of Barack Obama’s top foreign policy advisers.

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