Category Archives: Politics

RIDICULING THE NEAT ROOMMATE.

RIDICULING THE NEAT ROOMMATE. I think there should be a corollary to the Messy Roommate theory: The messy roommates have an incentive to ridicule the efforts of the neat roommate. This shows up in the NATO context as criticism by … Continue reading

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REVISITING THE MESSY ROOMMATE THEORY OF NATO.

REVISITING THE MESSY ROOMMATE THEORY OF NATO. I posted here in 2008 about the Messy Roommate Theory of NATO, which was set forth in the sixties in a paper by Richard Zeckhauser and Mancur Olson. In brief, assume a messy … Continue reading

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THE POTATO AND THE FUTURE CONQUEST OF SPACE.

THE POTATO AND THE FUTURE CONQUEST OF SPACE. I have posted several times about the importance of the potato in world history. I quoted Professor William H. McNeill here that: “by feeding rapidly growing populations, [potatoes] permitted a handful of … Continue reading

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JOE BOB BRIGGS’ BRIEF HISTORY OF THE REDNECK.

JOE BOB BRIGGS’ BRIEF HISTORY OF THE REDNECK. Judith Matloff says that honor codes still survive in mountainous regions like Albania, “where 10.000 men have perished in vendettas in the last two decades”. She points out that J D Vance’s … Continue reading

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DO MOUNTAINS PRODUCE WARS?

DO MOUNTAINS PRODUCE WARS? Judith Matloff had an article in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal (February 25-26) about the violence associated with mountainous regions, whose inhabitants are often warlike and good at it. She takes a broad perspective which connects … Continue reading

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GEORGE WASHINGTON’S IRON SELF CONTROL.

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S IRON SELF CONTROL. I came across the story about Washington losing his temper at a cabinet meeting because I heard Mary Jane laugh out loud when she was reading Chernow’s biography of Hamilton. She laughed for the same … Continue reading

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FLYTING.

FLYTING. The kind of bragging that Trump uses has received its own term from linguists. Jeet Heer quotes Father Ong: “Standard in oral societies across the world, reciprocal name-calling has been fitted with a specific name in linguistics: flyting (or … Continue reading

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“DONALD TRUMP, EPIC HERO”

“DONALD TRUMP, EPIC HERO”. A week after Elspeth Reeves’s New Republic article about Trump and wrestling, Jeet Heer posted an article entitled “Donald Trump, Epic Hero” on the New Republic site. Heer compared Trump’s rhetoric to that used by Achilles … Continue reading

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THE CULTURAL DIVIDE ON PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING.

THE CULTURAL DIVIDE ON PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING. It turns out that there have been a lot of analyses of the “heel” role that Donald Trump played in the campaign, as a Google search shows. Many of these analyses seem to be … Continue reading

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HOW TRUMP PLAYED “THE HEEL”.

HOW TRUMP PLAYED “THE HEEL”. Reeves quotes the wikipedia entry which describes the “heel” role: “…heels are often portrayed as behaving in an immoral manner by breaking rules… Others… exhibit unlikeable, appalling and deliberately offensive and demoralizing personality traits such … Continue reading

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