Author Archives: Dr. K

History of science: a few links for your consideration

The Renaissance Mathematicus is a history of science blog that I follow.  The author, who seems to take pleasure in “myth busting” the history of science, often has interesting takes on science, and reading it is a good way to … Continue reading

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Organizing for revolution, or, why the liberals failed in Egypt

If you’ve been following the news, you know that the run-off for president of Egypt this month will be between a representative of the old, pre-revolutionary regime on the one hand, a representative of a conservative Islamist party on the … Continue reading

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Chernobyl today

I’m posting this on behalf of Aaron — Dr. K In class last week we talked a lot about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  We also briefly commented on the new horror movie coming out “The Chernobyl Diaries.”  We discussed how … Continue reading

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A Post-Communist Sliver

A quirky article in the New York Times today, about a tiny sliver of a would-be country.  It’s a break-away from a break-away, a region which broke away from one of the post-Soviet republics, which in turn had broken away … Continue reading

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Retro-Maoism in China

I mentioned in class the Chinese leader Bo Xilai, who recently fell from power and who was seen as reviving certain aspects of Maoism.  There was a recent article in the New York Times describing the modern appeal of Maoism, … Continue reading

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Can a spontaneous revolution succeed?

Here’s some food for thought.  I was recently reading a piece by the Israeli philosopher and public intellectual Avishai Margalit, about the revolution last year in Egypt.  He was comparing it to the Russian Revolution, and specifically to the February … Continue reading

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“After Revolutions, Beware of Crocodiles”

That’s the title of a recent piece in the New York Times, about what helps determine whether a revolution will be successful or not.  It was inspired by recent events in Africa, particularly the recent coup in Mali.  I thought … Continue reading

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Can science save the world?

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of TED talks.  They’re these short (usually 10 minute) talks about new ideas, and they’re very popular now.  They’ve taken off over the past few years, and, as with any popular trend, they’re now … Continue reading

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How to Start a Revolution

That’s the name of a recent documentary, now showing in Brooklyn.  It’s about Gene Sharp, a strategist of nonviolent resistance whose ideas have been behind a number of recent revolutions, including the ongoing revolts in the Middle East.  The film … Continue reading

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Does democracy take time?

Fareed Zakaria, in this piece on CNN, argues that we can’t judge the success of the Arab revolts yet, because even successful revolutions often look unsuccessful in the short run.  Things look chaotic now (witness the violence in Egypt over … Continue reading

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