Random Links

Today I wiped out on my bike, spent seven hours in class (split between TA and student roles), and began grading 100 exams. So, somewhat eventful. No real blog post today, but some interesting linklets

Enjoy!

South Korea’s New (Anti-Chinese, Anti-Japanese, Pro-Stalinist) Map

I’ve written about South Korea’s hateful nationalism and noncooperative behavior before, but now Seoul has gone another step in its bizarre, Arab-style retreat into the past:


Corea Irredenta

This map was seen in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the USA Passport Application page (accessed to verify a point for a debate over at The Korea Liberator and this blog). Among other weird aspects

  • The map extends significantly north of the Korea-Chinese border, and emphasizes the topographic continuity of “Korea” through Eastern Manchuria.
  • The map emphasizes irredentist claims against a fellow democracy, Japan
  • The map makes no mention of the Stalinist regime which controls half of Korea’s territory

More is available on Korea’s bizarre “We love Dokdo” page, dedicated to Chosen’s domination of the Liancourt Rocks.

During a time when North Korean refugees seek refuge in the United States, The Pyongyang Regime that is increasingly legitimized by South Korea devalues our currency, Secretary Rumsfeld is right to let South Korea defend herself. She is not an ally like Japan, and increasingly not even a partner like China.

The best idea moving forward?

1. The Israel Model: U.S. forces leave Korea, but continue giving it substantial assistance aimed toward a robust, independent self defense. This would require much larger capital and human investments by the South Koreans and an expansion of the South Korean reserves.

2. The Thailand Model (circa 1970’s): U.S. ground forces leave, except for regular exercises and relatively small units. A robust air component remains. This was sufficient to deter Vietnam at its apex after the fall of Saigon, Luang Prabang, and Phnom Penh.

3. The Taiwan Model: U.S. forces leave, U.S. assistance is tightly restricted, and the nation’s government, placing its faith in trade with its foes and hopes of an American rescue, allows its defense to gradually decline to a point of vulnerability.

..

7. Terminator V: U.S. forces leave Korea. Korea, with a declining human population, turns to a new race of super-intelligent warrior robots, programmed with nihilistic tendencies by a vengeful Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk. The robots, backed by their own robot air force, then conquer and subjugate both Koreas, except for a small band of ultra-nationalists on Tokdo. This band successfully defends Tokdo against the robot invasion, but starves to death a few weeks later because Tokdo is, after all, just a couple of godforsaken barren rocks.

Give Korea to the robots.

Identifying Genetic and Environmental (G X E) Factors in Populations

Influence of Life Stress on Depression: Moderation by a Polymorphism in the 5-HTT Gene,” by Avshalom Caspi et all, Science, 18 July 2003, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;301/5631/386.

Experiments Investigating Cooperative Types in Humans: A Complement to Evolutionary Theory and Simulations,” by Robert Kurzban and Daniel Houser, PNAS, 1 February 2005, http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/102/5/1803.

“Microsatellite Instability Generates Diversity in Brain and Sociobiological Traits,” by Elizabeth Hammock and Larry Young, Science, 10 June 2005, 308 1630-1634.

Ancient and Recent Positive Selection Transformed Opioid cis-Regulation in Humans,” by Matthew Rockman et al, PLoS Biology, December 2005, http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0030387.

Still Evolving, Human Genes Tell New Story,” by Nicholas Wade, New York Times, 7 March 2006, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/07/science/07evolve.html.

Notes for this week are these five six (Kurzban’s already being referenced in his talk, likewise Hibbing’s (and Alford’s) in his talk), as well as Adapting Minds by David Buller.

I was especially interested in lines of research that shed light on how to use G X E to fight insurgencies. (If all goes well, my final paper in this class will be on System Administration for Phenotypes).


“Individuals with one or two copies of the short allele of the 5-HTT promoter polymorphism exhibited more depressive symptoms, diagnosable depression, and suicidality in relation to stressful live events than individuals homozygous for the long allele.” (Caspi et all 386)

“Across the life span, stressful live events that involve threat, loss, humiliation, or defeat influence the onset and course of depression. However, not all people who encounter a stressful life experience succumb to its depressogenic effect. Diathesis-stress theories of depression predict that individuals’ sensitivity to stressful events depends on their genetic makeup.” (Caspi et all 386)

“Although the 5-HTT gene may not be directly associated with depression, it could moderate the serotonergic response to stress. Three lines of experimental research suggest this hypothesis of a gene-by-environment (G X E) interaction.” (Caspi et all 387)

“We tested this G X E hypothesis among members of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. This representative birth cohort of 1037 children (52% male) has been assessed at ages 3,5,7,9,11,13,15,18, and 21 and was virtually intact (96%) at the age of 26 years.” (Caspi et all 387)

“Nonetheless, although carriers of an s 5-HTTLPR allele who experienced four or more life events constituted only 10% of the birth cohort, they accounted for almost one-quarter (23%) of the 133 cases of diagnosed depression.” (Caspi et all 389)

“Although the short 5-HTTLPR variant is too prevalent for discriminatory screening (over half of the Caucasian population has an s allele), a microarray of genes might eventually identify those needing prophylaxis against life’s stressful events.” (Caspi et all 389)

“Our findings of G X E interaction for the 5-HTT gene and another candidate gene, MAOA, point to a different, evolutionary model. This model assumes that genetic variants maintained at high prevalence in the population probably act to promote organisms’ resistance to environmental pathogens.” (Caspi et all 389)

“A key result from simulations is that population, instead of evolving toward agents with homogeneous behavioral strategies, often evolve such that multiple strategies coexist at equilibrium.” (Kurzban and Houser 1803)

“The laboratory experiment reported here complements simulations by exploring type stability in a potentially fickle human population. In line with types used in simulations and observed in other experimental contexts, we consider the hypothesis that people are one of three stable types: (i) cooperators, who contribute to generating group benefits at a cost to self, (ii) free-riders, who do not incur these costs, and (iii) reciprocators, who respond to others’ behavior by using a conditional strategy.” (Kurzban and Houser 1803)

“The dynamics of agent-based simulations are sensitive to the fraction of types in the population and the frequency with which these types interact.” (Kurzban and Houser 1803)

“Our approach to behavioral-type classification is to prespecify a set of behaviors of interest, and then assign of from this set to each subject. This sort of approach was used, for example, by El-Gamal and Grether in their well known behavioral typing algorithm. Although more sophisticated (and cumbersome) procedures are available, the advantage of our classification algorithm is that it provides a simple, fast, and accurate method for inference about individual differences, after which any analysis can be conducted.” (Kurzban and Houser 1804)

“To investigate whether individual differences in our experiment are stable, when time allowed we had subjects play up to three additional games, again with randomly reassigned partners… Overall then, our results provide evidence that types in our experiment are different from one another and stable over time.” (Kurzban and Houser 1805)

“Our results provide evidence that there are multiple, stable behavioral types that vary with respect to their disposition to cooperate in a group context. Fishbacher, Gachter, and Fehr, having found evidence of both free-riding and conditionally cooperative strategies, suggested that groups that include both types might be expected to experience cooperative decay and convergence to a noncooperative equilibrium, and then speculated that ‘the speed of convergence depends on the actual composition of the group.'” (Kurzban and Houser 1805-1806)

“It is interesting to note that social psychologists and economists have postulated similar classification systems. The research tradition in social psychology on social value orientation, for example, suggests that people can be classified as competitors (motivated to achieve better payoffs than others), cooperators (motivated to try to increase group welfare), and individualists (motivated to serve their own interests).” (Kurzban and Houser 1806)

“Nonetheless, our results add to the growing body of research that suggests that reciprocity is an important motive in group contexts across a range of institutional arrangements.” (Kurzban and Houser (1807)

“Repetitive microsatellites mutate at relatively high rates and may contribute to the rapid evolution of species-typical traits.” (Hammock and Young 1630)

“Evolution of species-typical behavioral traits requires behavioral diversity and a polymorphic genetic mechanism producing such diversity. The high levels of polymorphism in repetitive DNA sequences (microsatellites) make them useful as markers to distinguish among individuals.” (Hammock and Young 1630)

“The rait of substitution (k) is equal to the rate at which new mutations arise in the population (2 * Ne * u) times the probability that a new mutation will become fixed, which is 1 / 2 * Ne for neural mutations and approximately 2s for advantageous mutations in a population of constant size, where Ne is the effective population size, u is the mutation rate, and s is the selective advantage of the mutant allele.” (Rockman et al 2210-2211).

“Positive selection driving differentiation between populations should also decrease variation with in populations; as a selected allele increases in frequency, its haplotype replaces other haplotypes before accumulating new variations.” (Rockman et al 2214)

“For thousands of years, people have used opiates to alter consciousness and ameliorate pain. Our data indicate that the evolution of our species involved changes in the inducibility of an endogenous opioid precursor, and that these changes were driven by positive natural selection.” (Rockman et al 2215)

“Three populations were studied, Africans, East Asians, and Europeans. In each, a mostly different set of genes had been favored by natural selection.” (Wade)

“Dr. Pritchard estimates that the average point at which the selected genes started to become more common under pressure of natural selection is 10,800 years ago in the African population and 6,600 years ago in the Asian and European populations.” (Wade)

“The selected genes turned out to be quite different from one racial group to another. Dr. Pritchard’s test identified 206 regions of the genome that are undre selection in the Yorubans, 185 regions in East Asians, and 188 in Europeans. The few overlaps between races concern genes that could have been spread by migration or else be instances of independent evolution, Dr. Pritchard said.” (Wade)

Singapore is a Single Point of Failure Because Singapore is a Single Point

Singapore Revisited,” by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 29 August 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/08/singapore_revis.html.

Steve’s recent post on Singaporean resilience was picked up by Fred, Sean, and myself, and Steve kindly responded to a criticism that Singapore isn’t resilient because it is a signal point of failure

Unfortunately for Singapore, it is a classic example of a single point of failure. I respect Steve D. & Enterra, but in the proliferated 21st Century, resilient assets must be distributed assets. Singapore, by definition, isn’t.

I must admit that Zimmerman’s logic escapes me. My entire point was that Singapore is trying to expand into more economic sectors (beyond electronics and finance) in order to avoid setting itself up for “single point” failure.

Singapore is a single point of failure because Singapore is a city-state, a significant fraction of which could be obliterated by a terrorist nuclear bomb. This may be best understood visually:


100 kilotons over Singapore

Singapore is not unique in this — all high-density cities are so vulnerable — but there is a physical dimension to resiliency which needs to be considered, too.

Disconnecting Lebanon from Syria, Disconnecting Syria from the Syrians

Key US legislator says will block aid to Lebanon, by Adam Entous, Reuters, 27 August 2006, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060827/ts_nm/mideast_usa_lebanon_dc (from Democratic Underground).

Islamic Revival in Syria Is Led by Women,” by Katherine Zoepf, New York Times, 29 August 2006, A1, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/29/world/middleeast/29syria.html.

Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who not only supports a McCain-Lieberman foreign policy but also married a first-cousin of Zsa-Zsa Gabor, pushes for the continued separation of Lebanon from Syria:

A key U.S. legislator said in Israel on Sunday he would block aid President George W. Bush promised Lebanon and free the funds only when Beirut agreed to the deployment of international troops on the border with Syria

The international community must use all our available means to stiffen Lebanon’s spine and to convince the government of Lebanon to have the new UNIFIL troops on the Syrian border in adequate numbers,” said Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee.

Syria, showing the same stupidity that got her expelled from Lebanon in the first place, promises to play into her enemies’ hands

Syria has threatened to shut its border with Lebanon if U.N. troops deploy there. Israel says it will not lift a sea and air blockade of Lebanon unless a U.N. force helps ensure that no new weapons reach Hizbollah in the south.

Meanwhile, women less glamorous than Zsa-Zsa (and not of the liberal Muslims kind) do their bit to hasten their brothers and submit Damascus to the Koran


The Fate of the Baath Arab Socialist Party

At those meetings, participants say, they are tutored further in the faith and are even taught how to influence some of their well-connected fathers and husbands to accept a greater presence of Islam in public life.

These are the two faces of an Islamic revival for women in Syria, one that could add up to a potent challenge to this determinedly secular state. Though government officials vociferously deny it, Syria is becoming increasingly religious and its national identity is weakening. If Islam replaces that identity, it may undermine the unity of a society that is ruled by a Muslim religious minority, the Alawites, and includes many religious groups.

Syrian officials, who had front-row seats as Hezbollah dragged Lebanon into war, are painfully aware of the myriad ways that state authority can be undermined by increasingly powerful, and appealing, religious groups. Though Syria’s government supports Hezbollah, it has been taking steps to ensure that the phenomenon it helped to build in Lebanon does not come to haunt it at home.

For many years any kind of religious piety was viewed here with skepticism. But while men suspected of Islamist activity are frequently interrogated and jailed, subjecting women to such treatment would cause a public outcry that the government cannot risk. Women have taken advantage of their relatively greater freedom to form Islamic groups, becoming a deeply rooted and potentially subversive force to spread stricter and more conservative Islamic practices in their families and communities.

Mr. Abdul Salam explained that such secret Islamic prayer groups recruited women differently, depending on their social position. “They teach poor women how to humble themselves in front of their husbands and how to pray, but they’re teaching upper-class women how to influence politics,” he said.

(It is not surprising that radical Muslims are exploiting women in this way. Christians did the same thing to spread their ideology and conquer Rome. Women are not somehow opposed to religion. They are the vehicles for religion.)

Arab National-Secularism is in collapse. Since Sharon took power in 2000, and Bush took power in 2001, Lebanon and Iraq have been freed from the National-Secularist yoke. Now we see the Syrian National-Secularists increasingly isolated from their former-client and from their own people.

Like the Qaedists, the National-Secularists are losing. The dreams of our generational enemies in the Middle East are falling apart. Good.

An Almost Perfect Letter to the Editor

“Time to Leave Iraq,” by Ed Schmersal, Lincoln Journal Star, 29 August 2006, 5B.

Unlike T.M. Lutas I don’t normally blog letters, but a recent one was so very close to perfect that it demands tdaxp attention.

Iraq is broken.

Sure is. The Baath Party did tremendous damage in Mesopotamia, destroying what little middle class it inherited.

and even after billions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, the United States can’t put Iraq back together again.

True. America is not an Empire, and unlike Britain, Rome, and others before us, we do not export a maximal ruleset. Instead, we enable networks of connectivity. We have neither the taste nor will to forcefully remake others.

The U.S. needs to exit Iraq.

Yep. We can win militarily without being there in large numbers.

in order to focus on other problems: Iran

Iran has us by the neck as long as we are in Iraq. A great reason to leave.

North Korea

Kill Kim. A much more pressing issue than whatever we think we are doing.

Russia

Preventing the rise of another Eurasian land power — that means encouraging devolution in Russia — is a great idea. Leaving Iraq would free our attention to this important work.

China

China is critical to globalization — she can enable it through a “Revese Domino Theory” of multinational capitalism, she can wreck it by invading Taiwan, she can secure globalization through military cooperation.

etc.

Don’t forget more mundane goals, like boxing in France.

Iraq needs to be divided into three regions: the north Kurdistan, a pro-West place for some U.S. forces to remain close; the south Shiite-controlled pro-Iranian region; and the Sunni middle area.

Like former Iraqi Governing Council President Hakim and United States Senator Biden, I agree.

The US. needs to regain our European allies and stature as the world’s superpower.

Doh!

Europe doesn’t matter that much. Those whites over the ocean are doing what they can — Britain is in Iraq, Spain is in Afghanistan, Italy, France, and Turkey will be in Lebanon. These contributions are important, but Europe represents the past, not the future.

We need decisive leadership now!

As long as it doesn’t decisively try to lose.

The OODA Loop Completes The Store Model

The Store Model contains weakness, such as its Central Executive, the “conscious part of the mind” that “coordinates incoming information with information in the system” and “controls attention.” This unified command does not exist in all cases, as has been shown in cases where the corpus callosum has been damaged (Pinker 2002). Likewise, the Store Model hides an absurdity: how do we know what we do not know we do not know? If the Central Executive is conscious, then we must consciously ignore information we have not even noticed yet.


The Store Model is more intelligible when seen in the light of the OODA Loop. In the OODA Loop, outside information, unfolding circumstances, and unfolding environmental interaction are “Observed.” These are then fed forward and previous experience, new information, genetic heritage, cultural tradition, and analysis/synthesis led to an “Orientation” which also feeds backwards to Observation. In most cases this creates an implicit guidance and control to a person’s Action, though sometimes a Decision is made, in which case it feeds forward into action and feeds back to Orientation. In every case, Action feeds back to Observation. (Fadok, Boyd, and Warden 1995). The OODA Model resolves these problems. The Store Model becomes acceptable by breaking the “Central Executive” into a large, complex, unconscious Orientation component and a seldom used but powerful Decision making aspect. Because Orientation is itself composed of sub-procedures, cases of split personality are intelligible as maladaptive assembles of these sub-procedures. Likewise, if Observation must go through Orientation before Decision, then it is no surprise we often do not “see” things that would change our decisions if we knew of them (Richards 2004).

Bibliography

Fadok, D.S., Boyd, J., and Warden, J. (1995). Air Power’s Quest for Strategic Paralysis. Maxwell Air Force Base AL: Air University Press.

Pinker, S. (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York City: Penguin Books.

Richards, C. (2004). Certain to Win: The Strategy Of John Boyd, Applied To Business. Xlibris Corporation.

Pro-American, Pro-Iranian Party Calls for Dismemberment of Iraq (Good)

A Mixed Story,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/01/mixed-story-im-just-appalled-by.html, 30 January 2005 (from tdaxp).

Groceries and Election Results…,” by river, Baghdad Burning, http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/2005_02_01_riverbendblog_archive.html#110872871401791299, 18 February 2005 (from tdaxp).

A Defeat for the Iraqi Constitution Is a Victory for Iraq,” by NYkrinDC, New Yorker in DC, 16 October 2005, http://nykrindc.blogspot.com/2005/10/defeat-for-iraqi-constitution-is.html.

Call for Shiite Autonomy as Iraqi Tribal Chiefs Meet,” by Karnal Taha, AFP, 26 August 2006, http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060826/ts_afp/iraq_060826112717 (from Democratic Underground).

SCIRI – the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq – is the largest political party in Mesopotamia. Like other large Iraqi parties, it has attempted a strategy of friendship with Iraq’s natural allies, Iran and the Untied States. This has earned SCIRI distrust from Baa’thi sympathizers

Then there’s Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). He got to be puppet president for the month of December and what was the first thing he did? He decided overburdened, indebted Iraq owed Iran 100 billion dollars.

and commentators who just hate Bush

I’m just appalled by the cheerleading tone of US news coverage of the so-called elections in Iraq on Sunday. I said on television last week that this event is a “political earthquake” and “a historical first step” for Iraq.It is an event of the utmost importance, for Iraq, the Middle East, and the world. All the boosterism has a kernel of truth to it, of course. Iraqis hadn’t been able to choose their leaders at all in recent decades, even by some strange process where they chose unknown leaders.

Yet in spite of hope that terrorist minorities would defeat the democratic process, SCIRI and its Shia-Kurdish partners (mainly Dawa, the Kurdish Democratic Party, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) established a Constitutional Democracy in Iraq.

Now the Shia want out

At the same time Saturday one of Iraq’s most influential politicians called for the vast and oil-rich Shiite region south of the capital to become a self-governing area stretching from the holy city of Najaf to the port of Basra.

Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), said a referendum should be called in the region to endorse a breakaway, an idea which is fiercely opposed by Sunni leaders.

The reason is obvious: the American military has been more interested in appeasing terrorists than supporting democracy. Instead of recognizing that our enemies come from a violent minority that has no interest in democracy, we subvert democracy. We should celebrate when the Kurdish North and Shia South liberate themselves from their former terrorist masters. We should embrace those who kill terrorists instead of attacking our natural allies.

Support the Iraqi struggle against terrorists. Support the dismemberment of Iraq.

Pragmatic Vygotskianism

(Long time readers of this blog will notice a thematic similarity between this paper and my earlier post, PNM Theory is Critical Theory (And That’s A Good Thing).

Psychologists has been described as holders of flashlights in a dark cave. Different beams illuminate different surfaces, and the true nature of things is difficult to determine. This analogy is apt. The best a psychologist can do is to move from beam to beam as appropriate, evaluating what he sees not by some abstract “truth” but on utility. By this standard, the Vygotskian perspective should be carefully implemented by psychologists.


Most of Vygotsky’s ideas should be used because they are useful. Mentoring is critical in the development of expertise (Price 2005, Barnett 2006). “Zones of Proximal Development,” “Scaffolding,” and “Guided Participation,” are Vygotskian concepts that fit under this ancient rubric. Other concepts should be used but with caution. “Intersubjectivity” and “Reciprocal Teaching” are similar to attempts to construct rationality in domains with multiple perspectives and peer interaction. The record here is more mixed, with some supporting the idea (van Glasersfeld, Moshman 2005) and others who are more critical (Safranski 2006, Steinberg and Morris 2001, Allen et al 2005).

That said, Vygotsky’s theoretical framework should be junked. It does not matter if a child’s babblings are “egocentric speech” or “private speech,” so long as he is able to obtain mastery in whatever domains are important. Likewise, whether make-believe is spontaneous or taught, or whether language is a central or secondary process, does not matter in practice.

Child Psychologists must be pragmatic and results-oriented, helping children achieve their best. Vygotsky’s ideas and powerful tools for these end, but they should not be confused with an objective truth.

Bibliography

Allen, J.P., Porter, M.R., McFarland, F.C., Marsh, P., McElhaney, K.B. (2005). The Two Faces of Adolescents’ Success with Peers: Adolescent Popularity, Social Adaption, and Deviant Behavior. Child Development 76, 747-760.

Barnett, T. (2006) Personal Communication, February 19, 2006.

Moshman, David. (2005). Adolescent Psychological Development (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Safarnski, M., Personal Communication, March 28-30, 2006.

Steinberg, L., & Morris, A.S. (2001). Adolescent Development. Annual Review of Psychology: 2001 52, 83-110.
von Glasersfeld, E. (1995). A Constructivist Approach to Teaching. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Is Singapore Resilient?

Singapore’s Resilient Strategy,” by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 25 August 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/08/singapores_resi.html.

Singapore Is Not Resilient,” by W.F. Zimmerman, Nimble Books LLC, 25 August 2006, http://www.nimblebooks.com/wordpress/2006/08/25/singapore-is-not-resilient/.

In a recent blog post, Enterra CEO Stephen F. DeAngelis all but said that Singapore is resilient

In other words, Singapore isn’t lamenting that the world is changing and it might be losing jobs that might be going elsewhere; rather, it is actively trying to change its position in the future it sees emerging. That is what a resilient enterprise does. A few years ago, Francis Fukuyama wrote, “Just as the twentieth century was the century of physics … the twenty-first promises to be the century of biology.” ["Second Thoughts: The Last Man in the Bottle," The National Interest, Summer 1999, p. 17] Apparently Singaporean officials see the future in much the same way. The article relates a number of proactive steps that Singapore has made to ensure its place in the emerging world.

No one can doubt that Singapore’s economic miracle has become permanent. Its resilient strategy is positioning Singapore for an emerging future rather than trying to get the country to cling only to those sectors that made it successful in the past, like electronics and finance. It jump started its strategy by importing world-class scientists, building world-class facilities, and ensuring that its standards are as high as any around the globe. It’s a great lesson in resiliency.

Yet Nimble Books Publisher W. Frederick Zimmerman (the same man who sent me Misquotes in Misquoting Jesus to review) notes a flaw in the logic

Unfortunately for Singapore, it is a classic example of a single point of failure. I respect Steve D. & Enterra, but in the proliferated 21st Century, resilient assets must be distributed assets. Singapore, by definition, isn’t.

Clearly, DeAngelis and Zimmerman are thinking of “resilience” in different ways, and both of them may be right. Just as Thomas Barnett “New Map” was operationalized (defined in terms of numbers and variables), Stephen DeAngelis should operationalize rationality.

Operationalization allows discussions to move forward in ways they otherwise couldn’t. For instance, in a recent thread on Barnett’s website, I was able to show why Tom’s model describes Mexico as “Core” and not “Gap.’ Yet, as far as I know, Steve hasn’t blogged a model that allows one to do the same things with countries that are “Resilient” or “Fragile.”

Enterra should at least create a framework for measuring resilience, like Thomas Barnett did in his book The Pentagon’s New Map. Then we can move this debate forward, and not forever trip over ourselves.