First Notes on the Hendricks Forum

Genetic Configurations of Political Phenomena: New Theories, New Methods,” by Ira H. Carmen, 2006 UNL Political Science Hendricks Symposium, 13 October 2006,

‘Heroism’ in Warfare,” by Oleg Smirnov, Holly Arrow, Doug Kennet, and John Orbell, 2006 UNL Political Science Hendricks Symposium, 13 October 2006,

Testosterone, Cortisol, and Aggression in a Simulated Crisis Game,” by Rose McDermott, 2006 UNL Political Science Hendricks Symposium, 13 October 2006,

When Can Politicians Scare Citizens Into Supporting Bad Policies? A Theory of Incentives With Fear Based Content,” by Arthur Lupia and Jesse O. Mennng, 2006 UNL Political Science Hendricks Symposium, 13 October 2006,

One paper that will be at the Hendricks symposium will be has already been noted, but as of now five are available at the Hendricks Digital Commons.

A line reminiscent of Jesusism-Paulism Part III: Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman A Soldat

After conducting these studies, it appears that the best analogy for the male-female divide in testosterone is that of a car. Men are accelerators and women are brakes. This is particularly true for younger member of each sex. (McDermott 38)

A line reminiscent of Logical Thinking v. Cheater Detection

With the domain general model we observed a modest but significant selection on altruism… With the domain specific model, in which communitarianism and heroism were free to evolve as separate attributes, Figures 2a and 2b show that: (1) heroism evolved to substantially higher levels than communitarianism with means of 66.9% and 30.5% and medians of 70.3 and 22.6 respectively, and (2) both attributes evolved to significantly higher levels than did altruism in the domain general model. (Smirnov et al 15-16)

A line that is just interesting:

Dopamine overload correlates with highly risky behavior: too much gambling, too much sex, too much drinking. What about too much politics? How would one define “too much politics”? (Carmen 21)

Thanks to the generosity of G.E. Hendricks, an alumnus who did well and so endowed a series of political science forums, all of the research papers described are freely available online . I’ve excerpted notes that I believe will be valuable for myself and my final project on the suicide bomber type, but of course the authors and their articles, ultimately, speak for themselves.

Recent research by E.O. Wilson, James Q. Wilson, Simon, Alford-Hibbing, Carmen and others indicates that the competing social science paradigms of behavioralism and rational choice are in their last throes. Their salient weakness is insensitivity, bordering on ignorance, to politics as a biologically-orchestrated phenomenon. (Carmen 1)

The principle “squabble” continues to be between behavioralists and rational choicers (Alford and Hibbing, 2004: 1, hereinafter A-H), with each side elegantly dissecting the weaknesses of the opposition. (Carmen 2)

The year 2005 has seen the dawn of a new subfield, a new focus for political science: “genetics and politics.” In that year, Alford and Hibbing published two salient reports developing the genetics/politics nexus, while Carmen published a monograph staking out the broader lineaments of the new subfield. (Carmen 3)

Our profession should exult in knowing that Aristotle — loosely speaking, a disciplinary founding father extraordinaire — was in a very real sense the discoverer of the DNA principle. He observed, in the highest spirit of empirical insight, that chickens came from eggs and that oak trees came from acorns; there was some plan or process that inevitably caused A to become B (Ridley, 2000: 12-13). And so was born the first law of genetics: the biological sciences, at root, are the study of information and its transmission (Carmen 4)

In short, integral to a scholarly investigation of Homo sapiens — our species’ patterns of thought and action — was an investigation of Homo politicus (Somit and Tanenhaus, 1967: 19, 24, 33, 71-72, 75). (Carmen 4)

To quote Charles Merriam: “Is it not possible that the real relationship of students of politics is with biology or neurology rather than with psychology?” (1925, 3rd ed. 1970: 171). (Carmen 4-5)

So genes affect minds that affect cultures that affect genes (Lumsden and Wilson, 1981). “The challenge is to link the genes and their products into functional pathways, circuits, and networks” (Loomis and Sternberg, 1995: 649). Taken together, these lines of analysis have given birth to a new field of study: evolutionary psychology. With the exception of the hardy breed of political scientists who founded and nurtured the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences 40 years ago (for examples of their work, see Schubert, 1981, Masters, 1989), sociobiology and Wilsonian thinking had barely made a dent among our troops. (Carmen 6)

Very much in the spirit of Simon’s work in this area are James Q. Wilson’s contributions. Wilson says humans possess a “moral sense” arising from an “attachment response” or an “affiliate trait” that has been “selected for” by evolutionary processes. These sentiments “constitute the fundamental glue of society,” and the “founding sentiment” is the “parent-child relationship” (Wilson, 1993: 1, 7). (Carmen 8)

For Wilson, the evidence is overriding. Social psychologists have shown that “fair play” — that is, procedural due process — “is a necessary condition for the child to satisfy its natural sociability.” Children also reject “equality in results” when their peers don’t deserve what they receive (Ibid.: 5, 8-9). (Carmen 9)

Even when the number of interactions is multiple but known, defection rules the day. But when the game is an iterated PD and the number of plays is both unknown and multiple, other strategies become competitive. A computer tournament pitting these various algorithms against one another produced a surprise winner: TIT FOR TAT. The lesson is: it pays to cooperate provided defectors are punished immediately but never excessively. Empirical research shows TIT FOR TAT is an evolutionarily stable strategy among vampire bats and vervet monkeys, while experimental simulations demonstrate its robustness for tree swallows and stickleback fish (Axelrod and Hamilton, 1981, Axelrod and Dion, 1988). (Carmen 10)

When would political scientists ever move into the biological sciences laboratory and conduct experiments in search of phenomena central to our discipline? That step was taken 20 years ago by Douglas Madsen. He linked whole blood serotonin to power seeking in humans. (Carmen 11)

Some commentators argue for a strong relationship between political ideology and psychological profiles (Tetlock, 1983, 1984, Jost et al., 2003); others disagree (Greenberg and Jonas, 2003, Alford and Hibbing, 2006). (Carmen 15)

Most of the data come from the Minnesota studies and were cited in Carmen (2004). Others are included for the first time in the political science literature with this writing. They range from baseline happiness (.80) to anxiety (.32). Both of these have been tied directly to US presidential behavior (Barber, 1972); so also has novelty-seeking (.40) (Hamer and Copeland, 1998). (Carmen 15)

In fact, many observers years ago noted that a substantial number of excommunists sat on the editorial board of the National Review. Can there be genetic antecedents linking hard-core conservatism and hard-core liberalism, wherein the particular ideological predisposition is the .40-.65 cultural contribution? (Carmen 17)

Again, the genes employed have human counterparts, and the action patterns resulting from their expression have clear political implications if the terms “power” and “influence” mean anything in the context of life form scrutiny. To illustrate: geneticists bred a “fierce” strain of mice and then inserted into its embryos a human gene matching the missing sociality rodent gene. Viola! The super-aggressive mice returned to normal. Putting human DNA into lowerorder creatures will be commonplace in years to come. (Carmen 18-19)

Australian twin-study findings had pegged self-transcendence as .48 heritable. Could spirituality be, in considerable component, a genetic artifact?… The C configuration apparently occurs in about 28% of our species. Query: Is this a gene highly indicative as well of altruism? To what extent do spirituality and cooperation overlap? Are there ethnic differences in these DNA carriages? (Carmen 23)

As we cannot kill human subjects and rescue the messenger RNA expressed in their brains following, say, the play of some game, we must be content now with the rich harvest of behavioral genetic precursors emerging from the laboratories of entomology and related disciplines. (Carmen 31)

An alternative vision (Alford and Hibbing, 2006: 15) suggests a procedure in which individuals provide saliva specimens for genetic information after which statistical evaluation of correlations between candidate alleles and behavioral responses can be undertaken. The procedure certainly would permit us to compare SNP composition with phenotypic reaction; a drawback is that gene expression cannot be demonstrated in saliva (or blood for that matter) unless salivary genes were involved, because messenger RNA implicated in the tests of interest to political science would be tissue specific to the brain. It is hard to believe that the DNA relevant to ideology encodes proteins known to be present in saliva. And note, it is proteins, not genes, that would show up in saliva following, say, the play of game theoretic exercises. Even for microbiologists, getting from proteins to DNA is exceedingly difficult. (Carmen 32)

So we see economists, psychologists, and neuroscientists converging into a single, unified discipline called neuroeconomics (Glimcher and Rustichini, 2004). These scholars have not even bothered to consider political scientists as allies. We are coded as either irrelevant or hopeless. (Carmen 33)

There is much to disagree with in this claim, such as the notion that emotions always impair decision quality (Marcus, et. al. 2000) or the tendency to confound game theory as a method with narrow rationality notions (Lupia, McCubbins, and Popkin 2000). (Lupia and Menng 3)

In other words, the conditions under which many social phenomena will induce, or be affected by, fear are a function of controlled goal-oriented learning. Goal-oriented learning, in turn, can be affected by incentives. As game theory clarifies how incentives and strategies affect behaviors and outcomes in other contexts, we contend that can also clarify the effect of fear in politics. (Lupia and Menng 3-4)

To this end, we develop a model to address the question – when can politicians scare people into supporting policies that are bad for them? Our model features two players, a strategic politician and a citizen who is not entirely strategic, in a two-period game. The first period begins with a politician who has private information about the presence or absence of a threat. He can choose to make a statement about the threat, which need not be true. (Lupia and Menng 4)

The article continues as follows. First, we describe the five empirical premises that guide how we model citizen responses to fear appeals. Then, we present the model, derive results, describe their substantive implications, and relate our findings to existing theoretical and empirical work. A brief appendix contains additional mathematics. (Lupia and Menng 5)

Humans are endowed with the ability to create new fears. This makes sense, particularly for goal-oriented actors: just as fear itself is beneficial for making rapid decisions, refining perceptions about what stimuli are worth fearing can also be valuable. (Lupia and Menng 7)

In a political context, where the implications of actions taken today need not be realized for years or decades (perhaps even centuries with respect to environmental policies offered to inhibit climate change) it is easy to imagine situations where a conditional stimulus has little effect. (Lupia and Menng 8)

In particular, we do not assume that the voter engages in Bayesian updating. (Lupia and Menng 9)

We assume that sending an unwarranted signal is costly to the politician. This cost represents the risk that the politician perceives to his reputation (from actors not included in this game) as well as the extra effort that the politician may have to devote to getting others to go along with his deception. (Lupia and Menng 10)

As before, all payoffs just named are presumed to be greater than 0. (Lupia and Menng 14)

Attempts to integrate psychological content into formal models of politics are rare. Bianco (1998) is a notable exception… Bianco’s argument is important to make. Psychological and game-theoretic approaches are far more compatible than many naysayers allege. (Lupia and Menng 23)

This comparison is also relevant to the relationship between this model and innovative theoretical work on how public opinion affects the development of counterterrorism policy. Bueno de Mesquita (2006) models an interaction between a politician, a terrorist, and a voter. The politician decides how many and what kind of resources (observable or clandestine) to devote to counterterrorism. Terrorists decide whether and how to attack citizens. Citizens decide whether or not to re-elect the politician. He finds that government will allocate resources to observable anti-terror policies in excess of the social optimum. A key part of the intuition is that when voters are more likely to reelect politicians in return for actions they can observe, then politicians overspend on observable counterterrorism. (Lupia and Menng 25)

Here, if voters want more security, they should allow more rent-seeking behavior (which can include various kinds of corruption). The logic being that as holding office becomes more valuable to politicians, they will work harder to prevent the terror attacks that cause voters to boot them out of office (Lupia and Menng 26)

Testosterone has been shown to be a stable over time in individuals and to vary with a predictable circadian rhythm across individuals, such that levels are highest in the mornings (Dai et al., 1981). (McDermott 1-2)

In fact, the most significant relationships between testosterone and other factors appears to be age and obesity. Other factors, including physical activity, and alcohol use, do not appear related. (McDermott 2)

Prison studies, for example, show that high testosterone men commit more violent crimes against other people, as opposed to property crimes, and act out more than lower testosterone men (Dabbs et al, 1995). (McDermott 5)

Similarly, in a study of crew fatigue in simulated long duration B-1b bomber missions, cortisol was highest, as was anger, confusion, tension and depression, in the first of three 36 hour missions (French et al., 1994). Clearly, and unsurprisingly, a novel situation generates more stress than a familiar one. (McDermott 7-8)

In fact, Gray et al. (2002) found that the only significant predictor of testosterone levels in their evening sample was relationship status. Other factors which they examined, including body mass index, exercise and stress did not achieve significance. (McDermott 9)

The most famous examples of this effect is probably that found by Mazur, Booth & Dabbs (1989) when they reported that male chess players demonstrated a rise in testosterone subsequent to winning competitions, while losers’ levels of testosterone fell. Other earlier studies have suggested that similar dynamics occur in wrestling (Elias, 1981), reaction time tasks (Gladue et al., 1989), and tennis (Booth et al., 1989) . Mazur & Lamb (1980) found that male winners in a game of tennis, and men who had just been awarded medical degrees, showed rises in testosterone, while subjects who won in a random lottery did not. The authors suggest that testosterone rises only when a man feels that his status has improved as a result of his own efforts. (McDermott 10-11)

Interestingly, several more recent studies, and studies involving women, fall to demonstrate the expected victory effect documented earlier. One earlier study among male judo competitors failed to show expected victory effects… A similar study of male judo players found an even more unexpected finding; losers’ testosterone was significantly greater than that found in winners (Filaire et al., 2001). (McDermott 11)

In later studies with males, Mazur et al., (1997) also failed to find the expected victory effect in a study of men and women in a same-sex video-game contest. They found that only male testosterone rose prior to competition, and that female testosterone continually declined throughout the course of the study. Finally, this study reports that female testosterone and cortisol work in parallel in women, but not in men. They conclude that testosterone works dfferently in competition in men and women. (McDermott 12)

A general linear model, which controlled for gender, found no significant relationship between age and level of Testosterone (whether using raw age or normalized age). (McDermott 19)

We did not find any victory effects in our data. (McDermott 32)

This is almost a direct linear relationship in women between age and likelihood of aggression. We suggest two interrelated reasons for this finding. First, younger women are more likely to be in the pill, thus artificially elevating their levels of estrogen. Second, older women are more likely to be menopausal, thus lowering their natural estrogen levels, while raising their relative levels of testosterone. (McDermott 35)

In studies involving professional athletes or other competitors, the screening process for years prior to investigation tends to weed out players who are not as interested, not as strong, or not as motivated to win as others. (McDermott 37)

In spectacular cases, of course, they have invited almost certain death by, for example, throwing themselves on grenades in order to save their comrades,1 but the history of warfare is, in large part, the history of ordinary men (and, in recent times, women) who willingly confronted the risk of death when fighting for their tribe, country, or other group. (Smirnov et al 1)

How altruism in general might evolve is, of course, a major question in evolutionary biology, and the several well-developed, classic answers seem likely to be part of the explanation for heroism more specifically. These include inclusive fitness or “kin selection” (Hamilton, 1964) which shows how altruistic dispositions can evolve through relatedness between the altruist and the recipient of an altruistic act,2 and reciprocal altruism (Trivers, 1971), which shows how proximate mechanisms supporting “other benefiting” behavior can evolve via exchange relationships (see also Axelrod, 1984) (Smirnov et al 3)

The idea that human cognitive architecture consists, in substantial part, of functionally specific information processing modules is standard in evolutionary psychology and in cognitive neuroscience more broadly, and although differences exist between those arguing for a strong version of modularity (notably Cosmides & Tooby, 1994; Hirschfeld & Gelman, 1994; Sperber, 1994) and those seeing the possibility of at least some measure of domain generality (notably Buller, 2005; Fodor, 2000; Mithen, 1996), there is now a widespread acceptance that the human brain has a substantially domain specific architecture, incorporating multiple highly specialized information processing mechanisms. (Smirnov et al 4)

Conversely, should the group be victorious, those who survive stand to benefit significantly: Quite apart from males’ sexual access to females from the defeated group (viz: rape, captured concubines etc.), the spoils of victory can include access to the defeated group’s territory and whatever resources that territory contains (Smirnov et al 5)

By comparison with selection on genes, cultural group selection can magnify phenotypic variation among groups while diminishing it within groups (Boyd & Richerson, 1985), meaning any finding that warfare selects for individual attributes will be conservative by comparison to what might be expected from cultural group selection, or any interaction between that and selection on genes. (Smirnov et al 6)

And with respect to the outcomes of warfare for the defeated populations, in a book that covers much the same territory as LeBlanc’s, Keeley (1997, p. 93.) observes that the estimate of 100 million deaths from war-related causes in the 20th Century is

…twenty times smaller than the losses that might have resulted if the world’s population were still organized into bands, tribes, and chiefdoms. A typical tribal society lost about .5 percent of its population in combat each year. Applying this casualty rate to the earth’s twentieth-century populations predicts more than 2 billion war deaths since 1900. (Italics in the original.)

Other authors have developed the same general theme (e.g., Carman & Harding, 1999; Martin & Frayer, 1997; Rice & LeBlanc, 2001), and Goodall’s (1986) discovery that male chimpanzees sometimes engage in deadly raids and ambushes against neighboring populations raises the possibility that warfare among hominids may go back perhaps five or more million years, at least to our common ancestor with chimpanzees. (See also Alexander, 1979; Low, 1993; Wilson & Wrangham, 2003; Wrangham & Peterson, 1996). (Smirnov et al 7)

Second, disputes exist among anthropologists about the frequency of ancestral warfare under any demographic and resource-related circumstances. Fry (2006), for example, takes issue with authors such as LeBlanc and Keeley who, in his view, are simply expressing modern cultural beliefs about human nature being “essentially violent and warmongering” thus suggesting that war is as a result “natural,” and emphasizes as an alternative perspective “the human potential for peace.” (P. 2.) Whether Fry is correctly characterizing the position taken about human nature by these authors (and we think he is not), the empirical issue is the incidence of warfare in the ancestral past, not humans’ capacity for peaceful cooperation—which we think is obvious, being well developed across several disciplines—making Fry’s and related arguments (e.g., Fuentes, 2004; Sponsel, 1996) beside the point. (Smirnov et al 8)

However, the idea that resource stress increases the likelihood of war (even if it does not serve as the direct trigger for war) is widely assumed among anthropologists, biologists, ethologists, political scientists, psychologists, sociologists and others addressing the ultimate causes of warfare (e.g., Alcock, 1978; Carneiro, 1970; Durham, 1976; Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1979; Kennett et al., In press; Lambert, 1997; Lambert & Walker, 1991; Shaw & Wong, 1989; Thayer, 2004; van den Berghe, 1978; Wilson & Wrangham, 2003). David Geary (2005) makes the point succinctly:

As our ancestors improved in their ability to secure resources from the ecology, the primary problem became staying in control of the best ecologies—that is, keeping other humans from securing the same ecological resources. (P. 7)

(Smirnov et al 11)

As Betzig (2005, p. 335) sets out the Biblical case from Deuteronomy 20:13-17: God handed Moses two different laws about spoils. One was for wars with close neighbors; the other was for more remote wars. When their enemies lived far away, he said, ‘you shall put all the males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the cattle, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourselves.’ But when their enemies lived nearby, ‘you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them.’ Land was the limiting factor. We explore the importance of this “genocide” parameter analytically in a later section. (Smirnov et al 12)

Reproductive costs from communitarianism are paid every generation; those from heroism are paid per war. (Smirnov et al 13)

Each simulation was run for 1100 generations, with the first thousand generations in each case discarded to ensure that the system had evolved away from the diverse starting values. For the last 100 generations we recorded simulation parameters and a moving average of the dependent variables—altruism in the domain general model, and communitarianism and heroism in the domain specific model. (Smirnov et al 14)

With the domain general model we observed a modest but significant selection on altruism… With the domain specific model, in which communitarianism and heroism were free to evolve as separate attributes, Figures 2a and 2b show that: (1) heroism evolved to substantially higher levels than communitarianism with means of 66.9% and 30.5% and medians of 70.3 and 22.6 respectively, and (2) both attributes evolved to significantly higher levels than did altruism in the domain general model. (Smirnov et al 15-16)

Communitarianism is also a “two-edged sword” for a group’s fighting ability. While it does contribute to a group’s (future) fighting ability, its effect on population growth can also be responsible for getting that group into war in the first place—in which case there is some chance of its losing, thus of consequent selection against communitarianism. Heroism, on the other hand, is an unambiguous good for a group: In the absence of war—and assuming its cost is only paid in the event of war—it does no harm to the individual or the group, but in the event of war it can be decisive in allowing the group to win. (Smirnov et al 17)

Outcomes of the multiple regression analysis (see Appendix II) indicate a zero correlation between mean evolved communitarianism and heroism values. Hence a more general tendency toward altruism did not evolve; nor was there any evidence of an evolved tendency of agents to “specialize” in one or the other form of domain-specific altruism. (Smirnov et al 18)

8 Why do both functions evolve more rapidly when they are performed by two independent mechanisms than when they are performed by a single, general purpose mechanism? In retrospect, at least, the explanation is clear. When a single, general purpose mechanism performs two distinct functions (A and B), both of which decrease individual fitness, selection against that mechanism based on the costs of A will also select against performance of B, and vice versa. Conversely, when there are two special purpose mechanisms performing A and B, selection based on the individual costs of B has no implications for selection based on the costs of A, and vice versa. Thus, breaking the general purpose mechanism down into two special purpose mechanisms means the evolution of one attribute is not handicapped by the cost of the other, improving the strength of group versus individual selection in the accounting of multilevel selection. (Smirnov et al 18-19)

But the finding does raise the possibility that thinking about altruism as a bundle of special purpose forms of altruist behaviors—each evoked in some circumstances but not in others—and not as a single general purpose disposition evoked regardless of the contextual specifics, will prove a fruitful path to follow. (Smirnov et al 19)

In our simulation, genocide in the event of defeat is the only way that agents die. When we tried reducing the level of genocide, exponential population growth and constant war was the result, along with a vastly increased demand on computational resources that made large numbers of runs of 1000 generations impractical. (Smirnov et al 20-21)

In the analytic model, any individual’s probability of surviving a war is defined by 1 – dG, when d is the probability of the group’s being defeated (a function of the relative summed heroism scores in the contending groups) and G is the proportion of the defeated group that is killed (the genocide parameter). (Smirnov et al 21)

The analytic model demonstrates that the equilibrium proportion of heroes, q*, at which it is equally beneficial to be a hero or a coward, depends not only on genocide rates, but also on the overall population size, n (Figure 4, see also Proposition 3 and related proof in Appendix III). As the population size increases, the slope of the curve flattens and the equilibrium proportion of heroes for a given level of genocide declines. Intuitively, the larger the population, the less likely it will be that any given heroic contribution will be critical to the group’s survival—thus also to the survival of the hero himself. The result is, of course, compatible with the well-recognized relationship between group size and the rationality of contributing to public goods in general (Buchanan, 1968; Olson, 1965).12 It also matches the finding from the simulation results that heroism evolves to higher levels when groups are smaller. (Smirnov et al 22)

Our unexpected finding that communitarian and heroic dispositions, when modeled as separate, domain specific attributes, both evolve to higher levels than the domain general disposition altruism suggests a more general cost-benefit argument for the efficiency of modular design beyond the standard argument that a design that is optimal for solving one processing problem will seldom be optimal for solving another. (Smirnov et al 24)

5GW and Ruleset Automation

In a recent post, Tom Barnett synthesizes Coming Anarchy RevG, ZenPundit, and myself on the subject of 5th Generation War. (It’s a timely subject, as Curtis has just launched a blog dedicated to 5GW!) Tom’s post is very kind, and he uses one of my thoughts as a basis for winning, and preventing, 5GWs:

But say we get the SysAdmin up and running, are we entering the realm of 5th Generation Warfare?

I would say yes.

The key phrase from Dan’s analysis that clicked it for me is that once you’re observed doing your thing in 5GW, the gig is up, and that follows nicely with my NASCAR scenario (BTW, Art Cebrowski and I were going to set up a research project on this concept at the Naval War College, but our dual “falls” prevented that–his from disease, mine from whatever it was that got me fired).

But the natural counter to that (much like relying on authoritarian govs in the Gap as the natural counter to 4GW–although it’s a long-time loser strategy) is the notion that you win by extreme transparency: you democratize “observe” for the world, for nations, for individuals.

Here is where the coming wave of ubiquitous sensing shoved through a SOA-enabled IT world gets really interesting (today it’s my MySpace, but tomorrow it’s AllSpace!).

Development-in-a-Box really gets you into 5GW because it alters the observed reality–pre-emptively–in a sort of bribe-the-proles mode that steals the thunder of the 4GW warrior of today in the same way that social welfare nets and trade unions stifled the rise of socialism in Europe.

So, in effect, DiB helps move the Core from the Horatio Alger phase of lecturing the Gap (just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try all over again!) to the seriously seductive phase of active recruitment.


And that’s why it seems only natural to me that we marry that Chinese model to something better like DiB, turning it from simple raw-material market-capture to serious jump-starting toward emerging market status (remember those hedge funds getting interested in Africa).

So a SysAdmin-DiB approach that strategically allies us with China and hits them where they ain’t (yet strong) would see Core “bribe” Africa pre-emptively with connectivity-leading-to-development (and yes, ultimately pluralism in politics), and perhaps focus with some equal effort on SEAsia and Latin America.

Development-in-a-Box (Steve’s strategy plus Tom’s vision) is how we work the Gap-to-Core journey.

That, to me, is what’s so revolutionary about the SysAdmin-DoEE-AtoZ-DiB toolkit: it says to the world that America’s getting into the business of marketing its own catch-up strategy WRT globalization, instead of leaving that model’s enunciation to either the radical left or right of the Gap (as we did with Marxism, Leninism, fascism, Stalinism, Maoism, Pol Pot-ism, and so on and so on).

Development-in-a-Box is part of the work of Enterra Solutions, Barnett’s (and Steve DeAngelis‘s employer) — a firm that focuses on ruleset automation and other business process services. I general I agree, but as one movie demonstrates, ruleset automation — and thus Development-in-a-Box — has its limitations…

Prosecutor: We’re in luck, then. The Marine Corps Guide for Sentry Duty, NAVY BASE Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I assume we’ll find the term code red and its definition in this book, am I correct?

Witness: No sir.

Prosecutor: No? Corporal Howard, I’m a marine. Is their no book, no manual or pamphlet, no set of orders or regulations that let me know that, as a marine, one of my duties is to perform code reds?

Witness: No sir. No books, sir.

Prosecutor: No further questions.

Defense Attorney: Corporal, would you turn to the page in this book that says where the enlisted men’s mess hall is?

Witness: Lt. Kaffee, that’s not in the book, sir.

Defense Attorney: I don’t understand, how did you know where the enlisted men’s mess hall was if it’s not in this book?

Witness: I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.

Defense Attorney: No more questions.

The Long War will not be won by just explicit rulests or implicit rulesets, just horizontal controls or vertical controls. And one is not more important than the other. Both Automated Rulesets (like what Enterra sells) and Internal Rulesets (what people quietly believe) are important. Relying on automated rulesets to the exclusion of intuition destroys “fingertip-feeling” and forces us to make “rational” but sub-optimal decisions. Yet relying on intuition alone would prevent scientific investigations into dangerous types of people and how best to handle them.

What is needed for the Gap is not automated rulesets nor implicit rulesets, but functional ones. Throughout the Arab World, Sharia [Islamic Law] may be a better alternative than what now exists because of its market-orientation. In China, letting the current corrupt growth continue while internal elites import WTO rulesets is probably the best course. In North Korea we should Kill Kim, of course, while at home federalism and states right are the essence of Americanism.

As the founder of the greatest capitalist revolution in human history once remarked, “No matter if it is a white cat or a black cat; as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat..”