The War on Terror: an old psychohistorical fable

by John Quiggin on September 8, 2011

As rediscovered by Salvor Hardin, in Foundation by Isaac Asimov:

“A horse having a wolf as a powerful and dangerous enemy lived in constant fear of his life. Being driven to desperation, it occurred to him to seek a strong ally. Whereupon he approached a man, and offered an alliance, pointing out that the wolf was likewise an enemy of the man. The man accepted the partnership at once and offered to kill the wolf immediately, if his new partner would only co-operate by placing his greater speed at the man’s disposal. The horse was willing, and allowed the man to place bridle and saddle upon him. The man mounted, hunted down the wolf, and killed him.

“The horse, joyful and relieved, thanked the man, and said: ‘Now that our enemy is dead, remove your bridle and saddle and restore my freedom.’

“Whereupon the man laughed loudly and replied, ‘The hell you say. Giddy-ap, Dobbin,’ and applied the spurs with a will.”

Further reading from the ACLU (via Glenn Greenwald).

Woodrow Wilson Fellowships

by Henry on September 8, 2011

I’ve just returned to teaching after a year’s fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It’s a great place for anyone who wants to write a book (although you usually are expected to have completed one book already before applying), with good conversation (fellows are usually historians, social scientists or journalists) good offices, and a lot of intellectual activity. The Fellowship application page is here. If you think that it sounds interesting, and are able to transplant to DC for a year, I really recommend it (and am happy to provide advice in comments as needs be).