Tyranny comes home: How the 'boomerang effect' impacts civilian life in the U.S.

When it comes to foreign intervention, we often overlook the practices that creep into life back home.

  • Methods used in foreign intervention often resurface domestically, whether that's in the form of skills or technology.
  • University of Tampa professor Abigail Blanco calls this the boomerang effect. It's a consequence not often thought about when we discuss foreign intervention.
  • The three channels to consider when examining the boomerang effect include human capital in the form of skills, administrative dynamics, and physical capital in the form of tools and technology.
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War is an ecological catastrophe

Researchers believe that war exacerbates climate change, threatening the environment and making future wars more likely.

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  • In times of war, otherwise atrocious crimes against nature become routine.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the largest consumers of fossil fuels in the world.
  • By polluting the earth to prepare for war, the Pentagon prepares a world in which war becomes more likely.
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#8: Technology doesn't win wars. Why the US pretends it does. | Top 10 2019

Big Think's eighth most popular video of the year reveals what the real future of war could look like.

  • Number eight on Big Think's list this year says the future will not even look like wars to the traditional mind. The worst threat is systemic. It's growing entropy in the global system.
  • Today, when Russia wants to shake up Europe — the world — its operatives weaponize refugees. That is, by bombing civilian centers, they create an avalanche of refugees, which, in turn, creates Brexit and the rise of right-wing national parties that want to disembowel the European Union.
  • High-tech is not the savior that many futurists pretend it is when it comes to warfare. As a matter of fact, McFate contends, much of our investment in it is ludicrous. "You know, we have not fought, we have not had a strategic dogfight since the Korean War. So why do we need more fighter jets? I do not know. . . . We've spent $1.5 trillion on the F-35. That's more than Russia's GDP."
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Did Trump demand a quid pro quo? Harvard cognitive psychologist weighs in.

Cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker reminds us that innuendo and euphemism yield better quid pro quo results than an "or else" ultimatum.

  • Lawmakers and pundits disagree over whether President Trump proposed a quid pro quo arrangement with Ukrainian President Zelensky.
  • In a recent op-ed, Steven Pinker reminds us that even simple requests often beat around the euphemistic bush.
  • But accepting the common sense reading is only the beginning of its legal analysis.
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How did a 100-year-old vision of global politics shape our future?

In 1919, Woodrow Wilson attempted to rally the U.S. behind the League of Nations. His failure suggested the way forward.

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  • America in 1919 was as divided as America in 2019. When President Woodrow Wilson introduced his vision for the League of Nations following World War I, he was met with criticism.
  • With his reluctance to negotiate the functions of the League, Wilson failed to rally enough support.
  • Whatever Wilson and the League's flaws, he revealed a path to new possibilities in global cooperation.
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