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We Will Meet the Cyborgs and They Will Be Us

We Are All Futurists Now, Part 3 For the previous installment of this series, about the coming revolution in robotics, I chose as my title a cheery takeoff on a show tune, “Anything You Can Do, iCan Do Better.” If I were to follow the favorite clichés of technology writers, I would have to choose […]

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The University Utopia

Three Paradoxes of American Politics, Part 2 Just after November’s election, I posed three paradoxes of American politics, asking why certain demographic groups make up reliable voting blocs for the left, even though the pro-free-market ideas of the right have so much to offer them. I have begun to revisit these paradoxes. In part one […]

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Willie Sutton’s European Vacation

From the beginning, the European crisis has been a story of small countries on the Eurozone’s “periphery” revealing fundamental problems at the heart of the system. Now a very small country on the outer edges of the periphery—the tiny Mediterranean island of Cyprus, with about a million inhabitants and 0.02% of Europe’s GDP—is triggering the […]

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What Is the Bible?

An Atheist Reads the Bible, Part 3 What is the Bible? I ask because I found it a little confusing for a while. In the previous installment of this series, I covered Genesis up to Noah and the flood, and I understand clearly what the purpose of that section is. It is a creation myth […]

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Anything You Can Do, iCan Do Better

In the first installment of this series, I described the emergence of a “Third Industrial Revolution” set off by the increasing integration of computers, the Internet, and information technology with manufacturing. Technology that up now has mostly been used to transmit and process information is increasingly being used to move things and make things. I […]

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Three Paradoxes of American Politics

Part 1: Getting the Blues The Republicans’ loss in November’s election has set off a particularly bitter re-evaluation of the party’s message and priorities. It is not simply that Republicans lost an election, but that they lost an election they ought to have won, given the poor performance of the economy, the continued unpopularity of […]

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Why the Oscars Were So Bad

On Sunday night, I tuned in to the Academy Awards ceremony for a change, because for the first time in a while I had a movie to root for. (Les Misérables, of course.) The evening was a bit of a disappointment on that front, particularly because I think Hugh Jackman deserves more credit as an […]

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The Third Industrial Revolution

We Are All Futurists Now, Part 1 I recently commented on an article about the economic rise of Africa. A more recent follow-up on that story puts the Africa boom in a very useful historical perspective. The rise of Africa’s long forlorn economies…represents the final phase of a global economic transformation that began over 200 […]

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Labor-Sucking Devices

Electric cars never really made any sense. They are cloaked in the sanctimony of the green movement, because they don’t use nasty fossil fuels like gasoline. Instead, they use electricity, which is sent out through power lines from big power plants, which generate this electricity—how? Oh yes, by burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and […]

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The Man Who Isn’t There

One of President Obama’s aides once described his foreign policy as “leading from behind,” and his critics (such as myself) have derided this instead as “following from in front.” But a recent round of congressional testimony by the president’s cabinet officers reveals that the truth is even worse. Under Obama, the Leader of the Free […]

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