Archiv: academics


14.11.2019 - 18:55 [ Harvard International Law Journal, Forthcoming / papers.ssrn.com ]

Cut These Words: Passion and International Law of War Scholarship

(12.11.2019)

First, and perhaps the most fascinating mystery, is the near-total erasure of the Vietnam era,
and its vociferous doctrinal and policy debates, from the War on Terror international legal debate. The more one reads, the stranger it becomes—particularly once the invasion of Cambodia becomes publicly known in 1970, and the U.S. Department of State justifies the intervention in international legal terms. The doctrinal debate is eerily similar to those underlying key controversies between 2009 and 2018. The underlying law is, in many respects, largely the same. The contours of the international legal questions and their purported implications for the future disclose remarkable similarities. And yet, with the exception of that single footnote in the Al Aulaqi memorandum, there is almost no reference to the raging scholarly discourse that occurred barely two generations earlier. This would perhaps be understandable if I had gone deep into the national archives of, say, Bangladesh, and had found obscure texts that had never been published in English, or had never been made available in libraries or on the internet. But we are talking more or less about similar substantive debates occurring in similar journals by scholars contending with the same government offices. And it all just disappeared. Why?7

29.06.2019 - 18:39 [ Phys.org ]

Countdown to NATO space strategy

(25.06.2019)

NATO will launch its first strategy for space this week as the alliance heads beyond the skies to defend against the likes of China and Russia.

As concerns grow about the possible militarisation of space—alongside more mundane worries about debris orbiting the Earth—allied defence ministers will sign off on a policy framework.

25.05.2019 - 12:02 [ Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ]

Pluto is undergoing global warming, researchers find

(09.10.2002)

Elliot said the new results have surprised the observers, who as recently as July thought that Pluto’s atmosphere may be cooling. (…)

Since 1989, for example, the sun’s position in Pluto’s sky has changed by more than the corresponding change on the Earth that causes the difference between winter and spring.

09.05.2019 - 12:08 [ Spectator ]

Train your brain: How to keep your mind young

in the past decade, with the help of MRI scans and experiments on mice and monkeys, neuroscientists have demonstrated comprehensively that the human brain remains plastic throughout life. Like Victorian cartographers, they have mapped the landscape of the brain to show that old dogs can learn new tricks — and in fact they must, to keep in shape.

29.03.2019 - 10:02 [ Forbes ]

Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Has Officially Moved

Earth’s magnetic North Pole has drifted so fast that authorities have had to officially redefine the location of the magnetic North Pole. The extreme wandering of the North Pole caused increasing concerns over navigation, especially in high latitudes.

29.03.2019 - 09:05 [ CBC.ca ]

The sun is quieter than normal, but don’t panic

(11.3.2019)

Over the past three decades, the sun has been consistently dropping in activity. Maximum has been quieter than is typical; minimum has been particularly quiet. And this has caused some to make the false assumption that, as a result, Earth is going to cool.

29.03.2019 - 08:41 [ Nature.com ]

Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why

(9.1.2019)

Something strange is going on at the top of the world. Earth’s north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron sloshing within the planet’s core. The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move.

29.03.2019 - 08:25 [ NationalGeographic.com ]

Sun Is Moving Slower Than Thought

(12.5.2012)

„Having learned for nearly three decades about it, I was literally shocked when we found it was missing.“

(…)

Still, considering the rays‘ expected effects, Redfield said, „it seems obvious to me that there will be scenarios or times when the cosmic-ray flux on a planet is important and [is] having a major influence on the evolution of the planetary atmosphere or even on biological processes on its surface.“

29.03.2019 - 08:23 [ NationalGeographic.com ]

Surprise: Solar System „Force Field“ Shrinks Fast

(1.10.2010)

„If we’ve learned anything from IBEX so far, it is that the models that we’re using for interaction of the solar wind with the galaxy were just dead wrong,“ David McComas, principal investigator for the IBEX program, said during a NASA press conference Thursday.

For starters, it’s been assumed that the heliosphere’s expansion and contraction follows the sun’s roughly 11-year activity cycle, during which the flow rate of charged particles, or solar wind, fluctuates.

03.03.2019 - 17:22 [ Phys.org - News and Articles on Science and Technology ]

Is China’s social credit system really the dystopian sci-fi scenario that many fear?

(6.12.2018)

To use Jamie Horsley’s argument in Foreign Policy, „China’s Orwellian social credit score isn’t real…There is no such thing as a national ’social credit score‘.“

Apart from the (negative) political implications of the work-in-progress social credit system, we should also consider the economic implication of such a system.

22.02.2019 - 14:01 [ New York Times ]

China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise

Chinese government researchers contributed the data of 2,143 Uighurs to the Allele Frequency Database, an online search platform run by Dr. Kidd that was partly funded by the United States Department of Justice until last year. The database, known as Alfred, contains DNA data from more than 700 populations around the world.

21.05.2018 - 15:25 [ James Petras ]

De-Briefing Academics: Unpaid Intelligence Informants

Over the past half-century, I have been engaged in research, lectured and worked with social movements and leftist governments in Latin America. I interviewed US officials and think tanks in Washington and New York. I have written scores of books, hundreds of professional articles and presented numerous papers at professional meetings.

In the course, of my activity I have discovered that many academics are frequently engage in what government officials dub ‘de-briefing’! Academics meet and discuss their field-work, data collection, research finding, observations and personal contacts over lunch at the Embassy with US government officials or in Washington with State Department officials.

US government officials look forward to these ‘debriefings”; the academic provided useful access to information which they otherwise could not obtain from paid, intelligence agents or local collaborators.

Not all academic informants are very well placed or competent investigators. However, many provide useful insights and information especially on leftist movements, parties and leaders who are real or potential anti-imperialist adversaries.