Monthly Archives: March 2006

Interesting from the Belmont Club

Whilst perusing Wretchard’s thoughts on the current state of Iraq

Philip Bobbitt argued in his book, the Shield of Achilles, that Napoleon’s strategic revolution consisted in fielding armies so large that any sovereign who opposed him would, in matching the size of his force, be compelled to wager the entire State, and not simply a wedge of territory in confronting him. Napoleon’s campaigns were designed to kill enemy armies — and thereby enemy states. What Napoleon failed to realize in his 1812 campaign against Russia was that the Tsarist state was so primitive that the destruction of its army simply did not mean the corresponding demise of its state. Like the proverbial dinosaur of pulp fiction, Russia had no central nervous system to destroy and lumbered on, like the bullet-riddled monster of horror stories, impervious to the Grand Armee. What Russia had on its side was chaos as epitomized by its savage winters.

Saddamite Iraq, like most terrorist-supporting states threatening the world today, are like the landscape of 1812 in that they were cauldrons of anarchy given a semblance of shape by fragile, yet brutal shroud-like states.

Most of what I’ve read actually suggests that Napoleon’s brilliance was in organization of his armies, not his actual command or tactics. In Russia, he was captured by not seeing a qualitative difference between Russia and the rest of Europe. Unlike the Nazi Germany, (who did see Russia accurately, but bungled the strategy) the problem was that he did not conceive of Russia properly.

Needed – software that helps in conception via clever use of 3D motion graphics.

Quick round up

Someone is finally doing this

I’ve often wondered why we don’t have simple home medical testing kits for the most common problems one is likely to have. Just do a simple blood or urine sample at home once a month, and then send it off to be analyzed for the 15 most common (or cheapest to test for) illnesses and you’re much more likely to catch something early. I would imagine legal liabilities are the likely culprit.

It would seem that they’re doing something like this in Japan.

I predict that this will be a condition of health insurance in the future.