Showing posts from category: Politics

Book Review: “The New Threat” (Jason Burke)

I have a mild addiction to 24 hour rolling news, so this year I’m instead trying to channel that interest into reading good non-fiction books on history and politics. I started with Jason Burke’s latest book “The New Threat From Islamic Militancy”, which gives a history and analysis of violent Islamism. Burke himself is a

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Do we have a moral obligation to host refugees?

It cannot have escaped anyone’s notice that Europe is in the midst of a refugee crisis, with 350,000 migrants arriving by sea this year alone (the comparable figure for the whole of 2014 was 219,000). These migrants, of whom the largest contingents are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, are mostly fleeing real threats of violence.

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Veganism and ideological compromise

A very interesting and provocative piece in this week’s NYT argues that some vegans place too much emphasis on ideological purity, at the cost of missing more prosaic opportunities to tangibly advance animal welfare. As usual for this topic, the comments section devolves into pretty lame arguments and invectives directed against veganism (including the perennial favorites, “but humans

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Harassment, harm, and the social function of trolls

I still vividly remember the first time that I felt threatened online. Back when I was thirteen or so, I was an avid player of an online game called Ultima Online which took place in a persistent virtual world, (much like the modern equivalent, World of Warcraft). I made friends in the game, spent many

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The British Election: a few reflections

The British election confounded pollsters and disappointed many, including most of my friends in the UK. I too wasn’t thrilled by the result for many reasons. Here are just a few thoughts on the significance of the election, and how it’ll shape Britain for the years to come. Evisceration of the Lib Dems – very

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