Beyond the Book

An Open Letter to the Students of Texas Public Schools

May 24th, 2010

In a recurring public spectacle, attempts are being made to manipulate you by elected politicians (NOT historians) through the content of the textbooks you will be asked to follow in your history classes. This kind of content manipulation has a long, sad history. For example, it has been a prominent tool of every major authoritarian state of the modern era.

Fortunately for Americans (Texans and otherwise) we do not work for our political entrepreneurs, they work for us. When any public political figures try to feed us a particular view of history, we are free to engage in one of democracy’s greatest birthrights, the open and public application of skepticism and doubt.

If these new textbook standards are successfully implemented, you will be ostensibly encouraged to question many different issues. You should do just exactly that – but on your own broad terms, not their narrow ones. Here are some examples. Continue Reading »

Obama’s Nobel Prize Address

May 3rd, 2010

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize address, shown above, is a remarkable historical document. His intuitive and empirical grasp of the issues involved in the humane use of coercive force (death from a distance) in international politics is remarkably consistent with our theory’s predictions (Chapters 16 and 17). See especially his comments on the use of force in geopolitics (12:55-19:40) and on the panhuman condition (22:25-25:50).

Additional thoughts or comments anyone?