If I was the right kind of historian, I would write something lengthy and turgid about the tendency of generals to fight the last war rather than the current one - at least, at the outset. But I'm not any kind of historian, so I won't.
I am struck, though, by this last weekend's conjunction of pictures showing Russian tanks manoeuvring around the border with Ukraine, with anxious editorials about the falling price of oil. From a Russian perspective, there is a case for securing access to Ukraine, and tanks would seem to be a tried and tested, if old-fashioned, way to make that happen.
It's not exactly a new idea that the oil price might in this instance be a weapon of war - counter-attack by economic means against incursions by tanks - but if it's working, and if this world is as networked as it's widely supposed to be, that would be good news for the future.
History books would be less interesting, though. And armchair generals would need to get a grip on applied economics.
What happens here
This site is updated weekly, usually on a Friday although I might change that (again). I write it because (1) I like writing it and (2) I like having a deadline. More often than not, it works out as a commentary on the week just passed*.
There are no ads, no pop-ups and no tricky business with cookies. I don't take money for my own opinions. [Except when they come out in book form.] I write this for myself, without a set agenda, on any subject that catches my attention. If you're interested enough, it's not hard to work out my interests. Not impossible, anyway.
*Although I seem to have gone away from that recently. Normal service may or may not be resumed.
No data is kept on this website overnight. Blog posts are usually shared to my Facebook page. We can discuss them there if you feel so inclined.
Where are we now? We're hurtling round the sun, held to the ground by a weak force that we don’t begin to understand, arguing about trade deals between the land masses on a planet mostly covered by water.
The dolphins must think us ridiculous. No wonder they only come to the shallow water to play with us, not to signal their most complex philosophies. More.
Riddle. It takes two to make me, but when I'm made, I'm only a memory. What am I? Scroll down to find out.
Is that a catastrophe I see before me? Could be. There was a clear sky earlier, but now clouds are encroaching from the North. We could be in for a storm. More.
You found me!
Welcome. Thank you for coming. But am I the right
William Essex? Click here
to meet some more.
Read My Shorts?
Here is yet another page of old blog posts and other writings. Sorry, but I need my metaphorical sock drawer for metaphorical socks. The link to the page is right at the end of the paragraph here.
Roads without end
Here is a passage from a review of the book The Road to Somewhere by David Goodhart. I haven't read the book (yet), but the collected reviews would make a worthwhile set of political arguments in their own right. More.
State of the Union
Several commentators today saying that they've lost confidence in the US. Making their point by talking up the glories of the past. After two weeks of this administration, they're not going back.
Were they wrong, and they've seen the light? Or has the US changed? I guess the latter is the intended meaning. But we should at least acknowledge the possibility... More.