Flattening is the Point

Akira Kurosawa placed his cameras as far as possible from the action in Ran, using zoom lenses to capture it, creating the illusion of a two dimensional world. I sometimes thought that perspective and the illusion of three dimensionality make Western painting superior to all other painting.  But that is crass. Three dimensionality is our […]

Group Games

Leaders are rarely purely interested in the good of the group.  So leaders do not respond predictably to incentives aimed at groups.  It seems odd, therefore, that Schelling thought that hurting civilians might change the minds of leaders. Worry instead about the incentives of leaders.

Outside the Law

This demonstrates for me everything about economists that makes them superior to lawyers. The myopia of the lawyer and the breadth of vision of the economist. Yes, it is possible for institutions not to follow the law. It is possible for laws to be written to be broken. You might think it would take a […]

A Philosophy of War

Ask yourself: if all the military power in the world were controlled by a just ruler, how would it be deployed? Support deployments of force whenever they coincide with the virtuous plan and oppose deployments of force whenever they fail to coincide with the virtuous plan. So, for example, if a just ruler in charge […]

Poetry and Science

Poetry is the art of recognizing peculiar structures in nature.  You don’t understand the structure, you just recognize it.  Some people spy out the four leaf clover; you, poet, spy out the four leaf relationship, the four leaf justification. It is very difficult to do this.  Years later a scientist may come to describe and […]