Saturday, November 6

Barnett

Big post with lots of riffs.
Then again, hard scientists (surprisingly enough) are often better than soft ones (like political scientists) in horizontal vision. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it's true. There's actually far more pinheads in my field than, say, chemistry.
I wonder if this has anything to do with postmodernism. I see a lot of scientists who are more modernist in their thinking, and this lends itself to certain strengths.
In short, horizontal thinkers like myself tend to be late bloomers, because it takes so much longer for everything to come into focus.
May this be true of me.
I've long believed that having Iran on the "rogue" side of the ledger will continue to deny us the stabilizing outcome we seek for the region as a whole (and if no one's gonna say it, then I will: Die Yassir! Die!). I want that outcome, but I want a cemented strategic relationship with China as much or more over the next four years, because I'm convinced we need to lock in that embryonic security bond as well as similar bonds with both India and Russia, and I see a strategy for Bush over the next four years that points in this direction.
So it did all come down to the question of gay marriages!

Islam's moderate middle path is found in southeast Asia
What's interesting to me about the article is how basically all the examples of where the government has gone out of its way to favor Muslim Malays over other ethnic-religious groups has to do with the definitions of family, marriage, and sex. So you get the feeling that the moderation has to do more with economic and politics, whereas the "gives" to the majority Malays tend to register in the social values sphere.

Interesting no? Makes you think about this election? The conservative majority okays the Bush team on their economics and national security in return for their efforts on upholding social values. Looking on it that way, you get a sense of what it means to be more Core-like than Gap-like: you push the connectivity of free trade, free markets, collective security and transparency, but you do let yourself engage in some content control and some behavioral modification when it comes to the truly touchy stuff like family, marriage, and sex.
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