Jon’s Page

Breaking the Siege of Gotham: an Operational Analysis of The Dark Knight Rises

I wrote this a few years ago in piece intended for now-sadly-defunct Grand Blog Tarkin. For a few reasons the piece didn’t happen then, but here (for the first time) is my operational and tactical analysis of the Siege of Gotham. So if Bane and the League of Shadows actually took America’s largest city hostage with a nuclear device, what would happen? Unsurprisingly, the American government has already planned for such a contingency. Presuming that terrorists are political actors, a hostage scenario is one of the more likely methods of nuclear terrorism; detonating a device without warning is likely to ...
Read More

All Hail the Great “Moh Dun”

Assiduous sacrifice at the altar of the Moh Dun gods gives our society the power to believe we are alternatively “masters of our fate”(totally free subjects) and the slaves of natural and societal forces that overwhelm the individual. “The light-skinned peoples living in the northern reaches of the Atlantic are said to have a peculiar way of worshipping the gods. They go on expeditions to other nations, seize statues of their gods, and destroy them in huge bonfires, insulting them with cries of ‘Fetish! Fetish!’ – a word that in their barbaric language seems to mean ‘forgery, nonsense, lie.’ Though they ...
Read More

Alasdair MacIntyre on the Trump Phenomenon

As with most things in life, Alasdair MacIntyre cuts right through the noise to the heart of things (in this case, what public support for Donald Trump might mean. From the first chapter of Whose Justice, Which Rationality: Partly it [the Teflon-like ability of some to resist the charge of “irrationality” or “extremism”] is a matter of a general cynicism in our culture about the power or even the relevance of rational argument to matters sufficiently fundamental. Fideism has a large, not always articulate, body of adherents, and not only among the members of those Protestant churches and movements which openly proclaim it; ...
Read More

Magic Kingdom: It’s a Small Civilization After All

I’m finally getting around to publishing my Disney posts- you can expect three more after this. Magic Kingdom’s “It’s a Small World After All” (hereafter IASW) probably won the award for “Ride Experienced Most Differently As an Adult” (though Epcot’s “The American Adventure” was a close second- more on that in my next post). That’s mostly because Eddie Keane’s “Makings of the Modern International System” seminar has had my brain firing hard-core on the complicated politics of globalization and the links amongst geopolitics (or imperialism), civilization, economic ties, and cultural change in the 19th and 20th centuries. For those of you unfamiliar, ...
Read More

The Happiest Place on Earth

Last week Laura and I went to Disney World as Laura’s birthday gift from my parents and had an absolute blast. The part that’s always fascinated me about Disney World is Walt Disney’s vision for the place and the way that’s been protected and carried on by the corporation. It’s this vision, I think, that helps Disney World feel different from any other theme park- it has a real ethos apart from providing easy entertainment and making money (though they’re really good at those too). What is Disney’s vision? Walt Disney saw himself as a myth maker and storyteller for the ...
Read More

Blog post 1.0

Laura and I are starting to blog. Partly, this is just to keep in better communication with friends and family and provide more of a picture into our life abroad. But part of this, too, is motivated by the value of writing things down, making them plain in the written word. As someone who spends a lot of time (both professionally and by inclination) learning, researching, thinking, and reflecting, the importance of writing things down, and in doing so in a structured way, is increasingly obvious to me. I find that, in general, my best ideas come during conversations with ...
Read More