Linkfest 2021-10-15: The Limits of Chaos


DarwinCatholic: War, Mobilization, and the Nation State

Friend of the blog DarwinCatholic looks at a concept we discuss here often, the capacity of the nation state to mobilize and organize its people for grand proejcts.

DarwinCatholic: Soldier Cultures, Warrior Cultures

In a follow-up to the above, DarwinCatholic looks at the kind of military culture that accompanies the power of the state to mobilize the citizenry.

Misha Burnett: Meat & Potatoes Fiction

Misha Burnett argues the basic purpose of fiction is to allow the reader to experience vicariously events that lead to positive mental and emotional growth:

I think it’s a good litmus test for fiction–“If I had been in the situation that these characters were in, and I behaved as they did, would I feel good about myself?”


Razib Khan: A Whole New World

Evidence has been accumulating that people lived in the Americas a very long time ago, as much as 20 or 30 thousand years before now, but this has broken into the mainstream science press with the relatively high certainty carbon dating of the footprints at White Sands. Razib Khan takes a comprehensive look at the state of the science.

West Hunter: Footprints in the Sands of Time

Greg Cochran takes a victory lap about predicting the presence of a population in the Americas before the arrival of the people who were the ancestors of today’s Native Americans.

Razib Khan: G Allele At Rs10774671 Protects Against Severe COVID-19

Geographic differences in the course of COVID-19 have been huge. Razib looks at a gene that is associated with risk of severe COVID.

Hastings Tribune: Ex-US Army Ranger faces extradition to Holland to face charges in bizarre, military-style assassination

While the war was on, there were opportunities for guys who wanted out of the military, but weren’t done being soldiers to do so. Now that the US has shifted strategies, I expect we might see more of this kind of freelance soldier of fortune type stuff.

Rodney Brooks in IEEE Spectrum: An Inconvenient Truth About AI AI won't surpass human intelligence anytime soon

The inventor of the Roomba points out the inherent shortcomings of the current AI work.

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John Daker: The Keep on the Borderlands is Full of Awesome

John Daker rightly pokes fun at an attempt to insert “gray” morality into Keep on the Borderlands, which is a pure distillation of Law versus Chaos as exists in D&D.

Wired: Malware DNA hack

As DNA is by nature digital, this is to be expected.


Ryan Williamson has been playing around on Twitter with updated covers for his novel The Widow’s Son.


The Long View: The Hour of the Laity

One of John J. Reilly's talents was illustrating his ideas with short stories. Some of his most evocative ideas are to be found in these stories, although I cannot say for certain how seriously he intended them to be taken. My best guess is "not very", but said with a twinkle in his eye.