Tag Archives: Economist

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* Structure and historical importance of whaling businesses. (Courtesy: The Economist)

* Espresso making techniques and factors. (Courtesy: Toby’s Estate Coffee’s Espresso Foundations Class)

* Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect‘s theme song was produced by Rza. (Courtesy: With All Due Respect’s interview with Rza)

* The history of the KKK’s hood and white uniform. (Courtesy: New Republic)

* Opera flasks or Flacon d’eau de Melisse. (Courtesy: eBay)

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* Alexandria, VA, has the longest running farmers’ market in the country. (Courtesy: Southern Living)

* The personal- and tactical-level experience of Stalin’s Soviet Union. (Courtesy: Orlando Figes’ The Whisperers)

* Clothes dryer’s thermal fuse (Courtesy: Personal experience)

* Fifty-six British gin distilleries opened during the past two years. (Courtesy: Economist)

Old Fashioned Thinking for Old Fashioned Issues

A while ago, The Economist posted a Daily Chart (see below) about the frequency of coups, posing the question why are there less now then there were. I suspect they answer their own question while highlighting the limitations of too many political scientists and analysts. That is, The Economist (as well as the others I lump with it) is too concerned with the specific term (coup, here) and not with what it means. Why are coups themselves important? Usually, they are not. What is important, though, is that coups lead to regime change.

The question, therefore, should be not be why there are less coups but are there less regime changes? I suspect the answer would be no. The interesting question, therefore, is why has the method outside forces use for regime change evolved? And what does the evolution say? Given that regime change (successful or failed) now often takes place openly (e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, to some degree the Colored Revolutions), what does the new form mean about our international political behavior and norms?