Week in Review

Reading: A just war unjustly disowned Matt Gobush on the moral tragedy of doing nothing. How Clausewitz became a great strategic thinker Vanya Eftimova Bellinger explains: The French Revolution Mentorship A good partner Experience Time (for ideas to mature). Will More: A student’s perspective The sadness I feel now as I write this is that he won’t get to see the ways he changed and is changing the discipline.

Info Session: Student Professional Development Fund

Quick note for UT undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in National Security. This week, The Clements Center is holding a Student Professional Development Fund Info Session.

The short of it is, if you find an unpaid internship in National Security, the Clements Center has funds to help you pay for living expenses.

Cryptocurrencies: Challenges, disruption & Opportunities

This week at the Center for Politics and Governance. Details Wednesday, April 19, 5:00–6:00PM Student Activity Center (SAC), Room 1.106 Cryptocurrencies and the decentralized computing networks that power them, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have become a global phenomenon. The problem is, most people, including policymakers, don’t have a deep understanding of how these new networks operate, what they can do, and what risks and opportunities they present. Peter Van Valkenburgh, Research Director at Coin Center, will explain how cryptocurrencies work, examine the many policy issues they raise, and discuss the future of this innovative yet disruptive technology.

The End Strategic Restraint

Mike Pence says the era of strategic restraint is over. Pointing to the quarter-century since the United States first confronted North Korea over its attempts to build nuclear weapons, the vice president said a period of patience had followed. “But the era of strategic patience is over,” Pence declared. “President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change.

Easter Joy

Easter Joy

The kiddo enjoyed his “first” Easter this weekend. At 18 months, he’s now self-aware of the fun.

MPSA 2017

Seminary Coop

Midwest post-mortem

Last week I attended the Midwest Political Science Association annual conference in Chicago. AS conferences go, I was pleased with the event and the payoff was well worth the time and energy it cost to attend.

Su on International Religious Freedom

Wonderful new book, Exporting Freedom (Anna Su 2016), on the rise of religious freedom in American foreign policy. Anna Su looks at the construction of the international legal regime during the 20th century and finds that the efforts of promoting international religious freedom long predate the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. Although I’m skeptical that some of the early cases could rightly be read into the history of American foreign policy regarding religious freedom, I am open to persuasion and, more importantly, she didn’t write this book on the grand strategy of international religious freedom.

Dot Emacs

My 2010 Macbook Pro finally died. I was hoping to get one more year so I could finish the PhD on the same machine I began it with, but alas. While setting up my new machine, I realized how much I benefited from having my .emacs file on GitHub. So here’s a link in case anyone finds it helpful. A note of caution that it is a work-in-progress and some of the features are not fully active (like RefTeX) but I’ve been too busy with the dissertation to fix it.

Close the loops

Last week I presented a best practices workshop on project management for my fellow graduate students. The purpose was to provide younger students in the program with ideas and concepts for managing projects “from idea to publication”. Preparing my presentation for the workshop afforded me the opportunity to reflect on the principles of productivity that I’ve learned over the years. Despite claims to the contrary, both from within and without, the academe is not unlike many other professions: it a profession fundamentally about knowledge work but with functionally infinite demands on otherwise scarce time and attention.

Hello Hugo

Farewell Squarespace

I’ve hosted my webpage on Squarespace since sometime in my second year at UT Austin. After several years on the platform, I have nothing but praise for the folks at Squarespace: their reputation for up-time, customer service, and all around technical bad-assery is well deserved. If you’re looking for a web-hosting/web-design company wherein you can build a beautiful looking site without knowing any HTML, CSS, or anything of that stuff—and I do mean it: without any—then you cannot go wrong with a Squarespace site. But for me, the time has come to say goodbye.