Publications

Trump has no long-term foreign policy vision. Here’s how that’s hurting America

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
July 17, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Thomas Wright is the director of the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe, and a senior fellow at Brookings. His new book, “All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and the Future of American Power,” looks at the prospects for the United States in a world where other countries are increasingly disaffected from the global order that America built. I interviewed him about his book by email.

State Dept. Office of Global Criminal Justice on the Chopping Block–Time to save it

Author(s): 
Beth Van Schaack
Publication Date: 
July 17, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Word out of Washington is that the Trump Administration has started to restructure the State Department and particularly the Under-Secretariat for Civilian Security, Democracy & Human Rights.  “J” (as it is called around Foggy Bottom) encompasses a number of Bureaus and Offices, including the Bureau of Counter-Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism (CT/CVE), the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and the Office to Monitor and

Why cyberattacks could be war crimes

Author(s): 
Patrick Lin
Publication Date: 
July 17, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Cyberattacks are the new normal, but, when they come from abroad, they can raise panic about an invisible cyberwar. If international conflicts are unavoidable, isn’t a cyberwar better than a physical war with bombs and bullets?
 
Sure, cyberwar is better than a kinetic or physical war in many ways, but it could also make war worse. Unless it’s very carefully designed, a cyberattack could be a war crime.
 

Even the intellectual left is drawn to conspiracy theories about the right. Resist them.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
July 14, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing
It’s always hard in politics for people to take their opponents’ views seriously, but it has become ever harder in Trump’s America. People are more engaged with politics, but only because they want to beat the other side, not understand it. This means scholars have a greater responsibility than ever to help ordinary citizens understand how the people with whom they disagree think, and what their political opponents are actually doing.
 

Most of what you think you know about human reasoning is wrong. Here’s why.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
July 12, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber are the authors of “The Enigma of Reason,” a new book from Harvard University Press. Their arguments about human reasoning have potentially profound implications for how we understand the ways human beings think and argue, and for the social sciences. I interviewed Mercier about the book.

Autonomous Navigation: How To Drive Neighborhoods Crazy

Author(s): 
Patrick Lin
Publication Date: 
July 12, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

In the first of this two-article series, we saw how augmented reality (AR) is causing friction between individual liberty and public interest.  AR appmakers are being required by some parks to obtain a permit before they can “put” virtual objects in those public spaces, given the sudden crowds the apps can cause.

This article looks at the same core dilemma with another technology: automated driving.

Court Orders Prolific Patent Troll Shipping & Transit LLC To Pay Defendant’s Legal Bill

Author(s): 
Daniel Nazer
Publication Date: 
July 7, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Shipping & Transit LLC, formerly known as Arrivalstar, is one of the most prolific patent trolls ever. It has filed more than 500 lawsuits alleging patent infringement. Despite having filed so many cases, it has never had a court rule on the validity of its patents. In recent years, Shipping & Transit’s usual practice is to dismiss its claims as soon as a defendant spends resources to fight back. A district court in California issued an order (PDF) this week ordering Shipping & Transit to pay a defendant's attorney's fees.

Stupid Patent of the Month: Using A Computer To Count Calories

Author(s): 
Daniel Nazer
Publication Date: 
June 30, 2017
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

This month’s stupid patent, like many stupid patents before it, simply claims the idea of using a computer for basic calculations. U.S. Patent No. 6,817,863 (the ’863 patent) is titled “Computer program, method, and system for monitoring nutrition content of consumables and for facilitating menu planning.” It claims the process of using a computer to track nutrition information like calorie or vitamin intake. It is difficult to think of a more basic and trivial use for a computer.

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