Author Archives: Agrippa

The Sarmat ICBM and Hypersonic Warheads

2016 is supposed to see the first flight tests of the Russian replacement to the SS 18 “heavy” land and silo based SS-18 ICBM, and the missile, known as “Sarmat,” is scheduled to start entering into service in 2018. The … Continue reading

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Blurring the Threshold Between Nuclear and Conventional War

I will be doing everything that I can to attend the Pine Gap peace convergence, near Alice Springs, in late September – early October. Pavel Podvig, an American analyst of Russian providence, writing for The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, … Continue reading

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The Gettier Problem in the Philosophy of Science.

Philosophy of science has a curious relationship to epistemology, or the theory of knowledge. There is little doubt that in the 20th century the philosophy of science took on a life of its own largely independent of epistemology. Interestingly, given … Continue reading

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Who Was David Hume? A Rationalist, of course!

One must grant a belated happy birthday to David Hume (May 07, 1711), one of history’s most insightful thinkers and a favoured philosopher of mine despite the conservatism that is often associated with him. Gottlieb, in a timely review of … Continue reading

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Uniqueness and Mediocrity: The Multiverse and the Conflict between the Copernican and Anthropic Principles

The concept of the multiverse takes advantage of two principles, namely the Copernican Principle and the Anthropic Principle. This is intriguing for Carter introduced the Anthropic Principle as a reaction to the Copernican Principle. The Copernican Principle states that the … Continue reading

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Secular Stagnation and Neoliberalism: Turnbull Sets the Stage for Post Election Slash and Burn

I myself after the handing down of a federal budget like to focus on the macroeconomic discussion and projections that appear in the budget papers, of which I will have more to say in the coming days. I like to … Continue reading

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What’s in a Missile Engine? Heaps, if it’s North Korean

Hitherto, among serious analysts, two major technical limitations have been seen as characterising North Korea’s strategic programme. The first is the drive to develop a nuclear warhead of relatively low throw weight, light enough for an ICBM programme and even … Continue reading

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The Social Contract and the Neoliberal State: Problems of Obligation and Resistance

The problem of political obligation is a, if not the, central issue of political philosophy. The problem is to offer rational justifications for the state in the face of the philosophical anarchist charge that authority is not self justified. If … Continue reading

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Kuhnian Anomalies and Evolutionary Thought

One thing that interests me is the question of anomalies and the structure of scientific revolutions as per Thomas Kuhn. We tend to associate anomalies and revolutionary science with the physical sciences, most especially physics. This is unsurprising because ours … Continue reading

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Peak Knowledge and Social Complexity: Are They Linked?

The New York Times carries a thought provoking op-ed by William Gail on what he refers to as a looming new scientific dark age. Let us put aside the quibble that the dark ages might not have been as dark … Continue reading

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