• As Machines Wage War, Human Nature Endures

    Fear, Honor, and Self-Interest Are Still the Wellsprings of Conflict

    By David H. Petraeus

    Over the past quarter century, the information technology revolution has transformed relations between people and between states, including in the conduct of warfare.
        For the U.S. military, the manifestations of this revolution ...

  • The Cyber Age Demands a New Understanding of War—but We’d Better Hurry

    Is It Too Late to Resist the Techno-Gods That Steal Data and Topple Skyscrapers?

    By James Der Derian

    It seems highly reckless to prod into flight Hegel’s Owl of Minerva—the goddess of wisdom and war—for an assessment of war in a cyber age that is barely 30 years old.You will not find it in the Oxford English Dictionary, …

New at Zócalo

Why Extreme Moderation Is the Vital Alternative to Political Polarization

Theorist Tzvetan Todorov's Passionate Pluralism Is More Relevant Now Than Ever

By Robert Zaretsky

Last month, the Bulgarian-French intellectual Tzvetan Todorov died. A scholar on the history of thought, his writings influenced fields as disparate as anthropology, literary criticism, and history. His death was, of course, tragic for family and friends: Stricken by Parkinson’s, he was gone more suddenly than any of us had anticipated. But it was also tragic for readers and citizens who had never met him. The world right now is in great need of the thing Todorov was most passionate about: political moderation.
    Todorov’s work is diverse and difficult to pigeonhole. He spent his first 24 years in communist Bulgaria, then relaunched himself as a student of structuralism and semiotics in France. In the early 1970s, ...

Why the Housing Crisis Won’t Get Fixed by Building Cheaper Homes

The Conversation About Housing Costs, from Cleveland to Singapore, Is Missing the Realities of Economics and Place

By Jerry Nickelsburg

This time of year, the swallows return to Capistrano, and I return to my birthplace, San Francisco, for the city’s annual pre-budget finance conference. For the last few years I have kicked things off with an economic outlook for the coming year, replete with a discussion of risks. This being San Francisco, naturally, I had to talk about the high costs of housing as one of the risks to continued economic growth.
    On my way home, I thought of an SAT exam-like question. One of these things is not like the others: San Francisco, Cleveland, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Vancouver. I am going to take a wild guess and say that you, the reader, have chosen Cleveland. ...

Video Highlights

  • Philosopher Charles Taylor has had a life in politics as well as academia. During the 1950s, when he was studying philosophy at Oxford, he wrote and edited Universities and Left Review, which later became New Left Review, a political and intellectual journal. ...

Connecting California/Joe Mathews

  • L.A. Is Too Good to Host the 2024 Olympics

    The Olympic Movement Is Relentlessly Corrupt, so Why Should Southern California Help Save It?

    Los Angeles should drop its bid for the 2024 Olympics—before it gets chosen.
        It’s true that Paris has long been the favorite to be awarded the games during an upcoming vote in September. The Paris bid has broad international support, the ...

  • All Aboard, Bay Area, on Your Fast Train to Wasco

    This Kern County Town, a Conduit for High-Speed Rail, Has a Lot to Offer

    Dear Bay Area,
        Welcome to Wasco.
        You may never have heard of this small city of 25,000 in the San Joaquin Valley.     You probably can’t pronounce it (it’s WAW-skoh).
        But you and Wasco share a future.
        You could be connected—at least ...