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Author Topic: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?  (Read 9382 times)

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #25 on: 29/12/2013 17:27:50 »
The US President can declare war on an abstract enemy like "Terror"
I agree that one can't really fight a war against a methodology.
Nor, can one truly have a war on drugs.

What's next?  Declaring a war on "WAR"?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #26 on: 29/12/2013 17:45:31 »
How did the British "win" the war on terror? 
I suppose the IRA had been obsolete for decades, but it still is pretty major to convince them to lay down their arms.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #27 on: 29/12/2013 23:37:48 »
 
Quote
How did the British "win" the war on terror?

 By capitulating to both sides, dividing up the spoils of organised crime, and giving parliamentary salaries to the spokesmen of the criminal gangs who have ruled Northern Ireland illegitimately for the last 400 years or so. Nothing has changed on the ground, but who the hell cares about the lives of ordinary people?
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #28 on: 30/12/2013 16:18:55 »

"Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."



It is interesting that it works so well in democracies and dictatorships alike. Accusing dissenters of being unpatriotic, or traitors, does seem to provoke fears that may be deeply ingrained in our evolutionary history. 
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #29 on: 30/12/2013 20:56:49 »
The Romeo and Juliet complex is interesting in literature.  Not just Shakespeare, but many works of literature across many different conflicts.

Sworn enemies falling in love while the war essentially rages around them.  Or, perhaps the discovery of compassion and humanity in one's enemy.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #30 on: 31/12/2013 00:55:30 »
More likely, the realisation that running with the herd is not necessarily the route to happiness. There's a difference between sworn enemies (individuals with a personal unresolved grievance) and born enemies (Catholics/Protestants; Sunni/Shiah; Jarndyce/Jarndyce;....you name it) but priests and politicians don't want you to know that.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #31 on: 31/12/2013 22:12:55 »
An interesting distinction between "war" and other types of violence - assault, feuds, etc. is the process of substituting one anonymous individual for another in the conflict. Arguably, in a feud, one might retaliate against the relatives of the person who harmed you, but it is usually with the presumption that the intended enemy will suffer indirectly, or that their relatives have unfairly benefited from the injustice done to you.

In war these links become even more bizarrely remote and contradictory. It makes me think of Mohammed Ali's opposition to the draft during the Viet Nam war.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #32 on: 04/01/2014 16:03:22 »
How good is game theory at predicting whether countries will take military action? Is it better or worse than predicting the weather or the economy? Do we only hear about successful predictions?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #33 on: 04/01/2014 20:48:24 »
I don't know about game theory.  I would think that "war" includes a number of factors that would be hard to capture in a computer model. 

Years ago I played a game called RISK where the goal was to conquer the world based purely on military power.  However, war tends to have many motivations including economic, racial, and religious motivations.  I suppose you could try to capture some of the motivations behind the various "hot spots" around the world, and treat them as variables, but one would certainly run the risk of writing a program biased towards the current "hot spots".

I would hope our military has some good models of war.

Back in 2003, I can remember thinking that our country was leading us into another Vietnam with the invasion of Iraq.  I was stunned by how quick Baghdad fell and was about ready to eat my words.  Little did I know the war would simmer for another decade.  I had expected Christian/Muslim principles to be a core of the war.  Little did I expect the war to be about Muslim sect X vs Muslim sect Y vying for power.  A bit better knowledge of the country and the Iran/Iraq war though, and one should have realized how bad of an idea the invasion actually was.

Anyway, the complexity of human reactions can be hard to predict.  And a single wildcard such as Adolf Hitler is hard to capture.  Could Adolf have been French?  Russian?  Perhaps Napoleon was France's Adolf.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #34 on: 04/01/2014 20:58:57 »
Has central Europe entered a "Post War" era?  Why?

I was listening to the radio the other day about the early WWII period and the US's reluctance to enter what was then considered to be Europe's War. 

So what happened between 1918 and 1939, barely a 20 year period? 

Now, nearly 70 years post war, there hasn't been a major war between Britain, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, and Luxemburg.  Not that they always have agreed about everything, but they haven't taken up arms against each other.

So, is central Europe now "post war"?   

What would it take for Europe to take up arms against themselves again?  A major economic collapse?  Collapse of the EU?  Collapse of the Euro currency?  Global crop failure?

Are we just one single Nazi with a funky mustache away from global catastrophe?
« Last Edit: 04/01/2014 21:03:01 by CliffordK »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #35 on: 07/01/2014 13:08:33 »
What happened between 1918 and 1939? The resurgence of German nationalism and the rearming of Germany. For almost 50 years after its near-total annihilation, Germany was under Allied military occupation. Since the previous two wars were started by German invasion of neighbouring territory, this seemed to be the best way of preventing a third one, at least in western Europe.

Meanwhile, just a few hours' drive away, Russians, Hungarians, Poles, Czechs, Chechens and miscellaneous Balkanites were slaughtering each other and Spain retained a fascist dictatorship until the royal family was reinstated.   

Funky Nazis may be unfashionable in western Europe right now but the hot scene for pointless genocide has moved to Africa.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #36 on: 18/01/2014 05:59:49 »
I was reading a book that mentioned a study done by Gabriel Schreiber that analyzed military conflicts over the last 3000 years and said they correlate with season and temperature in the northern and southern hemispheres but not in the equatorial regions. It's just weird to think that the decision to declare war or not might be tipped by something that primitive. Would it even be a factor now in world powered by electricity?
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #37 on: 18/01/2014 21:10:47 »
Which season sets them off?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #38 on: 19/01/2014 00:28:32 »
No doubt that Winter is a hard season for fighting wars. 

The winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge was supposed to be particularly hard on General Washington and his troops in the US Revolutionary war.

And, the Russians are apparently able repel attackers during the winter months, and apparently the cold winters did help in the war against the Nazis. 

With the hardships due to weather in mind, one may choose war strategies which would use adverse weather against the enemy including obscuring troop movements.

It is a good point that modern logistic support and war vehicles may aid with the ability to fight off-season battles, but it is hard to get too excited about fighting when it is pitch black outside with blizzards and minus 30 degree weather.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #39 on: 19/01/2014 14:57:52 »
Which season sets them off?

oh sorry - summer. You'd think spring would be even better, but I suppose some kind of planning/ escalation occurs. Plus, people are probably in a weakened state after winter.

People joke that that is why Canada is less violent than the States, but I think there's some truth to it.
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #40 on: 19/01/2014 20:11:00 »
We need more indoor skiing facilities then.
 

Offline Europan Ocean

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #41 on: 06/04/2014 15:25:59 »
WW1 for example began an industrial scale war, with the best intellects working on weapons of mass destruction. Cannons, gas, mines, barbed wire...

The governors should have anticipated this and prevented it. Thankfully they learned wisdom to prevent nuclear war.

I would say we are being watched and people like Hitler bring down our name as a race, to a low level.
 

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Re: How does the military and war reflect on human intellect?
« Reply #41 on: 06/04/2014 15:25:59 »

 

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