Category Archives: history

Lu Xun and game theory, or insane rationality and the evolutionary stability of backward tradition

With its condemnation of existing literature Lu Xun’s debut short story “A Madman’s Diary” (『狂人日記』), with its condemnation of the social backwardness of early Republican China, has long been recognized as a classic work of political literature. By analyzing the story, and traditional China, within a game theoretical framework, we see just how difficult it is to escape from a society in which backward traditional values predominate; in fact, we find that such a society is evolutionarily stable. Continue reading

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Portrait of a moderate fanatic

Abdul Salam Zaeef’s My Life With the Taliban is an engrossing work that offers a personal account of Afghan history and shines new light on the mindset of Islamic fundamentalists. Continue reading

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Zero-sum conflict and its tragic consequences

More valuable for its reporting than its biased conclusions, David Hirst’s Beware of Small States is a gripping work of political journalism that wears its allegiances on its sleeve. Continue reading

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