Recommended Reading (2010-12-05)

A military helicopter overflies the Morro do Alemão shantytown during a raid on November 28, 2010 in Rio de Janeiro.

I realized the other day that I have a tremendous list of links going months and months back that I never posted, so this Sunday roundup will start to become a little longer. I will try to make it a compendium of things from the past week that I’ve read, or tweeted, as well as those links from the “archive.”So without further ado…

– One type of “illegitimate” government in Rio’s favelas is being replaced by a different one. Whoever provides the most adequate services wins.

– My friend Ross argues for ratifying START in the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

– P.W. Singer and some other people discuss “America 2021: The Military and the World.”

– Anatoly Karlin explains his “Collapse Party” and reprints its manifesto:

Thinking about the political dimensions of adapting to a re-localized world, in which resource depletion and climate change make impossible the huge economies of scale and their supporting technologies that we know take for granted.

– New skill you didn’t think you needed: post-state diplomacy.

– An absolutely riveting discussion of the law surrounding U.S. overseas possessions, particularly the law of islands:

Boom, there are all these wildcatters and roughnecks throwing up the Stars and Stripes on little mounds of manure all over the world. In the end, more than seventy such islands are actually secured under the act, and many more are claimed (unsuccessfully, for one reason or another). But that’s not the interesting part, really—although it’s curious enough, and there are some great stories about what goes down on these islands: shanghaiing Polynesian laborers, piracy (of course), mutiny, etc. Some of the islands are still claimed by various shady types. Indeed, a rather mysterious gentleman contacted me some years ago in connection with his alleged title to an uninhabited guano island in the Caribbean.

– Is Batman a state actor (legally speaking)?

And from the past week at Automatic Ballpoint:

Israel thinks airpower is great in urban environments. But flying is much less fun for the average civilian. I prognosticate on the future of war in Fortnight.

Scientific breakthroughs are still made, but I find that we’re shifting into reverse and rolling back the twentieth century. Is it because of, or has it caused, our continuing hysterical breakdown?