Blog Profile / The Edge of the American West

Filed Under:History / US History
Posts on Regator:501
Posts / Week:1.5
Archived Since:April 9, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Unruly Academics, Part II

Felix Salmon has the same opinion of the Times article that I did: Which is why David Kocieniewski’s article about Craig Pirrong and Scott Irwin this weekend is such a disappointment. It’s currently doing very well on the NYT’s most-emailed...Show More Summary

Unruly Academics, Uppity Workers

Unruly Academics The New York Times has discovered influence peddling in academia, and it’s front page news: But interviews with dozens of academics and traders, and a review of hundreds of emails and other documents involving two highly visible professors in the commodities field — Mr. Show More Summary

In Wonderful News For Freedom Everywhere

dialing…867-5309 A judge has ruled that the NSA can, in fact, collect lots of random information about Americans. Goody: While robust discussions are underway across the nation, in Congress and at the White House, the question for this court is whether the government’s bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. Show More Summary


Alan Turing was pardoned by the Queen this past week. I use “pardon” because it is the official word, but the reality is that the British government should have begged forgiveness of Turing’s family. This blog has talked about Turing before. Show More Summary

The Guns of Fredericksburg

Flamethrower in action [Guest post! Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai of Angelo State University returns and is kind enough to write for Edge on memorializing the Pacific War in Texas. Post and photos copyright K. Wongsrichanalai 2013.] On the...Show More Summary

Your Flow Of Touch Screens And High Fructose Corn Syrup

The Duffelblog is the military equivalent of The Onion and frequently just as funny. Today, a (fictional) serviceman responds to a 1st grader’s letter: Despite my distaste for limp platitudes, I am, by all rights, a patriot. For this reason, I find your depiction of our nation’s flag with six stars and five stripes particularly offensive. Show More Summary

Military & Political History Linkage

Two military history links worth a look: Underwater D-Day Wrecks: A unique expedition to map sunken allied vessels off the Normandy Coast has revealed stunning never-before-seen images from beneath the waves. Using state-of-the-art sonar...Show More Summary

A Short And Probably Partial List Of Historical Analogies Currently In Heavy Rotation

Historical event or person with potentially applicable current parallel: Pearl Harbor – Benghazi Munich – The agreement with Iran. Cold War – Nelson Mandela, Communist! President Obama shakes hands with Raul Castro, COMMUNIST! WorldShow More Summary


Montgomery County weather alert included the following: If you must drive, please use extreme caution and allow plenty of breaking distance as pavement conditions remain unfavorable. Yes.

The Man In The Arena

Teddy Roosevelt, 1910: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose...Show More Summary

Niall Ferguson, Redux

I would like to offer translations of parts of Niall Ferguson’s recent blog post. This: In any case, our 2010 letter did not make a prediction about inflation. What we said was: The planned asset purchases risk currency debasement and inflation, and we do not think they will achieve the Fed’s objective of promoting employment. Show More Summary

Everything Was New Once

A random tweet My toddler does not understand that all media isn't on demand. He has always been able to get any song/show any time on any gadget. — Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) December 2, 2013 led to a snarky response on my part: My [daughter/son] has always been able to [insert cool new technology ten years ago]. Show More Summary


My beloved ordered a new phone last night, including the chance to inscribe something on its back. The choice wasn’t completely unlimited, however: This, of course, led to 10 minutes of trying different, NSFW things, and some giggling (or dignified chuckling on my part). Yes, we are ten years old.

Fun with Numbers

Shorter Jonathan Haber: If I just make numerical assumptions as favorable as possible, I can get a MOOC class completion rate up to 48%: Using the number Coursera sent him of “Total Registered Students” (i.e., the number of people who hit the Enroll button) as a denominator does indeed give you a completion percentage of 5 percent. Show More Summary

Snatching The Victuals From The Table, Or, The Munich Of The Middle East

Piece of Paper “The German dictator, instead of snatching the victuals from the table, has been content to have them served to him course by course.” Winston Churchill, October 5, 1938. Bret Stephens, at the Wall Street Journal, writes a…well…basically loses his mind: After World War II the U.S. Show More Summary

Wait, What? You Can’t Have Poor People Doing This!

Sebastian Thrun, he of the MOOC evangelism: The way Fast Company has it, Thrun chucks those San Jose State students under the self-driving Google car faster than he chugs up a hill on his custom-made road bike, leaving a panting MaxShow More Summary


The New York Times surveyed 7000 college freshman on their knowledge of history and geography. They did not know that much: The students have but a faint idea of the geographical formation of this country. They place Portland, Ore on the Mississippi River, and St. Show More Summary

Parental Interference

Jill Silos-Rooney talks about the “The Problem We’re Afraid To Name:” parental interference in schools. In recent years, I’ve had to deal with parents much more frequently than I ever imagined I would have to as a college professor.Show More Summary

The Greek Chorus Of Junk Mail

Random excerpts from the junk mail I’ve received today: Barack Obama May Be Finished Friday! Hang A Bunch is a 6-in-1 hanger that creates up to 600% more space in your closet. Organize your tops, jeans, dresses, and more;Donating-a-car...Show More Summary

War To End All Wars

As a followup to yesterday’s post, I went and searched on “war to end all wars” in Google Ngrams. The result was somewhat surprising: The usage of “war to end all wars,” which I had usually taken to refer to the Great War, and (at least...Show More Summary

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