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14 August 2008

The Jesters tackle counterproliferation

We have several enduring interests that our longtime readers will have noted us discuss before. The first - consumption of interesting audio media - is based on the inevitable realities of the Beltway commute, frequent extended travel time, and long periods of enforced downtime at various airstrips, motor pools, and other transient spaces around the globe. The second is the conviction that better insight can often be generated by the jesters at the futurists' court than the professional prognosticators – or at the very least, the clowns utilized for illustration and the divergence analytic methodology.

It is not often these interests converge. However, there is apparently a growing and vibrant podcasting scene occupied by speculative fiction writers of all sorts, and it is from that space that we were given (by a more science fiction oriented colleague) a story which illustrates – as only a fictional vignette can – the potential difficulties of future counterproliferation activities in the expeditionary and post-conflict environment. Thus we also recommend highly to our readers the short piece “Clockwork Atom Bomb” produced over at the Escape Pod “podcast magazine” (an entity which we had not previously been familiar with, and do not otherwise attempt evaluate). We think the piece will also be of particular interest to those which routinely must argue the effects of perverse economic incentives in transnational issues, and those that handle accounts related to sub-Saharan Africa.

The piece is not recommended for those that take their analytic tasks too literately, or their futures intelligence within too narrowly constrained boundaries of simple linear projection. But it is perfect for a short diversion to recapture otherwise lost time.

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