Ducks, Drones, Confusionism and the US Department of Everything

To end 2012 we recall a report that each year, anything between 2,000 and 10,000 containers tumble off ships into the sea. They don't make news. But when the containers in question were full of rubber ducks, and when those ducks are still, endlessly and unsinkably, wandering the watery ways of the world and washing up on beaches thousands of miles from the spill, the story remains irresistible. Washed-up ducks now sell on eBay. This Guardian Newspaper article can be accessed at:

One winter, a science writer fantasized about sitting at his computer while a camera-equipped drone followed his son overhead, on his way to school. In 2012 he built one. This article originally appeared in print as "Arducopter Parenting.". It can be downloaded from:

Stephen Walt explains that “there is another major force in world affairs that he thinks  deserves the name "Confusionism."  For Confusians, ignorance and stupidity are the real key to understanding state behavior, not fear, greed, ideals, class interests, or any of those other things that people think drive world affairs”. When Confusians seek to explain why states act as they do, they start by assuming that leaders do not understand the problems they face, have only a vague sense of where they want to go, and no idea at all about how to get there. Instead of starting with the rational actor assumption beloved by economists, realists, and most liberals, Confusians hone in on all the reasons why humans typically get things wrong. Stephen Walt’s article can be downloaded at:

The $67.9 billion in savings in a US “Department of Everything” report could pay for a third of the cost of the planned fleet of new strategic bombers for the Air Force. It could, likewise, pay a third of the cost of the fleet of Ohio-class replacement nuclear submarines for the Navy. The full report can be accessed at: