Posting posts from better blogs makes this blog better
From Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong blogs about how Carrots trump sticks for fostering cooperation. Basing his post on a study done by David Rand at Harvard, Yong posits that rewards do better to foster good behavior then punishments do to prevent bad behavior.
[R]esults suggest that when people repeatedly cross each other’s paths, carrots are far better than sticks at fostering behaviour for the greater good. Not only do they lead to greater payoffs for everyone concerned but they minimise the threat of antisocial punishment, where freeloaders vengefully castigate the altruists. This behaviour has the ability to derail cooperation and while fairly rare in countries like the US or the UK, it is far more common in places like Greece and Oman. In such countries, the relative merits of rewards may be even greater.
From Group Intel, Hakim Hazin does the study of Mexican drug cartels a service by touching upon the religious peculiarities of the La Familia drug trafficking organization. His conclusion is perhaps the worst threat to Mexico’s security will come from drug gangs united by radicalism.
In Mexico’s Seeds of Radicalism, Hazin writes:
Mexican cartels are utilizing the benefits of radicalized faith in their war with the state and each other. They are seeking to implement ritualized devotion to a Higher Power and create social cohesion within their networks. Currently Santa Muerte is the deity of choice for most cartels, but La Familia Michoacana is turning to the Bible and cleverly preaching a different Gospel to further its strategic and political aims.
From Kings of War, Thomas Rid writes in Washington’s Afghan Brawl 10 assumptions are universal in the Afghan debate – whether you are for or against an expansion of the war. Later, Rid warns that “words like ‘winning’ and ‘victory’ have no place in this debate, even if the street is shouting for it.” Rid also believes policymakers need to do a “nasty” cost-benefit analysis that doesn’t get entrapped in a calculus complicated by previous losses in blood and treasure.