So I stirred up a bit of conversation on Twitter last week when I noted that I had already been handed ChatGPT produced assignments. For those who are unaware, ChatGPT is an 'AI' chatbot that given a prompt can produce texts; it is one of most sophisticated bots of this sort yet devised, trained on … Continue reading Collections: On ChatGPT
Miscellanea: Victoria III Confirmed! (First Impressions)
This week's post is coming to you all a bit early, as the folks at Paradox Interactive were kind enough to send me a review code for Victoria III - Paradox Interactive's long awaited historical grand strategy game set during 19th and early 20th centuries - so I could have something to say about it … Continue reading Miscellanea: Victoria III Confirmed! (First Impressions)
Collections: Strategic Airpower 101
This week, I'm going to offer a fairly basic overview of the concept of strategic airpower, akin to our discussions of protracted war and nuclear deterrence. While the immediate impetus for this post has been Russian efforts to use airpower coercively in Ukraine, we're going to focus more broadly on the topic: what is strategic … Continue reading Collections: Strategic Airpower 101
Fireside Friday, May 20, 2022
Fireside this week! Next week we'll be diving into a series (I am imagining four parts) on pre-modern generalship (with a particular emphasis on the broader Mediterranean world in classical antiquity and the middle ages) and the ways that it was shaped by key constraints which are often removed in modern imaginings of command (particularly … Continue reading Fireside Friday, May 20, 2022
Collections: When is a ‘Tank’ Not a Tank?
(There were some technical difficulties with this post when it first went live. They should be resolved now. My apologies for anyone who got multiple email updates as a result of efforts to get the post working.) This week we're going to look at everyone's favorite kind of armored fighting vehicle, the tank. In part … Continue reading Collections: When is a ‘Tank’ Not a Tank?
Miscellanea: A Very Short Glossary of Military Terminology
For this week, I wanted to expand a bit on a comment I made on Twitter expressing some frustration at the failure of journalists attempting to cover the war in Ukraine (and thus interpret military experts for a lay audience) to master some of the key military terminology being used and to convey its actual … Continue reading Miscellanea: A Very Short Glossary of Military Terminology
Collections: Fortification, Part V: The Age of Industrial Firepower
This is the final part of a five part (I, II, III, IV) series covering some of the basics of fortification, all the way from ancient city walls to modern anti-access/area denial systems. Last week, we looked at the changes which gunpowder-based weaponry enforced on fortification design in Europe, leading to the emergence of the … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part V: The Age of Industrial Firepower
Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part II: The Ruin of War
This is the second part of a three part series (I) examining the historical assumptions of Paradox Interactive's 19th and early 20th century grand strategy game, Victoria II. Last week, we looked at how Victoria II handles its central, defining theme, the industrial revolution, and the mechanics it employed. We also discussed how Victoria II … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part II: The Ruin of War
Fireside Friday: August 14th, 2020
Hey folks! Fireside this week - sorry for those of you who were waiting patiently for the last post on cereal farming. I had hoped to have it ready to go, but the start of fall semester teaching has pushed that off until next week. Those who pay less attention to higher education news may … Continue reading Fireside Friday: August 14th, 2020
Collections: Why Don’t We Use Chemical Weapons Anymore?
This week, we're going to talk briefly about why 'we' - and by 'we' here, I mean the top-tier of modern militaries - have generally eschewed the systematic or widespread use of chemical weapons after the First World War. And before you begin writing your comment, please note that the mountain of caveats that statement … Continue reading Collections: Why Don’t We Use Chemical Weapons Anymore?