Welcome to Other Means
Switch on the TV or open a newspaper or magazine and what you see or read are events and themes in isolation. Each exists by itself: you watch a programme or read an article and that's it. Nothing more. Over.
Surf the Internet, on the other hand, and everything is interconnected, part of the overarching phenomenon known as the World Wide Web. And that is a lot more like real life. Things don't happen on their own. They happen for a reason, often a multitude of reasons and they are driven by a host of differing influences.
War, the nineteenth century strategist Karl von Clausewitz once wrote, is a continuation of politics by other means. It is a bold statement of the most simple but the most profound and important of connections. This blog is about war and politics, but more specifically about the inextricable links and parallels between the events we see unfold every day. The things that the papers don't always pick up on, or that the networks don't have time to run.
So, in the true pre-commercial spirit of the Internet, what I aim to write here is not conventional journalism: but maybe journalism by other means.
You can read more about the idea behind this blog on the about page. In summary, my interests are in the global politics that lead to the breakdown of diplomacy and the advent of war, plus the technology and operations of war itself.
And since the events that we know of occur only on this one planet, I also aim to examine the broader contexts of environmental issues - since the depletion of our natural resources and environment are perhaps the biggest single threat that 'the international community' - if such a thing exists - will have to face. If only they would see it.
My personal background is in defence and technology journalism, but in a larger sense I consider myself not a subject of the country I live in but a citizen of the world. In many ways, I am a product of globalisation - born to an Asian father in North America, yet raised in Britain as a European.
I have two passports, Canadian and British, I am entitled to a special 'Person of Indian Origin' permit and for the last couple of years I lived in a country and among a culture quite alien to my own, China. Other than my interests and my general journalistic skills, these are my only qualifications - but that's the beauty of blogging. You don't need to be an expert, just an observer.
My areas of interest are thus these three continents - North America, Europe and Asia - and the relations between them. South America and Africa are not specifically covered (other than under the 'Unrepresented' and perhaps the 'Travel and Miscellany' categories), not because they are unimportant, but in order to keep some kind of focus.
In brief then, I aim to examine the news and events of the day in context, viewing them not in isolation but paying attention to the wheels within wheels that turn to drive the world we live in. As the motto reads, I study war and peace that my sons may study mathematics and philosophy. As a private individual I acknowledge that I don't stand a chance of changing the world, but it's my generation that's got to at least start.
Many thanks for reading, and welcome again to the weblog.