Coming in 2016: “The Death of Expertise,” the book


Nichols_DeathOfExpertiseI had no idea, when I first wrote “The Death of Expertise” as a blog post here, that it would go viral. It was picked up by The Federalist, and was the most-read post of its first year in publication. (And when I say “most-read,” I mean a lot of views.) I started getting letters from all over the world, including requests to republish it or translate it into other languages.

And now, thanks to Oxford University Press, it’s going to appear as a book. (Assuming I sit down and actually write the darn thing, of course.) So, thanks to everyone who read it, tweeted it, posted it, and translated it, because it’s been a great year or so of discussion with you. If you have more anecdotes to share, don’t hesitate to post them or mail them to me.

In the meantime, I’ll be slogging away on the book, which if all goes well should appear in mid to late 2016. Until then, activity here on the blog will be a tad light, but if you’re looking for new pieces by me, check my usual haunts at The Federalist, The National Interest, and even a new piece at The Daily Beast.

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Assessing the Iran Deal

Tom lookIn late September, I was on a panel hosted by Brown University’s Watson Center on “Assessing the Iran Deal.”

You can see how I feel about the “deal” by the look on my face.

If you’d like to see the entire talk, including comments from Nobel Laureate Leon Cooper, former Dept of Commerce appointee Sue Eckert, Prof. Nick Murray, and physicist Derek Stein, all moderated by Ambassador Richard Boucher, you can see it on YouTube here.

My favorite moment (which you can find in the Q and A) is when Professor Cooper said: Well, if Iran pulls out 0f the deal, there’s always Israeli military action. Such is the state we’ve come to in American foreign policy, but judge for yourself:


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America: An unserious country

cyber-spyingSo, I went to England for a conference last week (one of the many reasons I’ve been AWOL from this blog), and found out, while sitting overseas, that pretty much every Federal employee’s personal record is now decorating the walls of the Chinese security services.

To say I’m aggravated is understatement. I wrote about it at The Federalist (where I am now a senior contributor).

In any normal world, a super-power would not tolerate this kind of an attack. Perhaps more accurately, a true super-power would never have to endure such an attack in the first place, because other nations would be loath to engage in such a direct act of open hostility. States do lousy things to each other all day long, but the wholesale and brazen theft of personnel records is a different kind of espionage. The scale is so vast that it is a direct challenge to the United States of America.

In response, the most powerful country in the world has drawn itself up to its full height, clenched its mighty fist in anger, and….contracted out for some identity-theft protection for its employees. The majesty of the enraged eagle is truly remarkable to behold.

You can read the full version here.

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