54 Chapters
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Four Japan and Its “Special Undeclared War”

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER FOUR

JAPAN AND ITS “SPECIAL UNDECLARED WAR”

THE PERIOD BETWEEN the two world wars saw a series of conflicts, and the importance of naval power in some of these wars is seldom acknowledged. The Allied intervention in the Russian civil wars and involvement in the Greek-Turkish conflict were based on naval power, but, arguably, in the inter-war period in only one conflict did a navy play a major, indeed significant, role and possess more than en passant importance. The Sino-Japanese conflict, which began in July 1937, saw the major involvement of the Imperial Japanese Navy in two areas of operations with immediate and long-term relevance: a series of coastal operations and landings in southern China, most obviously the occupation of Canton in 1938 and Hainan Island in 1939, and involvement in air operations, and specifically in the strategic bombing campaigns staged in 1939 and 1940.1

The inter-war period was one that saw Japanese forces, and specifically the Imperial Japanese Army, the Nippon Teikoku Rikugun, involved in a series of conflicts that began with intervention in the Russian civil wars in which Rikugun forces reached as far west as Novosibirsk.2 The main focus of Japanese military attention, however, was China, with its interminable civil wars, power struggles, and secessionist problems, and specifically was directed to Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, and northern China after September 1931. In the course of a three-month campaign the local Japanese garrison force, the Kwantung Army, overran three of Manchuria’s four provinces and paved the way for a double development.

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1 A Bitter Taste of Dystopia

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The 2016 presidential campaign made everybody angry. Liberal Bernie Sanders supporters were angry at allegedly racist Republicans and a political system they perceived as being for sale, a big beneficiary being Hillary Clinton. Conservative Donald Trump supporters were furious at the decay and decline of America, and at how politicians on both sides of the aisle had abandoned them and left a trail of broken promises. Hillary Clinton supporters fumed at how the mainstream media had failed to hold Trump accountable for lewd behavior verging on sexual assault—and worse.

The same rage against the system showed up in Britain, where a majority of citizens primarily living outside of prosperous London voted to take England out of the European Union. In Germany, a right-wing party espousing a virulent brand of xenophobia gained critical seats in the Bundestag. And around the world in prosperous countries, anger simmered, stoked by a sense of loss and by raging income inequality. In the United States, real incomes have been falling for decades. Yet in the shining towers of finance and on kombucha-decked tech campuses for glittering growth engines such as Google and Apple, the gilded class of technology employees and Wall Street types continue to enjoy tremendous economic gains.

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15 Almost Free Energy and Food

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ever since the oil crisis of October 1973, when the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an embargo and caused the price of oil to increase from $3 to $12 per barrel, the world has been in a constant state of fear of impending shortages of energy and consequent price hikes. We have begun to believe that the planet will soon run out of oil and will therefore be out of energy. Governments have been jockeying to secure oil shipments. In order to preserve the Earth’s dwindling energy supplies, the United States has mandated increases in the fuel efficiency of cars.

Certainly the Earth’s stock of burnable fossil fuels is limited. But we have come to apply the same scarcity thinking to water; even experts believe that large parts of the planet will run out of water and that wars will break out over access to the limited supplies. Despite a wet 2015 El Niño year, the California drought is causing a fear that agriculture will have to be permanently curtailed, leading to long-term shortages of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

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Medium 9780253014993

5. Domesticating Sports: The Wii, the Mii, and Nintendo’s Postfeminist Subject

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Renee M. Powers and Robert Alan Brookey

IN 2005 NINTENDO BEGAN RELEASING INFORMATION ABOUT their next console, code-named “Revolution.” The reception from the video game press was rather mixed. Ryan Block, covering Nintendo’s introduction of the Revolution at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for the tech blog Engadget, had this to say: “The Revolution is a really unsexy device, all things considered – but it is a prototype, and [Nintendo] did hammer home that they want input from their adoring public. This may also just prove that Nintendo is serious when they say they don’t care about the hardware as much as they do about the gaming experience. They had to show something, and they did. It didn’t hurt them, it didn’t help them.” Mark Casamassina, writing for IGN, provided a more positive assessment: “At E3 2005, Nintendo unveiled the Revolution console. It is the company’s sleekest unit to date. The tiny-sized system is designed to be quiet and affordable. The revolutionary aspect of the machine – its input device – remains a secret.”1 Yet even Casamassina noted how the new console broke with industry tradition by not incorporating significant technological advances in graphic capability.

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Medium 9780253009845

2 Gunpowder Technology, 1490–1800

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

Edward Gibbon was to claim that gunpowder “effected a new revolution in the art of war and the history of mankind,”1 a view that was common in the eighteenth century and indeed both earlier and later.2 More recently, the widely repeated thesis of the early modern Military Revolution3 has focused renewed attention on the issue of gunpowder technology. Improved firepower and changing fortification design, it is argued, greatly influenced developments across much of the world and, more specifically, the West’s relationship with the rest of the world. In other work, I have questioned the thesis,4 but here, first, I want to draw attention to the changes that stemmed from the use of gunpowder.

Gunpowder weaponry developed first in China. We cannot be sure when it was invented, but a formula for the manufacture of gunpowder was possibly discovered in the ninth century, and effective metal-barreled weapons were produced in the twelfth century. Guns were differentiated into cannon and handguns by the fourteenth.

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3 Firepower, Steamships, Railways, Telegraphs, Radio: Technologies of Killing, Logistics, Command, and Control, 1775–1945

Jeremy Black Indiana University Press ePub

The progress in the state of gunnery and steam navigation renders it necessary to reconsider from time to time the principles of attack and defence of coasts and harbours. Whatever improvements may be made in land batteries, their entire adequacy for the purpose of defence cannot be certain against the rapidity of steamers and the facility of their manoeuvring power . . . but they may be powerful in combination with . . . the floating batteries with their sides coated with thick iron plates.

Sir John Burgoyne (1782–1871), influential
British Inspector-General of Fortifications

Works on military technology commonly discuss the nineteenth century in terms of increased firepower, and especially so if the period is extended to include the First World War (1914–1918). This firepower was indeed important, whether provided by the minié bullet or steel artillery, the machine gun or recoil and recuperator artillery.1 The machine gun, an automatic repeating weapon, was a metaphor of the application of industry to war. The employment of the very workings of the machine for further effect was seen with the recoil energy of the Maxim gun, the use of barrel combustion gases by the Browning and Hotchkiss machine guns, and the way in which the Skoda’s breech was blown back by propellant gases.

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Three Ethiopia and Spain

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER THREE

ETHIOPIA AND SPAIN

WHAT IS CALLED THE inter-war period actually had many wars and crises, the most obvious being the conflicts that were continuations of the First World War, namely the Russian Civil War, Intervention, the Soviet-Polish War (April 1920–March 1921), and the war that saw the emergence of a new, nationalist Turkey at the expense of Greek dreams of aggrandizement in Anatolia (June 1919–October 1922). To these should be added the series of Chinese civil wars that lasted throughout the twenties and the (very short and minor) wars between China and, first, Japan in Shantung (May 1927–May 1929) and, second, the Soviet Union in Manchuria (October 1929–January 1930). But in terms of popular perception the story of the inter-war period is told largely around the naval limitation treaties, the Ethiopian war, the Spanish Civil War, and the drift to war that is identified, correctly, with one man, Adolf Hitler (1889–1945). The Manchurian campaign (September 1931–March 1932), subsequent Japanese operations north of the Great Wall, and then Japan’s “special undeclared war” after July 1937 have been treated as little more than appendices to a text that remains largely dominated by European events.

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Six Britain and the Defeat of the U-boat Guerre de Course

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER SIX

BRITAIN AND THE DEFEAT OF THE U-BOAT GUERRE DE COURSE

STATES AND THEIR ARMED FORCES must fight wars as they must rather than as they would, but at a distance of some eight decades from events it is very difficult to discern what the inter-war British Navy intended, hoped, or anticipated would be the type of war it would be called upon to fight. What seems clear is that for most of the inter-war period the navy never expected to have to fight another U-boat guerre de course, and there are at least three obvious indications of this belief. First, for much of the inter-war period British destroyers were not equipped with depth-charges. The first destroyers built after the war with asdic (to Americans, sonar) were ordered in 1923–1924,1 and very few escorts were built in a period of difficult financial circumstances. Second, in the entire inter-war period something like one in fifty appointments to flag rank were officers versed in anti-submarine operations, and in 1935 just 11 of 1,029 lieutenants and 16 of 972 lieutenant-commanders in the British navy were anti-submarine specialists.2 Third, the one detailed study of convoy and the experience of the First World War, undertaken in 1917–1918 by Commander Rollo Appleyard, was classified, with the result that in the inter-war period his study was all but inaccessible to its intended readership, and in 1939 the Admiralty ordered that all copies of his report be destroyed.3

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Thirteen The Japanese Situation—and a Second Japanese Dimension

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

THE JAPANESE SITUATION—AND A SECOND JAPANESE DIMENSION

INVARIABLY THE STORY of the Japanese, the Kaigun, and convoy has been told in terms of the creation of the General Escort Command in November 1943 and the subsequent course of events, which saw the devastation of Japanese shipping even before the start of the mining of home waters that was afforded a code-name that really did symbolize intent. Yet this story has been afforded little real consideration, in large measure because the increasing effectiveness of the American campaign against shipping was quite obviously overshadowed by fleet and amphibious operations—Saipan and the Philippine Sea, Leyte Gulf and the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa—and by the manner in which the war was ended. But in terms of real cause and effect, five matters should be at the forefront of any consideration of Japanese defeat at sea, and this leaves aside the abiding paradox of the U.S. campaign against Japanese shipping: over the last six months of the war the American submarine service was very largely redundant, for the simple reason that the high seas had been scourged of Japanese shipping and there was very little left to sink.

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Medium 9781523095865

5 Online Technology and Play

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We spend more and more of our time attached to glowing screens. This started with television and has accelerated with the Internet, video games, and smartphones. In this section, we will look at how technology has affected how we play and how we spend leisure time—and at how this may be detracting from our health.

Alex grew up in a quiet middle-class neighborhood in Baltimore. The streets were lined with tall trees, and the roads were wide and safe for children on bicycles and scooters. Alex spent much of his childhood outside playing with neighborhood friends. Despite the proximity only two miles away of an exceptionally dangerous neighborhood, Alex’s parents did not worry about his playing outside on his own or moving about the neighborhood. He was allowed to ride his bike to friends’ homes and to the swimming pool, and to walk a mile to his elementary school unsupervised. And most of his friends lived the same way. These were very normal childhoods for the time.

Decades later, Alex lives in a middle-class neighborhood in California. The streets are lined with trees, and several streams crisscross the woods and run alongside the wide roads and narrow lanes. The hills that overlook the neighborhood are laced with an extensive network of bike lanes and fire roads that make the neighborhood a magnet for recreational cyclists. In fact, prominent magazines have many times named the Bay Area town where Alex lives one of the best places for outdoor living in the country.

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11 Designer Genes, the Bacteria in Our Guts, and Precision Medicine

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the near future, we will routinely have our genetic material analyzed; late in the next decade, we will be able to download and “print” at home medicines, tissues, and bacteria custom designed to suit our DNA and keep us healthy. In short, we will all be biohackers and amateur geneticists, able to understand how our genes work and how to fix them. That’s because these technologies are moving along the exponential technology curve.

Scientists published the first draft analysis of the human genome in 2001. The effort to sequence a human genome was a long and costly one. Started by the government-funded Human Genome Project and later augmented by Celera Genomics and its noted scientist CEO, Craig Venter, the sequencing spanned more than a decade and cost nearly $3 billion. Today, numerous companies are able to completely sequence your DNA for around $1,000, in less than three days. There are even venture-backed companies, such as 23andMe, that sequence parts of human DNA for consumers, without any doctor participation or prescription, for as little as $199.

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10 The Drones Are Coming

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You have probably had to pop out to the grocery store to pick up something you needed for a dinner party. Or maybe you’ve dashed to the pharmacy to get a prescription refill before you took a long trip. By the early 2020s, small drones will do that, and a whole lot more, for you.

Companies such as Amazon and Google have long been planning drone-delivery services, but the first authorized commercial delivery in the United States happened in July 2016, when a 7-Eleven delivered Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee, and candy to a customer in Reno, Nevada.1 In the United Kingdom, an enterprising Domino’s franchisee had made headlines by using a drone copter for deliveries in June 2013. Hundreds of companies delivering by drone are starting up all over the world. Venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins estimates that there were 4.3 million shipments of drones in 2015 and that the market is growing by 167 percent per year.2

Not since the automobile has a transportation technology spurred such enthusiastic entrepreneurial activity. The barrier to entry into the business of building drones is exceptionally low. Commodity kits compete with commercial models, and Arduino circuit boards and open-source software make it easy for motivated coders and hackers to tailor drones to exacting functions in arcane and lucrative fields. Just a decade after the military began using drones in earnest as remote-controlled killing machines, the same technology is available to everyone (but not to hunt down terrorists).

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12 Your Own Private Driver: Self-Driving Cars, Trucks, and Planes

Wadhwa, Vivek; Salkever, Alex Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In a popular children’s book called If I Built a Car, a fanciful fledgling engineer (who is probably about ten) waxes enthusiastically about designing a car that houses an onboard swimming pool, makes milk shakes, and can both fly and dive under water.1 Of course, the car has a robot driver that can take over if the humans need a snooze.

We aren’t getting cars that can make milk shakes or are big enough to house a decent sized swimming pool, and flying cars remain a couple of decades away. But our robot drivers are here.

There are debates in mainstream media over whether driverless cars will ever be adopted and whether we can trust our lives to a machine. A survey by the American Automobile Association in March 2016 revealed that three out of four U.S. drivers would feel “afraid” to ride in self-driving cars, and that just one in five would entrust his or her life to a driverless vehicle.2

When I first encountered the Google car in Mountain View, back in 2014, I had the same doubts. If I had taken the survey, I would have been in the three out of four who are afraid. And then, in July 2016, I took delivery of a new Tesla that had some of these self-driving capabilities.

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Seven With Friends like These

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER SEVEN

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE

ANGLO-AMERICAN HISTORIOGRAPHY of the Second World War and the war at sea invariably traces the course and outcome of the two conflicts that together made up the Second World War in terms of the defeat of the German submarine offensive against shipping and the American advance across the southwest and central Pacific to the Japanese home islands. In the European conflict the focus of most historical attention has been on the British Navy, and specifically its escort forces, and the German U-boat service, and in the Pacific upon American carrier and amphibious formations. In a very obvious sense it is right and proper that this should be the case: at sea the European war was largely synonymous with the “Battle of the Atlantic,” whatever that phrase might mean, and in the Pacific the war was decided by fleet actions that ran in tandem with landing operations; the Imperial Japanese Navy and even the American submarine offensive against Japanese shipping have never been afforded consideration and recognition commensurate with that afforded American carrier operations.

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1. The Name of the Game Is Jocktronics: Sport and Masculinity in Early Video Games

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Michael Z. Newman

ALTHOUGH IT MAY NEVER BE SETTLED WHICH VIDEO GAME deserves to be called the first, it’s notable that two games based on racquet sports always come up in talk of the medium’s origins. Tennis for Two, a demonstration using an analog computer and an oscilloscope at Brookhaven National Laboratory (1958), and Pong, the first hit coin-operated game from Atari (1972), are in some ways quite similar.1 Both are competitions between two players given the ability to direct the movement of a ball, which bounces back and forth between them. Both are examples of sports games, a genre that would prove to be among the most enduring, enjoyable, and lucrative in the history of electronic play. And both can be placed within a tradition of masculine amusements adapted from professional athletics, which had already been popular in American society in penny arcades and around gaming tables for more than a half century when electronic games were new. We can regard Pong not just as an early and influential video game, but as part of a history of sports simulations and adaptations and as an electronic version of tavern and rec room amusements such as pool and Ping-Pong, from which it gets its name.

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