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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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Eleven The Japanese Situation—and a Japanese Dimension

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER ELEVEN

THE JAPANESE SITUATION—AND A JAPANESE DIMENSION

“THE EMPIRE OF THE eight islands” in fact numbered some three thousand islands, totaling some 149,000 square miles, and extended over nearly thirty degrees of latitude. Alone of these just four islands, Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, and Hokkaido, formed the core of the Japanese heartland and possessed real political, demographic, and cultural significance. To the core area were three additions secured as a result of success in war. Formosa and the Pescadores, their 14,000 square miles lying across the sea routes to the southwest of the home islands, had been incorporated into the Empire in 1895. On Sakhalin the occupation of the southern 15,000 square miles of the island provided Japan with its only land border, though on the Asian mainland the 85,000 square miles of Korea had been brought within the Empire in 1910.

Such, formally, was an empire that was equivalent in size to Texas or, in European terms, to Britain, the Low Countries, and Germany combined, though to the Empire’s islands and territories must be added Japan’s other possessions. On the mainland Japan held the Liaotung peninsula, the Kwantung Leased Territories after 1905, and involvement in the First World War on the side of Germany’s enemies had brought it into possession of three island groups in the western Pacific—the Marianas, Carolines, and Marshalls—as mandated territories from the League of Nations. On the mainland Japan after 1931 acquired various Chinese territories which it had constituted under four puppet regimes. The first and most important of these was Manchoutikuo, literally the Empire of the Manchus, in the 460,000 square miles (with some 45 million people) of the four northeast provinces that together made up Manchuria. The second of these regimes was the Mongolian Federated Autonomous Government, which had been formed under Japanese auspices in eastern Inner Mongolia on 22 November 1937. In China itself the Japanese had installed the Central Government of the Republic of China at Nanking in April 1940, but the provinces of Hopei, Shantung, Shansi, and Kaifeng were placed under the nominal control of the North China Advisory Authority, formed as successor to the Provisional Government of the Chinese Republic, which the Rikugun had inaugurated on 14 December 1937.1

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14 The Future of Your Body Is Electric

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

In the television series Star Trek, the blind Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge wore futuristic goggles called a VISOR (for Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement). With the VISOR, La Forge enjoyed vision better than humans do with normal eyes.

Today, in the real world, a company called Second Sight is selling an FDA-approved artificial retinal prosthetic, the Argus II. The Argus II provides very limited but functional vision to people who have lost their sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, a retinal ailment that presently afflicts about 1.5 million people world wide. The Argus II captures images in real time with a video camera and processor mounted on eyeglasses. A wireless chip in the eyeglass rim beams the images to an ocular implant that uses sixty electrodes to stimulate remaining healthy retinal cells, and those cells then send visual information to the optic nerve. The Argus II lets people detect light and motion but not much more; users cannot recognize faces or detect colors, for example. And its cost is prohibitive, at U.S. $100,000.

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Two Washington and London

H. P. Willmott Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER TWO

WASHINGTON AND LONDON

ALLIES ARE NOT NECESSARILY friends, and victory, or defeat, inevitably weakens the links that made for alliances and coalitions: the conflicting interests held in check by common need invariably reassert themselves, often with greater force than previously was the case. the First World War saw the passing of four empires, three of them multi-national empires, and the triumph of what in July 1919 were the five leading naval powers in the world, but those five powers’ wartime cooperation and common cause did not survive such episodes as the “Naval Battle of Paris” and the negotiations that produced the treaties that closed the First World War.

The period between the end of the war and the Washington conference and treaties, between November 1918 and February 1922, was a strange one in regard to naval power, and primarily for one reason. The war resulted in the elimination of three major navies, those of Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary, yet it ended with no fewer than three naval races, if not already ongoing then most certainly in the making: between Britain and the United States, between Japan and the United States, and, somewhat muted, between France and Italy. Leaving aside the latter, which never assumed importance or gained momentum in the twenties, the key development was the emergence of the United States as the greatest power in the world and its declared intention to secure for itself “a navy second to none.” To realize such an ambition the U.S. Congress authorized, in the act of 29 August 1916, the construction of no fewer than 162 warships, including 10 battleships, 6 battlecruisers, 10 cruisers, 50 destroyers, and 67 submarines. All of these warships were to be built between 1916 and 1919, and were in addition to a 1915 program that had made provision for 6 battleships, the general intention being that the United States would provide for itself no fewer than 60 battleships and battlecruisers by 1925. In framing its program the U.S. Navy, quite deliberately, had set aside the situation created by general war in Europe in favor of what it considered the “worst-case” possibility that might emerge after this war. What it planned for was the need to guard against either a German-Japanese or an Anglo-Japanese alliance that would be capable of threatening the United States in two oceans and preventing any expansion of American overseas trade. The total of 60 capital ships that were to be acquired by 1925 matched the total that Britain and Japan together might be able to deploy in a war against the United States. The least that could be said about such logic was that it grasped at the exceedingly unlikely in order to justify the manifestly unnecessary.

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6 Online Technology and Life

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

Are the many discouraging indicators, such as increasing depression and suicide and skyrocketing obesity, actually arising from our use of screen technologies? Clearly, these technologies cannot be the only factor, but in this chapter we look at how our omnipresent screens may be impairing our sleep and undermining other basic pillars of health and entailing a cascade of major compromises of our physical and mental states.

As we were writing this book, many of the tech industry’s most prominent members, troubled by the addictive and destructive behaviors that they perceive social media, mobile phones, and other technologies to intentionally foster, began offering serious criticism of the industry. They include former senior executives at Facebook, Google, and other prominent companies. Among the loudest and most insistent was Roger McNamee (whom we later asked to write the foreword to this book). Roger has been investing in technology companies, such as Facebook, for three decades, and introduced Sheryl Sandberg, its present chief operating officer, to its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. From his seat at the table, McNamee has one of the longest perspectives on how the industry is affecting us and our world. In a Guardian interview in October 2017, he pointed out the underlying conundrum: “The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences. The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.”1

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