Preliminaries: The 30 pages Study Plan (2015–2017)

Dead guys, postmodernists, economists, Russians, and more…

This is a working document and is subject to change for all but Block 1. After publishing the block preview (one month prior to the start of the first book in that block), the block syllabus goes firm allowing time to purchase books. If the reading are not listed for a block, the books are TBD. If the block lead is not listed, the position is available for volunteers. If you have any syllabus or book recommendations, please send them to 30 pages via the links at the bottom right of the screen.

Block 1 (Jul 1 — Sep 30, 2015) “East is East and West is West…”

Eastern perspectives on strategy, thought and action

Discipline: Interdisciplinary

Block Lead: Matt Strohmeyer


A Treatise on Efficacy — Francois Julliene (1 Jul — 14 Jul):

The Hundered-Year Marathon — Michael Pillsbury (15 Jul — 1 Jul)

Detour and Access — Francois Julliene (1 Aug — 14 Aug)

On China — Henry Kissinger (15 Aug — 31 Aug)

The Propensity of Things — Francois Julliene (1 Sep — 14 Sep)

China Goes Global — David Shambaugh (15 Sep — 30 Sep)

Block 2 (1 Oct — 31 Dec, 2015) “Postmodern tools: The Baby in the Bathwater”

Why you don’t have to be a Postmodernist to make great use of their tools

Discipline: Philosophy / Critical Theory

Block Lead: Matt Strohmeyer


The Ignorant Schoolmaster — Jacques Rancière

Simulacra and Simulation — Jean Baudrillard

A Treatise on Nomadology — Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze

A Thousand Plateaus — Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze

Lost Dimension — Paul Virilio

The Fragility of Things — William Connelly

Block 3 (1 Jan — 31 Mar, 2016) “Economics in the dock”

Patterns of rationality in an irrational world

Discipline: Economics

Block Lead: Josh Glonek

Readings: TBD

Block 4 (1 Apr — 30 Jun, 2016) “Awesome dead guys”

Essential biographies of the 20th Century

Discipline: History

Block Lead: Ben Jackman

Readings: TBD

Block 5 (1 Jul — 30 Sep, 2016) “Chaos, Complexity, and Narrative”

How to harness emergent patterns and live to tell about it

Discipline: Complexity Science

Block Lead: Matt Strohmeyer


Aid on the Edge of Chaos — Ben Ramalingan

Antifragile — Taleb

Chaos — Gleick

The Essence of Chaos — Lorenz

The Black Swan — Taleb

The Semantic Turn — Klaus Krippendorff

Block 6 (1 Oct — 31 Dec, 2016) “Politics in the Dock”

Emergent patterns of organized human selfishness

Discipline: Political Science

Block Lead: Errol MacEachern

Readings: TBD

Block 7 (1 Jan — 31 Mar, 2017) “Neuroscience and you”

Why we are predictably stupid (and how you can take advantage of it)

Discipline: Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology

Block Lead: TBD

Readings: TBD

Block 8 (1 Apr — 30 Jun, 2017) “The Tyranny of Repeated Buffoonery”

6 critical historical eras and why you should care

Discipline: History

Block Lead: Ben Jackman

Readings: TBD

Block 9 (1 Jul — 30 Sep, 2017) “How to Win Friends and Influence Nation States”

Why the best laid plans fall flat if you are not compelling

Discipline: Leadership / Communication

Block Lead: Poncho Perez-Cruz

Readings: TBD

Block 10 (1 Oct — 31 Dec, 2017) “The Hammer Banged Reveille…”

Literature reflecting Russian belief, thought, and strategy.

Discipline: Literature / Sociology / Russian studies

Block Lead: Matt Strohmeyer


One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Solzhenitsyn)

Dead Souls (Gogol)

One Soldier’s War (Babchenko)

Absurdistan (Shteyngart)

The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)

Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)