First proposed in 1949, Smeed's Law is an empirical rule relating traffic fatalities to motor vehicle registration and country population. According to this law, annually increasing traffic volume ironically leads to a decrease in accidents per vehicle. Though the law was revisited in the 1980s and 90s with data from more than 60 countries supporting its validity, it has been disputed by several scholars. What supposed truth about human psychology did Smeed say the law reveals?
Back in the day
The Kellogg-Briand Pact was an agreement between the US and France to renounce war and seek settlement of disputes by peaceful means. It took its name from US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand. Sixty other nations ultimately ratified the pact, but it made no provision for measures against aggressors and proved ineffective, especially given the practice of waging undeclared wars in the 1930s. What role did it play in the Nuremberg Trials?
Born on a day like today
Hegel was an influential German philosopher who developed the Hegelian dialectic, according to which a thesis, such as "being," inevitably generates its antithesis, "not-being." The interaction of the two forms a synthesis, "becoming," which, in turn, becomes a new thesis that generates an antithesis, and so on. He used the dialectic to explain everything from nature to history, interpreting the French Revolution as a thesis that generated its antithesis, known as what period in French history?