I was never a devout Christian but when I was, as they say, ‘in the fold’ I always found the Book of Job weird. How this story doesn’t undermine everything we’re told about god today is beyond me. One can see how Nietzsche called it a ‘slave-religion’ if you cherry pick parts like this. Joan Acocella from the New Yorker recounts the efforts scholars throughout the ages have attempted to reconcile that book with their understanding of their religions.
Does human evolution owe a debt to sabercats? Amazing article about the diversity and impact of these creatures.
It’s been 500 years since Machiavelli wrote The Prince and to mark the anniversary, there have been a spate of articles about his impact. Most have been derivative and phoned in but some have been interesting. I found this article from The Diplomat to be in that category, particularly if you apply it to the intelligence community.
Now think about big institutions, bodies made up of — and led by — individuals prone to linear thinking. Institutions like governments, armed services, and companies tend to transcribe dramatic events — great victories or traumatic defeats — into bureaucratic routine. Structuring policies, doctrines, and career incentives on the assumption that past triumphs can be rerun or setbacks avoided strips flexibility out of decisions and actions.
Written with a slate and, I suspect, maybe some liberties with some details but both entertaining and disturbing in turn. Vice’s ‘Year in Bad Cops‘ wrap up (be warned, there’s NSFW content on this site). I am very concerned how our culture deifies authority figures who share a monopoly on the use of violence whether its law enforcement of the military. They aren’t all brave, honorable, selfless, etc. Some are. And some are despicable, sadistic and parasitic. Fetishizing them with a broad brush encourages abuse and exploitation. They should be held to a higher standard than everyone else, not given a pass for their transgressions by saying ‘Well, they’ve got a tough job.’
This article feels about six years too late but I’m a sucker for ‘Lessons from the ancients’ stories. What can Tacitus’ Agricola teach us about successful counterinsurgency campaigns? Hmm…sounds remarkably like FM 3-24.