DEF 2015 – the People and the Ideas are the Magic

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] “We’re starting an insurgency of critical thinkers” – Darya Pilram, Red Team Instructor Last weekend was my first Defense Entrepreneurs Forum conference, DEF 2015 . I came away extremely impressed by the diverse talents and intellectual firepower of the participants and their dedication to being positive change agents. Entrepreneurs mixed with active duty military personnel, senior leaders […] Read more »

Lewis Shepherd on the IC/Mil/NatSec Potential of Holographic Computing

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Lewis Shepherd, formerly of the DIA and IC and recently of Microsoft, has an outstanding post on Microsoft’s exciting ambient/holographic computing interface HoloLens. What I saw in the videos is stunning and I then ran them by an extremely tough, tech savvy and jaded audience – my students – their […] Read more »

English Pubs DoubleQuote: Heaven and Hell — plus Sharro

[ by Charles Cameron -- I'm in Caliornia at present, and thus without access to either of these possibilities -- plus -- in praise of Karl Sharro ] . Heaven, so to speak? I found heaven, this is the perfect combination, an English pub with Lebanese food. — Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) November 5, 2014 […] Read more »

More Books and Bookshelf Musings

    Mussolini’s Italy:Life under the Fascist Dictatorship by by R. J. B. Bosworth  Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott Been busy writing a book review and a long and serious post, so here is something more lighthearted and tangible in the meantime. Having recently purchased the Bosworth bio of Mussolini, I went back and [...] Read more »

Grand Blog Tarkin’s Hoth Symposium

Grand Blog Tarkin is hosting a symposium on the Battle of Hoth. Sparked by WIRED magazine’s original debate begun by Spencer Ackerman, Grand blog Tarkin’s Symposium features some of the finest sci-fi war nerd speculation from keen strategic thinkers from the blogosphere and Twitter.  Oh, yeah, I am participating as well, thanks to Kelsey Atherton. Here [...] Read more »


Celebrating the new year by looking at what happened in ’13 way back when….. 2613 BC  By some accounts, the construction of the Great Sphinx may have begun 413 BC – The Battle of Syracuse results in a cataclysmic defeat for the Athenian Empire’s Sicilian Expedition at the hands of Hermocrates and Gylippus.  The Athenian strategoi Demosthenes and Niciasare ignominiously executed [...] Read more »

Book Review: Kill Decision

Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez  Shlok Vaidya did an early review of Kill Decision here previously. I finally have caught up to Shlok and I’m ready to add my two cents without giving away any spoilers: First, I enjoyed the book. Kill Decision is a tense, fast-moving,  page-turner. As I tend to read books at night before [...] Read more »