[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“]
Top billing! Adam Elkus – Is Failure an Option? (I), Is Failure an Option? (II), Is Failure an Option? (III)
….The idea of implementing a massive and complex venture rapidly and decisively (with little room for error) is essentially just a rephrasing of the familiar the pre-World War I fear of losing a mobilization race. Under some circumstances, a nuclear balance could also degenerate into a “use them or lose them” dilemma in which a state risks the entire annihilation of its strategic forces and decision nodes in one murderous enemy salvo. There also seems to be — from Niccolo Machiavelli to Nathan Bedford Forrest – a general competitive heuristic that if you are to crush your enemies, you must strike as powerfully as you can and as quickly as you can. The heuristic is even repeated in the animal kingdom: queen bees famously kill their rivals upon emergence. But as the Germans discovered after the Schlieffen Plan and The Wire‘s Omar taunted, rapid execution and massive risk only pays off when it pays off. Fail and you run the risk of embroiling yourself in a quagmire that might have been avoided with more gradual and less rigidly planned execution
SWJ El Centro – Sullivan, Bunker & Bunker Film Review: Narco Cultura – A Tale of Three Cities
Narcocultura is on the ascendency. Narcocorridos are not new. This genre of music has its roots in folk music and norteño ballads. Like Pancho Villa, who was venerated in song during the revolution, these ballads extol the virtues of those who rebel against the corrupt state. The poor and powerless look for symbols of power and rebellion. Yet the narcocorrido is more than Hip Hop or gangster rap south of the border. It is not only a form of cross-border musical social commentary; it is a means of cartel information operations and a vehicle of social-environmental modification. In this film, we see bands and singers in the orbit of Sinaloa (El Komander and the BuKnas de Culicán). Their songs are a form of information operations for the Sinaloa Federation. The Movimiento Alterado (altered movement) is the business name of the narcocorrido or corridos alterados movement in Los Angeles. The movement and songs are sanctioned by the Sinaloa Cartel. The narcocorridos are banned in parts of Mexico so they are produced in Los Angeles, home to a large immigrant community and numerous gangs.
John Hagel – The Dark side of Technology
….But here’s the kicker. This digital technology infrastructure is not stabilizing. We’ve had plenty of technology disruptions throughout history – the steam engine, electricity, the telephone, just to name some. But, asCarlotta Perez has shown, all of these disruptions followed a common pattern. They began with a burst of innovation at the technology level, but then quickly stabilized with only incremental performance improvements afterwards. That in turn led to a burst of innovation at the infrastructure level, figuring out how to most effectively organize and deliver the value of this technology to business and society. But then that too rapidly stabilized so we could then figure out how to most effectively harness this technology.
Our digital technology infrastructure is unprecedented in human history. It’s not stabilizing. The core technology components – computing, storage and bandwidth – are continuing to improve in price/performance at accelerating rates and the best scientists and technologists suggest that this exponential pace will not slow down in the foreseeable future.
RUSI – Afghanistan after 2014: What Roles for China and India?
The Scholar’s Stage – Things those Chinese Think ( + What we think Back)
War on the Rocks – Japan’s New Defense Strategy
Dan Drezner has left the building
Slightly East of New –Vandergriff: Selfless vs. Selfish Service
CORRECTION Fred Leland’s LESC blog ( by Louis Hayes ) The Doctor in SWAT School (and What His Performance Says About Police Culture)
Aeon – Endless Fun and Creepypasta
DemocracyJournal – Paine and Burke Now