kmt + history   366

BBC Blogs - Adam Curtis - BUGGER
The recent revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden were fascinating. But they - and all the reactions to them - had one enormous assumption at their heart.

That the spies know what they are doing.

It is a belief that has been central to much of the journalism about spying and spies over the past fifty years. That the anonymous figures in the intelligence world have a dark omniscience. That they know what's going on in ways that we don't.

It doesn't matter whether you hate the spies and believe they are corroding democracy, or if you think they are the noble guardians of the state. In both cases the assumption is that the secret agents know more than we do.

But the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different.
history  politics  intelligence  adam-curtis  read-later 
10 days ago by kmt
Surveillance Valley – a review | agger's Free Software blog
that, we should all boykot them. 

Most of us have heard that the Internet started as a research project initiated by the ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency under the US military conducting advanced research, especially focusing on counter-insurgency and future war scenarios. A common version of this story is that the Internet was originally intended to be a decentralized network, a network with no central hub necessary for its operation, where individual nodes might be taken out without disrupting the traffic, which would just reroute itself through other nodes. A TCP/IP network may indeed work like that, but the true origins of the Internet are far darker.
book  review  survelliance  history  military  network  technology  politics 
13 days ago by kmt
'The Oligarchs Valley' by Yasha Levine and the parallels in India
Here is a short segue I request you to indulge me:

In 1998, the Delhi Jal (Water) Board (DJB) had approached the World Bank for a loan. The World Bank suggested that the DJB hire a consultant to help make recommendations for improvements, and even offered a $2.5 million loan to the DJB to do that same. Over the course of the next seven years, the World Bank agreed to provide a loan to the Delhi Jal Board for $150 million dollars for the privatization of water supply to the capital city. What made the saga intriguing was the insistence of the World Bank and its interference to ensure that Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) got selected as the consultant to the project. Thousands of pages made available as a result of RTI (Right to Information) queries filed by activists, it emerged that despite PwC failing to make the cut in the technical and financial rounds, the World Bank insisted on changes to the evaluation criteria, that the marks were given by one particular member of the evaluation committee be excluded from the final evaluation so as to favour PwC, and so on.
history  politics  technology  india  argument 
13 days ago by kmt
"How Heritability Misleads about Race" by Ned Block
According to The Bell Curve, Black Americans are genetically inferior to Whites. That's not the only point in Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's book. They also argue that there is something called "general intelligence" which is measured by IQ tests, socially important, and 60 percent "heritable" within whites. (I'll explain heritability below.) But the claim about genetic inferiority is my target here. It has been subject to wide-ranging criticism since the book was first published last year. Those criticisms, however, have missed its deepest flaws. Indeed, the Herrnstein/Murray argument depends on conceptual confusions that have been tacitly accepted to some degree by many of the book's sharpest critics.
genetics  eugenics  reference  argument  history  read-later 
15 days ago by kmt
Maths, Madness and the Manhattan Project: the Eccentric Lives of Steinhaus, Banach and Ulam | Article |
A recently published book – The Brilliant Ones by Mariusz Urbanek – sheds light on an unusual group of men brought together by their love for maths. It all began one summer day when a mathematician, Hugo Steinhaus, heard someone talking about the Lebesgue integration in Krakow's Planty Park. At that time, this calculus was only known by a handful of mathematicians. That someone turned out to be Stefan Banach, the son of an illiterate servant, a genius without a diploma, one of Poland's biggest scientific talents and the second most frequently invoked name in common mathematics after Euclid.
history  math  review  reference  poland 
24 days ago by kmt
Pando: A brief history of American gun nuts
the money quote:
Second Amendment cultists truly believe that guns are political power. That guns in fact are the only source of political power. That’s why, despite loving guns, and despite being so right-wing, they betray such a paranoid fear and hatred of armed agents of the government (minus Border Guards, they all tend to love our Border Guards). If you think guns, rather than concentrated wealth, equals political power, then you’d resent government power far more than you’d resent billionaires’ power or corporations’ hyper-concentrated wealth/power, because government will always have more and bigger guns. In fact you’d see pro-gun, anti-government billionaires like the Kochs as your natural political allies in your gun-centric notion of political struggle against the concentrated gun power of government.

How very convenient that works out to be.
weapons  politics  argument  history  reference 
26 days ago by kmt
The Cambridge Analytica Con | Yasha Levine
But this story is being covered and framed in a misleading way. So far, much of the mainstream coverage, driven by the Times and Guardian reports, looks at Cambridge Analytica in isolation—almost entirely outside of any historical or political context. This makes it seem to readers unfamiliar with the long history of the struggle for control of the digital sphere as if the main problem is that the bad actors at Cambridge Analytica crossed the transmission wires of Facebook in the Promethean manner of Victor Frankenstein—taking what were normally respectable, scientific data protocols and perverting them to serve the diabolical aim of reanimating the decomposing lump of political flesh known as Donald Trump.
technology  politics  argument  history  reference 
26 days ago by kmt
Primary Deposits: Steven Pinker and archaeology
Crow Creek, South Dakota. This is a notorious site. It is a mass grave, the remains of a massacre. Using this site as just automatically representative of prehistoric mortality is senseless, especially when your sample is already small and biased. There are no mass graves from Europe in the 20th century? What would Pinker’s state-level death rates look like if he used cemetery data (as he should have)?

Vedbaek, Denmark, and Boggebakken, Denmark. This is bad. Unless there are two Mesolithic sites with 17 burials in Vedbaek, these are the same site. Keeley calls it Vedbaek; Bowles calls it Boggebakken. The site is sometimes called Vedbaek-Boggebakken (e.g., Jochim 2011:127). If these are the same site (as they certainly seem to be), this is probably the most egregious error in Pinker’s data. The rest of the errors can be attributed to lack of understanding of the evidence and appropriate methods. But, this, THIS, is sheer laziness. He made no effort to clean his data.
argument  history  review  book  reference  stats  data-analysis  pinker 
4 weeks ago by kmt
NATO Expansion: What Yeltsin Heard | National Security Archive
Russian president led to believe Partnership for Peace was alternative to expanded NATO

Documents show early Russian opposition to “neo-containment;" more U.S. assurances to Russia: “inclusion not exclusion” in new European security structures
politics  diplomacy  history  russian  americana  cold-war 
4 weeks ago by kmt
The woman who invented abstract algebra | Cosmos
And as Emmy Noether taught us, whenever a symmetry is broken, that means something is being lost.
physics  history  algebra  math  people 
4 weeks ago by kmt
Primary Deposits: Steven Pinker and archaeology
This is my second post on Steven Pinker’s Better Angels of Our Nature (the first is here). This book is such a steaming pile, I need to vent but really don't want to spend time on it. So I am going to end this particular foray into the colonial mindset and finish up on Chapter 2, which is the main archaeological and anthropological section.
history  argument  whig-history  reference 
5 weeks ago by kmt
For Decades, National Geographic's Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It
We asked a preeminent historian to investigate our coverage of people of color in the U.S. and abroad. Here’s what he found.
history  slavery  americana  reference  read-later 
5 weeks ago by kmt
Darkest Hour at the Oscars | Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind
So what exactly did Churchill do? The sad thing is not many in India know this, far less those outside it. I will spare you the history lesson, but in brief, he made sure that all the food and clothes produced in Bengal  got sent away to feed and clothe European soldiers during World War II (yes the same war for which “Darkest Hour” presents him as the messiah) leaving the natives to starve. If that was not bad enough, he actively prevented humanitarian aid from reaching Bengal once millions had started dying. This was as much due to his desire to scorch-earth Bengal before it fell to the Japanese (that never ultimately happened) as well as the fact that he hated brown-skinned Indians, and considered them sub-human.

This is not conjecture. This is documented.

Churchill’s only response to a telegram from the government in Delhi about people perishing in the famine was to ask why Gandhi hadn’t died yet. (Tharoor, Time magazine)

“I hate Indians,” he told the Secretary of State for India, Leopold Amery. “They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” The famine was their own fault, he declared at a war-cabinet meeting, for “breeding like rabbits.” (Tharoor, Time Magazine)

The prime minister believed that Indians were the next worst people in the world after the Germans. Their treachery had been plain in the Quit India movement. The Germans he was prepared to bomb into the ground. The Indians would starve to death as a result of their own folly and viciousness.(Harper and Bayley, Forgotten Armies: Brittan’s Asian Empire and War with Japan)
history  india  british-empire  colonial-era  genocide  reference 
6 weeks ago by kmt
Rise and Kill First by Ronen Bergman |
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first definitive history of the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the IDF’s targeted killing programs, hailed by The New York Times as “an exceptional work, a humane book about an incendiary subject.”

The Talmud says: “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel’s DNA. From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services, and there is one weapon in their vast arsenal that they have relied upon to thwart the most serious threats: Targeted assassinations have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes preemptively.

In this page-turning, eye-opening book, journalist and military analyst Ronen Bergman—praised by David Remnick as “arguably [Israel’s] best investigative reporter”—offers a riveting inside account of the targeted killing programs: their successes, their failures, and the moral and political price exacted on the men and women who approved and carried out the missions.

Bergman has gained the exceedingly rare cooperation of many current and former members of the Israeli government, including Prime Ministers Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as high-level figures in the country’s military and intelligence services: the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), the Mossad (the world’s most feared intelligence agency), Caesarea (a “Mossad within the Mossad” that carries out attacks on the highest-value targets), and the Shin Bet (an internal security service that implemented the largest targeted assassination campaign ever, in order to stop what had once appeared to be unstoppable: suicide terrorism).

Including never-before-reported, behind-the-curtain accounts of key operations, and based on hundreds of on-the-record interviews and thousands of files to which Bergman has gotten exclusive access over his decades of reporting, Rise and Kill First brings us deep into the heart of Israel’s most secret activities. Bergman traces, from statehood to the present, the gripping events and thorny ethical questions underlying Israel’s targeted killing campaign, which has shaped the Israeli nation, the Middle East, and the entire world.

“A remarkable feat of fearless and responsible reporting . . . important, timely, and informative.”—John le Carré

history  politics  israel  mideast  intelligence  opsec  book  read-later 
6 weeks ago by kmt
Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war | World news | The Guardian
The United States is conducting a secret 'dirty tricks' campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favour of war against Iraq.
Details of the aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York, are revealed in a document leaked to The Observer.
politics  security  americana  history  reference 
6 weeks ago by kmt
Why I Never Hire Brilliant Men - Wikisource, the free online library
"Business and life are built upon successful mediocrity; and victory comes to companies, not through the employment of brilliant men, but through knowing how to get the most out of ordinary folks."
sounds legit
work  advice  business  history  hiring 
6 weeks ago by kmt
Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems (American Politics and Political Economy Series): Thomas Ferguson: 9780226243177: Books
"To discover who rules, follow the gold." This is the argument of Golden Rule, a provocative, pungent history of modern American politics. Although the role big money plays in defining political outcomes has long been obvious to ordinary Americans, most pundits and scholars have virtually dismissed this assumption. Even in light of skyrocketing campaign costs, the belief that major financial interests primarily determine who parties nominate and where they stand on the issues—that, in effect, Democrats and Republicans are merely the left and right wings of the "Property Party"—has been ignored by most political scientists. Offering evidence ranging from the nineteenth century to the 1994 mid-term elections, Golden Rule shows that voters are "right on the money."

Thomas Ferguson breaks completely with traditional voter centered accounts of party politics. In its place he outlines an "investment approach," in which powerful investors, not unorganized voters, dominate campaigns and elections. Because businesses "invest" in political parties and their candidates, changes in industrial structures—between large firms and sectors—can alter the agenda of party politics and the shape of public policy.

Golden Rule presents revised versions of widely read essays in which Ferguson advanced and tested his theory, including his seminal study of the role played by capital intensive multinationals and international financiers in the New Deal. The chapter "Studies in Money Driven Politics" brings this aspect of American politics into better focus, along with other studies of Federal Reserve policy making and campaign finance in the 1936 election. Ferguson analyzes how a changing world economy and other social developments broke up the New Deal system in our own time, through careful studies of the 1988 and 1992 elections. The essay on 1992 contains an extended analysis of the emergence of the Clinton coalition and Ross Perot's dramatic independent insurgency. A postscript on the 1994 elections demonstrates the controlling impact of money on several key campaigns.

This controversial work by a theorist of money and politics in the U.S. relates to issues in campaign finance reform, PACs, policymaking, public financing, and how today's elections work.
americana  politics  finance  books  history  read-later 
7 weeks ago by kmt
How White Settlers Buried the Truth About the Midwest's Mysterious Mounds | Essay | Zócalo Public Square
Pioneers and Early Archeologists Preferred to Credit Distant Civilizations, Not Native Americans, With Building These Monumental Cities
history  argument  imperialism  read-later  americana 
7 weeks ago by kmt
Halmos biography
Born: 3 March 1916 in Budapest, Hungary
Died: 2 October 2006 in Los Gatos, California, USA
people  math  history 
8 weeks ago by kmt
Content-Type: text/shitpost : The duties of John von Neumann's assistant
You may recall that this was extracted from an article titled Szeged in 1934.

That is because the author, Lorch, decided that he was not cut out for the job, and fled to Hungary.
math  history  science  people 
8 weeks ago by kmt
"The Fable of the Weasel," by Alexander Cockburn » MobyLives
Contradicting Thomas Love Peacock’s famous jibe at landscapers, even on the twentieth tour of the Mencken estate there are surprises. I don’t feel that, trundling through Orwell Country. It gets less alluring with each visit. What once seemed bracing, now sounds boorish. How quickly one learns to loathe the affectations of plain bluntishness. The man of conscience turns out to be a whiner, and of course a snitch, an informer to the secret police, Animal Farm’s resident weasel.
history  people  read-later 
8 weeks ago by kmt
How the Red Scare Shaped the Artificial Distinction Between Migrants and Refugees - In These Times
However, the legal distinction between refugees and migrants has been ideological from the outset, formally emerging in the early 1950s as an anti-communist tool wielded by U.S. and Western European governments. Under U.S. law, the concept of a “refugee” first emerged to describe individuals seeking sanctuary in non-communist countries. On the international level, the United States played a key role in developing norms that emphasize the liberties of political dissidents, while denying the right to live free from poverty. By extending open arms to people escaping the “red menace,” the burgeoning U.S. empire sought to position itself as the leader of the free world. In the process, the U.S. government treated the dispossessed and displaced as pawns to undercut geopolitical foes and advance reactionary policies while fanning the flames of further displacement.
americana  history  politics  argument 
9 weeks ago by kmt
The paradigms of programming | the morning paper
For many years I have been systematically identifying error-prone programming habits — by reviewing the literature, analyzing other people’s mistakes, and analyzing my own mistakes — and redesigning my programming environment to eliminate those habits.
PLT  architecture  engineering  read-later  reference  history 
10 weeks ago by kmt
On the Ideal Form of Women – Going Medieval
Because I have watched the Lemon video roughly three trillion times in the past week, I have also been doing a lot of thinking about how society defines what the ideal form for women is. Obviously, there is no one type of femme body that everyone who is attracted to women will agree upon. (Except maybe Amber Rose. Fight me.) However, there is an overall tendency of late which holds up the hourglass, in various degrees of extremis, over all other forms. The hourglass can roughly be described as an exaggerated waist to hip ratio, with roughly analogous breasts.

Submitted for your approval are these various examples:

You are welcome.
Now, these women are Exceptionally Hot™, a fact which my in-depth historical training has allowed me to confirm. That most of us reading this blog will agree with my extremely professional view on this makes it easy to assume that interest in ladies sporting an hourglass has always been a feature of human sexual drive.

Much has been made of this interest in hourglass figures in the field (ahem) of Evolutionary Psychology. Singh, for example has written on the ‘universal and enduring appeal’ of the hourglass figure, and Lassek et al. have taken it upon themselves to inform us that the attraction of men to the hourglass figure is due to the fact that men like hourglass figures because they ‘know without knowing’ that it means the women who sport them are fertile. Supposedly the idea is that if women carry fat in their hips they are more healthy, and therefore more attractive to men. The accompanying breasts that complete the look are explained in a number of ways, from a signal that women have adequate fat deposits to breed, to the idea that the mimic the fat deposits of the butt, to a symbol that they would be a proper feeding mechanism for babies.

While all of this is super cute, it is also total bullshit, and if any of these people had ever bothered to crack a book or look at a medieval painting, they would see that medieval people DGAF about hourglass figures and instead LIVED for that pear shape. WITNESS:
history  culture  feminism  psychology 
10 weeks ago by kmt
Our Germans
Project Paperclip brought hundreds of German scientists and engineers, including aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun, to the United States in the first decade after World War II. More than the freighters full of equipment or the documents recovered from caves and hastily abandoned warehouses, the German brains who designed and built the V-2 rocket and other "wonder weapons" for the Third Reich proved invaluable to America’s emerging military-industrial complex. Whether they remained under military employment, transitioned to civilian agencies like NASA, or sought more lucrative careers with corporations flush with government contracts, German specialists recruited into the Paperclip program assumed enormously influential positions within the labyrinthine national security state.
history  politics  technology  germany  americana  books  reference  read-later 
10 weeks ago by kmt Preparing for Victory: Thomas Holcomb and the Making of the Modern Marine Corps, 1936-1943 (Leatherneck Original) (9781591149033): David J. Ulbrich, Colonel Charles P. Neimeyer USMC (Ret.): Books
Preparing for Victory explains how and why Commandant Thomas Holcomb successfully supervised the dramatic expansion of the Marine Corps from 18,000 officers and men in 1936 to 385,000 in 1943. Not only did Holcomb leave the Corps much larger, but he also helped establish it as the United States' premier amphibious assault force and a major contributor to victory over Japan. Despite Holcomb's successes, he has been ignored or given short shrift in most histories of the Marine Corps. No book-length study of his commandancy exists until now. Drawing on a wide range of printed and archival sources, my book contends that Holcomb expertly guided the Corps' preparations for war during the last years of the Great Depression and then provided his "Leathernecks" with astute direction during the first harrowing twenty-five months of World War II. When measured with principles of organization theory and leadership studies, Holcomb's abilities and achievements match those of such outstanding American military managers as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Chester W. Nimitz, and George C. Marshall. Like these unassuming yet efficient officers, Holcomb shied away from the limelight and therefore never garnered the attention that "Chesty" Puller or "Howlin' Mad" Smith have. This book fills a void and tells the story of one of the key leaders in World War II. More than any other marine, Holcomb molded his Corps into the modern force-in-readiness that would eventually help fight the Cold War and the Global War on Terror.
strategy  history  military  warfighting  management  read-later  book 
10 weeks ago by kmt
The perplexing life of Erno Rubik
Subjects: Rubik's cube_analysis
inventors_conduct of life
Magic cubes_analysis

People: Laczi, Tibor_management; Rubik, Erno_conduct of life
design  history  politics  business  magyar 
11 weeks ago by kmt
Why the Luddites Matter | LibrarianShipwreck
Colloquialisms have a remarkable way of convincing their users that they have done their homework. All that is needed is a spoonful of vaguely historically adjacent meaning to be stirred in with the waters of repeat usage, and suddenly a speaker feels confident that they understand the capital “t” truth behind a term or idea. After all, the thinking goes, if this usage of this term isn’t historically accurate, then why has this term become used in this way? Why indeed. But if you are going to use a term because of the evocative historic meaning you think is bound up in it, you probably want to make sure that you’re getting your history right.
history  politics  technology  argument  read-later 
11 weeks ago by kmt
Newly Declassified Documents: Gorbachev Told NATO Wouldn't Move Past East German Border | The National Interest Blog
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was given a host of assurances that the NATO alliance would not expand past what was then the East German border in 1990 according to new declassified documents.

Russian leaders often complain that the NATO extended an invitation to Hungary, Poland and what was then Czechoslovakia to joint the alliance in 1997 at the Madrid Summit in contravention of assurances offered to the Soviet Union before its 1991 collapse. The alliance has dismissed the notion that such assurances were offered, however, scholars have continued to debate the issue for years. Now, however, newly declassified documents show that Gorbachev did in fact receive assurances that NATO would not expand past East Germany.
russian  history  strategy  politics 
december 2017 by kmt
The Origins of Anti-Litter Campaigns – Mother Jones
The problem is that all of this endless—and needless—manufacturing creates a lot of garbage and pollution that generally wreaks havoc on the earth. (Packaging currently accounts for one-third of all trash in the United States today.) And eventually people wised up to this fact. In 1953 Vermont passed a law banning “throwaway bottles,” after farmers complained that glass bottles were being tossed into haystacks and being eaten by unsuspecting cows. Suddenly, state legislatures appeared poised to pass laws that would require manufacturers—and the packaging industry in particular—to make less junk in the first place. Horrors.
capitalism  history  propaganda  reference 
december 2017 by kmt
Daniel Ellsberg on the Limits of Knowledge – Mother Jones
Jay Ackroyd went to a conference last week where he heard Daniel Ellsberg speak. He apparently recounted one of my favorite Ellsberg stories, and since it’s one of my favorites I’m going to repeat it in full below. It’s from Ellsberg’s book Secrets, and the setting is a meeting with Henry Kissinger in late 1968 when he was advising him about the Vietnam War. The idea of Kissinger seeking out Ellsberg for advice on Vietnam initially seems a bit unlikely, but in 1968 Ellsberg was a highly respected analyst on the war who had worked for both the Pentagon and Rand, and Kissinger was just entering the government for the first time. Here’s what Ellsberg told him. Enjoy:
argument  history  people  intelligence 
december 2017 by kmt
The Fire of the Jaguar - HAU Books
Not since Clifford Geertz’s “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” has the publication of an anthropological analysis been as eagerly awaited as this book, Terence S. Turner’s The Fire of the Jaguar. His reanalysis of the famous myth from the Kayapo people of Brazil was anticipated as an exemplar of a new, dynamic, materialist, action-oriented structuralism, one very different from the kind made famous by Claude Lévi-Strauss. But the study never fully materialized. Now, with this volume, it has arrived, bringing with it powerful new insights that challenge the way we think about structuralism, its legacy, and the reasons we have moved away from it.
anthropology  history  read-later  book 
november 2017 by kmt
The Wittgenstein Controversy - The Atlantic
The dispute over the first complete edition of the philosopher's papers is as petty and academic as Wittgenstein himself was high-minded and profound
philosophy  history  read-later 
november 2017 by kmt
Origins of the police - David Whitehouse
Excellent text examining the creation of the first police forces, which took place in England and the US in just a few decades in the mid-19th century. And explaining that they were not brought into being to prevent crime or protect the public, but primarily to control crowds: the working class, white and black.
marxism  history  analysis  anarchism  politics  labour-movement 
november 2017 by kmt Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War (8601421754750): Robert Coram: Books
John Boyd may be the most remarkable unsung hero in all of American military history. Some remember him as the greatest U.S. fighter pilot ever -- the man who, in simulated air-to-air combat, defeated every challenger in less than forty seconds. Some recall him as the father of our country's most legendary fighter aircraft -- the F-15 and F-16. Still others think of Boyd as the most influential military theorist since Sun Tzu. They know only half the story. Boyd, more than any other person, saved fighter aviation from the predations of the Strategic Air Command. His manual of fighter tactics changed the way every air force in the world flies and fights. He discovered a physical theory that forever altered the way fighter planes were designed. Later in life, he developed a theory of military strategy that has been adopted throughout the world and even applied to business models for maximizing efficiency. And in one of the most startling and unknown stories of modern military history, the Air Force fighter pilot taught the U.S. Marine Corps how to fight war on the ground. His ideas led to America's swift and decisive victory in the Gulf War and foretold the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On a personal level, Boyd rarely met a general he couldn't offend. He was loud, abrasive, and profane. A man of daring, ferocious passion and intractable stubbornness, he was that most American of heroes -- a rebel who cared not for his reputation or fortune but for his country. He was a true patriot, a man who made a career of challenging the shortsighted and self-serving Pentagon bureaucracy. America owes Boyd and his disciples -- the six men known as the "Acolytes" -- a great debt. Robert Coram finally brings to light the remarkable story of a man who polarized all who knew him, but who left a legacy that will influence the military -- and all of America -- for decades to come. ..
warfighting  strategy  people  life  history  reference 
november 2017 by kmt
Donald Knuth - The Patron Saint of Yak Shaves
LaTeX  art  history 
november 2017 by kmt
At 85, chemist Donald Batesky makes late-career discovery : NewsCenter
Back in 1959, early in his career as a Kodak chemist, Donald Batesky was lead author of a paper in the Journal of Organic Chemistry.

Now, at 85 years old and in his “third career” as a research associate in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Rochester, Batesky is lead author of another paper in the journal—a “featured article,” no less, selected as an “editor’s choice,” and the seventh-most read article in the journal for the previous 12 months.
chemistry  people  history  tips-and-tricks 
november 2017 by kmt
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