December 31, 2008

Something To Add To The Conflict Resolution Calculus

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:23 pm

Wretchard encapsulates an aspect of conflict we don’t talk as much about: the folks in whose perceived best interest it is to continue the conflict.

Maybe the root of this conflict isn’t “land” or “statehood” or even religion. Maybe its about preserving fighting and terrorism as a way of life; as a business. Palestine is an alibi for anything, but mostly it is the justification for a mode of employment, a whole series of professions, a whole raft of contractors, a self-sustaining funding network that could not exist without continuous and never-ending war. This monster has already consumed the Palestinians; stolen their future, made a mockery of their hopes.

But sometimes I wonder if the West is any better off. How much “aid”, how many diplomatic jobs, how many tenured positions in universities, how many activist’s careers, how much research and development, weapons manufacturing, military training programs — how many jobs depend on keeping this abomination going.

This is too much of a good thing for everyone except the ordinary Israeli and Arab for the music to stop.

December 30, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:48 pm

Interesting description of the IS-Hamas combat ops over at Huffpo.

I’m not used to getting any cogent analysis from Huffpo, actually.

You Can Too Learn From Reading Comics!

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:39 pm

This right here is a great analysis on why open source computer programs are painful to work on. I point this out because we do this with military systems, too.

…It is simply that when it comes to innovation, excellent usability and design work are as important as excellent technical work. Period. If OSS is to suceed, the community needs to understand that usability is not just “another technical problem to solve”, but rather, it is an entire discipline worthy of real study.

With such a shallow bench and a fundamental misunderstanding of these disciplines, the OSS community has been forced to spend much of its time copying existing applications. In this way they take advantage of usability and design work done by others, but such a strategy necessarily trails behind the products being copied.

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:23 pm

The Sippican Cottage isn’t down with the dog-in-the-manger attitude of some nonprofits who don’t realize that the world has passed them by.

No profit is made, no doubt, and thank god for that. It all must go to keeping trustfund babies employed at above market wages, harrumphing at cocktail parties about mercenaries like Wallace Nutting, and people like me too, I suppose, while they hoard the information they should be trumpeting everywhere and charge like a phone-sex line for what little they deign to mete out.

I have seen this in other organizations that think they have jewels to protect, not knowing what they have is free on the Internet.

Snark Of The Day

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:19 pm

Living in the cheap seats, eh?

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas From Somewhere On I-40

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:44 am

December 23, 2008

Newest Submarine Trainer

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:14 pm

Prior to use of Navy standard pencils, all naval nuclear-trained personnel will be required to complete the quarterly requirement in pencil operation using this equipment (one set of which will be available in squadron facilities) and the newly revised five hundred page manual complete to ACN 6. ISIC will ensure training on the assembly video will be completed by all hands NLT 13 August, and ensure all qualified personnel provide completed pencil sample to TYCOM Pencil Inspector for evaluation prior to pencil operation.

It’s just like the welder’s qual, too.

(h/t a serious pencil nerdery)

December 22, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:51 pm

Long Tail goes up against Sturgeon’s Law, loses.

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:56 am

A good reason to love the Internets: PCL Link Dump has five different versions of Mahna Mahna.

December 21, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:51 pm

Aw, maan

December 20, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:38 pm

This state government road sign department has a Flickr stream (via BoingBoing). Are there any shipyards doing something like this?

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:49 pm

Take a look at the second video on this post, with all raw footage, no care for the viewer as aesthete, but a true story arc behind the images, and you may now understand why movies are so boring lately. Real life is in competition.

December 18, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:49 pm

I think several of the below links are from this week’s American Digest. Gerard’s on a roll.

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:41 pm

Sort-of-poet likes indie music, picks his 50 faves this year. I hadn’t thought before about what song to put in a small pouch attached to my belt in case of being trapped on a glacier, but I’m glad someone is…

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:39 pm

Strata-Sphere doesn’t like the guy who leaked classified info to Newsweek.

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:38 pm

Hey, look! Snowflakes!

Some New Info Warfare Resources

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:17 pm

I’ve identified some new places that this idea of “concepts in conflict” gets discussed.

  • I’ve previously mentioned the Harvard Kennedy School study on the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war, and also mentioned Edith Cowan University in Australia.
  • Now there is a new strategic communications primer released by the UK MoD’s Advanced Research and Assessment Group, via Kings of War, that’s well worth a look.
  • Kings of War also has a discussion of a US Army Strategic Studies Institute paper that was just released which is also worth reading.
  • Finally, the Middle East Studies Institute at Harvard has a good short discussion of how strategic comms differ in perception between audiences for the Guantanamo detainees at trial (and a holiday reading list).

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:50 pm

I think we’ve got a frustrated poet here who got a little too far into the whisky barrel.

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:38 am

Oh, the guys at the old job will love this: images of, among other things, the slide rules used for calculating radiation dose and effects of nuclear explosions. Great Christmas presents!

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:56 am

That Copenhagen Consensus thing has reported out. I hear the results are worthwhile, but if the summary of the “conflict” section is any indication there’s a real problem there. Useful to know what’s going on NGO/UN-wise, but not something I’d use as gospel

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