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Cecily Cecily

Writing Worth Reading

A Note To My Readers

Andrew Sullivan quits blogging after fifteen years. Future of Daily Dish uncertain. “I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays. I want to write a book” (1,200 words)

Boom: Inside A Bank-Bombing

Bank robbers hit on a new technique: Find a secluded cash machine, wait for a quiet moment, and blow it up. “The strongbox inside an ATM has a small slot in front that spits out bills to customers and a big door in back through which employees load cash. Criminals have learned to see this simple enclosure as a physics problem. Gas is pumped in, and when it is detonated, the weakest part — the large hinged door — is forced open” (4,800 words)

Getting Out Of Afghanistan

Getting stuff out of Afghanistan has proved to be “one of the most difficult operations the US military has ever undertaken”. In 13 years of war America piled up the equivalent of 62,000 shipping containers in arms and equipment which has be repatriated — not because it is all needed at home, but in order to deny it to the Taliban. “Every convoy has to be handled as a combat operation” (11,600 words)

Ask Not, “Will it Snow?”

Instead, you should ask for the distribution of the forecast: How probable is a major blizzard? You also need to weigh the damage done by a false positives (you warn of a blizzard and it doesn’t come) against the damage done by a false negative (you don’t warn of a blizzard, and it does come). New York City probably made the right choice in preparing for a blizzard that didn’t happen, but it would be nice to know more about the data (1,940 words)

Putin: In It To Win It Pick of the day

How Vladimir Putin sees the world. America is the far enemy. Germany is the near enemy. Russia’s priority is to prevent Europe consolidating under German leadership. “He is betting on German failure, not on Russian success. The goal of Russian policy in Ukraine is not to conquer Ukraine, but to demonstrate that Germany cannot save Ukraine or organize Ukraine. It doesn’t have the money, the military culture or the political skills” (1,800 words)

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