Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
As a warplane is downed for the first time since 1982, Israel reevaluates its strategy vis-à-vis Syria.
The natural world, rightly studied, unlocks the soul, and the soul, once opened, yields truths about the moral structure of the universe.
Michael Knox Beran
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
In “Syria – From a State to a Hybrid System: Implications for Israel” by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), authors Carmit Valensi, Udi Dekel and Anat Kurz write: “The problem can be managed but no solution can be expected … Syria will not revert to what it was … By means of coordinating with third parties, Israel will be able to influence trends…”
As a warplane is downed for the first time since 1982, Israel reevaluates its strategy vis-à-vis Syria.
Tyler Cowen’s work habits while traveling. “Go somewhere — perhaps somewhere dangerous or disgusting — and simply plan to spend your full, normal work/writing day there.” Because: “By the end of the trip it will feel like a full vacation anyway, that’s how silly your memory is.”
Monday, February 12th, 2018
The rather impressive gentleman Craig Mod chronicles a walk along a thousand-year old pilgrimage route in Wakayama prefecture, Japan.
Good gumption. Frank Chimero expresses many thoughts I’ve had on the depressing explosion of complexity in web development. I particularly agree about being able to View Source, which is one important reason I don’t use CSS pre-processors: I want people to be able to read the CSS as I coded it, whether to know what to copy or what not to copy.
Thursday, November 12th, 2015
With the villain’s quasi-sibling bond to the hero, 2015’s 007 movie deflates to an incestuous Möbius Strip.
Monday, December 17th, 2012
I’ve tried to enjoy schlepping water, thinking that it serves to keep us to some human roots.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Annoyances and upsets with the iPhone 4S have been more than offset by its screen, the silkiness of its surfaces, the camera, and the third-party market for both software and hardware.
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust US President Obama.
Monday, March 8th, 2010
It’s 1983: Go for the Apple IIe with 64k that could be opened up as a hobbyist machine? Or the smaller, sleeker and newer IIc with double the memory but a closed case?
Thursday, July 30th, 2009
There’s nothing else around here except empty desolate pretty hills. The Israel Trail passes by a bit to the west. The shops are mostly franchises, almost all homegrown: Super-Pharm, Aroma, Tzomet Sfarim, Cup O’ Joe’s, LaMetayel, Mega, Fox, Castro, H&O.
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
So, finally, we stopped yesterday; the Israeli assault on Gaza of late 2008/early 2009 is over. With it, Israel lost moral purity and made vital strategic gains.
Friday, January 9th, 2009
Even if it did nothing, was just a prop in a futuristic movie, the MacBook Pro would be impressive; it’s like a sculpture of my previous computer, the MacBook, except it’s actually an improved computer!
Thursday, August 7th, 2008
Irit, the Jam and I walk from Brighton to Gatwick Airport.
Friday, December 7th, 2007
Ariel Sharon’s disengagement policy reflected an understanding that ownership of the Palestinian issue is shared with Egypt and Jordan. If Tony Blair were to acquire this view, perhaps he really could help facilitate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Thursday, October 25th, 2007
There she was, sitting outside the apartment block! How did she do it? Dogs—or at least Jam—must have some sort of navigational sense we don’t understand.
Monday, February 26th, 2007
I have had something very flattering: a request. Juan Carlos has asked me for comments on Casino Royale.
Thursday, February 8th, 2007
The Mrs is skeptical of David Allen’s Getting Things Done self-management system because it eschews the rigors of time management for what feels right. But GTD is about informed feeling.
Saturday, July 10th, 2004
I want to get people in my pics, but it’s tougher when you’re no longer a wide-eyed teenager, because people generally don’t like to think they are a spectacle.
Sunday, February 11th, 2018
This mathematical analysis of Risk dice rolls provides at least one surprising insight, namely that given equal numbers of attacking and defending armies, the attacker’s odds improve as army sizes increase.
Thursday, February 8th, 2018
Quincy Jones on Michael Jackson’s bullshit and everyone else’s too. Oh and famous friends.
Friday, January 26th, 2018
A deep dive into iPhone X’s notches by interaction designer Brad Ellis. [via Daringfireball]
Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
Watching Mike Pence’s speech to the Knesset [transcript and video at Haaretz], Prime Minister Netanyahu can’t jump to his feet fast enough.
The US Vice President draws parallels between America’s and Israel’s stories. He sets a 2019 deadline for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. And he recites Shehechianu in Hebrew.
This historic speech furthers the momentum of the new American way in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To paraphrase the Grateful Dead: More than this I will not ask.
Monday, January 22nd, 2018
For 42 minutes Walter Russell Mead [transcript] puts not a sentence, not a word out of place — let alone an idea — in discussing the first year of the Trump presidency.
WRM is interviewed by Susan Glasser at The Global Politico [podcast] mainly through the prism of his book Special Providence, which divides American foreign policy into four schools: Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian, Wilsonian and Jacksonian.
Amazon Go physical grocery store opens in Seattle, featuring no check-out.
The em-dash, “a talented mimic impersonating other punctuation…” [via Adactio]
Sunday, January 21st, 2018
“A gifted mimic, he nonetheless eschews regional accents for comic effect.” Dean Allen, RIP by his friend Om Malik. I used Allen’s work to type this very link; he invented Textile, a method for writing HTML (now superceded in mindshare by John Gruber’s Markdown). See also Gruber’s and Jason Kottke’s eulogies.
Thursday, January 18th, 2018
Next step in the Trump strategy for wrapping up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: US cuts payments to UNRWA by about half.
Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
The blockchain is our way back to the open internet, explains Steven Berlin Johnson in this long New York Times Magazine piece.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
If you read one brief op-ed piece this year, surely it must be Of Crudeness and Truth by Andrew Klavan in City Journal. “For Nurse Ratched, read Hillary Clinton, CNN, The New York Times, Yale University, Twitter, and Google/YouTube —— all the tender ministers of polite silence and enforced dishonesty. If Donald Trump’s boorishness crashes like a bull through the crystal madhouse of their leftism — well, good. It’s about time.” Like other forms of tyranny, at first we found political correctness amusing. One consequence of it: this risky presidency.
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
In what seems a common pattern, Jony Ive started early, eschewing the liberal education of say Oxbridge, instead selecting the most renowned college in the field in which he was already winning prizes: industrial design. And this great achiever of our times grew up under the happy and mighty influence of his father, an educator who rose to prominence due to character and a drive to bring design literacy to British education.
The bulk of this book about Ive constitutes one of the stronger, more detailed histories we have of Apple itself, told mainly from the perspective of the IDg, the internal design group he leads. We learn for instance that in order to meet Steve Jobs’ deadline for creating the iMac — the first product upon Jobs’ return and which revived the company — they needed to streamline the product process by making the files of the design software interoperable with those of the manufacturing software.
Someone says Ive is even less replaceable at Apple than Jobs. This isn’t quite fair because Jobs worked to make himself replaceable. Let’s hope Ive does as well.
Was The Bonfire of the Vanities the American novel’s last hurrah?
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
The next step in the Trump shibboleth-marauding strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal appears to have just happened: The President has threatened the Palestinians with withholding aid if they continue to refuse to come to the negotiating table.
These were merely tweets, a new lower level of presidential statement, but nonetheless they’re another demonstration to the Palestinians that they do in fact have things to lose by maintaining the conflict indefinitely. It seems a softening up before negotiations begin so that this time they will finally actually end with a deal.
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
This 1-hour Smithsonian production is a history of America in the Roaring 20s, with amazing newly-colorized footage. Richly effortlessly narrated by Liev Schreiber, it remedies our black & white impression of this not-so-distant mirror. There are things I should have learned about in school but did not, particularly the Greenwood massacre.
Another Tim Ferriss Show link, this time a joyful 2-hour interview with Terry Crews, artist, athlete, movie actor, taboo-dispeller, celebrity, self-help book aficionado.
Sunday, December 31st, 2017
“Death to the dictator!” #IranProtests. Will this now be the Green Revolution?
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
In Mosaic, Martin Kramer tells the tale, set over lunch in Ein Kerem, of the closest Jerusalem ever got to internationalization. (At one point I found the internationalization of Jerusalem a heady and exciting notion—providing of course that the UN move its HQ there.) A most vivid history op-ed piece.
Thursday, December 28th, 2017
Read “Antisemitism in contemporary
Great Britain: A study of attitudes towards Jews and Israel“ [PDF] by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, published September 2017. The study demonstrates a correlation between anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes.
Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
When Google analysed their hiring, they were surprised to find that “among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last.” Instead, “The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills.” One smart commenter points out that since everyone will have the STEM skills anyway, these other things are the only differentiators.
Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
Value-Driven Business Process Management
Peter Franz & Mathias Kirchmer
Enlarging on their idea that 80–85% of process improvements come from just 15–20% of processes, the authors argue that organizations must institutionalize BPM like other now-standard departments such as accounting and human resources.
They explain the mission of such a department (effective organization-wide process improvement), the goals (to determine which processes to focus on and which techniques to use for each) and the method (a series of rubrics for evaluating).
Important though the book clearly is in the field, for me it was a slog; the prose is not crisp and the examples seem vapid — though it’s likely that for a reader more versed in the practice they would come more alive. The book does get more quotable and unabashedly enthusiastic towards the end.
Sunday, December 24th, 2017
Jonathan Haidt lists the centrifugal and centripetal forces acting on American society in his essay Age of Outrage. I learned a new word: “intersectionality”.
Mark Hamill on The Last Jedi: He’s not my Luke Skywalker. My prediction: this movie will be what elevates the reputations of the prequels. And Poe Dameron that of Jar Jar Binks.
Monday, December 18th, 2017
This investigative piece by Josh Meyer in Politico depicts a DEA investigation into global Hezballah criminal activity undercut by an Obama Administration hell-bent on a deal with Iran.
Real-Life BPMN: With introductions to CMMN and DMN
Jakob Freund, Bernd Rücker
With their years of experience as business process management consultants—and now vendors—the authors choose “real-life” as their approach, explicating their own methodology for delivering BPM projects. This book serves as invaluable guidance for newer practitioners.
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
Who showed up, who stayed home, and who broadcast a weather program while Erdoğan spoke at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit condemning America’s recognition of Israel’s capital. Jordan was there but Saudi, Egypt and the UAR weren’t.
Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
Tom Gross lays out the case for optimism over an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal happening sooner rather than later. To me this is utterly obvious and almost straightforward but as usual it’s the precise opposite of how the Western media portrays things to be.
Monday, December 11th, 2017
There has never been a West European post-Second World War policy in [the Middle East] except to await the American position and then stake out something more favourable to the Arabs.
Also Abraham Ben-Zvi briefly compares Trump’s defiance of his own government regarding Israel to that of Truman and Kennedy, rather propelling The Donald into the pantheon.
Marcus Pretzell is one German member of the EU Parliament who supports the declaration and says other do too but fear to speak up.
Finally, Rashid Khalidi’s response illustrates the unhappy thrashings-about of the opposing side.
Saturday, December 9th, 2017
The bureacrats have taken over agile. The big giveaway: talking about agile.
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
On the eve of US recognition of Israel’s capital, very much in-the-loop Ambassador Ron Dermer speaks (three paragraphs at a time!) to the Global Politico podcast.
Power may skip over the Gen Xers directly from the Boomers to the Millennials, Matthew Hennessey worries in the redoubtable City Journal. There’s a related podcast episode “Generation X, Millennials, and Technology” (which, when googling “city journal millennials”, ranks above the article).
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
The guys at The Soul of Enterprise podcast interview George Gilder. I guarantee you he’ll bring you at least some new perspective. It’s about time.
The permanent drop in the US corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% is monumental, reports Forbes columnist Tony Nitti.
Monday, December 4th, 2017
On the EconTalk podcast recorded recently on stage in New York, Simeon Djankov speaks to the global Doing Business Report that he produces annually at the World Bank. This is world-improving stuff by dint of managed competition. It would be cool to see a a canonical BPMN version of each process.
Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
Ivan Rogers, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU during David Cameron’s tenure as Prime Minister, speaks to the events leading up to the Brexit referendum. There’s so much detail, and we see where Cameron was succeeding, but nonetheless a failure happened here.
Saturday, November 25th, 2017
50 startups that will boom in 2018, according to VCs. An article at Business Insider.
Friday, November 24th, 2017
Jon Stewart with Howard Stern for some 90 minutes; they cover family, showbusiness, animal welfare. Two fine Yiddle, unlocked.
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
New York Times photo essay: parking and staying overnight at the Wal-Mart car park.
Thursday, November 9th, 2017
Friday, November 3rd, 2017
Drew Pierce, Iron Man 3 co-screenwriter with director Shane Black, discusses the writing of the Trevor Slattery reveal in this Vulture article. There’s also a jpg of the screenplay! This is one of my favorite Marvel movie scenes. And jeez, I just discovered All Hail the King — where have I been?
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
TechCrunch takes iPhone X to Disneyland. A great review of considered real-world use.
Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
On the crippling ambivalence throughout the British Government as it feels compelled to implement Brexit. Something’s got to give.