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A View From the Edge

War games of the mind

In any war, there are those forces coming at you with hostile intent and, often with greater effect, those attacks coming at you that seem weak or that you have no idea are there. 

Hidden gossip attacks are, often, seemingly harmless propaganda. But a successful (evil) leader once said, “What good fortune … that people do not think.” Another, after seeing the effects of a successful propaganda campaign, said that it, “manipulates the people as an artist molds clay.”

Never apologize or explain

Over the years I have known quite a few men, especially those older than I, perhaps born in the late ‘30s or early ‘40s, who early-on adopted a slogan of self-worth for themselves of “Never Apologize, Never Explain.” 

The telecommunications battleground

More than 30 years ago a judge, Harold Greene, made a landmark decision called the Modified Final Judgement, which basically said AT&T was too big to control (anti-trust applied to the 1949 Telecommunications Act) and needed to be broken up. AT&T could only, thereafter, be a long distance company and all the regional Bell Systems had to be independent. 

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What is a friend?

The passing of someone close to me and my family recently, someone I have known for more than 60 years, has caused me to reflect on the nature of the layers, classifications if you will, of friendship. Gen, as he was known to my family, was an extraordinary person.

The smartest men and women in the room

There are times when intellect is measured against intellect. In the mid-1800s, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace went head-to-head in determining the origin of life, or as Darwin put it, The Origin of Species. Timing? Wallace was a year ahead of Darwin, writing letters back from halfway around the globe to the National Geographical Society patrons  — who shared them with Darwin. 

Future of defense?

Anyone who follows the defense industry — and it is worth remembering that the Department of Defense controls about 16 percent of all tax dollars each year — has to be concerned at the escalating demands for cutting edge, super-new technology and futuristic developments for warfare on land, sea and in the air. 

What is ‘shovel-ready’?

When Obama suddenly needed to inject money into the economy in early 2009, he told his people to cast about and find “shovel-ready municipal and state projects” ready to go. 

What did they find? Almost 95 percent of the proposed public programs and projects were at the “approved for study” stage and did not qualify.  

Social programs are American

What’s wrong with books these days?

The short answer abounding these days is that there are too many of them being published and the media doesn’t really give a damn. That was not always the case in publishing or any other manufacture.

Culture: What’s in store for us?

Part 2 of 2

 

Anthropologists have conducted thousands of studies of the great apes, concluding that they are inventive and have traits akin to memory behavior (how to peel fruit for example). But they cannot imitate each other; they do not understand the benefit of sharing, unless trained to do so in human environments (zoos and research labs). In the wild, the great apes cannot innovate or imitate.