…he was reminded of the brave little group of Bilbo, Frodo, Sam and the rest, who left the quiet Shire “to shake the towers and counsels of the Great”. They were small, shaggy-haired and barefoot, usually unarmed and often frightened. But they lived, and eventually triumphed, by their wits. Every problem had a solution, and every battle could be won, if you thought hard and fast enough.
—The Economist, in ‘Obituary: Steve Sawyer died on July 31st’
This has always been the gap in the Amazon model. It’s ever more efficient at finding what you already know you want and shipping it to you, but bad at suggesting things you don’t already know about, and terrible whenever a product needs something specific—just try finding children’s shoes by size
—Benedict Evans, in ‘Amazon as experiment’
In Krulak’s example, Marines may be required to conduct full scale military action, peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid within the space of three contiguous city blocks.
The thrust of the concept is that modern militaries must be trained to operate in all three conditions simultaneously, and that to do so, leadership training at the lowest levels needs to be high. The latter condition caused Krulak to invoke what he called “strategic corporals”; low-level unit leaders able to take independent action and make major decisions
—Three Block War – Wikipedia
Instead the protesters are at best dupes, and at worst foreigner-loving race traitors, ashamed of being Chinese.
—The Economist, in Why Chinese officials imagine America is behind unrest in Hong Kong
Continue reading Race traitor: Oxford dictionary word of the year?
Knowledge is a tool and not an end in itself.
—Tolstoy, in “A Calendar of Wisdom“
Continue reading On knowledge