When I’m doing science, I’ve found it’s important to pay attention to the things that seem odd, out of line with expectations. Here are some things about Vladimir Putin, disconnected, no patterns implied, no conclusions drawn, that have seemed odd to me lately. Read More
A Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian SU-24 bomber. Rumors and videos are circulating. It’s not clear whether the pilots are alive or not. Vladimir Putin made a statement linking Turkey with ISIS and claiming a “stab in the back.” A number of videos circulating on social media are from earlier incidents. This story is developing. The New York Times and Washington Post are probably the most reliable sources for summaries for the next day or so. And no, World War III is not about to begin. Russia and Turkey have too many commercial interests in common. Putin’s statement does not mention military reprisals. Photo: CNN Read More
Alexei Arbatov considers the possibilities of nuclear war between Russia and the United States. It sounds like Putin’s “strike first” comment made Arbatov wonder if Putin intended that for nuclear war. He decides not, but, I think, not entirely convincingly. This is one of the issues the United States and Russia need to talk about. Read More
Some of the more helpful reading I’ve found on ISIS and related matters. Read More
After the appalling attacks in Paris on Friday, we wish for recovery and healing.
Equally appalling are some of the responses, which I won’t quote here. The desire for more war, which is the generator of ISIS and other pathologies, seems insane to me. The image at top of the post is by Jean Jullien. Can we take its widespread adoption as an indication that most people want peace? Read More