I always wondered why Nazi Germany initially partitioned France instead of simply occupying it all, and why this was the shape of the border.

I get why Nazis would want all the Atlantic coast, but why leaving a Free Zone at all?

My History books never explained it.
Then I did this.

And I wonder: Did Nazis simply occupy the plains because they were much more productive and easy to occupy? To avoid the much harder work of facing guerrilla warfare in mountains?

Do you guys know?
Twitter comes through:
1. Atlantic+connection to spain+ North-South railway
2. Racial goal
3. Big capitals
4. Productive areas
Northern productivity was a goal, directly & indirectly

Micro: initially random, then iteration for defense optimization

Thx @edenhofer_jacob

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More from @tomaspueyo

24 Feb
The 5th estate (social media and its influencers) is destroying the 4th estate (the press and its reporters).

Exhibit A: Image
This was impossible even a decade ago. But as leaders build their own channels, they circumvent the traditional gatekeepers and turn them redundant
This echoes how the 4th estate took power away from the 1st estate (church) and gave it to the 2nd (aristocracy)

Read 4 tweets
20 Feb
We’re entering a world where sanctions to countries might start disappearing.

They never were very successful anyways. Look at Cuba, North Korea, Iran. Did they really change behaviors?

Not much.

Did their elites suffer and feel pressured? Much less than the ppl
Sanctions were always a pretty bad deal.

Now on top of that, they will be unenforceable.

The US based its ability to sanction based on its grip over the global financial system. That is disappearing.

It won’t be able to size the assets of elites, safeguarded in Bitcoin.
It won’t be able to freeze the pipelines of global trade, because DeFi will replace the legacy use of systems like SWIFT. The requirement to buy oil in dollars will likely suffer workarounds, if it doesn’t simply disappear as the % of US’s global GDP shrinks.
Read 5 tweets
19 Feb
The efficacy of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is probably ~92% , very close to 2 doses (~95%).

Huge ramifications: we should ramp up single dose for these vaccines as quickly as possible. Postpone the 2nd dose.

This doubles the # of ppl protected & ~halves the time to herd immun.
This is what @Bob_Wachter defends in @NEJM

Here are the calculations
This reversal is truly ground-breaking. We could be getting out of the woods much faster.

It doesn't mean we stop the 2nd dose, but by postponing it we build up production capacity for when it's needed, and protect many more ppl in the meantime
Read 4 tweets
15 Feb
Look at this map intently. I'm going to ask you a question about it.

Don't cheat, look at it well.
Where was the Austro-Hungarian empire?
Or Hungary, before that.
For the last 1000 years or so.
If you guessed right, congratulations!
Here's how Hungary evolved over the last 1000 years.
(Austro-Hungary for ~70 years before WWI)
Read 6 tweets
14 Feb
I was looking at some maps for a future article and saw something interesting about Italy.

The Po River Valley is the richest and highest-density area because it's the most fertile.

But then there's this line of cities. That's so weird. Why?
So I turned to look at what's there, and a bunch of cities are on a near perfect line! From Piacenza to Rimini through Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna or Forli.

They're all connected by the E45. So I wondered: What's the history of E45?
Turns out it was the Via Aemilia that Romans built to control the Po Valley.

They built it on the mountainside of the Appenine Mountains, as straight as they could for efficiency, and then built cities along its way!
Read 4 tweets
9 Feb
The main concern I'm hearing right now: What if new COVID variants keep evolving so much that vaccines can't keep up and we end up in a situation like the flu?

It's possible, but I think it's unlikely. Here's why:
The flu has 2 advantages:
1. Other animals can be reservoirs, so even if you stop it in humans it could go back from them,

Do you remember avian flu? Swine flu? Animals that carry the flu include ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses, birds..
Meanwhile, so far COVID has only been witnessed to easily jump between humans and minks AFAIK. There's not much data on this yet, but it's very hopeful
Read 9 tweets

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