I am reading on the development of nuclear strategy through the 1950s.

It's a fascinating problem. A totally new and devastating weapon. And then the adversary has it too. People were really scrambling. Some random observations.
Guys. All guys. Guys in military uniforms. Guys in stiff civilian suits. Eventually guys standing around watching President Kennedy sign the Limited Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.
The early sixties were a turning point in many dimensions. Technology. How strategy was developed, and by whom. Civilian resistance to nuclear testing and nuclear war. And then - those things happened earlier - the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The reality of nuclear strategy is to destroy the adversary's nuclear forces first. The argument/ technology that developed against that was an undestroyable second-strike force.

That is the whole of nuclear deterrence.
It took until the eighties for heads of state to say it -

A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought

- But Bernard Brodie recognized it in the beginning.

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More from @CherylRofer

26 Nov
I've been reading virologists' threads about the new Covid variant. A thread of thoughts, one over all:

The pandemic is far from over. We must accept that and act accordingly. Vaccinate, wear masks, social distance. We must keep doing these things until the incidence is down.
Wishing won't make it go away. Only vaccinate, wear masks, social distance will. We also need to think about the rest of the world outside the United States.

And the longer it stays, the more of this we will see.
The new variant contains a large number of mutations. We don't know what they will do individually or together. We won't know until more people are infected. The effect on people can't be predicted from the RNA sequences.
Read 9 tweets
23 Nov
Lots of articles today about Democratic Party despair, the ever-popular "Democrats in disarray" theme.

I'm concerned about our country too. I'm concerned that so many people are replying to polls that they are willing to vote for Republicans. 1/
But I think the commentariat is missing something.

One whole article in @washingtonpost, maybe a thousand words, never mentions the pandemic. Nor do most of the others, except in passing. 2/
The pandemic is a central fact in everyone's life, however much we might want to ignore/ deny/ forget about it.

We thought we had it licked this summer, and then it hit back. It's looking bad this fall in too many places across America. And worse in the rest of the world. 3/
Read 6 tweets
12 Oct
Two hopeful developments.

1) E. J. Dionne urges Biden to call out Republicans' undermining of democracy
2) Former Republicans urge Republicans who still believe in democracy to vote Democratic.
President Biden can only move in increments determined by public opinion. He knows this well from his almost 50 years in politics.

It's the challenge attributed to President Franklin Roosevelt: You've convinced me, now make me do it.
Read 6 tweets
1 Oct
Thinking about a conversation I've just had with a person with a locked account -

I recall how good I've felt when I've seen roads repaved, new municipal buildings, new bridges to replace the old.

[New Mexico has been doing some of this lately, very nice.]
We've been starved for that feeling because "we can't afford it".

The richest country on earth can't afford it. Right.
The truth is that one of our political parties long ago gave up any commitment to the common good and gave away our money to rich people by eliminating their taxes.

So instead of new bridges, we have Elon Musk taunting Jeff Bezos about who's the richest.
Read 4 tweets
27 Sep
The @nytimes and @DLeonhardt went to some trouble to make this graphic look good for Republicans!

ping @DougJBalloon Graphic titled "Vaccination rates and 2020 U.S. electio
@nytimes @DLeonhardt Intuitively, people tend to expect higher scores to be better. I certainly do and had to take a minute to understand the graph. But these higher scores are for vaccine refusers because that's what the vertical axis measures.
@nytimes @DLeonhardt So the more people voted for Trump in a state, the more vaccine refusers there are. Hoocoodanode?

But most people won't take the time to figure out a counterintuitive graph and will get the general impression that Trumpies are somehow better.

Which has been the Times message.
Read 5 tweets
26 Sep
Close call this morning.

I was out with Ric and heard an animal call in the next yard. It was a soft semi-bark. I tried to see what was making it, thought it might be a fox.

And then I saw a bobcat. Looking at me. I grabbed for Ric.
Ric, as he sometimes does, decided that I was the Anti-Cat and performed his defensive maneuvers. Both cats know how to wriggle out of their harnesses, and I knew that preventing that was essential.
The bobcat came closer, sat on the wall. I shouted and waved my hands, and the cat retreated. This upset Ric even more, and Zooey howled from the window.
Read 17 tweets

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