News From Iraq, Nuclear Weirdness, and Shutting Down a 9 Year Old Boy’s Library

Nuclear

More adventures in nuclear incompetence (feeling like a broken record). David Willman, “$40-Billion Missile Defense System Proves Unreliable.”

The inverted nuke in the garden (seriously, a broken record) . . . : Dylan Matthews, “A New Report Shows Nuclear Weapons Almost Detonated in North Carolina in 1961.”

Alex Wellerstein found this, wow, simply amazing document: assessing post-apocalyptic land values.

 

Iraq

Robin Wright, “A Third Iraq War?”

Lawrence Wright, “ISIS’s Savage Strategy in Iraq.”

Elliot Ackerman, “Watching ISIS Flourish Where We Once Fought.”

Rod Nordland and Alissa J. Rubin, “Massacre Claim Shakes Iraq.”

Rod Nordland and Suadad Al-Salhay, “Extremists Attack Iraq’s Biggest Oil Refinery.”

David Frum, “Iraq Isn’t Ours to Save.”

J. M. Berger, “How ISIS Games Twitter.”

Moíses Naím, “The Rise of Militarized NGOs.”

Jeffrey Goldberg, “The New Map of the Middle East.”

And Greg Shupak at Jacobin, “No More Imperial Crusades.”

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January 2014 Links

It’s been a busy month, both in the news and in the world. Here’s a few things I’ve almost had time to read.

 

Nuclear and Disaster

“Almost Everything in Dr. Strangelove Was True,” Eric Schlosser, The New Yorker.

The DSM-5 is the worst.

So are polar vortexes.

The state of emergency in West Virginia and its long term effects.

Literary destruction.

XKCD on the weather.

 

The NSA

NSA has a backdoor into your computer and to your iPhone.

Everything we know the NSA can do.

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Data Mining the Literary Hyperarchive and Some Other Links

Ted Underwood, a professor of 18th and 19th century literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has an interesting post on text mining and what is being called “distant reading,” “We Don’t Already Know the Broad Outlines of Literary History.” His blog is The Stone and the Shell: Historical Questions Raised by a Quantitative Approach to Language.

Some notes on the storm hitting the Northeast.

And io9‘s George Dvorsky reports on Lee Smolin’s theory of Cosmological Natural Selection, the idea that: “gives a kind of raison d’etre to our universe and all the objects flying through it. If true, it would mean that our universe is nothing more than a black hole generator, or a means to produce as many baby universes as possible.”