You Misunderstand the Russian Nuclear Threat
Many believe Putin is simply sabre rattling and intimidating us. They see no threat of nuclear war. We can send NATO troops into Ukraine without risking a nuclear war.
I keep reading that Putin is just using nuclear blackmail and that a strong leader will call the bluff. That, in my opinion, misunderstands the danger of sending NATO into Ukraine.
It assumes that once NATO moves in, Putin can either push the red nuclear button or not.
Sure, Putin won't go nuclear if NATO invades Ukraine. So we're safe? Can't we just move NATO?
No, because history has taught us that wars often escalate far beyond our initial expectations. One domino falls, knocking down another. That's why having clear boundaries is vital. Crossing a seemingly harmless line can set off a chain of events that are unstoppable once started.
One example is WWI. The assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand could not have known that his actions would kill millions. They couldn't have known that invading Serbia to punish them for not handing over the accomplices would start a world war. Every action triggered a counter-action, plunging Europe into a brutal and bloody war. Each leader saw their actions as limited, not realizing how they kept the dominos falling.
Nobody can predict the future, but it's easy to imagine how NATO intervention could trigger a chain of events leading to a total war. Let me suggest some outcomes.
NATO creates a no-fly-zone. In retaliation, Russia bombs NATO airfields. Russia may see this as a limited counter-move that shouldn't cause further NATO escalation. They think it's a reasonable response to force NATO out of Ukraine. Nobody has yet thought to use the nuke.
Will NATO act? Polish airfields bombed, will they be stuck? Is this an article 5 event? If so, what should be done?
It could happen. Maybe NATO sends troops into Ukraine to punish Russia. Maybe NATO will bomb Russian airfields.
Putin's response Is bombing Russian airfields an invasion or an attack? Remember that Russia has always used nuclear weapons for defense, not offense. But let's not panic, let's assume Russia doesn't go nuclear.
Maybe Russia retaliates by attacking NATO military bases with planes. Maybe they use ships to attack military targets. How does NATO respond? Will they fight Russia in Ukraine or escalate? Will they invade Russia or attack more military installations there?
Seen the pattern? As each nation responds, smaller limited military operations can grow in scope.
So far, the Russian military has shown that they begin with less brutal methods. As losses and failures increase, brutal means are used. Syria had the same. Assad used chemical weapons and attacked hospitals, schools, residential areas, etc.
A NATO invasion of Ukraine would cost Russia dearly. “Oh, this isn't looking so good, better pull out and finish this war,” do you think? No way. Desperate, they will resort to more brutal tactics. If desperate, Russia has a huge arsenal of ugly weapons. They have nerve agents, chemical weapons, and other nasty stuff.
What happens if Russia uses chemical weapons? What if Russian nerve agents kill NATO soldiers horribly? West calls for retaliation will grow. Will we invade Russia? Will we bomb them?
We are angry and determined to punish war criminal Putin, so NATO tanks may be heading to Moscow. We want vengeance for his chemical attacks and bombing of our cities.
Do you think the distance between that red nuclear button and Putin's finger will be that far once NATO tanks are on their way to Moscow?
We might avoid a nuclear apocalypse. A NATO invasion force or even Western cities may be used by Putin. Not as destructive as ICBMs. Putin may think we won't respond to tactical nukes with a full nuclear counterattack. Why would we risk a nuclear Holocaust by launching ICBMs on Russia?
Maybe. My point is that at every stage of the escalation, one party may underestimate the other's response. This war is spiraling out of control and the chances of a nuclear exchange are increasing. Nobody really wants it.
Fear, anger, and resentment cause it. If Putin and his inner circle decide their time is up, they may no longer care about the rest of the world. We saw it with Hitler. Hitler, seeing the end of his empire, ordered the destruction of Germany. Nobody should win if he couldn't. He wanted to destroy everything, including Paris.
In other words, the danger isn't what happens after NATO intervenes The danger is the potential chain reaction. Gambling has a psychological equivalent. It's best to exit when you've lost less. We humans are willing to take small risks for big rewards. To avoid losses, we are willing to take high risks. Daniel Kahneman describes this behavior in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow.
And so bettors who have lost a lot begin taking bigger risks to make up for it. We get a snowball effect. NATO involvement in the Ukraine conflict is akin to entering a casino and placing a bet. We'll start taking bigger risks as we start losing to Russian retaliation. That's the game's psychology.
It's impossible to stop. So will politicians and citizens from both Russia and the West, until we risk the end of human civilization.
You can avoid spiraling into ever larger bets in the Casino by drawing a hard line and declaring “I will not enter that Casino.” We're doing it now. We supply Ukraine. We send money and intelligence but don't cross that crucial line.
It's difficult to watch what happened in Bucha without demanding NATO involvement. What should we do? Of course, I'm not in charge. I'm a writer. My hope is that people will think about the consequences of the actions we demand. My hope is that you think ahead not just one step but multiple dominos.
More and more, we are driven by our emotions. We cannot act solely on emotion in matters of life and death. If we make the wrong choice, more people will die.
Read the original post here.
More on Current Events
1 year ago
There’s no manual for that
|Kyiv oblast in springtime. Photo by author.|
We’ve been receiving since the war began text messages from the State Emergency Service of Ukraine every few days. They’ve contained information on how to comfort a child and what to do in case of a water outage.
But a question that I struggle to suppress irks within me: How would we know if there really was a threat coming our away? So how can I happily disregard an air raid siren and continue singing to my three-month-old son when I feel like a World War II film became reality? There’s no manual for that.
Along with the anxiety, there’s the guilt that always seems to appear alongside dinner we’re fortunate to still have each evening while brave Ukrainian soldiers are facing serious food insecurity. There’s no manual for how to deal with this guilt.
When it comes to the enemy, there is no manual for how to react to the news of Russian casualties. Every dead Russian soldier weakens Putin, but I also know that many of these men had wives and girlfriends who are now living a nightmare.
So, I felt like I had to start writing my own manual.
The anxiety around the air raid siren? Only with time does it get easier to ignore it, but never completely.
The guilt? All we can do is pray.
That inner conflict? As Russia continues to stun the world with its war crimes, my emotions get less gray — I have to get used to accommodating absurd levels of hatred.
Sadness? It feels a bit more manageable when we laugh, and a little alcohol helps (as it usually does).
Cabin fever? Step outside in the yard when possible. At least the sunshine is becoming more fervent with spring approaching.
Slava Ukraini. Heroyam slava. (Glory to Ukraine. Glory to the heroes.)
10 months ago
To prove his point, Putin is prepared to add 200,000 more dead soldiers.
What does Ukraine's murderous craziness mean?
Vladimir Putin expressed his patience to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet. Thousands, even hundreds of thousands of young and middle-aged males in his country have no meaning to him.
During a meeting in March with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel, Mr. Putin admitted that the Ukrainians were tougher “than I was told,” according to two people familiar with the exchange. “This will probably be much more difficult than we thought. But the war is on their territory, not ours. We are a big country and we have patience (The Inside Story of a Catastrophe).”
Putin should explain to Russian mothers how patient he is with his invasion of Ukraine.
Putin is rich. Even while sanctions have certainly limited Putin's access to his fortune, he has access to everything in Russia. Unlimited wealth.
The Russian leader's infrastructure was designed with his whims in mind. Vladimir Putin is one of the wealthiest and most catered-to people alive. He's also all-powerful, as his lack of opposition shows. His incredible wealth and power have isolated him from average people so much that he doesn't mind turning lives upside down to prove a point.
For many, losing a Russian spouse or son is painful. Whether the soldier was a big breadwinner or unemployed, the loss of a male figure leaves many families bewildered and anxious. Putin, Russia's revered president, seems unfazed.
People who know Mr. Putin say he is ready to sacrifice untold lives and treasure for as long as it takes, and in a rare face-to-face meeting with the Americans last month the Russians wanted to deliver a stark message to President Biden: No matter how many Russian soldiers are killed or wounded on the battlefield, Russia will not give up (The Inside Story of a Catastrophe).
Imagine a country's leader publicly admitting a mistake he's made. Imagine getting Putin's undivided attention.
So, I underestimated Ukrainians. I can't allow them make me appear terrible, so I'll utilize as many drunken dopes as possible to cover up my error. They'll die fulfilled and heroic.
Russia's human resources are limited, but its willingness to cause suffering is not. How many Russian families must die before the curse is broken? If mass protests started tomorrow, Russia's authorities couldn't stop them.
When Moscovites faced down tanks in August 1991, the Gorbachev coup ended in three days. Even though few city residents showed up, everything collapsed. This wicked disaster won't require many Russians.
One NATO member is warning allies that Mr. Putin is ready to accept the deaths or injuries of as many as 300,000 Russian troops — roughly three times his estimated losses so far.
If 100,000 Russians have died in Ukraine and Putin doesn't mind another 200,000 dying, why don't these 200,000 ghosts stand up and save themselves? Putin plays the role of concerned and benevolent leader effectively, but things aren't going well for Russia.
What would 300,000 or more missing men signify for Russia's future? How many kids will have broken homes? How many families won't form, and what will the economy do?
Putin reportedly cared about his legacy. His place in Russian history Putin's invasion of Ukraine settled his legacy. He has single-handedly weakened and despaired Russia since the 1980s.
Putin will be viewed by sensible people as one of Russia's worst adversaries, but Russians will think he was fantastic despite Ukraine.
The more setbacks Mr. Putin endures on the battlefield, the more fears grow over how far he is willing to go. He has killed tens of thousands in Ukraine, leveled cities, and targeted civilians for maximum pain — obliterating hospitals, schools, and apartment buildings while cutting off power and water to millions before winter. Each time Ukrainian forces score a major blow against Russia, the bombing of their country intensifies. And Mr. Putin has repeatedly reminded the world that he can use anything at his disposal, including nuclear arms, to pursue his notion of victory.
How much death and damage will there be in Ukraine if Putin sends 200,000 more Russians to the front? It's scary, sad, and sick.
1 year ago
Putin's War On Reality
The dictator's playbook.
Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, delivered a speech titled "On The Cult Of Personality And Its Consequences" in 1956, three years after Stalin’s death.
It was Stalin's grave abuse of power that caused untold harm to our party.
Stalin acted not by persuasion, explanation, or patient cooperation, but by imposing his ideas and demanding absolute obedience. […]
See where Stalin's mania for greatness led? He had lost all sense of reality.
The speech, which was never made public, shook the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc. After Stalin's "cult of personality" was exposed as a lie, only reality remained.
As I've watched the nightmare unfold in Ukraine, I'm reminded of that question. Primarily by Putin's repeated denials.
His odd claim that Ukraine is run by drug addicts and Nazis (especially strange given that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, is Jewish). Others attempt to portray Russia as liberators rather than occupiers. For example, he portrays Luhansk and Donetsk as plucky, newly independent states when they have been totalitarian statelets for 8 years.
Putin seemed to have lost all sense of reality.
Maybe that's why his remarks to an oligarchs' gathering stood out:
Everything is a desperate measure. They gave us no choice. We couldn't do anything about their security risks. […] They could have put the country in jeopardy.
This is almost certainly true from Putin's perspective. Even for Putin, a military invasion seems unlikely. So, what exactly is putting Russia's security in jeopardy? How could Ukraine's independence endanger Russia's existence?
The truth is the only thing that truly terrifies leaders like these.
Trump, the president of “alternative facts,” "and “fake news” praised Putin's fabricated justifications for the Ukraine invasion. Russia tightened news censorship as news of their losses came in. It's no accident that modern dictatorships like Russia (and China and North Korea) restrict citizens' access to information.
Controlling what people see, hear, and think is the simplest method. And Ukraine's recent efforts to join the European Union showed a country whose thoughts Putin couldn't control. With the Russian and Ukrainian peoples so close, he could not control their reality.
He appears to think this is a threat worth fighting NATO over.
It's easy to disown history's great dictators. By the magnitude of their harm. But the strategy they used is still in use today, albeit not to the same devastating effect.
The Kim dynasty in North Korea has ruled for 74 years, Putin has ruled Russia for 19 years (using loopholes and even rewriting the constitution).
“Politicians and diapers must be changed frequently,” said Mark Twain. "And for the same reason.”
When their egos are threatened, they sabre-rattle, as in Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump's famous spat about the size of their...ahem, “nuclear buttons”." Or Putin's threats of mutual destruction this weekend.
Most importantly, they have cult-like control over their followers.
When a leader whose power is built on lies feels he is losing control of the narrative, things like Trump's Jan. 6 meltdown and Putin's current actions in Ukraine are unavoidable.
Leaders who try to control their people's reality will have to die to keep the illusion alive.
Long version of this post available here
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1 year ago
Because he worked on his side projects during working hours, my junior was fired and sued.
Many developers do it, but I don't approve.
Aren't many programmers part-time? Many work full-time but also freelance. If the job agreement allows it, I see no problem.
Tech businesses' policies vary. I have a friend in Google, Germany. According to his contract, he couldn't do an outside job. Google owns any code he writes while employed.
I was shocked. Later, I found that different Google regions have different policies.
A corporation can normally establish any agreement before hiring you. They're negotiable. When there's no agreement, state law may apply. In court, law isn't so simple.
I won't delve into legal details. Instead, let’s talk about the incident.
How he was discovered
In one month, he missed two deadlines. His boss was frustrated because the assignment wasn't difficult to miss twice. When a team can't finish work on time, they all earn bad grades.
He annoyed the whole team. One team member (anonymous) told the project manager he worked on side projects during office hours. He may have missed deadlines because of this.
The project manager was furious. He needed evidence. The manager caught him within a week. The manager told higher-ups immediately.
The company wanted to set an example
Management could terminate him and settle the problem. But the company wanted to set an example for those developers who breached the regulation.
Because dismissal isn't enough. Every organization invests heavily in developer hiring. If developers depart or are fired after a few months, the company suffers.
The developer spent 10 months there. The employer sacked him and demanded ten months' pay. Or they'd sue him.
It was illegal and unethical. The youngster paid the fine and left the company quietly to protect his career.
Right or wrong?
Is the developer's behavior acceptable? Let's discuss developer malpractice.
During office hours, may developers work on other projects? If they're bored during office hours, they might not. Check the employment contract or state law.
If there's no employment clause, check country/state law. Because you can't justify breaking the law. Always. Most employers own their employees' work hours unless it's a contractual position.
If the company agrees, it's fine.
I also oppose companies that force developers to work overtime without pay.
Most states and countries have laws that help companies and workers. Law supports employers in this case. If any of the following are true, the company/employer owns the IP under California law.
using the business's resources
any equipment, including a laptop used for business.
company's mobile device.
offices of the company.
business time as well. This is crucial. Because this occurred in the instance of my junior.
Company resources are dangerous. Because your company may own the product's IP. If you have seen the TV show Silicon Valley, you have seen a similar situation there, right?
Simple rule. I avoid big side projects. I work on my laptop on weekends for side projects. I'm safe. But I also know that my company might not be happy with that.
As an employee, I suppose I can. I can make side money. I won't promote it, but I'll respect their time, resources, and task. I also sometimes work extra time to finish my company’s deadlines.
9 months ago
Three Simple Daily Practices That Will Immediately Double Your Output
Most productive people are habitual.
Early in the day, do important tasks.
In his best-selling book Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy advised starting the day with your hardest, most important activity.
Most individuals work best in the morning. Energy and willpower peak then.
Mornings are also ideal for memory, focus, and problem-solving.
Thus, the morning is ideal for your hardest chores.
It makes sense to do these things during your peak performance hours.
Additionally, your morning sets the tone for the day. According to Brian Tracy, the first hour of the workday steers the remainder.
After doing your most critical chores, you may feel accomplished, confident, and motivated for the remainder of the day, which boosts productivity.
Develop Your Essentialism
In Essentialism, Greg McKeown claims that trying to be everything to everyone leads to mediocrity and tiredness.
You'll either burn out, be spread too thin, or compromise your ideals.
Greg McKeown advises Essentialism:
Clarify what’s truly important in your life and eliminate the rest.
Eliminating non-essential duties, activities, and commitments frees up time and energy for what matters most.
According to Greg McKeown, Essentialists live by design, not default.
You'll be happier and more productive if you follow your essentials.
Follow these three steps to live more essentialist.
Prioritize Your Tasks First
What matters most clarifies what matters less. List your most significant aims and values.
The clearer your priorities, the more you can focus on them.
On Essentialism, McKeown wrote, The ultimate form of effectiveness is the ability to deliberately invest our time and energy in the few things that matter most.
#2: Set Your Priorities in Order
Prioritize your priorities, not simply know them.
“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” — Greg McKeown
Planning each day and allocating enough time for your priorities is the best method to become more purposeful.
#3: Practice saying "no"
If a request or demand conflicts with your aims or principles, you must learn to say no.
Saying no frees up space for our priorities.
Place Sleep Above All Else
Many believe they must forego sleep to be more productive. This is false.
A productive day starts with a good night's sleep.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep) says:
“Getting a good night’s sleep can improve cognitive performance, creativity, and overall productivity.”
Sleep helps us learn, remember, and repair.
Unfortunately, 35% of people don't receive the recommended 79 hours of sleep per night.
Sleep deprivation can cause:
increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and obesity
Depression, stress, and anxiety risk are all on the rise.
decrease in general contentment
decline in cognitive function
To live an ideal, productive, and healthy life, you must prioritize sleep.
Follow these six sleep optimization strategies to obtain enough sleep:
Establish a nightly ritual to relax and prepare for sleep.
Avoid using screens an hour before bed because the blue light they emit disrupts the generation of melatonin, a necessary hormone for sleep.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule to control your body's biological clock (and optimizes melatonin production)
Create a peaceful, dark, and cool sleeping environment.
Limit your intake of sweets and caffeine (especially in the hours leading up to bedtime)
Regular exercise (but not right before you go to bed, because your body temperature will be too high)
Sleep is one of the best ways to boost productivity.
Sleep is crucial, says Matthew Walker. It's the key to good health and longevity.
1 year ago
Here's How I Built A Business Offering Unlimited Design Services in Just One Weekend.
Weekend project: limitless design service. It was fun to see whether I could start a business quickly.
I use no-code apps to save time and resources.
TL;DR I started a business utilizing EditorX for my website, Notion for client project management, and a few favors to finish my portfolio.
First step: research (Day 1)
I got this concept from a Kimp Instagram ad. The Minimalist Hustler Daily newsletter mentioned a similar and cheaper service (Graphically).
I Googled other unlimited design companies. Many provide different costs and services. Some supplied solely graphic design, web development, or copywriting.
Step 2: Brainstorming (Day 1)
I did something simple.
What benefits and services to provide
Price to charge
Since it's a one-person performance (for now), I'm focusing on graphic design. I can charge less.
So I don't overwhelm myself and can accommodate budget-conscious clientele.
Step 3: Construction (Day 1 & 2)
This project includes a management tool, a website, and a team procedure.
I built a project management tool and flow first. Once I had the flow and a Notion board, I tested it with design volunteers. They fake-designed while I built the website.
Tool for Project Management
I modified a Notion template. My goal is to keep clients and designers happy.
My sister, my partner, and I kept this business lean. I tweaked the Notion board to make the process smooth. By the end of Sunday, I’d say it’s perfect!
I created the website after they finished the fake design demands. EditorX's drag-and-drop builder attracted me. I didn't need to learn code, and there are templates.
I used a template wireframe.
This project's hardest aspect is developing the site. It's my first time using EditorX and I'm no developer.
People answer all your inquiries in a large community forum.
As a first-time user developing a site in two days, I think I performed OK. Here's the site for feedback.
4th step: testing (Day 2)
Testing is frustrating because it works or doesn't. My testing day was split in two.
testing the workflow from payment to onboarding to the website
the demand being tested
It's working so far. If someone gets the trial, they can request design work.
I've gotten a couple of inquiries about demand. I’ll be working with them as a start.
Finally! I built my side project in one weekend. It's too early to tell if this is successful. I liked that I didn't squander months of resources testing out an idea.