LATELY — 6 April 2015

Recent Readings

An Old Threat Made New

Anne Ap­ple­baum argues that though most people don’t worry about threat of nuclear war anymore, Russia’s nuclear weapons are the reason the West isn’t even able to sell Ukraine defensive weapons.

There is no need to res­ur­rect the Cold War, but the res­ur­rec­tion of the word deterrence might not be such a bad idea, if only to make the madmen think twice before they carry out nuclear ex­er­cises or se­cretly enrich some plutonium. Ninety-nine percent of nuclear strat­egy is a stupid psy­cho­log­i­cal game, which no one plays with enthusiasm. But if you refuse to play it at all, then you lose.

(I ac­tu­ally think there’s a pos­si­ble world in which a country is an im­por­tant and sig­nif­i­cant mil­i­tary force despite having no nuclear weapons, but since this doesn’t apply to the actual world, this is a dif­fi­cult theory to test.)

Why I Con­verted to Islam

“I was born Lew Alcindor. Now I’m Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”

Follow the White Ball

“The tor­ments of Ronnie O’Sullivan, snooker’s great­est player.”