Apparently this is where the Crimean peninsula is:
It’s that whole big island in the middle of the Black Sea, and Ukraine currently controls it. And, yes, there have been lots of Russians there for a while, and it is predominately Russian, but that’s because Putin’s been heavily incentivizing Russians moving there for the past decade. So, they recently voted to secede from Ukraine, and they’re putting it to a popular vote which will no doubt pass in the peninsula itself, but it’s not really a natural feeling there, it’s been kind of cultivated as a legitimizing reason Putin can say “hey, they wanted it not me!”. And I mean, look at where that is, you get command of the entire Black Sea.
Apparently the past 100 years or so has seen armies marching across that peninsula in both directions, Germans and Russians. And in every case, they were poorly supplied, and so basically just pillaged whatever they needed from the people who lived there, often leaving a bunch of peasants naked in the Russian winter behind them. They aren’t fond of the west or the east, but they have the unfortunate luck of living on an immensely strategically important location in Europe.
It’s pretty interesting, the whole West is saying “Putin’s the next Hitler!” which seemed a little alarmist to me. It’s not that he’s like Hitler in that he’s massacring millions of people, but he is like Hitler in that he’s playing a risky/brilliant long game of public perception in order to annex some territory that’s not his without spilling any (well, much) blood to do it. And as my friend Jule said, “Of course the West is angry, and nobody wants Russia to get it, but what’re you gonna do? Engage in a land war with Russia? Something even The Princess Bride advises against?”
"You enter the first room of the mansion and it’s completely dark. You stumble around bumping into the furniture but gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is. Finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch, you turn it on, and suddenly it’s all illuminated. You can see exactly where you were. Then you move into the next room and spend another six months in the dark. So each of these breakthroughs, while sometimes they’re momentary, sometimes over a period of a day or two, they are the culmination of, and couldn’t exist without, the many months of stumbling around in the dark that precede them."
Andrew Wiles on studying mathematics. via Jeremy Kun
"We call it Thirty Percent Feedback. It’s a trick I learned from our investor, Seth Lieberman. It came about because I once asked him for feedback on a product mockup, and he asked if I felt like I was ninety percent done or thirty percent done. If I was ninety percent done, he would try to correct me on every little detail possible because otherwise a typo might make it into production. But if I had told him I was only thirty percent done, he would glaze over the tiny mistakes, knowing that I would correct them later. He would engage in broader conversations about what the product should be."
"There are two ways you can be a perfectionist. One is that you can really try to make it absolutely as good as you can, which is what I do every night when I go onstage. I know that it’s not going to be a perfect performance. I know that at some point, I will mistime something, I will fluff a line, I will miss a laugh. But I make it as good as I can, and afterward I quickly review it in my mind and think about what to change the next night, and then I go have a drink. The other sort of perfectionism is to go on agonizing about it and saying, “Oh, I shouldn’t have made those mistakes.” You want to try to achieve perfection, but you don’t want to beat yourself up about it. Of course, if you look at the great artists, you have to agree, they’re basically obsessional about what they do. Their life almost takes second place. Picasso was not stopping at 3:00 in the afternoon to play tennis."
"I’ve always advocated humor in advertising. The people making the product think that it’s their life, their mortgage, their children’s education. But that’s not how customers look at it, so you need to create a warm and humorous atmosphere around a product to make it attractive. This is cultural, though. In America, a straight hard sell is more acceptable than in England and most of Europe."
"Perhaps it’s not so odd a pairing. Columbo and Mulder are relentless seekers of truth and logic, outcasts of sort within their organizations, underestimated by coworkers and outsiders alike. They are simply flip sides of the same Quixotic coin: Columbo the champion of the rational solution, Mulder the true believer in the Unknown. Once again, our heroes come together to solve a seemingly impossible — and highly improbable — murder."
"One of the curious things about the crisis in San Francisco – precipitated by a huge influx of well-paid tech workers driving up housing costs and causing evictions, gentrification and cultural change – is that they seem unable to understand why many locals don’t love them. They’re convinced that they are members of the tribe. Their confusion may issue from Silicon Valley’s own favourite stories about itself. These days in TED talks and tech-world conversation, commerce is described as art and as revolution and huge corporations are portrayed as agents of the counterculture."