FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What I Read Last Week: $30 Aluminum Foil, Blind EOD Swimmer, Powerpoints, Jet Lag, Mother Tongues and Retro Afghanistan

Extreme City The severe inequality of the Angolan oil boom
$30 for a roll of aluminum foil.  A place that makes Nigeria looks like Switzerland.   It's frightening to think how much the myriad global companies dumping in hundreds of millions must be making off this country.  

Powerpoint should banned and this powerpoint explains why
A rehash bash of powerpoints which is always entertaining.  This one is a bit of a deep dive which is refreshing.  I am a big fan of using a powerpoint with no words--only pictures or maps.  RADM Lemmons--a former Director of International Engagement for the Navy used to talk for 45 fascinating minutes off three slides that just had photos and a map on them.  

The Delta.  Navy EOD stud Brad Snyder loses his eyesight to an IED and rediscovers meaning in the swimming pool and a new direction in his life.  

How jet lag hurts diplomats, without them even realizing it
This is probably pretty true.  That's why it's vital that you have sharp people on your country team downrange--as this author aptly points out.  I will say this--don't listen to 'natural health people'--AMBIEN is your friend.  It is vital that you get sleep on that red-eye or on that first night.  


Focus on the person that you're with.  Ask yourself what connections can I make for other people?!

Leaving The Mother Tongue: Why Languages Are So Hard To Learn And Which Are Easiest
Fascinating read.  "For people like Sagarra who study the way our brains make sense of new languages, the challenge is figuring out when learning actually takes place. When is the brain playing by the new rules? In 2013, Sagarra and her colleague Nick Ellis, of the University of Michigan, foundthrough eye-tracking technology that people’s proficiency level determines where they spend their time concentrating. In that particular study, the investigators focused on adverb-verb congruency (“Yesterday the man eats” versus “Yesterday the man ate”) among English and Romanian learners of Spanish."

Fire on the Mountain
A great retro-read from 2009 on Army COIN work in Afghanistan.  It's illuminating to read in light of where we are today.  

WIRLW Archive:

No comments:

Post a Comment