The Ukraine War is a week old but every morning I still read some version of this thread about how Russia will bring the incredible power of its fearsome military to bear any minute now. I guess maybe it will one day? Not today though. Lawrence Freedman thinks “It is now as likely that there will be regime change in Moscow as in Kyiv,” as Russia blunders from a failed Plan A to a stalled Plan B and contemplates an unappealing Plan C that would have it besieging Ukrainian cities, even though Putin can’t organize functional supply lines for his own troops. And if, like me, you left yesterday’s Chotining annoyed at John Mearsheimer but not quite able to express why, Cornell government prof Tom Pepinsky did it for us:
I start from a different premise: Russia is not a great power. It is obviously a declining power, objectively so. Its only claims to global power status are its petroleum reserves, its nuclear arsenal, and our collective memories of the Cold War. Take those away, and Russia is no more a great power than Turkey was in 1935.
Speaking of supply lines, here’s a tire-based theory of Russian equipment failure and the instantly iconic followup:
Lukoil announces new corporate slogan: “We’re Not Rosneft 😓!” Germany acquires nice yacht. In a real “bros before fiascos” bonding moment China reportedly asked Russia to delay its disastrous Ukraine invasion until after their disastrous Olympics. And Russia’s “Return to 1990 Speedrun” continues with the end of iPhones, air travel and Ikea.
But Elsewhere, People Are Still At It:
The New York Times is at it. New Yorkers are (noisily) at it. A Cyprus adult website invited its employees to be at it during work, but if you’re used to working from home, 30 minutes doesn’t seem particularly generous. Mark Zuckerberg’s perennially embarrassing sister is extremely at it:
And the knitting dot com “product guys” talked to the last remaining tech reporter, Chris Stokel-Walker, but instead of doing damage control they managed to give him this quote:
“It’s been very reminiscent of high school,” he says. “It has a very bullying halo around it, and it almost feels similar to a Salem witch trial where just without any facts or real premise for anything, we’re going to point a whole bunch of fingers.”
“The Salem witch trials” seems like an ideal metaphor to pacify angry knitters, way to go guys.
A Tale of Two Ledes:
“U.S. Rep. Van Taylor ends reelection campaign after he admits to affair,” The Texas Tribune:
“Rep. Van Taylor apologizes for affair with ‘ISIS bride,’ abruptly drops reelection bid,” The Dallas Morning News:
A Tale of Two Cryptos:
Erin Woo and Kevin Roose profiled Friends With Benefits, a social club that “Runs on Crypto Tokens and Vibes,” where “vibes” appears to mean “money.”
“This is like being able to sit in 2005, web2 era, and be part of a community that has the chance to build the next Facebook or Twitter,” said Steve Jang, the founder and managing partner of Kindred Ventures, which invested $1.5 million in Friends With Benefits.
I wanted to know who was building things because the priorities of the people who build things are often reflected in the products they build…
So I went to ETHDenver because developers are usually more interesting than investors, and also because I understood there would be parties, and I like parties.
You may disagree with what all of these people are doing, but only one of them sounds like it’s any fun.
Inimitable treasure Sabrina Imbler reports that Dutch ecologist Dr. Marcel Dicke wants you to eat bugs. Wait till you find out what Dr. Bugse wants you to eat. “Name That White Man!” I got zero. Trump’s Wile E. Coyote-ass Acme border wall “has been breached more than 3,000 times by smugglers… Once the 18-to-30-foot-tall bollards are severed near the ground, their only remaining point of attachment is at the top of the structure, leaving the steel beam dangling in the air.” Meep meep. Introducing Google Hangouts Doc. Discourse Blog returns to Substack. New orb dropped.
Today’s Song: Wet Leg, “Angelica”
~ I saw Sarah Good with the tabs! I saw Goody Osburn with the tabs! I saw Bridget Bishop with the tabs! ~
I like to come back from hiatus on a Tuesday because look, it’s already Thursday. If you subscribe, I’ll send you something tomorrow. But what? It’s a secret even to me. All will be revealed in time. I speak my own sins; I cannot judge another.