War in Context

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... with attention to the unseen
Updated: 1 day 4 hours ago

Quinn Norton and the New York Times’ short-lived courage

Thu, 2018-02-15 08:27
How fascism is coming to America: It’s happening when people decide the ideal society is one where everyone thinks the same way. And it’s happening when people who know better, kowtow to the dictates of social media instead of doing the right thing. I didn’t know the New York Times hired Quinn Norton until I […]

Paleolithic parenting and animated GIFs

Tue, 2018-02-13 09:50
The creation of the moving image represents a technical advance in the arts comparable with the invention of the steam engine during the industrial revolution. The transition from static to moving imagery was a watershed event in human history, through which people discovered a new way of capturing the visible world — or so it […]

My new website: Attention to the Unseen

Fri, 2018-02-09 16:29
I just launched my new website, Attention to the Unseen. The easiest way of finding out what it’s all about is to visit on a regular basis and for that purpose I recommend signing up for email updates.

With the very best technology, humanity is digging its own grave

Fri, 2018-02-09 16:26
Technology is generally thought of as extending human capabilities by facilitating everyday actions more easily or allowing us to do things that would otherwise be impossible. From this expansive perspective, technological advance has become synonymous with human progress. Conversely, the less technology populations possess, the more they are viewed as developing or even less evolved. […]

Britain First and the first Britons

Thu, 2018-02-08 15:26
The white supremacists who chant “blood and soil” (borrowing this phrase from the Nazis’ Blut und Boden) think white-skinned people have a special claim to the lands of Europe and North America. This is an arrogant and ignorant belief to hold on this side of the Atlantic where every white person has immigrant ancestry originating […]

What happened to War in Context?

Wed, 2018-02-07 15:39
On December 20, I explained my reason for suspending updates to this site by referring mysteriously and ominously to “the dictate of highly unpredictable events.” Regular visitors to War in Context may want to find out what happened and can now do so by reading this post on my new website, Attention to the Unseen.

No updates for a while

Wed, 2017-12-20 08:55
I wish this notice could be more precise, but this is a time when under the dictate of highly unpredictable events, I have to set aside my long-standing commitment to update this site. Paul Woodward

Trump’s national security strategy is a farce

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:39
Roger Cohen writes: The Trump Administration has put out its new national security strategy. This is a farce. On any one issue, President Trump and his team have several contradictory positions. That’s what happens when your priority as president is to use foreign policy to throw red meat to your base while other cabinet members […]

China unveils an ambitious plan to curb climate change emissions

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:39
The New York Times reports: China is the world’s No. 1 polluter. It burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. It produces more than a quarter of the world’s human-caused global warming gases, nearly as much as North America and Europe put together. On Tuesday, the country set out to claim another […]

While headlines focus on Mueller, Trump’s ire is directed at Sessions and Rosenstein

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:38
The Washington Post reports: Advisers who have spoken recently with Trump about the Russia investigation said the president was sharply critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as well as Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller operation — but did not broach the idea of firing Mueller. “I think he realizes that […]

Why it’s far worse for Trump to fire Rosenstein than to fire Mueller

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:38
Asha Rangappa writes: Although under the Special Counsel regulations Mueller does not have to report to Rosenstein day to day, he does need to check in with the DAG three months before the end of the fiscal year with a status report on the progress of the investigation, and Rosenstein has the power to “determine […]

Trump judicial nominee Matthew Petersen pulls out after struggling to answer basic questions

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:38
The Washington Post reports: Matthew Petersen, a nominee to the federal judiciary, has withdrawn from consideration days after a video clip showed him unable to answer basic questions about legal procedure, the White House confirmed Monday. Petersen, nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is the third Trump […]

How the Pentagon’s cyber offensive against ISIS could shape the future for elite U.S. forces

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:37
Dan Lamothe reports: The U.S. military has conducted cyber attacks against the Islamic State for more than a year, and its record of success when those attacks are coordinated with elite Special Operations troops is such that the Pentagon is likely carry out similar operations with greater frequency, according to current and former U.S. defense […]

Senate Russia investigation now looking into Jill Stein

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:37
BuzzFeed reports: The top congressional committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has set its sights on the Green Party and its nominee, Jill Stein. Dennis Trainor Jr., who worked for the Stein campaign from January to August of 2015, says Stein contacted him on Friday saying the Senate Intelligence Committee had requested […]

FBI warned Trump in 2016 Russians would try to infiltrate his campaign

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:36
NBC News reports: In the weeks after he became the Republican nominee on July 19, 2016, Donald Trump was warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign, according to multiple government officials familiar with the matter. The warning came in the form of a high-level counterintelligence briefing […]

Trump silences ‘We The People’ petition site

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:36
The Hill reports: The White House says it will take down a website that hosts petitions to the federal government, with a promise to restore it as a new site next year. The “We The People” website, launched by then-President Obama in 2011, will be taken down on Tuesday at midnight, The Associated Press reported […]

Hunger in North Korea is devastating. And it’s our fault

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:36
Kee B. Park writes: One cool morning last April in Pyongyang, North Korea, I watched a woman squat over a patch of grass along the Daedong River. A large handkerchief covering her head was knotted below her chin, encircling her sunburned and wrinkled face. As a van passed by blaring patriotic hymns from the oversize […]

It’s official: North Korea is behind WannaCry

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:36
Thomas P. Bossert, Trump’s Homeland Security Advisor, writes: Cybersecurity isn’t easy, but simple principles still apply. Accountability is one, cooperation another. They are the cornerstones of security and resilience in any society. In furtherance of both, and after careful investigation, the U.S. today publicly attributes the massive “WannaCry” cyberattack to North Korea. The attack spread […]

This year the world woke up to the society-shifting power of artificial intelligence

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:35
Dave Gershgorn reports: In less than five years, a 2012 academic breakthrough in artificial intelligence evolved into the technology responsible for making healthcare decisions, deciding whether prisoners should go free, and determining what we see on the internet. Machine learning is beginning to invisibly touch nearly every aspect of our lives; its ability to automate […]

Can the International Criminal Court be saved from itself?

Tue, 2017-12-19 08:35
Thierry Cruvellier writes: Last month, the International Criminal Court opened two investigations, including a sensitive one in Afghanistan, and a call has been made to allow it to intervene in Myanmar. But such a flurry of announcements mainly testifies to the impasse at which the court finds itself. On Nov. 20, after 11 desperately long […]