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July and August Faves

The Leadership Brief – Henry Kissinger: The Internet Does Not Make Great Leaders Henry Kissinger, the 98-year-old, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning, Monty Python-inspiring, former U.S. Secretary of State, believes that, perhaps more than any time since the Age of Enlightenment, the world is entering a period of disruption that needs thoughtful leaders. And the internet is not helping to produce them. (Time Magazine via LinkedIn)

Meritocracy or Else Jordan Peterson and Adrian Wooldridge discuss the history of meritocracy, IQ testing and educational policy, group-based judgement, and the importance of defending liberal individualism. (Jordan B. Peterson Podcast #265)

Jack Barsky – KGB Spy One of the most interesting and compelling life stories I’ve ever encountered. Lex Fridman’s conversation brings out poignant moments from the former spy, challenges some of his long-held beliefs, gets honest about great power competition, and most of all witnesses for the power of love. This is long form interviewing at its best. Break it into multiple sessions if you need to, but I strongly encourage to listen to the end. (Lex Fridman Podcast #301).

Dealing with Russia – A Conversation with Counterintelligence Legend Jim Olson “Legend” is an understatement when one considers Olson’s career, depth, rigor, wisdom, and insight. His long history observing Vladimir Putin allows him to be frankly honest about the man, his psyche, his lack of a moral compass, and what he is capable of. It is insightful, enlightening, and sobering. He closes with comments on what he perceives as the greatest intelligence threat to America and as one would suspect, it isn’t Russia. (Spycast Podcast #547)

The Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis Is Just Starting The Chinese military exercises that began on Aug. 3, 2022, have initiated the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis. The most immediate reason for this was Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. But this is a bigger crisis, driven by bigger factors. There has been a steady erosion in Sino-American relations and — not unrelated — a shift in the nature of U.S.-Taiwan relations that Beijing finds deeply threatening. As a result, expectations of a rapid resolution to the crisis are chimeric, as too are blithe expectations of a quick return to the status quo ante. (War on the Rocks)

International Relations Theory Suggests Great-Power War Is Coming This week, thousands of university students around the world will begin their introduction to international relations courses for the first time. If their professors are attuned to the ways the world has changed in recent years, they will be teaching them that the major theories of international relations warn that great-power conflict is coming. (Foreign Policy Magazine)

Why Cities are Exploring Metaverse Technology From Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Seoul, South Korea, to Santa Monica, California, a growing number of cities worldwide are exploring how they can deploy metaverse technology to more effectively administer public services, engage residents, and boost activity with businesses or downtown areas. Some fear it could leave residents behind. (SmartCitiesDive.com)

Ruy Teixeria on the Democratic Majority that Never Emerged Mr. Teixeira is a man of the left. He describes his own political philosophy as “social democracy.” Yet last month he quit the Center for American Progress, where he had been a senior fellow for years, and joined the American Enterprise Institute, an eclectic center-right think tank. (Wall Street Journal)

The Lost Art of Reflection You would think that I as a writer should know this and use it. But it took two friends—Joe Byerly and Ryan Holiday—to open my mind to this practice. Reflection. Or, more accurately, self-reflection. (Steven Pressfield)

The Kids Are Not Okay: When Back to School Collides with a Youth Mental Health Crisis Sixteen-year-old “Jeremy” is struggling. Prior to the pandemic he was an extroverted eighth grader with a friend group of 15 to 20 people and an almost perfect GPA. Then school shut down and he spent all of ninth grade at home. Jeremy is a hands-on learner and he found paying attention to a screen difficult. Gradually, he lost touch with most of his friends. Then his family was evicted and he spent a few weeks living in a hotel. (Fast Company)

I Have Seen the Future of Baseball Sometimes, you get lucky. I have spent a lot of time in my life traveling around America to find the future of baseball. On Saturday night, the future of baseball came to visit us.

“I knew I’d see you at a ballpark sooner or later,” Theo Epstein said.

He certainly didn’t think it would be in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Joe Blogs)

Image: The Spirit of the Chiricahua. I took this along Highway 80 in southeastern Arizona east of Douglas, amid the traditional home of the Chiricahua Apache. It was late in the monsoon season, sunset is in its early stages, and there was a stillness and peace, almost as if you could feel Geronimo and Cochise at rest.

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