Mid-term craziness

2006-02-08

in Daily updates, Oxford, The environment

I wrote another essay today. Taking an hour-long nap during the process probably increased the quality of the final product, but it has not advanced my particularly daunting schedule for the next few days. Nearly adding boiling water to milk in an attempt to make breakfast cereal for dinner revealed both the state of culinary achievement I have reached of late and how addled you mind can become on the basis of sleeplessness and long bouts of reading.1

Now, I just need to proofread this paper (on democratic peace theory) before delivering it to Nuffield tomorrow. Since I am running for an executive position, I should probably attend tonight’s Strategic Studies Group meeting. Then, I need to finish my presentation on the Inuit Circumpolar Council for Thursday. The weekend promises to include the take-home exam for qualitative methods. In addition to that, there is always reading for next week’s core seminar. Of particular importance is that I need to collect information on the two scholarships I am applying for in early March and send it to referees. Also, submit my request for vacation residence time as soon as I know when the trip with my mother will be. They certainly keep us on our toes here: always something new to be done, even if there isn’t necessarily much time for reflection or creativity.

I’m particularly irked by the knowledge that I will need to spend a good chunk of this weekend dealing with the take-home exam. There is a mess of reading for the institutions section of that course that I will probably need to do in order to do a good job of the exam, whatever form it ends up taking. The annoying thing is the confluence of the three days during which the exam absolutely must be done and Louise’s visit. I shall try to balance them as best can be managed.


[1] I got a much better dinner after the strategic studies meeting.

  • Apparently, the provincial government has released a plan to protect 2 million hectares of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. Good for them. I wonder if this area is connected with the bear research Kate Dillon has been doing. This will be an expansion of the 45,000-hectare protected zone in the Khutzeymateen Valley.
  • This New Yorker article on profiling, to which Bryony originally referred me, is quite interesting. As you would expect from Malcolm Gladwell, it includes connections between quite disparate areas of study. Since I can’t write any more here now, people looking for something to read should definitely have a look at this.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 7, 2006 at 8:38 pm

The long awaited 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review was released to the public a short while ago.
You likely already heard but alas, here it is anyhow.
http://www.defenselink.mil/qdr
Of note is a global strike capability perhaps based on conventionally armed ICBMs.
Best,

Scott Davy

Milan February 7, 2006 at 10:22 pm

Scott,

Thanks for the information. I just got back from a strategic studies group meeting that partially addressed that – though Colonel Thomas X. Hammes, USMC (Ret) was extremely critical of present Pentagon planning. Apparently, many of his ideas are online on this page.

Tonight’s OUSSG meeting was actually unusually interesting. He talked about the evolving character of warfare, especially insurgent warfare, and stressed how intelligent it would be for the United States to switch money away from fighter jets and $4.5B destroyers and into training tens of thousands of translators.

Unusually, he also opted to forego the Chatham House Rule that is standard operating procedure for the group.

PS. As for conventionally armed ICBMs, that’s an insanely expensive way to deliver a relatively small payload. Especially when you tend to already have air superiority. Even when you don’t, I am pretty sure that’s why they spend $2B each on the B-2 stealth bombers.

Milan February 7, 2006 at 10:31 pm

Here’s a page that largely parallels the Colonol’s talk tonight:

The Evolution of War: The Fourth Generation

Anonymous February 7, 2006 at 10:52 pm

Milan,
On the topic of translators, it does bring up the need for more Foreign Area Officers for the Navy and USMC. I’m sure you noticed this when you were at USMA but both of my roommates, my CPOC and two other cadet friends were all training to become FAOs, all learning Arabic.

The CG(X) and DD(X) seem to be particularly silly, with money far better spent in the Littoral Combat Ship.

Anyhow, thanks for the link
Is OUSSG affiliated with Chatham House? I’m with the IISS and RUSI.
Have a good night

Scott

Anonymous February 7, 2006 at 10:53 pm

It was a particularly interesting talk tonight, wasn’t it?

Still running for Secretary?

Good luck with the paper.

Anonymous February 8, 2006 at 12:50 pm

Re: the rainforest

The area is so rich in wildlife and flora that biologists have compared it to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon jungles.

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