“How much of what we did was good?
Everything seems to move beyond our remedy.”

Zhou Enlai (fictional version), from the conclusion of the opera Nixon in China

Few military best practices survive first contact with the private sector, yet every business activity today is very obviously taking place within a context of sustained and intensifying geopolitical conflict between nuclear superpowers.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022—and the respective NATO and Chinese responses—are playing out against and existing backdrop of global plague, civilization-threatening ecological collapse, and overheated financial markets. This is World War III already, though perhaps not as many of us originally envisioned it.

War by any other name

“The first Great Information War began in 2014…” – Carole Cadwalladr
“We are already in the middle of a third World War, whether we’ve fully grasped it or not.” – Interview with Fiona Hill
How China Embraces Russian Propaganda and Its Version of the War, Li Yuan
Impunity for War Crimes in Syria Casts a Grim Shadow Over Ukraine, Ben Hubbard

Refactoring perception

“Interesting to see how the @nytgraphics has changed their map symbology as the Russian war in #Ukraine️ unfolds….” – @LeviWesterveld

How tyrants stay in power—and lose power

The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith

The new and fast-changing macroeconomic landscape


Distinguishing between a Chinese challenge and a Chinese enemy, Robert Reich (March 2023)
China’s ChatGPT Fever, Irene Zhang (February 2023)
TikTok Hearing: The End of an Era, Jordan Schneider et al (March 2023)
Apple Built Its Empire With China. Now Its Foundation Is Showing Cracks, Tripp Mickle et al (November 2022)


The West Tried to Isolate Russia. It Didn’t Work., Josh Holder et al (February 2023)
Russia’s Ukraine invasion could be a global economic ‘game changer’, David J., Lynch
Ukraine War Threatens to Cause a Global Food Crisis, Jack Nicas

Middle East

‘Equality of Injustice for All’: Saudi Arabia Expands Crackdown on Dissent, Vivien Nereim (February 2023)
Biden rebuffed as US relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE hit new low, The Guardian (April 2022)


“We are in uncharted territory…” – @Guay_JG
The pendulum in international affairs, Howard Marks (March 2022)

Financial instability and inequality

Banking in very uncertain times, Patrick McKenzie (March 2023)
SVB’s challenges will accelerate valuation down rounds, startup mortality, and layoffs, CB Insights (March 2023)
A critique of crypto – @ummjackson (07/14/21)
A critique of donor advised funds – John Arnold (08/11/21)
A critique of QE – Rudy Havenstein (07/14/21)
The folly of ruling out a collapse – John Hussman (August 2021)