I can sum up my feelings about this book in one word: chilled.
Command and Control is terrifying. Schlosser gives an overview of nuclear weapons in theI can sum up my feelings about this book in one word: chilled.
Command and Control is terrifying. Schlosser gives an overview of nuclear weapons in the United States from before the end of WWII all the way through the mid 1990s after the ending of the Cold War using the Damascus Accident as a framework. Those few hours between the almost invisible start of the incident and the inevitable consequences act as a representative microcosm of the entire history of nuclear weapons and their associated technical, social, and political controls.
I learned quite a few things about how lucky we all are to still be here more than half a century after these weapons made their terrible debut. There were so many close calls it's hard to keep track, and the number of minor and not-so-minor accidents involving these weapons boggles the mind. It was not uncommon for weapon that had the power to devastate an entire city, killing millions of innocent people in an instant, to be carted around and dropped by barely trained, inadequately prepared soldiers and airmen. Rocket fuel tanks leaked. Planes caught on fire. Sometimes rockets exploded. Many, many people died.
One fact sticks with me more than any other. Strategic Air Command, for almost forty years from their beginning in the late 1950s all the way through their demise in the early 1990s, had B-52 bombers sitting on the tarmac at airports across the country, armed and fueled, waiting for an alert that never came. Every. Single. Day. We were never safe from these weapons, we just didn't know how close to danger we truly, constantly were.
This is a book about nuclear weapons and their command and control structures so I can't fault the author too much for quickly glossing over the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and all the little conflicts that happened during the Cold War. I would have also appreciated more detail about the Cuban Missile Crisis but there are other books entirely dedicated to the topic. ...more
Benjamin Graham lays out a compelling case for value investing in this book. He draws a fine distinction between an investor as someone who treats stoBenjamin Graham lays out a compelling case for value investing in this book. He draws a fine distinction between an investor as someone who treats stocks as purchasing part of a business, vs a speculator as someone who buys stocks hoping the price will go up today or maybe tomorrow, with no real knowledge of the business who's shares they bought. The commentary chapters push the point further by repeatedly showing that Warren Buffett and others like him follow Graham's method and have been phenomenally successful.
I have to say that I got more out of the commentary chapters than the actual text of the book. Graham last revised the book in 1970 and so much has changed in the world of finance since then that I had a hard time making myself read about his example companies.
That said, chapter 8, where Graham describes the attitude one should approach the market with as a value investor, and chapter 20 where he talks about "margin of safety" as a central tenant of value investing were super useful. ...more
The plan that Ramit puts forth in I Will Teach You To Be Rich boils down to one idea: automate everything. If you set your finances up according to thThe plan that Ramit puts forth in I Will Teach You To Be Rich boils down to one idea: automate everything. If you set your finances up according to the plan, you will spend less than an hour a month checking up on them and making sure everything is humming along, all the while working toward your goals.
To be honest I skimmed quite a bit of it because I already have a financial system that works for me. It's a lot more manual, but then I think back to when I didn't have complete control over everything and I shudder. This system might not be for me, but I'd be surprised if it didn't work for most of my friends. I like messing around with my finances, tweaking and tracking everything. Most of them don't care at all, and would rather not worry about it ever. This is a book for them....more
All of the books that I've read by Mr. Martinez have been entertaining, quick, pulpy, sort of mindless reads. This one isn't really any different. ItAll of the books that I've read by Mr. Martinez have been entertaining, quick, pulpy, sort of mindless reads. This one isn't really any different. It certainly wasn't bad, but it was very similar to Divine Misfortune or Monster. Wacky world, initially hapless human protagonist who grows into their role with the help of their non-human side kick(s), dramatic peak wherein the not-quite-evil antagonist finally reveals their plan, protagonist and plucky companions foil said plan, short wrap up, the end.
I liked it, but I'm a bit of a sucker for stories like this....more