China has developed a deep and constantly evolving language online. It is fascinating to study how Chinese netizens use emoticons in a distinctly different way to westerners and the language constantly morphs in a way that leaves Chinese expatriates baffled even after a short time outside the country. zhuāng bì (pronounce the zh as a short j) is a case in point. It means poser.
Christine Xu gives an in-depth explanation of how 装B came about, given that western characters aren’t generally used by Chinese.
Coll is a veteran journalist and professor of journalism. He did time abroad working for an American newspaper covering South Asia. Later Coll wrote for The New Yorker on defence and intelligence.
In 2004, Coll’s book Ghost Wars covered America’s involvement with Pakistan’s intelligence service. He focused on the Soviet invasion Afghanistan through to 2001.
Directorate S is a natural successor to Ghost Wars picking up the story on September 11, 2001 to the end of 2016. Directorate S takes its name from part of the Pakistani intellgience service. It covers the perspectives from all the parties involved. Surprisingly it included more than I expected about clandestine operations in Pakistan.
Coll knows his material and what unfolds is an in-depth scholarly blow-by-blow account. It doesn’t have the zip and excitement of say Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down. Coll’s story instead sits at the seat of power. Colls tells the story of:
Generals and civil servants
When Coll dips into the operational reporting, it is used to illustrate a wider point.
What comes out is not one story of a war, but a succession of parallel agendas and pivots. The CIA and special forces had very different objectives to their military colleagues. The planning and chain of command was fragmented. Directorate S takes a good deal of commitment to read, but it looks as if it will be as much of a go-to book as Ghost Wars.
Three Thoughts on Day One at CES 2018 – not surprised that computing is moving to the edge as the network represents latency and potential unreliability – think about how cloud failure when it hit Nest devices and IoT obselescence
Things that made my day this week (and a bit longer)
Chad Dickerson’s Fieldnotes – an email newsletter from one of the key people during Yahoo!’s web 2.0 geek golden age and former CEO of Etsy
This is the second time lapse film I’ve seen done by an officer on a ship. I get it. No internet would give you a lot of time to put the film together. It opens up a world that I had only heard of from people older than me who had served on ships when westerners were sailors.
Greg Wilson put together this mix of his favourite edits that had been done in 2017
Louis Vuitton’s LV Pass app did some really nice integration with Apple’s Messenger stickers.
Fair play to Nokia for running this campaign on their website over Christmas