Russian Groundhog

So remember that airport near Kherson?

Yesterday Russians brought troops there for the sixth time in a row. As in number 6.

What happened then?

Ukrainians bombed them. Russians died. Including a Russian lieutenant general.


I’m getting some popcorn as I await efforts number 7 and 8.

Advice on Focus

If you think you can’t concentrate or focus, you are fooling yourself. You are very focused. The problem is, you aren’t focusing on what you think you should. You aren’t managing to force yourself into a persona you have chosen rationally but are resisting with everything you’ve got. Find out what you are really concentrating on. In all likelihood, it will be some crude form of self-numbing. You are concentrating on it not because you are lazy, unfocused, or defective but because without it your psyche is going to blow. Berating yourself for poor focus is like telling a drowning man that he’s concentrating too hard on staying above water and not focusing as well as he should on learning Japanese.

One exercise is to spend 2 hours a day doing nothing. Really nothing. Not looking at a screen, not working out, not talking, not reading. Stare at the sky (or at a wall), and let your thoughts roam. Eventually, after doing this daily, you’ll re-learn to notice the world around you and will start figuring out what hurts, what soothes, and why.

Why Such Poor Writing?

Time and again, I feel taken aback by how poorly these highly paid journalists write. Look at the highlighted sentence. Who writes like this? “Except because” is how my 6-year-old speaks. Cute, childish, but not appropriate for a serious argument. In “so outdated,” the “so” part shouldn’t be there. Either explain “so outdated as what?” or simply say “outdated.”

Another problem – and this is probably the worst issue with this extremely tortured sentence – is the use of “therefore.” There’s absolutely no observable connection between outdated and unfair. I have outdated shoes. That doesn’t make them unfair. Unless you can prove a logical connection (e.g. the tomato is rotten and therefore inedible), you can’t use ‘therefore.’

This is a 10-word sentence, and it’s a mess. And there are many other problems in this tiny excerpt. “Involves how she” sounds tortured. Why not simply say “is that”? 70% do not constitute “almost every case.” “Latest statistics” is clumsy and vague.

Curiously, the only readable part of the excerpt is the quote from Hawley that the article tries to rebut.

Of course, this isn’t accidental. The task of the writer is to sneak by the reader inexistent logical connections and specious arguments. The author of the article has no argument to offer in response to Hawley’s charges. This uncomfortable reality has to be hidden in a mountain of fake “so” and “therefore.”