Wednesday Double Shot
So CBC radio was on in the car the other day and a guy was talking about the Israel/Lebanon conflict. He made a great point about warfare and how recent dust-ups have changed how fightin' happens, specifically the change from nation vs. nation to nation vs. network.
See, Al Quesadea is a network as is Hezbollacks. Regular armies have very clear command chains with orders filtering down from above to the bottom levels and everyone is following the yelling from higher up. Networks however, use a general idea that everyone follows but no actual orders are handed out or issued. Small cells of usually 5 to 15 people (but can be up to 50 or so) do their thing and plan, set up, and carry out missions that parallel the general directive. The members mix with the general population and are mostly indistinguishable from them.
This is the problem that the USA got around in Afghanistan and why the war was handled so quickly. It is also the lesson they forgot immediately and reverted back to nation vs. nation warfare with Iraq, and the lesson Israel has yet to learn and one of the reasons why they're fucking up the Lebanon thing.
When you have an uncentered mass with tendrils all through a country, you can't bomb the shit out of the nation to get the network. That's like a doctor treating a patient with a brain tumor by shooting him in the fucking head. You must get in there gently and get close to the tumor, so close you can see it pulse with each heartbeat, then cut off its blood flow so it starves, then take it away from the brain and burn it. That way, the patient lives and walks away happy with the doctor for saving his life; not like the alternative where the patient is a big, hot bag of dead.
Grigory "Grisha" Yakovlevich Perelman won the Fields Medal for mathematics the other day. He won for solving the Poincaré Conjecture, which is apparently a subsection of Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture...or something like that...something to do with the properties of multi-dimensial spaces. I'm so bad at math I once came fifteenth in a math bee when there was only six contestants. Go figure.
I can't figure though why Perelman is turning down the million-dollar prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute for solving the problem. I mean, the guy lives in Russia in his mom's house...and he lives off HER money! He's a doctor (well, Ph.D.) who could teach, but he had a "confidence collapse" a while back when someone said he looked like Rasputin and Killer Karl Krup had a kid.
Guy needs to put down the scientific calculator and inflate his testicles.
Seriously though, I have nothing but awe (and a slight bit of annoyance) for this guy. He is obviously deserving of praise and the rewards that come with intellectual achievement, but what happens instead on our side of the Atlantic Ocean? Fucking Paris Hilton and Kevin Federline both release albums and are silly rich (ok, ok...KFed is Brit rich). Life is crazy crazy not fair. Crazy.