Do you remember that time when NATO was like “what’s up Russia, don’t worry we totally guarantee we won’t move further east than Germany” and Russia was like “cool, that’ll prevent a lot of bad feeling down the line, thanks for being so respectful”.
And then do you remember the time after that when NATO was like “actually guys, that’s not really going to work for us, so we’ll take Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania…oh and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Albania and Croatia…that cool?”
And then Russia was like “dude no, that’s not cool at all, you said it would end with Germany, what is going on?”
And then NATO was like “what are you talking about? we totally never said that”
I, and most of the people I know, were products of a lopsidedly liberal school and university education, which gave little time or weight to arguments that went against the accepted norm when it came to internal political debate — and, as is becoming ever more obvious to me — international relations and foreign policy.
In domestic policy, anyone who dared to have a conflicting opinion was seen as some sort of uneducated, backward betrayer of all things right and good.
In foreign policy, those who went against the grain were the conspiracy theorists and apologists for all things bad and evil.
America was good. The EU was good. They were friends and they would stop bad things from happening and that was good. Continue reading →
Combating motivated reasoning is exceptionally difficult, as it is often an evolved mechanism of “protecting” ourselves from the distress of cognitive dissonance. Perhaps rather than view conflicting concepts with apprehension, we should regard it with the exhilaration of discovery.Continue reading →
So, Obama was at it again. In a recent interview with The Economist, he decided to offer some really helpful personal insights on Russia, which are certain to help cool diplomatic tensions. Or not. You can decide for yourself:
“It’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything.”
“Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking.”
Everyone I’ve heard discussing Poland always seems to say “Krakow is nicer”. I visited both Warsaw and Krakow, and ended up preferring Warsaw. They’re both gorgeous, but it was the Old Town in Warsaw that sealed the deal.
I approached the Old Town from Krakowskie Przedmieście, which is one of the most prestigious streets in the capital and it is pristine and such a nice walk, filled with gorgeous hotels, shops, restaurants, cafes and churches.
As I got to the end and saw the Old Town come into view, I felt like I was walking into a fairytale.
About 85% of the town was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. After the war, the town was restored almost completely to what it is today.