'The Wire' to be Taught at Harvard

The HBO television series “The Wire” is so authentic that Harvard sociology students will soon be able to score credits by watching it:

At a panel last night, stars of the HBO hit series joined Harvard professors in discussing the applications of the show—which depicts the struggles of urban life in Baltimore—in understanding and combating real urban social issues.

“‘The Wire’ has done more to enhance our understanding of the systemic urban inequality that constrains the lives of the poor than any published study”, Sociology Professor William J. Wilson said.

The Law

The Street

The Docks

Call of Duty War Quotes

The Call of Duty games are some of my favorite; not only because they’re, well, great games, but because they have more heart and brains than your average first person shooter. For me, the quotes that are shown when your character dies add a significant touch (who would have thought spontaneous history lessons could alleviate the feeling of defeat). In anticipation of the release of the next game in the series, I got nostalgic and thought I’d dig up a few:

“Aim towards the Enemy.” — Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher

“A leader leads by example, not by force.” — Sun Tzu

“All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke

“All warfare is based on deception.” — Sun Tzu

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” — John F. Kennedy

“Any military commander who is honest will admit he makes mistakes in the application of military power.” — Robert McNamara

“Anyone, who truly wants to go to war, has truly never been there before!” — Larry Reeves

“Any soldier worth his salt should be anti-war. And still, there are things worth fighting for.” — General Norman Schwarzkopf

“A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons.” — Admiral David D. Porter, USN

“Cluster bombing from B-52s are very, very, accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground.” — USAF Ammo Troop

“Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.” — Ronald Reagan

“Cost of a single AC-130U Gunship: $190 million”

“Cost of a single B-2 Bomber: $2.2 Billion”

“Cost of a single F-117A Nighthawk: $122 Million”

“Cost of a single F-22 Raptor: $135 million”

“Cost of a single Javelin Missile: $80,000”

“Cost of a single Tomahawk cruise Missile: $900,000”

“Diplomats are just as essential in starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it.” — Will Rogers

“Every tyrant who has lived has believed in freedom - for himself.” — Elbert Hubbard

“Five second fuses only last three seconds.” — Infantry Journal

“Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share.” — Ned Dolan

“Friendly fire - isn’t.” — Unknown

“Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just brave five minutes longer.” — Ronald Reagan

“If a man has done his best, what else is there?” — General George S. Patton

“If at first you don’t succeed, call an air strike.” — Unknown

“If the enemy is in range, so are you.” — Infantry Journal

“If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicopter — and therefore, unsafe.” — Unknown

“If we can’t persuade nations with comparable values of the merits of our cause, we’d better reexamine our reasoning.” — Robert McNamara

“If you can’t remember, the claymore is pointed toward you.” — Unknown

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” — Sun Tzu

“If your attack is going too well, you’re walking into an ambush.” — Infantry Journal

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” — Albert Einstein

“Incoming fire has the right of way.” — Unknown

“In the end, it was luck. We were this close to nuclear war, and luck prevented it.” — Robert McNamara

“In war, truth is the first casualty” — Aeschylus

“In war, you win or lose, live or die - and the difference is just an eyelash.” — General Douglas MacArthur

“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” — General Norman Schwarzkopf

“I think that technologies are morally neutral until we apply them. It’s only when we use them for good or evil that they become good or evil.” — William Gibson

“I think the human race needs to think about killing. How much evil must we do to do good?” — Robert McNamara

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.” — General Douglas MacArthur

“It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.” — U.S. Air Force Marshal

“Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so just because you might not like what you find.” — Colin Powell

“Let your plans be as dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” — Sun Tzu

“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.” — John F. Kennedy

“My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” — George Washington

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln

“Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.” — Unknown

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” — Colin Powell

“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” — Winston Churchill

“Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.” — Herbert Hoover

“So long as there are men, there will be wars.” — Albert Einstein

“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.” — Ronald Reagan

“Teamwork is essential, it gives them other people to shoot at.” — Unknown

“The bursting radius of a hand-grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range.” — Unknown

“The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.” — Colin Powell

“The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle!” — General John J. Pershing

“The indefinite combination of human infallibility and nuclear weapons will lead to the destruction of nations.” — Robert McNamara

“The more marines I have around, the better I like it.” — General Clark, U.S. Army

“The press is our chief ideological weapon.” — Nikita Khrushchev

“The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.” — Ralph Waldo Emmerson

“There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.” — General William Thornson

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” — Norman Schwarzkopf

“The tyrant always talks as if he’s preserving the best interests of his people when he actually acts to undermine them.” — Ramman Kenoun

“The world will not accept dictatorship or domination.” — Mikhail Gorbachev

“They’ll be no learning period with nuclear weapons. Make one mistake and you’re going to destroy nations.” — Robert McNamara

“Tracers work both ways.” — U.S. Army Ordinance

“Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.” — Infantry Journal

“Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them.” — Voltaire

“War does not determine who is right - only who is left” — Bertrand Russell

“War is delightful to those who have not yet experienced it.” — Erasmus

“We’re in a world in which the possibility of terrorism, married up with technology, could make us very, very sorry we didn’t act.” — Condoleeza Rice

“We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us.” — George Orwell

“When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.” — U.S. Army Training Notice

“Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!” — Nikita Khrushchev

“Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain.” — Vladimir Putin

“Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.” — General Douglas MacArthur

“Whoever stands by a just cause cannot possibly be called a terrorist.” — Yassar Arafat

“You can make a throne of bayonets, but you cant sit on it for long.” — Boris Yeltsin

“You cant say civilization dont advance - for in every war, they kill you in a new way.” — Will Rogers

I’m excited to see which quotes are put in the next game — more so than seeing how Infinity Ward’s no dedicated servers plan pans out.

Update: Liked these quotes? I’m sure you’ll love these.

A Rare Act of Kindness

Yesterday, I was carrying home from work an 88-key MIDI controller (a long keyboard of the musical variety) in quite possibly the most impractical box in the world. The walk home from work is about two miles, so my arms were beginning to give up at the end. I had just put the box down on the road to take a few seconds when a stranger came up to me and asked, “Do you need some help with that?”. Normally, I’d thank him for the offer and decline, but this one was a little too good to pass up. “That’d be great, thank you”, I replied, and he grabbed the other end of the box. “It’s nothing!”, he said.

Now, there’s a railway station on the route to my home, and this was where the stranger was headed. When we reached it, I said somewhat insistently, “I can take it from here”, to which he responded by shaking his head and saying, “My train isn’t leaving for another three minutes, I might as well help you carry this for one more minute”. We almost reached my house before he had to put his end of the box down on the ground and rush off to catch the train. “Good luck to you!”, he said as he left.

How nice it was to experience a truly selfless act of kindness, void of any hidden agendas or ulterior motives. It may have been nothing to the stranger—whose name I didn’t even catch—but it made my day.

Erik Naggum, R.I.P

I didn’t know Erik, but after reading his critique of XML and one of his emails, I’m sure I would’ve liked to.

if you know what other people should have done in the past, you never have any clue what you or anyone else ought to do in the future, and if you are concerned with what you yourself ought to do in the future, you generally leave other people alone to figure out what they ought to do in the future, too.
people who partition the world population into “the good” and “the bad” always make the mistake of believing that they fall into the “the good” partition.
I keep telling people that you only really grow up and become a human being (as opposed to a mere animal) when you realize that most of what you think and almost all you feel is wrong.

Update: More by Erik Naggum.