Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Destroyer Of Worlds Podcast

I just finished listening to the latest "Dan Carlin: Hardcore History" podcast, "Destroyer of Worlds".

It was on the history of US nuclear weapons policy, including a chilling/gripping recounting of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

One theme that kept coming up was how close to peril we were back then (and still are). And how enormous consequences can flow from the individual decisions made by one or two key people. So we had better hope that those making those decisions have the suitable knowledge and temperament to be handling that responsibility.

I was especially interested in the discussions of crisis management -- and how easily things can spin out of control in directions nobody wants them to. There were also interesting insights into Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and their relationships to their military advisors (who were not always giving them the best advice and who did not always respect the civilian leadership over military issues.)

It's a long-ish podcast, almost 6 hours -- more like an audiobook. But definitely worthwhile for friends interested in such things. The podcast can be downloaded for free at this link.

Carlin also noted later on Twitter, "For those who think the last history show was specifically about Trump, we started working on it in early August…so, really it couldn't be."

Of course, people can draw various parallels and lessons to today's curren
t situation. 

I, for one, am just glad that Russian President Boris Yeltsin didn't decide to "push the button" during the 1995 Norwegian crisis. (which I hadn't heard of until the podcast.)