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The Gambler

Details on the suspected mass shooter in Las Vegas are now emerging in the press.  They are only the outermost of what is sure to prove a concentric series of personalities. The suspect is described as a real friendly gambler who moved around a lot.  The kind of guy who let neighbors borrow stuff.  But had another rarely glimpsed side.  He was sometimes rude and had a big mystery safe in his garage. He may have also killed 50 people and wounded hundreds.

The particulars are still coming in but clearly the suspect was intelligent and there is nothing more dangerous than an intelligent mind bent on killing. Rented truck, box cutter, fertilizer, gun have all been turned into weapons. The means are endless even though the motives may never be known.  As time passes it will potentially get worse.  These smart quiet guys will have ever more to work with.  Lanza, Brevik, Mcveigh, Asahara and now Paddock may have been the start, but they will not be the end.

An ordinary 21st century man has more energy at his disposal than ancient kings. Much modern consumer technology is already dual purpose. It will become more so as distributed design and manufacturing spreads.

The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture[citation needed] that intersects with hacker culture (which is less concerned with physical objects as it focuses on software) and revels in the creation of new devices as well as tinkering with existing ones. The maker culture in general supports open-source hardware. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of Computer Numeric Control tools.

All this lies at the disposal of a mind.  Some craziness is obvious.  Extremist religion, apocalyptic ideology are particularly maddening threats because we can see them coming but don't get out of the way. But sometimes the danger isn't obvious. Wait till we get a nice guy biotechnologist with a "big safe" in the garage.

There have always been crazy intelligent people. What's different is never before have there been so many tools around they can pick up. Tragic though recent events have been it's sobering to realize we've been lucky so far.  Despite being one the largest manhunts in history the FBI still haven't officially solved the 2001 anthrax attacks, which could have been far worse. Inquiries ground into the anthrax case ground to a halt when the principal suspect killed himself with panadol.  Panadol.

The Las Vegas attack is the most recent example of mass murder from the blue but it won't be the last.

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For a list of books most frequently purchased by readers, visit my homepage.


Support the Belmont Club by purchasing from Amazon through the links below.

Books:

Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations, by Fred Charles Ikle. In this eloquent and impassioned book, defense expert Fred Iklé predicts a revolution in national security that few strategists have grasped; fewer still are mindful of its historic roots. We are preoccupied with suicide bombers, jihadist terrorists, and rogue nations producing nuclear weapons, but these menaces are merely distant thunder that foretells the gathering storm.

The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All For the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II, by Gregory A. Freeman. This book is an account of Operation Halyard, the OSS mission to recover more than 500 American airmen shot down and trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia. While local Serbian peasants gave refuge to the soldiers while they waited for rescue, once the operation started, the risks were incredible. The starving Americans had to construct a landing strip large enough for C-47 cargo planes — without tools, without alerting the Germans, and without endangering the villagers. And the cargo planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back — without getting shot down themselves.

Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles, by DK. A visual history of armored vehicles, from the early tanks of World War I to present-day models, created in association with the Smithsonian Institution. It combines comprehensive photographic spreads with in-depth histories of key manufacturers and specially commissioned visual tours of the most iconic examples of their groundbreaking firepower. With two exclusive prints of a 1940 M3A1 (Stuart) and a 1940 StuG III.

Strategy: A History, Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on war and international politics, captures the vast history of strategic thinking, from David's use of deception against Goliath, to the modern use of game theory in economics; from the surprisingly advanced strategy practiced in primate groups, to those of Achilles and Odysseus in The Iliad, of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, the great military innovations of Baron Henri de Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz, the insights into corporate strategy by Peter Drucker and Alfred Sloan, and the work of leading social scientists working on strategy today. He tackles the core issue at the heart of strategy - whether it is possible to manipulate and shape our environment rather than simply become the victim of forces beyond one's control - and emerges with a picture of strategy through time - and inherently unpredictable circumstances - that is fluid and flexible.

For a list of books most frequently purchased by readers, visit my homepage.


Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with your friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres

Rebranding Christianity, or why the truth shall make you free

The Three Conjectures, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age

Storming the Castle, why government should get small

No Way In at Amazon Kindle. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.

Storm Over the South China Sea, how China is restarting history in the Pacific

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