In Essence

A battle-smudged Syrian soldier pauses during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Syria and Egypt made great gains at first because Israeli leaders ignored warnings that an attack was imminent. (MANUEL LITRAN / PARIS MATCH VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Why did Israel fail to anticipate the Yom Kippur War?

The new tech intellectuals thrive on speakers’ fees at business conferences. Nicholas Carr, a critic of some technology trends, spoke at the Seoul Technology Forum in 2011. (EPA / JEON HEON-KYUN / CORBIS)

Our newest public intellectuals are little more than cynical, polished speakers on the Silicon Valley circuit.

For concentration camp survivors, freely leaving the museum at Auschwitz, a place that once had no exit for Jews, can be an enormously symbolic experience. (REUTERS / PETER ANDREWS / CORBIS)

Some Holocaust survivors have returned to the concentration camps, this time as visitors.

Will they still be playing the same game 20 years from now? (NADINE DILLY / CORBIS)

Mom and Dad encourage a “leisurely stroll” toward adulthood.

Director Federico Fellini, who helped usher in the golden age of modern film, with the actress Magali Noel during the shooting of Amarcord in 1973. (BETTMANN / CORBIS)

Novels, like movies, weren't always a medium for serious, creative expression.

In Ukraine, Renat Abduliu displays the scar left after he sold one of his kidneys on the international black market in 2011 for $10,000. (DIANA MARKOSIAN / REDUX)

Economists should stop ignoring the moral and ethical dimensions of their theories.

Call it Kludge Day. American businesses and individuals spend six billion hours a year ensnarled in tax-related paperwork. (ANTHONY BEHAR / SIPA USA / NEWSCOM)

Liberals and conservatives share the same enemy: byzantine government programs.

If you want to fight big government, you have to stop fighting wars.

History says reductions in defense spending often concentrate the minds of American strategists in beneficial ways.

Last May, Topol-M missile launchers rumbled through Moscow’s Red Square in preparation for a military parade. Russia still has 1,800 deployed nuclear weapons and another 2,700 in storage, a total that exceeds the U.S. arsenal by 800. The number of deployed weapons on each side is slated to decline to 1,550 by 2017. Seven other nations together possess an estimated 1,125 nuclear weapons. (KARPOV SERGEI ITAR-TASS PHOTOS / NEWSCOM)

America's nuclear arsenal isn't dangerous, but getting rid of it might be.