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It’s now been eleven years (and six days) since I started blogging.

Since this is not that big of a milestone, I am not going to recap the history of how I got there; you can check out last year’s post for that. Instead, I’m just going to talk of developments in 2018, and plans for the Current Year.

Looking Back on 2018

Despite a lackluster mid November-mid January, during which a critical overload of RL commitments strangled my output, this has once again been a blockbuster year. Record amounts of output on my part were reflected in a near doubling of visitorship and pageviews and a tripling of commenting activity. Thank you all for making this possible.

Items PWords Comms CWords Visits Views
2008 70 139,021 304 37,218
2009 72 254,052 867 152,868
2010 81 209,939 1,594 200,483
2011 75 152,706 3,159 406,353
2012 172 153,634 5,164 662,995
2013 167 132,173 1,986 259,421
2014 5 5,154 1,023 147,549
2015 130 156,592 5,504 664,553 128,326 382,574
2016 128 120,956 6,204 597,092 188,570 493,156
2017 262 190,137 17,326 1,808,417 237,477 791,675
2018 341 270,456 56,996 5,721,653 381,300 1,408,092

I keep visitorship and pageview statistics going back to when I started blogging, and going by them, it is clear that this year my blog soared well beyond its previous highs in 2012-13.

Visitorship is now completely dominated by this website (>90%). That said, my Russian language blog akarlin.ru continues growing, despite being only very interminably updated and starting from a very low base.

Here are the monthly figures. The sharp drop at the end testifies to the importance of avoiding sharp drop-offs in activity.

It looks like I am also gaining on Steve, whose pageviews increased from 10 million to 11 million in the past three years. Russia Reaction is currently at 13% of iSteve’s pageviews and receives a third of its comment-words. Unfortunately, James Thompson – who I think is the only other person on this site who releases his blog performance data in regular yearly intervals – has seen a collapse in pageviews from 420,000 in 2017 to 240,000 this year. You can mostly thank the SJWs who have been harassing him this past year for that. I wish him the best on recovering and superseding his old numbers. Check out his recent demolition of Taleb’s nonsense on IQ.

Best Posts of 2018

In the past week, I took the opportunity to update my personal website akarlin.com. In particular, I added a curated archive of all of my best posts since I started blogging here: https://akarlin.com/archive/

(Apologies in advance, but I need to spell out the links to my personal webpage in full because the redirection script otherwise forces them onto the Unz Review).

Here are some that made the cut for 2018:

Here are my best Russia posts from this year:

And here are my key travel posts from this year:

Now on to:

Looking Forwards to 2019

I will start off with an extended organizational note. As per the above, not only have I finally created the curated archive – something I have long wanted to do – but I also made many other changes to my online ecosystem.

MODERATION. I have added a comments policy: https://akarlin.com/comments/ . As regular readers know, I am a very pro-free speech blogger. I only hide low quality comments (e.g. Gerard2’s profanity-ridden rants against AP, though I am tempted to start doing the same to the endless “khokhlosrach” between Mikhail and Mr. Hack), and I only delete comments that insult me without adding anything useful to the discussion, and I only ban people who either do nothing but insult me or who commit legitimately serious violations such as attempted doxings or legal threats. This policy will continue unchanged in 2019 with one exception: Higher quality comments will be expected on my (very occasional) serious longreads, which will henceforth be tagged “effortposts”. I will delete or hide low effort “shitposts” there.

NEWSLETTER. You can now sign up to The Russian Reaction mailing group.

Updates will be infrequent (no more than half a dozen times per year at most). I will only use it to announce the most important news or updates.

(Thanks for all the suggestions, but in the end, I went with MailChimp. I am probably too lowkey to be deplatformed anytime soon, and should that ever happen, setting up on another platform will not be difficult).

START HERE. I have majorly revised my Start Here page: https://akarlin.com/start/

This may be useful not just to people who are new to my work, and don’t know where to start, but also for existing readers who want a summary of what I do.

OTHER PAGES. Various other pages at akarlin.com have been tidied up:

I also plan to add a Glossary page (it currently exists at http://akarlin.com/glossary/ but has almost no definitions) in the near future to formally introduce terms largely exclusive to me in the Anglosphere, such as “svidomy” and “handshakeworthy”.

The front page at akarlin.com will now host updates (at least monthly) on the status of some of my most important projects, which brings me to…

Plans for 2019

BOOKS. This is my foremost priority. In order of priority, they are:

  • Dark Equilibrium: Book length version of this essay. [Planning]
  • Dark Lord of the Kremlin: A summary of and a capstone to my Russia watching career. [In progress: 30%]
  • Frozen Embers: Sci-fi novel in which the Earth falls out of the Sun’s orbit. [Prospective]
  • Apollo’s Ascent: Book length version of this essay. [Long-term]

While I know that I have ritualistically stated this at the beginning of every year, I do think that 2019 will be the year in which I finally churn something out.

I am planning to get Dark Equilibrium [provisional title] ready by the summer. It is, essentially, an expansion of A Short History of the Third Millennium.

While I really want to get my Russia book out of the way sooner or later, it seems to be terminally stuck at the 30% point and my enthusiasm for it is subject to sharp ups and downs. Let me on to a personal secret… much of my Russia-related output is driven by outrage over people being wrong on the Internet (yeah, pretty sad), which makes it hard to keep enthusiasm going on content that stretches into the 10,000’s of words. Whereas I find the futurism stuff genuinely interesting in its own right.

The other two books are very much prospective works, though there’s a chance I might finally take a stab at the sci-fi book during this year’s Nanowrimo, if I find the time. Apollo’s Ascent is a book length version of this essay. Realistically speaking, not going to happen until 2021 at the earliest, since it’s a massive undertaking and I frankly don’t have the necessary background to adequately realize it yet.

We hope to issue a “Kholmogorov Reader” based on the translations we have been doing these past couple of years. There is currently enough material for half a book. This will largely depend on whether the main translator, Fluctuarius Argenteus, finds time to fill out the rest. Unfortunately, there is no oligarch sponsoring the project; it’s something that we (mostly him) do on our time time.

My PhD (which I am getting paid to do) is at the intersection of psychometrics and demographics. It strikes me that a Russian version of The Bell Curve is needed. Obviously, this is also very speculative and long-term.

VIDEO. The ROGPR podcast (Alt Right politics and video gaming for Russians), with which I was directly involved, has been discontinued. The main players in it have since largely gone their own way. I intermittently do podcasts with various Russian bloggers, though that will not interest my Anglo readers too much.

I might someday start doing video monologues in English or Russian, like RAMZPAUL or Molyneux. Though not this year, and for the same reason as in 2018: “Spreading oneself too thin is a mistake, and one that I have made more times than I should have.”

REVIEWS. I want to do a lot more book reviews this year.

Main problem with book reviews is that they’re very ineffective from an effort expended/impact perspective, but OTOH, one also internalizes their arguments a lot better when one is forced to summarize in a review.

Books I want to review this year:

  • Rindermann, Heiner – Cognitive Capitalism. Committed to it.
  • Dutton, Edward – At Our Wits’ End. Committed to it.
  • McMeekin, Sean – The Russian Revolution: A New History
  • Caplan, Bryan – The Case against Education
  • Fischer, David Hackett – Albion’s Seed
  • Schrad, Mark – Vodka Politics. I actually told him I’d do it when it was published… better late than never!
  • Ilyin, Ivan – Our Tasks
  • Hanson, Robin – The Age of Em
  • Stager, Curt – Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth
  • Bostrom, Nick – Superintelligence
  • Murray, Charles – Coming Apart
  • Jones, Garett – Hive Mind
  • Stephenson, Neal – Seveneves
  • List, Friedrich – The National System of Political Economy

Video games I want to review this year:

  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • The Deus Ex series in general
  • Mount & Blade: Warband

TRAVEL. Apart from being fun, readers seem to appreciate my travel writings, so I should certainly continue with that. In the pipeline are the following:

  • Russian cities: Bryansk, Novgorod
  • A comprehensive travel guide to Moscow

Otherwise, I hope to finally visit China and perhaps the Visegrad area (probably Czechia-Vienna) this year. If I get lucky, I’ll finally do the LDNR and tick off the Mirotvorec achievement.

DONATIONS. Obviously, the main problem and constraint with travel writing is that one can’t really do it from a sofa (well, you can, but someone will eventually notice inconsistencies and call you out on it).
You can help with that in the following ways: https://akarlin.com/donations/

  1. Sponsor me on Patreon
  2. Bitcoin: 17tDufZUEK3DvQh3rY75F3xtVgxj4TzdtB
  3. Paypal donation
  4. Yandex Money via Yasobe (for ruble accounts)

On to plans again…

ARTICLES. “Serious” articles:

  • RMAX Theory
  • S Factor of Russia
  • Mathematics of Apollo’s Ascent

POSTS. Here are some posts that I have the notes for, in a few cases have actually partially or fully written, and which I plan to publish in the coming months:

  • Transform the post Rurik’s Seed: Maps of Russia into a page on my website with a large collection of such maps.
  • Dark Equilibrium series:
    • Breeders’ Revenge. On the precise mechanisms by which fertility is going to increase under technological stagnation. Done.
    • What Is the Maximum Population Earth Can Support? Done.
    • The Beer Yeast Solution to the Fermi Paradox. (Humor)
    • Why the World of Warhammer 40K is the Future. (Humor)
  • The Great Bifurcation: The Coming Cold War between the Blue Empire and the Sinosphere. Instead of the yearly predictions, I am soon going to release a decade forecast.
  • Noosphere: Survey of World Scientific Output. See Twitter summary.
  • Belarus 101
  • A Short History of Literacy series in:
    • Europe
    • Russia
    • China
    • Ancient Greece and Rome
  • American Pravda: Kiev Snipergate. Fifth anniversary coming up… seems like the appropriate time.
  • Why Ukraine Lost Crimea. Another post that needs to be done to clear up some myths.
  • History post about Ivan Grozny
  • Effective Altruism, Carnivorism, and Animal IQ
  • Rooted Cosmopolitanism
  • The 5 Types of Russian Nationalist
  • Article about Dugin (who is not a nationalist, and who is far more influential on Reddit than in Russia)
  • Some more Soviet Myths type posts, e.g. about living standards
  • The Death Toll of Soviet Communism. Ron Unz suggested this to me ages ago, as well as one on the Suvorov Hypothesis
  • Who Will be President After Putin?
  • Will There Be US Civil War II?

Not going to reveal details about them other than the titles. Speculation is more fun.

 
• Tags: Blogging, Miscellaneous, The AK 
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  1. Regarding your Visegrad group travel:

    You might want to add Poland into your list. It might be Russophobic, but with 38 million people, it is by far the most relevant Visegrad country.

    And perhaps Hungary too to check out just how based Orban really is, or whether he’s just swine right.

    A general, detailed prediction of Russia’s future, whether its prosperity, economic profile, or geopolitics up until around 2050 would be really nice too, and can serve as a great template for foreign investors even.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Ender
  2. Frozen Embers: Sci-fi novel in which the Earth falls out of the Sun’s orbit.

    That doesn’t sound like a positive development…is it going to be some sort of “end of the world” story?

    Fallout: New Vegas

    iirc you once promised to do a comparison between the post-apocalyptism in the Fallout games and that in Russian games like the Metro shooters. That would be more interesting than a mere review of Fallout: New Vegas which must be familiar to many Western commenters anyway.
    Btw, I’ve read there’s a new Russian rpg Atom (set in a post-apocalyptic world in which there was a nuclear war in 1986), which supposedly is full of references to Russian/Soviet culture (and the Fallout series as well), that might be interesting too.

    The Death Toll of Soviet Communism. Ron Unz suggested this to me ages ago, as well as one on the Suvorov Hypothesis

    I thought you had already done that, but it must have been in comments rather than in blog posts of their own (iirc argument was that Black book of communism is garbage and the estimates peddled by the likes of Robert Conquest during the Cold war massively inflated, and that Suvorov hypothesis is unfounded).
    Anyway, there’s no way you’re going to do everything on your list in 2019, probably not even half. I hope you’ll at least manage to do some travel writing, those posts are always interesting.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  3. @AquariusAnon

    I have a good friend near Prague, and I have a good friend with an apartment in Vienna, whose place I will likely be able to crash at.

    I am open to doing Hungary and Poland but I don’t want to spread myself too thin. The latter in particular would require at least a couple of weeks.

    Also, China remains the priority, anyway.

    My upcoming mega-prediction post, which is significantly informed by our discussions, goes to 2030 formally but in practice extends well beyond it, and obviously Russia will be in it, so that’s covered.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @anonymous
  4. I only hide low quality comments … though I am tempted to start doing the same to the endless “khokhlosrach” between Mikhail and Mr. Hack …

    Yes please.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  5. @German_reader

    That doesn’t sound like a positive development…is it going to be some sort of “end of the world” story?

    A few thousand years after that.

    It’s not standard boilerplate postapoc, don’t worry about that.

    iirc you once promised to do a comparison between the post-apocalyptism in the Fallout games and that in Russian games like the Metro shooters. That would be more interesting than a mere review of Fallout: New Vegas which must be familiar to many Western commenters anyway.

    Thanks for the reminder, I’ll certainly do that.

    I don’t really have time for new games unfortunately, especially with my current commitments. And especially RPGs!!

    I’ll force time for Mount & Blade: Bannerlord should it come out this year and *maybe* Metro Exodus (reviews dependent) but that’s about it.

    I thought you had already done that, but it must have been in comments rather than in blog posts of their own…

    Correct, a single effort post as opposed to disjointed comments and short blog pieces.

    Anyway, there’s no way you’re going to do everything on your list in 2019, probably not even half.

    Thanks for the encouragement to prove you wrong.

  6. Mr. Hack says:

    My apologies for any heartburn that I may have created here – will try to cut way down on any trolling activities, no matter how tempting the opportunity becomes. I think that my interaction with you has been relatively calm and hopefully somewhat productive? At least I find that you often choose to react to one of my comments, for which I am grateful.

  7. Congratulations AK for all your efforts. My humble suggestion for a blogpost would be a post on the state and prospects of the Russian economy and/or Russian science-tech. there are lots of doom and gloom predictions about the Russian economy and very little alternative analyses in the open other than classical liberast talk of “reforms” and corrupt chinovniks. There is also very little reading material on may decrees in English language and economic policy for putin’s last term.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  8. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Cagey Beast

    The initiator is the aggressor. Using ice hockey terminology, I prefer a clean game, that can be inclusive of clean hard hits. However, if things start getting chippy from the other side, well…

    Another matter concerns those hypocrites who revel when some others are unfairly targeted – only to cry foul when they’re the recipients of such behavior.

    I’ll leave it at that.

  9. Anonnuaa says:

    Hmm, maybe a post on the North South Corridor & general C Asian politics? Probably included in your predictions.

    I guess if I insult (encourage) you but add other stuff it’s ok.

    Add a 100kg bench to your goals, fgt.

    In terms of the technological stagnation Warhammer 40k stuff will we all look like blacks? The high Fertility difference makes it seem almost inevitable..

    Especially with Swpls having a tech lead, making 95% automation tech geared towards making negroes useful workers would be the Death knrll for eurasia civ.

    Other than that, it may be too early for a CMP update but aim for one next year.

  10. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I haven’t been in China, but am curious what will be the different interesting places to see in China.

    I guess Beijing is Chinese Moscow – and Shanghai their Saint-Petersburg? (Or the other way round?).

    Reportedly, China’s technology center is now becoming Shenzhen in South China…

    And Guangzhou (also in South China) was having a lot of construction activity as well

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  11. g2k says:

    You seem to have given up skiing after moving to a country with better mountains than the one you left.

  12. anonymous[754] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I would like to donate to a fund specifically for a China travel and writing series.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  13. Silva says:

    Congratulations.
    1) can you say what percentage you get of payments through PayPal and Patreon? I’m considering shifting your money (such as it is) from the former to the latter.
    2) I’m curious about Tatar/Bashkir integration – are you willing to consider going to Kazan and writing about it? (I do consider Czechia and Poland higher-priority; at lower-than-Kazan, how about Slovenia?)
    3) can you write or try to convince someone more qualified to write an Albion’s Seed for Russia (though the proper name wouldn’t be “Rurik’s”, of course, if it were to cover the majority stocks)? I’m not against HBD information, but the cultural archive AS-style’s what I’m actually looking for.
    4) could you include Iran or India in A Short History of Literacy?
    5) I, for one, eagerly await Rooted Cosmopolitanism.
    6) “part of the Orthodox Church” – it doesn’t include going into one and praying, so you’re making an eastern/non-cuck Reformed/Lutheran (“we no longer expect our members to believe in a god”) Church out of it – right?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  14. Mr. Hack says:

    Congratulations – somebody out there thinks that your producing some credible information:

    Fine print: all of these ideas are shameless pilfered from Anatoly Karlin.

    https://www.unz.com/gdurocher/the-convergence-hoax/

  15. LH says:

    Ages ago I found War Nerd column, and occasionally also read articles in The Exile. Once they wrote about blog La Russophobe, and mentioned that certain Karlin does the opposite. The russophobic blog was not interesting, but AK published long analytical articles I liked. This period seems to be gone, unfortunately.

  16. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    The cities you mentioned are all tier one. I feel like that is both good and bad, if you want to visit.

    It is interesting to look up a list of the top 10 by pop. I feel sure I recognize about 8 or 9, but #3, Chongqing, with a pop of 25 mil, I swear I have never heard of.

    I wonder how many could guess Russia’s #3.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    , @Dmitry
  17. @Dmitry

    AquariusAnon will tell you more about that (or Chieh if he drops by), but from what I gathered from conversations with him and other people:

    Beijing – political capital, scientific capital (has most of the think-tanks), vatnik Sinotriumph culture, Russophile

    Shanghai – economic capital, SAPL (Stuff Asian People Like) culture, Russophobe, Japanophile and don’t want to rock the boat in foreign relations

    Shenzhen – commercial tech capital, AI center, but not liberasts like Shanghai; economic Sinotriumph heartland

    Hong Kong – full of Sino svidomy who need to be exterminated

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @AquariusAnon
  18. @anonymous

    Thanks. Perhaps I’ll do it like spandrell recently did for Xinjiang.

  19. @Silva

    Thanks.

    1) can you say what percentage you get of payments through PayPal and Patreon? I’m considering shifting your money (such as it is) from the former to the latter.

    Probably 80% through Patreon.

    2) I’m curious about Tatar/Bashkir integration – are you willing to consider going to Kazan and writing about it? (I do consider Czechia and Poland higher-priority; at lower-than-Kazan, how about Slovenia?)

    There’s a chance I’ll do it, though Russia wise, I was thinking more about Crimea during the summer.

    3) can you write or try to convince someone more qualified to write an Albion’s Seed for Russia (though the proper name wouldn’t be “Rurik’s”, of course, if it were to cover the majority stocks)? I’m not against HBD information, but the cultural archive AS-style’s what I’m actually looking for.

    Sure. I already do that.

    4) could you include Iran or India in A Short History of Literacy?

    I am doing the ancient world on the basis of Harris’ Ancient Literacy; Europe, China, and Russia on the basis of existing research on the subject.

    I don’t know of any good, comprehensive surveys of historical literacy for India and Iran.

    6) “part of the Orthodox Church” – it doesn’t include going into one and praying, so you’re making an eastern/non-cuck Reformed/Lutheran (“we no longer expect our members to believe in a god”) Church out of it – right?

    Yes, I suppose that’s one way of putting it. Though I’m more a fan of the Cult Mechanicus aesthetics.

  20. @songbird

    Chongqing is nowhere near that big. Its “city limits” are so big that there are actually flights between “districts” of Chongqing. Many districts in Chongqing are actually standalone cities. Its essentially a smaller province carved out of Sichuan.

    The actual city of Chongqing should be around 9 million. Its still a very large, and crowded city though. Its a pretty industrial, dirty, polluted city and plays second fiddle to Chengdu in the region nowadays.

    Shanghai is still the biggest city in China, followed by Beijing.

    Guangzhou is indeed a tier 1 city technically, but economically its pretty lackluster for Chinese standards. Huge black (and Russian) population due to being a Made in China merchandise trading hub. But with 12 million people and the capital of one of China’s wealthiest provinces, there is of course, a large corporate presence and a healthy middle class.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Ender
    , @Ender
  21. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In vlogs, Shanghai almost seems like it has a South European or Latin American atmosphere, at least for summer… In the centre of Shanghai – it looks quite nice and developed?

    Look at this place in video at 7:00 below –

    Beijing […] Russophile

    Reminded me
    https://varlamov.ru/1044333.html

  22. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    many could guess Russia’s #3.

    Not to go too offtopic.

    But I was wondering why there is such a lack of large cities in America? Comparative lack of large cities (relative to population), is an national characteristic of America.

    In Japan (population 125 million), there are 11 cities of over 1 million people. Largest city Tokyo has 13,8 million residents.

    In Russian Federation (population 146 million), there are around 15 cities with population over 1 million. Largest city Moscow, has 12,3 million residents.

    In Brazil (population 209 million), there are 17 millionaire cities. Largest city Sao Paolo has 12,1 million residents.

    And in the USA (population 325 million people), there are only 10 cities with population over 1 million. Largest city New York has 8,6 million residents.

  23. @Dmitry

    Most of them are just artificially split. For instance, in most countries San Francisco would be a major metropolis encompassing the entirety of the area covered by BART and all the way down to San Jose with a population of close to 10 million, not a pinpoint of 700,000 people at the end of the Bay Area’s southern peninsula.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  24. @Anatoly Karlin

    I’d add in a few things here:

    1. Beijing is indeed Siloviki vatnik Sinotriumph. Actually it has strong historical cultural influences from Mongolia and Siberia, and there’s a little bit of a Buryatia vibe among a huge population of the locals, especially older men.

    Russophilia in Beijing is manifest in the 6 flights a day between Beijing and Moscow, and have been at least 4 daily since 2010. Also, last time I was in Beijing, I noticed quite a few restaurants have Russian menus.

    But Beijing still has a relevant, nontrivial liberal population: Arts and entertainment in China is largely centered on Beijing. Even if they have to work within the limits of Chinese censorship, they are highly liberal. Overall, vatnik-influenced Sinotriumph siloviki is still dominant.

    Based on my experiences with Western expats in China, they find Beijing to be much more authentically Chinese and down to earth than Shanghai. There is some outright hostility towards foreigners in Beijing, but this is probably the Tier 1 city of China where its the easiest to befriend a local. So culturally, its quite similar to Russia.

    Car culture and traffic jams are huge in Beijing. The architecture and city planning is very, in fact, extremely, Soviet. I recall my first impression of the outskirts of Moscow was how similar it looked to the same areas of Beijing.

    2. Spot on about Shanghai. Russian influence ends at borscht among the Shanghainese. They’re also a small minority of Chinese tourists in Russia. Aeroflot flights to Shanghai are almost 100% connections, unlike those to Beijing.

    Anglophilia is actually drastically declining among Shanghainese, due to negative experiences in the Anglosphere. The average Shanghainese finds the Anglosphere backwards and culturally alien, but acknowledges its superior education system and its economic size. Pretty much all middle class and above Shanghainese send their children to North America for education, but when it comes to general lifestyle influence, Japan is by far #1.

    Keep in mind that Shanghai is essentially a first world Asian city on par with Tokyo or Seoul, but so happens to have internet censorship and a 50% vatnik population with their annoying peasant behavior. Shanghai is pretty economically segregated though, with areas split between tourist, elite locals and western expats, middle class, and peasant migrant vatniks.

    Western expats find Shanghai to be a lot less authentically Chinese compared to Beijing, feels more like an international megapolis. Its unmatched in Mainland China for Western-friendly amenities, food, dating scene, and nightlife.

    3. Shenzhen is a place where rural kids from all over China go to seek opportunity. The Sinotriumph technology cognitive elite is there, largely sourced from poor families in rural areas. Huge amounts of factory workers. There are no locals in Shenzhen at all, and almost everybody comes from a peasant background, whether rich or poor.

    Shenzhen should be in between Beijing and Shanghai for liberalness. A lot of the top technology specialists may be highly nationalistic, due both to their nature of work, and that many got degrees from the Anglosphere but completely, and utterly failed to assimilate. On the other hand, factory owners and real estate people in Shenzhen will lean liberal (apolitical mostly though).

    Conclusion

    In all cities, and this includes Beijing, any type of Sinotriumph can’t hold a candle to the triumph the cargo cult. Your most hardcore anti-American, pro-Russian military silovik’s favorite car will likely be an Audi, and probably has a secret second home in Canada, Australia, or even California. And he’ll laugh you off if you suggest buying a house in Russia.

    And the middle class in all cities are mostly bugmen consumerists. In terms of domestic policies, they’re mildly critical of the CCP, and in geopolitics, mildly Sinotriumph. In either case, nothing drastic that the gravy train gets derailed. Cargo cultism of Japanese, Korean, and Western products are still going strong with this group, because Chinese products sometimes really can’t compete.

    All the tier 1 cities in China slightly exceed Moscow by just a tiny amount in terms of both amenities and wages.

    P.S. Apple’s decline in China is mostly due to how ridiculously priced it is in the Chinese market. People buy Huawei (and other Chinese brands) not for nationalism, but because it works just as well at a fraction of the price. Shanghai’s liberast elite are still overcrowding Apple stores, with lines outside on weekend afternoons.

    I’ll talk more about HK and Taiwan in the next comment.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    , @Mitleser
  25. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    There are a few different phenomenon at work, I think.

    #1 Many cities have shrunk, like Detroit – but actually many more, not as obviously catastrophically, but for the same reasons. The public schools are no longer white. Private schools are expensive, and other reasons. Though this actually began before desegregation. Boston does not have its 1950 pop, but it always had a densely populated metro area.

    #2 Metro areas are probably more important than cities. (You add in the suburbs.). I don’t know if American cities are geographically smaller, or this has to do with the car, or even predates it, and has to do with lifestyle. A German city I visited had about the same distance to the city center, as I do in the suburbs here.

    #3 Brooklyn was a large city eaten by NYC. I don’t know if there were others.

    #4 I suspect the cost of living in US cities to be generally higher than other countries’ cities, based on what I have heard of apartment costs in Europe. Maybe, this has something to do with bad neighborhoods or subsidies.

    #5 I think there were constraints on the growth of cities, like not being able to build highways in already settled suburbs, which just didn’t exist in some other countries, like China.

    It is curious, if you look at American movies, many seem to be suburban. I don’t think this is true of other countries.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @AquariusAnon
  26. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Brazil is possibly influenced by its constrained, coastal geography.

  27. Well done. Presence over time from a single observer has a value of its own.

  28. songbird says:
    @AquariusAnon

    I do wonder about “Chocalate City” . I heard they were cracking down on blacks, but at the same time, it seems obvious China does not want to offend Africa. I have no idea what the numbers are today.

    This post by AK mentions the video game series “Deus Ex”. In one game, I recall they had an alarming amount of black hookers in China. I don’t know if that was supposed to add to the dystopian flavor, or motivated from a globalist ideology. But hopefully the sex robots will obviate that possibility.

  29. Iran is a very comfortable future trade partner for Russia. The Chinese North-South corridor uses the Volga to get there.

    Russia is also trying very hard to open up trade with Japan. It’s just that Russia needs Japan more than Japan needs Russia.

    Both interesting relationships to pay attention to.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  30. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    San Francisco would be a major metropolis encompassing the entirety of the area covered by BART

    But (and maybe this is subjective) San Francisco also feels like a separate city, with some nearby cities around it, aside from the convenience of BART linking them. If you ignore the convenient of that train, it does not seem a single (large) city.

    For example, when I visited Berkeley, I was sure I was in a separate city.

    And there are examples in America of cities like Los Angeles, which is a formally large city. But it is more like continuous a convergence of different suburban areas, smaller cities and office areas. There’s almost a lack of atmosphere of being in a large city with millions of people (aside from some of the streets and skyscrapers in downtown).

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  31. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    It is curious, if you look at American movies, many seem to be suburban. I don’t think this is true of other countries.

    Yes I think this as well.

    Also I think the big city often has negative connotations for popular American culture. Like the American (negative) view of the city is an inversion of a European view.

    Obviously there are exceptions, with television and films which are in Manhattan – like “Gossip Girl” about 10 years ago, and “Friends”. (But even in Friends they just in their apartment set, and do not show anything about Manhattan outside the introduction music)

    • Replies: @songbird
  32. @AquariusAnon

    On Taiwan:

    This is svidomy core of the Chinese civilization. Svidomism that somehow infused neoliberalism.txt.

    Taiwan has been stagnant since the late 1990s. Wages haven’t grown at all in this period! Wages and prices are Portugal levels in Taiwan now. Buildings are largely from the 80s and falling into disrepair, and pretty much all apartment buildings have illegal, flimsy, uninsulated tin shacks built on the roof for rentals units! Infrastructure projects are often massively delayed.

    Taipei overall has a tired, beat up vibe. Doesn’t even look first world at first impression.

    The Svidomist parliament mostly argues, sometimes fights, and doesn’t get any work done. Not just anti-Chinese svidomism and LGBT nonsense, but the current ruling also started a slippery slope for immigration: The Vietnamese, and to a lesser extent Indonesians, are about to become an underclass ethnic minority in Taiwan.

    The economic elite of Taiwan on the other hand, is a very different situation. Generally, they dislike the CCP, but pretty much every single rich Taiwanese businessman got rich off of Mainland China, usually by opening factories or selling their products there. For many white collar professionals, their relative expertise compared to Mainland counterparts (Taiwanese education/training is still quite serious and well-regarded) means they are in high demand in China. Taiwanese professionals get paid in between expat packages and regular wages in China, which puts the salary roughly 1.5x what they get in Taiwan, at roughly the same cost of living.

    There’s also a big tourism industry in Taiwan that exclusively focuses on Chinese group tours. Taiwan is one of the few places where locals handle these cheap tour groups themselves.

    The somewhat pro-China KMT largely represents the interests of these crowds above. However, they have no pivoted into “Make Taiwan Great Again” as the DPP svidomists utterly failed in that regard.

    Taiwanese svidomy is the strongest in the poorer, more agragrian south of Taiwan.

    Quick word on the demographics of Taiwan: 84% are Chinese who immigrated prior to the civil war mostly from present day Fujian province (Hoklo) and mixed with some of the coastal aboriginals, 14% are civil war refugees (Mainlanders), and 2% are aboriginals, mostly the unmixed tribes in the deep mountains. The 14% of “mainlanders” and the aboriginals are almost entirely pro-KMT. Aboriginals turn towards the KMT because the svidomist DPP is a Hoklo nationalist party, which obviously excludes the aboriginals. DPP’s support is almost entirely Hoklo.

    P.S. patronizing Taiwanese products and especially cafes in China is being seen as a very “Sovok” thing now at least in Shanghai, about as ridiculous as Georgian cuisine in Moscow. Overpriced, poor value for money, and packaging/designs/tastes are either stuck behind the times, or simply inferior in every way imaginable compared to Japanese, Western, or independent domestic SAPL-owned competitors. This isn’t 1990-2005 anymore when the Taiwanese were the only ones who dominate the Chinese market for “foreign” consumerist products.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  33. Mitleser says:
    @AquariusAnon

    In all cities, and this includes Beijing, any type of Sinotriumph can’t hold a candle to the triumph the cargo cult. Your most hardcore anti-American, pro-Russian military silovik’s favorite car will likely be an Audi

    Not really a flaw because Audi cars are produced in China.

  34. @songbird

    City limits of American cities are wildly inaccurate, due to suburban sprawl of most US cities, and how constrained city limits are in the first place in America. “Cities” like Brooklyn or Berkeley should be thought of as districts of New York and San Francisco, respectively.

    I’d refer to this link instead:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metropolitan_statistical_areas

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_urban_areas

    Even then, its still not totally accurate. San Francisco, San Jose, and the North Bay is technically all 1 city, not 3 separate metro areas.

  35. @AquariusAnon

    Quick add:

    Besides Taiwan’s solid educational system and corporate culture, which means an R&D sector that punches way above its weight and the corporate culture means ample Mainland opportunities for graduates as described earlier, Taiwan’s stock exchange is also significantly outsized compared to its economy/population, due to the Mainland also.

    Also, the Taiwanese lower class is much more civilized than Mainland Chinese vatnik peasants.

  36. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    I once saw a Godzilla movie (Japanese) that had a very funny vignette: they were (I believe) shooting in Japan, so to evoke normal city life in America, they had a white cop and a black street thug arguing before Godzilla suddenly appears. It is a scene that everyone has seen over here in real life, and I feel certain it was based on the observation of a Japanese.

    China seems to be entering a period of optimism similar to the US in the ’80s, if not earlier. Once, I had the fanciful idea that, if I were a wealthy Chinese businessman, I would try to remake some of the American entertainment hits of the ’80s that had a lighter tone. I still think it would be a good idea, but I don’t know if it would work perfectly because of this urban/suburban dichotomy – maybe some ideas would not translate well.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  37. Dmitry says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Buildings are largely from the 80s and falling into disrepair, and pretty much all apartment buildings have illegal, flimsy, uninsulated tin shacks built on the roof for rentals units!

    This can also relate more to time of construction, than to current economic level.

    For example, if Taiwan was cheaply constructing most of its buildings in the 1960s or 1970s boom, and a country like China is constructing its buildings in the 2010s – then buildings of equal value might look a lot better in China.

    Moreover, it’s much more expensive to replace already populated and “in use” buildings, than to construct new buildings over fresh (unoccupied) land. If current residents don’t agree, it can be even legally impossible to delete old buildings and upgrade them. And if they agree, it can then require paying them with the price of a new apartment each.

    So cities can become locked into shabby, old buildings, which were cheaply constructed in earlier economic epochs – even when current economic level of the country can be later quite a lot higher than in the time when the buildings were constructed.

    (It’s also possible an inverse of this process, for example in Lvov, Buenos Aires, Chernovtsy, Odessa, etc).

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  38. @Dmitry

    Dallas-Fort Worth
    Minneapolis-St Paul
    Saratov-Engels
    Newcastle-Gateshead
    Kansas City KS/MO
    All pairs of very different cities with shared boundaries, often a river.

  39. songbird says:

    If AK does videos, I hope he considers doing shortform opinion – at least as a mix. I always got a kick out of Andy Rooney, crazy, old coot ( may he RIP). I think RamZPaul takes inspiration from Rooney and that’s part of his success.

    Molyneux has his goodpoints, but often he can really be a windbag. I think that is part of the peril of doing too many vids without a script – you lose your discipline.

  40. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    Japanese cities look very dystopian from the train. But then when you go inside the city, it is a lot nicer inside the city than you imagine from the distance.

    American surburbia development from the middle of the 20th century, was really strange and probably incompetent though (I know many other countries later copied it, and that American urbanists were partly inspired by English concepts)

    What do you guys think about these ideas?

    • Replies: @songbird
  41. A22 says:

    @Philip Owen

    It’s just that Russia needs Japan more than Japan needs Russia.

    Russia being in need of Japan more than otherwise is debatable. Of course, Japan would make a perfect substitute for German manufactured goods with much less headache since the Japs are more pragmatic than the Germans. However, it is probably very much in Japan’s interest to keep a good relation window with Russia, not to let China enjoy a monopoly on good relations with Russia, which is undoubtedly not in Japan’s interest.
    In fact, looking at how fast the import substitution is going to Russia, it is dubious if Russia would need imported manufactured goods in 10 years time ( relative to the current state of imports). However, Japanese expertise in manufacturing would probably be appreciated. South Korea could also help. This is why I think good relations with Japan and Korea are essential for Russia.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  42. @A22

    Russia needs to purchase capital equipment to carry out import substitution. The reason why Russia is so dependent on germany is not because of stuff like cars but because Russian manufacturing lacks indigenous machine tools, indigenous supply chains and russian industry is in constant catch up mode due to relatively low R&D expenditure.

    • Replies: @A22
  43. A22 says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    The fact that Russia imports producers goods do not automatically imply the lack of domestic capacity in this field. The Mc-21 project is a perfect demonstration of that. Very little is sourced from the outside ( with plans to substitute all foreign parts eventually). This means all of the supply chains for such a complicated project are confined within the borders of the country. If a project of such extent and complexity can be carried out entirely domestically, with results that match and surpasses foreign products, then every other foreign product can be substituted eventually.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  44. @A22

    Aerocomposit(UAC subsidiary who assembles the wing) uses French and German made machine tools to convert the resin used in the wing into prepeg :https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/resin-infused-ms-21-wings-and-wingbox

    • Replies: @A22
  45. A22 says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    I did not argue against that!

    what I was saying, the capacity to produce these products is available, evidenced by being able to produce a complicated product like the PD-14 engine. The fact the there are imports in these departments reflect pure economic considerations. importing these machines are more economical currently, of course, this has to be remedied, but you cannot do everything at once, at least not within reasonable costs and deadlines.

  46. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    I think the number one thing determining if a city is livable is demographics. Something not really planned for and seldom discussed, unfortunately.

    As regards the cosmetics of buildings, IMO a lot of the current blandness has to do with the high cost of skilled labor. The question is how much can automation make things cheaper (important for natalism) and how good designs with variation and appropriate to the locale could be cheaply instituted with automation.

    I’m often shocked by how much schools in the US cost to build. We are talking like >$30 million for a rural high school. It seems really crazy, since it is such a common building type in the world. Same with train stations, police stations, etc. I really think there is a lot of room for automation and that kind of market (worldwide) could enhance design. Let’s say you could pick from a 100 designs for a school and tailor it a bit. Or use photos of an old, labor-intensive but beautiful building and have machines make it. Automation can make curves cheaply.

    I’m also a big fan of bikepaths, if the space is there. I think they provide kids with opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise because they are too young to drive.

    I’m surprised Russia doesn’t seem to do more underground because of the harsh temps in winter. I mean like maybe pedestrian tunnels and underground parks. I don’t know how practical that stuff is – I guess you would probably get bums making a mess in there. And maybe it is hard to vetilate. But perhaps you could even reroute some sunlight with fiberoptics, and put plants down there. some of these things would be good to know how to do, if we were going to Mars.

    • Replies: @g2k
  47. AP says:

    Off topic, but funny and Seraphim would appreciate:

    https://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2019/01/16/7203973/

    A hierarch of the Russian Church in Ukriane said he has killed people with his damnations. Because people of the True Church kill, not heal. 🙂

    • Replies: @Gerard2
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  48. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    [MORE]

    A hierarch of the Russian Church in Ukriane said he has killed people with his damnations. Because people of the True Church kill, not heal. 🙂

    LOL as if a prick like you has a clue what you are talking about…A church headed by the bastard son (literally as in child out of wedlock, a non-issue on most issues, but a big issue when talking about the head of a new church of a corrupt fake country) of the bastard corrupt priest treasurer to the corrupt bastard Filaret……gets to now head the fake bastard church of a fake bastard country…….success.!(not)

    Russian Church in Ukraine

    …errrr it’s Ukrainian Orthodox Chuech of the Moscow Patriarchate you dumbfuck attention-whore cockroach.

    As for the point itself there are a huge load of people in positions of power in Ukraine who deserve to be damned for eternity you moron….for the benefit of “Ukraine” and humanity itself…..and it’s the Kiev Patriarchate who have taken a militaristic ( for criminals) tone during the war you idiot

    BTW is there anybody in this god-forsaken country who actually speaks this dialect called Ukrainian….LOL……………

    Interesting that this bastard prick instead of seeking to defend the values of the church against things like promoting homosexuality … chooses to tell this (fake) European Union official ( in the form of Vovan/Lexus) of how Ukrainian society need to “develop” on issues like this to meet European values and blablabla

    Of course he does all of this in Russian

    This whole fake and illegal autocephaly seems to be going nowhere fast from who I know there, despite the ridiculous propganda of the Ukrainian apparatus…..and Poroshenko’s approval rating for this “monumental” event, increases by …..3%.
    I should add that Putin’s went up by about 25% immediately after Crimea…and that Putin is not a chronic drunk

    • Replies: @AP
  49. Gerard2 says:

    Congratulations to Karlin on reaching 11 years. Well done!

    Must have started the blogging with Litvinenko and Chechnya,then the general positive development of Russia , then corruption, Forest fires,Nightclub fires/ceilings collapsing, then the vulgar criminal but also eternal gift of Saakashvilli, and Gruzia, then United Russia , and elections and Navalny and kamikaze liberasts,bad driving, then Stalin, then the gay propaganda issue, and now this frenetic and extraordinary period of Russian history from 2014-now with a whole series of big events occurring almost every 2 weeks.

    No doubt it’s a valuable, thought-provoking and a successful job done in these 11 years …more so in an area that is important but very poorly informed by the corrupt western media…..and also the lazy liberasts at RT who are too busy fellating statues of Chubais to do anything defending the honour of Russia.

    A particularly funny moment being the the high quality of the blogging inciting the crazed fruitcake retarded Zhido-Bandera mother of the filthy skank fakenews journalist Miriam Elder to comment on the blog with some delirious BS.

    Intellectual output high, research excellent and very thought-provoking blog

  50. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    [MORE]

    Nice to see that my stalker was triggered.

  51. g2k says:
    @songbird

    I’m also a big fan of bikepaths, if the space is there. I think they provide kids with opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise because they are too young to drive.

    In theory they’re great, but need to be thoroughly thought out. Ones along the roads seem quite pointless and ones away from the roads suffer from crime and vandalism. Milton keynes, (by far the uk’s nicest post-war new town) has a huge network of completely segregated paths that run through the landscaped borders between residential areas and the highway-like grid roads they have that criss-cross the city. When a path meets a grid road, it either goes under or over it. You can walk/cycle from one end of the city to the other, as if you’re in the countryside and never need cross a road. It really is like a parallel road system with street lights, signs and everything. They’re massively underutilised though which is a shame. I think the biggest reason is that towns with space for cycleways tend to be shunned by the swpl types who actually cycle. The second reason is almost certainly fear of crime; if you get mugged, raped etc. on one, nobody will be around to help.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Keynes_redway_system

    Stevenage is similar, but much uglier.

    I’m surprised Russia doesn’t seem to do more underground because of the harsh temps in winter. I mean like maybe pedestrian tunnels and underground parks. I don’t know how practical that stuff is – I guess you would probably get bums making a mess in there. And maybe it is hard to vetilate.

    I don’t think it really gets sufficiency cold in European Russia to justify the expense of this and the lack of sunlight is more unpleasant to most people than the cold. In seriously cold places there, there’s a glut of buildings. Light pipes are no substitute for windows. Having said that, in some metro stations there seem to be small malls. Kiev has metrograd underneath its main boulevard which is quite large.

  52. Quick add on Chinese liberast “Russophobia”:

    Western-style Russophobia, which is nothing more than PDS (Putin Derangement Syndrome), is nonexistent in China. Putin isn’t viewed unfavorably even among Chinese liberasts.

    The average Chinese liberast elite writes off Russia as a corrupt, underdeveloped country that somehow has a massive military. They see Russians as undisciplined primitive people who drink and fight too much with poor impulse control/work ethic. And this type of “Russo-contempt” among Chinese liberasts is the biggest reason why high end Chinese tourism and Sino-Russian economic ties significantly lag behind the vatnik-Maozuo budget tour groups and military ties.

    This lag will only grow bigger with time and Chinese liberasts are one of the most materialistic people on the planet, respecting only wealthy countries and willing to only invest in wealthy countries or perhaps some poorer ones that take care of wealthy foreigners well (e.g. tourism-centered economies like Mauritius, Bali, or Thailand). Russia miserably fails in both regards. Somehow Chinese liberasts also think of Russia as a high-crime and terror-prone place full of scammers.

    “Russo-contempt” among Chinese liberal elites will stay until the Russian economy upgrades to Italy/South Korea levels. Its viewed among them as Brazil with snow, nukes, and tanks, which is not entirely false.

    What’s worrying is that Russo-contempt has seeped into middle class millennials and Gen-Z Chinese too. Russian language classes are getting less and less popular Chinese universities, with no end in sight.

    Russophilia in China is limited to the following groups:

    1. Sinotriumph siloviki, or hardcore Sinotriumphialists as a whole. They view Russia as the leader of the global anti-Western “Axis of Resistance”, and knows the extreme importance of Russia as China’s strategic rear.

    2. Sino-vatniki over the age of 50. They were kids when China was a vassal of the Sovoks (1949 to 1960, with lingering cultural influences until the Cultural Revolution), so Sovok culture, the main sights of Russia (e.g. Red Square, Winter Palace, Lake Baikal), and to a lesser extent even the Russian language, are very familiar among them. English wholly replaced Russian as China’s default foreign language only right around the start of the Cultural Revolution.

    President Xi falls into both categories, which explains his views towards Russia.

    However, its highly likely his successor will be a Gen-X Russo-contempt liberal. This doesn’t mean China will be neoliberalism.txt, as even liberasts are, and will always be, Sino-patriots.

    • Replies: @Ender
    , @Jason Liu
  53. Dan Hayes says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Anatoly:

    Where did you get this wonderful cartoon from? (Maybe England, since the King James Bible is shown??). Wonderful in the sense that it profoundly shows the inadequacies of defanged religions.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @DFH
  54. I wonder if Polish Perspective is here to verify these trends.

    I’ve heard from some of those on the ground that there has been a mass-immigration wave of lower class, lower IQ Indians to Poland (not the cognitive elite the US gets). They are apparently becoming an established ethnic minority in Warsaw, doing stuff like owning kebab stores, UberEats delivery, or other low skilled “jobs”.

    And that there has been a mass-importation of British council estate chav culture, and also neoliberalism.txt attitudes into Poland. I wonder if that’s the result of Poles in the UK returning home, bringing that with them?

  55. Ender says:

    What should Russia do to get to 5 to 6 percent GDP growth, similar to China, has China managed its economy better than Russia for the past 10 years?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  56. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    How about the fact that Russia does not have 25 percent of its housing stock unnoccupied, or a 300 percent of GDP debt bubble, and if you look at Chinese factor productivity growth it has been running at about 1 percent for the past 5 years or so. Or that a sognificant part of the economy is basically a real estate speculatory bubble economy? And I have seen some recent surveys that show that LGBT us gradually being more accepted among younger millenials and Gen Z in China.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  57. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Chinese people hold too much savings, its economy will be better balanced when its savings rate is closer to 10 percent, vs. 30 percent.

  58. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Chinese people hold too much savings, its economy will be better balanced when its savings rate is closer to 10 percent, vs. 30 percent.

  59. anonymous[160] • Disclaimer says:
    @AquariusAnon

    I can’t figure out why Taiwan has had 2 lost decades. Also on GDP per capita (PPP), it doesn’t do badly. It is #19 between Australia and Denmark.

    18 Australia 49,882
    19 Taiwan 49,827
    20 Denmark 49,613

    But that might just be another example of PPP not quite clicking with reality.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  60. WHAT says:

    Seveneves is meh. Only first part is actually interesting, and even then it is approaching current PC norms at top relativistic speed. Black science man, stronk whamen US president, etc.

    But then Stephenson in general reads much different after swallowing the red pill. Anathem is still his best book, and by far.

  61. WHAT says:
    @Philip Owen

    I`m sure Komatsu will be happy to oust CAT in russian market.

  62. @anonymous

    Taiwan is nowhere near in between Australia and Denmark.

    Its nominal GDP per capita is around 25,000, which is quite similar to Portugal, Czech Republic, and Greece. Taiwan’s wages and quality of life feels more or less like the aforementioned ones.

    However, I’d acknowledge that Taiwan is definitely very first world in terms of the things that actually matter: infrastructure, quality control, safety, healthcare, education, etc. Just that it has low wages but also low prices, and has too many shabby third world-looking housing and noisy scooters.

  63. @Ender

    Yes LGBT is definitely on the rise among Gen-Z. Its not uncommon to see gays and lesbians under 30 out and about in public. Definitely a lot less so than in Hong Kong or Taiwan, but enough to not go unnoticed.

    Overall, I would call China gay-indifferent at this stage.

    Housing prices in tier 1 cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and to a lesser extent Guangzhou) are some of the most expensive in the world, definitely not proportionate with salaries. Doesn’t affect locals very much since they all have housing that they can inherit from their parents. Its the Sino-vatnik migrant workers who have trouble; they’ll never afford housing in the tier 1 cities no matter how hard they work.

    • Replies: @Ender
    , @Ender
    , @Ender
    , @Ender
    , @Ender
  64. @Dan Hayes

    It’s part of the Virgin vs. Chad memes collection.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  65. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    How are cities like Wuhan, Harbin, and Changsha? Or Tsingtao and Dalian?

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  66. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Is it fair to describe LGBT as a sort of mental contagion? Seems to cobtradict the born this way argument. I actually compare it to a perenial computer virus that requires a patch every now and then to iron out the bugs.

  67. Ender says:

    Is the increase in LGBT due to increased consumption of Western pop culture? As for how Confucianism traditionally treated gays, it was initially neutral, but then from the Ming dynasty onwards became more anti-LGBT, and the Qing dynasty had its own anti sodomy laws.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    , @songbird
  68. Jason Liu says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Unlike most commenters on this site, your analysis of public opinion in China/Taiwan is refreshingly accurate.

  69. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    I have actually been to Harbin, and it seems to be a fairly wealthy city, with 2 Shangrila hotels and a Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and Crowne Plaza.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    , @Philip Owen
  70. @Ender

    Recall that I said that China’s arts and entertainment sector is highly liberal. While only those based in Hong Kong are coming out of the closet, a lot of those based in the Mainland look gay/lesbian as fuck. See for example Kris Wu or Li Yuchun.

    Kpop, which is wildly popular in China, doesn’t help either.

    This combined with the bugmen drone-like nature of Chinese people, means that a lot of Gen-Z are following the footsteps of the celebrities, so gay behavior is on the rise.

    “Wholesome” entertainment in China is too Sovok/stuffy/Sinotriumph for most millennials’ and Gen-Z’s tastes, especially for mass consumption. Its really, really uncool stuff that only middle aged and elderly people consume.

    There actually has been attempts to pretty much ban more degenerate strains of Gen-Z/millennial Chinese pop culture and redirect it to the government-sanctioned folkish/nationalist music. For example, the attempt to ban rap. But it backfired so badly that the rap ban was lifted almost overnight. The genie is out of the bottle, and Chinese millennials are voting with their wallets for degenerate Westernized entertainment.

    Likewise for attempts to ban Western culture, such as Hollywood films or Christmas celebrations: Its extremely unpopular and completely unenforceable.

    • Replies: @Ender
    , @Ender
    , @Ender
  71. Ender says:

    As I said before, Confucianism is very very very conservative, even more conservative than fundamentalist Christianity IMO, hence why its leading thinkers decided later on that anything other than hetero sex violated natural law.

  72. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Would Chinese millenials consider WW2 era American pop culture or movies like Casablanca and Gone with the Wind to be too Sovokish, or John Wayne movies and classic Disney and Hanna Barbera cartoons?

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  73. Ender says:

    Or high quality classic films like a bridge too far, zulu, and the longest day? Point is that there is a lot of high quality wholesome Western entertainment, even the lowbrow type, if you know where to look.

  74. @Ender

    Stuff like Gone with the Wind or John Wayne has a decently sized following among the Shanghai-based liberast elite. The average bugmen Chinese middle class have no clue what they even are.

    Chinese middle class bugmen like watching modern day Hollywood action blockbusters. Transformers, Fast and Furious, Star Wars, and to a lesser extent Captain America are really popular.

    When I mean by “Sovok” I don’t mean by the age stuff is produced. I mean by how uncool and stuffy it is, which the stuff coming out of Chinese TV can really be at times. Its quite similar to Russian TV channels in fact, except a few order of magnitudes lamer, stuffier, and more openly “patriotic”. Most Chinese bugmen agree that patriotism and entertainment is a poor mix.

    Hunan TV is probably the only TV channel that still has semi-support among Chinese Gen-Z. They get their entire entertainment and news from the internet or smartphone apps nowadays.

    • Replies: @Ender
    , @Ender
  75. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    If you want to bring up examples of American TV shows from the mid 2000s that are wholesome and fun, i would bring up Kim Possible, Kuzco, Cars, Toy Story, and , Spongebob, or the French TV show Oggy and the Cockroaches.

  76. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    If you want to bring up examples of American TV shows from the mid 2000s that are wholesome and fun, i would bring up Kim Possible, Kuzco, Cars, Toy Story, and , Spongebob, or the French TV show Oggy and the Cockroaches.

  77. @Ender

    Harbin is actually a below average provincial capital wealth-wise. Northeast China (Manchuria) is an economically stagnant region full of Sino-vatniks with a declining population. They form the bulk of both the peasant population in Beijing and Russia’s Chinese population; most Chinese restaurants in Russia cook Northeast Chinese dishes. Other places outside of their natural habitat where you’ll find the Northeast Chinese vatniki in bulk are Hainan Island, South Korea, and to a lesser extent Japan. A lot of them are also prostitutes in Paris.

    The “elite” in this region is extremely ostentatious and rather vulgar: Extreme love of the latest designer clothing, sports cars, and gold. Sometimes they even get into debt to acquire these things. Combined with a love of grilled meats and drinking, this is the region of China that’s the most similar to Russia culturally.

    Now talking about culture, Russian influence in this region lingers to this day: Russian sausages and black bread, and Russian cuisine as a whole, are actually a staple of Harbin locals’ food. Lots of Russian architecture and former Orthodox churches in Harbin. In fact, Harbin was built by the Russians. There are a lot of Russians, mostly vatniki from Siberia, in Harbin. The locals don’t really like them for their typical vatniki drunken behavior (but the locals themselves aren’t much better in that regard).

    Heilongjiang, the province that Harbin is the capital of, is one of the very, very few places that still has areas with mandatory Russian on the college entrance exam; cities on the Chinese side of the Sino-Russian border in Heilongjiang have huge Russian trader populations and the city centers of these towns are entire Chinese-Russian bilingual. Many locals in these towns speak Russian; sometimes a few Russian words even show up in the local dialects in these regions.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  78. @Ender

    They vary wildly, and I’m not very familiar with provincial China, having been to only a few on short trips. I’m speaking by anecdotes here.

    Harbin is below average economically, has strong Russian influence.

    Wuhan is one of the largest second tier cities, with just under 10 million people. Its average economically, rather industrial/dirty, and lots of construction everywhere. A hub for rail/river transit.

    Changsha is like Wuhan but with half the population and probably less industrial. Same or slightly richer than Wuhan in terms of per capita wealth.

    Qingdao is one of the nicest and wealthiest second tier cities. Touristy, lots of Koreans and Korean influence, some residual German influence. Great beer, great seafood.

    Dalian is like a poorer version of Qingdao, slightly above average wealth. Like Harbin, its in Northeast China. Touristy. Smaller Korean population but larger Japanese population than Qingdao. Great urban planning with a huge focus on town squares/plazas, some residual Russian influence.

    In terms of amenities, your average Chinese second tier city is slightly ahead of cities like Yekaterinburg adjusted for population size. Overall amenity-wise, maybe like pre-Maidan Kiev but with higher cost of living/wages?

    In terms of wages, varies from city, but on average a little bit ahead of your average Russian milioniki-gorod. The nicest second-tier cities, such as Qingdao and Hangzhou, can probably match St. Petersburg in terms of amenities, size, and perhaps salaries.

  79. @Dmitry

    The political system is a big reason why Taiwan’s buildings are so shabby.

    Because of “democracy” and property rights, in order to perform large scale exterior or interior maintenance, unanimous approval of all the owners in all units is required. Of course since each apartment building has dozens, if not hundreds of units, its extremely difficult to get unanimous approval. So it becomes politically impossible renovate buildings, causing them to fall into disrepair.

    Likewise, “democracy” is another reason why its impossible to tear down rooftop tin shack tenements. Every single Taipei mayor has attempted to do this, but they run into resistance from the owners of said shacks. Usually these shacks are built by owners of the top-floor apartment units, and are technically additions to their apartments.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  80. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    I do not think it is possible to produce unstuffy TV that is not pozzed. And conservative media is always going to look somehwhat stuffy and Edwardian because of thr nature of conservatism, which is to conserve.

    • Replies: @Duke of Qin
    , @g2k
  81. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    If you have watched Michael Bay films recently, those do tend to be very pro US military, and the post Revenge of the Sith Star Wars movies also tend to be SJW preachy, so Anerican films do tend to be missionary in nature as well.

  82. songbird says:
    @Ender

    I’ve heard that the word “homosexuality” basically comes from German usage. The English supposedly originally favored the word “sodomy.”

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @German_reader
  83. @Ender

    Non pozzed mass media is possible. You just need to go full fascist on the aesthetics and message. Conservatism fairs poorly against leftism in signalling and agitation value. Fascism on the other hand works very well.

    • Replies: @Ender
  84. Mr. Hack says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Interesting information. It’s obvious that you could write a whole lot more about this area (photos too I would imagine?). Since Karlin seems to have busied himself as of late with some outside blog activities, perhaps, he’d allow you to write a travelogue of the area? He seems like a nice enough guy to do so…

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AquariusAnon
  85. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Silly me, I see that you’re up next (minus the photos?). Kudos to Karlin for appropriating fresh new talent! Can’t wait to read it.

  86. Dmitry says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Because of “democracy” and property rights, in order to perform large scale exterior or interior maintenance, unanimous approval of all the owners in all units is required.

    Exactly – another process by which cities can be “locked into” shabby buildings of construction booms of earlier epochs of their history.

    These people protesting in Taiwan – just like the recent stories in Moscow (with residents protesting planned destruction of their inadequate buildings).

    So it becomes politically impossible renovate buildings, causing them to fall into disrepair.

    It’s one of the ways in which appearance of buildings often becomes divergent from the current economic development level.

    Divergence between building quality and economy, can be really extreme and surreal, of course. If you judge from buildings’ grandeur and expense of construction, you might imagine the centre of Lvov is richer than San Diego – which of course was true if you indexed this to the date when buildings were constructed.

  87. songbird says:
    @songbird

    And this is quite interesting, since England seems to have had a much freer press than Germany at the time. But it seems to have come from one man (at least into English) – Kraft-Ebing – who wasn’t even looking to normalize it for society, just to discuss it scientifically.

    It is quite curious. Germans used to be stereotyped for their scientific contributions. There is still the shadow of this. I knew someone who took up the study of German for their scientific reputation. Of course, many students of science will have heard German phrases, ranging from within the study of organic chemistry to ornithology.

    Out of this scientific spirit came a word to normalize (unintentionally) the abhorrent. Perhaps, the luddite fears of scientism were correct.

  88. @songbird

    Sodomie in German actually means bestiality, it’s different in that regard from English and most other languages where it means anal intercourse.

    • Replies: @songbird
  89. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    I believe I heard that previous to that, a common German word for “gay” was “warm” , which seems like very soft language. That almost sounds wrong to me like a fag term, just as they hijacked the word “gay.”

    But perhaps they also came up with the word “fag.” It was once a very common term in England to describe younger boys at school who were supposed to act as servants and do the chores/ bidding of the oldest students. It involved some level of bullying. And there was a lot of gayness in British schools in Edwardian times.

  90. @Mr. Hack

    I’m actually not from Northeast China, but from one of the tier 1 cities. I have quite a few friends and acquaintances from there, but never visited.

    I’ll definitely try to visit NE China one day, but Vladivostok and Khabarovsk are way higher on my bucket list in that approximate area.

    • Replies: @Ender
  91. Dan Hayes says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Anatoly:

    Many thanks for your prompt response.

  92. @Ender

    Improve productivity by encouraging the rural population, still large, to large towns and cities. This means housing, including that for dependents and work. However, rural life allows a lot of economic independence. Giving that up is hard. Central Asians are easier.

  93. @Ender

    Russian hoteliers in provincial cities are not even moderately concerned to use a US brand. Why do the Chinese?

    • Replies: @Ender
    , @g2k
  94. DFH says:
    @Dan Hayes

    The KJV is a yank thing

    • Replies: @g2k
  95. Ender says:
    @Philip Owen

    My point is that a city must have some wealth if they have that many 5 star hotels, I mean how many 5 star hotels does Edmonton have? Harbin also has a Sofitel and Wanda hotel btw.

  96. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Why are you so harsh on Manchuria? I mean its economic base is heavy industry, which mean that it can always keep up with the Joneses by teching up and moving higher up the value chain, plus it also has significant income streams from tourism and agriculture, plus there is always the possibility of exporting hydropower, so Manchuria has multiple viable income streams going into the future.

  97. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    In fairness to the liberals, mainstream Western culture was still attractive way into the late 90s, I mean if you look at mainstream pop music from 1998, like the Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, or the Corrs, it was all very tame and G rated, and as for the LGBT movement, even in the late 90s it was still considered a fringe movement, and was really not mainstreamed in American pop culture until the late 2000s. I mean half of Americans were still opposed to interracial marriage way into the mid 90s.

  98. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    In fairness to the liberals, mainstream Western culture was still attractive way into the late 90s, I mean if you look at mainstream pop music from 1998, like the Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, or the Corrs, it was all very tame and G rated, and as for the LGBT movement, even in the late 90s it was still considered a fringe movement, and was really not mainstreamed in American pop culture until the late 2000s. I mean half of Americans were still opposed to interracial marriage way into the mid 90s.

  99. Ender says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Have you been to the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, or Indonesia, what do you think of those places culturally.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  100. g2k says:
    @Ender

    I disagree here. Prior to the late 90s, uk cultural elites were generally left wing as opposed to liberal. 1980s TV was full of shows lionising the working class. Look at tv dramas like ‘the black stuff’ and it’s sequels ‘boys from the blackstuff’. Scouse tarmac layers, working for an exploitive boss, walk off their job and attempt to start their own company but get ripped off by Irish gypsies and end up destitute (it’s on YouTube or dailymotion). It’s certainly not conservative, but a million miles away from being pozzed (look at the portrayal of yosser’s wife). Ken Loach’s films are sometimes similar, kes etc.

  101. g2k says:
    @Philip Owen

    They dont, but they still do dumb cargo-cultish things like covering up parquet floors with crappy fitted carpets and replacing slightly shabby solid wood furniture with tacky mdf stuff and then calling the rooms ‘euro standard’.

  102. g2k says:
    @DFH

    Insisting that the KJV is the word of god and that modern translators were influenced by Satan is a fundamtalist protestant thing. Though, from a purely aesthtic pov. after a quick skim though both, I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe the fundamtalists have a point.

    • Replies: @DFH
  103. DFH says:
    @g2k

    It is weird how the KJV version of the Gospels is often much better from a stylistic perspective than the Greek

  104. @Ender

    Paul Verhoeven’s version of Starship Troopers. It was meant to be a satirical, but it ironically better serves as an ode to fascism.

  105. @Ender

    I’ve only been to one of the countries to your list.

    They are third world, lower IQ countries. Essentially non-violent Latin Americans. They to the Chinese are what the Central Asians to the Russians. I support having most of the ASEAN as Chinese vassals for mostly geopolitical reasons, and to keep the Chinese cognitive elites there close and protected.

    On the downside, they’ll require Chinese subsidies, but Chinese investments and spending in the region will go much, much further for the same levels compared to anywhere in Africa.

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