The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Topics/Categories Filter?
Foreign Policy Politics Russia Western Media Society Russophobes Western Hypocrisy Ideology Human Rights Economy USA Corruption Ukraine Opinion Poll Liberal Opposition Putin Demography Elections International Relations Translations History Core Article Military Humor Race/Ethnicity Geopolitics IQ China Futurism Psychometrics Moscow Democracy Blogging UK Georgia International Comparisons Crime Human Biodiversity Russian Media Convergence Miscellaneous Sociology Economics Education Soviet Union United States Admin Putin Derangement Syndrome Science France Medvedev Public Health Immigration Germany NATO Energy Obama PISA Open Thread Climate Change Imperialism War Finance India Islam Nationalism Terrorism Baltics Belarus Islamism RealWorld Wikileaks Chechnya Guardian Jews Syria The Economist US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel Culture Demographics Forecasts Syrian Civil War The AK Translation Venezuela Alexei Navalny Inequality Islamophobia Israel Nick Eberstadt Poland Turkey Feminism Iran Kompromat Literacy Migration Alcoholism BRICs Caucasus Conspiracy Theories Estonia Internet Population Growth Soviet History Color Revolution Communism Donald Trump Europe Fertility Rates Gender Relations Greece Law Mortality news-2008 SJWs Statistics War In Donbass Armenia Interviews Journalism Near Abroad Peak Oil Sociobiology Sweden Video Development East Asians Espionage Far Abroad Flynn Effect Living Standards Manufacturing Media Pax Americana Trump Derangement Syndrome Vladimir Putin World War II AIDS Alcohol Arab Spring Big History Canada Crisis Economic History Finland Food John McCain Law Literature Mitt Romney Nuclear Weapons Racism Technology TIMSS Trade Whites Al Jazeera Azerbaijan Brazil Death Penalty Environment Nutrition Obesity Paper Review Philosophy Rationality Richard Lynn Ron Unz Singapore Svidomy Taiwan Transhumanism Ukrainian Crisis US Blacks US Elections 2016 Anti-Semitism Censorship Central Asia East Asian Exception Egypt Iceland Intelligence Levada Center Malthusianism Neocons Political Economy Poverty Projects Saudi Arabia Travel Trolling United Kingdom WSJ Academia Alexei Kudrin Apollo's Ascent Arctic Sea Ice Melting Bahrain California Corruption Perceptions Index EROEI Freedom Global Warming Green Guest Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Homosexuality Infrastructure Islamist-liberal Alliance Italy Japan Liberalism maps Mexico Middle East Military Technology Nazism North Korea Opposition R&D Russian Economy Russian Politics Sex Ratio Socialism Tsarist Russia Agriculture Alt Right Ancestral Health Arabs Assange Berezovsky BigPost Cars Chinese History Dark Lord Of The Kremlin Eastern Europe Edward Snowden Eurasia European Union Genetics Hubbert's Peak Ideologies Islamic State kremlinology Languages Learning LGBT Military History Norway Paris Attacks Philosophy Pigs Prediction Psychology Ray Kurzweil Russian Far East Russian History Scandinavia Social Media South Korea stalin Superintelligence systems-modeling The Bell Curve The Russian Spectrum Thermoeconomics Twitter Urbanization 2010 Census 2012 US Elections Administration Afghanistan Aging Alexander Mercouris Anthropology Arctic Resources Blacks Bolivarian Revolution Capitalism Chinese IQ Chinese Language CNN CO2 Emissions Coal Crimea Czech Republic discussion Dmitry Medvedev Drugs Eurabia falsifiable-predictions Fantasy FEMEN Financial Times Football Foreign Policy Glenn Greenwald Great Powers Guardian Censorship Health Hindu Caste System Hispanics Human Achievement Illegal Immigration Indians Inequality IPCC Ireland Jared Diamond John Michael Greer Joseph Tainter Julian Assange Junta Latin America Libya life-expectancy Malnutrition Map Marine Le Pen Masculinity Milan Kundera Militarization Money Moscow Mayoral Election 2013 NAMs Natural Gas navalny ngos Novorossiya race-realism Rape Robert Ayres Romanticism Russia Debate Russian Demography Russian Elections 2018 Russian Occupation Government Russian Orthodox Church sergey-zhuravlev Sex Space Sport Steven Pinker Switzerland Yemen 2008-south-ossetia-war Abortion AGW Denial Ahmadinejad Anatoly Karlin Andrei Korotayev Arctic Civilization Asian Americans Australia authoritarianism Beer Berkeley Brexit Cartoon CEC Charles Murray Chinese Economy Chinese People Christianity Cliodynamics collapse Copenhagen Summit Cousin Marriage Crispr Cuba Cuckoldry Demoscope Dysgenic Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Earth Day Economist Democracy Index Ecuador Effective Altruism EMP Weapons Eugenics European Right Fertility Genetic Engineering George Soros Gérard Depardieu Globalization Hanzi Healthcare Hist kai Hitler homicides human-capital Hungary immigrants inosmi Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program Iraq Islam Ivan Bloch Jorge Luis Borges Kenneth Pomeranz Kremlin Clans la-russophobe levada Libertarianism Life Limits To Growth Malthusian Loop Marxism Massive Ordnance Penetrator me Monarchy Navalny Affair Neoreaction Netherlands New York Times Niall Ferguson Nuclear Power Occupy Oil Diet PDVSA Peter Turchin Podcast Police Propaganda Protestantism Razib Khan Review RFERL rise-of-the-rest RTS Stock Market Russian Military Russian Reaction RussPol Saint-Petersburg San Francisco Sci-Fi Scotland Debt Space Exploration Tamerlan Tsarnaev Taxes The Sublime Tim Ferriss UN Unemployment World War I Zoology 9/11 Aesthetics Affirmative Action Africa Age Of Malthusian Industrialism Airborne Laser Aircraft Carriers American Media Anarchism Antifa Apocalypse ARCS Of Progress Arctic Methane Release Argentina Arthur H. Smith Arthur Jensen Assad Assassinations Aubrey De Grey Austria Automation Bangladeshis Barbarians Bashar Al-Assad Books Boris Berezovsky Brahmans Brezhnev Brighter Brains Business Calisthenics Charlie Hebdo Chechens china-russia-relations Chinese Communist Party Chuck Schumer CIA Class Climate Cognitive Elitism Cold War Collapse Party Colmar Von Der Goltz Colombia Confucianism Marriage Conservatism Crimean Tatars Cultural Marxism Cyprus David Moser Demographic Transition Digital Philosophy Dostoevsky Drought Dubai Elites Emmanuel Macron Enemy Belligerent Act Of 2010 Ester Boserup European History Evolution Facebook Family Fascism fat-diets FEL Weapons fertility-rate Fossil Fuels Free Speech Freedom Of Speech Friedrich List Gail The Actuary Gaza Flotilla Raid Genetic Load Geography George Friedman GMD Goldman Sachs Graham Turner grains Greeks Green Party USA Gregory Clark Guantanamo Guns Half Sigma Hank Pellissier Hashemi Rafsanjani Hate Speech HBDchick Himachal Pradesh Hong Kong HplusNRx Ibn Khaldun ICBMs Idiocracy IMF incarceration-rate Indian Economy Indian IQ industrialization Inflation interview IT James Kunstler James Lovelock Jennifer Rubin Jezebel Jim O'neill John Yoo Kant Karlinism Khamenei khodorkovsky konstantin-von-eggert Korean Cuisine Laissez-faire Lazy Glossophiliac limp-wristed-liberals Linguistics LNG london luke-harding Malthus Maoism mark-adomanis Matt Forney Max Weber Meme Middle Ages Minorities Moltke The Elder Muammar Gaddafi Muslims NCVS Nick Bostrom Nobel Prize Norman Finkelstein Novorossiya Sitrep NYT oligarchs open-discussion orientalism Orinoco Belt Orissa Orthodoxy Pakistan Palestine Patriot Missiles Paul Chefurka Pedophilia People's Liberation Army PIRLS PLAN Polar Regions Political Correctness Poll Productivity protests pussy-riot Race/IQ Reading Real Estate RIA Novosti RossPress Russia-Germany Relations russian-cuisine Russian Nationalism Russian Society Schlieffen Plan schools Schopenhauer Science Fiction Serbia sergey-magnitsky Sergey Nefedov Shanghai Singularity Sisyphean Loop Slavoj Zizek SLBMs SM-3 sobornost Social Evolution Songun space-based-solar-power Spain Steve Sailer Strait Of Hormuz String Of Pearls Sublime Oblivion Suicide Supercomputers Survivalism Tamil Nadu THAAD The Bible The Guardian The Lancet The Matrix The Oil Drum War transparency-international UAE UAVs UC Berkeley Ugo Bardi UKIP Universal Basic Income Universities US Navy us-russia-relations vegetarianism Vekhi Velayat-e Faqih Vietnam Viktor Yushchenko Wall Street wealth-creation Welfare Willem Buiter william-burns William Catton Womyn's Studies World Health Organization World Values Survey Writing yulia-latynina Zombies
 Russian Reaction Blog / HumorTeasers

ulf-karlsson The Swedish Institute has acknowledged me as a far right extremist “dedicated to hate against migrants, women, LGBTQ people, and human rights organizations.”

I am in the company of 14,392 other Swedish and “international” accounts that have a “high extremism and/or Neo-Nazi orientation” and threaten violence.

The Swedish Institute is most famous for running the @sweden Twitter account. Every week, a random Swede is selected to take over the account and offer their profound thoughts to the world.

Now to be sure, this is pretty insignificant; only when I acquire a RationalWiki hagiography ala JayMan and get on Ukraine’s Peacekeeper list of Russian terrorists will I consider myself to have actualized my potential. Still, the gesture is appreciated – your next cuckshed upgrade is on me, Ulfie.

You can access the text of the full list here and search for individual handles here. It is current as of May 10, 2017.

captain-swedens-hitlist

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Hate Speech, Sweden, Twitter 

berkeley-riots-good-night-left-side

berkeley-riots-mensch-russian

berkeley-riots-mensch-rog-controls-blm

berkeley-riots-laufer-rog-control

berkeley-riots-caroline-provokatsiya

ovenkin-tell-me-more-about-komninatsiya

 

Time to fess up: I have been cucked by The Donald.

I outline many of my longer articles on Evernote. I don’t suppose this one is going to be written anytime soon, so I’m just reprinting the notes in almost unredacted form. Public humiliation is part of the cuckoldry fetish, after all.

I suppose the very last point still stands, at least.

I suppose there’s also some probability that I have finally succumbed to Trump Derangement Syndrome and that the last few days were just The Donald playing 666D interuniversal Teichmuller chess.

***

10 Reasons To Support the Trumpenreich

Yes I realize this cuts against most educated opinions, even inc. conservative. But!
  • The alternatives are shit.
  • We Good guys now! (Bill Kristol sad)
    • Few neocons
  • /ourguys/
    • Can’t Cannon the Bannon
    • Flynn
    • Rex Tillerson
    • NRxer (Thiel, Anton, etc)
  • Search “Trumpenreich” tag for more e.g.’s
  • No risk of war with Russia
    • Liberals are dem real Russophobes (see polls)
    • HRC NFZ support
    • Young Trumpists (/pol/, Twitter, The_Donald) anti-intervention, Russophile if by low US standards, so won’t risk alienating them.
  • Triggers SJWs. They need to be! Or we face another dark age.
  • Not actually a fundie
    • Pence is an insurance policy. And frankly, if antifa do assassinate Trump, I hope Pence goes all mullah omar on their asses. They’d deserve it.
  • Keep America (somewhat) white.
    • Pro-natality
    • Blue Lives Matter (antagonized by the media). Against the fraud that is BLM.
  • Deregulation.
  • Transhumanism. Peter Thiel!
    • Support for life extension, other cool stuff
    • “anti-intellectual” Gelernter
  • No obvious zradas so far, plenty of peremogas.
  • Even if he does go crazy, better Trump than HRC
    • She enjoys wide support in Europe, China (while Bannon, Flynn, etc anti-China, anti-Iran).
    • So Trump will be less dangerous anyway.

***

Anyhow, that’s the #blackpill out of my system. I’ll have something more analytical in a few hours.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Cuckoldry, Humor, Trump Derangement Syndrome 

gnome-syria-reactions

I’ll have a more serious post on this soon enough, but for now, reactions from some of the more important and interesting players.

White House

politicians-behind-syria-strikes

Although they are present, the “anti-globalist” crowd – Steve Bannon and his allies, Stephen Miller and Michael Anton – are relegated to the back, while the likes of Jared Kushner occupy a much more central position. (Isn’t Kremlinology fun?)

This might be relevant since even the NYT has painted this as a battle between Kushner and Bannon, which the former won.

Countries

syria-strike-response

Conveniently summarized in this NYT map.

Russia’s, Syria’s, and Iran’s responses have been tough, while the Western Europeans, Turkey, the Gulf states, Israel, Justin Trudeau, and Ukraine fell in in behind Trump. All of this is predictable.

The strike appears to have been ordered at around the same time that Trump was meeting with Xi Jinping, which would make it a remarkably barefaced power play. Now I know that China is Russia’s friend only by convenience (and vice versa), but still, the lack of a condemnation is rather surprising even by China’s usually milquetoast standards. I would note that even the usually combatatitive Global Times has stayed neutralish.

The Establishment

Needless to say, the neocons were overjoyed at the return of the prodigal son:

neocons-syria-joy

 

mccain-graham-syria-statement

As neocons-in-all-but-name, so of course were the neoliberal interventionists, with one “innovation” – led by Hillary Clinton herself, they are explicitly tying their support for Trump’s “invade” agenda with the eternal flip side of that coin, “invite.”

spencer-syria-invade-invite

Whether or not this constitutes a true “zrada,” or betrayal, on Trump’s part, I am afraid he has opened a Pandora’s box that will not be closed anytime soon. For instance, bigwig CNN journalist was already posing the question to Ivanka:

cnn-syria-invite-too-plz

The journalists have fallen in line:

journalists-syria

That said, for the most diehard proponents of the ROG conspiracy, such as Louise Mensch, this was just one more ploy by Putler’s puppet to get her off the Russia trail:

mensch-rog-is-everywhere

 

Jeffrey Goldberg and Julia Ioffe:

goldberg-ioffe-syria-puppet

More principled libertarian and nationalist politicians such as Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Nigel Farage, and Marine Le Pen expressed reservations.

le-pen-syria-no

***

Neocons

Rick Wilson:

wilson-syria-deep-state

Bill Kristol:

kristol-syria-happy

Tweets of Note

Sentiment here ranges from deep unease to outright disavowal.

The biggest critic of Donald Trump’s decision was Donald Trump himself, t minus 4 years.

trump-syria-critic

Based Taleb:taleb-on-journos

Ann Coulter’s defection – possibly the most influential figure in the Alt Light-sphere – has been particularly striking:

coulter-syria-wtfcoulter-syria-culmination-of-zrada Richard Spencer, who has long been relatively skeptical on Trump, minced no words:

spencer-syria-alt-right

Paul Joseph Watson has thrown in his MAGA hat:watson-syria-off-the-train

To be sure, some people such as Mike Cernovich had a 4d chess hypothesis ready to go:

cernovich-syria-4d-chess

Partisangirl was more skeptical:partisangirl-chess-wotlul

Mat Forney:

forney-syria-4d-chess

The zrada was strong with Hunter Wallace:

wallace-zrada

And with Peter Brimelow, or whoever runs the VDARE account:

vdare-syria-reverse-crusades

 

The arcanest of the arcane, Runglish #frogtwitter:

eschaton-syria-zog-rules

Nick Land:

land-nrx-was-right

As for myself, I think its time to transition from frogs to Baathism:

karlin-frog-to-saa

 

Though TBF it was always inevitable:

karlin-peremoga-zrada

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Syrian Civil War, Trolling, Twitter 

sputnikipogrom-crimea-banner

We all know what the US State Department and its PR lackeys (the Western media) thought about it.

How about everyone else?

What Crimeans thought about it:

crimea-polls

What the Crimean Tatars thought about it:

vciom-poll-crimean-tatars-referendum-2014

poll-crimean-tatars-support-joining-russia

What the Euromaidanists thought about it:

crimea-recognition-ternopil-prosecutor

What normal people thought about it:

crimea-poll-poklonskaya-tsundere

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Crimea, Ukrainian Crisis 

Ukraine has committed to celebrating diversity at Eurovision 2017.

eurovision-2017-celebrate-diversity

Russia agrees with this noble sentiment. You would be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of diversity than Russia.

This is why Russia is sending wheel-chair bound Yulia Samoylova to sing “Flame is Burning,” a powerful ballad about love and hope.

Now Kiev don’t seem to be very happy about this, they are alleging that she entered Crimea without getting their permission. Very absurd demands. They seem to be under the strange delusion that Crimea belongs to them, or something.

They have even added her name to the Peacekeeper kill list and are threatening to bar her entry to the contest. This is an assertion of ableist privilege, and is absolutely inexcusable for a country that claims to respect European values.

There have also been hysterical accusations that Russia is cynically politicizing this affair, hoping that Ukraine either bars her entry, or that the audience booes her, to score sympathy points. This is complete nonsense. Everybody knows that Eurovision doesn’t and never had a political bone in its body. It has always been a celebration of pure culture and musical talent.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Eurovision, Russia 

There are some theories floating around on the internets as to whether I am a bagel or even “a Turk of sorts and probably a muzzie actually.”

Now that I have finally become who I am, it is time to reveal who I am.

karlin-ancestry-chart

three-borscht-quarter-kebab Actually I was always an open book on this matter, but still, it would be useful to lay it all out in one place for easy reference.

My paternal side is pure Aryan R1a master race. They were mostly farmers, and occasionally priests.

Despite Karlin’s Judaic connotations, I have been unable to identify any Jewish ancestors there, and 23andme confirmed it. One possible version is that the Karlins were non-Jewish residents or neighbors of the village Karlin near Pinsk, modern Belarus. A more exotic possibility is that there was a Swedish or German “son of Karl” in the distant past.

My paternal-maternal ancestors hailed from the Bryansk-Kaluga region that neighbors Belarus and Ukraine.

My maternal side is more… “cosmopolitan.”

The paternal side there are Dagestani notables (Lak to be precise).

On the maternal side, one half are mostly or purely Slavic. One ancestor was ennobled under Alexander III on attaining the requisite military rank; the extended family still has the letters patent signed by the Tsar.

The other half from the maternal side hails from Tsarist Odessa, and is a mixture of Russian, Italian (yes, 23andme is accurate on that!), and Jewish stock. They moved to Moscow soon after the Revolution.

***

PS. Now that I’m in Russia, I am thinking of taking the opportunity to properly research and record my family tree, especially since many of my relatives are advancing in age.

If you have experience with geneology, is there any particular software you’d recomment?

I expect to work with ~100-200 people, at least initially, so it doesn’t need to support huge databases or native support for research. It also needs to have a good, reliable export function, just in case I later decide to switch software. Cost is not a factor, within reasonable bounds (<$100, no subscriptions).

I have been looking at some of the following programs: Family Historian; Ahnenblatt; GRAMPS; The Next Generation; Brothers Keeper; Ancestral Quest; RootsMagic (Family Tree Maker is tied to Ancestry.com, and Legacy Family Tree has bad user reviews, so they’re probably out of the running).

My current (weak) preference is to go for Family Historian, but I remain open to other suggestions.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Anatoly Karlin, Ancestry, Genetics, Open Thread 

Beta males are the builders of civilization. You just can’t do without them. If their interests aren’t catered for, society devolves into a tribalistic jungle.

When traditional mores – that is, the masculine norms that underpin civilization – collapse, female hypergamy is unleashed, leading eventually to soft polygamy. Ironically, this overwhelmingly benefits just a small minority of alpha males (the “alpha fucks, beta bucks” strategy, as per Heartiste – and confirmed by science).

(Incidentally, it is perhaps not surprising that we are seeing a gradual convergence between radical feminism and the “strong horse” of Islamism).

Becoming a player, or PUA, is a natural adaptation of the rational beta male to his environment. To remain in the sexual market he is going to mimic alpha traits, which is ultimately what “game” is all about. The reason many women consider players to be “creeps” is because game is a form of reproductive cheating.

There are many possible solutions to this, both individual and social.

One thing that’s definitely pointless, though, is to blame or resent women for following their instincts (except, perhaps, as instructional examples). It’s not something they have any control over. That is why the MRA crowd is little better than the radfems.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Beta Males, Women 

The Guardian now loves them some Bush:

guardian-loves-bush

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: George Bush, Western Media 

Via Stuart Ritchie:

ritchie-iq-political-compass

This looks about right.

Opinions on the validity of g seem to mostly correlate with your position on the economic part of left-right spectrum. This explains why academia is so allergic towards it, while the otherwise SJW-wy but libertarian-heavy, autistic, and high-IQ rationalist/futurist crowd takes such an unexpectedly close interest in it.

Charles Murray happens to be a libertarian himself.

Fun fact: Eurasianists are left-libertarians according to this chart. This makes sense, since Eurasianism was basically invented by Tsarist Orientalist multiculturalists.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: IQ, Meme 

… It will quickly turn into a Third World dump and beg to be let back into the Trumpenreich.

Seriously, this is the dumbest idea ever.

I mean, go ahead. It’s pretty much a lost cause at this point, the ghost of America’s Christmas future a few more decades down the line. Only half its population are Whites or from high-performing Asian groups (closer to 30% amongst children).

They won’t even have the Facebooks and Twitters to keep them afloat.

Silicon Valley derives much of its power from having unrestricted access to the vast US internal market. But what possible reasons could the tech giants they have for preferring a market of 40 million to one of 280 million?

  • Is it California’s low taxes and pro-business regulations?
  • Its high levels of educational attainment and human capital?
  • Its high credit ratings and fiscal strength?
  • Their strong, genuine commitment to their SJW ideals coupled with California’s wonderful political climate so replete with Black Blocs, Bob Avakian cultists, and “they” Latino nationalists?

Silicon Valley will flee for Boston or Austin faster than you can say “exit.”

And then the Hollywood elites will forget their high principles and decamp to some new nest of degeneracy.

There will be what you could call a restoration of the historical balance. California will drift into Mexico’s sphere of influence, as it was prior to 1847.

Okay, I was exaggerating; it won’t literally be a Third World dump, though GDP per capita will probably fall to something more in line with its human capital (especially once the smart fraction brains drain away), maybe a Greek-like $25,000 / capita instead of the current $60,000. Still, it won’t be a bad place to live in by any major metric, by global standards. I agree with Fred Reed that many Americans tend to have a rather unrealistic view of Mexico, and California will be transitional between the two.

Still, I do think many Californians instinctively understand that their living standards will plummet after Calexit, even those who are very triggered by Trump, so they’ll be doing a lot of “checking out” but very little actual “leaving.”

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: California, Secession 

Okay so everyone and his mother and dog knows Sweden is basically a meme country at this point:

  • Immigrants consume more gibs than natives.
  • Account for 75% of rapes.
  • Newspapers “whiten” the faces of criminal suspects as a matter of policy
  • (still manages to top all the free speech/media indices)
  • Scowling array of feminist politicians sends “stern” message to Trump, before meekly putting on their burqas amongst strong horse Muslims.
  • Disabled scooter drivers are the only men left there

… but we have yet to reach bottom.

rinkeby-riots Wonderful trolling on Trump’s part, as is his wont.

  1. Points out problem, inserting small inaccuracy.
  2. Liberal elites and mass media (but I repeat myself) stumbles over themselves rushing to “prove” how wrong and stupid he is.
  3. Carl Bildt tells him to stop digging (maybe he should follow his own advice someday?)
  4. Youths very helpfully make his point for him.

Or maybe it was just an honest mistake on Trump’s part.

If he’s regularly using a time machine to craft out the best timeline, one can certainly understanding confusing “yesterday” for “tomorrow” every so often. #GodEmperorProblems

 

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Sweden, Trump Derangement Syndrome 

london-ak

I am leaving for Moscow tomorrow (today?).

There is a surfeit of excellent people in London, and I have met some of the very best during my time here, including the Russia analyst Alexander Mercouris, the psychometrist James Thompson (who recently moved to this website), the futurist Anders Sandberg, and a few others who would likely prefer to avoid the public spotlight.

That said, London is not the place I’d want to spend much more than two months in. The weather is too damp and cold, and there is a bit too much vibrant diversity. I prefer it the other way round.

Anyhow, here are some of my quick impressions:

london-construction

(1) Boomtown – Buildings are going up over the place. There is an economic confidence that Brexit has left unperturbed. This is reflected in housing prices – even though there are now fewer oil-fueled Arab and Russian oligarchs to buoy them up, the modest one bedroom apartment near London Bridge that I stayed at costs around $700,000. This confidence appears to be reflected in the demographics – many young families around.

london-faces

(2) Vibrant Diversity – Fewer than half of Londoners are British Whites. And it shows, especially when you travel outside the city center. I encountered less than half a dozen women in niqabs during my American decade.

In London, you see that many practically whenever you walk out the door.

golden-chippy-fish-n-chips

(3) British Food is Underrated – Although it doesn’t exactly enjoy the best reputation, it isn’t half as bad as it said to be. I enjoyed fish and chips a lot more than when I last had it back in the Triassic. I can see why The Golden Chippy – its signature fare showcased above – deserves its TripAdvisor ranking as the best London restaurant.

I also finally got the chance to try real Scotch eggs at the Borough Market. Though immeasurably better than the supermarket version, I am not a huge fan of them. Although it was once my favorite dessert, I was left underwhelmed by Black Forest gateau, though that’s probably more a function of my tastes having shifted away from cream and sugar and towards spice and vinegar in general.

dishoom-books

(4) British Indian Food – Speaking of spice, the best Indian restaurant I tried out was Simply Indian – it is cheap, the lamb biriyani there is very good and can be made excruciatingly spicy, and you can either bring your own booze or order their masala chai. I only got the chance to visit it once, with my new friend AZ, but I will be certain to pay it another visit next time I go.

Roti Chai and Dishoom were both pretty good. I especially liked the atmosphere of the Dishoom, with its open kitchens and India-themed book collections in the dining area (see above). I also liked the Thali vegetable curry sold by Gujarati Rasoi at Borough Market. Despite coming with a recommendation from a friend, not to mention its venerable age, The India Club near Temple was a huge disappointment: Overpriced, uninspired fare, and the waiter actually presses you for a tip (this is of course a no-no in the UK).

Any other recommendations for good Indian places in London?

mayflower

(5) The English Pub – My favorites were the oldest pub in London, The Mayflower (Pan Fried Seabass) and the historic Eagle and Child in Oxford (esp. the Scotch Venison and Malbec Wine Pie), where Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used to meet at the end of work.

(6) Warm Beer – Yes it’s a thing and I’m not a fan. Though that might just be my American philistinism.

(7) British Barbarism – I was once again reminded of the British habit of leashing their toddlers like dogs. Seriously, what is up with that?

Never saw it in Russia. Never saw it in the US. Never saw it anywhere in Europe. Just Britain.

(8) Bureacracy – [Warning: n=1 sample]. It does work efficiently, with the very marked exception of the NHS.

That said, paper remains much more prevalent than in California.

The Russian Consulate was a disappointment – suffice to say that sovok habits die hard. That said, another acquaintance has had good experiences with them.

(9) Technology – At first, I was impressed – this was my first encounter with contactless cards. They work throughout the whole city, including the entirety of the transport system, and as a result London is fast becoming one of the world’s first “cashless societies.”

But there are things which are more banal but of far greater relevance to everyday comforts: Namely, Internet and cell phone services.

And in this respect, London considerably underperforms the Bay Area (which hardly has anything to write home about either).

Internet speeds are mediocre, though still better value for money than Concast. Upload speeds however are atrocious. Forget about cloud storage in any substantial capacity unless you are willing to shell out big on a plan. It is inexplicable that in this day and age the Underground still doesn’t have WiFi.

In regards to cell phone data plans, I have found EE to be both unreliable and actually inoperable in some parts of what is after all one of the world’s great metropolises. In contrast, Cricket Wireless gave me good service even in many rural parts of California.

london-mist

(10) Tourism – Though this was by no means my first time in London, it was by far my longest stay, so I took the opportunity to put lots of ticks on the tourist checklist.

The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London, etc, etc.

I drank a cup of coffee where Litvinenko was supposedly poisoned.

I also hung around for a few seconds at Station 9¾, King’s Cross where all the middle-aged Harry Potter fans with receding hairlines gather.

tate-buttplay

(11) Degenerate Art – The Tate Gallery was… well, the viewing platform at the top of the Switch House has an awesome view, if looking at sodomized anthropic-like objects created by a crazed kreakl isn’t your cup of tea.

Additionally, its completely free, surprisingly uncrowded, and has a cafe.

Well, okay, I enjoyed some of the things at the Tate. The room with the dog people. The photomontages of John Heartfield. And the couple of paintings by Salvador Dali.

hms-alliance

(12) Portsmouth – I was especially impressed by HMS Warrior. It was the definition of a transitional ship – midway between sail and steam; between wood and metal; between cutlasses and Enfield rifles; between cannonballs and shells. But this same ambition created quite a few problems and it didn’t stay commissioned very long by naval standards. I suspect this is the fate that awaits the Zumwalt class.

It was also very eye-opening to learn about British submarine traditions (pictured above is me on the HMS Alliance).

oxford-exeter-college

(13) Oxford – This trip was especially pleasant thanks to my longtime friend AS, who not only offered me a personal tour of the city, but engaged me with some very thought-provoking discussions about Spanish culture (his specialization) and the Alt Right (his sympathies).

The Ashmolean was one of the very first museums in the world, and its original exhibition is still preserved “as was.” Not surprisingly, about a third of it was devoted to the Americas, which reflects the popular interests of the time.

Although the big object in its collection is the Alfred Jewel, my attention was primarily drawn to two other historical aspects:

(a) Not only could you buy Chinese ceramics in the 18th century, but you could even send a design to China to get them to make you a set of plates and cups, and have it delivered back to you. Not as quick and most certainly not as cheap, but some version of Ali Baba has been around for a surprisingly long time!

(b) European silverware was remarkably advanced by the 17th century, and you can see progress decade by decade, and even attempt national comparisons. For instance, Russian production in the 1680s was only as good as Germany in the 1650s.

london-sunset

(14) Futurism – This is better left for another post, but in short, if Bay Area futurism is about psychedelics and the Singularity, London futurism is more about the next iPhone model.

I am of course horribly exaggerating, but I don’t think its an illegimate comparison.

Oxford of course hosts The Future of Humanity Institute, best known as home to Nick Bostrom, but it seems to be only very tangentially involved with the wider community. This might be legitimate in most academic spheres, but perhaps not so much in one that is of such potentially great import to the entirety of humanity, and which suffers from a certain tinge of charlatanism.

Nonetheless, I was happy to go to a talk with Anders Sandberg on the ethics of human life extension, organized by the just-created Oxford Longevity Society, and to join him for a group dinner afterwards.

The talk itself was as good as the questions from the audience were depressing.

sjw-feminism

(15) SJWism – My aforementioned friend AS complained repeatedly about the importation of American SJW culture to the UK. Arguably, SJWism has festooned to greater proportions in Blighty than in the Trumpenreich itself.

You could definitely see many signs of it in Oxford: LGBT flags strewn about in the graduate common rooms, feminist slogans prominently glued onto MacBooks (kek) at the library, multiple instances of “I ♥ feminism” graffiti scrawled on the historic walls of Oxford.

sjw-uber

There is plenty of this in London as well. Animal rights activists chalk “Stop Eating Animals You Psychopaths” a couple of blocks from Downing Street. The LSE common room where I celebrated Trump’s win with my friend AZ – we were the only Trump supporters there out of 30-40 people – saw students “literally shaking” as the results came in, so I can personally confirm that this is not just a meme. And above is a poster from some group that blames Uber for apparent record numbers of rapes and sexual assaults.

Meanwhile, on a Stratford street a couple of miles away, bearded men animatedly call on Londoners to convert to Islam.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Open Thread, The AK, Travel, United Kingdom 

sf-bay-ocean-flag

The SF Bay Area.

As I am leaving the United States for an indeterminate period of time, now would likely not be a bad time to share some of my impressions of what is still, when all is said and done, an extraordinarily effective, dynamic, and successful nation.

It would be redundant to compare to simply compare it with the two other countries that I have extensive experience of – that is, Russia and the United Kingdom – because I have already done that, and at great length (the whole thing together runs to 37,000 words), in my 2011 series of posts Comparison of USA, UK, Russia:

Though some of my assessments will have inevitably changed since then, it would not (yet) be worthwhile to repeat this exercise today.

Instead, I will take a look at America as it was in space and time during the 2006-2016 time, especially relative to how it was perceived by West Europeans.

All the photos are my own.

***

America in Time: The Obama Decade

If I had to summarize the changes the US has undergone in the past 10 years in one short phrase, it would be the following: It has become a European country.

To see why this is so we must go recall the zeitgeist of the early 2000s.

The intellectual class on both sides of the Atlantic viewed Europe and America as two separate civilizations. America was a bunch of theocratic yahoo cowboys rampaging through the Middle East, while European intellectuals huffed about things like “pooled sovereignty” and “unity in diversity.” In Robert Kagan’s famous formulation, Americans were from Mars and Europeans were from Venus. Although Francis Fukuyama was an American, it was a frequent wisecrack that it was in fact the European Union that was leading the world to the “end of history,” while it was America that insisted on clinging on to the outdated rudiments of the traditional nation-state, which amongst other things were held to include: Guns, family, religion, patriotism, fertility, militarism, and a distinct lack of homosexualist hystrionics.

Perhaps the most quintessential case for this was made by T.R. Reid’s book The United States of Europe. He argued that the EU was emerging as a superpower rivaling the US, held together by an emerging “Generation E” of yuppies from Paris to Berlin (*soundtrack*) that saw themselves as Europeans first and were rapidly integrating through the trifecta of Eurovision, Erasmus scholarships, and Eurail (much more eco-friendly than the American Canyonero!).

That was ten years ago. Geopolitically, we now live in a world where the EU is in the midst of what might be a slow-mo disintegration, with the 2000s dreams of the Euro displacing the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency now taken up by the day to day emergencies of managing periodic fiscal crises and exit referendums. In contrast, the US withdrawal from Iraq and the shale oil revolution under Obama have vastly strengthened its geostrategic position. So it is extra ironic that it is the cheese-eating surrender monkeys who are today the most active at pushing the now recalcitrant cowboys into new Middle East military adventures. After all, it was Sarkozy who provided the main thrust in favor of the Libyan intervention, and his successor, the socialist Hollande, responds to terrorist attacks by renewing calls for the ouster of… Syria’s secular President. And if you had told a Bush-loving Republican in 2003 that their party was now the anti-war party, at any rate relative to HRC’s Democrats, then his head would have exploded.

freedom-of-speech-pew-poll

Culturally, the crazy evangelicals of yesteryear have been displaced by equally sanctimonious SJWs as the prime exporters of American inane drivel to the outside world. This is not something I noticed until just a few years ago, as I was finishing my last university course, when an SJW harangued an anthropology professor for not including a “trigger warning” before showing a clip from a spoofy 1950s scifi B-movie about Neanderthals (the whole sad and funny affair: Triggered by Neanderthal Man).

But it should not have come as too much of a surprise, because this was merely the results of shifting public sentiment making themselves felt on the far right hand side of the “social justice” quotient bell curve. Whereas support for free speech – that is, the ability to make potentially offensive statements about minorities – is almost universal amongst older Americans, millennials are converging to European norms in this respect; some 40% think government should be able to restrict such speech.

In much of Western Europe, this is the norm. One of the few ways in which the US is actually genuinely exceptional is in its support for freedom of speech. In Europe, the sweeping protections afforded by The First Amendment are seen as undesirable, or even as a sign of backwardness. Though we (that is, Americans) might commisserate with the latest poor bastard in Europe fined or locked up for posting a rant against refugees on Facebook, the banal fact is that those laws appear to enjoy the support of most Europeans according to just about any opinion poll. I recall a poll showing that even most Front National supporters in France are okay with laws against hate speech. And most likely the US will continue “converging” towards that. After all, today’s campus Pink Guards will be ruling over the country in another generation, while Trumpland is dying and getting replaced by the mulatto-gamer underclass.

This is reflective of a more general leftwards shift in America during the past decade. Let’s take U.C. Berkeley. It has a proud tradition of sticking it to the Man, or rather of not letting the machine operate. There is a bookshop called Revolution Books near Telegraph Avenue. Bob Avakian’s Maoist cultists pop up to give a lecture every so often (and even get an audience). Now the student body is nowhere near as Leftist as popular culture makes it out to be, but still, it’s safe to say that the #BasementDwellers are a solid majority there.

spirit-of-2011

Stick it to the Man! 2011 protest against tuition fee rise.

99-revolutionAgitation.

99-leader

Me in front of the 99%.

All of this was mildly transgressive in five years ago. But you can’t shock or “trigger” the Man with such antics nowadays. You now have to go hardcore:

spirit-of-2016

Alt Right Safe Space @ Berkeley, 2016. Aloof shitlord looks on smugly upon a triggered Antifa activist.

I am aware, of course, that Berkeley is hardly representative of America, but still, general trends do tend to get reflected at both the tails and the middle. And it’s undeniable that in this sense too American politics has become much more reminscent of the European norm.

Traditionally, you have the moderate liberal (Democrats) and the oligarchic conservative (Republican) wing facing off each other.

But in 2016 the traditional bipolar system of American politics splintered. The European-style Social Democracy represented by the Bernie Sanders movement and the neoliberal wing of Hillary Clinton now contend for leadership of the Democratic party. Meanwhile, the traditional alliance of the oligarchs, the evangelicals, and ‘Murica! patriots has been shattered by the ascendacy of nationalism channeled by Donald Trump. Both the Democrats and the Republicans now have unprecedented numbers of “dissidents” in the form of the Berniebros and the #NeverTrump’ers, respectively.

This diversification of politics is of course typical for Europe. As Leonid Bershidsky noted, a true multiparty system in the US would divide the political system into five distinct blocs: Clinton democrats, Sanders socialists, Rubio/Bush moderate conservatives, Cruz Bible-bashers, and Trump nationalists. It would also, barring major changes in voter alignment, keep “dangerous” nationalist candidates out of power; for instance, the Front National in France seems to be essentially capped at 30% of the popular vote. It is in some ways hugely ironic that it is the Electoral College system, considered by many political scientists as a system that favors moderate candidates, might now become the biggest enabler of the emergence of a truly nationalist (or socialist) leader of not just a major Western nation but of the major Western nation – and perhaps also represent the last chance for America to escape its Brazilification in the coming century.

For a long time the US has had a reputation as a very religious country. Up until the 2000s, belief in God in the US was almost universal, whereas wide swathes of Europe are either agnostic, “spiritualist,” or in the case of East Germany and Estonia, outright atheist. This started changing, and very fast, by the 2010s, especially amongst millennials. Whereas disbelief in God was a mere 4% in the 1990s and the early Bush years, according to the World Values Survey, but by 2010-2014 it had soared to 11%, which is close to the level of Spanish unbelief in the 1990s. (Incidentally, Unz Review commenter Lazy Glossophiliac noted that today Spaniards give the “leftiest, cuckiest answers” in many international public opinion polls. A harbinger of America’s future?). Between 2007 and 2014, the share of unaffiliated increased from 16% to 23% in the US, including a doubling in outright atheism (albeit from a very low base).

Another element of America’s Europeanization was the surge in support for gay marriage, which with its legalization now makes America more “progressive” on this question than Merkel’s Germany (which up to now only has civil partnerships). Throughout the 2000s, the most conservative US states were about as “homophobic” as Russia; today, almost half of Mormon Utah supports gay marriage. Nowadays US officials proclaim that “human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights” with the zeal of the converted to the slack-jawed yokels that haven’t yet gotten the memo.

Ergo for drugs. Marijuana is now legal or decriminalized in about half of the US states, which is a similar proportion to that in the European Union.

Whereas much of Europe has been very liberal since the 1980s, it has if anything started going in the other direction in the past decade. For instance, it was long typical for French women to go topless at the beach for a generation now, but this has started becoming rarer, especially amongst the youngest cohorts. Different reasons have been proposed, from the politically correct (more smart phones with cameras) to the less so (ogling Muslims). Or maybe the liberated women of the 1960s had fewer daughters than modest Catholics. Whatever the case, millennial Americans and Europeans are converging – from opposite directions – on their degree of social liberalism.

gun-fired

At least there’ll still be guns. Maybe. My favorite is the Beretta M9, better than any of the Glocks IMO. Also the Desert Eagle is very overrated.

There is convergence in corruption. During the 2000s, there was an impression that the EU (if not national European governments) had cleaner, better institutions than the US, at least according to the intellectual talking class. Though they might have had a point. It was the “heckuva job, Brownie!” of Bush’s America versus the EU’s torpedoing of GE chairman Jack Welchs’ attempts to flout antitrust regulations through a big merger, thus frustrating a man who had always gotten his way in the US by calling up the right people. But today senior EU officials are openly bought up by Goldman Sachs. Whatever edge the EU might have had in this respect in its halcyon days has surely disappeared.

All these trends are even reflected in a sort of demographic convergence. Peaking in 2007, American fertility rates have since dropped from 2.1 children per woman to 1.8 children per woman (0.1 children lower for non-Hispanic Whites). France is now significantly higher. I wonder what Mark Steyn will make of that! On the other hand, in the space of a couple of insane years, Europe has essentially doubled the size of its prospective future NAM underclass with Merkel’s decision to throw Europe’s doors open to “Syrian” “refugees.” While America’s longterm transformation into La Raza Cosmica is now all but inevitable – a development already reflected in these elections, in which at the risk of triggering pretty much everyone I will note that both HRC and Trump are both ultimately very Latin American-style politicians – Europe has likewise made its longterm transformation into Eurabia move from the realm of nativist alarmism to something resembling an actual possibility.

Though I suppose all things considered I suppose that life will be better in the country of La Raza Cosmica than in Eurabia.

***

americana

America in Space: Country Review

This next section is a series of snapshots of the US during the time I’ve been here.

san-francisco-karlin

 

San Francisco.

San Francisco – 8/10

The Bay Area is where I spent most of my time in the US. It is pretty much ideal, even if that also makes it by far the most expensive macro-region of the US.

It is also the second major intellectual center of the US after the North-East – and perhaps the most quirky and creative one.

This is reflected in the sheer number of idiosyncratic and interesting groups and people that make this region their home from futurists to food optimizers.

transhumanist

 

AK talking about cliodynamics, February 2014.

Futurists/Transhumanists

The focal point of global futurism and transhumanism, from the large scale to the small. Here is just a very partial list:

  • Health Extensions Salons – Bring the latest research to the public.
  • Hank Pellissier’s Brighter Brains conferences on futurism and intelligence (I got the idea of Apollo’s Ascent thanks to being the speaker at one of them).
  • All sorts of magazines and journals: KurzweilAI; H+ magazine; transhumanity.net; etc.
  • Scott Jackisch’s Bay Area Futurists – Weekly meetup.
  • MIRI (Machine Intelligence Research Institute) – Solving out the values alignment problem (or in plainspeak trying to figure out how to prevent computer superintelligence from killing us all). Highly mathematical!
  • Mike Johnson’s Qualia Research Institute – would ems actually have consciousness?
  • An informal group of psychonauts exploring the “qualia-states” of LSD.
  • The undisputed center of the “rationality” movement – CFAR, LessWrong, Effective Altruism.
  • Calyco and 23andme
  • Alcor in neighboring Nevada.

Reaction

To be sure, all the above are “tilted” towards the reigning globalist ideology – suffice to say that in the recent gubernatorial elections, the two most popular candidates were both ethnic minority female Democrats – but even in the world of conservative political theory California has far more weight relative not just to its heartlands in “flyover country” but even to the ossified dinosaur think-tanks of Conservatism Inc. within the Beltway.

Here is a recent article on this from The American Interest: How the Golden State Became the Intellectual Capital of Trump’s GOP.

trump-effective-altruism

An effective altruist Trumpist? Me at EA Global 2016.

Many of its characters will probably be familiar to many of you – Ron Unz, Steve Sailer, Razib Khan (who is leaving), and for that matter, your humble servant.

It is also, of course, the major focal point for neoreaction, hosting the NRx founder Mencius Moldbug himself, the Thiel network, a good percentage of the “techno-commercialist” faction in NRx and the Future Primaeval blog, and social gadflies such as Michael Anissimov and Rachel Haywire.

Although B.W. Rabbit is based in Arizona, it is also curious to note that the great bulk of the “Alt Left” movement – the tiny group of thinkers combining leftist economics with HBD, sane views on gender relations, and a penchant for futurism – such as Robert Lindsay and Robert Stark also make their home in the Golden State.

Food Optimization

On a side note, even the two biggest interest new trends (or fads) in food – the paleo diet and meal replacements – are based in California.

Mark Sisson, Dave Asprey, and Chris Kresser, all of them very prominent paleo advocates, live in California.

It is also home to Soylent and many other Silicon Valley meal replacement companies (I first tried out MealSquares before they went into mass production at a party hosted by a futurist/NRx figure).

Vibram shoes are a California product, as is their most prominent advertiser, Tim Ferriss.

Final Comments

Now to be sure, none of this is meant to be an endorsement of any of the above groups and ideas – though I do think that some of them are extremely legitimate and important, some others have a distinct whiff of quackery about them (in particular I am extremely skeptical about meal replacement).

Still, this is a very formidable concentration of very strange and interesting characters that you probably won’t be able to find nigh anywhere else.

swordsman-karlin

Recreating late medieval swordfighting techniques in Mountain View.

fort-russ-karlin

Fort Ross – Russian outpost in California in the early 19th century. A net drain on the treasury, its last governor Alexander Rotchev attempted to get Mexico to recognize it as Russian territory, which Mexico only offered to do in exchange for Russia’s recognition of its recent independence; Nicholas I refused, and so it was sold to incoming Anglo settlers. Makes for a fascinating 20th century what-if scenario had NorCal become Russian territory.

Favorite restaurants in Berkeley:

  • House of Curries (Berkeley) – On College Avenue. Favorite Indian. Had a couple of other Indian favorites, but they’ve since closed.
  • Great Wall (Berkeley) – Chinese
  • Mount Everest – Nepali (esp. the Himalayan garlic butter soup)
  • Chez Panisse – Huge in the world of cooking, with a price tag to match. But worth visiting at least once.
  • Mission Heirloom – One of the first “paleo” restaurants, inc. Bulletproof Coffee.
  • Favorite cafes: Lindgren’s, Spasso, and A Cuppa Tea.

Perhaps the biggest problem “everyday” problem in the SF Bay Area is public transportation. East Coast cities, primarily populated during the Age of Rail, are pretty good at this; the new cities of the American West and South, children of the Age of the Automobile, are nigh unlivable if you don’t have a car. San Francisco emerged at the intersection of those two periods, and with a public transport system to match: It exists, but it’s not that great. BART has long wait times, looks dilapidated, and is constantly wracked by strikes even though its employees are extremely well compensated.

Los Angeles – 5/10

los-angeles

Not really into the world of fashion and entertainment so it doesn’t have much for me. That said, I did greatly enjoy the Universal Studios theme park – had no idea prior to this that anyone had combined 3D movies with physical motion, so that was a very awesome and novel experience. If all films were shown like that I’d visit the cinema more than twice a year.

The Hollywood sign is one of those things that you only visit to tick off an item on the bucket list.

The city’s Armenian community is pretty visible, though that was likely due to me having made my longest visit there on the centenary of the Armenian genocide.

San Diego – 7/10

san-diego-karlin

Visited for one day. I liked the aircraft carrier.

Las Vegas – 7/10

gambler-karlin

At the poker tables.

One of the few places you can visit just for the hotels:

  • Paris – 7/10
  • Luxor – 7/10
  • Bill’s Gamblin Hall – 8/10
  • Orleans – 6/10
  • Stratosphere – 8/10

Best morning breakfast place ever: Crepe Expectations.

Disappointment: Bachannal Buffet at Caesar’s.

I found that the easiest tables out of all the places I visited were at the Luxor, though ironically I lost the most money there (but regained it and considerably more at The Stratosphere).

Housing is very affordable in Vegas, so there is a category of young get-rich-quick types who swot up on the theory, rent a place, and discuss the “fishiest” places by day before going out to the casino with a big delegation of visiting Arabs during the night.

vegas-karlin

Stratosphere Insanity ride.

Very colorful city. Even the homeless are much more creative than usual: “Kick me in the nuts for $20.” “Why lie I need $$$ for booze and burgers.”

That said, I suspect I’d get bored there if I had to stay longer than a couple of months.

California – 8/10

Overall, I do think California, especially NorCal, is the best state – lots of things going on (see above), and a stunning variety of climes to choose from, all within driving distance, from the sun-drenched coasts of Santa Barbara to the slopes of Tahoe and beyond.

The exception is Sacramento. It has a nice railways museum, but otherwise it’s a desert dump full of politicians and crazy Ukrainian Baptist sectants many of whom somehow came to the US in the 1990s (I was once driving with a woman and she wouldn’t put on a seatbelt on the logic that God would look after her. I did convince her otherwise by the following logical argument: “But what if God happens to be looking away at a particular moment?”).

I don’t know if this will be the case indefinitely; the demographics suggest not, not just in terms of immigration but also emigration (noticed many of my peers going to places such as Colorado, North Carolina, and even Austin).

wonderland-summer

Summer Sea (Santa Barbara).

wonderland-winter

Winter Mountain 1.

wonderland-winter-2

Winter Mountain 2.

The Mountains – 7/10

I visited most of the Mountain states – Utah, Montana, Colorado, etc. – though just as a tourist, so my impressions aren’t exactly representative.

mountain-karlin-2

Tahoe.

Still, they seemed to be very civil, high S factor communities – the sort of high-functioning communities you tend to get when you combine Anglo institutions with German human stock. In one Montana town, a stranger offered us a ride to a bar that was rather beyond walking distance in the cold and gloom; afterwards, it emerged he was also the Mayor.

ski-marx-engels

Black slopes – Marx and Lenin. As I recall, they were just opposite of a super-elite resort that only accepted skiers. Probably not entirely coincidental?

Amtrak

This is a genuine national treasure that rather few Americans seem to appreciate (apart from the Amish, who account for up to a quarter of all passengers when traveling around Pennsylvania).

But thanks in part to government subsidies, a transcontinental rail journey is still possible, and that is exactly what I did in 2013.

railway-americana

There are viewing cabs for when the landscape is interesting.

beer-kindle

… Cheap beer and ebooks when it is not.

Seattle – 5/10

seattle

Clean, anodyne, hipsters but employed, Space Needle, that tunnel “decorated” with gum.

Famously has the world’s first Starbucks (the only one with uncensored nipples), less famously has the Piroshky Piroshky bakery (I still recall the smoked salmon pie).

By far the most interesting thing about it was my visit to the Boeing Everett Factory just north of Seattle. It is possible to just stand on a platform and look down on the workers “toiling” in the vast space below – apostrophes because the actual pace of work seemed to be very lackadaisical. As I recall only perhaps a quarter of them looked like they were actually doing something concrete. Many others were just wandering up and down, chatting with their coworkers, drinking coffee. No uniforms. Definitely not how I imagined the place. But it might well be that this kind of approach is more efficient – after all, American manufacturing workers are some of the most productive in the world (far above what their levels of human capital would seem to indicate).

Portland – 6/10

Not so clean, very rainy, and the hipsters are less employed and have more tattoes (one of them is Stalin’s granddaughter). On the upside, it’s a major beer and whiskey center, and they love their guns.

Chicago – 7/10

chicago

The Heartland: Cheap, walkable with antique-like metro system (the first in the US), home of the skyscraper, simple working class types with fewer hipsters, vibrant nightlife.

Urban area in the center was renovated, the strong rustbelt impression – cracked pavements, crumbling bricks, rusted waterside – given off as the train arrives to the contrary. Third biggest city in the US, but much cheaper than either SF or New York.

Main difference relative to the West Coast is already visible: African-Americans replace Asians as most visible minority, though Hispanics also becoming very visible (smoked weed with a group of Mexicans). Met an online friend there who was quite happy with life in the Windy City.

Pittsburgh (Rustbelt?) – 3/10

pittsburgh-grim

Pittsburgh 2013 – patriotic poster by a deserted potholed road. Looks like a scene from a Michael Moore movie.

Touching Appalachian greenery interspersed with scenes of industrial decay and ads exhorting you to sign up with the Imperial Guard.

All in all, about as appealing as a provincial Russian town (i.e. not very).

That said, I did meet up with and have a very good conversation with one particular Russia blogger, who was then at the University of Pittsburgh.

Washington DC – 5/10

washington-dc

Al Jazeera bus.

Downside: A swamp, not just metaphorically but literally.

Upside: I did actually like the grotto-like metro system, which has a certain brutalist charm. Tons of museums, embassies, think-tanks, historical monuments, political goings on, and of course good restaurants for all the politicians and lobbyists.

Two are of particular note:

  • Russia House – The best Russian restaurant I’ve ever been to. (Full disclosure: Owned by Edward Lozansky, who invited me to D.C.).
  • Rasika – Two words: Palak chaat.

I recounted my trip to Washington D.C. in more detail here: The World Russia Forum 2013

New York – 7/10

new-york-ship

New York.

One of the worst metro systems ever – many delays, rats scurrying about. Obeying traffic laws is optional. But lots of excellent museums, as befits America’s first metropolis, and of course Broadway; a visit to a play is incumbent on any one-time visitor.

new-york-2

Central Park.

new-york-nightlife

Nightlife is …mediocre.

Boston – 5/10

boston

Too clean, too civilized.

Also having lived in Britain it’s impossible to be impressed. The 18th century architecture is viewed as “historic” in the US, as are the pubs, but they are entirely typical in Britain, even in “industrial” towns like Birmingham or Leeds.

The Boston of Fallout 4 is an improvement on the current one.

That said, I was only there for one day, with no chance to visit any of the historical museums, so I can’t say I got the full impression of it.

***

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Review, The AK, Travel, United States 

the-encounter-lgbt-vs-wahhabi

Eurasian News Agency ENA (8am Moscow/1am EST)

The Republicat regime has been shaken to its core in the wake of a brazen massacre of fifty members of the Orlando LGBT tribe at a gay club by an apparently lone gunman of the Wahhabi sect. Regime stalwart Marco Rubio, present at the scene, emerged shaken but unhurt, having dived head first into the foam when the shooting started.

The terrorist attack threatens a flareup of sectarian tensions even as President Obama, the public face of the regime, starts to tighten the screws to avoid a crisis of political legitimacy as dissident youth leaders and reform advocates start to question the reigning ideology of political correctness.

Leading members of the ruling Beltway clan, including both Obama and his presumed dynastic successor Hillary Clinton, have rushed to disavow any connections between the massacre and the Islami clan.

Meanwhile, the regime’s leading propagandists in the mainstream media have attempted to shift blame onto the dissident National Rifle Association (NRA) faction, many of whom are known as supporters of flamboyant oligarch turned democratic opposition leader Donald Trump. SJW commissars have been scouring the Internet clean of references to the Islamic connection on regime-friendly media platforms such as Reddit.

Political maverick Bernie Sanders too been quick to fall in with the party line. According to analysts at the Minsk Institute of Democratiology, this is further evidence for Professor Trollov’s theory that Sanders serves the role of controlled opposition in the Beltway’s corrupt system of “virtual politics.”

Popular anger has been mounting rapidly. In a remarkable escalation, Donald Trump has called for Obama to “immediately resign in disgrace” on account of his refusal to mention “radical Islamic terrorism.” Although Republicat spokesperson Greg Cuckierman condemned the “Dangerous Donald’s” remarks for inflaming sectarianism and ethnic hatred in America’s “vibrant multicultural society,” activists tell us Americans have become increasingly hesitant to swallow the party narrative.

This goes especially for the meme-empowered younger generations on social media platforms such as Twatter and Fuckface, who use a sophisticated system of signalling including Pepe the Frog, triple parentheses, and even more obscure memes invented by the hacker 4chan to organize at the grassroots level and poke holes in the official narrative.

“Globalism is a scam, man!” communicated @SchlomoGoldbergShekelstein1488 to ENA reporters via Telegram, “I mean, a haji kills a faggot, and who’s to blame? An evil white oppressor with a gun!”

Other, more milquetoast, activists pointed out that gun control had not prevented the Bataclan massacre in Paris and that in any case the shooter’s status as a security guard with the G4S security company would have provided him with easy access to guns. They also asked questions about why an Orlando mosque had been able to call for the pogroms of gay people two months before the shooting with apparent impunity.

afghanistan-not-hajnalMeanwhile, the user @JayMan471 and the HBD thinktank has been spamming us with the following map (see right). We have no idea what it means and our reporters are avidly scouring the globe for anyone who can give us a clue, or for that matter even gives a shit.

Of critical importance in the weeks head will be the reaction of the LGBT clan itself, which had hitherto been almost entirely on the side of the Republicrat establishment thanks to its position of privilege within the regime.

However, according to Beltwayology expert Maksim Putlerov, Director of the Chelyabinsk Institute for Scientific Racism, any assumptions that this state of affairs is here to stay indefinitely are invalidated by the experience of the European vassal states, where the violent intrusions of the Islami clan into traditional LGBT inner city tribal territory has resulted in 25% of Parisian homosexuals supporting the democratic opposition party Front National.

“Under Obama the US is one of the very worst countries for homosexuals in the world,” observed Putlerov. “Fifty of them have just been killed for political reasons. That’s far more than under any previous President, and for that matter far more than under Vladimir Putin. However, we expect the regime to continue focusing on gay rights in Russia as part of the West’s rhetorical strategy of whataboutism.”

“There are now only two ways out for the regime – voluntary reform and democratization, or repression, revolution, and the Thousand Year Trumpenreich.”

“Unfortunately, it appears that the regime has embarked on the path of repression,” concluded Putlerov.

This assessment is increasingly hard to deny. The Director of the Minsk-based Western Observatory for Human Rights (WOHR) has noted many disturbing signs of the Beltway regime tightening the screws in recent months.

Independent candidates such as Donald Trump and even the controlled opposition such as Bernie Sanders have been the targets of slander campaigns that were so well-coordinated that they could only have come from the very top. Whistleblowers that humiliated the ruling cliques have been driven into exile abroad. Loyalist thugs under the banner of Social Justice, better known outside the US as titushki, have prevented opposition activists such as (the gay) Milo Yiannopoulos from giving speeches at university campuses and assaulted his supporters without consequence. Father away from the cameras, SJW death squads funded by regime’s gray chancellor George Soros have been on the hunt for gay Hispanic Trump supporters.

Yet despite the best efforts of the hardliners to maintain and accentuate the climate of fear under which the regime operates, the system is increasingly shaky. Increasing numbers of the Republican wing of the Republicrats have “boarded the Trump Train,” despite the best efforts of the deep state to sabotage him. The Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. is reporting an unprecedented surge in visa applications. Rumors abound that Jeb Bush’s wife and children have been flown to safety in Cancun.

Moreover, the unrest has quietly been spreading to foreign shores, with recent polls in Britain showing that the majority now wants to leave the European Union. With the ruling regime now focusing on securing its loyalist heartlands, all the geopolitical experts ENA queried insist that the biggest international reverberations have yet to begin. “Must clear away the rubble before you can build,” as @BasedFelNRx told us via an encrypted communications line which we traced back to a location in Silicon Valley.

This is a bit too cryptic for us, but it does tie in with a question that more and more people are now asking: Will the Beltway regime survive the Current Year?

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Terrorism, Trolling, United States 

russia-historical-football-rank

Russia is surprisingly mediocre at the beautiful game.

What makes this at first sight all the more surprising is that Russia is hardly a slouch when it comes to many other sports. It is consistently in the top three at the Summer Olympics, beaten out only by the US and China with their much larger populations and financing. It came a resounding first in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In ice hockey, it is currently a close second to Canada and practically never falls out of the top five.

But when it comes to football, Russia is now, on the eve of UEFA Euro 2016, a miserly 29th in the world, with an Elo rating of 1736. For context this translates to an 86% chance of losing to France, the host country with a home advantage at +100 Elo points, and which is considered to have the highest odds (24%) of winning the tournament.

This is not for lack of interest and enthusiasm. As in almost all of Europe, football is the most popular spectator sport in Russia, even ahead of ice hockey. Even so, even the United States with its essentially dilettante attitude towards football (yes football, not soccer) is ahead in 21st place.

Nor is it for want of financing. Although Russian footballing had a tough time in the depressed 1990s, investment strongly picked up from the 2000s – a development reflected in the hiring of ever more prominent (and expensive) foreign names as coaches of the national football team: Guus Hiddink in 2006, Dick Advocaat in 2010, and Fabio Capello from 2012 to 2015. The two Dutchmen were fairly successful, with Russia seeing its higher ever Elo football rating during this period and advancing to the semifinals in Euro 2008. But under Fabio Capello, the Russian team collapsed so drastically that his contract was ended three years earlier than originally planned. For all the considerable money Russia has spent on its national football team in the past decade, it remains way behind in the Elo ratings relative to both the major European national teams and even some decidedly financially lacking countries such as Peru and Bosnia.

It can’t have much to do with cultural traditions or the specific physiology of Slavs either. Croatia with its mere four million people is 18th and has always punched well above its weight in football. Slovakia, which Russia will face in the group stages of this tournament, is marginally ahead in 25th place globally. Even Japan is now marginally ahead of Russia in the global football Elo ratings, despite the fact that in the case of East Asians, a case can actually be made that cultural and physiological factors might play significant negative roles.

No, the explanation for Russian footballing mediocrity is much more banal, and can be summed up in this one map of January isotherms.

europe-january-isotherms

Needless to say, footballing requires a lot of skill.

To develop skill, you have to play a lot. Preferably year round. This is very hard to do when temperatures are substantially below freezing (correlating to the blue parts of the map). You can play in smaller spaces indoors, but it’s just not the same thing. You can theoretically have heated stadiums, but its very expensive and AFAIK nobody actually consistently bothers with it. Furthermore, even if you train your best players in heated stadiums (or abroad) during the winter, national football teams are drawn from (and discarded back into) a huge talent pool. Providing everyone in this category with elite climate controlled facilities is impossible.

The Soviet Union, which was consistently much more successful at football than Russia ever was, proves the rule: A large percentage of its star players were drawn from Georgia and southern Ukraine – that is, the parts of the USSR with the least hostile winter climate. Even today a highly disproportional share of elite Russian footballers come from the Kuban, the only parts of Russia with a winter climate that is at least somewhat comparable to that of Germany. Nowadays Georgia is considerably lower than Russia, but that is on account of a very low population of less than 3.7 million and virtually no money. Meanwhile, Ukraine, with three times fewer people and about ten times less money, is ahead at 16th globally.

Croatia, one of the most successful footballing nations in per capita terms, also happens to be smack dab in some of the most football friendly territory in all Slavdom. That almost certainly explains its impressive per capita performance.

Ultimately, mastery in football requires a combination of physical fitness, discipline, and artistry. The Germanics tend to max out the first two while not slacking on the third either. The Latins max out on the third, and while far more variable than Germanics, their best teams in any one year have the first two well down as well. My impression is that the Russian team at its best tends to be adequate at all three – it can be energetic, and artistic, and even well disciplined (the latter especially when coached by a Germanic).

But not outstanding. All three elements to some extent lack a degree of what I can only describe for lack of a better word as polish: Discipline but losing possession due to blunders just that more frequently than the Germans or the Dutch; Enthusiastic and active when they have the tempo, but that much more prone to sink into despondency when the tide turns against them; Creative but without quite the out-of-this-world flair and finesse of the very best Latin teams.

We shall soon see if Leonid Slutsky has made any progress in restoring the Russian football team to at least the level it was pre-Capello. But for Russia to get a truly worldbeating time it will probably have to wait for methane clathrate collapse plus thirty years for the post-runaway global warming generation of footballers to come into their prime. /sarcasm

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Football, Russia 

russian-stereotypes-of-europe-update

In the spirit of Foreign Policy’s map of Chinese stereotypes about Europe, I did the same thing for Russia using the autocomplete to “why [country/people]…” in Google.ru.

Vast swathes of Eastern Europe are dominated by Russians asking why the local denizens don’t like them, so to make room for more interesting stereotypes, I just colored in red the countries Russians think are especially Russophobic (though in the case of Poland and the Baltic states they were frankly asking about little else).

I started working on this list in January, then dropped it, then finished it today, so this is not an up to date “snapshot” but a general impression of Russian stereotypes about Europe during the first half of this year. I generally input the first result to autocomplete, but I did select slightly for more interesting variants, and listed the primary two stereotypes for the more significant countries.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Europe, Map, Russia, Stereotypes 

ork

The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn? And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn’t even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude.

— Uthan the Perverse, Warhammer 40K.

Could Orks be the logical endpoint of human evolution?

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Idiocracy, Science Fiction 

Here is one of the most popular feel-good #refugeeswelcome cartoons going round the Internets these past few days by the cartoonist John Cole:

john-cole-know-the-enemy

Of course, one not inconsiderable problem is that a disturbingly big percentage of Syrian refugees – some 13% of them, according to a November 2014 poll by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies – say they have a positive view of the Islamic State. Moreover, another 10% are negative towards them but only just to some extent.

So what we have is that almost precisely a quarter of Syrian refugees are either outright positive about ISIS, or have only moderate disagreements with them (they don’t want to get conscripted by them?).

doha-poll-2014-arab-support-for-islamic-state

So, informed by these demographic realities, and taking into account the tendency of second generation Muslim immigrations to radicalize, here is my modest suggestion for improving John Cole’s cartoon:

john-cole-know-the-enemy-fixed

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Cartoon, Immigration, Islamism, Trolling 

Charlie Hebdo had a hearty response to the terrorist downing of KGL9268: “The dangers of low-cost Russian airlines,” “I should have taken Air Cocaine,” “Daesh: Russian aviation intensifies the bombing.” So drôle!

When challenged on Russian condemnations of their humor:

The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Biard, criticised the Kremlin for “using Charlie Hebdo to create a controversy where none exists, which is the usual manipulation you get from totalitarian regimes”. “This magazine is supposed to be irreverent, and we respect the values of democracy and freedom of expression which the Russian powers that be … do not,” he added.

charlie-hebdo-on-islam-and-its-parody

The French state arrested and charged the creator of the teenaged creator of the parody comic to the right with supporting terrorism. Not a peep about that from Charlie Hebdo.

Of course, as traditional with Western propaganda organs posing as dissident heroes and “pushing the boundaries” types, the concern for free speech is rather strangely limited to just Russia and other bugbears of Western hegemony:

Equal… but some groups were nonetheless plus égaux que d’autres, at least so far as Charlie Hebdo were concerned. In 2009, the cartoonist Siné, a longtime contributor to Charlie Hebdo, joked that Sarkozy’s son, Jean, would “go a long way, that little lad” on rumors that he was planning to convert to Judaism. For any basically normal, non-SJW inclined person, this would be nothing more than a harmless observation on the Jewish talent for economic success (something that is discussed at length by our own Steve Sailer, not to mention by Jews themselves). But for Charlie and the French Establishment, including the “philosopher” Bernard-Henry Lévy, the appropriate response was to fire him and then prosecute him for anti-Semitism (he was acquitted). On another occasion, Charlie started a signature collection campaign to get the Front National banned. Clearly, their own regard for free speech was very far from absolute.

Of course this merely reflects the priorities of the French Republic itself, which proceeded to open dozens of cases on pro-terrorism “hate speech,” including against the comedian Dieudonné for sardonically remarking “Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly” on his Facebook (Coulibaly was one of the CH attackers). All of which Charlie Hebdo evidently did not regard as the “usual manipulation you get from totalitarian regimes.”

Fortunately, Russians don’t take their cues from Charlie Coulibaly, and responded with hilarious cartoons of their own: “Laughter extends life!” “Not in your case Gerard.”

russian-reaction-to-charlie-hebdo

And soon after – and so prophetically – this happened.

Here’s another really amusing cartoon!

hollande-after-paris-attacks

This time, Charlie Hebdo’s reaction was decidedly… disappointingly… lackluster.

charlie-hebdo-on-paris

Terrorism is not the enemy. Terrorism is a mode of operation. Repeating ‘we are at war’ without finding the courage to name our enemies leads nowhere. Our enemies are those that love death. In various guises, they have always existed. History forgets quickly. And Paris tells them to fuck themselves.

That is like so deep man. So courageous. They Who Must Not Be Named are “are those that love death.” It even puts that great Bushism, “they hate us for our freedom” to shame!

 

 

charlie-hebdo-on-paris-2

And thus I finally started to really understand Dieudonné.

 
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.