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cyberpunk-moscow

Moscow 2018.

Can’t believe it has been almost a month since the last Open Thread.

Quick updates:

  • Was in the UK for a couple of weeks (as you presumably gathered). Apart from the march in London, I also took the opportunity to tick off Canterbury and the Tank Museum in Bovington.
  • Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the London Conference on Intelligence in Aarhus, Denmark, as I had originally planned to. Fortunately, we have James Thompson here to tell us all about it anyway.
  • I am going to be in Romania from June 1-June 11: Couple of days in Ploiesti, three in Transylvania, the rest in Bucharest. Why Romania? Friend’s wedding, otherwise it’s about 50th on my travel list.

ROGPR news – Kirill Nesterov’s latest video was so hardcore that YouTube banned it. Here it is (in Russian ofc):

We are also going to be launching a new website any day now.

***

Featured News

* Alexander Mercouris: Netanyahu in Moscow for Victory Day: why did Putin invite him? MUST READ, especially for those who have been complaining about Putin bending over before Israel and calling me a “ziocuck” or whatever.

* Alexander Mercouris is blackpilled on Iran:

Note that Bershidsky disagrees… but then again, he has always had inflated expectations of the EU. Even so he points out how the EU, Russia, and China can keep trade and investment with Iran running.

* I was pessimistic about M5S/Lega Nord – in particular, European leftists, including ostensibly Russophile ones, have a habit of disappointing (see Syriza). But perhaps they really will be the first major exception. I also find their economic program, combining bold ideas such as a 15%/20% flat income tax and universal basic income, to be very interesting and potentially very revitalizing for an Italy that is widely regarded as being stifled by bureaucracy.

* Two months ago, I opined that the Alt Right is dead. I can now confirm that with high confidence, specifically with regards to its Spencerite wing, which originated the Alt Right as we know it, and which was most recently active under the banner of AltRight.com [now down for more than a month]. FWIW, my source also told me that Milo was more of a 14/88 Röhm type of fellow than the anti-SJW “dangerous faggot” he posed as in public a few months before Joseph Bernstein broke the story for Buzzfeed, so I pretty much trust him/her on this. But even if you don’t, the signs are all there anyway, e.g. (1) the brain drain from AltRight.com in its final months and (2) their blatantly disinterested attitude towards keeping the website up [say of them what you will, but the Daily Stormer experienced far worse harassment, and they were always back up within 48 hours]. I would henceforth advise nationalists not to get involved in that cluster.

As far as I’m concerned, BAP is now the Supreme Leader of the Alt Right. On to Tropical Hyperborea!

* Scott Alexander: Can Things Be Both Popular and Silenced? One of the best essays on this topic.

***

Russia

* Nicolai Petro – Are We Reading Russia Right? [24 page PDF]. Summary via Paul Robinson. Good statistical, reality-checking manual on the real Russia vs. the one in the Western media.

Incidentally, my very first (non-intro) blog post was titled Reading Russia Right.

* Michael Kofman – The Collapsing Russian Defense Budget and Other Fairy Tales. Confirmation that reports a few weeks ago that it was going down by 20% were very much exaggerated.

* NBF on Russia’s new hypersonic glide weapons.

* China projects an increase in trade with Russia from around $100 billion last year to $200 billion next year. Much needed diversification. As I point out, Russia can live without China, and it can even live without the West, but it can’t live without either of them.

* Commenter Mitleser on Chinese media guidelines for writing about Russia: Use “USSR,” never “former USSR”; don’t call the people’s armed forces in Eastern Ukraine “separatists” or “pro-Russian forces.”

* Crimea has 5x fewer cars per capita than the Russian average. Results of two and a half decades of Ukrainian occupation.

* The Russian anti-sanctions laws which will penalize businesses for respecting American sanctions are on hold while the relevant Duma committees “consult” with representatives of the Russian business community. If they end up making exceptions for the big ones, which some Russian observers fear, then these laws might as well not exist and will probably become just another enabler of corporate raiding.

* Remember the police raid on Egor Prosvirnin in 2015, the chief editor of Sputnik & Pogrom? It now emerges that the organs originally wanted to charge him under Article 282 for… get this… for offending the Ukrainian people. In 2016.

In the end, the case was dropped at an early point. There are limits to absurdity, even in the Putlerreich.

* The Guardian: Russia analyst [Mark Sleboda] interviewed by ABC a ‘blatantly pro-Kremlin apologist’

I know that the Guardian is basically a meme newspaper these days, but still, the title is one of the most egregious in that it combines both a lie and a sordid assumption. The lie is that Sleboda is a pro-Kremlin apologist – to the contrary, he is more often its hawkish critic. The sordid assumption is that having blatantly pro-Kremlin apologists on is unacceptable for some reason. What’s the alternative – an echo chamber of kneejerk Russophobes? Come to think of it, that’s actually the correct assessment.

* Max Seddon: Fak off as Sberbank fires analyst for provocation too far.

Incidentally, this follows a similar report on Rosneft, where criticism of Sechin was suppressed. This shows that market research of the kind that is standard in the West is basically impossible in Russia, at least so far as it concerns the state corporations run by Putin’s cronies. This is another Russia blackpill, but I have come to the conclusion that the “blackpilled” view that Gazprom and Rosneft are run for political insider contractors, not for shareholders nor even for Russia’s geopolitical interests, is basically correct.

* Head of state-owned VTB bank Andrey Kostin whines that US sanctions prevent him from enjoying skiing vacations in Colorado and his beloved city of New York. This must be all the more painful for him, since he had lobbies US Congressmen hard to avoid sanctioning him, citing the fact that VTB was “investing in the Ukraine and raising that country’s economy.”

It’s hilarious, really. Begging representatives of a foreign, hostile power not to sanction him because the state-owned bank he was in charge of was helping another hostile country… whining when the American masters turned a deaf year to him. But such is the quality of Russia’s governing cadres and “effective managers” in Year 18 of Putinism.

***

World

* At last, a serious debate on the JQ.

I have only skimmed through both articles. One reason is that the JQ just doesn’t interest me that much (I meant it when I said I hope not to have to write any more about it after this one mega-post). Another reason is that even skimming it, it was sufficient to see that even Cofnas critique is still far more qualitative than quantitative, with the result that the two interlocutors mostly seem to be talking past each other.

I am of the position that Emil Kirkegaard still has the single best roadmap for a resolution to the JQ.

* Bryan MacDonald: Facebook & Atlantic Council unite: Now social media giant serves NATO’s agenda

* Lance Welton: “This Will Not Stand”: Academic Establishment Suppresses Italian Anthropologist’s Proof That Race IQ Differences Are Genetic—For Now

* John Derbyshire: Fertility Collapse—Minorities Hardest Hit! Electing A New People Delayed? That said, as Cicerone points out, this stopped being true around 2016:

Using the same method as for the states, here are my TFR estimates [for 2017, with 2016 in brackets]:
Whites 1.67 (1.72)
Blacks 1.83 (1.83)
Asians 1.68 (1.75)
Hispanics 2.03 (2.09)
All dropping ex. Blacks, Hispanics now below replacement

* Next round of EU funding is going to revolve more around nebulous things such as adherence to “European values” as opposed to GDP per capita gaps. Commenter Polish Perspective has made many good comments about this.

* Audacious Epigone:

* Estonia is making all its public transport free. This might actually work well in a low-diversity, high IQ country.

* I have no strong opinions on Israel vs. Palestine nor any desire to shill for one of them over the other, but I found this RAMZPAUL take funny and relevant:

* Interesting point from Jose Luis Ricon. Spain might be very pro-gay, but it’s not very gay about it.

***

Science & Culture

* Yinon M. Bar-On, Rob Phillips, and Ron Milo (2018) – The biomass distribution on Earth

* Gwern: Nootropic effectiveness via SSC survey results. I was never deep into nootropics, but Modafinil seems accurate, even if inferior to plain ol’ Adderall (never tried that). Always thought aniracetam was overrated, but surprised that it was basically neutral (at best).

nootropic-effectiveness

* Peter Turchin – History Is Now a Quantitative Science. Rome’s “secular cycles” [see my intro to cliodynamics] have been tied to historical intensity of lead production.

rome-secular-cycles-lead

* Scandal in IQ research – many instances of self-plagiarism from Robert Sternberg. Not a crisis by any means, he was neither a particularly notable nor a controversial researcher.

* Gwern’s April newsletter.

* Version 1.3 of David Becker’s world IQ database is coming out soon. James Thompson got a preview peek at the LCI 2018, who also has an update on sex IQ differences and the neurobiology of intelligence.

* Robin Hanson on how to maximize the chances of future people actually reviving you from cryonics sleep.

* Steve Sailer on a recent Pinker paper on the optimal age to learn a new language. Stereotypes are correct – the younger, the better.

* Commenter Thorfinnsson on how US Civil War II could break out.

* NBF: Every 3-5 years SpaceX is adding a decade lead on competitors

* IQ researcher Stuart Ritchie threw away a job application from someone who cited their own IQ on the CV. But is that a good idea in academia?

* Commenter Daniel Chieh: Hanzi as an implicit barrier against the Poz?

It is my opinion that the language does indeed gradually shape thought. For example, something “logical” such as the word for “good” is 好 is of course 女(woman, thus breasts in symbol) and 子(child, or son: oversized head to body of an infant). And its a “good” that a woman is with her child, symbolically a “family” and “family” is therefore good.

Not only do the words then imply certain normative standards(and implicitly rejects postmodern construction), but it is also the form of recognition creates what Nisbett calls a “dialectic” form of reading which constantly monitors for context. I know a few friends who grew up in Asia or spent a lot of time there; eventually they basically acquire this form of thinking and become averse with the more normal context-less Western grasp of language and the world.

I also feel, as I said, that this is often “pre-modern” and is probably not conducive to innovative thought specifically due to the normative values implicit. Nonetheless, in this age of hyperreality and postmodernism with a lot of its attendant ugliness, its interesting to see how this appears to serve as a weak, below-the-horizon Chesterson Fence.

* Carl Zha Twitter thread on the history of the qipao. Hilariously, given the SJW outrage over its “appropriation”, it’s more Western than Chinese!

***

Powerful Takes

* The most powerful take yet?

flores-latin-america-junta-scene

Incidentally, Joaquin Flores is one of the head honchos at the grandiloquently named Center for Syncretic Studies, a Duginist outfit.

So this is what Duginism boils down to. They pay a Mexican Marxist weirdo larping as a Russian agent in Serbia to talk about the Saker’s involvement with the “Latin American junta scene”

* From SPLC-certified anti-Semite to Jew-loving neocon cockroach. :(

glossy-neocon-cockroach

See also Double Horseshoe Theory in action (this is “B) Stalinism is not true Marxism, and that’s awesome.” PS. Khodorkovsky is likely D. I am C.)

horseshoe-theory-in-action

* I run the most multicultural blog:

vibrant-blog

* Ioffe vs. Karlin:

ioffe-vs-karlin

* Greasy had some very strong opinions on this topic:

greasy-strong-opinions

* Everybody let’s welcome James Thompson to the RationalWiki club!

rationalwiki-james-thompson

* Is Charles Bausman actually serving the Jew masters?

russia-insider-serving-the-jew-masters

* Pumpkin Person: The most pro-Jewish President of all time? (unironically good take)

* Washington Times: Sarah Palin praises WikiLeak’s Julian Assange; ‘He’s all about freedom’. I have always rather liked her.

* This is what MAGA is all about now:

* Fuck Russia:

fuck-russia

PS. Just how neoliberal do you have to be to work yourself up into a lather about Bernie Sanders of all people?

* Eric Garland forgetting to take his meds again:

* Analytic vs. Continental Philosophy:

continental-philosophy

* Another reason to be aggressively pro-gun. The alternative is unrestrained Poz.

homosexualization

***

 
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Just a PSA that in The Current Year there is absolutely no need to pay for almost anything. Save the money, use it to go on holiday, drink it away, give it to me (http://akarlin.com/donations/ ), etc. instead.

This will also be a reference post for future review posts.

scihub-doi-768x208

Papers

Use Sci-Hub: https://sci-hub.tw/

Emil Kirkegaard has a short for dummies guide: How to use Sci-hub to get academic papers for free

Considering the greed and rapacity of academic publishers, stealing papers isn’t just a moral right but a moral imperative. In my experience, it works 99%+ of the time. Literally the only paper I can recall not finding there – and I have downloaded well more than a thousand – is an obscure 1981 paper on Racial Variations in Vision (apparently, Aborigines have much better eyesight than other races). But somebody added it to Sci-Hub eventually, anyway.

Books

Use Library Genesis: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/ (unblocked version)

Emil Kirkegaard has written up a short guide for this as well: How to download ebooks from Library Genesis (libgen) for free

Coverage isn’t as good as with Sci-Hub, but it’s still pretty impressive. I find approximately 90% of the books I want there.

Cases in which you can avoid using Libgen:

  1. You respect the author and want him/her to get money for their work. Even so, you can still download the book from Libgen to avoid the restrictive DRM practiced by most booksellers, inc. Amazon, while buying a symbolic copy from the store.
  2. You want a high quality paper version. My physical library hit its minimum size around 2015. Since then, it’s actually been slowly growing, but almost entirely by dint of high quality books, usually hardbacks. Uppening the scale even further, antiquarian books not only look very good on your bookshelf, but are as legitimate an investment as, say, Swiss luxury watches or art pieces.
  3. When said book isn’t available on Libgen. This is the case for some very obscure books, as well as books that came out very recently, or very long ago.

Many books will be in epub/mobi format. There are many ebook readers for Android that you can use to read them. I use Moon Reader. It has exportable highlighting/notes, and I find its visual options even better than the Amazon Kindle’s. I suggest getting the pro version for a few bucks to get rid of the annoying ads.

The only major format it doesn’t support is djvu, which is popular in Russia. EBookDroid handles that.

I would also recommend Calibre for managing your ebook collection. There are plugins for stripping DRM off your existing, store-bought ebooks (DeDRM).

Films

Sponsoring Hollywood in any way whatsoever is basically a sin at this point.

My favorite torrent client is qBittorrent.

While Western countries don’t really care if you pirate papers and books, Hollywood and MPAA have an order of magnitude more lobbying power than Elsevier or Penguin, so this is most definitely not the case with movies.

I strongly recommend getting a paid VPN if you live in the West. I use NordVPN, though others I know swear by PIA VPN.

I would actually recommend getting a VPN regardless. The Wild West days of the Internet are coming to a close, and regulatory agencies around the world are rushing to block “extremist” content and set up national firewalls. This is going to get worse before it gets better, so you might as well get a head start on this.

Games

This is one medium where piracy is low and unattractive.

Market near-monopolist Steam/Valve offers low prices for the amount of content – very low in places like Eastern Europe. Probably not so much out of the goodness of GabeN’s heart as the existence of companies like Humble Bundle which will step in were Steam to get out of line.

The technological specifics of modern video games also limits piracy in that most of them are now dependent on constant updates and patches.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Productivity 
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london-again

Am in London again (that that I particularly want to be), will probably visit Aarhus, Denmark in mid-May (conference). Thinking of going to Denmark by train through the Netherlands, finances permitting. I have yet to visit the Dutch.

I have finally picked up my copy of Heiner Rindermann’s Cognitive Capital here. Will hopefully soon add to James Thompson’s and Emil Kirkegaard’s reviews.

Assuming there is no international crisis, I’ll get the Portugal post up very soon.

Novak Draskovic has translated my large Ukraine article into Serbian: Украјина још није умрла, а кад ће не знамо

***

Featured

* Cathedral Chronicles:

* SJWs force Ulster University to deprive Richard Lynn of his emeritus status.

* The Bajau people are uniquely adapted for long, deep-sea diving (larger spleens, better eyesight underwater). But we all know human evolution stopped 50,000 years ago!?

* Bryan Caplan: The Wonder of International Adoption: Adult IQ in Sweden

International adoption doesn’t make international IQ gaps vanish, but it plausibly cuts them in half. And remember – unlike classic childhood interventions like Head Start, the gains last into adulthood instead of fading away. What other viable, lasting treatment for low IQ is even remotely as effective?

Seems to confirm intuitive deductions that global B/W gap is 50/50 environment and genetics.

* UK government says Russia spreads fake news via Twitter bots, the only Twitter “bots” it cited were actually two real people, one of them the famous @PartisanGirl.

* Syria Strike 2018 aftermath:

battle-priest

Powerful wh40k vibes.

* Russian military history blogger writes about Russian MoD-sponsored trip to Khmeimim Airbase, Syria. You don’t need Russian to appreciate the photos.

* Emil Kirkegaard: Corvus Intelligence

Within this parvorder, the genus Corvus (ravens and crows) is an outlier at over eight standard deviations above the avian mean, by far the highest of all genera.

* Andres Gomez Emilsson & Mike Johnson: Reflections on The Science of Consciousness 2018

* NBF: Laser are getting ten times more powerful every 3 years, soon Exawatt lasers will unlock fusion and more. Interesting and important trend I was not previously aware of.

***

Russia

* Outline of Russian budgetary policy for next few years: Less military spending; more infrastructure, healthcare, education spending.

* Incompetent Roskomnadzor assault on Telegram continues.

  • Close to 20 million IPs continuously blocked [usher2.club]
  • Affecting cloud services used by enterprises
  • Knowledge of VPN spreading from political freaks who read marginal liberal and nationalist webzines to normies
  • Failure to block Telegram itself
  • Hilariously, many of the aforementioned liberal and nationalist webzines are now no longer blocked [ping-admin]

I suspect if anything does the Putin regime in, it will be this sort of stupidity and institutional degradation. Note that Roskomnadzor’s annual budget is more than 10% of that of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

* Paul Robinson reviews Timothy Snyder’s propaganda book about Russia (Putin, Dugin, Glazyev (!), Prokhanov (!)) as fascist.

* Prime Minister Sargsyan has resigned in Armenia following the protests. Whether this is a routine power shift or a color revolution will be seen soon (my bet is still on the former).

* Russia might open a military base in Somaliland. If true, this will have some fascinating historical precedents.

* Mark Feygin has been disbarred. Since he is a political activist masquerading as a lawyer, moreover one who exploits his clients to advance his political objectives, this comes 5 years too late.

* Large collection of maps and infographics about the Russian 2018 Presidential elections [in Russian].

* Kommersant: Israeli Repats [in Russia], via Dmitry.

* Even relatively good Russia watchers often don’t know the most elementary things:

***

World

* Polish Perspective comment on dwindling EU subsidies to Poland and why it could help Poland play a more independent role.

* Steve Sailer:

* Audacious Epigone: The Rainbow Nation goes dark

jewish-russophobia

* Audacious Epigone: Nobody does Russophobia like Jews do. Some statistical support for Charles Bausman’s controversial thesis.

* Sinotriumph:

* Leonid Bershidsky: Hungary’s Orban Isn’t Another Putin

***

Science & Culture

* Gwern’s March newsletter.

* Richard Lynn, Fuest, & Kirkegaard (2018) – Regional differences in intelligence in 22 countries and their economic, social and demographic correlates: A review. It’s up on Sci-Hub.

* James Thompson to begin doing videos on state of IQ research. First one here.

world-olderst-person

* Age of world’s oldest person steadily creeping up.

* Technology Review: Researchers are keeping pig brains alive outside the body. Dreadnought sarcophagi here we come.

* Picus News here we come:

***

Powerful Takes

married-well

* As Thorfinnson said, this man married well.

peak-politics

* Peak /r/politics?

* Georgian svidomism:

***

 
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chernobyl-stalker

I got the opportunity to meet up with commenter AP this week. Had a very pleasant conversation with him, if a pretty short one as was necessitated by his busy schedule.

I had been hoping to do a long post on my travels in Portugal, not nuclear war, this week. Will hopefully get that up in a couple of days.

Featured News

* A new neoreactionary blog. Joshua Delamere: Colonization and its Discontents

* Steve Hsu: Evolution of Venture Capital: SV + Asia dominate (original WSJ article)

venture-capital-by-country

Even though I’m aware of these trends, even I’m still surprised about just how total the domination of the US and China is.

Japan is pretty prominent, but another infographic there makes it clear that the Japanese are investing into Chinese, American, and other Asian ventures – not into Japan itself, or Europe.

See also my recently articles on Europe Can’t Into Big Tech and Russia’s Technological Backwardness.

* Mike Johnson: Heuristics For Interpreting The Output Of Formal Panpsychist Theories Of Consciousness

* Emil Kirkegaard: Corvus intelligence

* Aubrey de Grey posts a proof of a mathematical theorem. Impressive. Also evidence that longevity research isn’t pseudoscience.

**

Russia

* FT: Russian oil groups brave cold of western sanctions to explore Arctic

* RFERL: The Wildest Rides Of The U.S.S.R.

* Assad has been added to Myrotvorets (Peacekeeper) website of enemies of the Ukraine. Has the Curse been invoked?

*RT: Russia to suspend nuclear, rocket cooperation with America, ban US tobacco & alcohol – draft law

* Russia has banned Telegram, a sort of hybrid of WhatsApp and Twitter. Officials are going to use Viber instead.

Normal countries either (1) permit a free market in this sphere, or (2) ban foreign companies and promote their own, such as China. Russia bans its own and promotes foreign companies.

* The world that the Bolsheviks destroyed: In 1900, the Czechs wanted to introduce mandatory teaching of Russian in Czech schools (though this was vetoed by Vienna). [in Russian]

***

World

* Sinotriumph Chronicles:

* Larry Kudlow acknowledges China as First World country.

* The Economist: Decades of optimism about China’s rise have been discarded

This is unironically good for China. When The Economist praises you, it’s time to reach for your pistol.

Foreign businesspeople talked of the “promise fatigue” that has set in as Chinese markets are opened only after they have ceased to matter (the recent decision to allow in American credit cards now mobile payment systems have made them irrelevant is an example).

This is just “kicking away the ladder” that most countries (inc. US) have engaged in.

* Why does China have such a low-key approach to Syria?

* Jon Hellevig: An Awara Accounting Study on US Economy 2018: Signs that the US Debt-Fueled Economy Might Actually Collapse

I’m skeptical. Collapse of the US has been predicted in “anti-imperialist” sphere as often as the collapse of Russia (or China) in the handshakeworthy quarters. But we’ll see.

* British free media:

* Bolton on the Muller probe:

* Percentage of population identifying as LGBTQ:

US: 12.1%
EU: 5.6%

Germany: 7.4%
Spain: 6.9%
UK: 6.5%
Netherlands: 6.4%
Austria: 6.2%
France: 5.4%
Poland: 4.9%
Italy: 4.8%
Hungary: 1.5%

America is very gay. A huge survey about 5 years ago put the percentage of homosexuals in the US at around 2.5% of the population, which seems plausible. But I suppose it’s since become much more prestigious and “handshakeworthy.”

Also this pattern of Poland being much gayer than the rest of the V4 continues.

**

Science & Culture

* Real Climate: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning circulation. Gulf Stream is shutting down, as predicted.

* Brandon Adamson: People Who Hate Each Other Against the War

* Based Xi:

* whyvert/Economist: The decline of socialist parties in Europe, Hungarian edition

hungary-political-spectrum

***

Powerful Takes

* Hats off to Thorfinnsson. I don’t think anybody else has so succinctly defined the iFag.

thorfinnsson-ifag

* Benefits of nuclear war?

**

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: China, IT, Open Thread 
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lisbon-night

Just back from Portugal. Will share impressions in a later post (most are positive).

I’ll be doing quite a bit of traveling this summer. I’ll be in London again soon [business], will probably stop by in Denmark this May [because a certain event can no longer take place in London for political reasons], will be in Romania early this June [friend's wedding] – at which point I might as well tick off some of the V4 countries and maybe Austria [dependent on whether I can get free accomodation there].

On this note, I am considering getting a laptop. Blogging from a PC as I do is fine when you are stationary, but not so straightforward from a cell phone, and I’ll probably be abroad for most of this summer. And as the great Thorfinnsson correctly pointed out, writing posts from a cell phone is for losers.

So I’ll appreciate some advice on the best value-for-money laptops today [reqs: Needs to have an SSD and a good processor, but don't care about the GPU].

Donations are even more appreciated: http://akarlin.com/donations/

Featured

* Audacious Epigone: Support for free speech among young white college graduates has declined over the last several decades.

free-speech-support-over-time

Seems to confirm our worse fears; declining support for free speech far from entirely ascribable to demographic change.

* New book coming out soon: Edward Dutton and Michael Woodley, “At Our Wit’s End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What it Means for the Future.”

Incidentally, if all goes well, I’ll be able to collect Heiner Rindermann’s new book Cognitive Capitalism when I’m in London and review it.

* Spat between Ezra Klein and Sam Harris.

* Gregory Hood: The Racial Politics of ‘Kingdom Come: Deliverance’. Will try to finish a review of this game myself soon.

* Pyrkov, Timothy et al. – Extracting biological age from biomedical data via deep learning: too much of a good thing?. Company behind this is Gero, one of the Russian companies getting into the life extension game.

* Woodley, Michael et al. (2017) – What Caused over a Century of Decline in General Intelligence? Testing Predictions from the Genetic Selection and Neurotoxin Hypotheses.

Summary from James Thompson here.

* Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies. Kirkegaard: “The great filter is coming for us. But what is it?” Doing an article on this right now.

.

World

* Paul Nehlen doxxes legendary Alt Right Twitter troll Ricky Vaughn.

This did good for Vaughn’s brand, if perhaps not his future career prospects. He was for a change a pretty normal fellow by Alt Right leader standards: Not obese, no Jewish wife, not a walking caricature of a white trashionalist, etc.

This also proves that boomers are incurable. Even if you try to cure them, they OD on the redpills.

* Just follow Audacious Epigone already:

.

Russia

* Russia/China cooperation continues increasing; some links in my post here.

* Patrick Armstrong’s RF Sitrep, April 5 2018. He is also leaving Facebook.

* Alexander Mercouris: Latest US sanctions on Russia: incitement to a coup and a new form of protectionism. But Navalny is pretty happy with them.

.

Science & Culture

* James Somers: The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete

* Diffusion of public mechanical clocks followed the printing press:

Germany, Northern Italy, Benelux still the most advanced parts of Europe – especially in manufacturing. Really deep precedents for that.

* Emil Kirkegaard points out genomics costs going town much more rapidly than expected:

genomics-costs

* CW: EU-funded research: “genes make up 15-45% of the factors that determine the number of children a person ends up having”

* Chapman, Robert et al. (2018) – New literacy challenge for the twenty-first century: genetic knowledge is poor even among well educated

Participants received secondary education in 78 countries, with the largest samples from Russia, the UK and the USA. The results showed significant group differences in genetic knowledge between different countries, professions, education levels and religious affiliations. Overall, genetic knowledge was poor. The questions were designed to assess basic genetic literacy. However, only 1.2% of participants answered all 18 questions correctly, and the average score was 65.5%. Genetic knowledge was related to peoples’ attitudes towards genetics. For example, those with greater genetic knowledge were on average more willing to use genetic knowledge for their personal health management.

* Jose Ricon’s links.

* Scott Alexander reviews Jordan Peterson’s new book.

.

Powerful Takes

* A perfect 180:

.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Freedom of Speech, Open Thread 
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london-beer-bird

So, updates, updates.

Our ROGPR podcast has been “acquired” by Sputnik & Pogrom. They are mainly interested in the videos produced by our main host Kirill Nesterov, which you can now follow at:

Only available in Russian, unfortunately.

phall-curry Apart from having my phone stolen, I also tried out the phall curry at Aladin Brick Lane – a somewhat more pleasant form of cultural enrichment, if one that I am not eager to repeat anytime soon. However, that’s one thing ticked off on my bucket list, and that is the important thing.

I am going to Portugal tomorrow today.

Will be spending a few days in Faro, a few in Lisbon. Let me know what to visit, what to do, suggest meetups, etc.

Posting will be light, since (1) I don’t have a laptop – but feel free to help change that: http://akarlin.com/donations , but also (2) I want to relax, since I haven’t had a proper holiday in years.

I have another Kholmogorov translation [see archive] in reserve that I’ll post in a couple of days.

***

Featured News

* W.D. Hill et al. (2018) – A combined analysis of genetically correlated traits identifies 187 loci and a role for neurogenesis and myelination in intelligence. James Thompson’s post.

* Count Dankula has been convicted of hate speech in the UK for getting his dog to do a Nazi salute on camera to wind up his girlfriend – and the guy’s a commie, LOL.

* Steve: Brazilian Fertility Clinics Look to American White Guys. Let bleaching commence.

* Nadiya Savchenko arrested in the Ukraine on terrorism charges, which even many Maidanists think are politically motivated (she became a big critic of Poroshenko & Co. after getting released from Russia). At least campaigning for her will be easy since you could just reuse the old memes.

* Jonathan Anomaly and Nathan Cofnas: What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong About Jews. See their article.

* Excellent trad architecture thread via Wrath of Gnon:

***

World

* Turks have finished up with Afrin rather quickly and successfully. Syria’s partitioning proceeds.

turkish-casualties-afrin

* Audacious Epigone:

* Support for gun restrictions is rapidly declining.

poll-us-gun-laws

* Americans today are much more tolerant than in the 1970s [except racists].

poll-usa-free-speech-racists

* Alexander Mercouris: America First? Enter the über-hawks: Pompeo and Bolton

* Matt Forney is going to be covering the Hungarian elections.

* Also check out this unhinged Hungarian SJW (h/t reiner Tor)

* Looks like Venezuela is approaching collapse [1, 2]

* Ann Coulter names the globalist:

* Pan, Jennifer & Xu (2018) – China’s Ideological Spectrum

David Shor: “Ideological belief in China is strongly one dimensional, but economic conservatism is heavily correlated with social liberalism. There are basically no people with beliefs we’d associate with a western center-left party.” Same in Russia.

chinese-political-spectrum

***

Russia

* Artem Zagorodnov: Why I’m Voting for Putin.

Powerful take:

zog-take

* Ben Aris: The fall in Russian interest rates is snowballing

* Bryan MacDonald: Russian election: Western demonization of Putin has made him more popular in Russia

* Paul Robinson reviews two new books on the War in Donbass.

* Leonid Bershidsky: Escalation With Russia Just Became More Likely. Yep. EU stands with Britain on Skripal, and Bolton appointed in the US.

* Sputnik & Pogrom check how many of his 2012 promises Putin fulfilled as President [in Russian]. Answer: 22/65.

* NBF: Beijing city offer US$158K for top AI and biotech talent as Google software engineers make $200-600+K. [Yes, there's a reason this is in the Russia section]

* Election results at my polling station:

* Grudinin shaves his mustache after all.

* In which Russian liberals swap their Gene Sharp handbook for Saul Alinsky’s [1, 2, 3]:

* AP on Polish/Ukrainian/Russian languages:

languages

***

Science & Culture

* NBF: Uber’s technically inferior self-driving system kills an Arizona Pedestrian. Google looks impressively dominant in this sphere.

In 2016, the reported miles before intervention in California were:

Google: 5,127.9 miles (635,868 miles driven, 124 disengagements)
BMW: 638 miles (638 miles driven, 1 disengagements)
Nissan: 263.3 miles (6,056 miles driven, 23 disengagements)
Ford: 196.6 miles (590 miles driven, 3 disengagements)
General Motors: 54.7 miles (8,156 miles driven, 149 disengagements)
Delphi Automotive Systems: 14.9 miles (2,657.7 miles driven, 178 disengagements)
Tesla: 2.9 miles (550 miles, 185 disengagements)
Mercedes-Benz: 2 miles (673 miles, 336 disengagements)
Bosch: 0.68 miles (983 miles driven, 1,448 disengagements)
Uber: 0.67 miles

* NBF: China versus USA in AI potential

* NBF: Interstellar race for the Universe. On Anders Sandberg’s most recent article.

* Rindermann, H. & Carl, N. (2018) – Human rights: Why countries differ.

* James Thompson:

* Emil Kirkegaard: How much should you trust IQ etc. information from The Guardian? Experts answer: not so much

Also congrats to Kirkegaard for getting “recognized” by the SPLC.

* All disk galaxies rotate once every billion years. Our simulators are lazy.

* NBF: Lab Grown Meat will be served in restaurants by the end of 2018 and it will be healthier. I suspect killing animals for meat might be the next great ethical revolution (c.2050).

* New Scientist: Every human culture includes cooking – this is how it began

cooking-food

* Godless Czechia vs. Holy Poland:

godless-czechia-holy-poland

* Steve on B/W qualification gap in law schools:

* Gerald of Rivia vs. Henry of Skalitz

gerald-vs-chad

***

Powerful Takes

* Commenter Thorfinnsson is an endless source of extremely powerful (in a non-ironic sense) takes.

* Some blogger: “His site is a “collective” of writers he says, but in looking at them only a few are named and one of them, Anatoly Karlin, is a straight out conspiracy Nazi connected apparatchik for Putin.

* My very powerful take on Georgian cuisine:

georgian-cuisine

* Clone experiments:

songbird-clone

* I came 3rd/58 people in predicting the results of the Russian elections at Alexander Kireev’s blog.

russia-elections-2018-predictions

* Russia’s /pol/ acknowledges my power.

russias-enemies

***

 
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octopus

Remarkable consistency.

I will be traveling to London as of tomorrow, so poasting will be light for the next 7-10 days.

If my flight takes off – a whole bunch of them have been canceled because the Brits don’t know what to do about snow. Meanwhile, the North Pole is positively balmy, at above freezing, and Arctic sea ice is setting new minimums. I will be happy to endure minor inconveniences for the sake of accelerated Tropical Hyperborea.

Forthcoming articles: A comprehensive survey of Russian science, technology, robotization [pending since late last year]; an analysis of whether Putin and Navalny are nationalists, commissioned long ago by Sputnik & Pogrom, which I really hope I can finish before the Russian elections [spoiler: No, they're not]; the existential risk from limited computational space to run our simulation [done, but needs to be tidied up].

I also hope that I’ll be able to focus on my Russia book in earnest from early April.

***

Featured News

* Mike Johnson: The problems of consciousness: a taxonomy (roadmap to qualia research)

* David Becker: THE NIQ-DATASET V1.3 – A Summary (Part – I)

* spandrell: China doesn’t care about your opinion (informed take on Emperor Xi, from a person who knows China)

* Michael Hippke, John G. Learned – 2018 – Interstellar communication. IX. Message decontamination is impossible

* Glenn Greenwald: A Consensus Emerges: Russia Committed an “Act of War” on Par With Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Should the U.S. Response Be Similar?

* RT: ‘Polocaust museum’: Polish minister calls for commemoration of non-Jewish victims of WWII. Envious. ROGPR has long argued that a Russian national state needs its own genocide museum. Russians were the victims of three genocides in the past century.

 

***

Russia

* Jing Zhang: How Russia’s ‘red tourism’ is luring wealthy Chinese visitors bored with Paris and Milan

* Leonid Bershidsky: A Russian Business Icon Sells Out to the State

Sergey Galitsky and Magnit were one of the rare genuine entrepreneurial success stories of modern Russia, and now it too has been swallowed up by Leviathan.

The buyer is state-owned VTB, a politically well-connected bank that recently financed the “privatization” of 19.5% of Rosneft. Galitsky did not seem happy with the sale, and the price he got for it was surprisingly low relative to the revenue and profits it was making.

I have pointed out Putin’s success at improving ease of business in Russia. But to what extent is this even relevant now that the state controls 70% of the economy and is expanding its reach into the grocery aisles?

* Depressing Novaya Gazeta account of Russian failure to organize post-sanctions domestic manufacturing of military thermal imagers thanks to nepotism and corruption.

* Moscow has built 70 metro stations in the past 5 years.

* Why does Russia have zero soft power?

rossotrudnichevstvo-peskov-wife

Head of Paris division of Rossotrudnichestvo [first problem: impossible for non-Slavs to pronounce] happened to be headed by the former wife of Peskov (Putin’s spokesman), Ekaterina Solotsinskaya, who had been appointed to the position in 2017 when Putin visited France in May 2017.

She refused Zakhar Prilepin, a hugely popular Russian writer and vatnik, access to its hotel on the basis that he was a “Donbass terrorist.”

Russia is not so nepotistic to let that stand, and she had to write step down, albeit for another reason – having two undeclared companies, through which she had been acquiring Paris properties (presumably at the expense of promoting Russian culture). Best part, though? She strongly resisted signing the resignation letter, on the basis that she… had good ties with Ksenia Sobchak and Ramzan Kadyrov (!). So, apart from all that, terminally stupid as well.

On the other hand, she’s much richer than me, so what do I know, really.

* Russia might withdraw from the ECHR, which will automatically eject it from the Council of Europe. Given its anti-Russian bias, that’s the correct thing to do.

* Fred Weir: Why the Kremlin publishes uncensored translations of Western news (on Insomi)

***

World

* Audacious Epigone: Fake Russia collusion calumny delivers body blow to FBI’s credibility

* South Africa legalizes expropriation of land from white farmers without compensation. Looks like we’re approaching the Mugabe scenario there.

Advice for Visegrad, Russia: Easen immigration for South African whites. You’ll be:

  1. doing a good, humanitarian/Christian thing;
  2. Trigger the SJWs;
  3. Be better able to deflect German/Brussels lectures about refugees;
  4. Reinforce your own demographics;

* John Derbyshire: WHAT’S WRONG WITH CHINA–A Study Of Unchanged National Character.

Also, you are never going to be so this hardcore:

hardcore-definition

* Pony Ma (Tencent) becomes richest Chinese person with $47 billion. This is pretty interesting, since there was previously an unofficial rule that Chinese billionaires were not supposed to exceed $10 billion in wealth.(any more, and they got in trouble… corruption investigations, etc.). Have the CPC finally dropped this policy?

* Sinotriumph Chronicles:

* The US is so zogged that it is telling Poland that it shouldn’t count on a meeting with Trump or Pence because of their anti-Polish holocaust law.

* Poles have started asking Ukrainian immigrants about their attitudes to Stepan Bandera. Ambiguous responses = deportation.

* Bryan MacDonald: America’s elite thinks it has a divine right to rule the world

* New Statesman: The polite extremist: Jacob Rees-Mogg’s seemingly unstoppable rise

* Niccolo Soldo: The Visegrad Group’s Exit from Liberal Democracy

* Turkey’s Erdogan in row over ‘girl martyr’ comment on TV. This is very normal and not creepy at all.

***

Science & Culture

* National Geographic: These People Believe Death Is Only Temporary (photo essay about Russian transhumanists)

***

Powerful Takes

This entire thread, pretty much: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/russian-presidential-elections-boring-useless-and-necessary/

powerful-take-martyanov

powerful-take-2

take-ap-foreign

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: China, Corruption, Open Thread, Russia, South Africa 
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Main News

* Blog status: Main posts in the last couple of weeks:

* Large bunch of interesting books that have come out recently.

  • Heiner Rindermann with a huge (592 pages) academic synthesis of research on IQ/GDPcc in Cognitive Capitalism. Unfortunately, as a textbook, it comes with a hefty price tag. I expect to get a review copy in the next few weeks, after which I’ll tell you if it’s worth ordering.
  • Edward Dutton rehabilitating phrenology in How to Judge People by What They Look Like.
  • Bryan Caplan, Robin Hanson’s fellow GMU economist, makes The Case against Education [LibGen]. I am a couple of chapters in and I have to say that it clearly elucidates with studies many things that I have long intuitively suspected. Greg Cochran has a good review (1, 2, 3).
  • Steven Pinker argues the case for reason, science, humanism and progress in Enlightenment Now [Libgen]. If the reviews are anything to go by, it’s 3x as long as it should be as per Pinker’s trademark writing style.

* Hank Pellissier: Technoprogressive Declaration of the Transhuman Party

* Massive 800 page report/60MB PDF on longevity research. Longevity Industry Reports – 2018 – Landscape Overview 2017. Volume I – The Science of Longevity Geroscience, Policy, and Economics [summary]

* Scott Alexander’s falsifiable predictions for 2018, and for 2018-2023. I suppose I should make a note to perhaps do a Stratfor-style 5 year forecast one of these days.

***

Russia

* Latest peacekeeping plan for LDNR from the Hudson Institute calls for 20,000 soldiers + 4,000 policemen in the region staffed mainly be UN troops from “neutral” countries such as Latin America, Sweden (!)/Finland/Austria, and Kazakhstan/Belarus, which would presumably be acceptable to both Russia and the Ukraine. They would confine the NAF’s troops and weapons to “secure bases, as a first step towards demobilization or retraining in non-military roles”; act as a tripwire against Russian and Ukrainian incursions; and organize elections prior to the area’s reintegration into the Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian Presidential candidate Yavlinsky – a native of Lvov, who until 2016 wanted to give away Crimea unconditionally, to say nothing of the LDNR – has said that he discussed the issue of Ukraine with Putin last November, including the possibility of him replacing Surkov as Russia’s main negotiator on the Ukraine Question. Conspiracy interpretation would be that he is the perfect man to actualize “Putinsliv,” allowing the Kremlin to wash their hands off handing Donbass over to the Ukraine while branding him as the traitor.

* Bloomberg: Russian Billionaires Are Building Megaschools to Rival Eton and Exeter. I suppose it’s good that the Hogwarts worship is subsiding.

* Chronicles of Article 282:

  • This article from a whistleblower who left due to ethical reasons confirms the Center Against Extremism are working to fulfill quotas [in Russian].
  • Recursive extremism: A student got 2.5 years in jail for extremism in his doctoral dissertation on extremism [in Russian].

* A couple of pro-Kremlin HSE economists wrote an entire book arguing that corruption is a good thing [in Russian].

take-russian-sjws* Russian SJWs. “Heard more disconcerting things today about SJWization of Russian society. Is becoming politically incorrect to use the word негр (Negro), as opposed to чернокожий (black-skinned) in Lukoil; amongst <25 year old Moscow university students, esp. Navalny supporters. I believe this because I was told similar things about RT around a year ago. Russia seems fated to continue importing the shittiest aspects of Western culture.

@pachkacigaret joke:

Whataboutism 1.0: But you lynch Negroes!

Whataboutism 2.0: But you say “Negroes”!

* Yandex Taxi going into driverless cars:

***

World

* Judging from latest EIA statistics, USA likely to set an all time oil production record in 2017, barreling (heh) past the old peak in 1970 and solidifying its position as the world’s largest petroleum & other liquids producer.

It is now approaching something like 90% self-sufficiency, which is a pretty epochal event in geopolitical terms.

* Sinotriumph Chronicles:

* Bad news for Tropical Hyperborea: Longer winters are coming in reality and will partially blunt global warming for 50 years (due to possible solar minimum like in the Little Ice Age in next few decades)

***

Science & Culture

* Andres Gomez Emilsson: Every Qualia Computing Article Ever

* Rabbit: The Bearer of “Trad” News

* Blind recruitment trial to boost gender equality making things worse, study reveals

* Student Who Tried To Connect IQs To Race Is Now Under Investigation

* School shooter Nikolas Cruz has an uncanny resemblance to Le 56% Face.

***

Powerful Takes

dmitry-take-russia

An unironically powerful take. It’s just missing the word Zionist somewhere.

take-layers-within-layers

Layers within layers.

take-oliver-d-smith-woke

take-antifa-tolerance

Antifa being funny and original as always.

***

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Open Thread, Russia, SJWs, War in Donbass 
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Stream of consciousness-y post about some ideas (probably bad ones) that I have accumulated on this subject.

Food Pairings vs. Spiciness

food-pairing

Simas et al. (2017) – Food-Bridging: A New Network Construction to Unveil the Principles of Cooking

1. There are cultures that pair ingredients with shared flavor compounds, and those that contrast them instead (Ahn et al. 2011).

High food pairings:

  • North American
  • West European
  • East European
  • Latin American
  • South European

Low food pairings:

  • South-East Asian (though with they have high “food-bridging” – including ingredients in between contrasting flavors to mitigate the sharp contrast, see Simas et al. 2017)
  • South Asian (see Jaim et al. 2015, though there are regional specifics: Maharashtrian and Gujarati cuisine has the lowest food pairings, while Central Asian-influenced Mughal cuisine has the highest)
  • East Asian

Interesting pattern. A few exceptions regardless, most notable South Asians, could Caucasians and Mongoloids have evolved to generally prefer similar/assimilar flavors, respectively?

We know that this sort of thing does go on. Most famous example is ofc lactose tolerance. But Indians are also more adapted to vegetarianism (and IMO, they’re the only people who know how to do vegetarianism well).

map-world-spice

2. Different levels of spiciness (my classification as I don’t fully agree with that map).

  • Low/bland: North American, European (West, East, South), Middle Eastern
  • Intermediate: African, Central Asian, American American, Chinese (but the north and coastal areas are Low, while Sichuan is high; though that said, its hotness isn’t based on capsaicin)
  • High: South Asian, Southeast Asian (but Indonesian is intermediate)

The evolutionary drives behind this are pretty obvious. Hot, humid climes, especially in densely populated areas = more spices to prevent spoilage. No such pressing need in northern areas, where in any case salt was traditionally the key preservative. Curiously, Asians (and Africans) are more salt-sensitive than Caucasians, so this might also explain this differential (e.g. Koreans are pretty far north, but their food can be pretty spicy).

Drastically simplified, the resulting schema would look something like this:

High Food Pairing Low Food Pairing
Bland European East Asian
Hot Central American South Asian

Europeans might have made far bigger achievements in science, literature, etc. than all the world’s other civilizations put together, but we do sort of fail at cooking.

Apart from desserts and booze. I don’t think anyone even comes close to Europeans there.

Health and Russian Cuisine

There this impression that Russian cuisine is highly unhealthy.

I’m not sure if it’s really true, though.

The soups are basically a vitamin hothouse. You could probably live on just, say, sorrel soup (“green borscht”). And it’s trivial to make it ketogenic (just remove the potatoes).

kholodets

Then there’s also kholodets, which is a form of aspic. It looks disgusting to Westerners, but it’s really nothing more than a congealed meat broth soup.

French Cuisine is Overrated

I don’t dislike it by any means, but I think they just invested more than anyone else into making their food seem hip and elite.

The Brits were too self-deprecating to try.

Most likely Russia could have done the same if the Bolsheviks hadn’t forcibly “proletarianized” Russian culinary culture. Nor did they have any hope of international success amongst the American-dominated lowest common denominator, because a stolovaya can’t compete against the Mackie D or Colonel Sanders.

Hot Russians

As I have frequently noted, Russians don’t do spices. Hot chillies or cayenne aren’t even sold in the typical supermarket. To approximate the levels of hotness you get at a typical British or American Indian curry house, you have to demand and emphasize that they make it “extremely hot”/”like in India” – and even then, it’s not a sure deal. (To date, the only places that have satisfied on this front in Moscow are Khajuraho and the Moscow Deli vegetarian Indian place).

I suppose this is the result of Russian being a northern country that hasn’t been acculturated into heat like the UK and select parts of the US through Indian immigration.

OTOH, there’s still some fascinating patterns. My dad, who is pure r1a master race, doesn’t do spices at all. Hates them. I love them. So does my mom. And even her mom (my maternal grandmother) enjoys them. Even though she lived most of her life in the USSR, where the culinary culture was bland as potatoes and mayonnaise. I wonder if this could be genetic, namely, my grandmother’s Jewish and Italian maternal ancestors from Odessa.

Hopefully global warming will make Russia as hot as India by the next century (Tropical Hyperborea), with matching developments in culinary practices.

Georgian Food

Nothing to write home about, even – especially – though it had the highest prestige in the USSR, and enjoys lingering respect in modern Russia despite the proliferation of better (and cheaper) establishments from other countries.

From here:

One partial and amusing exception [to good service]: Georgian restaurants, especially those with a long pedigree for supposed “excellence.” My theory is that in the USSR, Georgian cuisine was considered to be the most exotic cuisine accessible, at least to people outside the high nomenklatura, so those establishments continued to be patronized by Soviet people, with their less demanding requirements. Since people with the Soviet mentality primarily went to restaurants to network and to show off how rich they are, as opposed to just having a good time, you tend to get much less enjoyment for the ruble at those places.

The food itself seems overrated too. Khachapuri is just bread + cheese + egg. Khinkali are another variety of dumplings – big deal. Wontons are better in soups, while pelmeni are superior as just dumplings. Adjika is a saltier and less spicy version of salsa. Really, the best thing they have is kharcho, IMO.

Food Adoption

It seems to me – in Russia, at any rate – that the only cuisines which “make it” there are from regions in broadly similar climate zones.

Successes:

  • Central European/American beer culture
  • Burgers
  • Japanese
  • Korean

Failures:

  • Indian
  • Tex Mex

Curiously, Vietnamese and Thai seem to be enjoying modest success, even though they’re southern and highly spicy (in my experience, you actually have a better chance of experiencing a nice capsaicin kick at Korean and Vietnamese establishments in Moscow than at Indian ones). Possibly on account of many Russians holidaying in those areas. But Goa is also a popular holiday and downshifting destination, but Indian food isn’t making any headway.

Biggest missing opportunity: Poutine.

There’s a place where you can get Boston clam chowder in Moscow. Ergo for philly sandwich. Several places where you can get Mac & Cheese.

No place, so far as I’m aware, where you can get poutine.

Which is pretty strange since poutine is Canadian and possibly one of the most naturally transferable foods there is so far as Russia is concerned.

Perfect bland, high caloric food for a cold northern clime.

I suspect the businessman who opens up the first poutine chain in Moscow or SPB could make quite a killing.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Food, Nutrition 
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This will be the first month in which Russian Reactions gets more than 100,000 pageviews (standing at 100,336 as of Jan 29).

Highlighted posts since the last Open Thread:

Donations always appreciated: http://akarlin.com/donations/

***

Main News

* So about Wolff’s Fire and Fury…

Trump was certainly entertaining and a breath of fresh air in 2016. Tragedy is, the first American nationalist President just had to have rapidly deteriorating dementia.

trump-dementia

Even if 25% of it is true (and I suspect it is) it still paints a pretty damning picture. But beggars can’t be choosers.

* Aubrey de Grey interview:

* Alexey Turchin – 2018 – Global catastrophic and existential risks communication scale (summary)

* Anders Sandberg – 2018 – Space races: settling the universe fast

* Gwern’s 2017 newsletter.

lewontin-fallacy* Greg Cochran with what might be the best short explication of Lewontin’s fallacy yet written.

* Robin Hanson (he of Age of Ems) publishes Elephant in the Brain. José Luis Ricón has an absurdly long review.

* The Russia Insider scandal: Charles Bausman’s “It’s Time to Drop the Jew Taboo” provoked a predictable response, both from predictable quarters as well as not so predictable ones (RT, Babich, Mercouris).

Well, actually the latter is predictable enough, since The Duran has had beef with Russia Insider since its founding (the split was provoked over allegations of fraud at RI).

I suppose I should lay out my position. I am not associated with either RI or The Duran, though both have re-published my articles (with my permission). I consider Jewish influence a legitimate object of discussion. Problem is that there are few who can or want to do so in an intelligent, productive way (e.g. Emil Kirkegaard has some good suggestions on how to go about this).

***

Russia

* Ukraine’s “reintegration law” basically annuls Minsk II (defines the LDNR as territories temporarily occupied by Russia, and threatens criminal penalties for cooperating with them).

Strelkov believes there will be a Ukrainian attack before the Russian elections on March 18.

* Bryan MacDonald: Are Ukraine’s population figures totally inaccurate? Ex-PM claims 8mn emigrated since Maidan.

For those of my critics who consider me an anti-Ukrainian propagandist:

Anatoly Karlin, a Russian writer at America’s Unz Review who focusses on demographics, claims there are only three explanations for the apparent contradiction. “Either Ukraine is experiencing a baby-boom far bigger than anywhere else in eastern Europe, which seems unlikely given [the current] economic circumstances [or] Ukraine is also fiddling its fertility statistics [or] this theory is nonsense, [and is a] mirror image of ‘dying Russian bear’ trope.”

* Kathy Lally/eXile spat:

* Caitlin Johnstone: What Happens When A Russiagate Skeptic Debates A Professional Russiagater

* Chronicles of Putin Derangement Syndrome:

* Svidomism chronicles:

* NBF: Russia approves operation of 70 Megawatt floating nuclear reactor

* Karina Orlova: An Eight-Year Jail Term Kicks Off Six More Years of Putin. I don’t usually agree with her, but I think she’s correct in her analysis of the Ulyukaev case. Sechin is getting out of control.

* Bloomberg: Putin Family Split Offers Peek at Secret Dealings of Russia Inc. Putin’s daughter has apparently divorced Kirill Shamalov, who subsequently lost a considerable part of his billion dollar “dowry.”

* Straits Times: Russians cut back on drinking, smoking as fitness trend grows. This ties in with my reports on Russia’s improving life expectancy.

* What Solzhenitsyn actually said about nuking the USSR: “And some U.S. generals suggest destroying selectively the Russian population by an atomic assault. It is strange how Russian national consciousness inspires the greatest fear in the world today for the rulers of the U.S.S.R. — and within your entourage. It is the revelation of a hostility to Russia as such, to her people and to the country as distinct from the state structure, which is characteristic of a significant part of the American educated community, American financial circles and, alas, even of some of your advisers.

***

World

china-crispr* Some accumulated Sinotriumphalism:

* Peter Frost: The Crisis of the 2020s. Good set of falsifiable predictions.

* Pumpkin Person: Trump’s IQ professionally tested?

* Paul Nehlen: What VICE.com Wouldn’t Post About My Proposed #ShallNotCensor Legislation

* Deep State chronicles:

* Ben Cardin, the guy Chelsea Manning is challenging, wants to make it a felony to boycott Israel.

* Jerusalem recognition. And they say there’s isn’t a Jewish Lobby:

* Estcoins

* Vincent Law’s thoughts on the Alt Right in 2017.

* SJW highlights of 2017:

DSrylBUVwAA1mPd

* Weev outed as Jew by his own mother. Don’t know if true but hilarious.

***

Science & Culture

map-tea

* Nikhil Sonnad: Tea if by sea, cha if by land: Why the world only has two words for tea

* Matej Moravčík et al. – 2017 – DeepStack: Expert-Level Artificial Intelligence in No-Limit Poker

* Bayesian Investor Blog: Moore’s Law and AGI Timelines

bannerlord-russians

* The Russian civilization in Mount & Blade: Bannerlord: “The commercial ethic was strong in early Rus, with the town veche or council ensuring that merchants had a major role in state policy. Danger and opportunity went hand in hand. A Muslim chronicler recalls how the Rus father of a newborn boy would show the baby a sword and tell him this would be his only inheritance: the blade would have to win all the rest of it. The Icelandic sagas, though geographically very far removed from the Rus, have also been an inspiration for the Varangians’ ideal of businesslike warfare and warlike business, the kind of society where a father could say, “Son, you’ve been lazing around the fire all winter. Time to get up and show you can take some responsibility for your life. Go pillage someone.

* Hanson’s viewquake:

* Rosa Luxemburg on Russia:

***

Powerful Takes

duke-of-qin-han-racialism

kiza-liberal-agent

.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: China, Open Thread, Ukraine 
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January 9, 2017 marks the day I began blogging a decade ago.

Donations

I suppose now’s as good a time as any to launch my second panhandling drive.

If you like the words that I write, and want me to write more of them, you can personally make that happen: http://akarlin.com/donations/

Looking Back

My first (non-intro) post: Reading Russia Right. On rereading it, I see that all of my main themes were already present. I might have perhaps been rather too pollyannaish about Russia’s prospects – after all, I did start off blogging as “Da Russophile” – but I don’t think anything there was actually cardinally wrong.

In contrast to the brief and more personalized account that follows, you can read a more detailed history of my blogging career here: http://akarlin.com/start/

akarlin-pageviews-2008-2017

The mid-2000s to the early 2010s were the golden age of blogging, and I hitched myself on about midway through the process.

There were considerable successes – although I never cared much for catering to popular trends, my blog(s) were getting around 750,000 annual pageviews by the early 2010s, despite a nasty pharma hack destroying my SEO ratings in early 2012. I also started openly incorporating HBD insights around mid-2012; just in time to scare off lefty Russophiles (majority in the West then), but too late to be one of its early adopters (I was writing about the importance of IQ from the very start in 2008, but had up till then been careful to maintain racial agnosticism, largely for education/work-related reasons).

But there were failures too. Part of this was due to blogging in general falling into a sort of dark age as social media ravaged community after community like an online venereal disease. But the main reason was that at the end of the day, blogging was a hobby for me. The disparate projects I had tried to launch in 2013 – most prominently, The Russian Spectrum translation portal and The Russia Debate forum – had all floundered, and I was increasingly busy with other things. I produced a total of about 5 posts in 2014. I did have some loose plans to resume serious blogging at that time, but to be fair, I am not 100% sure I would have ended up following through on them. Maybe in an alternate timeline, my blogging career would have ended around then.

akarlin-pageviews-2008-2017-monthly

But then Ron Unz wrote an email to me on Jan 2, 2015 offering me to resume blogging at The Unz Review, and the rest is history.

I more or less recovered my visitorship and pageview numbers in my first two years at The Unz Review, despite continued depreciation of my old websites, and blasted past them in last year, when I returned to Russia and began doing this and other related things more or less as a job instead of as just a hobby.

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

That said, I still have some ways to go. For instance, Steve Sailer gets an order of magnitude more pageviews (c.11 million in 2017).

Looking Forwards

What next for the Russia blogosphere?

My impression is that things are becoming dumbed down, very r-selected. The Russia commentary now is dominated by folks who make La Russophobe (remember it?) look like the apex of nuance and reason. Which doesn’t stop the likes of Louise Mensch, Eric Garland, and Molly McKew from having a couple of orders of magnitude more Twitter followers than myself (or other minimally sane people, such as Bryan MacDonald, Ben Aris, or even Leonid Bershidsky).

It has to be admitted that grounding the Russia discourse in reality, a goal which I was seriously pursuing as late as 2013, has completely failed – and that the New Cold War is here to stay, even though it was a ridiculous prospect when Ed Lucas first wrote the eponymous Russia-baiting book. I do not care to participate in this information war on either side of the trenches, since I am not making money off it, and because my goals and values are orthogonal to those of the Kremlin elites and the globalist elites anyway.

With this in mind, I now feel more strongly than ever that I need to put a capstone to my Russia watching career in the form of a book: Dark Lord of the Kremlin.

Yes, yes, I know I have been promising it to my long-suffering readers for years now – but I really do think 2018 will be the year.

Could the increasing inanity/censorship of social media drive resurgence of a blogging?

I sure hope so, but there’s tentative signs that social media usage is falling off.

However, it seems many of them are migrating to other media formats, not back to bloggers.

Video seems like best way to reach the masses.

Our ROGPR YouTube channel (Alt Right politics and video gaming for Russians) now has 4,200 subscribers after half a year of intermittent new content.

People like RAMZPAUL have become media sensations, up to the point that Ron Unz has opened up a videos section on this journal.

This is certainly something I will delve into deeper, though not in 2018. Spreading oneself too thin is a mistake, and one that I have made more times than I should have.

Other potential projects

  • Dark Equilibrium: Book length version/expansion of my essay on The Age of Malthusian Industrialism.
  • A post-apocalyptic sci-fi book (if I manage to get DLK and DE done this year).
  • Apollo’s Ascent: 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.

What next for HBD, futurism?

Momentum is building up at a blistering pace, with new discoveries in the genomics of IQ made seemingly every week.

In the long-term, the political hysterias of today (Ukraine, Russiagate, Trump, etc.) will fade into irrelevance, but the future dynamics of genetic editing + IQ augmentation will pretty much determine who gets to rule the 21st century (unless machine intelligence cuts humanity out of the loop early). And I will gradually – especially after the publication of DLK – want to reorient more in that direction after 2018.

Definitely seems a good idea to get in on early on this for both publicistic and commercial reasons.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Anatoly Karlin, Blogging 
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cyberpunk-moscow

Cyberpunk Moscow.

Sold off most of my Bitcoins when they were at $11k (1,000% profit, but from a very low base, so not rich). Ironically, what were monetarily very modest dribbles over the past two years that I have been taking Bitcoin donations (http://akarlin.com/donations/) have leapfrogged PayPal and become comparable to the sum total of my Patreon earnings in literally the past few months. Slightly disappointed to have deboarded then instead of hanging on until $20k, but what’s done is done. Better early than late. I am 90% sure that Bitcoin is massively overvalued; it’s one modest advantage over conventional fiat currencies, resistance to censorship, probably doesn’t justify the electricity consumption of Ireland. I’ll probably buy into it again in a year or so when it tumbles back down to $2,000-$4,000.

There has been a vigorous and largely positive reaction to my article on Russian IQ for Sputnik i Pogrom, from major Russian media outlets such as RBC and Komsomolskaya Pravda to various Vkontakte discussion groups. The vast bulk of the criticisms were populist mooing along the lines of “look at our bureaucrats, they are dumb as rocks,” etc., etc., i.e. “arguments” which you frequently see in the comments even at The Unz Review, one of the central nodes of HBD/IQ discussions in the world.

I hardly ever watch movies. That said, I was ill for a few days, so I took the opportunity to catch up on Hollywood fluff. Star Wars 7 is dreck. Interstellar is brilliant. The Dark Knight Rises was great, or Bane was, at any rate. Alien: Covenant was crap. Ghost in the Shell was the definition of fluff. Otherwise, the only two movies I watched this year were Overboard (ok comedy), and Forrest Gump (Richard Hollywood: “a critique of liberal values from the cuckservative perspect which demands you MAN UP and marry a used up slut”).

Roy Moore. 95% of Blacks voted for their ethnic interests (on 90% turnout). Impressive political homogeneity. Only 70% of Alabaman whites managed to do likewise. Prediction time is still a couple of weeks away, but I gotta say I’m pessimistic about 2018. About 60% chance Democrats will take control of the House, and 45% (!) chance they’ll even dominate the Senate. At which point the Republicans will have no more use for Trump, who has most conveniently surrounded himself with neocons and sundry Swamp creatures.

Featured

* Vox: Twitter is days away from finally banning the Nazis. Yes, really. Opinions differ on whether this is going to be a blimp on the radar or a veritable Great Purge (neoliberalism.txt edition). If it’s the latter, there’s some chance that @akarlin88 will be vaporized in the days to come, especially considering my unfortunate name choice (@akarlin was already occupied). Notes for this eventuality:

  1. I am not going to set up new Twitter accounts to evade a ban. Others can play that game, I can’t be bothered to.
  2. You can follow @akarlin on Gab. (Doubt I’ll post much there, though).
  3. If you’re within the “thoughtcrime” regions of Twitter, I suggest requesting a backup of your archive immediately.

* Remember José Luís Ricón had a series on his blog on the (under)performance of the Soviet economy? Now available as a free ebook: Back in the USSR: What life was like in the Soviet Union

* Leonid Bershidsky: Government-Run Digital Currencies Could Disrupt U.S. Dominance. One interesting idea is to create a crypto-ruble, on blockchain principles (essentially a national version of Bitcoin). Thanks to its anonymity – except to the Russian Central Bank – this will allow Russia to bypass potential future sanctions, e.g. a cut-off from SWIFT. China is also experimenting. Main losers: The United States, since a system of national cryptocurrencies largely annuls the need for dollar reserves and the intermediation of the US banking system.

* Joe Lauria: The Acceleration of Censorship in America * Aubrey de Grey has AMA at /r/Futurology. Worth noting that he is getting distinctly optimistic about timelines for mouse rejuvenation and has (for the first time that I am aware of) started attaching probability distributions to various scenarios – 80% of achieving longevity escape velocity if you are currently aged 25.

* German psychometrist David Becker now has a blog: View on IQ.

* Gwern October 2017 news. Also has Twitter thread recounting progress in 2017: “… and wow, 2017 was a very good year for genetics & AI (deep RL esp) wasn’t it? A0 is more important than original AlphaGo, UKBB came fully online, have to beat off with stick human evolution & GWASes, genetic engineering everywhere… Deep RL in particular is getting a little scary with the meta-RL & world models & zero-shot learning. I try to imagine every year seeing as much progress as 2017 (esp with TPU2s coming online) and it makes speculation about near rather than far Singularities feel more plausible.

* National Security Archive: NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard – “Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner.” This was long known, but its good to have it in incontrovertible document form at last.

* David P. Goldman: China Is More Open to New Ideas than Silicon Valley, Top Entrepreneur Says.

Russia

* Dmitry Gorenburg: Russia’s Military Modernization Plans: 2018-2027

  • Total spending remains approximately constant.
  • Ambitious projects (new designs for aircraft carriers, strategic bombers, etc.) postponed.
  • Branches: Ground forces are winners, navy are losers.
  • Su-57 serial production not expected until 2027, when a modernized engine (more on this from Alexander Mercouris) is ready.

Assessment of Russian military technology relative to peers: “In some areas, such as air defenses, anti-ship missiles, and electronic warfare, Russia will continue to maintain capabilities superior to those of its peers. In other areas, such as UAVs, precision-guided munitions, and tanks and armored vehicles, it appears poised to narrow the gap. Finally, in a few areas, such as surface ships, transport aircraft, and automated control systems, it will remain well behind the United States and may start to lag behind China as well.

* Russiagate Powerful Takes:

* Russiagate Powerful Takes (no sarcasm version):

Why won’t the US sign an election non-interference agreement with Russia? State Department official: “We would have to give up democracy promotion in Russia, which we’re not willing to do.”

* Russia Elections 2018: levada-russia-elections1. New Levada poll. Definite voters:

  • Putin – 75%
  • Zhirinovsky – 10%
  • Zyuganov – 7%
  • Mironov (socialist) – 2%
  • Sobchak, Ekaterina Gordon (another celebrity), Yavlinsky (liberal) – 1% each

Note my longstanding prediction that result will be 80/7/7/7 between Putin, Zhirinovsky, Zyuganov, and [liberals].

2. Navalny releases a video of his final election program, which basically boils down to generating bazillions of extra rubles by eliminating corruption instantaneously. The more interesting detail that I noticed is that the map of Russia in his video doesn’t include Crimea. Here’s an English text version from Meduza. Note that I wrote about Navalny’s program back in April 2017, which is why you should follow my “rag” at The Unz Review.

3. Putin’s press conference was lame, boring, irrelevant… Brezhnevite. Officials like Sports Minister Mutko whose failures would invite bipartisan investigations in normal countries are getting off without even a reprimand, because “What can you do? What’s done is done.” Why isn’t Navalny allowed to run? “Saakashvili. Maidan. Maidan. Saakashvili.” Anyhow, you get the point. Substanceless answers that weren’t even thought through. Egor Prosvirnin compares him to a talentless blogger [in Russian].

The quality of Putin’s annual press marathons have been declining for several years, most notably last year, when a weary-looking Putin couldn’t coherently answer how his cellist friend Roldugin ended up with $2 billion in Panama (something something about buying rare instruments). As far as I’m concerned this confirms the theories that he is tired of his job and is looking for an exit.

4. On that point, Bryan MacDonald: “The whole point is Putin isn’t seeking to create a successor who would rule like he has done. He wants to transfer Russia from personalistic to institutional power. Constitutional changes to rebalance power between executive & legislature very likely in his final term.” I would further add that I suspect “this will take form of Singapore model, with United Russia as PAP and Putin as elder statesman. Though I expect the authoritarianism and multi-nationality aspect will be more enthusiastically embraced than the efficiency and meritocracy one.

* The Ulyukaev Affair. 100% political trial to show people Sechin’s the boss. Will cover in another post.

* Big, possibly intractable problem of nationalists the world over: Low human capital (low IQ, low trust). One more example from Russia. It has maybe 6 million pro-Western liberals, of whom 600,000 (10%) signed Navalny’s petition to run for President. Russia has maybe 15 million hardcore nationalists, of whom just 15,846 (0.1%) signed a petition that would have forced the Russian parliament to at least consider canceling Article 282. Inability to coordinate something that is blatantly in their own self-interests.

* The shenanigans in the Ukraine, Saakashvili, etc. – overblown. Irrelevant. Will explain why in a subsequent post.

World

flynn-dysgenics

* Flynn, James & Shayer – 2017 – IQ decline and Piaget, Does the rot start at the top. Bad tidings:

In sum: at one time the best of Britons (aged 12–14) could cope with items on the formal level and blended into a smooth curve of performance. Now these items are beyond many of them and register as a huge decimation of high scorers. … The Piagetian results are particularly ominous. Looming over all is their message that the pool of those who reach the top level of cognitive performance is being decimated: fewer and fewer people attain the formal level at which they can think in terms of abstractions and develop their capacity for deductive logic and systematic planning.

James Thompson reviews this paper (BTW, congrats on the first year at The Unz Review). My comment: Yet more evidence for onset of dysgenic decline in the First World since around 2000. It’s a race between Idiocracy, and genetic editing for IQ and/or machine intelligence.

kirkegaard-chess-iq

* Emil Kirkegaard: National chess skill: European culture, intelligence. [See my post for a world map of chess grandmasters per capita]

* Todd, Peter & Miller – 2017 – The Evolutionary Psychology of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Are There Universal Adaptations in Search, Aversion, and Signaling?

* Peter Frost: The unlikely domino. Algerians getting tired of Black African immigrants as well – there may be as many of them in the Maghreb as there are in all of Europe.

* Ethan Arsht: Napoleon was the Best General Ever, and the Math Proves it. This intrigued me. Did someone finally come up with a good quantitative method to rank military commanders across nations and history?

Unfortunately, not really – or at all. There are no adjustments for the relative challenges each general faced (e.g. relative troop numbers, combat effectiveness of said troops, battlefield conditions, defense or attack, etc., etc.). In other words, the “brilliant” (according to this study) Ulysses S. Grant was playing on Easy, while the supposedly “overrated” Robert E. Lee on Hard. Of course the former would do “better.”

us-labor-mobility

* Why is America exceptionally wealthy relative to its average IQ? Many reasons, but here’s perhaps one more: An exceptional degree of labor mobility [see right].

* Steve Sailer: Threatening Jewish Prosperity:

The Bolsheviks who seized power 100 years ago, however, were highly diverse. Trotsky was Jewish, Stalin Georgian, and Lenin a one-man coalition of the fringes: German, Swedish, Jewish, Kalmyk, and perhaps even a little Russian. … Putin managed to make Russia’s corrupt billionaires look a little more like Russia, which may well have headed off an outburst of anti-Semitism in response to the rapine of the Yeltsin years. But to American Jews, Putin’s policy of diversity and inclusion in the really good jobs seems like vilest anti-Semitism.

* Why Do We Keep Writing About Chinese Politics As if We Know More Than We Do?

* RBD: New York City Has Genetically Distinct ‘Uptown’ and ‘Downtown’ Rats (via Steve Sailer)

anepigone-free-speech

* Audacious Epigone: Free speech absolutism. Combined his existing GSS analysis into a meta-indicator based on percentage of people (after 2000) who support free speech for everyone (atheists, communists, and homosexuals on the left; militarists and racists on the right). [My old post on this: A Future for ACLU Children].

* Audacious Epigone: Chicks dig jerks. Or, The Virgin Law-Abiding Citizen vs. The Chad Convict.

* Andrew Joyce: On the Rise of Mixed Race Britain * Archie Munro: Is Romania Part of the West?

My wife was pleasantly shocked at this, because such exhibitions of male chivalry have become rare. She was 11 when communism ended, and she swears that before the collapse and for a while afterwards, behavior like this was the norm.

This is exactly true of Russia as well. As I frequently argue, Communism “froze” social attitudes.

* Matt Forney: 3 Depressing Realities About Living In Eastern Europe.

* Greg Hood with an entertaining evisceration of Ben Shapiro.

* Steve Sailer: The Guardian Editorial Board denounces Taylor Swift

anthropology-gini-index

* Kohler, Timothy A. et al. – 2017 – Greater post-Neolithic wealth disparities in Eurasia than in North America and Mesoamerica

* SENS gets a $1 million donation… in Bitcoins.

Other

* Olympics/doping. Alexander Mercouris: The Olympic betrayal of Russia.

I personally don’t care one way or another, because:

  1. I don’t care about sport in general;
  2. I doubly don’t care about Russian sport, which enjoys lavish funding in exchange for subpar results while science and R&D languish;
  3. The decision to go under a neutral flag is cowardly and sets Russia up for yet another round of humiliations. But I am neutrally disposed to that.

* 2018 FIFA World Cup: Russia lands easiest group (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay). Prediction: It still won’t go through…

 
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Dmitry Hvorostovsky, one of the Russia’s best and most beloved artists, died this week of brain cancer.

Main News

* Andrew Higgins: Why Putin’s Foes Deplore U.S. Fixation on Election Meddling

“The Kremlin is of course very proud of this whole Russian interference story. It shows they are not just a group of old K.G.B. guys with no understanding of digital but an almighty force from a James Bond saga,” Mr. Volkov said in a telephone interview. “This image is very bad for us. Putin is not a master geopolitical genius.”

One of the few points on which many svidomy Ukrainians and progressive Americans differ with Russian liberals is that while the former basically view Putin as a God, the latter tend to take a much dimmer view of Putin’s actual talents, influence, and capabilities (for the record, I am sooner in the second camp, though I am not a Russian liberal).

russian-liberal-putler-shillsThis has resulted in the rather amusing spectable of America’s handshakeworthies and Blue Checkmarks now regularly accusing the likes of Alexey Kovalev and Leonid Bershidsky – both liberal anti-Putinists, who, nonetheless, inhabit the reality-based universe, the one in which Putin is your typical Internet-challenged boomer and a few modest Russian Facebook campaigns are irrelevant for determining the results of an elections whose total costs run into the billions of dollars – of being shills for Putler (see right).

It’s all so hilarious, and I even feel a bit sorry for them, since they’d be much more successful if they didn’t suffer from a certain degree of respect for reality and honesty, like the Russia Experts of the Current Year (Louise Mensch, John Schindler, Eric Garland, Molly McKew, James Kirchick, etc) who make the old generation of propagandists like Ed Lucas appear like paragons of intelligence and objectivity.

* James Thompson: Game Over for Humans?

Commenter CanSpeccy added a cool video:

I have at times speculated about how to increase the effectiveness of terrorist attacks with modern technology. I think one of the most promising ideas that’s already very technically feasible is to mount guns with tracking systems onto drones. Can do a huge amount of damage if you could set it loose at an open air concern or a mass protest…

This slaughterbot idea is even more elegant… but is probably still a decade or two off. First and foremost, it needs to have sufficient intelligence for indoor navigation without the use of GPS, and for face recognition. Both tasks are computationally intensive, so we either need much more progress on minituarization, or a reliable Internet connection to a server farm (wouldn’t it be hilarious to to be murdered through your own WiFi… or to be saved by Comcast’s incompetence).

Also battery longevity might be an issue, though minituarization is progressing fast.

* More damning revelations about the Kiev Snipergate false flag three years on. (Not that anyone cares by now).

Russia

* LNR Coup – to be covered separately.

* Bryan MacDonald: ‘Scoop’ based on Moscow rumors, another low in British media coverage of Russia.

More on this:

* RT: Google will ‘de-rank’ RT articles to make them harder to find – Eric Schmidt

Incidentally, re-net neutrality: I think this is essentially Comcast and Time Warner vs. Google, Facebook, and Twitter on who gets to be Picus News in our cyberpunk future.

humanitys-future-maddows-face-staring-at-you-forever

* More Google censorship: YouTube removes the channel of Russian Faith, a Christian side project of Russia Insider run by David Curry, without even bothering to cite a reason why.

Hundreds of videos have been lost.

* David Fillipov (WaPo): Russia spent $50 billion on the Sochi Olympics. It might actually have been worth it.

* Mikhail Batin: Patriarch Kirill preaches against transhumanism

* Zhirinovsky unveils his Presidential program [in Russian]. Might write about this later if there’s interest.

World

* Trump/Ballgate. Trump picks his culture wars well. As usual, snarking libs don’t realize they’re getting played.

NFLgate showed them to be unpatriotic. Now they come off as literal dindus.

* Could the Ancients Have Had an Industrial Revolution?

* Mashable: Google is locking people out of documents, and you should be worried

* Izabella Tabarovsky: Eastern Europe’s Dark Past Could Hinder Its Future

Vanagaite’s specific crime was to question whether the celebrated partisan Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, who Lithuanians honor for his struggle against the Soviet occupation, was an appropriate choice as a symbol for 2018—the year the nation will be celebrating the centennial of its original independence. …

Many Lithuanians had already had enough of Vanagaite with her 2016 book Our People. In it she, an ethnic Lithuanian and descendant of Holocaust perpetrators, wrote openly about her countrymen’s (and her family’s) role in annihilating Lithuania’s 220,000 Jews. She found herself on the receiving end of personal threats and disparagements, including accusations of being on the take from the Kremlin. …

The latest episode, however, seems to have been too much even for most of her supporters. As a result of a public storm, Vanagaite’s long-term publisher Alma Littera severed its relationship with her, announcing that all her five books would be pulled off the shelves and pulped—including those books that have nothing to do with the subject. A patriotically-minded group filed a suit against her with the prosecutor general alleging slander and denigration of memory of a deceased person.

Naturally, this gets about 100x less attention that Russia’s politicization of history.

* Barron’s: Will Traditional Auto Makers Steal the Future From Tesla?

Print

* Result of China dropping its One Child Policy in 2015? Births rise by 7.6% to 18.46 million in 2016, with the biggest increase (+62%!) in Beijing.

Culture War

* The Economist: International, inter-generational poll on what constitutes sexual harassment.

economist-sexual-harassment

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Open Thread 
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I am pretty bad with these puns. But this one might just be SSC-worthy.

One of my goals for the rest of Anti-Bolshevik Month is to write a comprehensive alternate history in which the Russian Republic survives WW1.

Randall Parker’s question on Twitter: “Imagine a time traveler goes back to 1913 and kill Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Gavrilo Princip and a few others. How does 20th century play out?

Gave me a convenient opportunity to sketch out the basics: “If you study the details, success of both October Revolution & Nazi ascent were almost freak occurrences. Moreover, latter depended on the former. Very unlikely to repeat. There might not have been a WW1, and not just Pinkerian reasons, but Realpolitik ones. Russian power was rapidly converging to German, making two front war increasingly untenable; hence, German General Staff urged war sooner, before 1916 at the latest. USA and Russia would dominate mid to late 20th century, and more equally; a China on S. Korea’s development trajectory would be surpassing both ~2000 (instead of Russia in 1990 and the US around ~2030 in our TL). Tech in general might be about a decade further advanced, though rocketry might lag slightly. But global warming also worse, since Communism wouldn’t have retarded many countries’ development.

In other news, Andy Weir, the guy who wrote The Martian, now has a new sci-fi book “Artemis” about a 2,000 population lunar base in the late 21st century.

Anyone read it? Is it any good?

Tolkien’s son resigns as director of the Tolkien estate. Hopefully the days of capricious copyright exploitation are coming to an end. Film adaptation of The Last Ringbearer when?

Main

* Top 500 supercomputer list for November 2017 is out.

Although China first overtook the United States in June 2016 by the smallest of margins, for the first time the gap has become truly significant: China – 202; United States – 143.

As per usual, Russia has a grand total of around 3, because the Putin regime prefers the Rotenbergs to R&D.

poland-death-march

* Inspirational imagery from the Polish nationalist march in Warsaw. Vincent Law attended and has a good writeup.

Much more impressive than the sad affairs that pass for such in the Trumpreich and the Putlerreich. But long-term prospects are mixed, at best.

* Lubos Motls: Bitcoin congestion singularity may be coming. Can’t really serve as a normal means of exchange if a single transaction costs you several cups of coffee.

* spandrell: Biological Leninism.

* Scott Alexander: Book Review: Legal Systems Very Different From Ours

They feared that a written law code generally available would lead to rules lawyering and supported unequal treatement based on the unequal status of those to whom the law applied…Some early writers argued against making the law code publicly available. …

Where the offense did not seem to fit any category in the code, the court felt free to find the defendant guilty of doing what ought not to be done or of violating an Imperial decree — not an actual decree, but one that the Emperor would have made had the matter been brought to his attention.

The sections on China were fascinating – it was the definition of Kafkaevschina. And the same order prevailed at the end of the Qing dynasty.

byzantine-culture-world

* Caitlyn Green with a world map of where Byzantine artifacts have been found.

* Gerald Clare: The Forgotten Dream of a Russian Africa

* Alt Left podcaster Robert Stark has a book out, Journey to Vapor Island. B.W. Rabbit reviews it.

Russia

* Russian rearmaments program from 2018-2027 is, at 19 billion rubles, virtually equal to that for the period 2011-2020.

Adjusting for inflation, this translates into a massive cut to military spending.

* New VCIOM poll: While Putin’s approval remains high, indicators of social dissatisfaction nearing the heights they reached around late 2011, when mass protests kicked off.

* Patrick Armstrong: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 16 NOVEMBER 2017

So now RT America is a “foreign agent“. (Remember all the faux outrage about Russia’s FARA imitation law? No? But it was only a year ago: “Russia: Four years of Putin’s ‘Foreign Agents’ law to shackle and silence NGOs“. Hard to keep up, isn’t it?) In case you think this reflects poorly on the “champion for free speech and free press”, John McCain, channelling Brezhnev, explains why it doesn’t.

* Bershidsky: Russia’s RT Just Isn’t Worth Attacking. Simpler Explanations Are Usually Correct. Even on Russia.

It looks like Russia’s retaliation will be very mild; so far, we only know that RFERL/Voice of America and their various projects will have to register as foreign agents.

* Alexey Kovalev: Here’s what Russians think: Brexit is your creature – don’t blame it on us

* Kevin Rothrock translates Oleg Kashin’s op-ed for the liberal Republic webzine (formerly Slon): When Russians stopped believing in the Western media:

There’s a thoroughly naive misperception that the people working for propaganda outlets are all hard-nose cynics ready to say that black is white just so they can make their mortgage payments. In fact, anyone who’s talked with just one of these people knows that any cynicism that might guide them is something entirely different: it’s not “I lie because of my mortgage,” but “I say what serves the state’s interests because that’s how it works everywhere — we serve Russia, CNN serves the U.S., and the BBC is itself a state organization.”

Hearing this kind of talk, Russians from the independent media of course always laughed, but time has shown that the ones who said “it’s like this everywhere” were right. At the very least, over the past year and a half, the Western press with its highest standards has gifted us too many outrageous stories to ignore.

Kashin is a Russian liberal, yet even so, he is of the firm opinion that the Western media has gone way overboard in their Russiagate hysteria. In this sense, he parallels Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky and Alexey Kovalev, who sometimes writes for The Guardian – both of them are highly anti-Putin pro-Westerners, yet not completely devoid of critical observation, for which they in turn have been accused of being Kremlin trolls by the ROG truthers.

* Joe Lauria: The Creation of RussiaGate

* Russian freedom fighting anarchist Pyotr Pavlensky flees to the West (after a rape accusation cooked up by the KGB… maybe not). Burns down a French book. Neoliberals who praised him when he was pulling his stunts in Russia now practice punitive psychiatry on him.

* Bryan MacDonald: How George Soros’ people enlisted me as a ‘foot-soldier in the fight against Putin’. There are a lot of these scam NGO’s sucking up State Department and Soros money.

* Muh based Putlerreich introducing gender equality law inc. quotas for female % in politics; will solve “problems of sexism, ageism, harassment.”

* Russia Elections 2018:

Will Putin run? Bryan MacDonald thinks there is still a slight chance that he won’t. Will have a separate post on this.

Ksenia Sobchak got a Vkontakte account just this week. Goes to show why she won’t rise above the single digits: All the Russian liberal kreakl tusovka hangs out on Facebook.

World

* James Thompson: Boost your IQ. Important discussion of two recent papers on effect of more school education on later IQ.

* Gregory Hood: The Lie of Law

* Defrosted: Just noticed that Peter Frost is writing again, though at his own website now.

* New study: Moderate alcohol consumption improves foreign language skills (the paper). Funny and so very true.

india-map-gdp-per-capita

* GDP per capita map of the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan used to be richer than India, really strikes home the fact that this is no longer the case.

* The Atlantic has a very long profile of Andrew Anglin. Skimmed through it. Seems like a stereotypical background for a Neo-Nazi.

* Inventor of Ethereum is much less cool than Pavel Durov.

* Bunch of Alt Right/Alt Right people lost their Blue Checkmarks on Twitter (Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler, Laura Loomer, James Allsup would be recognizable to many); Baked Alaska got suspended entirely.

This is in line with a new Twitter policy to remove verification from users who “promote hate” (except, presumably, against white people).

However, the real fun will begin on Nov 22, when new rules on the display of “hateful imagery and hate symbols” – developed in conjunction with the ADL – will come into effect. Like schools and workplaces, it will now also take into account offline behavior, as well as “monitor for hate speech in usernames, display names, and profile bios.”

Since everyone born in 1988 is, by definition, a Nazi, there’s some chance @akarlin88 will be shut down around that time. Can’t say I’ll miss it.

* Wrath of Gnon digs up a note on medieval German hospitality.

german-hospitality

I have sometimes wondered about practical logistics of long-term travel in the deep past (esp. if you lose your purse). This helps explain things, I suppose.

 
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lenin-was-right

Communist Russophilia in all its glory.

I have some important work non-blog related tasks to do up until Nov 16 so there’ll be a temporary halt to my posts deconstructing the Red ideology, but rest assured that this important mission will be resumed.

Speaking of that. Recently met up with a couple of elderly relatives, the centenary of the Revolution came up. One is a Soviet nostalgic and pro-Leninist/Stalinist, as are most people of that generation, the other – a person in his 60s, blue-collar engineer background, even has the engineer’s trademark disdain for humanities education – started opining about the Brusilov offensive, that Russia should have won WW1, that Lenin was a traitorous scumbag, etc. This was shocking to the latter, though pleasantly surprising for myself. I should also stress that there was absolutely no prompting on my part (personally I try to avoid discussing the USSR with old people in Russia and the West alike), though as the debate got going, I did back him up .

What is the point of this anecdote? First, that there are people with all strongly anti-Bolshevik opinions in Russia, including in demographic groups you’d hardly expect it from. Second, that there are some people in my comments threads who are full of shit.

Moderation Note

Whining from certain quarters regardless, you really have to work pretty hard to get banned from my blog.

There have been a total of about a dozen such cases. Here’s a representative sample:

  • The person who keeps on spamming that shitty Holocaust denial forum
  • The person who believes that literally every Islamic terrorist attack is a CIA/Mossad/reptilian Illuminati false flag
  • The spammy Islamist
  • The Stalinist nutjob who made implicit legal threats against me

Anyhow, I am taking the possibly misguided decision of a total amnesty, and have temporarily scoured the entire list.

This doesn’t mean its going to be a free for all. I reserve the right to hide stupid/spammy comments under a <more> divider. I reserve the right to outright delete extremely stupid and/or spammy comments. And if necessary, I will start populating the ban list again.

Comment rules are here, to be enforced at my discretion – http://akarlin.com/comments/

Main

* Alexander Mercouris: Destabilising Saudi Arabia? Crown Prince consolidates control; eliminates rivals

I’ll write about Saudi Arabia in a separate post.

* Andrew Griffin, Max Benwell (Independent): Rogues of The Resistance: The liberal activists and conspiracy theorists who want to take down Trump

There’s that joke about the Jew who enjoyed reading Der Stürmer because it was so positive about Jewish achievements such as their control of all the banks and media. I admit I enjoy reading Louise Mensch and /r/politics for the same reason. It’s nice to fantasize about a world where ROG is real.

* Jose Ricon: Links (13)

* Ruin value. I suppose this makes it the architectural equivalent of the “live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse” philosophy.

Russia

chomsky-on-persecution-of-rt

Noam Chomsky interview from April 2015.

* RT forced to register as foreign agent by Monday.

Russia has promised retaliation, though it hasn’t specified what. It is possible that it will be something completely retarded, like blocking CNN and RFERL (which practically nobody in Russia visits anyway – and those few who do, are familiar with VPN).

Roskomnadzor says it’s also designed an extrajudicial system for blocking the websites of organizations labeled “undesirable” by the Justice Ministry.

If Russia was run by smart people, it would start denying visas to the more hostile Western journalists, like China does. This is effective, and deniable (can’t prove its on purpose). But I don’t expect that to start happening anytime soon.

* Paul Robinson: Interview with Mikhail Remizov

* This year’s Russian March in Moscow was broken up by OMON. What was a major spectacle regularly drawing ~10,000 vigorous right-wingers 5-10 years ago is now a rather sad affair with no more than ~500 people, most of whom belong to Maltev/Demushkin’s marginal pro-Ukraine, pro-NATO faction.

vishnevsky-russia-demographics-no-ussr

* Anatoly Vishnevsky: A demographic projection of Russia’s population in the 20th century (within current borders!) if no Bolshevism + WW2 [in Russian].

Around 280 million people (instead of 145 million), plus maybe 120 million Ukrainians and Belorussians = 400 million strong East Slavic superpower.

orwell-sovok

* Brilliant “Orwellization” of Lenin’s most slogan (via Оскал Империализма)

Bread is Prodrazverstka
Land is Collectivization
Peace is Civil War

World

* genby: A list of all (all 28) of North Korea’s websites. Another Communist success story.

Other

* YouGov poll: Germany tolerates men staring at breasts more than most

* Azeri success story:

 
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powerful-take

It will be the centenary of the October Revolution in a couple of days – the original color revolution that finished off a great and rapidly modernizing empire and handed power to a gang of Russia-hating criminals.

To mark the occasion, the next two weeks I will be documenting the dismal failure of sovok across almost virtually all spheres of life. Obligatory trigger warning for commies.

Featured

* gwern’s October 2017 newsletter

* Not only a good intro to Bitcoin per se, but an original (so far as I know) way of thinking about it: https://blog.chain.com/a-letter-to-jamie-dimon-de89d417cb80

There’s a TL;DR version at the end.

map-becker-world-iq

* James Thompson: The World’s IQ = 86: Test results of 550,492 individuals in 123 countries

Link to David Becker’s database: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3c4TxciNeJZWUx5bzBWZ1BuMUk

The discussion is also worth reading.

* Heiner Rindermann has what appears to be a rather interesting book coming out on January 1, 2018: Cognitive Capitalism: Human Capital and the Wellbeing of Nations

poll-military-government* PEW: Globally, Broad Support for Representative and Direct Democracy (PDF)

Many interesting tidbits there but one table I liked is support for military government by left/right.

Mostly as you’d expect (right more supportive), with the understandable exception of Venezuela – and the less understandable exception of Hungary (unless you read hbd*chick).

* Emil Kirkegaard: About that blog: Italian IQs, Lynn IQs, brain size and doctors

* /r/gorgich: Cultural macroregions of Russia

* Daniel Treisman – 2017 – Democracy by mistake

How does democracy emerge from authoritarian rule?… In about two thirds, democratization occurred not because incumbent elites chose it but because, in trying to prevent it, they made mistakes that weakened their hold on power. Common mistakes include: calling elections or starting military conflicts, only to lose them; ignoring popular unrest and being overthrown; initiating limited reforms that get out of hand; and selecting a covert democrat as leader. These mistakes reflect well-known cognitive biases such as overconfidence and the illusion of control.

Leonid Bershidsky writes about it.

* 39% of French citizens spoke Occitan in 1860.

* A beautiful @WrathOfGnon thread about the superiority of medieval urbanism:

Russia

* Lucy Komisar: The Man Behind the Magnitsky Act Did Bill Browder’s Tax Troubles in Russia Color Push for Sanctions?

Attack on RT

* RT: Revealed: How Twitter pushed RT to spend big on 2016 US election; Twitter’s multi-million dollar US election pitch to RT revealed in FULL

kovalev-saudi-propaganda

Even some Russian oppositioners like Alexey Kovalev think it is ridiculously selective.

* RT: NGO publishes names of 2,300+ RT guests, labels them ‘useful idiots who undermine Western democracy’

I was amused to see that Nina Khrushcheva was on there (not sure about the “useful” part, though).

Alexander Mercouris: Blackmail and the latest attack on RT

* Michael Tracey uncovers Twitter’s criteria for being a Russia troll:

We took a similarly expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account. Because there is no single characteristic that reliably determines geographic origin or affiliation, we relied on a number of criteria, including whether the account was created in Russia, whether the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email address, whether the user’s display name contains Cyrillic characters, whether the user frequently Tweets in Russian, and whether the user has logged in from any Russian IP address, even a single time. We considered an account to be Russian-linked if it had even one of the relevant criteria.

Beware of the Cyrillic autocracy!

Russiagate

* Alexander Mercouris: Robert Mueller should resign

In other words instead of arriving its suspicions of Russian meddling in the Presidential election on its own investigations the FBI chose to rely on the work of two private contractors – CrowdStrike and Christopher Steele – both of whom were found and paid for by the DNC, and one of whom – Christopher Steele – was then passed on by the DNC to the FBI so that he could be paid by them as well.

That makes the FBI look more like an accomplice of the Democrats and the DNC than an impartial and objective police agency.

* But perceptions are another matter.

* Some stuff comes out further proving that DNC colluded with Hillary to give her the nomination.

Real Democrats: Donna Brazile was duped by Russia. Putin is God, etc.

* Latest video from Kirill Nesterov, chief editor of ROGPR podcast.

(It’s in Russian, but mostly just consists of translations of the most “powerful” Russia takes from Anglo Twitter).

* The insanity is not contained to the Left:

putler-welcome-to-resistance

* Daily Caller: Growing Evidence That Russia Using ‘The Resistance’ To Stoke Division

Powerful Takes on Manhattan Terror Attack

Other

* Paul Robinson: Wall of Grief (Putin on Stalin)

* Patrick Armstrong: How I Became a Kremlin Troll

* Chechens organize a queue for the new iPhone in Moscow, selling the first position for R300,000 ($5,000). A few hundred Virgin Kreakls – their idea of “creativity” consisting of being the first person in their tusovka to get a new iPhone – wait in line for a several hours… only for a gang of Chechen Chads to push them aside at the last moment, snap up all the iPhones, and put them up for sale on Russia’s eBay within a few minutes.

* Daily Beast: She’s in Pussy Riot. He’s on the Far Right: How Maria Alyokhina and Dmitry Enteo Fell in Love

Still a better love story than Twilight.

* Affirmative action Kremlinologist Terell Starr: “Ukrainians and black folk share common bonds when it comes to resisting supremacy, whether it is from “white people” in the U.S. or Russia.Memetic response.

Hell

Meanwhile, in the actual Putlerreich…

* Moscow authorities want to install a monument to Islam Karimov in the city center, a Central Asian tinpot dictator who removed all of his country’s WW2 monuments.

What makes this even “better” is that the Uzbeks themselves are slowly doing away with Karimov’s legacy, with their new President inching towards liberal reform and criticizing his predecessor for abuses. So it fails even as geopolitical bootlicking.

Almost certainly pointless petition against this: https://www.change.org/p/владимир-путин-против-установки-в-москве-памятника-президенту-узбекистана-исламу-каримову

* Leader of Tatarstan implicitly threatens Putin with low vote numbers if Tatar language instruction in schools is made non-obligatory (“We made it so that all the electoral processes are done by the directors of our schools“).

The problems of relying on ethnic minority states-within-states to give you a 10% point bump in elections…

* Meanwhile, the son of a Tatar director of a military academy (who is also a member of the pseudoscience organization RAEN) was arrested in Tajikistan for joining ISIS for 2 years. Previously, after completing his PhD under his dad at said military academy (nepotism), he was made responsible for ensuring the security of military R&D communications, and had the appropriate high level security clearance for it. Said military academy to KP journalists requesting comment: “We won’t say anything, the director isn’t here, and we don’t know when he will be.”

World

conferederate-iconography

* @tcjfs: Huntington argues the Confederate monuments to “the Blue & the Gray” were built thru 1920 to foster united American national reconciliation

Seems to parallel Soviet celebration of Victory Day: First Moscow May 9 parade after 1945 was in 1965; then 1985, 1990, became yearly event in 1995.

* Guardian: Romania shrugs off label of Europe’s poor man as economy booms.

* China unveils massive island-building vessel

Remarkable cultural continuity: Great Wall on land 2,000 years ago, now a Great Wall in cyberspace and on the high seas.

alt-right-bin-laden

* So Osama bin Laden was a gamer, like all the other great men of the 20th century.

BTW, Navalny is a console peasant, while proves he is not destined for greatness.

 

racism

Culture War

* Bread Pilled: Jordan Peterson turning young, Western men into Christians Again

Only heard of the guy thanks to spandrell. Sounds like a big phenomenon.

* #ItsOkayToBeWhite is a brilliant strategy. /pol/ continues to deliver.

* Frances Lee: Why I’ve Started to Fear My Fellow Social Justice Activists

* John Derbyshire: Geezers Don’t Care! Marc Faber Defies AntiRacist Moral Panic

* Feminist prof says ‘traditional science’ is rooted in racism

* Geoffrey Miller channels Taleb: To understand the present, read good books about our biological & cultural history, & sci fi about the future. ‘News’ is a distraction.

* Melissa Meszaros: Buzzfeed’s Male Writers Revealed to have Dangerously Low Testosterone

* Porn Addicted Bomb Nazi Mutilated Himself With An Axe. Exemplary commitment to nofap.

* Eliezer Yudkowsky’s struggle:

.

 
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Spanish Occupation Government strikes back!

So as you’re probably aware, The Unz Review had a prolonged server crash. The data was unrecoverable, so Ron had to revert to an earlier backup, losing about a day’s worth of comments.

Apologies about that, but really, it’s GoDaddy’s fault. None of us are very happy with them. One might have expected better of America’s largest hosting provider, but apparently not. Any suggestions for alternatives? Amazon Web Services are under consideration, since they host many of America’s biggest companies. But all suggestions are welcome – preferably at this thread: http://www.unz.com/announcement/server-crash/

Anyhow.

1. Only post of mine that got deleted was “The Catalans Actually Did It the Absolute Madmen.” I don’t feel like restoring it since it pretty much just a shitpost that was only funny at the time of posting, not 48 hours later.

But feel free to continue discussing the latest developments in Spain/Catalonia in this thread.

2. Now might be an apt moment for a couple of productivity tips for not losing your comments:

  • The Chrome extension Lazarus: Form Recovery auto-saves everything you type into form fields, allowing easy recovery from time-outs, crashes, and network errors.
  • The Chrome extension Comment Save does what it says on the in – also useful for keeping track of comments you make on other sites without having to use a your email as a dumping ground for updates.

There are probably equivalent plugins for Mozilla Firefox.

EDIT 10/31: So we’re back to Square 1. I am even more impressed at the sheer magnitude of this fail than I’m mad about it.

I am going to restore my Kyrgyzstan post – thankfully, I keep a personal backup of all my posts on Evernote – but unfortunately, the many great comments to it are lost (unless you maintained a personal backup, as I recommended above).

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Catalonia, Internet, Open Thread 
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visits-russia-patriotic

Russian nationalists and “patriots” – much like the “Alt Right” and Alt Lite in the United States – each have their own media ecosystems, though overlap is inevitable.

As in the United States, “patriotism” is at least an order of magnitude more prevalent than nationalism (indeed, it is one of the defining strands of Putinist ideology in general). As regards the media scene, one example of a flagship “patriotic” resource would be Komsomolskaya Pravda, with more than 50 million monthly visits (despite the name, it has nothing to do with the USSR). A few other examples would be RT Russian, LIFE News, and Argumenty i Fakty. Whereas in the United States there are several CNN’s and MSNBC’s for one FOX, in Russia the division between “patriotic” and “liberal” (Vedomosti, Gazeta.ru, etc.) is more even.

Towards the right end of the “patriotic” spectrum the two big (>10 million) strongly players would be VZ.ru (the brainchild of Konstantin Rykov, the United Russia deputy who promotes Maria Katasonova, Russia’s premier cheerleader for Trump and Le Pen) and the military-affiliated Zvezda TV channel (which for a time employed British Donbass correspondent Graham W. Phillips).

Also rather influential, with around 10 million monthly visits between them, are the blogs of Colonel Cassad (Boris Rozhin) and El Murid (Anatoly Nesmiyan). Both are one-man content factories, forged in the fires of the Donbass War, who have now shifted their attentions to the Syrian Civil War and general geopolitical and military matters. Rozhin is a Crimean Communist (and chess master); Anatoly Nesmiyan is associated with Igor Strelkov, who also has a blog, though not a very influential one. However, both Nesmiyan and Strelkov are strongly skeptical of the Putin regime, so it’s more accurate to describe them as “national patriots” than “patriots.”

In my article on Russian Nationalism 101, I described Tsargrad TV as a semi-nationalist resource, especially after its ouster of the Eurasianist Alexander Dugin and replacement by the conservative-nationalist Egor Kholmogorov. It is also perhaps Russia’s closest approximation of Breitbart, down to the oligarch funding (Mercer/Malofeev) and American conservative-style focus on religion and “culture war” issues (the most recent example being its furore over the film Matilda), and ambiguous relation with Russian nationalists (Egor Kholmogorov also used to contribute articles to Prosvirnin’s Sputnik i Pogrom, but more recently, Tsargrad included Prosvirnin in its list of the country’s top 100 Russophobes). In any case, it has been interesting to see its visitorship numbers this past year skyrocketing from around the level of Sputnik i Pogrom to 50% of the level of Zvezda/VZ, and 20% of Komsomolskaya Pravda. (That said, questions have been raised as to what extent this sharp uptick is legitimate traffic).

visits-russia-national-patriotic

Sputnik i Pogrom (Egor Prosvirnin), the flagship magazine of Russian nationalism, was at 1.5 million monthly visits and on an upwards trend until the Russian censorship authority Roskomnadzor blocked it this July on trumped up reasons. The drop in readership has not been as catastrophic as might have been expected, probably because its texts are highly K-selected and its audience tend to be young, intelligent, and technically literate. It is highly oppositionist in nature, but it is read by a wide swathe of the Russian political elites regardless.

Regardless of this setback, Sputnik i Pogrom’s visits number are still comparable to those of Nikolay Starikov and Zavtra and Nikolay Starikov, the two main flagships of “Soviet nationalism” and the most hardcore/zealous strain of “patriotism“, respectively.

Nikolay Starikov is a sort of “uber-patriot” who peddles in Stalin apologetics and petrodollar conspiracy theories. He is also slavishly loyal to the Kremlin and Putin: After spending early 2014 demonizing the “Nazi junta” in the Ukraine, he made an abrupt heel turn, coming out against the recognition of the LDNR and stressing the necessity of a “united Ukraine”… so as to avoid being drawn into an evil American plot to draw Russia into WW3. This was essentially a Kremlin talking point – the decision against overt military intervention had been made early on in the conflict – but couched in a language understandable to Starikov’s rabid, foathing-at-the-mouth uber-patriotic herd. With a few exceptions, the articles there are highly r-selected.

Zavtra is the newspaper of Alexander Prokhanov, a Soviet ultranationalist who supported the hardliners during the coup attempt of 1991. However, they have not evolved since, and as a result their articles inevitably follow a set of themes: Praise for Lenin and Stalin; condemnations of Gorbachev for “betraying” the USSR; and other staples of Third Position political rhetoric, such as the petrodollar conspiracy theories. Also a liberal dose of late Putinist era multinationalism: Just checked back, and Prokhanov appears to be writing odes to the Kadyrovs nowadays. It is hard to avoid the impression that Zavtra is fading into obscurity.

However, at least some people still visit it. The same cannot be said of Alexander Dugin’s two Eurasianist sites, Katehon and Geopolitica.ru – they have no more than 500,000 combined monthly visits. As I have long pointed out, Dugin is far more popular amongst Western neoliberal Intellectuals Yet Idiots and confused US Alt Rightists than he is in Russia itself. That is because there are few Russians who have much use for Dugin’s fusion of “anti-imperialist”/”anti-racist” Soviet-Eurasianism and the more obscurantist strains of Orthodoxy liberally, speckled with conspiracy theories about the liberal “sixth column” responsible for Islamist terrorism and the Atlanticist evils of surfing (no, seriously).

google-trends-dugin-limonov-prokhanov

Google Trends: Dugin; Limonov; Prokhanov – Russia – Last 5 years

The National Bolshevik Eduard Limonov is somewhat more prominent than Dugin, and also has gigs at more mainstream “patriotic” places like RT Russian. Although his ideas have become dated, as with Dugin and Prokhanov, he is, at least, more entertaining than either one of them, which might explain his greater prominence. This is more of a subjective observation, but I would also note that as someone who has spent some time in France and the United States, he is also more realistic about many aspects of the world relative to his Eurasianist and Soviet peers.

Sut’ Vremeni (Essence of Time) is another Soviet-nostalgic movement led by Sergey Kurginyan. It has zero intellectual content and frankly comes off like a cult, but is allowed to exist thanks to its slavish loyalty to the Kremlin.

It is important to note that just as the Right Altsphere in the United States can’t compete with the collective Vox, so Russian nationalists, Far-Rightists, and sundry “national patriots” and “national conservatives” of whatever flavor are far more marginal relative to neoliberalism.txt’s Russia branch. The two flagship Far Liberal outlets, Echo of Moscow and Meduza.io (successtor to Lenta) each have 30 million monthly visits; TVRain, whose crew is a fixture at any Navalny demonstration, has 12 million visitors; The Village, the journal of Moscow’s SWPL’s, gays, and SWPLy gays, has 8 million; the highly K-selected Republic.ru (formerly Slon) has around 3 million. The nationalist/liberal gap isn’t quite as loaded in favor of the latter as in the United States or Europe, but it is still very big.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Blogging, Russian Media 
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visitors-alt-media

We seem to be doing pretty well, if SimilarWeb stats are anything to go by.

The Unz Review is clearly the dominant website amongst the “Intellectual Dissident Right” (we are far ahead of VDARE, Takimag, and are even catching up on the normies at The American Cuckservative).

It is also strongly competitive amongst the “Intellectual Anti-Imperialist Left,” being far ahead of the Antiwar.com (I recall it being the alt news site during the Iraq War era), overtaking the libertarian LewRockwell, and even edging closer to Counterpunch, another stalwart of the old altsphere.

This is all the more remarkable considering that The Unz Review is run on a shoestring budget, its lack of attention to SEO or social media frills, and the bold notion of publishing both Far Right and Far Left content (I am still not sure if that repels or attracts people, on average). Meanwhile, we still manage to retain a high degree of intellectual respectability by hosting some of the most “serious” people like James Thompson.

I also included the more intellectual Alt Right publications (Kevin MacDonald’s Occidental Observer and Greg Johnson’s Counter-Currents). They are both pretty much an order of magnitude less influential than the Unz Review.

I have also included Social Matter, a central aggregator for the NRxsphere (thanks in large part to Nick B. Steve’s prodigious weekly roundups) and, at around 100,000 monthly visits, probably the most popular NRx blog overall – Nick Land’s Xenosystems is the 2 millionth most visited blog in the world, The Future Primaeval is likewise in the doldrums, only Dalrock that I’m aware of continues to eke out a presence around the 100,000 monthly visits mark. Otherwise, the public face of NRx is pretty much dead, confined to mailing lists, secret forums, and (perhaps) infiltration of the institutions.

It is also important to keep a wider perspective that in the large picture alt media remains a fairly marginal phenomenon. Any of the major flagships of the American MSM – NYT, WaPO, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, etc. – have two orders of magnitude more visits (hundreds of millions) than even the most prominent alt outlets like Counterpunch and this very publication. Even the very K-selected MSM outlets like Vox.com and FiveThirty Eight have an order of magnitude more visits. It’s an uphill struggle.

The HBDsphere

I haven’t bothered compiling detailed stats like Pumpkin Person did in 2015 since apart from The Unz Review, which hosts a huge percentage of active HBD/IQ writers, there is otherwise no real competition. Within the Unz ecosystem, Steve Sailer is of course by far the most dominant figure, accounting for perhaps half of our total traffic.

The single most influential independent HBD blogger as of today would be Robert Lindsay, the originator of the “Alt Left” (i.e. leftist HBD realists, as opposed to the object of Trump’s ramblings, for whom there is a much better name anyway: The Ctrl Left). In fairness, however, Lindsay’s was never a primarily HBD blog, and he has pretty much dropped writing about it all since Trump’s election. (Also, for whatever reason, Lindsay appears to have the strange distinction of being the only person on here to have his website blocked in Russia).

Otherwise, the most popular HBD/IQ blogger, with around 100,000 monthly visits, is… Emil Kirkegaard. This is especially remarkable since his writing tends to the highly technical and he doesn’t have even open comments.

Razib Khan and Greg Cochran both have around 50,000.

The others are barely competitive. Steve Hsu had a massive surge this past month, but is otherwise at around 20,000. hbd*chick has stopped blogging. Audacious Epigone isn’t prominent enough to get stats from SimilarWeb, through he surely deserves to with his Stakhanovite efforts in GSS mining. Ergo for Pumpkin Person, Lion of the Blogosphere, and several others.

I suppose it might also behove to mention gwern.net, a brilliant polymath who writes highly K-selected essays about the genomics of IQ and many other LessWrongy subjects like nootropics, cryptocurrencies, and the control problem. He also gets around 100,000 per month. However, classifying him as an IQ, let alone an HBD, blogger would be a massive stretch. He is much sooner part of the Less Wrong/SSC/”rationalist” cluster.

The Alt Right

visitors-alt-right

The defining feature of the Alt Right-sphere in the past year has, of course, been the meteoric rise of Andrew Anglin’s The Daily Stormer – and its near complete oblitration in the wake of Charlottesville.

When you need to change domains every other week in between confinements to the deep web, you can’t have much of a popular readership. I suspect visitorship has plummeted by an order of magnitude.

This hasn’t helped the old-school Neo-Nazis of Stormfront, long in terminal decline, to recover. They have been overtaken by The Right Stuff podcast – apparently, the recent scandal about one of their members Mike Enoch having a Jewish wife did nothing but attract them publicity and more visitors – and now joins a bevy of other sites such as Amren and Heartiste at around the one million mark.

AltRight.com has disappointed to date. Apart from some of Vincent Law’s longer pieces, their content is much less intellectual than that of Radix Journal – some of the latter’s best writers such as Guillaume Durocher and Gregory Hood failed to make the move to the new venue – so visitorship numbers should be much higher. But they’re failing to accelerate.

As with the “Dissident Right”, the influence of the Alt Right should not be overestimated, even within the general Tea Party Plus/Alt Lite/pro-Trump movement. Visitorship is capped at around 5 million. The eponymous website of the movement has no more than a million. In contrast, just Breitbart/The Daily Caller/Infowars have around 150 million monthly visits between them. There is a similar gap on Twitter, with Richard Spencer having only 80,000 followers – that’s less than Alt Lite parvenus like Laura Loomer, to say nothing of the many hundreds of thousands following Mike Cernovich, Baked Alaska, and Jack Posobiec.

The Alt Russophiles

visitors-alt-russia

Russia is distinctive in that the volume of Western MSM lies and misrepresentations about it has traditionally been so bad that it is pretty much the only country to have carved out a sort of “niche” for itself within the Western Altsphere.

Ten to five years ago, this area of the Internet was essentially a constellation of pro-Russia blogs that ranged from the highly considered and data-heavy, to the unhinged and “Russia stronk” hurrah-patriotic (I myself got my start in blogging as “Da Russophile“). Since then, they have been gradually displaced by large websites – primarily Russia Insider (Charles Bausman) and The Duran (Peter Lavelle, Alexander Mercouris, and some others) – and the universal scourge of social media. There are still a few bloggers that fall into the old categories – Paul Robinson, Patrick Armstrong, and Mark Chapman come to mind – but their visitorship numbers are basically irrelevant (they are all at around the 4 millionth mark globally).

Russia Insider and The Duran remain the two behemoths of this world, with seemingly stable visitorship numbers. However, Russia Insider reprints many of its articles, while The Duran writes about many issues other than Russia. The Duran team launched Russia Feed half a year ago to provide an outlet more specifically dedicated to Russia matters, which seems to be growing steadily, but from a low base.

There were a number of pro-Russia outlets that proliferated at the outbreak of the Donbass world, with Fort Russ (Kristina Kharlova) being probably the most prominent of these – at least of those which survived in the long-term.

Unsurprisingly, many of these outlets have connections to the wider Altsphere. For instance, Russia Insider has good relations with AltRight.com, and they reprint my articles semi-regularly (with my permission). The Saker, as most probably know, also blogs at The Unz Review, as well as (occasionally) at The Duran. So does Israel Shamir, who also writes Russian language columns for RT Russian, Komsomolskaya Pravda, and Zavtra.

On this note, I am also going to have a post on the relative performance of Russian alt news outlets in the near future.

* CORRECTION: All the graphs should state “monthly visits,” not “monthly visitors.”

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Blogging, Western Media 
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Main News

issam-zahreddine* The legendary Major General Issam Zahreddine was blown up by a land mine in Deir ez-Zor.

What damn bad luck.

Surviving an ISIS siege for three years, only to go like that.

* Iraq takes back Kirkuk. Seemingly prearranged return to the status quo of 2014.

* Haaretz: White Nationalist Richard Spencer Gives Israel as Example of Ethno-state He Wants in U.S.

* Investor Mark Faber lands in hot water with the handshakeworthy crowd:

“And thank God white people populated America, and not the blacks. Otherwise, the US would look like Zimbabwe, which it might look like one day anyway, but at least America enjoyed 200 years in the economic and political sun under a white majority,” he wrote.

“I am not a racist, but the reality — no matter how politically incorrect — needs to be spelled out.”

Fortunately he’s old, presumably more or less retired, and lives in East Asia, where nobody gives a fuck.

* Emil Kirkegaard: “Did Lynn fudge the national IQs? Independent recalculation by David Becker. All open and verifiable. So far, n = 305 studies covered. r=.90.” [blog post forthcoming]

lynn-becker-iq-correlation

Incidentally, German psychometrist David Becker is due to start up a blog any day now. Feel free to help him come up with a name.

* Vincent Law: Bike-Sharing Leads Directly To Complete Societal Collapse

* gwern’s September newslatter: On genomic prediction:

Accurate Genomic Prediction Of Human Height, Lello et al 2017

A vindication of Steve Hsu’s predictions: the GWAS lasso works!(Hsu 2014/Vattikuti et al 2014/Ho & Hsu 2015) The height polygenic score has doubled and now explains the full SNP heritability.

This has many implications: primarily, polygenic scores are going to start doubling or quadrupling regularly as contemporary datasets (UKBB in particular?) start hitting the threshold. Years of incremental improvements in GWAS will be compressed into single papers. It will be exciting to have polygenic scores for intelligence which explain up to 30% of variance! These IQ PGSes will highly likely be available by 2019, and it’s possible that they could be computed this year in 2017 (depending on whether existing datasets are big enough to push past the threshold, perhaps assisted by genetic correlation techniques like MTAG). Plus, of course, more accurate genetic correlations. Aside from being one last bullet in the head of genetics denialism, it will massively increase the value of embryo selection and genome synthesis. Has it really been only 4 years since Rietveld et al 2013 was published? It feels like so much longer… It’s worth noting that the cumulative number of genomes is substantially larger than the annual output, and the former is what counts; for example, under one set of assumptions with a fixed annual investment and the observed exponential decrease in cost, there will be 5x total genomes than annually produced, so since 23andMe/Ancestry.com are reportedly collecting approaching millions of samples per year… (In a since deleted post: AncestryDNA alone attracted 1.4 million customers in the fourth quarter of 2016, with an additional two million in the first half of 2017…) The genome sequencing exponentials have been quite a tiger to ride. Very Kurzweilian: everything important happens near the end.

AI

* Eliezer Yudkowsky: There’s No Fire Alarm for Artificial General Intelligence

Progress is driven by peak knowledge, not average knowledge.

If Fermi and the Wrights couldn’t see it coming three years out, imagine how hard it must be for anyone else to see it.

If you’re not at the global peak of knowledge of how to do the thing, and looped in on all the progress being made at what will turn out to be the leading project, you aren’t going to be able to see of your own knowledge at all that the big development is imminent. …

By saying we’re probably going to be in roughly this epistemic state until almost the end, I don’t mean to say we know that AGI is imminent, or that there won’t be important new breakthroughs in AI in the intervening time. I mean that it’s hard to guess how many further insights are needed for AGI, or how long it will take to reach those insights. After the next breakthrough, we still won’t know how many more breakthroughs are needed, leaving us in pretty much the same epistemic state as before. …

But no matter how the details play out, I do predict in a very general sense that there will be no fire alarm that is not an actual running AGI—no unmistakable sign before then that everyone knows and agrees on, that lets people act without feeling nervous about whether they’re worrying too early. That’s just not how the history of technology has usually played out in much simpler cases like flight and nuclear engineering, let alone a case like this one where all the signs and models are disputed.

* On this note: It was only 1.5 years ago that AlphaGo beat world’s then second best player Lee Sedol four matches to one.

alphago-zero

Latest iteration, AlphaGo Zero, reached that level in just three days only playing by itself, and took only 21 days to surpass AlphaGo Master, which beat number one Ke Jie and sixty other top players this May.

Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers describe how AlphaGo Zero started off terribly, progressed to the level of a naive amateur, and ultimately deployed highly strategic moves used by grandmasters, all in a matter of days. It discovered one common play, called a joseki, in the first 10 hours. Other moves, with names such as “small avalanche” and “knight’s move pincer” soon followed. After three days, the program had discovered brand new moves that human experts are now studying. Intriguingly, the program grasped some advanced moves long before it discovered simpler ones, such as a pattern called a ladder that human Go players tend to grasp early on.

 

jeb-wins-russia

Russia

* Putin mutters some vaguely Alt Right sounding things about White Christians being a minority in the USA and preserving Russia as a European space (while continuing to repeat German policies of the 1960s).

Says that Russians and Ukrainians are one people that will unite. Before you get excited/panic, by unite, he means the restoration of normal relations with the Ukraine – a rather strange definition of the term.

We love Ukraine. And I consider them a brotherly people, if not part of the Russian people. Neither Russian nationalists nor Ukrainian nationalists like this, but I believe they will unite, sooner or later. Not at the state level, but in terms of the restoration of relations.

And, of course, this is a total inversion of the standard Russian nationalist position on the Ukraine.

Also issues some thoughts on foreign policy:

The biggest mistake our country made was that we put too much trust in you; and your mistake was that you saw this trust as weakness and abused it.

… and on the Bolshevik Revolution:

However, the largely utopian social model and ideology, which the newly formed state tried to implement initially following the 1917 revolution, was a powerful driver of transformations across the globe (this is quite clear and must also be acknowledged), caused a major revaluation of development models, and gave rise to rivalry and competition, the benefits of which, I would say, were mostly reaped by the West.

I am referring not only to the geopolitical victories following the Cold War. Many Western achievements of the 20th century were in answer to the challenge posed by the Soviet Union. I am talking about raising living standards, forming a strong middle class, reforming the labour market and the social sphere, promoting education, guaranteeing human rights, including the rights of minorities and women, overcoming racial segregation, which, as you may recall, was a shameful practice in many countries, including the United States, a few short decades ago.

This is mostly a myth, but a convenient one.

DMdTBFyV4AA46kZ

* Ksenia Sobchak announces she is running for the Russian Presidency.

Now you, an “educated” and “informed” person, are probably thinking that she is just a brainless celebrity running to give Putin artificial competition in lieu of Navalny. In reality, this is a vicious JIDF smear! My FSB sources tell me this is just the front Ksenia “She-Wolf of the SS” Sobchak (as she is widely known in ultranationalist circles) puts on to infiltrate the PutlerZOG, acting in cahoots with Taylor Swift and American far right militia leader Ben Garrison.

Although I do consider myself somewhat of a nationalist, she sounds far too crazy even for me. I disavow Ksenia “14/88 not 282″ Sobchak and her hateful, extremist ideology. Hopefully Jeb! will save the day.

* #Russiagate. In between the usual nonsense ($100,000 in Facebook ads; Pokemon), we the most serious numerical allegation yet – $2.3 million on a troll factory (broken by the Russian news outlet RBC – so much for the trope of “no adversarial investigation journalism” in Russia).

The obvious question: If all it takes to swing a US election is a few millions of dollars (versus the almost a billion spend by the respective campaigns), why isn’t everyone doing it?

* Patrick Armstrong: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 19 OCTOBER 2017

* Bryan MacDonald: Ukraine has a Nazi problem and a Western media problem

This is a typical pattern:

  • Western MSM 1,000 Nazis march in Charlottesville: OY VEY DRUMPF & PUTLER MUST PAY
  • 20,000 Nazis march in Kiev: meh

* Russia now plans to build a $10 billion bridge to… Sakhalin, with its half a million people. $10 million is approximately what the federal government gives to the Ministry of Education every year.

Rotenbergs are more important, though.

There are hopes of getting Japan involved:

Russia is counting on Japan to join the project by connecting its northern island of Hokkaido to Sakhalin with a 40-kilometer link of its own, the people said. While an overland crossing from Japan could be an economic game changer for Russia’s Far East, they cautioned there’s been no talks or agreements yet with the government in Tokyo.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was circumspect when asked about the plans at the Vladivostok forum with Putin last month.

“It would be fine to travel to Vladivostok by train,” Abe said. “But for this, our countries need to strengthen mutual trust to make all projects achievable.”

But this is Japanesespeak for “LOL, no.”

World

dysgenics-blacks-whites

* Audacious Epigone: Dysgenics much stronger for Blacks and Latinos than for Whites. JayMan has also noticed this.

Also notes that number of children is positively correlated with mental health.

* The Economist: College students are more accepting of controversial speech

economist-free-speech-college

Other

* Zilaxar.com is an Ossetian nationalist site (in Russian). In case you are interested in what (very little) Ossetians think of their Ingush, Dagestani, and Georgian neighbors.

Apparently the Ingush believe that Ossetians effect territorial expansion through “hospitable prostitution.” Small country nationalisms are so cute.

The style and format clearly owes a lot to Sputnik i Pogrom, which has – amongst other things – inspired a Ukrainian, a Belorussian, and a radical Islamist (!) copycat.

hbd-morrowind

* Latest from (Russian language) ROGPR podcast: Our main host Kirill Nesterov makes a highly autistic 45 minute video review of TES: Morrowind, and we discuss Putin’s legacy.

 
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.