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  1. According to al-arabiya MbS is to attend the opening of the world cup on June 14:

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/sports/2018/06/03/Saudi-Crown-Prince-to-attend-World-Cup-opening-ceremony-in-support-of-national-team.html

    So maybe he’s still alive?
    I hope Russia will at least beat the Saudi scum. I also want the German team to lose in the most humiliating way possible, but I suppose that’s a task for the Argies or the Brazilians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    It is shaping up as a potential meltdown for anglo the soft-power, so they will probably do something. Germany will lose at some point, but I am pretty sure it won't be the Brazilians. I am also watching for the inevitable Iceland fade away, a safe team to root for, but not much of a team. I would put money on France or Spain.

    I keep on thinking that the masters cannot let this go on without some interference, distraction, staged outrage. The lesbian hooligans are mobilised, journalists pre-positioned, schaden-freude options reviewed - I hope it is entertaining. After Babchenko and Skripals the bar is pretty high, rounding up stray dogs or claiming that the toilet didn't flush won't do. Let's see what they come up with.

    , @(((They))) Live
    Russia will beat Saudi Arabia, Uruguay will beat Egypt, and Uruguay will beat Saudi Arabia

    Thats a nice bet IMO, I usually bet against the Arab teams and I usually win big

    However be careful with Egypt, if Mo Salah is in top form they could cause upsets
    , @RadicalCenter
    I think the Germans letting their women be groped and intimidated, and their girls raped in their own towns, and then making excuses for the attackers and paying for their apartments and food and healthcare, is humiliation enough.

    Then again, what do Americans do with Africans here?

    , @Not Raul
    Why do you want Germany to lose? What good would that do?
    , @Ali Choudhury
    He is alive, met with the head of the UAE yesterday.

    https://www.emirates247.com/news/government/mohamed-bin-zayed-mohammed-bin-salman-chair-first-meeting-of-saudi-emirati-coordination-council-2018-06-07-1.670085
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  2. Brabantian says: • Website

    Some helpful tonic black-pilling from Asia Times, for those who still have illusions about Vladimir Putin, now openly grovelling as a Zionist asset, even tho a demeaned partner in the ‘big power conflict’ show … which doesn’t prevent Putin from kneeling in total capitulation to Israel

    Clearly, Andrei ‘Saker’ Raevsky’s oily claims about Putin ‘opposing Anglo-Zionism’, that is just flat-out lying by ‘former’ (HA!) intel agency staffer Saker

    Putin & Moscow denounce Iran for ‘anti-Israeli’ activity … as if Putin ‘doesn’t know’ that the ‘ISIS jihadis’ who have been killing Russians, were backed by Israel … From Asia Times -

    Close ties between Russia and Israel are sailing into full view … it all does seem a cosy condominium between Putin and Netanyahu … Extraordinary statements for an establishment think tank known to be close to the Kremlin:

    The commentary contextualised Putin’s recent call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syrian soil. It openly rapped the Iranians on the knuckle: “Iran’s operations in Syria go far beyond fighting terrorists and are hardly welcomed by anyone within the region and beyond. This heightens tensions in Israel’s relations with its bitter rivals … Serving as a platform for fighting the ‘Zionist’ enemy is something Syria needs the least.”

    Key elements [according to the Kremlin-tied think tank]:
    a) Russia holds Iran as responsible for ratcheting up tensions with Israel;
    b) Russia thoroughly disapproves of Syria being turned into a turf for Iran’s policy of ‘Resistance’ against Israel; and,
    c) Moscow expects the Assad regime to distance itself from Iran’s anti-Israeli activities.

    M K Bhadrakumar, ‘Russia Censures Iran’

    http://www.atimes.com/article/russia-censures-iran-expects-israel-to-help-restore-ties-with-us/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Look, I would be the first to condemn Putin for his coddling of Israel and philosemitism in general, but this Bhadrakumar guy doesn't know what he is talking about. He is like Debka or Magnier, he makes up stuff. For example, I know for a fact that Russia doesn't have any "foreign policy establishment think tanks" - so I have no idea where he got these statements from. Most likely he made them up.

    Who is this Bhadrakumar, a former India's ambassador to Uzbekistan? I see his articles pop up here and there.
    , @Greasy William
    I don't know if Putin jamming a knife in the back of Iran is good or bad for Russia, but one thing I think we can all agree on is that Russia is morally obligated to destroy Israel and to fight Iran's wars. After all, let's be honest here, if it wasn't for Assad, Hezbollah and Iran, would Russia even exist? I strongly doubt it. If Assad hadn't graciously allowed Russia to keep him in power, Syria would have become a NATO beachhead that the US would have already launched an invasion into Russia from. And while it is true that the US could never conquer a powerful country like Iran, it's hard to see them having any trouble with a backwater like Russia.

    Putin & Moscow denounce Iran for ‘anti-Israeli’ activity
     
    Putin said this? When has Iran ever done something against Israel? Putin is either delusional or a Jew puppet to say such a thing.

    Look, I would be the first to condemn Putin for his coddling of Israel and philosemitism in general
     
    You should be grateful that your President elected to bet on the winning horse. We're stronger than every country in the region combined. If Russia wants influence in the Midde East, they need to go through us.

    Bibi Netanyahu to the rest of the world: I'm the captain now.

    Indeed, wages have sagged a bit along with people’s incomes but if you look back to the beginning of our journey, the number of people below the poverty line is now half the number in 2000
     
    What a self serving thing to say. Yes poverty is better than when Russia was at it's nadir after most of the reforms had already been made (some of which you have since reversed). Now why don't you talk about the poverty rate now compared to 2012 instead? Wouldn't that be a more meaningful comparison?

    You did a great job coasting off of Yeltsin's work. Congratulations. Now either return to Yeltsin's path of reform or step aside for someone who will.
    , @Tyrion 2
    Putin is a reasonable guy. Israel is a reasonable country. Neither all good nor all bad.
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  3. @Brabantian
    Some helpful tonic black-pilling from Asia Times, for those who still have illusions about Vladimir Putin, now openly grovelling as a Zionist asset, even tho a demeaned partner in the 'big power conflict' show ... which doesn't prevent Putin from kneeling in total capitulation to Israel

    Clearly, Andrei 'Saker' Raevsky's oily claims about Putin 'opposing Anglo-Zionism', that is just flat-out lying by 'former' (HA!) intel agency staffer Saker

    Putin & Moscow denounce Iran for 'anti-Israeli' activity ... as if Putin 'doesn't know' that the 'ISIS jihadis' who have been killing Russians, were backed by Israel ... From Asia Times -

    Close ties between Russia and Israel are sailing into full view ... it all does seem a cosy condominium between Putin and Netanyahu ... Extraordinary statements for an establishment think tank known to be close to the Kremlin:

    The commentary contextualised Putin’s recent call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syrian soil. It openly rapped the Iranians on the knuckle: “Iran’s operations in Syria go far beyond fighting terrorists and are hardly welcomed by anyone within the region and beyond. This heightens tensions in Israel’s relations with its bitter rivals … Serving as a platform for fighting the ‘Zionist’ enemy is something Syria needs the least.”

    Key elements [according to the Kremlin-tied think tank]:
    a) Russia holds Iran as responsible for ratcheting up tensions with Israel;
    b) Russia thoroughly disapproves of Syria being turned into a turf for Iran’s policy of 'Resistance' against Israel; and,
    c) Moscow expects the Assad regime to distance itself from Iran’s anti-Israeli activities.
     
    M K Bhadrakumar, 'Russia Censures Iran'
    http://www.atimes.com/article/russia-censures-iran-expects-israel-to-help-restore-ties-with-us/

    Look, I would be the first to condemn Putin for his coddling of Israel and philosemitism in general, but this Bhadrakumar guy doesn’t know what he is talking about. He is like Debka or Magnier, he makes up stuff. For example, I know for a fact that Russia doesn’t have any “foreign policy establishment think tanks” – so I have no idea where he got these statements from. Most likely he made them up.

    Who is this Bhadrakumar, a former India’s ambassador to Uzbekistan? I see his articles pop up here and there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    , I know for a fact that Russia doesn’t have any “foreign policy establishment think tanks”
     
    There are a couple of things in a similar though, but I wonder what publication he is referring to, and what wild conclusions derived.

    journal by the government
    https://interaffairs.ru/

    A non-government group
    http://pircenter.org/

    , @Mitleser
    https://twitter.com/BhadraPunchline/status/1003991528660918273
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  4. Beckow says:
    @German_reader
    According to al-arabiya MbS is to attend the opening of the world cup on June 14:
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/sports/2018/06/03/Saudi-Crown-Prince-to-attend-World-Cup-opening-ceremony-in-support-of-national-team.html

    So maybe he's still alive?
    I hope Russia will at least beat the Saudi scum. I also want the German team to lose in the most humiliating way possible, but I suppose that's a task for the Argies or the Brazilians.

    It is shaping up as a potential meltdown for anglo the soft-power, so they will probably do something. Germany will lose at some point, but I am pretty sure it won’t be the Brazilians. I am also watching for the inevitable Iceland fade away, a safe team to root for, but not much of a team. I would put money on France or Spain.

    I keep on thinking that the masters cannot let this go on without some interference, distraction, staged outrage. The lesbian hooligans are mobilised, journalists pre-positioned, schaden-freude options reviewed – I hope it is entertaining. After Babchenko and Skripals the bar is pretty high, rounding up stray dogs or claiming that the toilet didn’t flush won’t do. Let’s see what they come up with.

    Read More
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  5. Dmitry says:

    It might be interesting for people here. Published one hour ago, there was an interview with Putin with Austrian TV – they added an English translation:

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57675

    Some random parts

    Armin Wolf: The last question on Ukraine. Do you think the Ukrainian problem would be resolved if Ukraine declared itself a neutral country like Sweden or Austria and would not join NATO?

    Vladimir Putin: This is one of the problems, but not the only one. I have already mentioned the limited use of native languages ​​of ethnic minorities. Ukraine adopted the law on language, which was criticised, including in Europe, but it is in force. This largely complicates the situation in Ukraine. But I will remind you – and these are the things very few people know about – that the ideologists of Ukrainian independence, Ukrainian nationalists insisted on creating a sovereign Ukrainian state, independent from Russia, as early as in the 19th century. But many of them also spoke about the need to maintain good relations with Russia, the need to form an independent Ukrainian state on federative principles, and so on. As early as in the 19th century. Today, I would say it is one of the most sensitive internal issues in Ukraine. And Ukraine is doing it itself.

    As for the neutral status, this issue is up to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian leadership. For us, for Russia, the important thing is that there would be no military facilities in Ukraine that could threaten our security, such as new missile defence systems aimed at thwarting our nuclear potential. This is indeed important for us, I am telling you frankly. But ultimately, this is the choice of the Ukrainian people and the country’s legitimately elected authorities.

    Economy

    Vladimir Putin: I want everybody who thinks like that to calm down. Since 2012, Russia has been through some very difficult challenges in the economy. And that was not only related to so-called sanctions or restrictions. It was primarily due to a drastic drop in the prices of our traditional export products. The prices dropped by half. That affected the budget revenue and, therefore, people’s income. But we managed to do the main thing – and our colleagues, including IMF senior officials, acknowledged that just recently at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. We achieved the main thing, which is to preserve and strengthen the macroeconomic stability in the country.

    Indeed, wages have sagged a bit along with people’s incomes but if you look back to the beginning of our journey, the number of people below the poverty line is now half the number in 2000. Half that number. Between 2012 and 2016 and in 2017 the figure ticked upward but it is levelling out now.

    The inflation rate was 12.5 percent, almost 13 percent, and now it is the lowest in modern Russian history – 2,5%. Our gold and foreign currency reserves are growing. After the collapse I mentioned, stable economic growth began to show. Yes, it is modest at the moment (1.5 percent) but fixed investment is growing at 4.4 percent, which guarantees further economic growth. Foreign direct investment has almost doubled. As I said, both the Central Bank gold and foreign currency reserves and the Government reserves are growing. We have created great conditions for the next steps on economic development, which we will definitely take.

    Support in Moscow:

    Armin Wolf: I see.

    In the 2013 election in Moscow, Navalny got 27 percent.

    Vladimir Putin: How many do you think voted for yours truly in Moscow in the recent election? Not for Moscow Mayor but for President? How many do you think? Look into it.

    Armin Wolf: I would guess more than 27 percent. It is just that Navalny could not really run.

    Vladimir Putin: Yes, way more, for which I am very grateful to Muscovites. Because Moscow voters are very sophisticated. And we are not talking about a mayoral election. We are talking about a presidential election.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail

    Ukrainian nationalists insisted on creating a sovereign Ukrainian state, independent from Russia, as early as in the 19th century. But many of them also spoke about the need to maintain good relations with Russia, the need to form an independent Ukrainian state on federative principles, and so on. As early as in the 19th century. Today, I would say it is one of the most sensitive internal issues in Ukraine. And Ukraine is doing it itself.
     
    Refer to Skoropadasky's 1918 call for an All Russian Federation, involving Russia and Ukraine:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

    In addition, the Russian Civil War era Galician Ukrainian Army en masse came under the command of the Russian Whites, who treated the former with more respect than how Pilsudski treated Petliura and in turn how Petliura treated the Galician Ukrainians.

    , @Mr. Hack

    for Russia, the important thing is that there would be no military facilities in Ukraine that could threaten our security, such as new missile defence systems aimed at thwarting our nuclear potential. This is indeed important for us,
     
    Putler should have thought about these concerns much more intently before he decided to invade Ukraine and rip off the Crimea (hold a referendum at the point of a gun) and foment war in the Donbas. His concerns are to be taken as seriously today as his country's signature on the Budapest Memorandum, that guaranteed Ukraine's sovereignty and respect for its national borders, appeared yesterday. Why would Ukraine want to be in any sort of confederation with Russia, a country that lies and circumvents its obligations and promises? Arming and increasing Ukraine's military stature is the only thing that will stop Russian aggression and mischief, as the last three years have shown and to which Karlin agrees with:

    If there was a time and a place for a Russian invasion of the Ukraine – in reality, not in Western/Ukrainian propagandist fantasy – it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest.

    Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. Since 2014, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have grown from no more than 100,000 troops (almost none of them combat-worthy) to around 250,000. It can now carry out complex tactical operations: In an August 2017 report at Colonel Cassad, Vladimir Orlov noted how night vision equipped Ukrainian spec ops used highly technical means to kidnap a Russian citizen serving with the NAF.

    It has been purged of its “Russophile” elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 2.5%-5%.
     

    So, as Karlin points out, as Ukraine has increased its military spending and fortitude, Russia's appetite for an escalation of operations has diminished. Every year since 2014, Russia's ability to wage a successful war in Ukraine has gotten riskier and less attractive as a viable option.
    , @Dan Hayes
    Dmitry:

    The Putin transcript once again attests to the workings of a very agile and perspicacious mind. What a comparison with politicians of what used to be termed the "Free World".
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  6. Nosenberg says:

    Is there such thing as Russian mentality and how much it differs from Western European mentality? Why Russian countryside is so bleak and run-down when compared to Belarussian, Lithuanian and Polish countryside?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Russian women don't yell enough at their men for not mowing the lawn or not fixing the fence.
    , @Dmitry
    There is plenty of beautiful countryside and picturesque villages (they can too touristy sometimes).

    For example, the favourite village of Vasily I, Levitan, Medvedev:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHMLEOBQ5OQ

    , @melanf

    Why Russian countryside is so bleak and run-down when compared to Belarussian, Lithuanian and Polish countryside?
     
    What exactly does this mean? Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God) - this is a universal process. Agriculture in Russia shows stable growth. If about the appearance: in Russia there is a very picturesque countryside - envy Poland envy Lithuania!

    https://i12.fotocdn.net/s10/240/gallery_xl/430/2470555119.jpg

    https://c.radikal.ru/c05/1806/b6/3dd1c221b6a0.jpg

    https://d.radikal.ru/d13/1806/f4/861dbeab1df9.jpg

    https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/5605/3689816.110/0_8d3e6_55b01828_orig.jpg

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Look, I would be the first to condemn Putin for his coddling of Israel and philosemitism in general, but this Bhadrakumar guy doesn't know what he is talking about. He is like Debka or Magnier, he makes up stuff. For example, I know for a fact that Russia doesn't have any "foreign policy establishment think tanks" - so I have no idea where he got these statements from. Most likely he made them up.

    Who is this Bhadrakumar, a former India's ambassador to Uzbekistan? I see his articles pop up here and there.

    , I know for a fact that Russia doesn’t have any “foreign policy establishment think tanks”

    There are a couple of things in a similar though, but I wonder what publication he is referring to, and what wild conclusions derived.

    journal by the government

    https://interaffairs.ru/

    A non-government group

    http://pircenter.org/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Dmitry
    It might be interesting for people here. Published one hour ago, there was an interview with Putin with Austrian TV - they added an English translation:

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57675

    Some random parts

    Armin Wolf: The last question on Ukraine. Do you think the Ukrainian problem would be resolved if Ukraine declared itself a neutral country like Sweden or Austria and would not join NATO?

    Vladimir Putin: This is one of the problems, but not the only one. I have already mentioned the limited use of native languages ​​of ethnic minorities. Ukraine adopted the law on language, which was criticised, including in Europe, but it is in force. This largely complicates the situation in Ukraine. But I will remind you – and these are the things very few people know about – that the ideologists of Ukrainian independence, Ukrainian nationalists insisted on creating a sovereign Ukrainian state, independent from Russia, as early as in the 19th century. But many of them also spoke about the need to maintain good relations with Russia, the need to form an independent Ukrainian state on federative principles, and so on. As early as in the 19th century. Today, I would say it is one of the most sensitive internal issues in Ukraine. And Ukraine is doing it itself.

    As for the neutral status, this issue is up to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian leadership. For us, for Russia, the important thing is that there would be no military facilities in Ukraine that could threaten our security, such as new missile defence systems aimed at thwarting our nuclear potential. This is indeed important for us, I am telling you frankly. But ultimately, this is the choice of the Ukrainian people and the country’s legitimately elected authorities.
     

    Economy

    Vladimir Putin: I want everybody who thinks like that to calm down. Since 2012, Russia has been through some very difficult challenges in the economy. And that was not only related to so-called sanctions or restrictions. It was primarily due to a drastic drop in the prices of our traditional export products. The prices dropped by half. That affected the budget revenue and, therefore, people’s income. But we managed to do the main thing – and our colleagues, including IMF senior officials, acknowledged that just recently at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. We achieved the main thing, which is to preserve and strengthen the macroeconomic stability in the country.

    Indeed, wages have sagged a bit along with people’s incomes but if you look back to the beginning of our journey, the number of people below the poverty line is now half the number in 2000. Half that number. Between 2012 and 2016 and in 2017 the figure ticked upward but it is levelling out now.

    The inflation rate was 12.5 percent, almost 13 percent, and now it is the lowest in modern Russian history – 2,5%. Our gold and foreign currency reserves are growing. After the collapse I mentioned, stable economic growth began to show. Yes, it is modest at the moment (1.5 percent) but fixed investment is growing at 4.4 percent, which guarantees further economic growth. Foreign direct investment has almost doubled. As I said, both the Central Bank gold and foreign currency reserves and the Government reserves are growing. We have created great conditions for the next steps on economic development, which we will definitely take.
     

    Support in Moscow:

    Armin Wolf: I see.

    In the 2013 election in Moscow, Navalny got 27 percent.

    Vladimir Putin: How many do you think voted for yours truly in Moscow in the recent election? Not for Moscow Mayor but for President? How many do you think? Look into it.

    Armin Wolf: I would guess more than 27 percent. It is just that Navalny could not really run.

    Vladimir Putin: Yes, way more, for which I am very grateful to Muscovites. Because Moscow voters are very sophisticated. And we are not talking about a mayoral election. We are talking about a presidential election.

     

    Ukrainian nationalists insisted on creating a sovereign Ukrainian state, independent from Russia, as early as in the 19th century. But many of them also spoke about the need to maintain good relations with Russia, the need to form an independent Ukrainian state on federative principles, and so on. As early as in the 19th century. Today, I would say it is one of the most sensitive internal issues in Ukraine. And Ukraine is doing it itself.

    Refer to Skoropadasky’s 1918 call for an All Russian Federation, involving Russia and Ukraine:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

    In addition, the Russian Civil War era Galician Ukrainian Army en masse came under the command of the Russian Whites, who treated the former with more respect than how Pilsudski treated Petliura and in turn how Petliura treated the Galician Ukrainians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Just how many months was Skoropadsky in power? Just how popular could the old Hetman really be if he was helping the German high command fill railroad cars full of all manner of grain and foodtuffs and transporting them to Germany, during the harsh environment of WWI and the revolution? As I've already pointed out to you many times, Skoropadsky was the biggest nobody in Ukrainian history (I guess that's why you're so infatuated with him) and anything that he wrote or stood for needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
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  9. anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @Nosenberg
    Is there such thing as Russian mentality and how much it differs from Western European mentality? Why Russian countryside is so bleak and run-down when compared to Belarussian, Lithuanian and Polish countryside?

    Russian women don’t yell enough at their men for not mowing the lawn or not fixing the fence.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @Brabantian
    Some helpful tonic black-pilling from Asia Times, for those who still have illusions about Vladimir Putin, now openly grovelling as a Zionist asset, even tho a demeaned partner in the 'big power conflict' show ... which doesn't prevent Putin from kneeling in total capitulation to Israel

    Clearly, Andrei 'Saker' Raevsky's oily claims about Putin 'opposing Anglo-Zionism', that is just flat-out lying by 'former' (HA!) intel agency staffer Saker

    Putin & Moscow denounce Iran for 'anti-Israeli' activity ... as if Putin 'doesn't know' that the 'ISIS jihadis' who have been killing Russians, were backed by Israel ... From Asia Times -

    Close ties between Russia and Israel are sailing into full view ... it all does seem a cosy condominium between Putin and Netanyahu ... Extraordinary statements for an establishment think tank known to be close to the Kremlin:

    The commentary contextualised Putin’s recent call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syrian soil. It openly rapped the Iranians on the knuckle: “Iran’s operations in Syria go far beyond fighting terrorists and are hardly welcomed by anyone within the region and beyond. This heightens tensions in Israel’s relations with its bitter rivals … Serving as a platform for fighting the ‘Zionist’ enemy is something Syria needs the least.”

    Key elements [according to the Kremlin-tied think tank]:
    a) Russia holds Iran as responsible for ratcheting up tensions with Israel;
    b) Russia thoroughly disapproves of Syria being turned into a turf for Iran’s policy of 'Resistance' against Israel; and,
    c) Moscow expects the Assad regime to distance itself from Iran’s anti-Israeli activities.
     
    M K Bhadrakumar, 'Russia Censures Iran'
    http://www.atimes.com/article/russia-censures-iran-expects-israel-to-help-restore-ties-with-us/

    I don’t know if Putin jamming a knife in the back of Iran is good or bad for Russia, but one thing I think we can all agree on is that Russia is morally obligated to destroy Israel and to fight Iran’s wars. After all, let’s be honest here, if it wasn’t for Assad, Hezbollah and Iran, would Russia even exist? I strongly doubt it. If Assad hadn’t graciously allowed Russia to keep him in power, Syria would have become a NATO beachhead that the US would have already launched an invasion into Russia from. And while it is true that the US could never conquer a powerful country like Iran, it’s hard to see them having any trouble with a backwater like Russia.

    Putin & Moscow denounce Iran for ‘anti-Israeli’ activity

    Putin said this? When has Iran ever done something against Israel? Putin is either delusional or a Jew puppet to say such a thing.

    Look, I would be the first to condemn Putin for his coddling of Israel and philosemitism in general

    You should be grateful that your President elected to bet on the winning horse. We’re stronger than every country in the region combined. If Russia wants influence in the Midde East, they need to go through us.

    Bibi Netanyahu to the rest of the world: I’m the captain now.

    Indeed, wages have sagged a bit along with people’s incomes but if you look back to the beginning of our journey, the number of people below the poverty line is now half the number in 2000

    What a self serving thing to say. Yes poverty is better than when Russia was at it’s nadir after most of the reforms had already been made (some of which you have since reversed). Now why don’t you talk about the poverty rate now compared to 2012 instead? Wouldn’t that be a more meaningful comparison?

    You did a great job coasting off of Yeltsin’s work. Congratulations. Now either return to Yeltsin’s path of reform or step aside for someone who will.

    Read More
    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    When Putin took over in 2000, Russia's population was declining at the rate of 1 million people every year in large part thanks to Yeltsin and his team of mostly Jewish reformers, life expectancy crashed. Now, it's... not declining anymore. This is what purging Jewish reformers can do to your country!
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  11. Dmitry says:
    @Nosenberg
    Is there such thing as Russian mentality and how much it differs from Western European mentality? Why Russian countryside is so bleak and run-down when compared to Belarussian, Lithuanian and Polish countryside?

    There is plenty of beautiful countryside and picturesque villages (they can too touristy sometimes).

    For example, the favourite village of Vasily I, Levitan, Medvedev:

    Read More
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  12. @German_reader
    According to al-arabiya MbS is to attend the opening of the world cup on June 14:
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/sports/2018/06/03/Saudi-Crown-Prince-to-attend-World-Cup-opening-ceremony-in-support-of-national-team.html

    So maybe he's still alive?
    I hope Russia will at least beat the Saudi scum. I also want the German team to lose in the most humiliating way possible, but I suppose that's a task for the Argies or the Brazilians.

    Russia will beat Saudi Arabia, Uruguay will beat Egypt, and Uruguay will beat Saudi Arabia

    Thats a nice bet IMO, I usually bet against the Arab teams and I usually win big

    However be careful with Egypt, if Mo Salah is in top form they could cause upsets

    Read More
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  13. Are you signed up for cryonics? If so, are you signed up with the Cryonics Institute, Alcor, KrioRus, or somewhere else?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    No, I'm too poor for that. I'll probably do that if/when I have more savings.
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  14. @Greasy William
    I don't know if Putin jamming a knife in the back of Iran is good or bad for Russia, but one thing I think we can all agree on is that Russia is morally obligated to destroy Israel and to fight Iran's wars. After all, let's be honest here, if it wasn't for Assad, Hezbollah and Iran, would Russia even exist? I strongly doubt it. If Assad hadn't graciously allowed Russia to keep him in power, Syria would have become a NATO beachhead that the US would have already launched an invasion into Russia from. And while it is true that the US could never conquer a powerful country like Iran, it's hard to see them having any trouble with a backwater like Russia.

    Putin & Moscow denounce Iran for ‘anti-Israeli’ activity
     
    Putin said this? When has Iran ever done something against Israel? Putin is either delusional or a Jew puppet to say such a thing.

    Look, I would be the first to condemn Putin for his coddling of Israel and philosemitism in general
     
    You should be grateful that your President elected to bet on the winning horse. We're stronger than every country in the region combined. If Russia wants influence in the Midde East, they need to go through us.

    Bibi Netanyahu to the rest of the world: I'm the captain now.

    Indeed, wages have sagged a bit along with people’s incomes but if you look back to the beginning of our journey, the number of people below the poverty line is now half the number in 2000
     
    What a self serving thing to say. Yes poverty is better than when Russia was at it's nadir after most of the reforms had already been made (some of which you have since reversed). Now why don't you talk about the poverty rate now compared to 2012 instead? Wouldn't that be a more meaningful comparison?

    You did a great job coasting off of Yeltsin's work. Congratulations. Now either return to Yeltsin's path of reform or step aside for someone who will.

    When Putin took over in 2000, Russia’s population was declining at the rate of 1 million people every year in large part thanks to Yeltsin and his team of mostly Jewish reformers, life expectancy crashed. Now, it’s… not declining anymore. This is what purging Jewish reformers can do to your country!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Novak
    'Jews Are Fighting and the Whole Country Has To Watch'
    Jews in Power or Jewish Power? The Captains of Russia's Post-Communist Economy Invited Uneasy Questions

    https://web.archive.org/web/20050306174251/http://www.forward.com/issues/2002/02.09.13/arts1.html
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  15. Have you read any of Ted Kaczynski’s writings, such as Industrial Society And Its Future and Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How? If so, what did you think of them?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Well written and interesting, but ultimately, I think primitivism is perfectly self-defeating, hence worthless (short of a global Khmer Rouge dictatorship or something like that). My personal inclinations are of course almost entirely opposite to this.
    , @songbird
    Kaczynski supposedly considered becoming a woman, which I think kind of highlights how much of a loon he was.
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  16. Another betting tip, Panama might beat England, depending on the odds this might be a good bet, if you live in the UK it could be real value

    Read More
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  17. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Ukrainian nationalists insisted on creating a sovereign Ukrainian state, independent from Russia, as early as in the 19th century. But many of them also spoke about the need to maintain good relations with Russia, the need to form an independent Ukrainian state on federative principles, and so on. As early as in the 19th century. Today, I would say it is one of the most sensitive internal issues in Ukraine. And Ukraine is doing it itself.
     
    Refer to Skoropadasky's 1918 call for an All Russian Federation, involving Russia and Ukraine:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

    In addition, the Russian Civil War era Galician Ukrainian Army en masse came under the command of the Russian Whites, who treated the former with more respect than how Pilsudski treated Petliura and in turn how Petliura treated the Galician Ukrainians.

    Just how many months was Skoropadsky in power? Just how popular could the old Hetman really be if he was helping the German high command fill railroad cars full of all manner of grain and foodtuffs and transporting them to Germany, during the harsh environment of WWI and the revolution? As I’ve already pointed out to you many times, Skoropadsky was the biggest nobody in Ukrainian history (I guess that’s why you’re so infatuated with him) and anything that he wrote or stood for needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hokie
    There is a giant poster right next to Maidan with his face and story on it, along with other "Heroes of the Ukrainian Revolution 1817-1921". There was a biography simply titled "Skoropadsky" on sale in a lot of bookstores, including a bookstore just 1/2 km from the Rada. However, in talking to the locals, Makhno and Petlyura seemed to be a lot more popular.
    , @Mikhail
    Skoropadsky is looked upon more favorably than what you suggest. I've come across Ukrainian government approved written material indicating that.

    He's credited with increasing the stature of the Ukrainian language, as well as developing the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, while articulating the creation of an All-Russian Federation, including Russia and Ukraine.

    He was in a difficult position during his period in high office, under German domination.
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  18. Hokie says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Just how many months was Skoropadsky in power? Just how popular could the old Hetman really be if he was helping the German high command fill railroad cars full of all manner of grain and foodtuffs and transporting them to Germany, during the harsh environment of WWI and the revolution? As I've already pointed out to you many times, Skoropadsky was the biggest nobody in Ukrainian history (I guess that's why you're so infatuated with him) and anything that he wrote or stood for needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    There is a giant poster right next to Maidan with his face and story on it, along with other “Heroes of the Ukrainian Revolution 1817-1921″. There was a biography simply titled “Skoropadsky” on sale in a lot of bookstores, including a bookstore just 1/2 km from the Rada. However, in talking to the locals, Makhno and Petlyura seemed to be a lot more popular.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    You can find posters of almost anybody standing for any position on most any building if you want to.

    Can you point to any political figures or parties that look to him for inspiration in Ukraine today?

    His grandon, a Canadian, went to Ukraine for a 10 year period and couldn't get any serious support for his grandfather's platform. He went back to Canada a dejected man.

    , @Mikhail
    As a military tactician, Makhno has been given a good deal of respect. He comes across (at least arguably) as being more of an anarchist than a Ukrainian nationalist.

    Petliura lacked popularity, thereby explaining his willingness to be Pilsudski's puppet - an arrangement that saw Petliura agree that all of Galicia should be under Polish rule. That move led to the Galician Ukrainian Army, en masse coming under the command of the White Russians.
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  19. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry
    It might be interesting for people here. Published one hour ago, there was an interview with Putin with Austrian TV - they added an English translation:

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57675

    Some random parts

    Armin Wolf: The last question on Ukraine. Do you think the Ukrainian problem would be resolved if Ukraine declared itself a neutral country like Sweden or Austria and would not join NATO?

    Vladimir Putin: This is one of the problems, but not the only one. I have already mentioned the limited use of native languages ​​of ethnic minorities. Ukraine adopted the law on language, which was criticised, including in Europe, but it is in force. This largely complicates the situation in Ukraine. But I will remind you – and these are the things very few people know about – that the ideologists of Ukrainian independence, Ukrainian nationalists insisted on creating a sovereign Ukrainian state, independent from Russia, as early as in the 19th century. But many of them also spoke about the need to maintain good relations with Russia, the need to form an independent Ukrainian state on federative principles, and so on. As early as in the 19th century. Today, I would say it is one of the most sensitive internal issues in Ukraine. And Ukraine is doing it itself.

    As for the neutral status, this issue is up to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian leadership. For us, for Russia, the important thing is that there would be no military facilities in Ukraine that could threaten our security, such as new missile defence systems aimed at thwarting our nuclear potential. This is indeed important for us, I am telling you frankly. But ultimately, this is the choice of the Ukrainian people and the country’s legitimately elected authorities.
     

    Economy

    Vladimir Putin: I want everybody who thinks like that to calm down. Since 2012, Russia has been through some very difficult challenges in the economy. And that was not only related to so-called sanctions or restrictions. It was primarily due to a drastic drop in the prices of our traditional export products. The prices dropped by half. That affected the budget revenue and, therefore, people’s income. But we managed to do the main thing – and our colleagues, including IMF senior officials, acknowledged that just recently at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. We achieved the main thing, which is to preserve and strengthen the macroeconomic stability in the country.

    Indeed, wages have sagged a bit along with people’s incomes but if you look back to the beginning of our journey, the number of people below the poverty line is now half the number in 2000. Half that number. Between 2012 and 2016 and in 2017 the figure ticked upward but it is levelling out now.

    The inflation rate was 12.5 percent, almost 13 percent, and now it is the lowest in modern Russian history – 2,5%. Our gold and foreign currency reserves are growing. After the collapse I mentioned, stable economic growth began to show. Yes, it is modest at the moment (1.5 percent) but fixed investment is growing at 4.4 percent, which guarantees further economic growth. Foreign direct investment has almost doubled. As I said, both the Central Bank gold and foreign currency reserves and the Government reserves are growing. We have created great conditions for the next steps on economic development, which we will definitely take.
     

    Support in Moscow:

    Armin Wolf: I see.

    In the 2013 election in Moscow, Navalny got 27 percent.

    Vladimir Putin: How many do you think voted for yours truly in Moscow in the recent election? Not for Moscow Mayor but for President? How many do you think? Look into it.

    Armin Wolf: I would guess more than 27 percent. It is just that Navalny could not really run.

    Vladimir Putin: Yes, way more, for which I am very grateful to Muscovites. Because Moscow voters are very sophisticated. And we are not talking about a mayoral election. We are talking about a presidential election.

     

    for Russia, the important thing is that there would be no military facilities in Ukraine that could threaten our security, such as new missile defence systems aimed at thwarting our nuclear potential. This is indeed important for us,

    Putler should have thought about these concerns much more intently before he decided to invade Ukraine and rip off the Crimea (hold a referendum at the point of a gun) and foment war in the Donbas. His concerns are to be taken as seriously today as his country’s signature on the Budapest Memorandum, that guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty and respect for its national borders, appeared yesterday. Why would Ukraine want to be in any sort of confederation with Russia, a country that lies and circumvents its obligations and promises? Arming and increasing Ukraine’s military stature is the only thing that will stop Russian aggression and mischief, as the last three years have shown and to which Karlin agrees with:

    If there was a time and a place for a Russian invasion of the Ukraine – in reality, not in Western/Ukrainian propagandist fantasy – it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest.

    Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. Since 2014, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have grown from no more than 100,000 troops (almost none of them combat-worthy) to around 250,000. It can now carry out complex tactical operations: In an August 2017 report at Colonel Cassad, Vladimir Orlov noted how night vision equipped Ukrainian spec ops used highly technical means to kidnap a Russian citizen serving with the NAF.

    It has been purged of its “Russophile” elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 2.5%-5%.

    So, as Karlin points out, as Ukraine has increased its military spending and fortitude, Russia’s appetite for an escalation of operations has diminished. Every year since 2014, Russia’s ability to wage a successful war in Ukraine has gotten riskier and less attractive as a viable option.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail

    Putler should have thought about these concerns much more intently before he decided to invade Ukraine and rip off the Crimea (hold a referendum at the point of a gun) and foment war in the Donbas. His concerns are to be taken as seriously today as his country’s signature on the Budapest Memorandum, that guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty and respect for its national borders, appeared yesterday. Why would Ukraine want to be in any sort of confederation with Russia, a country that lies and circumvents its obligations and promises?
     
    In fact, outside polling indicates a well over 2/3 Crimean majority supporting Crimea's reunification with Russia. That jives with the referendum that was taken. Roughly 97% voting for reunification. About 17% of those eligible to vote on that issue didn't.

    It's quite understandable why the pro-Russian majority in Crimea decided to break away from Kiev regime controlled Ukraine, following the ouster of Yanukovych.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/twisted-history-against-russia-and-serbia/5390154

    - disproportionate Rada ministerial appointments by the then acting Turchynov-Yatsenyuk regime in Kiev, to people associated with the pro-Bandera/anti-Russian leaning nationalist Svoboda organization

    - scrapping of a law safeguarding Russian and other minority language rights, only to be later put in a pending kind of limbo status

    - violent manner of the nationalist anti-Russian slanted Svoboda and Right Sector movements – some examples are clearly available on tape

    - a situation in Kiev and some other parts of Ukraine that became unfairly challenging to individuals with views running counter to the Turchynov-Yatsenyuk regime, in the lead up to the May 25 Ukrainian presidential election

    - replacing the pro-Russian utilized St. George’s ribbon, honoring the May 9th Victory Day, with an emblem having the black and red colors of the pro-Bandera movement

    - Svoboda advocated removal of a monument honoring Napoleonic era Russian General Mikhail Kutuzov.

     

    , @Marcus
    Expenditure isn't everything, just ask Saudi Arabia. All of Ukraine's drafts failed. The people don't want to fight for the Kiev junta, sorry.
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  20. Mr. Hack says:
    @Hokie
    There is a giant poster right next to Maidan with his face and story on it, along with other "Heroes of the Ukrainian Revolution 1817-1921". There was a biography simply titled "Skoropadsky" on sale in a lot of bookstores, including a bookstore just 1/2 km from the Rada. However, in talking to the locals, Makhno and Petlyura seemed to be a lot more popular.

    You can find posters of almost anybody standing for any position on most any building if you want to.

    Can you point to any political figures or parties that look to him for inspiration in Ukraine today?

    His grandon, a Canadian, went to Ukraine for a 10 year period and couldn’t get any serious support for his grandfather’s platform. He went back to Canada a dejected man.

    Read More
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  21. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    Just how many months was Skoropadsky in power? Just how popular could the old Hetman really be if he was helping the German high command fill railroad cars full of all manner of grain and foodtuffs and transporting them to Germany, during the harsh environment of WWI and the revolution? As I've already pointed out to you many times, Skoropadsky was the biggest nobody in Ukrainian history (I guess that's why you're so infatuated with him) and anything that he wrote or stood for needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Skoropadsky is looked upon more favorably than what you suggest. I’ve come across Ukrainian government approved written material indicating that.

    He’s credited with increasing the stature of the Ukrainian language, as well as developing the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, while articulating the creation of an All-Russian Federation, including Russia and Ukraine.

    He was in a difficult position during his period in high office, under German domination.

    Read More
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  22. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Hokie
    There is a giant poster right next to Maidan with his face and story on it, along with other "Heroes of the Ukrainian Revolution 1817-1921". There was a biography simply titled "Skoropadsky" on sale in a lot of bookstores, including a bookstore just 1/2 km from the Rada. However, in talking to the locals, Makhno and Petlyura seemed to be a lot more popular.

    As a military tactician, Makhno has been given a good deal of respect. He comes across (at least arguably) as being more of an anarchist than a Ukrainian nationalist.

    Petliura lacked popularity, thereby explaining his willingness to be Pilsudski’s puppet – an arrangement that saw Petliura agree that all of Galicia should be under Polish rule. That move led to the Galician Ukrainian Army, en masse coming under the command of the White Russians.

    Read More
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  23. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    for Russia, the important thing is that there would be no military facilities in Ukraine that could threaten our security, such as new missile defence systems aimed at thwarting our nuclear potential. This is indeed important for us,
     
    Putler should have thought about these concerns much more intently before he decided to invade Ukraine and rip off the Crimea (hold a referendum at the point of a gun) and foment war in the Donbas. His concerns are to be taken as seriously today as his country's signature on the Budapest Memorandum, that guaranteed Ukraine's sovereignty and respect for its national borders, appeared yesterday. Why would Ukraine want to be in any sort of confederation with Russia, a country that lies and circumvents its obligations and promises? Arming and increasing Ukraine's military stature is the only thing that will stop Russian aggression and mischief, as the last three years have shown and to which Karlin agrees with:

    If there was a time and a place for a Russian invasion of the Ukraine – in reality, not in Western/Ukrainian propagandist fantasy – it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest.

    Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. Since 2014, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have grown from no more than 100,000 troops (almost none of them combat-worthy) to around 250,000. It can now carry out complex tactical operations: In an August 2017 report at Colonel Cassad, Vladimir Orlov noted how night vision equipped Ukrainian spec ops used highly technical means to kidnap a Russian citizen serving with the NAF.

    It has been purged of its “Russophile” elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 2.5%-5%.
     

    So, as Karlin points out, as Ukraine has increased its military spending and fortitude, Russia's appetite for an escalation of operations has diminished. Every year since 2014, Russia's ability to wage a successful war in Ukraine has gotten riskier and less attractive as a viable option.

    Putler should have thought about these concerns much more intently before he decided to invade Ukraine and rip off the Crimea (hold a referendum at the point of a gun) and foment war in the Donbas. His concerns are to be taken as seriously today as his country’s signature on the Budapest Memorandum, that guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty and respect for its national borders, appeared yesterday. Why would Ukraine want to be in any sort of confederation with Russia, a country that lies and circumvents its obligations and promises?

    In fact, outside polling indicates a well over 2/3 Crimean majority supporting Crimea’s reunification with Russia. That jives with the referendum that was taken. Roughly 97% voting for reunification. About 17% of those eligible to vote on that issue didn’t.

    It’s quite understandable why the pro-Russian majority in Crimea decided to break away from Kiev regime controlled Ukraine, following the ouster of Yanukovych.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/twisted-history-against-russia-and-serbia/5390154

    - disproportionate Rada ministerial appointments by the then acting Turchynov-Yatsenyuk regime in Kiev, to people associated with the pro-Bandera/anti-Russian leaning nationalist Svoboda organization

    - scrapping of a law safeguarding Russian and other minority language rights, only to be later put in a pending kind of limbo status

    - violent manner of the nationalist anti-Russian slanted Svoboda and Right Sector movements – some examples are clearly available on tape

    - a situation in Kiev and some other parts of Ukraine that became unfairly challenging to individuals with views running counter to the Turchynov-Yatsenyuk regime, in the lead up to the May 25 Ukrainian presidential election

    - replacing the pro-Russian utilized St. George’s ribbon, honoring the May 9th Victory Day, with an emblem having the black and red colors of the pro-Bandera movement

    - Svoboda advocated removal of a monument honoring Napoleonic era Russian General Mikhail Kutuzov.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Nobody disputes that a majority of the Crimeans were favorably disposed towards Russia. That's not the question. What's at issue is the manner in which the 'reunification' took place. Even Putler has admitted that the whole operation was instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his 'little green men'. These were not the actions of a civilized country acting in accordance with accepted norms, a country that was to be held to a higher standard as a signatory of protocols insuring the integrity and inviolability of Ukrainian state borders, but rather the actions of a barbaric kleptocracy that can only deal with the world and its neighbors in a heavy handed and military manner.
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  24. @ImmortalRationalist
    Are you signed up for cryonics? If so, are you signed up with the Cryonics Institute, Alcor, KrioRus, or somewhere else?

    No, I’m too poor for that. I’ll probably do that if/when I have more savings.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    Cryonics at the Cryonics Institute costs about $30k. If you pay for it with life insurance, it costs a few hundred dollars per year, IIRC. One other possible alternative to cryonics is plastination.
    , @Mr. Hack
    Spend a bunch of money on human холодец? You seem too smart to believe in such fantasies, Anatoly? If you're really interested in living a long, long life after you die, read about it here (you are at least nominally an Orthodox Christian, aren't you?). This tract is indeed a 'pearl of great value', read it, practice it and you'll feel much better about your life:

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf
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  25. @ImmortalRationalist
    Have you read any of Ted Kaczynski's writings, such as Industrial Society And Its Future and Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How? If so, what did you think of them?

    Well written and interesting, but ultimately, I think primitivism is perfectly self-defeating, hence worthless (short of a global Khmer Rouge dictatorship or something like that). My personal inclinations are of course almost entirely opposite to this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Biosingularity is your preferred outcome, I believe?
    , @ImmortalRationalist
    It seems like if Ted Kaczynski's revolution actually happened and succeeded, all that would come out of it would be a second Dark Ages. Considering that agriculture and civilization emerged multiple times independently, it seems like civilization has been inevitable since the Pleistocene. Technology would almost certainly re-emerge hundreds of years after the revolution, especially considering that artifacts from modern times that could be potentially reverse engineered would most likely still exist. Assuming Ted is right and that civilization should be destroyed, if his terminal values are something along the lines of "protect the biosphere", a more plausible way to permanently destroy civilization would probably be some kind of engineered human extinction. For instance, building a superintelligent AI, and programming it to kill off humanity along with all the other Great Ape species, and then self-destructing.

    Also, this is a bit tangential, but I'm the original creator of the Virgin Anarcho-Primitivist vs. The Chad Transhumanist meme.
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  26. @Anatoly Karlin
    Well written and interesting, but ultimately, I think primitivism is perfectly self-defeating, hence worthless (short of a global Khmer Rouge dictatorship or something like that). My personal inclinations are of course almost entirely opposite to this.

    Biosingularity is your preferred outcome, I believe?

    Read More
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  27. melanf says:
    @Nosenberg
    Is there such thing as Russian mentality and how much it differs from Western European mentality? Why Russian countryside is so bleak and run-down when compared to Belarussian, Lithuanian and Polish countryside?

    Why Russian countryside is so bleak and run-down when compared to Belarussian, Lithuanian and Polish countryside?

    What exactly does this mean? Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God) – this is a universal process. Agriculture in Russia shows stable growth. If about the appearance: in Russia there is a very picturesque countryside – envy Poland envy Lithuania!

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God)

    Why is this such a good thing?
    , @Dmitry

    https://i12.fotocdn.net/s10/240/gallery_xl/430/2470555119.jpg
     
    Yes - lol nothing of the land to match the beauty of the picturesque Lithuanian and Polish countryside...

    Although it's not a place you can conveniently visit for a weekend.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib8djH2InhI

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  28. Novak says:
    @Felix Keverich
    When Putin took over in 2000, Russia's population was declining at the rate of 1 million people every year in large part thanks to Yeltsin and his team of mostly Jewish reformers, life expectancy crashed. Now, it's... not declining anymore. This is what purging Jewish reformers can do to your country!

    ‘Jews Are Fighting and the Whole Country Has To Watch’
    Jews in Power or Jewish Power? The Captains of Russia’s Post-Communist Economy Invited Uneasy Questions

    https://web.archive.org/web/20050306174251/http://www.forward.com/issues/2002/02.09.13/arts1.html

    Read More
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  29. Belarus has no plans to allow Russia to base troops on its territory, its foreign minister said on Thursday, but could review that if, for example, Poland were to host a permanent U.S. military presence.

    Asked if Polish proposals to host a U.S. base amid fears of Russian aggression could prompt Belarus to revise its rejection of any Russian base, Makei said: “I think there will be some reaction to this intention to deploy a new military air base.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-eu/eyeing-possible-polish-u-s-base-belarus-says-no-russian-base-for-now-idUSKCN1IW339

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    My concern is not that NATO actually intends to invade Russia, or that Russia has any intention of invading Poland (does anyone really think either side is so insane?), but that this leads to increased
    tensions which reduce the amount of time either side has to make rational decisions given imperfect information in case of real or imagined escalation. To put it concisely, current NATO policy seems to greatly increase fragility, and Russia will have to respond, further increasing fragility.
    , @Felix Keverich
    And to think that Lukashenko regime survives only with Russian support! Typical post-Soviet scum - we should overthrowing him ourselves, not waiting for US-backed "colored revolution".
    , @AP
    So Belarus is now drifting towards eventually becoming part of Intermarium, whose borders should encompass all the Muslim-free nations of Europe, plus Croatia and Slovenia and perhaps Austria:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/25/Islam_in_Europe-2010.svg/1200px-Islam_in_Europe-2010.svg.png
    , @utu
    I am a big fan of Belarus. So far they are doing a difficult balancing act between EU/NATO and Russia. Their situation is all the time precarious but they are doing very well from the point of view of people living there. I wish them to be a Switzerland of Eastern Europe.
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  30. @Polish Perspective

    Belarus has no plans to allow Russia to base troops on its territory, its foreign minister said on Thursday, but could review that if, for example, Poland were to host a permanent U.S. military presence.

    Asked if Polish proposals to host a U.S. base amid fears of Russian aggression could prompt Belarus to revise its rejection of any Russian base, Makei said: “I think there will be some reaction to this intention to deploy a new military air base.
     

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-eu/eyeing-possible-polish-u-s-base-belarus-says-no-russian-base-for-now-idUSKCN1IW339

    My concern is not that NATO actually intends to invade Russia, or that Russia has any intention of invading Poland (does anyone really think either side is so insane?), but that this leads to increased
    tensions which reduce the amount of time either side has to make rational decisions given imperfect information in case of real or imagined escalation. To put it concisely, current NATO policy seems to greatly increase fragility, and Russia will have to respond, further increasing fragility.

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  31. @melanf

    Why Russian countryside is so bleak and run-down when compared to Belarussian, Lithuanian and Polish countryside?
     
    What exactly does this mean? Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God) - this is a universal process. Agriculture in Russia shows stable growth. If about the appearance: in Russia there is a very picturesque countryside - envy Poland envy Lithuania!

    https://i12.fotocdn.net/s10/240/gallery_xl/430/2470555119.jpg

    https://c.radikal.ru/c05/1806/b6/3dd1c221b6a0.jpg

    https://d.radikal.ru/d13/1806/f4/861dbeab1df9.jpg

    https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/5605/3689816.110/0_8d3e6_55b01828_orig.jpg

    Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God)

    Why is this such a good thing?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    He hates peasants. IIRD somewhere he wrote that millions of Russian and Ukrainian peasants deserved to be starved to death.
    , @melanf

    Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God)
    Why is this such a good thing?
     
    The idiocy of country life. Children in the city grow smarter than in the village.
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  32. What do you think is the most plausible explanation for the Fermi Paradox? If the Great Filter exists, do you think it is more likely to be behind us or ahead of us, and what do you think is the most plausible Great Filter?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I'm preparing an article on that very question (possibly for publication). Check back in a few weeks.
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  33. What do you think of Eliezer Yudkowsky’s idea that the communists were “defective transhumanists”? Do you think it has any merit?

    https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/aFtWRL3QihoF5uQd5/guardians-of-the-gene-pool

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Sounds stupid (commies are hostile to trans humanism and indeed their precursors, the Russian cosmists). But not going to read Yudkowsky's long and probably long-winded essay on this in the middle of my holiday.
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  34. @Anatoly Karlin
    No, I'm too poor for that. I'll probably do that if/when I have more savings.

    Cryonics at the Cryonics Institute costs about $30k. If you pay for it with life insurance, it costs a few hundred dollars per year, IIRC. One other possible alternative to cryonics is plastination.

    Read More
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  35. @Anatoly Karlin
    Well written and interesting, but ultimately, I think primitivism is perfectly self-defeating, hence worthless (short of a global Khmer Rouge dictatorship or something like that). My personal inclinations are of course almost entirely opposite to this.

    It seems like if Ted Kaczynski’s revolution actually happened and succeeded, all that would come out of it would be a second Dark Ages. Considering that agriculture and civilization emerged multiple times independently, it seems like civilization has been inevitable since the Pleistocene. Technology would almost certainly re-emerge hundreds of years after the revolution, especially considering that artifacts from modern times that could be potentially reverse engineered would most likely still exist. Assuming Ted is right and that civilization should be destroyed, if his terminal values are something along the lines of “protect the biosphere”, a more plausible way to permanently destroy civilization would probably be some kind of engineered human extinction. For instance, building a superintelligent AI, and programming it to kill off humanity along with all the other Great Ape species, and then self-destructing.

    Also, this is a bit tangential, but I’m the original creator of the Virgin Anarcho-Primitivist vs. The Chad Transhumanist meme.

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I'm honored. One of the best Virgin vs. Chads out there.
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  36. @Polish Perspective

    Belarus has no plans to allow Russia to base troops on its territory, its foreign minister said on Thursday, but could review that if, for example, Poland were to host a permanent U.S. military presence.

    Asked if Polish proposals to host a U.S. base amid fears of Russian aggression could prompt Belarus to revise its rejection of any Russian base, Makei said: “I think there will be some reaction to this intention to deploy a new military air base.
     

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-eu/eyeing-possible-polish-u-s-base-belarus-says-no-russian-base-for-now-idUSKCN1IW339

    And to think that Lukashenko regime survives only with Russian support! Typical post-Soviet scum – we should overthrowing him ourselves, not waiting for US-backed “colored revolution”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Well, he is asking Russia to reduce support ("trade").

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants: http://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2016/07/15/649326-nasha-karta-afriki
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  37. Dan Hayes says:
    @Dmitry
    It might be interesting for people here. Published one hour ago, there was an interview with Putin with Austrian TV - they added an English translation:

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57675

    Some random parts

    Armin Wolf: The last question on Ukraine. Do you think the Ukrainian problem would be resolved if Ukraine declared itself a neutral country like Sweden or Austria and would not join NATO?

    Vladimir Putin: This is one of the problems, but not the only one. I have already mentioned the limited use of native languages ​​of ethnic minorities. Ukraine adopted the law on language, which was criticised, including in Europe, but it is in force. This largely complicates the situation in Ukraine. But I will remind you – and these are the things very few people know about – that the ideologists of Ukrainian independence, Ukrainian nationalists insisted on creating a sovereign Ukrainian state, independent from Russia, as early as in the 19th century. But many of them also spoke about the need to maintain good relations with Russia, the need to form an independent Ukrainian state on federative principles, and so on. As early as in the 19th century. Today, I would say it is one of the most sensitive internal issues in Ukraine. And Ukraine is doing it itself.

    As for the neutral status, this issue is up to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian leadership. For us, for Russia, the important thing is that there would be no military facilities in Ukraine that could threaten our security, such as new missile defence systems aimed at thwarting our nuclear potential. This is indeed important for us, I am telling you frankly. But ultimately, this is the choice of the Ukrainian people and the country’s legitimately elected authorities.
     

    Economy

    Vladimir Putin: I want everybody who thinks like that to calm down. Since 2012, Russia has been through some very difficult challenges in the economy. And that was not only related to so-called sanctions or restrictions. It was primarily due to a drastic drop in the prices of our traditional export products. The prices dropped by half. That affected the budget revenue and, therefore, people’s income. But we managed to do the main thing – and our colleagues, including IMF senior officials, acknowledged that just recently at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. We achieved the main thing, which is to preserve and strengthen the macroeconomic stability in the country.

    Indeed, wages have sagged a bit along with people’s incomes but if you look back to the beginning of our journey, the number of people below the poverty line is now half the number in 2000. Half that number. Between 2012 and 2016 and in 2017 the figure ticked upward but it is levelling out now.

    The inflation rate was 12.5 percent, almost 13 percent, and now it is the lowest in modern Russian history – 2,5%. Our gold and foreign currency reserves are growing. After the collapse I mentioned, stable economic growth began to show. Yes, it is modest at the moment (1.5 percent) but fixed investment is growing at 4.4 percent, which guarantees further economic growth. Foreign direct investment has almost doubled. As I said, both the Central Bank gold and foreign currency reserves and the Government reserves are growing. We have created great conditions for the next steps on economic development, which we will definitely take.
     

    Support in Moscow:

    Armin Wolf: I see.

    In the 2013 election in Moscow, Navalny got 27 percent.

    Vladimir Putin: How many do you think voted for yours truly in Moscow in the recent election? Not for Moscow Mayor but for President? How many do you think? Look into it.

    Armin Wolf: I would guess more than 27 percent. It is just that Navalny could not really run.

    Vladimir Putin: Yes, way more, for which I am very grateful to Muscovites. Because Moscow voters are very sophisticated. And we are not talking about a mayoral election. We are talking about a presidential election.

     

    Dmitry:

    The Putin transcript once again attests to the workings of a very agile and perspicacious mind. What a comparison with politicians of what used to be termed the “Free World”.

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  38. AP says:
    @for-the-record
    Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God)

    Why is this such a good thing?

    He hates peasants. IIRD somewhere he wrote that millions of Russian and Ukrainian peasants deserved to be starved to death.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    By the way, you may recall that I told you of a Ukrainian woman living nearby who I said I would interrogate about the Russian-Polish-Ukrainian language continuum. Well I saw her a few days ago, and here is a summary.

    Question: in your opinion, is Russian or Polish closer to Ukrainian?

    First some background. She is from Lviv, around 50 (hence Soviet-educated), a physiotherapist (deep-tissue massage) who is locally renowned for her restorative capabilities. She and her husband (Portuguese) grow crops, raise pigs, etc. A nice lady, but in no way intellectual, and with no great political awareness, although she certainly identifies as Ukrainian and doesn't like Putin. Her brother served in the Afghan war and then became involved in the Russian mafia (as some sort of enforcer, it would seem), and disappeared a few years ago.

    Given this background, notably the fact that all her schooling was in Russian (Cyrillic obviously), I have to admit that I was expecting her say that Russian was closer. Or perhaps that they were more or less equally distant. Indeed, I wasn't even sure how much (if any) Polish she knew.

    Her answer was unequivocal: Polish is significantly closer to Ukrainian than is Russian. She attributed this primarily to the fact that Lviv was so close to the Polish border, and the fact that so many Poles used to live there. So one might question to what extent the language changes (in a "non-Polish" manner) to the east of Lviv.

    I would consider her a fairly reliable witness, in the sense that she didn't even perceive the political implications of the question I put to her -- thus a far more reliable witness than you or Mr. Hack, or any of our Russian commenters!

    Anyway, I have to admit I was a bit surprised how unequivocal her answer was.
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  39. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Putler should have thought about these concerns much more intently before he decided to invade Ukraine and rip off the Crimea (hold a referendum at the point of a gun) and foment war in the Donbas. His concerns are to be taken as seriously today as his country’s signature on the Budapest Memorandum, that guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty and respect for its national borders, appeared yesterday. Why would Ukraine want to be in any sort of confederation with Russia, a country that lies and circumvents its obligations and promises?
     
    In fact, outside polling indicates a well over 2/3 Crimean majority supporting Crimea's reunification with Russia. That jives with the referendum that was taken. Roughly 97% voting for reunification. About 17% of those eligible to vote on that issue didn't.

    It's quite understandable why the pro-Russian majority in Crimea decided to break away from Kiev regime controlled Ukraine, following the ouster of Yanukovych.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/twisted-history-against-russia-and-serbia/5390154

    - disproportionate Rada ministerial appointments by the then acting Turchynov-Yatsenyuk regime in Kiev, to people associated with the pro-Bandera/anti-Russian leaning nationalist Svoboda organization

    - scrapping of a law safeguarding Russian and other minority language rights, only to be later put in a pending kind of limbo status

    - violent manner of the nationalist anti-Russian slanted Svoboda and Right Sector movements – some examples are clearly available on tape

    - a situation in Kiev and some other parts of Ukraine that became unfairly challenging to individuals with views running counter to the Turchynov-Yatsenyuk regime, in the lead up to the May 25 Ukrainian presidential election

    - replacing the pro-Russian utilized St. George’s ribbon, honoring the May 9th Victory Day, with an emblem having the black and red colors of the pro-Bandera movement

    - Svoboda advocated removal of a monument honoring Napoleonic era Russian General Mikhail Kutuzov.

     

    Nobody disputes that a majority of the Crimeans were favorably disposed towards Russia. That’s not the question. What’s at issue is the manner in which the ‘reunification’ took place. Even Putler has admitted that the whole operation was instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his ‘little green men’. These were not the actions of a civilized country acting in accordance with accepted norms, a country that was to be held to a higher standard as a signatory of protocols insuring the integrity and inviolability of Ukrainian state borders, but rather the actions of a barbaric kleptocracy that can only deal with the world and its neighbors in a heavy handed and military manner.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail

    Nobody disputes that a majority of the Crimeans were favorably disposed towards Russia. That’s not the question. What’s at issue is the manner in which the ‘reunification’ took place. Even Putler has admitted that the whole operation was instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his ‘little green men’. These were not the actions of a civilized country acting in accordance with accepted norms, a country that was to be held to a higher standard as a signatory of protocols insuring the integrity and inviolability of Ukrainian state borders, but rather the actions of a barbaric kleptocracy that can only deal with the world and its neighbors in a heavy handed and military manner.
     
    Such hypocritically flawed BS, given the northern Cyprus and Kosovo examples, relative to what happened in Ukraine, following the ouster of Yanukovych.

    The pro-Russian majority in Crimea, understandably don't want to live in an overly corrupt kleptocracy, which includes the elevation of nationalist anti-Russian influence.

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/03032014-humanitarian-intervention-undertaken-in-crimea-analysis/
    , @for-the-record
    instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his ‘little green men

    As I recall Russia was entitled to maintain 25,000 troops in Crimea under the terms of its agreement with Ukraine. So wouldn't it perhaps be more accurate to say that the Russian troops already (and legally) in Crimea simply put on different uniforms?
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  40. melanf says:
    @for-the-record
    Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God)

    Why is this such a good thing?

    Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God)
    Why is this such a good thing?

    The idiocy of country life. Children in the city grow smarter than in the village.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Children in the city grow smarter than in the village.

    They are certainly more educated in the city, but are they really smarter? I don't know too much about villages in Russia, but villagers I have met elsewhere (even Africa) have impressed me with their knowledge of things that no city person would have a clue about.

    Would you rather depend on a city person or a village person to feed you?
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  41. AP says:
    @Polish Perspective

    Belarus has no plans to allow Russia to base troops on its territory, its foreign minister said on Thursday, but could review that if, for example, Poland were to host a permanent U.S. military presence.

    Asked if Polish proposals to host a U.S. base amid fears of Russian aggression could prompt Belarus to revise its rejection of any Russian base, Makei said: “I think there will be some reaction to this intention to deploy a new military air base.
     

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-eu/eyeing-possible-polish-u-s-base-belarus-says-no-russian-base-for-now-idUSKCN1IW339

    So Belarus is now drifting towards eventually becoming part of Intermarium, whose borders should encompass all the Muslim-free nations of Europe, plus Croatia and Slovenia and perhaps Austria:

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf
    Ukraine with Crimea but Muslim-free. Very funny
    , @RadicalCenter
    Turkish Muslim Austria will not be a good candidate, and that’s the Austria that is rapidly developing.
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  42. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    And to think that Lukashenko regime survives only with Russian support! Typical post-Soviet scum - we should overthrowing him ourselves, not waiting for US-backed "colored revolution".

    Well, he is asking Russia to reduce support (“trade”).

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants: http://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2016/07/15/649326-nasha-karta-afriki

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    Well, he is asking Russia to reduce support (“trade”).
     
    Is that meant to be ironic? Lukashenko always complains how Russia isn't doing enough to open its market for Belorussian agricultural produce.
    https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/news/2018/06/05/771856-rossiyu-moloka

    ^^In reality they are often selling Polish, Lithuanian milk, marketed as "Belorussian".

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants
     
    The Kremlin is wrong about that. There are certain things, inevitable in life: death, taxes, and a colored revolution in a Kremlin-friendly post-Soviet republic. It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.

    The alternative is to wait until Americans succeed in installing anti-Russian government, forcing us to go to war with Belarus as a last resort to prevent them from joining NATO.
    , @LatW

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants: http://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2016/07/15/649326-nasha-karta-afriki
     
    Yea, the troop movements are self-evident. Apparently, the Russians even moved the Smolensk tank army (second echelon, meant to cover Moscow) to the Ukrainian border.

    Парадокс усиливается тем, что, с точки зрения Москвы, она сейчас действует как раз в русле идеала российской внешней политики с ее идеей фикс о разграничении сфер влияния – по сути, признавая Прибалтику сферой влияния Запада, Кремль продолжает отстаивать «свою» сферу влияния на Украине и прочем постсоветском пространстве. Запад, активно отрицая эти притязания российской стороны, пока что не способен (в силу комплекса причин) создать такой военный нажим, который мог бы отвлечь российские ресурсы от Украины.

     

    This can work temporarily for the Baltic states (whose public, btw, is not at all unanimous about the potential increased presence of US troops - and, frankly, in Poland, too, there should be a wider debate - I understand that these kinds of issues are usually not put up for a public discussion but I think this time it would be appropriate), but the ideal for the Intermarium would be a permanent removal of both of these irritants and building up of own militaries. A big obstacle to this potential scenario is the lack of trust.

    Уклонение от такой гонки вооружений и сдержанность по отношению к натовской эскалации (в том числе в виде развертываний НАТО у российских границ) и поддержание пусть и формального, но хоть какого-то диалога с Западом в военной сфере (для чего и необходим в нынешней ситуации Совет Россия – НАТО, несмотря на оттенок сюрреалистичности его существования) позволят не только сэкономить российские ресурсы и уменьшить хотя бы какую-то часть западной озабоченности, но и в более отдаленной перспективе могут создать предпосылки для гипотетической «большой сделки» между Россией и Западом по урегулированию широкого круга вопросов взаимной безопасности.
     
    Rational.
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  43. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    No, I'm too poor for that. I'll probably do that if/when I have more savings.

    Spend a bunch of money on human холодец? You seem too smart to believe in such fantasies, Anatoly? If you’re really interested in living a long, long life after you die, read about it here (you are at least nominally an Orthodox Christian, aren’t you?). This tract is indeed a ‘pearl of great value’, read it, practice it and you’ll feel much better about your life:

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    If you’re really interested in living a long
     
    Found in todays Daily Mail

    Could taking a probiotic alongside an Indian herbal remedy help you live to 100? Scientists claim the combination could boost the lifespan of humans
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5795853/Taking-probiotics-alongside-herbal-supplement-help-live-longer.html

    A study found fruit flies lived 60% longer after being fed the supplements
     
    , @ImmortalRationalist
    You think that cryonics/transhumanism is a fantasy, but you somehow don't realize that Christianity is a fantasy?
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  44. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    Nobody disputes that a majority of the Crimeans were favorably disposed towards Russia. That's not the question. What's at issue is the manner in which the 'reunification' took place. Even Putler has admitted that the whole operation was instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his 'little green men'. These were not the actions of a civilized country acting in accordance with accepted norms, a country that was to be held to a higher standard as a signatory of protocols insuring the integrity and inviolability of Ukrainian state borders, but rather the actions of a barbaric kleptocracy that can only deal with the world and its neighbors in a heavy handed and military manner.

    Nobody disputes that a majority of the Crimeans were favorably disposed towards Russia. That’s not the question. What’s at issue is the manner in which the ‘reunification’ took place. Even Putler has admitted that the whole operation was instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his ‘little green men’. These were not the actions of a civilized country acting in accordance with accepted norms, a country that was to be held to a higher standard as a signatory of protocols insuring the integrity and inviolability of Ukrainian state borders, but rather the actions of a barbaric kleptocracy that can only deal with the world and its neighbors in a heavy handed and military manner.

    Such hypocritically flawed BS, given the northern Cyprus and Kosovo examples, relative to what happened in Ukraine, following the ouster of Yanukovych.

    The pro-Russian majority in Crimea, understandably don’t want to live in an overly corrupt kleptocracy, which includes the elevation of nationalist anti-Russian influence.

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/03032014-humanitarian-intervention-undertaken-in-crimea-analysis/

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    The only thing 'flawed' is your weak response, including a couple of incomplete whataboutisms. Yawn...you're more entertaining as a cheerleader for Skoropadsky. Rah, Rah!! :-)
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  45. @Mitleser
    Well, he is asking Russia to reduce support ("trade").

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants: http://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2016/07/15/649326-nasha-karta-afriki

    Well, he is asking Russia to reduce support (“trade”).

    Is that meant to be ironic? Lukashenko always complains how Russia isn’t doing enough to open its market for Belorussian agricultural produce.

    https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/news/2018/06/05/771856-rossiyu-moloka

    ^^In reality they are often selling Polish, Lithuanian milk, marketed as “Belorussian”.

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants

    The Kremlin is wrong about that. There are certain things, inevitable in life: death, taxes, and a colored revolution in a Kremlin-friendly post-Soviet republic. It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.

    The alternative is to wait until Americans succeed in installing anti-Russian government, forcing us to go to war with Belarus as a last resort to prevent them from joining NATO.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Is that meant to be ironic? Lukashenko always complains how Russia isn’t doing enough to open its market for Belorussian agricultural produce.
     

    Where 51 percent of Belarussian trade was currently with Russia and 27 percent with the EU, [Foreign Minister Vladimir] Makei cited a target of a balance of about a third of trade with Russia, a third with the EU and a third with the rest of the world.
     

    It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.
     
    We'll see what is going to happen.
    Lukashenko and his cronies do not want regime change either and might make more concessions to Russia in order to ensure that the Kremlin saves their asses from exile and prison.
    , @Greasy William

    It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.
     
    I'm so sick of your paranoid bullshit. The world isn't out to get Russia, no matter how badly you wish that was the case. Neither the US or Europe are going to start mucking around in Belarus.

    ...

    By the way, if you hadn't let Ukraine and Belarus leave in the first place then none of this would be happening. Nobody held a gun to your head.

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  46. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Nobody disputes that a majority of the Crimeans were favorably disposed towards Russia. That’s not the question. What’s at issue is the manner in which the ‘reunification’ took place. Even Putler has admitted that the whole operation was instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his ‘little green men’. These were not the actions of a civilized country acting in accordance with accepted norms, a country that was to be held to a higher standard as a signatory of protocols insuring the integrity and inviolability of Ukrainian state borders, but rather the actions of a barbaric kleptocracy that can only deal with the world and its neighbors in a heavy handed and military manner.
     
    Such hypocritically flawed BS, given the northern Cyprus and Kosovo examples, relative to what happened in Ukraine, following the ouster of Yanukovych.

    The pro-Russian majority in Crimea, understandably don't want to live in an overly corrupt kleptocracy, which includes the elevation of nationalist anti-Russian influence.

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/03032014-humanitarian-intervention-undertaken-in-crimea-analysis/

    The only thing ‘flawed’ is your weak response, including a couple of incomplete whataboutisms. Yawn…you’re more entertaining as a cheerleader for Skoropadsky. Rah, Rah!! :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Nothing especially incomplete about the pertinent examples I give on the kind of gross hypocrisy that has been regularly peddled.

    In comparison, your reply is quite dimwitted.
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  47. melanf says:
    @AP
    So Belarus is now drifting towards eventually becoming part of Intermarium, whose borders should encompass all the Muslim-free nations of Europe, plus Croatia and Slovenia and perhaps Austria:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/25/Islam_in_Europe-2010.svg/1200px-Islam_in_Europe-2010.svg.png

    Ukraine with Crimea but Muslim-free. Very funny

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    • Replies: @AP
    Of course Crimea would not be included. One would think that you would be intelligent enough to assume this - you are not an "idiot" from country life.

    But even with Crimea, % of Muslims in Ukraine was very small.

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  48. AP says:
    @melanf
    Ukraine with Crimea but Muslim-free. Very funny

    Of course Crimea would not be included. One would think that you would be intelligent enough to assume this – you are not an “idiot” from country life.

    But even with Crimea, % of Muslims in Ukraine was very small.

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    • Replies: @melanf

    Of course Crimea would not be included. One would think that you would be intelligent enough to assume this – you are not an “idiot” from country life.
     
    AP look at the map you've laid out. On this map Ukraine with Crimea but Muslim-free.
    , @Felix Keverich
    What other territories will be excluded from this "Intermarium"? Russia might have a say in that, don't you think?

    The whole idea is stillborn, since none of the countries you mentioned can stand up to Russia without substantial, direct American support. "Intermarium" thus seems inadequate for the task of containment of Russia. It is also not viable as an economic bloc. I explained it yesterday.
    http://www.unz.com/ishamir/poland-under-the-jewish-messiah/#comment-2358738
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  49. melanf says:
    @AP
    Of course Crimea would not be included. One would think that you would be intelligent enough to assume this - you are not an "idiot" from country life.

    But even with Crimea, % of Muslims in Ukraine was very small.

    Of course Crimea would not be included. One would think that you would be intelligent enough to assume this – you are not an “idiot” from country life.

    AP look at the map you’ve laid out. On this map Ukraine with Crimea but Muslim-free.

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    • Replies: @AP
    In 2001 Ukraine was .7% Muslim (almost all - Crimean Tatars) - so essentially Muslim free, as on the map.
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  50. Mikhail says: • Website

    From a venue that’s known to be greatly dependent on US government funding:

    https://www.rferl.org/a/putin-calls-us-indictment-kremlin-connected-tycoon-prigozhin-ridiculous-putins-chef/29271696.html

    Excerpt -

    Putin told ORF that the Russian government had no connection to Prigozhin’s activities. He cited the example of Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, who he accused of meddling in the affairs of various countries while ‘our American friends often tell me that America has nothing to do with it.’

    ‘The [U.S.] Department of State would tell you that…it’s Mr. Soros’s private business. Well, here it’s Mr. Prigozhin’s private business,’ Putin said.

    Unlike Prigozhin’s friendly ties with the Kremlin, Soros is not friendly with the White House. In January, Soros called U.S. President Donald Trump a ‘danger to the world’ and predicted his presidency would be a ‘purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020′

    .

    Soros hasn’t been hostile towards Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, who shares Soros’ disdain for Russia. Trump aside, the US body politic and mass media at large are biased against Russia, in a way that works against Trump from seeking improved US-Russian relations.

    Related:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/21/overhyping-us-russian-differences.html (non-JRL promoted)

    Excerpt -

    Shifting gears away from sports, US mass media had some bizarre follow-up to the FBI claim of a Russian government effort to sow discord in the last US presidential election. Julian Sanchez’s February 17 New York Times piece ‘Russia Wanted Trump to Win and It Wanted to Get Caught’, doesn’t explain why the Russian government would want to get caught, when it has far more sophisticated ways to cover its identity from such an operation? Fox News highlighted the idea that the FBI claim that the Russian meddling had a multi-faceted dynamic, which wasn’t exclusively pro-Trump and in line with the view that the Kremlin was just looking to trouble the American political system.

    This perception overlooks an otherwise obvious aspect, having to do with some Russians acting on their own. In cyber, there’re activist anti-Russian trolls, who’re likely carrying on without US government support. At the same time, it’s not so out of line to note that the US government has involved itself with utilizing internet trolls. It behooves a good number of Western elites to surmise that this kind of government and non-government conducted behavior can exist in Russia. Without sufficient proof to the contrary, ‘Putin’s chef’, can take some matters into his own hands. Regardless, the Russian trolling (as described) didn’t have an impact on the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. (Comedian/political commentator Jim Dore took a good ridiculing jab at the US mass media TV coverage of the latest FBI report on ‘Russiagate’.)

    Scott Shane’s February 17 New York Times article ‘Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections – We Do It, Too’, distinguishes the US and Russian activity in question by claiming that American actions are done for a good cause unlike Russia – a thought shared by former CIA Director James Woolsey. Shane’s piece notes the US role in influencing the 1996 Russian presidential election, without noting an otherwise glaring particular. Many generally believe that the US government intervention in that vote (whether you want to describe it as direct or indirect) tipped the balance in favor of Boris Yeltsin.

    Yeltsin went on to appoint Vladimir Putin as his successor. If one accepts the US role as the deciding factor in the 1996 Russian presidential election, I whole heartedly welcome that move which enabled Putin to become Russian president – something that very well might not have happened if Yeltsin didn’t win in 1996.

    The aforementioned Sanchez, Shane and Fox News comments mesh well with John Stoehr’s advocacy to see the Democrats unite the US against Russia. A desire showing some irony, given how neolib to neocon leaning sources (as well as some others), are prone to portraying Russia as conjuring up hyped threats to seek national unity. Stoehr’s commentary is in line with the way over the top mention of contemporary Russian behavior with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 terrorist attack.

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  51. @AP
    Of course Crimea would not be included. One would think that you would be intelligent enough to assume this - you are not an "idiot" from country life.

    But even with Crimea, % of Muslims in Ukraine was very small.

    What other territories will be excluded from this “Intermarium”? Russia might have a say in that, don’t you think?

    The whole idea is stillborn, since none of the countries you mentioned can stand up to Russia without substantial, direct American support. “Intermarium” thus seems inadequate for the task of containment of Russia. It is also not viable as an economic bloc. I explained it yesterday.

    http://www.unz.com/ishamir/poland-under-the-jewish-messiah/#comment-2358738

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    What other territories will be excluded from this “Intermarium”? Russia might have a say in that, don’t you think?
     
    Hopefully Donbas.

    Belarus is still not known. It would be nice if it continued drifting that way.

    The whole idea is stillborn, since none of the countries you mentioned can stand up to Russia without substantial, direct American support. “Intermarium” thus seems inadequate for the task of containment of Russia.
     
    You are not stupid, and your posts about Russia are certainly worth reading. But when your attention shifts westward you spew nonsense; it seems most of what you say about Ukraine is simply ridiculous garbage (Azov are western Ukrainians, Ukrainians are poor or "mediocre" in America, Ukraine minus Donbas and Crimea has a chance of becoming pro-Russian again, etc. etc.). So your judgments about the countries between the western EU and Russia are automatically suspect (I may be mistaken - was it you who claimed that Poland's financial system is all owned the Germans? A false claim).

    I do not think of Intermarium as an entity devoted to "containing Russia"; rather, it is about preserving Europe's remaining "pure" nations and cultures, who happen to be too small to defend themselves each on their own, allowing them to develop and live without either Western or Eastern interference or dominance. About 130 million people, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea to the Adriatic, still Christian and relatively traditional, not flooded by outsiders. With borders but hopefully friendly ties with both the falling EU to the West and with Russia to the east.
    , @LatW
    In your other comment, you said:

    ... and the fact that Eastern European financial industry is controlled by Western banks means that countries in the region have no economic basis to support independent foreign policy.
     
    You've got a point, but you've got to realize that the Western banks, too, rely on this for business. For instance, the Swedish banks treat the Baltic states essentially as a domestic market, but this is primarily because they need this market to finance their pension funds (and they need stable markets in general). You do realize that the loans are being serviced as we speak. The trade with Germany is extremely important, but again - in many ways, it is mutually beneficial (for instance, we could technically try to replace some of the German imports (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc) but that would constitute only a part of it. Had we not joined the EU, the trade would still be there, even if in lesser form. No need to alienate Germany whatsoever. The key here would be to see if these economic questions can be untied from the political discourse (indeed, the level of integration within the EU is very deep, but remember that some of the trade is already within the existing Intermarium states and there is trade with third countries and in those relationships (with the unfortunate example of Russia, ofc) politics usually doesn't play such a big role - for instance, we could ship a lot of products to Qatar and not worry about their domestic politics and they wouldn't worry about ours (just have good manners and hope for stability) - I'm not saying we should treat Western European states like Qatar, just that there is always room for a conversation, at the end of the day the supply and demand should determine everything - you may not believe this as a Russian, but a lot is also contingent upon the governments - they can go from neo-liberal to illiberal). Given how things seem to be in Europe today, I don't see this as entirely impossible. If the V4 can grow some muscle, there could eventually be some wriggle room (and when political systems are in a flux, opportunities often appear for negotiating things). Again, this is hypothetical, but not at all out of the realm of possibility.
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  52. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    The only thing 'flawed' is your weak response, including a couple of incomplete whataboutisms. Yawn...you're more entertaining as a cheerleader for Skoropadsky. Rah, Rah!! :-)

    Nothing especially incomplete about the pertinent examples I give on the kind of gross hypocrisy that has been regularly peddled.

    In comparison, your reply is quite dimwitted.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    You're just peddling stupid whataboutisms, that's all- you're unable to formulate any cogent replies to my statements based on 'facts and fact based' analysis. And don't try any of your famous 'cherry picking' nonsense, it won't work here! :-(
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  53. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    Nothing especially incomplete about the pertinent examples I give on the kind of gross hypocrisy that has been regularly peddled.

    In comparison, your reply is quite dimwitted.

    You’re just peddling stupid whataboutisms, that’s all- you’re unable to formulate any cogent replies to my statements based on ‘facts and fact based’ analysis. And don’t try any of your famous ‘cherry picking’ nonsense, it won’t work here! :-(

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    You regularly exhibit an inability to grasp facts and fact based opinions that debunk your flawed comments.

    That's your shortcoming - not mine.
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  54. Anon 2 says:

    Ahead of the World Cup: FIFA rankings: Russia – 66, Israel – 98 (next to the last in
    the world!), Poland – 10

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  55. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Well, he is asking Russia to reduce support (“trade”).
     
    Is that meant to be ironic? Lukashenko always complains how Russia isn't doing enough to open its market for Belorussian agricultural produce.
    https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/news/2018/06/05/771856-rossiyu-moloka

    ^^In reality they are often selling Polish, Lithuanian milk, marketed as "Belorussian".

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants
     
    The Kremlin is wrong about that. There are certain things, inevitable in life: death, taxes, and a colored revolution in a Kremlin-friendly post-Soviet republic. It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.

    The alternative is to wait until Americans succeed in installing anti-Russian government, forcing us to go to war with Belarus as a last resort to prevent them from joining NATO.

    Is that meant to be ironic? Lukashenko always complains how Russia isn’t doing enough to open its market for Belorussian agricultural produce.

    Where 51 percent of Belarussian trade was currently with Russia and 27 percent with the EU, [Foreign Minister Vladimir] Makei cited a target of a balance of about a third of trade with Russia, a third with the EU and a third with the rest of the world.

    It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.

    We’ll see what is going to happen.
    Lukashenko and his cronies do not want regime change either and might make more concessions to Russia in order to ensure that the Kremlin saves their asses from exile and prison.

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    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    There is a certain inherent stupidity among post-Soviet regimes, which makes me doubt this outcome. They are short-sighted, entitled, greedy and very, very stubborn.

    Where 51 percent of Belarussian trade was currently with Russia and 27 percent with the EU, [Foreign Minister Vladimir] Makei cited a target of a balance of about a third of trade with Russia, a third with the EU and a third with the rest of the world.
     
    Belarus is even more dependent on Russia, than these figures indicate. For example, their exports to the EU are mostly sales of 'refined petroleum', made from subsidised Russian oil.
    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/blr/gbr/show/2016/
    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/blr/nld/show/2016/

    ^totally not a petrostate. lol

    The moment Russia raises the price of oil for Belarus, that country will lose a big chunk of its GDP, and most of its exports to the EU. Not that we could use it as a lever in relations with Belarus, should maidanists take over - just look at how Ukraine is behaving.
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  56. songbird says:
    @ImmortalRationalist
    Have you read any of Ted Kaczynski's writings, such as Industrial Society And Its Future and Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How? If so, what did you think of them?

    Kaczynski supposedly considered becoming a woman, which I think kind of highlights how much of a loon he was.

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    • Replies: @Yevardian
    Source for this blatant libel immediately.
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  57. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Look, I would be the first to condemn Putin for his coddling of Israel and philosemitism in general, but this Bhadrakumar guy doesn't know what he is talking about. He is like Debka or Magnier, he makes up stuff. For example, I know for a fact that Russia doesn't have any "foreign policy establishment think tanks" - so I have no idea where he got these statements from. Most likely he made them up.

    Who is this Bhadrakumar, a former India's ambassador to Uzbekistan? I see his articles pop up here and there.

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  58. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    You're just peddling stupid whataboutisms, that's all- you're unable to formulate any cogent replies to my statements based on 'facts and fact based' analysis. And don't try any of your famous 'cherry picking' nonsense, it won't work here! :-(

    You regularly exhibit an inability to grasp facts and fact based opinions that debunk your flawed comments.

    That’s your shortcoming – not mine.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Oh, really? Anywhere here at this thread where you can point out any of my supposed ill perceived weaknesses? Otherwise your criticisms are without any merit.
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  59. Mitleser says:

    Last pile of Crimea’s railway bridge

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  60. melanf says:

    Just for fun:

    Twins Dina and Arina Averina, won gold and silver at the European gymnastics championship. I think this is the first such case in history

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  61. @Mitleser

    Is that meant to be ironic? Lukashenko always complains how Russia isn’t doing enough to open its market for Belorussian agricultural produce.
     

    Where 51 percent of Belarussian trade was currently with Russia and 27 percent with the EU, [Foreign Minister Vladimir] Makei cited a target of a balance of about a third of trade with Russia, a third with the EU and a third with the rest of the world.
     

    It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.
     
    We'll see what is going to happen.
    Lukashenko and his cronies do not want regime change either and might make more concessions to Russia in order to ensure that the Kremlin saves their asses from exile and prison.

    There is a certain inherent stupidity among post-Soviet regimes, which makes me doubt this outcome. They are short-sighted, entitled, greedy and very, very stubborn.

    Where 51 percent of Belarussian trade was currently with Russia and 27 percent with the EU, [Foreign Minister Vladimir] Makei cited a target of a balance of about a third of trade with Russia, a third with the EU and a third with the rest of the world.

    Belarus is even more dependent on Russia, than these figures indicate. For example, their exports to the EU are mostly sales of ‘refined petroleum’, made from subsidised Russian oil.

    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/blr/gbr/show/2016/

    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/blr/nld/show/2016/

    ^totally not a petrostate. lol

    The moment Russia raises the price of oil for Belarus, that country will lose a big chunk of its GDP, and most of its exports to the EU. Not that we could use it as a lever in relations with Belarus, should maidanists take over – just look at how Ukraine is behaving.

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    • Replies: @utu

    Not that we could use it as a lever in relations with Belarus

     

    Oh sure you would never do such a thing.
    , @Philip Owen
    However, it is also to be considered that Russia itself has a shortage of refinery capacity and need the refined products Belarus produces. Otherwise, Belarus just raises prices for its refined product sales to Russia. And suit prices too, all those polyester suits.
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  62. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    You regularly exhibit an inability to grasp facts and fact based opinions that debunk your flawed comments.

    That's your shortcoming - not mine.

    Oh, really? Anywhere here at this thread where you can point out any of my supposed ill perceived weaknesses? Otherwise your criticisms are without any merit.

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    • Replies: @Mikhail
    No need form me to repeat what's intelligently clear, concise and to the point - much unlike your trolling drivel.
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  63. @German_reader
    According to al-arabiya MbS is to attend the opening of the world cup on June 14:
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/sports/2018/06/03/Saudi-Crown-Prince-to-attend-World-Cup-opening-ceremony-in-support-of-national-team.html

    So maybe he's still alive?
    I hope Russia will at least beat the Saudi scum. I also want the German team to lose in the most humiliating way possible, but I suppose that's a task for the Argies or the Brazilians.

    I think the Germans letting their women be groped and intimidated, and their girls raped in their own towns, and then making excuses for the attackers and paying for their apartments and food and healthcare, is humiliation enough.

    Then again, what do Americans do with Africans here?

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  64. @AP
    He hates peasants. IIRD somewhere he wrote that millions of Russian and Ukrainian peasants deserved to be starved to death.

    By the way, you may recall that I told you of a Ukrainian woman living nearby who I said I would interrogate about the Russian-Polish-Ukrainian language continuum. Well I saw her a few days ago, and here is a summary.

    Question: in your opinion, is Russian or Polish closer to Ukrainian?

    First some background. She is from Lviv, around 50 (hence Soviet-educated), a physiotherapist (deep-tissue massage) who is locally renowned for her restorative capabilities. She and her husband (Portuguese) grow crops, raise pigs, etc. A nice lady, but in no way intellectual, and with no great political awareness, although she certainly identifies as Ukrainian and doesn’t like Putin. Her brother served in the Afghan war and then became involved in the Russian mafia (as some sort of enforcer, it would seem), and disappeared a few years ago.

    Given this background, notably the fact that all her schooling was in Russian (Cyrillic obviously), I have to admit that I was expecting her say that Russian was closer. Or perhaps that they were more or less equally distant. Indeed, I wasn’t even sure how much (if any) Polish she knew.

    Her answer was unequivocal: Polish is significantly closer to Ukrainian than is Russian. She attributed this primarily to the fact that Lviv was so close to the Polish border, and the fact that so many Poles used to live there. So one might question to what extent the language changes (in a “non-Polish” manner) to the east of Lviv.

    I would consider her a fairly reliable witness, in the sense that she didn’t even perceive the political implications of the question I put to her — thus a far more reliable witness than you or Mr. Hack, or any of our Russian commenters!

    Anyway, I have to admit I was a bit surprised how unequivocal her answer was.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Give me a break - I've never expressed an opinion on whether Ukrainian was closer to Polish or to Russian! But being pressed, I'd say that Ukrainian is a unique language first and foremost, built upon the local Slavic tribal dialects that were there before the modern language evolved (it's still evolving!).
    It's close to Russian in structure and the Russian language has definitely loaned more words from Ukrainian than the other way around. Ukrainian seems to have more loaned words from Polish than Russian. I'm no expert, but this is my own assessment of interrelatedness of Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.
    , @AP
    I don't find it surprising. Ukrainian vocabulary shares more words in common with Polish than with Russian, although the pronunciation and grammar structure is more like Russian. So if you focus on just on the words Polish can be considered to be closer.

    The person you asked was from Lviv city, not from a village in Lviv province. Lviv speaks standard Ukrainian. In the villages one hears the local dialect, which is even closer to Polish than standard Ukrainian.

    When Poles see Ukrainian they sometimes say it seems like a distant Polish dialect written in Cyrillic.
    , @Anon
    This isn't that lady in Toronto is it?
    , @anonymous coward
    Lvov is Galician. Galicia is not and was never Ukraine. Galicians aren't Ukrainian.
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  65. @AP
    So Belarus is now drifting towards eventually becoming part of Intermarium, whose borders should encompass all the Muslim-free nations of Europe, plus Croatia and Slovenia and perhaps Austria:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/25/Islam_in_Europe-2010.svg/1200px-Islam_in_Europe-2010.svg.png

    Turkish Muslim Austria will not be a good candidate, and that’s the Austria that is rapidly developing.

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  66. @Mr. Hack
    Nobody disputes that a majority of the Crimeans were favorably disposed towards Russia. That's not the question. What's at issue is the manner in which the 'reunification' took place. Even Putler has admitted that the whole operation was instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his 'little green men'. These were not the actions of a civilized country acting in accordance with accepted norms, a country that was to be held to a higher standard as a signatory of protocols insuring the integrity and inviolability of Ukrainian state borders, but rather the actions of a barbaric kleptocracy that can only deal with the world and its neighbors in a heavy handed and military manner.

    instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his ‘little green men

    As I recall Russia was entitled to maintain 25,000 troops in Crimea under the terms of its agreement with Ukraine. So wouldn’t it perhaps be more accurate to say that the Russian troops already (and legally) in Crimea simply put on different uniforms?

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    • Replies: @AP
    They weren't authorized to leave their base areas and to fan out across Crimea. If American troops, for example, left Guantanamo and captured the rest of Cuba this would be an invasion.

    To be clear, in Crimea's case, it was an invasion likely supported by most of the locals.
    , @Mr. Hack
    You can try to hide the facts and make it into any type of charade that you want, but this is who in fact was involved in the invasionary force, according to Russian Admiral Igor Katanosov:

    In April 2015, retired Russian Admiral Igor Kasatonov (Игорь Касатонов (ru)) said that the "little green men" were members of Russian Spetsnaz special forces units. According to his information, Russian troop deployment in Crimea included six helicopter landings and three landings of Ilyushin Il-76 with 500 people.[19]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_green_men_(Ukrainian_crisis)
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  67. @ImmortalRationalist
    What do you think is the most plausible explanation for the Fermi Paradox? If the Great Filter exists, do you think it is more likely to be behind us or ahead of us, and what do you think is the most plausible Great Filter?

    I’m preparing an article on that very question (possibly for publication). Check back in a few weeks.

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    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    Personally, I'm leaning towards intelligent life simply being extremely rare, and/or humanity is one of the first intelligent civilizations to come into existence, and that the Great Filter is more likely to be behind us than ahead of us.

    Every time I try to think of scenarios in which the Great Filter might be ahead of us rather than behind us, I keep finding reasons why these scenarios wouldn't work, and wouldn't explain the Fermi Paradox. For instance, take Ted Kaczynski's explanation for the Fermi Paradox in Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How:

    But once self-propagating systems have attained global scale, two crucial differences emerge. The first difference is in the number of individuals from among which the "fittest" are selected. Self-prop systems sufficiently big and powerful to be plausible contenders for global dominance will probably number in the dozens, or possibly in the hundreds; they certainly will not number in the millions. With so few individuals from among which to select the "fittest," it seems safe to say that the process of natural selection will be inefficient in promoting the fitness for survival of the dominant global self-prop systems. It should also be noted that among biological organisms, species that consist of a relatively small number of large individuals are more vulnerable to extinction than species that consist of a large number of small individuals. Though the analogy between biological organisms and self-propagating systems of human beings is far from perfect, still the prospect for viability of a world-system based on the dominance of a few global self-prop systems does not look encouraging.

    The second difference is that in the absence of rapid, worldwide transportation and communication, the breakdown or the destructive action of a small-scale self-prop system has only local repercussions. Outside the limited zone where such a self-prop system has been active there will be other self-prop systems among which the process of evolution through natural selection will continue. But where rapid, worldwide transportation and communication have led to the emergence of global self-prop systems, the breakdown or the destructive action of any one such system can shake the whole world-system. Consequently, in the process of trial and error that is evolution through natural selection, it is highly probable that after only a relatively small number of "trials" resulting in "errors," the world-system will break down or will be so severely disrupted that none of the world's larger or more complex self-prop systems will be able to survive. Thus, for such self-prop systems, the trial-and-error process comes to an end; evolution through natural selection cannot continue long enough to create global self-prop systems possessing the subtle and sophisticated mechanisms that prevent destructive internal competition within complex biological organisms.

    Meanwhile, fierce competition among global self-prop systems will have led to such drastic and rapid alterations in the Earth's climate, the composition of its atmosphere, the chemistry of its oceans, and so forth, that the effect on the biosphere will be devastating. In Part IV of the present chapter we will carry this line of inquiry further: We will argue that if the development of the technological world-system is allowed to proceed to its logical conclusion, then in all probability the Earth will be left a dead planet-a planet on which nothing will remain alive except, maybe, some of the simplest organisms-certain bacteria, algae, etc.-that are capable of surviving under extreme conditions.

    The theory we've outlined here provides a plausible explanation for the so-called Fermi Paradox. It is believed that there should be numerous planets on which technologically advanced civilizations have evolved, and which are not so remote from us that we could not by this time have detected their radio transmissions. The Fermi Paradox consists in the fact that our astronomers have never yet been able to detect any radio signals that seem to have originated from an intelligent extraterrestrial source.
    According to Ray Kurzweil, one common explanation of the Fermi Paradox is "that a civilization may obliterate itself once it reaches radio capability." Kurzweil continues: "This explanation might be acceptable if we were talking about only a few such civilizations, but [if such civilizations have been numerous], it is not credible to believe that every one of them destroyed itself" Kurzweil would be right if the self-destruction of a civilization were merely a matter of chance. But there is nothing implausible about the foregoing explanation of the Fermi Paradox if there is a process common to all technologically advanced civilizations that consistently leads them to self-destruction. Here we've been arguing that there is such a process.

     

    There are a few problems I see within this explanation for the Fermi Paradox. First of all, it doesn't explain why the destruction that Ted describes would necessarily be contained to an intelligent civilization's home planet. Even if Ted is right about the destructive potential of self-prop systems acting in short term self interest in order to out-compete other self-prop systems, a post-Singularity civilization could likely venture out beyond their home planet if survival there became impossible, destroying entire galaxies. It would essentially be a more realistic version of the Paperclip Maximizer thought experiment. Second of all, in claiming that the small number of self-prop systems would likely destroy the world such that they are unable to survive, he seems to not take into account that the most likely self-prop systems in the future will be some form of superintelligent AIs. If an ASI's utility function is to survive, it could almost certainly find a way to re-engineer itself in such a way that allows it to survive, and would not be tethered to simple Darwinian evolution like organic life is.

    As for actual causes of the Great Filter, one explanation I think is plausible is that life almost always goes extinct soon after it forms. Looking at past mass extinctions on Earth, sufficient biodiversity has been required in order for life to survive. The earliest forms of life on Earth were likely some form of randomly generated molecules that could copy themselves inefficiently, with virtually no defenses against environmental stresses, with virtually no biodiversity, and would likely be initially confined to a small area. On top of the extremely unlikely event of life forming, it seems like it wouldn't take much for this early biosphere to be completely destroyed.
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  68. @melanf

    Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God)
    Why is this such a good thing?
     
    The idiocy of country life. Children in the city grow smarter than in the village.

    Children in the city grow smarter than in the village.

    They are certainly more educated in the city, but are they really smarter? I don’t know too much about villages in Russia, but villagers I have met elsewhere (even Africa) have impressed me with their knowledge of things that no city person would have a clue about.

    Would you rather depend on a city person or a village person to feed you?

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    They are certainly more educated in the city, but are they really smarter?
     
    Well in America peasants never existed, in Europe they became extinct, but in Russia still remained (in very small quantity). As a result of life experience, the words "peasant" and "village" in Russia are synonymous with stupidity.

    Would you rather depend on a city person or a village person to feed you?
     
    Of course I'd rather depend on a city person. In 1927-29 Sergei Eisenstein made a film "Old and new" about how a poor peasant woman Martha receives a tractor from the Communist government. In this film, the main role was played by a real peasant woman. However, she (peasant woman) could not master the tractor since she was too dumb. But a professional actress (who dubbed the peasant woman) has learned very well to drive a tractor
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  69. @ImmortalRationalist
    What do you think of Eliezer Yudkowsky's idea that the communists were "defective transhumanists"? Do you think it has any merit?

    https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/aFtWRL3QihoF5uQd5/guardians-of-the-gene-pool

    Sounds stupid (commies are hostile to trans humanism and indeed their precursors, the Russian cosmists). But not going to read Yudkowsky’s long and probably long-winded essay on this in the middle of my holiday.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    It's only 281 words long.
    , @ImmortalRationalist
    Also, what do you think the world would realistically be like today if the Axis won WWII?
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  70. @ImmortalRationalist
    It seems like if Ted Kaczynski's revolution actually happened and succeeded, all that would come out of it would be a second Dark Ages. Considering that agriculture and civilization emerged multiple times independently, it seems like civilization has been inevitable since the Pleistocene. Technology would almost certainly re-emerge hundreds of years after the revolution, especially considering that artifacts from modern times that could be potentially reverse engineered would most likely still exist. Assuming Ted is right and that civilization should be destroyed, if his terminal values are something along the lines of "protect the biosphere", a more plausible way to permanently destroy civilization would probably be some kind of engineered human extinction. For instance, building a superintelligent AI, and programming it to kill off humanity along with all the other Great Ape species, and then self-destructing.

    Also, this is a bit tangential, but I'm the original creator of the Virgin Anarcho-Primitivist vs. The Chad Transhumanist meme.

    I’m honored. One of the best Virgin vs. Chads out there.

    Read More
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  71. AP says:
    @for-the-record
    instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his ‘little green men

    As I recall Russia was entitled to maintain 25,000 troops in Crimea under the terms of its agreement with Ukraine. So wouldn't it perhaps be more accurate to say that the Russian troops already (and legally) in Crimea simply put on different uniforms?

    They weren’t authorized to leave their base areas and to fan out across Crimea. If American troops, for example, left Guantanamo and captured the rest of Cuba this would be an invasion.

    To be clear, in Crimea’s case, it was an invasion likely supported by most of the locals.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    To be clear, in Crimea’s case, it was an invasion likely supported by most of the locals.
     
    And the majority of Ukraine's troops in Crimea, which ended up joining the "invading" army. :)
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  72. Mr. Hack says:
    @for-the-record
    instigated with a military invasion of the Crimea with his ‘little green men

    As I recall Russia was entitled to maintain 25,000 troops in Crimea under the terms of its agreement with Ukraine. So wouldn't it perhaps be more accurate to say that the Russian troops already (and legally) in Crimea simply put on different uniforms?

    You can try to hide the facts and make it into any type of charade that you want, but this is who in fact was involved in the invasionary force, according to Russian Admiral Igor Katanosov:

    In April 2015, retired Russian Admiral Igor Kasatonov (Игорь Касатонов (ru)) said that the “little green men” were members of Russian Spetsnaz special forces units. According to his information, Russian troop deployment in Crimea included six helicopter landings and three landings of Ilyushin Il-76 with 500 people.[19]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_green_men_(Ukrainian_crisis)

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    I would be interested in your objective view (and that of AP) of the following "propaganda" depicting how the Russians were able to overcome Ukrainian military forces in the Crimea:

    https://vimeo.com/123319119
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  73. @AP
    They weren't authorized to leave their base areas and to fan out across Crimea. If American troops, for example, left Guantanamo and captured the rest of Cuba this would be an invasion.

    To be clear, in Crimea's case, it was an invasion likely supported by most of the locals.

    To be clear, in Crimea’s case, it was an invasion likely supported by most of the locals.

    And the majority of Ukraine’s troops in Crimea, which ended up joining the “invading” army. :)

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    • Agree: melanf
    • Replies: @AP
    Sure. In Ukraine most people performed military service close to home. So most of the Ukrainian troops in Crimea were local ethnic Russian Crimeans.
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  74. @Anatoly Karlin
    Sounds stupid (commies are hostile to trans humanism and indeed their precursors, the Russian cosmists). But not going to read Yudkowsky's long and probably long-winded essay on this in the middle of my holiday.

    It’s only 281 words long.

    Read More
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  75. Mr. Hack says:
    @for-the-record
    By the way, you may recall that I told you of a Ukrainian woman living nearby who I said I would interrogate about the Russian-Polish-Ukrainian language continuum. Well I saw her a few days ago, and here is a summary.

    Question: in your opinion, is Russian or Polish closer to Ukrainian?

    First some background. She is from Lviv, around 50 (hence Soviet-educated), a physiotherapist (deep-tissue massage) who is locally renowned for her restorative capabilities. She and her husband (Portuguese) grow crops, raise pigs, etc. A nice lady, but in no way intellectual, and with no great political awareness, although she certainly identifies as Ukrainian and doesn't like Putin. Her brother served in the Afghan war and then became involved in the Russian mafia (as some sort of enforcer, it would seem), and disappeared a few years ago.

    Given this background, notably the fact that all her schooling was in Russian (Cyrillic obviously), I have to admit that I was expecting her say that Russian was closer. Or perhaps that they were more or less equally distant. Indeed, I wasn't even sure how much (if any) Polish she knew.

    Her answer was unequivocal: Polish is significantly closer to Ukrainian than is Russian. She attributed this primarily to the fact that Lviv was so close to the Polish border, and the fact that so many Poles used to live there. So one might question to what extent the language changes (in a "non-Polish" manner) to the east of Lviv.

    I would consider her a fairly reliable witness, in the sense that she didn't even perceive the political implications of the question I put to her -- thus a far more reliable witness than you or Mr. Hack, or any of our Russian commenters!

    Anyway, I have to admit I was a bit surprised how unequivocal her answer was.

    Give me a break – I’ve never expressed an opinion on whether Ukrainian was closer to Polish or to Russian! But being pressed, I’d say that Ukrainian is a unique language first and foremost, built upon the local Slavic tribal dialects that were there before the modern language evolved (it’s still evolving!).
    It’s close to Russian in structure and the Russian language has definitely loaned more words from Ukrainian than the other way around. Ukrainian seems to have more loaned words from Polish than Russian. I’m no expert, but this is my own assessment of interrelatedness of Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Give me a break – I’ve never expressed an opinion on whether Ukrainian was closer to Polish or to Russian!

    Give me a break, I didn't say that you had expressed an opinion, just pointing out that if you had you would be a less reliable witness on this matter -- along with all of the other Ukrainian and Russian commenters here -- than the person I intereviewed.

    Instead of thanking me for my great contribution to science, you have to nitpick on a throwaway comment I made . . .
    , @LatW
    Something funny happened the other day... I was listening to a song in Ukrainian, I closed my eyes for a moment, and it almost sounded like the words were sung in Czech or Slovak. It was trippy. A few sentences sounded very "Russian", but a lot of it - very, very Central European / Western Slavic sounding. The way I feel now, though, is that it is a unique language.

    p.s. Anatoly, I apologize for flooding.

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  76. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    Oh, really? Anywhere here at this thread where you can point out any of my supposed ill perceived weaknesses? Otherwise your criticisms are without any merit.

    No need form me to repeat what’s intelligently clear, concise and to the point – much unlike your trolling drivel.

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  77. @Mr. Hack
    You can try to hide the facts and make it into any type of charade that you want, but this is who in fact was involved in the invasionary force, according to Russian Admiral Igor Katanosov:

    In April 2015, retired Russian Admiral Igor Kasatonov (Игорь Касатонов (ru)) said that the "little green men" were members of Russian Spetsnaz special forces units. According to his information, Russian troop deployment in Crimea included six helicopter landings and three landings of Ilyushin Il-76 with 500 people.[19]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_green_men_(Ukrainian_crisis)

    I would be interested in your objective view (and that of AP) of the following “propaganda” depicting how the Russians were able to overcome Ukrainian military forces in the Crimea:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I'd love to listen to this, but 2 hours and 25 minutes? I work and have other interests too...

    Why don't you just summarize the most important points (there have to be some, otherwise you wouldn't offer it up for review)?
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  78. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich
    What other territories will be excluded from this "Intermarium"? Russia might have a say in that, don't you think?

    The whole idea is stillborn, since none of the countries you mentioned can stand up to Russia without substantial, direct American support. "Intermarium" thus seems inadequate for the task of containment of Russia. It is also not viable as an economic bloc. I explained it yesterday.
    http://www.unz.com/ishamir/poland-under-the-jewish-messiah/#comment-2358738

    What other territories will be excluded from this “Intermarium”? Russia might have a say in that, don’t you think?

    Hopefully Donbas.

    Belarus is still not known. It would be nice if it continued drifting that way.

    The whole idea is stillborn, since none of the countries you mentioned can stand up to Russia without substantial, direct American support. “Intermarium” thus seems inadequate for the task of containment of Russia.

    You are not stupid, and your posts about Russia are certainly worth reading. But when your attention shifts westward you spew nonsense; it seems most of what you say about Ukraine is simply ridiculous garbage (Azov are western Ukrainians, Ukrainians are poor or “mediocre” in America, Ukraine minus Donbas and Crimea has a chance of becoming pro-Russian again, etc. etc.). So your judgments about the countries between the western EU and Russia are automatically suspect (I may be mistaken – was it you who claimed that Poland’s financial system is all owned the Germans? A false claim).

    I do not think of Intermarium as an entity devoted to “containing Russia”; rather, it is about preserving Europe’s remaining “pure” nations and cultures, who happen to be too small to defend themselves each on their own, allowing them to develop and live without either Western or Eastern interference or dominance. About 130 million people, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea to the Adriatic, still Christian and relatively traditional, not flooded by outsiders. With borders but hopefully friendly ties with both the falling EU to the West and with Russia to the east.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    I may be mistaken – was it you who claimed that Poland’s financial system is all owned the Germans? A false claim
     
    I said that banking sector in Eastern Europe is controlled by Western banks. I do not follow the region closely, and may be unaware of some of the recent trends, but this was certainly true some years ago.

    My point is what do you do if Russia decides it wants Belarus? Or Lithuania? How would "Intermarium" stop or deter Russia? To preserve its own vision of Europe? It really can't. Similarily, they won't be able to develop their economies by relying on each other, since each of them is far more reliant on Germany and the US. Complete failure all around.

    , @A22
    How can these countries hold their culture while they are completely dominated by western industrialists and banks? They don't even have control over their borders.
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  79. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    To be clear, in Crimea’s case, it was an invasion likely supported by most of the locals.
     
    And the majority of Ukraine's troops in Crimea, which ended up joining the "invading" army. :)

    Sure. In Ukraine most people performed military service close to home. So most of the Ukrainian troops in Crimea were local ethnic Russian Crimeans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    I like how you say "likely supported" - leaving room for doubts, for interpretation. lol
    As far as the Ukrainian servicemen are concerned, we have a documented evidence that approximately two thirds of them signed up to serve in the Russian army.
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  80. @Mr. Hack
    Give me a break - I've never expressed an opinion on whether Ukrainian was closer to Polish or to Russian! But being pressed, I'd say that Ukrainian is a unique language first and foremost, built upon the local Slavic tribal dialects that were there before the modern language evolved (it's still evolving!).
    It's close to Russian in structure and the Russian language has definitely loaned more words from Ukrainian than the other way around. Ukrainian seems to have more loaned words from Polish than Russian. I'm no expert, but this is my own assessment of interrelatedness of Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.

    Give me a break – I’ve never expressed an opinion on whether Ukrainian was closer to Polish or to Russian!

    Give me a break, I didn’t say that you had expressed an opinion, just pointing out that if you had you would be a less reliable witness on this matter — along with all of the other Ukrainian and Russian commenters here — than the person I intereviewed.

    Instead of thanking me for my great contribution to science, you have to nitpick on a throwaway comment I made . . .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    So, you're in the crystal gazing profession. :-) Well, how did my expressed opinion line up with your prophesy of my opinion?
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  81. AP says:
    @for-the-record
    By the way, you may recall that I told you of a Ukrainian woman living nearby who I said I would interrogate about the Russian-Polish-Ukrainian language continuum. Well I saw her a few days ago, and here is a summary.

    Question: in your opinion, is Russian or Polish closer to Ukrainian?

    First some background. She is from Lviv, around 50 (hence Soviet-educated), a physiotherapist (deep-tissue massage) who is locally renowned for her restorative capabilities. She and her husband (Portuguese) grow crops, raise pigs, etc. A nice lady, but in no way intellectual, and with no great political awareness, although she certainly identifies as Ukrainian and doesn't like Putin. Her brother served in the Afghan war and then became involved in the Russian mafia (as some sort of enforcer, it would seem), and disappeared a few years ago.

    Given this background, notably the fact that all her schooling was in Russian (Cyrillic obviously), I have to admit that I was expecting her say that Russian was closer. Or perhaps that they were more or less equally distant. Indeed, I wasn't even sure how much (if any) Polish she knew.

    Her answer was unequivocal: Polish is significantly closer to Ukrainian than is Russian. She attributed this primarily to the fact that Lviv was so close to the Polish border, and the fact that so many Poles used to live there. So one might question to what extent the language changes (in a "non-Polish" manner) to the east of Lviv.

    I would consider her a fairly reliable witness, in the sense that she didn't even perceive the political implications of the question I put to her -- thus a far more reliable witness than you or Mr. Hack, or any of our Russian commenters!

    Anyway, I have to admit I was a bit surprised how unequivocal her answer was.

    I don’t find it surprising. Ukrainian vocabulary shares more words in common with Polish than with Russian, although the pronunciation and grammar structure is more like Russian. So if you focus on just on the words Polish can be considered to be closer.

    The person you asked was from Lviv city, not from a village in Lviv province. Lviv speaks standard Ukrainian. In the villages one hears the local dialect, which is even closer to Polish than standard Ukrainian.

    When Poles see Ukrainian they sometimes say it seems like a distant Polish dialect written in Cyrillic.

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    • Replies: @Mikhail
    By a whopping 70% to 62% margin, according to a source that you earlier provided, without noting any margin of error.

    There's also the matter of how the modern day standard Ukrainian was developed with the motivated intent to make it more distant from Russian - once again noting that Rusyn has words closer or identical to Russian than Ukrainian - as noted to me by fluent Rusyn speakers. And yes, Rusyn can be considered a not so well structured language, as had been true of Ukrainian, before it took a modern standardized form.
    , @Marcus
    Well, much of right bank Ukraine was under Polish rule for centuries, local languages relegated to peasantry, so it's not that surprising.
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  82. @AP
    Sure. In Ukraine most people performed military service close to home. So most of the Ukrainian troops in Crimea were local ethnic Russian Crimeans.

    I like how you say “likely supported” – leaving room for doubts, for interpretation. lol
    As far as the Ukrainian servicemen are concerned, we have a documented evidence that approximately two thirds of them signed up to serve in the Russian army.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    And the Ukrainian government has a pretty good record of who these oath breakers were. They'll never be able to return to Ukraine, and will always be looking over their shoulders feeling that somebody is monitoring their every move. Traitors never really feet safe and content later in life, often times regretting their huge mistake. :-(
    , @AP

    I like how you say “likely supported” – leaving room for doubts, for interpretation. lol
     
    There was neither a poll nor an election at the moment of the invasion so we do not know exactly whether the majority supported it at that time, (we do know an overwhelming majority is satisfied now) so I stated "likely."

    Unlike you, I stick to reality rather than nonsense when it comes to things related to Ukraine.

    As far as the Ukrainian servicemen are concerned, we have a documented evidence that approximately two thirds of them signed up to serve in the Russian army
     
    That's about the proportion of ethnic Russians in Crimea. Servicemen were mostly locals, and most of those who switched sides were locals.

    Ukrainian media claims - and it may be true or not , I don't know - that after switching sides many of these Crimean servicemen were reassigned to Magadan or other distant places because the Russian military, unlike the Ukrainian one in 2014, didn't follow a policy allowing its soldiers to serve close to home. If this is the case, it is kind of funny.
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  83. @AP

    What other territories will be excluded from this “Intermarium”? Russia might have a say in that, don’t you think?
     
    Hopefully Donbas.

    Belarus is still not known. It would be nice if it continued drifting that way.

    The whole idea is stillborn, since none of the countries you mentioned can stand up to Russia without substantial, direct American support. “Intermarium” thus seems inadequate for the task of containment of Russia.
     
    You are not stupid, and your posts about Russia are certainly worth reading. But when your attention shifts westward you spew nonsense; it seems most of what you say about Ukraine is simply ridiculous garbage (Azov are western Ukrainians, Ukrainians are poor or "mediocre" in America, Ukraine minus Donbas and Crimea has a chance of becoming pro-Russian again, etc. etc.). So your judgments about the countries between the western EU and Russia are automatically suspect (I may be mistaken - was it you who claimed that Poland's financial system is all owned the Germans? A false claim).

    I do not think of Intermarium as an entity devoted to "containing Russia"; rather, it is about preserving Europe's remaining "pure" nations and cultures, who happen to be too small to defend themselves each on their own, allowing them to develop and live without either Western or Eastern interference or dominance. About 130 million people, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea to the Adriatic, still Christian and relatively traditional, not flooded by outsiders. With borders but hopefully friendly ties with both the falling EU to the West and with Russia to the east.

    I may be mistaken – was it you who claimed that Poland’s financial system is all owned the Germans? A false claim

    I said that banking sector in Eastern Europe is controlled by Western banks. I do not follow the region closely, and may be unaware of some of the recent trends, but this was certainly true some years ago.

    My point is what do you do if Russia decides it wants Belarus? Or Lithuania? How would “Intermarium” stop or deter Russia? To preserve its own vision of Europe? It really can’t. Similarily, they won’t be able to develop their economies by relying on each other, since each of them is far more reliant on Germany and the US. Complete failure all around.

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    • Replies: @AP

    My point is what do you do if Russia decides it wants Belarus? Or Lithuania? How would “Intermarium” stop or deter Russia?
     
    Intermarium does not yet exist. Would Russia go to war with a bloc of 130 million people over Lithuania? Even if it could win, the price would be very high, probably high enough to serve as a real deterrent. This is the goal - not war, but deterrence. And Intermarium would care more about Lithuania more than does the UK, or even USA.

    OTOH Lithuania, or Czechia, etc. all alone can do nothing against a larger country. Even mid-sized countries such as Poland, all alone cannot. This was demonstrated throughout the 20th century.

    You already admitted that you would like Russia to overthrow Lukashenko and install a Russia-friendly puppet. Or maybe even annex the place. What can Belarus do about it? Nothing. But would Russia annex a region from a unified bloc that has approximately Russia's population? The equations change.
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  84. @Anatoly Karlin
    I'm preparing an article on that very question (possibly for publication). Check back in a few weeks.

    Personally, I’m leaning towards intelligent life simply being extremely rare, and/or humanity is one of the first intelligent civilizations to come into existence, and that the Great Filter is more likely to be behind us than ahead of us.

    Every time I try to think of scenarios in which the Great Filter might be ahead of us rather than behind us, I keep finding reasons why these scenarios wouldn’t work, and wouldn’t explain the Fermi Paradox. For instance, take Ted Kaczynski’s explanation for the Fermi Paradox in Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How:

    But once self-propagating systems have attained global scale, two crucial differences emerge. The first difference is in the number of individuals from among which the “fittest” are selected. Self-prop systems sufficiently big and powerful to be plausible contenders for global dominance will probably number in the dozens, or possibly in the hundreds; they certainly will not number in the millions. With so few individuals from among which to select the “fittest,” it seems safe to say that the process of natural selection will be inefficient in promoting the fitness for survival of the dominant global self-prop systems. It should also be noted that among biological organisms, species that consist of a relatively small number of large individuals are more vulnerable to extinction than species that consist of a large number of small individuals. Though the analogy between biological organisms and self-propagating systems of human beings is far from perfect, still the prospect for viability of a world-system based on the dominance of a few global self-prop systems does not look encouraging.

    The second difference is that in the absence of rapid, worldwide transportation and communication, the breakdown or the destructive action of a small-scale self-prop system has only local repercussions. Outside the limited zone where such a self-prop system has been active there will be other self-prop systems among which the process of evolution through natural selection will continue. But where rapid, worldwide transportation and communication have led to the emergence of global self-prop systems, the breakdown or the destructive action of any one such system can shake the whole world-system. Consequently, in the process of trial and error that is evolution through natural selection, it is highly probable that after only a relatively small number of “trials” resulting in “errors,” the world-system will break down or will be so severely disrupted that none of the world’s larger or more complex self-prop systems will be able to survive. Thus, for such self-prop systems, the trial-and-error process comes to an end; evolution through natural selection cannot continue long enough to create global self-prop systems possessing the subtle and sophisticated mechanisms that prevent destructive internal competition within complex biological organisms.

    Meanwhile, fierce competition among global self-prop systems will have led to such drastic and rapid alterations in the Earth’s climate, the composition of its atmosphere, the chemistry of its oceans, and so forth, that the effect on the biosphere will be devastating. In Part IV of the present chapter we will carry this line of inquiry further: We will argue that if the development of the technological world-system is allowed to proceed to its logical conclusion, then in all probability the Earth will be left a dead planet-a planet on which nothing will remain alive except, maybe, some of the simplest organisms-certain bacteria, algae, etc.-that are capable of surviving under extreme conditions.

    The theory we’ve outlined here provides a plausible explanation for the so-called Fermi Paradox. It is believed that there should be numerous planets on which technologically advanced civilizations have evolved, and which are not so remote from us that we could not by this time have detected their radio transmissions. The Fermi Paradox consists in the fact that our astronomers have never yet been able to detect any radio signals that seem to have originated from an intelligent extraterrestrial source.
    According to Ray Kurzweil, one common explanation of the Fermi Paradox is “that a civilization may obliterate itself once it reaches radio capability.” Kurzweil continues: “This explanation might be acceptable if we were talking about only a few such civilizations, but [if such civilizations have been numerous], it is not credible to believe that every one of them destroyed itself” Kurzweil would be right if the self-destruction of a civilization were merely a matter of chance. But there is nothing implausible about the foregoing explanation of the Fermi Paradox if there is a process common to all technologically advanced civilizations that consistently leads them to self-destruction. Here we’ve been arguing that there is such a process.

    There are a few problems I see within this explanation for the Fermi Paradox. First of all, it doesn’t explain why the destruction that Ted describes would necessarily be contained to an intelligent civilization’s home planet. Even if Ted is right about the destructive potential of self-prop systems acting in short term self interest in order to out-compete other self-prop systems, a post-Singularity civilization could likely venture out beyond their home planet if survival there became impossible, destroying entire galaxies. It would essentially be a more realistic version of the Paperclip Maximizer thought experiment. Second of all, in claiming that the small number of self-prop systems would likely destroy the world such that they are unable to survive, he seems to not take into account that the most likely self-prop systems in the future will be some form of superintelligent AIs. If an ASI’s utility function is to survive, it could almost certainly find a way to re-engineer itself in such a way that allows it to survive, and would not be tethered to simple Darwinian evolution like organic life is.

    As for actual causes of the Great Filter, one explanation I think is plausible is that life almost always goes extinct soon after it forms. Looking at past mass extinctions on Earth, sufficient biodiversity has been required in order for life to survive. The earliest forms of life on Earth were likely some form of randomly generated molecules that could copy themselves inefficiently, with virtually no defenses against environmental stresses, with virtually no biodiversity, and would likely be initially confined to a small area. On top of the extremely unlikely event of life forming, it seems like it wouldn’t take much for this early biosphere to be completely destroyed.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Wouldn't it fairly possible the lack of isolation from rapid spread of information potentially foster destructive memes to no longer be avoidable?

    If previously highly lethal and contagious diseases, for example, would have to be limited in their capability because they would "burn through" the local population and would be unable to find a similar vector to other pockets of population due to physical distance, if we equate this to informational memes, it seems possible that the effective destruction of intellectual distance means that if there is very effective hack of the human mind, there is no way for it to be prevented from rapidly affecting the entire population.

    Assuming that it is maladaptive but does not have immediately negative results, this means that any harmful but successful memes will essentially achieve species-wide contamination.
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  85. Mr. Hack says:
    @for-the-record
    Give me a break – I’ve never expressed an opinion on whether Ukrainian was closer to Polish or to Russian!

    Give me a break, I didn't say that you had expressed an opinion, just pointing out that if you had you would be a less reliable witness on this matter -- along with all of the other Ukrainian and Russian commenters here -- than the person I intereviewed.

    Instead of thanking me for my great contribution to science, you have to nitpick on a throwaway comment I made . . .

    So, you’re in the crystal gazing profession. :-) Well, how did my expressed opinion line up with your prophesy of my opinion?

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    So, you’re in the crystal gazing profession.

    Not at all, I was just commenting on the your potential reliability as a "neutral" witness on any matter involving Russia/Ukraine, as compared to my "witness" located in the wilds of island Portugal. 😎
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  86. @Felix Keverich

    Well, he is asking Russia to reduce support (“trade”).
     
    Is that meant to be ironic? Lukashenko always complains how Russia isn't doing enough to open its market for Belorussian agricultural produce.
    https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/news/2018/06/05/771856-rossiyu-moloka

    ^^In reality they are often selling Polish, Lithuanian milk, marketed as "Belorussian".

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants
     
    The Kremlin is wrong about that. There are certain things, inevitable in life: death, taxes, and a colored revolution in a Kremlin-friendly post-Soviet republic. It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.

    The alternative is to wait until Americans succeed in installing anti-Russian government, forcing us to go to war with Belarus as a last resort to prevent them from joining NATO.

    It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.

    I’m so sick of your paranoid bullshit. The world isn’t out to get Russia, no matter how badly you wish that was the case. Neither the US or Europe are going to start mucking around in Belarus.

    By the way, if you hadn’t let Ukraine and Belarus leave in the first place then none of this would be happening. Nobody held a gun to your head.

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    • Replies: @DFH

    Neither the US or Europe are going to start mucking around in Belarus.

     

    The 'Belarus Democracy Act' suggests otherwise
    , @RadicalCenter
    Yeah, the us and nato would never try to foment revolution or strife in Belarus and eventually station troops there.

    Just like we never expanded NATO eastwards contrary to our government’s promise to the Russians.

    It’s not a matter of trusting Russia. I don’t, necessarily. It’s a matter of honestly recognizing that they have very good reason not to trust the us, uk, and other western governments, and many reasons not to trust us to keep our word to them.

    , @RadicalCenter
    P.S. I wonder, what’s the closest that Russian troops and military vehicles are, in any real numbers, to the USA’s borders around the world? Might be useful to compare how closely we have placed our troops to THEIR borders. Who is encroaching on and threatening whom these days?

    We conduct military exercises in countries bordering or nearly bordering Russia, regularly. E.g.
    Poland and the Baltics.

    Does Russia conduct military exercises in Mexico?
    How would we react if they did?
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  87. Mr. Hack says:
    @Felix Keverich
    I like how you say "likely supported" - leaving room for doubts, for interpretation. lol
    As far as the Ukrainian servicemen are concerned, we have a documented evidence that approximately two thirds of them signed up to serve in the Russian army.

    And the Ukrainian government has a pretty good record of who these oath breakers were. They’ll never be able to return to Ukraine, and will always be looking over their shoulders feeling that somebody is monitoring their every move. Traitors never really feet safe and content later in life, often times regretting their huge mistake. :-(

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    • Replies: @Mikhail

    And the Ukrainian government has a pretty good record of who these oath breakers were. They’ll never be able to return to Ukraine, and will always be looking over their shoulders feeling that somebody is monitoring their every move. Traitors never really feet safe and content later in life, often times regretting their huge mistake.
     
    In that instance, quite a number of traitors (folks with a different view than your own) relative to patriots (which in your case applies to a narrow minded nationalist) - once again noting that the majority of Crimea's ethnic Ukrainian population support the area's reunification with Russia.
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  88. melanf says:
    @for-the-record
    Children in the city grow smarter than in the village.

    They are certainly more educated in the city, but are they really smarter? I don't know too much about villages in Russia, but villagers I have met elsewhere (even Africa) have impressed me with their knowledge of things that no city person would have a clue about.

    Would you rather depend on a city person or a village person to feed you?

    They are certainly more educated in the city, but are they really smarter?

    Well in America peasants never existed, in Europe they became extinct, but in Russia still remained (in very small quantity). As a result of life experience, the words “peasant” and “village” in Russia are synonymous with stupidity.

    Would you rather depend on a city person or a village person to feed you?

    Of course I’d rather depend on a city person. In 1927-29 Sergei Eisenstein made a film “Old and new” about how a poor peasant woman Martha receives a tractor from the Communist government. In this film, the main role was played by a real peasant woman. However, she (peasant woman) could not master the tractor since she was too dumb. But a professional actress (who dubbed the peasant woman) has learned very well to drive a tractor

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  89. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP
    I don't find it surprising. Ukrainian vocabulary shares more words in common with Polish than with Russian, although the pronunciation and grammar structure is more like Russian. So if you focus on just on the words Polish can be considered to be closer.

    The person you asked was from Lviv city, not from a village in Lviv province. Lviv speaks standard Ukrainian. In the villages one hears the local dialect, which is even closer to Polish than standard Ukrainian.

    When Poles see Ukrainian they sometimes say it seems like a distant Polish dialect written in Cyrillic.

    By a whopping 70% to 62% margin, according to a source that you earlier provided, without noting any margin of error.

    There’s also the matter of how the modern day standard Ukrainian was developed with the motivated intent to make it more distant from Russian – once again noting that Rusyn has words closer or identical to Russian than Ukrainian – as noted to me by fluent Rusyn speakers. And yes, Rusyn can be considered a not so well structured language, as had been true of Ukrainian, before it took a modern standardized form.

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  90. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    And the Ukrainian government has a pretty good record of who these oath breakers were. They'll never be able to return to Ukraine, and will always be looking over their shoulders feeling that somebody is monitoring their every move. Traitors never really feet safe and content later in life, often times regretting their huge mistake. :-(

    And the Ukrainian government has a pretty good record of who these oath breakers were. They’ll never be able to return to Ukraine, and will always be looking over their shoulders feeling that somebody is monitoring their every move. Traitors never really feet safe and content later in life, often times regretting their huge mistake.

    In that instance, quite a number of traitors (folks with a different view than your own) relative to patriots (which in your case applies to a narrow minded nationalist) – once again noting that the majority of Crimea’s ethnic Ukrainian population support the area’s reunification with Russia.

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    When you take an oath it should mean something. It's not something that one takes lightly or stupid like somebody 'cherry picking' what he feels is patriotic and what isn't, or is worth defending and what isn't. A traitor is somebody that breaks his oath!
    , @Mr. Hack

    noting that the majority of Crimea’s ethnic Ukrainian population support the area’s reunification with Russia.
     
    Did it? Unfortunately, we'll never really know. A normal referendum isn't held a couple of weeks after an area has been invaded by a foreign power. And you can't hold a public opinion today and transfer the results back in time to something that occurred four years ago. A proper referendum should have allowed at least three months of time for all the parties and ethnicities to express their opinions and allowed to present their own platforms. This never took place in the Crimea and it was a sham plebescite, as everybody in the world knows, hence the predicament that Russia finds itself in today.
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  91. Mr. Hack says:
    @for-the-record
    I would be interested in your objective view (and that of AP) of the following "propaganda" depicting how the Russians were able to overcome Ukrainian military forces in the Crimea:

    https://vimeo.com/123319119

    I’d love to listen to this, but 2 hours and 25 minutes? I work and have other interests too…

    Why don’t you just summarize the most important points (there have to be some, otherwise you wouldn’t offer it up for review)?

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    I’d love to listen to this, but 2 hours and 25 minutes?

    You could also watch it with your very own eyes . . .

    As I recall (it's been a while since I watched this) it is a well-done "propaganda" documentary (that doesn't mean that it may not tell a version not so far from the truth) of the Russian "take-over" of Crimea, which is a mixture of actual footage, reconstructions, and some fascinating interviews (notably with Putin). One cannot help (at least I couldn't, I imagine you will be able to) admire the fact that the whole operation was carried off in a very clever manner and with virtually no loss of life.

    As for the 20,000 Ukrainian troops which were supposedly ethnic Russian (as per AP), I recall seeing at one point that they were in fact for the most part actually elite Ukrainian troops (as Ukraine was very well aware of the dangerous situation in Crimea), but I can't find any proof of this now.

    By the way, do you know anything about the history of Ukraine International Airlines?
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  92. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    And the Ukrainian government has a pretty good record of who these oath breakers were. They’ll never be able to return to Ukraine, and will always be looking over their shoulders feeling that somebody is monitoring their every move. Traitors never really feet safe and content later in life, often times regretting their huge mistake.
     
    In that instance, quite a number of traitors (folks with a different view than your own) relative to patriots (which in your case applies to a narrow minded nationalist) - once again noting that the majority of Crimea's ethnic Ukrainian population support the area's reunification with Russia.

    When you take an oath it should mean something. It’s not something that one takes lightly or stupid like somebody ‘cherry picking’ what he feels is patriotic and what isn’t, or is worth defending and what isn’t. A traitor is somebody that breaks his oath!

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    • Replies: @AP
    I'm not as negative about those Crimean "traitors." AFAIK they are mostly just local conscripts, most of whom therefore are ethnic Russians. All conscripts are required to take an oath, so they took one. Then their ethnic Russian president is overthrown by the Ukrainian people (who they re not). Russia takes over their native region. What are they supposed to do? Leave the Crimean home where they grew up and move to Ukraine where they may not have family and where they are basically foreigners? Or switch sides and join their community and family as Russians.

    There may well be actual traitors there too but I suspect the majority are just local Crimeans who went along with their people.
    , @Mikhail
    There's good reason to be against those who violated the power sharing agreement that they signed with the then Ukrainian government.

    Those who left that Ukrainian armed forces on account of the aforementioned situation obviously think so.
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  93. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    I may be mistaken – was it you who claimed that Poland’s financial system is all owned the Germans? A false claim
     
    I said that banking sector in Eastern Europe is controlled by Western banks. I do not follow the region closely, and may be unaware of some of the recent trends, but this was certainly true some years ago.

    My point is what do you do if Russia decides it wants Belarus? Or Lithuania? How would "Intermarium" stop or deter Russia? To preserve its own vision of Europe? It really can't. Similarily, they won't be able to develop their economies by relying on each other, since each of them is far more reliant on Germany and the US. Complete failure all around.

    My point is what do you do if Russia decides it wants Belarus? Or Lithuania? How would “Intermarium” stop or deter Russia?

    Intermarium does not yet exist. Would Russia go to war with a bloc of 130 million people over Lithuania? Even if it could win, the price would be very high, probably high enough to serve as a real deterrent. This is the goal – not war, but deterrence. And Intermarium would care more about Lithuania more than does the UK, or even USA.

    OTOH Lithuania, or Czechia, etc. all alone can do nothing against a larger country. Even mid-sized countries such as Poland, all alone cannot. This was demonstrated throughout the 20th century.

    You already admitted that you would like Russia to overthrow Lukashenko and install a Russia-friendly puppet. Or maybe even annex the place. What can Belarus do about it? Nothing. But would Russia annex a region from a unified bloc that has approximately Russia’s population? The equations change.

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    • Replies: @Greasy William

    Even mid-sized countries such as Poland, all alone cannot.
     
    If Russia launched a conventional invasion of Poland today, I'm pretty sure Poland would win. Poland's military is probably the 5th best in Europe (1. France, 2. UK, 3. Finland, 4. Italy, 5. Poland)
    , @Felix Keverich

    Intermarium does not yet exist. Would Russia go to war with a bloc of 130 million people
     
    A bloc of 130 million sheep, that depends on Russia for energy and without any power-projection capabilities. There is a reason why this part of the world was historically partitioned between Russians and Germans.
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  94. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    And the Ukrainian government has a pretty good record of who these oath breakers were. They’ll never be able to return to Ukraine, and will always be looking over their shoulders feeling that somebody is monitoring their every move. Traitors never really feet safe and content later in life, often times regretting their huge mistake.
     
    In that instance, quite a number of traitors (folks with a different view than your own) relative to patriots (which in your case applies to a narrow minded nationalist) - once again noting that the majority of Crimea's ethnic Ukrainian population support the area's reunification with Russia.

    noting that the majority of Crimea’s ethnic Ukrainian population support the area’s reunification with Russia.

    Did it? Unfortunately, we’ll never really know. A normal referendum isn’t held a couple of weeks after an area has been invaded by a foreign power. And you can’t hold a public opinion today and transfer the results back in time to something that occurred four years ago. A proper referendum should have allowed at least three months of time for all the parties and ethnicities to express their opinions and allowed to present their own platforms. This never took place in the Crimea and it was a sham plebescite, as everybody in the world knows, hence the predicament that Russia finds itself in today.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    We know from independent polling done, which jives with the Crimean referendum result, as previously broken down further up this thread.

    The way Yanukovych was overthrown by those who signed an internationally brokered power sharing arrangement is a sham that preceded Crimea's reunification with Russia - once again noting the northern Cyprus and Kosovo situations.

    With room for improvement, Russia is doing fine - certainly much better than Kiev regime controlled Ukraine.

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  95. A22 says:
    @AP

    What other territories will be excluded from this “Intermarium”? Russia might have a say in that, don’t you think?
     
    Hopefully Donbas.

    Belarus is still not known. It would be nice if it continued drifting that way.

    The whole idea is stillborn, since none of the countries you mentioned can stand up to Russia without substantial, direct American support. “Intermarium” thus seems inadequate for the task of containment of Russia.
     
    You are not stupid, and your posts about Russia are certainly worth reading. But when your attention shifts westward you spew nonsense; it seems most of what you say about Ukraine is simply ridiculous garbage (Azov are western Ukrainians, Ukrainians are poor or "mediocre" in America, Ukraine minus Donbas and Crimea has a chance of becoming pro-Russian again, etc. etc.). So your judgments about the countries between the western EU and Russia are automatically suspect (I may be mistaken - was it you who claimed that Poland's financial system is all owned the Germans? A false claim).

    I do not think of Intermarium as an entity devoted to "containing Russia"; rather, it is about preserving Europe's remaining "pure" nations and cultures, who happen to be too small to defend themselves each on their own, allowing them to develop and live without either Western or Eastern interference or dominance. About 130 million people, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea to the Adriatic, still Christian and relatively traditional, not flooded by outsiders. With borders but hopefully friendly ties with both the falling EU to the West and with Russia to the east.

    How can these countries hold their culture while they are completely dominated by western industrialists and banks? They don’t even have control over their borders.

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    • Replies: @AP

    How can these countries hold their culture while they are completely dominated by western industrialists and banks?
     
    Poland has reestablished local control over its largest banks.

    Look at how Poland and Hungary defy the EU on the refugees. This is only the beginning. Of course the closer the Intermarium countries become the better their ability to resist outsiders.
    , @LatW

    They don’t even have control over their borders.

     

    Do Western countries have control over their borders....?
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  96. @Mr. Hack
    So, you're in the crystal gazing profession. :-) Well, how did my expressed opinion line up with your prophesy of my opinion?

    So, you’re in the crystal gazing profession.

    Not at all, I was just commenting on the your potential reliability as a “neutral” witness on any matter involving Russia/Ukraine, as compared to my “witness” located in the wilds of island Portugal. 😎

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  97. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich
    I like how you say "likely supported" - leaving room for doubts, for interpretation. lol
    As far as the Ukrainian servicemen are concerned, we have a documented evidence that approximately two thirds of them signed up to serve in the Russian army.

    I like how you say “likely supported” – leaving room for doubts, for interpretation. lol

    There was neither a poll nor an election at the moment of the invasion so we do not know exactly whether the majority supported it at that time, (we do know an overwhelming majority is satisfied now) so I stated “likely.”

    Unlike you, I stick to reality rather than nonsense when it comes to things related to Ukraine.

    As far as the Ukrainian servicemen are concerned, we have a documented evidence that approximately two thirds of them signed up to serve in the Russian army

    That’s about the proportion of ethnic Russians in Crimea. Servicemen were mostly locals, and most of those who switched sides were locals.

    Ukrainian media claims – and it may be true or not , I don’t know – that after switching sides many of these Crimean servicemen were reassigned to Magadan or other distant places because the Russian military, unlike the Ukrainian one in 2014, didn’t follow a policy allowing its soldiers to serve close to home. If this is the case, it is kind of funny.

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  98. AP says:
    @A22
    How can these countries hold their culture while they are completely dominated by western industrialists and banks? They don't even have control over their borders.

    How can these countries hold their culture while they are completely dominated by western industrialists and banks?

    Poland has reestablished local control over its largest banks.

    Look at how Poland and Hungary defy the EU on the refugees. This is only the beginning. Of course the closer the Intermarium countries become the better their ability to resist outsiders.

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    • Replies: @A22
    But is it about local control? what I mean is look at Russia, a country with vast oil exports, yet its banking sector struggled when the European Union restricted its access to the EU capital. I doubt Poland will fair better.
    The problem is much bigger than the current crisis. This inflow of migrants from Africa will continue. How will these countries restrict the future movement of these migrants? Say 10 or 20 years from now when Eastern Europe become more economically attractive and the labor shortage start lifting wages up.
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  99. @AP

    My point is what do you do if Russia decides it wants Belarus? Or Lithuania? How would “Intermarium” stop or deter Russia?
     
    Intermarium does not yet exist. Would Russia go to war with a bloc of 130 million people over Lithuania? Even if it could win, the price would be very high, probably high enough to serve as a real deterrent. This is the goal - not war, but deterrence. And Intermarium would care more about Lithuania more than does the UK, or even USA.

    OTOH Lithuania, or Czechia, etc. all alone can do nothing against a larger country. Even mid-sized countries such as Poland, all alone cannot. This was demonstrated throughout the 20th century.

    You already admitted that you would like Russia to overthrow Lukashenko and install a Russia-friendly puppet. Or maybe even annex the place. What can Belarus do about it? Nothing. But would Russia annex a region from a unified bloc that has approximately Russia's population? The equations change.

    Even mid-sized countries such as Poland, all alone cannot.

    If Russia launched a conventional invasion of Poland today, I’m pretty sure Poland would win. Poland’s military is probably the 5th best in Europe (1. France, 2. UK, 3. Finland, 4. Italy, 5. Poland)

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    • Replies: @AP
    Poland's military is better, but probably not much better, than Ukraine's improved military.

    Russia would get bruised badly if it simply invaded Poland. But it wouldn't do that. Russia would just pound Poland with long-range missiles until the Polish army was degraded, and then invade Poland could take Kaliningrad before its army is destroyed but the end result wouldn't change.

    It would be roughly the same strategy with Ukraine, whose military would also give Russia a lot of trouble if Russia simply invaded without bombing from afar first. However Ukraine has developed some good longer-range rockets and is 1-2 years away from completing ones that can strike deeper into Russia:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-unveils-new-tactical-missile-system.html

    Ukraine is also working on hypersonic missiles but those are 20 years way:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-develops-hypersonic-cruise-missile.html

    Poland doesn't have such stuff itself; in Intermarium they could be shared.

    So there is a deterrent in the works.
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  100. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    When you take an oath it should mean something. It's not something that one takes lightly or stupid like somebody 'cherry picking' what he feels is patriotic and what isn't, or is worth defending and what isn't. A traitor is somebody that breaks his oath!

    I’m not as negative about those Crimean “traitors.” AFAIK they are mostly just local conscripts, most of whom therefore are ethnic Russians. All conscripts are required to take an oath, so they took one. Then their ethnic Russian president is overthrown by the Ukrainian people (who they re not). Russia takes over their native region. What are they supposed to do? Leave the Crimean home where they grew up and move to Ukraine where they may not have family and where they are basically foreigners? Or switch sides and join their community and family as Russians.

    There may well be actual traitors there too but I suspect the majority are just local Crimeans who went along with their people.

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    • Replies: @Mikhail

    Then their ethnic Russian president is overthrown by the Ukrainian people (who they re not).
     
    More accurately put, Yanukovych isn't exclusively Russian and it's a portion of the Ukrainian population (ethnic Ukrainian and otherwise) who were/are okay with the way he was overthrown.
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  101. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    Why Russian countryside is so bleak and run-down when compared to Belarussian, Lithuanian and Polish countryside?
     
    What exactly does this mean? Villages are dying and disappearing (and thank God) - this is a universal process. Agriculture in Russia shows stable growth. If about the appearance: in Russia there is a very picturesque countryside - envy Poland envy Lithuania!

    https://i12.fotocdn.net/s10/240/gallery_xl/430/2470555119.jpg

    https://c.radikal.ru/c05/1806/b6/3dd1c221b6a0.jpg

    https://d.radikal.ru/d13/1806/f4/861dbeab1df9.jpg

    https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/5605/3689816.110/0_8d3e6_55b01828_orig.jpg

    https://i12.fotocdn.net/s10/240/gallery_xl/430/2470555119.jpg

    Yes – lol nothing of the land to match the beauty of the picturesque Lithuanian and Polish countryside…

    Although it’s not a place you can conveniently visit for a weekend.

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  102. AP says:
    @Greasy William

    Even mid-sized countries such as Poland, all alone cannot.
     
    If Russia launched a conventional invasion of Poland today, I'm pretty sure Poland would win. Poland's military is probably the 5th best in Europe (1. France, 2. UK, 3. Finland, 4. Italy, 5. Poland)

    Poland’s military is better, but probably not much better, than Ukraine’s improved military.

    Russia would get bruised badly if it simply invaded Poland. But it wouldn’t do that. Russia would just pound Poland with long-range missiles until the Polish army was degraded, and then invade Poland could take Kaliningrad before its army is destroyed but the end result wouldn’t change.

    It would be roughly the same strategy with Ukraine, whose military would also give Russia a lot of trouble if Russia simply invaded without bombing from afar first. However Ukraine has developed some good longer-range rockets and is 1-2 years away from completing ones that can strike deeper into Russia:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-unveils-new-tactical-missile-system.html

    Ukraine is also working on hypersonic missiles but those are 20 years way:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-develops-hypersonic-cruise-missile.html

    Poland doesn’t have such stuff itself; in Intermarium they could be shared.

    So there is a deterrent in the works.

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective
    The main obstacle to an Intermarium is the fact that the V4 + Croatia & Slovenia are now deeply integrated into the Western framework. It is difficult to overestimate the accumulated impact this has given over the course of close to 20 years now (we joined NATO in the late 90s). Nor is it just militarily or politically. V4 and German trade now exceeds French-German trade and it is putting ever-greater distance between them. Germany now has a core economic interest in keeping us close, and this will seep into geopolitics.

    Furthermore, even if NATO disbanded tomorrow, there are already accelerated efforts to have a EU-wide equivalent. Germany's Rheinsmetall is already co-operating with some of our companies on an APU and among projects. It was Orban which was a leading force behind PESCO - the initial step of this kind - and he was strongly supported by us. Not just because of our traditional pro-Hungarian stance but also because it makes sense.

    You're correct that Poland would have little to no chance in any conventional conflict with Russia. That's also why I think any conventional discussion is fundamentally moot. In the world we live in, the only countries that are truly strategically autonomous are those with an independent nuclear deterrent, preferably being capable to deliver it on three fronts (underwater, ICBM as well as through the airforce). Today this is roughly six countries or so. For intermarium to truly become something more than a concept, it would have to begin with a strong nuclear deterrent. Otherwise, Russia would easily be able to waltz in and disrupt the party, whatever we may feel like it. What makes you think Orban would send his boys to fight Russia on behalf of Lithuania or Ukraine? Or even the Croat PM. A nuclear deterrent changes the calculus completely.

    But even in the event that such a development was possible, it would still need to overcome both NATO and EU-wide initiatives like PESCO (which will most likely rapidly expand in the coming years). I would prefer an Intermarium, but it would be hard to convince Czechia or Slovenia to go for it given that the West has a strong technological capability and the here-and-now financial, technological and military hardware muscle to defend these countries from Russia with overwhelming force if it decided to. We don't, as things stand. It would really only be you and us that have any army to speak of.

    Finally, I have expressed doubts about the 'muslim takeover' scenario. Most Western countries, certainly in Europe, will continue to be made up of secular white liberals in the decades to come with affirmative action minorities thrown in and the odd hyper-assimiliated minority high-achiever, too. Adam Smith wrote that 'there is a great deal of ruin in a nation', by which he meant that even in rich countries, there can be great depravity and yet the nation could still be rich and getting richer. Much of the US and increasingly Western Europe are both proving this point. Therefore, the substantial gap between us and them will not be closed quickly, and this will make the discussion harder for most of the countries involved to switch. Not everyone is a cultural romantic like me. Many, if not most, are hard-nosed pragmatists and would choose the US over Ukraine and Poland, however we may feel about it.

    , @AP

    Poland’s military is better, but probably not much better, than Ukraine’s improved military
     
    On second thought, I'm not sure about this.

    There is a tank competition in Germany now; it will be interesting to see the results this year:

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

    Ukraine and Poland participated last year. Ukraine's team used the same T-64BM that is the staple of its military. It came in 5th place out of 6 countries, beating Poland's team and its Leopard 2 A5. Ukraine has about twice as many tanks in service as does Poland. Ukraine's military also has nearly twice as many personnel overall. Ukraine also has more rockets and missiles, and artillery. Poland, OTOH, has about twice as many combat aircraft as does Ukraine and presumably its crews are better trained. In 2018 Ukraine's military budget is about half that of Poland's in dollar terms ($6.2 billion and $12.2 billion, respectively) but PPP would erase much of this difference.

    So I am not sure if Poland's military is currently better than Ukraine's. Either way, I doubt it's a huge difference.

    Both countries lack an answer to long-distance missile strikes, meaning inevitable loss to an enemy capable of sustained long-distance strikes.
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  103. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    When you take an oath it should mean something. It's not something that one takes lightly or stupid like somebody 'cherry picking' what he feels is patriotic and what isn't, or is worth defending and what isn't. A traitor is somebody that breaks his oath!

    There’s good reason to be against those who violated the power sharing agreement that they signed with the then Ukrainian government.

    Those who left that Ukrainian armed forces on account of the aforementioned situation obviously think so.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Yanukovych's own party members united and voted against him, like rats on a sinking ship:

    Yanukovych was disowned by the Party of Regions. In a statement issued by Oleksandr Yefremov, parliamentary faction leader, the party and its members "strongly condemn[ed] the criminal orders that led to human victims, an empty state treasury, huge debts, shame before the eyes of the Ukrainian people and the entire world."[192][193][194]
     
    You're the only one still shedding big crocodile tears for Yanukovych, always backing the wrong guy at the wrong time (kind of like Skoropadsky too). Yanukovych ended up retiring handsomely in Russia, as Skoropadsky did comfortably in Germany, though Skoropadsky was by far a more upright individual than Yanukovych.
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  104. @ImmortalRationalist
    Personally, I'm leaning towards intelligent life simply being extremely rare, and/or humanity is one of the first intelligent civilizations to come into existence, and that the Great Filter is more likely to be behind us than ahead of us.

    Every time I try to think of scenarios in which the Great Filter might be ahead of us rather than behind us, I keep finding reasons why these scenarios wouldn't work, and wouldn't explain the Fermi Paradox. For instance, take Ted Kaczynski's explanation for the Fermi Paradox in Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How:

    But once self-propagating systems have attained global scale, two crucial differences emerge. The first difference is in the number of individuals from among which the "fittest" are selected. Self-prop systems sufficiently big and powerful to be plausible contenders for global dominance will probably number in the dozens, or possibly in the hundreds; they certainly will not number in the millions. With so few individuals from among which to select the "fittest," it seems safe to say that the process of natural selection will be inefficient in promoting the fitness for survival of the dominant global self-prop systems. It should also be noted that among biological organisms, species that consist of a relatively small number of large individuals are more vulnerable to extinction than species that consist of a large number of small individuals. Though the analogy between biological organisms and self-propagating systems of human beings is far from perfect, still the prospect for viability of a world-system based on the dominance of a few global self-prop systems does not look encouraging.

    The second difference is that in the absence of rapid, worldwide transportation and communication, the breakdown or the destructive action of a small-scale self-prop system has only local repercussions. Outside the limited zone where such a self-prop system has been active there will be other self-prop systems among which the process of evolution through natural selection will continue. But where rapid, worldwide transportation and communication have led to the emergence of global self-prop systems, the breakdown or the destructive action of any one such system can shake the whole world-system. Consequently, in the process of trial and error that is evolution through natural selection, it is highly probable that after only a relatively small number of "trials" resulting in "errors," the world-system will break down or will be so severely disrupted that none of the world's larger or more complex self-prop systems will be able to survive. Thus, for such self-prop systems, the trial-and-error process comes to an end; evolution through natural selection cannot continue long enough to create global self-prop systems possessing the subtle and sophisticated mechanisms that prevent destructive internal competition within complex biological organisms.

    Meanwhile, fierce competition among global self-prop systems will have led to such drastic and rapid alterations in the Earth's climate, the composition of its atmosphere, the chemistry of its oceans, and so forth, that the effect on the biosphere will be devastating. In Part IV of the present chapter we will carry this line of inquiry further: We will argue that if the development of the technological world-system is allowed to proceed to its logical conclusion, then in all probability the Earth will be left a dead planet-a planet on which nothing will remain alive except, maybe, some of the simplest organisms-certain bacteria, algae, etc.-that are capable of surviving under extreme conditions.

    The theory we've outlined here provides a plausible explanation for the so-called Fermi Paradox. It is believed that there should be numerous planets on which technologically advanced civilizations have evolved, and which are not so remote from us that we could not by this time have detected their radio transmissions. The Fermi Paradox consists in the fact that our astronomers have never yet been able to detect any radio signals that seem to have originated from an intelligent extraterrestrial source.
    According to Ray Kurzweil, one common explanation of the Fermi Paradox is "that a civilization may obliterate itself once it reaches radio capability." Kurzweil continues: "This explanation might be acceptable if we were talking about only a few such civilizations, but [if such civilizations have been numerous], it is not credible to believe that every one of them destroyed itself" Kurzweil would be right if the self-destruction of a civilization were merely a matter of chance. But there is nothing implausible about the foregoing explanation of the Fermi Paradox if there is a process common to all technologically advanced civilizations that consistently leads them to self-destruction. Here we've been arguing that there is such a process.

     

    There are a few problems I see within this explanation for the Fermi Paradox. First of all, it doesn't explain why the destruction that Ted describes would necessarily be contained to an intelligent civilization's home planet. Even if Ted is right about the destructive potential of self-prop systems acting in short term self interest in order to out-compete other self-prop systems, a post-Singularity civilization could likely venture out beyond their home planet if survival there became impossible, destroying entire galaxies. It would essentially be a more realistic version of the Paperclip Maximizer thought experiment. Second of all, in claiming that the small number of self-prop systems would likely destroy the world such that they are unable to survive, he seems to not take into account that the most likely self-prop systems in the future will be some form of superintelligent AIs. If an ASI's utility function is to survive, it could almost certainly find a way to re-engineer itself in such a way that allows it to survive, and would not be tethered to simple Darwinian evolution like organic life is.

    As for actual causes of the Great Filter, one explanation I think is plausible is that life almost always goes extinct soon after it forms. Looking at past mass extinctions on Earth, sufficient biodiversity has been required in order for life to survive. The earliest forms of life on Earth were likely some form of randomly generated molecules that could copy themselves inefficiently, with virtually no defenses against environmental stresses, with virtually no biodiversity, and would likely be initially confined to a small area. On top of the extremely unlikely event of life forming, it seems like it wouldn't take much for this early biosphere to be completely destroyed.

    Wouldn’t it fairly possible the lack of isolation from rapid spread of information potentially foster destructive memes to no longer be avoidable?

    If previously highly lethal and contagious diseases, for example, would have to be limited in their capability because they would “burn through” the local population and would be unable to find a similar vector to other pockets of population due to physical distance, if we equate this to informational memes, it seems possible that the effective destruction of intellectual distance means that if there is very effective hack of the human mind, there is no way for it to be prevented from rapidly affecting the entire population.

    Assuming that it is maladaptive but does not have immediately negative results, this means that any harmful but successful memes will essentially achieve species-wide contamination.

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    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    Sounds unlikely. Even though in your scenario every individual would be exposed to these harmful memes, it doesn't necessarily follow that every individual in a population will react badly to them. To continue with your disease analogy, even if every individual contracts a disease, there are some individuals within the population that have some form of genetic resistance to that disease. Take a harmful meme like feminism, for instance. For a population of women exposed to feminist ideology, women who are genetically predisposed to be more conservative and have stronger maternal instincts within that population would be more likely to reproduce, and would in a sense have genetic resistance to feminism. This is one reason why I think the so-called "demographic transition" will eventually reverse itself, and Western countries will eventually once again have high fertility rates. The reason why fertility rates are currently low in Western countries is a mismatch between the current environment and the environment of evolutionary adaptedness. Modern society has numerous factors that lower fertility, which are in an evolutionary sense "diseases", and natural selection hasn't had time to catch up yet.

    Another thing that can happen is that groups can actively shelter themselves from the harmful memes you describe. Religious fundamentalists are probably the most common form of this. Religious fundamentalists design institutions designed to keep their members in the fold, such as homeschooling and bible colleges, so that few of their members are lost to secularism. This, combined with low mortality due to modern medicine and high fertility rates, is causing their populations to rise extremely rapidly. Another factor which has been studied in the Amish population is that the Amish are undergoing selection pressure for increased "Amishness". Some individuals leave the Amish community and join modern society, which creates a sort of boiling-off effect, and creates selection pressure within the Amish community for traits that cause individuals to enjoy the Amish lifestyle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjuBRaLYWnA
    https://phys.org/news/2011-01-religiosity-gene-dominate-society.html
    https://www.unz.com/jman/liberalism-hbd-population-and-solutions-for-the-future/
    https://futurism.com/genetic-idiocracy-genes-associated-with-high-education-are-becoming-rarer/
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/cochran-harpending-paper-on-amish/
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  105. @Mr. Hack
    I'd love to listen to this, but 2 hours and 25 minutes? I work and have other interests too...

    Why don't you just summarize the most important points (there have to be some, otherwise you wouldn't offer it up for review)?

    I’d love to listen to this, but 2 hours and 25 minutes?

    You could also watch it with your very own eyes . . .

    As I recall (it’s been a while since I watched this) it is a well-done “propaganda” documentary (that doesn’t mean that it may not tell a version not so far from the truth) of the Russian “take-over” of Crimea, which is a mixture of actual footage, reconstructions, and some fascinating interviews (notably with Putin). One cannot help (at least I couldn’t, I imagine you will be able to) admire the fact that the whole operation was carried off in a very clever manner and with virtually no loss of life.

    As for the 20,000 Ukrainian troops which were supposedly ethnic Russian (as per AP), I recall seeing at one point that they were in fact for the most part actually elite Ukrainian troops (as Ukraine was very well aware of the dangerous situation in Crimea), but I can’t find any proof of this now.

    By the way, do you know anything about the history of Ukraine International Airlines?

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  106. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    noting that the majority of Crimea’s ethnic Ukrainian population support the area’s reunification with Russia.
     
    Did it? Unfortunately, we'll never really know. A normal referendum isn't held a couple of weeks after an area has been invaded by a foreign power. And you can't hold a public opinion today and transfer the results back in time to something that occurred four years ago. A proper referendum should have allowed at least three months of time for all the parties and ethnicities to express their opinions and allowed to present their own platforms. This never took place in the Crimea and it was a sham plebescite, as everybody in the world knows, hence the predicament that Russia finds itself in today.

    We know from independent polling done, which jives with the Crimean referendum result, as previously broken down further up this thread.

    The way Yanukovych was overthrown by those who signed an internationally brokered power sharing arrangement is a sham that preceded Crimea’s reunification with Russia – once again noting the northern Cyprus and Kosovo situations.

    With room for improvement, Russia is doing fine – certainly much better than Kiev regime controlled Ukraine.

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  107. Anon[126] • Disclaimer says:
    @for-the-record
    By the way, you may recall that I told you of a Ukrainian woman living nearby who I said I would interrogate about the Russian-Polish-Ukrainian language continuum. Well I saw her a few days ago, and here is a summary.

    Question: in your opinion, is Russian or Polish closer to Ukrainian?

    First some background. She is from Lviv, around 50 (hence Soviet-educated), a physiotherapist (deep-tissue massage) who is locally renowned for her restorative capabilities. She and her husband (Portuguese) grow crops, raise pigs, etc. A nice lady, but in no way intellectual, and with no great political awareness, although she certainly identifies as Ukrainian and doesn't like Putin. Her brother served in the Afghan war and then became involved in the Russian mafia (as some sort of enforcer, it would seem), and disappeared a few years ago.

    Given this background, notably the fact that all her schooling was in Russian (Cyrillic obviously), I have to admit that I was expecting her say that Russian was closer. Or perhaps that they were more or less equally distant. Indeed, I wasn't even sure how much (if any) Polish she knew.

    Her answer was unequivocal: Polish is significantly closer to Ukrainian than is Russian. She attributed this primarily to the fact that Lviv was so close to the Polish border, and the fact that so many Poles used to live there. So one might question to what extent the language changes (in a "non-Polish" manner) to the east of Lviv.

    I would consider her a fairly reliable witness, in the sense that she didn't even perceive the political implications of the question I put to her -- thus a far more reliable witness than you or Mr. Hack, or any of our Russian commenters!

    Anyway, I have to admit I was a bit surprised how unequivocal her answer was.

    This isn’t that lady in Toronto is it?

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    This isn’t that lady in Toronto is it?

    You don't mean the pro-Russian Ukrainian-American pianist who played for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra?

    http://www.baxter.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/CTCS-Valentina-Lisitsa-cropped-700x400.jpg

    Alas no, she would be even more popular as a masseuse than the muscular Lana who raises pigs and cows on an island somewhere in the Atlantic.
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  108. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP
    I'm not as negative about those Crimean "traitors." AFAIK they are mostly just local conscripts, most of whom therefore are ethnic Russians. All conscripts are required to take an oath, so they took one. Then their ethnic Russian president is overthrown by the Ukrainian people (who they re not). Russia takes over their native region. What are they supposed to do? Leave the Crimean home where they grew up and move to Ukraine where they may not have family and where they are basically foreigners? Or switch sides and join their community and family as Russians.

    There may well be actual traitors there too but I suspect the majority are just local Crimeans who went along with their people.

    Then their ethnic Russian president is overthrown by the Ukrainian people (who they re not).

    More accurately put, Yanukovych isn’t exclusively Russian and it’s a portion of the Ukrainian population (ethnic Ukrainian and otherwise) who were/are okay with the way he was overthrown.

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  109. Not Raul says:
    @German_reader
    According to al-arabiya MbS is to attend the opening of the world cup on June 14:
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/sports/2018/06/03/Saudi-Crown-Prince-to-attend-World-Cup-opening-ceremony-in-support-of-national-team.html

    So maybe he's still alive?
    I hope Russia will at least beat the Saudi scum. I also want the German team to lose in the most humiliating way possible, but I suppose that's a task for the Argies or the Brazilians.

    Why do you want Germany to lose? What good would that do?

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    The German team does all sorts of Merkelian multiculti propaganda, and they don't even kick out the two disloyal Turks Özil and Gündogan who recently met Erdogan and handed him a football tricot signed with "For my president".
    Besides, I just can't stand those retarded football players who get so much money for kicking around a ball, imo Uday Hussein had the best ideas how to deal with their kind.
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  110. @Anon
    This isn't that lady in Toronto is it?

    This isn’t that lady in Toronto is it?

    You don’t mean the pro-Russian Ukrainian-American pianist who played for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra?

    Alas no, she would be even more popular as a masseuse than the muscular Lana who raises pigs and cows on an island somewhere in the Atlantic.

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  111. A22 says:
    @AP

    How can these countries hold their culture while they are completely dominated by western industrialists and banks?
     
    Poland has reestablished local control over its largest banks.

    Look at how Poland and Hungary defy the EU on the refugees. This is only the beginning. Of course the closer the Intermarium countries become the better their ability to resist outsiders.

    But is it about local control? what I mean is look at Russia, a country with vast oil exports, yet its banking sector struggled when the European Union restricted its access to the EU capital. I doubt Poland will fair better.
    The problem is much bigger than the current crisis. This inflow of migrants from Africa will continue. How will these countries restrict the future movement of these migrants? Say 10 or 20 years from now when Eastern Europe become more economically attractive and the labor shortage start lifting wages up.

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  112. @AP
    Poland's military is better, but probably not much better, than Ukraine's improved military.

    Russia would get bruised badly if it simply invaded Poland. But it wouldn't do that. Russia would just pound Poland with long-range missiles until the Polish army was degraded, and then invade Poland could take Kaliningrad before its army is destroyed but the end result wouldn't change.

    It would be roughly the same strategy with Ukraine, whose military would also give Russia a lot of trouble if Russia simply invaded without bombing from afar first. However Ukraine has developed some good longer-range rockets and is 1-2 years away from completing ones that can strike deeper into Russia:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-unveils-new-tactical-missile-system.html

    Ukraine is also working on hypersonic missiles but those are 20 years way:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-develops-hypersonic-cruise-missile.html

    Poland doesn't have such stuff itself; in Intermarium they could be shared.

    So there is a deterrent in the works.

    The main obstacle to an Intermarium is the fact that the V4 + Croatia & Slovenia are now deeply integrated into the Western framework. It is difficult to overestimate the accumulated impact this has given over the course of close to 20 years now (we joined NATO in the late 90s). Nor is it just militarily or politically. V4 and German trade now exceeds French-German trade and it is putting ever-greater distance between them. Germany now has a core economic interest in keeping us close, and this will seep into geopolitics.

    Furthermore, even if NATO disbanded tomorrow, there are already accelerated efforts to have a EU-wide equivalent. Germany’s Rheinsmetall is already co-operating with some of our companies on an APU and among projects. It was Orban which was a leading force behind PESCO – the initial step of this kind – and he was strongly supported by us. Not just because of our traditional pro-Hungarian stance but also because it makes sense.

    You’re correct that Poland would have little to no chance in any conventional conflict with Russia. That’s also why I think any conventional discussion is fundamentally moot. In the world we live in, the only countries that are truly strategically autonomous are those with an independent nuclear deterrent, preferably being capable to deliver it on three fronts (underwater, ICBM as well as through the airforce). Today this is roughly six countries or so. For intermarium to truly become something more than a concept, it would have to begin with a strong nuclear deterrent. Otherwise, Russia would easily be able to waltz in and disrupt the party, whatever we may feel like it. What makes you think Orban would send his boys to fight Russia on behalf of Lithuania or Ukraine? Or even the Croat PM. A nuclear deterrent changes the calculus completely.

    But even in the event that such a development was possible, it would still need to overcome both NATO and EU-wide initiatives like PESCO (which will most likely rapidly expand in the coming years). I would prefer an Intermarium, but it would be hard to convince Czechia or Slovenia to go for it given that the West has a strong technological capability and the here-and-now financial, technological and military hardware muscle to defend these countries from Russia with overwhelming force if it decided to. We don’t, as things stand. It would really only be you and us that have any army to speak of.

    Finally, I have expressed doubts about the ‘muslim takeover’ scenario. Most Western countries, certainly in Europe, will continue to be made up of secular white liberals in the decades to come with affirmative action minorities thrown in and the odd hyper-assimiliated minority high-achiever, too. Adam Smith wrote that ‘there is a great deal of ruin in a nation’, by which he meant that even in rich countries, there can be great depravity and yet the nation could still be rich and getting richer. Much of the US and increasingly Western Europe are both proving this point. Therefore, the substantial gap between us and them will not be closed quickly, and this will make the discussion harder for most of the countries involved to switch. Not everyone is a cultural romantic like me. Many, if not most, are hard-nosed pragmatists and would choose the US over Ukraine and Poland, however we may feel about it.

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    • Replies: @LatW

    For intermarium to truly become something more than a concept, it would have to begin with a strong nuclear deterrent.
     
    True, of course, there are first tier and second, etc., tier countries. By the way, this fact has not escaped the Ukrainian nationalists (no matter how utopian their wish for a nuclear weapon might be).

    You seem to be very optimistic about PESCO. And, while I view it positively, my question is still... will PESCO include countries such as Italy that up until recently were literally lifting third country nationals from the ocean into helicopters and transporting them to the EU territory. No intention to pick on Italy (maybe it'll change its policies given the election result), but you get the point...

    , @AP
    See my comment here which addressed some of your points:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-44/#comment-2361889
    , @RadicalCenter
    I really enjoy and learn from your perspective on Eastern Europe.

    I’d just say that most european countries will NOT continue to be populated by white secular liberals or whites at all. Simply because white people in Europe do not have many children, even less by TFR than white people in the USA.

    There are fewer white people in Europe every year, liberal or otherwise, secular or otherwise, and more nonwhite people in Europe every year. That’s true for England, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Benelux countries, etc. Even Greece has a declining Greek population and a steadily growing Muslim population approaching six percent nationwide.

    The Muslim takeover scenario becomes more plausible and more likely with each passing year. The demographic momentum is starting to accelerate in favor of the takeover, as there are fewer white women of childbearing age in each of those countries every single year.

    One good way to determine who will likely control the culture, streets, and government tomorrow is to check the demographics of the secondary schools. What percent of people in Germany under age 18 are actually german or even just white european? Same with each country, and the answer is frightening for all NW, western, and Central European countries on the list above.

    We are also not yet seeing massive white flight from Europe, but the trend is apparently just getting underway as retiring Germans trickle eastward to buy homes in Hungary etc. when possible. Flight on a meaningful scale will only hasten the Muslim takeover of most of Europe.

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  113. @AP

    My point is what do you do if Russia decides it wants Belarus? Or Lithuania? How would “Intermarium” stop or deter Russia?
     
    Intermarium does not yet exist. Would Russia go to war with a bloc of 130 million people over Lithuania? Even if it could win, the price would be very high, probably high enough to serve as a real deterrent. This is the goal - not war, but deterrence. And Intermarium would care more about Lithuania more than does the UK, or even USA.

    OTOH Lithuania, or Czechia, etc. all alone can do nothing against a larger country. Even mid-sized countries such as Poland, all alone cannot. This was demonstrated throughout the 20th century.

    You already admitted that you would like Russia to overthrow Lukashenko and install a Russia-friendly puppet. Or maybe even annex the place. What can Belarus do about it? Nothing. But would Russia annex a region from a unified bloc that has approximately Russia's population? The equations change.

    Intermarium does not yet exist. Would Russia go to war with a bloc of 130 million people

    A bloc of 130 million sheep, that depends on Russia for energy and without any power-projection capabilities. There is a reason why this part of the world was historically partitioned between Russians and Germans.

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    • Replies: @DFH

    There is a reason why this part of the world was historically partitioned between Russians and Germans.
     
    History extends further back than 1772
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  114. @Daniel Chieh
    Wouldn't it fairly possible the lack of isolation from rapid spread of information potentially foster destructive memes to no longer be avoidable?

    If previously highly lethal and contagious diseases, for example, would have to be limited in their capability because they would "burn through" the local population and would be unable to find a similar vector to other pockets of population due to physical distance, if we equate this to informational memes, it seems possible that the effective destruction of intellectual distance means that if there is very effective hack of the human mind, there is no way for it to be prevented from rapidly affecting the entire population.

    Assuming that it is maladaptive but does not have immediately negative results, this means that any harmful but successful memes will essentially achieve species-wide contamination.

    Sounds unlikely. Even though in your scenario every individual would be exposed to these harmful memes, it doesn’t necessarily follow that every individual in a population will react badly to them. To continue with your disease analogy, even if every individual contracts a disease, there are some individuals within the population that have some form of genetic resistance to that disease. Take a harmful meme like feminism, for instance. For a population of women exposed to feminist ideology, women who are genetically predisposed to be more conservative and have stronger maternal instincts within that population would be more likely to reproduce, and would in a sense have genetic resistance to feminism. This is one reason why I think the so-called “demographic transition” will eventually reverse itself, and Western countries will eventually once again have high fertility rates. The reason why fertility rates are currently low in Western countries is a mismatch between the current environment and the environment of evolutionary adaptedness. Modern society has numerous factors that lower fertility, which are in an evolutionary sense “diseases”, and natural selection hasn’t had time to catch up yet.

    Another thing that can happen is that groups can actively shelter themselves from the harmful memes you describe. Religious fundamentalists are probably the most common form of this. Religious fundamentalists design institutions designed to keep their members in the fold, such as homeschooling and bible colleges, so that few of their members are lost to secularism. This, combined with low mortality due to modern medicine and high fertility rates, is causing their populations to rise extremely rapidly. Another factor which has been studied in the Amish population is that the Amish are undergoing selection pressure for increased “Amishness”. Some individuals leave the Amish community and join modern society, which creates a sort of boiling-off effect, and creates selection pressure within the Amish community for traits that cause individuals to enjoy the Amish lifestyle.

    https://phys.org/news/2011-01-religiosity-gene-dominate-society.html

    https://www.unz.com/jman/liberalism-hbd-population-and-solutions-for-the-future/

    https://futurism.com/genetic-idiocracy-genes-associated-with-high-education-are-becoming-rarer/

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/cochran-harpending-paper-on-amish/

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Even though in your scenario every individual would be exposed to these harmful memes, it doesn’t necessarily follow that every individual in a population will react badly to them. To continue with your disease analogy, even if every individual contracts a disease, there are some individuals within the population that have some form of genetic resistance to that disease.
     
    But is it really the case that we will have resistance to the harmful memes we create? Highly harmful diseases do sometimes manage sizeable wipeout of populations - the Black Death may have potentially had an airborne version that failed only because it achieved 99% mortality and burnt itself out.

    And by definition, the memes and threats that we're creating for ourselves is novel and unlike diseases, we may never had a similar analogue to resist in the past. Feral cat colonies, for example, don't seem to evolve a way around human sterilization - its too novel of a threat to manage. Likewise, the dinosaurs(and most life) failed to evolve a way to deal with the suddenly harsh environment of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

    Consider the privacy threats now; we're probably reached peak lack of privacy and completely beyond our usual evolved capability to not only adapt, but even notice: an AI that pattern-matches our writing style and speed is something novel beyond our evolved capability and the speed by which we are generating such novel items and threats, probably far exceeds, as you said, our natural selection or compensation mechanisms.

    And in doing so, we alter the habitat(incl. social) enough that arguably even "primivists" would also no longer be able to survive.

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  115. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    There's good reason to be against those who violated the power sharing agreement that they signed with the then Ukrainian government.

    Those who left that Ukrainian armed forces on account of the aforementioned situation obviously think so.

    Yanukovych’s own party members united and voted against him, like rats on a sinking ship:

    Yanukovych was disowned by the Party of Regions. In a statement issued by Oleksandr Yefremov, parliamentary faction leader, the party and its members “strongly condemn[ed] the criminal orders that led to human victims, an empty state treasury, huge debts, shame before the eyes of the Ukrainian people and the entire world.”[192][193][194]

    You’re the only one still shedding big crocodile tears for Yanukovych, always backing the wrong guy at the wrong time (kind of like Skoropadsky too). Yanukovych ended up retiring handsomely in Russia, as Skoropadsky did comfortably in Germany, though Skoropadsky was by far a more upright individual than Yanukovych.

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    • Replies: @Mikhail
    You say that the Crimean referendum isn't appropriate in the way that it occurred.

    On the matter of inappropriate: there's the way the democratically elected Yanukovych was overthrown, in conjunction with the internationally brokered power sharing agreement that he signed and was broken by the opposition. This happened BEFORE Crimea's reunification with Russia, with the Kosovo and northern Cyprus examples in mind.

    You don't deny that there's a clear pro-Russian majority in Crimea. I don't deny that Yanukovuch had flaws and that his support had noticeably dwindled after the coup against him. At the same time, the current crop of Ukrainian presidential hopefuls (including the current person in that role) aren't popular.

    It's no small wonder why Crimea at large remains quite content on being reunified with Russia.

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  116. DFH says:
    @Greasy William

    It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.
     
    I'm so sick of your paranoid bullshit. The world isn't out to get Russia, no matter how badly you wish that was the case. Neither the US or Europe are going to start mucking around in Belarus.

    ...

    By the way, if you hadn't let Ukraine and Belarus leave in the first place then none of this would be happening. Nobody held a gun to your head.

    Neither the US or Europe are going to start mucking around in Belarus.

    The ‘Belarus Democracy Act’ suggests otherwise

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  117. DFH says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Intermarium does not yet exist. Would Russia go to war with a bloc of 130 million people
     
    A bloc of 130 million sheep, that depends on Russia for energy and without any power-projection capabilities. There is a reason why this part of the world was historically partitioned between Russians and Germans.

    There is a reason why this part of the world was historically partitioned between Russians and Germans.

    History extends further back than 1772

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  118. @Greasy William

    It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.
     
    I'm so sick of your paranoid bullshit. The world isn't out to get Russia, no matter how badly you wish that was the case. Neither the US or Europe are going to start mucking around in Belarus.

    ...

    By the way, if you hadn't let Ukraine and Belarus leave in the first place then none of this would be happening. Nobody held a gun to your head.

    Yeah, the us and nato would never try to foment revolution or strife in Belarus and eventually station troops there.

    Just like we never expanded NATO eastwards contrary to our government’s promise to the Russians.

    It’s not a matter of trusting Russia. I don’t, necessarily. It’s a matter of honestly recognizing that they have very good reason not to trust the us, uk, and other western governments, and many reasons not to trust us to keep our word to them.

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  119. @ImmortalRationalist
    Sounds unlikely. Even though in your scenario every individual would be exposed to these harmful memes, it doesn't necessarily follow that every individual in a population will react badly to them. To continue with your disease analogy, even if every individual contracts a disease, there are some individuals within the population that have some form of genetic resistance to that disease. Take a harmful meme like feminism, for instance. For a population of women exposed to feminist ideology, women who are genetically predisposed to be more conservative and have stronger maternal instincts within that population would be more likely to reproduce, and would in a sense have genetic resistance to feminism. This is one reason why I think the so-called "demographic transition" will eventually reverse itself, and Western countries will eventually once again have high fertility rates. The reason why fertility rates are currently low in Western countries is a mismatch between the current environment and the environment of evolutionary adaptedness. Modern society has numerous factors that lower fertility, which are in an evolutionary sense "diseases", and natural selection hasn't had time to catch up yet.

    Another thing that can happen is that groups can actively shelter themselves from the harmful memes you describe. Religious fundamentalists are probably the most common form of this. Religious fundamentalists design institutions designed to keep their members in the fold, such as homeschooling and bible colleges, so that few of their members are lost to secularism. This, combined with low mortality due to modern medicine and high fertility rates, is causing their populations to rise extremely rapidly. Another factor which has been studied in the Amish population is that the Amish are undergoing selection pressure for increased "Amishness". Some individuals leave the Amish community and join modern society, which creates a sort of boiling-off effect, and creates selection pressure within the Amish community for traits that cause individuals to enjoy the Amish lifestyle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjuBRaLYWnA
    https://phys.org/news/2011-01-religiosity-gene-dominate-society.html
    https://www.unz.com/jman/liberalism-hbd-population-and-solutions-for-the-future/
    https://futurism.com/genetic-idiocracy-genes-associated-with-high-education-are-becoming-rarer/
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/cochran-harpending-paper-on-amish/

    Even though in your scenario every individual would be exposed to these harmful memes, it doesn’t necessarily follow that every individual in a population will react badly to them. To continue with your disease analogy, even if every individual contracts a disease, there are some individuals within the population that have some form of genetic resistance to that disease.

    But is it really the case that we will have resistance to the harmful memes we create? Highly harmful diseases do sometimes manage sizeable wipeout of populations – the Black Death may have potentially had an airborne version that failed only because it achieved 99% mortality and burnt itself out.

    And by definition, the memes and threats that we’re creating for ourselves is novel and unlike diseases, we may never had a similar analogue to resist in the past. Feral cat colonies, for example, don’t seem to evolve a way around human sterilization – its too novel of a threat to manage. Likewise, the dinosaurs(and most life) failed to evolve a way to deal with the suddenly harsh environment of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

    Consider the privacy threats now; we’re probably reached peak lack of privacy and completely beyond our usual evolved capability to not only adapt, but even notice: an AI that pattern-matches our writing style and speed is something novel beyond our evolved capability and the speed by which we are generating such novel items and threats, probably far exceeds, as you said, our natural selection or compensation mechanisms.

    And in doing so, we alter the habitat(incl. social) enough that arguably even “primivists” would also no longer be able to survive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist

    But is it really the case that we will have resistance to the harmful memes we create?
     
    Religious fundamentalism and the Amish lifestyle seem to be doing just that. Read the articles I linked previously. Political orientation is to a large extent genetic, and conservatives have much higher fertility rates than leftists.

    Consider the privacy threats now; we’re probably reached peak lack of privacy and completely beyond our usual evolved capability to not only adapt, but even notice: an AI that pattern-matches our writing style and speed is something novel beyond our evolved capability and the speed by which we are generating such novel items and threats, probably far exceeds, as you said, our natural selection or compensation mechanisms.

    And in doing so, we alter the habitat(incl. social) enough that arguably even “primivists” would also no longer be able to survive.
     
    Humanity obviously wouldn't stand a chance against badly aligned superintelligent AI. I can't speak for what memes will exist in the future, but the memes that exist currently seem to not pose an existential threat to humanity, and humanity seems to be adapting to them. From a transhumanist perspective, even with stronger selection pressures imposed by technology, genetic engineering and other related technologies means that humanity can develop resistance to these environmental pressures potentially far faster than natural selection alone.
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  120. @Greasy William

    It is inevitable that Belarus will undergo a regime change at some point in the future, therefore Russia must try to control this process.
     
    I'm so sick of your paranoid bullshit. The world isn't out to get Russia, no matter how badly you wish that was the case. Neither the US or Europe are going to start mucking around in Belarus.

    ...

    By the way, if you hadn't let Ukraine and Belarus leave in the first place then none of this would be happening. Nobody held a gun to your head.

    P.S. I wonder, what’s the closest that Russian troops and military vehicles are, in any real numbers, to the USA’s borders around the world? Might be useful to compare how closely we have placed our troops to THEIR borders. Who is encroaching on and threatening whom these days?

    We conduct military exercises in countries bordering or nearly bordering Russia, regularly. E.g.
    Poland and the Baltics.

    Does Russia conduct military exercises in Mexico?
    How would we react if they did?

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    • Replies: @Greasy William
    I am strongly opposed to US policy towards Russia, but just cause I disagree with it doesn't mean there is some large scale anti Russian conspiracy.

    The Ukraine thing was internal, the US and Europe only gave support to the Maidan after the fact. They were wrong to do so but Ukrainians aren't some soulless automatons being puppeteer'd by the West. And it's not like Russia isn't promoting pro Russia politicians in Western countries either (which I agree with because such politicians tend to be anti immigration, except for that useless, Assad loving cunt Gabbard) so nobody has clean hands here.

    And like I said, nobody forced Russia to give up Ukraine and Belarus in the first place. If they had held onto those countries then none of this stuff would have ever happened.
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  121. @RadicalCenter
    P.S. I wonder, what’s the closest that Russian troops and military vehicles are, in any real numbers, to the USA’s borders around the world? Might be useful to compare how closely we have placed our troops to THEIR borders. Who is encroaching on and threatening whom these days?

    We conduct military exercises in countries bordering or nearly bordering Russia, regularly. E.g.
    Poland and the Baltics.

    Does Russia conduct military exercises in Mexico?
    How would we react if they did?

    I am strongly opposed to US policy towards Russia, but just cause I disagree with it doesn’t mean there is some large scale anti Russian conspiracy.

    The Ukraine thing was internal, the US and Europe only gave support to the Maidan after the fact. They were wrong to do so but Ukrainians aren’t some soulless automatons being puppeteer’d by the West. And it’s not like Russia isn’t promoting pro Russia politicians in Western countries either (which I agree with because such politicians tend to be anti immigration, except for that useless, Assad loving cunt Gabbard) so nobody has clean hands here.

    And like I said, nobody forced Russia to give up Ukraine and Belarus in the first place. If they had held onto those countries then none of this stuff would have ever happened.

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  122. LatW says:
    @Felix Keverich
    What other territories will be excluded from this "Intermarium"? Russia might have a say in that, don't you think?

    The whole idea is stillborn, since none of the countries you mentioned can stand up to Russia without substantial, direct American support. "Intermarium" thus seems inadequate for the task of containment of Russia. It is also not viable as an economic bloc. I explained it yesterday.
    http://www.unz.com/ishamir/poland-under-the-jewish-messiah/#comment-2358738

    In your other comment, you said:

    … and the fact that Eastern European financial industry is controlled by Western banks means that countries in the region have no economic basis to support independent foreign policy.

    You’ve got a point, but you’ve got to realize that the Western banks, too, rely on this for business. For instance, the Swedish banks treat the Baltic states essentially as a domestic market, but this is primarily because they need this market to finance their pension funds (and they need stable markets in general). You do realize that the loans are being serviced as we speak. The trade with Germany is extremely important, but again – in many ways, it is mutually beneficial (for instance, we could technically try to replace some of the German imports (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc) but that would constitute only a part of it. Had we not joined the EU, the trade would still be there, even if in lesser form. No need to alienate Germany whatsoever. The key here would be to see if these economic questions can be untied from the political discourse (indeed, the level of integration within the EU is very deep, but remember that some of the trade is already within the existing Intermarium states and there is trade with third countries and in those relationships (with the unfortunate example of Russia, ofc) politics usually doesn’t play such a big role – for instance, we could ship a lot of products to Qatar and not worry about their domestic politics and they wouldn’t worry about ours (just have good manners and hope for stability) – I’m not saying we should treat Western European states like Qatar, just that there is always room for a conversation, at the end of the day the supply and demand should determine everything – you may not believe this as a Russian, but a lot is also contingent upon the governments – they can go from neo-liberal to illiberal). Given how things seem to be in Europe today, I don’t see this as entirely impossible. If the V4 can grow some muscle, there could eventually be some wriggle room (and when political systems are in a flux, opportunities often appear for negotiating things). Again, this is hypothetical, but not at all out of the realm of possibility.

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  123. LatW says:
    @Mitleser
    Well, he is asking Russia to reduce support ("trade").

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants: http://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2016/07/15/649326-nasha-karta-afriki

    Besides, not escalating in that region is also what the Kremlin wants: http://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2016/07/15/649326-nasha-karta-afriki

    Yea, the troop movements are self-evident. Apparently, the Russians even moved the Smolensk tank army (second echelon, meant to cover Moscow) to the Ukrainian border.

    Парадокс усиливается тем, что, с точки зрения Москвы, она сейчас действует как раз в русле идеала российской внешней политики с ее идеей фикс о разграничении сфер влияния – по сути, признавая Прибалтику сферой влияния Запада, Кремль продолжает отстаивать «свою» сферу влияния на Украине и прочем постсоветском пространстве. Запад, активно отрицая эти притязания российской стороны, пока что не способен (в силу комплекса причин) создать такой военный нажим, который мог бы отвлечь российские ресурсы от Украины.

    This can work temporarily for the Baltic states (whose public, btw, is not at all unanimous about the potential increased presence of US troops – and, frankly, in Poland, too, there should be a wider debate – I understand that these kinds of issues are usually not put up for a public discussion but I think this time it would be appropriate), but the ideal for the Intermarium would be a permanent removal of both of these irritants and building up of own militaries. A big obstacle to this potential scenario is the lack of trust.

    Уклонение от такой гонки вооружений и сдержанность по отношению к натовской эскалации (в том числе в виде развертываний НАТО у российских границ) и поддержание пусть и формального, но хоть какого-то диалога с Западом в военной сфере (для чего и необходим в нынешней ситуации Совет Россия – НАТО, несмотря на оттенок сюрреалистичности его существования) позволят не только сэкономить российские ресурсы и уменьшить хотя бы какую-то часть западной озабоченности, но и в более отдаленной перспективе могут создать предпосылки для гипотетической «большой сделки» между Россией и Западом по урегулированию широкого круга вопросов взаимной безопасности.

    Rational.

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  124. utu says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Spend a bunch of money on human холодец? You seem too smart to believe in such fantasies, Anatoly? If you're really interested in living a long, long life after you die, read about it here (you are at least nominally an Orthodox Christian, aren't you?). This tract is indeed a 'pearl of great value', read it, practice it and you'll feel much better about your life:

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    If you’re really interested in living a long

    Found in todays Daily Mail

    Could taking a probiotic alongside an Indian herbal remedy help you live to 100? Scientists claim the combination could boost the lifespan of humans

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5795853/Taking-probiotics-alongside-herbal-supplement-help-live-longer.html

    A study found fruit flies lived 60% longer after being fed the supplements

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    But long life is suffering.

    http://punchng.com/my-long-life-a-punishment-from-god-says-128-year-old-woman/


    A Russian woman has been quoted as saying that her long life is nothing but “punishment.”

    128-year-old Koku Istambulova, from Chechnya, says she has not had a single happy day in her entire life, and that she has no idea how she has managed to live this long.

    “I have not had a single happy day in my life. I have always worked hard, digging in the garden. I am tired.

    “Long life is not at all God’s gift for me — but a punishment,” she was quoted as saying.

    “Looking back at my unhappy life, I wish I had died when I was young. I worked all my life."

     

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  125. utu says:
    @Felix Keverich
    There is a certain inherent stupidity among post-Soviet regimes, which makes me doubt this outcome. They are short-sighted, entitled, greedy and very, very stubborn.

    Where 51 percent of Belarussian trade was currently with Russia and 27 percent with the EU, [Foreign Minister Vladimir] Makei cited a target of a balance of about a third of trade with Russia, a third with the EU and a third with the rest of the world.
     
    Belarus is even more dependent on Russia, than these figures indicate. For example, their exports to the EU are mostly sales of 'refined petroleum', made from subsidised Russian oil.
    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/blr/gbr/show/2016/
    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/blr/nld/show/2016/

    ^totally not a petrostate. lol

    The moment Russia raises the price of oil for Belarus, that country will lose a big chunk of its GDP, and most of its exports to the EU. Not that we could use it as a lever in relations with Belarus, should maidanists take over - just look at how Ukraine is behaving.

    Not that we could use it as a lever in relations with Belarus

    Oh sure you would never do such a thing.

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    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    I don't think Keverich is saying Russia would never do it (although with the current people in charge it probably wouldn't happen); rather he is saying that raising oil prices would be an ineffective tool if the Kremlin wished to change the behaviour of a potential pro-American government in Byelorussia for the better.
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  126. @utu

    If you’re really interested in living a long
     
    Found in todays Daily Mail

    Could taking a probiotic alongside an Indian herbal remedy help you live to 100? Scientists claim the combination could boost the lifespan of humans
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5795853/Taking-probiotics-alongside-herbal-supplement-help-live-longer.html

    A study found fruit flies lived 60% longer after being fed the supplements
     

    But long life is suffering.

    http://punchng.com/my-long-life-a-punishment-from-god-says-128-year-old-woman/

    A Russian woman has been quoted as saying that her long life is nothing but “punishment.”

    128-year-old Koku Istambulova, from Chechnya, says she has not had a single happy day in her entire life, and that she has no idea how she has managed to live this long.

    “I have not had a single happy day in my life. I have always worked hard, digging in the garden. I am tired.

    “Long life is not at all God’s gift for me — but a punishment,” she was quoted as saying.

    “Looking back at my unhappy life, I wish I had died when I was young. I worked all my life.”

    Read More
    • LOL: utu
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    Suffering is ultimately caused by Darwinian biological design of the brain. With sufficiently advanced technology and neuroscience, it would probably be possible to re-engineer your brain in such a way as to radically raise your hedonic set-point. Read about David Pearce's philosophy of The Hedonistic Imperative.
    , @songbird
    A few years ago, there was an old fellow who claimed the secret to his long life was eating skunk meat. I'm not sure if it wasn't really his sense of humor...
    , @Twinkie

    But long life is suffering.
     
    As a doom and gloom Catholic, I subscribe to the idea that life is pain and suffering punctuated by glimpses and moments of foretastes of heaven (such as the loving embrace of one's wife and the joyful smiles of one's children).

    But I also try to follow this ancient wisdom, attributed to Clearchus of Soli: "As children, learn good manners. As young men, learn to control the passions. In middle age, be just. In old age, give good advice. Then die, without regret."
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  127. utu says:
    @Polish Perspective

    Belarus has no plans to allow Russia to base troops on its territory, its foreign minister said on Thursday, but could review that if, for example, Poland were to host a permanent U.S. military presence.

    Asked if Polish proposals to host a U.S. base amid fears of Russian aggression could prompt Belarus to revise its rejection of any Russian base, Makei said: “I think there will be some reaction to this intention to deploy a new military air base.
     

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-eu/eyeing-possible-polish-u-s-base-belarus-says-no-russian-base-for-now-idUSKCN1IW339

    I am a big fan of Belarus. So far they are doing a difficult balancing act between EU/NATO and Russia. Their situation is all the time precarious but they are doing very well from the point of view of people living there. I wish them to be a Switzerland of Eastern Europe.

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  128. LatW says:
    @A22
    How can these countries hold their culture while they are completely dominated by western industrialists and banks? They don't even have control over their borders.

    They don’t even have control over their borders.

    Do Western countries have control over their borders….?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    While open borders is part of the issue, if Intermarium proponents are serious about it, then they must counter and expel liberal "NGOs" and propaganda outlets - otherwise cultural diffusion will make Eastern Europe eventually end up as like Western Europe, which would destroy the purpose of Intermarium in the first place.
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  129. LatW says:
    @Polish Perspective
    The main obstacle to an Intermarium is the fact that the V4 + Croatia & Slovenia are now deeply integrated into the Western framework. It is difficult to overestimate the accumulated impact this has given over the course of close to 20 years now (we joined NATO in the late 90s). Nor is it just militarily or politically. V4 and German trade now exceeds French-German trade and it is putting ever-greater distance between them. Germany now has a core economic interest in keeping us close, and this will seep into geopolitics.

    Furthermore, even if NATO disbanded tomorrow, there are already accelerated efforts to have a EU-wide equivalent. Germany's Rheinsmetall is already co-operating with some of our companies on an APU and among projects. It was Orban which was a leading force behind PESCO - the initial step of this kind - and he was strongly supported by us. Not just because of our traditional pro-Hungarian stance but also because it makes sense.

    You're correct that Poland would have little to no chance in any conventional conflict with Russia. That's also why I think any conventional discussion is fundamentally moot. In the world we live in, the only countries that are truly strategically autonomous are those with an independent nuclear deterrent, preferably being capable to deliver it on three fronts (underwater, ICBM as well as through the airforce). Today this is roughly six countries or so. For intermarium to truly become something more than a concept, it would have to begin with a strong nuclear deterrent. Otherwise, Russia would easily be able to waltz in and disrupt the party, whatever we may feel like it. What makes you think Orban would send his boys to fight Russia on behalf of Lithuania or Ukraine? Or even the Croat PM. A nuclear deterrent changes the calculus completely.

    But even in the event that such a development was possible, it would still need to overcome both NATO and EU-wide initiatives like PESCO (which will most likely rapidly expand in the coming years). I would prefer an Intermarium, but it would be hard to convince Czechia or Slovenia to go for it given that the West has a strong technological capability and the here-and-now financial, technological and military hardware muscle to defend these countries from Russia with overwhelming force if it decided to. We don't, as things stand. It would really only be you and us that have any army to speak of.

    Finally, I have expressed doubts about the 'muslim takeover' scenario. Most Western countries, certainly in Europe, will continue to be made up of secular white liberals in the decades to come with affirmative action minorities thrown in and the odd hyper-assimiliated minority high-achiever, too. Adam Smith wrote that 'there is a great deal of ruin in a nation', by which he meant that even in rich countries, there can be great depravity and yet the nation could still be rich and getting richer. Much of the US and increasingly Western Europe are both proving this point. Therefore, the substantial gap between us and them will not be closed quickly, and this will make the discussion harder for most of the countries involved to switch. Not everyone is a cultural romantic like me. Many, if not most, are hard-nosed pragmatists and would choose the US over Ukraine and Poland, however we may feel about it.

    For intermarium to truly become something more than a concept, it would have to begin with a strong nuclear deterrent.

    True, of course, there are first tier and second, etc., tier countries. By the way, this fact has not escaped the Ukrainian nationalists (no matter how utopian their wish for a nuclear weapon might be).

    You seem to be very optimistic about PESCO. And, while I view it positively, my question is still… will PESCO include countries such as Italy that up until recently were literally lifting third country nationals from the ocean into helicopters and transporting them to the EU territory. No intention to pick on Italy (maybe it’ll change its policies given the election result), but you get the point…

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  130. AP says:
    @melanf

    Of course Crimea would not be included. One would think that you would be intelligent enough to assume this – you are not an “idiot” from country life.
     
    AP look at the map you've laid out. On this map Ukraine with Crimea but Muslim-free.

    In 2001 Ukraine was .7% Muslim (almost all – Crimean Tatars) – so essentially Muslim free, as on the map.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gerard2

    In 2001 Ukraine was .7% Muslim (almost all – Crimean Tatars) – so essentially Muslim free, as on the map.
     
    LOL you dumb prick.....it's so "un-Muslim" Ukraine that:


    It's richest citizen.......a muslim...Rinat Akhmetov

    It's latest failed "revolution" initiated by......a muslim...Mustafa Nayyem

    So un-muslim that it has more Chechen army commanders per capita then anywhere else in the world ( possible including even Chechnya), more Chechen snipers per capita than in Chechnya itself because that's the type of cowardly scumbags the Kiev regime are.
    They've either directly recruited them, or done it via the Chechen terrorists, perennial best friend (Georgia , from Shevardnadze's time onwards, where many of these Chechen terrorists got their initial experience not from fighting in the war in Chechnya, but in Abkhazia)


    Poroshenko's greatest " achievement" (seeing as there's fuckall to celebrate with the military, economy and general state of the country) .......is like a parasite promoting Ukropia's Caliphate potential and taking it from behind so as to get visa-free travel for their Galician prostitutes into Qatar and Saudi Arabia ( visa-free travel something Russians have had with them for years before)...that's literally the only thing he's done. He only got that by exploiting the fact Russia is on opposing sides of Qatar and KSA in Syria you cretin


    And let's not even begin with the Jewish membership in the failed, artificial country of Ukraine....or the Polish,Lithuanian, Gruzian,Canadian...and of course American control of the country. Everybody except "Ukrainians" you moronic prick.

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  131. @Not Raul
    Why do you want Germany to lose? What good would that do?

    The German team does all sorts of Merkelian multiculti propaganda, and they don’t even kick out the two disloyal Turks Özil and Gündogan who recently met Erdogan and handed him a football tricot signed with “For my president”.
    Besides, I just can’t stand those retarded football players who get so much money for kicking around a ball, imo Uday Hussein had the best ideas how to deal with their kind.

    Read More
    • Replies: @songbird
    Seems to me there has been at least a few teams that wore LGBT colors on their numbers. How incredibly bizarre! Could make one believe that there really is a global homo empire, when national loyalties are supplanted by the rainbow flag.

    It is really kind of amazing, since the people who go for these types of things probably mostly don't even like sport, and yet they have the reach and power to make players wear gay colors.
    , @Verymuchalive
    It will have to be Spain to win, then. Given the fractious state of the peninsula, any celebrations will be of a restrained kind as in 2010. Also, they're an all-white team ( correct me if I'm wrong ) and infinitely preferable to the Merkelscheissen.
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  132. LatW says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Give me a break - I've never expressed an opinion on whether Ukrainian was closer to Polish or to Russian! But being pressed, I'd say that Ukrainian is a unique language first and foremost, built upon the local Slavic tribal dialects that were there before the modern language evolved (it's still evolving!).
    It's close to Russian in structure and the Russian language has definitely loaned more words from Ukrainian than the other way around. Ukrainian seems to have more loaned words from Polish than Russian. I'm no expert, but this is my own assessment of interrelatedness of Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.

    Something funny happened the other day… I was listening to a song in Ukrainian, I closed my eyes for a moment, and it almost sounded like the words were sung in Czech or Slovak. It was trippy. A few sentences sounded very “Russian”, but a lot of it – very, very Central European / Western Slavic sounding. The way I feel now, though, is that it is a unique language.

    p.s. Anatoly, I apologize for flooding.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
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  133. @Mr. Hack
    Spend a bunch of money on human холодец? You seem too smart to believe in such fantasies, Anatoly? If you're really interested in living a long, long life after you die, read about it here (you are at least nominally an Orthodox Christian, aren't you?). This tract is indeed a 'pearl of great value', read it, practice it and you'll feel much better about your life:

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    You think that cryonics/transhumanism is a fantasy, but you somehow don’t realize that Christianity is a fantasy?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    But long life is suffering
     
    .

    Mr. Chieh got this one right! So what if scientists can prolong life a few extra painful and meaningless decades? There's no rational basis for a long life (actually immortality) as described in the tract that I linked to my comment #43, outside of 'Theosis'. It's the basis of the Eastern Orthodox Church and trumps anything that the transhumanists can ever hope for. Outside of this knowledge, all that is left is a long meaningless life., as described in this fantastic piece found within the 'Onion':

    Doctors Find New Way To Prolong Meaningless Existence

    ITHACA, NY–In a stunning medical breakthrough, a team of Cornell University biogeneticists announced Tuesday that it has developed a revolutionary new synthetic hormone that retards the human aging process, enabling individuals to extend the churning, meaningless void known as life by upwards of 20 years...In all 250 subjects, the drug slowed down the aging process by at least 30 percent, adding years to their futile, purposeless existences...' was bedridden, just waiting to die," Dermott told reporters. "But now, they tell me I can go back to that same dock where I've already wasted almost 20 years of my life, and waste the rest of it while waiting to die there instead.""I used to be blissfully unaware of my pathetic, pitiable state," said Klingbell, whose Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase treatments have restored her mental faculties. "Now, the doctors say I can live on without any purpose whatsoever for years, trapped helplessly within the bleak prison of shattered dreams and blasted hopes that has been my life."..Thanks to Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase, the wasteland just got a little bigger," said American Medical Association executive director Dr. Gordon Puhl. "We're all very excited about the new drug and its potential to imprison patients–even if only for a few more desperate, agonizing years–in lives they can make no sense of, see no point in, and find no worthwhile purpose for. As we slowly learn to accept that our pretensions to relevance and meaning are but so many fragile, illusory constructs which crumble like sandcastles in the face of the universe's utter indifference to our plight, one thing is certain: Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase and other such medical advances will ensure that, for each of us, young and old alike, terminally or mildly ill, our suffering is far from over."

    https://www.theonion.com/doctors-find-new-way-to-prolong-meaningless-existence-1819564846

    Hey Karlin, what do you think, are you excited about the discovery of Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase?

    Transhumanists of the world can't wait to get some of this stuff, eh?...

    , @Yevardian
    Well, Christianity is much more sane in comparison.
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  134. @Daniel Chieh
    But long life is suffering.

    http://punchng.com/my-long-life-a-punishment-from-god-says-128-year-old-woman/


    A Russian woman has been quoted as saying that her long life is nothing but “punishment.”

    128-year-old Koku Istambulova, from Chechnya, says she has not had a single happy day in her entire life, and that she has no idea how she has managed to live this long.

    “I have not had a single happy day in my life. I have always worked hard, digging in the garden. I am tired.

    “Long life is not at all God’s gift for me — but a punishment,” she was quoted as saying.

    “Looking back at my unhappy life, I wish I had died when I was young. I worked all my life."

     

    Suffering is ultimately caused by Darwinian biological design of the brain. With sufficiently advanced technology and neuroscience, it would probably be possible to re-engineer your brain in such a way as to radically raise your hedonic set-point. Read about David Pearce’s philosophy of The Hedonistic Imperative.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I think we have sufficient technology already: with adequate consumption of opioids and amphetamines, we can probably live in perfect happiness for the rest of our lives.
    , @reiner Tor
    I think this kind of tampering is inevitable, but ultimately it will make us non-human, and I'm personally dreading it.

    The most extreme transhumanist ideas (like uploading of minds to computers) will actually lead to the destruction of humanity, and I find it strange that transhumanists are unwilling or unable to understand the arguments.

    1) Uploading will essentially make a software out of you.

    2) Even if the software will be a perfect simulation of your mind, its life experience will be absolutely alien, non-human.

    3) Even if its life experience could somehow also be simulated (like putting it inside an android, perhaps even a biological body), it will be very easy to tamper with it. For example you can make yourself smarter by a few changes in the software and/or hardware. The changes will make you a different person than you had been before.

    4) Eventually some uploaded "people" (i.e. person simulations) will start changing themselves.

    5) There are no limits to such changes, so expect rapid changes at the rate of IT development.

    6) Eventually the changes will make these simulations totally, absolutely non-human in their outlook. A computer software with a million times the brain capacity of a human, whose basic motivations will be tampered with (a normal human sitting inside a computer simulation would simply stay inside virtual reality forever - I guess VR will get indistinguishable from reality for these computer simulations anyway), what's human in these, umm, things? Basically these could over time turn themselves into super-AIs. The larger the changes, the larger the potential for further changes. Initially it'll be a kinda sorta human making the decision to become a somewhat different human, then later a very odd human, etc., but eventually it will be a computer chimera making decisions to become ever more alien.

    7) The more a simulation changes itself, the less it will be a continuation of the original human being. Basically you won't get eternal life, because the thing alive a hundred years after your biological death won't be "you" by any stretch of imagination.

    8) The larger number of uploads, the more inevitable that at least some of them will start tampering with their own software. Eventually most of these will be viewed as normal, and the lemmings will follow.

    Then of course they will be highly fragile. They will depend on a lot of electricity, for example. I'm sure they will be very vulnerable to be destroyed. Some of them might get the funny idea to reduce dangers, for example mandating that all remaining biological humans either upload or perish. After that, there will be no more humans left, only a few simulations which for whatever reason resist the temptation to change themselves (but these will probably stay in virtual reality, or will anyway be swept aside by the much smarter ones). Any conflict between them may lead to a Filter, because they will stay very fragile. The more they tamper with their software, the more fragile, because complicated software contain a lot of bugs, often undetected for years or decades.

    I don't understand how anyone can find such a future appealing.

    I also don't think it will be stable. So many things can go wrong for the whole thing to destroy itself.

    The hope of humanity is that these things are impossible. I don't think so.
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  135. Mr. Hack says:
    @ImmortalRationalist
    You think that cryonics/transhumanism is a fantasy, but you somehow don't realize that Christianity is a fantasy?

    But long life is suffering

    .

    Mr. Chieh got this one right! So what if scientists can prolong life a few extra painful and meaningless decades? There’s no rational basis for a long life (actually immortality) as described in the tract that I linked to my comment #43, outside of ‘Theosis’. It’s the basis of the Eastern Orthodox Church and trumps anything that the transhumanists can ever hope for. Outside of this knowledge, all that is left is a long meaningless life., as described in this fantastic piece found within the ‘Onion’:

    Doctors Find New Way To Prolong Meaningless Existence

    ITHACA, NY–In a stunning medical breakthrough, a team of Cornell University biogeneticists announced Tuesday that it has developed a revolutionary new synthetic hormone that retards the human aging process, enabling individuals to extend the churning, meaningless void known as life by upwards of 20 years…In all 250 subjects, the drug slowed down the aging process by at least 30 percent, adding years to their futile, purposeless existences…’ was bedridden, just waiting to die,” Dermott told reporters. “But now, they tell me I can go back to that same dock where I’ve already wasted almost 20 years of my life, and waste the rest of it while waiting to die there instead.””I used to be blissfully unaware of my pathetic, pitiable state,” said Klingbell, whose Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase treatments have restored her mental faculties. “Now, the doctors say I can live on without any purpose whatsoever for years, trapped helplessly within the bleak prison of shattered dreams and blasted hopes that has been my life.”..Thanks to Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase, the wasteland just got a little bigger,” said American Medical Association executive director Dr. Gordon Puhl. “We’re all very excited about the new drug and its potential to imprison patients–even if only for a few more desperate, agonizing years–in lives they can make no sense of, see no point in, and find no worthwhile purpose for. As we slowly learn to accept that our pretensions to relevance and meaning are but so many fragile, illusory constructs which crumble like sandcastles in the face of the universe’s utter indifference to our plight, one thing is certain: Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase and other such medical advances will ensure that, for each of us, young and old alike, terminally or mildly ill, our suffering is far from over.”

    https://www.theonion.com/doctors-find-new-way-to-prolong-meaningless-existence-1819564846

    Hey Karlin, what do you think, are you excited about the discovery of Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase?

    Transhumanists of the world can’t wait to get some of this stuff, eh?…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Such a thing sounds great, I'm sure there is a hospital right now which needs to have more hostages patients to extort help.
    , @ImmortalRationalist
    See my previous comment. There's no reason why the emotions of meaninglessness and suffering couldn't eventually be engineered out of your brain.
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  136. @ImmortalRationalist
    Suffering is ultimately caused by Darwinian biological design of the brain. With sufficiently advanced technology and neuroscience, it would probably be possible to re-engineer your brain in such a way as to radically raise your hedonic set-point. Read about David Pearce's philosophy of The Hedonistic Imperative.

    I think we have sufficient technology already: with adequate consumption of opioids and amphetamines, we can probably live in perfect happiness for the rest of our lives.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    Not unless sufficient technology is developed to eliminate all of the negative side effects.
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  137. @Daniel Chieh

    Even though in your scenario every individual would be exposed to these harmful memes, it doesn’t necessarily follow that every individual in a population will react badly to them. To continue with your disease analogy, even if every individual contracts a disease, there are some individuals within the population that have some form of genetic resistance to that disease.
     
    But is it really the case that we will have resistance to the harmful memes we create? Highly harmful diseases do sometimes manage sizeable wipeout of populations - the Black Death may have potentially had an airborne version that failed only because it achieved 99% mortality and burnt itself out.

    And by definition, the memes and threats that we're creating for ourselves is novel and unlike diseases, we may never had a similar analogue to resist in the past. Feral cat colonies, for example, don't seem to evolve a way around human sterilization - its too novel of a threat to manage. Likewise, the dinosaurs(and most life) failed to evolve a way to deal with the suddenly harsh environment of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

    Consider the privacy threats now; we're probably reached peak lack of privacy and completely beyond our usual evolved capability to not only adapt, but even notice: an AI that pattern-matches our writing style and speed is something novel beyond our evolved capability and the speed by which we are generating such novel items and threats, probably far exceeds, as you said, our natural selection or compensation mechanisms.

    And in doing so, we alter the habitat(incl. social) enough that arguably even "primivists" would also no longer be able to survive.

    But is it really the case that we will have resistance to the harmful memes we create?

    Religious fundamentalism and the Amish lifestyle seem to be doing just that. Read the articles I linked previously. Political orientation is to a large extent genetic, and conservatives have much higher fertility rates than leftists.

    Consider the privacy threats now; we’re probably reached peak lack of privacy and completely beyond our usual evolved capability to not only adapt, but even notice: an AI that pattern-matches our writing style and speed is something novel beyond our evolved capability and the speed by which we are generating such novel items and threats, probably far exceeds, as you said, our natural selection or compensation mechanisms.

    And in doing so, we alter the habitat(incl. social) enough that arguably even “primivists” would also no longer be able to survive.

    Humanity obviously wouldn’t stand a chance against badly aligned superintelligent AI. I can’t speak for what memes will exist in the future, but the memes that exist currently seem to not pose an existential threat to humanity, and humanity seems to be adapting to them. From a transhumanist perspective, even with stronger selection pressures imposed by technology, genetic engineering and other related technologies means that humanity can develop resistance to these environmental pressures potentially far faster than natural selection alone.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Humanity obviously wouldn’t stand a chance against badly aligned superintelligent AI. I can’t speak for what memes will exist in the future, but the memes that exist currently seem to not pose an existential threat to humanity, and humanity seems to be adapting to them.
     
    However, with the transmission vector being as universal as it is, is it not a viable consideration that we only need one sufficiently toxic meme to pose an existential threat to cause significant, even fatal damage? This is the same argument for interplanetary population - yes, nothing has destroyed Earth yet. But you only need one event that sufficiently damages Earth to put it beyond a reasonable point of viability. And the more advanced your civilization, this highly interconnected state actually increases, not decreases, risk of transmission.

    Thus my hypothesis for an answer to the Fermi Paradox.

    In such threat which I envision, it would be less of an AI in and of itself and more of the emergent property of humanity, and in this case I'll use an example of Kaczynski's of the man using a chess AI. Using the chess AI, he empowers himself to prevail, using a tool to enhance himself. However, because it is the only rational choice to utilize it and he must do so to prevail again competitors also using chess AI, he actually becomes essentially forced to obey its orders: a slave to his overall still rather dumb tool.

    In such, we are to consider the impact of a number of highly rational decisions for the individual, but which en masse, cause unexpected and potentially irresistable damage to larger society from Rumsfeld's "unknown unknowns." A tragedy of the commons, if you would, with negative externalities arising from individual decisions first for maximization and later in order to compensate - and without any real way to withdraw from society due to the interconnectedness of it.

    At any rate, its been an interesting conversation!
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  138. @Daniel Chieh
    I think we have sufficient technology already: with adequate consumption of opioids and amphetamines, we can probably live in perfect happiness for the rest of our lives.

    Not unless sufficient technology is developed to eliminate all of the negative side effects.

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
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  139. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    But long life is suffering.

    http://punchng.com/my-long-life-a-punishment-from-god-says-128-year-old-woman/


    A Russian woman has been quoted as saying that her long life is nothing but “punishment.”

    128-year-old Koku Istambulova, from Chechnya, says she has not had a single happy day in her entire life, and that she has no idea how she has managed to live this long.

    “I have not had a single happy day in my life. I have always worked hard, digging in the garden. I am tired.

    “Long life is not at all God’s gift for me — but a punishment,” she was quoted as saying.

    “Looking back at my unhappy life, I wish I had died when I was young. I worked all my life."

     

    A few years ago, there was an old fellow who claimed the secret to his long life was eating skunk meat. I’m not sure if it wasn’t really his sense of humor…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    If I ever become ancient, I will tell people that it is due to the invigorating effects of nightsoil wordsmithing on electronic media.
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  140. @songbird
    A few years ago, there was an old fellow who claimed the secret to his long life was eating skunk meat. I'm not sure if it wasn't really his sense of humor...

    If I ever become ancient, I will tell people that it is due to the invigorating effects of nightsoil wordsmithing on electronic media.

    Read More
    • LOL: songbird
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  141. @Anatoly Karlin
    Sounds stupid (commies are hostile to trans humanism and indeed their precursors, the Russian cosmists). But not going to read Yudkowsky's long and probably long-winded essay on this in the middle of my holiday.

    Also, what do you think the world would realistically be like today if the Axis won WWII?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Probably broadly like Fatherland, with a couple of exceptions.

    1. US still develops nukes first. Either:

    (a) Has a big enough time advantage to democidally bomb Germany into submission;

    (b) Doesn't, Germany develops the bomb, and peace is signed; in which case-

    2. Goering takes over after Hitler dies c.1948. Regime moderation (in relative terms). Slavs remain second-class citizens, subject to steady Germanization, but Generalplan Ost generally not carried out.

    3. Oceania vs. Eurasia, with Eurasia now stretching to the English channel.

    Nazi Europe more competitive than the USSR, due to higher human capital and a more developed and freer economy. Though even metropolitan Germany is poorer per capita than the US due to industrial cartels and higher corruption.

    Has a better chance of of winning the ideological struggle.

    That said, a color revolution might well take the senescent authoritarian system down by the 70s or 80s.

    Perhaps there is a "synthesis" of the two systems into something like the Nazi democracy of the Draka on both sides of the Atlantic.
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  142. @Mr. Hack

    But long life is suffering
     
    .

    Mr. Chieh got this one right! So what if scientists can prolong life a few extra painful and meaningless decades? There's no rational basis for a long life (actually immortality) as described in the tract that I linked to my comment #43, outside of 'Theosis'. It's the basis of the Eastern Orthodox Church and trumps anything that the transhumanists can ever hope for. Outside of this knowledge, all that is left is a long meaningless life., as described in this fantastic piece found within the 'Onion':

    Doctors Find New Way To Prolong Meaningless Existence

    ITHACA, NY–In a stunning medical breakthrough, a team of Cornell University biogeneticists announced Tuesday that it has developed a revolutionary new synthetic hormone that retards the human aging process, enabling individuals to extend the churning, meaningless void known as life by upwards of 20 years...In all 250 subjects, the drug slowed down the aging process by at least 30 percent, adding years to their futile, purposeless existences...' was bedridden, just waiting to die," Dermott told reporters. "But now, they tell me I can go back to that same dock where I've already wasted almost 20 years of my life, and waste the rest of it while waiting to die there instead.""I used to be blissfully unaware of my pathetic, pitiable state," said Klingbell, whose Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase treatments have restored her mental faculties. "Now, the doctors say I can live on without any purpose whatsoever for years, trapped helplessly within the bleak prison of shattered dreams and blasted hopes that has been my life."..Thanks to Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase, the wasteland just got a little bigger," said American Medical Association executive director Dr. Gordon Puhl. "We're all very excited about the new drug and its potential to imprison patients–even if only for a few more desperate, agonizing years–in lives they can make no sense of, see no point in, and find no worthwhile purpose for. As we slowly learn to accept that our pretensions to relevance and meaning are but so many fragile, illusory constructs which crumble like sandcastles in the face of the universe's utter indifference to our plight, one thing is certain: Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase and other such medical advances will ensure that, for each of us, young and old alike, terminally or mildly ill, our suffering is far from over."

    https://www.theonion.com/doctors-find-new-way-to-prolong-meaningless-existence-1819564846

    Hey Karlin, what do you think, are you excited about the discovery of Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase?

    Transhumanists of the world can't wait to get some of this stuff, eh?...

    Such a thing sounds great, I’m sure there is a hospital right now which needs to have more hostages patients to extort help.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I agree, as long as you discover a way to overcome this hurdle:

    As we slowly learn to accept that our pretensions to relevance and meaning are but so many fragile, illusory constructs which crumble like sandcastles in the face of the universe’s utter indifference to our plight,
     
    Have you?
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  143. @Mr. Hack

    But long life is suffering
     
    .

    Mr. Chieh got this one right! So what if scientists can prolong life a few extra painful and meaningless decades? There's no rational basis for a long life (actually immortality) as described in the tract that I linked to my comment #43, outside of 'Theosis'. It's the basis of the Eastern Orthodox Church and trumps anything that the transhumanists can ever hope for. Outside of this knowledge, all that is left is a long meaningless life., as described in this fantastic piece found within the 'Onion':

    Doctors Find New Way To Prolong Meaningless Existence

    ITHACA, NY–In a stunning medical breakthrough, a team of Cornell University biogeneticists announced Tuesday that it has developed a revolutionary new synthetic hormone that retards the human aging process, enabling individuals to extend the churning, meaningless void known as life by upwards of 20 years...In all 250 subjects, the drug slowed down the aging process by at least 30 percent, adding years to their futile, purposeless existences...' was bedridden, just waiting to die," Dermott told reporters. "But now, they tell me I can go back to that same dock where I've already wasted almost 20 years of my life, and waste the rest of it while waiting to die there instead.""I used to be blissfully unaware of my pathetic, pitiable state," said Klingbell, whose Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase treatments have restored her mental faculties. "Now, the doctors say I can live on without any purpose whatsoever for years, trapped helplessly within the bleak prison of shattered dreams and blasted hopes that has been my life."..Thanks to Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase, the wasteland just got a little bigger," said American Medical Association executive director Dr. Gordon Puhl. "We're all very excited about the new drug and its potential to imprison patients–even if only for a few more desperate, agonizing years–in lives they can make no sense of, see no point in, and find no worthwhile purpose for. As we slowly learn to accept that our pretensions to relevance and meaning are but so many fragile, illusory constructs which crumble like sandcastles in the face of the universe's utter indifference to our plight, one thing is certain: Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase and other such medical advances will ensure that, for each of us, young and old alike, terminally or mildly ill, our suffering is far from over."

    https://www.theonion.com/doctors-find-new-way-to-prolong-meaningless-existence-1819564846

    Hey Karlin, what do you think, are you excited about the discovery of Noexitoxythalynucleothylinase?

    Transhumanists of the world can't wait to get some of this stuff, eh?...

    See my previous comment. There’s no reason why the emotions of meaninglessness and suffering couldn’t eventually be engineered out of your brain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    They've already developed such a technique, it's called a lobotomy.
    , @DFH
    That wouldn't satisfy my (presently existing) desire to not have a meaningless life though.
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  144. Mr. Hack says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    Such a thing sounds great, I'm sure there is a hospital right now which needs to have more hostages patients to extort help.

    I agree, as long as you discover a way to overcome this hurdle:

    As we slowly learn to accept that our pretensions to relevance and meaning are but so many fragile, illusory constructs which crumble like sandcastles in the face of the universe’s utter indifference to our plight,

    Have you?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Yes, I am the most important person in my world: "protagonist."
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  145. songbird says:
    @German_reader
    The German team does all sorts of Merkelian multiculti propaganda, and they don't even kick out the two disloyal Turks Özil and Gündogan who recently met Erdogan and handed him a football tricot signed with "For my president".
    Besides, I just can't stand those retarded football players who get so much money for kicking around a ball, imo Uday Hussein had the best ideas how to deal with their kind.

    Seems to me there has been at least a few teams that wore LGBT colors on their numbers. How incredibly bizarre! Could make one believe that there really is a global homo empire, when national loyalties are supplanted by the rainbow flag.

    It is really kind of amazing, since the people who go for these types of things probably mostly don’t even like sport, and yet they have the reach and power to make players wear gay colors.

    Read More
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  146. Mr. Hack says:
    @ImmortalRationalist
    See my previous comment. There's no reason why the emotions of meaninglessness and suffering couldn't eventually be engineered out of your brain.

    They’ve already developed such a technique, it’s called a lobotomy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    It might also be possible to develop methods of re-engineering your brain to eliminate suffering that also keep your intelligence intact. For instance, destroying/weakening your amygdala using gamma knife radiosurgery could reduce/eliminate anxiety while not damaging other parts of the brain. Google Patient SM.
    , @Gerard2
    LOL.....a "Ukrainian" cretin telling other people about labotomies!
    Apart from there being no such thing as these fictitious people called Ukrainians, pretty much everybody who"Ukrainians" claim are their cultural,historical, sports heroes .....are IDENTICAL to those who Russians claims as their own from centuries before,Tsarist time and Soviet time ......that's because we are the same people you idiot.

    Pretty much the only exception this trend of shared figuers as part of our identity...in other words, those claimed by "Ukrainians" that Russians don't claim also .....are fucktard losers and nutjobs as Bandera,Shukhyevich and........ Chikatilo.........that is the whole sum of Ukrainian nationalism.

    This isn't even an exaggeration...what a pathetic mess
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  147. @Mr. Hack
    They've already developed such a technique, it's called a lobotomy.

    It might also be possible to develop methods of re-engineering your brain to eliminate suffering that also keep your intelligence intact. For instance, destroying/weakening your amygdala using gamma knife radiosurgery could reduce/eliminate anxiety while not damaging other parts of the brain. Google Patient SM.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Oh joy...it makes it all so worthwhile! :-)

    If I weren't a Christian, I'd opt for Mr. Chieh's opium bong. :-)
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  148. DFH says:
    @ImmortalRationalist
    See my previous comment. There's no reason why the emotions of meaninglessness and suffering couldn't eventually be engineered out of your brain.

    That wouldn’t satisfy my (presently existing) desire to not have a meaningless life though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    How do you define "meaningless"?
    , @Mr. Hack
    Yours is an honest response to the ImmortalRationalist's prescription to overcome the natural feeling of anxiety relating to the sober acceptance and prospect of facing a long meaningless existence, as is explored within the humorous piece at the 'Onion' https://www.theonion.com/doctors-find-new-way-to-prolong-meaningless-existence-1819564846

    It's a funny piece because its based on reality, not pie in the sky, unrealistic remedies that are offered by organizations like the Transhumanists. In fact, the piece is actually ridiculing the prospects of a long life that theTranhumanists are trying to offer.

    More importantly, read the tract that explores the Eastern Orthodox theology of 'Theosis'. If you're of a protestant leaning, the same concept is often referred to as 'Deification'. C.S. Lewis believed in it, why shouldn't you? It's the best 49 pages that you'll ever read,and it will cure your anxiety without drugs or other harmful prescriptons. Just read it, think about it, and let me know what you think.
    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

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  149. @DFH
    That wouldn't satisfy my (presently existing) desire to not have a meaningless life though.

    How do you define “meaningless”?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    https://youtu.be/o8DlAZF5PCY
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  150. @ImmortalRationalist

    But is it really the case that we will have resistance to the harmful memes we create?
     
    Religious fundamentalism and the Amish lifestyle seem to be doing just that. Read the articles I linked previously. Political orientation is to a large extent genetic, and conservatives have much higher fertility rates than leftists.

    Consider the privacy threats now; we’re probably reached peak lack of privacy and completely beyond our usual evolved capability to not only adapt, but even notice: an AI that pattern-matches our writing style and speed is something novel beyond our evolved capability and the speed by which we are generating such novel items and threats, probably far exceeds, as you said, our natural selection or compensation mechanisms.

    And in doing so, we alter the habitat(incl. social) enough that arguably even “primivists” would also no longer be able to survive.
     
    Humanity obviously wouldn't stand a chance against badly aligned superintelligent AI. I can't speak for what memes will exist in the future, but the memes that exist currently seem to not pose an existential threat to humanity, and humanity seems to be adapting to them. From a transhumanist perspective, even with stronger selection pressures imposed by technology, genetic engineering and other related technologies means that humanity can develop resistance to these environmental pressures potentially far faster than natural selection alone.

    Humanity obviously wouldn’t stand a chance against badly aligned superintelligent AI. I can’t speak for what memes will exist in the future, but the memes that exist currently seem to not pose an existential threat to humanity, and humanity seems to be adapting to them.

    However, with the transmission vector being as universal as it is, is it not a viable consideration that we only need one sufficiently toxic meme to pose an existential threat to cause significant, even fatal damage? This is the same argument for interplanetary population – yes, nothing has destroyed Earth yet. But you only need one event that sufficiently damages Earth to put it beyond a reasonable point of viability. And the more advanced your civilization, this highly interconnected state actually increases, not decreases, risk of transmission.

    Thus my hypothesis for an answer to the Fermi Paradox.

    In such threat which I envision, it would be less of an AI in and of itself and more of the emergent property of humanity, and in this case I’ll use an example of Kaczynski’s of the man using a chess AI. Using the chess AI, he empowers himself to prevail, using a tool to enhance himself. However, because it is the only rational choice to utilize it and he must do so to prevail again competitors also using chess AI, he actually becomes essentially forced to obey its orders: a slave to his overall still rather dumb tool.

    In such, we are to consider the impact of a number of highly rational decisions for the individual, but which en masse, cause unexpected and potentially irresistable damage to larger society from Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns.” A tragedy of the commons, if you would, with negative externalities arising from individual decisions first for maximization and later in order to compensate – and without any real way to withdraw from society due to the interconnectedness of it.

    At any rate, its been an interesting conversation!

    Read More
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
    It's always a double-edged sword, it seems, Mass communication would allow harmful memes to reach universal exposure, but it would also allow potential strategies for how to counteract harmful memes to reach potentially universal exposure, and would allow far more minds to strategize ways to deal with potentially existential risk-causing memes. When superintelligence is achieved, it could potentially find superintelligent ways to counteract existential risk-causing memes, but a badly aligned ASI could also superintelligently design destructive memes. If the entire galaxy were colonized, and posthumans reached a population in the quintillions, it would mean quintillions of chances for at least some individuals to survive the outbreak of an existentially threatening meme, but it would also mean quintillions of chances for such a dangerous meme to crop up. As for the rate at which the existential risk caused by memes increases, compared to the the rate at which the ability to counteract these existential risk-causing memes increases, we will have to wait until the Singularity to see what happens.
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  151. @Mr. Hack
    I agree, as long as you discover a way to overcome this hurdle:

    As we slowly learn to accept that our pretensions to relevance and meaning are but so many fragile, illusory constructs which crumble like sandcastles in the face of the universe’s utter indifference to our plight,
     
    Have you?

    Yes, I am the most important person in my world: “protagonist.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Yes, I am the most important person in my world: “protagonist.”
     
    Don't you have kids?
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  152. Mr. Hack says:
    @ImmortalRationalist
    How do you define "meaningless"?

    Read More
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  153. Mr. Hack says:
    @ImmortalRationalist
    It might also be possible to develop methods of re-engineering your brain to eliminate suffering that also keep your intelligence intact. For instance, destroying/weakening your amygdala using gamma knife radiosurgery could reduce/eliminate anxiety while not damaging other parts of the brain. Google Patient SM.

    Oh joy…it makes it all so worthwhile! :-)

    If I weren’t a Christian, I’d opt for Mr. Chieh’s opium bong. :-)

    Read More
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  154. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    Yanukovych's own party members united and voted against him, like rats on a sinking ship:

    Yanukovych was disowned by the Party of Regions. In a statement issued by Oleksandr Yefremov, parliamentary faction leader, the party and its members "strongly condemn[ed] the criminal orders that led to human victims, an empty state treasury, huge debts, shame before the eyes of the Ukrainian people and the entire world."[192][193][194]
     
    You're the only one still shedding big crocodile tears for Yanukovych, always backing the wrong guy at the wrong time (kind of like Skoropadsky too). Yanukovych ended up retiring handsomely in Russia, as Skoropadsky did comfortably in Germany, though Skoropadsky was by far a more upright individual than Yanukovych.

    You say that the Crimean referendum isn’t appropriate in the way that it occurred.

    On the matter of inappropriate: there’s the way the democratically elected Yanukovych was overthrown, in conjunction with the internationally brokered power sharing agreement that he signed and was broken by the opposition. This happened BEFORE Crimea’s reunification with Russia, with the Kosovo and northern Cyprus examples in mind.

    You don’t deny that there’s a clear pro-Russian majority in Crimea. I don’t deny that Yanukovuch had flaws and that his support had noticeably dwindled after the coup against him. At the same time, the current crop of Ukrainian presidential hopefuls (including the current person in that role) aren’t popular.

    It’s no small wonder why Crimea at large remains quite content on being reunified with Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    You say that the Crimean referendum isn’t appropriate in the way that it occurred.
     
    So what do you say? Without all of the useless whataboutisms, do you feel that the referendum held in the Crimea was held in a proper and democratic fashion? Should anything have been done differently, or was it all above board as far as you're concerned?
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  155. Dmitry says:

    The favourite Zhirinovsky proposal to annex Belarus sounds nice, only in dreams and fantasy.

    How would it be achieved? What are the logistics and practicalities – dropping polite people onto Minsk? It’s just a fantasy (unless or until there is some desire or support emerging from the internal politics within the territory itself).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Greasy William
    Don't Belorussians consider themselves Russians?

    I'm neutral on the Ukraine conflict, but I at least understand it. I don't understand why Belarus and Russia are separate countries.
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  156. @Dmitry
    The favourite Zhirinovsky proposal to annex Belarus sounds nice, only in dreams and fantasy.

    How would it be achieved? What are the logistics and practicalities - dropping polite people onto Minsk? It's just a fantasy (unless or until there is some desire or support emerging from the internal politics within the territory itself).

    Don’t Belorussians consider themselves Russians?

    I’m neutral on the Ukraine conflict, but I at least understand it. I don’t understand why Belarus and Russia are separate countries.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Obviously it should be one nationality and one people.

    But it's simply not going to be a popular proposal there. When they're on holiday overseas (in America?), they'll call themselves Russian. But they're internally talking all the time about the unique characteristics and special heritage of Belarus (just watch or read some of their internal media).

    And obviously on the political level they're not going to be happy with annexation - their current position is too 'sweet' playing all their neighbours for concessions, meanwhile repackaging Ukrainian milk, or exporting shrimp and seafoods ("made" in Belarus).

    -

    It's funny though reading the youtube comments on rapper Max Korzh videos, the average rap fan in Europe (e.g. French fans) is totally unaware of the existence of his nationality. They all just call him Russian.

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  157. Abiogenesis is hard. The universe is young. I would hate spoiling Karlin’s sincere take on anything but there’s that regardless; of course correct anthropic reasoning has been around at the fringes for decades and humans don’t live on Krikkit.

    The meta-issue of human status is almost more interesting for the Fermi paradox topic these days, just like everything else where for decades nothing happens to people for being wrong, or for being right. Grumpy old academics 50 years ago would make terrible arguments based on nothing (“there probably aren’t that many planets” – this is what older literature sometimes is mocking after all) while the biochemists would shout at deaf ears. All the nonsense theories being proven wrong didn’t do any good for the reasonable people (some of whom are dead of old age I’m sure anyway) and because to some extent that wasn’t the point of the popular discussion of the topic new nonsense keeps sprouting up in place of the old.

    My latest and more timely example, a bit of a pet peeve maybe, is everybody who said “computers”/ML/AI would easily beat humans at Starcraft but definitely not Go anytime soon, despite the extremely solid game theoretic reasons discussed for a couple decades for that take being wrong…but there are no consequences for being wrong on topics like this. I personally give enormous credit to people who were right about this, the moreso the more they stick their necks out.

    It’s interesting and understudied what sort of academic or science-adjacent topics and careers allow people to be constantly wrong and still sneer at the people who are right; I think there are patterns there rather than it being all chaotic or random. Of course the popularly debated but incorrect views that do receive pushback, like “vaccines cause autism” are obvious.

    Incidentally I had wanted for a while, so an open thread’s a good time, to sorta congratulate AK for stating a while back the broadly correct views on risks of nuclear war; the Earth is big, it can’t exactly be destroyed, nor do fallout videogame mutants exist and all that. Especially with all the ricidulous criticism on basic misunderstandings that I think he received, and he deserves defending for thought experiments and hypotheticals far more than the blowhards who get it. It’s always been interesting to me how people (not just normies either, since 90 IQ normies don’t have opinions on anything) who are constantly wrong about one thing (say nuclear war) will be constantly wrong about others (AI, asteroids etc). In turn AK is astonishingly one of those people who has a lot of correct views on unrelated topics all his own (I’ll throw in a broadly correct materialistic – not religious culty- understanding of hypergamy as another present day example); it’s almost disturbing how much in agreement people who are like that are.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
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  158. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack
    They've already developed such a technique, it's called a lobotomy.

    LOL…..a “Ukrainian” cretin telling other people about labotomies!
    Apart from there being no such thing as these fictitious people called Ukrainians, pretty much everybody who”Ukrainians” claim are their cultural,historical, sports heroes …..are IDENTICAL to those who Russians claims as their own from centuries before,Tsarist time and Soviet time ……that’s because we are the same people you idiot.

    Pretty much the only exception this trend of shared figuers as part of our identity…in other words, those claimed by “Ukrainians” that Russians don’t claim also …..are fucktard losers and nutjobs as Bandera,Shukhyevich and…….. Chikatilo………that is the whole sum of Ukrainian nationalism.

    This isn’t even an exaggeration…what a pathetic mess

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I understand how the Ukrainian national identity causes havoc to your self esteem. Here's a neighboring people who've developed their own language and identity that don't want to assume a Russian one - go figure Chikatilo? :-)
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  159. @utu

    Not that we could use it as a lever in relations with Belarus

     

    Oh sure you would never do such a thing.

    I don’t think Keverich is saying Russia would never do it (although with the current people in charge it probably wouldn’t happen); rather he is saying that raising oil prices would be an ineffective tool if the Kremlin wished to change the behaviour of a potential pro-American government in Byelorussia for the better.

    Read More
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  160. Dmitry says:
    @Greasy William
    Don't Belorussians consider themselves Russians?

    I'm neutral on the Ukraine conflict, but I at least understand it. I don't understand why Belarus and Russia are separate countries.

    Obviously it should be one nationality and one people.

    But it’s simply not going to be a popular proposal there. When they’re on holiday overseas (in America?), they’ll call themselves Russian. But they’re internally talking all the time about the unique characteristics and special heritage of Belarus (just watch or read some of their internal media).

    And obviously on the political level they’re not going to be happy with annexation – their current position is too ‘sweet’ playing all their neighbours for concessions, meanwhile repackaging Ukrainian milk, or exporting shrimp and seafoods (“made” in Belarus).

    -

    It’s funny though reading the youtube comments on rapper Max Korzh videos, the average rap fan in Europe (e.g. French fans) is totally unaware of the existence of his nationality. They all just call him Russian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    It’s funny though reading the youtube comments on rapper Max Korzh videos, the average rap fan in Europe (e.g. French fans) is totally unaware of the existence of his nationality. They all just call him Russian.

     

    I meant French youtube comments posted under this video of his

    Lol why are French watching him anyway (I guess a popular French youtuber linked to it unaware it is Belarus not Russia).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=napUAIh4UE0

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  161. What do people here think about the elections in Slovenia? Good sign, irrelevant or too early to tell?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Not sure what to think about that.

    - small country
    - only 25% plurality
    , @Mitleser
    More important than that:
    https://twitter.com/PolandDaily/status/1003996812607348738
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  162. @LatW

    They don’t even have control over their borders.

     

    Do Western countries have control over their borders....?

    While open borders is part of the issue, if Intermarium proponents are serious about it, then they must counter and expel liberal “NGOs” and propaganda outlets – otherwise cultural diffusion will make Eastern Europe eventually end up as like Western Europe, which would destroy the purpose of Intermarium in the first place.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective
    Hungary has begun to do that. Open Society (the Soros foundation) is packing its bags. CEU - the flagship university of Soros - is moving to Berlin. There will be pressure from Brussels but ultimately their tools are limited. A far greater problem to overcome is the security & economic aspect. The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers - such as the United States or Russia - it would need an independent nuclear arsenal. The latter because as I've pointed out, large parts of 'core Intermarium' is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year. Germany's links to much of the CEE region, especially those in the EU, is now very substantial and it is not something that they will give up lightly given the untold billions of euros that they've sunk into these countries as investment as well as the sheer scale of the markets.

    The NGO part is, in my humble opinion, while not a walk in the park, ultimately far less of a hindrance than the other factors. I still do agree with your general point. However, it is very difficult to have deep economic integration with a country, especially one which is richer than you, and have no substantial cultural influence emanating from it. That's not what history has shown throughout the ages.
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  163. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry
    Obviously it should be one nationality and one people.

    But it's simply not going to be a popular proposal there. When they're on holiday overseas (in America?), they'll call themselves Russian. But they're internally talking all the time about the unique characteristics and special heritage of Belarus (just watch or read some of their internal media).

    And obviously on the political level they're not going to be happy with annexation - their current position is too 'sweet' playing all their neighbours for concessions, meanwhile repackaging Ukrainian milk, or exporting shrimp and seafoods ("made" in Belarus).

    -

    It's funny though reading the youtube comments on rapper Max Korzh videos, the average rap fan in Europe (e.g. French fans) is totally unaware of the existence of his nationality. They all just call him Russian.

    It’s funny though reading the youtube comments on rapper Max Korzh videos, the average rap fan in Europe (e.g. French fans) is totally unaware of the existence of his nationality. They all just call him Russian.

    I meant French youtube comments posted under this video of his

    Lol why are French watching him anyway (I guess a popular French youtuber linked to it unaware it is Belarus not Russia).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Belarus is Russia, White Russia.
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  164. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard2
    LOL.....a "Ukrainian" cretin telling other people about labotomies!
    Apart from there being no such thing as these fictitious people called Ukrainians, pretty much everybody who"Ukrainians" claim are their cultural,historical, sports heroes .....are IDENTICAL to those who Russians claims as their own from centuries before,Tsarist time and Soviet time ......that's because we are the same people you idiot.

    Pretty much the only exception this trend of shared figuers as part of our identity...in other words, those claimed by "Ukrainians" that Russians don't claim also .....are fucktard losers and nutjobs as Bandera,Shukhyevich and........ Chikatilo.........that is the whole sum of Ukrainian nationalism.

    This isn't even an exaggeration...what a pathetic mess

    I understand how the Ukrainian national identity causes havoc to your self esteem. Here’s a neighboring people who’ve developed their own language and identity that don’t want to assume a Russian one – go figure Chikatilo? :-)

    Read More
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  165. Mr. Hack says:
    @DFH
    That wouldn't satisfy my (presently existing) desire to not have a meaningless life though.

    Yours is an honest response to the ImmortalRationalist’s prescription to overcome the natural feeling of anxiety relating to the sober acceptance and prospect of facing a long meaningless existence, as is explored within the humorous piece at the ‘Onion’ https://www.theonion.com/doctors-find-new-way-to-prolong-meaningless-existence-1819564846

    It’s a funny piece because its based on reality, not pie in the sky, unrealistic remedies that are offered by organizations like the Transhumanists. In fact, the piece is actually ridiculing the prospects of a long life that theTranhumanists are trying to offer.

    More importantly, read the tract that explores the Eastern Orthodox theology of ‘Theosis’. If you’re of a protestant leaning, the same concept is often referred to as ‘Deification’. C.S. Lewis believed in it, why shouldn’t you? It’s the best 49 pages that you’ll ever read,and it will cure your anxiety without drugs or other harmful prescriptons. Just read it, think about it, and let me know what you think.

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    It is an interesting tract. While I don't believe the Orthodox way is the only way to achieve human unification with the divine, I think that in discovering the right aim they have come further than others along the path.
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  166. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    You say that the Crimean referendum isn't appropriate in the way that it occurred.

    On the matter of inappropriate: there's the way the democratically elected Yanukovych was overthrown, in conjunction with the internationally brokered power sharing agreement that he signed and was broken by the opposition. This happened BEFORE Crimea's reunification with Russia, with the Kosovo and northern Cyprus examples in mind.

    You don't deny that there's a clear pro-Russian majority in Crimea. I don't deny that Yanukovuch had flaws and that his support had noticeably dwindled after the coup against him. At the same time, the current crop of Ukrainian presidential hopefuls (including the current person in that role) aren't popular.

    It's no small wonder why Crimea at large remains quite content on being reunified with Russia.

    You say that the Crimean referendum isn’t appropriate in the way that it occurred.

    So what do you say? Without all of the useless whataboutisms, do you feel that the referendum held in the Crimea was held in a proper and democratic fashion? Should anything have been done differently, or was it all above board as far as you’re concerned?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    You're quite a cherry picker. What I said in full:

    You say that the Crimean referendum isn’t appropriate in the way that it occurred.

    On the matter of inappropriate: there’s the way the democratically elected Yanukovych was overthrown, in conjunction with the internationally brokered power sharing agreement that he signed and was broken by the opposition. This happened BEFORE Crimea’s reunification with Russia, with the Kosovo and northern Cyprus examples in mind.

    You don’t deny that there’s a clear pro-Russian majority in Crimea. I don’t deny that Yanukovuch had flaws and that his support had noticeably dwindled after the coup against him. At the same time, the current crop of Ukrainian presidential hopefuls (including the current person in that role) aren’t popular.

    It’s no small wonder why Crimea at large remains quite content on being reunified with Russia.

     

    As a follow-up, the sayings of an eye for an eye and two wrongs don't make a right, led me to say the following: two or more wrongs don't make a right. Simultaneously, hypocrisy isn't a virtue.

    The end of the Cold War led some to suggest the possibility of a different and improved era. US government led action in Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and elsewhere reveal that might still makes right.

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  167. @Mr. Hack
    Yours is an honest response to the ImmortalRationalist's prescription to overcome the natural feeling of anxiety relating to the sober acceptance and prospect of facing a long meaningless existence, as is explored within the humorous piece at the 'Onion' https://www.theonion.com/doctors-find-new-way-to-prolong-meaningless-existence-1819564846

    It's a funny piece because its based on reality, not pie in the sky, unrealistic remedies that are offered by organizations like the Transhumanists. In fact, the piece is actually ridiculing the prospects of a long life that theTranhumanists are trying to offer.

    More importantly, read the tract that explores the Eastern Orthodox theology of 'Theosis'. If you're of a protestant leaning, the same concept is often referred to as 'Deification'. C.S. Lewis believed in it, why shouldn't you? It's the best 49 pages that you'll ever read,and it will cure your anxiety without drugs or other harmful prescriptons. Just read it, think about it, and let me know what you think.
    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    It is an interesting tract. While I don’t believe the Orthodox way is the only way to achieve human unification with the divine, I think that in discovering the right aim they have come further than others along the path.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I'm glad that you read it and got something important out of it. If you ever like to study the bible, you can use it as a kind of guide map. It's full of direct quotations taken straight from the scriptures that expand and yet help pull it all together.
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  168. Mr. Hack says:
    @Hyperborean
    It is an interesting tract. While I don't believe the Orthodox way is the only way to achieve human unification with the divine, I think that in discovering the right aim they have come further than others along the path.

    I’m glad that you read it and got something important out of it. If you ever like to study the bible, you can use it as a kind of guide map. It’s full of direct quotations taken straight from the scriptures that expand and yet help pull it all together.

    Read More
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  169. Yevardian says:
    @songbird
    Kaczynski supposedly considered becoming a woman, which I think kind of highlights how much of a loon he was.

    Source for this blatant libel immediately.

    Read More
    • Replies: @songbird
    Here is from the LA Times, but numerous reported the same:

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A long-awaited prison psychiatrist's report on Theodore Kaczynski was released Friday, detailing the Unabomber's fantasies about mutilating a girlfriend, killing psychiatrists and having a sex-change operation.

    The 47-page report, compiled in part from interviews with Kaczynski in his Sacramento County Jail cell and from his writings dating to the 1960s, said Kaczynski's frustrated desire for a sex-change operation set him on the path to being a serial killer.

    Kaczynski wrote that his 1966 visit to a psychiatrist to discuss his desire to become a woman was a major turning point in his life. He left the doctor's office without speaking of his fantasies, consumed with a visionary new hatred, according to psychiatrist Dr. Sally Johnson.

    "Like a phoenix, I burst from the ashes of my despair," Kaczynski wrote. "My very hopelessness had liberated me because I no longer cared about death.
     
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  170. songbird says:
    @Yevardian
    Source for this blatant libel immediately.

    Here is from the LA Times, but numerous reported the same:

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A long-awaited prison psychiatrist’s report on Theodore Kaczynski was released Friday, detailing the Unabomber’s fantasies about mutilating a girlfriend, killing psychiatrists and having a sex-change operation.

    The 47-page report, compiled in part from interviews with Kaczynski in his Sacramento County Jail cell and from his writings dating to the 1960s, said Kaczynski’s frustrated desire for a sex-change operation set him on the path to being a serial killer.

    Kaczynski wrote that his 1966 visit to a psychiatrist to discuss his desire to become a woman was a major turning point in his life. He left the doctor’s office without speaking of his fantasies, consumed with a visionary new hatred, according to psychiatrist Dr. Sally Johnson.

    “Like a phoenix, I burst from the ashes of my despair,” Kaczynski wrote. “My very hopelessness had liberated me because I no longer cared about death.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yevardian
    Sounds like tabloid BS to me.
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  171. Yevardian says:
    @ImmortalRationalist
    You think that cryonics/transhumanism is a fantasy, but you somehow don't realize that Christianity is a fantasy?

    Well, Christianity is much more sane in comparison.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
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  172. Yevardian says:
    @songbird
    Here is from the LA Times, but numerous reported the same:

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A long-awaited prison psychiatrist's report on Theodore Kaczynski was released Friday, detailing the Unabomber's fantasies about mutilating a girlfriend, killing psychiatrists and having a sex-change operation.

    The 47-page report, compiled in part from interviews with Kaczynski in his Sacramento County Jail cell and from his writings dating to the 1960s, said Kaczynski's frustrated desire for a sex-change operation set him on the path to being a serial killer.

    Kaczynski wrote that his 1966 visit to a psychiatrist to discuss his desire to become a woman was a major turning point in his life. He left the doctor's office without speaking of his fantasies, consumed with a visionary new hatred, according to psychiatrist Dr. Sally Johnson.

    "Like a phoenix, I burst from the ashes of my despair," Kaczynski wrote. "My very hopelessness had liberated me because I no longer cared about death.
     

    Sounds like tabloid BS to me.

    Read More
    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
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  173. @Hyperborean
    While open borders is part of the issue, if Intermarium proponents are serious about it, then they must counter and expel liberal "NGOs" and propaganda outlets - otherwise cultural diffusion will make Eastern Europe eventually end up as like Western Europe, which would destroy the purpose of Intermarium in the first place.

    Hungary has begun to do that. Open Society (the Soros foundation) is packing its bags. CEU – the flagship university of Soros – is moving to Berlin. There will be pressure from Brussels but ultimately their tools are limited. A far greater problem to overcome is the security & economic aspect. The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers – such as the United States or Russia – it would need an independent nuclear arsenal. The latter because as I’ve pointed out, large parts of ‘core Intermarium’ is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year. Germany’s links to much of the CEE region, especially those in the EU, is now very substantial and it is not something that they will give up lightly given the untold billions of euros that they’ve sunk into these countries as investment as well as the sheer scale of the markets.

    The NGO part is, in my humble opinion, while not a walk in the park, ultimately far less of a hindrance than the other factors. I still do agree with your general point. However, it is very difficult to have deep economic integration with a country, especially one which is richer than you, and have no substantial cultural influence emanating from it. That’s not what history has shown throughout the ages.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    CEU – the flagship university of Soros – is moving to Berlin.
     
    :D

    Babylon Berlin - why nothing works in the German capital and yet everyone wants to go there
     
    https://abload.de/img/dnniflxwkaaefj8buucb.jpg
    , @Hyperborean
    I think Hungary's NGO policy is quite good and I wholeheartedly support Budapest's actions.

    However, whenever I read about it it leads me to wonder exactly what the international NGOs are up to in other Eastern European countries, if they are teaching and doing really pernicious things that we don't hear.
    , @AP

    The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers – such as the United States or Russia – it would need an independent nuclear arsenal.
     
    Ukraine could provide this, in the mid-term not long-term, with funding. Has Poland bought the missile-capable submarines?

    https://www.defensenews.com/smr/european-balance-of-power/2017/08/28/subs-cruise-missiles-to-drive-polands-navy-modernization/?

    Moreover, even a nukeless conventional ability to strike deep into Russia (or hit Berlin, or Paris) would serve as a deterrent. Ukraine, on its own, is developing such capability, as some Russians have noticed:

    Russians have noticed.

    http://www.mk.ru/politics/2018/01/30/ukraine-obzavelas-sobstvennoy-krylatoy-raketoy-stoit-li-rossii-boyatsya.html

    Speaking about the threat of the Russian naval grouping in the Black Sea, Barabanov suggested that the creation of Neptune in reality would be a slow issue, and most likely the path to the series would take about 10 years.

    According to Ruslan Pukhov, a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, in general, Ukrainian missile projects (Neptune and Grom-2) pose a very serious threat to the national security of the Russian Federation.

    “There is a threat of deploying in a few years very serious and relatively high-precision weapon systems of the hostile state in close proximity to important and densely populated regions of Russia, including Moscow,” the expert said. “From the military point of view, this threat will require strengthening air defense and missile defense in Moscow and the entire Central region, but in any case, these systems will complicate the military and political situation, and for the leadership of Ukraine will become a powerful political and propaganda argument about alleged” intimidation of Moscow. ” On the good side, it would be desirable for Russia to prevent the deployment or creation of such systems in Ukraine at all. ”

    The latter because as I’ve pointed out, large parts of ‘core Intermarium’ is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year.
     
    This is both a disadvantage and an advantage. Economic integration prevents America and the West from treating China the way it treats Russia (America especially, because it doesn't rely on Russia's energy). Germans may threaten to cut off aid to Poland or their media may label the government that took the banks from them as anti-democratic, but they will find it hard to implement some sort of crushing policies that would necessarily completely screw up their own economy.
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  174. Audacious Epigone has a new post up on the latest American demographics:

    https://anepigone.blogspot.com/2018/06/white-births-as-percentage-of-total.html

    Some context: in 2012, the US census bureau announced that white births were now a minority. However, the CDC (which is considered an even more reliable authority on this topic) debunked that claim a few years later. Their data comes with a greater timelag.

    Some in the Alt Right noted in the early days of the Trump presidency that white births declined very slowly from 2007 to 2015, barely two percentage points. This was still the heady era of high expectations. People were predicting mass deportations and a huge “Trump babyboom”. Neither of course happened.

    The latest numbers show that the white newborn percentage share is now just 51.7%. The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc. The European-American share is almost certainly below 50% already.

    I like focusing more on newborns since whites tend to have a disproportionate large share in the 65+ age brackets, giving an distorted impression. Newborns are demographics already “baked in”. I do not see how there can be a conventional/inside-the-system resolution to the US question. The only viable alternative, it seems to me, is some form of de factosecession though that would be resisted greatly by the TPTB, since it would gut the imperial project. I think it’s long past time to abandon illusions that “we can reform the GOP from within”. There are also lessons here to European nationalists, namely that parties like AfD, FN, SD or PiS will never fundamentally challenge the direction we are heading in, but merely slow it down somewhat.

    That’s why it makes sense to be radical from the start and make a lot of the groundwork when you’re comparatively strong. If the AR had existed in the 1980s and had a clear vision and long-term framework, it is possible that there would be a much larger share of US whites who were mentally, intellectually and emotionally prepared for more radical options. That work now lies ahead for them. We have no time to waste ourselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    There is another possibility - the definition of whiteness widens a bit: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-demise-of-the-white-majority-is-a-myth/2018/05/18/60fc897c-5233-11e8-abd8-265bd07a9859_story.html

    This idea is not new: https://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/16/magazine/the-beige-and-the-black.html
    , @Hyperborean

    The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc.
     
    I really wonder how that came about. The American census has several flaws, but this seems to be one of the strangest ones.
    , @AP

    The latest numbers show that the white newborn percentage share is now just 51.7%. The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc. The European-American share is almost certainly below 50% already.
     
    Conversely, non-whites includes Cubans, lighter Mexicans, people of half-Asian descent who assimilate with white people, etc. So this probably balances out the others.
    , @German_reader

    intellectually and emotionally prepared for more radical options.
     
    What kind of radical options? What's your vision for the future?
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  175. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    You say that the Crimean referendum isn’t appropriate in the way that it occurred.
     
    So what do you say? Without all of the useless whataboutisms, do you feel that the referendum held in the Crimea was held in a proper and democratic fashion? Should anything have been done differently, or was it all above board as far as you're concerned?

    You’re quite a cherry picker. What I said in full:

    You say that the Crimean referendum isn’t appropriate in the way that it occurred.

    On the matter of inappropriate: there’s the way the democratically elected Yanukovych was overthrown, in conjunction with the internationally brokered power sharing agreement that he signed and was broken by the opposition. This happened BEFORE Crimea’s reunification with Russia, with the Kosovo and northern Cyprus examples in mind.

    You don’t deny that there’s a clear pro-Russian majority in Crimea. I don’t deny that Yanukovuch had flaws and that his support had noticeably dwindled after the coup against him. At the same time, the current crop of Ukrainian presidential hopefuls (including the current person in that role) aren’t popular.

    It’s no small wonder why Crimea at large remains quite content on being reunified with Russia.

    As a follow-up, the sayings of an eye for an eye and two wrongs don’t make a right, led me to say the following: two or more wrongs don’t make a right. Simultaneously, hypocrisy isn’t a virtue.

    The end of the Cold War led some to suggest the possibility of a different and improved era. US government led action in Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and elsewhere reveal that might still makes right.

    Read More
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  176. @for-the-record
    By the way, you may recall that I told you of a Ukrainian woman living nearby who I said I would interrogate about the Russian-Polish-Ukrainian language continuum. Well I saw her a few days ago, and here is a summary.

    Question: in your opinion, is Russian or Polish closer to Ukrainian?

    First some background. She is from Lviv, around 50 (hence Soviet-educated), a physiotherapist (deep-tissue massage) who is locally renowned for her restorative capabilities. She and her husband (Portuguese) grow crops, raise pigs, etc. A nice lady, but in no way intellectual, and with no great political awareness, although she certainly identifies as Ukrainian and doesn't like Putin. Her brother served in the Afghan war and then became involved in the Russian mafia (as some sort of enforcer, it would seem), and disappeared a few years ago.

    Given this background, notably the fact that all her schooling was in Russian (Cyrillic obviously), I have to admit that I was expecting her say that Russian was closer. Or perhaps that they were more or less equally distant. Indeed, I wasn't even sure how much (if any) Polish she knew.

    Her answer was unequivocal: Polish is significantly closer to Ukrainian than is Russian. She attributed this primarily to the fact that Lviv was so close to the Polish border, and the fact that so many Poles used to live there. So one might question to what extent the language changes (in a "non-Polish" manner) to the east of Lviv.

    I would consider her a fairly reliable witness, in the sense that she didn't even perceive the political implications of the question I put to her -- thus a far more reliable witness than you or Mr. Hack, or any of our Russian commenters!

    Anyway, I have to admit I was a bit surprised how unequivocal her answer was.

    Lvov is Galician. Galicia is not and was never Ukraine. Galicians aren’t Ukrainian.

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  177. Mitleser says:
    @Hyperborean
    What do people here think about the elections in Slovenia? Good sign, irrelevant or too early to tell?

    Not sure what to think about that.

    - small country
    - only 25% plurality

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  178. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    It’s funny though reading the youtube comments on rapper Max Korzh videos, the average rap fan in Europe (e.g. French fans) is totally unaware of the existence of his nationality. They all just call him Russian.

     

    I meant French youtube comments posted under this video of his

    Lol why are French watching him anyway (I guess a popular French youtuber linked to it unaware it is Belarus not Russia).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=napUAIh4UE0

    Belarus is Russia, White Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Lol, you have to walk carefully. Say "Беларусь", not "Белоруссия" - definitely not "Белая Россия".

    Although in terms of this issue I don't think (???) they instantly stamp on your head and beat you mercilessly yet in the center of Minsk, (e.g. not like certain other demographic responding to innocent seeming word combinations like "на Украине").

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  179. Mitleser says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Hungary has begun to do that. Open Society (the Soros foundation) is packing its bags. CEU - the flagship university of Soros - is moving to Berlin. There will be pressure from Brussels but ultimately their tools are limited. A far greater problem to overcome is the security & economic aspect. The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers - such as the United States or Russia - it would need an independent nuclear arsenal. The latter because as I've pointed out, large parts of 'core Intermarium' is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year. Germany's links to much of the CEE region, especially those in the EU, is now very substantial and it is not something that they will give up lightly given the untold billions of euros that they've sunk into these countries as investment as well as the sheer scale of the markets.

    The NGO part is, in my humble opinion, while not a walk in the park, ultimately far less of a hindrance than the other factors. I still do agree with your general point. However, it is very difficult to have deep economic integration with a country, especially one which is richer than you, and have no substantial cultural influence emanating from it. That's not what history has shown throughout the ages.

    CEU – the flagship university of Soros – is moving to Berlin.

    :D

    Babylon Berlin – why nothing works in the German capital and yet everyone wants to go there

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  180. Twinkie says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    Yes, I am the most important person in my world: "protagonist."

    Yes, I am the most important person in my world: “protagonist.”

    Don’t you have kids?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    Children are simply one's appendages, just like one is one's parents' appendages.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    My wetware interface with the material world, unfortunately, probably can't observe them if it was disrupted from continuing to exist in the material world.
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  181. Twinkie says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    But long life is suffering.

    http://punchng.com/my-long-life-a-punishment-from-god-says-128-year-old-woman/


    A Russian woman has been quoted as saying that her long life is nothing but “punishment.”

    128-year-old Koku Istambulova, from Chechnya, says she has not had a single happy day in her entire life, and that she has no idea how she has managed to live this long.

    “I have not had a single happy day in my life. I have always worked hard, digging in the garden. I am tired.

    “Long life is not at all God’s gift for me — but a punishment,” she was quoted as saying.

    “Looking back at my unhappy life, I wish I had died when I was young. I worked all my life."

     

    But long life is suffering.

    As a doom and gloom Catholic, I subscribe to the idea that life is pain and suffering punctuated by glimpses and moments of foretastes of heaven (such as the loving embrace of one’s wife and the joyful smiles of one’s children).

    But I also try to follow this ancient wisdom, attributed to Clearchus of Soli: “As children, learn good manners. As young men, learn to control the passions. In middle age, be just. In old age, give good advice. Then die, without regret.”

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  182. Twinkie says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Audacious Epigone has a new post up on the latest American demographics:

    https://anepigone.blogspot.com/2018/06/white-births-as-percentage-of-total.html

    Some context: in 2012, the US census bureau announced that white births were now a minority. However, the CDC (which is considered an even more reliable authority on this topic) debunked that claim a few years later. Their data comes with a greater timelag.

    Some in the Alt Right noted in the early days of the Trump presidency that white births declined very slowly from 2007 to 2015, barely two percentage points. This was still the heady era of high expectations. People were predicting mass deportations and a huge "Trump babyboom". Neither of course happened.

    The latest numbers show that the white newborn percentage share is now just 51.7%. The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc. The European-American share is almost certainly below 50% already.

    I like focusing more on newborns since whites tend to have a disproportionate large share in the 65+ age brackets, giving an distorted impression. Newborns are demographics already "baked in". I do not see how there can be a conventional/inside-the-system resolution to the US question. The only viable alternative, it seems to me, is some form of de factosecession though that would be resisted greatly by the TPTB, since it would gut the imperial project. I think it's long past time to abandon illusions that "we can reform the GOP from within". There are also lessons here to European nationalists, namely that parties like AfD, FN, SD or PiS will never fundamentally challenge the direction we are heading in, but merely slow it down somewhat.

    That's why it makes sense to be radical from the start and make a lot of the groundwork when you're comparatively strong. If the AR had existed in the 1980s and had a clear vision and long-term framework, it is possible that there would be a much larger share of US whites who were mentally, intellectually and emotionally prepared for more radical options. That work now lies ahead for them. We have no time to waste ourselves.

    Read More
    • Agree: AP
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  183. @Daniel Chieh

    Humanity obviously wouldn’t stand a chance against badly aligned superintelligent AI. I can’t speak for what memes will exist in the future, but the memes that exist currently seem to not pose an existential threat to humanity, and humanity seems to be adapting to them.
     
    However, with the transmission vector being as universal as it is, is it not a viable consideration that we only need one sufficiently toxic meme to pose an existential threat to cause significant, even fatal damage? This is the same argument for interplanetary population - yes, nothing has destroyed Earth yet. But you only need one event that sufficiently damages Earth to put it beyond a reasonable point of viability. And the more advanced your civilization, this highly interconnected state actually increases, not decreases, risk of transmission.

    Thus my hypothesis for an answer to the Fermi Paradox.

    In such threat which I envision, it would be less of an AI in and of itself and more of the emergent property of humanity, and in this case I'll use an example of Kaczynski's of the man using a chess AI. Using the chess AI, he empowers himself to prevail, using a tool to enhance himself. However, because it is the only rational choice to utilize it and he must do so to prevail again competitors also using chess AI, he actually becomes essentially forced to obey its orders: a slave to his overall still rather dumb tool.

    In such, we are to consider the impact of a number of highly rational decisions for the individual, but which en masse, cause unexpected and potentially irresistable damage to larger society from Rumsfeld's "unknown unknowns." A tragedy of the commons, if you would, with negative externalities arising from individual decisions first for maximization and later in order to compensate - and without any real way to withdraw from society due to the interconnectedness of it.

    At any rate, its been an interesting conversation!

    It’s always a double-edged sword, it seems, Mass communication would allow harmful memes to reach universal exposure, but it would also allow potential strategies for how to counteract harmful memes to reach potentially universal exposure, and would allow far more minds to strategize ways to deal with potentially existential risk-causing memes. When superintelligence is achieved, it could potentially find superintelligent ways to counteract existential risk-causing memes, but a badly aligned ASI could also superintelligently design destructive memes. If the entire galaxy were colonized, and posthumans reached a population in the quintillions, it would mean quintillions of chances for at least some individuals to survive the outbreak of an existentially threatening meme, but it would also mean quintillions of chances for such a dangerous meme to crop up. As for the rate at which the existential risk caused by memes increases, compared to the the rate at which the ability to counteract these existential risk-causing memes increases, we will have to wait until the Singularity to see what happens.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    It's much easier to destroy something than to protect it. The destructive thing could be a literal virus (something which destroys all humans), which is easy to create by one rogue AI, and difficult to notice by the other AIs.

    Imagine that the whole world was just a village in a valley. Imagine it had a thousand inhabitants. Imagine that in that village even the smallest child could build a nuke. What are the chances of the village surviving, long term? It's enough if just one toddler builds and detonates a nuke for the whole village to get destroyed.

    In a sense, the whole planet is becoming like a village. Anything truly destructive (maybe nukes are not destructive enough; there are other things, too) will destroy it, long before we're able to colonize other planets.

    Regarding memes, mind viruses. All minds can be hacked. We don't know how it could work. But the world is getting more and more centralized, so any attempt to counteract harmful memes will prove more and more difficult over time. Due to globalization the world is getting more uniform. In a sense, culture is converging to the same trash everywhere. This must make the spread of stupid ideas easier.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    I'm going to strongly argue against unification as optimal strategy since if it was, the multicelluar body would not have been as dominant and we would see the assexual, "immortal" and "large ameoba" creatures as a significant part of biomass but this does not appear to be the case. Isolation and sacrifice of units of a species appears to be a superior strategy over efforts at homeostasis and management of a large joined entity.
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  184. @ImmortalRationalist
    It's always a double-edged sword, it seems, Mass communication would allow harmful memes to reach universal exposure, but it would also allow potential strategies for how to counteract harmful memes to reach potentially universal exposure, and would allow far more minds to strategize ways to deal with potentially existential risk-causing memes. When superintelligence is achieved, it could potentially find superintelligent ways to counteract existential risk-causing memes, but a badly aligned ASI could also superintelligently design destructive memes. If the entire galaxy were colonized, and posthumans reached a population in the quintillions, it would mean quintillions of chances for at least some individuals to survive the outbreak of an existentially threatening meme, but it would also mean quintillions of chances for such a dangerous meme to crop up. As for the rate at which the existential risk caused by memes increases, compared to the the rate at which the ability to counteract these existential risk-causing memes increases, we will have to wait until the Singularity to see what happens.

    It’s much easier to destroy something than to protect it. The destructive thing could be a literal virus (something which destroys all humans), which is easy to create by one rogue AI, and difficult to notice by the other AIs.

    Imagine that the whole world was just a village in a valley. Imagine it had a thousand inhabitants. Imagine that in that village even the smallest child could build a nuke. What are the chances of the village surviving, long term? It’s enough if just one toddler builds and detonates a nuke for the whole village to get destroyed.

    In a sense, the whole planet is becoming like a village. Anything truly destructive (maybe nukes are not destructive enough; there are other things, too) will destroy it, long before we’re able to colonize other planets.

    Regarding memes, mind viruses. All minds can be hacked. We don’t know how it could work. But the world is getting more and more centralized, so any attempt to counteract harmful memes will prove more and more difficult over time. Due to globalization the world is getting more uniform. In a sense, culture is converging to the same trash everywhere. This must make the spread of stupid ideas easier.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    One could really have some fun with this Tower of Babel theory and the potential risks of a highly unified noosphere, especially one eventually where we probably won't be divided by either distance or language.

    One thing to consider is that the single planet risk is constant because there isn't a random number generator that creates ever more planet-destroying objects to throw at us because we have a higher population, but as we increase in population, we generate ever more memes with the specific intent of being viral, partly out of instinct because coming up with ideas to influence your peers is really part of being human, but also increasingly weaponized persuasion for mercenary or political purposes(advertising, Hollywood, etc.)

    So historically if a crazy cult with contagious memes creates a colony of Cathars, it just is a bunch of Cathars who weird out their neighbors enough until they get smacked since transmission is slow, and they will have more time to "develop" and exhibit symptoms of dysfunction or weirdness to their observers. These days, any truly successful Cathar mind-virus, would hijack a huge percentage of the population into it, and potentially create successful special interest groups to further argue for their protection.

    One could almost create a moral argument that interplanetary settlement, and physical distances, for survival of humanity in some form.

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  185. @Polish Perspective
    Hungary has begun to do that. Open Society (the Soros foundation) is packing its bags. CEU - the flagship university of Soros - is moving to Berlin. There will be pressure from Brussels but ultimately their tools are limited. A far greater problem to overcome is the security & economic aspect. The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers - such as the United States or Russia - it would need an independent nuclear arsenal. The latter because as I've pointed out, large parts of 'core Intermarium' is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year. Germany's links to much of the CEE region, especially those in the EU, is now very substantial and it is not something that they will give up lightly given the untold billions of euros that they've sunk into these countries as investment as well as the sheer scale of the markets.

    The NGO part is, in my humble opinion, while not a walk in the park, ultimately far less of a hindrance than the other factors. I still do agree with your general point. However, it is very difficult to have deep economic integration with a country, especially one which is richer than you, and have no substantial cultural influence emanating from it. That's not what history has shown throughout the ages.

    I think Hungary’s NGO policy is quite good and I wholeheartedly support Budapest’s actions.

    However, whenever I read about it it leads me to wonder exactly what the international NGOs are up to in other Eastern European countries, if they are teaching and doing really pernicious things that we don’t hear.

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  186. @Polish Perspective
    Audacious Epigone has a new post up on the latest American demographics:

    https://anepigone.blogspot.com/2018/06/white-births-as-percentage-of-total.html

    Some context: in 2012, the US census bureau announced that white births were now a minority. However, the CDC (which is considered an even more reliable authority on this topic) debunked that claim a few years later. Their data comes with a greater timelag.

    Some in the Alt Right noted in the early days of the Trump presidency that white births declined very slowly from 2007 to 2015, barely two percentage points. This was still the heady era of high expectations. People were predicting mass deportations and a huge "Trump babyboom". Neither of course happened.

    The latest numbers show that the white newborn percentage share is now just 51.7%. The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc. The European-American share is almost certainly below 50% already.

    I like focusing more on newborns since whites tend to have a disproportionate large share in the 65+ age brackets, giving an distorted impression. Newborns are demographics already "baked in". I do not see how there can be a conventional/inside-the-system resolution to the US question. The only viable alternative, it seems to me, is some form of de factosecession though that would be resisted greatly by the TPTB, since it would gut the imperial project. I think it's long past time to abandon illusions that "we can reform the GOP from within". There are also lessons here to European nationalists, namely that parties like AfD, FN, SD or PiS will never fundamentally challenge the direction we are heading in, but merely slow it down somewhat.

    That's why it makes sense to be radical from the start and make a lot of the groundwork when you're comparatively strong. If the AR had existed in the 1980s and had a clear vision and long-term framework, it is possible that there would be a much larger share of US whites who were mentally, intellectually and emotionally prepared for more radical options. That work now lies ahead for them. We have no time to waste ourselves.

    The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc.

    I really wonder how that came about. The American census has several flaws, but this seems to be one of the strangest ones.

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    I really wonder how that came about. The American census has several flaws, but this seems to be one of the strangest ones.
     
    Nothing strange about it. The American racial system has only four categories: a) Black (African), b) Red (Native American), c) Yellow (East Asian), d) White (everyone else).

    This system has been in place in America since forever and persists to this day. The census only follows tradition.
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  187. @ImmortalRationalist
    Suffering is ultimately caused by Darwinian biological design of the brain. With sufficiently advanced technology and neuroscience, it would probably be possible to re-engineer your brain in such a way as to radically raise your hedonic set-point. Read about David Pearce's philosophy of The Hedonistic Imperative.

    I think this kind of tampering is inevitable, but ultimately it will make us non-human, and I’m personally dreading it.

    The most extreme transhumanist ideas (like uploading of minds to computers) will actually lead to the destruction of humanity, and I find it strange that transhumanists are unwilling or unable to understand the arguments.

    1) Uploading will essentially make a software out of you.

    2) Even if the software will be a perfect simulation of your mind, its life experience will be absolutely alien, non-human.

    3) Even if its life experience could somehow also be simulated (like putting it inside an android, perhaps even a biological body), it will be very easy to tamper with it. For example you can make yourself smarter by a few changes in the software and/or hardware. The changes will make you a different person than you had been before.

    4) Eventually some uploaded “people” (i.e. person simulations) will start changing themselves.

    5) There are no limits to such changes, so expect rapid changes at the rate of IT development.

    6) Eventually the changes will make these simulations totally, absolutely non-human in their outlook. A computer software with a million times the brain capacity of a human, whose basic motivations will be tampered with (a normal human sitting inside a computer simulation would simply stay inside virtual reality forever – I guess VR will get indistinguishable from reality for these computer simulations anyway), what’s human in these, umm, things? Basically these could over time turn themselves into super-AIs. The larger the changes, the larger the potential for further changes. Initially it’ll be a kinda sorta human making the decision to become a somewhat different human, then later a very odd human, etc., but eventually it will be a computer chimera making decisions to become ever more alien.

    7) The more a simulation changes itself, the less it will be a continuation of the original human being. Basically you won’t get eternal life, because the thing alive a hundred years after your biological death won’t be “you” by any stretch of imagination.

    8) The larger number of uploads, the more inevitable that at least some of them will start tampering with their own software. Eventually most of these will be viewed as normal, and the lemmings will follow.

    Then of course they will be highly fragile. They will depend on a lot of electricity, for example. I’m sure they will be very vulnerable to be destroyed. Some of them might get the funny idea to reduce dangers, for example mandating that all remaining biological humans either upload or perish. After that, there will be no more humans left, only a few simulations which for whatever reason resist the temptation to change themselves (but these will probably stay in virtual reality, or will anyway be swept aside by the much smarter ones). Any conflict between them may lead to a Filter, because they will stay very fragile. The more they tamper with their software, the more fragile, because complicated software contain a lot of bugs, often undetected for years or decades.

    I don’t understand how anyone can find such a future appealing.

    I also don’t think it will be stable. So many things can go wrong for the whole thing to destroy itself.

    The hope of humanity is that these things are impossible. I don’t think so.

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    • Agree: AP
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  188. @Hyperborean

    The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc.
     
    I really wonder how that came about. The American census has several flaws, but this seems to be one of the strangest ones.

    I really wonder how that came about. The American census has several flaws, but this seems to be one of the strangest ones.

    Nothing strange about it. The American racial system has only four categories: a) Black (African), b) Red (Native American), c) Yellow (East Asian), d) White (everyone else).

    This system has been in place in America since forever and persists to this day. The census only follows tradition.

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    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    So why are Central Asians not classified as Asians while Desis are? Or for that matter, why have the idiosyncratic 'Hispanic' category?
    , @DFH
    In Britain all East Asians and South East Asians come under the 'Chinese' category
    , @Mikhail

    Nothing strange about it. The American racial system has only four categories: a) Black (African), b) Red (Native American), c) Yellow (East Asian), d) White (everyone else).
     
    Where did you get that from? See:

    https://www.npr.org/2018/01/26/580865378/census-request-suggests-no-race-ethnicity-data-changes-in-2020-experts-say

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/the-rise-of-the-others/497690/

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  189. @anonymous coward

    I really wonder how that came about. The American census has several flaws, but this seems to be one of the strangest ones.
     
    Nothing strange about it. The American racial system has only four categories: a) Black (African), b) Red (Native American), c) Yellow (East Asian), d) White (everyone else).

    This system has been in place in America since forever and persists to this day. The census only follows tradition.

    So why are Central Asians not classified as Asians while Desis are? Or for that matter, why have the idiosyncratic ‘Hispanic’ category?

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    So why are Central Asians not classified as Asians while Desis are? Or for that matter, why have the idiosyncratic ‘Hispanic’ category?

     

    Desis are classified as white in the USA. (Nobody claims that Microsoft is run by a 'person of color', because Indians in the USA aren't.)

    'Hispanic' is just a politically correct name for Native Americans and mestizos, i.e., the Red race.
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  190. DFH says:
    @anonymous coward

    I really wonder how that came about. The American census has several flaws, but this seems to be one of the strangest ones.
     
    Nothing strange about it. The American racial system has only four categories: a) Black (African), b) Red (Native American), c) Yellow (East Asian), d) White (everyone else).

    This system has been in place in America since forever and persists to this day. The census only follows tradition.

    In Britain all East Asians and South East Asians come under the ‘Chinese’ category

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    • Replies: @Mikhail

    In Britain all East Asians and South East Asians come under the ‘Chinese’ category
     
    In the US at one time, many considered Orthodox Christians as Protestant, on account of the ignorant belief that non-Catholic Christians had to be by default Protestant.

    Some have said that all non-Ashkenazi Jews are Sephardic, which is erroneous as well.
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  191. @Twinkie

    Yes, I am the most important person in my world: “protagonist.”
     
    Don't you have kids?

    Children are simply one’s appendages, just like one is one’s parents’ appendages.

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    • Replies: @AP
    In America, and Twinkie is an example, many Asian groups (particularly Koreans, Vietnamese, and Filipinos) tend to marry whites at high rates and to assimilate with them.
    , @Twinkie

    Children are simply one’s appendages, just like one is one’s parents’ appendages.
     
    I suggest reading Burke. Something about society and a contract among certain parties.
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  192. AP says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Audacious Epigone has a new post up on the latest American demographics:

    https://anepigone.blogspot.com/2018/06/white-births-as-percentage-of-total.html

    Some context: in 2012, the US census bureau announced that white births were now a minority. However, the CDC (which is considered an even more reliable authority on this topic) debunked that claim a few years later. Their data comes with a greater timelag.

    Some in the Alt Right noted in the early days of the Trump presidency that white births declined very slowly from 2007 to 2015, barely two percentage points. This was still the heady era of high expectations. People were predicting mass deportations and a huge "Trump babyboom". Neither of course happened.

    The latest numbers show that the white newborn percentage share is now just 51.7%. The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc. The European-American share is almost certainly below 50% already.

    I like focusing more on newborns since whites tend to have a disproportionate large share in the 65+ age brackets, giving an distorted impression. Newborns are demographics already "baked in". I do not see how there can be a conventional/inside-the-system resolution to the US question. The only viable alternative, it seems to me, is some form of de factosecession though that would be resisted greatly by the TPTB, since it would gut the imperial project. I think it's long past time to abandon illusions that "we can reform the GOP from within". There are also lessons here to European nationalists, namely that parties like AfD, FN, SD or PiS will never fundamentally challenge the direction we are heading in, but merely slow it down somewhat.

    That's why it makes sense to be radical from the start and make a lot of the groundwork when you're comparatively strong. If the AR had existed in the 1980s and had a clear vision and long-term framework, it is possible that there would be a much larger share of US whites who were mentally, intellectually and emotionally prepared for more radical options. That work now lies ahead for them. We have no time to waste ourselves.

    The latest numbers show that the white newborn percentage share is now just 51.7%. The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc. The European-American share is almost certainly below 50% already.

    Conversely, non-whites includes Cubans, lighter Mexicans, people of half-Asian descent who assimilate with white people, etc. So this probably balances out the others.

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  193. Mitleser says:
    @Hyperborean
    What do people here think about the elections in Slovenia? Good sign, irrelevant or too early to tell?

    More important than that:

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  194. AP says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Hungary has begun to do that. Open Society (the Soros foundation) is packing its bags. CEU - the flagship university of Soros - is moving to Berlin. There will be pressure from Brussels but ultimately their tools are limited. A far greater problem to overcome is the security & economic aspect. The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers - such as the United States or Russia - it would need an independent nuclear arsenal. The latter because as I've pointed out, large parts of 'core Intermarium' is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year. Germany's links to much of the CEE region, especially those in the EU, is now very substantial and it is not something that they will give up lightly given the untold billions of euros that they've sunk into these countries as investment as well as the sheer scale of the markets.

    The NGO part is, in my humble opinion, while not a walk in the park, ultimately far less of a hindrance than the other factors. I still do agree with your general point. However, it is very difficult to have deep economic integration with a country, especially one which is richer than you, and have no substantial cultural influence emanating from it. That's not what history has shown throughout the ages.

    The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers – such as the United States or Russia – it would need an independent nuclear arsenal.

    Ukraine could provide this, in the mid-term not long-term, with funding. Has Poland bought the missile-capable submarines?

    https://www.defensenews.com/smr/european-balance-of-power/2017/08/28/subs-cruise-missiles-to-drive-polands-navy-modernization/?

    Moreover, even a nukeless conventional ability to strike deep into Russia (or hit Berlin, or Paris) would serve as a deterrent. Ukraine, on its own, is developing such capability, as some Russians have noticed:

    Russians have noticed.

    http://www.mk.ru/politics/2018/01/30/ukraine-obzavelas-sobstvennoy-krylatoy-raketoy-stoit-li-rossii-boyatsya.html

    Speaking about the threat of the Russian naval grouping in the Black Sea, Barabanov suggested that the creation of Neptune in reality would be a slow issue, and most likely the path to the series would take about 10 years.

    According to Ruslan Pukhov, a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, in general, Ukrainian missile projects (Neptune and Grom-2) pose a very serious threat to the national security of the Russian Federation.

    “There is a threat of deploying in a few years very serious and relatively high-precision weapon systems of the hostile state in close proximity to important and densely populated regions of Russia, including Moscow,” the expert said. “From the military point of view, this threat will require strengthening air defense and missile defense in Moscow and the entire Central region, but in any case, these systems will complicate the military and political situation, and for the leadership of Ukraine will become a powerful political and propaganda argument about alleged” intimidation of Moscow. ” On the good side, it would be desirable for Russia to prevent the deployment or creation of such systems in Ukraine at all. ”

    The latter because as I’ve pointed out, large parts of ‘core Intermarium’ is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year.

    This is both a disadvantage and an advantage. Economic integration prevents America and the West from treating China the way it treats Russia (America especially, because it doesn’t rely on Russia’s energy). Germans may threaten to cut off aid to Poland or their media may label the government that took the banks from them as anti-democratic, but they will find it hard to implement some sort of crushing policies that would necessarily completely screw up their own economy.

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    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    The Ukraine has all sorts of ambitious military projects, but they never seem to work out. Look what happened to Ukrainian missile corvettes for example:
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4234290.html

    It's hard to have a competitive arms industry, when your military budget is only $5 billion (much of it is consumed by the ongoing war), and you're one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

    That being said I'm all for dismantling Ukrainian arms industry as the expert in the article suggests. This should have been done on day 1.
    , @Polish Perspective
    That's interesting, thanks.

    I personally think that the most plausible path to an intermarium is to integrate Ukraine in the EU framework to the greatest extent possible short of an outright membership (I would strongly be in favour, but given the decisive no that the dutch gave to even an associate membership, the political space for this in Western Europe is limited). From there, it would probably be most practical to create a parallel structure that works alongside NATO and any EU initiative, but is not dependent on either.

    There are already such projects ongoing among CEE states(see 'Three Seas Initiative'). I don't see why it couldn't be extended to other domains and deepened.

    But an outright break with the current economic and security architecture is unlikely. It isn't just about German economic interests. 90% of our trade goes to the EU and the Brits have now found out the hard way that the single market is not the same thing as a free trade deal. A single market is a much deeper commitment. Norway and Switzerland pay billions of euros each year for the privilege to have access to the single market.

    EU membership annuls this payment and gives you the privilege for free. If Poland left the EU, it would need to find many billions each year to pay like Norway and Switzerland. Unlike them, we were under the yoke of communism for half a century and before that, got our country devastated by WWII in a way that few other countries did. Russia won the war and ended up with a much larger territory. Germany lost, but they got the Marshall plan and got to choose their own economic system. We got neither, which meant that we are still poor. We don't have the money to suddenly leave. Though, as I have mentioned, this is quickly changing. And outside the EU we would have much more political space to crush monopolistic foreign resource rents in low-productivity sectors like retail where we frankly don't need foreigners.

    Still, the biggest problem is the blatant Western orientation of some of the V4 countries. Hungary and Czechia both have youth which are much more pro-Western than pro-Eastern. The Slovaks basically are split down the middle and we are the only ones which see a decisive break. Unless you can find a path in which the youth of these CEE countries turn to the East, the future generations will likely integrate even more into the EU.

    The substantial wage gap means that non-white immigration into CEE, even from other EU countries, will likely be minimal at best. People think in nominal, not in PPP-adjusted, terms. Poland's 3x lower wages with Germany will not be closed for decades and the situation is even worse in Romania, Bulgaria etc. Croatia is not growing as fast as we are, and they are losing far more people to emigration in per capita terms. Slovenia is rich, and isn't losing people by emigration, but their Western orientation is very deep now.

    I also think you underestimate the fact that many CEE countries are quite lukewarm on Russia. Only we and the Baltics are the real standouts and possibly Czechia. Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia etc all are not. And given their geographic distance, they could well ask themselves why there is such a need for military integration. They would more likely pursue a path of neutrality and frankly that would be the rational choice in their position. I would have done the same if I was sitting in Budapest, Ljubljana or Zagreb.

    I may sound more skeptical on intermarium than I actually am. If we all actually put our minds to it, we could do it. I don't think the root problems are fundamentally practical - though the problems are not small by any stretch of the imagination. The main problem, as I see it, would be the mental/cultural willingness to re-orient oneself to the East while bearing significant short- to medium-term economic, political and security losses. Would people bear these losses and the the significant re-adjustment period required because Germany has 6-8% muslims? Even if that rises to 10 or even 15%, I don't see how that would happen in the present scenario, or 10-15 years from. After 2030, all bets are off. Right now the idea is limited to the political visionaries while the practical-minded people, which is to say most people, don't see a need for it. That may change, but I am skeptical it would any time soon. I'd love to be wrong, however.

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  195. AP says:
    @Hyperborean
    Children are simply one's appendages, just like one is one's parents' appendages.

    In America, and Twinkie is an example, many Asian groups (particularly Koreans, Vietnamese, and Filipinos) tend to marry whites at high rates and to assimilate with them.

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    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    How do white Americans generally treat their children?
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  196. AP says:
    @Polish Perspective
    The main obstacle to an Intermarium is the fact that the V4 + Croatia & Slovenia are now deeply integrated into the Western framework. It is difficult to overestimate the accumulated impact this has given over the course of close to 20 years now (we joined NATO in the late 90s). Nor is it just militarily or politically. V4 and German trade now exceeds French-German trade and it is putting ever-greater distance between them. Germany now has a core economic interest in keeping us close, and this will seep into geopolitics.

    Furthermore, even if NATO disbanded tomorrow, there are already accelerated efforts to have a EU-wide equivalent. Germany's Rheinsmetall is already co-operating with some of our companies on an APU and among projects. It was Orban which was a leading force behind PESCO - the initial step of this kind - and he was strongly supported by us. Not just because of our traditional pro-Hungarian stance but also because it makes sense.

    You're correct that Poland would have little to no chance in any conventional conflict with Russia. That's also why I think any conventional discussion is fundamentally moot. In the world we live in, the only countries that are truly strategically autonomous are those with an independent nuclear deterrent, preferably being capable to deliver it on three fronts (underwater, ICBM as well as through the airforce). Today this is roughly six countries or so. For intermarium to truly become something more than a concept, it would have to begin with a strong nuclear deterrent. Otherwise, Russia would easily be able to waltz in and disrupt the party, whatever we may feel like it. What makes you think Orban would send his boys to fight Russia on behalf of Lithuania or Ukraine? Or even the Croat PM. A nuclear deterrent changes the calculus completely.

    But even in the event that such a development was possible, it would still need to overcome both NATO and EU-wide initiatives like PESCO (which will most likely rapidly expand in the coming years). I would prefer an Intermarium, but it would be hard to convince Czechia or Slovenia to go for it given that the West has a strong technological capability and the here-and-now financial, technological and military hardware muscle to defend these countries from Russia with overwhelming force if it decided to. We don't, as things stand. It would really only be you and us that have any army to speak of.

    Finally, I have expressed doubts about the 'muslim takeover' scenario. Most Western countries, certainly in Europe, will continue to be made up of secular white liberals in the decades to come with affirmative action minorities thrown in and the odd hyper-assimiliated minority high-achiever, too. Adam Smith wrote that 'there is a great deal of ruin in a nation', by which he meant that even in rich countries, there can be great depravity and yet the nation could still be rich and getting richer. Much of the US and increasingly Western Europe are both proving this point. Therefore, the substantial gap between us and them will not be closed quickly, and this will make the discussion harder for most of the countries involved to switch. Not everyone is a cultural romantic like me. Many, if not most, are hard-nosed pragmatists and would choose the US over Ukraine and Poland, however we may feel about it.

    See my comment here which addressed some of your points:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-44/#comment-2361889

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  197. @reiner Tor
    It's much easier to destroy something than to protect it. The destructive thing could be a literal virus (something which destroys all humans), which is easy to create by one rogue AI, and difficult to notice by the other AIs.

    Imagine that the whole world was just a village in a valley. Imagine it had a thousand inhabitants. Imagine that in that village even the smallest child could build a nuke. What are the chances of the village surviving, long term? It's enough if just one toddler builds and detonates a nuke for the whole village to get destroyed.

    In a sense, the whole planet is becoming like a village. Anything truly destructive (maybe nukes are not destructive enough; there are other things, too) will destroy it, long before we're able to colonize other planets.

    Regarding memes, mind viruses. All minds can be hacked. We don't know how it could work. But the world is getting more and more centralized, so any attempt to counteract harmful memes will prove more and more difficult over time. Due to globalization the world is getting more uniform. In a sense, culture is converging to the same trash everywhere. This must make the spread of stupid ideas easier.

    One could really have some fun with this Tower of Babel theory and the potential risks of a highly unified noosphere, especially one eventually where we probably won’t be divided by either distance or language.

    One thing to consider is that the single planet risk is constant because there isn’t a random number generator that creates ever more planet-destroying objects to throw at us because we have a higher population, but as we increase in population, we generate ever more memes with the specific intent of being viral, partly out of instinct because coming up with ideas to influence your peers is really part of being human, but also increasingly weaponized persuasion for mercenary or political purposes(advertising, Hollywood, etc.)

    So historically if a crazy cult with contagious memes creates a colony of Cathars, it just is a bunch of Cathars who weird out their neighbors enough until they get smacked since transmission is slow, and they will have more time to “develop” and exhibit symptoms of dysfunction or weirdness to their observers. These days, any truly successful Cathar mind-virus, would hijack a huge percentage of the population into it, and potentially create successful special interest groups to further argue for their protection.

    One could almost create a moral argument that interplanetary settlement, and physical distances, for survival of humanity in some form.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
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  198. @Twinkie

    Yes, I am the most important person in my world: “protagonist.”
     
    Don't you have kids?

    My wetware interface with the material world, unfortunately, probably can’t observe them if it was disrupted from continuing to exist in the material world.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    My wetware interface with the material world, unfortunately, probably can’t observe them if it was disrupted from continuing to exist in the material world.
     
    Sorry, after I translated sci-fi geek to English, I realized that what you mean to say is that you only care about what happens to your children until your death.

    Do you plan to leave them nothing as inheritance, then?
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  199. @AP
    In America, and Twinkie is an example, many Asian groups (particularly Koreans, Vietnamese, and Filipinos) tend to marry whites at high rates and to assimilate with them.

    How do white Americans generally treat their children?

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    How do white Americans generally treat their children?
     
    Too indulgently, in my view. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gD1woa_Cbw
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  200. @Felix Keverich
    There is a certain inherent stupidity among post-Soviet regimes, which makes me doubt this outcome. They are short-sighted, entitled, greedy and very, very stubborn.

    Where 51 percent of Belarussian trade was currently with Russia and 27 percent with the EU, [Foreign Minister Vladimir] Makei cited a target of a balance of about a third of trade with Russia, a third with the EU and a third with the rest of the world.
     
    Belarus is even more dependent on Russia, than these figures indicate. For example, their exports to the EU are mostly sales of 'refined petroleum', made from subsidised Russian oil.
    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/blr/gbr/show/2016/
    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/blr/nld/show/2016/

    ^totally not a petrostate. lol

    The moment Russia raises the price of oil for Belarus, that country will lose a big chunk of its GDP, and most of its exports to the EU. Not that we could use it as a lever in relations with Belarus, should maidanists take over - just look at how Ukraine is behaving.

    However, it is also to be considered that Russia itself has a shortage of refinery capacity and need the refined products Belarus produces. Otherwise, Belarus just raises prices for its refined product sales to Russia. And suit prices too, all those polyester suits.

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    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Don't be absurd: there is nothing that Belarus sells to Russia that we couldn't buy from somewhere else. This scheme is simply a giveaway to Lukashenko regime. It needs to go.

    For the record Russia's main import from Belarus is actually cheese. lol Probably Lithuanian cheese that they repackage as "Belorussian".

    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/import/rus/blr/show/2016/
    , @Dmitry
    Philip Owen do know anything interesting about the Saratov Airlines story?

    You live in Saratov?

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  201. @ImmortalRationalist
    It's always a double-edged sword, it seems, Mass communication would allow harmful memes to reach universal exposure, but it would also allow potential strategies for how to counteract harmful memes to reach potentially universal exposure, and would allow far more minds to strategize ways to deal with potentially existential risk-causing memes. When superintelligence is achieved, it could potentially find superintelligent ways to counteract existential risk-causing memes, but a badly aligned ASI could also superintelligently design destructive memes. If the entire galaxy were colonized, and posthumans reached a population in the quintillions, it would mean quintillions of chances for at least some individuals to survive the outbreak of an existentially threatening meme, but it would also mean quintillions of chances for such a dangerous meme to crop up. As for the rate at which the existential risk caused by memes increases, compared to the the rate at which the ability to counteract these existential risk-causing memes increases, we will have to wait until the Singularity to see what happens.

    I’m going to strongly argue against unification as optimal strategy since if it was, the multicelluar body would not have been as dominant and we would see the assexual, “immortal” and “large ameoba” creatures as a significant part of biomass but this does not appear to be the case. Isolation and sacrifice of units of a species appears to be a superior strategy over efforts at homeostasis and management of a large joined entity.

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  202. Marcus says:
    @AP
    I don't find it surprising. Ukrainian vocabulary shares more words in common with Polish than with Russian, although the pronunciation and grammar structure is more like Russian. So if you focus on just on the words Polish can be considered to be closer.

    The person you asked was from Lviv city, not from a village in Lviv province. Lviv speaks standard Ukrainian. In the villages one hears the local dialect, which is even closer to Polish than standard Ukrainian.

    When Poles see Ukrainian they sometimes say it seems like a distant Polish dialect written in Cyrillic.

    Well, much of right bank Ukraine was under Polish rule for centuries, local languages relegated to peasantry, so it’s not that surprising.

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    • Replies: @AP
    The Left Bank also used Polish as the main language for educated elites. The Kiev Mohyla Academy used Polish and Latin as languages of instruction, Polish was the administrative language of the Hetmanate, in which Kiev and Chernihiv house Polish printing houses. The Hetmanate's military even used Polish as its language of commands. The situation was analogous to the use of French in England by the elite for centuries after the Norman conquest. As in that case, even after Polish was no longer the elite language, it left behind a huge imprint on the local vernacular.
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  203. Marcus says:
    @Mr. Hack

    for Russia, the important thing is that there would be no military facilities in Ukraine that could threaten our security, such as new missile defence systems aimed at thwarting our nuclear potential. This is indeed important for us,
     
    Putler should have thought about these concerns much more intently before he decided to invade Ukraine and rip off the Crimea (hold a referendum at the point of a gun) and foment war in the Donbas. His concerns are to be taken as seriously today as his country's signature on the Budapest Memorandum, that guaranteed Ukraine's sovereignty and respect for its national borders, appeared yesterday. Why would Ukraine want to be in any sort of confederation with Russia, a country that lies and circumvents its obligations and promises? Arming and increasing Ukraine's military stature is the only thing that will stop Russian aggression and mischief, as the last three years have shown and to which Karlin agrees with:

    If there was a time and a place for a Russian invasion of the Ukraine – in reality, not in Western/Ukrainian propagandist fantasy – it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest.

    Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. Since 2014, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have grown from no more than 100,000 troops (almost none of them combat-worthy) to around 250,000. It can now carry out complex tactical operations: In an August 2017 report at Colonel Cassad, Vladimir Orlov noted how night vision equipped Ukrainian spec ops used highly technical means to kidnap a Russian citizen serving with the NAF.

    It has been purged of its “Russophile” elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 2.5%-5%.
     

    So, as Karlin points out, as Ukraine has increased its military spending and fortitude, Russia's appetite for an escalation of operations has diminished. Every year since 2014, Russia's ability to wage a successful war in Ukraine has gotten riskier and less attractive as a viable option.

    Expenditure isn’t everything, just ask Saudi Arabia. All of Ukraine’s drafts failed. The people don’t want to fight for the Kiev junta, sorry.

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    • Replies: @AP

    All of Ukraine’s drafts failed.
     
    Incorrect. Desertion rates were high (IIRC 30%, in some specific districts 50% even) because there was no way of really enforcing compliance, but majority of those called did serve and the government mobilized 100,000s of people. Ukraine's military has about 4x the combat-ready personnel now than it did in 2014 (not to mention that they are well-armed now, and were largely effectively unarmed then).
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  204. @Polish Perspective
    Audacious Epigone has a new post up on the latest American demographics:

    https://anepigone.blogspot.com/2018/06/white-births-as-percentage-of-total.html

    Some context: in 2012, the US census bureau announced that white births were now a minority. However, the CDC (which is considered an even more reliable authority on this topic) debunked that claim a few years later. Their data comes with a greater timelag.

    Some in the Alt Right noted in the early days of the Trump presidency that white births declined very slowly from 2007 to 2015, barely two percentage points. This was still the heady era of high expectations. People were predicting mass deportations and a huge "Trump babyboom". Neither of course happened.

    The latest numbers show that the white newborn percentage share is now just 51.7%. The usual caveat applies: this number includes Arabs, Turks, Jews, Central Asians, Caucasians etc. The European-American share is almost certainly below 50% already.

    I like focusing more on newborns since whites tend to have a disproportionate large share in the 65+ age brackets, giving an distorted impression. Newborns are demographics already "baked in". I do not see how there can be a conventional/inside-the-system resolution to the US question. The only viable alternative, it seems to me, is some form of de factosecession though that would be resisted greatly by the TPTB, since it would gut the imperial project. I think it's long past time to abandon illusions that "we can reform the GOP from within". There are also lessons here to European nationalists, namely that parties like AfD, FN, SD or PiS will never fundamentally challenge the direction we are heading in, but merely slow it down somewhat.

    That's why it makes sense to be radical from the start and make a lot of the groundwork when you're comparatively strong. If the AR had existed in the 1980s and had a clear vision and long-term framework, it is possible that there would be a much larger share of US whites who were mentally, intellectually and emotionally prepared for more radical options. That work now lies ahead for them. We have no time to waste ourselves.

    intellectually and emotionally prepared for more radical options.

    What kind of radical options? What’s your vision for the future?

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    What kind of radical options? What’s your vision for the future?
     
    I'm a practical man, fundamentally, or at least I'd like to think so. The options I have in mind are nothing too fancy, certainly nothing that we haven't seen before.

    When I use the term 'radical', it is very much contextual. To say that you have a ethnic definition of what it means to be German, and that you base Germany as a country on that conception, is per definition radical in an age where Merkel claims "everyone who lives here is a German".

    So that would be my first step, to do a complete break with tabula rasa and civic nationalism. I don't think that proposal would raise many eyebrows in this place, but taking it mainstream would face great resistance.

    That said, I do take AP's point about European nationalism taken too far seriously. There was a lot of intra-European bloodshed in the 20th century which was unnecessary. Part of the reason why I am not a nationalist socialist is that Hitler had tons of European lives on his hands. Furthermore, as I stated, while I am aware of the JQ doesn't imply I approve of mass murder. I don't think any sane person would.

    Therefore, any ethnic conception would need to be married with a greater white solidarity. I know, easier said than done. But you asked me about visions, so that is part of it.

    The practical part of me says that the time for a clean and smooth transition is basically over. In many Western European countries, and possibly some Eastern if we're talking about 20-30 years from now, there would likely need to be some kind of secession required because I am talking about de facto forcible deportation and repatriation on a mass scale, that is based on jus sanguis. Such a radical break would require, I think, an entirely new state architecture. The current one cannot be molded or reformed, and that is where I break away from the more 'gradualist' nationalists.

    You would get rid of huge built-up internal resistance in the bureaucracy. That's another lesson from the Trump presidency, the judiciary has a single job: to prevent even the inkling of a nationalist orientation in immigration and domestic policy. All Trump has been able to do is to cut taxes for the wealthy. The early stuff, when Bannon was influential, was all blocked. The same will happen in Germany (and yes, Poland) if we gain power by some miracle. I don't see how that can be done within the confines of the current system. Secession(s) would probably be required, at least as an initial step. Re-unification could possibly happen later. Our first objective is loyalty to our people, not our particular state. The two are not the same.

    AfD, FN, PiS, SD etc are all insufficient to take us there. Fundamentally, I think another key lesson of the Trump presidency, and the Alt Right, is to avoid becoming cheerleaders for a political party the way many AR people did (Ricky Vaughn and others come to mind). We are interested in white homelands and whatever political party that will take us there, we'll support. If not, then goodbye. But no more "something for nothing". No more delusions of "they are really our guys" when there is no evidence, no public statements showing that they understand the world the way we do.

    I take inspiration from the Indian independence movement. At its height, they were no more than 1-2% of the population actively engaged, but they were highly organised and effective and they kept at it for decades. Things may seem bleak now, but if Germany was created after centuries of intra-German conflict, then I don't see how it would be hard to reunite the German people when faced with large masses of non-German outsiders, if there was enough will to do it. But there can be no compromises in the goal and ultimate objective. Ever.

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  205. AP says:
    @Marcus
    Expenditure isn't everything, just ask Saudi Arabia. All of Ukraine's drafts failed. The people don't want to fight for the Kiev junta, sorry.

    All of Ukraine’s drafts failed.

    Incorrect. Desertion rates were high (IIRC 30%, in some specific districts 50% even) because there was no way of really enforcing compliance, but majority of those called did serve and the government mobilized 100,000s of people. Ukraine’s military has about 4x the combat-ready personnel now than it did in 2014 (not to mention that they are well-armed now, and were largely effectively unarmed then).

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  206. AP says:
    @Marcus
    Well, much of right bank Ukraine was under Polish rule for centuries, local languages relegated to peasantry, so it's not that surprising.

    The Left Bank also used Polish as the main language for educated elites. The Kiev Mohyla Academy used Polish and Latin as languages of instruction, Polish was the administrative language of the Hetmanate, in which Kiev and Chernihiv house Polish printing houses. The Hetmanate’s military even used Polish as its language of commands. The situation was analogous to the use of French in England by the elite for centuries after the Norman conquest. As in that case, even after Polish was no longer the elite language, it left behind a huge imprint on the local vernacular.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    And, as usual, Jews were the agents of the authorities, so they're remembered as victims of the Cossacks' revenge, even though Poles were targeted as well. From my understanding the Polish Second Republic's Polonization efforts were even more intense than the Commonwealth's (though limited to Galicia), easy to understand the climate that led to the Ukrainian militias slaughtering thousands of Poles during WW2.
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  207. @AP

    The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers – such as the United States or Russia – it would need an independent nuclear arsenal.
     
    Ukraine could provide this, in the mid-term not long-term, with funding. Has Poland bought the missile-capable submarines?

    https://www.defensenews.com/smr/european-balance-of-power/2017/08/28/subs-cruise-missiles-to-drive-polands-navy-modernization/?

    Moreover, even a nukeless conventional ability to strike deep into Russia (or hit Berlin, or Paris) would serve as a deterrent. Ukraine, on its own, is developing such capability, as some Russians have noticed:

    Russians have noticed.

    http://www.mk.ru/politics/2018/01/30/ukraine-obzavelas-sobstvennoy-krylatoy-raketoy-stoit-li-rossii-boyatsya.html

    Speaking about the threat of the Russian naval grouping in the Black Sea, Barabanov suggested that the creation of Neptune in reality would be a slow issue, and most likely the path to the series would take about 10 years.

    According to Ruslan Pukhov, a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, in general, Ukrainian missile projects (Neptune and Grom-2) pose a very serious threat to the national security of the Russian Federation.

    “There is a threat of deploying in a few years very serious and relatively high-precision weapon systems of the hostile state in close proximity to important and densely populated regions of Russia, including Moscow,” the expert said. “From the military point of view, this threat will require strengthening air defense and missile defense in Moscow and the entire Central region, but in any case, these systems will complicate the military and political situation, and for the leadership of Ukraine will become a powerful political and propaganda argument about alleged” intimidation of Moscow. ” On the good side, it would be desirable for Russia to prevent the deployment or creation of such systems in Ukraine at all. ”

    The latter because as I’ve pointed out, large parts of ‘core Intermarium’ is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year.
     
    This is both a disadvantage and an advantage. Economic integration prevents America and the West from treating China the way it treats Russia (America especially, because it doesn't rely on Russia's energy). Germans may threaten to cut off aid to Poland or their media may label the government that took the banks from them as anti-democratic, but they will find it hard to implement some sort of crushing policies that would necessarily completely screw up their own economy.

    The Ukraine has all sorts of ambitious military projects, but they never seem to work out. Look what happened to Ukrainian missile corvettes for example:

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4234290.html

    It’s hard to have a competitive arms industry, when your military budget is only $5 billion (much of it is consumed by the ongoing war), and you’re one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

    That being said I’m all for dismantling Ukrainian arms industry as the expert in the article suggests. This should have been done on day 1.

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    • Replies: @AP

    The Ukraine has all sorts of ambitious military projects, but they never seem to work out.
     
    Nonsense. Development of Vilkha guided rocket was successful and mass production is starting:

    http://defence-blog.com/missiles/new-ukrainian-high-precision-rockets-system-completes-final-test.html

    More details:

    http://themess.net/forum/military-discussion/8573-ukraine-discussion-thread/page1185

    Entire production chain is within Ukraine.

    Look what happened to Ukrainian missile corvettes for example:

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4234290.html
     
    Not sure how reliable Cassad is. At any rate, ship-building might not be as good as missile development for Ukraine.

    It’s hard to have a competitive arms industry, when your military budget is only $5 billion (much of it is consumed by the ongoing war)
     
    Wrong again, it was $5.2 billion in 2017 and $6.3 billion in 2018. In PPP terms it is effectively much higher.

    That being said I’m all for dismantling Ukrainian arms industry as the expert in the article suggests
     
    Yes, you want war. And you'll be happy with a little genocide, too.
    , @A22
    Probably Russia could learn a thing or two from Israel.
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  208. BY GOD’S GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN SAVED

    The map above shows the temperature anomalies expected in the next seven days. The heatwave is not over, though divine powers have intervened to save those of us on the Eastern (and not Central!) side of the European landmass will be spared. Ukraine looks attractive.

    The craziest part is Oslo going to be warmer than Lisbon for an entire week in June. Give me my predictable weather back!

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    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    Europe will be fine, at least there is no sinfully-high humidity there.
    , @for-the-record
    BY GOD’S GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN SAVED

    I've noticed before that you Eastern/Central European types are a bit wimpy when it comes to temperatures. Where I grew up (just outside of Washington DC) June-August highs were almost always above 30 degrees, 35 was common, 40 not unheard of. And we played sports for hours (baseball, tennis, etc.) without even thinking of how hot it was.
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  209. @Philip Owen
    However, it is also to be considered that Russia itself has a shortage of refinery capacity and need the refined products Belarus produces. Otherwise, Belarus just raises prices for its refined product sales to Russia. And suit prices too, all those polyester suits.

    Don’t be absurd: there is nothing that Belarus sells to Russia that we couldn’t buy from somewhere else. This scheme is simply a giveaway to Lukashenko regime. It needs to go.

    For the record Russia’s main import from Belarus is actually cheese. lol Probably Lithuanian cheese that they repackage as “Belorussian”.

    https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/import/rus/blr/show/2016/

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  210. AP says:
    @AP
    Poland's military is better, but probably not much better, than Ukraine's improved military.

    Russia would get bruised badly if it simply invaded Poland. But it wouldn't do that. Russia would just pound Poland with long-range missiles until the Polish army was degraded, and then invade Poland could take Kaliningrad before its army is destroyed but the end result wouldn't change.

    It would be roughly the same strategy with Ukraine, whose military would also give Russia a lot of trouble if Russia simply invaded without bombing from afar first. However Ukraine has developed some good longer-range rockets and is 1-2 years away from completing ones that can strike deeper into Russia:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-unveils-new-tactical-missile-system.html

    Ukraine is also working on hypersonic missiles but those are 20 years way:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-develops-hypersonic-cruise-missile.html

    Poland doesn't have such stuff itself; in Intermarium they could be shared.

    So there is a deterrent in the works.

    Poland’s military is better, but probably not much better, than Ukraine’s improved military

    On second thought, I’m not sure about this.

    There is a tank competition in Germany now; it will be interesting to see the results this year:

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

    Ukraine and Poland participated last year. Ukraine’s team used the same T-64BM that is the staple of its military. It came in 5th place out of 6 countries, beating Poland’s team and its Leopard 2 A5. Ukraine has about twice as many tanks in service as does Poland. Ukraine’s military also has nearly twice as many personnel overall. Ukraine also has more rockets and missiles, and artillery. Poland, OTOH, has about twice as many combat aircraft as does Ukraine and presumably its crews are better trained. In 2018 Ukraine’s military budget is about half that of Poland’s in dollar terms ($6.2 billion and $12.2 billion, respectively) but PPP would erase much of this difference.

    So I am not sure if Poland’s military is currently better than Ukraine’s. Either way, I doubt it’s a huge difference.

    Both countries lack an answer to long-distance missile strikes, meaning inevitable loss to an enemy capable of sustained long-distance strikes.

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  211. @AP

    The former because in order to avoid becoming a servile puppet of outside powers – such as the United States or Russia – it would need an independent nuclear arsenal.
     
    Ukraine could provide this, in the mid-term not long-term, with funding. Has Poland bought the missile-capable submarines?

    https://www.defensenews.com/smr/european-balance-of-power/2017/08/28/subs-cruise-missiles-to-drive-polands-navy-modernization/?

    Moreover, even a nukeless conventional ability to strike deep into Russia (or hit Berlin, or Paris) would serve as a deterrent. Ukraine, on its own, is developing such capability, as some Russians have noticed:

    Russians have noticed.

    http://www.mk.ru/politics/2018/01/30/ukraine-obzavelas-sobstvennoy-krylatoy-raketoy-stoit-li-rossii-boyatsya.html

    Speaking about the threat of the Russian naval grouping in the Black Sea, Barabanov suggested that the creation of Neptune in reality would be a slow issue, and most likely the path to the series would take about 10 years.

    According to Ruslan Pukhov, a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, in general, Ukrainian missile projects (Neptune and Grom-2) pose a very serious threat to the national security of the Russian Federation.

    “There is a threat of deploying in a few years very serious and relatively high-precision weapon systems of the hostile state in close proximity to important and densely populated regions of Russia, including Moscow,” the expert said. “From the military point of view, this threat will require strengthening air defense and missile defense in Moscow and the entire Central region, but in any case, these systems will complicate the military and political situation, and for the leadership of Ukraine will become a powerful political and propaganda argument about alleged” intimidation of Moscow. ” On the good side, it would be desirable for Russia to prevent the deployment or creation of such systems in Ukraine at all. ”

    The latter because as I’ve pointed out, large parts of ‘core Intermarium’ is now very deeply integrated into the German manufacturing supply chain. Polish-German trade alone reached 100 billion USD last year.
     
    This is both a disadvantage and an advantage. Economic integration prevents America and the West from treating China the way it treats Russia (America especially, because it doesn't rely on Russia's energy). Germans may threaten to cut off aid to Poland or their media may label the government that took the banks from them as anti-democratic, but they will find it hard to implement some sort of crushing policies that would necessarily completely screw up their own economy.

    That’s interesting, thanks.

    I personally think that the most plausible path to an intermarium is to integrate Ukraine in the EU framework to the greatest extent possible short of an outright membership (I would strongly be in favour, but given the decisive no that the dutch gave to even an associate membership, the political space for this in Western Europe is limited). From there, it would probably be most practical to create a parallel structure that works alongside NATO and any EU initiative, but is not dependent on either.

    There are already such projects ongoing among CEE states(see ‘Three Seas Initiative’). I don’t see why it couldn’t be extended to other domains and deepened.

    But an outright break with the current economic and security architecture is unlikely. It isn’t just about German economic interests. 90% of our trade goes to the EU and the Brits have now found out the hard way that the single market is not the same thing as a free trade deal. A single market is a much deeper commitment. Norway and Switzerland pay billions of euros each year for the privilege to have access to the single market.

    EU membership annuls this payment and gives you the privilege for free. If Poland left the EU, it would need to find many billions each year to pay like Norway and Switzerland. Unlike them, we were under the yoke of communism for half a century and before that, got our country devastated by WWII in a way that few other countries did. Russia won the war and ended up with a much larger territory. Germany lost, but they got the Marshall plan and got to choose their own economic system. We got neither, which meant that we are still poor. We don’t have the money to suddenly leave. Though, as I have mentioned, this is quickly changing. And outside the EU we would have much more political space to crush monopolistic foreign resource rents in low-productivity sectors like retail where we frankly don’t need foreigners.

    Still, the biggest problem is the blatant Western orientation of some of the V4 countries. Hungary and Czechia both have youth which are much more pro-Western than pro-Eastern. The Slovaks basically are split down the middle and we are the only ones which see a decisive break. Unless you can find a path in which the youth of these CEE countries turn to the East, the future generations will likely integrate even more into the EU.

    The substantial wage gap means that non-white immigration into CEE, even from other EU countries, will likely be minimal at best. People think in nominal, not in PPP-adjusted, terms. Poland’s 3x lower wages with Germany will not be closed for decades and the situation is even worse in Romania, Bulgaria etc. Croatia is not growing as fast as we are, and they are losing far more people to emigration in per capita terms. Slovenia is rich, and isn’t losing people by emigration, but their Western orientation is very deep now.

    I also think you underestimate the fact that many CEE countries are quite lukewarm on Russia. Only we and the Baltics are the real standouts and possibly Czechia. Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia etc all are not. And given their geographic distance, they could well ask themselves why there is such a need for military integration. They would more likely pursue a path of neutrality and frankly that would be the rational choice in their position. I would have done the same if I was sitting in Budapest, Ljubljana or Zagreb.

    I may sound more skeptical on intermarium than I actually am. If we all actually put our minds to it, we could do it. I don’t think the root problems are fundamentally practical – though the problems are not small by any stretch of the imagination. The main problem, as I see it, would be the mental/cultural willingness to re-orient oneself to the East while bearing significant short- to medium-term economic, political and security losses. Would people bear these losses and the the significant re-adjustment period required because Germany has 6-8% muslims? Even if that rises to 10 or even 15%, I don’t see how that would happen in the present scenario, or 10-15 years from. After 2030, all bets are off. Right now the idea is limited to the political visionaries while the practical-minded people, which is to say most people, don’t see a need for it. That may change, but I am skeptical it would any time soon. I’d love to be wrong, however.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    I agree with most of this. A point:

    I also think you underestimate the fact that many CEE countries are quite lukewarm on Russia. Only we and the Baltics are the real standouts and possibly Czechia. Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia etc all are not. And given their geographic distance, they could well ask themselves why there is such a need for military integration. They would more likely pursue a path of neutrality and frankly that would be the rational choice in their position. I would have done the same if I was sitting in Budapest, Ljubljana or Zagreb.
     
    Correct. The way to address is to point out that Intermarium means freedom from all external would-be puppet-masters. You help us against Russia in case it wants to force its values or economic-political orientation upon us, we help you against Germany if it wants to do the same. Of course, if the people are fine with following Germany's lead and becoming a well-paid semi-Islamic German appendage, this approach will not work.
    , @Beckow
    The hostility among central-east European nations is stronger than hostility towards outsiders like Germans, Russians, or even Turks. That makes any future integration like Intermarium unrealistic. Right under the surface are endless historical grievances and rivalries, plus there is no unifying language or religion. Being 'white' is not enough.

    The gradual Third-world transformation of Western Europe will will soon start spilling into our areas. You are right about the low incomes, but migrants generally don't move to a generic 'Poland'. They move to the richest cities like Krakow, Poznan, Prague,... The incomes in those places are similar to many regions in Western Europe full of migrants, and the cost of living is lower. They will come.

    We cannot be in a borderless union with the West and not be impacted, these are connected vessels. We have been too accommodating - including the 2015 Merkel march. A good example of what we have done to ourselves is the teary visit to Moscow by the Bulgarian president and prime minister (last week) begging for re-start of the South Stream pipeline. Bulgars now claim that they were 'just good soldiers' for EU-Nato, that they know they made a mistake, they are asking for forgiveness. I doubt they will get far. We allowed our interests in 2010-18 period to be pushed aside and many humored themselves with the highly visible, but completely irrelevant, Visegrad talk. But we did nothing, we went along. I don't think it will be that easy to get out of that hole. As so often in the past Central-East has allowed itself to be an object of other people's games and as always before we will again pay a steep price. There will be no Intermarium.
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  212. @Polish Perspective
    BY GOD'S GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN SAVED

    https://i.redd.it/vjju612dzc211.png

    The map above shows the temperature anomalies expected in the next seven days. The heatwave is not over, though divine powers have intervened to save those of us on the Eastern (and not Central!) side of the European landmass will be spared. Ukraine looks attractive.

    The craziest part is Oslo going to be warmer than Lisbon for an entire week in June. Give me my predictable weather back!

    Europe will be fine, at least there is no sinfully-high humidity there.

    Read More
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  213. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich
    The Ukraine has all sorts of ambitious military projects, but they never seem to work out. Look what happened to Ukrainian missile corvettes for example:
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4234290.html

    It's hard to have a competitive arms industry, when your military budget is only $5 billion (much of it is consumed by the ongoing war), and you're one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

    That being said I'm all for dismantling Ukrainian arms industry as the expert in the article suggests. This should have been done on day 1.

    The Ukraine has all sorts of ambitious military projects, but they never seem to work out.

    Nonsense. Development of Vilkha guided rocket was successful and mass production is starting:

    http://defence-blog.com/missiles/new-ukrainian-high-precision-rockets-system-completes-final-test.html

    More details:

    http://themess.net/forum/military-discussion/8573-ukraine-discussion-thread/page1185

    Entire production chain is within Ukraine.

    Look what happened to Ukrainian missile corvettes for example:

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4234290.html

    Not sure how reliable Cassad is. At any rate, ship-building might not be as good as missile development for Ukraine.

    It’s hard to have a competitive arms industry, when your military budget is only $5 billion (much of it is consumed by the ongoing war)

    Wrong again, it was $5.2 billion in 2017 and $6.3 billion in 2018. In PPP terms it is effectively much higher.

    That being said I’m all for dismantling Ukrainian arms industry as the expert in the article suggests

    Yes, you want war. And you’ll be happy with a little genocide, too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    Not sure how reliable Cassad is. At any rate, ship-building might not be as good as missile development for Ukraine.
     
    Cassad is far more reliable, than Western media, which rely on propaganda from the Ukrainian regime. My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates. Its representatives make all kind of loud proclamations such as "The Ukraine no longer uses Russian gas", "A bridge to Crimea cannot be built", or "We have a shiny new Wunderwaffe and will now use it to kick Russia's ass". Once you start fact-checking, it turns out that this is just PR, and none of it is true. One PR campaign in the Ukraine morphs into another without any real progress being made.

    Even if the Ukraine does manage to develop its own cruise missile technology someday, it will not be a game changer, since the country lacks the resources to mass produce them. Cruise missiles are quite expensive, you know, a single Tomahawk costs almost 2 million. This doesn't include the cost of R&D, establishing production lines, maintaining launch platforms etc. Only a small group of militaries can afford to operate cruise missiles, and only US has the resources to manufacture them in sufficient quantities to threaten Russia.
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  214. AP says:
    @Polish Perspective
    That's interesting, thanks.

    I personally think that the most plausible path to an intermarium is to integrate Ukraine in the EU framework to the greatest extent possible short of an outright membership (I would strongly be in favour, but given the decisive no that the dutch gave to even an associate membership, the political space for this in Western Europe is limited). From there, it would probably be most practical to create a parallel structure that works alongside NATO and any EU initiative, but is not dependent on either.

    There are already such projects ongoing among CEE states(see 'Three Seas Initiative'). I don't see why it couldn't be extended to other domains and deepened.

    But an outright break with the current economic and security architecture is unlikely. It isn't just about German economic interests. 90% of our trade goes to the EU and the Brits have now found out the hard way that the single market is not the same thing as a free trade deal. A single market is a much deeper commitment. Norway and Switzerland pay billions of euros each year for the privilege to have access to the single market.

    EU membership annuls this payment and gives you the privilege for free. If Poland left the EU, it would need to find many billions each year to pay like Norway and Switzerland. Unlike them, we were under the yoke of communism for half a century and before that, got our country devastated by WWII in a way that few other countries did. Russia won the war and ended up with a much larger territory. Germany lost, but they got the Marshall plan and got to choose their own economic system. We got neither, which meant that we are still poor. We don't have the money to suddenly leave. Though, as I have mentioned, this is quickly changing. And outside the EU we would have much more political space to crush monopolistic foreign resource rents in low-productivity sectors like retail where we frankly don't need foreigners.

    Still, the biggest problem is the blatant Western orientation of some of the V4 countries. Hungary and Czechia both have youth which are much more pro-Western than pro-Eastern. The Slovaks basically are split down the middle and we are the only ones which see a decisive break. Unless you can find a path in which the youth of these CEE countries turn to the East, the future generations will likely integrate even more into the EU.

    The substantial wage gap means that non-white immigration into CEE, even from other EU countries, will likely be minimal at best. People think in nominal, not in PPP-adjusted, terms. Poland's 3x lower wages with Germany will not be closed for decades and the situation is even worse in Romania, Bulgaria etc. Croatia is not growing as fast as we are, and they are losing far more people to emigration in per capita terms. Slovenia is rich, and isn't losing people by emigration, but their Western orientation is very deep now.

    I also think you underestimate the fact that many CEE countries are quite lukewarm on Russia. Only we and the Baltics are the real standouts and possibly Czechia. Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia etc all are not. And given their geographic distance, they could well ask themselves why there is such a need for military integration. They would more likely pursue a path of neutrality and frankly that would be the rational choice in their position. I would have done the same if I was sitting in Budapest, Ljubljana or Zagreb.

    I may sound more skeptical on intermarium than I actually am. If we all actually put our minds to it, we could do it. I don't think the root problems are fundamentally practical - though the problems are not small by any stretch of the imagination. The main problem, as I see it, would be the mental/cultural willingness to re-orient oneself to the East while bearing significant short- to medium-term economic, political and security losses. Would people bear these losses and the the significant re-adjustment period required because Germany has 6-8% muslims? Even if that rises to 10 or even 15%, I don't see how that would happen in the present scenario, or 10-15 years from. After 2030, all bets are off. Right now the idea is limited to the political visionaries while the practical-minded people, which is to say most people, don't see a need for it. That may change, but I am skeptical it would any time soon. I'd love to be wrong, however.

    I agree with most of this. A point:

    I also think you underestimate the fact that many CEE countries are quite lukewarm on Russia. Only we and the Baltics are the real standouts and possibly Czechia. Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia etc all are not. And given their geographic distance, they could well ask themselves why there is such a need for military integration. They would more likely pursue a path of neutrality and frankly that would be the rational choice in their position. I would have done the same if I was sitting in Budapest, Ljubljana or Zagreb.

    Correct. The way to address is to point out that Intermarium means freedom from all external would-be puppet-masters. You help us against Russia in case it wants to force its values or economic-political orientation upon us, we help you against Germany if it wants to do the same. Of course, if the people are fine with following Germany’s lead and becoming a well-paid semi-Islamic German appendage, this approach will not work.

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    You’re right. And we shouldn’t assume that Germany will have the resources to compensate Eastern Europe in the future. Germany will be splitting the pie more ways, raising taxes much higher just to try and provide food, shelter, housing, schools, and of course prosecutors and prisons, for their growing millions of Africans, Arabs, and Turks.
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  215. A22 says:
    @Felix Keverich
    The Ukraine has all sorts of ambitious military projects, but they never seem to work out. Look what happened to Ukrainian missile corvettes for example:
    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4234290.html

    It's hard to have a competitive arms industry, when your military budget is only $5 billion (much of it is consumed by the ongoing war), and you're one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

    That being said I'm all for dismantling Ukrainian arms industry as the expert in the article suggests. This should have been done on day 1.

    Probably Russia could learn a thing or two from Israel.

    Read More
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  216. @Hyperborean
    So why are Central Asians not classified as Asians while Desis are? Or for that matter, why have the idiosyncratic 'Hispanic' category?

    So why are Central Asians not classified as Asians while Desis are? Or for that matter, why have the idiosyncratic ‘Hispanic’ category?

    Desis are classified as white in the USA. (Nobody claims that Microsoft is run by a ‘person of color’, because Indians in the USA aren’t.)

    ‘Hispanic’ is just a politically correct name for Native Americans and mestizos, i.e., the Red race.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    My understanding is that Indians are classified as people of color in the US from my experience in Silicon Valley, even light-skinned ones.
    , @Twinkie

    Desis are classified as white in the USA. (Nobody claims that Microsoft is run by a ‘person of color’, because Indians in the USA aren’t.)
     
    No. South Asians are classified as Asians (but Afghan Pashtuns as whites). It's all kinds of messed up.
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  217. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser
    Belarus is Russia, White Russia.

    Lol, you have to walk carefully. Say “Беларусь”, not “Белоруссия” – definitely not “Белая Россия”.

    Although in terms of this issue I don’t think (???) they instantly stamp on your head and beat you mercilessly yet in the center of Minsk, (e.g. not like certain other demographic responding to innocent seeming word combinations like “на Украине”).

    Read More
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  218. Marcus says:
    @AP
    The Left Bank also used Polish as the main language for educated elites. The Kiev Mohyla Academy used Polish and Latin as languages of instruction, Polish was the administrative language of the Hetmanate, in which Kiev and Chernihiv house Polish printing houses. The Hetmanate's military even used Polish as its language of commands. The situation was analogous to the use of French in England by the elite for centuries after the Norman conquest. As in that case, even after Polish was no longer the elite language, it left behind a huge imprint on the local vernacular.

    And, as usual, Jews were the agents of the authorities, so they’re remembered as victims of the Cossacks’ revenge, even though Poles were targeted as well. From my understanding the Polish Second Republic’s Polonization efforts were even more intense than the Commonwealth’s (though limited to Galicia), easy to understand the climate that led to the Ukrainian militias slaughtering thousands of Poles during WW2.

    Read More
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  219. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen
    However, it is also to be considered that Russia itself has a shortage of refinery capacity and need the refined products Belarus produces. Otherwise, Belarus just raises prices for its refined product sales to Russia. And suit prices too, all those polyester suits.

    Philip Owen do know anything interesting about the Saratov Airlines story?

    You live in Saratov?

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  220. Dmitry says:

    On another note, photos of the new airport of Simferopol – it looks pretty impressinghipsters.

    https://varlamov.ru/2955394.html

    -

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    On another note, photos of the new airport of Simferopol – it looks pretty impressinghipsters.
     
    Oops I was trying to write:
    "it looks pretty impressive - even impressing hipsters."
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  221. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry
    On another note, photos of the new airport of Simferopol - it looks pretty impressinghipsters.


    https://varlamov.ru/2955394.html


    -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z4NNT_3zpg

    On another note, photos of the new airport of Simferopol – it looks pretty impressinghipsters.

    Oops I was trying to write:
    “it looks pretty impressive – even impressing hipsters.”

    Read More
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  222. Russia apparently has passed a law against anonymizers(VPN, Tor, etc i think). Russian tech policy is a tragicomedy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/banning-telegram-fail.gif.gif

    With apologies to Mr. Karlin.
    , @Dmitry
    It is not yet for individuals, but for websites or search engines.

    Any website that provides a link to a VPN website, will now be fined 700000 rubles .

    It is funny, but notice they are still too scared (or sensible) to make the jump into criminalizing individuals who use VPN services for this moment. They're starting to battle incrementally against the VPNs, but in an indirect or moderate way.

    , @Mitleser
    Hopefully, CPC advised them well.

    https://twitter.com/AlexGabuev/status/1004285702094221313
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  223. @blahbahblah
    Russia apparently has passed a law against anonymizers(VPN, Tor, etc i think). Russian tech policy is a tragicomedy.

    With apologies to Mr. Karlin.

    Read More
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  224. @anonymous coward

    So why are Central Asians not classified as Asians while Desis are? Or for that matter, why have the idiosyncratic ‘Hispanic’ category?

     

    Desis are classified as white in the USA. (Nobody claims that Microsoft is run by a 'person of color', because Indians in the USA aren't.)

    'Hispanic' is just a politically correct name for Native Americans and mestizos, i.e., the Red race.

    My understanding is that Indians are classified as people of color in the US from my experience in Silicon Valley, even light-skinned ones.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    They're all classified as "Asian," as ridiculous as that seems
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  225. Dmitry says:
    @blahbahblah
    Russia apparently has passed a law against anonymizers(VPN, Tor, etc i think). Russian tech policy is a tragicomedy.

    It is not yet for individuals, but for websites or search engines.

    Any website that provides a link to a VPN website, will now be fined 700000 rubles .

    It is funny, but notice they are still too scared (or sensible) to make the jump into criminalizing individuals who use VPN services for this moment. They’re starting to battle incrementally against the VPNs, but in an indirect or moderate way.

    Read More
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  226. OT: Mr. Karlin, I thought you might appreciate this image for Chongqing. Not quite Hengsha, but has buildings that have 5-10 stories deep underground, and multiple entrances on skyscrapers from different levels, sometimes connected with transit.

    Getting toward the layered city, I like to imagine.

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I read a bit more about this:

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jun/04/is-chongqing-china-horizontal-skyscraper-the-answer-to-overcrowded-cities-raffles

    Beyond the obvious amusement at the Elysium-like concern trolling at cyberpunkization:


    But what are the social implications of a life lived in the air? Could this trend for linked skyscrapers accelerate segregation, creating a two-tier city socially as well as physically: sky-high cities for the elite with everyone else stuck at ground level?
     
    I think the idea could be pretty sound: after all skyscrapers are a fixture of cities anyway, and are usually built to overengineered stability. Using them as support pillars is in fact, not that stretch of an idea and I think can ultimately allow for the horizontal sections to be linked in a lattice. Since this is by definition a fixed and unchanging problem, drone swarms can be employed to clean windows and so on, and through-air automation/passing can be done with the Ehang-variants of drones, which actually would be a lot safer now that much of the "sky" is also a kind of 'ground."
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  227. @AP

    The Ukraine has all sorts of ambitious military projects, but they never seem to work out.
     
    Nonsense. Development of Vilkha guided rocket was successful and mass production is starting:

    http://defence-blog.com/missiles/new-ukrainian-high-precision-rockets-system-completes-final-test.html

    More details:

    http://themess.net/forum/military-discussion/8573-ukraine-discussion-thread/page1185

    Entire production chain is within Ukraine.

    Look what happened to Ukrainian missile corvettes for example:

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4234290.html
     
    Not sure how reliable Cassad is. At any rate, ship-building might not be as good as missile development for Ukraine.

    It’s hard to have a competitive arms industry, when your military budget is only $5 billion (much of it is consumed by the ongoing war)
     
    Wrong again, it was $5.2 billion in 2017 and $6.3 billion in 2018. In PPP terms it is effectively much higher.

    That being said I’m all for dismantling Ukrainian arms industry as the expert in the article suggests
     
    Yes, you want war. And you'll be happy with a little genocide, too.

    Not sure how reliable Cassad is. At any rate, ship-building might not be as good as missile development for Ukraine.

    Cassad is far more reliable, than Western media, which rely on propaganda from the Ukrainian regime. My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates. Its representatives make all kind of loud proclamations such as “The Ukraine no longer uses Russian gas”, “A bridge to Crimea cannot be built”, or “We have a shiny new Wunderwaffe and will now use it to kick Russia’s ass”. Once you start fact-checking, it turns out that this is just PR, and none of it is true. One PR campaign in the Ukraine morphs into another without any real progress being made.

    Even if the Ukraine does manage to develop its own cruise missile technology someday, it will not be a game changer, since the country lacks the resources to mass produce them. Cruise missiles are quite expensive, you know, a single Tomahawk costs almost 2 million. This doesn’t include the cost of R&D, establishing production lines, maintaining launch platforms etc. Only a small group of militaries can afford to operate cruise missiles, and only US has the resources to manufacture them in sufficient quantities to threaten Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Cassad is far more reliable, than Western media, which rely on propaganda from the Ukrainian regime. My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates.
     
    According to the guy with the proven track record of getting almost everything wrong about Ukraine.

    Remember, you claimed Azov were western Ukrainians, you claimed Ukraine is in economic freefall, you claimed Ukrainians in America were poor or mediocre, etc. etc.

    So either you do not know how Ukraine operates, or you do and are not being honest, for whatever reason. I suspect it is the former and is driven by your emotions (your intellect is fine).


    Cruise missiles are quite expensive, you know, a single Tomahawk costs almost 2 million.
     
    Do you think one built by Ukraine would cost nearly as much? Ukraine is cheaper than Russia, you know.

    This doesn’t include the cost of R&D, establishing production lines, maintaining launch platforms etc.
     
    Vilkha guided rocket has already been produced and mass production is beginning. It is like an upgraded Smerch with longer range and better accuracy. Neptune cruise missile, Ukraine's first missile, is a year or so away.

    Only a small group of militaries can afford to operate cruise missiles, and only US has the resources to manufacture them in sufficient quantities to threaten Russia.
     
    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Ukraine will be on the list soon.

    As for threatening Russia existentially - yes, only the USA is capable of that with its missiles. Ukraine need only take North Korea's path - make a strike against Ukraine sufficiently painful for the aggressor, to make aggression unlikely. Ukraine is not there yet but it is not far off.

    , @Dmitry

    My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates. Its representatives make all kind of loud proclamations... “We have a shiny new Wunderwaffe and will now use it to kick Russia’s ass”.

     

    To be fair to Ukraine, such have indeed been developed:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUteV5ELMyg

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  228. @Polish Perspective
    BY GOD'S GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN SAVED

    https://i.redd.it/vjju612dzc211.png

    The map above shows the temperature anomalies expected in the next seven days. The heatwave is not over, though divine powers have intervened to save those of us on the Eastern (and not Central!) side of the European landmass will be spared. Ukraine looks attractive.

    The craziest part is Oslo going to be warmer than Lisbon for an entire week in June. Give me my predictable weather back!

    BY GOD’S GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN SAVED

    I’ve noticed before that you Eastern/Central European types are a bit wimpy when it comes to temperatures. Where I grew up (just outside of Washington DC) June-August highs were almost always above 30 degrees, 35 was common, 40 not unheard of. And we played sports for hours (baseball, tennis, etc.) without even thinking of how hot it was.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Okay, but it was in Fahrenheits. I also wouldn't call 40 Fahrenheit "hot".
    , @AP
    But with cold temperatures it is the opposite story.
    , @Dmitry

    I’ve noticed before that you Eastern/Central European types are a bit wimpy when it comes to temperatures. Where I grew up (just outside of Washington DC) June-August highs were almost always above 30 degrees, 35 was common, 40 not unheard of. And we played sports for hours (baseball, tennis, etc.) without even thinking of how hot it was.
     
    In most main Russian cities, the temperatures have reached 35℃ in the hottest years. Moscow went up to 38 ℃ some years ago.

    In Southern Russian points, the temperature have reached 45℃ in some summers.

    People are not panicking or acting as wimps at 35℃ (especially considering the lack of air-conditioning).

    The thing which is unpleasant are the terrible smogs (sometimes from forest and peat fires in the summer).

    For wimpier people. For example, in the daytime in Madrid in August - most of the local Spanish people seem to be hiding indoors under airconditioning.

    , @utu
    Children are less cognizant of temperatures when busy. I think it has something to do with the lack of awareness of their own bodies including your own thought processes. You live more outside of yourself and follow desires and react and you mostly anticipate the future w/o reflection on the past. Less burden and more single mindedness that make things more intense in both positive or negative ways.

    DC with its humidity can be awful. But fall and winter can be nice.
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  229. @for-the-record
    BY GOD’S GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN SAVED

    I've noticed before that you Eastern/Central European types are a bit wimpy when it comes to temperatures. Where I grew up (just outside of Washington DC) June-August highs were almost always above 30 degrees, 35 was common, 40 not unheard of. And we played sports for hours (baseball, tennis, etc.) without even thinking of how hot it was.

    Okay, but it was in Fahrenheits. I also wouldn’t call 40 Fahrenheit “hot”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Okay, but it was in Fahrenheits. I also wouldn’t call 40 Fahrenheit “hot”.

    Once I was in Novosibirsk the temperature reached the magic point where Celsius = Fahrenheit.
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  230. Marcus says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    My understanding is that Indians are classified as people of color in the US from my experience in Silicon Valley, even light-skinned ones.

    They’re all classified as “Asian,” as ridiculous as that seems

    Read More
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  231. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Not sure how reliable Cassad is. At any rate, ship-building might not be as good as missile development for Ukraine.
     
    Cassad is far more reliable, than Western media, which rely on propaganda from the Ukrainian regime. My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates. Its representatives make all kind of loud proclamations such as "The Ukraine no longer uses Russian gas", "A bridge to Crimea cannot be built", or "We have a shiny new Wunderwaffe and will now use it to kick Russia's ass". Once you start fact-checking, it turns out that this is just PR, and none of it is true. One PR campaign in the Ukraine morphs into another without any real progress being made.

    Even if the Ukraine does manage to develop its own cruise missile technology someday, it will not be a game changer, since the country lacks the resources to mass produce them. Cruise missiles are quite expensive, you know, a single Tomahawk costs almost 2 million. This doesn't include the cost of R&D, establishing production lines, maintaining launch platforms etc. Only a small group of militaries can afford to operate cruise missiles, and only US has the resources to manufacture them in sufficient quantities to threaten Russia.

    Cassad is far more reliable, than Western media, which rely on propaganda from the Ukrainian regime. My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates.

    According to the guy with the proven track record of getting almost everything wrong about Ukraine.

    Remember, you claimed Azov were western Ukrainians, you claimed Ukraine is in economic freefall, you claimed Ukrainians in America were poor or mediocre, etc. etc.

    So either you do not know how Ukraine operates, or you do and are not being honest, for whatever reason. I suspect it is the former and is driven by your emotions (your intellect is fine).

    Cruise missiles are quite expensive, you know, a single Tomahawk costs almost 2 million.

    Do you think one built by Ukraine would cost nearly as much? Ukraine is cheaper than Russia, you know.

    This doesn’t include the cost of R&D, establishing production lines, maintaining launch platforms etc.

    Vilkha guided rocket has already been produced and mass production is beginning. It is like an upgraded Smerch with longer range and better accuracy. Neptune cruise missile, Ukraine’s first missile, is a year or so away.

    Only a small group of militaries can afford to operate cruise missiles, and only US has the resources to manufacture them in sufficient quantities to threaten Russia.

    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Ukraine will be on the list soon.

    As for threatening Russia existentially – yes, only the USA is capable of that with its missiles. Ukraine need only take North Korea’s path – make a strike against Ukraine sufficiently painful for the aggressor, to make aggression unlikely. Ukraine is not there yet but it is not far off.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    You are delusional: North Korea has nukes, a million-strong army, and has the South Korean capital in its artillery range. This is where its deterrent comes from. The Ukraine's pathetic conventional missile will be intercepted by Pantsyr or S400 long before it reaches the Moscow region.

    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Ukraine will be on the list soon.
     
    It should already be on that list. After all the Ukraine inherited production facilities from USSR.

    The list of countries operating long-range cruise missiles is considerably shorter:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_missile#Long-range_subsonic

    You don't see many small, third world countries on that list - money is clearly an issue here. I continue to believe that the development of this technology is simply not something the Ukraine can afford in its current state, or ever.
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  232. AP says:
    @for-the-record
    BY GOD’S GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN SAVED

    I've noticed before that you Eastern/Central European types are a bit wimpy when it comes to temperatures. Where I grew up (just outside of Washington DC) June-August highs were almost always above 30 degrees, 35 was common, 40 not unheard of. And we played sports for hours (baseball, tennis, etc.) without even thinking of how hot it was.

    But with cold temperatures it is the opposite story.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    But with cold temperatures it is the opposite story.

    Not really, Washington winter lows are lower than Prague, virtually the same as Budapest and not much higher than Warsaw.

    Average winter lows December - January - February (degrees C)

    Washington DC -1 /-4 / -3

    Warsaw -3 / -5 / -4

    Budapest -2 / -4 / -3

    Prague 0 / -2 / -1
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  233. Do you think one built by Ukraine would cost nearly as much? Ukraine is cheaper than Russia, you know.

    Er… weapons systems generally end up costing about the same no matter where they are produced. Ukrainian cruise missiles are likely only to be substantially cheaper than Tomahawks insofar as they are also of substantially lower quality.

    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Exactly. I don’t know where Felix is getting the idea that cruise missiles are hard to produce. Even a shitty country like Iran makes fairly advanced cruise missiles.

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  234. Mikhail says: • Website
    @anonymous coward

    I really wonder how that came about. The American census has several flaws, but this seems to be one of the strangest ones.
     
    Nothing strange about it. The American racial system has only four categories: a) Black (African), b) Red (Native American), c) Yellow (East Asian), d) White (everyone else).

    This system has been in place in America since forever and persists to this day. The census only follows tradition.

    Nothing strange about it. The American racial system has only four categories: a) Black (African), b) Red (Native American), c) Yellow (East Asian), d) White (everyone else).

    Where did you get that from? See:

    https://www.npr.org/2018/01/26/580865378/census-request-suggests-no-race-ethnicity-data-changes-in-2020-experts-say

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/the-rise-of-the-others/497690/

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  235. Mikhail says: • Website
    @DFH
    In Britain all East Asians and South East Asians come under the 'Chinese' category

    In Britain all East Asians and South East Asians come under the ‘Chinese’ category

    In the US at one time, many considered Orthodox Christians as Protestant, on account of the ignorant belief that non-Catholic Christians had to be by default Protestant.

    Some have said that all non-Ashkenazi Jews are Sephardic, which is erroneous as well.

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  236. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Not sure how reliable Cassad is. At any rate, ship-building might not be as good as missile development for Ukraine.
     
    Cassad is far more reliable, than Western media, which rely on propaganda from the Ukrainian regime. My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates. Its representatives make all kind of loud proclamations such as "The Ukraine no longer uses Russian gas", "A bridge to Crimea cannot be built", or "We have a shiny new Wunderwaffe and will now use it to kick Russia's ass". Once you start fact-checking, it turns out that this is just PR, and none of it is true. One PR campaign in the Ukraine morphs into another without any real progress being made.

    Even if the Ukraine does manage to develop its own cruise missile technology someday, it will not be a game changer, since the country lacks the resources to mass produce them. Cruise missiles are quite expensive, you know, a single Tomahawk costs almost 2 million. This doesn't include the cost of R&D, establishing production lines, maintaining launch platforms etc. Only a small group of militaries can afford to operate cruise missiles, and only US has the resources to manufacture them in sufficient quantities to threaten Russia.

    My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates. Its representatives make all kind of loud proclamations… “We have a shiny new Wunderwaffe and will now use it to kick Russia’s ass”.

    To be fair to Ukraine, such have indeed been developed:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Sure, and don't forget this bad boy!

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/globolife/59791984/305442/305442_original.jpg

    , @AP
    Nice work by a farmer-hobbyist.

    Westerners also build such things sometimes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=flTPUAihnS0

    Let me guess: Russian propagandists claim these things represent the military-industrial complexes of their enemies?
    , @melanf
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/EuoUdtmt8jM/maxresdefault.jpg
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  237. @AP

    Cassad is far more reliable, than Western media, which rely on propaganda from the Ukrainian regime. My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates.
     
    According to the guy with the proven track record of getting almost everything wrong about Ukraine.

    Remember, you claimed Azov were western Ukrainians, you claimed Ukraine is in economic freefall, you claimed Ukrainians in America were poor or mediocre, etc. etc.

    So either you do not know how Ukraine operates, or you do and are not being honest, for whatever reason. I suspect it is the former and is driven by your emotions (your intellect is fine).


    Cruise missiles are quite expensive, you know, a single Tomahawk costs almost 2 million.
     
    Do you think one built by Ukraine would cost nearly as much? Ukraine is cheaper than Russia, you know.

    This doesn’t include the cost of R&D, establishing production lines, maintaining launch platforms etc.
     
    Vilkha guided rocket has already been produced and mass production is beginning. It is like an upgraded Smerch with longer range and better accuracy. Neptune cruise missile, Ukraine's first missile, is a year or so away.

    Only a small group of militaries can afford to operate cruise missiles, and only US has the resources to manufacture them in sufficient quantities to threaten Russia.
     
    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Ukraine will be on the list soon.

    As for threatening Russia existentially - yes, only the USA is capable of that with its missiles. Ukraine need only take North Korea's path - make a strike against Ukraine sufficiently painful for the aggressor, to make aggression unlikely. Ukraine is not there yet but it is not far off.

    You are delusional: North Korea has nukes, a million-strong army, and has the South Korean capital in its artillery range. This is where its deterrent comes from. The Ukraine’s pathetic conventional missile will be intercepted by Pantsyr or S400 long before it reaches the Moscow region.

    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Ukraine will be on the list soon.

    It should already be on that list. After all the Ukraine inherited production facilities from USSR.

    The list of countries operating long-range cruise missiles is considerably shorter:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_missile#Long-range_subsonic

    You don’t see many small, third world countries on that list – money is clearly an issue here. I continue to believe that the development of this technology is simply not something the Ukraine can afford in its current state, or ever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    You are delusional: North Korea has nukes, a million-strong army, and has the South Korean capital in its artillery range
     
    Capability to hit Moscow or even to hit cities such as Kursk, Volgograd, or Rostov in retaliation for a strike on Kiev or an invasion would probably be a sufficient deterrent.

    The Ukraine’s pathetic conventional missile will be intercepted by Pantsyr or S400 long before it reaches the Moscow region.
     
    Russia's own experts state Ukraine is a few years away from producing missiles that would be present a real danger to Moscow and would be hard to defend against there.

    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Ukraine will be on the list soon.

    It should already be on that list. After all the Ukraine inherited production facilities from USSR.
     
    Also R & D. Indeed it should be. Previous governments, indifferent to Ukraine, neglected Ukraine's military. This is the first one that has not, and problems are being rectified. Progress has been swift. Ukraine now has Vilkha guided rockets. Neptune is coming on line next year. These are short-range cruise missiles. Hrim has successfully undergone initial testing and is on track to be built a year after that. These are analogous to Russia's Iskandar-M and will have up to 500 km range:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-unveils-new-tactical-missile-system.html

    Several large Russian cities would be in range of these.

    Obviously Ukraine is not and never will be in a position to successfully attack Russia. Again, the goal is to make an attack upon Ukraine sufficiently painful to minimize the chances of such an attack, insuring peace between both countries.

    The list of countries operating long-range cruise missiles is considerably shorter:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_missile#Long-range_subsonic

     

    United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Israel, South Korea, Turkey, Iran, China, Pakistan and India.

    No reason Ukraine cannot make such a list. In the near future it will have mid-range missiles capable of hitting Voronezh, Kursk, or Sevastopol.
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  238. @Dmitry

    My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates. Its representatives make all kind of loud proclamations... “We have a shiny new Wunderwaffe and will now use it to kick Russia’s ass”.

     

    To be fair to Ukraine, such have indeed been developed:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUteV5ELMyg

    Sure, and don’t forget this bad boy!

    Read More
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  239. Beckow says:
    @Polish Perspective
    That's interesting, thanks.

    I personally think that the most plausible path to an intermarium is to integrate Ukraine in the EU framework to the greatest extent possible short of an outright membership (I would strongly be in favour, but given the decisive no that the dutch gave to even an associate membership, the political space for this in Western Europe is limited). From there, it would probably be most practical to create a parallel structure that works alongside NATO and any EU initiative, but is not dependent on either.

    There are already such projects ongoing among CEE states(see 'Three Seas Initiative'). I don't see why it couldn't be extended to other domains and deepened.

    But an outright break with the current economic and security architecture is unlikely. It isn't just about German economic interests. 90% of our trade goes to the EU and the Brits have now found out the hard way that the single market is not the same thing as a free trade deal. A single market is a much deeper commitment. Norway and Switzerland pay billions of euros each year for the privilege to have access to the single market.

    EU membership annuls this payment and gives you the privilege for free. If Poland left the EU, it would need to find many billions each year to pay like Norway and Switzerland. Unlike them, we were under the yoke of communism for half a century and before that, got our country devastated by WWII in a way that few other countries did. Russia won the war and ended up with a much larger territory. Germany lost, but they got the Marshall plan and got to choose their own economic system. We got neither, which meant that we are still poor. We don't have the money to suddenly leave. Though, as I have mentioned, this is quickly changing. And outside the EU we would have much more political space to crush monopolistic foreign resource rents in low-productivity sectors like retail where we frankly don't need foreigners.

    Still, the biggest problem is the blatant Western orientation of some of the V4 countries. Hungary and Czechia both have youth which are much more pro-Western than pro-Eastern. The Slovaks basically are split down the middle and we are the only ones which see a decisive break. Unless you can find a path in which the youth of these CEE countries turn to the East, the future generations will likely integrate even more into the EU.

    The substantial wage gap means that non-white immigration into CEE, even from other EU countries, will likely be minimal at best. People think in nominal, not in PPP-adjusted, terms. Poland's 3x lower wages with Germany will not be closed for decades and the situation is even worse in Romania, Bulgaria etc. Croatia is not growing as fast as we are, and they are losing far more people to emigration in per capita terms. Slovenia is rich, and isn't losing people by emigration, but their Western orientation is very deep now.

    I also think you underestimate the fact that many CEE countries are quite lukewarm on Russia. Only we and the Baltics are the real standouts and possibly Czechia. Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia etc all are not. And given their geographic distance, they could well ask themselves why there is such a need for military integration. They would more likely pursue a path of neutrality and frankly that would be the rational choice in their position. I would have done the same if I was sitting in Budapest, Ljubljana or Zagreb.

    I may sound more skeptical on intermarium than I actually am. If we all actually put our minds to it, we could do it. I don't think the root problems are fundamentally practical - though the problems are not small by any stretch of the imagination. The main problem, as I see it, would be the mental/cultural willingness to re-orient oneself to the East while bearing significant short- to medium-term economic, political and security losses. Would people bear these losses and the the significant re-adjustment period required because Germany has 6-8% muslims? Even if that rises to 10 or even 15%, I don't see how that would happen in the present scenario, or 10-15 years from. After 2030, all bets are off. Right now the idea is limited to the political visionaries while the practical-minded people, which is to say most people, don't see a need for it. That may change, but I am skeptical it would any time soon. I'd love to be wrong, however.

    The hostility among central-east European nations is stronger than hostility towards outsiders like Germans, Russians, or even Turks. That makes any future integration like Intermarium unrealistic. Right under the surface are endless historical grievances and rivalries, plus there is no unifying language or religion. Being ‘white’ is not enough.

    The gradual Third-world transformation of Western Europe will will soon start spilling into our areas. You are right about the low incomes, but migrants generally don’t move to a generic ‘Poland’. They move to the richest cities like Krakow, Poznan, Prague,… The incomes in those places are similar to many regions in Western Europe full of migrants, and the cost of living is lower. They will come.

    We cannot be in a borderless union with the West and not be impacted, these are connected vessels. We have been too accommodating – including the 2015 Merkel march. A good example of what we have done to ourselves is the teary visit to Moscow by the Bulgarian president and prime minister (last week) begging for re-start of the South Stream pipeline. Bulgars now claim that they were ‘just good soldiers’ for EU-Nato, that they know they made a mistake, they are asking for forgiveness. I doubt they will get far. We allowed our interests in 2010-18 period to be pushed aside and many humored themselves with the highly visible, but completely irrelevant, Visegrad talk. But we did nothing, we went along. I don’t think it will be that easy to get out of that hole. As so often in the past Central-East has allowed itself to be an object of other people’s games and as always before we will again pay a steep price. There will be no Intermarium.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    A good example of what we have done to ourselves is the teary visit to Moscow by the Bulgarian president and prime minister (last week) begging for re-start of the South Stream pipeline.
     
    They should be able to get an extension of Turkish Stream to Bulgaria.

    https://sputniknews.com/business/201806021065031115-russia-bulgaria-turkish-stream-pipeline/
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  240. Mitleser says:
    @blahbahblah
    Russia apparently has passed a law against anonymizers(VPN, Tor, etc i think). Russian tech policy is a tragicomedy.

    Hopefully, CPC advised them well.

    Read More
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  241. Mitleser says:
    @Beckow
    The hostility among central-east European nations is stronger than hostility towards outsiders like Germans, Russians, or even Turks. That makes any future integration like Intermarium unrealistic. Right under the surface are endless historical grievances and rivalries, plus there is no unifying language or religion. Being 'white' is not enough.

    The gradual Third-world transformation of Western Europe will will soon start spilling into our areas. You are right about the low incomes, but migrants generally don't move to a generic 'Poland'. They move to the richest cities like Krakow, Poznan, Prague,... The incomes in those places are similar to many regions in Western Europe full of migrants, and the cost of living is lower. They will come.

    We cannot be in a borderless union with the West and not be impacted, these are connected vessels. We have been too accommodating - including the 2015 Merkel march. A good example of what we have done to ourselves is the teary visit to Moscow by the Bulgarian president and prime minister (last week) begging for re-start of the South Stream pipeline. Bulgars now claim that they were 'just good soldiers' for EU-Nato, that they know they made a mistake, they are asking for forgiveness. I doubt they will get far. We allowed our interests in 2010-18 period to be pushed aside and many humored themselves with the highly visible, but completely irrelevant, Visegrad talk. But we did nothing, we went along. I don't think it will be that easy to get out of that hole. As so often in the past Central-East has allowed itself to be an object of other people's games and as always before we will again pay a steep price. There will be no Intermarium.

    A good example of what we have done to ourselves is the teary visit to Moscow by the Bulgarian president and prime minister (last week) begging for re-start of the South Stream pipeline.

    They should be able to get an extension of Turkish Stream to Bulgaria.

    https://sputniknews.com/business/201806021065031115-russia-bulgaria-turkish-stream-pipeline/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    To summarise: Bulgaria walked away in 2014 from being a gas transit hub with a pipeline financed by Russia. Today they will get a branch of a Turkish pipeline that they will pay for themselves. Overall a few billion dollars loss to Bulgaria and an ongoing loss of the transit fees. Good job, and all it took was a visit by John McCain. I suppose brown-nosing to McCain was priceless.
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  242. Gerard2 says:
    @AP
    In 2001 Ukraine was .7% Muslim (almost all - Crimean Tatars) - so essentially Muslim free, as on the map.

    In 2001 Ukraine was .7% Muslim (almost all – Crimean Tatars) – so essentially Muslim free, as on the map.

    LOL you dumb prick…..it’s so “un-Muslim” Ukraine that:

    It’s richest citizen…….a muslim…Rinat Akhmetov

    It’s latest failed “revolution” initiated by……a muslim…Mustafa Nayyem

    So un-muslim that it has more Chechen army commanders per capita then anywhere else in the world ( possible including even Chechnya), more Chechen snipers per capita than in Chechnya itself because that’s the type of cowardly scumbags the Kiev regime are.
    They’ve either directly recruited them, or done it via the Chechen terrorists, perennial best friend (Georgia , from Shevardnadze’s time onwards, where many of these Chechen terrorists got their initial experience not from fighting in the war in Chechnya, but in Abkhazia)

    Poroshenko’s greatest ” achievement” (seeing as there’s fuckall to celebrate with the military, economy and general state of the country) …….is like a parasite promoting Ukropia’s Caliphate potential and taking it from behind so as to get visa-free travel for their Galician prostitutes into Qatar and Saudi Arabia ( visa-free travel something Russians have had with them for years before)…that’s literally the only thing he’s done. He only got that by exploiting the fact Russia is on opposing sides of Qatar and KSA in Syria you cretin

    And let’s not even begin with the Jewish membership in the failed, artificial country of Ukraine….or the Polish,Lithuanian, Gruzian,Canadian…and of course American control of the country. Everybody except “Ukrainians” you moronic prick.

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  243. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich
    You are delusional: North Korea has nukes, a million-strong army, and has the South Korean capital in its artillery range. This is where its deterrent comes from. The Ukraine's pathetic conventional missile will be intercepted by Pantsyr or S400 long before it reaches the Moscow region.

    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Ukraine will be on the list soon.
     
    It should already be on that list. After all the Ukraine inherited production facilities from USSR.

    The list of countries operating long-range cruise missiles is considerably shorter:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_missile#Long-range_subsonic

    You don't see many small, third world countries on that list - money is clearly an issue here. I continue to believe that the development of this technology is simply not something the Ukraine can afford in its current state, or ever.

    You are delusional: North Korea has nukes, a million-strong army, and has the South Korean capital in its artillery range

    Capability to hit Moscow or even to hit cities such as Kursk, Volgograd, or Rostov in retaliation for a strike on Kiev or an invasion would probably be a sufficient deterrent.

    The Ukraine’s pathetic conventional missile will be intercepted by Pantsyr or S400 long before it reaches the Moscow region.

    Russia’s own experts state Ukraine is a few years away from producing missiles that would be present a real danger to Moscow and would be hard to defend against there.

    Here is a list of the numerous countries that produce missiles:

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

    Ukraine will be on the list soon.

    It should already be on that list. After all the Ukraine inherited production facilities from USSR.

    Also R & D. Indeed it should be. Previous governments, indifferent to Ukraine, neglected Ukraine’s military. This is the first one that has not, and problems are being rectified. Progress has been swift. Ukraine now has Vilkha guided rockets. Neptune is coming on line next year. These are short-range cruise missiles. Hrim has successfully undergone initial testing and is on track to be built a year after that. These are analogous to Russia’s Iskandar-M and will have up to 500 km range:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-unveils-new-tactical-missile-system.html

    Several large Russian cities would be in range of these.

    Obviously Ukraine is not and never will be in a position to successfully attack Russia. Again, the goal is to make an attack upon Ukraine sufficiently painful to minimize the chances of such an attack, insuring peace between both countries.

    The list of countries operating long-range cruise missiles is considerably shorter:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_missile#Long-range_subsonic

    United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Israel, South Korea, Turkey, Iran, China, Pakistan and India.

    No reason Ukraine cannot make such a list. In the near future it will have mid-range missiles capable of hitting Voronezh, Kursk, or Sevastopol.

    Read More
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  244. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    My instinct is to remain sceptical, because I understand how the Ukraine operates. Its representatives make all kind of loud proclamations... “We have a shiny new Wunderwaffe and will now use it to kick Russia’s ass”.

     

    To be fair to Ukraine, such have indeed been developed:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUteV5ELMyg

    Nice work by a farmer-hobbyist.

    Westerners also build such things sometimes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=flTPUAihnS0

    Let me guess: Russian propagandists claim these things represent the military-industrial complexes of their enemies?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Well a little comedically, they placed it on display (now with slat armor) at the main defense exhibition in Kiev.

    (I would hope and expect that nobody - of any nationality - is ever unfortunate enough to risk their lives in such a mobile coffin).

    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/2890180.html

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  245. Dmitry says:
    @for-the-record
    BY GOD’S GRACE, WE HAVE BEEN SAVED

    I've noticed before that you Eastern/Central European types are a bit wimpy when it comes to temperatures. Where I grew up (just outside of Washington DC) June-August highs were almost always above 30 degrees, 35 was common, 40 not unheard of. And we played sports for hours (baseball, tennis, etc.) without even thinking of how hot it was.

    I’ve noticed before that you Eastern/Central European types are a bit wimpy when it comes to temperatures. Where I grew up (just outside of Washington DC) June-August highs were almost always above 30 degrees, 35 was common, 40 not unheard of. And we played sports for hours (baseball, tennis, etc.) without even thinking of how hot it was.

    In most main Russian cities, the temperatures have reached 35℃ in the hottest years. Moscow went up to 38 ℃ some years ago.

    In Southern Russian points, the temperature have reached 45℃ in some summers.

    People are not panicking or acting as wimps at 35℃ (especially considering the lack of air-conditioning).

    The thing which is unpleasant are the terrible smogs (sometimes from forest and peat fires in the summer).

    For wimpier people. For example, in the daytime in Madrid in August – most of the local Spanish people seem to be hiding indoors under airconditioning.

    Read More
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  246. Beckow says:
    @Mitleser

    A good example of what we have done to ourselves is the teary visit to Moscow by the Bulgarian president and prime minister (last week) begging for re-start of the South Stream pipeline.
     
    They should be able to get an extension of Turkish Stream to Bulgaria.

    https://sputniknews.com/business/201806021065031115-russia-bulgaria-turkish-stream-pipeline/

    To summarise: Bulgaria walked away in 2014 from being a gas transit hub with a pipeline financed by Russia. Today they will get a branch of a Turkish pipeline that they will pay for themselves. Overall a few billion dollars loss to Bulgaria and an ongoing loss of the transit fees. Good job, and all it took was a visit by John McCain. I suppose brown-nosing to McCain was priceless.

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  247. Dmitry says:
    @AP
    Nice work by a farmer-hobbyist.

    Westerners also build such things sometimes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=flTPUAihnS0

    Let me guess: Russian propagandists claim these things represent the military-industrial complexes of their enemies?

    Well a little comedically, they placed it on display (now with slat armor) at the main defense exhibition in Kiev.

    (I would hope and expect that nobody – of any nationality – is ever unfortunate enough to risk their lives in such a mobile coffin).

    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/2890180.html

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  248. @German_reader

    intellectually and emotionally prepared for more radical options.
     
    What kind of radical options? What's your vision for the future?

    What kind of radical options? What’s your vision for the future?

    I’m a practical man, fundamentally, or at least I’d like to think so. The options I have in mind are nothing too fancy, certainly nothing that we haven’t seen before.

    When I use the term ‘radical’, it is very much contextual. To say that you have a ethnic definition of what it means to be German, and that you base Germany as a country on that conception, is per definition radical in an age where Merkel claims “everyone who lives here is a German”.

    So that would be my first step, to do a complete break with tabula rasa and civic nationalism. I don’t think that proposal would raise many eyebrows in this place, but taking it mainstream would face great resistance.

    That said, I do take AP’s point about European nationalism taken too far seriously. There was a lot of intra-European bloodshed in the 20th century which was unnecessary. Part of the reason why I am not a nationalist socialist is that Hitler had tons of European lives on his hands. Furthermore, as I stated, while I am aware of the JQ doesn’t imply I approve of mass murder. I don’t think any sane person would.

    Therefore, any ethnic conception would need to be married with a greater white solidarity. I know, easier said than done. But you asked me about visions, so that is part of it.

    The practical part of me says that the time for a clean and smooth transition is basically over. In many Western European countries, and possibly some Eastern if we’re talking about 20-30 years from now, there would likely need to be some kind of secession required because I am talking about de facto forcible deportation and repatriation on a mass scale, that is based on jus sanguis. Such a radical break would require, I think, an entirely new state architecture. The current one cannot be molded or reformed, and that is where I break away from the more ‘gradualist’ nationalists.

    You would get rid of huge built-up internal resistance in the bureaucracy. That’s another lesson from the Trump presidency, the judiciary has a single job: to prevent even the inkling of a nationalist orientation in immigration and domestic policy. All Trump has been able to do is to cut taxes for the wealthy. The early stuff, when Bannon was influential, was all blocked. The same will happen in Germany (and yes, Poland) if we gain power by some miracle. I don’t see how that can be done within the confines of the current system. Secession(s) would probably be required, at least as an initial step. Re-unification could possibly happen later. Our first objective is loyalty to our people, not our particular state. The two are not the same.

    AfD, FN, PiS, SD etc are all insufficient to take us there. Fundamentally, I think another key lesson of the Trump presidency, and the Alt Right, is to avoid becoming cheerleaders for a political party the way many AR people did (Ricky Vaughn and others come to mind). We are interested in white homelands and whatever political party that will take us there, we’ll support. If not, then goodbye. But no more “something for nothing”. No more delusions of “they are really our guys” when there is no evidence, no public statements showing that they understand the world the way we do.

    I take inspiration from the Indian independence movement. At its height, they were no more than 1-2% of the population actively engaged, but they were highly organised and effective and they kept at it for decades. Things may seem bleak now, but if Germany was created after centuries of intra-German conflict, then I don’t see how it would be hard to reunite the German people when faced with large masses of non-German outsiders, if there was enough will to do it. But there can be no compromises in the goal and ultimate objective. Ever.

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    Thanks for the answer. A few thoughts:

    doesn’t imply I approve of mass murder. I don’t think any sane person would.
     
    That's more of an ethical question than one of sanity imo. Ethnic cleansing, genocide etc. can be rational responses to real problems. Which doesn't mean one should do it, but the temptation certainly exists.

    The same will happen in Germany (and yes, Poland) if we gain power by some miracle
     
    You're right about the courts, but imo that's not even the biggest problem. If AfD or some other even slightly nationalist movement ever gets even a little bit of influence at the government level (maybe as part of a coalition in a state in the former East Germany like Saxony or Thuringia), I'm absolutely convinced that there will be major left-wing terrorism. There's a large, well-organized segment of militant left-wingers, coddled and supported by the mainstream left, who regard violence (and not just against things, against persons as well) as legitimate. If there's ever a prospect of "Nazis" coming into power, they will undoubtedly escalate to political murder, and they will have plenty of sympathizers in the media, establishment parties, the churches etc. Some level of violent civil strife would be inevitable in such a scenario.
    At least that's how it is in Germany (and I'd suspect a country like Sweden as well), Poland is probably different in this regard.

    Fundamentally, I think another key lesson of the Trump presidency
     
    I'm not sure the Trump phenomenon can teach us that much about European nationalist movements...there never really was a coherent Trump movement, and it's not even about uncritical support for a party, more like a really strange personality cult (for a guy who happens to be a con man imo). There are also many fundamental differences between the US and Europe which shouldn't just be elided imo, like the long-standing racial diversity of the US and the fact that American nationalism has very strong components of external aggression and a global sense of mission (it's more like European nationalisms of the late 19th century-1945 in that regard imo, not like the more defensive European nationalisms of today - imo American nationalism, in its actually existing form, therefore isn't a good thing for the rest of the world).

    I take inspiration from the Indian independence movement
     
    That's an overly optimistic comparison imo, the number of British in India was always quite limited, and the really horrendous violence during partition was between India's native communities. Something like Algeria or other societies with many European settlers might be more apt as an analogy (and that doesn't take into account the fact that birth rates favoured the natives there which isn't the case in Western Europe today).
    , @Yevardian
    India isn't a model for anything. They gained independence with massive American support, who bankrupted the British and left them morally exhausted after WWII. If they fought and gained independence the conventional way, there would anywhere from 10-50 feuding statelets there and the global plague of Indian call centres and grooming gangs could have been entirely avoided.
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  249. I recently watched an amazing BBC documentary series from 1979-1981 about British Dark Age kings: