You will have to excuse the paucity of posting this month. Many things going on. But I hope to get the Romania post out today.
I predicted that Russia would win against Saudi Arabia and Egypt (both happened), but would lose against Uruguay. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.
* Turkey Presidential & legislative elections. My take is that Erdogan will be just shy of 50% in the first round.
- AKP/Erdogan seem to usually underperform polls.
- The Turkish economy is not doing so well (inflation is at 12%), while main rival Muharrem İnce is getting huge turnout (millions) at his rallies.
- Many Turks are not happy with the Syrian refugees, esp. with Erdogan giving them citizenship.
* /ourguy/ Salvini is going from strength to strength: “I’ve asked for a census of the Roma community living in Italy. The irregular ones will be deported. However, we’ll have to keep” in Italy “the Romas with Italian citizenship, unfortunately.”
* Ian Hogarth – AI Nationalism
The central prediction I want to make and defend in this post is that continued rapid progress in machine learning will drive the emergence of a new kind of geopolitics; I have been calling it AI Nationalism. Machine learning is an omni-use technology that will come to touch all sectors and parts of society. The transformation of both the economy and the military by machine learning will create instability at the national and international level forcing governments to act. AI policy will become the single most important area of government policy. An accelerated arms race will emerge between key countries and we will see increased protectionist state action to support national champions, block takeovers by foreign firms and attract talent… This arms race will potentially speed up the pace of AI development and shorten the timescale for getting to AGI.
* Jared Taylor wins a partial victory against Twitter for banning his account. This sets an encouraging precedent.
* Conversely, ACLU has formally thrown in the towel on its prior commitment to absolute freedom of speech
The American Civil Liberties Union has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm “marginalized” groups by undermining their civil rights. “Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality,” the ACLU declares in new guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.”
This was probably inevitable given current demographic (white decline) and cultural (SJWs) trends.
* Announcement of start in gradual increase of pension age to 65 years (from current 55 for women/60 for women) announced just after Russia’s 5:0 victory over Saudi Arabia. Much wailing & gnashing of teeth, but with life expectancy at 73 years and expected to continue rising, this was inevitable.
* Industrial growth getting revised upwards, suggests recovery from recession is stronger than first thought.
Conclusion: No, it isn’t. But base year is 2000, when Russia was at its all time nadir. It would be more interesting to do the analysis for, say, 2008-2018.
* Heavy South Korean tourism in Vladivostok [in Russian]. h/t Dmitry
* For anyone interested: Igor Strelkov makes a detailed post about his family history [in Russian]
* East European attitudes towards Russia and the US:
Central Europeans have a similar attitude towards #Russia and the #USA: 49-49% positive, 41-42% negative – #Nezopont poll concludes. There are clear differences though: In #Poland USA 70% positive – Russia only 24%; in #Serbia Russia 90%, USA 24%. In Hungary USA 45%, Russia 38%. pic.twitter.com/UTnxSX8R5X
— Mariann Őry (@otmarianna) June 14, 2018
* Hungary passes its Stop Soros bill
* Northern Ireland attitudes towards reunification:
* Chinese propaganda:
The current state of state propaganda in China. Xi Jinping's "New" Era, indeed. pic.twitter.com/lurqvmfCYi
— Yao Lin 林垚 (@dikaioslin) June 18, 2018
* There are now more births in North Korea than in South Korea, despite the latter having twice the former’s population.
Report out from NK, TFR is 1.9, CBR is 14.5/1000, means 370k births in NK p.a. SK had 357k in 2017, on track for 325k in 2018, 2017 year in which NK births surpassed SK, first time in both nations history, NK births > SK birthshttps://t.co/AkS3hjBnrX
— Annatar (@Annatar_I) June 21, 2018
* Yet another poll with stark Sweden Yes:
Science & Culture
* Craig Willy: Europe’s tech race – trying to keep pace with US and China
* Cyberpunk 2077 highlights (h/t Polish Perspective):
* Abel L Peirson V, E Meltem Tolunay (2018) – Dank Learning: Generating Memes Using Deep Neural Networks
* RIP Koko
Koko the gorilla once ripped a sink out of the wall and, when her keepers confronted her about it, she blamed her kitten, signing "cat did it." That HAD been my favorite Koko story, until I saw this:
RIP to an absolute legend pic.twitter.com/sH6mGQVVZ3
— Red Durkin (@RedIsDead) June 21, 2018
* This is funny (and true). h/t Emil
* Intermittent fasting:
Fasting for religious reasons has a big advantage over ordinary intermittent fasting: you can't just call it quits when you get hungry.
If God commands you to fast, then you better do it.
— P. D. Mangan