I have more chilli peppers than I know what to do with (about 20 kg worth of it). Any ideas?
My “Stupid People” post has been phenomenally successful, generating almost 1,000 comments and more visits than other post of mine at the UR since The Road to World War III this April. It also generated a large discussion on /r/slatestarcodex: https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/9dj642/the_idiocy_of_the_average_and_why_it_matters/
This September is set to become a record breaking month, in an already record breaking year. Less than halfway through, I already have 26,000 visits (normal month of late: 30,000) and 80,000 pageviews (normal month of late: 120,000). Total pageview for 2018 now total a round 1,000,000. That’s 2.5x the rate of the entire of 2015, 2x the rate of 2016, and more than the 790,000 of the entirety of 2017.
* SYRIA: Long awaited assault on Idlib is still up in the air. The Turks are digging their heels in, so perhaps the operation will end up limited to just taking the areas east of the M5 motorway? Anyhow, as I pointed out, it’s a tense situation – Russia is the midst of the massive Vostok-2018 (in which China is also involved); its armada is still of the Syrian coast; the US now has moved naval assets with a total of 200 Tomahawk missiles to the East Mediterranean. Intermittent reports from RT/Sputnik about an imminent gas attack false flag by the rebels and White Helmets. The Western propaganda wheels are also in motion.
* DONBASS: Assassinated Zakharchenko has been replaced by Denis Pushilin, with elections scheduled for November. Possible candidates include Pavel Gubarev and Khodakovsky. But Pushilin, a gray non-entity who promoted MMM pyramid schemes before the war, seems to be the Kremlin’s favored candidate. In other news, long-time informed DNR observer Alexander Zhuchkovsky reports that Prilepin’s battalion has been disbanded. Prilepin himself, a popular novelist, Donbass supporter, and editor of Svobodnaya Pressa (probably Russia’s best far left outlet), who had friendly relations with Zakharchenko, has reportedly been barred from entering the DNR, as have other close Zakharchenko associates. It’s hard to figure out what exactly is happening there, but my zradometer is tingling.
* NYT LETTER. I don’t buy that the NYT letter was written by Pence – I’d need more evidence than a fondness for the word “lodestar”. Also skeptical that the NYT invented it, as Paul Craig Roberts suggests. Amusing text analysis showing that it was Trump himself (h/t Emil Kirkegaard). My guess is some Nikki Haley or some other deep state bug(wo)man.
* FAKE NEWS? The Duran: 1 million Uighurs in Chinese “internment camps” (Video). Making the Chicoms out to be Nazis is amusing, but I have always suspected it is BS. A country that has affirmative action for minorities and condemns “Han chauvinism” is not going to be devising “final solutions” to the Uyghur Question. However, the timing of this Western media campaign is interesting.
* KREMLINOLOGY. Bloomberg’s interview with Olga Kryshtanovskaya – What Comes After Putin Could Be Trouble.
I looked at it using game theory, and concluded that the elite is likely to betray Putin. As soon as Putin indicates which group’s candidate he prefers, the optimal strategy for the other groups is to undermine that candidate — because if he wins, they stand to lose everything.
* STUPID SPOOKS. Former Putin bodyguard, former Ksenia Sobchak chaperone, and “highly qualified” person [according to Martyanov], and current head of the National Guard Viktor Zolotov posts a bizarre rant on YouTube where he challenges Navalny to a duel and promises to “grill him.”
I think this is a perfectly normal, rational response to Navalny’s corruption allegations.
* Russian spy service punishes trainees who drove through Moscow in a luxury convoy to celebrate graduation – and allowing themselves to be photographed. As I keep saying, these organizations don’t get the best.
* Skripal discussion here.
* SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Vedomosti: Aeroflot will order 100 more SSJ-100′s [in Russian]. Good news – in any case, bearing in mind current affairs, it hardly has any choice.
* CARS OF STATE. Remember the indigenous Russian replacement for Mercedes used during Putin’s inauguration? That “Kortezh” line under the Aurus brand is going into serial production.
* ISOLATED RUSSIA. Taiwan removes visa requirements for Russian citizens. But China does not want Russia to reciprocate. For all my Sinophilia, I think we can talk if/when China recognizes Crimea.
* THE BILL/BORIS FILES. I don’t often cite Masha Gessen, but this is a good piece: The Undoing of Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin’s Friendship, and How It Changed Both of Their Countries
* NEOLIBERALISM (THE GOOD KIND). Vedomosti: IMF supports Russia’s pension reforms [in Russian]. As RT’s Bryan MacDonald wisecracked, not often that US/UK media propaganda runs contrary to IMF advice. I covered the pensions protests here.
* ORTHODOXY. Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is moving towards granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Moscow Patriarchate does not recognize his authority to do so, and if this goes through, this may well result in a schism between Constantinople and Moscow. Will have more on this later.
* FAREWELL AMERICANA. After a glimmer of hope this summer, I am once again skeptical about MAGA’s prospects. 538 is giving 5/6 chance to Democrats winning control of the House. There’s even a 1/3 chance that they’ll seize both the House and the Senate. Now I know people like to make fun of Nate Silver for “failing” to predict Trump in 2016, but in all fairness, 538 gave him an approximately 1/3 chance – way more than most “experts.” Now is he assigning exactly the same likelihood to an all-consuming Blue Wave – and this is happening at a time when the economy hasn’t been doing so well for over a decade.
* Electric vehicles sales in Europe surpassed 1 million. I think the algae/pond metaphor is applicable.
* Progressive Israel drafts law to imprison holders of the Palestinian flag.
* Since Putin is good friends with Bibi these days, perhaps he could take note?
* Taiwanese population might start declining by 2022, three years earlier than forecast. Its TFR has been lower than 1.3 children per woman since 2003.
* Do Chinese believe in HBD? spandrell says no:
* Jonathan Wai et al. (2018) – Using Standardized Test Scores to Include General Cognitive Ability in Education Research and Policy
* LATTER DAY LYSENKOISM: Theodore P. Hill (Quillette) – Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole.
Colleagues I spoke to were appalled. None of them had ever heard of a paper in any field being disappeared after formal publication. Rejected prior to publication? Of course. Retracted? Yes, but only after an investigation, the results of which would then be made public by way of explanation. But simply disappeared? Never. If a formally refereed and published paper can later be erased from the scientific record and replaced by a completely different article, without any discussion with the author or any announcement in the journal, what will this mean for the future of electronic journals?
Seriously, read the entire piece – this is really amazing stuff. American academia is reaching levels of Lysenkoism previously thought to be impossible.
Here is the paper in question (he had a Russian mathematician as a coauthor, but he was too weak to resist the SJW pressure and asked to be taken off):
* Theodore P. Hill (2018) – An Evolutionary Theory for the Variability Hypothesis
* Robin Hanson: Sexism Inflation
* TECHNOPHILIA (NextBigFuture):
- Superlong Tunnels now and in the near future
- Orion space battleships could still be built in a nuclear space race
- New Evidence that Pluto should still be classed as a Planet (I have always opposed Pluto’s demotion)
* DW: Women increasingly drawn to right-wing populist parties, study shows. Hardly surprising – as I said, defining feature of female politics is that it is conformist. As right-wing parties become normalized, they’ll get more women by default.
* Atlas Obscura: The Communist Cookbook That Defined Prague’s Cuisine. Wherever you look, commies ruin everything.
Cooks that wanted to deviate from these recipes had to get approval from the Ministry of Health, a request that could take years to go through. Most people opted for the easier route, which is how thousands of nearly identical menus came to be established across the country. Paired with limited ingredient diversity, the nation suffered a creative drought: It wasn’t just that all the same dishes were served, but the dishes were prepared exactly the same way, resulting in identical versions of dishes, too. Each bite was calculated as a means of productivity, and dining for pleasure was considered extravagant. “Special” meals were no longer considered, and the scope of Czech cuisine shrunk.
* Matt Phillips: How Spain’s bloody history gave it the world’s highest concentration of elevators (h/t Artir)
* Steve Sailer: Conspiracy Theorists vs. an Actual Giant Conspiracy.
The big reason that Bletchley Park was classified after the war was because the Brits distributed thousands of Enigma machines to its colonies after the war, who did not know they had been cracked. This allowed Britain spy on their communications for years afterwards.
* Good thread summarizing Adam Tooze’s The Wages of Destruction, one of the most interesting and original books on Nazi Germany:
Next in line … pic.twitter.com/aosKjsOOkP
— Plan Maestro (@PlanMaestro) June 6, 2018
Culture War & Powerful Takes
* Greg Hood (Amren) – How Twitter Promotes Verified Hate
* Tom X Hart: Future Analysis | The world in 2028
* Steve Sailer: Google Meltdown
(00:01:12) Returning to seriousness, Brin says he is “deeply offen[ded]” by the election of Trump, and that the election “conflicts with many of [Google’s] values.”
- Facebook censors British former ambassador/dissident Craig Murray
- Facebook censors ThinkProgress, leftist fanatics who had hailed the censoring of Roosh V just a couple of days before. Poetic justice?
- GloboHomoBezos Purges Roosh V
* Reddit bans bunch of users it suspects of Iranian “influence operations” & announce “trusted reporter” program, moderator of pro-Russian subreddit points out it could be abused to silence dissident voices, Reddit admins immediately prove him right.
* Choose your fighter:
Choose your fighter. pic.twitter.com/lQjicOE8aw
— Travis View (@travis_view) September 12, 2018