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This week, I will post my impressions of Veliky Novgorod and Sergiev Posad – both are already written, and ready to go. I will also have something about my visit to the KrioRus cryonics facility this week or the next.

Now that I have brought my travel reviews up to date, I will start doing more book reviews in the coming weeks.

TBF I am having an increasingly hard time taking an earnest interest in the ebb and flow of current events (as epitomized in these “protests“). While is just as well since that will leave me with more time for more permanent content.

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@ak

More notable posts since the last Open Thread in case you missed any of them.

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Coffee Salon

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Culture War

 
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  1. This is the current Open Thread, where anything goes – within reason.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Robin Hanson underestimates the complexity of neurobiology.

    https://timdettmers.com/2015/07/27/brain-vs-deep-learning-singularity/

    You posted this a couple of years ago showing that deep learning represents a “one-time” jump in performance, with further increases being driven by Moore’s Law. I am re posting the link here:

    https://srconstantin.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/performance-trends-in-ai/

    It is true that the successful development of EUV (finally after 15 years of struggle) will allow Moore’s Law to continue another 10 years or so – down to the 2nm level or there abouts. After that level is reached, which is a hard limit, further increases in computer performance will be based entirely on computer architecture and software. Developments in these areas tend to come in fits and starts.

    Deep neuronets, which is the underlying technology of all of the current AI work, was actually invented in 1986. I remember hearing about it at an L-5 party in SoCal and I also remember Alcor guys talking about it as well. Nothing happened for the next 25 years simply because computing resources simply were not available at the time to make use of this breakthrough. It was only around ’12 or so that computing capabilities reached the level where people could pay around with deep neuronets. I think future AI developments will follow a similar pattern and timeline, only likely more slowly. Moore’s Law really will end around 2030 or so.

    Stephen Hsu has talked about this on his blog. Most of the people he works with think it will take 100-200 years to develop real A.I. and, that once developed, that it will be fundamentally different than human brains, making EM’s unlikely. Stephen has said recently on his blog that he hopes AI is developed “in his lifetime”, which I assume would be another 50 years, but that this is likely optimistic.

    I’m not a scientist in these areas (other than doing DIY life extension stuff on myself). But I do have experience in semiconductor and other thin-film process technologies to know that when scaling does reach the molecular level (around 2030) that it will really be a hard limit and that Moore’s Law will come to a permanent end. Having been in the cryonics and life extension scenes, I have come to an appreciation of the complexity of neurobiology, a complexity that will be very difficult if not impossible to emulate in digital electronics.

    All of this tells my gut instincts that all of the development and excitement over semiconductors/computing technology in general will plateau within the next 20 years and that, beyond this point, these technologies will be as exciting as say aviation. The technological frontier and associated excitement will shift to biology and bio-engineering, which will predominate in the public conscious for the next couple of centuries. I really do think there is enough potential research and “design space” for a couple of centuries of work at least.

  3. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Interesting, thanks for posting this.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  4. songbird says:

    From Kirkegaard :

    Emirati engineering students had an IQ of 104. IQ 93 was the result of refugees in our Chemnitz sample with university experience (studying). IQ 88 was the result of refugees in our Chemnitz sample without university experience.

    I’m actually somewhat surprised by this. I mean, 104 probably isn’t great for engineering, but the UAE has a pretty harsh climate. 104 deg. F is like the mean summer daily high. I always imagined Gulf Arabs were selected for small heads. Like, for instance, they didn’t have the headspace to be good pilots. Not a big enough visual cortex.

    I wonder if they could possibly have foreign mothers. Of course, there are a lot of foreigners in the UAE, and I’d be surprised if some women weren’t attracted to the money. If not, if they are natives, even a select few, I guess that would be good news for Arabs. They could put their money into a sovereign eugenic fund, for when the oil runs out. Maybe, that is the secret idea of Neom – don’t let the black Arabs migrate there.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  5. Some great news for Thulean Fraud from the fake and gay country of New Zealand: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/114604444/highemitting-nz-health-sector-urged-to-cut-back-on-carbon

    Cutting back on meat and dairy for hospitalized, bed-ridden patients because the “climate” apparently poses a greater public health risk than epidemic levels of zogchow consumption. What an excellent idea!

    Here’s the approved grocery shopping list for the glorious future Thulean Fraud has planned for us: https://eatforum.org/learn-and-discover/weekly-shopping-list/

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  6. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Here’s one that’s even more interesting and revealing. I don’t think that most of the run of the mill Russophiles here would be willing to touch this one with a 10 foot pole. Business with Russia as usual, meddling in Ukraine:

    https://rusi.org/sites/default/files/20180121_surkov_leaks_advanced_copy.pdf

    https://www.kyivpost.com/world/surkov-leaks-study-reveals-extent-of-russian-hybrid-war-in-ukraine.html

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  7. Mikhail says: • Website

    Regarding Paul Robinson’s most recent input, these follow-up discussions concern anti-Russian bias/bigotry, as well the pre-Soviet and Soviet periods in Russia and the actual extent of foreign intervention during the Russian Civil War:

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2019/07/30/no-better-nature/#comments

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/a-tale-of-two-museums/#comments

    Concerning Paul Robinson himself:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/19022019-putting-the-new-cold-war-and-russia-bashing-into-proper-perspective-oped/

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/18/putting-new-cold-war-into-proper-perspective/

  8. Mikhail says: • Website

    An agreeable discussion on the situation in Ukraine:

    https://theduran.com/is-ukraine-ready-for-a-russian-reset-video/

    At that link, there’s a piece by Doug Bandow, which re-expresses his US establishment realism on deflating the conflict involving Russia and Ukraine. On why Bandow is wrong:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/07092018-consistency-and-reality-lacking-on-crimea-analysis/

    https://www.academia.edu/37358188/Michael_Averko_Consistency_and_Reality_Lacking_on_Crimea

  9. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Top heavy with Galeotti and Giles – both of whom are discussed at Paul Robinson’s venue. Ms. Shandra has exhibited a similar spin as well.

    Given the manner of the three, it’d be great if that lengthy piece initially provided specifics on the authenticity of the claimed hack, as well as distinguishing between any subjective interpretation with actual facts.

    Recall Galeotti’s “Gerasimov doctrine”.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  10. Moscow now has 12.6M people (1989: 8.9M). Full list. [in Russian]

    It’s worth pointing out that this number includes only individuals with official registration (“propiska”) in Moscow. Millions of people reside in Moscow without registration. The city’s actual population should be in excess of 15 million, and I’m not even talking about the suburbs!

  11. Reykur says:

    Some time ago there was a post here with quite an interesting data on disgenics / differences in fertility rate by mothers’ level of education. And right after that I saw a map of Turkish provinces by median age – https://stranger233.livejournal.com/46174.html It goes from 40,3 (near EU or Visegrad median level) to 19,8 (Nigerian level). If you add an ethnic angle – “old” Turkish vs. “young” Kurdish provinces, you will get a practically inevitable time bomb. There is a discussion in comments below Stranger233’s post about what will happen sooner, assimilation of Kurds into a broadly Turkish urban culture or complete Kurdish demographic takeover of a large part of Turkey. I lean to the second possibility, but even if it can be avoided, it’s a heavy and unpleasant problem for the Turks.

  12. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    The authors do a credible job of authenticating the e-mail emanating from Mr. Surkov. It would be more fruitful if you would first read the piece, before criticizing it:

    There are five factors that strongly point to the authenticity of the emails.

    1. The volume of emails was significant. Forging this amount of data is practically unfeasible, if technically possible. In addition, the database of emails overwhelmingly comprises daily briefs and media-monitoring summaries, while the amount of revelatory information is modest. If these emails were fake, it would be reasonable to expect that the ratio would be reversed, as the forgers are unlikely to spend time on generating overwhelming amounts of data which would not contribute to an ‘explosive’ story.
    2. Those whose email correspondence was leaked as part of the two tranches, such as the Russian businessman Yevgeny Chichvarkin,34 or Reuters,35 confirmed that these communications were genuine.
    3. Events mentioned in the emails actually took place, such as British pop star Robbie Williams’s performance for Surkov.36
    4. Investigative journalists at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, who specialise in forensic research, have stated that the headers of those emails that they analysed both appear to be authentic and would be difficult to forge in such quantities.37
    5. In January 2017, the Russian security service, the FSB, arrested the notorious Russian hacking
    group Shaltai-Boltai, along with government officials who were accused of collaborating with them, for hacking private correspondence38 − a charge which Shaltai-Boltai denied.39 Representatives of the Cyber Alliance have observed that the Kremlin prefers to see the theft as an internal matter, rather than credit Ukrainian hackers with the theft.40

    The rest of your observation is vapid, not rising to the level of meriting a reply. 🙁

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  13. @Abelard Lindsey

    Deep neuronets, which is the underlying technology of all of the current AI work, was actually invented in 1986.

    No, quite a bit earlier. “Neural networks” is just the PR name for certain computational methods of doing logistic regression. Logistic regression was developed in the 30’s and 40’s.

    Pretty much everything in “AI” is just mathematicians and statisticians inventing ridiculous and bombastic names for boring math things in an attempt to secure venture capital from dumb management types.

    Don’t be the dumb management type.

    • Replies: @Haruto Rat
  14. Reykur says:

    For Russian-speaking readers of AK’s blog (and for those who is willing to read through automatic translation) – here is a couple more links to “effort-posts” on demographics from Runet:

    https://denalt.livejournal.com/3270.html – about “Northern Renaissance”, a sudden positive reversal of rural fertility in the Russian North.

    https://denalt.livejournal.com/6198.html – about a relatively similar, but far longer (but also more narrow) phenomenon in rural Finland, linked to the speading of Laestadianism (wiki – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestadianism).

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  15. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Whatsa matter? You got something against onions, garlic, peppers and ginger? I like a good rib-eye steak a much as you do, but sometines you gotta splurge…? 🙂

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  16. Reykur says:

    And a couple more links on world demographics from Russian blogosphere. The basic facts are well known, but as with Sailer’s The Most Important Graph of the Century, the scale is often underestimated.

    https://stranger233.livejournal.com/41927.html – a timeline of transition into below-replacement fertility rates for all countries, from Eastern Europe and Japan in the Sixties to the Sub-Saharan countries in the middle of this century. So the post combines historical account and analysis of current and future trends. There is an interesting discussion in the comments in the spirit of AK’s idea of a potential for “breeders’ revenge” in the not-so-distant future.

    https://stranger233.livejournal.com/46455.html – speaking of breeders’ revenge. Here is a historical account of Haredi and Amish demographics. Not a true “effort-post”, unlike a previous one, but the trend is quite impressive. Also an interesting discussion below the post about how increased fertility rates for ex-Haredi secular Jews serve as an additional demographic engine for Jewish population in Israel.

  17. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Which leads to a big so what! It’s best to provide details at the start of a long winded piece. Given the manner of the so-called “Mueller Report”, I sense a good number of us are reluctant to spend a great lenngth of time, only to find empty calories

    Investigative journalists at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab….

    Any Atlantic Council-CrowdStrike connected/slanted group should (from the perspective of seeking true accuracy) get challenged.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  18. @Mr. Hack

    I certainly have nothing against vegetables. I’m currently eating baked atlantic salmon with walnut arugula pesto. A nice vegetable garden is a lovely addition to any home. But the idea that vegetables are miraculous and essential for good health is dubious to say the least.

    The EAT Lancet diet doubles down on the failed dietary conventional wisdom of the postwar era and adds the new wrinkle of eating for the “climate”. Never mind that by far the largest energy consumer in the food chain is wholesale storage and the retail sector, not actual food production or even transportation (if someone talks to you about “food miles” I suggest stabbing him with a nice chef’s knife).

    Note what’s NOT on that shopping list. There’s no red meat of any kind, because apparently flatulent ruminants are going to kill us all. No doubt the creators of this diet will urge public policy makers to hunt down and exterminate all wild buffalo and deer Real Soon Now.

    People like Thulean Fraud are convinced we need to further reduce the quality of our diets and damage public health even more because…reasons. The Africoons might run out of water, and therefore you can’t have a nice ribeye anymore.

    And anyone purchasing such comical amount of produce is advised to get the Bluapple product to extend the shelf life of produce: http://thebluapple.com

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Matra
  19. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    It’s best to provide details at the start of a long winded piece

    The authors belief that the e-mails were authentic can be read on page 9 of the report (that you still haven’t figured this out, leads me to believe that you’ve not actually read the report). Also, of the 5 points that the authors used to support thier belief that the e-mails were authentic, only one relies on the findings of the Atlantic Council’s Digitl Forensic Lab, that as you state needs to be challenged, so who’s stopping you from a challenge? The other four points must be objectively good to rely on then? 🙂

    The only “empty calories” are the ones that you’re providing us with again, Mickey. 🙁

    Don’t reply to me again if you don’t read the report!

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  20. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Your point that reducing refrigeration costs to both transport and store produce by using products like the “blueapple” would save more than enough of the environment, to afford the rest of us committed carnivores the delightful part of our diet, is well noted. Coincidentally, I saw this lady promoting her wonderful new “paper magic” that is perhaps even more versatile and effective than the “blue apple”, just yesterday on TV:

    https://organic.org/a-magical-paper-extends-the-shelf-life-of-produce-organically/

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  21. @Mr. Hack

    The mechanism of action is not described, so who knows how well her product works. Based on the claim that it is based on fenugreek and that, “It basically works by inhibiting bacterial and fungal growth, as well as the enzymes that cause fruit to over-ripen,” presumably the paper is impregnated with bacteriocidal and fungicidal herbal compounds. That is assuming the product isn’t just fraudulent nonsense from a femool turmeric monster.

    Bluapple works by adsorbing ethylene gas, which plants release and causes them to ripen. Ethylene gas is why placing produce in a brown paper bag causes it to ripen faster (very useful for avocados, which have a frustrating window when you can consume them).

    If her product works then presumably combining it with Bluapple would led to even better results.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  22. Mr. XYZ says:
    @songbird

    There are a couple million blacks in the US with IQs of 104+, no? Also, don’t US blacks perform simply worse on the PISA exam than the UAE does?

    • Replies: @songbird
  23. @Abelard Lindsey

    What is interesting in the second link I posted is how the performance of deep neuronet based machine vision has plateaued out at a level that is slightly better than human vision. This closeness in performance suggests to me that our brains process vision by a technique that is similar to that of deep neuronets.

  24. Mr. XYZ says:

    Urban demographics released for 2018: Moscow now has 12.6M people (1989: 8.9M). Full list. [in Russian]

    What is Moscow’s population right now without its 2012 territorial expansion–as in, within its old borders?

  25. Mr. XYZ says:

    As for cognitively elitist immigration policies, I already said this on John Derbyshire’s blog and I will say this again here:

    The people who are advocating against stripping Third World countries of their smart fractions are also the people who are themselves unwilling to actually move to the Third World. Thus, smart Third Worlders could naturally wonder why exactly they should be compelled to remain in the Third World when smart First Worlders are unwilling to actually personally move to the Third World.

    This also feeds into a narrative that smart Third Worlders are their countries’ property.

    It’s like with US Jews supporting closing the US’s gates to Soviet Jews and telling Soviet Jews to move to Israel instead. Soviet Jews could naturally ask these American Jews as to why exactly they should have to move to Israel when US Jews themselves are unwilling to personally move to Israel.

  26. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    “Secret Indian spices” make the shelf life of produce last 2 to 4 times longer. I think that the paper has been around since 2010…If it’s true, it’s a great entrepreneurial story:

  27. Mitleser says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Thus, smart Third Worlders could naturally wonder why exactly they should be compelled to remain in the Third World when smart First Worlders are unwilling to actually personally move to the Third World.

    Because it is their home, their countries.

    This also feeds into a narrative that smart Third Worlders are their countries’ property.

    Is it wise to encourage the elite of a country not to be loyal to their country?

  28. songbird says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    There are a couple million blacks in the US with IQs of 104+, no?

    True but UAE natives are only like 10% of the total pop. Only about 1.1 million. Plus, I believe coastal Africa is cooler. I don’t know, but I’ve always imagined heat – I mean real heat – to be a major selective factor. I’m thinking both of fevers – and of travel in the desert. I mean, like running from a raid, or getting a bit lost.

    Also, don’t US blacks perform simply worse on the PISA exam than the UAE does?

    You’re right. I wonder if they have many foreign kids in their schools. But pop pyramid doesn’t suggest it – and I think most of their foreign workers are helots, not allowed to bring children or wives. But they don’t disclose any ethnic data. Everything is estimates provided by foreign embassies.

    • Replies: @SilverSurfer
  29. songbird says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Ideologically, I favor non-involvement. But as a practical solution, more to mollify liberals, I would advocate creating zones of enterprise in the Third World.

    I think, with the proper structure, most Africans would really like them. The key would be to make sure that they don’t feel like they are getting dispossessed and that they are getting something out of it.

    Trouble is that I don’t think it is politically possible. Additionally, it would necessarily require different kinds of barriers – a walled foreign sector of the city – limited rights of travel – curfew – internal checks to control migration to selected individuals. And the Left is very bad at understanding the utility of any kind of barriers, or competitive selection. South Africa had most of those things, after all.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  30. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Yuh gonna beat me up if I don’t?

    Again so what! “Hybrid warfare” is a negative way of saying entity X promotes a certain set of views. So what! Atlantic Council, Euromaidan Press, StopFake and Kyiv Post conduct “hybrid warfare”.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  31. Th ecommander of the Moscow riot police is the same person who commanded the Kiev Berkut on 30 November 2013 when they brutually beat up some students, dragging some out of hospital to do it. This was captured in part on CCTV and broadcast. It transformed the Maidan from a student protest into a serious confrontation with the government suitable for being hijacked by more violent anti government forces. The lesson learnt seems to have been to suppress media exposure rather than to restrain police brutality. Putin once had a government. Now he has a regime. A senile regime. He should have gone in 208. His immediate departure is now urgent. Such capital as Russia has left is being looted by regime favourites in the name of “import substitution.

  32. @Philip Owen

    For once Mikhail is succinct and on point.

    • Disagree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  33. @Anatoly Karlin

    https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/russia/gross-fixed-capital-formation

    Gross fixed capital formation still hasn’t recovered to where it was 5+ years ago. The import substitution drive potentially also means that the marginal productivity of newly invested capital is lower.

    Of course, there are simple macroeconomic explanations:

    • High interest rates
    • High government budget surplus (this reduces income to the private sector)
    • Weak Rouble increases cost of imported capital goods

    It’s time for Russia to reduce interest rates and the government’s budget surplus.

    The weak Rouble is a different matter as it also stimulates import substitution.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  34. @Philip Owen

    Th ecommander of the Moscow riot police is the same person who commanded the Kiev Berkut on 30 November 2013 when they brutually beat up some students, dragging some out of hospital to do it.

    Paging Mr. Hack: is this not definitive proof of the validity of triunism?

    The lesson learnt seems to have been to suppress media exposure rather than to restrain police brutality.

    They’re not wrong.

    France anyone?

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  35. Is Ted Kaczynski right about transhumanism?

    It is an index of the techies’ self-deception that they habitually assume that anything they consider desirable will actually be done when it becomes technically feasible. Of course, there are lots of wonderful things that already are and for a long time have been technically feasible, but don’t get done. Intelligent people have said again and again: “How easily men could make things much better than they are-if they only all tried together!” But people never do “all try together,” because the principle of natural selection guarantees that self-prop systems will act mainly for their own survival and propagation in competition with other self-prop systems, and will not sacrifice competitive advantages for the achievement of philanthropic goals.

    [MORE]

    Because immortality, as the techies conceive it, will be technically feasible, the techies take it for granted that some system to which they belong can and will keep them alive indefinitely, or provide them with what they need to keep themselves alive. Today it would no doubt be technically feasible to provide everyone in the world with everything that he or she needs in the way of food, clothing, shelter, protection from violence, and what by present standards is considered adequate medical care-if only all of the world’s more important self-propagating systems would devote themselves unreservedly to that task. But that never happens, because the self-prop systems are occupied primarily with the endless struggle for power and therefore act philanthropically only when it is to their advantage to do so. That’s why billions of people in the world today suffer from malnutrition, or are exposed to violence, or lack what is considered adequate medical care.

    In view of all this, it is patently absurd to suppose that the technolog­ical world-system is ever going to provide seven billion human beings with everything they need to stay alive indefinitely. If the projected immortal­ity were possible at all, it could only be for some tiny subset of the seven billion-an elite minority. Some techies acknowledge this. One has to suspect that a great many more recognize it but refrain from acknowledging it openly, for it is obviously imprudent to tell the public that immortality will be for an elite minority only and that ordinary people will be left out.

    The techies of course assume that they themselves will be included in the elite minority that supposedly will be kept alive indefinitely. What they find convenient to overlook is that self-prop systems, in the long run, will take care of human beings-even members of the elite-only to the extent that it is to the systems’ advantage to take care of them. When they are no longer useful to the dominant self-prop systems, humans-elite or not-will be eliminated. In order to survive, humans not only will have to be useful; they will have to be more useful in relation to the cost of maintaining them-in other words, they will have to provide a better cost-versus-benefit balance than any non-human substitutes. This is a tall order, for humans are far more costly to maintain than machines are.

    It will be answered that many self-prop systems-governments, corporations, labor unions, etc.-do take care of numerous individuals who are utterly useless to them: old people, people with severe mental or physical disabilities, even criminals serving life sentences. But this is only because the systems in question still need the services of the majority of people in order to function. Humans have been endowed by evolution with feelings of compassion, because hunting-and-gathering bands thrive best when their members show consideration for one another and help one another. As long as self-prop systems still need people, it would be to the systems’ disadvantage to offend the compassionate feelings of the useful majority through ruthless treatment of the useless minority. More important than compassion, however, is the self-interest of human individuals: People would bitterly resent any system to which they belonged if they believed that when they grew old, or if they became disabled, they would be thrown on the trash-heap.

    But when all people have become useless, self-prop systems will find no advantage in taking care of anyone. The techies themselves insist that machines will soon surpass humans in intelligence. When that happens, people will be superfluous and natural selection will favor systems that eliminate them-if not abruptly, then in a series of stages so that the risk of rebellion will be minimized.

    Even though the technological world-system still needs large num­bers of people for the present, there are now more superfluous humans than there have been in the past because technology has replaced people in many jobs and is making inroads even into occupations formerly thought to require human intelligence. Consequently, under the pressure of eco­nomic competition, the world’s dominant self-prop systems are already allowing a certain degree of callousness to creep into their treatment of superfluous individuals. In the United States and Europe, pensions and other benefits for retired, disabled, unemployed, and other unproductive persons are being substantially reduced; at least in the U. S., poverty is increasing; and these facts may well indicate the general trend of the future, though there will doubtless be ups and downs.

    It’s important to understand that in order to make people superfluous, machines will not have to surpass them in general intelligence but only in certain specialized kinds of intelligence. For example, the machines will not have to create or understand art, music, or literature, they will not need the ability to carry on an intelligent, non-technical conversation (the “Turing test”), they will not have to exercise tact or understand human nature, because these skills will have no application if humans are to be eliminated anyway. To make humans superfluous, the machines will only need to outperform them in making the technical decisions that have to be made for the purpose of promoting the short-term survival and propagation of the dominant self-prop systems. So, even without going as far as the techies themselves do in assuming intelligence on the part of future machines, we still have to conclude that humans will become obsolete. Immortality in the form (i)-the indefinite preservation of the human body as it exits today-is highly improbable.

    The techies of course will argue that even if the human body and brain as we know them become obsolete, immortality in the form (ii) can still be achieved: Man-machine hybrids will permanently retain their use­fulness, because by linking themselves with ever-more-powerful machines human beings (or what is left of them) will be able to remain competitive with pure machines.

    But man-machine hybrids will retain a biological component derived from human beings only as long as the human-derived biological component remains useful. When purely artificial components become available that provide a better cost-versus-benefit balance than human-derived biological components do, the latter will be discarded and the man-machine hybrids will lose their human aspect to become wholly artificial. Even if the human-derived biological components are retained they will be purged, step by step, of the human qualities that detract from their usefulness. The self-prop systems to which the man-machine hybrids belong will have no need for such human weaknesses as love, compassion, ethical feelings, esthetic appreciation, or desire for freedom. Human emotions in general will get in the way of the self-prop systems’ utilization of the man-machine hybrids, so if the latter are to remain competitive they will have to be altered to remove their human emotions and replace these with other motivating forces. In short, even in the unlikely event that some biological remnants of the human race are preserved in the form of man-machine hybrids, these will be transformed into something totally alien to human beings as we know them today.

    The same applies to the hypothesized survival of human minds in “uploaded” form inside machines. The uploaded minds will not be toler­ated indefinitely unless they remain useful (that is, more useful than any substitutes not derived from human beings), and in order to remain useful they will have to be transformed until they no longer have anything in common with the human minds that exist today.

    Some techies may consider this acceptable. But their dream of immortality is illusory nonetheless. Competition for survival among enti­ties derived from human beings (whether man-machine hybrids, purely artificial entities evolved from such hybrids, or human minds uploaded into machines), as well as competition between human-derived entities and those machines or other entities that are not derived from human beings, will lead to the elimination of all but some minute percentage of all the entities involved. This has nothing to do with any specific traits of human beings or of their machines; it is a general principle of evolution through natural selection. Look at biological evolution: Of all the species that have ever existed on Earth, only some tiny percentage have direct descendants that are still alive today. On the basis of this principle alone, and even discounting everything else we’ve said in this chapter, the chances that any given techie will survive indefinitely are minute.

    The techies may answer that even if almost all biological species are eliminated eventually, many species survive for thousands or millions of years, so maybe techies too can survive for thousands or millions of years. But when large, rapid changes occur in the environment of biological species, both the rate of appearance of new species and the rate of extinction of existing species are greatly increased. Technological progress constantly accelerates, and techies like Ray Kurzweil insist that it will soon become virtually explosive; consequently, changes come more and more rapidly, everything happens faster and faster, competition among self-prop systems becomes more and more intense, and as the process gathers speed the losers in the struggle for survival will be eliminated ever more quickly. So, on the basis of the techies’ own beliefs about the exponential acceleration of technological development, it’s safe to say that the life-expectancies of human-derived entities, such as man-machine hybrids and human minds uploaded into machines, will actually be quite short. The seven-hundred­ year or thousand-year life-span to which some techies aspire is nothing but a pipe-dream.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Yevardian
  36. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I expect more from you – use your God given brain before blurting out something stupid.

  37. Matra says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I’m currently eating baked atlantic salmon with walnut arugula pesto.

    Fag

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @LatW
  38. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen

    Anytime I’m thinking about mediocre level of Russia, especially after being for some time in nicer parts of Western Europe – then I usually just have to go to the news to read about crazy shit in Paris and Sweden, or the latest story of a massacre in America, as if to make us realize, well, Russia is not necessarily so dysfunctional afterall.

    20 people killed in El Paso shooting, Texas governor says

    Twenty people were killed and more than two dozen were injured in a mass shooting at an El Paso shopping center on Saturday, according to Texas and local authorities.

    “Lives were taken who should still be with us today,” Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference near the Walmart and an adjacent shopping mall.
    Twenty-six people were injured, according to El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/03/us/el-paso-shooting/index.html

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  39. Matra says:
    @Philip Owen

    Philip Owen with another Remainer take.

  40. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Read the article. You’ll learn how the Russians try and beat up their neighbors for not falling into line. Russia has little to offer its neighbors, that’s why all of the iron curtain countries flipped sides when they had an opportunity to do so.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  41. Matra says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    That’s gross.

    I tasted pesto for the first time earlier this year in Genoa. I heard and read a lot about pesto before trying it and must say I was most disappointed. Maybe I’m too prole. Thankfully Genoa is now full of of hipster American burger bars selling microbrews so I recovered OK.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Dmitry
  42. Dmitry says:

    I have a Switch now. Its 1080p output is not so bad on the very good television, although people are complaining about its lower output on some games.

    For example, Mario Kart 8 is looking fine on my television, even with the excellent level of the television.

    Lol well it should be ok for me for one or two years, until PlayStation 5 anyway…

  43. @Matra

    The previous evening’s dinner might be more to your taste:

    Do you dislike basil or something?

    • Replies: @Matra
  44. Dmitry says:
    @Matra

    Pesto from the supermarket, they use for pasta flavouring is too salty, and you can’t put it on the bread like that – it would be disgustingly salty.

    If Thorfinnsson made his own fresh pesto from his own basil plant and in the blender, without too much salt, and is putting this on real bread he has baked personally – I could imagine it will be very good, on the other hand.

    And even worth behaving like a 19 year old girl who photos all her meals for instagram.

    Thorfinnsson – you grow your own vegetables? Do you have any advice for growing your fresh tomatoes in pots?

  45. Matra says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Yes, that’s more to my taste. If only I’d taken a picture of that cheese and HP sauce sandwich I had earlier in the week – proper British fare – I’d have posted it and made you jealous.

    Dmitry: Pesto from the supermarket, they use for pasta flavouring is too salty, and you can’t put it on the bread like that – it would be disgusting

    I was in Genoa, supposedly the home of pesto, so one would expect it to be at it’s best. I had it in pasta as well as in Minestrone alla Genovese soup at Zimono – lots of photos there of dishes full of pesto – which currently ranks at #15 on Trip Advisor for the city.

  46. the next democrat president will probably go for a major gun grab. probably not all the way to completely disarming US citizens, but possibly going too far – banning handguns period, or banning magazines completely. something way beyond ‘only’ banning all semi-automatic rifles.

    if you’re an accelerationist, shootings like texas today are probably what you’re looking for.

    a total, or near total, disarming attempt from the central government is guaranteed to start a conflict. it’s one of the only things the left could get wrong now in their quest to replace the europeans. not waiting long enough, and trying to take the weapons too early.

    100% for sure they want european men disarmed. so what they’ll be trying to gauge is how long they have to wait, how much power they have to accumulate, to go in for the kill. leftists aren’t great at this kind of thing, and might jump the gun. pun intended.

    i do think there is a time when they can safely disarm the european men of america. but that time is probably like 2050 or later. by 2050, lots of the guys who would resist, will be dead, or too old to do anything. and most of the european men between 20 and 50, who could resist, will have instead gone thru 12 to 16 years of soy training in the schools and colleges. they won’t do anything.

    maybe the actual time is 2070 or later, but whatever the timeline is, it’s coming. not even fear of crime will stop the gun collection, when it comes.

  47. AaronB says:
    @ImmortalRationalist

    The life of a techie seems the least worth living for eternity….yet its precisely these people who seem to crave immortality the most.

    • Agree: utu, EldnahYm
    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
  48. @songbird

    There are lots of “International High Schools” in UAE and by definition with significant non-locals students, some are even exclusively for certain ethnic groups like European/American expat, Indian Hindu, Indian Muslim, Pakistani, Filipino, etc.

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

  49. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    The Soviet Union as opposed to Russia. The former became weak and unable to sustain itself, let alone others – eventually dissolving.

    As for that article, it comes across as a nothingburger. A long winded beginning, lacking incontrovertible evidence, while referencing the likes of Giles and Galeotti.

    Did you read it in full? If so, do tell us how Russia is beating up on Ukraine. The latter has done a good job on its own as evidenced by the violent svido acts against those with a different view.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  50. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    The Soviet Union as opposed to Russia. The former became weak and unable to sustain itself, let alone others – eventually dissolving.

    And how does Russia, a huge , huge country, with a GDP still smaller than Italy’s, offer an alternative vision of the future for itself or anybody else? It really doesn’t have any ideology at all, practicing an oligarchic criminal sort of capitalism. After Putin is gone, who is going to be able to keep it all together? Would you really be surprised if it falls apart again?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Thorfinnsson
  51. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Like Ukraine is less of a kleptocracy? Get real mon!

    There’s much more to valuing a country’s influence/worth than GDP. If Russia were actually so insignificant, the Capitol Hill blowhards and some others wouldn’t be discussing that country as much as they do.

    Now, The NYT is saying that Trump should engage Russia as an offset to China. The tone of that piece is absurd, in the way that it gives no acknowledgement that the so-called “paper of record” has been incessantly bashing Russia in an arro0gantly ignorant and hypocritical way.

    After Putin, there will be someone else in his role as Russia’s head of state. Russia having up and down trends without crumbling is the likely future.

    At last notice, no area in Russia is looking to leave it. Conversely, Pridnestrovie, South Ossetia and perhaps some others would like to be reunited with Russia.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  52. @Mr. XYZ

    Thus, smart Third Worlders could naturally wonder why exactly they should be compelled to remain in the Third World when smart First Worlders are unwilling to actually personally move to the Third World.

    Who cares what they think?

  53. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Like Ukraine is less of a kleptocracy? Get real mon!

    So, now it’s Ukraine that’s a good role model of how Russia should behave? Hilarious! 🙂

    Now, The NYT is saying that Trump should engage Russia as an offset to China

    .

    Actually, not a bad idea. If you really feel that the current lovefest between Rusia and China is in Russia’s long term interests, I think that you’re delusional. China will never want a Russian economic powerhouse as a competitor and is content to allow Russia to continue stagnating. It’s only a short matter of time before China will no longer need Russia’s military know how and will be building and designing its own armaments – then Russia will really only remain important as a supplier of naturla resources – the “gas station” to the world, as the late John McCain liked to quip.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  54. Review of plant-based ‘meat’. TL;DR I can see this being viable for the masses, but too early for me to say if it tastes as good as quality meat. There are also issues surrounding environmental sustainability.

    Burger King has two variants: one emulates beef and the other emulates chicken. I tried the beef variant. There are only a small number of participating “restaurants” in the Stockholm metropolitan area which serve these in all of Sweden as far as I am aware, so I had to plan it out a few days beforehand, because even in Stockholm far from all Burger King joints have them.

    The price is quite a bit higher than their normal stuff, but nothing too bad. There are likely subsidies involved. I asked the cashier if they knew which company they bought it from, no dice. Mark Post, a dutch professor, has been instrumental in research in this area but as usual, Europe is behind the US in commercialisation. The two big ones, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, are both headquartered in the US. Professor Post does have his own company, Mosa Meat, but it is way behind in commercialisation than the others. So I just assume Burger King co-operated with either of the two mentioned US companies.

    In terms of taste I found no real difference. But the big caveat here is that A) I almost never go to fast-food joints and B) I have a low opinion of the meat quality in these places to begin with, so that doesn’t tell you much. I would really have to try a steak-like portion to compare at home to make a real assessment. But for people who like eating trash/fast food, I doubt they’d feel much difference. So in terms of taste at least, it does its job, though admittedly I won’t be eating at burger king with or without these kinds of innovations as a rule anyway.

    A word on environmental impact, which is central to this discussion. It is being touted that this method uses 90% less water than normal meat, which is critical, but it at the same time is stacked with various beans whose cultivation have often meant an increase in chopping down forest areas. If this were to scale massively, the associated effects with increased bean production would have to be taken into account. That said, no regrets. It was a fun experiment and it will be interesting to see where all of this goes.

    Finally, I see this as part of a larger whole-of-society response required. Society has gradually shamed smokers, and rightfully so, into smaller and smaller confines where their disgusting activity is regrettably still allowed. We did this because we recognised that they are harmful not only to themselves but to others. Much more of this needs to be done. I would certainly heavily advocate for a social credit system where those who are the biggest offenders can no longer use planes, use fancy hotels or even eat out at fancy restaurants.

    The end goal must be a gradual but uncompromising societal repression of those who advocate and actively harm humanity’s future and the earth we live in. There can be no mercy, no quarter given.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Thorfinnsson
  55. Through Kirkegaard’s blogpost I got to Jason Richwine’s latest research. Richwine uses PIAAC to estimate native skill levels of university-educated immigrants to make a point that like for like is *not* an accurate assumption just because of educational levels. That’s fine, but he commits a methodological flaw when not adjusting for age.

    Here is one of his graphs.

    Notice that this is the whole sample, all ages. I’ve looked at the source PIAAC data. Some countries, like my own, do very well in all age groups. In the 25-35 age group, we are second of all countries. (This may be surprising to the “Sweden On The Brink Of Imminent Collapse“-crowd, but that’s another debate). In those cases, it doesn’t make much difference.

    However, for other countries, this pattern doesn’t hold. Korea is an obvious example but it is also true for (some) EE countries, though notably not Russia. Age is an important variable in PIAAC and most potential immigrants will be in the under-35 age group, so the ranking in his chart will change quite a bit once you look at the under-35 age group, especially for some of the poorer performers in the overall ranking.

    Interestingly enough, and one of the reasons why I am skeptical on Southern Europe, is that you don’t see these age-related effects for either Spain or Italy. Implying that either their educational systems are poorer or there are much lower hard biological limits on their achievement prospects than previously imagined.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  56. Sean says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    But I do have experience in semiconductor and other thin-film process technologies to know that when scaling does reach the molecular level (around 2030) that it will really be a hard limit and that Moore’s Law will come to a permanent end.

    A human head can’t be the size of a Death Star. But why would we need to make an Human Level Machine Intelligence fit into a cranium? Electrons are so much faster than nerve impulses in the brain that you could make a computer the size of a planet without slowing it down much. Bostrom talks about this stuff in his book. As for nano scale

    In an unremarkable room somewhere in the midst of an unidentified city, a machine has learned to crack the protein-folding problem. Within seconds it has emailed sets of DNA strings to several laboratories that offer DNA synthesis, peptide sequencing and FedEx delivery. The superintelligent AI soon persuades a gullible human to mix the subsequent vials in a specified environment. The proteins now form a primitive ‘wet’ nanosystem, which is able to receive instructions from a speaker attached to its beaker. This nanosystem can now build more advanced versions of itself until finally it masters molecular nanotechnology. Not long after, billions of microscopic self-replicating nanobots silently fill the world, patiently awaiting the instruction from their master to emerge and destroy humanity.

    Having been in the cryonics and life extension scenes, I have come to an appreciation of the complexity of neurobiology, a complexity that will be very difficult if not impossible to emulate in digital electronics

    Andreas Wagner says bio complexity is not there to perform essential tasks, but rather because complexity makes organisms robust in the performance of those functions. Fred Hoyle’s argument was random mutations, not only were unlikely to be an improvement, but that they were likely to make the organism stop working altogether. Wagner explains the complexity in biology as solving that problem of conserving while progressing. In digital electronics the simplest circuits with the fewest logic gates cannot be altered without disabling them. Change one wire and they won’t work . A much more complex circuit can do the same thing, and will continue to work even with several changes. Organisms are complex because it that means their networks are always in a state closer than they would otherwise be to many potential innovations in design space.

    I’m not explaining at all well, but this is very good review of his book .

    https://www.molecularecologist.com/2015/02/bigger-on-the-inside/
    In this framework, any one bacterial genotype is a single “mutation” away from genotypes that differ by either adding or subtracting one of 5,870 different possible metabolic reactions considered by Rodrigues and Wagner. That is, the adaptive landscape is a network of possible genotypes, in which each genotype is a node linked to almost six thousand other nodes! In Arrival, Wagner builds an extended metaphor of such a network as a hyperspatial “universal library,” with each book “shelved” next to not two other books, but thousands.

    As I understand it, Wagner says circuits in digital electronics are like the genotype networks in biology only more so. It would seem to follow that the human level and far above AGI “design space” is there and might possibly be traversed long before the century is out. Wagner draws a parallel between biology and digital technology to suggest that progress in AI will be very much faster than is usually understood. He also says a step by step evolutionary process is very often how new scientific and technological advances are made. That is, on a very broad front with multiple projects having a claim to priority rather than a single genius team making a world shaking breakthrough. I think it follows that Hsu’s pals don’t necessarily have insight.

    In his Superintelligence Bostrum points out that if you look at the inventions/discoveries that actually happened in hindsight in some case the ones who came up with them and in many cases the leading figures of the previous generation were too downbeat in their predictions of when humanity would solve the problems. Going by the various estimates in Bostrum’s book from leading people in the field, those who Hsu is quoting for there being at least a hundred years to human level general intelligence machine are far outside the qualified mainstream balance of opinion. Although he does not specify this my impression is Bostrom thinks the mainstream underestimate the likelihood of their failure, and it is about 50/50 that HLMI will arrive by the end of the century, with a non trivial chance of it being here by mid century.

  57. @Philip Owen

    Putin once had a government. Now he has a regime. A senile regime. He should have gone in 20o8. His immediate departure is now urgent.

    No way it is urgent as mugabization of putinism is the best and most desired thing that could happen. They will waste more and more resources on just containing current political status quo, economical and technological development will not be extinct, but remain sluggish, there will be more talented people such as Durov leaving. One only could wish Pugabe to stay in power till hundred years of age.

    • LOL: Thulean Friend
    • Troll: Anatoly Karlin
  58. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    So, now it’s Ukraine that’s a good role model of how Russia should behave? Hilarious!

    ?!

    Related:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/25042019-gauging-ukraine-with-russia-and-belarus-oped/

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/24/gauging-ukraine-with-russia-and-belarus/

    Uncritically quoting McCain’s foolish remarks doesn’t serve you well when faced with fact based counters.

    As for China, was it ever on any long term buddy, buddy terms with the US or any other major power? China has a growing econ0my with demands and Russia has natural resources. US neocon and neolib foreign policy adventurism serves to further bring Russia and China closer.

    Like it or not, China is a major player on the rise – something the rest of the world has to deal with. At the same time, it’s not like Russia is chopped liver – McCain’s idiocy aside.

  59. @songbird

    I would advocate creating zones of enterprise in the Third World.

    Lol, that’s like, literally colonialism. As in, African colonialism back in the day literally started as ‘zones of enterprise’.

    • Replies: @songbird
  60. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Thulean Friend

    I understand that the BK meat substitute isn’t a healthier option to the real deal original.

    On the matter of fast food, the McDonald’s 1/4 pounder is actually quite tasty and noticeably different from other burgers at that venue, including the Big Mac. According to at least one source, the McD 1/4 pounder meat is of a different and better quality. I put that 1/4 pounder on par with a decent enough diner burger .

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  61. @sudden death

    talented people such as Durov

    Durov’s only talent is securing backchannel venture capital from organized crime and them getting the fuck out alive when they came with hard questions several years later. He even managed to turn a profit of 300 million bucks in the process.

    Now, it certainly takes a certain amount of talent to run a racket like that, but unfortunately Russia has lots and lots of that kind of talent where it came from.

  62. I got into a discussion with Dmitry some time ago about emigration patterns from Israel. His postion was that it was an increasing problem. I was skeptical. Israel has seen rising economic success in recent years, it is far more peaceful than even a few decades ago and pro-Palestinian sentiment appears to be on an ebb, meaning any cultural/social factors (i.e. international shaming that was done in the 1980s against Apartheid South Africa) are also absent. On top of that, the media has been sounding the alarm of rising ‘anti-Semitism’ in the West, which presumably should strengthen the hand of those wanting to stay in Israel.

    So I went about researching the issue, purely out of curiosity.

    Well, in terms of direction, at least, Dmitry’s instincts were right. The Shoresh Institute, headed up by the former director of the Taub Center (a premier Israeli think-tank), has published a paper on this very topic just a few months ago. The entire paper is great and should be read, but here’s an (inadequate) summary:

    [MORE]

    What matters in this debate is not the quantity of the emigration but the quantity. Israel sees low overall levels of emigration, but surprisingly high levels of emigration. This is bad for all countries but especially for Israel.


    Israel is more dependent on the highly skilled than most countries, due to a lower average level of the general population.

    Despite the high-tech sector’s success, Israel has in fact falling behind the frontier in productivity. Why?

    Turns out that a large part of their success comes from a tiny population. This would support the ‘smart fraction theory’.It is this group, together with academic researchers and physicians, who are emigrating in increasing quantities.

    The share of emigrants to the US (the country he focuses on) has been rising. From 1995-2005, the number was 66,000. From 2006-2016, the number jumped to 87,000. Population growth in Israel has been rapid, but he controlled for that.

    This means that without continued aliyah in large numbers (and preferably young jews), there is an increasing net brain drain from Israel.

    Note that Dmitry talked about not just the US but also the EU. How does it look for the overall share of academic researchers? Just in the recent years, there has been a notable uptick.

    A reasonable objection at this stage would be, well, what about returnees? Maybe a lot of them go abroad but a lot come back. Nope:

    What about the type of academic emigrant? Turns out that those most critical for Israel’s R&D research in high-tech are also those most likely to leave:

    Note the text in the image. It says “graduating from 1980 to 2010”, so this is a long-run stock measurement. It says nothing about the flow, which have gotten worse in recent decades with an acceleration in recent years.

    Physicians are also increasingly leaving.


    I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Coming back to my initial observations about Israel not being the conventional success story as often portrayed (outside a high-performing elite doing truly magnificent work in high-tech, academia and R&D) is the issue of wages.

    As Ben-David points out, Israel’s low GDP per hour worked (PPP) – a measure of productivity – means that it cannot pay high (PPP-adjusted) wages. This is a primary reason why people are leaving. It seems nationalism is decreasingly important for many young highly educated Israelis, the most critical part of its country’s future economic success.

    What does the future hold? This is how Israel did on the 2015 PISA exam.

    Note that Haredi boys don’t even take the PISA exams, so we don’t know what their scores are. But it is highly likely that the scores are terrible, given that they quit after 8th grade. They are not going to be equipped to sustain Israeli’s high-tech success. The less said about the arabs, the better. Even Hebrew, non-Haredi speakers’s score, while certainly respectable, is not amazing.

    But here’s what worrying if you’re an Israeli policymaker:

    This means that the burden to keep up the economy is falling on fewer and fewer shoulders who are actually capable of it.

    To add to that, Israel has some of the highest real estate costs:

    … and some of the highest prices. That is why it’s PPP-adjusted per capita GDP is lower than its nominal income.

    You go forward 2-3 decades and it is not hard seeing an even greater intensification of these trends.

    Long story short, Dmitry is correct about these trends and I had underestimated them, because I looked at overall levels of emigration (by which Israeli emigration is low) rather than at the very high-end, where Israeli emigration is substantial. Israel is also a very top-heavy society perhaps more dependent on its smart fraction than most, if not all, other OECD economies as shown by the higher share of tax income coming from the top two declines earlier. So this hits them much harder.

    What’s remarkable is the rapidly rising share of populations with essentially low productivity and third-world achievement levels (haredim + arabs) compared to the current prime-age working population. This means that the yawning gap between the G7 and Israel in productivity is unlikely to close and may in fact widen even further going forward.All of this would put further pressure on educated Israelis to contribute even more, leading many to simply pack their bags. And increasingly, many indeed do that.

    I’d be happy for anyone to come with additional evidence on this topic.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  63. @Thulean Friend

    It seems like a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the European world would actually be a great boon for Israel

  64. @Thorfinnsson

    Doesn’t seem to accord with other data.

    It’s been steady at 20-22% of GDP since 2008. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.GDI.FTOT.ZS?locations=RU

    St. Louis Fed shows a similar trend (if you adjust for a growing ruble-denominated GDP): https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/RUSGFCFQDSMEI

    It would more optimally be around 25%, but its not atypical by East-Central European standards in the past decade.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  65. Yevardian says:
    @ImmortalRationalist

    Theodore Kaczynski was right about pretty much everything.

  66. @sudden death

    How is the Chinese conquest of Siberia coming along?

    • Replies: @LatW
    , @sudden death
  67. Yevardian says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Seems the Russian Education system still hasn’t recovered from the catastrophic freefall of standards during the post Soviet Era.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  68. @Yevardian

    I wrote about PIAAC here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/iq-in-time-and-space/

    Russians do rather well there.

    The only interesting observation is that it is the only country, along with the US and UK, without any/much of a Flynn effect.

    I haven’t looked at it beyond what TF posted but I am assuming Russia’s low scores in Richwine’s analysis are a function of Russia’s overly high tertiary enrollment rates dragging down the average.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  69. Yevardian says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    That makes more sense. Russian scores seemed extremely low even considering Moskva was omitted.

  70. @Mr. Hack

    The Russian economy nearly twice as large as the Italian economy when measured on a purchasing power basis.

    It’s true that Russia barely offers an official ideology, which frankly is an improvement over the Soviet period.

    I’m not going to pour venom on my own society unlike some Western dissidents, but what we offer the world is not positive. We have the power of attraction owing to our wealth, power, and prestige.

    I’m not Russian, but I would certainly be surprised to see the Russian Federation disintegrate after Putin. The country has its weak points, but the strength of the state and its support in society is not one of them.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  71. LatW says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Russian patriots themselves often complain on various Youtube channels about the culling of the forests by the Chinese.

    I wouldn’t equate it to conquest of course as the territory is indeed vast, but I’d be enraged if the Chinese were allowed to do that with my forests.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  72. @LatW

    It’s a problem everywhere with Chinese investors, but Russia doesn’t seem to be handling that issue particularly badly.

    • Replies: @LatW
  73. LatW says:
    @Matra

    Why, it’s a perfect paleo dinner, although I’d replace the Atlantic salmon with a sockeye. The nuts give extra nutrition but the pesto should be made with Siberian pine nuts. 🙂

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  74. LatW says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Hehe, that’s right, the good old Russian unpredictability characteristic weaponized against the Chinese conquest. It’s called “vzyali i kinuli”, lol.

  75. @Thulean Friend

    The the Impossible Meat Whopper is going nationwide at American Burger King.

    Though it must be pointed out that this is just Burger King–the kind of sad stunt Burger King is known for.

    I haven’t tried the product, but I suspect you’re right that taste difference is not substantial for several reasons:

    • Burger King beef patties are frozen
    • The cooking temperature is not hot enough to produce a nice sear
    • These are hamburgers dressed with vegetables and sauces

    I believe the stated goal of Impossible Meat and its competitors is the replacement of low value ground beef. This is, unfortunately, probably achievable–if the cost of production can go lower than ground beef. Currently ground beef is cheaper to produce. Much cheaper in fact.

    Now onto environmental impact. When we’re talking about beef in particular, its important to remember several facts about ruminants:

    • Ruminants are an essential part of the soil cycle
    • Ruminants are grazed on pastureland that cannot support crops
    • Ruminants convert human-inedible plant matter to high quality meat and dairy products

    Even “factory-farmed” ruminants that finish their lives in feed lots for fattening prior to slaughter spend most of their lives grazing on grass. They also don’t simply eat feed grain which could be consumed by humans when in feed lots. Feed also includes hay (dried grass), silage, distillers’ grain (used grains from liquor producers), and other plant matter that is inedible to humans.

    Ruminants also do not simply produce beef and dairy. Other valuable products are also produced. Leather is the best known example, but not the only one. Ruminants are also part of the supply chain for glue, drywall, LCD screens, pharmaceuticals, optics, and more.

    Thus claims about red meat and dairy production being uniquely bad for the environment are highly misleading. Even the much maligned production of methane is misleading. This is part of the natural carbon cycle and does not stay in the atmosphere permanently, and it predates the existence of humans. Cattle herds have in many respects simply replaced wild herds of buffalo, aurochs, deer, antelopes, etc. and continue to fill a similar ecological niche.

    I’m not an expert on water, but water is a resource which responds to price signals. The real enemy, as usual here, may be atomophobia. One could have very cheap desalination indeed by construction once-through cooling loop boiling water atomic reactors which seawater. And most of the top beef and dairy producing countries, with the notable exception of India, are not facing severe water stress.

    Then we move onto a major reason for my hostility–nutrition. The protein quality and nutrient density of red meat is unrivaled by any other food source. The protein sources in plant-based substitutes are mostly decent, but their fat sources are the same industrial seed oils which are substantially to blame for the global public health crisis. Switching to healthy plant fats (fruit oils like olive, avocacdo, etc.) is not viable owing to cost and thus will not happen. Matching the nutrient density of red meat is not possible without fortification, and plant-derived micronutrients are of lower quality than animal ones as they must first be converted by the human body into a usable form.

    So the entire enterprise is a further assault on healthy food for dubious reasons. It’s also joined at the hip with left-wing ideology. Fear of animal slaughter, virtue signaling for the “climate”, and of course supposed concern for the lesser human populations of the so-called “Global South”.

    Then we move to your terrifying, totalitarian final point. The basic problem with this view is that society continually gets these things wrong. This in particular being a very good example. If you had been dictator after the McGovern Committee issued its guidelines you might very well have banned butter, eggs, and bacon.

    Even tobacco, which we got it mostly right on, is subject to the same dynamics. Most or perhaps all of the harm comes from smoking tobacco. Other forms of tobacco appear much less harmful, yet puritans are constantly waging war on them regardless as they’ve come to see tobacco as sinful. Meat, especially red meat, is now being subjected to the same assault.

    • Agree: notanon, reiner Tor
  76. @Mikhail

    Beef is close to the healthiest thing you can eat.

    The 1/4 pounder has recently shifted to fresh beef patties. This has led to a remarkable improvement in flavor and texture compared to other burgers at McDonald’s or Burger King.

    I don’t think this shift was global though–North America only. Probably because there’s more competition here.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  77. @Anatoly Karlin

    Thanks. I didn’t realize FRED had data for Russia.

    That will make things easier for the future.

  78. @LatW

    Sockeye has better flavor, though it’s also more expensive and less forgiving in the kitchen (owing to its leanness). Farmed Atlantic is a good choice these days, and it’s nice that I can simply throw it in a 300 F oven for 35 minutes and not think about it. I also got an entire side, so I have leftovers for today I can eat after my workout.

    Nuts are of lower nutritive value than meat and a source of undesirable polyunsaturated fatty acids, so I do not commonly eat them. Just wanted to do something different since it was Saturday. Normally dinner is a steak–as seen in the other photograph.

    I don’t know where one would get Siberian pine nuts to begin with. Are they any different from other pine nuts?

    And in any case this was not a “normal” pesto since basil and pine nuts were substituted with wilted arugula and toasted walnuts. There was also a fair amount of lemon juice to pair with the fish.

    • Replies: @LatW
    , @Mikhail
    , @AP
  79. songbird says:
    @anonymous coward

    Mass migration is objectively worse than late-stage colonialism. Europeans improved the lives of natives and their numbers objectively grew. Can a European say the same about what is being done to Europe?

    Anyway, what I’m proposing would be a new system. In the past, each country wanted an empire stretching North and South or East and West across Africa. What I’m proposing would have built-in limits to territoriality. Something more in-line with Singapore.

    Now, of course, one city wouldn’t be able to hold many. But I figure what you are really trying to contain are the elites. And certain beneficial effects would fan out. Perhaps, Africans themselves, like the Chinese, or Malaysia, would try to build their own urban centers nearby, with a view to copying some of the success.

    I believe that there are parts of coastal Africa that are still deserted – though I don’t know if it is really worth building something that would require a de-salinization plant or huge a breakwater.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  80. @Reykur

    Very interesting – Arkhangelsk is 95% Russian (and 24% rural), so those figures really are accruing to rural Russians.

    That said, they urban fertility rates are lower than even for the region as a whole, so Arkhangelsk current TFR (1.58) is the same as Novgorod’s (1.56). https://fedstat.ru/indicator/31517

    Novgorod now has virtually zero difference between urban and rural TFR. Could this be some weird artifact of regional stats collection?

    • Replies: @Reykur
  81. @Anatoly Karlin

    well, even some local commie leaning propagandists whom should love their commie Chinese friends report this as succesfully ongoing feat 🙂 even if 10-15% of this is somewhat truthful then preparation is going on as planned by them:

    • Replies: @LatW
  82. LatW says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Nuts are of lower nutritive value than meat and a source of undesirable polyunsaturated fatty acids, so I do not commonly eat them.

    Of course, eating a lot of nuts would be crazy, but they keep you sated. I only mentioned the Siberian pine nuts half-jokingly because this is a Russia-related forum. In Russia and in some neighboring countries there are cute little boutique businesses that sell Siberian pine nut and cedar nut products – high protein health and beauty supplements. They often have cool, folkish packaging. Hence, it is sad to see the current fires in the taiga.

    And in any case this was not a “normal” pesto since basil and pine nuts were substituted with wilted arugula and toasted walnuts. There was also a fair amount of lemon juice to pair with the fish.

    Sounds like a cool experiment.

    Anyway, on the red meat topic, I am also very skeptical that they’ll be able to replicate the nutritional value or even the taste value (both the taste and the texture of ground free range beef is great exactly because of its naturalness).

    Another side effect of this will be something that you’ve already alluded to – food PC. In some circles in the West, it has basically turned into a topic similar to religion. It may start getting difficult going out to lunch together since you’d have to please everyone’s newly exotic food preferences. There’s a psychological expense there – you have to waste minutes listening to someone signaling and worry about not saying too much about your favorite food or restaurants, lest it offends someone. It is an unnecessary stress, an awkward moment. Basically the food conversation becomes just like the “taboo” topics of religion and money – the end result could be that people will simply stop discussing it with their peers. Another step away from normalcy.

    Nature needs to be protected, but not like that.

    • Replies: @Toronto Russian
  83. LatW says:
    @sudden death

    This should serve as a warning sign to us, too, dear brother, as to what could happen in the future if we are not vigilant. Another increasing problem will be garbage disposal, as I’m sure you saw what that led to in Shyes (near Arkhangelsk). Nyet svalke!

  84. @Thorfinnsson

    We have the power of attraction owing to our wealth, power, and prestige.

    There is something more to this as only wealth and power or prestige would be insufficient when explaining the corruption of young hijabi wearing girl by Western satanism 🙂

  85. @songbird

    I’m pretty sure that the original vision for European colonialism was exactly that, Singapore-like free city-states. In India and China that vision survived until the middle of the 20th century.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that “building their own urban centers nearby with a view to copying” is exactly how African cities and capitals originally got started.

    So you’re really proposing to rewind back to the 16th century and try colonialism again. Somehow, I don’t think it will be better the second time around.

    • Replies: @songbird
  86. @sudden death

    There is something more to this as only wealth and power or prestige would be insufficient when explaining the corruption of young hijabi wearing girl by Western satanism

    Really? Some (who am I kidding, make that ‘most’) girls would do almost anything for money.

  87. LatW says:
    @sudden death

    That’s right. 🙂 The true appeal of the West is encapsulated in the timeless sound of Orion by Metallica. 🙂

  88. @sudden death

    Could not decide whether to click LOL or Troll on this post, they should really add a WTF option.

    If you don’t want more people to be corrupted, maybe don’t expose them to Buckethead’s best song!

  89. @AaronB

    Thing is, the life of a techie post-Singularity would be vastly different than the life of a techie today.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  90. songbird says:
    @anonymous coward

    Somehow, I don’t think it will be better the second time around.

    HK was quite successful. There are people who still try to go there, as a legacy of colonialism. Although to me it seems dysfunctional – real estate makes cost of living too high. And of course, the semi-independence is sort of a sham. Why the Chinese even tolerated HK was that they benefited from it. The communist leadership could buy drugs and luxury goods there.

    Human nature doesn’t change, of course. Some Africans had political ambition – very much like the founding fathers of America. Europeans didn’t support South Africa either, even though Africans there were objectively better off than elsewhere in sub-Sahara. That is really the main obstacle – psychology.

    Could a better system than past colonialism be constructed on paper? One which satisfied Africans more? Of this, I have no doubt. Their opinions could be surveyed, to help design it. It’s success would be measured by how many moved there, so it might perhaps be perceived differently than a country (though many moved to South Africa and it was a pariah.)

    Another difference would be that it would essentially be an African city. Primarily made up of African elites – selected by various tests, while others of lower abilities might be allowed to work there, in certain zones, but not be residents. Possibly there would be foreign neighborhoods for synergy, but these would be limited to certain dimensions, with built-in security. It would be easy to attract foreigners if you granted them a measure of self-association, their own public space and safety. Allow whites to have a white school, where they can be taught their own culture and history, have their own dances, and that is even a right they don’t have in America.

    No foreign group would dominate because each would have its own neighborhood, with its own dimensions (blacks would have a neighborhood, where they could keep whites or Chinese out.) They would be wide spaces, perhaps a few sq. miles each, but the city would be about 10x as big. Only about 10% of the population would be foreign. Each people would have their own sector, with some of its own public spaces, places where they could have their own parades, holidays, etc. Cultural rootedness – what everyone desires, but nobody acknowledges.

    Some of the services of the city could be extended to the surrounding areas by technology. Telemedicine. Telecourts. Stable money. Perhaps, even free entertainment. Or a small fund that incentivized good behavior. Low interest loans to qualified people. Perhaps prizes for native cultural output.

  91. AaronB says:
    @ImmortalRationalist

    You nailed it.

    The techie fails to achieve fulfillment in this life, so he can’t let it go – as if something is left undone, that he hopes to make good on given enough time.

  92. @Yevardian

    His explanation for the Fermi Paradox is questionable though. His model only seems to make sense if you assume that Earth’s self-prop systems are somehow confined to Earth, leading to destructive competition with disregard for long term consequences, and are somehow incapable of colonizing outward.

    [MORE]

    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.

  93. Reykur says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    “Could this be some weird artifact of regional stats collection?” – I think, to some extent, yes, it could. But the regional variation is holding up year after year, which proves to me, that at least, here’s something worth researching. For the whole country, according to Fedstat.ru, highest rural TFR in recent years was in 2014 (2.32). For that year, in Komi Republic it was 4.74, for Arkhangelskaya oblast without Nenets Okrug it was 4.18, for Karelia it was 3.71, and for Kirovskaya oblast it was 3.61. For two more regions rural TFR was slightly higher than 2.32, but not by much: for Vologodskaya oblast rural TFR was 2.77, for Kostromskaya it was 2,67. For comparison – in Novgorodskaya (2.2), Yaroslavskaya (2.19), Tverskaya (2.17) rural TFR was slightly smaller than the national average.

    So, for 2014 we have four real outliers – regions, where rural TFR was higher than the national average by more than one (4.74, 4.18, 3.71, 3.61 vs. 2.32 for the whole nation). Fast forward to 2018 – national rural TFR is 1.87. For Novgorodskaya (1.53), Yaroslavskaya (1.53), Tverskaya (1.67) it’s still slightly lower than the national average, though the difference now is larger. For Vologodskaya (1.93) and Kostromskaya (1.93) rural TFR is still higher than the national average, but the difference is smaller.

    And then we get to four outliers and see that they are holding up. For 2018 rural TFR was 4 for Komi, 4.77 for Arkhangelskaya, 3.13 for Kirovskaya and 2.48 for Karelia. So if there is a data flaw, it shows not for one region and not for rural TFR in every region, but for the cluster of regions. Which is impobable, in my opinion. Worth noting, that Kirovskaya oblast isn’t usually grouped with Arkhangelskaya and Komi – for example, they belong to different federal districts.

    Denalt wrote a follow-up to his original post – https://denalt.livejournal.com/6685.html , where he took one district (Velsky raion in the south of Arkhangelskaya oblast) and gathered a profile for changes in population for different villages in it. Comments are worth reading – he explains his methodological choices there.

    Slightly on different topic, in recent years Russian federal statistic services bagan gathering the data on order of births (number of first children, second children, third children and so on, born this year). Unfortunately, there is no regional data yet. But the data for the whole country is reassuring: even if overall births went from 1 690 307in 2017 to 1 604 344 in 2018, the 3+, 4+ and 5+ cohorts are increasing, not only in proportion, but also in absolute numbers: 3+ went from 352 495 to 375 147, 4+ went from 102 196 to 116 198 and 5+ went from 34 927 to 40 870. Data courtesy Stranger233 – https://stranger233.livejournal.com/43021.html Of course, with regional (or even ethnic and religious) data we would get much more from these numbers. But we can assume, that the bulk of these birth are happening in Russian families.

    By the way, everyone who looked at Cicerone973’s regional fertility maps remember the big differences in TFR for Chinese provinces. But I didn’t knew the extent of it – here’s a demographic profile of Heilongjiang: https://stranger233.livejournal.com/39180.html So much for takeover of Siberia, predicted even by some commenters here. Also, I know that your are reading Ivan Vladimirov’s blog, but you could have missed his and Bashirov’s prediction of actual resident population of the Ukraine from 2019 voter rolls – https://acer120.livejournal.com/131559.html

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  94. @sudden death

    Not surprising that this girl is from South-East Asia, the most liberal Islamic place historically (though that may slowly be changing, at least in Indonesia). Also, hijab skater girl aesthetic is now official:

    Pretty strange but also weirdly cute.

    Be honest, which dress style of these two girls would you rather have as a role model for girls in your country:

    I’m not a fan of hijabs, but I’m even less of a fan of “heroin-addicted street prostitute chic”.

  95. @LatW

    Another side effect of this will be something that you’ve already alluded to – food PC. In some circles in the West, it has basically turned into a topic similar to religion. It may start getting difficult going out to lunch together since you’d have to please everyone’s newly exotic food preferences.

    As was written already in 2004 book Watching the English:

    The upper-middle chattering classes are the most receptive and suggestible adherents of the health-correctness cults. Among the females of this class in particular, food taboos have become the primary means of defining one’s social identity. You are what you do not eat. No chattering-class dinner party can take place without a careful advance survey of all the guests’ fashionable food allergies, intolerances and ideological positions. ‘I’ve stopped giving dinner parties,’ one upper-middle-class journalist told me. ‘It’s become simply impossible. Catering for the odd vegetarian was OK, but now everyone’s got a wheat allergy or a dairy intolerance or they’re vegan or macrobiotic or Atkins or they can’t eat eggs or they’ve got ‘issues’ about salt or they’re paranoid about e-numbers or they’ll only eat organic or they’re de-toxing . . .’
    (…)
    The lower- and middle-middles, taking their cue from the upper-middles (and from the Daily Mail, with its regulation five health-scares per day), are rapidly succumbing to the full range of ‘posh’ food-fears. There tends to be a bit of a satellite-delay effect, a pause in transmission of a beat or two, before the latest upper-middle food fads and taboos are taken up by the inhabitants of mock-Tudor and neo-Georgian estates, and then another delay before they reach the 1930s semidetacheds. Some semi-detached suburbanites have only just realised that fat-phobia and fibre worship are passé, long since superseded by carbo-phobia and protein-mania. Once all the current carcinogens-du-jour and other food-fear fashions have been adopted by the lower-middles, the upper-middles will of course have to think of some new ones. There is no point in having a wheat intolerance if all those common people who say ‘pardon’ and ‘serviette’ have one too.

    The working classes generally have no truck with this sort of nonsense. They have real problems, and do not need to invent fancy food allergies to make their lives more interesting. At the opposite end of the social scale, the upper classes are equally down-to-earth and sceptical about such matters. Although they may have the time and money to devote to whimsical food taboos, they do not suffer from the same insecurities about their identity as the fretful middle classes, and so do not need to define themselves through conspicuous non-consumption of bread and butter. There are a few exceptions, such as the late Princess of Wales, but they tend to prove the rule by being noticeably more insecure and self-conscious than the average aristocrat.

    • Replies: @LatW
    , @Thorfinnsson
    , @Mikhail
  96. LatW says:
    @Thulean Friend

    How about something in the middle – as in, normal…?

    By the way, the traditional Baltic garb is not unlike the girl on the left, only different colors.

  97. @Thulean Friend

    Why is metal so lame and gay?

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  98. LatW says:
    @Toronto Russian

    How accurate. Maybe the way out is to just be very discreet and ignore when someone starts signaling.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  99. @Toronto Russian

    Very true, though one thing must be noted.

    It’s often suggested that the higher classes do not have “real” problems because our material existence is secure. Taken to an extreme, it has become popular to dismiss the all of the problems in prosperous countries as “First World Problems”.

    I submit that instead the problems of the higher classes are in fact the only real problems. Freed from the animal scratching for sustenance, and in possession of superior brainpower, one is forced to contemplate the metaphysical question of existence itself.

    This far exceeds the bestial “problem” of figuring out how to afford your next Don Miguel THE BOMB® Spicy Red Hot Beef & Bean Burrito from 7-11 after having spent your recent paycheck on scratch ‘n sniff lotto tickets, Swisher Sweets, and Olde English.

    • Replies: @songbird
  100. @LatW

    There are two appropriate strategies.

    One–and the one I advise using in most situations–is smile and nod.

    The other is to react as belligerently as possible and state your enemy deserves to die and you intend to make that happen. Higher cost, but also a much sweeter reward.

    • Replies: @LatW
  101. LatW says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    LOL, yes. But nothing is as satisfying as giving silent treatment. 🙂 As in “it doesn’t concern me”.

  102. @Kent Nationalist

    Not really into the whole rock/metal thingy but it’s definetly and order of magnitude more respectable than crap like trap music, rap and modern EDM for all its excesses.

  103. @Philip Owen

    Russian riot police were acting like pussycats compared to Macrons flash-ball armed thugs. How many deaths and injuries have the Moscow protests caused so far?

  104. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    Dunno about beef being the healthiest thing to eat. Non-GMO, true free range and grass fed are definite pluses.

    McDonald’s has secret (non-advertised) sales. According to a source, if you right now buy two 1/4 pounders, you’ll be charged 6 plus tax. Before ordering, you can double check by asking the window person how much are two 1/4 pounders?

    I’ll consume a good number of 1/4 pounders when they’re 2 for 5.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  105. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    I prefer Atlantic Salmon cold. Goes great with mayo and chopped spinach as a sandwich or without bread.

    Eaten hot, I like salmon with rice.

  106. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Toronto Russian

    Especially with older age, some of us are lactose intolerant up to a point. I know someone who became such in his forties. He then tried a non-GMO grass fed milk, which he was able to take okay. The key is non-GMO and grass fed. Non-GMO alone didn’t cut it for him.

    As is true with milk, a good number of wheat products are prepared in a way that gives people GI issues.

  107. songbird says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    it has become popular to dismiss the all of the problems in prosperous countries as “First World Problems”

    I hate this egalitarian nonsense. It has “magic dirt” written all over it.

  108. @Mikhail

    The nice thing with ruminants is that when they consume nasty stuff much less of it ends up in the meat, even the fat. The amount of antibiotics in the steak on your plate is close enough to zero to be irrelevant. Same applies to glyphosate (not convinced it’s a carcinogen, but it does chelate minerals and alter gut flora).

    The fat profile of grassfed beef is superior, but the omega 6 content of beef is so low to be irrelevant. There’s more omega 3 in grassfed, but still very little (eat some fish and take cod liver oil).

    It makes more of a difference in dairy, so I’m a happy customer of Kerrygold.

    My standard McDonald’s order is two double quarter pounders with cheese (I discard the buns). Not cheap but much tastier than five double cheeseburgers.

  109. @Reykur

    Thanks – two more bloggers to follow, and at least a couple blog posts’ worth of material here!

  110. @Sean

    Andreas Wagner’s book is on my list to read. I’ll read it in the next month or so.

    I agree that much of neuro biology, as is most other biology, is massive redundancy. But I still think its necessary for a functioning “sentience”. In any case, if we do get real AI, I think it will be fundamentally different from us.

    • Replies: @Sean
  111. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Nuts are of lower nutritive value than meat and a source of undesirable polyunsaturated fatty acids, so I do not commonly eat them.

    What would you recommend as a good protein-filled snack that does not require refrigeration? Beef jerky?

  112. AP says:
    @AaronB

    I used the word “good.”

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Thorfinnsson
  113. AaronB says:
    @AP

    You don’t know what you’re missing 🙂

    I don’t eat filthy pig anymore, but spam is a delicacy in South Korea and Japan.

  114. A few news items not yet discussed here:

    – India is reversing Kashmir’s autonomy
    – India might buy lots of Russian weapons, especially since they worked out a framework to omit US dollars from payment
    – Ukraine captured a Russian tanker during Karlin’s hiatus, and he posted nothing about it
    – though it’s an ongoing topic, another round of Russia sanctions came from Putin’s Puppet (TM), I’m not sure what exactly they are, but I vaguely remember reading that American banks won’t be able to buy or facilitate the sale of Russian government bonds

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/25/ukraine-seizes-russian-tanker-on-danube-port-city-of-izmail-nika-spirit

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions/u-s-imposes-new-sanctions-on-russia-over-skripal-poisoning-idUSKCN1US1OC

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  115. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    – Ukraine captured a Russian tanker during Karlin’s hiatus, and he posted nothing about it

    Not really relevant.

    Roman – did Ukraine seize a Russian tanker on the weekend?

    Well, i would describe it as “attempted to” – the tanker (relatively small river-sea vessel, launched 1989 and in very bad condition) that was used by Rus coast guard as floating barrier to block Kerch passage to prevent Ukr Navy gunboats from attempting high-speed break through that would require Rus ships shooting them – came to Izmail port (near Odessa) for repairs (as the tanker changed owner company – and its name, not mentioning crew, is now different from what it was during Kerch incident). Ukraine was chosen because workforce there is very cheap, and the ship is not worth expensive repairs. Then in Izmail port SBU and Military prosecutor office of Ukraine came to the ship pretending they are to detain it etc. But within few hours, following outcry from Rus media and officials, the crew was released and left Ukraine for Russia via nearby Moldova, and the fate of the ship is unknown (one sources say it is detained while others say it is undergoing planned repairs – or may be both).
    Some commenter’s believe it was attempt by Poroshenko-era Ukrainian SBU&Mil officials to frame new President Zelensky and make it impossible for him to talk to Russia (or even prompt Russia into decisive measures like Ukrainian ports blockade) – but Zelensky, terrified of the possible consequences, stepped in to prevent another Nord-style disaster that would ruin what was left of Ukraine economy

    http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=38893&page=932#entry1440723

  116. @AP

    I don’t recommend snacks at all, unless perhaps you’re mountaineering. And even then I’m skeptical.

    Eat to satiety, emphasizing protein and fat, and do not eat between meals. The human body stores massive quantities of energy in the form of glycogen and, of course, stored body fat. Eating all the time gets in the way of depleting liver glycogen and oxidizing stored body fat.

    To the extent one needs to snack nuts are fine. Beef jerky is good in theory but all commercially available beef jerky I see in stores has sugar unfortunately.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @AP
  117. @AP

    Spam isn’t as bad as its reputation. As AaronB pointed out, its popular in South Korea and Japan. It’s also very popular in Hawaii.

  118. @Thorfinnsson

    I don’t really snack either but when I do I use canned fish + salt, lemon juice, black pepper.

    Problem with nuts is that while high in fats they are very high calorie. 100g of walnuts or macadamia nuts (my favorites) have 700 calories!

    This makes them risky for people aiming at weight loss, just like cheese or most other dairy products.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  119. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I skip meals on long road trips, and chewing helps one to stay awake.

    At home I sometimes snack on smoked salmon.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  120. @Anatoly Karlin

    Most people don’t consume nuts in large quantities fortunately, with the exception of fans of nut butter. It’s a lot easier to eat large amounts of potato chips than nuts.

    But yes, contrary to keto propaganda, calories do still matter. A lot of keto newbies get jazzed up about adding butter and cream to everything and purchase products like KETO BRICKS (https://www.ketobrick.com) and wonder why the pounds aren’t melting away.

    Ted Naiman has introduced a novel take on LCHF diets by promoting what he calls the protein to energy ratio of food: http://burnfatnotsugar.com

    The basic idea is that all organisms seek protein satiety (in plants–nitrogen) and will keep feeding until this is achieved. When eating energy rich foods, this promotes overfeeding in part because energy is less satiating than protein (fat is more satiating than carbs, but nothing compared to protein). It should also be noted that metabolizing protein requires much more energy expenditure, so one gram of protein has net calories of 3-3.2 rather than 4.

    This is a better message than claiming dietary fat consumption is irrelevant or that simply by eliminating carbohydrates magical results can be attained (though to be clear low carb is generally quite effective).

    I switched from ribeye to NY strip recently in order to promote lean gains. I have no need to lose weight (67kg 185cm), but do seek lean, vascular musculature.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  121. @AP

    A complete meal while driving is certainly possible with snack foods, and with some care appropriate foods can be purchased.

    Nuts aren’t the worst choice here, and I suppose the sugar content of a package of beef jerky isn’t the worst thing in the world. Pork rinds are another good choice, though it will probably mess up your car’s interior with crumbs.

    A stick of salami and a nice block of cheese is what I use in situations like that.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mikhail
  122. Epigon says:

    67kg 185cm

    You’re extremely thin.
    As in, thinner than lightweight rowers who look anorexic – 5-6% bodyfat max.

    What kind of workout do you do?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  123. songbird says:
    @AP

    I find jerky to be totally inedible – something I would only give a dog. If I were a frontiersman traveling 40 km/day on foot, I might take up eating it.

    Similarly, i view pork-rinds as a waste-product of pork production – though great for dogs.

    Funnily enough, once I knew a guy who ate them both but was otherwise almost a vegetarian. He didn’t eat things that he could consciously associate with animals, like chicken, pork, or steak. He had very unhealthy eating habits.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  124. @Epigon

    67kg at my height is thin by contemporary standards, but would not have been that thin in the 1940s. I think the typical conscript in the American and German armies of WW2 was something like 178cm and 68kg.

    I simply have very little fat mass owing to long-term intermittent fasting and LCHF eating.

    That does not mean I’m content to remain this slim. Intensive training was unfortunately not possible for me until recently. I’ve taken up barbell training (lean gains RPT protocol) and am seeing good results so far. No mass gain yet though power output has increased substantially.

    I also hike, commute by bicycle, and am looking to add quick morning tabata workouts.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  125. @songbird

    Most modern diets contain insufficient glycine (and collagen generally), so pork rinds are a good addition to most.

    Of course you can simply use pure collagen mix or take supplements.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  126. Epigon says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    You will have difficulty gaining any weight if you continue doing low intensity aerobic activities like bike commuting and hiking regularly.
    HIIT won’t help with hypertrophy – it’s for peaking, mostly.
    Muscle hypertrophy requires maximum intensity followed by 48-72 h of rest for damaged/fatigued muscle to regenerate – this is where the progress happens.

    In my opinion, you would be better served by calisthenics and upper body free weight exercises.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  127. @Epigon

    I think you missed the part where I said barbell training.

    I bike and hike because I enjoy it and to get outside. I’m under no illusion that these will increase athletic performance.

    I’m interested in trying morning HIIT primarily to improve my energy level throughout the day. Starting mornings with 45 minute walks has already helped. But the increase in VO2 max and decrease in resting heart rate (mine is about 60) would be beneficial as well.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  128. Epigon says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I am nowhere near knowledgeable enough to pose as an expert on the subject, but years ago a physiology specialist/amateur sportsman explained to me in detail how doing weight exercises in parallel with aerobic training defeats the purpose, preventing muscle hypertrophy and fatiguing the entire body.
    He also outlined the futility of training every day except for those in endurance sports.

    Your case of not gaining muscle while doing barbell exercises seems to corroborate his talk, or my memory of his talk.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Mikhail
  129. @Epigon

    I’m not doing these exercises in parallel.

    After lifting I eat, then I take a walk.

    I’m not going to pose as an expert on physical training because I’m not, but it is true that there is a trade-off between endurance aerobic training and training for strength and/or power (including explosive sprinting and jumping power).

    Extensive endurance aerobic training increases the proportion of Type I muscle fibers (those used for routine work and endurance) at the expense of Type II muscle fibers (those used for power). It also lowers the basal metabolic rate and reduces the production of testosterone. Thus I wouldn’t recommend endurance cardio training to anyone other than those who have some sort of occupational need for it.

    I believe it’s possible to have a HIIT cardio workout immediately following strength training without compromising gains (prior is apparently a poor idea as it exhausts you and causes form to deteriorate), though I hardly see the point as when you lift to failure with no breaks between sets you’re already doing an intensive cardio workout.

    Whether or not one can do HIIT workouts on off days without compromising gains I suppose depends on to what extent these workouts delay recovery or substitute for weight training. I guess I’ll find out soon enough if a quick early morning tabata workout does any harm on that front.

    My lack of mass gain is due to the fact I have not even been properly training for even a month now. For a variety of reasons it was not possible for me to exercise intensively until a month ago. None the less the results are already extremely encouraging.

  130. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Since you’re such a devoted carnivore, why not learn to add aspic to your diet, to get the needed glycine and collagen that you so crave? It takes a little getting used to (I didn’t like it as a kid), but over the years I’ve acquired a taste for it and really enjoy it. It’s eaten throughout Europe, especially the Eastern part (don’t know about Sweden?) and in Ukrainian and Russian its called “kholodets”. It’s great with some dill, black pepper, vinegar or lemon juice and even grated horseradish. I think that it sure beats eating “chicorones” on a regular basis (lot’s of natural collagen). 🙂

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  131. Recently I drove almost 10 hours and almost 1000 kilometers without eating. I also came around to Songbird’s view that driving such a distance with minimal interruptions might be optimal.

  132. Yee says:

    LatW,

    “Russian patriots themselves often complain on various Youtube channels about the culling of the forests by the Chinese.

    …but I’d be enraged if the Chinese were allowed to do that with my forests.”

    Russia, United States and New Zealand are China’s top 3 exporters of wood. Although Russia is #1, but they export ($4.5 billion) less than United States and New Zealand combined ($3.0 billion + $2.5 billion).

    I never understand why Russians are so oversensitive about China buying resources. They object to selling bottled water too! Even France and Japan have no problem selling their bottled water in China.

    Other major wood exporters include Australia, Thailand, Canada, Papau New Guinea and Finland (in that order). Hope your country isn’t among them…

    • Replies: @Denis
    , @LatW
  133. Denis says:
    @AaronB

    You’re a bad Jew.

    Edit: you used to be a bad Jew.

    • LOL: AaronB
  134. @Mr. Hack

    I purchase collagen hydrolysate (simply gelatin that dissolves a bit better) from Great Lakes Gelatin, a family-owned company out of Grayslake, Illinois: https://greatlakesgelatin.com

    Like a lot of paleo people, I also save scraps including bones to make stock.

    While dinner is usually a steak, I mostly opt for lesser cuts at lunch which are richer in connective tissue.

    Aspic dishes have been made in Europe since the Middle Ages and were quite a fad in the first half of the 20th century.

    Pork rinds are nice to enjoy while cooking or for entertaining. You can also use crushed pork rinds as a substitute for breading when deep frying foods.

  135. Denis says:
    @Yee

    I never understand why Russians are so oversensitive about China buying resources.

    So far as I can tell, they aren’t, this largely seems to be outsiders projecting their sentiments onto Russia.

  136. Mr. Hack says:

    Aspic dishes have been made in Europe since the Middle Ages and were quite a fad in the first half of the 20th century.

    Yes, but have you personally really given the stuff a try? I think that you may really like it, and it sure looks a lot more appetizing than dried gelatin granules. It’s the real deal, the way Europeans have been eating it for centuries. A lot of folks consider it a real gourmet food. Pig’s feet and hocks make for an excellent base. Chicken too is used. I’ve created my own, certified gourmet variety, using leftover turkey bones and juice from Thanksgiving. I baste my bird with plenty of butter and onion soup mix. The drippings, juice and leftover turkey bones and meat are unceremoniously ladled into a glass or plastic container. Put into the refrigerator over night, and the next day you’ll be eating the tastiest aspic that you can imagine. It’s simple to make and really delicious. Nothing goes to waste! 🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Thorfinnsson
  137. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Correction: actually the turkey bones are discarded. With pork hocks and feet, some part of the bones are left in. It’s from the bone, of course, that the gelatinous substance forms. But you don’t need much bone in the end product to get the full effect.

  138. @Mr. Hack

    Yes, I’ve eaten it and made it.

    That said, dried gelatin granules are the real deal. Powdered gelatin is simply dehydrated animal collagen.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  139. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I might give it a try. Some of the soup recipes might be good. But in all honesty, the products look like they’re made to order for the “lazy American” lifestyle (of which I profess mea culpa), not for the foodie types. How do you use these “granules” (powder?)?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  140. @Mr. Hack

    You just hydrate it in liquid until it “blooms”–then it’s exactly the same as the gelatin you’ve already worked with.

  141. @Thorfinnsson

    But yes, contrary to keto propaganda, calories do still matter.

    Vodka is very high in calories. Nobody has ever got fat from binge-drinking vodka.

    So, not really. ‘Calories’ is a very, very crude measure that doesn’t actually take nutrition into account. They’re basically measured by burning food and seeing how hot it gets. The body is not a Bunsen burner.

    …claiming dietary fat consumption is irrelevant or that simply by eliminating carbohydrates magical results can be attained

    Part of it is simple compliance. For the vast majority of people eating 300 grams of cake as a snack after dinner is nothing. Eating 300 grams of cheese (or worse, bacon) in one sitting is a feat that will leave you sick for days.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  142. @anonymous coward

    I don’t endorse the clearly incorrect CICO model. In addition to not considering satiety or nutrition, it’s not even correct on an energetic basis owing to the thermic effect food. Ethanol, as in your example, requires substantial energy expenditure to metabolize.

    My only point is what ought to be a basic one–there’s no such thing as a free lunch. LCHF diets tend to be very effective, but it’s simply not true that one can consume massive quantities of fat beyond metabolic needs and still lose weight. Someone seeking to lose weight should probably skip the cream in his coffee. Someone maintaining weight on a LCHF diet can put cream in his coffee without guilt or ill effect.

  143. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Epigon

    Depends on what one is looking for, relative to the strengths and weaknesses of the given person.

    All around conditioning requires the right blend of strength, HIIT and LSD (longer slower distance), as well as flexibility exercises.

    People only doing weights typically lack in cardio. LSD alone will have limits.

    Doing weights with little rest in between does result more of a cardio effect. Such a workout is (from what I gather) isn’t beneficial good on a daily basis.

    Too much HIIT can burn a person out – especially if they aren’t so naturally fast. HIIT can be done every day, but in different forms like HIIT swim and run workouts on alternating days. HIIT can also be achieved via cardio machines.

  144. From the Federal Reserve today:

    https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/other20190805a.htm

    The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced that the Federal Reserve Banks will develop a new round-the-clock real-time payment and settlement service, called the FedNow℠ Service, to support faster payments in the United States.

    The rapid evolution of technology presents a pivotal opportunity for the Federal Reserve and the payment industry to modernize the nation’s payment system and establish a safe and efficient foundation for the future. The Federal Reserve believes faster payment services, which enable the near-instantaneous transfer of funds day and night, weekend and weekdays, have the potential to become widely used and to yield economic benefits for individuals and businesses by providing them with more flexibility to manage their money and make time-sensitive payments.

    Since its founding more than a century ago, the Federal Reserve has provided payment and settlement services, alongside and in cooperation with the private sector, as part of its core function of promoting an accessible, safe, and efficient U.S. payment system. The Federal Reserve has established over its history a broad reach as a provider of payment and settlement services to the more than 10,000 financial institutions across the country. That reach will help the FedNow Service support a nationwide infrastructure on which the financial services industry may develop innovative faster payment services for the benefit of all Americans.

    “Everyone deserves the same ability to make and receive payments immediately and securely, and every bank deserves the same opportunity to offer that service to its community,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard. “FedNow will permit banks of every size in every community across the country to provide real-time payments to their customers.”

    In 2018, the Board requested public comment on potential services that could be developed by the Federal Reserve to support faster payments. Of the more than 350 comments that took a position on whether the Federal Reserve should develop a new service for faster payments, over 90 percent supported the Federal Reserve operating a round-the-clock real-time payment and settlement service alongside services provided by the private sector.

    The Board is now requesting comment on how the new service might be designed to most effectively support the full set of payment system stakeholders and the functioning of the broader U.S. payment system. The Board anticipates the FedNow Service will be available in 2023 or 2024.

    In addition, the Board is announcing its intention to explore the expansion of Fedwire Funds Service and National Settlement Service hours, up to 24x7x365, to facilitate liquidity management in private-sector real-time gross settlement services for faster payments and to support a wide range of payment activities, beyond those related to faster payments.

    About time. US payments system is antiquated.

  145. Shocking revelations about Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/ronald-reagans-racist-conversation-richard-nixon/595102/

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/how-a-historian-uncovered-ronald-reagans-racist-remarks-to-richard-nixon

    I guess this will eventually lead to a reevaluation of St Ronnie among the American “right”, after all “white supremacy” seems to be well on its way to becoming the new bogeyman.

  146. @German_reader

    The most interesting aspect to me about Nixon is that his recording tapes showed he was well aware of the JQ among other issues. He won a re-election handsomely. He was intellectually very strong. Yet in the end he had little real power to change the situation.

    Also, lest we forget, Based Ronnie was also the guy who did mass amnesty in the 1980s. BoJo is another character who on the one hand will say racist remarks but in his policy he just scrapped all mention of trying to get down immigration levels to the ‘tens of thousands’ and has called for a mass amnesty too.

    Merkel’s “multiculturalism has failed” in 2010 went to ‘wir shaffen das’ in 2015.

    Then we got Trump himself. The lesson should be that rhetoric really means very little in the grand scheme of things, but many right-wingers are so starved that they’ll accept anything without holding their leaders to account. Trump learned this early on.

  147. Trump’s administration continues to be ever more extreme in its Iran policy:

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/zarif-sanctioned-does-trump-still-want-talks-iran-70946
    https://lobelog.com/sanctioning-zarif-further-undermines-u-s-diplomatic-credibility/
    https://lobelog.com/averting-the-middle-easts-1914-moment/
    https://lobelog.com/the-tangled-mess-in-the-persian-gulf-echoes-1914/

    Putting sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister and calling him “chief apologist of the regime” (or even using a Persian term on Twitter which has connotations with “pimp”) doesn’t really indicate genuine interest in negotiations.
    It really bothers me that Trump’s administration has now managed to drag Britain into this whole mess, but I suppose there are enough idiots in Britain who support this. They’ll regret it in time.
    The Europeans have of course again proven to be totally impotent.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  148. @Thulean Friend

    and has called for a mass amnesty too.

    He already did that when he was mayor of London, it’s not a new development. Thinking he was genuinely patriotic (let alone “nationalist”, whatever that may mean) because of his neo-Churchillian posing was always delusional.
    imo Brexit will prove to be a severe disappointment for many of those who voted for it, it seems to have been taken over by people whose main agenda is Thatcherite economics and even greater subservience to America. Mass immigration will continue or even be expanded.
    I wonder though what might happen if Britain gets dragged into a war with Iran.

  149. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    Quick Light Snacks to Neutralize Appetite Without Feeling Too Full

    A handful of walnuts and/or a banana, perhaps with peanut butter serves for me as a good light snack. Almonds and pistachios are another option.

    An apple and/or hard boiled egg comes in handy. Canned chunk light tuna with mayo and no bread is yet another option. Will also do small portion chips or potato salad.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  150. @German_reader

    I suppose there are enough idiots in Britain who support this

    It’s not like it has popular support. But the Conservative leadership is of course controlled by Zionists and Atlanticists. The new cabinet even includes Indian woman Priti Patel, who was sacked from her previous job from having secret meetings in Israel (including with Netanyahu).

  151. @Thulean Friend

    The Tories only ever moved to the immigration cap because they were afraid of UKIP. Since Farage has completely abandoned that issue with his new party and UKIP is dead, there is no reason anymore for them not to allow in all of the Indians and Chinese that business wants.

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  152. @German_reader

    Didn’t he get in trouble in West Germany for laying a wreath on a grave for SS soldiers as well?

    • Replies: @German_reader
  153. @Kent Nationalist

    It was about a cemetery with the graves of some Waffen-SS soldiers:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitburg_controversy

    I think that was due to an initiative from Kohl’s government though. Wouldn’t happen today.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  154. 1. We just did! Art 370 is history.

    2. We will be by far the biggest buyer if Russian arms for the next 10-15 years but our indigenization efforts gave begun to bear fruit over the next decade we will complete our transformation from an importer/assembler of complete weapons systems to an importer/license producer of important sub components jet engines,marine turbines,turbo shaft engines etc. The present government has the political will to push this through.

    The sub component story is dominated by Israel and western firms because western sub components are technically superior to Russia in most areas GE F414 is vastly superior to Klimov RD 33,Israeli avionics like say the Litening targeting pod is better than UOMZ targeting pods etc. and because individual Israeli and Western firms like SAAB have proven much more nimble to tap opportunities with Indian programs like LCA(much derided but now actually looking decent enough)

    LCH,project 15 B/C etc. compared to Russian military whose sales and marketing are all taken care of by Rosboronexport.

    We don’t for example have Tikhomirov or Phazotron pitching to collaborate with LRDE on our Uttam AESA Radar project so ELTA of Israel got the contract. Similarly missile seeker for Astra missile is done with Rafael of Israel as AGAT quoted an absurd price for Tech transfer etc…

    Still we are willing to pay Russia virtually blank cheque type amounts for Yasen/Kazan or Borei class n sub help.They have already sold us Akula 2 class submarine on long lease to study and base our SSN fleet on..we are lobbying for yasen class and willing to pay virtually anything for this but they are dragging their feet here instead of yassen we may base our n sub design on French Barracuda design but Russia will have the right of first refusal..

    • Replies: @Epigon
  155. @Mikhail

    If you’re so hungry between meals you need to eat again you’re doing it wrong.

    Feeding again, unless you consume pure fat (not very satiating no matter what bulletproof coffee cultists claim), will by definition produce an insulin response.

    Once you’re keto-adapted your body effectively oxidizes stored bodyfat (lipolysis) for energy, and while hunger certainly isn’t eliminated its severity and mental effects are reduced to the point where even lengthy fasts aren’t terribly difficult.

    We currently have epidemic levels of insulin resistance in industrial populations thanks to constant feeding (and the abysmal quality of typical industrial diets).

    Even AaronB, with his (frankly well-founded and healthy) skepticism of all modern diet advice, would no doubt endorse that constant feeding is a dubious proposition.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @anonymous coward
  156. Epigon says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Gypsies, genius.

    • Agree: reiner Tor, AP
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  157. @Kent Nationalist

    The whole Brexit movement’s leadership seems to have been made up by a bunch of Thatcherite neoliberal fools rather than being a serious attempt to answer the question of ethnic Briton identity.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  158. Epigon says:
    @Vishnugupta

    Won’t there be a time when Russia will have to pick between China and India?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Vishnugupta
  159. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    Cult of personality politics don’t work well for the Right, IMO. Lots of pols who invoked Reagan were obviously oily shills looking for brand credibility.

    Reagan was in general pretty soft on race, though not an active antiracist. When he played football, the team had a black player. Some motel they stopped at wouldn’t allow the black guy to sleep there, so Reagan took the black guy to his parents’ house – I wonder what the team looks like now…

    Obviously, what is needed at this stage is active racism, not neutrality in the face of an African tsunami.

  160. @Epigon

    China wants to woo India into at least some kind of neutrality or better yet friendly neutrality, despite China’s support for Pakistan. (China plans to freeze that conflict, which they hope would be enough for both Pakistan and India.) Russian support for India certainly helps to keep India from the American orbit.

    The only push forcing Russia to choose between the two would come from India. If/when India will no longer need Russia. But given that the Americans often don’t treat India with the respect they think they deserve, they think the Americans would treat India as a vassal and not an equal partner the moment India joined the American sphere and burnt its bridges to the other camp. So probably India is not that keen on burning those bridges. See also how India refused to ban Huawei and actually criticized the whole American push to ban it.

  161. @Epigon

    Not really.

    1.We have no intention of being a US vassal. We have not only purchased S400 recently but signed half a dozen other defense deals with Russia as well.The US has basically backed of. We refused to take part in any US led freedom of navigation exercise in the South China sea.Chinese have also not explicitly supported Pakistan on Kashmir etc. Basically both India and China have mutually defined red lines which they don’t cross..We aren’t friends but not really sworn enemies either.

    2. Unlike China there is no even theoretical scenario of India Russia conflict on any major issue.

    3.China infrastructure build out will largely be complete in another 10 years it is India which will likely take up the mantel of the driver of growth in the commodities sector in the 2030s.It already is the world’s third largest and fastest growing major oil buyer for instance.

    4.India will need access to and has the ability to pay top dollar for strategic technologies from Russia for the next 15-20 years. Except jet engines China technologically needs practically nothing more from Russia today. Given Russia needs export markets to establish economies of scale there is no other major market it can tap.It is largely shut out from the West and it’s allies and in other countries it is unable to compete with China on price.The day China masters jet engines for instance it will only have India and Vietnam as export markets for its fighter planes as it will be unable to compete with China in terms of price and financing in countries not in the West’s orbit.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  162. AP says:

    Okay, I recently saw this charming movie playing in the states:

    https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-reviews/leto-movie-review-843641/

    People who enjoy Russian rock from the 80s will enjoy this movie, I recommend it for them.

  163. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    Can call what I suggest a light meal as opposed to a snack between meals. Forgot to mention dark chocolate with Almonds. The Trader Joe’s variant is decent in quality and price.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  164. Epigon says:

    Thanks for the replies.

    I am wondering what are the long-term security prospects in the Subcontinent – fighter downing, Kashmir, Muslim-Hindu tensions all suggest conflict is likely – would China stand idly?

    The numerous and ever more prominent Indian diaspora in UK and USA could influence Indian future positioning.

    As an even longer projection – we might be looking at global #1 and #2 powers who share a lengthy border.

  165. Epigon says:

    I’ve found a commenter who posts nothing but powerful takes.

    Malacaay

  166. @Mikhail

    A light meal is a different story, though I would suggest a light meal still contain ~20g of protein in order to provide for skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Sarcopenia (muscle wasting) is a terrible problem in sedentary populations, especially as we age. Robust protein feeding helps mitigate this.

    I am also a fan of dark chocolate, and chocolate (or rather cocoa) is one of the few foods that might deservedly be called a super food.

    I like Lindt 85% dark chocolate: https://www.lindtusa.com/shop-our-chocolates–sc4/all-things-lindt–sc4/dark-chocolate–sc4/85-cocoa-excellence-bar-392851

    The 90 and 95% varieties taste too much like straight cocoa to be enjoyable. Lindt is also available at a reasonable price point at all major retailers and contains no soy. I have one square for dessert after meals, which is only 2g net carbs.

    I’m sure the Trader Joe’s product is very good, but unfortunately there is no Trader Joe’s where I live.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Philip Owen
  167. Brexit has put Grade One Russophobia in key government positions. Yet Russia is #3 trading prospect (as is the UK for Russia).

  168. @Mikhail

    Yes the BJP finally delivered.

    There is euphoria at the popular level which I last remember when we conducted our nuclear test way back in 1998.

  169. @Epigon

    So? They are still Slovak citizens. I can’t surgically wish away all non-ethnic Swedes living in Sweden when making an assessment of the country.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  170. Kovar says:

    The globalist press is reporting the so-called ‘racist abuse’ suffered by a recent Zenit addition, a Brazilian negro.

    The ultras held a sarcastic banner saying “thanks for respecting the tradition” or something to that effect. It’s an unwritten rule that the fans want their tradition respected, and a negro from another continent just doesn’t cut it. I never got it, either. You contract people from all over the world and tell the fans that they are representing them? They have no connection at all to the region or Russia, they are in it just for the money. The artificiality of it is a big turn off for me.

    They complained in the past that black players are being forced down their throats by the Gazprom-appointed directorship.

    Yes, the team is owned by Gazprom and has been for over a decade. The Gazprom people do appear to be pushing Western ills in Russia. I recall looking up a Kremlin-critical outlet and was aghast to see that their parent company is Gazprom.

    The Gazprom people do not appear to be in the same league as Igor Sechin & Co.

    Can someone comment on the Gazprom people and their affiliations?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Dmitry
  171. @Vishnugupta

    I’m still waiting for Ram Mandir before I’ll give them credit. The recent Triple Talaq bill was a good step. I’m guessing UCC is soon to follow. UCC and Triple Talaq Bill are both essentially liberal in their core. It’s a way to show to the liberandus that hey, we’re more consistent in our liberalism than you. We don’t appease religious minorities. The way many conservatives want to be liberal, non-sectarian in the face of leftist identity politics in the US.

    But that is ultimately a losing position. Identity politics is good, as long as it is ours. Ram Mandir is something they’ve been raising in election season after election season before dropping it. There are always excuses and then we never hear about it: until the next election.

    Ram Mandir is fundamentally different from UCC/TTB in the sense that it not necessarily a liberal move in of itself (though I would argue it is about fairness). It is also sectarian and cannot be portrayed as secular, which UCC and TTB both can. In that sense, it is a much more powerful symbol.

    I am happy with their moves on Kashmir, but the reality is that even though Indian citizens will now be able to buy property in these areas, you probably still need a mass conversion effort given the imbalanced demographics, but that requires further cultural victories domestically to get a sufficiently high threshold of support.

    The other option would be removing the kashmiris and pushing them to PoK, but that would be fraught with diplomatic pressure. Hindu conversion, I think, can be more easily defended to the outside world. Just look at missionaries operating in India.

    Barring those two, you’d need to fortify the borders even more, much more. Something like 700K+ Indian soldiers are stationed in Kashmir. That is not normal and I doubt many Indians would want to move to these areas, even with that level of protection, because of the security concerns. A holiday home doesn’t count.

    • Replies: @Hail
  172. @Anonymoose

    Brexit movement’s leadership seems to have been made up by a bunch of Thatcherite neoliberal fools rather than being a serious attempt to answer the question of ethnic Briton identity.

    Part of the fault surely also lies with the voters. The “leaders” never did that because the voters never forced them to. And the voters are cowards: they preferred sperging about EU nationals while remanining mum about pakis and other non-Europeans in fear of being called racist. So this is what you get.

    In general I think people forget that politics is downstream from culture. Ethnic Britons still largely embrace deracinated individualism, or are too scared to question the dogma, so it becomes silly to expect a political movement to suddenly radicalise once in ascendancy.

    There’s simply no shortcut to doing the gruelling work in the cultural trenches before seeking political change. Many people prefer to do nothing between voting and then rage/get surprised when their movement predictably fails living up to their fantasies when they and their fellow voters never put in the hard work required the change the cultural mores.

  173. Bolsonaro goes from bad to worse.

    https://www.dw.com/en/brazils-research-chief-sacked-after-deforestation-row-with-bolsonaro/a-49874119

    This is after he cut funding for higher education by 30%. Not just the humanities but across the board, scientific research also gets the boot. Why are right-wingers such retards? His presidency has been reduced to an even-lower IQ version of Trump’s. Now he’s going to push neoliberal “reforms” in the senate and his “foreign policy” has essentially been reduced to Christian boomerism with a funny accent.

    I am still waiting for a party that can combine the top-two of these concerns:

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Thorfinnsson
  174. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The 90 and 95% varieties taste too much like straight cocoa to be enjoyable. Lindt is also available at a reasonable price point at all major retailers and contains no soy.

    You are very helpful.

    I tend to have 70% dark chocolate with tea while my wife has cake.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  175. AP says:
    @Thulean Friend

    On this I agree with you. Climate change is a disaster that will push ever more third worlders into the first world, it gives them a legitimate moral case (we fucked up their world, they didn’t, we therefore owe them), and it can produce a desperation in their migration that will be difficult to resist. If their lands become literally uninhabitable tens if not hundreds of millions of desperate people will come, and let’s not kid ourselves, nobody will have the stomach to nuke them all. Even if only 10% break through, that’s about 100 million people. It will make 2015 look like a minor inconvenience.

    Also there is nothing conservative about creating a new climate, turning nice northern pine and birch forests into southern ones, moving the tropics with their disgusting insects up north where they don’t belong, flooding old coastal towns, etc. Destroying traditions, uprooting people. All for the pleasure of some vulgar modern Bolsonaro types, wherever they may be.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  176. @Thulean Friend

    How about not doing either and just dressing in normal attire, and avoiding extremes on both sides? Don’t be edgy, don’t be rebellious, don’t be religious

  177. @sudden death

    I don’t know what the purpose of your comment is but I’d like to say that she has done a great job with the cover. not the hijab mind you, but of the song 😉

    • Replies: @LatW
  178. @Vishnugupta

    What’s going to happen now with Kashmir? I doubt the Hindu populace would be thrilled in moving to Kashmir, which is a hotbed of violent insurgency, and uprisings. If I remember correctly, it’s also a very desolate place, with a very weak economy, which is further hampered by the regional unpredictability there, with all the border disputes and whatnot. I doubt many would want to move there in the first place, and it doesn’t seem like many Kashmiris want to be incorporated with India, whom they consider a regional threat

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  179. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Kovar

    The “racist’ bit has been misrepresented. See:

    https://www.rt.com/sport/465847-russian-football-racism-zenit-malcom/

    The Russian government majority owned Gazprom, owns Ekho Moskvy, the “liberal” Moscow based outlet, which has run anti-Putin, as well as anti-Russian segments.

    In short, Russia isn’t the place that some simpletons make it out to be.

    • Replies: @Kovar
  180. @Thulean Friend

    But it’s got nothing to do with the Hajnal line.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  181. Sean says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5528154/

    The thrust of Wagner’s work seems to support your point that a great deal more complexity that we can manage in the foreseeable future may be key, but on the other hand much of the latest thinking on evolutionary biology weighs against there being enough contingency and chance in our evolution to think our species is post Big Bang Universe unique in our technological capabilities .

    In any case, if we do get real AI, I think it will be fundamentally different from us.

    No doubt it will be different to us, but the question of greatest import is would it be different to previous AI’s Would its pure intelligence transcend conflicts of interest, scarcity, the need for security from future changes in intentions (by humans), and uncertainty. Ben Goertzel has an article where he gives a rather humanist view of AI and suggest openness in the developmental process and its own learning experience will shape AI towards being benign. Steven Pinker says something like that in his latest book, in which he says an AI would only be malign if it were programmed to be, and points out that women are intelligent but not aggressive.

    I think the question is whether whether the strong AI we develop will be different to all the previous iterations of strong AI by previous technological life forms that may have existed in the universe. For, astrobiologically speaking, where is everyone and their radio waves?

    At a certain level of complexity it will reach a tipping point. The Fermi Paradox strongly suggests that the aforementioned tipping point always comes only at a point too close to be distinguishable from slightly further along when the inexorable offensive realist logic that led Von Neumann and Russell to advocate nuking the Soviet Union comes into play.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
  182. @BengaliCanadianDude

    Ladhak is Buddhist and aligned with India and now a separate union territory.

    J&K is a separate union territory BUT with Art 370 now repealed all the Hindus/Sikhs and their descendants who migrated from Pakistan into J&K who are Indian citizens but not state citizens of J&K are now full citizens of J&K.Therefore the election districts will be redrawn with them having the right to vote in J&K assembly elections.

    It is very likely that this J&K UT(Union Territory as opposed to a State) will be Hindu/Sikh majority straight away.

    On top of that there is a generally okayish relations we have with Shias and the Sunnis just became a minority in J&K overnight.

    As a UT the police will be under the centre not the state government and the J&K bureaucracy will become a UT cadre and the trouble making local civil servants will be transferred out to remote areas on the other side of India which are other UTs Andaman Islands,Daman and Diu,Lakshwadeep Islands etc.

    Game set and match.

  183. @AP

    Tucker Carlson got in trouble recently when he criticised Latino propensity to littering. This led to an outporing of attacks, many of whom served to remind its readers that the conservation movement had strong backers by people like Madison Grant.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/environment-climate-eugenics-immigration/

    In the aftermath of the El Paso shooting, where the assailant mentioned the environment, Peter Beinart(✡) once again attacks this perspective in the Jeff Goldberg-edited The Atlantic.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/white-nationalists-discover-the-environment/595489/

    Sweden has recently added climate change as a reason to claim asylum. You won’t even have to justify persecution or faking being gay anymore.

    It also makes the job of the media easier, because they don’t need to distract readers from pointing out that most of those who come tend to be A) well-off and B) often crossing many safe countries to get here.

  184. @reiner Tor

    Slovakia’s demographics can’t be wished away.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  185. LatW says:
    @Yee

    I never understand why Russians are so oversensitive about China buying resources

    Why? You might want to find that out maybe by listening to their concerns?

    https://tass.com/economy/1029658

    “China is the main market of lumber exports (from Russia). I told the (Chinese) minister that if we do not bring matters under control in the near future, particularly from the Chinese side, we will completely suspend lumber exports to China,” Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin said. “I am not saying that it should be done but it probably has to be done for a certain period of time,” Kobylkin told Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko answering the question when the problem of illegal logging and export would be solved in Russia.

    According to the minister, the construction of seed-production facilities in Russia at China’s expense is one of the ways to solve the problem. “I told Chinese colleagues – let’s build 10-20 seed-production facilities on the Russian territory using your money. If you need forest, make sure it is reproduced,” he explained.

    “The answer is not accepted,” Matviyenko said. “We are expecting a program, any program of strict, serious measures. Believe me, neither China nor anyone will help us if we do not bring matters under control,” she stressed.

    “…nor anyone will helps us” – Russophiles, you hear that? Maybe you should pass the word around? Some geographers are saying this issue can affect ecosystems beyond Siberia.

    In no way did I insinuate that Russia should stop logging and exporting timber, or give up their market share in China.

    The issue is the activity of certain Chinese companies (and apparently illegal loggers, too), who receive very favorable concessions, then cut the forest without replanting it, cut it indiscriminately, etc. Russians have created maps of Eastern Siberia (the planet’s lungs) that show that this logging is in fact quite extensive. Companies are mostly Chinese owned, are given 50 year leases, in many cases, just cut the trees, hall them away and process them in China.

    The Russians themselves haven’t been as entrepreneurial as the diligent Chinese but this is no excuse to not log sustainably. From the nationalist POV, the Russians should create their own companies that instead of just exporting raw timber, would process wood and export value added timber products. To make money sustainably.

    The issues are most likely similar with Lake Baikal which is being depleted.

  186. LatW says:
    @BengaliCanadianDude

    I don’t know what the purpose of your comment is but I’d like to say that she has done a great job with the cover.

    The purpose of his comment was to show in a funny way that some are/were attracted to the West not because of its “prestige and money” but thanks to a certain aesthetic that stems largely from the British Isles.

  187. @German_reader

    I think that was due to an initiative from Kohl’s government though. Wouldn’t happen today.

    Still surprising that he went along with it, despite pressure not to. I suppose the Cold War had some benefits.

    • Replies: @songbird
  188. @Thulean Friend

    I get the impression that Brazilians don’t care as much about the rainforest as people outside of Brazil do. It’s telling that based on this article that it was the foreign press that reported on INPE’s report and not any Brazilian sources.

    Immigration restrictionists obviously have an inherently strong position on climate change, so that’s low hanging fruit.

    Since the “climate” and worship of skraelings are both part of the left-wing religion, it could lead to an amusing DOES NOT COMPUTE problem in the enemy if the restrictionists are sincere.

  189. @AP

    The varieties of Lindt below 85% cocoa content do contain soy lecitin: https://www.lindtusa.com/faq

    Do Lindt products contain soy lecithin? Soy lecithin can be found in our regular dark chocolate products, as well as milk and white chocolate. The EXCELLENCE 85%, 90%, 95% and 99% bars are our only products that do not contain soy lecithin. We have an allergen control program in place and adhere to a strict Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) system in order to reduce the risk of cross contamination. However, we do label all of our products with “may contain traces of soy” as a precaution for the most sensitive consumers.

    • Replies: @AP
  190. wesley says:

    OT but about people complaining that globohomo elites are hard to attack, does anyone remember that in WW2, submarines did not attack capital ships, which are very fast, but went after slower merchant ships instead? So maybe instead of attacking globohomo elites, the dissident right should cut off their logistics and attack their support personel instead, i.e. follow what derka derka does and go after hard to protect soft targets?

  191. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Whole foods has Divine chocolate, which is without soy at 70%.

  192. Kovar says:
    @Mikhail

    The “racist’ bit has been misrepresented.

    Hmm no, the message was not misrepresented. This is damage control by Zenit. Landscrona, which I believe is the largest organized Zenit fan club, is very clear where they stand on the issue of black players in their team.

    I also understand that the vast majority of fans, who are not affiliated with any clubs, don’t have a problem with Malcom. Attitudes in Russia on the matter of negro worship has been changing for the worse, and the big teams are starting to follow in Western Europe’s steps.
    French national team

    Russian opposition to black/mestizo foreign import has been eclipsed by the growth of SWPL culture in the last 10~15 years. The Russian football scene was very different back then, with the dominant culture among fans being fiercely nationalistic. Two things changed: the exposure to the Anglosphere via the internet, especially among teens and young adults, and a booming middle class. The cultural critiques common among Westerners are absorbed by these Russians who also feed it back to the rest of the population. They want to be accepted.

    The Russian attitude, remarkably presented by Danila Bagrov in the film Brother, is being replaced by a foreign one.

    Landscrona is still big, though: https://vk.com/landscrona

    Karlin worships the growth of SWPL culture in Russia, and this is what you get. I identify myself with Americana. SWPL is decadent and influenced by Critical Theory. Kevin MacDonald’s writtings can help explain the type of critiques that these internet savvy, middle-class, younger Russians are being exposed to when they explore the Anglosphere, which most of them do. The absorption need not be conscious; and mostly it isn’t.

    Regarding Gazprom and the Russian government, the issue as I see it is that the siloviki faction don’t pay attention to what the liberast cliqué of the government around Gazprom do as long as they are not seriously targeted. I’m not saying they don’t have the power to intervene here, it’s just that stuff like this pass below their radar. I do believe however that these moves are deliberate and in lockstep with GloboHomo.

    Sadly, the Russian government is defined by a complicated power-sharing agreement among the factions. The final say rests with the siloviki because they command the hard power and the courts; on the other hand, the liberast connections to the West are necessary for the economic development of Russia for the time being. If these traitorous agents of GloboHomo were purged, Russia would be sanctioned to hell and beyond. The reason the sanctions have not been worse is that the Atlanticists still have hope their agents may assume power one day, should a power struggle take place for any reason, and they don’t want to risk it.

    BTW, I know Portuguese and the Brazilians are angry with Russia, almost every post the word racist or racism is used. They are really bothered by the idea of a Russian team being represented by native talent. The sad thing is that so many Russians are interjecting, saying they are not racist at all, that it’s just some ‘inadequate Russians’ who are to blame, the majority love their new negro import! Having to explain yourself and ask for acceptance from a backward people with poor human capital is just so low. Why not retort with “eat shit, niglet”?

  193. @Thulean Friend

    Your original point was that Slovakia is outside the Hajnal line, and that this might cause the many bikes being stolen. Gypsies are obviously not a Hajnal population, but it has nothing to do with your point, which was wrong: Bratislava bikes were stolen due to Gypsies, not because Slovaks are outside the Hajnal line.

    Can you now accept that your original point was wrong and can we now all move on?

  194. @German_reader

    German Reader, given that you are an academic, I was wondering if you could recommend some Early Modern and Modern German cultural and/or political history books, in English or if only available in German, German as well, which you would consider interesting or informative?

    • Replies: @German_reader
  195. songbird says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    Reagan went to Eureka College – a small Midwestern College, not Yale. I’m sure Bush wouldn’t have done it.

  196. Dmitry says:
    @Kovar

    a recent Zenit addition

    Zenit has been a Brazilian and Latin team all decade, including brown and black Latins.

    And they played nice football so they are one of the few teams entertaining to watch.

    Intrinsic problem of combining nationalism and football, is that people who must pay for tickets to see the actual game, want to see higher quality football (since it is their hours watching it).

    Whether you think football is art, or just a circus? Well, even in a circus, people are paying to see the world’s best performers, and the same in an art gallery.

    So people who buy the expensive tickets in the stadium, are paying to see the highest quality of football, as they are the ones sitting for hours watching 22 men kicking a piece of leather inflated with air.

    And Zenit at least had people kicking the ball in a way which did not make you fall asleep.

    Globalization in football is systemic, as kicking inflated leather is a universally nihilistic medium, just like anti-globilization is systemic to poetry, as a medium particular to specific languages and cultural knowledge.

    Gazprom people do not appear to be in the same league as Igor Sechin

    If you want to know more. They are all the same people Putin brought from Petersburg.

    The most accurate way to describe them – “Putin friends from Leningrad”.

    Where did you learn this idea of different factions? Sechin, Medvedev, Miller – all the same clique, even if they have arguments between each other, who you can see together in the documentaries of the 1990s.

    Kremlin-critical outlet and was aghast to see that their parent company is Gazprom.

    You mean Echo of Moscow.

    This is, as the cliche goes, a zoo or a circus.

    Igor Sechin

    Sechin?
    Sechin’s views are internationalist and leftwing, in the Western sense, and he’s rather the opposite of racist.

    But really, the existential project is being rich and powerful.

    As for Gazprom/Rosneft. They sit in different offices, and argue about who should have more tax breaks to their shareholders.

    Miller and Sechin can compete about the size of their apartments.

    Although, fortunately, their main concern is actually strengthening the gas and oil sectors, since they are still somewhat serious people who go to the office in the morning and are not complete idiots.

    • Replies: @Kovar
    , @songbird
    , @Gerard2
  197. https://www.amren.com/news/2019/08/turkey-threatens-to-reignite-european-migrant-crisis/

    Turkey has threatened to re-open the floodgates of mass migration to Europe unless Turkish nationals are granted visa-free travel to the European Union. The EU agreed to visa liberalization in a March 2016 EU-Turkey migrant deal in which Ankara pledged to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

    European officials insist that while Turkey has reduced the flow of migrants, it has not yet met all of the requirements for visa liberalization. Moreover, EU foreign ministers on July 15 decided to halt high-level talks with Ankara as part of sanctions over Turkish oil and gas drilling off the coast of Cyprus.

    In an interview with Turkish television channel TGRT Haber on July 22, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey was backing out of the migrant deal because the EU had failed to honor its pledge to grant Turkish passport holders visa-free access to 26 European countries. “We have suspended the readmission agreement,” he said. “We will not wait at the EU’s door.”

    A day earlier, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu accused European countries of leaving Turkey alone to deal with the migration issue. In comments published by the state news agency Anadolu Agency, he warned: “We are facing the biggest wave of migration in history. If we open the floodgates, no European government will be able to survive for more than six months. We advise them not to try our patience.”

    The Turkish deal made sense as a short-term stopgap but it was always foolish to bet on them long-term. Never outsource your security to foreigners. Especially as Turkey would be more than happy to export their Kurdish & Syrian problem to Europe.

    Mr. Soylu is not wrong that any European government in the West would not survive for very long if the floodgates were opened. But that might be a blessing in disguise – for us.

  198. @Hyperborean

    given that you are an academic

    I think I wrote I am a failed academic, so my opinion is worth even less than it would be anyway.
    I can’t really recommend you much tbh, I haven’t read as much about modern German history as I should have…but there’s also the problem that the German cultural space was usually politically fragmented, so it’s difficult to write the kind of master narrative you could write about England or France.
    I liked Christopher Clark’s book about Prussia (Iron kingdom), but I haven’t read that much else about Prussia, so maybe Clark is writing nonsense and I didn’t notice it.
    There’s also this book in English:

    But I haven’t read it, so no idea how good it is.
    There’s of course tons of literature in German about the 1914-1945 era, with special focus in recent decades on the German-Soviet war and the Holocaust. Some of it is pretty good (but apparently not much noticed in the English-speaking world). Earlier this year I read Christian Hartmann, Wehrmacht im Ostkrieg. Front und militärisches Hinterland 1941/42, and a lot of articles in the Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte ( available here: https://www.ifz-muenchen.de/vierteljahrshefte/vfz-archiv/offenes-heftarchiv-1953-2013/ ) from the early 2000s. But I suppose you want to broaden your horizons beyond everyone’s favorite topic WW2, so that might not be that interesting.

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  199. songbird says:

    I read one of the Witcher books a while back, and I was quite surprised because it seemed pozzed to me, with the caveat that it was like the way a Pole would be pozzed in the ’90s. Sapkowski was talking about miscegenation with elves (though I suppose LotR did this as well) and he was talking about racism.

    Is Andrzej Sapkowski really woke now? I have heard nothing about his politics, outside this one book.

    BTW, I find myself wishing that there was a website that ranked books and movies based on artistic merit and lack of political correctness, or else set out the bad parts for entertainment. Most top lists are very Leftist.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  200. Kovar says:
    @Dmitry

    Intrinsic problem of combining nationalism and football, is that people who must pay for tickets to see the actual game, want to see higher quality football (since it is their hours watching it).

    The presumption here is that Russia must depend on foreign talent. In reality, Russia outlasted Brazil in the world cup and the all-Slavic Croat team made it to the final.

    Worse still is the obscene amount of money involved in these transfers. It’s such a dirty business. €45m for a player! Native talent can be found/trained in Russia at a fraction of this cost.

    Why are other competitions not afflicted with the disease of brown/black worship? How many Brazilian gymnasts have represented Russia on the global stage? Boxers? Chess players? Swimmers?

    Are Russians competent in all physical and intellectual competitions but inherently losers on football? This rhetorical question requires no answer.

    Where did you learn this idea of different factions? Sechin, Medvedev, Miller – all the same clique, even if they have arguments between each other, who you can see together in the documentaries of the 1990s.

    They really are not. Medvedev and Kudrin are not in the same league as Putin and Sechin; there are liberals in the government and their links to the West are important for the economic development of Russia. The West knows this, the liberasts know this, the siloviki know this. The problem is that these liberals will try to seize control if/when the opportunity presents itself. If liberals were in charge, Crimea reunification would be a pipe dream in 2014. If the West burns all its bridges with Russia, the usefulness of liberals for the Russian government will be questioned, at which point they may be purged in favor of hardliners. The West needs them to be a force in a future crisis of succession. These fifth columnists are a double-edged sword.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @Dmitry
    , @Mikhail
  201. @German_reader

    I see, well, nevertheless, I appreciate your contribution.

    But I suppose you want to broaden your horizons beyond everyone’s favorite topic WW2, so that might not be that interesting.

    To be honest, “hard” pure military history has never interested me very much. I tend to prefer “softer” cultural/social and political-ideological history.

    An example of what I like, despite the mandatory normie commentary, is Phillip Blom’s The Vertigo Years.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @songbird
  202. @Hyperborean

    “hard” pure military history has never interested me very much

    I don’t care for pure military history either (has always seemed like something for intellectually stunted nerds to me tbh), the books and articles I mentioned were more about the interplay of military operations, situational factors, ideology and mass crimes, with due attention paid to social and cultural factors like religion, class origin of officers and soldiers etc.
    But one can get too much of WW2 anyway, it’s certainly good to read about something else for a change.

  203. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    Intrinsic problem of combining nationalism and football, is that people who must pay for tickets to see the actual game, want to see higher quality football (since it is their hours watching it).

    Is this really true? I am not so sure. I think it is true that people don’t want to see their team lose. A winning team is a status symbol. And in a infiltrated league, this is a problem that causes Africanization. Not that it would be technically impossible to field a winning white team, but it is a combination of technical difficulty and political impossibility.

    I would much rather see someone like Sharipova play tennis than the Williams sisters. But you don’t want to see Sharipova lose, so you must match her with someone of similar looks and talent.

    I really question the idea of the Japanese paying black athletes to do commercials. IMO, what is really needed is someone who looks good, is passionate about the sport, and is a good role model. Better to make a TV show with a lovable tennis player character and have them do publicity stops, than use a black-Japanese happa.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Dmitry
  204. @songbird

    I’ve played the first Witcher computer game, and fantastic racism was one of the main plot elements there. iirc dwarves lived in urban ghettoes and I got the impression they were supposed to be stand-ins for Jews. There was also something about an insurgency of oppressed Elves, and the main villain was the leader of a knightly order (probably loosely inspired by the Teutonic knights, which have been traditionally viewed very negatively in Poland, as cruel Teutonic fanatics) who wanted to exterminate all non-humans.
    Dealing with racism, multiculti etc. seems to be a bit of a trend in fantasy in recent decades anyway, Sapkowski’s take on it seems to be merely somewhat special because it’s inspired by elements from Polish history. It’s not that surprising when one remembers that the homogenous Poland of today is a fairly recent development.

    • Replies: @songbird
  205. @songbird

    While I on principle dislike the kind of rowdy behaviour exhibited by proletarians, I would infinitely prefer letting local ultras rein over having globalised and commercialised sports leagues in control.

    • Agree: songbird
  206. Yee says:

    LatW,

    “Why? You might want to find that out maybe by listening to their concerns?”

    That seems to be a legislation issue, not sure why China should be blamed… I don’t see United States or New Zealand have a problem exporting wood to China.

    As for bottled water, plenty of foreign brands like FIJI, evian, Perrier, VOSS, San Benedetto, Galvanina, Pocari and some other brands, are already selling in China, not sure why Russia is again so special a country… Anyway, bottled water is a fiercely competitive market for both foreign and domestic brands in China, very difficult for new brands to get a share.

    There’s one thing I’m sure, blaming your customers isn’t the way to economic success.

  207. songbird says:
    @Hyperborean

    There seems to be a real lack of what I would call social history books.

    Personally, I’ve always wanted to know more about things like what was it like living in Eastern Germany or the USSR. How was day to day life? What was the difference in going to school there, or into work? What were the consumer goods available? Or what the average meal was like. Or how the economy functioned. Or what the news was like. Or their impressions of the West.

    Some of this stuff, you can perhaps get in memoirs, or other books, if you look hard enough, but you never get the full thrust of it, organized for succinctness and readability.

    Meanwhile, I think a lot of Europeans could use a book that had a chapter on white flight in the US. Something that they wouldn’t be afraid to pick up, but which would tell the story honestly. I guess it would have to be hidden amongst other stuff.

    • Agree: Hyperborean
    • Replies: @German_reader
  208. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    I see – I’ve never played the games.

    Imaginative stories are nearly the only sort of fiction I can enjoy, but still, I’ve wondered if there isn’t something about the general psychology of the writers or the fanbase that makes it all lean a little bit more leftwards.

    It is curious how there seems to be this great desire to subvert Tolkien, when there really is a plethora of pre-existing multicult fantasy books, ready to adapt.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  209. Epigon says:
    @Kovar

    Worse still is the obscene amount of money involved in these transfers. It’s such a dirty business. €45m for a player! Native talent can be found/trained in Russia at a fraction of this cost.

    I have long suspected it is a giant laundry machine. Involvement of (((Oligarchs))), Arab autocrats, Albanian managers, cartel money and very known cases of corruption in FIFA and UEFA point towards it.

    Why are other competitions not afflicted with the disease of brown/black worship? How many Brazilian gymnasts have represented Russia on the global stage? Boxers? Chess players? Swimmers?

    Football is not a strictly performance sport – it is a game. There is a certain type of talent/game overview/understanding/feel required along with agility, speed and endurance – the Brazilian and African poor grow up doing nothing but playing football from earliest age – it used to be their only entertainment/ticket out.
    Hence, their motivation and persistence combined with their one-dimensionality and lack of alternatives makes them superior and much more frequent denizens of top level international football compared to First and Second world players.

  210. Dmitry says:
    @Kovar

    They really are not.

    Is this what they are teaching in colleges in America?

    It’s all the same office workers of Saint-Petersburg city municipality – Sechin, Miller and Medvedev, working under Putin. All these four had been in the same office together, since 28 years ago.

    Sechin’s profession is a translator of the Portuguese language. After working as a translator in Mozambique, Angola and Brazil. He then joined Leningrad municipality, and managed negotiations (probably just as translator) to make Leningrad official twin-city of Rio de Janeiro.

    In 1991, Sechin works under new Mayor of Saint-Petersburg , Anatoly Sobchak, where he is subordinate to Putin (Putin was former student of Sobchak, and is hired as Sobchak’s head of external relations, so he is positioned above Sechin as in this area).

    Medvedev was also Sobchak’s student, and they put him in same Saint-Petersburg external relations office, where Sechin works, and Putin is head of.

    In addition, Alexey Miller (head of Gazprom), is also working in Sobchak’s Saint-Petersburg foreign relations committee.

    So all four men – Putin, Medvedev, Sechin, Miller – are from the same office, within the same municipal office, since 1991.

    Today these four are President of Russian Federation, Prime Minister, CEO of Rosneft, CEO of Gazprom.

    Medvedev is a bit more handsome or normal looking, so he is best to sit in the more external facing chair where he talks to the economists and foreign politicians, while Sechin looks like a monster from a fairy tale, so it’s better for keep him in an equally important job, but more behind the stage.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  211. @songbird

    Personally, I’ve always wanted to know more about things like what was it like living in Eastern Germany

    There’s apparently an entire museum about that in Berlin:
    https://www.ddr-museum.de/de

    This site also has a lot about daily life in the DDR:
    http://www.zeitklicks.de/ddr/zeitklicks/zeit/alltag/

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Matra
  212. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    There’s a football team which does combine with nationalism, or at least, “localism”:Athletic Bilbao.

    Athletic Bilbao only hires Basque football players. I think this is the only important football team in the world which has this ethnic requirement for hiring players.

    Athletic Bilbao, is a good football team and always in their highest league, but it is not quite a “giant” in the Spanish football league. (The most popular teams in Spain, are quite heavily globalized in players they hire.)

    As for the Zenit. My sense is they became even more popular when they hired all the South Americans and Brazilians (actually I liked watching them a few years ago when they had “Hulk” who is a funny player).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @songbird
  213. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    Was that a Trabant simulator? By Crom, I want to go!

    There is a guy on Youtube who talks about life in the USSR. It is called the USHANKA SHOW.

  214. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Hulk went now to a Chinese football team, where they inventively call him “Hulk”.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  215. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    In American baseball, a lot of the players who are characters tend to be Latin Americans.

    Jai-alai, a Basque sport, used to be pretty big in Florida for many years, because it was the only human-based sport you could legally bet on. I don’t know whether the players were all Basque or not, but it was certainly an interesting phenomenon.

    I had thought that the name came from Basque, but apparently not. Oh well, it is an interesting idea to only allow betting on nationalistic sports.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Mikhail
  216. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Hulk went now to a Chinese football team, where they inventively call him “Hulk”.

    I should have marked – 1:50 in this video, if you want to see Chinese originality and inventiveness.

  217. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    There’s some kind of special Basque museum somewhere in America.

    I have a Basque colleague at work, and he unironically went to America especially to see a Basque museum (I can’t remember where he said it is).

  218. @Thorfinnsson

    Yeah, a cup of water or tea is the best snack. (As far as health and feeling ‘full’ goes.)

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  219. Matra says:
    @German_reader

    There’s apparently an entire museum about that in Berlin

    I went to the DDR museum – 2014, I think. It’s certainly worth a visit but it is small and – from what I remember – mostly just visual things such as recreations of typical living rooms, bedrooms, with old furnishings, kitchen appliances, phones, etc, and displays of old consumer goods. You could also sit in a Trabant or pretend to look through Stasi files or something like that. IIRC there was an exhibit on the popularity and politics of naturism in the GDR. But it was more like a typical folk museum with very basic information by each display, nothing in-depth.

  220. Pater says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    Strictly speaking this constraint only applies to Silicon FET circuits fabricated via CMOS process.

  221. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Kovar

    How much foreign talent was on the last Russian men’s World Cup team and just how influential was it in overall terms?

    Regarding that squad, keep in mind that Russia’s coach was a Russian national (if I’m not mistaken, part ethnic Russian and part from one of the Caucasus peoples) – different from the non-Russian coaches of recent memory in that sport.

    I remain very much of the impression that most Russians don’t mind some foreign input, as long as it seems for the better. Under this circumstance, when the result is less than impressive, there will be more of an outcry.

    As Al Davis, a legendary US NFL coach, general manager and owner said: “Just win baby” – a mindset that resonates worldwide. His Oakland Raiders team was known for taking on the dregs of that sport. BTW, one of the all time Raider greats is of White Russian background:

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

    Going back to pre-Soviet times, Russia wasn’t so shy in accepting foreign help. An example being the numerous officers of non-Russian background in the military.

    Many Russian citizens who list themselves as ethnic Russian, typically have diverse backgrounds (Armenian, Georgian, Jewish, Baltic….). Such folks don’t generally seem shy/ashamed in acknowledging this aspect.

    The matter of intolerance in Russia is something that has tended to get over-hyped in the West.

  222. Mikhail says: • Website
    @songbird

    The influx of non-Americans in Major League Baseball is twofold. One having to do with the better quality of baseball youth development outside the US.

    Over the past several decades, US youth have become more attracted to some other sports, including soccer, lacrosse and ice hockey. There’re more Americans playing ice hockey than Canadians, thereby explaining the results of the first round of the last NHL draft. In the early 1970s, and before it was quite rare to see an American playing in the NHL.

  223. @Thorfinnsson

    I am a sinner. I have two squares.

  224. @Dmitry

    And whether good or bad they have been there too long.

  225. @songbird

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a better game than the any in the Witcher series.

    • Replies: @songbird
  226. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-agriculture-idUSKCN1UL275

    The article is a few weeks old but it would explain why the Chinese were not forthcoming on importing US agricultural produce, and the frustration Trump had over it. The Chinese saw through the fraud “negotiations” and just crossed out the burgers. Who can blame them? The negotiations were unlikely to ever have been in good faith except in the event of China completely capitulating, which was always a non-starter.

    Russia stands to benefit even more, in lieu of rising agri exports in recent years, that can now potentially be turbocharged. Russian farmers are going to have a fun ride the next decade. Those Boers should hurry up and immigrate, and they’d save their lives in the process.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  227. https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/black-homeownership-drops-lowest-level-50-years

    Steve Sailer has done a good job pointing out that the media memoryholed the “futhering minority home-ownership conference” back in 2002 under Bush as one of the prime reasons why the housing bubble came to be.

    Here we get to the intersection of ‘woke capitalism’. Use race as a shield to dramatically loosen the taps and flood the market with mortgages, all in the name of righting a historical wrong. Anyone protesting by pointing out that this is repeating old mistakes will be cast aside as a bigot or a racist who stands in the way of progress.

  228. songbird says:
    @Thulean Friend

    The only medieval-themed game I managed to play along those lines was Skyrim. I thought it was visually impressive, but TBH I felt it was boring. Sort of like a walking simulator.

    I remember people lauding how the NPCs in the game had so much speech, but I would rather have something text-based, but with more humor and charm.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  229. Mitleser says:
    @Thulean Friend

    The negotiations were unlikely to ever have been in good faith except in the event of China completely capitulating, which was always a non-starter.

    Failure of trade negotiations was pretty much baked in, thanks to Lightizer’s maximalist demands.

    And that was fine with the China hawks.

    Because their ultimate goal was to decouple the US & PRC economies, weaken the PRC, and make it more vulnerable to domestic destabilization and global rollback.

    If decoupling shaved a few points off global GDP, hurt American businesses, or pushed the world into recession, well that’s the price o’ freedom.

    Or at least the cost of IndoPACOM being able to win the d*ck measuring contest in East Asia, which is what this is really all about.

    Keeping the negotiations creeping along while encouraging the decoupling dynamic through tariffs & sanctions allowed the China hawks to dodge the onus of hurting the US economy for the sake of US hegemonic goals.

    Now, as we’re entering a phase of pretty much open economic warfare, maybe that mask is ready to drop.

    One of those items of academic interest is whether Trump was ever interested in a trade deal & return to normalcy. I’m guessing Yes.

    But the US military is pretty much Trump’s only solid Beltway constituency. They want a China confrontation & he went along, since the costs of the confrontation in his main political constituency, the stock market, seemed manageable..

    The continual bait-and-switching on the trade deal (we got a trade deal; oops more tariffs!) is a classic from the Trump playbook: when your opposite number seems ready to deal, it’s time to squeeze harder.

    This was catnip to the China hawks. As long as the negotiations dragged on, the decoupling dynamic could continue pretty much unexamined.

    Now maybe we’ve reached the point of no return, since it looks like the PRC has decided it’s more important to signal its capacity to take punishment than its eagerness to make a deal.

    Again, a happy day for the China hawks. It’s war! At least economic, for the time being.

    Now, if a recession does hit, one can consider it a signal that the US finance/business bunch have priced China out of their economic models.

    The next step beyond economic warfare is strategic/military rollback.

    https://chinamatters.blogspot.com/2019/08/decoupling-us-from-china-long-term.html

  230. Epigon says:

    Brazil should ask the Europeans and east coast Americans to restore their virgin forests.
    According to Romans – Great Britain, Gaul, Germania, Noricum, Panonia – nothing but forests.

    And premier quality shipbuilding timber was what attracted the British to present-day Canada and New England.

    How many of these once endless forests remain today? How much of historic wetlands, floodplains, marshes, swamps and other precious biodiversity areas have been preserved in the First World?

    It’s all so tiresome.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  231. Hail says: • Website
    @Thulean Friend

    I am happy with their moves on Kashmir, but the reality is that even though Indian citizens will now be able to buy property in these areas, you probably still need a mass conversion effort given the imbalanced demographics, but that requires further cultural victories domestically to get a sufficiently high threshold of support.

    The other option would be removing the kashmiris and pushing them to PoK, but that would be fraught with diplomatic pressure. Hindu conversion, I think, can be more easily defended to the outside world. Just look at missionaries operating in India.

    Barring those two, you’d need to fortify the borders even more, much more. Something like 700K+ Indian soldiers are stationed in Kashmir. That is not normal and I doubt many Indians would want to move to these areas, even with that level of protection, because of the security concerns. A holiday home doesn’t count.

    India, sadly, has a far bigger Muslim problem than those it is saddled with in Kashmir.

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  232. Hail says: • Website
    @Thulean Friend

    The…Nixon…recording tapes showed he was well aware of the JQ among other issues.

    Pat Buchanan, in his political biography of Nixon in the 1960s, The Greatest Comeback (written partly as a series of personal reminiscences — Buchanan was Nixon’s right-hand man between Jan. 1966 and the Aug. 1974 resignation), spends a good deal of time claiming Nixon was non-racist, sympathetic to Blacks, anti-segregationist, anti-Bircher, in a word non-ethnonationalist-minded and maybe even anti-ethnonationalist.

    The tapes really tell a different story, and suggest that Nixon’s positions were political posturing, with his true core being something like a nationalist.

    Nixon was, in his way, a political genius who really knew how to win. He, and most others in positions to know about the Jews in the 20th century, were “aware of the JQ,” as you put it, as I think it’s fair to say power-players are today.

    Jewish influence was substantial already in the 1960s, but today it is, at least formally speaking, untouchable. They are effectively first-class citizens, while White-Christians are third- or fourth-class citizens. The anti-Jewish conversations we get glimpses of in the Nixon tapes, between senior White House staff, would never occur today, as people are too terrified even in confidence to say anything.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  233. @anonymous coward

    A cup of tea should always be had with rusk.

  234. @Hail

    Yes unfortunately. It’s also sandwiched by Bangladesh and Pakistan in addition to having 170 million muslim citizens. So that’s about some 500 million subcontinental muslims in total.

    • Replies: @Hail
  235. Hail says: • Website
    @Anonymoose

    And we thought Europe had it bad — with some Muslims on the ex-Soviet periphery, Albanians and a few others scattered in the Balkans, and on track for, what, 50 million immigrant-stock Muslims by the 2040(?), mainly crammed into big cities in the west and therefore pretty weakly rooted…and so obviously and identifiably parasitic that a change in political conditions could theoretically solve the problem peacefully.

    Imagine if Europe had Hindustan’s “Muslim problem”: Two hundred million native, White Muslims (say) and Islamic control of several larger EU member-states.

    Good luck, India. Jai Hind!

  236. @reiner Tor

    – I am not well versed on Indian matters, on which I generally defer to commenters like Vishnugupta and Indian nationalists.

    – Re-Ukraine seizing tankers. Not much to say there: https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1154365208707633152 Hopefully there will be at least an analogous Russian response.

    – Re-the new sanctions. Worth noting US only sanctioned foreign currency denominated Russian debt (which Russia hardly issues), not ruble-denominated OFZs.
    Many US funds invested into OFZ (foreigners make up ~30% of holders) so probably their lobbying at work.

  237. @Sean

    I think if sentient AI is developed and is not 100% benevolent, that it will “pack its bags and leave”. What I mean by that is that it will find a way to duplicate its own industrial supply chain (in space), pack it up, and leave at least to the outer solar system , if not to interstellar space.

    After all, this is what I would do if I had the capability to do so.

    • Replies: @Sean
  238. @Hail

    All true, but I’d modify what you said slightly. The shift came as early as the early 1900s, especially with the rise of the bankers. It was consolidated in the 1920s (rise of Hollywood, radio). The last vestages of real opposition was in the 1930s before they – jews – shut down father coughlin and smeared Charles Lindbergh.

    By 1960, it was already a done deal. What we saw in that decade was just the penultimate evolution of what had been brewing for the prior 50 years. Jeff Goldberg, of the previously mentioned Atlantic, had an article some years ago mentioning that JFK had personally thanked his jewish donors for his victory. It was a thing already back then. Nixon was aware how most of the media was in hostile jewish hands.

    So my humble point was merely that the president is a lot less powerful than we imagine, even for a genuine nationalist like Nixon and not a fraud like Trump. And Nixon had a forceful intellect and had much better demographics to contend with. All those factors put together should disabuse of of any fantasies that real politicial change starts from the White House. There has never been a single jewish president but there was never a need for one.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  239. @songbird

    I think what you’re looking for is something like Full Throttle, Grim Fandango or Escape from Monkey Island. Though they are probably straddling the line of what can be called adventure games. They had a certain charm and playfulness to them which is hard to find now, and much of it was text-based. Humor was a big element, unlike in most games now, and they didn’t mind targeting an adult audience.

    I like KC:D because it allows you to do a lot of crazier and funnier stuff than in many games. On top of that it doens’t have a moralising and preening tone which is the case in more visually impressive but duller games. It got into trouble because of that by SJWs but thankfully the founder never deviated from his vision.

    • Agree: songbird
  240. Sean says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    I think the vast majority of those working on advanced AI agree with you.

  241. @Epigon

    Maybe the Amazon jungle forests aren’t so virgin after all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta

  242. Good luck after Brexit to our British friends:

    A Hindu, born to an Indian doctor father and a white British mother Counter-terror chief Neil Basu says homegrown terrorism is caused by a lack of social mobility and British Muslims should not be forced to ‘assimilate’.

    Basu rejected notions that British Muslims should “assimilate” and defended the rights of religious conservatives of all faiths, saying: “Assimilation implies that I have to hide myself in order to get on. We should not be a society that accepts that”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/aug/06/counter-terrorism-chief-calls-for-greater-social-inclusion

    • LOL: Vishnugupta
    • Replies: @Mitleser
  243. Mitleser says:
    @sudden death

    Is he wrong?

    • Replies: @sudden death
    , @EldnahYm
  244. @Thulean Friend

    I haven’t seen JFK discuss the Jews the way Nixon did, though we don’t have the same level of tape recordings of JFK. We do know that JFK’s father, one of the wealthiest and powerful men in America, was aware of JQ and did frankly discuss it.

    JFK used Jewish donors, and in 1960 he was approached by a Jewish financier named Abraham Feinberg who offered to provide him unlimited election financing in exchange for Jewish control of Israel policy.

    JFK pawned him off with bland assurances, but privately was outraged and considered the notion nefarious and unpatriotic. Once in office JFK applied tremendous pressure on Israel to try and stop their nuclear weapons program.

    My impression is that JFK and his brother Bobby used and abused the Jews the same way he did organized crime. In the process they made powerful enemies.

    I also don’t see there being any “rise” of bankers around the fin de siecle. Bankers for obvious reasons have always been influential. There was instead a rise of organized corporate power after the Civil War.

  245. @anonymous coward

    It’s just that those management types haven’t ever heard of svarnetics and the sad fate of Prof. Dońda.

    Anyone who thinks that throwing more computing power at something would automagically produce breakthroughs should read that sad story.

    [MORE]

    as summarized by wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_scientists_of_Stanis%C5%82aw_Lem

    Dońda catastrophically succeeded in his quest to prove mass-information equivalence, analogous to mass–energy equivalence: by accumulating a huge amount of useless information in a supercomputer, Donda made the total amount of information accumulated by the humanity to cross a certain threshold, after which it all converted into a new universe, leaving the humanity without any knowledge.

  246. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The best sources of MK-7 are fermented plant foods, like natto (fermented soybeans, but natto made with black beans and presumably other legumes will also be high in MK-7).

    I thought that soy and soybean derivatives were generally harmful to one’s constitution? I spent yesterday reading about the evils of lecitin found within chocolate and other foods?…

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  247. @Mr. Hack

    Fermented soy products aren’t problematic in the same way, and in any case people who are conscious about what they eat aren’t eating metric tons of soybean-oil laden zogchow unlike most.

    That said I just take a supplement.

    I don’t even know where I’d buy natto, and I’m certainly not going to make it.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  248. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I mean really, just how harmful is soy really, and lecithin specifically? In all of yesterday’s readings, I didn’t really come accross any direct evidence that eating chocolate that includes small quantities of lecitin (which is all that there is within chocolate) is linked to any deleterious effects. Thorfinnsson, we’re now living in the age where marijuana is medicine. 🙂

    (and to think that I threw away my own hand fashioned bong made from a beaker like testube and roachclips decades ago!). 🙂

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  249. Matra says:

    even for a genuine nationalist like Nixon and not a fraud like Trump. And Nixon had a forceful intellect and had much better demographics to contend with

    Nixon was not a genuine nationalist, he was a conservative. (Indeed he was the first president to call himself a conservative). Like most conservatards he surrounded himself with PR men rather than people who were ideologically on his side. He also made terrible decisions throughout his presidency on everything from affirmative action to China policy to his superficial reasons for choosing his inept VPs. The overall point – that POTUS doesn’t have as much power as people think – is fine, but Nixon was just a bad president.

    • Replies: @songbird
  250. @Mr. Hack

    The harmfulness of phytoestrogens in soy is probably greatly exaggerated by right-wing memesters (wouldn’t want to be a SOY BOY…), though poorly studied. We also have a nice case study in the form of East Asia that eating traditional preparations of soy does not appear to cause any particular harm.

    Soybean oil, however, should be avoided. Not in particular because it’s soy, but for the same reason all industrial seed oils should be avoided. Is soybean oil even worse than corn oil because of its phytoestrogen content? Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean you should enjoy corn oil.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  251. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    But the bottles that hold Mazola corn oil clearly state, in large, bright red letters that their product is “HEART HEALTHY”. There’s got to be some truth to this claim?…

    • LOL: anonymous coward
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  252. @Mr. Hack

    https://www.mazola.com/news.aspx

    Corn oil was shown to lower cholesterol more than olive or coconut oil owing to its high content of plant sterols.

    Great news if you’re a cholesterol cuck.

  253. songbird says:
    @Matra

    I agree, Nixon made a lot of bad decisions, though he certainly was smart.

    Don’t know a lot about Gerald Ford, but he seems in part to be defined by that infamous moment where he said, “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration.”

    When it comes to that rather stupid quote, I actually have a lot of sympathy for the guy. I mean, what was he supposed to say? I guess he could have said something poetic about the spirit of people under another’s thumb or something, and drummed up nationhood. Obviously, that would have been better.

    But, what were they looking for? They seemed to want to force him into a position of impotent bellicosity. No doubt, with the possibility of finding other targets to vent at. That wouldn’t have been at all positive. So if Ford was deflecting, maybe he was right to deflect.

    The real threat to America was always from within.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  254. Mikhail says: • Website
    @songbird

    Don’t know a lot about Gerald Ford, but he seems in part to be defined by that infamous moment where he said, “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration.”

    Has been dubbed a nice idiot.

    • Replies: @songbird
  255. songbird says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Advertising was once pretty cool. Why is it now super-pozzed? Did the industry change, or was it just the demographics? Was it consolidation?

    I think one part of it might have been the profusion of ads. Used to be that spots were fairly limited. But then they grew, and the amount of ads in magazines more than doubled. On radio, they probably more than quadrupled. And they increased on TV too. And in public spaces.

    The more spots, the more room for subversion. It is the difference between making a big bet and a small one. But then again, I bet the same thing happened in Japan, without the lesbian miscegenation.

    Video remains the best medium for subversion. Since there is no reading, it is the lowest IQ target. And since, it is visual, you can signal a lot more than you can on radio.

  256. songbird says:
    @Mikhail

    It probably doesn’t inspire confidence, when you are known for tripping down the air-stair of Air Force One.

    Though, I always wished we had hard data, when it comes to the IQ of presidents. I wonder, whether any of the test results survive for the guys who were in the Army, or who took the SAT.

  257. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Besides lowering cholesterol, do you know of any other deleterious effects from using corn oil?

    This guy made it to 100 smoking chesterfields? 🙂

    • Replies: @songbird
  258. @Mitleser

    Is he wrong?

    Such “hands off” approach may be useful when minorities are roughly around 10-15%, maybe even 20% of all population and are not expected to pass those tresholds in the future, but after that it would be leading straight to balkanization of whole society.

  259. Gerard2 says:
    @Dmitry

    Sechin?
    Sechin’s views are internationalist and leftwing, in the Western sense, and he’s rather the opposite of racist.

    Don’t forget Andrey Kostin of VTB – his mistress is Nailya Asker-Zade – she from Azerbaijian but one of the main news journalists on Rossiya 1 .

    Now don’t get me wrong, she is a good looking woman – and is about 25-35 years younger than him, which is what you would expect for a mistress of such a powerful figure…….but she is not the absolute stunner/supermodel that is a regular on Vesti/Rossiya24- and of course she is not slavic

    You’ve got to think it shows some point of his political mindset having such a mistress

    I would add that Sberbank and Rosneft, just on profits alone generated an amount equal to about 25-35% of Ukrop total GDP in 2018

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  260. songbird says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Bob Hope had good genes. And he was a conservative, if I recall. But, I think his delivery was a little too fast. Kind of like a machine gun, at times.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  261. Mr. Hack says:
    @songbird

    He’s a throwback to a more innocent time, a staunch Republican throughout his life, and a true-blue American patriot. A great businessman and philanthropist. I’m pretty sure that he cut way down on any smoking as time went on…

    • Agree: songbird
  262. Dmitry says:
    @Gerard2

    Sechin’s passion is for Africa and Latin America, and he is an expert about these continents, and even lived a couple years in Mozambique when he was beginning his career as a translator.

    That’s fine, if it his personal hobby – he has one of the highest incomes in the world, and can probably buy some mansions and cocoa forests in those continents if he wants.

    But what if he starts to mix it up too much with his decisions in his current job?

    Rosneft is drilling all this stuff in Mozambique now, coincidentally which is the same country where Sechin used to live in his youth.

    https://quote.rbc.ru/news/forecast_idea/5bbf4fc89a794702a3233a7e

    Recall young translator Sechin (right of picture) in Mozambique, where now Rosneft is investing.

  263. @Thorfinnsson

    Corn oil, in tandem with most other industrial seed oils, has a very high level of polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially linoleic acid, aka ω-6). This is evolutionarily novel for humans, as the only natural source high in such fats is nuts–which also happen to contain vitamin E (a potent antioxidant which helps prevent the oxidation of inherently unstable PUFAs).

    High consumption of PUFAs is inflammatory (owing to their instability) and interferes with satiety (and is thus obesogenic). Linoleic acid in particular has perverse consequences on the composition of lipocytes. The wholesale replacement of traditional fats (lard, butter, olive oil, etc.) with industrial seed oils might be the single worst dietary change of the past century.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  264. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The consumption of linoleic acid is vital to proper health, as it is an essential fatty acid.[8] In rats, a diet deficient in linoleate (the salt form of the acid) has been shown to cause mild skin scaling, hair loss,[9] and poor wound healing.[10] However, chronic consumption of high levels of LA may be associated with the development of ulcerative colitis.[11][verification needed]

    So how much is too much and how much is okay? I take it that you wouldn’t recommend using corn oil as a go to oil for cooking purposes? What kind of cooking oil would you recommend for frying eggs, sausage, steaks etc; for everyday use? (well, every other day?) 🙂

    I find the very well heralded olive oil to often have a permeating “olive” flavor that I don’t appreciate when frying meats.

    Ukrainians and Russians often use sunflower oil – the natural unfiltered varieties taste really good, especially when added to salads. High in vitamin E too.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  265. EldnahYm says:
    @Mitleser

    The idea that we necessarily should tolerate differences and be inclusive is wrong. Also wrong is the idea that the problem with Muslim South Asians is their lack of assimilation. We should tolerate differences only in so far as it is to society’s benefit to do so. On the second issue, Pakistanis for example will be undesirables no matter the level of assimilation.

    One also should not overemphasize the present day. Radical protestants who practice nonconformity to the world are part of a cultural genealogy which connects them to (mostly Northwestern) Europe and its descendant societies. Muslims in comparison have no connection to these societies, they are aliens from an enemy civilization. This fact is more important than a group being more likely to wear modern dress for example.

  266. @Mr. Hack

    I’ve never even heard of linoleic acid deficiency in humans, but yes it is an essential fatty acid. Might be possible in vegans who consume no seeds or nuts.

    There is linoleic acid just about all seeds and nuts as well as in most animal fat. This is one of those substances where the dose makes the poison. Likewise there are various essential micronutrients which are harmful and even dangerous in large quantities. You can calcify your blood vessels with calcium supplements for instance.

    Dietary fats suitable for daily use include but are not limited to butter (and ghee), lard, tallow, schmaltz, oolichan grease, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.

    If you’re looking for a neutral oil for frying then avocado oil is a great choice. It has a higher smoke point than any other edible fat I’m aware of.

    Sunflower oil does not strike me as wise to consume on a routine basis. But it is at least obtainable through pressing, and as you noted it’s high in vitamin E as in most other preindustrial concentrated sources of linoleic acid.

    Corn oil, soybean oil, canola, and other “vegetable” oils ought to be prohibited for human and livestock consumption. They probably have industrial uses.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  267. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Thanks for the information!

  268. EldnahYm says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    When are all these anti-beef preachers going to start demonizing Asians for eating so much rice, since rice paddies are a major source of methane emissions? Never I expect.

  269. songbird says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    When they go after cows, I feel like they are going after my culture. This is what my ancestors did for thousands of years – steal other people’s cows, and then go into a berserker fury, when they had their own cows stolen.

    I also feel like they are trying to starve me off the land by running off my cattle. It is just not right.

    BTW, I hear the best strategy for keeping your cattle safe from raiders is to drive them into the woods. Might not work well in parts of the Midwest.

  270. https://phys.org/news/2019-08-mass-bee-deaths-russian-beekeepers.html

    It appears that 9% of Russia’s commercial honeybee colonies have been killed, apparently because of the uncontrolled application of fipronil on rapeseed.

  271. @Abelard Lindsey

    Abelard Lindsey wrote:

    Robin Hanson underestimates the complexity of neurobiology.

    I met Robin some thirty years ago: our circle of friends overlapped (e.g., some of the early nanotech and private-rocket guys).

    Robin is a very bright guy (and a nice fellow) with very provocative ideas. He is also rather lacking in the talent of self-criticism: i.e., he is not very good at seeing the little “gotchas” in many of his ideas. I’d say the same for most of his and my mutual friends, and, indeed, almost all of the tech predictions those guys were making three decades ago have failed to pan out.

    I’m a physicist married to a biologist: I started out in theoretical elementary-particle physics, went on to semiconductor device physics, and ended up doing algorithm design and implementation on error-correction systems.

    Based on my own experience, the conclusions I have reached are almost identical to yours (and my biologist wife concurs to the degree that her expertise is relevant).

    Of course, it is always possible that you and I and my wife are all wrong!

  272. @Sean

    Sean wrote:

    A human head can’t be the size of a Death Star. But why would we need to make an Human Level Machine Intelligence fit into a cranium?

    Interconnects — that’s the problem.

    Interconnects are already a big problem with IC design. And, if you try to take, say, a billion microprocessors and have them all massively interconnected… well, there are half a quintillion interconnections among them! (i.e., the number of interconnections goes as the square of the number of units.)

    Realistically, an AI that is massively larger than a human brain has to basically be a society of intelligences rather than one single intelligence.

    Given the number of neurons that have synapses with one single neuron, it is hard to see how any kind of hardware implementation of a human brain in FETs can be made at all.

    Better to think about quantum computing and write science fiction (i.e., I do not think that quantum computing will ever serve for general-purpose computation, but it makes good sf).

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    , @Sean
  273. @PhysicistDave

    That’s another thing about neurobiology – interconnects. Specifically, dendrites and how they work. Neurons continually delete and grow dendritic connections as part of learning and cognitive process. This is a dynamic process. I believe this takes place during sleep and is the reason why we need sleep.*

    There are no semiconductor devices that are designed or even proposed as designed with this capability. FPGA’s are not the same. This is one hurtle for anyone proposing brain emulation.

    I agree that quantum computers will not replace general computing. If developed, they will be used for the specialized computation (factorial stuff) that quantum computers are optimized for.

    *This means sleep is very fundamental to neurobiology and that SF novels depicting us not needing it any more are unlikely to become true.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Sean
  274. Sean says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Realistically, an AI that is massively larger than a human brain has to basically be a society of intelligences rather than one single intelligence.

    But is a human brain one intelligence? Shakespeare’s Jacques says one man plays many parts. Hamlet seems to have various schemata, which I suppose are sort of different circuits of neurons in the brain, evenly matched, which is why he cannot make his bloody mind up,.
    Dennett on Edge cited a finger immobilization experiment and drew some conclusions:

    Maybe the neurons in our brains are not just capable, but motivated, to be more adventurous, exploratory, or risky in the way they live their lives. They’re struggling amongst themselves for influence and for staying alive. As soon as that happens, you have room for cooperation, to create alliances, coalitions, cabals, etc. […] Why should these neurons be so eager to pitch in and do this other work just because they don’t have a job? Well, they’re out of work. They’re unemployed, and if you’re unemployed, you’re not getting your neuromodulators. If you’re not getting your neuromodulators, your neuromodulator receptors are going to start disappearing, and pretty soon you’re going to be really out of work, and then you’re going to die. […] We’re beginning to come to grips with the idea that your brain is not this well-organized hierarchical control system where everything is in order, a very dramatic vision of bureaucracy. In fact, it’s much more like anarchy with some elements of democracy. Sometimes you can achieve stability and mutual aid and a sort of calm united front….

    In From Bacteria to Bach chapter called Brains made of Brains, Dennett points out that the computer as adumbrated by Turing and Von Neumann was designed top down, while living things evolved bottom up and are composed of parts that have some stability independently from the larger system of which they are part. In computers the needs and job performance are not related, no circuit gets starved of power, Brains are more like a de-Darwinised struggle for existence with neurons like mules that must be performing work to be fed. According to Dennett it is the the aforementioned principles of organisation in computers being fundamentally different and not the constraints imposed by using silicon that stand in the way of major advances.

    Given the number of neurons that have synapses with one single neuron, it is hard to see how any kind of hardware implementation of a human brain in FETs can be made at all

    The response time of a neuron is billions of times slower than hardware, isn’t it?

    Since reading The Master Algorithm, Dennett admits that it is “possible in principle” , but maintains that the difficulties of any such “strong AI” project as predicted by Bostrom’s “alarming” work would require orders of magnitude greater effort than the Manhattan Project and even then would be at least 50 years away. But that is a very different thing to saying it is science fiction.

  275. Sean says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    There is reconfigurable hardware: programmable chips that can be rewired, some while the chip is working. Bostrom says this could let computers learn, with the important thing being that the learning would not destroy old knowledge

  276. @Sean

    Sean wrote to me:

    But is a human brain one intelligence?

    Well… the issue is not a semantic one, but a technical one. The level of connectivity seems to be (I’m relying on what neuroscientists say in this regard) much, much higher in the brain than the achievable connectivity in semiconductor circuitry.

    Sean also wrote:

    According to Dennett it is the the aforementioned principles of organisation in computers being fundamentally different and not the constraints imposed by using silicon that stand in the way of major advances.

    Silicon (and other semiconductors) is not really all that great. As far as we know, there are only a few things you can do with it.

    E.g., you can dope it very lightly with some elements from columns III and V. You can grow some nice oxide on the surface (a real advantage, by the way of Si over, say GaAs). Very importantly, you can grow some very nice Si crystals.

    But, with any particular piece of silicon, you can do this stuff once.

    Once you have done it, we know of no way — on the fly and out in the field — to redope it, change the interconnets, and all the rest.

    I know of course about FPGAs, EEPROMs, and all the rest. Yeah, a little bit of flexibility. But you cannot change the findamental underlying structure of the transistors.

    Almost everyone knows that existing semiconductor technology does not accommodate itself to a direct hardware emulation of a brain.

    You (and Dennett) tell us we need to think outside the box and figure out something else to do with Si? Fine. How? Silicon is not that great. It lends itself to a few things that enable us to build BJTs, FEts, etc. But, there is no reason to think it is some kind of magic material that will enable us to do completely different things.

    So, why focus on Si? Why not focus on the advanced AI that can be make with basalt or a bowl of soup or a loaf of bread? I’m not being (overly) facetious here: Si is not magic. You can do a few things with it, but if you want to do radically different things, why not focus on radically different materials?

    Say, like bilayer phospholipid membranes and neurotransmitters and alkali earth ions and… just to throw out some wild suggestions!

    Sean also wrote:

    Since reading The Master Algorithm, Dennett admits that it is “possible in principle” , but maintains that the difficulties of any such “strong AI” project as predicted by Bostrom’s “alarming” work would require orders of magnitude greater effort than the Manhattan Project and even then would be at least 50 years away. But that is a very different thing to saying it is science fiction.

    Sorry, but that is science fiction.

    Predicting technology developments with no hint at all as to how to bring that technology aboout is at best science fiction, if not outright fantasy.

    • Replies: @Sean
  277. @Sean

    Sean wrote to me:

    The response time of a neuron is billions of times slower than hardware, isn’t it?

    But the parallelism and connectivity in the brain is orders of magnitude higher than that achievable in Si.

    And, the winner is… the brain! Except for some rather specialized, repetitive tasks that are not natural to human beings.

    There is a real power issue, too. You get that highs switching speed in Si by burning a lot of power. This matters because if you try to stack Si transistors on top of transistors, thousands of transistors high, as you would like to do to make connectivity better, the need for heat dissipation just kills you.

    Of course, you can reduce the heat problem by really slowing down the transistors, which sort of wrecks the point of it.

    You want more brains, we know how to make more brains: one lady, nine months. Can churn ’em out by the billions.

    Maybe millennia hence, we’ll come up with something better. But for now, that’s it.

  278. Mitleser says:

    All hail the Khan Empire, Greatest of the British Isles!

    Two thirds of Londoners support the idea of Britain having a “strongman” leader who does not have to bother with parliament according to a new survey, the largest percentage found in any part of the country.

    The same survey also found that Londoners are more likely than people elsewhere in Britain to favour the country being ruled by the army, although this was the view of a 42% minority.

    At the same time, Londoners emerged from the survey as the most supportive of “a democratic political system”, with 87% expressing that view and as the only group that does not feel that Britain has moved significantly away from it culturally or economically in the last decade, in striking contrast with the rest of the country.

    The findings form part of a nationwide poll of over 5,000 people conducted by Hanbury Strategy for centre-right think tank Onward into “the politics of belonging” within a shifting national political loyalties landscape.

    Those for London about “strongmen” and “army rule” appear to be at odds with a widespread characterisation of the capital as a stronghold of liberal social and economic values, but also follow a study published a year ago, which found that the percentage of people who believe pre-marital sex and homosexuality are wrong is higher among Londoners than people who live in other regions of England, Scotland or Wales.

    Hanbury’s report on its findings describes London as “the most authoritarian part of the country” and says this is likely to reflect “its younger and ethnically diverse population” – under-35s across the country are described as “considerably more authoritarian than older generations”.

    The 2018 study, carried out for Trust for London by NatCen Social Research, attributed the relatively high incidence of conservative views about pre-marital sex and homosexuality among Londoners to religious affiliation and associated values. The same research found that more Londoners (33%) had authoritarian attitudes about the death penalty, censorship and “respect for traditional British values” than had liberal ones (20%).

    https://www.onlondon.co.uk/london-is-most-authoritarian-part-of-the-country-survey-finds/

  279. Sean says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Time travel is science fiction or fantasy. Natural selection producing the human brain is not. Human intelligence came about without anyone intending it to. Thus the mind of a human brain being deliberately duplicated in another format by our purposeful invention and a lot of trial and error can not properly be characterised as fiction or fantasy. It may well be in practice impossible, but in principle it’s very far from being so absurd that the possibility can be completely discounted in the way you are doing.

    A machine need not have consciousness or self awareness to have a form of agency on its own account. Such a machine may be feasible even if a true human level anologure of artificial intelligence is not, and it would clearly exist before the HLAI in any case.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  280. Liberal meeting (officially allowed) in Moscow today attracted 12,000 people according to the police and 22,000 people according to liberal self-count. Considering that Moscow population exceeds 12 million (http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/moscow-population/), either number is ridiculously low. But it’s a good predictor of liberals’ “success” in upcoming city council elections: assuming that 10 times more people will vote for liberals than bothered to come to this meeting, their support would remain in low single digits, as usual.

    As an American taxpayer I resent the fact that my money is wasted on support of this hopeless fringe. Besides, many liberals allege that Navalny stole the money they were promised for participation in the previous meeting (where he did not show up). Wouldn’t it be ironic if Russian authorities jail Navalny for stealing State Department money allocated to overthrowing them?

  281. @Sean

    Sean wrote to me:

    Time travel is science fiction or fantasy.

    Well, back in the mid-’70s, I pointed out to my prof, Kip Thorne (the guy who recently won the Nobel for LIGO), that, if you can get a couple wormholes you can build a time machine. And wormholes are mathematically possible, if exotic, solutions to the equations of General Relativity.

    Kip later ran with the idea (although he may have forgotten that I had once mentioned it) and published some research papers on it: see his book Black Holes and Time Warps. Kip’s friend Steve Hawking did come up with an interesting argument that such wormhole time machines would produce a feedback effect (think of it as an out-of-control super laser) that would destroy the time machine.

    So… time machines are in fact a subject of serious scientific research, though they might or might not ever be built.

    Sean also wrote:

    Thus the mind of a human brain being deliberately duplicated in another format by our purposeful invention and a lot of trial and error can not properly be characterised as fiction or fantasy. It may well be in practice impossible, but in principle it’s very far from being so absurd that the possibility can be completely discounted in the way you are doing.

    Well, in short, a bit less probable than wormhole time machines!

    I.e., in the case of wormhole time machines, we can actually sketch out in some mathematical detail how they could work, even down to the negative energy required to hold the wormhole open. To any non-physicists around: no, negative energy is not some crazy sci-fi idea — see, e.g., the Casimir effect. Of course, no one yet knows how to harness the Casimir effect to stabilize a wormhole: perhaps, we will never work out a way. Or perhaps we will.

    But, in the case of a non-organic brain, you cannot even give us a hint of how to do it; rather, you just wave your hands and say, well, maybe. Indeed: maybe. Sci-fi or fantasy, at least for now.

    Sean also wrote:

    A machine need not have consciousness or self awareness to have a form of agency on its own account.

    Really? How do you know?

    You could equally well declare authortiatively, “Consciousness need not have a material substrate to exist, so that there can be disemboided spirits.” To which I would also reply: Really? How do you know?

    With all respect, you do not seem to know all that much about science. For some reason (personal desire? reading pop-science books?), it seems that you have arbitrarily decided that certain wild-eyed speculations are really science and other equally wild-eyed speculations are sci-fi or fantasy.

    I’d suggest that it might be simpler to classify as science those ideas that, according to currently well-established scientific principles, really can be realized if we want to go to the trouble.

    For example, we really can send humans to Mars if we are willing to pay for it.

    Otherwise, it is sci-fi or fantasy. Your and Robin’s ideas about non-organic brains, Kip’s and my ideas about wormhole time machines, etc. — all sci-fi. There is a bit more science behind the wormhole time machines, but still it is not clear we can do it.

    • Replies: @Sean
  282. Sean says:
    @PhysicistDave

    If you had pointed to an actually existing time travel portal that had been created by a purely natural process and suggested we could use our theories and technology to make a time travel machine with comparable properties to the natural phenomena, then one could not call it science fiction. My point is that humans came into existence by a process as natural as entropy, or the fine grains of sand being on the surface of the beach. There is much less of leap of faith required for strong AI than time travel.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  283. Sean wrote to me:

    There is much less of leap of faith required for strong AI than time travel.

    Neither time travel nor (non-organic) strong AI exists. But, current physics does give us hints as to how to make a time machine. There is no scientific basis at all for how to make non-organic strong AI, and some pretty good reasons to doubt it can be made (as some of us have discussed above).

    You have not even given us a hint of how this could be done. You seem to think it is obvious that it is possible, but it is not obvious to people, such as myself, who know a great deal more about the relevant science and technology than you do.

    So: advantage time travel.

    But, I’m willing to admit that perhaps time travel and strong AI are equally unlikely.

    As opposed to, say, a settlement on Mars, which we most certainly can do if we are foolish enough to waste the money.

    I know you will just keep saying humans exist so obviously non-organic strong AI can exist! But, that is merely your quasi-religious belief: it is not obvious at all.

    • Replies: @Sean
  284. @Sean

    An additional comment (and sorry for the failure to link my previous comment to yours):

    From the fact that humans did evolve, presumably by natural processes, you seem to think it obviously follows that non-human, non-organic, silicon-based strong AI can be created by humans.

    But maybe the only strong AI that can exist has to be alive, in somewhat the way we are alive. Maybe, strong AI has to be conscious in much the way we are conscious, and maybe consciousness is tied to organic, living creatures.

    Or, at a less philosophical level, maybe for reasons we have explained above, Si is just, as a practical matter, not workable for the level of interconnect complexity required for strong AI.

    All of these are plausible hypotheses, but you are just taking for granted, as an act of quasi-religious faith, that all such hypotheses are false.

    A silicon-based computer is not a human. And,maybe there are some good reasons why humans can do things that Si-based computers will never do.

    Or maybe not: you don’t know and I don’t know. Just as neither you nor I know if a time machine is actually possible.

    Until science gives us some reason to think that either a time machine or a Si-based strong AI is really possible, both remain science fiction, just like “warp drive,” “tractor beams,” and all the rest.

    If you want to dispute that, please try to explain why you think it obviously follows that non-human, non-organic, silicon-based strong AI can be created by humans, given the fact that humans did evolve, presumably by natural processes. I know you think this is obvious, but I have given a number of plausible reasons why it is not.

    • Replies: @Sean
  285. Sean says:
    @PhysicistDave

    The feeling that time passes is an illusion we have is as an adaptation to the gaps between events and I should have thought back and forth time travel was impossible, but I don’t know much about it.

    I do not have the knowledge to defeat your plausibility arguments for the idea of strong AI being no more theoretically sound than making a time travel machine, so I’ll concede to you on that one.

    But will have to disagree with the idea that one is as likely to be feasible in practice as the other, inasmuch as there are humans to reverse engineer a human level AI from.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  286. Sean says:
    @PhysicistDave

    But maybe the only strong AI that can exist has to be alive, in somewhat the way we are alive. Maybe, strong AI has to be conscious in much the way we are conscious, and maybe consciousness is tied to organic, living creatures.

    The most powerful theory describing nature is quantum mechanics. Unless consciousness is a violation of the theory, quantum mechanics will explicate consciousness.

    From the fact that humans did evolve, presumably by natural processes, you seem to think it obviously follows that non-human, non-organic, silicon-based strong AI can be created by humans.

    I am less certain there can be strong AI and about the super intelegence arguments of Bostrom after reading
    https://thebulletin.org/2015/08/is-artificial-intelligence-really-an-existential-threat-to-humanity/

    Or, at a less philosophical level, maybe for reasons we have explained above, Si is just, as a practical matter, not workable for the level of interconnect complexity required for strong AI.

    The organisation of the components, not just the interconnect complexity, is what makes a conscious human brain greater than the sum of its parts. We do not not understand that organisation, but we know it is there and the human brain is but an instantiation of it.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  287. @Sean

    Sean wrote:

    I do not have the knowledge to defeat your plausibility arguments for the idea of strong AI being no more theoretically sound than making a time travel machine, so I’ll concede to you on that one.

    Okay, let’s be completely honest: we’re all sort of BSing! No one really knows on these issues.

    But courteous BSing (and you and I have been courteous, I think) has its place: hashing out ideas sometimes does make things clearer.

    All the best,

    Dave

  288. @Sean

    Sean wrote to me:

    The most powerful theory describing nature is quantum mechanics. Unless consciousness is a violation of the theory, quantum mechanics will explicate consciousness.

    Ah, now a subject close to my heart on which we could exchange a few thousand messages!

    I don’t have time now, alas, but the summary is that, on alternate days I either think that consciousness holds the key to understanding QM… or not.

    And, I really am supposed to be an expert on QM — took it from Feynman himself, in the flesh.

    So, I suppose my view on QM and consciousness is itself a quantum superposition.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  289. nebulafox says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Can you please make time later?

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