View from Ostankino Tower.
I am back. Happy 88th OT!
This break from blogging, which was not 100% voluntary, gave me the chance to reflect on my content and how I can improve it going forwards. Though it may not seem like it at this moment, my output has been steadily increasing the past few years. I went up from ~130 blog posts in 2015/2016, to 262 in 2017, 341 in 2018, and 244 this year to date (so I am still just on track to beat last year’s record). Visitorship has been booming. So overall, I think the blog has been a success.
But there’s one problem that increasingly concerns me. I only have so much time and energy for writing every week (amidst other commitments), so this creates a tradeoff between “r-selected” and “K-selected” output. And looking back, I do feel that my output has veered too far towards the former. In terms of such “value added” content, perhaps the one bright spot is my travel reviews. Otherwise, I only produced ~3 articles that qualify as highly K-selected longreads, or “effortposts”, this year (world’s maximum population; animal rights; world scientific production). I want to be producing 1-2 of these per month. Moreover, I only managed to review one book this year out of dozens of deserving candidates. I want to be be doing it at a rate of closer to once per week. Finally, I am rather depressed to have made zero progress on any of my book projects.
Since one can’t get something for nothing, something will have to give. And after mulling over this, I am going to cut out two things that have up till now characterized this blog.
First, there are going to be fewer posts. While that means fewer “shitposts” about memes and autistic drama (it should stay on Twitter), it also means fewer “useful” posts about new scientific articles and topic news stories. At the end of the day, there are at least three other excellent bloggers who offer such coverage in my area of (relative) expertise, intelligence research: James Thompson, Emil Kirkegaard, and Steve Sailer. I will still do the occasional post highlighting some new paper or finding, but only if it is either really groundbreaking (actually Kirkegaard et al.’s latest would qualify) or if I find it inordinately interesting.
As for news, while NNT might be wrong on a lot of things, I consider him to be very correct on the low utility of following the news cycle – 95%+ of it is going to be irrelevant crap that everyone will forget about within a few months. So while I will have something up when the neocons finally consummate their Iran obsession, or even when Americans vote in the next elections, I am no longer going to write something whenever BHL interviews Orban, or Levada releases the latest poll on Russian attitudes towards Jugashvili. Consequently, you may expect my monthly output to go down from my otherwise typical ~30-35 posts to around a dozen. Now there’ll still be an occasional post about some topical news story or important new data/numbers, but I’ll only do them if they personally interest me.
Second, I won’t be participating as much in the discussions. I’ll still keep an eye on them and contribute something from time to time, but I will reduce my participation in debates, and I will no longer conscientiously try to read every last comment (as I have done up till now). However, since a surfeit of enthusiastic and knowledgeable commenters is one of the best features of this community, weekly Open Threads will remain on the menu.
I see several advantages to this rearrangement. First, less frequent but more substantial pieces have a greater chance of becoming influential. Second, this means that visitorship is unlikely to fall; while there’ll be fewer clicks day by day, this should be balanced out whenever an effortpost goes viral. Third, I realized that I don’t really enjoy writing about “newsy” stuff. I would much rather be creating longer content, and since I have the privilege of writing on a website that gives me almost complete editorial freedom, I should take advantage of that.
Anyhow, let me know what you think of this. I am pretty set on this change in tack, but there is still some room for adjustment.
- Ben Aris: Putin’s 20 years on the job in numbers
- spandrell: Hong Kong and the Perils of Nativism
- Dittmar, Jeremiah, and Skipper Seabold. 2019. “New Media and Competition: Printing and Europe’s Transformation after Gutenberg.” dp1600. Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- *blast from the past* “Well, here’s something: German Foreign Ministry official explaining in March 1991 that NATO “made it clear” to Sovs it wouldn’t expand “beyond the Elbe” and so couldn’t “offer membership of NATO to Poland and the others.”“
- Ben Aris: Which country is the biggest FDI investor into Russia? It’s Cyprus… Not. (It is actually the US).
- There has been the usual whining and kvetching on a certain anniversary. There’s basically two versions of telling the lead up to WW2 centering on either Munich (pro-Russians) or the Non Aggression Pact (pro-Westerners), and the one you favor is ideologically, not historically, determined.
- Insomniac Resurrected:
- ZoIS: New poll of Donetsk/Lugansk on joining Russia, Ukraine, or autonomy within Ukraine
- Supporters of direct incorporation into Russia increase relative to the last poll in 2016.
- Navalny’s daughter is a lesbian (or bi) and went to Stanford to escape her overbearing parents and family drama. Or maybe not and it’s yellow journalism. I don’t really care.
- Bolton doesn’t want Chinese to acquire Ukraine’s Motor Sich.
- HK protesters, inspired by the Ukraine, put pans on their heads to own the CPC
- *powerful take* Bryan MacDonald: Putin losing everything, Putin winning everything
- Clear by now that Epstein was “assisted” in his suicide – the only interesting question that remains is whether it was voluntary. Only “politically correct” theories:
- Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation: “The Russians killed Epstein. They’re in charge of everything now.“
- Marco Rubio: “#Putin bots & trolls are aggressively pushing hashtags on social media promoting Trump & Clinton conspiracies about #Epstein death. It’s sad (and frightening) to see so many Americans on both sides of partisan unwittingly helping them. Putin has weaponized our polarization.“
- Meanwhile, Americans have (surprisingly?) shown common sense here, this becoming the one rare “conspiracy theory” that most people believe in.
- Rasmussen: Americans Say Murder More Likely Than Suicide in Epstein Case
- Tooze: German passenger car production in free fall
- US doesn’t let in Palestinian student because his friends posted anti-US comments on Facebook
- Kenneth Rapoza: Joe Biden Is The Only Man Who Can Save China In 2020
- Peter Frost on immigration policy in Korea vs. Japan
- NBF: Reports that China’s WS15 Jet Engines Are More Powerful Than US F135 Jet Engine
- Netanyahu: “With God’s help we will extend Jewish sovereignty to all the settlements as part of the Land of Israel, as part of the State of Israel”
- Long time readers will know that I have always advocated learning moderate, measured nationalism from the Jews.
- Lasker, Jordan, Bryan J. Pesta, John G. R. Fuerst, and Emil O. W. Kirkegaard. 2019. “Global Ancestry and Cognitive Ability.” Psych 1 (1): 431–59.
- Nemets: “The Udmurts had no legends of their fall to Russian influence and rule. Naturally, the communists had to create one that reflected as negatively as possible on the Russian people.“
- Scott Alexander book reviews:
- Emil Kirkegaard: “A study of Stormfront forum members who post their genetic testing results. Sometimes extreme ethno-nationalists get surprised by their results which show some non-European ancestry. How do they take it? Leave, reinterpret, reject, other?”
- Panofsky, Aaron, and Joan Donovan. 2017. “Genetic Ancestry Testing among White Nationalists.”
- James Thompson: The Intelligent Investor
- Ideas & Data: Expert Surveys on Race and IQ
- Biohacking yourself to sleep 4 hours a day? Might be closer than you think!
- Immanuel Wallerstein RIP.
- “World systems theory” is yet another Marxist attempt to intellectualize away Third World dysfunction. Don’t waste your time on it. You’ll learn more even just playing EU4 with its quasi-HBD mechanics (before they changed it, anyway).
- Nemets notes/excerpts on John Keay’s “India: A History.”
- Audacious Epigone: The Protocols of the Editors of YouGov. GOPe sponsors made a big mistake staking America’s future on Hispanic youths with conservative values?
- Box, Jason E., William T. Colgan, Torben Røjle Christensen, Niels Martin Schmidt, Magnus Lund, Frans-Jan W. Parmentier, Ross Brown, et al. 2019. “Key Indicators of Arctic Climate Change: 1971–2017.” Environmental Research Letters: ERL [Web Site] 14 (4): 045010.
- Ron Unz: Traffic Now Surpassing The New Republic and The Nation
- Guillaume Durocher: French Identitarians to be Fined and Jailed for Opposing Illegal Immigration
- Steve Hsu: Epstein and the Big Lie
- Probably a new round of YouTube purges coming.
- Some Russians write a paper about Galkovsky’s connection to some Russian nationalists.
- The Virgin HK protester vs. the Chad white-shirt Triad goon.
- Though they make up only half the population, women account for 100% of crime in space. We need to find out what’s going on!
- Mencius Moldbugman:
- On Sweden Yes!
- On the Francophile “Zoe”
- Bronze Age Pervert: “Enjoying the show…what are the odds of congressional hearings on “Bronze Age Pervert” in 2020?“
- AP has changed its style for the capital of Ukraine to Kyiv. Glorious accomplishment!