So who are you and why should I read you?
I am a businessman, journalist, and talentless PhotoShopper based in the SF Bay Area. My blogging career began in 2008, when I perceived an increasingly absurd discrepancy between the doom-mongering rhetoric of the Western media towards Russia, which painted it as a “weak,” “dying,” and “finished” country in between hysterics about Putin’s plans to subjugate Middle-Ear- oops, I mean Europe… and its rather mundane and mediocre reality.
I launched my first blog with the intention of clearing up these myths not so much because they were Russophobic as because they were logically implausible or just factually wrong. Personally, the thing I’m most proud of there was modeling and correctly predicting Russia’s demographic turnaround. It is not an exaggeration to say I was a lone voice in the wilderness on this question in 2008.
I will not go into any further detail, because many of you will either be already familiar with my Russia blog, or simply uninterested. If neither of that applies to you, please feel free to explore my extensive, hand-selected posts archive here: http://darussophile.com/start/
Soon my interests soon began to extend well beyond the Eurasian carapace into topics such as geopolitics, futurism, and psychometrics. I found it expedient to launch a second blog to explore these topics. I started reading Steve and Razib. I leafed my way through the Index Librorum Prohibitorum of our days – books by Murray and Rushton, Lynn and Jensen – and found the case for human biodiversity to be near incontrovertible. I started exploring the ways in which human biological differences might have influenced history (e.g. the classic puzzle of why the Industrial Revolution began in NW Europe), affected the present (e.g. why are rich countries rich and poor countries poor?), and what they could portend for the future of our civilization (e.g. will China manage to converge to First World living standards? Will India? Will Russia? Will Africa?). And what practical lessons can we draw from these findings in areas from immigration policy (probably restrict it) to the welfare state (surprising wide range of legitimate arguments)?
It is through these online debates and discussions that I first encountered Ron Unz.
We met at the somewhat arcane intersection of Chinese academic performance, the urban/rural IQ divide, and the Flynn effect. Why are East Asian IQs seemingly so much more resilient than European IQs to negative socio-economic influences? Could it be an artifact of poor sampling? Or maybe we were just comparing the wrong tests? On the other hand, Unz’s theory conflicts with historical anecdotal data, and opens up an additional can of worms in the sense that it makes the question of why China didn’t have an Industrial Revolution first all the more puzzling. But the balance of evidence swings one way then another. In the 2012 PISA, Vietnamese students did as well as the Germans and almost two (!) standard deviations better than the Indians had done in 2009, even though Vietnamese per capita incomes are at India’s level and nowhere near Germany’s. That’s some major support for Unz’s theory of the East Asian Exception!
This particular debate encapsulates what I find so entrancing about HBD and psychometrics. They have immense explanatory power. Nothing else explains why the wealth of nations is so unevenly distributed, or why China started growing so fast after it threw away its Maoist shackles, quite as well and convincingly. But they also open up new conundrums almost as soon as the old ones are resolved.
My blogging fell to near zero in 2014 as I concentrated on real life(TM) things. But I missed the old days of blogging and the indepth research that went into it; quickfire exchanges on Twitter were no substitute. By a happy coincidence, Ron emailed me with an offer to join The Review just as I was about to sit down and update my websites in preparation for resumed blogging.
He believes that my interests in HBD/psychometrics, geopolitics, and Eurasia tie in well with the general themes of The Review. I sure think (hope?) so too, and for my part I am am honored to work with him, and alongside Razib and Steve, two bloggers I have long followed and respected, and the many other great and wonderful columnists who call The Review their home. I am looking forwards to this.
Why the Russian Reaction?
I am a Russian reacting to things. And many people would call me a reactionary. (Though I am broadly sympathetic to NRx, I don’t formally identify with them. They have too many unsubstantiated ideas, like their strange hard-on for monarchy, and rejection of climate change science. It is an ideology like any other and virtually all ideologies have their own specific blinkers).
What are you going to write about?
I will aim to produce about one post per day spread across the following major topics:
- HBD and Psychometrics – Analysis of topical news from this perspective. New research papers. My own theories/connections between this and various aspects of world politics and history.
- Geopolitics and the Ukrainian conflict.
- Russian politics, economics, demography; its portrayal in the Western media.
Apart from this I will also occasionally do book reviews and write posts about futurism, transhumanism, energetics, ancestral health, biohacking, SJW insanities, topical scandals like Gamergate, and other topics that interest me (and hopefully at least some of you).
Where else can I follow you?
- @akarlin88 on Twitter.
- Subscribe to me on Facebook (nothing personal… but please don’t Friend me unless I know you).
- I have some vague plans to start doing YouTube videos. Will update if it happens.
Otherwise, I am working on a book tentatively titled APOLLO’S ASCENT, about the role of intelligence in world history. My basic thesis is that the rate and global distribution of technological and, consequently, economic progress is strongly dependent on the absolute numbers of literate, high-IQ people. Naturally, it ties in quite strongly with the themes I will be blogging about, so I’ll definitely be throwing a lot of ideas out of it here (and your ideas… into it?).
What is your moderation policy?
It is not my choice, but premoderation is system-wide on this website. That said, it does allow me to add exceptions, so I’ll be continuously doing that.
I rarely censor/ban. When I do, it will almost inevitably be for one of the following reasons:
- Particularly gratuitous ad homs, personal attacks, and/or slander against me or other commentators.
- Idiotic unfunny trolling. I tolerate intelligent trolling, and I tolerate funny trolling. But if you are neither intriguing us nor entertaining us, then you are just taking up space. Go do it elsewhere.
- SIFs (Single Issue Fanatics). You know that one guy who goes on and on and on about the Federal Reserve, the Rothschilds, and how 9/11 was carried out by the Bilderberg Group? Without the option of downvoting him into well-deserved oblivion, like you can do on Disqus, there is no choice but to eradicate his ramblings so that the rest of us sheeple can have a normal conversation.
- Crude ethnonationalist propaganda (including Holocaust denial). What is the difference between racism and race realism? Half Sigma: “The race realist understands The g Factor, The Bell Curve, and other works of scientific research. The racist apparently thinks that because Barack Obama is half black, it’s impossible for him to have a significantly higher g than John McCain.” I specifically allowed this comment from “David” to use as an example of what I do not want to see here. If you insist on polluting the comments thread with rants about “WHITE EXTINCTION AND WHITE GENOCIDE,” I am certain you would find a more appreciative reception at a certain weather-related forum.
I am absolutely sure that the above will not concern 99%+ of you. But it’s always good to get these things clear straight off the bat.
That’s it. The Russian Reaction begins now.