Fundamentally solve the “intelligence problem,” and all other problems become trivial. The problem is that this problem is a very hard one, and our native wit is unlikely to suffice. Moreover, because problems tend to get harder, not easier, as you advance up the technological ladder (Karlin, 2015), in a “business as usual” scenario with... Read More
Not even a week in Moscow, and I get contacted by a Zvezda TV journalist requesting an interview about life in America and why I returned to Russia. In a deserted billiards room, I began talking about my theory that there is a civility-friendliness spectrum, with Britain on one end of it, Russia on the... Read More
Well, apart from the Gulf states - thanks in large part to coming from such a low base that even subcontinental coolies are an improvement over the natives. Otherwise, the cognitive impact of immigration - at least as proxied by the differences in performance on the PISA tests between the national average, which includes immigrant... Read More
The SF Bay Area. As I am leaving the United States for an indeterminate period of time, now would likely not be a bad time to share some of my impressions of what is still, when all is said and done, an extraordinarily effective, dynamic, and successful nation. It would be redundant to compare to... Read More
Contrary to my expectations, I think Trump lost his first debate. He started out strong, stronger than HRC, but then declined a lot in the third round on foreign policy - on what should have been his strongest round. And he really lost it at the end when they pulled out the woman card. I... Read More
Nothing illustrates China's meteoric rise as some well chosen numbers. By the end of the 1990s, China had come to dominate the mainstays of geopolitical power in the 20th century - coal and steel production. As a consequence, it leapt to the top of the Compositive Index of National Capability, which uses military expenditure, military... Read More
In terms of content, the Weisses of this world are a dime a dozen. So why "expose" yet another neocon propagandist? Because he is also very nasty, and very dangerous - as Richard Silverstein's comprehensive profile of Michael D. Weiss, just published at The Unz Review, convincingly argues. So far as (functional) psychopathy goes, he... Read More
Scene from Alien Girl (2010). "Mafia is not a Russian word," retorted Putin, in a brusque exchange with Italian journalists questioning him on the rule of law in Russia in 2000. View it as a forceful reframe or a case of aggrieved butthurt as you wish, but he has a point. Despite the comparisons made... Read More
Turkey has a proud and rich history of military coups. As analysts tirelessly point out, they are even sanctioned by the Constitution as a means of preserving secularism. However, those days have come to an end. The abortive coup of the past few days was in all likelihood the dying gasp of 20th century Turkey.... Read More
I would like to thank everyone for participating in the Reader Poll 2016. The responses have been very helpful and have helped spur me on to make some strategic changes to the way I'll proceed with my blogging forthwith. First off, it's good to know that the average "quality of posts" mark was 4.2/5, so... Read More
It's hard to view Stalin as any sort of Russian national hero considering the demonstrable idiocy of his apologists' arguments. Trying to portray him as such involves descending into a fantasy world in which no country had ever managed to industrialize itself without killing off millions of its most intelligent and productive people or have... Read More
Source: Ben Garrison - Abandon Ship In recent days the Brexit debate has suddenly gone from boring to interesting, with opinion polls swinging from a comfortable lead for Remain to a neck and neck race between staying in and leaving the EU. One of the most recent polls has even seen Leave take a ten... Read More
When I posted a 2007 map of the share of European children born out of wedlock from Reddit to Twitter, it generated considerably discussion, including a discussion at Razib Kan's blog. There are many rather interesting patterns here: The Nordics, France, The Former GDR, Estonia, Bulgaria all have high rates out of wedlock births. Most... Read More
In the wake of blatantly political voting during Eurovision 2016, which Ukraine's Crimean Tatar representative Jamala won despite losing both the popular and the jury vote, to Russia and Australia respectively, the debate has been dominated by the following two positions: Russia supporters - It was a political song, and as such inadmissable under long-standing... Read More
The Atlantic's Olga Khazan reveals that Russian-American Jews strongly support Trump. “I don’t like big government,” Sundeyeva said. She made two circles with her thumbs and forefingers and pressed them against each other so they touched, like binoculars. This Venn diagram represents the interests of people and government, she said. “They don’t have very much... Read More
Today a ceasefire has been agreed upon between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which unlike the unilateral ceasefire declared by Azerbaijan three days ago seems to be holding. This allows us to make some more conclusions observations on what happened. Source: http://caucasus.liveuamap.com/, via Cassad. Nagorno-Karabakh War 1.5 First, the Azeris have made gains, but their... Read More
If there is a good correlation between the "American nations" and support for Trump, then I'm not really seeing it. American Nations (Woodard) and county primary results for Trump (Wikimedia): American Nations (Woodard) and Republican voters estimated to support Trump (Cohn): There are just too many in
Today came the shock announcement that Putin has ordered the withdrawal of most of the Russian strike force in Syria commencing on March 15, 2016. In contrast to the weeks before the start of the intervention, when multiple observers including Stratfor observed signs of an imminent intervention, this has come as a complete surprise. Many... Read More
The heroes of Hikaru's Go were off by 86 years. As some of you might have heard, the word of go - or weiqi as it is known in its homeland of China - is currently undergoing its Deep Blue moment as one of the world's strongest players Lee Sedol faces off against Google's DeepMind... Read More
Some notes from the last Republican debate on February 25: * Essentially, Trump is a cognitive elitist on immigration.I am not sure if even that is all that great of an idea, but it's still leagues ahead of open borders. Cruz lamely triup to outtrump the Trump but it's far too late for that by... Read More
One of the problems critics of mass immigration face is that there aren't that many concrete statistics on their crime rates (substantially thanks to European institutions being in the habit of forbidding the gathering of said race/ethnicity data). But things do leak through every now and then and more often than not they tend to... Read More
Prolific IQ researcher Richard Lynn together with two Russian collaborators have recently published arguing that multiple aspects of socio-economic development - infant mortality, fertility, stature, and literacy-as-a-proxy for intelligence were significantly intercorrelated in late Tsarist Russia. Here is the link to the paper - Regional differences in intelligence, infant mortality, stature and fertility in European... Read More
One thing you start noticing when you read commentary on Russia long enough is how the same discredited tropes arise again and again. Zombie-like, they refuse to die. In 2011, for example, there was supposed to have been a "sixth wave of Russian emigration," in which disillusioned Russians were said to have finally had enough... Read More
In 2012 this German video on what the news would be like in 2018 was but reality seems to be catching up to and overtaking satire three years in advance says Germans don't plan ahead? Laws banning incest between brothers and sisters in Germany could be scrapped after a government ethics committee said the they... Read More
The cultural and scientific achievements of Ancient Greece are so manifold that it is barely worth recounting them. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle laid the foundations of Western philosophy. Pythogoras, Euclid, and Archimedes launched mathematics as a disciple grounded on logic and proof, a break from the approximative techniques that had held sway in other civilizations... Read More
One of the most memorably vivid characterizations of the USSR was as a communal apartment, in which every ethnicity had its own room. Except the majority Russians, who had to make do with the foyer while paying the bulk of the rent, which didn't make them too happy. In some sense, US Whites are not... Read More
The Influence of Air Power upon Syrian History Here are some recent videos of Russian bombings of Islamic state oil infrastructure (LOL at the guy getting out of Dodge at a bombing of a nicely arraigned line of oil of which raises a rather obvious question: If this is easy as easy as shooting fish... Read More
I am too tired right now to compile all this into something more elegant than a point-by-point rant, so here goes: Some preliminary thoughts on the latest terrorist attacks that have claimed 128+ lives in Paris. (1) The usual cucks have wasted no time in making political hay of this tragedy Ezra Klein: "This tragedy... Read More
Today is the publication date of Hive Mind, a book by economist Garett Jones on the intimate relationship between average national IQs and national success, first and foremost in the field of economics. I do intend to read and review it ASAP, but first some preliminary comments. This is a topic I have been writing... Read More
The newly released paper by Anne Case and Angus Deaton showing that mortality rates amongst middle-aged White American males (MAWAM) increased from 1999-2013 has been generating a lot of discussion of late. This mortality increase was concentrated amongst MAWAMs with a high school degree or less ("Fishtown," to borrow from Charles Murray's archetype of a... Read More
In the overall scheme of things, the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business (and other such indices) don't seem to be terribly important. As long as you don't go full retard on such matters and adopt Soviet-style central planning, or something like that, then you should do just fine as long as your human capital/national... Read More
One constant theme in the immigration "debate" is that the world of Mutti Merkel and Sweden Yes! are just too stupid and/or WEIRD (capitalized) to get that it probably isn't such a great idea to import millions of 80 IQ Third Worlders with a penchant for cultural enrichment. In fantasyland, they will help pay European... Read More
It is in some ways remarkable that there is still no commonly agreed method on quantifying and ranking national military power. There is one such for economics, for instance. It is called the GDP. You can make somewhat different arguments on relative economic size or living standards based on various ways of measuring GDP -... Read More
I don't make any claims to being some kind of hifalutin literatus. To the extent I read any fiction at all it is almost inevitably either sci-fi or fantasy. I am woefully uncultured when it comes to "Big L" Literature, and looking at the postmodernist dreck that seems to dominate the modern scene, I am... Read More
As Russian fighters begin their baptism of fire in Syria, it is worth pointing out there are at least three separate wars going on here. And they're all quite distinct. (1) The Actual War Once again I urge people to familiarize themselves with a map of the Syrian conflict (e.g. here). All of Assad's most... Read More
Effective altruism (EA) is the fairly simple idea that in charitable giving as in financial investment, you should aim to put your money where it would do the most good - be it earning the highest returns, or helping the maximum number of people. It is a laudable enough goal, though the ideas behind it... Read More
Nearly every other day brings another scary headline about Russia's economic apocalypse. Inflation is robbing Russians of buying power and Putin propagandists are denying it. The "wheels are coming off" the regime according to our friends at the RFERL, the end of the regime is nigh according to Bill Browder, and Putin's days are numbered,... Read More
At least according to the latest revision of the World Bank's PPP-adjusted GDP estimates. China has long been expected to overtake the US economy (one economist dated it to as early as 2010), and there had already been a flurry in the media when the IMF claimed the same thing in December last year.... Read More
Chanda Chisala's article on black/white IQ differences has been making quite the stir in the HBDsphere. It is well worth reading in its entirety, as some of the points he makes - e.g., the evidence for high IQ amongst certain African ethnic groups such as the Igbo - are quite compelling and novel even to... Read More
This is the first post in a new series that I intend to do in 1-2 week intervals every Friday. Just like Patrick Armstrong does with his RF Sitreps on Russia Insider, these sitreps are intended to cover both developments in the ongoing War in the Donbass. Assassination of Alexey Mozgovoy On May 23, the... Read More
In the latest news from the ongoing comedy skit that is Ukrainian politics, we learn that Mikheil Saakashvili has been appointed governor of Odessa oblast. Who is Saakashvili? The son of Soviet apparatchiks with ties to the diplomatic service, which was dominated by Georgians in the late USSR, this onetime university dropout enjoyed a great... Read More
The UK will be holding its general elections on May 7th, potentially - probably, if the opinion polls are anything to go by - bringing to an end the past five years of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Neither the Conservatives, nor Labour - the UK's two main parties - are projected to get anywhere... Read More
There are some massacres that are clearly genocides, such as the Holocaust, and there are some massacres that are clearly not, such as Katyn, but in between there is a vast, gristly spectrum that in the absence of any strict and universally accepted definition of the term is dominated by quacks and cranks driven more... Read More
Why is the HBDsphere so damn interested in IQ, anyway? While I can't speak for the "movement" at large, in my own case the interest stems from the fact that it explains so much about our world. (In fact, I was interested in this topic long before I discovered HBD, Charles Murray, Jensen, Lynn, Rushton,... Read More
Here are three very important graphs for comprehending the ebb and flow of Russia's relations with the West, and why what some are now calling the New Cold War might well be here to stay. Russian approval of the United States (green is positive, red is negative): Russian approval of the EU: While it's hard... Read More
The benevolent dictator, much like Communism, seems to be one of those semi-mythical things that seem to be good in theory but rarely if ever pan out in practice. But every so often there occurs an exception. If there was one man who embodied the archetype, it was Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away earlier... Read More
Andrey Babitsky was the quintessential Russian democratic journalist. A correspondent for the US government funded Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe (RFERL) since 1989, his star began to shine at the start of the Second Chechen War in 1999, when he was embedded amongst the rebel fighters in Grozny. He took a harshly anti-Russian line, writing the... Read More
In a new paper at the (conveniently open) journal The Winnower (h/t @whyvert), building on his earlier work, geneticist Davide Piffer has tried to calculate the genotypic IQs of various world populations, and how they compare to measured phenotypic IQ: Piffer, David - Estimating the genotypic intelligence of populations and assessing the impact of socioeconomic... Read More
This is the first of my promised Last Three Posts on DR. It's been a bit more than a year since my last update on Russia's demographic turnaround, and believe it or not, the cause of this was more than just laziness and lack of time on my part. A different question started bugging me:... Read More
My latest for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel. Also as usual it appears at Voice of Russia. The version printed here is a slightly longer one: There are already a lot of opinions on the topic of Russian corruption, and I see no pressing need to add more to that morass. I do however think... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.
Just $2,000 per month will cover all of my monthly expenses, which will enable me to start doing this fulltime and triple my output.
This is not so much meant to be comprehensive as to illustrate the themes and individual thinkers whom I follow and am inspired by.
I do not bother including any MSM outlets, since I’m sure they can do just fine without my publicity. Most of my “front page” news I get via /r/worldnews, /r/russia, and RCW.
Especially important, useful, and regularly updated resources are marked by an asterix, while blogs that appear to gone dormant appear at the end in italics. And while I try to keep these things objective, if you include me in your blogroll that does vastly increase the chances that I’ll reciprocate.
He who does not love his mother more than other mothers and his country more than other countries, loves neither his mother nor his country. – Charles de Gaule (on validity of nationalism).
When will Russia get an idea for which one can live for and create for? Galina Dmitrievna, – for our children, our grandchildren, for our Motherland, Russia, it always was, is, and will be worth living for and creating for. What else is there? However we might try to come up with a national idea, it has to be said directly: There is nothing closer to someone than his family, his close ones, and his own country. - Vladimir Putin (on uselessness of ideology).
There is no left or right, only nationalists and globalists. - Marine Le Pen.
After communists, most of all I hate anti-communists. - Sergei Dovlatov.
Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong. Europe is a geographical expression. – Bismarck (answer to the “Is Russia Europe or Asia?” debates).
I am an atheist, but an Orthodox atheist! – Alexander Lukashenko.
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. - Luke 22:36, NIV (they don’t teach this kind of Christianity nowadays).
Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy. – Cersei Lannister (clannishness defined in 7 words).
Don’t trust these three: The woman, the Turk, and the teetotaler. – Based Peter the Great.
Science & Futurism
Intelligence is what you need when you don’t know what to do. – Carl Bereiter.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) expressed it tersely when he heard a noted historian pro claim that it was by virtue of their very different gifts that Caesar became a great commander, Shakespeare a great poet, and Newton a great scientist. Dr. Johnson replied, ‘ ‘No, it is only that one man has more mind than another; he may direct it differently, or prefer this study to that. Sir, the man who has vigor may walk to the North as well as to the South, to the East as well as to the West.” – Arthur Jensen, The g Factor (its most poetic elucidation?).
I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be. – Lord Kelvin (on the necessity of quantification).
Personally, I’ve been hearing all my life about the Serious Philosophical Issues posed by life extension, and my attitude has always been that I’m willing to grapple with those issues for as many centuries as it takes. - Patrick Hayden (on life extension).
There are two kinds of scientific progress: the methodical experimentation and categorization which gradually extend the boundaries of knowledge, and the revolutionary leap of genius which redefines and transcends those boundaries. Acknowledging our debt to the former, we yearn, nonetheless, for the latter. - Academician Prokhor Zakharov (Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri).
The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn? And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn’t even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude. - Uthan the Perverse (Warhammer 40K)
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. – H.P. Lovecraft (the ultimately fate of the noosphere?).