The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
November 16, 2018 • 16 Comments

As of early 2018, Turkey had 245 journalists locked up, the most in the world. On the other hand, I haven’t heard of Turkey murdering any journalists, the way the Saudis murdered Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.

Okay, Wikipedia has a list of “Journalists Killed in Turkey,” which lists 9 journalists who have died violently in Turkey in Erdogan’s 15 years in power, but some of those were apparently murdered by non-government criminals.

From DW:

US denies it will deport Erdogan foe Fethullah Gulen to reduce heat on Saudis

The State Department has denied a report claiming the Trump administration was mulling how to deport Gulen. The move was reportedly designed to ease pressure on ally Saudi Arabia after a journalist was murdered.

Gulen is a sort of one man iSteve meme come to life. He is an Islamic cult leader who has been holed up in Saylorsburg in the Poconos since the 1990s. My guess is that he is the American deep state’s pro-American Turkish government-in-waiting. His followers run well over 100 charter schools in the U.S., where they are accused of skimming money through immigration fraud and other sharp dealing. The FBI was raiding the Gulen charter school racket in 2014, but then the scandal disappeared. My baseless speculation is that the CIA explained to the FBI that, sure, local American taxpayers were being ripped off by Gulen’s charter school, but it was all in the good cause of having a friendly potential government for the Straits of Constantinople.

He used to be Erdogan’s ally in battling the secularist military, because Gulen’s followers had taken over the police in Turkey via running the test prep centers. Gulen’s guys framed the generals for Erdogan in various show trials, but then they turned on Erdogan over his corruption in 2013, releasing incriminating wiretaps of Erdogan saying he had no more room in his house to store all the bales of money he has ripped off.

November 16, 2018 • 58 Comments

Here’s a new study that vindicates what entrepreneurial actress Suzanne Somers was saying in her diet books in the 1990s: that starch and sugar are worse than fat. From the NYT:

How a Low-Carb Diet Might Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight

Adults who cut carbohydrates from their diets and replaced them with fat sharply increased their metabolisms.

By Anahad O’Connor, Nov. 14, 2018

It has been a fundamental tenet of nutrition: When it comes to weight loss, all calories are created equal. Regardless of what you eat, the key is to track your calories and burn more than you consume.

But a large new study published on Wednesday in the journal BMJ challenges the conventional wisdom. It found that overweight adults who cut carbohydrates from their diets and replaced them with fat sharply increased their metabolisms. After five months on the diet, their bodies burned roughly 250 calories more per day than people who ate a high-carb, low-fat diet, suggesting that restricting carb intake could help people maintain their weight loss more easily.

The new research is unlikely to end the decades-long debate over the best diet for weight loss. But it provides strong new evidence that all calories are not metabolically alike to the body. And it suggests that the popular advice on weight loss promoted by health authorities — count calories, reduce portion sizes and lower your fat intake — might be outdated.

“This study confirms that, remarkably, diets higher in starch and sugar change the body’s burn rate after weight loss, lowering metabolism,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who was not involved in the research. “The observed metabolic difference was large, more than enough to explain the yo-yo effect so often experienced by people trying to lose weight.” …

Dr. Mozaffarian called the findings “profound” and said they contradicted the conventional wisdom on calorie...

November 16, 2018 • 68 Comments

From Eidolon, Donna Zuckerberg’s Classics mag:

Black Athena, White Power
Are We Paying the Price for Classics’ Response to Bernal?

Denise Eileen McCoskey

Denise Eileen McCoskey is a Professor of Classics and affiliate of Black World Studies at Miami University (Ohio). She is the author of Race: Antiquity & Its Legacy, and past recipient of the John J. Winkler Memorial Prize. In 2009, she won the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level.

Nov 15 Art by Mali Skotheim

… In the mid 1990s, a few months before starting my first teaching job, I remember sitting in a lecture hall and listening to a talk on Ptolemaic Egypt. After the lecture, as we all milled about, a black woman from the audience quietly approached the speaker and asked: “Was Cleopatra black?”

Excited that this question, which had become the subject of growing intensity outside the academy, was being raised in the context of a formal classics lecture, I eagerly awaited the response. It came quickly and damningly, for the speaker simply waved a hand disgustedly. Then she turned her back.

… As I look back now, I realize that my feelings of alienation — my recurring sense that many of my colleagues’ questions were valued in ways that made no sense to me while the ones I wanted to ask were forbidden — cannot be separated from the fact that I came of age as a classicist in the time of Black Athena.

My goal in reflecting back on Classics’ encounter with Black Athena (beginning some thirty years ago now) is not to open old wounds — or at least not open them casually — but to insist that we cannot effectively combat today’s use of Greece and Rome by white nationalists until we admit our own role in bringing such ideology about, until we grapple honestly with the fact that in no small way Classics’ response to Black Athena is coming home to roost.

For those who didn’t live through it, the sheer scale of...

November 15, 2018 • 204 Comments

From CNBC:

Jeff Bezos predicts we’ll have 1 trillion humans in the solar system, and Blue Origin wants to help get us there

Blue Origin’s aim is to lower the cost of access to space, Jeff Bezos said during a surprise appearance at Wired’s 25th anniversary conference.

Bezos said he will spend a “little more” than $1 billion annually to support Blue Origin.

Sara Salinas | @saracsalinas, 15 Oct 2018

Blue Origin founder and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos predicts we’ll have 1 trillion humans in the solar system one day — and he laid out Monday how the rocket company plans to help get there.

“I won’t be alive to see the fulfillment of that long-term mission,” Bezos said at the Wired 25th anniversary summit in San Francisco. “We are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite.” …

Last week, the U.S. Air Force selected Blue Origin and others to develop a domestic launch system prototype. The Pentagon deal awards Blue Origin $500 million for the development of the New Glenn rocket.

“We are going to continue to support the [Department of Defense],” Bezos said. “If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the U.S. Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble.”

I’m guessing Bezos is talking about humanity someday building a Dyson Sphere just outside the orbit of the Earth.

November 15, 2018 • 238 Comments

My impression is that it’s a tricky call, and I’m glad Britain is not my country so I don’t have to have an opinion.

What do you think?

November 15, 2018 • 173 Comments

Commenter Chrisnonymous makes a good point:

By far, the most interesting aspect of the war on white women and blonde hair is the revealed preference vis-a-vis Judith Rich Harris’ theory of selection for white skin:

I believe, though I cannot prove it, that three—not two—selection processes were involved in human evolution. The first two are familiar: natural selection, which selects for fitness, and sexual selection, which selects for sexiness. The third process selects for beauty, but not sexual beauty—not adult beauty. The ones doing the selecting weren’t potential mates: they were parents. Parental selection, I call it…

I think it’s pretty obvious that when you read between the lines with complaints like Pinkett-Smith’s and also Thessaly La Force’s, that there is a big heap of jealousy involved, but note that it often manifests itself not as adult jealousy of sexy blonde women but as relived childhood jealousy of other, beautiful blonde children.

Here in Japan, lots of girls want to be blonde princesses, and the women want blonde babies. My guess is that this pattern lives itself out worldwide, even among lots of brunette white girls and women.

“Absolutely. All throughout my childhood. I do remember experiencing being teased by white women in regards to my hair, how I looked, feeling belittled,” Pinkett Smith said.

The teasing might have happened, but note that feeling belittled can happen along with teasing rather than as a result of it.

There’s an interesting phenomenon although I’m not sure what its name is (perhaps “towheadedness”?) in which northern European kids tend to be blonder up through perhaps age 6 than from 7 to 12. Perhaps it’s a “parental selection” phenomenon in which children are more strikingly attractive to parents during the vulnerable ages 1 to 6 than when they are hardier from 7 to 12.

My vague impression from old photos is that when I was a child I had blond hair, at least...

November 14, 2018 • 234 Comments

As real estate prices in Seattle have grown to California levels, Amazon famously looked all over the country for where to place a “second” headquarters. Lots of observers naively assumed it would go for a nice place with a some room to grow, such as the Denver area.

Amazon ended up slicing the baby in half and awarding one HQ to Long Island City, NY and another to Crystal City, VA. The latter is right next to Washington DC’s in-close Ronald Reagan airport, and the former isn’t a suburb like it sounds, it’s a waterfront neighborhood in Queens across the East River from Times Square — i.e., perhaps the most in-town place you can be in NYC without being on Manhattan.

Some of these decisions no doubt are related to how much shakedown local officials were willing to pay. But an interesting point was made by Spotted Toad [link fixed].

A couple of years ago he pointed out how smart capitalists, and Jeff Bezos didn’t get to be the Richest Man in the World by not being smart, like Unaffordable Family Formation. It helps them squeeze more work out of workers:

The firms like being in places too expensive to raise a family– families are distractions, at least in the short-run. And once the smart set is composed of people living with roommates in their late 20s and early 30s, in the kind of neighborhoods that Arab princes and Chinese tycoons use as credit mobility vehicles, in a metropolitan mating market that facilitates everything but commitment, one can’t help but feel that the concentration of economic activity in spots of white-hot unaffordability will intensify, rather than relax.

Good call.

November 14, 2018 • 121 Comments

One of the oldest Wall Street jokes was is from a pre-WWII book by Fred Schwed:

Once in the dear dead days beyond recall, an out-of-town visitor was being shown the wonders of the New York financial district. When the party arrived at the Battery, one of his guides indicated some handsome ships riding at anchor. He said,

“Look, those are the bankers’ and brokers’ yachts.”

“Where are the customers’ yachts?” asked the naïve visitor.

I haven’t looked into this question, but are we absolutely sure that online advertising via Facebook and Google really works as well as markets assume?

My rule of thumb is that the stock market knows a lot more than I do about the valuation of stocks, so I’m not all that contrarian. My basic shtick is to not be oblivious to the obvious. If the stock market says Facebook’s capitalization $414 billion, well, the amount of hard thinking that has gone into that number is a lot more than I could reproduce, so I take it for what it’s worth: the single best skin-in-the-game estimate of Facebook’s market cap.

On the other hand, even if proof that online advertising is currently as effective as the huge market caps of big online firms seem to assume, the stock market could believe that even if this hasn’t gone through the formality of taking place, it’s only a matter of time. There’s just too much money at stake to fail. A famous knockoff of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” by a Facebook employee laments: “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.” So it might be rational to assume it’s bound to happen.

November 15, 2018 • 68 Comments

The Commieblock: Hopefully AquariusAnon appreciates this.

I am very happy to see that Guillaume Durocher has joined The Unz Review. Only the best people! Here is a short intro to what he’ll be writing about:

The key themes are readily apparent: detailed articles on the situation in France (immigration/nationalism), the EU, French Jews, etc, before then going into fascism/ancient philosophy, of no doubt less interest to Unz.
I often simply translate and relay interesting discussions and texts found in the French language: Tocqueville, Frederick the Great, Éric Zemmour, the Le Pens, French identitarians, Dominique Venner, Michel Houellebecq, Alain Soral, etc. Often my own coverage is the only stuff available in English on the activities and thinking of various French nationalists.
I also do analysis of the EU – with its intricacies and complexities – whenever there is an interesting development, e.g. Orbán, Visegrád, Italy, the EU elections.

You can browse his archives at Occidental Observer, Counter-Currents, and Radix.

I am currently in the very final stages of moving to my new apartment, so between that and a couple of gigs, I have had much less time to do serious blogging than I expected to. That said, I am happy to see that this semi-hiatus does not appear to have had a very negative effect on visitorship numbers. I expect to pick up pace within a week. There’s a lot to be done. Apart from blog posts I have been meaning to write (or publish) for a long time, such as a new series developing on some of the ideas on The Age of Malthusian Industrialism, a post on on global elite science production, and a post clarifying my various comments over the years on aliens and simulations, there’s also more practical issues to sort out, such as the long awaited mailing list and progress on meetup plans.

***

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November 14, 2018 • 84 Comments

One pretty good proxy for a country’s technological sophistication is its stock of supercomputers, which enable detailed simulations of phenomena as disparate as global climate, protein folding, and nuclear weapons reliability.

It is also easily quantifiable, since the website Top500 releases lists of the world’s top 500 supercomputers biannually.

In the latest list, which was released a few days ago, China (229/500) has 2x as many top supercomputers as USA (108/500) in latest Top 500 survey, though US maintains parity in total Rmax.

(In general, the two countries have been level pegging since 2016).

Russia is a scientific desert as usual, with 3/500 top global supercomputers (Poland & Sweden – 4; Saudi & Singapore – 3).

On another note, Moore’s Law for supercomputers… remains more or less stalled, as I first pointed out in January 2016.

November 12, 2018 • 32 Comments

Robert Stark recorded this podcast a couple of weeks ago, in which the German nationalist Constantin von Hoffmeister also participated.

You can listen to it here: https://www.starktruthradio.com/?p=8049

Topics discussed:

The State of The Altsphere
Moscow’s Demographics
Hate speech in Russia
The great chain of privilege in Russia
Putin’s stance on immigration from Central Asia
Putin’s economic policies
Inequality in human capital between Moscow and the rest of Russia
Russia welcomes South African refugees
German migration into Eastern Europe in response to the immigration crisis
The brain drain from countries that are rivals but culturally similar
Limits to Cognitive Elitism
The global baby bust and the future of fertility

November 11, 2018 • 128 Comments

Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values. – Emmanuel Macron (2018).

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 Gaulle (1913).

November 10, 2018 • 294 Comments

Best Books

While I have read quite a few books on WW1, only a couple really “stand out”:

Niall Ferguson (1998) – The Pity of War: Explaining World War I [download] does justice to its subtitle, boldly reinterpreting most of the standard narrative through vivid statistical argumentation.

For instance, the claims that there was widespread enthusiasm for the conflict at the outset seems to be pretty much false. This was also the book that introduced me to the work of Dupuy et al., who have calculated that the Germans were consistently much more combat effective than the Anglo-French forces; conversely, he also very effectively shows why the war was lost for Germany after the end of the Spring Offensive.

One need not always buy into his arguments – ironically, I am rather skeptical of his “Anglophobic” thesis that it was England most at fault for making WW1 into the carnage it was – but his counterintuitive takes strike home sufficiently frequently to justify this as a must-read in addition to the more conventional histories.

Barbara Tuchman (1962) – The Guns of August [download] may not be the most groundbreaking WW1 book, but it may well be the best from a literary perspective. Seriously, just read her opening paragraph:

So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens – four dowager and three regnant – and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered...

November 9, 2018 • 151 Comments

Latest via Alexander Gabuev, who is one of the best Russian China watchers.

Highlights include: Sanctions busting trade & investment innovations; manufacturing, inc. civil aircraft (CR929) and heavy lift helicopters; Glonass/Beidou integration; experience exchange in AI, surveillance, social credit; replacing US as China’s soybeans supplier, with investment in agriculture in the Russian Far East.

Russia becomes more immune to US sanctions, China gets to test out financial aspects of future Sinosphere on a large scale.

November 7, 2018 • 17 Comments

The guy who temporarily replaces him is a powerlifting PC gamer.

POWERFUL nomination!

https://twitter.com/MattWhitaker46/status/601371359998906368

Instead of this gay drug war we can now get down to the really important issues, such as criminalizing in-game microtransactions.

November 7, 2018 • 54 Comments

From a recent report by the arch-neocon Henry Jackson Society:

As well as assassinations, Russia’s agencies are engaged in all manner of activities associated with active measures – the subversive, political warfare originally employed by the KgB during the cold War. This includes espionage. According to well-placed intelligence sources, Russia has as many as 200 case officers in the uK, handling upwards of 500 agents. in addition, the agencies can call upon informants; these are found within the Russian expatriate community, which is estimated to number up to 150,000 people in London alone, as well as within British society as a whole.

Those Russian informants would presumably be the 52% of Russians in Britain who voted for Puter in 2018. Congratulations to the Dark Lord of the Kremlin, Who Sees and Hears All, on raising this percentage from 28% in 2012.

This was sarcasm, BTW.

You would struggle to find a more oppositionist community of ethnic Russians anywhere in the world relative to British Russians. Though as Paul Robinson points out in his dissection of the report, this may indeed be how the people interviewed for the report think. Bill Browder, for instance, considers anyone who questions or doubts his version of events to be an FSB agent.

That said, the days when I concerned myself with “Russophobia” are long past.

In reality, Russophobia is a very good thing, and I hope it stays high and even increases further in the West. It’s good for Russia, disincentivizing offshorization, potentially reversing brain drain, etc. This goes double for the UK, which is particularly favored as a destination for Russia’s rich, including many who earned it dubiously. In this sense, I agree with commenter Dmitry, who also argues that some moderate level of background anti-Semitism in Europe is good for Israeli demographics.