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    In his September 1, 2017 speech to incoming Russian schoolchildren, Putin made waves by proclaiming that whoever becomes the leader in AI will become "ruler of the world." This provoked a variety of reactions, from Elon Musk commenting on his belief that competition for AI superiority will be the likeliest cause of World War III...
  • @Philip Owen
    The Donald Cook reports were fake news from Kremlin trolls. However, your main points hold. Russian aerospace technology is often world leading.

    Now, seriously, how do you know that?

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  • @Clarence Como
    The author is giving us the same BS vis-a-vis Russian technology that was shown back in 1976 when Viktor Belenko landed a Mig-25 (Foxbat) to Japan. I recall from reading the book "MiG Pilot: The Final Escape of Lieutenant Belenko" which Belenko co-wrote with Reader's Digest writer John Barron that after dismantling the plane the US realized that the Russian technology wasn't as outdated as they had previously thought and that it was amazingly good for what it did. The author shows a series of graphs and tables that show "for certain" that Russian science and technology must be really poor because they don't publish in all the "right" journals. I stopped taking the author seriously when he referred to the "social sciences" as if they were real sciences. It is well known that most what is published by scientists is just so much digging ditches and filling them in again so that they can get grant and research money. This is what fills most academic journals, junk! If the Russian scientists aren't plugged into the international mutual congratulation society I say good for them! Considering Russia was plagued by Communism for 70 years and has only had less than 30 years to get on it's feet again, it's doing pretty well. Remember this is the backward country that is putting American and European Satellites into orbit, has electronic countermeasures on their planes that caused the USS Donald Cook (which has all the best and most advanced technology in Nato) to be completely blind in the water and a sitting duck had the Russians decided to attack. This incident was so terrifying to the naval crew, 27 crew members asked to be relieved from active service. http://www.voltairenet.org/article185860.html
    Some other Russian weaponry that is far ahead of what Nato has https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/03/05/russia-new-super-weapons-its-high-tech-economy-will-be-built-peace.html
    Russia may not be developing much of the latest high tech gaming software that the US leads the world at or developing the latest genomic technology to make big profits for Big Pharma but is putting it's money into developing certain key technologies that will pay off in the end.

    The Donald Cook reports were fake news from Kremlin trolls. However, your main points hold. Russian aerospace technology is often world leading.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Now, seriously, how do you know that?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The author is giving us the same BS vis-a-vis Russian technology that was shown back in 1976 when Viktor Belenko landed a Mig-25 (Foxbat) to Japan. I recall from reading the book “MiG Pilot: The Final Escape of Lieutenant Belenko” which Belenko co-wrote with Reader’s Digest writer John Barron that after dismantling the plane the US realized that the Russian technology wasn’t as outdated as they had previously thought and that it was amazingly good for what it did. The author shows a series of graphs and tables that show “for certain” that Russian science and technology must be really poor because they don’t publish in all the “right” journals. I stopped taking the author seriously when he referred to the “social sciences” as if they were real sciences. It is well known that most what is published by scientists is just so much digging ditches and filling them in again so that they can get grant and research money. This is what fills most academic journals, junk! If the Russian scientists aren’t plugged into the international mutual congratulation society I say good for them! Considering Russia was plagued by Communism for 70 years and has only had less than 30 years to get on it’s feet again, it’s doing pretty well. Remember this is the backward country that is putting American and European Satellites into orbit, has electronic countermeasures on their planes that caused the USS Donald Cook (which has all the best and most advanced technology in Nato) to be completely blind in the water and a sitting duck had the Russians decided to attack. This incident was so terrifying to the naval crew, 27 crew members asked to be relieved from active service. http://www.voltairenet.org/article185860.html
    Some other Russian weaponry that is far ahead of what Nato has https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/03/05/russia-new-super-weapons-its-high-tech-economy-will-be-built-peace.html
    Russia may not be developing much of the latest high tech gaming software that the US leads the world at or developing the latest genomic technology to make big profits for Big Pharma but is putting it’s money into developing certain key technologies that will pay off in the end.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    The Donald Cook reports were fake news from Kremlin trolls. However, your main points hold. Russian aerospace technology is often world leading.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    a YouTube channel where you teach basic defense techniques that should be taught to kids.
     
    It's pretty shocking how much good material there is on YouTube nowadays. A LOT of excellent material is readily available. Really, there is an embarrassment of riches in terms of excellent self-defense and fighting arts content on the internet today - techniques that took decades for me to master through a lot of pain and seeking out lots of (at times hard to find) high quality instructors. That goes for fitness in general (back in the day when I was taking advice from Pavel Tsatsouline, he was a rare fitness guru who advocated using kettlebells, which are everywhere now).

    Unfortunately, there is also some BS as well (see the legions of Kung Fu or Aikido practitioners "beating" this or that in entirely choreographed movements; Pavel himself was probably not a "Spetsnaz instructor" as he claimed).

    What you propose is an interesting project, but would require a lot of time to do properly. I am actually trying to cut down my online time (which would make my wife happy) and spent still more time on my kids, some of who are getting ready for some tournaments.

    But I encourage you to go train in BJJ with your sons - it's a fun, lifelong activity you can do with them, and maybe even your grandkids:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehuwZQmUVY
    I believe Helio Gracie was in his mid- to late-80's when this footage was taken. He practiced Jujitsu until he died at age 95.

    At the school where my sons and I train, a lot of parents (not just dads, but also moms) end up joining after being inspired by their little ones. Unlike Judo, BJJ is almost entirely focused on Ne-Waza (ground techniques), so it's very low impact (in contrast, nobody starts Judo late in his life - well, not nobody, but extremely few people; with all the high impact throws, it takes young bodies or old bodies with A LOT of experience and training to practice Judo consistently).

    I am actually trying to cut down my online time (which would make my wife happy)

    Tell me about it. I saw some great advice from Denzel Washington which I plan on putting into practice as Ramadan approaches and “go off the grid” for the month.

    Again, the advice is much appreciated and that does sound fun – practicing Jiu-Jitsu with my grandkids!

    Peace.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Also, an idea if you think you are interested; a YouTube channel where you teach basic defense techniques that should be taught to kids. And teach how they should be taught so that fathers like myself could benefit. Also these techniques to maintain skills as well, like the marker/knife practice.

    I would definitely subscribe.

    a YouTube channel where you teach basic defense techniques that should be taught to kids.

    It’s pretty shocking how much good material there is on YouTube nowadays. A LOT of excellent material is readily available. Really, there is an embarrassment of riches in terms of excellent self-defense and fighting arts content on the internet today – techniques that took decades for me to master through a lot of pain and seeking out lots of (at times hard to find) high quality instructors. That goes for fitness in general (back in the day when I was taking advice from Pavel Tsatsouline, he was a rare fitness guru who advocated using kettlebells, which are everywhere now).

    Unfortunately, there is also some BS as well (see the legions of Kung Fu or Aikido practitioners “beating” this or that in entirely choreographed movements; Pavel himself was probably not a “Spetsnaz instructor” as he claimed).

    What you propose is an interesting project, but would require a lot of time to do properly. I am actually trying to cut down my online time (which would make my wife happy) and spent still more time on my kids, some of who are getting ready for some tournaments.

    But I encourage you to go train in BJJ with your sons – it’s a fun, lifelong activity you can do with them, and maybe even your grandkids:

    I believe Helio Gracie was in his mid- to late-80′s when this footage was taken. He practiced Jujitsu until he died at age 95.

    At the school where my sons and I train, a lot of parents (not just dads, but also moms) end up joining after being inspired by their little ones. Unlike Judo, BJJ is almost entirely focused on Ne-Waza (ground techniques), so it’s very low impact (in contrast, nobody starts Judo late in his life – well, not nobody, but extremely few people; with all the high impact throws, it takes young bodies or old bodies with A LOT of experience and training to practice Judo consistently).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    I am actually trying to cut down my online time (which would make my wife happy)
     
    Tell me about it. I saw some great advice from Denzel Washington which I plan on putting into practice as Ramadan approaches and "go off the grid" for the month.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bj3j8WHh5k

    Again, the advice is much appreciated and that does sound fun - practicing Jiu-Jitsu with my grandkids!

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Johann Ricke

    For some, yes. Because of my injuries and follow-up surgeries, I was on a lot of medication that retarded the recovery of, and worsened, my circadian rhythm issue.

    It’s actually a pretty common problem among a community of people in certain professions. Some even suffer drops in testosterone and have to go on TRT. Thankfully I didn’t have that problem.
     
    We owe you and your buddies on the front lines a great deal. I'm sure it gets old hearing this, but here goes, anyway - thank you for your service.

    Thank you for the kind words.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Good news from one of the most important Russian aerospace programs

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    Doesn’t that eventually come back into sync, after some period of adjustment? Maybe this is just the type of insomnia that gradually gets worse in the 30′s and beyond.
     
    For some, yes. Because of my injuries and follow-up surgeries, I was on a lot of medication that retarded the recovery of, and worsened, my circadian rhythm issue.

    It’s actually a pretty common problem among a community of people in certain professions. Some even suffer drops in testosterone and have to go on TRT. Thankfully I didn’t have that problem.

    There were times overseas when I was operating on 3-5 hours of sleep each day for an extended period of time. Unlike some guys on my team I did not take sleeping pills during the day, because they made me groggy and less sharp during the following night time. And when the grogginess wore off I would get a bad rebound effect and get too wired, which was terrible for fine motor skills. It was just better to go on fewer hours of sleep.

    For some, yes. Because of my injuries and follow-up surgeries, I was on a lot of medication that retarded the recovery of, and worsened, my circadian rhythm issue.

    It’s actually a pretty common problem among a community of people in certain professions. Some even suffer drops in testosterone and have to go on TRT. Thankfully I didn’t have that problem.

    We owe you and your buddies on the front lines a great deal. I’m sure it gets old hearing this, but here goes, anyway – thank you for your service.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Thank you for the kind words.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    I took Tae kwon do for a while but was not taught the specific things you are talking about.
     
    No offense, but there is a lot of mall TKD schools with questionable teaching quality, to be generous. Most TKD schools in the U.S. are basically after-school daycare for children.

    What I described - a very simple lateral movement - is footwork 101 in boxing, Shotokan Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kendo, Muay Thai, Savate, etc. There is actually a whole tree of setups for counters that springs from that simple pivot. In fact, at advanced levels of training, there is even a series of combos that are off side-stepping to the wrong side!

    At moderate to high levels, fighting is truly “kinetic chess.”

    that most settled people had no chance against these guys because fighting is basically all they did and trained for in their spare time.
     
    Pastoral life in general is much more conducive to producing natural warriors than agricultural one. Riding horses, corralling and slaughtering animals, hunting with bows and arrows translated easily to warring. There is also strong evidence that pastoralists were healthier. On top of that they had more free time, which made raiding easier. In contrast, professional soldiery in settled societies was a tiny fraction and levies were always part-time who could only campaign seasonally.

    However, intensive agriculture could support a far greater density population. So pure nomads were usually too few in number and too primitive in social organization to challenge settled societies, especially once cities built walls. Keegan’s thesis is that it was the semi-nomadic pastoralists in between these two groups who harnessed both the naturally warlike tendencies of the former and the higher population density enabled by trading and raiding (for grains and weapons/technology), which also eventually led to more complex social ideology and organizations. In fact Keegan cites the Islamic Ghazi (e.g. Khurasani warriors) as being drawn largely from precisely such peoples.

    In any case, there is many more interesting ideas in Keegan’s book (including a somewhat fruitless argument against Clausewitz), but the above summary is what *I* gleaned most productively from it. Give it a whirl.

    Also, an idea if you think you are interested; a YouTube channel where you teach basic defense techniques that should be taught to kids. And teach how they should be taught so that fathers like myself could benefit. Also these techniques to maintain skills as well, like the marker/knife practice.

    I would definitely subscribe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    a YouTube channel where you teach basic defense techniques that should be taught to kids.
     
    It's pretty shocking how much good material there is on YouTube nowadays. A LOT of excellent material is readily available. Really, there is an embarrassment of riches in terms of excellent self-defense and fighting arts content on the internet today - techniques that took decades for me to master through a lot of pain and seeking out lots of (at times hard to find) high quality instructors. That goes for fitness in general (back in the day when I was taking advice from Pavel Tsatsouline, he was a rare fitness guru who advocated using kettlebells, which are everywhere now).

    Unfortunately, there is also some BS as well (see the legions of Kung Fu or Aikido practitioners "beating" this or that in entirely choreographed movements; Pavel himself was probably not a "Spetsnaz instructor" as he claimed).

    What you propose is an interesting project, but would require a lot of time to do properly. I am actually trying to cut down my online time (which would make my wife happy) and spent still more time on my kids, some of who are getting ready for some tournaments.

    But I encourage you to go train in BJJ with your sons - it's a fun, lifelong activity you can do with them, and maybe even your grandkids:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehuwZQmUVY
    I believe Helio Gracie was in his mid- to late-80's when this footage was taken. He practiced Jujitsu until he died at age 95.

    At the school where my sons and I train, a lot of parents (not just dads, but also moms) end up joining after being inspired by their little ones. Unlike Judo, BJJ is almost entirely focused on Ne-Waza (ground techniques), so it's very low impact (in contrast, nobody starts Judo late in his life - well, not nobody, but extremely few people; with all the high impact throws, it takes young bodies or old bodies with A LOT of experience and training to practice Judo consistently).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    I took Tae kwon do for a while but was not taught the specific things you are talking about.
     
    No offense, but there is a lot of mall TKD schools with questionable teaching quality, to be generous. Most TKD schools in the U.S. are basically after-school daycare for children.

    What I described - a very simple lateral movement - is footwork 101 in boxing, Shotokan Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kendo, Muay Thai, Savate, etc. There is actually a whole tree of setups for counters that springs from that simple pivot. In fact, at advanced levels of training, there is even a series of combos that are off side-stepping to the wrong side!

    At moderate to high levels, fighting is truly “kinetic chess.”

    that most settled people had no chance against these guys because fighting is basically all they did and trained for in their spare time.
     
    Pastoral life in general is much more conducive to producing natural warriors than agricultural one. Riding horses, corralling and slaughtering animals, hunting with bows and arrows translated easily to warring. There is also strong evidence that pastoralists were healthier. On top of that they had more free time, which made raiding easier. In contrast, professional soldiery in settled societies was a tiny fraction and levies were always part-time who could only campaign seasonally.

    However, intensive agriculture could support a far greater density population. So pure nomads were usually too few in number and too primitive in social organization to challenge settled societies, especially once cities built walls. Keegan’s thesis is that it was the semi-nomadic pastoralists in between these two groups who harnessed both the naturally warlike tendencies of the former and the higher population density enabled by trading and raiding (for grains and weapons/technology), which also eventually led to more complex social ideology and organizations. In fact Keegan cites the Islamic Ghazi (e.g. Khurasani warriors) as being drawn largely from precisely such peoples.

    In any case, there is many more interesting ideas in Keegan’s book (including a somewhat fruitless argument against Clausewitz), but the above summary is what *I* gleaned most productively from it. Give it a whirl.

    Excellent points again. I will definitely follow up on the training suggestions; thinking about taking up BJJ myself with my boys.

    In fact Keegan cites the Islamic Ghazi (e.g. Khurasani warriors) as being drawn largely from precisely such peoples.

    Prof. David Nicolle says of them; “The Khurasani force which captured Baghdad two years later (813) included many heavy armoured horse-archers, troops who would dominate Middle Eastern warfare for the next seven centuries.”

    Nicolle also mentions that around this time extensive use of slave soldiers was beginning in the Muslim world. I think this is one factor that made them so formidable for so long. As you mentioned, settled peoples get to sedentary and tend to have problems with raising troops. But what if you just buy a bunch of them from tough frontier lands when they are young and raise them as life-long soldiers – very formidable force that you only have to feed and house? Then you have an army at the ready which you literally own.

    I’m talking about the Ghulams and Mamluks of course. I think it is unique to the Muslim world; the rulers of the major sultanates were able to field large armies made up of slaves from very tough peoples that were highly trained and – I think this is key – also highly motivated. Usually slave soldiers don’t really want to fight for their masters.

    Of course, the big risk in this is that they could take on a mind of their own – which did eventually occur as the Mamluks took over the leadership in multiple places across the Muslim world.

    I will give Keegan a read.

    Peace.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • But were not the defensive combat techniques like Kung-fu, Jiu Jitsu, and the like invented by agricultural societies, peaceful ones like the Chinese, who invented firearms too, which eventually eliminated cavalry and the ‘warriors’?

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  • @Talha
    Again thanks for the tips. I took Tae kwon do for a while but was not taught the specific things you are talking about. I was taught some other tips to counter though. Time to brush up.

    during much of pre-modern history, agriculturalists could only mobilize a tiny fraction of their populations for war whereas among pastoralists every able-bodied male was a warrior
     
    The wife and I are watching a series on Netflix called Ertugrul, about the father of the founder of the Ottoman dynasty. It portrays the life of these people and you realize what you are talking about, that most settled people had no chance against these guys because fighting is basically all they did and trained for in their spare time. What’s also interesting to me is that I know the Muslim conquering armies would cut deals with tough people, like for instance the Jarajima tribe (who were Turkic and Christian) and waive jizya in lieu of their help in protecting the borders, but they didn’t offer deals like that to, say, Greek merchants.

    I tend to agree with Keegan’s analysis, and yours, except for few exceptions, that certainly seems to be the way pre-Modern history flowed.

    Peace - thanks much for the exchange and the book suggestions, also do not deprive me of your prayers.

    I took Tae kwon do for a while but was not taught the specific things you are talking about.

    No offense, but there is a lot of mall TKD schools with questionable teaching quality, to be generous. Most TKD schools in the U.S. are basically after-school daycare for children.

    What I described – a very simple lateral movement – is footwork 101 in boxing, Shotokan Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kendo, Muay Thai, Savate, etc. There is actually a whole tree of setups for counters that springs from that simple pivot. In fact, at advanced levels of training, there is even a series of combos that are off side-stepping to the wrong side!

    At moderate to high levels, fighting is truly “kinetic chess.”

    that most settled people had no chance against these guys because fighting is basically all they did and trained for in their spare time.

    Pastoral life in general is much more conducive to producing natural warriors than agricultural one. Riding horses, corralling and slaughtering animals, hunting with bows and arrows translated easily to warring. There is also strong evidence that pastoralists were healthier. On top of that they had more free time, which made raiding easier. In contrast, professional soldiery in settled societies was a tiny fraction and levies were always part-time who could only campaign seasonally.

    However, intensive agriculture could support a far greater density population. So pure nomads were usually too few in number and too primitive in social organization to challenge settled societies, especially once cities built walls. Keegan’s thesis is that it was the semi-nomadic pastoralists in between these two groups who harnessed both the naturally warlike tendencies of the former and the higher population density enabled by trading and raiding (for grains and weapons/technology), which also eventually led to more complex social ideology and organizations. In fact Keegan cites the Islamic Ghazi (e.g. Khurasani warriors) as being drawn largely from precisely such peoples.

    In any case, there is many more interesting ideas in Keegan’s book (including a somewhat fruitless argument against Clausewitz), but the above summary is what *I* gleaned most productively from it. Give it a whirl.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Excellent points again. I will definitely follow up on the training suggestions; thinking about taking up BJJ myself with my boys.

    In fact Keegan cites the Islamic Ghazi (e.g. Khurasani warriors) as being drawn largely from precisely such peoples.
     
    Prof. David Nicolle says of them; "The Khurasani force which captured Baghdad two years later (813) included many heavy armoured horse-archers, troops who would dominate Middle Eastern warfare for the next seven centuries."

    Nicolle also mentions that around this time extensive use of slave soldiers was beginning in the Muslim world. I think this is one factor that made them so formidable for so long. As you mentioned, settled peoples get to sedentary and tend to have problems with raising troops. But what if you just buy a bunch of them from tough frontier lands when they are young and raise them as life-long soldiers - very formidable force that you only have to feed and house? Then you have an army at the ready which you literally own.

    I'm talking about the Ghulams and Mamluks of course. I think it is unique to the Muslim world; the rulers of the major sultanates were able to field large armies made up of slaves from very tough peoples that were highly trained and - I think this is key - also highly motivated. Usually slave soldiers don't really want to fight for their masters.

    Of course, the big risk in this is that they could take on a mind of their own - which did eventually occur as the Mamluks took over the leadership in multiple places across the Muslim world.

    I will give Keegan a read.

    Peace.
    , @Talha
    Also, an idea if you think you are interested; a YouTube channel where you teach basic defense techniques that should be taught to kids. And teach how they should be taught so that fathers like myself could benefit. Also these techniques to maintain skills as well, like the marker/knife practice.

    I would definitely subscribe.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Johann Ricke

    I did a lot of night ops and got my circadian rhythm messed up
     
    Doesn't that eventually come back into sync, after some period of adjustment? Maybe this is just the type of insomnia that gradually gets worse in the 30's and beyond.

    Doesn’t that eventually come back into sync, after some period of adjustment? Maybe this is just the type of insomnia that gradually gets worse in the 30′s and beyond.

    For some, yes. Because of my injuries and follow-up surgeries, I was on a lot of medication that retarded the recovery of, and worsened, my circadian rhythm issue.

    It’s actually a pretty common problem among a community of people in certain professions. Some even suffer drops in testosterone and have to go on TRT. Thankfully I didn’t have that problem.

    There were times overseas when I was operating on 3-5 hours of sleep each day for an extended period of time. Unlike some guys on my team I did not take sleeping pills during the day, because they made me groggy and less sharp during the following night time. And when the grogginess wore off I would get a bad rebound effect and get too wired, which was terrible for fine motor skills. It was just better to go on fewer hours of sleep.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    For some, yes. Because of my injuries and follow-up surgeries, I was on a lot of medication that retarded the recovery of, and worsened, my circadian rhythm issue.

    It’s actually a pretty common problem among a community of people in certain professions. Some even suffer drops in testosterone and have to go on TRT. Thankfully I didn’t have that problem.
     
    We owe you and your buddies on the front lines a great deal. I'm sure it gets old hearing this, but here goes, anyway - thank you for your service.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    Hehe...
    Hahaha...
    Haha…..
    Hahaha…
     
    This is what I call "argument by passive-aggressive fake laughing." It's something teenage girls do a lot, because they are trying not to betray what's in their minds, i.e. "I have no idea what he's talking about" or "I don't have a good response for that argument." Some people do it in person too - that nervous little laughter, because they are uncomfortable.

    Shut the fuck up... I’ll kick your head in motherfucker
     
    Sadly for law-abiding citizens and LEOs, actual thugs and experienced criminals don't announce their intentions regularly prior to assaulting you. The scenario you describe is more like a school yard bullying than it is an assault by an ex-con with assaults and armed robberies on his rap sheet or even merely "troublesome" black youths showing off to their friends:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NscBp9GeA4
    Note at 1:35 mark that even a "punk" knows to take the dominant angle and attack from the side, rather than head on.

    “Normal human reaction”. Your advice advocates not using it.

    It’s possible of course.
    A man has to train properly, hard and long to be able to do that.
    An average guy can’t do that, IMHO.
     
    Perhaps if you have a very low IQ and/or are particularly resistant to learning (as you appear to be), yes, it might be hard to teach. Some people just aren't teachable, but most are.

    There are many "natural" human reactions that can get you hurt or killed in a fight. I already gave you an example of backing up straight. Another easy example is flinching and closing eyes when punches start flying. That is an excellent way to get knocked out, so it's something that has to be "trained out" of someone who is serious about self-defense (or just being able to spar well in boxing or any kind of striking art).

    The process for training that out is simple. You have the trainee stand with his back against the wall. You stand right in front of him and start launching light slaps toward his face. He can't move away (for this particularly training only - obviously footwork is VERY important and it will be added later) - he can do head movement and he can block/parry. Do that about 15-20 minutes (before stress - mostly psychological - starts to weaken the efficiency of the training). Many short sessions are better than few long sessions for optimal learning. Slow down if the trainee starts to flinch or close his eyes again. Build up the speed of the slaps gradually. Rinse and repeat, increase speed as the trainee gets more comfortable and keeps his eyes open.

    Eventually, you can build up the trainee to keep his eyes open even when full-speed/-strength punches start flying to his face. Typically it takes a few weeks for this training to take. Some people take to it fast (just a few sessions), others take longer (a few months).

    Learning to move laterally is exactly the same. It is a vital lifesaving skill that runs counter to the common reaction of backing up straight. Again, keyboard tough guys may not know this, but EVERY SINGLE gun fighting school teaches lateral movement - moving offline from the axis of attack - as does EVERY SINGLE fighting system (not just striking) that is not fantasy-based. Even in grappling, lateral movement gives the dominant angle to effect a good throw:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY0ocg0aWWI&t

    And with most normal people with a good attitude and a desire to learn, this can be taught to be instinctive in a few weeks.

    But, sure, you wait for the T to move first, dodge/block/parry and go from there.
     
    You haven't been paying attention. I don't advocate "block" or "parry" at all. I advocate lateral movement achieved by pivoting or side shifting (i.e. footwork). Watch, again, the Dan Inosanto "21 foot rule" video. Note that most police officers retreat backwards and fall... EXCEPT the third officer. What does he do?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js0haocH4-o&t

    his self defense on PRE-EMPTION
     
    Preemption is not defense, it's offense, and you will get in trouble with the law. The fact that you don't know that tells me you've never been in a serious street altercation (school yard fights with bullies who peacock and announce their intentions beforehand do not count) and that you've never dealt with the law.

    I’ll keep this simple because recognize your type. “Vehicle” approach if you will.

    Sadly for law-abiding citizens and LEOs, actual thugs and experienced criminals don’t announce their intentions regularly prior to assaulting you.

    True.
    And you want an average guy to, somehow, “sidestep” and counter that assault. Won’t work.

    That about training not to flinch is not bad.
    That about sidestepping is nonsense. Won’t work in real.

    I don’t advocate “block” or “parry” at all. I advocate lateral movement achieved by pivoting or side shifting (i.e. footwork).

    On a real street environment, probably in dark, done by an average guy under huge stress. Won’t work.

    Preemption is not defense, it’s offense, and you will get in trouble with the law.

    Wrong on both.

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  • @Twinkie

    as if conversing with someone sitting across you.
     
    Yes, indeed.

    We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other
     
    One of the problems in a medium such as this is that any idiot can comment. So you get people, for example, whose entire contributions are nothing but "snark" (a bit of it is amusing, of course, but it wears thinly soon enough). Or people who - pardon my language - bullshit. Or people who repeat the same fixations. And so on.

    One of my online shortcomings is that I indulge people and engage them earnestly in conversations and give them the benefit of doubt. Sure, the people who bullshit - they usually stick to generalities and vague remarks, which they repeat - are eventually exposed, because their real knowledge base is very shallow. So longer, drawn out conversations tend to reveal the extent of that shallowness, because they present little in the way of the factual, the analytical, and the technical. And they will frequently change their stories and shift focus once they are exposed topic-by-topic. Finally, they will resort to ad hominem and pseudo-psycho-analysis of their interlocutors in a desperate effort to "win" the conversation.

    But it's awfully tiring to have to do this time and time again, and frankly robs joy and camaraderie of exchanging comments on a blog such as this, which frequently features insightful and astute commenters.

    your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important
     
    There is really no argument about this. No professional (e.g. law enforcement officer*) will argue otherwise. Anyone who's been involved in street fights can tell you this, because frequently (especially in heavily policed cities such as NYC) police officers will arrive once there is a serious altercation in a public area and interview the participants to determine the aggressor (and make arrests). And almost always the law will come down harshly on the person who initiates violence based on mindreading or Spidey-sense ("I KNOW the other guy was going to attack! I swear!") And should there be a series of escalations that lead to a serious injury or even death to someone in the altercation, the preponderance of the guilt in the court of law will fall on the person who initiated physical violence.

    *LEOs are also generally subject to the doctrine/policy of force continuum in a way that "scared for his life" civilian is not. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_force_continuum

    Does this mean that criminals and thugs (especially the ones who try to disguise their intent to attack) usually have the advantage of initiative? Yes, it absolutely does. And that's why LEOs and civilians learn defensive tactics, not offensive ones. It's not fair, but that's how the cookie crumbles as a price to live in a peaceful, civilized society with the underlying assumption of mutual non-aggression among citizens, instead of constantly being vigilant against attacks as if we live in a war-torn tribal area (and I write that as someone who has body armor, long guns, water, food, and a trauma kit in his primary vehicle at all times, on top of carrying on person a concealed pistol, a knife, and a flashlight - but I am extra paranoid due to my past day job).

    Anyone who claims that civilians should go around launching preemptive attacks is likely to be an internet commando who's never been in a street altercation in his life.

    And let me add one final technical point, which needs addressing. Yes, "action is faster than reaction." But, that applies to situations where all other variables are being held constant. If that were true in all situations, there wouldn't be so many fantastic counters that lead to knockouts in boxing, Karate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, whatever fighting sport you care to name... as well as in real fights.

    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it's vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only). That's why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course - precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack.

    My latest comment, apparently, got lost in limbo, and I feel it has to be said here.
    I think we got to the crux of the matter.

    Anyone who claims that civilians should go around launching preemptive attacks is likely to be an internet commando who’s never been in a street altercation in his life.

    You are not only short tempered but starting to appear dishonest too. I am starting to get a feel for you and that’s not complimentary.
    In fact, if I don’t use your comments as a “vehicle” I wouldn’t be speaking with you here.
    I simply never said that but you do know that.
    Weak and, well, simply dishonest. Do they teach your types that too in all those fancy McDojos?

    To the crux, though:

    And let me add one final technical point, which needs addressing. Yes, “action is faster than reaction.”

    Thanks for stating the obvious.

    ….many fantastic counters ….

    Yes, executed by top practitioners of the sport. Not by an average good guy just surviving, somehow, the first blow.

    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it’s vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only).

    You are simply wrong here. People are allowed to act pre-emptively in CERTAIN conditions.
    Now, it’s true that your types, with huge ego and short fuse can’t trust their minds, but average people can. Especially if they put their mind into it. I could come here up with dozens scenarios when that’s more than allowed.
    And here it is the bottom line:

    That’s why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course – precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack.

    Your approach simply is not natural. It goes against basic human instincts. You demand, from an average guy, in huge distress, not only to go against his instincts but in such moments to execute some sidestepping, counters and similar bullshit. He….can……not…..do….that. Ever. Demanding something like that is not only stupid but dangerous.

    Highly trained guy can. A guy who trains properly, for years.
    But not your average guy.

    So, you say: you can not defend yourself unless you spend years training hard under proper supervision.

    I say it’s wrong; you can defend yourself with proper mindset, understanding proper legal framework and with basic practice for an hour twice a week. In three months tops you’ll be good and then simply maintain it.

    The key is that ONE SECOND before the assailant is about to attack you.
    Recognize it coming and explode into action on that second.
    That’s the gist of it.

    The devil is in details: recognizing all that and be able to knock a guy down with one punch. Plenty of fine points there and not for this place.
    Again, those pointers I posted here could help there. Geoff is very good at that.

    At the end, it’s simple really: think and choose wisely. Your life can, literally, depend on it.

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    • Troll: Twinkie
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  • @Twinkie

    distance between oneself an the threat.
     
    To clarify, it's not just distance, but angle. You want to be at a T to your opponent's side. You can see what I mean in my response above to "peterAUS."

    I'll add yet another layer. Let's say someone gives you the body language that indicates he's about to punch you, e.g. goes quiet, tenses facial muscles, holds his breath (or takes a deep breath), pupils dilate - if you are close enough to see that, of course, it means you've already done something wrong and made yourself too close to a threat - AND he stands in a bladed stance.

    That last bit usually means that the rear arm is about to throw a punch (and he's consciously or subconsciously trying to hide it). Let's say he stands left side forward and right side back (normal righty). You want to get ready to pivot or side step to YOUR RIGHT/HIS LEFT (and throw a left overhand counter followed by right hook OR left kick to the body (his right side/liver shot if he turns a bit to face you) OR clinch from your right/his left). If you pivot to the left, however, you are likely to increase the odds of eating that windmill punch head on. If you move correctly - to the right - the punch will likely miss or you will merely catch the very end of it when the power is minimal.

    So, if you are a righty as well, that means you pivot off the rear (right) foot, which is a larger pivot. If you are a lefty, you pivot off the front (right) foot, which is a small pivot (but that's okay, because on the righty punch on lefty, his right hand has to travel longer to connect to begin with).

    This is self-defense/fighting 101. Even my six year-old knows it by heart now.

    what’s a good comprehensive book on warfare across the world as a historic analysis? Something that preferably includes non-European civilizations as well (covering the pre-Columbian Americas would be nice but not necessary). You know; theories, tactics, weapons, etc. through the ages and civilizations.

    I was thinking of getting Van Creveld’s “Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present”. Is there a better author or book you’d recommend?

     

    You probably know that I am a big fan of Martin van Creveld, so, yes, almost anything by him is good. Personally, I consider his best work "The Transformation of War." Another great survey (lots of ancient and non-Western examples) is "A History of Warfare" by John Keegan.

    Keegan (more famous for the seminal "The Face of Battle") makes the case that pre-modern history has been usually a series of conflicts between agriculturalists and pastoralists at the edges of settle civilizations, with the latter frequently defeating the former and installing themselves as an elite superstratum among them (and assimilating into the said civilizations), and the cycle repeating itself with yet another group of pastoralists... until the rise of... artillery and the concomitant rise of ideology that allowed for more efficient mobilization of the settled civilizations (during much of pre-modern history, agriculturalists could only mobilize a tiny fraction of their populations for war whereas among pastoralists every able-bodied male was a warrior).

    Again thanks for the tips. I took Tae kwon do for a while but was not taught the specific things you are talking about. I was taught some other tips to counter though. Time to brush up.

    during much of pre-modern history, agriculturalists could only mobilize a tiny fraction of their populations for war whereas among pastoralists every able-bodied male was a warrior

    The wife and I are watching a series on Netflix called Ertugrul, about the father of the founder of the Ottoman dynasty. It portrays the life of these people and you realize what you are talking about, that most settled people had no chance against these guys because fighting is basically all they did and trained for in their spare time. What’s also interesting to me is that I know the Muslim conquering armies would cut deals with tough people, like for instance the Jarajima tribe (who were Turkic and Christian) and waive jizya in lieu of their help in protecting the borders, but they didn’t offer deals like that to, say, Greek merchants.

    I tend to agree with Keegan’s analysis, and yours, except for few exceptions, that certainly seems to be the way pre-Modern history flowed.

    Peace – thanks much for the exchange and the book suggestions, also do not deprive me of your prayers.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I took Tae kwon do for a while but was not taught the specific things you are talking about.
     
    No offense, but there is a lot of mall TKD schools with questionable teaching quality, to be generous. Most TKD schools in the U.S. are basically after-school daycare for children.

    What I described - a very simple lateral movement - is footwork 101 in boxing, Shotokan Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kendo, Muay Thai, Savate, etc. There is actually a whole tree of setups for counters that springs from that simple pivot. In fact, at advanced levels of training, there is even a series of combos that are off side-stepping to the wrong side!

    At moderate to high levels, fighting is truly “kinetic chess.”

    that most settled people had no chance against these guys because fighting is basically all they did and trained for in their spare time.
     
    Pastoral life in general is much more conducive to producing natural warriors than agricultural one. Riding horses, corralling and slaughtering animals, hunting with bows and arrows translated easily to warring. There is also strong evidence that pastoralists were healthier. On top of that they had more free time, which made raiding easier. In contrast, professional soldiery in settled societies was a tiny fraction and levies were always part-time who could only campaign seasonally.

    However, intensive agriculture could support a far greater density population. So pure nomads were usually too few in number and too primitive in social organization to challenge settled societies, especially once cities built walls. Keegan’s thesis is that it was the semi-nomadic pastoralists in between these two groups who harnessed both the naturally warlike tendencies of the former and the higher population density enabled by trading and raiding (for grains and weapons/technology), which also eventually led to more complex social ideology and organizations. In fact Keegan cites the Islamic Ghazi (e.g. Khurasani warriors) as being drawn largely from precisely such peoples.

    In any case, there is many more interesting ideas in Keegan’s book (including a somewhat fruitless argument against Clausewitz), but the above summary is what *I* gleaned most productively from it. Give it a whirl.
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  • Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:

    Thing is, Europe is becoming Islamic and the US is becoming LGBT and minority.

    They are, therefore, culturally doomed.

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  • @Twinkie

    You talk, rather well, about fighting.
     
    I also fight pretty well too. :)

    I had a lot of fights with black youths when growing up in NYC. I went to a high school that was predominantly Jewish and Asian, located in a rough neighborhood, which was mostly black and Hispanic. Black kids loved beating up my nerd friends, so I ended up getting into many fights to save them (also I had a nasty temper when I was young, so it didn't take much to provoke me). I was probably in more than a hundred fights over three years.

    On top of that, I have had combat sports training since I was a small child (starting with Judo and boxing) and have trained for over 40 years now. I've sparred in boxing, Muay Thai, and Karate, and grappled (Judo and BJJ; also trained with wrestlers from a Midwestern power house during off-seasons) thousands of hours. I was a competitive Judoka in my college years.

    And after I left academia (military history), I tried the real thing and got considerable amount of experience with armed encounters overseas (one of the reasons I have persistent insomnia and comment a lot here is because I did a lot of night ops and got my circadian rhythm messed up). Later I was an instructor and a consultant and taught armed and unarmed combat.

    I "talk well" about fighting, because I've done a lot of it and studied it intensely. I am not some internet commando who is repeating things read in a book or learned from videos. I learned from great teachers, from moronic misjudgments of testosterone-poisoned youth, from competitions, and from armed professional life - from blood, tears, and sweat. Many things I discuss here have been distilled from these experiences.

    “pre-emptive” striking. In essence,”simply” sucker punching the bad guy. Taking him out before the fight starts. There is no fighting actually.
     
    "Pre-emptive striking" is, in general, an extremely unwise endeavor for most civilians (or domestic law enforcement officers, for that matter) in civilized countries. Legal authorities tend to not look kindly upon initiating violence and tend to hold the aggressor responsible for EVERYTHING BAD that results from it.

    Furthermore, it takes considerable experience to anticipate someone who is about to engage in violence and preempt him. Of course, experienced people can read the signs, e.g. stiffening of the body, tensing the facial muscles, standing in a bladed position, which means that rear arm is about to throw a punch, etc. But, for most people without lots of training, "false positives" would be too common and would result in going about and start punching people for no good (legal) reason.

    That's why I mentioned earlier my paradigm for most civilians - avoid, evade, escape, and fight - in that order of preference. The first three elements, in particular, require inculcating a good common sense and judgment, e.g. avoid trouble spots (unruly bars where young men drink a lot, darkly lit streets in bad neighborhoods, unattended parking garages at night, etc.), walk around when you see a group of young men who look like trouble, don't try to peacock with men you don't know, especially in physically competitive contexts, so on and so forth.

    However, nothing ever is 100%, so when even escape is impossible, let alone avoid or evade, as soon as you see evidence of threat to your life or that of your loved ones, UNLEASH lethal force violently and decisively. You draw a knife? I am not waiting to get cut or let my wife get cut. This isn't West Side Story, and I am not going to knife-duel you. I am pivoting (and shoving my wife or kids behind me with non shooting hand), drawing and shooting a couple of rounds into your body and another round or two into your head. You throw a sucker punch? I am ducking under that, clinching, and throwing you on your head onto the concrete sidewalk.

    To put another way, as a civilian (or an LEO), the most useful skill is the ability to read the signs of aggression, prepare quickly (both mentally and physically) and REACT properly to the aggression once it manifests itself. "Preemption" in this kind of setting will end up giving you lots of chances to deal with improvised knife shanking in prison.

    Overseas, in "Indian Country," against opponents who don't benefit from the norms of civilization, the rules of engagement are a bit more relaxed... although that too is getting ridiculously convoluted in many cases.

    I did a lot of night ops and got my circadian rhythm messed up

    Doesn’t that eventually come back into sync, after some period of adjustment? Maybe this is just the type of insomnia that gradually gets worse in the 30′s and beyond.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Doesn’t that eventually come back into sync, after some period of adjustment? Maybe this is just the type of insomnia that gradually gets worse in the 30′s and beyond.
     
    For some, yes. Because of my injuries and follow-up surgeries, I was on a lot of medication that retarded the recovery of, and worsened, my circadian rhythm issue.

    It’s actually a pretty common problem among a community of people in certain professions. Some even suffer drops in testosterone and have to go on TRT. Thankfully I didn’t have that problem.

    There were times overseas when I was operating on 3-5 hours of sleep each day for an extended period of time. Unlike some guys on my team I did not take sleeping pills during the day, because they made me groggy and less sharp during the following night time. And when the grogginess wore off I would get a bad rebound effect and get too wired, which was terrible for fine motor skills. It was just better to go on fewer hours of sleep.
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  • @Talha

    frankly robs joy and camaraderie of exchanging comments on a blog such as this, which frequently features insightful and astute commenters.
     
    Amen.

    Again, thanks for the advice about making sure to learn those techniques to put distance between oneself an the threat.

    And since this topic is already of course, a question for you; what's a good comprehensive book on warfare across the world as a historic analysis? Something that preferably includes non-European civilizations as well (covering the pre-Columbian Americas would be nice but not necessary). You know; theories, tactics, weapons, etc. through the ages and civilizations.

    I was thinking of getting Van Creveld's "Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present". Is there a better author or book you'd recommend?

    Peace.

    distance between oneself an the threat.

    To clarify, it’s not just distance, but angle. You want to be at a T to your opponent’s side. You can see what I mean in my response above to “peterAUS.”

    I’ll add yet another layer. Let’s say someone gives you the body language that indicates he’s about to punch you, e.g. goes quiet, tenses facial muscles, holds his breath (or takes a deep breath), pupils dilate – if you are close enough to see that, of course, it means you’ve already done something wrong and made yourself too close to a threat – AND he stands in a bladed stance.

    That last bit usually means that the rear arm is about to throw a punch (and he’s consciously or subconsciously trying to hide it). Let’s say he stands left side forward and right side back (normal righty). You want to get ready to pivot or side step to YOUR RIGHT/HIS LEFT (and throw a left overhand counter followed by right hook OR left kick to the body (his right side/liver shot if he turns a bit to face you) OR clinch from your right/his left). If you pivot to the left, however, you are likely to increase the odds of eating that windmill punch head on. If you move correctly – to the right – the punch will likely miss or you will merely catch the very end of it when the power is minimal.

    So, if you are a righty as well, that means you pivot off the rear (right) foot, which is a larger pivot. If you are a lefty, you pivot off the front (right) foot, which is a small pivot (but that’s okay, because on the righty punch on lefty, his right hand has to travel longer to connect to begin with).

    This is self-defense/fighting 101. Even my six year-old knows it by heart now.

    what’s a good comprehensive book on warfare across the world as a historic analysis? Something that preferably includes non-European civilizations as well (covering the pre-Columbian Americas would be nice but not necessary). You know; theories, tactics, weapons, etc. through the ages and civilizations.

    I was thinking of getting Van Creveld’s “Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present”. Is there a better author or book you’d recommend?

    You probably know that I am a big fan of Martin van Creveld, so, yes, almost anything by him is good. Personally, I consider his best work “The Transformation of War.” Another great survey (lots of ancient and non-Western examples) is “A History of Warfare” by John Keegan.

    Keegan (more famous for the seminal “The Face of Battle”) makes the case that pre-modern history has been usually a series of conflicts between agriculturalists and pastoralists at the edges of settle civilizations, with the latter frequently defeating the former and installing themselves as an elite superstratum among them (and assimilating into the said civilizations), and the cycle repeating itself with yet another group of pastoralists… until the rise of… artillery and the concomitant rise of ideology that allowed for more efficient mobilization of the settled civilizations (during much of pre-modern history, agriculturalists could only mobilize a tiny fraction of their populations for war whereas among pastoralists every able-bodied male was a warrior).

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Talha
    Again thanks for the tips. I took Tae kwon do for a while but was not taught the specific things you are talking about. I was taught some other tips to counter though. Time to brush up.

    during much of pre-modern history, agriculturalists could only mobilize a tiny fraction of their populations for war whereas among pastoralists every able-bodied male was a warrior
     
    The wife and I are watching a series on Netflix called Ertugrul, about the father of the founder of the Ottoman dynasty. It portrays the life of these people and you realize what you are talking about, that most settled people had no chance against these guys because fighting is basically all they did and trained for in their spare time. What’s also interesting to me is that I know the Muslim conquering armies would cut deals with tough people, like for instance the Jarajima tribe (who were Turkic and Christian) and waive jizya in lieu of their help in protecting the borders, but they didn’t offer deals like that to, say, Greek merchants.

    I tend to agree with Keegan’s analysis, and yours, except for few exceptions, that certainly seems to be the way pre-Modern history flowed.

    Peace - thanks much for the exchange and the book suggestions, also do not deprive me of your prayers.
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  • @peterAUS
    Hehe...........a very good comment/reply.

    I mean, you really don't get it.

    Look at your post.
    You call that "calm, collected, non-confrontational"?!
    Precisely those elements that are crucial for this topic.

    You'll tell me EVERYTHING..... in MY FACE?
    Hahaha.......oh man.


    Now tell me if you’d have said IN PERSON what you wrote above. Don’t be an internet tough guy.
     
    No ego thing involved here.....none. Haha.....

    One wonders...what would you do if I still disagreed then and there? Keep yelling in my face? Or escalate? Put me into my place? Show me who's the boss? Who's the Man?
    Hahaha.....very nice.

    As for this, you are wrong:


    Good luck going around punching people first in a first world country. You’ll get to know the insides of prison very well.

    There is a reason why “self-DEFENSE” is legal, but OFFENSE is not. “I sensed he was about to punch (knife/shoot/etc.) me, even though he had not yet produced a weapon or thrown a punch, so I shot him first” will earn you some lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house.
     

    Scenario:
    A law abiding citizen (LAC) walking into a mall parking lot->a thug (T) loitering there->"What are you looking at asshole"->LAC keeps walking avoiding looking at the T->T got encouraged, follows...fast->LAC turns to face him.. hands up, palms out, universal (for camera, bystanders) "peace pose"..."Please, I didn't look..I"..."Shut the fuck up" T says and keeps approaching, tensing, gearing himself up->LAC steps back, a little, keeping posture, "Please I don't want any trouble"->"I'll kick your head in motherfucker"->T gets into range->ONE-TWO, T goes down, LAC retreats fast, gets into car while T is still dazed and drives away.
    BTW, T has a record of violent behavior etc.
    LAC has a good lawyer. He took his time, BEFORE, to discuss fine points of all above (and similar) with his lawyer. Just in case........

    You still think that would land the LAC into that "lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house"?

    You could add the LACs wife there. Or/and a daughter. Etc. Plenty of similar scenarios.

    But, sure, you wait for the T to move first, dodge/block/parry and go from there. That won't land you anywhere. Like stunned, out of balance or worse, on your back. Kicking, stomping comes fast. If you survive that a brutal street fight, high on adrenaline and fighting for own life kicks in. When self control goes out of window. And...hahaha....with your "non-confrontational" types in particular.
    Ah, yes, that's why one has to train 10 years or more, hard, to be able to do that. Do agree there.
    But for the rest of good guys who can't do that, well.....

    Anyway.....free will.

    Hehe…
    Hahaha…
    Haha…..
    Hahaha…

    This is what I call “argument by passive-aggressive fake laughing.” It’s something teenage girls do a lot, because they are trying not to betray what’s in their minds, i.e. “I have no idea what he’s talking about” or “I don’t have a good response for that argument.” Some people do it in person too – that nervous little laughter, because they are uncomfortable.

    Shut the fuck up… I’ll kick your head in motherfucker

    Sadly for law-abiding citizens and LEOs, actual thugs and experienced criminals don’t announce their intentions regularly prior to assaulting you. The scenario you describe is more like a school yard bullying than it is an assault by an ex-con with assaults and armed robberies on his rap sheet or even merely “troublesome” black youths showing off to their friends:

    Note at 1:35 mark that even a “punk” knows to take the dominant angle and attack from the side, rather than head on.

    “Normal human reaction”. Your advice advocates not using it.

    It’s possible of course.
    A man has to train properly, hard and long to be able to do that.
    An average guy can’t do that, IMHO.

    Perhaps if you have a very low IQ and/or are particularly resistant to learning (as you appear to be), yes, it might be hard to teach. Some people just aren’t teachable, but most are.

    There are many “natural” human reactions that can get you hurt or killed in a fight. I already gave you an example of backing up straight. Another easy example is flinching and closing eyes when punches start flying. That is an excellent way to get knocked out, so it’s something that has to be “trained out” of someone who is serious about self-defense (or just being able to spar well in boxing or any kind of striking art).

    The process for training that out is simple. You have the trainee stand with his back against the wall. You stand right in front of him and start launching light slaps toward his face. He can’t move away (for this particularly training only – obviously footwork is VERY important and it will be added later) – he can do head movement and he can block/parry. Do that about 15-20 minutes (before stress – mostly psychological – starts to weaken the efficiency of the training). Many short sessions are better than few long sessions for optimal learning. Slow down if the trainee starts to flinch or close his eyes again. Build up the speed of the slaps gradually. Rinse and repeat, increase speed as the trainee gets more comfortable and keeps his eyes open.

    Eventually, you can build up the trainee to keep his eyes open even when full-speed/-strength punches start flying to his face. Typically it takes a few weeks for this training to take. Some people take to it fast (just a few sessions), others take longer (a few months).

    Learning to move laterally is exactly the same. It is a vital lifesaving skill that runs counter to the common reaction of backing up straight. Again, keyboard tough guys may not know this, but EVERY SINGLE gun fighting school teaches lateral movement – moving offline from the axis of attack – as does EVERY SINGLE fighting system (not just striking) that is not fantasy-based. Even in grappling, lateral movement gives the dominant angle to effect a good throw:

    And with most normal people with a good attitude and a desire to learn, this can be taught to be instinctive in a few weeks.

    But, sure, you wait for the T to move first, dodge/block/parry and go from there.

    You haven’t been paying attention. I don’t advocate “block” or “parry” at all. I advocate lateral movement achieved by pivoting or side shifting (i.e. footwork). Watch, again, the Dan Inosanto “21 foot rule” video. Note that most police officers retreat backwards and fall… EXCEPT the third officer. What does he do?

    his self defense on PRE-EMPTION

    Preemption is not defense, it’s offense, and you will get in trouble with the law. The fact that you don’t know that tells me you’ve never been in a serious street altercation (school yard fights with bullies who peacock and announce their intentions beforehand do not count) and that you’ve never dealt with the law.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    I'll keep this simple because recognize your type. "Vehicle" approach if you will.

    Sadly for law-abiding citizens and LEOs, actual thugs and experienced criminals don’t announce their intentions regularly prior to assaulting you.
     
    True.
    And you want an average guy to, somehow, "sidestep" and counter that assault. Won't work.

    That about training not to flinch is not bad.
    That about sidestepping is nonsense. Won't work in real.

    I don’t advocate “block” or “parry” at all. I advocate lateral movement achieved by pivoting or side shifting (i.e. footwork).
     
    On a real street environment, probably in dark, done by an average guy under huge stress. Won't work.

    Preemption is not defense, it’s offense, and you will get in trouble with the law.
     
    Wrong on both.
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  • @Twinkie

    as if conversing with someone sitting across you.
     
    Yes, indeed.

    We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other
     
    One of the problems in a medium such as this is that any idiot can comment. So you get people, for example, whose entire contributions are nothing but "snark" (a bit of it is amusing, of course, but it wears thinly soon enough). Or people who - pardon my language - bullshit. Or people who repeat the same fixations. And so on.

    One of my online shortcomings is that I indulge people and engage them earnestly in conversations and give them the benefit of doubt. Sure, the people who bullshit - they usually stick to generalities and vague remarks, which they repeat - are eventually exposed, because their real knowledge base is very shallow. So longer, drawn out conversations tend to reveal the extent of that shallowness, because they present little in the way of the factual, the analytical, and the technical. And they will frequently change their stories and shift focus once they are exposed topic-by-topic. Finally, they will resort to ad hominem and pseudo-psycho-analysis of their interlocutors in a desperate effort to "win" the conversation.

    But it's awfully tiring to have to do this time and time again, and frankly robs joy and camaraderie of exchanging comments on a blog such as this, which frequently features insightful and astute commenters.

    your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important
     
    There is really no argument about this. No professional (e.g. law enforcement officer*) will argue otherwise. Anyone who's been involved in street fights can tell you this, because frequently (especially in heavily policed cities such as NYC) police officers will arrive once there is a serious altercation in a public area and interview the participants to determine the aggressor (and make arrests). And almost always the law will come down harshly on the person who initiates violence based on mindreading or Spidey-sense ("I KNOW the other guy was going to attack! I swear!") And should there be a series of escalations that lead to a serious injury or even death to someone in the altercation, the preponderance of the guilt in the court of law will fall on the person who initiated physical violence.

    *LEOs are also generally subject to the doctrine/policy of force continuum in a way that "scared for his life" civilian is not. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_force_continuum

    Does this mean that criminals and thugs (especially the ones who try to disguise their intent to attack) usually have the advantage of initiative? Yes, it absolutely does. And that's why LEOs and civilians learn defensive tactics, not offensive ones. It's not fair, but that's how the cookie crumbles as a price to live in a peaceful, civilized society with the underlying assumption of mutual non-aggression among citizens, instead of constantly being vigilant against attacks as if we live in a war-torn tribal area (and I write that as someone who has body armor, long guns, water, food, and a trauma kit in his primary vehicle at all times, on top of carrying on person a concealed pistol, a knife, and a flashlight - but I am extra paranoid due to my past day job).

    Anyone who claims that civilians should go around launching preemptive attacks is likely to be an internet commando who's never been in a street altercation in his life.

    And let me add one final technical point, which needs addressing. Yes, "action is faster than reaction." But, that applies to situations where all other variables are being held constant. If that were true in all situations, there wouldn't be so many fantastic counters that lead to knockouts in boxing, Karate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, whatever fighting sport you care to name... as well as in real fights.

    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it's vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only). That's why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course - precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack.

    frankly robs joy and camaraderie of exchanging comments on a blog such as this, which frequently features insightful and astute commenters.

    Amen.

    Again, thanks for the advice about making sure to learn those techniques to put distance between oneself an the threat.

    And since this topic is already of course, a question for you; what’s a good comprehensive book on warfare across the world as a historic analysis? Something that preferably includes non-European civilizations as well (covering the pre-Columbian Americas would be nice but not necessary). You know; theories, tactics, weapons, etc. through the ages and civilizations.

    I was thinking of getting Van Creveld’s “Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present”. Is there a better author or book you’d recommend?

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    distance between oneself an the threat.
     
    To clarify, it's not just distance, but angle. You want to be at a T to your opponent's side. You can see what I mean in my response above to "peterAUS."

    I'll add yet another layer. Let's say someone gives you the body language that indicates he's about to punch you, e.g. goes quiet, tenses facial muscles, holds his breath (or takes a deep breath), pupils dilate - if you are close enough to see that, of course, it means you've already done something wrong and made yourself too close to a threat - AND he stands in a bladed stance.

    That last bit usually means that the rear arm is about to throw a punch (and he's consciously or subconsciously trying to hide it). Let's say he stands left side forward and right side back (normal righty). You want to get ready to pivot or side step to YOUR RIGHT/HIS LEFT (and throw a left overhand counter followed by right hook OR left kick to the body (his right side/liver shot if he turns a bit to face you) OR clinch from your right/his left). If you pivot to the left, however, you are likely to increase the odds of eating that windmill punch head on. If you move correctly - to the right - the punch will likely miss or you will merely catch the very end of it when the power is minimal.

    So, if you are a righty as well, that means you pivot off the rear (right) foot, which is a larger pivot. If you are a lefty, you pivot off the front (right) foot, which is a small pivot (but that's okay, because on the righty punch on lefty, his right hand has to travel longer to connect to begin with).

    This is self-defense/fighting 101. Even my six year-old knows it by heart now.

    what’s a good comprehensive book on warfare across the world as a historic analysis? Something that preferably includes non-European civilizations as well (covering the pre-Columbian Americas would be nice but not necessary). You know; theories, tactics, weapons, etc. through the ages and civilizations.

    I was thinking of getting Van Creveld’s “Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present”. Is there a better author or book you’d recommend?

     

    You probably know that I am a big fan of Martin van Creveld, so, yes, almost anything by him is good. Personally, I consider his best work "The Transformation of War." Another great survey (lots of ancient and non-Western examples) is "A History of Warfare" by John Keegan.

    Keegan (more famous for the seminal "The Face of Battle") makes the case that pre-modern history has been usually a series of conflicts between agriculturalists and pastoralists at the edges of settle civilizations, with the latter frequently defeating the former and installing themselves as an elite superstratum among them (and assimilating into the said civilizations), and the cycle repeating itself with yet another group of pastoralists... until the rise of... artillery and the concomitant rise of ideology that allowed for more efficient mobilization of the settled civilizations (during much of pre-modern history, agriculturalists could only mobilize a tiny fraction of their populations for war whereas among pastoralists every able-bodied male was a warrior).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS

    ....point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important and was a major consideration in why I put my boys in something like BJJ.
     
    If I were you I'd think again, just a bit, about that.

    The law will be on your side if.....IF....all before the "striking/action" is managed well.
    The key is that "IF".

    In some circles, and that material I pointed to is a part of it, that's the main approach.
    And, those are people living in Great Britain and professionals.
    I don't want to ...ahm...."debate" all that because those guys, through books, videos and forums, let alone gyms and seminars, have done that much better than I can ever hope to.
    People who are interested in the topic will find energy and time to take a look there. I am positive it will help.
    The rest.....good.

    As for BJJ, true, hands down that's the best one to one unarmed combat system.
    Two caveats, though.
    While "most fights end on the ground" they also "start standing". One good punch vs proficiency in ground fighting.

    And.....who is to say there is only one? Hence, true, a very good BJJ practitioner can finish the job in 10 seconds, that's still 10 seconds in head kicking range of bystanders/passers by. Something to think about.
    Then, law wise when we are so keen on that, those 10 seconds involve, best case scenario opponent concussion from take-down. Why is that different from a knockdown? Then, what, you need to sprain, even break his limb? I am not quite sure how is that better than a knockdown. And if you want to go to choke (cardiovascular), well, we are probably talking about 15 seconds and more, on the ground...within head kicking range. Just pining him down? Not a bad idea but that time on the ground really gets long.
    Just, maybe, something to take into consideration.

    And, "self-promotion" wise. "I did this, I did that. blah...blah...":
    I've seen some action of that type.
    Each time I "lost" the guy surprised me with a strike. Each time I "won" I surprised the guy with a strike.
    True, a couple of times it dragged into proper "fighting" with, mostly, inconclusive result. Say, "other parties" got involved and resolved the issue. A couple of times not quite in my favor. And, well, that's when I was a man in my prime and training hard.

    And at this age I do get in situations when it could escalate in a second. Because I believe I do have it under control I am calm, relaxed and my non-verbal communication signals, on even subconscious level to a thug that this guy is not a victim...could even be a trouble. Takes subtle positioning, angling, keeping distance, hand/arms positioning....and they do get the message. I know I can take an average man out in two seconds, and give an experienced thug hard target enough, that gives me that confidence. That confidence translates in demeanor, body language, voice and they do get it. They go to pick up somebody else.
    But I am ready to go. And, I don't have an illusion. We'll both bleed and get hurt. The catch is just who will hurt more. Best case scenario I'd knock him down and sprain a hand. Good.The worst he'll kick my head into a pavement. But he'll need to work hard on that. And I do accept that. That's the "Way".

    Anyway, just maybe something to take onboard. Kids wise.

    I appreciate your advice. Again, I’m hoping my boys will also learn some of these street-wise things as well. I will make sure to ask their teacher to give them some tips on real-scenario self defense.

    I generally tend to avoid (by virtue of how I live life) locations where fights are more likely to occur. A place where there are young men (with young women around) and alcohol is ripe for these things.

    Peace.

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  • @Twinkie

    as if conversing with someone sitting across you.
     
    Yes, indeed.

    We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other
     
    One of the problems in a medium such as this is that any idiot can comment. So you get people, for example, whose entire contributions are nothing but "snark" (a bit of it is amusing, of course, but it wears thinly soon enough). Or people who - pardon my language - bullshit. Or people who repeat the same fixations. And so on.

    One of my online shortcomings is that I indulge people and engage them earnestly in conversations and give them the benefit of doubt. Sure, the people who bullshit - they usually stick to generalities and vague remarks, which they repeat - are eventually exposed, because their real knowledge base is very shallow. So longer, drawn out conversations tend to reveal the extent of that shallowness, because they present little in the way of the factual, the analytical, and the technical. And they will frequently change their stories and shift focus once they are exposed topic-by-topic. Finally, they will resort to ad hominem and pseudo-psycho-analysis of their interlocutors in a desperate effort to "win" the conversation.

    But it's awfully tiring to have to do this time and time again, and frankly robs joy and camaraderie of exchanging comments on a blog such as this, which frequently features insightful and astute commenters.

    your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important
     
    There is really no argument about this. No professional (e.g. law enforcement officer*) will argue otherwise. Anyone who's been involved in street fights can tell you this, because frequently (especially in heavily policed cities such as NYC) police officers will arrive once there is a serious altercation in a public area and interview the participants to determine the aggressor (and make arrests). And almost always the law will come down harshly on the person who initiates violence based on mindreading or Spidey-sense ("I KNOW the other guy was going to attack! I swear!") And should there be a series of escalations that lead to a serious injury or even death to someone in the altercation, the preponderance of the guilt in the court of law will fall on the person who initiated physical violence.

    *LEOs are also generally subject to the doctrine/policy of force continuum in a way that "scared for his life" civilian is not. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_force_continuum

    Does this mean that criminals and thugs (especially the ones who try to disguise their intent to attack) usually have the advantage of initiative? Yes, it absolutely does. And that's why LEOs and civilians learn defensive tactics, not offensive ones. It's not fair, but that's how the cookie crumbles as a price to live in a peaceful, civilized society with the underlying assumption of mutual non-aggression among citizens, instead of constantly being vigilant against attacks as if we live in a war-torn tribal area (and I write that as someone who has body armor, long guns, water, food, and a trauma kit in his primary vehicle at all times, on top of carrying on person a concealed pistol, a knife, and a flashlight - but I am extra paranoid due to my past day job).

    Anyone who claims that civilians should go around launching preemptive attacks is likely to be an internet commando who's never been in a street altercation in his life.

    And let me add one final technical point, which needs addressing. Yes, "action is faster than reaction." But, that applies to situations where all other variables are being held constant. If that were true in all situations, there wouldn't be so many fantastic counters that lead to knockouts in boxing, Karate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, whatever fighting sport you care to name... as well as in real fights.

    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it's vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only). That's why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course - precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack.

    See….you and me are here to present our POV, hence advice, to people on this zine.
    I guess that’s fair.

    Now, you are, apparently, the Man in this game and, well, you do what you have to do.
    Me….I am not the Man…just a little fellow somewhere in the world trying to put a couple of points here which could help.
    So..to reiterate: YOU ARE THE MAN, with huge capabilities, experience and expertise. I am NOT. I am just a guy…….nobody really. A few scraps here and there, a bit of life in military, nothing really special. Even that is probably not correct. Still, here I go. Internet and such.

    Now when we cleared that point, to the point
    Here, even you can’t but the face the hard truth:

    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it’s vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only). That’s why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course – precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack

    That’s the crux of the matter mate….the CRUX.

    “Normal human reaction”. Your advice advocates not using it.

    It’s possible of course.
    A man has to train properly, hard and long to be able to do that.
    An average guy can’t do that, IMHO.

    Now, tell me……how an average guy who can’t “train properly, hard and long” do that then? Just give up? Oh, and could you please answer that in lower case with minimum ego thing? We cleared that you are the man and I am ..well…just not.

    Well, an average man can give up. That’s the option too and, some would even think the ultimate goal of all that.

    I think (and of course, I am nobody) he shouldn’t.

    He should work on all that social-legal paradigm, master it (with a help from pros) and then base his self defense on PRE-EMPTION. Action and not reaction. “Normal human reaction” that is.

    See..we got THERE.
    The last second. Who is going to use it first?

    Simple a?

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  • @Twinkie

    You appear to be insecure, with huge ego, and more importantly quite a lack of perceptive skills and basic social intelligence.
     
    Don't be a jackass and start calling names anonymously because you lack knowledge and experience.

    This is a familiar pattern on the internet. Someone with better knowledge and more experience presents more reasoned and coherent arguments, and internet commandos start getting blue in the face and start calling names and playing anonymous internet psychologists.

    Try this: EVERYTHING I wrote here, I would say to you to YOUR FACE. I was not impolite, I was not aggressive - I just shared my expertise. And not only did I share MY particular experiences, I also backed them up with numerous examples/techniques/videos that corroborate what I wrote.

    Now tell me if you'd have said IN PERSON what you wrote above. Don't be an internet tough guy. If you disagree with me, you can present a logical counter-argument without resorting to childish name-calling.

    As I recall, you applauded someone else here earlier for his willingness to admit ignorance and learn something. I suggest you take your own advice once in a while.

    And, NO, not REACT. ACT
     
    Good luck going around punching people first in a first world country. You'll get to know the insides of prison very well.

    There is a reason why "self-DEFENSE" is legal, but OFFENSE is not. "I sensed he was about to punch (knife/shoot/etc.) me, even though he had not yet produced a weapon or thrown a punch, so I shot him first" will earn you some lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house.

    Hehe………..a very good comment/reply.

    I mean, you really don’t get it.

    Look at your post.
    You call that “calm, collected, non-confrontational“?!
    Precisely those elements that are crucial for this topic.

    You’ll tell me EVERYTHING….. in MY FACE?
    Hahaha…….oh man.

    Now tell me if you’d have said IN PERSON what you wrote above. Don’t be an internet tough guy.

    No ego thing involved here…..none. Haha…..

    One wonders…what would you do if I still disagreed then and there? Keep yelling in my face? Or escalate? Put me into my place? Show me who’s the boss? Who’s the Man?
    Hahaha…..very nice.

    As for this, you are wrong:

    Good luck going around punching people first in a first world country. You’ll get to know the insides of prison very well.

    There is a reason why “self-DEFENSE” is legal, but OFFENSE is not. “I sensed he was about to punch (knife/shoot/etc.) me, even though he had not yet produced a weapon or thrown a punch, so I shot him first” will earn you some lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house.

    Scenario:
    A law abiding citizen (LAC) walking into a mall parking lot->a thug (T) loitering there->”What are you looking at asshole”->LAC keeps walking avoiding looking at the T->T got encouraged, follows…fast->LAC turns to face him.. hands up, palms out, universal (for camera, bystanders) “peace pose”…”Please, I didn’t look..I”…”Shut the fuck up” T says and keeps approaching, tensing, gearing himself up->LAC steps back, a little, keeping posture, “Please I don’t want any trouble”->”I’ll kick your head in motherfucker”->T gets into range->ONE-TWO, T goes down, LAC retreats fast, gets into car while T is still dazed and drives away.
    BTW, T has a record of violent behavior etc.
    LAC has a good lawyer. He took his time, BEFORE, to discuss fine points of all above (and similar) with his lawyer. Just in case……..

    You still think that would land the LAC into that “lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house”?

    You could add the LACs wife there. Or/and a daughter. Etc. Plenty of similar scenarios.

    But, sure, you wait for the T to move first, dodge/block/parry and go from there. That won’t land you anywhere. Like stunned, out of balance or worse, on your back. Kicking, stomping comes fast. If you survive that a brutal street fight, high on adrenaline and fighting for own life kicks in. When self control goes out of window. And…hahaha….with your “non-confrontational” types in particular.
    Ah, yes, that’s why one has to train 10 years or more, hard, to be able to do that. Do agree there.
    But for the rest of good guys who can’t do that, well…..

    Anyway…..free will.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Hehe...
    Hahaha...
    Haha…..
    Hahaha…
     
    This is what I call "argument by passive-aggressive fake laughing." It's something teenage girls do a lot, because they are trying not to betray what's in their minds, i.e. "I have no idea what he's talking about" or "I don't have a good response for that argument." Some people do it in person too - that nervous little laughter, because they are uncomfortable.

    Shut the fuck up... I’ll kick your head in motherfucker
     
    Sadly for law-abiding citizens and LEOs, actual thugs and experienced criminals don't announce their intentions regularly prior to assaulting you. The scenario you describe is more like a school yard bullying than it is an assault by an ex-con with assaults and armed robberies on his rap sheet or even merely "troublesome" black youths showing off to their friends:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NscBp9GeA4
    Note at 1:35 mark that even a "punk" knows to take the dominant angle and attack from the side, rather than head on.

    “Normal human reaction”. Your advice advocates not using it.

    It’s possible of course.
    A man has to train properly, hard and long to be able to do that.
    An average guy can’t do that, IMHO.
     
    Perhaps if you have a very low IQ and/or are particularly resistant to learning (as you appear to be), yes, it might be hard to teach. Some people just aren't teachable, but most are.

    There are many "natural" human reactions that can get you hurt or killed in a fight. I already gave you an example of backing up straight. Another easy example is flinching and closing eyes when punches start flying. That is an excellent way to get knocked out, so it's something that has to be "trained out" of someone who is serious about self-defense (or just being able to spar well in boxing or any kind of striking art).

    The process for training that out is simple. You have the trainee stand with his back against the wall. You stand right in front of him and start launching light slaps toward his face. He can't move away (for this particularly training only - obviously footwork is VERY important and it will be added later) - he can do head movement and he can block/parry. Do that about 15-20 minutes (before stress - mostly psychological - starts to weaken the efficiency of the training). Many short sessions are better than few long sessions for optimal learning. Slow down if the trainee starts to flinch or close his eyes again. Build up the speed of the slaps gradually. Rinse and repeat, increase speed as the trainee gets more comfortable and keeps his eyes open.

    Eventually, you can build up the trainee to keep his eyes open even when full-speed/-strength punches start flying to his face. Typically it takes a few weeks for this training to take. Some people take to it fast (just a few sessions), others take longer (a few months).

    Learning to move laterally is exactly the same. It is a vital lifesaving skill that runs counter to the common reaction of backing up straight. Again, keyboard tough guys may not know this, but EVERY SINGLE gun fighting school teaches lateral movement - moving offline from the axis of attack - as does EVERY SINGLE fighting system (not just striking) that is not fantasy-based. Even in grappling, lateral movement gives the dominant angle to effect a good throw:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY0ocg0aWWI&t

    And with most normal people with a good attitude and a desire to learn, this can be taught to be instinctive in a few weeks.

    But, sure, you wait for the T to move first, dodge/block/parry and go from there.
     
    You haven't been paying attention. I don't advocate "block" or "parry" at all. I advocate lateral movement achieved by pivoting or side shifting (i.e. footwork). Watch, again, the Dan Inosanto "21 foot rule" video. Note that most police officers retreat backwards and fall... EXCEPT the third officer. What does he do?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js0haocH4-o&t

    his self defense on PRE-EMPTION
     
    Preemption is not defense, it's offense, and you will get in trouble with the law. The fact that you don't know that tells me you've never been in a serious street altercation (school yard fights with bullies who peacock and announce their intentions beforehand do not count) and that you've never dealt with the law.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha

    This is a familiar pattern on the internet. Someone with better knowledge and more experience presents more reasoned and coherent arguments, and internet commandos start getting blue in the face and start calling names and playing anonymous internet psychologists.
     
    Yes, this is very unfortunate. We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other - even in cases of vehement disagreement if we could keep our respective egos in check. Unfortunately, I think one of the draws of this anonymous medium is that people can lash out or let their egos have a free reign. It is doubly unfortunate that people can’t simply try to conduct themselves in a way as you described; as if conversing with someone sitting across you.

    Anyway, I thought you both had some valid points, but your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important and was a major consideration in why I put my boys in something like BJJ.

    Peace.

    ….point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important and was a major consideration in why I put my boys in something like BJJ.

    If I were you I’d think again, just a bit, about that.

    The law will be on your side if…..IF….all before the “striking/action” is managed well.
    The key is that “IF”.

    In some circles, and that material I pointed to is a part of it, that’s the main approach.
    And, those are people living in Great Britain and professionals.
    I don’t want to …ahm….”debate” all that because those guys, through books, videos and forums, let alone gyms and seminars, have done that much better than I can ever hope to.
    People who are interested in the topic will find energy and time to take a look there. I am positive it will help.
    The rest…..good.

    As for BJJ, true, hands down that’s the best one to one unarmed combat system.
    Two caveats, though.
    While “most fights end on the ground” they also “start standing”. One good punch vs proficiency in ground fighting.

    And…..who is to say there is only one? Hence, true, a very good BJJ practitioner can finish the job in 10 seconds, that’s still 10 seconds in head kicking range of bystanders/passers by. Something to think about.
    Then, law wise when we are so keen on that, those 10 seconds involve, best case scenario opponent concussion from take-down. Why is that different from a knockdown? Then, what, you need to sprain, even break his limb? I am not quite sure how is that better than a knockdown. And if you want to go to choke (cardiovascular), well, we are probably talking about 15 seconds and more, on the ground…within head kicking range. Just pining him down? Not a bad idea but that time on the ground really gets long.
    Just, maybe, something to take into consideration.

    And, “self-promotion” wise. “I did this, I did that. blah…blah…”:
    I’ve seen some action of that type.
    Each time I “lost” the guy surprised me with a strike. Each time I “won” I surprised the guy with a strike.
    True, a couple of times it dragged into proper “fighting” with, mostly, inconclusive result. Say, “other parties” got involved and resolved the issue. A couple of times not quite in my favor. And, well, that’s when I was a man in my prime and training hard.

    And at this age I do get in situations when it could escalate in a second. Because I believe I do have it under control I am calm, relaxed and my non-verbal communication signals, on even subconscious level to a thug that this guy is not a victim…could even be a trouble. Takes subtle positioning, angling, keeping distance, hand/arms positioning….and they do get the message. I know I can take an average man out in two seconds, and give an experienced thug hard target enough, that gives me that confidence. That confidence translates in demeanor, body language, voice and they do get it. They go to pick up somebody else.
    But I am ready to go. And, I don’t have an illusion. We’ll both bleed and get hurt. The catch is just who will hurt more. Best case scenario I’d knock him down and sprain a hand. Good.The worst he’ll kick my head into a pavement. But he’ll need to work hard on that. And I do accept that. That’s the “Way”.

    Anyway, just maybe something to take onboard. Kids wise.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    I appreciate your advice. Again, I'm hoping my boys will also learn some of these street-wise things as well. I will make sure to ask their teacher to give them some tips on real-scenario self defense.

    I generally tend to avoid (by virtue of how I live life) locations where fights are more likely to occur. A place where there are young men (with young women around) and alcohol is ripe for these things.

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha

    This is a familiar pattern on the internet. Someone with better knowledge and more experience presents more reasoned and coherent arguments, and internet commandos start getting blue in the face and start calling names and playing anonymous internet psychologists.
     
    Yes, this is very unfortunate. We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other - even in cases of vehement disagreement if we could keep our respective egos in check. Unfortunately, I think one of the draws of this anonymous medium is that people can lash out or let their egos have a free reign. It is doubly unfortunate that people can’t simply try to conduct themselves in a way as you described; as if conversing with someone sitting across you.

    Anyway, I thought you both had some valid points, but your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important and was a major consideration in why I put my boys in something like BJJ.

    Peace.

    as if conversing with someone sitting across you.

    Yes, indeed.

    We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other

    One of the problems in a medium such as this is that any idiot can comment. So you get people, for example, whose entire contributions are nothing but “snark” (a bit of it is amusing, of course, but it wears thinly soon enough). Or people who – pardon my language – bullshit. Or people who repeat the same fixations. And so on.

    One of my online shortcomings is that I indulge people and engage them earnestly in conversations and give them the benefit of doubt. Sure, the people who bullshit – they usually stick to generalities and vague remarks, which they repeat – are eventually exposed, because their real knowledge base is very shallow. So longer, drawn out conversations tend to reveal the extent of that shallowness, because they present little in the way of the factual, the analytical, and the technical. And they will frequently change their stories and shift focus once they are exposed topic-by-topic. Finally, they will resort to ad hominem and pseudo-psycho-analysis of their interlocutors in a desperate effort to “win” the conversation.

    But it’s awfully tiring to have to do this time and time again, and frankly robs joy and camaraderie of exchanging comments on a blog such as this, which frequently features insightful and astute commenters.

    your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important

    There is really no argument about this. No professional (e.g. law enforcement officer*) will argue otherwise. Anyone who’s been involved in street fights can tell you this, because frequently (especially in heavily policed cities such as NYC) police officers will arrive once there is a serious altercation in a public area and interview the participants to determine the aggressor (and make arrests). And almost always the law will come down harshly on the person who initiates violence based on mindreading or Spidey-sense (“I KNOW the other guy was going to attack! I swear!”) And should there be a series of escalations that lead to a serious injury or even death to someone in the altercation, the preponderance of the guilt in the court of law will fall on the person who initiated physical violence.

    *LEOs are also generally subject to the doctrine/policy of force continuum in a way that “scared for his life” civilian is not. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_force_continuum

    Does this mean that criminals and thugs (especially the ones who try to disguise their intent to attack) usually have the advantage of initiative? Yes, it absolutely does. And that’s why LEOs and civilians learn defensive tactics, not offensive ones. It’s not fair, but that’s how the cookie crumbles as a price to live in a peaceful, civilized society with the underlying assumption of mutual non-aggression among citizens, instead of constantly being vigilant against attacks as if we live in a war-torn tribal area (and I write that as someone who has body armor, long guns, water, food, and a trauma kit in his primary vehicle at all times, on top of carrying on person a concealed pistol, a knife, and a flashlight – but I am extra paranoid due to my past day job).

    Anyone who claims that civilians should go around launching preemptive attacks is likely to be an internet commando who’s never been in a street altercation in his life.

    And let me add one final technical point, which needs addressing. Yes, “action is faster than reaction.” But, that applies to situations where all other variables are being held constant. If that were true in all situations, there wouldn’t be so many fantastic counters that lead to knockouts in boxing, Karate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, whatever fighting sport you care to name… as well as in real fights.

    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it’s vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only). That’s why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course – precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    See....you and me are here to present our POV, hence advice, to people on this zine.
    I guess that's fair.

    Now, you are, apparently, the Man in this game and, well, you do what you have to do.
    Me....I am not the Man...just a little fellow somewhere in the world trying to put a couple of points here which could help.
    So..to reiterate: YOU ARE THE MAN, with huge capabilities, experience and expertise. I am NOT. I am just a guy.......nobody really. A few scraps here and there, a bit of life in military, nothing really special. Even that is probably not correct. Still, here I go. Internet and such.

    Now when we cleared that point, to the point
    Here, even you can't but the face the hard truth:


    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it’s vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only). That’s why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course – precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack
     
    That's the crux of the matter mate....the CRUX.

    "Normal human reaction". Your advice advocates not using it.

    It's possible of course.
    A man has to train properly, hard and long to be able to do that.
    An average guy can't do that, IMHO.

    Now, tell me......how an average guy who can't "train properly, hard and long" do that then? Just give up? Oh, and could you please answer that in lower case with minimum ego thing? We cleared that you are the man and I am ..well...just not.

    Well, an average man can give up. That's the option too and, some would even think the ultimate goal of all that.

    I think (and of course, I am nobody) he shouldn't.

    He should work on all that social-legal paradigm, master it (with a help from pros) and then base his self defense on PRE-EMPTION. Action and not reaction. "Normal human reaction" that is.

    See..we got THERE.
    The last second. Who is going to use it first?

    Simple a?

    , @Talha

    frankly robs joy and camaraderie of exchanging comments on a blog such as this, which frequently features insightful and astute commenters.
     
    Amen.

    Again, thanks for the advice about making sure to learn those techniques to put distance between oneself an the threat.

    And since this topic is already of course, a question for you; what's a good comprehensive book on warfare across the world as a historic analysis? Something that preferably includes non-European civilizations as well (covering the pre-Columbian Americas would be nice but not necessary). You know; theories, tactics, weapons, etc. through the ages and civilizations.

    I was thinking of getting Van Creveld's "Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present". Is there a better author or book you'd recommend?

    Peace.
    , @peterAUS
    My latest comment, apparently, got lost in limbo, and I feel it has to be said here.
    I think we got to the crux of the matter.

    Anyone who claims that civilians should go around launching preemptive attacks is likely to be an internet commando who’s never been in a street altercation in his life.
     
    You are not only short tempered but starting to appear dishonest too. I am starting to get a feel for you and that's not complimentary.
    In fact, if I don't use your comments as a "vehicle" I wouldn't be speaking with you here.
    I simply never said that but you do know that.
    Weak and, well, simply dishonest. Do they teach your types that too in all those fancy McDojos?

    To the crux, though:

    And let me add one final technical point, which needs addressing. Yes, “action is faster than reaction.”
     
    Thanks for stating the obvious.

    ....many fantastic counters ....
     
    Yes, executed by top practitioners of the sport. Not by an average good guy just surviving, somehow, the first blow.

    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it’s vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only).
     
    You are simply wrong here. People are allowed to act pre-emptively in CERTAIN conditions.
    Now, it's true that your types, with huge ego and short fuse can't trust their minds, but average people can. Especially if they put their mind into it. I could come here up with dozens scenarios when that's more than allowed.
    And here it is the bottom line:

    That’s why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course – precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack.
     
    Your approach simply is not natural. It goes against basic human instincts. You demand, from an average guy, in huge distress, not only to go against his instincts but in such moments to execute some sidestepping, counters and similar bullshit. He....can......not.....do....that. Ever. Demanding something like that is not only stupid but dangerous.

    Highly trained guy can. A guy who trains properly, for years.
    But not your average guy.

    So, you say: you can not defend yourself unless you spend years training hard under proper supervision.

    I say it's wrong; you can defend yourself with proper mindset, understanding proper legal framework and with basic practice for an hour twice a week. In three months tops you'll be good and then simply maintain it.

    The key is that ONE SECOND before the assailant is about to attack you.
    Recognize it coming and explode into action on that second.
    That's the gist of it.

    The devil is in details: recognizing all that and be able to knock a guy down with one punch. Plenty of fine points there and not for this place.
    Again, those pointers I posted here could help there. Geoff is very good at that.

    At the end, it's simple really: think and choose wisely. Your life can, literally, depend on it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    You appear to be insecure, with huge ego, and more importantly quite a lack of perceptive skills and basic social intelligence.
     
    Don't be a jackass and start calling names anonymously because you lack knowledge and experience.

    This is a familiar pattern on the internet. Someone with better knowledge and more experience presents more reasoned and coherent arguments, and internet commandos start getting blue in the face and start calling names and playing anonymous internet psychologists.

    Try this: EVERYTHING I wrote here, I would say to you to YOUR FACE. I was not impolite, I was not aggressive - I just shared my expertise. And not only did I share MY particular experiences, I also backed them up with numerous examples/techniques/videos that corroborate what I wrote.

    Now tell me if you'd have said IN PERSON what you wrote above. Don't be an internet tough guy. If you disagree with me, you can present a logical counter-argument without resorting to childish name-calling.

    As I recall, you applauded someone else here earlier for his willingness to admit ignorance and learn something. I suggest you take your own advice once in a while.

    And, NO, not REACT. ACT
     
    Good luck going around punching people first in a first world country. You'll get to know the insides of prison very well.

    There is a reason why "self-DEFENSE" is legal, but OFFENSE is not. "I sensed he was about to punch (knife/shoot/etc.) me, even though he had not yet produced a weapon or thrown a punch, so I shot him first" will earn you some lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house.

    This is a familiar pattern on the internet. Someone with better knowledge and more experience presents more reasoned and coherent arguments, and internet commandos start getting blue in the face and start calling names and playing anonymous internet psychologists.

    Yes, this is very unfortunate. We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other – even in cases of vehement disagreement if we could keep our respective egos in check. Unfortunately, I think one of the draws of this anonymous medium is that people can lash out or let their egos have a free reign. It is doubly unfortunate that people can’t simply try to conduct themselves in a way as you described; as if conversing with someone sitting across you.

    Anyway, I thought you both had some valid points, but your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important and was a major consideration in why I put my boys in something like BJJ.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    as if conversing with someone sitting across you.
     
    Yes, indeed.

    We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other
     
    One of the problems in a medium such as this is that any idiot can comment. So you get people, for example, whose entire contributions are nothing but "snark" (a bit of it is amusing, of course, but it wears thinly soon enough). Or people who - pardon my language - bullshit. Or people who repeat the same fixations. And so on.

    One of my online shortcomings is that I indulge people and engage them earnestly in conversations and give them the benefit of doubt. Sure, the people who bullshit - they usually stick to generalities and vague remarks, which they repeat - are eventually exposed, because their real knowledge base is very shallow. So longer, drawn out conversations tend to reveal the extent of that shallowness, because they present little in the way of the factual, the analytical, and the technical. And they will frequently change their stories and shift focus once they are exposed topic-by-topic. Finally, they will resort to ad hominem and pseudo-psycho-analysis of their interlocutors in a desperate effort to "win" the conversation.

    But it's awfully tiring to have to do this time and time again, and frankly robs joy and camaraderie of exchanging comments on a blog such as this, which frequently features insightful and astute commenters.

    your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important
     
    There is really no argument about this. No professional (e.g. law enforcement officer*) will argue otherwise. Anyone who's been involved in street fights can tell you this, because frequently (especially in heavily policed cities such as NYC) police officers will arrive once there is a serious altercation in a public area and interview the participants to determine the aggressor (and make arrests). And almost always the law will come down harshly on the person who initiates violence based on mindreading or Spidey-sense ("I KNOW the other guy was going to attack! I swear!") And should there be a series of escalations that lead to a serious injury or even death to someone in the altercation, the preponderance of the guilt in the court of law will fall on the person who initiated physical violence.

    *LEOs are also generally subject to the doctrine/policy of force continuum in a way that "scared for his life" civilian is not. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_force_continuum

    Does this mean that criminals and thugs (especially the ones who try to disguise their intent to attack) usually have the advantage of initiative? Yes, it absolutely does. And that's why LEOs and civilians learn defensive tactics, not offensive ones. It's not fair, but that's how the cookie crumbles as a price to live in a peaceful, civilized society with the underlying assumption of mutual non-aggression among citizens, instead of constantly being vigilant against attacks as if we live in a war-torn tribal area (and I write that as someone who has body armor, long guns, water, food, and a trauma kit in his primary vehicle at all times, on top of carrying on person a concealed pistol, a knife, and a flashlight - but I am extra paranoid due to my past day job).

    Anyone who claims that civilians should go around launching preemptive attacks is likely to be an internet commando who's never been in a street altercation in his life.

    And let me add one final technical point, which needs addressing. Yes, "action is faster than reaction." But, that applies to situations where all other variables are being held constant. If that were true in all situations, there wouldn't be so many fantastic counters that lead to knockouts in boxing, Karate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, whatever fighting sport you care to name... as well as in real fights.

    And since good people are legally constrained from acting first, it's vital to teach and train them how to react properly to an identifiable aggression (not just something you see in YOUR MIND only). That's why pivoting/side-shifting/lateral movement is taught in EVERY martial art and self-defense shooting course - precisely because it buys you the distance and time (to react to an attack) in a way that normal human reaction (backing up straight) does not AND, at the same time, actually puts you in a dominant angle to counter while avoiding the attack.
    , @peterAUS

    ....point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important and was a major consideration in why I put my boys in something like BJJ.
     
    If I were you I'd think again, just a bit, about that.

    The law will be on your side if.....IF....all before the "striking/action" is managed well.
    The key is that "IF".

    In some circles, and that material I pointed to is a part of it, that's the main approach.
    And, those are people living in Great Britain and professionals.
    I don't want to ...ahm...."debate" all that because those guys, through books, videos and forums, let alone gyms and seminars, have done that much better than I can ever hope to.
    People who are interested in the topic will find energy and time to take a look there. I am positive it will help.
    The rest.....good.

    As for BJJ, true, hands down that's the best one to one unarmed combat system.
    Two caveats, though.
    While "most fights end on the ground" they also "start standing". One good punch vs proficiency in ground fighting.

    And.....who is to say there is only one? Hence, true, a very good BJJ practitioner can finish the job in 10 seconds, that's still 10 seconds in head kicking range of bystanders/passers by. Something to think about.
    Then, law wise when we are so keen on that, those 10 seconds involve, best case scenario opponent concussion from take-down. Why is that different from a knockdown? Then, what, you need to sprain, even break his limb? I am not quite sure how is that better than a knockdown. And if you want to go to choke (cardiovascular), well, we are probably talking about 15 seconds and more, on the ground...within head kicking range. Just pining him down? Not a bad idea but that time on the ground really gets long.
    Just, maybe, something to take into consideration.

    And, "self-promotion" wise. "I did this, I did that. blah...blah...":
    I've seen some action of that type.
    Each time I "lost" the guy surprised me with a strike. Each time I "won" I surprised the guy with a strike.
    True, a couple of times it dragged into proper "fighting" with, mostly, inconclusive result. Say, "other parties" got involved and resolved the issue. A couple of times not quite in my favor. And, well, that's when I was a man in my prime and training hard.

    And at this age I do get in situations when it could escalate in a second. Because I believe I do have it under control I am calm, relaxed and my non-verbal communication signals, on even subconscious level to a thug that this guy is not a victim...could even be a trouble. Takes subtle positioning, angling, keeping distance, hand/arms positioning....and they do get the message. I know I can take an average man out in two seconds, and give an experienced thug hard target enough, that gives me that confidence. That confidence translates in demeanor, body language, voice and they do get it. They go to pick up somebody else.
    But I am ready to go. And, I don't have an illusion. We'll both bleed and get hurt. The catch is just who will hurt more. Best case scenario I'd knock him down and sprain a hand. Good.The worst he'll kick my head into a pavement. But he'll need to work hard on that. And I do accept that. That's the "Way".

    Anyway, just maybe something to take onboard. Kids wise.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @al-Sabur
    Man, only on this website can one find in the comments on an excellent article about the state of science and r&d in Russia fascinating and informed threads on subject matter as diverse and abstruse as al-Hallaj and knife fighting.

    What a wonderfully bizarre community of readers.

    Yeah, it’s good stuff.

    Stick around if you have the “patience” – get it, “patience”?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Man, only on this website can one find in the comments on an excellent article about the state of science and r&d in Russia fascinating and informed threads on subject matter as diverse and abstruse as al-Hallaj and knife fighting.

    What a wonderfully bizarre community of readers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Yeah, it’s good stuff.

    Stick around if you have the “patience” - get it, “patience”?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS

    I am not some internet commando who is repeating things read in a book or learned from videos.
     
    I knew it would come to that.
    And the rest was mostly about "I this" and "I that", "I, I, I".

    There is more about you, though.
    You appear to be insecure, with huge ego, and more importantly quite a lack of perceptive skills and basic social intelligence.
    And, interestingly enough, those are exactly the crucial skills/capabilities for modern personal unarmed self-defense.

    I believe that a couple of persons reading all this picked up a point or two I was trying to make and that, for me, is good enough and worth the effort.

    The most important point is total disagree with you here.


    “Pre-emptive striking” is, in general, an extremely unwise endeavor for most civilians (or domestic law enforcement officers, for that matter) in civilized countries. Legal authorities tend to not look kindly upon initiating violence and tend to hold the aggressor responsible for EVERYTHING BAD that results from it.
     
    My take is:
    “Pre-emptive striking” is, if well executed (the setup the most important), the best and often the only option for an average person unarmed self-defense.

    Even in all that self-promotion above you wrote


    But, for most people without lots of training, “false positives” would be too common and would result in going about and start punching people for no good (legal) reason.
     
    which is my point exactly.
    The catch in all that is to study, think and practice to develop the ability to filter "false positives" out.

    Now, I do agree, of course, with


    That’s why I mentioned earlier my paradigm for most civilians – avoid, evade, escape, and fight – in that order of preference. The first three elements, in particular, require inculcating a good common sense and judgment, e.g. avoid trouble spots (unruly bars where young men drink a lot, darkly lit streets in bad neighborhoods, unattended parking garages at night, etc.), walk around when you see a group of young men who look like trouble, don’t try to peacock with men you don’t know, especially in physically competitive contexts, so on and so forth.
     
    and

    To put another way, as a civilian (or an LEO), the most useful skill is the ability to read the signs of aggression, prepare quickly (both mentally and physically) and REACT properly to the aggression once it manifests itself.
     
    I guess this addresses "false positives" then.
    And, NO, not REACT. ACT.
    And, hahaha, also with

    However, nothing ever is 100%, so when even escape is impossible, let alone avoid or evade, as soon as you see evidence of threat to your life or that of your loved ones, UNLEASH lethal force violently and decisively.
     
    We came to the same spot.
    That is the moment when you do pre-empt mate.

    Instead of "unleashing" after he imitates the attack you pre-empt. You recognize that he's going to attack in a second or two and you hit, unleash first. Action is faster than reaction there.

    Oh man....this is just funny.

    What is not funny is that you advise reaction to attack and I advise pre-empting the attack. You advise reaction and I advise action.

    And, actually, you do make sense in all that self-promotion.
    In order to be able to react successful, oh yes, you have to be really good. The world of fighting really comes into it. Even top champ can be sucker punched/bum rushed and it will require all his skills and attributes to offset that.
    My point is that an average guy can't do that, and shouldn't.

    Anyway, I've made my point. Did I do it well, will somebody, anybody follow on that, train/practice and use it, well, it's up to them.
    I know what worked/works for me and a couple of people I care for/about.

    Free will.

    As for you, keep enjoying your trips here.

    Good luck.

    You appear to be insecure, with huge ego, and more importantly quite a lack of perceptive skills and basic social intelligence.

    Don’t be a jackass and start calling names anonymously because you lack knowledge and experience.

    This is a familiar pattern on the internet. Someone with better knowledge and more experience presents more reasoned and coherent arguments, and internet commandos start getting blue in the face and start calling names and playing anonymous internet psychologists.

    Try this: EVERYTHING I wrote here, I would say to you to YOUR FACE. I was not impolite, I was not aggressive – I just shared my expertise. And not only did I share MY particular experiences, I also backed them up with numerous examples/techniques/videos that corroborate what I wrote.

    Now tell me if you’d have said IN PERSON what you wrote above. Don’t be an internet tough guy. If you disagree with me, you can present a logical counter-argument without resorting to childish name-calling.

    As I recall, you applauded someone else here earlier for his willingness to admit ignorance and learn something. I suggest you take your own advice once in a while.

    And, NO, not REACT. ACT

    Good luck going around punching people first in a first world country. You’ll get to know the insides of prison very well.

    There is a reason why “self-DEFENSE” is legal, but OFFENSE is not. “I sensed he was about to punch (knife/shoot/etc.) me, even though he had not yet produced a weapon or thrown a punch, so I shot him first” will earn you some lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    This is a familiar pattern on the internet. Someone with better knowledge and more experience presents more reasoned and coherent arguments, and internet commandos start getting blue in the face and start calling names and playing anonymous internet psychologists.
     
    Yes, this is very unfortunate. We can probably learn a hell of a lot from each other - even in cases of vehement disagreement if we could keep our respective egos in check. Unfortunately, I think one of the draws of this anonymous medium is that people can lash out or let their egos have a free reign. It is doubly unfortunate that people can’t simply try to conduct themselves in a way as you described; as if conversing with someone sitting across you.

    Anyway, I thought you both had some valid points, but your last point about the law not being on your side in preemptive action is very important and was a major consideration in why I put my boys in something like BJJ.

    Peace.
    , @peterAUS
    Hehe...........a very good comment/reply.

    I mean, you really don't get it.

    Look at your post.
    You call that "calm, collected, non-confrontational"?!
    Precisely those elements that are crucial for this topic.

    You'll tell me EVERYTHING..... in MY FACE?
    Hahaha.......oh man.


    Now tell me if you’d have said IN PERSON what you wrote above. Don’t be an internet tough guy.
     
    No ego thing involved here.....none. Haha.....

    One wonders...what would you do if I still disagreed then and there? Keep yelling in my face? Or escalate? Put me into my place? Show me who's the boss? Who's the Man?
    Hahaha.....very nice.

    As for this, you are wrong:


    Good luck going around punching people first in a first world country. You’ll get to know the insides of prison very well.

    There is a reason why “self-DEFENSE” is legal, but OFFENSE is not. “I sensed he was about to punch (knife/shoot/etc.) me, even though he had not yet produced a weapon or thrown a punch, so I shot him first” will earn you some lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house.
     

    Scenario:
    A law abiding citizen (LAC) walking into a mall parking lot->a thug (T) loitering there->"What are you looking at asshole"->LAC keeps walking avoiding looking at the T->T got encouraged, follows...fast->LAC turns to face him.. hands up, palms out, universal (for camera, bystanders) "peace pose"..."Please, I didn't look..I"..."Shut the fuck up" T says and keeps approaching, tensing, gearing himself up->LAC steps back, a little, keeping posture, "Please I don't want any trouble"->"I'll kick your head in motherfucker"->T gets into range->ONE-TWO, T goes down, LAC retreats fast, gets into car while T is still dazed and drives away.
    BTW, T has a record of violent behavior etc.
    LAC has a good lawyer. He took his time, BEFORE, to discuss fine points of all above (and similar) with his lawyer. Just in case........

    You still think that would land the LAC into that "lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house"?

    You could add the LACs wife there. Or/and a daughter. Etc. Plenty of similar scenarios.

    But, sure, you wait for the T to move first, dodge/block/parry and go from there. That won't land you anywhere. Like stunned, out of balance or worse, on your back. Kicking, stomping comes fast. If you survive that a brutal street fight, high on adrenaline and fighting for own life kicks in. When self control goes out of window. And...hahaha....with your "non-confrontational" types in particular.
    Ah, yes, that's why one has to train 10 years or more, hard, to be able to do that. Do agree there.
    But for the rest of good guys who can't do that, well.....

    Anyway.....free will.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    You talk, rather well, about fighting.
     
    I also fight pretty well too. :)

    I had a lot of fights with black youths when growing up in NYC. I went to a high school that was predominantly Jewish and Asian, located in a rough neighborhood, which was mostly black and Hispanic. Black kids loved beating up my nerd friends, so I ended up getting into many fights to save them (also I had a nasty temper when I was young, so it didn't take much to provoke me). I was probably in more than a hundred fights over three years.

    On top of that, I have had combat sports training since I was a small child (starting with Judo and boxing) and have trained for over 40 years now. I've sparred in boxing, Muay Thai, and Karate, and grappled (Judo and BJJ; also trained with wrestlers from a Midwestern power house during off-seasons) thousands of hours. I was a competitive Judoka in my college years.

    And after I left academia (military history), I tried the real thing and got considerable amount of experience with armed encounters overseas (one of the reasons I have persistent insomnia and comment a lot here is because I did a lot of night ops and got my circadian rhythm messed up). Later I was an instructor and a consultant and taught armed and unarmed combat.

    I "talk well" about fighting, because I've done a lot of it and studied it intensely. I am not some internet commando who is repeating things read in a book or learned from videos. I learned from great teachers, from moronic misjudgments of testosterone-poisoned youth, from competitions, and from armed professional life - from blood, tears, and sweat. Many things I discuss here have been distilled from these experiences.

    “pre-emptive” striking. In essence,”simply” sucker punching the bad guy. Taking him out before the fight starts. There is no fighting actually.
     
    "Pre-emptive striking" is, in general, an extremely unwise endeavor for most civilians (or domestic law enforcement officers, for that matter) in civilized countries. Legal authorities tend to not look kindly upon initiating violence and tend to hold the aggressor responsible for EVERYTHING BAD that results from it.

    Furthermore, it takes considerable experience to anticipate someone who is about to engage in violence and preempt him. Of course, experienced people can read the signs, e.g. stiffening of the body, tensing the facial muscles, standing in a bladed position, which means that rear arm is about to throw a punch, etc. But, for most people without lots of training, "false positives" would be too common and would result in going about and start punching people for no good (legal) reason.

    That's why I mentioned earlier my paradigm for most civilians - avoid, evade, escape, and fight - in that order of preference. The first three elements, in particular, require inculcating a good common sense and judgment, e.g. avoid trouble spots (unruly bars where young men drink a lot, darkly lit streets in bad neighborhoods, unattended parking garages at night, etc.), walk around when you see a group of young men who look like trouble, don't try to peacock with men you don't know, especially in physically competitive contexts, so on and so forth.

    However, nothing ever is 100%, so when even escape is impossible, let alone avoid or evade, as soon as you see evidence of threat to your life or that of your loved ones, UNLEASH lethal force violently and decisively. You draw a knife? I am not waiting to get cut or let my wife get cut. This isn't West Side Story, and I am not going to knife-duel you. I am pivoting (and shoving my wife or kids behind me with non shooting hand), drawing and shooting a couple of rounds into your body and another round or two into your head. You throw a sucker punch? I am ducking under that, clinching, and throwing you on your head onto the concrete sidewalk.

    To put another way, as a civilian (or an LEO), the most useful skill is the ability to read the signs of aggression, prepare quickly (both mentally and physically) and REACT properly to the aggression once it manifests itself. "Preemption" in this kind of setting will end up giving you lots of chances to deal with improvised knife shanking in prison.

    Overseas, in "Indian Country," against opponents who don't benefit from the norms of civilization, the rules of engagement are a bit more relaxed... although that too is getting ridiculously convoluted in many cases.

    I am not some internet commando who is repeating things read in a book or learned from videos.

    I knew it would come to that.
    And the rest was mostly about “I this” and “I that”, “I, I, I”.

    There is more about you, though.
    You appear to be insecure, with huge ego, and more importantly quite a lack of perceptive skills and basic social intelligence.
    And, interestingly enough, those are exactly the crucial skills/capabilities for modern personal unarmed self-defense.

    I believe that a couple of persons reading all this picked up a point or two I was trying to make and that, for me, is good enough and worth the effort.

    The most important point is total disagree with you here.

    “Pre-emptive striking” is, in general, an extremely unwise endeavor for most civilians (or domestic law enforcement officers, for that matter) in civilized countries. Legal authorities tend to not look kindly upon initiating violence and tend to hold the aggressor responsible for EVERYTHING BAD that results from it.

    My take is:
    “Pre-emptive striking” is, if well executed (the setup the most important), the best and often the only option for an average person unarmed self-defense.

    Even in all that self-promotion above you wrote

    But, for most people without lots of training, “false positives” would be too common and would result in going about and start punching people for no good (legal) reason.

    which is my point exactly.
    The catch in all that is to study, think and practice to develop the ability to filter “false positives” out.

    Now, I do agree, of course, with

    That’s why I mentioned earlier my paradigm for most civilians – avoid, evade, escape, and fight – in that order of preference. The first three elements, in particular, require inculcating a good common sense and judgment, e.g. avoid trouble spots (unruly bars where young men drink a lot, darkly lit streets in bad neighborhoods, unattended parking garages at night, etc.), walk around when you see a group of young men who look like trouble, don’t try to peacock with men you don’t know, especially in physically competitive contexts, so on and so forth.

    and

    To put another way, as a civilian (or an LEO), the most useful skill is the ability to read the signs of aggression, prepare quickly (both mentally and physically) and REACT properly to the aggression once it manifests itself.

    I guess this addresses “false positives” then.
    And, NO, not REACT. ACT.
    And, hahaha, also with

    However, nothing ever is 100%, so when even escape is impossible, let alone avoid or evade, as soon as you see evidence of threat to your life or that of your loved ones, UNLEASH lethal force violently and decisively.

    We came to the same spot.
    That is the moment when you do pre-empt mate.

    Instead of “unleashing” after he imitates the attack you pre-empt. You recognize that he’s going to attack in a second or two and you hit, unleash first. Action is faster than reaction there.

    Oh man….this is just funny.

    What is not funny is that you advise reaction to attack and I advise pre-empting the attack. You advise reaction and I advise action.

    And, actually, you do make sense in all that self-promotion.
    In order to be able to react successful, oh yes, you have to be really good. The world of fighting really comes into it. Even top champ can be sucker punched/bum rushed and it will require all his skills and attributes to offset that.
    My point is that an average guy can’t do that, and shouldn’t.

    Anyway, I’ve made my point. Did I do it well, will somebody, anybody follow on that, train/practice and use it, well, it’s up to them.
    I know what worked/works for me and a couple of people I care for/about.

    Free will.

    As for you, keep enjoying your trips here.

    Good luck.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    You appear to be insecure, with huge ego, and more importantly quite a lack of perceptive skills and basic social intelligence.
     
    Don't be a jackass and start calling names anonymously because you lack knowledge and experience.

    This is a familiar pattern on the internet. Someone with better knowledge and more experience presents more reasoned and coherent arguments, and internet commandos start getting blue in the face and start calling names and playing anonymous internet psychologists.

    Try this: EVERYTHING I wrote here, I would say to you to YOUR FACE. I was not impolite, I was not aggressive - I just shared my expertise. And not only did I share MY particular experiences, I also backed them up with numerous examples/techniques/videos that corroborate what I wrote.

    Now tell me if you'd have said IN PERSON what you wrote above. Don't be an internet tough guy. If you disagree with me, you can present a logical counter-argument without resorting to childish name-calling.

    As I recall, you applauded someone else here earlier for his willingness to admit ignorance and learn something. I suggest you take your own advice once in a while.

    And, NO, not REACT. ACT
     
    Good luck going around punching people first in a first world country. You'll get to know the insides of prison very well.

    There is a reason why "self-DEFENSE" is legal, but OFFENSE is not. "I sensed he was about to punch (knife/shoot/etc.) me, even though he had not yet produced a weapon or thrown a punch, so I shot him first" will earn you some lengthy stay at a taxpayer-sponsored big house.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • On the positive side, Russia is currently running a debt/GDP ratio of less than 15% compared to industrialised countries running <100% with Japan clocking in at <250%

    Russia has a lot of leeway for investment and upgrading whereas industrialised countries are in a fiscal impasse with declining demographics and hollowed out industry

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS
    I think I got what's the fundamental difference between your and mine approach here.

    You talk, rather well, about fighting.
    I talk, not so well (but pointed to proper material) about "pre-emptive" striking. In essence,"simply" sucker punching the bad guy. Taking him out before the fight starts. There is no fighting actually. I emphasize "simply" because it is not simple at all. Takes a lot to be truly efficient there for an average guy.
    But, much less than to be effective in "fighting".

    Two different things.

    The best example re professional fighting would be those examples when "trash talk" in weight-in escalates into scuffle. That's sort of "pre-emptive" striking.
    Totally different thing from later on event in the ring/cage.That's "fighting".

    Of course, better one is in "fighting" better he will be in "pre-emptive" and more importantly, in follow up should pre-emptive strike or two do not finish the job.

    Hope I make sense here. All very well explained, in minute detail, in those books and related videos on Youtube.

    You talk, rather well, about fighting.

    I also fight pretty well too. :)

    I had a lot of fights with black youths when growing up in NYC. I went to a high school that was predominantly Jewish and Asian, located in a rough neighborhood, which was mostly black and Hispanic. Black kids loved beating up my nerd friends, so I ended up getting into many fights to save them (also I had a nasty temper when I was young, so it didn’t take much to provoke me). I was probably in more than a hundred fights over three years.

    On top of that, I have had combat sports training since I was a small child (starting with Judo and boxing) and have trained for over 40 years now. I’ve sparred in boxing, Muay Thai, and Karate, and grappled (Judo and BJJ; also trained with wrestlers from a Midwestern power house during off-seasons) thousands of hours. I was a competitive Judoka in my college years.

    And after I left academia (military history), I tried the real thing and got considerable amount of experience with armed encounters overseas (one of the reasons I have persistent insomnia and comment a lot here is because I did a lot of night ops and got my circadian rhythm messed up). Later I was an instructor and a consultant and taught armed and unarmed combat.

    I “talk well” about fighting, because I’ve done a lot of it and studied it intensely. I am not some internet commando who is repeating things read in a book or learned from videos. I learned from great teachers, from moronic misjudgments of testosterone-poisoned youth, from competitions, and from armed professional life – from blood, tears, and sweat. Many things I discuss here have been distilled from these experiences.

    “pre-emptive” striking. In essence,”simply” sucker punching the bad guy. Taking him out before the fight starts. There is no fighting actually.

    “Pre-emptive striking” is, in general, an extremely unwise endeavor for most civilians (or domestic law enforcement officers, for that matter) in civilized countries. Legal authorities tend to not look kindly upon initiating violence and tend to hold the aggressor responsible for EVERYTHING BAD that results from it.

    Furthermore, it takes considerable experience to anticipate someone who is about to engage in violence and preempt him. Of course, experienced people can read the signs, e.g. stiffening of the body, tensing the facial muscles, standing in a bladed position, which means that rear arm is about to throw a punch, etc. But, for most people without lots of training, “false positives” would be too common and would result in going about and start punching people for no good (legal) reason.

    That’s why I mentioned earlier my paradigm for most civilians – avoid, evade, escape, and fight – in that order of preference. The first three elements, in particular, require inculcating a good common sense and judgment, e.g. avoid trouble spots (unruly bars where young men drink a lot, darkly lit streets in bad neighborhoods, unattended parking garages at night, etc.), walk around when you see a group of young men who look like trouble, don’t try to peacock with men you don’t know, especially in physically competitive contexts, so on and so forth.

    However, nothing ever is 100%, so when even escape is impossible, let alone avoid or evade, as soon as you see evidence of threat to your life or that of your loved ones, UNLEASH lethal force violently and decisively. You draw a knife? I am not waiting to get cut or let my wife get cut. This isn’t West Side Story, and I am not going to knife-duel you. I am pivoting (and shoving my wife or kids behind me with non shooting hand), drawing and shooting a couple of rounds into your body and another round or two into your head. You throw a sucker punch? I am ducking under that, clinching, and throwing you on your head onto the concrete sidewalk.

    To put another way, as a civilian (or an LEO), the most useful skill is the ability to read the signs of aggression, prepare quickly (both mentally and physically) and REACT properly to the aggression once it manifests itself. “Preemption” in this kind of setting will end up giving you lots of chances to deal with improvised knife shanking in prison.

    Overseas, in “Indian Country,” against opponents who don’t benefit from the norms of civilization, the rules of engagement are a bit more relaxed… although that too is getting ridiculously convoluted in many cases.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    I am not some internet commando who is repeating things read in a book or learned from videos.
     
    I knew it would come to that.
    And the rest was mostly about "I this" and "I that", "I, I, I".

    There is more about you, though.
    You appear to be insecure, with huge ego, and more importantly quite a lack of perceptive skills and basic social intelligence.
    And, interestingly enough, those are exactly the crucial skills/capabilities for modern personal unarmed self-defense.

    I believe that a couple of persons reading all this picked up a point or two I was trying to make and that, for me, is good enough and worth the effort.

    The most important point is total disagree with you here.


    “Pre-emptive striking” is, in general, an extremely unwise endeavor for most civilians (or domestic law enforcement officers, for that matter) in civilized countries. Legal authorities tend to not look kindly upon initiating violence and tend to hold the aggressor responsible for EVERYTHING BAD that results from it.
     
    My take is:
    “Pre-emptive striking” is, if well executed (the setup the most important), the best and often the only option for an average person unarmed self-defense.

    Even in all that self-promotion above you wrote


    But, for most people without lots of training, “false positives” would be too common and would result in going about and start punching people for no good (legal) reason.
     
    which is my point exactly.
    The catch in all that is to study, think and practice to develop the ability to filter "false positives" out.

    Now, I do agree, of course, with


    That’s why I mentioned earlier my paradigm for most civilians – avoid, evade, escape, and fight – in that order of preference. The first three elements, in particular, require inculcating a good common sense and judgment, e.g. avoid trouble spots (unruly bars where young men drink a lot, darkly lit streets in bad neighborhoods, unattended parking garages at night, etc.), walk around when you see a group of young men who look like trouble, don’t try to peacock with men you don’t know, especially in physically competitive contexts, so on and so forth.
     
    and

    To put another way, as a civilian (or an LEO), the most useful skill is the ability to read the signs of aggression, prepare quickly (both mentally and physically) and REACT properly to the aggression once it manifests itself.
     
    I guess this addresses "false positives" then.
    And, NO, not REACT. ACT.
    And, hahaha, also with

    However, nothing ever is 100%, so when even escape is impossible, let alone avoid or evade, as soon as you see evidence of threat to your life or that of your loved ones, UNLEASH lethal force violently and decisively.
     
    We came to the same spot.
    That is the moment when you do pre-empt mate.

    Instead of "unleashing" after he imitates the attack you pre-empt. You recognize that he's going to attack in a second or two and you hit, unleash first. Action is faster than reaction there.

    Oh man....this is just funny.

    What is not funny is that you advise reaction to attack and I advise pre-empting the attack. You advise reaction and I advise action.

    And, actually, you do make sense in all that self-promotion.
    In order to be able to react successful, oh yes, you have to be really good. The world of fighting really comes into it. Even top champ can be sucker punched/bum rushed and it will require all his skills and attributes to offset that.
    My point is that an average guy can't do that, and shouldn't.

    Anyway, I've made my point. Did I do it well, will somebody, anybody follow on that, train/practice and use it, well, it's up to them.
    I know what worked/works for me and a couple of people I care for/about.

    Free will.

    As for you, keep enjoying your trips here.

    Good luck.

    , @Johann Ricke

    I did a lot of night ops and got my circadian rhythm messed up
     
    Doesn't that eventually come back into sync, after some period of adjustment? Maybe this is just the type of insomnia that gradually gets worse in the 30's and beyond.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    I can’t say I’d agree with you re “check hook”, “pivot” and such; those are really advanced techniques for an average person and time and energy one is willing to put into the subject.
     
    On the contrary, pivoting (or shifting sideways) is one of the most crucial and fundamental footwork that is taught for just about every fighting art, be it Kendo (Japanese bamboo sword fighting), Judo, Karate, boxing, you name it. Even gun fights. In Japanese martial arts, it's called Tai Sabaki (and I refer, specifically, to Tenshin, the 45-90 degree pivot).

    See my last comment with the footage of Dan Inosanto simulating a knife attack against police officers. Lateral movement is a lifesaver. Especially when surprise-attacked, most will retreat backward in a straight line and often fall. Very, very, very, very bad. Retreating backward in a straight line is a common human instinct, but one that will get you killed, because the aggressor can run forward in a straight line faster than you can run backwards. It also puts your balance backward and makes your body very easy to fall.

    No matter what kind of fighting (empty hand, knife, stick, gun, etc.), you want to move OFF the axis of attack. Pivoting or side shifting puts you in the DOMINANT ANGLE and allows you to hit the opponent from the side while his moves forward. A great example from MMA:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQr950AhbRE
    Look at starting 0:19 mark and the follow-up slow motion (Lyoto Machida side shifts and counters Thiago Silva beautifully - classic Shotokan Karate technique).

    And of course, the boxing check hook is based on the same exact principle.

    By the way, the same underlying geometric principle is why learning to navigate corners is a fundamental house-clearing skill in gun fights/small unit tactics. T intersections and corners naturally create the dominant angle for the OPFOR/red team that is lying in wait to ambush you. It is also one of the FIRST things I taught my wife in home defense tactics - grab the shotgun, collect the kids, retreat to the safe room if possible; if not, retreat to the master bedroom, barricade the door, and - DON'T FACE THE DOOR STRAIGHT ON - instead ready to repel intruders into the room from the side - 90 degree angle to the face of the door.

    I think I got what’s the fundamental difference between your and mine approach here.

    You talk, rather well, about fighting.
    I talk, not so well (but pointed to proper material) about “pre-emptive” striking. In essence,”simply” sucker punching the bad guy. Taking him out before the fight starts. There is no fighting actually. I emphasize “simply” because it is not simple at all. Takes a lot to be truly efficient there for an average guy.
    But, much less than to be effective in “fighting”.

    Two different things.

    The best example re professional fighting would be those examples when “trash talk” in weight-in escalates into scuffle. That’s sort of “pre-emptive” striking.
    Totally different thing from later on event in the ring/cage.That’s “fighting”.

    Of course, better one is in “fighting” better he will be in “pre-emptive” and more importantly, in follow up should pre-emptive strike or two do not finish the job.

    Hope I make sense here. All very well explained, in minute detail, in those books and related videos on Youtube.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    You talk, rather well, about fighting.
     
    I also fight pretty well too. :)

    I had a lot of fights with black youths when growing up in NYC. I went to a high school that was predominantly Jewish and Asian, located in a rough neighborhood, which was mostly black and Hispanic. Black kids loved beating up my nerd friends, so I ended up getting into many fights to save them (also I had a nasty temper when I was young, so it didn't take much to provoke me). I was probably in more than a hundred fights over three years.

    On top of that, I have had combat sports training since I was a small child (starting with Judo and boxing) and have trained for over 40 years now. I've sparred in boxing, Muay Thai, and Karate, and grappled (Judo and BJJ; also trained with wrestlers from a Midwestern power house during off-seasons) thousands of hours. I was a competitive Judoka in my college years.

    And after I left academia (military history), I tried the real thing and got considerable amount of experience with armed encounters overseas (one of the reasons I have persistent insomnia and comment a lot here is because I did a lot of night ops and got my circadian rhythm messed up). Later I was an instructor and a consultant and taught armed and unarmed combat.

    I "talk well" about fighting, because I've done a lot of it and studied it intensely. I am not some internet commando who is repeating things read in a book or learned from videos. I learned from great teachers, from moronic misjudgments of testosterone-poisoned youth, from competitions, and from armed professional life - from blood, tears, and sweat. Many things I discuss here have been distilled from these experiences.

    “pre-emptive” striking. In essence,”simply” sucker punching the bad guy. Taking him out before the fight starts. There is no fighting actually.
     
    "Pre-emptive striking" is, in general, an extremely unwise endeavor for most civilians (or domestic law enforcement officers, for that matter) in civilized countries. Legal authorities tend to not look kindly upon initiating violence and tend to hold the aggressor responsible for EVERYTHING BAD that results from it.

    Furthermore, it takes considerable experience to anticipate someone who is about to engage in violence and preempt him. Of course, experienced people can read the signs, e.g. stiffening of the body, tensing the facial muscles, standing in a bladed position, which means that rear arm is about to throw a punch, etc. But, for most people without lots of training, "false positives" would be too common and would result in going about and start punching people for no good (legal) reason.

    That's why I mentioned earlier my paradigm for most civilians - avoid, evade, escape, and fight - in that order of preference. The first three elements, in particular, require inculcating a good common sense and judgment, e.g. avoid trouble spots (unruly bars where young men drink a lot, darkly lit streets in bad neighborhoods, unattended parking garages at night, etc.), walk around when you see a group of young men who look like trouble, don't try to peacock with men you don't know, especially in physically competitive contexts, so on and so forth.

    However, nothing ever is 100%, so when even escape is impossible, let alone avoid or evade, as soon as you see evidence of threat to your life or that of your loved ones, UNLEASH lethal force violently and decisively. You draw a knife? I am not waiting to get cut or let my wife get cut. This isn't West Side Story, and I am not going to knife-duel you. I am pivoting (and shoving my wife or kids behind me with non shooting hand), drawing and shooting a couple of rounds into your body and another round or two into your head. You throw a sucker punch? I am ducking under that, clinching, and throwing you on your head onto the concrete sidewalk.

    To put another way, as a civilian (or an LEO), the most useful skill is the ability to read the signs of aggression, prepare quickly (both mentally and physically) and REACT properly to the aggression once it manifests itself. "Preemption" in this kind of setting will end up giving you lots of chances to deal with improvised knife shanking in prison.

    Overseas, in "Indian Country," against opponents who don't benefit from the norms of civilization, the rules of engagement are a bit more relaxed... although that too is getting ridiculously convoluted in many cases.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon
    This is not my area of expertise AT ALL, but have you also considered some form of singlestick training? If confronted by a guy with a knife it's probably best to keep him at arm's reach if possible, and since I for one often find myself carrying sticks, canes, umbrellas and so on in my daily life I have considered that sort of thing occasionally.

    Better than empty hand but….if the guy with the knife is really committed you really have to be very good with that stick, footwork in particular.
    Big topic.

    Anyway, try it: get the proper protective gear, you with soft baton and your training partner with rubber knife.
    See what happens.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @peterAUS
    You appear to be fully "into" the subject matter and the replies are well put together.
    I'll try to comment.

    What you call “setup” in your reply are actually four separate things.
     
    That is one way to put it.
    My approach, well, isn't mine at all. It's taken from a couple of British guys who are professionals there and wrote/spoke a lot about it. Geoff Thompson in particular, and he explained it much better than I could in his books/videos. I've found "The Fence"and "Three Second Fighter: The Sniper Option" the best and the most applicable.
    There are plenty of fine points and nuances there to understand and, of course more important, to practice until perfect.

    I can't say I'd agree with you re "check hook", "pivot" and such; those are really advanced techniques for an average person and time and energy one is willing to put into the subject.

    I believe in

    You can actually “beat up” 90-95% of guys if you practice a few basic fight techniques, drill them a lot, and use them in sparring.
     
    and

    Jab, straight
     
    or better, weak hand-right cross/overhand/hook on the jaw. Sometimes even a good headbutt on the nose. Timing and accuracy crucial there.

    Bottom line, I strongly believe in "pre-emptive" striking as, again well explained in Geoff's books (and he is British, taking into account really restrictive UK laws).

    The key elements are, again: awareness, pre-fight management (avoidance, control, escalation) and that is crucial part of the all that, and then pre-emptive striking.
    All well wrapped up in awareness of a legal process. An average male can do all that.

    If the incident goes beyond that, which is possible, then all that "fighting" capability comes into play. Attributes, skills, endurance, will etc.

    I can’t say I’d agree with you re “check hook”, “pivot” and such; those are really advanced techniques for an average person and time and energy one is willing to put into the subject.

    On the contrary, pivoting (or shifting sideways) is one of the most crucial and fundamental footwork that is taught for just about every fighting art, be it Kendo (Japanese bamboo sword fighting), Judo, Karate, boxing, you name it. Even gun fights. In Japanese martial arts, it’s called Tai Sabaki (and I refer, specifically, to Tenshin, the 45-90 degree pivot).

    See my last comment with the footage of Dan Inosanto simulating a knife attack against police officers. Lateral movement is a lifesaver. Especially when surprise-attacked, most will retreat backward in a straight line and often fall. Very, very, very, very bad. Retreating backward in a straight line is a common human instinct, but one that will get you killed, because the aggressor can run forward in a straight line faster than you can run backwards. It also puts your balance backward and makes your body very easy to fall.

    No matter what kind of fighting (empty hand, knife, stick, gun, etc.), you want to move OFF the axis of attack. Pivoting or side shifting puts you in the DOMINANT ANGLE and allows you to hit the opponent from the side while his moves forward. A great example from MMA:

    Look at starting 0:19 mark and the follow-up slow motion (Lyoto Machida side shifts and counters Thiago Silva beautifully – classic Shotokan Karate technique).

    And of course, the boxing check hook is based on the same exact principle.

    By the way, the same underlying geometric principle is why learning to navigate corners is a fundamental house-clearing skill in gun fights/small unit tactics. T intersections and corners naturally create the dominant angle for the OPFOR/red team that is lying in wait to ambush you. It is also one of the FIRST things I taught my wife in home defense tactics – grab the shotgun, collect the kids, retreat to the safe room if possible; if not, retreat to the master bedroom, barricade the door, and – DON’T FACE THE DOOR STRAIGHT ON – instead ready to repel intruders into the room from the side – 90 degree angle to the face of the door.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    I think I got what's the fundamental difference between your and mine approach here.

    You talk, rather well, about fighting.
    I talk, not so well (but pointed to proper material) about "pre-emptive" striking. In essence,"simply" sucker punching the bad guy. Taking him out before the fight starts. There is no fighting actually. I emphasize "simply" because it is not simple at all. Takes a lot to be truly efficient there for an average guy.
    But, much less than to be effective in "fighting".

    Two different things.

    The best example re professional fighting would be those examples when "trash talk" in weight-in escalates into scuffle. That's sort of "pre-emptive" striking.
    Totally different thing from later on event in the ring/cage.That's "fighting".

    Of course, better one is in "fighting" better he will be in "pre-emptive" and more importantly, in follow up should pre-emptive strike or two do not finish the job.

    Hope I make sense here. All very well explained, in minute detail, in those books and related videos on Youtube.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon
    This is not my area of expertise AT ALL, but have you also considered some form of singlestick training? If confronted by a guy with a knife it's probably best to keep him at arm's reach if possible, and since I for one often find myself carrying sticks, canes, umbrellas and so on in my daily life I have considered that sort of thing occasionally.

    If confronted by a guy with a knife it’s probably best to keep him at arm’s reach if possible, and since I for one often find myself carrying sticks, canes, umbrellas and so on in my daily life I have considered that sort of thing occasionally.

    Sticks are good. Blades are VERY dangerous weapons (even soft body armor for bullets don’t work the best against knives) within about 20 feet. With a blade-wielding assailants distance and lateral movement are your friends.

    You want to break contact, move laterally (pivot) away from the center line – the axis of attack – and shoot him… repeatedly.

    At my household, we have a magic marker day. That’s when we all put on old sweat shirts and pants and goggles, pretend that our magic markers are knives, and see how good we really are at our knife retention/disarm techniques. Magic marker days always teach a very important lesson – if you are in a knife fight, you WILL get cut (stabbed). How many times will depend on how well you learned your lessons.

    Here is an oldie but a goodie:

    Of course, that guy wielding the knife is Dan Inosanto – the father of Filipino Martial Arts in the United States and training buddy of Bruce Lee.

    Note in the footage that the one officer who did the best in the study is the one who pivoted and moved off the line of attack.

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  • @Talha
    Wow - good stuff - you're raising serious fighters. Hopeully they'll take after you and perpetuate it in their kids as well.

    Thanks for the tips. And I agree, young boys naturally like wrestling. I never get in the way of that. My youngest wants to start BJJ now also, so I'm happy about that.

    I'm satisfied with them having a good base with which to defend themselves - I don't expect them to get into fights with professional fighters, but know enough to hold their own against your normal-to-bigger guy. My eldest son wanted to go into MMA competition, and we squashed that pretty quick!

    Some of the stuff PeterUS mentioned is also helpful.

    Hope you and your kids never have to use those skills, but if they do, it's for a good cause - defending themselves or someone else.

    Peace.

    Hope you and your kids never have to use those skills, but if they do, it’s for a good cause – defending themselves or someone else.

    Being a good sportsman and an honorable combatant is HIGHLY encouraged in my household. For example, we celebrated Mukai Shoichiro’s conduct after he won the under 90kg gold at the Paris Judo Grand Slam last month:

    (On the other hand, we didn’t care for the distasteful celebration of the black female Judoka at the end of the footage.)

    The two mottos of Judo are maximum efficiency and mutual benefit, and I have taught my children these values. However, I also have inculcated a “killer instinct” in defense of what we all cherish – God, country, community, and family.

    Read More
    • Agree: Talha
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    Bonner places himself in the current of criticism of 'religious fundamentalism' and 'intolerance' which typically attempts to 'turn the tables' on Christians, equating their martyria - testimony for the truth of their faith in face of persecution, with the Islamic view of 'martyrdom' death in a holy war for spreading Islam, in order to placate the aggressive Muslims. The author views are quite favourable of Muslim domination and he compares it with Convivencia in Spain after the Reconquista,'which unfortunately did not demonstrate the same tolerance of Muslim authorities' (and don't wonder why you take his opinions as ultimate). Christians are the ones 'intolerant' towards Islam by opposing 'Allah and his messenger'. They put the blame on the Christians for 'tactless behavior', that they did not know their place in the Muslim society. So, these 'historians' are not afraid to twist the sources in such a way to make their point. The sources clearly indicate that the first executions were for blasphemy following denunciations by Muslims and prompted an edict of Abd ar-Rahmân II, threatening any future blasphemers with execution. The fact that the following martyrs were all from a circle formed around the monastery of Tabanos is proof enough that in fact they were suspects and sought for questioning, inquisition style (like later on the Marranos). The cases for apostasy were few. There were executions for refusing to convert to Islam.
    You should also take into consideration that the persecution encompasses the period of the first successes of the Reconquista, the development of the cult of Santiago Mattamoros (the Moor Slayer) and the foundation of the first order of Crusaders, the arch-villain ogres of Muslim victimology (you may be happy that today the nickname of Matamoros is 'politically incorrect' and barely used, for fear of hurting the feelings of the Muslim neo-invaders of Spain. Statues were removed from Santiago Matamoros emblematic churches like the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, for this reason - fortunately the act provoked such an outcry that it had to be kept in place).

    In the question of the relation of the sentencing of Al-Hallaj with suspicions of crypto-Christianity, I just suggested it as a hypothesis in the context of the Muslim-Byzantine Wars.
    You may profitably look for the classics:
    "La passion d'Al Hosayn-ibn-Mansour al-Hallaj, martyr mystique de l'Islam, exécuté à Bagdad le 26 Mars 922; étude d'histoire religieuse" of Louis Massignon
    "Byzance et les Arabes" of A.A. Vasiliev.
    You find them in English translations too.

    Hey man, you do your thing. If you don’t like Bonner, that’s cool with me. He references his sources in his book including the various source material from the time that points out there were two groups of Christians; one that took a view like yours (writing very polemically-charged material) and another that criticized them for provoking and pushing the boundaries unnecessarily.

    I have no delusions about life under Muslim rule in Spain being a paradise nor that there were Christians that were unnecessarily persecuted without any provocation; our own historians recorded such things.

    Anyone observing the exchange can see what appeals to their intellect.

    Thanks for the book references.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    The Theban Sacred Band might disagree about homosexuality.

    They might have. Not the Roman Law.
    ‘Lex Scantinia de nefanda venere’ (cca 149 BC), initially incurring heavy fines, but later the capital punishment. Very much used by the ‘tyrant Domitian’, supposed persecutor of Christianity.

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  • @Anon
    This is not my area of expertise AT ALL, but have you also considered some form of singlestick training? If confronted by a guy with a knife it's probably best to keep him at arm's reach if possible, and since I for one often find myself carrying sticks, canes, umbrellas and so on in my daily life I have considered that sort of thing occasionally.

    Good points.

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  • @Talha

    ‘Hallaj’s execution was related to this fear of Christians’.
     
    Totally fine if that’s your feelz; I’m simply asking for an academic reference - shouldn’t be too hard; I brought, what, 3 or 4?

    Byzance was still there and starting to push back.
     
    Yes, they actually had a pretty good run gaining back territory until the Turks came on the scene in a serious way.

    The majority were Christians, priests, monks and nuns executed for blasphemy.
     
    Yes and no. Yes, in that most of the people were “ecclesiastical”. No, in that the charge was not blasphemy, but apostasy. Bonner makes both points clear.

    The idea that they were deliberately converting only to exhibitionistically recant publicly is preposterous.
     
    Take it up with Bonner and Princeton University.

    Anyhow in Christianity ‘martyr’ does not mean ‘jihadi’
     
    Who said it did?

    Bonner places himself in the current of criticism of ‘religious fundamentalism’ and ‘intolerance’ which typically attempts to ‘turn the tables’ on Christians, equating their martyria – testimony for the truth of their faith in face of persecution, with the Islamic view of ‘martyrdom’ death in a holy war for spreading Islam, in order to placate the aggressive Muslims. The author views are quite favourable of Muslim domination and he compares it with Convivencia in Spain after the Reconquista,’which unfortunately did not demonstrate the same tolerance of Muslim authorities’ (and don’t wonder why you take his opinions as ultimate). Christians are the ones ‘intolerant’ towards Islam by opposing ‘Allah and his messenger’. They put the blame on the Christians for ‘tactless behavior’, that they did not know their place in the Muslim society. So, these ‘historians’ are not afraid to twist the sources in such a way to make their point. The sources clearly indicate that the first executions were for blasphemy following denunciations by Muslims and prompted an edict of Abd ar-Rahmân II, threatening any future blasphemers with execution. The fact that the following martyrs were all from a circle formed around the monastery of Tabanos is proof enough that in fact they were suspects and sought for questioning, inquisition style (like later on the Marranos). The cases for apostasy were few. There were executions for refusing to convert to Islam.
    You should also take into consideration that the persecution encompasses the period of the first successes of the Reconquista, the development of the cult of Santiago Mattamoros (the Moor Slayer) and the foundation of the first order of Crusaders, the arch-villain ogres of Muslim victimology (you may be happy that today the nickname of Matamoros is ‘politically incorrect’ and barely used, for fear of hurting the feelings of the Muslim neo-invaders of Spain. Statues were removed from Santiago Matamoros emblematic churches like the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, for this reason – fortunately the act provoked such an outcry that it had to be kept in place).

    In the question of the relation of the sentencing of Al-Hallaj with suspicions of crypto-Christianity, I just suggested it as a hypothesis in the context of the Muslim-Byzantine Wars.
    You may profitably look for the classics:
    “La passion d’Al Hosayn-ibn-Mansour al-Hallaj, martyr mystique de l’Islam, exécuté à Bagdad le 26 Mars 922; étude d’histoire religieuse” of Louis Massignon
    “Byzance et les Arabes” of A.A. Vasiliev.
    You find them in English translations too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey man, you do your thing. If you don't like Bonner, that's cool with me. He references his sources in his book including the various source material from the time that points out there were two groups of Christians; one that took a view like yours (writing very polemically-charged material) and another that criticized them for provoking and pushing the boundaries unnecessarily.

    I have no delusions about life under Muslim rule in Spain being a paradise nor that there were Christians that were unnecessarily persecuted without any provocation; our own historians recorded such things.

    Anyone observing the exchange can see what appeals to their intellect.

    Thanks for the book references.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon[291] • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha
    Wow - good stuff - you're raising serious fighters. Hopeully they'll take after you and perpetuate it in their kids as well.

    Thanks for the tips. And I agree, young boys naturally like wrestling. I never get in the way of that. My youngest wants to start BJJ now also, so I'm happy about that.

    I'm satisfied with them having a good base with which to defend themselves - I don't expect them to get into fights with professional fighters, but know enough to hold their own against your normal-to-bigger guy. My eldest son wanted to go into MMA competition, and we squashed that pretty quick!

    Some of the stuff PeterUS mentioned is also helpful.

    Hope you and your kids never have to use those skills, but if they do, it's for a good cause - defending themselves or someone else.

    Peace.

    This is not my area of expertise AT ALL, but have you also considered some form of singlestick training? If confronted by a guy with a knife it’s probably best to keep him at arm’s reach if possible, and since I for one often find myself carrying sticks, canes, umbrellas and so on in my daily life I have considered that sort of thing occasionally.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Good points.
    , @Twinkie

    If confronted by a guy with a knife it’s probably best to keep him at arm’s reach if possible, and since I for one often find myself carrying sticks, canes, umbrellas and so on in my daily life I have considered that sort of thing occasionally.
     
    Sticks are good. Blades are VERY dangerous weapons (even soft body armor for bullets don't work the best against knives) within about 20 feet. With a blade-wielding assailants distance and lateral movement are your friends.

    You want to break contact, move laterally (pivot) away from the center line - the axis of attack - and shoot him... repeatedly.

    At my household, we have a magic marker day. That's when we all put on old sweat shirts and pants and goggles, pretend that our magic markers are knives, and see how good we really are at our knife retention/disarm techniques. Magic marker days always teach a very important lesson - if you are in a knife fight, you WILL get cut (stabbed). How many times will depend on how well you learned your lessons.

    Here is an oldie but a goodie:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js0haocH4-o
    Of course, that guy wielding the knife is Dan Inosanto - the father of Filipino Martial Arts in the United States and training buddy of Bruce Lee.

    Note in the footage that the one officer who did the best in the study is the one who pivoted and moved off the line of attack.
    , @peterAUS
    Better than empty hand but....if the guy with the knife is really committed you really have to be very good with that stick, footwork in particular.
    Big topic.

    Anyway, try it: get the proper protective gear, you with soft baton and your training partner with rubber knife.
    See what happens.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    Wouldn't be better and easier for you to satisfy your instinct of sleeping with as many women as you like and warrior ethos you believe is built in you, if you become openly a Muslim and jihadi? Muslim warriors were permitted to sleep with all women they captured.
    The classical societies (Greek-Roman) were largely monogamous, centuries before Christ and as frowning at porneia/fornication/prostitution (and homosexuality) as the Christians.
    BTW, the classical societies were not 'pagan'. They were urban, civilized societies. 'Paganus' designed the 'peasants', uncouth, boorish, uneducated and incapable of controlling their impulses (the sign of a civilized man).

    The Theban Sacred Band might disagree about homosexuality.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    They might have. Not the Roman Law.
    'Lex Scantinia de nefanda venere' (cca 149 BC), initially incurring heavy fines, but later the capital punishment. Very much used by the 'tyrant Domitian', supposed persecutor of Christianity.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @SpeakerForTheDead
    I am against Pride Parades.

    Islam makes up for 'sluts' in other ways - namely polygamy and the ability to take multiple wives. This satisfies a man's instinct to sleep with many women. After all, monogamy is unnatural and was a byproduct of Christian repression of sexuality.

    This was the exact opposite of the way things were done in classical (pagan) society or before the dawn of civilization in hunter-gatherer tribes.

    Paganism will return a warrior ethos to nations (as they have a built in) adherence to masculinity that will prevent muslim encroachment.

    Wouldn’t be better and easier for you to satisfy your instinct of sleeping with as many women as you like and warrior ethos you believe is built in you, if you become openly a Muslim and jihadi? Muslim warriors were permitted to sleep with all women they captured.
    The classical societies (Greek-Roman) were largely monogamous, centuries before Christ and as frowning at porneia/fornication/prostitution (and homosexuality) as the Christians.
    BTW, the classical societies were not ‘pagan’. They were urban, civilized societies. ‘Paganus’ designed the ‘peasants’, uncouth, boorish, uneducated and incapable of controlling their impulses (the sign of a civilized man).

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    The Theban Sacred Band might disagree about homosexuality.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Twinkie

    I imagine your kids to be slightly Asian versions of this little guy
     
    Ha, not quite.

    First of all, my kids are half-Asian (my wife is white, and was an internationally-ranked athlete in college). And they have pretty good athletic genes from both parents. Grandparents, too. On my side, one grandfather was a folk wrestling champion, the other grandfather boxed in college. My own father was on the boxing team at the naval academy of my country of birth (some of my earliest memories are of my father and one grandpa watching boxing together and analyzing the bouts with excitement - they'd start doing head movements and punching movements as they watched and commentated). On my wife's side, one grandparent was a local swimming star and another was a semi-pro athlete (company-sponsored, back when women had no professional athletics).

    So, all my kids are very good athletes. My eldest son has had washboard abs and excellent core strength since he was about seven.

    Also, the integrated self-defense system I teach my children is very grappling-centric early on and then later blade-centric. My sons do competitive Judo and Brazilian Jujutsu, and I do teach striking to them (combo of boxing, Muay Thai, and Shotokan Karate), but with the girls, it's mostly teaching them "Get off me!" skills to create opportunities for escape. But, before all that, I teach A LOT about avoid-evade-escape. No amount of fighting skills can make up for lack of good situational awareness and sound judgment.

    Lastly, I don't like children training in striking early on, because little bodies - especially little craniums - are not as good as adults at taking percussive damage. To the extent that I teach sparring in striking to my children, mostly it is geared toward teaching them correct footwork to put themselves on dominant angles as well as proper timing and distance management - what the Japanese call "Maai" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maai). This is crucial for both grappling and striking, or indeed any type of fighting. Meanwhile, children naturally love to roll around and wrestle with each other, so grappling (Judo, BJJ, wrestling) is a natural fit.

    I usually start at around age 3-5 with fundamentals (correct stances and body postures, balancing, basing out properly, weight distribution, and, of course, Ukemi - the art of falling safely, which everyone does for 15-20 minutes a day at my house) through games. For example, I'll put a kid on my belly and try to shake him around a bit, and he has to balance himself, and base out properly with his hands and feet. Or I put a kid on my back, and have her hold me in "seatbelt" position with hooks (legs) in, and has to hold on while I play the bucking bronco.

    At age 5-7, I start formalized training (Judo first, then BJJ once they get comfortable throwing and taking falls) and after a couple of years, I start adding complementary skills (striking from dominant grappling positions such as mount, side mount, knee on belly, and back mount).

    I usually save blade and impact weapon training until around 10, depending on the maturity level of the kid (for one daughter, that will be VERY late as she is a bumbler). My eldest was EXTREMELY careful since he was a toddler, so he started earlier (as he did with firearms). He mastered his Sinawali (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSRaYx2Y5CI&t) pretty quickly and can be quite handy with his flipper pocket knife. In grappling he's getting quite tricky with his Yagura-Nage and catches me with it once in a while. You don't want to mess with him! :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHnw4uhdP04

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V36IKNVXoYA

    Wow – good stuff – you’re raising serious fighters. Hopeully they’ll take after you and perpetuate it in their kids as well.

    Thanks for the tips. And I agree, young boys naturally like wrestling. I never get in the way of that. My youngest wants to start BJJ now also, so I’m happy about that.

    I’m satisfied with them having a good base with which to defend themselves – I don’t expect them to get into fights with professional fighters, but know enough to hold their own against your normal-to-bigger guy. My eldest son wanted to go into MMA competition, and we squashed that pretty quick!

    Some of the stuff PeterUS mentioned is also helpful.

    Hope you and your kids never have to use those skills, but if they do, it’s for a good cause – defending themselves or someone else.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    This is not my area of expertise AT ALL, but have you also considered some form of singlestick training? If confronted by a guy with a knife it's probably best to keep him at arm's reach if possible, and since I for one often find myself carrying sticks, canes, umbrellas and so on in my daily life I have considered that sort of thing occasionally.
    , @Twinkie

    Hope you and your kids never have to use those skills, but if they do, it’s for a good cause – defending themselves or someone else.
     
    Being a good sportsman and an honorable combatant is HIGHLY encouraged in my household. For example, we celebrated Mukai Shoichiro's conduct after he won the under 90kg gold at the Paris Judo Grand Slam last month:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nRhUsD1vy0
    (On the other hand, we didn't care for the distasteful celebration of the black female Judoka at the end of the footage.)

    The two mottos of Judo are maximum efficiency and mutual benefit, and I have taught my children these values. However, I also have inculcated a "killer instinct" in defense of what we all cherish - God, country, community, and family.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sparkon
    Yes, well, computerized machines are faster than any Jew, more precise than any Christian, more regular than any Muslim, and more indefatigable than any atheist, but still I don't see AI coming up with anything entirely original, like any agnostic.

    I’ve been speculating lately about Sir Penrose’ idea about the quantum brain, especially since there is evidence that the human(and bird, for that matter) brain is oddly capable for its size. There’s also some research that indicates that unusual particles may be in play, so organic wetware might yet retain mysterious qualities of capability that will be beyond us for awhile.

    Its interesting, at any rate. Something to do on the weekends.

    In reference:

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-spin-on-the-quantum-brain-20161102/

    Possible photon interactions detected by Wuhan University:

    https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/47099/title/Do-Brighter-Species–Brains-Emit-Redder-Light-/

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    We need to have something anti-Semitic in the comments, so we will exceed 1000 comments.

    Yes, well, computerized machines are faster than any Jew, more precise than any Christian, more regular than any Muslim, and more indefatigable than any atheist, but still I don’t see AI coming up with anything entirely original, like any agnostic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I've been speculating lately about Sir Penrose' idea about the quantum brain, especially since there is evidence that the human(and bird, for that matter) brain is oddly capable for its size. There's also some research that indicates that unusual particles may be in play, so organic wetware might yet retain mysterious qualities of capability that will be beyond us for awhile.

    Its interesting, at any rate. Something to do on the weekends.

    In reference:
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-spin-on-the-quantum-brain-20161102/

    Possible photon interactions detected by Wuhan University:
    https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/47099/title/Do-Brighter-Species--Brains-Emit-Redder-Light-/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • We need to have something anti-Semitic in the comments, so we will exceed 1000 comments.

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    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    Yes, well, computerized machines are faster than any Jew, more precise than any Christian, more regular than any Muslim, and more indefatigable than any atheist, but still I don't see AI coming up with anything entirely original, like any agnostic.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sparkon
    I think an interesting variant on the standard game of chess would be to rearrange the back row randomly at the start of the game. The start positions of the rooks, knights, bishops, king and queen could be jumbled in the same way for both white and black, or differently for both sides.

    Now opening book is thrown out, and both sides have to play by their wits, and not by rote memorization.

    I'd like to see how one of the touted AI chess players would do against a human chess master in this variant on the standard game.

    ps. I can't tell if recent comments here have been published, or not, because the comment totals (front page UR and atop this article) don't agree with the number of comments I can see, so I don't know if that's a feature, or a bug.

    I believe that is a Fisher variation of the game. I think it would indeed be an interesting challenge, but for what it is worth, something like that has been attempted and an AI eventually was able to overcome it:

    In 2015, the challenge was won decisively by the computer (Sharp by David Wu), with top players agreeing that computers had become better at the game than humans.[1] As it was a prerequisite for the prize to be awarded, Wu published a paper describing the algorithm and most of ICGA Journal Issue 38/1 was dedicated to this topic.[2] The algorithm combined traditional alpha–beta pruning (changing sides every 4 ply) with heuristic functions manually written while analysing human expert games

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

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  • @Sparkon
    I read that article about Stanford's helicopters, but I still don't see AI.

    The trick is the helicopters "learn" to execute difficult aerobatic maneuvers by copying the flight paths established by a human expert while flying a model helicopter, so there is not really much AI to tout with the superficially impressive helicopter flying. The AI hasn't learned anything beyond copying from a human expert. Again, the AI is essentially a look-up table of acceptably safe and/or doable flight profiles and paths to keep the helicopter from crashing.

    Train tracks in the sky.

    This is pretty much the same pattern of development that occurred (in Hollywood) with character animation, where early cartoonists found they could not draw from scratch realistic human motion, and instead had to resort to the expediency of filming stand-in actors/doubles/stunt men with markers on body, joints and limbs, and then tracing over this action to make stick figures, that could then be used as templates to draw realistic motion. The same thing has happened with PC games, and also with the new, completely digitized "fake people" which now can incorporate real-time digital face morphing, as well.



    All it takes is a single selfie.

    From that static image, an algorithm can quickly create a moving, lifelike avatar: a video not recorded, but fabricated from whole cloth by software.
    [...]
    The technology is a triumph of computer science that highlights the gains researchers have made in deep neural networks, complex algorithms that loosely mimic the thinking of the human brain.

    Similar breakthroughs in artificial intelligence allowed University of Washington researchers to move President Obama's mouth to match a made-up script...
    [...]
    Now imagine a phony video of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un announcing a missile strike. The White House would have mere minutes to determine whether the clip was genuine and whether it warranted a retaliatory strike.

    What about video of a presidential candidate admitting to taking foreign cash? Even if the footage proved fake, the damage could prove irreversible.

    In some corners of the internet, people are using open-source software to swap celebrities' faces into pornographic videos, a phenomenon called Deep Fakes.

     

    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-fake-videos-20180219-story.html

    Obviously, there is a lot of dangerous potential for abuse with this technology, but I'd still hesitate to call it artificial intelligence.

    Microsoft recently announced the development of the latest sequel in the very popular real time strategy (RTS) game Age of Empires 4. RTS games are more interesting than chess, in my view, because theoretically at least, there is no book to memorize, and a player should be able to match wits with the game's AI. Earlier incarnations of the game did not have a very smart AI, so I'm eager to see how AoE IV will play when it is introduced possibly before the holiday season later this year.

    I think an interesting variant on the standard game of chess would be to rearrange the back row randomly at the start of the game. The start positions of the rooks, knights, bishops, king and queen could be jumbled in the same way for both white and black, or differently for both sides.

    Now opening book is thrown out, and both sides have to play by their wits, and not by rote memorization.

    I’d like to see how one of the touted AI chess players would do against a human chess master in this variant on the standard game.

    ps. I can’t tell if recent comments here have been published, or not, because the comment totals (front page UR and atop this article) don’t agree with the number of comments I can see, so I don’t know if that’s a feature, or a bug.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I believe that is a Fisher variation of the game. I think it would indeed be an interesting challenge, but for what it is worth, something like that has been attempted and an AI eventually was able to overcome it:

    In 2015, the challenge was won decisively by the computer (Sharp by David Wu), with top players agreeing that computers had become better at the game than humans.[1] As it was a prerequisite for the prize to be awarded, Wu published a paper describing the algorithm and most of ICGA Journal Issue 38/1 was dedicated to this topic.[2] The algorithm combined traditional alpha–beta pruning (changing sides every 4 ply) with heuristic functions manually written while analysing human expert games

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arimaa
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon
    Many do not want to accept that reality and still blaming Asia cheap labour for taking their once "fat" pay job away.

    If Apple didn't approached China glass factory, someone will before Apple follow the same path, either way, its still done in China.

    In this comment, i tried to summarize up my work experience with US, Europeans, Japan, Korea, Asia & China how they modeled their technology innovation & investment path, and their threshold in innovation & technical talents.
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russias-technological-backwardness/#comment-2249669

    US capitalism work in a model where individual profits come first. So they compete in single entity and hollow out entire manufacturing chain beyond redemption. The huge latent loses of their country and damage to its social fabrics don't bother these capitalists, and office holders avoid interfering due to stigma of democracy & free market.

    Trumps understands this problem as a capitalist himself, but its too late(or too gigantic task) and capitalist won't let him succeed in screwing up their bottom lines.

    China, in traditional Chinese value, national interest come above individual. Businesses that benefit national development will be groomed and well supported to grow, like Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei...but when they have grown sufficiently, China leaders will incorporate them into country development.

    When Apple/foxconn & Xioami wanted to move their factories to India for market access, China put up obstacle until they work out some compromise. Once Apple & Samsung stop producing in China, their free access to market will stop.

    Of course most countries did that too, including US & EU. But China is much more well coordinated with a crystal clear national goal, and their centralized gov has more power to control all resources & private entities.

    There are no Western BS to hinder their gov to pursue for national interest. Anyone publicly opposing like those Top CEOs in US done towards Trumps will see their business vapourize, their fortune gone.

    Where does US goes is a 21Trillions question. It depends on a single man, next Potus. As Jobs said, US is a great country. It can turn around if there are wise policies, or it just keep accelerate down to become another shit hole when China development completed innovation phase by 2040.

    Then the Dragon has truly awaken, starting its path towards complete unchallenged dominant with its 5000yrs civilization soft power.

    Petrol Yuan is one most critical factor, depends how China leaders wanted to play it, as collapsing their largest US market hence a global havoc is not in their interest, so China most likely prefer a soft landing for US and subtly replace Petrol Dollar position over a long period. So US won't become another Philippine or india for sure, more like a larger Japan, with China as the benevolent Emperor usher in a new era of multi polar world.

    China, in traditional Chinese value, national interest come above individual. Businesses that benefit national development will be groomed and well supported to grow, like Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei…but when they have grown sufficiently, China leaders will incorporate them into country development.

    When Apple/foxconn & Xioami wanted to move their factories to India for market access, China put up obstacle until they work out some compromise. Once Apple & Samsung stop producing in China, their free access to market will stop.

    Yes, that’s a Party talking point but its not really like the companies just get told what to do, and obey. Compromise, maybe. If one was to say that Chinese businesses are relatively more “patriotic”, then I wouldn’t argue. But it goes both ways, and to name a few examples:

    1) Chinese companies increasingly outsource low-margin work to countries such as Vietnam, Mexico or to Africa. Global Times, which is a good gauge of the Party’s opinion shows their effort with this:

    China will offer preferential policies to encourage manufacturers to move from the southeast of the country to inland areas, in an attempt to slow an exodus of factories from areas like Guangdong, where labor and other costs have risen sharply, to cheaper countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

    But to little result. Manufacturers complained about the “lack of skilled workers” in interior provinces and continued to outsource, and the fact that the Party was basically attempting to bribe businesses into staying puts a damper on any grand notion of companies sacrificing for national unity.

    2) The Party does have cells in every single major company, but as Richard McGregor noted, you don’t live in the belly of the monster without becoming part of it, if you wish to put it like that. Cell members often turn into lobbyists for company interests.

    3) Rather than simply overriding the tech tycoons, they’ve been absorbed into the Party. This means that their opinions now hold significant weight, and as the article notes, they’ve already gotten a lot of what they wanted.

    So do they serve the interest of the country and people? Well, sure. Certainly more than in the US.

    But in this act of “inclusion and subversion” that the Party does, this also means that like basically anywhere else, at least in some ways, the country now acts in the interest of the companies. And they have to, so as long as technology is as much of the platform of the nation, because at the end of the day, all relevant innovation really does seem to come from the major companies. The face recognition technology doesn’t come from a secret government lab, for example, it comes from startups.

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  • @Daniel Chieh

    Paganism will return a warrior ethos to nations (as they have a built in) adherence to masculinity that will prevent muslim encroachment.

     

    Well, Immortan Joe agrees but I am not sure that modern warfare can afford that kind of casualty rates anymore. WW1, in my opinion, was an example of the results of using pre-modern ethos to fight in a war with modern weapons. It was not pretty.

    The real question is, will neo-paganism restore birth rates or not? You need young males if you plan on fighting for anything – that is unless you plan on turning the females into males to double the numbers. I guess that is going on nowadays. But then they won’t be available to produce new babies!!! Crap – what a conundrum!

    Peace.

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  • @SpeakerForTheDead
    I am against Pride Parades.

    Islam makes up for 'sluts' in other ways - namely polygamy and the ability to take multiple wives. This satisfies a man's instinct to sleep with many women. After all, monogamy is unnatural and was a byproduct of Christian repression of sexuality.

    This was the exact opposite of the way things were done in classical (pagan) society or before the dawn of civilization in hunter-gatherer tribes.

    Paganism will return a warrior ethos to nations (as they have a built in) adherence to masculinity that will prevent muslim encroachment.

    Paganism will return a warrior ethos to nations (as they have a built in) adherence to masculinity that will prevent muslim encroachment.

    Well, Immortan Joe agrees but I am not sure that modern warfare can afford that kind of casualty rates anymore. WW1, in my opinion, was an example of the results of using pre-modern ethos to fight in a war with modern weapons. It was not pretty.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    The real question is, will neo-paganism restore birth rates or not? You need young males if you plan on fighting for anything - that is unless you plan on turning the females into males to double the numbers. I guess that is going on nowadays. But then they won’t be available to produce new babies!!! Crap - what a conundrum!

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sparkon
    I read that article about Stanford's helicopters, but I still don't see AI.

    The trick is the helicopters "learn" to execute difficult aerobatic maneuvers by copying the flight paths established by a human expert while flying a model helicopter, so there is not really much AI to tout with the superficially impressive helicopter flying. The AI hasn't learned anything beyond copying from a human expert. Again, the AI is essentially a look-up table of acceptably safe and/or doable flight profiles and paths to keep the helicopter from crashing.

    Train tracks in the sky.

    This is pretty much the same pattern of development that occurred (in Hollywood) with character animation, where early cartoonists found they could not draw from scratch realistic human motion, and instead had to resort to the expediency of filming stand-in actors/doubles/stunt men with markers on body, joints and limbs, and then tracing over this action to make stick figures, that could then be used as templates to draw realistic motion. The same thing has happened with PC games, and also with the new, completely digitized "fake people" which now can incorporate real-time digital face morphing, as well.



    All it takes is a single selfie.

    From that static image, an algorithm can quickly create a moving, lifelike avatar: a video not recorded, but fabricated from whole cloth by software.
    [...]
    The technology is a triumph of computer science that highlights the gains researchers have made in deep neural networks, complex algorithms that loosely mimic the thinking of the human brain.

    Similar breakthroughs in artificial intelligence allowed University of Washington researchers to move President Obama's mouth to match a made-up script...
    [...]
    Now imagine a phony video of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un announcing a missile strike. The White House would have mere minutes to determine whether the clip was genuine and whether it warranted a retaliatory strike.

    What about video of a presidential candidate admitting to taking foreign cash? Even if the footage proved fake, the damage could prove irreversible.

    In some corners of the internet, people are using open-source software to swap celebrities' faces into pornographic videos, a phenomenon called Deep Fakes.

     

    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-fake-videos-20180219-story.html

    Obviously, there is a lot of dangerous potential for abuse with this technology, but I'd still hesitate to call it artificial intelligence.

    Microsoft recently announced the development of the latest sequel in the very popular real time strategy (RTS) game Age of Empires 4. RTS games are more interesting than chess, in my view, because theoretically at least, there is no book to memorize, and a player should be able to match wits with the game's AI. Earlier incarnations of the game did not have a very smart AI, so I'm eager to see how AoE IV will play when it is introduced possibly before the holiday season later this year.

    I highlight this:

    But the learning algorithms created by Ng’s team were able to discern the ideal trajectory the pilot was seeking. Thus the autonomous helicopter learned to fly the routine better—and more consistently—than Oku himself.

    So yes, the AI is using the “forklift for weight lifting” method; it learns from Oku on what is acceptable and desired given windspeed, heading, direction, etc. However, it eventually executes better than the human as it is not merely copying his movements but attempting to crudely copy his “thinking” as to “what to do, given the situation.” So it creates that lookup table dynamically, with the specification of “do not crash.”

    Thus, machine learning. Its learning from the situation, its not just mimicking him(as noted, if it was just mimicking, it would crash the moment that something natural but unexpected happened, such as a sudden gust of wind).

    It actually “learns” the basics of flight, in its own fashion:

    We also found that a side benefit of being able to automatically learn new controllers quickly and with very little human effort is that it becomes significantly easier to rapidly reconfigure the helicopter for different flight applications. For example, we frequently change the helicopter’s configuration (such as replacing the tail rotor assembly with a new, improved one)
    or payload (such as mounting or removing sensor payloads, additional computers, etc.). These modifications significantly change the dynamics of the helicopter, by affecting its mass, center of gravity, and responses to the controls. But by using our existing learning software, it has proved generally quite easy to quickly design a new controller for the helicopter after each time it is reconfigured.

    The video game example is the well-known Stratego weakness of computational intelligence – AI is extremely bad at handling unknown or novel information, due to the lack of “common sense” as I noted before. Its so bad that a common solution is to basically tell the AI to behave completely randomly, because that actually functions better than attempting to solve the problem.

    There is in fact, some formal approaches at that, such as DOTA AI and in that sense, the GO AI. I’m not as familiar with either(I’ve been out of the field for a few years), but I understand that they actually make some attempt to quantify the unknown. Evidently they attempt to hype some things:

    http://www.wildml.com/2017/08/hype-or-not-some-perspective-on-openais-dota-2-bot/

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  • @Twinkie

    And, again, a very important part of that training has to be about the setup.
     
    What you call "setup" in your reply are actually four separate things.

    First is situational awareness, seeing the environment and actors (possible combatants in it) and estimating one's position in relation to them. In other words, it's the "observe" and "orient" parts in John Boyd's OODA loop.

    Second is judgment - quickly evaluating the former and making decisions on how to react, the "decide" part of the OODA loop (prior to the last part, "act").

    Third is "Maai" - the Japanese term for timing and distance management (putting oneself in a specific time-distance away from one's opponent and controlling him with proper management of that time-space, to avoid his attacks and set him up for yours).

    The last type of "setup" is in a more technical sense (after OOD parts have been done) - a series of motions to induce your opponent to "fall into" your aggressive actions. Some examples are Kuzushi in Judo (balance-breaking), without which throws either fail or are countered easily:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luK9Eklbn78

    Or pivoting to set up a check hook in boxing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFdb3kxOozM
    (Actually, you can set up a check hook with not just a simple pivot, but with a jab or a feint, for example, to draw a counter, and then pivot and punch - setups can get complicated at higher skill levels, because there are rarely easy gimmes with trained fighters):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sYY3x1nkP8&t

    Or the Muay Thai low (or fake low) kick to induce the opponent to drop his hands to score a head kick:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TugMfLhkpLc

    Watch a Thai kid execute a perfect KO with a kick to the body followed by a head kick (although the ref blocks the view, you can tell easily that after that stinging body kick, the opponent reacted by dropping his hands/elbow to block the next body kick and eats a head kick):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpxVQ-S_XIM&feature=youtu.be&t=1m57s

    I’d add just a little bit of Western boxing there too. Just a simple, but perfect “one-two”, especially the two.
     
    You can actually "beat up" 90-95% of guys if you practice a few basic fight techniques, drill them a lot, and use them in sparring. Jab, straight, pivot, left check hook (or even simpler, jab, slip left, right hook); low/fake low-high kick; a few basic takedowns (double-leg, hip throw, and outer leg reap/O-Soto-Gari). Most men have no fight training and are liable to throw winding arm punches with their chins up in the air or bum rush into clinch and try to headlock. Or if you just know a good jab and/or good front/side kick to the knee, you can pretty much keep most guys at bay (and from hurting you).

    The reason you learn lots of complicated striking and grappling techniques, including the tricky setups, is to beat the remainder of the 5-10% guys who have real fighting skills.

    You appear to be fully “into” the subject matter and the replies are well put together.
    I’ll try to comment.

    What you call “setup” in your reply are actually four separate things.

    That is one way to put it.
    My approach, well, isn’t mine at all. It’s taken from a couple of British guys who are professionals there and wrote/spoke a lot about it. Geoff Thompson in particular, and he explained it much better than I could in his books/videos. I’ve found “The Fence”and “Three Second Fighter: The Sniper Option” the best and the most applicable.
    There are plenty of fine points and nuances there to understand and, of course more important, to practice until perfect.

    I can’t say I’d agree with you re “check hook”, “pivot” and such; those are really advanced techniques for an average person and time and energy one is willing to put into the subject.

    I believe in

    You can actually “beat up” 90-95% of guys if you practice a few basic fight techniques, drill them a lot, and use them in sparring.

    and

    Jab, straight

    or better, weak hand-right cross/overhand/hook on the jaw. Sometimes even a good headbutt on the nose. Timing and accuracy crucial there.

    Bottom line, I strongly believe in “pre-emptive” striking as, again well explained in Geoff’s books (and he is British, taking into account really restrictive UK laws).

    The key elements are, again: awareness, pre-fight management (avoidance, control, escalation) and that is crucial part of the all that, and then pre-emptive striking.
    All well wrapped up in awareness of a legal process. An average male can do all that.

    If the incident goes beyond that, which is possible, then all that “fighting” capability comes into play. Attributes, skills, endurance, will etc.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I can’t say I’d agree with you re “check hook”, “pivot” and such; those are really advanced techniques for an average person and time and energy one is willing to put into the subject.
     
    On the contrary, pivoting (or shifting sideways) is one of the most crucial and fundamental footwork that is taught for just about every fighting art, be it Kendo (Japanese bamboo sword fighting), Judo, Karate, boxing, you name it. Even gun fights. In Japanese martial arts, it's called Tai Sabaki (and I refer, specifically, to Tenshin, the 45-90 degree pivot).

    See my last comment with the footage of Dan Inosanto simulating a knife attack against police officers. Lateral movement is a lifesaver. Especially when surprise-attacked, most will retreat backward in a straight line and often fall. Very, very, very, very bad. Retreating backward in a straight line is a common human instinct, but one that will get you killed, because the aggressor can run forward in a straight line faster than you can run backwards. It also puts your balance backward and makes your body very easy to fall.

    No matter what kind of fighting (empty hand, knife, stick, gun, etc.), you want to move OFF the axis of attack. Pivoting or side shifting puts you in the DOMINANT ANGLE and allows you to hit the opponent from the side while his moves forward. A great example from MMA:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQr950AhbRE
    Look at starting 0:19 mark and the follow-up slow motion (Lyoto Machida side shifts and counters Thiago Silva beautifully - classic Shotokan Karate technique).

    And of course, the boxing check hook is based on the same exact principle.

    By the way, the same underlying geometric principle is why learning to navigate corners is a fundamental house-clearing skill in gun fights/small unit tactics. T intersections and corners naturally create the dominant angle for the OPFOR/red team that is lying in wait to ambush you. It is also one of the FIRST things I taught my wife in home defense tactics - grab the shotgun, collect the kids, retreat to the safe room if possible; if not, retreat to the master bedroom, barricade the door, and - DON'T FACE THE DOOR STRAIGHT ON - instead ready to repel intruders into the room from the side - 90 degree angle to the face of the door.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    But don't you follow it right now with all your public wanking 'pride parades'? And when you will get rid of Christianity you will have the Muslims buggering you to your ass content, you 'man' (white, I suppose).

    I am against Pride Parades.

    Islam makes up for ‘sluts’ in other ways – namely polygamy and the ability to take multiple wives. This satisfies a man’s instinct to sleep with many women. After all, monogamy is unnatural and was a byproduct of Christian repression of sexuality.

    This was the exact opposite of the way things were done in classical (pagan) society or before the dawn of civilization in hunter-gatherer tribes.

    Paganism will return a warrior ethos to nations (as they have a built in) adherence to masculinity that will prevent muslim encroachment.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Paganism will return a warrior ethos to nations (as they have a built in) adherence to masculinity that will prevent muslim encroachment.

     

    Well, Immortan Joe agrees but I am not sure that modern warfare can afford that kind of casualty rates anymore. WW1, in my opinion, was an example of the results of using pre-modern ethos to fight in a war with modern weapons. It was not pretty.
    , @Seraphim
    Wouldn't be better and easier for you to satisfy your instinct of sleeping with as many women as you like and warrior ethos you believe is built in you, if you become openly a Muslim and jihadi? Muslim warriors were permitted to sleep with all women they captured.
    The classical societies (Greek-Roman) were largely monogamous, centuries before Christ and as frowning at porneia/fornication/prostitution (and homosexuality) as the Christians.
    BTW, the classical societies were not 'pagan'. They were urban, civilized societies. 'Paganus' designed the 'peasants', uncouth, boorish, uneducated and incapable of controlling their impulses (the sign of a civilized man).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Miro23

    Petrol Yuan is one most critical factor, depends how China leaders wanted to play it, as collapsing their largest US market hence a global havoc is not in their interest, so China most likely prefer a soft landing for US and subtly replace Petrol Dollar position over a long period.
     
    This is probably right. History shows that the US$ eased the Pound Sterling out of its reserve status over decades, with growing American economic power vs. the British. Some Middle East oil balances were still held in Sterling in London as late as the early 1970's (until 25% inflation finished them off).

    In general, the next Industrial Revolution looks to be in robotics and automated production - (with the expectation that this will neutralize Asian cost advantages). The problem here is that the industrial base is already in Asia (ready to be automated) and the Chinese are adopting robotic/automated production at a far faster than any Western country (i.e. once again they are planning and putting themselves ahead).

    I can only see the US continuing on its present downward course, short of a war or a revolution - which will accelerate it. The country functions on debt, and this has about reached its limit, so other things being equal, they can choose between protecting the $ (stop issuing more debt) with one kind of decline (party with no drinks), or let the $ go, and having the other kind of decline (party with unlimited drinks - a chaotic inflationary way to find the Dollar's true international value). Either way, they're in trouble - and it was an awful national failure to allow the export of their manufacturing base for short term profits.

    The problem here is that the industrial base is already in Asia (ready to be automated) and the Chinese are adopting robotic/automated production at a far faster than any Western country (i.e. once again they are planning and putting themselves ahead).

    What is left there for Western country to automate when industrial base already hollow out? Only Germany has wisely kept all their manufacturing base, and remain the No.1 high tech export power house, with double export amount of Japan. But Merkel insane immigration policy will ruin Germany.

    Automation of the West will likely worsen existing jobless & social problems. As a friend explained to me why US min wages can’t be raise anymore, because it has already reached a threshold near to trigger a big round of automation, including all fast food & Walmart jobs.

    Whereas China has the largest industrial base & market to justify all the huge investments in automation & A. I. , as the return profits will feed new investment for next better automation to keep its export competitive, increasing nation purchasing power, a upward cycle.

    US for sure will decline, but Petrol Yuan will decide its rate. When USD cease to be the trading currency, its the day of total collapse. Everyone will dump dollar, capital will flee. How much unaccounted dollars US has printed beside current QE program is unknown, until they start flowing back to trigger hyper inflation.

    Its doubtful reserved gold quality & amount will accelerate any crisis. Debts is still spiraling up with no end. And Pentagon has just been caught with another unaccounted 21T expenditure recently, after last 5T announced before 911.

    China & the world won’t prop up US once they can be free from dollar. Such unsustainable debt driven economy might take a very short time to collapse spectacularly like WTC once get trigger.

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  • @Daniel Chieh
    Should add - yes, AI essentially lives off statistics and patterns, but arguably, so do biological systems:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/files/2009/12/xu21.jpg

    You can see synapses grow which serve to store information after training. This isn't the whole of how information is stored in biological memory systems, but its at least part of it. So in a way, both natural and artificial intelligence already share some similarities. I do think that biological systems are much more complex and permit much more emergent behavior to be possible(and far, far, far more energy efficient, given that emulating a flatworm currently is living on supercomputers). But its, I suppose, a relative rather than fundamental difference.

    I read that article about Stanford’s helicopters, but I still don’t see AI.

    The trick is the helicopters “learn” to execute difficult aerobatic maneuvers by copying the flight paths established by a human expert while flying a model helicopter, so there is not really much AI to tout with the superficially impressive helicopter flying. The AI hasn’t learned anything beyond copying from a human expert. Again, the AI is essentially a look-up table of acceptably safe and/or doable flight profiles and paths to keep the helicopter from crashing.

    Train tracks in the sky.

    This is pretty much the same pattern of development that occurred (in Hollywood) with character animation, where early cartoonists found they could not draw from scratch realistic human motion, and instead had to resort to the expediency of filming stand-in actors/doubles/stunt men with markers on body, joints and limbs, and then tracing over this action to make stick figures, that could then be used as templates to draw realistic motion. The same thing has happened with PC games, and also with the new, completely digitized “fake people” which now can incorporate real-time digital face morphing, as well.

    All it takes is a single selfie.

    From that static image, an algorithm can quickly create a moving, lifelike avatar: a video not recorded, but fabricated from whole cloth by software.
    [...]
    The technology is a triumph of computer science that highlights the gains researchers have made in deep neural networks, complex algorithms that loosely mimic the thinking of the human brain.

    Similar breakthroughs in artificial intelligence allowed University of Washington researchers to move President Obama’s mouth to match a made-up script…
    [...]
    Now imagine a phony video of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un announcing a missile strike. The White House would have mere minutes to determine whether the clip was genuine and whether it warranted a retaliatory strike.

    What about video of a presidential candidate admitting to taking foreign cash? Even if the footage proved fake, the damage could prove irreversible.

    In some corners of the internet, people are using open-source software to swap celebrities’ faces into pornographic videos, a phenomenon called Deep Fakes.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-fake-videos-20180219-story.html

    Obviously, there is a lot of dangerous potential for abuse with this technology, but I’d still hesitate to call it artificial intelligence.

    Microsoft recently announced the development of the latest sequel in the very popular real time strategy (RTS) game Age of Empires 4. RTS games are more interesting than chess, in my view, because theoretically at least, there is no book to memorize, and a player should be able to match wits with the game’s AI. Earlier incarnations of the game did not have a very smart AI, so I’m eager to see how AoE IV will play when it is introduced possibly before the holiday season later this year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I highlight this:


    But the learning algorithms created by Ng's team were able to discern the ideal trajectory the pilot was seeking. Thus the autonomous helicopter learned to fly the routine better—and more consistently—than Oku himself.

     

    So yes, the AI is using the "forklift for weight lifting" method; it learns from Oku on what is acceptable and desired given windspeed, heading, direction, etc. However, it eventually executes better than the human as it is not merely copying his movements but attempting to crudely copy his "thinking" as to "what to do, given the situation." So it creates that lookup table dynamically, with the specification of "do not crash."

    Thus, machine learning. Its learning from the situation, its not just mimicking him(as noted, if it was just mimicking, it would crash the moment that something natural but unexpected happened, such as a sudden gust of wind).

    It actually "learns" the basics of flight, in its own fashion:

    We also found that a side benefit of being able to automatically learn new controllers quickly and with very little human effort is that it becomes significantly easier to rapidly reconfigure the helicopter for different flight applications. For example, we frequently change the helicopter’s configuration (such as replacing the tail rotor assembly with a new, improved one)
    or payload (such as mounting or removing sensor payloads, additional computers, etc.). These modifications significantly change the dynamics of the helicopter, by affecting its mass, center of gravity, and responses to the controls. But by using our existing learning software, it has proved generally quite easy to quickly design a new controller for the helicopter after each time it is reconfigured.
     
    The video game example is the well-known Stratego weakness of computational intelligence - AI is extremely bad at handling unknown or novel information, due to the lack of "common sense" as I noted before. Its so bad that a common solution is to basically tell the AI to behave completely randomly, because that actually functions better than attempting to solve the problem.

    There is in fact, some formal approaches at that, such as DOTA AI and in that sense, the GO AI. I'm not as familiar with either(I've been out of the field for a few years), but I understand that they actually make some attempt to quantify the unknown. Evidently they attempt to hype some things:

    http://www.wildml.com/2017/08/hype-or-not-some-perspective-on-openais-dota-2-bot/
    , @Sparkon
    I think an interesting variant on the standard game of chess would be to rearrange the back row randomly at the start of the game. The start positions of the rooks, knights, bishops, king and queen could be jumbled in the same way for both white and black, or differently for both sides.

    Now opening book is thrown out, and both sides have to play by their wits, and not by rote memorization.

    I'd like to see how one of the touted AI chess players would do against a human chess master in this variant on the standard game.

    ps. I can't tell if recent comments here have been published, or not, because the comment totals (front page UR and atop this article) don't agree with the number of comments I can see, so I don't know if that's a feature, or a bug.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Miro23

    Petrol Yuan is one most critical factor, depends how China leaders wanted to play it, as collapsing their largest US market hence a global havoc is not in their interest, so China most likely prefer a soft landing for US and subtly replace Petrol Dollar position over a long period.
     
    This is probably right. History shows that the US$ eased the Pound Sterling out of its reserve status over decades, with growing American economic power vs. the British. Some Middle East oil balances were still held in Sterling in London as late as the early 1970's (until 25% inflation finished them off).

    In general, the next Industrial Revolution looks to be in robotics and automated production - (with the expectation that this will neutralize Asian cost advantages). The problem here is that the industrial base is already in Asia (ready to be automated) and the Chinese are adopting robotic/automated production at a far faster than any Western country (i.e. once again they are planning and putting themselves ahead).

    I can only see the US continuing on its present downward course, short of a war or a revolution - which will accelerate it. The country functions on debt, and this has about reached its limit, so other things being equal, they can choose between protecting the $ (stop issuing more debt) with one kind of decline (party with no drinks), or let the $ go, and having the other kind of decline (party with unlimited drinks - a chaotic inflationary way to find the Dollar's true international value). Either way, they're in trouble - and it was an awful national failure to allow the export of their manufacturing base for short term profits.

    Put another way, the US has the resources to save either the country or the empire, but not both.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    You are a master at beating around the bush.
    'Hallaj’s execution was related to this fear of Christians'.
    'Christians were less worrisome since they had (generally) already been demilitarized'.
    Byzance was still there and starting to push back.
    The case of the Martyrs of Cordoba is a clear case of resistance to Islamization. Their martyrdom is simply the result of Muslim persecution. The majority were Christians, priests, monks and nuns executed for blasphemy. There are just two cases of converts under duress who recanted and other few cases of children of mixed marriages who either practiced secretly Christianity of converted to it, therefore deemed apostates. The idea that they were deliberately converting only to exhibitionistically recant publicly is preposterous. It is peddled only because the martyrs of Cordoba destroys the myth of the heaven of 'tolerance' that was Al-Andalus. Anyhow in Christianity 'martyr' does not mean 'jihadi'.

    ‘Hallaj’s execution was related to this fear of Christians’.

    Totally fine if that’s your feelz; I’m simply asking for an academic reference – shouldn’t be too hard; I brought, what, 3 or 4?

    Byzance was still there and starting to push back.

    Yes, they actually had a pretty good run gaining back territory until the Turks came on the scene in a serious way.

    The majority were Christians, priests, monks and nuns executed for blasphemy.

    Yes and no. Yes, in that most of the people were “ecclesiastical”. No, in that the charge was not blasphemy, but apostasy. Bonner makes both points clear.

    The idea that they were deliberately converting only to exhibitionistically recant publicly is preposterous.

    Take it up with Bonner and Princeton University.

    Anyhow in Christianity ‘martyr’ does not mean ‘jihadi’

    Who said it did?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Bonner places himself in the current of criticism of 'religious fundamentalism' and 'intolerance' which typically attempts to 'turn the tables' on Christians, equating their martyria - testimony for the truth of their faith in face of persecution, with the Islamic view of 'martyrdom' death in a holy war for spreading Islam, in order to placate the aggressive Muslims. The author views are quite favourable of Muslim domination and he compares it with Convivencia in Spain after the Reconquista,'which unfortunately did not demonstrate the same tolerance of Muslim authorities' (and don't wonder why you take his opinions as ultimate). Christians are the ones 'intolerant' towards Islam by opposing 'Allah and his messenger'. They put the blame on the Christians for 'tactless behavior', that they did not know their place in the Muslim society. So, these 'historians' are not afraid to twist the sources in such a way to make their point. The sources clearly indicate that the first executions were for blasphemy following denunciations by Muslims and prompted an edict of Abd ar-Rahmân II, threatening any future blasphemers with execution. The fact that the following martyrs were all from a circle formed around the monastery of Tabanos is proof enough that in fact they were suspects and sought for questioning, inquisition style (like later on the Marranos). The cases for apostasy were few. There were executions for refusing to convert to Islam.
    You should also take into consideration that the persecution encompasses the period of the first successes of the Reconquista, the development of the cult of Santiago Mattamoros (the Moor Slayer) and the foundation of the first order of Crusaders, the arch-villain ogres of Muslim victimology (you may be happy that today the nickname of Matamoros is 'politically incorrect' and barely used, for fear of hurting the feelings of the Muslim neo-invaders of Spain. Statues were removed from Santiago Matamoros emblematic churches like the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, for this reason - fortunately the act provoked such an outcry that it had to be kept in place).

    In the question of the relation of the sentencing of Al-Hallaj with suspicions of crypto-Christianity, I just suggested it as a hypothesis in the context of the Muslim-Byzantine Wars.
    You may profitably look for the classics:
    "La passion d'Al Hosayn-ibn-Mansour al-Hallaj, martyr mystique de l'Islam, exécuté à Bagdad le 26 Mars 922; étude d'histoire religieuse" of Louis Massignon
    "Byzance et les Arabes" of A.A. Vasiliev.
    You find them in English translations too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha

    Were ‘those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger’ just rebels or highway robbers?
     
    Depends on the circumstance and the school of law at play. Usually the sacred law is much more conciliatory towards political rebels - many scholars favoring reconciliation. The punishment for brigandry is more severe and the various punishments in the verse apply depending on what they have done. And rebels can act like brigands at times.

    Why was necessary to have theologians condemn Al-Hallaj if his crime was ‘revolt’ or ‘highway banditry’?
     
    Who says it was necessary? Since when did Muslim medieval sovereigns require the rulings of scholars to execute anyone for political expediency? They often executed theologians. Now it certainly did help to get an official stamp of approval to present to the public that they were following the Shariah. The theologians (and they weren't even unanimous on it) made the ruling according to their understanding of the matter. But the impetus to have Hallaj killed was due to palace intrigue and that was the charge they (a faction in the Abbasids) finally used to get a retrial - on top of the apostasy - to make sure the trial would work out the way it did:
    "Although he was protected by the caliphal faction during his imprisonment in the palace, Hallaj's support was eroded when his theory of the replacement of the hajj was represented to the caliph as, again, a Qarmati-inspired plot to abolish the pilgrimage rite...Since the chief qadi of Baghdad, the Hanafi jurist Ibn Buhlul, ultimately refused to endorse the death warrant, the trial ended under Maliki supervision...These reservations of the chief qadi of Baghdad, in addition to the support of Hallaj by Ibn Ata, himself an eminent religious scholar, reveal that Hallaj's execution could scarcely be considered as a decision by the consensus (ijma) of all jurists. Thus, both the classification of the proposition as heresy and the determination of guilt were reached hastily, under considerable political pressure. Finally a note on the barbaric manner of execution: the ordinary legal penalty for apostasy is execution by the sword, since most authorities agree that burning the apostate (as Ali is reported to have done) is a usurpation of God's punishment of the damned by fire in the next world and 'torture and cruel methods of execution are forbidden.' Medieval rulers ignored this legality."
    Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (State Univ. of New York Press)

    As I has stated:
    "The question of why and in the manner in which he was killed is not definitive because there was a lot at play. That he was crucified lends credence to the reason being political above and beyond simple apostasy."

    Wouldn’t be rather the fear of a Christian revolt and mass apostasy?
     
    There is no historical evidence of this that I have ever come across concerning what happened to Hallaj. The Abbasids were much more worried about the various Ismaili strains (for good reason - since they were a serious political force) - Christians were less worrisome since they had (generally) already been demilitarized. I've presented plenty of references outlining the impetus (and nuances) behind his execution. If you have academic sources stating that Hallaj's execution was related to this fear of Christians, I'd love to see them.

    Now there were instances of Christians signing up for public martyrdom as Michael Bonner outlines in his book, Jihad in Islamic History (another book I'd highly recommend) in the chapter on "Neo-Martyrs". It happened mostly in Iberia, but also in the Levant. Some Christians (often some scholar-level person) would convert to Islam, but then apostate in order to be martyred in hopes Muslims would follow. The Muslim judges would try to convince them otherwise, but then oblige him once it was clear he was adamant. This was fairly short lived and caused some uproars among the Christian community, but was barely on the Muslim community's radar.

    You are a master at beating around the bush.
    ‘Hallaj’s execution was related to this fear of Christians’.
    ‘Christians were less worrisome since they had (generally) already been demilitarized’.
    Byzance was still there and starting to push back.
    The case of the Martyrs of Cordoba is a clear case of resistance to Islamization. Their martyrdom is simply the result of Muslim persecution. The majority were Christians, priests, monks and nuns executed for blasphemy. There are just two cases of converts under duress who recanted and other few cases of children of mixed marriages who either practiced secretly Christianity of converted to it, therefore deemed apostates. The idea that they were deliberately converting only to exhibitionistically recant publicly is preposterous. It is peddled only because the martyrs of Cordoba destroys the myth of the heaven of ‘tolerance’ that was Al-Andalus. Anyhow in Christianity ‘martyr’ does not mean ‘jihadi’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    ‘Hallaj’s execution was related to this fear of Christians’.
     
    Totally fine if that’s your feelz; I’m simply asking for an academic reference - shouldn’t be too hard; I brought, what, 3 or 4?

    Byzance was still there and starting to push back.
     
    Yes, they actually had a pretty good run gaining back territory until the Turks came on the scene in a serious way.

    The majority were Christians, priests, monks and nuns executed for blasphemy.
     
    Yes and no. Yes, in that most of the people were “ecclesiastical”. No, in that the charge was not blasphemy, but apostasy. Bonner makes both points clear.

    The idea that they were deliberately converting only to exhibitionistically recant publicly is preposterous.
     
    Take it up with Bonner and Princeton University.

    Anyhow in Christianity ‘martyr’ does not mean ‘jihadi’
     
    Who said it did?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon
    Many do not want to accept that reality and still blaming Asia cheap labour for taking their once "fat" pay job away.

    If Apple didn't approached China glass factory, someone will before Apple follow the same path, either way, its still done in China.

    In this comment, i tried to summarize up my work experience with US, Europeans, Japan, Korea, Asia & China how they modeled their technology innovation & investment path, and their threshold in innovation & technical talents.
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russias-technological-backwardness/#comment-2249669

    US capitalism work in a model where individual profits come first. So they compete in single entity and hollow out entire manufacturing chain beyond redemption. The huge latent loses of their country and damage to its social fabrics don't bother these capitalists, and office holders avoid interfering due to stigma of democracy & free market.

    Trumps understands this problem as a capitalist himself, but its too late(or too gigantic task) and capitalist won't let him succeed in screwing up their bottom lines.

    China, in traditional Chinese value, national interest come above individual. Businesses that benefit national development will be groomed and well supported to grow, like Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei...but when they have grown sufficiently, China leaders will incorporate them into country development.

    When Apple/foxconn & Xioami wanted to move their factories to India for market access, China put up obstacle until they work out some compromise. Once Apple & Samsung stop producing in China, their free access to market will stop.

    Of course most countries did that too, including US & EU. But China is much more well coordinated with a crystal clear national goal, and their centralized gov has more power to control all resources & private entities.

    There are no Western BS to hinder their gov to pursue for national interest. Anyone publicly opposing like those Top CEOs in US done towards Trumps will see their business vapourize, their fortune gone.

    Where does US goes is a 21Trillions question. It depends on a single man, next Potus. As Jobs said, US is a great country. It can turn around if there are wise policies, or it just keep accelerate down to become another shit hole when China development completed innovation phase by 2040.

    Then the Dragon has truly awaken, starting its path towards complete unchallenged dominant with its 5000yrs civilization soft power.

    Petrol Yuan is one most critical factor, depends how China leaders wanted to play it, as collapsing their largest US market hence a global havoc is not in their interest, so China most likely prefer a soft landing for US and subtly replace Petrol Dollar position over a long period. So US won't become another Philippine or india for sure, more like a larger Japan, with China as the benevolent Emperor usher in a new era of multi polar world.

    Petrol Yuan is one most critical factor, depends how China leaders wanted to play it, as collapsing their largest US market hence a global havoc is not in their interest, so China most likely prefer a soft landing for US and subtly replace Petrol Dollar position over a long period.

    This is probably right. History shows that the US$ eased the Pound Sterling out of its reserve status over decades, with growing American economic power vs. the British. Some Middle East oil balances were still held in Sterling in London as late as the early 1970′s (until 25% inflation finished them off).

    In general, the next Industrial Revolution looks to be in robotics and automated production – (with the expectation that this will neutralize Asian cost advantages). The problem here is that the industrial base is already in Asia (ready to be automated) and the Chinese are adopting robotic/automated production at a far faster than any Western country (i.e. once again they are planning and putting themselves ahead).

    I can only see the US continuing on its present downward course, short of a war or a revolution – which will accelerate it. The country functions on debt, and this has about reached its limit, so other things being equal, they can choose between protecting the $ (stop issuing more debt) with one kind of decline (party with no drinks), or let the $ go, and having the other kind of decline (party with unlimited drinks – a chaotic inflationary way to find the Dollar’s true international value). Either way, they’re in trouble – and it was an awful national failure to allow the export of their manufacturing base for short term profits.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL
    Put another way, the US has the resources to save either the country or the empire, but not both.
    , @Anon

    The problem here is that the industrial base is already in Asia (ready to be automated) and the Chinese are adopting robotic/automated production at a far faster than any Western country (i.e. once again they are planning and putting themselves ahead).
     
    What is left there for Western country to automate when industrial base already hollow out? Only Germany has wisely kept all their manufacturing base, and remain the No.1 high tech export power house, with double export amount of Japan. But Merkel insane immigration policy will ruin Germany.

    Automation of the West will likely worsen existing jobless & social problems. As a friend explained to me why US min wages can't be raise anymore, because it has already reached a threshold near to trigger a big round of automation, including all fast food & Walmart jobs.

    Whereas China has the largest industrial base & market to justify all the huge investments in automation & A. I. , as the return profits will feed new investment for next better automation to keep its export competitive, increasing nation purchasing power, a upward cycle.

    US for sure will decline, but Petrol Yuan will decide its rate. When USD cease to be the trading currency, its the day of total collapse. Everyone will dump dollar, capital will flee. How much unaccounted dollars US has printed beside current QE program is unknown, until they start flowing back to trigger hyper inflation.

    Its doubtful reserved gold quality & amount will accelerate any crisis. Debts is still spiraling up with no end. And Pentagon has just been caught with another unaccounted 21T expenditure recently, after last 5T announced before 911.

    China & the world won't prop up US once they can be free from dollar. Such unsustainable debt driven economy might take a very short time to collapse spectacularly like WTC once get trigger.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    Were 'those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger' just rebels or highway robbers? Why was necessary to have theologians condemn Al-Hallaj if his crime was 'revolt' or 'highway banditry'? The theologians believed that he was pleading the cause of an Alid mahdi (saviour) and the only "mahdi" Hallaj is known to have designated was Jesus, concerning whom he made apocalyptic references. Wouldn't be rather the fear of a Christian revolt and mass apostasy?

    Quran 5:32-34:

    "Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
    "Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
    Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful".

    Were ‘those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger’ just rebels or highway robbers?

    Depends on the circumstance and the school of law at play. Usually the sacred law is much more conciliatory towards political rebels – many scholars favoring reconciliation. The punishment for brigandry is more severe and the various punishments in the verse apply depending on what they have done. And rebels can act like brigands at times.

    Why was necessary to have theologians condemn Al-Hallaj if his crime was ‘revolt’ or ‘highway banditry’?

    Who says it was necessary? Since when did Muslim medieval sovereigns require the rulings of scholars to execute anyone for political expediency? They often executed theologians. Now it certainly did help to get an official stamp of approval to present to the public that they were following the Shariah. The theologians (and they weren’t even unanimous on it) made the ruling according to their understanding of the matter. But the impetus to have Hallaj killed was due to palace intrigue and that was the charge they (a faction in the Abbasids) finally used to get a retrial – on top of the apostasy – to make sure the trial would work out the way it did:
    “Although he was protected by the caliphal faction during his imprisonment in the palace, Hallaj’s support was eroded when his theory of the replacement of the hajj was represented to the caliph as, again, a Qarmati-inspired plot to abolish the pilgrimage rite…Since the chief qadi of Baghdad, the Hanafi jurist Ibn Buhlul, ultimately refused to endorse the death warrant, the trial ended under Maliki supervision…These reservations of the chief qadi of Baghdad, in addition to the support of Hallaj by Ibn Ata, himself an eminent religious scholar, reveal that Hallaj’s execution could scarcely be considered as a decision by the consensus (ijma) of all jurists. Thus, both the classification of the proposition as heresy and the determination of guilt were reached hastily, under considerable political pressure. Finally a note on the barbaric manner of execution: the ordinary legal penalty for apostasy is execution by the sword, since most authorities agree that burning the apostate (as Ali is reported to have done) is a usurpation of God’s punishment of the damned by fire in the next world and ‘torture and cruel methods of execution are forbidden.’ Medieval rulers ignored this legality.”
    Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (State Univ. of New York Press)

    As I has stated:
    “The question of why and in the manner in which he was killed is not definitive because there was a lot at play. That he was crucified lends credence to the reason being political above and beyond simple apostasy.”

    Wouldn’t be rather the fear of a Christian revolt and mass apostasy?

    There is no historical evidence of this that I have ever come across concerning what happened to Hallaj. The Abbasids were much more worried about the various Ismaili strains (for good reason – since they were a serious political force) – Christians were less worrisome since they had (generally) already been demilitarized. I’ve presented plenty of references outlining the impetus (and nuances) behind his execution. If you have academic sources stating that Hallaj’s execution was related to this fear of Christians, I’d love to see them.

    Now there were instances of Christians signing up for public martyrdom as Michael Bonner outlines in his book, Jihad in Islamic History (another book I’d highly recommend) in the chapter on “Neo-Martyrs”. It happened mostly in Iberia, but also in the Levant. Some Christians (often some scholar-level person) would convert to Islam, but then apostate in order to be martyred in hopes Muslims would follow. The Muslim judges would try to convince them otherwise, but then oblige him once it was clear he was adamant. This was fairly short lived and caused some uproars among the Christian community, but was barely on the Muslim community’s radar.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    You are a master at beating around the bush.
    'Hallaj’s execution was related to this fear of Christians'.
    'Christians were less worrisome since they had (generally) already been demilitarized'.
    Byzance was still there and starting to push back.
    The case of the Martyrs of Cordoba is a clear case of resistance to Islamization. Their martyrdom is simply the result of Muslim persecution. The majority were Christians, priests, monks and nuns executed for blasphemy. There are just two cases of converts under duress who recanted and other few cases of children of mixed marriages who either practiced secretly Christianity of converted to it, therefore deemed apostates. The idea that they were deliberately converting only to exhibitionistically recant publicly is preposterous. It is peddled only because the martyrs of Cordoba destroys the myth of the heaven of 'tolerance' that was Al-Andalus. Anyhow in Christianity 'martyr' does not mean 'jihadi'.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @jilles dykstra
    Unless the mentioned book is a pack of lies, what it is not, in my opinion, as it fits in with other books about Iran at the time, 'Americans' decided nothing.
    Iranians wanted an American because, at the time, the USA was not a colonial power acting in the ME.
    The USA did not need ME oil, just in the beginning of WWII FDR was informed that USA oil would run out in thirty years time.
    GB was quite different, in 1916 the first oil powered turbine battle ship was launched, Iran was the country seen as most convenient for supplying the oil.
    Therefore an independent Iran was not what GB wanted, nor Russia.
    The country was divided by the usual north south line.
    Read
    Lord Vansittart, ‘The Mist Procession, The autobiography of LORD VANSITTART’, London 1958
    on how GB behaved in Iran, he was a diplomat in Teheran.
    Your remarks on German investments fit, in my opinion, what I describe.

    The very title of the book “The strangling of Persia. Story of the European Diplomacy and Oriental Intrigue That Resulted in the Denationalization of Twelve Million Mohammedans” should have activate the BS alarm.
    What one can hardly miss about Shuster’s book, is the snarky anti-Russian tone, very similar to what we see and hear today. It’s all about ‘Russia did it’, about ‘the acts of aggression, deceit and cruelty which the Russian agents committed against Persian sovereignty’. He even was alerted by a ‘secret informer’ that the ‘Russian Vice Consul’ proposed the informer) to poison him ‘because he was baulking the Russian plans in Persia’! The only reproaches to Britain were that she did not stand up to Russia, aiding her in her ‘sinister designs on Persia’s independence and integrity’.
    The whole book is an attempt to justify the blunders, the lack of tact, the incomprehension of local (and international) circumstances, that he displayed during his commission.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Miro23

    Apple’s Jobs to Obama: “jobs aren’t coming back” to U.S.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?referer=https://www.google.com/
     

    Thanks Anon. This is a superb article illuminating the problems of the West from 1995+.
    There are many different strands coming together, but fundamentally under two headings:

    A) CHINESE NATIONAL UNITY and absolute dedication to win commercially through education, investment, flexibility in a massive concerted national effort.

    B) THE WHOLESALE OFFSHORING OF MANUFACTURING/skilled work to China by Western corporations because they (now) have no option: 1) Local sources are inefficient, expensive, slow and don't have the trained people or the scale 2) All their competitors are doing the same 3) It's the only way to profitability.

    Western corporations now HAVE TO BE GLOBALISTS, it's economically impossible to turn back, and the corollary is that (for their security) they have to ensure globalist domination of politics in the US and the European Union.

    In a parallel universe, the United States could have made the massive national effort required to stay competitive in the new age of globalization (from the 1970's onwards) but realistically, how were they going to do this when 1) they were the victors of WW2, 2) they were the richest people in the world 3) they were seriously partying with the hippies and counter-culturals, and into every kind of divisive and selfish behaviour imaginable.

    Nationalism was the dirty word, and that suited the globalists fine - hence the fatal SJW/Globalist/elite alliance.

    Where does the US go from here? That's a good question. It can't go back, so it looks like lower consumption and increased poverty, while this broken country stubbles from one crisis to the next - basically the Philippines economic/social model with a permanent untouchable elite living among generalized poverty.

    Many do not want to accept that reality and still blaming Asia cheap labour for taking their once “fat” pay job away.

    If Apple didn’t approached China glass factory, someone will before Apple follow the same path, either way, its still done in China.

    In this comment, i tried to summarize up my work experience with US, Europeans, Japan, Korea, Asia & China how they modeled their technology innovation & investment path, and their threshold in innovation & technical talents.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russias-technological-backwardness/#comment-2249669

    US capitalism work in a model where individual profits come first. So they compete in single entity and hollow out entire manufacturing chain beyond redemption. The huge latent loses of their country and damage to its social fabrics don’t bother these capitalists, and office holders avoid interfering due to stigma of democracy & free market.

    Trumps understands this problem as a capitalist himself, but its too late(or too gigantic task) and capitalist won’t let him succeed in screwing up their bottom lines.

    China, in traditional Chinese value, national interest come above individual. Businesses that benefit national development will be groomed and well supported to grow, like Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei…but when they have grown sufficiently, China leaders will incorporate them into country development.

    When Apple/foxconn & Xioami wanted to move their factories to India for market access, China put up obstacle until they work out some compromise. Once Apple & Samsung stop producing in China, their free access to market will stop.

    Of course most countries did that too, including US & EU. But China is much more well coordinated with a crystal clear national goal, and their centralized gov has more power to control all resources & private entities.

    There are no Western BS to hinder their gov to pursue for national interest. Anyone publicly opposing like those Top CEOs in US done towards Trumps will see their business vapourize, their fortune gone.

    Where does US goes is a 21Trillions question. It depends on a single man, next Potus. As Jobs said, US is a great country. It can turn around if there are wise policies, or it just keep accelerate down to become another shit hole when China development completed innovation phase by 2040.

    Then the Dragon has truly awaken, starting its path towards complete unchallenged dominant with its 5000yrs civilization soft power.

    Petrol Yuan is one most critical factor, depends how China leaders wanted to play it, as collapsing their largest US market hence a global havoc is not in their interest, so China most likely prefer a soft landing for US and subtly replace Petrol Dollar position over a long period. So US won’t become another Philippine or india for sure, more like a larger Japan, with China as the benevolent Emperor usher in a new era of multi polar world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23

    Petrol Yuan is one most critical factor, depends how China leaders wanted to play it, as collapsing their largest US market hence a global havoc is not in their interest, so China most likely prefer a soft landing for US and subtly replace Petrol Dollar position over a long period.
     
    This is probably right. History shows that the US$ eased the Pound Sterling out of its reserve status over decades, with growing American economic power vs. the British. Some Middle East oil balances were still held in Sterling in London as late as the early 1970's (until 25% inflation finished them off).

    In general, the next Industrial Revolution looks to be in robotics and automated production - (with the expectation that this will neutralize Asian cost advantages). The problem here is that the industrial base is already in Asia (ready to be automated) and the Chinese are adopting robotic/automated production at a far faster than any Western country (i.e. once again they are planning and putting themselves ahead).

    I can only see the US continuing on its present downward course, short of a war or a revolution - which will accelerate it. The country functions on debt, and this has about reached its limit, so other things being equal, they can choose between protecting the $ (stop issuing more debt) with one kind of decline (party with no drinks), or let the $ go, and having the other kind of decline (party with unlimited drinks - a chaotic inflationary way to find the Dollar's true international value). Either way, they're in trouble - and it was an awful national failure to allow the export of their manufacturing base for short term profits.
    , @Daniel Chieh

    China, in traditional Chinese value, national interest come above individual. Businesses that benefit national development will be groomed and well supported to grow, like Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei…but when they have grown sufficiently, China leaders will incorporate them into country development.

    When Apple/foxconn & Xioami wanted to move their factories to India for market access, China put up obstacle until they work out some compromise. Once Apple & Samsung stop producing in China, their free access to market will stop.
     
    Yes, that's a Party talking point but its not really like the companies just get told what to do, and obey. Compromise, maybe. If one was to say that Chinese businesses are relatively more "patriotic", then I wouldn't argue. But it goes both ways, and to name a few examples:

    1) Chinese companies increasingly outsource low-margin work to countries such as Vietnam, Mexico or to Africa. Global Times, which is a good gauge of the Party's opinion shows their effort with this:


    China will offer preferential policies to encourage manufacturers to move from the southeast of the country to inland areas, in an attempt to slow an exodus of factories from areas like Guangdong, where labor and other costs have risen sharply, to cheaper countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia.
     
    But to little result. Manufacturers complained about the "lack of skilled workers" in interior provinces and continued to outsource, and the fact that the Party was basically attempting to bribe businesses into staying puts a damper on any grand notion of companies sacrificing for national unity.

    2) The Party does have cells in every single major company, but as Richard McGregor noted, you don't live in the belly of the monster without becoming part of it, if you wish to put it like that. Cell members often turn into lobbyists for company interests.

    3) Rather than simply overriding the tech tycoons, they've been absorbed into the Party. This means that their opinions now hold significant weight, and as the article notes, they've already gotten a lot of what they wanted.

    So do they serve the interest of the country and people? Well, sure. Certainly more than in the US.

    But in this act of "inclusion and subversion" that the Party does, this also means that like basically anywhere else, at least in some ways, the country now acts in the interest of the companies. And they have to, so as long as technology is as much of the platform of the nation, because at the end of the day, all relevant innovation really does seem to come from the major companies. The face recognition technology doesn't come from a secret government lab, for example, it comes from startups.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon

    Presumably, that is among the reasons for the Trump tax cuts, to induce Apple and others to launch a revival in US electronics. But now that the Asian giants have entered the field, it is open to question whether America will ever regain anything like its former dominance in electronics, or therefore, military technology.
     
    Steve Jobs put it in a concise way:

    Apple’s Jobs to Obama: “jobs aren’t coming back” to U.S.
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?referer=https://www.google.com/

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20120123/apples-jobs-to-obama-jobs-arent-coming-back-to-us

    Steve tried in vain to advise Obama, the America biggest hypocrite liar with his hands soak with war bloods just won't listen

    Why Jobs is disappointed with Obama.
    https://katiekieffer.com/2012/01/why-steve-jobs-said-im-disappointed-in-obama/

    Apple’s Jobs to Obama: “jobs aren’t coming back” to U.S.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?referer=https://www.google.com/

    Thanks Anon. This is a superb article illuminating the problems of the West from 1995+.
    There are many different strands coming together, but fundamentally under two headings:

    A) CHINESE NATIONAL UNITY and absolute dedication to win commercially through education, investment, flexibility in a massive concerted national effort.

    B) THE WHOLESALE OFFSHORING OF MANUFACTURING/skilled work to China by Western corporations because they (now) have no option: 1) Local sources are inefficient, expensive, slow and don’t have the trained people or the scale 2) All their competitors are doing the same 3) It’s the only way to profitability.

    Western corporations now HAVE TO BE GLOBALISTS, it’s economically impossible to turn back, and the corollary is that (for their security) they have to ensure globalist domination of politics in the US and the European Union.

    In a parallel universe, the United States could have made the massive national effort required to stay competitive in the new age of globalization (from the 1970′s onwards) but realistically, how were they going to do this when 1) they were the victors of WW2, 2) they were the richest people in the world 3) they were seriously partying with the hippies and counter-culturals, and into every kind of divisive and selfish behaviour imaginable.

    Nationalism was the dirty word, and that suited the globalists fine – hence the fatal SJW/Globalist/elite alliance.

    Where does the US go from here? That’s a good question. It can’t go back, so it looks like lower consumption and increased poverty, while this broken country stubbles from one crisis to the next – basically the Philippines economic/social model with a permanent untouchable elite living among generalized poverty.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Many do not want to accept that reality and still blaming Asia cheap labour for taking their once "fat" pay job away.

    If Apple didn't approached China glass factory, someone will before Apple follow the same path, either way, its still done in China.

    In this comment, i tried to summarize up my work experience with US, Europeans, Japan, Korea, Asia & China how they modeled their technology innovation & investment path, and their threshold in innovation & technical talents.
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russias-technological-backwardness/#comment-2249669

    US capitalism work in a model where individual profits come first. So they compete in single entity and hollow out entire manufacturing chain beyond redemption. The huge latent loses of their country and damage to its social fabrics don't bother these capitalists, and office holders avoid interfering due to stigma of democracy & free market.

    Trumps understands this problem as a capitalist himself, but its too late(or too gigantic task) and capitalist won't let him succeed in screwing up their bottom lines.

    China, in traditional Chinese value, national interest come above individual. Businesses that benefit national development will be groomed and well supported to grow, like Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei...but when they have grown sufficiently, China leaders will incorporate them into country development.

    When Apple/foxconn & Xioami wanted to move their factories to India for market access, China put up obstacle until they work out some compromise. Once Apple & Samsung stop producing in China, their free access to market will stop.

    Of course most countries did that too, including US & EU. But China is much more well coordinated with a crystal clear national goal, and their centralized gov has more power to control all resources & private entities.

    There are no Western BS to hinder their gov to pursue for national interest. Anyone publicly opposing like those Top CEOs in US done towards Trumps will see their business vapourize, their fortune gone.

    Where does US goes is a 21Trillions question. It depends on a single man, next Potus. As Jobs said, US is a great country. It can turn around if there are wise policies, or it just keep accelerate down to become another shit hole when China development completed innovation phase by 2040.

    Then the Dragon has truly awaken, starting its path towards complete unchallenged dominant with its 5000yrs civilization soft power.

    Petrol Yuan is one most critical factor, depends how China leaders wanted to play it, as collapsing their largest US market hence a global havoc is not in their interest, so China most likely prefer a soft landing for US and subtly replace Petrol Dollar position over a long period. So US won't become another Philippine or india for sure, more like a larger Japan, with China as the benevolent Emperor usher in a new era of multi polar world.
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  • @peterAUS
    Well, I don’t have any experience in training women for self-defense. I did train them, once upon a time, for (infantry) combat.
    My impression, then and now that, in that regard, say, they have distinctive weaknesses, but, also a couple of strengths. Not this topic.

    MMA, boxing, judo (ne-waza in particular), vale-tudo, blah…blah….yes, that’s all fine and dandy but not the most important.
    Although the mind is, as the saying goes, 99% of the fight game (fighting being, like all other physical activity, “mind in motion”), I am going to disagree with you a bit.
     
    Well, let’s stop right there. That’s my point exactly, that “fight” moment. Whatever you say, below, about that I couldn’t agree more.
    My point is the “setup”.
    You are absolutely correct in all the below, but, you haven’t spoken about the setup. Setup being, briefly: knowing the area (what situation one can get into there), being aware of surroundings, recognizing potential trouble and those, say, 60 seconds before the actual “action” starts.
    And last, but not the least, knowing well how to deal with the aftermath, the law in particular. Because, that hesitation or even “freeze” comes from “oh my God what will happen if police get involved”? That element, IMHO, is what a “decent citizen” is very concerned about.

    Actual technical training and sparring are most certainly not, as you described “all fine and dandy but not the most important.” Why? Because actual physical training, experience of discomfort and pain (and panic, occasionally), and awareness of one’s technical and physical ability under stress and full resistance generate and inculcates the ability to stay calm under pressure and react instinctively to violence with correct responses.
     
    Agree.

    Mind and body are NOT separate. They are not trained separately (at least not effectively so). Someone who somehow magically has a good fighting spirit without the technical ability to fight IS still likely to get hurt or killed when he runs into someone with superior effective skill sets. If your opponent knows wrestling and all you know is throw winging arm punches, chances are good that the opponent will take you down, sit on your chest, and rain down punches to your face. Even a strong mind will then break (along with the orbital bone) and panic and will suffer a bad outcome.
     
    Agree.

    It’s not A or B – you need both, a strong mind and a strong body, and the training of both is simultaneous and mutually reinforcing. If you know what you are doing technically, because you’ve kickboxed hundreds of rounds and grappled thousands of hours, you know how the human body in aggression moves, and you are much more likely to not panic and react well instinctively and correctly to not only save your life, but emerge dominant over your opponent.
     
    Agree.
    But, again, you haven’t mentioned the “setup”.

    Most “self-defense” programs are worse than useless, because teaching a few tricks isn’t going to take, let alone create mental and physical transformation necessary to condition one to survive violent encounters. Most people are better off being taught some common sense. My mantra for self-defense for most people is “avoid, evade, escape, and fight” in that order of priority. Frankly, if people just exercise common sense and avoid trouble (that means going around potential trouble spots even if it takes longer and staying in well-lit and public areas), the vast majority will never experience aggression and violence.
     
    Couldn’t agree more.

    However, if you want to learn to fight or defend yourself – the training has to be continuous and sustained. The typical rule is at least two sessions a week for maintenance and 3-5 sessions for consistent skill and physical attribute building. In other words, it has to be a lifestyle.
     
    Agree. And, again, a very important part of that training has to be about the setup.
    From recognizing the imminent trouble to, again, those last, minimum 15 seconds and one meter before the action explodes.
    That timeframe and distance are of paramount importance.

    Or it helps to have a father with decades of training and experience who makes you do Judo, BJJ, Kali (Filipino stick and knife fighting), and shooting since toddler-hood.
     
    Agree. I’d add just a little bit of Western boxing there too. Just a simple, but perfect "one-two", especially the two.

    And, again, a very important part of that training has to be about the setup.

    What you call “setup” in your reply are actually four separate things.

    First is situational awareness, seeing the environment and actors (possible combatants in it) and estimating one’s position in relation to them. In other words, it’s the “observe” and “orient” parts in John Boyd’s OODA loop.

    Second is judgment – quickly evaluating the former and making decisions on how to react, the “decide” part of the OODA loop (prior to the last part, “act”).

    Third is “Maai” – the Japanese term for timing and distance management (putting oneself in a specific time-distance away from one’s opponent and controlling him with proper management of that time-space, to avoid his attacks and set him up for yours).

    The last type of “setup” is in a more technical sense (after OOD parts have been done) – a series of motions to induce your opponent to “fall into” your aggressive actions. Some examples are Kuzushi in Judo (balance-breaking), without which throws either fail or are countered easily:

    Or pivoting to set up a check hook in boxing:

    (Actually, you can set up a check hook with not just a simple pivot, but with a jab or a feint, for example, to draw a counter, and then pivot and punch – setups can get complicated at higher skill levels, because there are rarely easy gimmes with trained fighters):

    Or the Muay Thai low (or fake low) kick to induce the opponent to drop his hands to score a head kick:

    Watch a Thai kid execute a perfect KO with a kick to the body followed by a head kick (although the ref blocks the view, you can tell easily that after that stinging body kick, the opponent reacted by dropping his hands/elbow to block the next body kick and eats a head kick):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpxVQ-S_XIM&feature=youtu.be&t=1m57s

    I’d add just a little bit of Western boxing there too. Just a simple, but perfect “one-two”, especially the two.

    You can actually “beat up” 90-95% of guys if you practice a few basic fight techniques, drill them a lot, and use them in sparring. Jab, straight, pivot, left check hook (or even simpler, jab, slip left, right hook); low/fake low-high kick; a few basic takedowns (double-leg, hip throw, and outer leg reap/O-Soto-Gari). Most men have no fight training and are liable to throw winding arm punches with their chins up in the air or bum rush into clinch and try to headlock. Or if you just know a good jab and/or good front/side kick to the knee, you can pretty much keep most guys at bay (and from hurting you).

    The reason you learn lots of complicated striking and grappling techniques, including the tricky setups, is to beat the remainder of the 5-10% guys who have real fighting skills.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    You appear to be fully "into" the subject matter and the replies are well put together.
    I'll try to comment.

    What you call “setup” in your reply are actually four separate things.
     
    That is one way to put it.
    My approach, well, isn't mine at all. It's taken from a couple of British guys who are professionals there and wrote/spoke a lot about it. Geoff Thompson in particular, and he explained it much better than I could in his books/videos. I've found "The Fence"and "Three Second Fighter: The Sniper Option" the best and the most applicable.
    There are plenty of fine points and nuances there to understand and, of course more important, to practice until perfect.

    I can't say I'd agree with you re "check hook", "pivot" and such; those are really advanced techniques for an average person and time and energy one is willing to put into the subject.

    I believe in

    You can actually “beat up” 90-95% of guys if you practice a few basic fight techniques, drill them a lot, and use them in sparring.
     
    and

    Jab, straight
     
    or better, weak hand-right cross/overhand/hook on the jaw. Sometimes even a good headbutt on the nose. Timing and accuracy crucial there.

    Bottom line, I strongly believe in "pre-emptive" striking as, again well explained in Geoff's books (and he is British, taking into account really restrictive UK laws).

    The key elements are, again: awareness, pre-fight management (avoidance, control, escalation) and that is crucial part of the all that, and then pre-emptive striking.
    All well wrapped up in awareness of a legal process. An average male can do all that.

    If the incident goes beyond that, which is possible, then all that "fighting" capability comes into play. Attributes, skills, endurance, will etc.
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  • @Talha
    I imagine your kids to be slightly Asian versions of this little guy :) :

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CN_UzNnS2YU

    I imagine your kids to be slightly Asian versions of this little guy

    Ha, not quite.

    First of all, my kids are half-Asian (my wife is white, and was an internationally-ranked athlete in college). And they have pretty good athletic genes from both parents. Grandparents, too. On my side, one grandfather was a folk wrestling champion, the other grandfather boxed in college. My own father was on the boxing team at the naval academy of my country of birth (some of my earliest memories are of my father and one grandpa watching boxing together and analyzing the bouts with excitement – they’d start doing head movements and punching movements as they watched and commentated). On my wife’s side, one grandparent was a local swimming star and another was a semi-pro athlete (company-sponsored, back when women had no professional athletics).

    So, all my kids are very good athletes. My eldest son has had washboard abs and excellent core strength since he was about seven.

    Also, the integrated self-defense system I teach my children is very grappling-centric early on and then later blade-centric. My sons do competitive Judo and Brazilian Jujutsu, and I do teach striking to them (combo of boxing, Muay Thai, and Shotokan Karate), but with the girls, it’s mostly teaching them “Get off me!” skills to create opportunities for escape. But, before all that, I teach A LOT about avoid-evade-escape. No amount of fighting skills can make up for lack of good situational awareness and sound judgment.

    Lastly, I don’t like children training in striking early on, because little bodies – especially little craniums – are not as good as adults at taking percussive damage. To the extent that I teach sparring in striking to my children, mostly it is geared toward teaching them correct footwork to put themselves on dominant angles as well as proper timing and distance management – what the Japanese call “Maai” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maai). This is crucial for both grappling and striking, or indeed any type of fighting. Meanwhile, children naturally love to roll around and wrestle with each other, so grappling (Judo, BJJ, wrestling) is a natural fit.

    I usually start at around age 3-5 with fundamentals (correct stances and body postures, balancing, basing out properly, weight distribution, and, of course, Ukemi – the art of falling safely, which everyone does for 15-20 minutes a day at my house) through games. For example, I’ll put a kid on my belly and try to shake him around a bit, and he has to balance himself, and base out properly with his hands and feet. Or I put a kid on my back, and have her hold me in “seatbelt” position with hooks (legs) in, and has to hold on while I play the bucking bronco.

    At age 5-7, I start formalized training (Judo first, then BJJ once they get comfortable throwing and taking falls) and after a couple of years, I start adding complementary skills (striking from dominant grappling positions such as mount, side mount, knee on belly, and back mount).

    I usually save blade and impact weapon training until around 10, depending on the maturity level of the kid (for one daughter, that will be VERY late as she is a bumbler). My eldest was EXTREMELY careful since he was a toddler, so he started earlier (as he did with firearms). He mastered his Sinawali (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSRaYx2Y5CI&t) pretty quickly and can be quite handy with his flipper pocket knife. In grappling he’s getting quite tricky with his Yagura-Nage and catches me with it once in a while. You don’t want to mess with him! :)

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Wow - good stuff - you're raising serious fighters. Hopeully they'll take after you and perpetuate it in their kids as well.

    Thanks for the tips. And I agree, young boys naturally like wrestling. I never get in the way of that. My youngest wants to start BJJ now also, so I'm happy about that.

    I'm satisfied with them having a good base with which to defend themselves - I don't expect them to get into fights with professional fighters, but know enough to hold their own against your normal-to-bigger guy. My eldest son wanted to go into MMA competition, and we squashed that pretty quick!

    Some of the stuff PeterUS mentioned is also helpful.

    Hope you and your kids never have to use those skills, but if they do, it's for a good cause - defending themselves or someone else.

    Peace.
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  • @Talha
    Ah, it looks like some mention of al-Hallaj has been made. I think I'll chime in from a Muslim and historical academic perspective.

    What is fairly well known about Hallaj is:
    1) He was considered an apostate by most Muslim scholars (including the Sufis-scholars like Imam Junaid Baghdadi [ra] - who is referred to as the 'Imam of the Sufis') - while there certainly were minority opinions like those of Imam ibn-Khafif (ra) who was both a Sufi and high-level jurist. Farid ud-din Attar (ra) also writes well of him.
    2) He was put to death by the Abbasid state
    3) His influence on Muslims was historically marginal - due to #1 - I mean, if you get rejected by the majority of the top Sufis of your age (including your own teacher), well, you're not going to get too far

    Hallaj is someone who remains someone very interesting to Orientalists and perennialists of all stripes for obvious reasons. The question of why and in the manner in which he was killed is not definitive because there was a lot at play. That he was crucified lends credence to the reason being political above and beyond simple apostasy. Apostasy is a relatively swift hanging or beheading without much fanfare. But crucifixion was reserved for rebels (bughaat) and/or highway brigands; the punishments outlined in the Qur'an varying from exile, cutting off hands/feet, death and/or crucifixion. Muslim sovereigns were known to go postal on you if you were a political threat; for instance, the Ummayyads were known to have killed off many Companions (ra) and Muslim scholars who spoke out or rebelled against them. Imam Malik (ra) himself was publicly tortured for refuting that a forced allegiance to the Caliph was acceptable and binding.

    Now, to Hallaj; whose fate has a lot to do with what was happening with the Qarmati* rebellion at the time:
    "Hallaj's links to the Qarmatis had posed a threat to Abbasid rule in Iraq and Bahrayn. Hallaj's links to the Qarmatis were not mere fabrications that conveniently suited the Abbasid political agenda. He is said to have enjoyed good relations with Abu Said Jannabi, the founder of the Qarmati state in Bahrayn, for example...The Qarmatis may have been inspired by Hallaj and borrowed some of his ideas, interpreting them to fit their own beliefs and aspirations."
    Mystics, Monarchs, and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of Early Modern Iran (Harvard Univ. Press)

    "Al-Hallaj, who had acquired great influence over many people including some members of the Abbasid family, had aroused the jealousy of certain officals who accused him of being a Qarmati agent."
    The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines (Cambridge Univ. Press)

    "It was, however, Shi'ite rivalry apart, Hallaj's and his co-religionists association with the revolutionary movements of the Isma'ilis which made him seem dangerous to the court at a time of growing political and social unrest as rival Isma'ili factions, the Qarmatis and Fatimids threatened the empire with rebellion. When Hallaj was arrested there was found in his house a quantity of manuscripts written on Chinese silk in very fine hand with very small letters (a characteristic of Manichean writing); these were instructions on how to indoctirnate disciples and lead them on degree by degree. He was condemned by the theologians of Baghdad and a majority of the Sufis, including al-Junayd. A few of the Sufis who had condemned him, professed, thirty or fourty years later, doubt regarding their condemnation of him..."
    The New Encyclopedia of Islam - this is a highly recommended book for anyone - it is a great reference manual for brief intros into many, many topics

    Peace.

    *Note: These were the bad boys operating out of Bahrain in the 10th century that were known to raid caravans of unarmed Hajj pilgrims, dump their bodies into the well of Zamzam and their sack of Makkah and Madinah, partial destruction of the Kaaba and hauling away the Black Stone for ransom.

    Were ‘those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger’ just rebels or highway robbers? Why was necessary to have theologians condemn Al-Hallaj if his crime was ‘revolt’ or ‘highway banditry’? The theologians believed that he was pleading the cause of an Alid mahdi (saviour) and the only “mahdi” Hallaj is known to have designated was Jesus, concerning whom he made apocalyptic references. Wouldn’t be rather the fear of a Christian revolt and mass apostasy?

    Quran 5:32-34:

    “Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
    “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
    Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”.

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    • Replies: @Talha

    Were ‘those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger’ just rebels or highway robbers?
     
    Depends on the circumstance and the school of law at play. Usually the sacred law is much more conciliatory towards political rebels - many scholars favoring reconciliation. The punishment for brigandry is more severe and the various punishments in the verse apply depending on what they have done. And rebels can act like brigands at times.

    Why was necessary to have theologians condemn Al-Hallaj if his crime was ‘revolt’ or ‘highway banditry’?
     
    Who says it was necessary? Since when did Muslim medieval sovereigns require the rulings of scholars to execute anyone for political expediency? They often executed theologians. Now it certainly did help to get an official stamp of approval to present to the public that they were following the Shariah. The theologians (and they weren't even unanimous on it) made the ruling according to their understanding of the matter. But the impetus to have Hallaj killed was due to palace intrigue and that was the charge they (a faction in the Abbasids) finally used to get a retrial - on top of the apostasy - to make sure the trial would work out the way it did:
    "Although he was protected by the caliphal faction during his imprisonment in the palace, Hallaj's support was eroded when his theory of the replacement of the hajj was represented to the caliph as, again, a Qarmati-inspired plot to abolish the pilgrimage rite...Since the chief qadi of Baghdad, the Hanafi jurist Ibn Buhlul, ultimately refused to endorse the death warrant, the trial ended under Maliki supervision...These reservations of the chief qadi of Baghdad, in addition to the support of Hallaj by Ibn Ata, himself an eminent religious scholar, reveal that Hallaj's execution could scarcely be considered as a decision by the consensus (ijma) of all jurists. Thus, both the classification of the proposition as heresy and the determination of guilt were reached hastily, under considerable political pressure. Finally a note on the barbaric manner of execution: the ordinary legal penalty for apostasy is execution by the sword, since most authorities agree that burning the apostate (as Ali is reported to have done) is a usurpation of God's punishment of the damned by fire in the next world and 'torture and cruel methods of execution are forbidden.' Medieval rulers ignored this legality."
    Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (State Univ. of New York Press)

    As I has stated:
    "The question of why and in the manner in which he was killed is not definitive because there was a lot at play. That he was crucified lends credence to the reason being political above and beyond simple apostasy."

    Wouldn’t be rather the fear of a Christian revolt and mass apostasy?
     
    There is no historical evidence of this that I have ever come across concerning what happened to Hallaj. The Abbasids were much more worried about the various Ismaili strains (for good reason - since they were a serious political force) - Christians were less worrisome since they had (generally) already been demilitarized. I've presented plenty of references outlining the impetus (and nuances) behind his execution. If you have academic sources stating that Hallaj's execution was related to this fear of Christians, I'd love to see them.

    Now there were instances of Christians signing up for public martyrdom as Michael Bonner outlines in his book, Jihad in Islamic History (another book I'd highly recommend) in the chapter on "Neo-Martyrs". It happened mostly in Iberia, but also in the Levant. Some Christians (often some scholar-level person) would convert to Islam, but then apostate in order to be martyred in hopes Muslims would follow. The Muslim judges would try to convince them otherwise, but then oblige him once it was clear he was adamant. This was fairly short lived and caused some uproars among the Christian community, but was barely on the Muslim community's radar.
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  • I seriously doubt Moscow State University and Oregon State University are of the same rank.

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  • @Sparkon

    By implanting a chip inside a cat’s brain and stimulating it, Dr. Jose Delgrado was able to artificially induce anger in a cat. Decision tree or not, it can still be hijacked pretty easily.
     
    This is why the AI fanboys are cause for concern. Sure, just crack the skull, implant a chip, and Bob's your uncle slave.

    It's all done "pretty easily."

    I've owned cats. They are highly predictable in their behavior. Dogs are too, for that matter. Cats are hypercarnivores with a strong instinct to hunt. As a result, pet cats are taking an enormous toll on wildlife, especially birds. In addition, their urine stinks to high heaven. Still, they do help control rats and mice, and are therefore better than pet dogs, which primarily eat, sleep, bark, shit, and bite, maybe with some ball chasing thrown in, so I have neither, and am happier and healthier -- with more free time and extra money -- without either of these beasts in my home.

    Dogs are highly territorial. They will bark, and/or run up to sniff you out -- and possibly attack -- if you come into their space, where the cat will just slink off, unless it's another cat doing the trespassing.

    I also have a fair amount of experience with OCR, and other applications using so-called AI. Well, it is artificial, meaning bogus, ersatz, unreal, fake, phony &c.

    I haven't used OCR lately, but back when, I got pretty good but not perfect results scanning documents. OCR is simply pattern recognition. As near as I can tell, all AI uses various kinds of look-up tables, but to get any results, the program must be given an objective.

    By contrast, humans don't necessarily work exclusively that way, as I mentioned above with my observation about serendipity.

    Humans can -- and often do -- find what they weren't looking for.

    I'm not a great chess player, so my computer chess game beats me regularly when I crank it up much over 1800, especially when I make blunders in the opening moves, because I don't know them all. Unless one commits these to memory, you'll be thrashed by a player who does know opening book. But I decided long ago that life was too short for all that memorization required to play chess at the higher levels, and moved on, although I do still play occasionally, just not very well.

    I tried flying a Bell Ranger helicopter inverted in Microsoft's FSX without much success. I was able to get the chopper upside down, but lost control almost immediately, went into an inverted spin, and hit 'pause' to save my bacon. Checking online, I found this:


    A few modern helicopters can perform a roll and are hence flying upside down for a few moments but they cannot maintain sustained inverted flight, unlike a fixed wing aircraft.
     
    Do you have a link for your inverted helicopter story? Also, in your opinion, what is the best example of AI today?

    Should add – yes, AI essentially lives off statistics and patterns, but arguably, so do biological systems:

    You can see synapses grow which serve to store information after training. This isn’t the whole of how information is stored in biological memory systems, but its at least part of it. So in a way, both natural and artificial intelligence already share some similarities. I do think that biological systems are much more complex and permit much more emergent behavior to be possible(and far, far, far more energy efficient, given that emulating a flatworm currently is living on supercomputers). But its, I suppose, a relative rather than fundamental difference.

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    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    I read that article about Stanford's helicopters, but I still don't see AI.

    The trick is the helicopters "learn" to execute difficult aerobatic maneuvers by copying the flight paths established by a human expert while flying a model helicopter, so there is not really much AI to tout with the superficially impressive helicopter flying. The AI hasn't learned anything beyond copying from a human expert. Again, the AI is essentially a look-up table of acceptably safe and/or doable flight profiles and paths to keep the helicopter from crashing.

    Train tracks in the sky.

    This is pretty much the same pattern of development that occurred (in Hollywood) with character animation, where early cartoonists found they could not draw from scratch realistic human motion, and instead had to resort to the expediency of filming stand-in actors/doubles/stunt men with markers on body, joints and limbs, and then tracing over this action to make stick figures, that could then be used as templates to draw realistic motion. The same thing has happened with PC games, and also with the new, completely digitized "fake people" which now can incorporate real-time digital face morphing, as well.



    All it takes is a single selfie.

    From that static image, an algorithm can quickly create a moving, lifelike avatar: a video not recorded, but fabricated from whole cloth by software.
    [...]
    The technology is a triumph of computer science that highlights the gains researchers have made in deep neural networks, complex algorithms that loosely mimic the thinking of the human brain.

    Similar breakthroughs in artificial intelligence allowed University of Washington researchers to move President Obama's mouth to match a made-up script...
    [...]
    Now imagine a phony video of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un announcing a missile strike. The White House would have mere minutes to determine whether the clip was genuine and whether it warranted a retaliatory strike.

    What about video of a presidential candidate admitting to taking foreign cash? Even if the footage proved fake, the damage could prove irreversible.

    In some corners of the internet, people are using open-source software to swap celebrities' faces into pornographic videos, a phenomenon called Deep Fakes.

     

    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-fake-videos-20180219-story.html

    Obviously, there is a lot of dangerous potential for abuse with this technology, but I'd still hesitate to call it artificial intelligence.

    Microsoft recently announced the development of the latest sequel in the very popular real time strategy (RTS) game Age of Empires 4. RTS games are more interesting than chess, in my view, because theoretically at least, there is no book to memorize, and a player should be able to match wits with the game's AI. Earlier incarnations of the game did not have a very smart AI, so I'm eager to see how AoE IV will play when it is introduced possibly before the holiday season later this year.
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  • @Sparkon

    By implanting a chip inside a cat’s brain and stimulating it, Dr. Jose Delgrado was able to artificially induce anger in a cat. Decision tree or not, it can still be hijacked pretty easily.
     
    This is why the AI fanboys are cause for concern. Sure, just crack the skull, implant a chip, and Bob's your uncle slave.

    It's all done "pretty easily."

    I've owned cats. They are highly predictable in their behavior. Dogs are too, for that matter. Cats are hypercarnivores with a strong instinct to hunt. As a result, pet cats are taking an enormous toll on wildlife, especially birds. In addition, their urine stinks to high heaven. Still, they do help control rats and mice, and are therefore better than pet dogs, which primarily eat, sleep, bark, shit, and bite, maybe with some ball chasing thrown in, so I have neither, and am happier and healthier -- with more free time and extra money -- without either of these beasts in my home.

    Dogs are highly territorial. They will bark, and/or run up to sniff you out -- and possibly attack -- if you come into their space, where the cat will just slink off, unless it's another cat doing the trespassing.

    I also have a fair amount of experience with OCR, and other applications using so-called AI. Well, it is artificial, meaning bogus, ersatz, unreal, fake, phony &c.

    I haven't used OCR lately, but back when, I got pretty good but not perfect results scanning documents. OCR is simply pattern recognition. As near as I can tell, all AI uses various kinds of look-up tables, but to get any results, the program must be given an objective.

    By contrast, humans don't necessarily work exclusively that way, as I mentioned above with my observation about serendipity.

    Humans can -- and often do -- find what they weren't looking for.

    I'm not a great chess player, so my computer chess game beats me regularly when I crank it up much over 1800, especially when I make blunders in the opening moves, because I don't know them all. Unless one commits these to memory, you'll be thrashed by a player who does know opening book. But I decided long ago that life was too short for all that memorization required to play chess at the higher levels, and moved on, although I do still play occasionally, just not very well.

    I tried flying a Bell Ranger helicopter inverted in Microsoft's FSX without much success. I was able to get the chopper upside down, but lost control almost immediately, went into an inverted spin, and hit 'pause' to save my bacon. Checking online, I found this:


    A few modern helicopters can perform a roll and are hence flying upside down for a few moments but they cannot maintain sustained inverted flight, unlike a fixed wing aircraft.
     
    Do you have a link for your inverted helicopter story? Also, in your opinion, what is the best example of AI today?

    Do you have a link for your inverted helicopter story?

    I found a fluff piece here:

    https://phys.org/news/2008-09-stanford-autonomous-helicopters.html

    The paper itself was here:

    http://pami.uwaterloo.ca/~khoury/ece457s07/Ng2004.pdf

    Offhand I can’t find the regression where the machine learning methodology tried to maximize speed with the unusual flying style – it might have been mentioned offhand in the program which I learned about it. Unmentioned in the papers or the fluff page which I recall: lots of crashing.

    I do agree with you that generally to get anything useful, you need what they call supervised learning(though there is unsupervised learning, where the regression tries to find correlations on its own). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, imo, due to gray goo scenario: e.g. a paperclip making AI destroys the world by creatively finding ways to build paperclips, using all materials in the world. No malice, only paperclips.

    Also, in your opinion, what is the best example of AI today?

    As in most intelligent or most useful? Most interesting is probably the various Google experiments to create art, music, recognize faces, etc. Possibly the various whole brain emulation experiments. The most useful in my opinion are medical AI which can try to read xrays and save time for doctors given the overtaxed medical system.

    I mean, that is just pattern matching. Its still remarkably accurate as compared to a radiologist running on 6 hours of sleep and thus, quite valuable.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05225

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  • @jilles dykstra
    The problems humans have with themselves is that they cannot accept that they are, as cats, machines, be it very complicated ones.
    We just consist of 'dead' matter, as any machine.

    The problem is that people identify with their “abilities”, which is something they own, and not “them”.

    I would have no problem if all cognitive functions that relate to “getting things done” were eventually taken over by machines.

    In fact it would be a massive boon to mankind.

    Technology has rendered “strength” largely irrelevant in a deep sense – it’s a bit amusing to hear Twinkie and Co talk so much about physical prowess in a world where guns exist.

    It’s just so much childish nostalgia.

    Similarly, all our ridiculous IQ debates will be laid to rest with the invention of AI. The smartest human will be as nothing.

    Modern humans have learned to find the meaning of life in their “abilities”, which is of course materialistic and numerically measured.

    Once all human abilities are outsourced to machines, maybe we can focus once again on “quality” – and the “quality” of things is what gives life it’s value. A beautiful sunset, a child’s smile, a mist filled valley in the mountains, even a delicious meal.

    Once our “abilities” no longer define us, we can focus on “being”.

    “Quality” is uncompetitive – the more people can appreciate it, the better. If machines ever develop the ability to appreciate “quality”, we would rejoice with them – unlike IQ, strength, and other competitive numerically measured benchmarks, “quality” is not zero-sum.

    Buddhists and Taoists will have no problem with machines taking over the full range of human “abilities” because they do not find the meaning of life in “doing” – the ideal Taoist life is already a firm of loafing.

    The real reason people turn to a life of “doing” (modern progress) is because they have lost contact with “quality” – they can no longer appreciate that sunset or that misty mountain.

    Keynes thought that technology would liberate us from our compulsion to “do” and reorient us towards a life focused on “quality”. But it hasn’t happened – even though a life of leisure for all is technically feasible, humanity doubled down on its focus on “doing” and competitive zero-sum activities because the race has to be reeducated to re-focus on “quality”, and we will not do so until absolutely necessary.

    Physical prowess has diminished vastly in value, but the last frontier is intelligence – and now, AI may be forcing a reckoning with our last and most vaunted “ability”, and we may may have no choice but to reorient ourselves finally towards “quality”

    That would mean a closing of the circle – progress and technology will have brought us back to where we began, back to a life focused on “quality” as used to be the case for much of history.

    It is an interesting idea that the whole brilliant career of progress was merely to return us to where we began – perhaps on a firmer footing.

    In such a world, people who can only think of life in terms of competitive zero-sum abilities will die off of boredom and despair, and people who can appreciate the quality side of life will find satisfaction.

    Unless machines become self-sustaining, they will eventually break down as people lose the will and mirivation to sustain them, and perhaps the whole cycle will start again.

    E.M Forster has an interesting story called The Machine Breaks on this issue, although he takes a slightly different angle than I do.

    In his story, humans don’t learn to appreciate “quality” once all “ability” is outsourced to machines but merely live in a kind in inane stupor, and the break down of the machine signals a return to a supposedly more humanly satisfying life of competitive exercise of “abilities” as well as an appreciation of “quality”, which are somehow seen as intertwined and not as exclusive options.

    But Forster lived close to the peak of belief in progress, so he probably couldn’t imagine that a focus on “ability” actually gets in the way kf satisfaction, which is non-linear.

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  • @utu
    What is really bothering you?

    Not that much beyond augering in upside down in a virtual helicopter, and stirring up a moshpit of nightcrawlers, but why do you ask?

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  • @Sparkon
    When words collide:



    500. utu says:
    March 18, 2018 at 7:20 pm GMT • 200 Words
    @jilles dykstra

    People project their internal experience of consciousness on other people thinking they must be like them
     
    623. utu says:
    March 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm GMT • 100 Words
    @map

    I am afraid you have never put much thought into the problem you are trying to dismiss with your naive ideas.
     

     
    In software, mutually contradictory data may result in a bug, but with people, it may be a feature.

    What is really bothering you?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    Not that much beyond augering in upside down in a virtual helicopter, and stirring up a moshpit of nightcrawlers, but why do you ask?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Daniel Chieh
    By implanting a chip inside a cat's brain and stimulating it, Dr. Jose Delgrado was able to artificially induce anger in a cat. Decision tree or not, it can still be hijacked pretty easily.

    Very adorable creatures, though, I have three tabbys.

    By implanting a chip inside a cat’s brain and stimulating it, Dr. Jose Delgrado was able to artificially induce anger in a cat. Decision tree or not, it can still be hijacked pretty easily.

    This is why the AI fanboys are cause for concern. Sure, just crack the skull, implant a chip, and Bob’s your uncle slave.

    It’s all done “pretty easily.”

    I’ve owned cats. They are highly predictable in their behavior. Dogs are too, for that matter. Cats are hypercarnivores with a strong instinct to hunt. As a result, pet cats are taking an enormous toll on wildlife, especially birds. In addition, their urine stinks to high heaven. Still, they do help control rats and mice, and are therefore better than pet dogs, which primarily eat, sleep, bark, shit, and bite, maybe with some ball chasing thrown in, so I have neither, and am happier and healthier — with more free time and extra money — without either of these beasts in my home.

    Dogs are highly territorial. They will bark, and/or run up to sniff you out — and possibly attack — if you come into their space, where the cat will just slink off, unless it’s another cat doing the trespassing.

    I also have a fair amount of experience with OCR, and other applications using so-called AI. Well, it is artificial, meaning bogus, ersatz, unreal, fake, phony &c.

    I haven’t used OCR lately, but back when, I got pretty good but not perfect results scanning documents. OCR is simply pattern recognition. As near as I can tell, all AI uses various kinds of look-up tables, but to get any results, the program must be given an objective.

    By contrast, humans don’t necessarily work exclusively that way, as I mentioned above with my observation about serendipity.

    Humans can — and often do — find what they weren’t looking for.

    I’m not a great chess player, so my computer chess game beats me regularly when I crank it up much over 1800, especially when I make blunders in the opening moves, because I don’t know them all. Unless one commits these to memory, you’ll be thrashed by a player who does know opening book. But I decided long ago that life was too short for all that memorization required to play chess at the higher levels, and moved on, although I do still play occasionally, just not very well.

    I tried flying a Bell Ranger helicopter inverted in Microsoft’s FSX without much success. I was able to get the chopper upside down, but lost control almost immediately, went into an inverted spin, and hit ‘pause’ to save my bacon. Checking online, I found this:

    A few modern helicopters can perform a roll and are hence flying upside down for a few moments but they cannot maintain sustained inverted flight, unlike a fixed wing aircraft.

    Do you have a link for your inverted helicopter story? Also, in your opinion, what is the best example of AI today?

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Do you have a link for your inverted helicopter story?

     

    I found a fluff piece here:

    https://phys.org/news/2008-09-stanford-autonomous-helicopters.html

    The paper itself was here:

    http://pami.uwaterloo.ca/~khoury/ece457s07/Ng2004.pdf

    Offhand I can't find the regression where the machine learning methodology tried to maximize speed with the unusual flying style - it might have been mentioned offhand in the program which I learned about it. Unmentioned in the papers or the fluff page which I recall: lots of crashing.

    I do agree with you that generally to get anything useful, you need what they call supervised learning(though there is unsupervised learning, where the regression tries to find correlations on its own). This isn't necessarily a bad thing, imo, due to gray goo scenario: e.g. a paperclip making AI destroys the world by creatively finding ways to build paperclips, using all materials in the world. No malice, only paperclips.


    Also, in your opinion, what is the best example of AI today?
     
    As in most intelligent or most useful? Most interesting is probably the various Google experiments to create art, music, recognize faces, etc. Possibly the various whole brain emulation experiments. The most useful in my opinion are medical AI which can try to read xrays and save time for doctors given the overtaxed medical system.

    I mean, that is just pattern matching. Its still remarkably accurate as compared to a radiologist running on 6 hours of sleep and thus, quite valuable.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05225
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Should add - yes, AI essentially lives off statistics and patterns, but arguably, so do biological systems:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/files/2009/12/xu21.jpg

    You can see synapses grow which serve to store information after training. This isn't the whole of how information is stored in biological memory systems, but its at least part of it. So in a way, both natural and artificial intelligence already share some similarities. I do think that biological systems are much more complex and permit much more emergent behavior to be possible(and far, far, far more energy efficient, given that emulating a flatworm currently is living on supercomputers). But its, I suppose, a relative rather than fundamental difference.
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  • @Sean
    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/one-killer-punch/videos/all/one-killer-punch-clip-1/5220671848001

    The fellow was a boxer, son of a boxing trainer and after he said at a taxi rank "that is the knob who took the piss out my haircut", a confrontation started and he killed someone with a single right cross (actually the head hitting the pavement killed and that is predictable; Henry Cooper said the head hitting the canvas was necessary for an actual knockout in the ring, the pavement is far more dangerous).

    Anyway the muscular moron boxer (who was being pushed and provoked had already grappled a 6'8'' pal of the aggressor into helplessness) had a second very drunk pal (told by his dad to always stick up from himself) of the "knob"saying 'you are going to get [email protected] and coming at him in a boxing stance and he eventually chinned and killed him. He was arrested, but not tried. as it was deemed self defence . This is the danger of training for a life a death confrontation against a formidable opponent. If he had just used a body punch, it needn't have happened.

    …with a single right cross (actually the head hitting the pavement killed and that is predictable; Henry Cooper said the head hitting the canvas was necessary for an actual knockout in the ring, the pavement is far more dangerous).

    Key: a single right cross.
    As for biomechanics of a knockout, well, it’s a complicated topic and well known.
    You did mention that “hitting the pavement” and, yes, that is the issue in self-defense.

    But, at the end of the day it really boils down to:
    Either your opponent could have his head hitting the pavement or you could have your head kicked into the pavement.
    Free will.

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  • @Twinkie
    I discussed the mental aspect of self-defense/fighting in another thread on Steven Sailer's side of the blog a while back. It was about women and violence, but applies to untrained men as well. See: http://www.unz.com/isteve/teachers-and-guns/#comment-2225027

    You can read the whole thing, but here is the relevant part:

    Another major problem for most women is that they suffer from hesitation. People often talk about “fight or flight,” but the choices are actually “fight, flight, or freeze.” Many, perhaps, most untrained men freeze when confronted with threats as well, but women are particularly prone to hesitating and not acting violently and decisively to neutralize threats. This is probably both biological and social.

    I have had a lot of success altering this mindset somewhat by invoking the female sense of protecting her young (though I’ve also gotten in trouble for it) – when I see women hesitating to initiate lethal force against a threat in training, I usually tell (sometimes yell at) them that they should imagine the threat is about to break into her house and rape her 5 year-old daughter. For some reason (no doubt some evolutionary thing), women seem much more motivated to engage in lethal force in protection of their young than THEIR OWN BODIES. I still couldn’t eliminate, entirely, that hesitation from some women. The mantra in my training was, “What is hesitation? Hesitation is death. My death. And the violation of my children.”
     
    I've also trained my own children (obviously), and even now if you were to ask my oldest (who is a nationally-ranked junior Judoka), "What is hesitation?" he will instinctively answer "Hesitation is death."

    MMA, boxing, judo (ne-waza in particular), vale-tudo, blah…blah….yes, that’s all fine and dandy but not the most important.
     
    Although the mind is, as the saying goes, 99% of the fight game (fighting being, like all other physical activity, "mind in motion"), I am going to disagree with you a bit. Actual technical training and sparring are most certainly not, as you described "all fine and dandy but not the most important." Why? Because actual physical training, experience of discomfort and pain (and panic, occasionally), and awareness of one's technical and physical ability under stress and full resistance generate and inculcates the ability to stay calm under pressure and react instinctively to violence with correct responses.

    Mind and body are NOT separate. They are not trained separately (at least not effectively so). Someone who somehow magically has a good fighting spirit without the technical ability to fight IS still likely to get hurt or killed when he runs into someone with superior effective skill sets. If your opponent knows wrestling and all you know is throw winging arm punches, chances are good that the opponent will take you down, sit on your chest, and rain down punches to your face. Even a strong mind will then break (along with the orbital bone) and panic and will suffer a bad outcome.

    It's not A or B - you need both, a strong mind and a strong body, and the training of both is simultaneous and mutually reinforcing. If you know what you are doing technically, because you've kickboxed hundreds of rounds and grappled thousands of hours, you know how the human body in aggression moves, and you are much more likely to not panic and react well instinctively and correctly to not only save your life, but emerge dominant over your opponent.

    “an average citizen self-defense”
     
    Most "self-defense" programs are worse than useless, because teaching a few tricks isn't going to take, let alone create mental and physical transformation necessary to condition one to survive violent encounters. Most people are better off being taught some common sense. My mantra for self-defense for most people is "avoid, evade, escape, and fight" in that order of priority. Frankly, if people just exercise common sense and avoid trouble (that means going around potential trouble spots even if it takes longer and staying in well-lit and public areas), the vast majority will never experience aggression and violence.

    However, if you want to learn to fight or defend yourself - the training has to be continuous and sustained. The typical rule is at least two sessions a week for maintenance and 3-5 sessions for consistent skill and physical attribute building. In other words, it has to be a lifestyle.

    Or it helps to have a father with decades of training and experience who makes you do Judo, BJJ, Kali (Filipino stick and knife fighting), and shooting since toddler-hood. :)

    Well, I don’t have any experience in training women for self-defense. I did train them, once upon a time, for (infantry) combat.
    My impression, then and now that, in that regard, say, they have distinctive weaknesses, but, also a couple of strengths. Not this topic.

    MMA, boxing, judo (ne-waza in particular), vale-tudo, blah…blah….yes, that’s all fine and dandy but not the most important.
    Although the mind is, as the saying goes, 99% of the fight game (fighting being, like all other physical activity, “mind in motion”), I am going to disagree with you a bit.

    Well, let’s stop right there. That’s my point exactly, that “fight” moment. Whatever you say, below, about that I couldn’t agree more.
    My point is the “setup”.
    You are absolutely correct in all the below, but, you haven’t spoken about the setup. Setup being, briefly: knowing the area (what situation one can get into there), being aware of surroundings, recognizing potential trouble and those, say, 60 seconds before the actual “action” starts.
    And last, but not the least, knowing well how to deal with the aftermath, the law in particular. Because, that hesitation or even “freeze” comes from “oh my God what will happen if police get involved”? That element, IMHO, is what a “decent citizen” is very concerned about.

    Actual technical training and sparring are most certainly not, as you described “all fine and dandy but not the most important.” Why? Because actual physical training, experience of discomfort and pain (and panic, occasionally), and awareness of one’s technical and physical ability under stress and full resistance generate and inculcates the ability to stay calm under pressure and react instinctively to violence with correct responses.

    Agree.

    Mind and body are NOT separate. They are not trained separately (at least not effectively so). Someone who somehow magically has a good fighting spirit without the technical ability to fight IS still likely to get hurt or killed when he runs into someone with superior effective skill sets. If your opponent knows wrestling and all you know is throw winging arm punches, chances are good that the opponent will take you down, sit on your chest, and rain down punches to your face. Even a strong mind will then break (along with the orbital bone) and panic and will suffer a bad outcome.

    Agree.

    It’s not A or B – you need both, a strong mind and a strong body, and the training of both is simultaneous and mutually reinforcing. If you know what you are doing technically, because you’ve kickboxed hundreds of rounds and grappled thousands of hours, you know how the human body in aggression moves, and you are much more likely to not panic and react well instinctively and correctly to not only save your life, but emerge dominant over your opponent.

    Agree.
    But, again, you haven’t mentioned the “setup”.

    Most “self-defense” programs are worse than useless, because teaching a few tricks isn’t going to take, let alone create mental and physical transformation necessary to condition one to survive violent encounters. Most people are better off being taught some common sense. My mantra for self-defense for most people is “avoid, evade, escape, and fight” in that order of priority. Frankly, if people just exercise common sense and avoid trouble (that means going around potential trouble spots even if it takes longer and staying in well-lit and public areas), the vast majority will never experience aggression and violence.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    However, if you want to learn to fight or defend yourself – the training has to be continuous and sustained. The typical rule is at least two sessions a week for maintenance and 3-5 sessions for consistent skill and physical attribute building. In other words, it has to be a lifestyle.

    Agree. And, again, a very important part of that training has to be about the setup.
    From recognizing the imminent trouble to, again, those last, minimum 15 seconds and one meter before the action explodes.
    That timeframe and distance are of paramount importance.

    Or it helps to have a father with decades of training and experience who makes you do Judo, BJJ, Kali (Filipino stick and knife fighting), and shooting since toddler-hood.

    Agree. I’d add just a little bit of Western boxing there too. Just a simple, but perfect “one-two”, especially the two.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    And, again, a very important part of that training has to be about the setup.
     
    What you call "setup" in your reply are actually four separate things.

    First is situational awareness, seeing the environment and actors (possible combatants in it) and estimating one's position in relation to them. In other words, it's the "observe" and "orient" parts in John Boyd's OODA loop.

    Second is judgment - quickly evaluating the former and making decisions on how to react, the "decide" part of the OODA loop (prior to the last part, "act").

    Third is "Maai" - the Japanese term for timing and distance management (putting oneself in a specific time-distance away from one's opponent and controlling him with proper management of that time-space, to avoid his attacks and set him up for yours).

    The last type of "setup" is in a more technical sense (after OOD parts have been done) - a series of motions to induce your opponent to "fall into" your aggressive actions. Some examples are Kuzushi in Judo (balance-breaking), without which throws either fail or are countered easily:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luK9Eklbn78

    Or pivoting to set up a check hook in boxing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFdb3kxOozM
    (Actually, you can set up a check hook with not just a simple pivot, but with a jab or a feint, for example, to draw a counter, and then pivot and punch - setups can get complicated at higher skill levels, because there are rarely easy gimmes with trained fighters):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sYY3x1nkP8&t

    Or the Muay Thai low (or fake low) kick to induce the opponent to drop his hands to score a head kick:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TugMfLhkpLc

    Watch a Thai kid execute a perfect KO with a kick to the body followed by a head kick (although the ref blocks the view, you can tell easily that after that stinging body kick, the opponent reacted by dropping his hands/elbow to block the next body kick and eats a head kick):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpxVQ-S_XIM&feature=youtu.be&t=1m57s

    I’d add just a little bit of Western boxing there too. Just a simple, but perfect “one-two”, especially the two.
     
    You can actually "beat up" 90-95% of guys if you practice a few basic fight techniques, drill them a lot, and use them in sparring. Jab, straight, pivot, left check hook (or even simpler, jab, slip left, right hook); low/fake low-high kick; a few basic takedowns (double-leg, hip throw, and outer leg reap/O-Soto-Gari). Most men have no fight training and are liable to throw winding arm punches with their chins up in the air or bum rush into clinch and try to headlock. Or if you just know a good jab and/or good front/side kick to the knee, you can pretty much keep most guys at bay (and from hurting you).

    The reason you learn lots of complicated striking and grappling techniques, including the tricky setups, is to beat the remainder of the 5-10% guys who have real fighting skills.
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  • @utu
    I am afraid you have never put much thought into the problem you are trying to dismiss with your naive ideas about your cat. Ask any prison guard about predictability of an inmate locked up in an isolation unit. Your cat responds to stimuli you are not aware of. Your cat just as well might be a machine.

    When words collide:

    500. utu says:
    March 18, 2018 at 7:20 pm GMT • 200 Words

    People project their internal experience of consciousness on other people thinking they must be like them

    623. utu says:
    March 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm GMT • 100 Words

    I am afraid you have never put much thought into the problem you are trying to dismiss with your naive ideas.

    In software, mutually contradictory data may result in a bug, but with people, it may be a feature.

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    • Replies: @utu
    What is really bothering you?
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  • @map
    Utu,

    We live in a very dishonest age.

    There is nothing that is more hyped and bs'ed than the technology sector. We get these breathless accounts of amazing technology that really ends up being vaporware.

    I am tired of being lied to.

    Going back to AI. Look at my example of a cat. If you ever simply observed a cat, without interfering with its behavior in any way, then you will notice that said cat's behavior is completely unpredictable. That is because a cat creates its own decision tree at any given moment. Certainly, if you startle it or give it food or interfere with it in some way, yes, it may react predictably, but, left to its own devices, there is no way to predict what a cat will do.

    A cat is a simple intelligence, yet no computer can be developed to behave like a cat because the computer cannot create its own decision tree.

    By implanting a chip inside a cat’s brain and stimulating it, Dr. Jose Delgrado was able to artificially induce anger in a cat. Decision tree or not, it can still be hijacked pretty easily.

    Very adorable creatures, though, I have three tabbys.

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    • Replies: @Sparkon

    By implanting a chip inside a cat’s brain and stimulating it, Dr. Jose Delgrado was able to artificially induce anger in a cat. Decision tree or not, it can still be hijacked pretty easily.
     
    This is why the AI fanboys are cause for concern. Sure, just crack the skull, implant a chip, and Bob's your uncle slave.

    It's all done "pretty easily."

    I've owned cats. They are highly predictable in their behavior. Dogs are too, for that matter. Cats are hypercarnivores with a strong instinct to hunt. As a result, pet cats are taking an enormous toll on wildlife, especially birds. In addition, their urine stinks to high heaven. Still, they do help control rats and mice, and are therefore better than pet dogs, which primarily eat, sleep, bark, shit, and bite, maybe with some ball chasing thrown in, so I have neither, and am happier and healthier -- with more free time and extra money -- without either of these beasts in my home.

    Dogs are highly territorial. They will bark, and/or run up to sniff you out -- and possibly attack -- if you come into their space, where the cat will just slink off, unless it's another cat doing the trespassing.

    I also have a fair amount of experience with OCR, and other applications using so-called AI. Well, it is artificial, meaning bogus, ersatz, unreal, fake, phony &c.

    I haven't used OCR lately, but back when, I got pretty good but not perfect results scanning documents. OCR is simply pattern recognition. As near as I can tell, all AI uses various kinds of look-up tables, but to get any results, the program must be given an objective.

    By contrast, humans don't necessarily work exclusively that way, as I mentioned above with my observation about serendipity.

    Humans can -- and often do -- find what they weren't looking for.

    I'm not a great chess player, so my computer chess game beats me regularly when I crank it up much over 1800, especially when I make blunders in the opening moves, because I don't know them all. Unless one commits these to memory, you'll be thrashed by a player who does know opening book. But I decided long ago that life was too short for all that memorization required to play chess at the higher levels, and moved on, although I do still play occasionally, just not very well.

    I tried flying a Bell Ranger helicopter inverted in Microsoft's FSX without much success. I was able to get the chopper upside down, but lost control almost immediately, went into an inverted spin, and hit 'pause' to save my bacon. Checking online, I found this:


    A few modern helicopters can perform a roll and are hence flying upside down for a few moments but they cannot maintain sustained inverted flight, unlike a fixed wing aircraft.
     
    Do you have a link for your inverted helicopter story? Also, in your opinion, what is the best example of AI today?
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  • @utu
    I am afraid you have never put much thought into the problem you are trying to dismiss with your naive ideas about your cat. Ask any prison guard about predictability of an inmate locked up in an isolation unit. Your cat responds to stimuli you are not aware of. Your cat just as well might be a machine.

    The problems humans have with themselves is that they cannot accept that they are, as cats, machines, be it very complicated ones.
    We just consist of ‘dead’ matter, as any machine.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    The problem is that people identify with their "abilities", which is something they own, and not "them".

    I would have no problem if all cognitive functions that relate to "getting things done" were eventually taken over by machines.

    In fact it would be a massive boon to mankind.

    Technology has rendered "strength" largely irrelevant in a deep sense - it's a bit amusing to hear Twinkie and Co talk so much about physical prowess in a world where guns exist.

    It's just so much childish nostalgia.

    Similarly, all our ridiculous IQ debates will be laid to rest with the invention of AI. The smartest human will be as nothing.

    Modern humans have learned to find the meaning of life in their "abilities", which is of course materialistic and numerically measured.

    Once all human abilities are outsourced to machines, maybe we can focus once again on "quality" - and the "quality" of things is what gives life it's value. A beautiful sunset, a child's smile, a mist filled valley in the mountains, even a delicious meal.

    Once our "abilities" no longer define us, we can focus on "being".

    "Quality" is uncompetitive - the more people can appreciate it, the better. If machines ever develop the ability to appreciate "quality", we would rejoice with them - unlike IQ, strength, and other competitive numerically measured benchmarks, "quality" is not zero-sum.

    Buddhists and Taoists will have no problem with machines taking over the full range of human "abilities" because they do not find the meaning of life in "doing" - the ideal Taoist life is already a firm of loafing.

    The real reason people turn to a life of "doing" (modern progress) is because they have lost contact with "quality" - they can no longer appreciate that sunset or that misty mountain.

    Keynes thought that technology would liberate us from our compulsion to "do" and reorient us towards a life focused on "quality". But it hasn't happened - even though a life of leisure for all is technically feasible, humanity doubled down on its focus on "doing" and competitive zero-sum activities because the race has to be reeducated to re-focus on "quality", and we will not do so until absolutely necessary.

    Physical prowess has diminished vastly in value, but the last frontier is intelligence - and now, AI may be forcing a reckoning with our last and most vaunted "ability", and we may may have no choice but to reorient ourselves finally towards "quality"

    That would mean a closing of the circle - progress and technology will have brought us back to where we began, back to a life focused on "quality" as used to be the case for much of history.

    It is an interesting idea that the whole brilliant career of progress was merely to return us to where we began - perhaps on a firmer footing.

    In such a world, people who can only think of life in terms of competitive zero-sum abilities will die off of boredom and despair, and people who can appreciate the quality side of life will find satisfaction.

    Unless machines become self-sustaining, they will eventually break down as people lose the will and mirivation to sustain them, and perhaps the whole cycle will start again.

    E.M Forster has an interesting story called The Machine Breaks on this issue, although he takes a slightly different angle than I do.

    In his story, humans don't learn to appreciate "quality" once all "ability" is outsourced to machines but merely live in a kind in inane stupor, and the break down of the machine signals a return to a supposedly more humanly satisfying life of competitive exercise of "abilities" as well as an appreciation of "quality", which are somehow seen as intertwined and not as exclusive options.

    But Forster lived close to the peak of belief in progress, so he probably couldn't imagine that a focus on "ability" actually gets in the way kf satisfaction, which is non-linear.
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  • @Seraphim
    Now, if you 'must' admit that he was 'reorganizing' the finances of the Philippines, after the transformation of the Philippines into an American colony (an act of open, unashamed, albeit widely praised, of 'imperialism' into a zone where America had no bone whatsoever) it does not follow that he (or the USA for that matter) had any right to interfere in the dealings of Persia with its next door neighbors (i.e. Russia) to whom Persia was in deep debt (unless you want to peddle the tired and stale Bolshevist memes of 'anti-imperialism', 'comprador elites' and all that crap that, unfortunately, prevents us to have a clear and dispassionate look into real history). The Americans were already planning a Muslim jihad against Russia. Then, as today, the Iranians did not swallow the bait.
    What on earth could have given the Americans the right to decide what was good for the Iranians, when the Iranians themselves decided that they would be better off with their long standing foes cum partners (the Russians), when both Russians and British declared that they want an independent Persia? Russian 'interference' in 1911 was directed (at the Iranians request) at the removal of the American interference (directly in the person of Shuster) which was, no doubt, ogling the newly discovered Persian oil. In 1907 Russians and the British decided to wrap up their stupid 'Great Game', due to the wisdom of the much maligned King Edward VII and his nephew the Tsar Nicholas II. That agreement has not been well digested by the crippled Kaiser, the other nephew of the 'Uncle of Europe' (nor by the British 'Deep State') who had grandiose views on the Persian (and Russian) petrol.
    All American 'views' on the Iranian 'problem' boils down to the 'Iranian Constitutional Revolution' of 1905-1911. And they replicate today the same irresponsible incomprehension of what really happens now on the ground as in 1911. The Marxist grid of interpreting history leads only to wars and more wars spiced with genocides and mass murders.
    Let's hope that Iranians would wake fully up and understand that Russia was never their real enemy (for example Russia opposed the 'Reuter Concession'* and even England joined), nor England for that matter, but America is really their 'Great Satan', and give up their silly BShiite of 'hidden Imams' and Mahdist Apocalypticism.
    The Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi was the last real Iranian patriot. He was removed (by the Americans) because he was intent to continue the rapprochement with Russia, whose importance all real Iranian patriots understood.
    The elimination of the Ottoman Empire, the 'sick man of Europe', was the right thing to do. The Sykes-Picot-Sazonov Agreement was the right thing to do, had not the fake 'Russian revolution' annulled its most important provision, the internationalization of Jerusalem!


    *Paul Julius Freiherr von Reuter (Baron von Reuter ( 21 July 1816 – 25 February 1899) was a German-born, British entrepreneur who was a pioneer of telegraphy and news reporting. He was a reporter and media owner, and the founder of Reuters News Agency, which became part of the Thomson Reuters conglomerate in 2008.
    Actually he was Israel Beer Josaphat born in Kassel, Germany, his father, Samuel Levi Josaphat, being a rabbi.
    In 1872, Nasir al-Din Shah, the Shah of Iran, signed an agreement with Reuter, a concession selling him all railroads, canals, most of the mines, all the government's forests, and all future industries of Iran. George Nathaniel Curzon called it "The most complete and extraordinary surrender of the entire industrial resources of a kingdom into foreign hands that has ever been dreamed of". The Reuter concession was immediately denounced by all ranks of businessmen, clergy, and nationalists of Persia, and it was quickly forced into cancellation"...
    On 17 March 1857, Reuter was naturalised as a British subject. On 7 September 1871, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha granted him the noble title of Freiherr (Baron).[1] In November 1891, Queen Victoria granted him (and his subsequent male-line successors) the right to use that German title (listed as "Baron von Reuter") in Britain.

    Unless the mentioned book is a pack of lies, what it is not, in my opinion, as it fits in with other books about Iran at the time, ‘Americans’ decided nothing.
    Iranians wanted an American because, at the time, the USA was not a colonial power acting in the ME.
    The USA did not need ME oil, just in the beginning of WWII FDR was informed that USA oil would run out in thirty years time.
    GB was quite different, in 1916 the first oil powered turbine battle ship was launched, Iran was the country seen as most convenient for supplying the oil.
    Therefore an independent Iran was not what GB wanted, nor Russia.
    The country was divided by the usual north south line.
    Read
    Lord Vansittart, ‘The Mist Procession, The autobiography of LORD VANSITTART’, London 1958
    on how GB behaved in Iran, he was a diplomat in Teheran.
    Your remarks on German investments fit, in my opinion, what I describe.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    The very title of the book "The strangling of Persia. Story of the European Diplomacy and Oriental Intrigue That Resulted in the Denationalization of Twelve Million Mohammedans" should have activate the BS alarm.
    What one can hardly miss about Shuster's book, is the snarky anti-Russian tone, very similar to what we see and hear today. It's all about 'Russia did it', about 'the acts of aggression, deceit and cruelty which the Russian agents committed against Persian sovereignty'. He even was alerted by a 'secret informer' that the 'Russian Vice Consul' proposed the informer) to poison him 'because he was baulking the Russian plans in Persia'! The only reproaches to Britain were that she did not stand up to Russia, aiding her in her 'sinister designs on Persia's independence and integrity'.
    The whole book is an attempt to justify the blunders, the lack of tact, the incomprehension of local (and international) circumstances, that he displayed during his commission.
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  • @map
    Utu,

    We live in a very dishonest age.

    There is nothing that is more hyped and bs'ed than the technology sector. We get these breathless accounts of amazing technology that really ends up being vaporware.

    I am tired of being lied to.

    Going back to AI. Look at my example of a cat. If you ever simply observed a cat, without interfering with its behavior in any way, then you will notice that said cat's behavior is completely unpredictable. That is because a cat creates its own decision tree at any given moment. Certainly, if you startle it or give it food or interfere with it in some way, yes, it may react predictably, but, left to its own devices, there is no way to predict what a cat will do.

    A cat is a simple intelligence, yet no computer can be developed to behave like a cat because the computer cannot create its own decision tree.

    I am afraid you have never put much thought into the problem you are trying to dismiss with your naive ideas about your cat. Ask any prison guard about predictability of an inmate locked up in an isolation unit. Your cat responds to stimuli you are not aware of. Your cat just as well might be a machine.

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    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    The problems humans have with themselves is that they cannot accept that they are, as cats, machines, be it very complicated ones.
    We just consist of 'dead' matter, as any machine.
    , @Sparkon
    When words collide:



    500. utu says:
    March 18, 2018 at 7:20 pm GMT • 200 Words
    @jilles dykstra

    People project their internal experience of consciousness on other people thinking they must be like them
     
    623. utu says:
    March 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm GMT • 100 Words
    @map

    I am afraid you have never put much thought into the problem you are trying to dismiss with your naive ideas.
     

     
    In software, mutually contradictory data may result in a bug, but with people, it may be a feature.
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  • Ah, it looks like some mention of al-Hallaj has been made. I think I’ll chime in from a Muslim and historical academic perspective.

    What is fairly well known about Hallaj is:
    1) He was considered an apostate by most Muslim scholars (including the Sufis-scholars like Imam Junaid Baghdadi [ra] – who is referred to as the ‘Imam of the Sufis’) – while there certainly were minority opinions like those of Imam ibn-Khafif (ra) who was both a Sufi and high-level jurist. Farid ud-din Attar (ra) also writes well of him.
    2) He was put to death by the Abbasid state
    3) His influence on Muslims was historically marginal – due to #1 – I mean, if you get rejected by the majority of the top Sufis of your age (including your own teacher), well, you’re not going to get too far

    Hallaj is someone who remains someone very interesting to Orientalists and perennialists of all stripes for obvious reasons. The question of why and in the manner in which he was killed is not definitive because there was a lot at play. That he was crucified lends credence to the reason being political above and beyond simple apostasy. Apostasy is a relatively swift hanging or beheading without much fanfare. But crucifixion was reserved for rebels (bughaat) and/or highway brigands; the punishments outlined in the Qur’an varying from exile, cutting off hands/feet, death and/or crucifixion. Muslim sovereigns were known to go postal on you if you were a political threat; for instance, the Ummayyads were known to have killed off many Companions (ra) and Muslim scholars who spoke out or rebelled against them. Imam Malik (ra) himself was publicly tortured for refuting that a forced allegiance to the Caliph was acceptable and binding.

    Now, to Hallaj; whose fate has a lot to do with what was happening with the Qarmati* rebellion at the time:
    “Hallaj’s links to the Qarmatis had posed a threat to Abbasid rule in Iraq and Bahrayn. Hallaj’s links to the Qarmatis were not mere fabrications that conveniently suited the Abbasid political agenda. He is said to have enjoyed good relations with Abu Said Jannabi, the founder of the Qarmati state in Bahrayn, for example…The Qarmatis may have been inspired by Hallaj and borrowed some of his ideas, interpreting them to fit their own beliefs and aspirations.”
    Mystics, Monarchs, and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of Early Modern Iran (Harvard Univ. Press)

    “Al-Hallaj, who had acquired great influence over many people including some members of the Abbasid family, had aroused the jealousy of certain officals who accused him of being a Qarmati agent.”
    The Isma’ilis: Their History and Doctrines (Cambridge Univ. Press)

    “It was, however, Shi’ite rivalry apart, Hallaj’s and his co-religionists association with the revolutionary movements of the Isma’ilis which made him seem dangerous to the court at a time of growing political and social unrest as rival Isma’ili factions, the Qarmatis and Fatimids threatened the empire with rebellion. When Hallaj was arrested there was found in his house a quantity of manuscripts written on Chinese silk in very fine hand with very small letters (a characteristic of Manichean writing); these were instructions on how to indoctirnate disciples and lead them on degree by degree. He was condemned by the theologians of Baghdad and a majority of the Sufis, including al-Junayd. A few of the Sufis who had condemned him, professed, thirty or fourty years later, doubt regarding their condemnation of him…”
    The New Encyclopedia of Islam – this is a highly recommended book for anyone – it is a great reference manual for brief intros into many, many topics

    Peace.

    *Note: These were the bad boys operating out of Bahrain in the 10th century that were known to raid caravans of unarmed Hajj pilgrims, dump their bodies into the well of Zamzam and their sack of Makkah and Madinah, partial destruction of the Kaaba and hauling away the Black Stone for ransom.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Were 'those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger' just rebels or highway robbers? Why was necessary to have theologians condemn Al-Hallaj if his crime was 'revolt' or 'highway banditry'? The theologians believed that he was pleading the cause of an Alid mahdi (saviour) and the only "mahdi" Hallaj is known to have designated was Jesus, concerning whom he made apocalyptic references. Wouldn't be rather the fear of a Christian revolt and mass apostasy?

    Quran 5:32-34:

    "Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
    "Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
    Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful".

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  • @peterAUS

    Well your story seemed to be about someone who reacted as if that was about to happen but he was not acting in self defense at all. Punching out someone who was abusive or trying to intimidate you is not self defense in the eyes of the law.
     
    You could be right.

    Or:
    The bad guy: ex-convict with history of similar violence and drug abuse, just on his way to buy his next shot.
    The good guy: ex-pro boxer and outstnding citizen, just on his way to church.
    "I am going to kick your head in you moth%^&&ker...I'll kill you...".

    You can forget about getting a knock out in an actual fight (as opposed to cold cocking), and many have been dragged to the floor and beaten to a pulp because they tried to finish a fight with a knock out.
     
    You serious?
    Haha...and why you won't be that guy dragging the other guy to the floor and finishing him of there?
    That is exactly the advantage of trained combat sports guys. As soon as the fight passes those first several crucial seconds they are into something they've been doing for years. A trained wrestler, judoka or bjj/mma guys will definitely want to take other guy down and finish him of. Just a little sprain instead of break will work. Or a quick ground and pound. Emphasize on quick of course. Again, the environment is the key. The setup. Etc.

    Most people don’t want to be in a fight because they don’t want to be arrested or have their face rearranged.
     
    Oh yes.
    You are again at the crux of the matter.
    Nice guys don't want to be there. And, very much afraid of their faces being rearanged.
    Not the bad guys.
    Which makes the nice guys......hesitant. From then on...haha...they get into losing fight, as a chosen victim and get their faces rearranged.
    Funny, a?

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/one-killer-punch/videos/all/one-killer-punch-clip-1/5220671848001

    The fellow was a boxer, son of a boxing trainer and after he said at a taxi rank “that is the knob who took the piss out my haircut”, a confrontation started and he killed someone with a single right cross (actually the head hitting the pavement killed and that is predictable; Henry Cooper said the head hitting the canvas was necessary for an actual knockout in the ring, the pavement is far more dangerous).

    Anyway the muscular moron boxer (who was being pushed and provoked had already grappled a 6’8” pal of the aggressor into helplessness) had a second very drunk pal (told by his dad to always stick up from himself) of the “knob”saying ‘you are going to get [email protected] and coming at him in a boxing stance and he eventually chinned and killed him. He was arrested, but not tried. as it was deemed self defence . This is the danger of training for a life a death confrontation against a formidable opponent. If he had just used a body punch, it needn’t have happened.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    ...with a single right cross (actually the head hitting the pavement killed and that is predictable; Henry Cooper said the head hitting the canvas was necessary for an actual knockout in the ring, the pavement is far more dangerous).
     
    Key: a single right cross.
    As for biomechanics of a knockout, well, it's a complicated topic and well known.
    You did mention that "hitting the pavement" and, yes, that is the issue in self-defense.

    But, at the end of the day it really boils down to:
    Either your opponent could have his head hitting the pavement or you could have your head kicked into the pavement.
    Free will.
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  • @Daniel Chieh
    Its possible that complexity is not the way to it: the wheel-lock mechanism for guns was extremely cool but not really suited for mass manufacture. The flintlock was almost ludicrously simple(and technically a bit worse) but it pretty much was the dominant means of firearms function for two hundred years.

    Yes and no. Even putting the brain ect to one side, an aircraft is immeasurable simpler than a bird, for one thing a bird can eat all sorts of things and use them for fuel, repair and building offspring with new characteristics as the generations move through design space, and this innovation is made possible by the complexity of its gene network making it robust.

    http://www.molecularecologist.com/2015/02/bigger-on-the-inside/

    Consider some trait related to a critter’s fitness, like the thickness of a bird’s beak. If a small beak is good for collecting small seeds, and a bigger beak is good for cracking big seeds, and there aren’t many seeds of intermediate size in the local environment, maybe the relationship between beak size (the trait) and fitness (the ability to efficiently turn seeds into more birds)… It appears that there’s no way to evolve from point A (a small beak) to point B (a large beak) without going downhill, or becoming less fit. This puzzle was the context in which the geneticist Sewall Wright introduced the metaphor of adaptive landscapes, [...] an additional answer lay in Wright’s original formulation of the adaptive landscape as multidimensional. To build from my earlier sketch, consider that there’s more to a bird than its beak. Maybe birds that are sufficiently efficient fliers can seek out seeds to fit any beak size. If we add that new dimension to my original crude sketch, the valley between small beaks and big beaks turns out to be not an unbridgeable chasm, but more of a cirque, with a path from A to B that never loses altitude, provided flight efficiency (“another trait”) can adapt at the same time.If you consider that the dimensions of the adaptive landscape are limited only by the dimensions in which living things vary, this logic suggests that there might actually be many paths between phenotypes that look like well-separated peaks when viewed in only two or three dimensions. You might also start to feel a sense of the overwhelming space of possibilities that natural selection sorts through. This is no longer a landscape that Charles Darwin can stroll across on a thoughtful afternoon; it needs more science fictional imagery, like the starship Enterprise warping space to cross light-years in a day, or the Doctor’s TARDIS sliding between geological epochs the way I might walk down the street for a cup of coffee.

    Wagner’s book explains

    The analogy of gene networks with digital technology made is a close one We do know, however, that the kind of creativity we discovered is not free, because Karthik found its price tag. It was a familiar one. When Karthik analyzed logic circuits that differed in their complexity—their number of logic gates—he found the simplest circuits could not be rewired without destroying their function. Change one wire in such a circuit and you destroy the circuits function. Every gate and every wire matters. Such simple circuits have no innovability, because they cannot explore new configurations and computations. The more complex they are the more rewiring they tolerate. their apparently superfulous gates and wires are like collections of spare parts–Edison’s piles of precious junk–that help compute new digital functions. Just as in biology, innovability comes from complexity, apparently unnecessary, but actualy vital. This is one of natures’s lessons for innovable technologies. Ockam’s razor is much too dull….

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  • @Anon
    This thread has well over 500 posts. No one you reply to will likely ever see your unlinked reply.

    Can't you use JS on a public computer for 5 minutes or something? Do you have an ideological opposition to it?

    No one you reply to will likely ever see your unlinked reply.

    OK, I was wrong.

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  • @anonymous coward
    Since it looks like there's nobody here with a real technical background and discussion veers towards vapor and hype, let me explain something about so-called "AI":

    "AI" is nothing but a fancy name for what used to be called "applied statistics". Everything about "AI" was already known 40 years ago. What's new today is that we now have GPU's (ironically, invented for playing video games) and statistics can be applied at a truly massive scale.

    (Where before statistics operated with thousands of data points we can now crunch millions and hundreds of millions.)

    Even more ironically, from the point of view of actual science, "AI research" is a regression, not progress. Inferring useful conclusions from hundreds of data points requires complex and nuanced math. When you have millions of data points, you can just throw plain old logistic regressions at the problem (the dumbest tool in the statistician toolbox) and get satisfactory results.

    Modern "AI" "research" consists of low-skilled math graduates cleaning up data manually. (A.k.a. "feature selection".) It's creative work, but certainly not science. 90% of the time it's just blindly trying random features until you hit on something that gives slightly better results.

    P.S. "Deep learning", a.k.a "neural networks" is just the snakeoil name for logistic regression, which dates back to the 1930's.

    Giving the benefit of the doubt, you know what you’re talking about the AI here.

    However you’re taking a slippery slope here when you conclude deep learning or neural networks is just a conventional logistic regression.

    Of course, every algorithm is trying to predict something useful or what we’d expect from the data analysis.

    I’ll give you the previous 50 years rain forest data from Amazon region and ask you to come up with how the US would perform economically in the next 20 years, would your algorithm give me a better prediction or mumbo-jumbo snafu?

    If I change my question to “Would global warming be affected with the rain forest data we have here?” You can at least come up with some decent prediction with the data you have now. That’s the area we humans need to focus on from now on. That’s where we can still excel with our wisdom. Machine won’t know if the input data and the question in concern are merely related to each other. They just crunch the data.

    Coming back to your impression on ‘deep learning’, I’d ask you a single question.

    Look outside the window, look far away in the sky, if your eyes catch a glimpse of a flying thing(still questionable), I’d ask you

    Q. Why do you think it’s a flying bird? Could it also be a plane?
    Q. Why do you think it’s a plane? Could it also be a bird?

    Your brain is in fact minimizing the possibility of the flying thing in the sky to be anything off the grounds. You exclude the thing to be a pig, a cat, a dog. Those are basically “logistic regression” phenomenon happening in your brains.

    So to say the least deep learning is just a conventional logistic regression since the 1930s is like saying your brain is as good as logistic regression.

    Logistic regression is a part of the deep learning. But
    deep learning is not a part of the logistic regression.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Speaking of total degeneracy - how about the fact that at least 10% of the Duma (those that have been identified) bought their PhD's, not to mention the P-Man himself.

    Speaking of total degeneracy – how about the fact that at least 10% of the Duma (those that have been identified) bought their PhD’s, not to mention the P-Man himself.

    I hope they bought Ph.Ds not in handshakes or fart-smelling?

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  • @jilles dykstra
    Because he had reorganised, with success, according to his own book, I must admit, the finances of the Philippines, if I remember correctly.
    He was removed by Russia, Great Britain and the tax evasion elite of Iran because he began collecting taxes from the rich.
    What Russia and GB did not want was a really independent Iran.
    Exactly the same happened in the Ottoman empire, there also the west controlled the finances.

    Now, if you ‘must’ admit that he was ‘reorganizing’ the finances of the Philippines, after the transformation of the Philippines into an American colony (an act of open, unashamed, albeit widely praised, of ‘imperialism’ into a zone where America had no bone whatsoever) it does not follow that he (or the USA for that matter) had any right to interfere in the dealings of Persia with its next door neighbors (i.e. Russia) to whom Persia was in deep debt (unless you want to peddle the tired and stale Bolshevist memes of ‘anti-imperialism’, ‘comprador elites’ and all that crap that, unfortunately, prevents us to have a clear and dispassionate look into real history). The Americans were already planning a Muslim jihad against Russia. Then, as today, the Iranians did not swallow the bait.
    What on earth could have given the Americans the right to decide what was good for the Iranians, when the Iranians themselves decided that they would be better off with their long standing foes cum partners (the Russians), when both Russians and British declared that they want an independent Persia? Russian ‘interference’ in 1911 was directed (at the Iranians request) at the removal of the American interference (directly in the person of Shuster) which was, no doubt, ogling the newly discovered Persian oil. In 1907 Russians and the British decided to wrap up their stupid ‘Great Game’, due to the wisdom of the much maligned King Edward VII and his nephew the Tsar Nicholas II. That agreement has not been well digested by the crippled Kaiser, the other nephew of the ‘Uncle of Europe’ (nor by the British ‘Deep State’) who had grandiose views on the Persian (and Russian) petrol.
    All American ‘views’ on the Iranian ‘problem’ boils down to the ‘Iranian Constitutional Revolution’ of 1905-1911. And they replicate today the same irresponsible incomprehension of what really happens now on the ground as in 1911. The Marxist grid of interpreting history leads only to wars and more wars spiced with genocides and mass murders.
    Let’s hope that Iranians would wake fully up and understand that Russia was never their real enemy (for example Russia opposed the ‘Reuter Concession’* and even England joined), nor England for that matter, but America is really their ‘Great Satan’, and give up their silly BShiite of ‘hidden Imams’ and Mahdist Apocalypticism.
    The Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi was the last real Iranian patriot. He was removed (by the Americans) because he was intent to continue the rapprochement with Russia, whose importance all real Iranian patriots understood.
    The elimination of the Ottoman Empire, the ‘sick man of Europe’, was the right thing to do. The Sykes-Picot-Sazonov Agreement was the right thing to do, had not the fake ‘Russian revolution’ annulled its most important provision, the internationalization of Jerusalem!

    *Paul Julius Freiherr von Reuter (Baron von Reuter ( 21 July 1816 – 25 February 1899) was a German-born, British entrepreneur who was a pioneer of telegraphy and news reporting. He was a reporter and media owner, and the founder of Reuters News Agency, which became part of the Thomson Reuters conglomerate in 2008.
    Actually he was Israel Beer Josaphat born in Kassel, Germany, his father, Samuel Levi Josaphat, being a rabbi.
    In 1872, Nasir al-Din Shah, the Shah of Iran, signed an agreement with Reuter, a concession selling him all railroads, canals, most of the mines, all the government’s forests, and all future industries of Iran. George Nathaniel Curzon called it “The most complete and extraordinary surrender of the entire industrial resources of a kingdom into foreign hands that has ever been dreamed of”. The Reuter concession was immediately denounced by all ranks of businessmen, clergy, and nationalists of Persia, and it was quickly forced into cancellation”…
    On 17 March 1857, Reuter was naturalised as a British subject. On 7 September 1871, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha granted him the noble title of Freiherr (Baron).[1] In November 1891, Queen Victoria granted him (and his subsequent male-line successors) the right to use that German title (listed as “Baron von Reuter”) in Britain.

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    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    Unless the mentioned book is a pack of lies, what it is not, in my opinion, as it fits in with other books about Iran at the time, 'Americans' decided nothing.
    Iranians wanted an American because, at the time, the USA was not a colonial power acting in the ME.
    The USA did not need ME oil, just in the beginning of WWII FDR was informed that USA oil would run out in thirty years time.
    GB was quite different, in 1916 the first oil powered turbine battle ship was launched, Iran was the country seen as most convenient for supplying the oil.
    Therefore an independent Iran was not what GB wanted, nor Russia.
    The country was divided by the usual north south line.
    Read
    Lord Vansittart, ‘The Mist Procession, The autobiography of LORD VANSITTART’, London 1958
    on how GB behaved in Iran, he was a diplomat in Teheran.
    Your remarks on German investments fit, in my opinion, what I describe.
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  • @Twinkie
    I discussed the mental aspect of self-defense/fighting in another thread on Steven Sailer's side of the blog a while back. It was about women and violence, but applies to untrained men as well. See: http://www.unz.com/isteve/teachers-and-guns/#comment-2225027

    You can read the whole thing, but here is the relevant part:

    Another major problem for most women is that they suffer from hesitation. People often talk about “fight or flight,” but the choices are actually “fight, flight, or freeze.” Many, perhaps, most untrained men freeze when confronted with threats as well, but women are particularly prone to hesitating and not acting violently and decisively to neutralize threats. This is probably both biological and social.

    I have had a lot of success altering this mindset somewhat by invoking the female sense of protecting her young (though I’ve also gotten in trouble for it) – when I see women hesitating to initiate lethal force against a threat in training, I usually tell (sometimes yell at) them that they should imagine the threat is about to break into her house and rape her 5 year-old daughter. For some reason (no doubt some evolutionary thing), women seem much more motivated to engage in lethal force in protection of their young than THEIR OWN BODIES. I still couldn’t eliminate, entirely, that hesitation from some women. The mantra in my training was, “What is hesitation? Hesitation is death. My death. And the violation of my children.”
     
    I've also trained my own children (obviously), and even now if you were to ask my oldest (who is a nationally-ranked junior Judoka), "What is hesitation?" he will instinctively answer "Hesitation is death."

    MMA, boxing, judo (ne-waza in particular), vale-tudo, blah…blah….yes, that’s all fine and dandy but not the most important.
     
    Although the mind is, as the saying goes, 99% of the fight game (fighting being, like all other physical activity, "mind in motion"), I am going to disagree with you a bit. Actual technical training and sparring are most certainly not, as you described "all fine and dandy but not the most important." Why? Because actual physical training, experience of discomfort and pain (and panic, occasionally), and awareness of one's technical and physical ability under stress and full resistance generate and inculcates the ability to stay calm under pressure and react instinctively to violence with correct responses.

    Mind and body are NOT separate. They are not trained separately (at least not effectively so). Someone who somehow magically has a good fighting spirit without the technical ability to fight IS still likely to get hurt or killed when he runs into someone with superior effective skill sets. If your opponent knows wrestling and all you know is throw winging arm punches, chances are good that the opponent will take you down, sit on your chest, and rain down punches to your face. Even a strong mind will then break (along with the orbital bone) and panic and will suffer a bad outcome.

    It's not A or B - you need both, a strong mind and a strong body, and the training of both is simultaneous and mutually reinforcing. If you know what you are doing technically, because you've kickboxed hundreds of rounds and grappled thousands of hours, you know how the human body in aggression moves, and you are much more likely to not panic and react well instinctively and correctly to not only save your life, but emerge dominant over your opponent.

    “an average citizen self-defense”
     
    Most "self-defense" programs are worse than useless, because teaching a few tricks isn't going to take, let alone create mental and physical transformation necessary to condition one to survive violent encounters. Most people are better off being taught some common sense. My mantra for self-defense for most people is "avoid, evade, escape, and fight" in that order of priority. Frankly, if people just exercise common sense and avoid trouble (that means going around potential trouble spots even if it takes longer and staying in well-lit and public areas), the vast majority will never experience aggression and violence.

    However, if you want to learn to fight or defend yourself - the training has to be continuous and sustained. The typical rule is at least two sessions a week for maintenance and 3-5 sessions for consistent skill and physical attribute building. In other words, it has to be a lifestyle.

    Or it helps to have a father with decades of training and experience who makes you do Judo, BJJ, Kali (Filipino stick and knife fighting), and shooting since toddler-hood. :)

    I imagine your kids to be slightly Asian versions of this little guy :) :

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I imagine your kids to be slightly Asian versions of this little guy
     
    Ha, not quite.

    First of all, my kids are half-Asian (my wife is white, and was an internationally-ranked athlete in college). And they have pretty good athletic genes from both parents. Grandparents, too. On my side, one grandfather was a folk wrestling champion, the other grandfather boxed in college. My own father was on the boxing team at the naval academy of my country of birth (some of my earliest memories are of my father and one grandpa watching boxing together and analyzing the bouts with excitement - they'd start doing head movements and punching movements as they watched and commentated). On my wife's side, one grandparent was a local swimming star and another was a semi-pro athlete (company-sponsored, back when women had no professional athletics).

    So, all my kids are very good athletes. My eldest son has had washboard abs and excellent core strength since he was about seven.

    Also, the integrated self-defense system I teach my children is very grappling-centric early on and then later blade-centric. My sons do competitive Judo and Brazilian Jujutsu, and I do teach striking to them (combo of boxing, Muay Thai, and Shotokan Karate), but with the girls, it's mostly teaching them "Get off me!" skills to create opportunities for escape. But, before all that, I teach A LOT about avoid-evade-escape. No amount of fighting skills can make up for lack of good situational awareness and sound judgment.

    Lastly, I don't like children training in striking early on, because little bodies - especially little craniums - are not as good as adults at taking percussive damage. To the extent that I teach sparring in striking to my children, mostly it is geared toward teaching them correct footwork to put themselves on dominant angles as well as proper timing and distance management - what the Japanese call "Maai" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maai). This is crucial for both grappling and striking, or indeed any type of fighting. Meanwhile, children naturally love to roll around and wrestle with each other, so grappling (Judo, BJJ, wrestling) is a natural fit.

    I usually start at around age 3-5 with fundamentals (correct stances and body postures, balancing, basing out properly, weight distribution, and, of course, Ukemi - the art of falling safely, which everyone does for 15-20 minutes a day at my house) through games. For example, I'll put a kid on my belly and try to shake him around a bit, and he has to balance himself, and base out properly with his hands and feet. Or I put a kid on my back, and have her hold me in "seatbelt" position with hooks (legs) in, and has to hold on while I play the bucking bronco.

    At age 5-7, I start formalized training (Judo first, then BJJ once they get comfortable throwing and taking falls) and after a couple of years, I start adding complementary skills (striking from dominant grappling positions such as mount, side mount, knee on belly, and back mount).

    I usually save blade and impact weapon training until around 10, depending on the maturity level of the kid (for one daughter, that will be VERY late as she is a bumbler). My eldest was EXTREMELY careful since he was a toddler, so he started earlier (as he did with firearms). He mastered his Sinawali (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSRaYx2Y5CI&t) pretty quickly and can be quite handy with his flipper pocket knife. In grappling he's getting quite tricky with his Yagura-Nage and catches me with it once in a while. You don't want to mess with him! :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHnw4uhdP04

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V36IKNVXoYA
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  • @Thirdeye

    You have to distinguish between teaching and research. I’ve spoken to many Polish exchange students who were utterly shocked at the lax standards of teaching even at supposedly prestigious institutions in the US, at least on the undergrad level. Remember, rankings for universities is disproportionately made up of just research output.
     
    Bingo. I was surprised some years ago - I seem to recall it was 2013 - when I looked a site based on comparative national statistics and Russia came out on top in education. The score was based on some composite of literacy, education attainment levels, and the rigor associated with those attainment levels. There may be a case that advanced degrees in Russia are devalued by status degrees, whatever process is used to attain them, but Russian education at the secondary and undergraduate levels is no slouch. Given that until recently China's educational system was still recovering from its decimation during the Cultural Revolution, it's not a huge stretch to imagine a similar explosion in technical education happening in Russia, with the requisite stability and foundation in general education in place.

    What Russia lacks in basic research productivity, they compensate for it to some degree with their emphasis on applied science and engineering. That's been demonstrated by their leaps in advanced weaponry and electronic/cyber warfare capabilities which have left the west embarrassed. Given Russia's historic priorities, it makes sense that a lot of their technical capabilities would remain behind a curtain until they're unveiled at a time of their choosing. The whole picture looks to me like a nation that perhaps doesn't take the purely theoretical end that seriously, but takes the applied end very seriously. The question is, at what point do the limitations on the theoretical end impinge upon the applied end?

    The reorganization of the post Soviet banking system was done by the former branch manager of the Nat West (might have been the Midland) in Port Talbot.

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  • @Seraphim
    Who can explain how and why Morgan Shuster, an American lawyer, civil servant, and publisher with no relation whatsoever to Persia, was appointed Treasurer General of Persia, to organize Persia's finances along 'modern lines'? Shuster is the name of some Jewish bankers.
    Zarathustra was an Iranian. Nietzsche's Zarathustra was, well... Nietzsche's invention.

    The reorganization of the post Soviet banking system was done by the former branch manager of the Nat West (might have been the Midland) in Port Talbot.

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  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy
    What the research journal article-count indicates is that the SU and now Russia achieved technological parity with, or even superiority over, the US in space and military technology without pissing away countless billions on "academic" research. To the extent that research in the West contributed to the advance of military and space technology, the Russian's presumably leeched off the open science literature, while keeping their own developments to themselves.

    Where the Russians failed to keep up was in electronics where development occurred not in academia, but in mainly American firms such as Intel and IBM that took advantage of the large domestic market for their products. The Russians, lacking such a market, lacked the conditions to advance in the relevant technologies.

    Today, America's lead in electronics is shrinking if it has not been entirely erased, as the electronics industry has moved off-shore. Presumably, that is among the reasons for the Trump tax cuts, to induce Apple and others to launch a revival in US electronics. But now that the Asian giants have entered the field, it is open to question whether America will ever regain anything like its former dominance in electronics, or therefore, military technology.

    Presumably, that is among the reasons for the Trump tax cuts, to induce Apple and others to launch a revival in US electronics. But now that the Asian giants have entered the field, it is open to question whether America will ever regain anything like its former dominance in electronics, or therefore, military technology.

    Steve Jobs put it in a concise way:

    Apple’s Jobs to Obama: “jobs aren’t coming back” to U.S.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?referer=https://www.google.com/

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20120123/apples-jobs-to-obama-jobs-arent-coming-back-to-us

    Steve tried in vain to advise Obama, the America biggest hypocrite liar with his hands soak with war bloods just won’t listen

    Why Jobs is disappointed with Obama.

    https://katiekieffer.com/2012/01/why-steve-jobs-said-im-disappointed-in-obama/

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    • Replies: @Miro23

    Apple’s Jobs to Obama: “jobs aren’t coming back” to U.S.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?referer=https://www.google.com/
     

    Thanks Anon. This is a superb article illuminating the problems of the West from 1995+.
    There are many different strands coming together, but fundamentally under two headings:

    A) CHINESE NATIONAL UNITY and absolute dedication to win commercially through education, investment, flexibility in a massive concerted national effort.

    B) THE WHOLESALE OFFSHORING OF MANUFACTURING/skilled work to China by Western corporations because they (now) have no option: 1) Local sources are inefficient, expensive, slow and don't have the trained people or the scale 2) All their competitors are doing the same 3) It's the only way to profitability.

    Western corporations now HAVE TO BE GLOBALISTS, it's economically impossible to turn back, and the corollary is that (for their security) they have to ensure globalist domination of politics in the US and the European Union.

    In a parallel universe, the United States could have made the massive national effort required to stay competitive in the new age of globalization (from the 1970's onwards) but realistically, how were they going to do this when 1) they were the victors of WW2, 2) they were the richest people in the world 3) they were seriously partying with the hippies and counter-culturals, and into every kind of divisive and selfish behaviour imaginable.

    Nationalism was the dirty word, and that suited the globalists fine - hence the fatal SJW/Globalist/elite alliance.

    Where does the US go from here? That's a good question. It can't go back, so it looks like lower consumption and increased poverty, while this broken country stubbles from one crisis to the next - basically the Philippines economic/social model with a permanent untouchable elite living among generalized poverty.

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  • @SpeakerForTheDead
    The problem with 'peer-review' and the whole concept of 'citations' is it serves to provide an 'ideological filter' that certain research confirms to dominant views. Have fun finding research in psychology or neuroscience or sociology that challenges the predominant world view of the leftist academia.

    I also fear that peer review is a hindrance to science.
    Had it existed at the time Einstein published, I’m quite sure his theories would never have been published.

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  • @Seraphim
    Who can explain how and why Morgan Shuster, an American lawyer, civil servant, and publisher with no relation whatsoever to Persia, was appointed Treasurer General of Persia, to organize Persia's finances along 'modern lines'? Shuster is the name of some Jewish bankers.
    Zarathustra was an Iranian. Nietzsche's Zarathustra was, well... Nietzsche's invention.

    Because he had reorganised, with success, according to his own book, I must admit, the finances of the Philippines, if I remember correctly.
    He was removed by Russia, Great Britain and the tax evasion elite of Iran because he began collecting taxes from the rich.
    What Russia and GB did not want was a really independent Iran.
    Exactly the same happened in the Ottoman empire, there also the west controlled the finances.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Now, if you 'must' admit that he was 'reorganizing' the finances of the Philippines, after the transformation of the Philippines into an American colony (an act of open, unashamed, albeit widely praised, of 'imperialism' into a zone where America had no bone whatsoever) it does not follow that he (or the USA for that matter) had any right to interfere in the dealings of Persia with its next door neighbors (i.e. Russia) to whom Persia was in deep debt (unless you want to peddle the tired and stale Bolshevist memes of 'anti-imperialism', 'comprador elites' and all that crap that, unfortunately, prevents us to have a clear and dispassionate look into real history). The Americans were already planning a Muslim jihad against Russia. Then, as today, the Iranians did not swallow the bait.
    What on earth could have given the Americans the right to decide what was good for the Iranians, when the Iranians themselves decided that they would be better off with their long standing foes cum partners (the Russians), when both Russians and British declared that they want an independent Persia? Russian 'interference' in 1911 was directed (at the Iranians request) at the removal of the American interference (directly in the person of Shuster) which was, no doubt, ogling the newly discovered Persian oil. In 1907 Russians and the British decided to wrap up their stupid 'Great Game', due to the wisdom of the much maligned King Edward VII and his nephew the Tsar Nicholas II. That agreement has not been well digested by the crippled Kaiser, the other nephew of the 'Uncle of Europe' (nor by the British 'Deep State') who had grandiose views on the Persian (and Russian) petrol.
    All American 'views' on the Iranian 'problem' boils down to the 'Iranian Constitutional Revolution' of 1905-1911. And they replicate today the same irresponsible incomprehension of what really happens now on the ground as in 1911. The Marxist grid of interpreting history leads only to wars and more wars spiced with genocides and mass murders.
    Let's hope that Iranians would wake fully up and understand that Russia was never their real enemy (for example Russia opposed the 'Reuter Concession'* and even England joined), nor England for that matter, but America is really their 'Great Satan', and give up their silly BShiite of 'hidden Imams' and Mahdist Apocalypticism.
    The Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi was the last real Iranian patriot. He was removed (by the Americans) because he was intent to continue the rapprochement with Russia, whose importance all real Iranian patriots understood.
    The elimination of the Ottoman Empire, the 'sick man of Europe', was the right thing to do. The Sykes-Picot-Sazonov Agreement was the right thing to do, had not the fake 'Russian revolution' annulled its most important provision, the internationalization of Jerusalem!


    *Paul Julius Freiherr von Reuter (Baron von Reuter ( 21 July 1816 – 25 February 1899) was a German-born, British entrepreneur who was a pioneer of telegraphy and news reporting. He was a reporter and media owner, and the founder of Reuters News Agency, which became part of the Thomson Reuters conglomerate in 2008.
    Actually he was Israel Beer Josaphat born in Kassel, Germany, his father, Samuel Levi Josaphat, being a rabbi.
    In 1872, Nasir al-Din Shah, the Shah of Iran, signed an agreement with Reuter, a concession selling him all railroads, canals, most of the mines, all the government's forests, and all future industries of Iran. George Nathaniel Curzon called it "The most complete and extraordinary surrender of the entire industrial resources of a kingdom into foreign hands that has ever been dreamed of". The Reuter concession was immediately denounced by all ranks of businessmen, clergy, and nationalists of Persia, and it was quickly forced into cancellation"...
    On 17 March 1857, Reuter was naturalised as a British subject. On 7 September 1871, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha granted him the noble title of Freiherr (Baron).[1] In November 1891, Queen Victoria granted him (and his subsequent male-line successors) the right to use that German title (listed as "Baron von Reuter") in Britain.
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  • @Svigor

    I don’t know about “your average Han,”* but Judo is nationally practiced at public schools in Japan. I doubt the average Nigerian gets any fighting sports training.
     
    I bet the average (non-starving) Bantu would still whup the average east Asian's ass. East Asians way overestimate skill. It's a common sperg religous value, really. Self-actualization: I can will myself to ultimate badassitude. Grind my way to the top. Never been borne out by the combat sports, where east Asians are somewhere near dead last.

    I bet the average (non-starving) Bantu would still whup the average east Asian’s ass.

    I’ll give you a HBD angle. Which group has higher reaction speed?

    Never been borne out by the combat sports, where east Asians are somewhere near dead last.

    Japan and South Korea are combat sport powerhouses. Take a look at the Olympic medal counts in combat sports.

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  • @Svigor
    The ubiquity of Judo training supports one of the points I make about EMA; they're traditional/religious/cultural more than they are practical. Why hasn't Japan switched over to MMA training and dropped Judo (MMA is obviously better self-defense method than Judo)? Because it's a sport more than a martial art. It's about their heritage and culture and whatnot.

    The ubiquity of Judo training supports one of the points I make about EMA; they’re traditional/religious/cultural more than they are practical. Why hasn’t Japan switched over to MMA training and dropped Judo (MMA is obviously better self-defense method than Judo)? Because it’s a sport more than a martial art. It’s about their heritage and culture and whatnot.

    What are you talking about?

    There is loads of MMA in Japan. In fact, while UFC was struggling early on, the best fighters money could buy in the world (i.e. Fedor Emelianenko) fought in Japan (Pride Fighting Championship). Later the UFC, once it became successful in the much larger American market, bought the entire library of Pride FC fights as well as the contracts of all its fighters.

    There was a time in MMA history when the most important bouts were basically between Japanese (mostly with Judo and wrestling backgrounds) and Brazilian (BJJ) fighters, which took place in Japan:

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