Map of Greeks and Armenians in Turkey, before and after the genocides/expulsions of the 1910s-20s, and consequent demographic growth (via /r/Mapporn).
As I noted before, I can’t think of any other major region where the strategic population balance changed so drastically during the course of the past century.
Around 1914, there were 15.0 million Muslims in the Ottoman Empire, as well as 1.7 million Greeks and 1.1 million Armenians. However, the Muslims included many Arabs; subtracting the Arab regions gives us a Turkish population of 12.7 million.
This compared to a population of 5.3 million in Greece (1910), which may have grown to 5.5 million by 1914. There were 1.2 million Armenians in the Russian Empire (1897). Between 1897 and 1914, Russia’s population increased by 38%, in the Empire as a whole as well as in the Caucasus in particular; assuming that Armenians showed a similar rate of increase, there’d have been around 1.6 million of them at the outbreak of WW1.
So here are the approximate numbers as of 1914:
Turks: 12.7 million
Greeks: 7.2 million
Armenians: 2.8 million Ratio: 12.7 million Turks to 10.0 million Greeks/Armenians (1:1.3)
Consequently, it’s not an exaggeration to talk of loose demographic parity between Turks and Greeks/Armenians, even without adjusting for perhaps 10% of Muslim “Turks” being Kurds.
Incidentally, this illustrates why Russia’s expansionist plans for the Black Sea during WW1 were no pipedream. It had more than ten times the population of Ottoman Turkey, and its potential Orthodox allies, the Greeks and Armenians, were themselves numerically equivalent to the Turks (especially after subtracting for the Kurds, whose separatist tendencies began in the late 19th century). Russian victory may well have led to a Magna Graecia in the west (as originally envisioned under the Treaty of Sèvres), a Greater Armenia would have constituted a landbridge to the Levant, and the Turks themselves would have been bottled up in the Anatolian heartlands. Just as Turkey was demographically successful relative to its neighbors, conversely, perhaps no other nation was spared so catastrophic a 20th century by the Russian Revolution.
However, the very fact that we today intuitively (but illogically) view this What If as a pipedream even in the context of WW1 testifies to the truth of the statement that population is power.
Fast forward a decade.
There were 13.6 million people in the much smaller Turkey of 1927, of whom almost all were Muslims (13.3 million); there were just 110,000 Greeks and 77,000 Armenians.
There were 1.6 million Armenians in the 1926 Soviet Census (including 743,000 Armenians out of 880,000 in the Armenian SSR). There were about 6.1 million Greeks in Greece in 1927 (6.2 million Greeks in the 1928 Census).
Approximate numbers for 1927:
Turks: 13.3 million
Greeks: 6.2 million
Armenians: 1.7 million Ratio: 13.3 million Turks to 7.9 million Greeks/Armenians (1:1.7)
Fast forwards a century.
Current population of Turkey is around 81 million, and continues to add a million more per year. It is almost 99.8% Muslim at this point, with just 50,000 Armenians and 3,000 Greeks (Bartholomew I’s flock) remaining as of 2005; it’s no longer worth even counting them. Its Turkish component is at least 65 million, though Kurds make up 10-20% of the population and are increasing their share thanks to higher fertility rates; there may also be as many as 6 million Syrians by the 2020s.
After expanding from 1.4 million in 1950 and reaching 3.3 million in 1989, Armenia’s population has since plummeted to 3.0 million, though much of this has accrued to the ethnic cleansing of Azeris and the departure of Slavic settlers; that said, there is also substantial brain drain – more than 20,000 Armenians become Russian citizens every year, and I assume that many continue leaving for the West via their ties to the diaspora. The population of Greece has expanded much more modestly, from 6.2 million in 1928 to 11.1 million by 2011, before plummeting to 10.8 million by 2017, I assume mostly due to population ageing, prolonged low fertility, and sharply increased brain drain. Both Armenia (93%) and Greece (90%+) remain largely monoethnic states, even if immigration continues to eat away at Greece’s homogeneity.
Approximate numbers for 2017:
Turks: 80.8 million
Greeks: 10.7 million
Armenians: 3.0 million Ratio: 80.8 million Turks to 13.7 million Greeks/Armenians (1:5.9)
Turkey has more than quintupled its population since the 1920s. In the meantime, Armenians had barely recovered from their genocide before getting hit by the demographic whammy that was the Soviet collapse. Although the Pontic genocide didn’t help, Greece did manage to eke out some meager growth – almost doubling its population – but has since gone into sharp reverse. One that might well be worse than it appears, since the Tsipras administration has been quite keen to welcome refugees despite Greece’s many other problems.
Consequently, during the course of a single century, the Greeks/Armenians went from demographic parity with the Turks to having six times fewer people.
PS. As I also once pointed out, Greece also holds what may be another demographic anti-record: Collapse of its share of the world population in the past 2,500 years. There may have been as many as 10 million Greeks in the Mediterranean in the 4th century BC. This figure was comparable to contemporary China (22 million in ~210 BC – whereas China now has 100x as many people!), and constituted 5% of the world population (today slightly more than 0.1% of the world population).
This is what Nicetas, Archbishop of Nicomedia, wrote in the 12th century about the Great Schism (1054) between Catholicism and Orthodoxy:
My dearest brother, we do not deny to the Roman Church the primacy amongst the five sister Patriarchates; and we recognize her right to the most honourable seat at an Ecumenical Council. But she has separated herself from us by her own deeds, when through pride she assumed a monarchy which does not belong to her office… How shall we accept decrees from her that have been issued without consulting us and even without our knowledge? If the Roman Pontiff, seated on the lofty throne of his glory, wishes to thunder at us and, so to speak, hurl his mandates at us from on high, and if he wishes to judge us and even to rule us and our Churches, not by taking counsel with us but at his own arbitrary pleasure, what kind of brotherhood, or even what kind of parenthood can this be? We should be the slaves, not the sons, of such a Church, and the Roman See would not be the pious mother of sons but a hard and imperious mistress of slaves.
Difference between then and now?
A millennium ago, the Vicar of Christ presided over a flock that was about as demographically predominant within Christendom as the Russian Orthodox Church is within Eastern Orthodox world today. As quasi-monarch of the European core, who could command European kings to crawl to him on their knees in penance, the Pope could afford to forget the “pares” part of “primus inter pares.” In contrast, Bartholomew I – His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch, not to mention reserve officer in the Turkish Army – is ensconced in an infidel country and presides over a local flock of a few hundred ageing Greeks.
Now to be sure, even one man is a majority when God is on his side. Even so, when he is in such a precarious position, it pays to be extra careful to make sure that’s indeed the case.
This is something that Bartholomew I has patently ignored with his disastrous decision to enter communion with Ukrainian schismatics.
Its basis is a revocation of the Synodal letter of 1686, which granted the Patriarch of Moscow the right to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev. Constantinople’s stated ultimate intention is to grant autocephaly (self-governance) to the Church of Ukraine; since the officially recognized Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Patriarchate of Moscow has neither asked for it nor will take it, this means it could only apply to schismatic Ukrainian churches, such as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Patriarchate of Kiev and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. At that point, Ukrainian nationalists will proceed to seize Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Patriarchate of Moscow churches.
This revocation is illegal and outrageous on account of a whole host of factors.
Historically, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has consistently insisted on one church in the lands of Rus’ (amusingly, the earliest example of ecclesiastical separatism came in the late 12th century from a region in modern day Russia, when Andrey Bogolyubsky attempted to take the Metropolitanate of Vladimir out of the jurisdiction of Kiev – an attempt that was rebuffed by Constantinople). After the Mongol invasions of 1237-40, the Metropolitanate of Kiev and All-Russia – a title it held until the 16th century – would gradually migrate over to Vladimir and Moscow – first in the 1250s, in response to the Uniate tendencies of Daniil Galitsky in Volhynia-Rus; and permanently so in 1299. Constantinople did recognize a Metropolitanate in part of the modern-day western Ukraine in 1301, but clarified that “Microrussia” (της Γαλίτζες της Μικράς Ρωσίας) was a daughter church of All-Russia. The Kiev Metropolitanate was canceled and reintroduced several times on account of nakedly political factors – namely, Polish and Lithuanian demands on Constantinople to avoid ordaining Orthodox hierarchies on those territories that looked to Moscow, on pain of the region’s forceful Latinization.
In the event, this eventually proved unavoidable. The latest Metropolitanate of Kiev, created in 1458, would eventually accept papal authority and transition into Uniatism in 1596 at the Union of Brest. While this church had been under the tutelage of Constantinople, that did not translate into a splintering of the Russian church; in 1516, the Patriarch Theoleptus I of Constantinople would continue to call the Metropolitan of Moscow Varlaam the “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia.” Meanwhile, the confirmation of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1589 implied its control over all the canonical territory of the Russian church. In 1620, Constantinople re-established Orthodox dioceses under the Metropolitan of Kiev for the Orthodox population of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Metropolitan held the title of “exarch”, a title that signified Constantinople’s acceptance that it was not acting within its canonical territory and that its representative was a temporary placeholder, meant to provide Orthodox services to the faithful while the Poles remained in control of Kiev and were not about to accept a Moscow-appointed Metropolitan. Although the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus had full canonical rights over Kiev (the city being part of Rus) it did enter into negotiations with Constantinople to avoid any ill will once Kiev reverted to Moscow’s control for good in 1686. This was granted by the Patriarch Dionysius, who wrote that the Metropolitan of Kiev would henceforth owe “submission” to the Patriarch of Moscow and made no reference to or hint of the (as now claimed) temporary nature of that decision.
In any case, even if Constantinople had the right to reverse its decision – which it doesn’t – then it would only apply to the seven eparchies under its jurisdiction before 1686 (Kiev, Chernigov, Lutsk, Lvov, Przemyśl, Polotsk, and Mogilev), which constitute west and central Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Belorussia, today. It would not apply to Kharkov, which was already within the Russian Empire; or to Novorossiya, which would only be incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 18th century and to which Constantinople has no more rights to than Primorye.
That this is outrageous and unprecedented is backed up by the fact that none of the other Patriarchates appear to be going along with Bartholomew I’s adventurism. This apparently includes all the other ancient Patriarchates (Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem), as well as Serbia and Georgia. This is not so much because they really like Russia, or even oppose Ukrainian autocephaly as such – that is hardly plausible in the case of Georgia – but because of Bartholomew I’s chutzpah in basically proclaiming himself to have the powers of a Pope, ignoring the wishes of canonical Churches, reassigning canonical territories, and cancelling ancient treaties at will. What makes Bartholomew I’s actions all the more astounding is that in the past he has also vetoed Moscow’s attempts to give autocephaly to the Orthodox churches in America, China, and Japan. This has had directly negative effects on the spread of the Orthodox faith – China in particular doesn’t tolerate religious institutions headed from abroad, and some Russian Orthodox missionaries have been intimidated from preaching due to the threat of excommunication by Constantinople.
Granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church is just one more example of anti-Orthodox sabotage, seeing as its supporters read like a who’s who of anti-Orthodox bigots.
First, this includes Ukrainian politicians, including Petro Poroshenko, who has told the Washington Post, “Shortly, we will have an independent Ukrainian church as part of an independent Ukraine. This will create a spiritual independence from Russia.” They conflate the nation with the Church, and as such propound ethnophyletism, which was declared a heresy in Constantinople itself in 1872.
Second, as Arkady Maler points out, while Russian liberals love to condemn Russians propounding Orthodoxy – screeching “Caesaropapism,” “imperialism,” “pan-Slavism,” “political Orthodoxy,” etc. – as soon as there appears an anti-Russian project such as Ukrainian autocephaly, they change their tune and wax lyrical about the “theology of the Maidan,” “Kiev’s special mission,” “an independent nation needs an independent church,” “Putin is the anti-Christ,” etc. Meanwhile, they have recently discovered a new appreciation for the “universal Patriarch” of the “New Rome”, taking a short break from their prior rants about “Greek pride,” “Byzantine arrogance,” “Eastern barbarity,” etc. But this is just a short respite from their customary anti-Orthodoxy.
We pray for the day when we can meet our future partner in church, or bring our partner to church.
We pray for the day when our lifelong, monogamous commitment to our partner can be blessed and sanctified in and by the Church.
We pray for the day when we can explore as Church, without condemnation, how we Orthodox Christians can best live our life in Christ in the pursuit of holiness, chastity, and perfect love of God and neighbour.
We pray for the day when our priests no longer travel around the world to condemn us and mock us and use us as a punching bag.
We pray for the day when the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ ceases to be our loneliest closet.
In another recent powerful take, they advised Kavanaugh to apologize to every woman he has hurt – even if he can’t remember it.
Consider going to every woman who claims that you have assaulted or otherwise harmed her in the past—or against whom you even suspect that you might have transgressed—and say, “I’m sorry. I may not remember the incident, but clearly I hurt you. Please forgive me. In every contact I have with others, and especially with women, I will try to do better in the future.”
Apparently, lying is now a Christian virtue. Even Lindsey Graham is more based than this.
Finally, former US diplomat James Jatras notes that all the usual Atlanticists support Ukrainian ethnophyletism for nakedly geopolitical reasons.
The Western proponents are as crassly honest about the political aspects as the Ukrainian politicians. The German ambassador in Kiev, not known to have any particular theological acuity, opined in July, that autocephaly would strengthen Ukrainian statehood. The hyper-establishment Atlantic Council, which hosted Denysenko on a recent visit to Washington, notes: “With the Russian Orthodox Church as the last source of Putin’s soft power now gone, Ukraine’s movement out of Russia’s orbit is irreversible.”
This is the same logic – encapsulated in the drive to create West-friendly Orthodox structures – that governed Polish and Lithuanian relations towards Orthodoxy in the current Ukraine during the late medieval and early modern era.
Likewise the US State Department, after a short period of appropriately declaring that “any decision on autocephaly is an internal church matter,” last week reversed its position and issued a formal statement: “The United States respects the ability of Ukraine’s Orthodox religious leaders and followers to pursue autocephaly according to their beliefs. We respect the Ecumenical Patriarch as a voice of religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue.”
While avoiding a direct call for autocephaly, the statement gives the unmistakable impression of such endorsement, which is exactly how it was reported in the media, for example, “US backs Ukrainian Church bid for autocephaly.” The State Department’s praise for the Ecumenical Patriarchate reinforces that clearly intended impression.
Quite apart from its active efforts to spread the poz all around the world, US State Department is responsible for more Christian martyrs in the 21st century than any other entity apart from Islamic State. Thanks to its destruction of Iraq and opposition to Syria’s legitimate government, it has contributed greatly to the greatly accelerated extinction of Orthodox Christianity in the Middle East. In Christian terms, it would not be an exaggeration to call it a servant of Satan.
So this makes the question of why Bartholomew I has come out against most of the rest of the Orthodox world, including its largest and richest Patriarchate, in favor of heretics and blasphemers such as Ukrainian ethnophyletists, God-hating Russian liberals, “Orthodox” gay marriage activists, and virulently anti-Christian foreign Powers all the more puzzling.
James Jatras has a plausible, if depressingly banal, explanation: Money.
There may be more to the State Department’s position than meets the eye, however. According to an unconfirmed report originating with the members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (an autonomous New York-based jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate), in July of this year State Department officials (possibly including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo personally) warned the Greek Orthodox archdiocese (also based in New York but part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that the US government is aware of the theft of a large amount of money, about $10 million, from the budget for the construction of the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas in New York (This is explained further below).
The warning also reportedly noted that federal prosecutors have documentary evidence confirming the withdrawal of these funds abroad on the orders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was suggested that Secretary Pompeo would “close his eyes” to this theft in exchange for movement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly, which helped set Patriarch Bartholomew on his current course.
The Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas was the only non-World Trade Center building to be destroyed in the 9/11 attacks (along with a priceless collection of icons and relics donated to it by Nicholas II). After lengthy legal battles, the Port Authority agreed to its reconstruction in 2011; by the end of 2017, almost $37 million had been donated. But in December 2017, all that money vanished, and construction came to a halt; the results of an audit ordered by the archdiocese was inconclusive. This opens up some possibilities:
If the State Department wanted to find the right button to push to spur Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to move on the question of autocephaly, the Greek archdiocese in the US is it. Let’s keep in mind that in his home country, Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew has virtually no local flock – only a few hundred mostly elderly Greeks left huddled in Istanbul’s Fener district. Whatever funds the Patriarchate derives from other sources (the Greek government, the Vatican, the World Council of Churches), the financial lifeline is Greeks (including this writer) in what is still quaintly called the “Diaspora” in places like America, Australia, and New Zealand. And of these, the biggest cash cow is the Greek-Americans… It’s an open question how much the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s shaking down the Greeks in the US to pay for extravagant boondoggles like the 2016 “Council” contributed to the financial mess at the New York archdiocese, which in turn may have opened them up to pressure from the State Department to get moving on Ukraine.
It would be an exceedingly sad and ignominious end to see the lingering remnant of a glorious empire do give in to blackmail and foreign pressure. We can only hope that God will not punish them as severely as for the Council of Florence.
In the meantime, the Russian Orthodox Church has decided on a strong response, having already suspended Eucharistic communion with Constantinople. It is fully within its rights to do so. By supporting schism, Constantinople has entered dialogue with anathema, and as such has fallen under anathema itself. Now is the perfect time for Russia to reemerge as the Third Rome and take leadership of Orthodox Christendom.
Today, Bangladesh radiates a very different image. Its GDP is growing at a whopping 7.1 percent, creating jobs, throwing up a vibrant middle class and reducing poverty. For six years in a row, Bangladesh’s GDP growth has remained greater than 6 percent and most economists expect this run to continue. Pakistan barely touched 5.8 percent GDP growth after a decade last year and this may drop to less than five percent during the current financial year.
Even more importantly, economic growth is reaching the poor. While well over 40 percent of Bangladeshis lived in extreme poverty in 1991, according to a World Bank estimate, extreme poverty has gone down to less than 14 percent. In other words, about 50 million fewer Bangladeshis are in extreme poverty as a result of the improving economy. …
Contrary to Pakistan’s model of crony capitalism, where protected industries and sectors have thrived, Bangladesh has provided opportunities to its entrepreneurs. Pakistan is producing sugar that it cannot sell to anyone except itself, and sinking huge resources on elite housing societies that enrich Pakistan’s who’s who but destroy the national economy. Crony capitalists from both sectors are ruling us and multiplying their wealth through their hold over the state.
… The cuntry’s net enrolment rate at the primary school level has reached 98 percent while secondary school net enrolment is now around 54 percent, up from 45 percent in 2000. Pakistan, on the other hand, has the lowest primary (72.5 percent) and secondary (43.9 percent) school enrolment rates in the region.
Improvement in human development is indicated by a sharp drop in population growth. Bangladesh’s current population growth is merely 1.1 percent per annum while Pakistan is growing at 2.4 percent annually. This growth is resulting in resulting in the shrinkage of the availability of natural resources per person.
I once speculated on Razib Khan’s blog that Bangladesh might be the country that makes the least world headlines per capita.
Unfortunately, not even Khan (Razib, that is) wrote much about it, despite being Bangladeshi himself.
(I really can’t think of anything beyond the occasional Islamist murder of some public atheist, though Razib argued that it was a function of Bangladesh being more, not less, secular than Pakistan, where you can punish atheism and blasphemy through the courts).
Anyhow, this lack of coverage is a pity… after all, it has a population greater than Russia’s (crammed into an area the size of England). But it seems to be doing pretty well of late.
My very busy period has mostly come to an end so I should have more material soon.
One of the best blogs on the Ukraine a few years ago was The Austere Insomniac (even if at least one commenter here will beg to differ). Good news! It’s been resurrected: https://insomniacresurrected.com/
* Bolsonaro is now 90% likely to become Brazil Prez according to latest PredictIt numbers.
* First victim of British laws on confiscating dodgy wealth? An Azeri woman who spent $20 million at Harrods, who just happens to be the wife of an Azeri banker who fell out with the West-friendly Aliyev regime. It pays to be cynical about these things. The Tories are far too invested in London’s high end real estate market to jeopardize their global clients, however much Putin wants to cajole them into it.
* New KIIS poll: Ukrainian approval of Russia reaches 48%, the highest it has been since 2014 (disapproval: 32%), though far lower than the 80%+ before that. Russian approval of the Ukraine remains at 33%.
* Huge ammo dump exploded in the Ukraine. Ukrs predictably blame their God (Putin)… but it’s basically a yearly occurrence in the Ukraine (and in Russia until several years ago). Smoking, drinking, and gunpowder don’t mix well.
* OWN GOAL. Toby Young: “This article in the @guardian correctly points out that polygenic risk scores for medical problems are based on genomic data compiled from predominantly European-descended populations. That means you cannot use these data to calculate polygenic risk scores for medical problems for people of non-European descent and that, in turn, means the beneficiaries of the preventative medical interventions based on these scores will be of European descent. The article quotes a letter Professor David Curtis, a geneticist and psychiatrist at UCL, wrote to the leaders of the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust saying that “UK medical science stands at risk of being accused of being institutionally racist”. What Professor Curtis (and Hannah Devlin, the @Guardian’s science correspondent) neglect to mention is that one reason there isn’t more genomic data on non-European populations is that social science activists campaigned against amassing such data 20 years ago. See bottom of page 531 in this essay by Jeremy Freese.”
* Google shuts down Google+… I suppose the 200 people who use it will not be happy. (Unfortunately, that includes gwern).
Most things in life are strongly g loaded, from obvious things such as socio-economic success and chess ability to less obvious ones such as an appreciation for Indian cuisine or quality terrorism.
Assassinations are no different.
Assassination quality seems to be a function of national IQ, plus the levels of remuneration and prestige with the national intelligence services.
Mossad is really, really good at this game. Stands to reason. High IQ, incredible prestige, decent money.
The Soviets were also very good at it. Again, very high prestige – the KGB only recruited from the best universities. Incidentally, the post-Soviet penetration of the Russian state by former KGB men was not so much the result of a conspiracy as the natural effects of a high concentration reservoir of human capital gradually spilling out into society.
Phrenology doesn’t lie. Just look at that fellow above, parading after his graduation. Highfalutin espionage work?… cryptography? foreign languages?? fuggedaboutit! His level is that of a nightclub bouncer. At best.
This is because the quality of people who are attracted to work in Russia’s modern espionage agencies is much lower than in the USSR. Talented people have many more options.
But even Putin’s hapless spies have nothing on the Saudis.
Not only did they whack a harmless dissident who did happen to be very well connected in Blue Checkmark circles – you know, the people who run the West – in THEIR OWN CONSULATE, but apparently they even neglected to consider he might be wearing a smartwatch. Which, like, every second SWPL does these days (and a WaPo columnist is going to be culturally SWPL regardless of his skin color). They had a squad of 15 people – incidentally, involving a movement of people that the Turks must have noticed – and nobody thought of it.
I know there’s counter-arguments that the Apple watch can’t transmit data that far, and that the Turks are using it as a cover story to avoid admitting that they were bugging the Saudi consulate.
But it really wouldn’t surprise me if this story was true after all. Everything else hints at rock bottom incompetence, so why not this too.
This is the conclusion of recent Higher School of Economics study on researcher salaries in Russia.
Here are the details for Jan-Jun 2018:
All workers in scientific organizations: 64,000 rubles ($1,000), up 40% y/y
Researchers: 86,000 rubles ($1,300), up 70% y/y
Academic staff: 94,000 rubles ($1,500), up 100% (!) y/y
Average salary of all workers at scientific organizations (not just researchers) is now 85% more than for the economy as a whole, while academic staff earn double.
This is highly encouraging, since for most of the post-Soviet period, researchers actually earned less than the average salary, contributing to massive brain drain from academia. As a result, Russia produces less than 1% of the world’s elite level science, or twice less than Poland and China in per capita terms (as proxied by the Nature Index).
Geographically, the highest academic staff salaries are in Moscow (127,000 rubles = $2,000) and the oil rich regions. The lowest six regions are in the ethnic minority republics of the North Caucasus, with Ingushetia being dead last (42,000 rubles = $650). This is encouraging, because that is how things should be absent ethnic nepotism/affirmative action, considering regional IQ scores, which are also lowest in the South Caucasus – even if Ingushetia does somehow manage to have Russia’s highest concentration of PhDs.
This took way too long to implement, with prior investment under iPhone Idiot Medvedev having focused on showpieces such as Skolkovo while the actual core of the Russian science & tech remained starved of funding. In Putin’s third term, academic salaries have been steadily augmented, and appear to have leapt upwards to almost internationally competitive levels this year (adjusting for Russia’s lower costs of living). Russian scientists will now be able to compete with the world on a more level footing. Nobody is going to go into Russian academia to get rich – you can still make 250,000 rubles in equivalent high human capital jobs in the private sector in Moscow – but at least it will no longer be a reserve for people not talented enough to make money in business or emigrate for greener pastures abroad.
As I also suggested in a previous thread, this is also a level at which Russia could begin thinking about hovering up Ukrainian (and perhaps Belorussian) researchers, and human capital more generally. Commenter The Big Red Scary, who is in a position to know, says that even student salaries are “significantly better” in Moscow than researcher salaries in Kiev.
Does living in a communist regime make a person more concerned about immigration? This paper argues conceptually and demonstrates empirically that people’s attitudes toward immigration are affected by their country’s politico-economic legacy. Exploiting a quasi-natural experiment arising from the historic division of Germany into East and West, I show that former East Germans, because of their exposure to communism, are notably more likely to be very concerned about immigration than former West Germans. Opposite of what existing literature finds, higher educational attainment in East Germany actually increases concerns. Further, I find that the effect of living in East Germany is driven by former East Germans who were born during, and not before, the communist rule and that differences in attitudes persist even after Germany’s reunification. People’s trust in strangers and contact with foreigners represent two salient channels through which communism affects people’s preferences toward immigration.
Further, the results indicate that attitudes among former East and West Germans have not converged since reunification, a finding consistent with evidence in development psychology and the socialization theory that preferences developed early in life will persist. Also in line with this conceptual framework, I find that the effect of communism is most pronounced among individuals who were born in the regime, while former East Germans who were born before communist rule express considerably less concern about immigration than the generations that followed. Finally, I find that two conceptually and empirically salient channels for the observed effect of communism on attitudes toward immigration are people’s level of trust in strangers and contact with foreigners.
One wonders how long these lines will last. After all, the old imperial borders before WW1 can still be discerned in socio-economic outcomes across East-Central Europe.
No. Macri is a standard vintage neoliberal, Bolsonaro is an actual conservative. Macri just tried (and failed) to legalize abortion in Argentina, something which even the leftists which ran Brazil the last 18 years didn’t try to do.
Also, the Brazilian economy is very different from Argentina’s, and not just in size and diversification. Brazil’s debt is high (and growing higher fast since 2014), but it is almost entirely denominated in the national currency and held by citizens, unlike Argentina’s. So Brazil is not exposed to the international financial markets to the same degree Argentina is, and does not need it to fund its deficit (for now).
2 – China
China is very important for Brazil, but not extravagantly so, like for some small Asian or African countries. Brazil’s foreign trade is actually quite geographically balanced and China does not take up a disproportionately large portion of it. Chinese investment has been growing, and it is this, specifically, that seems to concern Bolsonaro (i.e., fear of foreign control of key national assets) – a concern which seems common sense to me. But that’s very far from a trade war: I can imagine negotiations in which greater latitude for Chinese investment in Brazil is exchanged for more support for high-value Brazilian exports to China (Today, Brazil exports mainly soy, but you have seen that regional jets are also one of the main items).
3 – Democracy
This one is a no-brainer. Haddad is the candidate of the leftist Worker’s Party, in alliance with the Community Party of Brazil. Its official programme states that, in case of victory, the Executive will bypass parliament using “popular consultations with civil society groups” to enact legislation. There’s plenty more.
Bolsonaro is a military officer and is on the record as a supporter of Brazil’s 1965-1985 military dictatorship. Since I imagine most readers here have no specific knowledge of Brazil and only a hazy idea of a general category of “Latin American dictatorships”, here are some quick facts about the Brazilian case. First, the military intervened only to forestall a Communist takeover, and only after pushed to it by the largest mass protests in the history of the country, and they always said that democracy would be restored when the threat had abated. Second, Congress remained open and so did the Supreme Court; regular elections were held for Congress and for regional and local elective positions. Third, even the presidents continued to be elected, just not by direct popular vote, but by Congress. Fourth, when the military took over Brazil was the world’s 40th economy and had only a small industrial sector, when they left Brazil was the world’s 8th largest economy with the largest industrial base of the Southern Hemisphere. Fifth, facing urban and rural guerrillas supported by the Soviet Union through Cuba, the military regime killed ~450 people – that is the official estimate of the leftist groups. This, in 25 years and in a country of 90-100 million people at the time. More people are killed in Brazilian street in a day today. All this to say that Bolsonaro’s support for the military regime in the past is not necessarily at odds with he’s supporting democracy today. Even more because he’s winning.
4 – Race.
I’ve seen some commenters mentioning a racial divide in Brazilian vote. On the face of it, the more mulatto Northeast supported the left while the whiter South supported Bolsonaro, but that’s quite misleading. Contrary to Lee Kuan Yew’s generally accurate dictum, there’s no real racial divide in Brazilian politics and there has never been one. Racial classification is too fluid in Brazil for this to work (although the left’s introduction of affirmative action has begun to foster this in the last two decades). Bolsonaro also won in the mainly mixed-race North, Center, and among the large mixed-race population of the Southeast, and even in the Northeast, where he lost, he got the largest percentage of the vote a non-leftist has managed to get in the last thirty years.
Also, some commenters mentioned lacking information about Brazil. Yes, the pictures of the slums next to the high-rises are real – but they are mostly from the large cities of the Southeast (São Paulo, c. 20 million people, and Rio de Janeiro, c. 12 million). The rest of the country – and Brazil has 200m people – can be very different. Google pictures of cities like Gramado, Canela, Nova Petrópolis, Blumenau and Joinville, or just go to Google Maps, toggle pictures on, and click at random on small cities in the interior of Southern Brazil. You’ll probably be surprised.
5 – The Trump of Brazil?
Bolsonaro is comparable to Trump in winning against the establishment, and in this he has actually surpassed Trump. After all, Trump was nationally known, a billionaire able to fund his campaign, and managed a hostile takeover of an established national party. Bolsonaro was very much unknown (and what was known from his, from the press, was a cartoon far-right villain). He has no money. His party existed only on paper (it has no offices throughout the country and fewer than 10 elected officials – but now it has become the second largest party in Congress). He only has seven seconds a day of television time. All the establishment was against him, as well as all the press and all the beautiful people. His only strength was popular revulsion at the establishment and skillful use of social media. So he managed to defeat the establishment with less resources that Trump had at his disposal.
Ever since his victory became more probable, more and more sectors are scrambling to get into his good graces. He had early leads among evangelicals and farmers; now the main commercial and industrial federations of the country are getting behind him as well. But only now, when he already has all but won. More on this on the next point.
6 – Bolsonaro’s economic policy
Since his origin is as a military officer, Bolsonaro is obviously more used to command than to negotiations with the “market”. His naming Paulo Guedes as his main economic adviser, with public declarations that he (Bolsonaro) knows little about the economy and will give Guedes a free hand, obviously calmed the market. But people are unsure if this will hold, as some commenters said.
However, the main point here is that this is not really dependent on Bolsonaro’s will. It’s a question of mathematics. Without major reforms, which he is (on paper) committed to doing, the Brazilian federal budget will, in a year between 2022 and 2024, be entirely consumed with the civil servants payroll and the old-age pensions. Nothing will be left for everything else. And since the net government tax intake is in the mid-40%s, there is no fiscal space left to raise taxes. So Bolsonaro has very little choice in his economic program. He has to deregulate (much to do here) and lower some specific taxes to get the economy going again.
The outlook looks bleak on one side. The tail end of the leftist governments of 2003-2016 threw caution to the wind and blew a huge hole in the fiscal balance of the country, while mismanaging the economy to the point of causing the worst recession in Brazilian history (2014-2017 were worse even than the Great Depression). Not to mention all the loot they took in the largest corruption scheme ever discovered in the world.
However, structurally Brazil ain’t so bad. Even through the worst of the recession, the agricultural sector continued to grow relatively fast. The industrial sector, though badly maimed, remains large and considerably modern, and its unused capacity can be quickly put to work. Brazil has been having record surpluses in foreign trade. Interest rates are now the lowest in the last decades. So the real problem is just one, the federal government deficit, which is large but not unmanageable, especially because it is in the national currency. If Bolsonaro follows through with just a few of his promised reforms – privatization of some state companies to pay off the debt, streamlining the tax code, some reform in social security and getting rid of leftist regulations which hamper investment in agriculture and mining – Brazil could start growing strong again in a couple of years.
7 – Arabs
Arabs are very prominent in Brazil. We’re one of the few countries where the Arab lobby is stronger than the Jewish one, even though the Brazilian Jewish community is also quite influential. Bolsonaro’s overture to Israel has nothing to do with the Jews, it’s a sop to his evangelical voters. It’s hard to tell just how many Arabs are there here; of Lebanese alone there are some 10 million. Besides the leftist Haddad, the current president, Michel Temer, is also Arab – he is one of seven brothers, the only one born in Brazil, for the others were born in Lebanon.
We also have the largest Japanese-descended community in the world. And Brazilians are the third largest immigrant group in Japan. And… we’ll, this is much too long already. Hope it was useful!
While I once again emphasize that I am no Brazil expert, people who observed this election have noticed that while the voting gap between rich and poor gap has declined relative to 2014, the gap between the South and North-East has if anything widened even further, which suggests a larger racial factor.
I suppose that if superintelligence is developed soon, or the entire world melts together into a post-historical open borders dystopia/utopia, or some existential risk does as all in, then these considerations will become rather irrelevant.
However, if the 21st century continues on a more or less “business as usual” path, then having 200 million people (most of Ukraine + Belorussia + South Siberia) will be preferable to having 150 million due to the greater economies of scale and innovation that having more people enables.
Now to be sure, Russia can survive without the Ukraine as a declining Medium Power.
And all that is apart from the basic principle of reuniting a separated people, promoted by all Russian nationalists from Ilyin to Solzhenitsyn, and repairing the standing insult to the aesthetics of the world map represented by fake and gay countries such as Belarus and the Ukraine.
This post will discuss how to go about it.
“Winning hearts and minds,” apart from being a cuck move, is unfeasible anyway; even going so far as giving back Crimea will not restore goodwill and invite only well-deserved contempt.
Going back to giving gibsmedats (e.g. gas subsidies) would also be idiotic. Even the kremlins have realized this that you don’t buy loyalty or friendship with that, though they have yet to extend that lesson to the rest of the Sovietstans.
Россия вложила за 20 лет в экономику Украины 200 млрд., а США – 5 млрд. в "развитие демократии". Видимо, мы не в то вкладывали. Важный урок.
Russia invested $200 billion into the Ukrainian economy over 20 years, the US – $5 million into the “development of democracy.” It seems we didn’t invest correctly. An important lesson. – Alexey Pushkov, United Russia MP.
Reunification through Eurasian integration was permanently ruled out in February 2014, when a false flag-abetted coup unseated the bandit President Yanukovych and brought Maidanists to power.
Reunification through military means was ruled out – probably permanently – in May 2014, when Putin recognized Poroshenko as the legitimately elected President of the Ukraine. While certain nationalists, including on this blog, still entertain fantasies about invading the Ukraine and ruling it like a Reichskommissariat, that would be worse than just immoral – it would almost certainly fail, since it buys into the narrative that Ukrainians can only become Russians at the point of a gun. “There is no compulsion in religion”, as the Muslims say.
Finally, given the collapse in “Russophile” attitudes in the Ukraine after 2014, there is no scope today either for “deals” with new “partners” like Tymoshenko. Which even on the off chance that they happen will only degenerate into the usual post-sovok traditions of stealing money from some project, which always, and not undeservedly, only feeds foreign disdain for Russia.
At the same time, Russia has no obligation to tolerate the existence of a hostile anti-Russian project on its borders that furthermore has the gall to parasite on Russian history and culture on account of possessing so little of its own (see the svidomy beliefs that the Ukraine is the “true Rus” and so forth).
Consequently, the best move now would be to sabotage the svidomy entity at every possible turn.
Here are my proposals on how to do that.
First, the LDNR needs to be recognized, consolidated, and admitted into Russia as a Donbass Republic.
This will invite more Western sanctions, but that has acquired runaway dynamics anyway; meanwhile, the LDNR’s existence in their current, semi-bandit form are a sort of permanent black PR on Russia’s image that repels not just Ukrainians but all normal people – a sad fact that pretty much all Russian nationalists acknowledge.
Moreover, I suspect even Russian leftist backers of Novorossiya would agree. After the assassination of Zakharchenko, power has in the DNR has passed back to the Yanukovych clan, which will soon be formalized by the rigged election of a literal fraudster to the Presidency. Meanwhile, prominent Russian leftist writer and Novorossiya supporter Zakhar Prilepin has had his battalion disbanded. This is assuredly not what people such as National Bolsheviks who went to the Donbass fought for.
Finally, there is also the principle that Russia’s most loyal supporters – people who themselves identify as Russian – should not have to suffer indefinitely in legal limbo for their choices.
Second, the Ukraine needs to be strip mined of its human capital.
On Feb. 28, it unveiled a package of 31 “incentives” to attract Taiwanese people and businesses to the mainland, offering tax breaks and subsidies for high-tech companies, research grants for academics, and a promise to allow Taiwanese companies to bid for government infrastructure projects and even become involved in China’s “One Belt, One Road” global development plan.
China called the measures an expression of its belief that there is “one family” on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Taiwanese Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji cast it as an effort to undermine the island’s economy.
“China’s attempt to attract Taiwan’s capital and talent, especially high tech and young students, has clear political intentions,” he said at a news conference, unveiling eight countermeasures designed to keep people at home.
In 2012, Oxford Economics judged that Taiwan faced the largest “talent deficit” among 46 countries surveyed, and the research firm recently said that the conclusion stands today.
Taiwan’s performance on the Nature Index, a proxy for elite scientific output, has collapsed by 40% in the past five years – the largest collapse of any country. A testament to the success of the 31 Steps.
Meanwhile, the development of a separate Taiwanese identity, which had previously grown rapidly, has basically stalled in this same period.
Now in one sense, this will be harder, since China is much bigger than Taiwan, and Ukraine also has an association agreement with the EU. But in another sense, it will also be easier, because Russian wages are 3x higher than Ukrainian ones, whereas it’s the opposite ratio between China and Taiwan.
For instance, Russian researcher salaries in the past 5 years have exploded – though from a very low base – and rose by 70% this year alone. They are now well north of $1,000, which is now probably an order of magnitude higher than in the Ukraine.
One positive result is that the criticisms I voiced in my large post decrying the state of Russian science have become less actual in the past few months alone, even if there is still a huge amount of lost ground to make up.
No doubt this happened because PUTLER personally reads my blog, as my multiple extremely high placed sources tell me all the time.
Anyhow, forget about Ukraine being 30% cheaper (or whatever) than Russia. With such a gap, Russia can easily attract most of Ukraine’s remaining elite researchers wholesale, no matter how svidomy they are.
Svidomism wins out over repression, but money wins out over svidomism.
Russia needs to come up with a program along the lines of China’s “31 Measures for Taiwan,” involving a complex package of subsidies, marketing, and immigration deregulation to strip mine the separatist entity of its human capital.
By strip mining the Ukraine of human capital, I mean something more sophisticated than just open borders and handing out Russian passports like candy (though that should certainly also be done, even if Poland will necessarily do better for now on account of its higher wages).
I mean selectively targeting Ukraine’s remaining cognitive elites and O-Ring sectors for transplantation into Russia wholesale, which is specifically what China is doing to Taiwan – successfully, despite their triple wage differential (my post on how the small, complex O-Ring sector determines wages for the economy as a whole). Nobody is currently doing that to the Ukraine that I know of. Sure, Ukrainian professors can still emigrate to Canada or whatever, but that requires a lot of work on their part; I just propose not just clearing away the red tape, but actively cajoling them along. The list of precisely which people, institutions, and corporations should be targeted requires serious analytical work. I am willing to offer my consulting services on this question at the ULTRA LOW rate of $500 per hour.
This would be perfectly congruent with the Russian nationalist position that the Ukraine is an extension of Russia. Admittedly, it’s not so congruent with the sovok view that treats the UkSSR as a legitimate entity with legitimate borders, a view that is still entrenched in the Russian bureaucracy that occasionally even tries to send Ukrainians who fought in the Novorossiya Armed Forces back into the loving embrace of the SBU. This has prevented and will likely continue to prevent Russia from adopting these Chinese best practices, at least until sovok ways of thinking become fully discredited and the Lenin statues start to come down.
However, on the off chance that PUTLER continues heeding my advice, here’s what will happen when “31 Steps for the Ukraine” are implemented:
1. Russia will at the very least benefit from a modest expansion of its smart fraction, which will be ethnically non-hostile (something you can’t say of all Brahmins) and will come at close to zero cost – while also weakening a hostile state.
2. The immigrating Ukrainians will also benefit (otherwise, why would they go?).
3. To be sure, the Russians who insist on larping as Ukrainians in the Ukraine will not be so well off. But such is the cost of their “European choice.”
4. Over time, there will be a reflux effect as these elite Ukrainians form a moneyed, high IQ pro-Russian constituency.
5. Obviously it would be best if the EU continues disintegrating and/or destroying itself with Infinity Refugees to help make the choices on offer in the Ukraine clearer.
There is no particular need to cause needless antagonism by repressing Ukrainian svidomism. Instead, it would seem logical to partly adopt Ukrainian svidomism and weaponize it for Russian national purposes.
I have already suggested the EXTREMELY POWERFUL idea of staging gladitorial combat between sovoks and svidomy to decide the fate of individual Lenin statues. Sovoks win – they stay. Svidomy win – they get to pull it down. Rinse and repeat for every town and city. Make it a weekly, televised event. It will let the svidomy have a sort of voice and investment into Russia’s direction, blow off necessary steam, and inject some Bronze Age vitalism into the body politic.
The anti-Bandera cult will need to be dismantled, but it seems pretty useless and played out anyway, like most sovok things. Indeed, why stop at just painting Bandera as a renegade Russian? That’s for the weak. An EVEN MORE POWERFUL idea would be to reinvent Bandera as a Russian hero, fighting against the Communist, Jewish, and Polish oppressors.
Bonus: Ukrainian nationalist songs are pretty groovy.
At the end of the day, it is not ordinary people – proles – who set national policies. It is national elites. While the Ukraine was roughly evenly divided between Russia and the West from 1991-2014, its elites were consistently Atlanticist in orientation, and dragged the rest of the country along; no matter how generously Russia subsidized its proles. Russia needs to co-opt the Ukraine’s national elites in the same way that the West did after 1991. And I don’t mean through crony deals with their post-sovok rulers – the only approach that Russian sovoks understand. I mean making Russian culture so majestic and attractive that they not only wish to submit, but actually pay for the privilege.
Once that happens, the Ukrainian masses will follow in the footsteps of Viktor Marchenko, the anti-hero of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided:
Born: 1991 near Zaporizhia, Ukraine
Left school after 10 years (2 years shy of the compulsory 12) to become a shift worker on a drilling gang looking for shale-gas deposits in eastern Ukraine.
Ran into trouble in 2011 when a group of Pro-Russian separatists started a fight with his crew in Mariupol after work; he tried to break it up, got injured, and ended up in hospital. Could have been when he got augmented-not sure. (Records get pretty scarce here. In fact, there’s a good 12 year period we can’t account for, and no record of when or where he DID get augmented.)
Shows up again briefly in 2023, this time with a wife and newborn kid: Alisa Maratovna and Raisa Viktorichna. Only now he’s in Belgorod.
Which I don’t get, frankly.
A pro-Ukrainian national moving to Russia only makes sense if he stayed with energy companies all those years. Everyone wanted a piece of their reserves after 2015. But that would have put him somewhere in Siberia, not Belgorod. Belgorod is on the border with Ukraine. It’s got nothing to do with oil. It does, however, have a long history of military occupation-and in 2016, it was the city from which the newly-minted Russian Federated States deployed Belltower Associates to quell Ukraine’s anti-separatist dissension once and for all.
After all, the US even dropped a couple of nukes on Japan, but soon afterwards, the Japanese came to love the Americans. While some claim that questions of cultural influence are very hard, in reality they are extremely simple: People love winners, and despise losers. The Russian Empire were winners, so much so that there were strong Russophile movements in Galicia, and in far-off Bohemia (Masaryk wanted to introduce Russian language instructions in Czech schools – understandably vetoed by the Austrian authorities). The sovoks were losers – so much so that by the 1990s, even many Russians wanted to have nothing to do with Russia.
It’s time to become winners again through SWPL supremacism, CRISPR-transhumanism, and neoliberal domestic economics.
Today I was at the presentation of Alexander Zhuchkovsky‘s new book 85 Days in Slavyansk [buy]. The author is a Novorossiya activist and humanitarian help coordinator who is based long-term in the DNR.
Many of the big names in Russian nationalism were there:
Next to him is Konstantin Krylov, founder of the NPD, who was once prosecuted under 282 for suggesting that it’s “time to do away with this strange economic system” (of feeding the Caucasus).
Next is Yury Yurchenko, a Franco-Russian poet who repatriated to fight for Novorossiya.
Suited man sitting in the middle is Alexander Zhuchkovsky himself.
Standing suited man is our GREAT LEADER himself, Igor Strelkov.
Sitting man in camos is “Vandal“, the youngest guy in Strelkov’s regiment in 2014. (He got the nickname thanks to his love of disassembling electronics equipment).
Suited man on the far right is Pavel Gubarev, the “people’s governor” of the DNR, who has been gradually sidelined from power in the republic.
I am looking forwards to reading and reviewing the book about the decisive first battle of the War in the Donbass, without which the LDNR could not have survived. Even Strelkov, a man who detests flattery, and complained about some minor errors in front of the crowd, called it “pretty good”. That is high praise, coming from him.
The other, less critically minded people on the panel called it the book of the decade.
I won’t sugarcoat things; the general mood was pretty glum. The hopes and dreams of the Russian Spring (a term coined by Kholmogorov) have failed to materialize. After the assassination of Zakharchenko, new elections were announced in the DNR, from which everyone but the Kremlin-controlled candidate of the old Yanukovych clan – Denis Pushilin, a fraudster before the war, and who has close to zero approval ratings in the Donbass – have been excluded. Pavel Gubarev himself is now barred from even entering the republic.
Strelkov himself dates the betrayal of the dream of a reunited Russia to May 25, when Putin recognized the results of the Ukrainian elections that placed Poroshenko. And he expects that the election of Tymoshenko, an outcome that is electorally likely and apparently both anticipated and welcomed by the kremlins, who entertain “delusions” that they can “do business” with her, will just end up boomeranging against them “as with Trump.”
Just to be clear this is perfectly in sync with Strelkov’s outspoken opposition towards Putin and skepticism about Russia’s trajectory, which he expects to end in a new Time of Troubles.
The “intellectuals”, Kholmogorov and Krylov, provided some historical context to if not completely dispel the gloomy atmosphere, then at least to provide some hope.
Kholmogorov compared the Battle of Slavyansk to the Battle of the Alamo; although the latter was a defeat, it provided the Americans with an inspirational call to arms (“Remember the Alamo!”), and a decade later Texas would be theirs and would in time become one of the most American of American states. Russians, too, must remember Slavyansk – until such a time that at least the Donbass, if not Novorossiya, can come back into the fold. But above all, Slavyansk wasn’t so much struggle for the Donbass, or even Novorossiya, but for a Russia that is Russian.
Krylov talked about “the politics of memory”, about how Katyn has become a Schelling point around which the Poles base their identity. He argued that the Odessa massacre must become to Russians what Katyn became to the Poles.
Independent of any political sympathies, I continue to be impressed by Strelkov as an orator and a leader – an impression I’ve had since his debate with Navalny in July 2017. He is not a politician – he promises little, and on the rare occasions that he does, he does so from the first person, instead of hiding behind “we will” and “it should”; when he can’t say something concrete about a sensitive issue, he says so forthrightly, instead of skirting around it with empty babble. As I mentioned above, he rarely praises and never flatters; but that just means that when he does hand down a grudging compliment, it actually means something.
Now Strelkov entertains no political ambitions, at least openly; nor does he have the covert sympathies of some of Russia’s “deep state” liberal technocrats within the Kremlin, as Navalny does. But I don’t exaggerate when I say that he has a greater chance of eventually becoming President than Navalny. It’s still very low, of course. That said, while I can’t imagine a President Navalny except in the most extreme scenarios, e.g. a coup of some sort, I can still just about imagine a President Strelkov – if demotist yearning for empty showmanship can be at least partially overcome. A tall call to be sure, but stranger things have happened.
Just a nerdy sidenote. I’ve been accepted into the Geforce Now beta; Nvidia’s game streaming service. Streaming services are going to move into the video game space after conquering both music (Spotify) and TV (Netflix). So I was curious about how the experience would be.
The basic premise is that most gamers don’t need to own expensive hardware. Unless you play twitch-shooters at a serious level – where every extra ms of latency is hyperimportant – , your needs can be covered easily. Hardcore gamers are very vocal, so their numbers tend to be exaggerated. Most gamers’ needs could be covered. Right now the invitation-only beta is free. You still have to own your games. These are still early days so the exact business model is still being figured out.
Google released their Project Streaming a few days ago, which is their first foray into the same space. Taketwo’s CEO stated in a conference some weeks ago that he sees a large industry-wide adoption 1-3 years down the line. The chess pieces are being put into place.
For me, I have a super basic celeron-powered laptop which I bought for ~$300 since it covers my basic browsing needs and it does so well enough. I have no home PC right now so this solution is right in my backyard.
So how is it? Surprisingly good. You need at least 50 mbit/s in order to get [email protected] home. I can stream Witcher 3 at great quality settings on my laptop at 60 fps. The service supports cloud save, too. Installation for the most popular games takes just 10 secs. For the less popular ones you have to re-install them at every time, which is a bit of a PITA if the game is big. Anything over 20 GB tends be annoying in my experience. But the upside is that you don’t store anything locally. I have just 8 GB free on my SDD as I write this, so that is a big bonus for me.
You can be very portable too. You only need the app and a decent internet connection to access your library. You could play these games on vacation, in a library, at a friend’s house. Unlike bulky and fat gaming laptops, my laptop weights just 1.2 kg so portability is definitely key. I usually have a small wireless mouse with me regardless.
I’ve tried some online shooters (primarily NS2, a small game which I own) and the experience was totally decent. I tried the more popular CS:GO and I had zero latency/lag issues. The only downside there was 60 fps, but that is limited by my screen. Nvidia has a way to stream at 120 fps but your screen needs to support it. Right now that is a downside given that the only laptops which have such support tend to be gaming laptops, and they are often very expensive in the first place (nullifying the need of the service). However, you can still use this on a basic home PC with just an integrated GPU and a cheap CPU with a simple 144 Hz monitor which you can get for under $200 these days. It’s also very possible that we could get cheaper laptops with 120-144 Hz monitors down the line.
As stated above, the hardcore gamers will never be satisfied with this, but for most casual gamers out there and even moderately serious ones, I see no reason why this wouldn’t be attractive. Pricing is null right now, but most discussion have ranged in the $10-20 range. If we assume the upper bound and include access to games in the price down the line (just like Netflix), then it would be very attractive for vast swaths of gamers. Especially those like me, who only game occasionally and who don’t have the time to be super serious. Another benefit is that hacking will be much harder to do, especially in online games, where it can be a real plague on PC in certain titles.
There are still a lot of kinks to iron out. Internet is hardly 50 mbit/s or above in most places (though 5G buildout will certainly help that as data capacity increases). In some countries, data caps can get in the way, though not in Poland and many European countries. Exactly how the distribution of games will be structured is to be established. All the business models are still early-stage. This is why it’s still a beta and why Google is just now dipping their toes. But this is coming. The experience was definitely good enough for most gamers and it is an economical solution, too. I can just buy the latest Metro game when its out on Steam and then stream it for free – as of now – on my crappy laptop at good quality settings on 60 fps instead of splurging on expensive hardware. Even at at temporary cost of $10 or $20 per month, it would be a good deal. You don’t have to lock yourself in for years. What’s not to like?
While I don’t particularly follow gaming news, I am still quite amazed to have missed this.
Anyhow, this was certainly very useful information.
I was planning to build a new machine once I get a good financial cushion again (I’ll be giving away the rig I built in 2013 to a relative soon). But bearing this in mind, what’s the point? Laptop + docking station + peripherals has been a solid decision for work for several years now, and with video game streaming, the vast majority of people will no longer need a gaming PC either.
(I have always been opposed to gaming laptops. They are far worse for video games than dedicated rigs, more expensive, you can’t upgrade them, and their bulk makes them subpar for work and mobility too).
Couple more comments:
1. What about mod support? I find some games (e.g. any Bethesda blockbuster) basically unplayable without being souped up by a ton of mods.
GeForce Now only seems to have support for mods on the Steam market, not self-installed mods.
I don’t imagine it’s possible in principle to even get a lot of leeway here, because:
2. You are talking about granting people access to masses of computing power, which some will exploit to power other applications, such as Bitcoin mining. This is no longer an issue, since all serious mining is now done on dedicated ASIC hardware, but still, I am sure there’s no shortage of other commercial ventures that bright, enterprising people will be able to find and exploit if given the option of loading extraneous programs.
3. So ironically, while game streaming would make video gaming much more accessible – hopefully even killing off some of the parasitic overgrowth that is mobile gaming – the massive influx of normies it would produce after it becomes popularized like Netflix and the deathblow it will deal to what remains of modding culture will further despoil video gaming beyond even its current woeful state.
At least that’s my take on this. Perhaps it’s not the best take. I did only learn of this recently. What do you think?
First, the US – along with other high IQ countries – is one of the very safest countries for young women in the world. Rape in civilized countries is an order of magnitude or two lower than in the Third World.
College campuses, where people are generally brighter than average, can be expected to be even safer (convicts have 1 S.D. lower IQs than the population at large – and rapists have even lower IQs than other violent convicts).
By these measures, Yale should be in the 99th percentile of safety from rape even in the US. It is one of the very safest places for young women in the entire world.
But there’s some additional, pretty minor details:
Never reported these “rape gang” parties to the police.
Neither did any of her friends.
Can’t recall the date of the party.
Claims she has a fear of flying, but stayed at an airport hotel in Maryland this August
Long-term boyfriend says she never mentioned Kavanaugh in their 6 years together nor suffered from fear of flying
Helped a friend prepare for a lie detector test
Cheated on said boyfriend
Committed credit card fraud against boyfriend when he decided to drop the crazy
So Kavanaugh almost certainly raped nothing except SJW feelz.
Even if many psychopathic status maximizing Bioleninists beg to differ.
Seriously, I don’t even care about Kavanaugh. Being a foreigner I have no reason to (except, perhaps, insofar as how this imbroglio influences the coming midterm elections).
But this witch-hunt – with white, intelligent, successful, conservative Chads playing the role of latter-day witches – has reached levels of flat on its face absurdity that shouldn’t even be possible.
Although I hardly have the highest opinion about the competence of Russia’s spy agencies, I thought this MUST be a fake when I saw it.
Is there anyone who still uses TAXIS in Moscow in 2018? (apart from people over 60 who d0n’t know there are better, more reliable services such as Yandex Taxi or Uber which cost less and aren’t run by Armenian mafias).
Is there any transport service that still fills out these receipts in PEN AND PAPER?
Do spooks really have to submit the details of their expenses to their accountancy office for reimbursements?
Are they really so damn lazy and incompetent that they can’t at least walk a few hundred meters from their workplace (Building #20 on Komsomolsky Prospekt) before calling a taxi?
Well, as it turns out, the answers to these questions are all yes: A Meduza call to the telephone listed under Alexey Morenets’ receipt, which belongs to the individual entrepreneur Benyamin Shaginyan, led to a confirmation that the receipt was genuine and the trip happened.
I suppose that also makes it much easier to understand why Petrov and Boshirov were given a single room in a bottom of the barrel hotel during their touristic sojourns.
PS. It doesn’t end here. Even as I wrote this, a new report has been released by The Insider and Bellingcat (yes, whatever) in which 305 (!) GRU employees where identified, including the aforementioned Morenets. How? Because their cars were registered with the traffic police at the location of said GRU building. This means that anybody with access to this database, and this is one of the most accessible databases in Russia, also had access to the GRU data.
If it wasn’t already, it is also now increasingly obvious why so many Russian spies were getting detained these past few months. They have less OPSEC than the security departments of many corporations.
With revelations of such magnitude, the viability of the GRU itself must also now be questioned. At this point many of their agents might as well walk around with loudspeakers announcing their missions.
The “House of the White Crane” teahouse is in contention with Cafe Receptor for the SWPLiest establishment in Moscow.
Anyhow, apologies for the lack of posting.
But in between my new job, finding/acquiring the ten or so documents needed for paperwork for said job, some new contract work, and the end of my refurbishment/moving into and furnishing a new apartment happening all at once, I hardly have a spare minute.
* HAIL PUTLER! He personally submitted a bill to soften Article 282, Russia’s hate speech law. Good to see my blog is being read and acted upon at the very highest levels.
* Based Italian shitlord physicist Alessandro Strumia gets suspended for common sense wisdom on women, IQ distributions, and relative success in science. James Thompson has details. The talk that got him canned here [PDF].
Did Star Wars: The Last Jedi destroy the franchise and permanently rupture the fandom as its critics (melodramatically) have accused it of doing? According to a new academic paper by researcher Morten Bay, the answer is clearly no.
The paper, titled Weaponizing The Haters: The Last Jedi and the strategic politicization of pop culture through social media manipulation, examines the online response to 2017’s Last Jedi, a movie that has come to be considered controversial amongst the larger fanbase of the franchise.
Bay suggests that reputation may not be earned, and instead “finds evidence of deliberate, organized political influence measures disguised as fan arguments,” as he writes in the paper’s abstract. He continues, “The likely objective of these measures is increasing media coverage of the fandom conflict, thereby adding to and further propagating a narrative of widespread discord and dysfunction in American society. Persuading voters of this narrative remains a strategic goal for the U.S. alt-right movement, as well as the Russian Federation.”
It obviously has nothing at all to do with any issues hinted at by the discrepancy between its 4.5/10 user rating and 8.5/10 critic rating on Metacritic.
Would it not be easier to dissolve the Russian Nazi trolls and elect a more pliable audience of soyboys and blue-haired SJWs?
More SWPL in Moscow – this place was a car park/dump a few years ago.
My glorious NEETdom will (partially) end from the start of October. While I was never enthusiastic about getting a real job, this one happens to be centered around the intersection of Russian demographics, economics, and psychometrics. So it’s essentially a continuation of my existing hobbies, and attendance requirements are lax. This is perfectly synchronized with my blog’s content, so I don’t even expect content production here to suffer.
I am also contributing to a website that will help countervent censorship of the altsphere. It’s still in the beta phase, so I can’t say too much about it yet.
Remont (=renovation; but even all the expats call it a remont) is almost finished. Hopefully I can move into my apartment in a week’s time.
An alt right blogger recently recommended me Keybase. Quite a few of my acquaintances in the Alt Right are interested in censorship-resistant payment systems, and I will admit to having some curiosity as well; never know when it might come in handy. Anyone kind enough to give me the 101 on it?
* I haven’t been following the Kavanaugh affair closely enough to have any good opinions. FWIW PredictIt currently gives him a 60% chance of becoming SCOTUS judge, but it fluctuates wildly on the latest news.
Obviously the accusations are almost certainly false, and ludicrous to an almost “Rape on Campus” degree (though as Steve points out being wrong hasn’t stopped the Blue Checkmark mob).
The affair does seem to back observations that US society is becoming extremely polarized.
* BLAST FROM THE PAST. Putin suggested to visiting German business in Saint-Petersburg in 1993 that Russia should spend some time as a regime modeled after that of Pinochet.
* Higher School of Economics study [in Russian]: Russia’s more religious (Orthodox) regions have similar fertility rates and divorce rates to the rest of Russia, but lower crime, and much lower HIV prevalence rates. (Being religion-hating liberals, the HSE people “predict” that those Russian regions may become “zones of social dysfunction,” like the Bible Belt in the US. I assume it’s because Negroes will settle those areas come Tropical Hyperborea.)
* My Twitter thread on Russian life expectancy and alcoholism in response to a question from WW2 historian Mark Harrison:
* Scott Alexander reviews The Black Swan. Book reviews lie on a power-law distribution?
* I noted the weak presence of Russia (and China) in PC video games.
But there’s a new free to play game on Steam made by Tencent called Ring of Elysium, which is a battle royale like PUBG/Fortnite. You start off an a mountain top and need to ski/paraglide your way down to a rescue helicopter in the middle of a post-apocalyptic blizzard, which picking off other skier-survivalists. This sounds like the best plot ever to me.
After several paragraphs of word salad, we get a surprisingly concrete answer:
The available data on race and “copy culture”—the preferred term among those who regard content sharing as legitimate, rather than criminal—further undermines the theory that torrenting is yet another form of white privilege. A 2012 analysis from Columbia’s American Assembly found that black and white Americans had broadly similar attitudes towards music piracy, while Hispanics were somewhat more tolerant. And while Al-Raffee and Cronan found that “older subjects have a lower (less favorable) attitude towards digital piracy than younger subjects”, the American Assembly study found that downloading is more common among blacks and Hispanics over 30 than it is among over-30 whites. (There were no significant differences in downloading behavior among whites, blacks and Hispanics aged 18 to 29.)
But it’s clear she would have been happier with a finding of structural racism:
But the more complicated truth is that even if our offline characteristics are (sometimes) invisible online, they still shape the way we experience the internet’s joys, risks, and conflicts. It’s less frightening to express yourself online when you aren’t worried that your tweet or photo or blog post might invite a racist or misogynistic backlash. It’s easier to snap up that eBay deal or Kickstarter offer when you’re already affluent. It’s less daunting to engage in online activities that carry some risk—whether that’s torrenting or online activism—if your offline identity allows you to assume that the justice system is basically on your side.
Asking how our offline identities enable or preclude different kinds of online experiences is an essential part of being a responsible online citizen. Sometimes those inquiries may reveal remarkable commonalities, as with the discovery that torrenting is equally common among young people of different ethnicities. But just as often, and more crucially, simply asking the question will open our eyes and our minds to the online impact of our offline privilege. The more carefully we consider and address the ways that our offline identities affect our online lives, the better the chance of creating an online world in which we transcend rather than replicate offline inequities.
Amusing, as I have pointed out on a few occasions, it is the Apple-buying, latte-sipping liberal yuppie crowd that has a moralistic, quasi-Hajnal aversion to software piracy and is ghey enough to subscribe to Netflix from Russia of all places. They consider piracy is stealing and therefore “sovok,” “Asiatic”, “they don’t do that over there”; while being a loyal paypig to giant foreign corporations is the “Western”, “European”, “civilized” thing to do. Whereas in reality all the actually cool kids in the West that they worship are torrenting the fuck out of the Internet.
Consequently, if piracy really was white privilege, then Russian liberals would be niggers.
If you’re interested in real time demographics updates, you could do worse than follow Cicerone1973.
Every couple of months, he provides an update of the fertility situation in those countries that maintain up to date statistics (s0, mostly the developed world and ex-socialist bloc).
Anyhow, something pretty weird is happening. Fertility is plummeting across pretty much all countries that care to actively measure it in 2018 – and this follows on from a similarly precipitous 2017.
1. USA is down to 1.74 children per woman (estimate). Whites are usually about 0.1 children below the US as a whole, so American whites will be at 1.65 children per woman this year.
2. Russia seems to be settling down to a new normal at around 1.6. Ethnic Russians are around 0.08 children less than the Russian Federation as a whole, so their rate is converging down to 1.5 children per woman.
3. Poland is no longer the worst big country in Europe as of a few years ago; settling in at around 1.45 children per woman. Atheist Czechia does the best of the V4 at almost 1.7 children per woman. Hungary and Slovakia are at around 1.5 children per woman, but recall that both have considerable numbers of Gypsies. Romania is at 1.6, so I assume ethnic Romanians are at around 1.5 children per woman.
4. Germany’s doing a lot better than it was a few years ago too. Especially since the refugee baby boom must have mostly abated by now.
5. It looks like South Korea will become the world’s first “big” country to fall below 1 child per woman. Israel (8.5 million) has running at half as many births as South Korea (51 million).
Cicerone also says this may be the first year in which Best Korea has more total births.
This could mean that North Korea will be victorious in the end, I assume. They now have more births than the South and no degenerated men. The only problem is their technological and economic backwardness, but that could easily be solved a la Deng Xiaoping.
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.