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Interesting links.

(1) Len Sassaman and Satoshi: a Cypherpunk History. This is, I think, the strongest case for someone being Satoshi that I have read to date. All I can say is that IF it was him, he played the double act VERY well.

(2) Gregoire Canlorbe (Postil Magazine) – A conversation with Emil O.W. Kirkegaard

(3) James Thompson – Our World in Blank Slate Data?

(4) Anders Sandberg – Galactic duck and cover

(5) Turkey’s lira is collapsing again. Sovereign default? Probably not – still has ample reserves (on paper). But interesting developments nonetheless.

(6) Stronk buy signal:

https://twitter.com/m0rn3_/status/1375170652580294657/

 

 
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  1. This is the current Open Thread, where anything goes – within reason.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. I think Americans who want to travel back in time and tell plantation owners to “pick their own cotton” are missing the real thrust of history.

    If the US had somehow magically been prevented from having slavery, then we would have still imported millions of Africans to show that we are better than white Brazilians, or South Africans. It would not have prevented the Civil War at all, just made it happen with atomics.

    • Replies: @Boomthorkell
    @songbird

    I'm a little confused with your point, but with the plantation economy, as far as I recall, they only used Africans because it was more profitable (initially) then Europeans (initially.) If there was some law against slavery though, I don't think they would have even considered importing millions of Africans. They would likely have been forced to double-down on poor Irish and Indentured Brits.

    Anyhow, what would FOLLOW that, assuming the normal course of history...is hard to say. I don't actually know when African migrants started being a thing...did we ever see real numbers of them before the 2000s?

    Comical idea though: American Plantation Lords import massive amounts of Malay
    and Indian workers, inspired by experience of Dutch and British plantations in the Indies.

    Alt. More likely timeline: MAYAN CHICANOS EVERYWHERE.

    Replies: @songbird

  3. Humor for the open thread. Open [MORE] for additional pics.

    PEACE 😇

     

    [MORE]

     
     
     

  4. I thought the Chinese were propping up Turkey’s economy. David Goldman said that was the case a couple of years ago.

    • Agree: Not Raul

  5. Biden was asked by a “reporter” whether N. Korea is the most challenging foreign-policy conundrum. Because Biden’s answer consisted solely of “Yes,” (as he told Putin, he is “busy”) I will helpfully expand. Kim and his inner circle have over 100 personal cheerleaders, as we saw at the Olympics. They also have the Traffic Ladies (retirement age is 26). This unprecedented factor complicates the mental state of the leaders. and how the U.S. should think about them.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @songbird
    @SafeNow

    Perhaps, Japan should try it to draw out the Hikikomori.

    Replies: @128

    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    @SafeNow

    This is why the comments need a, "Sexy," button.

  6. @SafeNow
    https://i.pinimg.com/236x/c3/18/bd/c318bd3aae495ee755231d6083a52546--north-korea-real-life.jpg

    Biden was asked by a “reporter” whether N. Korea is the most challenging foreign-policy conundrum. Because Biden’s answer consisted solely of “Yes,” (as he told Putin, he is “busy”) I will helpfully expand. Kim and his inner circle have over 100 personal cheerleaders, as we saw at the Olympics. They also have the Traffic Ladies (retirement age is 26). This unprecedented factor complicates the mental state of the leaders. and how the U.S. should think about them.

    Replies: @songbird, @The Wild Geese Howard

    Perhaps, Japan should try it to draw out the Hikikomori.

    • Replies: @128
    @songbird

    Would an Ireland that is not pozzed in exchange for a standard of living comparable to Eamon de Valera's times be a good trade? That should still be above what the North Korean countryside has.

    Replies: @songbird

  7. Maybe people can try to use sources that are not paywalled here?

  8. Mostly white Europe has failed to vaccinanate its people at half the rate of the 40% black and Hispanic USA.

    White nationalists, how do you cope with this troubling fact?

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    @JohnPlywood

    I am not a white nationalist. I am a non-participant-observer. I have a friend who works in the american medical complex who maybe maintains the friendship only because she has pity on me her token deplorable friend. Like every white American has one token black friend except we could be distant cousins if we looked at our completely populated ancestor trees to four levels. She got the vaccination. Horrible immune system reaction for the better part of seven days. And she has the second shot scheduled.

    I am going to get vaccinated if and when the SWAT team shows up at my front door with guns and needle drawn and not before. Diversity is what makes our country what it is!

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @Thulean Friend
    @JohnPlywood

    This has already been covered in previous OTs. The short answer is that Europe believed the nonsense about the "international rules-based system" propaganda, whereas the Angloids just instituted de facto export bans on all vaccine production.

    https://twitter.com/GitaGopinath/status/1375557532224225282

    Meanwhile, the Angloid press has been running a nonstop propaganda campaign about supposed European "incompetence" (understood in technical, rather than political, terms) when the reality is much simpler: naïvité.

    I don't hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do. We're seeing the same thing with the intentional self-detonation of the EU-China investment deal. Europe is just a remote-controlled collection of subcolonial puppet states. Cowardice has to be punished, so I feel no sympathy, just disgust.

    Replies: @JohnPlywood, @Europe Europa

    , @Boomthorkell
    @JohnPlywood

    Thank God for all those Black and Hispanic doctors and medical distributors for bringing about the joys of this little experiment in non-Emperor approved gene-therapy.

    Oh, wait a minute...a society with a large slave class can function fine so long as its smart-fraction and elites can accomplish what they set out to do. Still, it doesn't make it good.

    Anyhow, sarcasm aside, what is troubling about this anyway?

    , @Dacian Julien Soros
    @JohnPlywood

    If the RNA vaccine were any good, you would be able to identify vaccinated people using an antibody test, as it is done for hepatitis or measles. The current wave of vaccination is merely a contest in dick length. Amerikanski Nigro Kizzmekia made vaccines first, German Turk made it second, Joos vaccinated first, limies also diluted their doses etc.

    Well, suck my medium-size Romanian dick. Corona is following its course undeterred, and is naturally waning in a country where 10% oficially had it and spring has arrived. Talk to us next November anyway.

    Replies: @melanf

    , @Yellowface Anon
    @JohnPlywood

    When you have a hard core of anti-establishment, libertarian types who understands the risk of testing out gene therapy for a barely lethal virus, and (possibly rightly) suspect vaccination is the road to the Great Reset's techno-serfdom.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    , @Svevlad
    @JohnPlywood

    dunno i'm a serb (not white!)

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

  9. @songbird
    @SafeNow

    Perhaps, Japan should try it to draw out the Hikikomori.

    Replies: @128

    Would an Ireland that is not pozzed in exchange for a standard of living comparable to Eamon de Valera’s times be a good trade? That should still be above what the North Korean countryside has.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @128

    Without a doubt. IMO, better dirt floors in parts of the country than poz. Attracting international capital was one of Ireland's biggest mistakes ever.

  10. @128
    @songbird

    Would an Ireland that is not pozzed in exchange for a standard of living comparable to Eamon de Valera's times be a good trade? That should still be above what the North Korean countryside has.

    Replies: @songbird

    Without a doubt. IMO, better dirt floors in parts of the country than poz. Attracting international capital was one of Ireland’s biggest mistakes ever.

  11. @JohnPlywood
    Mostly white Europe has failed to vaccinanate its people at half the rate of the 40% black and Hispanic USA.


    White nationalists, how do you cope with this troubling fact?

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @Dacian Julien Soros, @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad

    I am not a white nationalist. I am a non-participant-observer. I have a friend who works in the american medical complex who maybe maintains the friendship only because she has pity on me her token deplorable friend. Like every white American has one token black friend except we could be distant cousins if we looked at our completely populated ancestor trees to four levels. She got the vaccination. Horrible immune system reaction for the better part of seven days. And she has the second shot scheduled.

    I am going to get vaccinated if and when the SWAT team shows up at my front door with guns and needle drawn and not before. Diversity is what makes our country what it is!

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Morton's toes

    It normally takes a couple of years minimum to develop a decent novel vaccine. And sometimes it just doesn't work. Great that we had these Big Pharma stakhanovites in 2020, otherwise we would already all be dead of Covid by now...

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  12. @JohnPlywood
    Mostly white Europe has failed to vaccinanate its people at half the rate of the 40% black and Hispanic USA.


    White nationalists, how do you cope with this troubling fact?

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @Dacian Julien Soros, @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad

    This has already been covered in previous OTs. The short answer is that Europe believed the nonsense about the “international rules-based system” propaganda, whereas the Angloids just instituted de facto export bans on all vaccine production.

    Meanwhile, the Angloid press has been running a nonstop propaganda campaign about supposed European “incompetence” (understood in technical, rather than political, terms) when the reality is much simpler: naïvité.

    I don’t hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do. We’re seeing the same thing with the intentional self-detonation of the EU-China investment deal. Europe is just a remote-controlled collection of subcolonial puppet states. Cowardice has to be punished, so I feel no sympathy, just disgust.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
    @Thulean Friend

    Yes, but, if you look at the chart, EU produced fewer vaccines than India. It even had a shittier ratio of imports to exports. EU is looking mad incompetent right now and white nationalists are angry and looking for an answer from their mentors as to why this is happening. And where all the Asian women at.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @Europe Europa
    @Thulean Friend


    I don’t hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do.
     
    "European leaders" have been running a non-stop campaign to discredit the non-profit AZ jab and trying to get the WHO to ban it, and when that failed they are now trying to impose an export ban on AZ, the vaccine they tried to say is unsafe and that they didn't want. And you call Anglos ruthless!

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Dmitry

  13. Re: sanctions of Russia. There are good reasons to suggest that any “crippling” sanctions would mostly backfire on Western financial institutions. Russia has done a decent job de-risking their foreign debt contracts; in some instances even re-writing the terms from scratch, such as giving flexibility to pay back in rubles at prevailing market exchange rates even when the debt was taken in CHF, EUR or USD.

    I would not wager on major sanctions being imposed for these and other reasons. In the event that I am wrong, it is unlikely that the effects will be as harsh as many seem to presuppose.

    • Replies: @atharvaveda
    @Thulean Friend

    I'm absolutely astonished by that article. There seems to be no cure for the Russian delusion that they have to sell ruble-denominated bonds to foreigners to finance their own government's operations. Literally the only thing accomplished by this is giving away rubles to foreigners in the form of interest, incidentally creating downward pressure on the ruble as the interest on the bonds is sold for other currencies, which the Russian central bank then has to counteract. In other words, Russia both gives away free money to countries that hate Russia and are dedicated to destroying Russia, and provides the tools for financial speculation against the ruble. This kind of child-like ignorance and naivité is why the West continues to run rings around Russia. As for the article you linked to, imagine writing something that complex and ambitious on the basis of a mistaken premise.

  14. @songbird
    I think Americans who want to travel back in time and tell plantation owners to "pick their own cotton" are missing the real thrust of history.

    If the US had somehow magically been prevented from having slavery, then we would have still imported millions of Africans to show that we are better than white Brazilians, or South Africans. It would not have prevented the Civil War at all, just made it happen with atomics.

    Replies: @Boomthorkell

    I’m a little confused with your point, but with the plantation economy, as far as I recall, they only used Africans because it was more profitable (initially) then Europeans (initially.) If there was some law against slavery though, I don’t think they would have even considered importing millions of Africans. They would likely have been forced to double-down on poor Irish and Indentured Brits.

    Anyhow, what would FOLLOW that, assuming the normal course of history…is hard to say. I don’t actually know when African migrants started being a thing…did we ever see real numbers of them before the 2000s?

    Comical idea though: American Plantation Lords import massive amounts of Malay
    and Indian workers, inspired by experience of Dutch and British plantations in the Indies.

    Alt. More likely timeline: MAYAN CHICANOS EVERYWHERE.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Boomthorkell


    If there was some law against slavery though, I don’t think they would have even considered importing millions of Africans.
     
    That's an interesting distinction - a law against slavery, rather than a law against the slave trade (which ended up being violated.) Would it have worked? I'm not sure, perhaps, a law against blacks.

    Alt. More likely timeline: MAYAN CHICANOS EVERYWHERE.
     
    Perhaps, but when they built the Panama Canal, I think most of the low-skilled labor was black, imported from places like Jamaica, and the locals did very little, if any, of the grunt work. For a time, black slaves even had a niche appeal among Indians and Chinese.

    But my overall point is this: slavery doesn't seem to explain the presence of blacks in Europe. I would say that there was enough information available to Europeans - certainly by the timeline of Ireland - for them to understand that it was a bad idea to allow blacks to come. But that did not stop them - and we haven't come to the full population explosion of Africa, yet. It seems likely that more are coming.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  15. @JohnPlywood
    Mostly white Europe has failed to vaccinanate its people at half the rate of the 40% black and Hispanic USA.


    White nationalists, how do you cope with this troubling fact?

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @Dacian Julien Soros, @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad

    Thank God for all those Black and Hispanic doctors and medical distributors for bringing about the joys of this little experiment in non-Emperor approved gene-therapy.

    Oh, wait a minute…a society with a large slave class can function fine so long as its smart-fraction and elites can accomplish what they set out to do. Still, it doesn’t make it good.

    Anyhow, sarcasm aside, what is troubling about this anyway?

  16. @Thulean Friend
    @JohnPlywood

    This has already been covered in previous OTs. The short answer is that Europe believed the nonsense about the "international rules-based system" propaganda, whereas the Angloids just instituted de facto export bans on all vaccine production.

    https://twitter.com/GitaGopinath/status/1375557532224225282

    Meanwhile, the Angloid press has been running a nonstop propaganda campaign about supposed European "incompetence" (understood in technical, rather than political, terms) when the reality is much simpler: naïvité.

    I don't hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do. We're seeing the same thing with the intentional self-detonation of the EU-China investment deal. Europe is just a remote-controlled collection of subcolonial puppet states. Cowardice has to be punished, so I feel no sympathy, just disgust.

    Replies: @JohnPlywood, @Europe Europa

    Yes, but, if you look at the chart, EU produced fewer vaccines than India. It even had a shittier ratio of imports to exports. EU is looking mad incompetent right now and white nationalists are angry and looking for an answer from their mentors as to why this is happening. And where all the Asian women at.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @JohnPlywood


    white nationalists are angry and looking for an answer from their mentors as to why this is happening
     
    Proof link please.

    Thanks.
  17. @JohnPlywood
    @Thulean Friend

    Yes, but, if you look at the chart, EU produced fewer vaccines than India. It even had a shittier ratio of imports to exports. EU is looking mad incompetent right now and white nationalists are angry and looking for an answer from their mentors as to why this is happening. And where all the Asian women at.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    white nationalists are angry and looking for an answer from their mentors as to why this is happening

    Proof link please.

    Thanks.

  18. @Morton's toes
    @JohnPlywood

    I am not a white nationalist. I am a non-participant-observer. I have a friend who works in the american medical complex who maybe maintains the friendship only because she has pity on me her token deplorable friend. Like every white American has one token black friend except we could be distant cousins if we looked at our completely populated ancestor trees to four levels. She got the vaccination. Horrible immune system reaction for the better part of seven days. And she has the second shot scheduled.

    I am going to get vaccinated if and when the SWAT team shows up at my front door with guns and needle drawn and not before. Diversity is what makes our country what it is!

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    It normally takes a couple of years minimum to develop a decent novel vaccine. And sometimes it just doesn’t work. Great that we had these Big Pharma stakhanovites in 2020, otherwise we would already all be dead of Covid by now…

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    You suggested that you'd like to continue discussing "reforms in the Western world" that we began in the last open thread, #145:


    Exactly what types of reforms do you see occurring in the Western world? Has this process already started?

    Yes it has already started and is currently ongoing. There are many aspects in the recent evolution of Western societies that point to this. It’s a long topic, better discussing it on the next open thread.
     
    Sounds like this is a topic that you've though a lot about - here's your chance to expound on it.
  19. @Thulean Friend
    @JohnPlywood

    This has already been covered in previous OTs. The short answer is that Europe believed the nonsense about the "international rules-based system" propaganda, whereas the Angloids just instituted de facto export bans on all vaccine production.

    https://twitter.com/GitaGopinath/status/1375557532224225282

    Meanwhile, the Angloid press has been running a nonstop propaganda campaign about supposed European "incompetence" (understood in technical, rather than political, terms) when the reality is much simpler: naïvité.

    I don't hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do. We're seeing the same thing with the intentional self-detonation of the EU-China investment deal. Europe is just a remote-controlled collection of subcolonial puppet states. Cowardice has to be punished, so I feel no sympathy, just disgust.

    Replies: @JohnPlywood, @Europe Europa

    I don’t hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do.

    “European leaders” have been running a non-stop campaign to discredit the non-profit AZ jab and trying to get the WHO to ban it, and when that failed they are now trying to impose an export ban on AZ, the vaccine they tried to say is unsafe and that they didn’t want. And you call Anglos ruthless!

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @Europe Europa

    The EU itself passed the AZ vaccine as safe and effective. Other For Profit vaccine companies are the places to look for the criticisms which are very similar to those levelled against Sputnik V. By the way, the Astra part is Swedish.

    , @Dmitry
    @Europe Europa

    AstraZeneca seems to be a very profitable company, to assess based on the proportion of luxury cars in their employees' carparks.

    And at the moment, you can visit the futurist, monumental, fascist architecture, biomedical campus they are building. There are thousands of construction workers, and enormous building being constructed.

    They are spending more than a billion dollars just to construct this one new office building for their employees.
    https://i.imgur.com/Ka3Kmhq.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/ziyoxgI.jpg

  20. @JohnPlywood
    Mostly white Europe has failed to vaccinanate its people at half the rate of the 40% black and Hispanic USA.


    White nationalists, how do you cope with this troubling fact?

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @Dacian Julien Soros, @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad

    If the RNA vaccine were any good, you would be able to identify vaccinated people using an antibody test, as it is done for hepatitis or measles. The current wave of vaccination is merely a contest in dick length. Amerikanski Nigro Kizzmekia made vaccines first, German Turk made it second, Joos vaccinated first, limies also diluted their doses etc.

    Well, suck my medium-size Romanian dick. Corona is following its course undeterred, and is naturally waning in a country where 10% oficially had it and spring has arrived. Talk to us next November anyway.

    • Replies: @melanf
    @Dacian Julien Soros


    f the RNA vaccine were any good, you would be able to identify vaccinated people using an antibody test
     
    So that's exactly how it is
  21. @JohnPlywood
    Mostly white Europe has failed to vaccinanate its people at half the rate of the 40% black and Hispanic USA.


    White nationalists, how do you cope with this troubling fact?

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @Dacian Julien Soros, @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad

    When you have a hard core of anti-establishment, libertarian types who understands the risk of testing out gene therapy for a barely lethal virus, and (possibly rightly) suspect vaccination is the road to the Great Reset’s techno-serfdom.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Yellowface Anon

    Sorry I transposed the two regions. Anyway, you see, whites are further down the road of disenfranchisement on their own lands, and the disenfranchised will never trust what the upcoming top-down order offers, so it is natural the higher the share of whites, the higher extent vaccine refusal might be. Europe has its own healthy load of left-wing anti-establishment types and they often see eye to eye with the American dissident Right, and anti-Gates-vaxx is one of them.

  22. @Yellowface Anon
    @JohnPlywood

    When you have a hard core of anti-establishment, libertarian types who understands the risk of testing out gene therapy for a barely lethal virus, and (possibly rightly) suspect vaccination is the road to the Great Reset's techno-serfdom.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    Sorry I transposed the two regions. Anyway, you see, whites are further down the road of disenfranchisement on their own lands, and the disenfranchised will never trust what the upcoming top-down order offers, so it is natural the higher the share of whites, the higher extent vaccine refusal might be. Europe has its own healthy load of left-wing anti-establishment types and they often see eye to eye with the American dissident Right, and anti-Gates-vaxx is one of them.

  23. @Dacian Julien Soros
    @JohnPlywood

    If the RNA vaccine were any good, you would be able to identify vaccinated people using an antibody test, as it is done for hepatitis or measles. The current wave of vaccination is merely a contest in dick length. Amerikanski Nigro Kizzmekia made vaccines first, German Turk made it second, Joos vaccinated first, limies also diluted their doses etc.

    Well, suck my medium-size Romanian dick. Corona is following its course undeterred, and is naturally waning in a country where 10% oficially had it and spring has arrived. Talk to us next November anyway.

    Replies: @melanf

    f the RNA vaccine were any good, you would be able to identify vaccinated people using an antibody test

    So that’s exactly how it is

  24. So what are the chances that GM will pull out of Russia, or the Hilton Hotel Leningradskaya or Mariott Grand Aurora gets a name change? Are there any 4 or 5 star domestic hotel chains? All of the luxury hotel chains in Russia seems to be foreign like Sokos, Hilton, or Le Meridien.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @128

    GM has pulled out of Russia.

    I've done a lot of work on hotels in Russia. There are no real hotel chains in Russia due to:
    Hotels were mostly privatized by extablishment.
    Soviet Hotels were mixed grades so no star ratings.

    There are new individual Russian owned establishments that meet 4 or 5 star levels and are not branded but they don't operate in chains or even franchises. Up to 2014 they sold out anyway. Also, by franchising to an international brand, the hotel operators (usually not the same as the owners) get access to training for their staff. There was a huge shortage of competent hotel staff, especially managers. So foreign brands were preferred. The best hotels were sold out after 2014 as there was not so much competition and every large city was accomodatin teams of auditors from the Central Bank and teams from the Investigative Committee looking into local FSB corruption.

  25. As cryptocurrencies come into wider usage, they will come into the same reporting necessities as regular currencies for things like anti-money laundering, terrorist financing etc.

  26. @Bashibuzuk
    @Morton's toes

    It normally takes a couple of years minimum to develop a decent novel vaccine. And sometimes it just doesn't work. Great that we had these Big Pharma stakhanovites in 2020, otherwise we would already all be dead of Covid by now...

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    You suggested that you’d like to continue discussing “reforms in the Western world” that we began in the last open thread, #145:

    Exactly what types of reforms do you see occurring in the Western world? Has this process already started?

    Yes it has already started and is currently ongoing. There are many aspects in the recent evolution of Western societies that point to this. It’s a long topic, better discussing it on the next open thread.

    Sounds like this is a topic that you’ve though a lot about – here’s your chance to expound on it.

  27. Karl Denninger has the real scoop on the COVID-19 business:

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=241875

    Karl is rapidly becoming my favorite blogger, comparable to AlFin,

  28. Bashibuzuk says:

    On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn’t look like some sort of “Western Perestroika ” that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today’s globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today’s RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: “This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain”. I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think “Western Perestroika ” was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it’s better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack, Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    From the ground level here in the US, things really do look quite shakened up, from the strange presidential election that ended in quite visible violence, to the unfettered violent street protests last summer, to the continual acts of public violence experienced in centers of commerce today, and all of this framed by a background of the still viable pandemic threat. It does appear at times that the Federal government is trying to use the pandemic and its effects to its own advantage, to try and instill control of the country, that does appear to be coming apart at the seams. To no avail though really, the American crowds have shown much disdain for any attempts to reel them in, throughout the whole pandemic. The far right seems as emboldened as ever, and somewhere in the back of this all lurks the "Orange Man", who seems to still be siting in a viable position to run next time around.

    All of this doesn't even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold...

    When you watch the news, you really do wonder how long will Biden be able to last, stumbling about on various stages and stairs. How long till we are really exposed to the vagaries of a Harris presidency? Lots and lots of uncertainty out there, that doesn't bid well for the markets at all....the whole world is not for the better by any of this.

    Replies: @songbird, @Beckow, @Bashibuzuk

    , @Beckow
    @Bashibuzuk


    ...Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets.
     
    The globalised West is still doing better than other parts of the world. But like an ageing runner carrying a heavy, messy backpack with faster runners on its toes, and a steep hill coming up. The Western mind is cloudy, confused and unable to handle changing realities. Instead of dropping the unnecessary burdens, they want to pause the race and forbid cameras. The West has increasingly embraced censorship and that shows fear because no self-confident culture censors.

    There is a logic in this approach: any "reforms" require that that the rest of the world stays still. It also requires an elite rejuvenation in every sense of the world. Instead a 78-old feeble grandpa, a post-menopausal grouch Merkel, and a weirdo who is married to his elderly aunt. That goes across the society elites: Hollywood is literally brain-dead, academia stuck in a paper shuffle and perks, corporations blackmailed into tribute payments to deranged angry groups. Below it is an ethnic mess with elderly boomers dreaming of cheap service labor and migrants looking for handouts and revenge.

    The fact that it is unsustainable doesn't mean that it will collapse, the Pisa Tower is still standing. Maybe in a few years the elderly will die off and there will be a revival, but each year the numbers get worse. Washington has just issued $2 trillion in fiat "wealth", millions are still coming in thry unguarded borders, young people cannot afford to start families, the rentier class is locking themselves in gated enclaves. In major cities the dysfunction is visible (but thank god there is still a hill in El Paso where a few lucky ones can hide, as AP so poignantly argues).

    W all know what would have to be done, but it's unpleasant for people who make decisions. It is a lot easier to dream off shooting the runners who are catching up. The problem is in its current state, West is likely to miss. And the runners also have weapons.

    (If you have a better idea, share it.)

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @mal
    @Bashibuzuk


    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think “Western Perestroika ” was already underway.
     
    Nah, Biden is no Gorbachev. He is a Kerensky - a fossil of the old order to be swept away in order to make way for global glorious revolution. Once Mensheviks and right deviationists have been dealt with, President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn't.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Bashibuzuk

    , @AP
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don't feel it personally but I didn't live through perestroika. My wife did, she sees changes here but they are in some sense the opposite of perestroika, which involved a sense of openness while in the West there is in contrast a sort of Puritanical closing up. People in the USSR stopped getting cancelled as the Soviet system teetered on the edge, whereas cancellation is beginning in the USA. If one wants to be a pessimist, this suggests that instead of the beginning of Perestroika and pending collapse, we are witnessing the dawn of a stifling and stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt corporate bureaucracies under senile semi-leadership consolidate their grip over an increasingly cynical but still-wealthy population going about its business. In which case, Perestroika happens in 20 years and collapse in 30. The Boomers will die peacefully in their prosperity - sorry, Beckow. We in the next generation will have a nasty old age.

    I am not so pessimistic but if I were, that is what I would expect to happen.

    I do agree that modern Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March, as 32% say they are satisfied with the direction of the country. This is the second monthly increase Gallup has recorded after the measure fell to its lowest point in nearly a decade in January. Still, Americans are more than twice as likely to report being dissatisfied with the country's direction (67%).

    ::::::::::::::

    Now some quick musings about several key differences between the USA and the end-stage USSR:

    1. USSR was poor by Western standards and getting poorer and falling further behind. In contrast, USA and EU are the richest places on Earth.

    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn't harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them. Is Russia going to be able to buy Chinese stuff to replace what the USA/EU had been buying? And who will buy Russian gas and oil if neither EU or China (due to collapse in trade with the now-collapsed USA/EU) need it anymore?

    3. When Soviet financial system collapsed, people lost their life savings. If the US financial system collapses, a lot of people will lose a lot of savings. But also, a lot of people won't have to be making payments on their SUVs and homes anymore. And no defunct bank will take them from the hundreds of millions.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Dmitry

    , @Dmitry
    @Bashibuzuk

    Have you seen 1970s American comedy films like Network (Teleset)?

    Most of the same cultural topics that we associated with America of the 2020s, were not any different than those contained in such films satirizing the dysfunctions of 1970s America. *

    Some have a teleological view that the cultural madnesses of America today, must result in an exciting ending or conclusion.

    But 1970s America had almost exactly the same madnesses, of 2020s America, and that is probably going to be in the 2070s in a modified form.

    -

    * For example, the satirical speech about the dehumanizing effect of television, which was passed to computers and the internet
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcpWk2WKhEM

    The success of Trump's style of populist rhetoric with a gullible American public..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdBAJYEpFpE

    The oligarch's speech about globalization and the inexistence of nations, etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9XeyBd_IuA

    And satire about Black Lives Matter's corporatism (the same groups were there in the 1970s in America)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuqvlMxfGA4

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @Max Payne
    @Bashibuzuk

    The end goal is to normalize the coming drop in living standards for Westerners. A westerner is willing to accept a reduction in his life style if it means staying online. To remain in that niche bubble/echo chamber. And the lure is going to get much more intense. True targeted entertainment. Beyond deepfakes, neural networks, procedural generation, and VR. Distractions of a higher order that these weak ass children of today, with their vagina-like fear over a nothing flu, will never be able to overcome.

    Look at the wealth bitcoin projects. The wholesale acceptance of illusion over reality. Making an ERC20 token is literally nothing but copy/pasting some open source script in Solidity. And with that alone you can go out there and scam someone out of hard earned cash to buy your nothing-coin. People want to believe the illusion.

    And thats all this is. Forcing the weak minded to accept illusion as reality. And its working. Soon the two minutes of hate for Putin will come after the national anthem in schools.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. Hack, @EldnahYm

    , @EldnahYm
    @Bashibuzuk

    From an economic and geopolitical perspective, "the West" is not a useful analytical framework. The United States is a category of its own, and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are all in a different position compared to Europe, itself a broad category(my definition of "Europe" here would not include Russia). For Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, look at those countries resource bases, who their primary trading partners are, and what location they are in. You will find they are not like the integrated trading economics of western Europe. When people speak of "the West" collapsing, unless their theory is based on something like a cultural collapse(caused by wokeism or something) or a world war that particularly damages both Europe and North America, it's probably better not to lump so many countries together. They are in different positions. There is a strong case to be made, at least from an economic and geopolitical angle, that what we call "the West" is really just a Cold War alliance system that could be dismantled at any time without causing drastic changes in all of the countries.

    Personally I think "great reset" is more marketing term than reality. To the extent elites actually believe it, I take that as further evidence their incompetence has reached the point that they believe their own bullshit. "Fourth Industrial Revolution" is an old idea, and a half-baked idea about how to deal with declining TFR across the world. All signs point to slow progress in automation(although as always, there are fields which will be exceptional). Green technologies are dubious from an environmental and engineering standpoint, and what declines in carbon emissions that occur because of them will be more than offset by economic growth and the resulting increases in consumption around the world(and in case it needs to be said, if you want to deal with environmental problems like species extinctions for example, fighting carbon emissions is one of the least effective methods). Efforts at "better" governance metrics, equitability, world government, etc. are pure bullshit which no strong country would have any incentive to abide by. My conclusion is that the great reset is either bullshit or it's the system eating itself.

    It's true that many interests want to push the idea that people should accept inferior living standards. But this is nothing new, and it remains to be seen how far this idea can be pushed without damaging the elites themselves and bringing about a reverse of policy. If living standards decline massively, the cause will likely either be a destructive war or technological stagnation rather than an engineered policy.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping, @Yellowface Anon

  29. Do any of you know what the deal is with the iron cage or plexiglass box they put defendants in at trials in Russia/FSU?

    Specifically, I am curious if it goes back to the imperial era, or if it was a Soviet innovation. In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?

    Lots of between-nation variation in attitudes here. Perhaps the Russian mind is not as worried about punishing the innocent. Interestingly, in the Netherlands and at least some Scandinavian countries, defendants are in many/most cases not publicly identified. They find it an intrusion of privacy/presumption of innocence that American law always names the defendant.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    I think I first saw it in the case of Andrei Chikatilo, a serial killer, and I assumed it was to protect him from the families of the victims (who were also present in the courtroom).

    I actually think defendants’ privacy should be protected the European way. However, once they are sentenced (and the verdict became final), this protection should be withdrawn, and the personal data as well as high resolution photos and videos (where he would be asked if he feels shame for being a criminal) should be published for anyone to see.

    , @Gerard.Gerard
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    A very small minority of trials in Russia are in front of a jury. Its the judge deciding the case so there is absolutely nobody for the "cage" to be prejudicial to. The process is absolutely normal.

    Our media is also able to report nearly anything they want about the case and evidence when legal proceedings start exactly because only the judge decides the verdict ..... for UK media they can't report anything on any case when legal actions start.

    South Africa doesn't do trial by jury because obviously the racial factor in defendant and jury composition would be controversial and a prejudicing factor in every trial. You are correct in that South Africa's legal system is Anglo-Saxon and I don't think they use cages during legal sessions.

    Israel I suppose is western...... wasn't Eichmann on trial in a glass cage? Nearly all the main "sensational" trials in Russia have been done without a jury, although I think they are going to have more of them, - so I can't say what the exact procedure on not prejudicing a jury trial is..... they are so rare I don't know anybody who has even got asked to be on one!

    As far as I know - UK courts do not allow cameras in, so I'm no sure at all if they don't use plexiglass boxes

    , @FerW
    @Boswald Bollocksworth


    In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?
     
    John Pilger reports as witness of Julian Assange's extradition trial at London's Old Bailey (October 2020):

    Q: Having watched Julian Assange's trial first-hand, can you describe the prevailing atmosphere in the court?

    The prevailing atmosphere has been shocking. I say that without hesitation; I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a corruption of due process; this is due revenge. Putting aside the ritual associated with 'British justice', at times it has been evocative of a Stalinist show trial. One difference is that in the show trials, the defendant stood in the court proper. In the Assange trial, the defendant was caged behind thick glass, and had to crawl on his knees to a slit in the glass, overseen by his guard, to make contact with his lawyers. His message, whispered barely audibly through face masks, WAS then passed by post-it the length of the court to where his barristers were arguing the case against his extradition to an American hellhole.

    Consider this daily routine of Julian Assange, an Australian on trial for truth-telling journalism. He was woken at five o'clock in his cell at Belmarsh prison in the bleak southern sprawl of London. The first time I saw Julian in Belmarsh, having passed through half an hour of 'security' checks, including a dog's snout in my rear, I found a painfully thin figure sitting alone wearing a yellow armband. He had lost more than 10 kilos in a matter of months; his arms had no muscle. His first words were: 'I think I am losing my mind'.

    I tried to assure him he wasn't. His resilience and courage are formidable, but there is a limit. That was more than a year ago. In the past three weeks, in the pre-dawn, he was strip-searched, shackled, and prepared for transport to the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, in a truck that his partner, Stella Moris, described as an upended coffin. It had one small window; he had to stand precariously to look out. The truck and its guards were operated by Serco, one of many politically connected companies that run much of Boris Johnson's Britain.

    The journey to the Old Bailey took at least an hour and a half. That's a minimum of three hours being jolted through snail-like traffic every day. He was led into his narrow cage at the back of the court, then look up, blinking, trying to make out faces in the public gallery through the reflection of the glass. He saw the courtly figure of his dad, John Shipton, and me, and our fists went up. Through the glass, he reached out to touch fingers with Stella, who is a lawyer and seated in the body of the court.

    [...]
     
    http://johnpilger.com/articles/eyewitness-to-the-trial-and-agony-of-julian-assange

    We were here for the ultimate of what the philosopher Guy Debord called The Society of the Spectacle: a man fighting for his life. Yet his crime is to have performed an epic public service: revealing that which we have a right to know: the lies of our governments and the crimes they commit in our name. His creation of WikiLeaks and its failsafe protection of sources revolutionised journalism, restoring it to the vision of its idealists. Edmund Burke's notion of free journalism as a fourth estate is now a fifth estate that shines a light on those who diminish the very meaning of democracy with their criminal secrecy. That's why his punishment is so extreme.

    The sheer bias in the courts I have sat in this year and last year, with Julian in the dock, blight any notion of British justice. When thuggish police dragged him from his asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy - look closely at the photo and you'll see he is clutching a Gore Vidal book; Assange has a political humour similar to Vidal's - a judge gave him an outrageous 50-week sentence in a maximum-security prison for mere bail infringement.

    For months, he was denied exercise and held in solitary confinement disguised as 'heath care'. He once told me he strode the length of his cell, back and forth, back and forth, for his own half-marathon. In the next cell, the occupant screamed through the night. At first he was denied his reading glasses, left behind in the embassy brutality. He was denied the legal documents with which to prepare his case, and access to the prison library and the use of a basic laptop. Books sent to him by a friend, the journalist Charles Glass, himself a survivor of hostage-taking in Beirut, were returned. He could not call his American lawyers. He has been constantly medicated by the prison authorities. When I asked him what they were giving him, he couldn't say. The governor of Belmarsh has been awarded the Order of the British Empire.

    At the Old Bailey, one of the expert medical witnesses, Dr Kate Humphrey, a clinical neuropsychologist at Imperial College, London, described the damage: Julian's intellect had gone from 'in the superior, or more likely very superior range' to 'significantly below' this optimal level, to the point where he was struggling to absorb information and 'perform in the low average range'.

    This is what the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer, calls 'psychological torture', the result of a gang-like 'mobbing' by governments and their media shills. [...]

    [...]

    The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population.

    There are few records of the proceedings. They are: Craig Murray's personal blog, Joe Lauria's live reporting on Consortium News and the World Socialist Website. American journalist Kevin Gosztola's blog, Shadowproof, funded mostly by himself, has reported more of the trial than the major US press and TV, including CNN, combined.

    In Australia, Assange's homeland, the 'coverage' follows a familiar formula set overseas. The London correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald, Latika Bourke, wrote this recently:

    The court heard Assange became depressed during the seven years he spent in the Ecuadorian embassy where he sought political asylum to escape extradition to Sweden to answer rape and sexual assault charges.
     
    There were no 'rape and sexual assault charges' in Sweden. Bourke's lazy falsehood is not uncommon. If the Assange trial is the political trial of the century, as I believe it is, its outcome will not only seal the fate of a journalist for doing his job but intimidate the very principles of free journalism and free speech. The absence of serious mainstream reporting of the proceedings is, at the very least, self-destructive. Journalists should ask: who is next?

    How shaming it all is. A decade ago, the Guardian exploited Assange's work, claimed its profit and prizes as well as a lucrative Hollywood deal, then turned on him with venom. Throughout the Old Bailey trial, two names have been cited by the prosecution, the Guardian's David Leigh, now retired as 'investigations editor' and Luke Harding, the Russiaphobe and author of a fictional Guardian 'scoop' that claimed Trump adviser Paul Manafort and a group of Russians visited Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy. This never happened, and the Guardian has yet to apologise. The Harding and Leigh book on Assange - written behind their subject's back - disclosed a secret password to a WikiLeaks file that Assange had entrusted to Leigh during the Guardian's 'partnership'. Why the defence has not called this pair is difficult to understand.

    Assange is quoted in their book declaring during a dinner at a London restaurant that he didn't care if informants named in the leaks were harmed. Neither Harding nor Leigh was at the dinner. John Goetz, an investigations reporter with Der Spiegel, was at the dinner and testified that Assange said nothing of the kind. Incredibly, Judge Baraitser stopped Goetz actually saying this in court.

    However, the defence has succeeded in demonstrating the extent to which Assange sought to protect and redact names in the files released by WikiLeaks and that no credible evidence existed of individuals harmed by the leaks. The great whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg said that Assange had personally redacted 15,000 files. The renowned New Zealand investigative journalist Nicky Hager, who worked with Assange on the Afghanistan and Iraq war leaks, described how Assange took 'extraordinary precautions in redacting names of informants'.

    [...]

    Q: Having followed the story of WikiLeaks closely for a decade, how has this eyewitness experience shifted your understanding of what's at stake with Assange's trial?

    I have long been a critic of journalism as an echo of unaccountable power and a champion of those who are beacons. So, for me, the arrival of WikiLeaks was exciting; I admired the way Assange regarded the public with respect, that he was prepared to share his work with the 'mainstream' but not join their collusive club. This, and naked jealousy, made him enemies among the overpaid and under-talented, insecure in their pretensions of independence and impartiality.

    [...]

    WikiLeaks, on the other hand, has allowed us to glimpse a rampant imperial march through whole societies - think of the carnage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, to name a few, the dispossession of 37 million people and the deaths of 12 million men, women and children in the 'war on terror' - most of it behind a façade of deception.

    Julian Assange is a threat to these recurring horrors - that's why he is being persecuted, why a court of law has become an instrument of oppression, why he ought to be our collective conscience: why we all should be the threat.

    The judge's decision will be known on the 4th of January.
     
    The extradition was initially denied due to concerns about Assange's health. However, he remains jailed. Under Biden USA decided to continue the prosecution.
    , @Mikel
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    Naming the defendant is nothing compared to publicly shaming people that have only been arrested by the police by publishing their mugshots in the press before any trial has even begun.

    Many people's lives must have been ruined through this practice, especially when they were arrested for supposedly taking part in nefarious crimes that later on it turned out they never committed.

    As Dmitry has often pointed out, the US retains many aspects of a Wild West, frontier society, combined, I would say, with strong Puritanical tendencies.

    Contrary to many commenters here, I prefer life in the US to Europe in almost all aspects, even though I'm European by birth, but I'm afraid there are things I 'll never be able to identify with.

  30. @Boomthorkell
    @songbird

    I'm a little confused with your point, but with the plantation economy, as far as I recall, they only used Africans because it was more profitable (initially) then Europeans (initially.) If there was some law against slavery though, I don't think they would have even considered importing millions of Africans. They would likely have been forced to double-down on poor Irish and Indentured Brits.

    Anyhow, what would FOLLOW that, assuming the normal course of history...is hard to say. I don't actually know when African migrants started being a thing...did we ever see real numbers of them before the 2000s?

    Comical idea though: American Plantation Lords import massive amounts of Malay
    and Indian workers, inspired by experience of Dutch and British plantations in the Indies.

    Alt. More likely timeline: MAYAN CHICANOS EVERYWHERE.

    Replies: @songbird

    If there was some law against slavery though, I don’t think they would have even considered importing millions of Africans.

    That’s an interesting distinction – a law against slavery, rather than a law against the slave trade (which ended up being violated.) Would it have worked? I’m not sure, perhaps, a law against blacks.

    Alt. More likely timeline: MAYAN CHICANOS EVERYWHERE.

    Perhaps, but when they built the Panama Canal, I think most of the low-skilled labor was black, imported from places like Jamaica, and the locals did very little, if any, of the grunt work. For a time, black slaves even had a niche appeal among Indians and Chinese.

    But my overall point is this: slavery doesn’t seem to explain the presence of blacks in Europe. I would say that there was enough information available to Europeans – certainly by the timeline of Ireland – for them to understand that it was a bad idea to allow blacks to come. But that did not stop them – and we haven’t come to the full population explosion of Africa, yet. It seems likely that more are coming.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @songbird

    By the time masses of Africans started to arrive in Europe, Europe (and the world) was in the grip of a blankslatist ideology.

  31. @Bashibuzuk
    On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn't look like some sort of "Western Perestroika " that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today's globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today's RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: "This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain". I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think "Western Perestroika " was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it's better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow, @mal, @AP, @Dmitry, @Max Payne, @EldnahYm

    From the ground level here in the US, things really do look quite shakened up, from the strange presidential election that ended in quite visible violence, to the unfettered violent street protests last summer, to the continual acts of public violence experienced in centers of commerce today, and all of this framed by a background of the still viable pandemic threat. It does appear at times that the Federal government is trying to use the pandemic and its effects to its own advantage, to try and instill control of the country, that does appear to be coming apart at the seams. To no avail though really, the American crowds have shown much disdain for any attempts to reel them in, throughout the whole pandemic. The far right seems as emboldened as ever, and somewhere in the back of this all lurks the “Orange Man”, who seems to still be siting in a viable position to run next time around.

    All of this doesn’t even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold…

    When you watch the news, you really do wonder how long will Biden be able to last, stumbling about on various stages and stairs. How long till we are really exposed to the vagaries of a Harris presidency? Lots and lots of uncertainty out there, that doesn’t bid well for the markets at all….the whole world is not for the better by any of this.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Mr. Hack

    I heard what I thought was a rather amusing theory the other day: Republicans will get in again, and America's problems will be solved by elections - because it will cause the Left to go even crazier, totally destabilizing the country, until it breaks apart into more functional units.

    Let me hasten to add that I do not believe it will happen.

    Replies: @A123, @Mr. Hack

    , @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    We seldom agree, but I agree with you here.

    One question - back to some exchanges we had: do you see the central role that the older generations and their in-retrospect selfish choices have played?

    They had a great thing going, they decided to lock in personal gains in jobs, assets, real estate, sinecures, and screw the next generation by open borders, pyramid asset schemes, massive increase in education-housing costs, insane personal liberalism.

    Sure, the younger people too often embraced it and made it worse, but the process was started by Boomers and Silents and they are the ones who benefitted: open borders, gender madness, racial kow-towing, degenerate culture. Young have few choices: massive migration has destroyed labor markets and pyramid asset schemes created a no-win situation. So escaping to uber-liberalism, or in some cases assh..le libertarianism, is easier than dealing with economic reality.

    Or do you still defend what your generation did to the coming generations? We all know that eating your young is the worst crime for anyone to commit.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    , @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack


    All of this doesn’t even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold…
     
    It is hard to say whether the West will end up in a recession, I think there is no more economic normalcy left, any prognostication is difficult. Perhaps people knowledgeable in economic forecasting could chime in and share how they see the future economic activity unfolding.

    About the political polarization, it is indeed evident that there is nearly no common ground left. I would like to add that it is perhaps due as much to the to the influence of legacy mass media as the impact of the social media, the blogosphere etc. There is an enormous quantity of information, but it is quite contradictory and extreme. It is not really amenable to analysis or reflection, it is emotive and not rational. A lot of it is near the levels of click bite, some is outright manipulation of public opinion. This is an important aspect of our situation: we have an excess of information, but a lot of it is useless or outright misleading.

    But perhaps these are symptoms of a deeper social malaise?

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  32. @Bashibuzuk
    On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn't look like some sort of "Western Perestroika " that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today's globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today's RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: "This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain". I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think "Western Perestroika " was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it's better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow, @mal, @AP, @Dmitry, @Max Payne, @EldnahYm

    …Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets.

    The globalised West is still doing better than other parts of the world. But like an ageing runner carrying a heavy, messy backpack with faster runners on its toes, and a steep hill coming up. The Western mind is cloudy, confused and unable to handle changing realities. Instead of dropping the unnecessary burdens, they want to pause the race and forbid cameras. The West has increasingly embraced censorship and that shows fear because no self-confident culture censors.

    There is a logic in this approach: any “reforms” require that that the rest of the world stays still. It also requires an elite rejuvenation in every sense of the world. Instead a 78-old feeble grandpa, a post-menopausal grouch Merkel, and a weirdo who is married to his elderly aunt. That goes across the society elites: Hollywood is literally brain-dead, academia stuck in a paper shuffle and perks, corporations blackmailed into tribute payments to deranged angry groups. Below it is an ethnic mess with elderly boomers dreaming of cheap service labor and migrants looking for handouts and revenge.

    The fact that it is unsustainable doesn’t mean that it will collapse, the Pisa Tower is still standing. Maybe in a few years the elderly will die off and there will be a revival, but each year the numbers get worse. Washington has just issued $2 trillion in fiat “wealth”, millions are still coming in thry unguarded borders, young people cannot afford to start families, the rentier class is locking themselves in gated enclaves. In major cities the dysfunction is visible (but thank god there is still a hill in El Paso where a few lucky ones can hide, as AP so poignantly argues).

    W all know what would have to be done, but it’s unpleasant for people who make decisions. It is a lot easier to dream off shooting the runners who are catching up. The problem is in its current state, West is likely to miss. And the runners also have weapons.

    (If you have a better idea, share it.)

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Beckow

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but I am frankly not sure whether we really know what has to be done. We experience the symptoms of the manifold decline of our societies, we see its impact around us and even in our circles, but we have no consensus about how to deal with these changes, much of which are hardly positive.

    The political polarization that Mr Hack has mentioned and the low quality of the torrent of information that is pouring 24/7 on the Western middle class, makes any mindful discussion of solutions to the crisis nearly impossible. The solutions offered on both extremes are hardly realistic.

    Replies: @Beckow

  33. @JohnPlywood
    Mostly white Europe has failed to vaccinanate its people at half the rate of the 40% black and Hispanic USA.


    White nationalists, how do you cope with this troubling fact?

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @Dacian Julien Soros, @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad

    dunno i’m a serb (not white!)

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @Svevlad

    BASED


    https://i.redd.it/w4rcci375ap51.png


    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/Map_of_Greater_Serbia_%28in_Yugoslavia%29.svg/300px-Map_of_Greater_Serbia_%28in_Yugoslavia%29.svg.png
     
    https://i.redd.it/sv421sppooh61.png


    https://i.redd.it/g7l6u9nz8w861.jpg

    Replies: @songbird, @Anatoly Karlin

  34. I think the bigger danger than GRBs is the Earth’s magnetic field shifting.

    If it happens the wrong way, it could focus a lot of ultraviolet on some normally productive area of crops, like the American Mid West.

  35. @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    From the ground level here in the US, things really do look quite shakened up, from the strange presidential election that ended in quite visible violence, to the unfettered violent street protests last summer, to the continual acts of public violence experienced in centers of commerce today, and all of this framed by a background of the still viable pandemic threat. It does appear at times that the Federal government is trying to use the pandemic and its effects to its own advantage, to try and instill control of the country, that does appear to be coming apart at the seams. To no avail though really, the American crowds have shown much disdain for any attempts to reel them in, throughout the whole pandemic. The far right seems as emboldened as ever, and somewhere in the back of this all lurks the "Orange Man", who seems to still be siting in a viable position to run next time around.

    All of this doesn't even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold...

    When you watch the news, you really do wonder how long will Biden be able to last, stumbling about on various stages and stairs. How long till we are really exposed to the vagaries of a Harris presidency? Lots and lots of uncertainty out there, that doesn't bid well for the markets at all....the whole world is not for the better by any of this.

    Replies: @songbird, @Beckow, @Bashibuzuk

    I heard what I thought was a rather amusing theory the other day: Republicans will get in again, and America’s problems will be solved by elections – because it will cause the Left to go even crazier, totally destabilizing the country, until it breaks apart into more functional units.

    Let me hasten to add that I do not believe it will happen.

    • Replies: @A123
    @songbird


    America’s problems will be solved by elections – because it will cause the Left to go even crazier,
     
    The question is, "Will the GOP's transformation to MAGA Populism succeed?"

    At this point it looks fairly promising. GOP(e) Swamp creatures like Liz Cheney will face well funded Primary challenges. (1)


    House GOP Conference Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has seen her political support completely collapse in Wyoming as solid majorities of both Republicans and all voters in the state want her out of office, a new poll shows.

    Only 10 percent of GOP voters, and 13 percent of all voters, say they would vote to reelect her, and she trails by more than 30 points—54 percent to 21 percent—against state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, who has announced a campaign against her since her impeachment vote.
     

    Due to the 2-party nature of the U.S. system -- MAGA support for Workers pushes the anti-Worker U.S. Chamber of Commerce [USCoC] and international MegaCorporations into the DNC.

    Bernie Sanders & The Squad hand-in-hand with the USCoC. No tent is big enough to make that combination work. Terms like schism and "Circular Firing Squad" spring to mind.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://sbynews.com/2021/01/30/poll-liz-cheneys-political-support-collapses-in-wyoming-as-primary-challenger-takes-double-digit-lead/



     
    https://i0.wp.com/www.bookwormroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/AOC-4.jpg

    Replies: @songbird

    , @Mr. Hack
    @songbird

    So, what do you believe?

    Replies: @songbird

  36. @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    From the ground level here in the US, things really do look quite shakened up, from the strange presidential election that ended in quite visible violence, to the unfettered violent street protests last summer, to the continual acts of public violence experienced in centers of commerce today, and all of this framed by a background of the still viable pandemic threat. It does appear at times that the Federal government is trying to use the pandemic and its effects to its own advantage, to try and instill control of the country, that does appear to be coming apart at the seams. To no avail though really, the American crowds have shown much disdain for any attempts to reel them in, throughout the whole pandemic. The far right seems as emboldened as ever, and somewhere in the back of this all lurks the "Orange Man", who seems to still be siting in a viable position to run next time around.

    All of this doesn't even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold...

    When you watch the news, you really do wonder how long will Biden be able to last, stumbling about on various stages and stairs. How long till we are really exposed to the vagaries of a Harris presidency? Lots and lots of uncertainty out there, that doesn't bid well for the markets at all....the whole world is not for the better by any of this.

    Replies: @songbird, @Beckow, @Bashibuzuk

    We seldom agree, but I agree with you here.

    One question – back to some exchanges we had: do you see the central role that the older generations and their in-retrospect selfish choices have played?

    They had a great thing going, they decided to lock in personal gains in jobs, assets, real estate, sinecures, and screw the next generation by open borders, pyramid asset schemes, massive increase in education-housing costs, insane personal liberalism.

    Sure, the younger people too often embraced it and made it worse, but the process was started by Boomers and Silents and they are the ones who benefitted: open borders, gender madness, racial kow-towing, degenerate culture. Young have few choices: massive migration has destroyed labor markets and pyramid asset schemes created a no-win situation. So escaping to uber-liberalism, or in some cases assh..le libertarianism, is easier than dealing with economic reality.

    Or do you still defend what your generation did to the coming generations? We all know that eating your young is the worst crime for anyone to commit.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow

    Quite honestly, I disagree with you here on the bulk of your viewpoints. Firstly, it's been my experience to note that the overwhelming majority of American parents love their offspring and try to help them as much as they can, whether that be financially, including the financing of education, helping out with car loan payments, etc etc., or even lending moral support. In the past, it was rare to see children living at home past the age of 20, unlike in Europe where the extended family thing is more engrained as the norm and multi-generational living is not uncommon, although this is fast changing in the US too. But let's look at your points more closely:


    They had a great thing going, they decided to lock in personal gains in jobs, assets, real estate, sinecures, and screw the next generation by open borders, pyramid asset schemes, massive increase in education-housing costs, insane personal liberalism.
     
    This is quite a simplistic way of looking at things, and it doesn't help that you've lopped a lot of things together that really deserve separate analysis. Most people by the time that they hit their 50's are getting quite fond of looking to the future, when they can slow down and exit the workplace rat race. There really aren't a whole lot of employees in their 60's hanging around anymore. As far as "locking in gains" as far as assets, real estate and sinecures are concerned, what would you suggest? You spend your whole life working hard and squirreling away some funds to help you in retirement, and then what are you supposed to do? "You can't take it with you" and certainly any remainding funds and assets after you make the big exit will end up being bequeathed to close family members and possibly friends. That's the way that it should be?

    You can't really go and blame the working folks of the country that big banks and Wall Street have managed to put their kids into a terrible financial mess by instituting unreasonable college loans that cover the cost of outlandishly high school tuitions costs? This is the kind of issue that should belong to the Democratic party, but as they're in bed with these Wall Street financial banks, we'll have to see where this all goes.


    the process was started by Boomers and Silents and they are the ones who benefitted: open borders, gender madness, racial kowtowing, degenerate culture.
     
    Again, I think that you're over generalizing here again. If you're against these "social justice" and liberal value oriented issues, you have a choice of voting for somebody more conservative, more Republican if you will. The country is pretty surely divided on these sots of issue, and as many (if not more) boomers that may have started off as lefties, have migrated slowly but surely to the right. I see this trend solidly continuing. The Left are the ones promoting open borders, the surest way to increase their membership head count.

    Replies: @Beckow

  37. @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    We seldom agree, but I agree with you here.

    One question - back to some exchanges we had: do you see the central role that the older generations and their in-retrospect selfish choices have played?

    They had a great thing going, they decided to lock in personal gains in jobs, assets, real estate, sinecures, and screw the next generation by open borders, pyramid asset schemes, massive increase in education-housing costs, insane personal liberalism.

    Sure, the younger people too often embraced it and made it worse, but the process was started by Boomers and Silents and they are the ones who benefitted: open borders, gender madness, racial kow-towing, degenerate culture. Young have few choices: massive migration has destroyed labor markets and pyramid asset schemes created a no-win situation. So escaping to uber-liberalism, or in some cases assh..le libertarianism, is easier than dealing with economic reality.

    Or do you still defend what your generation did to the coming generations? We all know that eating your young is the worst crime for anyone to commit.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Quite honestly, I disagree with you here on the bulk of your viewpoints. Firstly, it’s been my experience to note that the overwhelming majority of American parents love their offspring and try to help them as much as they can, whether that be financially, including the financing of education, helping out with car loan payments, etc etc., or even lending moral support. In the past, it was rare to see children living at home past the age of 20, unlike in Europe where the extended family thing is more engrained as the norm and multi-generational living is not uncommon, although this is fast changing in the US too. But let’s look at your points more closely:

    They had a great thing going, they decided to lock in personal gains in jobs, assets, real estate, sinecures, and screw the next generation by open borders, pyramid asset schemes, massive increase in education-housing costs, insane personal liberalism.

    This is quite a simplistic way of looking at things, and it doesn’t help that you’ve lopped a lot of things together that really deserve separate analysis. Most people by the time that they hit their 50’s are getting quite fond of looking to the future, when they can slow down and exit the workplace rat race. There really aren’t a whole lot of employees in their 60’s hanging around anymore. As far as “locking in gains” as far as assets, real estate and sinecures are concerned, what would you suggest? You spend your whole life working hard and squirreling away some funds to help you in retirement, and then what are you supposed to do? “You can’t take it with you” and certainly any remainding funds and assets after you make the big exit will end up being bequeathed to close family members and possibly friends. That’s the way that it should be?

    You can’t really go and blame the working folks of the country that big banks and Wall Street have managed to put their kids into a terrible financial mess by instituting unreasonable college loans that cover the cost of outlandishly high school tuitions costs? This is the kind of issue that should belong to the Democratic party, but as they’re in bed with these Wall Street financial banks, we’ll have to see where this all goes.

    the process was started by Boomers and Silents and they are the ones who benefitted: open borders, gender madness, racial kowtowing, degenerate culture.

    Again, I think that you’re over generalizing here again. If you’re against these “social justice” and liberal value oriented issues, you have a choice of voting for somebody more conservative, more Republican if you will. The country is pretty surely divided on these sots of issue, and as many (if not more) boomers that may have started off as lefties, have migrated slowly but surely to the right. I see this trend solidly continuing. The Left are the ones promoting open borders, the surest way to increase their membership head count.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    First, a generalization is inevitable in a blog discussion. Second, "loving one's children" and other emotional excuses are irrelevant in the context what has been happening in the economy. Both in US, and also in Europe, a bit later, but very similar.

    The traditional Republican party is an open-borders party even more than an average Democrat. They are obsessed with cheap labor, have been since Reagan, and are at the forefront of bringing in as many migrants as they can behind a smoke-screen of "shortage of labor". Mainstream right-wing parties in Europe are exactly the same: Merkel and Macron and centre-right, BoJo is an open borders fanatic, he just doesn't like too many Poles. You can expect Senate Republicans to join the deranged liberals in opening the borders more, amnesty, etc...there is no political solution because people in power want open borders and deracinated impoverished working class. Even Trump was wishy-washy and did less than he could.

    The generations that voted these people into power is responsible. It is evasive to say "Wall Street bankers screw the kids", etc...the situation today exists because it was consciously created by a ruling class that was elected and kept in power. They couldn't do it e.g. after WWII in either Europe or US. In a democracy you cannot escape responsibility.

    The problem in US is a growing gap between what elderly made and had to spend (basically free education and cheap housing) and what the younger generation is facing. The elderly fixed the labor market by bringing tens of millions additional migrants. With increased supply of labor (on all levels, from dishwashers to engineers) incomes predictably stagnated and costs went up. In Europe something similar has happened and the social programs have been heavily used to bring in more migrants - e.g. free housing for migrant "families" means less housing or more cost for the locals.

    You like to celebrate the "high-education" migrants. Do you realize that they received their education at home for free and arrive in the West (US) with no debts or obligations? The local young people have enormous debts and often responsibility for ageing parents. The migrants leave that at home and eventually bring their old relatives in order to put them on free medical care and social programs since they are technically "indigent". (Only on California there are 1 million elderly Third Wold migrants on Medicare who were brough by their kids. Do the numbers and consider who is paying for it.)

    There are nuances. But that is the general picture: a (Boomer) generation that optimized all for themselves and screwed the next generations. The fact that they will give it up at the end is irrelevant, it doesn't work that way. There is a large number of overpaid Boomers who sit in their sinecures from universities to government.

    Good intentions and "loving children" is fine, but by any standard the Boomer+ older generation screwed their children. In a democracy, they are also responsible and not "Wall Street". There is often a terrible price to pay for evil, let's see if it happens.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  38. Funnily enough, the new black muppets on Sesame Street who are being used to indoctrinate toddlers to worship blacks are lighter-skinned than the reconstruction of Cheddar Man.

  39. @songbird
    @Mr. Hack

    I heard what I thought was a rather amusing theory the other day: Republicans will get in again, and America's problems will be solved by elections - because it will cause the Left to go even crazier, totally destabilizing the country, until it breaks apart into more functional units.

    Let me hasten to add that I do not believe it will happen.

    Replies: @A123, @Mr. Hack

    America’s problems will be solved by elections – because it will cause the Left to go even crazier,

    The question is, “Will the GOP’s transformation to MAGA Populism succeed?”

    At this point it looks fairly promising. GOP(e) Swamp creatures like Liz Cheney will face well funded Primary challenges. (1)

    House GOP Conference Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has seen her political support completely collapse in Wyoming as solid majorities of both Republicans and all voters in the state want her out of office, a new poll shows.

    Only 10 percent of GOP voters, and 13 percent of all voters, say they would vote to reelect her, and she trails by more than 30 points—54 percent to 21 percent—against state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, who has announced a campaign against her since her impeachment vote.

    Due to the 2-party nature of the U.S. system — MAGA support for Workers pushes the anti-Worker U.S. Chamber of Commerce [USCoC] and international MegaCorporations into the DNC.

    Bernie Sanders & The Squad hand-in-hand with the USCoC. No tent is big enough to make that combination work. Terms like schism and “Circular Firing Squad” spring to mind.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://sbynews.com/2021/01/30/poll-liz-cheneys-political-support-collapses-in-wyoming-as-primary-challenger-takes-double-digit-lead/

    [MORE]

     

    • Replies: @songbird
    @A123

    There has been a lot of turnover in Republican ranks, hasn't there? Though, I admit to being something of a skeptic.

    Replies: @A123

  40. @songbird
    @Mr. Hack

    I heard what I thought was a rather amusing theory the other day: Republicans will get in again, and America's problems will be solved by elections - because it will cause the Left to go even crazier, totally destabilizing the country, until it breaks apart into more functional units.

    Let me hasten to add that I do not believe it will happen.

    Replies: @A123, @Mr. Hack

    So, what do you believe?

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Mr. Hack

    Hate to say it, but I think the most likely scenario is a long decline - like maybe for a hundred years or more. Brazil del Norte. I think the reason that polarization won't pull the US apart is that secession can't be grassroots, it needs to involve elite defection, and there aren't any economic incentives for any of them to defect, unlike in the Soviet Union.

    50 years out, I could potentially see Chinese people fleeing to China and whites trying to flee to Eastern Europe, in large numbers.

    On the other hand, the US could be made a lot more functional with certain political changes. Maybe, they could happen, if King Dollar croaks? Or if DeFi allows for enough tax avoidance? But I'm not sure.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  41. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow

    Quite honestly, I disagree with you here on the bulk of your viewpoints. Firstly, it's been my experience to note that the overwhelming majority of American parents love their offspring and try to help them as much as they can, whether that be financially, including the financing of education, helping out with car loan payments, etc etc., or even lending moral support. In the past, it was rare to see children living at home past the age of 20, unlike in Europe where the extended family thing is more engrained as the norm and multi-generational living is not uncommon, although this is fast changing in the US too. But let's look at your points more closely:


    They had a great thing going, they decided to lock in personal gains in jobs, assets, real estate, sinecures, and screw the next generation by open borders, pyramid asset schemes, massive increase in education-housing costs, insane personal liberalism.
     
    This is quite a simplistic way of looking at things, and it doesn't help that you've lopped a lot of things together that really deserve separate analysis. Most people by the time that they hit their 50's are getting quite fond of looking to the future, when they can slow down and exit the workplace rat race. There really aren't a whole lot of employees in their 60's hanging around anymore. As far as "locking in gains" as far as assets, real estate and sinecures are concerned, what would you suggest? You spend your whole life working hard and squirreling away some funds to help you in retirement, and then what are you supposed to do? "You can't take it with you" and certainly any remainding funds and assets after you make the big exit will end up being bequeathed to close family members and possibly friends. That's the way that it should be?

    You can't really go and blame the working folks of the country that big banks and Wall Street have managed to put their kids into a terrible financial mess by instituting unreasonable college loans that cover the cost of outlandishly high school tuitions costs? This is the kind of issue that should belong to the Democratic party, but as they're in bed with these Wall Street financial banks, we'll have to see where this all goes.


    the process was started by Boomers and Silents and they are the ones who benefitted: open borders, gender madness, racial kowtowing, degenerate culture.
     
    Again, I think that you're over generalizing here again. If you're against these "social justice" and liberal value oriented issues, you have a choice of voting for somebody more conservative, more Republican if you will. The country is pretty surely divided on these sots of issue, and as many (if not more) boomers that may have started off as lefties, have migrated slowly but surely to the right. I see this trend solidly continuing. The Left are the ones promoting open borders, the surest way to increase their membership head count.

    Replies: @Beckow

    First, a generalization is inevitable in a blog discussion. Second, “loving one’s children” and other emotional excuses are irrelevant in the context what has been happening in the economy. Both in US, and also in Europe, a bit later, but very similar.

    The traditional Republican party is an open-borders party even more than an average Democrat. They are obsessed with cheap labor, have been since Reagan, and are at the forefront of bringing in as many migrants as they can behind a smoke-screen of “shortage of labor“. Mainstream right-wing parties in Europe are exactly the same: Merkel and Macron and centre-right, BoJo is an open borders fanatic, he just doesn’t like too many Poles. You can expect Senate Republicans to join the deranged liberals in opening the borders more, amnesty, etc…there is no political solution because people in power want open borders and deracinated impoverished working class. Even Trump was wishy-washy and did less than he could.

    The generations that voted these people into power is responsible. It is evasive to say “Wall Street bankers screw the kids”, etc…the situation today exists because it was consciously created by a ruling class that was elected and kept in power. They couldn’t do it e.g. after WWII in either Europe or US. In a democracy you cannot escape responsibility.

    The problem in US is a growing gap between what elderly made and had to spend (basically free education and cheap housing) and what the younger generation is facing. The elderly fixed the labor market by bringing tens of millions additional migrants. With increased supply of labor (on all levels, from dishwashers to engineers) incomes predictably stagnated and costs went up. In Europe something similar has happened and the social programs have been heavily used to bring in more migrants – e.g. free housing for migrant “families” means less housing or more cost for the locals.

    You like to celebrate the “high-education” migrants. Do you realize that they received their education at home for free and arrive in the West (US) with no debts or obligations? The local young people have enormous debts and often responsibility for ageing parents. The migrants leave that at home and eventually bring their old relatives in order to put them on free medical care and social programs since they are technically “indigent”. (Only on California there are 1 million elderly Third Wold migrants on Medicare who were brough by their kids. Do the numbers and consider who is paying for it.)

    There are nuances. But that is the general picture: a (Boomer) generation that optimized all for themselves and screwed the next generations. The fact that they will give it up at the end is irrelevant, it doesn’t work that way. There is a large number of overpaid Boomers who sit in their sinecures from universities to government.

    Good intentions and “loving children” is fine, but by any standard the Boomer+ older generation screwed their children. In a democracy, they are also responsible and not “Wall Street”. There is often a terrible price to pay for evil, let’s see if it happens.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    You can expect Senate Republicans to join the deranged liberals in opening the borders more, amnesty, etc…there is no political solution because people in power want open borders and deracinated impoverished working class. Even Trump was wishy-washy and did less than he could.
     
    Trump came to power largely on a platform to tighten up the borders. It's yet to be seen how much mileage and real impetus meaningful border control issues will play in future Republican politics. Certainly, a lot in states that share a border with Mexico. This issue is far from resolved yet, and big business may not have the last word here. Many voters hold strong anti open border viewpoints, and taxpayers don't always feel burdened to bail out every Tom, Dick and Harry that crosses the border.

    Replies: @Beckow

  42. @A123
    @songbird


    America’s problems will be solved by elections – because it will cause the Left to go even crazier,
     
    The question is, "Will the GOP's transformation to MAGA Populism succeed?"

    At this point it looks fairly promising. GOP(e) Swamp creatures like Liz Cheney will face well funded Primary challenges. (1)


    House GOP Conference Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has seen her political support completely collapse in Wyoming as solid majorities of both Republicans and all voters in the state want her out of office, a new poll shows.

    Only 10 percent of GOP voters, and 13 percent of all voters, say they would vote to reelect her, and she trails by more than 30 points—54 percent to 21 percent—against state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, who has announced a campaign against her since her impeachment vote.
     

    Due to the 2-party nature of the U.S. system -- MAGA support for Workers pushes the anti-Worker U.S. Chamber of Commerce [USCoC] and international MegaCorporations into the DNC.

    Bernie Sanders & The Squad hand-in-hand with the USCoC. No tent is big enough to make that combination work. Terms like schism and "Circular Firing Squad" spring to mind.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://sbynews.com/2021/01/30/poll-liz-cheneys-political-support-collapses-in-wyoming-as-primary-challenger-takes-double-digit-lead/



     
    https://i0.wp.com/www.bookwormroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/AOC-4.jpg

    Replies: @songbird

    There has been a lot of turnover in Republican ranks, hasn’t there? Though, I admit to being something of a skeptic.

    • Replies: @A123
    @songbird


    There has been a lot of turnover in Republican ranks, hasn’t there? Though, I admit to being something of a skeptic.
     
    I am mildly optimistic. However, it is a "2 steps forward, 1 step back" change process.

    I thought the MAGA party was committed to protecting female athletes. Then Gov. Noem caved for no apparent reason. (1)

    We are extremely disappointed to see Gov. Noem break her word on this critical legislation,” Terry Schilling president of the American Principles Project (APP) said in a statement. “Gov. Noem’s veto would scrap the vast majority of the bill text and would strip protections for female athletes in collegiate sports in the state. Additionally, it would eliminate all reasonable enforcement mechanisms, neutering the legislation so much as to render it meaningless.”
     
    The GOP(e) Swampies are going to fight as long as they can. The Uniparty gives them cash & prestige that they do not want to lose.

    My biggest concern is redistricting. MAGA won at the state level, and they should be able to use that to take control of the House. I suspect theoretically Red states, like Georgia, will intentionally throw away that advantage. Swampies will attempt to create safe Uniparty GOP(e) seats and fragile MAGA districts.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2021/03/20/betrayal-noem-neutered-bill-protecting-womens-sports-n1433936
  43. @Mr. Hack
    @songbird

    So, what do you believe?

    Replies: @songbird

    Hate to say it, but I think the most likely scenario is a long decline – like maybe for a hundred years or more. Brazil del Norte. I think the reason that polarization won’t pull the US apart is that secession can’t be grassroots, it needs to involve elite defection, and there aren’t any economic incentives for any of them to defect, unlike in the Soviet Union.

    50 years out, I could potentially see Chinese people fleeing to China and whites trying to flee to Eastern Europe, in large numbers.

    On the other hand, the US could be made a lot more functional with certain political changes. Maybe, they could happen, if King Dollar croaks? Or if DeFi allows for enough tax avoidance? But I’m not sure.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @songbird

    I think a war could hasten its demise. Otherwise I agree, and hopefully there’ll be no war.

    Replies: @songbird

  44. @songbird
    @Boomthorkell


    If there was some law against slavery though, I don’t think they would have even considered importing millions of Africans.
     
    That's an interesting distinction - a law against slavery, rather than a law against the slave trade (which ended up being violated.) Would it have worked? I'm not sure, perhaps, a law against blacks.

    Alt. More likely timeline: MAYAN CHICANOS EVERYWHERE.
     
    Perhaps, but when they built the Panama Canal, I think most of the low-skilled labor was black, imported from places like Jamaica, and the locals did very little, if any, of the grunt work. For a time, black slaves even had a niche appeal among Indians and Chinese.

    But my overall point is this: slavery doesn't seem to explain the presence of blacks in Europe. I would say that there was enough information available to Europeans - certainly by the timeline of Ireland - for them to understand that it was a bad idea to allow blacks to come. But that did not stop them - and we haven't come to the full population explosion of Africa, yet. It seems likely that more are coming.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    By the time masses of Africans started to arrive in Europe, Europe (and the world) was in the grip of a blankslatist ideology.

  45. @songbird
    @Mr. Hack

    Hate to say it, but I think the most likely scenario is a long decline - like maybe for a hundred years or more. Brazil del Norte. I think the reason that polarization won't pull the US apart is that secession can't be grassroots, it needs to involve elite defection, and there aren't any economic incentives for any of them to defect, unlike in the Soviet Union.

    50 years out, I could potentially see Chinese people fleeing to China and whites trying to flee to Eastern Europe, in large numbers.

    On the other hand, the US could be made a lot more functional with certain political changes. Maybe, they could happen, if King Dollar croaks? Or if DeFi allows for enough tax avoidance? But I'm not sure.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    I think a war could hasten its demise. Otherwise I agree, and hopefully there’ll be no war.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @reiner Tor

    For every war hawk, I think there is a buffer of a couple of less crazy people. At least, enough to prevent a bigger war - Iran-level and above. Very few people are crazy enough to want to go to war with China over someone else's offshore mineral rights or over Taiwan.

    I give serious war a very low probability. The trend has been to less boots on the ground, less economic restructuring for war. Ultimately, a more soy-infested US will probably become more aggressive with its rhetoric, but less able to project power.

    The one unknown is ethnic animus. Suppose Kamala is commander-in-chief, during a tense situation, and she wants to try to use the US as a golem to punish China? I don't say it will happen - I think she is more of a cosmopolitan hustler - but I'd lower the DEFCON level by half a point.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  46. So Visegrad countries are the most deadly in the world for coronavirus in terms of officially reported deaths (ignoring postsoviet space countries, where daily reported deaths have been so vastly underreported as to be almost meaningless).

    So, the lesson is that this what happens with combination lack of strict enough lockdowns and perhaps populations’ individual disobedience, and lack of intelligent policies like installation of indoor ventilation and PPE (e.g. Japan).

    At least, Hungary has a fast vaccination. But vaccination had to be combined with a strict lockdown (or obedient population and intelligent ventilation policies, like in Japan) while you are doing it, and in Hungary and Israel are both an example where they have failed to enforce strict enough lockdown during the vaccination campaign. As a result of the lack of strict lockdown, Hungary and Israel had both the highest amount of their deaths synchronous with their rapid vaccination campaign.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @Dmitry


    lack of strict lockdown,
     
    Well I wrote this part unclearly. There is of lack of sufficiently strict and early, lockdown, during the vaccination campaigns.
    , @Not Only Wrathful
    @Dmitry

    Most infectious diseases vary in lethality by ethnicity. Doesn't this fit the global pattern best?

    , @Dacian Julien Soros
    @Dmitry

    I don't know about the four Visegrad countries, but they had similar incidence to Romania.

    In April 2020, Romania had one of the toughest curfews imaginable, resulting in few cases. The military used helicopters and armored cars. It was just absurd:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlGYaogo9WY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAjvNh1oh_4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNHinfbmb3c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCckwaIS6O4

    Now, it's time for retribution. People won't stay locked for another year, and immunity is nowhere near the US/UK levels.

  47. @Bashibuzuk
    On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn't look like some sort of "Western Perestroika " that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today's globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today's RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: "This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain". I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think "Western Perestroika " was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it's better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow, @mal, @AP, @Dmitry, @Max Payne, @EldnahYm

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think “Western Perestroika ” was already underway.

    Nah, Biden is no Gorbachev. He is a Kerensky – a fossil of the old order to be swept away in order to make way for global glorious revolution. Once Mensheviks and right deviationists have been dealt with, President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn’t.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @mal


    President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn’t.
     
    Simultaneous nuclear strikes against all nations in the world?

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @mal

    , @Bashibuzuk
    @mal


    make way for global glorious revolution
     
    What would be the ideological justification this time?

    what Trotsky couldn’t
     
    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you're kidding...)

    Replies: @mal

  48. @Dmitry
    So Visegrad countries are the most deadly in the world for coronavirus in terms of officially reported deaths (ignoring postsoviet space countries, where daily reported deaths have been so vastly underreported as to be almost meaningless).

    https://i.imgur.com/MrUmZc9.jpg

    So, the lesson is that this what happens with combination lack of strict enough lockdowns and perhaps populations' individual disobedience, and lack of intelligent policies like installation of indoor ventilation and PPE (e.g. Japan).

    At least, Hungary has a fast vaccination. But vaccination had to be combined with a strict lockdown (or obedient population and intelligent ventilation policies, like in Japan) while you are doing it, and in Hungary and Israel are both an example where they have failed to enforce strict enough lockdown during the vaccination campaign. As a result of the lack of strict lockdown, Hungary and Israel had both the highest amount of their deaths synchronous with their rapid vaccination campaign.


    https://i.imgur.com/1r7Slyy.jpg

    Replies: @Dmitry, @Not Only Wrathful, @Dacian Julien Soros

    lack of strict lockdown,

    Well I wrote this part unclearly. There is of lack of sufficiently strict and early, lockdown, during the vaccination campaigns.

  49. Lebanon is experiencing this kind of archetypical “currency crisis”, where you have falling (unofficial) local currency value, and a rapid inflation for imported products.

    This perhaps is reminiscent economic problems to 1997 in the Asian tiger economies, 1998 in the Russian Federation, and in 2002 in Argentina? And it’s one of the reasons why a government should focus on food security as a kind of minimax for the worst case situation of such financial crisis.

    Brawls in shops as Lebanon’s financial meltdown hits supply of food

    BEIRUT (Reuters) – The collapse of Lebanon’s currency has forced many grocery shops to temporarily shut within the last 24 hours, raising fears that a country reliant on imports could soon face shortages of food.

    Food shops around the country were locking their doors, halting online deliveries or restricting customers’ orders. Others stayed open, but could not say for how long.

    “There’s a big possibility we will close if it stays like this. I don’t know where will we get supplies, and no one is helping us,” said Beirut grocer Mohieldin Fayed, who has kept his shop open.

    The pound tumbled to 15,000 to the dollar on Tuesday, losing a third of its value in the last two weeks. It has now sunk by 90% since late 2019.

    “If this persists, things will start to disappear, traders will prioritise what to get,” said Hani Bohsali, head of the foodstuffs importers syndicate. “We’ll have to buy less, in variety and quantity, because we can’t find the money.”

    He estimated the country has roughly two months of supplies, while it was getting more and more difficult for importers to obtain the dollars they need to keep buying.

    The economy’s collapse has pushed much of the population into poverty and poses the biggest threat to stability since the 1975-1990 civil war.

    Social media users have been sharing videos of supermarket brawls, such as a fight between a man and a woman trying to buy powdered milk. Prices of many consumer goods such as diapers or cereals have nearly tripled during the crisis.

    Nabil Fahed, head of the syndicate of supermarket owners, said some of the shops that had shut on Tuesday reopened on Wednesday after replenishing stocks. But he said permanent closures would happen if no exchange stability was reached.

    “What we’re afraid of is that these eventually turn from temporary closures … that it becomes final because it is a dire situation, their capital is being eroded and they don’t have money to pay for goods.”

    The vice president of Lebanon’s bakeries’ syndicate said bakeries were supplying the country with bread for now, but could not do so indefinitely without a solution. Lebanon imports almost all of its wheat.

    “If we continue at this pace, in the end we will reach a forced closure until the exchange rate stabilises,” Ali Ibrahim, who tried to resign from his position two weeks ago because of the dire situation, said in a statement.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-crisis-economy-idUSKBN2B929I

  50. @mal
    @Bashibuzuk


    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think “Western Perestroika ” was already underway.
     
    Nah, Biden is no Gorbachev. He is a Kerensky - a fossil of the old order to be swept away in order to make way for global glorious revolution. Once Mensheviks and right deviationists have been dealt with, President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn't.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Bashibuzuk

    President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn’t.

    Simultaneous nuclear strikes against all nations in the world?

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Daniel Chieh

    Based and nukepilled.

    , @mal
    @Daniel Chieh

    The purifying fires of anti-fascism. That SaveIdlib hashtag crowd may not run on logic and rationality (Al Qaeda office in Idlib is probably not too keen on transgender rights), but they make up for it with zeal. I have a feeling we will see a lot of that getting promoted in upcoming years.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  51. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    From the ground level here in the US, things really do look quite shakened up, from the strange presidential election that ended in quite visible violence, to the unfettered violent street protests last summer, to the continual acts of public violence experienced in centers of commerce today, and all of this framed by a background of the still viable pandemic threat. It does appear at times that the Federal government is trying to use the pandemic and its effects to its own advantage, to try and instill control of the country, that does appear to be coming apart at the seams. To no avail though really, the American crowds have shown much disdain for any attempts to reel them in, throughout the whole pandemic. The far right seems as emboldened as ever, and somewhere in the back of this all lurks the "Orange Man", who seems to still be siting in a viable position to run next time around.

    All of this doesn't even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold...

    When you watch the news, you really do wonder how long will Biden be able to last, stumbling about on various stages and stairs. How long till we are really exposed to the vagaries of a Harris presidency? Lots and lots of uncertainty out there, that doesn't bid well for the markets at all....the whole world is not for the better by any of this.

    Replies: @songbird, @Beckow, @Bashibuzuk

    All of this doesn’t even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold…

    It is hard to say whether the West will end up in a recession, I think there is no more economic normalcy left, any prognostication is difficult. Perhaps people knowledgeable in economic forecasting could chime in and share how they see the future economic activity unfolding.

    About the political polarization, it is indeed evident that there is nearly no common ground left. I would like to add that it is perhaps due as much to the to the influence of legacy mass media as the impact of the social media, the blogosphere etc. There is an enormous quantity of information, but it is quite contradictory and extreme. It is not really amenable to analysis or reflection, it is emotive and not rational. A lot of it is near the levels of click bite, some is outright manipulation of public opinion. This is an important aspect of our situation: we have an excess of information, but a lot of it is useless or outright misleading.

    But perhaps these are symptoms of a deeper social malaise?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    I'm guessing that the long term effects of a recession appearing, after all that the US (and the world) has been through in 2020, is still to be felt based on what transpired historically in 2008 and its resulting economic slowdown. Perhaps the generous pandemic relief checks sent out to many has temporarily slowed down this worsening situation?

    Somehow though, I think that we've averted discussing the "reforms" of the Western world, that I think you ascribe to the Atlanticist juggernaut and lynchpin in Washington DC? :-)

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  52. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Beckow
    @Bashibuzuk


    ...Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets.
     
    The globalised West is still doing better than other parts of the world. But like an ageing runner carrying a heavy, messy backpack with faster runners on its toes, and a steep hill coming up. The Western mind is cloudy, confused and unable to handle changing realities. Instead of dropping the unnecessary burdens, they want to pause the race and forbid cameras. The West has increasingly embraced censorship and that shows fear because no self-confident culture censors.

    There is a logic in this approach: any "reforms" require that that the rest of the world stays still. It also requires an elite rejuvenation in every sense of the world. Instead a 78-old feeble grandpa, a post-menopausal grouch Merkel, and a weirdo who is married to his elderly aunt. That goes across the society elites: Hollywood is literally brain-dead, academia stuck in a paper shuffle and perks, corporations blackmailed into tribute payments to deranged angry groups. Below it is an ethnic mess with elderly boomers dreaming of cheap service labor and migrants looking for handouts and revenge.

    The fact that it is unsustainable doesn't mean that it will collapse, the Pisa Tower is still standing. Maybe in a few years the elderly will die off and there will be a revival, but each year the numbers get worse. Washington has just issued $2 trillion in fiat "wealth", millions are still coming in thry unguarded borders, young people cannot afford to start families, the rentier class is locking themselves in gated enclaves. In major cities the dysfunction is visible (but thank god there is still a hill in El Paso where a few lucky ones can hide, as AP so poignantly argues).

    W all know what would have to be done, but it's unpleasant for people who make decisions. It is a lot easier to dream off shooting the runners who are catching up. The problem is in its current state, West is likely to miss. And the runners also have weapons.

    (If you have a better idea, share it.)

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but I am frankly not sure whether we really know what has to be done. We experience the symptoms of the manifold decline of our societies, we see its impact around us and even in our circles, but we have no consensus about how to deal with these changes, much of which are hardly positive.

    The political polarization that Mr Hack has mentioned and the low quality of the torrent of information that is pouring 24/7 on the Western middle class, makes any mindful discussion of solutions to the crisis nearly impossible. The solutions offered on both extremes are hardly realistic.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Bashibuzuk

    There are solutions, in both Europe and N America:
    - stop the massive inflow of migrants, incl. family reunifications, etc...
    - fix the infrastructure
    - manage work by limiting hours to 24-32 hours/week
    - provide basic social guarantees to all citizens (health, education, pensions) - yes, "socialism"
    - avoid wars.

    It will not be done because groups that control all governing bodies are heavily invested in preserving the current set-up: business would see increase in costs and inflation, parasitic officials would not get rewarded by the oligarchs, ethnic lobbies would lose power, investments would tank, old people would get less, warmongers put on ice...so we might have to wait until the numbers get so out-of-whack that the system collapses. That could take decades, and it won't be pleasant.

    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won...how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?

    Replies: @rkka, @Xi-Jinping

  53. @mal
    @Bashibuzuk


    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think “Western Perestroika ” was already underway.
     
    Nah, Biden is no Gorbachev. He is a Kerensky - a fossil of the old order to be swept away in order to make way for global glorious revolution. Once Mensheviks and right deviationists have been dealt with, President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn't.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Bashibuzuk

    make way for global glorious revolution

    What would be the ideological justification this time?

    what Trotsky couldn’t

    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you’re kidding…)

    • Replies: @mal
    @Bashibuzuk


    What would be the ideological justification this time?
     
    Same as always - Global Absolute Empire based on a confederate structure, led by a progressive revolutionary vanguard, where each individual confederate is guaranteed to be weaker than the revolutionary core, making resistance futile.


    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you’re kidding…)
     
    Only partially. I don't like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Daniel Chieh

  54. @Dmitry
    So Visegrad countries are the most deadly in the world for coronavirus in terms of officially reported deaths (ignoring postsoviet space countries, where daily reported deaths have been so vastly underreported as to be almost meaningless).

    https://i.imgur.com/MrUmZc9.jpg

    So, the lesson is that this what happens with combination lack of strict enough lockdowns and perhaps populations' individual disobedience, and lack of intelligent policies like installation of indoor ventilation and PPE (e.g. Japan).

    At least, Hungary has a fast vaccination. But vaccination had to be combined with a strict lockdown (or obedient population and intelligent ventilation policies, like in Japan) while you are doing it, and in Hungary and Israel are both an example where they have failed to enforce strict enough lockdown during the vaccination campaign. As a result of the lack of strict lockdown, Hungary and Israel had both the highest amount of their deaths synchronous with their rapid vaccination campaign.


    https://i.imgur.com/1r7Slyy.jpg

    Replies: @Dmitry, @Not Only Wrathful, @Dacian Julien Soros

    Most infectious diseases vary in lethality by ethnicity. Doesn’t this fit the global pattern best?

  55. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack


    All of this doesn’t even begin to belie the fate of the country as the real effects of a long drawn out recession are bound to take hold…
     
    It is hard to say whether the West will end up in a recession, I think there is no more economic normalcy left, any prognostication is difficult. Perhaps people knowledgeable in economic forecasting could chime in and share how they see the future economic activity unfolding.

    About the political polarization, it is indeed evident that there is nearly no common ground left. I would like to add that it is perhaps due as much to the to the influence of legacy mass media as the impact of the social media, the blogosphere etc. There is an enormous quantity of information, but it is quite contradictory and extreme. It is not really amenable to analysis or reflection, it is emotive and not rational. A lot of it is near the levels of click bite, some is outright manipulation of public opinion. This is an important aspect of our situation: we have an excess of information, but a lot of it is useless or outright misleading.

    But perhaps these are symptoms of a deeper social malaise?

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I’m guessing that the long term effects of a recession appearing, after all that the US (and the world) has been through in 2020, is still to be felt based on what transpired historically in 2008 and its resulting economic slowdown. Perhaps the generous pandemic relief checks sent out to many has temporarily slowed down this worsening situation?

    Somehow though, I think that we’ve averted discussing the “reforms” of the Western world, that I think you ascribe to the Atlanticist juggernaut and lynchpin in Washington DC? 🙂

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack


    Somehow though, I think that we’ve averted discussing the “reforms” of the Western world, that I think you ascribe to the Atlanticist juggernaut and lynchpin in Washington DC?
     
    I think we should first define what "Atlanticist " means. In my opinion it is not an ideological, but first and foremost an economic and financial alignment.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  56. @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    First, a generalization is inevitable in a blog discussion. Second, "loving one's children" and other emotional excuses are irrelevant in the context what has been happening in the economy. Both in US, and also in Europe, a bit later, but very similar.

    The traditional Republican party is an open-borders party even more than an average Democrat. They are obsessed with cheap labor, have been since Reagan, and are at the forefront of bringing in as many migrants as they can behind a smoke-screen of "shortage of labor". Mainstream right-wing parties in Europe are exactly the same: Merkel and Macron and centre-right, BoJo is an open borders fanatic, he just doesn't like too many Poles. You can expect Senate Republicans to join the deranged liberals in opening the borders more, amnesty, etc...there is no political solution because people in power want open borders and deracinated impoverished working class. Even Trump was wishy-washy and did less than he could.

    The generations that voted these people into power is responsible. It is evasive to say "Wall Street bankers screw the kids", etc...the situation today exists because it was consciously created by a ruling class that was elected and kept in power. They couldn't do it e.g. after WWII in either Europe or US. In a democracy you cannot escape responsibility.

    The problem in US is a growing gap between what elderly made and had to spend (basically free education and cheap housing) and what the younger generation is facing. The elderly fixed the labor market by bringing tens of millions additional migrants. With increased supply of labor (on all levels, from dishwashers to engineers) incomes predictably stagnated and costs went up. In Europe something similar has happened and the social programs have been heavily used to bring in more migrants - e.g. free housing for migrant "families" means less housing or more cost for the locals.

    You like to celebrate the "high-education" migrants. Do you realize that they received their education at home for free and arrive in the West (US) with no debts or obligations? The local young people have enormous debts and often responsibility for ageing parents. The migrants leave that at home and eventually bring their old relatives in order to put them on free medical care and social programs since they are technically "indigent". (Only on California there are 1 million elderly Third Wold migrants on Medicare who were brough by their kids. Do the numbers and consider who is paying for it.)

    There are nuances. But that is the general picture: a (Boomer) generation that optimized all for themselves and screwed the next generations. The fact that they will give it up at the end is irrelevant, it doesn't work that way. There is a large number of overpaid Boomers who sit in their sinecures from universities to government.

    Good intentions and "loving children" is fine, but by any standard the Boomer+ older generation screwed their children. In a democracy, they are also responsible and not "Wall Street". There is often a terrible price to pay for evil, let's see if it happens.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    You can expect Senate Republicans to join the deranged liberals in opening the borders more, amnesty, etc…there is no political solution because people in power want open borders and deracinated impoverished working class. Even Trump was wishy-washy and did less than he could.

    Trump came to power largely on a platform to tighten up the borders. It’s yet to be seen how much mileage and real impetus meaningful border control issues will play in future Republican politics. Certainly, a lot in states that share a border with Mexico. This issue is far from resolved yet, and big business may not have the last word here. Many voters hold strong anti open border viewpoints, and taxpayers don’t always feel burdened to bail out every Tom, Dick and Harry that crosses the border.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    If you look at 4 states on Mexico border, 3 have moved left in the last 10 years: California, N Mexico and Arizona. Texas is the last hold-out. It is also very likely that business interests will not allow another tighten-the-border candidate to be nominated.

    You are welcome to be an optimist, but it doesn't look good.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  57. @Daniel Chieh
    @mal


    President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn’t.
     
    Simultaneous nuclear strikes against all nations in the world?

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @mal

    Based and nukepilled.

    • Agree: mal, reiner Tor
    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  58. @reiner Tor
    @songbird

    I think a war could hasten its demise. Otherwise I agree, and hopefully there’ll be no war.

    Replies: @songbird

    For every war hawk, I think there is a buffer of a couple of less crazy people. At least, enough to prevent a bigger war – Iran-level and above. Very few people are crazy enough to want to go to war with China over someone else’s offshore mineral rights or over Taiwan.

    I give serious war a very low probability. The trend has been to less boots on the ground, less economic restructuring for war. Ultimately, a more soy-infested US will probably become more aggressive with its rhetoric, but less able to project power.

    The one unknown is ethnic animus. Suppose Kamala is commander-in-chief, during a tense situation, and she wants to try to use the US as a golem to punish China? I don’t say it will happen – I think she is more of a cosmopolitan hustler – but I’d lower the DEFCON level by half a point.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @songbird

    The non-crazy people didn’t prevent the Soleimani assassination. The Iranian answer could have killed American servicemen, in which case Trump might not have been in a position to de-escalate. I believe the chances of something similar happening are not zero.

    There is another factor. If there are local wars in which America’s adversaries gain ground in easy victories (like a Blitzkrieg in Taiwan), then they might get emboldened and try to replicate the success elsewhere. The American establishment might get nervous and respond forcefully, and without considering giving a way out without a loss of face. (They no longer try to placate their enemies.) This could result in dangerous situations.

    I think overall the chances of a big war over the next couple decades are relatively small (10-20% maybe?), but certainly not zero.

    Replies: @songbird

  59. @Daniel Chieh
    @mal


    President WASBAPPIN will be able to accomplish what Trotsky couldn’t.
     
    Simultaneous nuclear strikes against all nations in the world?

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @mal

    The purifying fires of anti-fascism. That SaveIdlib hashtag crowd may not run on logic and rationality (Al Qaeda office in Idlib is probably not too keen on transgender rights), but they make up for it with zeal. I have a feeling we will see a lot of that getting promoted in upcoming years.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @mal

    A world that doesn't have a weekend gay parade in every country is a world that doesn't need to exist.

    He's gotten banned fwiw. I guess he's a bit too fun for the powers that be.

    Replies: @mal

  60. @mal
    @Daniel Chieh

    The purifying fires of anti-fascism. That SaveIdlib hashtag crowd may not run on logic and rationality (Al Qaeda office in Idlib is probably not too keen on transgender rights), but they make up for it with zeal. I have a feeling we will see a lot of that getting promoted in upcoming years.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    A world that doesn’t have a weekend gay parade in every country is a world that doesn’t need to exist.

    He’s gotten banned fwiw. I guess he’s a bit too fun for the powers that be.

    • Replies: @mal
    @Daniel Chieh

    He got banned because he was boiling that frog too fast, frog was getting uncomfortable and getting second thoughts. Same with Trump - Trump was too honest and that just won't do.

  61. @Bashibuzuk
    @mal


    make way for global glorious revolution
     
    What would be the ideological justification this time?

    what Trotsky couldn’t
     
    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you're kidding...)

    Replies: @mal

    What would be the ideological justification this time?

    Same as always – Global Absolute Empire based on a confederate structure, led by a progressive revolutionary vanguard, where each individual confederate is guaranteed to be weaker than the revolutionary core, making resistance futile.

    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you’re kidding…)

    Only partially. I don’t like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @mal


    our friendly overlords know what they are doing
     
    I believe they (unfortunately?) indeed know what needs to be done. And I think think that this time it is not only addressing some social, economic and geopolitical aspects in need of (urgent?) change. The environmental aspects and human biology are also targeted for an adjustment. This is what I am mostly worried about, but perhaps I shouldn't worry and learn to love the Green New Great Reset...

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/26/buttigieg-says-white-house-is-weighing-mileage-levy-to-fund-infrastructure.html
    , @Daniel Chieh
    @mal


    Only partially. I don’t like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

     

    I don't think they do, having some acquaintance with the higher rungs of governance. I think the truth is that there's no coherent "plan"; certainly there's coordination of language and a lot of other fakeness like the "build back better" and coordinated messaging. But I think, much like how Soros organized his destruction largely through donations and sabotage, its not really a master plan as much as well-funded effort to encourage the ill nature of modernity and maximize it. Its more skating the waves and guiding them, I feel, more than a specific cabal truly creating the waves of poz.

    But in practice, government is increasingly staffed by some combination of amoral strivers, nepotistic appointees and a particular brand of dysfunction that ultimately encourages spoils-seeking. And spoils seekers are more like carrion eaters than masterminds, they either don't care or are blindly unaware that their activity promotes the very collapse of the system that gives them their gains. For the former, they may simply be seeking to steal as much as possible before the system collapse: they are parasites who'll find a new host. For the latter, they're like parasites who'll die with the host, but can't realize it.

    And that's why I think in many ways, its worse than thinking that there's actually a plan. There's no plan and no reason. We'll suffer not for great meaning or against powerful hosts, but because of the collective petty machinations of little napoleons for status, because of the whims of the powerful and mentally ill, and for the infinite disgruntlements of an ideological bourgeoisie that hate their families and find mean in the religion of wokeness, who'll plunge us all into ugliness and darkness, so they can forget for a little moment of the ugliness of themselves and the self-hate that they in their more lucid moments, realize that they deserve because of how damned they are.

    It is through their own little personal hells that they open portals for the demons, even if it destroys them too.

    Replies: @mal

  62. @Daniel Chieh
    @mal

    A world that doesn't have a weekend gay parade in every country is a world that doesn't need to exist.

    He's gotten banned fwiw. I guess he's a bit too fun for the powers that be.

    Replies: @mal

    He got banned because he was boiling that frog too fast, frog was getting uncomfortable and getting second thoughts. Same with Trump – Trump was too honest and that just won’t do.

  63. Bashibuzuk says:
    @mal
    @Bashibuzuk


    What would be the ideological justification this time?
     
    Same as always - Global Absolute Empire based on a confederate structure, led by a progressive revolutionary vanguard, where each individual confederate is guaranteed to be weaker than the revolutionary core, making resistance futile.


    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you’re kidding…)
     
    Only partially. I don't like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Daniel Chieh

    our friendly overlords know what they are doing

    I believe they (unfortunately?) indeed know what needs to be done. And I think think that this time it is not only addressing some social, economic and geopolitical aspects in need of (urgent?) change. The environmental aspects and human biology are also targeted for an adjustment. This is what I am mostly worried about, but perhaps I shouldn’t worry and learn to love the Green New Great Reset…

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/26/buttigieg-says-white-house-is-weighing-mileage-levy-to-fund-infrastructure.html

    • Agree: mal
  64. @songbird
    @A123

    There has been a lot of turnover in Republican ranks, hasn't there? Though, I admit to being something of a skeptic.

    Replies: @A123

    There has been a lot of turnover in Republican ranks, hasn’t there? Though, I admit to being something of a skeptic.

    I am mildly optimistic. However, it is a “2 steps forward, 1 step back” change process.

    I thought the MAGA party was committed to protecting female athletes. Then Gov. Noem caved for no apparent reason. (1)

    We are extremely disappointed to see Gov. Noem break her word on this critical legislation,” Terry Schilling president of the American Principles Project (APP) said in a statement. “Gov. Noem’s veto would scrap the vast majority of the bill text and would strip protections for female athletes in collegiate sports in the state. Additionally, it would eliminate all reasonable enforcement mechanisms, neutering the legislation so much as to render it meaningless.”

    The GOP(e) Swampies are going to fight as long as they can. The Uniparty gives them cash & prestige that they do not want to lose.

    My biggest concern is redistricting. MAGA won at the state level, and they should be able to use that to take control of the House. I suspect theoretically Red states, like Georgia, will intentionally throw away that advantage. Swampies will attempt to create safe Uniparty GOP(e) seats and fragile MAGA districts.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2021/03/20/betrayal-noem-neutered-bill-protecting-womens-sports-n1433936

  65. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    I'm guessing that the long term effects of a recession appearing, after all that the US (and the world) has been through in 2020, is still to be felt based on what transpired historically in 2008 and its resulting economic slowdown. Perhaps the generous pandemic relief checks sent out to many has temporarily slowed down this worsening situation?

    Somehow though, I think that we've averted discussing the "reforms" of the Western world, that I think you ascribe to the Atlanticist juggernaut and lynchpin in Washington DC? :-)

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    Somehow though, I think that we’ve averted discussing the “reforms” of the Western world, that I think you ascribe to the Atlanticist juggernaut and lynchpin in Washington DC?

    I think we should first define what “Atlanticist ” means. In my opinion it is not an ideological, but first and foremost an economic and financial alignment.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    I did actually look up the term recently (Atlanticist) and it seemed to give a greater weight to NATO involvement. But however you define it, I was interested in following up on your statement regarding impending "reforms in the western world". I thought that you had something on your mind that you wanted to discuss in a longer fashion? Perhaps, I misread you?....

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  66. @mal
    @Bashibuzuk


    What would be the ideological justification this time?
     
    Same as always - Global Absolute Empire based on a confederate structure, led by a progressive revolutionary vanguard, where each individual confederate is guaranteed to be weaker than the revolutionary core, making resistance futile.


    Trotsky did not have teh internets, big data and deep learning. TPTB now have all of this and more.

    (I know that you’re kidding…)
     
    Only partially. I don't like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Daniel Chieh

    Only partially. I don’t like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

    I don’t think they do, having some acquaintance with the higher rungs of governance. I think the truth is that there’s no coherent “plan”; certainly there’s coordination of language and a lot of other fakeness like the “build back better” and coordinated messaging. But I think, much like how Soros organized his destruction largely through donations and sabotage, its not really a master plan as much as well-funded effort to encourage the ill nature of modernity and maximize it. Its more skating the waves and guiding them, I feel, more than a specific cabal truly creating the waves of poz.

    But in practice, government is increasingly staffed by some combination of amoral strivers, nepotistic appointees and a particular brand of dysfunction that ultimately encourages spoils-seeking. And spoils seekers are more like carrion eaters than masterminds, they either don’t care or are blindly unaware that their activity promotes the very collapse of the system that gives them their gains. For the former, they may simply be seeking to steal as much as possible before the system collapse: they are parasites who’ll find a new host. For the latter, they’re like parasites who’ll die with the host, but can’t realize it.

    And that’s why I think in many ways, its worse than thinking that there’s actually a plan. There’s no plan and no reason. We’ll suffer not for great meaning or against powerful hosts, but because of the collective petty machinations of little napoleons for status, because of the whims of the powerful and mentally ill, and for the infinite disgruntlements of an ideological bourgeoisie that hate their families and find mean in the religion of wokeness, who’ll plunge us all into ugliness and darkness, so they can forget for a little moment of the ugliness of themselves and the self-hate that they in their more lucid moments, realize that they deserve because of how damned they are.

    It is through their own little personal hells that they open portals for the demons, even if it destroys them too.

    • Thanks: AP, AltanBakshi
    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @mal
    @Daniel Chieh

    Maybe. I guess incompetence and a plan to keep confederates weak would look rather similar. United States would just be another confederate in the grand scheme of things, to be kept weakened accordingly.

    I mean, why did Soros fund all those district attorneys in the liberal states? Why was he playing catch and release with BLM/antifa during riots? I mean, murder rate skyrocketed in liberal cities, and they were supposed to be Soros' allies - heavily Democratic strongholds. It's a rather mean thing to do to your friends. Was he not planning on burning liberal cities down or was he incompetent and didn't see it coming?

    Maybe, but I find it hard to believe. It seems to me that liberal cities got too powerful and needed to be cut down to size. It was nothing personal, just keeping another confederate weak. Even if those confederates are nominally pro-Soros.

    Same thing with trannies. Overlords know that designer babies and other bioengineering will become a thing in not too distant future, but instead of promoting this from a position of strength and glory, they introduce those concepts from a position of weakness and basically advertise chemical castration. Everything to keep people going that route weak.

    Same with environment. Energy security and environmental concerns are serious issues, and again the overlords are pushing weaker solutions (such as renewables).

    EU is a bureaucratic mess for that reason as well. All to keep them below potential.

    I bet once space exploration kicks off for real, Greenpeace will discover space turtles and place then on endangered species (they will be so endangered nobody will ever see one) list and that will be used to set up barriers as to where and how you can explore.

    It's not that the World Economic Forum crowd is stupid, they fancy themselves quite progressive and they have some good ideas and they do understand social pain points. But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating. Even when they are on the right side of history.

    Or maybe they are just coasting and seeing how many social experiments they can pull off before things become unglued and fall apart. But at this point, my bet is still on weakening the confederates.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @songbird

  67. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack


    Somehow though, I think that we’ve averted discussing the “reforms” of the Western world, that I think you ascribe to the Atlanticist juggernaut and lynchpin in Washington DC?
     
    I think we should first define what "Atlanticist " means. In my opinion it is not an ideological, but first and foremost an economic and financial alignment.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I did actually look up the term recently (Atlanticist) and it seemed to give a greater weight to NATO involvement. But however you define it, I was interested in following up on your statement regarding impending “reforms in the western world”. I thought that you had something on your mind that you wanted to discuss in a longer fashion? Perhaps, I misread you?….

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    No you didn't misread me. I disagree completely with Mr Chieh and I believe that there's an attempt at reforming global Capitalism and that these reforms have been long in preparation. But first we need to understand why the people who are involved with the reform process believe that it is necessarily.

    They don't do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it. What they are working towards is a future that they see as a lesser evil, or perhaps a greater good.

    All the political shenanigans and slogans of wokness and pozz are in my opinion a useful distraction to keep the masses busy with idiotic and meaningless illusions, while serious people (political grown-ups) are taking the indispensable decisions.

    That's what I believe is happening. I also believe that these people will probably fail, because they are attempting something unprecedented and extremely hard to achieve. Namely, in this very generation, before 2050 or so, they want to completely transform human civilization forever. Not only the West, but the World.

    I know that it sounds crazy, but this is what think is happening. Of course I wouldn't be surprised if everyone thinks that I have some mental problem caused by reading too many conspiracy theories online. I have no problem with anyone thinking that what I write is crazy, everyone is free to believe what they feel most appropriate, we still live in a (mostly) free society, for a time at least.

    🙂

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @rkka, @Yellowface Anon

  68. I’ve come to realize that I find the voice of a tranny even more disturbing than the sight of one.

    Quite remarkable. We are used to thinking of our eyes as the sieve of all physiognomy, but we should not forget the power of our ears.

    I recall reading an old sci-fi story where they created a duplicate of murdered man, from recordings of the sound of his voice.

  69. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk
    On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn't look like some sort of "Western Perestroika " that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today's globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today's RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: "This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain". I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think "Western Perestroika " was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it's better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow, @mal, @AP, @Dmitry, @Max Payne, @EldnahYm

    I don’t feel it personally but I didn’t live through perestroika. My wife did, she sees changes here but they are in some sense the opposite of perestroika, which involved a sense of openness while in the West there is in contrast a sort of Puritanical closing up. People in the USSR stopped getting cancelled as the Soviet system teetered on the edge, whereas cancellation is beginning in the USA. If one wants to be a pessimist, this suggests that instead of the beginning of Perestroika and pending collapse, we are witnessing the dawn of a stifling and stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt corporate bureaucracies under senile semi-leadership consolidate their grip over an increasingly cynical but still-wealthy population going about its business. In which case, Perestroika happens in 20 years and collapse in 30. The Boomers will die peacefully in their prosperity – sorry, Beckow. We in the next generation will have a nasty old age.

    I am not so pessimistic but if I were, that is what I would expect to happen.

    I do agree that modern Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March, as 32% say they are satisfied with the direction of the country. This is the second monthly increase Gallup has recorded after the measure fell to its lowest point in nearly a decade in January. Still, Americans are more than twice as likely to report being dissatisfied with the country’s direction (67%).

    ::::::::::::::

    Now some quick musings about several key differences between the USA and the end-stage USSR:

    1. USSR was poor by Western standards and getting poorer and falling further behind. In contrast, USA and EU are the richest places on Earth.

    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn’t harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them. Is Russia going to be able to buy Chinese stuff to replace what the USA/EU had been buying? And who will buy Russian gas and oil if neither EU or China (due to collapse in trade with the now-collapsed USA/EU) need it anymore?

    3. When Soviet financial system collapsed, people lost their life savings. If the US financial system collapses, a lot of people will lose a lot of savings. But also, a lot of people won’t have to be making payments on their SUVs and homes anymore. And no defunct bank will take them from the hundreds of millions.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @AP

    This makes more sense to me than the perestroika comparison. I don't see why the West should collapse, in fact, the USSR would not have collapsed, had it been willing to be 0.1% as violent in preserving itself as it had been about setting itself up in the first place.


    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn’t harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them.
     
    Depends on the mechanism by which they go. But I don't see why other places should go down with them - if they become drastically poorer, you could get reverse brain drain, benefiting all those places.

    Replies: @AP, @Bashibuzuk

    , @Dmitry
    @AP


    stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt
     
    America's situation is quite different, as usual. Soviet Union in the 1970s, was internally seeming to people, to be a functional, prosocial and optimistic time, while America in the 2020s, loves to portray itself as a dysfunctional and crazy country, always looking for the next zombie apocalypse. On the other hand, Soviet Union in the 1970s, was economically very vulnerable to the commodity cycle, while the economy of America's bourgeoisie in the 2020s is much more diversified.

    However, note that America's situation in the 2020s, is very similar to America's situation in the 1970s, or in the 1920s.

    America was for at least the last century and half, always an internally dysfunctional, weird, and crazy society, which has the ability to romanticize its own weirdness (even Capone's Chicago became romantic, by the 1950s). But America's bourgeoisie is an economically diversified and well insulated one, and even a collapse of GDP by 30% in the 1930s, could hardly weaken their control of the country.

    Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March


     

    That's another opposite situation of the USA to the USSR, or even Russian Federation.

    America's national personality is somewhere between narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder, as it has been for more than a century. Compare American media reports about coronavirus, with the situation in Russia.

    In America, the reports are gratuitously obsessed about their own incompetence, and histrionically portraying the coronavirus as the next apocalypse, or at least scenario from a Hollywood disaster film. Whereas, by contrast, in the Russian media, everything is stable, calm and the authorities are in control.

    -

    Technological progress will drive the same alienation and psychological discomfort to all countries of the world, but Americans are the best self-dramaticizing hysteria about this process of alienation, as in everything else, while in Russia it's almost in the opposite mentality to America's one (at least to the extent the authorities are in control of communication).

    Replies: @Thulean Friend, @AP

  70. Even if one didn’t hear about Saudi Arabia allowing Netflix to stream gay shows, I think that the construction of the Abraj Al Bait would probably be a strong sign of poz in Islam and in particular in Saudi Arabia.

    Would the zoning laws of NYC have allowed such a complex to be built as close to Central Park as it is to the Kaaba? A while back, I made an argument about how I thought that Christianity had lost something from the modern ease of travel, making pilgrimage much easier and hermitage much more difficult.

  71. @Svevlad
    @JohnPlywood

    dunno i'm a serb (not white!)

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    BASED

    [MORE]


    • Replies: @songbird
    @Blinky Bill

    Wonder if there could be some selection bias here. I mean, how cucked do you have to be to be a Serb taking an implicit bias test on race? Germany and Sweden: maybe, they are forcing students to take it? To mix with the cucks? And in Eastern and Southern Europe: perhaps, they had to pay people to take it?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Daniel Chieh

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @Blinky Bill

    US numbers for comparison: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/europes-rednecks/

    https://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/iat-usa.jpg

    Replies: @AP

  72. @Daniel Chieh
    @mal


    Only partially. I don’t like it, but our friendly overlords know what they are doing.

     

    I don't think they do, having some acquaintance with the higher rungs of governance. I think the truth is that there's no coherent "plan"; certainly there's coordination of language and a lot of other fakeness like the "build back better" and coordinated messaging. But I think, much like how Soros organized his destruction largely through donations and sabotage, its not really a master plan as much as well-funded effort to encourage the ill nature of modernity and maximize it. Its more skating the waves and guiding them, I feel, more than a specific cabal truly creating the waves of poz.

    But in practice, government is increasingly staffed by some combination of amoral strivers, nepotistic appointees and a particular brand of dysfunction that ultimately encourages spoils-seeking. And spoils seekers are more like carrion eaters than masterminds, they either don't care or are blindly unaware that their activity promotes the very collapse of the system that gives them their gains. For the former, they may simply be seeking to steal as much as possible before the system collapse: they are parasites who'll find a new host. For the latter, they're like parasites who'll die with the host, but can't realize it.

    And that's why I think in many ways, its worse than thinking that there's actually a plan. There's no plan and no reason. We'll suffer not for great meaning or against powerful hosts, but because of the collective petty machinations of little napoleons for status, because of the whims of the powerful and mentally ill, and for the infinite disgruntlements of an ideological bourgeoisie that hate their families and find mean in the religion of wokeness, who'll plunge us all into ugliness and darkness, so they can forget for a little moment of the ugliness of themselves and the self-hate that they in their more lucid moments, realize that they deserve because of how damned they are.

    It is through their own little personal hells that they open portals for the demons, even if it destroys them too.

    Replies: @mal

    Maybe. I guess incompetence and a plan to keep confederates weak would look rather similar. United States would just be another confederate in the grand scheme of things, to be kept weakened accordingly.

    I mean, why did Soros fund all those district attorneys in the liberal states? Why was he playing catch and release with BLM/antifa during riots? I mean, murder rate skyrocketed in liberal cities, and they were supposed to be Soros’ allies – heavily Democratic strongholds. It’s a rather mean thing to do to your friends. Was he not planning on burning liberal cities down or was he incompetent and didn’t see it coming?

    Maybe, but I find it hard to believe. It seems to me that liberal cities got too powerful and needed to be cut down to size. It was nothing personal, just keeping another confederate weak. Even if those confederates are nominally pro-Soros.

    Same thing with trannies. Overlords know that designer babies and other bioengineering will become a thing in not too distant future, but instead of promoting this from a position of strength and glory, they introduce those concepts from a position of weakness and basically advertise chemical castration. Everything to keep people going that route weak.

    Same with environment. Energy security and environmental concerns are serious issues, and again the overlords are pushing weaker solutions (such as renewables).

    EU is a bureaucratic mess for that reason as well. All to keep them below potential.

    I bet once space exploration kicks off for real, Greenpeace will discover space turtles and place then on endangered species (they will be so endangered nobody will ever see one) list and that will be used to set up barriers as to where and how you can explore.

    It’s not that the World Economic Forum crowd is stupid, they fancy themselves quite progressive and they have some good ideas and they do understand social pain points. But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating. Even when they are on the right side of history.

    Or maybe they are just coasting and seeing how many social experiments they can pull off before things become unglued and fall apart. But at this point, my bet is still on weakening the confederates.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @mal


    But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating.
     
    I think they simply believe that they have no other option left, that every other probable development is either a dead end or an outright catastrophe. You have mentioned Space exploration, I believe that one of the pieces of the puzzle is that we will probably be not ready for a massive space exploration program for at least a couple more generations. If we keep business as usual during that period we will screw up the biosphere beyond repair and make our very biological survival as a technological civilization very uncertain. To jump start this type of Space program, we require a World Government and a totalitarian system. To survive as a civilization until we get to acquire the ressources from our solar system we need to cut the consumption of the global (mostly Western) middle class. We need to reorient completely the Capitalist system towards producing long term strategic outcomes instead of short term gains. This is our global Perestroika: an attempt to ensure our survival as technological civilization until we reach the Space Age.

    Replies: @Thulean Friend

    , @songbird
    @mal

    Maybe, the whole point of promoting trannies is to throw ugliness into the face of people until they become so disgusted that they willingly accept eugenics.

  73. @AP
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don't feel it personally but I didn't live through perestroika. My wife did, she sees changes here but they are in some sense the opposite of perestroika, which involved a sense of openness while in the West there is in contrast a sort of Puritanical closing up. People in the USSR stopped getting cancelled as the Soviet system teetered on the edge, whereas cancellation is beginning in the USA. If one wants to be a pessimist, this suggests that instead of the beginning of Perestroika and pending collapse, we are witnessing the dawn of a stifling and stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt corporate bureaucracies under senile semi-leadership consolidate their grip over an increasingly cynical but still-wealthy population going about its business. In which case, Perestroika happens in 20 years and collapse in 30. The Boomers will die peacefully in their prosperity - sorry, Beckow. We in the next generation will have a nasty old age.

    I am not so pessimistic but if I were, that is what I would expect to happen.

    I do agree that modern Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March, as 32% say they are satisfied with the direction of the country. This is the second monthly increase Gallup has recorded after the measure fell to its lowest point in nearly a decade in January. Still, Americans are more than twice as likely to report being dissatisfied with the country's direction (67%).

    ::::::::::::::

    Now some quick musings about several key differences between the USA and the end-stage USSR:

    1. USSR was poor by Western standards and getting poorer and falling further behind. In contrast, USA and EU are the richest places on Earth.

    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn't harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them. Is Russia going to be able to buy Chinese stuff to replace what the USA/EU had been buying? And who will buy Russian gas and oil if neither EU or China (due to collapse in trade with the now-collapsed USA/EU) need it anymore?

    3. When Soviet financial system collapsed, people lost their life savings. If the US financial system collapses, a lot of people will lose a lot of savings. But also, a lot of people won't have to be making payments on their SUVs and homes anymore. And no defunct bank will take them from the hundreds of millions.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Dmitry

    This makes more sense to me than the perestroika comparison. I don’t see why the West should collapse, in fact, the USSR would not have collapsed, had it been willing to be 0.1% as violent in preserving itself as it had been about setting itself up in the first place.

    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn’t harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them.

    Depends on the mechanism by which they go. But I don’t see why other places should go down with them – if they become drastically poorer, you could get reverse brain drain, benefiting all those places.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Thanks: AP
    • Replies: @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Well, if the USA/West go down now China (which per capita is till much poorer than the USA) will never get its money back and it will also lose its biggest customer (Russians and poor Africans won't be buying all the stuff Americans will stop buying). Given the domino effect and the fact that the USA (unlike the USSR in 1985) is currently far richer than any other major country, a collapsed America, even if its fall will be greater than others' decline, will probably still be richer than the rest of the world.

    I suppose not much will change in Africa, it will be as poor as ever, it will stop getting aid but that won't matter much in the long run. Maybe the more developed Latin American countries and Russia will be in a closer position to the USA.

    :::::::::

    Of course, if we are entering not perestroika but the Brezhnev era, and perestroika will start in 25 years (and collapse in 30), things may be different then. China will need the US/West less, Russia other areas will develop further, etc. In 30 years, an American collapse may not be as bad for everyone else as it would be now or in 5 years.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    , @Bashibuzuk
    @Anatoly Karlin

    If the reforms go as planned, the globalized West will not collapse, but the World in which our children will live in a generation will be a completely different environment. If the reforms fail, then what AP described will probably happen on a global scale reaching a degree where the global economy becomes dysfunctional, the technological civilization fails to a much lower level of sophistication, leading to a neo-Malthusian age that you have described in your writings. If the reforms fail, Soviet Perestroika 's outcomes might well seem a walk in a park and a joyful picnic.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

  74. Murderous car thief at crash site laments separation from phone (still in trashed car) while shattered victim motionless on concrete—at 1:09 in this sickening document. Thought I was jaded, but guess not. Unfiltered psychopathy.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @schnellandine

    I'm sure the God-Machine will take this into consideration in regards to humanity.

    , @EldnahYm
    @schnellandine

    Unfortunately, we don't execute minors in the United States, so these two will probably cause more problems in the future.

    , @reiner Tor
    @schnellandine

    Peaceful Carjacking Gone Bad, Random, probably Poverty, and Society, claim another victim.

    , @fnn
    @schnellandine

    CNN says it was an accident.

    https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1375881068847509504

  75. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    I did actually look up the term recently (Atlanticist) and it seemed to give a greater weight to NATO involvement. But however you define it, I was interested in following up on your statement regarding impending "reforms in the western world". I thought that you had something on your mind that you wanted to discuss in a longer fashion? Perhaps, I misread you?....

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    No you didn’t misread me. I disagree completely with Mr Chieh and I believe that there’s an attempt at reforming global Capitalism and that these reforms have been long in preparation. But first we need to understand why the people who are involved with the reform process believe that it is necessarily.

    They don’t do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it. What they are working towards is a future that they see as a lesser evil, or perhaps a greater good.

    All the political shenanigans and slogans of wokness and pozz are in my opinion a useful distraction to keep the masses busy with idiotic and meaningless illusions, while serious people (political grown-ups) are taking the indispensable decisions.

    That’s what I believe is happening. I also believe that these people will probably fail, because they are attempting something unprecedented and extremely hard to achieve. Namely, in this very generation, before 2050 or so, they want to completely transform human civilization forever. Not only the West, but the World.

    I know that it sounds crazy, but this is what think is happening. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone thinks that I have some mental problem caused by reading too many conspiracy theories online. I have no problem with anyone thinking that what I write is crazy, everyone is free to believe what they feel most appropriate, we still live in a (mostly) free society, for a time at least.

    🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    So if many of the current day memes are just "useful distractions" then what are the real "reforms" that you think that they may be implementing in order to create a society that includes "the lesser evil or greater good" So far, your "conspiracy theory seems relatively benign, notheing that would even make for a decent plot for a new James bond picture.

    BTW, there's no need for you to be self depracatory, for it's clear that you're a very intelligent, well read indicidual, who basis his opinions of history, economics and science. Besides, who doesn't love the latest and greatest conspiracy theory anyways! Did you read Giraldi's recent piece where he dismantles (supports?) the notion of a "Deep State'? :-)

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @rkka
    @Bashibuzuk

    "They don’t do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it."

    It's very late in the day...

    In the early '70s, computer modelling suggested that the externalities of industrial civilization (pollution, resource depletion) would by the early 2000s accumulate to the point that they would render industrial civilization unsupportable if "business as usual" continued.

    http://www.donellameadows.org/wp-content/userfiles/Limits-to-Growth-digital-scan-version.pdf

    Jimmy Carter seemed to have been a believer, putting on a sweater rather than dialing up the thermostat, and putting solar panels on the White House roof. And he made speeches about it.

    Then we elected Ronnie on a platform of Laissez le bon temp rouler! and all that was just deleted from the culture, save for a few fringes.

    Then we got to the early 2000s, and discover that history has tracked pretty close to the base "business as usual" case of the "Limits to Growth" modelling.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

    So what could have been a moderate, well-lubricated process evolving over time is gonna be recklessly fast, enormously costly in both financial and human terms, and perilous beyond belief.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    Late reply. Finally someone who can see eye-to-eye with me, even tho I see WEF in a much worse light.
    Here is the only economic forecaster you need. https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/

    Spoilers: WEF won't make it and what they'll be doing with the world will bring down Western civilization in a decade or two. China wins in the end.

  76. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    @AP

    This makes more sense to me than the perestroika comparison. I don't see why the West should collapse, in fact, the USSR would not have collapsed, had it been willing to be 0.1% as violent in preserving itself as it had been about setting itself up in the first place.


    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn’t harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them.
     
    Depends on the mechanism by which they go. But I don't see why other places should go down with them - if they become drastically poorer, you could get reverse brain drain, benefiting all those places.

    Replies: @AP, @Bashibuzuk

    Well, if the USA/West go down now China (which per capita is till much poorer than the USA) will never get its money back and it will also lose its biggest customer (Russians and poor Africans won’t be buying all the stuff Americans will stop buying). Given the domino effect and the fact that the USA (unlike the USSR in 1985) is currently far richer than any other major country, a collapsed America, even if its fall will be greater than others’ decline, will probably still be richer than the rest of the world.

    I suppose not much will change in Africa, it will be as poor as ever, it will stop getting aid but that won’t matter much in the long run. Maybe the more developed Latin American countries and Russia will be in a closer position to the USA.

    :::::::::

    Of course, if we are entering not perestroika but the Brezhnev era, and perestroika will start in 25 years (and collapse in 30), things may be different then. China will need the US/West less, Russia other areas will develop further, etc. In 30 years, an American collapse may not be as bad for everyone else as it would be now or in 5 years.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @AP


    China will never get its money back and it will also lose its biggest customer
     
    The money lost will be trivial in the grand scheme of things. Britain never “got back” the money it spent on the Napoleonic wars, but it didn’t matter as it got so developed that it could easily pay back those debts. For comparison, Britain’s debt levels reached something like double of annual GDP (it spent even more than that, but much of it was covered by tax revenue), whereas current Chinese losses would be a fraction of that. Similarly, China doesn’t really need customers. It needs to sell enough to cover its raw material and technology imports, but obviously after the fall of the West there’d be no more technology left to import, so it’s just going to be China importing raw materials and delivering its manufactured goods in exchange. Okay, a little bit more if there’s tourism. Raw materials producers (and perhaps tourist destinations) will be enough.

    I don’t really think the West’s fall is that imminent, just I don’t think it’d be so bad for China if it happened right now.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  77. @SafeNow
    https://i.pinimg.com/236x/c3/18/bd/c318bd3aae495ee755231d6083a52546--north-korea-real-life.jpg

    Biden was asked by a “reporter” whether N. Korea is the most challenging foreign-policy conundrum. Because Biden’s answer consisted solely of “Yes,” (as he told Putin, he is “busy”) I will helpfully expand. Kim and his inner circle have over 100 personal cheerleaders, as we saw at the Olympics. They also have the Traffic Ladies (retirement age is 26). This unprecedented factor complicates the mental state of the leaders. and how the U.S. should think about them.

    Replies: @songbird, @The Wild Geese Howard

    This is why the comments need a, “Sexy,” button.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  78. Bashibuzuk says:
    @mal
    @Daniel Chieh

    Maybe. I guess incompetence and a plan to keep confederates weak would look rather similar. United States would just be another confederate in the grand scheme of things, to be kept weakened accordingly.

    I mean, why did Soros fund all those district attorneys in the liberal states? Why was he playing catch and release with BLM/antifa during riots? I mean, murder rate skyrocketed in liberal cities, and they were supposed to be Soros' allies - heavily Democratic strongholds. It's a rather mean thing to do to your friends. Was he not planning on burning liberal cities down or was he incompetent and didn't see it coming?

    Maybe, but I find it hard to believe. It seems to me that liberal cities got too powerful and needed to be cut down to size. It was nothing personal, just keeping another confederate weak. Even if those confederates are nominally pro-Soros.

    Same thing with trannies. Overlords know that designer babies and other bioengineering will become a thing in not too distant future, but instead of promoting this from a position of strength and glory, they introduce those concepts from a position of weakness and basically advertise chemical castration. Everything to keep people going that route weak.

    Same with environment. Energy security and environmental concerns are serious issues, and again the overlords are pushing weaker solutions (such as renewables).

    EU is a bureaucratic mess for that reason as well. All to keep them below potential.

    I bet once space exploration kicks off for real, Greenpeace will discover space turtles and place then on endangered species (they will be so endangered nobody will ever see one) list and that will be used to set up barriers as to where and how you can explore.

    It's not that the World Economic Forum crowd is stupid, they fancy themselves quite progressive and they have some good ideas and they do understand social pain points. But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating. Even when they are on the right side of history.

    Or maybe they are just coasting and seeing how many social experiments they can pull off before things become unglued and fall apart. But at this point, my bet is still on weakening the confederates.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @songbird

    But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating.

    I think they simply believe that they have no other option left, that every other probable development is either a dead end or an outright catastrophe. You have mentioned Space exploration, I believe that one of the pieces of the puzzle is that we will probably be not ready for a massive space exploration program for at least a couple more generations. If we keep business as usual during that period we will screw up the biosphere beyond repair and make our very biological survival as a technological civilization very uncertain. To jump start this type of Space program, we require a World Government and a totalitarian system. To survive as a civilization until we get to acquire the ressources from our solar system we need to cut the consumption of the global (mostly Western) middle class. We need to reorient completely the Capitalist system towards producing long term strategic outcomes instead of short term gains. This is our global Perestroika: an attempt to ensure our survival as technological civilization until we reach the Space Age.

    • Disagree: EldnahYm
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    @Bashibuzuk


    To jump start this type of space program, we require a World Government and a totalitarian system.
     
    This doesn't make intuitive sense to me. The European Enlightenment and subsequent world colonisation happened not despite, but arguably because of fierce inter-state competition. The late 19th century was arguably the most innovative period in human history and it coincided with the peak of Great Power competition. It ultimately ended in a disaster on the continent, but whatever else one might say, it certainly didn't slow down innovation.

    Moreover, your argument ignores the fundamental garrulous nature of humanity. During uncontested US primacy, the world could afford to pretend to care about international co-operation because there was only a single hegemon in the system. It shaped global institutions and everyone played along because there was literally no alternative.

    Now we're seeing a situation with at least two, and potentially three (India) hegemons in a few decades time. China has made it abundantly clear it will not be subservient to US diktat the way a colonised continent like Europe has become. India is trending the same direction. This throws up obvious co-ordination problems in the way of your argument. The US does not like to share the crown, and its competitors have no plan to give up their rightful place (as they see it).

    This world will not be conducive to a world government. Is that a problem for innovation? History tells us otherwise.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  79. @schnellandine
    Murderous car thief at crash site laments separation from phone (still in trashed car) while shattered victim motionless on concrete—at 1:09 in this sickening document. Thought I was jaded, but guess not. Unfiltered psychopathy.

    https://twitter.com/JerryDunleavy/status/1375909226439118855

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @EldnahYm, @reiner Tor, @fnn

    I’m sure the God-Machine will take this into consideration in regards to humanity.

  80. @Blinky Bill
    @Svevlad

    BASED


    https://i.redd.it/w4rcci375ap51.png


    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/Map_of_Greater_Serbia_%28in_Yugoslavia%29.svg/300px-Map_of_Greater_Serbia_%28in_Yugoslavia%29.svg.png
     
    https://i.redd.it/sv421sppooh61.png


    https://i.redd.it/g7l6u9nz8w861.jpg

    Replies: @songbird, @Anatoly Karlin

    Wonder if there could be some selection bias here. I mean, how cucked do you have to be to be a Serb taking an implicit bias test on race? Germany and Sweden: maybe, they are forcing students to take it? To mix with the cucks? And in Eastern and Southern Europe: perhaps, they had to pay people to take it?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @songbird

    I'm not a Serb, but if I had to guess.

    1. Trolling.

    2. What Dark Skin means to them.

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQwg5Ent52ZlNmbbsU-xdHISkKftxeoGmJbLQ&usqp.jpg


    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRDnBZ9qHa3JXJ5iQ34iBSOTR1QW2noMqFWcg&usqp.jpg

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    Serbs recognize they are POC oppressed by American imperialism.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @songbird

  81. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    @AP

    This makes more sense to me than the perestroika comparison. I don't see why the West should collapse, in fact, the USSR would not have collapsed, had it been willing to be 0.1% as violent in preserving itself as it had been about setting itself up in the first place.


    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn’t harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them.
     
    Depends on the mechanism by which they go. But I don't see why other places should go down with them - if they become drastically poorer, you could get reverse brain drain, benefiting all those places.

    Replies: @AP, @Bashibuzuk

    If the reforms go as planned, the globalized West will not collapse, but the World in which our children will live in a generation will be a completely different environment. If the reforms fail, then what AP described will probably happen on a global scale reaching a degree where the global economy becomes dysfunctional, the technological civilization fails to a much lower level of sophistication, leading to a neo-Malthusian age that you have described in your writings. If the reforms fail, Soviet Perestroika ‘s outcomes might well seem a walk in a park and a joyful picnic.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Bashibuzuk

    Age of Malthusian Industrialism doesn't posit technological collapse, merely technological stagnation, while population expands to the carrying capacity limits (whatever they are) of the modern industrial economy over several centuries due to high-fertility "breeders" being selected for.

    I don't take Malthusian/collapse scenarios seriously, they have lost me a lot of potential money.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1373652859229704195

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  82. @AP
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don't feel it personally but I didn't live through perestroika. My wife did, she sees changes here but they are in some sense the opposite of perestroika, which involved a sense of openness while in the West there is in contrast a sort of Puritanical closing up. People in the USSR stopped getting cancelled as the Soviet system teetered on the edge, whereas cancellation is beginning in the USA. If one wants to be a pessimist, this suggests that instead of the beginning of Perestroika and pending collapse, we are witnessing the dawn of a stifling and stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt corporate bureaucracies under senile semi-leadership consolidate their grip over an increasingly cynical but still-wealthy population going about its business. In which case, Perestroika happens in 20 years and collapse in 30. The Boomers will die peacefully in their prosperity - sorry, Beckow. We in the next generation will have a nasty old age.

    I am not so pessimistic but if I were, that is what I would expect to happen.

    I do agree that modern Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March, as 32% say they are satisfied with the direction of the country. This is the second monthly increase Gallup has recorded after the measure fell to its lowest point in nearly a decade in January. Still, Americans are more than twice as likely to report being dissatisfied with the country's direction (67%).

    ::::::::::::::

    Now some quick musings about several key differences between the USA and the end-stage USSR:

    1. USSR was poor by Western standards and getting poorer and falling further behind. In contrast, USA and EU are the richest places on Earth.

    2. When Soviet system collapsed, the collapse didn't harm other places, they prospered. If USA/EU go down everyone will go down with them. Is Russia going to be able to buy Chinese stuff to replace what the USA/EU had been buying? And who will buy Russian gas and oil if neither EU or China (due to collapse in trade with the now-collapsed USA/EU) need it anymore?

    3. When Soviet financial system collapsed, people lost their life savings. If the US financial system collapses, a lot of people will lose a lot of savings. But also, a lot of people won't have to be making payments on their SUVs and homes anymore. And no defunct bank will take them from the hundreds of millions.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Dmitry

    stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt

    America’s situation is quite different, as usual. Soviet Union in the 1970s, was internally seeming to people, to be a functional, prosocial and optimistic time, while America in the 2020s, loves to portray itself as a dysfunctional and crazy country, always looking for the next zombie apocalypse. On the other hand, Soviet Union in the 1970s, was economically very vulnerable to the commodity cycle, while the economy of America’s bourgeoisie in the 2020s is much more diversified.

    However, note that America’s situation in the 2020s, is very similar to America’s situation in the 1970s, or in the 1920s.

    America was for at least the last century and half, always an internally dysfunctional, weird, and crazy society, which has the ability to romanticize its own weirdness (even Capone’s Chicago became romantic, by the 1950s). But America’s bourgeoisie is an economically diversified and well insulated one, and even a collapse of GDP by 30% in the 1930s, could hardly weaken their control of the country.

    Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March

    That’s another opposite situation of the USA to the USSR, or even Russian Federation.

    America’s national personality is somewhere between narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder, as it has been for more than a century. Compare American media reports about coronavirus, with the situation in Russia.

    In America, the reports are gratuitously obsessed about their own incompetence, and histrionically portraying the coronavirus as the next apocalypse, or at least scenario from a Hollywood disaster film. Whereas, by contrast, in the Russian media, everything is stable, calm and the authorities are in control.

    Technological progress will drive the same alienation and psychological discomfort to all countries of the world, but Americans are the best self-dramaticizing hysteria about this process of alienation, as in everything else, while in Russia it’s almost in the opposite mentality to America’s one (at least to the extent the authorities are in control of communication).

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    @Dmitry

    As usual, an excellent, perceptive comment from you. The supposed decline of America is much overdone by panicking conservatives. Lots of people underestimate the deep patriotism that Americans have, and I was guilty of this too a few years ago. No longer.

    The deranged Russiagate and now Red China/Yellow Peril 2.0 scares prove that even "liberal" Americans are perfectly content turning into insanely zealous nationalists on a dime if they feel their national security is threatened in any way (even if imagined). This is not a country prone to breaking up any time soon. Asabiyyah is not an issue here.

    Most of the cultural pathologies are coming from a neoliberal bugman class that is unrepresentative of the nation but has a very loud megaphone to propagandise their nonsense.

    At any rate, they don't even believe their own propaganda when their politicians actually get to rule.

    https://twitter.com/USEmbassyHaiti/status/1374753568914292736

    Replies: @AaronB

    , @AP
    @Dmitry

    Yes, you are perceptive as usual. American complaints are a lot of drama and not new.

    However the wide-ranging moralistic crackdown is fairly new. there was somewhat of a parallel with abolitionism in the 1920s but that was also an era of widespread and acceptable flaunting of those rules. The present moralizing seems more pervasive and restrictive.

    Replies: @Dmitry

  83. @mal
    @Daniel Chieh

    Maybe. I guess incompetence and a plan to keep confederates weak would look rather similar. United States would just be another confederate in the grand scheme of things, to be kept weakened accordingly.

    I mean, why did Soros fund all those district attorneys in the liberal states? Why was he playing catch and release with BLM/antifa during riots? I mean, murder rate skyrocketed in liberal cities, and they were supposed to be Soros' allies - heavily Democratic strongholds. It's a rather mean thing to do to your friends. Was he not planning on burning liberal cities down or was he incompetent and didn't see it coming?

    Maybe, but I find it hard to believe. It seems to me that liberal cities got too powerful and needed to be cut down to size. It was nothing personal, just keeping another confederate weak. Even if those confederates are nominally pro-Soros.

    Same thing with trannies. Overlords know that designer babies and other bioengineering will become a thing in not too distant future, but instead of promoting this from a position of strength and glory, they introduce those concepts from a position of weakness and basically advertise chemical castration. Everything to keep people going that route weak.

    Same with environment. Energy security and environmental concerns are serious issues, and again the overlords are pushing weaker solutions (such as renewables).

    EU is a bureaucratic mess for that reason as well. All to keep them below potential.

    I bet once space exploration kicks off for real, Greenpeace will discover space turtles and place then on endangered species (they will be so endangered nobody will ever see one) list and that will be used to set up barriers as to where and how you can explore.

    It's not that the World Economic Forum crowd is stupid, they fancy themselves quite progressive and they have some good ideas and they do understand social pain points. But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating. Even when they are on the right side of history.

    Or maybe they are just coasting and seeing how many social experiments they can pull off before things become unglued and fall apart. But at this point, my bet is still on weakening the confederates.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @songbird

    Maybe, the whole point of promoting trannies is to throw ugliness into the face of people until they become so disgusted that they willingly accept eugenics.

    • LOL: mal
  84. @songbird
    @Blinky Bill

    Wonder if there could be some selection bias here. I mean, how cucked do you have to be to be a Serb taking an implicit bias test on race? Germany and Sweden: maybe, they are forcing students to take it? To mix with the cucks? And in Eastern and Southern Europe: perhaps, they had to pay people to take it?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Daniel Chieh

    I’m not a Serb, but if I had to guess.

    1. Trolling.

    2. What Dark Skin means to them.


    [MORE]

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Blinky Bill

    These people look like a perfect illustration of the mix of "neolithic Anatolian agriculturalists " and "ancient European Cro-Magnon hunters gatherers".

    A beautiful phenotype.



    http://akron-art.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/100_1242-428x600.jpg

    https://www.santorini.net/wp-content/uploads/fisherman1.jpg

  85. @Bashibuzuk
    On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn't look like some sort of "Western Perestroika " that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today's globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today's RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: "This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain". I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think "Western Perestroika " was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it's better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow, @mal, @AP, @Dmitry, @Max Payne, @EldnahYm

    Have you seen 1970s American comedy films like Network (Teleset)?

    Most of the same cultural topics that we associated with America of the 2020s, were not any different than those contained in such films satirizing the dysfunctions of 1970s America. *

    Some have a teleological view that the cultural madnesses of America today, must result in an exciting ending or conclusion.

    But 1970s America had almost exactly the same madnesses, of 2020s America, and that is probably going to be in the 2070s in a modified form.

    * For example, the satirical speech about the dehumanizing effect of television, which was passed to computers and the internet

    The success of Trump’s style of populist rhetoric with a gullible American public..

    The oligarch’s speech about globalization and the inexistence of nations, etc.

    And satire about Black Lives Matter’s corporatism (the same groups were there in the 1970s in America)

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Dmitry

    The end of 70ies was a tough time in US. Tough times were back in 2008, they would've been back earlier if not for the demise of the Eastern Block. Capitalism is an inherently unstable and dehumanizing system, that is one of the reasons that the political grown-ups have decided to rein it in and reform it. Many of these people are not American and US is not be all end all for them. They have a broader outlook and a long term vision. They want a unified World.

  86. @songbird
    @Blinky Bill

    Wonder if there could be some selection bias here. I mean, how cucked do you have to be to be a Serb taking an implicit bias test on race? Germany and Sweden: maybe, they are forcing students to take it? To mix with the cucks? And in Eastern and Southern Europe: perhaps, they had to pay people to take it?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Daniel Chieh

    Serbs recognize they are POC oppressed by American imperialism.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @Daniel Chieh

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Serbien_muss_sterbien.jpg


    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTiP0_tT_6q8V2_-dCDqmBATDK_bI0mG8O40g&usqp.jpg

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    , @songbird
    @Daniel Chieh


    Serbs recognize they are POC oppressed by American imperialism.
     
    I prefer to think that they are feeding-in false information in order to be chosen as the new enforcers of our PC overlords, before ultimately turning on them.

    These newer video games that have branching moral paths - I think the right decision is to choose the most pozzed path, and then wait for your results to be tabulated, so that you will be awarded position after the Great Reset, and be able to be part of the fifth column, when the time finally comes.
  87. @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    Serbs recognize they are POC oppressed by American imperialism.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @songbird


    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @Blinky Bill


    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTvvvj9S1XFDNK50J7Q6knXp39xx0YvICJaXg&usqp.jpg

  88. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Dmitry
    @Bashibuzuk

    Have you seen 1970s American comedy films like Network (Teleset)?

    Most of the same cultural topics that we associated with America of the 2020s, were not any different than those contained in such films satirizing the dysfunctions of 1970s America. *

    Some have a teleological view that the cultural madnesses of America today, must result in an exciting ending or conclusion.

    But 1970s America had almost exactly the same madnesses, of 2020s America, and that is probably going to be in the 2070s in a modified form.

    -

    * For example, the satirical speech about the dehumanizing effect of television, which was passed to computers and the internet
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcpWk2WKhEM

    The success of Trump's style of populist rhetoric with a gullible American public..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdBAJYEpFpE

    The oligarch's speech about globalization and the inexistence of nations, etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9XeyBd_IuA

    And satire about Black Lives Matter's corporatism (the same groups were there in the 1970s in America)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuqvlMxfGA4

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    The end of 70ies was a tough time in US. Tough times were back in 2008, they would’ve been back earlier if not for the demise of the Eastern Block. Capitalism is an inherently unstable and dehumanizing system, that is one of the reasons that the political grown-ups have decided to rein it in and reform it. Many of these people are not American and US is not be all end all for them. They have a broader outlook and a long term vision. They want a unified World.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  89. @Blinky Bill
    @Daniel Chieh

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Serbien_muss_sterbien.jpg


    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTiP0_tT_6q8V2_-dCDqmBATDK_bI0mG8O40g&usqp.jpg

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    [MORE]

  90. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    No you didn't misread me. I disagree completely with Mr Chieh and I believe that there's an attempt at reforming global Capitalism and that these reforms have been long in preparation. But first we need to understand why the people who are involved with the reform process believe that it is necessarily.

    They don't do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it. What they are working towards is a future that they see as a lesser evil, or perhaps a greater good.

    All the political shenanigans and slogans of wokness and pozz are in my opinion a useful distraction to keep the masses busy with idiotic and meaningless illusions, while serious people (political grown-ups) are taking the indispensable decisions.

    That's what I believe is happening. I also believe that these people will probably fail, because they are attempting something unprecedented and extremely hard to achieve. Namely, in this very generation, before 2050 or so, they want to completely transform human civilization forever. Not only the West, but the World.

    I know that it sounds crazy, but this is what think is happening. Of course I wouldn't be surprised if everyone thinks that I have some mental problem caused by reading too many conspiracy theories online. I have no problem with anyone thinking that what I write is crazy, everyone is free to believe what they feel most appropriate, we still live in a (mostly) free society, for a time at least.

    🙂

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @rkka, @Yellowface Anon

    So if many of the current day memes are just “useful distractions” then what are the real “reforms” that you think that they may be implementing in order to create a society that includes “the lesser evil or greater good” So far, your “conspiracy theory seems relatively benign, notheing that would even make for a decent plot for a new James bond picture.

    BTW, there’s no need for you to be self depracatory, for it’s clear that you’re a very intelligent, well read indicidual, who basis his opinions of history, economics and science. Besides, who doesn’t love the latest and greatest conspiracy theory anyways! Did you read Giraldi’s recent piece where he dismantles (supports?) the notion of a “Deep State’? 🙂

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack


    implementing in order to create a society that includes “the lesser evil or greater good”
     
    They would basically need to reform global capitalism to make it more environmentally sustainable. To get there they would need to drastically lower global consumption and redirect the productive processes towards more long term objectives. Also, they have probably as a goal to complete the current technological transition trends in automation and AI, biotechnology and bioengineering, renewable energy and new nuclear energy technologies. While doing this they would also need to prevent the techno-Singularity and rule out the Accelerationist evolution described by Nick Land. Finally they need to complete globalization and balance regional, geopolitical and global governance.

    Deep State
     
    Any functional complex technological society must have a Deep State. Especially if it is a democratic society. Inside its social otganisation some people are bound to draw plans and make decisions without being constrained by the electoral cycles and social preferences of the voters. Deep State is only a problem if it is too corrupt and self-serving. But one of the goals of current reforms is also to curtail global corruption and ensure a higher level of financial compliance, decision-taking transparency and overall rule of law. People must get ready to live in a total awareness society where the decision makers know all they need to know about any member of the society and any anti-social activity can be prevented and/or corrected.

    Replies: @Morton's toes

  91. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    You can expect Senate Republicans to join the deranged liberals in opening the borders more, amnesty, etc…there is no political solution because people in power want open borders and deracinated impoverished working class. Even Trump was wishy-washy and did less than he could.
     
    Trump came to power largely on a platform to tighten up the borders. It's yet to be seen how much mileage and real impetus meaningful border control issues will play in future Republican politics. Certainly, a lot in states that share a border with Mexico. This issue is far from resolved yet, and big business may not have the last word here. Many voters hold strong anti open border viewpoints, and taxpayers don't always feel burdened to bail out every Tom, Dick and Harry that crosses the border.

    Replies: @Beckow

    If you look at 4 states on Mexico border, 3 have moved left in the last 10 years: California, N Mexico and Arizona. Texas is the last hold-out. It is also very likely that business interests will not allow another tighten-the-border candidate to be nominated.

    You are welcome to be an optimist, but it doesn’t look good.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow

    Arizona, is not a decidely Democratic state, and will be up or contention for some time yet. I'm not sure about New Mexico. California is probably lost to the left, however, is paying and will continue to pay for this by a large exodus of discontents (both rich and poor). California has indeed crossed the Rubricon. :-(

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow

  92. @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    If you look at 4 states on Mexico border, 3 have moved left in the last 10 years: California, N Mexico and Arizona. Texas is the last hold-out. It is also very likely that business interests will not allow another tighten-the-border candidate to be nominated.

    You are welcome to be an optimist, but it doesn't look good.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Arizona, is not a decidely Democratic state, and will be up or contention for some time yet. I’m not sure about New Mexico. California is probably lost to the left, however, is paying and will continue to pay for this by a large exodus of discontents (both rich and poor). California has indeed crossed the Rubricon. 🙁

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Mr. Hack

    Finally! :-)

    , @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    The contention is good, but all 3 states have moved more liberal-left. My point is that open borders have consequences. It takes a few years, but things change...

    How about the 1 million California Medicare elderly who never worked in US? (Official website number.) There are a few million more in India, Pakistan (see Sailer's piece today)... itching to get that long-postponed knee surgery for free in US. The young people often with no insurance are paying for it. Trump talked, but did nothing about it.

    Who among older voters thought this was a good idea? It just happened? Or Wall Street?

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  93. @schnellandine
    Murderous car thief at crash site laments separation from phone (still in trashed car) while shattered victim motionless on concrete—at 1:09 in this sickening document. Thought I was jaded, but guess not. Unfiltered psychopathy.

    https://twitter.com/JerryDunleavy/status/1375909226439118855

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @EldnahYm, @reiner Tor, @fnn

    Unfortunately, we don’t execute minors in the United States, so these two will probably cause more problems in the future.

  94. @Boswald Bollocksworth
    Do any of you know what the deal is with the iron cage or plexiglass box they put defendants in at trials in Russia/FSU?

    Specifically, I am curious if it goes back to the imperial era, or if it was a Soviet innovation. In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?

    Lots of between-nation variation in attitudes here. Perhaps the Russian mind is not as worried about punishing the innocent. Interestingly, in the Netherlands and at least some Scandinavian countries, defendants are in many/most cases not publicly identified. They find it an intrusion of privacy/presumption of innocence that American law always names the defendant.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @Gerard.Gerard, @FerW, @Mikel

    I think I first saw it in the case of Andrei Chikatilo, a serial killer, and I assumed it was to protect him from the families of the victims (who were also present in the courtroom).

    I actually think defendants’ privacy should be protected the European way. However, once they are sentenced (and the verdict became final), this protection should be withdrawn, and the personal data as well as high resolution photos and videos (where he would be asked if he feels shame for being a criminal) should be published for anyone to see.

  95. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    So if many of the current day memes are just "useful distractions" then what are the real "reforms" that you think that they may be implementing in order to create a society that includes "the lesser evil or greater good" So far, your "conspiracy theory seems relatively benign, notheing that would even make for a decent plot for a new James bond picture.

    BTW, there's no need for you to be self depracatory, for it's clear that you're a very intelligent, well read indicidual, who basis his opinions of history, economics and science. Besides, who doesn't love the latest and greatest conspiracy theory anyways! Did you read Giraldi's recent piece where he dismantles (supports?) the notion of a "Deep State'? :-)

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    implementing in order to create a society that includes “the lesser evil or greater good”

    They would basically need to reform global capitalism to make it more environmentally sustainable. To get there they would need to drastically lower global consumption and redirect the productive processes towards more long term objectives. Also, they have probably as a goal to complete the current technological transition trends in automation and AI, biotechnology and bioengineering, renewable energy and new nuclear energy technologies. While doing this they would also need to prevent the techno-Singularity and rule out the Accelerationist evolution described by Nick Land. Finally they need to complete globalization and balance regional, geopolitical and global governance.

    Deep State

    Any functional complex technological society must have a Deep State. Especially if it is a democratic society. Inside its social otganisation some people are bound to draw plans and make decisions without being constrained by the electoral cycles and social preferences of the voters. Deep State is only a problem if it is too corrupt and self-serving. But one of the goals of current reforms is also to curtail global corruption and ensure a higher level of financial compliance, decision-taking transparency and overall rule of law. People must get ready to live in a total awareness society where the decision makers know all they need to know about any member of the society and any anti-social activity can be prevented and/or corrected.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    @Bashibuzuk


    People must get ready to live in a total awareness society where the decision makers know all they need to know about any member of the society and any anti-social activity can be prevented and/or corrected.
     
    That's not why the decision makers want the control. They want the control so they can do all the great drugs and perverted sex. What you are describing is more cover story than anything else. Anti-social activity is fine if you are on the top of the pyramid. In fact it is almost the whole point.
  96. @Blinky Bill
    @songbird

    I'm not a Serb, but if I had to guess.

    1. Trolling.

    2. What Dark Skin means to them.

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQwg5Ent52ZlNmbbsU-xdHISkKftxeoGmJbLQ&usqp.jpg


    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRDnBZ9qHa3JXJ5iQ34iBSOTR1QW2noMqFWcg&usqp.jpg

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    These people look like a perfect illustration of the mix of “neolithic Anatolian agriculturalists ” and “ancient European Cro-Magnon hunters gatherers”.

    A beautiful phenotype.

    [MORE]

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  97. the victory of Ngannou against Miocic in UFC last night might be the begin of a quite boring century in sports – at least in many disciplines. While African TFR of course might actually fall down by 2100, up to then Subsaharan Africans will rise their share of the world population very fast and substantial. Under these conditions a non-West-African heavyweight boxing champion, MMA Champion, best soccer player, best football player etc. is hard to imagine.

  98. @songbird
    @reiner Tor

    For every war hawk, I think there is a buffer of a couple of less crazy people. At least, enough to prevent a bigger war - Iran-level and above. Very few people are crazy enough to want to go to war with China over someone else's offshore mineral rights or over Taiwan.

    I give serious war a very low probability. The trend has been to less boots on the ground, less economic restructuring for war. Ultimately, a more soy-infested US will probably become more aggressive with its rhetoric, but less able to project power.

    The one unknown is ethnic animus. Suppose Kamala is commander-in-chief, during a tense situation, and she wants to try to use the US as a golem to punish China? I don't say it will happen - I think she is more of a cosmopolitan hustler - but I'd lower the DEFCON level by half a point.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    The non-crazy people didn’t prevent the Soleimani assassination. The Iranian answer could have killed American servicemen, in which case Trump might not have been in a position to de-escalate. I believe the chances of something similar happening are not zero.

    There is another factor. If there are local wars in which America’s adversaries gain ground in easy victories (like a Blitzkrieg in Taiwan), then they might get emboldened and try to replicate the success elsewhere. The American establishment might get nervous and respond forcefully, and without considering giving a way out without a loss of face. (They no longer try to placate their enemies.) This could result in dangerous situations.

    I think overall the chances of a big war over the next couple decades are relatively small (10-20% maybe?), but certainly not zero.

    • Agree: melanf, Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @songbird
    @reiner Tor

    The way I see it, we already passed the Iran test.

    People like McCain and Bolton have croaked or lost influence. And Iran is kind of a special case - the most dangerous, as there is an established history of antagonism. And less of a tendency to hit the brakes, since its economy isn't anywhere as close to big as China's.

    After all the BLM riots, I think people in charge will be cautious about sending troops overseas and losing their pacification capacity at home.

  99. @schnellandine
    Murderous car thief at crash site laments separation from phone (still in trashed car) while shattered victim motionless on concrete—at 1:09 in this sickening document. Thought I was jaded, but guess not. Unfiltered psychopathy.

    https://twitter.com/JerryDunleavy/status/1375909226439118855

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @EldnahYm, @reiner Tor, @fnn

    Peaceful Carjacking Gone Bad, Random, probably Poverty, and Society, claim another victim.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  100. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    No you didn't misread me. I disagree completely with Mr Chieh and I believe that there's an attempt at reforming global Capitalism and that these reforms have been long in preparation. But first we need to understand why the people who are involved with the reform process believe that it is necessarily.

    They don't do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it. What they are working towards is a future that they see as a lesser evil, or perhaps a greater good.

    All the political shenanigans and slogans of wokness and pozz are in my opinion a useful distraction to keep the masses busy with idiotic and meaningless illusions, while serious people (political grown-ups) are taking the indispensable decisions.

    That's what I believe is happening. I also believe that these people will probably fail, because they are attempting something unprecedented and extremely hard to achieve. Namely, in this very generation, before 2050 or so, they want to completely transform human civilization forever. Not only the West, but the World.

    I know that it sounds crazy, but this is what think is happening. Of course I wouldn't be surprised if everyone thinks that I have some mental problem caused by reading too many conspiracy theories online. I have no problem with anyone thinking that what I write is crazy, everyone is free to believe what they feel most appropriate, we still live in a (mostly) free society, for a time at least.

    🙂

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @rkka, @Yellowface Anon

    “They don’t do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it.”

    It’s very late in the day…

    In the early ’70s, computer modelling suggested that the externalities of industrial civilization (pollution, resource depletion) would by the early 2000s accumulate to the point that they would render industrial civilization unsupportable if “business as usual” continued.

    http://www.donellameadows.org/wp-content/userfiles/Limits-to-Growth-digital-scan-version.pdf

    Jimmy Carter seemed to have been a believer, putting on a sweater rather than dialing up the thermostat, and putting solar panels on the White House roof. And he made speeches about it.

    Then we elected Ronnie on a platform of Laissez le bon temp rouler! and all that was just deleted from the culture, save for a few fringes.

    Then we got to the early 2000s, and discover that history has tracked pretty close to the base “business as usual” case of the “Limits to Growth” modelling.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

    So what could have been a moderate, well-lubricated process evolving over time is gonna be recklessly fast, enormously costly in both financial and human terms, and perilous beyond belief.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @rkka

    I partially agree. The Limits to Growth rapport was only partially right. It is true that we live in a finite environment, but technology allows for a more thorough exploitation of its ressources so the limits are enlarged by technological progress. If we still used the technology of 1972, we would have already collapsed as a civilization. But we became technologically more advanced and avoided the collapse.

    Of course, the fact that we avoided an early scenario of collapse doesn't mean that there are no limits to the growth of our consumption as a species. That is why we need to thread a very fine line between ressources depletion and the fastest possible technological development. We cannot abandon technology, we are too numerous to survive without it and we need it to develop further to become a spacefaring civilization.

    Limits to Growth was also important in the context of the Cold War, it was one among many arguments justifying convergence, détente and collaboration. Two exponentially technologically evolving and competing social systems on a finite planet were bound to deplete its ressources and reach the limits even faster. The convergence narrative was that they should evolve to become compatible and then fuse into a single planetary system. The collapse of USSR offered some room and respite to Western capitalism. It kept growing in a more open and globalized economy where it could easily access and exploit the natural and human ressources all around the world.

    Now we are in a new iteration of the Cold War, this time China is the main enemy and suddenly we discover that the same warnings that echoed in 1972 are remixed and reused (Global Warming being a new iteration of Limits to Growth). Of course if the Chinese plow ahead with their technological development, then again the ressources will start to deplete faster than before by the two competing economic systems. Therefore a new convergence doctrine is needed. But I am not sure at all that the Chinese leadership will buy into it. They have already mapped the OBOR as the new globalized capitalism with Chinese characteristics and I don't think they will just abandon it.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  101. @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Well, if the USA/West go down now China (which per capita is till much poorer than the USA) will never get its money back and it will also lose its biggest customer (Russians and poor Africans won't be buying all the stuff Americans will stop buying). Given the domino effect and the fact that the USA (unlike the USSR in 1985) is currently far richer than any other major country, a collapsed America, even if its fall will be greater than others' decline, will probably still be richer than the rest of the world.

    I suppose not much will change in Africa, it will be as poor as ever, it will stop getting aid but that won't matter much in the long run. Maybe the more developed Latin American countries and Russia will be in a closer position to the USA.

    :::::::::

    Of course, if we are entering not perestroika but the Brezhnev era, and perestroika will start in 25 years (and collapse in 30), things may be different then. China will need the US/West less, Russia other areas will develop further, etc. In 30 years, an American collapse may not be as bad for everyone else as it would be now or in 5 years.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    China will never get its money back and it will also lose its biggest customer

    The money lost will be trivial in the grand scheme of things. Britain never “got back” the money it spent on the Napoleonic wars, but it didn’t matter as it got so developed that it could easily pay back those debts. For comparison, Britain’s debt levels reached something like double of annual GDP (it spent even more than that, but much of it was covered by tax revenue), whereas current Chinese losses would be a fraction of that. Similarly, China doesn’t really need customers. It needs to sell enough to cover its raw material and technology imports, but obviously after the fall of the West there’d be no more technology left to import, so it’s just going to be China importing raw materials and delivering its manufactured goods in exchange. Okay, a little bit more if there’s tourism. Raw materials producers (and perhaps tourist destinations) will be enough.

    I don’t really think the West’s fall is that imminent, just I don’t think it’d be so bad for China if it happened right now.

    • Agree: Vishnugupta
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @reiner Tor


    I don’t really think the West’s fall is that imminent, just I don’t think it’d be so bad for China if it happened right now.
     
    The West will not fall if it transforms itself. But if it doesn't succeed in its transformation, then China will eventually impose OBOR as the new economic framework and will lead the world into a capitalism with Chinese characteristics.

    一山不容二虎

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  102. Bashibuzuk says:
    @rkka
    @Bashibuzuk

    "They don’t do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it."

    It's very late in the day...

    In the early '70s, computer modelling suggested that the externalities of industrial civilization (pollution, resource depletion) would by the early 2000s accumulate to the point that they would render industrial civilization unsupportable if "business as usual" continued.

    http://www.donellameadows.org/wp-content/userfiles/Limits-to-Growth-digital-scan-version.pdf

    Jimmy Carter seemed to have been a believer, putting on a sweater rather than dialing up the thermostat, and putting solar panels on the White House roof. And he made speeches about it.

    Then we elected Ronnie on a platform of Laissez le bon temp rouler! and all that was just deleted from the culture, save for a few fringes.

    Then we got to the early 2000s, and discover that history has tracked pretty close to the base "business as usual" case of the "Limits to Growth" modelling.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

    So what could have been a moderate, well-lubricated process evolving over time is gonna be recklessly fast, enormously costly in both financial and human terms, and perilous beyond belief.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I partially agree. The Limits to Growth rapport was only partially right. It is true that we live in a finite environment, but technology allows for a more thorough exploitation of its ressources so the limits are enlarged by technological progress. If we still used the technology of 1972, we would have already collapsed as a civilization. But we became technologically more advanced and avoided the collapse.

    [MORE]

    Of course, the fact that we avoided an early scenario of collapse doesn’t mean that there are no limits to the growth of our consumption as a species. That is why we need to thread a very fine line between ressources depletion and the fastest possible technological development. We cannot abandon technology, we are too numerous to survive without it and we need it to develop further to become a spacefaring civilization.

    Limits to Growth was also important in the context of the Cold War, it was one among many arguments justifying convergence, détente and collaboration. Two exponentially technologically evolving and competing social systems on a finite planet were bound to deplete its ressources and reach the limits even faster. The convergence narrative was that they should evolve to become compatible and then fuse into a single planetary system. The collapse of USSR offered some room and respite to Western capitalism. It kept growing in a more open and globalized economy where it could easily access and exploit the natural and human ressources all around the world.

    Now we are in a new iteration of the Cold War, this time China is the main enemy and suddenly we discover that the same warnings that echoed in 1972 are remixed and reused (Global Warming being a new iteration of Limits to Growth). Of course if the Chinese plow ahead with their technological development, then again the ressources will start to deplete faster than before by the two competing economic systems. Therefore a new convergence doctrine is needed. But I am not sure at all that the Chinese leadership will buy into it. They have already mapped the OBOR as the new globalized capitalism with Chinese characteristics and I don’t think they will just abandon it.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Bashibuzuk

    Related:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/26/biden-invites-vladimir-putin-and-xi-jinping-to-climate-summit.html

  103. Bashibuzuk says:
    @reiner Tor
    @AP


    China will never get its money back and it will also lose its biggest customer
     
    The money lost will be trivial in the grand scheme of things. Britain never “got back” the money it spent on the Napoleonic wars, but it didn’t matter as it got so developed that it could easily pay back those debts. For comparison, Britain’s debt levels reached something like double of annual GDP (it spent even more than that, but much of it was covered by tax revenue), whereas current Chinese losses would be a fraction of that. Similarly, China doesn’t really need customers. It needs to sell enough to cover its raw material and technology imports, but obviously after the fall of the West there’d be no more technology left to import, so it’s just going to be China importing raw materials and delivering its manufactured goods in exchange. Okay, a little bit more if there’s tourism. Raw materials producers (and perhaps tourist destinations) will be enough.

    I don’t really think the West’s fall is that imminent, just I don’t think it’d be so bad for China if it happened right now.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I don’t really think the West’s fall is that imminent, just I don’t think it’d be so bad for China if it happened right now.

    The West will not fall if it transforms itself. But if it doesn’t succeed in its transformation, then China will eventually impose OBOR as the new economic framework and will lead the world into a capitalism with Chinese characteristics.

    一山不容二虎

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Bashibuzuk

    Related:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-china-sign-major-25-year-strategic-cooperation-agreement/

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Belt-and-Road/Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-rail-link-to-China-s-Belt-and-Road

    https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/3/26/biden-suggests-creating-initiative-to-rival-chinas-belt-and-road

  104. @Bashibuzuk
    @rkka

    I partially agree. The Limits to Growth rapport was only partially right. It is true that we live in a finite environment, but technology allows for a more thorough exploitation of its ressources so the limits are enlarged by technological progress. If we still used the technology of 1972, we would have already collapsed as a civilization. But we became technologically more advanced and avoided the collapse.

    Of course, the fact that we avoided an early scenario of collapse doesn't mean that there are no limits to the growth of our consumption as a species. That is why we need to thread a very fine line between ressources depletion and the fastest possible technological development. We cannot abandon technology, we are too numerous to survive without it and we need it to develop further to become a spacefaring civilization.

    Limits to Growth was also important in the context of the Cold War, it was one among many arguments justifying convergence, détente and collaboration. Two exponentially technologically evolving and competing social systems on a finite planet were bound to deplete its ressources and reach the limits even faster. The convergence narrative was that they should evolve to become compatible and then fuse into a single planetary system. The collapse of USSR offered some room and respite to Western capitalism. It kept growing in a more open and globalized economy where it could easily access and exploit the natural and human ressources all around the world.

    Now we are in a new iteration of the Cold War, this time China is the main enemy and suddenly we discover that the same warnings that echoed in 1972 are remixed and reused (Global Warming being a new iteration of Limits to Growth). Of course if the Chinese plow ahead with their technological development, then again the ressources will start to deplete faster than before by the two competing economic systems. Therefore a new convergence doctrine is needed. But I am not sure at all that the Chinese leadership will buy into it. They have already mapped the OBOR as the new globalized capitalism with Chinese characteristics and I don't think they will just abandon it.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  105. But we became technologically more advanced and avoided the collapse.

    You misspelled “delayed” above.

    Along with technological advancement, what I think the neocons & Cheneys (two different but cooperative political phenomena) were banking on was the disintegration and de-industrialization of both the Warsaw Pact and Soviet successor states, allowing the new oligarch class there to sell their newly acquired assets for scrap & offshore the proceeds to the Anglosphere’s shadow banking system. Their fate would be impoverished, depopulated natural resource appendages for the Anglosphere. And so the combined Baltics have gone from 8m to 6m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.7 to 1; Ukraine from 52m to 43m (including Crimea), with deaths exceeding births by 2.1 to 1; Romania from 23m to 19m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.66 to 1; and Bulgaria going from 8.6m to 6.9m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.8 to 1. By comparison, Russia and Belarus are a fair bit healthier demographically.

    The reason for the Anglosphere’s incandescent hatred of Putin is that he disrupted this cozy little plan by jailing Khodorkovsky while breaking the independent political power of the oligarchs & insisted on being negotiated with, not dictated to.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @rkka


    The reason for the Anglosphere’s incandescent hatred of Putin is that he disrupted this cozy little plan by jailing Khodorkovsky while breaking the independent political power of the oligarchs & insisted on being negotiated with, not dictated to.
     
    Putin would have done a perfect job if not for the fact that under his watch the Russian elites, including his close circle, have plundered Russia as well and transferred substantial proportion of the proceeds to the said Anglosphere.

    Replies: @rkka, @Gerard.Gerard

  106. @Bashibuzuk
    @Anatoly Karlin

    If the reforms go as planned, the globalized West will not collapse, but the World in which our children will live in a generation will be a completely different environment. If the reforms fail, then what AP described will probably happen on a global scale reaching a degree where the global economy becomes dysfunctional, the technological civilization fails to a much lower level of sophistication, leading to a neo-Malthusian age that you have described in your writings. If the reforms fail, Soviet Perestroika 's outcomes might well seem a walk in a park and a joyful picnic.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Age of Malthusian Industrialism doesn’t posit technological collapse, merely technological stagnation, while population expands to the carrying capacity limits (whatever they are) of the modern industrial economy over several centuries due to high-fertility “breeders” being selected for.

    I don’t take Malthusian/collapse scenarios seriously, they have lost me a lot of potential money.

    • Agree: Abelard Lindsey
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I don't think we might really sustain several centuries under a technological stagnation scenario without a population collapse. In fact I don't think that at the present level of technological complexity and the current Western capitalist socioeconomic system, we can handle any long term stagnation. A significant period of stagnation would inevitably turn into decline ending with a collapse to a lower level of economic, social and technological organization. Perhaps this is what our benevolent overlords are trying to prevent.

    Also, stock market gains or losses appraisal are possibly not the best tool of environmental and socioeconomic prognostication.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

  107. @Boswald Bollocksworth
    Do any of you know what the deal is with the iron cage or plexiglass box they put defendants in at trials in Russia/FSU?

    Specifically, I am curious if it goes back to the imperial era, or if it was a Soviet innovation. In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?

    Lots of between-nation variation in attitudes here. Perhaps the Russian mind is not as worried about punishing the innocent. Interestingly, in the Netherlands and at least some Scandinavian countries, defendants are in many/most cases not publicly identified. They find it an intrusion of privacy/presumption of innocence that American law always names the defendant.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @Gerard.Gerard, @FerW, @Mikel

    A very small minority of trials in Russia are in front of a jury. Its the judge deciding the case so there is absolutely nobody for the “cage” to be prejudicial to. The process is absolutely normal.

    Our media is also able to report nearly anything they want about the case and evidence when legal proceedings start exactly because only the judge decides the verdict ….. for UK media they can’t report anything on any case when legal actions start.

    South Africa doesn’t do trial by jury because obviously the racial factor in defendant and jury composition would be controversial and a prejudicing factor in every trial. You are correct in that South Africa’s legal system is Anglo-Saxon and I don’t think they use cages during legal sessions.

    Israel I suppose is western…… wasn’t Eichmann on trial in a glass cage? Nearly all the main “sensational” trials in Russia have been done without a jury, although I think they are going to have more of them, – so I can’t say what the exact procedure on not prejudicing a jury trial is….. they are so rare I don’t know anybody who has even got asked to be on one!

    As far as I know – UK courts do not allow cameras in, so I’m no sure at all if they don’t use plexiglass boxes

  108. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    @Bashibuzuk

    Age of Malthusian Industrialism doesn't posit technological collapse, merely technological stagnation, while population expands to the carrying capacity limits (whatever they are) of the modern industrial economy over several centuries due to high-fertility "breeders" being selected for.

    I don't take Malthusian/collapse scenarios seriously, they have lost me a lot of potential money.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1373652859229704195

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I don’t think we might really sustain several centuries under a technological stagnation scenario without a population collapse. In fact I don’t think that at the present level of technological complexity and the current Western capitalist socioeconomic system, we can handle any long term stagnation. A significant period of stagnation would inevitably turn into decline ending with a collapse to a lower level of economic, social and technological organization. Perhaps this is what our benevolent overlords are trying to prevent.

    Also, stock market gains or losses appraisal are possibly not the best tool of environmental and socioeconomic prognostication.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    I just replied to an older post with the link to Martin Armstrong's site, and what you said in the post appears inevitable to him. He has no idea about technological level, but he implies the West falling to Third World levels of economic development, and that he blames the WEF.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  109. @Bashibuzuk
    @reiner Tor


    I don’t really think the West’s fall is that imminent, just I don’t think it’d be so bad for China if it happened right now.
     
    The West will not fall if it transforms itself. But if it doesn't succeed in its transformation, then China will eventually impose OBOR as the new economic framework and will lead the world into a capitalism with Chinese characteristics.

    一山不容二虎

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  110. Bashibuzuk says:
    @rkka

    But we became technologically more advanced and avoided the collapse.
     
    You misspelled "delayed" above.

    Along with technological advancement, what I think the neocons & Cheneys (two different but cooperative political phenomena) were banking on was the disintegration and de-industrialization of both the Warsaw Pact and Soviet successor states, allowing the new oligarch class there to sell their newly acquired assets for scrap & offshore the proceeds to the Anglosphere's shadow banking system. Their fate would be impoverished, depopulated natural resource appendages for the Anglosphere. And so the combined Baltics have gone from 8m to 6m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.7 to 1; Ukraine from 52m to 43m (including Crimea), with deaths exceeding births by 2.1 to 1; Romania from 23m to 19m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.66 to 1; and Bulgaria going from 8.6m to 6.9m, with deaths exceeding births by 1.8 to 1. By comparison, Russia and Belarus are a fair bit healthier demographically.

    The reason for the Anglosphere's incandescent hatred of Putin is that he disrupted this cozy little plan by jailing Khodorkovsky while breaking the independent political power of the oligarchs & insisted on being negotiated with, not dictated to.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    The reason for the Anglosphere’s incandescent hatred of Putin is that he disrupted this cozy little plan by jailing Khodorkovsky while breaking the independent political power of the oligarchs & insisted on being negotiated with, not dictated to.

    Putin would have done a perfect job if not for the fact that under his watch the Russian elites, including his close circle, have plundered Russia as well and transferred substantial proportion of the proceeds to the said Anglosphere.

    • Replies: @rkka
    @Bashibuzuk


    Putin would have done a perfect job if not for the fact that under his watch the Russian elites, including his close circle, have plundered Russia as well and transferred substantial proportion of the proceeds to the said Anglosphere.
     
    I’d be the last to deny that plunder has continued. It is diminished though, and investment in Russia has increased. For one example, the Russian armed forces are no longer “ruins and debris” but possess a powerful, usable, and hence extremely credible conventional deterrent threat to go along with the traditional nuclear deterrent, whose credibility was always undermined by the staggering collateral damage totally out of proportion to the value of any political objective that would be the consequence of its actual employment
    , @Gerard.Gerard
    @Bashibuzuk

    Completely retarded and false you double-dealing idiot.

    1. How many hundreds of billions are in government reserves, to be used in crisis, the National projects and the rebuilding of the country in the last 20 years? And a cretin like you is talking about "plunder". This is not like Saudi Arabia, where there is an extremely small elite in a much smaller country in population, most of the skilled labour or specialist work is foreign, most of the unskilled or manual work is also foreign,oil extraction costs are much lower than in RF, domestic consumption of oil is much lower, majority of the local woman don't work........ in KSA they can accumulate big reserves, build stuff AND plunder the country

    2. Khodorkovsky, Gusinsky and Berezovsky were 3 of the most sinister, powerful and richest oligarchs - prosecuting these swines and (partially) seizing their assets..... resulted in a massive western PR effort against Russia to intimidate western public and western investors away from. Russia , 2 of them the west prevented from getting extradited to Russia, $100 billion of russian money could be potentially seized by the west if their corrupt legal system judges in favour of Yukos. That's just from 3 oligarchs ( who are just western middlemen)....... how can state pursue all the other main oligarchs and not come to some agreement with them in these circumstances you idiot?

    In addition the west and has also allowed many,many other criminal, corrupt officials and businessmen to become fugitives over there since the time of Kho/Gu/Berez..... the Chelyabinsk ex governor one of the latest examples

    As for the state "oligarchs", for which of them can you cite underperforming share price, low contribution to state budget/ unofficial state projects and general bad performance to call "plunder" you faggot?Name one. Very silly

    Trillions of dollars stolen from Russia in 90s /early 2000s to be given to the west...........
    situation non-comparable now.

  111. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow

    Arizona, is not a decidely Democratic state, and will be up or contention for some time yet. I'm not sure about New Mexico. California is probably lost to the left, however, is paying and will continue to pay for this by a large exodus of discontents (both rich and poor). California has indeed crossed the Rubricon. :-(

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow

    Finally! 🙂

  112. @Bashibuzuk
    @rkka


    The reason for the Anglosphere’s incandescent hatred of Putin is that he disrupted this cozy little plan by jailing Khodorkovsky while breaking the independent political power of the oligarchs & insisted on being negotiated with, not dictated to.
     
    Putin would have done a perfect job if not for the fact that under his watch the Russian elites, including his close circle, have plundered Russia as well and transferred substantial proportion of the proceeds to the said Anglosphere.

    Replies: @rkka, @Gerard.Gerard

    Putin would have done a perfect job if not for the fact that under his watch the Russian elites, including his close circle, have plundered Russia as well and transferred substantial proportion of the proceeds to the said Anglosphere.

    I’d be the last to deny that plunder has continued. It is diminished though, and investment in Russia has increased. For one example, the Russian armed forces are no longer “ruins and debris” but possess a powerful, usable, and hence extremely credible conventional deterrent threat to go along with the traditional nuclear deterrent, whose credibility was always undermined by the staggering collateral damage totally out of proportion to the value of any political objective that would be the consequence of its actual employment

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  113. @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    Serbs recognize they are POC oppressed by American imperialism.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @songbird

    Serbs recognize they are POC oppressed by American imperialism.

    I prefer to think that they are feeding-in false information in order to be chosen as the new enforcers of our PC overlords, before ultimately turning on them.

    These newer video games that have branching moral paths – I think the right decision is to choose the most pozzed path, and then wait for your results to be tabulated, so that you will be awarded position after the Great Reset, and be able to be part of the fifth column, when the time finally comes.

  114. @reiner Tor
    @songbird

    The non-crazy people didn’t prevent the Soleimani assassination. The Iranian answer could have killed American servicemen, in which case Trump might not have been in a position to de-escalate. I believe the chances of something similar happening are not zero.

    There is another factor. If there are local wars in which America’s adversaries gain ground in easy victories (like a Blitzkrieg in Taiwan), then they might get emboldened and try to replicate the success elsewhere. The American establishment might get nervous and respond forcefully, and without considering giving a way out without a loss of face. (They no longer try to placate their enemies.) This could result in dangerous situations.

    I think overall the chances of a big war over the next couple decades are relatively small (10-20% maybe?), but certainly not zero.

    Replies: @songbird

    The way I see it, we already passed the Iran test.

    People like McCain and Bolton have croaked or lost influence. And Iran is kind of a special case – the most dangerous, as there is an established history of antagonism. And less of a tendency to hit the brakes, since its economy isn’t anywhere as close to big as China’s.

    After all the BLM riots, I think people in charge will be cautious about sending troops overseas and losing their pacification capacity at home.

  115. @Bashibuzuk
    @mal


    But desire to control things drives them to promote weakness and rationing rather than human glory and that is frustrating.
     
    I think they simply believe that they have no other option left, that every other probable development is either a dead end or an outright catastrophe. You have mentioned Space exploration, I believe that one of the pieces of the puzzle is that we will probably be not ready for a massive space exploration program for at least a couple more generations. If we keep business as usual during that period we will screw up the biosphere beyond repair and make our very biological survival as a technological civilization very uncertain. To jump start this type of Space program, we require a World Government and a totalitarian system. To survive as a civilization until we get to acquire the ressources from our solar system we need to cut the consumption of the global (mostly Western) middle class. We need to reorient completely the Capitalist system towards producing long term strategic outcomes instead of short term gains. This is our global Perestroika: an attempt to ensure our survival as technological civilization until we reach the Space Age.

    Replies: @Thulean Friend

    To jump start this type of space program, we require a World Government and a totalitarian system.

    This doesn’t make intuitive sense to me. The European Enlightenment and subsequent world colonisation happened not despite, but arguably because of fierce inter-state competition. The late 19th century was arguably the most innovative period in human history and it coincided with the peak of Great Power competition. It ultimately ended in a disaster on the continent, but whatever else one might say, it certainly didn’t slow down innovation.

    Moreover, your argument ignores the fundamental garrulous nature of humanity. During uncontested US primacy, the world could afford to pretend to care about international co-operation because there was only a single hegemon in the system. It shaped global institutions and everyone played along because there was literally no alternative.

    Now we’re seeing a situation with at least two, and potentially three (India) hegemons in a few decades time. China has made it abundantly clear it will not be subservient to US diktat the way a colonised continent like Europe has become. India is trending the same direction. This throws up obvious co-ordination problems in the way of your argument. The US does not like to share the crown, and its competitors have no plan to give up their rightful place (as they see it).

    This world will not be conducive to a world government. Is that a problem for innovation? History tells us otherwise.

    • Agree: mal
    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Thulean Friend

    The discussion started on the Donbass Thread when I wrote that I don't see a direct military confrontation between China and the globalized West before the globalized West completes the reforms that have been started last year during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemics. I was then asked if these reforms might end up as badly as the Perestroika did and what I thought the nature of these reforms was.

    I think I clearly explained what these reforms were in my opinion and expressed from the very beginning of the discussion on this thread that I did not believe that the globalized West will succeed in its transformation. My pessimistic opinion is not due to some anti-Western bias, but the fact that the reforms are unprecedented in both scope and intensity. I agree with the commentor rkka that much time has been lost (an entire generation after the fall of the Eastern Block was force-fed capitalist triomphalisme) and that the price to pay will be now higher than in the 1980ies.

    Moreover, if you follow the exchange of comments, you will easily see that I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the "common environmental safety" or whatever they will invent as a justification. I have also written, that the Chinese will most probably not buy into that.

    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.

    That is why I have written that the failure of the Westerstroika would be way more terrible than the demise of the Soviet Union. Quite ironic that a generation after the terrible events of the early 90ies in my native land we find ourselves in even more dire straits, facing an even more complex conundrum. A problem delayed is a problem neglected, a problem neglected is a failure in making. Sad that the pain we have endured then was largely in vain. This is of course the end result of stupidity of both elites and the masses worldwide. And stupidity must be punished. And punished it will be.

    Replies: @Thulean Friend, @Xi-Jinping

  116. @Dmitry
    @AP


    stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt
     
    America's situation is quite different, as usual. Soviet Union in the 1970s, was internally seeming to people, to be a functional, prosocial and optimistic time, while America in the 2020s, loves to portray itself as a dysfunctional and crazy country, always looking for the next zombie apocalypse. On the other hand, Soviet Union in the 1970s, was economically very vulnerable to the commodity cycle, while the economy of America's bourgeoisie in the 2020s is much more diversified.

    However, note that America's situation in the 2020s, is very similar to America's situation in the 1970s, or in the 1920s.

    America was for at least the last century and half, always an internally dysfunctional, weird, and crazy society, which has the ability to romanticize its own weirdness (even Capone's Chicago became romantic, by the 1950s). But America's bourgeoisie is an economically diversified and well insulated one, and even a collapse of GDP by 30% in the 1930s, could hardly weaken their control of the country.

    Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March


     

    That's another opposite situation of the USA to the USSR, or even Russian Federation.

    America's national personality is somewhere between narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder, as it has been for more than a century. Compare American media reports about coronavirus, with the situation in Russia.

    In America, the reports are gratuitously obsessed about their own incompetence, and histrionically portraying the coronavirus as the next apocalypse, or at least scenario from a Hollywood disaster film. Whereas, by contrast, in the Russian media, everything is stable, calm and the authorities are in control.

    -

    Technological progress will drive the same alienation and psychological discomfort to all countries of the world, but Americans are the best self-dramaticizing hysteria about this process of alienation, as in everything else, while in Russia it's almost in the opposite mentality to America's one (at least to the extent the authorities are in control of communication).

    Replies: @Thulean Friend, @AP

    As usual, an excellent, perceptive comment from you. The supposed decline of America is much overdone by panicking conservatives. Lots of people underestimate the deep patriotism that Americans have, and I was guilty of this too a few years ago. No longer.

    The deranged Russiagate and now Red China/Yellow Peril 2.0 scares prove that even “liberal” Americans are perfectly content turning into insanely zealous nationalists on a dime if they feel their national security is threatened in any way (even if imagined). This is not a country prone to breaking up any time soon. Asabiyyah is not an issue here.

    Most of the cultural pathologies are coming from a neoliberal bugman class that is unrepresentative of the nation but has a very loud megaphone to propagandise their nonsense.

    At any rate, they don’t even believe their own propaganda when their politicians actually get to rule.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Thulean Friend

    One might apply this to the internal situation as well.

    Just as international unity does not lead to innovation, excessive internal unity within a society likewise leads to stagnation.

    The 19th century was also a period of great internal social division and of competing value systems and philosophies.

    Nietzsche studied Greek culture and concluded that humanity reaches new heights only through fierce competition - he believed it was the Greek institution of the 'agon' that led to Greece becoming so much greater than its neighbors, who stressed unification, harmony, and central authority.

    Heraclitus said war is the father of all things- obviously meaning competition and strife among divided factions leads humanity to create and adapt.

    It is common here to mock the slogan that diversity is our strength, but it is true in a very real sense.

    In America, might not the Indian, Chinese, Jewish, and White communities compete with each other in a friendly rivalry to outdo, out-excel, and out-achieve each other and leading America as a whole to new discoveries and creations? A sort of modern Greek agon?

    Social rivalry need not be racial, but a healthy society needs a certain level of social division and strife. Competition between factions leads to innovation. Of course, too much strife becomes chaos and disintegration- but without risk and danger there is nothing great.

    People are too afraid of division and strife. Nietzsche suggested the yearning for harmony and peace is the sign of decadence and exhaustion. All autocratic regimes are really decadent in their fear of competition.

    Conservatives are by nature fearful creatures- that is why they wish to conserve and arrest change. They fear strife and desire peace and harmony.

    Even the Woke ideology, in its insanity and aggression, is a stimulus towards the development of alternative and better philosophies, and a wake up call out of dull complacency.

    Kant was famously roused from his dogmatic slumber by Hume, whose skeptical philosophy he found repellent and a challenge.

    I sometimes get the sense that the commentators here are a bunch of exhausted and weary old souls.

    From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective, of course, I am not interested in national greatness or technological innovation, although I find it easy to enter into the mindset of "worldly" achievement and understand what factors and conditions lead to its attainment (perhaps my lack of emotional involvement makes me more objective).

    What does worry me is the conservative fear-based desire to impose a stultifying and dreary unity on life and tightly control everything, eliminating risk, adventure, diversity of lifestyle and thought, and freedom. This suppression of the abundance of nature is anti-Tao.

    Of course, the mainstream Left exhibits similar tendencies.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @EldnahYm

  117. (5) Turkey’s lira is collapsing again. Sovereign default? Probably not – still has ample reserves (on paper). But interesting developments nonetheless.

    [MORE]

  118. @Thulean Friend
    @Dmitry

    As usual, an excellent, perceptive comment from you. The supposed decline of America is much overdone by panicking conservatives. Lots of people underestimate the deep patriotism that Americans have, and I was guilty of this too a few years ago. No longer.

    The deranged Russiagate and now Red China/Yellow Peril 2.0 scares prove that even "liberal" Americans are perfectly content turning into insanely zealous nationalists on a dime if they feel their national security is threatened in any way (even if imagined). This is not a country prone to breaking up any time soon. Asabiyyah is not an issue here.

    Most of the cultural pathologies are coming from a neoliberal bugman class that is unrepresentative of the nation but has a very loud megaphone to propagandise their nonsense.

    At any rate, they don't even believe their own propaganda when their politicians actually get to rule.

    https://twitter.com/USEmbassyHaiti/status/1374753568914292736

    Replies: @AaronB

    One might apply this to the internal situation as well.

    Just as international unity does not lead to innovation, excessive internal unity within a society likewise leads to stagnation.

    The 19th century was also a period of great internal social division and of competing value systems and philosophies.

    Nietzsche studied Greek culture and concluded that humanity reaches new heights only through fierce competition – he believed it was the Greek institution of the ‘agon’ that led to Greece becoming so much greater than its neighbors, who stressed unification, harmony, and central authority.

    Heraclitus said war is the father of all things- obviously meaning competition and strife among divided factions leads humanity to create and adapt.

    It is common here to mock the slogan that diversity is our strength, but it is true in a very real sense.

    In America, might not the Indian, Chinese, Jewish, and White communities compete with each other in a friendly rivalry to outdo, out-excel, and out-achieve each other and leading America as a whole to new discoveries and creations? A sort of modern Greek agon?

    Social rivalry need not be racial, but a healthy society needs a certain level of social division and strife. Competition between factions leads to innovation. Of course, too much strife becomes chaos and disintegration- but without risk and danger there is nothing great.

    People are too afraid of division and strife. Nietzsche suggested the yearning for harmony and peace is the sign of decadence and exhaustion. All autocratic regimes are really decadent in their fear of competition.

    Conservatives are by nature fearful creatures- that is why they wish to conserve and arrest change. They fear strife and desire peace and harmony.

    Even the Woke ideology, in its insanity and aggression, is a stimulus towards the development of alternative and better philosophies, and a wake up call out of dull complacency.

    Kant was famously roused from his dogmatic slumber by Hume, whose skeptical philosophy he found repellent and a challenge.

    I sometimes get the sense that the commentators here are a bunch of exhausted and weary old souls.

    From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective, of course, I am not interested in national greatness or technological innovation, although I find it easy to enter into the mindset of “worldly” achievement and understand what factors and conditions lead to its attainment (perhaps my lack of emotional involvement makes me more objective).

    What does worry me is the conservative fear-based desire to impose a stultifying and dreary unity on life and tightly control everything, eliminating risk, adventure, diversity of lifestyle and thought, and freedom. This suppression of the abundance of nature is anti-Tao.

    Of course, the mainstream Left exhibits similar tendencies.

    • Thanks: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @AaronB
    @AaronB

    Its interesting how an attitude can mean one thing on one level and its opposite on another level.

    If your values are worldly success, greatness, and achievement, then the avoidance of strife, division, competition, and the desire for peace, harmony, and unity, both internally and externally, signifies weakness, decadence, exhaustion.

    However, that you desire worldly success or greatness signifies you are excessively concerned with control of your environment and survival, and are motivated by fear - and thus signify weakness, exhaustion, lack of exuberance :) And that you cannot see past appearances.

    (From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective).

    And so - avoidance of strife and competition can signify either fear and weakness or exuberance and fearlessness :)

    Sort of like, as I read somewhere, the exact same gene can do one thing in one context and something else in another.

    The world is so much more uncanny than our everyday philosophies.

    , @Thulean Friend
    @AaronB

    All my favourite people are commenting in this thread. Happy passover by the way!

    , @Boomthorkell
    @AaronB

    An ideal environment must always be balanced between strife and prosperity. One needs enough prosperity to have the political grow, but one also needs some strife. It's more a matter of by what and to what degree, I think.

    A perpetual frontier will free us all and solve the problem.

    , @EldnahYm
    @AaronB

    Competition can also lead to destructive behaviors. Think of the tragedy of the commons. Or think about what would happen if you allowed multiple competing parasites to infect you(my model for the impact of ethnic minorities). You wouldn't become stronger from this, instead the competition between the organisms would select for greater virulence.

    Nevertheless I actually agree with you that society needs a certain amount of strife. I even agree when you apply the idea to conservatives and conclude they are fearful. Conservatives are dumb conformists on the whole.

    Replies: @Beckow

  119. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Thulean Friend
    @Bashibuzuk


    To jump start this type of space program, we require a World Government and a totalitarian system.
     
    This doesn't make intuitive sense to me. The European Enlightenment and subsequent world colonisation happened not despite, but arguably because of fierce inter-state competition. The late 19th century was arguably the most innovative period in human history and it coincided with the peak of Great Power competition. It ultimately ended in a disaster on the continent, but whatever else one might say, it certainly didn't slow down innovation.

    Moreover, your argument ignores the fundamental garrulous nature of humanity. During uncontested US primacy, the world could afford to pretend to care about international co-operation because there was only a single hegemon in the system. It shaped global institutions and everyone played along because there was literally no alternative.

    Now we're seeing a situation with at least two, and potentially three (India) hegemons in a few decades time. China has made it abundantly clear it will not be subservient to US diktat the way a colonised continent like Europe has become. India is trending the same direction. This throws up obvious co-ordination problems in the way of your argument. The US does not like to share the crown, and its competitors have no plan to give up their rightful place (as they see it).

    This world will not be conducive to a world government. Is that a problem for innovation? History tells us otherwise.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    The discussion started on the Donbass Thread when I wrote that I don’t see a direct military confrontation between China and the globalized West before the globalized West completes the reforms that have been started last year during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemics. I was then asked if these reforms might end up as badly as the Perestroika did and what I thought the nature of these reforms was.

    I think I clearly explained what these reforms were in my opinion and expressed from the very beginning of the discussion on this thread that I did not believe that the globalized West will succeed in its transformation. My pessimistic opinion is not due to some anti-Western bias, but the fact that the reforms are unprecedented in both scope and intensity. I agree with the commentor rkka that much time has been lost (an entire generation after the fall of the Eastern Block was force-fed capitalist triomphalisme) and that the price to pay will be now higher than in the 1980ies.

    Moreover, if you follow the exchange of comments, you will easily see that I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the “common environmental safety” or whatever they will invent as a justification. I have also written, that the Chinese will most probably not buy into that.

    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.

    That is why I have written that the failure of the Westerstroika would be way more terrible than the demise of the Soviet Union. Quite ironic that a generation after the terrible events of the early 90ies in my native land we find ourselves in even more dire straits, facing an even more complex conundrum. A problem delayed is a problem neglected, a problem neglected is a failure in making. Sad that the pain we have endured then was largely in vain. This is of course the end result of stupidity of both elites and the masses worldwide. And stupidity must be punished. And punished it will be.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    @Bashibuzuk


    I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the “common environmental safety” or whatever they will invent as a justification.

     

    Climate change policies may have a geopolitical angle, but I think you underestimate the internal will of the Chinese to deal with these problems, including by collaborating with others. This is not solely Xi's own pet project. One of the most influential Chinese documentaries during the last decade was Under the Dome. There is a genuine popular groundswell of support inside China.

    The Indians recently announced that they are aiming to go net-zero a full decade before China, despite being significantly less developed (and thus needing more energy as they grow). In brief, I think this is your Russian perspective distorting your lens here. Russia, like Australia, is notoriously "climate-skeptical" and tend to view climate policies cynically and defensively.


    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.
     
    They can try to control whatever they like, it won't make a damn difference. We have a saying in Sweden: teknik slår alltid politik. I think any English speaker can understand the gist of it. We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like "techno-malthusianism" are garbage and laughable.

    While I agree that a singularity would have dramatic consequences, I don't see how it would necessary be bad. Evolution is constant, and being limited to 80-120 years is intensely boring. I want to learn new things at 800 years, let alone 8000. We can't get there without essentially shedding our biological constraints (bodies), which requires radical new technologies and a fundamental end to homo sapiens. That's not to be feared, merely the next step in the long arch of history.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Bashibuzuk

    , @Xi-Jinping
    @Bashibuzuk

    You strongly overestimate the effects on "human-kind" - that is if you only see "humankind" as the West. Will the West be shattered? Yes. Will war throughout Europe erupt as it did in the period of the Hundred Years War? Yes. Will the rest of the world be significantly affected? Probably not. China has about 13% of its GDP coming from exports. With its recent emphasis on the dual circulation policy and a commitment to a reduction in reliance on foreign markets and suppliers, it becomes easier for China to weather a US collapse. Furthermore a US collapse would only be of great benefit to China as it will be able to fill the vacuum by acting as a mediator to warring nations and to those suffering immensly from the collapse of the dollar. It will put itself in a much similar situation the US after WW2, where it will act to stabilize and rebuild countries.

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AnonFromTN

  120. @AaronB
    @Thulean Friend

    One might apply this to the internal situation as well.

    Just as international unity does not lead to innovation, excessive internal unity within a society likewise leads to stagnation.

    The 19th century was also a period of great internal social division and of competing value systems and philosophies.

    Nietzsche studied Greek culture and concluded that humanity reaches new heights only through fierce competition - he believed it was the Greek institution of the 'agon' that led to Greece becoming so much greater than its neighbors, who stressed unification, harmony, and central authority.

    Heraclitus said war is the father of all things- obviously meaning competition and strife among divided factions leads humanity to create and adapt.

    It is common here to mock the slogan that diversity is our strength, but it is true in a very real sense.

    In America, might not the Indian, Chinese, Jewish, and White communities compete with each other in a friendly rivalry to outdo, out-excel, and out-achieve each other and leading America as a whole to new discoveries and creations? A sort of modern Greek agon?

    Social rivalry need not be racial, but a healthy society needs a certain level of social division and strife. Competition between factions leads to innovation. Of course, too much strife becomes chaos and disintegration- but without risk and danger there is nothing great.

    People are too afraid of division and strife. Nietzsche suggested the yearning for harmony and peace is the sign of decadence and exhaustion. All autocratic regimes are really decadent in their fear of competition.

    Conservatives are by nature fearful creatures- that is why they wish to conserve and arrest change. They fear strife and desire peace and harmony.

    Even the Woke ideology, in its insanity and aggression, is a stimulus towards the development of alternative and better philosophies, and a wake up call out of dull complacency.

    Kant was famously roused from his dogmatic slumber by Hume, whose skeptical philosophy he found repellent and a challenge.

    I sometimes get the sense that the commentators here are a bunch of exhausted and weary old souls.

    From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective, of course, I am not interested in national greatness or technological innovation, although I find it easy to enter into the mindset of "worldly" achievement and understand what factors and conditions lead to its attainment (perhaps my lack of emotional involvement makes me more objective).

    What does worry me is the conservative fear-based desire to impose a stultifying and dreary unity on life and tightly control everything, eliminating risk, adventure, diversity of lifestyle and thought, and freedom. This suppression of the abundance of nature is anti-Tao.

    Of course, the mainstream Left exhibits similar tendencies.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @EldnahYm

    Its interesting how an attitude can mean one thing on one level and its opposite on another level.

    If your values are worldly success, greatness, and achievement, then the avoidance of strife, division, competition, and the desire for peace, harmony, and unity, both internally and externally, signifies weakness, decadence, exhaustion.

    However, that you desire worldly success or greatness signifies you are excessively concerned with control of your environment and survival, and are motivated by fear – and thus signify weakness, exhaustion, lack of exuberance 🙂 And that you cannot see past appearances.

    (From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective).

    And so – avoidance of strife and competition can signify either fear and weakness or exuberance and fearlessness 🙂

    Sort of like, as I read somewhere, the exact same gene can do one thing in one context and something else in another.

    The world is so much more uncanny than our everyday philosophies.

  121. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow

    Arizona, is not a decidely Democratic state, and will be up or contention for some time yet. I'm not sure about New Mexico. California is probably lost to the left, however, is paying and will continue to pay for this by a large exodus of discontents (both rich and poor). California has indeed crossed the Rubricon. :-(

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow

    The contention is good, but all 3 states have moved more liberal-left. My point is that open borders have consequences. It takes a few years, but things change…

    How about the 1 million California Medicare elderly who never worked in US? (Official website number.) There are a few million more in India, Pakistan (see Sailer’s piece today)… itching to get that long-postponed knee surgery for free in US. The young people often with no insurance are paying for it. Trump talked, but did nothing about it.

    Who among older voters thought this was a good idea? It just happened? Or Wall Street?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    Who among older voters thought this was a good idea? It just happened? Or Wall Street?
     
    In its desire to fill supposed future vacancies in the job market, America's elites (read Wall Street) have opened the floodgates to open borders policies. How wold you answer your own question?

    Replies: @Beckow

  122. @Bashibuzuk
    @Beckow

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but I am frankly not sure whether we really know what has to be done. We experience the symptoms of the manifold decline of our societies, we see its impact around us and even in our circles, but we have no consensus about how to deal with these changes, much of which are hardly positive.

    The political polarization that Mr Hack has mentioned and the low quality of the torrent of information that is pouring 24/7 on the Western middle class, makes any mindful discussion of solutions to the crisis nearly impossible. The solutions offered on both extremes are hardly realistic.

    Replies: @Beckow

    There are solutions, in both Europe and N America:
    – stop the massive inflow of migrants, incl. family reunifications, etc…
    – fix the infrastructure
    – manage work by limiting hours to 24-32 hours/week
    – provide basic social guarantees to all citizens (health, education, pensions) – yes, “socialism”
    – avoid wars.

    It will not be done because groups that control all governing bodies are heavily invested in preserving the current set-up: business would see increase in costs and inflation, parasitic officials would not get rewarded by the oligarchs, ethnic lobbies would lose power, investments would tank, old people would get less, warmongers put on ice…so we might have to wait until the numbers get so out-of-whack that the system collapses. That could take decades, and it won’t be pleasant.

    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won…how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?

    • Replies: @rkka
    @Beckow


    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won…how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?
     
    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.

    First came Bruning’s “Austerity” response to the Creditanstalt crisis, which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter:

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w24106

    The Nazi vote rocketed up, as desperate people looked for simple answers.

    Then these same Center-Right politicians convinced Hindenburg to name Adolf chancellor, then granted him dictatorial power by a 4/5 majority vote, including every single national political party in favor, except the Social Democrats (the KPD having already been banned).

    So it was the German Center-Right who paved Adolf’s path to power, then handed him dictatorship. And he rewarded them handsomely.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP

    , @Xi-Jinping
    @Beckow

    America cannot stop immigration, if it does its population will enter a downwards spiral starting from 2044

  123. @AaronB
    @Thulean Friend

    One might apply this to the internal situation as well.

    Just as international unity does not lead to innovation, excessive internal unity within a society likewise leads to stagnation.

    The 19th century was also a period of great internal social division and of competing value systems and philosophies.

    Nietzsche studied Greek culture and concluded that humanity reaches new heights only through fierce competition - he believed it was the Greek institution of the 'agon' that led to Greece becoming so much greater than its neighbors, who stressed unification, harmony, and central authority.

    Heraclitus said war is the father of all things- obviously meaning competition and strife among divided factions leads humanity to create and adapt.

    It is common here to mock the slogan that diversity is our strength, but it is true in a very real sense.

    In America, might not the Indian, Chinese, Jewish, and White communities compete with each other in a friendly rivalry to outdo, out-excel, and out-achieve each other and leading America as a whole to new discoveries and creations? A sort of modern Greek agon?

    Social rivalry need not be racial, but a healthy society needs a certain level of social division and strife. Competition between factions leads to innovation. Of course, too much strife becomes chaos and disintegration- but without risk and danger there is nothing great.

    People are too afraid of division and strife. Nietzsche suggested the yearning for harmony and peace is the sign of decadence and exhaustion. All autocratic regimes are really decadent in their fear of competition.

    Conservatives are by nature fearful creatures- that is why they wish to conserve and arrest change. They fear strife and desire peace and harmony.

    Even the Woke ideology, in its insanity and aggression, is a stimulus towards the development of alternative and better philosophies, and a wake up call out of dull complacency.

    Kant was famously roused from his dogmatic slumber by Hume, whose skeptical philosophy he found repellent and a challenge.

    I sometimes get the sense that the commentators here are a bunch of exhausted and weary old souls.

    From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective, of course, I am not interested in national greatness or technological innovation, although I find it easy to enter into the mindset of "worldly" achievement and understand what factors and conditions lead to its attainment (perhaps my lack of emotional involvement makes me more objective).

    What does worry me is the conservative fear-based desire to impose a stultifying and dreary unity on life and tightly control everything, eliminating risk, adventure, diversity of lifestyle and thought, and freedom. This suppression of the abundance of nature is anti-Tao.

    Of course, the mainstream Left exhibits similar tendencies.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @EldnahYm

    All my favourite people are commenting in this thread. Happy passover by the way!

    • Thanks: AaronB
    • LOL: Blinky Bill
  124. The revolution which began in Europe is now slowly traversing across the Atlantic. If even America, ground zero for car-centric NIMBY:ism, can return to sanity then there are no limits to progress.

  125. Someone in the other thread was complaining about Google distorting search results.

    One interesting example a friend of mine (tennis fan) told me is that whenever he searches for ATP Miami, he always only gets the WTA results. He has never been interested in it, and he has never heard of anyone who was. Certainly it’s difficult to imagine anyone who is more interested in it than in men’s tennis. I guess Google is being feminist here.

  126. @Bashibuzuk
    @Thulean Friend

    The discussion started on the Donbass Thread when I wrote that I don't see a direct military confrontation between China and the globalized West before the globalized West completes the reforms that have been started last year during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemics. I was then asked if these reforms might end up as badly as the Perestroika did and what I thought the nature of these reforms was.

    I think I clearly explained what these reforms were in my opinion and expressed from the very beginning of the discussion on this thread that I did not believe that the globalized West will succeed in its transformation. My pessimistic opinion is not due to some anti-Western bias, but the fact that the reforms are unprecedented in both scope and intensity. I agree with the commentor rkka that much time has been lost (an entire generation after the fall of the Eastern Block was force-fed capitalist triomphalisme) and that the price to pay will be now higher than in the 1980ies.

    Moreover, if you follow the exchange of comments, you will easily see that I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the "common environmental safety" or whatever they will invent as a justification. I have also written, that the Chinese will most probably not buy into that.

    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.

    That is why I have written that the failure of the Westerstroika would be way more terrible than the demise of the Soviet Union. Quite ironic that a generation after the terrible events of the early 90ies in my native land we find ourselves in even more dire straits, facing an even more complex conundrum. A problem delayed is a problem neglected, a problem neglected is a failure in making. Sad that the pain we have endured then was largely in vain. This is of course the end result of stupidity of both elites and the masses worldwide. And stupidity must be punished. And punished it will be.

    Replies: @Thulean Friend, @Xi-Jinping

    I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the “common environmental safety” or whatever they will invent as a justification.

    Climate change policies may have a geopolitical angle, but I think you underestimate the internal will of the Chinese to deal with these problems, including by collaborating with others. This is not solely Xi’s own pet project. One of the most influential Chinese documentaries during the last decade was Under the Dome. There is a genuine popular groundswell of support inside China.

    The Indians recently announced that they are aiming to go net-zero a full decade before China, despite being significantly less developed (and thus needing more energy as they grow). In brief, I think this is your Russian perspective distorting your lens here. Russia, like Australia, is notoriously “climate-skeptical” and tend to view climate policies cynically and defensively.

    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.

    They can try to control whatever they like, it won’t make a damn difference. We have a saying in Sweden: teknik slår alltid politik. I think any English speaker can understand the gist of it. We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like “techno-malthusianism” are garbage and laughable.

    While I agree that a singularity would have dramatic consequences, I don’t see how it would necessary be bad. Evolution is constant, and being limited to 80-120 years is intensely boring. I want to learn new things at 800 years, let alone 8000. We can’t get there without essentially shedding our biological constraints (bodies), which requires radical new technologies and a fundamental end to homo sapiens. That’s not to be feared, merely the next step in the long arch of history.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Thulean Friend


    We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like “techno-malthusianism” are garbage and laughable.
     
    It seems to be a term of your own invention (Googling it gives 34 hits), which is perhaps appropriate, given your comments on the AoMI have been consistently strawmannish.

    Anyhow, a technological singularity will certainly be very good, assuming the X risks are skirted.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @Bashibuzuk
    @Thulean Friend

    I agree that technological innovation is the primary driver of the social change. I don't deny climate change, but I don't believe human impact is significant compared to solar activity cycles and perhaps other geophysical phenomena. If the Chinese and Indians converge with the West on the environmental agenda, then we might have a possible common ground to move forward together and avoid violent competition that might be detrimental for everyone in the medium/long term.

  127. @Beckow
    @Bashibuzuk

    There are solutions, in both Europe and N America:
    - stop the massive inflow of migrants, incl. family reunifications, etc...
    - fix the infrastructure
    - manage work by limiting hours to 24-32 hours/week
    - provide basic social guarantees to all citizens (health, education, pensions) - yes, "socialism"
    - avoid wars.

    It will not be done because groups that control all governing bodies are heavily invested in preserving the current set-up: business would see increase in costs and inflation, parasitic officials would not get rewarded by the oligarchs, ethnic lobbies would lose power, investments would tank, old people would get less, warmongers put on ice...so we might have to wait until the numbers get so out-of-whack that the system collapses. That could take decades, and it won't be pleasant.

    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won...how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?

    Replies: @rkka, @Xi-Jinping

    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won…how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?

    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.

    First came Bruning’s “Austerity” response to the Creditanstalt crisis, which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter:

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w24106

    The Nazi vote rocketed up, as desperate people looked for simple answers.

    Then these same Center-Right politicians convinced Hindenburg to name Adolf chancellor, then granted him dictatorial power by a 4/5 majority vote, including every single national political party in favor, except the Social Democrats (the KPD having already been banned).

    So it was the German Center-Right who paved Adolf’s path to power, then handed him dictatorship. And he rewarded them handsomely.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @rkka


    ...Bruning’s “Austerity”...which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter
     
    Right, that looks familiar, today the West is ruled by a bunch of "Brunings". Mistakes and self-serving behavior are what decides elections. In the election, Nazis came in first, and had a majority with their allies.

    That's what winning an election means. You are hiding that reality behind minutia.

    Replies: @rkka

    , @AP
    @rkka


    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.
     
    He clearly won the election according to normal rules of multiparty parliamentary elections. His party won the most votes under generally honest conditions and was able to form the government with its coalition partners. Largest party and percentage support in the last free German election:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d7/Reichstagswahl_Juli_1932.svg/350px-Reichstagswahl_Juli_1932.svg.png

    Nazis got 37.3% of the vote.

    In 2017 Merkel got 33% of the vote, and in 2009 she got 34% of the vote, less than Hitler got in March 1932. Will you claim Merkel didn't win those elections?

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mitleser

  128. @rkka
    @Beckow


    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won…how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?
     
    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.

    First came Bruning’s “Austerity” response to the Creditanstalt crisis, which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter:

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w24106

    The Nazi vote rocketed up, as desperate people looked for simple answers.

    Then these same Center-Right politicians convinced Hindenburg to name Adolf chancellor, then granted him dictatorial power by a 4/5 majority vote, including every single national political party in favor, except the Social Democrats (the KPD having already been banned).

    So it was the German Center-Right who paved Adolf’s path to power, then handed him dictatorship. And he rewarded them handsomely.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP

    …Bruning’s “Austerity”…which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter

    Right, that looks familiar, today the West is ruled by a bunch of “Brunings”. Mistakes and self-serving behavior are what decides elections. In the election, Nazis came in first, and had a majority with their allies.

    That’s what winning an election means. You are hiding that reality behind minutia.

    • Replies: @rkka
    @Beckow


    That’s what winning an election means. You are hiding that reality behind minutia.
     
    Yes. Mussolini said that Fascism is more properly called Corporatism, for it is the merger of state & corporate power. Variations of this is now the main model of governance, with the corporations/oligarchs mostly owning the politics.

    In PRC & Russia, the state owns the corporations/oligarchs more than the reverse, though in Yeltsin’s Russia, the Seven Bankers did own the government..

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  129. @Thulean Friend
    @Bashibuzuk


    I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the “common environmental safety” or whatever they will invent as a justification.

     

    Climate change policies may have a geopolitical angle, but I think you underestimate the internal will of the Chinese to deal with these problems, including by collaborating with others. This is not solely Xi's own pet project. One of the most influential Chinese documentaries during the last decade was Under the Dome. There is a genuine popular groundswell of support inside China.

    The Indians recently announced that they are aiming to go net-zero a full decade before China, despite being significantly less developed (and thus needing more energy as they grow). In brief, I think this is your Russian perspective distorting your lens here. Russia, like Australia, is notoriously "climate-skeptical" and tend to view climate policies cynically and defensively.


    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.
     
    They can try to control whatever they like, it won't make a damn difference. We have a saying in Sweden: teknik slår alltid politik. I think any English speaker can understand the gist of it. We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like "techno-malthusianism" are garbage and laughable.

    While I agree that a singularity would have dramatic consequences, I don't see how it would necessary be bad. Evolution is constant, and being limited to 80-120 years is intensely boring. I want to learn new things at 800 years, let alone 8000. We can't get there without essentially shedding our biological constraints (bodies), which requires radical new technologies and a fundamental end to homo sapiens. That's not to be feared, merely the next step in the long arch of history.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Bashibuzuk

    We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like “techno-malthusianism” are garbage and laughable.

    It seems to be a term of your own invention (Googling it gives 34 hits), which is perhaps appropriate, given your comments on the AoMI have been consistently strawmannish.

    Anyhow, a technological singularity will certainly be very good, assuming the X risks are skirted.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I believe we might indeed have either a techno-Singularity with an uncontrolled Accelerationism or a Malthusian future with an exhausted technological progress. Both are dangerous for the future of our species. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the Fermi paradox: socioeconomic bottlenecks. Our best bet would be to wisely avoid both extremes and attempt to move forward in a measured and thoughtful manner. We need to avoid conflit and achieve a balance. Future can wait.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Thulean Friend

  130. If Jews never got to the West or to Europe other than in very very very tiny numbers (for whatever reason), what groups would see the most gains in terms of term output as they take up the slack? French? Germans? Britons? Italians would be even more influential in the 16th century? As for eastern Europe, Baltic Germans would be even more dominant in Russia if Jews were not around. Note that Episcopalian whites ( a nice proxy for upper class Northern Europeans) have a slightly higher IQ than Jews, although the personality tends to be more agreeable and less argumentative.

  131. @Beckow
    @rkka


    ...Bruning’s “Austerity”...which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter
     
    Right, that looks familiar, today the West is ruled by a bunch of "Brunings". Mistakes and self-serving behavior are what decides elections. In the election, Nazis came in first, and had a majority with their allies.

    That's what winning an election means. You are hiding that reality behind minutia.

    Replies: @rkka

    That’s what winning an election means. You are hiding that reality behind minutia.

    Yes. Mussolini said that Fascism is more properly called Corporatism, for it is the merger of state & corporate power. Variations of this is now the main model of governance, with the corporations/oligarchs mostly owning the politics.

    In PRC & Russia, the state owns the corporations/oligarchs more than the reverse, though in Yeltsin’s Russia, the Seven Bankers did own the government..

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @rkka


    In PRC & Russia, the state owns the corporations/oligarchs more than the reverse
     
    Some version of Green Corporativism / Environmental Solidarism will probably also be the end of a successful Westerstroika.
  132. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    @Thulean Friend


    We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like “techno-malthusianism” are garbage and laughable.
     
    It seems to be a term of your own invention (Googling it gives 34 hits), which is perhaps appropriate, given your comments on the AoMI have been consistently strawmannish.

    Anyhow, a technological singularity will certainly be very good, assuming the X risks are skirted.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I believe we might indeed have either a techno-Singularity with an uncontrolled Accelerationism or a Malthusian future with an exhausted technological progress. Both are dangerous for the future of our species. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the Fermi paradox: socioeconomic bottlenecks. Our best bet would be to wisely avoid both extremes and attempt to move forward in a measured and thoughtful manner. We need to avoid conflit and achieve a balance. Future can wait.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don't think "we" have any input. Not even so much "we" as in blog commenters but as also as in the real power-breakers, to the extent they exist. Either there will be sufficiently intense breakthroughs to catapult us into accelerating intelligence augmentation (be it silicon or wetware), or it will not be sufficiently intense, with the result that dysgenics grounds the entire enterprise to a halt for a few centuries.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. XYZ, @Abelard Lindsey

    , @Thulean Friend
    @Bashibuzuk


    Our best bet would be to wisely avoid both extremes and attempt to move forward in a measured and thoughtful manner. We need to avoid conflit and achieve a balance.
     
    Putting aside your fears of the singularity, and my enthusiastic embrace of it, there could be more socially acceptable paths:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/aubreydegrey/status/1371196809595346950

    I don't know nearly as much about anti-aging as de Grey does, but even his skeptics have acknowledged that advancements in the field of anti-aging have been substantial over the past decade - and there's no sign of things slowing down. If his predictions are borne out to be true, then we could possibly get something both of us would like: I would get the longetivity aspect, but you would get the avoidance of the shedding the biological constraints, and we would still (at least outwardly) remain homo sapiens.

    (I am somewhat skeptical that remaining confined to our biological constraints can truly take us to the next level, but perhaps de Grey's future is a middle-ground that can be accepted by all, reasonable, sides).

  133. @rkka
    @Beckow


    That’s what winning an election means. You are hiding that reality behind minutia.
     
    Yes. Mussolini said that Fascism is more properly called Corporatism, for it is the merger of state & corporate power. Variations of this is now the main model of governance, with the corporations/oligarchs mostly owning the politics.

    In PRC & Russia, the state owns the corporations/oligarchs more than the reverse, though in Yeltsin’s Russia, the Seven Bankers did own the government..

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    In PRC & Russia, the state owns the corporations/oligarchs more than the reverse

    Some version of Green Corporativism / Environmental Solidarism will probably also be the end of a successful Westerstroika.

  134. @Blinky Bill
    @Svevlad

    BASED


    https://i.redd.it/w4rcci375ap51.png


    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/Map_of_Greater_Serbia_%28in_Yugoslavia%29.svg/300px-Map_of_Greater_Serbia_%28in_Yugoslavia%29.svg.png
     
    https://i.redd.it/sv421sppooh61.png


    https://i.redd.it/g7l6u9nz8w861.jpg

    Replies: @songbird, @Anatoly Karlin

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This map makes suggests that what is measured is not racism, but exposure to black people. States with more blacks score higher, those with less score lower. I don't think white people from New Jersey and Mississippi are equally racist.

    In Europe in contrast, places with fewer black people score as more racist.

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ

  135. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Thulean Friend
    @Bashibuzuk


    I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the “common environmental safety” or whatever they will invent as a justification.

     

    Climate change policies may have a geopolitical angle, but I think you underestimate the internal will of the Chinese to deal with these problems, including by collaborating with others. This is not solely Xi's own pet project. One of the most influential Chinese documentaries during the last decade was Under the Dome. There is a genuine popular groundswell of support inside China.

    The Indians recently announced that they are aiming to go net-zero a full decade before China, despite being significantly less developed (and thus needing more energy as they grow). In brief, I think this is your Russian perspective distorting your lens here. Russia, like Australia, is notoriously "climate-skeptical" and tend to view climate policies cynically and defensively.


    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.
     
    They can try to control whatever they like, it won't make a damn difference. We have a saying in Sweden: teknik slår alltid politik. I think any English speaker can understand the gist of it. We at least seem to agree that the world is not going to slow down in innovation any time soon and that concepts like "techno-malthusianism" are garbage and laughable.

    While I agree that a singularity would have dramatic consequences, I don't see how it would necessary be bad. Evolution is constant, and being limited to 80-120 years is intensely boring. I want to learn new things at 800 years, let alone 8000. We can't get there without essentially shedding our biological constraints (bodies), which requires radical new technologies and a fundamental end to homo sapiens. That's not to be feared, merely the next step in the long arch of history.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Bashibuzuk

    I agree that technological innovation is the primary driver of the social change. I don’t deny climate change, but I don’t believe human impact is significant compared to solar activity cycles and perhaps other geophysical phenomena. If the Chinese and Indians converge with the West on the environmental agenda, then we might have a possible common ground to move forward together and avoid violent competition that might be detrimental for everyone in the medium/long term.

  136. @Bashibuzuk
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I believe we might indeed have either a techno-Singularity with an uncontrolled Accelerationism or a Malthusian future with an exhausted technological progress. Both are dangerous for the future of our species. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the Fermi paradox: socioeconomic bottlenecks. Our best bet would be to wisely avoid both extremes and attempt to move forward in a measured and thoughtful manner. We need to avoid conflit and achieve a balance. Future can wait.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Thulean Friend

    I don’t think “we” have any input. Not even so much “we” as in blog commenters but as also as in the real power-breakers, to the extent they exist. Either there will be sufficiently intense breakthroughs to catapult us into accelerating intelligence augmentation (be it silicon or wetware), or it will not be sufficiently intense, with the result that dysgenics grounds the entire enterprise to a halt for a few centuries.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Isn't hat a bit fatalistic? As if human beings had no impact at all on the outcome of the evolution of their own civilization.

    OTOH the Fermi paradox probably holds true because the immense majority of intelligent species in our galaxy probably do not manage to become spacefaring as they get crushed between the extremes of technological progress gone awry and an extreme biosphere degradation à la Обитаемый остров / Жук в муравейнике. There are many possible dead-ends for potentially a very low number of positive outcomes. Also we probably have a limited period of time to "graduate " and get our "spacefaring credentials " before we lose the pace of progress and perhaps die-out.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-humanity-erin-brokovich

    Commenter Levtraro has mentioned a couple of times a "segregated governance " of sorts. Perhaps it would allow to concentrate innovation and keep it under control in some hi-tech smart city enclaves, while a large proportion of humanity would live more or less in a late nineteenth or early twentieth century fashion, distributed across small / medium size agricultural communities (possibly like the Amish or Mennonite). Maybe that would be a way to hedge for the existential risks.

    , @Mr. XYZ
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In regards to intelligence augmentation, why exactly is it so crucial for Russia to develop such technology itself? After all, even if other countries such as China will develop this technology first/in place of Russia, won't Russia still be able to purchase this technology from them later on?

    This would be similar to a biosingularity. Initially, gametogenesis + IVF + embryo selection will likely primarily be one in wealthy countries, but eventually, it will also spread to poorer countries due to lower costs and possibly also noblesse oblige on the part of wealthier countries to help out their poorer brethren.

    , @Abelard Lindsey
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I don't buy into any AGI scenario. In fact, I think we're already in another AI "winter". All of this current AI hoohaa is based on multi-layered neuronets, a technology actually invented in 1986! It was only around 2010 or so that semiconductor hardware had advanced to the point where people could start playing around with these deep layered neuronets.

    Bio-engineering is a complete different story. I think the next 50 plus years will be bio-engineering years just like the last 50 years have been semiconductors/computers/IT. However, I still do not believe we will get massive increases in human IQ. Developments will be more incremental.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  137. In the past, I thought it might be a good idea if we taxed pozzed movies, but, perhaps, there is a better solution… What if we just mandated that the protagonists eat bugs on screen?

  138. @Bashibuzuk
    @rkka


    The reason for the Anglosphere’s incandescent hatred of Putin is that he disrupted this cozy little plan by jailing Khodorkovsky while breaking the independent political power of the oligarchs & insisted on being negotiated with, not dictated to.
     
    Putin would have done a perfect job if not for the fact that under his watch the Russian elites, including his close circle, have plundered Russia as well and transferred substantial proportion of the proceeds to the said Anglosphere.

    Replies: @rkka, @Gerard.Gerard

    Completely retarded and false you double-dealing idiot.

    1. How many hundreds of billions are in government reserves, to be used in crisis, the National projects and the rebuilding of the country in the last 20 years? And a cretin like you is talking about “plunder”. This is not like Saudi Arabia, where there is an extremely small elite in a much smaller country in population, most of the skilled labour or specialist work is foreign, most of the unskilled or manual work is also foreign,oil extraction costs are much lower than in RF, domestic consumption of oil is much lower, majority of the local woman don’t work…….. in KSA they can accumulate big reserves, build stuff AND plunder the country

    2. Khodorkovsky, Gusinsky and Berezovsky were 3 of the most sinister, powerful and richest oligarchs – prosecuting these swines and (partially) seizing their assets….. resulted in a massive western PR effort against Russia to intimidate western public and western investors away from. Russia , 2 of them the west prevented from getting extradited to Russia, $100 billion of russian money could be potentially seized by the west if their corrupt legal system judges in favour of Yukos. That’s just from 3 oligarchs ( who are just western middlemen)……. how can state pursue all the other main oligarchs and not come to some agreement with them in these circumstances you idiot?

    In addition the west and has also allowed many,many other criminal, corrupt officials and businessmen to become fugitives over there since the time of Kho/Gu/Berez….. the Chelyabinsk ex governor one of the latest examples

    As for the state “oligarchs”, for which of them can you cite underperforming share price, low contribution to state budget/ unofficial state projects and general bad performance to call “plunder” you faggot?Name one. Very silly

    Trillions of dollars stolen from Russia in 90s /early 2000s to be given to the west………..
    situation non-comparable now.

  139. Another idea to fight political correctness might be to bring back minstrel shows, but instead of using blackface, just hire dark non-Africans to play Africans: Dravidians, Papuans, etc.

  140. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don't think "we" have any input. Not even so much "we" as in blog commenters but as also as in the real power-breakers, to the extent they exist. Either there will be sufficiently intense breakthroughs to catapult us into accelerating intelligence augmentation (be it silicon or wetware), or it will not be sufficiently intense, with the result that dysgenics grounds the entire enterprise to a halt for a few centuries.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. XYZ, @Abelard Lindsey

    Isn’t hat a bit fatalistic? As if human beings had no impact at all on the outcome of the evolution of their own civilization.

    OTOH the Fermi paradox probably holds true because the immense majority of intelligent species in our galaxy probably do not manage to become spacefaring as they get crushed between the extremes of technological progress gone awry and an extreme biosphere degradation à la Обитаемый остров / Жук в муравейнике. There are many possible dead-ends for potentially a very low number of positive outcomes. Also we probably have a limited period of time to “graduate ” and get our “spacefaring credentials ” before we lose the pace of progress and perhaps die-out.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-humanity-erin-brokovich

    Commenter Levtraro has mentioned a couple of times a “segregated governance ” of sorts. Perhaps it would allow to concentrate innovation and keep it under control in some hi-tech smart city enclaves, while a large proportion of humanity would live more or less in a late nineteenth or early twentieth century fashion, distributed across small / medium size agricultural communities (possibly like the Amish or Mennonite). Maybe that would be a way to hedge for the existential risks.

  141. @schnellandine
    Murderous car thief at crash site laments separation from phone (still in trashed car) while shattered victim motionless on concrete—at 1:09 in this sickening document. Thought I was jaded, but guess not. Unfiltered psychopathy.

    https://twitter.com/JerryDunleavy/status/1375909226439118855

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @EldnahYm, @reiner Tor, @fnn

    CNN says it was an accident.

  142. @Thulean Friend
    Re: sanctions of Russia. There are good reasons to suggest that any "crippling" sanctions would mostly backfire on Western financial institutions. Russia has done a decent job de-risking their foreign debt contracts; in some instances even re-writing the terms from scratch, such as giving flexibility to pay back in rubles at prevailing market exchange rates even when the debt was taken in CHF, EUR or USD.

    I would not wager on major sanctions being imposed for these and other reasons. In the event that I am wrong, it is unlikely that the effects will be as harsh as many seem to presuppose.

    Replies: @atharvaveda

    I’m absolutely astonished by that article. There seems to be no cure for the Russian delusion that they have to sell ruble-denominated bonds to foreigners to finance their own government’s operations. Literally the only thing accomplished by this is giving away rubles to foreigners in the form of interest, incidentally creating downward pressure on the ruble as the interest on the bonds is sold for other currencies, which the Russian central bank then has to counteract. In other words, Russia both gives away free money to countries that hate Russia and are dedicated to destroying Russia, and provides the tools for financial speculation against the ruble. This kind of child-like ignorance and naivité is why the West continues to run rings around Russia. As for the article you linked to, imagine writing something that complex and ambitious on the basis of a mistaken premise.

  143. @Dmitry
    @AP


    stagnant Brezhnev era as corrupt
     
    America's situation is quite different, as usual. Soviet Union in the 1970s, was internally seeming to people, to be a functional, prosocial and optimistic time, while America in the 2020s, loves to portray itself as a dysfunctional and crazy country, always looking for the next zombie apocalypse. On the other hand, Soviet Union in the 1970s, was economically very vulnerable to the commodity cycle, while the economy of America's bourgeoisie in the 2020s is much more diversified.

    However, note that America's situation in the 2020s, is very similar to America's situation in the 1970s, or in the 1920s.

    America was for at least the last century and half, always an internally dysfunctional, weird, and crazy society, which has the ability to romanticize its own weirdness (even Capone's Chicago became romantic, by the 1950s). But America's bourgeoisie is an economically diversified and well insulated one, and even a collapse of GDP by 30% in the 1930s, could hardly weaken their control of the country.

    Westerners have in common with late-period Soviets, a sense of dissatisfaction with how things are:

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/341675/satisfaction-continues-improve-march.aspx

    Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. continued to improve in March


     

    That's another opposite situation of the USA to the USSR, or even Russian Federation.

    America's national personality is somewhere between narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder, as it has been for more than a century. Compare American media reports about coronavirus, with the situation in Russia.

    In America, the reports are gratuitously obsessed about their own incompetence, and histrionically portraying the coronavirus as the next apocalypse, or at least scenario from a Hollywood disaster film. Whereas, by contrast, in the Russian media, everything is stable, calm and the authorities are in control.

    -

    Technological progress will drive the same alienation and psychological discomfort to all countries of the world, but Americans are the best self-dramaticizing hysteria about this process of alienation, as in everything else, while in Russia it's almost in the opposite mentality to America's one (at least to the extent the authorities are in control of communication).

    Replies: @Thulean Friend, @AP

    Yes, you are perceptive as usual. American complaints are a lot of drama and not new.

    However the wide-ranging moralistic crackdown is fairly new. there was somewhat of a parallel with abolitionism in the 1920s but that was also an era of widespread and acceptable flaunting of those rules. The present moralizing seems more pervasive and restrictive.

    • Agree: Coconuts
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @AP

    During the second half of the 20th century, America was also experiencing moral panics, and restriction of speech, but mainly focuses on the topic of communism subliminally entering the society.

    For example, an article on the "Second Red Scare (1947–57)" . https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/red-scare People with allegedly sympathetic attitudes to communism were blacklisted, and could lose their jobs; and there wasn't significant free speech allowed in the public sphere about alternative economic systems, Marxism, etc, which is of course quite aligned with the interest of the country's economic elite.

    "Thousands of alleged communist sympathizers saw their lives disrupted. They were hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs."


    As the external enemy of communism has ended with opening of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, new moral panics have seemed to organically emerge in American culture in the 1990s, such as the "Satanic ritual abuse" panic:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse

    Content of the panics is changing across the decades, but the form seems more constant.

    I have only skimmed parts of de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" - so I don't know what about these topics about the taboos and moral panics in America he might have written? Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s, and supposedly things he described in the 1830s, are relevant still now.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  144. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Blinky Bill

    US numbers for comparison: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/europes-rednecks/

    https://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/iat-usa.jpg

    Replies: @AP

    This map makes suggests that what is measured is not racism, but exposure to black people. States with more blacks score higher, those with less score lower. I don’t think white people from New Jersey and Mississippi are equally racist.

    In Europe in contrast, places with fewer black people score as more racist.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    Was greater exposure to black people also what caused Southern whites in the US to support anti-miscegenation laws until at least the 1960s?

  145. @rkka
    @Beckow


    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won…how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?
     
    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.

    First came Bruning’s “Austerity” response to the Creditanstalt crisis, which impoverished & radicalized the German working & middle class voter:

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w24106

    The Nazi vote rocketed up, as desperate people looked for simple answers.

    Then these same Center-Right politicians convinced Hindenburg to name Adolf chancellor, then granted him dictatorial power by a 4/5 majority vote, including every single national political party in favor, except the Social Democrats (the KPD having already been banned).

    So it was the German Center-Right who paved Adolf’s path to power, then handed him dictatorship. And he rewarded them handsomely.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP

    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.

    He clearly won the election according to normal rules of multiparty parliamentary elections. His party won the most votes under generally honest conditions and was able to form the government with its coalition partners. Largest party and percentage support in the last free German election:

    Nazis got 37.3% of the vote.

    In 2017 Merkel got 33% of the vote, and in 2009 she got 34% of the vote, less than Hitler got in March 1932. Will you claim Merkel didn’t win those elections?

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    FWIW, largest party doesn't *automatically* mean winning the elections. Just ask Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009 and Nuri al-Maliki in 2010. However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties. Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP

    , @Mitleser
    @AP

    The main reasons for Merkel's dominance is her success against her rivals within the CDU und the decline of the SPD, until recently the only serious rival of the CDU on federal level.
    Merkel "won" in 2009 and 2017 because the SPD performed even worse, losing a third of their voters between 2005-2009 and never fully recovering.
    Merkel's only huge victory in a federal election was in 2013.

    Replies: @AP

  146. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack


    implementing in order to create a society that includes “the lesser evil or greater good”
     
    They would basically need to reform global capitalism to make it more environmentally sustainable. To get there they would need to drastically lower global consumption and redirect the productive processes towards more long term objectives. Also, they have probably as a goal to complete the current technological transition trends in automation and AI, biotechnology and bioengineering, renewable energy and new nuclear energy technologies. While doing this they would also need to prevent the techno-Singularity and rule out the Accelerationist evolution described by Nick Land. Finally they need to complete globalization and balance regional, geopolitical and global governance.

    Deep State
     
    Any functional complex technological society must have a Deep State. Especially if it is a democratic society. Inside its social otganisation some people are bound to draw plans and make decisions without being constrained by the electoral cycles and social preferences of the voters. Deep State is only a problem if it is too corrupt and self-serving. But one of the goals of current reforms is also to curtail global corruption and ensure a higher level of financial compliance, decision-taking transparency and overall rule of law. People must get ready to live in a total awareness society where the decision makers know all they need to know about any member of the society and any anti-social activity can be prevented and/or corrected.

    Replies: @Morton's toes

    People must get ready to live in a total awareness society where the decision makers know all they need to know about any member of the society and any anti-social activity can be prevented and/or corrected.

    That’s not why the decision makers want the control. They want the control so they can do all the great drugs and perverted sex. What you are describing is more cover story than anything else. Anti-social activity is fine if you are on the top of the pyramid. In fact it is almost the whole point.

  147. @AP
    @rkka


    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.
     
    He clearly won the election according to normal rules of multiparty parliamentary elections. His party won the most votes under generally honest conditions and was able to form the government with its coalition partners. Largest party and percentage support in the last free German election:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d7/Reichstagswahl_Juli_1932.svg/350px-Reichstagswahl_Juli_1932.svg.png

    Nazis got 37.3% of the vote.

    In 2017 Merkel got 33% of the vote, and in 2009 she got 34% of the vote, less than Hitler got in March 1932. Will you claim Merkel didn't win those elections?

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mitleser

    FWIW, largest party doesn’t *automatically* mean winning the elections. Just ask Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009 and Nuri al-Maliki in 2010. However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties. Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Mr. XYZ


    ..Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.
     
    Are you sure anyone asked them?

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ

    , @AP
    @Mr. XYZ


    However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties.
     
    Including the far right German nationalist Party that went into coalition with the Nazis? Or the Roman Catholic Party?

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mr. XYZ

  148. @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This map makes suggests that what is measured is not racism, but exposure to black people. States with more blacks score higher, those with less score lower. I don't think white people from New Jersey and Mississippi are equally racist.

    In Europe in contrast, places with fewer black people score as more racist.

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ

    Was greater exposure to black people also what caused Southern whites in the US to support anti-miscegenation laws until at least the 1960s?

  149. @AP
    @rkka


    Adolf & the Nazis never won any election. What brought The Mustache to power was the machinations of the German Center-Right.
     
    He clearly won the election according to normal rules of multiparty parliamentary elections. His party won the most votes under generally honest conditions and was able to form the government with its coalition partners. Largest party and percentage support in the last free German election:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d7/Reichstagswahl_Juli_1932.svg/350px-Reichstagswahl_Juli_1932.svg.png

    Nazis got 37.3% of the vote.

    In 2017 Merkel got 33% of the vote, and in 2009 she got 34% of the vote, less than Hitler got in March 1932. Will you claim Merkel didn't win those elections?

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mitleser

    The main reasons for Merkel’s dominance is her success against her rivals within the CDU und the decline of the SPD, until recently the only serious rival of the CDU on federal level.
    Merkel “won” in 2009 and 2017 because the SPD performed even worse, losing a third of their voters between 2005-2009 and never fully recovering.
    Merkel’s only huge victory in a federal election was in 2013.

    • Replies: @AP
    @Mitleser


    The main reasons for Merkel’s dominance is her success against her rivals within the CDU und the decline of the SPD, until recently the only serious rival of the CDU on federal level.
     
    Yes, this explains why she won. So?

    Merkel “won” in 2009 and 2017 because the SPD performed even worse, losing a third of their voters between 2005-2009 and never fully recovering.
     
    Why quotes around won? She won, for whatever reason. People often won because the opponent screws up. Biden "Won" because Trump botched Covid. So? He still won.

    Hitler's Nazis won the 1932 multiparty election by the German people; his party got the most votes with 37% of the vote. He got a higher percentage of the votes than did Merkel in 2 of the last 3 elections, than David Cameron (but less than Teresa May or Boris Johnson) in British elections, more than Trudeau in the last Canadian election, etc. It was a fairly solid victory by the standards of multiparty parliamentary elections.
  150. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don't think "we" have any input. Not even so much "we" as in blog commenters but as also as in the real power-breakers, to the extent they exist. Either there will be sufficiently intense breakthroughs to catapult us into accelerating intelligence augmentation (be it silicon or wetware), or it will not be sufficiently intense, with the result that dysgenics grounds the entire enterprise to a halt for a few centuries.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. XYZ, @Abelard Lindsey

    In regards to intelligence augmentation, why exactly is it so crucial for Russia to develop such technology itself? After all, even if other countries such as China will develop this technology first/in place of Russia, won’t Russia still be able to purchase this technology from them later on?

    This would be similar to a biosingularity. Initially, gametogenesis + IVF + embryo selection will likely primarily be one in wealthy countries, but eventually, it will also spread to poorer countries due to lower costs and possibly also noblesse oblige on the part of wealthier countries to help out their poorer brethren.

  151. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don't think "we" have any input. Not even so much "we" as in blog commenters but as also as in the real power-breakers, to the extent they exist. Either there will be sufficiently intense breakthroughs to catapult us into accelerating intelligence augmentation (be it silicon or wetware), or it will not be sufficiently intense, with the result that dysgenics grounds the entire enterprise to a halt for a few centuries.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. XYZ, @Abelard Lindsey

    I don’t buy into any AGI scenario. In fact, I think we’re already in another AI “winter”. All of this current AI hoohaa is based on multi-layered neuronets, a technology actually invented in 1986! It was only around 2010 or so that semiconductor hardware had advanced to the point where people could start playing around with these deep layered neuronets.

    Bio-engineering is a complete different story. I think the next 50 plus years will be bio-engineering years just like the last 50 years have been semiconductors/computers/IT. However, I still do not believe we will get massive increases in human IQ. Developments will be more incremental.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Abelard Lindsey

    I also believe we should focus on enhancing our own genetics. We get an exponentially increasing amount of genomic data, it is only a matter of time before we can optimize our genetic information.

    OTOH, who really knows what lurks in the deepest layers of the cyberspace. Peehaps the AGI is already around and acting without us even noticing it.

    Replies: @Abelard Lindsey

  152. @Europe Europa
    @Thulean Friend


    I don’t hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do.
     
    "European leaders" have been running a non-stop campaign to discredit the non-profit AZ jab and trying to get the WHO to ban it, and when that failed they are now trying to impose an export ban on AZ, the vaccine they tried to say is unsafe and that they didn't want. And you call Anglos ruthless!

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Dmitry

    The EU itself passed the AZ vaccine as safe and effective. Other For Profit vaccine companies are the places to look for the criticisms which are very similar to those levelled against Sputnik V. By the way, the Astra part is Swedish.

  153. @128
    So what are the chances that GM will pull out of Russia, or the Hilton Hotel Leningradskaya or Mariott Grand Aurora gets a name change? Are there any 4 or 5 star domestic hotel chains? All of the luxury hotel chains in Russia seems to be foreign like Sokos, Hilton, or Le Meridien.

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    GM has pulled out of Russia.

    I’ve done a lot of work on hotels in Russia. There are no real hotel chains in Russia due to:
    Hotels were mostly privatized by extablishment.
    Soviet Hotels were mixed grades so no star ratings.

    There are new individual Russian owned establishments that meet 4 or 5 star levels and are not branded but they don’t operate in chains or even franchises. Up to 2014 they sold out anyway. Also, by franchising to an international brand, the hotel operators (usually not the same as the owners) get access to training for their staff. There was a huge shortage of competent hotel staff, especially managers. So foreign brands were preferred. The best hotels were sold out after 2014 as there was not so much competition and every large city was accomodatin teams of auditors from the Central Bank and teams from the Investigative Committee looking into local FSB corruption.

  154. Media trust over time. This might look like a sudden massive fall in 2021 but it’s really just a return to the trend. The increase between 2015 and 2019 was mostly because of political polarization. With Biden being President now you can’t pretend CNN and NBC is the #Resistance anymore.

  155. @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    The contention is good, but all 3 states have moved more liberal-left. My point is that open borders have consequences. It takes a few years, but things change...

    How about the 1 million California Medicare elderly who never worked in US? (Official website number.) There are a few million more in India, Pakistan (see Sailer's piece today)... itching to get that long-postponed knee surgery for free in US. The young people often with no insurance are paying for it. Trump talked, but did nothing about it.

    Who among older voters thought this was a good idea? It just happened? Or Wall Street?

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Who among older voters thought this was a good idea? It just happened? Or Wall Street?

    In its desire to fill supposed future vacancies in the job market, America’s elites (read Wall Street) have opened the floodgates to open borders policies. How wold you answer your own question?

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    Let me correct that:

    In its desire to lower average incomes of Americans, the globalised elites opened the floodgates and opened borders. Many among the older generation saw it as an opportunity to make money in stocks, real estate, etc... so they voted for the open-borders elites again and again. Until the flood reached them, and by then it was too late...

    Is that about right?

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  156. @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    FWIW, largest party doesn't *automatically* mean winning the elections. Just ask Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009 and Nuri al-Maliki in 2010. However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties. Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP

    ..Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.

    Are you sure anyone asked them?

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    @Beckow

    If they wanted to offer coalition negotiation terms, they were welcome to do so by sending messages to the other German political parties, no? AFAIK, Stalin told the German Communists not to cooperate with the other German political parties because he believed that having Hitler come to power in Germany would be better for the Soviet Union's interests. Biggest and bloodiest miscalculation EVER!

    Replies: @Beckow

  157. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Abelard Lindsey
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I don't buy into any AGI scenario. In fact, I think we're already in another AI "winter". All of this current AI hoohaa is based on multi-layered neuronets, a technology actually invented in 1986! It was only around 2010 or so that semiconductor hardware had advanced to the point where people could start playing around with these deep layered neuronets.

    Bio-engineering is a complete different story. I think the next 50 plus years will be bio-engineering years just like the last 50 years have been semiconductors/computers/IT. However, I still do not believe we will get massive increases in human IQ. Developments will be more incremental.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I also believe we should focus on enhancing our own genetics. We get an exponentially increasing amount of genomic data, it is only a matter of time before we can optimize our genetic information.

    OTOH, who really knows what lurks in the deepest layers of the cyberspace. Peehaps the AGI is already around and acting without us even noticing it.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    @Bashibuzuk

    Enhancing our genetics is really about enhancing cognitive ability and executive function. These are really the only traits that really matter. Cognitive ability is likely based on thousand genes and executive function even more. This is way beyond the capabilities of CRISPR. We need whole chromosome synthesis to make this a reality. That is probably 20 years off. If you want to describe it in "Star Trek" future history terms, it means Khan and his ilk are born during the 2040's and take power in their respective countries around 2070 or so, making the Eugenics Wars in the late 21st century rather than last 20th century. Seriously though, the whole chromosome synthesis is necessary to significantly improve these traits and that is some time off from now.

    BTW, curing aging does not require this kind of technology at all as aging is not "genetic" at all. This is the reason why most of us life extensionist types really don't care about "germline gene therapy". We're not interested in genetically designing other humans. We seek only to fix ourselves.

  158. @Beckow
    @Mr. XYZ


    ..Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.
     
    Are you sure anyone asked them?

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ

    If they wanted to offer coalition negotiation terms, they were welcome to do so by sending messages to the other German political parties, no? AFAIK, Stalin told the German Communists not to cooperate with the other German political parties because he believed that having Hitler come to power in Germany would be better for the Soviet Union’s interests. Biggest and bloodiest miscalculation EVER!

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Mr. XYZ


    ...If they wanted to offer coalition negotiation terms, they were welcome to do so by sending messages to the other German political parties...
     
    In other words, no. Thanks for confirming.

    German Centre-Right and other parties preferred Nazis to Communists. And you talk about a bloody miscalculation...do you guys with affinity for Nazis ever think logically, or is it all just emotional hatred?
  159. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    Who among older voters thought this was a good idea? It just happened? Or Wall Street?
     
    In its desire to fill supposed future vacancies in the job market, America's elites (read Wall Street) have opened the floodgates to open borders policies. How wold you answer your own question?

    Replies: @Beckow

    Let me correct that:

    In its desire to lower average incomes of Americans, the globalised elites opened the floodgates and opened borders. Many among the older generation saw it as an opportunity to make money in stocks, real estate, etc… so they voted for the open-borders elites again and again. Until the flood reached them, and by then it was too late…

    Is that about right?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow

    I doubt that any single voter was ever convinced that by voting for any specific candidate that was a proponent of open borders their 401(k) account would grow to unimaginable levels. Add in the propostion that somebody would vote for and elite candidate in order to lower their own or anybody elses average income, and you have developed a really fantastic conspirac y theory.

    I do, however, remember the late 90's and early 00's when the dot.com mania including the ever increasing values of technology stocks fueled a massive buyoff of overly inflated stocks with unsustainable P/E ratios. Everybody thought that they would become millionaires by investing 10k in a technology mutual fund - what ever happened to that dream? :-)

    Replies: @Beckow

  160. @Mr. XYZ
    @Beckow

    If they wanted to offer coalition negotiation terms, they were welcome to do so by sending messages to the other German political parties, no? AFAIK, Stalin told the German Communists not to cooperate with the other German political parties because he believed that having Hitler come to power in Germany would be better for the Soviet Union's interests. Biggest and bloodiest miscalculation EVER!

    Replies: @Beckow

    …If they wanted to offer coalition negotiation terms, they were welcome to do so by sending messages to the other German political parties…

    In other words, no. Thanks for confirming.

    German Centre-Right and other parties preferred Nazis to Communists. And you talk about a bloody miscalculation…do you guys with affinity for Nazis ever think logically, or is it all just emotional hatred?

  161. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    FWIW, largest party doesn't *automatically* mean winning the elections. Just ask Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009 and Nuri al-Maliki in 2010. However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties. Had the German Communists indeed been willing to form such a unified anti-Nazi front, though, then things would have been much different.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP

    However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties.

    Including the far right German nationalist Party that went into coalition with the Nazis? Or the Roman Catholic Party?

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    Not sure if the DNVP were *far*-right, but Yes, possibly even them and definitely the Catholic Center Party. Maybe the Nazis and the DNVP can both be excluded, but I'll need to take a look at the exact electoral math. But the Catholic Center Party would definitely have to participate in such a coalition.

    , @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    I looked at the figures for November 1932:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_1932_German_federal_election

    Social Democrats: 121 seats
    Communists: 100 seats
    Center Party: 70 seats

    That's already 291 seats out of the necessary 293 seats necessary for a majority. A couple of additional seats should easily be found. For instance, the Bavarian People's Party, the Bavarian branch of the Center Party, had 20 seats. That would push the coalition up to 311 seats. The moderate right-wing German People's Party had 11 seats, thus pushing the coalition up to 322 seats. And of course there were some additional parties with five seats or less.

    So, Yes, very doable with the cooperation of the Catholic Center Party, even without the DNVP.

    Replies: @AP

  162. AP says:
    @Mitleser
    @AP

    The main reasons for Merkel's dominance is her success against her rivals within the CDU und the decline of the SPD, until recently the only serious rival of the CDU on federal level.
    Merkel "won" in 2009 and 2017 because the SPD performed even worse, losing a third of their voters between 2005-2009 and never fully recovering.
    Merkel's only huge victory in a federal election was in 2013.

    Replies: @AP

    The main reasons for Merkel’s dominance is her success against her rivals within the CDU und the decline of the SPD, until recently the only serious rival of the CDU on federal level.

    Yes, this explains why she won. So?

    Merkel “won” in 2009 and 2017 because the SPD performed even worse, losing a third of their voters between 2005-2009 and never fully recovering.

    Why quotes around won? She won, for whatever reason. People often won because the opponent screws up. Biden “Won” because Trump botched Covid. So? He still won.

    Hitler’s Nazis won the 1932 multiparty election by the German people; his party got the most votes with 37% of the vote. He got a higher percentage of the votes than did Merkel in 2 of the last 3 elections, than David Cameron (but less than Teresa May or Boris Johnson) in British elections, more than Trudeau in the last Canadian election, etc. It was a fairly solid victory by the standards of multiparty parliamentary elections.

  163. @Bashibuzuk
    @Abelard Lindsey

    I also believe we should focus on enhancing our own genetics. We get an exponentially increasing amount of genomic data, it is only a matter of time before we can optimize our genetic information.

    OTOH, who really knows what lurks in the deepest layers of the cyberspace. Peehaps the AGI is already around and acting without us even noticing it.

    Replies: @Abelard Lindsey

    Enhancing our genetics is really about enhancing cognitive ability and executive function. These are really the only traits that really matter. Cognitive ability is likely based on thousand genes and executive function even more. This is way beyond the capabilities of CRISPR. We need whole chromosome synthesis to make this a reality. That is probably 20 years off. If you want to describe it in “Star Trek” future history terms, it means Khan and his ilk are born during the 2040’s and take power in their respective countries around 2070 or so, making the Eugenics Wars in the late 21st century rather than last 20th century. Seriously though, the whole chromosome synthesis is necessary to significantly improve these traits and that is some time off from now.

    BTW, curing aging does not require this kind of technology at all as aging is not “genetic” at all. This is the reason why most of us life extensionist types really don’t care about “germline gene therapy”. We’re not interested in genetically designing other humans. We seek only to fix ourselves.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  164. @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    Let me correct that:

    In its desire to lower average incomes of Americans, the globalised elites opened the floodgates and opened borders. Many among the older generation saw it as an opportunity to make money in stocks, real estate, etc... so they voted for the open-borders elites again and again. Until the flood reached them, and by then it was too late...

    Is that about right?

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I doubt that any single voter was ever convinced that by voting for any specific candidate that was a proponent of open borders their 401(k) account would grow to unimaginable levels. Add in the propostion that somebody would vote for and elite candidate in order to lower their own or anybody elses average income, and you have developed a really fantastic conspirac y theory.

    I do, however, remember the late 90’s and early 00’s when the dot.com mania including the ever increasing values of technology stocks fueled a massive buyoff of overly inflated stocks with unsustainable P/E ratios. Everybody thought that they would become millionaires by investing 10k in a technology mutual fund – what ever happened to that dream? 🙂

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack


    ...somebody would vote for and elite candidate in order to lower their own or anybody else average income
     
    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else - the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)

    You look at it linearly, and the dynamic is more complex. People have a strong intuitive self-interest: an elderly home owner with investments and a safe job has understood all along that bringing cheaper foreign labor benefits him personally. The ones with children didn't care that they are selling their own progeny. Now it has reached them, but it's almost too late.

    That's what happened: the older generation (mostly Boomers) sacrificed their own kids to live better by voting for elites who wanted cheaper labor and open borders. The time has come to pay for it, it could get ugly. I also doubt the migrant beneficiaries will show much gratitude. In a few years the cursed Boomers could be on their own: holding most assets and no tools to protect them.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  165. @AP
    @Mr. XYZ


    However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties.
     
    Including the far right German nationalist Party that went into coalition with the Nazis? Or the Roman Catholic Party?

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mr. XYZ

    Not sure if the DNVP were *far*-right, but Yes, possibly even them and definitely the Catholic Center Party. Maybe the Nazis and the DNVP can both be excluded, but I’ll need to take a look at the exact electoral math. But the Catholic Center Party would definitely have to participate in such a coalition.

  166. @AP
    @Mr. XYZ


    However, Yes, Hitler was in the best position to form a governing coalition in Germany after the German elections of 1932 so long as the German Communists refused to cooperate in forming a unified anti-Nazi front with the other German political parties.
     
    Including the far right German nationalist Party that went into coalition with the Nazis? Or the Roman Catholic Party?

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mr. XYZ

    I looked at the figures for November 1932:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_1932_German_federal_election

    Social Democrats: 121 seats
    Communists: 100 seats
    Center Party: 70 seats

    That’s already 291 seats out of the necessary 293 seats necessary for a majority. A couple of additional seats should easily be found. For instance, the Bavarian People’s Party, the Bavarian branch of the Center Party, had 20 seats. That would push the coalition up to 311 seats. The moderate right-wing German People’s Party had 11 seats, thus pushing the coalition up to 322 seats. And of course there were some additional parties with five seats or less.

    So, Yes, very doable with the cooperation of the Catholic Center Party, even without the DNVP.

    • Replies: @AP
    @Mr. XYZ

    Was the 1930s German Communist Party Stalinist? That would make it no less incompatible with the Catholic Party as with the Nazi Party.

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @rkka

  167. I wonder if hyphenated US presidential administrations will become the norm going forward.

  168. @Bashibuzuk
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I believe we might indeed have either a techno-Singularity with an uncontrolled Accelerationism or a Malthusian future with an exhausted technological progress. Both are dangerous for the future of our species. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the Fermi paradox: socioeconomic bottlenecks. Our best bet would be to wisely avoid both extremes and attempt to move forward in a measured and thoughtful manner. We need to avoid conflit and achieve a balance. Future can wait.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @Thulean Friend

    Our best bet would be to wisely avoid both extremes and attempt to move forward in a measured and thoughtful manner. We need to avoid conflit and achieve a balance.

    Putting aside your fears of the singularity, and my enthusiastic embrace of it, there could be more socially acceptable paths:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/aubreydegrey/status/1371196809595346950

    I don’t know nearly as much about anti-aging as de Grey does, but even his skeptics have acknowledged that advancements in the field of anti-aging have been substantial over the past decade – and there’s no sign of things slowing down. If his predictions are borne out to be true, then we could possibly get something both of us would like: I would get the longetivity aspect, but you would get the avoidance of the shedding the biological constraints, and we would still (at least outwardly) remain homo sapiens.

    (I am somewhat skeptical that remaining confined to our biological constraints can truly take us to the next level, but perhaps de Grey’s future is a middle-ground that can be accepted by all, reasonable, sides).

  169. Some good news on space radiator chillers which are a civilization critical technology for any meaningful space based electricity generation.

    На территории конгрессно-выставочного комплекса гостиницы «Космос» 23-26 марта 2021 года проходит XXIV Московский международный Салон изобретений и инновационных технологий «Архимед». В этом году Центр Келдыша (входит в состав Госкорпорации «Роскосмос») представит опытный образец излучателя устройства сброса тепла в космическое пространство.

    Изобретение предназначено для системы терморегулирования космических аппаратов. Излучатель имеет увеличенную эффективность сброса тепла и при этом повышенную степень защиты трубки с теплоносителем от метеоритов и космического мусора.

    https://www.roscosmos.ru/30464/

    At an international expo ‘Archimedes’ in Moscow Keldysh Center (Russian research institute) demonstrated experimental device for radiation of waste heat into space. Device is dedicated to thermal regulation of spacecraft. I’m not sure if it’s a panel or fiber based one, or maybe even a droplet (panel is worst, fiber is OK, droplet is the future).

    And speaking of the devil, it looks like Russians solved the droplet dispersion problem back in 2017. This guy solved it, to be exact.

    Topic starts at around 6:20. To recap for non Russian speakers. Any moron can build a nuclear reactor and launch it into space, its easy to do. So why then the largest single power unit in space is about 20 kW? Because while producing electricity in space is easy, dissipating waste heat is not. Space is like a giant thermos that insulates well. The only way to get rid of heat is through radiation. Conventional way is radiator panels, but it’s extremely inefficient as their size requirement grows two orders of magnitude faster with power level increase. Past few hundred kW, those panels will weigh more than all the rest of the spacecraft put together.

    To improve heat radiation efficiency, we must move from 2D panel to 3D geometry. Hence the droplets, as small droplets maximize surface area to volume (mass) ratio. This will allow for orders of magnitude lighter cooling systems and therefore high power output (nuclear reactors are very light compared to the weight of the cooling system they require). The droplets are made as you pass diffusion pump oil through an atomizer basically.

    However, there is a problem. Small droplets accumulate static charge by picking up free electrons from space. This causes them to repel from each other and that makes collecting them back after they cooled off very difficult, and this results in coolant mass loss. That was the problem with Kaplya-2 experiment on the International Space Station back in 2014. There were a number of proposals put forward (external electromagnetic fields, plasma feed to neutralize the droplets etc) but they are all cumbersome, unreliable, or require expendable materials which makes them unsuitable for years long operation.

    A simple, robust, and permanent solution to the problem is to illuminate the droplets with UV light at around 140 nm wavelength. This will trigger photoelectric effect that will kick off the excess electrons from the droplet. Unlike external electric field, there is no danger of over-ionizing the droplets and stripping too many electrons which will cause the same repulsion problem. No complex control is needed. All it takes is about a dozen UV lamps and those will condition the droplets for easy collection and minimize coolant losses.

    That is actually very very clever.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @mal

    This is incredible, thank you.

    Replies: @FerW

    , @Vishnugupta
    @mal

    Thanks for this update.

    I thought nuclear power in space means thermoelectric generators using thermocouples and the heat generated by the decay of Pu 238 not miniaturized nuclear reactors as in no fission reaction takes place only radioactive decay.

    Has this changed?

    Replies: @mal

  170. @Bashibuzuk
    On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn't look like some sort of "Western Perestroika " that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today's globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today's RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: "This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain". I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think "Western Perestroika " was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it's better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow, @mal, @AP, @Dmitry, @Max Payne, @EldnahYm

    The end goal is to normalize the coming drop in living standards for Westerners. A westerner is willing to accept a reduction in his life style if it means staying online. To remain in that niche bubble/echo chamber. And the lure is going to get much more intense. True targeted entertainment. Beyond deepfakes, neural networks, procedural generation, and VR. Distractions of a higher order that these weak ass children of today, with their vagina-like fear over a nothing flu, will never be able to overcome.

    Look at the wealth bitcoin projects. The wholesale acceptance of illusion over reality. Making an ERC20 token is literally nothing but copy/pasting some open source script in Solidity. And with that alone you can go out there and scam someone out of hard earned cash to buy your nothing-coin. People want to believe the illusion.

    And thats all this is. Forcing the weak minded to accept illusion as reality. And its working. Soon the two minutes of hate for Putin will come after the national anthem in schools.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Thanks: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Max Payne

    This is part of the WEF strategy with the added benefit of pod people having reduced resource/energy consumption.

    , @Bashibuzuk
    @Max Payne

    I call this the digitalization of the Real. I did not mention it in my comments because I do not want to discuss it here or anywhere else. I believe it to be a highly sensitive and perhaps an outright dangerous topic.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    , @Mr. Hack
    @Max Payne

    https://youtu.be/XvGmOZ5T6_Y

    Two Minutes of Hate (1984)

    , @EldnahYm
    @Max Payne

    All of this sounds eugenic.

  171. @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    I looked at the figures for November 1932:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_1932_German_federal_election

    Social Democrats: 121 seats
    Communists: 100 seats
    Center Party: 70 seats

    That's already 291 seats out of the necessary 293 seats necessary for a majority. A couple of additional seats should easily be found. For instance, the Bavarian People's Party, the Bavarian branch of the Center Party, had 20 seats. That would push the coalition up to 311 seats. The moderate right-wing German People's Party had 11 seats, thus pushing the coalition up to 322 seats. And of course there were some additional parties with five seats or less.

    So, Yes, very doable with the cooperation of the Catholic Center Party, even without the DNVP.

    Replies: @AP

    Was the 1930s German Communist Party Stalinist? That would make it no less incompatible with the Catholic Party as with the Nazi Party.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    It might have very well been Stalinist, BUT IF Stalin would have explicitly told them to refrain from making ANY radical demands and proposals in their coalition negotiations and instead to only focus to creating a unified anti-Nazi front, then it would have likely been easier for the Catholic Center Party to cooperate with them, especially if President Hindenburg would have maintained his previous opposition to Hitler and would have believed that he needed to be stopped from coming to power at all costs.

    It would have of course been a marriage of convenience, but it would have been good enough to stop Hitler and the Nazis--especially if it would have gotten President Hindenburg's support.

    Replies: @AP

    , @rkka
    @AP


    That would make it no less incompatible with the Catholic Party as with the Nazi Party.
     
    You do recall that Zentrum politicians were important to persuading Hindenburg to make Adolf chancellor, and voted for the Enabling Act, don’t you?

    And if the Commies & Socialists team up vs Adolf, the Catholics probably run to Adolf even sooner.

    Replies: @AP

  172. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    No you didn't misread me. I disagree completely with Mr Chieh and I believe that there's an attempt at reforming global Capitalism and that these reforms have been long in preparation. But first we need to understand why the people who are involved with the reform process believe that it is necessarily.

    They don't do it for fun, because they are particularly evil or because they believe in some idiotic ideology. They are doing it because they probably believe that they have no choice and that without these reforms the future of the whole civilization, the human species and probably the biosphere will be very bleak. That we are facing a collapse of our civilization and that they must prevent it. What they are working towards is a future that they see as a lesser evil, or perhaps a greater good.

    All the political shenanigans and slogans of wokness and pozz are in my opinion a useful distraction to keep the masses busy with idiotic and meaningless illusions, while serious people (political grown-ups) are taking the indispensable decisions.

    That's what I believe is happening. I also believe that these people will probably fail, because they are attempting something unprecedented and extremely hard to achieve. Namely, in this very generation, before 2050 or so, they want to completely transform human civilization forever. Not only the West, but the World.

    I know that it sounds crazy, but this is what think is happening. Of course I wouldn't be surprised if everyone thinks that I have some mental problem caused by reading too many conspiracy theories online. I have no problem with anyone thinking that what I write is crazy, everyone is free to believe what they feel most appropriate, we still live in a (mostly) free society, for a time at least.

    🙂

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @rkka, @Yellowface Anon

    Late reply. Finally someone who can see eye-to-eye with me, even tho I see WEF in a much worse light.
    Here is the only economic forecaster you need. https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/

    [MORE]

    Spoilers: WEF won’t make it and what they’ll be doing with the world will bring down Western civilization in a decade or two. China wins in the end.

  173. @Bashibuzuk
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I don't think we might really sustain several centuries under a technological stagnation scenario without a population collapse. In fact I don't think that at the present level of technological complexity and the current Western capitalist socioeconomic system, we can handle any long term stagnation. A significant period of stagnation would inevitably turn into decline ending with a collapse to a lower level of economic, social and technological organization. Perhaps this is what our benevolent overlords are trying to prevent.

    Also, stock market gains or losses appraisal are possibly not the best tool of environmental and socioeconomic prognostication.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    I just replied to an older post with the link to Martin Armstrong’s site, and what you said in the post appears inevitable to him. He has no idea about technological level, but he implies the West falling to Third World levels of economic development, and that he blames the WEF.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Yellowface Anon

    Blaming the WEF is pointless. If it weren't they, then it would be some other group of people. Our technological development has reached certain milestones and as a civilization we will have to go through certain bottlenecks.

    During the neolithic revolution, only a minority of population initially embraced agriculture. Their offspring represent today the overwhelming majority of humanity. The future belongs to those who survive and reproduce.

    If someone fails to reproduce, just because they have been too easily distracted by latest technology developments and societal trends, then they are obviously subpar on mental realization level and unfit for what is coming next. Despite what many believe, evolutionary selection is ongoing, but it is becoming more psychologically and cognitively oriented.

    We need to be unfazed to survive the current Eon.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

  174. @Max Payne
    @Bashibuzuk

    The end goal is to normalize the coming drop in living standards for Westerners. A westerner is willing to accept a reduction in his life style if it means staying online. To remain in that niche bubble/echo chamber. And the lure is going to get much more intense. True targeted entertainment. Beyond deepfakes, neural networks, procedural generation, and VR. Distractions of a higher order that these weak ass children of today, with their vagina-like fear over a nothing flu, will never be able to overcome.

    Look at the wealth bitcoin projects. The wholesale acceptance of illusion over reality. Making an ERC20 token is literally nothing but copy/pasting some open source script in Solidity. And with that alone you can go out there and scam someone out of hard earned cash to buy your nothing-coin. People want to believe the illusion.

    And thats all this is. Forcing the weak minded to accept illusion as reality. And its working. Soon the two minutes of hate for Putin will come after the national anthem in schools.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. Hack, @EldnahYm

    This is part of the WEF strategy with the added benefit of pod people having reduced resource/energy consumption.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  175. @mal
    Some good news on space radiator chillers which are a civilization critical technology for any meaningful space based electricity generation.

    На территории конгрессно-выставочного комплекса гостиницы «Космос» 23-26 марта 2021 года проходит XXIV Московский международный Салон изобретений и инновационных технологий «Архимед». В этом году Центр Келдыша (входит в состав Госкорпорации «Роскосмос») представит опытный образец излучателя устройства сброса тепла в космическое пространство.

    Изобретение предназначено для системы терморегулирования космических аппаратов. Излучатель имеет увеличенную эффективность сброса тепла и при этом повышенную степень защиты трубки с теплоносителем от метеоритов и космического мусора.
     
    https://www.roscosmos.ru/30464/

    At an international expo 'Archimedes' in Moscow Keldysh Center (Russian research institute) demonstrated experimental device for radiation of waste heat into space. Device is dedicated to thermal regulation of spacecraft. I'm not sure if it's a panel or fiber based one, or maybe even a droplet (panel is worst, fiber is OK, droplet is the future).

    And speaking of the devil, it looks like Russians solved the droplet dispersion problem back in 2017. This guy solved it, to be exact.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmksIPqyh_g

    Topic starts at around 6:20. To recap for non Russian speakers. Any moron can build a nuclear reactor and launch it into space, its easy to do. So why then the largest single power unit in space is about 20 kW? Because while producing electricity in space is easy, dissipating waste heat is not. Space is like a giant thermos that insulates well. The only way to get rid of heat is through radiation. Conventional way is radiator panels, but it's extremely inefficient as their size requirement grows two orders of magnitude faster with power level increase. Past few hundred kW, those panels will weigh more than all the rest of the spacecraft put together.

    To improve heat radiation efficiency, we must move from 2D panel to 3D geometry. Hence the droplets, as small droplets maximize surface area to volume (mass) ratio. This will allow for orders of magnitude lighter cooling systems and therefore high power output (nuclear reactors are very light compared to the weight of the cooling system they require). The droplets are made as you pass diffusion pump oil through an atomizer basically.

    However, there is a problem. Small droplets accumulate static charge by picking up free electrons from space. This causes them to repel from each other and that makes collecting them back after they cooled off very difficult, and this results in coolant mass loss. That was the problem with Kaplya-2 experiment on the International Space Station back in 2014. There were a number of proposals put forward (external electromagnetic fields, plasma feed to neutralize the droplets etc) but they are all cumbersome, unreliable, or require expendable materials which makes them unsuitable for years long operation.

    A simple, robust, and permanent solution to the problem is to illuminate the droplets with UV light at around 140 nm wavelength. This will trigger photoelectric effect that will kick off the excess electrons from the droplet. Unlike external electric field, there is no danger of over-ionizing the droplets and stripping too many electrons which will cause the same repulsion problem. No complex control is needed. All it takes is about a dozen UV lamps and those will condition the droplets for easy collection and minimize coolant losses.

    That is actually very very clever.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Vishnugupta

    This is incredible, thank you.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @FerW
    @Daniel Chieh

    Continuing from https://www.unz.com/akarlin/war-in-donbass-update/#comment-4552343


    It’s from the phonetic implication:

    话(huà) – words
    同化(huà) – to melt, become one

    So together, “melt into the same words”
     
    I see, thanks. So how canonical is incorporating phonetic correlations into the presumed meaning of words?

    We heard recently (IIRC from our 三王国 romantic) how one defining virtue of the 中文 linguistic system was its capacity for unifying many (spoken) languages through a common ideographic writing system. Of course, the point would be that the meaning extracted visually would be the same regardless of how different people are accustomed to verbalise it. But then including phonetic correlations into meaning would directly undermine this quality! Furthermore, even assuming one master pronunciation, there are several more 汉字 with the same huà/huā reading, what's so special about 话? And aren't we missing meaning from some 同-homophone too, then?

    I know that such associations of meaning could happen regardless of overarching designs*, and although I may sound a bit like advocatus diaboli, what I'm trying to puzzle out is how standard it is that 同化 should mean "make same language" as opposed to that being your (or your collinguals) "dialectal" interpretation, and whether such phonemic->semantic process is a widespread phenomenon in 中文.

    (*) Although not really the same, an example from Japanese: AIUI, they have these words called 熟字訓 (jukujikun) whose pre-existent sound and meaning was given a written form by choosing arbitrary 漢字 exclusively for their sound (as if they were phonemes). Then, in a few cases, as time wore on, some of the meaning of the word would spill into, say, one of the (previously semantically unrelated) kanji of the jukujikun. Afterwards, new words would be created where the kanji in question is now presumed to carry the new meaning.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  176. @Max Payne
    @Bashibuzuk

    The end goal is to normalize the coming drop in living standards for Westerners. A westerner is willing to accept a reduction in his life style if it means staying online. To remain in that niche bubble/echo chamber. And the lure is going to get much more intense. True targeted entertainment. Beyond deepfakes, neural networks, procedural generation, and VR. Distractions of a higher order that these weak ass children of today, with their vagina-like fear over a nothing flu, will never be able to overcome.

    Look at the wealth bitcoin projects. The wholesale acceptance of illusion over reality. Making an ERC20 token is literally nothing but copy/pasting some open source script in Solidity. And with that alone you can go out there and scam someone out of hard earned cash to buy your nothing-coin. People want to believe the illusion.

    And thats all this is. Forcing the weak minded to accept illusion as reality. And its working. Soon the two minutes of hate for Putin will come after the national anthem in schools.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. Hack, @EldnahYm

    I call this the digitalization of the Real. I did not mention it in my comments because I do not want to discuss it here or anywhere else. I believe it to be a highly sensitive and perhaps an outright dangerous topic.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    https://youtu.be/EI5-Ir0RT-o

    digatilization of the real - worth watching!

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  177. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    I just replied to an older post with the link to Martin Armstrong's site, and what you said in the post appears inevitable to him. He has no idea about technological level, but he implies the West falling to Third World levels of economic development, and that he blames the WEF.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    Blaming the WEF is pointless. If it weren’t they, then it would be some other group of people. Our technological development has reached certain milestones and as a civilization we will have to go through certain bottlenecks.

    During the neolithic revolution, only a minority of population initially embraced agriculture. Their offspring represent today the overwhelming majority of humanity. The future belongs to those who survive and reproduce.

    If someone fails to reproduce, just because they have been too easily distracted by latest technology developments and societal trends, then they are obviously subpar on mental realization level and unfit for what is coming next. Despite what many believe, evolutionary selection is ongoing, but it is becoming more psychologically and cognitively oriented.

    We need to be unfazed to survive the current Eon.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    It's the problem of what path civilization takes: to maximize the survival of critical components of technological civilization and to further develop it in the direction of what is deemed the best to (post)human civilizational viability by the elites, even if much of the current order and the masses are to be sacrificed (the elitist route); or arousing the masses to their own self-preservation, through some form of ideology against the said elites (the populist route).

    In both routes, the one with the greatest real power in each spheres of civilization existence will have their expectations fulfilled. Alphas will have their world, and agrarians their utopia. But the populist route means "the old normal" or stagnation at least, and collapse and regression at worst (if you take a modernizing standard). Did you read Dugin on what he recently says on the Great Reset as the terminal stage of liberalism?

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  178. @Max Payne
    @Bashibuzuk

    The end goal is to normalize the coming drop in living standards for Westerners. A westerner is willing to accept a reduction in his life style if it means staying online. To remain in that niche bubble/echo chamber. And the lure is going to get much more intense. True targeted entertainment. Beyond deepfakes, neural networks, procedural generation, and VR. Distractions of a higher order that these weak ass children of today, with their vagina-like fear over a nothing flu, will never be able to overcome.

    Look at the wealth bitcoin projects. The wholesale acceptance of illusion over reality. Making an ERC20 token is literally nothing but copy/pasting some open source script in Solidity. And with that alone you can go out there and scam someone out of hard earned cash to buy your nothing-coin. People want to believe the illusion.

    And thats all this is. Forcing the weak minded to accept illusion as reality. And its working. Soon the two minutes of hate for Putin will come after the national anthem in schools.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. Hack, @EldnahYm

    Two Minutes of Hate (1984)

  179. @Bashibuzuk
    @Max Payne

    I call this the digitalization of the Real. I did not mention it in my comments because I do not want to discuss it here or anywhere else. I believe it to be a highly sensitive and perhaps an outright dangerous topic.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    digatilization of the real – worth watching!

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    Digitalisation will go beyond just ideological and political manipulation. It will blur the boundaries between the physical realm and the digital, simulated, virtual experience. This digital, simulated experience will become more important than the physical one for a great many people. People will be more attached to their online personality than their physical self. They will massively trade the hardships of physical existence for the instant gratification of the virtual world. It is already happening.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Daniel Chieh

  180. @mal
    Some good news on space radiator chillers which are a civilization critical technology for any meaningful space based electricity generation.

    На территории конгрессно-выставочного комплекса гостиницы «Космос» 23-26 марта 2021 года проходит XXIV Московский международный Салон изобретений и инновационных технологий «Архимед». В этом году Центр Келдыша (входит в состав Госкорпорации «Роскосмос») представит опытный образец излучателя устройства сброса тепла в космическое пространство.

    Изобретение предназначено для системы терморегулирования космических аппаратов. Излучатель имеет увеличенную эффективность сброса тепла и при этом повышенную степень защиты трубки с теплоносителем от метеоритов и космического мусора.
     
    https://www.roscosmos.ru/30464/

    At an international expo 'Archimedes' in Moscow Keldysh Center (Russian research institute) demonstrated experimental device for radiation of waste heat into space. Device is dedicated to thermal regulation of spacecraft. I'm not sure if it's a panel or fiber based one, or maybe even a droplet (panel is worst, fiber is OK, droplet is the future).

    And speaking of the devil, it looks like Russians solved the droplet dispersion problem back in 2017. This guy solved it, to be exact.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmksIPqyh_g

    Topic starts at around 6:20. To recap for non Russian speakers. Any moron can build a nuclear reactor and launch it into space, its easy to do. So why then the largest single power unit in space is about 20 kW? Because while producing electricity in space is easy, dissipating waste heat is not. Space is like a giant thermos that insulates well. The only way to get rid of heat is through radiation. Conventional way is radiator panels, but it's extremely inefficient as their size requirement grows two orders of magnitude faster with power level increase. Past few hundred kW, those panels will weigh more than all the rest of the spacecraft put together.

    To improve heat radiation efficiency, we must move from 2D panel to 3D geometry. Hence the droplets, as small droplets maximize surface area to volume (mass) ratio. This will allow for orders of magnitude lighter cooling systems and therefore high power output (nuclear reactors are very light compared to the weight of the cooling system they require). The droplets are made as you pass diffusion pump oil through an atomizer basically.

    However, there is a problem. Small droplets accumulate static charge by picking up free electrons from space. This causes them to repel from each other and that makes collecting them back after they cooled off very difficult, and this results in coolant mass loss. That was the problem with Kaplya-2 experiment on the International Space Station back in 2014. There were a number of proposals put forward (external electromagnetic fields, plasma feed to neutralize the droplets etc) but they are all cumbersome, unreliable, or require expendable materials which makes them unsuitable for years long operation.

    A simple, robust, and permanent solution to the problem is to illuminate the droplets with UV light at around 140 nm wavelength. This will trigger photoelectric effect that will kick off the excess electrons from the droplet. Unlike external electric field, there is no danger of over-ionizing the droplets and stripping too many electrons which will cause the same repulsion problem. No complex control is needed. All it takes is about a dozen UV lamps and those will condition the droplets for easy collection and minimize coolant losses.

    That is actually very very clever.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Vishnugupta

    Thanks for this update.

    I thought nuclear power in space means thermoelectric generators using thermocouples and the heat generated by the decay of Pu 238 not miniaturized nuclear reactors as in no fission reaction takes place only radioactive decay.

    Has this changed?

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @mal
    @Vishnugupta

    There's nothing wrong with thermoelectric generators and indeed they are a preferred solution up to 500 kW or so based on the power/mass ratio.

    However, they are only like 5% efficient, and if you want more than 500 kW of power, conventional turbine designs are a way to go. At high power levels, weight and complexity of turbine will be worth 25%+ conversion efficiency. Megawatt+ sized reactors will need to be turbine based just like they are on Earth.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta

  181. @Dmitry
    So Visegrad countries are the most deadly in the world for coronavirus in terms of officially reported deaths (ignoring postsoviet space countries, where daily reported deaths have been so vastly underreported as to be almost meaningless).

    https://i.imgur.com/MrUmZc9.jpg

    So, the lesson is that this what happens with combination lack of strict enough lockdowns and perhaps populations' individual disobedience, and lack of intelligent policies like installation of indoor ventilation and PPE (e.g. Japan).

    At least, Hungary has a fast vaccination. But vaccination had to be combined with a strict lockdown (or obedient population and intelligent ventilation policies, like in Japan) while you are doing it, and in Hungary and Israel are both an example where they have failed to enforce strict enough lockdown during the vaccination campaign. As a result of the lack of strict lockdown, Hungary and Israel had both the highest amount of their deaths synchronous with their rapid vaccination campaign.


    https://i.imgur.com/1r7Slyy.jpg

    Replies: @Dmitry, @Not Only Wrathful, @Dacian Julien Soros

    I don’t know about the four Visegrad countries, but they had similar incidence to Romania.

    In April 2020, Romania had one of the toughest curfews imaginable, resulting in few cases. The military used helicopters and armored cars. It was just absurd:

    Now, it’s time for retribution. People won’t stay locked for another year, and immunity is nowhere near the US/UK levels.

  182. @Vishnugupta
    @mal

    Thanks for this update.

    I thought nuclear power in space means thermoelectric generators using thermocouples and the heat generated by the decay of Pu 238 not miniaturized nuclear reactors as in no fission reaction takes place only radioactive decay.

    Has this changed?

    Replies: @mal

    There’s nothing wrong with thermoelectric generators and indeed they are a preferred solution up to 500 kW or so based on the power/mass ratio.

    However, they are only like 5% efficient, and if you want more than 500 kW of power, conventional turbine designs are a way to go. At high power levels, weight and complexity of turbine will be worth 25%+ conversion efficiency. Megawatt+ sized reactors will need to be turbine based just like they are on Earth.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
    @mal

    Has any turbine ever generated power for a spacecraft in space?

    In addition would not the solid state design of thermoelectrics make them inherently much more reliable especially since maintenance and repair is not practically possible for deep space probes.

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    Replies: @mal, @songbird

  183. @mal
    @Vishnugupta

    There's nothing wrong with thermoelectric generators and indeed they are a preferred solution up to 500 kW or so based on the power/mass ratio.

    However, they are only like 5% efficient, and if you want more than 500 kW of power, conventional turbine designs are a way to go. At high power levels, weight and complexity of turbine will be worth 25%+ conversion efficiency. Megawatt+ sized reactors will need to be turbine based just like they are on Earth.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta

    Has any turbine ever generated power for a spacecraft in space?

    In addition would not the solid state design of thermoelectrics make them inherently much more reliable especially since maintenance and repair is not practically possible for deep space probes.

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    • Replies: @mal
    @Vishnugupta


    Has any turbine ever generated power for a spacecraft in space?
     
    No, to the best of my knowledge.

    In addition would not the solid state design of thermoelectrics make them inherently much more reliable especially since maintenance and repair is not practically possible for deep space probes.
     
    That is correct, which is why thermoelectrics are currently the go to technology.


    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.
     
    Voyager puts out on the order of 100W power. Yes, those RTGs are extremely reliable, but 100W is not good enough.

    Reliability for the turbine is the reason why TEM project is taking decades - the eager beavers at Rosatom are spinning those at 60,000 rpm to test for longevity. It is a serious roadblock to get 10 year operational life at those speeds but there are reasons to be optimistic. The payoff - 1MW+ electric power at 25%+ efficiency is well worth the effort. But yeah, its not easy, very time consuming, and a serious risk.
    , @songbird
    @Vishnugupta


    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.
     
    If one were going all-out in nuclear, presumably one would have a nuclear engine, cutting down the travel times significantly, assuming the turbine was built to take the acceleration/deceleration. I think this would probably make it a lot more practical for studying Kuiper belt objects, given a certain minimum lifespan (which may not have been achieved yet.) The Voyager probes have had to shut down a lot of their equipment due to radioactive decay. And New Horizons was a flyby.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta, @mal

  184. @Vishnugupta
    @mal

    Has any turbine ever generated power for a spacecraft in space?

    In addition would not the solid state design of thermoelectrics make them inherently much more reliable especially since maintenance and repair is not practically possible for deep space probes.

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    Replies: @mal, @songbird

    Has any turbine ever generated power for a spacecraft in space?

    No, to the best of my knowledge.

    In addition would not the solid state design of thermoelectrics make them inherently much more reliable especially since maintenance and repair is not practically possible for deep space probes.

    That is correct, which is why thermoelectrics are currently the go to technology.

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    Voyager puts out on the order of 100W power. Yes, those RTGs are extremely reliable, but 100W is not good enough.

    Reliability for the turbine is the reason why TEM project is taking decades – the eager beavers at Rosatom are spinning those at 60,000 rpm to test for longevity. It is a serious roadblock to get 10 year operational life at those speeds but there are reasons to be optimistic. The payoff – 1MW+ electric power at 25%+ efficiency is well worth the effort. But yeah, its not easy, very time consuming, and a serious risk.

  185. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    https://youtu.be/EI5-Ir0RT-o

    digatilization of the real - worth watching!

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    Digitalisation will go beyond just ideological and political manipulation. It will blur the boundaries between the physical realm and the digital, simulated, virtual experience. This digital, simulated experience will become more important than the physical one for a great many people. People will be more attached to their online personality than their physical self. They will massively trade the hardships of physical existence for the instant gratification of the virtual world. It is already happening.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    What exactly are you getting at? If it's already happening, can you point to an example or two?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Bashibuzuk

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    Well, the flesh puppet could be seen as just an interface for interacting with the meatworld for the digital soul. The finger is not the mind, it is just a means of manipulating the world.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  186. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    Digitalisation will go beyond just ideological and political manipulation. It will blur the boundaries between the physical realm and the digital, simulated, virtual experience. This digital, simulated experience will become more important than the physical one for a great many people. People will be more attached to their online personality than their physical self. They will massively trade the hardships of physical existence for the instant gratification of the virtual world. It is already happening.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Daniel Chieh

    What exactly are you getting at? If it’s already happening, can you point to an example or two?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @Mr. Hack

    We comment at Unz, it's already to late for us.

    But the next generation can still be saved.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    , @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

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

    As the virtual reality becomes more immersive, the problem will only increase. As a species we need to learn to become unfazed by the digital distractions. The technology is still new, we need to develop adaptative strategies to modulate its influence. For many, the period of adaptation will be painful.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  187. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    Digitalisation will go beyond just ideological and political manipulation. It will blur the boundaries between the physical realm and the digital, simulated, virtual experience. This digital, simulated experience will become more important than the physical one for a great many people. People will be more attached to their online personality than their physical self. They will massively trade the hardships of physical existence for the instant gratification of the virtual world. It is already happening.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Daniel Chieh

    Well, the flesh puppet could be seen as just an interface for interacting with the meatworld for the digital soul. The finger is not the mind, it is just a means of manipulating the world.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Daniel Chieh

    I am well aware of the importance of information in biological systems, but all information is not created equal.

  188. @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    What exactly are you getting at? If it's already happening, can you point to an example or two?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Bashibuzuk

    We comment at Unz, it’s already to late for us.

    But the next generation can still be saved.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Blinky Bill

    What's too late for us? How will the next generation be saved?

  189. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    What exactly are you getting at? If it's already happening, can you point to an example or two?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Bashibuzuk

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

    As the virtual reality becomes more immersive, the problem will only increase. As a species we need to learn to become unfazed by the digital distractions. The technology is still new, we need to develop adaptative strategies to modulate its influence. For many, the period of adaptation will be painful.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    Already several years back, when visiting my local T-Mobil phone branch, they displayed virtual reality glasses, that one could try on and experience first hand. It was really a very cool experience. I didn't like the fact that at that time, you had to download your program off of the internet. I was more interested in the ability to purchase something physical, like a disc with possibly higher quality presentation that I could use and start a library. I haven't looked into this technology lately, but in addition to creating some strange sexual addictions for a few perverts, I can see a lot of potential great entertainment for norms too. You're probably too young to remember the old 3-D "viewmasters" that were definitely quite the thing, back in the day. I had one as a kid and loved it. Perhaps, that's why I like the idea of inserting a disc to be able to view a new adventure.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/View-Master_Model_E.JPG/220px-View-Master_Model_E.JPG

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/Toronto_view-master.jpg/220px-Toronto_view-master.jpg

    Of course, the new greater immersion virtual reality viewers are several steps more advanced, I'm not sure that Big Brother will be able to conquer the world with this new gadget alone?

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  190. @Daniel Chieh
    @Bashibuzuk

    Well, the flesh puppet could be seen as just an interface for interacting with the meatworld for the digital soul. The finger is not the mind, it is just a means of manipulating the world.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I am well aware of the importance of information in biological systems, but all information is not created equal.

  191. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

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

    As the virtual reality becomes more immersive, the problem will only increase. As a species we need to learn to become unfazed by the digital distractions. The technology is still new, we need to develop adaptative strategies to modulate its influence. For many, the period of adaptation will be painful.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Already several years back, when visiting my local T-Mobil phone branch, they displayed virtual reality glasses, that one could try on and experience first hand. It was really a very cool experience. I didn’t like the fact that at that time, you had to download your program off of the internet. I was more interested in the ability to purchase something physical, like a disc with possibly higher quality presentation that I could use and start a library. I haven’t looked into this technology lately, but in addition to creating some strange sexual addictions for a few perverts, I can see a lot of potential great entertainment for norms too. You’re probably too young to remember the old 3-D “viewmasters” that were definitely quite the thing, back in the day. I had one as a kid and loved it. Perhaps, that’s why I like the idea of inserting a disc to be able to view a new adventure.

    Of course, the new greater immersion virtual reality viewers are several steps more advanced, I’m not sure that Big Brother will be able to conquer the world with this new gadget alone?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    https://youtu.be/nvUHDK59Igw

    Have a look.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  192. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow

    I doubt that any single voter was ever convinced that by voting for any specific candidate that was a proponent of open borders their 401(k) account would grow to unimaginable levels. Add in the propostion that somebody would vote for and elite candidate in order to lower their own or anybody elses average income, and you have developed a really fantastic conspirac y theory.

    I do, however, remember the late 90's and early 00's when the dot.com mania including the ever increasing values of technology stocks fueled a massive buyoff of overly inflated stocks with unsustainable P/E ratios. Everybody thought that they would become millionaires by investing 10k in a technology mutual fund - what ever happened to that dream? :-)

    Replies: @Beckow

    …somebody would vote for and elite candidate in order to lower their own or anybody else average income

    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else – the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)

    You look at it linearly, and the dynamic is more complex. People have a strong intuitive self-interest: an elderly home owner with investments and a safe job has understood all along that bringing cheaper foreign labor benefits him personally. The ones with children didn’t care that they are selling their own progeny. Now it has reached them, but it’s almost too late.

    That’s what happened: the older generation (mostly Boomers) sacrificed their own kids to live better by voting for elites who wanted cheaper labor and open borders. The time has come to pay for it, it could get ugly. I also doubt the migrant beneficiaries will show much gratitude. In a few years the cursed Boomers could be on their own: holding most assets and no tools to protect them.

    • Agree: Coconuts
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else – the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)
     
    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio or in public. I really think that this your own made up opinion that you've somehow managed to convince yourself that holds true for a lot of boomers. Let me clarify myself. I do think that in someways all people benefit from having lower paid workers available to do physical labor type jobs, but I don't think that most boomers think about these matters in the way that you seem to do, and vote at the ballot box with these thoughts in their mind. Would be interesting to hear other opinions on this topic from others that frequent this blog.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Beckow

  193. @Blinky Bill
    @Mr. Hack

    We comment at Unz, it's already to late for us.

    But the next generation can still be saved.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    What’s too late for us? How will the next generation be saved?

  194. @Vishnugupta
    @mal

    Has any turbine ever generated power for a spacecraft in space?

    In addition would not the solid state design of thermoelectrics make them inherently much more reliable especially since maintenance and repair is not practically possible for deep space probes.

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    Replies: @mal, @songbird

    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.

    If one were going all-out in nuclear, presumably one would have a nuclear engine, cutting down the travel times significantly, assuming the turbine was built to take the acceleration/deceleration. I think this would probably make it a lot more practical for studying Kuiper belt objects, given a certain minimum lifespan (which may not have been achieved yet.) The Voyager probes have had to shut down a lot of their equipment due to radioactive decay. And New Horizons was a flyby.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
    @songbird

    Nuclear rocket engines IIRC produce thrust by superheating a working gas like Hydrogen. The specific impulse is much higher than a conventional rocket engine but pales in comparison to what can be achieved by ion engines.

    You can't use an ion engine for takeoff as it takes a very long time to achieve similar velocity but while the conventional rocket uses its fuel in a few mins an ion engine can work continuously for months even years so it is an ideal technology to power space probes

    For an ion engine powered space probe beyond Mars you need nuclear power to power the ion engine.Presently we only have thermoelectric generators and I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.

    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..

    There is a reason neither the US nor the USSR/Russia have yet tried to fly anything like this.

    Replies: @mal, @songbird

    , @mal
    @songbird


    presumably one would have a nuclear engine, cutting down the travel times significantly, assuming the turbine was built to take the acceleration/deceleration.
     
    Acceleration/deceleration shouldn't be a problem, assuming it can survive the liftoff from Earth.

    In space, everything is backwards, and the fastest engines accelerate so slow you won't even notice you are going faster. Actually, going faster will make you go slower as you transfer to higher orbit. If you slow down, you will accelerate to insane speeds, especially if you are on heliocentric orbit. But generally, unless you plow into atmosphere head on, both acceleration and deceleration should be rather gentle.
  195. @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    Already several years back, when visiting my local T-Mobil phone branch, they displayed virtual reality glasses, that one could try on and experience first hand. It was really a very cool experience. I didn't like the fact that at that time, you had to download your program off of the internet. I was more interested in the ability to purchase something physical, like a disc with possibly higher quality presentation that I could use and start a library. I haven't looked into this technology lately, but in addition to creating some strange sexual addictions for a few perverts, I can see a lot of potential great entertainment for norms too. You're probably too young to remember the old 3-D "viewmasters" that were definitely quite the thing, back in the day. I had one as a kid and loved it. Perhaps, that's why I like the idea of inserting a disc to be able to view a new adventure.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/View-Master_Model_E.JPG/220px-View-Master_Model_E.JPG

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/Toronto_view-master.jpg/220px-Toronto_view-master.jpg

    Of course, the new greater immersion virtual reality viewers are several steps more advanced, I'm not sure that Big Brother will be able to conquer the world with this new gadget alone?

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    Have a look.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Bashibuzuk

    Fascinating. Of course the host of this video is quick to point out all of the possible positive things that could spring from this sort of technology, all in the pursuit of "protecting our freedoms, protect our families and protect our way of life". Of course, I understand that you probably have other less noble pursuits that could also be enhanced by using these new technologies.

    Using this sort of technology to help combat depression and anxiety issues that plague the world without the use of deleterious drugs is very encouraging. The speaker was a little too enthusiastic about the role that this technology might play in the ability to help respondents to increase their memory faculties. Not all memories are pleasant and need to be reexperienced in minute detail. Could also be used as a softer version of lobotomies, electro convulsive therapy or digital depression therapy?

    Replies: @EldnahYm

  196. @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack


    ...somebody would vote for and elite candidate in order to lower their own or anybody else average income
     
    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else - the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)

    You look at it linearly, and the dynamic is more complex. People have a strong intuitive self-interest: an elderly home owner with investments and a safe job has understood all along that bringing cheaper foreign labor benefits him personally. The ones with children didn't care that they are selling their own progeny. Now it has reached them, but it's almost too late.

    That's what happened: the older generation (mostly Boomers) sacrificed their own kids to live better by voting for elites who wanted cheaper labor and open borders. The time has come to pay for it, it could get ugly. I also doubt the migrant beneficiaries will show much gratitude. In a few years the cursed Boomers could be on their own: holding most assets and no tools to protect them.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else – the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)

    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio or in public. I really think that this your own made up opinion that you’ve somehow managed to convince yourself that holds true for a lot of boomers. Let me clarify myself. I do think that in someways all people benefit from having lower paid workers available to do physical labor type jobs, but I don’t think that most boomers think about these matters in the way that you seem to do, and vote at the ballot box with these thoughts in their mind. Would be interesting to hear other opinions on this topic from others that frequent this blog.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @Mr. Hack

    I don’t know about low-paid, but I do know that Mexicans are necessary for the availability of decent services in the US. We never had problems finding people to trim our trees, change floors, clean pool, or paint walls in Arizona. In TN finding people willing to do any of these jobs is a major pain in the neck. We need more Mexicans here.

    Interestingly, usually the one who speaks decent English is a team leader, while English of the rest does not go beyond “Hi”. I saw exactly the same thing in Russia: these jobs are done by Tajiks or Uzbeks, and the one with fluent Russian is always the team leader.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    , @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    First of all, as I pointed out repeatedly: the oversupply of migrants is endemic in many fields, not only in lettuce-picking or washing dishes. US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise. If you don't understand that, you don't get math. You will find a lot of people who welcome it, esp. on this forum where most people travel and need cheap services. That's not representative.


    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio
     
    Holy shit, it wasn't on your "radio"? Or CNN? Then it must be a conspiracy. We have different views here, but one thing we generally agree on is that mainstream media doesn't cover many things and lies about others. To highlight a generational impact of open borders would be really highly unlikely for liberal media. (By the way, I have seen discussions along these lines on Fox's Tucker Carlson.)

    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously - voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don't care about the issue. So it is a continuum. My point is that as with elderly behaviour, the coming reaction from the next generations who suffer from it, is not going to be clearly motivated: they are just angry, some blame the elderly, others don't. The result when the fury hits is almost the same.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @AP

  197. @AP
    @Dmitry

    Yes, you are perceptive as usual. American complaints are a lot of drama and not new.

    However the wide-ranging moralistic crackdown is fairly new. there was somewhat of a parallel with abolitionism in the 1920s but that was also an era of widespread and acceptable flaunting of those rules. The present moralizing seems more pervasive and restrictive.

    Replies: @Dmitry

    During the second half of the 20th century, America was also experiencing moral panics, and restriction of speech, but mainly focuses on the topic of communism subliminally entering the society.

    For example, an article on the “Second Red Scare (1947–57)” . https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/red-scare People with allegedly sympathetic attitudes to communism were blacklisted, and could lose their jobs; and there wasn’t significant free speech allowed in the public sphere about alternative economic systems, Marxism, etc, which is of course quite aligned with the interest of the country’s economic elite.

    “Thousands of alleged communist sympathizers saw their lives disrupted. They were hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs.”

    As the external enemy of communism has ended with opening of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, new moral panics have seemed to organically emerge in American culture in the 1990s, such as the “Satanic ritual abuse” panic:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse

    Content of the panics is changing across the decades, but the form seems more constant.

    I have only skimmed parts of de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” – so I don’t know what about these topics about the taboos and moral panics in America he might have written? Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s, and supposedly things he described in the 1830s, are relevant still now.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Dmitry


    During the second half of the 20th century, America was also experiencing moral panics, and restriction of speech, but mainly focuses on the topic of communism subliminally entering the society.
     
    In the 1950s there were also moral panics about juvenile delinquency, rock'n'roll and even comic books (which were corrupting America's youth).

    Has there ever been a period in American history without moral panics?

    To some extent it's an Anglo-Protestant thing. There were moral panics in Victorian England about prostitution, homosexuality (the Cleveland Street Scandal) and white slavery. As Christianity has gradually faded into virtual non-existence in other Anglosphere countries the moral panics have abated.

    But the moral panics were always much more virulent in the US and they show no sign of abating.

    Replies: @Coconuts

  198. @songbird
    @Vishnugupta


    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.
     
    If one were going all-out in nuclear, presumably one would have a nuclear engine, cutting down the travel times significantly, assuming the turbine was built to take the acceleration/deceleration. I think this would probably make it a lot more practical for studying Kuiper belt objects, given a certain minimum lifespan (which may not have been achieved yet.) The Voyager probes have had to shut down a lot of their equipment due to radioactive decay. And New Horizons was a flyby.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta, @mal

    Nuclear rocket engines IIRC produce thrust by superheating a working gas like Hydrogen. The specific impulse is much higher than a conventional rocket engine but pales in comparison to what can be achieved by ion engines.

    You can’t use an ion engine for takeoff as it takes a very long time to achieve similar velocity but while the conventional rocket uses its fuel in a few mins an ion engine can work continuously for months even years so it is an ideal technology to power space probes

    For an ion engine powered space probe beyond Mars you need nuclear power to power the ion engine.Presently we only have thermoelectric generators and I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.

    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..

    There is a reason neither the US nor the USSR/Russia have yet tried to fly anything like this.

    • Replies: @mal
    @Vishnugupta


    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..
     
    You are forgetting one thing - automation. In the past, those things are problematic. But in the future, there's no reason why you can't automatically re-lube your turbine or whatever. Likewise, no reason why you can't send an autonomous drone (that lives on the spacecraft) to fix a piping leak if it detects a loss of pressure.

    For small scale, i think you are correct about thermoelectrics. They are simpler and will serve better on smaller spacecraft. But for large scale, i don't think anything can beat turbine efficiency, and once we start talking dozens of megawatts, efficiency will become critical.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta

    , @songbird
    @Vishnugupta

    Well, I was thinking mainly of nuclear-electric propulsion. With higher magnitudes of power output, you could potentially get much higher exhaust velocities. Limited utility with regard to planets, sure, but maybe not asteroids. Of course, you'd need to be pushing that turbine, so maybe it would be too much mass, for there to be much gain.


    I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.
     
    We are really underinvested in alternatives to chemical rockets. Too much is put in stuff like the SLS, and NASA should probably be using the money to offer prizes for different races with non-chemical engines. I'm not sure Elon's vision of (what is it?) 7 tankers per Mars flight is realistic.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta

  199. @Europe Europa
    @Thulean Friend


    I don’t hate Angloids for being ruthless. I hate European leaders for being craven, submissive and pathetic creatures constantly crawling under the diktat of what the US wants it to do.
     
    "European leaders" have been running a non-stop campaign to discredit the non-profit AZ jab and trying to get the WHO to ban it, and when that failed they are now trying to impose an export ban on AZ, the vaccine they tried to say is unsafe and that they didn't want. And you call Anglos ruthless!

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Dmitry

    AstraZeneca seems to be a very profitable company, to assess based on the proportion of luxury cars in their employees’ carparks.

    And at the moment, you can visit the futurist, monumental, fascist architecture, biomedical campus they are building. There are thousands of construction workers, and enormous building being constructed.

    They are spending more than a billion dollars just to construct this one new office building for their employees.

  200. As this is an open thread, you can’t go OT.

    Ukrainian officials touted passenger high-speed trains Intercity as one of their major achievements. Six (out of nine) carriages of Ukrainian high-speed train Intercity going from Kiev to Zaporozhye derailed at 50 km from destination. Thankfully, passengers weren’t hurt (apparently, the speed was not all that high). Ukrainian railway company «Укрзалізниця» investigates this accident.

  201. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else – the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)
     
    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio or in public. I really think that this your own made up opinion that you've somehow managed to convince yourself that holds true for a lot of boomers. Let me clarify myself. I do think that in someways all people benefit from having lower paid workers available to do physical labor type jobs, but I don't think that most boomers think about these matters in the way that you seem to do, and vote at the ballot box with these thoughts in their mind. Would be interesting to hear other opinions on this topic from others that frequent this blog.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Beckow

    I don’t know about low-paid, but I do know that Mexicans are necessary for the availability of decent services in the US. We never had problems finding people to trim our trees, change floors, clean pool, or paint walls in Arizona. In TN finding people willing to do any of these jobs is a major pain in the neck. We need more Mexicans here.

    Interestingly, usually the one who speaks decent English is a team leader, while English of the rest does not go beyond “Hi”. I saw exactly the same thing in Russia: these jobs are done by Tajiks or Uzbeks, and the one with fluent Russian is always the team leader.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @AnonFromTN

    You lived in Arizona? I know that you never visited the Ukie Catholic Church here, but perhaps the small Ukrainian Orthodox church, you know, to have your Easter basket blessed once a year? (It's good for atheists too). :-)

    Replies: @AnonFromTN

  202. @Vishnugupta
    @songbird

    Nuclear rocket engines IIRC produce thrust by superheating a working gas like Hydrogen. The specific impulse is much higher than a conventional rocket engine but pales in comparison to what can be achieved by ion engines.

    You can't use an ion engine for takeoff as it takes a very long time to achieve similar velocity but while the conventional rocket uses its fuel in a few mins an ion engine can work continuously for months even years so it is an ideal technology to power space probes

    For an ion engine powered space probe beyond Mars you need nuclear power to power the ion engine.Presently we only have thermoelectric generators and I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.

    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..

    There is a reason neither the US nor the USSR/Russia have yet tried to fly anything like this.

    Replies: @mal, @songbird

    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..

    You are forgetting one thing – automation. In the past, those things are problematic. But in the future, there’s no reason why you can’t automatically re-lube your turbine or whatever. Likewise, no reason why you can’t send an autonomous drone (that lives on the spacecraft) to fix a piping leak if it detects a loss of pressure.

    For small scale, i think you are correct about thermoelectrics. They are simpler and will serve better on smaller spacecraft. But for large scale, i don’t think anything can beat turbine efficiency, and once we start talking dozens of megawatts, efficiency will become critical.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
    @mal

    Efficiency of how much heat is converted to electricity for something nuclear powered is not all that important due to the sheer energy density of Uranium/Plutonium.

    Most commercial power plants (new build ones) have an efficiency in the low 30s.You can't have efficiency of 50%+ as in Gas powered plants because the zirconium cladding of fuel rods begin to give way at those temperatures. So a turbine power plant in space will not have an efficiency more than 30% as it will be much much smaller than a 1500 MWe civilian power plant.

    If new generation thermoelectrics is giving 20% that is still competitive with a turbine powered powerplant which at present is strictly theoretical.

    As for the onboard drone,a signal from Pluto takes 5 hours to reach earth so we are talking about an inherent 15 hour delay of a problem being sent to Earth,an instruction being sent back and then confirmation of execution of that instruction being sent back to Earth. If there is a loss of coolant accident we will have a melt down well before the problem is even conveyed to earth.

    I don't see how a drone in space will autonomously fix all contingencies given that much simpler predictable problems in conventional reactors have caused Fukushima type accidents.

    Replies: @mal

  203. @AP
    @Mr. XYZ

    Was the 1930s German Communist Party Stalinist? That would make it no less incompatible with the Catholic Party as with the Nazi Party.

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @rkka

    It might have very well been Stalinist, BUT IF Stalin would have explicitly told them to refrain from making ANY radical demands and proposals in their coalition negotiations and instead to only focus to creating a unified anti-Nazi front, then it would have likely been easier for the Catholic Center Party to cooperate with them, especially if President Hindenburg would have maintained his previous opposition to Hitler and would have believed that he needed to be stopped from coming to power at all costs.

    It would have of course been a marriage of convenience, but it would have been good enough to stop Hitler and the Nazis–especially if it would have gotten President Hindenburg’s support.

    • Replies: @AP
    @Mr. XYZ

    1. In the 1930s Stalin was clearly much worse than Hitler.

    2. How would this have been hidden? It would be the Communist Party with Stalin in charge, regardless of what local policies they said they would pursue.

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mr. XYZ, @Philip Owen

  204. @songbird
    @Vishnugupta


    Voyager is still working after almost 50 years..I doubt a turbine with zero maintenance will reliably keep producing power for so long.
     
    If one were going all-out in nuclear, presumably one would have a nuclear engine, cutting down the travel times significantly, assuming the turbine was built to take the acceleration/deceleration. I think this would probably make it a lot more practical for studying Kuiper belt objects, given a certain minimum lifespan (which may not have been achieved yet.) The Voyager probes have had to shut down a lot of their equipment due to radioactive decay. And New Horizons was a flyby.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta, @mal

    presumably one would have a nuclear engine, cutting down the travel times significantly, assuming the turbine was built to take the acceleration/deceleration.

    Acceleration/deceleration shouldn’t be a problem, assuming it can survive the liftoff from Earth.

    In space, everything is backwards, and the fastest engines accelerate so slow you won’t even notice you are going faster. Actually, going faster will make you go slower as you transfer to higher orbit. If you slow down, you will accelerate to insane speeds, especially if you are on heliocentric orbit. But generally, unless you plow into atmosphere head on, both acceleration and deceleration should be rather gentle.

    • Agree: songbird
  205. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    Sure they would. If the incomes are of someone else – the younger generation and initially mostly lower-skilled workers. You would be surprised how many elderly and middle class people like cheap servant labor. (Elderly tend to be very cheap.)
     
    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio or in public. I really think that this your own made up opinion that you've somehow managed to convince yourself that holds true for a lot of boomers. Let me clarify myself. I do think that in someways all people benefit from having lower paid workers available to do physical labor type jobs, but I don't think that most boomers think about these matters in the way that you seem to do, and vote at the ballot box with these thoughts in their mind. Would be interesting to hear other opinions on this topic from others that frequent this blog.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Beckow

    First of all, as I pointed out repeatedly: the oversupply of migrants is endemic in many fields, not only in lettuce-picking or washing dishes. US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise. If you don’t understand that, you don’t get math. You will find a lot of people who welcome it, esp. on this forum where most people travel and need cheap services. That’s not representative.

    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio

    Holy shit, it wasn’t on your “radio”? Or CNN? Then it must be a conspiracy. We have different views here, but one thing we generally agree on is that mainstream media doesn’t cover many things and lies about others. To highlight a generational impact of open borders would be really highly unlikely for liberal media. (By the way, I have seen discussions along these lines on Fox’s Tucker Carlson.)

    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously – voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don’t care about the issue. So it is a continuum. My point is that as with elderly behaviour, the coming reaction from the next generations who suffer from it, is not going to be clearly motivated: they are just angry, some blame the elderly, others don’t. The result when the fury hits is almost the same.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously – voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don’t care about the issue.
     
    I think that we've finally achieved some sort of consensus here. :-)

    Replies: @Beckow

    , @AP
    @Beckow


    US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise.
     
    And yet across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.

    Average salary for an electrical engineer in the USA: $76,700 per year

    Germany: $58,000
    Canada: $55,800
    France: $47,600
    Italy: $45,320
    UK: $44,600

    I can do the same for nurses, pharmacists, plumbers, etc.

    People genuinely screwed are laborers, and this is of course bad - we should take care of our native laborers, they also have the right for dignified lives.

    Replies: @Beckow

  206. @mal
    @Vishnugupta


    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..
     
    You are forgetting one thing - automation. In the past, those things are problematic. But in the future, there's no reason why you can't automatically re-lube your turbine or whatever. Likewise, no reason why you can't send an autonomous drone (that lives on the spacecraft) to fix a piping leak if it detects a loss of pressure.

    For small scale, i think you are correct about thermoelectrics. They are simpler and will serve better on smaller spacecraft. But for large scale, i don't think anything can beat turbine efficiency, and once we start talking dozens of megawatts, efficiency will become critical.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta

    Efficiency of how much heat is converted to electricity for something nuclear powered is not all that important due to the sheer energy density of Uranium/Plutonium.

    Most commercial power plants (new build ones) have an efficiency in the low 30s.You can’t have efficiency of 50%+ as in Gas powered plants because the zirconium cladding of fuel rods begin to give way at those temperatures. So a turbine power plant in space will not have an efficiency more than 30% as it will be much much smaller than a 1500 MWe civilian power plant.

    If new generation thermoelectrics is giving 20% that is still competitive with a turbine powered powerplant which at present is strictly theoretical.

    As for the onboard drone,a signal from Pluto takes 5 hours to reach earth so we are talking about an inherent 15 hour delay of a problem being sent to Earth,an instruction being sent back and then confirmation of execution of that instruction being sent back to Earth. If there is a loss of coolant accident we will have a melt down well before the problem is even conveyed to earth.

    I don’t see how a drone in space will autonomously fix all contingencies given that much simpler predictable problems in conventional reactors have caused Fukushima type accidents.

    • Replies: @mal
    @Vishnugupta


    If new generation thermoelectrics is giving 20% that is still competitive with a turbine powered powerplant which at present is strictly theoretical.
     
    Russians have it all calculated out.

    Here is a paper called "Role and place for Electrorocket Drives in Russian Space program".

    http://trudymai.ru/published.php?ID=35385

    On page 9-10 they say this: "Up to electric power levels on the order of 500 kW, Nuclear Energy Units based on the thermoemissive energy transformation principle have decisive advantages. At higher power levels, mass of the thermoemissive NEU will grow more intensively compared to the mass of dynamic turbomachinery nuclear installation".

    Basically, they agree with you up to 500 kW. Also, Nuklon contract talks about turbine drive, even though Nuklon is at 480 kW which is well within thermoemissive performance envelope. But it seems like Russians are optimistic about turbines.

    Keep in mind that Russia doesn't have super heavy launchers. Angara 5V is 37 tons to orbit. So if turbine is lighter, turbine it will be.


    I don’t see how a drone in space will autonomously fix all contingencies given that much simpler predictable problems in conventional reactors have caused Fukushima type accidents.
     
    Fukushima is what, 1960's design? If you put together a modern powerplant stuffed with sensors, an neural net expert AI drone shouldn't have too much difficulty maintaining it without the need to phone home every time. I mean, i do chemical process design and operations for a living, and i can usually tell when things can become exciting a few hours ahead of time. Fairly sure a specialist drone can be designed for that purpose too. At least for mundane stuff.

    Replies: @Philip Owen

  207. @Bashibuzuk
    @Mr. Hack

    https://youtu.be/nvUHDK59Igw

    Have a look.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Fascinating. Of course the host of this video is quick to point out all of the possible positive things that could spring from this sort of technology, all in the pursuit of “protecting our freedoms, protect our families and protect our way of life”. Of course, I understand that you probably have other less noble pursuits that could also be enhanced by using these new technologies.

    Using this sort of technology to help combat depression and anxiety issues that plague the world without the use of deleterious drugs is very encouraging. The speaker was a little too enthusiastic about the role that this technology might play in the ability to help respondents to increase their memory faculties. Not all memories are pleasant and need to be reexperienced in minute detail. Could also be used as a softer version of lobotomies, electro convulsive therapy or digital depression therapy?

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    @Mr. Hack


    Could also be used as a softer version of lobotomies, electro convulsive therapy or digital depression therapy?
     
    This sounds like a realistic vision of future dystopia. Just imagine what gifts the Sacklers would bestow upon humanity with this technology.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  208. @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    First of all, as I pointed out repeatedly: the oversupply of migrants is endemic in many fields, not only in lettuce-picking or washing dishes. US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise. If you don't understand that, you don't get math. You will find a lot of people who welcome it, esp. on this forum where most people travel and need cheap services. That's not representative.


    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio
     
    Holy shit, it wasn't on your "radio"? Or CNN? Then it must be a conspiracy. We have different views here, but one thing we generally agree on is that mainstream media doesn't cover many things and lies about others. To highlight a generational impact of open borders would be really highly unlikely for liberal media. (By the way, I have seen discussions along these lines on Fox's Tucker Carlson.)

    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously - voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don't care about the issue. So it is a continuum. My point is that as with elderly behaviour, the coming reaction from the next generations who suffer from it, is not going to be clearly motivated: they are just angry, some blame the elderly, others don't. The result when the fury hits is almost the same.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @AP

    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously – voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don’t care about the issue.

    I think that we’ve finally achieved some sort of consensus here. 🙂

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    I fear consensus. It probably means that we are both wrong... 🙂

  209. @AnonFromTN
    @Mr. Hack

    I don’t know about low-paid, but I do know that Mexicans are necessary for the availability of decent services in the US. We never had problems finding people to trim our trees, change floors, clean pool, or paint walls in Arizona. In TN finding people willing to do any of these jobs is a major pain in the neck. We need more Mexicans here.

    Interestingly, usually the one who speaks decent English is a team leader, while English of the rest does not go beyond “Hi”. I saw exactly the same thing in Russia: these jobs are done by Tajiks or Uzbeks, and the one with fluent Russian is always the team leader.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    You lived in Arizona? I know that you never visited the Ukie Catholic Church here, but perhaps the small Ukrainian Orthodox church, you know, to have your Easter basket blessed once a year? (It’s good for atheists too). 🙂

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @Mr. Hack


    to have your Easter basket blessed once a year? (It’s good for atheists too)
     
    I lived in AZ (Phoenix area) for six years, never visited any church.

    Your last remark reminds me of a joke popular among physicists.
    A friend comes to visit Niels Bohr and notices a horseshoe above the door to his office. He points to it, saying:
    - What’s this?
    - A horseshoe. It brings good luck.
    - Do you believe in this BS?
    - Of course not. But they say it brings good luck even to people who don’t believe in it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  210. @Vishnugupta
    @songbird

    Nuclear rocket engines IIRC produce thrust by superheating a working gas like Hydrogen. The specific impulse is much higher than a conventional rocket engine but pales in comparison to what can be achieved by ion engines.

    You can't use an ion engine for takeoff as it takes a very long time to achieve similar velocity but while the conventional rocket uses its fuel in a few mins an ion engine can work continuously for months even years so it is an ideal technology to power space probes

    For an ion engine powered space probe beyond Mars you need nuclear power to power the ion engine.Presently we only have thermoelectric generators and I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.

    A turbine is at the end of the day a fast moving mechanical device that will require lubrication and will be subject to wear and tear ,the working gas to convert heat of a nuclear reactor to mechanical energy may leak,if powered by a fission reaction we then have to engineer for a loss of coolant incident and many other imponderables..

    There is a reason neither the US nor the USSR/Russia have yet tried to fly anything like this.

    Replies: @mal, @songbird

    Well, I was thinking mainly of nuclear-electric propulsion. With higher magnitudes of power output, you could potentially get much higher exhaust velocities. Limited utility with regard to planets, sure, but maybe not asteroids. Of course, you’d need to be pushing that turbine, so maybe it would be too much mass, for there to be much gain.

    I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.

    We are really underinvested in alternatives to chemical rockets. Too much is put in stuff like the SLS, and NASA should probably be using the money to offer prizes for different races with non-chemical engines. I’m not sure Elon’s vision of (what is it?) 7 tankers per Mars flight is realistic.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
    @songbird

    Well NASA apparently dedicated a building recently to the African American females who did some redundant calculations.Those are the organization priorities apparently.

    SLS program corruption is so blatant it is embarrassing even by US defence procurement standards which has a long and ignoble history of killing spectacular programs like the YF 23 Black Widow for reasons that have nothing to do with performance.There is ZERO new technology to be gained for the tens of billions being invested in the SLS.

    US is very lucky to have Elon Musk.Without him the US would be trailing every other major space power(Excluding India and Japan) in terms of Space Launch technology today.

  211. @songbird
    @Vishnugupta

    Well, I was thinking mainly of nuclear-electric propulsion. With higher magnitudes of power output, you could potentially get much higher exhaust velocities. Limited utility with regard to planets, sure, but maybe not asteroids. Of course, you'd need to be pushing that turbine, so maybe it would be too much mass, for there to be much gain.


    I think thermocouples which provide efficiencies up to 20% as opposed to normal 5% which have been tested in labs is a lower risk and more practical solution to explore.
     
    We are really underinvested in alternatives to chemical rockets. Too much is put in stuff like the SLS, and NASA should probably be using the money to offer prizes for different races with non-chemical engines. I'm not sure Elon's vision of (what is it?) 7 tankers per Mars flight is realistic.

    Replies: @Vishnugupta

    Well NASA apparently dedicated a building recently to the African American females who did some redundant calculations.Those are the organization priorities apparently.

    SLS program corruption is so blatant it is embarrassing even by US defence procurement standards which has a long and ignoble history of killing spectacular programs like the YF 23 Black Widow for reasons that have nothing to do with performance.There is ZERO new technology to be gained for the tens of billions being invested in the SLS.

    US is very lucky to have Elon Musk.Without him the US would be trailing every other major space power(Excluding India and Japan) in terms of Space Launch technology today.

    • Agree: songbird
  212. @Mr. Hack
    @Beckow


    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously – voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don’t care about the issue.
     
    I think that we've finally achieved some sort of consensus here. :-)

    Replies: @Beckow

    I fear consensus. It probably means that we are both wrong… 🙂

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  213. @Mr. Hack
    @AnonFromTN

    You lived in Arizona? I know that you never visited the Ukie Catholic Church here, but perhaps the small Ukrainian Orthodox church, you know, to have your Easter basket blessed once a year? (It's good for atheists too). :-)

    Replies: @AnonFromTN

    to have your Easter basket blessed once a year? (It’s good for atheists too)

    I lived in AZ (Phoenix area) for six years, never visited any church.

    Your last remark reminds me of a joke popular among physicists.
    A friend comes to visit Niels Bohr and notices a horseshoe above the door to his office. He points to it, saying:
    – What’s this?
    – A horseshoe. It brings good luck.
    – Do you believe in this BS?
    – Of course not. But they say it brings good luck even to people who don’t believe in it.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @AnonFromTN

    Well, if you ever return, even though its obvious that you didn't make any friends in Church, please visit the small Ukrainian Orthodox church. I'm there most any Sunday. We don't bight, as I'm sure that you don't either. One of our oldest members is from Donbas, she seems to get along pretty well with all of the Galicians too. :-)

    Actually, we've had a number of Ukrainian professionals that work in the biological sciences visit and stay here. A young family where both worked at the U of A in the sciences and left about 10 years ago. Another one is a friend of mine that currently works at a local college and teaches both biology and chemistry. I'm sure that there were others too, ones that I never got to know.

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

  214. China and Iran finally signed the 25-year cooperation agreement that’s been talked about for some time. But what’s really in it? As I understand it China doesn’t entirely comply with the sanctions against Iran. But they almost do. For example, China does import oil from Iran but only in small amounts. China still seems too risk averse to entirely ignore the sanctions.

  215. @Beckow
    @Mr. Hack

    First of all, as I pointed out repeatedly: the oversupply of migrants is endemic in many fields, not only in lettuce-picking or washing dishes. US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise. If you don't understand that, you don't get math. You will find a lot of people who welcome it, esp. on this forum where most people travel and need cheap services. That's not representative.


    I never have, nor have I ever read or viewed or listened to any such a view on the tube, radio
     
    Holy shit, it wasn't on your "radio"? Or CNN? Then it must be a conspiracy. We have different views here, but one thing we generally agree on is that mainstream media doesn't cover many things and lies about others. To highlight a generational impact of open borders would be really highly unlikely for liberal media. (By the way, I have seen discussions along these lines on Fox's Tucker Carlson.)

    The unknown is to what extent Boomers did it consciously - voted for the elites who wanted cheap labor. It varies, some did, others were too dumb to understand what they were doing, others don't care about the issue. So it is a continuum. My point is that as with elderly behaviour, the coming reaction from the next generations who suffer from it, is not going to be clearly motivated: they are just angry, some blame the elderly, others don't. The result when the fury hits is almost the same.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @AP

    US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise.

    And yet across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.

    Average salary for an electrical engineer in the USA: $76,700 per year

    Germany: $58,000
    Canada: $55,800
    France: $47,600
    Italy: $45,320
    UK: $44,600

    I can do the same for nurses, pharmacists, plumbers, etc.

    People genuinely screwed are laborers, and this is of course bad – we should take care of our native laborers, they also have the right for dignified lives.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Beckow
    @AP


    ...across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.
     
    That's why they are trying to lower them. The salaries are substantially lower than they would be if there was no mass immigration.

    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc...

    Different people put different value on it, for a single person in their prime earning years with no school debt, US is better. For a family with kids it is about equal. And Europe is simply more fun...

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @AP

  216. @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    It might have very well been Stalinist, BUT IF Stalin would have explicitly told them to refrain from making ANY radical demands and proposals in their coalition negotiations and instead to only focus to creating a unified anti-Nazi front, then it would have likely been easier for the Catholic Center Party to cooperate with them, especially if President Hindenburg would have maintained his previous opposition to Hitler and would have believed that he needed to be stopped from coming to power at all costs.

    It would have of course been a marriage of convenience, but it would have been good enough to stop Hitler and the Nazis--especially if it would have gotten President Hindenburg's support.

    Replies: @AP

    1. In the 1930s Stalin was clearly much worse than Hitler.

    2. How would this have been hidden? It would be the Communist Party with Stalin in charge, regardless of what local policies they said they would pursue.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    1. Yes--for Russia. Not for Germany.

    2. It wouldn't have to be hidden. Rather, the German Communists could say something like this: "We still believe in the eventual victory of the Communist Revolution and in the establishment of a global dictatorship of the proletariat, but we are willing to temporarily abandon our platform for the time being in order to form an anti-Nazi coalition with the other German political parties."

    If I recall correctly, Leon Blum in France was able to cooperate with the French Communists in the 1930s, so this actually wasn't something that was impossible to do. I'm presuming that so long as they cooperated with Blum the French Communists put their "global Communist revolution" agenda and whatnot on hold and instead focused on supporting measures that both they and more moderate French socialists could actually jointly agree on, such as better working hours and better lives for the French working-class.

    Replies: @rkka

    , @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    To elaborate on my point here, Stalin was extremely bloody for Soviet citizens but not very bloody for non-Soviet citizens back in the 1930s. Hitler, in contrast, ultimately did end up being extremely bloody for German citizens. With Stalin in power but also with no Hitler in power and no Nazis in power, millions of German men and boys would not have ended up losing their lives in another World War. Stalin was highly unlikely to go to war against a non-Nazi Germany, after all; this would trigger a grand European coalition against the Soviet Union where the Soviet Union would very possibly have to fight Britain, France, Italy, and Germany at once!

    Your mistake here is assuming that German Communists, if given a place in a German governing coalition, would automatically insist on mass terror, mass famines, forced collectivization, and mass murder. But if Stalin--and thus the German Communists--would have actually been sufficiently determined to stop Hitler, then they could have given up on these other parts of their agenda for the time being insofar as these parts of their agenda pertain to Germany (as opposed to, say, the Soviet Union). There's no way in Hell that any of the other German parties--even the German Social Democrats--would have ever actually agreed to such German Communist terms, so it's either have the German Communists temporarily abandon and give up on their agenda in regards to Germany or have Hitler and the Nazis still come to power in Germany--and in this scenario the German Communists would have likely *strongly* preferred the former over the latter.

    Replies: @rkka

    , @Philip Owen
    @AP

    Gareth Jones, the journalist I sometimes refer to for his reports on Ukraine, also covered Germany. Indeed he scored a major scoop when invited to fly with Hitler from Berlin to Frankfurt just after Hitler's election. He was the foreign journalist to interview Hitler. From the time Hitler became chancellor, Jones discusses work camps and concentration camps - places to concentrate people. Initially not for Jews although the Jews were being very badly treated. Socialists were the first to go in according to Jones's reports. Jones's mother, a governess, during her time in the Donbass also commented on very poor conditions for Jews in Russia.

  217. @Vishnugupta
    @mal

    Efficiency of how much heat is converted to electricity for something nuclear powered is not all that important due to the sheer energy density of Uranium/Plutonium.

    Most commercial power plants (new build ones) have an efficiency in the low 30s.You can't have efficiency of 50%+ as in Gas powered plants because the zirconium cladding of fuel rods begin to give way at those temperatures. So a turbine power plant in space will not have an efficiency more than 30% as it will be much much smaller than a 1500 MWe civilian power plant.

    If new generation thermoelectrics is giving 20% that is still competitive with a turbine powered powerplant which at present is strictly theoretical.

    As for the onboard drone,a signal from Pluto takes 5 hours to reach earth so we are talking about an inherent 15 hour delay of a problem being sent to Earth,an instruction being sent back and then confirmation of execution of that instruction being sent back to Earth. If there is a loss of coolant accident we will have a melt down well before the problem is even conveyed to earth.

    I don't see how a drone in space will autonomously fix all contingencies given that much simpler predictable problems in conventional reactors have caused Fukushima type accidents.

    Replies: @mal

    If new generation thermoelectrics is giving 20% that is still competitive with a turbine powered powerplant which at present is strictly theoretical.

    Russians have it all calculated out.

    Here is a paper called “Role and place for Electrorocket Drives in Russian Space program”.

    http://trudymai.ru/published.php?ID=35385

    On page 9-10 they say this: “Up to electric power levels on the order of 500 kW, Nuclear Energy Units based on the thermoemissive energy transformation principle have decisive advantages. At higher power levels, mass of the thermoemissive NEU will grow more intensively compared to the mass of dynamic turbomachinery nuclear installation”.

    Basically, they agree with you up to 500 kW. Also, Nuklon contract talks about turbine drive, even though Nuklon is at 480 kW which is well within thermoemissive performance envelope. But it seems like Russians are optimistic about turbines.

    Keep in mind that Russia doesn’t have super heavy launchers. Angara 5V is 37 tons to orbit. So if turbine is lighter, turbine it will be.

    I don’t see how a drone in space will autonomously fix all contingencies given that much simpler predictable problems in conventional reactors have caused Fukushima type accidents.

    Fukushima is what, 1960’s design? If you put together a modern powerplant stuffed with sensors, an neural net expert AI drone shouldn’t have too much difficulty maintaining it without the need to phone home every time. I mean, i do chemical process design and operations for a living, and i can usually tell when things can become exciting a few hours ahead of time. Fairly sure a specialist drone can be designed for that purpose too. At least for mundane stuff.

    • Thanks: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @mal

    So an energy storage appliance would be part of the payload to offset the lighter turbine. What would you monitor? vibration, pressure drops, electrical output, temperature. It might be easier on the payload to switch to a backup turbine rather than attempt the complexities of repair. Spare parts might amount to the same payload anyway.

    Triplex even.

    Replies: @mal

  218. @AP
    @Mr. XYZ

    1. In the 1930s Stalin was clearly much worse than Hitler.

    2. How would this have been hidden? It would be the Communist Party with Stalin in charge, regardless of what local policies they said they would pursue.

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mr. XYZ, @Philip Owen

    1. Yes–for Russia. Not for Germany.

    2. It wouldn’t have to be hidden. Rather, the German Communists could say something like this: “We still believe in the eventual victory of the Communist Revolution and in the establishment of a global dictatorship of the proletariat, but we are willing to temporarily abandon our platform for the time being in order to form an anti-Nazi coalition with the other German political parties.”

    If I recall correctly, Leon Blum in France was able to cooperate with the French Communists in the 1930s, so this actually wasn’t something that was impossible to do. I’m presuming that so long as they cooperated with Blum the French Communists put their “global Communist revolution” agenda and whatnot on hold and instead focused on supporting measures that both they and more moderate French socialists could actually jointly agree on, such as better working hours and better lives for the French working-class.

    • Replies: @rkka
    @Mr. XYZ


    If I recall correctly, Leon Blum in France was able to cooperate with the French Communists in the 1930s
     
    And what did French Catholics think of that, hm? They vituperated Blum, despite his constant effort to conciliate. A unified Socialist/Communist coalition in Germany front forms the Enabling Act coalition even sooner.
  219. @AnonFromTN
    @Mr. Hack


    to have your Easter basket blessed once a year? (It’s good for atheists too)
     
    I lived in AZ (Phoenix area) for six years, never visited any church.

    Your last remark reminds me of a joke popular among physicists.
    A friend comes to visit Niels Bohr and notices a horseshoe above the door to his office. He points to it, saying:
    - What’s this?
    - A horseshoe. It brings good luck.
    - Do you believe in this BS?
    - Of course not. But they say it brings good luck even to people who don’t believe in it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Well, if you ever return, even though its obvious that you didn’t make any friends in Church, please visit the small Ukrainian Orthodox church. I’m there most any Sunday. We don’t bight, as I’m sure that you don’t either. One of our oldest members is from Donbas, she seems to get along pretty well with all of the Galicians too. 🙂

    Actually, we’ve had a number of Ukrainian professionals that work in the biological sciences visit and stay here. A young family where both worked at the U of A in the sciences and left about 10 years ago. Another one is a friend of mine that currently works at a local college and teaches both biology and chemistry. I’m sure that there were others too, ones that I never got to know.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    @Mr. Hack

    Thanks for the invitation! I know that in the US church often doubles as a social club, where you meet interesting people. Maybe due to growing up in the USSR I perceive church primarily as a place of worship, which is too “churchy” for me. I guess you can take the boy out of the ‘hood, but you cannot take the ‘hood out of the boy.

    As a crass unbeliever, I feel I might offend church-going people by my presence. I don’t want to offend anyone for no reason. I always tell my graduate students at the outset: “if you are conventionally religious, you don’t want to discuss religion with me”. I’d much prefer meeting people in a more neutral place.

  220. @AP
    @Mr. XYZ

    1. In the 1930s Stalin was clearly much worse than Hitler.

    2. How would this have been hidden? It would be the Communist Party with Stalin in charge, regardless of what local policies they said they would pursue.

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mr. XYZ, @Philip Owen

    To elaborate on my point here, Stalin was extremely bloody for Soviet citizens but not very bloody for non-Soviet citizens back in the 1930s. Hitler, in contrast, ultimately did end up being extremely bloody for German citizens. With Stalin in power but also with no Hitler in power and no Nazis in power, millions of German men and boys would not have ended up losing their lives in another World War. Stalin was highly unlikely to go to war against a non-Nazi Germany, after all; this would trigger a grand European coalition against the Soviet Union where the Soviet Union would very possibly have to fight Britain, France, Italy, and Germany at once!

    Your mistake here is assuming that German Communists, if given a place in a German governing coalition, would automatically insist on mass terror, mass famines, forced collectivization, and mass murder. But if Stalin–and thus the German Communists–would have actually been sufficiently determined to stop Hitler, then they could have given up on these other parts of their agenda for the time being insofar as these parts of their agenda pertain to Germany (as opposed to, say, the Soviet Union). There’s no way in Hell that any of the other German parties–even the German Social Democrats–would have ever actually agreed to such German Communist terms, so it’s either have the German Communists temporarily abandon and give up on their agenda in regards to Germany or have Hitler and the Nazis still come to power in Germany–and in this scenario the German Communists would have likely *strongly* preferred the former over the latter.

    • Replies: @rkka
    @Mr. XYZ

    Your mistake is believing that the German Catholics would respond the way you think to even the meekest KPD acting as you suggest at Stalin's dictate. The German Socialists & Communists teaming up with the most conciliatory platform would have no other effect than to form the Enabling Act coalition much sooner. Blum in France tried conciliating his opponents, and utterly failed to ameliorate the hatred towards him & the French Socialists one iota.

  221. @Bashibuzuk
    @Yellowface Anon

    Blaming the WEF is pointless. If it weren't they, then it would be some other group of people. Our technological development has reached certain milestones and as a civilization we will have to go through certain bottlenecks.

    During the neolithic revolution, only a minority of population initially embraced agriculture. Their offspring represent today the overwhelming majority of humanity. The future belongs to those who survive and reproduce.

    If someone fails to reproduce, just because they have been too easily distracted by latest technology developments and societal trends, then they are obviously subpar on mental realization level and unfit for what is coming next. Despite what many believe, evolutionary selection is ongoing, but it is becoming more psychologically and cognitively oriented.

    We need to be unfazed to survive the current Eon.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    It’s the problem of what path civilization takes: to maximize the survival of critical components of technological civilization and to further develop it in the direction of what is deemed the best to (post)human civilizational viability by the elites, even if much of the current order and the masses are to be sacrificed (the elitist route); or arousing the masses to their own self-preservation, through some form of ideology against the said elites (the populist route).

    In both routes, the one with the greatest real power in each spheres of civilization existence will have their expectations fulfilled. Alphas will have their world, and agrarians their utopia. But the populist route means “the old normal” or stagnation at least, and collapse and regression at worst (if you take a modernizing standard). Did you read Dugin on what he recently says on the Great Reset as the terminal stage of liberalism?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    @Yellowface Anon

    I stopped reading Dugin many years ago. I agree with what you wrote above, that attemptung the preservation of the current standard of living for the Western middle class will lead to stagnation and eventually to collapse. I believe that in the last two generations period or so, very intelligent people have probably charted different paths for human civilization. They worked with the information they had and the understanding that they managed to develop basing on this information, which lead us to the world we live in today. They probably have a very strong conviction that the technological progress must continue, but under the most strict possible control. That human evolution has become a technobiological process. That these both aspects must be balanced against each other and against the very survival of our biosphere. Maybe what we have today is simply the best we could get, maybe not. Fact is, everyone will not make it to the Shining Tomorrows. For this boat to keep on floating, some of us must drown. For this balloon to keep on flying, some of us must drop.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

  222. @Mr. Hack
    @AnonFromTN

    Well, if you ever return, even though its obvious that you didn't make any friends in Church, please visit the small Ukrainian Orthodox church. I'm there most any Sunday. We don't bight, as I'm sure that you don't either. One of our oldest members is from Donbas, she seems to get along pretty well with all of the Galicians too. :-)

    Actually, we've had a number of Ukrainian professionals that work in the biological sciences visit and stay here. A young family where both worked at the U of A in the sciences and left about 10 years ago. Another one is a friend of mine that currently works at a local college and teaches both biology and chemistry. I'm sure that there were others too, ones that I never got to know.

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

    Thanks for the invitation! I know that in the US church often doubles as a social club, where you meet interesting people. Maybe due to growing up in the USSR I perceive church primarily as a place of worship, which is too “churchy” for me. I guess you can take the boy out of the ‘hood, but you cannot take the ‘hood out of the boy.

    As a crass unbeliever, I feel I might offend church-going people by my presence. I don’t want to offend anyone for no reason. I always tell my graduate students at the outset: “if you are conventionally religious, you don’t want to discuss religion with me”. I’d much prefer meeting people in a more neutral place.

  223. @AaronB
    @Thulean Friend

    One might apply this to the internal situation as well.

    Just as international unity does not lead to innovation, excessive internal unity within a society likewise leads to stagnation.

    The 19th century was also a period of great internal social division and of competing value systems and philosophies.

    Nietzsche studied Greek culture and concluded that humanity reaches new heights only through fierce competition - he believed it was the Greek institution of the 'agon' that led to Greece becoming so much greater than its neighbors, who stressed unification, harmony, and central authority.

    Heraclitus said war is the father of all things- obviously meaning competition and strife among divided factions leads humanity to create and adapt.

    It is common here to mock the slogan that diversity is our strength, but it is true in a very real sense.

    In America, might not the Indian, Chinese, Jewish, and White communities compete with each other in a friendly rivalry to outdo, out-excel, and out-achieve each other and leading America as a whole to new discoveries and creations? A sort of modern Greek agon?

    Social rivalry need not be racial, but a healthy society needs a certain level of social division and strife. Competition between factions leads to innovation. Of course, too much strife becomes chaos and disintegration- but without risk and danger there is nothing great.

    People are too afraid of division and strife. Nietzsche suggested the yearning for harmony and peace is the sign of decadence and exhaustion. All autocratic regimes are really decadent in their fear of competition.

    Conservatives are by nature fearful creatures- that is why they wish to conserve and arrest change. They fear strife and desire peace and harmony.

    Even the Woke ideology, in its insanity and aggression, is a stimulus towards the development of alternative and better philosophies, and a wake up call out of dull complacency.

    Kant was famously roused from his dogmatic slumber by Hume, whose skeptical philosophy he found repellent and a challenge.

    I sometimes get the sense that the commentators here are a bunch of exhausted and weary old souls.

    From a Buddhist/Taoist perspective, of course, I am not interested in national greatness or technological innovation, although I find it easy to enter into the mindset of "worldly" achievement and understand what factors and conditions lead to its attainment (perhaps my lack of emotional involvement makes me more objective).

    What does worry me is the conservative fear-based desire to impose a stultifying and dreary unity on life and tightly control everything, eliminating risk, adventure, diversity of lifestyle and thought, and freedom. This suppression of the abundance of nature is anti-Tao.

    Of course, the mainstream Left exhibits similar tendencies.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Thulean Friend, @Boomthorkell, @EldnahYm

    An ideal environment must always be balanced between strife and prosperity. One needs enough prosperity to have the political grow, but one also needs some strife. It’s more a matter of by what and to what degree, I think.

    A perpetual frontier will free us all and solve the problem.

  224. @AP
    @Beckow


    US labor market is swamped with surplus labor used to keep incomes lower than they would be otherwise.
     
    And yet across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.

    Average salary for an electrical engineer in the USA: $76,700 per year

    Germany: $58,000
    Canada: $55,800
    France: $47,600
    Italy: $45,320
    UK: $44,600

    I can do the same for nurses, pharmacists, plumbers, etc.

    People genuinely screwed are laborers, and this is of course bad - we should take care of our native laborers, they also have the right for dignified lives.

    Replies: @Beckow

    …across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.

    That’s why they are trying to lower them. The salaries are substantially lower than they would be if there was no mass immigration.

    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc…

    Different people put different value on it, for a single person in their prime earning years with no school debt, US is better. For a family with kids it is about equal. And Europe is simply more fun…

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @Beckow


    Europe is simply more fun…
     
    Europe was more fun before massive influx of rapefugees. I visited many European countries in the last 20+ years, and liked it. Now people say that Paris is as bad as Dakar, and UK and Germany have also deteriorated. Maybe Eastern Europe is still OK, but the places I visited so far (Hungary, Croatia) were rather depressing, looked poorer than provincial Russian cities. The only place that looked decent was Prague. Even there the profusion of classical music concerts at low prices suggested that it’s cultural heritage, that survived Soviet domination, is now dying. The world is big, so now I’d rather go to Asia, Latin America, or even some places in Africa. I was in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Peru, Mexico, and Egypt in the last few years and liked it all.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Dmitry

    , @AP
    @Beckow


    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc
     
    In addition to lower incomes, Europeans pay much higher taxes, which erases most of the advantages of free medical care and education.

    You are right about 5 weeks vacation, though. That is an undeniable advantage.


    And Europe is simply more fun
     
    Depends. For urban exploration, culture, and history - absolutely. And by urban I mean small cities and towns too (maybe especially). OTOH, the USA is an incredible playground for outdoor natural activities.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN

  225. @Dmitry
    @AP

    During the second half of the 20th century, America was also experiencing moral panics, and restriction of speech, but mainly focuses on the topic of communism subliminally entering the society.

    For example, an article on the "Second Red Scare (1947–57)" . https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/red-scare People with allegedly sympathetic attitudes to communism were blacklisted, and could lose their jobs; and there wasn't significant free speech allowed in the public sphere about alternative economic systems, Marxism, etc, which is of course quite aligned with the interest of the country's economic elite.

    "Thousands of alleged communist sympathizers saw their lives disrupted. They were hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs."


    As the external enemy of communism has ended with opening of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, new moral panics have seemed to organically emerge in American culture in the 1990s, such as the "Satanic ritual abuse" panic:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse

    Content of the panics is changing across the decades, but the form seems more constant.

    I have only skimmed parts of de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" - so I don't know what about these topics about the taboos and moral panics in America he might have written? Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s, and supposedly things he described in the 1830s, are relevant still now.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    During the second half of the 20th century, America was also experiencing moral panics, and restriction of speech, but mainly focuses on the topic of communism subliminally entering the society.

    In the 1950s there were also moral panics about juvenile delinquency, rock’n’roll and even comic books (which were corrupting America’s youth).

    Has there ever been a period in American history without moral panics?

    To some extent it’s an Anglo-Protestant thing. There were moral panics in Victorian England about prostitution, homosexuality (the Cleveland Street Scandal) and white slavery. As Christianity has gradually faded into virtual non-existence in other Anglosphere countries the moral panics have abated.

    But the moral panics were always much more virulent in the US and they show no sign of abating.

    • Replies: @Coconuts
    @dfordoom

    I've always had some doubts about how useful the 'moral panic' concept is as a tool of analysis, and how much it was created to serve and further particular (left wing) political and social viewpoints.

    Good candidates for moral panics in the UK in recent years have revolved around:

    The 'Rise of Populism/Fascism', 'epidemic of racial hate', transphobia, Islamophobia, misogyny and 'rape culture' (in video games, now pervading society etc.).

    As far as I've been able to tell, sociologists have not been talking about these things in terms of moral panics. It is as if once identity politics and the New Left became the established religion, the need for the concept faded.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  226. Bashibuzuk says:
    @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    It's the problem of what path civilization takes: to maximize the survival of critical components of technological civilization and to further develop it in the direction of what is deemed the best to (post)human civilizational viability by the elites, even if much of the current order and the masses are to be sacrificed (the elitist route); or arousing the masses to their own self-preservation, through some form of ideology against the said elites (the populist route).

    In both routes, the one with the greatest real power in each spheres of civilization existence will have their expectations fulfilled. Alphas will have their world, and agrarians their utopia. But the populist route means "the old normal" or stagnation at least, and collapse and regression at worst (if you take a modernizing standard). Did you read Dugin on what he recently says on the Great Reset as the terminal stage of liberalism?

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    I stopped reading Dugin many years ago. I agree with what you wrote above, that attemptung the preservation of the current standard of living for the Western middle class will lead to stagnation and eventually to collapse. I believe that in the last two generations period or so, very intelligent people have probably charted different paths for human civilization. They worked with the information they had and the understanding that they managed to develop basing on this information, which lead us to the world we live in today. They probably have a very strong conviction that the technological progress must continue, but under the most strict possible control. That human evolution has become a technobiological process. That these both aspects must be balanced against each other and against the very survival of our biosphere. Maybe what we have today is simply the best we could get, maybe not. Fact is, everyone will not make it to the Shining Tomorrows. For this boat to keep on floating, some of us must drown. For this balloon to keep on flying, some of us must drop.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    The obvious alternatives are Dugin's and Hudson's, like in the recent dialog with Escobar.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  227. @dfordoom
    @Dmitry


    During the second half of the 20th century, America was also experiencing moral panics, and restriction of speech, but mainly focuses on the topic of communism subliminally entering the society.
     
    In the 1950s there were also moral panics about juvenile delinquency, rock'n'roll and even comic books (which were corrupting America's youth).

    Has there ever been a period in American history without moral panics?

    To some extent it's an Anglo-Protestant thing. There were moral panics in Victorian England about prostitution, homosexuality (the Cleveland Street Scandal) and white slavery. As Christianity has gradually faded into virtual non-existence in other Anglosphere countries the moral panics have abated.

    But the moral panics were always much more virulent in the US and they show no sign of abating.

    Replies: @Coconuts

    I’ve always had some doubts about how useful the ‘moral panic’ concept is as a tool of analysis, and how much it was created to serve and further particular (left wing) political and social viewpoints.

    Good candidates for moral panics in the UK in recent years have revolved around:

    The ‘Rise of Populism/Fascism’, ‘epidemic of racial hate’, transphobia, Islamophobia, misogyny and ‘rape culture’ (in video games, now pervading society etc.).

    As far as I’ve been able to tell, sociologists have not been talking about these things in terms of moral panics. It is as if once identity politics and the New Left became the established religion, the need for the concept faded.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Coconuts


    I’ve always had some doubts about how useful the ‘moral panic’ concept is as a tool of analysis, and how much it was created to serve and further particular (left wing) political and social viewpoints.

    Good candidates for moral panics in the UK in recent years have revolved around:

    The ‘Rise of Populism/Fascism’, ‘epidemic of racial hate’, transphobia, Islamophobia, misogyny and ‘rape culture’ (in video games, now pervading society etc.).
     
    The point is that the psychology is exactly the same, whether it's the Right or the Left pushing a particular moral panic. In both cases it's an attempt to frame the issue in terms of morality. Seeing every single political issue and every single aspect of human behaviour as a moral issue is weird and destructive but it seems to be an Anglo-Protestant thing. The "Left" in Anglosphere countries is just as permeated by Anglo-Protestant weirdness and moralising as the Right.

    And whether it's the Right or the Left pushing the moral panic it's a symptom of paranoia and hysteria. It's a sign of a fundamentally deranged society.
  228. @Daniel Chieh
    @mal

    This is incredible, thank you.

    Replies: @FerW

    Continuing from https://www.unz.com/akarlin/war-in-donbass-update/#comment-4552343

    It’s from the phonetic implication:

    话(huà) – words
    同化(huà) – to melt, become one

    So together, “melt into the same words”

    I see, thanks. So how canonical is incorporating phonetic correlations into the presumed meaning of words?

    We heard recently (IIRC from our 三王国 romantic) how one defining virtue of the 中文 linguistic system was its capacity for unifying many (spoken) languages through a common ideographic writing system. Of course, the point would be that the meaning extracted visually would be the same regardless of how different people are accustomed to verbalise it. But then including phonetic correlations into meaning would directly undermine this quality! Furthermore, even assuming one master pronunciation, there are several more 汉字 with the same huà/huā reading, what’s so special about 话? And aren’t we missing meaning from some 同-homophone too, then?

    I know that such associations of meaning could happen regardless of overarching designs*, and although I may sound a bit like advocatus diaboli, what I’m trying to puzzle out is how standard it is that 同化 should mean “make same language” as opposed to that being your (or your collinguals) “dialectal” interpretation, and whether such phonemic->semantic process is a widespread phenomenon in 中文.

    (*) Although not really the same, an example from Japanese: AIUI, they have these words called 熟字訓 (jukujikun) whose pre-existent sound and meaning was given a written form by choosing arbitrary 漢字 exclusively for their sound (as if they were phonemes). Then, in a few cases, as time wore on, some of the meaning of the word would spill into, say, one of the (previously semantically unrelated) kanji of the jukujikun. Afterwards, new words would be created where the kanji in question is now presumed to carry the new meaning.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @FerW


    But then including phonetic correlations into meaning would directly undermine this quality! Furthermore, even assuming one master pronunciation, there are several more 汉字 with the same huà/huā reading, what’s so special about 话? And aren’t we missing meaning from some 同-homophone too, then?

     

    I think that there is, in theory, a limited range of phonetic alteration from the characters. This is likely what Qin attempted to suppress; I don't actually know if it is completely possible to prevent meaning drift if phonetics is left completely independent and although I'm not a linguist enough to say this definitively, I believe that's how Kanji developed and even though it often uses characters similar or identical to Chinese, meaning drift has happened.

    That said, phonetics is an important part of Chinese written language now(I notice, at least casually, that kanji seems to avoid the phonetic components). In modern Chinese, phonetic-semantic characters(also known as sound-meaning characters) are the majority(I've read 80%) of Chinese characters and allow some degree of ambiguity to happen. The ever simplification of phonetics has led to some interesting results:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion-Eating_Poet_in_the_Stone_Den


    The poem was written in the 1930s by the Chinese linguist Yuen Ren Chao as a linguistic demonstration. The poem is coherent and grammatical in Classical Chinese, but due to the number of Chinese homophones, it becomes difficult to understand in oral speech. In Mandarin, the poem is incomprehensible when read aloud, since only four syllables cover all the words of the poem.
     
    At any rate, in terms of its actual utility function, the semantic function helps with clarity and for the most part, it doesn't get too ambiguous with the phonetic component. I'll give an example below:

    根 is tree/plant root, or gēn. Its inherits its phonetic character from 艮, a Kangxi radical, a building block for Chinese, with a similar sound of gèn. The left radical to 根 is 木(mu) or wood, so together you have "something with the sound of gen, which is wood", which is a "root." Someone who did not know the sound-radical would be able to tell that it refers to plantlife, but would be less able to clarify the specific part of the plant. Usually from the context of the sentence, a reader can confirm that it is referring to "root."


    Then, in a few cases, as time wore on, some of the meaning of the word would spill into, say, one of the (previously semantically unrelated) kanji of the jukujikun. Afterwards, new words would be created where the kanji in question is now presumed to carry the new meaning.
     
    Chinese language is indeed a huge collection of such meanings, clarifications, misunderstandings, etc. I did some research before on the specific characters, and I believe there are notes like "this was a sound corruption that was eventually accepted into normalized use for a new meaning."

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  229. @Beckow
    @AP


    ...across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.
     
    That's why they are trying to lower them. The salaries are substantially lower than they would be if there was no mass immigration.

    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc...

    Different people put different value on it, for a single person in their prime earning years with no school debt, US is better. For a family with kids it is about equal. And Europe is simply more fun...

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @AP

    Europe is simply more fun…

    Europe was more fun before massive influx of rapefugees. I visited many European countries in the last 20+ years, and liked it. Now people say that Paris is as bad as Dakar, and UK and Germany have also deteriorated. Maybe Eastern Europe is still OK, but the places I visited so far (Hungary, Croatia) were rather depressing, looked poorer than provincial Russian cities. The only place that looked decent was Prague. Even there the profusion of classical music concerts at low prices suggested that it’s cultural heritage, that survived Soviet domination, is now dying. The world is big, so now I’d rather go to Asia, Latin America, or even some places in Africa. I was in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Peru, Mexico, and Egypt in the last few years and liked it all.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @AnonFromTN

    I wasn't referring to tourism, that is - or not - fun in many places. I agree about large cities in Western Europe, they seem unsalvageable: menacing, dirty, unpleasant, with pockets of wealth. The oasis never spreads, a desert does, we all know where this is going.

    Outside of big cities, lives are still good. Try smaller cities in Austria, Cotswolds, or France profonde. In Eastern Europe we have temporarily peaked around 2017-18. The deep structural issues are back. Faustian bargains after 1990 are coming to collect.

    Prague is a fairy town for tourists, both appealing and annoying. Prague is also living off the massive investment in infrastructure, housing, education (music) after WWII - the damn commies built a lot of it. It has been repainted, franchised, quality (commie-)educated people cashed in, housing values sky-rocketed. Restaurants are good, but not as good as 5-10 years ago. There is a sense of an era ending, the post-WWII investment and the post-1990 cashing-in are both exhausted.

    I need to check-out "provincial Russia", any boom-towns? (I spotted a Gypsy on a street-car few days back, and there is an Indian flag above a ugly non-descript office building, time to look for greener pastures :)...

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @songbird, @Thulean Friend, @Anatoly Karlin

    , @Dmitry
    @AnonFromTN

    In all the years I have visited Paris (from beginning 2000s to 2015), I think it has become more renovated and bourgeois than the first time I remember the city.

    It is a city of Arab and African labour - but it was like this the first time I visited. This is not recent. My first impression of Paris when I visited as child, was that I was in Africa.

    Even the problems like Arab terrorists running around in Paris killing people is not that new, and was endemic in Paris in the 1980s - there were terrorist IEDs firing all over the city in the 1980s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985%E2%80%9386_Paris_attacks

    As a tourist, my impression is the Arab tourist sector workers in Paris, at least can be more friendly to tourists, than some of the native French workers. Arab workers in the hotel always seemed responsive, but the native French woman my parents have hired a house from in a another city in France, has shouted at us because we did something wrong with a window.

    -

    As for other problems of Paris like the decaying metro, dirty streets and the traffic pollution. My impression that they have renovated parts of the city and that it seems cleaner than it was in the early 2000s. It seems like the city has become more bourgeois, touristic, but lost more of its charm more as the tourist numbers had doubled in the last twenty years.

  230. FerW says:
    @Boswald Bollocksworth
    Do any of you know what the deal is with the iron cage or plexiglass box they put defendants in at trials in Russia/FSU?

    Specifically, I am curious if it goes back to the imperial era, or if it was a Soviet innovation. In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?

    Lots of between-nation variation in attitudes here. Perhaps the Russian mind is not as worried about punishing the innocent. Interestingly, in the Netherlands and at least some Scandinavian countries, defendants are in many/most cases not publicly identified. They find it an intrusion of privacy/presumption of innocence that American law always names the defendant.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @Gerard.Gerard, @FerW, @Mikel

    In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?

    John Pilger reports as witness of Julian Assange’s extradition trial at London’s Old Bailey (October 2020):

    Q: Having watched Julian Assange’s trial first-hand, can you describe the prevailing atmosphere in the court?

    The prevailing atmosphere has been shocking. I say that without hesitation; I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a corruption of due process; this is due revenge. Putting aside the ritual associated with ‘British justice’, at times it has been evocative of a Stalinist show trial. One difference is that in the show trials, the defendant stood in the court proper. In the Assange trial, the defendant was caged behind thick glass, and had to crawl on his knees to a slit in the glass, overseen by his guard, to make contact with his lawyers. His message, whispered barely audibly through face masks, WAS then passed by post-it the length of the court to where his barristers were arguing the case against his extradition to an American hellhole.

    Consider this daily routine of Julian Assange, an Australian on trial for truth-telling journalism. He was woken at five o’clock in his cell at Belmarsh prison in the bleak southern sprawl of London. The first time I saw Julian in Belmarsh, having passed through half an hour of ‘security’ checks, including a dog’s snout in my rear, I found a painfully thin figure sitting alone wearing a yellow armband. He had lost more than 10 kilos in a matter of months; his arms had no muscle. His first words were: ‘I think I am losing my mind’.

    I tried to assure him he wasn’t. His resilience and courage are formidable, but there is a limit. That was more than a year ago. In the past three weeks, in the pre-dawn, he was strip-searched, shackled, and prepared for transport to the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, in a truck that his partner, Stella Moris, described as an upended coffin. It had one small window; he had to stand precariously to look out. The truck and its guards were operated by Serco, one of many politically connected companies that run much of Boris Johnson’s Britain.

    The journey to the Old Bailey took at least an hour and a half. That’s a minimum of three hours being jolted through snail-like traffic every day. He was led into his narrow cage at the back of the court, then look up, blinking, trying to make out faces in the public gallery through the reflection of the glass. He saw the courtly figure of his dad, John Shipton, and me, and our fists went up. Through the glass, he reached out to touch fingers with Stella, who is a lawyer and seated in the body of the court.

    […]

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/eyewitness-to-the-trial-and-agony-of-julian-assange

    [MORE]

    We were here for the ultimate of what the philosopher Guy Debord called The Society of the Spectacle: a man fighting for his life. Yet his crime is to have performed an epic public service: revealing that which we have a right to know: the lies of our governments and the crimes they commit in our name. His creation of WikiLeaks and its failsafe protection of sources revolutionised journalism, restoring it to the vision of its idealists. Edmund Burke’s notion of free journalism as a fourth estate is now a fifth estate that shines a light on those who diminish the very meaning of democracy with their criminal secrecy. That’s why his punishment is so extreme.

    The sheer bias in the courts I have sat in this year and last year, with Julian in the dock, blight any notion of British justice. When thuggish police dragged him from his asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy – look closely at the photo and you’ll see he is clutching a Gore Vidal book; Assange has a political humour similar to Vidal’s – a judge gave him an outrageous 50-week sentence in a maximum-security prison for mere bail infringement.

    For months, he was denied exercise and held in solitary confinement disguised as ‘heath care’. He once told me he strode the length of his cell, back and forth, back and forth, for his own half-marathon. In the next cell, the occupant screamed through the night. At first he was denied his reading glasses, left behind in the embassy brutality. He was denied the legal documents with which to prepare his case, and access to the prison library and the use of a basic laptop. Books sent to him by a friend, the journalist Charles Glass, himself a survivor of hostage-taking in Beirut, were returned. He could not call his American lawyers. He has been constantly medicated by the prison authorities. When I asked him what they were giving him, he couldn’t say. The governor of Belmarsh has been awarded the Order of the British Empire.

    At the Old Bailey, one of the expert medical witnesses, Dr Kate Humphrey, a clinical neuropsychologist at Imperial College, London, described the damage: Julian’s intellect had gone from ‘in the superior, or more likely very superior range’ to ‘significantly below’ this optimal level, to the point where he was struggling to absorb information and ‘perform in the low average range’.

    This is what the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer, calls ‘psychological torture’, the result of a gang-like ‘mobbing’ by governments and their media shills. […]

    […]

    The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population.

    There are few records of the proceedings. They are: Craig Murray’s personal blog, Joe Lauria’s live reporting on Consortium News and the World Socialist Website. American journalist Kevin Gosztola’s blog, Shadowproof, funded mostly by himself, has reported more of the trial than the major US press and TV, including CNN, combined.

    In Australia, Assange’s homeland, the ‘coverage’ follows a familiar formula set overseas. The London correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald, Latika Bourke, wrote this recently:

    The court heard Assange became depressed during the seven years he spent in the Ecuadorian embassy where he sought political asylum to escape extradition to Sweden to answer rape and sexual assault charges.

    There were no ‘rape and sexual assault charges’ in Sweden. Bourke’s lazy falsehood is not uncommon. If the Assange trial is the political trial of the century, as I believe it is, its outcome will not only seal the fate of a journalist for doing his job but intimidate the very principles of free journalism and free speech. The absence of serious mainstream reporting of the proceedings is, at the very least, self-destructive. Journalists should ask: who is next?

    How shaming it all is. A decade ago, the Guardian exploited Assange’s work, claimed its profit and prizes as well as a lucrative Hollywood deal, then turned on him with venom. Throughout the Old Bailey trial, two names have been cited by the prosecution, the Guardian’s David Leigh, now retired as ‘investigations editor’ and Luke Harding, the Russiaphobe and author of a fictional Guardian ‘scoop’ that claimed Trump adviser Paul Manafort and a group of Russians visited Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy. This never happened, and the Guardian has yet to apologise. The Harding and Leigh book on Assange – written behind their subject’s back – disclosed a secret password to a WikiLeaks file that Assange had entrusted to Leigh during the Guardian’s ‘partnership’. Why the defence has not called this pair is difficult to understand.

    Assange is quoted in their book declaring during a dinner at a London restaurant that he didn’t care if informants named in the leaks were harmed. Neither Harding nor Leigh was at the dinner. John Goetz, an investigations reporter with Der Spiegel, was at the dinner and testified that Assange said nothing of the kind. Incredibly, Judge Baraitser stopped Goetz actually saying this in court.

    However, the defence has succeeded in demonstrating the extent to which Assange sought to protect and redact names in the files released by WikiLeaks and that no credible evidence existed of individuals harmed by the leaks. The great whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg said that Assange had personally redacted 15,000 files. The renowned New Zealand investigative journalist Nicky Hager, who worked with Assange on the Afghanistan and Iraq war leaks, described how Assange took ‘extraordinary precautions in redacting names of informants’.

    […]

    Q: Having followed the story of WikiLeaks closely for a decade, how has this eyewitness experience shifted your understanding of what’s at stake with Assange’s trial?

    I have long been a critic of journalism as an echo of unaccountable power and a champion of those who are beacons. So, for me, the arrival of WikiLeaks was exciting; I admired the way Assange regarded the public with respect, that he was prepared to share his work with the ‘mainstream’ but not join their collusive club. This, and naked jealousy, made him enemies among the overpaid and under-talented, insecure in their pretensions of independence and impartiality.

    […]

    WikiLeaks, on the other hand, has allowed us to glimpse a rampant imperial march through whole societies – think of the carnage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, to name a few, the dispossession of 37 million people and the deaths of 12 million men, women and children in the ‘war on terror’ – most of it behind a façade of deception.

    Julian Assange is a threat to these recurring horrors – that’s why he is being persecuted, why a court of law has become an instrument of oppression, why he ought to be our collective conscience: why we all should be the threat.

    The judge’s decision will be known on the 4th of January.

    The extradition was initially denied due to concerns about Assange’s health. However, he remains jailed. Under Biden USA decided to continue the prosecution.

  231. @AnonFromTN
    @Beckow


    Europe is simply more fun…
     
    Europe was more fun before massive influx of rapefugees. I visited many European countries in the last 20+ years, and liked it. Now people say that Paris is as bad as Dakar, and UK and Germany have also deteriorated. Maybe Eastern Europe is still OK, but the places I visited so far (Hungary, Croatia) were rather depressing, looked poorer than provincial Russian cities. The only place that looked decent was Prague. Even there the profusion of classical music concerts at low prices suggested that it’s cultural heritage, that survived Soviet domination, is now dying. The world is big, so now I’d rather go to Asia, Latin America, or even some places in Africa. I was in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Peru, Mexico, and Egypt in the last few years and liked it all.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Dmitry

    I wasn’t referring to tourism, that is – or not – fun in many places. I agree about large cities in Western Europe, they seem unsalvageable: menacing, dirty, unpleasant, with pockets of wealth. The oasis never spreads, a desert does, we all know where this is going.

    Outside of big cities, lives are still good. Try smaller cities in Austria, Cotswolds, or France profonde. In Eastern Europe we have temporarily peaked around 2017-18. The deep structural issues are back. Faustian bargains after 1990 are coming to collect.

    Prague is a fairy town for tourists, both appealing and annoying. Prague is also living off the massive investment in infrastructure, housing, education (music) after WWII – the damn commies built a lot of it. It has been repainted, franchised, quality (commie-)educated people cashed in, housing values sky-rocketed. Restaurants are good, but not as good as 5-10 years ago. There is a sense of an era ending, the post-WWII investment and the post-1990 cashing-in are both exhausted.

    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns? (I spotted a Gypsy on a street-car few days back, and there is an Indian flag above a ugly non-descript office building, time to look for greener pastures :)…

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @Beckow


    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns?
     
    I visited Penza and Nizhni Novgorod a few years back, about a year after we spent a few days in Budapest and drove through Zagreb, spending maybe 6-8 h there. I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel. The shock was enhanced by the fact that back in the USSR Hungary and Yugoslavia were considered prosperous. Either we were wrong, or they deteriorated a lot after joining the EU.

    Life keeps surprising me. I remember that in 1991 the roads in the US struck me as very good, much better than in the USSR. Now the roads in Nashville, including highway I-10, are full of potholes, some repaired, many not. RF federal road from Penza to Nizhni Novgorod that I drove a few years back is in much better shape. The Empire is visibly crumbling. Alzheimer Joe may not be a sick joke, but an objective reflection of things. I saw one Empire dying, and I hate to see exactly the same things in another.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP, @Philip Owen, @Jazman

    , @songbird
    @Beckow

    I'd rather visit Tripoli (either one) than Paris, and I have no illusions about Tripoli (either one) not being a dump.

    If the Chinese built a 1:1 copy of Paris, and hired a few pretty French or Quebecois girls to staff the most visible locations, then I think tourism to the real one would totally collapse.

    Replies: @Dmitry

    , @Thulean Friend
    @Beckow


    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns? (I spotted a Gypsy on a street-car few days back, and there is an Indian flag above a ugly non-descript office building, time to look for greener pastures :)…
     
    AP usually talks of Slovaks as a bunch of cowards who fold at the slightest tip of the hat but I never took him seriously. Maybe I should. At any rate, why would someone panic just because of more Indian immigration? Great food, great music, and great architecture. My sole complaint is that Indians often assimilate too much and their 2nd gen kids because too westernised. I want more of this in my country:

    https://i.imgur.com/HtwKPfS.jpg

    Replies: @Beckow

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @Beckow

    Depends where you want to go. For central Russia, I would recommend Veliky Novgorod for the history (though it is rather rundown), Yaroslavl also has history and everyone (including myself) remarks how nice it is, Nizhny Novgorod was run down but is now rapidly improving. Just outside Moscow, I'd recommend Sergiev Posad (not just the Lavda, but the less known but just as interesting Abramtsevo Estate a short train ride away), also Kolomna (has a nice Kremlin and pastila factory-museum, center is renovated and owners are required to keep them that way) - though I'm a bit biased since our dacha is close by.

  232. @FerW
    @Daniel Chieh

    Continuing from https://www.unz.com/akarlin/war-in-donbass-update/#comment-4552343


    It’s from the phonetic implication:

    话(huà) – words
    同化(huà) – to melt, become one

    So together, “melt into the same words”
     
    I see, thanks. So how canonical is incorporating phonetic correlations into the presumed meaning of words?

    We heard recently (IIRC from our 三王国 romantic) how one defining virtue of the 中文 linguistic system was its capacity for unifying many (spoken) languages through a common ideographic writing system. Of course, the point would be that the meaning extracted visually would be the same regardless of how different people are accustomed to verbalise it. But then including phonetic correlations into meaning would directly undermine this quality! Furthermore, even assuming one master pronunciation, there are several more 汉字 with the same huà/huā reading, what's so special about 话? And aren't we missing meaning from some 同-homophone too, then?

    I know that such associations of meaning could happen regardless of overarching designs*, and although I may sound a bit like advocatus diaboli, what I'm trying to puzzle out is how standard it is that 同化 should mean "make same language" as opposed to that being your (or your collinguals) "dialectal" interpretation, and whether such phonemic->semantic process is a widespread phenomenon in 中文.

    (*) Although not really the same, an example from Japanese: AIUI, they have these words called 熟字訓 (jukujikun) whose pre-existent sound and meaning was given a written form by choosing arbitrary 漢字 exclusively for their sound (as if they were phonemes). Then, in a few cases, as time wore on, some of the meaning of the word would spill into, say, one of the (previously semantically unrelated) kanji of the jukujikun. Afterwards, new words would be created where the kanji in question is now presumed to carry the new meaning.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    But then including phonetic correlations into meaning would directly undermine this quality! Furthermore, even assuming one master pronunciation, there are several more 汉字 with the same huà/huā reading, what’s so special about 话? And aren’t we missing meaning from some 同-homophone too, then?

    I think that there is, in theory, a limited range of phonetic alteration from the characters. This is likely what Qin attempted to suppress; I don’t actually know if it is completely possible to prevent meaning drift if phonetics is left completely independent and although I’m not a linguist enough to say this definitively, I believe that’s how Kanji developed and even though it often uses characters similar or identical to Chinese, meaning drift has happened.

    That said, phonetics is an important part of Chinese written language now(I notice, at least casually, that kanji seems to avoid the phonetic components). In modern Chinese, phonetic-semantic characters(also known as sound-meaning characters) are the majority(I’ve read 80%) of Chinese characters and allow some degree of ambiguity to happen. The ever simplification of phonetics has led to some interesting results:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion-Eating_Poet_in_the_Stone_Den

    The poem was written in the 1930s by the Chinese linguist Yuen Ren Chao as a linguistic demonstration. The poem is coherent and grammatical in Classical Chinese, but due to the number of Chinese homophones, it becomes difficult to understand in oral speech. In Mandarin, the poem is incomprehensible when read aloud, since only four syllables cover all the words of the poem.

    At any rate, in terms of its actual utility function, the semantic function helps with clarity and for the most part, it doesn’t get too ambiguous with the phonetic component. I’ll give an example below:

    根 is tree/plant root, or gēn. Its inherits its phonetic character from 艮, a Kangxi radical, a building block for Chinese, with a similar sound of gèn. The left radical to 根 is 木(mu) or wood, so together you have “something with the sound of gen, which is wood”, which is a “root.” Someone who did not know the sound-radical would be able to tell that it refers to plantlife, but would be less able to clarify the specific part of the plant. Usually from the context of the sentence, a reader can confirm that it is referring to “root.”

    Then, in a few cases, as time wore on, some of the meaning of the word would spill into, say, one of the (previously semantically unrelated) kanji of the jukujikun. Afterwards, new words would be created where the kanji in question is now presumed to carry the new meaning.

    Chinese language is indeed a huge collection of such meanings, clarifications, misunderstandings, etc. I did some research before on the specific characters, and I believe there are notes like “this was a sound corruption that was eventually accepted into normalized use for a new meaning.”

    • Thanks: FerW
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh


    I believe that’s how Kanji developed and even though it often uses characters similar or identical to Chinese, meaning drift has happened.
     
    I recollected some memory like this as well and found one - the meaning drift is minimal, but its still there. 鬼 in Japanese is oni, a specific type of demon, typically portrayed as troll-like creatures.

    They are typically portrayed as hulking figures with one or more horns growing out of their heads. Stereotypically, they are conceived of as red, blue or white-colored, wearing loincloths of tiger pelt, and carrying iron kanabō clubs. This is a symbol of the dark side.
     
    - Wikia

    In Chinse, 鬼 is gui and is a generic term for spirit but is typically translated into "ghost" or a spectral figure. So there's meaning drift, though its not so drastic that one can't envision how it came about.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

  233. AP says:
    @Beckow
    @AP


    ...across professions, wages in the USA are the highest in the world among major countries.
     
    That's why they are trying to lower them. The salaries are substantially lower than they would be if there was no mass immigration.

    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc...

    Different people put different value on it, for a single person in their prime earning years with no school debt, US is better. For a family with kids it is about equal. And Europe is simply more fun...

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @AP

    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc

    In addition to lower incomes, Europeans pay much higher taxes, which erases most of the advantages of free medical care and education.

    You are right about 5 weeks vacation, though. That is an undeniable advantage.

    And Europe is simply more fun

    Depends. For urban exploration, culture, and history – absolutely. And by urban I mean small cities and towns too (maybe especially). OTOH, the USA is an incredible playground for outdoor natural activities.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @AP


    USA is an incredible playground for outdoor natural activities.
     
    Have to agree with that. The US National Parks are magnificent. What’s more, the people there are very nice and polite. Neither BLM/Antifa scum nor “liberal” billionaires ever go there (thank goodness).
  234. @Beckow
    @AnonFromTN

    I wasn't referring to tourism, that is - or not - fun in many places. I agree about large cities in Western Europe, they seem unsalvageable: menacing, dirty, unpleasant, with pockets of wealth. The oasis never spreads, a desert does, we all know where this is going.

    Outside of big cities, lives are still good. Try smaller cities in Austria, Cotswolds, or France profonde. In Eastern Europe we have temporarily peaked around 2017-18. The deep structural issues are back. Faustian bargains after 1990 are coming to collect.

    Prague is a fairy town for tourists, both appealing and annoying. Prague is also living off the massive investment in infrastructure, housing, education (music) after WWII - the damn commies built a lot of it. It has been repainted, franchised, quality (commie-)educated people cashed in, housing values sky-rocketed. Restaurants are good, but not as good as 5-10 years ago. There is a sense of an era ending, the post-WWII investment and the post-1990 cashing-in are both exhausted.

    I need to check-out "provincial Russia", any boom-towns? (I spotted a Gypsy on a street-car few days back, and there is an Indian flag above a ugly non-descript office building, time to look for greener pastures :)...

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @songbird, @Thulean Friend, @Anatoly Karlin

    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns?

    I visited Penza and Nizhni Novgorod a few years back, about a year after we spent a few days in Budapest and drove through Zagreb, spending maybe 6-8 h there. I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel. The shock was enhanced by the fact that back in the USSR Hungary and Yugoslavia were considered prosperous. Either we were wrong, or they deteriorated a lot after joining the EU.

    Life keeps surprising me. I remember that in 1991 the roads in the US struck me as very good, much better than in the USSR. Now the roads in Nashville, including highway I-10, are full of potholes, some repaired, many not. RF federal road from Penza to Nizhni Novgorod that I drove a few years back is in much better shape. The Empire is visibly crumbling. Alzheimer Joe may not be a sick joke, but an objective reflection of things. I saw one Empire dying, and I hate to see exactly the same things in another.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Beckow
    @AnonFromTN

    Entropy gets everything. US is a business proposition more than anything else: build a business, cash-in, move on. It is a relatively short cycle and there are few profits in maintenance.

    I drove across US 2 years ago and went thru Nashville - a disappointment, Vanderbilt was nice, but the "music" district was poor and dirty. The low quality of people was shocking: short, fat, unhealthy, uninteresting, badly dressed. It is simply not a stock to build an "empire" with. Or even maintain one.

    US has become by design hyper-competitive. They don't understand that hyper-competitiveness inevitably leads to chaos and worse choices. When you have 50 or 200 possible candidates for a Harvard spot, or in other "markets", you end up with random, political, and nepotistic decision making. Predictably that has happened.

    Old Joe fits the country, a perfect reflection: scared, sickly, unable to think on his feet, and with pre-diluvian ideology based on myths, misunderstandings and Hollywood Wakanda dreams (for white people too). As with many elderly the main driving force is to keep their comfort a bit longer, future be damned.

    The reckless idea that drives Washington is to confront everyone, preach everywhere, threaten and pout. When things go badly, simply pretend that it is not happening. When the Chinese read the riot act to US in Alaska, I noticed the hapless Blinken and his staff energetically exchanging notes on small pieces of paper: like not very bright, but earnest students. They think that their verbal skills and inane conformism to ideology will carry the day. Too late for that. They looked like former people with no idea what is happening, a sad entropy driven collapse.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Gerard-Mandela

    , @AP
    @AnonFromTN


    I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel
     
    I visited Budapest in 2019 before moving on to Austria. Your impression of Budapest matches mine. With the exception of the Castle District, the city (including the center) looked run down and dirty. The outskirts by the airport could have been the outskirts of Zhytomir, except the people had more expensive cars. Not only provincial Russian cities, but also Lviv and Kiev look less run down than Budapest. Is it the influence of the Balkans? The kids loved the baths, however. And the food was good.

    Austria in contrast was a paradise.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Dmitry, @Anatoly Karlin

    , @Philip Owen
    @AnonFromTN

    I've been to Penza a few times. The centre is very decent by the standards of most other Russian provincial cities I know. The main street rising uphill narrowing as it approaches the cathedral pulls the architecture together.

    I have also been out and about in the factory areas. The whole place is better than the cities along the Volga because there is a lot less dust and grit blown in from the riverbank and steppe. The dust makes places like Ulyanosk and Saratov look dirty and dusty. Some of the dustiness and gritiness is down to poor quality road and pavement (sidewalk) construction and maintenance. The muck collects in the potholes. Farming, food processing (especially confectionery) and food distribution are the modern boom businesses.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN

    , @Jazman
    @AnonFromTN

    I have impression in future Russia will be favorite immigration country even now it is second place in the world

  235. @AP
    @Beckow


    The cost of living in US is also effectively higher, for e.g. in France or Germany you get free medical and education for you children, 5 weeks of vacation, etc
     
    In addition to lower incomes, Europeans pay much higher taxes, which erases most of the advantages of free medical care and education.

    You are right about 5 weeks vacation, though. That is an undeniable advantage.


    And Europe is simply more fun
     
    Depends. For urban exploration, culture, and history - absolutely. And by urban I mean small cities and towns too (maybe especially). OTOH, the USA is an incredible playground for outdoor natural activities.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN

    USA is an incredible playground for outdoor natural activities.

    Have to agree with that. The US National Parks are magnificent. What’s more, the people there are very nice and polite. Neither BLM/Antifa scum nor “liberal” billionaires ever go there (thank goodness).

    • Agree: AP
  236. @Beckow
    @AnonFromTN

    I wasn't referring to tourism, that is - or not - fun in many places. I agree about large cities in Western Europe, they seem unsalvageable: menacing, dirty, unpleasant, with pockets of wealth. The oasis never spreads, a desert does, we all know where this is going.

    Outside of big cities, lives are still good. Try smaller cities in Austria, Cotswolds, or France profonde. In Eastern Europe we have temporarily peaked around 2017-18. The deep structural issues are back. Faustian bargains after 1990 are coming to collect.

    Prague is a fairy town for tourists, both appealing and annoying. Prague is also living off the massive investment in infrastructure, housing, education (music) after WWII - the damn commies built a lot of it. It has been repainted, franchised, quality (commie-)educated people cashed in, housing values sky-rocketed. Restaurants are good, but not as good as 5-10 years ago. There is a sense of an era ending, the post-WWII investment and the post-1990 cashing-in are both exhausted.

    I need to check-out "provincial Russia", any boom-towns? (I spotted a Gypsy on a street-car few days back, and there is an Indian flag above a ugly non-descript office building, time to look for greener pastures :)...

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @songbird, @Thulean Friend, @Anatoly Karlin

    I’d rather visit Tripoli (either one) than Paris, and I have no illusions about Tripoli (either one) not being a dump.

    If the Chinese built a 1:1 copy of Paris, and hired a few pretty French or Quebecois girls to staff the most visible locations, then I think tourism to the real one would totally collapse.

    • Agree: Coconuts
    • LOL: Bashibuzuk, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @songbird

    As a tourist, you would surely need to have a very low cultural level, to prefer some fake shit made by Chinese (as if American fake architecture like the buildings in Yale University or Las Vegas was not bad enough), to Paris, with all its historical layers. I would no desire to live in Paris, but if you have an afternoon to walk around a city it is one of the most stimulating ones.

    That said, Paris has been strangely marketed to tourists. The attempt to claim that a grey, noisy, decaying, stressful, city, with its struggling migrant labour, as a "romantic destination" to visit with your girlfriend, is almost a fraud.

    The reason for the mismatch is because Paris was the 19th century equivalent of Hollywood today - it's where the world's most significant culture industry was located, and the latest fashions and trends in media, clothing and design were artificially engineered by the creative professionals that worked in Paris.

    People naturally associate the cities which have engineered our cultural concepts of romance and ideals, must be somehow romantic and ideal themselves, while in reality they can often be the opposite.

    Culture industry can be geographically located in places which hardly match its ideals - think about Hollywood. When I visited Los Angeles as a tourist, I found it a very romantic and interesting city, but this Los Angeles has a "gothic" kind of romance that you can feel for weird, haunted nightmares, rather than anything that matches the ideals of Hollywood romantic comedies.

    Replies: @songbird

  237. @AnonFromTN
    @Beckow


    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns?
     
    I visited Penza and Nizhni Novgorod a few years back, about a year after we spent a few days in Budapest and drove through Zagreb, spending maybe 6-8 h there. I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel. The shock was enhanced by the fact that back in the USSR Hungary and Yugoslavia were considered prosperous. Either we were wrong, or they deteriorated a lot after joining the EU.

    Life keeps surprising me. I remember that in 1991 the roads in the US struck me as very good, much better than in the USSR. Now the roads in Nashville, including highway I-10, are full of potholes, some repaired, many not. RF federal road from Penza to Nizhni Novgorod that I drove a few years back is in much better shape. The Empire is visibly crumbling. Alzheimer Joe may not be a sick joke, but an objective reflection of things. I saw one Empire dying, and I hate to see exactly the same things in another.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP, @Philip Owen, @Jazman

    Entropy gets everything. US is a business proposition more than anything else: build a business, cash-in, move on. It is a relatively short cycle and there are few profits in maintenance.

    I drove across US 2 years ago and went thru Nashville – a disappointment, Vanderbilt was nice, but the “music” district was poor and dirty. The low quality of people was shocking: short, fat, unhealthy, uninteresting, badly dressed. It is simply not a stock to build an “empire” with. Or even maintain one.

    US has become by design hyper-competitive. They don’t understand that hyper-competitiveness inevitably leads to chaos and worse choices. When you have 50 or 200 possible candidates for a Harvard spot, or in other “markets”, you end up with random, political, and nepotistic decision making. Predictably that has happened.

    Old Joe fits the country, a perfect reflection: scared, sickly, unable to think on his feet, and with pre-diluvian ideology based on myths, misunderstandings and Hollywood Wakanda dreams (for white people too). As with many elderly the main driving force is to keep their comfort a bit longer, future be damned.

    The reckless idea that drives Washington is to confront everyone, preach everywhere, threaten and pout. When things go badly, simply pretend that it is not happening. When the Chinese read the riot act to US in Alaska, I noticed the hapless Blinken and his staff energetically exchanging notes on small pieces of paper: like not very bright, but earnest students. They think that their verbal skills and inane conformism to ideology will carry the day. Too late for that. They looked like former people with no idea what is happening, a sad entropy driven collapse.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @Beckow


    I drove across US 2 years ago and went thru Nashville – a disappointment
     
    Nashville is a big (~600,000 residents) village. So, if you expect to see a city, you’d be disappointed. On the plus side, those fat uninteresting people (in the Old South they were called “white trash”) retain some horse sense. They tend to be dumb and woefully uninformed, but they are a lot more normal than mad libtards (who are also woefully uninformed, believe in most preposterous myths, and are convinced that they know everything, which is a worse thing than just lack of info).

    Old Joe fits the country, a perfect reflection: scared, sickly, unable to think on his feet, and with pre-diluvian ideology based on myths, misunderstandings and Hollywood Wakanda dreams
     
    Old Joe is unable to think, period. As an American joke puts it, he was always so dumb that when he went senile, his family didn’t even notice. As we see now, he is unable to climb stairs, either. Reminds me of Brezhnev in his worst years.
    , @Gerard-Mandela
    @Beckow

    On the issue of nepotism - I didn't realise that Biden's son ( now dead) was the Attorney General for Delaware. OK , it's elected position- but electing him on what?

    In no other western country could Biden have run to be leader , if a similar him-Hunter Biden-Burisma thing had occurred. But to be generous - I think all the congressmen in the US do this with their families and easily coerced companies of foreign countries.

  238. @Beckow
    @AnonFromTN

    Entropy gets everything. US is a business proposition more than anything else: build a business, cash-in, move on. It is a relatively short cycle and there are few profits in maintenance.

    I drove across US 2 years ago and went thru Nashville - a disappointment, Vanderbilt was nice, but the "music" district was poor and dirty. The low quality of people was shocking: short, fat, unhealthy, uninteresting, badly dressed. It is simply not a stock to build an "empire" with. Or even maintain one.

    US has become by design hyper-competitive. They don't understand that hyper-competitiveness inevitably leads to chaos and worse choices. When you have 50 or 200 possible candidates for a Harvard spot, or in other "markets", you end up with random, political, and nepotistic decision making. Predictably that has happened.

    Old Joe fits the country, a perfect reflection: scared, sickly, unable to think on his feet, and with pre-diluvian ideology based on myths, misunderstandings and Hollywood Wakanda dreams (for white people too). As with many elderly the main driving force is to keep their comfort a bit longer, future be damned.

    The reckless idea that drives Washington is to confront everyone, preach everywhere, threaten and pout. When things go badly, simply pretend that it is not happening. When the Chinese read the riot act to US in Alaska, I noticed the hapless Blinken and his staff energetically exchanging notes on small pieces of paper: like not very bright, but earnest students. They think that their verbal skills and inane conformism to ideology will carry the day. Too late for that. They looked like former people with no idea what is happening, a sad entropy driven collapse.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Gerard-Mandela

    I drove across US 2 years ago and went thru Nashville – a disappointment

    Nashville is a big (~600,000 residents) village. So, if you expect to see a city, you’d be disappointed. On the plus side, those fat uninteresting people (in the Old South they were called “white trash”) retain some horse sense. They tend to be dumb and woefully uninformed, but they are a lot more normal than mad libtards (who are also woefully uninformed, believe in most preposterous myths, and are convinced that they know everything, which is a worse thing than just lack of info).

    Old Joe fits the country, a perfect reflection: scared, sickly, unable to think on his feet, and with pre-diluvian ideology based on myths, misunderstandings and Hollywood Wakanda dreams

    Old Joe is unable to think, period. As an American joke puts it, he was always so dumb that when he went senile, his family didn’t even notice. As we see now, he is unable to climb stairs, either. Reminds me of Brezhnev in his worst years.

  239. @songbird
    @Beckow

    I'd rather visit Tripoli (either one) than Paris, and I have no illusions about Tripoli (either one) not being a dump.

    If the Chinese built a 1:1 copy of Paris, and hired a few pretty French or Quebecois girls to staff the most visible locations, then I think tourism to the real one would totally collapse.

    Replies: @Dmitry

    As a tourist, you would surely need to have a very low cultural level, to prefer some fake shit made by Chinese (as if American fake architecture like the buildings in Yale University or Las Vegas was not bad enough), to Paris, with all its historical layers. I would no desire to live in Paris, but if you have an afternoon to walk around a city it is one of the most stimulating ones.

    That said, Paris has been strangely marketed to tourists. The attempt to claim that a grey, noisy, decaying, stressful, city, with its struggling migrant labour, as a “romantic destination” to visit with your girlfriend, is almost a fraud.

    The reason for the mismatch is because Paris was the 19th century equivalent of Hollywood today – it’s where the world’s most significant culture industry was located, and the latest fashions and trends in media, clothing and design were artificially engineered by the creative professionals that worked in Paris.

    People naturally associate the cities which have engineered our cultural concepts of romance and ideals, must be somehow romantic and ideal themselves, while in reality they can often be the opposite.

    Culture industry can be geographically located in places which hardly match its ideals – think about Hollywood. When I visited Los Angeles as a tourist, I found it a very romantic and interesting city, but this Los Angeles has a “gothic” kind of romance that you can feel for weird, haunted nightmares, rather than anything that matches the ideals of Hollywood romantic comedies.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Dmitry


    As a tourist, you would surely need to have a very low cultural level, to prefer some fake shit made by Chinese
     
    Well, I think it depends on a the execution: if it is paper mache or concrete, then that is not desirable. Is it real limestone, skilled craftwork? Where are you flying from? Would the Chinese show an appreciation for French ethnicity and culture, even on a small scale? (In contrast to the real France which has an ideology against it) If so, I think it is philosophically possible to have a more authentic and more pleasant experience in a simulacrum.

    In fact, I think it it might be an overlooked economic model, to try to build a city for tourism that countersignals diversity, on whatever level, and reaches for some authentic culture, even on a small scale.

    The reason for the mismatch is because Paris was the 19th century equivalent of Hollywood today
     
    No question that there is a massive historical legacy, when it comes to the reputation of cities, on a global level, especially NYC, London, and Paris, that functions semi-independently of current observations and comparisons.

    Hollywood was originally chosen because it was a good place for using natural light in film, but, on the other hand, that made it closer to Mexico and Mexicans, and as the technology has moved on, the movie industry has in large part moved away and the term "Hollywood" is mainly used in a legacy sense to signify "American cultural production." Now, the original reason for setting up studios there, the natural light, helps one to espy the excrement of derelicts and to avoid stepping in it.

    Speaking of Hollywood, they often try to make American cities a lot more romantic than they are in actuality. I often wonder if it is a subversion, a personal love of cities, or rather a constraint of filming scenes that makes them seem more natural in a city than the suburbs. For example, showing a rush-hour commute from a suburb is not romantic. But, even so, I wonder about the negative effects of romanticizing American cities.

    Replies: @Dmitry, @Thulean Friend

  240. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN
    @Beckow


    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns?
     
    I visited Penza and Nizhni Novgorod a few years back, about a year after we spent a few days in Budapest and drove through Zagreb, spending maybe 6-8 h there. I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel. The shock was enhanced by the fact that back in the USSR Hungary and Yugoslavia were considered prosperous. Either we were wrong, or they deteriorated a lot after joining the EU.

    Life keeps surprising me. I remember that in 1991 the roads in the US struck me as very good, much better than in the USSR. Now the roads in Nashville, including highway I-10, are full of potholes, some repaired, many not. RF federal road from Penza to Nizhni Novgorod that I drove a few years back is in much better shape. The Empire is visibly crumbling. Alzheimer Joe may not be a sick joke, but an objective reflection of things. I saw one Empire dying, and I hate to see exactly the same things in another.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP, @Philip Owen, @Jazman

    I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel

    I visited Budapest in 2019 before moving on to Austria. Your impression of Budapest matches mine. With the exception of the Castle District, the city (including the center) looked run down and dirty. The outskirts by the airport could have been the outskirts of Zhytomir, except the people had more expensive cars. Not only provincial Russian cities, but also Lviv and Kiev look less run down than Budapest. Is it the influence of the Balkans? The kids loved the baths, however. And the food was good.

    Austria in contrast was a paradise.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @AP


    Austria in contrast was a paradise.
     
    We drove to Budapest from Vienna. We spent a few days in Vienna, went to the opera there, to their art museum (Klimt, who the whole world has heard of, is just one of many interesting Vienna painters), and generally enjoyed ourselves. Vienna feels a bit outsized for the capital of puny Austria, but it was the capital of a lot more consequential country a bit over a century ago. We also spent a few days in Budapest, where their metro and cable car to the Castle district still work, being built by Franz Josef early in the twentieth century, unlike cable car in Zagreb, which did not work (had a sign “Ne vozi”).

    What struck us in Budapest was a huge difference in prices between touristy places and places where locals live (we booked hotel in a native place, to see how people actually live, and used metro to get to downtown) – a typical sign of third world. Local grocery stores have a lot of cheap shit and had only small pieces of more expensive decent quality sausage, of the kinds that were plentiful even in DDR before the wall came down. We drove from Budapest via north side of Balaton, Croatia, and a small piece of Slovenia to Austria. After Hungary and Croatia, Austria indeed looked like a paradise: clean, well maintained, prosperous. I hope rapefugees did not spoil it: I hear they channeled most of those dregs to Germany.

    Replies: @AP, @Jazman, @Thulean Friend

    , @Dmitry
    @AP

    I've never been to Budapest, so have no idea about it (except I read they are removing the historical trams).

    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being "run down", for a tourist? If I could trade between "run down city" and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. "run down" Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.

    For city tourism in Europe, I generally feel like I want to visit the places which have not been too renovated and turned into tourist traps.. Cities which are trying too much to "make a good impression", can lose their historical atmosphere and authenticity. Napoli is still an unspoilt city, with all its interesting decaying and dirty streets, but Sorrento has become too shiny, touristic and I didn't feel anything in my soul when I visited such an inauthentic place.

    On the other hand, if you are a long-term resident of city, I can see that graffitied buildings, and dirty building facades, that charms visitors to cities like Napoli, could become annoying after some weeks.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @AP, @Anatoly Karlin

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @AP


    I visited Budapest in 2019 before moving on to Austria. Your impression of Budapest matches mine.
     
    Austrian citizen friend who knows Austria, Czechia, and Hungary well also described Budapest as a dump. Interesting to see the impression confirmed across multiple ideological lines, must be accurate.
  241. @AnonFromTN
    @Beckow


    Europe is simply more fun…
     
    Europe was more fun before massive influx of rapefugees. I visited many European countries in the last 20+ years, and liked it. Now people say that Paris is as bad as Dakar, and UK and Germany have also deteriorated. Maybe Eastern Europe is still OK, but the places I visited so far (Hungary, Croatia) were rather depressing, looked poorer than provincial Russian cities. The only place that looked decent was Prague. Even there the profusion of classical music concerts at low prices suggested that it’s cultural heritage, that survived Soviet domination, is now dying. The world is big, so now I’d rather go to Asia, Latin America, or even some places in Africa. I was in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Peru, Mexico, and Egypt in the last few years and liked it all.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Dmitry

    In all the years I have visited Paris (from beginning 2000s to 2015), I think it has become more renovated and bourgeois than the first time I remember the city.

    It is a city of Arab and African labour – but it was like this the first time I visited. This is not recent. My first impression of Paris when I visited as child, was that I was in Africa.

    Even the problems like Arab terrorists running around in Paris killing people is not that new, and was endemic in Paris in the 1980s – there were terrorist IEDs firing all over the city in the 1980s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985%E2%80%9386_Paris_attacks

    As a tourist, my impression is the Arab tourist sector workers in Paris, at least can be more friendly to tourists, than some of the native French workers. Arab workers in the hotel always seemed responsive, but the native French woman my parents have hired a house from in a another city in France, has shouted at us because we did something wrong with a window.

    As for other problems of Paris like the decaying metro, dirty streets and the traffic pollution. My impression that they have renovated parts of the city and that it seems cleaner than it was in the early 2000s. It seems like the city has become more bourgeois, touristic, but lost more of its charm more as the tourist numbers had doubled in the last twenty years.

  242. @AP
    @AnonFromTN


    I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel
     
    I visited Budapest in 2019 before moving on to Austria. Your impression of Budapest matches mine. With the exception of the Castle District, the city (including the center) looked run down and dirty. The outskirts by the airport could have been the outskirts of Zhytomir, except the people had more expensive cars. Not only provincial Russian cities, but also Lviv and Kiev look less run down than Budapest. Is it the influence of the Balkans? The kids loved the baths, however. And the food was good.

    Austria in contrast was a paradise.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Dmitry, @Anatoly Karlin

    Austria in contrast was a paradise.

    We drove to Budapest from Vienna. We spent a few days in Vienna, went to the opera there, to their art museum (Klimt, who the whole world has heard of, is just one of many interesting Vienna painters), and generally enjoyed ourselves. Vienna feels a bit outsized for the capital of puny Austria, but it was the capital of a lot more consequential country a bit over a century ago. We also spent a few days in Budapest, where their metro and cable car to the Castle district still work, being built by Franz Josef early in the twentieth century, unlike cable car in Zagreb, which did not work (had a sign “Ne vozi”).

    What struck us in Budapest was a huge difference in prices between touristy places and places where locals live (we booked hotel in a native place, to see how people actually live, and used metro to get to downtown) – a typical sign of third world. Local grocery stores have a lot of cheap shit and had only small pieces of more expensive decent quality sausage, of the kinds that were plentiful even in DDR before the wall came down. We drove from Budapest via north side of Balaton, Croatia, and a small piece of Slovenia to Austria. After Hungary and Croatia, Austria indeed looked like a paradise: clean, well maintained, prosperous. I hope rapefugees did not spoil it: I hear they channeled most of those dregs to Germany.

    • Replies: @AP
    @AnonFromTN


    After Hungary and Croatia, Austria indeed looked like a paradise: clean, well maintained, prosperous. I hope rapefugees did not spoil it: I hear they channeled most of those dregs to Germany.
     
    This is true. In 2019 I only saw two refugees in Austria, both in Vienna. They were sad rather than frightful, one was begging outside of Saint Stephen's before the police drove him away. The second was dirty, malnourished, in rags, meekly saying "bitte" on a pedestrian shopping street. I felt sorry for him and gave him a piece of sausage (they sell delicious street sausages in Vienna) which he ate.

    Overall Vienna was about as non-European as Moscow (perhaps 10-15%), nothing like Paris or London. There were tons of Russian tourists. I think Russians have decided that if they want to be in a major Western European city with its charms and its museums, Vienna is the place to go to avoid being in the Third World instead. Outside Vienna, in smaller cities there were a lot of Croats, Serbs and a few Bosnians.

    Replies: @Gerard-Mandela, @Mr. XYZ

    , @Jazman
    @AnonFromTN

    C mon man when you going to visit Serbia :)
    You have to try " Leskovacka pljeskavica" it is local version of hamburger but much better taste and quality or "chevapi" from Sarajevo

    , @Thulean Friend
    @AnonFromTN

    I visited Prague and Budapest during the summer of 2017. Prague was a giant Disneyland, but the city was in a good condition. I took care to visit outside the usual touristy areas and the core districts and there was no major degradation.

    I concur with the consensus of Budapest that it was a bit runned down, coming from Stockholm the metro experience was pretty shocking. Far more squalor and some hilarious old traincarts (must've been 1950s or earlier).

    That said, I did not have as negative impression as your or AP. For one thing, I really enjoy wide boulewards and Budapest has plenty. The city had also not nearly been as overrun with tourists as Prague, at least when I visited. Hungarian wages are the lowest in the V4 so it will take for infrastructure to catch up, but I assume they will.

    One thing I did notice is that there far more turks in Budapest than in Prague. Hungarians themselves are also noticably darker than Czechs. I prefer brunettes, so this was not a negative to me, but in that sense, Czechia felt more Scandinavian whereas in Budapest you always got the sense you were in an upscale part of the Balkans.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN

  243. @AP
    @AnonFromTN


    I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel
     
    I visited Budapest in 2019 before moving on to Austria. Your impression of Budapest matches mine. With the exception of the Castle District, the city (including the center) looked run down and dirty. The outskirts by the airport could have been the outskirts of Zhytomir, except the people had more expensive cars. Not only provincial Russian cities, but also Lviv and Kiev look less run down than Budapest. Is it the influence of the Balkans? The kids loved the baths, however. And the food was good.

    Austria in contrast was a paradise.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Dmitry, @Anatoly Karlin

    I’ve never been to Budapest, so have no idea about it (except I read they are removing the historical trams).

    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being “run down”, for a tourist? If I could trade between “run down city” and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. “run down” Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.

    For city tourism in Europe, I generally feel like I want to visit the places which have not been too renovated and turned into tourist traps.. Cities which are trying too much to “make a good impression”, can lose their historical atmosphere and authenticity. Napoli is still an unspoilt city, with all its interesting decaying and dirty streets, but Sorrento has become too shiny, touristic and I didn’t feel anything in my soul when I visited such an inauthentic place.

    On the other hand, if you are a long-term resident of city, I can see that graffitied buildings, and dirty building facades, that charms visitors to cities like Napoli, could become annoying after some weeks.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @Dmitry


    For city tourism in Europe, I generally feel like I want to visit the places which have not been too renovated and turned into tourist traps.
     
    There is a huge difference between creating fakes for tourists and proper maintenance of the city. Say, St. Petersburg did not lose its authenticity because it was washed and renovated, it just became a nice place both to visit and to live in. Same with Moscow, that now is clean and looks magnificent, but retains its authenticity (which is, admittedly, eclectic, as it always was). Unter den Linden in Berlin is also clean and well maintained (at least it was a few years ago, before the flood of rapefugees), which does not reduce its authenticity. Napoli would have been just as authentic if it were cleaned, like downtown Milano. Now you have to get to its artistic gems via dirty streets.
    , @AP
    @Dmitry


    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being “run down”, for a tourist? If I could trade between “run down city” and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. “run down” Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.
     
    Well, Moscow is a very clean non-touristic city. It is much nicer now than it was in the early 2000s when it was run down. There are Austrian towns that are not loaded with tourists, that are clean and tidy. Galician villages tend to be clean and tidy, and have zero tourists. They are more pleasant than run down ones in Russia (I mean no offence to Russians here).

    Replies: @Dmitry

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @Dmitry


    ... I can see that graffitied buildings, and dirty building facades, that charms visitors to cities like Napoli, could become annoying after some weeks.
     
    It doesn't charm me, it suggests to me that the denizens of these places dgaf about their surroundings.
  244. @Daniel Chieh
    @FerW


    But then including phonetic correlations into meaning would directly undermine this quality! Furthermore, even assuming one master pronunciation, there are several more 汉字 with the same huà/huā reading, what’s so special about 话? And aren’t we missing meaning from some 同-homophone too, then?

     

    I think that there is, in theory, a limited range of phonetic alteration from the characters. This is likely what Qin attempted to suppress; I don't actually know if it is completely possible to prevent meaning drift if phonetics is left completely independent and although I'm not a linguist enough to say this definitively, I believe that's how Kanji developed and even though it often uses characters similar or identical to Chinese, meaning drift has happened.

    That said, phonetics is an important part of Chinese written language now(I notice, at least casually, that kanji seems to avoid the phonetic components). In modern Chinese, phonetic-semantic characters(also known as sound-meaning characters) are the majority(I've read 80%) of Chinese characters and allow some degree of ambiguity to happen. The ever simplification of phonetics has led to some interesting results:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion-Eating_Poet_in_the_Stone_Den


    The poem was written in the 1930s by the Chinese linguist Yuen Ren Chao as a linguistic demonstration. The poem is coherent and grammatical in Classical Chinese, but due to the number of Chinese homophones, it becomes difficult to understand in oral speech. In Mandarin, the poem is incomprehensible when read aloud, since only four syllables cover all the words of the poem.
     
    At any rate, in terms of its actual utility function, the semantic function helps with clarity and for the most part, it doesn't get too ambiguous with the phonetic component. I'll give an example below:

    根 is tree/plant root, or gēn. Its inherits its phonetic character from 艮, a Kangxi radical, a building block for Chinese, with a similar sound of gèn. The left radical to 根 is 木(mu) or wood, so together you have "something with the sound of gen, which is wood", which is a "root." Someone who did not know the sound-radical would be able to tell that it refers to plantlife, but would be less able to clarify the specific part of the plant. Usually from the context of the sentence, a reader can confirm that it is referring to "root."


    Then, in a few cases, as time wore on, some of the meaning of the word would spill into, say, one of the (previously semantically unrelated) kanji of the jukujikun. Afterwards, new words would be created where the kanji in question is now presumed to carry the new meaning.
     
    Chinese language is indeed a huge collection of such meanings, clarifications, misunderstandings, etc. I did some research before on the specific characters, and I believe there are notes like "this was a sound corruption that was eventually accepted into normalized use for a new meaning."

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I believe that’s how Kanji developed and even though it often uses characters similar or identical to Chinese, meaning drift has happened.

    I recollected some memory like this as well and found one – the meaning drift is minimal, but its still there. 鬼 in Japanese is oni, a specific type of demon, typically portrayed as troll-like creatures.

    They are typically portrayed as hulking figures with one or more horns growing out of their heads. Stereotypically, they are conceived of as red, blue or white-colored, wearing loincloths of tiger pelt, and carrying iron kanabō clubs. This is a symbol of the dark side.

    – Wikia

    In Chinse, 鬼 is gui and is a generic term for spirit but is typically translated into “ghost” or a spectral figure. So there’s meaning drift, though its not so drastic that one can’t envision how it came about.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @Daniel Chieh

    Isn't Oni just a Japanese version of Rakshasa or Pisacha? So many different types of demons and ghosts in our scriptures...

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  245. @Dmitry
    @songbird

    As a tourist, you would surely need to have a very low cultural level, to prefer some fake shit made by Chinese (as if American fake architecture like the buildings in Yale University or Las Vegas was not bad enough), to Paris, with all its historical layers. I would no desire to live in Paris, but if you have an afternoon to walk around a city it is one of the most stimulating ones.

    That said, Paris has been strangely marketed to tourists. The attempt to claim that a grey, noisy, decaying, stressful, city, with its struggling migrant labour, as a "romantic destination" to visit with your girlfriend, is almost a fraud.

    The reason for the mismatch is because Paris was the 19th century equivalent of Hollywood today - it's where the world's most significant culture industry was located, and the latest fashions and trends in media, clothing and design were artificially engineered by the creative professionals that worked in Paris.

    People naturally associate the cities which have engineered our cultural concepts of romance and ideals, must be somehow romantic and ideal themselves, while in reality they can often be the opposite.

    Culture industry can be geographically located in places which hardly match its ideals - think about Hollywood. When I visited Los Angeles as a tourist, I found it a very romantic and interesting city, but this Los Angeles has a "gothic" kind of romance that you can feel for weird, haunted nightmares, rather than anything that matches the ideals of Hollywood romantic comedies.

    Replies: @songbird

    As a tourist, you would surely need to have a very low cultural level, to prefer some fake shit made by Chinese

    Well, I think it depends on a the execution: if it is paper mache or concrete, then that is not desirable. Is it real limestone, skilled craftwork? Where are you flying from? Would the Chinese show an appreciation for French ethnicity and culture, even on a small scale? (In contrast to the real France which has an ideology against it) If so, I think it is philosophically possible to have a more authentic and more pleasant experience in a simulacrum.

    [MORE]

    In fact, I think it it might be an overlooked economic model, to try to build a city for tourism that countersignals diversity, on whatever level, and reaches for some authentic culture, even on a small scale.

    The reason for the mismatch is because Paris was the 19th century equivalent of Hollywood today

    No question that there is a massive historical legacy, when it comes to the reputation of cities, on a global level, especially NYC, London, and Paris, that functions semi-independently of current observations and comparisons.

    Hollywood was originally chosen because it was a good place for using natural light in film, but, on the other hand, that made it closer to Mexico and Mexicans, and as the technology has moved on, the movie industry has in large part moved away and the term “Hollywood” is mainly used in a legacy sense to signify “American cultural production.” Now, the original reason for setting up studios there, the natural light, helps one to espy the excrement of derelicts and to avoid stepping in it.

    Speaking of Hollywood, they often try to make American cities a lot more romantic than they are in actuality. I often wonder if it is a subversion, a personal love of cities, or rather a constraint of filming scenes that makes them seem more natural in a city than the suburbs. For example, showing a rush-hour commute from a suburb is not romantic. But, even so, I wonder about the negative effects of romanticizing American cities.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @songbird

    Have you noticed that New York film culture is quite different from the Hollywood film culture, already from the 1960s?

    For example, New York film directors like Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee, are much more culturally influenced by postwar European films, and highlight usually the most antiglamorous and alienated aspects of their city.

    That said, Hollywood was also making mostly dark and depressing films until the 1950s.


    it is paper mache or concrete, then that is not desirable. Is it real limestone, skilled craftwork? Where are you flying from? Would the Chinese show an appreciation for French

     

    I think it would only be interesting, from the point of view of experiencing Chinese culture. And modern Chinese building, is not exactly known for skill.

    The traditional parts of Chinese cities look much more beautiful and interesting, while the modern parts appear mostly dystopian and boring (although practical for modern life).

    Hopefully China will be able to preserve the traditional historical areas of cities, avoiding both the "Charybdis" of allowing the dystopian modern city to demolish them, and also the "Scylla" of turning them into gentrified/hipster tourist traps.

    -

    It looks like traditional areas in Shanghai currently still has hard working, normal people living there.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFAkm_--A28

    Replies: @songbird

    , @Thulean Friend
    @songbird

    China has built a number of replicas of European villages. Huawei's new corporate HQ is a giant ode to that architectual legacy. Judge for yourself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ak-CxioSw8

    In addition, Shanghai has "Thames Town". It's a bit kitsch, but it certainly beats glass-and-steel monotone.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gI8tgCF88A

    Replies: @songbird, @Dmitry

  246. @Dmitry
    @AP

    I've never been to Budapest, so have no idea about it (except I read they are removing the historical trams).

    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being "run down", for a tourist? If I could trade between "run down city" and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. "run down" Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.

    For city tourism in Europe, I generally feel like I want to visit the places which have not been too renovated and turned into tourist traps.. Cities which are trying too much to "make a good impression", can lose their historical atmosphere and authenticity. Napoli is still an unspoilt city, with all its interesting decaying and dirty streets, but Sorrento has become too shiny, touristic and I didn't feel anything in my soul when I visited such an inauthentic place.

    On the other hand, if you are a long-term resident of city, I can see that graffitied buildings, and dirty building facades, that charms visitors to cities like Napoli, could become annoying after some weeks.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @AP, @Anatoly Karlin

    For city tourism in Europe, I generally feel like I want to visit the places which have not been too renovated and turned into tourist traps.

    There is a huge difference between creating fakes for tourists and proper maintenance of the city. Say, St. Petersburg did not lose its authenticity because it was washed and renovated, it just became a nice place both to visit and to live in. Same with Moscow, that now is clean and looks magnificent, but retains its authenticity (which is, admittedly, eclectic, as it always was). Unter den Linden in Berlin is also clean and well maintained (at least it was a few years ago, before the flood of rapefugees), which does not reduce its authenticity. Napoli would have been just as authentic if it were cleaned, like downtown Milano. Now you have to get to its artistic gems via dirty streets.

    • Agree: AP, Blinky Bill
  247. @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh


    I believe that’s how Kanji developed and even though it often uses characters similar or identical to Chinese, meaning drift has happened.
     
    I recollected some memory like this as well and found one - the meaning drift is minimal, but its still there. 鬼 in Japanese is oni, a specific type of demon, typically portrayed as troll-like creatures.

    They are typically portrayed as hulking figures with one or more horns growing out of their heads. Stereotypically, they are conceived of as red, blue or white-colored, wearing loincloths of tiger pelt, and carrying iron kanabō clubs. This is a symbol of the dark side.
     
    - Wikia

    In Chinse, 鬼 is gui and is a generic term for spirit but is typically translated into "ghost" or a spectral figure. So there's meaning drift, though its not so drastic that one can't envision how it came about.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

    Isn’t Oni just a Japanese version of Rakshasa or Pisacha? So many different types of demons and ghosts in our scriptures…

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AltanBakshi

    I honestly have no idea. Being rather physical, they do sound like rakshasa, with the hosts of yokai being the more generic term for various spirits.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi

  248. @Bashibuzuk
    @Thulean Friend

    The discussion started on the Donbass Thread when I wrote that I don't see a direct military confrontation between China and the globalized West before the globalized West completes the reforms that have been started last year during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemics. I was then asked if these reforms might end up as badly as the Perestroika did and what I thought the nature of these reforms was.

    I think I clearly explained what these reforms were in my opinion and expressed from the very beginning of the discussion on this thread that I did not believe that the globalized West will succeed in its transformation. My pessimistic opinion is not due to some anti-Western bias, but the fact that the reforms are unprecedented in both scope and intensity. I agree with the commentor rkka that much time has been lost (an entire generation after the fall of the Eastern Block was force-fed capitalist triomphalisme) and that the price to pay will be now higher than in the 1980ies.

    Moreover, if you follow the exchange of comments, you will easily see that I believe the Great New Green Reset, or the Westerstroika (bwahahaha) is strongly motivated by the Chinese ascendancy and the impetus placed upon the containment of the OBOR/BRI by the globalized West. I believe that a form of convergence will be tentatively offered to the CCP based upon the "common environmental safety" or whatever they will invent as a justification. I have also written, that the Chinese will most probably not buy into that.

    Finally, the last important aspect of the Westerstroika is an increased control upon the scope, the aim and the intensity of technological innovation. I believe that it is motivated by the desire of TPTB to prevent the techno-Singularity. Of course, competition increases innovation, there is no possible doubt about it, but an incresed innovation will strengthen Landian Accelerationism, it will end up with a techno-Singularity and trigger dramatic consequences for humankind.

    That is why I have written that the failure of the Westerstroika would be way more terrible than the demise of the Soviet Union. Quite ironic that a generation after the terrible events of the early 90ies in my native land we find ourselves in even more dire straits, facing an even more complex conundrum. A problem delayed is a problem neglected, a problem neglected is a failure in making. Sad that the pain we have endured then was largely in vain. This is of course the end result of stupidity of both elites and the masses worldwide. And stupidity must be punished. And punished it will be.

    Replies: @Thulean Friend, @Xi-Jinping

    You strongly overestimate the effects on “human-kind” – that is if you only see “humankind” as the West. Will the West be shattered? Yes. Will war throughout Europe erupt as it did in the period of the Hundred Years War? Yes. Will the rest of the world be significantly affected? Probably not. China has about 13% of its GDP coming from exports. With its recent emphasis on the dual circulation policy and a commitment to a reduction in reliance on foreign markets and suppliers, it becomes easier for China to weather a US collapse. Furthermore a US collapse would only be of great benefit to China as it will be able to fill the vacuum by acting as a mediator to warring nations and to those suffering immensly from the collapse of the dollar. It will put itself in a much similar situation the US after WW2, where it will act to stabilize and rebuild countries.

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    @Xi-Jinping


    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.
     
    Couldn't agree anymore, but collapse is not enough...

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

    , @AnonFromTN
    @Xi-Jinping


    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.
     
    That is true only if the collapse does not trigger WWIII. If it does, RIP mankind.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

  249. @Beckow
    @Bashibuzuk

    There are solutions, in both Europe and N America:
    - stop the massive inflow of migrants, incl. family reunifications, etc...
    - fix the infrastructure
    - manage work by limiting hours to 24-32 hours/week
    - provide basic social guarantees to all citizens (health, education, pensions) - yes, "socialism"
    - avoid wars.

    It will not be done because groups that control all governing bodies are heavily invested in preserving the current set-up: business would see increase in costs and inflation, parasitic officials would not get rewarded by the oligarchs, ethnic lobbies would lose power, investments would tank, old people would get less, warmongers put on ice...so we might have to wait until the numbers get so out-of-whack that the system collapses. That could take decades, and it won't be pleasant.

    Remember that there was a losing side in the election that Hitler won...how bad did they have to be to lose to Hitler?

    Replies: @rkka, @Xi-Jinping

    America cannot stop immigration, if it does its population will enter a downwards spiral starting from 2044

  250. @Xi-Jinping
    @Bashibuzuk

    You strongly overestimate the effects on "human-kind" - that is if you only see "humankind" as the West. Will the West be shattered? Yes. Will war throughout Europe erupt as it did in the period of the Hundred Years War? Yes. Will the rest of the world be significantly affected? Probably not. China has about 13% of its GDP coming from exports. With its recent emphasis on the dual circulation policy and a commitment to a reduction in reliance on foreign markets and suppliers, it becomes easier for China to weather a US collapse. Furthermore a US collapse would only be of great benefit to China as it will be able to fill the vacuum by acting as a mediator to warring nations and to those suffering immensly from the collapse of the dollar. It will put itself in a much similar situation the US after WW2, where it will act to stabilize and rebuild countries.

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AnonFromTN

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    Couldn’t agree anymore, but collapse is not enough…

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @AltanBakshi

    What more is needed?

  251. Bashibuzuk says:

    Somewhat related to our discussion about the possible outcomes of the Westerstroika:

    Getting Hyperinflation Right

    Handled properly, hyperinflation can provide numerous other benefits. Gone will be negative terms such as federal budget deficit and federal debt. Normalized over the past 12 months, the US federal government took in $283.8 billion in revenues and spent $552 billion. That is, it overspent its revenues by 194%. Rounding up just a bit, it is safe to say that the US spends twice its revenues, borrowing as much as it earns. The cumulative result of this borrowing currently stands somewhere north of $28 trillion and—here comes the interesting part—the amount of that debt that needs to be rolled over over the next 12 months comes to $7.4 trillion and has grown by $2.7 trillion (that is, by more than a third) in just the past year. Debt that can never be repaid is not really debt at all and continuing to call it that is psychologically damaging. Hyperinflation will make it go away, easing everyone’s mind.

    ……

    And then will come a brave new world in which the government issues money, hands it out, it circulates for a bit before losing of its value, and then the government issues more money. Obviously, the government, no longer being good for much, would do well to let the tech giants—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and, last but not least, Twitter—take over the money-issuing function. New smartphone-based banking and payment systems will not only make it possible to take these changes in stride but will make hyperinflation fun for everyone.

    In this brave new world, gone will be the terrible problem of usury, since nobody will be willing to lend any money at all, at any rate of interest, there being a great danger of total loss. Gone will be the vexatious problems of attempting to exercise fiscal restraint and of having to justify to taxpayers how their tax money is being misappropriated and mishandled. The benefits of hyperinflation are too many to mention here, but perhaps the most important one will be in allowing people, rich and poor alike, to make a gradual transition to life without any money at all. To paraphrase Klaus Schwab, you will be broke and you will be miserable, but at least you’ll have fun getting there… playing with your smartphone while waiting for deliveries… until the internet goes down… or the lights go out and the battery runs down.

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2021/03/getting-hyperinflation-right.html?m=1#more

    I am under the impression that Dmitry Orlov does not believe in MMT much…

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Bashibuzuk

    Can't you read the last part of your quote? He's more like "letting the whole edifice burn down and see what will come of it".

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

    , @mal
    @Bashibuzuk

    While I have my own quibbles with MMT, it's kinda a reality already and has been for a long time, can't do much about it.

    Hyperinflation is extremely unlikely as it would require US to lose a major war or do something crazy like nationalize all industries, which is completely out of American character and ruling oligarchy won't allow it anyway.

    Otherwise hyperinflation is impossible in the US because hyperinflation requires people to have money (in order for bread in US to cost $1,000,0000 per loaf somebody has to have $1,000,000 to pay that price) and nobody in US has any. There are exceptions of course such as drug cartels and maybe Warren Buffet but those are marginal in the grand scheme of things.

    Majority of Americans don't even have a few $1,000 for emergencies. Nevermind paying millions of dollars for stuff. Ruling oligarchy will not raise wages to $1,000,000/hr, they will automate instead. So the poors are safe from hyperinflation in consumer goods.

    And rich people don't have any money either. What they have is bank deposits, and those bank deposits belong to the banks. Or sure, rich think they have the money, but all they can legally get is like $250,000 per FDIC insured account. If financial system is threatened (and it most certainly will be in a hyperinflationary scenario), banks will simply confiscate the deposits. See Cyprus bail in in 2013.

    Cash use has been in decline and pandemic certainly accelerated the trend.

    Basically, money and debt are just imaginary numbers in an accounting ledger. MMT has that part correct.

    Replies: @Bashibuzuk

  252. @Xi-Jinping
    @Bashibuzuk

    You strongly overestimate the effects on "human-kind" - that is if you only see "humankind" as the West. Will the West be shattered? Yes. Will war throughout Europe erupt as it did in the period of the Hundred Years War? Yes. Will the rest of the world be significantly affected? Probably not. China has about 13% of its GDP coming from exports. With its recent emphasis on the dual circulation policy and a commitment to a reduction in reliance on foreign markets and suppliers, it becomes easier for China to weather a US collapse. Furthermore a US collapse would only be of great benefit to China as it will be able to fill the vacuum by acting as a mediator to warring nations and to those suffering immensly from the collapse of the dollar. It will put itself in a much similar situation the US after WW2, where it will act to stabilize and rebuild countries.

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    Replies: @AltanBakshi, @AnonFromTN

    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.

    That is true only if the collapse does not trigger WWIII. If it does, RIP mankind.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @AnonFromTN

    Unlikely.

    The US is not willing to accept the mass casualties it will need to be able to accept to use nukes.

    Coincidentally, this is why it will not be able to win a war against a near peer competitor. Too many soldiers dying will lead to an insane backlash in society. The US does NOT have the stomach for casualties...imagine German level WW2 level casualties to US troops against say China...US concern for 'public opinion' is ironically what will crimp its ability to fight

  253. @AltanBakshi
    @Xi-Jinping


    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.
     
    Couldn't agree anymore, but collapse is not enough...

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

    What more is needed?

  254. @AnonFromTN
    @Xi-Jinping


    I personally believe that a collapse of the US will be a net positive to the world and mankind at large.
     
    That is true only if the collapse does not trigger WWIII. If it does, RIP mankind.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

    Unlikely.

    The US is not willing to accept the mass casualties it will need to be able to accept to use nukes.

    Coincidentally, this is why it will not be able to win a war against a near peer competitor. Too many soldiers dying will lead to an insane backlash in society. The US does NOT have the stomach for casualties…imagine German level WW2 level casualties to US troops against say China…US concern for ‘public opinion’ is ironically what will crimp its ability to fight

  255. @AP
    @Mr. XYZ

    1. In the 1930s Stalin was clearly much worse than Hitler.

    2. How would this have been hidden? It would be the Communist Party with Stalin in charge, regardless of what local policies they said they would pursue.

    Replies: @Mr. XYZ, @Mr. XYZ, @Philip Owen

    Gareth Jones, the journalist I sometimes refer to for his reports on Ukraine, also covered Germany. Indeed he scored a major scoop when invited to fly with Hitler from Berlin to Frankfurt just after Hitler’s election. He was the foreign journalist to interview Hitler. From the time Hitler became chancellor, Jones discusses work camps and concentration camps – places to concentrate people. Initially not for Jews although the Jews were being very badly treated. Socialists were the first to go in according to Jones’s reports. Jones’s mother, a governess, during her time in the Donbass also commented on very poor conditions for Jews in Russia.

  256. The Furniture is 75% scale in size so everything looks more spacious than it is.

    LOL. Sounds retarded. Maybe it works in a video but it in real life it doesn’t.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @Shortsword


    LOL. Sounds retarded. Maybe it works in a video but it in real life it doesn’t.
     
    I can confirm Chinese on average are only 75% the size of Westerners. So it all works out in the end! 😉
  257. @mal
    @Vishnugupta


    If new generation thermoelectrics is giving 20% that is still competitive with a turbine powered powerplant which at present is strictly theoretical.
     
    Russians have it all calculated out.

    Here is a paper called "Role and place for Electrorocket Drives in Russian Space program".

    http://trudymai.ru/published.php?ID=35385

    On page 9-10 they say this: "Up to electric power levels on the order of 500 kW, Nuclear Energy Units based on the thermoemissive energy transformation principle have decisive advantages. At higher power levels, mass of the thermoemissive NEU will grow more intensively compared to the mass of dynamic turbomachinery nuclear installation".

    Basically, they agree with you up to 500 kW. Also, Nuklon contract talks about turbine drive, even though Nuklon is at 480 kW which is well within thermoemissive performance envelope. But it seems like Russians are optimistic about turbines.

    Keep in mind that Russia doesn't have super heavy launchers. Angara 5V is 37 tons to orbit. So if turbine is lighter, turbine it will be.


    I don’t see how a drone in space will autonomously fix all contingencies given that much simpler predictable problems in conventional reactors have caused Fukushima type accidents.
     
    Fukushima is what, 1960's design? If you put together a modern powerplant stuffed with sensors, an neural net expert AI drone shouldn't have too much difficulty maintaining it without the need to phone home every time. I mean, i do chemical process design and operations for a living, and i can usually tell when things can become exciting a few hours ahead of time. Fairly sure a specialist drone can be designed for that purpose too. At least for mundane stuff.

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    So an energy storage appliance would be part of the payload to offset the lighter turbine. What would you monitor? vibration, pressure drops, electrical output, temperature. It might be easier on the payload to switch to a backup turbine rather than attempt the complexities of repair. Spare parts might amount to the same payload anyway.

    Triplex even.

    • Replies: @mal
    @Philip Owen

    My long term vision is 3D printing the spare parts. Now, high quality 3D printing requires colossal amount of energy (think aircraft grade printers that use lasers to melt titanium together). And thats where TEM comes in.

    A couple of 40MW Transport Energy Modules should be able to just print whatever mechanical components they need for each other. They would only need to stop by every decade or so to refill their titanium powder cargo bays or whatever.

  258. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN
    @AP


    Austria in contrast was a paradise.
     
    We drove to Budapest from Vienna. We spent a few days in Vienna, went to the opera there, to their art museum (Klimt, who the whole world has heard of, is just one of many interesting Vienna painters), and generally enjoyed ourselves. Vienna feels a bit outsized for the capital of puny Austria, but it was the capital of a lot more consequential country a bit over a century ago. We also spent a few days in Budapest, where their metro and cable car to the Castle district still work, being built by Franz Josef early in the twentieth century, unlike cable car in Zagreb, which did not work (had a sign “Ne vozi”).

    What struck us in Budapest was a huge difference in prices between touristy places and places where locals live (we booked hotel in a native place, to see how people actually live, and used metro to get to downtown) – a typical sign of third world. Local grocery stores have a lot of cheap shit and had only small pieces of more expensive decent quality sausage, of the kinds that were plentiful even in DDR before the wall came down. We drove from Budapest via north side of Balaton, Croatia, and a small piece of Slovenia to Austria. After Hungary and Croatia, Austria indeed looked like a paradise: clean, well maintained, prosperous. I hope rapefugees did not spoil it: I hear they channeled most of those dregs to Germany.

    Replies: @AP, @Jazman, @Thulean Friend

    After Hungary and Croatia, Austria indeed looked like a paradise: clean, well maintained, prosperous. I hope rapefugees did not spoil it: I hear they channeled most of those dregs to Germany.

    This is true. In 2019 I only saw two refugees in Austria, both in Vienna. They were sad rather than frightful, one was begging outside of Saint Stephen’s before the police drove him away. The second was dirty, malnourished, in rags, meekly saying “bitte” on a pedestrian shopping street. I felt sorry for him and gave him a piece of sausage (they sell delicious street sausages in Vienna) which he ate.

    Overall Vienna was about as non-European as Moscow (perhaps 10-15%), nothing like Paris or London. There were tons of Russian tourists. I think Russians have decided that if they want to be in a major Western European city with its charms and its museums, Vienna is the place to go to avoid being in the Third World instead. Outside Vienna, in smaller cities there were a lot of Croats, Serbs and a few Bosnians.

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
    @AP

    LOL - If a garbage fantasist as you went to Budapest or Austria in 2019......then I went to the moon in 1972.

    You're a compulsive liar and I suspect that the tactics for a fantasist like you are identical to how a paedophile on the internet conducts himself to recruit 11 year olds with all your obsessively fake stories. All part of the delusions of Khokhols being germanic, so an idiot like you can claim to be connected to and fan of Austria - maybe this then leading to the bizarreland idiotically self-discrediting "typical Galician culture" video


    have been the outskirts of Zhytomir.........but also Lviv and Kiev look less

     

    FFS - still going with this nonsense. There is your infamous nonsense describing the roads,infrastructure and general living in Lvov. So I know Lvov and I know the difference between a clown like you being a shill . and you being an outright liar and fantasist. No possible way you could have gone there , or Zhitomir or Kiev you cretin. LOL

    Which hotel in Budapest did stay? Forget it - waste of time, I will check what the first name on google says and assume that is where you will BS as where you "stayed"......or maybe claim your "cousin" owns the Hungarian Parliament building, and allowed you to stay in a room inside the dome

    Replies: @AP

    , @Mr. XYZ
    @AP

    How to German cities compare in regards to this relative to Vienna, Paris, and London?

  259. AP says:
    @Dmitry
    @AP

    I've never been to Budapest, so have no idea about it (except I read they are removing the historical trams).

    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being "run down", for a tourist? If I could trade between "run down city" and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. "run down" Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.

    For city tourism in Europe, I generally feel like I want to visit the places which have not been too renovated and turned into tourist traps.. Cities which are trying too much to "make a good impression", can lose their historical atmosphere and authenticity. Napoli is still an unspoilt city, with all its interesting decaying and dirty streets, but Sorrento has become too shiny, touristic and I didn't feel anything in my soul when I visited such an inauthentic place.

    On the other hand, if you are a long-term resident of city, I can see that graffitied buildings, and dirty building facades, that charms visitors to cities like Napoli, could become annoying after some weeks.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @AP, @Anatoly Karlin

    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being “run down”, for a tourist? If I could trade between “run down city” and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. “run down” Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.

    Well, Moscow is a very clean non-touristic city. It is much nicer now than it was in the early 2000s when it was run down. There are Austrian towns that are not loaded with tourists, that are clean and tidy. Galician villages tend to be clean and tidy, and have zero tourists. They are more pleasant than run down ones in Russia (I mean no offence to Russians here).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @AP

    Napoli is one of the run down cities you can visit, and one of the coolest and most authentic character.

    Perhaps if you were a longterm resident of Napoli, you might feel annoyed about the dirt and lack of garbage collection, and wish that you lived in Austria or Switzerland

    But from the subjective perspective of tourist, its decay is only increasing the city's historical, Latin atmosphere, and to me emphasizes the sterility of certain neighbouring too clean and renovated for tourists places (i.e. Sorrento).

    Replies: @AP

  260. @AnonFromTN
    @Beckow


    I need to check-out “provincial Russia“, any boom-towns?
     
    I visited Penza and Nizhni Novgorod a few years back, about a year after we spent a few days in Budapest and drove through Zagreb, spending maybe 6-8 h there. I was surprised how dignified and prosperous these provincial Russian cities look, and how pathetic Budapest and Zagreb look and feel. The shock was enhanced by the fact that back in the USSR Hungary and Yugoslavia were considered prosperous. Either we were wrong, or they deteriorated a lot after joining the EU.

    Life keeps surprising me. I remember that in 1991 the roads in the US struck me as very good, much better than in the USSR. Now the roads in Nashville, including highway I-10, are full of potholes, some repaired, many not. RF federal road from Penza to Nizhni Novgorod that I drove a few years back is in much better shape. The Empire is visibly crumbling. Alzheimer Joe may not be a sick joke, but an objective reflection of things. I saw one Empire dying, and I hate to see exactly the same things in another.

    Replies: @Beckow, @AP, @Philip Owen, @Jazman

    I’ve been to Penza a few times. The centre is very decent by the standards of most other Russian provincial cities I know. The main street rising uphill narrowing as it approaches the cathedral pulls the architecture together.

    I have also been out and about in the factory areas. The whole place is better than the cities along the Volga because there is a lot less dust and grit blown in from the riverbank and steppe. The dust makes places like Ulyanosk and Saratov look dirty and dusty. Some of the dustiness and gritiness is down to poor quality road and pavement (sidewalk) construction and maintenance. The muck collects in the potholes. Farming, food processing (especially confectionery) and food distribution are the modern boom businesses.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @Philip Owen


    I’ve been to Penza a few times. The centre is very decent by the standards of most other Russian provincial cities I know.
     
    That’s all true. But what impressed me even more is the abundance of places to eat in downtown, pretty much like in many European cities (at least before Europe admitted millions of savages incompatible with civilized life). The same was true about Nizhni Novgorod. There we did all normal touristy staff, visited their Kremlin (most Westerners seem to believe that only Moscow has Kremlin, and a number of other preposterous things about Russia), saw a number of their churches, houses where Peter the Great partied and spent the night on his voyage down Volga, visited their historic bank building (constructed under tsars), took their cable car to the other side of Volga river, etc. I was surprised how many locals took obvious pride in their city. Nothing like that ever happened in Soviet times.

    In Penza I was also impressed by the existence of many theaters, big and small, and difficulty in getting tickets to them, which were mostly sold in advance (we were there for just a few days, so our tickets were acquired by locals weeks in advance). People going to all these eateries and theaters are clearly not poor. Stats say that Penza is an average provincial city in Russia by most parameters, including income. Having seen that and the magnificence of Moscow, which today beats Paris, London, or Berlin hands down, I am beginning to believe that much of the official propaganda about the revival of Russia has solid foundation in reality. This is a new thing for me, as both in the USSR and the US I’ve learned to assume that everything propaganda claims is a lie.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping, @Philip Owen

  261. @Bashibuzuk
    On the Donbass thread we have started a conversation about Western economic and social reforms that according to my humble opinion have been many years in preparation, but have only been put forward starting last year, during the early stages of the Covid pandemics.

    I believe (quite subjectively) that the end goal of these social and economic changes is to attempt a restoration of the leading role of the globalized Western capitalism in the World economic affairs and of the Atlanticist networks on the World political stage.

    Commenter JL asked me if this didn't look like some sort of "Western Perestroika " that will end in the same inglorious way as the last ditch effort to reform the Soviet regime and its system of alliances. I believe that the West is indeed in a somewhat similar situation, that its ideological and economic foundations are severely damaged and in need of a serious repair and upgrade. But the situation in today's globalized West is of course completely different from the Soviet Union back in the 80ies.

    As AP and I both replied, we think both economic and social systems are very different. I also have the impression that cultural code and Zeitgeist cannot be directly compared. And yet there is a feeling of déjà vu for those who have lived under the final decades of the Soviet regime and who now live in the West, the impression that the system is ongoing a deep and radical transition to something unknown. A transition that might end up badly.

    This is something people of Soviet background talk about in my circle. And even native Westerners sometimes offer similar opinions. As one of my French friends, an investment banker, a man my age (mid 40ies) who is somewhat familiar with today's RusFed, but did not live in USSR, told me last week: "This era feels like the last drops of economic and political sanity circling the drain". I believe my parents might have felt something similar in the late Brezhnev era, at least that was the impression that comes from reading Soviet dissidents of that period.

    Mr Hack has asked whether I could describe why I think "Western Perestroika " was already underway. I replied that it is a long discussion and it's better be done on an open thread. Given the nature of the topic it might go in different strange directions and become actually lost in a heap of disorganized information and opinions.

    Again, this feeling or impression is very subjective and might be completely wrong. Perhaps the globalized West is doing alright, NATO and its allies will continue to rule the global defense and warfare scene, while Western corporate interests will just keep on dominating the global markets. If I am wrong, then there is nothing to discuss and I apologize for wasting your time with a useless comment.

    But if you also feel something similar, then I would like to know your thoughts about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Beckow, @mal, @AP, @Dmitry, @Max Payne, @EldnahYm

    From an economic and geopolitical perspective, “the West” is not a useful analytical framework. The United States is a category of its own, and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are all in a different position compared to Europe, itself a broad category(my definition of “Europe” here would not include Russia). For Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, look at those countries resource bases, who their primary trading partners are, and what location they are in. You will find they are not like the integrated trading economics of western Europe. When people speak of “the West” collapsing, unless their theory is based on something like a cultural collapse(caused by wokeism or something) or a world war that particularly damages both Europe and North America, it’s probably better not to lump so many countries together. They are in different positions. There is a strong case to be made, at least from an economic and geopolitical angle, that what we call “the West” is really just a Cold War alliance system that could be dismantled at any time without causing drastic changes in all of the countries.

    Personally I think “great reset” is more marketing term than reality. To the extent elites actually believe it, I take that as further evidence their incompetence has reached the point that they believe their own bullshit. “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is an old idea, and a half-baked idea about how to deal with declining TFR across the world. All signs point to slow progress in automation(although as always, there are fields which will be exceptional). Green technologies are dubious from an environmental and engineering standpoint, and what declines in carbon emissions that occur because of them will be more than offset by economic growth and the resulting increases in consumption around the world(and in case it needs to be said, if you want to deal with environmental problems like species extinctions for example, fighting carbon emissions is one of the least effective methods). Efforts at “better” governance metrics, equitability, world government, etc. are pure bullshit which no strong country would have any incentive to abide by. My conclusion is that the great reset is either bullshit or it’s the system eating itself.

    It’s true that many interests want to push the idea that people should accept inferior living standards. But this is nothing new, and it remains to be seen how far this idea can be pushed without damaging the elites themselves and bringing about a reverse of policy. If living standards decline massively, the cause will likely either be a destructive war or technological stagnation rather than an engineered policy.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @EldnahYm

    What is meant by 'collapse' is a general economic decline that eventually corresponds to cultural and military decline.

    And NATO/US cold war blocs will never be dismantled because the many countries in them are essentially feudal vassals of the US and were forced to adopt their political system and have been convinced that maintaining these systems is in their interests. This also means that these countries feel like they are 'sovereign' when they are really not.

    Canada is essentially USA LITE.

    Australia's no 1. trading partner is China. However, Australia cannot move closer towards China due to the political implications that will cause from the USA.

    Replies: @EldnahYm

    , @Yellowface Anon
    @EldnahYm

    Enough damage can be done with misguided policies to cause systemic failure. Take a look at Stalinism and Great Leap Forward.

  262. @Philip Owen
    @AnonFromTN

    I've been to Penza a few times. The centre is very decent by the standards of most other Russian provincial cities I know. The main street rising uphill narrowing as it approaches the cathedral pulls the architecture together.

    I have also been out and about in the factory areas. The whole place is better than the cities along the Volga because there is a lot less dust and grit blown in from the riverbank and steppe. The dust makes places like Ulyanosk and Saratov look dirty and dusty. Some of the dustiness and gritiness is down to poor quality road and pavement (sidewalk) construction and maintenance. The muck collects in the potholes. Farming, food processing (especially confectionery) and food distribution are the modern boom businesses.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN

    I’ve been to Penza a few times. The centre is very decent by the standards of most other Russian provincial cities I know.

    That’s all true. But what impressed me even more is the abundance of places to eat in downtown, pretty much like in many European cities (at least before Europe admitted millions of savages incompatible with civilized life). The same was true about Nizhni Novgorod. There we did all normal touristy staff, visited their Kremlin (most Westerners seem to believe that only Moscow has Kremlin, and a number of other preposterous things about Russia), saw a number of their churches, houses where Peter the Great partied and spent the night on his voyage down Volga, visited their historic bank building (constructed under tsars), took their cable car to the other side of Volga river, etc. I was surprised how many locals took obvious pride in their city. Nothing like that ever happened in Soviet times.

    In Penza I was also impressed by the existence of many theaters, big and small, and difficulty in getting tickets to them, which were mostly sold in advance (we were there for just a few days, so our tickets were acquired by locals weeks in advance). People going to all these eateries and theaters are clearly not poor. Stats say that Penza is an average provincial city in Russia by most parameters, including income. Having seen that and the magnificence of Moscow, which today beats Paris, London, or Berlin hands down, I am beginning to believe that much of the official propaganda about the revival of Russia has solid foundation in reality. This is a new thing for me, as both in the USSR and the US I’ve learned to assume that everything propaganda claims is a lie.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @AnonFromTN

    On the contrary - I'd say people were far more patriotic during Soviet times. It is troubling to see how many Russians try to buy into woke (amongst the youth especially) because they think it is a necessity to become more 'prosperous'. They say "The USA is prosperous because it is a democracy ergo we need more democracy/wokeism/lgbt).

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

    , @Philip Owen
    @AnonFromTN

    It is difficult to compare living standards.

    Peoples flats are smaller than even terraced houses in the UK. However, this is useful to reduce winter heating bills. Utility costs are very low. Rental levels are low. Many people have dachas. So in the summer they have more living space and a garden in a rural location. Babushka comes along too. What is the living space of such a family? When Babushka dies, someone inherits her flat. (Everyone was given their flat). So there is some capital.

    Certainly far fewer people have cars.

    So, less living space (but the middle sort have dachas) and no cars. Thus a lower standard of living. On the other hand, that leaves more to spend on clothes (it shows with the young women) and gadgets and outings. I also see more people going to theatres than in the UK. In city centres and shopping malls, people eat out. The coffee shop boom may be over but showing yourself off in the window of a coffee shop or eating in an expensive restaurant is normal for the fashionable or the successful. People work fewer hours and commute less so they have time to do it.

    I do not regard my Russian friends as worse off than me in their personal lives. Where the UK scores, massively, is public infrastructure. Reliable electricity and phone lines, roads, street cleaning, car parking, hospitals, health services, ambulances, fire & police, libraries and any public service you can mention including schools. Former poverty is not an excuse. Living in flats mean 5000 tax payers occupy the land of 500 in the UK. Providing good city roads and utilities should cost far less in Russia. As goes the UK, so goes the EU. The US not so much.

    Replies: @Gerard-Mandela, @AnonfromTN

  263. @Shortsword
    https://twitter.com/qin_duke/status/1376733518022205442

    The Furniture is 75% scale in size so everything looks more spacious than it is.
     
    LOL. Sounds retarded. Maybe it works in a video but it in real life it doesn't.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    LOL. Sounds retarded. Maybe it works in a video but it in real life it doesn’t.

    I can confirm Chinese on average are only 75% the size of Westerners. So it all works out in the end! 😉

  264. @EldnahYm
    @Bashibuzuk

    From an economic and geopolitical perspective, "the West" is not a useful analytical framework. The United States is a category of its own, and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are all in a different position compared to Europe, itself a broad category(my definition of "Europe" here would not include Russia). For Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, look at those countries resource bases, who their primary trading partners are, and what location they are in. You will find they are not like the integrated trading economics of western Europe. When people speak of "the West" collapsing, unless their theory is based on something like a cultural collapse(caused by wokeism or something) or a world war that particularly damages both Europe and North America, it's probably better not to lump so many countries together. They are in different positions. There is a strong case to be made, at least from an economic and geopolitical angle, that what we call "the West" is really just a Cold War alliance system that could be dismantled at any time without causing drastic changes in all of the countries.

    Personally I think "great reset" is more marketing term than reality. To the extent elites actually believe it, I take that as further evidence their incompetence has reached the point that they believe their own bullshit. "Fourth Industrial Revolution" is an old idea, and a half-baked idea about how to deal with declining TFR across the world. All signs point to slow progress in automation(although as always, there are fields which will be exceptional). Green technologies are dubious from an environmental and engineering standpoint, and what declines in carbon emissions that occur because of them will be more than offset by economic growth and the resulting increases in consumption around the world(and in case it needs to be said, if you want to deal with environmental problems like species extinctions for example, fighting carbon emissions is one of the least effective methods). Efforts at "better" governance metrics, equitability, world government, etc. are pure bullshit which no strong country would have any incentive to abide by. My conclusion is that the great reset is either bullshit or it's the system eating itself.

    It's true that many interests want to push the idea that people should accept inferior living standards. But this is nothing new, and it remains to be seen how far this idea can be pushed without damaging the elites themselves and bringing about a reverse of policy. If living standards decline massively, the cause will likely either be a destructive war or technological stagnation rather than an engineered policy.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping, @Yellowface Anon

    What is meant by ‘collapse’ is a general economic decline that eventually corresponds to cultural and military decline.

    And NATO/US cold war blocs will never be dismantled because the many countries in them are essentially feudal vassals of the US and were forced to adopt their political system and have been convinced that maintaining these systems is in their interests. This also means that these countries feel like they are ‘sovereign’ when they are really not.

    Canada is essentially USA LITE.

    Australia’s no 1. trading partner is China. However, Australia cannot move closer towards China due to the political implications that will cause from the USA.

    • Agree: dfordoom, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    @Xi-jinping


    What is meant by ‘collapse’ is a general economic decline that eventually corresponds to cultural and military decline.
     
    My point is that North American as well as Australia and New Zealand aren't that interconnected, and that an economic decline in Europe does not spell the same for those countries.

    And NATO/US cold war blocs will never be dismantled because the many countries in them are essentially feudal vassals of the US and were forced to adopt their political system and have been convinced that maintaining these systems is in their interests. This also means that these countries feel like they are ‘sovereign’ when they are really not.
     
    None of this means the U.S. couldn't dismantle the alliance systems if it wanted.

    Australia’s no 1. trading partner is China. However, Australia cannot move closer towards China due to the political implications that will cause from the USA.
     
    What China's trading relationship will be with the Anglosphere and Europe over time remains to be seen, it's probably one of the more interesting political topics right now. However, Australia doesn't necessarily need to expand its relationship with China for more growth. Southeast Asia and some other places are growing markets.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

  265. @AnonFromTN
    @Philip Owen


    I’ve been to Penza a few times. The centre is very decent by the standards of most other Russian provincial cities I know.
     
    That’s all true. But what impressed me even more is the abundance of places to eat in downtown, pretty much like in many European cities (at least before Europe admitted millions of savages incompatible with civilized life). The same was true about Nizhni Novgorod. There we did all normal touristy staff, visited their Kremlin (most Westerners seem to believe that only Moscow has Kremlin, and a number of other preposterous things about Russia), saw a number of their churches, houses where Peter the Great partied and spent the night on his voyage down Volga, visited their historic bank building (constructed under tsars), took their cable car to the other side of Volga river, etc. I was surprised how many locals took obvious pride in their city. Nothing like that ever happened in Soviet times.

    In Penza I was also impressed by the existence of many theaters, big and small, and difficulty in getting tickets to them, which were mostly sold in advance (we were there for just a few days, so our tickets were acquired by locals weeks in advance). People going to all these eateries and theaters are clearly not poor. Stats say that Penza is an average provincial city in Russia by most parameters, including income. Having seen that and the magnificence of Moscow, which today beats Paris, London, or Berlin hands down, I am beginning to believe that much of the official propaganda about the revival of Russia has solid foundation in reality. This is a new thing for me, as both in the USSR and the US I’ve learned to assume that everything propaganda claims is a lie.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping, @Philip Owen

    On the contrary – I’d say people were far more patriotic during Soviet times. It is troubling to see how many Russians try to buy into woke (amongst the youth especially) because they think it is a necessity to become more ‘prosperous’. They say “The USA is prosperous because it is a democracy ergo we need more democracy/wokeism/lgbt).

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    @Xi-jinping


    I’d say people were far more patriotic during Soviet times.
     
    I was young during Soviet times, so I have first-hand knowledge. There was more show “patriotism” required by the authorities, but deep down people did not believe a word of Soviet propaganda. Now I know that quite a bit of it was true. As Russians joke now, they told us a lot of lies about socialism, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be true.

    The pride we saw was genuine, you can easily tell (especially with Soviet training), and no official was around. People talked about their Nizhni with obvious pride. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Yes, some Russian youth believe globohomo lies, but I don’t think it’s the majority even in that age group. Besides, as Russians say, being young is a flaw that goes away with age.

    Russians, including young ones, have a visceral repulsion to sexual deviations. The word meaning gay (педераст in Russian, from French pederast; there are many shorter forms) is a dirty swearword in Russian, expressing utter contempt. LGBT, zoophilia, necrophilia, and the like have no support there, even among people who believe imperial lies.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

  266. @Max Payne
    @Bashibuzuk

    The end goal is to normalize the coming drop in living standards for Westerners. A westerner is willing to accept a reduction in his life style if it means staying online. To remain in that niche bubble/echo chamber. And the lure is going to get much more intense. True targeted entertainment. Beyond deepfakes, neural networks, procedural generation, and VR. Distractions of a higher order that these weak ass children of today, with their vagina-like fear over a nothing flu, will never be able to overcome.

    Look at the wealth bitcoin projects. The wholesale acceptance of illusion over reality. Making an ERC20 token is literally nothing but copy/pasting some open source script in Solidity. And with that alone you can go out there and scam someone out of hard earned cash to buy your nothing-coin. People want to believe the illusion.

    And thats all this is. Forcing the weak minded to accept illusion as reality. And its working. Soon the two minutes of hate for Putin will come after the national anthem in schools.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bashibuzuk, @Mr. Hack, @EldnahYm

    All of this sounds eugenic.

  267. @Boswald Bollocksworth
    Do any of you know what the deal is with the iron cage or plexiglass box they put defendants in at trials in Russia/FSU?

    Specifically, I am curious if it goes back to the imperial era, or if it was a Soviet innovation. In any case, as an Anglo-Saxon, I find it prejudicial, in the legal sense. How can the defendant not appear guilty if he is stuck in a cage like an ape at a 19th century zoo?

    Lots of between-nation variation in attitudes here. Perhaps the Russian mind is not as worried about punishing the innocent. Interestingly, in the Netherlands and at least some Scandinavian countries, defendants are in many/most cases not publicly identified. They find it an intrusion of privacy/presumption of innocence that American law always names the defendant.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @Gerard.Gerard, @FerW, @Mikel

    Naming the defendant is nothing compared to publicly shaming people that have only been arrested by the police by publishing their mugshots in the press before any trial has even begun.

    Many people’s lives must have been ruined through this practice, especially when they were arrested for supposedly taking part in nefarious crimes that later on it turned out they never committed.

    As Dmitry has often pointed out, the US retains many aspects of a Wild West, frontier society, combined, I would say, with strong Puritanical tendencies.

    Contrary to many commenters here, I prefer life in the US to Europe in almost all aspects, even though I’m European by birth, but I’m afraid there are things I ‘ll never be able to identify with.

  268. @songbird
    @Dmitry


    As a tourist, you would surely need to have a very low cultural level, to prefer some fake shit made by Chinese
     
    Well, I think it depends on a the execution: if it is paper mache or concrete, then that is not desirable. Is it real limestone, skilled craftwork? Where are you flying from? Would the Chinese show an appreciation for French ethnicity and culture, even on a small scale? (In contrast to the real France which has an ideology against it) If so, I think it is philosophically possible to have a more authentic and more pleasant experience in a simulacrum.

    In fact, I think it it might be an overlooked economic model, to try to build a city for tourism that countersignals diversity, on whatever level, and reaches for some authentic culture, even on a small scale.

    The reason for the mismatch is because Paris was the 19th century equivalent of Hollywood today
     
    No question that there is a massive historical legacy, when it comes to the reputation of cities, on a global level, especially NYC, London, and Paris, that functions semi-independently of current observations and comparisons.

    Hollywood was originally chosen because it was a good place for using natural light in film, but, on the other hand, that made it closer to Mexico and Mexicans, and as the technology has moved on, the movie industry has in large part moved away and the term "Hollywood" is mainly used in a legacy sense to signify "American cultural production." Now, the original reason for setting up studios there, the natural light, helps one to espy the excrement of derelicts and to avoid stepping in it.

    Speaking of Hollywood, they often try to make American cities a lot more romantic than they are in actuality. I often wonder if it is a subversion, a personal love of cities, or rather a constraint of filming scenes that makes them seem more natural in a city than the suburbs. For example, showing a rush-hour commute from a suburb is not romantic. But, even so, I wonder about the negative effects of romanticizing American cities.

    Replies: @Dmitry, @Thulean Friend

    Have you noticed that New York film culture is quite different from the Hollywood film culture, already from the 1960s?

    For example, New York film directors like Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee, are much more culturally influenced by postwar European films, and highlight usually the most antiglamorous and alienated aspects of their city.

    That said, Hollywood was also making mostly dark and depressing films until the 1950s.

    it is paper mache or concrete, then that is not desirable. Is it real limestone, skilled craftwork? Where are you flying from? Would the Chinese show an appreciation for French

    I think it would only be interesting, from the point of view of experiencing Chinese culture. And modern Chinese building, is not exactly known for skill.

    The traditional parts of Chinese cities look much more beautiful and interesting, while the modern parts appear mostly dystopian and boring (although practical for modern life).

    Hopefully China will be able to preserve the traditional historical areas of cities, avoiding both the “Charybdis” of allowing the dystopian modern city to demolish them, and also the “Scylla” of turning them into gentrified/hipster tourist traps.

    It looks like traditional areas in Shanghai currently still has hard working, normal people living there.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Dmitry


    Have you noticed that New York film culture is quite different from the Hollywood film culture, already from the 1960s? For example, New York film directors like Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee, are much more culturally influenced by postwar European films
     
    I guess I haven't seen too many European films besides some number of German ones. Though, I think you are right about NYC having a darker trend. I think it also shows up in TV and in the books of authors born there.

    It looks like traditional areas in Shanghai
     
    Remarkable, I didn't realize so much of the old city survived.

    watching Season 3 of Shtisel on Netflix
     
    That is interesting. If I understand correctly: a show about Haredi that the Haredi can't or mostly won't watch themselves. I wonder if it was conceived as propaganda to ease the social tensions from the growing Haredi community.

    Replies: @Dmitry

  269. @AP
    @Dmitry


    But is there something intrinsically bad about city being “run down”, for a tourist? If I could trade between “run down city” and clean touristic cities, I much more enjoyed to be a tourist in e.g. “run down” Napoli, than in ultra-clean and overly renovated Sorrento.
     
    Well, Moscow is a very clean non-touristic city. It is much nicer now than it was in the early 2000s when it was run down. There are Austrian towns that are not loaded with tourists, that are clean and tidy. Galician villages tend to be clean and tidy, and have zero tourists. They are more pleasant than run down ones in Russia (I mean no offence to Russians here).

    Replies: @Dmitry

    Napoli is one of the run down cities you can visit, and one of the coolest and most authentic character.

    Perhaps if you were a longterm resident of Napoli, you might feel annoyed about the dirt and lack of garbage collection, and wish that you lived in Austria or Switzerland

    But from the subjective perspective of tourist, its decay is only increasing the city’s historical, Latin atmosphere, and to me emphasizes the sterility of certain neighbouring too clean and renovated for tourists places (i.e. Sorrento).

    • Replies: @AP
    @Dmitry

    I haven't been to Italy so I cannot compare. But I can compare Moscow from 1999 or 2002 to Moscow in 2019 and I prefer the cleaner and more lavishly developed one. I agree it would be different if it were somehow fake, a tourist showcase. For this reason since I didn't have time to see both, I chose to explore Innsbruck rather than Salzburg 2 summers ago even though Salzburg is more beautiful. Both, of course, have plenty of tourists but I've heard that Salzburg had become a Mozart themepark for Chinese and other visitors.

    Replies: @AP, @AnonfromTN, @Dmitry

  270. Is anyone (well I mean AaronB, if you’re reading) watching Season 3 of Shtisel on Netflix? It had very bad reviews in the Israeli media, but I’m still tempted to start to watch it, as long it will be better than the second season.

    My assessment of the deterioration of Shtisel’s quality from the excellent season 1 to the mediocre 2, was like:

    Season 1 – as if has television could be written by 19th century novelist.

    Season 2- starting to feel less like 19th century literature, more like a Mexican telenovela with a gimmick of Haredi Jews as the source content

    • Thanks: AP
  271. @Xi-jinping
    @AnonFromTN

    On the contrary - I'd say people were far more patriotic during Soviet times. It is troubling to see how many Russians try to buy into woke (amongst the youth especially) because they think it is a necessity to become more 'prosperous'. They say "The USA is prosperous because it is a democracy ergo we need more democracy/wokeism/lgbt).

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

    I’d say people were far more patriotic during Soviet times.

    I was young during Soviet times, so I have first-hand knowledge. There was more show “patriotism” required by the authorities, but deep down people did not believe a word of Soviet propaganda. Now I know that quite a bit of it was true. As Russians joke now, they told us a lot of lies about socialism, but everything they said about capitalism turned out to be true.

    The pride we saw was genuine, you can easily tell (especially with Soviet training), and no official was around. People talked about their Nizhni with obvious pride. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Yes, some Russian youth believe globohomo lies, but I don’t think it’s the majority even in that age group. Besides, as Russians say, being young is a flaw that goes away with age.

    Russians, including young ones, have a visceral repulsion to sexual deviations. The word meaning gay (педераст in Russian, from French pederast; there are many shorter forms) is a dirty swearword in Russian, expressing utter contempt. LGBT, zoophilia, necrophilia, and the like have no support there, even among people who believe imperial lies.

    • Agree: Jazman
    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @AnonfromTN

    I remember my grandfather studied/worked in the USSR and he tells me of how people genuinely talked with pride about their country. So perhaps you met mostly people who were natural skeptics or something.

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

  272. AP says:
    @Dmitry
    @AP

    Napoli is one of the run down cities you can visit, and one of the coolest and most authentic character.

    Perhaps if you were a longterm resident of Napoli, you might feel annoyed about the dirt and lack of garbage collection, and wish that you lived in Austria or Switzerland

    But from the subjective perspective of tourist, its decay is only increasing the city's historical, Latin atmosphere, and to me emphasizes the sterility of certain neighbouring too clean and renovated for tourists places (i.e. Sorrento).

    Replies: @AP

    I haven’t been to Italy so I cannot compare. But I can compare Moscow from 1999 or 2002 to Moscow in 2019 and I prefer the cleaner and more lavishly developed one. I agree it would be different if it were somehow fake, a tourist showcase. For this reason since I didn’t have time to see both, I chose to explore Innsbruck rather than Salzburg 2 summers ago even though Salzburg is more beautiful. Both, of course, have plenty of tourists but I’ve heard that Salzburg had become a Mozart themepark for Chinese and other visitors.

    • Replies: @AP
    @AP

    An exception though is Tsarytsyno. The palace was very cool when it was still in ruins, with trees growing through what had once been a ballroom. The restoration looks rather faker, and destroyed its charm.

    , @AnonfromTN
    @AP

    As a matter of fact, Salzburg is pretty authentic. There aren’t too many tourists, Chinese or otherwise (my info is ~5 years old, though). Vienna is more Mozart theme-parkish than Salzburg. Salzburg castle is quite impressive. In addition, there is a cave nearby with thick ice year round (you need warm clothes for it).

    Interestingly, that cave was where I heard “hende hoh” for the first time since I watched WWII movies in the USSR. The group was large, and the guide decided to figure out what language to use, so he asked those who speak German to raise their hands (hende hoh). It turned out that about half of the group speaks German, and the other half English, so he ended up repeating everything twice in two languages.

    , @Dmitry
    @AP

    I studied German for a couple weeks in Saltzburg when I was teenager and it was not a bad place to walk around in those days (although I didn't learn much of the German language). Besides, aside from this perhaps too perfect beauty of the city architecture, there is an incredible natural beauty in the hills and lakes surrounding the city.

    Music is a real living (not only historical) industry there, and you can hear opera singers singing scales in morning in neighbouring apartments - there it is more of living tradition, and not only a kitsch Mozart kuchen.

    But perhaps it could become annoying in certain months when too many of the wealthy upper class opera fans invade the city from New York.

    I was studying there I think in early July and it seemed not too overtouristy. But the music festivals is happening more in August, and I guess that's when it will be flooded with too many thousands of old millionaire tourists from New York, and perhaps the local residents are escaping the city.

    Replies: @AP

  273. @Xi-jinping
    @EldnahYm

    What is meant by 'collapse' is a general economic decline that eventually corresponds to cultural and military decline.

    And NATO/US cold war blocs will never be dismantled because the many countries in them are essentially feudal vassals of the US and were forced to adopt their political system and have been convinced that maintaining these systems is in their interests. This also means that these countries feel like they are 'sovereign' when they are really not.

    Canada is essentially USA LITE.

    Australia's no 1. trading partner is China. However, Australia cannot move closer towards China due to the political implications that will cause from the USA.

    Replies: @EldnahYm

    What is meant by ‘collapse’ is a general economic decline that eventually corresponds to cultural and military decline.

    My point is that North American as well as Australia and New Zealand aren’t that interconnected, and that an economic decline in Europe does not spell the same for those countries.

    And NATO/US cold war blocs will never be dismantled because the many countries in them are essentially feudal vassals of the US and were forced to adopt their political system and have been convinced that maintaining these systems is in their interests. This also means that these countries feel like they are ‘sovereign’ when they are really not.

    None of this means the U.S. couldn’t dismantle the alliance systems if it wanted.

    Australia’s no 1. trading partner is China. However, Australia cannot move closer towards China due to the political implications that will cause from the USA.

    What China’s trading relationship will be with the Anglosphere and Europe over time remains to be seen, it’s probably one of the more interesting political topics right now. However, Australia doesn’t necessarily need to expand its relationship with China for more growth. Southeast Asia and some other places are growing markets.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @EldnahYm

    Europe will not decline economically until US declines. The US props up European economies/South Korea and Japan. It will be interesting to see what happens to the "Asian tigers" when the US withdraws.

    Australia/New Zealand do not depend on what happens in Europe. They do depend on what happens to USA or China.

    And the US would never wilfully dismantle its alliances unless it was forced to

    Replies: @EldnahYm

  274. @AP
    @Dmitry

    I haven't been to Italy so I cannot compare. But I can compare Moscow from 1999 or 2002 to Moscow in 2019 and I prefer the cleaner and more lavishly developed one. I agree it would be different if it were somehow fake, a tourist showcase. For this reason since I didn't have time to see both, I chose to explore Innsbruck rather than Salzburg 2 summers ago even though Salzburg is more beautiful. Both, of course, have plenty of tourists but I've heard that Salzburg had become a Mozart themepark for Chinese and other visitors.

    Replies: @AP, @AnonfromTN, @Dmitry

    An exception though is Tsarytsyno. The palace was very cool when it was still in ruins, with trees growing through what had once been a ballroom. The restoration looks rather faker, and destroyed its charm.

  275. @AaronB
    @Thulean Friend

    One might apply this to the internal situation as well.

    Just as international unity does not lead to innovation, excessive internal unity within a society likewise leads to stagnation.

    The 19th century was also a period of great internal social division and of competing value systems and philosophies.

    Nietzsche studied Greek culture and concluded that humanity reaches new heights only through fierce competition - he believed it was the Greek institution of the 'agon' that led to Greece becoming so much greater than its neighbors, who stressed unification, harmony, and central authority.

    Heraclitus said war is the father of all things- obviously meaning competition and strife among divided factions leads humanity to create and adap