Propaganda: The FTFY version (h/t Bryan MacDonald): *** Would indeed be pretty strange for the Ukraine to do it for free, since it has received a grand total of $1.2 million in Corona-related aid, which is basically an insult even relative to Ukraine's economy. I suppose even Ukrainian West-worship has its limits. Incidentally, on that... Read More
We now have the first hard data from regions that achieved "herd immunity" the hard way - that is, by having Corona burn through most of the population. 70% of blood donors from Castiglione d'Adda, in the 50,000 population region of Lodi, the epicenter of Italy's outbreak, tested positive for SARS-2 antibodies. There's just one... Read More
According to an analysis by Luca Dellanna in Italy, a huge number of Italian deaths have been going unregistered. Comparing death rates in Corona-afflicted towns in North Italy this March with the statistics from March during previous years, he estimates that the differential could be as high as a factor of 5. If this can... Read More
On March 25, TASS reported that Russia send 15 military aircraft to deliver specialist and equipment to help Italy in the fight against its coronavirus epidemic. This included 600 ventilators. Although Russia's ventilator situation is pretty good by international standards, it still represents an investment of over 10% of Moscow's ventilator stock of 5,000 units... Read More
As I always like to point out, especially on the anniversary of the Georgian BDSM master's death, life in Fascist Italy was nicer, more predictable, and several orders of magnitude safer than in the 1930s USSR. Even for Communists. And Jews. Just nine people executed for political crimes from 1922-43 under Mussolini. That's a rounding... Read More
Hyperbolic much? At this point, the burden of proof surely now has to be on the optimists, who've been alternately barraging us with "iTs JuSt LiKe ThE fLu", and/or "it's not going to kill non-East Asians anyway" (not that CNN's Sanjay Gupta will admit it). But with epidemics, it's usually a case of go big... Read More
Every so often some Berlusconi Bro praises Mussolini to some extent or another and invites a flurry of condemnation from the handshakeworthy set. This has just happened with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament. And then, of course, there was Matteo Salvini's approving quotation of the Italian dictator last year. From what I can... Read More
You will have to excuse the paucity of posting this month. Many things going on. But I hope to get the Romania post out today. I predicted that Russia would win against Saudi Arabia and Egypt (both happened), but would lose against Uruguay. We'll see what happens tomorrow. * Turkey Presidential & legislative elections. My... Read More
Rediscovering the Russian Imperial traditions. Bliny on sour dough of buckwheat flour and sour dairy, served with sour cream, salmon, and red caviar at the apartment of a Finn whose family maintained the Imperial traditions. I will be departing for Romania very early tomorrow. Any last tips/recs? I'll be two days in Ploiesti for two... Read More
Moscow 2018. Can't believe it has been almost a month since the last Open Thread. Quick updates: Was in the UK for a couple of weeks (as you presumably gathered). Apart from the march in London, I also took the opportunity to tick off Canterbury and the Tank Museum in Bovington. Unfortunately, I was not... Read More
So apparently an Ambassadorship costs $1.8 million per post in the US. In virtually any other country, even where the situation with corruption is quite dismal, such arrangements would be seen as unquestionably corrupt. And yet the US scores an entirely respectable 73/100 in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), leagues above say Italy which... Read More
Not often that you see Russia in some color other than bloody red on a world map of corruption or institutional quality. But according to the Open Budget Index (2012 results), the Russian budget is actually pretty transparent as far as these things go. Of the major countries, only the UK (88), France (83), and... Read More
One of the key criticisms of my last post on the tight connections between (educational) human capital and economic performance is that correlation need not imply causation. An alternate (and PC-compliant) explanation is that "you get the education system you could afford, and the level of human capital in the kids is mostly determined by... Read More
In terms of new cars, they now are. According to 2011 statistics, Russians bought 17.6 new automobiles per 1000 people. This indicator is still quite a bit below most of Western Europe, such as Germany's 38.5, France's 33.4, Britain's 31.9, Italy's 30.1, and Spain's 20.0. However, it has already overtaken most of East-Central Europe, whose... Read More
The response to the last global crisis only consisted of kicking the can further down the road, and the chickens are showing signs of coming home to roost. Of particular note: (1) the recent upwards spike on bond yields for Italy and Spain*; (2) The political paralysis in the US that may (conceivably, if unlikely)... Read More
Иn the wake of the 2009 recession, declinist rhetoric has come to dominate discussion of Russia's economic prospects. Jim O'Neill, the founder of the BRIC's concept, has his work cut out defending Russia's expulsion from the group in favor of Indonesia, Mexico, or some other random middle-sized country. Journalists in the Western media claim its... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.