It all began on January 9, 2008.
It began, as it is now, as Da Russophile over at blogger. And I was a Russophile then, perhaps unreasonably so. That said I did do some useful work back then. I am most proud of the demographic models by which I predicted:
- Russia will see positive population growth starting from 2010 at the latest.
- Natural population increase will occur starting from 2013 at the latest.
I was not nearly so accurate on the economy. The severe recession in 2009 forced me to readjust my expectations.
At the end of the year, I moved my blog to WordPress and renamed it to Sublime Oblivion. From now on I would no longer write exclusively about Russia.
Around 2009, I also started having a major ideological shift that in retrospect was regrettable and wrong. It was a weird fusion of eco-leftism, Stratforian realism, and even mysticism (remember the “belief matrices“?). Back then my ideological/political arguments were not firewalled from my Russia stuff – as they are today with the Da Russophile / AKarlin division – and as such there appeared many downright bizarre articles like this, this, and this. Despite a few gems, foremost of which was perhaps the translation of the infamous “Stalinist” textbook, this was a year best forgotten.
This pattern continued into 2010. Recall Green Communism and the Collapse Party? By the way, it’s not like I abandoned my views on Limits to Growth/unsustainability and the necessity of radical solutions. I just stopped caring about them.
I also initiated a series of interviews with leading Russia watchers back then, taking over from Andy Young of Siberian Light. But I didn’t keep it up.
2011 was a very productive year. I dropped a lot of the ideological nonsense in favor of practicalities, wrote a great series comparing the US/UK/Russia, and tilted my Russia coverage away from the unalloyed Russophilia of 2008 and the weird splashes of Spenglerian mysticism and obsession with geopolitics that marred it in 2009-10. It also marked my outbreak into mainstream journalism with me appearing on RT and starting to write op-eds for Al Jazeera.
The most interesting and critical year so far was 2012. It began ingloriously with a pharma hack of my blog. This destroyed my SEO ratings, but also presented an excellent opportunity to start over. I split the blog into Da Russophile (Russia stuff) and AKarlin aka this one (everything else).
Up to that time, my blog had enjoyed almost 800,000 visits. Since then, AKarlin.com has hosted a further 178,347 visits, and Da Russophile a further 164,745.
The Russia stuff continued on its upwards ascent. I continued with op-eds for Al Jazeera, wrote the classic 5 Types of Russian American, and started writing short pieces for the US-Russia.com Experts Panel (now regularly translated and republished at Voice of Russia).
The everything else part tilted into a sharply controversial direction. This was defined by my definitive embrace of Human Biodiversity theory with all the inevitable attendant consequences stemming from that decision (before I had avoided explicitly engaging with it by talking in terms of “human capital”). And if I’m going to openly write about HBD then I might as well openly write about game. I lost some regular readers, including a few who have since developed a visceral hatred for me, but I see that as no big loss. On the plus side I got many new ones thanks to associations with the HBDsphere. More importantly, I would not have to tiptoe around topics that I felt were important and highly relevant (by way of their explanatory power) to the world around us.
But then I had a few problems. The blog went into limbo for a few months.
This is not a permanent death and never will be if I can possibly help it. The aforementioned “problems” have now been solved, so regular blogging will return here in the near future – hopefully by the beginning of February.
As 2013 dawns on us, and I am finally free of the RL time constraints that held me back in previous years, there are five main directions to my work:
- Continuing what I’m doing at Da Russophile.
- Writing the book Dark Lord of the Kremlin.
- The “Russian Inosmi” project called Russia Voices.
- More journalism at Al Jazeera and Voice of Russia.
- Resuming regular posting at AKarlin.com.
So please continue checking back here on this blog too. There will soon be a fun piece on my trip to Las Vegas.