It’s the end of summer. Time to have a proper Open Thread at last (with links).
I should be moving into a new apartment by late September. It was in a dreadful state when I acquired it, and the remont (refurbishment) has used up most of my savings – and I still need to furnish it. The quicker I finish with that, the sooner I’ll be able to return to high productivity blogging. Making piecemeal purchases of furniture and various odds and ends from month to month isn’t the most efficient approach.
All contributions are appreciated, and encourage me to continue blogging – from small symbolic sums to the occasional three-figure gift. That said, please only donate if it’s not a burden.
Unless something drastic happens, my glorious NEETdom will come to a partial end around October. I’ll poast more on this later, but the job will involve academic research around the intersection of Russian demographics, economics, and psychometrics. One can hardly think of a better synchronization with this blog’s contents, so I don’t even expect it to substantially affect output here.
In the pipeline for September: A couple more Kholmogorov translations (we will soon have enough material for a book); a few more travel reports from provincial Russian cities; some more Russian/Soviet history and statistical comparisons; several book reviews; and several more “futurist” posts on the Age of Malthusian Industrialism (this may also eventually be expanded into a book).
* TURKEY. After its devaluation, it now has Europe’s third lowest wage after the Ukraine and Moldova.
* DECOUPLING. Leonid Bershidsky (Bloomberg): The U.S. Can’t Bring Russia ‘to Its Knees’. This tallies with my take – even if Russian liberasts such as Karina Orlova and Konstantin Eggert wish things were otherwise.
* US starts implementing the Skripal sanctions as of August 27.
* David Becker releases the final version (1.3.1) of his National IQ dataset.
* BEAR & DRAGON. Paul Goncharoff (The Duran): Russia and China build bridges together, successfully fulfill MAJOR infrastructure projects
* MORE DECOUPLING. Leonid Bershidsky (Bloomberg): Large Russian Companies Are Turning Inward
* UPPER VOLTA. The Economist: Russia leads the world at nuclear-reactor exports
Flat domestic demand for electricity has curtailed construction of new plants at home, so Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear-power company, has been flogging its wares abroad. It is focused on what some call the “great grand middle”: countries that are close allies of neither the United States nor Russia. In April Russia started building Turkey’s first nuclear plant, worth $20bn. Its first reactor is due for completion in 2023. Rosatom says it has 33 new plants on its order book, worth some $130bn.
* RBC: 39% fewer Russian schoolchildren in British schools. In fairness, I think this has more to do with ruble devaluation than a lessening of the Anglo cargo cult amongst Russia’s rich.
* RETRO. That old Lada-like electric car? Just a publicity stunt by Kalashnikov Concern, which has actually enjoyed good growth in the past few years. See Bershidsky.
* NOT EXACTLY SPY-LIKE. Washington Post: Before her arrest as an alleged Russian agent, Maria Butina’s proud defense of her homeland drew notice at American University
* Encyclopedia Russophobica – new Wiki (in Russian) classifying Russophobic tropes [in Russian]. Currently in its embryonic stages.
* BOOMER NATIONALISM. The Derb thinks people who critiqued his highly negative characterization of Russia (“Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional nation, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks“) are pro-Putin trolls.
* BLAST FROM THE PAST. Ben Aris (BNE) remembers: Russia’s 1998 crisis redux
* Global Times: Russian student wins world’s largest Chinese language contest
- NBF: Future US versus China Navy Sizes
- South Front on Chinese naval expansion
- NBF: In 2019, China and Russia will start using floating nuclear reactors for oil and gas rigs and military bases. I wrote about Russia’s floating NPPs here.
* Surprisingly, Indonesia may also be getting into floating NPPs in a big way.
* DEEP ROOTS. Gregory Clark, Neil Cummins: The big sort: The decline of northern England, 1780–2018
Northern England is now less educated and less productive than the south. This north-south divide is often characterised by policymakers as evidence of market failure. This column uses surname distributions to show that the northern decline can instead be explained by persistent outmigration of talent from the north. People of northern origin perform as well on average as those of southern origin. Talented northerners, however, are now mainly located in the south, where they are an economic elite.
Incidentally, he will soon have another book out, For Whom The Bell Curve Tolls.
* FOOM. Gwern Branwen: Did John von Neumann (brightest man on the Manhattan Project) also invent the technological singularity? (as opposed to Good).
* LONGEVITY. Josh Mitteldorf: The Most Effective Personal Anti-aging Program
* Athanasios Lapatinas, Anastasia Litina (2018): Intelligence and economic sophistication
Backed by strong empirical results, obtained from several different specification and sensitivity analyses, this paper contends that countries with high-intellectual quotient populations produce and export more sophisticated/complex products.
* Peter Frost: Why is IQ declining in the Arab world?
* IMPRESSIVE RAM. Quanta: A Master of Numbers and Shapes Who Is Rewriting Arithmetic
In his mathematics classes there, he never took notes, recalled Hellmann, who was his classmate. Scholze could understand the course material in real time, Hellmann said. “Not just understand, but really understand on some kind of deep level, so that he also would not forget.”
* Samo Burja: The risk of an American Civil War is remote
* CYBERPUNK AS FUCK: First Assassination Markets Appear on Prediction Platform Augur
* POWERFUL TAKE. Disavowing all nationalism forthwith.
* Ron Unz has been hard at work on the JQ this month:
* ZOG. Philip Giraldi: The Crucifixion of Jeremy Corbyn
* ULTIMATE REDPILL: ROG IS BEHIND ZOG. Times of Israel: Is Putin’s Kremlin subverting Israeli democracy? A Russia expert thinks so
* BLAST FROM THE PAST. While at a nationalist bookstore in Moscow, I discovered this book about the Black Hundreds. A few pages in, and I found that they apparently they had a daughter organization called “Muslim Union of the Russian People out of Kazan Tatars.” For some really strange reason I am getting the feeling that almost nothing that sovoks & liberasts claim about the Black Hundreds is true. I’ll need to study this issue sometime.
* WHITE POWER. Audacious Epigone: Gun ownership rates by race.
* COCKS OR KIDS? Audacious Epigone: Inverse relationship between number of partners and number of children
* Audacious Epigone: Meditations on America and Rome
* USA IS FULL OF PAVLIK MOROZOVS. Greg Hood (Amren): Nation of Little Swine
* SAD. Greg Hood (Amren): Forbidden Research: How the study of intelligence is crippled by ideology
Full paper by Woodley, Michael et al. (2018): Communicating intelligence research: Media misrepresentation, the Gould Effect, and unexpected forces
* Emil Kirkegaard: How information control works at big tech, according to one insider.
* Dan Decarlo (The American Conservative): The Gentrification Trade-Off in Buffalo. BAPism cannot be contained!
Gone are the old dive bars, tackily decorated pizza shops, and bowling alleys, replaced by upscale wine bars full of young professionals enjoying tasteful banter with their girlfriends
* BOOM! Cool visualization of US vs. Soviet/Russian arms’ exports from 1950-2017.