Archives for April 2012

Liberals Can’t Be Appeased

One thing that an observer of Russian politics can’t help noticing is the sheer impossibility of appeasing the Russian liberals. Here are two recent exhibits from the Moscow Times. First, coming to the end of his Presidency, Medvedev pardoned some people in a list of political prisoners presented by the non-systemic opposition a few months […]

Nils van der Vegte – The Political Crisis in the Netherlands: The Rise of the Reds?

Da Russophile readers will probably know of Nils van der Vegte. He is a Dutch scholar currently based in Arkhangelsk who runs the site Russia Watchers (with Joera Mulders), with whom I did a co-translation of an article on emigration to Belarus. He also has some strong opinions about politics in his native Netherlands. This […]

Where Do The French Presidential Candidates Stand on Russia?

Le Nouvel Observateur recently compiled opinions on Russian democracy from each of the ten French Presidential candidates. While the Left is highly critical of the authoritarian Putin regime, the Right is more favorably disposed to the Russian President-elect. On the eve of the first round of the French Presidential elections, I provide a translation of Russie: Ce […]

A Meeting With A Demographer

Today I had the pleasure of meeting up with Nick Eberstadt, an analyst at the AEI who specializes in Korea and Russian demography. He was dropping by SF and we had drinks at the excellent Samovar Tea Lounge. As readers will know, we do obviously have many disagreements on Russia demography, with Eberstadt representing the “pessimistic” […]

Assange @RT: Russia Provides A Platform To Western Dissidents

As I noted before, the symmetry is amusing to say the least. Anti-regime characters such as Nemtsov and Navalny, who are marginal in Russia (both in popularity and media presence – as is logical, nothing undemocratic about that), are treated as Genuine Voices of the Russian People by the Western media. In its turn, Russia […]

Peter Savodnik: Portrait Of A Democratic Journalist

I recently had the dubious pleasure of engaging in an extended Twitter exchange with Peter Savodnik. Peter is a consummately credentialed journalist based in New York. He is also a classical representative of the well-paid prostitute class otherwise known as Independent Western Journalists in polite (i.e. doublethink) society, as well as of that emigre clique which delights […]

Through A Glass Ceiling Darkly: Racial IQ Disparities And The Wealth Of Nations

Now that I’m done with the Necessary Caveats, it’s time we had a look at why exactly HBD/IQ theories are both valid, and relevant to the real world. As I see it, their main import (as interpreted by me) can be distilled into a few logically consecutive, falsifiable statements: IQ tests are a valid, culturally […]

Evolutionary Roots Of Homophobia?

Russia is in something of a homophobic fever. Four regions (including Saint-Petersburg) have banned the dissemination of “gay propaganda” to minors, it may yet go federal, and disassociated itself from a G8 statement on gay rights. It’s obviously not like in many Middle Eastern countries where homosexuality is illegal (as in the USSR) but attitudes do resemble […]

Race Denial vs. Racism – A False Dichotomy

This may be the article I’ve hesitated longest over publishing. Its subject matter has always hovered as a specter over my writings on the close relation between human capital and economic growth; an obvious but studiously ignored presence*. I am talking, of course, about race and IQ. Of racial differences in IQ, to be precise. […]

Is Khodorkovsky A Political Prisoner? Read The ECHR Judgments Before Quacking

It’s one thing if Western journalists and Yukos PR henchmen – if there is indeed any difference – shill for all they’re worth about the travails of Khodorkovsky, the former oligarch doing time for fleecing the Russian Treasury to the tune of billions of dollars, charges he sooner boasts about than denies when given the opportunity […]

Who Reads This Blog Anyway? A History Of S/O In Graphs

As you’re all aware, on April 1st 2012, more than 3 years of blogging at http://www.sublimeoblivion.com/ (S/O) came to an end. For the majority of that period – to be precise from May 13th, 2009, to March 31st, 2013 – I had an account with Google Analytics that provided me with very detailed states about the blog: Where […]

World Pisa Results 2009

Today I discovered this really nifty tool, Target Map. It allows you to generate color-coded global and national maps just by uploading an Excel database. In what will probably surprise no-one who follows my interests, my first map illustrates average PISA scores for Math, Reading, and Science for the 65 regions in the original 2009 […]

Potemkin Georgia: Exposing The Lies Of The Saakashvili PR Machine

Despite the unremitting hostility of its Russian neighbor, which crescendoed in a military occupation of a chunk of its territories, plucky Georgia’s commitment to reform and democratic values will ensure its rapid development into a “booming Western-style economy.” Under its charismatic Western-trained President, Saakashvili, it has rooted out corruption, ushered in untold prosperity and freedoms, and left dictatorial Russia in […]

The Geography Of Russia’s IQ

Human capital (primarily education) is the single most important factor behind long-term productivity gains, and hence economic growth. The relatively high human capital of Russia and China, which is comparable to developed country levels, is the most important reason why I rate their future prospects much higher than those of the other two BRIC’s, Brazil […]

Moscow Isn’t Another Country

There is a certain Russian expression: “Москва — не Россия” (i.e. Moscow, isn’t Russia), to denote the idea that while the capital may be rich, at least by Russian standards, the rest of the country languishes in grinding poverty. This is a trope is frequently taken up by the Western media, which at times presents […]

Translation: Evgeny Minchenko – Seven Myths About The Russian Elections

Apart from direct falsifications, which were extensively discussed here, the other really big criticism of the Russian elections process is that it isn’t a level playing field. As said by an OSCE bureaucrat, “The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia.” Well wait a second. First, […]

Welcome Back!

Dear readers, As you’re probably aware, the site was down for much of the past week. The lowdown is that the old blog, Sublime Oblivion, was infected by a nasty pharma hack that destroyed its SEO ratings. There was however a silver lining, in that it allowed me to carry out a reorganization that I’ve desired […]