Start Here

I blog about the following topics:

  • Russian politics, economics, demographics;
  • Geopolitics and world affairs;
  • Human Biodiversity (HBD) and psychometrics;
  • Futurism and transhumanism

… at the Unz Review:  http://www.unz.com/akarlin/

Here is a list of some of my best work:

I am also currently writing a book with the preliminary title of “Apollo’s Ascent” about the role of high IQ “smart fractions” in global economic and intellectual history (see below for more details).

Background

My blogging career began in 2008, when I perceived an increasingly absurd discrepancy between Western media rhetoric about Russia, swinging between portraying it as a “weak,” “dying,” and “finished” country and doom-mongering about the Dark Lord Putin’s plans to subjugate Middle-Earth, oops, I mean Europe, and its rather mundane and mediocre reality.

As Will Rogers once said, “Russia is a country that no matter what you say about it, it’s true.” Today, this is truer than ever, a state of affairs enabled by an uninformed public, lazy journalistic cliques, and agenda-driven neocons. I decided to tackle the problem at its root, demolishing Western myths about Russia through a focus on translations of Russian language sources, verifiable statistics and opinion polls, and the application of a judicious comparative perspective (otherwise maligned as “whataboutism”).

russia-demographic-simulation-medium-2008One of my greatest successes was modeling and correctly predicting Russia’s demographic turnaround as early as 2008, when holding such a position made one a prime candidate for psychiatric institutionalization. I likewise presented a more realistic – or at the very least, data-informed – perspective on Russia’s comparative performance on human rightscorruption, and the economy.

But for all the epithets hurled at me as a “Russophile cretin,” “neo-Soviet reptile,” “and my personal favorite, “ein strammer Putinsoldat,” in those (majority of) cases where the data tended to portray Russia in a better than expected light,  the fact of the matter is that I have never shied from posting material that didn’t work out in Russia’s favor. For instance, I wrote what remains probably the the most comprehensive roundup of statistical evidence of electoral fraud in the 2011 Russian elections in the English language. That post was later cited by that famous Chekist front organization Freedom House.

Now that Russia and the US are in the depths of a New Cold War, in the wake of the neocon-backed coup in Ukraine and the consequent civil war and economic collapse in that unfortunate country – all developments that I, incidentally, had glumly predicted around the time of the West’s pro-Maidan euphoria in early 2014 – there has been no greater need for the sort of detailed, data-centered Russia analysis that I offer since the 1980s.

You can browse through a curated list of all my better blog posts on Russia from 2008-2014 here: http://akarlin.com/russophile/.

Though I began as a Russia blogger, my interests soon extended well beyond the Eurasian carapace, into topics such as geopolitics, human biodiversity (HBD), psychometrics, and futurism/transhumanism. As early as 2008 I emphasized the importance of human capital towards economic growth, and “came out” as a liberal race realist in 2012 well years before the Alt Right took the memesphere by storm. Since then, the exponentially growing body of evidence for those positions, including the publication of high profile books by “respectable” authors such as Nicholas Wade and Garett Jones has vindicated my arguments.

karlin-psychometric-researchSince then I have made several significant contributions to the debate, including uncovering the (remarkably good) scores for mainland China in PISA 2009 and detailed regional data for Russia. In a 2013 survey of professional psychometricists (Heiner Rindermann et al.), my blog was acknowledged as one of the world’s best three sources for accurate IQ reporting.

Uncomfortable as these insights of the “Dark Enlightenment” might be, nothing else seems to explain so many puzzles of global economic and intellectual history as well as they do – though they do open up almost as many additional puzzles as they close.

I am tackling one of them, the question of why Europe beat China to the Industrial Revolution despite higher East Asian IQs, in my forthcoming book, “Apollo’s Ascent.” My basic thesis is that the rate of technological growth can be approximated by the numbers of literate, smart people who can work on solving problems. Or to put it another way, this project will fuse Charles Murray’s insights on the centrality of IQ to social and economic success within the US, and Garrett Jones’ analogous observations as concerns international development, and extend it into the deep past as well as the 21st century.

Here are two articles from the past year I which I outline the main ideas of the book:

This is a very largescale and ambitious overtaking, but understanding the role intelligence plays in economic and technological progress – and stagnation – has never been more vital in light of current developments in CRISPR and the genetics of IQ that will make “test tube” eugenics feasible in as little as a decade, as well as mounting concerns over the prospect of AI “superintelligence.”

I prefer to approach things from a data centric way and to this index I have also been active in compiling indices for various aspects of geopolitics and society such as military power and corruption.

Freedom Isn’t Free!

Unfortunately, there is only so much time in a day I can devote to writing and research. Most of my time is currently taken up with the the banal task of making money for paying the bills and maintaining a roof over my head in the expensive SF Bay Area.

The more help I get from my readers, especially of the pecuniary kind, the more time I can devote to my blogging and research.

Just $2,000 per month will cover all of my monthly expenses, allowing me to work on my blog and my book full time and triple my output.

If you have enjoyed my work and want to want to see much more of it, please consider making a contribution via PayPal or Coinbase, or sponsoring me on Patreon.