A Meeting with Hank Pellissier

This Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Hank Pellissier, who used to work for the IEET, a futurist/transhumanist institute, and is now a blogger-journalist and amateur researcher at the Brighter Brains blog. As one may glean from the title of that blog, his current area of major interest lies in IQ and how you […]

Were the 2013 Moscow Elections falsified?

1. The CEC results Here they are. The turnout was 32%. Sergey Sobyanin – 51.37% Alexei Navalny – 27.24% Ivan Melnikov – 10.69% Sergey Mitrokhin – 3.51% Mikhail Degtyaryov – 2.86% Nikolai Levichev – 2.79% Invalid ballots – 1.53% 2. Pre-elections opinion polls: Navalny’s support – among those who indicated a clear preference for one candidate or another – rose from […]

Moscow Exit Polls: Sobyanin ~50%, Navalny ~30%

According to a roundup of all the major exit polls by Kommersant, it appears that although Navalny’s performance was massively better than expected, Acting Mayor Sobyanin still managed to avoid a second tour. Exit Polls are Pubished  for the Moscow Elections In Moscow, voting has finished for the new Mayor. According to exit polls carried […]

A Game of Homs

What striking about Syria is how so many people insist on speaking about it in profoundly moralistic, Manichaean terms. This is complete nonsense, given that its civil war isn’t a showdown between democracy and dictatorship, but an ethnic and religious conflict. Here’s a more realistic guide: The Assad regime The rhetoric: He kills his own people! […]

OPEN DISCUSSION: The Moscow Elections, 2013

A couple of polls to provide the fodder for the subsequent discussions. Feel free to provide an exact figure (to one decimal place) for Navalny’s percentage share in the comments and we can have a little competition along the lines of the one we had for the Presidential elections. Background – Sobyanin vs. Navalny in Figures (July 23 […]

A Conversation with Weiss

As far as I understand, Michael D. Weiss is one of those neocons who loves Guantanamo but has a special soft spot in his heart for those Muslims who happen to be fighting Russia or some other state that the US doesn’t like much. When he isn’t chumming it up with his jihadist pals in […]

The Racists Aren’t Where the Prof Said They’d Be

A few months late, but worth posting anyway. The results are based on the latest “wave” of the World Values Survey, a very interesting project that tracks sociological data across countries – and which I will likely post more about in the future. Interesting observations: (1) The West in general is the world’s least “racist”* […]

The Caveman Test

First you couldn’t have more than 10% fat in your diet, then carbohydrates became the source of all evil*. Slow-Carb waged war on the various Schools of Paleo. But the Food Pyramid continues to loom over them all like some kind of Eldritch abomination.  Weight machines were once all the rage, but then free weights became […]

The Russian Aerospace Industry is Rapidly Recovering

More info against the Department of Russia Only Produces Oil and Vodka: Here are some graphs of Russian aerospace manufacturing courtesy of the Reality vs. Myths blog. (2013 figures are projections). Total helicopter construction has now basically converged with the levels of the late RSFSR. Aircraft construction is only halfway there, but its state is nonetheless leagues […]

From Office Slave to Paperless Ninja

I have already written on the joys of cleaning house and how less is more when it comes to possessions. But possessions aren’t limited to the physical realm. Your digital files – documents, emails, music libraries, photos, etc. – share many features with property, especially as regards the need to keep them well organized and […]

James Kirchick: Vapid, Bloviating Troll

He got invited to RT to talk about Bradley Manning and his impending sentence. The gay journalist James Kirchick got invited to argue his viewpoint that Manning wa a traitor who deserved to be put to death. (I wonder what his newfound liberal groupies would make of that?). Instead, he used his airtime to go […]

Map of Natural Population Growth in the Former USSR in 2012

H/t AP for this beauty. It is for 2012. [Click to enlarge]. It speaks for itself so comprehensively that I’m not sure it’s worth commenting further on my part here. Let’s leave that to the comments section.

Russia’s Demographics Continue to Steadily Improve

Here it is, for those who read Russian. The May data also has emigration data, which is not included in the prelimary estimates – that is here. The main points to take away: Births fell 0.3% and deaths fell 0.5%; as a result, the overall natural decrease has fallen from -57,000 in 2012 to -53,000 in […]

The Russia Debate is Back From the Dead

Due to the popular outcry, my prior decision to close down the Russian politics and history forum is now formally reversed. Come on people – let’s make it work. Stop spamming each other in email newsletters. Refrain from creating thousands of off-topic comments on blog posts that will get lost in the Internet’s recesses as soon […]

Translation: Eddie Limonov Tells Navalny Fans to Go See a Shrink

It is wrong to glamorize a political hustler with five criminal cases against him, says the National Bolshevik leader – who claims street cred on account of having done real time. You Guys Need to Go and See a Shrink! Eduard Limonov on why Navalny became a hero of the bourgeoisie. I pay a lot of […]

Translation: Jews, Journalists, and Dead Kittens

Battle of the hacks! In response to Alexei Pankin calling him an anti-Semite in The Moscow Times, Oleg Kashin pens a tongue in cheek response telling him to imagine a kitten dying every time he abuses an overworn cliche. On the Horrors of Anti-Semitism In which Oleg Kashin gives some advice to the politologists. The editors asked […]

Translation: Why Didn’t Transparency International Reveal Russia’s Bribery Data?

Why was there no bribery incidence data for Russia in Transparency International’s international survey of 2013? Andrey Kamenetsky at Odnako connects the dots to argue that it was simply because the results were too inconvenient to serve as propaganda. A Crisis of Zombification: How Transparency International failed on The Russia Corruption Rating Dear Readers! In July there […]

Why 80 Chechens can “Own” A Russian City of 40,000 People

The commentator Дарман, who appears to be from Dagestan, argues that Chechens are quite different from the other North Caucasian nationalities. Apparently, minorities in Russia don’t like Chechens much more than do ethnic Russians. (Brings to mind that War Nerd quote, “They seem like one of those tribes that are either going to rule the world or go […]

Bribery in Russia has Either Recently Soared… or Plummeted

Or neither. Well, isn’t this a useless post? I am referring to the Global Corruption Barometer released by Transparency International a couple of weeks ago, which I covered at my other blog. For the most part, there were no surprises; the only really strange figures came from Taiwan, where 36% of people claimed to have paid […]

Sobyanin vs. Navalny, in Figures

There has been some confusion about Navalny’s poll ratings due to the varying timing, phrasing, and options in the polls on the matter. The Russian Spectrum tries to clear things up. Navalny Gaining, Sobyanin Dominant Below is a summary of comparable polls on this subject by date from two of Russia’s three biggest polling agencies: […]