Open Thread 31: Amnesty

lenin-was-right

Communist Russophilia in all its glory.

I have some important work non-blog related tasks to do up until Nov 16 so there’ll be a temporary halt to my posts deconstructing the Red ideology, but rest assured that this important mission will be resumed.

Speaking of that. Recently met up with a couple of elderly relatives, the centenary of the Revolution came up. One is a Soviet nostalgic and pro-Leninist/Stalinist, as are most people of that generation, the other – a person in his 60s, blue-collar engineer background, even has the engineer’s trademark disdain for humanities education – started opining about the Brusilov offensive, that Russia should have won WW1, that Lenin was a traitorous scumbag, etc. This was shocking to the latter, though pleasantly surprising for myself. I should also stress that there was absolutely no prompting on my part (personally I try to avoid discussing the USSR with old people in Russia and the West alike), though as the debate got going, I did back him up .

What is the point of this anecdote? First, that there are people with all strongly anti-Bolshevik opinions in Russia, including in demographic groups you’d hardly expect it from. Second, that there are some people in my comments threads who are full of shit.

Moderation Note

Whining from certain quarters regardless, you really have to work pretty hard to get banned from my blog.

There have been a total of about a dozen such cases. Here’s a representative sample: 

  • The person who keeps on spamming that shitty Holocaust denial forum
  • The person who believes that literally every Islamic terrorist attack is a CIA/Mossad/reptilian Illuminati false flag
  • The spammy Islamist
  • The Stalinist nutjob who made implicit legal threats against me

Anyhow, I am taking the possibly misguided decision of a total amnesty, and have temporarily scoured the entire list.

This doesn’t mean its going to be a free for all. I reserve the right to hide stupid/spammy comments under a <more> divider. I reserve the right to outright delete extremely stupid and/or spammy comments. And if necessary, I will start populating the ban list again.

Comment rules are here, to be enforced at my discretion – https://akarlin.com/comments/

 

Main

I’ll write about Saudi Arabia in a separate post.

* Andrew Griffin, Max Benwell (Independent): Rogues of The Resistance: The liberal activists and conspiracy theorists who want to take down Trump

There’s that joke about the Jew who enjoyed reading Der Stürmer because it was so positive about Jewish achievements such as their control of all the banks and media. I admit I enjoy reading Louise Mensch and /r/politics for the same reason. It’s nice to fantasize about a world where ROG is real.

* Jose Ricon: Links (13)

Ruin value. I suppose this makes it the architectural equivalent of the “live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse” philosophy.

 

 

Russia

chomsky-on-persecution-of-rt

Noam Chomsky interview from April 2015.

Russia has promised retaliation, though it hasn’t specified what. It is possible that it will be something completely retarded, like blocking CNN and RFERL (which practically nobody in Russia visits anyway – and those few who do, are familiar with VPN).

Roskomnadzor says it’s also designed an extrajudicial system for blocking the websites of organizations labeled “undesirable” by the Justice Ministry.

If Russia was run by smart people, it would start denying visas to the more hostile Western journalists, like China does. This is effective, and deniable (can’t prove its on purpose). But I don’t expect that to start happening anytime soon.

  • Paul Robinson: Interview with Mikhail Remizov

  • This year’s Russian March in Moscow was broken up by OMON. What was a major spectacle regularly drawing ~10,000 vigorous right-wingers 5-10 years ago is now a rather sad affair with no more than ~500 people, most of whom belong to Maltev/Demushkin’s marginal pro-Ukraine, pro-NATO faction.

vishnevsky-russia-demographics-no-ussr

  • Anatoly Vishnevsky: A demographic projection of Russia’s population in the 20th century (within current borders!) if no Bolshevism + WW2 [in Russian].

Around 280 million people (instead of 145 million), plus maybe 120 million Ukrainians and Belorussians = 400 million strong East Slavic superpower.

orwell-sovok

* Brilliant “Orwellization” of Lenin’s most slogan (via Оскал Империализма)

Bread is Prodrazverstka
Land is Collectivization
Peace is Civil War

 

World

 

Other

https://twitter.com/presidentaz/status/928970357771587585

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.

 

Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.

 

Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.

Comments

  1. What is the purpose of banning comments, be they stupid, taboo or annoying it is always better to let people have their say as opposed hoping that by censoring these thoughts will go away.

  2. But how good are the Azeris at Scrabble?

  3. For the same reason that a ranting buffon would be politely but firmly escorted out of a debate club.

  4. Rehmat was funny for a while but got old fast. The main problem is their comments are so loong, not merely dumb.

  5. Greasy William says
    1. Before reading Anatoly, I was very bearish on Russia. I felt like Russia was a corrupt cesspool that was living off energy exports while being swamped with Muslim immigrants. Now I see Russia as a country on the rise.
    2. Anatoly and the Russians here have also made me less Russophobic. I had previously thought that all Russians were all Palestine/Iran types but it appears like Russians may care even less about Palestinians and Iranians than Westerners do (which is saying a lot). The difference is that Russia doesn’t have the philosemitic tradition that Western Europe and especially America have so they seem to an outsider to be more antisemitic than they actually are. My old Russophobia has been replaced with indifference.

    3. My feelings towards Western Russophiles, however, have not changed. They are the lowest form of human life. Here is my rankings of most subhuman groups:

      1. Western Russophiles/Paleocons
      2. Iranians
      3. Arab Christians
      4. WNs
      5. BLM activists
      6. White liberals
      7. Mexicans
    4. The advice out there for non drug using ectomorphs who want to build muscle mass is awful. I spent years without ever getting good results because all the advice out there is for people who are natural high responders to weight training.

    Go on youtube and you’ll see a bunch of different bullshit programs and then if you aren’t getting results they all say the same thing, “it’s your diet”.

    It isn’t your fucking diet. It doesn’t matter what your balance of macronutrients or whatever is. Diet matters for keeping muscle on while cutting, but it doesn’t have shit to do with adding muscle.

    If you are a low responder, working out longer and/or harder is not going to help you add mass. Basically you need to do 2 things:
    1. Are your hormones in check? Your testosterone needs to be over 600 ng/dl and ideally 1000 or over. If they aren’t at that level you aren’t gonna put on muscle. If you can’t get your T that high naturally, definitely don’t use steroids but use testosterone replacement therapy. (full disclosure: I do not use TRT but I will in the future if I can’t naturally keep my T levels in a healthy range).
    2. Frequency. It isn’t about volume and it isn’t about “intensity”. The problem is that after the newbie stage, your anabolic window closes pretty rapidly after you workout. So you can’t be hitting a body part once or even 2x or 3x a week. You need to hit it everyday. That’s 6 days a week.

    You don’t have to take my word for it. Pick a body part that you have always struggled to add size to. For me it’s my biceps. 6x a week, do ONE set of curls with a weight you can do 8 reps with, but only do 4 reps. Next week do 5 reps. When you feel comfortable with 5 reps, like you could get to 9 if you tried to, then bump it up to 6. Keep repeating.

    As long as your hormones are in check and you are getting enough sleep and you aren’t already maxed out with your muscle gains, you will make rapid progress.

    You’ll still be ugly though. Or at least that has been my experience.

  6. You’ll still be ugly though. Or at least that has been my experience.

    The travails of being a Jew!

  7. Mao Cheng Ji says

    demographic projection of Russia’s population in the 20th century (within current borders!) if no Bolshevism + WW2

    If not for Bolsheviks, we’d already have flying cars in our garages. And no cancer. Everyone would’ve had iPhone X implanted into their heads, and 700 IQ.

    It’d be totally cool and awesome, man.

  8. From the Germans-staring-at-boobs article that our host Mr Karlin links just above –

    Denmark was in fact the country least likely to consider an action as sexual harassment

    Was reminded yesterday of the famous remark by arch-feminist Gloria Steinem in the 1990s during the accusations involving US President Bill Clinton, Steinem saying that, in general, men had a privilege of ‘one free grope’ of a woman, so long as the man afterwards respected a ‘No, no more’ clear statement.

    The background idea of Steinem’s ‘One Free Grope’ rule, is that men need a little slack because they are generally stupid regarding women’s signals, plus the fact that women often are thrilled by bold action from a man in whom they are interested, to the point of preferring the ‘take me & grab me’ approach (by the right guy only!), versus the cuck-asking-for-permission route – which is in reality often a turn-off for women, despite feminist claims.
    https://viewfrommiddleclass.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/trump-shirt.jpg

  9. Aliyev’s tweet makes very little sense, but more than thinking the alleged achievements of computer programs at board games are a sign of artificial intelligence.

  10. The state-enforced poz Germans have to deal with concentrates especially on ethnic matters, and they retain a trace of the old national tradition of being less prone to put women on a pedestal than Anglos.

  11. Aliyev’s Twitter is one of the best. It’s a unique combination of Borat style announcements on the latest successes in oil production, London PR firm generated releases about the Azeri investment climate, and calls for race war against Armenians.

  12. Thanks for the tip, will check out.

  13. Verymuchalive says

    An Ugly, Greasy Zionist on steroids is still an Ugly, Greasy Zionist. I’m glad you recognise your problem. Instead of spending $200 a time for psychoanalysis, just email Master Anatoly with your problems – and send the money. As you’ve said, he’s already had a beneficial effect on your absurd bigotry.

  14. Iranians

    But you still want to get with their women. What’re we going to do with you man?

    Seriously surprised Indo-Pakistanis did not make that list – weird. I guess you did say most of us are pretty reserved and nice to a fault so that’s something.

    Peace.

  15. I agree with you policing your sandbox. You have every right to kick out people that poop in it.

    Just like I’d do to someone in my house.

    If they want full free speech, then they should spend the money and time into getting a working blog together that is attracts people that are interested in what they have to say and then go hog wild. People have done it. I bet you there is a blog out there on torturing cats.

    Otherwise – guess what – sorry, but it’s the market speaking; nobody cares what you have to say. Get married and have kids and you can hold them hostage to whatever speaking points you want.

    Peace.

  16. East Slavic superpower.

    Rural overpopulation eating up the Malthus, sorry surplus. See here and especially here. The book is quite clear that Nazis were following the Soviet analysis.of the problem, and the solution. Holodomor

  17. Greasy William says

    Seriously surprised Indo-Pakistanis did not make that list – weird.

    Why would I have a problem with Indians?

    Pakis, Turks, Palestinians, Iraqis and Saudis are fine. I don’t like Egyptians and I hate Syrians/Lebanese, although I don’t consider either group subhuman.

  18. LOL – you are hilarious man! OK, OK, I won’t try to ask how you came to the conclusion that Saudis are cooler than Syrians, but whatever. Greasy is as greasy does!

    Anyway, you’re avoiding my question about the Persians man – I thought you said their women were hotties – but now you’ve put them on the subhuman list – what gives??!!

    And don’t give me that – they’re trying to build a nuclear bomb – I know you’re too smart for that nonsense.

    Peace.

  19. Greasy William says

    I thought we agreed to call them Iranians, not Persians. I’d be happy to call them Persians if any of them referred to themselves that way, but the only Iranians I’ve ever met that call themselves Persian are Iranian Jews. Literally every Iranian Muslim I’ve ever met (prob 5 or 6) has described themselves as Iranian, not Persian.

    I thought you said their women were hotties – but now you’ve put them on the subhuman list – what gives??!!

    Mexican women are even hotter than Iranian women and they also made the subhuman list. Hotness and subhumanness are unrelated concepts. I’m sure there are even some hot female western Russophiles*.

    *probably not

  20. anonymous coward says

    First, that there are people with all strongly anti-Bolshevik opinions in Russia, including in demographic groups you’d hardly expect it from.

    Anti-Bolshevik opinions in Russia are the norm in all demographics. Perspective is warped because people try to judge these things from what they see on the Internet and the media, but the Internet attracts a very skewed audience of nutjobs, and the media necessarily always fixates on stuff that isn’t normal.

  21. Daniel Chieh says

    I shall begin to connect your posts with UFO visitations, the reptilians are woke and active in the affairs of earthbound sheeple.

  22. Peter Hitchens has recently written about Angus Macqueen’s 1999 documentary Gulag.

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/available-for-a-few-weeks-only-the-antidote-to-the-stupid-trivial-film-the-death-of-stalin.html

    I was intrigued by this reflection:

    By the way, I noticed that Andrei - who left his homeland in the 1930s - speaks a sweeter, clearer, gentler Russian than the language I encountered in 1990s Moscow. Does Communism degrade language? I suspect so.

    Are Russian accents much changed since the 1930s?

  23. And yes – I’ll agree with you. Having lived in “Irangeles”, the only ones calling themselves “Persians” were Jews or Persians who hated the Islamic regime and had little ties to the religion. They were hoping homeboy here would somehow get his crown back:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reza_Pahlavi,_Crown_Prince_of_Iran

    Hotness and subhumanness are unrelated concepts.

    You should write a book of “Greasy Aphorisms”.

    A shaykh from the UK recently stated a great one:
    “Most people do not want to know God; just to cut a deal with Him.”

    Peace.

  24. The Big Red Scary says

    “Are Russian accents much changed since the 1930s?”

    I’m curious if Russian manners have much changed, in particular whether they have degraded. But to what degree that would be the result of the Soviet experience versus the experience of 90s is unclear.

  25. The Big Red Scary says

    From the film “The Man Who Knew Infinity”, which has a few good lines despite its faults:

    Hardy: “I’m what you’d call an atheist.”

    Ramanujan: “No, sir, you believe in God — you just don’t think he likes you.

  26. That’s a good one!

    Another of my former teachers stated; atheists are obsessed with God, that’s almost all they ever talk about when you get them started – Sufi teachers would be lucky to find those that are so fixated and constant in remembering Him.

    There are times when I have learned from reading Christian theologians and philosophers. I was reading an interview from Alvin Plantigna not too long ago and he mentioned that atheism seemed to be silly in its foundational stance.

    He argued; if a person asserts that he believes there are an odd number of stars in the known universe, then it is completely rational to assert that one simply doesn’t believe that due to lack of empirical proof, but it is silly to simply assert that one believes there are an even number of stars just to counter the initial assertion. The most sound approach is to remain agnostic about the subject.

    Peace.

  27. Greasy William says

    Another of my former teachers stated; atheists are obsessed with God, that’s almost all they ever talk about when you get them started

    Nah I’ve definitely known some very indifferent atheists. I was one myself in my late teens/early twenties.

    I suspect most atheists have a vague sense of superiority over believers but otherwise don’t give the subject much thought.

  28. Hey Greasy,

    You’re probably right – I guess it’s the big guys in the New Atheism industry that talk about God and write books (cha-ching!) about Him all the time.

    I suspect most atheists have a vague sense of superiority over believers

    They seem to, but every atheist I ever talk to says it’s a pretty glum position to take. Statistically, they aren’t very happy. But hey, it’s their life…Pascal’s wager.

    Peace.

  29. OT I guess, but comprehensive data on suicide rates in Ukraine:

    http://datatowel.in.ua/natural/suicide-rates

    2016 was the lowest rate ever, 16.2/100,000. In comparison, Russia’s in 2015 was 17.9, USA’s 12.6, Poland’s 18.5 (!), Hungary 15.7.

    The oblasts that avoided Soviet rule until 1939, Kiev City, and Kharkiv oblast had the lowest rates in the country. Kiev City 5.2, Lviv oblast 6.1, Kharkiv oblast 9.4.

    Interesting that western Ukraine’s suicide rate is so much lower than that of Poland. Wonder why..

    The suicide rate in Ukraine in the old pre-1939 Soviet borders, with the exceptions of Kiev City and Kharkiv oblast, is all over 20. Highest suicide rate of all was in the southern Black Sea coast and north of it – Kirovohrad and Kherson were 28.9, 28.4 respectively.

    Commie-rule effect: Rivne (former Volyn guberniya, given to Poland in 1921) 15.4. Next-door Zhytomir oblast (also Volyn guberniya, but given to USSR in 1921): 22.9.

  30. New Atheism was a way for liberals to stick it to Western vatniks, ie the Xtian right and the working class, and delegitimize socially conservative positions in the process. At no point did religion had anything to do with anything other than a pretext.

    The fact just how POZzed it was (“shifting moral zeitgeist”, “objective morality”) and the fact that’s it’s been quiet around new atheism lately, suggest it was just a culture war thing. Also, in light of subsequent developments it’s sadly clear it’s only Xtians they had a problem with.

    When Atheism plussers (atheism+SJWdom) came, that was the final straw, normal people got tired of playing oppression olympics and went home (same as Occupy, btw.)

    Superiority… I for one feel a huge sense of superiority over those believers who think ToE and BB are a conspiracy by those egghead scientists and liberal professors, and I can’t do anything about it.

  31. Greasy William says

    Also, in light of subsequent developments it’s sadly clear it’s only Xtians they had a problem with.

    Just the opposite really. The atheist evangelists like Harris and Maher have clearly switched from Christianity to Islam as their most hated religion.

    When Atheism plussers (atheism+SJWdom) came, that was the final straw, normal people got tired of playing oppression olympics and went home (same as Occupy, btw.)

    This is interesting cause I was just thinking that it seems like there is less of an atheism movement today then there was 5 years ago. Not that it was ever that big outside of the internet.

    Superiority… I for one feel a huge sense of superiority over those believers who think ToE and BB are a conspiracy by those egghead scientists and liberal professors

    I don’t know what BB is, but for ToE I think it is just that most theists are unconvinced. If you believe in G-d. you don’t need evolution to be true. However if evolution is false, so is atheism so atheists are more invested in the theory.

  32. anonymous coward says

    Interesting that western Ukraine’s suicide rate is so much lower than that of Poland. Wonder why..

    Because Ukraine is an Africa-tier failed state, and literally nothing statistical coming out of it should be taken at face value.

  33. The Big Red Scary says

    I am an Orthodox Christian and find the evidence for macro-evolution and the big bang very compelling. God gave us brains in order to use them. I wouldn’t say I feel superior to other believers who refuse to look at the facts, but it does make me sad and does absolutely no good for the faith.

    In the language of Judeo-Christian myth, evolution by natural selection is exactly what you’d expect to get after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. The combination of death and sexual reproduction will inevitably produce micro-evolution. Given enough time, it will produce macro-evolution. I think where many believers have a hard time is reconciling the descent of species with the unique place that humanity is given in Judeo-Christian theology (made in the image and likeness of God). But faced with the mystery of life, one should throw out neither reason nor spiritual experience, both of which are necessary for the wholesome functioning of the human person.

    As for the big bang, inflationary or otherwise, the evidence is stronger and stronger. However, the more important point is that the universe is certainly very ancient. For this, you need two things. First, you must measure the speed of light, which you can do in your own home with a microwave. Next, you need to measure the distance to far away galaxies, for which one needs big telescopes, and some estimate of the intrinsic brightness of certain stars, and so unfortunately is not a do-it-yourself project. But you can find plenty of Orthodox Christian astronomers in Russia, for example, who are obviously not involved in some kind of conspiracy to discredit the faith, so there is some kind of reliable authority figure to which one can appeal.

    Once you accept that the universe is very ancient, it’s easier to believe that the Earth is very ancient. For this you need to learn a bit of atomic physics to understand radiometric dating. With that, you can be certain that trilobites are much older than dinosaurs which are much older than humans. That of course doesn’t literally fit the traditional creation story, which makes some simple believers very uncomfortable, but I would appeal to St. Maximus the Confessor who warned against the dangers of taking scripture so literally that one misses its spiritual content.

  34. Not that it was ever that big outside of the internet.

    Nope, it was huge. The God Delusion was huge, ton of other books, blogs, documentaries (incl. one by Maher), the Bus Campaign, new legislation (the Dover trial that obliterated Intelligent Design politically), even a monkey trial in Russia!

    However if evolution is false, so is atheism so atheists are more invested in the theory.

    I think you need to compare atheists’ investedness in evolution with the believers’ investedness in creationism.

  35. The Big Red Scary says

    I’m interested in the Russian “monkey trial”. Can you give a reference for that? For example, year and names of notable figures involved in it.

  36. I think in Russia, most people who’ve problems with ToE are some kind of American sectarians (no value judgement implied), LDS etc. The Christian Right mounted a huge proselytizing effort aimed at East Europe and Central Asia following the collapse of the USSR.

  37. I am assuming suicides plummeted in Donetsk and Lugansk because they can only register them outside the LDNR, while calculating it against the base population of the entire oblasts?

  38. The Big Red Scary says

    In my experience Protestant fundamentalists of the American sort are more prone to “young Earth creationism”, perhaps because they lack an ancient spiritual and hermeneutic tradition and have to rely only on the text of scripture and one’s own interpretation thereof. However, Orthodox Christians are unfortunately not immune to these ideas, and it seems to me that the problem is even worse in the Russian Church than abroad. (The Church abroad has the opposite temptation to accomodate some degree of liberal nonsense.)

    I’ve read the comments that many venerated bishops made about evolution at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it seems to me there main complaint was with evolution not as a scientific theory about how organisms change over time, but rather with the pseudo-scientific confusion of evolution and “progress”. The latter confusion was of course promoted in the Soviet Union. А particularly crude representative of this can be found in the stairwell of the Orlov Paleontological Museum in Moscow. Unfortunately I can’t find a good picture of it right now. All of this is to say that Orthodox skepticism of evolution is I think a backlash against a misconception, somewhat like the conservative tribal identifiers that Anatoly has discussed.

  39. sorry, just read the second link, it doesn’t talk about the case at all except mentioning Ms Schreiber in passing in connection with something else (still an informative read re:pseudoscience)

  40. I am an Orthodox Christian and find the evidence for macro-evolution and the big bang very compelling. God gave us brains in order to use them.

    This is basically the position of the oldest and largest Christian Churches. Biblical literalism comes from modern and historically/geographically fringy churches.

  41. Those two oblasts weren’t listed.

  42. And yet some African countries themselves have very high suicide rates (i.e.,, Ivory Coast 27.2).

    Low suicide rates tend to be in Mediterranean Europe (Italy 5.4), Latin America (Brazil, Columbia – 6.0), the Caucuses (Georgia 5.3), Muslim countries and the Caribbean.

    Edit: ok, you’re the guy who wrote “the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.” You must be sore about the Sovok part of my comment.

  43. The Big Red Scary says

    Well, it’s a little complicated. This tension goes back to the Antiochian historical versus Alexandrian allegorical schools of biblical interpretation. St. Maximus the Confessor can be considered a representative of the latter, although his monastery was in Libya.

  44. Hey ussr andy,

    normal people got tired of playing oppression olympics and went home

    Yeah – they are pushing things waaaay too far. The backlash was inevitable.

    I for one feel a huge sense of superiority over those believers who think ToE and BB are a conspiracy by those egghead scientists and liberal professors

    Yeah – Young Earth Creationists are entertaining – I have to admit. I feel bad for them though. I think they are generally pretty harmless. It’s kind of cute in a way – they love their Bible (and their interpretation of the story so much); it’s like a mother who loves her son and thinks he’s a good boy and refuses to believe all the evidence to the contrary that he’s actually a gangbanger or something.

    Peace.

  45. Hey TBRS,

    I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to theological issues – so I’m appreciating these details. thanks!

    Peace.

  46. The Big Red Scary says

    Facepalm…

    There are some very confused people. It seems the Schreibers couldn’t tell the difference between Darwin and Marx, and couldn’t figure out whether they were Orthodox Christians or something else.

    I would like to point out though that the quote in the Wikipedia article from Vitaly Ginzburg is an excellent example of how not to handle this problem. Talk like that simply confirms the bias that this is all a conspiracy of eggheads to undermine traditional faith.

    As for the second article, the tone is too high pitched for me to read it until the end. But I am well aware of the problem. I have a lot of hippie Russian acquaintances who have all kinds of strange ideas (though no stranger than Western hippies), and even many of my more normie Russian acquaintances take Freud and Jung way too seriously.

  47. The Big Red Scary says

    In the Orthodox Christian tradition, there is often a tension between two different points of view represented by two different schools, and it is often acknowledged that both points of view are important and need to be cultivated. Ultimately, spiritual fruit is considered more important than formal correctness and consistency (within bounds). For example, St. Isaac of Nineveh, formally a heretic by Orthodox standards, is universally honored among Orthodox Christians:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_of_Nineveh

  48. This is an uncharacteristically dogmatic and unreflective response. It begins with the fantasy-based counterexample. (This is hardly the way a debating society would treat a ‘ranting buffoon.’)

    Just as obviously, there are damning objections to the application of a debating society standard, whatever that is. A debating society certainly does have an interest in avoiding ranters and buffoons-you attend a debate, and you have no choice but listen to all (or at least interrupt your listening). It is fundamentally different with print media. Unz has provided the tools to allow us to avoid reading persistent idiotic drivel: identifiable names and hidden comments.

    Of course, that doesn’t help you personally. You reasonably feel you should read all the published comments. So the strongest argument you have seems to run like this: Although they do no inevitable harm to the forum, ranting buffoons make me feel just like guests took the liberty of pooping right in my living room!

    But what this argument ignores is that banning does have a bad effect on the forum. The term, which you may reject as liberal or libertarian, is “chilling.” I’m fairly contrarian, but even I felt the pressure: be careful, you may get inadvertently banned.

    This may make it seem that the answer is to keep the banning secret, if after all, it is knowledge of the ban that does the real harm. So let me be clear on this point. If banning is an evil, bannings with out forum notification are still worse. Members of a forum are ethically entitled, are we not, to know how administrative vicissitudes are affecting the character of the forum. Most of us probably have less confidence in your objectivity than you have in your own (can I suggest the possibility it is a false confidence?)

    One final question: what the hell is an “extremist?” As far as I can tell, you’re an extremist and so am I.

  49. In the Orthodox Christian tradition, there is often a tension between two different points of view represented by two different schools, and it is often acknowledged that both points of view are important and need to be cultivated.

    See, that’s what I’m talking about. When one knows their own tradition well, one can appreciate the nuances of another’s. I totally get what you are saying here. Religion is such a huge thing, very unlikely that everyone will come to the exact same understanding on every point – and that’s OK!!!

    Very interesting man – reminds me of the Sufi masters in our tradition. That asceticism (not to be confused with monasticism) and renunciation of the world seems to be a very common trait of the spiritual masters of the various traditions from the East to the West.

    Peace.

  50. Greasy William says

    Talha: Steve Bannon just praised Sufism in a speech he gave a few days ago

  51. Seriously??!! Wow – do you have a link?

    Sufis are generally very mellow – even the ones that are very Orthodox. They are trained to have big hearts so they meet people at the level they are at. I remember a story about a Sufi shaykh (who was very, very Shariah-oriented) that my teacher told me:

    In his gatherings, very corrupt people and drunkards and just low class people would attend. So some of his students told him; ‘Shaykh, people are talking, they are saying you hang around with such horrible, sinful people, maybe you should expel them from your gathering?’ And he responded; ‘My friends, this path is a laundromat, who goes to one with clean clothes?’

    Something that may be of interest to you. One of the major scholars of medieval North Africa was Sidi Ahmad Zarruq (ra) – he was a erudite scholar of the Mailki school and a guide in the Shadhili Order. He had to leave Fez because extremist rebels had taken over. They were attacking the Jewish quarter in the city and he told them to stop. They chased him out as a closet Jew:
    “What is clear, however, is that the anti-Jewish rhetoric of the revolutionaries was strong enough that anyone who opposed their political agenda of jihad and revolution against the Marinid Dynasty was accused of ‘being a Jew.’ This accusation was leveled against Ahmad Zarruq in his youth. Zarruq believed that Islamic law required continuity of legitimacy of the government against revolutionary change; he believed it also required the protection of religious minorities (dhimmi) living as citizens under such a legitimate Islamic government. When he spoke out openly against the sharifian revolution, even refusing to pray behind its leaders, he was driven from Fez under the shadow of the accusation of ‘being a Jew’ and not a Muslim.”

    Rebel Between Spirit and Law: Ahmad Zarruq, Sainthood, and Authority in Islam

    He eventually ended up teaching in Al-Azhar for a while before finally settling and dying in Libya. And of course, the numb-nuts can’t seem to leave well enough alone:
    “Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq’s grave has been desecrated In Libya”
    https://seekerofthesacredknowledge.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/shaykh-ahmad-zarruqs-grave-has-been-desecrated-in-libya/

    Peace.

  52. In his gatherings, very corrupt people and drunkards and just low class people would attend. So some of his students told him; ‘Shaykh, people are talking, they are saying you hang around with such horrible, sinful people, maybe you should expel them from your gathering?’ And he responded; ‘My friends, this path is a laundromat, who goes to one with clean clothes?’

    Like a lot of the better Muslim anecdotes, this is reworded Bible stuff. Still shows excellent sense, of course, and reflects very well on the person who said it.

  53. Not surprising – core spiritual lessons abide and are timeless.

    Once someone asked Jesus (pbuh), “How are you able to walk on water?”
    Jesus replied, “With certainty.”
    Then someone said, “But we also have certainty!”
    Jesus then asked them, “Are stone, clay, and gold equal in your eyes?”
    They replied, “Certainly not!”
    Jesus responded, “They are in mine.”
    https://sandala.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Walk-on-Water.pdf

    Peace.

  54. Greasy William says

    apparently it’s in his book, not one of his speeches: http://www.newsweek.com/steve-bannon-praises-islam-new-book-705642

    It makes sense given that any pro Islam comments would be misunderstood by his conservatard audiences. Leave that stuff for the books and keep the speeches full of red meat.

  55. Very interesting. It’s good that he’s at least given the subject some deeper thought and looked at things from a respectful vantage point, though I’m always taken aback when I read the words “mystical sect” – I’m thinking, have you guys done serious study or read a bunch of stuff written by Deepak Chopra on the subject or something??!!

    It makes sense given that any pro Islam comments would be misunderstood by his conservatard audiences.

    People gotta get elected, show must go on. But now that his time in the limelight is done, maybe he can be freer with his words on this subject now that he has less to lose.

    Peace.

  56. anonymous coward says

    Given enough time, it will produce macro-evolution.

    No. This statement is anti-scientific and violates all known laws of statistics. “Macroevolution” is an anti-scientific just-so story, only good to hoodwink those that never studied probability theory seriously.

  57. anonymous coward says

    You must be sore about the Sovok part of my comment.

    No. On the balance, the Soviets are probably the worst rulers of Russia ever. Their main crime, however, is splitting Russia into a mess of moronic bantustans by creating “Ukraines”, “Belorussias”, “Kazakhstans” and other abominable failed states and failed ethnicities.

    Their stance of religion was ambivalent: full-scale persecution at first, but when they understood by the 1940’s that this is a war they can’t win, grudging acceptance, and finally full recognition in 1988.

  58. I suspect it is the latter. My father who grew up in the USSR complained about the degeneration of the Russian language in the post-Soviet-era.

  59. The Big Red Scary says

    By macro-evolution, I mean the divergence of one group of organisms into two distinct groups of organisms that can no longer reproduce with each other. Elementary considerations in Mendelian genetics and discrete probability show that given enough time, there will be sufficient genetic drift that this is inevitable. More precisely, the theory in question is called population genetics and has been well-established for almost a hundred years:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_genetics

    But perhaps you are trying to make a different point, about the “tornado in a junkyard producing a jumbo jet”?

  60. complained about the degeneration of the Russian language in the post-Soviet-era.

    that’s all very subjective.
    Is there a language in which speech from 2-3 generations ago does NOT sound fancy and more sophisticated?

  61. every political system changes the language in some newspeak/LTI kind of way, even post-war liberalism (“to have a conversation”, for example, has acquired distinct Struggle Session-like undertones, “emotional labor”, and all their other little POZzed shibboleths and spillover from corporate-speak.)

    what is degenerate or not is often a judgement call. I think there is not a language in which speech from two or three (nevermind four or five – 1917) generations ago does NOT sound fancier and sophisticated-er. I don’t know why that is. It’s like something in our brains resists enthropy.

    And in any case whatever aesthetically negative effect Communism might have had on the Russian language is dwarfed by the 1990’s when people literally started talking like inmates.

  62. I’m not Anatoly, but I think you raise interesting points.

    I already explained in another thread why I don’t use the Commenters To Ignore feature. I did use a similar feature a long time ago on another online forum, and I didn’t like it, because

    • other commenters didn’t ignore the same people, and often answered to them, and it was annoying not understanding what they answered to
    • I saw or found out a lot of the moronic stuff the ignored commenters wrote anyway from the answers, but in a more roundabout way, using way more mental energies
    • even when I didn’t find it out and I knew on a rational level that I didn’t need to know what moronic things the ignored commenter wrote, I couldn’t help being bothered by it, and it eventually took up too much mental energy

    So I decided to remove the whole thing, and simply ignored topics where there were too many morons present.

    However, this also means that for a good conversation you need to get rid of some of the morons. Yes, it does have some downsides (as does using the CTI, see above), and it might create a kind of echo chamber by restricting the range of opinions, but I think the bans here are to a large extent not about the opinions as such, but rather about other things:

    • threats and other more or less illegal stuff
    • personal attacks
    • off topic comments, especially promoting the same conspiracy theories (like holocaust-denial) regardless of the topic on hand
    • overly long comments whose contents are mostly or wholly copy-pasted from articles
    • inability to engage other commenters (e.g. replying with more copy-paste which often ignores the point the other commenter made, or even if not copy-pasting, just ignoring the points the other commenters make and instead replying to them essentially repeating the exact same points)
    • being just dumb – I know it’s a judgement call, and reasonable and smart people might disagree, but most commenters thought for example that Rehmat was dumb while Talha was smart and erudite, so even if both were trying to promote Islam, the latter had valuable contributions to the conversation while the former didn’t; I don’t quite see how that would have a chilling effect on you, since I think most commenters will agree that you are smart (even if they disagree with many of your opinions, like for example I do); or maybe you have a total lack of self-esteem – but then it’s difficult to predict what will have a chilling effect on you – maybe a moron declaring that your opinions were worthless would similarly discourage you from expressing your opinions?
  63. *entropy. GRRR

    BTW, it would be interesting to compare in which ways White emigres’ speech differed from that of Soviet citizens.

  64. There was another drive against religion under Khrushchev (the number of churches increased during late Stalinism, but then went into reverse again under Brezhnev), and I think there were some campaigns against it under Brezhnev, too.

    According to Wikipedia, the number of Orthodox churches reached 22,000 by 1957, but in 1959 Khrushchev started another campaign against religion, and forced the closure of most churches. By 1965 only 7,000 churches remained. See the rest of the Wikipedia article, too, the campaign, how it petered out after 1964, but resumed in the 1970s, etc.

  65. anonymous coward says

    Elementary considerations in Mendelian genetics and discrete probability show that given enough time, there will be sufficient genetic drift that this is inevitable.

    Two points:

    a) If you do some elementary arithmetic, it’s clear that there’s not enough time or matter in the Universe to create complex species out of random drift. The size of the Earth and its age is infinitesimal in comparison.

    b) The laws of statistics prove that given infinite time, genetic drift will not create ever new species, it will converge around a normal distribution of genomes instead.

    The evolution of species on Earth is anything but normal and probabilistic. This means that whatever is driving evolution is definitely not random genetic drift.

  66. The Big Red Scary says

    “This means that whatever is driving evolution is definitely not random genetic drift.”

    Right. It’s largely driven by natural and sexual selection, which is what you’d expect given the reality of death and sexual reproduction. This was my original point, before your first reply. But genetic drift is enough for one species to diverge into two, which was what I thought your objection was.

    Sorry, I’m not following the point you are trying to make (and feel free to say “Central Limit Theorem” if it helps).

  67. anonymous coward says

    It’s largely driven by natural and sexual selection, which is what you’d expect given the reality of death and sexual reproduction.

    Logically, that’s a meaningless statement, because you’ve effectively renamed the concept of “evolution” to “sexual selection”. Neither “evolution” nor “sexual selection” could have ever appeared by a purely random process.

    If evolution is driven by a purely random walk stochastic process, then it could never result in anything meaningful. (Yes, due to the Central Limit Theorem, among other things.)

    By analogy: if you shoot paintballs at random onto a canvas, you will never end up with a picture of Mickey Mouse, no matter how much time or paint you spend doing this. All you’ll ever get is a uniform roundish blob.

    Things change if you use a stencil of some kind, but then the question is how the stencil came about.

    Your “sexual selection” is such a stencil, and answers no questions, only poses new ones.

  68. AK or somebody once posted info demonstrating that vocabulary has declined/become simpler across Western (including Russian) languages for several decades.

  69. Soviets are probably the worst rulers of Russia ever. Their main crime, however, is splitting Russia into a mess of moronic bantustans by creating “Ukraines”, “Belorussias”, “Kazakhstans” and other abominable failed states and failed ethnicities.

    Ah.. You are into those myths.

    Until Putin brought some order, Russia was as much a failed state as the others, perhaps more so. Failed ethnicity if not for Putinism? Kazakhstan seems to be doing very well, Belarus okay. Ukraine had been led largely by denationalized Sovoks, its most ethnic Ukrainian parts (which had been ethnic Ukrainian long before encountering Bolshevism) are doing well and are the most successful parts of the country.

    Their stance of religion was ambivalent: full-scale persecution at first, but when they understood by the 1940′s that this is a war they can’t win, grudging acceptance, and finally full recognition in 1988.

    Alternating between full scale persecution and mass murder, and low level discrimination, ism’t exactly “ambivalence.”

  70. “It’s largely driven by natural and sexual selection, which is what you’d expect given the reality of death and sexual reproduction.”

    Logically, that’s a meaningless statement, because you’ve effectively renamed the concept of “evolution” to “sexual selection”. Neither “evolution” nor “sexual selection” could have ever appeared by a purely random process.

    Of course. Was there a contrary implication? It doesn’t seem that anyone here was considering it to be random.

  71. The Big Red Scary says

    I’m afraid we are talking past each other.

    I see a few issues at hand:

    1) Given that there are living organisms, that they live in changing environments, that they reproduce sexually, and that they die, it is reasonable to entertain the hypothesis that such organisms could change very greatly in the course of a billion years. Indeed, we observe this both on large time scales (in the fossil record) and on short time scales (generations of bacteria in laboratories have been observed to develop new forms of metabolism). Natural and sexual selection give some general principles which allow us to make some predictions of what to expect in various circumstances, and these predictions are consistent with our observations.

    2) The origin of life. Little progress has been made here, beyond theorizing about reproduction and metabolism, and some experiments with “primordial soup” producing amino acids, nucleic acids, and proteins. This is very interesting, but a long way from anything we’d call life. Of course, a replicable successful experiment with primordial soup would be very interesting, but I can’t see how one could ever falsify the theory that life started in primordial soup.

    3) About randomness. Quantum mechanics is probabilistic, and gives incredibly accurate predictions about nuclear reactions, in particular about nuclear decay. But how did heavy atoms get made in the first place? By fusion, in the hearts of stars, formed by gravity. So if there were no mass or gravity, and all we had was quantum mechanics, we wouldn’t expect the material universe to exhibit much variety. I suppose we’d have at least some structure from electromagnetism. Perhaps in a way, sexual reproduction and death are playing the role in the evolution of life that gravity and the other forces are playing in the evolution of the cosmos.

    4) The source and meaning of it all. This is a mystery. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who is everywhere and fills all things. This would apply even to life produced in some primordial soup. I’m not going to tell God how, where, and when life can come into being.

  72. I can’t find it but I totally believe that might be, due to mass media, more people getting a college education, narrower specialization, international commerce etc. I tend to view it not as degeneracy though but as language losing its bells and whistles.

  73. The Big Red Scary says

    This seems to be an ancient phenomenon. At least among Indo-European languages, the older a language, the more complex grammatically. Sanskrit is more complex than Greek which is more complex than Latin. It is not hard to imagine explanations for simplification. But one wonders what caused the complexity in the first place.

  74. At least among Indo-European languages, the older a language, the more complex grammatically. Sanskrit is more complex than Greek which is more complex than Latin.

    And Ukrainian more complex than Russian.

    But the issue here wasn’t just grammar, but vocabulary. I couldn’t find it either, in a quick search. I thought AK had posted an analysis of words used in newspapers, books, etc. over time. Their complexity peaked several decades ago.

  75. there are models that explain how complex features such as the case system (or the Semitic verb, or tonality) arose.

    I think it’s one giant cycle. Case system atrophies (English and, uniquely among Slavics, Bulgarian) but you get a rigid word order and lots of auxiliary words. Some vowels fall out of use but you get tonality. Then those in turn atrophy, but auxiliary words get grammaticalized into case endings, etc. We’re just in the middle of that cycle, and besides, its begining is in pre-history (PIE always had cases for as far back they could reconstruct it), so it only seems like everything’s becoming more dilapidated and never more complex.

  76. Hey TBRS,

    But one wonders what caused the complexity in the first place.

    Possibly the dispersion and local variations and lack of a centralized standard. Also (and I’m gleaning this from my knowledge of the history of the Arabic language), in oral cultures (even ones that had literacy, the majority of the people were illiterate), rhetorical and oratory skills were in high demand and well regarded. For instance, the Arabic language has (and I think it is the only one in the world) a dual form for conjugating verbs. So for instance; “you run”, “you/they (two) run” and “you/they (more than two) run” have distinct forms.

    That has generally dropped in usage and most people use the “you/they (more than two) run” to be a catch-all for any more than one. Why? Probably laziness.

    I think languages have to have an apex point and that is defined by someone or some group or something; for Arabic it is the Qur’an and the pre-Islamic poets right before it (like Imr ul-Qays, Labid, etc.), for Persian it is probably the medieval poets/writers (like Firdousi, Jame, Khayyam, etc.), Sanskrit is probably the Vedic epics, and so on. English – what – probably Shakespeare, Byron, etc.?

    Language entropy?

    Peace.

  77. The Big Red Scary says

    I have little experience with Ukrainian. In what ways is it more complex than Russian? (My initial impression was otherwise: работаешь vs. робиш.) The most striking difference to me is the melody of Ukrainian.

  78. And Ukrainian more complex than Russian.

    what does it have that Russian doesn’t?
    I think all European languages are roughly of the same complexity (and power.) Complexity isn’t good per se – Welsh is very complex but that’s because no one but Welsh people speak it. The only useful measure is how much useful info, especially highly technical stuff (computer science etc), is published in a language. Incidentally, this also a metric by which I think Russian beats Ukrainian fair and square, but it’s a purely practical thing and has nothing to do with intrinsic qualities of either language (and something in which they are surpassed by English.)

  79. Archaic Greek has a dual as well. The dual was presumably a feature of PIE (proto-aryan), apparently Semitic languages also. It tends to drop out of use because there doesn’t seem that much point to it (perhaps at least when other methods of entertainment are available?).

  80. Don’t know what language power is. English is certainly more compact than a number of other West-Euro languages, certainly than Spanish and French. West-Euro languages in general are also grammatically more “analytic”, that is, simpler, than Slavic languages, no?

    Though all these languages are “SAE”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Average_European

  81. Some amazonian languages have so called evidentiality. This is when you must say how you’ve come to know something – by hearsay, from seeing it or by presuming that it must be the case. Not as some social convention or courtesy to the listener but simply because that’s how the grammar works (obligatorization.)
    Given the recent trend to never say something definite and always supply tons of qualifications and reservations, phrases like I think, admittedly, presumably etc may yet evolve into obligatory evidentiality markers : )

  82. sure. point being?

  83. I mean, look at Finno-Ugrics, or, better yet, Fula. The West-East “Euro” “divide” (or the Russian-Ukrainian one that I was arguing) is nothing.

  84. I wasn’t making any points about Ukrainian, I don’t know anything about it. Just thoughts based on a few of your statements in the comment I replied to. What is language power, by the way? If I were using the term I’d probably mean compactness, but some of the rest of your comment dealt with social and technical utility so perhaps you had that in mind? (edit) Though then the languages wouldn’t be on par so I suppose not.

  85. It’s the (jingoist and obsolete) idea that something can be expressed in one language than can’t be in some other due to intrinsic deficiencies. I should have put “power” in quotes. I’m sure AP didn’t mean anything like that, I just wrote it in case someone might.

  86. That might have been James Thompson. If not, I think I only mentioned them in the comments and/or Twitter.

    By their words ye shall know them: Evidence of genetic selection against general intelligence and concurrent environmental enrichment in vocabulary usage since the mid 19th century – https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00361/full

    Average word length dynamics as indicator of cultural changes in society – https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1208/1208.6109.pdf

    Also Dmitry Ushakov and some others are going to soon publish a new study on Russian words. Translation of part of the abstract:

    … study of texts of children’s fiction written between 1900 and 2016. … It is shown that, contrary to the growth of IQ scores, the complexity of children’s fiction throughout the twentieth century declined.

    That said, I would caution against drawing any sweeping conclusions about this.

    Yes, you could interpret this as people getting duller. But many writing guides recommend using simpler words and shorter sentences. It could just as well be writers getting better.

    I actually the suspect the latter is more likely.

  87. I would be fine with mandating doctors, lawyers, politicians attach a probability distribution to each statement.

  88. I think what makes the most sense is that in small and isolated communities languages tend to get more and more complex, until they reach levels of truly extraordinary complexity.

    However, when others have to learn it (i.e. when the tribe conquers and assimilates another tribe), the complexity tends to decrease. The assimilation is a two-way process: the conquered tribes learn a simplified version of the language, while the conquering tribe will learn the simplification from the conquered, so the final language of both tribes will be the simplified version of the original language of the conquering tribe.

    Modern languages often spread by conquest and assimilation, so they are often simpler than they used to be.

  89. Thanks didn’t know that. The dual form is interesting because it is in use in the Qur’an. It comes up quite a bit actually – one is a bit surprised at how many couples/duos there are in the phenomenal world that can be addressed (including opposites or those things seen as such). For instance; male/female, sun/moon, earth/sky, heaven/hell, master/slave, wealth/poverty, etc.

    So it lends itself very much to poetic form and higher rhetoric – possibly why it existed in Greek. Surah Rahman makes extensive use of the form.

    Peace.

  90. agree, but I’d also add prestige and just calquing stuff because it’s easier. For example, Russia wasn’t conquered by Napoleon but they all spoke French at court. The IT vocab is English-derived though no Anglo-Saxon conquest : )
    But, yes, languages spoken by isolated communities tend to be very baroque.

  91. there was a theory that Germanic languages started out as a contact creole (Germanic+non-IE substrate) or something, but it’s considered dated.

  92. I recently read somewhere (but cannot find it now, so maybe it wasn’t so?) that actually they spoke much less French than is generally assumed, and that Tolstoy distorted our perceptions of this. In War and Peace most Russian aristocrats were basically native French speakers and Russian was more like a second language for them (though I think with a few exceptions most could still speak Russian without accent). However, what I read (and cannot find) was that though they could speak French very well and with perfect pronunciation (having learned it in childhood from French nannies and teachers), but they mostly just spoke Russian even to each other, and French was used only in special social settings or when foreigners were present.

    How can we know if Tolstoy was accurate or not? He seems to be the primary source on this, but maybe someone who can speak Russian can find better sources on the topic.

  93. The Big Red Scary says

    The late Romanovs, although not so Russian ethnically, did speak Russian among themselves. In particular, Nicholas II kept a diary for 36 years, mostly in Russian, it seems, except for some quotes in other languages. So presumably he thought to himself in Russian. Even Alexandra, whose native languages were English and German, eventually learned to speak Russian fluently. You can find pictures of the last tsar’s diary here:

    https://www.google.ru/search?q=%D0%B4%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA+%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%8F+2&newwindow=1&rlz=1C9BKJA_enRU723RU723&hl=en-GB&prmd=ivn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiCnorypcHXAhUBb5oKHZ8WBgoQ_AUIEigB&biw=1366&bih=909

  94. Yes, but as I understand it, usually they think that the Russian aristocracy spoke mostly French among themselves in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but that it slowly faded after the Napoleonic wars, especially the 1812 campaign.

  95. I posted it before, a comment from another forum by someone else:

    Compared to Ukrainian, Russian is a poor and underdeveloped language from every linguistic point of reference, particularly in terms of its vocabulary and grammar. It’s understandable, as modern Russian, from the historic perspective, is a very young and largely artificially created language, a sort of Esperanto; and it hasn’t had enough time, unlike Ukrainian, to develop the variety of linguistic forms and shortcuts that emerge only when a language is used naturally and for a long period of time by common people communicating with one another daily , rather than via being concocted in an ivory tower. As a result, there’re thousands of Ukrainian shortcut adverbs (e.g.: торік, чимдуж, etc.) that can be expressed in Russian only by using a combination of three separate words. Likewise, Ukrainian has three single-word superlative degrees, while Russian has only one. Ukrainian has two Infinitive forms for every verb (e.g.: робити/робить) versus a single form in Russian. Ukrainian has single-word forms of Future Imperfect (e.g. матиму, матимемо, матимеш, матиме, матимуть) completely absent from Russian. Ukrainian has the Plus Quam Perfectum tense (e.g. він почав був читати, та його зупинили); Russian doesn’t. And the list goes on and on.

    Every U verb has two Infinitive forms (e.g., робить/робити) vs one in R (e.g. делать).
    All U verbs in Present Imperfect ending in “є” also have two forms (e.g., буває/бува) vs only one (бывает)in R.

    Every U verb can be used in Plus Quam Perfectum (e.g., я був почав); this tense is absent from R altogether.

    Every U verb can be used in a single-word Future Imperfect (e.g., матиму/матимемо/матимеш/матимете/матиме/матимуть); again, there’s no such tense in R.

    Scads of U verbs have synonyms, usually more than one (e.g., говорити/казати/мовити), for a corresponding Russian single verbal form (e.g. говорить). Plus, each of them has yet another form (говорить, казать, мовить) per the note above.

    Every U verb, adjective, and adverb with prefix “у” has its exact counterpart with prefix “в” (e.g., умерти/вмерти, уперта/вперта, упродовж/впродовж, etc.) vs a single form in R (e.g. умереть, but not вмереть).

    U has an astonishing variety of synonyms when it comes to nouns, especially related to things of nature. E.g. U has 13 synonyms for the word “horizon”: горизонт, обрій, небозвід, небосхил, крайнебо, круговид, кругозір, кругогляд, виднокруг, видноколо, виднокрай, небокрай, овид. R has just one: горизонт. And it’s just one example.

    U has thousands of single-word shortcut adverbs absent from R, such as торік, чимдуж, здебільш, навшпиньки, насамперед, завдальшe, etc. absent from R, all of which require two or three R words to express the same.

    U has three forms of superlative adjectives and adverbs (e.g., найвищий/якнайвищий/щоякнайвищий) vs one in R (e.g., наивысший).

    While in U, all of the above forms were present in common everyday speech in the 1700′s (that’s the speech and vocabulary Kotliarevsky used to write “The Aeneid” published in 1798), R at the time was a mere rudiment of what it has become after Pushkin and is today.

  96. I think all European languages are roughly of the same complexity (and power.) Complexity isn’t good per se – Welsh is very complex but that’s because no one but Welsh people speak it

    I agree. As AK pointed out that imperial languages with large numbers of speakers tend to be less complex. I was not trying to imply that Ukrainian’s complexity makes it better.

    The only useful measure is how much useful info, especially highly technical stuff (computer science etc), is published in a language. Incidentally, this also a metric by which I think Russian beats Ukrainian fair and square,

    Correct. Ukrainians, like Finns or Balts or Slovaks are a traditionally rural people.

  97. The Big Red Scary says

    OK, that’s interesting. I don’t know much about the history of the Russian language either, but I found the description of modern Russian as “largely artificially created” rather strange. Can you elaborate on that point?

    By the way, while informative, the whole discussion sounds a bit like how my cousin and I used to talk to each other when we were both applying for university. Comparing Russian to Esperanto is really over the top.

  98. Every U verb has two Infinitive forms (e.g., робить/робити) vs one in R (e.g. делать).

    Does he mean just imperfective verbs? I don’t know Ukrainian, and Russian is a second language, but I’m pretty sure Russian also has two infinitive forms of every verb, perfective and imperfective. (делать/сделать). Or am I missing something here? Also, I’d like to state, that as a student of the language, I’m glad it’s not more complicated than it is. You can keep your ancient Ukrainian. I guess it’s no wonder so many Ukrainians prefer using Russian

    Btw, AP, I meant to reply to your comment on a thread way back on a similar topic, but by the time I returned to it, it had been buried by about seven other posts, so I’ll do so here. Firstly, I appreciate the kind words, especially about meaning well.

    Secondly, to answer your question about the de-Russification of the Ukrainian language: I don’t know Ukrainian, and therefore cannot make any qualified calls on this myself. However, I have groups of acquaintances who interact with each other (in Russian) despite being bitter ideological enemies. These are die hard Vatniks and Svidomites, who have agreed to certain rules of engagement that allow them to exchange opinions without (usually) just eventually degrading to puerile swearing and name calling. I have encountered multiple discussions concerning how Ukrainian has changed since 2014, but there were never any questions about whether or not it had changed, simply how and whether or not this was a good thing. As you can imagine, if these two groups agree on something, then it seems like a pretty good bet that it is so. But, like I said, not being a Ukrainian speaker I’m not going to the wall with this one.

  99. Mao Cheng Ji says

    Does he mean just imperfective verbs?

    No, it’s just that “робить” is not a correct infinitive form in Ukrainian. When it is used as infinitive, it’s because according to the Russian grammar the infinitive indeed should be formed as “робить”. So it’s a form of surzhyk.

  100. I found the description of modern Russian as “largely artificially created” rather strange. Can you elaborate on that point?

    From what I understand, rather than just take the speech of the common people that had naturally developed over time, as is the case of many other languages (including Ukrainian), the creation of literary Russian involved the deliberate insertion of a lot of Church Slavonic elements (I think, hence the comparison to Esperanto by the guy I quoted from). It’s why, in terms of vocabulary, it is much closer to Bulgarian than is Ukrainian despite Ukraine being closer to Bulgaria. This process involved loss of complexity as well. It would be like if, in the creation of literary German or French, simply codifying everyday speech was deemed too vulgar, so a new hybrid with Latin was created (although this might be different because over the centuries many Latin words had filtered into everyday common speech).

    This may explain the reason why the Ukrainian language sounds so peasant-like and archaic to Russian ears.

    The guy I had quoted wrote that Pushkin and Lermontov cleaned up the Russian language, improving it significantly, making it less awkward and more natural, in contrast to Ukrainian, which was already that way.. I’ll quote him again: ” Modern Ukrainian differs very little from Ukrainian used to write “Eneida” in 1798 or “Natalka-Poltavka” a decade later. But if you read anything published in Russian around that period and compare it with post-Pushkin literature, they sound as if written in two different languages.”

    I haven’t read pre-Pushkin Russian literature so I don’t know how accurate that claim is.

  101. I’d like to state, that as a student of the language, I’m glad it’s not more complicated than it is. You can keep your ancient Ukrainian. I guess it’s no wonder so many Ukrainians prefer using Russian

    Russian is used because it was forced upon the population for a few decades and people have become used to it. I suspect Polish is no less complex than is Ukrainian, yet is used among natives.

    Another example: “the single-word Future Imperfect (майбутній час недоконаного виду) that is absent from Russian where it can be formed only with the Future form of the auxiliary verb “to be”. E.g. “We will live” in Russian can be formed only as “Мы будем жить”, whereas in Ukrainian, both as “Ми житимемо” (one word for “will live”) and “Ми будемо жити” (“to be” in the Future + Infinitive). Another tense Russian doesn’t have is Plus Quam Perfectum (Past Perfect in English) called in Ukrainian “давноминулий час” and indicating an action finished before some moment in the past, e.g. “Я був читав”.

    I have encountered multiple discussions concerning how Ukrainian has changed since 2014, but there were never any questions about whether or not it had changed, simply how and whether or not this was a good thing. As you can imagine, if these two groups agree on something, then it seems like a pretty good bet that it is so.

    Ukraine has gone back to the pre-1933 Kharkiv standard. It’s a one-time change, and not a huge one. The letter “g” has returned, but not many words had used “g”. I’ve been to Ukraine several times and I’ve never heard anyone mention that the language has changed or continues to change or, of all things, has become incomprehensible. Nor have I seen any noticeable changes in the language spoken.

  102. I don’t know the details of codification of German. Wasn’t the work of Martin Luther of very great importance? And French is of course the old Parisian dialect.

    Sounds actually a lot like katharevousa. But it’s unusual, or so at least I thought, for deliberate archaism to make a language less complex, at least in an “SAE” setting. It all sounds very interesting.

  103. hahahahahaha!!

    They have had a 20% decrease in population (at least) since 2014 you retard…..the suicide rate has decreased by…..20%! They have obviously counted the deaths but not updated the rate you moron.Typical “Ukrainian” imbecilicness. Of course those figures cited by the Ukrainian are ,like every part of the failed Ukrainian state, made-up bullshit, but made-up bullshit that still embarrasses them. Russias suicide rate reduced further to below 16 per 100000 in the latest statistics.

    This is the same with roads you dumb scumbag. Russia’s deaths on roads has reduced from 27000 in 2014, to be on course for 16000 this year, a miraculous turnaround, failed fuckedup state Ukraine has reduced deaths on roads from 5000-4000…which is a wait for it……20% reduction!..so a not a reduction at all but an already falsified figure that doesn’t emphasise the “reduction” being due to the loss of population from people in DNR/LNR/Crimea/Russia and Poland/Ukrainian officials always lying about their statistics ( and population ,particularly, hence why it was clear that Yanukovch clearly won in 2004)! That “reduction” is further lamentable when you consider that petrol consumption dramatically declined in Ukraine, rate of car ownership in Ukraine is much lower than in Russia, so in reality , even though it is a far greater challenge to build and maintain safer roads in Russia due to the size of the country and extremely-cold regions…(plus crazy drivers in Dagestan)….Ukraine continues to fail,disgrace itself, and Russia outperforms it massively, time and time again…..even though circumstances make it harder for Russia to do so.

    5 of the top 7 most populous areas of Ukraine are in Novorossiya- nobody wants to live in dump like Lvov (literally struggling to collect the rubbish- and getting worse in it’s average quality without any Russian tourists to prop-up the area,you retarded fuckwit)

    It should be added that nobody really knows the true population of Ukraine.
    Rather perplexing even a shameless lying cunt like yourself trying to promote this fake statistics….when the suicide rate in the Ukrainian military is amusingly and deservedly extremely high for these lowlife cowardly scumbags

  104. They have had a 20% decrease in population (at least) since 2014

    Rates are per 100,000.

    Reading is hard for you.