Open Thread 33: Linkman Soup

Dmitry Hvorostovsky, one of the Russia’s best and most beloved artists, died this week of brain cancer.


Main News

“The Kremlin is of course very proud of this whole Russian interference story. It shows they are not just a group of old K.G.B. guys with no understanding of digital but an almighty force from a James Bond saga,” Mr. Volkov said in a telephone interview. “This image is very bad for us. Putin is not a master geopolitical genius.”

One of the few points on which many svidomy Ukrainians and progressive Americans differ with Russian liberals is that while the former basically view Putin as a God, the latter tend to take a much dimmer view of Putin’s actual talents, influence, and capabilities (for the record, I am sooner in the second camp, though I am not a Russian liberal).

russian-liberal-putler-shillsThis has resulted in the rather amusing spectable of America’s handshakeworthies and Blue Checkmarks now regularly accusing the likes of Alexey Kovalev and Leonid Bershidsky – both liberal anti-Putinists, who, nonetheless, inhabit the reality-based universe, the one in which Putin is your typical Internet-challenged boomer and a few modest Russian Facebook campaigns are irrelevant for determining the results of an elections whose total costs run into the billions of dollars – of being shills for Putler (see right).

It’s all so hilarious, and I even feel a bit sorry for them, since they’d be much more successful if they didn’t suffer from a certain degree of respect for reality and honesty, like the Russia Experts of the Current Year (Louise Mensch, John Schindler, Eric Garland, Molly McKew, James Kirchick, etc) who make the old generation of propagandists like Ed Lucas appear like paragons of intelligence and objectivity.

Commenter CanSpeccy added a cool video:

I have at times speculated about how to increase the effectiveness of terrorist attacks with modern technology. I think one of the most promising ideas that’s already very technically feasible is to mount guns with tracking systems onto drones. Can do a huge amount of damage if you could set it loose at an open air concern or a mass protest…

This slaughterbot idea is even more elegant… but is probably still a decade or two off. First and foremost, it needs to have sufficient intelligence for indoor navigation without the use of GPS, and for face recognition. Both tasks are computationally intensive, so we either need much more progress on minituarization, or a reliable Internet connection to a server farm (wouldn’t it be hilarious to  to be murdered through your own WiFi… or to be saved by Comcast’s incompetence).

Also battery longevity might be an issue, though minituarization is progressing fast.



* LNR Coup – to be covered separately.

More on this:

Incidentally, re-net neutrality: I think this is essentially Comcast and Time Warner vs. Google, Facebook, and Twitter on who gets to be Picus News in our cyberpunk future.


  • More Google censorship: YouTube removes the channel of Russian Faith, a Christian side project of Russia Insider run by David Curry, without even bothering to cite a reason why.

Hundreds of videos have been lost.

* Mikhail Batin: Patriarch Kirill preaches against transhumanism



  • Trump/Ballgate. Trump picks his culture wars well. As usual, snarking libs don’t realize they’re getting played.

NFLgate showed them to be unpatriotic. Now they come off as literal dindus.

Could the Ancients Have Had an Industrial Revolution?

Vanagaite’s specific crime was to question whether the celebrated partisan Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, who Lithuanians honor for his struggle against the Soviet occupation, was an appropriate choice as a symbol for 2018—the year the nation will be celebrating the centennial of its original independence. …

Many Lithuanians had already had enough of Vanagaite with her 2016 book Our People. In it she, an ethnic Lithuanian and descendant of Holocaust perpetrators, wrote openly about her countrymen’s (and her family’s) role in annihilating Lithuania’s 220,000 Jews. She found herself on the receiving end of personal threats and disparagements, including accusations of being on the take from the Kremlin. …

The latest episode, however, seems to have been too much even for most of her supporters. As a result of a public storm, Vanagaite’s long-term publisher Alma Littera severed its relationship with her, announcing that all her five books would be pulled off the shelves and pulped—including those books that have nothing to do with the subject. A patriotically-minded group filed a suit against her with the prosecutor general alleging slander and denigration of memory of a deceased person.

Naturally, this gets about 100x less attention that Russia’s politicization of history.


  • Result of China dropping its One Child Policy in 2015? Births rise by 7.6% to 18.46 million in 2016, with the biggest increase (+62%!) in Beijing.


Culture War


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.


  1. Daniel Chieh says

    No chart for Russia for The Economist survey. What would you think it would look like?

  2. Why are the Americans and French so much more puritanical than everyone else about asking to go for a drink?

  3. Probably generally like old German men.

  4. France was a bit surprising, though perhaps not, because wasn’t it France that basically illegalized wolf-whistling and says you have to pay for a woman’s kid even if you manage to prove it isn’t yours through DNA testing.

  5. The Big Red Scary says

    Regarding the survey on sexual harassment, it seems there is insufficient data to make a hypothesis on whether attitudes change between generations or with experience over an average person’s lifetime. Probably both, but the latter effect should not be underestimated. In particular, I have to say I became much more comfortable seeing but not paying particular attention to breasts after spending time with nursing mothers. As one book on nursing put it wisely, “So that’s what they’re for.”

  6. The terrorist strikes back.
    Surely terrorists are defined by their low level of technology relative to the forces they are fighting. Otherwise they’d be called imperialists. Or just us.

  7. Greasy William says

    I meant to ask all the Russians here: how do you feel about Sergei Kovalev being exposed as a bullying, crybaby fraud by black American Andre Ward? Was the fight big news in Russia?

  8. says you have to pay for a woman’s kid even if you manage to prove it isn’t yours through DNA testing.

    That is literally legalizing cucking.

  9. Körber’s “Russland in Europa – Kalter Krieg in den Köpfen” (Russia in Europe – Cold War in the heads?), a recent German sociological study in Poland, Germany & Russia should interest Akarlin:

    Poles seems a bit delusional. The notion that Russia is a part of Europe is supported by Poles more than by Germans and Russians. At the same time, Poles are way more supportive of sanctions than Germans and Russians and yet they also consider political rapprochement (80%) with Russia more important than Russians consider the same with Europe (66%, 18% less than in 2016).

  10. Polish Perspective says

    Anatoly, that shrieking Yenta you promoted on Lithuania is utter trash. Surprise, surprise, look at what I found:

    Izabella Tabarovsky is passionate about Jewish life and Israel. She grew up in Russia, has lived in the U.S. for over 25 years, and travels frequently to Israel.

    Basically, she’s pissed that Eastern Europe isn’t going to go down on its knees begging. Yet you promote her BS? Your angle is that this gets “less attention” than Russia’s supposed “politicisation” of its history. But this is a curious and unreflexible adoption of left-wing narratives. After all, I see constant politicisation of Western history to open the doors to the third world. “We’ve always been diverse” etc(ignoring that most if not all of this has been European diversity).

    The Yenta’s complaint really boils down to that EE is not doing the kind of version of history which would be submissive to Jews. And of course she heavily promotes support of Israel – the Jewish ethno-nationalist state. Classic hypocrisy. Honestly surprised that you’d link her without offering criticism, and instead shill for Russia by taking a dump on Lithuania by implying that they are, in effect, “doing what Russia does but much worse”. But it’s not worse. It’s in fact much better. And you should start questioning these Jewish narratives more.

  11. Polish Perspective says

    Oh, quelle surprise. She of course peddles the view that white people standing up for their ethnic interests= muh white supremacism. Meanwhile shilling for Jewish ethno-nationalism.

    Like clockwork.

  12. Greasy William says

    The Yenta’s complaint really boils down to that EE is not doing the kind of version of history which would be submissive to Jews.

    I don’t know who this chick is, but recognizing that Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians enthusiastically did the Germans dirty work for them (with the Poles taking first place on that front by far) visa vi the Final Solution isn’t “being submissive to the Jews”, it’s just history.

    You were all a bunch of Nazi collaborators in the 40’s and you’ve never repented. Just own it.

    Your flag is cool, though. I’ll give you guys that.

  13. German_reader says

    with the Poles taking first place on that front by far

    That’s nonsense, individual Poles may have sold out Jews to the Germans and there were some pogrom-like incidents, but on the whole there wasn’t any meaningful Polish participation in the Holocaust (given that there wasn’t even a semi-autonomous Polish state in existence arguably much less than e.g. by Vichy France). Given that the Poles had their capital utterly destroyed by the Germans with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed, it’s bizarre to claim they were all collaborators.
    Balts (and Ukrainians and other Soviet peoples) did play more of a role through groups like the Arajs commando or Trawniki men (like John Demjanjuk), but even that’s hardly grounds for collective guilt.

  14. German_reader says

    Your angle is that this gets “less attention” than Russia’s supposed “politicisation” of its history.

    It’s pretty lame though that they removed all books by that Vanagaite woman from circulation in Lithuania (even though Western criticism of that is totally hypocritical given that much the same and worse happens in Western Europe, it’s just the taboos that are different).

  15. When the Soviet army was expelled from Vilna in 1919, the Poles attacked Jews who were accused of collaborating with the Soviets and shooting at Polish soldiers. Jewish organizations rallied to the defense of Polish Jews, while the U.S. tilted toward Poland. The MID had reports, often from multiple sources, that Jews welcomed Soviet troops with flowers or bands, that Jews refused to fight in Polish armies, that Jewish Bolshevik leaders engaged in “unspeakable barbarity,” that foreign Jews had stirred up anti-Polish propaganda in Jewish-controlled newspapers by exaggerating the extent of violence against Jews, etc. In fact, these allegations were substantially true. Polish Jews did welcome the 1919 and 1939 Soviet invasions of Poland, because of perceptions of Polish anti-Semitism combined with favorable opinions about the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union —— that in fact Jews were an elite group in the USSR (Checinski 1982; Schatz 1991).

    Bendersky also makes it appear that MID reports of Bolshevik atrocities are fantasies. Reports stated that Bolshevik methods included not only seizure and destruction of property but also “barbarism and butchery” (p. xii). Included in the intelligence reports were photographs of “naked bodies with butchered flesh, hanging upside down from trees, while ‘the Bolsheviki soldiers were laughing and grinning and standing about'” (p. xiii). Bendersky writes as if such claims are unworthy of being rebutted, yet there is more than enough evidence that such things did happen. Indeed, the recently published Black Book of Communism not only documents the horrific slaughter of some 20 million Soviet citizens, the widespread torture, mass deportations, and imprisonment in appalling conditions, but reproduces the photos from 1919 of a naked Polish officer impaled through the anus hanging upside down from trees while Bolshevik soldiers are laughing and grinning and standing about (Courtois et al. 1999, 202‑203).

    As all ways the goyim are just supposed to bend over.

    1. I don’t follow Izabella Tabarovsky. I came across this article during normal browing and thought it interesting enough to repost.
    2. One of the highest (~90%) percentages of Jews died during the Holocaust in the Baltics. That some of them would have some degree of antipathy towards them is no less surprising than that some Poles would still dislike Russia.

    That however has zero relevance on the validity or lack thereof of her historical arguments.

    The only thing sovok in this particular case is Lithuania’s response.

    1. This in particular sounds like shilling for Russia (not).

    The fact that Russia uses these developments to score points in its own propaganda war further stifles debate. Moscow never tires of accusing its former vassals of antisemitism. As a result, people like Vanagaite are often viewed in the region as doing Moscow’s work. Some Ukrainian historians I’ve spoken with over time have told me in confidence that they preferred staying quiet over having the “Kremlin agent” label be attached to their name.

    In a twist of irony that seems to escape those crafting memory policies, they seem to mirror the very Soviet approaches they claim to want to excoriate. In fact, they are very close to the highly ideological approach with which Russia today treats its own history.

    1. Yes, she comes off as an open borders shitlib on other questions. So what. That describes about 90% of the modern European intellectual class.

    For instance, despite his very open dislike for Putin, for Russian culture, his obtuse IQ denialism, his open shilling for mass immigration into Europe, (the Jewish) Leonid Bershidsky is still undoubtedly one the best Russia journalists today.

  16. Greasy William says

    That’s nonsense, individual Poles may have sold out Jews to the Germans and there were some pogrom-like incidents

    1. Poland is the only country that had an anti Jewish pogrom after the war. Even Hungary didn’t have one.
    2. 100% of survivor testimonies speak of the mass support that the Polish people provided for the Holocaust, whereas we know from secret of recordings of German POWs that the Germans, certainly no lovers of Jews, were basically against it.

    3. Swedes, again not a group favorably disposed to Jews, who worked with Polish refugees after the war were shocked an appalled by the level of Polish antisemitism.

    4. Any of the Hasidim in Brooklyn who are forced to live with Polish immigrants will tell you that Poles are basically all Nazis.

    5. The (statistically minuscule number of) Poles who helped Jews during the war were persecuted by their fellow Poles after the war for doing so. Whereas many Polish “national heroes” murdered Jews, no Pole that helped Jews is regarded as a hero and in fact they are largely seen as traitors.

    6. The Polish Home Army very closely collaborated with the SS with killing Jews are were rewarded with food and weaponry for doing so.

    7. Former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir once publicly stated “Poles suck antisemitism in their mothers milk.” He said no such thing about Hungarians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Slovaks or Germans, all groups who are known for their hostility to Jews. That tells you that there is something special about Polish antisemitism.

    I’m not ashamed to say that I used to hate Poles, but I don’t anymore. I don’t even dislike them. They aren’t my cup of tea but I admire them and don’t wish them ill. Certainly they are currently doing holy work in the battle against Globalism, while my own people are heavily involved in promoting Globalism, unfortunately. But facts are facts.

    We should just let history speak for itself instead of molding it into what we think it should be.

  17. 4. Any of the Hasidim in Brooklyn who are forced to live with Polish immigrants will tell you that Poles are basically all Nazis.

    To be fair: Anyone forced top live with Hasidim will turn into a Nazi pretty fast.

  18. Meanwhile, Russia punches far below its weight in Europe.mHuge social, economic and cultural opportunities are leaking away. No one saw the price of oil would fall.

  19. German_reader says

    Former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir once publicly stated

    Well I don’t care what an anti-British terrorist like Shamir said, he should have been hanged tbh.
    Certainly there was a lot of antisemitism in pre-war and wartime Poland, but that doesn’t equal collaboration with the Germans and active participation in the Holocaust.
    Have never heard about this (and wonder what the sources for it are):

    The Polish Home Army very closely collaborated with the SS with killing Jews are were rewarded with food and weaponry for doing so.

    But the Home Army did run an organization to aid Jews:
    There were native supporters of the Germans in Eastern Europe, and indeed some co-perpetrators of the Holocaust (the Antonescu regime in Romania probably being the most extreme case, with the Romanians killing hundreds of thousands of Jews on their own). But Poland, which was an occupied country whose gentile population also suffered horrendously (and supplied non-trivial military contingents to the Western allies, like Polish pilots in the RAF, Polish troops fighting at Montecassino etc.), seems like a weird case of a country that could be accused of Nazi collaboration.
    Anyway, at least it’s nice that you don’t hate Poles anymore…probably also lets you focus more on Iranians and the like…

  20. Out of curiosity I (re) looked up the figures on anti-Semitism from the ADL*.

    Anglos: <10%
    Estonia: 22%
    Latvia: 28%
    Germany: 27%
    Russia: 30%
    Lithuania: 36%
    Ukraine: 38%
    Hungary: 41%
    Poland: 45%

    So it seems Greasy is pretty much correct.

    (Greeks are even more anti-Semitic with a whopping 69%, but based on Holocaust history their anti-Semitism is more of a wholesome, traditionalist one, whereas the ones in Central/Eastern Europe are more pathological).

    • Yes, the questions they use to determine anti-Semitism are shit, but still, rank order there should correlate to actual levels of anti-Semitism/Semitic-realism/call it what you want.
  21. German_reader says

    So it seems Greasy is pretty much correct.

    The question wasn’t if plenty of Poles are anti-Jewish (undoubtedly true), but if 1940s Poles can be described as co-perpetrators of the Holocaust to any meaningful degree. I’ve seen nothing that indicates such a view would be justified, and I think the Poles are right in rejecting it (and tbh even if there was a factual basis to such a claim, they would still be better off in denying it…in this world it pays off more to behave like Turks – deny the crimes of your own people, pretend you are the victims – than make past crimes a core element of your own identity which opens you up to all manner of blackmail and manipulation).

  22. Greasy William says

    Anyway, at least it’s nice that you don’t hate Poles anymore…probably also lets you focus more on Iranians and the like…

    I don’t get any credit for putting Western Russophiles ahead of Iranians on Greasy Genocide Index?

  23. Greasy William says

    than make past crimes a core element of your own identity which opens you up to all manner of blackmail and manipulation

    Is that what you think I’m doing? I don’t want to manipulate Poles, and even if I did they have nothing to offer us. Hell, I’d even be willing to bury the hatchet with them if they were willing to reciprocate. It isn’t my fault that Poles are all Nazis.

  24. German_reader says

    Is that what you think I’m doing?

    No, and to some extent it’s of course true that in an ideal world people would face up to the dark parts of their national history (though I still think that in Poland’s case your view of them as Nazi collaborators isn’t based on facts). But let’s get real, what would the likely results be if the Eastern Europeans all engaged in the soul-searching demanded of them, and why are Western liberals (the sort of people writing in the Guardian who probably couldn’t even locate Eastern European countries on a map) so keen on that? It would merely be another victory for “antiracism”, and would eventually be exploited by “people of color” and those promoting their mass immigration to Europe. It may be illogical, but the standard narrative in today’s West is “Our national history is deeply shameful, we must atone for that by being open to the world”. The Eastern Europeans would be foolish to follow Western examples in this regard.

  25. RadicalCenter says

    Not being a boxing fan, I had to look them up. Are you actually gloating over some African winning a fight over a Russian because, what, the African is your “countryman”? You think Ward and his thug friends and entourage would consider you to be a countryman or someone worthy of respect?

    Did you write that while wearing your favorite felon’s NFL jersey? Or perhaps your favorite borderline-retarded NBA hero’s jersey?

    In what other contexts do you hope that blacks defeat or harm others?

    Last question: how would your wife or daughters likely fare in a town or society full of Ward and his bruthas, versus a town or society full of big bad Russky Kovalev and his people?

    Hope Kovalev kicks yo boy’s ass in the rematch.

  26. Greasy William says
    1. First of all it was a joke/troll post.

    2. I know that this will shock you, but I was not always the alpha male bad ass that you know me as today. I was bullied a lot as a kid so I hate bullies, and I see Kov as a bullying type of personality.

    3. Ward actually has a white father.

    4. I think it has been well established here that I am favorably disposed towards blacks. I only support genocide for BLM types, who are like 1% of the black population.

    5. If you visited boxing boards you would know how unbearable fans of Russian and EE boxers are. Even Mexican boxing fans, who are really racist against blacks, can’t stand the fans of Russian/EE boxers. And the Russians absolutely do not limit their disrespect of American boxers only to black Americans. Guys like Jack Dempsey, Mickey Walker, Jake LaMotta, Rocky Marciano are all trash because they didn’t beat Russians.

    6. I like Andre Ward’s style. Kov fights in the typical Russian/EE style of “stand straight up and mow down your opponent with straight powerful punches” which is fine but I personally don’t enjoy it.

    7. I think Andre Ward is basically an arrogant jerk and have no doubt that he would be rude to me if we met in person, although he can be disarmingly charming when he is commenting on fights.

    8. I scored the first fight for Kovalev and while I thought it was close, I also thought Kov was the clear winner and basically got ripped off, just like he and his fans said. The excuses that Kov and his fans made after the 2nd fight though were pathetic. The stoppage was fine and while the last punch Ward landed was low, it was clearly accidental and Kov was already done by then from clean and admittedly borderline shots.

    9. Ward has retired so there will be not be a third fight.

  27. OT (hey, it’s an open thread):

    just watched Ruptly. What’s with all the feminist demos across the world lately? And what’s with demonstrating for stuff that’s already official policy? A bit like dear editor letters to the Pravda – we workers demand [some illiberal sh*t the state does anyway]