Open Thread 66

Long time no Open Thread! Will try to return to a weekly OT schedule henceforth.

The “core” of my series on the Age of Malthusian Industrialism is done. Here is a quick table of contents:

Other useful context: Introduction to Apollo’s Ascent; Our Biorealistic FutureThe Idiocy of the Average – and Why It Matters

As I promised, there will be two further articles in this series, but they will be whimsical/speculative addendums, not core parts of the series.

And I’ll get to working on the book as soon as that’s done.




Science & Culture

N.N. Taleb IQ Controversy


  • Not surprised to see that Fallout Online is crap.
  • Roosh V: “America has a “social credit” system just like China, where you are blocked from internet platforms, banking, and lodging. The major difference is that in America, the companies “ghost” you without giving a reason because they’re staffed with leftist cowards.”
  • Mike Cernovich embraces Islam.
  • How the singer Tessa Violet became a hit with Russian nationalists.

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. Though I keep up with Russian politics, I’ve never heard of Prigozhin before. Is he a member of Putin’s inner circle or something? If so, why on earth would a guy like him be having a meeting with Navalny?

    I wouldn’t be to surprised if a clown like Navalny turned out to be a complete tool, but I always took his utter failure in politics to indicate that he genuinely had no real connections or relationship with the Russian establishment.

  2. every Russian after reading Janusz Bugajski crap on Russian dissolution

    “We thank God that our enemies are imbeciles.”

  3. Thorfinnsson says

    Today I am 75 days sober.

    This is the longest period of time I’ve been without drink since 2009.

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

  4. Polish Perspective says

    Stop attentionwhoring and stop pitying yourself like a bitch. It’s pathetic.

  5. I feel like any article that discusses Rand Paul’s political views without mentioning his father is probably not the most fact based. Surprised they didn’t come up with a gentile to pin “Soros conspiracy” on

  6. Polish Perspective says

    Deutsche Welle published a big article on Polish youth. Szopen on suicide watch.

    Poland’s young voters turning to the right

    The story gets some things right(longer-term structural shift, in sharp contrast to their parents and especially grandparents), some things disastrously wrong(“longing for the church”, while in reality, secularisation is proceeding at breakneck speed in Poland).

    Social psychologist Marta Majchrzak, who co-authored a study published in November by the commercial research institute IQS in which scientists interviewed childless Poles between the ages of 16 and 29. “They trust authorities, are dreaming of marriage, and are proud to be Polish citizens,” she explained.
    The study classified only 9 percent of respondents as “cosmopolitan” and “open to being different.”


    The young generation wants a regulated economic system precisely because the economic situation has improved in recent years. “Young Poles compare Poland’s secure situation with the disorder in the world,” said Majchrzak. According to the IQS study, Poland’s youth view their country as a safe exclave that protects them from the world’s uncertainties. Three out of four respondents said they were against accepting refugees. Almost one-third said they would give up personal freedoms for more law and order.

    The article puts too much emphasis on economic issues. I also don’t buy the coping explanations from the sociologist in the article, that they are “apolitical”. I would categorise them as latent. PiS has moved to the right which has sapped the support for more radical parties. Nevertheless, it will take decades for this to fully push through the system.

    Most people don’t appreciate how long Poland has been under the spell of neoliberalism. This ruling class was even trying to import 200,000 chechens(!) as “refugees” in the early 90s as a “humanitarian gesture” and their own cucked attempt to “get back at Russia by showing the moral high ground”. The only reason why most of them didn’t stay is because Poland was far behind Russia in the early 90s and most instead left for richer pastures.

    So whenever I read deluded people claim that everything was better 20-25 years ago, I should be forgiven for laughing out loud.

  7. Oh, that explains it. For a while it seemed like every other person on the pages I follow in VK had this for a profile picture and I had no idea why.

  8. Русские вперёд, с нами Тесса!

  9. Swedish Family says

    “We thank God that our enemies are imbeciles.”

    Yeah, that was something else. To think that these people do this stuff for a living …

  10. Brought to my attention with this note:

    Dear Friends!

    In case you did not see the below matter:

    Born in the USA of White Russian ancestry, Father Sergij Lukyanov from Lakewood, NJ, member of the Russian Scout Organization in the USA (St. George Pathfinders) goes to Ukraine in the midst of battle to protect the legitimate Church of Ukraine of Metropolitan Onuphry from neo-Nazi Banderites takeover – best part is his speech (in Russian) at the end:

  11. Navalny’s story this week on the 5 billion rubles apartment was symmetrically amusing, if we can continue our apartment discussion in this thread.

    Chemezov was friends of Putin because they lived in the same KGB apartment building, when they were working in the GDR.

    GDR apartments where they became friends – very modest apartments.

    Today, director of State technology conglomerate (Rostec) – his 5 billion rubles apartment is ​​1434 m².

  12. Great to see you around again!

    I also hope Daniel Chieh will return sooner rather than later later. AoMI V will basically be an extended autistic rumination on the Imperium of Man in WH40K. He can’t miss that!

  13. Come across as a disingenuously arrogant ****:

    Parsons reiterated that the whole situation with the reinstatement of the RPC would have been much easier if the Russian side had agreed to acknowledge the findings of the McLaren report, which was one of the IPC’s requirements for the membership reinstatement.

    “Of course we cannot forget what happened,” Parsons said. “We still think that it would have been good – the acknowledgement of the McLaren report, and we have said it before.”

    “During these additional three and a half years of the close monitoring we will address the concerns raised by Professor McLaren in his report,” the IPC chief added.

    The IPC suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee in August 2016 in the wake of a report delivered a month earlier by the WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren. The report stated in particular that Russia allegedly employed a state-sponsored doping system.

    On August 7, 2016, the IPC decided to bar the entire Russian team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. Besides skipping the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Brazil due to the imposed sanctions the Russian Paralympians almost missed the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang as only few of them were cleared to participate in the neutral status.

    McLaren failed to prove his claim that about 1,000 Russian athletes had doped. The combined summer and winter Russian Olympic and Paralympic teams number under 1,000. Of late, he says that somewhere between 300-600 doped Russians will be revealed from the recent release of past Russian doping samples. Let’s see what happens on that.

    Meantime, top Russian athletes over the past few years have been the most scrutinized of athletes when it comes to anti-doping testing – meaning that the system remains quite flawed, given that the issue of sports doping isn’t exclusive to Russia.

  14. There’s a lot of different possibilities and speculation, and probably nothing very interesting.

    However, about my view of Navalny’s character in general.

    I used to read Navalny years ago, and his investigations (we should thank him for publicizing sometimes informative stories) obviously motivated partly by jealously he never was close “at the trough of power”, and now is somehow instead a little uncomfortably a cult leader of youth hipsters who don’t really share his views.

    For example, his daughter is in summer schools in England every year, and in her school in Moscow she studies the international baccalaureate program. This means she will be able to go to university in England or America.

    It is symptomatically a middle class (very economically) way to produce the same preparation for his children as rich parents, whose children are often studying directly in boarding school in England and Switzerland .

  15. Swarthy Greek says

    Prigozhin was a small time fixer in Saint Petersburg during the 90s. He owns a couple of restaurants and catering businesses that work on Russian government contracts which is why he’s called”the chef”. He was picked by the Army general staff to act as a front for a PMC. Nowadays PMCs like prighozin’s Wagner Group and others like Vega have become a new tentacle of the Russian security apparatus and are present in Syria and various parts of Africa.

  16. Viral marketing campaign by the American singer’s brilliant social media manager based in Los Angeles, to exploit Russian nationalists for easy YouTube clicks.

  17. What would have been needed to make the US transportation more rail based after the 50s, I mean the population density of the US east of the Mississippi is similar to European Russia, but Russia has a lot higher rail ridership per capital compared to the US, for example, a 230 kph rail line with average speeds of around 100 kph or so linkween Nashville and Cincinnati, and Atlanta would have been feasible that would be competitive to traveling there by car, for example the Euro Sprinter can reach such speeds, although you need to build a dedicated passenger rail line. And the Chinese can average speeds of 110 kph in mountainous terrain out of their regular 160kph trains.

  18. AK, relating to your bookshelf thread the other day, what are your 5-10 favourite books? Or at least in your opinion the ‘must reads’ of the world.

  19. Anatoly, I have a question for you–what is your source for the historical literacy data for conscripts in the Russian Empire?

    I’ve previously seen this chart which you posted but don’t know what the original source for this data is.

  20. AK, is that promised annual Russian demographic update still coming?

    I saw that final statistics had births down 5.4%, and TFR is estimated at 1.57 (don’t know if the latter is official). For the majority of the year births were down less than 5%, and unofficial TFR estimates were stable at 1.6 or a little higher. So it looks like for some reason births suddenly declined sharply at the end of the year?

    P.S.- in the event anyone has wondered why I’ve been posting less frequently, it is because over the past year, my longtime susceptibility to migraines has worsened to the point that now even while wearing glasses that filter out blue light, I can’t look at my computer monitor for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, with long breaks between. And while I take prescription medication which works well, my insurance will only cover nine pills per month. So I have to ration my online time very carefully, and usually can’t do more than very quickly scroll through threads on here. It’s quite frustrating.

  21. Do you use software to filter blue light?

  22. ‘Everybody in the USA only recognizes Onuphrey’

    Not so Mickey. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America is under the Ecumenical Patriarch’, these churches by far represent the vast majority of Ukrainians in the USA, about 85 active parishes. About another 15 active parishes are working out their future affiliation and are supportive of the ‘Kyivan Patrriarch’. So,obviously his speech to his 5th column supporters is a bunch of nonsense. His usage of Russian in the midst of Central/Western Ukraine is telling and reflects the opinions of a very small minority of people in Ukraine. Already 200 parishes have calmly left the embrace of the MP and have moved to their own, Ukrainian church. Many more will follow in the years to come. Guaranteed!

  23. Philip Owen says

    Well done.

  24. Post about it here:

    Rounding out the top 10-15:
    Jensen’s g Factor
    Borges’ Labyrinths (only fiction book in top 10?)
    1089 by Acheson (very simple but brilliant book… perfect intro to beauty of mathematics)
    Age of Em (inspired Age of Malthusian Industrialism… might even make the top 5 should I finish the book and it sells well!)
    Canticle for Leibowitz (second fiction book)
    Millionaire Fastlane (only self-help book to make the list)
    The Lucifer Principle (mediocre book but introduced me to redpilled evopsych ideas so gets tons of precedence points)

  25. Very sorry to hear that. As Adam mention, could something like f.lux help?


    Open Threads take a while to compile when there’s a month old backlog of links. Possibly tomorrow evening, certainly by Tuesday.

    I did do a small Twitter thread on it:

  26. Thanks

  27. Why so?

    His usage of Russian in the midst of Central/Western Ukraine is telling and reflects the opinions of a very small minority of people in Ukraine.

    It has been spun by sugar coated svidos (presenting the image of a tolerant Kiev regime) that Russian is spoken in Kiev regime controlled Ukraine as a sign of tolerance, which put mildly has limits, seeing how Porky has contradicted the Ukrainian constitution with heavy handed tactics against the internationally recognized UOC – the Orthodox Church of America being one of the many such national OC churches . Porky’s government interference has been utilized on account of the UOC not withering away as hoped for by the svidos.

    From a great source, this relates to the issue at hand:

    For your pleasure:

  28. I consider “A Canticle for Leibowitz” to be one of the few true sci-fi classics – perhaps, a tiny bit atomophobic though.

  29. Of interest: Rand corp published this paper on countering the Russian/Chinese threat

  30. It take two to tangle as is evident from your video. As the law stands, a 2/3 vote will determine to which church any parish wishes to belong. Church by church will join the new Ukrainian one, thousands leaving the Russian ran church. What we’re witnessing is Putler’s last stand in Ukraine (and your’s too). 🙁

  31. Number of births are always lower in December

    1,57 total fertility rate will be Karlin’s calculation (insignificantly I saw another report say it was 1,56 in 2018 – but probably this unimportant difference is result of Karlin rounding this more accurately).

    In this measure, we can see the rate of decline was significantly lower in 2018 than in 2017.

    The official aim of government and its demographic policies (like preferential mortgage rates) is to increase fertility rate to 1,7 children per women by 2024. They choose intentionally quite a modest objective, but obviously, no-one can predict the future in this area.

  32. Been informed that law law is fuzzy, leaving wiggle for outside agitators to claim being congregants of a given church.

    In actuality, the so-called Russian run church has far more autonomy from the MP, when compared to the relationship that RC churches have with the Vatican. Even without that comparison, the UOC is very much in the category of a church having the loosest of relationships with the entity which it happens to be a part of. For svidos, that isn’t enough. They prefer painted in church murals lauding the Azov militia and the depiction of the two headed eagle getting trampled.

  33. Today I am 75 days sober.

    So you have a good reason to celebrate. You really deserve a drink or two.

  34. While I know that Soros is a powerful bogeyman in “our” quarters, the story of how he came to be so is apparently quite interesting – the result of a literal Jewish conspiracy, LOL.

    Interesting but IMO misleading. The meme of Soros as bogeyman was already pushed by LaRouche in late 1990s and then by Bill O’Reilly and then most successfully by Glenn Beck and it all happened before Orban came on the scene. However that article “The Evil Jew” about Arthur J. Finkelstein and George Birnbaum (George Friedman is not mentioned) is worth reading for the Hungarian context to see how closely Netanyahu and Zionsts are behind Orban. The protective umbrella over Orban’s head is held by Netanyahu.

  35. Econlib: The US is becoming more like Europe. I keep saying this.

    Slould be: Europe is becoming more like the US. Immigration that is pushed by the neoliberals and their useful idiots, the left, is more damaging to Europe than to American because America basically has been ‘successfully’ a multiethnic and multicultural nation for over 100 years. Now the social engineering for the improved control using American solutions is being implement in Europe.
    It is about emulation or replication of American model of social engineering and society control which hinges on multiculturalism and large African minority underclass which is critical to destroying society cohesion and social and political solidarity. And then there is the cheap labor aspect. American elites have more experience than Europeans. It works fine for the elite which in the US after WWII became disproportionately Jewish. It is a neoliberalism – which is Jewish (Chicago School and Wall Street). Cultural Marxism which through the Frankfurt School lead to its current emanation of SJW madness is Jewish. The SJW are the useful idiots of the neoliberalism. They will push for immigration so the capitalists do not have to do it and some of them on the right may even feign some support for the Wall.

  36. You leave out that Orbán has agency, too. He is probably at least partly Jew aware, and knows the old adage that you have to be on good terms with at least some of the Jews. In Hungary he started to nurture his relationship with an Orthodox (or maybe Chabad?) rabbi (previously under communism there were no Orthodox rabbis, only Reform Judaism was allowed), who came under attack by the Jewish religious establishment in Hungary. The Jewish religious establishment – unsurprisingly – had close connections to the Hungarian liberal and leftist political forces, so there was a bit of an “enemy of my enemy” angle to this on both sides.

    So what is going on here is that Orbán managed to insert himself into an intra-Jewish conflict and thus secured the help of at least one powerful Jewish faction.

  37. Don’t forget that Freedom House claims that UK is completely (((free))), I am sure that if this happens in Russia or China they give you the death penalty instead of just giving a few days jail.

  38. I agree with you. I do no question Orban’s agenda and his talents to use in the best possible way cards that were dealt to his hand. I just pointed out that Orban’s successes were dependent on the protective umbrella held by Netanyahu. W/o that umbrella Orban would have been done with long time ago.

    The intra-Jewish conflict indeed exists and possibly can be taken advantage of but not in a long term. The two factions do not differ on the final objective which is the full spectrum Jewish dominance of the world but on the path to it. The Orthodox and Israelis want to assure that every step of this path Israel remains in the nexus of all powers in the world, so they won’t be left out when the day of the final victory arrives. They want what David Ben-Gurion expressed in 16th January 1962 interview for Life Magazine and Look Magazine:

    …all other continents will become united in a world alliance at whose disposal will be an international police force. All armies will be abolished and there will be no more wars. In Jerusalem, the United Nations will build a shrine of the prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah…

    Jerusalem must be a center of the world and some Jews on the left sometimes forget about it.

    Poor Putin also has to play the same game as Orban.

  39. The Freedom House measures freedom, UK is 100%, wow. That’s like the popes calculating who is a saint, I think 3 proven miracles. When self-referential ideologies start going heavily into numerology the end is near. I think in 8 years.

  40. For all we know this site is really an Intel gathering Honeypot lol, and some of the authors may be witting or unwitting partners.

  41. Hyperborean says

    There is more:

    A top British surgeon has called for transgender women to get life-changing womb transplants so they can have children of their own.

    It comes after doctors in Brazil delivered the world’s first baby from a womb transplant that was given to a woman from a deceased donor last year.

    Now surgeon Christopher Inglefield, founder of the London Transgender Clinic, believes transgender women deserve a uterus implant.

    He says the procedure is ‘essentially identical’ to the one performed on women.

    Dr Inglefield, who appeared in ITV’s Transformation Street, told the Mirror: ‘This pioneering birth is extremely important for any trans female who would like to carry her own child.

    ‘Because once the medical community accept this as a treatment for cis-women with uterine infertility, such as congenital absence of a womb, then it would be illegal to deny a trans-female who has completed her transition.’

  42. No, I may try that.

  43. Freedom House is the same scam it was last year and it ever was since its inception.

    Russia is less free than the USSR in the mid-1970s. Russia was freer in 1993 (when Yeltsin used tanks to dissolve parliament) than in 1991 (when Yeltsin was freely elected and there was no longer any obvious oppression). Russia is less free than Qatar. Syria is the epitome of absolute oppression (0 points, or 7-7). Sweden and the Netherlands get a perfect score. (Okay, the Netherlands only 99.) The UK gets a very good, almost perfect score. (93, or 1-1.)

  44. stop believing in god.

  45. Hungary is rumored to be buying Patriot missiles and even F-35 fighter jets.

  46. What happened to the rumors that they were buying only European weapons(Swedish Gripen, Czech Bren and Scorpion guns, Germans Leopard and Krauss-Maffei howitzers)? Did the rumors originate in Kremlin, wishful thinking? Or was it true and Orban eventually succumbed to American pressure?

  47. He wants to repair American relations, too, and apparently the Americans are finally okay with it. Pompeo is coming to Budapest soon.

  48. America basically has been ‘successfully’ a multiethnic and multicultural nation for over 100 years

    Has it?
    Share of Whites in America was 80+% until the 1990s.
    In terms of culture, WASP Leitkultur was dominant for a long time.

  49. They prefer painted in church murals lauding the Azov militia and the depiction of the two headed eagle getting trampled.

    I bet that those folks are glad that they don’t have somebody like you dictating how they need to adorn the insides of their church.

  50. Way to go. I recently spent two weeks with a friend of mine who has a drinking problem: there’s nothing worse than a cloying, obnoxious drunk. Keep busy at work, keep up your exercise regime, stay in the sun, and get closer to God. This will all help you in getting over this rocky stage in your life.
    We all miss your intellectual and personal banter here…

  51. OT: Iranian Revolution at 40: Britain’s Secret Support for Khomeini Revealed

    “If you lift up Ayatollah Khomeini’s beard, you’ll find ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’ written on his chin,” raged Shah of Iran Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi

    Moreover, the year prior, then-opposition leader Margaret Thatcher visited Tehran in April, offering a vehement reaffirmation of British support for Pahlavi’s rule.

    “I have watched the progress of Iran. I have been impressed by the speed and sureness with which an ancient land has transformed itself in a single generation from one of the world’s poorer countries into one of its leading military and industrial powers. [The shah] must be one of the world’s most far-sighted statesmen…no other world leader has given his country more dynamic leadership. He is leading Iran through a 20th century renaissance,” she said.

    The article does not answer the why question. What wa the motive? What has changed after Thatcher’s visit?

  52. The German etc. weapons were mostly to appease the Germans, who got worried about “democracy in Hungary.” It appeared for a while that the Americans cannot be appeased. But maybe they can.

  53. I’m not really a fan of the regime, or sanctions, but it seems to me, Iran was always going to be poor. Its population is larger now, so oil isn’t much of a fig leaf.

    It is part of the Middle East. The only rich countries in the Middle East have small populations, or pump a lot more oil, like Saudi Arabia. Iran is at about 82 million. There isn’t enough oil in the ground to make it rich – at least not for long.

  54. for-the-record says
  55. Iran has a greater HDI and greater GDP per capita (both nominal and PPP) than Ukraine, and that’s with massive sanctions. It’s not an awful country by any means. Iranians clearly have greater civilizational potential than gulf Arabs, who are complete barbarians and always will be – no matter how rich they are.

  56. In 1979 prior to Khomeini Iran was doing pretty well. Too well. And this was the reason why the Islamic revolution was engineered. It set Iran back 10-20 years by antagonizing the US and imposing sanctions and the war with Iraq. If not for Khomeini revolution Iran would be the strongest and most modern pro Western country in the Middle East. But TPTB apparently had different plans. The clash of civilizations was being engineered and Samuel Huntington knew nothing about it.

  57. And that’s even with them having undergone the worst brain drain in the world since 1979

  58. silviosilver says

    Iran has quite respectable indigenous automotive and defense industries. Iran produces almost as many cars as Russia, and has recently produced an indigenous jet fighter – one apparently not particularly impressive in the eyes of military observers, but surely a significant step along the learning curve.

    The opinion that Iran is in the Middle East and therefore destined to be poor can be dismissed as mindless HBDist bullshit. HBD itself isn’t bullshit, but all too many HBDers simply internalize a few factoids about IQ and then, rather ludicrously, presume themselves qualified to opine authoritatively on the developmental prospects of whichever group their gaze falls upon.

  59. silviosilver says

    And this was the reason why the Islamic revolution was engineered.

    Engineered by outsiders, do you mean?

    Okay, who? And what is your evidence?

  60. Most people don’t appreciate how long Poland has been under the spell of neoliberalism.

    A successful strategy for conservatives should be a campaign against the neoliberalism because neoliberalism enables the pro immigration open borders position of the new-left. This strategy will split the left and will attract the rational ones among the left to the anti-immigration position with anti-neoliberalism pro workers, wages and jobs message, i.e., traditional old left program. In other words the message must be populist. The new-right or alt-right message that immigrants are dangerous (Trump) and stupid (Sailer) only antagonizes the new left. Unfortunately the conservatives (new right) in Poland just like the alt-right in American have been poisoned with the libertarian, ie., the fifth columns of neoliberalism. I think in Poland Korwin-Mikke party who is popular among young males bears the sole responsibility for this situation.

  61. Read the article I linked above.

  62. (((They))) Live says

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says the company’s Raptor engine, meant to power Starship and Super Heavy, has surpassed a rocketry record held by Russian scientists and engineers for more than two decades.

    Known as combustion chamber pressure, Raptor has reportedly surpassed a modern Russian engine known as the RD-180, reaching forces equivalent to one Tesla Model 3 balanced on every square inch of Raptor’s combustion chamber, the hardware directly adjacent to a rocket engine’s bell-shaped nozzle

    Did someone around these parts claim a while back that SpaceX would never equal the best Russian rocket technology, well it looks like they might

  63. Szopen on suicide watch.


  64. silviosilver says

    Read the article I linked above.

    What that article makes clear to me is that Britain was responding to native Iranian developments.

    More importantly though, despite London’s practical and rhetorical backing for the shah in public, behind the scenes Whitehall was acutely aware the writing was on the wall for Iran’s leader — in an internal memo dated October 1978, Prime Minister James Callaghan is quoted as saying he “wouldn’t give much for the shah’s chances”, and thought “[Foreign Secretary David] Owen should start thinking about reinsuring”, code for cultivating contacts with opposition figures.

    Somehow your brain interprets this as Britain “engineering” the Shah’s overthrow, which to any normal English-speaker would imply something like Britain stirring up the domestic unrest necessary for a regime-change and then installing its own man in power. There’s simply no evidence for that at all.

    Yet you also go one better, not merely claiming that Britain wanted and got the Ayatollah into power, but that it was all done with an eye to “engineering” a clash of civilizations.

    To you, IQ and GWAS are kook-level scientific fraud, but that Britain overthrew the Shah because the Iranian economy was doing too well and put the Ayatollah in his place in order to cause a clash of civilizations is not only plausible, but proven. (Lucky for the Brits that the Americans never got wind of it! Or wait, despite all appearances to the contrary, were the Americans in on it too?)

  65. Vishnugupta says

    Raptor uses methane lox while rd 170/180/191 uses lox kerosene so not directly comparable. Russia still retains the LOX Kerosene engine record. Valentine Petrovich Glaushko the relatively unsung hero of the Soviet space program(compared to say Korolev) was the greatest rocket engine designer who ever lived..

  66. What do you see as Iran’s natural level of development? Are you saying they should be like Germany?
    Turkey, maybe. Or Mexico, with a smaller population – that’s about my estimation, anyway. Perhaps even very slightly higher, but if so, only because they are a very heterogeneous population.

    Their indigenous jet seems to just be an American jet from the early 1970s. Car assembly really isn’t that difficult, when you inherited the plants.

  67. Russians go forward!

  68. I just noticed a few other gems:

    Kazakhstan is freer than Russia. North Korea is freer than Tibet, or Syria. Algeria is freer than Russia. Egypt is freer than Russia (though altogether similar). South Africa is (significantly!) freer than Hungary. (Okay, freedom doesn’t include the right to life, or the right not to be discriminated against when competing with nationals of another country, I guess.)

    These scores are a total joke.

  69. (((They))) Live says

    Pressure is pressure IMO, the fuel burned to achieve high chamber pressure is irrelevant, the point is the chamber can take the stresses and forces involved, I think it was FB who claimed the exotic metallurgy needed would be too big a problem for SpaceX, its still early in their testing but maybe they cracked the problem

  70. silviosilver says

    What do you see as Iran’s natural level of development? Are you saying they should be like Germany?

    I don’t think it makes any sense to think in terms of a country’s “natural level of development.” I’ve certainly never heard of that expression in economics or development literature. Perhaps you meant to ask what I believe Iran’s maximal level of development to be. Even that question is next to impossible to answer.

    Imagine you asked some thinker in Germany that question in, say, 1700. If he could even somehow piece together a notion of “national wealth” in his mind (this is well before Adam Smith, remember, and certainly well before “GDP” was conceptualized), an answer that Germans, on average, would some day be able to consume three times as much as they could in the year 1700 would have struck his contemporaries as pretty wild conjecture. After all, European incomes in 1700 had not necessarily tripled from Roman times in even the wealthiest countries in Europe. And yet, in reality, German incomes have tripled many times since 1700. And there is still no end to economic growth in sight.

    Now imagine you asked some German in 1935 if he believed that Iranians would ever match Germany’s level of industrial and scientific development. There’s a good chance you might have offended his sense of propriety by your question, so outrageous would the idea have seemed to many people of that era. And yet the fact is, Iran today exceeds German per capita GDP in 1935 (by a significant margin); it is able to mass produce cars and military equipment; and, if stories about its nascent nuclear capability are to believed, does not embarrass itself in a comparison of scientific knowledge. What seemed to many absurd in 1935 has indeed come to pass. Well, is it really absurd to imagine that Iran could some day match or exceed the development of today’s Germany? I honestly don’t think it is.

    (It is interesting that you nominate Mexico as possible developmental benchmark for Iran. Apparently you’re unaware that Iran already exceeds Mexico in economic output. Even more so if we take economic equality into account – Iran being the more equal society.)

    The safest HBD conclusions are that, all else equal, societies with higher IQs will have higher per cap GDP. It makes sense, then, to postulate that at any given time, there is a maximum proportion of that per cap GDP that a country with a lower IQ can obtain. But we really can’t say for sure what that proportion is. With respect to Iran and Germany, today that proportion sits somewhere around 40%. Is that the maximum? We just don’t know.

    Another reasonably safe HBD conclusion is that certain technologies require a minimum IQ to invent (and, as a country, to adopt). This claims that even though countries with lower IQ can adopt certain technologies and enjoy the increased economic growth that accompanies their adoption, this is only possible because some other countries had high enough IQ to invent those technologies in the first place. So of Iran we might say that although Iranians are smart enough to understand and apply nuclear physics after someone else came up with it, it’s perfectly possible that if no one had ever done so, then Iranians by themselves never would have. (Note: I am saying that it’s perfectly possible this is the case. I am not claiming to know that Iranians never could have. Such a thing is just not knowable.)

    Their indigenous jet seems to just be an American jet from the early 1970s. Car assembly really isn’t that difficult, when you inherited the plants.

    The indigenous jet is based on old American design, yes, but my understanding is that all the jet’s components (airframe, engine, avionics) were engineered and produced by Iranians. It certainly helps to have a model to work from, but you still have to know what to do in order to reproduce that model.

    With respect to cars, Iran has moved beyond merely assembly to original equipment manufacture. I’m not sure that everything in Iranian cars is produced in Iran, but they are at least steadily moving in that direction.

    I’m not really a great fan of Iran. To me, Islamo-Iranian culture is complete dogshit. And I’m not really sure that any native “Persian” culture that might replace it (as that kinda kooky Jason Jorjani guy assures anybody who’ll listen is set to happen) would be any more commendable (though it would probably be freer). So I’d like to clarify that I’m not “praising” Iran here. I just believe in giving credit where it’s due.

  71. The Big Red Scary says

    What do you see as Iran’s natural level of development?

    Make Persia great again.

    Iran continuously exports (or chases out) scientists and artists of the highest quality, while Turkey does nothing of the sort, so I would expect that under an economically liberal and somewhat more relaxed regime led by Persians for Persians, Iran would easily surpass Turkey. However, Iran like Russia has a fortress mentality, and not without reason.

  72. …South Africa is (significantly!) freer than Hungary.

    You have to be able to see what they mean by the numbers. The ‘Freedom‘ House index is simply a ranking of countries based on the level of compliance with Washington’s policies. The real ones, not the confusing melange that the messy politics occasionally throws out (e.g. Trump).

    It is actually a very useful index: it summarises in a single number the Western policy goals. Orban is being put on notice, so is Turkey. Russia will probably drop into single digits right before the next war starts, I would guess around 5 by 2025, nice slogan. Also Russia having only 1/3 of the freedom of Ukraine – we can all see that millions of Russians are heading to Kiev and Lviv in order to live ‘free’, three times freer. Good one.

    And if I lived in Turkmenistan, I would worry, ‘2?‘, holy mama, what do they do there, boil babies for sport? Or could it have something to do with Turkmenistan failing to build a pipeline across two seas to pump cheap gas to Europe? How dare they? So it is ‘2’. Maybe next year they will do better, start digging Turkmen-bashi…

  73. I bet that many prefer the likes of yourself not dictating on what is and isn’t an appropriate UOC.

  74. Iran has a greater HDI and greater GDP per capita (both nominal and PPP) than Ukraine, and that’s with massive sanctions.

    It also has a lot of oil, and was never Sovietized.

    It’s not an awful country by any means.

    Grandparents visited before the revolution. Very, very nice place.

    Iranians clearly have greater civilizational potential than gulf Arabs,

    They are simply a different civilization. If only they had not been Islamisized.

  75. Vishnugupta says

    Well the RD 170 the original 4 combustion chamber engine for the energia of which the rd 180 is a straight forward scaled down derivative was designed and tested to be reusable up-to 10 times and the combustion chamber pressure was reduced accordingly the metallurgy of the rd 180 is capable of exceeding the raptor again if Russia so wishes.

    Also Kerosene specially Russian kerosene contains much more impurities than methane gas and burns unevenly and is prone to coking.

    There is a reason Elon Musk calls this engine awesome and NASA considered it technically impossible.

    Glaushko designed it with computer processing power much less than the smartphone I am typing on ie no CFD. A genius. Also the world’s first full flow staged combustion engine ie RD 270 was tested by Glaushko in 1969.The space X raptor engine has passed this milestone in 2016..

  76. But I’m on record for stating that I think all Orthodox churches should be allowed to exist. How about you?

  77. I never said that those wanting to break from the established UOC can leave and do (within reason) as they please.

    I’m against the Kiev regime interference that involves favoring one side (OCU) over the other (UOC).

  78. not only plausible, but proven.

    Plausible yes. Proven, not. Did not claim it. Cna’t prove it. It is all circumstantial based on benefit analysis and future actions. Think of the Yinon plan. The instigator would be Israel. The objective: bring down Iran and spoil its good relation with the US and the West There is no room for secular or quasi-secular states in the ME. Turn them over to crazy radical Muslims so everybody hates them.

  79. Was anyone else listening to NPR today, around 1pm to 5pm? There was a quick mention of a woman with a Jewish name who had gone missing in an African country. Kenya, I think, but I might have that wrong. What I remember for sure was that she was an activist and critic of the police. Anyone know the woman’s name? Can’t find anything on Jewgle or (((NPR))) for shit.

  80. for-the-record says

    Long article by James Bamford in the New Republic on Maria Butina, “The Spy Who Wasn’t”.

    Among other things, it provides an alternative account of her seemingly “damning” consideration of an employment offer with the FSB (damning to AP, at least, IIRC).

    As U.S. prosecutors later noted, during a search of Erickson’s apartment in South Dakota, FBI agents discovered a handwritten note: “How to respond to FSB offer of employment?” To U.S. authorities, this was evidence that Butina had ties to the Russian intelligence service. According to Erickson, however, the opposite was true. Butina had no interest in working for the FSB, he told me, adding that he was the one who had written the note before one of Butina’s trips to Moscow. He was simply helping her prepare for the inevitable questioning she would face back home. “A question they always asked is, ‘Perhaps you’d like to make a more formal relationship,’” Erickson said. “How do you answer that to say ‘no’ in such a way that it doesn’t get you in trouble?

  81. What are some of the interesting conspiracy theories concerning Navalny’s krysha? Also, does it just seem that way to me, or is the upcoming presidential election in the Ukraine receiving surprisingly little coverage? Can we expect a post on this at some point?

    1. Answered.
    2. Will do that in a while.
  82. What is a “krysha”? Where did you (or anyone else) write about it?

  83. “Roof.” Protection from higher ups. It was common in the 90s, someone paid the off mafia or corrupt officials in order to be protected from persecution or extortion.

  84. Oh, I just now noticed the new post.

  85. Thanks, that’s great.

  86. You have to be able to see what they mean by the numbers. The ‘Freedom‘ House index is simply a ranking of countries based on the level of compliance with Washington’s policies. The real ones, not the confusing melange that the messy politics occasionally throws out (e.g. Trump).

    It is actually a very useful index: it summarises in a single number the Western policy goals. Orban is being put on notice, so is Turkey. Russia will probably drop into single digits right before the next war starts, I would guess around 5 by 2025, nice slogan. Also Russia having only 1/3 of the freedom of Ukraine – we can all see that millions of Russians are heading to Kiev and Lviv in order to live ‘free’, three times freer. Good one.

    And if I lived in Turkmenistan, I would worry, ‘2?‘, holy mama, what do they do there, boil babies for sport? Or could it have something to do with Turkmenistan failing to build a pipeline across two seas to pump cheap gas to Europe? How dare they? So it is ‘2’. Maybe next year they will do better, start digging Turkmen-bashi…

    South Africa cancelled the planned Nuclear Power Station project by Rosatom ( after a series of saturating corruption allegations against the previous President)
    Hungary still plans to go ahead with their Russian Nuclear Power Station

    When they are eventually bribed or blackmailed into cancelling it, then I would expect all that Freedom to permeate through Hungarian society

  87. It also has a lot of oil, and was never Sovietized.

    It also doesn’t get 10% of it’s GDP from transit fees of gas, oil and other things from Russia you brainless POS

    “Sovietised” means highly educated and with with the best industry, infrastructure and range of industries in the entire Soviet space you demented fucktard….that it has somehow transformed into being one of the poorest ex Soviet countries and the poorest and stupidest in Europe

    It also has the might of the richest country backing it ( whilst Iran has had 40 years of the exact opposite plus a war killing millions)

    Unlike in Iran, it also has the luxury of the country that it stupidly declared war with still being it’s largest trading partner ( by far), it’s largest FDI, it’s largest sender of remittances and preferred source for using the internet ( as far as the authorities allow it)

    Grandparents visited before the revolution. Very, very nice place.

    Let me guess, for once a sick fantasist excrement as yourself is telling the truth….the previous shah( father of the one overthrown) supported the Nazis in WW2, your braindead sadist, turncoat fucktard Banderatard “grandparents” cynically tried to use it as a safehaven….but got told to f**k-off

  88. “Sovietised” means

    It means someone like you, Sovok. Ukraine was led by Sovoks after independence and this explains its sad state. As others have pointed out, the place in Ukriane with the best standard of living is the least Sovok part. This is not a coincidence.

    I advise you not to insult others’ relatives.

  89. The Freedom House shake-down casino number is similar to the Chinese social behaviour index, they are making sure that we know that they are tracking us. Although Chinese at least track stuff that one can understand like spitting on a staircase, or yelling at grandpa. Freedom guys probably just do some mumbo-jumbo and then refer to the State Department for guidance. It is also an amazing quasi-scientific techno innovation on the old protection racket. The old mafia guys were unsophisticated brutes.

    On a related issue, Don Pompeo is touring the Visegrad countries to advocate for more arms sales. He might gently suggest that the Freedom index could be higher if the right stuff is bought from the right people. Or if Orban would have an unfortunate accident.

  90. Good article, definitely worth a read. Some interesting details:

    -Mueller wasn’t interested in Butina; DC prosecutors picked up the case after he declined to pursue it
    -She was raided by the FBI once before her arrest; they found nothing
    -Claims that she was under heavy FSB surveillance while in Russia because Putin distrusts activists and dislikes guns
    -During the deterioration in US-Russian relations due to Ukraine Kremlin officials were talking about how Butina could be actively be shut down (apparently disclosed in a leak of hacked emails)
    -At one point FSB offered her a job (a note in her boyfriend’s home makes mention of this), but he says she wasn’t interested
    -She had a benefactor who paid her tuition to grad school, an American descendant of the Rockefeller family and longtime friend of Torshin’s; Torshin himself didn’t pay
    -The benefactor is a longtime agitator for improved US-Russian relations (hence his relationship with Torshin, whom he calls a “Gorbi guy” and fairly pro-American)
    -There was a guy who had a national security role in Trump’s campaign who tried to strike up a relationship with Butina, but she mostly ignored him (the author cites this as evidence that she wasn’t actually a real spy, who would have presumably jumped at the opportunity to cultivate that level of access)
    -The FBI agents who oversaw the investigation were a couple of yokels, one a former lab tech from Tennessee and the other a former TV anchor from Mississippi, who had 0 experience with espionage or organized crime investigations (the investigation into Torshin was due to alleged mafia links)

  91. John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan says

    Does anyone know of any good books about the Cuban Missile Crisis? I’m especially interested in anything that was written from an Eastern/Russian perspective.

  92. John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan says

    -She had a benefactor who paid her tuition to grad school, an American descendant of the Rockefeller family and longtime friend of Torshin’s; Torshin himself didn’t pay
    -The benefactor is a longtime agitator for improved US-Russian relations (hence his relationship with Torshin, whom he calls a “Gorbi guy” and fairly pro-American)

    Rockefeller’s are universally some of the worst scum in America. Their founder, William Avery Rockefeller, was a literal snake oil salesman on the frontier of western New York state and a man whose fondest habit in life was selling shit to weak-minded farmers until they went into debt. Then he would buy up their foreclosed farms (part of the eternal American struggle between the capitalist scumbag and the Jeffersonian (if often weak-minded) farmer). The family has gotten less redneck frontier colorful than that as they’ve become wealthy, but they’ve never stopped cursing the common people of America. They are a huge part of the various open and secret efforts to destroy normal Christian life in America and replace it with secular technocratic plutocracy. To be a Rockefeller is a badge of dishonor and a marker of untrustworthy sneakery. But, hey, if their goal was to destroy normal Christian life in America and make us into consumerist Pozistan, then, CONGRATS, ROCKEFELLER’S, ON A JOB WELL DONE.

    But, with all that said, it sounds like THIS Rockefeller got more of the traditional idiocy of the family – the Nelson Rockefeller side – as opposed to the genius conspirator side inherent in John D. 🙂


    The skilift is unbalanced, it needs the president of Ukraine on it, too.

  94. ImmortalRationalist says

    In A Short History of the Third Millennium, you assigned a 25% probability of a direct technosingularity, a 50% chance of a biosingularity to techosingularity, but only a 1% chance of eschaton through malevolant AGI. This implies that in the event of some form of techsingularity, there is only roughly a 1.3% chance of it being an existential threat. Why? Even if the Singularity takeoff is more likely to be soft and any potential risks resulting from it being able to be averted in time, there is still a non-negligible chance of the takeoff being hard, and we all get turned into paperclips before having any idea what’s happening. It seems absurd to assign this low a probability to AI risk.

    Another factor to consider is that, in the event of a technological singularity that leads to human extinction, what happens afterwards? Even if AI alignment is successful, Homo sapiens as it exists today will inevitably go extinct, being replaced with posthumans or something similar. In the event of creation of unfriendly AI, after killing off humanity, a superintelligence could either turn everything in its future light cone into utilitronium, or it could somehow create its own self destruction before it gets very far. Would you mind explaining in more detail where you draw the line between a superintelligence leading to “eschaton” and it not?

  95. Hippopotamusdrome says

    China’s next generation of weapons and military equipment nears readiness

    China plans to launch artificial moon bright enough to replace city’s streetlights by 2020

    Many Bhutans died to bring us this information.

  96. As a rumored hot take,

    FSB was flabbergasted by Butinas treatment because it was quite significantly worse then how they would have treated an equivalent American (or probably even an equivalent Russian).

    Paul Whelan btw. is not equivalent. It would appear that he insinuated to be CIA related in a conversation with a Russian in order to appear to be more important. The Russian then had the following thought process:

    Possibilities from that Russians pov.
    1: Whellan is CIA. He is also moronic enough to basically say so. Therefor, if I cooperate with him I lay my life in the hands of morons. Bad idea, better report this conversation.
    2: Whellan is FSB, and they want to see how I react to this kind of situation. In this situation, most definitly report this conversation.
    3: Whellan is essentially a random dude with pretension of being James Bond. In this case, I gain nothing by cooperating with him while taking no risks by reporting this conversation.

    So, he got “reported”, the FSB looked at him a bit (he was definitly not a usual person), did a classic sting, “look, this is a memory stick with classified Russian secrets, do you want it?” (this is a classical thing, being in posession of secret document is quite easy to prove, being a spy quite a bit less so), for which he fell. End of story.

    Rumor also has it that FSB offers courses on how to maximize western grant exploitation to secretely (and financially motivated) “patriotic” kreakls.

  97. Spisarevski says

    Paul Whelan btw. is not equivalent.

    He’s an innocent who was a fan of the country that arrested him. Seems like an exact equivalent to Butina, as far as choosing what kind of person to arrest.

    Of course the charges and the way they are brought up would be different.

  98. So how does a low level jarhead with a big chicken dinner (bad conduct discharge) end up head of security for a major international company? Anomalies that need explaining. Very good possibility he was recruited as an agent as he is one of the very few Americans in contact with Russian military and spooks.