AK

This website (akarlin.com) contains all the blog/website archives I have been able to get my hands on, everything that is too minor to go to my Substack but too big to just Tweet out, life observations and events, and most of my book reviews and travel writing.

Corruption, The American Way

So apparently an Ambassadorship costs $1.8 million per post in the US. In virtually any other country, even where the situation with corruption is quite dismal, such arrangements would be seen as unquestionably corrupt. And yet the US scores an entirely respectable 73/100 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), leagues above say Italy which gets […]

GCB2013 Released

Here it is. Or just skip the graphics and download the data in Excel here. I can’t say I care much about most of it. Of course most people everything think corruption is “increasing,” because they are a grumpy lot. What does matter is the number of people who report paying a bribe in the […]

Lessons From The Snowden Affair

(1) Just as with Manning, it is beyond dispute that Snowden broke US law. As such, the US government is perfectly entitled to try to apprehend him (on its own soil), request his extradition, and prosecute him. This is quite perpendicular to whether Snowden’s leaks were morally “justified” or not. In some sense, they were. […]

Of Rats and Men

This is a (very preliminary) prologue to a sci-fi novel I’ve been thinking of writing for some time. It’s called 100 YEARS TO VICTORY, but obviously liable to change. My sole question is: Would you continue reading the rest of this book? It’s been nearly a decade since I built my first cage. It was […]

Mapping The Dark Enlightenment

I’m a sucker for classification graphs, so I was delighted to see that “Another Reactionary Blog” had compiled a “map” of the neo-reactionary / “Dark Enlightenment” thinkers. It’s reproduced below: I’m not disappointed not to see myself there, as I blog about a lot of different things making classification quite hard. If I had to […]

Birth Defects, FBD Marriages

While researching a different topic I stumbled upon the following 2006 report on the Internet. It contains comprehensive estimates for the prevalence of birth defects all around the world. The relevant graph is reprinted below (you can click on it to get a bigger picture). What leaps out at first sight is the sheer extent […]

The Tsarnaev Brothers

Make of this what you will. (1) The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, never adjusted to life in the US. “I don’t have a single American friend,” he said. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had an understanding of US teen hood / SWPL culture. He was a 9/11 “truther.” That’s from the Twitter account. That said, he wasn’t […]

Delving Into Bitcoins And The Deep Web

Several days ago, the USD/BTC exchange rate soared to dizzying heights, reaching almost $250 for one unit of the virtual, decentralized currency. Then it crashed to $55. But since then, it has gone back up to $100. I’d heard of them before, but I had assumed it was some sort of pyramid, and that the […]

Book Review: Xin Liu – The Otherness Of Self

“The Otherness of Self” by Xin Liu, published in 2002. Rating: 1/5. I don’t want to sound overly demanding, but really, unless a writer is the next Kant or Heidegger, he owes it to his readers to make his prose at least minimally engaging. With this book on too many occasions I was under the […]

Book Review: Benjamin Schwartz – In Search Of Wealth And Power

In Search of Wealth and Power by Benjamin Schwartz, published in 1964. Rating: 4/5. In Search of Wealth and Power is a very dense but richly rewarding tome by Benjamin Schwartz, a noted China scholar. He focuses on the life of the translator Yan Fu to illustrate the culture clashes that arose when traditional Chinese civilization came into […]

Book Review: C.S. Friedman – Black Sun Rising

Black Sun Rising (Book 1 of the Coldfire Trilogy) by C.S. Friedman, published in 1991. Rating: 3/5. The Coldfire Trilogy is sometimes described as a successful fusion of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. So what better work to start reviewing on this site? I will be forthright: By far the most wondrous and intriguing element of this series […]

Margaret Thatcher, RIP

A friend on Facebook said it best: watches with amusement as people who think history is the result of transpersonal economic forces that determine individual consciousness get hung up on the supposed moral evil of one woman I am personally entirely neutral and indifferent to her. I have British acquaintances who are her fans, as well as […]