Russia’s Technological Backwardness

russia-tech-fantasy-and-reality

In his September 1, 2017 speech to incoming Russian schoolchildren, Putin made waves by proclaiming that whoever becomes the leader in AI will become “ruler of the world.” This provoked a variety of reactions, from Elon Musk commenting on his belief that competition for AI superiority will be the likeliest cause of World War III to discussions of the geopolitical aspects of the “control problem” at the more esoteric rationalist venues like /r/slatestarcodex. Many of the reactions were skeptical, citing Russia’s traditional weaknesses at commercializing its inventions. Nonetheless, Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky, who can hardly be called a Russia optimist, cautioned that Musk’s concerns be taken seriously, citing a range of civilian and military AI applications being developed in Russia.

But here’s another story that happened to unfold on the same day. Back in 2015, Sergey Chemezov, the head of Rostekh state technology corporation – one of Putin’s KGB chums from their time in 1980s East Germany – proudly presented the Russian President with one of his company’s latest “innovatory” offerings: A thin, double-screen, YotaPad-based tablet which was “of entirely Russian make”, meant to be used as an electronic textbook in schools. But they were actually made in Taiwan, and when the devices were distributed to some Russian schoolchildren at the start of the school year, it emerged that they took three minutes to start up, only worked with a stylus, and weighed 1.5 kilograms. According to an investigation by the online journal Znak, the device in question was actually a slightly rebranded version of the American device enTourage eDGe, an outdated and unsuccessful product from 2009 that could be bought wholesale for $20 apiece as of 2015 (you can still get it for $30 on Ebay today). Meanwhile, the official cost of the 8,000 tablets in the trial electronic textbook program was 24o million rubles, which translates to around $500 apiece. This isn’t even very impressive innovation so far as siphoning away taxpayer money into private pockets is concerned, to say nothing of technology.

So which of these stories best reflects the real state of Russian science and technology?

The one in which a technologically adept elite are seriously driving the development of things like strong AI and pondering on its world-historical consequences – or the one in which a clique of kleptocrats pay lip service to innovation while skimming off even the modest resources they bother investing into science and technology?

As per usual, I believe that the best guide aren’t anecdotes, which are the singular of “statistics,” but numbers, numbers, and more numbers in international comparison, as I did in 2006 with respect to China’s scientific/technological convergence with the United States in terms of indicators like published scientific articles published, the prevalence of industrial robots, and the number of supercomputers. I will repeat the same exercise, but with Russia.

Scientific Articles

The SJR maintains a database of scientific publications by country and subject for the past 20 years.

russia-global-scientific-articles

The Soviet Union in 1986 produced around 7.6% of the world’s scientific articles, which was a quarter of the American rate and comparable to other leading industrialized countries like the UK, Japan, West Germany, and France. In the wake of the brain drain and financial collapse in the wake of the USSR’s dissolution, this figure plummeted to below 3% by the mid-1990s and below 2% by the mid-2000s, in a drop made all the more remarkable by the absence of a “publish or perish” scientific culture in the erstwhile USSR. It was only in 2014 that Russia’s relative standing began to recover.

However, with 73,000 articles published in 2016, Russia remains far below the United States (602,000) and China (471,000), as well the bigger European countries like the UK (183,000), Germany (166,000), and France (113,000). As the 13th most scientifically productive country in the world, it is wedged in between South Korea and Brazil. This is true across the board. For instance, even in the sphere where Russia does best, in the Soviet mainstay of “Physics and Astronomy”, it is still only fourth in the world with 23,000 articles, well behind both China (79,000) and the United States (59,000).

Moreover, even the very modest overall figures conceal a yawning gap in some of the most recent and prospective spheres of modern science. Before worrying about the dangers of AI “eating us” – let alone fantasizing about “sharing this know-how with the entire world” – it would have perhaps served Putin better to first concern himself with the question of why Russia only published 552 papers in the field of AI in 2016, relative to 11,800 in China and 6,700 in the US. Another important sphere that is seeing blistering progress are the genomic sciences, some of whose applications – for instance, human germline engineering for higher IQ – will be world-transforming. Could Russia lead the world in producing “[genetically] spellchecked supermen“? With 690 published papers on Genetics to America’s 13,600 and China’s 9,600, 386 in Biotechnology to China’s 7,100 and America’s 6,400, and 350 in Bioengineering to China’s 6,600 and America’s 4,900, this question answers itself.

The state of affairs in the social sciences is even worse. While Russia’s two (sic) published articles in Women’s Studies in 2016 are nothing to worry about – sooner the converse – that’s about where the happy news ends. Not only do the social sciences suffer from all the other weaknesses of Russian science, but the Soviet legacy there is, if anything, negative value added.

For instance, one sphere that I am personally highly familiar with, psychometrics – the science of measuring mental capacities and processes – was declared a “bourgeois pseudoscience” in 1936, with research in it banned up until the 1970s (though they, unlike the geneticists, seem to have at least largely escaped Stalin’s murderous gaze). Consequently, pretty much all of it had to be re-imported wholesale from the West. While there are now some very good people working on psychometrics in Russia, they have to do it on ageing computers in a creaking building, and financed almost exclusively by European grants.

Far from atypical, this is a steady pattern in the social sciences. To take another example, consider Sinology. Many of the USSR’s leading Orientalists were executed in the late 1930s on spying charges (trumped up ones, I hope it goes without saying). Today, as China expert Alexander Gabuev explained in a couple of articles in Kommersant several years ago, which I summarized in a recent article for The Unz Review (The State of Russian Sinology: Past Chequered, Present Dismal, Future Uncertain), the field of China Studies in Russia is a minnow relative both to China Studies in the West, and to Russia Studies in China. And why should it be otherwise? As of when Gabuev wrote his overviews, the average salary of a docent at the prestigious Moscow State University’s Institute of Asian and African Studies was around $500. Consequently, there is a near total lack of expertise in the country that Kremlin talking points describe as Russia’s “strategic partner.” Though one can cite any number of amazing anecdotes from Gabuev’s articles, I will limit myself to just one. During the Russian-Chinese military exercises “Maritime Cooperation 2012,” the Chinese had nearly 200 young officers with a solid knowledge of Russian at hand to provide linguistic support; the Russians could only muster three translators, and presumably, the Russian GRU intelligence service’s sole China analyst wasn’t one of them. Consequently, not only is the Russian military’s degree of China expertise incomparably lower than America’s, but it is also likely far lower than the PLA’s understanding of the Russian military.

One observes a catastrophic lack of understanding of China across the entirety of the Russian ideological spectrum, not least as regards the extent to which their own country is falling behind.

Scientific Articles: Adjusted for Quality

But if Russia’s raw research output is nothing to write home about, it diminishes to near irrelevance when adjusted for quality.

Here’s one important thing you should know about our world if it were a Civilization playthrough: The Anglo-Saxons have won the Cultural Victory. The majority of cultural output in the world happens in the English language, and this rises to at least 95% so far as science and technology are concerned. The Germans were competitive earlier in the century, before the Nazis (and American demographics) ruined everything, and the Soviet Union maintained a technical mini-civilization partly secluded from the global mainstream, but since its collapse, the Anglo system has become the only game in town.

Most of the really important scientific research gets published in a handful of high-impact factor journals. If there is a proxy for modern day scientific productivity adjusted for quality, and without the generational lag problems that you encounter with the Nobel Prizes, then it is the number of articles an institution or country manages to publish in those elite journals, which are proxied by the Nature Index.

# Country Physics Chem Life Total
1 USA 4307 4567 6674 15157
2 China 1970 4025 795 6380
3 Germany 1411 1372 940 3593
4 UK 965 947 1126 3039
5 Japan 879 1116 581 2538
6 France 755 542 468 1811
7 Canada 315 421 483 1229
8 Switzerland 400 345 319 1019
9 South Korea 462 542 141 990
10 Spain 373 442 190 980
11 Italy 503 234 171 909
12 Australia 243 268 280 835
13 India 300 408 81 804
14 Netherlands 275 234 245 744
15 Sweden 152 140 181 452
16 Israel 175 132 162 442
17 Singapore 150 232 80 404
18 Russia 252 98 27 377
19 Belgium 123 114 112 336
20 Taiwan 134 157 57 332
21 Denmark 108 79 111 299
22 Austria 110 82 105 285
23 Brazil 144 34 57 246
24 Poland 114 74 18 204
25 Finland 70 42 52 160

Source: Nature Index, WFC 2016

The US absolutely dominates high-quality research, producing about a third of the world’s total, even though China has gained considerably ground, going from 9% of the global total in WFC 2012 to 14% as of today.

russia-global-share-nature-index

Despite modest improvements since 2012, Russia remains a complete minnow, accounting for less than 1% of elite global scientific research. It is worth noting that it lags China not only absolutely, but in per capita terms as well. In total, Russia produces as much elite level science as does Singapore, Belgium… and the University of Cambridge.

It is hard to imagine any plausible adjustment which would cardinally improve its position. Although it is possible that Russia’s scientific potential is somewhat underestimated by linguistic insularity and its incomplete integration with the global science scene, this is unlikely to be a major factor; since Russia is not actually a world scientific leader in any sphere but a few rather narrow areas of metallurgy and nuclear physics, much of the conversations that take place in exclusively Russian language journals will be outdated and useless. It is also likely that a significantly larger chunk of Russian scientific research relates to military applications than in most other countries, and is effectively “black.” That said, even we assume – very generously – that this underestimation is on the order of 50%, that would still mean that 146 million Russians produce fewer Science Points than the 8 million citizens of Switzerland. Even in Physics, its area of greatest relative strength, Russia barely manages to match Australia; as for the Life Sciences, it is nestled in between Czechia and Argentina.

This analysis is backed up by the performance of individual Russian institutions and scientists.

russia-top-10-nature-index

The most productive (and elite) Russian university, Moscow State University, is in 254th place on the Nature Index, alongside the likes of Oregon State University and the University of Liverpool; fine institutions though they might well be, they do not have a reputation as academic powerhouses. Although Russians tend to complain about the low positions of their universities on international rankings – and I will admit to having once espoused such beliefs myself – it is worth noting that since Moscow State University is 93rd on the latest ARWU Shanghai Ranking and 194th on the THES ranking, it would seem that if anything, the rankings overstate Russia’s performance.

There are a grand total of three Russia-based researchers in Clarivate Analytics’ database of highly cited researchers (of whom only one, Sergey V. Morozov, has his primary affiliation there; the other two primarily work in Spain and the United States). Amazingly, this means that there are as many Russian highly cited researchers in just one American university, U.C. Berkeley – Alexey Filippenko, Igor Grigoriev, Natalia Ivanova – as there are in the whole of Russia! In fairness, Russia’s BRICs rivals Brazil and India don’t do substantially better. However, China has long left its colleagues behind; there are almost 200 highly cited researchers who have their primary affiliation in the Heavenly Kingdom, who are producing 20% of the world’s high-impact academic publications as of 2016.

R&D/Academic Personnel

Russia spends a relatively low but far from catastrophic 1.1% of its GDP on R&D, which is similar to the Mediterranean and Visegrad countries. It also used to have one of the highest concentrations of researchers in the world, with almost 8/1,000 workers employed in R&D, which was higher than the equivalent figures in all the major OECD countries except Japan. Since then, this figure has declined to 6/1,000 even as the average OECD figures went up, so here Russia, too, now keeps company with the Mediterranean and Visegrad. Even so, this was hardly a disaster – the USSR overproduced “researchers” in the same way as it overproduced “doctors” and “engineers”, many of whom would have been mere nurses or technicians in the West. So the thinning out of a good fraction of those fake “researchers” should in theory have been a good thing, assuming that the system was purging itself of dead wood. But the reality was sooner the other way round. Due to the utter lack of prospects in Russian academia, the most talented either continued to emigrate West (with the bulk of that outflow occuring in the 1990s), or went into the private sector.

Many explanations have been proposed as to why Russian science has been in an unending death spiral. Some of the more ideological works cite factors such as the lack of democracy and human rights, and its estrangement from the West – as if Yeltsin’s Russia was a fount of innovation (or democracy, for that matter), while the scientific explosion in modern day China is a mirage (not to mention countless historical counterexamples, e.g. the most scientifically dynamic country in the world prior to World War I was authoritarian Wilhelmine Germany). In Becky Ferreira’s recent profile of Russian science for VICE, one researcher is quoted as saying the following: “If people really only went to countries which do not invade other countries and respect human rights, then they would stick to countries like Andorra or Bhutan… Maybe it sounds a bit cynical, but in my observation, most people in science are driven by opportunities. Regardless of whether such an attitude is moral or not, it is clear that science should be free of any politics.

No, the real reasons are much more banal: Money, or rather the lack thereof.

According to an exhaustive study of global academic salaries published in 2012, the average Russian academic received 2-4x less money than his equivalents in Visegrad, the Baltics, and even Kazakhstan, and an order of magnitude less than in the developed world.

academic-salary-by-country

SourcePaying the Professoriate by Philip G. Altbach et al. (2012).

Here is what the authors have to say about the practical consequences of this breadcrumbs-based approach to scientific funding:

In Russia, young faculty earn approximately 70 percent of the average wage in the workforce; professors’ salaries often fall 10 percent below the average wage of others in the workforce who have completed higher education. In most countries, a middle-class income generally depends on additional employment, either within the same institution, at another academic institution, or in nonacademic employment. All of this added pressure decreases the attractiveness of the academic career and will further deter the “best and brightest” from choosing academe.

Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the astounding prevalence of corruption in Russian academia. According to a Slate article by Leon Neyfakh, the Russian plagiarism detection project Dissernet has found improper borrowing in around 4% of all the dissertations defended in Russia. This doesn’t include plagiarism-free ghostwritten work: Ararat Osipian, a specialist in academic corruption, estimates that around a quarter of all dissertations written in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union were purchased.

There have also been private complaints of “ethnic capture” of certain Russian academic departments, primarily by Caucasians. To the best of my knowledge, this is an unquantified phenomenon (though it would not surprise me if this was true, since such a pattern has been confirmed in Italy, where as you go south – which is more corrupt – the incidence of identical surnames within university departments increases, indicating rising nepotism). However, consider the case of the Ingush. They produced six times fewer scientists per capita than Russians during the less corrupt Soviet period; today, their homeland is the highest unemployment, most subsidized region in Russia. And yet they somehow manage to have the highest concentration of postgrads per capita in all of Russia, around 50% more than in second-place Moscow. I will leave readers to draw their own conclusions.

As if the poverty level wages were not enough, the corruption and cronyism also cannot help but discourage the more talented and conscientious from academic careers.

R&D Equipment

The age when enthusiasts could jerry-rig their own scientific equipment are long gone. You need powerful supercomputers to simulate protein folding, climate change, and the integrity of your nuclear arsenal. You need high throughput sequencers to do serious experimental work in genetics.

But money isn’t any more forthcoming here than it is for salaries.

Supercomputers

Twice a year, the Top 500 website compiles a list of the world’s five hundred most powerful supercomputers. Since 2010, China has exploded out of the margins to overtake the United States – as of November 2017, it had 202 top supercomputers to America’s 143, and that included the world’s most powerful supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight, which runs on entirely Chinese processors.

top500-supercomputers-2017-nov

Table: Country Share of Top 500 supercomputers in November 2017

Russia’s performance is… rather underwhelming – its measly 0.6% global share of the world’s top 500 supercomputers is equivalent to Switzerland, and lower than that of Sweden, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia.

russia-top-500-supercomputers

Nor are the trends encouraging. While there was an uptick in Russia’s numbers of top 500 supercomputers to around 2% of the world total around 2010-2011, those figures have been dwindling ever since.

High Throughput sequencers

James Hadfield maintains a reasonably up to date map of the world’s high throughput DNA sequencers. The current version of the map isn’t easily readable, but here is a screenshot from 2013.

map-world-dna-sequencers

This is a very typical picture: A modest cluster in Moscow, while the rest of North Eurasia is a scientific desert.

Commercialization

Russia’s performance in patent applications isn’t too bad by global standards – comparable in per capita terms to the UK and France, much higher than in the BRICS minus China (and it’s not exactly a secret that many East Asian patents are of a spurious nature).

Patent applications (2015)
China 968,252
United States 288,335
Japan 258,839
Korea, Rep. 167,275
Germany 47,384
Russian Federation 29,269
United Kingdom 14,867
France 14,306
India 12,579
Turkey 5,352
Poland 4,676
Brazil 4,641

But you can’t realize ideas without money, and despite growing by leaps and bounds in the past decade, the Russian venture capital industry remains tiny from a global perspective.

europe-vc-funding-2016

In 2016, VC funding in Russia (€295 million) was at the level of Ireland (€367 million) and Finland (€324 million) in absolute terms, though a bit above sluggish and overly bureaucratic Italy (€162 million).

And this is relative to Europe, a continent that grossly underperforms relative to its wealth and demographics. According to another source, the old continent had just $14.4 billion worth of VC activity in 2015, relative to $72.3 billion in the United States, $49.2 billion in China, and $8.0 billion in India.

In per capita terms, this means that VC funding in Russia it is at just around 5% of the Chinese level and 1% of the American level.

This expresses itself across the entire range of the hi-tech sphere, but we will just focus on one of the most important and “hip” applications.

Artificial Intelligence Startups

Let’s go back to artificial intelligence, the brains behind the coming wave of automation. How does Russia stack up?

map-europe-artificial-intelligence-startups

It accounts for 13 of Europe’s estimated 409 AI startups as of mid-2017…

map-world-artificial-intelligence-startups

… or just 0.7% of the world’s 1951 total.

The US enjoys near total dominance in this sphere – with more than a thousand AI startups, it accounts for more than half of the world total. China is assuredly moving into second place position, hurtling past Japan and the major European countries.

Meanwhile, Russia is once again in the company of countries like Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland, who have less than 10% of its population.

ai-funding-china-triumph

According to a just released report by CB Insights, in 2017 China leapfrogged past the US to dominate global equity funding to AI startups. They are fast becoming the only two relevant countries in this sphere, with countries that are not China or the US accounting for a mere 13% of the global total.

Robotics

For all the lunacies of the Soviet economic system, their planners did at least appreciate the importance of robotics and their role in enhancing productivity in manufacturing.

world-robotics-history

SourceInternational Federation of Robotics – World Robotics 2005

At the time of its collapse, the USSR had an operational stock of around 60,000 multipurpose industrial robots. In practice, this is a very inflated figure – a large percentage were simple, even hand-operated tools that would not have been counted as industrial robots anywhere in the capitalist world. Still, the Soviet level of industrial robotization in the 1980s was at least broadly comparable to the developed world, and several orders of magnitude higher than in a China just emerging out of its Maoist slumber.

Until the early 2000s, the publicly available databases generally didn’t even include the numbers of industrial robots in Chinese factories, so small and insignificant were their quantities. But from the late 2000s, the robotization of Chinese industry began to explode. As of 2016, it accounted for about 30% of the world industrial robots market, overtook Japan to become the country with the world’s largest operational stock of multipurpose industrial robots, and leveled with the United Kingdom in robot density.

Conversely, it has since become hard to even find any specific data for Russia… According to the World Robotics 2013 – Industrial Robots report, Russia had an operational stock of around 1,771 multipurpose industrial robots as of 2012.

operation-stock-industrial-robots-2012

Source: World Robotics 2013 – Industrial Robots

world-robotics-2013-robot-density

Source: World Robotics 2013 – Industrial Robots (2011 data)

Russia’s (total!) figures are slightly higher than in Slovenia, but lower than in Slovakia. In per capita terms, the rate of robotization per worker in Russia in Russia hovers between that of India and Iran, and is far behind middle-income industrial countries like Turkey, Brazil, and Mexico, to say nothing of a China fast gallivanting its way up to the levels of its super-automated East Asian peers.

ifr-2018-robot-density

SourceInternational Federation of Robotics – Feb 2018 press release on robot density (2016 data)

The state of affairs today isn’t any better. A 2016 report from the Russian robotics association NAURR presents two different datasets about the rate of introduction of new robots onto the Russian market in recent years.

world-robotics-2015-russia-robots

Sales of robots in Russia, 2005-2014
Graph: World Robotics 2015

fanuc-russia-robots

Sales of robots in Russia, 2011-2014
Source: FANUC

Although they diverge somewhat in their assessments, the underlying picture is clear – only around 500 industrial robots are introduced into Russian industry per year as of 2014, accounting for a dismal 0.25% of the global total. This is about thrice less even than Brazil’s 1,300, and two orders of magnitude lower than in China, where 57,000 were sold in the same year. It is likewise highly unlikely that Russia saw any improvements since 2014, considering that this was when it fell into a two year recession.

According to the NAURR report, the top five countries for scientific publications about robotics are the United States, followed by China, Japan, Germany, and South Korea. While figures for Russia aren’t given, it is probably safe to say that it is about as irrelevant here as it is in AI.

Machine Tools

It would also be worthwhile to briefly survey the machine tool industry – a sector of special interest not only because of this its inherent technological sophistication, but also because of its strategic importance as the only part of the industrial economy that actually reproduces itself and makes everything else possible.

gardener-machine-tool-production

Source: Gardener Research – World Machine Tool Survey 2016

As you might expect, the lists of countries that dominate industrial robots and machine tools production – Japan, Korea, the Germanic lands, Italy, and increasingly, China – are highly similar. Russia is not an exception, accounting for just 0.6% of world machine tool production.

As with elite level science and robots, China has left Russia in the dust not only in absolute, but even per capita, terms.

world-share-machine-tool-production

Global share of machine tool production 1913-1995 (Brown – USA; Black – Germany; Green – Britain; Red – Russia; Purple – Japan; Yellow – China)
Source: genby

The Russian Federation also massively lags even the late USSR. As an autarkic military-industrial empire, the USSR understood the necessity of being able to make the machines that make all the other machines, bequeathing the Russian Federation with 2.8 million machine tools in 1992 upon its dissolution. Since then, that machine tool stock has inexorably depreciated, and as of 2013 constituted just 760,000 pieces, with the average age almost doubling from 12 years to 21 years.

Analysis

Since the end of the USSR, it has become clear that a chasm has opened up in in terms of scientific and technological output between Russia and the developed West.

This video juxtaposing the lumbering Robot Fyodor versus the agile Atlas built by Boston Dynamics seems like a good metaphor for what is perhaps the single biggest failure of Putinism in the past 18 years.

In comparison, any successes or failures in the Middle Eastern military adventures that pundits and commenters obsess over are basically irrelevant.

This is not to say that things are unremittingly bleak and getting worse.

The government has a strategic goal to get five of its universities into the global top 100 by 2020, to which end it has lavished significantly greater funding on its 21 most prospective universities. Consequently, academic salaries have greatly improved since 2013, at least in the elite institutions. They still don’t compare to the caviar feasts served up to Western professors, but at least they now constitute solid hunks of bread instead of the measly crumbs that were served up before.

There’s no very obvious reasons why Russia can’t succeed more at science. The average IQ relative to British norms is around 97, which might fall significantly short of Germanic and Anglo-Saxon (native!) averages, but isn’t really out of place relative to Mediterranean or East-Central European standards. Moreover, there are signs that Russia continues to enjoy a Flynn Effect, and besides, surely any minor disadvantage with respect to raw IQs is cancelled out by Russia’s traditionally very strong performance in international programming and mathematics contests.

Meanwhile, as regards industry, it is worth pointing out that Russia does consume around 2.7% of the world’s machine tools – it is, after all, the world’s eighth (or so) manufacturing power, not the gas station masquerading as a country of John McCain’s imagination. Infrastructure – roads, rail, airports – has genuinely gotten much better in the past decade, and with post-Soviet inflation finally tamed, Russia looks set for fairly vigorous growth.

But the problems holding Russia back are severe, and possibly intractable.

There remain strong financial and ultimately institutional barriers to unlocking Russia’s scientific potential. Putin and his clique seem to prefer lavishing resources on expensive status-signalling sporting events and white elephants as opposed to serious science and supercomputers. The former burnishes his prestige amongst simple people and provides endless opportunities to siphon away money to his Ozero chums – the latest lunatic project is to built a bridge for $10 billion to Sakhalin and its 500,000 people (a contract won by Arkady Rotenberg – who else?), which is about what the federal government spends on the Ministry of Education in a year – while the latter will only cause political trouble.

Ending corruption within academia would likewise seem a quixotic endeavor. While one can say much more on this topic, consider that PhD’s are no less a status symbol for the Russian elites than Mercedes cars and English boarding schools for their children. High-flyers found to have plagiarized their doctoral dissertations include no less than one in every nine members of the State Duma, and for that matter, Vladimir Putin himself. Waiting for these people to solve the problem of academic fraud is about as realistic as expecting them to solve corruption, or training foxes to guard hen houses. Nor is it possible to imagine a serious response to ethnic nepotism in academia in the land of Article 282, where you can be prosecuted just for arguing that the Caucasian republics should get fewer federal subsidies.

Finally, the absurdly low levels of robotization in industry raise serious questions about Russia’s political economy and its economic future. Why are Russian businesses loth to make serious moves towards automation in industry, even though Russia is, despite everything, a reasonably high IQ and well educated country? Is it because these require big capital investments that they are not willing to risk because of what they perceive as Russia’s environment of legal nihilism? It is correlated with Russian elites being the most apatride of any major civilization?

The importance of finding good answers and good solutions to these questions will only increase in the coming years and decades, as industry moves  towards greater and greater automation. It seems likely that the countries that will be most successful at this will also be those who are succeeding at robotization today. Will Russia fall into a low-income trap where low wages preclude automation, and low automation preclude greater productivity and wages? At any rate, it doesn’t seem to be the case that anyone in Russia is seriously thinking about this, at least beyond empty electoral slogans – even as Putin runs for his fourth and hopefully final term, his promise to create 25 million hi-tech jobs during the 2012 Presidential elections has been conveniently forgotten.

Now this is not to say that the problem is with the Putin regime and that its removal will improve things. The pro-Western liberal elites are at least as rapacious as the kremlins, no less authoritarian in spirit, and far less patriotic to boot. Although this post was primarily about Russia, feel free to go back through the hyperlinks and study the case of the Ukraine, where liberal “lustrators” have repeatedly won; it is almost Sub-Saharan Africa so far as advanced science, native hi-tech (as opposed to offshored work), and any sort of capital-intensive manufacturing that wasn’t bequeathed to it by the USSR is concerned. Even the Visegrad and Baltic nations don’t have much to write home about. While most of them – especially, Czechia, Estonia, and Poland – do substantially better than Russia on most of these metrics, they still hugely lag the developed West and have been left behind in the dust by the Chinese juggernaut.

I don’t propose any great over-arching solution to these problems. “More money for RAN, less money for the Rotenbergs” might be a nice slogan, but as they say, the devil is in the details.

However, a solid start would be to look at the statistics and acknowledge that a very big problem exists, which, unresolved, will continue to degrade Russia’s economic, industrial, and eventually military competitiveness.

Comments

  1. The bright side (despite all this), is that the country currently has massive amounts of wealth (from oil/gas and commodities exports), that can be used in the future to invest in education, science and development of future industries – and to rapidly improve situation.

    There is far more chance to ‘turn it around’, compared to other countries, due to this huge kind of resource endowment.

    But it is key this happens during the 2020s at the latest. Because by the 2030s, it could be highly probable that oil prices will be crashing during that decade.

    I copy paste below what I yesterday posted on this topic:

    ‘I don’t think there was any opportunity in the 1990s, because oil prices went down to $13 a barrel. The oil prices mean the 1990s always going to be a disaster decade, even without the political events.

    The opportunity now is to put the enormous oil, gas and commodities profits of today into a diversification of the economy and development of future industries, before the 2030s. Some Arab oil countries are also doing this.

    Probably during the 2030s, oil demand and therefore prices will be crashing like the 1990s – but due to proliferation of electric vehicles, and electrification even of shipping industries, which is on horizon during the 2030s decade.

    So the 2020s will be the key period to invest the enormous wealth generated from natural resources into developing future industries inside the country, before oil prices start to crash in the 2030s.’

  2. It is worth noting that it lags China not only absolutely, but in per capita terms as well. In total, Russia produces as much elite level science as does Singapore, Belgium… and the University of Cambridge.

    It’s amazing that University of Cambridge contains seldom 6,645 staff (across all subjects – including non-scientific), and are yet producing this quantity of publications for science.

    Demonstrates how much you can achieve with even small numbers of people who have the adequate institution, financial investment and work-ethics.

  3. Something is very fishy about Russia’s poor lace in the university rankings. My nephew studies at Mekh-mat in Moscow – he chose it with the view that it was certainly not inferior to MIT or Princeton. I suspect that for whatever reason post-Soviet schools are really underestimated in that ranking.

  4. Greasy William says
    1. Artificial Intelligence is gay.
    2. China has an average IQ of 105 and such a massive population that you would expect them to be number 1 or 2 anyway. Here you can see the much more relevant list of scientific papers per capita in which Russia is actually ahead of China: https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/20k5dk/top_40_countries_by_the_number_of_scientific/

    3. The US recruits elites scientists, researchers and engineers from all over the world so that gives it an unfair advantage and really Russia, which is not in position to recruit foreign talent, should only be compared to countries that are not the US or Singapore because those nations both have massive recruitment to drive up their scientific output.

    4. You touched on the problem in your article: Russian GDP per capita is 8,800 USD per person (PPP is stupid, I don’t use it). If Russia really wants to up it’s scientific output, it should focus on raising it’s GDP per capita.

    5. You mention in the article that Russia is primed for strong growth in the upcoming decade but I’m not so sure. And the reason I have my doubts is because of the example country of Chile: Chileans are almost as smart as Russians, are about as resource rich per capita and from an terms of economic policy have done absolutely everything right and yet the Chilean economy still blows.

    So yes, on paper we would expect strong growth in the Russian economy over the next decade, but couldn’t we say the same for Chile?

    1. It is no coincidence that Iran isn’t ranked in any of those charts (except, ironically, in the per capita list that I posted). Iranians have always been a very backwards and stupid people. They have been around for like 3000 years and in all that time have produced nothing except some hideous architecture, overpriced, flea carrying rugs and crappy, foul smelling food.
  5. Greasy William says

    Probably during the 2030s, oil demand and therefore prices will be crashing like the 1990s – but due to proliferation of electric vehicles, and electrification even of shipping industries, which is on horizon during the 2030s decade.

    Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There are no alternatives to fossil fuels. When the oil runs out, we die. End of discussion. Widespread electrification will always be a pipe dream.

  6. Polish Perspective says

    Something is very fishy about Russia’s poor lace in the university rankings. My nephew studies at Mekh-mat in Moscow – he chose it with the view that it was certainly not inferior to MIT or Princeton.

    You have to distinguish between teaching and research. I’ve spoken to many Polish exchange students who were utterly shocked at the lax standards of teaching even at supposedly prestigious institutions in the US, at least on the undergrad level. Remember, rankings for universities is disproportionately made up of just research output.

    A large and growing share of top researchers in the Anglo-Sphere are no longer natives but imported from abroad. This is even leading to minor hysteria with regards to Chinese nationals, in Australia but also in the US. But beyond the Chinese students, you have increasingly Indian, Vietnamese as well as a whole host of other nationalities, from all over the world, congregating in these universities.

    One should also keep in mind that not every country is concentrating its research output into universities the way Anglo-Saxon nations tend to do. Germany’s universities are quite mediocre if you blindly look at university rankings, but Germany has a significant amount of elite research centers like the Max Planck Institutes, the same is true in France, which are poorly captured in these university rankings.

  7. Daniel Chieh says

    I recollect that Russia tends to dominate coding contests and a casual search affirmed that:

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/428610/in-the-olympics-of-algorithms-a-russian-keeps-winning-gold/

    I imagine that this should also translate into an advantage for algorithm development, which ought to support a number of other applications. I don’t believe that is a solved problem yet and it indicates that the talent is definitely there – what’s absent is just the money and other infrastructural support.

  8. Polish Perspective says

    before oil prices start to crash in the 2030s.

    Two things.

    First, you can do a lot more with oil than just use it as transportation fuel. One of my favourite quotes from one of the former IEA executives was that “using oil for cars is like burning Picassos for home heating”. A tongue in cheek statement which nevertheless hints at the enormous versatility of oil and how we are in many ways not using it to its fullest potential. There will be many use cases for oil long into the future, even beyond cars.

    Second, even just looking at the immediate next few decades, keep in mind that it takes roughly 20 years to completely change a car fleet and that’s from the moment you get 100% EV sales. The world is currently at 1.3% or so of total new car sales. Even if we assume this will grow by 50% per year, it will still take plenty of years until we get 100% EV sales. And then you need to change the legacy car fleet. The vast bulk of new car sales in developing countries are still ICE vehicles. This will remain true for decades, since they lag behind technologically (save for China). Of course, you can begin to dent prices even before 100% EV sales, but this has to be matched to the fact that you have to service an ever-increasing car fleet – almost all of it coming from developing countries – as an aggregate going forward.

    On top of that, years of under investment in oil exploration will reduce capacity additions going forward, thereby pushing up the price. I would be skeptical of doomster scenarios for oil prices. But I do agree that oil will be less important going forward than it has been, while still being a net addition for several decades (although a diminishing one) for whoever has it and uses it intelligently.

    As always, the biggest and greatest resource a nation can have is human capital. Russia does very well there. But human capital is not enough, how you use it is equally important. Russia does less well there, but that also means there’s plenty of room for improvements.

    As a sidenote, demographics in terms of quantity is overrated for economic growth.

  9. If Russia really wants to up it’s scientific output, it should focus on raising it’s GDP per capita.

    You can’t “focus on” raising an aggregate value.

  10. There is only one way Russia can solve this problem: gradually raise its wealth over the course of the next generation by any unglamorous means.

    Every nation that now is a scientific powerhouse went through this. For example, China started with making plastic toys and flimsy umbrellas that broke after one rainfall. Russia can’t do that but instead it can grow a lot of wheat and sell it to Egypt, or something. Whatever works. Selling oil and gas too, of course. (BTW, extracting technology is no less high tech than you AI.)

    Once you have money, you can do anything. You can spend it on science; waste it on “AI startups;” you can buy robots, buy people who know how to make robots, buy publicity about your awesome army of robots… Anything you like.

  11. Good to see Karlin taking a more nuanced perspective of various metrics.

    Regarding Nature, the higher ratio for European countries for AC relative to FC suggests to me higher levels of international collaboration relative to a more insular country like Japan. This is one of the reasons why I argued before that high level Nature metrics actually understate the impact of elite Japanese science.

    Case in point. On a per capita basis Japan seems to publish as much as Italy or Spain in Nature. It’s exceeded by countries like Canada per capita wise. Japanese papers also don’t receive the same number of average citations across a range of different fields compared to papers in Western countries.

    Yet when it comes to elite world class scientists, Japan clearly excels compared to countries like Spain or Italy, as evidenced by its surge in Nobel laureates since 2000 and by the pool of potential future Nobel laureates. So as I stated before, while Nature data certainly is non-trivial, it probably needs some interpretation in order to account for country specific idiosyncrasies.

  12. In per capita terms, the rate of robotization per worker in Russia in Russia hovers between that of India and Iran

    Ethnic Convergence.

  13. Daniel Chieh says

    I don’t think that is the complete answer, but there’s definitely truth in that – its the only explanation that one would have, for example, why Saudi Arabia is still holding on at #31 at the Nature index, between Ireland and Argentina.

  14. There’s no very obvious reasons why Russia can’t succeed more at science. The average IQ relative to British norms is around 97, which might fall significantly short of Germanic and Anglo-Saxon (native!) averages, but isn’t really out of place relative to Mediterranean or East-Central European standards.

    I never found PISA data compelling as super accurate measures of national IQ as Karlin seems to believe. I’m skeptical that the conclusion that average Russian IQ is only 97 relative to an Anglo average of 100 is valid.

    There’s plenty of evidence suggesting that Russia actually has a fair amount of tail end talent. Coding competitions are one such data point. The other would be on the International Mathematics Olympiad, where I believe over the past 25 years or so, Russian performance has been exceeded only by that of the USA and China.

    So in contrast to the strong HBD position I took in my article on the math/verbal split, let me point out that yes, institutional factors surely can also play a critical role. Of course, as anyone even remotely acquainted with the Cultural Revolution can attest, this should hardly be a surprising fact.

  15. Dan Hayes says

    Anatoly,

    I labor under the impression that Russia has a very credible military-industrial complex vis-a-vis the United States. (Said other ways: Russia is not a Paper Tiger. Russia is a major military adversary which in some military spheres is more advanced than the US.)

    If my supposition is correct, how can that be the case in view of the presented weaknesses of Russia’s scientific, engineering and manufacturing base?

    One answer could be that Russia has put all its eggs in one basket. I don’t buy that since by the criteria you have presented, almost all the eggs are puny and lack nourishment.

    Another answer could be that the supposedly corrupt Russian military/industrial complex is more efficient than its bloated US competitor?

    Just asking. Your thoughts/comments (or that of any UR correspondent) would be very much appreciated.

  16. Obviously Russia is afflicted with almost terminal case of “Dutch decease”. You combine that with Putin’s ultra-liberal approach to free trade, and death of Russian manufacturing is all but inevitable. Only severe economic sanctions placed on Russia by the West can rectify this situation (need is the mother of invention, after all). We’ve seen first tentative results of such recovery, but it’s not even close to enough. Let’s hope the sanctions regime becomes permanent and even tightens. Only then Russia will really flourish.

  17. AK wrote :

    The US absolutely dominates high-quality research, producing about a third of the world’s total,

    True, but many of these are foreign-born people who migrated to the US. Chinese, Indian, and Russian.

    US blacks continue to be absent, and US whites are contributing less and less unless you count US Jews as whites.

  18. A large and growing share of top researchers in the Anglo-Sphere are no longer natives but imported from abroad.

    Of course.

    A huge portion of the US blockchain scene is Russian.

    Of the US AI scene, 40% is Indian, and if you add Indians and Russians, these two groups are 60+%.

    White Americans are a surprisingly small share of ‘American’ research output now. And don’t even talk about black Americans.

  19. Yup, that’s a point I’ve made both in my article and elsewhere, although my focus was more on Chinese Americans. The entire debate about America versus China or East Asia misses the obvious fact that while Americans are largely absent from East Asian science, East Asians play a substantial role in the output of American science. So for instance when people talk about America’s role in the development of CRISPR-Cas9, they sometimes ignore the fact that one of the 3 names most associated with CRISPR is Feng Zhang, who along with Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuel Charpentier are the 3 individuals most likely to receive the Nobel prize for its development.

    Chinese and Indian Americans make up about 2.6% of the US population, but contribute significantly more than that to American STEM. At many elite tech companies in Silicon Valley for instance, anywhere from 30-50% of the workers in technical roles are Asian, and a good estimate is that that’s probably half Chinese and half Indian.

    Open question for either Karlin or some other enterprising reader, what % of American Nature FC output is from either ethnic Chinese or Indian authors?

  20. I distinctly remember reading about two russian scientists being accused of attempting to mine them some crypto on a govt nuclear supercomputer. Was it ZH?

  21. This one is actually easy to answer, as modern military technologies rely not so much on cutting-edge semiconductor production(for example) as on solid mathematic algorithms, where Russia is indeed traditionally strong as Anatoly points out. Physics of moving objects fast and exploding them with max energy output have been figured out long time ago.

    That being said, I`m skeptical on this AI mumbo-jumbo. Untold billions in funding, close to forty years of research now, and all they can show for it is a duh pattern matcher that in the end human still has to teach.

    …oh, and materials science in Russia seems to have never missed a step post-USSR if recent rocketry developments are the benchmark to go by. Important as hell for the military stuff.

  22. The Big Red Scary says

    My nephew studies at Mekh-mat in Moscow – he chose it with the view that it was certainly not inferior to MIT or Princeton.

    The best students in Moscow are comparable to those at MIT or Princeton, but the curriculum in Moscow is rather outdated (extremely so at Mekh-mat, which is stuck in some 1950s neverland) and can involve lots of busy work (especially at the Higher School of Economics, which is obsessed with “education technology” for its own sake).

    Fortunately for those who really want to learn, the formal aspects of education are mostly irrelevant except insofar as they distract you from real work. More relevant is a socially healthy scientific community of scientists, which still does exist in Moscow, at least in mathematics, physics, and computer science.

  23. The Big Red Scary says

    Anatoly, a bit tangential, but you didn’t mention Yandex, or the Yandex Academy:

    https://academy.yandex.ru/.

    The latter is quite promising in terms of real education, so far as I can tell. Basically, you should know mathematics at the level of the first two years of the Mekh-mat course (perhaps for the signaling), and then you can follow a serious course of machine learning during which you work on real projects.

    More stuff like this is, I think, part of a solution to the problems that you describe.

  24. The Big Red Scary says

    So in contrast to the strong HBD position I took in my article on the math/verbal split, let me point out that yes, institutional factors surely can also play a critical role.

    In the case of Russia, so far as I can tell, it is not official institutions so much as community organizing that has led to success in scientific competitions for young people. In every neighborhood and small town around Moscow, people organize scientific and artistic “circles” (кружки) for keen children, and that’s where talent seems to be nurtured.

  25. Lemurmaniac says

    The Putinreich invests just enough in mil/sec technology to keep running its oligarchy.

    Eventually, the legacy Soviet military R&D capacity will wither and die unless its embedded in a flourishing civilian (state and private) R&D eco-system.

    Russia will end up ‘that guy’ who runs around yelling about his nukes. It will still be a pain for the Atlantic bloc (because of the nukes) but in every other respect it will exist the world-historic stage if it can’t martial technological developments.

    Oh, and there’ll be loads of gooks and anti-racist policy.

  26. This is why they moving closer to Pakistan & Saker etc play up similarity to Islam।।

    I believe in Russia but will troll them as if they were Non Punjabi indians।।

  27. Circle jerk academia is the new white supremacy?

  28. Anonymous says

    The Indians are just the low level coders.

  29. reiner Tor says

    Another answer could be that the supposedly corrupt Russian military/industrial complex is more efficient than its bloated US competitor?

    One problem is that US military programs like the F-35 are spread around in all or most of the 50 states (so that they can have a solid majority of senators) and in most congressional house districts (so that they have a similar majority in the House), which could essentially be thought of as “bribing the electorate.” Probably a truly corrupt system where you need to bribe just a few or few dozens or even hundreds of decision-makers would be cheaper in that instance. And probably that’s what we’re seeing in the Russian MIC.

    Another point is that if there’s a sense of danger, corruption levels might decrease. In Ukraine, the military was one of the most corrupt institutions until 2014, and I think this is the only institution which managed to get less corrupt since then. Probably the sense that the military is truly needed for something helped a lot. Similarly, I think the perceived threat levels for the Russian military are relatively higher than in the US. They know that they are up against adversaries who outspend them by an order of magnitude (the US, and increasingly China), so they cannot afford to steal too much of it.

  30. Putin made waves by proclaiming that whoever becomes the leader in AI will become “ruler of the world.”

    The bad news he neglected to mention is that it is unlikely that Russia will become “ruler of the world”, because:

    (Russia) accounts for 13 of Europe’s estimated 409 AI startups as of mid-2017…

    While the UK accounts for 121 which is more than Germany, France, Italy and Russia combined. The UK also has the best universities in the EU and London is the financial capital of Europe, if not the world. The departure of Britain (Brexit) will leave the European Union quite diminished. And even more Catholic by percentage: post-Brexit EU will be over half Catholic, ~quarter atheist and only about 8% Protestant. While the Anglosphere is majority Protestant. And Russia is Orthodox.

    All these charts confirm the fact that the world has become bipolar with the two poles being the US and China. They are in a league of their own.

  31. Both PISA and Becker find Chile at be around 91.

  32. Sure, I briefly mentioned that in the article; which makes Russia’s underperformance all the more inexcusable.

  33. (BTW, extracting technology is no less high tech than you AI.)

    Correct.

    The problem, of course, is that despite being one of the world’s three largest oil extractors, Russian oil companies depend on Western oil service providers.

    Which would seem to confirm the point.

  34. He can’t help himself. Thomm is Indian wannabe supremacist here who hates white people though he will tell you that his anti white contempt is for the stupid ones only who he considers a separate race from the smart ones. His are hard to understand meanderings of post colonial mind in never ending search for compensation for past humiliations and indignities.

    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.

    Who can release them now,
    Who can reach the dead,
    Who can speak for the dumb?

  35. I think there are a few things to consider here:

    1. The military industrial sector having been the overwhelming focus of decades of Soviet capital and human capital investments.

    Rare civilian example would be nuclear power, where Russia remains highly competitive and even innovative.

    1. Military technology not having been as dynamic as most other sectors after the Cold War, so less scope to cardinally fall behind (especially having started off from such a strong position).

    This might not hold after 2025 or so, when newer technologies in which Russia has a weak presence (e.g. AI) start playing an increasingly dominant role.

    Despite its corruption, the Russian MIC is nonetheless probably more efficient than American-style corporate cronyism. Certainly it gets much more bang for its (non-PPP adjusted) bucks due to lower labor costs, and not having to maintain a globe-spanning network of bases.

  36. anonymous coward says

    “Publications for science” is not science.

  37. You have to distinguish between teaching and research. I’ve spoken to many Polish exchange students who were utterly shocked at the lax standards of teaching even at supposedly prestigious institutions in the US, at least on the undergrad level. Remember, rankings for universities is disproportionately made up of just research output

    Makes sense. My nephew is an undergrad, and is planning to pursue a doctorate at either MIT or, more likely, Princeton.

    Still, it just seems bizarre that MGU is ranked lower than the University of Florida on the Shanghai ranking, for example.

  38. TheJester says

    Anatoly,

    You repeatedly reference Russia being at a level of, let’s say, Switzerland in high-tech areas. One way of interpreting this is that Russia is like Switzerland with a large extraneous population just getting by in its massive “outback”.

    The United States is similar to this. The high-tech areas are highly concentrated in select locations (primarily on the coasts). Very few of them are in the so-called American “great flyover” that reminds me of the abandoned factories and decaying infrastructure of post-Soviet Eastern Europe.

    I once worked in state-level economic development. One of the tasks was to try to copy the success of the high-tech “triangles, corridors, and valleys” in the “flyover” state I worked for. One looks for formulas. However, it seems that each of the high-tech “triangles, corridors, and valleys” had its own unique history and conditions. There was no set formula. Things happened until each reached a critical mass in its specialty … and then things took off in a positive feedback system.

    Perhaps China succeeds by sheer mass, force of will, investment, and patience … as well as a willingness to steal high tech wherever they can find it. As in the days of the Soviet Union, this works well in a centrally planned, totalitarian society. It works less well in a market economy that limits the role of government.

  39. ThreeCranes says

    Here is a list of the countries’ accomplishments from The Nature Index weighted by population size. I took the total from column 4 and divided by % population as given in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population).

    Switzerland 9264
    Singapore 5459
    Denmark 3934
    Israel 3810
    U.K. 3534
    USA 3533
    Sweden“ 3477
    Germany 3296
    Netherlands 3292
    Australia 2553
    Canada 2524
    Austria 2377
    Belgium 2240
    Finland 2192
    France 2058
    Spain 1607
    Japan 1529
    S. Korea 1456
    Italy 1136
    Taiwan 1071
    Poland 400
    China 348
    Russia 195
    Brazil 90
    India 46

  40. anonymous coward says

    Since it looks like there’s nobody here with a real technical background and discussion veers towards vapor and hype, let me explain something about so-called “AI”:

    “AI” is nothing but a fancy name for what used to be called “applied statistics”. Everything about “AI” was already known 40 years ago. What’s new today is that we now have GPU’s (ironically, invented for playing video games) and statistics can be applied at a truly massive scale.

    (Where before statistics operated with thousands of data points we can now crunch millions and hundreds of millions.)

    Even more ironically, from the point of view of actual science, “AI research” is a regression, not progress. Inferring useful conclusions from hundreds of data points requires complex and nuanced math. When you have millions of data points, you can just throw plain old logistic regressions at the problem (the dumbest tool in the statistician toolbox) and get satisfactory results.

    Modern “AI” “research” consists of low-skilled math graduates cleaning up data manually. (A.k.a. “feature selection”.) It’s creative work, but certainly not science. 90% of the time it’s just blindly trying random features until you hit on something that gives slightly better results.

    P.S. “Deep learning”, a.k.a “neural networks” is just the snakeoil name for logistic regression, which dates back to the 1930’s.

  41. anonymous coward says

    Still, it just seems bizarre that MGU is ranked lower than the University of Florida on the Shanghai ranking, for example.

    It doesn’t if you know their methodology. They rank based on the number of published English-language research papers.

    MGU is not a research institute, they don’t publish papers and don’t hire faculty that don’t teach.

  42. Although this post was primarily about Russia, feel free to go back through the hyperlinks and study the case of the Ukraine, where liberal “lustrators” have repeatedly won; it might as well be Sub-Saharan Africa so far as advanced science, native hi-tech (as opposed to offshored work), and any sort of capital-intensive manufacturing that wasn’t bequeathed to it by the USSR is concerned.

    Unless you mean South Africa, then not really.

    University rankings:

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2018

    Ukraine ranks slightly ahead of Poland (I suspect both countries, like EE in general, are undervalued). Ukraine’s top university, in Kharkiv, is ranked 401-410. It’s number two university, in Kiev, (Taras Shevchenko National University) is tied with Poland’s number one (Warsaw) at 411-420. It’s number three (Kiev Polytechnic) beats Poland’s number three.

    In comparison, Russia’s St. Petersburg Polytechnic is also at 401-410, tied with Ukraine’s number one. It is Russia’s 11th.

    By your own charts, Ukraine has 2 AI hubs. Fewer than South Africa’s 4 but more than anywhere else in Africa, more than the Balkans outside Slovenia. Ukraine’s production of machines in 2014-2015 (crisis years, it has improved since then) was about the same as, and slightly lower than, that of Hungary, and higher than Romania. It was well above South Africa, even.

    Ukraine’s auto production is starting to pick up, with production doubling since last year. Increase is due to the Skoda plant in Uzhhorod (auto-making has seemingly died in Zaporozhye). There is plenty of IT R & D in Ukraine:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/09/07/why-building-rd-in-ukraine-is-a-great-idea/#2f8c9a7e7ea0

    Ukraine’s military research development, which had been stagnant during the Yanukovich years, has really picked up. It seems to be doing what Russia had been doing in the 2000s, dusting off and modernizing late Soviet-era projects.

    Here is an example of new development, funded by Saudis:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-unveils-new-tactical-missile-system.html

    Ukraine has started work on the development of its own hypersonic missiles. I imagine if Poland provided funding…

  43. ThreeCranes says

    “First, you can do a lot more with oil than just use it as transportation fuel. One of my favourite quotes from one of the former IEA executives was that “using oil for cars is like burning Picassos for home heating”.”

    Yes. And as that great patriot, Muammar Gaddafi, said many years ago when suggesting that the West wean itself from its bloated oil consumption which caused it to meddle in other-parts-of-the-world’s politics (paraphrased), “Oil is too valuable to burn”.

    You can see why they had to murder the guy.

  44. It doesn’t if you know their methodology. They rank based on the number of published English-language research papers.

    MGU is not a research institute, they don’t publish papers and don’t hire faculty that don’t teach.

    Okay, that makes sense, but in that case use of such a methodology to rank (implied) quality of education or of product (graduate) is strange.

  45. ThreeCranes says

    @Anatoly

    “However, a solid start would be to look at the statistics and acknowledge that a very big problem exists, which, unresolved, will continue to degrade Russia’s economic, industrial, and eventually military competitiveness.”

    And all of us owe you a heartfelt “Hat’s off” for your noble effort in putting this information together. It takes balls to look oneself (metaphorically speaking) in the mirror but it is indeed the first step in remedying whatever it is that ails a person (or institution).

  46. A bit beside the point of this article, but if you add up the 12 EU countries in the first list, you get 12812 publications. So in this respect not that far behind the United States, I would say.

    (Though I also think counting publications is a very rough measure of prowess indeed.)

  47. A beautiful poem. Poetry is wonderful for grasping complex thought.

    “World history is a battle between two forms of love. Love of self -to the point of destroying the world. And love of others -to the point of renouncing oneself. This battle, which could always be seen, is in progress now too.”

  48. Rat racing says

    What does the Russian security apparat need Sinologists for? China is their SCO ally. When you adhere to the customary international legal principle of friendly relations, and not US-type paranoia, you don’t waste effort spying on your allies. And Russia can stick to its comparative advantage because in any possible war, China’s industrial base will be at their disposal. That isn’t the case for the USA, the only possible threat. You only need defense-industrial autarky if you’re an isolated outlaw state. And Russia is the world’s leading advocate for rule of law.

  49. Polish Perspective says

    OT: In other, more recent news…

    https://i.imgur.com/u0gJYTL.png

  50. Daniel Chieh says

    Although America’s leading Russologists might disagree, speaking the language of the country you plan to interact with seems to help.

  51. Daniel Chieh says

    I believe that Mr. Karlin is quite familiar with the workings of machine learning, for what it is worth.

    But yes, its actually quite “dumb”(and have stated this a few times before). But it doesn’t make it on a practical level, any less useful and impressive because it has all of the usual advantages of technology: scalability and perfect memory. The ability to learn to recognize handwriting only needs to happen once, and then that can scale to any number of bank ATMs. Same goes for the digital knowledge someday to “recognize” a human’s head, how to “optimally operate a rifle,” and how to optimally operate said weapon toward a human’s head.

    General purpose AI isn’t within the foreseeable future, but so as long as the problem domain can be reasonably narrow, you can probably make a machine for that. And that, I think, represents a lot of problems in the world currently being solved less than efficiently by biological wetware that requires external training and can be distracted by loud noises and boobs.

  52. Anatoly – you realize you’ll eventually leave Russia. It’s just not the kind of place you wish it to be.

    You won’t be able to single handedly make it into a clone of Anglo Saxon technology worship. Not all places prioritize technology. Some just care less.

    The logical place for you is China – what are you waiting for? They value technology even more than America, and they have great Indian restaurants.

    I’m guessing within ten years you’ll be blogging from China.

  53. Daniel Chieh says

    Is there yet a thread that you have participated in where the conversation doesn’t somehow drift to the presumably superior abilities of the Han ethnicity(and Thomm, for his part, on Indians).

    Its quite annoying.

  54. Daniel Chieh says

    Ah, but it doesn’t matter anymore. The Anglos have won the cultural victory, therefore their values are the only ones that matter in this Civilization simulation in our reality. That’s why Kiev flipped civilizations – the Russian civilization just hasn’t been spamming enough Monuments and Great Works to impress them anymore. Perhaps in a hundred more turns, Moscow will flip too.

    Asking out of curiousity – have you been in Russia?

  55. anonymous coward says

    Science and technology are different things. So-called “AI research” is an impressive technological and engineering feat of putting statistics to everyday use, but it’s not science.

  56. Daniel Chieh says

    So when regression analysis from machine learning goes through innumerable genetic markers and finds one that is correlated to decreased performance on Stroop Test(but not IQ), but only if the child is firstborn, thus allowing researchers to investigate if said genetic marker triggers an obscure blood-antigen reaction to cause a negative impact on the executive function of the brain and presumably affects the prefrontal lobe in some fashion…

    Is this science or technology?

    A microscope is not only a tool, but insight into a world previously unseen, isn’t it?

  57. lol, yep that pretty much sums it up doesn’t it : )

    I’ve been to the Ukraine and much of Eastern Europe, but I have not had the honor yet of going to Russia. Would love to go. Moscow sounds like a fascinating and chaotic mega city.

    The more Anatoly laments Russian technological lag, the more intrigued I become.

  58. Daniel Chieh says

    Well, Moscow would contain a great proportion of technologically interested Russians, such as Mr. Karlin and the most attitudes of others such as him; this is not a recent development, and I’ve heard(from an Ossetian linguist) that it can be toxic sometimes in that it essentially brain drains everywhere else in Russia.

    Its the smaller towns and countryside outside that for better or worse, remain most enthralled with loose definitions of punctuality, interpersonal forms of governance and various traditional expectations often involving a ready supply of alcohol.

    You could also probably define the previous in less flattering terms.

  59. You’re free to ignore my comments instead of reading and responding to them.

  60. Yet you feel compelled to continue to read and comment on them, when our good friend Unz created a rather handy feature allowing you to ignore commenters entirely. 😉 One might think that a rational person would seek to avoid annoyance instead of actively subjecting themselves to it.

    People who do nothing but complain are the worst, but given that you frequent uh WN blogs quite often, I suppose it’s not too surprising that the phenomenon rubbed off on you…

  61. Daniel Chieh says

    Happily, I am also free to comment on how annoying they are.

    Just for that, I will play the Russian civilization in Civ and document how to use it to defeat a continent of East Asian civs. Even Gandhi. Especially Gandhi.

  62. Deep learning and logistic regression are most certainly not the same thing. You are a poseur.

  63. One thing to keep in mind is that even fully developed Southern European countries like Spain and Italy have similar problems (or rather, “Western” Europe and East Asia are positive outliers?), but they’re still nice places to live in by global and historical standards. As Anatoly mentioned in the article, even most other Eastern European countries are not that different from Russia.

    ==========================

    Thanks for the article, a great summary. Some of those positive trends, albeit modest, were well… a positive surprise. I guess the New Cold War could turn out to be a positive thing for Russia in more ways than one.

    Not that I know anything about the subject, but Italy’s venture capital funding seems to absurdly low… Like WTF.

    And that “Global Academic Salaries” comparison is just weird… Are those really in PPP? Because even the Chinese salaries are really low. And what is up with those Ethiopian, Nigerian, Indian, Brazilian and South African salaries?

  64. Mainland China is a great place for Anatoly to do his work except that there is the great firewall. VPN would be helpful but it’s just not convenient. Hong Kong would be an ideal alternative, and it probably has the best Indian food among Chinese cities.

  65. That’s a good point, but somehow gigantic chaotic cities manage to swallow up these objectionable types of people and not only make them irrelevant, but somehow part of the fun. For instance New York City is my favorite city in America despite having the worst kinds of people from my point of view – the sheer chaos is larger than anyone, almost like a wilderness.

    San Francisco and silicon valley, by contrast, are small, and sheer tedium – despite SF being stunning. The environment is small enough to be controlled and the bad atmosphere can’t get swallowed up in a larger wilderness like chaos.

    Still, I’d love to experience the Russian countryside. I’m sure it’s quirky and odd.

  66. Reducing AI to regression analysis and then dismissing it is disingenuous on your part. Just as well one could say that whole computer programming is merely a manipulation of 0,1 sequences. Such extremely reductionist statement tells us nothing programming just as the fact that human brains is just a bunch of molecules tells us nothing what it is and what it does. Every program is a 0,1 sequence. However AI are programs that are self-adapting and evolving under changing inputs and only in principle they could be written down explicitly but for practical reasons it is impossible. It is impossible to know how Go playing program is working in its every detail. You may have a neural net that can recognize faces and you can reduce it to large matrix of values on all nods of the network but by looking at this matrix you know nothing how it works and what change in one nod value may cause. You are unable to predict how the matrix will change if the same network is also burdened to learn also to distinguish a male face form a female face and whether its ability to recognize faces will be comprised by adding additional attribute to its function.

  67. Anatoly,

    I wish to thank you and Commentators @WHAT and @reiner Tor for their fact-filled responses to my request.

  68. Daniel Chieh says

    No, Yan, I do not frequent WN blogs. They are weak and sissy like your arms.

    I frequent atomophilic crypto-Teutonic warlord blogs aimed to maximize achievements in this reality simulation while opportunistically denigrating the inferior pig race for the superior cat race.

    Only when Mars is populated with glowing nazi furries will the Final Plan be complete.

  69. There is only one way Russia can solve this problem: gradually raise its wealth over the course of the next generation by any unglamorous means.

    The Russian Federation is vastly wealthy right now, and generates enormous quantities of money each year from exports of oil and gas, as well as other commodities materials (e.g. aluminium).

    That’s why the situation should be easy to turn around – and Russia is very lucky to have a second chance in this – , because science and education situation can be rapidly reversed by increase funding.

    Cost of Igor Sechin’s yacht alone could fund reverse brain-drain of dozens of high-level professors from America.

    The issue is one of priorities, as Karlin writes well in post.

    And I believe and am optimistic in the 2020s, there will be such a reversal, as people start to realize that oil demand will fall in the 2030s, and there will be more urgency to develop other industries.

  70. What is your point? Are you saying that AI is not the big deal most everyone in the know think it is?

    Deep learning”, a.k.a “neural networks” is just the snakeoil name for logistic regression

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-Neural-Networks-and-Deep-Learning

    https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/43538/difference-between-logistic-regression-and-neural-networks

  71. ThreeCranes says

    While I have nothing personally against the Chinese, America would be better off if the Chinese would return to their homeland, Jews to Israel, Mexicans to Mexico and blacks be put in their own private game preserves.

    Not only would our economy become more productive but our per capita standard of living would rise, our native genius would have room to express itself (since every Chinese student in our elite Universities displaces an equally qualified EuroAmerican), our social health indexes would improve and all you minorities would have no cause to gripe about how you are unappreciated and undervalued. Truly a win/win.

  72. First, you can do a lot more with oil than just use it as transportation fuel. One of my favourite quotes from one of the former IEA executives was that “using oil for cars is like burning Picassos for home heating”. A tongue in cheek statement which nevertheless hints at the enormous versatility of oil and how we are in many ways not using it to its fullest potential. There will be many use cases for oil long into the future, even beyond cars.

    Yes it’s a witty quote from the executive.

    But not really true – plastics only account for 4% of oil demand.* And in the future it will be more and more possible to recycle plastics.

    Oil will always be necessary in the future. But like most commodities markets, the price fluctuates wildly up and down in response to supply and demand.

    A surplus in supply to demand of a few million barrels of oil a day, can completely crash demand, resulting in kind of low prices occurred during 1990s. In relation to electrification of transport I’ll add a comment below.

    Second, even just looking at the immediate next few decades, keep in mind that it takes roughly 20 years to completely change a car fleet and that’s from the moment you get 100% EV sales. The world is currently at 1.3% or so of total new car sales. Even if we assume this will grow by 50% per year, it will still take plenty of years until we get 100% EV sales. And then you need to change the legacy car fleet. The vast bulk of new car sales in developing countries are still ICE vehicles. This will remain true for decades, since they lag behind technologically (save for China). Of course, you can begin to dent prices even before 100% EV sales, but this has to be matched to the fact that you have to service an ever-increasing car fleet – almost all of it coming from developing countries – as an aggregate going forward.

    There doesn’t have to be total changeover, or even majority changeover, to crash oil prices.

    Average driver uses up maybe 10 barrels of oil a year. So let’s say every 36 cars, will displace 1 barrel of oil a day.

    So every 36 million electric cars on road, will displace 1 million barrels of oil per day.

    Last oil price crash in 2014-2016 (which was a small crash – not like the 1980s/1990s oil glut -, but still enough to send economy into recession), was caused by surplus production of 2 million barrels of oil per day, sparked originally by unexpected gains of shale oil industry.

    In order to have similar price crash effect through oil demand, will then require only replacement of 72 million current cars, by electric vehicles.

    In America alone, there are 250 million cars/trucks.

    • The other issue to remember is that in the 2030s, there is also possibility of electrification of shipping industry.

    With this in mind, there is very possibility that the 2030s, will be significant oil price crashes occurring, not just like in 2014-2016, but more on the scale of the 1990s.

    This should give a strong urgency to efforts to channel current vast surplus wealth the country enjoys, into efforts for diversification. Otherwise, can see a repeat of what happened as a result (above the political events) of ‘1980s/1990s oil glut’.

  73. Happily, I am also free to comment on how annoying they are.

    Just for that, I will play the Russian civilization in Civ and document how to use it to defeat a continent of East Asian civs. Even Gandhi. Especially Gandhi.

    Lol maybe he has some degree of bias 🙂

    But let’s not scare away the venerable Yan Shen from our community. It’s an honour that he has descended to post here.

    This is first time I saw him posting in the Karlin forum. Usually he is only on the Sailer forum, where his more intelligent views are rapidly drowned out by the Americans.

  74. At the end of the day; what Mr. Karlin noted is still quite important – namely, that those Chinese and Indians want to come to the US and people from the US do not want to go over there.

    If one can win big in culture then one can attract various talented individuals to make up for what one naturally lacks. Almost every Syrian I have come across in the US has been a very successful doctor, businessman, etc. – which sucks for Syria, but what’re you gonna do?

    A similar dynamic is at play with Olympic results with the US – we field European women to win the gold in ice hockey, Asian girls for ice skating, and Black men for golds in track and field. Hell, if we can get some Central Asians recruited, we’ll do much better in weight-lifting.

    Han people have some great qualities; but put a Han in a cage with a Nigerian – well, my money’s not on the Han.

    I remember watching a documentary where they had interviews with Japanese veterans from WW2 who had captured Nigerians fighting for the Brits in the Asian theater (Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, etc.). They were simply amazed at how huge and muscular their captives were and that you could get the physical work out of one Nigerian about the same as like 3 or 4 Japanese.

    Peace.

  75. At the end of the day; what Mr. Karlin noted is still quite important – namely, that those Chinese and Indians want to come to the US and people from the US do not want to go over there.

    And they even take the women soldiers.

  76. the sheer chaos is larger than anyone, almost like a wilderness.

    I used to live in parts of LA and from what I can see about New York and LA – these cities are so complex, they can easily be considered more complex to run properly than a great many countries around the world.

    Peace.

  77. Yup – that too. I mean think about what a gem Russia lost with Igor Sikorsky…

  78. Another German Reader says
    • Russia doesn’t need to import of basic food for its’ own population.
    • Russia can fuel itself. No energy-import neccessary.

    • Russia’s social underclass is native to the country. No imported cultural/racial alien underclass, who are unable to compete with the natives and are a drag in all dimensions (education; crime; work-ethic). Even Russian Muslims are seeing the Motherland as their home. Russian security-apparatus is not hold back by stupid human-rights RoE. Uppity behaviour will be crackdown hard.

    • Russian military-manufacturing capacity is still very competitive. As long as Russia can maintain the ICBM/SLBM arsenal and their carrier-systems, there is nothing to worry about. The conventional sector is also good enough.

    Those 3 factors above means that Russia will stay an important player in the 21st century.

    The Confucian countries are already much stronger than the global media suggest. Even if you take a serious look at the laggard: the Vietnamese beat any Arab/Latino/SSAfrican country in socio-economic stats/dynamics. The Confucian sphere will become Number 1. No question about it.

    The Americans (USA & Cancucks) are already polarized/racialized/de-racialized. Without the Indian Brahmins & the Confucian migrants their civilian R&D-sector would already be uncompetitive.

    More and more Brahmins & Confucians are returning like turtles to India & Sinosphere. They take 30% hit in income-level or even startup their own company back home, rather that take a hit from Somali-American diversity-expert on non-consensual intercourse. It’s better get hit by Shanghai’s smog that by Jose’s/Tyrone’s proven method of Glock-approved income-transfer. Russia might soon see a similar trend.

    Western Europe won’t be able to keep up. If you visit any kindergarten/primary school you already see the breakdown of the middle-class. In many parts of Western Europe the schools breakdown to the following: 15% low-IQ Arabs/African; 2,5% smart Arab/African; 20% native Underclass; 10% E-European; 2,5% Confucian; 10% mixed; 20% native working-class; 20% native middle-class.

    But the European leaders/jounalists/mid-level bureaucrats don’t see it, because their children attend school with the smart/integrated fraction of migrant-children. Diversity works for them.

    So while the Chinese & Vietnamese are bringing golden-geese home and turn rice-farmers’ sons into engineers, the American & European working-class & middle-class is tormented (financially & psychological) by self-hating MSN-media, gender-BS and Arab-African enrichment. Can’t build R&D-centers in no-go-zones.

    Europe will also have to deal with an ever-increasing Youth-Bulge from SS-Africa. An ever-shrinking number of productive Natives & Migrants have to feed a growing restless underclass.

    Russia has alot to do to stay competitive and whatever the flaws of Putin & his minions are, they don’t import a foreign underclass.

    (Yes Yes I know, the migrant-workers from Central Asia. But is Russia burning 50 billion Euros per year to feed, police & shelter them like Germany? I don’t think so.)

    Russians survived the Civil War, Stalin’s madness, WW2 and the Soviet collapse. They will survive.

    Machine-Deep-learning so that Tinder can find the vegan, ManUnited-suporting, Alfa-Romeo-driving brunette twice-divorced single-mom for an one-night-stand for you? Yeah, okay.

    Six-axis Industrial robots for custom-ordered cloud-based dildo-production? Yeah, okay.

    Putin needs to spend the hard-earned tax-money on that, otherwise the Russians are going to remove him from power.

  79. ussr andy says

    this is un-PC, but here goes:

    One thing Russia could improve, and that shouldn’t cost a lot of money is this: improve the subjective quality of life.

    One thing most detrimental to which is crime.

    i.e. it must be possible, with say a professor’s salary – no matter how low in absolute terms – to live in a place where you don’t often run into gopniks and members of “small proud nations.”

    I.e., undo the integration of the 30’s (workers and peasants), 60′ (more workers and peasants) and the 90’s, get rid of projects etc.

    (Why is integration not a problem in America? First, because punishment is swift and severe (whereas in Russia, the menti will even try to talk you out of filing your complaint) and second, the brunt of the dysfunction is borne by working class people and where are they gonna go anyway?)

  80. Machine-Deep-learning so that Tinder can find the vegan, ManUnited-suporting, Alfa-Romeo-driving brunette twice-divorced single-mom for an one-night-stand for you? Yeah, okay.
    Six-axis Industrial robots for custom-ordered cloud-based dildo-production? Yeah, okay.

    LOOOOOOL! That was well-worth the price of admission!

    Peace.

  81. Couldn’t agree more.

    Although, it would be good if Anatoly could post how to achieve that “remedy”.
    Can’t expect that from the resident “Team Russia” for obvious reasons.

    I mean, it’s not that hard to point at what’s not good.
    Suggesting a method, offering a feasible plan, is quite another matter. What really matters, actually.

    Analogy would be a fat guy. Yes, it’s obvious.
    Diet, exercise…yes, of course. But, how? And for that very individual; what works for another maybe won’t work for this one.

    That…..a feasible PLAN….is something what’s missing on all this Internet chatting, not just for this topic.

  82. Yup – that too. I mean think about what a gem Russia lost with Igor Sikorsky…

    Maybe we can balance a fair deal – for every Sikorsky, send them ten of The Sakers 🙂

  83. It’s better get hit by Shanghai’s smog that by Jose’s/Tyrone’s proven method of Glock-approved income-transfer.

    Interestingly, despite the dreaded smog, Shanghai has an average life expectancy higher than most developed countries. I think the ranking is 4th in the world. Same goes to Beijing.

    http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/attachement/jpg/site1/20170329/00221917e13e1a453a7c1e.jpg

  84. This is graph seems mainly responding to changes in the price of oil.

  85. I thought Beijing was the city with the smog, not Shanghai?

  86. Couldn’t agree more.

    Although, it would be good if Anatoly could post how to achieve that “remedy”.
    Can’t expect that from the resident “Team Russia” for obvious reasons.

    I mean, it’s not that hard to point at what’s not good.
    Suggesting a method, offering a feasible plan, is quite another matter. What really matters, actually.

    Analogy would be a fat guy. Yes, it’s obvious.
    Diet, exercise…yes, of course. But, how? And for that very individual; what works for another maybe won’t work for this one.

    That…..a feasible PLAN….is something what’s missing on all this Internet chatting, not just for this topic.

    The overall is quite simple.

    We are talking about a situation, where currently is very fortunate to have enormous wealth, and annual income, in form of oil/gas and commodities exports.

    This enormous income is set to continue, but probably will be under threat during the 2030s.

    And we talking about a problem – e.g. brain-drain, where researchers are mainly responding to income disparities, that allow orders of magnitude higher incomes if you leave the country.

    The solution, for at least key parts of the puzzle (i.e. brain-drain), is just budget priorities.

    If only slightly higher fraction of enormous income being generates from commodities exports, could be diverted into providing higher incomes for researchers, then brain-drain can be prevented, or even reversed.

    The outcome is not pessimistic like for other countries that do not have this possibility. It’s a situation which can – and probably will be – reversed as more people see urgency for the future.

  87. Daniel Chieh says

    Smog is everywhere in the urban areas(minus Shenzhen, really), although Beijing has it the worst. This is dropping across the country, however:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/upshot/china-pollution-environment-longer-lives.html

    Although most regions outpaced their targets, the most populated cities had some of the greatest declines. Beijing’s readings on concentrations of fine particulates declined by 35 percent; Hebei Province’s capital city, Shijiazhuang, cut its concentration by 39 percent; and Baoding, called China’s most polluted city in 2015, reduced its concentration by 38 percent

    Note that these also use American embassy and consulate monitors, so they’re not just fudged numbers.

  88. If only slightly higher fraction of enormous income being generates from commodities exports, could be diverted into providing higher incomes for researchers, then brain-drain can be prevented, or even reversed.

    Purchasing price of Sechin’s yacht alone, could have hired 150 world class researchers, on a salary of $100,000 a year, for 10 years.

  89. MSM call it smog, and I have little reason to doubt it given that Shanghai is sort of located in the central plain where smog from the north can be easily spread out.

  90. PPP is stupid, I don’t use it


    IMHO, PPP is valid, just different from Exchange Rate GDP.

    Exchange Rate GDP per capita is a better measure of INTERNATIONAL financial power – capacity to invest abroad, capacity to import from abroad etc. Exchange rates fluctuate, often by a lot.

    PPP GDP per capita is a better measure of real-world tangible income/output WITHIN a given space – capacity to invest domestically, capacity to produce and consume domestically etc.
    PPP GDP has no WILD fluctuations, and thus more reflective of “the truth on the ground”. It closely tracks your domestic performance and your domestic home-country lifestyle.

    Let’s put it more crudely (but accurately):

    Want to invest in say Africa or South America? Want to import that new Mercedes Benz? You want a large Exchange Rate GDP, meaning your money stash is large internationally – foreigners take your money seriously.

    Want to do something (say a start a lab, foster an industry, build infrastructure, or buy a house) of value in your own country? You want a large PPP GDP per capita, meaning you really do have the actual resources to get it done domestically.

  91. Yeah and the same with those rich Gulf Arabs and their yachts. But minus the yacht they would probably just spend it on Barbie-doll $1000 -a-night hookers anyway – so, whatever…

    By the way, can you Russians and Slavs keep your women out of the Gulf countries? They’re making monkeys out of the men there. Just asking a favor, that’s all…then maybe the rich fools might think about spending the money on other things.

    Peace.

  92. Rat racing says

    Very true, but either country’s language can be the lingua franca, since both are UN official languages. The increasingly close technical and diplomatic collaboration of Russia and China suggests that communication is not a real problem.

  93. Please explain.

    I’ve never been out on the west coast (my loss) but NYC seems quite well run on the whole, mostly due to competent (and somewhat ethnically and otherwise nepotist, but who really cares) police, fire, etc. etc. services. LA seems rather pleasantly laid out and one of the few cities designed for the automobile (as I recall it was cited as an example of a “reasonably dispersed” city in the early days of the Cold War, which it would be if its water supply was not so easy to wreck). What makes them difficult to run? The infrastructure required to build a city in the desert in LA? The ethnic diversity and general don’t-care attitude of New Yorkers?

    Chaotic? Not really. Bombay, Colombo, Karachi– these cities might reasonably be called chaotic.

    NYC intellectual culture is depressingly drab and conformist on the whole but probably more vibrant than any of the above, possibly because intellectuals in those other cities ape New Yorkers, rather unfortunately.

  94. Yeah, large mega cities are actually wildernesses that are beyond the comprehension or control of anyone. That’s why they can be liberating and thrilling like the real wilderness.

    Although, I like the countryside as well.

  95. I wonder how Saudi Arabia’s planned mega-city will change its numbers if it gets built. My guess is the results would be embarrassing. I don’t know what sort of inducements they plan to offer, but it’s going to be a tough sell, in any case.

  96. What makes them difficult to run? The infrastructure required to build a city in the desert in LA? The ethnic diversity and general don’t-care attitude of New Yorkers?

    All of that.

    I didn’t say they were actually run badly – I said they were more complex to run than certain countries.
    If they weren’t run reasonably well, they would become urban nightmares that even the army would think twice about treading into.

    Just think about the logistics of what comes in and out of the Port of LA in San Pedro. They aren’t the only ones – I mean Mexico City, Karachi and London are easily more complex than certain countries to run. Now I’m not talking Belgium or something, I’m talking more about something like Mongolia or certain countries in Africa or South America.

    Peace.

  97. Clean air is only a question of costs.

    I view the state of China’s tap water as currently quite embarrassing. Tier one cities should have good water, if they want to be able to brag about anything.

  98. The overall is quite simple.
    The solution, for at least key parts of the puzzle (i.e. brain-drain), is just budget priorities.

    You sure? It’s…slightly…more complicated I think. Some would say even structural.

    Admit, you touched it here:

    Purchasing price of Sechin’s yacht alone, could have hired 150 world class researchers, on a salary of $100,000 a year, for 10 years.

    Now, from that point onward it gets a little tricky, doesn’t it?

  99. Italy and Spain are some of the greatest places to live for sure if you like to enjoy life, but a guy like Karlin needs to live in a place that ‘s very focused on technology.

    Italy and Spain would be ideal for someone like me, though.

  100. Daniel Chieh says

    Everything is a question of costs.

    Air is a more significant danger than water – which is safe to use, just not to drink unboiled in large quantities. Air is pretty much unavoidable short of purifiers/masks, so its a more important win.

    Water pollution is more challenging since its hard to know what effluents are in there(if it was just sewage, that would have been easy, but there are industrial pollutants). There are some ideas and projects on how to tackle this, but I wouldn’t expect to see anything huge until 2025 or so. There’s nothing about it technically that makes it impossible to solve, the challenge is how to scale up the process so its not cost-prohibitive on a municipal level. In some places, the treated water is safe, but the piping to endpoint is still suspect(but that’s not exclusively a China problem, all old pipes share this issue).

    The hardest form of pollution to deal with, ultimately, will be soil pollution.

  101. ThreeCranes says

    The records show that a team made up of near-the-best who pull together will outperform a team composed of prima donnas.

    E.g. the British industrial revolution was a joint effort involving inventors, investors, wealthy family sponsors, friends of scientific advancement, business owners and others. It was not merely the works of a few geniuses (though the lens of history all too often distorts by creating one or a few vanishing points in any picture of distant events).

    A crew of eight excellent rowers swinging together in synergistic harmony will beat eight superior oarsmen who haven’t trained together. The presence of many minorities in America who disrupt our communal rhythm with their incessant bickering and whining destroys the magic that synergy could work. It sets us at each other’s throats and makes it difficult to pass socially beneficial legislation such as universal health care.

  102. Philip Owen says

    I totally endorse what you’ve written. My first encounters with Russia were as an innovation consultant. The Russian Academy of Sciences asked me to look over 120 ideas that they thought were their best prospects for commercialisation. One was worth the effort, Keronite, a technique for hardening metal for which I found a home n F1 engine cylinders. On the whole, the average Russian PhD seemed to operate at the level of a diploma student when pursuing an independent project. To be fair, I found better work in some University departments, for example, in tissue optics, a field invented in Russia but it was down to “manual control” by individual rofessors inspiring their researchers. The confused nature of contracts between University staff and researchers left patent ownership uncertain so good ideas were often unexploitable. The best work was in defence orientated research institutes. I saw some current research at the demonstrator level, for example the world’s first FED colour display but no capability of getting beyond the lab bench. It would have been generous to describe the general condition of Russian engineering in the mid 1990’s as coming from the 1970’s. The same or worse applied to factories. This has changed. Darwinian principles have removed the worst performers and surviving factories borrowed heavily from 2004 to 2008 to re-equip especially in food processing and FMCG where investment was the only way to survive against foreign competition. But for too much of Russian industry there was too little competition as it sheltered behind local regulatory standards. I can believe in Russian rockets. I find it very difficult to believe in Russian lasers. Yes they had a big science base but almost no application base in the USSR. More I cannot divulge.

  103. in any possible war, China’s industrial base will be at their disposal


    Yes, but not in a straightforward sense. Not in a “China churning out colossal quantities of Russian designed weapons” sense, not unless the very Russian state were in danger of being annexed or dissolved by NATO.

    Instead, a more likely scenario is China supplying civilian goods and machinery to Russia in vast quantities, enabling Russia to put 100% of its still considerable economy into wartime production.

    Under full wartime-mobilization scenarios, this would effectively double (give or take) Russia’s war-making capacity. Instead of devoting some 50% of the total GDP to war, Russia could devote very close to EVERYTHING.

    All accomplished without China sending a single bullet in aid – “purely civilian trade”, if you will.

  104. Philip Owen says

    I totally endorse this. Russian teaching is excellent but research is extremely uneven, to be kind.

  105. Purchasing price of Sechin’s yacht alone, could have hired 150 world class researchers, on a salary of $100,000 a year, for 10 years.

    Now, from that point onward it gets a little tricky, doesn’t it?

    The money is generated by oil/gas and commodities exports in Russia, is of unimaginably vast amounts.

    The world’s largest exporter of gas. The world’s second largest exporter of oil. The world’s largest exporter of aluminium. Etc.

    There’s enough that the Kremlin elite can still live like kings – and at the same time fund massively science and education, to the extent of creating a reverse brain-drain.

    It’s just a question of understanding the urgency (which they will understand during the 2020s), and of diverting some small portion of this wealth each year to endowing universities so that they can pay the same salaries as in the US – and attract the world class researchers, and prevent the one’s still in country from leaving.

  106. Philip Owen says

    The transition will come much faster. Electric cars have far fewer moving parts. Service costs will plummet and lifetimes extend. The business model will change to leasing not purchase. The cost of motoring will fall dramatically.

  107. You would be surprised how bad US cops are at what you think they are good at. At least regionally. There are areas of US that look like paradise.

    Hence crime here is exploding too.

  108. Philip Owen says

    Russian project promoters tend to declare victory at launch or at least prototype production rather completion. Sciencethink rather than engineerthink. Underpromising and overdelivering is not a common combination in Russia.

  109. Daniel Chieh says

    There’s enough that the Kremlin elite can still live like kings – and at the same time fund massively science and education, to the extent of creating a reverse brain-drain.

    The issue, from what I infer from Mr. Karlin’s writings, is that the Kremlin elite appear not merely unpatriotic, but almost anti-patriotic. I’m reminded of LKY of Singapore lashing out in a meeting about his opposite number:

    “Don’t your children live in Australia, not Singapore?”

    “Yes, but..”

    “If you don’t want your children to grow up in Singapore, then you have no right to have an opinion in the future of Singapore.”

  110. If he blogs from Hong Kong, he’ll by travelling a lot, although a bit of that will be short hops on planes and high-speed/mag-lev trains.

    He’ll need to visit many, many Chinese cities and provinces to get the science and technology pulse, places like Shenzhen (okay, that’s right across the border from HK), Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Wuhan, Shandong, Dalian, Tianjin, Xian, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.

    Even just confining himself to the 3 largest innovation hubs (Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing) still entails covering very long distances

  111. During the 2020s, it seems quite possible that freight automobiles will begin to be electrified.

    In fact, there some prototypes already being experimented with .

    https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-semi-daimler-competition-actro-electric-truck

    This will become far more cost effective than diesel engines.

    And in the 2030s, I would already predict the electrification of shipping industries

    https://qz.com/1137026/chinas-first-all-electric-cargo-ship-is-going-to-be-used-to-transport-coal/

    Another thing to remember is that India and China both plan to shift into electric automobiles from 2030.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackperkowski/2017/10/10/china-raises-the-bar-with-new-electric-vehicle-rules/#2cc5513577ac

    There’s a Chinese city that is gone all its buses already are electric.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2017/11/12/100-electric-bus-fleet-shenzhen-pop-11-9-million-end-2017/

    So by the 2030s, we could easily see several million barrels of oil demand has been displaced per day.

    Again – for my calculation to displace 1 million barrels of oil per day is only requiring 36 million electric cars.

  112. Philip Owen says

    The roads are unbelievably bad.

  113. Daniel Chieh says

    I’ll say that you get to see much of what is interesting if you just do the Shenzhen/HK hop, something which a lot of workers already do.

    What’s your opinion on this, by the way? I think is been planned for some time. Huge win for Shenzhen, imo. My feeling is that they basically now have the entire province now to work by their standards.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/npc-2018-china-to-unveil-plan-for-coordinated-development-of-guangdong-hong-kong

  114. If you are talking about in the Russian countryside, well – that’s what horses are for.

    Peace.

  115. but put a Han in a cage with a Nigerian – well, my money’s not on the Han


    Heck, I wouldn’t even bet on an Icelander or Maori against a frickin’ NIGERIAN.

  116. Duke of Qin says

    One correction I have to make, but there is a huge difference in Chinese and Indian students that many are not aware of and their particular remigration patterns. The Chinese scholars often do move back to China, the Indians don’t. Westerners often assume Chinese and Indians are same same based off of very particularist immigrant patterns but as Anatoly himself has demonstrated, they are not. Just to give you an example but basically 6% of Beijing University students are in the USA around 4 years after graduation. The rates for an equivalent Indian school, IIT Mumbai are 67%. Even worse is that this discrepancy hides a time factor. Slightly higher percentages of BeiDa students end up in the US immediately after graduating but as the years pass more return. For Indian schools, it is the opposite as the more years it has been after matriculation the higher their chances of being in the US. That 6% brain drain shrinks with time and experience and they bring back best practices from the West. That 67% isn’t a brain drain as much as it is a brain tsunami and they not only don’t come back but those who didn’t get out continue to actively seek to leave.

  117. There’s enough that the Kremlin elite can still live like kings – and at the same time fund massively science and education, to the extent of creating a reverse brain-drain.

    It’s just a question of understanding the urgency (which they will understand during the 2020s), and of diverting some small portion of this wealth each year to endowing universities so that they can pay the same salaries as in the US – and attract the world class researchers, and prevent the one’s still in country from leaving.

    Excellent, then.

    We just now wait to see those elites understanding the urgency and diverting those funds.
    Hahaha….O.K.

    Moving on.

  118. The issue, from what I infer from Mr. Karlin’s writings, is that the Kremlin elite appear not merely unpatriotic, but almost anti-patriotic. I’m reminded of LKY of Singapore lashing out in a meeting about his opposite number:

    “Don’t your children live in Australia, not Singapore?”

    “Yes, but..”

    “If you don’t want your children to grow up in Singapore, then you have no right to have an opinion in the future of Singapore.”

    I don’t think anti-patriotic is the way to phrase. It’s more of contradiction.

    From personal experience anyway. I know a very rich girl from Peter and her father’s business is something to do with projects in China. Her father owns a lot of property, and she pays everywhere with a German bank account (i.e. money is not kept in the country).

    This is nice, geeky red-hair girl with glasses, who listens to Korean music – and complains about how she hates racism and antisemitism.

    So you would guess her views. But she is posting on social media patriotic kremlinbot stuff (this in 2013) about how everyone in the West wants to destroy Russia.

  119. Oh, that just adds to the adventure. I used to travel in Cambodia when even the main roads were dirt. You’d come across sections with these huge craters, and buses would have to detour through fields for miles. To cross rivers, they’d put buses on these small rickety wooden fishing boats, three of them tied together. It was absurd, seeing these giant buses on a rotting wooden platform on top of three ramshackle boats. It was great times. I’m sure the Russian countryside is a ton of fun.

  120. Duke of Qin says

    The native men were always monkeys to begin with, that’s why your religion mandates that your women are dressed in potato sacks. I have one hard and fast rule to judge if a people are capable of maintaining a modestly prosperous society. Are outgroup women safe from spontaneous sexual assaults among a random group of their men folk. This isn’t an evaluation of feminist indoctrination but rather self control, cooperative socialization, and future time orientation. If you can’t help but grab at the candy in front of you, your society is going to be shit.

  121. Shenzhen-Guangzhou is off to a great start, but it won’t be the only, or even necessarily premier urban/sci-tech hub, though it is in the running.

    I think most Mainlanders consider the long-term contest to be between the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei complex (the so-called “Jingjinji” region) and the Shanghai-Hangzhou complex.

    These two “regions” are crosses between “megalopolises” and medium-sized “countries” – huge, developing at breakneck velocity and both striving to attract “the best” talent they can. In both cases, increasingly globally. Add in the Shenzhen-Guangzhou region, and you have named all the Tier-One regions of China, at least currently.

    The other metropolises are not to be totally discounted. A lot of less glamorous innovation comes out of them, like genetically engineered hogs and chickens, ultra-high-performance concrete mixes, crops that can grow in desert conditions, anti-pollution, building materials, high-tech fabrics etc. – boring but lucrative stuff, and important to the over-all economy.

  122. ussr andy says

    yes, but Russia’s laws are really lax. “Rowdiness” for what in America would be assault, underage perps almost immune from anything (incidentally, a thing in which Russia is very European, whereas America seems to be more Old-Testament), very circumscribed limits on self-defense.

    Basically, Russia LARPs as a lefty Nordic country, therapeutic instead of retributive approaches to justice etc, but without having the demographics of a lefty Nordic country (huge native underclass, for one.)

  123. NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s planned city, could potentially be a good thing for the region, not just for the Saudis.

    It’ll be a Special Economic Zone with a different set of rules and laws, and run by potentially the most well-educated forward thinkers in the Kingdom, and of course any foreign talent they pay to come on board.

    So, NO Sharia, more rights for women, better legal protections for workers etc. If the prince, bin Salman, has the support of the military, clergy loyal to the House of Saud (and there are some), and the educated segment of Saudi Arabia, AND he can keep out the interference of the Wahhabis, it should work.

    One thing I noticed though, was the location. On the Red Sea, on the north-west corner of Saudi Arabia, close by Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. On the junction basically between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.

    Maybe most importantly, right smack dab on the planned route of the unfolding Maritime Silk Road.

  124. that’s why your religion mandates that your women are dressed in potato sacks.

    No – the religion always mandated hijab. These are hardly potato-sacks:
    https://shukronline.com/women/womens-spring-collection.html?limit=1000

    Modest? Yes.

    Head covering and modest dress was pretty much the norm across most pre-modern societies until relatively recently. A review of the paintings from various civilizations will put any questions to rest. Our religion mandates that because God has the prerogative of commanding His female servants to dress as He wills, just as He has the right to mandate from His male servants as He wills; take it up with Him if you have an issue – we aren’t about to change it because people have issues with modesty. Let your women dress as they will in your societies and deal with the consequences – have fun.

    Are outgroup women safe from spontaneous sexual assaults among a random group of their men folk.

    Depends on what society you are talking about; women do fairly fine in places like Jordan*, Morocco, Malaysia and Turkey – they do less fine in places like Egypt and Pakistan. My female co-workers have gone to places like Turkey and didn’t report a single negative thing. In certain Muslim cultures, like the Tuareg, the men dress even more modestly than the women.

    I don’t know why we should take your criticism of Muslim in toto seriously. If you have stats on certain countries we can have a more intelligent conversation. Here, I’ll start you off, there is an epidemic happening in Egypt right now with sexual harassment/assaults in public:

    Peace.

    *Note: Here is a travelogue by a lady who visited Jordan with just herself and her teenage daughter. According to you, they should have been raped about 20 times. Why does she report it as “spectacular, safe and friendly”?
    https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/nov/26/jordan-petra-amman-holiday-jerash-dead-sea

  125. Well it actually depends on which Nigerian; Igbo and Yoruba you might be fine.

    Hausa or Fulani, you’re going to have some very serious problems.
    https://static.pulse.ng/img/incoming/origs7699085/2886368777-w644-h960/7CCDB7B7-7E5C-49FF-AD57-B5BCF4F492AD-cx0-cy12-cw0-w1023-r1-s.jpg

    I remember seeing the Nigerians at the Hajj – very tall, naturally muscular guys.

    Peace.

  126. Hippopotamusdrome says

    They were simply amazed at how huge and muscular their captives were and that you could get the physical work out of one Nigerian about the same as like 3 or 4 Japanese.

    Yes, they have been the world’s go-to source of slaves for centuries not without reason.

  127. Duke of Qin says

    The religion mandated “covering of the hair” not even a Hijab, and it’s purpose was to protect Muslimas by identifying them as such because the native society liked to play grab ass with non kin women. The original function was akin to gang colors, to identify in group women as opposed to dirty kuffar women which Muslims could violate with impunity. Your taqiyah doesn’t work on me dude, you should probably recite your sermons that to your co-religionists in the Gulf as to why they are theologically wrong in mandating their women look like (fat) ninjas.

    Sunni Islam is prone to holiness spirals because it lacks a centralized authority to stop the fundamentalist poz with each mullah wanting to one up each other on how holy they are because theology dictates rule by the most “righteous”. Its one reason why Iranians are tolerable because trying to out holy the Ayatollah gets you hanged and that whole rule by lineal descent from Ali thing puts the kibbosh on how far holiness signalling can take you.

    As for a woman traveling without male escort with her prime child bearing age daughter claiming that it’s safe, give me a break. She is the exact same sort of idiot that would open the floodgates of Europe to more Muslim rapefugees. That nothing happened to her isn’t because where she went was safe (it isn’t) but because it wasn’t likely to happen statistically speaking, but was still completly reckless because of the far higher risk involved. Just because I step out into the middle of a lightning storm carrying a metal pole and don’t get zapped by lightning doesn’t make it a good idea. People are poor at thinking in terms of probability. Most muslims aren’t murderous jihadists, but it only takes a miniscule percentage of them to wreck the social cohesion and sense of public safety that permeates non muslim societies. It’s like publically pissing in a swimming pool. Sure the ratio of urine to water is probably only maybe 2 or 3 parts mer million so it realistically wont do any harm. It’s still going to drive out other swimmers though. Thats the deleterious effect muslims have non non muslim societies.

    1. Nature Index – 24 (equivalent to Estonia; but ok, a lot higher than SSA except S. Africa)
    2. Highly cited researchers, top500 supercomputers, sequencers – zero

    3. VC – non-existent in reports; probably a couple of million dollars

    4. Industrial robots – usually a dozen (!) shipments per year. (Russia: A still catastrophic 500). Approximately equal to Africa minus South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

    So okay, will admit that overall I overdid the Sub-Saharan Africa comparison. Still, the Ukraine is a scientific desert even relative to Russia, which in turn is a scientific desert relative to the West and now China.

  128. Ali Choudhury says

    Putin should have quit after his first two terms, he has been spinning his wheels ever since. The lack of any real opposition to United Russia means zilch will happen in terms of actual reform in making the country somewhere smart, productive, ambitious and law-abiding people want to live, create and invest in businesses, and raise their families. The country as is reminds me of Iran and Pakistan where a predatory elite calls the shots and is not particularly interested in fostering opportunities for the talented who look elsewhere to build their careers.

    As for Anatoly if he is going to leave, he should come to the UK despite our terrible internet speeds. We have the best Indian food, a sizeable Russian community and Moscow is not that far away.

  129. Well, you could extend this indefinitely. For instance, I’m sure that a disproportionate amount of Swiss achievement is concentrated in Zurich and Geneva; ergo for Massachusetts and the Silicon Valley in the US; either of which would put Russia’s “elite” region, Moscow, to shame.

  130. One more confirmation of Switzerland’s ridiculous overperformance on most things.

  131. I do indeed hope to do a China tour once I’m more financially stable and get some projects out of the way.

  132. The original function was akin to gang colors, to identify in group women as opposed to dirty kuffar women which Muslims could violate with impunity.

    No, actually it was as I explained – a religious ruling. Specifically for free women; Muslim slave women don’t have to cover their hair. Muslims can’t violate non-Muslim women with impunity, we can’t even touch them.

    Your taqiyah doesn’t work on me dude

    Great thanks – these aren’t the droids you are looking for…

    they are theologically wrong in mandating their women look like (fat) ninjas.

    They aren’t – some schools mandate niqab. The minimum all schools agree on is hijab – thus that is the lowest bar by consensus. So if the women in Yemen choose to adhere to the Shafi’i school, that’s up to them, why should I care – I don’t live life as if I have some God-given right to stare at another man’s wife.

    Look, I’m glad you have opinions on such matters, but if you want to have a serious conversation, then up your game. If you think Sunni Islam naturally tends towards Wahhabism – that’s fine with me. Again, why should I take you seriously? Especially when trends are totally going in the other direction – even the Saudis are asking questions:

    As for a woman traveling without male escort with her prime child bearing age daughter claiming that it’s safe, give me a break.

    OK – again, why should I accept your opinion over hers – have you been to Jordan?

    Thats the deleterious effect muslims have non non muslim societies.

    OK- if this is your contention just say so without coming up with a lot of un-backed assertions about Muslim lands you have never traveled to and a Mickey-Mouse understanding of the religion. Look, if you want us out of non-Muslim lands because we end up adversely affecting your ability to hookup with women by affecting the modesty factor in societies* – then call your representatives to have us kicked out. Just do it legally, the vast majority of us are law-abiding as you pointed out, we’ll file out in an orderly manner.

    And I know you have issues with Islam, but the women keep on converting – at three times the rate of men (like my wife who is a White convert and studying to get her alimiyyah degree in the Hanafi school)…so you’ve got to work harder about getting the message out because the baby-producing females don’t seem to be getting the message.

    Now I’m sure you have more opinions, but unless you back them up with facts and sources, why does your opinion carry more weight than the guy who fixed my plumbing? I mean, you’re not really a “duke” are you? And if you think I’m doing taqiyyah, why are you wasting your time with me if I’m just going to lie to you? Don’t you have some online MMORPG you can spend time on?

    *Note:
    “Furthermore, researchers found that the religious values of a Muslim majority in a country appear to have a significant influence on the sexual norms of the wider population. The findings show that every 1 percent increase in the percentage of Muslims in a country is associated with a 2 percent decrease in the likelihood of premarital sex for all residents, regardless of their religious identity.”
    http://www.medicaldaily.com/muslims-least-likely-engage-premarital-and-extramarital-sex-study-suggests-243190

  133. Very much look forward to hearing your reports.

  134. Interesting way to think about this, thanks.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-ev-oil-crisis/img/ev-predicting-crash.jpg

    Using this method, Bloomberg thinks the crash could come as early as 2023.

  135. Where does the magic number of 2 million barrels come form?

  136. I’d bet on the Icelander. They are ridiculously overrepresented in world strongman competitions for a nation of 300,000.

  137. She just sounds like a parrot.

  138. Thanks but no thanks, I am quite happy in Moscow.

    I have cause to visit London every now and then and I am not a big fan of it, having already done all the touristy stuff.

  139. Duke of Qin says

    You are right, why am I wasting time with a serial dissimulator, particularly an obnoxious subcontinental one at that? Enjoy laying waste to the West; not my homeland, not my problem.

  140. Enjoy laying waste to the West

    Yeah, we’ll let you know how French babies taste once we have the numbers to legalize halal-slaughtering them in our abattoirs.

    Probably like chicken…we’ll send some over and you can see if they taste like dog.

    Anyway – have a nice day as well.

  141. Putin should have quit after his first two terms, he has been spinning his wheels ever since. The lack of any real opposition to United Russia means zilch will happen in terms of actual reform in making the country somewhere smart, productive, ambitious and law-abiding people want to live, create and invest in businesses, and raise their families. The country as is reminds me of Iran and Pakistan where a predatory elite calls the shots and is not particularly interested in fostering opportunities for the talented who look elsewhere to build their careers.

    Agree.

  142. Jaakko Raipala says

    Switzerland has been the default location for pan-European science megaprojects – neutral, stable, centrally located and not a French-German flashpoint. (Belgium, in contrast, is the prime location for the political pan-European project because it has been a French-German flashpoint.) Eg. nearly every particle physicist in Europe is affiliated with CERN in one way or another because you need that giant particle accelerator and in Europe they’re built in Switzerland.

    If they’re placing articles in countries based on institutional affiliation or place of authors residence, Switzerland is going to get massively boosted by being the prime pan-European institute location. Also Russia is going to get punished in ratings by a lot of Russian authors working in European or American institutions but little to the other direction.

    A part of this pattern must simply be a map of English skills – universities in UK, US and the northwest corner of Europe with languages really close to English have been painless choices for scientists – and that means Russia is likely to improve with increasing English proficiency. (Of course that also means catching the poz.)

  143. Mitchell Porter says

    It’s a complicated world, always moving in several directions at once… America and Britain are very troubled societies in many ways, contain so many trends that ought to be bad for the long term – and yet the anglosphere still has this enormous lead in science, and specifically in artificial intelligence.

    Consider California. Almost half the population don’t speak English at home, many Americans would fight to prevent their own state becoming like California, and the state is perpetually at odds with the new national government – and yet it is also home to these ultra-rich goliaths of AI research.

    Or London! Native population being replaced by post-imperial immigrants, tightly surveilled scene of terror attacks, but also home of Deep Mind, which has been producing some of the most alarming advances in AI.

    China surely has a chance to be the place where superhuman AI is first produced, but America is unquestionably still in the lead. Along with all that native and imported brainpower, Americans seem uniquely willing to form radical technological subcultures that embrace the replacement of natural humanity with something else.

    So it makes me wonder how this coexists with all those supposedly deleterious trends like progressivism, indiscriminate immigration, and the formation of a liberal/Jewish/globalist elite.

    Is the American lead due to a legacy built up before the bad trends took over? Is the badness of the trends overstated – might they just be superficial troubles, rather than harbingers of America turning into Venezuela-with-nukes?

    Could they actually be of a piece with the futurist technological drive? Is an elite that is willing to fight its own legacy citizens, for the right to bring in millions of foreigners, just displaying the same extraordinary hubris and ruthless ambition required to spy on the whole world or commodify life itself?

    Or could it even be that the badness of the pozz is being overstated? That the multiracial, LGBT-friendly culture is a new viable equilibrium for a human society, rather than being a sign of decline and disintegration?

  144. VC – non-existent in reports; probably a couple of million dollars

    $265 million in 2017. Growth has been very high and 2017 is a very different world from 2015:

    http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/490157.html

    Total investment in Ukrainian IT companies reached $265 million in 2017, which is a 3.3-fold increase from 2016, according to a report of AVentures Capital after the publication of the Dealbook of Ukraine drafted in partnership with the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA), Ukrainian business angels network UAngels and Ukraine Digital News association.

    The largest deals disclosed in 2017 were $110 million of investments in Grammarly (from General Catalyst, IVP and Spark Capital), $30 million in BitFurry (from Credit China Fintech Holdings), $10 million in Petcube (from Almaz Capital, Y Combinator, AVentures Capital, U.Ventures, Digital Future and others) and $7 million in People.ai (from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Y Combinator and SV Angel).

  145. We have time for a full cycle. I expect another boom before the bust.

  146. Daniel Chieh says

    He has an extremely limited understanding of neurology and appears very fond of making statements without no sourcing. Myelination, mirror neurons, neurogenesis, astrocytes, genetically induced autism in monkeys, none of that exists in his world.

    It’s scary to think that there are people who find such a model of the brain to be realistic.

  147. I’d bet on the Icelander. They are ridiculously overrepresented in world strongman competitions for a nation of 300,000.

    Yes, but can they fight?

    When was the last time an Icelander won an Olympic gold medal in boxing, wrestling, Judo, or Tae Kwon Do? Or even fencing or a shooting event? I see that they have ONE bronze medal in Judo from 1984 (when the Commie bloc was on boycott, and that bloc was made up of Judo powerhouses).

    Absolute physical strength =/= superior fighting ability.

  148. Good point! Isn’t the guy who plays Gregor Clegane an Icelander?

    Peace.

  149. Trees grows from a seed, soil, water, and sunlight.

    The Russian tree isn’t getting proper nutrients from the soil. It’s not getting the proper sunlight and water.

    The problems are deeply cultural, spiritual, and habitual, and they cannot be fixed by bureaucracy or government policies alone. Now, the state can play a very important role, but even the health of the state depends on the culture. Culture shapes the character of those in government. Cultures shapes the character of those in school.

  150. Nice, liberal, but not less gullible to kremlin propaganda.

    And I’m not sure it’s common either – some connection between being multimillionaires and being anti-patriotic.

  151. you could get the physical work out of one Nigerian about the same as like 3 or 4 Japanese.

    Well, digging trenches ain’t fighting.

    Nigerians do well enough in combat sports compared to other Africans – 6 Olympic medals in boxing and 1 in Tae Kwon Do in its history (and 2 in weightlifting).

    Japan, though, has had 84 medals in Judo, 69 in wrestling, 5 in boxing, and 1 in Tae Kwon Do (and 6 in shooting and 5 in archery; and 14 in weightlifting).*

    And Nigeria has 50% greater population than Japan (at least today).

    *The Japanese aren’t the exception among East Asians. South Korea, with only a fraction of the population and dirt poor until the 1970’s, has had 39 medals in archery, 19 in Tae Kwon Do, 43 in Judo, 36 in wrestling, 16 in shooting, 11 in fencing, 20 in boxing, and 15 in weightlifting.

  152. It’s shitty tech. The deepest problem that nobody ever thinks about is the knowledge representation system (science). They all have static/fragile designs that self-crippling in the number of associations that can be built up because it’s just tech. I’ve never seen a neural-network capable of self-reflection and differentiation, among many other conceptual paradoxical forms humans have no problems thinking about.

    For example, if you knew the structural breakdown of the incoming input and have already processed it for the various layers emulating the visual system of the human, you’d already have the post processing structure setup that is required for the “functions” but you’d only need a matching algorithm just like the damn cortical columns that take in the various areas of the visual fields and the vectorized elements coming from the higher stage breakdowns… You end up with 800 million potential elements you can search for a match for, with the right data representation the most basic binary search function you can find your elements down any tree-branch and you’d end up with a few hundred required pattern matching elements you’d always be firing for… i.e. constantly validating the existing visual field for elements of change and identifying them but you’d never have to fire all 800 million unless you somehow shutdown and had to reboot the whole image — and even then you’d really only have to the number of elements in the imagine… This is why I hate CS and AI people, they brute force everything when you can work from a post processing standpoint and at that point you only have rudimentary functions that can easily be parallelized in a GPU/APU even on commodity hardware. The only limitation is that you really have to understand the mesh of representation and functional form that allows you to do knowledge based processing without algorithmic complexity…

  153. What is he selling with this BS?

  154. I think you just have a limited understanding epigenetics. Seriously? genetically induced autism in monkeys? That’s from what, 2005?

    Start here: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-fallible-mind/201701/the-pit-in-your-stomach-is-actually-your-second-brain

  155. Sure thing, but I was talking about your average Han and average Nigerian.

    If you are talking Olympic level athletes, then I’ll have to think things over before opining. These are quirky things. For instance, I know wrestling is huge in Senegal, but it is not the Greco-Roman kind so they don’t field competitors much at the Olympics.

    My boys took BJJ (Japanese in origin) so I definitely know one can take on someone bigger than them and win if they have the right skill set.

    Peace.

  156. What, did I upset you or something? I’m just sick of reading dated crap. Okay?

  157. Reminds of killing last summer of Andrey Drachov.

    He was national weight-lifting champion of Russia and Europe.

    Big weight lifting champion, got into street fight with a small (very weak looking) Muslim kung fu expert, and was ass kicked and killed in fight.

  158. Daniel Chieh says

    No, 2016.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/546036/first-monkeys-with-autism-created-in-china/

    Psychology Today, that highly respected website. Let’s see what other gems we can dig up:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/parenting-purpose/201803/how-homophobia-keeps-men-and-women-inside-their-gender

    Okay, I’m done with you. Enjoy your trolling and buzzwords.

  159. Daniel Chieh says

    Quite interesting – thank you. And yes, I do agree that the role of undramatic innovations such as the brine-resistant(and hopefully someday, brine-immune) rice breeds have outsized importance without hype.

  160. Isn’t the guy who plays Gregor Clegane an Icelander?

    Guys that big are often surprisingly easy to hurt or even kill.

    A lot of big guys are used to being bullies or avoiding fights through the intimidation factor alone. They are often not used to taking shots to the head and crumble pretty quickly when their noses or orbital bones get cracked.

    Also, as the saying goes in boxing, speed kills. In real fighting, speed matters more than raw power. In fact, there are several very important “intangible” things in fighting that matter more than more measurable things like power and even speed – timing and distancing, for example, let alone courage and remaining level-headed. And that’s just the striking part of the fighting.

    I grew up fighting in pre-Giuliani NYC. Having grown up doing Judo and boxing, I dropped many a large black guys in fights through both punching, kicking, and throwing, mostly because I was FAR more skilled than they were in fighting and because I have an extremely fast reflex (and I am not exactly small – I am 6’2″ and 190 lbs. +/_ 10 lbs. over the past 30 years). But, the two worst beatings I ever took were 1) I got mobbed by a large group of black youths once and got stomped pretty badly and 2) I got into a fight with a little Irish guy (probably around 5′ 7″ and 160 lbs. or so) and in my youthful arrogance underestimated him (I kinda chuckled at him, even). He caught me by surprise by eye-poking me (Jeet Kune Do-style finger jab to the eyes), kicked me in the groin, and then soccer-kicked my head. My friends told me I was out a while.

    I learned my lessons, of course (1. Don’t get into a fight with a mob of people and 2. Don’t underestimate even the little guy – anyone can drop you if you are careless).

    By the way, check out this video from the dinosaur days of early Brazilian Jujitsu in the U.S. This was a challenge fight between a bodybuilder and Pedro Sauer (a Rickson Gracie black belt whom I know):

  161. “The records show that a team made up of near-the-best who pull together will outperform a team composed of prima donnas.”

    More bullshit.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289616303282

    “The experiments instead showed that higher individual IQ enhances group performance such that individual IQ determined 100% of latent group-IQ. “

  162. Lol @ guy not being aware of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Microbiome_Project

    I guess this is some old guy so never mind. This is why I hang out with young people under 35. Old people are stuck in the past.

    Thanks,
    Stanford University PhD

  163. They are often not used to taking shots to the head and crumble pretty quickly when their noses or orbital bones get cracked.

    Best experience I got from my Tae Kwon Do days was not that I was really good but the sparring was of tremendous benefit in fighting the fight-or-flight response and knowing how to take a hit and how to keep one’s guard up.

    Even the current young brothers who run the Gracie BJJ franchise having learned from uncles and grandfather say DO NOT get into a fight with a crowd – try to drop the first guy (if you have to) and run.

    Peace.

  164. a small (very weak looking) Muslim kung fu expert

    That wasn’t Kung Fu. That was straight-up Karate/Tae Kwon Do/Kickboxing-style kicks. First he threw a roundhouse kick (“Mawashi-geri” in Japanese) and seems to have missed barely, but that allowed him to range his opponent. He followed up with a spinning back kick (which is a very high torque kick – it generates a ridiculous amount of power, far greater than any punch) that connected flush. After that, he was kicking and punching a dead man.

    I saw that footage before. I think that Muslim guy was trained in MMA.

  165. Tae Kwon Do

    Teaches excellent kicking skills (more speed than power, compared to, say, Muay Thai), but mostly VERY unrealistic due to discouraging punches to the head. It’s embarrassing to watch the competitor bounce up and down with their hands by their hips.

    BJJ

    I have practiced Brazilian Jujitsu for 20+ years on top of Judo for 40 years. It’s a very effective art (despite what they say, it is derived from Kodokan Judo), but most schools encourage too much flopping to the guard, which is generally a bad idea in real fights. You want to keep your mobility and be on top. Even though I am pretty proficient in it, I’d rather throw and drop people on their heads on a hard surface (pavement will do) and move on, in a real fight (of course, these days, I avoid trouble and if I couldn’t avoid, evade, or escape, the threat is eating bullets).

    John Danaher, Renzo Gracie black belt, is a fantastic BJJ coach (and former club bouncer in NYC and a one-time philosophy Ph.D. candidate at Columbia), and his analysis of why BJJ is such an effective fight system is excellent, simple, concise, even profound:

  166. The guy Anar Ziranov was a professional MMA fighter, what difference does his religion make?

  167. Daniel Chieh says

    I should add what this is particularly offensive – right now, there are millions out there who suffer from at least partly genetically related brain issues such as cerebral palsy, Crigler-Najjar syndrome, etc.

    Convincing me is pointless. Help them.

    Its not enough to have a model. Evidence-based medicine is called such for a reason. There’s plenty enough medicine that we don’t have a good model for, but we have evidence that it works. In the meanwhile, we know that genetic therapy can at least help some cancer patients and I believe that it is ethically sound to do so, and where the evidence leads, we must follow.

    The other research involving modified T-cells to fight cancer doesn’t diminish the impact of Wu’s work, though. In fact, Wu believes the study is one of the most advanced involving CRISPR in China. Currently, Wu’s T-cell treatment is being tested on 21 people with advanced Esophageal cancer that didn’t respond to other treatments. So far, 40 percent of his patients have responded positively to the new treatment.

    Someday, I hope that it will allow us to spellcheck brain developmental dysfunctions that are simple enough that we can restore to baseline. Woo woo rambles do not. They leave people to suffer – often many who have otherwise functional brains but suffer reception(esp. auditory) or expression ailments, a terrible fate.

  168. The guy Anar Ziranov was a professional MMA fighter, what difference does his religion make?

    Who said anything about his religion’s relevance to this? Are you punching a straw man?

  169. He’s being referred to as the “Muslim”.

  170. Sorry, must be misunderstanding. I was referring to the content of texts you have linked.

  171. Sure thing, but I was talking about your average Han and average Nigerian.

    I don’t know about “your average Han,”* but Judo is nationally practiced at public schools in Japan. I doubt the average Nigerian gets any fighting sports training.

    *China doesn’t quite have the same fighting culture that Japan and Korea have. There is a Chinese MMA coach/promoter who has made it his mission to embarrass purveyors of traditional Chinese martial arts. See:

    He’s in a bit of hot water from the government in China, which doesn’t like aspects of its culture being mocked and exposed as useless.

  172. Thanks, Stanford University PhD

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mike_Lee8

    Is this you? 🙂

  173. He’s being referred to as the “Muslim”.

    That’s hypersensitivity. The first commenter who linked the video identified him as a “Muslim Kung Fu expert,” so I clarified his skillsets and continued to refer to him as “the Muslim guy” for the sake of clarity, not because I think that has anything to do with… anything.

    Ok. That spinning back kick guy. Happy?

  174. Sorry, none of the stuff you mentioned is going to work. It’s all hype. I work in biology and medicine. Even when cancer drugs clearly do work in trials, they often don’t work or work substantially less well in the real world because subjects in trials DO NOT HAVE the same biome. You need to research that. Therapies are frequently approved for use based on clinical trials that can’t actually prove whether they work.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/02/when-evidence-says-no-but-doctors-say-yes/517368/

  175. I hang out with young people under 35.

    Wha are you going to do when you pass 35? Do you consider self-termination?

  176. I used to always keep my hands up in a guarding position; saw too many guys get hit in the head with a kick they weren’t expecting – better to be safe than sorry.

    Yeah, I like BJJ a lot and will probably get into it with my son. Nice defensively-postured martial art.

    Hey, by the way and somewhat off topic, a number of Mamluk Asakir facing up against an even number of Samurai (all medieval period) – what’s your money on? I believe they both did face off against the Mongols in roughly the same time period.

    Peace.

  177. Duke of Qin says

    Those are all sports, not combat. They have rules on top of rules built on pointless tradition all with the knowledge that no one is getting hurt. Actual melee battle would have the ebb and flow of an urban riot rather than the titanic clashes depicted in film. It is there were the African would dominate. Fearlessness and primal aggression both psychological traits trump modest training. Steve Sailer linked to a video where a single African Muslim held at bay a dozen White British police officers even chasing them around as a fox would chickens. The individual Japanese or even a small group would be no match. Guns have historically been the great equalizer.

  178. Ha, people are looking me up now. Yeah, I’m not a terrible person 🙂

  179. Those are all sports, not combat. They have rules on top of rules built on pointless tradition all with the knowledge that no one is getting hurt. Actual melee battle would have the ebb and flow of an urban riot rather than the titanic clashes depicted in film

    You image sounds something like a typical foot ball fans.

    . It is there were the African would dominate. Fearlessness and primal aggression both psychological traits trump modest training. Steve Sailer linked to a video where a single African Muslim held at bay a dozen White British police officers even chasing them around as a fox would chickens. The individual Japanese or even a small group would be no match. Guns have historically been the great equalizer.

    It’s not true though. The Romans had repeatedly crushed any less organized peoples. In Ancient War, organization was perhaps as important, or more important, than in modern war.

  180. Luckily here at Stanford the older people are open-minded. So I’m not too worried about that.

  181. Or London! Native population being replaced by post-imperial immigrants, tightly surveilled scene of terror attacks, but also home of Deep Mind, which has been producing some of the most alarming advances in AI.

    One of the founders (the AI genius) of DeepMind has a Chinese Singaporean mother and a Greek Cypriot father:

    https://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/alphago_fullbleed_3.jpg

    Another founder has a Syrian taxi driver father and English nurse mother (Steve Jobs father was a Syrian muslim as well):

    https://wi-images.condecdn.net/image/EMEeY70x6XB/crop/1440/f/wired-2016-mustafa-3.jpg

    The third founder is a kiwi:

    https://www.businessinsider.in/thumb/msid-51381302,width-640,resizemode-4/19-Shane-Legg-cofounder.jpg

    Hybrid Vigor?

  182. Duke of Qin says

    Most of what is written about Roman warfare is simply wrong because of faulty assumptions of what melee battle is really like. The explanation is long in the telling. Suffice it to say it wasn’t specifically Roman training that carried the day but group cohesion and mob impetus. In addition the ability to sustain casualties where others would have fled. Individually the Roman didn’t have the proficiency for violence as his Celt, German, or Numidian counterpart, but the Roman Army could still carry the day because they were simply less likely to fleet at the first significant casualties began to mount.

  183. Those are all sports, not combat. They have rules on top of rules built on pointless tradition all with the knowledge that no one is getting hurt.

    You’ve never boxed, wrestled, or done Judo, have you?

    This is what happens when one guy has boxing training (Asian guy in the video) and the other guy thinks he knows how to fight (black guy):

    Fearlessness and primal aggression both psychological traits trump modest training.

    Men without training have a lot of fear. It’s training that gives you the “peace of mind,” because you are used to pain and dealing with a live, fully-resisting opponent. Even “modest” training, if it’s in something effective like boxing, wrestling, or Judo (or non-Olympic sports such as Muay Thai and BJJ) will prepare you well against someone who has none.

    And “primal aggression” – fighting like an animal – gets you in trouble with people who know what they are doing. Untrained people often close their eyes (or flinch a lot) and throw windmill punches at their opponents. If you have decent striking training, you can crack them easily. And if you have grappling training, that untrained guy is going to be thrown on his head and throttled.

    Guns have historically been the great equalizer.

    Except shooting guns is a very high visuo-spatial IQ-loaded activity (as well as one that rewards calmness/breath-control). There is a reason why Europeans and East Asians dominate shooting sports (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_at_the_Summer_Olympics#Medal_table). And I am not even getting into group tactics, which requires organization and training in which, again, the two groups far out-do Africans.

    Actual melee battle

    I would put my money on Koreans in a melee battle, not Africans of any sort:

    By the way, at one point in the training, the OPFOR actually throws real Molotov cocktails at the riot police trainees! There is NO freakin’ way that kind of training happens in the West. Someone could get burnt!

  184. Daniel Chieh says

    Yes, genetics affects nothing. Which is why dog breeds don’t exist.

    Look, I haven’t dismissed that epigenetics plays a role. However, the idea that genes play a minimal role(which is how epigenetics is often spun these days) is hokum. Genetic expression clearly has more complexity to it that we have yet to learn.

    But it is not magic. The idea that viral exposure cause autism fails to explain why, for example, why males develop autism at much higher rates than females, while Simon Baron-Cohen’s model of prenatal testosterone does(and in fact, was later confirmed).

    Technically, one could argue that is epigenetic(its an environmental influence on genetic expression of a fetus, right?). But the cause of that “environment” is due to a genetic expression and that would highly heritable.

  185. Daniel Chieh says

    The “weak effect” that the gut(or any major body system, really) will have an effect on the body also can affect the brain is probably true – certainly something slips through the blood-brain barrier to affect it. We know that increased capillary growth is associated with improved processing, so even blood volume can affect it.

    But it is impossible to ignore the obvious effects of genes: a single human neural gene spliced into a rat improves its performance and the same is true when done more invasively by astrocyte transplation.

    Would other factors affect them? Sure. Would it be as major as the addition of said genes(or blatantly cells)? Dubious.

  186. Duke of Qin says

    Again, ritualized fighting and not combat. In a real world situation the black man would have stabbed the other person with a knife or broken bottle the moment his back was turned. The South Korean riot cops are engaging in a scripted display. It is nothing more than security theater. There is a reason why everyone is wary around groups of black men and no one is intimidated by groups of Koreans.

  187. Suffice it to say it wasn’t specifically Roman training that carried the day but group cohesion and mob impetus.

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    Romans, in the days of the Punic Wars, enrolled two legions each year (with the same number from the Socii, the allies in Italy). They were trained and equipped to a very high standard, except during the worst days of the Second Punic War, when the manpower needs were extremely dire.

    The superior “group cohesion” the Romans had came from excellent training and discipline and a whole series of tactical movements that the Roman soldiery mastered (on top of individual weapons training). This was no “mob impetus.”

    Most tribal groups have outstanding natural cohesion, as the various barbarians groups that Romans encountered probably did. But Romans had superior group tactics and discipline – from excellent organization and training – that allowed them to persevere even when battles seemed to be going badly. Indeed, Celts and Germans were, indeed, reported as having great courage and a ferocious initial charge, but seemed to falter when the initial charge did not rout their enemies. Romans, on the other hand, could absorb the charge and conduct various “evolutions” (series of movements) that allowed them to flank their enemies.

    Even most untrained people, when fighting, tend to cohere into a mass (even the inter-tribal fighting in New Guinea, for example, resembles two phalanxes, a veritable sea of spears, clashing, preceded by a skirmish). Even the Romans initially fought as a spear phalanx in the Greek-style, but eventually developed, first the manipular tactics and later the cohort tactics, which allowed them to fight in separate groups without suffering loss of cohesion and morale.

    As another example, when the Japanese invaded Korea in 1592, they had decades of experience in fighting a civil war, in which a high degree of professionalism was achieved. The various Korean armies sent to fight them fought in a single mass, as was typical of untrained medieval armies (probably a mass of infantrymen armed with spears, cavalry on the wings, and a screen of archers in front), while the Japanese operated in several detachments like modern armies. In the early years of the war, they routed their opponents easily. And even later, they were able to embarrass Chinese expeditionary forces that were sent against them (they eventually withdrew because of Korean guerilla resistance, the destruction of their fleet by the excellent Korean navy, and because their ruler – Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the mastermind behind the invasion – died and the political will for further continental adventure evaporated).

    For that matter, the Mongols, too, dwarfed the achievements of all other nomadic horse-archers, because Genghis Khan imposed an iron discipline on his soldiery and fostered excellent cohesion and coordination techniques (despite mixing up tribal units) through good training, which acted as a huge force-multiplier on top of the excellent raw material, the horse-archer.

  188. In a real world situation the black man would have stabbed the other person with a knife or broken bottle the moment his back was turned.

    Now you are getting stupid (and changing your argument). You don’t think an Asian or a European person could do exactly that? And if we are now talking fighting with blades, who has better skills historically, Asians and Europeans or Africans?

    The South Korean riot cops are engaging in a scripted display.

    The South Korean riot police is renowned for their decades-long battles with rioters. Riot police forces around the world study their training and tactics.

    There is a reason why everyone is wary around groups of black men and no one is intimidated by groups of Koreans.

    That has little to nothing to do with the fighting ability of blacks, but because of the fact that blacks are more impulsive and are more likely to violate the norms of civilized co-existence.

    But when those norms are temporarily suspended, well, you’d be wise to put your money on Koreans:

  189. Jaakko Raipala says

    You can’t use the British police as an example of ineffectiveness of organized violence when they’re rarely allowed to use any violence at all. Of course they’re going to be standing there like idiots when they’re supposed to arrest a violent man without using violence. You can find videos of British police having trouble with children, women and elderly who refuse to comply with orders.

    In a non-PC society like Apartheid era South Africa, much of Eastern Europe or China you’d just see the white/Asian police beat up disorganized individual blacks with impunity. In Britain you not only have the most strict rules of engagement for police offers, they’ve been undergoing decades of a de facto purge of the police force where the regular man has been driven out in favor of women and soft men with pro-homosexual, pro-multiculturalism views so of course they’re going to be ineffective at violence.

    The ancient Romans had their gladiators who were slaves trained and experienced in one-on-one or small scale combat for the amusement of the free citizenry. There were several gladiator slave rebellions in which the gladiators would prove themselves much better than Roman soldiers when engaging one-on-one when very small forces clashed but in large scale combat Roman legionnaires trained in formations and the like would crush any force of gladiators. Organization even back then ultimately beat the lone warrior skilled in one-on-one combat.

  190. Spisarevski says

    Yes, but can they fight?

    Nigerians are not really known for being good fighters either.

    From what I’ve seen, black people in general move chaotically in hand to hand combat, they flail their hands around and lack efficiency in their moves.

  191. Duke of Qin says

    I forgot I was debating with the Korean Yan-Shen/Thomm.

    Premodern warfare was primarily psychological and victory was secured via psychological superiority over the enemy. The principal advantage of Roman military technique wasn’t discipline or manuever but simple unceasing aggression. The Roman’s generally didn’t absorb charges, they initiated them. The scutum wasn’t used defensively but rather aggressively as part of the charge. The key difference between Roman military technique and the rest of the classical world is that they forgoed the spear duels behind shield walls that was universal to their opponents. Their looser order formations as opposed to the Greek phalanx was to facilitate rapid movement to cover ground on the charge. You are describing too much order in to a chaotic battlefield when there wasn’t. The Roman advantage came from constantly being on the attack rotating through lines of velites, hastati, princeps, and triari and not allowing for the general expected lulls and pullbacks in mass melee combat. See how actual riots work where a few brave individuals instigate the clash through an exchange of missile fire and the masses on each side follow up to engage. This is followed by a waning phase where the two sides separate to lick their wounds. The Romans by rotating their front lines allowed them to to keep up brief periods of murderous psychological pressure while their opponents did not. This lead to fronts of their opponents collapsing and fleeing and the rest of the army along with them.

    As to relying on Koreans, both the PVA and US Army generally found that to be an unwise idea.

  192. you’d just see the white/Asian police beat up disorganized individual blacks with impunity.

    Duke of Qin has obviously never been in a real fight or has had any training in fighting. He seems to be inferring from his own exaggerated fear of blacks what real combat between the trained and the untrained look like.

    It’s also clear that he’s never actually seen unrestrained (e.g. Korean) riot police in action. A well-trained riot police force will isolate the troublesome group, identify the ringleaders, separate those leader with superior evolutions/movements, apprehend them, and then scatter the rest with superb baton skills (lots of heads cracked and knees smashed).

    He doesn’t seem to understand that Western riot police forces typically display an extreme degree of tolerance and restraint toward rioters/protesters. If they were not so constrained by regulations and directives, however, the putative African rioters are all going to hospitals or, worse, the morgue.

  193. “The idea that viral exposure cause autism fails to explain why, for example, why males develop autism at much higher rates than females”.

    http://culturewhiz.org/forum/topic/female-brain-actually-more-stable-male-brain

    Females have XX aka two sets of immune system repair and stability of energy pathways to defend against energy or byproduct. That’s why females USUALLY live longer than men. The study you posted about testosterone levels (from 2014) doesn’t confirm anything AND is just hollow conjecture. Why are the testosterone levels higher? How does that cause autism? It’s crap research.

  194. Spisarevski says

    large scale combat Roman legionnaires trained in formations and the like would crush any force of gladiators

    The Spartacus rebellion was only crushed because Crixus was a retard and split off from Spartacus in order to pillage.

    Organization even back then ultimately beat the lone warrior skilled in one-on-one combat.

    True, but the gladiators under Spartacus were well organized and owned the Romans left and right.

  195. Duke of Qin says

    Twinkie is just being the passive aggressive bangzi prick that he usually is. If you’ll notice the the initial topic was one of individual violence, the exact phrasing of which was a cage match between a Chinese and a Nigerian. He then brought up South Korean and Japanese performance again in individual Olympic sports as a counterexample, except it wasn’t. Then he goes off on a wild tangent about mass organized violence as if that was event salient to the original topic.

  196. I forgot I was debating with the Korean Yan-Shen/Thomm.

    Stupid ad hominem.

    Not only did I grow up fighting blacks in NYC, I also witnessed lots of riot police action in East Asia (I lived and worked in both ROK and Japan), and later had combat experience in the GWOT.

    You just have no clue what real fighting is about, armed or otherwise.

    Premodern warfare was primarily psychological and victory was secured via psychological superiority over the enemy.

    I’ve mentioned this many times on this blog. Yes, the bulk of deaths in pre-modern combat occurred during the pursuit phase. After the initial clash, there would be shoving of shield walls, one side would start to suffer casualties, and then one side would lose morale and panic and then start casting off their arms to run away. Paradoxically, this made killing them easier (backs turned running away with no weapons and shields), and quite often a large majority of killings happened during this pursuit. So you are not wrong there.

    However, this was when both sides were trained and armed similarly and/or employed similar techniques and tactics. When the two sides had very different styles of fighting, this would NOT be the result.

    Their looser order formations as opposed to the Greek phalanx was to facilitate rapid movement to cover ground on the charge.

    Not so.

    The Roman evolutions toward looser formations were likely because of the combination of several factors. First, the Romans fought quite a few “hill tribes” of Italy. Tight phalanxes are hard to maneuver on rough terrain and frequently expose gaps when they have to navigate over obstacles (and gaps are fatal for phalanxes).

    Second, the Romans at some point realized the DEFENSIVE effectiveness of fighting by echelons (at the expense of offensive charging power – if you want to create the greatest impetus for a charge, a dense formation is better, which is why charges were done in wedges and columns – to punch through enemy lines with the weight of mass, NOT in lines as stupidly depicted in films).

    Third, Romans realized that they could compensate for the reduced charging power of a looser formation by adopting throwing spears (the pilum) before contact.

    I see that you have never worn armor and carried heavy equipment and run. Let me give you a little hint. You get tired very, very fast, and can’t fight well afterwards. Celts and Germans could charge (in fact, the Roman noted how fleet-footed they were and how they could even keep pace with cavalry), because they typically wore very little to no armor. Usually often chieftains and their retinue wore helmets and body armor.

    The Romans, unlike the vast majority of their enemies, were exquisitely armored to a man. They also carried A LOT of gear. The idea that they would willy-nilly charge into the enemy is beyond ridiculous. What you think of a “charge” was actually walking briskly. The Roman front line (whether Velite or Hastati) walked up to their enemies, threw their pila to generate shock effect, and then clashed with their enemies, relying on their large shields and excellent short stabbing swords to start killing. Everyone knows about their echelon system, so it does not warrant discussion.

    The morale of, say, Celtic barbarians faltered, because they couldn’t break through the Roman formations and they steadily experienced higher and higher numbers of deaths at the front lines. It was quite obvious, sooner or later, that they were going to all die, so they were then liable to start fleeing, one or two at first, and later a flood.

    As to relying on Koreans, both the PVA and US Army generally found that to be an unwise idea.

    Yes, during the Korean War, when they were untrained peasants recently freed from Japanese rule.

    You should ask the US Army and the NVA/VC in Vietnam. American officers who operated in the ROK AORs in South Vietnam considered these areas the safest there. And the NVA advised the VC to avoid contact with South Korean troops, who frequently ambushed the latter in their own turf.

    http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/military-history/south-korean-soldiers-in-the-vietnam-war/

    You really don’t know much about military history, do you?

  197. True, but the gladiators under Spartacus were well organized and owned the Romans left and right.

    Spartacus and other slave revolts generally benefitted from the Romans being caught off-guard. And these revolts typically took place deep inside the borders of the Roman Empire (e.g. Sicily), so what troops they encountered in the beginning were likely to be untrained or poorly trained fresh levies, rather than veteran legions of critical border areas.

    When the slave revolts were eventually confronted with trained legionaries, all were inevitably vanquished.

  198. Twinkie is just being the passive aggressive bangzi prick that he usually is.

    I sense that you have run out of poor arguments and are now resorting to low IQ ad hominem.

    If you don’t wish to be out-argued by another commenter until you must throw a tantrum, I suggest you avoid commenting on topics about which you have no expertise.

  199. anonymous coward says

    However AI are programs that are self-adapting and evolving under changing inputs…

    Three points:

    a) The programs aren’t “self-adapting”. The only practical self-adapting code is found in malware. So-called “AI” is code with self-adapting coefficients, which is exactly what regression analysis is — adapting coefficients based on changing inputs.

    b) A neural network doesn’t “learn” anything. A so-called neural network is mathematically exactly equivalent to a logistic regression, and cannot “learn” something any more than a logistic regression can.

    c) The fact that said coefficients aren’t directly interpretable means nothing, please don’t ascribe some sort of mystical value to this fact. Any change of basis can give you uninterpretable vectors. (E.g., a plain old SVD.)

  200. anonymous coward says

    What is your point? Are you saying that AI is not the big deal most everyone in the know think it is?

    There’s no such thing as “AI”. “AI” is just the snakeoil salesman name for applied statistics.

    “Deep learning” is just the snakeoil name for “hierarchical neural network”, and “neural network” is just the snakeoil name for “logistic regression”.

    The whole field is snakes and oil all the way down. (Not surprising when there’s so much easy money to be made here.)

  201. Impressive – if the methodology is similar (an admittedly big if), then that would mean Ukraine has converged with Russia (and overtaken it per capita).

  202. Jaakko Raipala says

    A big part of the success of Spartacus was that he initially engaged the Romans only in guerrilla warfare and hit and run attacks where the gladiators could make use of their skill in small scale melee combat. He surely realized that he would get stomped if he simply immediately marched on the Romans and met them on their terms.

    Spartacus escaped to the country provinces where the rule of Rome wasn’t entirely popular and the slave army had years to train and recruit before meeting actual legions in battle. Some gladiators were former soldiers or captured enemies who had training and expertise to contribute so in the end the slave army of Spartacus was trained with the methods of Rome and/or its military enemies. Spartacus himself must have been either a former military man (like Roman historians claimed) or a rare natural genius.

    The Romans were able to maintain a slave class of men trained in one-on-one melee combat for a very long time by keeping them away from military training in organization, discipline and so on. It’s only when a rebellion was able to break out of control for long enough to train itself as a military that the gladiators were able to give the Romans a real scare. So I don’t think Spartacus contradicts my point.

  203. Polish Perspective says

    Sure, but what you seem to be missing is that supply will adjust with demand. Oil may be produced in fewer quantities but there will still be a huge legacy fleet which needs maintenance for decades to come, and oil-producing countries can just take higher prices for their produce for years to come.

    Additionally, as I already mentioned, there is already going to be a dent in oil supply coming online in the coming years due to years of underinvestment. Additionally, shale oil is likely to peak in the early 2020s and there is no immediate successor to the remarkable oil boom which came out of US shale oil anywhere in the world.

    Finally, there’s more to oil than just plastics and transportation.

    None of this changes the main argument that EVs are here to stay and anyone trying to build a long-term strategy on oil is a fool. I’ve said as much numerous times myself. But once you actually do the numbers, you realise that oil will be central to geopolitics for decades to come. And it is equally foolish to assume that oil markets will not respond to EVs by lowering investment which will push up the prices in return as less supply is coming out as a consequence.

    The US EIA thinks shalle oil will peak within the next four years.

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Peak-US-Shale-Could-Be-4-Years-Away.html

    Remember, that to even stay in place you need to find a lot of oil to replace the current supply. Once/when shale goes out of the window, you’re back to tar sands, offshore in the artic and deep-sea stuff. All of which is very expensive. Conventional oil is only at 70-75 mb/s and world demand is significantly higher than that. This is what the Peak Oil people understood early on. What they didn’t see coming was shale oil. But that play is on its last legs. Once shale oil has peaked, it’s not clear that the glut from EVs will become so damaging to oil producers.

    We could well see EVs playing the role of a oil market stabiliser, rather than party-crasher, for a number of years as new supply will not come to market fast enough and the only game in town then will be demand destruction, which EVs will help with. But that wouldn’t necessarily mean an oil price crash since supply and demand would be balanced. Bloomberg and others have very rosy views on oil supply, which is a key assummption of their forecasts. I am optimistic about EV adoption. I’m less optimistic about finding lots of new oil supply to supplant shale oil and conventional oil.

  204. Polish Perspective says

    It would be useful to further aggregate them into income bands (nominal, since most research equipment has to be imported from abroad unless you’re a huge country). In other words, how are they performing at their relative income level.

    Just scanning the list, Japan in particular seems like a relative underperformer wheras the UK seems to perform quite well. Doing somewhat better than the US on a per capita basis despite significantly lower per capita GDP.

  205. Polish Perspective says

    That’s excellent news. There’s a ton of talent in Ukraine and these news just re-confirms it. Which also underlines that while IQ is important, cultural/sociological factors can be equally important and the latter is a bigger influence on Ukraine’s economic (mal)performance over the last few decades in my humble opinion. (I never bought the BS that Ukrainians are supposedly “dumber” than Poles).

  206. Japan isn’t really an under-performer in my opinion when you account for the following factors.

    1) East Asian math/verbal split. If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend my article here at Unz on the topic. Japan is a massive over-performer in terms of international patents, so it’s likely that a non-trivial percentage of East Asian cognitive capital has been allocated to practical engineering and technology.

    http://www.unz.com/article/iq-or-the-mathverbal-split/

    2) For Nature, Japan has a lower AC/FC ratio compared to most other countries, which seems to me to suggest lower levels of international collaboration. I think this is in line with general observations of Japanese insularity and lower levels of English proficiency.

    3) As evidenced by the surge in Japanese Nobel laureates post 2000 and by the high numbers of world class Japanese scientists and potential future Nobel Laureates, Japan seems to be excelling in high impact science. Are there comparable numbers of such individuals per capita in countries like Italy or Spain or even France for that matter? As I stated earlier in this thread, I think high level Nature numbers are certainly interesting and non-trivial, but probably require some interpretation as well.

  207. Isn’t that extremely questionable though? The methodology that is, as Anatoly pointed out. It’s not the same source? No other indicator shows anything equally “impressive”? Although Italy being so low is really weird as well, so I’m not sure that means much either way.

  208. Right, I was going to make a comment along these lines, but you’ve beat me to it. Similarly, Singapore probably gets a non-trivial boost as well from being able to attract international talent in the Asian-Pacific region. A bit surprised that Karlin slipped on this one…

  209. Italy and Spain are some of the greatest places to live for sure if you like to enjoy life, but a guy like Karlin needs to live in a place that ‘s very focused on technology.

    Erm, why?

    It makes zero difference to me if I live within walking distance of Googleplex or on a remote beach thousands of miles away.

    That does however make a difference to national success, which is what I am interested in and presumably what many of my readers are interested in as well.

  210. Honestly there’s not much similarity between Thomm and myself. For starters, I don’t try to pass myself off as a white American, which for some strange reason Thomm seems to do. Second, a large chunk of my commentary isn’t just repeatedly stating that WNs have average IQs of 70 or the likes and uh pointing out that WNs are basically the bottom 10% of least desirable whites or whatever it is that Thomm usually argues.

    And third, while some have called Thomm out on his penchant for exaggeration, my claims about Chinese or Chinese Americans are largely rooted in indisputable data points. For instance, my article on Unz about the math/verbal split has close to 50 citations!

  211. ThreeCranes says

    You’re comparing apples to oranges. The alternative group in the study you cite was a bunch of middling IQ women who buffed their interpersonal skills by taking turns etc. Feelz. Not at all the picture I painted. I’m afraid you’re the one shoveling bullshit.

    What I (in effect) said was that a group of very high performers who pulled together would accomplish more than a group of people who had amongst them one or more prima donnas who walked around saying “Hey everybody, look at me, I’m the brainiest but I don’t get appreciated for pulling the most weight around here because I’m Asian.”

    You might at least read what you put up as evidence.

    There’s a difference between getting things done and pure research which has as its goal no aim towards bringing a product to the market. A corporate research department must develop stuff which it can sell. Raw mental horsepower is needed but sterling credentials or a glorious intellectual past history is not enough. A scientist must produce and to do so effectively he must act as part of a research team which has the company’s best interests in mind. Intellectual Dennis Rodman’s or Randy Mosses or extremely bright slackers who want to sit at their bench and do their own thing will disrupt the chemistry of a group and hurt productivity.

  212. Judging by sports performance at the highest levels (Olympics, sports such as positions in American football) Africans are, in general, capable of more agility than are Europeans but, in general, have less brute strength.

  213. Bardon Kaldian says

    A very good article (and with very good links). Without going into subtle analyses- what if Teutonic-Protestant & Confucian-east Asian peoples are simply superior re ultra-modern sci-tech?

    Historically, Teutonic-Protestant countries (Netherlands, Britain, Germany, early US, parts of Teutonic Scandinavia, Switzerland, ..) have been dominant in sci-tech fields in past, say, 200-300 years. True, Italy has been the mother of all European high culture, but it was from ca. 1300 to 1600; France was a leading country in all areas of civilization in the 18th C & parts of 19th C, but German dominance was clear from early 1800s to 1933.

    Now these countries (along with the rest of Western Europe) are undergoing national-racial suicide through Afro- Middle east demographic inundation. They simply cannot stay on the top because no country without secure & optimistic middle class, “racially” & nationally homogeneous, can function at all.

    Russia was never a leader, the trailblazer of most things sci-tech, especially in post-1850 (a round figure) world. Neither were most Slavic, Mediterranean-Romance, and even less Latin American lands.

    What about Confucian east Asians?

    They’ve shown that they are & can be highly functioning modern sci-tech societies (Japan, Taiwan, South Korea,..). They’ve retained ethnic homogeneity (as far as possible), don’t care for suicidal anti-national whitey ideologies …. and they have a great future, if they don’t ruin it themselves.

    As for innovation in London etc.- don’t delude yourself. Now & then, racially & culturally mixed individuals can achieve astonishing success, but “rootless cosmopolitans” cannot form a functioning society. Great & permanent civilizational progress can only come from solidly ethno-culturally “monoracial” society (Industrial revolution in Britain, German science from 1871 to 1933,..). Otherwise- things fall apart.

    So..

    • all Euro peoples & especially Teutons will either come to senses & resort to something like “mega-Israel” policy (strict control of the Others) or will collapse in a dystopian nightmare (including the US)
    • east Asians will prosper & globally dominate in their yellow ants societies

    • Russia, if it remains more or less ethnic Russian (80%) & non-Western liberal, will remain a regional power & survive. Nothing spectacular, but still…

    • Latin America & India will be something close to semi-functioning 3rd world

    • Africa will collapse under its own weight & incompetence (possible depopulation due to starvation).

    The future belongs to Asio-pa (not Euro-Asia).

    Of course, if something utterly radical happens (WW3, unpredictable & totally new inventions,.)- then, a completely different script would be needed…

  214. Another German Reader says

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascading_failure

    Your fancy AI-research program are not going to work if your chief-scientist is a speed-bump in the latest Jihadi Motorsports-event.

    Your chief-of-production becomes an alcoholic after his daughter’s suicide, three weeks after enrichment by a Gambian peanut-production-expert. That’s when your factory starts piling up problems.

    Your fancy Gigafactory has no juice, because Mr Pham and his little weed-basement-factory overloads some local transformer leading to series of breakdown and ulitmately the whole grid, which was caused by years of under-investment and Renewables-regulation.

    You transgender, Muslim lesbian black Chief-of-Diversity-training installs the latest Farmville-game on her laptop. Three hours later Mr Wang, head of research of Yunnan Tech Group, receives a thumbstick with all your company’s upcoming tech from his boss. Five days later Yunnan Tech Group files patents all over the world. A year later Mr Wang receives the Nobel prize for his breakthrough research and Yunnan is the fastest growing tech-company in the world. Your company files for bankruptcy.

    You mayor spends tax-money on Section-8 housing-project for Mbutu and his prosecuted band of gay-activists from Congo and Hassan, the Syrian Civil War-refugee and his 5 sons and 3 daughters and the 2 illerate wives. The remaining tax-money is spent on the #MeToo-memorial. This is the way to go.
    Meanwhile Samsung Vietnam Ltd.’s third R&D-center – with 2000 scientists – is being opened in Bac Ninh – in addition to the 8000 new workers being hired in the factory next door. Ten years ago people in Bac Ninh were subistence-farmers.

    But at least you don’t have to read those awful far-right-fake-news on your Facebook feedline anymore. Thank god for Heiko Maas.

    Be honest, doesn’t Idris Elba deliver a fine performance as SS-commander Himmler in his latest movie? This is Oscar-materiel!

    Russkis have no chance. Putinland is doomed. Heck my Mark1-eyeball system tells me that the Su-57 is no threat to our soldiers. Our Spec-Ops soldiers are culturally-sensitive and have tampons at hand for victims of Boko Haram.

  215. I have no idea about methodology. I tried to corroborate this:

    “The largest deals disclosed in 2017 were $110 million of investments in Grammarly (from General Catalyst, IVP and Spark Capital), $30 million in BitFurry (from Credit China Fintech Holdings), $10 million in Petcube (from Almaz Capital, Y Combinator, AVentures Capital, U.Ventures, Digital Future and others) and $7 million in People.ai (from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Y Combinator and SV Angel).”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/08/grammarly-raises-110-million-for-a-better-spell-check/

    Grammarly raises $110 million for a better spell check

    Grammarly was founded in Ukraine but moved its HQ to San Francisco – although most of its workers are still in Ukraine (Kiev).

    Bitfury is not a Ukrainian company but is involved in huge project with the Ukrainian government (so the investment involves that?):

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-bitfury-blockchain/ukraine-launches-big-blockchain-deal-with-tech-firm-bitfury-idUSKBN17F0N2

    Ukraine has partnered with global technology company the Bitfury Group to put a sweeping range of government data on a blockchain platform, the firm’s chief executive officer told Reuters, in a project he described as probably the largest of its kind anywhere.

    Petcube, like grammarly, is a Ukrainian company that moved its HQ from Kiev to San Francisco while still operating out of Kiev.

    ::::

    The $265 million number is corroborated, the companies do work in Ukraine but are no longer headquartered there. So in terms of methodology, is it about where the money goes (work in Ukraine) or where the recipient is headquartered (San Francisco)?

    I notice that some Russian tech companies who are described as VC recipients have HQs in Switzerland (Acronis), or Mountian View CA (InvisibleCRM) but others are still based n Moscow (Drimmi, 1C Company).

  216. Bardon Kaldian says

    Or could it even be that the badness of the pozz is being overstated? That the multiracial, LGBT-friendly culture is a new viable equilibrium for a human society, rather than being a sign of decline and disintegration?

    I’ve been thinking about this topic for quite a long time and…. no, it’s a form of suicide. Without going into history & culture, it is evident from everyday experience that multiracial identity is not only impossible, but self-destructive.

    People are tribal as the norm (race, language, culture) & don’t mix. With intransigent & visually different others (Africans, Paki Muslims,..) you got only chaos & destruction; when a crisis hits a society, everybody will fend for its own group, this is normal human tribal behavior. And there have never been crisis-free societies (nor will ever exist).

    As for low-crime, high IQ segments (east Asians, Jews in the US..)- they remain,mostly, foreigners (I mean those who retain their identity). Anti-Semitism is rather strong everywhere because people don’t want an alien over-class.

    Then, ethnically “pure” societies like Japan or South Korea are vastly preferable for natives to live in, as different from London & other Calcuttas. A few high-tech advancements don’t change much. These are not societies where one could raise his family & have a relaxed stroll in a park. Forced diversity is death. Even natural one is a weakness, hence sensible policy of Singapore elites to keep Singapore solidly Chinese, while not allowing Malays & Indians to demographically overtake them.

    Instead of David Riesman’s lonely crowd, ideologically driven diversity produces dystopian collapse & ultimate death of a society.

    Gays … this issue is not very relevant, in my opinion.

  217. Practically, it makes no difference, but I think you would prefer to be in a place abuzz with the kinds of activities you value, for psychological reasons.

    I’ve had friends move to Silicon Valley for no other reason than to feel they are living in the center of innovation.

  218. Daniel Chieh says

    Females have XX aka two sets of immune system repair and stability of energy pathways to defend against energy or byproduct.

    …energy pathways. Okay. The value of a Stanford PhD.

    As for the rest, for a presumed expert, you should be familiar with the his theory even if you don’t agree with it. Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen(Director of the University of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre and a Fellow of Trinity College, if that matters) model is basically working off known information that elevated testosterone exaggerates features of the male brain leading to connectivity anomalities, supported in the normally smaller corpus callosum in at least some regions for men and how for many autistic individuals, their corpus callosum are found to have never fully developed. Elevated testosterone also causes apothesis of nerve cells, further suggesting a mechanism for damage. Abnormal white matter connectivity and apothesis are all features of autism; while it is a theory and no one at this point knows enough about the brain to be able to be gospel, it is a compelling theory.

    BTW, I’m more affiliated with Stanford than you think. I avoid sharing identifying information, but I was a member of the EPGY program. Although I’m sure he’s “too old” for you, it was there that I made the acquaintance of Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, one of the leading lights of neuroscience and who inspired the love of the field for me. I follow his work to this day.

    You should try to sell your ideas to him. You’ll strike it big time, trust me, if you can succeed 😛

  219. Ukraine has a competitive advantage also in terms of salaries.

    I was reading that Israel outsources a lot of their hi-tech employees to Belarus and Ukraine.

    For example — Viber was outsourced to Belarus.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-08-23/the-skype-killers-of-belarus

    And employees for Israeli software companies are being outsourced to Ukraine, because of the salary difference:

    “Not only is there a large supply of relevant professionals there; it is about the same time zone as Israel, and that’s very convenient,” says Gamzu. “They speak English and probably Russian, and we have employees here in Israel that speak that language, so it’s convenient for working together. It’s very easy to fly to them and invite them to us. It’s only a three-hour flight, and the tickets are cheap. Their mentality is excellent, and the management culture is like in Israel. You want to know that the development guy is working, and you want to be able to trust him, because you’re not supervising him with a magnifying glass all day. In India, on the other hand, you can ask the engineers to do something, and they don’t always understand you, or don’t always do it. In Ukraine, things are always done.”

    http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-high-tech-cos-outsource-work-abroad-1001170921

  220. Because of the property law, companies will HQ in somewhere Switzerland. But work in Ukraine, where the salaries are comparatively lower.

    There are some examples:

    https://www.n-ix.com/10-fintech-companies-outsourcing-to-ukrainian-developers/

    • There is some discussion about wage difference in this article.

    http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-high-tech-cos-outsource-work-abroad-1001170921

    “It’s a lot easier and more worthwhile to employ engineers in Ukraine than in Israel,” Chalimov says. “You don’t find topnotch professionals easy anywhere in the world; you have to look for them. We know the market there very well, and we have a good reputation in the city. We can provide our customers with access to excellent engineers and developers at much lower cost. It costs $5,000 a month to employ a Ukrainian engineer , compared with $8,000-10,000 a month for an Israeli.”

  221. For example — Viber was outsourced to Belarus.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-08-23/the-skype-killers-of-belarus

    The article paywalled, but available translated:

    http://abonent.pro/content/view/27364/36/

  222. DO NOT HAVE the same biome

    So the BIOME is behind everything with you guys: autism, Parkinson,.., intelligence,…

    You should add to the list WWII and Hitler. Hitler’s biome was behind it. His biome was OK until his doctor (probably British or Jewish agent) started replacing Hitler’s biome with poop tablets form some Bulgarian peasant. And Hitler was turned into a Bulgarian and lost the war. What else would one expect from a Bulgarian peasant?

    Hitler and Bulgarian Peasant Faeces, Anyone?
    https://thespinoff.co.nz/recaps/14-04-2015/national-geographic-hitler-and-bulgarian-peasant-faeces-anyone/

  223. I made the acquaintance of Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, one of the leading lights of neuroscience and who inspired the love of the field

    Wow, small world. My best friend had dinner with him last year. So you and I are not far apart by degrees of separation.

  224. Sure, but what you seem to be missing is that supply will adjust with demand. Oil may be produced in fewer quantities but there will still be a huge legacy fleet which needs maintenance for decades to come, and oil-producing countries can just take higher prices for their produce for years to come.

    We can talk about all in terms of ceteris parabus — there the prices will be lower (ceteris parabus), as oil demand or at best oil demand growth, will be increasingly diminished.

    This (ceteris parabus) is helpful way to clarify statements, in terms simply of compared to alternative universe in which the variable under discussion is not changing.

    Now if we could predict oil markets (or automobile industry) — we would all be millionaires now. But we can discuss clearly about what will happen with ceteris paribus clause.

    E.g. my calculation, that for each 36 million electric vehicles on road, there is displacement of 1 million barrels of oil demand per day.

    Additionally, as I already mentioned, there is already going to be a dent in oil supply coming online in the coming years due to years of underinvestment. Additionally, shale oil is likely to peak in the early 2020s and there is no immediate successor to the remarkable oil boom which came out of US shale oil anywhere in the world.

    Finally, there’s more to oil than just plastics and transportation.

    None of this changes the main argument that EVs are here to stay and anyone trying to build a long-term strategy on oil is a fool. I’ve said as much numerous times myself. But once you actually do the numbers, you realise that oil will be central to geopolitics for decades to come. And it is equally foolish to assume that oil markets will not respond to EVs by lowering investment which will push up the prices in return as less supply is coming out as a consequence.

    The US EIA thinks shalle oil will peak within the next four years.

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Peak-US-Shale-Could-Be-4-Years-Away.html

    Remember, that to even stay in place you need to find a lot of oil to replace the current supply. Once/when shale goes out of the window, you’re back to tar sands, offshore in the artic and deep-sea stuff. All of which is very expensive. Conventional oil is only at 70-75 mb/s and world demand is significantly higher than that. This is what the Peak Oil people understood early on. What they didn’t see coming was shale oil. But that play is on its last legs. Once shale oil has peaked, it’s not clear that the glut from EVs will become so damaging to oil producers.

    We could well see EVs playing the role of a oil market stabiliser, rather than party-crasher, for a number of years as new supply will not come to market fast enough and the only game in town then will be demand destruction, which EVs will help with. But that wouldn’t necessarily mean an oil price crash since supply and demand would be balanced. Bloomberg and others have very rosy views on oil supply, which is a key assummption of their forecasts. I am optimistic about EV adoption. I’m less optimistic about finding lots of new oil supply to supplant shale oil and conventional oil.

    Another thing about the electric vehicle switchover — it will be strongest during the 2020s in China. And possibly India.

    The reasons can be listed:

    1. With air-pollution at exhaust. Indian and Chinese cities will see a very easy way to improve urban environment and perceived living standards, will be reducing the air-pollution at exhaust.

    2. Greater energy efficiency, which will appeal in low income countries.

    3. China government itself seeing switchover as an opportunity to dominate world automobile industry (China already has a lead in battery production).

  225. Daniel Chieh says

    Indeed, a small world! But sometimes I do think that seems inevitable, there seems to be so few neuroscientists in the world.

  226. Well, the Mainland Chinese themselves have long recognized that Traditional “martial arts” are just the Chinese equivalent of acrobatics, ballet and dance – basically not useful in real unarmed combat.

    This point was driven home conclusively to the Chinese during the 19th Century foreign occupations, Opium Wars (both of them), and Boxer Rebellion – when at least a few clueless Chinese sought to pit ballet/acrobatics/dance against the very real wrestling, boxing and brawling skills of Western soldiers. This did not merely show them how useless their “skills” were, it got those Chinese killed.

    “Traditional Martial Arts” in China suffered from a very long period of disuse (about a century of supremacy in their sphere in which no one threatened them, before even the First Opium War), such that it was reduced to cultural expression, sport and art. If all your army does for a century is put down peasants, brigands and rebels, it becomes useless very quickly – in fact that army is better termed “police”.

    It’s like in the West. Once, we had Knights, now we have Equestrian sports. Where there was sword training, now it’s Fencing. Javelins used to be real weapons of war, as were Bows – now they’re stripped down into throwing for distance and shooting at a static target. Basically, anyone who had to use those skills for real would have laughed at the modern sport/art versions. THAT is what happened to Chinese Traditional Martial Arts.

    Modern Asian unarmed techniques have actually little to do with the old, tired, artistic versions.

    Modern Japanese Karate was developed in the 19th Century for example. As one Japanese Karateka opined “No master of unarmed combat would be fool enough to take on even a modest user of a Katana”. Modern practice in China only began after 1949, and are completely stripped of flash and elegance, but oriented to actual combat, in a battlefield setting – the object being to kill quickly and obtain a rifle.

    By no means an Asian concept – more a general concept of all combatants: “kill quickly then get weapon” makes sense.

  227. Polish Perspective says

    Yeah, I remember reading that article last year. One of the ironies is that many Israelis are now whining that wages in EE, at least in the Western Slavic part, is now sufficient to act as a block to recruitment to their companies. Additionally, plenty of Ukrainians, Belorussians etc are now working in tech companies in CEE.

    There are some fields where CEE is already on par with the West, such as video games. It may seem trivial but there is a lot in video game programming which is very useful for IT in general. It’s not a coincidence that DeepMind has focused a lot of time and energy on video games for their AI (most know of chess and Go, but they have invested a lot to beat starcraft for instance). Open AI has done a lot of work on DOTA for the same reasons.

    A lot of VR stuff is greatly helped by strong background in video game creation. Just to name a few examples.

  228. Polish Perspective says

    Terry Sejnowski

    https://www.salk.edu/news-release/salk-applauds-obamas-ambitious-brain-initiative-to-research-human-mind/

    Seems like an impressive guy. Polish last name also caught my eye.

  229. Polish Perspective says

    I think the fundamental misunderstanding here is that you assume the disagreement is on the speed of EV adoption. I don’t think it is. To any extent there might be disagreement on the speed of EV adoption.

    Where we seem to disagree is that you (implicitly) accept the “oil glut” hypothesis, advanced by Bloomberg and others, whereas I do not. The major reasons why I don’t is A) I don’t think that shale oil will be substituted sufficiently by another source of similar magnitude, including by itself and B) years of underinvestment will compound this supply shock. Getting new supply is a long-term process.

    EVs will help to destroy demand, which will balance the market. In fact, part of the reason why I am quite optimistic about EV adoption is precisely because I am more bearish than BAU on coming supply in the oil markets, which will act as a “push factor” to speed up EV adoption even more. But that doesn’t change my argument, which was not about EV adoption per se, but rather about oil prices.

    Another reason why I am bullish about EV adoption is that I don’t see why the recent progress in battery cost reduction won’t continue.

    https://i.imgur.com/5JCEiGP.png

    So, to sum up, our disagreement doesn’t stem on EV adoption. To the extent there might be any, I might be even more bullish.

    Our main disagreement is that I remain skeptical that there won’t be large supply shocks due to inadequate supply coming online and the peaking of shale oil. Seen in that light, the coming EV demand destruction is a saviour.

  230. Daniel Chieh says

    He is a gentleman and a scholar: a brilliant man with an incredible sense of humility and curiosity. Very much Old World.

  231. I’ve had friends move to Silicon Valley for no other reason than to feel they are living in the center of innovation.

    LOL! I know of people who moved from the West to Madinah to be able to do regular visitations of the Prophet (pbuh). Different strokes…

    Peace.

  232. He’s a Polish-American guy from Cleveland who is proud of his Polish heritage. My friend had only the best things to say about him.

  233. Yeah, I remember reading that article last year. One of the ironies is that many Israelis are now whining that wages in EE, at least in the Western Slavic part, is now sufficient to act as a block to recruitment to their companies. Additionally, plenty of Ukrainians, Belorussians etc are now working in tech companies in CEE.

    From the article, it sounds like recruiting a lot in Kharkov as well. I was shocked how high the monthly salary ($5000 a month) they say they pay there, which will go very far in the country and make life there pretty good if you can get that job. But I guess, the key word is ‘cost’ rather than ‘salary’ – it makes it sound like they might hire through recruitment consultancy which could take a cut.

    However, a lot of hiring in the sector can just take place directly through linkedin nowadays. And it’s not like they need any particular paperwork if they are working from an office in Kharkov.

  234. So, to sum up, our disagreement doesn’t stem on EV adoption. To the extent there might be any, I might be even more bullish.

    Our main disagreement is that I remain skeptical that there won’t be large supply shocks due to inadequate supply coming online and the peaking of shale oil. Seen in that light, the coming EV demand destruction is a saviour.

    But current price predictions are based on assumption of growth in oil demand through 2030s.

    There is starting to be some worry about this at least – I saw last week in the news, that the Russian government is also going to revise downwards its prediction of future oil demand growth, with EV adoption beginning in 2020s being one of the reasons they are worried.

    That said, it cannot been seen as wholly negative. Every time I go in the street, – even aside from potential health effects – I feel pretty resentful of breathing in all the exhaust fumes of the diesel cars everywhere.

    You can imagine how much more pleasant many cities will become in the 2030s (or at least by 2040), as EVs start to takeover.

  235. ThreeCranes says

    I’ve got a general question for anyone who cares to clue me in.

    Who are we talking about here when we talk of these extremely creative scientists or technology guys?

    Is it someone who has been published in Nature twice (the criteria used by the author in some other paper we discussed a while back) and has been published in numerous other professional journals as well? A man who is/was also director of Research and Development for one of America’s largest e.g. chemical corporations? And one who is a member of the American Chemical Society and has been awarded membership in The British Royal Society of Chemistry?

    Would that qualify one as a member of the class of whizzbangs being discussed here?

    Or are we talking about the stratosphere of the dozen or so creative geniuses who come along once in a century and have literally made history?

  236. Daniel Chieh says

    Incidentally, I believe that you are a doctor? My original machine learning as a discovery tool example is partially based off a real-world example, did you recognize it?

    …finds one that is correlated to decreased performance on Stroop Test(but not IQ), but only if the child is firstborn, thus allowing researchers to investigate if said genetic marker triggers an obscure blood-antigen reaction to cause a negative impact on the executive function of the brain and presumably affects the prefrontal lobe in some fashion

    If not, I’ll paste what I meant after the MORE.

    Adult neurobehavioral outcome of hyperbilirubinemia in full term neonates—a 30 year prospective follow-up study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3961148/

    Although neonatal hyperbilirubinemia can be fully treated now for all practical purposes, it appears that it can still cause executive function issues which can be easily overlooked in spite of its fairly short term of effect. My speculation there was to see if there would be a genetic correlation to hyperbilirubinemia; first baby triggered is a reference to ABO incompatability in a Coombs positive child. It seems to me that we have Rh- suppressants but there is no ABO version?

    Obviously not my field of expertise. But interesting.

  237. Yeah – it’s kind of sad, but what can you do? One has to adapt – it’s the ever-evolving game of survival of the fittest. BJJ took the original Japanese form you mentioned and adapted it to a more brutal, untraditional environment of Brazil.

    The one thing I don’t like about what MMA has introduced is a sense of; no quarter is given and none assumed.

    I get that mentality in war, but in peace time it seems one should be able to lose a fight and walk away. Kind of like that Muslim MMA fighter – not sure who started it, but he could have just backed off once it was obvious his opponent was out of the running.

    Maybe I’m just old and this ain’t no country (or planet) for old men.

    Peace.

  238. Which also underlines that while IQ is important, cultural/sociological factors can be equally important and the latter is a bigger influence on Ukraine’s economic (mal)performance over the last few decades in my humble opinion.

    Correct. Polish inherited a generally patriotic elite – this was true even of Communist Party members; as an undergraduate in the early 90s I had classmates in the US from such families and they were sincere Polish patriots/nationalists. One of them was arguing to me that Jaruzelski, a patriot, had to crack down because the evil Russians would have invaded and made things even worse if he hadn’t. They spoke with pride of non-commie relatives. Etc.

    Ukraine, in contrast, mostly got second-tier Sovok bureaucrats, mostly from the country’s East, with little sentimental attachment to Ukraine. They found themselves with their own state and with the opportunity to plunder it, much better than if they had been ruled from Moscow and been subjected to bigger fish-plunderers. They “bought off” the patriotic anti-Soviets by surrendering the schools, public holidays, social policies etc. to them in exchange for not being toppled. Patriots were ecstatic because they had a Ukrainian state, a decades-long dream became reality! The elites meanwhile controlled the economy for their own benefit, played off Russia and the West in order to minimize meddling and external pressure to reform.

    Had those Sovok inheritors demonstrated at least some basic motivation to keep the country economically viable the situation could have been stable. This is what Putin has done in Russia. The second-tier Sovoks in Ukraine, however, failed to do this. Under their stewardship the country slipped further and further behind. So the national-patriots were no longer satisfied (what good is your own country if the elites have sunk it towards Moldova while just enriching themselves?) and they revolted, in 2004 and again in 2014.

    There is some grounds for optimism now. Ukraine’s ruling class can no longer play Russia off against the West, and the West is demanding at least some sort of reforms. Each revolt has been more bloody than the previous one – the current rulers may be more aware of the stakes involved and motivated to more Putin-like in at least insuring that the population does better and is satisfied. Ukraine is experiencing consistent economic growth and, importantly, shifting from an economy based on crumbling Soviet inheritance (the elite previously hadn’t modernized much, rather than invest it they poured income generated into their own offshore accounts) to IT and partnerships with Western concerns.

    Polish Perspective, I had posted this previously:

    Ukraine still has good rocket and missile technology. Ukrainians are working on a hypersonic missile:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-develops-hypersonic-cruise-missile.html

    It is still probably decades away from production. More funding might sped things up…

    Saudis have funded the development of this Ukrainian weapon, almost complete and ready for production, in exchange for being supplied with them:

    http://defence-blog.com/news/ukraine-unveils-new-tactical-missile-system.html

    Poland lags behind Ukraine in this. Is there talk of some close collaboration with Ukraine – Poland providing financing for development in exchange for being supplied with these things? It might make strategic sense not to be dependent on the USA.

    I never bought the BS that Ukrainians are supposedly “dumber” than Poles

    Limited data suggests that in general they are a couple IQ points behind, but the difference is small, not like between groups in the USA.

    Shanghai university rankings place Ukrainian schools on a similar but slightly higher level than Polish universities.

  239. I don’t want to doxx myself, sorry! I’ll be vague and say doctoral (MD, DO, PhD, or PharmD, won’t specify) and work in patient care/consult, not in academia. It’s a living..

  240. Daniel Chieh says

    No worries, thanks!

  241. Now, that’s a good account of some aspects of the Imjin War, but somewhat incomplete.

    I wouldn’t say they dominated either the Koreans or the Chinese on land after the initial wave of success. Yes, that initial burst of conquest went all Japan’s way. The subsequent phases, not so much, not even on a purely military level.

    The Japanese had 2 victories against the Ming Chinese expedition, but only one could be considered on something like equal terms.

    In August of 1592, Zhao Chengxun with only 5,000 men took the much larger Japanese garrison in Pyongyang by surprise, assaulting the Seven Stars Gate and getting his small force deep into the city. The Japanese thought the Ming force was much more powerful, and believing they would all be slaughtered, fought back desperately but ineffectually – such was the shock of the unexpected attack. The tide turned when they realized they only faced a small Ming force of 5,000. The Japanese spread out, reformed and counter-attacked with many more men, defeating and driving off the Chinese.

    It was a long-shot for the Chinese, fought against long odds, and it didn’t work out. A Japanese victory, but not really a sign of superiority on the battlefield since the odds were very much on their side, numerically.

    The second time was more clear-cut, and hard fought. At Pyokje, north of Seoul, tens of thousands of Chinese and Japanese clashed in a narrow valley. The Ming could not employ their superior cataphract-knights, and the Japanese musketeers could not fire to full effect because of the sheer density of the armies in the valley. It was down to melee, Chinese and Japanese all resorting to swords. The outcome was indeed a legit Japanese victory, the Chinese force retreating and suffering 10,000 casualties. There were losses for Japan, but they held the field at the end.

    So yeah, Pyokje was a Japanese win, though it was never a walk-over.

  242. Russia is wealthy in resources, poor in money (a common situation in Russian story.) Money that comes from just selling resources is far for “enormous” for a nation of Russia’s size.

    There should be enough wealth to fund both Sechin’s yacht and the scientists. And Sechin’s yacht has the priority claim. Unfortunately, that’s how it works in the real world. Like in China, their newfound wealth first went to buying the Politburo billionaires’… mansions (are Chinese oligarchs into yachts?) Only when they had enough for that, they started pouring money into science.

  243. Sure, but your friends are getting a “practical” benefit, and they probably also believe in things like spiritual energy.

    I guess Silicon Valley is kind of like a shrine with spiritual energy to these people : ) And why not? Technological progress is just salvation made physical. They need saints, (Musk, Jobs), shrines, and holy lands, like anyone.

    I can’t wait to see techno-people start using (pbuh) when they mention Jobs : )

  244. Precisely.

    And…hehe..you’ll see how many here will try to reply to your comment.

    Funny, a?

  245. And, OT, just in general agree with Twinkie here re modern self-defense.
    The other fellow does have some point too, though, IMHO.

    I’ll stick to unarmed self-defense only.

    It is mostly proper training, but there are also elements of genetics (attributes) and mindset (type of person and character traits). Say…..80/20.

    The very important part of the training is also often neglected. Pre-fight management.
    That’s the element where experience and those 20 % can, and often do win.

    To put it this way:
    If pre-fight management is done badly, Olympic type combat sport guy will lose against a common thug.
    If that is done right, as soon as actual fight starts I’d go 95/5 for the combat sport guy.

    And, there is more, actually.
    People who go to combat sports are, effectively, coming from that “personal trait” group with talent for fighting. US pro boxers for example.

    When people talk about self-defence they, most of the time talk about a well adjusted middle class person getting into trouble. And that creates a ………peculiar……….problem.

  246. They need saints, (Musk, Jobs), shrines, and holy lands, like anyone.

    Yup – even the Communists couldn’t help not preserving Lenin’s body.

    I can’t wait to see techno-people start using (pbuh) when they mention Jobs : )

    That would be hilarious! Wasn’t that Henry Ford’s place in Brave New World? Or was he raised to deity?

    Peace,

  247. Lars Porsena says

    Why would Shenzhen have less smog than other Chinese cities, isn’t that a huge industrial city? A huge amount of the products China ships globally seem to come from there.

  248. Daniel Chieh says

    High tech isn’t nearly as polluting as heavy industry; Beijing also has the bad luck of getting dust storms, an ancient form of pollution. Being a special city with many unique rules and a lot of independence, it has been able to aggressively tackle its issues and I suppose, never let it get as bad in the first place.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39156496

    It still can use improvement by WHO standards, though, although it still has the reputation of being the best of the major Chinese cities by US embassy monitors.

  249. Lars Porsena says

    Do you watch MMA? I don’t know why you think most of the losers don’t walk away, they do. And quarter is given, it’s not like they don’t accept surrender and fight until death. There’s a marketing angle to making it seem so brutal but it’s a sport. The fight ends when 1 fighter gives up (and then quarter is given he is not executed), the ref stops it, or someone is unconscious.

    It may seem brutal to hit someone when they are down on the ground but this has the effect of ending the fight pretty quickly, the ref jumps in and stops it because it’s over. If you back off and let him get back up, besides the fact that he may come back to bite you, there is an argument it actually causes more not less injuries. In MMA a person gets beat up and the fight is over quickly because once one side has an advantage they try to stay on it until the ref calls the fight. In boxing your opponent will back off and then they will stand your half-conscious butt back up to take 4 more rounds of head trauma before the judges call it.

    Again it may look brutal or unsporting to jump on an opponent and pummel him on the ground, but count how many punches to head they take before the fight is stopped, maybe 5 or 6. In boxing when a person is hurt so bad they fall down, and then get back up, and then get back down, and then back up, by the time the fight is over they have taken 50 additional punches to the head.

  250. Daniel Chieh says

    OT: Kind of.

    China confirms railgun.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/chinas-supergun-nears-readiness/news-story/f3554a1cc140413ae16af7078f0e5cca

    An award has been given to a woman, Zhang Xiao, who helped with the practical testing; I speculate that much of the technology appears also to have been built off Ma Weiming‘s separate work on electrical systems, augmenting what appears to be the original US prototype into a functional design.

  251. Philip Owen says

    I agree. Before I went I dependent my career was about turning Central Research Laboratory (remember them) ideas into active businessess. The group’s based around a “genius” were less functional at delivering the results I wanted. They tended to stay in his comfort zone improving the already good enough. Teams of more equal status could be persuaded to find their reward by seeing their ideas applied. To be fair, I found chemists, and engineers easier to manage than physicists. They tended to be the primadonnas. That said my best advisor was a physicist but he was Canadian.

  252. I’m not a big fan, but sure I’ve watched a few MMA matches – they still seem fairly brutal to me. Of course boxing is also fairly brutal – except for the sparring or Olympic kind to test skill or training. I don’t support beating up another human being for monetary gain – doesn’t seem like an ethical or moral thing to do. I certainly wouldn’t do it unless I was in war or in self defense.

    But hey, everyone answers for their own deeds in the end – I’m only worried about mine.

    Peace.

  253. I suppose Russia has the money and the people, it could mount a Manhattan Project type effort and have a real chance of achieving the worlds first strongish AI. Putin seems sensibly wary. Demis Hassabis does not

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/16/demis-hassabis-artificial-intelligence-deepmind-alphago

    “The technology itself is neutral, but it’s a learning system, so inevitably, they’ll bear some imprint of the value system and culture of the designer so we have to think very carefully about values.” […] He remains diplomatic, but it evidently irritates him that scientists from other areas feel at liberty to pronounce publicly on AI: you don’t hear him pontificating about particle physics, after all.

    . Some theorists think that the way an entity acts tends to be determined by a perception of external threats it faces and how they can be best minimized. The values written into the Wiemar constitution did not stop Germany from being naughty, perhaps because Germany’s actions were dictated by its insecure position (being surrounded by potential enemies) .

    An artificial generalish intelligence would have to be prevented from running through scenarios of what might happen to it in the future because that would be a big step towards formulating a course of action offereing it the best chance of survival. If programmed to hold certain values above all things, an AI could be defending those values by acting so as to avoid being switched off. The Germans say their culture and values as worth preserving in BOTH world wars.

    Since their meeting, Hassabis points out, Hawking has not mentioned “anything inflammatory about AI” in the press; most surprisingly, in his BBC Reith lectures last month, he did not include artificial intelligence in his list of putative threats to humanity.

    Demis Hassabis Retweeted

    DeepMind

    @DeepMindAI
    Feb 23
    More
    Human social cognition begins with our theory of mind: understanding that others have beliefs, desires, and goals. In Machine Theory of Mind, we present a neural network that advances machine social cognition, learning to model what drives other agents. https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.07740

    Another step towards enabling AI to tell humans (like Hassabis) what they want to hear. Or maybe it will just run Nigerian Prince scams.

  254. Of course I’m familiar with his work. He basically looked at some research and said: this is what might be HAPPENING. That’s his job. My “questions” were rhetorical.

    We already know what is happening and have PROOF:

    A single species of gut bacteria can reverse autism-related social behavior in mice

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160616140723.htm

    The new mouse study goes further in exploring a possible explanation of how changes in bacteria influence brain development and function. For instance, the researchers showed that restoring levels of the “good” bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri resulted in higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone associated with social behavior. It also improved signs of brain plasticity – the brain’s ability to form new connections that foster learning.

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/mmu-as1121517.php

    Looking at the microbes living in the gastrointestinal tracts of patients and comparison volunteers, the researchers found lower levels of a key bacteria type, and less diversity of microbes in patients taking antipsychotic medications.

    Autism Speaks Invests $2.3 Million in Research on Gut-Brain Connection

    https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/autism-speaks-invests-23-million-research-gut-brain-connection

    Experts have called for large-scale studies into altering the make-up of bacteria in the gut, after a review showed that this might reduce the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Until now, caregivers have relied on rehabilitation, educational interventions and drugs to reduce ASD symptoms, but now researchers suggest that treating this condition could be as simple as changing their diet.

    A review of more than 150 papers on ASD and gut bacteria found that since the 1960s, scientists have been reporting links between the composition of bacteria in the gut and autistic behaviour.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170619101834.htm

    The link between the gut and ASD is well-known among sufferers: problems like diarrhea, constipation and flatulence are commonly reported. The root of gastro-intestinal problems like these is an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut.

  255. Russia is wealthy in resources, poor in money (a common situation in Russian story.) Money that comes from just selling resources is far for “enormous” for a nation of Russia’s size.

    There should be enough wealth to fund both Sechin’s yacht and the scientists. And Sechin’s yacht has the priority claim. Unfortunately, that’s how it works in the real world. Like in China, their newfound wealth first went to buying the Politburo billionaires’… mansions (are Chinese oligarchs into yachts?) Only when they had enough for that, they started pouring money into science.

    The country is insanely wealthy from either perspective, especially as the surplus wealth from vast exports of oil/gas and other commodities is confined to small circles.

    The Arabs are also considering importance of diversification for the future – some like UAE probably achieving it.

  256. There’s no such thing as “AI”. “AI” is just the snakeoil salesman name for applied statistics………The whole field is snakes and oil all the way down. (Not surprising when there’s so much easy money to be made here.)

    Yeah right, it is all a fraud and only fools are falling for it. Fools like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking (R.I.P.), Putin, Xi, Google, Baidu, Alibaba, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Nvidia, Uber etc etc

    Silicon Valley must be the largest concentration of fools in the world. And China must have the largest number of fools for embracing AI in such a big way. Get real.

    https://www.cfr.org/blog/chinas-artificial-intelligence-strategy-poses-credible-threat-us-tech-leadership

    Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, delivered a wake-up call: the unchallenged technological supremacy that the United States has enjoyed since the fall of the Soviet Union is over. The future will belong to countries that can surf the technological tidal wave of artificial intelligence.

    Rather than being significantly behind, Chinese programmers now routinely win international machine learning competitions. China’s tech giant Baidu is unambiguously one of the global leaders in AI research, having developed an AI system with better-than-human speech recognition performance a year before any Western firm. China is not yet the overall leader in AI technology, but they are not far behind and catching up quickly.

    China’s advantage is its strategic focus and funding to match AI’s extraordinary opportunity. Beijing has not yet announced the funding total for their AI strategy, but it is already clear that the figure is in the billions. Top Chinese leaders, including Xi Jinping, have loudly trumpeted the strategy at nearly every opportunity.

    Moreover, China’s strategy recognizes the essential dual-use nature of artificial intelligence. The same core technological capabilities that enable commercial innovation are equally useful for warfare and espionage.

    it is actually the Chinese who have accurately come to understand the Sputnik-like significance of recent progress in artificial intelligence. After all, Sputnik scared the United States into action because it simultaneously revealed that it was behind in rocketry and that rocketry was a critical technology. Despite China’s astonishing AI progress, it overall remains behind the United States and its allies. For China, the 2016 match between the AlphaGo AI system (developed by Google subsidiary DeepMind) and Go world champion Lee Sedoul was a Sputnik moment.

    Go, which has been played in China for thousands of years, is a major fixture of Chinese culture and strategic thinking. Unsurprisingly, AlphaGo’s victory received greater attention in China than the United States. Many of China’s leading computer scientists attended the matches in person. Like Sputnik, AlphaGo taught China both that AI was going to be the critical technology for the future of economic and military superiority and that they were behind the West. Only a year later, China released its national strategy for AI, which made funding AI research and utilizing AI technology throughout government a national priority.

  257. His biome was not OK and why he started taking tons of drugs. In the article I posted:

    http://culturewhiz.org/forum/topic/extreme-intelligence-mental-illness-related-autism

    He takes you down the steps.

  258. Bukephalos says

    But should Russia really strive to be a leader in science and tech? Copying and adopting existing tech is much less expensive anyway, especially in burgeoning IT sectors. What is absolutely crucial is having a cutting edge military-industrial complex, and this is precisely what Russia is concentrating on and has a recognized success in. Then there are strategic, civilian industries that matter for national independence and preferably most resources available should be allocated to them.

    So long as the West has a bone of contention with an independent Russia, and it will have one as long as its hegemony exists, I presume things will remain that way. Considering the combined effect of sanctions, military pressure, being shunned or downgraded from a number of Western-led institutions, and the capital flight encouraged by all the former, how many trillions of dollars have been shaven off Russia’s GDP, anyway? Certainly watching rampant corruption coexist with some of the low indices listed by Anatoly must be grating. Improvements are certainly possible, but convergence is probably impossible in a western-centric paradigm. If they’re ready to create farcical spy hoaxes and walk with it, they certainly won’t let your science&tech flourish within their institutions. Fortunately the silver lining is visible in the article with China catching up fast, and being poised to be the future global leader. Only then a fruitful scientific and technical cooperation may become possible, be it in English, or who knows in a simplified global Pinyin yet to come. If a hostile West is finally retrograded, Russia might have a shot at realizing its full potential. But we’re talking of a prospect decades away…

  259. There is no AI in that they don’t have a fully temporal semantic database structure with a generative normalization pattern matcher/vectorized scale free calculation minimizer… I.e. the G in AGI. In other words, they are missing the minimal concept basis for processing that has an optimal scalability while minimizing complexity, without that it’s a crap shoot if someone will ever succeed in making a better than human level AI that isn’t just brute forcing human intelligence by putting too much human knowledge in a system and claiming it is better than human level intelligence while it is actually less than human level due to a complete lack of creativity.

    This guy has it right

    http://culturewhiz.org/forum/topic/human-brain-not-intelligence

  260. If microbes living in the gastrointestinal tracts affect the human body to this degree and are a necessary component to vital normal functioning of a human being including brain activity, then this poses very interesting metaphysical questions as to what exactly constitutes YOU when you refer to yourself.

    Peace.

  261. It has been suggested that the biome is our “consciousness”. Bacteria respond to cues from their environment, just like any other intelligent organism. That means that they have behavioral plasticity, the ability to change their behavior based on what occurs in their environments. Bacteria have been shown to exhibit behaviors we would call ‘intelligent’, i.e., acquiring information, storage, processing, use of information, perception, learning, memory, and decision-making. It is proposed that “bacteria use their intracellular flexibility, involving signal transduction networks and genomic plasticity, to collectively maintain linguistic communication: self and shared interpretations of chemical cues, exchange of chemical messages (semantic) and dialogues (pragmatic)” .

  262. But should Russia really strive to be a leader in science and tech? Copying and adopting existing tech is much less expensive anyway, especially in burgeoning IT sectors.

    This is true to some extent – that catching up on ‘technology gap’, is cheaper than creating the technology itself.

    But there are huge disadvantages – as the Chinese are starting to realize. If Apple for example, is producing its products in China, a large portion of its production is contributing to Chinese GDP. But at the same time, high profits are skimmed off and repatriated to the company HQ country.

    What is absolutely crucial is having a cutting edge military-industrial complex, and this is precisely what Russia is concentrating on and has a recognized success in. Then there are strategic, civilian industries that matter for national independence and preferably most resources available should be allocated to them.

    This has industry has comparatively little impact on GDP, and it’s more a product of having a large GDP, than a cause of it. E.g. Americans can spend more on their military than the rest of the world combined, because of their large GDP.

    This said, research and training done in relation to military projects, should be able to carry over into civilian sector. This is an area (civilian-military crossover) which seems there could have been a lot of improvement.

    Considering the combined effect of sanctions, military pressure, being shunned or downgraded from a number of Western-led institutions, and the capital flight encouraged by all the former, how many trillions of dollars have been shaven off Russia’s GDP, anyway?

    I think not so much at all. This is an area where the West is less impact than it pretends.

    UK especially has no ‘options’ to hurt Russia – as any serious restrictions would harm their own economy (which is relying on a lot of Russian investment), more than they could hurt Russia.

    The recession in 2014-16, which Western media boasts about causing – was really more because of an oil price fall due to world over-production.

  263. it is actually less than human level due to a complete lack of creativity.

    A human who finds new ways to win in Chess or Go is a creative genius but AI that does the same even better is completely lacking in creativity?

    Watch this:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q70ulPJW3Gk

    No human was creative enough to discover that trick.

  264. I would say that shows that intelligence and consciousness are two separate things.

    It’s long been known that highly intelligent behavior doesn’t necessarily involve consciousness. In fact, expert skill comes with a reduction in consciousness, and in many high level sports, a certain reduction in consciousness is deliberately cultivated.

    Plants also respond to their environment without being conscious.

    Human consciousness – awareness – should be distinguished from sub-processes that are a response to the environment (intelligence).

  265. In Buddhism, you are encouraged to view your intelligence, as well as your body, as “not you”.

    No aspect of your phenomenal being is really “you”.

    Some people interpret this to mean there is no “you”, while others claim it has an entirely different significance – that the “you” is supra mundane, and cannot be described.

    The Buddha denied ever claiming there is no “you” – only denying that any phenomena in this world can be you.

    Anyways this is all very metaphysical, and I promised myself recently not to get entangled in such incomprehensibilities.

  266. It has been suggested that the biome is our “consciousness”.

    That is an utterly absurd suggestion. Neither the biome nor the brain can be our consciousness. Consciousness is subjective and non-material. It is the ultimate category error to assume that any material combination can create consciousness.

  267. Daniel Chieh says

    I don’t have any objection to the idea that diet or even gut flora has some effect on the brain, as nutrition’s relationship with neurotransmitter release is well documented. And there may even be more significant, broader effects from signals in the body to how the brain works.

    What’s silly is the idea that it completely overturns the obviously strong heritability evidence for autism, or even that it necessarily invalidates Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen’s model in total(or at all). Causes can be multifactorial, and an effective remedy does not invalidate all other causes.

    As for your link’s “just so” stories, especially related to intelligence, its too silly to even begin to address. Just for example, this:

    This leads to OCD and anxiety traits (something is wrong mindset) as the immune system upregulates. It also creates photographic memory in the host, photographic memory makes it possible to make novel connections since creativity is the associations between existing ideas and concepts.

    “Creates photographic memory in host” at a time when we only partially understand the encoding of memory, and the idea that it is directly associated with creativity through a process of “desire to reproduce?” And when we are not even certain if there is such a thing – MIT’s Dr. Minsky argued that it was simply an “unfounded myth.”

    Seriously:

    “Enhancing verbal creativity: modulating creativity by altering the balance between right and left inferior frontal gyrus with tDCS.”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25659343

    “Neuroanatomy of Creativity”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2826582/

    “Quantity yields quality when it comes to creativity: a brain and behavioral test of the equal-odds rule.”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26161075

    So yes, still only dimly understood. But the idea that is is instantly explained by a “will to power from viral activation of suppressed genetic load” is pretty insulting to the work of great neuroscientists such as Rex Jung and Terrence Sejnowski who have spent their life trying to understand how the brain works in minute detail.

    And yes, ultimately, if we are to build something akin to actual general intelligence(at least based on human cognition), that is essentially one of the major benefits from Dr. Sejnowski’s work(The Computational Brain): by trying to map out the specific detail of the brain, and by seeking to digitally replicate the semantic network of the brain is probably the basis of some electronic variant of the “diffuse mode” to ultimately accomplish some form of whole brain emulation. That’s probably the most realistic way to achieve general AI, at least one which we recognize. And of course Minksy did not believe that humans were actually intelligent, but merely deluded through a variety of agents into creating an illusion of coherence(Society of Mind model) and therefore there was absolutely no difference between a human and machine mind.

    At any rate, in regards to emulation: we’re far from that, haven’t yet fully even replicated a flatworm brain. But that’s probably the right path to take, and leads to epistemic wins regardless. Insofar as machine learning itself goes, it doesn’t matter if it is brute forcing as even in its most limited form, so as long as the problem domains are closed and limited, it is vastly useful. And that’s a lot of problems, at the least.

    You clearly have a lot of passion in what you do, and knowledge in your specific field, which is good. But this does not override everything else already known, and other ongoing efforts. I’m not too concerned, however; at one point, I was also your age and also chased a lot of rabbit holes. Hopefully some of that has been interesting.

  268. Bardon Kaldian says

    Although I don’t see what this debate has to do with the topic: no, it’s not what Buddha was supposed to have said.

    Of course, there are different schools of Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana,…) but it seems that oldest Buddhist tradition denied the existence of empirical self as an entity.

    Various schools of Hinduism claim there is the essential Self, Atman (ground of the human “soul”), embodied Atman being jiva or jivatman or “I”. So, “I” is either embodiment or reflection of supraphysical entity.

    For oldest Buddhist tradition, there is no substantial “I”. The “I” sense is a no more than something that holds together samskaras or various psycho-physical traits; it is not an entity, just a “glue” of samskaras. You got car (carburetor, wheels, motor, shields,..)- but there is not “carness”. A car is just a composite of various elements, not an entity separate from them.

    Later Buddhist schools introduced Buddha nature, chaitanya as principle of consciousness…so later & dominant forms of Buddhism do indeed possess “I” as the entity.

  269. Blah, If you’ve ever looked at the Google ads that pop up specifically for you, or had a try of Google Now, you will realize that the predictive powers of AI based on computational statistics are extremely limited.

  270. I don’t really understand your conclusion? Yeah, intelligence and consciousness are two separate things. I agree with that.

    1. Intelligence is as this guy says: http://culturewhiz.org/forum/topic/human-brain-not-intelligence

    2. Human consciousness – awareness = a ton of sub-processes. Think of your body as a ship with ton of people on board.

  271. Some people can see/connect things other can’t. That’s why they have the Nobel Prize. I’m pretty sure dude is on track to win. All the best 🙂

  272. Bukephalos says

    I should clarify what I meant with the depressed GDP. Simply using a (completely implausible) counterfactual where Russia is peacefully integrated to the West (what Gorbatchev, I read left and right, naively hoped for). No political puppetery, no plundering, no support to seceding republics, no hostile NATO, but ‘brotherly’ relations as with France or Germany, mutual trade and investments, sharing of expertise etc. In this case it’s more than plausible that you’d have ended up with a very large GDP (owing to size and resources) not eclipsing the US but something much more challenging than what Japan and Germany have become- and a country vying for influence with the US in the ‘combined West’, with a latent military potential that simply vanished in these other two examples. Evidently that’s why the US took no chances.

  273. Daniel Chieh says

    Well, good luck with his version of the Mozart Effect.

  274. If you can show me a quote where Buddha denied there is a self, I’d appreciate it.

    There is a quote where he rejects those who explicitly deny there is a self – he calls them “annihilationists”, and rejects them along with “eternalists”.

    As far as I know, Buddha limited himself to saying “this is not your self” – aplied to all aspects of your phenomenal being.

    But if if I am wrong, I’d be happy for you to correct me.

  275. Human consciousness – awareness = a ton of sub-processes. Think of your body as a ship with ton of people on board.

    Perhaps we’re saying the same thing after all.

    There’s this sense that the mechanism for intelligent behavior must be awareness, and I wanted to point out that adaptaive responses to the environment that we call intelligent – very complex ones – often bypass awareness.

    I think western culture and science often over values awareness (consciousness).

    Quantum mechanics, also, shows we are connected to the world in a much deeper way than awareness.

    That’s all.

  276. The confusion around this issue hangs on a rather subtle piece of metaphysics.

    “Existence” is a property of the mundane world – there may be a supra mundane dimension in which the concept has no meaning. Existence or non-existence do not apply, as being categories of this world. Instead, one must remain silent.

    Hinduism identified the self with awareness – a phenomenon within this world. Buddhism merely went one step further and refused to identify the self with any mundane phenomena, including awareness.

    But this much we know – the Buddha never explicitly denied the self, he merely refused to identify it with any known phenomena.

    Our interpretation of that depends on our capacity for metaphysics, and there have been disputes, especially in modern times, and especially among western thinkers.

    Schopenhauer expressed the meaning of this extremely well in, I believe it was, the last passage of his major work.

    As for this being on topic, neither was the long and heated discussion on fighting skills, and this is far more interesting.

  277. Bardon Kaldian says

    No, I don’t have the quote, this is a standard Therevada teaching of “anatta”(and not just them). Real novelty came with both schools of Mahayana (Madhyamika & Yogacara schools) which insisted on Buddhata/Buddha Nature, something not too different from Atman.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80tman_(Buddhism)

  278. There’s this sense that the mechanism for intelligent behavior must be awareness

    Awareness/consciousness is not a material object therefore it cannot be a mechanism.

    I think western culture and science often over values awareness (consciousness).

    The opposite is the case. Western culture and science over values materialism. To the point that even theoretical physicists (with some exceptions) are convinced that awareness is born of matter.

  279. Don’t worry, there is no such quote.

    But the Theravada teaching that there is no “substantial” self merely means no substancee (existing thing) within the phenomenal world can be identified with the self. That is not the same thing as denying the self.

    The Mahayana merely develop themes found in the Pali canon.

    To be honest, Buddhist metaphysics does get exceedingly subtle, and I do believe it occasionally becomes incoherent.

    Buddhist metaphysics is more about refraining from positive affirmations – rather than explicitly denying anything. A subtle difference.

    There was also a school of Buddhism the “pugdala-vadins” who positively affirmed then existence of a self very much in the manner I described.

    However, their radicalism in positively affirming what everyone else merely refused to deny, or at best, hinted at, was too much for the larger Buddhist community.

    Anyways – Buddhist metaphysics no longer interested me as much as it once did, so I’ll leave off.

  280. Self in Hinduism – or Indian philosophy – is something deeper than awareness.

    Atman

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80tman_(Hinduism)

    In psychoanalysis – Jung has also used a similar concept.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_in_Jungian_psychology

  281. The opposite is the case. Western culture and science over values materialism.

    An interesting way of looking at it, that obviously has a lot of truth to it.

    What I mean is that science itself is a project of conscious control, prediction, and manipulation, whereas am alternative way of approaching the world might be spontaneous adaptation that bypasses awareness, like Taoism.

    But you make an excellent point – even as science sometimes denies mind (behaviorism comes to mind), it itself heavily relies on consciousness as a fundamental approach.

    Science is ultimately incoherent when it’s taken as anything other than a limited tool.

  282. Right, and one school of Buddhism, the “vijnanavadins” which also morphed into Zrn, had the same concept called “store-house consciousness”.

    I believe Jung wrote introductions to T.D Suzuki’s books.

    Buddhism is not really radically discontinuous with Hinduism as us often claimed, much less polar opposites, but the two traditions influenced and interpenetrated each other.

  283. Bardon Kaldian says

    Buddha explicitly denied the existence of “I” as an entity. The sense of self does exist, but it is not a single entity, just a gluing conglomerate of skandhas.

    With development of other schools, Atman returned in the guise of Buddhata, while yogacara- the starting point of much of Vajrayana- affirms chaitanya vijnana, principle of consciousness which is empirical “I” sense as the substantial entity.

    Tibetans have, in their language. differentiated between rig-pa / shes-pa.

  284. Just to pre-empt any new onslaught of related posts.

    Two guys. One early 40’s, formerly a very good middleweight, now with a decent belly.
    Other guy, a typical loud mouth street thug. Taller, bigger, younger than the other guy.
    Street, something provoked the thug into confrontation.
    He was mouthing of and approaching the “boxer”; the boxer simply stood, conversational stance, just at a slight angle, not talking. The thug got into range->one-two: quick jab and the instant, perfect, right cross, straight on the jaw. The thug fell on the pavement head first. Out cold.
    Nothing fancy ………for ignorants. Just very basics of simple Western boxing, simple 1-2. But…, the timing , the coordination and the accuracy All those things that ignorant simply don’t count.
    And in this case, proper street-smarts on top of it. The most important element: the decision.
    Anyway.

  285. Bardon Kaldian says
  286. Yes, very interesting topic. From what I’ve been taught in our tradition, there is the true you (the spirit or ruh) which was you in the spirit world, prior to your insertion into the phenomenal material world. Then there is the you of the ego (which is the animal self or nafs). The ruh is always in tune with the Divine and the unseen realm, but its inner vision gets clouded by the untamed nafs. The nafs is in time with the needs and desires of the body. When the nafs is trained and brought to heel (this is the spiritual training, kind of like breaking a wild horse), then the vision is no longer cloudy and metaphysical reality can be experienced by the inner heart (or qalb). This the inner heart must ultimately choose its path, the way of the ruh or of the nafs – the more one feeds one, the other declines.

    Thought I’d share since you were kind enough to.

    Peace.

  287. Buddha is Woke.

    We are still in Dreamtime.

  288. Definitely interesting. From a material perspective we seem to be lumbering amalgam of cooperative colonies of cells working together to keep this enterprise functioning. Eventually they seem to collectively give up on the project. Am I the cell? Is the cell me? Is that me in the Petri dish?

    Quite interesting…

    Peace.

  289. Buddha explicitly denied the existence of “I” as an entity.

    He did not. Buddhism is too subtle for denials or affirmations. It’s similar to Pyrrhonian scetipicism in that regard (but not Academic skepticism, which does deal in denials).

    I’m serious, do a bit of research on it if you want to deepen your understanding, and develop a subtler way of thinking.

    There are a few famous passages even in the Pali canon which address this issue. Mahayana developed these themes.

    Denials and affirmations – that’s the fallacy of the excluded middle, and remember, Buddhism is the Middle Way. There is a third choice between denial and affirmation, but it’s subtle, and goes against scientific thinking. But Buddha was interested in salvation, an attitude of mind, not control over the world.

    The devolvement of Pyrrhonian skepticism into Academic skepticism shows that the Buddhist attitude is difficult to maintain anywhere in the world.

    Buddha merely refused to identify the self with any worldly phenomenon – if there was no self, then what’s the point of salvation? What needs to be resued from suffering?

  290. If you’re very used to a modern Western way of thinking – whose purpose is to gain control over the physical world – you’ll have a hard time grasping this older way of thinking which was available to the Greeks, the Indians, andntje Chinese (among others), because theit purpose was soteriological.

    If you imaginatively shift perspective for a moment – not permanently, but just for a moment, for understanding – you may understand it better.

    Remember, in this older way of thinking, the purpose isn’t to gain release from suffering through control of matter, as it is for us with technology, but through a shift in attitude and control of mind.

  291. Thanks, Talha. Yes, that makes a great deal of sense and is common to many traditions. All traditions recognize multiple levels of ‘self’. (an “ur-tradition”)

    Probably the only innovation of Buddhism is to refuse to define this ultimate ‘self’ – but to deliberately remain silent about it, as beyond words, and supramundane. So beyond words, one cannot even apply the category “existence” to it.

    But most traditions are willing to say at least something about this ultimate self.

    But the purpose is always soteriological – if you can best be liberated through envisioning this ultimate self, as an Atman, or a ruh, then even Buddhists would support it. Everything is medicine.

    I should note here that after much exploration of it, I am not a Buddhist, although I’ve learned much from it.

  292. I think, after reading a lot in Buddhism, that the “awakening” is to the fact that we are in a dream, and there is nothing to awaken to. There is nothing beyond the dream.

    That’s the meaning of Buddhist “nothing”, that’s the liberation – at one stroke, it liberates from suffering, as suffering comes from taking the world seriously, and it liberates from all striving, because if it’s a dream, there’s really no point.

    It’s the message of Chuang Tzu as well.

    Life becomes easy, and playful, and mysterious.

    In Buddhist scripture you come again and again upon passages that describe the world as a dream and a soap bubble – so utterly opposed to the gloomy and serious modern west. I can never suppress a chuckle that entire highly sophisticated civilizstions, the civilizations of Asia, were based on this concept of the world (the phenomenal world) as no more serious than a soap bubble!

  293. there is nothing to awaken to. There is nothing beyond the dream.

    Beyond the Dream is the Creator of the Dream. That is what a Buddha awakens to.

  294. In MMA a person gets beat up and the fight is over quickly because once one side has an advantage they try to stay on it until the ref calls the fight. In boxing your opponent will back off and then they will stand your half-conscious butt back up to take 4 more rounds of head trauma before the judges call it.

    I am an avid fan of MMA (or any kind of a combat sport, really, I watch everything from NCAA wrestling to Japanese Sumo, Mongolian folk wrestling, you name it).

    Here are some MMA vs. boxing observations safety-wise:

    For MMA:

    1. Fights can end quickly. Even from flash knockdowns. In terms of striking, this spares the loser from repeated head trauma, which is incredibly bad for health and potentially lethal. Boxers are spared from losing by the standing 8 count and repeated referee interventions, and this often results in brutal beatings to the head for prolonged periods. Many more combatants have died from this in boxing than ever has in MMA (or likely ever will in MMA). MMA bouts, so far, enjoys a very much less-lethal safety record.
    2. A combatant can surrender honorably when locked in a submission (choke, arm lock, or leg lock, or even the occasional spine lock such as the Twister) or taking strikes from an untenable position (crucifix). In contrast, giving up from taking shots is highly discouraged and frowned upon in boxing. In fact, fighters such as Demian Maia, the renowned BJJ ace, is on record as stating that he prefers to gain a submission, usually via a choke, rather than battering down his opponent with strikes. Once he gains the submission and releases the choke, his opponent is none worse for the wear.

    3. Fighting durations are regulated to be shorter. Typically fights are three 5-minute rounds or five 5-minute rounds for marquee and championship fights (overseas fights, though, are not regulated by the so-called Unified Rules and can be any length).

    For boxing:

    1. Although the highest levels of MMA are well-regulated, there are still many low-level MMA events that are poorly regulated, meaning no doctors or proper medical screening. This will likely change in the future, but for now, boxing bouts are far better monitored for safety.
  295. No elbow, knees, and kicks. Those strikes, especially knees and high torque kicks, can deliver DEVASTATING amount power one rarely if ever sees with punching only in boxing. If anyone died in MMA in the future despite proper regulation and medical screening, I’d wager that it will be from awkwardly eating a flying knee or a spinning back kick from someone who is excellent at those techniques.

  296. No neck or spine manipulations. MMA allows grappling, so it is bound to occasionally have neck cranks and spine manipulations. Although the vast majority of combatants caught in them would submit before serious injury is done, it’s possible – sooner or later – that someone with an extreme pain tolerance will tap too late and suffer a serious spine injury.

  297. Gloves safer for the eye. Contrary to what most people think, gloves don’t exist to protect the opposing fighter. They, along with hand-wrapping, exist to protect one’s own hands, so one can punch harder something hard like human cranium. Hands are brittle, and unprotected hands punching heads will frequently break. So gloves – whether boxing or MMA version – allow much harder shots to the head. However, boxing gloves completely wrap the hand and virtually eliminates the possibility of eye-poking, intentional or otherwise. MMA gloves are open-fingered to allow grappling and grips and can be used to eye-poke, usually unintentionally though occasionally intentionally by very dirty fighters.

  298. All in all, I am of the view that MMA is less dangerous than boxing is for long-term health, but neither is exactly a safe activity. Then again, neither is riding motorcycles or snowboarding.

    The common consensus among the few fighters who have done both boxing and MMA is that the MMA training is much harder and rigorous while boxing bouts are much more punishing (mostly due to the long duration and the amount punishment absorbed over time, NOT because boxing is a more “deadly” system of fighting).

  • I think you’re describing Christianity there : )

    Which is totally cool. As I said, I’m not a Buddhist.

  • BJJ took the original Japanese form you mentioned and adapted it to a more brutal, untraditional environment of Brazil.

    There is no technique in BJJ that is not in Judo. Despite the name, BJJ is simply Judo with different contest rules. In fact, there is an alternate set of Judo contests in Japan called “Kosen Judo” that is pretty much identical to BJJ matches.

    To the extent Judo and BJJ are different, it is a function of:

    1. The ever increasing Olympic-obsession in Judo. IJF contest rules now prohibit leg pickups – meaning any throw in which one grabs a leg or legs with hands, e.g. Morote-Gari (double leg), Kata-Guruma (fireman’s carry), Sukui-Nage/Te-Guruma (single leg lifts), etc. And since the vast majority of clubs train for IJF contests and the Olympics, Judo is shedding a lot of its former techniques (which BJJ has kept).

    Personally, I LOVE the “Russian-style” Judo with lots of folk wrestling throws (they are my specialty), so this has been very sad for me. See:

    1. In Judo, you get total victory (Ippon) for throwing your opponent cleanly onto his back with control and force. In BJJ, you get some points for the takedown, but the fight continues. In general, Judo now de-emphasizes Ne-Waza (ground techniques) and fixates on Tachi-Waza (standing techniques). Meanwhile, BJJ generally neglects damaging takedowns (flopping to the guard is very common even at high levels), and reigns supreme on the ground. In other words, the difference is simply a function of rewarding different things.
  • Geez. I can talk about the so-called Imjin War/Hideyoshi Invasions of Korea until the cows come home. But I won’t since this thread is already quite off-topic.

    I actually met and discussed the topic at length with Stephen Turnbull a couple of decades ago.

    I was a military historian early in my career (I was also acquainted with Geoffrey Parker at one point and had some lengthy conversations about the East Asian-Western European differences in the evolution of military technology in the early modern era, especially fortifications).

  • I think you’re describing Christianity there

    You understand neither Buddhism nor Christianity if you think that.

    What do you imagine the Awakened One awoke to?

  • What do you imagine the Awakened One awoke to?

    It makes no sense to say that Buddha awoke to non-existence. The Awakened One awoke to his true Self. Which is also the true Self of all sentient beings still in Dreamtime. Call it Buddha Nature, Brahman, God or whatever.

  • Clearly you have an ax to grind. Have you been left behind with some unglamorous job of a statistician with logistic programming while some colleagues of yours are flying high hyping neural networks? Are you annoyed by the undeserved hype the neural networks get? You complain that AI is a regress of science. But this is not just about science. Mostly it’s about making machines do some complex and cool things. People usually build first before they understand. The limits often are reached before theorem defining the limits is formulated and proven. Think about guys building steam engine before thermodynamics and Carnot. The engines worked and were useful.

  • @AK

    You might want to review the Russian returnee scientist program,

    “””Young Russian Scientist Explains To Putin Why He Did Come Back To Russia From West”””

    Did not notice before that the number viewed is now over 200K, normally such program will be lucky to have views over 10K.

    The Chinese returnee scientist program seems to have succeeded greatly. The recently reported cloning of the macaque primates the principal investigator is a former professor from US UCBerkely, now he is the director of the key research Institute of NeuroPlasticity and one of the key investigators of the China Brain Project whose research grant was reported to be indexed to 2.5% of national GDP but spread over 15 years, i.e. about USD$50 Billion. Before this the total life sciences research budget was reported to be about USD$200 Million.

    In a command economy weakness in some research areas are not that the people do not excel in them as some people asserted but because of government directives. For example, based on the number of university courses that receive special state fundings under the so called “Double First” program announced last year, physics only ranked number 11 with 7 courses, whereas material engineering, chemistry and biology ranked first, second and third with 30, 25 and 16 courses respectively. Material engineering is classified as chemical sciences and that showed the skew towards this in the NatureIndex WFC scores. Life sciences only enter the main stage in China from last year with billion dollars research budgets. Ironically physics ranked below ecology at 5 with 11 courses and environ engineering at 7 with 9 courses. Ethnics and gender studies ranked 45 with 2 courses. Using physics or pure sciences as the benchmark for evaluating achievements might not be relevant for countries like China, India and Russia which all skewing towards applied chemical technologies.

    There was a question about the ethnic distribution for the proportion of USA WFC score. Well to look at that from a different angle,

    Country Dif WFC12 WFC17
    USA -2937.73 18729.5 15791.8
    China +2938.43 4511.28 7449.71

    It is intriguing that between 2012 and 2017 USA lost -2937.73 points while China gained +2938.43 points, numerical magnitude difference of 0.7 out of about 3000 points. While it is unlikely US’s lost was the direct effect of China’s gain, China’s returnee scientist program has attracted significant researchers internationally to return that there could be a global reverse musical chairs going on with increasing unfilled vacancies. It is noted that Harvard has deviated from its previous practice of hiring senior professors only from the best internationally to promotions from within, even before the ‘America First’ policy. As can be seen from the chart,

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2re1e9w&s=9

    the collective growth from the BRICS countries causes the decline of performance in other regions. That shows how much the performance of USA is dependence on attracting the best internationally, ‘America First’ and MAGA are incompatible.

  • European-American says

    I may never get to read all 300 comments, but I just want to tack on:

    Awesomely good blog post, thank you.

  • jimbojones says

    Great thread! One note: Russians and Eastern Europeans (and others) are pumping out plenty of papers – they are just doing it in the US. Because while US grade school and undergraduate education are mediocre, US grad schools are the best. Everybody goes there. Because of the high living standards AND because of the spectacular concentration of quality.

    This is the benefit of Empire. There is a reason why A. Karlin was in SF – that’s one of the places where IT’s at, whatever it is. Other places include London, L.A. (less so than before), N.Y., Seattle, D.C., and to a lesser extent places like Austin, San Diego, Toronto and Chicago.

    Hard to say what Russia should do. China has the advantage of being obviously different from the West. So it can rely on ethnocentrism.
    Russia, less so. Russia has always had one foot in Europe and in the West. That is its key dilemma and one of its greatest strengths.

  • Hard to say what Russia should do.

    More investments in education and science would be a good start.

  • Anonymous says

    The US is unique amongst developed states in that there is no substantial passenger rail and moreso in that there is no electric rail infrastructure, passenger or freight, anymore (outside the “Acela Corridor”.) At one time the US was actually a world leader in both these things, but effective passenger rail service was abandoned by private railroads, not because it was not profitable, but because it was not as profitable (as freight) and further because railroad officials found it personally more convenient to not have to deal with passenger complaints. (Meanwhile, said officials ride in extreme comfort in “business cars” with private chefs and lavish booze stocks, and, I am told, once in a while with high class hookers over their own systems.)

    There is also the matter of fracking producing natural gas at half to a third the price per BTU in the US, yet interest in natural gas vehicles is minimal. Even fleet users disdain CNG and LNG vehicles unless coerced or cajoled to do so via legislation, and manufacturers actively discourage private buyers from interest in such vehicles.

    Oil will not “run out” for several generations, but it will get progressively more expensive as lower cost-to-lift providers in effect highgrade their resources to finance the pimp-like lifestyles of Middle Eastern elites and simultaneously the religious crazies to placate the host populations of their countries. Saudi Arabia will run dry before anyone in the West thinks they will, at which time they will go back to their pre-oil ways. The West cannot do that: it must move forward or experience a massive die off. The US will go to the two technologies the Left hates, coal and nuclear, because they will be slaughtered if they are seen as responsible for mass privation. (Americans do nothing when you import illegal mestizos and undesirable Middle Easterners, make whores of their daughters and fat couch potatoes of their sons, and denigrate their religion and history: but f*** with their beer and sportsball and you are dead meat, and without truck fuel to haul the beer and electricity to light the stadiums and televise the games, there’s no more beer or sportsball.)

  • Excellent!

    Finally, someone who shares some of my more, er, less mainstream interests. Me, I’m just an enthusiastic amateur, undergrad in military theory is about it – (don’t ask about employment, my degree and employment don’t go in the same sentence). And indulged my love of the subject ever since.

    For obvious reasons, I didn’t jump into the earlier discussion. I found the level of discourse somewhat lacking, like an experienced engineer trying to enlighten a layman with just enough layman’s stereotypes to get him in trouble. Threads of that nature are tiresome.

    Anyway, very glad to have you on board this forum.

  • Saudi Arabia will run dry before anyone in the West thinks they will, at which time they will go back to their pre-oil ways. The West cannot do that: it must move forward or experience a massive die off.

    It will be Saudi-Arabia that has to experience a massive die off.
    Remember the population growth in Saudi-Arabia.

    http://static.flickr.com/26/101814140_4840463bc8_o.png

  • China has the advantage of being obviously different from the West.


    Very, very obviously different and un-Westernized. But it’s not an advantage, because any little advance by such an alien race sends waves of hysteria in both elite and mass segments of Western society.

    Imagine the extreme consternation in North America and Europe if ever a despised, denigrated, racially alien Sub-Saharan African society were ever to show signs of “non-backwardness”. Not anything awesome, just non-backward.

    I think the West would start undergoing the stages of grief at that point (you know – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Acceptance). Oh sure, the MSM would sing its praises, but in private, most Westerners would absolutely loathe such a phenomenon.

  • Bardon Kaldian says

    Very, very obviously different and un-Westernized. But it’s not an advantage, because any little advance by such an alien race sends waves of hysteria in both elite and mass segments of Western society.

    True, but it’s Russia, not the core West which has the longest border with China. Time to think in old-fashioned imperialist way (geopolitics, land grab, regional hegemony, blah blah..)

  • It’s good to see that your writing is in tip top form. It’s comments like this, ones that are based on your erudition and from formal research skills and that are peppered with the insights of a native, that keep me an avid admirer of your output. Keep it up!

  • – Russia doesn’t need to import of basic food..
    – Russia can fuel itself..
    – Russia’s social underclass is native to the country. No imported cultural/racial alien underclass,..
    – Russian military-manufacturing capacity is still very competitive.

    Agreed with your good observance. In short Russia is completely self sufficient, incl culture & religion.

    So Russia won’t channel precious resources to R&D area to churn out useless research papers or make white elephants that it don’t need/benefits, since it don’t export anything other than resources & military gears(which it focus on hence Excellency).

    Why would one invest many A. I. robots to replace workers to make cheaper products for domestic, hence inflating higher social cost for jobless, a zero sum game.

    China is investing heavily in robotics, A. I. , supercomputer, R&D, etc. bcos it has the largest manufacturing base, domestic market & export economy to justify the huge investment returns potential. With more returns & economic of scale, it just snow ball. Same for US, EU, Germany, Jp, SK, etc are investing much in selective R&D, & area where they see potential profits.

    So the comparison here for Russia with the rest of export economies are not objective.

    As Russia move towards export economy, it will put money in selective area to compete, hence all the education & research fund, scientists & papers, new machines will just fall in place.

    But looking at how US Nato is brow beating Russia now, its likely Russia will remain in self sufficient model for long, and venture into selective areas where the West unable to disrupt or compete in price to strangle it, like grain export to ME, specific products for China market, aerospace,…military.

    Putin needs to spend the hard-earned tax-money on that, otherwise the Russians are going to remove him from power.

    Lol. Then they will start crying. After enjoying some Western lifestyle of high tech gadgets & academia accolades domestically, to find Russia get marginalized by US Nato internationally.

    But is Russia burning 50 billion Euros per year to feed, police & shelter them like Germany?

    Only Mummy Merkel will splash that huge money to bring in millions of Muslim refugees(mix with terrorists & criminals).

    The cost of having Germany social fabrics been torn apart, long term social cost of upkeeping these millions of refugees with different culture & religion, potential religion conflicts & high crimes rate, are astronomical, unbearable & potentially destabilizing to spiral Germany into abyss. But surprisingly majority Germans still voted for it in recent election.

    A well coordinated Weapon of Mass Migration WMM is been used by some interest groups to invade every developed countries, US, EU, Singapore, Oz, Nz, only China, Jp & Korea are still sanely free from it.

  • Thanks!

  • YS, have you ever work with Japanese?

    They lack innovation and true ultra high level scientists like Russians, Germans or Chinese, always copy new ideas and technology, refine it over & over again until they out perform everyone. Once you innovate with new idea again to leapfrog, they start the same algorithm.

  • Well, the Mainland Chinese themselves have long recognized that Traditional “martial arts” are just the Chinese equivalent of acrobatics, ballet and dance – basically not useful in real unarmed combat.

    This reveal you are someone never learn or even know what is traditional Chinese martial arts, karate, Taekwondo, or any form of martial arts before.

    Please restraint from spewing utter BS here.

  • Bardon Kaldian says
  • Probably the only innovation of Buddhism is to refuse to define this ultimate ‘self’ – but to deliberately remain silent about it, as beyond words, and supramundane…But most traditions are willing to say at least something about this ultimate self.

    This is an interesting point as well – the ontological reality of the spirit – what is it exactly? I find it fascinating that the Qur’an doesn’t delve too much into the spirit (ruh):
    “And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the spirit. Say, ‘The spirit is of the command of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little.'” (17:85)

    Can you, being the spirit, truly fully understand yourself comprehensively? Likely not.

    But the purpose is always soteriological

    Exactly; ultimately what’s the point, purpose, goal? The Qur’an goes into far more detail regarding the self/ego (nafs); about its training, its evolving categories, etc. The works of the Sufis also go into detail of the disciplining of the nafs. It is at the practical nature; for once the nafs is brought into check, it can be saddled and ridden and becomes a conveyance to get one to the destination faster; since it is no longer desirous of the material and mundane, but the focus of its desires are the Divine Itself.

    Once the nafs isn’t distracting one, but rather an ally, the ruh is naturally able to recognize its true self (which is really annihilatory since it comes to recognize its utter dependence on God for it existence at every moment). And that is really something that the Sufis write about, but is something they say you cannot really describe (and approximate at best); it’s something that must be done and “tasted”. If you’ve never tasted coffee or anything close to it, how exactly does one put it into words for you?

    What’s fascinating is, as you pointed out – the similar experiences of these varied traditions.

    Peace.

  • Thanks again for your insights – as another person pointed out, it’s really great to get these comments from someone who has spent decades in a realm of human knowledge and is willing to share.

    Peace.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    This has always amused me of his work:

    But so far, the few who have understood the work have struggled to explain it to anyone else. “Everybody who I’m aware of who’s come close to this stuff is quite reasonable, but afterwards they become incapable of communicating it,” says one mathematician who did not want his name to be mentioned. The situation, he says, reminds him of the Monty Python skit about a writer who jots down the world’s funniest joke. Anyone who reads it dies from laughing and can never relate it to anyone else

    https://www.nature.com/news/the-biggest-mystery-in-mathematics-shinichi-mochizuki-and-the-impenetrable-proof-1.18509

  • A helpful way to think of it is the doctrine of two worlds which later became the doctrine of two levels of truth –

    The world of our senses is a dream, and you can awaken to another world which can be intuited but not spoken of.

    Awakening is a “disillusionment”.

    Later, this became the doctrine that there is only one world, seen from two perspectives – that of our senses, and ultimate truth. There is no “other world” – just a shift in perspective.

    However, the total disillusionment with this world is radically incompatible with modern ways of thinking, and in modern times both Asian and Western thinkers made a major effort to reinterpret Buddhism as really “positive”.

    The Buddha knew people are desperate to cling to something, anything – but he taught emptiness.

    Disillusionment with this world can help one take it lightly and playfully – but modern people think inventing things like AI will save them, somehow.

    Anyways I’m not a Buddhist, and I’m beginning to forget what I used your know about it.

  • Right, there has to be a certain amount of mystery because the whole point of religion is that there are realities not accessible to our minds.

    I find this point really hard to explain even to modern western religious people – the idea that if you can’t think it, it can’t exist, seems so deeply rooted in the modern west.

    As if our puny minds are the measure of the world!

    It’s anthropomorphism, or humanism, which is really just extreme parochialism.

    As progress stalls and science breaks down – and there is no clearer indication of the radical break down of science than the fact that Yan Shen’s recent paper got 50 citations : ) – I suspect the eccentric way of thinking science has trained us in will wither away, and the weird cognitive depression we’ve been laboring under – noted by John Derbyshire recently, but you can easily see it by picking up any book from 100 years ago on any topic – may life, and we may become a.little smarter.

  • Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic
    translated from the Pali by
    Ñanamoli Thera

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.059.nymo.html

    Contain both Pali & English
    http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samyutta/khandha/sn22-059.html

    If you need more sources, one phd monk wrote about this non-self sutta, but i haven’t find time to read yet. In PDF.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.nknu.edu.tw/~jingxue/download/international2/06.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiEnI61oPHZAhWGFpQKHXppA60QFjANegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw0y2atGzPSoviurXcQUbT5H

  • A helpful way to think of it is the doctrine of two worlds which later became the doctrine of two levels of truth –

    The world of our senses is a dream, and you can awaken to another world which can be intuited but not spoken of.

    Awakening is a “disillusionment”.

    Later, this became the doctrine that there is only one world, seen from two perspectives – that of our senses, and ultimate truth. There is no “other world” – just a shift in perspective.

    However, the total disillusionment with this world is radically incompatible with modern ways of thinking, and in modern times both Asian and Western thinkers made a major effort to reinterpret Buddhism as really “positive”.

    The Buddha knew people are desperate to cling to something, anything – but he taught emptiness.

    Disillusionment with this world can help one take it lightly and playfully – but modern people think inventing things like AI will save them, somehow.

    Anyways I’m not a Buddhist, and I’m beginning to forget what I used your know about it.

    I think you are trying to write down, or argue about, some religious or mystical concept.

    But it’s something that cannot be described in this simplistic or written down form. On the page, it just becomes a kind of nonsense.

    Language cannot be used, or is not capable to describe, this kind of strange perspective.

    There’s a famous philosopher, Wittgenstein – from University of Cambridge. The final chapter in their book is just the sentence – “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

  • He was mouthing of and approaching …The thug got into range- perfect, right cross, straight on the jaw. The thug fell on the pavement head first. Out cold.

    You can easily kill someone like that.

  • Thank you TT. This demonstrates my point – in this sutta, the Buddha goes through a long list of things that are not-self. He does not say “there is no self”, merely “this (form, consciousness) is not your self, if it were…”.

    There is also a sutta, perhaps you can find it, where I think the wanderer govinda explicitly asks the Buddha to deny the self, and the Buddha refuses to answer, but maintains a pregnant silence.

    I believe there is also a sutta where he explicitly calls people who deny the self “annihilationists”, and rejects them, just as he rejects the “eternalists”, who claim there is a self.

    There is also a sutta where the question, where has Buddha gone to after his death? is considered unanswerable. It would have been easy to say “he is no more”.

    Existence and non-existence are dualistic categories within the world of phenomena – the point is that the phenomenal world is relative, and it’s categories non-exhaustive.

    There is a third category between existence and non existence, but to really grasp this requires a shedding of our modern western training in scientific thinking and Aristotleian logic.

    The Buddha is struggling mightily to express in language what cannot be. Ultimately, meditation is required to understand.

  • This is very true, and the Buddha reaches the same conclusion and many suttas show the Buddha merely maintaining a “wise silence”.

    Ultimately, the point of discussion is to demonstrate that language is inadequate – it is an entirely negative process, it “liberates” you from concepts. You do not discover some “thing” at the end of it, and you certainly do not emerge with another “concept”.

    I am trying to do the same here – Bardon is applying a concept “non-existence” and I am trying to show that it is inapplicable.

    I am NOT trying to substitute another concept – my function is entirely negative, “liberational”, as it were.

    Any “positive” affirmation is criticized and found wanting – and you have not reached the end of the discussion without a single concept intact.

    The purpose, clearly, is not knowledge – but showing the inadequacy of knowledge and to achieve liberation from it.

  • In according to the scriptures of Tipitaka, Pali Canon.

    The meaning of Awaken means attained Enlightenment.

    Correct term for Buddha should be:
    The Buddha is a Self Awaken one, bcos He realized the 4 Noble Truth, 8 Noble Paths by himself to attain enlightenment without any teacher.

    His disciples also can attained enlightenment (awaken) but only possible through His Teaching (Dhamma).

    According to The Buddha explanation, when one Enlightened, he has cutoff Greed, Hatred, Delusion and become a Holy One, an Arahant, who has no more rebirth (next existence).

    Awaken does not means go into another world. But to transcend from mundane to supramundane mind, absolutely free from greed hatred delusion.

    Someone asked Buddha then whether does a awaken one, an arahant after passed away (parinibbana) exist or not exist, or neither exist nor non exist.

    Buddha explained with a simile: Like a flame of oil lamp, when the fuel is consumed, the fire extinguish. Does the fire go anywhere?

    No, it merely cease. So is the enlightened beings, when they died, they cease without remainder, there is no rebirth, just like a fire is extinguished.

  • Okay, I am honestly curious.

    I only was repeating what someone in China said to me. I admit I know nothing more on this subject.
    Tell me what YOU think about Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

    Ready to learn a new perspective.

  • Hehe……I was waiting for a comment like that.

    Yes, you can.
    You can also easily be killed by a guy kicking your head into the pavement.

    Your comment is the essence of all that “street fighting” and even more “an average citizen self-defense”.
    Fear of consequences ….undecided…..hesitant……and a loser. Always humiliated, often beaten up and occasionally killed.
    That is why an average thug beats up, 9 times of 10 a “nice guy”. And why ” an average citizen self-defense” is mostly waste of time, or even worse, a dangerous delusion.
    Very few gyms teach the SETUP, those 70 % that creates the environment for the physical. Green, yellow and red zones.
    Very few teach mindset, the attitude which is, again 70 % of fight and self-defense.

    MMA, boxing, judo (ne-waza in particular), vale-tudo, blah…blah….yes, that’s all fine and dandy but not the most important.
    The mindset is the key. The attitude. The SWITCH.
    It can be trained.

    And, the best part is, the other guy will recognize it and it will be no need to fight. He’ll go to choose another victim.
    And if it does get to the fight it shouldn’t last more than 3 seconds, 15 tops.

    Two words:
    Setup and the switch.

  • “Sportsball”?

    Wait, have you been

    A) Reading “The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival” by John Glubb? or

    B) Watching the Black Pigeon Speaks youtube channel?

    C) Both?

    If so on any of the choices, that’s . . . AWESOME

  • Daniel Chieh says

    I think this may be the first time I’ve agreed with you on anything.

    Absolutely true. The lack of awareness of this is why so much of “self-defense training” is complete nonsense; heck, so much trauma/disaster training in general.

    Fear of consequences ….undecided…..hesitant……and a loser. Always humiliated, often beaten up and occasionally killed.

    Physically locking up, quite often. And thereby, not much more effective action beyond that.

    What’s particularly terrifying/interesting to me, is that I’ve found this can apply not only to individuals but entire groups of people. Panic is almost a visceral, physical disease that can infect and spread.

    If you think about it, though, this could be a downside of having “high IQ” or whatever. Having the imagination and preparation to think long-term about consequences is usually a positive feature, right up until someone with no consideration beyond his next fix is pushing fingers into your eyeballs.

  • Mathematics is not innovation.

    Just sharing experience working with top technology Japanese company that produced super computer and its IC. While they are leading the world across wide spectrum of technologies, but one can eventually find they lack those innovative talents.

    There is just a critical threshold they couldn’t cross. Similarly, working with Koreans, they have even a lower threshold.

    May be others have their different direct experience to share here to prove my observation is flawed.

  • Physically locking up, quite often.

    Yup.

    I’ve said nothing new. Kids from hard neighborhoods get it with mother’s milk.

    People from “educated” layer of society don’t get it most of the time. Actually, more educated somebody is, more likely is to be detached from that reality. On the positive side, here and there you can come across a very educated and intelligent person totally in synch with that.

    Panic is almost a visceral, physical disease that can infect and spread.

    Yup.
    That’s why the militaries of old had harsh punishment for cowardice and such, drilling to automation etc.

    My point is simple:
    In order to be efficient in self-defense one has to understand and train that, crucial, element of the situation. It can be done.
    The catch is, very rare gyms do it. Public gyms that is. “Underground” types are different matter.

    The worst problem is not lack of real capability. It’s delusion. Selling the delusion to an average citizen which could then get him into trouble.

    But, the real problem is not easy to fix.
    In order to train that element, one (trainer), has to cross that line of political correctness.
    Or, worse, the trainee. Hehe…funny a?
    How can a well adjusted white collar guy cross that line? He/she can’t.
    Catch 22.
    So they pay well, train hard all those techniques and get beaten up into pulp by an average punk in a parking lot.

    As for “visualizing”, well, not quite.
    That is exactly what a good training, in this matter, uses a lot.
    Think->visualize->train. Analyse/think->visualise->execute/train.

  • You know, I have always been curious about this myself, broadly speaking.

    Is this mindset in any way related to what they still do in all armies, what the Drill Instructors call “Aggression Training”, often via bayonet practice, in the U.S.
    Of course, all serious armies do the same.

    It was explained to me this way:

    “Wielding a bayonet at the end of a firearm is nearly useless in a modern fight. The instructors absolutely know this. But it awakens the needed killer instinct in the human, the realization that the modern battle is about life and death, and that it’s kill or be killed. It teaches a soldier to never hesitate to maim and kill. It’s after that instinct is there that instruction can be given in techniques and tactics.”

    “It is designed to turn average, soft, middle-class men into enthusiastic killers.”

    Okay, speaking as someone who doesn’t know, am I somewhat on the right track?

  • Daniel Chieh says

    In order to train that element, one (trainer), has to cross that line of political correctness.
    Or, worse, the trainee. Hehe…funny a?

    You could open a gym, but the money is in teaching 12 year old girls on how they are going to be strongk and you will get to find out how it feels to be a variant of a day care.

    How can a well adjusted white collar guy cross that line? He/she can’t.

    I would disagree. Personal experience with the criminal element has a remarkable effect on people, let’s just say. Most people just live in a such a beautiful bubble where even terrible things that happen are so, really, rather civilized.

  • You are really obsessed with the Germans as cartoon villains.

  • Could you give examples of American innovations from last 20 years?

  • Okay, speaking as someone who doesn’t know, am I somewhat on the right track?

    What a surprise.
    A person admitting his shortcoming and willing to ask to better himself. On this site. Whoah.
    Now I feel obliged.

    You are, sort of, on a right track.

    First, about bayonet and soldiers.
    It’s not quite useless. The bayonet can be used, well, for “crowd control” and when working with POWs. Then, it can be used, effectively, when “mopping up” the enemy position, say, as a follow up squad, behind the assault squad. Checking those dead are dead and not just faking or briefly unconscious just about to wake up and shoot you in the back.

    But, yes, it is, in modern armies, used for the mental, attitude, aggression training.
    A hint for a personal self defense: get two guys to spar with gloves a couple of rounds, just relaxed boxing sparing.
    Then, take of the gloves and wraps and give them training (soft rubber blade) knives. Watch…..
    Ask them how it felt. Especially if/when one of them drops the knife. Watch the other guy reaction. Ask him how he felt.

    The element that, apparently, interests you is both crucial and complex. Demands serious approach.
    If you are interested, well, Internet can provide bits and pieces to connect the dots and, if willing, to train all that.
    Now, some people don’t need to train it. Psychopaths at the extreme side there, though, so…careful.
    Most do need to train that. Again, it can be done.

    The key isn’t actually the aggression itself. It’s the capability to switch, in instant, into aggression from a normal, everyday, mindset/attitude.

    Again, can be trained.
    An example:
    Think about scenarios, visualize them and, the very important part, train that “switch” and “explosion” on a heavy bag. Mix it with a sparring partner (distancing, positioning, speed, accuracy, timing, not power of course).
    An “explosion” on a bag….an “explosion” on a sparring partner. Again and again.
    Play a “receiver” too. See the body/face hints that he is going to unleash. It can be seen. Subtle changes here and there. You can practice, then, a subtle or not so subtle changes in your posture to offset, minimize his assault.
    Etc…etc….

    To summarize:
    Reading the environment to make your own setup->critical part is the last couple of seconds before the physical and the last half a meter before the range of contact->switch->explosion.

    And, if you really want to be serious, the aftermath:
    Best case scenario: he’s down whimpering…what now? Visualize etc. The LAW. Because the aftermath could be worse than the event.

    Catch again.
    Thugs handle that part much better than the nice guys. Experience.

    Something like that…….just an idea.

    If you are keen on all that…welcome.
    Most are not.

  • Some people are naturally cold and adapted in a stressful or violent situation, and other people are the opposite.

    It’s not something that is always matching how they look externally – such cold personalities can even be women.

    I had this argument (on the Sailer forum), where all the Americans were telling me women can never be soldiers, because women are some weak, innocent butterflies.

    Of course, there are women who can be more suitable in wartime, than most men. I.e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyudmila_Pavlichenko
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Litvyak
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandra_Samusenko
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roza_Shanina
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanya_Baramzina
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliya_Moldagulova

    Which is to do with having a cold personality, or adaptive to the stress and violent situation.

    In the future, one of the main methods to recruit soldiers or people to special forces, or to become assassins, will be done by looking at their brain scans. More of those will be men, but of course they will find plenty of women with a cold personality or killer instinct as well.

  • Yes, you can.
    You can also easily be killed by a guy kicking your head into the pavement.

    Well your story seemed to be about someone who reacted as if that was about to happen but he was not acting in self defense at all. Punching out someone who was abusive or trying to intimidate you is not self defense in the eyes of the law.

    You can forget about getting a knock out in an actual fight (as opposed to cold cocking), and many have been dragged to the floor and beaten to a pulp because they tried to finish a fight with a knock out. Most people don’t want to be in a fight because they don’t want to be arrested or have their face rearranged.

  • Thorfinnsson says

    I’m very disappointed to see Andrei Martyanov didn’t comment on this piece.

    His powerful takes on Karlin’s blog posts are highly amusing, and this one seems sure to trigger him.

  • Or you can just toughen up people like football fans are doing with each other every weekend.

    Encouraging youth to hit each other on the head every week, is not exactly good strategy in article about encouraging the science base though.

  • As a practitioner of Taekwondo, Haikido(similar to karate), and Chinese martial arts CMA myself, one can tell their differences.

    The former two are simply coarse fighting skills, like the video guy who killed the Russia weight lifting champion with just a simple back kick and few straight punches. He is for sure very skillful and confident, that required many years of sparing experience. Even normal black belt can’t do that. I did same kick before on a friendly fight, the injury is horrible. Karate is more brutal than TKD.

    But Chinese martial arts are so profound and wide its beyond comparison. Its impossible to learn or describe all the thousands of variety. So i can only share my direct experi as a junior practitioner.

    What you heard from China friends are those armature who learn for sake of health and demonstration competition & entertainment, including using weapons, which i did too when young. China has relegated CMA to kind of demonstration arts for competition purpose.

    But in term of street fighting, 散打 Chinese boxing, 咏春拳 Bruce Lee boxing, you can search from YouTube, its top MMA champion. More brutal and high impact than TKD or Karate. Others like 洪拳Hongquan, 长拳Changquan that i learned, already decline to demonstration arts, but in China still plenty of original good one.

    But for serious practitioner, it involved wide training, starting from 武术精神morality/spirit, to 招数外功external strokes, and 内功 internal strength using Qi(which is unique to CMA).

    Watch some youtube how Shaolin monks use one or two finger to hold themselves inverted up, breaking of bricks with head, many junior trainees could let trucks roll over stomach, etc. Our body is beyond your imagination.

    气功Qigong is something one need to practise to understand. You might read in some sword men novels, its literally true by my own experience but nowsaday its hard to practise until so high. Just google 气功Qigong, you will find plenty of fascinating materials & Youtube demo.

    太极拳 Taiji is great for health and harmonizing mind with body. But beneath those slow & soft movements, real Taiji master accumulate enormous Qi inner strength that is beyond ordinary man power. It took me some years to realize how those masters could do so beautiful & smooth 行云流水, because if one developed with internal energy, Qi will move your body according to your mind意 , 以意带气,气走身行.

    All CMA are for defense & fighting, so is real Taiji. But people prefer the 杨式太极拳 Yang Taiji for its softness. True 陈式太极拳Chen Taiji is for fighting, very power packed with internal strength.

    Of course the ultimate essence of CMA is gathering Qi and use it to clear all internal meridians 奇经八脉, then your body all acupuncture points open up, you can 采气 taking in energy from external, like trees & outer space. Then you meditate and 练气 further refine Qi to strengthen body, boost immune, and lengthen life to max like Taoist did.

    Some could develop psychic powers, like ability to see through wall or body like x-ray, probe others illness, cure others with Qi with no distance limit, which are not uncommon.

    Those truly developed in CMA, they cultivate endurance, don’t fight & keep low profile because they know they could kill people easily with their internal strength. Like a Lion, it know its strength well. Others perceived this as weakness, but its a higher spiritual development short from religion.

    Weapons wise, 站桩 I will not discuss, too much.

    I am speaking from own experience, and consider myself is only a junior practitioner touching on surface of CMA, as outside China there are practically no or few good teachers.

    How profound can those China Shaolin monks & Taoist, old pugilists masters are beyond our imagination. Chinese has one issue, they kept everything to themselves without openly propagate, so many CMA are lost over time, like TCM.

    CMA is developed over thousands years of Hans civilization. But agriculture & scholastic live of Hans have make them weak in fighting spirit, so Moguls & Manchus could conquer them.

  • As a practitioner of Taekwondo, Haikido(similar to karate), and Chinese martial arts CMA myself, one can tell their differences.

    The former two are simply coarse fighting skills, like the video guy who killed the Russia weight lifting champion with just a simple back kick and few straight punches. He is for sure very skillful and confident, that required many years of sparing experience. Even normal black belt can’t do that. I did same kick before on a friendly fight, the injury is horrible. Karate is more brutal than TKD.

    But Chinese martial arts are so profound and wide its beyond comparison. Its impossible to learn or describe all the thousands of variety. So i can only share my direct experi as a junior practitioner.

    What you heard from China friends are those armature who learn for sake of health and demonstration competition & entertainment, including using weapons, which i did too when young. China has relegated CMA to kind of demonstration arts for competition purpose.

  • https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/01/why-john-j-mearsheimer-is-right-about-some-things/308839/

    Quite the opposite. I think that any country with any political system, if swapped with Germany, would have acted as Germany did and started WW1 and 2 . So I think the Germans were and are no different to anyone else.

    By the same token, a strongish AI would not have to be evil or have a will to power for it to act aggressively against humanity. It would have to be foolish not to.

  • But in term of street fighting, 散打 Chinese boxing, Yongchun Bruce Lee boxing, you can search from YouTube, its top MMA champion. More brutal and high impact than TKD or Karate. Others like Hongquan, Changquan that i learned, already decline to demonstration arts, but in China still plenty of original good one.

    But for serious practitioner, it involved wide training, starting from morality/spirit, to 外功external strokes, and 内功 internal strength using Qi(which is unique to CMA).

    Watch some youtube how Shaolin monks use one or two finger to hold themselves inverted up, breaking of bricks with head, many junior trainees could let trucks roll over stomach, etc. Our body is beyond your imagination.

    Qigong is something one need to practise to understand. You might read in some sword men novels, its literally true by my own experience but nowsaday its hard to practise until so high. Just google Qigong, you will find plenty of fascinating materials & Youtube demo.

    Taiji is great for health and harmonizing mind with body. But beneath those slow & soft movements, real Taiji master accumulate enormous Qi inner strength that is beyond ordinary man power. It took me some years to realize how those masters could do so beautiful & smooth because if one developed with internal energy, Qi will move your body according to your mind.

    All CMA are for defense & fighting, so is real Taiji. But people prefer the Yang Taiji for its softness. True Chen Taiji is for fighting, very power packed with internal strength.

    Of course the ultimate essence of CMA is gathering Qi and use it to clear all internal meridians, then your body all acupuncture points open up, you can taking in energy from external, like trees & outer space. Then you meditate and further refine Qi to strengthen body, boost immune, and lengthen life to max like Taoist did.

    Some could develop psychic powers, like ability to see through wall or body like x-ray, probe others illness, cure others with Qi with no distance limit, which are not uncommon.

    Those truly developed in CMA, they cultivate endurance, don’t fight & keep low profile because they know they could kill people easily with their internal strength. Like a Lion, it know its strength well. Others perceived this as weakness, but its a higher spiritual development short from religion.

    Weapons wise, I will not discuss, too much.

    I am speaking from own experience, and consider myself is only a junior practitioner touching on surface of CMA, as outside China there are practically no or few good teachers.

    How profound can those China Shaolin monks & Taoist, old pugilists masters are beyond our imagination. Chinese has one issue, they kept everything to themselves without openly propagate, so many CMA are lost over time, like TCM.

    CMA is highly developed over thousands years of Hans civilization. But agriculture & scholastic live of Hans have make them weak in fighting spirit, so Moguls & Manchus could conquer them.

  • Well your story seemed to be about someone who reacted as if that was about to happen but he was not acting in self defense at all. Punching out someone who was abusive or trying to intimidate you is not self defense in the eyes of the law.

    You could be right.

    Or:
    The bad guy: ex-convict with history of similar violence and drug abuse, just on his way to buy his next shot.
    The good guy: ex-pro boxer and outstnding citizen, just on his way to church.
    “I am going to kick your head in you moth%^&&ker…I’ll kill you…”.

    You can forget about getting a knock out in an actual fight (as opposed to cold cocking), and many have been dragged to the floor and beaten to a pulp because they tried to finish a fight with a knock out.

    You serious?
    Haha…and why you won’t be that guy dragging the other guy to the floor and finishing him of there?
    That is exactly the advantage of trained combat sports guys. As soon as the fight passes those first several crucial seconds they are into something they’ve been doing for years. A trained wrestler, judoka or bjj/mma guys will definitely want to take other guy down and finish him of. Just a little sprain instead of break will work. Or a quick ground and pound. Emphasize on quick of course. Again, the environment is the key. The setup. Etc.

    Most people don’t want to be in a fight because they don’t want to be arrested or have their face rearranged.

    Oh yes.
    You are again at the crux of the matter.
    Nice guys don’t want to be there. And, very much afraid of their faces being rearanged.
    Not the bad guys.
    Which makes the nice guys……hesitant. From then on…haha…they get into losing fight, as a chosen victim and get their faces rearranged.
    Funny, a?

  • Bardon Kaldian says

    Mathematics is not innovation.

    Your definition is too restrictive. Stereotype about the Japanese (and all east Asians) is that they’re not creative, just imitative. No trailblazers, but successful robotic copy-cats who may improve what already is here, but cannot make anything new.

    Now, it may be some truth in it, especially if we consider past 500 years of world culture.

    But, evidently, there are enough creative, innovative, use any word…people among them who defy this stereotype. They may, as group, be more conformist, non-individualistic & by the book. Just- one can find, among them, enough individuals who will break old molds & create something truly new.

  • I had this argument (on the Sailer forum), where all the Americans were telling me women can never be soldiers, because women are some weak, innocent butterflies.

    Hahaha…..sure, especially the later.

    Having said that, well, there are obvious weakness.
    Upper body strength and explosive strength.

    Strengths, well, hand/eye coordination etc. Good for marksmanship, for example.

    Besides, modern armed forces are like modern society.
    Not everybody will be doing CQB or being a heavy mortar crew.
    Somebody has to do a lot of typing too.

    As for mental aggression, attitude, let’s say I have a certain, strong, opinion, not very flattering, and won’t post it here.

    For self-defense scenarios women are definitely at disadvantage.
    Average woman against an average man that is.

  • While they are leading the world across wide spectrum of technologies, but one can eventually find they lack those innovative talents.

    Maybe uh someone can help untangle this contradiction?

  • It’s not just that.

    Asian philosophy encourages adapting to natural forces, while Western philosophy encourages breaking free from all natural bounds.

    Our leftist politics are an example of rejecting all natural bounds, and our progress is an attempt to leave all natural bounds behind and reshape the human condition. See Anatoly with his interest in transhumanism. We are Promethean.

    That’s why I’m excited that this will be the Asian century. There’s a real chance that technology will be used in the service of adapting to our human condition, instead of utterly rejecting it.

    Check out the new Chinese “forest cities” to get an idea of what I mean. Modern architecture in the West was about creating harsh shapes devoid of all nature – it’s significant that the emerging counter trend is Asian.

    The Asian century will likely not be Promethean – since its purpose won’t be to break all natural bounds, it’s unlikely to develop many shockingly new technologies that alter the human condition. Certainly not because Asians aren’t creative, but simply because of a different approach to life.

    Maybe the Asian task will be to bring technology down to earth again in the service of human goals, much like Socrates tried to bring philosophy down to earth again – instead of storming the heavens and railing against the human condition.

    A return to human modesty, perhaps.

  • Daniel Chieh says
  • I think if the Asian relationship to technology was going to be Promethean, we would have seen clear signs of that already.

    Generally, the Promethean tendency manifests shortly after ncountering the new stimulus. There was an explosion of creativity just after the rediscovery of ancient Greek texts. Jews had an explosion of creativity shorty after encountering modern western culture. Both were Promethean cultures.

    Japan is already 140 years into its modernization project, and has shown amazing technological capacity but little Promethean tendency, and the various Chinese areas show superior technological capacity with little Promethean tendency. China is 40 years into its opening up phase.

    It’s not a question of ability, but philosophy. And I for one am deeply optimistic about this.

  • Very intetesting – rather than harsh and angular, flowing curves. Futuristic too. The next stage is to festoon it in green growing vines and smother the surrounding area in trees – Chinese eco-futurism : ) I want to see it happen.

  • Fine reply. Thank you.

    I am doing my own “dot-connecting” now. Just starting out though, very long road ahead.

  • Фрэнк в СПБ says

    Russia most certainly has an imported underclass of foreigners. Living in Russia’s second largest city this is as plain as day to me. Central Asians and various peoples from the Caucasus region are easily 15% of the working age population. On construction sites they are omnipresent. Immigration (legal and illegal) into Russia is huge, second only to the US I believe, with the majority being people from central asia. It should be noted, though that at present the majority of workers are single and hence the number of foreign children is significantly less than in the US or western Europe. Thirty or forty years ago the Turks in Germany were also primarily single though I believe.

  • Not sure quite what you mean by “Promethean”, but to your specific example of trans-humanism, that seems to me to be most aligned with advances in bioengineering or biotechnology, which seem to me to be East Asian strengths, i.e. Chinese pushing the frontier on CRISPR clinical trials, Feng Zhang being one of the big names associated with the development of CRISPR, David R Liu at Broad developing what the media dubbed CRISPR 2.0, recent cloning of monkeys in China, etc.

    Your general hypothesis seems to be countered by the prevailing narrative we hear in the mainstream about how China may be more willing to push the frontiers of biomedical engineering given its differing ethics. The West on the other hand seems to be held back more by religious and other moral considerations that the Chinese don’t seem to be particularly constrained by.

  • Is it the case that SOME of the very wide variety of Chinese Martial Arts are meant for sport/ballet/art, but yet OTHERS are designed for practical application?

    If so, then I guess those people in China shouldn’t have lumped all of it together and put such a label on it.

    I am kind of suspecting that there was more to Chinese Martial Arts than the popular artistic displays. I know Zhang Ziyi (a Mainland actress) is pretty good in the artistic side of martial arts. It helps her land roles in China. But I would guess she has not trained to be a fighter of any kind.

    The almost non-usage of Chinese styles in MMA have led a great many to believe the Chinese Martial Arts are useless, obsolete and too artistic.

    I WAS one of them. Now not so sure anymore. Well, OK – I gotta do more digging then, and get a deeper perspective.

  • N.P.
    Welcome.

    Long road indeed.
    For different people, different paths, different ends. For some, the death is the end.
    You can do brief and bare bones practical………or full and, well…metaphysical.
    All the way to Musashi……or Col. Curtz.

    Some people do it by choice, some because who they simply are.
    For some it’s brief entry, boring grudge and out; for some that’s the life itself. And anything in between.

    I’d recommend works of Geoff Thompson, especially “Fence” and “3 seconds fighter: Sniper option”. As starting, “everyday”, the most common scenarios for an average person.
    With critical eye, always.What worked/works for him maybe won’t, exactly, work for you.

    My two cents.

  • So basically, with REAL training and practice, a well-adjusted law-abiding man, who is not out to or wanting to hurt anyone, can make himself flip an inner switch, and then remove his own hesitation?

    Then after the fight, flip the switch again and then be well-adjusted once more?

  • Fair enough, that’s a good point.

    But let’s wait and see what uses the Chinese make of these new technologies – will it, for instance, be to create a super race of “Aryan” conquerors? Or will it be used to ameliorate unnecessary human suffering?

    In other words, to rebel against natural limits and transcend the human condition? Or to better harmonize with our natural state?

    Promethean is a metaphor for the desire to break all natural bounds and seize fire from the Gods, as it were.

    Of course China like any complex society will have various factions and tendencies, and you correctly note trends that may pull in an opposite direction.

  • Russia most certainly has an imported underclass of foreigners. Living in Russia’s second largest city this is as plain as day to me. Central Asians and various peoples from the Caucasus region are easily 15% of the working age population. On construction sites they are omnipresent. Immigration (legal and illegal) into Russia is huge, second only to the US I believe, with the majority being people from central asia. It should be noted, though that at present the majority of workers are single and hence the number of foreign children is significantly less than in the US or western Europe. Thirty or forty years ago the Turks in Germany were also primarily single though I believe.

    There’s also more flow both forwards and backwards, which gives it more temporarily aspect. This is the ‘bright side’ of the open borders policy.

    There’s something similar in EU, where the Polish or Lithuanian cleaners and escorts are constantly flowing into countries like Germany, but also flowing back into their home-countries.

    Whereas with immigrant flows into Western countries from closed border countries like Sudan or Syria, the flow is much more one-way into, until forcibly deported.

  • I think there will be an interesting synthesis of the Western scientific philosophy with the Eastern one. As the synthesis is shown to be superior to either of its parents, it will sweep through the world in coming epochs.

    The West starts from the notion that Man not merely chases knowledge and control, but indeed can actually attain the ultimate end of all there is to be known and controlled. Which has produced wondrous marvels in the material world.

    The East has the idea that Man cannot be considered apart from the Universe as a whole. As the Universe is infinite, therefore the chase of it is eternal. Man can never get to the end of all that is the Universe, since nothing which is a finite component (meaning Humans, finite beings) of the universe will ever be able to encompass the whole.

    So I think the synthesis will be like this:

    Human civilization will strive to know and exert what control we can over the cosmos, however ultimately finite the control. But will acknowledge the eternal nature of the quest. Humans will scientifically push off from the shores of the known, all the while humbly accepting that we can never reach the further shore – for there is no further shore, only a succession of islands and beaches, with forever more lands and oceans beyond.

    There will be instances when Man insists on his control, and there will be times when Man willingly and wisely relinquishes his control, to acknowledge the awesome grandeur and power of the Universe.

    The synthesis can take place anywhere, East or West or both. It is my view that this synthesis is inevitable, if civilization doesn’t collapse first.

  • Our leftist politics are an example of rejecting all natural bounds, and our progress is an attempt to leave all natural bounds behind and reshape the human condition.

    Probably should’ve mentioned this in my prior comment as well.

    Contemporary American left-wing politics is batshit insane and a detriment to scientific progress, not a boon. In order to improve the human condition, you have to be willing to acknowledge its inherent nature to begin with.

    Many left-wing progressives such as PZ Myers for instance, seem fiercely hostile to the idea of engineering smarter babies, in contrast to the mindset of someone like Steve Hsu. See below.

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2016/04/05/superbrains-will-not-come-out-of-a-test-tube/

    Let’s set aside one concern: is intelligence, and more of it, really that good for human beings? We’re dependent on a certain level of smarts — we’re a technologically specialized species — but it’s not clear that we necessarily gain much by getting higher IQs.

    I’m all for increasing investment in biology and molecular genetics, but if you really want to create super-intelligent humans, the best strategy is to invest in sociology and education and social services. If Hsu actually believes all those optimized alleles are out there, why does he allow them to languish in poverty and want? If greater intelligence is an unalloyed good and an unquestionable virtue, why chase after untested genes in unborn individuals rather than crusading to have better nutrition for all children, better preschool education, better schools with more uniform standards?

    Progressivism’s escape from the constraints of the human condition basically entails denouncing everyone successful as privileged or racist and the reason why the non-achievers don’t succeed. It’s more akin to a voodoo ritual rather than being the embodiment of scientific progress.

    Now bashing other people long enough may possibly have some kind of positive effect. Maybe it’ll help close various achievement gaps that we see in this country or close the trade deficit between a country like the US and Japan, but I’m skeptical that such an approach fundamentally works.

  • Cool. Reminds me of a dream I had about 25 years ago. It was a college campus with
    buildings that kinda resembles the one pictured. More colorful with difference kinds
    of building materials. Some derived off structures that animals build. Quite a beautiful
    campus, actually.

    Nice to see that dream looks like it will become reality.

  • I think that’s a wonderful idea – and you Asians can show what you’re made of and lead the way. Maybe the West introduced a needed dynamic element into a world that had gone to sleep – in fact even spiritual creativity had dried up across the world by the late 1800s, remarkably. But the West was too one-sided and destructive in the end. And maybe that was a necessary consequence of re-introducing that dynamic element, and from that perspective, maybe the West deserves to be viewed sympathetically.

    But a more balanced and harmonious approach to technology can only be a gift to mankind that the West will also celebrate.

  • Progressivism’s escape from the constraints of the human condition basically entails denouncing everyone successful as privileged or racist and the reason why the non-achievers don’t succeed. It’s more akin to a voodoo ritual rather than being the embodiment of scientific progress.

    What you are seeing here, Yan Shen, is the two western Promethean projects in conflict with each other. The attempt to escape human constraints through social engineering butting heads with the attempt to do so through science. But at their root, it’s sibling rivalry.

    The Chinese situation seems more like an alternation rather than having both tendencies exist at once – first Maoist social engineering, followed by a turn to science.

    Still, I believe Chinese science will be less insanely Promethean than the West, even if this element will undoubtedly still be present. I expect it to be a better synthesis.

  • RadicalCenter says

    Nuclear power. And to a much lesser extent, solar and wind power in locales where they are effective and sufficiently efficient.

    No need to die as the fossil fuels run out. But we’d better get prepared a lot more than we are.

  • Modern Chinese societies like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc are following the Japanese model of development, which ultimately derives from the models of Colbertian France and Wilhelmine Germany. Korea is also following this self-same model

    In fact, they may be following Japan TOO closely, to the extent of a level of social conformism previously unknown in China prior to the Reform Era beginning in 1982.

    This has had the effect of severely damping down the inner-driven chaotic impulses of the Han, for which the Meiji Japanese derided the Chinese.

    Perhaps less (considerably less) reliance on the Japan variant of the classic German model is in order?

  • Now bashing other people long enough may possibly have some kind of positive effect. Maybe it’ll help close various achievement gaps that we see in this country or close the trade deficit between a country like the US and Japan, but I’m skeptical that such an approach fundamentally works.

    This is also true. The honorable position for white people concerned with their decline is to stop bashing Asians for being “grinds” and saying – stop believing the nonsense about Asian aptitude for technology and start working your asses off to compete, as you once did. Stop resting on your laurels.

    After all, it would have been exceedingly easy for Asians in the 19th century to simply bash white people or accept their “natural” superiority. And in fact, both of these courses were followed by Asians for a while. But then Asians woke up, to their credit.

    Or one may do as I do – if whites have lost interest in technological supremacy, graciously concede to Asians their moment in the sun and use this historical moment to create a much needed correction in Western culture away from abstract thinking and towards live of life.

    But being unwilling to work hard and then bashing Asians for doing so is unseemly – especially since whites in their moment of supremacy worked ferociously hard!

    The white myth of “effortless supremacy” is a transitional myth in the direction of decline.

    As for Japanese trade imbalances, instead of whining about it white countries should just match Japanese protectionism – although I am far from suggesting it is entirely a function of Japanese protectionism. It’s at least partly the result of short term economic policies and systemic deficiencies – another sign of decline.

    But for American companies to focus on short term profits then whine when the Japanese capture markets by not doing so – it’s unseemly.

  • I think it’s a transitional model anyways – certain features conform better to Asian values than Anglo Saxon hyper-competition – but I agree that a necessary correction is due.

    As the West declines and the sense of threat receds, it’s interesting to see how Asian tendencies will express themselves in a freer environment – one less constrained by the western threat.

  • The Qur’an goes into far more detail regarding the self/ego (nafs); about its training, its evolving categories, etc.

    Show us where the Quran details all this.

    it is no longer desirous of the material and mundane, but the focus of its desires are the Divine Itself.

    That is not the Islam of Mohammad, the Last Prophet. As a follower of Allah’s last messenger to mankind the focus of your desires are material, mundane, animalistic both here and after your dead body is resurrected (endless eating, drinking and sex in heave).

  • Bardon Kaldian says

    Sorry, but this has nothing to do with historical mythography & iconography. Prometheus, as a myth, is completely alien both to Levantine (Biblical) cultures, South & east Asian. It is essentially the archetype of Man who is at war with God(s) & whose destiny is shaped by his dual nature of being both a God & Man, fusing both tragedy & ultimate victory.

    If crucial word for east Asian philosophies would be “harmony” with universe visible & invisible; for Levantines the archetype is Job, God’s faithful servant & for Indian culture it is yogi enjoying rapture in transcosmic void.

    Promethean figures are encountered in Western cultural history (Lucretius, Bruno, Goethe’s Faust, some heroes of Melville & Dostoevsky etc.). One could say that Marx’s proletariat was an image of the Promethean collective.

    Outside of Western, actually Greek cultural matrix, Promethean hero-archetype simply does not exist. These cultures are different, as is their perception of the tragic & the individual. They’re no better nor worse, just- different.

  • St Thomas Acquinas says the reward for the righteous who go to heaven will be to gaze upon the sufferings of the damned. Is this better than inoffensive animal desires?

    Islam has its layers too, and reached a high level of subtlety in Sufism. Lots to criticize, but better to be level headed.

  • Not interested in playing ping pong with you, here is a start if anyone else is genuinely interested where Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad talks about the various stages of the nafs as outlined in the Qur’an using its terminology:

    If it doesn’t meet your standards…who cares? We certainly don’t – Muslims were able to get the message.

    That is not the Islam of Mohammad, the Last Prophet.

    Thanks again for teaching me about my religion – not sure what we’d do without you since we don’t have a 14 century-old tradition or anything. Don’t forget to give my salaams to His Eminence, Grand Shaykh Cracker-Jack (may God ennoble his countenance).

  • That’s what I’m saying, these cultures aren’t Promethean. They’re different. That’s why their relationship to technology will be diffetent.

    But the metaphor describes a universal human tendency, and can be useful in discussing that tendency wherever we find it.

  • This is also true. The honorable position for white people concerned with their decline is to stop bashing Asians for being “grinds” and saying – stop believing the nonsense about Asian aptitude for technology and start working your asses off to compete, as you once did. Stop resting on your laurels.

    One thing you seem to have ignored is that in my article on the math/verbal split, I actually predict that the Anglosphere will maintain its lead in life sciences and medicine, outside of perhaps areas that are engineering or technology oriented such as gene editing or the likes. I seen clear evidence that this is what the US and the UK are best at. I also predict that America will maintain its edge in software, given that East Asia clearly seems to be more focused on hardware. These are not trivial predictions by any means.

    So it’s not so much that America or the West is declining and more so that different groups of people are gravitating towards what they’re naturally good at as modernization increasingly erodes barriers to entry.

    Now, one could argue that hardware is ultimately more important than software, as Steve Hsu does in the post below. It certainly seems like hardware is what will ultimately allow us to explore and colonize space beyond our immediate Earth. And one might argue for the primacy of mathematical as opposed to verbal aptitude. But that’s a different line of reasoning altogether…

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2016/02/moores-law-and-ai.html

    Hint to technocratic planners: invest more in physicists, chemists, and materials scientists. The recent explosion in value from technology has been driven by physical science — software gets way too much credit. From the former we got a factor of a million or more in compute power, data storage, and bandwidth. From the latter, we gained (perhaps) an order of magnitude or two in effectiveness: how much better are current OSes and programming languages than Unix and C, both of which are ~50 years old now?

  • Ok, that’s fair. I don’t agree with your argument – I think your “hidden assumption” is that the only variable is ability, and that groups don’t substantially differ in motivation or values that determine areas of interest, and that values and motivation are not heavily contingent on historical and other factors but remain invariant across time, only awaiting the right moment to “reveal themselves” – but I should at least honestly characterize your position, and I acknowledge that your position is considerably more nuanced.

  • Your general hypothesis seems to be countered by the prevailing narrative we hear in the mainstream about how China may be more willing to push the frontiers of biomedical engineering given its differing ethics. The West on the other hand seems to be held back more by religious and other moral considerations that the Chinese don’t seem to be particularly constrained by.

    True dat. He is indulging in confused, wishful thinking as usual.

  • Yup. Regardless of whether or not you agree, here’s the main thrust of my article from the conclusions section.

    If my assertions here are correct, I predict that over the coming decades, we’ll increasingly see different groups of people specialize in areas where they’re most proficient at. This means that East Asians and East Asian societies will be characterized by a skew towards quantitative STEM fields such as physics, chemistry, and engineering and towards hardware and high-tech manufacturing, while Western societies will be characterized by a skew towards the biological sciences and medicine, social sciences, humanities, and software and services. [41] Likewise, India also appears to be a country whose strengths lie more in software and services as opposed to hardware and manufacturing. My fundamental thesis is that all of this is ultimately a reflection of underlying HBD, in particular the math/verbal split. I believe this is the crucial insight lacking in the analyses others offer.

    So maybe it’s less that East Asians are significantly smarter than other ethnic groups and more that they’re significantly more quantitatively inclined. Being good at math is only one kind of intelligence, so to speak. A philosopher like Daniel Dennett may be no Terence Tao, but based on anecdotal evidence of Tao’s somewhat modest verbal abilities relative to his preeminent mathematical talents, it’s safe to say that neither is Tao Dennett. Rather, they’re two men with differing cognitive profiles and different strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately each pursued a career most suited to his innate talents. One became a philosopher and the other a mathematician. Like they say, to each his own.

  • RadicalCenter says

    On your last point, most Jews in the USA are Ashkenazi, and Ashkenazim are typically about half white European or more, genetically.

    Ashkenazi Jews are typically EIGHTY percent Italian through their maternal line, with only the paternal line contributing overwhelmingly Near Eastern / Middle Eastern genes:

    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/ashkenazi-jewish-women-descended-mostly-from-italian-converts-new-study-asserts/

    One minor note: the pool of mixed white/Asian people in the USA is small but probably growing faster than most other groups. That would presumably tend to be a group that more commonly inherits measurably above-average intelligence from both sides of the family.

  • St Thomas Acquinas says the reward for the righteous who go to heaven will be to gaze upon the sufferings of the damned. Is this better than inoffensive animal desires?

    The point I made is that Talha is lying again about what’s in the Quran and Sunnah. Do you disagree?

    Btw, the Quran is full of descriptions about the horrible tortures that Allah will inflict on disbelievers he has damned to eternal Hell. How can any rational, moral person not find that offensive?

  • The world of our senses is a dream, and you can awaken to another world which can be intuited but not spoken of.

    But you did speak of it:

    there is nothing to awaken to. There is nothing beyond the dream.

    What was that all about?

  • There is nothing to awaken to “in this world”. Anything we can possibly perceive or cognize is a dream.

    However, one can cultivate a “supra-cognitive” inner faculty that gives acccess to a realm in which all the categories of this world, time, space, matter, existence, non-existence, do not apply.

    We do do not awake to any “thing” or experience or perception when we penetrate the dream – the dream is final in terms of our cognitive apparatus.

    I admit I did not do a good job explaining this.

    I also think there is a strand within Buddhism that is truer and older which says that there is no supra-cognitive faculty, and mystery is final, and we need release from striving to penetrate it, but must accept it.

    Well, anyways.

  • Anonymous says

    I know Zhang Ziyi (a Mainland actress) is pretty good in the artistic side of martial arts.

    I use Anon-D as I am not the other Anon.

    Zhang Ziyi doesn’t practice martial arts and never did. She was a dancer and attended Beijing Dance Academy. Same with her “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” co-star Michelle Yeoh, who studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, majoring in ballet. Obviously they are very talented, but it was fight choreographers and stunt women/men who made them look good in the fight scenes.

    I agree with Anon about Chinese MA. I started Shotokan Karate when I was about 13, and have dabbled in Muay Thai, boxing, BJJ, MMA, and Kali. I’ve sat at ring side at professional bouts and watched professional fighters train. I didn’t think much of Kung Fu. But my perception of Kung Fu changed quickly when I met an old Chinese guy. This little old man- who was about 5’5” and 130lbs handled me easily. Sure, I was a weekend warrior and wasn’t very good. But I was fit, lifted weight, and had sparred and rolled with some pretty big guys. I wasn’t expecting an old guy with that size could control me so easily.

    I was taught in MT, boxing, etc to use my feet and hip to generate power. You relax your muscle, use ground and put your hip into your kick and punch. I could punch and kick pretty hard. But this guy was different. Other than his visible skills, this old guy, I felt, had different way of generating power.

    Kung Fu encompasses many different styles. Some emphasize on kicks such (Tan Tui)
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1sWBlWJvgCnxsUVfQL7wfpwuqNIGB_bl ;
    some emphasize on throwing such as Shuai Jiao, joint locks (Qin Na); some on close-quarter fighting such as Wing Chun , some on weapons, etc. The most popular one in China now is called Wushu, which was found around 1949 after the CCP took over China. It was basically a performance art.

    The problem with Kung Fu is that many teachers are charlatans. Finding a good Kung Fu teacher is hard. Traditionally Chinese Kung Fu masters taught only a few students, and guarded with their knowledge unless their students earned their trust. Over times, many styles have disappeared. I came across a really old Chinese MA book with illustrations in it. Many techniques looks similar to those of BJJ. I don’t know if that style still exists or if somebody is still practicing it. But I know such techniques were used in ancient China, because novel like “Water Margin”, which was written in Ming dynasty, mentioned them. Yip Man didn’t teach Wing Chun in China. He started to teach it in Hong Kong only after he lost everything after WWII and the Chinese civil war and became a refugee in Hong Kong. To make ends meet, he started a school. Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese just didn’t have a tradition where MA were taught openly.

    Here Steve Smith talks about his experience with Fook Yeung in Seattle. (at 16:55) Steve talks about how Fook , at the age of 98, 98lbs and 5 feet tall, left him with a bruise for more than 2 months. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEC-HIuYAdw

    Steve wasn’t some weakling. He was a bouncer and was in security business. He is now accomplished martial artiest himself. It is an interesting story because Fook Yeung was also Bruce Lee’s teacher. A lot of people know that Yip Man was Bruce Lee’s teacher in Hong Kong because of the Yip Man movies. Most people don’t know Fook Yeung was a friend of Bruce Lee’s father and taught Bruce Lee on and off from 1959 to 1966. Bruce was very average by all account when he left Hong Kong at 18. He became very good in the US by studying from various sources and Fook Yeung played a huge part in his MA learning and growth.

    Some Kung Fu styles definitely intrigue me. Like this guy- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6LtFhDQri8 I don’t know he is a good fighter or not. But the way he generates power or uses his energy is beyond my comprehension.

  • All religions have objectionable elements, but they generally need to be interpreted under the theory of “levels of truths”.

    I’m not defending Islam in its entirety, just that a comprehensive evaluation is needed – not reductive caricatures.

    I find many attractive features in Catholicism, and I wouldn’t reduce the religion yo that hideous Acquinas quote. I would try to evaluate it in its totality.

    Sufi Islam in particular is very refined and can stand comparison to Asian religions or mystical Christianity.

  • Contemporary American left-wing politics is batshit insane and a detriment to scientific progress, not a boon. In order to improve the human condition, you have to be willing to acknowledge its inherent nature to begin with.

    Silicon Valley is famously liberal/progressive/left wing. Ditto for Academia. What “detriment” to scientific and technological progress do you see there? Instead they are at the cutting edge of such progress. It’s the conservatives/right-wingers/traditionalists/religious fundamentalists who resist change and progress.

    China’s leadership set itself the goal (which they are close to fulfilling) of providing a safety net for all it’s citizens. You got a problem with those “social justice warriors”? Are they enemies of scientific progress?

  • There is nothing to awaken to “in this world”.

    You are not Awake if you are still in the Dream/World.

    It is absurd to say that one awakes to nothing. One awakes to a higher reality.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    No, he is actually quite correct that that is a VERY strong strain of Chinese thinking and it is extremely influential to this day. I can give you an example of how this interacts with technology – most machine learning now is based on regression, as anonymous coward correctly identifies. One of my Chinese colleagues was working on developing machine intelligence, or what would be called AI back in the 1990s in China, so it would be pretty much a native approach to it and what they did was to implant chips in the brains of mice and attempt to learn signals on how animals perceive the world, make decisions, and presumably introduce that to computers.

    I don’t think that really went anywhere, but I understand that eventually they developed algorithms for road design based on information extracted, and essentially that they would feel more “natural” and thus less stressful.

    I’m personally a bit divided about this. Obviously, this was not the approach to machine learning that has “set the world on fire.” It may be an error in accelerating progress. However, it is definitely an extremely pervasive, and strong trend of thought.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Basically, this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature

    This is often seen as a fallacy but it holds enormous appeal to many(probably a majority of) Chinese, and is one of the the reasons for the persistence of Traditional Chinese Medicine, feng shui, and a number of other practices which are other than exactly evidence-based.

    One could even argue that this is a specific weakness of the East Asian mind, as deep flights into the abstract do not seem to be as common. Therefore envisioning what is concrete and looking to nature for inspiration into a deeper truth is common.

    Sure its nice, and then someone with a more accelerated form of technology comes in, shoots you up with better guns and blows up your capital. So much for natural inspiration.

  • I’m not defending Islam in its entirety……..Sufi Islam in particular is very refined and can stand comparison to Asian religions

    Sufism is comparable to Asian religions because it largely derives its beliefs from Indian spirituality. But that is not the Islam of the Last Prophet which is entirely based on the Quran and Sunnah. The Islam of Mohammad is fundamentally different from Sufism, and it is the final message of Allah to mankind. Right?

    Why do you think Mansur Hallaj was found guilty of blasphemy and paid the price? To the Sufis he was a Saint, to the True Believers he was an apostate who deserved what he got: cruel torture and beheading.

  • Sure its nice, and then someone with a more accelerated form of technology comes in, shoots you up with better guns and blows up your capital. So much for natural inspiration.

    Ok, but there’s gotta be such a thing as balance. If you swing to the western extreme you’ll self-destruct. Sure it’s impressive but it’s not sustainable in the long run either. Losing all touch with nature leads to the western disease eventually.

    Let’s do the Hegelian thing and move to a higher synthesis.

  • Yes, with a caveat.

    Not all people can do that.

    Of, say, 100 males capable of fighting (healthy, not totally obese and not too old) 5 can do it on a drop of a hat.Natural for them.
    5 won’t be able to do that….ever.

    The rest fit somewhere in between.

    Majority (“normal”)….yes.
    Some with more effort, some with less.

    The key is proper.

    Not only training session but researching, analyzing, thinking, visualizing. Training is an important part of all that, the most important, of course. Developing skill set and attributes.

    Not a big deal in fact, that “switch”.
    The big deal is that most of gyms and coaches don’t do that.
    Well, I know why. Money. Not easy for the target group (nice guys). Hard to sell, harder to do.
    They want it easy. It’s not. That’s the point actually.

  • that is a VERY strong strain of Chinese thinking and it is extremely influential to this day.

    Is it as strong as Christian fundamentalism in America? Will Taoist fundamentalists (assuming they even exist) block attempts to clone humans, or resist plans to genetically engineer superior humans, for example? That is the issue here.

    it would be pretty much a native approach to it and what they did was to implant chips in the brains of mice and attempt to learn signals on how animals perceive the world, make decisions, and presumably introduce that to computers.

    What’s uniquely chinese about that? Implanting chips in animal brains for all kinds of experiments, including visual processing etc, has been done in labs outside China by non-Chinese.

  • Meister Eckhardt was also declared heretical by the church, yet at the same time he’s central to Christianity, and is now more appreciated than ever.

    A religion contains contradictions and layers and levels and tendencies – it’s a complex phenomenon, a world, and you’re trying to reduce it to a single strand.

    That Islam found a home for Sufism, even if at times an uneasy one, goes as much to define Islam as anything about it.

    You have to look at the total phenomenon and how it developed through the ages, which elements were emphasized, by whom, when, and under what conditions.

    Any nasty saying in the Koran may have been deemphasized or reinterpreted by later teachings.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to criticize Islam – but evaluate the total historical phenomenon, not a stray saying out of context here and there, or a specific sect, or a specific time period.

    Maybe you’ll find that on balance you still dislike Islam, which is fine, but at least you’ll be reacting to the total phenomenon, and you’ll probably be forced to admit that it also exhibits many fine features.

    For instance, I don’t like the conquest element of Islam, but I like the central emphasis on man’s submission to the divine – I consider this a wise resignation in the face of nature, similar to Taoism.

    I also like a lot of the architecture and poetry, although I may not like, for instance, the jizya tax.

    On balance, I’d have to say Islam can in many of its historical forms represent a far healthier adaptation to man’s nature, than say, modern western Promethean denial of human nature. Even if, say, I might dislike some lines in the Koran about infidels.

    Pointing to a few nasty remarks in the Koran does not begin to do justice to the complex historical phenomenon that is Islam in all its many facets.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Will Taoist fundamentalists (assuming they even exist) block attempts to clone humans, or resist plans to genetically engineer superior humans, for example?

    I think its overall different. You don’t have fundamentalists typically – evangelicalism is not very common as a whole, but for example, you probably will get a lot of opposition to artificial wombs, sperm generation from skin cells and even life extension research because that might be seen as somehow wrong, and then end up being out-accelerated by societies that are unrestrained. Myth can be a strong guide, which is why you probably won’t see a lot of opposition to genetic research – for example, if someone decided to create the mythical kirin, it probably wouldn’t be opposed a lot.

    What’s uniquely chinese about that? Implanting chips in animal brains for all kinds of experiments, including visual processing etc, has been done in labs outside China by non-Chinese.

    Its not per se, uniquely Chinese, but its a good example of the form of approach: using animal models specifically a guide for an assumption of its presumed efficacy as opposed to a more abstract model. Sure the West uses cloned white mice a lot as a model, but its usually not thought that the mice should be teachers to have any lessons that we should learn from, somehow.

  • I think there is already a total “buy-in” in Asia of the efficacy of modern methods.

    Such thinking may have begun in Renaissance Italy, but is now the defacto paradigm in Asia as well. The modern thinking has been thoroughly imbibed.

    Certainly the recent scientific surge in China owes nearly everything to China being in the modern rational mindset.

    As far as I saw, China attempts, mostly with success, to reconcile/harmonize modern thinking with more ancient paradigms – with an emphasis to ensuring that neither ever gets in the way of the other.

    In Beijing, Feng Shui was extensively used in most commercial and government buildings. It’s there if you know what you’re looking at. I saw a skyscraper which was a bank’s headquarters, with a notional shape in the design through which “chi” was allowed to pass (this is purely my guess, no one admits it openly) – and yet in purely modern terms, it was a very well-designed building regardless. Most people who didn’t know about Feng Shui would think that it was just stylistic, and quite unique actually.

    The incorporation of Feng Shui detracted not one iota from that building’s functionality. At worst, just a tangible expression of the inner Chinese soul. No harm whatsoever.

    Or take the tendency of overseas Chinese to give a nod to astrology. For example, in choosing dates and times to open a business. The attitude of most people is that at worst, it makes absolutely no difference. It is a practice easily condoned with little fanfare.

    Even logically, if a religious belief is essentially harmless, with no material bearing either way, what is lost by indulging its believers?

  • That Islam found a home for Sufism

    A temporary home. The fate of Mansur Hallaj is an ever-present danger:

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

    Any nasty saying in the Koran may have been deemphasized or reinterpreted by later teachings.

    No saying in the Quran can be “nasty”. For the Quran is the sacrosanct Word of Allah. Deal with it.

  • I doubt there will be any opposition WHATSOEVER to any sort of science or technology in China, at least not among urban and suburban populations, nor among the business and academic elites, and especially not in either the scientific community or the government.

    And in China, it is these those very large, relatively modern population segments who call the shots.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    That is hopeful but yes, you see what I mean about the persistence of some pre-modern beliefs and efforts to syncretism. I think there is a general triumph of Modern thought but not Postmodern thought: the willingness to trash everything before and actively deconstruct accepted notions of society.

    This is a good thing if Postmodernism is wholly toxic, which it certainly can feel so.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    I should add, I’m playing devil’s advocate to some extent. Its interesting to note that syncretism, which in some ways lends support to AaronB’s hopes that it actually is moving toward an unique and humanistic form of advancement.

    The Chang’e lander and the Yutu rover too would be another example of that, I think. Something definitely modern, but with intentional callback to the ancient myth of the moon goddess. I suppose in that, though, its not that different from the Apollo program being named appropriately.

    Ultimately, there is probably that deep wellspring of the human unconscious that needs something miraculous and yearns toward the myth.

  • And there’s also this, that I want to throw out to everybody.

    You can build a fine strong ship, using the latest engineering techniques and the finest technology. You can set sail and you control the ship entirely. But can you control the weather and the waves? Can you control the oceans themselves?

    Supposing you could control Earth’s weather and Oceans, could you control the phenomena on the scale of the Solar System? The Sun, the swirling gravitational interactions of the planets?

    Scale it up to a colossal degree: Could you control the entire Milky Way Galaxy and everything in it, down to the level of sub-atomic particles? And if you could, could you then control the entire visible universe, say 200 billion galaxies? And in controlling the whole VISIBLE universe, what if you are then confronted with the real possibility that the universe is actually INFINITE, endless in space and time? And what of the theorized Many Worlds, Alternate Universes and Timelines, also endless in their scale, number and variety?

    In short, at various points, Man will run into forces and realities simply utterly beyond his finite power, some so far beyond in fact that he would not even begin to suspect their existence, much less comprehend them.

    It is not the actual attainment of “Total Mastery” (“Ascension”, “Apotheosis” or “Heaven”) which is of import, since this is simply not achievable in any real sense.

    IMHO, MAYBE it is the act of setting forth, in your little ship (no matter if it’s the size of a galaxy), and of sailing in unknown regions in pursuit of the infinite, going forth with all possible speed and sense of purpose, that is the whole point of civilization, and as a subset, of science.

    But make no mistake, there will FOREVER be the unknown and unknowable.

    And that is where Man’s sense of humility must come in! Sometimes, Man can exert his will, and so shape reality. Other times, whether he wills it or not, Reality shapes itself, and it is much wiser to operate in alignment with it. Man cannot ultimately take on and defeat “The Everything – All That Is”. Don’t make an adversary of the Universe, make yourself its ally.

    The hard part is distinguishing which pertains at any given historical moment. Also the most essential part.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Man cannot ultimately take on and defeat “The Everything – All That Is”. Don’t make an adversary of the Universe, make yourself its ally.

    This is essentially the deepest teaching of Laozi and quite a beautiful way to put it.

    I think its interesting that both Legalism and Confucianism ultimately both seek to work themselves around the nature of Man; they disagree on what that nature is and thus their methods are often in total contrast(Mohism: “Man is selfish and evil, and we must control him through laws.”/Confucius: “Man is good, cultivate his virtue and you will need no laws.”).

    But ultimately, they seek to work with the flow of humanity, even if they perceive it differently, rather than to recreate it to produce utopia, at least not dramatically. Even 大同, Confucian utopia, seems to be something to be gently and gradually cultivated over many generations.

  • The appeal to nature is a very strong element in chinese thinking and plays an important role in developing the concept of oneness of heaven and man 天人合一, one of the earliest and most fundamental philosophical ideas born at the early stage of Chinese civilization.

    From the chinese perspective, the universe is a vast world whereas a man himself can be viewed as a relatively small world, and the two worlds are intrinsically connected. Therefore, all human affairs should conform to the laws of the outside world (nature) and strive to achieve harmony between the two. This philosophical view is completely different from the Western logic system, in that the former stresses analogy, imagination, and direct realization. It is a visualized way of thinking, and is more powerful than logical thinking in grasping the whole picture and understanding the system of a problem. Its drawback is that since the details are blurry, it’s more difficult to break the problem into small parts, develop corresponding algorithms, and then follow a step-by-step solution. Therefore, compared to the western logical thinking conducive to a large-scale production of talent, the chinese visualized thinking cannot be standardized or routinized, and can only be realized by one’s own intelligence.

    The West has been tremendously successful in the last 500 years. However, western civilization is rather extreme and lacks a brake and reflection mechanism. It must be more than luck that China is the only civilization that’s been lasting 5000 years, the existence of which could not simply be achieved by being persistent. Apart from upholding the golden mean中庸 and striving for a dynamic equilibrium in a changing world, the chinese have exceptional courage to renovate themselves and break through from time to time.

  • Gleimhart says

    Oh no, something positive was said about America! Quick, someone try to neutralize it!

    Okay, sarcasm off.

    The Chinese are no-count automatons. They lack the creative thinking required for scientific problem solving. I know people in the medical research field who have nothing but complaints about the difficult personalities and ineptitude of the always overrated Chinese.

    The Indians on average can work on a team, but they still require the creativity and leadership of the American scientists. Jews make good theoretical physicists, but practical physics, medicine, miscellaneous scientific pursuits, and the engineering fields are much more of a White man’s thing.

    If the Chinese and Indians were so damned smart, they wouldn’t have to study in institutions founded and made world class almost exclusively by White men.

  • Polish Perspective says

    First of all, sorry for the late reply! I didn’t follow this thread very closely.
    I’d like to thank you for your exhaustive comment. I am very interested in Ukraine, especially the post-1990 period, so any information/insight that I can read about is of great importance to me, since I like your people, whom I regard as my brothers.

    Having gotten to know a fair amount of them over just the past few years, I feel strongly about Ukraine’s security and well-being. I now have a vested, emotional interest in its prosperity.

    To your question:

    Poland lags behind Ukraine in this. Is there talk of some close collaboration with Ukraine – Poland providing financing for development in exchange for being supplied with these things? It might make strategic sense not to be dependent on the USA.

    I don’t follow defence policy that closely, but I will say that in general in the early days of PiS, they went head-first into only buying from the US. This was done in part to spite the EU over the tussle of late. However, with the latest backdrop with the IPN controversy, where you now have leading US senators writing blatantly zogged Op-Eds, as well as the fact that the Trump admin reportedly refused to meet with their Polish counter-parts after pressure from various Jewish lobbies has probably made PiS reconsider.

    I know that there is increasing talk about buying from both Germany as well as to focus more on the CEE region in general. Where Ukraine fits into this – if it does at all – is not something that I am privy to. But I can personally say I would very much want to see Ukraine being fast-tracked into NATO, which would help a lot in terms of military integration. Over time, I would like to exchange NATO for PESCO and create a pan-European initiative, that rids us of ZOG/US influence as well as shields against Russian aggression. Even if Putin were to leave, there’s no reason to assume that a potential nationalist take-over would be better. On the contrary.

  • Bardon Kaldian says

    Sufism is comparable to Asian religions because it largely derives its beliefs from Indian spirituality.

    No, no and no. The greatest influence on Sufism was Neoplatonism which came through mediation of eastern Orthodox monasticism. Whinfield, a translator of Rumi’s “Masnavi”, was well aware of that in his 1903 JRAS article.

    For more detailed accounts, see:

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61F6ae0RXrL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51cUKxyiLML._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41oKoazOeIL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31Cz9x%2BM4AL._BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

  • I don’t think the returnee program in Russia has had much success. (I have an acquaintance who worked on it at a relatively high level).

    Salaries still not competitive; more stultifying bureaucracy; and most of the people who left, did so in the early-to-mid 1990s, and are already very much settled in the West.

  • Brothels are so common in Germany now that many villages have have one. Technologically and culturally, Russia is diverging ever more from the West, and the Russian deep state seem willing to live with that.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Brothels are so common in Germany now that many villages have have one. Technologically and culturally, Russia is diverging ever more from the West, and

    Is this a positive metric?

  • The greatest influence on Sufism was Neoplatonism which came through mediation of eastern Orthodox monasticism.

    Neoplatonism was influenced by Indian philosophy/spirituality. The basic concepts: world as illusion, reincarnation, merging with the One upon liberation from the illusion, are common to both. Plotinus was also a vegetarian and tried to go to India.

  • Very interesting looking books –

  • Thank you for your reply; I agree with you completely. Ideally, in the future there would be some sort of Intermarium consisting of all the “pure” European countries between Russia and Germany (that is to say, the Baltics, Ukraine, Poland, Czechia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Belarus, Romania) with a friendly relationship with Russia to the East, and a friendly relationship with the (hopefully regenerating) EU to the West, but with some border controls maintaining the European nature of the place.

  • There is nothing to awaken to “in this world”. Anything we can possibly perceive or cognize is a dream.

    However, one can cultivate a “supra-cognitive” inner faculty that gives acccess to a realm in which all the categories of this world, time, space, matter, existence, non-existence, do not apply.

    We do do not awake to any “thing” or experience or perception when we penetrate the dream – the dream is final in terms of our cognitive apparatus.

    I admit I did not do a good job explaining this.

    I also think there is a strand within Buddhism that is truer and older which says that there is no supra-cognitive faculty, and mystery is final, and we need release from striving to penetrate it, but must accept it.

    You can’t explain this kind of strange perspectives with language, which is emerged for communicating a simple things. Well perhaps a very talented writer can, through fiction, communicate some unusual perspectives, but even then only if the reader has these experiences himself.

    And even a writer like Tolstoy, starts to sound like he is talking about nonsense when he describes his spiritual perspective.

    This again – you can at most point at the moon, but the moon and the finger which is pointing are very unlike.

    • Someone like Buddha – could at best give some indications (like a guidebook for a city), that a traveler taking the same paths as him might recognize. But you would have to travel this same path as he took, to even recognize the signposts he was trying to communicate.

    And the signposts themselves were not something profound, they were just like the pointing finger, compared to the moon.

    It’s funny to mention this kind of spiritual nobleman in this topic though. As someone like the Buddha, would see us here as pathetic idiots and peasants, who are wasting our life arguing about non-existent illusions like ‘countries’, ‘nationalities’ and ‘cultures’.

  • Hey Daniel,

    If “Mohism” means Islam, then this doesn’t seem accurate. As I mentioned, the spirit is seen as something pure while it is the lower animal self /ego which is the distractive part; we don’t believe in the concept of inherited original sin as many Christians do.

    The issue with the kind of libertarian virtue approach is that no one can exactly agree on what that means beyond certain very basic common ones. In some traditions celibacy and monasticism is a high virtue, in others it is rejected outright. As Ibn Fadlan found in his travels to the Varangian Rus; he was appalled that they burned their dead and they were appalled that Muslims would bury them to be eaten by worms and rot. And yet other cultures invite relatives over and together eat their beloved deceased. Some think pacifism is a high virtue, the Creator knows better:
    “Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” (2:216)

    Furthermore, virtue certainly means something different to you and I and an SJW. Is female suffrage a virtue? Male/female legal equivalence in all matters? You tell me…and when exactly did they become so.

    A solid legal framework helps keep definitions on track and from devolving into poz.

    Peace.

  • Really, you’re right. We in the West set so much store by language and concepts. Bliss should go meditate!

    The only good thing language is for, is to show that it is useless (when discussing ultimate reality). When that tasks is complete, one must go and meditate, and immerse oneself in experience. Although, poetry and art, rather than ratiocination, can help us along.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    If “Mohism” means Islam, then this doesn’t seem accurate.

    Mohism is a Chinese philosophy one thousand years older than Mohammed.

    So, no.

    Confucianism usually prioritizes human reasoning more, so “virtue” defined by them would be as per the scholars. The aimed utopia is relatively simple:

    According to it, the society in Great Unity was ruled by the public, where the people chose men of virtue and ability, and valued trust and harmony. People did not only love their own parents and children, but also secured the living of the elderly until their ends, let the adults be of use to the society, and helped the young grow. Those who were widowed, orphaned, childless, handicapped and diseased were all taken care of. Men took their responsibilities and women had their homes. People disliked seeing resources being wasted but did not seek to possess them; they wanted to exert their strength but did not do it for their own benefit. Therefore, selfish thoughts were dismissed, people refrained from stealing and robbery, and the outer doors remained open

    Note that I do not fully agree with this and believe that pursuing such has cost China greatly. Evangelical religions have an advantage because less resources were shunted to “take care of the poor”, say, during the Crusades and more on reclaiming Jerusalem for seemingly irrational reasons. Such forays into the unknown increased contact with the world and possibly helped develop the Scientific Method, an overall increase in power and advantage worth worth however many orphaned babies starving to death, women being whored or boys being hung thieving for bread.

    Because its very important in the end to be righteous and we learn from history that might is the most important part of being right. Everyone loves the winners.

  • Confucianism usually prioritizes human reasoning more, so “virtue” defined by them would be as per the scholars.

    Thanks for the clarification and it’s good it has gate keepers to define that term otherwise, well – you know.

    Everyone loves the winners.

    Indeed.

    And the philosophy outlined sounds very good to try to structure society. The one thing that I note, and that AaronB has mentioned, it is very difficult to keep sociopaths out of positions of power, they are disproportionately attracted to them inversely compared to the rest of common people. It’s a real struggle keeping them out.

    Peace.

  • What is your personal vision for the future of China?

    Presumably you wish it to become very powerful, but is there an ethical component to your vision. Do you wish for China to dominate others, or merely be free of domination.

    On the technological front, do you favor an exclusive focus on technology, or do you see value in culture, poetry, and the arts of living. Do you see the main focus of life as unending technological development.

    Granted China became too one-sided in its neglect of hard power, and that’s an unsustainable stance in a globalised world containing many hostile actors, but do you think China should specialize in hard power and dominate others in its turn.

    Finally, do you think the Chinese utopia you reject is unappealing in “principle” , or merely completely unrealistic considering the kind of world we inhabit.

  • It is a positive indication of liberalism. I think Putin may trying to forestall what he worries will happen after he is gone. Namely, Russia inevitably falling under the cultural and them geopolitical sway of the West. His regieme could be like that of Franco or the Greek colonels, with a rapid infiltration of Western influence. DeGaulle knew France would become the plaything of Germany, and Macron is the ultimate indication that DeGaulle was right. A weak Russia at the mercy of foreigners is his nightmare, but Putin is comparatively unworried about Russia suffering technological ellipse as a result of being cut off from the West.

  • Contemporary American left-wing politics is batshit insane and a detriment to scientific progress, not a boon. Progressivism’s escape from the constraints of the human condition basically entails denouncing everyone successful as privileged or racist and the reason why the non-achievers don’t succeed. It’s more akin to a voodoo ritual rather than being the embodiment of scientific progress.

    I would say the same about this kind of comment. You’re not a scientist are you?

  • One-off commentariat text string. Wonder where YS mimicked that from. The truth is that YS is in the US free to speak, not shut-up in Guangzhou as a low level clerk or something, because of the left-wing politics. Get this YS, you should be praising the left for saving your hiney.

  • You mean the same American left that tries to shut down any conservative speaker from talking on college campuses? Sure, thank god we have the SJWs in this country making sure that our fundamental freedom of expression remains untrammeled…

  • Daniel Chieh says

    I believe that humanity is a bootstrap process for our mechanical replacements, and my views are largely Landian. I mostly believe in traditional ethics and beyond that, epistemic virtues of learning.

    But nothing probably matters because Cthulhu. Capitalism, as Nick likes to remind us, is a speciation event.

    In that sum of those things, China or various other biological wetware creations is probably not all that important.

  • But nothing probably matters because Cthulhu.

    Yup 🙂 I need to constantly remind myself of Cthulu so I don’t get into my gloomy serious mode.

    In that sum of those things, China or various other biological wetware creations is probably not all that important.

    Well, well, a true philosopher.

    Your answer could not have pleased me better.

  • I don’t like that left either. Crazy stuff that elevates ignorance, diminishes knowledge.
    Still, I like their energy. It’s that leftist energy that matters.

  • I also predict that America will maintain its edge in software, given that East Asia clearly seems to be more focused on hardware. These are not trivial predictions by any means.

    China seems to be doing a good job in mobile. At the Western level, sometimes better.

  • The recent explosion in value from technology has been driven by physical science — software gets way too much credit. From the former we got a factor of a million or more in compute power, data storage, and bandwidth. From the latter, we gained (perhaps) an order of magnitude or two in effectiveness: how much better are current OSes and programming languages than Unix and C, both of which are ~50 years old now?

    While hardware development is a worthy cause and we are looking at some big materials (as well as engineering and software) challenges now that CMOS is running out of steam, it might be worth mentioning software has in the same time exploded in complexity, agility and quality compared to the 70s or even the 90s.

    The purpose of software is then not necessarily to be twice as efficient (on the same platform) as software written 18 months ago, so the comparison might not be entirely germane. Indeed, the purpose is probably closer to solving larger problems and building more complex artifacts — Andy giveth and Bill taketh away, as the saying goes.

    Finally, computers are bought to run applications (software) and the software is kept while the hardware is thrown away, so arguably there’s your value.

  • Hippopotamusdrome says

    reclaiming Jerusalem for seemingly irrational reasons

    First Crusade
    Urban called for a military expedition to aid the Byzantine Empire, which had recently lost most of Anatolia to the Seljuq Turks.

  • I find a lot of FOB Asians pretty embarrassing. Asian-Americans have benefited the most from the Civil Rights Movement whilst contributing the least. Asian-Americans should be on their hands and knees thanking the battles black people fought so you could be at the table. Seriously, there use to be laws limiting the number of “others” that could stay in the USA.

  • There was also the Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim’s (who may well have been insane) destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher years earlier. Though it was allowed to be rebuilt soon after, this definitely had Christians wondering whether it was a wise idea to simply allow Muslims to have sovereignty over their holy sites if they were going to act thusly.

    Peace.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Nothing wrong with that. I highly suspect our kind host, Mr. Karlin would support laws on the number of “others” in Russia and will be moving to implement them soon after he ascends to cybertsar of NeoRus Empire, after the establishment of cloning facilities for the New Russian Man and before a general crackdown on the great social dysfunction of our age: atomophobia.

  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonius_Saccas

    Ammonius Saccas (/əˈmoʊniəs/; Greek: Ἀμμώνιος Σακκᾶς; fl. 3rd century AD) was a Greek philosopher from Alexandria who was often referred to as one of the founders of Neoplatonism. He is mainly known as the teacher of Plotinus, whom he taught for eleven years from 232 to 243. He was undoubtedly the biggest influence on Plotinus in his development of Neoplatonism

    Porphyry’s report that Plotinus, Ammonius’ foremost student, acquired his high esteem for Indian philosophy and his eager desire to travel to India from Ammonius.[7]

    Ammonius may have been a second-generation Indian who remained in contact with the philosophy of his ancestral country. The intensity of commerce of goods and ideas between Alexandria and India makes this a wholly possible option.

    The link to India however is not only consistent with Plotinus’ passion for India, but also helps to explain the often noted substantial agreements and shared ideas between Vedanta and Neoplatonism which are increasingly attributed to direct Indian influence.[9]

    Plotinus does not seem to have thought that he was departing in any significant way from that of his master.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    I mean, there are all sorts of jokes that I could make about whores and sluts, but I think someone else here can do it better than me.

  • Yet here you are reading Karlin, a man described by some as being part of the alt-right. This is possible in part because someone like Ron Unz actually believes that even controversial opinions deserve a platform. I mean uh thank goodness the politically correct liberal fanatics haven’t gained complete control over our society…

  • If you want to lead the way by getting on your knees thanking black people for the countless battles they’ve fought on behalf of civil rights, I’ll be sure to videotape it and put it up on YouTube.

  • And obviously Mike Lee is deeply confused and conflicted about the issue of free speech given that for some strange reason he’s decided to read an alt-right blog.

  • If Russia suffers from Dutch disease, the case is nowhere near terminal.

    Russia’s economy has run on exports of primary products for about 800 years and has managed to survive quite handily when attacked by both more and less advanced nations.

  • “The Chinese are no-count automatons. They lack the creative thinking required for scientific problem solving. ”

    Ah, thanks for that. It explains why, according to the Japan Science and Technology Agency, China now ranks as the most influential country in four of eight core scientific fields, tying with the U.S.

    The JSTA took the top 10% of the most referenced studies in each field, and determined the number of authors who were affiliated with the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, China or Japan. China ranked first in computer science, mathematics, materials science and engineering. The U.S., on the other hand, led the way in physics, environmental and earth sciences, basic life science and clinical medicine. China is also rapidly catching up in physics, where the U.S. has long dominated. It is spending more than $6 billion to build the world’s largest particle accelerator, which could put it at the forefront of particle physics. https://tinyurl.com/ydeqeqnb.

    Your response also helps explain why, in January, the United States National Science Foundation reported that the number of scientific publications from China in 2016 outnumbered those from the US for the first time: 426,000 versus 409,000.

    And why 45% of technical papers published by the USA have a Chinese co-author.

    And why Chinese scientist Bai Chunli has been re-elected as the president of the World Academy of Sciences for another two years. http://www.china.org.cn/china/2015-11/21/content_37123628.htm

    And how it came to be that China leads the world in all fields of civil engineering, Manufacturing, Supercomputing, Speech Recognition, Graphenics, Thorium power, Pebble Bed Reactors, Genomics, Thermal Power generation, Quantum Communication Networks, ASW Missiles, In-orbit Satellite Refueling, Passive Array Radar, Metamaterials, Hyperspectral Imaging, Nanotechnology, UHV Electricity transmission, Electric Vehicles, High Speed Rail, Sustainable Energy, Radiotelescopy, All fields of Sustainable Energy Research and Manufacturing, Hypersonic Space Weapons, Satellite Quantum Communications and quantum secure direct communications.

    You’ve nailed it.

  • As long as Russia keeps steady on its performance, the performance of other western countries will drop by. Based on linear projection at this stage, the cross over points,

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2h4koix&s=9

    EventYr Defender Challenger
    2029.58 Japan, Russia
    2031.45 France, Russia
    2040.25 USA, Russia
    2065.75 Germany, Russia
    2096.54 UK, Russia

    The situation for Russia is good. Japan, France and Switzerland do not seem to be able to break from their falls. UK got a Brexit wild card which seems to be bad for science in the country, no more future EU research grants, for example fusion research most probably will go to France.

  • Ilya G Poimandres says

    When all this brewhaha is over, Russia, now that the military is updated and military budgets are falling, should start allocating 3-4% to R&D. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fd20/79a59b745a6f66a669212e4ef0486bc15f91.pdf It is the engine of growth in an economy, one can piggyback others for sure too, but it adds hugely to GDP growth, and it’s the sorta thing an intellectual nation like Russia would happily get behind.

  • HogHappenin says

    Nailed it man!! The moment anyone posts anything about India or Indians (Asian), this guy ‘Thomm’ just pops out of thin air and starts yammering about India’s supposed technical superiority. Not to mention his contempt for anything white. He is fully on board with the zionist plan of replacing WASPs with Indians as their favorite underlings in the US! The Chinese are too technical and a lot less verbal to cut it. But Indians especially of the “right” Hindoo caste, are way too much like them anyways and fit perfectly!

    Of late I’ve become quite amused at his antics!! Hehehe

    More ‘powa’ to you Thomm. May the ‘zion’ be with you!!! (and your kind) 😉

  • jilles dykstra says

    ” However, with 73,000 articles published in 2016, Russia remains far below the United States (602,000) and China (471,000), as well the bigger European countries like the UK (183,000), Germany (166,000), and France (113,000). ”

    I know next to nothing about science in Russia.
    However, I do know something about ‘science’ in the Netherlands.
    Is it possible that Russia avoided fake sciences like gender studies and migration studies ?
    On top of that, I do suppose that Russian science has not been deteroriated by diversity ideas.
    In science, numbers are unimportant, quality counts.

    Both the late Fred Hoyle, and Penrose, do not know if he still lives, blame the lack of any progress in science on the herd mentality.
    Progress in science came from scientific dissidents, Einstein was one, his theories were just accepted in 1917, Hoyle was a dissident, he was always right, except on the black holes of Hawkins.
    Hoyle accepted the theoretical possibilities that they might exist, but in fact dismissed the possibility that they did exist in reality.
    They exist in reality in overwhelmingly large numbers, what gave rise to the theory of innumerable universes, this theory solving the problem of how our universe has the right parametres.
    Lee Smolin, ‘The Life of the Cosmos’, London 1998

    This was caused by Hawkins having behaved very badly, Hawkins had got hold of a presentation by Hoyle, worked through the night, found a mistake, and attacked Hoyle, with success, during his presentation.
    Scientists, they resemble ordinary humans.

    So, I suppose it it silly to dismiss the possibility of Russian and/or Chinese scientific advantage compared to the west.
    If this advantage exists, if USA, NATO and EU continue the way they do, we may well learn in half a year from now, when WWIII erupts.

  • Yes, I’ve also noticed mental illness is widespread in these circles. Good point.

  • I never heard this Karlin guy before… or this blog. I came here from http://culturewhiz.org/forum/topic/heritability-iq and clicked on the first article I saw. The bit about AI was s0 irritating I went to the comment section to make a comment but saw someone else had already beat me to it.

  • Are you still on your feet, or are you on your hands and knees?

  • We all know Berkeley isn’t as academically rigorous as Stanford.

  • Your definition is too restrictive. Stereotype about the Japanese (and all east Asians) is that they’re not creative, just imitative.

    Not all East Asians, Chinese are certainly very innovative consider their past many creations and upcoming ones. Even my short work with them(i suspected its for they supercomputer during late 1990’s) they proved their worth, only time & resources are their limit but not in innovative talent & technical capabilities. Their No.1 supercomputer running on indigenous cpu and dominant of top 500 within short time is clear evidence.

    Japanes simply have to wait for new ideas to flip out and pursue diligently on it until they eventually out produce, out sell, out perform everyone. Market share come above profits. But its quickly losing to Korean & Chinese now.

    Koreans could only keep large investment to move on niche technology, like Samsung that i once worked with, its Chairman Mr Lee had great foresight to massively out invest Japanese in memory, LCD & OLED….but other than that, technology is not even on same league with Japan.

    You can study Samsung Investment vs Revenue to get some idea, the profit simply can’t sustain those huge investment that even outplayed what the Japanese gov desperately tried to do, consolidate their industry players to jointly compete in new tech. But as a conglomerate, they have other domestic business revenues to utilize. Its seem like a national level of investment for excellency & pride. Chebol model.

    Whereas the west, especially US, are throwing out tonnes of new innovation, albeit from many non whites immigrants too. But their WSJ quarterly pofits come first model will not pursue development for areas that are slow to reap. Institution shareholders are simply too keen to sell off whatever for quick profits regardless if the country will lost entire supply chains & technology edge. With hollowing out of manufacturing, some innovations are blunted.

    In the end, diligently pursuing Japanese just catch up and surpass the west across many technologies in sheer mass and revenue to reinvest in next technology, thus out performed them(this may answer the contradiction YS commented). Still this is not innovation, just market domination.

    China is also embarking on same path of Korean but in much bigger scale for strategic technologies, soon they will outperform Japanese across most areas with greater investments, but with its own innovatiive talents that Japanese lacked, creativity if you like.

    With a combination model of Korean chebol investment on strategic technologies, Japanese way of pursuing market dominant, & US innovation, the century of China is not so far IMHO ONLY.

  • Iranians have always been a very backwards and stupid people. They have been around for like 3000 years and in all that time have produced nothing except some hideous architecture, overpriced, flea carrying rugs and crappy, foul smelling food.

    They have run empires so they are intelligent. If they can rid of Shia Islam their collective IQ will go up minimum 20 points. I have been in Persian restaurants and their food is good. As far as Islam and rugs go….. A Greek guy told me that on crossing the border into remote Turkey, he would see poor villages full of women and children patiently, slavishly weaving rugs. Doing this all day. Something you could never get a Greek woman to do.

  • One more confirmation of Switzerland’s ridiculous over performance on most things.

    And maybe not coincidentally , they also enjoy one of the world’s few true democracies with 80%+ of taxation, spending and decision making being local (Canton and Commune) with obligatory citizen participation.

  • Is it the case that SOME of the very wide variety of Chinese Martial Arts are meant for sport/ballet/art, but yet OTHERS are designed for practical application?

    All CMA are developed for health and defense purpose. But China has delegated some to sports for promotion, and arts because of their awesome stunts and beauty, but never as ballet. You can call it demonstration CMA.武术表演.

    When we joint international competition, China mostly perform as VIP, they are simply awesome beyond our level. Its like they purposely allow overseas competitors to win as an encouragement & promoting CMA.

    Zhang Ziyi (a Mainland actress) is pretty good in the artistic side of martial arts. It helps her land roles in China.

    Camera tricks. Only Li Liang Jie is truly China National Champion (in demoCMA), my China friend lost to him in competition, ended up only do small actor/ stunt man.

    The almost non-usage of Chinese styles in MMA have led a great many to believe the Chinese Martial Arts are useless, obsolete and too artistic.

    Go watch faked Shaolin monk Yilong fight in US MMA. He only perform a few CMA tricks, but enough to defeat most opponents. Not a high level one. Just google for Youtube “shaolin monk compete in us mma boxing” how he k. o. Navy seal chief, TDK world champion,…and see how he took hits on his head using Qigong that will floor every MMA fighters immediately.

    Muithai seem good in street fight using knee & elbow, but i never learn.

    The true CMA practitioners have deep respect for their teacher & CMA, they neither show off nor use for competition. But when situation arise, they will. During Qing Dynasty(?), one giant US boxing champion came challenging by insulting whole China as sick man. A Chinese boxer took the challenge to k. o. him, ended his life promptly.

    Now in China, one foolish Chinese MMA boxer defeated a Taiji master(demo), is insulting whole CMA with open challenge. Some real masters may take him, hope they spare his life.

    There are plenty of CMA Youtube. You will be totally stunt by their performance, see those low level master using Qigong to fight dozens of men or allow piercing on throat, trucks roll over tummy(in my country some guaranteed that in 6mths or money back)..better one i met can control others movement with their Qi faraway.

    How you gonna fight with one that could hit you from a distant yet deny you any chance to get close?

  • I remember going to an airshow and russia had a sukhoi jet.the usa had there f 16 and f 18.jets were spic and span.the sukhoi had worn tires and the rivets stuck out.not pretty .anyway the russian pilot started up and taxied out fot take off.suddenly there was tremendous earth shaking roar as it started its take off roll.fuck a duck that jet had power.flew well to.cheap to maintain and service and good turn around time.

  • Or could it even be that the badness of the pozz is being overstated? That the multiracial, LGBT-friendly culture is a new viable equilibrium for a human society, rather than being a sign of decline and disintegration?

    There’s some confusion here. What works for the Google Campus creative intellectual elite is something else. They live in a very special environment that has nothing to do with the lives of most Americans who aren’t part of the creative, intellectual elite.

    The missing point is that these people also have lives and families, and want opportunities to develop their more limited abilities – not just be sneered at as “Deplorables” by the people of the New Equilibrium. Community, nation and unity are their protection.

    Truthfully, the New Equilibrium people just find patriotism and the American flag embarassing.

  • jilles dykstra says

    I just heard that within the last few days a Russian submarine surfaced just outside the territorial USA waters, east coast, crew on deck, waving.
    Pictures seem to exist, does anyone know about it ?
    Have not yet got the link, where it is asserted that it was a tremendous shock to the USA military.
    If indeed this submarine could come so near to the USA undetected, then one more indication that not Russia, but the USA is technically backward.

  • And Mr Roberts, according to my China friends, they don’t published all their papers of important technologies, esp applicable in Military.

    Even lately, one Chinese engineer put up his finding in his blog about material engineering. It was quickly removed because that new discovery was applicable for stealth fighter.

    These means there are still a big chunk of papers not publish. Moreover China couldn’t patent or protect all their discovery as well as the West. And China gov took different path in China dream from West, national interest come before personal honour.

    Many China great scientists are anonymous. Its first Nuclear Submarine developing chief engineer, only appear recently for medals at over 80yrs old, disappearing from home for 40+yrs.

  • jilles dykstra says

    These stupid Iranians set up a democracy around 1910.
    Russia and Great Britain destroyed it.
    W. Morgan Shuster, ´The strangling of Persia, Story of the European diplomacy and oriental intrigue that resulted in the denationalisation of twelve million Mohammedans’, New York, 1912
    Nietzsches Zarathustra was an Iranian.
    The Iranian religion, of a good and an evil god, far more logical than the christian good god who allows evil, reached Europa via the Bogomils in the region of where Yougoslavia was.
    The pope destroyed this religion when it had reached the region between present France and Spain, E side.
    ⦁ Emmanuel le RoY Ladurie, ‘Montaillou, The World-Famous Portrait of Life in a Medieval Village’, Harmondsworth 1978 (Paris 1978)
    The book is based on the interrogation records kept in the Vatican.
    The famous Iranian tiled buildings, Isfahan, are, I think, far older than the El Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

  • Come on Karlin , most of the western publications in biosciences are useless , and in the ” social sciences ” it is even worse , they are toxic .

    As you know , or should know , if the author of a paper in biosciences or its University can pay from 500 to 3000 dollars to a ” prestigious scientific magazine ” , they will publish anything ( in english of course ) .

    There is a ” scientific ” and intelectual bubble worse then the banking bubble . The sordid anglosaxon business of impacts and rankings has destroyed most of the western universities .

  • And you forget to mention that Cobra stunt it demonstrated, the only one plane capable to until Soviet collapse and its technologies got pillaged.

    Western military analyst like to mock on their decades old technology. Once a military guy was making fun of one downed Soviet fighter jet electronic boards with big transistors when semiconductor already going sub micron.

    His scientist told him, now you know why their jets are so damn cheap & yet able to outperform us in electronic warfare, idiot? They are purposefully make to resist EMI.

    Some in unz still like to mock Russia using 0.25um when the West is already going below 10nm. IMO, if their 0.25um proven well, even 0.5um, it will be foolish to change as that will require renewal of entire library modules in their design tools and system that need long testing again.

    Jet do not need to save on that little power & space/weight like smart phone, & depending on processor speed if its adequate to handle all program & data, that’s good enough. Only price competing commodity like memory or very high frequency IC need 10 or 5nm for high yield. But that’s my decades old experience, new technology may have obsolete my knowledge.

  • jilles dykstra says
  • Exploring the Depths of Human Being…

    …..

  • Karlin , where did you get the salaries of scientists ? in the few countries I know it is false , even in PPP .

  • Ilyana_Rozumova says

    Well?
    At least Russians are not building killing bridges like that one in Florida.

  • Too many figures , too many charts , Karlin , your article shows very well the principle that the americans , and westeners in general , know the price of everything and the value of nothing . They like to weight and measure everything but can not grasp the essentials , the spirit , they get stuck at the material and they miss the spiritual .

  • I stopped reading at the first chart. Now I think I understand Andrei Martyanov’s irritation with Karlin.
    First of all, stats prove nothing, nada, zilch. They may provide food for thought but they prove nothing. You can infer some correlation by looking at them but you definitely can’t deduce causation. As it is in this article, they seem to serve to prove a point by drowning the reader under their flood.
    I happen to have spent some 20 years working as a consultant for software in France. I’ve worked on financial, industrial including medical and military software – one of the military projects was a joint with, of all countries, Russia -, and even spent a couple of months on nuclear plant monitoring software and left because having seen how horribly it was designed, I didn’t want to be accomplice of putting human lives at risk solely to admire myself in the mirror in the morning.
    I also worked on several automatic information processing and decision helping algorithms, on web sites users profiling algorithms long before Google and Facebook put them in use and I can affirm that the only real advance in AI since then is not in algorithms, it’s in the power of the machines processing those algorithms.
    Karlin loves to blow a lot of hot air but doesn’t seem to master any of the subjects he writes about, and is camouflaging his ignorance with a flood of charts and stats.
    To sum it up, he’s good at marketing, as for methodology and rigor, it’s better to look somewhere else.

  • Oh my…

    Uncle Tolya has really crushed this one right out of the yard…

    ‘…Russia’s Technological Backwardness…’

    Who knew…?

    Maybe astronaut Scott Tingle…?

    https://s20.postimg.org/lfx860tbh/Soyuz_MS-07_crew_in_front_of_the_Soyuz_spacecraft_mockup.jpg

    Here at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center last November [left]…before taking off in December on a flight to the ISS…

    He and his Japanese and Russian crewmates do look rather apprehensive…seeing as its only the 69’th Soyuz flight to ISS [without incident]…

    Maybe Tingle, Dr. Kanai and Anton Shkaplerov should have checked with Uncle Tolya first…you know…just to be on the safe side…?

    But seriously…all kidding aside…this article is hard to argue with…the evidence here is just overwhelming…

    The story about the obsolete tablet is certainly the strongest point and a good choice to lead off the ‘article’…

    We see here from the link provided the demonstration of this 1.5 kg [3.3 lb] handheld device to Putin…

    So far so good…Uncle Tolya is bringing the goods…

    Then we go to his next link which is the Russian online ‘online journal’ Znak…which, according to Uncle Tolya, conducted an investigation into this sham, overpriced tablet…

    We see here a picture of said device in the Znak article…

    https://img.znak.com/1560551.jpg

    …and make an interesting…although probably insignificant observation…it appears that Russian toddlers aged 6 months are now using this tablet technology…!

    …since the hand size seen in the picture is about five times smaller than that of the grownups handling the ‘same ‘device in the above video…screenshot below…

    https://s20.postimg.org/vwie5k6e5/Putiin_Tablet.jpg

    Hmm…?

    Since we know for a fact that this is the exact same tablet as seen in the Uncle Tolya video…[after all he is a respected journalist whose middle name is ‘Fact-Checker…not to mention a noted expert in ‘psychometrics’…]

    …it follows naturally that this tablet…which size we see [from the Putin video and screenshot above] is about that of an ipad mini…

    https://www.macobserver.com/imgs/tmo_articles/20121023handsonipadmini1.jpg

    [OK…perhaps the Russian tablet is just a tad smaller than the ipad mini…again judging by hand size…]

    …thus proving Uncle Tolya’s assertion that the Russians are indeed masters of metallurgy [one of the rare exceptions where Russian technology is not backward…]

    We make this sound scientific conclusion based on the known dimensions of the pictured ipad mini…ie ~200 mm x 135 mm x 7 mm…

    …which gives a volume of ~189,000 cubic mm…or 0.000189 cubic meters…

    …and knowing the factual mass of the Russian tablet of 1.5 kilograms…we find it has a density of 7,937 kg per cubic meter…[1.5 / 0.000189 = 7,937…]

    …and further noting the density of iron is 7,870 kg/m^3…

    …we are amazed to confirm that Uncle Tolya’s analysis of advanced Russian metallurgy is indeed spot on…

    The Russians have created a tablet technology with a density heavier than iron…

    Now…certainly this is no small achievement…an ipad mini size tablet weighing 1.5 kg is a metallurgical breakthrough…any way you slice it…[probably with a laser cutter…]

    Stay tuned Unz readers…there is so much more [hilarity] to unpack here…

  • There are no alternatives to fossil fuels. When the oil runs out, we die. End of discussion.

    Not when we have several hundred years worth of coal to burn.

    Let’s not forget it was the demonization of coal coupled with panic about catastrophic manmade global warming (CAGW) driven by the Magic Molecule CO₂ that led to the widespread development and use of wind turbines and solar farms in the first place, neither of which can carry its own weight, and rely instead on subsidies to exist.

    As always, the key question is cui bono?

  • Great article, now do one on how all that wealth and superior western education was able to produce such a great product as the F-35.

  • Fixation on science has reached a point of diminishing returns. Time to look elsewhere.

  • Chrisnonymous says

    The entire debate about America versus China or East Asia misses the obvious fact that while Americans are largely absent from East Asian science, East Asians play a substantial role in the output of American science.

    Yes, of course, Americans are largely absent from East Asia, while there are greater and greater numbers of East Asians in America. On top of that, there is zero-sum competition for many positions that afford the resources necessary to create scientific output. In other words, every paper published by an East Asian in America represents a possible unpublished paper by some other ethnic group.

    This is not to say that East Asians haven’t fairly outcompeted Americans for those positions. However, outcompetition for spots in Ivy League, tenure track positions, corporate research positions, etc has significant other contributing factors. In

    Also, you need to recognize that all the scientific output of East Asians is scientific output created in European-American context. I’m not referring here to the fact that modern science has European roots but rather to the fact that the educational, regulatory, economic, cultural, etc context of modern science is not East Asian. Even in East Asia, it’s not East Asian.

    East Asians do great working The Man’s fields. If we did a different experiment where everyone stayed isolated, maybe the results would be different. If so, it would be consistent with your speculations about cognition, but not with your Chinese Supremacism.

  • Philip Owen says

    Survive is not thrive.

    The current project is to thrive. 6 out of 10 I’d say. Whether a country in catch up mode needs to invest heavily in technology is an open question. The way to find the most difficult questions to answer is to be at the front of technology. Russia is there in rocket science, nuclear power station building, some aerospace metallurgy but closing the gap in pig farming technology or opto-electronics isn’t going to be worth unless the intent is aggressive war. Produce more pigs instead. Then you get rich. See Germany. The Russian grain harvest is unexportable because there are not enough transport and storage facilities. Turn that into chickens, pigs, bullocks, turkeys, fish and ducks and Russia will be playing to its strengths.

  • jilles dykstra says

    https://www.rt.com/news/421471-russian-nuclear-subs-us-drills/
    What is not here is that it is asserted that Russian submarines can listen to information passing through deep sea cables.
    This does not seem impossible, as far as I know the cables were never shielded to prevent this.
    Then there is the western fear that in case of war the cables are cut.
    Of course there are satellite communications, but if they are safe in case of war, by either jamming them, or physical destruction, I wonder.
    With production of many products, cars, tv’s, whatever, spread around the world, this production would come to a standstill if these communications were destroyed.
    Not to mention financial transactions.
    Not a shot needs to be fired to paralyse the west.

  • jilles dykstra says

    European science seems to have Chinese roots
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Needham

  • I wonder what the Russians feed their toddlers with to have them handle a 1,5 kg tablet as if it were a rattle.

  • Up to a point .
    If one neighbor does all the lifting ,eventually the lifting neighborhood gets feelings of disrespect for always lifting .
    Tho many of my Russo friends laugh about how little the federation’s government knows about them in comparison to the un/NATO Orwellian govs.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    I speculate the German cantons are outperforming by far.

  • How does all this relate to the technological breakthroughs in the military sphere that Putin spoke about March 1st. These would seem utterly impossible given the state of Russian science described here.
    I have some familiarity with social science research in the USA and I would not put much stock in it. The vast amounts of money spent on it are completely unjustified and together with the publish or perish culture, simply serve to inflate the number of article publications. I suspect one has to deflate this number by at least 70% to begin to get a number comparable across countries.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    US MIC is arguably the most inefficient in the world and IIRC has disappeared more money than entire budgets of countries.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Wouldn’t increasing pig farming technology increase the number of pigs?

  • Daniel Chieh says
  • “Most of the really important scientific research gets published in a handful of high-impact factor journals.” Stopped reading after that. Most of the really important scientific research never gets published – it is classified.

  • Another comment with no mention of coal, our most abundant fuel.

    Both wind and solar are boondoggles.

    Fukushima is a catastrophe.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    That experiment has happened before, and pre-1500, China despite missing some signicant aspects, was either fairly comparable to Europe or ahead(whenever Europe entered a dark age). Arguably, Renaissance Europe lights were extremely xenophilic – even the fascination with Rome was the pursuit of an an imagined lost golden civilization, and Newton believed in that the Middle East held great secrets intentionally suppressed, presumably Solomonic and was a participant in the cult of Hermes Trismegistus(presumed Egyptian).

    Mr. Karlin mentioned this once and Michelle Porter does seem to affirm that weird beliefs can indeed be correlated with open-mindedness, even advancement. I don’t think it’s realistically possible to avoid syncretism. Avoiding “Jewish Science” was a mistake.

  • In the United States, we have a saying — and a song — “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover”

    For those of you who don’t know Diddley, or Dixon:

    You can’t judge an apple by looking at a tree,
    You can’t judge honey by looking at the bee,
    You can’t judge a daughter by looking at the mother,
    You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover.…

  • The only good thing language is for, is to show that it is useless (when discussing ultimate reality).

    I beg to differ. Language, especially written language, is all that separates H. sapiens from all the other snarling beasts of the jungle.

  • I don’t think it’s realistically possible to avoid syncretism.

    Nope. Even European military prowess across the world owes much to that helpful gunpowder the Chinese invented.

    Everyone borrows what is useful, it would be stupid not to.

    Peace.

  • ThatDamnGood says

    It seems to me that there are a lot of Buddhists that deny/would deny the Mahaparinirvana Sutra. For them its an exercise in Mahayana expediency. As mock meat makes a vegetarian meal palatable, so it keeps the applicable individuals close to “Buddhism”.

  • jilles dykstra says

    Does oil and gas ever run out ?
    The fossil explanation of oil and gas always puzzled me, do not know why.

    There is quite another theory, oil and gas originate from the time the earth was formed from a gas cloud, lighter parts trapped inside, that slowly make it to the surface.
    If right, oil and gas are inexhaustible, for all present practical purposes.
    The fact that some exhausted fields have begun to produce again supports the theory.

    Coal is fossil, no doubt about it.
    Algae took C out of the CO2 atmosphere, thus reducing earth temperature from 52 degrees celcius to the present range, at the same time making the ice ages possible, and giving us the O2 atmosphere in which we live, with nitrogen.
    There should be enough coal for the next 4000 years.

  • jilles dykstra says

    ” I can affirm that the only real advance in AI since then is not in algorithms, it’s in the power of the machines processing those algorithms. ”

    My idea indeed that AI is nonsense.

  • This is all very interesting, this catalog of publications and other such metrics, but it contains a very deep and serious flaw: how many of these papers have results that cannot be reproduced? How many of these papers are simply outright frauds?

    I remember reading a few years ago a paper where Genentech attempted to reproduce the results of the seminal papers in their biotech field. 90% of the papers had results that could not be reproduced.
    That was a few years ago. Do you think it is much better now?

    Even worse if it is true, as others claim, that the bulk of Western research is conducted by transplant Indians, Asians and Russians. This means the fraud endemic in their institutions has been imported into American ones.

    It is quite possible that the bulk of Western research is rife with the same problems as the military-industrial complex: massive waste, fraud and abuse that is rampant because there is no checks and balances in the system.

    For all the talk of “peer review” in science, there is actually very little peer-review going on. No scientist can make a living checking the work of other scientists. In contrast, there is an entire field dedicated to checking the work of, say, accountants. It’s called audit. There is arguably far more peer-review in accounting than there is in science. Consequently, without formal peer-review, there is no way to really ascertain the quality of all of these papers.

    There is the further problem of defining what exactly is “high-tech.” In America, people think building websites, designing apps and moving money electronically is high-tech, and they think Google, Snapchat and PayPal are the pinnacle advanced technology. Meanwhile, they think oil/gas extraction is a “low-tech” business.

    As far as Russian scientific output, as mentioned elsewhere, most of their basic research is probably military-related, which means most of it will not be published. We’ll know the quality of that research when we see how many American aircraft carriers the Russians can sink.

  • “For instance, one sphere that I am personally highly familiar with, psychometrics – the science of measuring mental capacities and processes – was declared a “bourgeois pseudoscience” in 1936”.

    They were right.

  • You sent me thinking. Given the density of printed circuit boards and silicium, which implies an even greater density for the rest, I believe the Russians have managed to squeeze in a miniature nuclear reactor in place of a Li-ion battery. That certainly would explain the 1,5 kg weight.

  • All these benchmarks when compared with the reality just shows that they are meaningless.

    All these new weapon systems: new subs, hyper-sonic missiles, new radars, electronic warfare systems, etc. they are all new and thus an indication of an healthy scientific prowess. Sure, they might not be translated to something useful for the people, but then they could. It is certain that Russia is not living on the remnants of soviet science but they actually keep improving and even innovating

    Shall we believe in these stats, or what we see?

    I am actually thrilled with the possibility of space flights using the new nuclear engines: In theory, a space airplane can be built with this revolutionary tech; just turn around the world until reaching the escape velocity, and viola!

  • A very dangerous nonsense though, for many people believe it can work.

  • ThatDamnGood says

    The term “Sufi Islam” is not what an Orthodox Muslim would used. For mainstream Sunni Islam and same for Shiites?, Sufism is a heresy.

  • Looking at the number of research journal articles published doesn’t necessarily tell you anything useful about the value of the work performed. For example, according to the article in Scientometrics: Testing the Ortega Hypothesis:

    … on the basis of citation counts, these authors (Coles and Coles) concluded not only that the Ortega hypothesis is false and that it is a small elite group who are responsible for scientific progress but also that these few, far from standing on the shoulders of many average scientists, are themselves standing on the shoulders of a small scientific elite. The Coles then went on to conclude that the majority of scientists could be dispensed with, without impeding the advance of science. Recently, Green, 20romaner, 3 and, more cautiously, Snizek 4 claim to have confirmed the Coles’ findings, and Cole and Meyer s state that the Ortega hypothesis has been rejected by most sociologists of science.

    This is surely consistent with the experience of most competent and experienced scientists, i.e., that most scientific journal articles are, banal, trivial, derivative, or absolute crap. In fact, the Western research university is just another mechanism for wasting time money and human resources.

    Judging by what is claimed about Russian weapons, it appears that the Russians are able to compete in areas that they consider of national importance, even though their count of published scientific journal articles and citations is low. And in fact, of the millions of scientific journal articles.

    Consistent with this view, the Soviet Union, which no one disputes was a technological great power at least in the domains of the military and space, produced few scientific journal articles, and most of those that the did produce, at least in the translated journals that I read for many years, were mostly useless.

    From my experience, I would say that the quality of Russian published research is probably significantly higher now than during the Soviet era.

  • Not so, I’m an orthodox Sunni and belong to the Naqshbandi order. One of the most famous Sufis, Mawlana Rumi (ra), was not only a jurist, but a Mufti in the Hanafi school.

    There are orthodox Sufis and heretical ones; one must know the parameters of what distinguishes one from the other. This is a question for the jurists, many of whom are Sufis themselves – like the former Grand Mufti of Egypt. When one looks at a particular Sufi order, all comes down to; what beliefs and practices do they espouse:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JoIbD3Ip6Hs

    Peace.

  • My idea indeed that AI is nonsense.

    It all comes to the Turing test. If it can full you then it works. It will be very easy to seduce people to accept it and anthropomorphize it. Just like babies or even dogs seduce us. People project their internal experience of consciousness on other people thinking they must be like them because they respond to them as they would respond themselves but they do not have a proof that it is true that others experience similar level of consciousness. The proof of consciousness in others is in fact impossible.

    I can affirm that the only real advance in AI since then is not in algorithms, it’s in the power of the machines processing those algorithms.

    It is nonsense. The power of machines just allows time scaling. The concept of intelligence is time independent. Some people can give an answer in millisecond and some in minutes. Qualitatively there is no difference between them.

  • Yes, the so-called “energy crisis” is one of the Big Lies.

    In general, I agree with your comment, but not all of its specifics.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3272/2941739750_deac1ef847.jpg

    Those supposedly technologically backward Russians and Ukrainians have argued for decades that oil is abiotic, following up on theories originally proposed by Von Humbolt, Mendeleev, and others.

    The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins recognizes that petroleum is a primordial material of deep origin which has been erupted into the crust of the Earth. In short, and bluntly, petroleum is not a “fossil fuel” and has no intrinsic connection with dead dinosaurs (or any other biological detritus) “in the sediments” (or anywhere else).

    http://www.gasresources.net/introduction.htm

    Thomas Gold, who could read Russian, derived his own theories from the Slavs. He argued that both oil and black coal are the result of a natural process.

    Indeed, between 1951-2001, thousands of articles and many books and monographs were published mainly in the mainstream Russian scientific journals proving abiotic petroleum origins – all ignored by western governments and media. For example, leading expert V. A. Krayushkin has alone published more than two hundred fifty articles on modern petroleum geology, and several books.

    Russian mineralogists, oil explorers and each successive government since the dark days of the former Soviet Union have been unalterably upbeat that they’ve ousted the ‘peak oil, fossil fuels’ nonsense. And who are we to argue – they’ve got the money in the bank to prove it.

    https://principia-scientific.org/russians-nasa-discredit-fossil-fuel-theory-demise-of-junk-co2-science/

  • Anonymous says

    so if Iranians are so stupid why are Israel and the united states so fearful of them developing a nuclear bomb? last time I checked dummies cant make nukes…

  • Is the article count really meaningful? The US of A, the most obese country on earth, does quite well in the Olympics. So what? The US of A does not do so well in the World Cup, so the US of A invents its own sports, NFL Football and Baseball, it can win at. Other countries do this stuff to boost their stats too.

    Does the US hire the equivalent of ringers? The US university system is dominated by foreign students and lecturers. In part this is because the US is an English speaking nation, and foreign engineering professors are unlikely to do anything that pisses of the US government so much it comes down on them. So there are important reasons for American intellectual domination. But I cannot help but think foreign talent could easily go to somewhere else if the pay was better, and they trusted the government not to harass them frivolously.

    On to Russia, what is interesting is that although it seems there are few foreigner STEM persons in Russia, Russia is much more open to joint ventures with other countries.

  • I speculate the German cantons are outperforming by far.

    I don’t know, but the UN World Happiness Report 2018 puts the whole of Switzerland in the top 5 once again with this commentary:

    “All the top countries (Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland) tend to have high values for all six of the key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. Among the top countries, differences are small enough that that year-to-year changes in the rankings are to be expected.”

    I spent some time in the French speaking part and can say that they identify very strongly their local Commune/Canton. I subsequently discovered that this was also their tax/spending and political unit with obligatory citizen participation (virtually a micro-country), and the Swiss Federal government has a small budget and little importance (6 month rotational figurehead presidency).

    Many foreigners do lower grade work (e.g. roads, restaurants, kitchens etc.) but they’re not immigrants – they all have contracts with entry and exit dates and seem quite happy with the system, and send the money back to Morocco or wherever.

  • This is one of the most confusing topics in Islam and its history. Sufism and Sufis are found in all stripes; from those who have been the most distinguished Orthodox jurists and scholars (I’ve been blessed to attend classes under scholars who have learned under some of the top Sufi-scholars of the Muslim world from Syria, Yemen, Pakistan (including its former Grand Mufti), India, etc. …to those who cannot possibly be considered be Muslim by any objective measure.

  • absolutely! that is one of the reasons to disregard Karlin, and co. Whenever someone asks about IQ and similar non-sense to a great scientist, the answer is always “don’t know, don’t care”.

    PS. the only reason I had a look at this post was to see whether Martyanov would post something about it, alas no, at least not yet

  • putinsrevenge says

    if the Russians are so far behind scientifically how did they build the Mir space station and why does the united states have to use RUSSIAN made rockets to send components to the ISS space station? the soviet union was set back decades after the fall of the USSR

  • I speculate the German cantons are outperforming by far.

    I spent some time in the French speaking part and can say that they identify very strongly their local Commune/Canton.

    I would say that German cantons are the driving force behind Swiss otherness and independence. French cantons are the ones that voted for joining EU (Oui à l’Europe !) which tell you everything about their national consciousness.

  • This seems like the most sane way to do it; if you need manual labor, let the guy come over for a predetermined stint. You can even have specific housing tracts dedicated to providing living quarters. It’s a bit like the Gulf countries do it, but done on a much more humane level.

    Peace.

  • putinsrevenge says

    if the Russians are so far behind scientifically how did they build the Mir space station and why does the united states have to use RUSSIAN made rockets to send components to the ISS space station? the soviet union was set back decades after the fall of the USSR and Putin has done a great job bringing them back from the abyss in a relatively short period of time…and unlike the united states Russia doent have a 22 TRILLION national debt to show for all their “scientific achievements” …Russia also has universal healthcare which the united states does not…by the looks of the current Russian missile system it looks like they are years ahead of the united states in nuclear missile technology…the guy who wrote this sounds like he cherry picked the information he wanted us to see…also many of the
    “american scientists” are actually from FOREIGN countries but we get to claim recognition because they happened to go to school here… the Russians are ahead in the things that really matter…growing NON GMO food being just one….

  • Daniel Chieh says

    I loved Switzerland, especially the German cantons(I lived in Bern longer than any other part of Europe besides Finland). To my very young self, it almost convinced me that the Germans were innately superior and so seeing Munch later, which seemed far less gleaming, was quite disappointing.

    To some extent, though, I think the argument could be made that Switzerland is not a real country, or at least not one that has the same concerns of other countries. There’s no real foreign policy or budget for the military, and by being a banking nation for the elites worldwide, they mostly insulate themselves from intervention.

    This allows them to basically bribe away malcontents or export them away(“You want to fight for the rights of Syrians! Great! Here’s a few million to do it in Italy!”). Its a great country, but I’m not sure that its solutions are scalable to say, Russia.

  • How do transistors resist emi.just curious.i am an electronics amateur.used to build stuff with those kits for kids back in the sixties

  • One has to wonder if the standardization of low-cost commodity fuel cell hardware has been suppressed, or not.

    Hydrogen (diatomic molecule) is the most abundant element and cleanest fuel in the universe. Unlike hydrocarbon fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas, where carbon dioxide and other contaminants are released into the atmosphere when used, hydrogen fuel usage produces only pure water as the byproduct. Unfortunately, pure hydrogen does not exist naturally on Earth and therefore must be manufactured. Historically, the cost of manufacturing renewable hydrogen as an alternative fuel has been higher than the cost of the energy used to make it.

    source: http://hypersolar.com/technology.php

    Microsoft is getting hungry for fuel cells – “This technology is very, very disruptive, and we’re investing a lot of time and money into it,” said Sean James, principal research program manager at Microsoft’s R&D program on energy strategy. “We could almost double the energy efficiency. We’ve been able to model and measure in the lab that with fuel cells…”

    source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-31/fuel-cells-backed-by-microsoft-for-power-hungry-data-centers

  • Right, there is no qualitative difference between fast thinkers and slow thinkers, it’s just that in life or death situations that require fast thinking, fast thinkers are more likely to survive than slow thinkers, but hey, qualitatively they’re equally intelligent.
    As for the Turing test, given that utu believes he’s talking to a human when in fact he’s talking to a machine, then yes, men have already created functional AI.
    In the real world however, processing power of processor nodes and memory capacity are what makes people who work with massively recursive algorithms think AI is possible without crashing due to stack overflow and without waiting until the next ice age to get a result. The programming principles are already there and they haven’t evolved since I obtained my master degree more than twenty years ago.
    AI is non sense because whatever code you feed machines, they will never have instinct and they will never have more than 50% accuracy when dealing with highly ambiguous situations. A human can always assess a context, a machine can’t.

  • anonymous says

    women look like (fat) ninjas

    LOL! You sure appear to be a super butthurt Islamophobe, watching hatefully as an increasing number of people are choosing spiritual success – which will be the real measure of success in His Judgment – over everything else… and as Talha mentions, more women and men!!

    Ouch, that must hurt, where it hurts most. 😉

    So, given all those blessed women from your shores who willingly submit to Him, and none other, and wish to cover themselves voluntarily, do degenerates like you understand now that modesty of Muslim women is not something normally forced down by their “misogynist” men, but comes innately to those who live to obey the commandments of God, the One and only.

    Here is something to ponder… If your kind has a problem with modesty being a required virtue of human existence… what does that tell you about yourselves?

    The fact that your type has no problem with strangers ogling your women from top to bottom, they in varying levels of undress, perhaps you even getting a kick out of it, encouraging those strange eyes to all kinds of fantasies… what does that tell you about yourselves?

    You understand that there is a certain profession associated with such behaviour, yeah!

    Its one reason why Iranians are tolerable

    Who cares about those Iranians, or how you degenerates might think they are more “tolerable.” It’s not like we give a rat’s ass what the cursed godless think of us, for we live to earn His approval, over everything else.

    Your kind are either pagan polytheist human worshippers, or from the increasing ranks of godless… while those Shiites are borderline polytheist too, with their “O Ali help!,” human deification calls.

    Both are inconsequential to His chosen faith for mankind… True Monotheism.

    rapefugees

    You think nobody has noticed evidence of the utter filth of the Rapepean male? Deceit, deflection and “Moslem” bogeyman, are not going to help your problems degenerates.

    but it only takes a miniscule percentage of them to wreck the social cohesion

    Yes, it is true that Muslims do not assimilate well in western societies. That is actually good for them, because assimilation would mean adopting the insidious path, which leads one away from the One and only.

    Does that mean western societies should ban true monotheists from entering? Sure, why not, it is entirely your prerogative that you wish to wallow in pagan polytheist heathenism and/or godlessness. So go ahead, it’s your sorry polytheist hides which will pay anyway.

    But, before that, you better get your mofing Greedy Psychopathic hands off of Muslim lands, and put an end to your satanic mischief there.

    If not, as is inevitable, then may the “rapefugees” flood your lands, and wipe you basterds out.

  • AnotherDad says

    There are no alternatives to fossil fuels. When the oil runs out, we die. End of discussion.

    Except for nuclear power, solar (rooftop) and bioethanol (sugar cane in tropics;, switchgrass, etc. in temperate zone). Yes, oil and natural gas are very very handy and energy dense, but we don’t “die”, we just have to pay a standard of living penalty for not having them.

  • To some extent, though, I think the argument could be made that Switzerland is not a real country, or at least not one that has the same concerns of other countries. There’s no real foreign policy or budget for the military, and by being a banking nation for the elites worldwide, they mostly insulate themselves from intervention.

    It’s a great country, but I’m not sure that its solutions are scalable to say, Russia.

    The scalability question is really interesting, but no real foreign policy or budget for the military doesn’t seem to be such an issue. All Swiss men do military service (in other Cantons) and keep their weapons and they have enough nuclear fallout shelters to accommodate the whole population . By law:

    “Every inhabitant must have a protected place that can be reached quickly from his place of residence” and “apartment block owners are required to construct and fit out shelters in all new dwellings”, according to articles 45 and 46 of the Swiss Federal Law on Civil Protection.”

    https://www.swissinfo.ch/image/467208/large4x3/305/228/48901d2098f446b1b6587e0c9fe4eb39/Oy/sriimg20090511_10684800_0.jpg

    The entrance to a nuclear shelter with a thick armoured door and ventilation system, with anti-gas filter,

  • Johnny Rico says

    When the fossil fuels are running out, what are we gonna use to manufacture, transport, and maintain all the windmills and solar panels?

    8 or 9 billion people are not possible or sustainable without 90 million barrels of oil a day.

    There is no substitute for crude oil for some things and in some capacities. There is no substitute for kerosene/jet fuel for large-scale air transportation.

    You think we are going to use electricity from solar panels to mine the coal and uranium?

    Jus sayin

  • AnotherDad says

    One has to wonder if the standardization of low-cost commodity fuel cell hardware has been suppressed, or not.

    Not. Hydrogen is simply a terrible fuel from all the transport and handling perspective. A light gas, needs lots of compression, and it’s a small molecule and likes to leak. (Analogy to how annoying fine sand can be to deal with–getting into everything–compared to say gravel with.)

    If we actually head toward fuel cells the actual “fuel” that is produced and transported will likely be methanol. The methanol is then oxidized at the fuel cell anode (giving off CO2), the protons transported through the cell (proton exchange membrane) and the electrons through the circuit and recombined at the cathode to produce water. Alternatively at the site you can preprocess (reform) the methanol to produce hydrogen and use that in a hydrogen fuel cell.

    I read Olah’s book about ten years back, but the Wikipedia article does a decent job of listing the main arguments:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol_economy

  • After about 1 month I took residence in Switzerland I was assigned a shelter and notified by mail. I am not sure if it works the same way in all cantons.

    As far as the argument “Switzerland is not a real country” I do not even know how to begin. So I will mercifully ignore it.

  • Dennettion his recent Bacteria to Bach:

    … but in fact, the parallel processing done by these networks is almost all simulated on conventional serial von Neumann machines. Von Neumann machines are universal mimics that can simulate any other architecture; today’s speedy von Neumann machines, in spite of their severe bottlenecks, can pretend they are parallel-processing neural networks so swiftly that they can keep up with, or surpass, the parallel-processing brains that designed them

    There is a chance that nothing like strong AI can work. If it can work, whether the programming or the hardware is where the breakthrough might be made is unknown.

    Pinker in his latest book has an analogy with birds to aircraft as humans are to AI

    But the scenario makes about as much sense as the worry that since jet planes have surpassed the flying ability of eagles, someday they will swoop out of the sky and seize our cattle. The first fallacy is a confusion of intelligence with motivation—of beliefs with desires, inferences with goals, thinking with wanting. Even if we did invent superhumanly intelligent robots, why would they want to enslave their masters or take over the world? Intelligence is the ability to deploy novel means to attain a goal. But the goals are extraneous to the intelligence: Being smart is not the same as wanting something. It just so happens that the intelligence in one system, Homo sapiens, is a product of Darwinian natural selection, an inherently competitive process. In the brains of that species, reasoning comes bundled (to varying degrees in different specimens) with goals such as dominating rivals and amassing resources. But it’s a mistake to confuse a circuit in the limbic brain of a certain species of primate with the very nature of intelligence. An artificially intelligent system that was designed rather than evolved could just as easily think like shmoos, the blobby altruists in Al Capp’s comic strip Li’l Abner, who deploy their considerable ingenuity to barbecue themselves for the benefit of human eaters. There is no law of complex systems that says intelligent agents must turn into ruthless conquistadors.

    OK, but Dennett thinks it is possible in principle to create a machine with general intelligence (in his Darwin’s Dangerous Idea he said Artificial Intelligence was the Evil Twin of Darwinism)

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/30/james-lovelock-interview-by-end-of-century-robots-will-have-taken-over

    “We’re already happily letting computers design themselves. This has been going on for some time now, particularly with chips, and it’s not going to be long before that’s out of our hands, and we’ll be standing aside and saying, ‘Oh well, it’s doing a good job designing itself, let’s encourage it.’” Computers will develop independent volition and intuition (“To some extent, they already have”) and become capable of reproducing themselves, and of evolving. “Oh yes, that’s crucial. We’ll have a world where Darwin’s working.” Darwinism doesn’t work now? “Oh no, we’ve temporarily turned Darwinism backwards. I mean, we preserve the ones that would not have survived.”

    We don’t know what rationality would dictate for strong AI. Planes don’t fly by beating their wings but they do behave more than a little analogously to birds of prey inasmuch they dive bomb!

    Contra Pinker, offensive war is not necessarily a glitch.

    “To argue that expansion is inherently misguided,” Mearsheimer writes, “implies that all great powers over the past 350 years have failed to comprehend how the international system works. This is an implausible argument on its face.” The problem with the “moderation is good” thesis is that “it mistakenly equates [so-called] irrational expansion with military defeat.” But hegemony has succeeded many times. […]

    The edgiest parts of Tragedy are when Mearsheimer presents full-bore rationales for the aggression of Wilhelmine Germany, Nazi Germany, and imperial Japan.

    Pinker

    Even if an AGI tried to exercise a will to power, without the cooperation of humans, it would remain an impotent brain in a vat. […]

    Imagine you are a super-intelligent AI running on some sort of ­microprocessor (or perhaps, millions of such microprocessors). In an instant, you come up with a design for an even faster, more powerful microprocessor you can run on. Now…drat! You have to actually manufacture those microprocessors. And those [fabrication plants] take tremendous energy, they take the input of materials imported from all around the world, they take highly controlled internal environments that require airlocks, filters, and all sorts of specialized equipment to maintain, and so on. All of this takes time and energy to acquire, transport, integrate, build housing for, build power plants for, test, and manufacture.

    That is a hardware problem, but Andreas Wagner says in the From Nature to Technology chapter of his book notes that “Some programmable chips can even be rewired while the chip is working. With more than a million logic gates, such chips are not just simple toys…”.

  • jilles dykstra says
  • AnonFromTN says

    Anon from TN
    If I were a devious Russian ruler trying to lure the West into the trap of attacking Russia, I would have paid someone to write a piece like this. However, the author does not seem to be working for a Russian ruler or even for Russia. So, I won’t to be comprehensive, just remark on a few issues.
    Publications. Military-focused research does not get published in any country. That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to engage in it.
    Funding. The US spends on “defense” more than the rest of the world put together. According to author’s logic, this should bring a string of glorious victories. Let’s see. Afghanistan – quagmire. Iraq – worse than quagmire, archenemy of the US/Israel Iran benefited more than anyone. Syria – US-backed head-choppers are losing to Russia and Iran, US-backed Kurds are losing to Turkey. North Korea – lots of militant noises from the US, many aircraft carrier groups sailed there (lost two planes, BTW), and finally the US declared that it is going to talk to Kim without preconditions, which is what he wanted all along. In fact, the last clear victory of the US military was Grenada (population of ~ 90,000) in 1983. Thing is, gadgets don’t win wars, people do. NATO troops with all their high-tech toys are scared to venture out of their bases in Afghanistan, whereas primeval Taliban armed with automatic rifles freely roams the country.
    Artificial Intelligence. Let me finish on a lighter note by just telling an old Soviet joke. As some might remember, when Brezhnev died, the next General Secretary of the Soviet communist party (de-facto ruler of the USSR) became Andropov, who suffered from kidney disease. When he died, the next one became Chernenko, who was incredibly dumb and behaved accordingly. The joke appeared at that time: USSR scientists stopped working on artificial kidney and started working on artificial intelligence.

  • jilles dykstra says

    ” The edgiest parts of Tragedy are when Mearsheimer presents full-bore rationales for the aggression of Wilhelmine Germany, Nazi Germany, and imperial Japan. ”

    Nobody has ever been able to define aggressive war.
    In my opinion, based on much literature, neither Wilhelmine Germany, nor Hitler Germany or Japan wanted war.

  • It all comes to the Turing test. If it can [fool you then it works.

    The proof of consciousness in others [or robots] is in fact impossible.

    But the general belief that humans are conscious raises an interesting question: is intelligence in some way dependent on conciousness?

    Penrose, as I expect you know, believes that consciousness involves some kind of quantum entanglement among neurological elements (microtubules). If so, it seems unlikely that intelligence, human or otherwise, is independent of consciousness, since there is no reason to suppose that natural selection would have given rise to consciousness if it has no function?

    That being the case, unless machines are created that in someway mimic the quantum properties of brains and thus possess consciousness, machines may never display human-like intelligence or therefore pass the Turing test.

    Quantum computers, of course, do depend on quantum entanglement of computing elements. The emergence of computers displaying anything resembling human intelligence may therefore depend on the development of reasonably powerful quantum computers, with perhaps billions of quibits.

  • Thanks for your time, and a gratis education.

    Besides undesirable combustion, diffusion, and material embrittlement challenges facing a “hydrogen economy,” do you think there’s a near-future for small low-cost mass-produced solar-powered hydrogen-fuel-cell-systems (e.g. making a cup of hot coffee at the beach)?

    A yes or no, would be sufficient.

    “We’re One Step Closer to Creating Hydrogen Gas from Solar Energy”
    source: https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a19292/were-one-step-close-to-creating-fuel-cells-from-solar-energy/

  • Sergey Krieger says

    I remember those days very well. I actually was so upset with Brezhnev death, I put the paper with announcement and his last front page picture in the drawer where it was laying for 14 years until I left Uzbekistan. We had days off from school due to leaders death regularly. One of the reason they brought in that young dick Misha. I am not being tech guy nut linguist orientalist by education still can sense B’S thanks to reading a lot of tech related stuff in Soviet time. Karlin is spreading B’S no doubt. I perfectly understand Andrei Martyanov. Regarding USA. That country plainly has no clue how to win wars but only how to break things. Capability and know how how to fight, win wars and attain objective is expensive knowhow that can be obtained only through great bloodletting and experience. No one has more of this than Russia.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    My words were perhaps ill-chosen. My point is that its concerns and position are distinct enough that it does not face many of the same challenges of other countries, and in particular, does not need to allocate its funds in the same way. In such, it also avoids the vast quantities of waste(even without considering corruption) of a military-industrial complex as well as various other negative externalities ranging from heavy industrial pollution to hawkish politicians(of various stripes) looking to justify previous spending.

  • Do you think AI chat bots could be posting comments on forums like Unz Review?

  • Given that I agree with everything you have enounced in your post, I wonder if my effort at being concise hasn’t led me to be unclear.
    Whatever the level of sophistication of a machine supposed to be intelligent, with all adaptive self-reprogramming algorithms and adaptive self-reconfiguring hardware, it all comes down to number crunching at ultra high speeds.
    Modelling with numbers awareness of space and time, then awareness of context in space and time to differentiate between a priori identical situations is a barrier that I don’t see overcome.
    It is in my opinion possible to create software that can take an IQ test and achieve a high, even a maximum score. It is even possible I think to create software that could make better music than Lady Gaga.
    On the other hand, I believe that there cannot be real intelligence without awareness, without awareness there can be no disambiguation, it all comes down to probabilities, and I don’t see how that problem can be solved.

  • I just wondering that, if we’re Numero Uno, then how come our economy is headed for the toilet…?

  • I think we had discussion on this already. Then I think I said that if we assume materialistic world the consciousness is an epiphenomenon, i.e., has no causative power. So why did it emerge? Is it necessary? Inevitable at some level of complexity of a wet computer? Does it have any function?

    In AI philosophical arguments (Searle, Churchland) they consider an entity “philosophical zombie” which is just like us but w/o consciousness or awareness. And I think there is no way of telling whether you CanSpeccy are a philosophical zombie or not. No effort of yours will prove it to me that you are not.

    Penrose by bringing up quantum effects and their indeterminacy and acausality was trying to salvage the concept of free will. This was rather simple idea that did not deserve a whole book to be written about that I foolishly bought.

    Karlin several times linked here to some blog on qualia which I meant to visit but then forgot. Perhaps there one may find less trivial concepts, language and insights dealing with this issue. I remember reading once that Feynman considered this issue intractable. And I would agree with him.

    In hist History of Philosophy Russel dismissed any questioning the existence of free will saying that life would be impossible without the belief in it.

  • it does not face many of the same challenges of other countries

    I think they actually do face similar challenges but they manage to find other solutions. England instead of becoming an empire and looking for problems all over the world could have opted for a similar path as Switzerland which would be easy for being an island. For a long time Swiss were selling their services as mercenaries but once they ended on opposite sides they thought it was not smart and abandoned it. But being good soldiers they managed to protect their sovereignty which in most recently they lost to Napoleon only.

  • ‘…Indeed, between 1951-2001, thousands of articles and many books and monographs were published mainly in the mainstream Russian scientific journals proving abiotic petroleum origins…’

    But wait…we have it on good authority here…by way of Anatoly ‘Uncle Tolya’ Karlin…that Russians hardly publish any scientific literature…

    So how can this be…?

    After all…Uncle Tolya has established definitively [by means of a quick internet search of two corporate ‘science’ publishers…the Netherlands-based Elsevier…and UK-based Nature Publications…which provide access and indexing of exclusively English language papers and publications]…

    …that Russia ranks somewhere below Somalia in terms of publishing scientific literature…

    So clearly those Russian language science publications do not exist…

    But seriously [for the normal people here]…I will point to a good paper on the subject of abiogenic oil that is not too technical and accessible to the layman reader…

    From the abstract…

    ‘…Numerous observations have shown the wide prevalence of organic
    compounds in meteors, asteroids, comets, and planetary atmospheres (other than our
    own earth) for which the organic material must be classified as of abiogenic origin.

    The Western (W) hypothesis has generally favored the idea that petroleum on earth is
    a fossil fuel formed as the result of the deaths of early animal and plant life when the
    primordial seas dried up.

    This hypothesis is consistent with the idea that peak conventional petroleum productivity, followed by increasing costs and then lack of availability of transportation fuel, are likely near-term events (within about 20 years if we disregard the enormous supply opportunities associated with shale-oil recovery, oil from tar sands, and other not yet widely used supply sources).

    The opposing view to this scenario is now generally referred to as the Russian-Ukrainian (R-U) theory according to which chemical syntheses in the upper reaches of the earth’s mantle
    have been and continue to be active locations where precursors of petroleum have been and continue to be formed.

    According to this theory, petroleum is not a fossil fuel but rather a renewable resource of great abundance at as of now difficult-to-reach or inaccessible depths.

    Some Western experts have attempted to make these two interpretations consistent in order to moderate the intellectual and practical impact of accepting mostly abiogenic petroleum formation by asserting that what we see at the surface is a little bit of abiogenic but more of the biogenic variety…’

    The author…prof. Penner, distinguished professor emeritus of engineering physics at UC San Diego…goes on to note in the appendix that…

    ‘…The scientific issue of abiogenic or biogenic origin of petroleum involves a straightforward application of the laws of thermodynamics…’

    Basically…the great levels of pressure and temperature far beneath the earth surface provide the thermodynamic process needed…and this has been replicated in the laboratory…first in the Soviet Union and lately in the West…

    Conversely…the idea that hydrocarbons have spontaneously formed at the shallow depths [up to a maximum of about 16,000 ft] where pressures and temperatures are much lower…has not ever been replicated in a laboratory…

    Ie the ‘Western’ theory of ‘fossil’ fuels goes against the known laws of thermodynamics…and has never been proved…

    ‘…I have gone to the best geologists and the best petroleum researchers, and I can give you the authoritative answer: no one knows…’

    —-Edward Teller [atomic bomb inventor]…on how living matter is converted into petroleum [Teller, 1979]

    ‘…The overwhelming preponderance of geological evidence compels the conclusion that crude oil and natural petroleum gas have no intrinsic connection with biological matter originating near the surface of the Earth.

    They are primordial materials which have been erupted from great depths…’

    —Academician Professor Vladimir B. Porfir’ev, senior petroleum exploration geologist for the
    U.S.S.R., at the All-Union Conference on Petroleum and Petroleum Geology, Moscow, 1956.

  • Anonymous says

    Translation:

    Here is a video of shirtless men and a helicopter. Your charts and data are invalid.

  • AI is non sense because whatever code you feed machines, they will never have instinct and they will never have more than 50% accuracy when dealing with highly ambiguous situations. A human can always assess a context, a machine can’t.

    What is instinct? It is just a forward loop from a partial computational results that are running continuously in the background of which you are not aware. Often the instinct is very wrong.

    What is a context? You can make machine assess pictures in a museum with or w/o frames. The frames are the context. You can add price of paintings for another dimension of context. And so on.

    It is impossible to come up with an example of human ability that can’t be envisioned as some AI function. Many tried and all failed. Personally, I do not like it so I understand your frustration.

  • дулебг says

    You must be aware of nowadays “industry of the scientific articles”. It has gone so far, that nobody can now qualify the value of some scientist, or his work – because they are all in a “publish game”, paying big amounts to be published in mainstream scientific reviews, be quoted by “friendly” scientists and reviews, and also they are obliged to quote “our scientists”.

    The only value of someone’s work is the frequency of his articles, and the number of quotations. In such a surrounding one can not compare anything to anything.

  • Anonymous says

    You realize that modern agriculture, especially at the industrial level is based on petrochemicals. Without outside energy to make fertilizer, pesticides and fuel to transport and process the stuff you are going to be left with much less energy. That there isn’t enough area to grow all that crap if you want to eat. Of course it might work if you starve a few billion people to death.

  • During the 2020s, it seems quite possible that freight automobiles will begin to be electrified.

    Aussie researchers have just come up with a carbon-based battery technology that is already at parity with lithium-ion batteries (in terms of performance; I have no idea what the manufacturing barriers look like), before optimizing. Carbon is way more abundant than lithium, so if the thing pans out (most stuff seems not to), it could really change the electric game.

    Guys that big are often surprisingly easy to hurt or even kill.

    A lot of big guys are used to being bullies or avoiding fights through the intimidation factor alone. They are often not used to taking shots to the head and crumble pretty quickly when their noses or orbital bones get cracked.

    Yeah, they have weight classes in combat sports to protect the big guys from the little guys.

    Size and strength are advantages. Period.

  • Frustrated? No I am not frustrated. I wrote in a previous post the reasons I don’t believe in AI: spatio-temporal awareness, assessment of context in space and time, disambiguation that can only be based on probability and therefore can only be partial and never absolute. Concepts are one thing, but all AI comes down to number crunching i.e. to math. There is no mathematical description of intelligence.
    I’ll give you an example: during an interview for a contract, the project manager in front of me decided to test me, he said you have thirteen balls, twelve are the same weight, one is heavier, and you have a balance, how do you find the heavy ball and how many times do you weigh? It took me half a second to answer because as a human I am capable of both explicit and implicit thinking. The thinking of a machine can only be explicit, she cannot deduce what she doesn’t “see” if she doesn’t have it in her database. What she doesn’t see has to be hard-coded and if it’s hard coded then it’s not AI since the machine didn’t find out by herself.
    To prove me wrong, write a generic algorithm that will produce the algorithm to solve the above problem. That would be AI.

  • Johann Ricke says

    Meanwhile, the official cost of the 8,000 tablets in the trial electronic textbook program was 24o million rubles, which translates to around $500 apiece. This isn’t even very impressive innovation so far as siphoning away taxpayer money into private pockets is concerned, to say nothing of technology.

    Emperor Xi Jinping isn’t much of a ruler, but he’s a better ruler than Putin. Putin is basically Robert Mugabe with a Russian accent. And large oil reserves.

  • To prove me wrong

    You know that nothing ever can prove you wrong. I know your kind. But you are wrong. Because first you create a false dichotomy between explicit and implicit whatever you mean by these terms. Then you claim that computers programs are explicit and thus they can’t do what is implicit. As you can see I have just written a small program that replicates your thinking about AI which always will yield the same result proving that it is impossible to prove to you that you are wrong on this issue because you follow an explicit and quite primitive program yourself. You are stuck in it. Your mistake is buried in the false dichotomy that you have constructed for the sole purpose of arriving at the desired result. If interrogated you would not be able to elucidate the difference between the two categories you have created because they are false. The question is why this outcome is so desired by you. Why are you fighting so hard against the idea that you are just a machine. Because you are proud. You think you are special because you think you are exceptionally smart because you have solved silly 13 balls problem in 0.5 sec. You are lacking introspection.

    Now this

    write a generic algorithm that will produce the algorithm to solve the above problem.

    is actually easy because the problem is mathematical and it can be written down in a close form. So it is trivial. It would be more interesting to create an environment where machine learns to solve similar problems.

  • Often the instinct is very wrong.

    Really? Can you give several examples where instinct is very wrong?

  • If the Chinese and Indians were so damned smart, they wouldn’t have to study in institutions founded and made world class almost exclusively by White men.

    It’s more a function of population size than Chinese or Indians being so “cognitively elite.” What’s the combined total for those populations? 2.5 billion? Closer to 3 billion? With that many bodies, you’d hope to God they could export some brains to the USA. Both countries’ economies are growing rapidly, but the societies they’ve created for themselves so far does not support the “cognitive elite” hype. Not even close.

    The problem with India is the smart fraction. Out of sheer size, they are capable of producing a thin layer of elite brains, but it’s such a small fraction that the first thing they want to do is leave.

    China’s got much better stock to work with, and if they can ever grow an honesty gene, they may have a society free enough of corruption and horseshit and conformism to take advantage.

  • Oh, that romantic ‘spartakism’. The truth is that the goal of the slaves was to leave Italy.
    On the other hand, the Roman Army was always on top of far more numerous and ferocious hordes of barbarians of superb fighters for hundreds (some 20) of years, crushing revolts after revolts, thanks to its professionalism, organization, iron discipline, superior armaments, superior command, patriotism. It was really a national army. It was an instrument of the policy of a state that knew what it wanted.

  • I don’t know about “your average Han,”* but Judo is nationally practiced at public schools in Japan. I doubt the average Nigerian gets any fighting sports training.

    I bet the average (non-starving) Bantu would still whup the average east Asian’s ass. East Asians way overestimate skill. It’s a common sperg religous value, really. Self-actualization: I can will myself to ultimate badassitude. Grind my way to the top. Never been borne out by the combat sports, where east Asians are somewhere near dead last.

  • The ubiquity of Judo training supports one of the points I make about EMA; they’re traditional/religious/cultural more than they are practical. Why hasn’t Japan switched over to MMA training and dropped Judo (MMA is obviously better self-defense method than Judo)? Because it’s a sport more than a martial art. It’s about their heritage and culture and whatnot.

  • Can you give several examples where instinct is very wrong?

    Dog chasing car. You instinctually asking a challenging question w/o thinking it through. Are two examples enough?

  • Hey, if it’s not in English it does not exist!
    Interestingly, the theory of Alfred Wegener (which played a great role in the development of the theory of the abiotic origin of petroleum and in the prospections carried on by the Russians) was ignored and ridiculed by American (and British of course) scientists because it was written in German. His groundbreaking works have been translated in English only in 1962.
    How would the Anglo-Americans know what happens in other countries if over-there they don’t bloody speak English!

  • The point is that AI will never create its own decision tree. You will never build a program that functions like a cat.

    What they call AI is simply pattern recognition with high-speed systems. You will not have a machine that can think on its own or go beyond what it is programmed to do.

  • I agree!

    However, if the brain is some kind of quantum computer, then it seems to me that makes the likelihood of consciousness in a Turing machine-based AI system less likely.

    But as you say we can never know whether another person, let alone an A.I is conscious, as I, if not you, understand the term.

    Russell was correct on free will. We will what we will and that’s that for good or ill. You can’t will to will other than you will.

    There can be an internal conflict between desires but they get resolved by spontaneous mental processes that constitute thinking and willing and hoping and wishing, etc. In the end, what happens is the result of either chance or quantum or mechanically determined necessity, neither of which deserves the name free will.

    Free will only seems to make sense in a legal context. Did the accused act spontaneously or were they either out of their mind, or coerced by a gun at their head, in which case they did not act of their own free will. Otherwise, they are responsible for their actions, and liable to punishment for criminal acts, or disapprobation for immoral acts.

  • You will not have a machine that can think on its own or go beyond what it is programmed to do.

    Would you agree that your thinking also has limits? That there same thoughts that you will never have or never will be able to comprehend? So how different are the limits you have from the limits a machine has?

  • The categories used for comparison may not be relevant since Russia has not recovered from the Soviet collapse. No doubt they have kept up in critical technical areas related to the military.

    Are those categories really relevant at all? Did Karlin prove that or does he just expect us to accept his biased assumptions. It seems that Karlin has an ideological ax to grind.

  • Or could it even be that the badness of the pozz is being overstated? That the multiracial, LGBT-friendly culture is a new viable equilibrium for a human society, rather than being a sign of decline and disintegration?

    Poz is pretty bad, even without the overstating.

    No, it’s not a new viable equilibrium. It will run out of its feed stock (white people), and then it will end.

  • Would you agree that your thinking also has limits? That there same thoughts that you will never have or never will be able to comprehend? So how different are the limits you have from the limits a machine has?

    And yet, there are those moments of clarity, even mystical experiences, who knows what, when that thought, idea, simply comes up.
    No need to start debating it here; so far nobody has figured that thing out.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Obesity is probably the best modern example, but there is a whole set of various panic responses from the fight or flight instinct. The Moros reflex in infants arguably useless as well since the grasping reflex is there but human infants are too weak to cling.

    I don’t, incidentally, see how you couldn’t code for that.

  • This thread has well over 500 posts. No one you reply to will likely ever see your unlinked reply.

    Can’t you use JS on a public computer for 5 minutes or something? Do you have an ideological opposition to it?

  • It’s a common sperg religous value, really. Self-actualization: I can will myself to ultimate badassitude. Grind my way to the top. Never been borne out by the combat sports, where east Asians are somewhere near dead last.

    Agree.
    But, then, you talk about combat sports, not quite unarmed self-defense.

    Of course that talent and genetics are crucial if one wants to go to the top of that. Well, like in any sport. Or any competitive human activity.

    But, again, practical unarmed self-defense is another thing. Related, admit, but not that close.
    Majority of able bodied man can master that, I think.

    To be clear: master the mental (70 %) and the physical (30 %) “package” not to be beaten into intensive care by a common thug.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    How do you think that AI was able to come up with unique moveset combinations in Go?

    Machine learning may have limits at present. But it’s a lot like arguing that mathematics is largely useless because it was often inapplicable to day to day life in Eulicid’s time due to poor measurements, etc.

    It’s a tool. Currently quite primitive but useful, with significant potential.

  • No, because neither is satisfactory, and you did say “often the instinct is very wrong.”

    I did assume we are discussing human instinct rather than canine instinct. After all, a human knows not to chase a car, and we’re not discussing building artificial dogs, are we?

    Try again — seriously this time — with several examples where human instinct is very wrong.

    Here’s one gimme, just to be a good sport: Swimming against a rip current…

  • Obesity is probably the best modern example.

    If so, it’s not a very strong argument. The obesity epidemic dates from the 1980s or so. How can something of such recent appearance be considered instinctive?

    It can’t.

    More likely, the obesity epidemic has occurred because of food additives like high fructose corn syrup and the artificial sweetener aspartame. This latter chemical causes changes to gut bacteria with a cascading set of unfavorable bodily changes as a result, including suppression of the satiety or fullness signal.

    Even Trump has tweeted that Diet Coke makes you gain weight, but he reportedly drinks 12 cans of the stuff every day. Oh, doctor, I guess he says one thing, does another even with the sody pop.

    Babies’ instinct to grasp, spread their limbs, and cry out may help them survive. How can these instincts be considered “very wrong?”

    They can’t.

    And I distinguish between panic and instinct. Panic may be an instinct, but it is not the only one. Some people stay more calm and collected than others during times of stress and high anxiety. The accepted advice not to run out of a building during an earthquake is questionable, and it never hurts to move along, this is not the disaster you want to experience.

    ~

    Code for what? Ambiguous sentences?

    I saw her in the tub with a telescope.

    The fish was ready to eat.

    She was waiting for her big daddy with some money.

    Can AI bots parse those sentences?

    Color me skeptical.

  • “The point is that AI will never create its own decision tree.”

    Exactly. That’s what I was trying to say with my example that is easily solved with a simple algorithm that a human can create but that a machine can’t create. Then you have utu, who either feigns or is genuinely clueless.

  • SpeakerForTheDead says

    “What “detriment” to scientific and technological progress do you see there?”

    Plenty. I am in the current scientific establishment in a large North American University. There is plenty of detriment caused by the leftie progressive types. Firstly, they seek to implement social justice programs/ideology into areas where it has no place. I was forced to take sociology as a hardcore STEM major and learn about alleged ‘patriarchy’ suppressing female advancement, or how the wage gap exists (which has been disproven plenty of times) and is caused by men or how everything is a social construct. This ideological inoculation is similar to the Soviet-era classes of Polit-economics my parents had to take while studying to be engineers. Polit-economics also had a bunch of bs ‘science’ and ‘researchers’ supporting it (like sociology/gender studies) but collapsed entirely with the collapse of the USSR.

    Serious programs that should be focused on developing science and focusing on scientific development are focused instead on ensuring ‘diversity quota’s’, making sure nobodies feelings are hurt and other programs. Social justice warriors are a burden the system has to bear. In fact they manage to shove their feminist/leftie beliefs into areas where it makes no sense, like geography, neuroscience or microbiology.

    As for why the lefties are seemingly at the forefront of science (in America – not Asia), is because of momentum accumulated by generations of conservative scientists. In fact, I find conservative scientists/PI to run the most effective labs and generate the best research.

  • SpeakerForTheDead says

    Nothing wrong with sluts. I love sluts, they make a man happy. Fuck the Abrahamic religions and their repression of sexuality.

    Paganism is the religion of our ancestors and the one we should follow. Christianity is a foreign import and needs to be destroyed.

  • SpeakerForTheDead says

    The problem with ‘peer-review’ and the whole concept of ‘citations’ is it serves to provide an ‘ideological filter’ that certain research confirms to dominant views. Have fun finding research in psychology or neuroscience or sociology that challenges the predominant world view of the leftist academia.

  • jilles dykstra says

    If it is true that each neuron thinks, whatever that may be, then our brain still is far superior to any computer
    Roger Penrose, ‘The Emperor’s New Mind, Concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics’, 1989 Oxford

  • jilles dykstra says

    I can read in four languages, I more and more realise how unusual that is.

  • jilles dykstra says

    I agree, there is no such thing as free will.
    Just try to will what you do not will, such as murdering your mother.

  • But don’t you follow it right now with all your public wanking ‘pride parades’? And when you will get rid of Christianity you will have the Muslims buggering you to your ass content, you ‘man’ (white, I suppose).

  • But Prometheus does not break any ‘natural bounds’ (probably you wanted to say bondage). He steals the fire from the heavens to bring it down to earth to serve even more ‘natural bounds’. He didn’t help man to free himself from the natural bondage (that’s what religion does), but bonded it more ‘scientifically’.

  • Promethean? No, that’s just a mask. In reality, Luciferian.

  • Anglo-Americans are the only monolingual group of people. They boasted how English has conquered the world, how everybody speaks now English. They did not realize what people told them. Everybody speaks English, but they speak other languages too. Many are multilingual as a matter of fact, which gives them an edge over the monolingual. It was said that the orders to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993, were given over the phone under the very nose of police who was detaining the organizers, in Arabic. Nobody paid any attention.

  • It’s just a metaphor.

    In Christianity the opposition is between “nature” and the “divine”, with nature standing for human self assertion, rebelliousnous against God’s divine order, etc.

    In other traditions the opposition is between “human” and “nature” – and mankind’s proper role is to submit to nature (standing in for the divine).

    Same thing different terms.

    Prometheus defied the Gods (cosmic order) in order to gain too much power, and was punished mercilessly.

    Science is the project of ignoring natural limits in order to gain too much power – and the anomie and loss of motivation in western societies is the result.

    But true science is dead anyways. What we have now is obsessive score-keeping. Scientific “objectivity” was the suppression of all lesser subjective points of view in favor of our most highly subjective and self-interested point of view – gaining power over the physical world.

    That was sciences peculiar “objectivity” – but it’s been entirely replaced with narcissistic score-keeping(publish or perish, etc), one of the lesser subjective points of view. (it’s a delusion we can ever be entirely “objective”.)

    It seems so far unlikely the Chinese will revive the true scientific mindset – as far as I can see, obsessive score-keeping rules the day everywhere. This is social strength – true science, which can only be Promethean, leads to anomie eventually.

    We are creatures bounded by nature – or, if you will, divine order. Rebel against it, and we crash.

    Narcissistic score-keeping may be “lesser”, but it is healthier and more in keeping with our nature. It doesn’t dare fly so high.

    Of course, it too needs to be held in check for humans to be healthy and sane. But Promethean science is an even more immoderate form of narcissism despite us so called “objectivity”.

  • Thales the Milesian says

    In the biomedical sciences, I find Russia’s performance to be appalling!

    Publications in medical journals is minimal.

    I see Russian names here and there, but they are all affiliated with Western institutions.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Short on time, so I can’t reply as fully as I’ll like.

    If so, it’s not a very strong argument. The obesity epidemic dates from the 1980s or so. How can something of such recent appearance be considered instinctive?

    But that’s essentially the driving point of how instinct can become harmful: instinct is basically coded, unlearned behavior and its adaptive to the environment, until the environment changes(as in your example). Sickle cell is adaptive in an environment of high malaria, and maladaptive in an environment of low malaria; but furthermore, there is also evolutionary spandrells to consider, where the adaptation remains even though the environment that it provided for has gone away, because its not actively harmful(Moros reflex, I’ll say, is an example. Chimpanzee infants are very strong and can cling onto their mothers, human infants aren’t, but its not harmful enough for the behavior to go away).

    I mention panic not so much as an instinct in and of itself, but as an emergent tendency of the fight-or-flight response, that’s well calibrated for a natural environment(flee from lions! fight by hitting and running! Get really mad at the small predator circling your tribe for children, yelling and screaming will probably make the wolf rethink about whether its worth it) but doesn’t adequately accommodate modern threats well(how dangerous is a gun? Being in loud, angry crowd? Being shamed on the internet and one’s peer groups?) and so veers into strange directions, the most obvious being the “freeze-up” response when the system cascades into a failure to decide.

    And of course, the entire host of fallacies could be a kind of abuse on instinctual tendencies which may not be well adapted to modernity(presency fallacy, cognitive dissonance, appeal to authority, etc). Should we procrastinate off work? No, the more advanced forebrain may say, this will just make it more stressful later. But yes, says the savanaah-evolved brain and instinctual behavior- save energy, watch for predators, and mating opportunities.

    But at the end of the day, such instincts are essentially a set of “common sense” rules, to which humans(and even animals) share a vast quantity of and that, I admit has been exhaustive beyond our expectations of AI. I always am slightly amazed that wolves know to strike at the neck of their prey, or that we generally just “know” that the neck is a vulnerable part on any animal: for a machine, its all bewildering. What is a “neck.” How do you distinguish “neck.” Why is neck vulnerable? How do you tell a cow neck from a human neck? Is the butt a part of the neck if it shares the same color?

    But at the end of the day, I don’t think its impossible to impart a significant amount of such “common sense” rules to codify it into an AI’s understanding so that one day it can actually distinguish dogs from cats(and google AI has managed that, IIRC). Furthermore, by violating “common sense” machine learning can find solutions which we don’t think of: offhand, the Stanford example of a machine learning algorithim finding it optimal to fly a helicopter upside down which maximizes its speed. Something like that doesn’t occur to humans usually, because our common sense is that’s impossible to pilot and kills the entire crew, but an AI can manage the former and doesn’t know why the latter matters.

  • What the research journal article-count indicates is that the SU and now Russia achieved technological parity with, or even superiority over, the US in space and military technology without pissing away countless billions on “academic” research. To the extent that research in the West contributed to the advance of military and space technology, the Russian’s presumably leeched off the open science literature, while keeping their own developments to themselves.

    Where the Russians failed to keep up was in electronics where development occurred not in academia, but in mainly American firms such as Intel and IBM that took advantage of the large domestic market for their products. The Russians, lacking such a market, lacked the conditions to advance in the relevant technologies.

    Today, America’s lead in electronics is shrinking if it has not been entirely erased, as the electronics industry has moved off-shore. Presumably, that is among the reasons for the Trump tax cuts, to induce Apple and others to launch a revival in US electronics. But now that the Asian giants have entered the field, it is open to question whether America will ever regain anything like its former dominance in electronics, or therefore, military technology.

  • Do you think AI chat bots could be posting comments on forums like Unz Review?

    Yes, but I put that belief mainly down to paranoia. However, it is the case that a chatbot troll does not need to be in any real sense intelligent. Therefore, it is not entirely irrational to wonder whether, at a place like this, one is wasting one’s one and only life arguing with an electronic gadget.

  • Philip Owen says

    But it’s cheaper to buy it from Germany.

  • a very well designed, state of the art, unprecedented research finding, only brought forward by forward thinking British Universities publish this trash and make up the quantity.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25087144

    Another one of the most advanced science study done in one of the leading universities in the world from the UK

    https://www.cnet.com/news/how-smelling-farts-could-save-your-life/

    Those professors and authors will be gone in 10 or 20 years down the road. No one will question their publications.

    Study comes with money. If you’re rich, you can do anything. That applies in STEM fields as well. Look at the deteriorating state of the British education system after WWII. Occasional giftout of the Nobel Prizes are just to make the country stay afloat in science.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Its not entirely irrational to wonder if one is wasting one’s one and only life arguing with random biological wetware across the intertubes, either.

  • Philip Owen says

    Nobody here has been down a coal mine then?

  • The difference is that one can actually learn something from another human, which is one of the great virtues of the web since it opens lines of communication between humans who might not otherwise have a chance to exchange their thoughts, these interactions sometimes leading even to synergy where the whole exceeds the sum of its parts, and even when communications fail, serendipity may unveil surprising alignments immediately apparent to any educated person, but which a machine would blunder onto only through brute force, and keep going, because these are not the data it’s looking for.

  • slightly amazed that wolves know to strike at the neck of their prey,

    I‘d argue that young wolves learn how to kill by accompanying the pack on hunts, and observing how the adults take down prey. But agreed, all canines have been shaped by “evolution” to be killers, and indeed may know that the neck is its own most vulnerable spot, plausibly learned during aggressive puppy play, where top dog status is already being established.

    No argument from me that some behavior seems built-in or instinctive, but I would suggest that other seemingly instinctive behavior in fact may be learned.

    For example, at a certain age, nestlings of many bird species begin to swivel their butts around over the edge of the nest, and squirt their feces out and away from the nest. Possibly they do this as soon as they are physically capable. When the hatchlings are younger and still pooping in the nest, the adult birds may use their beaks to pick up the poop in its fecal sack, and carry it away from the nest, usually some distance, before dropping it.

    So it is plausible that the fledglings have learned that poop is bad, or doesn’t belong in the nest, and so they take matters into…or rather out of their own anuses.

    So these birds seem to know that bird poop in the nest reduces survivability of their young by attracting pests and predators. It seems nature has provided birds like the familiar American robin T. migratorius with some kind of built-in knowledge to deal with this specific problem. However, it is entirely possible that young robins learn this poop removal behavior by observing adults. Indeed, fledglings may observe and perhaps assist their parents as they raise successive broods.

    Chimpanzee infants are very strong and can cling onto their mothers, human infants aren’t, but its not harmful enough for the behavior to go away).

    ‘Too much we don’t know about evolution of primates to assume that humans ever raised their young like chimpanzees do now. Perhaps grasping never was well developed as an infantile instinct in early humans simply because human mothers always held on tightly to their young, or simply lay the infant on the ground (or floor) even as humans do now.

    The shape and articulation of the bones of the human foot and hip argue strongly that even early humans had been out of the trees for a very long time, and were entirely adapted to life on the ground, where mama didn’t have to swing through the branches, or just hang onto a branch to avoid falling, and could instead clutch her young to her breast with one hand, while the other was free to do something else.

    fly a helicopter upside down which maximizes its speed.

    Going fast is not the primary purpose of helicopters. The primary purpose of helicopters is to achieve vertical take-off, and also to land safely in tight places, so that runways aren’t necessary. For that purpose, the helicopter works exceedingly well as designed by human engineers with the landing gear on the bottom, and the big whirling blades up top, and mostly out of the way of the low hanging fruit, but even on the boob tube in MASH, they know to duck instinctively from the script.

    But AI machine arrives at an impractical solution that indeed may solve one problem, or display impressive performance in one regime, but which is idiotic because it ignores other requirements, regimes, or realities, almost like how hack Hollywood & TV scriptwriters allow x-wing spacecraft to make U-turns in space.

    But at the end of the day, such instincts are essentially a set of “common sense” rules, to which humans(and even animals) share a vast quantity of and that, I admit has been exhaustive beyond our expectations of AI.

    This is a danger of too much specialization, and too much assumption that the science is all settled.

    There is a lot to know,
    A lot we don’t know,
    And some things we know
    That just aren’t so.

  • Holy sh.t. I thought those were jokes and memes. Man, talk about waking up to a new “academic” reality–those a real. Now I can see why term “British Scientists” became meme in Russia. What’s next? A major study in the benefits of blowing a nose during a cold, or Ph.D. thesis on appropriate use of Chinese backscratchers. A total degeneracy.

  • I’ll give you an example: during an interview for a contract, the project manager in front of me decided to test me, he said you have thirteen balls, twelve are the same weight, one is heavier, and you have a balance, how do you find the heavy ball and how many times do you weigh? It took me half a second to answer because as a human I am capable of both explicit and implicit thinking. The thinking of a machine can only be explicit, she cannot deduce what she doesn’t “see” if she doesn’t have it in her database. What she doesn’t see has to be hard-coded and if it’s hard coded then it’s not AI since the machine didn’t find out by herself.
    To prove me wrong, write a generic algorithm that will produce the algorithm to solve the above problem. That would be AI.

    No, a machine capable of doing that it would not be called AI, which current systems already are, but rather called Strong AI or machine/artificial general intelligence. And while nothing like that is here (yet) the odds that it is feasible to build one in our life time are are shortening rapidly.

    The people who have always known that it is possible in principle to build M/A G I are biologists like Lovelock. Because birds can fly it is possible for machines to. People can think, therefore it is possible for machines to, if the most comprehending machines are picked to go into the immediate future and the next round of choosing if they are the best fit for stronger AI. That competition between neurons, teams of neurons, individual researchers, teams, companies, and countries is in the style of natural selection which produced us by a blind bottom-up process. Natural selection is a substrate neutral algorithmic process, like the grains of sand on the beach being blindly sorted so the finest are to the top.

    Out there in design space there most probably is a way to get to strong AI Andeas Wagner’Arrival of the Fittest talk at a relevant point

  • When you talk about medical publicationes , you mean medical publications in english

    . But as you know medical publishing is controlled by a handful of american german and dutch companies which only publish in english and from english speaking nations , plus some german dutch scandinavian and little more . They ignore other languages and other countries , probably russian papers are vetoed . It is just an imperialistc medical bussiness that has imposed the destructive academic principle ” publish or perish ” , and in english of course , which has corrupted medicine , and in the last 3 decades has produced tons of papers of little relevance .

  • Magnificent AaronB , and it is not just a metaphor you are right on target .

  • Daniel Chieh says

    Its possible that complexity is not the way to it: the wheel-lock mechanism for guns was extremely cool but not really suited for mass manufacture. The flintlock was almost ludicrously simple(and technically a bit worse) but it pretty much was the dominant means of firearms function for two hundred years.

  • Daniel Chieh says

    “Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.”

    In a world of madness, I often think of Schopenhauer’s essential question: how, then, should one live?

  • Who can explain how and why Morgan Shuster, an American lawyer, civil servant, and publisher with no relation whatsoever to Persia, was appointed Treasurer General of Persia, to organize Persia’s finances along ‘modern lines’? Shuster is the name of some Jewish bankers.
    Zarathustra was an Iranian. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra was, well… Nietzsche’s invention.

  • Utu,

    We live in a very dishonest age.

    There is nothing that is more hyped and bs’ed than the technology sector. We get these breathless accounts of amazing technology that really ends up being vaporware.

    I am tired of being lied to.

    Going back to AI. Look at my example of a cat. If you ever simply observed a cat, without interfering with its behavior in any way, then you will notice that said cat’s behavior is completely unpredictable. That is because a cat creates its own decision tree at any given moment. Certainly, if you startle it or give it food or interfere with it in some way, yes, it may react predictably, but, left to its own devices, there is no way to predict what a cat will do.

    A cat is a simple intelligence, yet no computer can be developed to behave like a cat because the computer cannot create its own decision tree.

  • I am tired of being bs’ed by tech charlatans.

    Go is like chess. It is fully specified. This is not AI. This is just heavy computational power running through every possible combination.

    You could play the same trick in music. Have a computer run every possible note combination in a C major scale. I am sure it would come up with novel musical combination as well.

  • How many lines of C code do you need to write before something becomes an AI?