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I am a Russian repatriate, blogger, and intelligence researcher based in Moscow.

My blogging career began on January 9, 2008, when I launched my first blog about Russia. Soon afterwards, I expanded to other topics. I am especially interested in geopolitics; HBD & psychometrics; economic history; futurism and transhumanism.

In January 2015, Ron Unz invited me to join The Unz Review, where I have been blogging ever since. You can browse a curated list of some of my best articles here.

There are some incorrect and defamatory things written about me on a certain website that masquerades as Wikipedia. My response to them is here.


Quick Links

Donations

The more help I get from my readers, especially of the pecuaniary kind, the more time I can devote to my blogging and original research. You can donate to me via one of the following methods:

  1. Sponsor me on Patreon
  2. Bitcoin: 17tDufZUEK3DvQh3rY75F3xtVgxj4TzdtB
  3. Paypal donation
  4. Yandex Money via Yasobe (for ruble accounts)

Russia Blogging

I got my initial impetus to take up Russia blogging through what I perceived as a yawning discrepancy between Western media rhetoric about Russia, which oscillated between portraying it as a “weak,” “dying,” and “finished” country and doom-mongering about the Dark Lord Putin’s plans to subjugate Middle-Earth Europe, and its rather mundane and mediocre reality.

As Will Rogers once said, “Russia is a country that no matter what you say about it, it’s true.” Today, this is truer than ever, a state of affairs enabled by an uninformed public, lazy journalistic cliques, and agenda-driven neocons. I decided to tackle the problem at its root, deconstructing Western myths about Russia through a focus on rigorous quantification through statistics and opinion polls, translations, and the application of a judicious comparative perspective (otherwise maligned as “whataboutism”).

One of my greatest successes was modeling and correctly predicting Russia’s demographic turnaround as early as 2008, when holding such a position made one a prime candidate for psychiatric institutionalization. I likewise presented a more realistic – or at the very least, data-informed – perspective on Russia’s comparative performance on human rightscorruption, and the economy

But for all the epithets hurled at me as a “Russophile cretin,” “neo-Soviet reptile,” and my personal favorite, “ein strammer Putinsoldat,” it should be emphasized that I have never shied away from posting material that didn’t portray Russia in the best light. For instance, I am the author of what remains the most comprehensive roundup of statistical evidence of electoral fraud in the 2011 Russian elections in the English language. (That post was later cited by that famous Chekist front, Freedom House).

I returned to Russia in late 2016, literally fulfilling the “go back to Russia” advice of my most ardent critics. I did not expect that the aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections would usher in levels of Russia Derangement Syndrome previously thought to be impossible. With relations between the two nuclear superpowers at breaking point, there has been no greater need for the sort of detailed, data-centered Russia analysis that I offer since the 1980s.

HBD & IQ Blogging

Though I began as a Russia blogger, my interests ranged far and wide, and soon after I also ventured into topics such as human biodiversity (HBD), psychometrics, and futurism/transhumanism. As early as 2008 I emphasized the importance of human capital towards economic growth, and “came out” as a race realist in 2012, years before the Alt Right took the memesphere by storm. Since then, the exponentially growing body of evidence for those positions, including the publication of high profile books by “handshakeworthy” authors such as Nicholas Wade and Garett Jones, has vindicated my arguments.

karlin-psychometric-research

I have made several significant contributions to the debate, such as uncovering the (remarkably good) scores for mainland China in PISA 2009 and writing what is perhaps the most detailed popular account of the history of intelligence testing in Russia and the regional distribution of Russian IQ. In a 2013 survey of professional psychometricians, my blog was acknowledged as one of the world’s best three sources for accurate IQ reporting. In 2018, my most popular post was about how stupid the average person is – and why it matters.

Probably my most original contribution to this sphere is the theory of Apollo’s Ascent, which I hope to expand into a book one day. My basic thesis is that the historical rate of world technological growth can be approximated with by the numbers of literate “smart fractions” who could work on solving problems – but since problems tend to become harder over time, progress would inevitably slow down to a standstill whenever literacy and average IQ stagnated.

Another concept that I am keen to develop – the Age of Malthusian Industrialism – is a long-term forecast based on “business as usual” (no technological singularity, no existential risk doing us in). Since all personality traits are heritable, and desired fertility is one such trait, we can expect that in the demographic glut in the developed world will eventually reverse, and lead to a renewed population explosion. Meanwhile, technological stagnation brought on through dysgenic reproduction patterns – and the curse of problems getting ever harder as you go up the technological tree – means that the industrial economy will eventually reach its carrying capacity, resulting in the return of Malthusian population checks. This is a pretty bad scenario that we should try to avoid.


Journalism

Although I don’t consider myself a journalist as such, over the years I have written for or been republished and/or translated at a number of venues: Al JazeeraVoice of Russia (archive), Russia InsiderThe Duran, Inosmi (S/O, DR).

Reviews & Travel Writing

You can see a list of my book, video, and video game reviews here.

This list will be expanded in the years to come.

My travel writing has been a big hit this past year.  Apart from creating a Moscow Guide, hopefully I can follow up Portugal and Romania with a few other cities and countries in 2019. 

Kholmogorov Translations

My blog at The Unz Review is the primary source for English translations of Russian national-conservative philosopher Egor Kholmogorov. I do this in partnership with Fluctuarius Argenteus, the originator of the Russoshoe Theory.

You can keep track of new translations here.

We hope to get more of his translations done this year and publish a Kholmogorov Reader in the English language.

Future Plans

As of January 2019, these are my professional priorities:

(1) Foremost priority is to start publishing books. In order of priority, they are:

  • Dark Lord of the Kremlin: A summary of and a capstone to my Russia watching career. [In progress: 30%]
  • Dark Equilibrium: Book length version of this essay. [Prospective]
  • Frozen Embers: Sci-fi novel  in which the Earth falls out of the Sun’s orbit. [Prospective]
  • Apollo’s Ascent: Book length version of this essay. [Long-term]

(2) Start doing more serious academic research in psychometrics. [In progress: Articles to soon follow]

(3) Start making videos like Ramzpaul and Molyneux.

(4) Start making more Russophone content at my Russian blog akarlin.ru and elsewhere.


About Me

Though born in Russia, I was taken to the West at an early age in 1994. Like many scientists after the Soviet collapse, my father emigrated so as to be able to continue doing research. Much of this time was spent in a bleak, post-industrial town in England’s North-West. Fortunately, it had Europe’s largest bus station, so at least getting the hell out of there was easy after finishing high school.

I wandered about in California for a good decade or so, acquiring a degree in Political Economy from U.C. Berkeley in the process. I liked it a great deal more than the UK, but I still felt like a stranger in a strange land. Tiring of the anomie of my rootless cosmopolitan existence, I practiced what I preached and returned to Russia for good in 2016.

Politically, Western Russophobes made me a pro-Putin Russian patriot, while Putin himself has gradually made me a Putin-cynical Russian nationalist. That said, politics is the mind-killer, so I prefer not to attach too many labels to myself. But to briefly summarize, I subscribe to virtue ethics on the personal level, nationalism at the national level, and effective altruism at the universal level. Broadly, I support what works.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics and Russian cosmism (which preceded transhumanism) than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.

I like guns, skiing, Romantic aesthetics.