Link drop October 2020


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edit 5 Oct 2020:


 I don't yet get how incompetence can trickle down (top-down) in organizations this quickly.

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I told you; chainmail is making a comeback in fashion.

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Delusional dreams of Ottoman greatness will probably be no more relevant to real world outcomes than the "Wakanda" hokum. Still, soft power does count a lot. Even dictators need to listen closely to what their people think to sustain power.
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The airlines are crashing economically and ditch many aircraft that could technically still fly for years in the high intensity airline business (which is decades worth of military flying).
Maybe I have just missed it because I don't frequent aviation journal websites much any more, but shouldn't we see armed forces buying cheap former airline aircraft for support functions?
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I suppose that the public reaction got it wrong (as far as I could tell).
It wasn't really about troops and veterans in particular.
Krugman contrasted the "losers" thing with the lying moron's preference for certainly defeated Confederate generals, for example. He got the meaning of the word entirely wrong.

The lying moron thinks that life is about ripping others off in a competition for money, power, fame and pussy. Those who achieve this are "winners", whose who find themselves being exploited are "suckers", and thus "losers".

The lying moron's only economic policy idea aside from ballooning the deficit (=fiscal stimulus) was to rip other nations off (more). As if that could help much given the relative size of the U.S. economy.

The lying moron kind of admired (and envied) generals for their power (over people's lives) and authority. They're "winners" not because of battlefield success, but because of success in the intra-society quest for power. Later on, he insulted and denigrated them once he was in direct contact and thus compared himself to them, feeling the urge to feel superior - which required pushing them down on the achievement ladder.

And Confederate generals? Those were men who had money, fame, power, presumably access to pussy - and their power was ultimate. They OWNED people (and could rape female pussies at will), how much more power could you possibly have? His kind of guys. "Winners". 

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No, that's three Corinthians.
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It is all-too common for people to dislike something, conclude that it is harmful, proclaim it's harmful and then circle back and point at the harm as supportive of their negative opinion about the something.
Reality does often get into the way of this, and that's when cognitive dissonance simply shuts the eyes and a bubble with like-minded idiots is formed.

Imaginary crime waves supposedly caused by minorities in cities or foreign countries are but one example for this. The reality is that we saw throughout the Western World a trend of waning crime rates. This may be owed in part to demographic changes, and in part to better environmental protection (lead and some substances are under suspicion of increasing crime levels.)

I've repeatedly seen people dismiss entire nations as failures and incapable based on nothing but their own racism. This is no intelligent way of appraising a nation's capabilities at all.



  1. There's an African "renaissance" movement that considers black Africans and Papua New Guineans as black people for whom it envisions a successful future. It is fueled by a dark skin racism and I'm sure we will see more Wakanda in the future.

    If you consider a worst case for the EU, Muslim countries could form an alliance that possesses nuclear weapons and is hostile to Israel, Europe, possibly Russia, and the US. Turkey could be central in such an alliance. How would such a hypothetical scenario change European security?

    1. Africa is bound to become more relevant because it keeps having population growth. 2.5 bn Africans by 2050 is going to make a difference. They will have terrible rural energy (firewood), pandemic (mostly HIV, malaria) and food supply issues, but they will also have an urban middle&upper class equivalent to the market size of Western Europe.

      South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia will rise to prominence, albeit hindered by poor government performance.
      A Muslim countries alliance wouldn't matter much IMO. France keeps a bit more than minimal deterrence nuke arsenal anyway.

      The big change in the European security picture would occur if China allies with Russia for real, and that's not very likely.

      A China-Arabs alliance would probably not matter much because the Chinese would correctly assume that the sea link would be too much endangered by Americans even if Europeans and Americans weren't allied.

    2. Thank you, that was an interesting reply.

      I'm not so sure a Muslim alliance wouldn't matter. Current numbers of youth are in their favor with rising population numbers. Especially their women are eager for education. The women are also more entrepreneurial inclined, because they often lack perspectives in state employment.
      The Muslim world seems likely to have a series of revolutionary sparks and societal shifts that fundamentally reorganize them. Polygamy is currently in some parts on the rise again, but I don't see much of a future for it with women owning more of the assets and making more of the earnings. The shift is probably towards more monogamous societies with more of a say of their women that currently push the costs of marriage to exorbitant levels in a bid to make sure that men don't marry twice.
      Much of the current failings are due to structural difficulties in male dominated societies where extended family obligations often trump performance demands. Women themselves and with their ability to marry might better smooth such difficulties in the future.
      The changes sound positive at first glance. Underneath it, often seems to be an ideology of a retropy of recreating a golden age, bringing the ummah Muslim community together and converting the dar al harb (house of war) rest of the world to their true faith. This preachy part worries me, because all these shifts run with a stronger role of religion and religious war is the flip side of this coin.
      Together with the shifts in armed conflict due to the increased use of automated systems, the power balance can look very different from now in the future. Take the French revolution for example, it set free forces that went far beyond what the prior French kingdom did accomplish. And while we might disagree on some points, I hope we can agree that many, not all, Muslim societies are currently set up for transformative shifts.