Link dump November 2020

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The case is settled; Armenia has to withdraw, period.
AFTERWARDS, the right to self-determination of the local Armenian majorities in Azerbaijan should be the hot topic, leading to a referendum and a peaceful redrawing of borders and a bilateral treaty reaffirming minority protections and agreeing on easy border crossings.

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An African-perspective satire

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A reminder that humans are humans, and act according to circumstances. Colonialism's evils were not all that much about race, after all.

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It's no link and not worth a weekly blog post, but I still want to bring one point across:
The public discussion of military affairs appears to be a spiral. Old and long-answered questions arise over and over again, old and long-rejected or long-disproved ideas arise over and over again.
This happens (IMO) much, much less regularly in science fields. The military theory and military hardware writing and publications are obviously insufficient to create a community memory that keeps the community from revisiting old bad ideas (and asking old, long-answered questions) over and over again.
Science solves this with the institution of the senior professor. Senior professors are rarely of any use to propel science forward any more. They are rather a roadblock to that effort. But they do often hold impressive knowledge about old discussions, old questions, old answers, old literature. Junior researchers can easily go to them if they have an idea and get a quick check if something of that kind was tried before.
I understand that the (in most countries very limited) military school systems could in theory have such knowledge, but they have no or almost no such decades-long serving teachers. Moreover, such institutions do nothing for public debates and are badly restricted regarding multinational discourse.

This looks like a system built to ensure everlasting amateurism.
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Archaeologists have found enough fragments of a legionary armour at a dig site related to the  so-called 'Battle of the Teutoburg Forest' (destruction of Varus' three legions). It appears to be a predecessor (and less comprehensive version) of the so-called 'lorica segmentata' (which was more comprehensive).

source: Roland Warzecha, Rebekka Kuiter 
(Much more fragments were found than the one in the picture, we can have confidence in the reconstruction.)

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The Australian SAS appears to have a MUCH bigger discipline problem than the KSK.
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That's right, put the crazies back into their caves of stupidity. They shall not dare to come back into sunlight.
Also, Americans take note: This is how much (IMO most) of the world thinks about you.

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Part of why I don't care all that much about Russian natural gas is that it's going to be of much lesser relevance in 20 years anyway. The last two winters were so mild that I got money back (that I had paid as regular heating bill) due to almost no need for heating (natural gas is the energy carrier of choice for heating urban homes in Germany).

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This is utterly common, and easily predictable. Authorities L O V E to discredit resistance and protest, against them or their actions. The claim that resistance and protests are violent is a most simple way of discrediting such opposition. Moreover, a horde of useful idiots will always jump on this and keep supporting the authorities regardless of their ethical merits - and regardless of how actually violent the authorities' response was.
Any adult who is thinking for himself/herself about politics should be aware of this. To fall for such predictable and unimaginative propaganda is embarrassing.

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  1. These backdoors for intelligence have costs in a knowledge economy, because they give an advantage to companies that receive the results of successful espionage and disadvantage companies that leak information. This could favour companies with ties to US intelligence over their competition. Companies of US allies would be harvested and some US companies would receive the collected information.

    Intelligence has a tendency to operate with few families (Walker case for example), which could create an aristocracy if information is being unofficially sold under the table.

    Are there reliable studies how foreign institutions handle the issue? Do Chinese companies have backdoors? I doubt that, because the party seems to have root access. This would give the Chinese system a competitive advantage in the current decoupling.

    1. "A door can be walked through both ways." the yankish agencies have been told this for decades, they know this, they dont care. The reason? Same as the chinese, the surveillance isnt focussed against foreign powers, its against domestic 'threats'. Population control. Perpetuation of the yankish elite.

      So they steal technology, insider trade, traffic the info through cut-outs and 'royal' companies, Carlyle et al.

      Do what the French do, dont focus on defence, just attack. Constantly. Hack them back, use the products for fun and profit.

      Its not worth trying to figure out spook games vis-a-vis geopolitics. It only causes mind rot.

      yankland is the Philippines, they're in a death spiral. Come back in a couple of years and they'll be Myanmar.

    2. I was in a conference about the data access structure and encryption in Azure. Microsoft sells this product to gouvernments for them to migrate their data. If I expect it to be leaky, I expect all information passed to my gouvernment to leak. I expect various gouvernments to do more or less a decent job in security of their military-industrial complex, but I suspect that the other parts of the economy and personal data of average citizens are fair game for data leaks with possible mass surveillance and mass manipulation via the connection to our data feeds. Unlike spying for the Soviets in the Walker case, selling data on companies can be far more lucrative and run less risks of being exposed or facing a sentence instead of just being internally reprimanded.

      The US is increasingly made to look like a basket case in our media. I have doubts about their decline. They do face a conflict which is not being expressed openly, so the nutters are given centerstage to talk instead of the unmentionable real problems being addressed. The US has been based on the consensus of a smaller group and joining power required joining this consensus. The suppression of German American culture was one such act to avoid divergent groups and enforce a consensus for WWI and WWII. Similarly, Russian speakers had a harder time in Alaska during the Cold War. The current problem is in my opinion connected to the decline of some unions and the share of the profits by labour. A culturally diverse workforce has in my opinion a harder time to organize and push for their interests, making them cheaper and more plyable. I do think this problem, which has been researched in the slaughterhouse dispute between Germany and Denmark, is at the root of the other problems. A society that shares cultural aspirations would require less effort to unite for common goals. This consensus of being WASP white as something to aspire to, was lost, and people don't seem to have gotten all behind a new consensus. Until a new consensus is reached, news from the US will probably read increasingly dire. The problem with a new consensus are the financial stakes in the status quo.
      In case there's an armed internal conflict in the US, my money is on the group controlling the countryside with the food supply. Despite Biden's current win of the presidency, I think the ilk of Trump is winning the long game there. If we stay connected to the US in our information processing, we will have to follow them down that road and those data leaks force us to stay cozy close.

    3. The Americans are clearly piling up problems a lot quicker than they solve or even only address them in any effective way.

      A couple of their problems appear to be common to the entire Western world (including Japan). The problems become more of less visible in various Western countries, but they are shared.
      - income and wealth concentration
      - lots of consequences by that concentration, including erosion of middle class family pattern
      - declining rate of technological progress
      - growing public debt signalling government's inability to forcefully collect enough revenue
      - secular stagnation / borderline deflation
      - overleveraged big businesses, especially financial sector
      - stiffened bureaucratic establishment
      - decades of toying with the terribly failing neoliberalism ideology
      - excessive rent seeking economies
      - neglect of public infrastructure (this one except Japan, which does too much)
      - unsustainable energy sourcing
      - unsustainable levels of greenhouse gas emissions
      - incapable of handling economic structural changes sensibly
      - growing rural desolation / declining affordability of homes and flats in cities

    4. I think this is a good list with which I don't disagree, although I think some problems result from others in the list. We have a petrodollar which I assume delayed the development of cheaper alternative energies. Energy is at the core of economic activity, including information which can be defined as energy as well. From this derives our technological stagnation, because we have only efficiency gains through microprocessor associated technology and sweatshop labour transfers. These are two competing modes of production, with automation being more suitable for retaining a middle class that pays taxes and consumes innovative products.

    5. We have "mostly gains" , not "only gains", that's not well worded.

    6. Couple of comments ago, the line about "the states with the food supply". I've never understood this argument. The costal states are rich as well as being costal. Need I continue? (Thats aside from the fact that california produces more food that any other state)

      I cant see a right wing street movement being formed. If there was ever a time for it to show it would have been when the BLM demos were at their height. Even came with the possibility of getting away with 'it'. Plenty of chaos around. Couple of isolated incels, virgins and dweebs shot some innocents, but the movement was nothing close to the scale of what their 'opponents' fielded.

      Doesnt mean their side cant gain more power. I just see that coming from billionaire funding and politicians rather than the unrealistic micro brains of a gaggle of obese 50 year olds with pockets full of ho-hos and crotch rot.

      In conclusion. Only use tails, kali linux or preferably temple os. Wash your laptop out twice a week. Cover the inside of your windows with shungite and every friday shine a torch up your nose to see if your eyes light up.