my eye

Point of Contact

Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available (G. Benford)

[sticky post]Western values
my eye
jnuk
If I am asked to define  "western" or "European values", I will single out the following three:

  • Democracy

  • Good governance (fair, efficient and legitimate)

  • Elimination of corruption


Shorts
my eye
jnuk
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Baku
my eye
jnuk

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More time for children
my eye
jnuk
LINK



If you want to become a polyglot
my eye
jnuk

If you are trying to lear a new language, here are two resources that make the process much easier and fun:

Duolingo
Tinycards

Both are highly recommended. 


Russia today
my eye
jnuk
An interesting observation https://russiamil.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/valdai-2017-reactions-from-a-newbie/amp/
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(no subject)
big eye
jnuk


I cannot believe that this sort of things can still pass some basic due diligence. Previous lessons seam to be wasted:


Russian influence
Thinking cap
jnuk
Whoever really bought these Facebook adverts, Russians or not, did in fact do a great service to democracy. I am watching the discourse in the States with great interest. From what I can see it has developed or is developing into a very mature discussion about the role and ethics of that kind of media.
This what we needed but did not have in the UK right after the Brexit.

My past
my eye
jnuk
How I lost my past - Branko Milanovic reflects upon his experience in Yugoslavia. His observations are very much similar to my own in USSR.


"Yet it is very difficult to tell these other stories. History is written, we are told, by the victors and stories that do not fit the pattern narrative are rejected. This is especially the case, I have come to believe, in the United States that has created during the Cold War a formidable machinery of open and concealed propaganda. That machinery cannot be easily turned off. It cannot produce narratives that do not agree with the dominant one because no one would believe them or buy such books. There is an almost daily and active rewriting of history to which many people from Eastern Europe participate: some because they do have such memories, some because they force themselves (often successfully) to believe that they do have such memories. Others can remain with their individual memories which, at their passing, will be lost. The victory shall be complete."

Are you doing BS job?
my eye
jnuk
I have accidentally come across this video:


Most of the clips are taken from RT programs, which is in itself telling. But it is just a side comment here. My main interest in the idea the dude in the begging of the video, David Gaeber, discusses - the proliferation of "BS jobs" as he calls it.

And here he classifies BS jobs:


Interestingly he mentions his sample size, 250, but continues to talk very confidently about "millions jobs like that"

I was listening to all this and that it is quite likely he had never had a proper job himself.

Just for fun
big eye
jnuk
A very entertaining YouTube channel.

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Let's read the source
my eye
jnuk
He is a sexist. He talks to right wing personalities. He is a lier.

Well, let's read the source - https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

A Novel Meeting
big_ideas
jnuk
Telegraph.png

From "History, Theory and Practice of the Electic Telegraph" by George B. Prescott, 1866 -LINK

In accordance with a previous arrangement, the employes of the American Telegraph Company's lines between Boston and Calais, Maine, held a meeting by telegraph, after the business of the line was concluded for the day, to take action upon the resignation of Asa F. Woodman, Esq., Superintendent.
Thirty-three offices were represented, scattered over a circuit of seven hundred miles. Speeches were made by Messrs. Palmer and Milliken of Boston, Hayes of Great Falls, Smith of Port land, Bedlow of Bangor, Black of Calais, and others. Each speaker wrote with his key what he had to say, and all the offices upon the line received his remarks at the same moment, thus an inihilating space and time, and bringing the different parties, in effect, as near to each other as though they were in the same room, although actually separated by hundreds of miles.
After passing appropriate resolutions, the meeting was adjourned in great harmony and kindly feeling, having been in session about an hour.
An account of the above meeting having been published in the newspapers, Punch makes the following humorous sugges tions, which are equally applicable to our Congress : —
" Now, why could n't our Parliamentary proceedings be conducted in an equally silent manner? Do you think Cobden would unwind his many miles of Manchester yarns without an audience ? Do you fancy Spooner would go on raving for hours when there was not a soul present to hear him rave ? And is it likely that Gladstone, even, with all his love of talking, would talk incessantly when all that his eloquence could possibly bring round was a dial ? Now an electric Parliament would remedy all the evils that verbiage at present inflicts on the patience of the nation. A member of Parliament would be able to attend to his legislative duties without stirring from his country-seat. The entire business of St. Stephen's might be conducted in a telegraph office. The whole Parliamentary staff, with its numerous bundles of rods and sticks, might be cut down into a Speaker...."

Illiberal democracy
my eye
jnuk
Multi-party kleptocracies rather than illiberal democracies

Branko Milanovic is concise as ever:

"The implication of “illiberal democracy” is that the system is democratic in the sense that there are free elections, more or less free, or at least diverse, media, freedom of assembly etc., but that the “values” espoused by the regime are illiberal. Erdoğan believes in primacy of Islam over the Enlightenment-defined human rights, Orban believes in “Christian civilization”, Putin in “Russian spirituality”, Maduro in “Bolivarian revolution”. “Illiberal” also implies that the system is majoritarian in the sense that certain “inalienable” rights can be taken away through simple vote. At the extreme, a majority can decide to deny certain rights (say, to free speech) to a minority.

For it is precisely the “division of the spoils” which is a crucial feature of the regimes. They do not share, as some commentators believes, “values” antithetical to Western liberal values. Rather, I believe, these different values are simply invented to provide voters with a feeling that they are indeed voting for some distinct “national”, “homey”, “non-cosmopolitan” program while the real objective of the party of power is to control the state in order to steal, either directly (from overcharged public works or state-owned enterprises) or indirectly (through private sector corruption and laws and regulations that are for sale).

Thus, the party of power is simply an organized thievery that, in order to survive and prosper, needs to pretend to defend certain “values” and, most importantly, to keep on providing financial benefits to its supporters.

....

I think that it would be wrong, though, to regard such regimes as a different species from the Western liberal regimes. They simply exaggerate some features that exist in “advanced” democracies: sale of regulations and laws is done in both but it is done more openly and blatantly in the “new” regimes; creation of a real second party in Russia is as difficult as the creation of a third party in the United States; voter suppression is just taken one step further. They amplify, sometimes in a grotesque way, the negative sides of democracies and suppress, almost fully, their positive sides.

But the new regimes’ key characteristic is that they are multi-party electoral kleptocracies where only one party can win."

(no subject)
my eye
jnuk
I had my doubts about teaching Chinese students in our universities. Here is another reason - LINK

"The push extends to Australia’s universities. Chinese agents are said to monitor Chinese students and report on those who fail to toe the Communist Party line. And in another troubling trend, many of the 150,000 visiting Chinese students are importing a pro-Beijing approach to the classroom that is stifling debate and openness."

Good Deal
big_ideas
jnuk
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No More Labour?
my eye
jnuk
This is what I wrote just over three months ago:

"I have been posting "Vote Labour" placard in the top post of my journal for almost 3 years. I am taking it down today.

It is not as I do not support socialist ideas anymore. Quite the contrary. The main reason I am failing to understand what exactly the party has been fighting for the last couple of years. There is fight and there is opposition, but the aim of all of it is sort of disappearing. It is not enough to be in opposition to conservatives any more.
I have to say that there is not much to choose from in modern Britain.  There are people and there are parties, but  there is lack of coherent vision of the future.
I am beginning to understand the appeal of bolsheviks ideas 100 years ago. At least the new what they wanted."

Has anything changed in my position since then? The answer is yes.
I have never been a Corbin's critics. I admire his personal and political integrity. I like his stile. He genuinely  cares about people. But I was not clear about the course of the Labour party. I still think there are many questions that need to be answered. The party is not only Corbin.
But what is new is this. I think there has been a fundamental shift in the discourse, thanks to Corbin. He has been putting more and more emphases on inequality in Britain. This is what I want to hear because it is the root of if not all, but many problems around us.

UK Election Quiz: which party's general election manifesto are you?
my eye
jnuk
Quiz - LINK


Real Homeland
my eye
jnuk
Не очень широко обсуждаемая у нас тема о которой я писал ранее - LINK




It’s about how a motivated US billionaire – Mercer and his chief ideologue, Bannon – helped to bring about the biggest constitutional change to Britain in a century.
...
This is Britain in 2017. A Britain that increasingly looks like a “managed” democracy. Paid for a US billionaire. Using military-style technology. Delivered by Facebook. And enabled by us. If we let this referendum result stand, we are giving it our implicit consent. This isn’t about Remain or Leave. It goes far beyond party politics. It’s about the first step into a brave, new, increasingly undemocratic world.


The investigation continues: - LINK

Homeland
Thinking cap
jnuk
Посмотрел все шесть сезонов Homeland. На мой взгляд это лучший шпионский фильм всех времён. С ним трудно что-то даже сравнивать.

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