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Point of Contact

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

[sticky post]Western values
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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


Новояз
big eye
jnuk
Попалось в современной российской прессе:
- специалитет
- специалистура
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Фантастика прошлого — реальность настоящего
Rocket people
jnuk
Отмечаю День Космонавтики прослушиванием «Звезда КЭЦ» А. Беляева. Это одна из моих самых любимых книг детства.



Чем старше я становлюсь, тем больше укрепляюсь во мнение, что Беляев был и остаётся наверное самым лучшим русскоязычным автором настоящей научной фантастики. Возможно я и не прав на счёт настоящего. Наверное есть современные авторы сравнимые с ними. Но 20 лет назад такие отсутствовали на мой взгляд.

Remembering the past
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jnuk



Big Data 2
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jnuk
The Cambridge Analitica story is gavering speed. Not as much as I wish, but it is at least something - LINK

Cambridge Analitica
Cambridge Analitica Files


Novichok
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jnuk
British Ambassador to Russia briefing on the Salisbury attack: 22 March 2017

Some extracts from the above link I find important for my understanding of the situation:

"There was an attempted murder in Salisbury a couple of weeks ago of 2 individuals, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, using a nerve agent of a type that we know was developed in the Soviet Union, kept by the Russian Federation, and not declared under the Chemical Weapons Convention as the Russian Federation was obliged to do."

"First, there is no doubt that the weapon used in the attack was the military-grade nerve agent from the Novichok series. This has been confirmed by specialists, our specialists. An Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons mission is in the UK now to independently confirm this analysis." (JNUK: Although I could not find such confirmation, I assume it does exist)

"Russia has therefore offered no explanation of how this agent came to be used in the UK, and has offered no explanation either as to why Russia has an undeclared chemical weapons programme in contravention of international law.
I should just remind you that under the Chemical Weapons Convention all signatories to the Convention are required to declare all capabilities that go back to 1946. Russia is the successor state of the Soviet Union and therefore is obliged to declare that capability. It has not done so."

"Since the attack Russia has attempted to undermine the UK’s position, accusing us of not following the OPCW conventions and refusing to provide any evidence. These accusations are designed to confuse and to weaken our resolve and that of the international community.

All of the UK’s actions have been fully consistent with our obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. There is for example no provision in the Chemical Weapons Convention that requires the UK to share samples with Russia of the agent that was used in Salisbury. Russia’s history in other spheres, in particular for us the Litvinenko case, makes it entirely clear that we have no reason to work with or to trust the Russian state to provide credible or independent analysis on issues where its interests might be affected.

As I said earlier we are facilitating independent analysis of the material used in Salisbury. An OPCW team arrived at our request in the United Kingdom on the 19 of March. They are meeting officials from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down and the police to discuss how to collect samples. These samples will then be sent to 2 highly reputable international laboratories selected by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for testing, and we expect to see the results in the next couple of weeks.

At the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday Russia said it would not respect the conclusions of that independent OPCW analysis. Russia has also claimed that the UK has not followed its legal obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, especially Article 9. This is simply not true. The Chemical Weapons Convention makes clear that the UK has the right to lead our own response, engaging the OPCW and others as appropriate. The 10-day window for consultations Russia refers to is a right, our right, not an obligation. Article 9 contains nothing prohibiting states from seeking a rapid response to their immediate and urgent concerns from another state party, which is exactly what we did on the 12 of March when we asked Russia to account for what had happened."

Finally
my eye
jnuk
Finally. It is good to see the Cambridge Analytica got questioned in the UK. Like I said before, it is about time. A bit late for avoiding some harm, but better late than never.
(https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/cambridge-analytica)

For the record
my eye
jnuk
Luckily not everyone in the UK agrees with the government and wants us to close eyes and go head down into a new conflict with Russia without really strong reasons for it - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/15/salisbury-attack-conflict-britain-cold-war

A very big problem ....
Thinking cap
jnuk
LINK

"Failed Dreams

A grim scenario is the subject of Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing Their World, a harrowing new book by the Indian journalist Snigdha Poonam.

Today, the bulk of India’s youth bulge falls into at least one of three categories she calls the three “Es”: uneducated, unemployed, or unemployable. The problem with India’s education system is not schooling but learning. At the primary level, India is approaching universal enrollment. Yet over half of all students enrolled in the sixth grade cannot read a story suitable for second graders. One-tenth cannot even recognize the numbers one through nine.

These failures exist at every rung of the ladder. A recent assessment of Indians between the ages of 14 and 18 conducted by the nongovernmental organization Pratham produced a slew of depressing statistics: 40 percent cannot tell the time looking at an analog clock, 36 percent do not know the capital of India, and 62 percent cannot compute a ten percent discount on a given price. Higher education has become a lucrative business in India, leading to a surge in university enrollments. Between 2000 and 2015, according to the political scientist Devesh Kapur, India established almost six new colleges every single day. Barring a few isolated examples, however, these institutes are a classic case of quantity over quality.

The second crisis relates to the lack of jobs. The Indian economy needs to create roughly one million jobs each month just to keep up with the natural growth in the labor force. The government’s own estimates suggest that India is creating between 350,000 and 400,000 a month. Those who are not lucky enough to find employment in the formal sector join the growing hordes trying to make ends meet in the informal sector. A big part of the problem is that unlike its East Asian neighbors, India adopted a “precocious” economic model that leapfrogged manufacturing altogether and went straight into services.

Not every Indian can become a software engineer; establishing a robust manufacturing base is the only tried-and-true strategy for mass employment generation. Unfortunately for India, it is not only failing to industrialize, it is prematurely deindustrializing."

TV Show Of The Month
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jnuk
El Ministerio del Tiempo - http://www.rtve.es/television/ministerio-del-tiempo/
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History I didn’t know
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jnuk
Something new every day.

RadioLab The Gun Show

В пьянстве замечен не был, но утром пьет холодную воду
UUU
jnuk
"Сам же Крушельницкий заявил, что он завершил применение мельдония в конце 2015 года, когда вещество было запрещено.

«В конце 2015 года запретили мельдоний, нам перестали его давать. До этого я, честно говоря, даже не знал, что принимаю мельдоний. Мы чувствуем ответственность перед болельщиками. Мы полностью уверены, что эти медали чистые. Обидно, когда их просто так отнимают. Все понимают абсурдность ситуации, все пишут о том, что такого быть не может. У нас есть версия, озвучивать ее будем только в рамках расследования», — сказал Крушельницкий в эфире Первого канала." - LINK.
Жизнь спортсменов полна сюрпризов...

Наблюдая Олимпиаду и сопутствующие события...
my eye
jnuk
...прихожу к выводу, что:

а) спорт без допинга не интересен ни спортивным федерациям, ни зрителям, ни самим спортсменам
б) перечисленным выше группам некая абстрактная чистота спорта не важна. Действительно важным аспектом является равенство возможностей. Другими словами если допинг,то для всех. Аналогично требованиям к оборудованию и снаряжению.
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Shorts
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jnuk
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Baku
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jnuk

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More time for children
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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.

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