Quotable (#216)


In order to win the war unleashed by the Leninist revolution, Western capitalism fomented fascism against the working class. […] We know the story of what followed: Soviet communism and Anglo-American capitalism were forced into an alliance. Then democracy defeated the Soviet Union.

This might be the most garbled historical narrative I’ve ever heard.

(Piece as a whole is worth a read, though.)

Sexual Politics

Via Nate Silver, the electoral implications of hypothetical solely-male and solely-female electorates in the US (2016):



Given the absence of a realistic geo-political segregation option, continuing tension can be safely anticipated. (There still has to be a way to break the place up that makes more sense, such as starting with the places that don’t change color when gender-flipped.)

Digital Sovereignty

Even skeptics (such as this blog) can note the importance of the discussion initiated here:

Soviet Union had cinema, the PRC has the Internet.

I personally think that the international audience still largely underestimate the importance of what China has achieved policy-wise for the global landscape of Internet. Concepts like “digital sovereignty” that were proposed by China are now emerging from post-Snowden discussions in proposals at the highest levels in EU countries. Russia has already embraced it. Of course, the US industry still need the myth of a “global village” to push products worldwide. Still, I am curious to see how it evolves as the ad market will continue to shrink, and as foreign relationships with the US are likely to get less friendly in the next years. While EU and other countries (esp in Africa and South America) start realizing that the US-first model of the Internet is too much a disadvantage for them, the only other real-world case they can turn to is China. In many regards, China looks like the future of the Internet. …

It’s tempting for Westerners (and especially Anglos) to see Chinese government Internet policy as simply backward. That’s almost certainly an inadequate framework for making sense of the most explosive Web-growth in the world.

Among other developments, there’s this:


Quotable (#161)

Horror escalates:

… the immediacy of V.R. has a dark side, too. Several months ago, Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger, researchers from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, in Germany, published a series of recommendations on the ethical design and implementation of virtual reality. Their appraisal of the medium’s psychological force is both studious and foreboding. “The power of V.R. to induce particular kinds of emotions could be used deliberately to cause suffering,” they write. “Conceivably, the suffering could be so extreme as to be considered torture.” In filmmaking, the director must perform a kind of seduction of dread, leading viewers through an escalating series of psychological states. In the immersive world of V.R., no such dance is required. …

Quotable (#156)

There’s going to be a lot of embarrassment to share out, when this nonsense blows over:

The truth is, the Bitcoin community is not just sceptical of anyone who claims Satoshi’s throne – it is resentful. The mystery of Satoshi and the democratising effect of there being no known founder has long been a central feature of the currency. Garrick Hileman, of the Cambridge Centre of Alterative Finance, is worried about the implications of Wright’s claim. ‘Satoshi as an absentee landlord was useful, it allowed entrepreneurs and innovators to take ground – and that may well be gone now. We’ve seen the old man behind the curtain – he’s no longer the wonderful wizard of bitcoin.’

(Via dmf.)

More delusion in the same vein, here. (Also, less delusion.)