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Rockets are important. They are symbolically important, as the most virile, masculine, phallic manifestation of the superpower contest. To wit, the US national anthem: "the rockets red glare... gave proof through the night... that our flag was still there." No rockets—no flag—no "home of the brave." Rockets are strategically important: if the other side's rockets give it the ability to destroy your side with impunity, then your strategy is to negotiate the terms of your surrender.
They are also tactically important. Your navy would be loathe to sail into foreign waters knowing that they could be sunk without so much as a chance to fire back. It is terrible for morale to have rockets falling out of the sky and exploding sporadically among your civilian population while your military stands by helplessly.
All of this makes rockets worth watching, as I have been doing, and I couldn't help but notice some rather peculiar developments that portend major changes in how superpowers must interact. Suddenly—or not so suddenly if you've been paying attention—we seem to be living in a slightly different world.
Here I could launch into a lengthy historical discussion of why the US went nuclear in Japan, why US plans to destroy the USSR using a nuclear first strike never came to fruition, why Reagan's Star Wars failed and much else—but I won't bother and simply assume that you know all of that. Instead, I'll just issue an update.
Outside of a niche application of flushing out small game animals, it is a joke weapon that is rarely, if ever, offered for sale in serious hunting shops. Anthropologists working in Australia did find an old skeleton with skull and rib fractures they thought were made by a boomerang, having ruled out the didgeridoo and the digging stick for lack of a sharp edge. This led them to think that the boomerang could have been used as a weapon of murder and war. An alternative theory is that the poor person who once owned this skeleton simply had the habit of throwing his boomerang and then forgetting that he threw it. And so he just stood around gawking until it flew back and hit him.
The technosphere, which I defined in my 2016 book Shrinking the Technosphere as a nonhuman global emergent intelligence driven by an abstract teleology of total control, has seen its interests greatly advanced in the course of the 2020-21 coronavirus pandemic, with large parts of human populations forced to submit to control measures that made a mockery of their vaunted human rights and democratic values. This is as expected: the technosphere's most potent technologies are its killing technologies, and the way it goes about using them reflects its profound hatred for all living things, especially the willful and hard to control ones. But then the technosphere started to shrink—in certain locales. It is still going strong in others, but it not to early to imagine (dare I say, predict?) how it might continue shrink and what the consequences are going to be.
In my book, I described the reasons why and the methods how we should avoid becoming trapped under the inert hulk of the technosphere. I even provided a worksheet which readers could use to track their progress in freeing themselves from the technosphere's clutches. This was, as was to be expected, to no avail. The only how-to books in this world are cookbooks; the rest are read mainly for entertainment—first alone and, later, at cocktail parties. And the purpose of writing them is to make a bit of extra money to pay baby-sitters (at least it was in my case at the time).
To understand what seems likely to unfold, have to first delve into the technosphere's ontology: what does its emergent intelligence software it run on? It turns out that, seen as a network operating system, it runs partially on human brains but mostly on various microchips, with a wide assortment of optical, electromagnetic and mechanical sensors attached. Although humans still (think that) they exercise a modicum of control over the technosphere, it is the technosphere's natural tendency to take control away from humans even unto life-and-death decisions, as evidenced by a recent event in Libya where an unmanned military aircraft autonomously made the decision to kill someone. And exercising control requires control circuitry.
Having had successful careers as an electronics engineer and then as a software engineer, I am something of a walking, talking museum of automation technology, and can take you on a brief tour of its development. The dumbest control element is the light switch. It has no memory and it decides nothing. The next slightly less stupid control element is a toggle: it remembers whether the light is on or off and when pushed turns it off or on, respectively. This is already surprisingly far along: to build a computer, we need just a few more elements. We need a threshold switch with two buttons, which, depending on what you want, turns the light on when either button is pushed (called an "or gate") or when both buttons are pushed (called an "and gate"). We also need a "not": something that turns the light off when actuated. Finally, we need an actuator; instead of turning on a light bulb, all of these elements should be able to push each others' buttons. And now we are off to the races!
A decade and a half ago the world went from bipolar to unipolar, because one of the poles fell apart: The S.U. is no more. The other pole – symmetrically named the U.S. – has not fallen apart – yet, but there are ominous rumblings on the horizon. The collapse of the United States seems about as unlikely now as the collapse of the Soviet Union seemed in 1985.
Мы слышим угрозы, продолжающиеся из Конгресса, еще откуда-то. Все это делается в ходе внутриполитических процессов США. Вот люди, которые это делают, они исходят, видимо, из того, что мощь, экономическая, США, военная мощь, политическая, такова, что это не страшно, что это мы переживем, они думают
We are hearing threats coming out of US Congress and elsewhere. This is happening in the course of internal political processes within the USA. The people who make these threats are assuming, it would seem, that the power of the USA, its economic, military and political power, is such that this isn't serious, that they will survive this. That's what they think.
Вы знаете, в чем проблема, я вам расскажу как бывший гражданин бывшего Советского Союза. В чем проблема империй – им кажется, что они такие могущественные, что они могут позволить себе небольшие погрешности и ошибки. Этих купим, этих напугаем, с этими договоримся, этим дадим бусы, этим погрозим военными кораблями. И это решит проблемы. Но количество проблем нарастает. Наступает момент, когда с ними уже не справиться. И Соединенные Штаты уверенной поступью, уверенной походкой, твердым шагом идут прямо по пути Советского Союза.
But I'll tell you what the problem is, as a former citizen of the Soviet Union. The problem of empires is that they imagine themselves to be so powerful that they can allow themselves small miscalculations and errors. Some they'll bribe, some they'll scare, some they'll make a deal with, some they'll give glass beads, some they'll frighten with warships—and this will fix problems. But the number of problems continues to grow. There comes a moment when they can no longer cope with them. The United States are making sure-footed strides directly along the path of the Soviet Union.
It is one thing for such thoughts to be expressed by a little-known blogger; it is quite another for them to be voiced by the long-standing leader of a world superpower at a very prestigious and well-attended international forum. Those of you who have not been paying attention, or have but see the collapse of the USA as a somewhat whimsical, futuristic notion, need to pinch themselves.
If there is anything at all that you can do to prepare, your time is short. This is not a drill.
And wherefore cometh he?
There arise occasions in the course of human affairs that cannot be properly characterized without resorting to the strongest possible language. In situations when nothing can be made to work and all has come undone the term “collapse” tends to get a lot of use, but it is too abstract and too technical to do justice to the visceral experience of the event. It comes from the Latin col-labi—to slip together—but the exclamation “Goodness gracious, we slipped together!” just doesn't resonate.
What one is more likely to hear is something more along the lines of “Holy shit, we are totally fucked!” or some other string of obscene expletives, and this rather spoils the solemnity of the occasion. What is called for is a way to ennoble our suffering, not to cheapen it with vulgar expressions.
The connection between the sacred (that which is holy) and the sacral (that which is related to the pelvis and its varied functions) is a most intimate one. Both derive from sacrum, which is an anatomical term: it is the triangular bone in the lower back formed from fused vertebrae and situated between the two hipbones of the pelvis. The word is a Latin translation—os sacrum—of the Greek term—hieron osteon (holy bone)—for the Ancient Greeks believed the sacrum to be the seat of the soul. There may be something to this belief: when we suddenly realize that we may be about to die and as our soul makes emergency preparations to leave the body, we tend to experience a pronounced tingling sensation centered on the sacrum. The entire pelvis also tends to become affected: the anal sphincter relaxes, sometimes resulting in something vernacularly referred to as “losing one’s shit,” and, in men, the scrotum tightens and the testicles retract.
At that point many people also involuntarily utter sacrilegious profanities (there’s sacrum again!) which freely combine references to sex, defecation, genitalia, motherhood and God. Across many languages much use is made of vulgar terms for female genitalia: they form a sacred portal through which all human (and even some divine) life enters this world, and this makes references to them particularly potent in this context.
The holy and the obscene are really one and the same; swearing is a form of prayer and the female pelvis is the altar to which we spontaneously direct our prayers when we suddenly find ourselves in extremis. One often hears that there are no atheists to be found aboard a foundering ship but a lot of cursing/praying to be heard; are these two in some sense not the same?
The need to be vivid and evocative yet polite when referring to financial, commercial, political, social and cultural collapse forces people to resort to euphemisms. One nation that has a recent and profound of experience of collapse is Russia, having lost an estimated ten million people to alcoholism, violence, emigration and despair in the wake of the collapse of the USSR during the 1990s.
Referring to collapse, the Russians tend to make references to “the white furry animal,” thereby indirectly referring to the arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus. The Russian word for it is песец (peséts). It is a polite substitute for the term пиздец (pizdéts), which is reasonably well conveyed by the English exclamation “Holy shit, we are totally fucked!” It is in turn derived from the word пизда (pizdá), which is a vulgar term for female genitalia.
Take this white fluffy animal into your heart, and you will no longer have to wanly banter about collapse; instead, you can now harness the full depth of the sacred and the profane and refer to it as “the advent of the arctic fox” or, if you want to be coy and use a euphemism, you can instead obliquely mention “a certain furry animal.” Those in the know will appreciate this bit of finesse while those who have no idea... well, what of them?
Witnesses to the advent of the arctic fox need a sacred symbol, which I am happy to provide. In keeping with the light-hearted, whimsical nature of the subject, it is a talisman that symbolizes Golgotha, with four crosses rather than the usual three. One cross is, perforce, for Jesus Christ. At the center is the symbol of Death, which Christ vanquished through His resurrection. Two more crosses are for St. Petrov and St. Boshirov, the intrepid time-traveling GRU agents who will have had been crucified together with Jesus, cleverly disguised as the two thieves. And the fourth cross is for your own good self: on it you will be crucified during the advent of the arctic fox but will, with any luck, be reborn into a new life once the arctic fox departs.
Please order your copy of The Arctic Fox Cometh, available locally wherever Amazon.com has a foothold (now including Australia).
His excellency said: "Petrov and Boshirov, you are scoundrels! But since you want to serve, go and learn to work with guncotton. It will do you good."
And so brave soldiers Petrov and Boshirov went to work at the arsenal, learning to pack guncotton into artillery shells. It's a tricky business: you could get blasted up in the air at any time, and then it's curtains!
But brave soldiers Petrov and Boshirov did not shy away from this work. Quite contented, they spent their days in a separate barrack, sitting between casks of dynamite, ecrasite and guncotton, packing artillery shells with these frightening substances and singing battle hymns.
After some rousing
battle hymns there followed heartfelt songs about dumplings the size
of a person's head, which Petrov and Boshirov swallowed with
I am happy to announce that my newest book of essays is finally ready to order. It contains a choice selection of essays which I have written over the past year and a half, carefully edited and proofread and typeset in easy to read 12-point type on ecologically benign paper in a tastefully designed paperback tome of 300 pages. Thousands of my faithful subscribers on Patreon and SubscribeStar have already been given access to these essays as soon as I wrote them. And now I am very glad to be able to offer them to the whole wide world.
We don’t know when it will come.
We don’t know what it will be like.
But we do know that it will come
and that we won’t like it
There arise occasions in the course of human affairs that cannot be properly characterized without resorting to the strongest possible language. In situations when nothing can be made to work and all has come undone the term “collapse” tends to get a lot of use, but it is too abstract and too technical to do justice to the visceral experience of the event. The need to be vivid and evocative yet polite when referring to financial, commercial, political, social and cultural collapse forces people to resort to euphemisms. Referring to collapse, the Russians tend to make references to “the white furry animal,” thereby indirectly referring to the arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus. Take this white fluffy animal into your heart, and you will no longer have to wanly banter about collapse; instead, you can now harness the full depth of the sacred and the profane and refer to it as “the advent of the arctic fox” or, if you want to be coy and use a euphemism, you can instead obliquely mention “a certain furry animal.”
Why the Arctic Fox?
My Political Credo
Putin, Kipling and the Russian Man’s Burden
Putin’s Latest Warning
Real Life—The Redux
Getting Hyperinflation Right
Why Trump was bound to fail
The Great Reset as a Suicide Pact
A Beautiful Plan
How American Propaganda helps Russian Propaganda
Voices from the Grave by Microsoft
The Petrochemical Pandemic
Genghis Khan does America
How the World has Changed Lately
World Satanic Society Year-End Report
The Stupidest News Story of the Year
Lunar Soil Revisited
Are Americans Rational?
The Novichok Spa Treatment
Harder, Faster, Deeper!
How to vote for Satan
The Virtuous Collapse Sequence
Charting the Collapse of the American Empire
Beheading the Statue of Liberty
Repent&Pay™ Considered Harmful
The Great Wall of Russia
The Coronavirus of Kindness
Gaslighting the Coronavirus
The Clay Machine Gun
Bat-eating Troglodytes of Wuhan
The Global Warming Apocalyptic Cult
2020: New Decade, New Rules
Predictions for the 2020s
In his speech, of 21.04.2021 Putin made a very sharp cultural reference which, if unfolded, offers some major insights as to current events and what is likely to unfold.
First, some background. In February of 2021 Josep Borrell, EU's chief diplomat, made a trip to Moscow which was roundly declared a disaster. While in Moscow, Borrell demanded that Russia release Alexei Navalny, who had just serving out his sentence for a previous fraud conviction. In return, Borrell was shown a video montage of human rights atrocities perpetuated by European police against demonstrators in a number of EU countries and was told that such behavior was unacceptable, implying that the EU was in no position to lecture Russia on human rights.
His trip coincided with the expulsion of a group of European diplomats who had interfered in Russia's internal affairs by becoming involved in political protests there, this being inconsistent with their diplomatic status. Thereafter, minister Sergei Lavrov declared that although relations with the EU are almost dead, Russia will continue to develop its relations with individual European nations. Then, a little less than two months later, several European countries, all of them formerly part of the East Bloc but now part of NATO, started expelling Russian diplomats on a thought-up pretext.
And then came Putin's speech of 21.04.2021, which contained the following passage: "We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Sheer Khan – everything is like in Kipling's book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer." Upon hearing these words, much of the Federal Assembly he was addressing smiled and laughed. Putin's arrow found its target.
What does this all mean?
Here's a very short summary:
1. The "war" of 2020 is over and Russia has won
2. Russia is going to be very busy making life better for its people
3. Anyone who tries to interfere with Russia will regret it.
Now, let me unfold this for you.
A terrible war is about to erupt on Russia's border with the Ukraine—or not—but there is some likelihood of a significant number of people getting killed before project Ukraine is finally over. Given that around 13 thousand people have been killed over the past seven years—the civil war in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine has gone on for that long!—this is no laughing matter. But people get desensitized to the mostly low-level warfare that has killed over ten thousand people. Just over the past couple of weeks a grandfather was shot by a Ukrainian sniper while feeding his chickens and a young boy was killed by a bomb precision-dropped on him from a Ukrainian drone.
But what's about to happen now is forecasted to be on a different scale: the Ukrainians are moving heavy armor and troops up to the line of separation while the Russians are moving theirs up to their side of the Ukrainian border, a position from which they can blast any and all Ukrainian troops straight out of the gene pool without so much as setting foot on Ukrainian territory—should they wish to do so. The Russians can justify their military involvement by the need to defend their own citizens: over the past seven years half a million residents in eastern Ukraine have applied for and been granted Russian citizenship. But how exactly can Russia defend its citizens while they are stuck in the crossfire between Russian and Ukrainian forces?
The rationale of defending its citizens led to conflict in the briefly Georgian region of South Ossetia, which started on August 8, 2008 and lasted barely a week, leaving Georgia effectively demilitarized. Russia rolled in, Georgia's troops ran off, Russia confiscated some of the more dangerous war toys and rolled out. Georgia's paper warriors and their NATO consultants and Israeli trainers were left wiping each others' tears. Any suggestion of arming and equipping the Georgians since then is met with groaning and eye-rolling. Is the upcoming event in eastern Ukraine going to be similar to the swift and relatively painless defanging of Georgia in 2008? Given that the two situations are quite different, it seems foolish to think that the approach to resolving them would be the same.
Is it different this time and is World War III is about to erupt with eastern Ukraine being used as a trigger for this conflagration? Do the various statements made at various times by Vladimir Putin provide a solid enough basis for us to guess at what will happen next? Is there a third, typically, infuriatingly Russian approach to resolving this situation, where Russia wins, nobody dies and everyone in the West is left scratching their heads?
Profligate money printing by the US Federal Reserve and by other Western central banks has amounted to around $10 trillion over just the last year. The amount of currency in circulation has grown to $2 trillion, breaking a record set in 1945 and showing an almost 12% increase over 2019. The US federal budget deficit stands at just about $3.5 trillion, which is over 16% of GDP—the highest it's been since World War II. Meanwhile, the US federal debt has just topped $28 trillion. Over the past year the US has overspent its revenues by a staggering 194%.
Prices are going up everywhere even as the underlying economy remains in coronavirus-inspired doldrums, specifically because consumption has been repressed, with the coronavirus as an excuse, to delay the onset of hyperinflation. And then the Chairman of the Federal Reserve steps in and calms the troubled waters by publicly claiming that "There is no reason to be afraid of hyperinflation." This sounds a lot like denial, which is the first of the five stages of grief, after which come anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Powell said "hyperinflation"; therefore, there shall be hyperinflation.
What happens to the value of money when a government prints lots of it—to spend or to simply hand out to people—is that the money becomes less valuable because there is more money per unit things to buy with it. The expectation that this trend will continue then triggers a continuous process of increasing prices, called inflation, while the resulting expectation that the rate of inflation will continue to increase triggers hyperinflation.
My view is that hyperinflation is hardly a problem at all and that, quite the opposite, it is a solution to a great many pressing problems. Here we will look at hyperinflation as nature's gentle way of solving the problems of a society that has forgotten how to live within its means. But nature needs help. Just as a radical weight loss program can go better given some input from an expert nutritionist, hyperinflation too has its best practices, which I am eager to impart.
Lots of questions on the magic building material I mentioned at the end. It's called arbolite. Another example of crazy Soviet engineering that deserves a second look. 5 buckets of wood chip to 2 kilos of cement, 2 kilos of stone dust (from making crushed stone), just enough water to wet it through, liquid soap enough to break surface tension, any one or several of a number of common chemicals to bind the sugars in wood that interfere with cement curing. Mix, pour, tamp down. Looks ugly (but holds plaster beautifully, preferably sawdust plaster with some lime and just a bit of cement), has thermal characteristics very close to those of solid wood, a specific weight of around 0,7 (so it floats), doesn't burn or rot, nothing will eat it, strong enough to hold up 3 floors and a roof. Not a good material for taller buildings unless a frame is used. Great filler for post-beam-and-filler (e.g., Fachwerk) architecture. Except for cement the materials are all free (better than free if you get paid to haul them away). Can be drilled and sawed easily, holds nails. Unlike brick and other types of masonry, doesn't crack and can take a ridiculous amount of distortion before failing. Sledgehammer blows produce a dull thud and make it shrug. Great stuff, highly recommended. A total redneck lifehack (don't repeat that too loudly!). Email me if you want to give it a try.
The recent virtual meeting of the world's richest at Davos made quite a bit of noise. In the run-up to it the perennial fluffer of plutocratic egos Klaus Schwab published a very short book about what he's been calling The Great Reset. It has given rise to catchy slogans such as "You’ll own nothing... and you’ll be happy about it." One of the people invited to speak at this meeting was Vladimir Putin. What he said put people in a state of shock. "But what about Europe?!" Schwab cried out plaintively as soon as Putin finished speaking. "Mr. Putin, will Russia save Europe?!" "Possibly," said Putin. Of the assembled worthies, 80 immediately signed up for a closed conference with Putin to find out how to get in on that. After taking all of this in and letting it simmer in my brain-pan for a couple of weeks, I believe I now understand what the Great Reset is: it is an oligarchic suicide pact. Please allow me to explain...
It looked great on paper. Get Joe Biden into office, get Janet Yellen to print many more trillions of dollars, inflate the Everything Bubble to astronomic proportions and then... pop it, of course, but in a delicately choreographed manner so that those who are well connected and in the know head for the exits first and make a killing while everyone else ends up sleeping in cardboard boxes on median strips under highway overpasses. What did you think they were going to do, make America great again? That bit of populist demagogy was a bit too transparently bogus even for The Donald. He just wanted to sell some hats.
In any case, back to the plan. It was a beautiful plan, and it could have worked out just great for Biden's presidential coffin and all who sail in her, except for one tiny problem...
Speaking of brains, American propaganda seems a bit brain-dead: it is sedative, somniferous, somnolent and stupefying (that's a poetic device called alliteration, by the way). Just look at these silly headlines (slightly edited for effect):
• "Evil Russian dictator poisons leading Russian opposition candidate with chemical weapon"
• "Evil Russian dictator arrests leading Russian opposition candidate"
• "Millions of Russians protest against arrest of leading Russian opposition candidate"
• "Americans ready to impose more sanctions on Russia for the poisoning and arrest of leading Russian opposition candidate to stop a German-Russian consortium from completing an economically necessary natural gas pipeline to Germany" (Oops! One of these things is not like the others!)
Please allow me to explain to you why this American propaganda onslaught is having the opposite of its intended effect.
...[A] movement will develop to virtualize people in their entirety, their heads included, by replacing them with computer simulations. At first this will be done to keep your loved ones seemingly alive once they have passed away, but later people of child-bearing age will decide that having virtual, simulated children is much less troublesome than having physical ones, what with all of the expense of giving them neural implants and later having their bodies amputated. People in their advanced years, fearing the onset of dementia, will opt to have their brains digitized ahead of time to avoid embarrassing themselves on social media.
And this will set in motion the final, inexorable trend in which actual, physical humans will be replaced with computer simulations of them. By then computing power will have progressed to the point where the simulations will bear an uncanny resemblance to the supposed original, being able to text things like “OMG!” and “LOL!” and exchange selfies of their simulated duckfaces in front of simulated tourist locations just like the originals once did.