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A motte is a stone keep on a raised earthwork common in early medieval fortifications. More pertinently,
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originally identified by
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the more easily defended motte. In Shackel's words, "The Motte represents the defensible but undesired
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User ID: 1228
Don't use the term normies. It is slightly offensive. Besides most rationalists don't trust cryptocurrencies either.
I think that demands to explain anything are actually rude.
Sorry, I have hard time to understand you. English is not my native language and words like “belies” and “wasn't a shit show” are hard to grasp.
I would say that all countries in the Former Soviet Union and some even beyond that were doing equally poorly.
I mean, this is going into circles. Your write something very unclear based on some references or comparisons that I am not familiar with, I don't understand them. You then say – what comparisons?
Maybe you should reflect on what DuplexFields wrote and try to rewrite it so that it makes sense. I cannot provide reasonings of things that I cannot understand.
I didn't understand your comparisons either. So, I just emphasized the basic truth.
You can never predict the future...
And you all are probably better historians than me anyway.
There was not much of a pie to divide at the start. All countries started being very poor but some countries received new investments and others not.
Specifically in Ukraine oligarhs resisted establishing links with the EU exactly because they feared that new investments will make their wealth to become proportionally much smaller (hence, losing power). If Ukraine had joined the EU despite inefficient privatization, it would have been much more developed today.
On the other hand, the countries that remained economically related to Russia, the risk of western investments was too high and they remained poor.
That's not really true. At some point Russia's GDP was even higher than Latvia's. Belarus is also relatively stable and more prosperous than Ukraine.
The EU membership boosted the growth of their members quite considerably.
Of course, you could say that readiness to join the EU was also a big impetus for necessary reforms. Turkey was going that way too. But since they clearly decided not to join the EU, their growth stalled.
The wall street does not rule the world or countries. They certainly do lobbying but it is not a dictatorship and many smart people constantly suggest ways how to improve the global financial system.
Noah Smith have made very good comparisons about the economy of the post-soviet countries – the countries which have joined the EU have developed faster than those which didn't. If you look from the point of view of freedoms, you will see the same results.
Ukraine has lost a lot of potential by failing to join the EU sooner. Better late than never.
I would say that about 30-35 million people that can be added to the global community that is engaged in improving human society is a big deal. It is not only about advancement of technologies because this can be done also in dictatorships like China but about the fabric of the society that is beneficial for all of us. The society is constantly facing different problems (social networks, lockdowns, lack of democracy etc.) that we need more people to deal with these problems in a positively progressive way instead of heavy-handed manner.
The biggest problem with dictatorship is that it is less effective. Putin started a senseless war that hurt Russia a lot. In Western democracies people can also make wrong choices but it is self correcting and it is better in long term development.
What is absurd in the statement that Ukraine successfully pushed away Russian attack to most of their country?
As I said Ukraine might or might not recover Donbas and/or the Crimea but they successfully defended their capital from falling into Russia's hands. Now with the western help their army has only gotten stronger and I expect that they will liberate at least some of the territories currently occupied by Russians.
Russia is bad for attacking Ukraine unprovoked.
Even the war criminal Prigozhin who recently gained a lot of popularity in Russia said that it was a lie. Ukrainians were fighting clandestine Russian forces in Donbas.
Threatening “Russia's interests” or threatening Russia? Very different things.
Russian attack on Ukraine was a mistake even from the point of view of Russian supremacy because it was destined to fail. It has weakened Russia considerably and they are only themselves to blame for it. Now the question is why so many seemingly smart people don't see this? Even the baddies like Prigozhin have realized this. I can kind of understand why so many people in Russia have this delusion. The human nature of conformity forces them to adapt to follow even misguided leaders. But why many people in the west believe this nonsense that somehow Russia is going to win in Ukraine?
I don't think that the government knows what caused the brain damage. Was it even “caused” apart from natural progression of certain disorders?
Here is very important thing – people hate uncertainty. That's why they are more likely to believe far-fetched theory about sonic weapons than reject this theory and be left with no explanation.
Yes, Putin is a liar, an imperialist and a murdering conqueror. People have characterized him fairly.
Putin is a war criminal.
The rule that you are not allowed to occupy other countries without a good reason.
The rule is enforced by most powerful countries on this planet, namely, NATO countries who supply Ukraine sufficient weapons so that they can fight against Russian occupying forces.
Ukraine is different. It is a European country that is being fast-tracked into the EU. Those who try to attack my friends, will get harshly punished.
The rules are clear. Just because someone somewhere broke them and didn't get punished is not an excuse.
Why do you care about those people on internet?
Any reasonable person understands that it is morally wrong for one country to attack another that has never threatened you.
Then one can say – forget about morals, the power decides the outcome. Turns out Russia is not as powerful as we thought and they got stuck in Ukraine and are losing positions every day, thanks for western support.
A lot of people just suffer from denialism. The fog of war doesn't allow us to see clearly what is going on in every detail but in a nutshell the reality is clear. Russians might or might not manage to keep Donbas and/or the Crimea but the rest of Ukraine has remained an independent country and that is not going to change.
People in the western countries have free access to all the information and most of us see it clearly.
For a lot of Russians it is harder to see in this way because they suffer from collective delusions that Ukraine is a bad country (nazis or not) that does not deserve to remain independent and Russia is going to take over Ukraine and make it a glorious part of Russia.
Lockdowns were like imprisonment for me. Like a prolonged home arrest for no reason. Somehow it was very clear that they will be useless and the policies didn't even make sense.
Yes, they were the worst human rights violations in the western world since the war ended or something like that.
Only when you widen your comparison to places where wars and genocide still happens (Ukraine, other wars, Uigurs etc.), we can find examples with even worse violations.
I cannot predict what will happen but Prigozhin is trying to convince people to join his side by appealing to their grievances.
No one could convince Russians to protest the war. They are all united in their struggle for Russian supremacy. When the military incursion towards Kyiv started, Russians on social media cheered. But they also expressed that 300 casualties was a very high price. Little they knew that soon it would be 3000, then 30 thousand and 300 thousand is not so far away and still losing.
Prigozhin manipulated those sentiments by saying that he is not against Putin but against the corrupted generals who are to blame for this loss. Russians like to talk how bad is their corruption, how the government doesn't care about them at all etc. They might or might not see Prigozhin as their saviour but he has certainly changed the situation irreversibly and the narrative that the current leadership is not competent is not going to go away until something big happens.
That's one way of looking at that. The other, completely naive way is to consider that previously Ukrainians were pushed back, then Ukrainians stopped and were able to defend their positions and now they are pushing Russians back albeit slowly.
That clearly shows that the rate of strengthening heir armies, for Ukrainians is slightly faster than for Russians.
With every day Ukrainians gains small but real superiority over Russians. Granted, this comes with very wide confidence intervals. Maybe both sides are bluffing, we don't know.
Also we have to consider that with time the support for Ukrainian army both nationally and internationally may wane. And Russians may gain more supporters and ramp up their war time production. That does not allow me to make predictions with strong confidence.
It may also be that the strength of Russian resistance increases with the distance from Kyiv. Ukrainians will be able to recover only up to certain limit.
In summary, it seems that sanctions on Russia is working as intended – to minimise their war production capabilities.
On 4) I haven't delved deeper into this but the claim that medical mistakes is one of the leading causes of death requires proper context. My intuitive understanding is that technically it could be true. And yet it is only because people live much longer with the help of the modern medical system. Everyone should read Scott's article “By very slow decay...”. People who are barely alive survive only because of constant medical care, requiring 10 or more concomitant medications, constant care and procedures etc. The likelihood that overworked staff makes a fatal mistake increases exponentially and then that mistake kills the patient who was already literary on the death-bed.
Without that medical care and 10 different medications he would be already dead from natural causes but now he is dead because a nurse overdosed his insulin or pushed too much morphine into his vein or whatever. This doesn't mean much, only that medicines helps to live longer albeit with a poor quality of life and with a better care that minimises medical errors we could extend their lives even more while seriously questioning whether such efforts are worth it.
I agree with everything said so far, just wanted to add that very often the question about masks tries to answer a different question.
One is whether masking prevents inhalation of viral particles. Maybe N95 does to certain degree. But that is not the question we are interested in, which is whether a policy of masking (mandates or recommendations) achieves any meaningful public health targets. Those targets could be expressed as lower mortality from respiratory diseases or less disease burden by >10% or something like that.
The Cochrane report was so devastating that even hospitals discreetly removed any remaining mask mandates shortly (2-3 months is superfast in health regulations) after it was published. It was quite amusing seeing mask fanatics arguing against this report by doing motte-and-bailey such as “it doesn't protect the society, it only protects an individual wearer” and failing even at that.
Failed leaders saved their faces by announcing that masks are no longer needed because covid is no longer a threat as if the situation was somewhat different from the mid-year of 2021 when elderly population had been already vaccinated.
Moreover, it was natural for people not to become obese with very few exceptions. The drug is merely fixing the issues that we have created in recent years. It is not an improvement, merely preventing more harm that we are causing to ourselves.
It always should be. But the idea is that almost always the decision is made to terminate the pregnancy. That's the point of making the test. Maybe in some countries that percentage is still not sufficiently high due to poorly understood information and we should think how to improve that.
What do you mean by Down syndrome is tolerated? We do screen all pregnancies for Down syndrome and terminate pregnancy in case of positive test. Sometimes the screening test is not done or the test fails but those are exceptions and not the norm.