Canary in the Coal Mine

Sunday, April 30, 2017

8:57PM - Kiberkarsh gaaziisies paarii Latvijas bankaam Norvik Banka LV DNBNORD PLC LV

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7:41PM - Active Measures @FB

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

5:41PM - Latvijas Nokia: meldonium

“This drug takes a little bit of oxygen and makes a lot of energy, compared to when you didn’t have the drug—for that same amount of oxygen, you’d have less energy,” he says. “More energy is all you need to have better performance.”

Increased oxygen and energy help not only your heart and other muscles but also your brain, Jalloh says. Meldonium has also shown promise in alleviating depression, improving learning and memory, and treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The drug was developed in Latvia and is currently made by the drug company Grindeks. It's used primarily in Baltic countries like Latvia, as well as Ukraine, and Poland. (Almost all the clinical evidence on the drug is published in Polish and Russian clinical journals.) But in the 1980s, the AP reports, it was widely used among Russian troops to enhance their stamina while fighting in Afghanistan.

The compound – a very simple structure – appears to work as an inhibitor in the carnitine biosynthesis pathway, and may have several other activities. Landing in that pathway might well be enough all by itself; metabolically, there’s a lot going on at that intersection.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017


"While not a household name today, Wright Patman was a legend in his time. His congressional career spanned 46 years, from 1929 to 1976. In that near-half-century of service, Patman would wage constant war against monopoly power. As a young man, at the height of the Depression, he challenged Herbert Hoover’s refusal to grant impoverished veterans’ accelerated war pensions. He successfully drove the immensely wealthy Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon from office over the issue. Patman’s legislation to help veterans recoup their bonuses, the Bonus Bill—and the fight with Mellon over it—prompted a massive protest by World War I veterans in Washington, D.C., known as “the Bonus Army,” which helped shape the politics of the Depression.... tālāk ... )

Americans feel a lack of control: They are at the mercy of distant forces, their livelihoods dependent on the arbitrary whims of power. Patman once attacked chain stores as un-American, saying, “We, the American people, want no part of monopolistic dictatorship in … American business.” Having yielded to monopolies in business, the nation must now face the un-American threat to democracy Patman warned they would sow."

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Monday, April 24, 2017


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"At the FSB, Dokuchaev was partnered with Sushchin, and the two recruited Belan, a Latvian-born hacker who had been on a list of the FBI’s most wanted since 2012."

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Sunday, April 23, 2017


"Copyright terms have been radically extended in this country largely to keep pace with Europe, where the standard has long been that copyrights last for the life of the author plus 50 years. But the European idea, “It’s based on natural law as opposed to positive law,” Lateef Mtima, a copyright scholar at Howard University Law School, said. “Their whole thought process is coming out of France and Hugo and those guys that like, you know, ‘My work is my enfant,’” he said, “and the state has absolutely no right to do anything with it—kind of a Lockean point of view.”

It was strange to me, the idea that somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25-million books and nobody is allowed to read them. It’s like that scene at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie where they put the Ark of the Covenant back on a shelf somewhere, lost in the chaos of a vast warehouse. It’s there. The books are there. People have been trying to build a library like this for ages—to do so, they’ve said, would be to erect one of the great humanitarian artifacts of all time—and here we’ve done the work to make it real and we were about to give it to the world and now, instead, it’s 50 or 60 petabytes on disk, and the only people who can see it are half a dozen engineers on the project who happen to have access because they’re the ones responsible for locking it up."

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Friday, April 21, 2017


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017


"The gifted learn to play magnificent Mozart melodies, but rarely compose their own original scores. They focus their energy on consuming existing scientific knowledge, not producing new insights. They conform to codified rules, rather than inventing their own."

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

9:31AM - Hat tip to the Estonians

"Comey’s apparent shift may have followed a mid-October decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) court to approve a secret surveillance order. The order gave permission for the Department of Justice to investigate two banks suspected of being part of the Kremlin’s undercover influence operation.

According to the BBC, the justice department’s request came after a tipoff from an intelligence agency in one of the Baltic states. This is believed to be Estonia."

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017


"The first thing Galileo discovered was that the moon was not smooth and homogeneous, as everyone believed. Instead, it was covered with craters and mountains whose peaks became awash with light when the “terminator” — the line that separates the illuminated and dark parts of the moon — inched forward through the night. Art historians Samuel Edgerton and Horst Bredekamp have written insightfully about how his skills as a draftsman were key to this discovery. Young artists in training during this period were drilled on treatises designed to, in effect, reshape their perception, so that they unthinkingly interpreted certain configurations of two-dimensional light and dark shapes as the surfaces of three-dimensional figures hit by a light source. Galileo’s draftsman eye thus gave him a crucial advantage over other observers, such as Englishman Thomas Harriot, who, a couple of months earlier, had carried out the first recorded telescopic observation of the moon. To Harriot the moon remained smooth and the terminator a fairly clean line. He only saw mountains and craters after he learned of Galileo’s novel description.

The implications of Galileo’s discovery were mindboggling. Aristotelian physics had been based on a fundamental distinction between Earth and the Heavens. Everything on Earth was subject to processes of corruption and change. The Heavens were incorruptible, made of perfectly smooth material, and moved only along circular paths. A pockmarked moon made no sense.

Galileo’s telescope was about to deliver even more shocking news. In the clear sky of January 1610, he pointed it toward Jupiter, and noticed three small stars peculiarly aligned next to it. He recorded their position on a now-famous piece of paper. The following night, he could scarcely believe his eyes: they had moved. And now there were four. A few nights later, Galileo realized that they were not stars but planets orbiting Jupiter as it moved westward against the backdrop of the fixed stars. For the first time ever, someone had observed a celestial body that orbited around something that was not Earth. This was a formidable blow to both the Ptolemaic system and Aristotelian physics, which did not allow for multiple centers of gravity. Galileo’s discoveries spelled the end of conceptions of Earth, and hence of man, as the center of everything."

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Friday, April 7, 2017


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Wednesday, April 5, 2017


"It’s time to embrace Memetic warfare" by Jeff Giesea

Memes appear to function like the IEDs of information warfare. They are natural tools of an insurgency — great for blowing things up, but likely to sabotage the desired effects when handled by the larger actor in an asymmetric conflict.

“It’s time to drive towards a more expansive view of strategic communications on the social-media battlefield,” Giesea wrote in his essay on the power of memes. “It’s time to adopt a more aggressive, proactive and agile mindset and approach. It’s time to embrace memetic warfare.”

“The broad manipulation of public sentiment is really not in [the military’s] wheelhouse,” Robb said. “All the power is in the hands of the people on the outside doing the disruption.”

Meme wars seem to favor insurgencies because, by their nature, they weaken monopolies on narrative and empower challenges to centralized authority. A government could use memes to increase disorder within a system, but if the goal is to increase stability, it’s the wrong tool for the job.

“For many of us in the social media world, it seems obvious that more aggressive communication tactics and broader warfare through trolling and memes is a necessary, inexpensive and easy way to help destroy the appeal and morale of our common enemies,” he said.

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8:55AM - 4chan generation

"Trump’s bizarre, inconstant, incompetent, embarrassing, ridiculous behavior — what the left (naturally) perceives as his weaknesses — are to his supporters his strengths.

In other words, Trump is 4chan.

And I knew, I was on balance, luckier than most. My private school and private college education was the deviation from the norm. My chances were better than the majority of people my age. Yet here I was stone broke. All I owned (and still own) is my college debt. So it wasn’t a surprise there were a teeming mass of people out there who knew with fatalistic certainty that there was no way out. Why not then retreat into your parents’ basements? And instead of despairing over trying and failing, celebrate not-trying? Celebrate retreating into the fantasy worlds of the computer. Steer into the skid — Pepe style. Own it. And why wouldn’t they retreat to a place like 4chan? To let their resentment and failures curdle into something solid?

Like the Hollywood heroes, right and left have been competing to become this new radical anti-status quo party. And so far, in both Europe and America, the right has won, implying that, as Arendt predicted, the powerlessness created by bourgeoisie systems of capitalist exploitation might once again implode into far right totalitarianism."

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Smithsonian Magazine: Why Did Greenland’s Vikings Vanish?

"the Vikings first traveled to Greenland not in search of new land to farm—a motive mentioned in some of the old sagas—but to acquire walrus-tusk ivory, one of medieval Europe’s most valuable trade items. Who, they ask, would risk crossing hundreds of miles of arctic seas just to farm in conditions far worse than those at home? As a low-bulk, high-value item, ivory would have been an irresistible lure for seafaring traders.

How profitable was the ivory trade? Every six years, the Norse in Greenland and Iceland paid a tithe to the Norwegian king. A document from 1327, recording the shipment of a single boatload of tusks to Bergen, Norway, shows that that boatload, with tusks from 260 walruses, was worth more than all the woolen cloth sent to the king by nearly 4,000 Icelandic farms for one six-year period.

Archaeologists once assumed that the Norse in Greenland were primarily farmers who did some hunting on the side. Now it seems clear that the reverse was true. They were ivory hunters first and foremost, their farms only a means to an end.

For all their intrepidness, though, the Norse were far from self-sufficient, and imported grains, iron, wine and other essentials. Ivory was their currency. “Norse society in Greenland couldn’t survive without trade with Europe,” says Arneborg, “and that’s from day one.”"

Me: Why Did the Balts never amount to anything worth mourning about?

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

11:36AM - The big bad Lithuanian

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Friday, March 31, 2017


"In France there are two very clear outcomes that work well for Russia: either Fillon gets elected, or Marine Le Pen. The early polls showed that the likely second round of voting would be a run off between MLP and Fillon. A win-win for Russia.

Instead, because Fillon had betrayed Sarkozy, or someone else similarly powerful within his party, he was knifed in the back. His petty embezzling was exposed and his poll numbers collapsed. Somehow, he has managed to stay in the race. Then there was a crucial rally for him. If he fails to draw a large crowd, he’ll probably have to drop out. The rally was rained out. Somehow, despite all this, Fillon is not done.

So what?

This is extremely interesting because it was not an anti Russian meddling counter attack, but rather internal French politics as usual. The result though, has been wonderful. Fillon was significantly more palatable than MLP so with him floundering, that makes for an interesting opening. It also takes one Russian horse out of the race, limiting their options and reducing their “win states.”

Now, the most recent development, both Fillon and MLP are under investigation. Misuse of public funds. MLP is essentially broke, she has only Russian money available to her. If she takes it, that’s going to look bad. If she doesn’t take it, she won’t have sufficient funds. Combined with the investigation, this may lead to both MLP and Fillon being forced out of the race due to circumstances.

Recommendation: take the Russian horse out of the race. Remove their incentives to interfere. Although they will likely still make some moves, even just as spoilers, they are robbed of the opportunity for victory. They have no winning outcome.

Speculation: Russia will target the investigations and attempt to damage the people or institutions involved, such as the judges or prosecutors. They’ll also figure out a way to get MLP some much needed cash. [..]

The most likely action is that Putin will continue to attack Macron. Probably not using a coordinated barrage like the beginning of February which saw Wikileaks, Russia Today and a few other outlets attempt to push a narrative (“Macron is a Rothschild banker,” which apparently has strong negative connotations for French voters.)

If I had to guess, I believe that curated “leaks” of Macron staff emails and Telegram conversations are going to be used to make him look bad. This is very likely to happen, I think, regardless of whether Fillon or MLP are still viable candidates."

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017


“A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.” ― Mark Rippetoe, Starting Strength

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2:26PM - Stay humble

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Monday, March 20, 2017

6:43PM - Dubults neplīst: dubultā grāmatvedība

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ro·bot (n.) 1923, from English translation of 1920 play "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots"), by Karel Capek (1890-1938), from Czech robotnik "forced worker," from robota "forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery," from robotiti "to work, drudge," from an Old Czech source akin to Old Church Slavonic rabota "servitude," from rabu "slave," from Old Slavic orbu-, from PIE orbh- "pass from one status to another" (see orphan).

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

1:08AM - Gin, Television, and Social Surplus

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

11:47PM - Jautaa internetam, filter bubble

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

1:58PM - Latvija var: Konstantīns Konstantinovs

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

6:29PM - i'm useless, let's play some minecraft

Ancient hunter-gatherers mastered a very wide variety of skills in order to survive, which is why it would be immensely difficult to design a robotic hunter-gatherer. Such a robot would have to know how to prepare spear points from flint stones, find edible mushrooms in a forest, track down a mammoth, coordinate a charge with a dozen other hunters and use medicinal herbs to bandage any wounds. However, a taxi driver or a cardiologist specializes in a much narrower niche than a hunter-gatherer, which makes it easier to replace them with AI.

As algorithms push humans out of the job market, wealth and power might become concentrated in the hands of the tiny elite that owns the all-powerful algorithms, creating unprecedented social and political inequality.

Human law already recognizes intersubjective entities like corporations and nations as “legal persons.” Though Toyota or Argentina has neither a body nor a mind, they are subject to international laws, they can own land and money, and they can sue and be sued in court. We might soon grant similar status to algorithms. An algorithm could then own a transportation empire or a venture-capital fund without having to obey the wishes of any human master.

Before dismissing the idea, remember that most of our planet is already legally owned by non-human intersubjective entities, namely nations and corporations.

In the 21st century we might witness the creation of a massive new unworking class: people devoid of any economic, political or even artistic value, who contribute nothing to the prosperity, power and glory of society.

The crucial problem isn’t creating new jobs. The crucial problem is creating new jobs that humans perform better than algorithms.

Since we do not know how the job market would look in 2030 or 2040, today we have no idea what to teach our kids. Most of what they currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40. Traditionally, life has been divided into two main parts: a period of learning, followed by a period of working. Very soon this traditional model will become utterly obsolete, and the only way for humans to stay in the game will be to keep learning throughout their lives and to reinvent themselves repeatedly. Many, if not most, humans may be unable to do so. [This has already been the case for a while]

The coming technological bonanza will probably make it feasible to feed and support people even without any effort from their side. But what will keep them occupied and content? One answer might be drugs and computer games. Unnecessary people might spend increasing amounts of time within 3D virtual-reality worlds that would provide them with far more excitement and emotional engagement than the drab reality outside. Yet such a development would deal a mortal blow to the liberal belief in the sacredness of human life and of human experiences. What’s so sacred about useless bums who pass their days devouring artificial experiences?

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6:23PM - taisam īssavilkumu

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6:20PM - systematische desinformation in drei baltische staaten

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Tikmēr Latvijā čušš, it nekas

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Latviešu val. etimoloģijas vārdnīcas nav tiešsaistē, AAAAAA!!!!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017


"If a corporation has the same rights as a person and Artificial Intelligence is a representative of said corporation, then it would be protected under the corporate person-hood umbrella."

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Monday, February 27, 2017

12:50PM - Peter Thiel, 0...1

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

3:10PM - Donald Kagan on War and Human Nature

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"If you want to make big improvements in communication, my advice is – hire physicists, not communications people from normal companies and never believe what advertising companies tell you about ‘data’ unless you can independently verify it. Physics, mathematics, and computer science are domains in which there are real experts, unlike macro-economic forecasting which satisfies neither of the necessary conditions"

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"Emma Briant, a propaganda specialist at the University of Sheffield, wrote about SCL Group in her 2015 book, Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change. Cambridge Analytica has the technological tools to effect behavioural and psychological change, she said, but it’s SCL that strategises it. It has specialised, at the highest level – for Nato, the MoD, the US state department and others – in changing the behaviour of large groups. It models mass populations and then it changes their beliefs."

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Friday, February 24, 2017

1:49PM - Caesars CEO

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

7:02PM - Busta you be rockin' some James Joyce vibes

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Monday, February 20, 2017

12:59PM - Deep State

"Bagehot’s theory suggests that U.S. national security policy is defined by the network of executive officials who manage the departments and agencies responsible for protecting U.S. national security and who, responding to structural incentives embedded in the U.S. political system, operate largely removed from public view and from constitutional constraints. The public believes that the constitutionally-established institutions control national security policy, but that view is mistaken.

Judicial review is negligible; congressional oversight is dysfunctional; and presidential control is nominal. Absent a more informed and engaged electorate, little possibility exists for restoring accountability in the formulation and execution of national security policy."

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

12:35AM - Pilseetas vs Lauki

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

6:47PM - The American Dream

My Jewelry glistening why I’m always chilly
Can't believe a nigga made a couple milli'
'Bout to cop the house way up in the hillies
With a bad bitch in the Bentley
Wood grain with the roof gone
Make a bitch fold like a futon
Gettin' bread like a crouton
Tell me what the fuck is you on??

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Friday, February 10, 2017


On Wednesday, Reuters reported (in great detail) how 19.5% of Rosneft, Russia’s state oil company, has been sold to parties unknown. This was done through a dizzying array of shell companies, so that the most that can be said with certainty now is that the money “paying” for it was originally loaned out to the shell layers by VTB (the government’s official bank), even though it’s highly unclear who, if anyone, would be paying that loan back; and the recipients have been traced as far as some Cayman Islands shell companies.
Why is this interesting? Because the much-maligned Steele Dossier (the one with the golden showers in it) included the statement that Putin had offered Trump 19% of Rosneft if he became president and removed sanctions. The reason this is so interesting is that the dossier said this in July, and the sale didn’t happen until early December. And 19.5% sounds an awful lot like “19% plus a brokerage commission.”
Conclusive? No. But it raises some very interesting questions for journalists to investigate.

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If I am proved correct,” he said, “the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss will call me a Swiss citizen, and the French will call me a great scientist. If relativity is proved wrong, the French will call me a Swiss, the Swiss will call me a German, and the Germans will call me a Jew

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8:31AM - Igauņu tech moguls

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Thursday, February 9, 2017


Russia may seek to deploy troops in Belarus to match a NATO tank buildup in Poland. But what happens if Lukashenko says no?

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11:25AM - Empire of Dust

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Krishjaanis will dig this

“The architect, like almost every urban dweller, has no culture. He lacks the certainty of the farmer, who possesses culture. The urban dweller is an uprooted person. By culture I mean that balance of man’s inner and outer being which alone guarantees rational thought and action.”

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