"Even though inequality began to rise after 1980, it took economists a couple of decades to really notice. Among those who turned their attention to the fallout was Milanovic, who grew up in Communist Yugoslavia, spent a couple of decades in the research department of the World Bank, and now teaches economics at the City University of New York. Milanovic originally built his reputation in the late nineties, when, using a giant World Bank database of household incomes, he was able to demonstrate how the benefits of globalization had been distributed among different classes across various groups of countries. The big winners were the “global plutocrats,” whose returns on capital shot up, and the new mass middle class of the emerging world, mainly in East Asia and India, who benefitted from the spectacular growth of their regions. The big losers were Western middle-class workers whose incomes stagnated as the industries they worked in were hollowed out by foreign competition. Hence the visceral appeal of Donald Trump’s protectionist measures against China."
"You're biased by living in the tail end of the best century of the best economy in the history of humanity."
Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not. As humanity has developed throughout history, physical strength has become less critical to our daily existence, but no less important to our lives. Our strength more than any other thing we possess, still determines the quality and the quantity of our time here in these bodies. Whereas previously our physical strength determined how much food we ate, and how warm and dry we stayed, it now merely determines how well we function in these new surroundings we have crafted for ourselves as our culture has accumulated. But we are still animals. Our physical existence is, in the final analysis, the only one that actually matters. A weak man is not as happy as the 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
List of inhabitants of Latvia (1918-1940), obtained from the database of the site of the State Historical Archives of Latvia (Raduraksti).
At its heart, the Fuchs story is about knowledge – how it is created, how it is used and misused, and how it is protected from friends and enemies. Among several ironies is that necessary but extreme secretiveness ultimately compromised both British and American security. One explanation for the failure to investigate Fuchs properly was that the officials responsible for security vetting did not know the importance of his role. Thanks to Fuchs, therefore, Joseph Stalin knew considerably more about what was going on at Los Alamos than almost everyone in the American and British governments: compartmentalising that knowledge hindered the Allies but failed to protect the nuclear crown jewels. Similarly, the Americans’ deciphered [Venona] intercepts of Soviet diplomatic communications – which yielded the clues that led to Fuchs – were almost as tightly held, causing numerous difficulties in identifying Fuchs as a spy, persuading him to confess, and ensuring his conviction.
"During one period of unusually high wages (the late fourteenth century), many laborers refused to work "by the year or the half year or by any of the usual terms but only by the day." And they worked only as many days as were necessary to earn their customary income -- which in this case amounted to about 120 days a year, for a probable total of only 1,440 hours annually (this estimate assumes a 12-hour day because the days worked were probably during spring, summer and fall). A thirteenth-century estime finds that whole peasant families did not put in more than 150 days per year on their land. Manorial records from fourteenth-century England indicate an extremely short working year -- 175 days -- for servile laborers. Later evidence for farmer-miners, a group with control over their worktime, indicates they worked only 180 days a year."
The New World (Dis)Order - Peter Zeihan - 72nd CFA Institute Annual Conference
"This single question occupied us for the rest of the hour. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival."
"The more committed we are to this view of the world, the more we come to see human beings as the problem and technology as the solution. The very essence of what it means to be human is treated less as a feature than bug. No matter their embedded biases, technologies are declared neutral. Any bad behaviors they induce in us are just a reflection of our own corrupted core. It’s as if some innate human savagery is to blame for our troubles. Just as the inefficiency of a local taxi market can be “solved” with an app that bankrupts human drivers, the vexing inconsistencies of the human psyche can be corrected with a digital or genetic upgrade."
"Ultimately, according to the technosolutionist orthodoxy, the human future climaxes by uploading our consciousness to a computer or, perhaps better, accepting that technology itself is our evolutionary successor. Like members of a gnostic cult, we long to enter the next transcendent phase of our development, shedding our bodies and leaving them behind, along with our sins and troubles."
"They were amused by my optimism, but they didn’t really buy it. They were not interested in how to avoid a calamity; they’re convinced we are too far gone. For all their wealth and power, they don’t believe they can affect the future. They are simply accepting the darkest of all scenarios and then bringing whatever money and technology they can employ to insulate themselves — especially if they can’t get a seat on the rocket to Mars.
Luckily, those of us without the funding to consider disowning our own humanity have much better options available to us. We don’t have to use technology in such antisocial, atomizing ways. We can become the individual consumers and profiles that our devices and platforms want us to be, or we can remember that the truly evolved human doesn’t go it alone.
Being human is not about individual survival or escape. It’s a team sport. Whatever future humans have, it will be together."
Kā Latvijā iegājusies mode nepareizā secībā norādīt valūtas vienību? Valūtu norāda pirmo. Tam seko naudas summa. Seši ASV dolāri un septiņi centi — US$6.07. Astoņpadsmit Eiro un divdesmit divi centi — €18.22. Trīsdesmit divi Šveices franki (CHF) — Fr. 32. Divsimt sterliņu mārciņas — £200. Viena Japānas jena — ¥1.00. Latvijā reklāmās u.c. komunikācijā ačgārni raksta 554.42€. WTF?
" Switzerland, a key feature of the home market is the ‘dual education system’, which combines on-the-job training in a company with classroom instruction at a public vocational school. With only 20% or less of Swiss adolescents choosing the purely academic path, thanks to the dual education system, the Swiss labour force also consists of a highly skilled and well-trained pool of workers that boast apprenticeship skills in addition to higher-education qualifications."
Recent incidents in the Netherlands confirm that adversaries have collected information on the families and homes of individuals deployed in the Baltic states for the purpose of delivering highly personalized disinformation or intimidation.
The calls to the families of Dutch F-16 pilots are reported to have started after pilots themselves phoned home from the Baltic states using their own mobile phones.
But in addition, even bringing smartphones and other connected devices within reach of Russian interception tools invites hostile intervention. As a result, troops from several nations are banned from taking their own phones on ‘enhanced forward presence’ deployments at all.
NATO forces should by now be training and exercising with the assumption that they will be under not only electronic and cyberattack, but also individual and personalized information attack, including exploitation of personal data harvested from any connected device brought into an operational area.
In addition, Russia has practised the capability to message targeted individuals on a mass scale, with information that appears to them to be coming from a trusted source, whether by SMS, social media posting or email.
There is a curious parallel between the 1980s Oxford Tories and the 1930s Cambridge spies. The charming, blond, dishevelled Etonian sybarite Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross also emerged from an intimate, all-male, public-school network. Four of them were at Trinity College, with Maclean next door at Trinity Hall. Confident enough to formulate a revolutionary worldview despite being ill-informed, they embraced a utopian cause: Soviet communism. It promised a far-off paradise that they never expected to live in themselves. Working towards it was great fun.
“Who is that woman who has made the coalition fall in Austria? According to several Russian media, it is Alena Makarova , who also has a Latvian passport. She is the niece of Igor Makarov, creator of a gas company called Itera, which in 2013 sold its Rosneft assets (one of the two largest Russian energy companies).“
"In the 1930s, 40 percent of the total membership of the American communist party nationwide came from one small immigrant group - the Finns."
"Unless the refugees overrun us all. Like they did in the 'ring of fire' years, back when Ur and Hammurabi were writing. A chain reaction of failed crops, refugee migrations and overloaded ecosystems culminated in Egypt being nearly destroyed by the 'sea people', a flotilla of desperate refugees. It only ended when Egypt armed everybody and defeated them (killed them all)."
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