A dovetail joint of news, art, science, politics, philosophy & global affairs

Grasping the currency true to our time

"Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει"







April 15th
2:22 PM
"No one knows what the United States wants in this region, beyond the unacceptable ambition it has displayed since Communism’s collapse - and which now has exploded in its face - of shoving NATO membership and Western ostensibly-defensive /opportunistically-offensive missile installations right up to the Russian borders. This can only be understood in Moscow as a hostile policy."
—  William Pfaff, The Worst Mess since the 1930’s
2:02 PM
"Russia is a power in structural decline. Its economic growth is anemic, it has an uncertain demographic future, and the state budget is highly vulnerable to any shift in oil prices. That being said, for the next several years it will have the most modern and effective military it has had since the Soviet Union collapsed. Russia’s leaders realize that right now they are the strongest they are ever likely to be, economically and militarily. Conversely, the West is at its weakest point of willpower, exhausted by crises and conflicts abroad, along with the pull of domestic agendas at home. NATO defense budgets are hardly a credible threat and will continue to decline. Even some of the Baltic states, who decry Russia as an existential threat, barely spend 1 percent of GDP on their own defense. Moscow knows that nobody wants to spend more money on defense to confront them. Putin likely calculates that if now is not the time to take on the West, then it will never come. He is rolling the dice while Russia still has dice to roll."
April 13th
7:45 PM
"I have no idea where the official numbers come from; those that say that Ukraine is evenly divided between those who support the West, and those who feel their identity is closely linked with Russia. Maybe this might be the case in Western Ukraine, in Lvov, or even in the capital – Kiev. But Western Ukraine has only a few key cities. The majority of people in this country of around forty-four million are concentrated in the south, east and southeast, around the enormous industrial and mining centers of Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, and Krivoi Rog. There is Odessa in the south, and Kharkov ‘the second capital’ in the east. And people in all those parts of the country mainly speak Russian. And they see, what has recently happened in Kiev as an unceremonious coup, orchestrated and supported by the West."
—  Andre Vltchek, Ukraine: Lies and Realities
April 6th
1:40 AM
Via
1:38 AM
"The multitude has suddenly become visible, installing itself in the preferential positions of society. Before, if it existed, it passed unnoticed, occupying the background of the social stage; now it has advanced to the floodlights and is the principle character. There are no longer protagonists; there is only the chorus."
—  Ortega y Gasset, Revolt of the Masses
6:22 PM
It’s Not Twitter It’s The Eclipse Of Reason

An “eclipse of reason” is the current state of the Turkish government. It is not possible to articulate a rational explanation for the new regulations, including the new Internet laws, and their enforcement within a framework of governance informed by basic democratic values. We can only regard these intrusive interventions as acts of despair and a lack of intellect.  >continue<

Tweeps Fight Erdogan with Memes  |  Erdogan’s Mission Impossible
Alevizing Gezi  |  Turkey Media Roundup
_______________ background ______________
Madness on the Bosphorus  |  Scandal threatens Erdogan
Sultan of Istancool  |  Social Media Menace grips Turkey
>more<

It’s Not Twitter It’s The Eclipse Of Reason

An “eclipse of reason” is the current state of the Turkish government. It is not possible to articulate a rational explanation for the new regulations, including the new Internet laws, and their enforcement within a framework of governance informed by basic democratic values. We can only regard these intrusive interventions as acts of despair and a lack of intellect.  >continue<

Tweeps Fight Erdogan with Memes  |  Erdogan’s Mission Impossible

Alevizing Gezi  |  Turkey Media Roundup

_______________ background ______________

Madness on the Bosphorus  |  Scandal threatens Erdogan

Sultan of Istancool  |  Social Media Menace grips Turkey

>more<

3:55 PM
"Nietzsche can only be an embarrassment for atheists today. Worse, they can’t help dimly suspecting they embody precisely the kind of pious freethinker that Nietzsche despised and mocked: loud in their mawkish reverence for humanity, and stridently censorious of any criticism of liberal hopes."
—  

John Gray, The Ghost at the Atheist Feast

[an example of said mockery from the Genealogy III 25]

March 16th
1:47 PM
"I am afraid that I am interested in a cold war with the West. I was very patient. I waited for 20 years. I did everything I could so that this war would begin. I worked day and night."
—  Aleksandr A. Prokhanov, Foes of America in Russia Crave Rupture in Ties
March 10th
10:03 PM
"Now the same asshats who constantly chortled ad-phreakin-nauseum about having “won the cold war” can’t follow the the logical implication. Rather, now that it suits, they pompously drone on about how Obama is clueless when he does insist it is over."
9:49 PM

How does Conservatism apply to the Russia/Ukraine situation?

Nowadays “Conservatism” applies to Ukraine/Russia in the following way: Ignore the grey areas. Paint Putin as a thug but a virile, manly thug. Paint Obama as a pussy who doesn’t understand the real world.

It doesn’t matter that “conservatism” is nominally against Putin as much as his masculine grasp of realpolitik is heavily construed as a school yard threat to nerd Obama. This appeals to the high-school mentality of the current “conservative” base and is, thus, more important than default support for an American President. The fact that military provocation of Russia would be pretty much mindless, and that no “conservative” would be doing anything different also is of no consequence.

Questions and analysis of the situation are also of no consequence. Rather, the immediacy of the above narrative is to be slathered on top of the situation like syrup over hot pancakes, which should be clear from the ubiquity of talking points already delivered on talk radio.

>context<

March 6th
8:57 AM
Via
mapsontheweb:

Territorial evolution of Ukraine

"On February 27, 1954 Pravda published a short announcement on its front page that the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR had decreed on February 19 the transfer of the Crimean oblast from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic&#8230;
But why was this done? Was it, as was described at the time and for decades thereafter, a &#8220;gift&#8221; to Ukraine? If so, what motivated such generosity? After all, Crimea, the rugged peninsula jutting into the Black Sea, had not become territorially contiguous with Ukraine all of a sudden. Moreover, its cultural links with Ukraine were not nearly as strong as with Russia. According to the 1959 census, there were 268,000 Ukrainians but 858,000 ethnic Russians living in Crimea. As for economic &#8220;commonalities,&#8221; the main industry of Crimea was recreation and tourism which drew its clientele from throughout the USSR.
Before the Great Patriotic War, Crimea was home to over 300,000 Tatars, descendants of the Great Horde that moved across Anatolia and settled in the peninsula beginning in the thirteenth century. Because of the collaboration of some Crimean Tatars with Nazi occupiers during 1941-43, the entire community was deported in May 1944. The following year, the Crimean Autonomous Republic was abolished and replaced by the Crimean oblast. It was this entity that was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 and remains, at least for the time being, a part of post-Soviet Ukraine. A gift that was at the time essentially meaningless has acquired great historical importance.&#8221;  &gt;source&lt;
Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine in a gesture that mystified some people
Crimean peninsula had a very tricky 20th century 
Khrushchev’s gift

mapsontheweb:

Territorial evolution of Ukraine

"On February 27, 1954 Pravda published a short announcement on its front page that the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR had decreed on February 19 the transfer of the Crimean oblast from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic…

But why was this done? Was it, as was described at the time and for decades thereafter, a “gift” to Ukraine? If so, what motivated such generosity? After all, Crimea, the rugged peninsula jutting into the Black Sea, had not become territorially contiguous with Ukraine all of a sudden. Moreover, its cultural links with Ukraine were not nearly as strong as with Russia. According to the 1959 census, there were 268,000 Ukrainians but 858,000 ethnic Russians living in Crimea. As for economic “commonalities,” the main industry of Crimea was recreation and tourism which drew its clientele from throughout the USSR.

Before the Great Patriotic War, Crimea was home to over 300,000 Tatars, descendants of the Great Horde that moved across Anatolia and settled in the peninsula beginning in the thirteenth century. Because of the collaboration of some Crimean Tatars with Nazi occupiers during 1941-43, the entire community was deported in May 1944. The following year, the Crimean Autonomous Republic was abolished and replaced by the Crimean oblast. It was this entity that was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 and remains, at least for the time being, a part of post-Soviet Ukraine. A gift that was at the time essentially meaningless has acquired great historical importance.”  >source<

Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine in a gesture that mystified some people

Crimean peninsula had a very tricky 20th century 

Khrushchev’s gift

8:23 AM
"This ‘discursive materialism’ relies on the so-called ‘linguistic turn’ in philosophy which emphasizes how language is not a neutral medium of designation, but a practice embedded in a life world: we do things with it, accomplish specific acts … Is it not time to turn this cliché around: who is it that, today, claims language is a neutral medium of designation? So, perhaps, one should emphasize how language is not a mere moment of the life world, a practice within it: the true miracle of language is that it can also serve as a neutral medium which just designates a conceptual/ideal content. In other words, the true task is not to locate language as a neutral medium within a life-world practice, but to show how, within this life-world, a neutral medium of designation can nonetheless emerge."
—  Slavoj Zizek, Less Than Nothing (intro, footnote 4)
February 27th
9:58 PM
"[T]he existence of animal play is considered something of an intellectual scandal. It’s understudied, and those who do study it are seen as mildly eccentric. As with many vaguely threatening, speculative notions, difficult-to-satisfy criteria are introduced for proving animal play exists, and even when it is acknowledged, the research more often than not cannibalizes its own insights by trying to demonstrate that play must have some long-term survival or reproductive function…

Friedrich Schiller had already argued in 1795 that it was precisely in play that we find the origins of self-consciousness, and hence freedom, and hence morality. ‘Man plays only when he is in the full sense of the word a man,’ Schiller wrote in his On the Aesthetic Education of Man, ‘and he is only wholly a Man when he is playing.’ If so…then glimmers of freedom, or even of moral life, begin to appear everywhere around us."