Inequality, Kim Kataguiri, chimpanzee drum solo, micro-totalitarianism, silicon and wine

this is more than a Balkan brouhaha.

There is, though, another way of viewing Russian history: Instead of seeing Russia as always being able to bounce back from near collapse, the pattern can also be seen as one in which despite Russia constantly building up its power and prestige, it always experiences catastrophic setbacks — much like Sisyphus’ efforts to push a boulder up to the top of the hill always ending in futility.

Despite everything that the tsars did to advance Russia into the ranks of the European great powers, Russia was unable to avoid the disaster of being invaded by Napoleon.

Despite the promising political reforms of the early 20th century, Russia did not avoid the disasters of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Civil War

Despite the tremendous economic strides made under Stalin (albeit at enormous human cost), the Soviet Union experienced the catastrophe of the German invasion of 1941.

And despite the Soviet Union’s achievement of superpower status after World War II, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Russia experienced severe economic decline.

It’s going to be big; the automobile was the distinctive invention of the 20th century. The mass production techniques developed in the car industry helped create the industrial model of modern times; the relationship between mass production and mass consumption built around the car industry was a powerful engine for social change; cars reshaped our cities, led to the construction of huge highway systems, and drove a century of increasing dependence on fossil fuels, petroleum above all.

If cars change, the world changes, and cars and the car industry are moving toward the biggest transformation since the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford’s assembly line.

Peter Bauer, a pioneer in development economics, recognized early on that “in a modern open society, the accumulation of wealth, especially great wealth, normally results from activities which extend the choices of others.”

Some people can smell a rat a mile away. Others don’t notice even when the odor wafts right under their noses.

To subscribe to the global warming agenda you have to believe three things: that the world is warming, that the warming is caused by mankind, and that there is something we can do about it.

“I like a little rebellion now and then,” Thomas Jefferson famously wrote. The primary author of the Declaration of Independence and America’s third president regarded rebellion as “like a storm in the atmosphere.” It clears the air and settles matters.

There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all.

We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

the only-known spontaneous, unsolicited chimpanzee drum solo.

Capitalism has done more for the poor in the past ten years than charity has done throughout all of history.

The phrase “carbon-based life” gets thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? It means that the core structural molecules that make up our bodies (proteins, amino acids, nucleic acids, fatty acids, and more) are built on skeletons of carbon atoms. That’s because carbon has the great property of being “tetravalent.” Oxygen can only form two stable chemical bonds at once (thus leading to water, or H2O), and nitrogen only three (thus leading to ammonia, or NH3), but carbon can stably hold onto up to four different atoms at once (thus giving us methane, or CH4). Tetravalency is a powerful basis for building molecules that are both strong and geometrically complex, and that duo of chemical virtues has allowed the evolution of all life currently known in the universe.

“There is not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of 4 percent a year.”

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The left is not necessarily aiming at totalitarianism. But their know-it-all mindset leads repeatedly and pervasively in that direction, even if by small steps, each of which might be called “micro-totalitarianism.”

An archeological dig at the site of Gadachrili Gora, near the village of Imiri in southeastern Georgia, recently unearthed the earliest evidence of domesticated grapes from about 6000 BC, according to carbon-dating analysis.


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