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Messages - jax

DnD Central / Re: DnD entropy
I'll reply to that in 16 days and change.


17 days and change.

Last post: 2021-11-17, 09:51:25
This post: 2021-12-03, 19:07:12
Old interval: 15 days, 8 hours, 18 minutes and 55 seconds
This interval: 16 days, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 47 seconds

Previous delta: 19 hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds.
This delta: 1 day, 56 minutes and 52 seconds.

Last post: 2024-04-26, 11:39:27
This post: 2024-05-15 05:56:29
Old interval: 16 days, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 47 seconds
This interval: 18 days, 18 hours, 17 minutes and 0 seconds

Previous delta: 1 day, 56 minutes and 52 seconds.
This delta:2 days, 9 hours, 1 minute and 13 second.

Fifth time in this thread.
DnD Central / Re: DnD entropy
Last post: 2021-11-17, 09:51:25
This post: 2021-12-03, 19:07:12
Old interval: 15 days, 8 hours, 18 minutes and 55 seconds
This interval: 16 days, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 47 seconds

Previous delta: 19 hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds.
This delta: 1 day, 56 minutes and 52 seconds.

That seems a fair approximation to the Realist school that has been very influential in the US

Last post 2024-04-07, 08:55:43
This post 2024-04-24, 11:48:14
Last interval: 16 days, 9 hours, 15 minutes and 47 seconds
This interval: 17 days, 2 hours, 52 minutes and 31 seconds

Previous delta: 1 day, 56 minutes and 52 seconds
This delta: 17 hours, 36 minutes and 44 seconds.

DnD Central / Re: The Awesomesauce of Globalism
There's this guy called Peter Zeihan whose thesis is that USA has given up on its world police role, turned inward to isolationism, and the rest of the world is on its own now, resulting in, among others, regional bullies extorting their neighbours. I have resented his thesis partly, because to me it seems that USA has always policed the world selectively and suppressed regional bullies selectively, occasionally switching sides. Instead of world police enforcing common rules, USA has been operating as the supreme colonial power to whom other (arguably ex-)colonial powers look up to as a primus inter pares.

So the post-Soviet-collapse World Order, in the Western mentality, has been:
1. USA, the supreme global colonial power
2. Currently lesser (ex-)colonial powers, mainly Old/Western Europe
3. (Re-)Emerging powers, such as India, China or Russia, which are termed "regional bullies" if antagonistic to the above-named elements
4. Smaller countries

That seems a fair approximation to the Realist school that has been very influential in the US, particularly on the Republican side (but the US was more bipartisan in the olden days).

That school does not have much influence on the current administration, but even though it has long passed its peak, it is still around in pro-Putin circles, and quite likely in some US State Department circles as well. You can smell that from some of the "anonymous" sources used by US media. And several of those wheedling their way into a prospective Trump administration. 

We have some insights into the Biden administration, and in large there seem to be two factions¸ one could be called "Ukraine for the win". When there is a shift from "as long as it takes" to "Ukraine must win", they are in ascendancy, as has happened with several European countries. Another is around Ukraine's appointed villain, Jake Sullivan. That's probably not entirely fair, but he is notoriously escalation adverse, and that is very much to Ukraine's disfavour. But unlike the current Realist crowd, not to speak of the MAGA grifters, he does not favour Russia over Ukraine.

I initially thought the administration's sometimes curious moves were not about Russia, but keeping China and India on board (both naturally on Team Putin), and there may be some to this, just like the Scholz brag. But it may be closer to their own policies anyway.

I don't think that was intentional, but US policies were almost perfectly calibrated into radicalising European countries against Russia. This is a persistent re-alignment, but it has not reached all corners of the subcontinent and political landscape.

DnD Central / Re: The Awesomesauce of Globalism
For one who has declared that geography matters, I have found Zeihan to be less than useful.
I think it's because you like mostly world maps. You're a globalist. He is not. And I am not either.

Anyone can say anything, some may make it sound plausible. But for it to have any weight it should have a model or at minimum a school to make it testable. Or the observations should be consistently better than expectation, implying there might be some implicit knowledge or model.

I haven't seen Zeihan perform on either.
DnD Central / Re: Maps-Maps-Maps! ?
It is a fairly unusual scenario. Children are supposed to be home for dinner, and if both families eat at roughly same time there would be no waiting around. Even when they don't, unless they are far from each other, it would as you said better to go home and meet later.

Only case I can remember is if other family already was eating when I arrived, then it would make sense to wait a few minutes till they were done.

Children flowing around houses aren't considered "guests" though. If they were actually travelling to someone, being brought somewhere else by adults, this would be different. In that case shared dinner would be in order, dependent on timing.

Of course families could arrange that a child would eat with the other family, but the child would likely consider that to be very awkward (but families and children vary).
DnD Central / Re: Maps-Maps-Maps! ?
Seems to be some reverberations of Twitter #swedengate

I’m Swedish – it’s true that we don’t serve food to guests. What’s the problem?

(Basically, families don't feed other people's children, that would be imposing. Somebody with immigrant background described that as traumatising as a child. Add Twitter, and there we go.)

Scandinavians drink less coffee now, but it used to be impossible to enter any home without being offered a cup of coffee, probably with something aside (cake, waffle or whatever).

As children, when visiting my mother's home village we had to do the round to announce ourselves to the neighbours, meaning drinking something like 6-8 cups of coffee, so we were pretty caffeinated by the time we'd finished.
DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Yes, seen the same documentary.

Where there are sanctions, there will be sanctions busting. Inevitably, and every time as long as the sanctioned has money to pay for it. And a siege of Russia is not a practicality.

However, where there is sanction busting, there can be sanctions busting busting. And while sanctions have never brought down a regime, not even South Africa, and can make people connected to the regime even richer, they do impoverish a country. That however is a long game.

Doesn't mean they are useless, only that they are gradual and not a replacement for more direct action. Ukraine's "sanctions" inside Russia are pretty good, even though they too are gradual.
DnD Central / Re: Everything Trump…
He was persuaded to leave NATO alone the first time. It probably won't work the second time.

A Russia with the US president in their pocket is, to put it mildly, a dangerous place. It dramatically increases the risk that Kremlin will do something irreversible.

This could easily become the most disastrous election since 1933.
DnD Central / Re: What's Going on in Business?
In addition to bursting into flames, Tesla cars seem to have a tendency to plunge into fjords.
Two motorists whose car plunged into a freezing Oslo fjord escaped unharmed when a floating sauna came to their rescue, Norwegian police have said. [...] The owner of the car, who was not identified by name, said he had thought the car was in park mode when he hit the accelerator pedal.

Passengers of a sinking Tesla picked up by a sauna boat has been described as "Peak Bjørvika" (a district in Oslo). 

I used to live in Bjørvika back when it was a port/industrial/motorway ringroad. Not that anymore.
DnD Central / Re: I'm bemused: No one here wants to discuss the Gaza-Israel war
Is Hamas a race or ethnicity? Against whom is the IDF "committing" genocide?

Genocide is a crime of intent.

Article II 
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: 

(a) Killing members of the group; 
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; 
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; 
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; 
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. 

The Israeli government, and by extension IDF, is probably not committing genocide. That there is even an uncertainty, a "probably" in that sentence, is in itself pretty damning. However, while what they are doing, which definitely includes (a) and (b), and possibly (c) and (d) as well, the issue lies with the why.

There are people connected to the current government who have expressed genocidal ideas, and the way the invasion of Gaza is executed could be those ideas put into action. However, If the Israeli intent is to destroy, in whole or in part, the Gazans, they are not behaving in a manner consistent with that. There is an ongoing war, and Israeli actions are more consistent with waging that war. The only way this could be a genocide is if their planning has been to commit it under the cover of that war. Unlikely, but not impossible. However, there are pretty blatant cases of Israeli forces committing war crimes, that are unlikely to be prosecuted by Israeli courts.

Likewise, Hamas has some extremely genocidal ideas, and their behaviour on 7 October is very consistent with a genocide. If the Israeli government had been even more incompetent this massacre could continue Rwanda-style. However, there are other technical reasons why this may not be a genocide either.

Allegations of genocide in the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel

Meanwhile, the genocide case against Putin and Lvova-Belova for kidnapping Ukrainian children is more straight-forward. Russia has committed a number of atrocities that would be war crimes or crimes against humanity, like Bucha. However they are not genocides. The kidnappings could be, category (e) above, but again it depends on intent. If the intent wasn't genocidal, it can still be a crime against humanity, article 7(1)(d).
DnD Central / Re: The awesomesauce with Chimerica
I too (three?) can't see an invasion of Taiwan as anything but a loss for the CCP. Nor the military establishment raring to go fish either.

However threatening to invade could be cost-effective and threats must be taken seriously. China has the size advantage (Taiwan is to Mainland China what Canada is to USA), while Taiwan would be key to a blockade of China. So economic-military blackmail on the island group could work in their favour if handled deftly. Which it isn't.
DnD Central / Re: Tripe about Ukraine
Funny thing is, like mentioned in the Map thread, few in Europe seem to think that our support of Ukraine is just right. A fairly clear majority want us to do more, and a minority want us to do less (or preferably nothing at all). This applies to the political circles as well.

And I have yet to see anyone (outside that minority) happy about the current sorry state of the US, because of our own sorry state.

US and EU has had a well-working partnership through decades: US breaks things with weapons, EU rebuild them with money. US feels strong, EU feels good, and both get results, often the wanted ones.

Europe is on a rearmament trajectory, but the political goals are running ahead of the mechanics. That the US might break down in 2025 was a remote risk. Not only is the risk less remote, the US is breaking apart already in late 2023 already, which I didn't expect. That said, even if Trump should happen, the administration and Congress can ship a last package in the lame duck period. Election over, there is nothing the MAGA can do to what is left of the Republican party.
DnD Central / Re: The Awesomesauce of the American 2024 Presidential Elections
Trump was a self-inflicted wound. But now it is like "it felt so good when we shot ourselves in the foot, so it must feel so much better if we shoot ourselves in the head".  It's beyond parody. Because of the consequences even if he isn't elected, this leans much further into tragedy than farce, but there is plenty of both.

USA is broken, hopefully not beyond repair.
DnD Central / Re: Maps-Maps-Maps! ?
They are slightly above European average (60%), though lower than their neighbours. Likewise Netherlands and Portugal are higher (must be their tea shipping tradition). I didn't expect non-NATO neutral Ireland to be this high on a "military equipment" question.

You cannot really tell on a single poll question. These are agree/disagree questions, and people could disagree for a number of reasons. EU gives too little, EU gives too much, EU gives the wrong things, it shouldn't be the EU doing the giving, they might be against EU itself etc. It could simply be "I don't care".

Put together with other information, "don't care" does not seem to be the major issue (though many think military assistance is wrong on principle, thus this score lowest).

Generally it seems to correlate with pro-Russian sentiments in a sizeable minority, offset by a pro-Ukrainian majority. This minority could be political, regional, ethnic or all of the above.

Germany has gotten over its long-ingrained pacifism, but the far left and far right are significantly more pro-Russian, and these parties and pro-Russian sentiments in general are strongest in the former East Germany. Older Germans often feel some gratitude to Russia for not causing trouble during reunification, or an allegiance to Ostpolitik. Younger Germans are more likely to see today's Russia as a threat to Europe.

In the Baltic States there are large differences between majority and minority attitudes to Russia. This particularly applies to the Russian minority, which is relatively much larger in Estonia and Latvia than in Lithuania.

In former Warsaw Pact countries there is a correlation of pro-Russian/anti-Ukrainian sentiments and nationalism, and with old age.