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1
Otter Browser Forum / Re: Logging in to Github
Last post by beastie -
Yesterday, it automagically started working again. I guess a sysadmin noticed some machine had pooped itself (or was it the rodents gnawing on the wires?) during the weekend and fixed the problem.

But today it's gone back to not working. These companies are as efficient as the government. I wonder how they're still in business.
3
Otter Browser Forum / Re: Logging in to Github
Last post by ersi -
I'm trying it right now and it seems to be true. Github website says, "We just sent your authentication code via email to..." but my inbox has nothing new in it. Nothing new in Trash or Spam folders either.

The result: Cannot log in.

Is that a scam to get people's phone numbers or is it just a classic case of "everything Microsoft touches turns to $h17?"
Yes and yes.

What can I say? Everybody move over to Gitlab. This is similar to when Freenode was hijacked. An alternative had to be set up and everybody moved there.
4
Otter Browser Forum / Logging in to Github
Last post by beastie -
Has anyone here been using Github lately? It looks like they're killing it with their de facto forced two-factor authentication!

At first I used to receive the verification code on my email almost instantaneously but in the last few days, it started taking more and more time. Yesterday I tried to log in, had to click the resend button four times before calling it quits. Searching the interwebs, it seems to be an old problem.

Apparently they sent the emails in bulk because today I got the four email. They sent them all at 1AM... like 3 hours after the codes had already expired. *facepalm*

Is that a scam to get people's phone numbers or is it just a classic case of "everything Microsoft touches turns to $h17?"
6
DnD Central / Re: The Awesomesauce of Globalism
Last post by jax -
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.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/sources-american-power-biden-jake-sullivan

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.


7
DnD Central / Re: The Awesomesauce of Globalism
Last post by jax -
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.
10
DnD Central / Re: The Awesomesauce of Globalism
Last post by ersi -
White House has warned Kyiv that continued [Ukrainian] strikes on [Russian] oil and gas infrastructure could harm Joe Biden’s re-election chances
So it's not just Trump promising to end the war in Ukraine by giving up Ukraine. It's also Biden giving up Ukraine because it would improve Biden's domestic situation.



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

The thing to note here is that smaller countries always ever were the last consideration under the Order (as they also are under any disorder). Smaller countries only received constructive attention as long as the (re-)emerging powers were not considered antagonistic to the primary powers of the Order. That is, #4 received the benefits of the Order as long as #1 and #2 thought that #3 were nice enough to have good relations with. In terms of trade and supply lines, the benefits of the Order to #4 may, geography permitting, have flown directly from #1 and #2, but the political will enabling this only flowed through #3.

Now Russia is considered a regional bully, and this disrupts the flow of political will of providing benefits of the Order to all smaller countries neighbouring Russia. That is, the flow of political will from #1 and #2 towards #4, which necessarily goes through #3 according to my thesis, is disrupted insofar as Russia's neighbours are concerned. Such affected neighbours are not only Georgia or Ukraine, which do not belong to EU or Nato, but also the Baltic countries, which belong to EU and Nato. That is, it affects all Russia's neighbours regardless of affiliation with global organisations. The same way as the Baltic countries received the benefits of the Order during peacetime because the Western Europe and USA had high hopes regarding Russia, they are now denied the benefits because Western Europe and USA no longer entertain high hopes regarding Russia.[1]

In other words, global/regional political organisations, which should institute and embody values (in this case the Western or alleged democratic values) and distribute the economic benefits, do not matter. The Order does not work according to the values. It works according to the relations laid out above plus geographic proximity.

Under this paradigm, the current support for Ukraine did not and is not demonstrating anything about Western values for democracy or whatever. Remember that the support first emerged in the Baltic countries and Poland, i.e. countries neighbouring Ukraine and Russia. The support emerged due to "survivalism" or "alarmism" in Russia's shadow, something that the Old/Western Europe resents and wants nothing to do with. The support spread from the East to the West because lack of support for Ukraine would have exposed Western lack of values. But now it's clear that they do not care to be exposed. The West are global #1 and #2 after all and a bit of reputational damage would not change it.

The formula is that Russia looks so bad right now that the West can afford to look a bit bad too. So the World Order aligns itself according to the worst common denominator.

This century, nothing has gone well for USA in terms of foreign policy. The "War on Terror" promising to export democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq failed to export anything constructive at all. Expansion of Nato antagonised Putin, so there are ever louder voices calling for the abolishment of Nato. And when USA's global policing does not go well, USA turns inward. All foreign policy is converted to domestic talking points in hyperpartisan bickering, and if it does not convert, then it does not exist. Currently there is no foreign policy at all in USA, and this makes Zeihan's thesis look right.

Sad to concede it to Zeihan, but with some modifications he is right. Because I know I am.

Corollaries: The West has once again betrayed Ukraine. Ukraine, territorially the largest country in Europe and population-wise among the largest, is ranked #4 according to the paradigm, due to its proximity to Russia which is #3. Under tolerable relations with Russia, both were considered candidates to the Western "system of values", but now under inflamed relations with Russia, the West is making territorial concessions to Putin, resulting in radically diminished country of Ukraine, so that Ukraine becomes more easily treated as #4.

Everybody else in rank #4 must take note: Values, such as territorial integrity or who is guilty of starting the war, do not matter. The thing that matters is your rank.
What benefits are denied? Most painfully, the values such as right to self-determination and territorial integrity, which is clear as day by now with the fate of Ukraine. In a smaller way, this has been evident all along with the West's siding with Russia's point of view in absolutely every single individual bit of geopolitical matters that concern the smaller countries, such as (mostly imagined) ethnic conflicts, citizenship policy, border disputes and membership in international organisations. Denial of values and hypocrisy with "narratives" is glaringly obvious for people from the smaller countries, but Westerners treat it as either irrelevant or not there at all. However, more traceable for everyone is the geoeconomic inequality, denial of equal trade opportunities, manifest in e.g. disparate fees within the EU (more expensive for smaller countries closer to Russia) when using platforms like Amazon or Booking, pushing Russian propaganda content over media services (which Easterners fight against, but Westerners don't, thus Westerners curiously fall overall more victim to it than Easterners), and prices and availability of consumer products.