Vivek Ramaswami, empire, and Thermidor

August 22nd, 2023

The Republic is dead. No matter what happens, and numerous unexpected and unthinkable twists in the road are coming up, we will end with a Stalin or Napoleon or Cromwell. If we are lucky and brave, a Caesar.

Vivek Ramaswami’s policy positions are wonderful. He tries to out Trump Trump. And some faction in the deep state is protecting him.

But there is something deeply fake about him. And it is most odd that he gets away with stuff which would result in any other namefag being unpersoned. I don’t know what it is, but I have recently found a clue: We had an infestation of Vivek shills on this blog, and when I asked them about Soros’ color revolutionary activities, they softly and silently vanished away.

Looks like his spambots, like vivek himself, cannot speak of anything related to Globohomo empire or the curious lack of any rules in the “rules based order”. They can speak of some of the crimes of Soros, but not of imperialism – which is most of his major crimes and the primary activity of the Open Society Foundation that Vivek warmly endorsed.

Could be that there is a faction that wants to keep Global American Empire, since after all without it a whole lot of people in Washington, New York, and Boston will suddenly be a lot poorer, and figures Globohomo is heading for a train wreck. “Lets keep on doing color revolutions, but use the nazis instead of the gay parade”

Vivek Ramasawami supports the Soros Open Society foundation, fails to criticize the Global American Empire and color revolution, and made his money in bed with the state and quasi state kleptocrats who are getting rich skimming the gravy off the Global American Empire.

The Global American Empire has been suddenly revealed as a paper tiger, due to de-industrialization, and army full of gays, trannies, and coloreds doing logistic work in base areas – camp followers dressed in soldier’s uniforms for stolen valor.
gay trannie colored army of women
Camp followers should wear a different uniform. If you have one man in your army who does not fight, bye and bye there will be no men in your army who fight.

If you are going to keep empire, have to re-industrialize. No prospect of re-industrializing except by Trump and/or Vivek. RFK Jr is anti imperialist, and Trump wants empire downsized by spinning off its unprofitable provinces. The kleptocrats want to keep empire and don’t want downsizing, because the reason the provinces are unprofitable is that the kleptocrats are skimming all the gravy. But the way things are going, the empire is about to fall. Vivek wants to keep empire.

When Vivek talks about the Ukraine, he somehow neglects to criticize empire, or, unlike Trump, even highly unprofitable empire. His proposed solution for Ukraine is to keep empire while not getting up Russia’s nose. It looks like he is backed by an imperialist faction – and of course his entire private career was cosy with the the kleptocrats. His private wealth is all connections to the kleptocracy. Could be that there is a kleptocrat faction that is planning a Thermidor?

If there is a Thermidor, we are going to be the Incroyables. When the left was in retreat, the right felt their oats. The Incroyables failed. Failed horribly. But we have something they did not. We have the lessons of history. The Incroyables failed because they celebrated the degeneracy of the Sun King’s decadent aristocracy of the Robe. Bad idea to identify with losers. This time around, or enemies will want us to identify with the Nazis, following the example of the Ukraine Nazis, who are currently fighting for a gay Jew who does not speak Ukrainian very fluently. The Ukraine Nazis are machine gunning and cluster bombing white Ukrainians who attempt to retreat in a war inflicted on them by far away imperial Jews. It is working for Globohomo in the Ukraine, so they will figure it will work for them here. And it will, if the alt right falls for it.

So, several possible outcomes, listed in order from that which I think most likely, to that least likely.

1. The Thermidorian faction of the elite is killed by the woke faction, no one cares about the nominal president (Robespierre had no official office, role, or title), and the empire cracks up in external war and internal democide and civil war.

2. The Thermidorian faction fails and fades away, a waxed corpse of Biden is elected to maintain the pretence that elections still matter, and the empire cracks up in external war, and possibly internal democide and civil war.

3. The Thermidorian faction installs a Trump/Vivek presidency. Thermidor ensues.

In the unlikely but now possible outcome that the Thermidorean faction installs a Trump/Vivek presidency, next step: The alt right becomes the incroyables. Trump/Vivek will theoretically fire the Deep State, but it will continue right on going with changed office stationary. The Deep State will attempt to massage the alt right into the Ukraine Nazis, and to the extent that they succeed, we will be following the failed footsteps of the Ukraine Nazis and the Incroyables. The Ukrainian Nazis, once no longer useful to Blinken, Nuland, Kagan, and Soros, are going to die after having been used up destroying their race and their nation.

Fat is a reactionary issue: retrospective.

August 1st, 2023

The main new information in this post is that four years on from my first post in the series, “Fat is a reactionary issue” still at my healthy weight, despite all the fake science saying that all diets work short term, but no diet works long term. Supposedly no one ever loses large amounts of weight except by illness, and no one ever keeps it off for very long

No diet that official science is allowed to notice works long term. No one that doctors are allowed to notice loses large amounts of weight and keeps it off permanently.

Well, I went from 267 pounds, 120 kilograms, to 168 pounds, 76 kilograms, somewhat above my ideal weight, but within the healthy BMI and WHR. And it has been about eight years so far within the healthy BMI and WHR – though frequently a bit above my current weight. But then, I have lost some muscle because I slacked off pumping iron after I got remarried. So probably roughly constant over the past six years or so.

Some new information has been discovered in the interim, the most important being that epidemic of the diseases of modernity are all downstream of soaring insulin resistance, which like high blood pressure produces no visible symptoms until it has finished writing your death warrant. In particular, it does not show up as high blood sugar until your system is already badly hosed. This also explains the harmful effects of sweet diet drinks, since they produce the same insulin surge as drinks sweetened with natural sugar.

The evidence for excess omega six polyunsaturated fats (seed oil) has now mounted considerably further. That stuff is poisonous, and the evidence against going to heavy on any polyunsaturated fat, as in more than you would get from a largely fish diet, is starting to come in. Saturated fat is the cleanest source of energy for your body, the healthiest macronutrient. Everything else is apt to be a problem if consumed in amounts large enough to be a major source of calories.

Chimps can do fine on an all vegetable diet. Humans, unlike chimps, are obligate carnivores. We cannot survive on all vegetable diet.

We can survive on all meat diet provided we get plenty of saturated animal fat. A high protein all meat diet will give you what the pioneers called rabbit fever. Butter, sour milk, yoghurt, and cheese was the enabling technology that allowed pastoralism on the steppes, and eventually there was genetic change that allowed adults to drink fresh milk. Rabbit fever reveals that we have a dependency on saturated fat, and the current epidemic of obesity and collapsing testosterone may well be in part a result of the widespread substitution of vegetable oil for animal fat.

Well that was short. So to pad it out a bit, a brief recap of the diet information given in earlier posts of the series since most of those reading this far will want to know how to lose weight.  And once they have measured their insulin resistance will want to know how to cure insulin resistance.

1. Be a manly man.

2. Weigh yourself every morning.

3. Target a very slow weight of rate loss, or it is going to be rough going after you have lost ten or twenty pounds.

4. Diet and exercise. Restrict yourself to eating within an eight hour window, do the occasional three day fast to shove your set point down, particularly when you are over your target weight, lift iron, and a paleo diet. Low carbs, moderate protein in the form of red meat, lots of milk, cheese, sour cream, and butter. The best oil is clarified butter. I make my own, also make my own sour cream.

Nutritional deficiencies are common and the paleo diet in modern times with modern foods is apt to make this worse. If you get cramps, your intake of divalent salts (calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and copper is likely unbalanced or inadequate. Potassium deficiency is common, and the keto diet, which, if done right, is an extreme form of the paleo diet, is so low on fruit and veggies that it is apt to cause potassium deficiency, which also causes cramps.

How to apply recursive snarks for a fully scalable, fully private, currency

July 28th, 2023

From the very beginning of bitcoin, people worried that it could not scale to the required size.

It does not scale because it is a massively replicated public ledger. Thus any real solution means making the ledger not public. Which means either centralization, a central bank digital currency, which is the path Ethereum is walking, or privacy. You cure both blockchain bloat and blockchain analysis by not putting the data on the reliable public broadcast channel in the first place, rather than doing what Monero does, putting it on the blockchain in cleverly encrypted form, bloating the blockchain with chaff intended to obfuscate against blockchain analysis.

I have for some time remarked that recursive snarks make a fully private, fully scalable, currency, possible. But it seems this was not obvious to everyone, and I see recursive snarks being applied in complicated convoluted stupid ways that fail to utilize their enormous potential. This is in part malicious, the enemy pouring mud into the tech waters. So I guess need to explain.

A zk-snark or a zk-stark proves that someone knows something, knows a pile of data that has certain properties, without revealing that pile of data. Such that he has a preimage of a hash that has certain properties – such as the property of being a valid transaction. You can prove an arbitrarily large amount of data with an approximately constant sized recursive snark.

A recursive snark is a zk-snark that proves that the person who created it has verified a zk-stark that proves that someone has verified a zk-snark that proves that someone has verified …

This explanation is going to require you to know what a graph, vertex, edge, root, and leaf is, what a directed acyclic graph is, what a hash is, what a blockchain is, and how hashes make blockchains possible. And what an sql index is and what it does, and what a primary sql index is and what it does. You need to know what a transaction output is in the context of blockchains, and what an unspent transaction output (utxo) is. Other terms will be briefly and cryptically explained as necessary. All the crypto shills must do the homework that they have been so egregiously neglecting, or else will be silently blocked. I am heartily sick of crypto shills confidently dumping scripts prepared for them by scriptwriters almost as stupid and ignorant as themselves.

A struct is simply some binary data laid out in well known and agreed format. Almost the same thing as an sql row, except that an sql row does not have a well known and agreed binary format, so does not have a well defined hash, and a struct is not necessarily part of an sql table, though obvious you can put a bunch of structs of the same type in an sql table, and represent an sql table as a bunch of structs, plus at least one primary index. An sql table is equivalent to a pile of structs, plus at least one primary index of those structs.

A merkle graph is a directed acyclic graph whose vertices are structs containing hashes

A merkle vertex is a struct containing hashes. The hashes are the edges of the graph. So using recursive snarks over a merkle graph, each vertex has a proof that proved that its data was valid, given that the vertices that its edges point to were valid, and that the peer that created the recursive snark of that vertex verified the recursive snarks of the vertices that the outgoing edges (hashes) of this vertex points to.

So, you have a merkle chain of blocks, each block containing a merkle patricia tree of merkle dags. You have a recursive snark that proves the chain, and everything in it, is valid (no one created tokens out of thin air, each transaction merely moved the ownership of tokens) And then you prove that the new block is valid, given that rest of the chain was valid, and produce a recursive snark that the new block, which chains to previous block, is valid.

A blockchain is a merkle chain and a reliable broadcast channel. In Bitcoin the merkle vertices are very large, each block is a single huge merkle vertex, and each block lives forever on an ever growing public broadcast channel. It is impractical to produce a recursive snark over such huge vertices, and attempting to do so results in centralization, with the recursive snarks being created in a few huge data centers. So we need to structure the data as large dag of small merkle vertices, with all the paths through the dag for which we need to generate proofs being logarithmic in the size of the dag.

A merkle patricia tree is a representation of an sql index as a merkle tree. Each edge of a vertex is associated with a short bitstring, and as you go down the tree from the root (tree graphs have their root at the top and their leaves at the bottom, just to confuse the normies) you append that bitstring, and when you reach the edge (hash) that points to a leaf, you have a bitstring that corresponds to path you took through the merkle tree, and to the leading bits of the bitstring that make that key unique in the index.

So a merkle patricia tree and the structs that its leaf edges point to is an sql table that you can generate recursive snarks for, which can prove things about new transactions to be added to that table. We are unlikely to be programming the blockchain in sql, but to render what one is doing intelligible, it is useful to think and design in sql.

So with recursive snarks you can prove that that your transaction is valid because certain unspent transaction outputs were in the sql index of unspent transaction outputs, and were recently spent in the index of commitments to transactions, without revealing which outputs those were, or what was in your transaction.

It is a widely shared public index. But what it is an index of is private information about the transactions and outputs of those transactions, information known only to the parties of those transactions. It is not a public ledger. It is a widely shared public sql index of private ledgers. And because it is a merkle tree, it is possible to produce a single reasonably short recursive snark for the current root of that tree that proves that every transaction in all those private ledgers was a valid transaction.

Oops, what I just described is a whole sequence of complete immutable sql indexes, each new block a new complete index. But that would waste a whole lot of bandwidth. What you want is that each new block is only an index of new unspent transaction outputs, and of newly spent transaction outputs, which spending events will give rise to new unspent transaction outputs in later blocks, and that this enormous pile of small immutable indexes gets summarized as single mutable index, which gets complicated. I will get to that later – how we purge the hashes of used outputs from the public broadcast channel, winding up with a public broadcast channel that represents a mutable index of an immutable history, with a quite a lot of additional house keeping data that tells how to derive the mutable index from this pile of immutable indices, and tells us what parts of the immutable history only the parties to the transaction need to keep around any more, what can be dumped from the public broadcast channel. Anything you no longer need to derive the mutable index, you can dump.

The parties to a transaction agree on a transaction – typically two humans and two wallets, each wallet the client of a peer on the blockchain.

Those of them that control the inputs to the transaction (typically one human with one wallet which is a client of one peer) commits unspent transactions outputs to that transaction, making them spent transaction outputs. But does not reveal that transaction, or that they are spent to the same transaction – though his peer can probably guess quite accurately that they are.

In the next block that is a descendant of that block the parties to the transaction prove that the new transaction outputs are valid, and being new are unspent transaction outputs, without revealing the transaction or the inputs to that transaction.

You have to register the unspent transaction outputs on the public index, the reliable broadcast channel, within some reasonable time, say perhaps below block height (⌊h/32⌋+2)*32, where h is the block height on which the first commit of an output to the the transaction was registered. If not all the inputs to the transaction were registered, then obviously no one can produce a proof of validity for any of the outputs. After that block height you cannot register any further outputs, but if you prove that after that block height no output of the transaction was registered, you can create a new unspent transaction output for each transaction input to the failed transaction which effectively rolls back the failed transaction. This time limit enables us to recover from failed transactions, and, perhaps, more importantly, enables us to clean up the mutable sql index that the immense chain of immutable sql indexes represents, and that the public broadcast channel contains. We eventually drop outputs that have been committed to a particular transaction, and can then eventually drop the commits of that output without risking orphaning valid outputs that have not yet been registered in the public broadcast channel.

So that the public broadcast channel can eventually dump old blocks, and thus old spend events, every time we produce a new base level block containing new events (an sql index of new transaction outputs, and an sql index table with the same primary of spend commitments of past unspent transaction outputs to transactions) we also produce a consolidation block, a summary block that condenses two past blocks into one summary block, thus enabling the two past blocks that it summarizes to be dropped.

Immediately before forming a block of height 2n+1, which is a block height whose binary representation ends in a one, we use the information in base level blocks 2n-3, 2n-2, 2n-1, and 2n to produces a level one summary block that allows base level blocks 2n-3 and 2n-2, the two oldest remaining base level blocks to be dropped. When we form the block of height 2n+1, it will have an edge to the block of height 2n, forming a chain, and an edge to the summary block summarizing blocks 2n-3 and 2n-2, forming a tree.

At every block height of 4n+2. which is a block height whose binary representation ends in a one followed by a zero, we use the information in the level one summary blocks for heights 4n-5, 4n-3, 4n-1, and 4n+1, to produce a level two summary block that allows the level one summary blocks for 4n-5 and 4n-3, the two oldest remaining lever one summary blocks, to be dropped. The base level blocks are level zero.

At every block height of 8n+4. which is a block height whose binary representation ends in a one followed by two zeroes, we use the information in the level two summary blocks for heights 8n-10, 8n-6, 8n-2, and 8n+2, to produce a level three summary block that allows the level two summary blocks for 8n-10 and 8n-6, the two oldest remaining level two summary blocks, to be dropped.

And similarly, for every block height of 2m+1*n + 2m, every block height whose binary representation ends in a one followed by m zeroes, we use the information in four level m summary blocks to produce a level m+1 summary block than enables the two oldest level m summary blocks to be dropped.

We summarise the data in the earliest two blocks by discarding every transaction output that was, at the time those blocks were created, an unspent transaction output, but is now marked as used in any of the four blocks by committing it to a particular transaction. We discard commits which refer to outputs that have now been discarded by previous summary blocks and have timed out, which is to say, commits in a level m summary block being summarised into a level m+1 summary block that reference outputs in the immediately previous level m+1 summary block. However if, a commit references an output that is now in a summary block of level greater than m+1, that commit has to be kept around to prevent double spending of the previous output, which has not yet been summarised away.

We produce the summary block of past blocks just before we produce the base level block, and the base level block has an edge pointing to the previous base level block, a chain edge, and an edge pointing to the just created summary block a tree edge, a chain edge and a tree edge. And when we summarize two blocks into a higher level summary block, their chain and tree edges are discarded, because pointing to data that the reliable broadcast channel will no longer carry, and the newly created summary block gets a chain edge pointing to the previous summary block at the same level, and tree edge pointing to the previous higher level summary block.

We have to keep the tree around, because in order to register a commit for an output in the blockchain, we have to prove no previous commit for that output in any of the previous blocks in the tree, back to block or summary block in which the output is registered. Only the client wallets of the parties to the transaction can produce a proof that a commit is valid if no previous commit, but only a peer can prove no previous commit. Once all the necessary commits have been registered on the reliable broadcast channel, only the client wallets of the parties to the transaction can produce a proof for each of the outputs from that transaction that the transaction is valid. They do not need to publish on the reliable broadcast channel of what transaction that was, and what the inputs to that transaction were.

So we end up with the blockchain only carrying order log(h) blocks where h is the block height, and all these blocks are likely to be of roughly comparable sizes to a single base level block. So, a blockchain with as many transactions as bitcoin, that has been running as long as bitcoin, will only occupy a few dozen megabytes of disk storage, rather than near a terabyte. Bitcoin height is currently near a hundred thousand, at which height we will be keeping about fifty blocks around, instead of a hundred thousand blocks around.

And when it gets so big that ordinary people cannot handle the bandwidth and storage, recursive snarks allow sharding the blockchain. You cannot shard the bitcoin blockchain, because a shard might lie, so every peer has to evaluate every transaction of every shard. But with recursive snarks, a shard can prove it is not lying.

Enormous move in bitcoin coming up

June 29th, 2023

The good news is that in the not very distant future, everyone who matters is going to be using Bitcoin. The bad news is that if they will be using something resembling currently available software, they will still be net peons, not netizens.

Probably no dramatic price changes next week. Or next month. Maybe not next year. But we are on a big move up that will likely continue going up and up for a very long time.

The dollar is failing as a medium of international exchange.

Cannot do transactions internationally in fiat when the bankers are untrustworthy and untrusted. Cannot do international transactions in gold, because difficult and dangerous to move long distances.

Russia and others have been messing around trying to come up with fiat alternatives to the dollar. They just are not flying. The sovereign of country A agrees with the sovereign of country B for a deal that allows fiat transactions between A and B, and tells the bankers and bureaucrats to work out the details. But a deal that was actually workable would involve bureuacrats giving up power. So they work out a deal in which the bureaucrats of both A and B have complete power. Which means that in practice the merchant lacks the power to actually perform the transaction. You get a bunch of mysterious pieces of paper that are impossible fill out in a valid manner, your money disappears until you have met requirements that no one will explain to you because no one understands them, least of all the bureaucrats that created them, and your money gets frozen and eventually confiscated. So, increasingly, international transactions are getting done in bitcoin. Eventually bitcoin is going to replace to dollar as the medium of international exchange. Because sometimes, increasingly often, there is no useful alternative.

The US dollar is locked in place by Metcalf’s law. For it to fall, an alternative network must achieve critical mass. Bitcoin does not yet have critical mass but it is getting there. People are being forced into bitcoin because the international fiat money system is broken and getting more broken. Dollar dysfunction is likely to force a critical mass into existence. The more people using bitcoin for international transactions, the more useful it becomes for international transactions, which is likely to result eventually in a quite sudden transition.

This foreshadows a huge upmove in bitcoin. Also a huge attack to get state control through the dangerously concentrated miners.

Hodlers are generally betting on Wiemar style collapse of the US$ for everyday transactions, which is probably still some distance away. But a slow motion collapse of the dollar as medium for international exchange is happening right now.

For international transactions, the bitcoin blockchain suffices. The merchant sends you a public key he wants given value, usually over a highly insecure channel likely to leak information to all sorts of people who might want to rob you or just maliciously harm you. You transfer the requested amount of bitcoin to that key. Which should suffice because the transfer shows up on the bitcoin blockchain, which is a reliable broadcast channel, but the merchant frequently wants you to also send him a screen shot of the information that you just published on the bitcoin blockchain, after the transaction has gone through and received a reasonable number of confirmations, on the same insecure channel, because he wants the bitcoin transaction linked to rest of his highly insecure transaction metadata.

For everyday transactions, we need the lightning network. The cryptographically secure Nostr social network has recently been linked to the cryptographically secure lightning network, but the linkage is horribly insecure.

Nostr uses ssh style public private keypairs. Which is not good enough if there is money on the social network, plus people are used to wallet style public private keypairs derived from a master passphrase. People are used to doing it right, and SSH has forever been doing it wrong. And now Nostr is walking the footsteps of SSH. However, the one nostr client that integrates lightning wallet uses wallet style keys, and presumably eventually they all will.

Now if Nostr could be upgraded to use wallet style keypairs, and the linkage between lightning and nostr fixed up, and if lightning’s backup problem was fixed up, we would have a useful system for transactions. Unfortunately the people implementing the linkage were rightly aiming at user friendliness, mass usage, and getting it up in a hurry, and security got trodden under in the rush.

The linkage has now achieved critical mass, which is great, and may well soon show up on Twitter, which would be super duper great, but cleaning up the security mess is likely to be hard and will get harder the more the insecure system is adopted. Still, no one has incentive to do it right, until large numbers of people doing it wrong creates problems. And whatever is wrong with this system, it is a big improvement on what we have now. At present, you can only use nostr with certain peon wallets, though the underlying zap protocol is perfectly capable of supporting the real thing. Unfortunately the real thing is difficult, dangerous, and expensive to set up, which is why Nostr developers have not bothered with it yet.

If you use the standard easy to use lightning wallets, you are a peon. Someone else controls your money, knows what you are doing with it, is selling that information to all and sundry, and you are using your money by his permission. And some of the people buying that information do not like you very much. The real lightning wallets are Lnd and C-lightning. Which you really have to be a unix guru to use. And even if you are unix guru, you are likely to foul up and lose your money.

To use the money safely, you have to have a C-lightning wallet running on a dedicated always on machine, the wallet state has to be continuously backed up moment to moment to a nas running on another machine, (and the wallet is in the clear, and a nas is by its nature not very secure), and the ip address that the lightning network sees your machine at cannot be your home address, because then all manner of bad people know there is money at your home address, which can be physically taken by taking the machine running your lightning node. You are at risk of state authorities deciding that you must be doing something bad, taking your computer with your lightning bitcoin in it, and to get it back you have to prove you were not doing something bad, which is impossible to prove. Or random criminals may just take your computer.

So you want the transactions to go through the vpn, but you don’t want the backup to the Nas to go through the vpn. You don’t want the vpn blocking local network access.

Umbrel and Citadel use Lnd for the lightning network, and are designed for small cheap machines. Unfortunately Lnd is broken, because they never fixed the backup problem. It is only safe to run Lnd on a big expensive highly reliable machine, typically a nas, and not all that safe even on a big expensive highly reliable machine. It is impossible to backup wallet.db, because it is continually being written to, and if your machine dies, you probably have a broken copy of wallet.db. It can only be safely backed up when Lnd has done a clean shut down. And as soon as you start up lnd again, your backup is not only useless, but dangerous.

And wallet.db is where your money actually is.

channel.db is not a backup copy of your money. It is an overly clever and too complicated by half mechanism for recovering money lost in a computer crash, which might or might not work. Will likely recover some of your money. And after you have recovered some of your money, all your lightning channels, accrued reputation and connections are gone.

And if you are running it on a raspberry pi or something similar, you are likely running off an external drive attached to a usb port. And the port connection is going to start randomly failing from time to time sooner or later, probably within a few months. And boom, you have lost all your channels, and probably some of your money. Not to mention rasberries just keep dying.

C-lightning however uses the more reliable and crash resistant sqlite3 database format, and more importantly, allows dual sqlite3 databases. So you have your primary database on your local machine, and a backup with the same name in a different directory on a network drive in the basement on the other side of the house. The backup contains stealable money, and is in the clear, so probably not a good idea to put on the cloud, assuming sqlite will work reliably with a cloud drive, which I doubt.

A “successful” recovery on Lnd is painful, complicated, and no matter how clever and technically savvy you are, you will lose a great deal. A successful recovery of c-lightning will simply resume where it left off.

Lnd is experimenting with a database that is designed to run over the network, as part of their failure recovery strategy. But, last I looked, not yet ready for prime time. And the way Lnd is implemented makes it difficult to implement a reliable backup and restore facility.

What is really needed is a custom database that physically writes a new block on local and remote disks for every lightning transaction, and then from time time creates a packed copy of that data, and then, when the packed data verifies as correct frees up the blocks. Sounds like a big project. And you would want a social network with parity files so that each person kept a parity file (or parity data structure in sqlite) that would enable any one party to recover everything from his seed phrase the way you can with a normal bitcoin wallet. People expect to have a system where they can just download the software from the internet onto a new machine, type in their passphrase, and they get everything back. We know in principle how to accomplish this, but actually accomplishing it is hard.

At present what you need is a wireguard vpn server in the cloud, a dedicated computer on your local hard wired network running wallets, and another dedicated computer hard wired on your network acting as a nas. TerraMaster F4-210 is remarkably cheap nas that can store a lot of data, though you can go somewhat cheaper if you are only going to use the nas to backup your lightning wallet, and therefore do not care about big storage. You can also get a perfectly good fanless mini pc capable of running wallets for a whole lot less than a preconfigured umbrel or citadel strawberry.

To enable people without a pile of hardware on their local lan and good nix administration skills to operate a lightning wallet that is truly their own, and a monetized Nostr identity that is truly their own, without requiring them to do a whole lot work, and risk losing money if they mess up that work, requires a whole lot of software not yet written. We don’t have reasonably easy to use software that makes a man a netizen rather than a peon of big tech.

Demand is coming, while our software is still broken. And no end of people are happy to fill the gap with scam software and peon software. Bitcoin is about to hit the big time, and for international transactions it is good enough, but for lightning transactions, not yet ready, Nostr may well hit the big time, and our software is not ready. If you are on Nostr with a peon lightning wallet, still a peon.

Russia’s draft Agreement on Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and NATO

June 12th, 2023

Russian war aims are vastly broader than the Ukraine: In December of 2021, Russia proposed an agreement on “Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”

The American reaction was shock, indignation, and genuine surprise. Surprise that Russia had the outrageous effrontery to ask for security. The proposed agreement is on its face a completely reasonable deal, just the normal boring behavior of normal states to each other, that should normally go without saying. It was just asking for everyone to act from henceforth as normal neighbors at peace act to each other. But normal neighbors are not the relationship of a hegemon to its subject states, so from the point of view of the hegemon, this was a revolutionary proposal. Subjects of the hegemon get security conditional on doing what they are told, and Russia had failed to hold a gay parade, failed to allow its Churches to be vandalized with rainbow flags, failed to allow the statues of its honored dead to be torn down.

A peace proposal implies the threat of war: What goes unsaid is: “If we cannot have security, neither can you”. And shortly thereafter, Russia gave effect to that threat by invading Ukraine.

The Ukraine does not matter that much, Turkey does not matter that much, Syria does not matter that much. Attriting the population of the Ukraine is a terrible human tragedy, and even if Russia defeats the Ukraine, everyone in Russia and the Ukraine loses. But attriting the Global American Empire’s military capability is an enormous world shaking victory, and Russia has already accomplished it. Russia has already militarily won the big prize, the prize it had its eye on from the beginning. The Global American Empire is no longer militarily capable of doing the things that had so alarmed Russia. Russia has not yet defeated the Ukraine, but it already has already inflicted an enormous defeat on the Global American Empire.

I have repeatedly said that Ukrainian reserves are near exhausted, that the counter offensive is coming to an end. Putin, however, who probably knows better than anyone, and certainly knows better than me, recently stated that they are very far from exhausted, and the analysis coming from people who have been following the war much more closely than I have is that if Ukraine turtles up now, it would likely be years before Kiev is flattened the way Bakhmut was flattened. It does not matter. It is an enormous tragedy that may well go on very a long time. Nato, unable to create shells and tanks because of worship of the Awesome might of the Gaia demon, and because Shaniqua is in charge of the tech team in order to prove that all our tech was stolen from Wakanda, may well try conscripting enormous rivers of meat and hurling them into mouths of cannon, in which case it will matter rather more, but while not much changes in the Ukraine, there has been a quiet but vast change in the world.

The west has run out of shells, and is running out of artillery systems. The US Marines have no M777 howitzers, they have all been sent to Ukraine, where most of them have been destroyed. This means that if the Ukraine turtles up for a long, long war of attrition, a whole lot more shells are going to land on Ukrainian troops than American shells on Russian troops. But, more importantly, far more importantly, it also means the US has no capacity to threaten to destroy any other nation, the way it destroyed Libya. Russia can only intervene directly on its borders, but by winning the war of logistic attrition, it has indirectly intervened everywhere in the world. It might be a stalemate in the Ukraine, but in the world as a whole, an enormous victory. Which means that the Global American Empire is now slowly and quietly coming apart at the seams. If Israel, Thailand, and Hungary take care of their color revolutions, they need not fear any consequences for so doing.

The peace faction in Global American Empire has noticed this, and wants to return to something like the Minsk accords, to allow them to deal with insubordinate subject states elsewhere in empire, but after what happened with the Minsk accords, it is not likely that Russia would be interested. Probably Russia will ask for “Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”, plus the Russian speaking areas of the Ukraine, and, most importantly Crimea. The Global American Empire is likely to find this unacceptable, but will not necessarily go to full war with Russia, for a full war would not magically materialize shells and tanks. They might just kick the can down the road, as usual. But if the can gets kicked down the road, they will be facing a dire shortage of ammo along that road.

The genocide of the Tutsi in the Congo succeeded because black native government troops in the Congo carrying out the genocide were backed by white troops operating Global American Empire artillery. Today, no Global American Empire artillery. Makes a big difference to ordinary everyday politics in far off countries no one pays any attention to. Much that was impossible and suicidal when the Global American Empire could and would send artillery and air to ground support anywhere, suddenly becomes possible. If the marines have no howitzers, then ethnic group A quarreling with ethnic group B in some far off country no one notices, knows that the disfavor of the Global American Empire is not going to result in them being genocided.

American soft power in the world is similar to BLM and Antifa within America. One faction knows that its violence is off the table, and the other faction, with American government favor, knows that its violence is on the table. If you hold an actually peaceful, but “fascist” protest, you will get beaten up and imprisoned. If you burn down Kenosha, because black lives matter, fiery but mostly peaceful protest. Now governments know that if they repress “fiery but mostly peaceful protests”, the protesters are unlikely to get artillery and air to ground support. This does not help those that the government is oppressing, but does help the government to pursue its own policies without suffering fiery but mostly peaceful color revolutionary protests.

With the death of the legacy media, and the swift disintegration of SWIFT, the soft weapons of deplatforming, cancellation, and demonetization are ceasing to be effective. When the Tutsi tried to organize to resist genocide, their organizations were deplatformed and demonetized, so they used uncut diamonds as money for international arms transactions, because diamonds can be transported through airports, which led to uncut diamonds being demonetized in the blood diamonds attack. A reprise of this operation seems considerably less likely to succeed. If a genocide against some group similar to the Tutsi in the Congo were attempted today, they would not only have no reason to fear American artillery, but the crime would be all over the alt media. They could not be cancelled and deplatformed, and they would have no big problem doing international transactions. That it would not be likely to succeed today is a tremendous blow to American soft power.

The hegemon needs to make things nice for those that go along with its power (remember the scene in life of Brian “what have the Romans ever done for us”), and very unpleasant for those that do not go along with its power. Lately the Global American Empire has been rather less successful in making things nice for those that go along with its power, and its once enormous and terrifying capability to make things very unpleasant indeed for those that do not go along with its power has been exhausted in Ukraine. When color revolution threatens Viktor Orbán, he can tell Hungarians that there will be no consequences for suppressing it, but allowing it to succeed is likely to result in them being fed into the Ukrainian meat grinder. There will be no fiery but mostly peaceful protests in Hungary, because if there were, they would be instantly crushed. Turf in the Ukraine seldom changes hands, but turf in Hungary has quietly changed hands.

People are accustomed to violence blessed by the Global American Empire being safe and fun, and violence, or even peacefully assembling for the redress of grievances that the Global American Empire disapproves of, being terribly dangerous. They have internalized this, accepted it, and take for granted as normal, normative, and expected. And the overwhelming majority still think like that. But suddenly it is not necessarily true. The vast majority of people in the world have not noticed the change, and it will take quite a while to sink in. But it has changed. Nothing dramatic will ensue immediately. It will take a long time for the new reality to percolate down and sink in. But the new reality is here, at least for governments on the periphery of empire who no longer need fear color revolution. For peoples on the periphery of empire, will take a bit longer. For people at the heart of empire, in the belly of the beast, longer still. When the Soviet empire fell, it started with people making trouble far away, and getting away with it, which led to people not so far away making trouble and getting away with it, and eventually Moscow itself fell.

The current proxy war is not only taking place in Ukraine, but also on a much smaller and quieter scale, in Syria. Between the two theaters is Turkey, which is doing a balancing act between Russia and Nato. A major strategic objective of Nato is to recover the Crimea, so that it can isolate Turkey from Russia, and then bring Turkey to heel. Russia needs Turkey for warm water access. Turkey needs Russia, and needs Russian control of Crimea, to avoid Global American Empire attack and conquest. Russia is theoretically an enemy, America theoretically an ally, and they are theoretically a member of Nato, but they have more reason to fear America than Russia. Russian intervention in Syria depends on Turkey allowing it, and Nato is really pissed. Turkey has intervened for Nato in Syria, and yet allowed Russian intervention against Nato in Syria. It has also been attacking Nato proxies in Syria, which proxies are theoretically not American proxies, but the Global American Empire was really pissed. The Global American Empire did not want to own up to owning its proxies, since it was using them for attempted genocide of Alawites and ethnic cleaning of Christians, but neither did it want Turkey shooting at them. Turkey is theoretically at war with the Alawite aligned Syrian government, but there is a strange and suspicious lack of shooting at the Syrian government, and quite a lot of shooting at enemies of Alawites, which the Global American Empire is getting more and more enraged by. There are multiple layers of denial. Turkey is aligned with official Nato policy, and shooting at officially unofficial Global American Empire policy. We have liars lying about lying, and pretenders pretending to pretend. The big strategic goal of Nato in the Ukraine is not to rule the Ukraine, but to rule Turkey. Insofar as the current offensive in the Ukraine has any sane objectives, it is to get to the sea of Azov in order to get to Crimea in order to get to the Black Sea, so that they can safely have a war on Turkey, so that they can, among other things, genocide the Alawites.

A lot of people have noticed that the primary attack direction of the Ukrainian offensive is in the direction where the Russian defenses are strongest. The reason they are attacking in that direction is the same as the reason the Russians put the strongest defenses there – because what lies in that direction is Crimea, which what Globohomo most wants to take, and what Russia most wants to keep. They want to take it, and Russia wants to keep it, for that gives Russia access to the Black Sea, and Turkey permits access from the Black Sea through Turkey to the Mediterranean and Syria. The people who planned this offensive have their eye on their highly unreliable ally, Turkey, an unkind eye. Ukrainians are hoping to reach Melitopol, but Kagan, who probably planned this offensive, is hoping to reach Turkey.

If they cannot genocide peoples they do not like, people are not going to go along with Globohomo and soft power. The empire needs the carrot and the stick. The carrot is not very nice and has been getting worse, and the stick just broke. People have not yet internalized that the stick just broke, but they eventually will.

A retraction

June 9th, 2023

I predicted that Trump would be arrested and Epsteined.

With defeat looming in the Ukraine, the future course becomes even more unpredictable.

Looking at those in power as the Greatest Ukrainian Counter Offensive fails underneath them, I have no idea what the future holds, and I doubt that they do either. But we are no longer on the course that we were on a week ago.

Putin cured Covid. When he invaded, they did a sharp right turn on the way to the left singularity, suddenly abandoning ever more brutal, coercive, and lawless enforcement of ever more frequent boosting, in favor of war with Russia, a measure that resembles the way they cleared the decks of female emancipation on the way to war with Nazism. If they want to win, a whole lot more deck clearing is in order. I think Putin has suddenly given Trump a whole lot of people in the elite interested in Making America Great Again.

As the invasion of the Ukraine led to immediate radical change in the internal policies of our masters, a change that was immediate and obvious, though to this day denied, defeat in the Ukraine is likely to lead to considerably more radical change. Which will probably also be denied.

I am getting the feeling that faction that would have eliminated Trump is out of puff, falsifying my prediction that the leftmost always win. No one cares that he has been indicted, because it has suddenly become unimaginable to take him out of the election that way.

Putin’s multipolar order is an existential threat to the rules based order, aka the Global American Empire. This is making some of the apparatchiks of empire think. Maybe some of them are finding “Make America Great Again” appealing. If you are in power in the “rules based international order”, and it looks like it is about to sink underneath you, making America Great Again sounds attractive.

The obvious sane strategy is to allow Trump to win, allow him to make peace, postponing the conflict with Russia and China pending American re-industrialization. For it has become obvious that a de-industrialized America is likely to get its clock cleaned. Which does not mean the obvious sane strategy will be carried out, or that Musk will continue to be protected, but that Musk is being protected indicates that there are at least some sane people in the elite.

On the other hand, the natural trend of the holiness spiral is that the last vestiges of sanity always get eradicated.

Such a reversal would be akin to the Thermidor. Which did not solve anything, and left no end of disastrous policies in place, but considerably postponed the imminent catastrophe. Whether they are capable of carrying out such a reversal is uncertain, but that some of them are thinking about it is obvious.

Thermidor resulted in the Incroyables, a purple pilled reactionary movement that seemed potentially capable of taking power, that did in fact have significant power. Backing off from infinite leftism in finite time, backing off from the Eschaton, took the energy out of the left and for a while gave the “far” right room to breathe. In the end, the Thermidoreans crushed the Incroyables, who looked back towards an aristocratic culture hopeless decadent, with women depressingly emancipated. They should have looked further back, to the aristocratic culture before the sun King turned aristocrats into disarmed bureaucrats and courtiers. Their rejection of leftism was far reaching, enormously more radical than that of Thermidoreans or Trump, but nowhere near far reaching enough. Rather, they revealed just how far left pre-revolutionary aristocratic France had been. They rejected the revolution in toto, but failed to see that it was Aristocratic France that had been revolutionary, that the revolution, the Maximum, and the red terror was just the consistent application of the principles of the decadent aristocracy that they celebrated and sought to return to, the consistent application of their principles.

Re-industrialization requires more than Trump. It requires reversals on women, crime, and diversity in the workplace. Which is nowhere remotely near being on the Trump agenda. Allowing Trump to win merely because it is obvious to everyone that the overwhelming majority vote for him is, for most, radically unthinkable, but equally, it is nowhere near enough to attain the desired outcome. The desired outcome being that imperial apparatchiks will continue to enjoy the empire that the industrial might of America gained.

What really outraged the imperial apparatchiks about Trump was his support for a westphalian world, where each nation was allowed to be itself. Trump coming to power would be a Gorbachev moment, when the empire yields out of high principle that which looks increasingly likely to be torn from its grasp. Maybe not everyone everywhere needs to hold a gay parade. At least not until America rebuilds the industrial and technological base that gave it empire. Which it cannot do without measures unthinkably more radical than those contemplated by Trump.

Facing the collapse of empire, an abrupt turn towards sanity is obviously being contemplated by at least some in power. But it will not be enough, even if it is accomplished. Leftism gets lefter till expunged. The thermidoreans were not enough, even the Incroyables would not have been enough. But the Incroyables would have stalled things for quite some time. Conservatives will conserve abortion and the Gay Parade, even if Trump gets elected, and it will eat them, as the Incroyables got eaten. But if we walk that path, which is not likely, but has become quite possible, will take longer than I predicted to reach annihilation, and will create opportunities to do that which is actually needed. A change towards what is needed is going to demoralize and de-energize the left. Last time Trump was elected, it perceived as an outrageous aberration, and democracy had to be restored by stuffing the correct result down its throat. This time around, if his re-election is permitted, it will be because of external military defeat, not so easily corrected as an aberrant democracy that votes undemocratically. The left will reluctantly accept him, as the French reluctantly accepted Marshal Petain. His Westphalian external policies will not longer be seen as vile and intolerable anti american treason, but as accommodation to the realities of defeat, his internal National Capitalism will be accepted because re-industrialization has suddenly become desirable. His energy policies will not longer be sacrilege against the awesome might of the Gaia demon, but rather a military necessity reluctantly and bitterly endured to regain the capability to impose America’s will on a world strangely reluctant to be enlightened.

Unfortunately, if Trump gets away with all that, it will not be long before they want to enlighten the world again. It will be a breather and an opportunity to fix things. It is not going to fix things. It may be a start on making it possible to fix things, because the left will be de-energized and demoralized, but what must be done is unthinkably more radical than Trumpism. Women have to go back to the kitchen, diversity has to go, and homes, streets, and businesses made safe again.

Possible outcomes of war in the Ukraine

June 2nd, 2023

Both sides have been fighting in the Ukraine using World War I tactics, and developments in the war have so far recapitulated World War I.

Towards the end of World War I, the Germans, finally realizing they were going to lose the war of attrition, because of the immense industrial capability of America, attempted to regain war of movement, with underwhelming success, and eventually could no longer attempt to do so. They gained considerable territory, which gains merely put them in a worse position to fight the war of attrition. Like the Ukraine, tactical victories but strategic defeats, as with the costly attempt to relieve Bakhmut, which has resulted in them advancing on the flanks of Bakhmut to a position far worse for them in attritive warfare.

The Ukraine has been throwing reserves at various points on the front, with underwhelming success similar to that of the Germans in World War I, which similarly has resulted in gains that put them in a worse position for fighting a war of attrition. They are now moving troops around from one active front to another, which you only do when desperately short of reserves. I previously posted that the Greatest Ukrainian Counter Offensive had started some time ago, and had not been announced for lack of impressive results. That they are redeploying troops involved in active fighting suggests that the Greatest Ukrainian Counter Offensive is now most likely over for lack of reserves, though fog of war makes it hard to speak confidently.

In World War I, the incapacity to mount further attempts at war of movement was followed by 100 days of increasingly rapid and costly German defeats and retreats in attritive warfare, and it became apparent that if the Germans did not make peace on any terms they could get, then eventually there would be attritive warfare all the way to Berlin, most German men would die, and Berlin would be flattened. So they cut a deal where they handed over their heavy weapons, but the army and the nation remained an army and a nation. Without that deal, the war would likely have gone on for years, with enormous costs for everyone, but by far the greatest costs for Germans.

And a sane and capable Global American Empire would accept, in a hundred days or so, the deal that Putin has been offering – assuming it will still be on offer after major retreats and losses in attritive warfare. But a sane and capable Global American Empire would probably have been capable of winning.

So a possible and likely outcome is that the war goes on till Kiev starts being flattened and most Ukrainian men are dead. Which may well take quite a while. At which point there is a significant likelihood that Nato will be thrown in to relieve Kiev.

In a full war between Russia and Nato, neither side has any incentive to refrain escalating all the way to nukes. If Nato intervenes the rationale will be that quick decisive victory is attainable, which is unlikely to be the case. So, nukes.

Do anyone’s nukes still work? My guess is that Global American Empire nukes stopped working a long time ago, but some Russian nukes still work.

Nukes were and are made out of components that deteriorate over time, and have to regularly refurbished, reconditioned and sometimes rebuilt. And if you are not testing, your maintenance process is likely to go off the rails when the men that built those bombs retire. The test ban treaty was a stealth slow motion nuclear disarmament treaty.

If someone’s nukes still work, this is likely to bring the war to a quick and decisive end, with relatively small destruction and casualties. I estimate that only about twenty percent of Americans would die in the course of losing a nuclear war, deaths insignificant compared to abortion and all that, and destruction insignificant compared to the Rust Belt and all the Detroits. No big deal in the broad historical sweep that this blog looks at. If, on the other hand, technological decay means we fight World War I all over again, but this time political decay means that it is fought all the way to the end, the death and destruction could be considerably greater. But perhaps, in a hundred days or so, while the Global American Empire still holds most of the Ukraine, as the Germans still held most of Europe, the Global American Empire will figure out that it is 1918-11-11 all over again.

We shall see.

The Great Ukrainian Counter Offensive

May 20th, 2023

Normally I do not report on or respond to the day’s news.  This blog is about what the news of decade or a century ago turned out to mean.  And no end of people are reporting on the day’s news, most of whom have researched it far more thoroughly than I am willing to do.

But, prematurely, I am going to report on what this offensive seems to have turned out to mean.

The original plan of the Global American Empire was to logistically exhaust Russia. “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a nuclear power” “Russia is running on Soviet leftovers.” “Russia’s GDP is less than that of (insert insignificant country here)” The latter meme was an echo of Reagan in the primaries. He did not believe the official story about Soviet GDP pushed by Harvard and the CIA.

Well that does not seem to be working out. Sanctions arguably improved the Russian economy by forcing national capitalism on it from the outside. Living standards have fallen, but not by much, and the Russian entrepreneurial class has been invigorated.

Soviet GDP was as fake as Reagan claimed, but this time around, it is Global American Empire GDP that has been revealed as fake and gay. Nato’s cupboard is bare. Gains and losses of a few square kilometers of chewed up dirt and shattered buildings do not matter. What matters is that Nato is running out. That the meme of “The Greatest Ukrainian Counter Offensive” was floated was a recognition that the Global American Empire is losing the war of attrition.

The objective of The Greatest Ukrainian Counter Offensive was to replace slow grinding war of attrition with decisive war of movement. The Ukraine would cut to the Black sea near Mariupol forcing cut off Russian troops to surrender, or at least to abandon the Black sea coast without a fight. They would make a counter envelopment around Bakhmut, forcing Russians to abandon Bakhmut without a fight. They would get turf without slowly and attritively grinding.

The offensive has so far achieved significant tactical Ukrainian victories, but looks increasingly unlikely to give them the hoped for strategic victory, which is probably why they announced it was postponed yet again. It has not been postponed. It has failed so far.

What has happened was that the Ukraine has hurled a good chunk of its reserves at some point on the front, attempting to restore war of movement, and a significant advance happened, often with Russian troops forced to abandon some important chunk of hard won land without a fight, and the the Russians would make some countermove to stop them, and war of attrition resumed. The retreats failed to create cascading weakness. And then they would hurl another good chunk of their reserves at another point on the front. Presumably if the Ukrainians had some important success, the rest of the reserves would have been thrown in and The Greatest Ukrainian Counter Offensive announced. It has not been announced because each such thrust, though it made important initial gains, soon got stuck.

The theory underlying the Great Ukrainian Offensive is that once reserves have been deployed to a front, it is mighty difficult to adapt to circumstances and opportunities by redeploying them elsewhere.  If you try to redeploy the normal foul ups of war ensue, those left to hold the front are apt to conclude that due to malice, neglect, or chaos, they are being abandoned to die, and decide to mutinously leave, turning the redeployment into a disorderly retreat.  So, if you have reserves, you have choices.  You can strike in one place and not strike in another place.  This restores war of movement when your forces penetrate behind enemy lines, forcing the enemy to swiftly abandon overnight turf won over months or years in the slow grind of attritive warfare. So the Ukraine built up its reserves, for a decisive blow restoring war of movement.

And the Russians were forced to abandon overnight quite a lot of turf that had taken them months to gain. In this sense, substantial tactical victories ensued, which no one seems to be reporting – because the Ukrainians were seeking turf that mattered, and got turf that has so far turned out to not matter much.

One of the big ideas that a lot of pro Ukraine bloggers were talking about was counter envelopment of the Bakhmut cauldron. Ukrainian forces would strike deep into Russian held turf north of Bakhmut and south of Bakhmut, threatening to surround Bakhmut, thus forcing Russians to abandon it without a fight. Or actually surrounding it, forcing Russians to surrender.

And they struck. And they penetrated behind Russian lines, causing a great deal of destruction. This threatened the jaws of Russian cauldron, forcing the Russians on the north and south jaws of the cauldron to abandon overnight much hard won turf, to abandon the jaws of the cauldron. But it did not threaten to envelope Bakhmut with a counter cauldron. On the northern jaw of the cauldron the Russians quickly captured some new turf to recreate a northern jaw for the cauldron in a new, smaller, position, but the Ukrainians successfully forced the southern jaw wide open.

The Russian cauldron that made it difficult for the Ukrainians to supply and replace troops in Bakhmut is no more. This is a big Ukrainian tactical victory. It is a strategic victory, but Bakhmut continues to fall nonetheless. And Ukrainians are still advancing on the flanks north and south of Bakhmut. But it is a strategic defeat, because now it is back to grinding attritive warfare on the flanks, so they have committed their reserves to more of the same old same old. More of the attrition that the Global American Empire cannot afford.

The Ukrainians are now able to pour more and more troops into the tiny little part of south eastern Bakhmut that they still control, and are doing so. They can now pour vast amounts of fresh meat into the same old meat grinder and have done so. That is their strategic victory. I expect the fresh meat to be soon pouring out again, if they are not doing so already.

The Global American Empire still attempting a counter envelopment of Bakhmut, attempting to create a counter cauldron. And they are attempting to recapture areas of Bakhmut that they lost in the little the south east corner that remains, and have had some success. Russians retreated in Bakhmut, and on the flanks. Russians were on the defensive, though they are now back to advancing into the tiny little part of Bakhmut that is still under Ukrainian control. But on the offensive, or on the defensive, on the retreat or on the advance, they are decisively winning the war of attrition. The fall of Bakhmut has been delayed, but probably not delayed a whole lot. Only a square kilometer or so remains in Ukrainian hands.

War of movement was always a long shot. The Greatest Ukrainian Counter Offensive is far from over, but it is looking like a longer and longer shot. That it was tried at all means that the Global American Empire no longer has confidence in war of attrition. They have realized they are losing the war of attrition.

Normally a war of attrition comes to a negotiated end. The loser usually loses decisively, usually after making increasingly desperate attempts to change the war of attrition to a war of movement, the winner usually wins decisively, the negotiations are one sided, but the loser retains a nation, retains the capacity to recruit and arm an army, and learns from its failures. A decisive defeat in a war of attrition is seldom all that decisive.

But the Global American Empire lacks the capacity to negotiate. This war could continue for quite a while, and may well continue long after the Ukraine becomes a footnote like Serbia in World War I or Poland in World War II.

What they do when reality becomes painfully evident is avert their gaze and look around for some new shiny thing. They may well forget about the war, without attempting to end it, without allowing anyone else to end it.

War and game theory

May 13th, 2023

Jesus as game theory: In a world of imperfect information, one tit for two tats.

Old Testament marriage and family law as game theory: If you are stuck with with each other, the deal is going to generate value even if the value very unequally distributed, but if not stuck, prisoner’s dilemma. Negative sum actions are likely to be individually beneficial.

It might seem obvious that if everyone could correctly predict the outcome of a war, no one would go to war. But a little application of game theory reveals that they would, and must, because individually optimum behavior is to act unpredictably.

But in fact most wars do not result from rational actors. It is indeed true that there would be, not no war, but considerably less war if the parties were rational and well informed, albeit rationality is apt to result in concealing information and providing misinformation. (Similarly the market for lemons.) Rather, the problem is that no one can negotiate with the Global American Empire because there is no one to negotiate with. As the Russians say “not agreement capable”. World War I was the same. Austria told Serbia to choose war or peace, because Serbia had been simultaneously pursuing war and peace, and was incapable of choosing.

The Global American Empire consists of “the rules based international order” where only they get to interpret the rules. Which results in them shutting down all efforts by adversaries to communicate. The Taliban was telling us what they were about from 1996 onwards on every channel of communication they could use, and the Global American Empire still to this day has absolutely no idea.

Without the possibility of communication, war.

A hegemonic world order where the hegemon can hear what other parties are saying is likely to be peaceful and cooperative, though obviously most of the value created by that cooperation is going to go to the hegemon, and rather less to the rest. Similarly Mosaic marriage and family. Everyone benefits, but most of the value goes to the husband, and considerably less to the wife. Efforts to remedy this by increasing the power of the wife have necessarily resulted in defect/defect equilibrium, the game of players and bitches. You need a King, and the husband has to be king under his own roof. The sovereign cannot rule alone, and has to support each little king in his own little domain, which little domain excludes all other little Kings, and largely excludes the sovereign.

If benefits of positive sum behavior are distributed in a too severely unequal manner, people will want to change that distribution, which is most effectively done by negative sum behavior.

American soft power consists of shutting down all other voices, so that the Harvard and Mainstream media interpretation of the rules and of the distribution of costs and benefits is the only one that can be heard. Thus one hears no end about white violence against blacks, and nothing of the immensely greater black violence against whites, and similarly for the sexual conduct of men and women.

The trouble with this form of power is: Know your enemy, know yourself, you will prevail in every battle, know yourself but not the enemy, you will lose half the time, know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will lose every time. The Taliban knew America better than globohomo did, but globohomo had absolutely no idea what the Taliban was about, despite the Taliban attempting to tell them loudly and clearly in excellent idiomatic English on every channel that they could. The Global American Empire wanders into wars with no idea what is on the table, or what the enemy intends, for not only is the enemy’s beef with them unspeakable and unthinkable, their beef with the enemy is also unspeakable and unthinkable.

We need everyone to agree, perhaps reluctantly, on a distribution of the benefits of cooperation that may well be rough on some of the parties, but is still fair enough that everyone will be reasonably willing to go along with it, for no man rules alone.

But what is a fair distribution of the value resulting from positive sum behavior? What is every man’s due? Thus game theory and game theoretic marginal economics. Which means people have to know what the rules are, and they also need to know how other people are benefiting or being harmed by those rules. Those rules need to sustain an order such that everyone benefits from cooperation, even if the benefit is apt to be rather one sided. Today, however, no one knows what the rules are and what the costs and benefits are except that whites are always in the wrong, men are always in the wrong, and the Global American empire is always upholding freedom and democracy.

Recent wars are the result of manipulating the flow of information about the costs, benefits, and values of the other parties. Similar to price control resulting in shortages by falsifying information. Globohomo told the Afghans they were doing them a big favor and believed it. The Afghans did not believe it. Globohomo did not hear, could not hear, what the Afghans were telling them in excellent idiomatic English on every channel they could get.

The Logos

May 6th, 2023

Around 350 years before Christ, paganism had died among the intellectuals. Not long after, it died among the common people, for we read writers in the late Roman Republic ridiculing attempts to motivate the common soldiers by appeal to faith. They believed the ordinary soldier was even more cynical than themselves.

So the philosophers set to work manufacturing a replacement.

For Aristotle, “logos” (“word”) was rational and responsive debate, and the meaning of that debate – the kind of debate I encourage on my blog.

But obviously this debate is going to be substantially about moral truths

Moral truths from material and effective causation:

For example the red pill on women implies that we should restore the social technology our ancestors had for dealing with the woman problem, law on women sex and family in the spirit of Old Testament sex and family law, and similarly, the debate on anarchy, stationary bandits, the warrior class, and the existence of the state – if you don’t have an army, and that army a leader, you will soon have a hostile foreign army in occupation. Or, worse, mobile banditry. And that army is going to have to be funded, hence taxes, also known as stationary banditry. So a warrior is honorable if he fights not for gold alone, but for God, King, and Country. And, similarly the debate about religion and state religion. If you don’t have a good state religion, you will shortly have a very bad one, for a priesthood, like an army, is a mechanism of large scale cooperation by a group that seeks to impose its will on a larger group. (Harvard.) The “no establishment of religion” clause is not viable or even meaningful except as in accord with the Westphalian principle that each state has its own state religion, and no one attempts to impose one state religion on all states.

The sovereign needs to establish consensus, for no man rules alone. Establishing consensus is what priesthoods do, as armies do command and coercion, so a priesthood is going get in bed with the sovereign, and he with them. They need him, and he needs them. Holiness spiral is apt to ensue when they get the upper hand.

The Logos as a person.

Natural law is law and right conduct deduced from the way the universe is, and the way it works: the moral and social meaning of physical law, of material and effective causation.

But meaning requires a meaner, requires a person. So, around three hundred years before Christ, fifty years after Aristotle, “the logos” (“the word”) came to mean a person. That person, the person that gave rise to physical law, logos spermatikos, to material and effective and causation, was The Logos (the word). A person who meant the moral and social truths that arise from material and effective causation.

Which Stoic doctrine is right there in the New Testament: The Gospel of John, Chapter one, verse one:

In the beginning was the Word, [The Logos] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Game theory 101, prisoners dilemma. Everyone should cooperate with cooperators and defect on defectors. tit for tat.

But while we get good results if everyone does that, the individual incentive is to be seen as a cooperator, in order that he can defect. And the priesthood is apt to manipulate the consensus to disguise defection as cooperation, hence Christ’s indictment of Jewish legalism. The Talmud is a great pile of too clever by half lawsuits against God.

So the stoics, starting three hundred before Christ or so, personified the logos, as the person that animated the universe, made it real, not just an idea.

And Christianity announced that that person had shown up, fully man and fully God, and announced game theory 301, and suffered everything that flesh can suffer.

Game theory 301, in a world of imperfect information, one tit for two tats, or else everyone gets stuck in defect/defect. So, turn the other cheek, but you only have two cheeks, and walk the extra mile, but only one extra mile. Peace on earth to all men of good will, but Old Testament solutions are applicable to men of bad will. Christianity is not a suicide pact.

But again, this sound policy, though in the collective interest, is not in the individual interest. But it is in the individual interest to be part of group that attempts to ensure conformity to it.

So you attempt to deduce law and right conduct, the behavior and beliefs that distinguish a man it is safe to cooperate with, from a man that it is dangerous to have anything to do with, from the nature of the universe. But you are not going to persuade anyone that you will in fact conform to this behavior, unless you regard the meaning of the universe as the will of a person.

Classic Romano Greek paganism was long dead, Aristotle tried to substitute meaning without an author to mean it, and that did not fly either.  So the stoics had to personify the logos, through whom all things were created.

So, Christianity.  Which is stoicism plus all the excellent social technology preserved in the Old Testament from the Bronze Age before it went decadent, plus The Logos showing up in person and suffering all that flesh can suffer.

And, since Christianity contains the philosophy that best leads to large scale extended cooperation, it needs to be the state religion, and the state needs it to be the state religion. No man rules alone, and the sovereign needs a priesthood that cooperates with him. So Christianity and good conduct in ordinary everyday family life needs to be a requirement for state and quasi state office. Equality before the law for all married taxpaying Christian men with children.