Geographical Roots of the Coevolution of Cultural and Linguistic Traits -- by Oded Galor, Omer Ozak, Assaf Sarid
This research explores the geographical origins of the coevolution of cultural and linguistic traits in the course of human history, relating the geographical roots of long-term orientation to the structure of the future tense, the agricultural determinants of gender bias to the presence of sex-based grammatical gender, and the ecological origins of hierarchical orientation to the existence of politeness distinctions. The study advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that: (i) geographical characteristics that were conducive to higher natural return to agricultural investment contributed to the existing cross-language variations in the structure of the future tense, (ii) the agricultural determinants of gender gap in agricultural productivity fostered the existence of sex-based grammatical gender, and (iii) the ecological origins of hierarchical societies triggered the emergence of politeness distinctions.
Authored by Fred Reed via Fred On Everything blog, I have followed China’s development, its stunning advance in forty years from impoverished Third World to a huge economy, its rapid scientific progress. Coming from nowhere it now runs neck and neck with the US in supercomputers, does world-class work in genetic engineering and genomics (the Beijing Genomics Institutes), quantum computing and quantum radar, in scientific publications. It lags in many things, but the speed of advance, the intense focus on progress, is remarkable. Recently, after twelve years away, I returned for a couple of weeks to Chungdu and Chong Quing, which I found amazing. American patriots of the lightly read but growly sort will bristle at the thought that the Chinese may have political and economic systems superior to ours, but, well, China rises while the US flounders. They must be doing something right. In terms of economic systems, the Chinese are clearly superior. China runs a large economic surplus, allowing it to invest heavily in infrastructure and in resources abroad. America runs a large deficit. China invests in China, America in the military. China’s infrastructure is new, of high quality, and growing. America’s slowly deteriorates. China has an adult government that gets things done. America has an essentially absentee Congress and a kaleidoscopically shifting cast of pathologically aggressive curiosities in the White House. America cannot compete with a country far more populous of more-intelligent people with competent leadership and the geographic advantage of being in Eurasia. Washington’s choices are either to start a major war while it can, perhaps force the world to submit through sanctions, or resign itself to America’s becoming just another country. Given the goiterous egos inside the Beltway Bubble, this is not encouraging. To compare the two countries, look at them as they are, not as we are told they are. We are told that dictatorships, which China is, are nightmarish, brutal, do not allow the practice of religion or freedom of expression and so on. The usual examples are Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and North Korea, of whom the criticisms are true. By contrast, we are told, America is envied by the world for its democracy, freedom of speech, free press, high moral values, and freedom of religion. This is nonsense. In fact the two countries are more similar than we might like to believe, with America converging fast on the Chinese model. The US is at best barely democratic. Yes, every four years we have a hotly contested presidential election, full of sound and fury signifying nothing. The public has no influence over anything of importance: the wars, the military budget, immigration, offshoring of jobs, what our children are taught in school, or foreign or racial policy We do not really have freedom of speech. Say “nigger” once and you can lose a job of thirty years. Or criticize Jews, Isreal, blacks, homosexuals, Muslims, feminists, or transexuals. The media strictly prohibit any criticism of these groups, or anything against abortion or in favor of gun rights, or any coverage of highly profitable wars that might turn the public against them, or corruption in Congress or Wall Street, or research on the genetics of intelligence. Religion? Christianity is not illegal, but heavily repressed under the Constitutionally nonexistent doctrine of separation of church and state. Surveillance? Monitoring of the population is intense in China and getting worse. It is hard to say just how much NSA monitors us, but America is now a land of cameras, electronic readers of license plates, recording of emails and telephone conversations. The tech giants increasingly censor political sites, and surveillance in our homes appears about to get much worse. Here we might contemplate Lincoln’s famous dictum, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Being a politician, he did not add a final clause that is the bedrock of American government, “But you can fool enough of the people enough of the time.” You don’t have to keep websites of low circulation from being politically incorrect. You just have to tell the majority, via the mass media, over and over and over, what you wnat them to believe. The dictatorship in China is somewhat onerous, but has little in common with the sadistic lunacy of Pol Pot’s Cambodia. In China you do not buck the government, propaganda is heavy, and communications monitored. If people accept this, as most do, they are free to start businesses, bar hop, smoke dope (which a friend there tells me is common though illegal) engage in such consumerism as they increasingly can afford and lead what an American would call normal lives. A hellhole it is not. Socially China has a great advantage over America in that, except for the Muslims of Xinjiang, it is pretty much a Han monoculture. Lacking America’s racial diversity, its cities do not burn, no pressure exists to infantilize the schools for the benefit of incompetent minorities, racial mobs do not loot stores, and there is very little street crime. America’s huge urban pockets of illiteracy do not exist. There is not the virulent political division that has gangs of uncontrolled Antifa hoodlums stalking public officials. China takes education seriously, as America does not. Students study, behave as maturely as their age would suggest, and do not engage in middle-school politics. In short, China does not appear to be in irremediable decadence. America does. An intelligent dictatorship has crucial advantages over a chaotic pseudo-democracy. One is stability of policy. In America, we look to the next election in two, four, or six years. Businesses focus on the next quarter’s bottom line. Consequently policy flipflops. One administration has no interest in national health care, the next administration institutes it, and the third wants to eliminate it. Because policies are pulled and hauled in different directions by special interests–in this case Big Pharma, insurance companies, the American Medical Association, and so on–the result is an automobile with five wheels, an electric motor but no batteries, and a catalytic converter that doesn’t work. After twenty-four years, from Bush II until Trump leaves, we will neither have nor not have national health care. China’s approach to empire is primarily commercial, America’s military. The former turns a profit without firing a shot, and the latter generates a huge loss as the US tries to garrison the world. Always favoring coercion, Washington now tries to batter the planet into submission via tariffs, sanctions, embargoes, and so on. Whether it will work, or force the rest of the world to band together against America, remains to be seen. Meanwhile the Chinese economy grows. America builds aircraft carriers. China builds railroads, this one in Laos. A dictatorship can simply do things. It can plan twenty, or fifty, years down the road. If some massive engineering project will produce great advantages in thirty years, but be a dead loss until then, China can just do it. And often has. When I was in Chengdu, Beijing opened the Hongkong–Zhuhai-Macau oceanic bridge, thirty-our miles long. The bridge. The US would take longer to decide to build it than the Chinese took actually to build it. In the US? California wants high-speed rail from LA to San Fran. It has talked and wrangled for years without issue. The price keeps rising. The state can’t get rights of way because too many private owners have title to the land. Eminent domain? Conservatives would scream about sacred rights to property, liberals that Hispanic families were in the path, and airlines would bribe Congress to block it. America does not know how to build high-speed rail and hiring China would arouse howling about national security, balance of payments, and the danger to motherhood and virginity. There will be no high speed rail, there or, probably, anywhere else. Wreckage from the 8.0 earthquake. This is not un-repaired devastation but, weirdly, is kept as a tourist attraction and actually propped up so it won’t collapse further. Phredfoto. China has a government that can do things: In 2008 an 8.0 quake devastated the region near the Tibetan border, killing, according to the Chinese government, some 100,000 people. Buildings put up long before simply collapsed. Some years ago everything–the town, the local dam, and roads and houses–had been completely rebuilt, with structural steel so as, says the government, to withstand another such quake. Compare this with the unremedied wreckage in New Orleans due to Katrina. Here we come to an important cultural or philosophical difference between the two countries. Many Orientals, to include the Chinese, view society as a collective instead of as a Wild West of individuals. In the East, one hears sayings like, “The nail that stands up is hammered down,” or “The high-standing flower is cut.” Americans who teach school in China report that students will not question a professor, even if he spouts arrant nonsense to see how they will react. They are not stupid. They know that the Neanderthals did not build a moon base in the early Triassic. But they say nothing. This collectivism, highly disagreeable to Westerners (me, for example) has pros and cons. It makes for domestic tranquility and ability to work together, and probably accounts in large part for China’s stunning advances. On the other hand, it is said to reduce inventiveness. There may be something to this. If you look at centuries of Chinese painting, you will see that each generation largely made copies of earlier masters. As nearly as I, a non-expert, can tell, there is more variety and imagination in the Corcoran Gallery’s annual exhibition of high-school artists than in all of of Chinese paining. People alarmed at China’s growth point out hopefully that the Chinese in America have not founded Googles or Microsofts. No, though certainly have founded huge companies: Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, for example. However, the distinction between inventiveness and really good engineering is not always clear, and the Chinese are fine engineers. With American education crashing under the attacks of Social Justice Warriors, basing the future on a lack of Chinese imagination seems maybe a bit too adventurous.
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Украинский танцовщик Сергей Полунин получил российское гражданство Артист также заявил о поддержке политики президента России Владимира Путина
Танцовщик украинского происхождения Сергей Полунин получил гражданство РФ. Он выложил фотографию нового паспорта в своем Instagram и заявил о поддержке политики президента России Владимира Путина."Россия для меня всегда была и есть добром. Я очень счастлив стать гражданином России", - написал Полунин под фотографией своего российского паспорта. Дата выдачи документа - 29 октября 2018 года.Он добавил, что поддерживает политику Владимира Путина. "Вы отличаетесь от многих лидеров, правда за вами", - написал танцовщик.Полунин родился 20 ноября 1989 года в Херсоне (УССР). В 13 лет переехал в Лондон, где учился в Школе Королевского балета. С 2007 по 2012 год Полунин был приглашенным премьером Королевского балета в Лондоне.В 2012 году стал премьером Московского музыкального театра им. Станиславского - Немировича-Данченко и одновременно - постоянным приглашенным солистом Новосибирского театра оперы и балета. В 2014 году перешел на положение приглашенного солиста Московского музыкального театра. В 2016 году стал приглашенным солистом Баварского государственного балета (Мюнхен).В 2016 году байопик режиссера Стивена Кантора о жизни и карьере Сергея Полунина был номинирован на премию Гильдии продюсеров США в номинации "Лучший документальный фильм". В 2017 году Полунин сыграл роль в кинокартине "Убийство в „Восточном экспрессе" (Murder on the Orient Express), он также исполнил эпизодическую роль в фильме „Красный воробей" (Red Sparrow, 2018) с участием Дженнифер Лоуренс.(https://tass.ru/obschestv...)
Танцовщик украинского происхождения Сергей Полунин стал гражданином России. Он опубликовал фотографию своего паспорта в социальной сети и выразил поддержку политике российского лидера Владимира Путина. «Россия для меня всегда была и есть добром. Я очень счастлив стать гражданином России», – написал Полунин в Instagram. Датой выдачи в паспорте указано 29 октября 2018 года. Он добавил, что поддерживает политику Путина. «Вы отличаетесь от многих лидеров, правда за вами», – написал танцовщик. Полунин родился 20 ноября 1989 года в Херсоне (УССР). В 2016 году байопик режиссера Стивена Кантора о жизни и карьере Сергея Полунина был номинирован на премию Гильдии продюсеров США в номинации «Лучший документальный фильм». В 2017 году Полунин сыграл роль в американской кинокартине «Убийство в «Восточном экспрессе» (Murder on the Orient Express), он также исполнил эпизодическую роль в фильме «Красный воробей» (Red Sparrow, 2018) с участием актрисы Дженнифер Лоуренс.
BUENOS AIRES — Just hours before the United States, Mexico and Canada are slated to sign a landmark trade agreement between the three nations, it remains unclear whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will participate in a ceremonial signing event here. Canadian officials and others familiar with the event said Thursday night that Trudeau’s participation is in doubt, though they stressed that Canada — perhaps by way of a lower-level government official — will sign the agreement. An early release of Trudeau’s public schedule featured 11 events Friday — none of them about the trade-deal signing. But the schedule did include a gap in the morning before his first announced event at 10 a.m. As of Thursday night, President Donald Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto were scheduled to participate in the Friday morning signing ceremony. But officials said the format of the event could change and perhaps include lower-level officials. Trump and Trudeau have a sometimes-tense relationship, though White House aides say the two leaders have mended some of frustrations stemming from June’s G-7 meeting. Trump left the summit early and later decided to withdraw his support for the joint statement signed by the participating countries. The potential snubbing comes as Canada is still in negotiations with the United States about whether Trump will exempt Canada and Mexico from his tariffs on steel and aluminum as part of the trade deal. The lack of progress on the issue has infuriated the Canadians.Canada’s ambassador to Washington David MacNaughton recently said in jest during a POLITICO interview that with steel tariffs still lingering, perhaps the appropriate Canadian to sign the agreement would be a Buenos Aires embassy underling “with a bag over his head.” But the Canadian government is worried about more than the lingering tariffs: Next year’s election is also a concern. Trudeau is wary of being seen kowtowing to Trump, for fear of losing votes to the left-wing New Democratic Party and jeopardizing the Liberal hold on big-city and suburban districts.One U.S. source familiar with the late-stage discussions about Friday’s event says it’s possible there will be two events: a signing featuring ministers and a public leaders’ meeting that may or may not include Trudeau. A Canadian government spokesman had no comment on the event. Restuccia and Palmer reported from Buenos Aires and Panetta reported from Washington. Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine]]>
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Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review, Reuters released a scandalous report alleging that members of the Saudi monarchy are conspiring against Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The outlet cited unnamed sources that supposedly revealed a plot to replace MbS with his uncle Prince Ahmed, emphasizing that the King’s will doesn’t necessarily have to be respected after his retirement or passing if the so-called “Allegiance Council” doesn’t approve of his successor. The storyline presented in the text is that MbS’ controversial anti-corruption campaign last November and his progressively modernizing socio-economic policies have “destroyed the institutional pillars of nearly a century of Al Saud rule: the family, the clerics, the tribes and the merchant families”, which is why so many influential figures inside the country apparently want to see him deposed. Reuters quoted an unattributed Saudi source as saying that Prince Ahmed would have the backing of the security apparatus and Western powers if he replaced MbS, but while it’s obvious that many European countries and part of the US’ “deep state” would probably back this regime change scenario, there are serious doubts about whether the Kingdom’s military and intelligence services would also support it. After all, they were integral to the success of MbS’ anti-corruption sweep, since without their loyalty, the entire operation would have fallen apart and many of the high-profile targets could have been tipped off well in advance. The reason why this didn’t happen, however, is because these pivotal forces understand that MbS’ ambitious “Vision 2030” socio-economic reform strategy is the only realistic possibility of preventing the majority-youthful Kingdom’s impending collapse in a post-oil future, hence why they went along with what critics have decried as this so-called “deep state” coup in order to facilitate the successful implementation of this plan. Saudi king Salman Although Reuters claims that Prince Ahmed would continue MbS’ policy trajectory, this can’t by any means be assured because the Crown Prince’s multipolar outreaches to Russia & China and his Vision 2030 agenda are the very reasons why some of the Saudi elite and their Western allies want to replace him in the first place. The outlet even specifically mentioned that his country’s planned purchase of Russia’s S-400 anti-air defense systems has “rankled” some US officials, which could in turn provide them with a strategic reason to engineer his downfall after manipulating the outcome of the Khashoggi case that the CIA suspiciously blames on MBS himself. With the benefit of hindsight in light of this scandalous report’s publication, one would do well to wonder whether the dissident journalist’s killing was meant to set MBS up for regime change.
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