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Thursday, September 15, 2022

Putin



Life Is an Accident of Space and Time
Why the U.S. Is Being Ominously Compared to Hungary and Turkey A conversation with Max Fisher, who covers the decline of democracy around the world.

Opinion: Putin is fooling no one -- certainly not Xi In Samarkand, Putin will undoubtedly keep up his triumphant, self-assured demeanor -- but that will fool no one, certainly not Xi, who must be deeply worried about the astonishing collapse of Russia's forces in northeast Ukraine....... Not only is Russia humiliated, Ukraine exuberant, and the West united, but even China, which still expresses support for the Kremlin, is making statements that embarrass Russia. ........ Russia confirmed Xi and Putin would meet on the sidelines of the summit for "very important" talks. China has confirmed Xi's trip, but its foreign minister on Tuesday declined to confirm a meeting with the Russian president. ........ The relationship between Xi and Putin was never one of equals, but now Putin is encountering Xi during one of the most disastrous moments of his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. He will likely seek more support from Xi, who has been generous with words but much less with deeds. ......... China has been reluctant to break the sanctions, or step in to provide a major boost to Russia's dwindling military supplies. If it had, Putin could have avoided the awkward spectacle of seeking weapons from Iran and North Korea, minor, if aggressive powers. .......... Putin needs Xi much more than Xi needs Putin, and that imbalance has grown far greater since their last meeting. ........ he Russian president's suppression of all criticism about the war has taken an expected turn. Those who opposed the "special military operation," have gone to prison, exile or have mostly fallen silent. But now some of the war's most vocal supporters are fuming, enraged by the military's poor performance. (They even call it a "war" -- a word that could not previously be uttered without some consequence.) ........... A strongman cannot afford to be weak, and Putin knows it. ........ For now, there's no chance that Beijing will discard its unofficial alliance with Moscow, even if Russia is a greatly diminished power. Xi wants to be the leader of a global front opposing the US-led liberal democratic order. To do that, he needs to line up support from nations large and small. And Russia remains an important, nuclear-armed nation. ........... Next month, China's Communist Pary will hold its twice-a-decade party congress. Xi, China's most powerful figure since Mao, is expected to secure an unprecedented third term amid a sharp economic slowdown, made worse by his extreme zero-Covid policy. The possibility of a global recession, heightened by Russia's gas wars against Europe, would hit export-reliant China very hard.



Why the U.S. Is Being Ominously Compared to Hungary and Turkey A conversation with Max Fisher, who covers the decline of democracy around the world. ....... That democracy is declining more or less everywhere now. Not necessarily in every country but in every region, in rich and poor countries, old and new democracies. And the decline is incremental but steady, which means that the scale of the change isn’t necessarily obvious until you start looking at the data. ......... What happens is more like what has occurred in Venezuela, say, or Turkey or Hungary. Elected leaders rise within a democracy promising to defeat some threat within, and in the process end up slowly tearing that democracy down. ......... more democracies are in decline today than at any other point in the last century. .......... The United States fits pretty cleanly into what is now a well-established global pattern of democratic backsliding.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Biden: Middle Out



आफ्नै नेतृत्वको क्रान्तिले जसलाई निल्यो रुसी राष्ट्रपति बरिस येल्तसिनले गोर्बचोवलाई अपमानित गर्न कुनै कसर बाँकी राखेनन् । येल्तसिनको मात्र के कुरा गर्नु, सन् १९९६ मा रुसी राष्ट्रपतिको चुनावमा उठ्दा गोर्बचोवलाई जम्मा ०.५५ प्रतिशत मत दिएर नागरिकले पनि अपमानित गरिदिए ! ....... १९८५ को मार्च १० मा ७३ वर्षीय पार्टी महासचिव कन्स्तान्टिन चेर्नेको निधन भयो । २८ महिनाको अवधिमा लियोनिद ब्रेज्नेभ र युरी आन्द्रोपोभपछि निधन हुने उनी तेस्रो पार्टी महासचिव थिए । नेताले अस्पतालको शय्याबाट सत्ता चलाउनुपर्ने दुश्चक्र तोड्नुपर्ने, पाको र रोगले जीर्ण भैसकेको नेताको सट्टा युवालाई नेतृत्वमा ल्याउनुपर्ने दबाबमा सोभियत कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी थियो । यसैले त पार्टीको पोलिटब्युरो बैठकमा चार घण्टाको छलफलबाटै ५४ वर्षका गोर्बचोव पार्टी महासचिव चुनिए । ....... २८ वर्ष विदेशमन्त्री रहेका र पश्चिमी दुनियाँमा ‘मिस्टर नो’ भनेर चिनिने आन्द्रेई ग्रोमिकोलाई मन्त्रालयबाट बाहिर जाने बाटो देखाइदिएर गोर्बचोवले एडवार्ड सेभेर्दनाद्जेलाई विदेशमन्त्री नियुक्त गरे । क्यानडाका लागि सोभियत राजदूत अलेक्सान्द्र याकोभ्लेवलाई फिर्ता बोलाई सुधारवादी कार्यक्रमको प्रमुख योजनाकार बनाइयो । ........ जीर्ण–शीर्ण भैसकेको सोभियत अर्थतन्त्र ठोकठाके मरम्मतले अघि बढ्ने देखिएन, त्यसले पूरै ‘ओभरहल’ माग गरिरहेको थियो । अनि सन् १९८६ को सत्ताइसौं पार्टी कांग्रेस बैठकमा गोर्बचोवको ‘सिग्नेचर पोलिसी’ घोषणा भयो— ‘पेरेस्त्रोइका र ग्लासनोस्त’ । ........... सन् १९८५ सम्म सोभियत संघमा सबैभन्दा बढी राजस्व संकलन मदिरा उत्पादन र बिक्रीबाट हुने गर्थ्यो । ‘सुक्खा कानुन’ लागू भएपछि मदिरा बिक्रीबाट संकलन हुने राजस्वमा ह्रास आएकाले यसै पनि कमजोर सोभियत अर्थतन्त्र झनै असन्तुलित हुन पुग्यो । मनमौजी भएर मापसे गर्न नपाउँदा रुसीहरू यसै पनि रन्थनिएका थिए । अल्कोहलको सट्टा मिनरल वाटर सेवन गर्नुपरेको झोंकमा गोर्बचोवलाई कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी अफ द सोभियत युनियन (सीपीएसयू) को ‘जेनेरल सेक्रेटरी’ नभनेर ‘मिनरल सेक्रेटरी’ भन्न थाले । यति सबै भैसकेपछि ‘सुक्खा कानुन’ मार्फत एक कदम अघि बढेका गोर्बचोव दुई वर्षपछि नै लेनिनले भनेझैं दुई कदम पछि हटे, सन् १९८७ मा यो अभियान फिर्ता लिइयो । ......... हजारौं सोभियत सैनिक मुजाहिद्दिनसँगको युद्धमा हताहत हुँदा सोभियत नागरिक चरम निराशामा थिए- भियतनाम युद्धले अमेरिकीमा ल्याएको बेचैनीजस्तै । आर्थिक रूपले पनि सोभियत संघलाई यो हस्तक्षेप निकै भारी हुँदै गइराखेको थियो । गोर्बचोवले अफगानिस्तानबाट बिनासर्त सोभियत सेना फिर्ता गर्ने निर्णय गरे । सोभियत संघको राम्रो पकड रहेका हंगेरी, पोल्यान्ड, चेकोस्लोभाकिया र पूर्वी जर्मनीमा रक्तपातरहित भेल्विट कलर रेभोलुसन (मखमली क्रान्ति) सुरु भयो । पहिलेको सोभियत सत्ताले झैं ती देशहरूमा हस्तक्षेप गर्न गोर्बचोव इच्छुक देखिएनन् । .......... ‘सीपीएसयूको महासचिव पदमा चुनिनुअघिसम्म उनले कुनै त्यस्तो योजना वा भिजन अघि सारेकै थिएनन् ।’ हुन पनि त्यसअघिसम्म उद्धृत गर्नलायक उनको कुनै विचार र सिद्धान्त फेला पार्न सकिन्न । यसैले कतिपयले उनलाई भिजनरहित नेताको उपमा पनि दिने गरेका छन् । ‘ताक दाल्से नी पाइद्योत’ अर्थात् यसै गरी अब अघि बढ्न सकिन्न उनको चर्चित नारा थियो । अगाडि जाने कसरी ? त्यसका निम्ति उनको न कुनै अन्तर्दृष्टि देखियो न तयारी नै । सुधार उनी अवश्य चाहन्थे तर गन्तव्यको पहिचान गर्न सकेनन् । उनी कुशल वक्ता थिए, घण्टौं धाराप्रवाह बोल्न सक्थे । तर भाषणहरू बहुधा अस्पष्ट हुन्थे । जसरी देङ स्याओपिङले आर्थिक सुधारमा मात्रै केन्द्रित भई अजंगको जनसंख्या रहेको चीनको व्यवस्थापन गरे, गोर्बचोवले त्यो बाटो पहिल्याउन नसकेकै हुन् । ............ घटनाक्रमले सत्ताबाट बाहिरिएपछि अपमान खेपेर पनि गोर्बचोव पलायन भई अन्यत्र निर्वासित हुन चाहेनन् । सोभियत संघ विघटनको पूर्वसन्ध्या र त्यसपछि पनि रुसी राष्ट्रपति बरिस येल्तसिनले उनलाई ठोसेको ठोस्यै गरे । उनलाई लाजमर्दो हुने गरी पेन्सन भत्ता उपलब्ध गराइयो, जम्मा ४ हजार रुबल । सन् १९९४ को विनिमय दरबमोजिम त्यो रकम केवल १.३ अमेरिकी डलर हुन्थ्यो । उनको कूटनीतिक पासपोर्ट खोसियो । यतिसम्म कि, उनले सुरु गरेको गोर्बचोव फाउन्डेसनलाई समेत येल्तसिनले केही समय प्रतिबन्ध लगाएका थिए । ......... १९९१ को मार्चमा सोभियत संघमा जनमतसंग्रह गराइयो । जनमतसंग्रहमा नयाँ सोभियत संघको अवधारणाअनुरूप राज्यको नाम ‘यूएसएसआर’ नै रहे पनि सोभियत समाजवादी गणतान्त्रिक संघको सट्टा ‘सोभियत सार्वभौम गणतान्त्रिक संघ’ रहने प्रस्तावलाई ७७.५ प्रतिशत जनताले समर्थन गरे । यद्यपि त्यस जनमतसंग्रहलाई १५ वटा सोभियत गणराज्यमध्ये ६ वटा गणराज्य लिथवानिया, लाटभिया, येस्तोनिया, जर्जिया, अर्मेनिया र माल्दोभाले बहिष्कार गरेका थिए । ............. नयाँ संघीय सन्धिमा हस्ताक्षर गरेपछि सोभियत संघको अस्तित्व नै मेटिन्छ भन्ने डरले कट्टरपन्थी गुट सक्रिय हुन थाल्यो । गोर्बचोव छुट्टीबाट फर्केर मस्को आउनुअघि नै उनलाई अपदस्थ गर्न सकेमा सोभियत गणराज्यहरूलाई नयाँ सन्धि गर्नबाट बचाउन सकिन्छ भन्ने सोचले यो समूहले योजना बनाउन थाल्यो । गुटका प्रमुख योजनाकार तत्कालीन केजीबी प्रमुख भ्लादिमिर क्र्युच्कोभ भए पनि उनको योजनालाई समर्थन गर्ने गोर्बचोवनजिकका धेरै मित्र थिए । ............ गोर्बचोव सिकिस्त बिरामी भएका र कार्यभार वहन गर्न नसक्ने अवस्थामा रहेकाले उनलाई पदमुक्त गरी राज्यमा आपत्कालीन अवस्था घोषणा गर्नुपरेको भन्दै गर्दा गेन्नाडी येनाएभले हात कमाएको दृश्य देख्ने जोकोहीले पनि राज्य विप्लवकारीमा दम छैन भन्ने अनुमान गरिसकेका थिए । .......... येल्तसिनको सहयोगमा १९९१ अगस्त २१ का दिन गोर्बचोवलाई क्रिमियाबाट मस्को फिर्ता बोलाइयो । राज्य विप्लव योजना असफल भएपछि योजनाकारमध्येका एक गृहमन्त्री बरिस पुगोले आत्महत्या गरे भने बाँकी विप्लवकारीहरूलाई त्यसै दिन पक्राउ गरियो । यसरी कट्टरपन्थीहरूको राज्य विप्लव योजना ७२ घण्टा पनि नटिक्दै १९९१ अगस्त २१ का दिन पूरै विफल भयो । ...........कट्टरपन्थीहरूको षड्यन्त्र र सुधारवादीहरूको आक्रामक विरोधलाई उनले व्यवस्थित गर्न सकेनन् । येन–केन–प्रकारेण ७४ वर्षसम्म टिकाइएको शासन व्यवस्था भित्रभित्रै मक्किसकेको थियो । सोभियत संघ विघटनका धेरै कारण हुन सक्लान् तर विघटनको प्रमुख कारक सोभियत गणराज्यहरूको स्वायत्त हुन पाउने अधिकार र जातीय रूपमा विभाजन नै हो । ........ पूर्व सोभियत गणराज्य लगायत वार्सा सन्धि संगठनका अधिकांश देश अहिले युरोपियन युनियन र नाटो सैन्य गठबन्धनमा आबद्ध भइसकेका छन् । ........... गोर्बचोव अधिनायकवादी थिएनन्, नरम स्वभावका नेता थिए । पोलिटब्युरो सदस्य येल्तसिनसहितले विद्रोह सुरु गरेपछि सोभियत कम्युनिस्ट पार्टीको साबिक चलन अनुसार उनले पनि विरोधीलाई दमन गर्न सक्थे तर त्यस्तो केही गरेनन् । भिल्न्युस, बाकु, तब्लिसीमा छुटफुट घटना भए पनि सैनिक बलका भरमा विद्रोहीहरूलाई दबाउने प्रयास कहिल्यै गरेनन् । उनी खासमा शान्तिपूर्ण उपायबाट पुरानो शासन प्रणालीलाई व्यवस्थापन गर्न चाहन्थे ।

Loom

Friday, September 02, 2022

2: Vitalik Buterin

Alex Iskold: Why VCs Pass

Thursday, August 18, 2022

18: Justin



As economies collapse, Western loans simply won’t get repaid, and poor nations will crash out of the dollar system that props up Western lifestyles. Then, even Americans won’t be able to money-print their way out of trouble. It’s already begun. Sri Lanka has started settling loans in Indian rupees, and India is buying Russian oil in rubles. China may buy Saudi oil with yuan. .

Friday, August 12, 2022

12: Ukraine

The Billion Dollar Creator
General Patreus

Ben Horowitz explained you must first understand how Silicon Valley is run, and that is by a very specific protocol. There are kings (notable investors), king makers/fool makers (influential media), connectors (hyper networked individuals), and actors (founders) that revolve around the deals. Silicon Valley runs on the perception of those inside those deals and those on the outside looking in. If you are not properly situated somewhere in the ecosystem, then your company will not get funded or you will not get access to a hot deal that is being funded that you would like access to as an investor. ...........

the valley is not unlike DC

......... Ben invested in my company AgLocal in 2011, I did not know him previously to pitching him, I barely knew my head from my ass as an entrepreneur, I had no track record as an entrepreneur, I was not from the valley and did not attend any Ivy or MIT so I had no network, and there was nothing inherent or obviously valuable that I could offer to Ben. However, and this is important to note, Ben looked past all of that and decided to take me on as a mentee and subsequently helped me raise a seed for my company also. ............. the networks that run silicon valley. Networks equal access to jobs, funds, and deal flow, and the networks that run silicon valley are Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Google, HP, Ebay, Facebook, Apple, and PayPal.


20 Rules for rookies raising a round Understand that it will be a pretty intense process that will require more meetings than you’d like and more emails than you’d like. This is not going to be different for anyone. Raising a round is a full time job in and of itself. ........ Raise early to spend cash on making cash. ........ When you do approach don’t ask initially for money. Ask for advice. The old adage is, ask for money you’ll get advice, ask for advice and you’ll get money. ........

Investing is social science

........ If someone doesn’t understand your business. That is your fault and not theirs. Make your deck simple, because it will likely be in front of more people than you will. You should model your deck after the simplicity of a children’s story book. Very little words, very obvious plan to win, very beautiful and enjoyable to read. It should be able to talk for you in the case that you aren’t there to explain your business. Trust me me, it will be sent around and in the race against time, can save your energy by rounding up investors for you that have seen it. ............... If an investor hasn’t committed firmly to investing if a stated criteria is met then do not go on wild goose chases and hours of homework, only to be told they need you to do more once that assignment is done. ........ If you can’t get a fast yes, get the next best thing, a fast no (this is a game of time, and attrition) .......... The worst thing you can do is spin your wheels talking to investors that don’t invest in your space, stage, or are overdrawn and can no longer do your deal. ........... Do not take a no personally. Some may find your idea to not be a fit with their ability or desire to fund but may have valuable advice and connections to share nonetheless. Some may not be valuable at all and may in fact be rude and down right dismissive. It is best to identify the difference between a good pass and a bad pass and to ignore the rude ones and engage the good ones ......... There are some that like to meet just to meet with no intention of investing and/or no cash free to invest. You do not need that waste of time. ........ you will have to meet with at least five different investors for every $100k that you raise, and this is the best case scenario. In each of my rounds that I have raised more than $1m, I ended up meeting with at least and more than 50 different investors by count, and in over 100 total meetings. ......... Look at the portfolio of the firm, the twitter and linkedin of the angel to find out if they have invested in a competitor. ......... It may very well be that they want to meet you in order to get educated for their next board meeting and to advise their company on how to outflank you or steal pieces of your model. .......... Lessen your alcohol intake, tighten your schedule to ensure proper sleep and exercise, and find healthy hobbies to take your mind off of your startup.


How to Explain Bitcoin to a No-Coiner Loved One so that you can share the magic of this revolutionary new financial system with those around you. ....... Bitcoins don’t need to be backed by gold or any other government entity in order to have value; they’re simply worth whatever people are willing to pay for them, much like stocks and bonds. This means you can exchange Bitcoins without waiting on a bank or a central bank and without paying steep transaction fees.

Startups legais

It only takes 5 minutes to know if a start-up has a high probability of success or not. Or the “lie to me” method. ........ He will tell you why he decided to take the step. He will tell you what motivates him. In short, his passion. And he will talk about it sincerely, using words that resonate. ...... Why the entrepreneur does what he does. From this “why” will come the culture, which, in turn, will unify the team. It is this culture that will enable the team to react and adapt to the slightest setback.

Chrome and Safari have great competition, meet the new and futuristic browser . browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox are among the internet’s most utilized and well-known browsers. ........ It makes it feel as if the webpage is an app on your Mac. ....... The sidebar in Arc is home to your tabs, spaces as well as library

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