Sometimes teh logs just say it all and all I have to do is add a few footnotes. This is one of those joyful times :
Adlai: Last I heard, from the most reputable of reputables, Obama was gunna “crush” bitcoin. Few days later, 300, 160, who knows what. Here we are today.
pete_dushenski: The only thing Obama is gonna crush are his video game enemies in ‘easy’ mode. The dude couldn’t even put boots on the ground in Syria, as fucking if he could do better than Gavin and Hearn. He could -maybe- throw a wrench in some up and coming social media app. Maybe..
mats: Hey, he armed ISIS. Close enough to ‘boots on the ground’.
pete_dushenski: Lol. Now helping the enemy win is a victory ! Because hey, can’t just be losing wars for two generations straight. Gotta find victories wherever you can. And, hell, just create them ex nihilo everywhere else.
mats: Well, they weren’t the enemy at the time. Just ‘moderates’ looking for cash and weapons to fight al-Assad.i Circa 2011 if I recall correctly.
pete_dushenski: Maybe if Obama promises to pay eternal tribute to the caliphate, ISIS won’t wipe his face in his own vomit.
mats: Hard to anticipate, they’ve gotta take Baghdad first.
pete_dushenski: Sure, in dreamlandia where anyone can be allies with the devil and then turn their back on him whenever they feel like it with no repercussions.
mats: Iran and the Saudis are active in the region and may crush them yet. Out of sheer self-interest and to return the balance of power to as it was.
pete_dushenski: Saudis will fall to ISIS. There’s little doubt of that.
mats: I doubt it.
pete_dushenski: Saudis are already teetering on the brink of self-immolation post-Abdullah. I dun seriously think that the Saudis are ruthless enough nor rich enough to win this contest.
trinque: And ISIS is rich enough? How many oil fields do they have now?
pete_dushenski: A couple anyways.ii But ISIS has a sufficiently powerful ‘why’ that their soldiers are cheap and oh so very cut throat.iii Saudis don’t stand for jack shit.
trinque: This much is true, yet (trinque checks over his shoulder), no ISIS yet boss. Just a lovely landscape.iv Among other things I think whatever successes ISIS has had reflect that nobody really wants to have Iraq or Syria be their problem.v
pete_dushenski: And why should the Middle East be anyone’s problem other than that of the Middle Easterners ?
trinque: I am talking about Middle Eastern powers. I am not a scholar on the subject, but it seems as an outsider that the major factors are Saudi, Iran and Israel.vi Those seem to be perpetually beating war drums against each other ; perhaps ISIS is a complicating factor in that situation which none want to approach lest they unbalance the former.
pete_dushenski: Those 3, yes, plus USA currently holding down the eastern corners of the Mediterranean with Turkey and Egypt.
decimation: Saudis are not ruthless enough << I strongly doubt. Saudis would throw every merc in the world at someone challenging their rule. Also they would very likely summon USG. if there’s a threat to Saudi rule – it’s their own stomachs: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/07/saudis-solar-energy/395315/
pete_dushenski: Again, only if they can afford it. It’s incredibly, almost impossibly expensive to fight against an opponent as ideologically driven as ISIS (or B, TMSR~).
decimation: Not really, it’s quite simple, they would fall to a single marine division if on the field in open battle. However, trying to dislodge them in an occupation war is another matter.
pete_dushenski: Aha, again, the expense of occupation of Syria/Lebanon is more than any soi-dissant ‘world power’ can seem to muster.
decimation: Yes, agreed. Mainly because nobody can convince themselves to give enough of a shit.
trinque: It’s reasonable to say that the appetite for total war in the West… ^
pete_dushenski: So battles can be won against ISIS, wars will be lost.
trinque: Right. If what’s said about their regressiveness regarding science is true, they’re not going to amount to anything.
decimation: Yes, ISIS is much too young to expand beyond Iraq/Syria. In 30 years after their rule is solidified…
pete_dushenski: It won’t take a generation if the Saudi’s run out of oil money.
decimation: Aye, true.
trinque: They’re going to what, shout about Allah and shoot hand-me-down Russian weapons ? And the force of their will alone will overcome ? I don’t buy it at all. They’re a nuisance and if they become anything more they’ll all be killed.
pete_dushenski: Well, the West’s ‘science’ is a largely (if not entirely) a lot of fluff ‘epidemiology‘.
trinque: That has little to do with them ignoring the subject entirely. I bet Central Americans had a great deal of “will” too.vii
pete_dushenski: I see them as being quite related, if throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Sorry, you’re saying that ISIS is a nuisance that’ll be wiped out if they get too uppity ??
trinque: I am indeed.
decimation: It’s political suicide in the US to commit to another full-scale Middle East war, which is what is giving ISIS breathing room.
pete_dushenski: Hm. I don’t underestimate ISIS to the same degree.
trinque: I could very well see something 20 years down the line that’s much different. But it would require them getting that far.
pete_dushenski: ISIS will continue to grow, because that’s what lifeforms do : they grow.
trinque: They also go extinct.
pete_dushenski: So it’ll start with Syria/Lebanon and keep going. To Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, etc.
trinque: One might speculate it will ; we’ll see.
decimation: Maybe, but if this happens it probably won’t be through open battle.
pete_dushenski: I’m with you there. If ISIS is undone, it’ll be from ‘multicultural‘ technology. From the inside out. I don’t see an external player that has the means or the will to take them down. They’re no wimpy upstart. ISIS means business.
trinque: Sure, and their ideology is based on magical thinking
pete_dushenski: As all populist ideologies must be. Hell, even the ‘elite’ ideologies can fall victim to dreams.viii
trinque: Let me put it this way: if something doesn’t come along that could squash an ISIS in a moment, that’s on us. They’re primitive morons with weapons somebody else’s war machine manufactured. Sitting on oil wells they didn’t drill.
pete_dushenski: So what, Bitcoin made the computers, chips, and internet infrastructure that it’s taking over the world with ? We’re all sitting on 5-10 year old hardware. Idjits would readily call this ‘primitive.’
trinque: I do not see the equivalence at all. ISIS is a cargo cult thinking Allah will bring them more Russian or American weapons if they piss in the wind some more. They will never make anything themselves.
pete_dushenski: What you want ‘advanced’ weapons like nukes ?
decimation: Tribalism is in the bones over there, I find it unlikely that a political entity could centralize power effectively.
pete_dushenski: Perhaps not. Though if you spill enough blood…
pete_dushenski: The equivalence is in the disruptive potential.
trinque: Of what. on ISIS’ side. There’s nothing novel or interesting about their ideology. As for Bitcoin, one *would* hope those working within it do understand the mechanics of the technology involved.
pete_dushenski: The nation states of the Middle East as we know/knew them.
trinque: Mongols they are not. They’re not going to build a working empire when they’re done.
pete_dushenski: Doesn’t appear to me that they’re trying to build an ‘empire’ in the centralised sense of the term. I mean hey, if ISIS were going the centralised route, don’t you think they’d have a king or ruler already ? Instead they have -dozens- of fiefdoms, all pledging allegiance to an ideology and a black flag.
trinque: They’ve got that Baghdadi guy.
decimation: They do https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Bakr_al-Baghdadi
trinque: And if they can’t organize past that level, all the better. Mongols had a Khan. Furthermore if all they can manage is guns and missiles, the non-morons that understand science can respond with defensive technology that makes that irrelevant.
pete_dushenski: Not necessarily. Unless your defensive technology is a satellite colony orbiting the earth. Ideologies will rip through the heart of whatever armour you’ve got.
trinque: Cities have defended themselves well against raiding hordes of morons before. We build them today like they’re safe from all that. Doesn’t mean we have to. And theirs is what ? Praise be to Allah the space god and pass the ammunition ? Come on.
pete_dushenski: Pre-instant communication tech, sure. Protecting yourself used to be a physical issue.
trinque: And how is their ideology going to rip through my heart?
pete_dushenski: I’m not saying it will. I’m saying that it’s war. Only the losers get ripped.
trinque: Ah well there we agree. I would just like to see bitcoin kill these morons too. 2015 is no place for desert gods.ix (Unless as I said, it’s outside great cryptographic walls).
pete_dushenski: Well, human brains are still human brains, I’m afraid. And it’ll take more than a generation, or even a hundred, to change our defaults.
trinque: Might very well be that something like ISIS will kill a great many ‘Westerners’ in the future. And I could still imagine a world where I don’t care.
pete_dushenski: For sure, because those ‘Westerners’ are a bunch of blinded sheep who could use a good raping.
trinque: I had this incredibly vivid dream years ago of a city which denied access based on some mechanism (undefined in the dream) of verifying identity and relationship to those dwelling within. Walls and automated weapons prevented entry by unsanctioned means. Entering the gate meant being approved to do so. Ancient as it gets. This is what I would like to live within someday. Not something where every moron can piss on my front lawn.
pete_dushenski: Like Babylon eh. Walls 30 stories tall.x
trinque: Indeed. And if ISIS wants to keep the outsiders busy, have at it.
pete_dushenski: Well as long as you don’t move the Middle East, you can probably get by where you are, even without the ginormous walls. It’s one thing for ISIS to whip their compatriots into shape, it’d be an order of magnitude more resource intensive to bother with U.S.istan.
trinque: U.S.istan may fall over on its own before they come of age.
pete_dushenski: Federal gov may ‘fall over’ but the only thing most people will notice is how much lighter the weight on their shoulders is. Life will go on.xi
trinque: Heh, true enough
pete_dushenski: Mebbe Chinese come in to rape the blondies and suck up the minerals, maybe they can’t be bothered and they leave the peoples formerly known as ‘Americans’ to reoganise themselves. That could be along existing state lines, or regions could be smaller or larger. Hard to say, really.
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- “I was just doing my job !” Hmm. Remind me, where I heard that last, and why do I seem to recall that flimsy excuse not holding up in court last time ? [↩]
- Estimates from 10 months ago (if you have more recent data, please chime in) indicate that ISIS controlled the production of somewhere between 40,000 – 80,000 barrels of oil per day, or about $2.3 mn – $4.7 mn per day with $58 Brent. That’s upwards of $1.7 bn per year even at these rather depressed oil prices, which buys no shortage of martyr funerals and fambly support for the deceased. [↩]
- People don’t so much care WHAT you do and only slightly more HOW you do it. They care WHY ! [↩]
- You could also say that Bitcoin isn’t “over shoulder yet.” But you’d be wrong. [↩]
- I’d venture a guess that the Shiites in the region care quite deeply. Not that this seems to be keeping their heads any more attached to their bodies, mind you. [↩]
- Speaking of Israel and nationalism, and since Nietzsche’s been on my mind these last few days, I’ll just leave this quote here as food for thought. Keep in mind that “Beyond Good and Evil” was published in 1886 :
It is certain that the Jews, if they desired—or if they were driven to it, as the anti-Semites seem to wish—COULD now have the ascendancy, nay, literally the supremacy, over Europe, that they are NOT working and planning for that end is equally certain. Meanwhile, they rather wish and desire, even somewhat importunely, to be insorbed and absorbed by Europe, they long to be finally settled, authorized, and respected somewhere, and wish to put an end to the nomadic life, to the “wandering Jew”,—and one should certainly take account of this impulse and tendency, and MAKE ADVANCES to it (it possibly betokens a mitigation of the Jewish instincts) for which purpose it would perhaps be useful and fair to banish the anti-Semitic bawlers out of the country. One should make advances with all prudence, and with selection, pretty much as the English nobility do It stands to reason that the more powerful and strongly marked types of new Germanism could enter into relation with the Jews with the least hesitation, for instance, the nobleman officer from the Prussian border it would be interesting in many ways to see whether the genius for money and patience (and especially some intellect and intellectuality—sadly lacking in the place referred to) could not in addition be annexed and trained to the hereditary art of commanding and obeying—for both of which the country in question has now a classic reputation.
See what wanting to end that wandering lifestyle got the almighty ‘hasids’ of modern Europe ? It’s scarcely believable that the events of the Shoah somehow served as evidence to the surviving twerps that Jews needed to be more concentrated geographically, not less. Fucking insane, those zionists. [↩]
- The few Aztecs at the top of the ladder ? Sure, they had “will,” but they still knelt before the white-skinned Gods that were the conquistadors. As to the rest of the not-Mexicans, they were sufficiently accustomed to slavery that it didn’t much matter who was on top. [↩]
- For an example of an ‘elite’ ideology fallen victim to magical thinking, look no further than the aforementioned zionism and its not-so-distant relative ‘tikkun olam‘. [↩]
- Because progress ?! [↩]
- If Herodotus is to be believed… Let’s just say that he meant “Really goddam tall” and call it a day. [↩]
- Just ask the Istrians. [↩]