Political Science is in there, but I really don’t care. From my experience with the comments section(lurking) it looks like other political scientists feel the same way. This didn’t stop dozens of other misguided souls from the twelve other majors, from taking the bait and increasing The Daily Beast subscriber total by at least ten percent. I’m throwing that number out there, from my ass. My point is, I had a good time reading people come charging after this article out of some twisted sense of loyalty to anthropology. With their major on the line, nobody went too crazy, but here are some of the more interesting comments(I cut some of these off, possibly removing context, for the sake of teh funny:
Checked out WAPO today and it looks like Ukraine has taken another turn for the worse in the post-Soviet democracy department. Everytime I see Yulia Tymoshenko she reminds me of my undergrad experience — an unhealthy chunk of it was spent watching her cultivate a Putinesque cult personality status. She had it all: her very own matryoshka dolls, anime fan art, and the signature braids. This woman was groomed for greatness. With nowhere to go but the presidential office, she hit the most reinforced glass ceiling in Ukraine’s sordid history. She lost the election, somehow, and because Ukraine is not the country it made itself out to be in its bid for EU and NATO membership, Yulia ended up in jail on trumped up charges of being a prototypical corrupt politician. Yanukovych straight up Aung San Kyi’d her*rain of boos*, and as badly as I wanted to use that as a verb, I already feel like it wasn’t worth it. San Kyi is an amazing woman, Yulia, I’m skeptical of.
What’s striking about recent developments is that they would be as bold as taking her out and socking her in the gut like an uppity third grader. To exacerbate president Yanukovych’s problem, she will be drawing prolonged international attention to herself through hunger strike. This is sure to bring condemnation from the west, but unfortunately for her, this is happening around the same time as things are heating up in France’s elections. Her rumbling tummy is second page material at best, considering she’s not actually a vestage of the unipolar moment. If I remember correctly, she may have been closer to the Kremlin than Washington. Since Yanukovych is almost totally under Putin’s wing, I’m not sure who would be willing to fight for her. Another issue is gauging just how serious Tymoshenko is about this hunger strike. Is she really willing to die? Lets assume there is some western medical practice involved in the handling of the hunger strike, and the physician comes in daily to ask, “Are you sure you want to go through with this?”, “Should you become incoherent, can we begin feeding you?”, will she have the desire to take it anywhere near the realm of coma and/or death? Personally, I say, no way. Life has been good to her, for the most part, and she isn’t fighting for some ideology bigger than her. She was a politician that took a tremendous L. It’s been nice, Yulia. I owed you this blog post.
Unlike Putin, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, doesn’t need a reason to say nasty things. Our guy will let no opportunity to slander the Kremlin go by. If Mikheil has proven anything over the years, it’s that he’s a master at sick burns. This isn’t to say that the Putin and his cronies are undeserving of criticism or immediate Apollo Sandman removal from the world stage. What makes this particular case interesting, is Saakashvili’s super shady record when dealing with his own opposition.
From Human Rights Watch
In scenes not dissimilar from the Arab world in 2011, people in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan took to the streets demanding fair elections and political reform. But the experience of the so-called color revolutions of 2003 to 2005 is a sobering reminder that popular uprisings do not automatically or necessarily lead to good human rights outcomes.
Now, I don’t believe Saakashvili will need anything close to an arab spring for his ousting. The Georgian people will flush this turgid turd soon enough. Maybe then they can get the reforms Sakaashvili skimped on – during his journey towards becoming the US water boy in Asia. All I’m saying is, next time Saakishvili decides to stick it to the bear, just meet two requirements:
Not be a difficult situation for press freedom.
Try not to be only partly free.
Until then, don’t worry about what Putin is saying all the time. Do like the rest of us, ignore it and check out his cool photo ops.
As far as Russia’s stance on Syria(mentioned in the interview) goes – lets see if another nation decides to take in the Circassian community that will almost certainly want to be repatriated to Moscow should intervention happen. This would be a major step towards changing Putin’s mind on Syria. His country’s currently dying population is xenophobic enough, do we really need them to give us another sad example? The Circassian issue is as good a reason as any for Russia to abstain. Putin isn’t afraid of intervention, R2P, R2D2, U2, MMORPG, the fuck ever, providing the blueprint for replacing him. There isn’t a head of state out there not concerned about a popular rising in their own country. What’s happening in the Middle East in no way make’s China or Russia’s demise any more imminent. It’s a conflict of interests, plain and simple.
Found over at The Quantitative Peace. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita explains how he purchases a car.
This is amazing. He already has multiple examples of it working as well. I’m imagining Bruce first deciding he wanted to employ game theory to buy a car, and the biggest issue that comes to mind is not a complete or incomplete information model. What strikes me first is he decided to be the guinea pig in this experiment; being first means the potential for immense embarrassment was there. Was Bruce that certain in being a god of game theory, or did he ever think,
“I’m about to look like the biggest douche-bag or homo economicus. Homo economicus douche-baggicus?”
Lets not kid ourselves, you’re gonna come off as an asshole to get this done. It also made me wonder what other aspects of life has Bruce taking advantage of game theory. This led me to brainstorm every day actions where one could benefit from placing people into your model(with or without them knowing), where you set the parameters that is likely to poop out a favorable outcome for you. I’d be lying if I said that dealings with the opposite sex and game theory didn’t come to mind, but that was even before I saw this YouTube. This is what I’m assuming Bruce is doing. A man who just wrote a book letting us know just how rational it is to be a dictator. Bruce isn’t interested in morality, just getting stuff done! It makes you wonder how many people and institutions he’s game theory fucked over the years. He clearly has no qualms about abusing his power. Keep thinking Bruce doesn’t account for the baby’s tears as he rips the candy away from its tiny pathetic hands. One can can certainly make the case that game theory can be employed as modern day dark arts. The more I think on the subject, the less I start to understand it myself. My brain is actually starting to hurt. Is this why people people scoff at rational choice theorists but stay clear of naming Mesquita? I clearly don’t have the tools necessary to unravel god tier game theory. Mesquita is the king. Someone should make him do more videos like this or quarantine him before he games his way into a one world dictatorship.
Possibly in anticipation of having the world’s lustful gaze set upon it – the Brazilian government has decided it will come out its own pocket to replaced ruptured implants. Deus forbid, tourists from all over the world come for the Olympics and sex tourism, only to find a wasteland of broken tits and asses. The most sacred symmetry, ruined.
Yes, there are health risks involved, but most would figure if you have the privilege of tricking out your god given ride of the physical realm – then you likely have the privilege to deal with the risks. Why put this bunda burden on the tax payer? These cosmetic changes are optional and provide zero health benefits outside an improvement in quality of life. That’s a very reasonable response, but in a place like Rio De Janeiro, the plastic surgery capital of the world – going under the scalpel for the aesthetic is a civil liberty. Us morbidly obese Americans will never understand; some of us(horrible people) are still pissed at the idea of robust government healthcare for all. This is partially why, in my expert opinion, the people of Brazil are much hotter than us. Kudos to Rouseff for recognizing the culture and fixing the cutlets.