+

Soviet Spy Klaus Fuchs

In addition to providing Gold with secrets on the American atomic project, Fuchs also passed detailed information about the hydrogen bomb to the Soviet Union. Some experts estimate that Fuchs’ intelligence enabled the Soviets to develop and test their own atomic bomb one to two years earlier than otherwise expected.

Read more here: https://www.atomicheritage.org/profile/klaus-fuchs
+

озёрск / Ozersk

Those in paradise were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative.

(From the dystopian novel We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin, 1924)

Deep in the vast forests of Russia’s Ural mountains lies the forbidden city of Ozersk. Behind guarded gates and barbed wire fences stands a beautiful enigma – a hypnotic place that seems to exist in a different dimension.

Codenamed City 40, Ozersk was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme after the second world war. For decades, this city of 100,000 people did not appear on any maps, and its inhabitants’ identities were erased from the Soviet census.

From this well written article on the closed city of Ozersk (озёрск) whose title really tells you something: “Grave Yard Earth – Inside City 40 Ozersk – Russian – Deadly Secret Nuclear

+

Expanding our limits by learning a language

The full transcript is here.

“how can you help a normal adult learn a new language quickly, easily and effectively?

Now this is a really, really important question in today’s world.

We have massive challenges with environment. We have massive challenges with social dislocation, with wars, all sorts of things going on and if we can’t communication we’re really going to have difficulty solving these problems. So we need to be able to speak each other’s languages, this is really really important.

The question is how you do that.

Well it’s actually really easy.

You look around for people who can already do it, you look for situations where it’s already working, and then you identify the principles and apply them.

It’s called modelling and I’ve been looking at language learning and modelling language learning for about fifteen to twenty years now.

And my conclusion, my observation from this is

is that any adult can learn a second language to fluency

inside six months.

Now when I say this, most people think I’m crazy, that this is not possible.

So let me remind everybody of the history of human progress, it’s all about expanding our limits.”

+

The future is the past projected

For time in both “directions” is an analogical projection of the moment just experienced. i.e. the future is the past projected and so is the present.

Of course, because we always begin at t=0=1, the moment just experienced is colored by all those not currently being experienced.

Everything is negative or positive, relative to where we have placed our origin.

We think we can see space, but according to the perception of our brains, we are composing the light relative to previous compositions and relative also anticipated compositions.

This is ignoring the fact that the light being composed is 8 million years old…

similar to Kierkegaard’s intuition that the present is the intersection of eternity and time.

Meaning comes at the cost of time.

More here.

+

The Action Movie Fairy Tale

An excerpt entirely by thelastpsychiatrist.

I.

80s and 90s action movies were often maligned not just for their violence, but also for their lack of depth and psychological sophistication.  “They’re not important.”

But these movies built a generation of men who are now in their 30s and 40s.

They didn’t learn that killing is cool, which was the worry of people who didn’t watch those movies and didn’t understand.  This violence was central to the cinematic experience, but incidental to the story

The complainers ignored the story because they thought it was basic, trivial.  Wrong.  Write down the plot synopsis of every action movie, and awareness will come over you: 

A marginal guy must save a hot chick from bad guys; when he does, he gets the girl.

+

The Modus Operandi of Abusive Relationships

THE BRIEF

modus operandi =

the way in which something operates or works.

a particular way or method of doing something, especially one that is characteristic or well-established.

Synonyms for modus operandi:

method of working · method · way · MO · manner · technique · style · procedure · approach · course of action · plan of action · methodology · mode · fashion · process · means · strategy · plan · formula · recipe · practice · praxis

The following thread on Reddit is a response to this article regarding an abusive boyfriend.

He will help you pursue any goal, any happiness, as long as it does not compromise your relationship with him. 

It expands further out, not just you vs. your unconscious, but all relationships.

And I think by relationships it means it’s the roles of two people relating to each other.

You and the people in your relationships, you and they are all trying to keep each other in the same roles.

Quick examples:
Two people are in a relationship, they have roles.
“Parent”/”Child”. “More successful”/”Fuckup”, “Prettiest girl”/”Side-character”, “Leader”/”Follower”

…it’s all about protecting the “role”, the “Ego”, the “status quo”.
And I think part of true change comes from breaking those roles.
To do that requires pointing out certain truths, it requires going into a different role.

And one of the comments:

One of the Stories of Mr. Keuner, written by Bertolt Brecht, deals with this question and gives an unpopular answer:

“What do you do” Mr. K.  was asked, “if you love someone?”

“I make a sketch of the person” said Mr. K., “and make sure that one comes to resemble the other.”

“Which? The sketch?” “No”, said Mr. K., “the person.”

To today’s readers’ ears this might sound invasive or offensive, a violent image-ination.

It is similar to the force that poet Novalis at the end of the 18th century called productive imagination – a force that can bring about a new, qualitatively increased actuality in the relationship with the beloved.

This kind of imagination does not only produce a merely virtual subjective reality, from the viewpoint of which the actual other must necessarily fail.

But productive imagination rather functions like a magnet: it pulls something out of the other person that only by virtue of the magnet will have been really inside her, something that is more in her than just her self, something that would not have been accessible to her alone.

So this force somehow seems to operate beyond the question of consent or dissent. It undermines the system of coordinates for giving or withdrawing consent. 

This is all a bit puzzling and uncomfortable.

I’m figuring out the ways this connects to

romanticism

described by the School of Life as “one of the most important historical events of all time… “the birth of a new set of ideas. It is about a mindset and a way of feeling.”

More here on romanticism:

I highly recommend reading through the articles at TheLastPsychiatrist.com if you wish to call your identity and modus operandi into question for an hour or so…

+

Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

Currently reading:

http://masterrussian.net/f17/shape-tongue-correctly-pronounce-russian-sounds-22855/

+

Vulnerability in Russian is уязвимость.

Pronounced as uyzvimost

Wired and fried, I’m out of sight.

My new friend and roommate laughs when the instant coffee I’m gulping down spills down my neck, down my chest, and onto my dress.

“Did you forgot how to swallow pills?”

Well, I forgot how to do anything.

Have you ever had your mind so preoccupied with something that your body starts accumulating bruises, scratches, sprains.

And then your thoughts run like so: bruises, broyses, spelled бройсес.

+

Learning Russian by listening to music

Idea #1: Listen to a lot of Музыка (music).

Check out the fun song Давай замутим by the two members of RASA. Repeat for as many hours as you can tolerate in a day.

I’m not sure if it works for or against you if you’re listening nonstop to Russian while you’re on a flight.

Pro AND Con: you won’t be able to get the song out of your head. I believe that’s called an earworm.

авай замутим means “let’s start something”

We could choose the spectacularly entertaining Vitas to obsess over instead.

I prefer to watch Vitas instead of listening to him, to be frank. But this has less to due with his voice and more to do with my admiration for his flamboyant clothing choices.

Ok, maybe only watch that video when you need a palate cleanser.

Idea #2: Learn the chorus of a песня (song).

Sample gems:

Уля – это ураган, полюбила дурака. Ой мама, o my god, o my god… o my god… Пуля – это ураган, полюбила дурака. Ой мама, o my god, o my god… o my god…

Julia, it’s (like) a hurricane. You fell in love with an idiot. OMG OMG OMG (Hit like by a) bullet (or a) hurricane. You fell in love with an idiot. OMG OMG OMG

and also:

Я пришёл дать эту песню Из мира грёз. Я пришел дать эту песню Из хрустальных слёз.

I came to bring this song / From the world of dreams. I came to bring this song / From the crystal tears.

Seems feasible, right?

Some additional songs:

Hand-selected by yours truly from the Russian Hits 2019 playlist
+

Those who benefit from the status quo are perfectly happy for us to think nothing is going to get any better. In fact, these days, cynicism is obedience.

Alex Steffen, The Bright Green City

+

A Child’s Curiosity

“It soon became clear to me that children are by nature and from birth very curious about the world around them, and very energetic, resourceful, and competent in exploring it, finding out about it, and mastering.

In short, much more eager to learn, and much better at learning, than most adults.

Babies are not blobs, but true scientists.

Why not then make schools into places in which children would be allowed, encouraged, and (if and when they asked) helped to explore and make sense of the world around them (in time and space) in ways that most interested them?”

John Holt, from the introduction to his book, Teach Your Own, (New York: Dell, 1981).

+

The secret fear that keeps you up at night is…

  1. An uprising of octopi.
  2. Octopi forming a coalition of the willing at the bottom of the ocean.
  3. Going on Jeopardy but the other two contestants are octopi.
  4. Number 3 but Alex Trebek is also an Octopus
  5. Locking eyes with an Octopus at an aquarium, and in that single moment you know you will help it escape at great personal cost to you and the ones you love.

By Nora Taylor at ManRepeller.