Wednesday 3 May 2023


"Since 2013, Russia’s economy has grown at 0.9 percent per annum. During the same pe­riod, the world economy has outgrown Russia by 310 percent. Poland has done so by 470 percent, South Korea by 320 per­cent, the United States and the European Union by 270 percent, and China by an as­tounding 750 percent. Russia’s per capita income is now lower than that of Turkey or any former Soviet-bloc country in Europe, save Bulgaria or the three Baltic states." Srdnja Trifkovic today in Chronicles. (Russia's per capita income was lower than her satellites in Communist times, possibly with the exception of Bulgaria and in the 1980s Romania.)

“No government can be long secure without a formidable opposition.” Benjamin Disraeli. This of course applies to parliamentary governments, not dictatorships like Russia or absolute monarchies.

"Personally, I don’t find the Tories’ long hegemony so surprising, given the huge imbalance of resources between them and other parties and a written media, much of which, as the late Ian Gilmour remarked, could not be more servile were it state controlled. Plus, of course, there has been an element of luck. The Thatcher revolution would not have been possible without the proceeds of North Sea oil. The wonder is that Labour has triumphed as often as it has, given what Harold Wilson used to refer to as its ‘penny-farthing machine’." Chris Mullin in this week's Spectator.  He's right about North Sea Oil and the papers though the TV stations are very progressive, as is the Tory press to some extent nowadays.

"Tocqueville in the 19th century, and Solzhenitsyn in the 20th, noted that conformity of thought is powerfully prevalent among Americans.” Clyde Wilson, American historian. This is a truism. Hardly worth my posting it.


  1. Random Romania

  2. The Communist Party had actively encouraged the study of foreign civilizations.

    When it came to funding for the Classics, the Ministry of Education was as spendthrift as a Renaissance noble. It sponsored projects on Catullus, reprinted translations of Classical poets, and erected institutes dedicated to serious scholarship on Western civilizations. Bilingual editions of Greek and Roman texts began appearing in bookstores. (Translations of the complete works of Aristotle were completed in 1997.)

    Strong Classics faculty members began to proliferate throughout the country. The Chinese Journal of Classical Studies, established in 2010, produces scholarly work on ancient Rome and Greece. Since then, more than 250 Greek and Latin texts have been translated.

    Conferences are being held every year, and job postings for Latin teachers can be found in Nankai University in Tianjin, Fudan University in Shanghai, Southwest Normal University in Chongqing, Huazhong Normal University in Wuhan, among others. The Center for Western Classical Studies was established in 2011 at the prestigious Peking University, and, in 2017, Renmin University established its own Classics institute.

    “I could only ascribe it to magic,” observed a Chinese Latin professor, “that all of a sudden we came to have our own organization and the attention of the whole nation.”

  3. In just 15 years, China has built enough high-speed rail to circle the Earth.

    China's first high-speed railway started operating in 2008 between Beijing and Tianjin. Since then, the country has built a network that spans nearly 40,000km (25,000 miles) and is now the world’s largest for bullet trains that can travel up to 350km/h (220mph). The network is getting bigger, with plans to extend it to 50,000km by 2025, and 200,000km by 2035.

    China is likely to build its first hyperloop train line between Shanghai and Hangzhou, according to the nation’s top engineering and rail design institutes.
    The 150km-long (93-mile) in-vacuum tunnel will allow maglev trains to travel at speeds of up to 1,000km/h (621mph).

    Since the official launch of the 5G network in 2019, China has been in front in terms of the number of 5G users. The three major operators recently announced their operating data for March. The result reveals that by the end of March 2023, the number of 5G package users on the entire network exceeds 1.2 billion. This is much more than the number of 5G users in the rest of the world.

    Did you see anything like this around latlely?

  4. Or this:

    Nowadays, more than 94 brands offer over 300 EV models in the Chinese market, "the most vibrant globally", according to Counterpoint Research.

    Some are smashing the cash barrier that puts EVs beyond the means of the average consumer.

    In Shanghai, China's Geely exhibited its boxy Panda Mini... The cheaper versions cost around $5,800.

    Battery giant CATL has developed a cell that uses sodium instead of lithium ions, the former both more abundant and cheaper than the latter.

    The supporting infrastructure was built too -- the government says there are now more than 5.8 million charging piles in China.

    Guangdong province alone has around three times as many public chargers as the whole of the United States, according to Bloomberg data.

    A research team from the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Second Institute has conducted the first real-time wireless transmission of its 6G communication technology, marking a significant step forward in the development of an eventual successor to 5G.

    The test used terahertz orbital angular momentum communication technology, according to a report in the official Science and Technology Daily on Wednesday.
    6G cellular networks – still years away – are expected to be faster and more reliable than current 5G technology, while offering lower latency and more efficient spectrum use, according to industry experts, who say it will support data speeds of up to one terabit per second.

  5. Well, around here it goes like this:

    Heathrow expansion: What is the third runway plan?

    The Labour government approved a third runway in 2009, with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown saying it was needed for economic reasons.

    But the plan was later scrapped by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government in 2010. David Cameron, who became prime minister after Mr Brown, ruled out a Heathrow expansion "no ifs, no buts".

    In 2015 an Airports Commission, set up to look at London's airport capacity problems, recommended Heathrow as the preferred site for a new runway - a plan which was approved under Theresa May's leadership.

    The decision was opposed by several local MPs, including Boris Johnson, whose Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat is next to Heathrow.

    He offered to lie down in front of bulldozers to stop the runway's construction. However, when MPs voted in favour of the third runway in 2018, Mr Johnson - then foreign secretary - was away in Afghanistan.

    On 27 February 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled the decision to allow the expansion was unlawful because it did not take climate commitments into account.

    The airport can now make a planning application, although this could take more than a year.

    It still has to persuade a public inquiry that there is a case for expansion, and the government will have the final say.

    Meanwhile environmentalists are expected to continue challenging the project at every stage in the courts - including the European Court of Human Rights.