Calling Out Taleb and the Media for Russian Misinformation

Seems like things are going in slow motion. This is like the O.J. chase equivalent of war. Putin is smart to drag this out longer than necessary. The media’s expectation is that Putin would advance fast, but prolonging the invasion and keeping causalities and damage to a minimum means the media may lose interest, and thus also lessen the likelihood of further US/NATO escalation.

If we imagine an alternate timeline in which Putin came out swinging, either he would have secured Ukraine by now, or been met with overwhelming retaliatory force by NATO, and then either he would have backed down, been defeated, or been removed from power. Biden is demonstrating impressive restraint by not getting further involved. I remember in 2019-2020 reading many predictions and warnings by the alt/dissident-right that Biden would drag America into another war or expand the ‘Bush doctrine’, and yet that has not happened. There was nothing to suggest this would happen, beyond some hunches that could not be substantiated. Just because the mainstream media is wrong so often does not mean the alternative media is much better; alternative does not mean ‘more accurate’.

It’s hard to find a definitive estimate of the number of Ukrainian casualties, and the difficulty of finding this info suggests it’s not that bad, especially given how overwhelmingly pro-Ukraine the Western/US media is, so it’s not like they would want to downplay this. Otherwise, if there were atrocities it would be in the news everywhere and unavoidable. But based on what I have been able to find, there have been around 2,000 total Ukrainian casualties since the start of the invasion, and of those, 500 civilian deaths, but far more Russian casualties, around 6,000. The media, not surprisingly, is ignoring/overlooking this and making it seem like the Ukrainians are the bigger losers in this. The media is so desperate to make this worse than it is, that even the letter ‘Z’ is part of some Russian fascist conspiracy now.

Does this refute the ‘end of history’ hypothesis by Fukuyama? I think it’s way too premature to say that. As bad as things may seem now, by the historical standards of war, things could be much worse in terms of casualties. The Vietnam War had 2 million casualties for example. Also, there have been many conflicts since end of the Cold War, when history ‘ended’. Such as the Rwandan Genocide, in 1994. There was the Russian-Chechnya war in 1994. Since 1991 there have been four Yugoslav wars. And the Iraq and Syria civil wars, ongoing since 2011. No one predicted that there would not be occasional self-contained, self-limited conflicts.

Not sure why the stock market is falling so much. This has minimal to no affect on earnings at all. Ukraine and Russia account for almost no volume relative to overall US exports. It’s a good buying opportunity though for anyone who can stomach the volatility.

Angry Arab man Taleb continues to shill for Biden and the left. When not pushing for vaccines and masks and demanding the de-platforming of Covid skeptics, now he’s parroting the media lies about Russia.

Except this is not true. 15 years is the theoretical maximum “up to” which no one will actually serve. Some sources put the maximum at only 8 years. The 15 years may only apply to journalists, not everyone. So how much time do dissidents actually serve? According to some scouring, a prominent anti-war activist was sentenced 30 days in jail, a far cry from the 15 years and ‘poison and torture’ quoted by Taleb.

MOSCOW — Russian opposition activist and former Moscow lawmaker Yulia Galyamina has been sentenced to 30 days in jail on a charge of violating the law on public events over her attempt to organize a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Again, this was not a nobody, but a well-known activist, and she still only got 30 days. So fake news debunked again. Even if you think Putin is a despicable person, this is still a gross misrepresentation of the facts or exaggeration on the part of Taleb.

A case can be made that Russians are more free than Americans. Sure, Americas have a ‘First Amendment’ (which applies only to ‘public areas’ but useless everywhere elsewhere else it actually matters most, like on social media or at work), but also the second-highest highest incarceration rate in the world, longest sentences, and worst prison conditions (probably second to such bastions of human rights such as China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran). Even adjusted for race, America incarnates way more people on an absolute and relative basis (so it’s not just a black problem or a Hispanic problem).

Also, the post-WW2 proliferation of 3-leter agencies, warrantless wiretapping and searches, civil forfeiture, surveillance, etc. Every single thing the US government and American media accuses Russia of being guilty of, it has done the same or worse. How can a country position itself as an exemplar of ‘life and liberty’ when it denies those very things to so many. All governments are flawed in different ways, but’s not like they go around proclaiming themselves as forces of good or wrap themselves in a cloak of unearned moral superiority.

Why would the media, which was/is wrong about everything else, suddenly be right about Russia and Ukraine?

We need to to call out Taleb and other shills out for spreading misinformation. Taleb will block you for doing so, but there are blogs, Reddit, and other ways to get the message out.