Sunday, October 15, 2017

Imagining a new Soviet Union, a new USSR, a separate, mini world in itself

West was extremely jealous of the Soviet Union in part because of its colossal size - an incredible >15% of the world's land area was under this single superpower. After the unfortunate breakup of the USSR, West is similarly very jealous of Russia's huge size, and the natural strategic advantages as well as a wealth of natural resources that come along with such size.

No one knows whether the Soviet Union will come back. One cannot say a definite yes, and one can't say a definitive no either. Poland might curse and blame Russia at the top of its voice today, but will this same Poland be a province of a future version of USSR one hundred years from now, no one can say this, just like it's hard to imagine today that the same Poland was central to the Warsaw Pact.

One thing that's certain, however, is that we can at least imagine a new Soviet Union. A new USSR that carries forward the good things from the previous USSR, but that's devoid of its shortcomings. That similarly has the best ingredients from the EU, but not those that make the EU bitter.

  1. A mammoth, common airline - like Aeroflot - that flies all across USSR and also globally, thus getting huge efficiencies because of its scale.
  2. A common air-defence/anti-missile system that benefits hugely from the vast global footprint - both land area and coastal length - of USSR.
    1. Due to the massive footprint and also deep land connections to various nations of Europe, Europe would've been kept in check by the missiles and nuclear weapons stationed all across the new USSR.
  3. A common currency that becomes a force in the world because of its use by the large cumulative population of USSR.
  4. Free trade, free movement of capital and free movement of labor among the 15 constituent nations.
  5. Despite the above commonalities, the USSR shouldn't have a central government - instead the 15 constituent nations should have their own governments so that the aspirations of these 15 groups of people are fulfilled.
  6. Also, having 15 separate nations increases the political/diplomatic power of the bloc because you get 15 votes instead of just 1. Also, wherever a selection has to be done by random ballot, you have 15 slips there instead of just 1, multiplying your probability of winning the seat.
  7. And so on.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Russia shouldn't have let Transaero airline die, and lessons for the future

Russia doesn't have too many large and/or famous brands, especially when it comes to consumer products. This allows the typical ignorant Western news reader [and also journalist] - who has no knowledge of Russia's sophisticated military equipment exports or its best-in-the-world space technologies or its aircraft-manufacturing capabilities - to sling insults such as "...doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to buy...".

This naturally implies that whichever small or large brands Russia does have, it should cherish and nurture and protect those dearly. Like Transaero. It operated for 25 years before going bankrupt, and unfortunately the Russian government didn't save it.

It should've saved it. Because apart from Aeroflot, it was Transaero that had a stellar reputation for safety. From Wikipedia:

"In its 25-year history, Transaero never had an accident resulting in loss of life or a hull loss. In 2014, JACDEC ranked Transaero as the 17th safest airline in the world and the safest airline in Russia."

This reputation, this 17th rank in the world, this zero fatality record, all of it took several years of painstaking work. Shouldn't have been let go just like that. Transaero was flying all across the world [permanent link]. It was spreading its own and Russia's name positively wherever it was flying, transporting customers safely and comfortably. An iconic, valuable and trusted name, built over several years, went down just like that. It's sad. It could've been and should've been prevented at all costs.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

For me, only a three years old Apple iPhone model starts to seem like value for money [COMPACTIDEA]

It's no joke that I go after value for money [VFM] products and services. For me, the latest and greatest iPhone is always a sheer waste of money. It's usually the oldest iPhone model that Apple is still selling [at any point in time] that seems like the most value for money. No matter what someone else says, I know for sure that the iPhone 5s, even today, is a terrific phone [permanent link] for those whose usage is what can be called "normal". Don't upgrade to the latest OS version, or else the phone will become terribly slow. Stay on the original OS the phone comes with, and it'll feel awesome.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Why America is obsessed with not letting Russian-built anti-missile systems getting purchased and installed by different nations [COMPACTIDEA]

"In 1998…I was being constantly visited by the ambassadors of Great Britain, the United States and EU member states. Their message was the same: that the missile system must not be installed in Cyprus because this would create tensions in the region and would undermine, supposedly, the prospects for a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem and would pose difficulties to the fulfilment of Cyprus’ EU ambitions."

"Of course, behind these arguments lay the concern, mostly of Britain and the United States, over the capability of the Russian missile system to end the exclusive monitoring of the region by British radars." [link]

US is obsessed about it being the only country in the world with a global missile warning and shield system. US behaves like a fish out of water when there's talk about some country thinking of buying Russia's S-300, Antey-2500, S-400, etc., anti-missile systems. US doesn't want Russia to be able to have radar monitoring of various regions of the world. Neither does it want to give Russia the capability of eventually connecting/integrating its various systems deployed by different countries into a single, global system. So US tries its best to stop different nations from buying a Russian system.


"US Goes Mental Over Turkey's Deal With Russia on S-400 Supplies - Erdogan" [link]

Friday, September 08, 2017

Funny conspiracy theory - there could be secret deal between US and North Korea to enrich America's military-industrial complex [COMPACTIDEA]

So trump wants hundreds of millions of dollars for himself and his sons. America's military-industrial complex is ready to provide these funds to Trump for free, provided he gives them billions of dollars worth of orders for new military equipment. So Trump secretly calls up Kim Jong-un, and begs him to do a covert deal - America would use its control over world media to artificially create a threat from North Korea, and North Korea would also respond as if it's ready to attack US/Japan/South Korea. The tensions will make it easy to place orders for new weapons, and the military-industrial complex will be showered with billions of dollars, and Trump will be showered with hundreds of millions, and Kim Jong-un himself will pocket tens of millions. Then a few weeks/months later, some public deal will be worked out, and the dust will settle, but the orders will [of course] stay. Everyone is happy!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

US has more land area than China - if US population grows substantially, it'll be able to counter China's momentum [COMPACTIDEA]

China is attractive because of its size. China isn't very efficient yet, in the sense that its GDP-per-capita is quite low. US has slightly more land than China, but substantially less population [though substantially higher GDP-per-capita]. US has an opportunity to "contain" China by doubling its population. Double population will produce more and consume more and will massively increase the attractiveness of US as a market [and simultaneously lower the attractiveness of China, because total attractiveness is a zero-sum game]. US, no doubt, is already an attractive market due to its size and efficiency, but if US wants to lower China's increasing attractiveness, it must increase its own "size".

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Net neutrality and DTH services for viewing TV channels [COMPACTIDEA]

Net neutrality isn't being followed in case of private DTH services in India. The tariff plans that are currently available from Airtel, Reliance, Sun, Tata Sky, etc., provide higher number of channels for higher monthly rental. This means that if you choose lower rental, some/many channels are just not available to you. This is exactly what net neutrality wants to avoid.

Solution? Give all channels in all tariff plans. Higher monthly rental should allow higher number of viewing hours. But there shouldn't be any limit on which channels are available to whom.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Thoughts on my love for landline phones, and on the voice quality of mobile phone calls in India these days

My feelings for landline [and cordless] phones have grown increasingly positive recently. In India, the voice quality on landline phones is much, much more clear than on mobile phones. Mobile to mobile calls are pure horse shit, while mobile-landline calls are merely acceptable. It's the landline-landline calls that stand out as awesome. Crystal clear sound quality, no disturbance, no weird hisses or noises. You're actually able to peacefully talk and conduct business and convey your thoughts to the other side properly and calmly on a landline-landline call. On mobile-mobile calls, half of your brain is wasted deciphering - through moments of noise, hisses, silence and disturbances - what the other party is trying to say, and this subconsciously confuses your brain and makes it busy and makes you irritated and doesn't allow you to think properly, leading to reduced quality of thoughts and poorer conversations [and thus poorer outcomes]. So many times you have to say "hello, hello, hello" to signal to the other party that you can't hear them. It's sort of torture. This isn't how mobile phone calls are supposed to be. They keep marketing 3G, 4G, etc., but what about the most thing - voice calls?

That's why lately I've started loving landline and cordless phones. No, we aren't ready for a mobile-only world. Landline phones are essential and do things that you just can't currently do on mobile phones - at least not here in India. Fierce competition in the mobile telecom industry and the resultant financial pressure has meant that call quality has taken a nosedive, calls drops have become commonplace, and signal strength has suffered greatly. What's the use of such competition? Even if you're willing to pay 1.25 times the bill, you can't buy guaranteed high-quality voice calls.

Landline phones have another advantage. Plausible deniability. If it's ringing, you don't necessarily have to pick it up [unlike mobile phones which are assumed to be near you]. You can call back later when convenient.

One more benefit of landline phones, which I discovered recently, is that the mobile company "Free" in France offers a cheap monthly prepaid plan to French customers which includes unlimited voice calls free to only landline phones in 80 countries. And guess what, the audio quality of these mobile-to-landline calls is superb. As good as domestic landline-to-landline calls in India. This is how mobile calls are supposed to be. Not the cow shit that mobile calls are currently in India.

Yet another benefit of landline phones is something I discovered recently during the Ram Rahim fiasco. The Punjab government disabled SMS and mobile Internet data services on all mobile phones, but broadband Internet continued to be available uninterrupted via wired connections. Those whose only source of Internet was mobile phones took a hit.

Further, over the last few months, the cellular signal of Airtel has went down multiple times. During such times, it was either landline phones that came to the rescue, or your secondary mobile phone powered by a different mobile service provider. Redundancy, that is. The service of landline phones, on the other hand, hasn't gone down in at least the last several years.

And who can deny that cordless/landline phones look far more royal, elegant, and professional? And who can deny that cordless/landline phones are more comfortable to hold, especially for long calls? And who can deny that [being geographically immovable and implying the existence of a physical workplace], a landline number feels more "stable" and "corporatish" than a cell number?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Paisa by paisa, rupee by rupee, Narendra Modi is cleverly extracting blood out of the pockets of Indians [RAWDUMP]

"Master Stroke by Modi ji. By increasing Fuel prices every day, We have successfully fooled the Nation. Look no body is questioning us on daily Fuel prices." [link 1] [link 2]


"Luxury cars and SUVs may become more expensive with the Union Cabinet approving an ordinance to raise the maximum compensation cess that can be levied over and above the 28% GST on such cars, from 15 % to 25%." [link 1]

What's the whole point of GST if you're not going to let prices of anything come down. You're only trying to protect and grow your tax collections, which you corrupt people squander and embezzle.


"The Goods and Services Tax Council has decided to increase the effective tax (rate and cess) on certain categories of automobiles to ensure the tax burden on them is similar to that imposed prior to the implementation of GST.

In a media conference held after the GST Council met in Hyderabad on Saturday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this was in an effort to maintain “equivalence”." [link]

Again, what's the whole point of GST if you're not going to let prices of anything come down? You hide accountability by hiding these wicked changes under the "GST Council" banner.


"Fuel prices rise, govt rules out tax rollback" [link]

"The price break-up for every litre of petrol in Delhi shows that state-run companies charge dealers Rs 30.70. The remaining is in excise duty, dealers' commission and state VAT which takes the price to Rs 70.38." [link]

"India's crude oil basket was at $53 per barrel on September 13, compared to $46 a barrel on June 16. The fall in crude oil prices since 2014 has been offset by an increase in taxes, particularly the central excise duty that was raised 9 times between November 2014 and January 2016. The corresponding tax mop up went from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,42,000 crore in 2016-17. Additionally, VAT, a component levied by state governments, has been increased in some regions." [link]

"The table below shows that while the retail price of diesel was Rs 57.28 per litre in Delhi on June 2, 2014 – when the international oil price was $106.88 per barrel – it has now reached a very similar price of Rs 58.72 per litre even though international oil prices are at $53.06 per barrel." [link]

"With international crude oil prices falling sharply from the annual average of $105 per barrel in 2013-14 to $46 per barrel in 2015-16 and 2016-17, the Modi government has hiked excise duties on petrol and diesel over nine times in order to encash a windfall. Rather than passing on the benefits of low oil prices to the consumers, the Centre has utilised the petroleum sector for additional revenue mobilisation, which can be seen from Table 2 below." [link]

This government of Narendra Modi is conducting daylight loot of Indian people.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Organization for Opposition to and Demolition of American Hegemony - OODAH [COMPACTIDEA]

Countries that are steadfastly opposed to American barbarism and tyranny need to form an organization. China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, maybe Belarus, maybe Egypt, maybe Serbia, maybe Algeria, and others. Once such an organization is established, more countries will join - from Africa, South America, Asia and maybe Europe too. The group needs to formulate tactical and strategic methods that will reduce and ultimately end America's global tyranny, from civilian murders, torture, assassinations and endless sanctions to cruel wars, overthrow of governments and theft of oil and minerals. Launch banks that are outside the control of America. Reduce the usage and importance of the US dollar. Prefer and promote non-American products. Reduce tourism to America and shift it elsewhere. Halt brain-drain to America. And so on. Steps need to be taken on an urgent basis under the umbrella of an international organization - OODAH.

Update: It's a shame that I can't easily add Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya to the list of countries which would surely join OODAH. America has cruelly destroyed these three nations, but it has also installed puppets, thus suppressing any public expression of outrage - towards America - from these countries. Such a sad and sorry state.