ANATOLY KARLIN is a blogger, writer, and intelligence researcher based in Moscow.
First, some quick links:
My blogging career began on January 9, 2008 when I launched my first blog about Russia. Soon afterwards, I expanded to other topics, mainly revolving around geopolitics, HBD & psychometrics, economic history, and transhumanism. These twin themes have defined my blogging ever since. In January 2015, Ron Unz invited me to join The Unz Review, where I blogged until moving to Substack in October 2021.
Over the years, some of my hits have included the successful prediction of Russia’s demographic turnaround as early as 2008, being rated as one of the world’s most accurate sources on intelligence testing in surveys of professional psychometrists, and and writing what is perhaps the most detailed popular article [in Russian] on the history of intelligence testing in Russia and its current geographic distribution. Sadly, I was also correct in predicting that COVID-19 would kill millions and crash the world economy in January-February 2020. All things considered, I think reading me is positive value added so far as divining the future is concerned (up to and including when to buy Bitcoin).
Otherwise, I am perhaps most famous for coming up with the following concepts:
However, if I really had to distill my “theme” to its essence, it might go something as follows:
We have a window of ~50-100 years to catapult ourselves into the transhumanist era.
If we fail, global dysgenic trends will disintegrate the results of millennia of brutal Malthusian selection for intelligence and thrift. The end result will be a fecund idiocracy that will bump up against the carrying capacity limits of the global industrial economy, ushering in what I call the Age of Malthusian Industrialism. Centuries later, the cruel and uncaring forces of eugenic selection will reassert themselves and reignite progress. But this process won’t be much fun for our descendants, and every extra century we spend confined to this planet increases the chances of a very unhappy ending.
How do we ascend to the stars without falling into Idiot’s Limbo?
I believe this might be the most important question of our age, its only competitor being the control problem in AI. My goal here is to try to answer it.
I was born in Moscow in 1988 and lived there and in Volokolamsk until 1994. Like many scientists after the Soviet collapse, my parents emigrated so as to be able to continue doing research. Much of this time was spent in a bleak, post-industrial town in England’s North-West. Fortunately, it had Europe’s largest bus station, so at least getting out of there was easy after finishing high school.
I wandered about in California for a good decade or so, acquiring a degree in Political Economy from U.C. Berkeley in the process. I liked it a great deal more than the UK, but despite its conviviality and status as a playground for eccentrics, from ski bums to neo-reactionaries and transhumanists, I still ultimately felt like a stranger in a strange land. Tiring of the “identitarian unease” created by my rootless cosmopolitan existence, I practiced what I preached and returned to Russia for good in 2016.
Politics is the mind-killer, so I prefer not to attach too many labels to myself. That said, a short summary of my schizo-politics might be in order so that readers know where I’m coming from, instead of relying on Internet fan fiction.
As regards policy, I identify as a Radical Centrist, integrating what I consider to be good, cool ideas from all corners of the political compass:
As regards values, I subscribe to virtue ethics on the personal level, nationalism at the national level, and effective altruism at the universal level*.
As regards beliefs, I identify as a cultural Orthodox Christian, though I think it’s all just “digital physics” in the end.
On a more mundane level, I enjoy skiing, sci-fi, traveling to obscure Russian towns, and Indian cuisine.
Supporting my Work
The best way to support my blogging is to just buy a subscription to my Substack. The free subscription gives you access to ~90% of the posts and the ability to comment in the Open Takes and ~75% of the effortposts. The paid subscription opens up the ability to comment on everything, as well as access to “specials”, the occasional AMA, and some other shorter and more whimsical content.
I also accept cryptos at the following addresses:
You can also use the Brave browser (better than Chrome!) to send me Basic Attention Tokens ($BAT) on my websites and Twitter.
Although Substack does not currently support crypto, I will be happy to manually comp subscriptions in return for crypto payments equivalent to the current $60 price of a yearly subscription. Just let me know your intentions in advance via email or Twitter, and send me the transaction ID.
Please free to send me all kinds of interesting and exotic tokens. If I “make it” through one of them, I’ll reward you with a lifetime subscription.
You can also sponsor me on Patreon, but it’s not something I would encourage given that they take a large cut and I no longer maintain rewards there. If you’re rich and wish to express appreciation beyond a Substack subscription, best way to go about that is to just send me cryptos through the above addresses, or money through PayPal.