Putin on the Writs

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Taktix®
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Putin on the Writs

Post by Taktix® » 08 May 2015, 00:09

So I guess there was no Russia-Specific Cold War II thread on the gryll, until now.

Looks they still suck at Fiziks: Russia's Brand New Tank Just Broke Down In The Middle Of Moscow
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Aresen » 08 May 2015, 10:28

The Russians have always been very good at theory and abstraction.

When it comes to engineering and design of things, they tend to suck, especially when it gets high tech. They also suck when it comes to actually building things.

I'm guessing it is even worse now when anyone who is highly skilled can head west for a bigger salary.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jennifer » 08 May 2015, 10:39

Serious question: how much, if at all, is Russian science and engineering still hampered by notions that ideology must trump facts, or by the idea that failure, a vital part of useful experimentation, needs to be hidden or covered up, rather than admitted and addressed? (I'm thinking of various critiques of Soviet-era science as I say this: Lysenkoism was the most notorious example, but I gather than even after that was officially abandoned, there did remain a "lysenkoish" taint over Soviet science and tech programs.)

Not that Western science is some pure utopia of rationalism and honesty untainted by personal failings; just that in Western science these are officially considered bad things.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Warren » 08 May 2015, 10:43

Aresen wrote:The Russians have always been very good at theory and abstraction.

When it comes to engineering and design of things, they tend to suck, especially when it gets high tech. They also suck when it comes to actually building things.

I'm guessing it is even worse now when anyone who is highly skilled can head west for a bigger salary.
On the one hand, I was always impressed at how the Russians could achieve what they did on little more than steampunk technology. On the other hand, I worked with a few Russian engineers from the 90's exodus. They each claimed to have the equivalent of a Masters Degree, and building a paper clip chain was about their limit.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Sandy » 08 May 2015, 10:52

Warren wrote:
Aresen wrote:The Russians have always been very good at theory and abstraction.

When it comes to engineering and design of things, they tend to suck, especially when it gets high tech. They also suck when it comes to actually building things.

I'm guessing it is even worse now when anyone who is highly skilled can head west for a bigger salary.
On the one hand, I was always impressed at how the Russians could achieve what they did on little more than steampunk technology. On the other hand, I worked with a few Russian engineers from the 90's exodus. They each claimed to have the equivalent of a Masters Degree, and building a paper clip chain was about their limit.
I think their system is like the Polish system, in that they have a 5 year (yes, literally) degree that is basically like an Honors track in the US, including a short thesis. They claim it is a Masters, and how much better it is than the Western Bachelors, but yeah, it's basically just a BA or BS. So you were dealing with what in the West would be 4 year degrees, and given the relative quality of the university systems, you were not dealing with people graduating from top-flight schools.

I had a water quality engineer express doubt on my camping water filter, and wanted me to fill up a container with water so he could test if it actually removed giardia, etc. But then he handed me a used soda bottle for the sample. I explained it had to be sterile or the results would be meaningless, and he sort of shrugged.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Aresen » 08 May 2015, 11:17

Jennifer wrote:Serious question: how much, if at all, is Russian science and engineering still hampered by notions that ideology must trump facts, or by the idea that failure, a vital part of useful experimentation, needs to be hidden or covered up, rather than admitted and addressed? (I'm thinking of various critiques of Soviet-era science as I say this: Lysenkoism was the most notorious example, but I gather than even after that was officially abandoned, there did remain a "lysenkoish" taint over Soviet science and tech programs.)

Not that Western science is some pure utopia of rationalism and honesty untainted by personal failings; just that in Western science these are officially considered bad things.
After the atomic bomb, the Russians dropped the ideological purity test for the hard sciences (which is one of the reasons that Sakharov and Korolev were left alone for so long, despite their known ideological 'deviances'.) In biology, Lysenkoism - or more precisely, Lamarckism - still has some influence in Russian biology. (IIRC, there has been some recent work which suggested that the experiences of an individual organism can influence inherited traits. This happens not through the genes themselves but through the parts of the cell that turn the genes on and off.)
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Kolohe » 08 May 2015, 15:25

Jennifer wrote:Serious question: how much, if at all, is Russian science and engineering still hampered by notions that ideology must trump facts, or by the idea that failure, a vital part of useful experimentation, needs to be hidden or covered up, rather than admitted and addressed? (I'm thinking of various critiques of Soviet-era science as I say this: Lysenkoism was the most notorious example, but I gather than even after that was officially abandoned, there did remain a "lysenkoish" taint over Soviet science and tech programs.)

Not that Western science is some pure utopia of rationalism and honesty untainted by personal failings; just that in Western science these are officially considered bad things.

Like others have said, any problems they have are not ideological. In one sense, they're much more accepting of failure than most the of the West - if something like the Kursk would have happened to the US sub force, we probably wouldn't have a US nuclear sub force anymore. (even though the Kursk wasn't a nuke problem).

The main problem with the Russian military-industrial complex is literal and metaphorical rust. For one, all their equipment has to work in generally harsher conditions than the west is accustomed to. The other thing, and really the main thing, is that their entire R&D and procurement systems went into suspended animation when the CCCP went kaput. they launched a submarine a couple of years ago i.e 2011 that was started in *1993*. So who knows how long that tank was on the shelf, either in design or in actual parts.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Mo » 08 May 2015, 16:03

I'll say this about Russian engineering, they design and build stuff with crazy high tolerances.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by JasonL » 08 May 2015, 16:27

Mo wrote:I'll say this about Russian engineering, they design and build stuff with crazy high tolerances.
That's like the bolt has to be 4X too big because the gap is 4X too big.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Mo » 08 May 2015, 16:48

But the thing is, that gave them an advantage over the Germans in Dubya Dubya Dos. Surviving muck and grime and using McGyvered spare parts help you beat precision engineering when supply lines get low. There's a reason why the AK is the gun of choice for militants the world around.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Dangerman » 08 May 2015, 16:55

Mo wrote:But the thing is, that gave them an advantage over the Germans in Dubya Dubya Dos. Surviving muck and grime and using McGyvered spare parts help you beat precision engineering when supply lines get low. There's a reason why the AK is the gun of choice for militants the world around.
The AK is, unfortunately, not indicative of the general quality of Russian firearms, in my limited experience. Their handguns suuuuuuuuck.

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Aresen » 08 May 2015, 16:56

Dangerman wrote:
Mo wrote:But the thing is, that gave them an advantage over the Germans in Dubya Dubya Dos. Surviving muck and grime and using McGyvered spare parts help you beat precision engineering when supply lines get low. There's a reason why the AK is the gun of choice for militants the world around.
The AK is, unfortunately, not indicative of the general quality of Russian firearms, in my limited experience. Their handguns suuuuuuuuck.
I think the recent resupply mission to the ISS is more indicative of the current state of Russian technology.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by JD » 08 May 2015, 17:26

I am reminded of the instances of Ukrainian rebels taking Russian tanks from museums and memorials and getting them running again in short order. Here's footage of some guys starting up a WW-II era tank that had been sitting out in the open for decades.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by lunchstealer » 08 May 2015, 17:50

Aresen wrote:
Dangerman wrote:
Mo wrote:But the thing is, that gave them an advantage over the Germans in Dubya Dubya Dos. Surviving muck and grime and using McGyvered spare parts help you beat precision engineering when supply lines get low. There's a reason why the AK is the gun of choice for militants the world around.
The AK is, unfortunately, not indicative of the general quality of Russian firearms, in my limited experience. Their handguns suuuuuuuuck.
I think the recent resupply mission to the ISS is more indicative of the current state of Russian technology.
To be fair, it is rocket science.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Hugh Akston » 07 Oct 2015, 17:12

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Taktix® » 09 Dec 2015, 08:35

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Mo » 11 Dec 2015, 12:21

Putin apparently got his intel on how easy fixing Syria would be from Max Boot and Rumsfeld.
Many senior officials in Moscow underestimated how long the operation in support of Bashar al-Assad would take when Putin entered Syria’s civil war on Sept. 30 and no longer talk in terms of just a few months, with one saying the hope now is that it won’t last several years.
Last edited by Mo on 11 Dec 2015, 12:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 11 Dec 2015, 12:27

Can we send Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz to Moscow? And maybe Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, and Powell while we're at it?
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Aresen » 11 Dec 2015, 12:29

Mo wrote:Putin apparently got his intel on how easy fixing Syria would be from Max Boot and Rumsfeld.

Many senior officials in Moscow underes ... ral years.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jennifer » 11 Dec 2015, 12:43

The Syrians will welcome you as liberators! It'll be a cakewalk! The whole thing'll be over in six months, tops! And it won't even cost your country's taxpayers any money, because when it's over the grateful Syrians will beg you to confiscate their abundant natural resources in quantities sufficient to cover your expenses. Plus, remember: waterboarding is only torture when others do it to you; when you do it to others it's a valid and useful interrogation technique!

Whoops, sorry; I was confusing our old Iraq War justifications with Russia's current Syrian War ones.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 11 Dec 2015, 13:11

Jennifer, the Russians are there to drain the swamp and build quasi-democracy in Syria! And to stop Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons. Without a credible deterrent against WMD, terrorists could unleash poison gas in Beijing.
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Kolohe » 11 Dec 2015, 15:03

What Putin is doing to Assad is the exact opposite of what Bush did to Saddam. It is what Truman did with Syngman Rhee. It is also what Kennedy & Johnson did with Diem, but Assad's advantages over Diem are experience, legacy, and a more highly motivated cadre of support.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 11 Dec 2015, 15:05

Kolohe wrote:What Putin is doing to Assad is the exact opposite of what Bush did to Saddam. It is what Truman did with Syngman Rhee. It is also what Kennedy & Johnson did with Diem, but Assad's advantages over Diem are experience, legacy, and a more highly motivated cadre of support.
Yes, but it's still an intervention in the Middle East based on the assumption that "Don't worry, this shit will be easy!"
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by Jennifer » 11 Dec 2015, 15:10

Kolohe wrote:What Putin is doing to Assad is the exact opposite of what Bush did to Saddam. It is what Truman did with Syngman Rhee. It is also what Kennedy & Johnson did with Diem, but Assad's advantages over Diem are experience, legacy, and a more highly motivated cadre of support.
Heh heh heh, I'm sure that'll be very comforting to Russian "my rodina, right or wrong"-style patriots. "Putin's Syrian adventure is not going to be a fuckup on par with America's second Iraq war; it'll be a fuckup on par with America's war in Vietnam!"
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Re: Putin on the Writs

Post by thoreau » 11 Dec 2015, 15:25

Putin is nothing like Kennedy.

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