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Илья Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Илья" journal:

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August 29th, 2015
12:28 am

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Reading log
Gregory Orfalea, Journey to the Sun (2014). Everyone who has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area has heard the name Junipero Serra, since one of the two freeways that connect San Francisco to San Jose is named after the man, and next to the freeway there is a huge concrete statue of Serra kneeling. Before reading this book I knew nothing about the man save that he was a missionary converting Indians to Christianity. Junipero Serra (1713-1784) was in fact a Franciscan monk who was a professor of philosophy and theology in Spain before he heard the call at age 36 and sailed to Mexico. Serra served as a priest in missions in the Sierra Gorda mountains of central Mexico and helped build new ones; he also served in Oaxaca. In 1769 Serra went as the head priest of the Portolá expedition, which explored Alta California (modern State of California) and opened it to Spanish colonization. The Franciscans founded one mission in Baja California and 21 missions in Alta California, 9 of them founded by Serra personally. Towns such as San Diego and San Francisco grew around these missions and concomitantly founded presidios (military forts).

In the missions, the Indians grew crops and raised cattle in a state of virtual slavery; runaways and shirkers were whipped, a practice Serra approved of personally, in line with the practices of his era. On the East Coast, the Anglo-Americans wanted land and pushed the Indians aside; in California, the Spanish were far outnumbered by the natives, so there was less pressure on land, but life was still a disaster for the Indians because of germs, germs and germs. Syphilis, measles, typhus and other diseases killed them; gonorrhea sterilized women without killing them; neither the padres nor the native shamans knew how to treat these diseases. From 1783 to 1831, the death rate at Mission San Carlos Borromeo was 79 deaths per thousand people. The Coast Miwok went from 1500 to 2000 people in 1770 to 300 in 1848 to 60 in 1880 (this book gives an unbelievably high number for the precontact population of the tribe); in 2007, Bishop Francis Quinn of Sacramento apologized to the Miwoks on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church for mistreating their ancestors and eradicating their culture.

As I was reading the book, I had the feeling that I was reading about Bishop Diego de Landa of Yucatan, who lived almost 200 years before Junipero Serra, though Serra was more tolerant of native religious practices than de Landa, and not about an older contemporary of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. During a sermon Serra could illustrate the suffering of Jesus by beating himself with a chain or thumping his chest with a stone; a parishioner of his imitated him and beat himself to death, probably of a heart attack. No wonder Serra approved of Indian malfeasants being whipped for their own spiritual good. This kind of sadomasochistic spirituality was as utterly alien to the Indians as it is to the modern age.

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August 24th, 2015
12:37 pm

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Les Indes galantes
Кому ориенталистской французской оперы и балета эпохи барокко про американских индейцев?



Позолоченный трон на заднем плане, как я понимаю, должен изображать престол инков. Танец с масками бизонов - танец индейцев Великих Равнин (настоящий танец, где танцоры изображают бизонов, выглядел так; он исполнялся перед белыми зрителями шоу о Диком Западе Буффало Билла в 1894 году; я не знаю, был ли он придумал для этого шоу). Одежда, лицевая раскраска и прическа барабанщика должны изображать таковые индейцев Атлантического побережья Северной Америки. Что должен означать танец вроде Walk like an Egyptian - я не знаю. Мне трудно воспринимать всерьез эту мешанину, но мелодия запоминающаяся.

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August 23rd, 2015
05:13 pm

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Народное
Вот какой инцидент произошел сегодня в Харькове возле перекрестка проспекта Ленина и улицы 23 августа. Хунвейбиныактивісти Громадської Варти напали на мужчину в футболке с гербом СССР.



А я в один из своих наездов в Харьков возле бывшего книжного магазина "Кобзарь" на перекрестке проспекта Ленина и улицы Новгородской, несколькими кварталами южнее, видел молодого человека в футболке с надписью "Waffen SS", и никто на него не обращал внимания. В последний приезд я на этом перекрестке попрощался с cantanapoli и его другом, спустился по Новгородской, и перешел через Саржин Яр к университетскому стадиону (если эти харьковские топонимы кому-то незнакомы, все они есть на гуглевой карте). На стадионе было написано граффито, которое взорвало мне мозг: "Перунова рать СС Галичина".

"Беги, ватник, беги!" Ватность - это состояние души, и судя по ролику, в этом состоянии пребывают догоняющие; пребывает ли в нем убегающий, по ролику нельзя определить.

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August 21st, 2015
07:36 pm

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Theodora Kroeber, Ishi in Two Worlds (1961). The Yana were an indigenous people of California whose tribal territory was the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada south of today's Redding and north of Yuba City. Before the mid-19th century they numbered 1500 to 3000 people. They had no agriculture; they gathered acorns and manzanita berries, harpooned salmon, hunted deer with bow and arrow, wove baskets from pine roots. Their language may have been an isolate, or a branch of the hypothetical Hokan language family, made up of a few small Native American languages mostly from California. Linguists divide it into four dialects, about as far from each other as the Romance languages: northern, central, southern and southernmost; the southernmost dialect is also called Yahi. The word Yana means a person in Yana; Yahi is the southernmost pronunciation of the same word; as far as we can tell, the Yana had no specific word for themselves or their language.

Come the California Gold Rush and the stream of American pioneers. Hydraulic mining befouled the rivers and killed the fish. Settler cattle, sheep and pigs ate the acorns that Yana women would otherwise have gathered and ground into meal. The Yana robbed the farms and the ranches and killed the settlers. The settlers struck back, forming posses and killing many more Indians than the Indians had killed whites. One of the Indian fighters published his memoir in 1909, half a century after the fact, where he brags about massacring an unbelievably high number of Indians, as if his posse had AK-47s and not Civil War rifles. The U.S. Army captured other Indians and marched them to a reservation 130 miles distant; of the 461 Indians who left Chico, 277 arrived at the reservation, 2 were unaccounted for, 32 died on the march, and 150 were left sick along the route. By 1872 the genocide was complete, or so it seemed.

Yet some Yahi survived, as Kroeber puts it, the smallest free nation in the world, roaming the woods and hiding from the whites. Their numbers gradually dwindled, but they were there. In 1908 two surveyors suddenly stumbled upon an Indian fishing with a harpoon; the next morning surveyors came upon a tiny village; three people ran away, but one immobile old woman lay in a hut. The surveyors took everything in the hut, four people's means of livelihood, as souvenirs. Finally, in 1911 a starving Indian man who was about 50 showed up outside a slaughterhouse in Oroville, a town in the Sacramento Valley. He did not understand English, Spanish or the Native American languages of the valley. He was fed and taken to the town jail while the authorities debated, what to do with him. A linguist from the University of California read about the discovery in the papers and took the train to Oroville, taking word lists of two Yana dialects with him. Although the word lists did not match his native language perfectly, the Indian understood some of the words; he was definitely a Yana, the last of his tribe. Though some elderly speakers of Yana survived into the 1930s, and some people with partial Yana ancestry are alive even today, the man was the last Yana to live as a Yana.

The man was taken to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, then in San Francisco (now the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkeley), the American Indianist curator of which was Alfred Kroeber, the author's husband. He never told his Yahi name; in the white society he went by Ishi, the Yana word for man. Ishi worked at the museum as a janitor, a linguistic and folkloric informant, and a "living exhibit". He recorded Yahi tribal mythology and lore on wax cylinders; he taught the anthropologists how to make arrow points, bows and arrows, make fire with a drill. In 1914 he went back to his native land and showed them how to hunt deer with a deer-head decoy and rabbits by squeaking like a rabbit in distress. In 1916 he died of tuberculosis.

I read this book when I was about 19, 23 years ago. Either the next year or the year after that I took a History of California class in college where this book was required reading; we were shown a documentary on Ishi (no film footage of him survives, so it had photographs accompanied by narration). This summer I was motorcycling up California State Route 32, through the former Yana country (the hiding place of Ishi's band was dozens of miles south), and decided to re-read this book and read something newer on Ishi, which was Ishi's Brain by Orin Starn. The newer book corrects the older book's many mistakes, and says that the older book captured the spirit of its time, which is why it was a bestseller. In 1976 Kroeber's daughter Ursula Kroeber Le Guin published the novel The Word for World is Forest, which has Earthlings invade a forest planet and try stripping it of resources. The planet is inhabited by Stone Age humanoids, who rise and slaughter all Earthling women, an imagined genocide Le Guin seems to approve of, unlike the real-life genocide of the Yana, which her mother denounces. When the blockbuster movie "Avatar" came out, many reviewers were struck by its similarity to the obscure science fiction novel. There may not be many descendants of the Yana left, but there are many more whites feeling guilty for their historic ancestors' crimes.

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August 17th, 2015
02:17 pm

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Художественное
Кто не видел работ израильской художницы Зои Черкасской-Ннади, тот много потерял. В основном ее темы - это советское детство, алия в Израиль в 1990е годы, и Нигерия - родина ее мужа.

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12:45 pm

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Reading log
Orin Starn, Ishi's Brain (2004). In 1911, a Native American man who looked about 50 appeared near a slaughterhouse in Oroville, CA, a town on the border of the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountains. He looked starving; his hair was cropped short. The man did not understand English, Spanish or Maidu, a Native American language then still spoken in the valley. He was fed and put into the local jail while the authorities debated, what to do with him. An anthropologist at the University of California read the news of the strange Indian in a newspaper, and came to Oroville by train with a list of words of Yana, a language known to have been spoken by hill tribes. In the 1860s members of the southernmost band of Yana have been massacred by white settlers in retaliation for the Indians raiding their farms; apparently, some escaped the massacre and went into hiding. As late as 1908 surveyors stumbled upon an Indian camp in the mountains and ransacked it. The man in jail understood some of the words; he did speak a variety of Yana. He was released and taken to UC Berkeley's Museum of Anthropology (now Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology), then in San Francisco. The man worked as a janitor and a "living exhibit" at the museum; he taught the anthropologists how to hunt with bow and arrow, how to lure rabbits, how to flake obsidian into arrow points. He took San Francisco children on quail hunts at Golden Gate Park. He recorded his tribe's mythology and lore on wax cylinders. In 1916 he died of tuberculosis. We do not know the man's name: it was his tribe's custom that one man would be introduced to another by a friend, and since he was the last of his tribe, he had no friends to introduce him, and did not want to break the custom. He is usually referred to as Ishi, the word for man in his native language. His tribe and language are known as Yahi, which means person in his native dialect of Yana; the word Yana means the same thing in another dialect of the language.

After the sensation of "the last wild Indian in North America" had subsided, Ishi was forgotten for over 40 years. In 1961 Theodora Kroeber, second wife of Alfred Kroeber, a famous anthropologist who worked with Ishi at the museum, wrote a book Ishi in Two Worlds about the man. The book has a million copies in print, and has been translated into many foreign languages. Kroeber also wrote a children's book about Ishi, also a commercial success. I bought and read Ishi in Two Worlds when I was about 19; a couple of years later I took a History of California class in college, and the professor, a specialist on the Communist Party USA and a fan of the Black Panther Party, put this book on the required reading list but told us to watch out for the biases that are characteristic of its time (these weren't her exact words, but this is the gist I remember). As Starn tells in his book, Ishi in Two Worlds does have biases that are characteristic of its time, but probably not in the sense the professor meant.

The 1960s and the 1970s were one of the periods of white America's infatuation with all things native. It was then when Carlos Castaneda's tale of apprenticeship with an (apparently fictional) Yaqui Indian shaman was published and became a bestseller. It was a time of the Vietnam war, when a book about evil white Americans' slaughter of good colored people and the sad tale of a survivor was sure to find a wide readership. The reality, says Starn, was less black-and-white and more interesting than Kroeber makes it to be. For starters, the people in the hills who raided white farms in the 1860s were not only pure-blooded Yahi Mesolithic hunters-gatherers. According to the newspapers of the time, some spoke English and used firearms, whatever their tribal identity. Kroeber took the number of Indians killed in the massacres from the memoirs of an Indian fighter written 50 years after the fact; contemporary newspapers give much smaller numbers. The arrow points made by Ishi at the museum are different from the arrow points found at Yahi archeological sites, but similar to the arrow points used by lowland tribes; perhaps Ishi's father or uncle was a lowlander and taught him how to make them; perhaps the white invasion made friends of erstwhile enemies. The baskets looted from Ishi's camp by the surveyors in 1908 were also more typical of Maidu than Yahi style. Ishi and his family survived until 1911 not as much by hunting and gathering as by stealing food and tools from the whites, which was excusable because they no longer had the liberty to roam the mountains and shoot wild game like their ancestors did. When modern archaeologists found the camp looted in 1908, they first thought it a pioneer camp because of all the late-19th-early-20th-century manufactured articles: knives, a saw blade, fabric and so on. Only things like flat river rocks used for grinding acorns convinced the archeologists that this was the Indian camp.

Much of the book is about Ishi's remains. According to federal law, Native American tribes can claim the remains of their tribesmen from museums and bury them according to the tribal custom. Does this apply to Ishi, who was the last of his tribe? When Ishi died, his body was cremated and the ashes stored at a cemetery in Colma, CA as "Indian Ishi"; however, it turned out that his brain was in a jar at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. After many bureaucratic adventures, they were reburied in 2000 in the former Yahi tribal territory by the descendants of other Yana bands.

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August 16th, 2015
06:34 pm

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Seth Shostak, Confessions of an Alien Hunter (2009). My favorite science fiction novel about aliens is The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. My second favorite science fiction novel about aliens is Roadside Picnic by Russian writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, which has been reissued in 2012 in an excellent new English translation. In the 1970s, aliens land in a few places on Earth, taking off a few days later and leaving behind artifacts and phenomena that apparently violate the laws of physics as Earth scientists know them, looking as strange to them as a twentieth-century laser would to Sir Isaac Newton. These artifacts and phenomena illuminate the workings of the human society dealing with them like a beetle placed on an anthill illuminates the workings of the ant society. Defense contractors are interested in a deadly colloid that turns all organic matter it touches into itself; a perpetual battery strong enough to power a car that reproduces by fission revolutionizes industry. A businessman character who is also an agent of an FBI-like agency has a conversation about the aliens with a physicist character. He is surprised that the aliens haven't contacted humanity in a take-me-to-your-leader routine or even noticed that Earth is inhabited by intelligent beings. The physicist answers that there is no agreed-upon definition of intelligence; the aliens apparently did not consider humans intelligent or worthy of contact.

Seth Shostak spent his life searching for a radio signal sent by aliens from nearby stars using radio telescopes. A few days before writing this review I drove past a radio telescope array in Northern California that is still doing this search. Never mind the question, why beings that are presumably less similar to humans than spirochetes would want to send a radio signal to humans. Earth has three genera of intelligent creatures that are closely related to humans: chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Primatologists such as Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas have studied the nonhuman great apes in their natural habitat; other humans have put them in zoos, hunted them for meat, conducted medical experiments on them. Humans have not attempted, for example, to give the chimpanzees better hunting technologies than what they already possess. Why would aliens want to contact humans and give us technologies? It is a trope of science fiction that intelligent aliens and intelligent humans are one kind of beings, and unintelligent animals are another. It contradicts the biological fact that humans and nonhuman great apes are essentially the same kind of being, and humans have not contacted the nonhuman great apes the way science fiction imagines aliens contacting humans. As I understand it, before we can start searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, we should first define intelligence based on Earth models, human and especially nonhuman, and it is a job for biologists, not radio astronomers.

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August 15th, 2015
09:10 pm

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Annie Jacobsen, Operation Paperclip (2014). Anyone who has read anything about the Space Race knows about Dr. Wernher "I aim for the stars but sometimes I hit London" von Braun and his band of Nazi rocketeers, who were brought to the United States to work on the American ballistic missile and space rocket programs. At the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum I learned that so was Hans von Ohain, a coinventor of the jet engine. In fact, more German scientists, engineers and technicians were brought to the US to work on weapons of the Cold War, hundreds more. In addition to the aerospace people, there were also biological and chemical weapons specialists, who helped the United States develop these weapons. Two decades later President Richard Nixon renounced their use, telling his speechwriter, "If somebody uses germs on us, we'll nuke 'em," so employing the German biological warfare specialists was not only immoral but also useless. When one inmate of the Ravensbrück concentration camp who was crippled in the Nazi medical experiments came to the United States for treatment, she fingered a biological warfare specialist as one who was very much interested in her surgery, though she did not know whether he ordered it. He was speedily evacuated to Argentina where he died in peace many years later. I must add that embarrassing the United States into admitting that it had sheltered a Nazi criminal was probably the reason Communist Poland allowed this woman to seek medical treatment abroad. A luminary of aviation medicine who later invented space medicine was also tied to Nazi human experimentation: for example, six epileptic children who were scheduled to be killed in the Nazi "euthanasia" program were first taken to his institute and put into decompression chambers in order to research the effects of hypoxia on human beings.

Annie Jacobsen became famous with her book on Area 51, which claimed that the Roswell "aliens" were child pilots surgically altered by Josef Mengele on Joseph Stalin's orders (never mind that it is a documented fact that at the time of the Roswell UFO incident Mengele was hiding far from Stalin's reach). This book does not have any claims that are this outlandish. One big thing that is missing is how America's employment of German scientists compared to their Soviet employment. I know that the Soviets also employed German scientists on a massive scale; centrifuge enrichment of uranium was invented by a team of German physicists working in the Soviet Union, and German rocketeers worked on Gorodomlya Island on Lake Seliger in western Russia, though they played a smaller role in the Soviet space program than their counterparts in the USA in the American space program. The Soviet Union had a chemical and biological weapons program up until its dissolution; I would be surprised if the Germans didn't lend their hand with it, voluntarily or not.

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01:16 pm

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Черные трассы
Пол Теру

Черные трассы


Я жила в несчастливом браке в Коннектикуте, обычная скучающая домохозяйка. Потом я записалась на курсы радиологии: рентген, томография, ЯМР. Через два года получила диплом, бросила мужа, и переехала сюда, в Мэн. Для техников-радиологов много рабочих мест, и неплохие часы работы. Я выбрала Мэн из-за зим.

Я всю зиму катаюсь на лыжах, кроме последней зимы, когда проходила медицинские процедуры. У меня в плече пять шурупов и навсегда поврежденная ротаторная манжета, которая орет в сырую погоду. Я ломала обе руки, ключицу, и левую лодыжку. Мне нужно заменить коленные суставы. Это будет клево. Тебе сделают боковые надрезы, отрежут ноги, вставят металл, и дадут справку, чтобы проходить через металлоискатель в аэропорту.

С лодыжкой - иначе. Я прочитала собственный томографический снимок, и выбрала замену лодыжки. У трупа взяли лодыжку, удалили мою сломанную, и вставили новую. Но она слишком маленькая. Мне больно. Возможно, нужно будет переделывать.

Я терпеть не могу беговые лыжи. Мой бывший муж был от них без ума. Я уже слышать не могла его "Смотри - желтая сосна", "Смотри - красногрудый кардинал", "Ох, сядем вон на то полено и съедим по бубкику". Беговые лыжи - это, извините, для ссыкунов.

Он не понимал, что в правильном приложении боль - это удовольствие. Я хочу черные трассы, целые дни черных трасс. Я хочу съезжать по черным трассам, чтобы ноги бились, слезы лились из глаз и застывали на лице. Чтобы сопли лились из носа вниз по щеке, чтобы все лицо горело от холода. На черной трассе у меня дух захватывает, и ни один мой знакомый мужчина этого не понимает, из-за чего я и избавилась от мужа, избавилась ото всех своих парней, и осталась одна с псом.

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August 14th, 2015
12:56 pm

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Пропагандистское
Давно ничего не писал о российской пропаганде.

В распоряжение "КП" попали оригиналы документов и видеоматериалов, которые подтверждают, что малайзийский лайнер мог быть заминирован западными спецслужбами



"Luck" вместо "Good luck".

"John, I have to tell you..." Они забыли, что разговаривают якобы Дэвид Хамильтон и Дэвид Лойд Стерн.

"I need to personally supervise the complex" с ударением в complex на e. В американском английском ударение на e - только в прилагательном complex; в существительном ударение всегда на o (например). Зенитный ракетный комплекс же по-английски surface-to-air missile system; слова complex в названии нет.

и т. д.

Будь я россиянином, я бы поставил тэг "ёбаный стыд". Но я не россиянин, и я наблюдаю за Россией с болезненным интересом (morbid fascination). И что будет дальше?

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