Russia’s Forever War; Economic Consequences, More

New information on Russia’s economic predicament

Russia has lost about 20 generals and almost 140,000 dead so far. The Kremlin is gearing up its offensive in Donbas in the hope of forcing a temporary cease-fire under advantageous conditions, to re-group and re-arm for yet another evolution of the war. Russian casualties consequently skyrocket, and materiel losses accelerate rapidly. Russia needs a lot of help to convince Ukraine’s allies to reduce their military and financial aid to the besieged country, but considering all of Russia’s war crimes to date, it may be too late for that.

A lot more Russian men will die, and many more will emigrate out of the country or will sink into alcoholism and drug addiction. Russia’s demographic situation is dire, and its economic situation is beginning to look dismal as well.

Artificial Intelligence and the Military

The Netherlands government is hosting an international conference on AI in the military, next week

“We truly see this as a key shaping moment in the future of AI in the military,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra told a small group of journalists on Thursday.

“In a field that is really about life and death, you want to make sure that humans, regardless of all the flaws baked into our DNA, are part of the decision-making process.”

Militarily, AI is already used for reconnaissance, surveillance and situational analysis.

While one of the conference sessions on the future of war is called “Regulating Slaughterbots”, the prospect of fully independent killing machines remains far off.

But AI with the potential to autonomously pick targets could be just over the horizon.

These include so-called drone swarms and the use of AI in nuclear command and control systems.

The conference aims to take a first step towards international rules on “what is acceptable, what is not acceptable” in military uses of AI, Hoekstra said.

“You already see that AI is being used in the war that Russia is waging against Ukraine.”


.More below, including registration information:

The government of the Netherlands is hosting the first global Summit on Responsible Artificial Intelligence in the Military Domain: REAIM 2023. REAIM 2023 will be a platform for all stakeholders to discuss the key opportunities, challenges and risks associated with military applications of AI. The event is co-hosted by the Republic of Korea and will be held on 15 and 16 February 2023 at the World Forum in The Hague, the international city of peace and justice.

REAIM The Hague

Big Tech Companies Jockey for Position

The big 5 tech giants, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft, are worth over $5 trillion between them. They are gobbling up tech startups like turkeys.

Visual Capitalist

Top 10 Tech Companies

Top 22 Tech Companies

The reason these companies are so active in acquisitions is that they recognize that disruptive innovation tends to happen at a smaller scale, typically a handful of contributors. By buying up small innovative startups that show promise, they can sort them out over time while allowing the smaller companies to go as far as they can as a relatively small scale enterprise. Some new technologies will be incorporated into pre-existing products right away. Others will be killed, or simply sat on.

ChatGPT is causing a lot of big tech companies to panic:

But pretty much all of the top tech companies are working on AI projects with military implications, even if that is not the stated intention of the company. Some of these companies have displayed strong antipathy toward the US military, while at the same time channeling funds to US government officials with military oversight powers. It is an interesting dynamic.

As it usually goes with all businesses around the free-market world, big corps have two options: grow or perish. And the way to growth is a one-way street. The name of the game: Merges and acquisitions. Since the day they were founded, the big five tech companies have acquired numerous companies and made them subsidiaries. For example, Hotmail being part of Microsoft is pretty much a given. But did you know that Minecraft, the gaming phenomenon, is also under a Microsoft division? What about IMDb or Twitch being part of Amazon?

GAFAM Big Five Tech

Neuralink: Human to AI Interface

Elon Musk has been working on a human::computer interface for several years now. Most intelligent people with tech expertise are concerned about the potential of machine intelligence to disrupt the human world irrevocably. Elon Musk is no exception.

Musk approached competitor Synchron earlier this year about a potential investment after he expressed frustration to Neuralink employees about their slow progress, Reuters reported in August.

Synchron crossed a major milestone in July by implanting its device in a patient in the United States for the first time. It received U.S. regulatory clearance for human trials in 2021 and has completed studies in four people in Australia.


A device like Neuralink may eventually be used to treat otherwise untreatable drug dependency and other behaviors that disrupt a person’s life and puts them at total risk. Recent discoveries are starting to point out ways that such a thing might be designed.

Russia is not the only country with a critical crisis of substance abuse across its population. Chinese factories in Wuhan and elsewhere are collaborating with Mexican drug cartels to produce and distribute synthetic drugs of abuse into the US and Canada . The transport and distribution of these drugs are difficult or impossible for law enforcement agencies to stop.

If enough of a nation’s human substrate is handicapped by substance abuse, it becomes weak and subject to disabling attack from many directions.

High tech approaches to changing drug seeking behaviors may prove to be the last resort for many societies.

Many of the big tech companies fly cover for some of the most corrupt forces at work in western societies today. The Twitter Files, for example, are not just a distraction. If you do not understand how Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and several other tech companies have been distorting the information environment along with the corporate mainstream media, you are pretty much lost in the dark. If the mainstream tells you it is just a distraction, pay very close attention to what they are trying to cover up.

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