Remix

There is a new paper out in Science that analyzes the genome of a man (K14) that lived and died about 37,000 years ago, in Russia. They found that this individual came from a population that had shared ancestry with A.  Basal Eurasians, that mysterious population, sister to the main Out-of-Africa expansion and B. a population ancestral to both western hunter gatherers (WHG) and Ancient North Eurasians ( ANE, Sibermen).  In other words, a mix something like modern Europeans, but long, long ago.

Willerslev concludes that there was widespread intermingling back in the stone age: Western Asia was a metapopulation with repeated, possibly continuous gene flow, instead of a few discrete migration events.

The problem is that none of the other evidence agrees with this theory.  We’ve looked at the DNA of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in Western hunter-gatherers – funny, they don’t have any Basal Eurasian mixture, or any ANE, either.  The Neolithic farmers of Europe have Basal Eurasian, but they don’t have any ANE, and although they have a component that is similar to the WHG, their uniparental lineages have almost no overlap with those of the western hunter-gatherers.  The 24,000-year-old Mal’ta skeleton  from Siberia is a good fit to ANE, but has no Basal Eurasian admixture. Moreover,  the Mesolithic and Neolithic samples are ~20,000 years later than K14.  If they were contemporaneous with K14, you could maybe argue that gene flow was common but just hadn’t reached them yet.  But they weren’t, and you can’t.

The thing is , you can mix two populations with distinct drift histories, and later detect the admixture event and say something about the original populations  – but you can’t unmix them – at least not by natural selection or drift, the only available processes in nature.

So Willerslev’s conclusion is wrong.  Moreover, we have plenty of evidence of serious migrations in Europe ( and elsewhere):  over time, the EEF expand and the Mesolithic hunters shrink. Later, all the villages in the Balkans are burned down, and all the houses in Germany and Poland disappear: sure looks as if someone came knocking.

What then is the real story?  Well, I see two possible explanations.  One is that there was was a small mixing event that produced a population with all three components – a population that wasn’t a major source of ancestry for later  populations. In the same way, if the daughter of a European Mesolithic hunter and a Basal Eurasian had married the son of an Ancient North Eurasian dude and a proto-Chinese chick in 10,000 BC, , they would have produced the world’s first Mexican, even if this complicated love-story happened thousands of years before Columbus. Still, one synthetic Mexican wouldn’t have mattered much – and it wouldn’t have meant that real, live Mexicans were descended from that early synthetic Mexican.  For that matter, although most of the people in Chile and Mexico are a mix of European and Amerindian, those two populations originated in separate admixture events.

The other possible explanation is error: they’ve made a mistake.  The genome quality is not all that good (2.42 X), and the fraction of genome recovered is not large – this might have made things more difficult.

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68 Responses to Remix

  1. eurogenes says:

    It’s really not an issue if all three components were mixing on the Russian steppe that long ago, and then only made their way west during the Copper Age.

    After all, this ancient genome is the fist one we have from Eastern Europe, so it doesn’t debunk Laz et al. The only way that will happen is if someone finds a genome from Western or Central Europe that looks like a mix of EEF/WHG/ANE or even just WHG/ANE.

    • eurogenes says:

      I meant pre-Neolithic genome from Western or Central Europe that looks like a mix of EEF/WHG/ANE or even just WHG/ANE.

  2. Greying Wanderer says:

    I definitely don’t have a handle on this early stuff but I’ll give an opinion anyway cos it helps build up a mental picture:

    As I see it the later periods are like hydraulics with source populations and pressure dictating the direction of flow and geography molding the shape of it – also very area effect i.e. waves of people.

    I’m wondering if lower pop. density meant the HG phase was different with bands of HG acting much more like gas molecules bouncing around – still molded by geography but much looser.

    In particular I’m wondering about how nomadic HGs arranged bride-swapping. If you have a collection of sedentary or semi-nomadic HGs around a tribal center then they can avoid excessive inbreeding by swapping brides at festivals but how do bands of HGs following their herd of mammoth or reindeer do it?

    (This is assuming they followed the herds rather than sat in one place and hunted them as they passed by. I’m assuming it was the former.)

    Especially herds that traveled massive distances across Eurasia. Would a band follow their herd all the way to Siberia and back?

    I don’t know but anyway as a mental picture if you imagine a few hundred(?) or a few thousand(?) bands wandering up and down north Eurasia following reindeer or mammoth herds might they not swap brides with whichever band they happened to randomly bump into to?

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “there was widespread intermingling back in the stone age: Western Asia was a metapopulation with repeated, possibly continuous gene flow”

      So not West Asia as a whole but a specifically nomadic region in the far north.

    • Campesino says:

      (This is assuming they followed the herds rather than sat in one place and hunted them as they passed by. I’m assuming it was the former.)

      =========================

      You are probably making the wrong assumption. Most ethnographic examples of high latitude hunter-gatherers show that they have a set territory that they move around in seasonally, and catch the migrating herds as they pass by. They process and store enough meat to last through the rest of the year.

      Reindeer hunters in the Canadian subarctic are good examples of this.

  3. Greying Wanderer says:

    The interesting bit to me is if the basal part of EEF is (or was originally) another branch of HG then where did it come from. If it’s not present in the east then that might hint towards a location somewhere to the west of the population that was the source for the east/west Eurasian split?

  4. matt says:

    Was k14, if correct, a type example? you had one sample from ancient mexico and it was a mexican, your first assumption wouldn’t be that it was exceptional for its time. But we will have more samples, across time and place.

    The models used by lazaridis et all tend to be consistent with the bulk of the Mesolithic hg ancestry being whg. But if k14s pop was 0.2 basal Eurasian (the paper doesn’t quantify AFAIK) and contributed 0.2 to some mesolithic people, that might be simplified out in a model. Especially if basal eurasian had its own divergence between its clade in time and space. The software treemix used in the lazaridis paper often found a very low be contribution from be to their southwest European population (LA brana) and this finds with treemix again a low contribution from k14 to LA brana.

    John hawks has made comments before that the upper paleolithic population of Europe (AFAIK those tall statutes cave painting “cro magnons”) may viably have been replaced in the Mesolithic. And the UP peoples population density seems to have been highest in the Franco cantabrian region.

  5. dave chamberlin says:

    Siberia is the gift that keeps on giving, or so says Diekenes here http://dienekes.blogspot.com/. Check out his skull. Mighty fine set of chompers on that fellow plus a set of brow ridges that would have made him rather unusual today. But really, I don’t know if this means anything.

    Thanks to a few excellent blogs the teeming masses are no longer years behind the newest findings.

    • Fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      Those look like very pronounced brow ridges, but I see people all the time with brow ridges, perhaps not as pronounced as that. Most often, they are men, but sometimes I see them on women.

      Maybe I am like that little boy in The Sixth Sense.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      This k14 skull has some really unusual characteristics. Living humans have two upper big front teeth. What this fellow lacked in size he made up for in bite. His lateral incisors, the two teeth on each side of his upper two front teeth are huge, they are the same size as his two front teeth. Blow up the K14skull and he has the equivalent of six front teeth. This is rare to unknown in living populations giving us a hint that if we ever get a more complete genome from K14 that we are in for more archaic mixture updates on what little we now know. As Diekenes said in the link I gave earlier ” It is fascinating how many new questions are both answered and raised each time a new genome gets published.”

      • Michael says:

        “The maxillary lateral incisor is a variable tooth morphologically. This tooth frequently shows reduction in size, but it can occasionally be as large as the central incisor. It also frequently shows different crown shapes, for example, peg-shaped, cone-shaped, barrel-shaped and canine-shaped. Interruption grooves and deep lingual pits are also found more frequently on the lateral incisor than the central.”

        Several genes have already been associated with the shape and size of these teeth. A large scale study including ancient samples might be interesting.

  6. dearieme says:

    May I recommend adoption of that convenient German term “Wessi” for the Western HGs?

  7. Fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    Peter Frost ha his take:

    http://www.evoandproud.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-look-at-early-european.html

    Curious journey he posits for Europeans.

  8. epoch2013 says:

    “The thing is, you can mix two populations with distinct drift histories, and later detect the admixture event and say something about the original populations – but you can’t unmix them – at least not by natural selection or drift, the only available processes in nature.”

    I am absolutely not sure if I understand this correctly but to the best of my knowledge ADMIXTURE is an ancestry detecting tool. Actually we seem to be interpreting it backwards, considering offspring as if it were ancestral.

    Say for the sake of the argument that an ancient genome would produce one third “A”, one third “B” and one third “C”. There is no need to consider this person a mixture if it were ancestral to all groups. Say, his children move to three different directions and start populations. All kinds of drift, would lead to changes in all three genomes. Because we have three populations these changes will spread in this populations, be not beyond. “A” would have a number of unique SNP’s is shares with the ancient genome that “B” and “C” have not. The same goes for “B” and “C”. Since drift is fairly random there would also be SNP’s unique to “A” and “B” would share genes with the ancient genome that “C” has not. This goes for all combinations.

    So isn’t it like this result does not show BE mixing with WHG’s but simply showed that this genome or it’s relatives contributed a bit to the genome of EEF?

    • epoch2013 says:

      “SNP’s unique to “A” and “B” would share genes with the ancient genome that “C” has not.”
      should have been:
      “SNP’s unique to both A” and “B” which are shared with the ancient genome that “C” has not”

    • Michael says:

      This may be somewhat true. However, there are additional kinds of analysis beyond ADMIXTURE. The fact that there is already an older, higher quality, genome sequence that appears to lack the Basal Eurasian component, yet is equally related to all other non-Africans (ignoring Denisovan mixture) strongly suggests that this more recent one is the product of admixture.

  9. I think it is fairly automatic to assume that any humanoid fossil we find is the ancestor of folks today until proven otherwise. But almost all lines are dead ends.

  10. Greying Wanderer says:

    Is there a way for a hybridization event (e.g. human-denisovan) to change a y dna haplogroup?

    My spirit guide is whispering retrovirus but she is mostly drunk.

  11. Kate says:

    for those who like maps and habitats – there’s a cool diagram of Steppe zones over at Dienekes, http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YECMQQMgnlk/VFw0eBTGjRI/AAAAAAAAJ14/itneofdPteI/s1600/F1.large.jpg
    and another diag showing the branching and admixing but my question is – why construct the lineage tree going downwards? going upwards make more sense according to passage of time and also an upward tree could be plotted onto the regions of asia where branching occurred.

  12. Sean says:

    The dates for the blue eyes and the white skin mutations show both evolved long after the arrival of modern humans in Europe. It has recently been found that blue eyes didn’t arrive in Europe during the Neolithic and white skin didn’t arrive in Europe during the Neolithic (because they were both around in Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers). Now we see a load of other genes didn’t come into Europe during the Neolithic. And northern hunter gatherers are clever hunter gatherers, for example Inuit have the the IQ boosting COMT allele and likely posessed mental wherewithal that other hunter gatherers lacked; it is likely European hunter gatherers had what it took to be farmers.

    It always seemed unlikely to me that there was a massive rolling thunder extermination of the farmers, who would work the land?. Elite replacement and taking women I could believe. It was elite replacement like the Anglo Saxon or Norman Conquests..

    • gcochran9 says:

      SLC24A5, the strongest light-skin allele, did arrive during the Neolithic, looks like.

      Before the Corded Ware, central/northern Europe was full of little villages. Afterwards, no villages. No houses. What we know about the Corded Ware comes almost entirely from grave goods. There are very limited signs of agriculture.

      Latest number is that Corded Ware was 73% Yamnaya: elite replacement??

      • Sean says:

        ‘Europe Was a Melting Pot From the Start, Ancient DNA Reveals’
        “What other geneticists have identified as separate hunter-gatherer and farmer genes are all present in the Kostenki find. “You wouldn’t predict if you go back to one of our earliest individuals, all the components of modern Europeans were already there,” Willerslev says.
        Genes once thought to have arrived with the first farmers, for instance, now seem to have been around much earlier. “Until now, it seemed clear this was something that came into Europe during the Neolithic,” says Pontus Skoglund, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School. “It’s an extremely interesting suggestion that they have.”

        The complex mixture of DNA in such an old specimen, Willerslev says, suggests that Stone Age Europe was a lively place. Instead of separate groups colliding and occasionally mingling, Willerslev argues there was a single, genetically similar population sprawling across the continent, from Russia to the Middle East to northern Europe.”

        The estimates for time of origin of both SLC24A5 (and SLC45A2) seem far too long ago for it to have been an adaptation for farming up north.

        “SLC24A5, the strongest light-skin allele, did arrive during the Neolithic, looks like.”

        Could you spell out why, or give the ref that you would stake that generalisation on. Because though I may have wrongly read the following as directly contradicting I think it does at least casting some doubt your above quoted assertion:– Dienkes on Skoglund et al., 2014 “However, there is one difference in that the new hunter-gatherers were ancestral for SLC24A5 while the Motala one was derived (this is the “skin lightening” allele that was curiously missing in both Iberia and Luxembourg hunter-gatherers).” Also the scientist remarks are along the same lines “We see clear evidence that people from hunter-gatherer groups were incorporated into farming groups as they expanded across Europe. This might be clues towards something that happens also when agriculture spread to other parts of the world,” Dr Skoglund said “.


        ” central/northern Europe was full of little villages. Afterwards, no villages. No houses. What we know about the Corded Ware comes almost entirely from grave goods. There are very limited signs of agriculture.”

        I’m sure there would be a retreat of farmers. However the invaders horses would need fodder and campaigning would be halted in winter. I expect there was a mass farmer exodus and the people destroyed what they could not take. People forced out do burn down their own houses. So while there would be a farmer retreat from a slowly advancing devastated zone there may have been a fall back from that zone by the invaders in winter. And as the invader went on they would be encountering more and more densely populated farm land and people who knew what to expect having been attacked in their old lands. You seem to be saying the invaders (young men) killed the conquered women too, which to me, while not impossible, it’s very very unlikely

        • Greying Wanderer says:

          “The estimates for time of origin of both SLC24A5 (and SLC45A2) seem far too long ago for it to have been an adaptation for farming up north.”

          Does it need to be an adaptation to farming up north or just farming?

          Seems to me there might be two separate adaptations: one for a dietary change involving less fish/meat and a separate one for low UV.

          • Greying Wanderer says:

            Personally if the current model is correct i’d have thought there would have to be two because people with

            light skin
            dark eyes
            dark hair

            moving into a region containing people with

            dark skin
            light eyes
            dark hair

            isn’t going to create the full European range imo. I think you need at least one other component.

          • Kate says:

            “I think you need at least one other component.”

            light skin
            light eyes
            red hair
            ?

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “who would work the land?”

      Would semi-nomadic herders have land to work or villages to work it from or would they roll around in their wagons from one grazing site to another like Irish Travelers?

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Early Indo-European villages?

      • Sean says:

        Elite over- production is my point because assuming the natives had been mostly exterminated, most of the invaders descendants would had to settle down to farm, the fighting might have been about which families got to stay part of the warrior elite on their high horse, living of the peasants, and who had to grovel.

        • Greying Wanderer says:

          Yes I could see that happening if they had to settle down to farm but if archaeology says the settlements vanished maybe the incoming herders in wagons didn’t settle down and farm?

          (Or they did in some places but not other.)

  13. Richard Sharpe says:

    OT, but someone has published a collection of William S Lind’s columns and one or more of them seem to agree with Greg that it should have been obvious that Saddam Hussain had no weapons of mass production. Maybe Lind was channeling Greg.

    Anyway, you can get the book in Kindle format at Amazon or Castalia House at:

    http://www.castaliahouse.com/downloads/category/non-fiction/

    It is called On War. Pretentious title perhaps.

    • Richard Sharpe says:

      Yeah, that should have been weapons of mass destruction.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Lind is a fool. A nutcase. I remember a column (2009) in which he said that if the Iranians and allied Iraqi Shi’ite militias cut the supply line in southern Iraq, we could have lost our army. Like they could have done that. That’s just utter fucking nonsense. Those forces were a lot weaker than Saddam’s army was in 2003, and he couldn’t even slow us down. And besides, with the US having a passel of nukes, we would have had to choose defeat, even if the Iranian Army had magically transmogrified into the Wehrmacht.

      Washington is infested with crazy people. The non-crazy list is shorter than the crazy list, at least if we’re talking public figures. Conventional wisdom is usually crazy.

      Again and again, high-ups were paying serious attention to people that should have been in a booby hatch or a low-security prison. They listened to Thomas Barnett. The VIPs think that the MEK is the voice of the democratic future in Iran. And so on.

        • gcochran9 says:

          I like to remember the most ridiculous thing a pundit has ever said. You know, like “Suck On This” Tom Friedman. But William S. Lind is crazy pretty much all of the time; it is too bad that anyone listens to his Fourth-Generation warfare stuff.

          The policymakers are looking for someone to tell them what to do, or more commonly tell them why what they already wanted to do is peachy-keen: but they are so helpless, so adrift from history that they can’t recognize snake-oil salesmen.

          • JayMan says:

            Ah West Hunter… 🙂

          • Cracker1 says:

            So who are the crazy people who thought Russia would peacefully turn over their naval base on the Black Sea to NATO? Are they truly that stupid? They just have to be playing stupid for some reason that I cannot figure out.

          • simontmn says:

            “The policymakers are looking for someone to tell them what to do, or more commonly tell them why what they already wanted to do is peachy-keen: but they are so helpless, so adrift from history that they can’t recognize snake-oil salesmen.”

            I don’t get the impression US policymakers have ever listened to Lind. I suppose Petraeus might have been indirectly influenced in 2007, but relearning standard counter-insurgency theory didn’t need 4GW theory.

            Lind’s idea that Iran could threaten US forces in Iraq was based on the notion that a spread-out occupation force dependent on extended supply lines (US 2007) is much weaker than an army massed to attack (US 2003). That’s not obviously foolish. But his notional threat also depended on a quasi-magical period of extreme bad weather that grounded US air forces while leaving IRG and Shia militias free to maneuver at the behest of an Iranian Rommel. Even at the time, and as something of a fan of Lind, it never seemed at all likely. His Eeyore-ish pessimism has been interpreted by some (eg Laurence Auster) as a traitorous hatred of America. I think he’s more just an inveterate contrarian.

            • gcochran9 says:

              The Marine corps has apparently paid some attention to him. I think he’s just another nut: not even wrong. In his scenario, the weather would have had to ground our ICBMS, as well as the entire Air Force. Remember, we really don’t have to lose a war against a conventional opponent if we don’t want to. Space weather is pretty predictable. Or remember that a slightly lost platoon of Bradley Fighting Vehicles was, in the Gulf War, able to tear apart an Iraqi armored division that stumbled into them into the dark: tell me how the Iranians would have managed, considering that

              Lind was involved in Gary Hart’s ” Military Reform Movement”: there have been people who, although they couldn’t keep their pants on, still had a deep understanding of war.
              Gary Hart was not such a man!

              Auster was also a nut, of course.

              It may seem that I think virtually everyone in public life is a blowhard, with no real expertise, ignorant and often deluded on matters of state. Yep, that’s exactly what I think, and unfortunately I can prove it. Look back: remember all those people that were just sure that we’d have a devil of a time whupping Saddam Hussein’s army in the Gulf War: every such person proved that he didn’t know jack about modern war. Remember all those people who believed the Bush Administration’s horseshit about an Iraqi nuclear program ( most people in public life) : they proved that they didn’t know anything about nuclear weapons production, a fairly important strategic issue.

              But it isn’t just the big things: they’re wrong every day, in every way. And it’s not just military affairs ( although they are particularly weak on that) : I can’t even remember the last rational statement someone in the talking or governing classes made about educational policy.

              • simontmn says:

                “Or remember that a slightly lost platoon of Bradley Fighting Vehicles was, in the Gulf War, able to tear apart an Iraqi armored division that stumbled into them into the dark: tell me how the Iranians would have managed, considering that”

                I basically agree with you, although Lind’s thesis was based on the fuel running out – Iranians cut the supply route and US cannot resupply (presumably the bad weather stops all air drops). It was definitely the one thesis of his where I felt it didn’t pass the smell test.
                But he was right from the start (2003) when he predicted US failure in Iraq.

              • gcochran9 says:

                The Abrams tank has a multi-fuel engine, can use gasoline. I think that’s true of the Bradley as well.

                There’s a lot of gasoline in Iraq. In a crisis, you really don’t have to wait your turn at the filling station. An Abrams has a certain air of authority.

                Really, worrying about the American Army running out of fuel in Iraq, of all places, is about as ridiculous as it gets.

                4GWar: there a lot of theories in this world, but most of them don’t amount to anything. They don’t add predictive value, aren’t a compact description of reality. Like this one.

                “Maneuver warfare”: hot new stuff, just off the presses. I bet Manstein would have loved to know about it.

          • Cracker1 says:

            Not long after the President became the leader of the “free world”, leadership started a serious decline from which it has not recovered and which has accelerated. Leaders, by definition, have to lead a group. It is not possible to be the leader of all the different peoples in this world.

      • Toddy Cat says:

        So, do you know of any pundits or beltway bandit types who tend to get things right? Who do you believe our policymakers in Washington should be listening to? Who is on the non-crazy list, in your opinion? I’d be interested to know, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one.

      • Sean says:

        Commentators such as Lind are trying to warn against things they think might happen if people got insouciant, so the Linds of this world must be must be dystopian. However the success of IS shocked many, and while IS are more of a aspiring state than the non state actors that Lind has been predicting as the wave of the future, their success of has come through the kind of tactics Lind has been predicting. So he is stronger on war that on international politics.

        “I remember a column (2009) in which he said that if the Iranians and allied Iraqi Shi’ite militias ”

        That was foolish, forsooth. Still, what we are seeing is the Shia part of Iraq joining with the Iranians to fight the Sunni IS. The trend is for the forming up of larger states and the Shia part of Iraq effectively allied to Iran is already quite a way down the road to being a state.

        IMO the people like Kissinger who think the 30 years war was over absolutist religion are drawing just as silly conclusions from the Treaty of Westphalia as Lind.

        • simontmn says:

          Islamic “State” looks like a classic Lindian 4GW entity to me. That they exist as much in the Internet-ether as on the ground, and that they clearly have no interest in being part of the Westphalian State System – they are trying to destroy it, not join it. They’re not behaving much at all like any traditional ethnic militia (eg the Peshmerga) or ideological guerilla army (eg the Columbian FARC). Even Hezbollah looks very ‘normal’ and conservative compared to IS.

          • Sean says:

            Westphalian treaties were the pre existing state system in action. It limited the sovereignty of the princely states of the Holy Roman Empire (the German nation basically) to prevent instability. In was intended to keep the Germans divided, under the sway of neighbouring states that feared them, and out of the balance of power for reasons which ought to be obvious–Germany was too big and strong. The French forgot that, and believing Russia to be the danger, did not intervene to stop Germany unifying (‘there is not another mistake left to make’ as was said of Napoleon III).

            The Arabs were similarly divided up so as to control them, and separate the populations from the oil wealth, hence Kuwait and Dubai. It is pretty obvious that Germany unified for the same reason that Poland-Lithuania unified, external threats. We live in a world of states, and people want to live in a state capable of looking after their interests. Palestinians want a state too. IS is just the Sunnis reacting to being repeatedly humiliated. The same goes for the Iran- Iraqi Shia combination. The less the Arabs are able to look after their own interests, the more they will try to combine into a bigger state entity.

  14. Greying Wanderer says:

    @Kate

    “light skin
    light eyes
    red hair
    ?”

    That’s what I was thinking originally although now I wonder if the light eyes might have been the critical part with red hair and maybe only slightly lighter skin as side effects (with the slightly lighter skin being additive to the farmer version).

    Just guessing though.

    • Sean says:

      When big skin lightening genes like SLC24A5,were not around why were there so many different genes combinations producing different eye colours? That was not a selection for skin colour.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Yes. That’s what makes me wonder if there were two causes: one for eyes (with skin as a side effect) due to low light levels and a second one for skin (due to dietary change).

        Like I say it’s just a guess though and depends on whether people with brown eyes get eye problems in low sunlight regions and blue-eyed people get eye problems in strong sunlight regions (which is testable).

  15. Kate says:


    is the coordinated eye and hair colour a coincidence?

  16. Kate says:

    btw I could have chosen any example; didn’t know the picture would publish, oops, no offense meant – Greg if it seems de trop could you delete please.

  17. Kate says:

    sorry, I shouldn’t leave the decision up to you, it should come down, it was ill-advised.

  18. Greying Wanderer says:

    Cracker1

    “So who are the crazy people who thought Russia would peacefully turn over their naval base on the Black Sea to NATO? Are they truly that stupid? They just have to be playing stupid for some reason that I cannot figure out.”

    If there’s a logic to it other than temper tantrums then it’s
    a) strategy of tension designed to cause internal divisions inside Russia
    b) force a conflict to stop Germany joining the BRICS because their economy was becoming increasingly synced with Russia

    The pro-dollar side of the dollar war (aka WWIII) had to stop Germany’s slide towards Russia somehow.

    Although the probable trashing of the German economy as a result seems likely to end up being a major unintended consequence so it’s all lose-lose really.

    • ursiform says:

      Germany would never join the “BRICS” because they are low income countries, and it is a high income country.

      It’s true that trade between Germany and Russia has increased, it’s now about half as much as between Germany and the US. But Germany’s economy is largely “synced” to the rest of the EU.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Well … an argument for another forum. I use this anthro stuff as a break from thinking about the ongoing economic disintegration pushing us towards WWIII.

        • Cracker1 says:

          The question is: are they stupid or are they pretending?

          The threat of NATO seizing Crimea would cause one of two outcomes: Putin seizes Crimea or he is ousted and the deposers seize Crimea.

          Which one benefits the US?

          I get the impression that Merkel is already hitting the brakes on this total economic warfare bit. Maybe the German leaders are not a stupid as ours.

          • Greying Wanderer says:

            “are they stupid or are they pretending?”

            They are psychopaths imo so their level of aggression and attitude to risk and collateral damage is different to normal people. They make the same logic calculations as normal people but their results come out different because they have different input values.

        • Toddy Cat says:

          Yeah, I come here for Anthro crimethink. The foreign policy crimethink I can get at other sites…

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  20. Greying Wanderer says:

    @cracker

    “are they stupid or are they pretending?”

    Actually this is actually anthro in a way. Leaving aside the specific case imagine there’s an equation which would predict the probability x of a person accepting a particular foreign policy which goes something like

    x = pB – (pC * ra) – eK

    where
    pB is the size of the benefit multiplied by its probability
    pC is the size of the cost multiplied by its probability
    ra is risk aversion
    K is collateral damage (i.e. not related to the cost in practical terms)
    e is empathy

    are say empathy and risk aversion are on a scale of 0-10 then for a person with a 0 in risk aversion and empathy the equation would reduce to

    x = pB

    whereas someone who scored a 10 in both risk aversion and empathy would be

    x = pB – 10pC – 10K

    So although one obvious possibility when you have these debates is that some people judge the probabilities or size of the cost/benefit differently and some people are simply wrong and some are right the other less obvious possibility (unless you’re the sort of person who can spot a psychopath a mile off) is that the various parties are judging the cost/benefit and collateral damage exactly the same but their input constants have different values.

    As (imo) very high risk aversion and empathy would lead to stagnation and very low risk aversion and empathy leads to world wars the ideal would be low risk aversion and high empathy which by a strange coincidence is the combo in all “good king” legends.

  21. Pingback: Scandinavians are the earliest Europeans – Deconstructing the "Melting pot" Propaganda Behind Recent DNA Finds | Forbidden News

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