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In Russian word "taboo" was introduced too. Problem was with a term "taboo tradeoff" as a whole. We had thought that a literal translation may produce wrong connotation or no connotation.

In Russian we have many adopted words too, but, yes, it is more difficult due to declinations and conjugations.

Whether it's a calque or a descriptive expression, I think the main problem is still that it addresses only one term. You encounter a term that has no good translation, invent your own translation, start using it and maybe it'll eventually catch on. But then you have to do the entire dance again for the next term.

Yes, I agree.

Consider the use of Latin phrases in Europe in XIX. century. It was, back then, seen as beautiful, literary and high-status. If the same could be achieved today with English, it would allow small language communities to break out of the language cage.

I think it depends on education in the community. Yes, for example, Leo Tolstoy in "War and peace" wrote even vast fragments in French. But most of his readers knew French well. (Almost exclusively well-educated person had time for fiction reading.) Now despite mandatory learning in school at least one foreign language many Russians know very badly even Latin alphabet (not to mention rules about reading English words). If you are writing/translating something for specialists, you may ignore that. But if you are writing fiction or something for beginners, you need to think about that.

And yes, we have problems with declinations. It is hard to read sentences in Russian with words which cannot be declined by language rules.

And I often think about the problem: If a reader knows English and sees words, for example, "taboo tradeoff", I think they can understand that "tradeoff" is about changing something to something. And due to that they can understand the whole term easier. If a reader doesn't know English, they see only some strange letter set. I think it may be important in writing text for beginners.

I think I can understand the problem.

I have translated HPMoR and some Lesswrong's post into Russian. And sometimes I was discovering an absence of Russian translations for some terms (especially in psychology). Often it was hard to find some "less wrong" words.

For example, one arc in HPMoR is titled "Taboo tradeoffs". And we (our translation team) asked some people who studied psychology, but no one had known Russian analogue for this term. In the end we gave up and changed the title. (Russian version can be translated into English as "Price of priceless things".)

In fiction sometimes you can change a sentence to translate its meaning without using a particular word. (Sometimes it doesn't work because you need to show a character who used a particular scientific term.) Sometimes I am just using "calque" and footnote with English term and short description or link to Wikipedia.

If you encounter the term and you are not sure what it means you can google it and find out that there's a lot of hits, that some pretty serious people are discussing it, you can even learn what it means yourself.

In addition I think it's easier to learn a new term if it is made of "usual" words rather than a calque.

About Peskov.

Now Peskov is actively being criticized by "war party" in Russia. But their media mostly is afraid to criticize Putin, and they are just shouting about traitors and saying: "Why Putin doesn't fire him?". 

However, Russian ultraconservators have explained all problems in Russia by some traitors in Kremlin very often. Some of Putin's ministers were actively criticized for many years. And Putin ignore that usually.

On the other hand, one day Putin said something like: "My press secretary have said nonsense very often".

I was wrong about IT specialists and drafts. Already there is government decree about it.
For a draft exemption you must:

  • have bachelor or master degree in speciality from very long government's list;
  • work for an accredited company for 11 months or more if you graduated more than a year ago. If you have less than a year after graduation, you should work for an accredited company and the working period doesn't matter.

And these rules apply to the current draft.

I think a success story of the right prediction is a good point. But it is not sufficient in the long run. For a decision to trust some source of predictions we need more information than one success.

As far as I can see, Metaculus track record on geopolitics is looking good, but it contains relatively few points.

And for governments we don't see their track records. But I think it will not be hard to find wrong predictions from governments in the past.

March 27: Russian parliament introduces bill to make all who speak Russian ‘Russian citizens residing abroad.’ Speculation is that this is to justify future interventions, could also be a way to attract good people. Interesting thought experiment what would happen if we did the same for everyone who speaks English.

It is a wrong reading of the bill. (In Russia very many media described it incorrectly.) Really, the author of the bill has tried to decrease the number of people who can be treated as "compatriot". The current revision of the Russian law about compatriots doesn't expect that compatriots are oblige to know Russian. And one of the MPs decided to "fix" it.

With so many tech experts leaving, Russia is hoping it can help convince them to stay by exempting them from the draft. It is an interesting dilemma. If you admit you’re an expert, you can’t be drafted, but also you can’t leave.

There are no real laws about it. But it seems a draft exemption rights will be linked with companies. If you are working for a company which is listed somewhere as "IT company", you cannot be drafted. It seems your position in a company doesn't matter.

But the current draft will be conducted under old laws. (In Russia there are two drafts in a year: from April to June and from October to December).

I can add that Kremlin is using it in their propaganda. Previous years many Kremlin supporters said: "The West cannot make against us anything significant because they depends on our oil and gas and they want to get money from us selling some goods to us". And now some people say something like that: "Ok, they imposed some sanctions, but they cannot impose really heavy sanctions".

I mean that some agents can abuse a situation with many mutual dependencies like that.

Russian army has very many non-battle units. For example, Logistical Support. This units have own generals too.

Even military band conductor can be a general in Russia.

I think the common part in the current situation in Russian military and the situation before WWII is big problems with feedback. Before WWII in USSR you cannot tell about inabilty to fulfil a plan. And you had a very little chance to change superiors minds. Now in Russia you cannot criticize decisions of authorities efficiently. A criticism is a something which only western agents are doing.

But I think there is a distinction. I think a part of current problems in Russian military have emerged due to mass unbelief that a big war is possible. 

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