Andrei Sakharov was a genius nuclear physicist and probably the most famous Soviet dissident of the Brezhnev era. Brezhnev persecuted him in every possible way (without ever causing Sakharov any physical harm, obviously) but he couldn’t get the Soviet Academy of Sciences to expel Sakharov. The voting was secret, and the academics who denounced the dissident publicly knew it was all crap and voted against an expulsion.

Brezhnev demanded that the rules be changed and the voting become open. But academics had to vote to change the rules in a secret ballot. And once again, they voted against.

And here, today, the nuclear physicists, the surgeons, the professors of literature, everybody, they would cast a secret ballot to expel a dissident. Because they actually believe all the garbage that Brezhnev couldn’t make Sakharov believe.

Looking into the stupid, earnest faces of the believers is soul-crushing.

31 thoughts on “Dissidence

    1. In the USSR it wasn’t hard to speak in support of the ideas that Brezhnev liked. It was hard to go against the ideas that Brezhnev liked. Supporting Felber is a cheap way to signal support for diversity apparatchiks. It’s not brave.


    2. ” look at the Garrett Felber case”

      Just a few minutes of reading give me a couple of ideas…. (I could well be wrong of course)

      One is that there’s something personal going on. Even if the “he won’t talk to me on Zoom!” is a fake reason why on earth would she agree to that as a cover story since it makes her seem like a psycho?

      His research ruffles financial feathers (which shows just how marginal ‘woke’ scholarship is since it apparently can and will be swept aside when it conflicts with financial interests).


      1. It’s very hard for Chairs these days when you don’t see the faculty and don’t know where anybody is. Older Chairs, it drives them nuts. It gets very emotional.


        1. “Older Chairs, it drives them nuts. It gets very emotional”

          I could understand that, but she doesn’t look that old and she knew where he was, on a leave of absence at Harvard.
          So that leads us back to her being a psycho or he was stepping on rich toes which means that all the woke slogans in the world aren’t gonna help you if you cross money.
          Which means the money backing woke slogans should not be taken at face value.


          1. Actual research and activism are not at all the same thing as the HR-derived sentences said in trainings designed to protect an institution from lawsuits.


  1. “(without ever causing Sakharov any physical harm, obviously)”

    This part has changed as well.


  2. I think if we want to see a proper parallel for Sakharov’s plight, we need wait to see what the woke would do in 2041 or so. If you read Polish novels from the end of the 19th century, you will encounter a lot of young noble protagonists running around expressing socialist ideas. I’m sure they felt virtuous and progressive and had hard time connecting the dots that better life for the lower class will mean their own extinction. I can imagine that in the 50s, 60s in Russia people were done believing in the greatness of the revolution. Poland was some years behind, but by the 80s people were totally cured from socialism. Even the ones who benefited from the system didn’t believe in it.

    We are at the revolution stage here in the US. In a few years, the zealots will be eating each other, the rest will get weary of how dumb this is and how harmful for the overall life quality.

    Even if this is not a true revolution but some ploy by the world oligarchy to get people to accept lower living standards and more oversight, I can bet people will lose their enthusiasm few years in. Of course by then the control apparatus will have grown stronger and the disdain will happen in secret.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I hope so. That’s all there is to hope for, that Americans get cynical about all this stuff en masse. But will they? Culturally, they are a lot less cynical and suspicious than we ever were. It used to be a good thing but in these conditions it’s a problem.


    2. “Poland was some years behind, but by the 80s people were totally cured from socialism”

      I thought it was much earlier. When I visited the PRL in the mid 1980s it didn’t seem like a place where people had just gotten over something. Socialism seemed more like an ancient religion no one had practiced in centuries. Trying to talk Marx to people would have been like asking a modern resident of Athens about what Zeus has been up to lately….

      I don’t think it’s a revolution it’s part of the… unmooring that begin in 2016 (and which has taken a very unpredicted (by me) turn).


      1. In the early 70s you still could find content people. If you wanted a peaceful life, it was all good, you had a 7-3 job, stores still had goods, there was still enough to believe in the success propaganda. This was over around the late 70; things were disappearing from the stores, the lines started to appear, then the martial law came and by then even the simple-minded were done.


        1. “If you wanted a peaceful life, it was all good”

          Sometime after 2000 a bunch of older people became very nostalgic and reinvented the 1970s and 80s in their mind as a peaceful place that didn’t have all the nasty squabbling of politicians and their latest scandals….

          I don’t know how many such conversations I overheard/eavesdropped on… but how someone could, in a grocery store full of stuff, reminisce on how easy life was in the 1980s is beyond my meager powers of comprehension…


      2. In the USSR, it was extremely rare for anybody to be a sincere believer much past Stalin’s death. My great-grandmother’s generation, born in early 1900s, they believed. But after them, it became quite rare.


  3. Sounds like a good book:

    “Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men” by Caroline Criado Perez

    // Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives.

    Read an interesting story from it here (in Russian):

    как убирать снег


    In other news, here is Russian way of celebrating 8th March:

    // Только сегодня бро Путин поливал сахарной водой женщин, воспевал их «гармонию, нежность, красоту». Забыв упомянуть, что женщины в России часто подвергаются домашнему насилию. Вообще-то, этим следовало заняться.

    А в это время в Москве выселяют из помещения известный центр «Насилию. нет» (только в прошлом году помог 960 пострадавшим). Его руководитель Анна Ривина недавно была на обложке журнала Time. Нормальные власти после такого случая уделили бы центру «Насилию. нет» внимание, помогли бы с финансированием. Но ведь в России иные власти.



  4. OT: I know you follow Berenson, so you’ve probably seen his comment on heart inflammation here:

    I got there in a roundabout way through this interesting post, with some additional comments on the subject:


    It seems like a situation worth keeping an eye on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Does anyone think that expressing a viral spike protein on muscle cells will only generate an immune response to only that spike protein? Or, in the immune melee which results from muscle expressing an highly immunogenic foreign protein, would an immune response to other components of muscle surface occur?”

      This is exactly what my friend who is a pharmaceutical scientist says. Exactly this. She says it’s impossible to explain why this won’t lead, for instance, to an autoimmune disease, which will be a lot more serious than COVID for people younger than 80.

      The thing to remember is that this is a completely new technology. People are offering themselves to be guinea pigs for something of which nobody knows the long-term results.

      Every question I asked my friend, the answer was “I don’t know, and anybody who says they do is a quack.”

      We all need to be massively more careful with this kind of stuff.


        1. This is absolutely horrid. But we have to remember that long before COVID, Canada was already known for taking away custody from parents who refused to let their children be mutilated in accordance with trans slogans. So the ground for this overreach was prepared long before.

          Canada is on a truly dangerous path. Things are very imperfect in the US, too, as we all know, but I’m extremely glad I got out of Canada in time. Talking to my Canadian relatives is like receiving phone calls from a dystopia. At least, here we are about 15 years behind where Canada is.


      1. Yes. Apparently here in deep blue state, these vaccines are being happily given to pregnant women, even though they have not been tested — an acquaintance who’s expecting has now become eligible for the vaccine because she’s pregnant!

        Remember when having a glass of wine when expecting was considered an act of recklessness? Because “no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy” is known?


        1. Gosh, I’m so old I remember going through a whole pregnancy with a list of foods to avoid. Sushi, cheese, any fish that might have a heightened level of mercury. One was told not to take any medication or even an herbal supplement without seeking medical advice. Gosh, the lectures on herbal supplements. Or herbal teas. I threw my whole collection of herbal teas out to avoid mistakenly having one that is rumored to produce a miscarriage in 0,001% of pregnancies.

          And now all of a sudden let’s pump pregnant ladies full of God knows what substance with God knows what side effects. Unbelievable.

          What are those women even thinking?


          1. IKR? I didn’t even feel like I could take an ibuprofen for a migraine while I was pregnant! I gritted my teeth through a month of bronchitis and three fractured ribs with no painkillers or antibiotics, because one is taught to be so paranoid about all medications during pregnancy.

            The attitudes about vaccines for pregnant ladies are baffling!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Right? I had severe PUPPPS during my first pregnancy. My legs were covered with suppurating, bleeding sores for months. I was in so much pain, I was starting to hallucinate. But I never took anything for it because I didn’t want to harm my baby.

              And then during breastfeeding you have another list of what you can’t have because the baby gets colicky, etc.

              And now, all of a sudden, go ahead, conduct experiments on pregnant women. But don’t take the herbal tea that helps lactation because that one is the real danger.


              1. I am done having children but if I were to ever get pregnant again, I would not believe anything the doctors say. Anything.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. OMG, you had PUPPPS for months?? I only had it for the last week of my 2nd pregnancy and it was pure hell– I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

                I remember running across all these dire warnings about anise tea while nursing because–while there were absolutely no known cases of negative effects– it might be sort of mildly toxic in enormous quantities. But experimental injections that have in no way been tested on pregnant women? Sure! Go for it! It’ll be fine!

                IMO This is one of those inflection points where a very large number of people cross over from being total believers in the miracle of modern medicine, to being skeptics who are now willing to give a hearing to all sorts of alternative medicine. In the short term, it’ll cause a certain amount of chaos, and medical charlatans will benefit. In the long run, it might be salutary.


              3. Finally, somebody who understands. Nobody who hasn’t experienced PUPPPS can even begin to get it. I was one of the unfortunate few women who got it at 20 weeks. And then continued to have it for 6 weeks after giving birth. It was horrid.

                Honestly, this is why I was so happy when my second pregnancy turned out to be a girl. The risk of PUPPPS is lower with girls. Although at that point I would be overjoyed to get any kid at any cost, even PUPPPS. People tell me I love her too much. What I had to do to have her – nothing is too much.

                I also now have a bad reaction to women who needlessly endanger their pregnancy. Or abort wanted children over some ridiculous tiny possible deviation from “the norm.” I try not to judge but it gets emotional.


              4. When my younger child was a few months old he developed thrush. The doctor prescribed some sort of ointment. It helped for as long as I used it but as soon as I stopped, the thrush would come back. On some online forum someone was recommending gentian violet for that. I mentioned it to the doctor and he said that gentian violet is associated with increased risk of mouth cancer and prescribed a stronger medication instead.

                Before I filled the prescription, I went online and read everything that was to be known about the new medication. It came with some risk of permanent organ damage (I don’t remember which one) and it gave me a pause. Is getting rid of thrush worth a permanent organ damage? Then I started reading up on the gentian violet and cancer connection. The risk was laughable and according to some reviewers the research wasn’t even conducted correctly. So I got the violet, dabbed it on my son’s gum once and that was the end of the thrush.

                Lesson I learned? Doctors don’t care. They are trained that big pharma has all the solutions and that’s what they are parroting to their patients. There is no risk assessment, no individual strategy. I sometimes think most doctors could be replaced by robots.

                Liked by 1 person

  5. Doesn’t covid itself lead to myocarditis and such?

    I do not know whether it’s a good site, but there are many places saying covid may damage heart too.

    // Among patients with COVID-19, the incidence of myocarditis is less than 5%, according to a review paper that looked at evidence from tissue taken either at autopsy or endomyocardial biopsy.

    Coronavirus-related myocarditis has been a topic of concern over the last year, beginning with small postmortem reports from Wuhan, China, of fulminant myocarditis in some patients, followed by publication of a controversial cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) study suggesting that more than three-quarters of middle-age adults—some with mild or no symptoms—had ongoing cardiac involvement weeks or even months after recovering from COVID-19.



    1. “Doesn’t covid itself lead to myocarditis and such?

      I do not know whether it’s a good site, but there are many places saying covid may damage heart too.”

      SARS-CoV-2 can damage heart tissue, heart valves, and vessels in the heart, while also sometimes causing myocarditis (sometimes followed by death etc).

      Liked by 1 person

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