History of Slavery

I’m preparing my lecture on Ukrainian history, and I found out that over 3,5 million Ukrainians were enslaved by Crimean Tatars in a little over a 100 years (mostly in the 16th century). In contrast, about 450,000 Africans were brought as slaves to the US during entire slave trading period. A total of 12,5 million slaves were taken from Africa to this hemisphere, with the overwhelming majority ending up in the Caribbean and Brazil.

Come on, Canada! Don’t Be Celery

This is today’s map of visitors to the Ukrainian blog:

Have you noticed anything?

Yep. There are more visitors from China than from Canada. Because anything is larger than a zero. Come on, Canada, you can do better. Or it will be like the famous quote from Mike Myers:

Canada is the essence of not being. Not English, not American, it is the mathematic of not being. And a subtle flavour – we’re more like celery as a flavour.

Mike Myers

How to Learn Languages

Today on the Ukrainian blog, I’m sharing advice on how to learn another language. My main suggestion is to stop bending over textbooks and start looking into people’s faces. You can only learn to speak a language by speaking, listening and reading in the language.

Also – and this is true for any learning – if it doesn’t hurt, you aren’t doing it right and won’t have a result. The brain loves stability and hates anything genuinely new. If you are listening to a lecture and nothing disturbs, bothers, annoys or tires you, congratulations, you just wasted your time. Seek discomfort, avoid “safe spaces.”

Unbearable Anxiety

Exactly. The attempts of people in the West to blame Russia’s actions on the US or the NATO are a result of unbearable anxiety. So are the calls on the West to “avoid escalation.”

The idea that bad things can happen outside of your control is unbearable to high-anxiety people. The absence of easy solutions that they or their representatives can initiate is terrifying. They mistake an irrational reaction born by anxiety for a rational analysis.

It’s scary to live in the world where bad things can happen no matter how good and virtuous you are. But that’s the only reality we have. Trying to conjure it away by magical chants about “peace” is as dumb as thinking that men can become women if they repeat it often enough.