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Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 43
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Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

10 Nov 2022, 12:10 pm

I was listening to Nate Hagans and Arthur Berman talk about diesel and all of the different biproducts that are pulled from oil which both increased global scarcity and the Russia / Ukraine conflict are bringing us up against when the topic of Putin's dissertation came up. Initially it sounded like he'd taken a Phd in economics and that his thesis was in dealing with mineral resource issues. Partially right, it looks like the character of the content - and Putin's concerns about resource and food security - were correct, it's just that most of it was plagiarized from its sources without quotations, it's an open question whether Putin actually wrote it however one of the authors was suggesting that Putin had read several of the books in the list at length and seemed to be running Russia's energy and natural resource corporations in a manner indicative of the approaches in these books.

The takeaway is that Putin had familial experience with the starvation in Leningrad during WWII, one of his brothers died before he was born either directly or indirectly due to shortages during the blockade, he had at least a few major instances as mayor and other mid-level political appointments of getting burned by private companies (food for natural gas deals and taxing casinos) where he came to the conclusion that private industry, while needed to make the economy efficient, needed some type of top-level intervention when it came to inelastic demand markets like energy and food.

It was claimed early in the article that Putin shied away from discussing or admitting to the existence of this dissertation, maybe because of the plagiarism, but that it did give some insights into how he was running the Russian economy. Just how much of his grab for Ukraine was lead by food and rare earth mineral considerations is hard to say (the Donbas region apparently is rich in rare earths) is hard to say but either way concerns over resources, concerns over NATO encroachment, 'planning for the future under conditions of change, especially rapid change caused by circumstances beyond one’s own control' as quoted in the article, seem like they dovetail along the same train of thought.

The article mentioned above about the dissertation from the Brookings Institute: ... slides.pdf

“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.” - James Baldwin


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Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 68
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Location: temperate zone

10 Nov 2022, 4:41 pm

Plagarizing the least of Putin's crimes.