The ruble is sinking almost as fast as bitcoin

Stupidity all around, the issue will be solved by none of the interested parties; peasants will still have miserable lives, rulers will still be miserable people, but things would have changed, albeit in useless or incomprehensible ways.

everybody will be confused for a while and when everything end someone will ask “What the hell did just happened?!” while scratching his bald spot.


It is easy to hate Putin: he terrorizes the masses by destroying infrastructure and social services, appease oil conglomerates and special interests, the government is greedy and salacious, secret military police torture innocent people, corrupt law enforcement threatening the population…Hmmm, which country are we castigating again?


Hardly. This is a common myth, but that’s all it is. Soviet defense spending didn’t go up at the end of the Cold War. What Reagan did to wreck the Soviet economy was convince Saudi Arabia to go to economic war with them. And that is exactly what Saudi Arabia is doing now as well.


For all those people dancing on Putin’s grave, just remember the only thing worse than a thriving, healthy dictatorship is a dictatorship in its last desperate death throes.


I wouldn’t describe bitcoins as “volatile” so much as “electric tulips”.


Well, the oil producing countries of the world collectively, really. Somewhat atypically, they’ve /all/ decided to keep production up in spite of lower prices. It just hits Russia harder than most because of the percentage of their economy that’s based on oil revenue.

OPEC in particular is known for adjusting it’s supply to raise oil prices, and folks have been a bit surprised that they’ve decided not to do so.


If you haven’t read a Terry Pratchett novel, all I can say is how much I envy you. To have all of that ahead of you and knowing you can read them all with surprise and joy. Such luck…


Ok, so where would I start?


I was kind of sad the other day that I only had one Culture novel left to read, then I realized that was one more than lots of people.

ETA: I started with The Colour of Magic. But that put me off for ages. I don’t really like the Rincewind novels that much - the Witches and Watch ones are my favourites. Also, Death is a great character, but he’s not so great at the centre of novels. Some people (including Pratchett) really like the Tiffany Aching ones.


I happened to start at ‘Moving Pictures’, a good choice for olderish folks.


If you could easily and anonymously buy drugs with the ruble via the internet, I’d say it would perk up a bit.


And the most likely rationale for driving oil prices down is not part of “US corporate revenge tactics” but in fact aimed at the US. This is fundamentally an attempt by the low-cost producers to drive out some of the new competition, namely the US shale oil producers. Yes Russia is suffering from the post-Ukraime sanctions at the hands of the west, but the oil price collapse is not an economic weapon from Washington so much as one aimed at US producers.


Note I am no apologist for US policy here - this is just the market acting as it is intended to operate: somewhere between amoral and immoral.

(Edited for layout and really awful spelling)


i think the quote you’re looking for is:

"I looked the man in the eye... I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy... I was able to get a sense of his soul."

and, yet americans elected george bush twice.


You’ve got millions to play with? Or someone else’s money?

As 1,000,000 Rubles is just over $16,000 at the moment, maybe he does!

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I shall buy it with one hundred trillion Zimbabwe dollars.

That’s not how currency trading works, in case I haven’t driven the point.

I’d start with the Watch novels. It’s much easier to fall in love with the City first, and then be able to read everything else as stories that fit around it, than to start out reading about some annoying wizard.

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I have to agree here. Buying anything for one hundred trillion Zimbabwe dollars is not how it works at all.

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Actually I’m a specimen collector, not an investor. I look for one of each type of coin, and in fact have quite a few rubles, as well as kopeks. That’s why I was sad when Canada discontinued the penny, and, for that matter, when the Euro took over. Even though every EU country has its own unique set of designs it still felt like the currency diversity diminished. This was especially true of Ireland. Overnight their coins went from having a variety of animals to all sporting the Guinness logo.

The Colour of Magic and Moving Pictures were fairly early novels, where Sir Terry was still figuring out how to write fiction and what Discworld was about. I started with Lords and Ladies, just by chance, and it worked out pretty well, but Guards! Guards! would be another strong starting point.