We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Delays continue…

As a key aspect of the samizdata interface is still far from Samizdata HQ, and the local internet is powered by small but very noisy frogs on a bamboo treadmill, rather than the usual industrious British hamsters on a steel one, delays in comment moderation will continue for several days…


[/on David Attenborough Voice]

The hippopotamus is not a creature native to Indonesia, but upon being introduced, it threatens to become deeply invasive, shoving indigenous species out of their ecological niche by devouring their food and stealing their women

[/end David Attenborough Voice]

20 comments to Delays continue…

  • Julie near Chicago

    Roger that, Samizdata Illuminatus. And thank you for setting free Mr. Hayden and Mr. Bussey. :>)

  • Julie near Chicago

    By the way, is that an Evil Hippo disporting himself in a pool beside a tiki hut and an ocean? He hath a wild-eyed (though not a lean and hungry, nor mean & hungry) look, as of one hoping to affright the Loch Ness Monster, or to eat anyone who would dare disturb his R&R.

    He looks a little like one Perry de Havilland, of whom I’ve seen one or two smallish photos. But that cannot be, as PdH is far to dedicated to the cause of Liberty to permit himself freedom to ditch work in such a fashion.

    🙂 🙂 😉

  • Laird

    That is one scary beast. Is it Cthulhu? The resemblance is uncanny.

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    The Hippopotamus is a “river horse”; the photo might be showing a “river pony”.


  • James Waterton

    Interesting. Guess which country has North Korean standards of service when it comes to having your broadband internet connected? Have a guess:

    A) free market* Australia
    B) communist* Vietnam

    Let’s start with the obvious answer first.

    In communist Vietnam, we had broadband internet connected to each of the three properties we lived in whilst there, the first in 2009 and the last in mid 2011. On each occasion the call was made to the state-owned internet company at a leisurely hour of the morning, and after nap time (about 90mins after their lunch break) two blokes on a scooter – one holding a long bamboo ladder at least twice the length of the scooter – rocked up. On each of the three occasions, we were merrily browsing the web by mid-afternoon of the same day.

    In free market Australia, we have had broadband internet connected to two urban dwellings using what’s considered a competitive ISP; the first time in early 2013 and the second in late 2014. In both cases, the properties already had the requisite lines and wall fittings in place. The very pleasant ISP phone consultant informed us it would take at least 14 working days for our internet connection to be activated, and this was an industry wide standard (performed by the formerly state-owned telecommunications company which owns the broadband network which all other ISPs rent at wholesale prices, and then onsell to the retail user). Around 20 days later, a van owned by the formerly state-owned behemoth rocked up, a worker spent 5 minutes or so fiddling with our meter box, and hey presto! we were online.

    Now, did you guess correctly?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Laird, thanks for the photo. He looks much more calmer and much less wild-eyeder than the hippo in S.I.’s shot. Almost a warm-furry by comparison! LOL

    J.M., I dunno — are you sure? Seems to me “pool pony” would be more apt. Of course, the PdH I had in mind has a tendency to bill himself as “Evil Hippo,” and even little children of three know that ponies are never Evil.

    James, from the experience of actually living there, what is life like in Vietnam? Everybody says things are much improved there, but I’m wondering how much actual Communism remains, how socialistic the place really is, whether there is a good deal of upward mobility, or for the opportunity of it, and whether it’s available to everyone…that sort of stuff.

    Sounds as if broadband internet is a lot easier to come by in V-N. By the way, is there Internet censorship?

  • Sean

    Hey Dave – I doubt they will be a problem if you let us loose on them.

  • RRS

    Will we be getting a report on the OxCam program of British Bras for Bali?

  • James Waterton

    Alisa: Vietnamese economic reforms are broadly similar to those of China, although Vietnam is poorer because they started the process later than the Chinese and were starting from a lower base as the country was poverty-stricken and in a state of widespread destruction as a consequence of decades of high intensity warfare. So you don’t get the same wealth extremes as what you get in China, but Vietnam is certainly prospering at a respectable clip.

    The Vietnamese authorities have been similarly reluctant to carry out meaningful political reform like their Chinese counterparts, but are generally a lot less paranoid about silencing dissent against the state. The Chinese dictators are substantially less benevolent than the Viets, and a lot more motivated to keep their people in line. The differing efforts each country puts into controlling what its people can see and do on the internet is emblematic of the differing mentalities of their respective leaderships. The Chinese maintain a highly sophisticated and well-resourced system of internet censorship. It’s easy to get around this for some restricted websites, but contrary to what many believe, if the Chinese state really doesn’t want you to see a particular site, you probably won’t see it. Even if you’re using TOR.

    Yes, there is internet censorship in Vietnam, but it’s laughably easy to evade and incredibly half-arsed. Facebook is blocked, for instance, but a 6 year old could evade the block. Facebook is wildly popular. The VNese authorities’ response is “meh”. Which is the Vietnamese government reply to a whole host of supposedly subversive and anti Marx-Lenin-Ho Chi Minh matters over which the ChiComs have a massive stick up their arse.

    Oh yeah, the Viets don’t have an epic inferior complex and an overweening sense of injustice because the rest of the world isn’t as obsessed with its ancient culture as it is, and cannot understand why any developing nation would want to emulate the Western trajectory of development.

    So in short, the Viets are generally a lot more relaxed in their own skins than the Chinese and a lot less concerned about what the rest of the world thinks of them.

    Oh yes, the Viets also harbour a massive grudge against the Chinese, and also think them rather perculiar, to boot. On the other hand, the Viets have great admiration for the Americans, and harbour all sorts of fond romantic notions about France. Both countries were the bitterest of foes of Vietnam a couple of generations prior,and today the military presence of both countries is evident everywhere, as is the ongoing suffering that resulted from decades of brutal conflict. Yet there is surprisingly little malice, and an awful lot of goodwill and magnanimity shown towards those countries whose designs on Vietnam ended up failing epically (and tragically the fall of Saigon meaning the southerners had to live under the terrible soul-crushing yoke of socialism for 10 years before Hanoi realised – oops! – the South was right after all.)

    But boy do the Viets loathe the Chinese.

  • James, you should turn this comment into a samizdata article!

  • Julie near Chicago

    James, Thanks very, very much. I am a mere Faithful Reader, but I’ll second PdH on that.

    And if you don’t mind, I’d like to post it to one of the American boards. With or without your name, as you wish.

    Julie (Not Alisa 🙂 )

  • Alisa

    I was going to say that James got the questioner wrong, but I still have his reply opened in a tab to be read later with much interest 🙂

  • Alisa

    OK, I have now read it, and what Perry said – many times over!

  • Ljh

    Remember, hippopotami only emerge from their pools at night to forage and steal women. Hope you’re not too wrinkly by then. Enjoy!

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    … then ‘pool pony’ should be “póny pisína”


  • Julie near Chicago

    J.M., I wallow corrected…. :>)

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    Laird, shame on you! Cthulhu, long may It sleep, is supposed to be something like two miles high! This might be a cell, or spwan of Cthulhu, long may It snore.

  • mike

    James Waterton’s final comment on the surprising Vietnamese for America and France and dislike for China reminds me of my own experience in Taiwan. Whereas I arrived in Taiwan expecting to find a similar Taiwanese dislike for all things China*, what I actually found – and in spades – was a widespread** dislike for the South Koreans. This is due partly to nationalism and sports with the perception that the South Koreans are often guilty of cheating and lying (e.g. falsely claiming that famous Taiwanese basketball and baseball players are actually Korean), and is partly due to a view that the Koreans lie and cheat in trade deals.

    *There was some of that in 2005, but a lot more now in 2016.
    **Qualified somewhat by a fondness for Korean food and Korean culture.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Mike: In examining the culture of Taiwan, one must remember that Taiwan was part of the Japanese Empire (along with Korea). Most of the population are ethnic Taiwanese, who were substantially assimilated to Japanese culture – which mainland Chinese dislike.

    Taiwanese play baseball; Chinese do not. Taiwanese do kendo and manga/anime-based cosplay. Chinese do not.

    The other part of Taiwan’s population are ethnic mainlanders, who arrived with Chiang’s defeated forces in 1949 – and then proceeded to rule the country exclusively for two generations. The mainlanders regarded the locals (many of whom served in the Japanese military) as traitors.

    There’s been some fusion in the last generation: young ethnic Taiwanese mostly speak Mandarin instead of Taiwanese dialect, and the KMT now includes many Taiwanese.

    It would be interesting to find out how Taiwanese attitudes toward Koreans correlate with this division.

  • Rich Rostrom

    The hippopotamus is not a creature native to Indonesia…

    Nor to Colombia, but druglord Pablo Escobar imported several for his private zoo. Some got away, and there is now a small wild hippopotamus population there.