jm + ussr + history   5

Chernobyl True Story: What The HBO Miniseries Gets Right (& Changes)
A much more reasonable writeup of what the HBO series changed from what really happened -- notably the show trial in the final episode was largely concocted. This is much more accurate than the cinemablend.com article.
chernobyl  fact  fiction  hbo  tv  fictionalisation  ussr  history 
8 weeks ago by jm
The Rise of Pirate Libraries
The history of this is fascinating:
Today’s pirate libraries have their roots in the work of Russian academics to digitize texts in the 1990s. Scholars in that part of the world had long had a thriving practice of passing literature and scientific information underground, in opposition to government censorship—part of the samizdat culture, in which banned documents were copied and passed hand to hand through illicit channels. Those first digital collections were passed freely around, but when their creators started running into problems with copyright, their collections “retreated from the public view,” writes Balázs Bodó, a piracy researcher based at the University of Amsterdam. “The text collections were far too valuable to simply delete,” he writes, and instead migrated to “closed, membership-only FTP servers.” [....]

There’s always been osmosis within the academic community of copyrighted materials from people with access to scholar without. “Much of the life of a research academic in Kazakhstan or Iran or Malaysia involves this informal diffusion of materials across the gated walls of the top universities,” he says.
pirates  pirate-libraries  libraries  archival  history  russia  ussr  samizdat  samizdata  academia  papers 
april 2016 by jm
The Alternative Universe Of Soviet Arcade Games
Unlike machines in the West, every single machine that was produced during Soviet-era Russia had to align with Marxist ideology. [...] The most popular games were created to teach hand-eye coordination, reaction speed, and logical, focused thinking. Not unlike many American games, these games were influenced by military training, crafted to teach and instill patriotism for the state by making the human body better, stronger, and more willful. It also means no high scores, no adrenaline rushes, or self-serving feather-fluffing as you add your hard-earned initials to the list of the best. In Communist Russia, there was no overt competition.
high-scores  communism  russia  cccp  ussr  arcade-games  games  history 
september 2015 by jm
The Titanium Gambit | History | Air & Space Magazine
Amazing story of 1960s detente via Maciej: 'During the Cold War, Boeing execs got a strange call from the State Department: Would you guys mind trading secrets with the Russians?'
via:maciej  titanium  history  cold-war  detente  ussr  usa  boeing  russia  aerospace 
july 2015 by jm
The 1940s origins of Whataboutery
The exchange is indicative of a rhetorical strategy known as 'whataboutism', which occurs when officials implicated in wrongdoing whip out a counter-example of a similar abuse from the accusing country, with the goal of undermining the legitimacy of the criticism itself. (In Latin, this rhetorical defense is called tu quoque, or "you, too.")
history  language  whataboutism  whataboutery  politics  1940s  russia  ussr 
august 2013 by jm

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