Why Russia is the biggest country in the world is also why it had no chance against the US (even controlling for economic systems):

1. The US is naturally well defended.
Russia is completely exposed
2. The US has the best piece of real estate in the world, the Mississippi Basin: a massive, flat, fertile area.
Russia is frozen, and can only support agriculture in its southwest.
3. The Mississippi Basin has more navigable rivers than the rest of the world combined. Trade is easy and cheap, connected to the rest of the world.

Most Russian rivers flow from south to north, and freeze part of the year. You can't easily trade anything out of Siberia.
4. The US has amazing access to oceanic trade.
Russia has one warm water port, Murmansk—in the Arctic. The rest either freezes in winter or can be blocked by other countries (Denmark/Sweden, Turkey, Japan).
With less fertile land, Russia's agriculture is weaker—& feeds fewer ppl.

With worse communications, crops spoil before trading—and no wealth builds up.

With worse natural defenses, Russia must obsess about its integrity—and spend accordingly.

It never had a chance.

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More from @tomaspueyo

1 Jan
Over 20 million people saw my tweets in 2021. That's crazy. Here are the ones you liked the most (and TLDRs of each):
1. Why Africa is the way it is: because of its latitude combined with winds and tectonic plates.
2. Why the Caribbean is the way it is: because of its history with Spain first, other European countries later, and the US now
Read 22 tweets
27 Dec 21
5pm. We dress up for the Christmas Eve dinner at our in-laws’. Anorak, mittens, wool hat, two masks.

5:30pm. Antigen test for all. Negative.

5:45pm. We take the elevator. The older kid sneezes. A chill down our fucking spine.

5:55pm. Another antigen test from our secret stash
We went to 27 pharmacies to gather them. Eat or be eaten.
Negative again

6:05. We made it to the car. This time, the older one coughs.

6:07. This time, antigens, eucalyptus, ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and an enema just in case.

He screams. He never does.

We google:
“COVID symptoms scream humor change”.
We think he might have cancer.
But no COVID, so back to the car.

6:50. We make it to the in-laws’.

6:57. We open all the windows of the house.

7:09. We start eating.

7:14. 25 degrees F

7:30. We all sneeze.
Read 11 tweets
21 Dec 21
Why you should you vaccinate your kids in 6 words:

Vaccines reduce myocarditis frequency and gravity

And then they reduce deaths, hospitalizations, chronic fatigue syndrome...

Here's a guide with all the details, and what to do if you're on the fence: 🧵
1. Why vaccines reduce frequency & gravity of myocarditis:
Because COVID gives PIMS (Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome) in 1 in 4k infections. 75% of the time that includes myocarditis, so 1 in 5k COVID infections in kids include myocarditis.
That is ~3x-30x more common than myocarditis from the vaccine, depending on your age and gender.

It's also much worse after COVID than after a vaccine. This is what the vaccine does to you:
Read 13 tweets
21 Dec 21
You're on the fence on whether to vaccinate your kid because you're scared of myocarditis? Here are 6 rules to reduce that risk:
1. No children below 12 have reported myocarditis. This is for 12-17 children
2. Females have 10x lower risk than males.
3. Most of the benefit of the vaccines comes with the 1st dose. Most of the myocarditis cost comes with the 2nd dose. Start with the 1st dose and then gather more data.
4. The main pbm comes with shots that are not spaced enough in time. Instead of 2 shots spaced by 2-3 weeks, try spacing them by 2-3 months
Read 6 tweets
15 Dec 21
I only see 2 ways out of COVID:
1. An endemic disease that kills a few hundreds of thousands/million of ppl every year
2. A disease eradicated through global vaccination campaigns

I fear there's no 3. A virus that becomes less lethal over time and blends in like a cold
Note that 1 and 3 are pretty similar. In both cases, the disease is endemic and kills a few people every year. The cold doesn't, but the flu does, at ~0.13% of the sick every year.

But what if it wasn't 0.13%? What if it was 0.4%? Would we accept that? It's the ≠ btw 1 and 3
The reason why think we can get to 3 is because that's what probably happened to the 1918 flu: it's H1N1, and after killing so many ppl, it ended up evolving to kill less so it could spread more.
Read 10 tweets
14 Dec 21
What do we know about Omicron? I fear most ppl are unfortunately too optimistic. They're missing the Key Omicron Question.

Here's a summary of what we know about Omicron, and the key question that remains unanswered:
2 numbers matter in epidemiology: the transmission rate and the fatality rate.

The transmission rate tells you how many people are likely going to catch a virus, and how hard it will be to fight it.

Once you catch it, the fatality rate tells you how bad it will be.
Then there's 2 complications: these numbers interact in weird ways.

1. Ppl believe that viruses that become less lethal spread better.

2. Yet a less lethal virus might end up killing more.

How do we make sense of it all? Let's dive deep
Read 29 tweets

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