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News Planck, Schrodinger, and what to do during political catastr

  1. Dec 18, 2015 #1
    When I was young I read Schrodinger's memoirs. I can't find a book, but I remember he described an interesting conversation with Max Planck about what to do during the political catastrophe. The conversation was in 1940, and Schrodinger was asking Planck's opinion on what to do - to immigrate, or to stay in nazi Germany tring to help talented students and to protect scientific school.

    I live in Russia, and I start asking similar questions to myself. Immigration is not a problem, I lived and worked for 3 years in US and France. They question is, "should" I do it, and as there are less and less "mentally uncontaminated" people around me, is it my responsibility (please forgive me for being pathetic) to keep light in the deeper and deeper darkness.

    I understand that such decisions are personal and of course I am not asking what to do. But I am not sure for how long I could bear it. So my question is, for the people who are outside, how stable the regime in Russia is? Some things are better visible from the outside by neutral observers. Of course, sooner or later all will end, there some natural limits, and for now brain stroke appears to be the only hope fro Russia, but it would be difficult to wait another 15-20 years, so I am asking about short term (2-4 years).
     
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  3. Dec 18, 2015 #2

    ShayanJ

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    Its really naive to think anyone who is going to reply here is a "neutral observer"!
     
  4. Dec 18, 2015 #3
    Well, not neutral, but at least non-local observer )
     
  5. Dec 18, 2015 #4

    ShayanJ

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    What's the advantage of such observers?
     
  6. Dec 18, 2015 #5

    russ_watters

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    3rd party observers are always a useful thing, regardless of (and sometimes because of) their differing biases. This is true of basically any context in which you seek a second opinion.
     
  7. Dec 18, 2015 #6

    russ_watters

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    Your struggle says positive things about your moral compass. Here in the US, people often say "if xxx gets elected President, I'm moving to Canada", but few people ever do (and the stakes are much lower). You sound more serious.

    Regarding the specific question, though; a dictator's stranglehold on the political process of what is supposed to be a democracy is difficult to predict. It's not like Cuba where it was an easy bet that Castro would stay in power as long as he wanted...and then be replaced by Castro. But Putin MAY or could theoretically run into issues. Do I think he will? No, my bet is that he'll still be in power in 30 years.

    Putin isn't Hitler, but he might be Stalin Lite, and he'll probably live longer.
     
  8. Dec 18, 2015 #7

    ShayanJ

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    My point was that such choices are what make up who people are. Others can't tell someone who to be!
     
  9. Dec 18, 2015 #8

    russ_watters

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    The OP isn't asking who to be, s/he is simply asking for a prediction of Putin's longevity.
     
  10. Dec 18, 2015 #9

    Krylov

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    I, too, am afraid that Putin and his clique are not leaving in the short term. Certainly he is not leaving soon enough.
    I second that, both your reasons for staying as well as for leaving are admirable.

    One of my advisors spent the beginning of his scientific career in Russia, then left with his family. He lived in different places in Western Europe from the 1990s onward, but has now settled down. I'm not sure to what extent his decision to leave was morally or politically motivated.
     
  11. Dec 18, 2015 #10
    Well, my biggest hope are oil prices. Prices are too low to support russian oil-oriented economy. There are some financial resources accumulated during the period when prices were high, however, with the current burn rate they will be exhausted in approx 1 year. After that... imagine the small cage with rats without food. What they would do? of course, eat each other. I hope it will be the same in Putin's environment. So yes, he can live much longer... But it does not guarantee him from "sudden health problems", "heart attack", "helicopter crash" etc. After that I expect a period of chaos. But I see at as positive event, like "hard reset" of a computer.

    So in some sense I am more optimistic than you, I don't expect him to last very long. However, if nothing bad happens, or if oil returns back to 120$ per barrel, then yes, he will last for decades.

    The moral dilemma here, however, is that my only hope is to expect something "bad" short term (as catastrophic even will "unlock" country from the state where it's stuck). "Bad" short term is the only hope for "good" long term. Now imagine what other people think about me - they think about me as "traitor" while for me it is like a painful surgery. Short term pain, long term - salvation.
     
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