Ilya Shambat

Ilya Shambat
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
November 21
Adda Enterprises
Born in Russia, family moved to America when I was 12. Got a degree from University of Virginia at 18. Worked for Oracle, translated four books of classical Russian poety, was part of San Francisco and Washington, DC poetry and music scene. Good friends with San Francisco's own Persephone's Bees and acquainted with Patch Adams. Currently married with children, residing in Australia and working on a clean energy technology implementation.


Ilya Shambat's Links

The main premise behind classical economics is that people are driven in their consumption decisions by what Adam Smith called rational self-interest. That premise is not correct. Most consumption decisions are not driven by rational self-interest; they are driven by psychology.

I do not mean only th… Read full post »

DECEMBER 18, 2013 9:22PM

Responsibility: Whose?

In psychology, a neurotic is someone who takes responsibility for things that are not their responsibility; and a personality disorder person does not take responsibility for things that are. The real question to ask is this, "What is whose responsibility?" 

On this we have all sorts of different… Read full post »
DECEMBER 15, 2013 4:20AM

China's One Child Per Family Policy

While China's one-child-per-family policy is usually seen as an internal affair, there are any number of reasons why it should not be regarded that way.

The biggest immediate result of this policy is female infanticide on a vast scale - to the tune of maybe 100 million female fetuses aborted.… Read full post »
DECEMBER 14, 2013 4:08AM

"Sexual Predators" and Compassion

When I was at a bus station in Connecticut, I observed a scene in which a deaf older man made an obscene gesture at a long-haired young man who was working at the station. The young men went into a tantrum in which he was claiming that the older man was… Read full post »

The wind energy production tax credit is a tougher issue than you might imagine for some good liberal wonks. On the one hand, wind power is great. On the other hand, tax credits are a market-distorting, inefficient way of making policy. They are basically spending disguised as tax cuts. Most tax… Read full post »

DECEMBER 8, 2013 10:46PM

Protestants and Communists

My politics are moderate to Left. But in my dealings with conservatives and libertarians, I've come to like a number of these people. In such situations, what I've had to learn is how to disagree without being disagreeable. 

My grandmother was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party of th… Read full post »
DECEMBER 6, 2013 8:04PM

Inequality Threatens the Rich

(CNN) -- When President Barack Obama proclaimed the fight against income inequality is "the defining challenge of our time," you might have dismissed his words as the effort of a struggling president to revive his political fortunes. But anyone looking at the relentlessly expanding income gap can… Read full post »

DECEMBER 1, 2013 2:42AM

Parenting and Tolstoy

When I was younger, I did not want to be married and I did not want to have children. This sentiment was quite common among any number of people. I had a friend who asked her mother, "Why did you have children?" Her mother's response was, "Someday you'll understand." Someday she… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 30, 2013 3:13AM

Liberalism and Patriotism

I've written recently to make the distinction between benign patriotism that seeks the well-being of one's people and malignant patriotism that seeks destruction of someone else. One question that can be asked is, And what if the other person seeks one's destruction?

When faced with malignant patriot… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 27, 2013 11:30PM

The Awakening of Hassan

"If you love enough you will forgive anything," said Queen Sheherezade, and Fatima did. Rapes, daily beatings, death threats, constant verbal abuse, murder of her daughter - she forgave her husband Abdul everything. But Abdul would forgive absolutely nothing, no matter how little or insignificant. A… Read full post »
A friend of mine, who is black, said that all of us are racists as we identify with our own groups.

My response is that there are miles to go between identifying with one's own group and hating other groups, and that the two sentiments should be separated into benign… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 25, 2013 4:59AM

Bill Gates' Advice For Schoolchildren

Bill Gates has given a speech to high school students about 11 things that they need to learn in life. I agree with some of them, disagree with others, and partly agree with the rest. I will go through them one by one.

Rule 1: "Life is not fair -… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 25, 2013 1:43AM

Family and Incest

Listening to "Janie's Got a Gun," I came to thinking about the ways in which incest should be dealt with. Right now, most cases of incest never reach the courts or the social services, as the families hide them. With pedophilia (when someone has sex with someone else's child), everyone wants… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 17, 2013 11:01PM

Brainwashing and Abuse

NOVEMBER 17, 2013 6:01AM

Fatherhood and the Fathers' Movement

There are many people who see the family unit as sacrosanct. In most cases, the people who believe this the most are the least worthy to benefit from that idea.

The family is as good as are the people in it, and also as good as what it took to… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 15, 2013 8:45AM

Tea Party and Spoiled Children

A lot of Tea Party people have been howling bloody murder because America under Obama is not completely what they want America to be.

My response to these people: You are acting like a bunch of spoiled children.

There are people all over the world who actually have things to… Read full post »

Translations of songs from classical Russian film at  Read full post »

NOVEMBER 12, 2013 6:46AM

Most likely professions for psychopaths

It's not the artists. In fact, the artist is one of the least likely professions for a psychopath. What are the most likely? You guessed it - CEOs, lawyers and the media.

NOVEMBER 12, 2013 4:33AM

Russian Culture: Right and Wrong

Having been born in Russia, and having translated a vast body of Russian poetry and songs into English, I have a lot of respect for what has come out of Russia. That respect does not however extend toward everything.

Here's Turgenev, with his, "a broad's tears is nothing but water." Oh,… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 11, 2013 11:24PM

Russian Songs: Videos and Translations

Russia's most popular songs with videos and translations at: Read full post »

NOVEMBER 11, 2013 8:29AM

Bending Were Trees, Chestnuts Made Sound

Bending were trees, chestnuts made sound, 
And the night was extremely dark
A single pair of two lovers
Partied till morning all the night 

And they awoke in the morning
Around them all the grass was bent
Bent not was only grass around them


WASHINGTON Thu Nov 7, 2013 2:55pm EST


(Reuters) - Government-run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America's biggest providers of housing finance, will send $39.0 billion to the U.S. Treasury in December, leaving them within a hair of covering the cost/Read full post »

NOVEMBER 11, 2013 12:44AM

Punks and Military

Some idiots went on a rampage and smashed up Melanie's car; and this has lead me to think about what really should be done about punks.

In England and Australia, they are called hooligans. In America, they are called gangsters. In Russia, they are called skinheads; in Germany, neo-Nazis. In… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 10, 2013 1:20AM

Sociopaths and Neurology

As someone who's been called a sociopath by a number of lay individuals - but never by a professional therapist - I can testify that the concept is vastly overused. 

As for people who actually are sociopaths, it appears that they lack neural connections between two centers in the brain. That make… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 9, 2013 10:39PM

Hydrogen Transmission Network

Arindam Banerjee, an Indian-born Australian-resident scientist and inventor, has developed a technology to fufil humanity's energy and water needs for the price of one without any pollution, destruction or waste.

Technology is explained at Read full post »