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Iron Curtains Considered Harmful (haywirez.com)
48 points by haywirez 34 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments



I wrote this upon realizing that two more or less random historical events ended up determining the entirety of my life’s course so far — the fall of the Iron Curtain and the rise of the Internet. These two have their hand in everything that’s dear to me, from the music I love, the relationships I have and the things that enabled me to do what I do. It all makes sense, but I’m still puzzled and in awe.


A fascinating read. Thank you for sharing. What gave me a stop-and-think moment was the bit about a country being younger than you.

While Canada is by most measures a very young country, I take for granted it being older than the furthest relatives I know of. It gives it a sort of static nature. "Well of course Canada will be here tomorrow. It's been here over 150 years." That's a comforting fact.

The discomfort is in the realization that it's simply not true.

When your country is younger than you are, there's no misunderstanding to be had: everything is fleeting.


Fascinating read. I lived in Bratislava in 1993-94 but I didn't have the sense of it being all that crime ridden - perhaps there was more organized crime and less street crime? I can say that after first visiting in 1990, the relatively recent change to a completely open border was striking. We drove from VIE, got to the border, and nothing but a sign - welcome to Slovakia.


Sure, one could avoid getting pickpocketed or mugged if lucky or took care.


The removal of barriers favors those who can take advantage of the newly acquired access and information.

Your life reflects this capacity as much as the environment that let it manifest itself:)


> The removal of barriers favors those who can take advantage of the newly acquired access and information.

No. The removal of barriers favors only those that take advantage of the lawless system. For all the others it is just a relatively free ( as in freedom of speech) period between two totalitarian systems. Then everything starts again. The new masters are the old " nomenclature". Pigs will always be pigs and dogs will always be dogs.


In Eastern Europe and Russia the oligarchs had nothing more than others nearly 30 years ago, they were as rich or poor as the other citizens plus or minus a VCR, a car or some cool trinket. But they indeed took advantage of lawlessness and confusion and the current situation is far from fair, looked at in a certain light is worse than before the curtain. And of course looked from another angle is better. And lots of psychopaths, lots of psychopaths raised to the top. They recognized the game right from the start and got good at it while the rest of us naively hoped in miracles.


Didn’t they also have the right family connections to people in certain offices?


Ofc, they operate in packs


I am living in Bratislava, did not emigrate. It feels like living in story, where despite most of the best and brightest people saying "fuck this imma out of here", the potential is still there and nothing is firmly decided even after 30 years.


Do you get the feeling like those who stay behind have reasons other than money to live there?

I lived in Kaohsiung for 4 years, and many young people had chosen to move to Taipei because of higher salaries. I imagine that the same would be true of Bratislava to Vienna (or further). In Taiwan, it had a positive effect on the city's culture: those who weren't interested in materialism stayed, and pursued their artistic interests, family life, political activism, and more.


It's not about materialism, in the western europe there's better quality of life, less stress in many areas. Such as cultural and law support for LGBT+ people.

I haven't left personally because IT salary meets all my needs already, I can be close to family and because of my hearing disability, spoken foreign languages are more difficult to understand.


I was very confused for longer than I'd like to admit because what felt like it was supposed to be an article was actually a full screen spinning 3D model of a castle that hijacked my scroll wheel to zoom in and out.

If you also have this issue, you need to grab the scroll bar and drag down to keep reading.


Sorry about that, I will get around fixing it.

(It’s quite an UX headache. Maybe only the middle 2/3s should hijack or the embed needs a bit of extra padding?)

Edit: for now, it only zooms with shift pressed


My personal suggestion would be to make it much smaller (say, the width of the text), but with a full screen button.


> It's important to understand that these barriers were built to keep people from leaving.

This is the thing that scares me most about (real) socialist and communist ideologies. People inevitably try and leave, either to protect their personal property or belief values. And for those systems to work you need buy in from everyone.

The result is always some inevitable flavor of political slavery, in stark contrast to a government deriving it’s powers from the consent of the governed.




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