[Corpora-List] Fwd: Fw: SketchEngine CEO: No “business as usual” with Russia anymore

Alexander Osherenko osherenko at gmx.de
Wed Mar 16 17:01:31 CET 2022


Dear all,

https://www.rsr-online.ru/news/2022-god/obrashchenie-rossiyskogo-soyuza-rektorov1/ can be a fake. If you want to know more about this or want to test your favorite MT, here is an interesting article from Novaya Gazeta: https://novayagazeta.ru/articles/2022/03/10/zhivye-i-mertvye-pishut-putinu

Kind regards, Alexander -- Alexander Osherenko, Dr. rer. nat.

Am Mi., 16. März 2022 um 16:40 Uhr schrieb Miloš Jakubíček < milos.jakubicek at sketchengine.eu>:


> Dear all,
>
> Thank you for all your comments, even though I never intended to start a
> discussion -- I wrote the statement merely to relieve my colleagues in the
> support team from the burden of explaining.
>
> Below I'm forwarding a reply from Andrius (which got stuck somewhere
> underway in the mailman). I do agree with him that one of our mistakes is
> applying Western democratic political principles to Putin -- that simply
> doesn't work.
> I'm naturally a cooperative person (which is sometimes a problem in
> business where you should frequently be able to say "no" to maintain focus)
> so when I read about "efforts to keep communication and work with the other
> side",
> that triggers my soft spot immediately. But then nothing simply ever
> changes and this is exactly what Putin was hoping for: we condemn and move
> on (or even worse, get stuck in some fake news and start speculating
> whether the Ukrainians were smiling too provocatively over to Putin or
> not). And next time again. And as much as we may diverge in opinions, that
> there would not be a next time after Ukraine (be it Lithuania, Latvia,
> Estonia, Poland or Moldova) is simply extremely unlikely, sorry to say that.
>
> Everyone saying my position is safe and easy to take from a warm desk in
> Brno is completely right of course. No bombs over our heads and no threats
> whatsoever for taking the position. But also some 20k refugees already in a
> city of 400k after three weeks of war, so you do meet them daily in shops
> and public transportation and immediately recognize them by the frightened
> faces of the kids (of course, anyone in Poland beats these numbers 10x or
> so), so there is plenty of opportunity for us to help here (not just money;
> one of my colleagues with a 5-headed family got 4 extra heads just a few
> days ago etc.).
>
> Finally, it seems some people were reading my statement about the role of
> politics in science so that I'm promoting science to be political. That is
> of course not the case. There are (many) things in this world we wish to
> change but can't, wanting science to stay completely away from politics is
> one of them. Where democracy works well, science and politics only meet
> occasionally and try to carefully operate in well-defined relationships. In
> Russia these days, it looks like this:
>
>
> https://www.rsr-online.ru/news/2022-god/obrashchenie-rossiyskogo-soyuza-rektorov1/
>
> (just translate using your favourite MT -- both DeepL and Google did a
> rather good job when I tried, though the content is quite more shocking
> than the translation quality)
>
> All the best
> Milos
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> From: Andrius Utka <andrius.utka at vdu.lt>
> Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2022 at 09:03
> Subject: RE: [Corpora-List] Fw: SketchEngine CEO: No “business as usual”
> with Russia anymore
> To: Miloš Jakubíček <milos.jakubicek at sketchengine.eu>
> Cc: Marek Medveď <marek.medved at sketchengine.eu>, Vít Suchomel <
> vit.suchomel at sketchengine.eu>
>
>
> Hi, all,
>
>
>
> I just want to express my full support for your earlier public statement.
> Unfortunately, my letter of support (below) did not go through to
> corpora at uib.no (apparently, it wasn’t confirmed by a moderator), maybe
> considered as too emotional 😊.
>
> Anyway, I just wanted to react to some doubtful posts that have been
> published in this list.
>
>
>
> Best regards,
>
> Andrius
>
>
>
>
>
> Dear all,
>
>
>
> I would like to express the full support to the public statement by Miloš.
> And I also want to express a few thoughts following the recent posts.
>
>
>
> I don‘t think Miloš’s statement “No business as usual with Russia
> anymore“ is in any way hysterical, or russophobic, it is just a firm NO to
> this unjust war, where bombs fall on blocks of flats, nurseries, maternity
> centres, hospitals, and humanitarian corridors.
>
>
>
> The information war is also taking place. Any doubt that you express will
> be recorded and multiplied by a million times by a Russian propagandist and
> this very doubt will be used in this information war against Europe and
> democracy. Russian propaganda lives on such doubts. Russian propaganda
> exactly works in this way and has worked like that for 22 years already
> (since the Second Chechen War). That has been their strategy during
> Georgian war, during annexation of Crimea, in American elections, in Brexit
> and in this war (entangled in their doubts and disputes Americans and
> Britons suddenly found that they were forced into voting against their own
> will). Since one single doubt will produce one more doubt. The doubt will
> be spread by our own media, and multiplied by Russian troll factories and
> robots. They will make these two doubts into 2 million voices. Ask
> yourself: who is this “student from Leeds” anyway? Why his pro-Kremlin
> anonymous thoughts are sent to hundreds of scientists in the first place?
>
>
>
> Don‘t be naive and don’t reationalize by using Western democratic values,
> as Russia will use them against you. This is the main difference:
> westerners think they are taking part in democratic or academic
> discussions, and Russian propaganda uses it in the information war. I think
> it is time to unite without doubts against this terrorist state (by the way
> the term “terrorist state” was used by Lithuanian president Grybauskaitė
> already in 2014). I don’t care that Russian users via proxy can use
> SketchEngine. I’m sure that Russian programmers have already stolen all
> logins and they have been using SketchEngine illegally for years. But let
> them behave like thieves. As they are such. I know for a fact that Russian
> IT companies are stealing all the materials on a regular basis from Netflix
> and circulate them within Russian networks. Why SketchEngine would be an
> exception?
>
>
>
> Russia is already The North Korea, if you could see the Russian TV you
> would be amazed on how full of lies and biased it is. Of course, there are
> clear fakes, but their strongest claims are those that are made “on doubts
> that we produce ourselves“ (by Merkel, Rute and so on). Being themselves
> fascist, they call all opposition fascist, being themselves hysteric, they
> call each opposition as hysteric. All western media has been banned, as
> producers of fake news in Russia.
>
>
>
> So, full support! No doubts!
>
>
>
> Best regards,
>
> Andrius Utka
>
> Vytautas Magnus University
>
> Kaunas, Lithuania
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> A public statement
> <https://www.sketchengine.eu/news/no-business-as-usual-with-russia-anymore/>
> by Miloš Jakubíček, CEO of Lexical Computing, on Sketch Engine
> unavailability in Russia and Belarus.
>
>
> https://www.sketchengine.eu/wp-content/uploads/ukraine-gebe587dbc_640-300x169.png
> 300w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px">
>
> One week ago, I decided to cut off the Russian and Belarusian internet
> address space from Sketch Engine (and related services) following the
> Russian invasion of Ukraine. That decision was not easy to take but after
> one week I am perhaps even more confident it was the right decision than I
> was back then. While the overall feedback was supportive, we have also been
> getting all sorts of complaints. This text attempts to respond to the main
> critical voices:
> *“this is ethically wrong”*
>
> I do not think so. On the contrary: for me, this is the only ethically
> plausible solution. By operating on a market you legitimate that market and
> those who are in control of the market. But the Russian market lost its
> legitimacy one week ago when it became a war machine. Moreover, since most
> Sketch Engine users are academics, it is state money we would continue
> taking (directly, or indirectly through users’ salaries). I do not see how
> we could continue providing services in Russia, take money for it and
> pretend as if nothing happened. The next day after the invasion we have
> contributed 250,000 CZK (approx. 10,000 €) to the account of People in
> Need
> <https://www.peopleinneed.net/what-we-do/humanitarian-aid-and-development/ukraine> for
> humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
>
> I should perhaps also mention that by cutting Russia off, the amount of
> hacking attempts targeted at our infrastructure dropped by 90%.
> *“science should not be political”*
>
> This, I admit, I find completely ridiculous. Anyone having a job in
> science, sport or culture and thinking they are apolitical, please have a
> look at your payroll and where the money is coming from. Have a look at
> your government’s website how proud the country is of its scientists,
> athletes or artists? In these areas, you represent your country more than
> in others, willingly or not.
> *“but I’m against Putin”*
>
> Me too. You are unfortunate in that you live in an economic area that
> Putin (absolutely) controls and used its gains to initiate an invasion of
> your neighbouring country, Ukraine, committing atrocities and killing many
> people equally innocent as you claim to be. All the sanctions punish the
> guilty ones, the innocent ones as well as those initiating the sanctions,
> otherwise they would not be effective. We all need to make sacrifices now.
> If you live in Russia, now is the time when you need to act and do what you
> can to prevent the otherwise inevitable: Russia becoming the second North
> Korea, completely isolated from the outside world, completely cut off from
> any type of collaboration in business, science, culture or sport.
> *“and you think Putin will stop because of Sketch Engine?”*
>
> Surely not. Sketch Engine is not the bread and butter people need for
> everyday living. But it is the bread and butter for corpus linguistics. It
> is a high-tech premium product that enables people to take part in
> state-of-the-art research and science in some fields. Not making it
> available in Russia constitutes a very, very tiny bit of pressure against
> ongoing aggression in Ukraine. But I believe that every bit counts.
>
> Many people much more competent to do this than me have been analyzing the
> current situation, an excellent summary was provided e.g. by Garry
> Kasparov
> <https://twitter.com/Kasparov63/status/1499439820363468802?s=20&t=3X-hfb9U88sKfUgfctXNJg>.
> I am afraid that, for all kind of reasons (massive propaganda from Putin in
> the first place of course), many people in Russia are still far from
> realizing the damage Putin is making to Russia as well as Ukraine. It is
> now not the time to make business in Russia, collaborate in research and
> science or compete in sports. It is now not the time to
> do corpus linguistics in Russia. There is only one task for anyone in
> Russia: help get rid of Putin by any means you can. This is the task for
> Russia. The task for the rest of the world is to repent how come we did not
> see this coming and let it go that far. Equally, when Putin is gone and
> there is peace again in Europe, it will be our task to help rebuild Ukraine
> as well as Russia, and I will be happy to think about what Sketch Engine
> can then do to help the researchers in Ukraine as well as Russia to catch
> up. But until then, there is “no business as usual” with Russia anymore.
>
> Practically speaking: whether and when Sketch Engine becomes available in
> Russia no longer depends just on me. Since payments to Russia (both online
> and offline) are getting unavailable, there is no way to get paid. The EU
> sanctions list suggests that we may not even be allowed to provide our
> services in Russia.
> Afterword
>
> For me as a Czech, I do fear that the reminiscences of 1938 in
> Czechoslovakia are way too real. They are actually incredibly real. It is
> once again useful for everyone to recall the circumstances of the Munich
> agreement <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Agreement>. In 1938
> Hitler started iteratively escalating his demands on Czechoslovakia making
> sure they would not be acceptable by the Czechoslovak government (like
> Putin did with Ukraine). He finally demanded all border parts of
> Czechoslovakia, constituting about 30% of the country, with predominantly
> German speaking citizens, arguing they are oppressed by the Czechoslovak
> government and need to be protected (like Putin did with Luhansk and
> Donetsk). He claimed Czechoslovakia is an artificial country and part of
> historical Germany (like Putin claims about Ukraine). Finally, both France
> and the UK forced the Czechoslovak government to accept his demands in
> September 1938 on a conference in Munich.
>
> The UK prime minister Chamberlain then returned home claiming: *a British
> Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I
> believe it is peace for our time. *He was responded by Winston Churchill: *You
> were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and
> you will have war.* Chamberlain’s naivety only made him an everlasting
> symbol of appeasement. In March 1939 Hitler invaded the rest of
> the defenseless Czechoslovakia. In September 1939 he attacked Poland. You
> know the rest.
>
> Since then, the Czech society has been split about whether we should have
> defended ourselves even without the help of the UK and France (who we had
> alliances with). Looking at Ukraine these days, it is hard not to think we
> should have and that it likely would have had significant influence on the
> course of WWII. Similarly, the people in Ukraine are now literally fighting
> for all of us and we should do all what we can to help them. I ask everyone
> to focus on this in the first place now, regardless of where you are. Slava
> Ukraini!
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> --
>
> Mike Scott
>
> lexically.net
>
> Lexical Analysis Software and Aston University
>
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