[Corpora-List] Corpora Digest, Vol 177, Issue 21

Marina Litvak litvak.marina at gmail.com
Wed Mar 16 18:58:43 CET 2022

Subject: Re: Fw: SketchEngine CEO: No ?business as usual? with Russia anymore (Diana Santos)

Dear friends, Of course, any intelligent person understands how evil is Russian invasion to Ukrain, how terrible its consequences, and how powefull the Russian state propaganda. However, the original statement was about the role of sanctions, and I'd want to clarify a few points: 1. By my opinion, sanctions agains people (and not polititions and businessmen responsible for this crisis) do not work if their purpose is not punishment. It cannot make people to change regime and I'll explain why. First, don't forget that Russia is not democratic state and even millions people protesting on streets won't change anything now. Last elections most probably were falsificated. So, really, people do not decide anything now, their leaders do not care about people's wellness and they will pursue their own interests anyway (many researches about autocratic regime prove it). Many people keep silent or express their support because of fear. People living in democratic states have difficulty to understand that. Second, sanctions will not help people that do not support the invasion and already risking their freedom and lives. Moreover, people that support the goverment (unfortunately, official but not very reliable data says that it is about 70% which is majority), will NOT change their position from becoming more poor and hungry. The exact opposite is correct. FACT: the last social researches show that much more people in Russia blaim West for their suffering than their goverment. The proportion of people that do not like Western countries is increasing last days. So, if the purpose is to punish Russians, sanctions definitely work and even probably can be justified. But, if it has another purpose of freeing Russians from dictatorship and end the war (and that's an official position of western companies), they are totally useless. The isolation, information blockage, and destroyed economy just making the situation much much worse. Not only in Russia, but also in other countries with currently increasing russophobic movements. 2. Some companies allow Russians pay for the services and ALL this money transfer to humanitarian aid to Ukrain. By using the transitivity law, they make Russian goverment (that pays salaries to people who pay for services) pay to Ukranians victims. I think it's wise. Of course, if these specific services cannot be used by military against Ukraine. In general, I suspect that many companies are more driven by their reputaton (which is directly converted to money nowadays) than moral reasoning. BTW, as media reports, all big companies that closed their projects in Russia (and declared that in media), continue to pay their Russian employees based on already signed contracts. 3. Scientists, sportsmen, and artists are mostly upolitical people that very frequently and easily change their residense to other countries. I don't think that they care about "representing" a country more than about personal achievements. Of course, we all have a lot of such examples.

Nevertheless, every company has right to decide whether to have business with particular client/country or not, and, moreover, the owners are not obligated to provide an explanation.

In conclusion, despite I admire Milo's position and desire to support Ukraine, I just don't observe any evidence that sanctions do good gob. Moreover, I am very concerned about increasing nationalism and "witches hunt" it causes worldwide. I wish we could find a simple solution to end this war. Any war is ugly. People lives are matter.

Thank you all for not staying indifferent to this situation. Marina.

On Sun, 13 Mar 2022 at 13:00, <corpora-request at uib.no> wrote:

> Today's Topics:
> 1. Re: Fw: SketchEngine CEO: No ?business as usual? with Russia
> anymore (Diana Santos)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2022 14:45:25 +0100
> From: Diana Santos <dianamsmpsantos at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Corpora-List] Fw: SketchEngine CEO: No ?business as
> usual? with Russia anymore
> To: Olga Kolesnikova <kolesolga at gmail.com>
> Cc: "CORPORA at UIB.NO" <corpora at uib.no>, Eric Atwell
> <e.s.atwell at leeds.ac.uk>
> Sorry for coming so late to this important debate, but I had to think
> things over for a while. I disagree strongly with Milo? JakubÝ?ek's and
> Eric Atwell's statement, on almost all counts:
> 1) I think it is ethically wrong to blame Russians (the Russian people) if
> they live under a dictatorship. They are nor responsible for Putin's acts,
> and they are therefore being punished twice. We should try to make clear
> that the problem is Russian nationalism, and Putin and his generals, not
> Russians who happen to live and suffer there.
> 2) Science should be political
> Yes and no. Or better, for me, politics is not only nationalistic wars,
> politics is all we do. And to help Russian scientists (and Ucranians too,
> of course) is also one political move, one I suggest and strongly support.
> Putin wants precisely to come back to a divided world, where there is us
> and them. This is why he has been subsidizing and helping nationalists all
> over the world, but especially in Europe, and in the US.
> Cutting bonds with Russians is helping Putin tremendously.
> In my opinion, we should be making all efforts to keep communication and
> work with the other side.
> We should not engage in Putin's war, demonising the other. We should be
> helping our Russian colleagues in their courageous fight againts their own
> regime, not helping Putin in his nationalistic propaganda (that this is the
> West against Russia, and that the West is just like Russia).
> There are many levels of politics, one is what Putin and Boris Johnson say,
> but should we (normal people) align with our leaders without thinking? I
> don't think so.
> And I know I am very lucky that I live in a time and place where I won't be
> imprisoned for saying publicly what I mean.
> 3) Yes, they are against Putin, and still you want to punish them believing
> you are punishing Putin? You are helping Putin to punish them, that is all.
> 4) Here I agree with you, Milos and Eric: all (even small) actions help.
> The worst is not doing anything.
> But my conclusion is the opposite: aren't there many other things
> SketchEngine could do, with the help of Russian users, to help Ucranians?
> Just some examples: help distribute Ucranian texts to Russian readers, help
> people who want to study the way Ucrania has been described in Russian in
> the last 100 years, even help Ucranians preserve their cultural heritage?
> Now, as an afterword:
> I understand that we come from different "worlds", and therefore previous
> experience can explain different positions. I am European too, Portuguese.
> But from my viewpoint NATO is far from the champion of democracy, happily
> supporting a dictatorship in my country (until 1974), when we had probably
> the only ever revolution without blood, of which I am enormously proud.
> Also, I still remember "the West" or in this case USA helping one of the
> bloodiest dictatorships in Latin America, that of Pinochet in Chile,
> against a democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. So I cannot
> wholeheartedly ever believe that America (or any other military power) is
> doing anything other than their powerful elite's interests.
> I have no solution about what is happening now (I wish I had!), and I have
> total understanding and admiration for the way Ucranians are fighting. But
> I just believe that this kind of propaganda for a complete war is the worst
> thing we can do. We should be trying to avoid a bigger war. And helping
> Ucranians, not helping Ucranians to be killed and Ucrania to be totally
> destroyed.
> I had hoped that people like Gandhi, Mandela and Amilcar Cabral, neither of
> them European but all of them read and conversant with European culture,
> could be heard and followed now, instead of coming back to the first world
> war. (Where there were no ideological differences, just power from
> different nations who believed they had rights over people and land.)
> So, and going back to science, art and sport, can't we all agree that there
> is absolutely no advantage to anyone (except for those who sell weapons)
> that research, art and sport is regionalized, nationalized, instead of
> being global, universal forces?
> Is there anyone that believes that we can save our planet from the climate
> crisis without involving every country? Or that Olympic spirit is just for
> when there is no war? Or that literature, cinema, sculpture and music are
> not to be shared across borders?
> So, sorry for my long answer here, but my point is: let us make Putin and
> other power leaders, such as Trump, distant from their people. Let us
> embrace human solidarity across borders, independent of nationality. Let us
> try to prevent people from going to war, fighting for their leaders. Let us
> work to make peace with the other peoples in the world.
> And thank you so much, Christian, for starting a discussion on
> SketchEngine's statement.
> Diana Santos
> Olga Kolesnikova <kolesolga at gmail.com> escreveu no dia sexta, 11/03/2022
> Ó(s) 22:46:
> > A very good statement in my opinion:
> >
> >
> >
> https://www.springernature.com/gp/advancing-discovery/springboard/blog/blogposts-open-research/springer-nature-condemns-russian-invasion/20191448
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 6:18 AM Vasundhara G <vasundhara131719 at gmail.com
> >
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Dear Christian (and colleagues),
> >>
> >> Thank you for saying this. I've also been quite disappointed by people's
> >> vociferous agreement with the statement. There are parts I agree with
> and I
> >> understand and agree with the desire to condemn Russian military
> >> aggression, but I also see many problems with the statement that are
> >> representative of a broader and problematic conflation of the Russian
> state
> >> with Russian people.
> >>
> >> As you say, it's a two-sided sword. It strikes me as odd to tell
> Russians
> >> it's their duty to "prevent Russia from becoming the second North Korea,
> >> completely isolated from the outside world, completely cut off from any
> >> type of collaboration," in an email that's about cutting off
> SketchEngine's
> >> service to Russian and Belarusian address space.
> >>
> >> It worries me when people conflate an aggressor state with its citizens
> >> (however broadly defined), because this is the sort of thinking that
> leads
> >> to folks calling for Russian students abroad to be deported
> >> <
> https://whitehousewire.com/2022/02/27/eric-swalwell-calls-for-russian-students-to-be-kicked-out-of-american-universities-2/
> >,
> >> and to stop collaborations with Russian academics as the SketchEngine
> email
> >> does - "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 are companies cutting off
> >> Russian access to the internet
> >> <
> https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-03-04/card/internet-traffic-handler-cuts-off-some-russian-customers-UrliLc9YQodPocN0HzxX>
> (something
> >> the UN considers a fundamental human right), Russian businesses in the
> >> US are apparently being vandalized
> >> <
> https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/russian-businesses-us-face-backlash-war-ukraine-rcna19155
> >
> >> , Facebook is temporarily allowing Russophobic hate speech
> >> <
> https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/10/22970705/russia-ukraine-moderation-facebook-instagram-hate-speech-violence-policy
> >
> >> ... Some of this strikes me as being similar to anti-Asian sentiment
> >> because people are frustrated about COVID-19 - the anger is misdirected
> and
> >> we need to all be more critical about who is getting caught in the
> >> crossfire.
> >>
> >> As the StackOverflow post you linked says,
> >>
> >> Geo-targeted restrictions on access to Stack Overflow are unlikely to
> >> effectively block bad actors from using our site, and are technically
> >> difficult to maintain. The most inconvenienced people wouldn't be policy
> >> makers / military members - they have tools to evade IP based blocks. It
> >> would be students/practitioners who'd suddenly find themselves removed
> from
> >> one of the world?s largest most consistently high-quality reference
> sources.
> >>
> >>
> >> Something else that put me off about the email is that I find it awfully
> >> convenient for people writing emails from the comfort of their homes and
> >> offices in other countries to be telling Russian people that "we all
> need
> >> to make sacrifices now," and "if you live in Russia, you need to act,"
> when
> >> thousands of anti-war protesters in Russia are being beaten and arrested
> >> in droves
> >> <
> https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/27/more-than-2000-arrested-at-anti-war-protests-in-russia>
> by
> >> the state. In my opinion we should be doing what we can to support
> everyone
> >> who wants to end this war, rather than cutting them off.
> >>
> >> I understand people's desire to show support for Ukraine but I think
> this
> >> can be done without falling into the trap of hatred towards or
> isolation of
> >> Russian people who don't even want this war, and we should therefore
> all do
> >> better.
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Vasundhara
> >>
> >>
> >> On Mar 11, 2022, at 12:30 PM, Christian Chiarcos <
> >> christian.chiarcos at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> public
> >>
> >>
> >> Mx. Vasundhara Gautam (they/them <https://pronoun.is/they>)
> >> Computational Linguist
> >> https://vasundharagautam.com/
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >
> >
> > --
> > Olga Kolesnikova, Ph.D. in Computer Science
> > Professor at Superior School of Computer Sciences
> > National Polytechnic Institute
> > Mexico City, Mexico
> > https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=cXgJJqAAAAAJ&hl=en
> > _______________________________________________
> > UNSUBSCRIBE from this page: http://mailman.uib.no/options/corpora
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