Writer Tim Skorenko about the Soviet oxygen cocktails, Pro-Russian TV series “Chernobyl” and the main problem of higher education in Russia
“Explanatory of the invention of the world level will appear in Russia by 2030,” — said the author of the book “Invented in Russia” Tim Skorenko, which was presented in Kazan his new job “was Invented in the USSR”. In an interview with “BUSINESS Online” he told me what it’s like to be the inventor of modern Russia what kind of education can win klipovoy thinking and why in the Soviet Union toilet paper began to produce after the death of Yuri Gagarin.
Tim Skorenko: “Most Soviet inventions not known to the wider public: they were made in the framework of the specialized history”
“SOVIET INVENTIONS RELATE TO A FAIRLY NARROW TECHNOLOGICAL FIELDS”
— Timothy, this year you have published a book “Invented in the USSR.” Are there any non-obvious Soviet inventions unknown to the General audience?
Yes. My favorite example — oxygen cocktails. However, most Soviet of the invention relate to a quite narrow technological area — underwater welding, masers (maser that emits coherent electromagnetic waves in the centimeter range (microwaves), — approx. ed.), turbodrills… And because most Soviet inventions not known to the public, they were done through a specialized history. On the other hand, breakthroughs in aerospace or medical industries is well known. The same Ilizarov.
— Soviet invented something different from the Russian and the world?
— The inventors themselves — no, but we have to understand that the direction of scientific thought is determined by the political and social systems of society. The Soviet invention was walking down the corridor, limited to those industries that were funded and supported by the government: aerospace, heavy industry, basic science, military inventions. And household appliances and food industry, for example, trailed in the rear.
Look around you. The USSR did not invented any of, say, a household appliance that we have used it every day, solid loans. That is, on the one hand, in 1961, Yuri Gagarin flew into space, and with another — normal toilet paper started to do a year after his death, in 1969. the Bias was due to the political course. Any innovation required the signatures of a dozen heads, many of whom had no relationship to innovation is were party functionaries. In the United States and Europe in this sense was total freedom — the inventor didn’t need anyone’s permission, he could, say, mortgage the house and start a business.
— It turns out, the Soviet invention was focused on the military sphere?
— No, in General. Already in 1960 mu did not feel that everything is done for the military industry. In Dubna received new items in heavy industry invented new technologies related to mining, and so on. See, even if the citizen is to order: “only Invent weapons,” he just can’t. Man and society can’t live it. He who lives only for war — crazy. And the fact that now people think a lot of it, says about they are not very good mental health.
“The inventor is a creative person, like musician, poet, writer”
“EXPLANATORY OF THE INVENTION OF THE WORLD LEVEL WILL APPEAR BY 2030”
— How has the field of inventions in Russia? What it has become since the collapse of the Soviet Union?
— No. The Russian economic situation mean that your ideas easier to implement abroad. I know many people who went there to promote their invention, and they got it. And the reason is purely Economics and politics, nothing more. We are smart. Just difficult for us to realize this mind.
What’s wrong with the economy and politics?
— You see, the inventor is a creative person, like musician, poet, writer. Like any creative person confusing social upheaval. For example, in the late nineteenth century was adopted in an adequate, world-class patent law, which has led to a surge of inventive thoughts — electrical engineering, chemistry, physics, things started to develop. And suddenly a revolution. Everything has changed, copyright law has gone nowhere. Well, the inventors have adapted to the new regime, Soviet laws, found loopholes. In the 1960-ies started the crazy funding of all industries, space-related, we’re on top, you can be proud of. And suddenly, everything again turned over, the funding ended as the 1980-ies, rebuilding, then even more obscure 90s all rushed down. Now there is another fixture. I’m analyzing the history of the inventive idea in Russia, I can say that the sensible invention of the world level will appear by 2030. At some point the inventor will adapt, he will be good. But this time, for good historical tradition something has to die, there will be another revolution and change of regime. Russia lives by the sine, it is clearly monitored. Now we are at the bottom of the sine wave. Creeping up.
And in the US the last major social upheaval was the attainment of independence. It’s not even a Civil war 1860s (the social system after it has not changed, patent law has remained the same). In fact, the inventors in the USA 250 years without a single serious social upheaval. Yes, there was a crisis, the Great depression — its impact on society quite well. But mostly its development goes up, and we jump, then we are at the bottom, in the top five.
But in the near future the rise is not expected?
— With this power and government is impossible. Modern power is very inert. To change the socio-political situation should be something absolutely impossible. Laws that globally affect the society, are taken difficult, long, many years. The inertia of the authorities leads to the fact that nothing develops. Power like this should not be, she is obliged to look at something other than itself. Again, this is not categorically bad and the ugly, just such a situation. Still, we do not have slavery, the borders are open, it is possible to live and earn. But for the creative person the situation is very complicated. We have serious bureaucracy. In Canada, to start her own firm, you need to surf the Internet for a few hours. And we have one registration FE is a month. While the person goes and checks in, his mind clears of all thoughts, but hate the bureaucracy.
— What you need inventor to comfortably exist?
— Peace. It is necessary that all was stable and clear. In Germany, too, there is a strong bureaucracy is not better than Russia, there is also need to collect 250 pieces of paper. But it’s understandable documents. I know the algorithm, I have a list of where to go. The collection of papers would take me as much time as I planned, everything is clear and understandable. We have a problem with bureaucracy, because it is not clear where to go and why. The inventor needs a clear stability that he knew what steps they are required to register, to start to develop something, to get funding. We have all this, and the question of “What next?” hangs always. But this isn’t just our problem. For instance, not hanging in Canada, the United States, there is a very clear structure in the UK and all EU countries (except for Hungary, according to the complaints of my friends are Hungarians). But in China, for example, the inventor is also difficult, unstructured bureaucracy reigns and thrives. However, there is working well a different principle — a huge number of inventions made in the laboratories that are planning to develop them in the context of global programmes.
“IN “CHERNOBYL” THERE IS A GENERAL RIGHT MESSAGE THAT THE SYSTEM IS WEAKER THAN MAN.”
Series HBO’s “Chernobyl” caused an active discussion among scientists, politicians and fans of the series. Have you watched it?
Yeah, I really liked it. It is clear that before the show you can get from a historical point of view, but it’s brilliant storytelling, amazing art movie. The storytelling, which is not a single Russian writer does not hold for the last 10 years, even down to the plastic. The amazing thing is that script writer Craig Mazin — the comedian. And it says that he is a very talented man, who for many years were engaged in some second-rate movie, with this project. The author has filled his name with pieces like “scary movie 2” and has now made the film from which it is impossible to throw a single frame, where every phrase makes sense, clearly defined moments when you let the tears when I think: Oh, wow! I watched with great pleasure.
There still is a General right message that the system is weaker person that volunteers, divers who come up and say, “I will go” — stronger system. There is a scene to which there were complaints: can miners Minister clap on the shoulder. Of course not, not clapping, and the Minister was 60 years, not 40. But none of that matters, and meaningful that the system cannot do anything with a man. He just goes and slaps her on the shoulder, and it is at this point transformed into a human in the same way as the Minister. That’s what the series is.
From my point of view, it’s a brilliant movie and very Pro-Russian. If I was an American, after watching would say: “I Never thought that Russians are cool!” That’s the idea inherent in the show. Perhaps accidentally, but it’s there. When you look at the soldiers that carry radioactive debris from the roof, I think: God, I would be afraid. It’s cool. When the party leader says: “I am nothing. I became, and I believed in your power” — do you think that even he is human. This is a film about People. What the series is about our People, very cool. And those who say that this agitation against the “Rosatom”, — crazy, they have a very bad head. Treatment they don’t need, we just have to Express their opinion.
— Indeed, there were a lot of accusations of Russophobia in address of the series.
— From my point of view, the people of Chernobyl it brought before the world around you in a much better light. There is a particular villain woodpeckers, there are neutral characters — no Gorbachev, he simply exists. And there are those that make you proud that you lived with them on the same planet. It is not only Legasov, but nick, who in life was cool, and sort out later problems with the earthquake in Armenia. I think that “Chernobyl” is the best TV series, filmed in the genre for many years.
— Why is it we have not created?
— Because we do not know how to shoot a movie. Russian films are divided into two categories — funded by the Ministry of culture and terror, and a set of the festival of author’s cinema, which features a number of strong Directors: Kirill Serebrennikov, Aleksandr Sokurov, the late Alexei German was also in this series. We had and have a strong set of Directors who know how to make a good film, but it’s the art house, school of Andrei Tarkovsky. As soon as we try to remove anything remotely resembling Hollywood storytelling, we get just a cadaver. Don’t know how, don’t want, steal — there are a number of reasons. Let’s bet on auteur cinema. These guys can break any festival. If the Oscar went not that is a miracle from Fyodor Bondarchuk and “Leviathan”, he would have a chance. Bondarchuk’s not, despite the fact that he is very nice and very untalented people. But he had no chance with the “Stalingrad” ever.
The problems start with the script. The vast majority of scripts written by Russian writers, very very bad. I’ve talked to them — they are not watching a movie. I’ve seen more movies than half of Russian writers together. And there are people who watched me even more. It is a mystery why the Russian writer did not see the movies. People are trying to write soap operas, in spite of them. I asked the screenwriter of the famous TV series that the last he saw, says: “the Bridge”. And there are only four seasons, and it came out 10 years ago! From 2018 he still doesn’t have time to look. I’ve seen 16 shows. Guy, how do you write scripts? You don’t know how it’s done! The only way to write good scenarios to watch how it’s done, not to read books about storytelling, translated into Russian by people who also had never seen any of the series.
— So, we have in many areas is manifested in the lack of practice?
Yes. In the art house we are fine, because there is a school. There are slightly different laws, less of the subtleties of storytelling, you can allow that it is impossible in blockbuster. You can feel it in my gut, sometimes even without practice. As the guy who made the film “witches of Eastwick”.
“The likelihood of finding yourself above, when a person has a choice than when he understands that he will be the next 45 years to sit on the plant. Unfortunately, before it was”
“INCREASED LEVEL OF SELF-CONFIDENCE — PEOPLE THINK THAT THEY ARE TALENTED, BEAUTIFUL AND NOW ALL DECIDE”
— You have a lot of activities: journalist, lecturer, writer. Career at the modern man is really rather develop horizontally than vertically?
— Course there was a huge amount. The world has become small. This applies not only distances, but also technology, the human visible. I can go to study in any University in the world, work anywhere remotely. So people try a lot and that’s good. The likelihood of finding yourself above, when a person has a choice than when he understands that he will be the next 45 years to sit on the plant. Unfortunately, before it was. And now there are people who make such a choice, I know. I had a colleague at MAZ, who 15 years later still in the same position receives a meager salary. But he is well, he works in their homes, doing nothing half the day playing with toys.
The important thing is that he had a choice. I made my own: left to another country, changed the scope of activities and do quite different things. Another former colleague of mine now works as an engineer very large enterprises, he deliberately made his career. The other my friend company for the production of clothing. We are all from one environment, one generation, but made the choice differently. It is cool and good. The man who 15 years sitting in the lab are also needed — someone has to do the job. If you do not go he will be different and will work for a salary. Well, that was the person who made this choice. Bad when last there at all, when there is only one option.
— And is there not in such variety of danger and not to find yourself?
— You can’t do that, at some point, you still for something will be hooked. I have a friend who was a military pilot. In 35 years, retired, graduated from the acting Department, became an actor and played 15 years in the theater. Then he got tired and so he took up industrial climbing, three times changed the profession (and also the wife will notice). He found himself? No. Well and good. There are people who long to find themselves but it means they made a choice in favor of search. There are those who never learn, they like it. I know people who received four higher education and in teachers. It is also a matter of choice. If a person wants to ride a motorcycle at a speed of 200 km/h without a helmet in the opposite lane, he is likely to die. But that’s his problem. The most important thing to him cool. This is what now spurs inventors in any country. In the USSR this was not. Choice had, of course, in the small corridor, but it is very much disturbed.
— Are you caught on something?
I do not know. I write fiction, songs to sing and popularize science, and working generally in the field of information security. I’d like to do different things. I couldn’t sit in one place and work the same. I loved working in Popular mechanics, because there are all the time doing different things. I went to investigate the Soviets developed the Maglev (a magnetic levitation train — approx. ed.) that 25 years is under the cellophane, then his hands did the machine for the fiery tornado. It was a thrill.
— Whether there is, in this context, the problem of professionalism?
— Lack of professionalism — this is a very big problem which is connected not even with the fact that education is bad. Increased level of self-confidence. People think that they are talented, beautiful and now all decide. In fact it is not. They do not know how to think critically about their abilities. This is not to say the phrase “I’m stupid!”, and to understand probably doing something wrong, I need to think how to do differently. The issue is not with the fact that it changed the structure of society, and with the availability of information. People who read on the Internet about gallstone disease, absolutely sure that can diagnose gallstones. No, it can’t, it needs 6 years to study.
“IF WE PLUCK THE MAN FROM THE XIII CENTURY AND MAKE IT HERE, HE WILL BE ABLE TO BECOME A SPACE ENGINEER”
— What is the ideal education?
— It must be directly related to practice. A person who is learning in the first year, you need to simultaneously work on a specialty. I studied in the field of “internal combustion engines”. Can disassemble and reassemble engine, and it will work, but I learned this much later. During training at University I have seen these engines half. And that built all of the modern education on the territory of the former USSR. Understand if the person is enrolled in an Economics University, the two day he has to learn, and the other three to work as an accountant, then in five years it will be SuperCool specialist. If you start to work only after graduation, it won’t work, because the first three years it will be to learn the basics.
Europe seeks a structure of education and slowly it goes. In Holland it’s amazing developed. In the offices of the European space Agency second-year students in the offices develop real space the hand that flew to the ISS! Notice that in the Soviet time such elements were the same students of the Kharkiv transport Institute built racing cars HADI (and now seem to do). But this was not enough. Now there’s some practice, but what is it? I drank, and what else to do? I’m 18, around girls, alcohol, some practice, Lord! This is the wrong build. On vacation people need to relax, but at the University vpahivat, then he will succeed.
Theoretical information is not remembered without practice. Why history alumni of the universities can’t remember the date of the death of, say, Josef Stalin? Because they are not taken to the Museum, showed up, the table at which he sat. The students had no practical touch to it.
— There is a version that teenagers and students are not to memorize information because of the clip’s thinking.
— This is nonsense. Circuit with practice just eliminates klipovoy thinking. When a person goes to the subway and flipping through “Instagram”, it klipovoy thinking, and when he will go to practice and will have three hours to grind workpiece on the machine, don’t remember what she looks like? And will remember the rest of your life. Now it’s working. The human brain has not changed. If we pluck the man from the XIII century at the age of two weeks and bring him here, he will be able to become a space engineer and build nuclear missiles. We Homo sapiens for many thousands of years. The only difference is the source of information with which we work. Yes, smartphone, Internet form klipovoy thinking. But the task of education is to break it up and fill a man with the things he will learn.
With education is clear. Is it possible to change the organization of human labor to make it work better?
— Few places remain offices with a five-day working week, except for government agencies. Normal firms require a person does not work, and its volume. I can do the job, put me in two hours, and the remaining 6 will stay at home or go to the cinema. Now this attitude prevails, and it is very good. A competent Manager understands what his subordinates and the amount of work limited their opportunities. It needs to be such that the worker does not beat the thumbs, but not plowed 24 hours a day. This is another labor organization.
If you sit in the office from 9 to 18 and you have things to do, it’s all right. If in 16 hours you start to drink tea and to wait until the end of the day, so work is not necessary. The guys with whom I worked on the website “Popular mechanics”, had to give the news to the slots in 12:00, 16:00, 18:00. And how they give out this news (though from a smartphone on the street they will write) — for all I care. If the slot is not filled, it will be fine. If a man wrote a brilliant news for the hour of the allocated four, and three hours played in a toy — Yes please, indefinitely. If the worker performs a task well done, no matter how.
But recently, the business professed the philosophy of “success is to work 24/7”.
— A story about what you need to plow, originates in the system of their labor: time must be worked out. In the Soviet period, this person did something, nothing depended. He practiced workdays-working hours and able to do nothing all day, and had something to accomplish, no matter, received the same salary. For absenteeism (stress, not for poorly done work), a reprimand, a fine, dismissal. The seller worked in the shop for his clear time, and no matter sell frozen 10, 20, or 0, he will still receive his fixed salary. Now the lion’s number of sellers, waiters working for salary plus a percentage of sales from what people have the desire to work: if I work more and better, the more will get bonuses. System workdays will go away completely, I think, 10 years from now.
“WE HAVE NO STREET OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH AT ALL, ONLY KITCHEN”
— Now actively there is a debate about freedom of speech in Russia. What do you think about this?
— Despite what the freedom of speech. I can write anything. Of course, there are stories about mentally deranged people who complained the girl, who published the old German photo with a swastika. But scammers will always and in any society. It is bad that in Russia, they are encouraged. Specific inflection we have that not respected the Constitution. Theoretically, in Russia and any country I have the right to go with a picket or write anything. Instead, see how knitting Sergei Zverev, who came with a poster “let’s Protect Baikal”. Why? He even is not a political slogan! This monstrous antiwood street words. We have no street of freedom of speech at all, only kitchen.
In General, I do not see in Russia a tragic situation with freedom of speech. Silence no, because everything breaks, nothing to hide — the Internet, Newspapers, people talking about it. But the inflection of the street freedom of speech is absolutely horrible, because if people came to the picket, why touch it? This is a sign that the authorities are afraid of something. The situation on the world average level. Compared to Scandinavia we are at the bottom, but compared to China — Everest.
— And that is the printed word, the situation is normal, the writer is able to speak freely?
Yeah, I don’t feel the infringement. We have stupid laws involving the restriction of freedom of speech, but simply idiocy. Most of the problems Russia is limited to idiotic laws that make absolutely incompetent people. For example, the age limits that are put on the book. It can be 18+ just because it once referred to a cigarette, in the edition of 6+ can dismember a child. Children’s books sell in the film just because it contains something from the point of view of the authorities it is impossible to show the kids, although from the point of view of common sense — can. And there is no question here of freedom of speech, and then there’s idiocy.
Timothy Y. Skorenko was born 28 February 1983 in Minsk. He graduated from the Belarusian national technical University, specialty “internal combustion engines”. Worked at the Minsk automobile factory test engineer in the automotive acoustics, in early 2009 moved to Moscow.
Worked as an editor in scholarly and popular journals “What’s new in science and technology” and “Popular mechanics”. From 2015 to 2018, chief editor of the portal www.popmech.ru in the autumn of 2018 — the Manager on development of content of educational programs of information security in the “Kaspersky Lab”. The author of the novels “Ode to absolute cruelty,” “the Garden of Hieronymus Bosch,” “the Laws applied euthanasia”, “unknown Legends of America”, “Bookbinder” (under the pseudonym Eric Delaye), “Everest”, popular science books, “Invented in Russia. The history of the Russian inventive thoughts from Peter I to Nicholas II”, “Popular mechanics. Entertaining experiments”, “the people of the world. Russian science abroad”, “was Invented in the USSR. The story of the inventive idea from 1917 to 1991”.
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