Sentences (#66)

I think Peter Thiel supports Donald Trump because he believes it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to weaken America’s attachment to democratic government.

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July 23, 2016admin 17 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Democracy
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Chaos Patch (#123)

(Open thread — bring your own links edition)

Consumed by New York and AI threat. (Will talk about it later).

July 20, 2016admin 144 Comments »
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Sentences (#65)

Peter Watts in pursuit of abstract horror (Echopraxia, p.297):

The less he found, the more he feared.

Plus vampire acausal trade bonus: “… they’d acted in perfect sync, knowing that others they’d never met would have worked out the same scenario” (p. 289). — A classic Age of the Basilisk threat structure.

And one more (p.292):

“A stealth supernet fine-tuned for the manipulation of pawns with a specific skill-set suited to military applications. And it just emerged?”
Moore smiled faintly. “Of course. No complex finely tuned system could ever just evolve. Something must have created it.”

July 17, 2016admin 13 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Fiction
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Quote note (#268)

From Peter Watts’ Echopraxia (p.213):

“Word of advise,” the Colonel said from the other side. “Don’t tease the zombies.”
“I wasn’t teasing him, I was just chat–”
“Don’t chat with them either.”

July 16, 2016admin 19 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#74)

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July 16, 2016admin 26 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#73)

Worth recording for posterity as a 2016 schizophrenia thing:

July 14, 2016admin 13 Comments »
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The Global Faith

There’s not much room for controversy:

When the United States was many separate states with a common defense and a common foreign policy, back when people said “The United States are” rather than “The United States is” there was absolutely no separation of Church and State, for each state had its own state religion, and the seminary of the state religion of Massachusetts, charged with promoting and enforcing the state religion, was Harvard.

After two centuries of ascent to hegemony, this world religion has unmistakably peaked. The fact everyone is now noticing it, as a definite, peculiar system of belief, attests to that. Accelerating catabolic process now ensues. Fragmentation won’t be pretty, but it also won’t be stopped.

July 13, 2016admin 102 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#122)

(Open thread + links)
Still deterritorialized and distracted edition.

Future things (1, 2). Struggle sessions. The riddle of RF. Nationalism and security. The weekly round, plus outliers.

Separation of Church and State has failed. The musical way to die. Breaking point. In defense of equilibrium. Free association (or else). Rights, gifts, and migration (via). Rage wave. European attitudes to Muslims (darkening).

The EU rift. Death by robot.

Trumpenführer panic report. Belated ethno-politics.

Philosophy and biochemical order. Systems. Words on the brain. A warning for wireheads. “Anthro-pessimism” and robot apocalypse. Pokemon Go Apocalypse.

[more later]

July 12, 2016admin 21 Comments »
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Quote note (#267)

Back to basics:

Are there countries with low average scores that tear up the technological track? Mostly not – generally, fairly high average IQ seems to be a prerequisite for creativity in science and mathematics. Necessary, although not sufficient: bad choices (Communism), having the world kick you in the crotch (Mongols), or toxic intellectual fads can all make smart peoples unproductive. […] The exceptions, such as they are, seem to be a result of strong population substructure. India has a low average IQ, but there are distinct subpopulations (castes) that apparently have much higher IQ – although I’d love to see some decent studies on this. With numbers. …

(Via (via))

July 11, 2016admin 14 Comments »
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Quote note (#266)

It is surely a crucial (and inadequately acknowledged) feature of Darwin’s The Origin of Species that its point of departure is artificial selection, which might also be described as primordial technology, or the foundation of material civilization. Natural selection acquires definition through comparison with the (predominantly unconscious) process of domestication, or cultivation. This is the transitional paragraph (from Chapter IV):

As man can produce, and certainly has produced, a great result by his methodical and unconscious means of selection, what may not natural selection effect? Man can act only on external and visible characters: Nature, if I many be allowed to personify the natural preservation or survival of the fittest, cares nothing for appearances, except in so far as they are useful to any being. She can act on every internal organ, on every shade of constitutional difference, on the whole machinery of life. Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends. Every selected character is fully exercised by her, as is implied by the fact of their selection. Man keeps the natives of many climates in the same country; he seldom exercises each selected character in some peculiar and fitting manner; he feeds a long- and short-beaked pigeon on the same food; he does not exercise a long-backed or long-legged quadruped in any peculiar manner; he exposes sheep with long and short wool to the same climate. He does not allow the most vigorous males to struggle for the females. He does not rigidly destroy all inferior animals, but protects during each varying season, as far as lies in his power, all his productions. He often begins his selection from some half-monstrous form; or at least by some modification prominent enough to catch the eye or to be plainly useful to him. Under Nature, the slightest difference of structure or constitution may well turn the nicely balanced scale in the struggle for life, and so be preserved. How fleeting are the wishes and efforts of man! how short his time! and consequently how poor will be his results, compared with those accumulated by Nature during whole geological periods! Can we wonder, then, that Natures productions should be far “truer” in character than man’s productions; that they should be infinitely better adapted to the most complex conditions of life, and should plainly bear the stamp of far higher workmanship?

July 10, 2016admin 22 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Events
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