Halloween XS 1

Clown terror

If you’ve ever wondered what NRx looks like to “a bog standard democratic socialist, culturally cringing straight white able-bodied rich male Canadian who likes my society multicultural, my economy redistributive, my taxation strongly progressive, my capitalism heavily regulated, my state relatively large, well funded and active in social policy, and my military nearly nonexistent outside of peacekeeping operations. I am even ok with laws regulating hate speech, obscenity, libel and such” — here you go.

Almost every step of the subsequent voyage into raw horror is hilarious. Seeing the NRx reading list (1, 2, 3, 4) this post puts together is a wonder in itself. Clearly, NRx-panic is now a big enough thing to be blowing its own bubbles in the commiesphere.

‘Frog Hop’ is in the Libertarianism = Fascism school of political insight (which I expect to see a lot more of, as these creatures notice people trying to escape their death-grip).

Also worth noting: Phalanx is allotted prime place as a freak-out stimulus. As a count-me-outer, I’m not especially drawn to this kind of Broederbonding, but I have to acknowledge its truly glorious Halloween potential.

ADDED: As a festive bonus, another piece of prog. cultural action (but much better done)

October 31, 2014admin 8 Comments »
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Death Rattle

“If you care about democracy in the world, we are in trouble.”

Savor the exquisite taste of Jacobin tears.

(“We should bet heavily on this battle of information and ideas. It is a battle we can win. … we need to promote the spirit of democracy.” Larry Diamond is quite clearly one of the most dangerous lunatics alive in the world today.)

October 30, 2014admin 7 Comments »
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Quote note (#125)

Another blog comment reproduction, this one from More Right, where Nyan Sandwich lays out the basic stress-lines of a potential tech-comm schism (of a kind initially — and cryptically — proposed in a tweet):

There are definitely two opposing theories of a fast high-tech future. I call them “Accelerationism” and “Futurism”

“Accelerationism” is the perspective that emphasizes Capital teleology, that someone is going to eat the stars (win), that humans have many inadequacies that hold us back from winning, that our machines, unbound from our sentimental conservatism could win, and advocates accelerating the arrival of the machine gods from Outside.

“Futurism” agrees that someone is going to win, and wants it to be *us*, that we can become God’s favored children by Nietz[schean] will to power, grit, and self improvement. That the path to the future is Man getting his shit together and improving himself, incorporating technology into himself. That Enhancement is preferable to Artifice.

Someone is going to win. Enhancement or Artifice? Us, or our machines?

I’m a futurist Techcom, Land is an accelerationist Techcom.

FWIW I think this is nicely done, but the complexities will explode when we get into the details. Fortunately, distinctions closely paralleling Nyan’s enhancement / artifice option have been quite carefully honed within certain parts of the Singularity literature. Hugo de Garis, in particular, does a lot with it — through the discrimination between ‘Cosmists’ (artificers) and ‘Cyborgists’ (enhancers) — although he thinks it is ultimately unstable, and a more sharply polarized species-conservative / techno-futurist conflict is bound to eventually absorb it.

It’s also interesting to see Nyan describe himself as a “futurist Techcom”. That’s new, isn’t it?

October 30, 2014admin 53 Comments »
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Quote note (#124)

Spandrell (here) reproduced in response to overwhelming demand:

I find interesting that when one sees Erasmus or Servetus, it’s clear that the growth of classical knowledge and the advancement of science had created a situation in which large parts of the intelligentsia in Europe had realized that Christianity was bogus.

They probably thought that rationality would prevail and that the Church would lose its power to science or something. But what happened is that screaming demagogues came out of nowhere in droves and soon dominated the ideological vacuum that incipient science had created. And what they sold was not rationality or heliocentrism, but something 10 times wackier and more violent than the Roman Church had ever been.

Fast forward to the late 18th century, and the further advances of science and history produce a new cohort of intellectuals convinced that Christianity, this time in 2 flavors is bogus. They probably thought that rationality would prevail …

but something 10 times wackier and more violent than the Puritans had ever been appeared, and won. We call it progressivism.

Fast forward to the early 21st century, and a small group of aspiring intellectuals are starting to notice that Progressivism is bogus. They probably thought …

October 29, 2014admin 12 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Freedoom (Prelude-1b)

Even in the absence of its energetic Catholic constituency, it could be tempting to identify NRx as an anti-Calvinist ideology, given the centrality of the occulted Calvinist inheritance to Moldbug’s critique of modernity. As Foseti remarks (in what remains a high-water mark of Neoreactionary exegesis):

Believe it or not, even though Moldbug’s definition of the Left is basically the first thing he wrote about, there is a fair amount of debate about this topic in “reactionary” circles. This debate is sometimes referred to as The Puritan Question. (In addition to Puritan, Moldbug also uses the terms: Progressive idealism, ultra-Calvinism, crypto-Christian, Unitarian universalists, etc.)

It is no part of this blog’s brief to facilitate the more somnolent — and at times simply derisive — positionings which Moldbug’s diagnosis can appear to open. While our Catholic friends may consider themselves to be securely located outside the syndrome under consideration, this attitude corresponds, structurally, or systematically, to a minority position (irrespective of the numbers involved). As a dissident schismatic sect, the NRx main-current is cladistically enveloped by the object of its critique. ‘Calvinism’ — in its historical and theoretical extension — is a problematic horizon, within which NRx is embedded, before it can conceivably be construed as a despised object for dismissal.

Continue Reading

October 29, 2014admin 25 Comments »
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Quote note (#123)

The sense of an ending:

As George Steiner once put it in conversation, “The humanities have had 23 good centuries — don’t get greedy or upset that it happens to be coming to an end.” Let’s no longer say, “How can we save the humanities?” Instead, let us admit, “Liberal education is over. What do we do now?”

October 28, 2014admin 16 Comments »
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Machine Lock

Hurlock‘s find has (deservedly) generated a cybernetic hum across Outer-NRx twitter, and beyond. (There’s more, which I have yet to explore.) Some samples with minimal commentary over at UF. Most immediate take-away (as with Butler): Before people got distracted by the instructions of programmable machines, they were far clearer about the problem of machine teleology, the kind of evidence it produces, and the scale of historical process at which it operates.

Compared to Butler, Garet Garrett provides a far richer socio-economic and historical context for his discussion of spontaneous order among the machines. His sense of the integrated techno-commercial system in which machine evolution is promoted is sufficiently sophisticated to approach theoretical closure. Demographics, the economic dynamics of industrial capitalism, globalization, and modern military conflict are all neatly comprehended by his model. In a nutshell; economic incentives drive mechanization, which compels the expansion of production, which pushes the commercial order beyond its limits, with the stark horror of a displaced Malthusian catastrophe digging its spurs into the human base-brain. “What is it you will fear? That you will be unable to sell away the surplus product of your machines. That industry will no longer be able to make a profit? [...] No. The fear is that you will starve. Your machines have called into existence millions of people who otherwise would not have been born — at least, not there in that manner. These millions who mind machines are gathered in cities. They produce no food. They produce with their machines artificial things that are exchanged for food.” The process is driven forward by the lash.

To have sunk from this level of theoretical grandeur to confused questions about the programming of nice robots is an intellectual calamity of such magnitude that it cries out for an explanation of its own. There’s still a little time to get back on track.

October 27, 2014admin 22 Comments »
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Quote note (#122)

Succinct perfection from Fernandez:

The only socialist form of self-correction is apparently collapse.

ADDED: Glenn Reynolds being silly — “[Mancur] Olson wrote that — as with the German and Japanese booms after World War II — it takes a major calamity, such as a war or a revolution, to cut through that web and allow economic growth to take off again. I’ve argued in the past that massive democratic change — a ‘wave’ election — might accomplish the same end.”

ADDED: Collapse candidate No.1

October 26, 2014admin 14 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#33)

(Open thread and links (this week, a lot of links (if not quite at Free Northener dimensions))

ClarkHat took the #Gamergate discussion to the next level (to massive and sustained applause). If we’re framing this as the long war, argues Ben Southwood, then there’s only one way to bet: “Like it has won almost every major political battle since the Glorious Revolution ([if slowly, sometimes]) the left is going to win this one because it controls the commanding heights of the media, allowing it to bring the mass public on side, and because its adherents follow their faith with a religious zeal. … Gamergate is one of the most interesting things to happen in years, but I don’t think it will win.” In any case, we shouldn’t get too excited about the players here, or believe much that is attributed to them. Best to focus on Gawker losing it completely. On the creation of nerds. Dissymmetry.

On the Ebola-Channel, it was New York, Mali, and bio-warfare rumor week. The highlight article was Richard Preston’s New Yorker piece, but there was plenty of additional quality commentary. Also, a variety of political responses, and policy review pieces. (other diseases are falling through the cracks.)

Continue Reading

October 26, 2014admin 69 Comments »
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Flash Ecology

Himanshu Damle (@) shared the link to this paper, which definitely needs to be passed along here. Called ‘Abrupt rise of new machine ecology beyond human response time’ it is co-authored by Neil Johnson, Guannan Zhao, Eric Hunsader, Hong Qi, Nicholas Johnson, Jing Meng & Brian Tivnan. Abstract:

Society’s techno-social systems are becoming ever faster and more computer-orientated. However, far from simply generating faster versions of existing behaviour, we show that this speed-up can generate a new behavioural regime as humans lose the ability to intervene in real time. Analyzing millisecond-scale data for the world’s largest and most powerful techno-social system, the global financial market, we uncover an abrupt transition to a new all-machine phase characterized by large numbers of subsecond extreme events. The proliferation of these subsecond events shows an intriguing correlation with the onset of the system-wide financial collapse in 2008. Our findings are consistent with an emerging ecology of competitive machines featuring ‘crowds’ of predatory algorithms, and highlight the need for a new scientific theory of subsecond financial phenomena.

The techno-financial ecology is not evolving as fast as it is running, and scientific research has computers too, so pursuing a cognitive arms-race against this thing is not necessarily as futile as it might at first sound … but still. Operations in the “all-machine phase” is the strategic environment under emergence.

October 25, 2014admin 7 Comments »
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