Archive for July 28th, 2013

Economies of Deceit

Social organizations grow ever larger, and resist disintegration, due to economies of scale. There are disproportionate benefits to being large, sufficient to over-compensate for the associated disadvantages, to support expansion, and to fund the suppression of fission. Like every trend reinforced by positive nonlinearities, large-scale social formations accentuate the gradient of time, realizing a ratchet mechanism, through ‘network effects’. In this way, they contribute not only to the content of history, but also to its shape.

When the fundamental deformation of history was evidently attributable to scale economies, it was only natural to speak primarily of Leviathan — the seizure of historical time by the gigantic. It might therefore be considered a significant symptom — of something — that a substitute term now seems more persuasively applicable. Leviathan remains vast, and growing, but it is more exactly specified as the Cathedral, because its principal ratchet mechanism owes less to sheer magnitude than to a mastery of deceit.

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July 28, 2013admin 15 Comments »
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Quote notes (#11)

John Bohannon on a civilization doomed by dishonesty:

“People [in the West] don’t like to talk about IQ, because it undermines their notion of equality,” [Douglas] Detterman says. “We think every person is equal to every other, and we like to take credit for our own accomplishments. You are where you are because you worked hard.” …  Even if we accept that intelligence is heritable, any effort to improve or even understand the inheritance process strikes us as distasteful, even ghoulish, suggesting the rise of designer superbabies. And given the fallout that sometimes results when academics talk about intelligence as a quantifiable concept … IQ research is not a popular subject these days at Western universities.

But in his lab at BGI, 21-year-old Zhao [Bowen] has no such squeamishness. He waves it away as “irrational,” making a comparison with height: “Some people are tall and some are short,” he says. Three years into the project, a team of four geneticists is crunching an initial batch of 2,000 DNA samples from high-IQ subjects, searching for where their genomes differ from the norm. Soon Zhao plans to get thousands more through Renmin—his former high school—as well as from other sources around the world. He believes that intelligence has a genetic recipe and that given enough samples—and enough time—his team will find it.

There’s nothing really new for those who’ve been following the story, but it’s well done (and the Satanism angle adds color). World War as a global crusade against hate facts is just about the only Cathedral play left at this point.

July 28, 2013admin 20 Comments »
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