Archive for July, 2013

The X Factor

What’s stopping Detroit from becoming a new Hong Kong? asks James Pethokoukis. After all “Out of options, it might just make the China choice.”

From the appallingly realism-afflicted comments thread that follows:

Patrick Harris: The problem with this theory is that Hong Kong is populated by Hong Kongers, and Detroit is populated by Detroitera.
chinacat26: and your meaning is?
[Note: ‘Detroitera’ appears to be the more sensitive and politically correct term for human detroitus.]

ADDED
: Salvation is just a free-market revolution away! (Have American conservatives always been this fricking psychotic?) Once again, the comments thread contributes the strait-jacket.
ADDED: The force of Schadenfreude is strong in this one.  “The agonizing death of Detroit is cause for celebration. It’s the first of the liberal-run big cities and states to fall, and we should welcome its collapse with glee.” Delicate reality-editing aside, it illustrates the truly delicious aspect of the Detroit story — aim even vaguely in its direction and shoot, you inevitably hit a left sacred cow.
July 24, 2013admin 28 Comments »
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Search Records

If anyone has found difficulties reaching this blog, it’s possible that inefficient search terms are to blame. From the WordPress Dashboard, I’ve been assured that these search paths all have a record of success:

domestic robotician
racism blog

nick land goes insane
nick land date died when?
h.l. mencken heaving deadf cats in the cathderal
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how all organisms are buckets of anachronisms
one click chicks spanking
free nude picture tubes of saddam hussein

(Some loyal commentators can take their share of credit for our emerging definition within the Planetary Cybermind.)

July 24, 2013admin 8 Comments »
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Simulated Gnon-Theology

This post was to have been about the simulation argument, but Gnon does the preliminary work. Whether or not we are living in a computer simulation can quickly come to seem like a derivative consideration.

Nature or Nature’s God, (un)known here as Gnon, provides skepticism with its ultimate object. With this name we can advance in suspension, freeing thought from any ground in belief. In its mundane application, Gnon permits realism to exceed doctrinal conviction, reaching reasonable conclusions amongst uncertain information. Its invocation, however, is not necessarily mundane.

Assume, momentarily, that God exists. If this assumption comes easily, so much the better. It is probably obvious, almost immediately, that you do not yet have a clear idea about what you are thus assuming. To mark exactly this fact, the established Abrahamic religions propose that you designate God by a proper name, which corresponds to a definite yet profoundly occulted personal individual. Approaching the same obscurity from the other side, emphasizing the problematic rather than relational aspect, I will persevere in the name of Gnon.

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July 23, 2013admin 29 Comments »
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The Shape of Time (Part 1)

Some initial thoughts on Greer posted over at Urban Future. As usual, I don’t quite get to first base.

[There’s one technical point where feedback would be especially welcome – either here or there – is the UF2.0 comments system beyond hope, and in need of replacement? Or is it just a matter of catalyzing discussion, through more stimulation?]

July 23, 2013admin 12 Comments »
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Zombies can’t dance

Smart government‘ doesn’t even need a sarc. tag.

That’s why we’ll see no future Marinettis (in the West, at least).

July 22, 2013admin 14 Comments »
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Quote notes (#9)

Ron Unz writing at his own blog:

The more conspiratorially-minded racialists, bitterly hostile to immigration, sometimes speculate that there is a diabolical plot by our ruling power structure to “race-replace” America’s traditional white population.  Perhaps a hidden motive along these lines does indeed help explain some support for heavy immigration, but I suspect that the race being targeted for replacement is not the white one.

(via, of course)

Well-argued, and bolstered by statistics, this article is going to turn some heads around.

July 22, 2013admin 19 Comments »
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The Lost Cause

Why do some (awkward) libertarians sympathize with the Confederacy? Asks David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy. This is probably as reasonable as mainstream libertarianism is ever going to get on the lost cause, but it still manages to muddy an intrinsically pellucid point.

Even those libertarians who do adopt a Rothbardian/Chomskyite view of foreign policy, or who for any other reason beyond racism wish the Union would have let the Confederacy secede peacefully, are making a mistake in defending the Confederacy–the enemy of one’s enemy isn’t necessarily a friend. But I just wanted to point out that I think a significant amount of libertarian sympathy for the Confederacy in the circles where it exists is really a product of intense distaste for the U.S. government and its post-Civil War record [along with, as a commenter notes, a general sympathy for the right of secession] rather than a considered view of the Confederacy’s own record.

Setting aside the Chomsky distraction, there’s an almost painful struggle to be fair going on here — but then the brackets ruin everything. Secession is the key, irrespective of the course taken by the Union, because the Union itself only exists due to a successful war of secession. If the USA was legitimately born out of war of independence, then it was illegitimately perpetuated by the suppression of the subsequent war of independence which would have divided it. Placing the onus on libertarian confederates to explain themselves — or to have an explanation advanced on their behalf — gets the order of logical obligation completely upside down.

Of course, the Articles of Confederation preceded the American Constitution. Confederation was  not impudently demanded in the mid-19th century, but stripped away by an emergent central power in the late-18th century. In combination, these assaults on decentralized government have rendered American political history almost entirely opaque to itself. Confederation is the primordial expression of American independence.

Yet, from a practical point of view, none of this really matters, because America’s racial nightmare drowns everything out, binding dreams of redemption so intimately to concentrated power that freedom is reduced to ever-more-marginalized crimethink. Under these circumstances, the pretense of reason seems merely absurd.

July 21, 2013admin 12 Comments »
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Cosmological Infancy

There is a ‘problem’ that has been nagging at me for a long time – which is that there hasn’t been a long time. It’s Saturday, with no one around, or getting drunk, or something, so I’ll run it past you. Cosmology seems oddly childish.

An analogy might help. Among all the reasons for super-sophisticated atheistic materialists to deride Abrahamic creationists, the most arithmetically impressive is the whole James Ussher 4004 BC thing. The argument is familiar to everyone: 6,027 years — Ha!

Creationism is a topic for another time. The point for now is just: 13.7 billion years – Ha! Perhaps this cosmological consensus estimate for the age of the universe is true. I’m certainly not going to pit my carefully-rationed expertise in cosmo-physics against it. But it’s a stupidly short amount of time. If this is reality, the joke’s on us. Between Ussher’s mid-17th century estimate and (say) Hawking’s late 20th century one, the difference is just six orders of magnitude. It’s scarcely worth getting out of bed for. Or the crib.

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July 20, 2013admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Templexity
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Wikipocalypse

Did you know that Wikipedia has a plan for the end of the world? (It’s not something I would have suspected, before Tyler Cowan pointed to this.)

In the course of the deliberations of the Wikipedia Data Preservation Taskforce, it was realized that although many catastrophes would be survivable, the possibility had to be faced that an extinction level event was possible, albeit unlikely, and plans should be initiated to preserve the encyclopedia in a non-terrestrial environment. To this end, Wikimedia has come to arrangements with many of the world’s scientific institutions for the provision of access to the vast majority of the world’s radio telescopes. [… ] While this is indeed a last-ditch attempt to save the knowledge of humanity, it can be hoped that someday, many years in the future and many light-years from Earth, minds immeasurably different from ours might look upon the works of humanity and understand. To quote Jimmy Wales’ message to the stars:
“While the light of humanity may flicker and die, we go gently into this dark night, comforted in the knowledge that someday Wikipedia shall take its rightful place as part of a consensus-built Galactic Encyclopedia, editable by all sentient beings.”

[The date at the end comes as a slight disappointment]

ADDED: Wikipedia wars. (Full)

July 19, 2013admin 15 Comments »
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Dark Moments

Gloom and realism can be hard to distinguish, but it’s important to carry on. Curmudgeonry without stubbornness isn’t worth a damn. Even in the worst case, relentless, sluggishly deterioriating ghastliness can at least be interesting. It shouldn’t be necessary to cheer up, in order to continue, and there might be some lessons worth attending to in the slough of despond.

I’d go further. Despair can get things started, if it means the abandonment of diverting idols. A full, immersive soaking, which leaves no doubt about certain things being over,  is morbidly therapeutic, and even something like a first step (at least a first slouch). There are hopes that have to die, and the sooner the better, although if  they die slowly and horribly, they are perhaps less likely to need killing twice.

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July 18, 2013admin 33 Comments »
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