Archive for October, 2013

Harsh Truth at GMU

Tyler “Hitler” Cowen, border hawk:

Plunking 500 million or a billion poor individuals in the United States most likely would destroy the goose laying the golden eggs.  [My emphasis]This sentence twists deeper into delirium with every reading. It has to be a candidate for the most insane splinter of sanity in history. (It makes me wonder whether an object the size of Jupiter, consisting of pure neutronium, colliding with Manhattan Island at 90% light speed, would most likely depress property values.)

ADDED: Caplan vs Tyler “Slave-Master” Cowen.

ADDED: Occam’s Razor remains impressively sure-footed amongst Caplan’s slipperiness.

October 9, 2013admin 14 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized
TAGGED WITH : ,

Mitochondrial Eve

Without wanting to set off the usual suspects, this research into Ashkenazi ancestry is fascinating. Based on MtDNA analysis, it is evident that: “Overall, at least 80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe, and 8 percent from the Near East, with the rest uncertain, the researchers estimate.”

Jewish matrilineal cultural descent starts to look extraordinarily odd. Also, a final goodbye to Koestler’s Khazar hypothesis.

(via)

October 9, 2013admin 14 Comments »
FILED UNDER :World
TAGGED WITH : , ,

Trichotomocracy

By 2037 the harsh phases of The Upheaval have finally ended. Western Eurasia is ruined and confused, but the fighting has burnt out amongst the rubble. In the Far East, the Chinese Confucian Republic has largely succeeded in restoring order, and is even enjoying the first wave of renewed prosperity. The Islamic civil war continues, but — now almost entirely introverted — it is easily quarantined. No one wants to think too much about what is happening in Africa.

The territory of the extinct USA is firmly controlled by the Neoreactionary Coalition, whose purchase is strengthened by the flight of 20 million Cathedral Loyalists to Canada and Europe (incidentally toppling both into terminal chaos). The Provisional Trichotomous Council, selected primarily by a process of military promotion and delegation from within the major Neoreactionary  guerrilla groups, now confronts the task of establishing a restored political order.

Continue Reading

October 9, 2013admin 92 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
TAGGED WITH : , , , , , , ,

More Thought

On Twitter, Konkvistador recalls this, this, and this. In the background, as in much of the most interesting Less Wrong discussion, is a multi-threaded series of arguments about the connection — or disconnection — between intellect and volition. The entire ‘Friendly AI’ problematic depends upon an articulation of this question, with a strong tendency to emphasize the separation — or ‘orthogonality’ — of the two. Hence the (vague) thinkability of the cosmic paper-clipper calamity. In his More Right piece, Konkvistador explores a very different (cultural and historical) dimension of the topic.

Bostrom sets things up like this:

For our purposes, “intelligence” will be roughly taken to correspond to the capacity for instrumental reasoning (more on this later). Intelligent search for instrumentally optimal plans and policies can be performed in the service of any goal. Intelligence and motivation can in this sense be thought of as a pair of orthogonal axes on a graph whose points represent intelligent agents of different paired specifications.

His discussion leads to far more interesting places, but as a starting point, this is simply terrible. That there can be a thought of intelligence optimization, or even merely wanting to think, demonstrates a very different preliminary connection of intellect and volition. AI is concrete social volition, even before it is germinally intelligent, and a ‘program’ is strictly indeterminate between the two sides of this falsely fundamentalized distinction. Intelligence is a project, even when only a self-obscured bio-cognitive capability. This is what the Confucians designate by cultivation. It is a thought — and impulse — strangely alien to the West.

Continue Reading

October 8, 2013admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
TAGGED WITH : ,

Casino Royale

Even prior to the twitterization catastrophe, and the terminal disintegration of thought into nano-particles, symphonic orchestration wasn’t obviously emerging as an Outside in core competence. One unfortunate consequence of this deficiency is that highly persuasive blogging ideas get endlessly can-kicked, unless they can be easily pulverized.

“Blogging ideas” doesn’t mean anything grandiose (those type of thoughts splinter anything in their path, and bust in), but rather highly medium-adapted discussion packages, which present things in a way that racks up hits. The relevant example right now is — or rather ‘was to be’ — The X Fundamental Disputes of Neoreaction (‘X’ being an as-yet undetermined number — optimally of surreptitious qabbalistic significance). That puppy would have been clocking up views like Old Faithful, but confusion reigns, and patience has run out. Into the shredding machine it goes.

The principal provocations for this spasm of impatience are two posts on the topic of monarchism, at Anomaly UK, and More Right. The Great AUK post is structured as a science fiction scenario, modeling a future monarchist regime, whilst Michael Anissimov’s MR defense of “traditionalism and monarchism” is organized dialectically. Both serve to consolidate an affinity between neoreaction and monarchist  ideals that was already solidly established by Moldbug’s Jacobitism. It would not be unreasonable to propose that this affinity is strong enough to approach an identity (which is quite possibly what both of these writers do envisage). So the time to frame the monarchist case within a question, as a Fundamental Dispute of Neoreaction, is now.

Continue Reading

October 7, 2013admin 29 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
TAGGED WITH : , , ,

Sundown

David Stockman rests his analysis of recent economic history upon one basic presupposition, whose modesty is expressed by an intrinsic inclination to a negative form: Radical dishonesty cannot provide a foundation for enduring financial value. This assumption suffices to expose the otherwise scarcely comprehensible rottenness of American public affairs, to organize an integral understanding of the gathering calamity, and to marginalize his work as the over-excited howl of a lonely crank.

In any society where minimal standards of civil decency were still even tenuously remembered, his ideas would be simple common sense. In the bedlamite orgy we in fact inhabit, Stockman’s thoughts appear wildly counter-intuitive, rigidly structured by uninterpretable imperatives, and suffused by an improbable aura of doom. In fact Stockman is quite clear — implicitly — that under American political conditions sanity was strictly unobtainable. The coming calamity fulfills a (bi-partisan) democratic destiny — but that is to anticipate.

Continue Reading

October 6, 2013admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce
TAGGED WITH : , ,

Quote notes (#37)

Accelerate the process:

As with any modular- system, the hope is that the modules can be miniaturized: the ultimate aim of most such research is hordes of swarming microbots that can self-assemble, like the “liquid steel” androids in the movie “Terminator II.” And the simplicity of the cubes’ design makes miniaturization promising.

October 6, 2013admin 5 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
TAGGED WITH : ,

Crypto-Capitalism

Political language is systematically confusing, in a distinctive way. Its significant terms are only secondarily theoretical, as demonstrated by radical shifts in sense that express informal policies of meaning. Descriptions of political position are moves in a game, before they are neutral accounts of the rules, or even of the factions.

It would be excessively digressive to embark on yet another expedition into the history of such political terms as ‘liberal’, ‘progress’, ‘fascism’, or ‘conservative’. Everyone knows that these words are profoundly uninformative without extensive historical qualification, or rough-and-ready adaptation to the dictates of guided fashion. If consistent theoretical use of any political label conflicts with its maximally effective political use, the former will be sacrificed without hesitation — and always has been. That is why neologisms are typically required for even the most fleeting approximation to theoretical precision, whenever political affiliation is at stake.

A point in favor of the ‘crypto-‘ prefix is that it plays directly into such confusion. As a politically-significant marker, it bears two strongly differentiated, yet intersecting senses. It indicates (a) that a political phenomenon has been re-assembled in disguise, and (b) that cryptographic techniques are essential to its identity. Hence, respectively, ‘crypto-communism’ and ‘crypto-currencies’. Any attempt to engage in an initial clarification cuts across the intrinsically occulted character of both.

Continue Reading

October 4, 2013admin 13 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce
TAGGED WITH : ,

Stalin’s Great Game

Either Stalin played the Anglosphere like a  cheap piano in World War Two, or something altogether more sinister was going on. Foseti clarifies the conundrum beautifully:

When the US finally joins the war, it does so with – as best as one can decipher – only a few clear war aims: 1) demanding unconditional surrender (of Germany and Japan – aka the only bulwarks against Soviet domination of post-war Europe and Asia); 2) establishing the United Nations; and 3) ending European (excluding Soviet) colonialism.

If you, gentle reader, can come up with a list of war aims that would be more destructive to mankind at the time than those, the next round is on me. Perhaps entirely coincidentally (or perhaps not) these aims would seem to all work towards the direct benefit of the Soviets. It’s almost like Soviets were making US foreign policy.

 

October 2, 2013admin 28 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized , World
TAGGED WITH : ,

Elysium

Having finally got around to Elysium,  one point in particular bears emphasis: There’s only one interesting character in the movie, and she’s a neoreactionary heroine. That’s not a matter of ideological preference. Among the tiny number of characters who might imaginably be thought to know what they’re doing, Secretary of Defense Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster) is the only one to be treated with the slightest seriousness.

elysium0 Continue Reading

October 1, 2013admin 28 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Review
TAGGED WITH : ,