Archive for February, 2014

Macromedia (too)

Perhaps even more than print, the movie industry has epitomized the macromedia (few-to-many, or broadcast) model of cultural distribution. In two penetrating articles, Hugh Hancock examines the impact of electronic games software and impending virtual reality technology on film production. Extreme change seems inevitable.

As with any social process touched by computers, the basic tendency is to decentralization. By down-streaming productive potential into ever-cheaper digital systems, the ability to execute complex media projects is spread beyond established institutions, encouraging the emergence of new agents (who in turn stimulate — and thus accelerate — the supportive techno-economic trends). Since the Cathedral is primarily a political-media apparatus, which is to say a post-theistic state church reproduced through the effective delivery of a message, these developments are of critical importance to its functional stability. It seems the unfolding crisis is destined to be entertaining.

February 12, 2014admin 8 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology
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Timing

I’m repeating an initial twitter interaction here because it seems quite critical to some of the plate tectonic rumblings working through NRx. My prompt was:

To which Michael Anissimov immediately replied:

(Of course there was more — interesting stuff.)

For some suggestive remarks about social prospects and differential speeds, see Andrea Castillo’s latest (and excellent) article on the tech-economy at Umlaut.

February 11, 2014admin 13 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , Technology
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Ideo-Cannibalism

Is intersectionality just the greatest thing ever, or what?

Both [Laurie] Penny and [Richard] Seymour have made a point of arguing, moreover, for the latest fad in leftist thinking: intersectionality. “Intersectionality” supposedly means taking seriously the many different oppressions, and how they intersect. “My socialism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit,” Seymour has made a point of saying. Given that they are so keen to speak out against oppression in all its multi-layered forms, it seems really bad luck that they should be accused of being “racist crackers” and “white settlers.”

The entire article is comedy gold.

The Obama presidency AND intersectionality — does anyone still doubt that God is hardcore NRx?

February 11, 2014admin 24 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Humor , Pass the popcorn
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Ideological Space

Does ideological space make more sense when depicted as a triangle (rather than a line or quadrant)? It certainly helps to explain the room for controversy on the ‘extreme right’. Having Darwin out there beyond the edge of the ideologically-thinkable makes a lot of sense, too.

Political Triangle Click image to enlarge.

If anyone knows where this diagram originated, please let me know and I’ll credit it properly.
(Accessed via @MikeAnissimov).

February 10, 2014admin 29 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Quote notes (#58)

Some accidental sense in The Guardian (from Theo Hobson):

Atheism derives from religion? Surely it just says that no gods exist, that rationalism, or ‘scientific naturalism’, is to be preferred to any form of supernaturalism. Actually, no: in reality what we call atheism is a form of secular humanism; it presupposes a moral vision, of progressive humanitarianism, of trust that universal moral values will triumph. (Of course there is also the atheism of Nietzsche, which rejects humanism, but this is not what is normally meant by ‘atheism’).

So what we know as atheism should really be understood as an offshoot of deism. For it sees rationalism as a benign force that can liberate our natural goodness. It has a vision of rationalism saving us, uniting us. For example, AC Grayling, in his recent book The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism, argues that, with the withering of religion, ‘an ethical outlook which can serve everyone everywhere, and can bring the world together into a single moral community, will at last be possible’. This is really Rousseau’s idea, that if we all listened to our hearts, there would be ‘one religion on earth’.

(It probably goes without saying that Hobson thinks this feels-fueled ultra-leftist secularized evangelism is a jolly good thing.)

ADDED: Handle on the new evangelism. (Superb, even by Handle’s high standards.)

February 10, 2014admin 1 Comment »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Romantic Delusion

Among the reasons to appreciate More Right for sharing this passage from Evola is the insight it offers into a very specific and critical failure to think. Neoreaction is peculiarly afflicted by this condition, which is basically identical with romanticism, or the assertive form of the recalcitrant ape mind. It is characterized by an inability to pursue lines of subtle teleological investigation, which are instead reduced to an ideal subordination of means to already-publicized ends. As a result, means-end reversal (Modernity) is merely denounced as an aesthetic-moral affront, without any serious attempt at deep comprehension.

Capitalism — which is to say capital teleology — is entirely ignored by such romantic criticism, except insofar as it can be depicted superficially as the usurpation of certain ‘ultimate’ human ends by certain others or (as Evola among other rightly notes) by a teleological complication resulting from an insurrection of the instrumental (otherwise identifiable as robot rebellion, or shoggothic insurgency). Until it is acknowledged that capitalism tends to the realization of an end entirely innovated within itself, inherently nonlinear in nature, and roughly designated as Technological Singularity, the distraction of human interests (status, wealth, consumption, leisure …) prevents this discussion reaching first base.

Of course, the organization of society to meet human needs is a degraded perversion. That is a proposition every reactionary is probably willing to accept reflexively. Anyone who thinks this amounts to a critique of capitalism, however, has not seriously begun to ponder what capitalism is really doing. What it is in itself is only tactically connected to what it does for us — that is (in part), what it trades us for its self-escalation. Our phenomenology is its camouflage. We contemptuously mock the trash that it offers the masses, and then think we have understood something about capitalism, rather than about what capitalism has learnt to think of the apes it arose among.

If we’re going to be this thoughtless, Singularity will be very hard indeed. Extinction might then be the best thing that could happen to our stubbornly idiotic species. We will die because we preferred to assert values, rather than to investigate them. At least that is a romantic outcome, of a kind.

February 9, 2014admin 33 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Bane

Linking this on Twitter catalyzed a far more animated discussion than I had anticipated. Fundamental question: Is Bane NRx?

Outside in has no settled position on this (yet), and hadn’t expected to need one. A tentative proposal though: The League of Shadows is so radically neoreactionary it doesn’t relate to the Left as a political option, but solely as a mindless pathogen — as germ warfare to be guided against a decaying social order. That militant leftist activism will produce nothing but ruin is an assumption held so firmly it doesn’t require explicit acknowledgement — and the movie audience has to tacitly identify with this analysis for Bane’s strategy to make any sense. The Left is a disease, and therefore a potential bioweapon.

To try to work something like that outside a movie, it would really be necessary to be the functional equivalent of the League of Shadows (manipulating mainstream politics dexterously, from above, or beyond). It’s probably agreed that NRx isn’t there yet … unless what we see hides something else.

ADDED: In the Twitter chat, it has pointed out that my understanding of the background story is profoundly confused (especially regarding Bane’s troubled relationship with the League of Shadows). Hopefully, by the time people have finished with me in the ensuing comments thread, I’ll have been properly schooled. This (suggested by @CineRobert) might help.

February 8, 2014admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Contagion , Neoreaction
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Speckle

Here’s a start-up idea that I’m putting out there to be stolen (even though it will make somebody US$ 100 billion).

Speckle is a social media platform, for seriously short messages. Addresses, tags, and other encrustations are tucked away into the margins of each message, along with URLs, which can be anchored in the text by a single character. That leaves exactly 14 characters for each ‘speck’ demanding extreme linguistic compression, making innovation of efficient neologisms, jargons, and acronymics near-mandatory. (It’s a T-shirt slogan or simple gravestone inscription length format.) Total information content for each speck comes to roughly 10 bytes, or a few more if exotic signs are imaginatively employed. Absolutely no pictures or other high-bandwidth media are tolerated.

Within five years, when the micromedia landscape has been speckled, a tweet will look about as concise as the Summa Theologica once did.

February 7, 2014admin 18 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology
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More on Micromedia

As with the previous post on micromedia and de-localization, this one is not aiming to be anything but obvious. If the trends indicated here do not seem uncontroversial, it has gone wrong. The sole topic is an unmistakable occurrence.

The term ‘micromedia’ is comparatively self-explanatory. It refers to Internet-based peer-to-peer communication systems, accessed increasingly through mobile devices. The relevant contrast is with broadcast (or ‘macro-‘) media, where a relatively small number of concentrated hubs distribute standardized content to massive numbers of information consumers. The representative micromedia system and platform is the Twitter + smartphone combination, which serves as the icon for a much broader, and already substantially implemented, techno-cultural transformation.

Besides de-localization, micromedia do several prominent things. They tend to diffuse media content production, as part of a critically significant technological and economic wave that envelops many kinds of disintermediation, with the development of e-publishing as one remarkable instance. By ushering in a new pamphlet age, these innovations support an explosion of ideological diversity (among many other things). No mainstream media denunciation of Neoreaction is complete without noting explicitly that “the Internet” is breeding monsters, as it frays into micromedia opportunities. (In all of this, Bitcoin will be huge.)

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February 6, 2014admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology
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De-Localized

For decades now, everyone who has thought about the matter at all has known that we were going to arrive here — which is to say nowhere in particular — and we almost have. It struck me forcibly in Cambodia, where connectivity was difficult enough to impinge on consciousness, that being linked near-continuously to nowhere (in particular) had become a fundamental expectation of my psychological existence. Twitter, ‘where’ I am still a novice, had drastically reinforced the blogger mentality that ejects the mind from place. Thoughts now latch onto online articulation as their natural zone of consolidation, entangled in social networks exempted from geography. A neural-implant twitter chip, uplinked through satellite to the Internet, seemed to be an inevitable consummation of current micro-media trends.

On the Shanghai metro, a large majority of travelers are submerged in their mobile phones, beyond speech, their attention sublimed out of space. The social networks to which consciousness has evolved, as an adaptation, are no longer found anywhere. As James Bennett predicted, in his formulation of the Anglosphere, cultural proximity has taken on a density that eclipses spatial closeness. It is already normal to live (psychologically), to a very large extent, outside space. Under many circumstances, the passenger standing next to you on the train is far more distant than the ‘voices’ on your twitter feed, even when every conventional standard of common social identity is satisfied. Minds that were biologically engineered over tens or even hundreds of millions of years to engage with their physically-proximate fellows are ever more elsewhere (or nowhere in particular) — in the techno-traffic ‘cloud’. Something seriously vast has happened.

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February 5, 2014admin 44 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology
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