Archive for May 13th, 2014

Quote notes (#81)

Jason Collins quotes Alfred Russel Wallace on an encounter with anarcho-capitalism in Dobo (Aru Islands, Eastern Indonesia):

… there are now near five hundred people in Dobbo of various races, all met in this remote corner of the East, as they express it, “to look for their fortune;” to get money any way they can. They are most of them people who have the very worst reputation for honesty as well as every other form of morality,—Chinese, Bugis, Ceramese, and half-caste Javanese, with a sprinkling of half-wild Papuans from Timor, Babber, and other islands, yet all goes on as yet very quietly. This motley, ignorant, bloodthirsty, thievish population live here without the shadow of a government, with no police, no courts, and no lawyers; yet they do not cut each other’s throats, do not plunder each other day and night, do not fall into the anarchy such a state of things might be supposed to lead to. It is very extraordinary! It puts strange thoughts into one’s head about the mountain-load of government under which people exist in Europe, and suggests the idea that we may be over-governed. […] Here we may behold in its simplest form the genius of Commerce at the work of Civilization. Trade is the magic that keeps all at peace, and unites these discordant elements into a well-behaved community. All are traders, and know that peace and order are essential to successful trade, and thus a public opinion is created which puts down all lawlessness.

NRx typically strays much too far from this insight.

May 13, 2014admin 16 Comments »

Scrap note (#12)

With cognitive disintegration prolonging itself deeply into the month, this is a scrappy sketch of the space across which I’m strewn. I have three pieces of writing on the go, under deadlines of varying severity, along with a tangled bundle of other stuff.

The first thing — kind of almost finished now — is the latest in a string of Accelerationism papers and posts. (The previous one, entitled Teleoplexy and devoted primarily to twisted historical entelechy, is coming out in this.) The new piece is structured as a contribution to security analysis, or preemptive, cryptographic, Butlerian Jihad. If acceleration to hard singularity were directed as a Terminator-style resistance drama, how would a strategically-rational Human Security System be depicted? Fuse MIRI with the CSER in a virtual / clandestine species-defense apparatus (Anthropol), then ask how it would operate to prevent the emergence of the ultimate enemy. It’s not at all easy. One almost begins to sympathize with the wretched creatures.

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May 13, 2014admin 17 Comments »
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