Archive for August, 2014

PPD and r/K

Ideological categorization is the astrology of politics, in the sense that it panders to insatiable identity hunger. This post still holds the daily traffic record here, which is probably not entirely due to people looking for their political star signs, but neither is it mostly for other reasons. New approaches to the Left-Right spectrum — the Prime Political Dimension — promise master-keys to the secrets of identity-core opinion.

Given the quite absurdly competitive nature of the terrain, there is something truly remarkable about the simplicity and persuasiveness of this PPD-model, based upon the biological distinction between r/K selection strategies. The application of this distinction to humans is — I confidently assume — radioactively controversial. Its usage as a conceptual tool to collapse ideology into an axis of Human Biological Diversity is therefore undoubtedly disreputable. (This trigger-warning isn’t likely to act as much of a deterrent here.)

The ‘Anonymous Conservative’ theory does the most important things expected of a PPD-model. In particular, it provides an explanation for the polarized clusters of ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ traits, which have often proved highly resistant to reflective integration. Why should anti-capitalism, pacifism, and sexual laxity belong together? When grouped together as expressions of an r-type strategy, this bundle of seemingly unconnected ideological predispositions tightens into an intuitively coherent whole.

Worth special mention is the mapping of ideological difference onto environmental conditions. The (‘liberal’) r-type strategy is a response top conditions of resource abundance, versus (‘conservative’) K-type adaptation to scarcity. When augmented by some modest assumptions about the effects of r-type prevalence upon the persistence of Civilization, the r/K PPD-model automatically generates a cyclical history of social ascent and decline (through a biorealist abundance-decadence mechanism). The hope-crushing tragic structure is sure to appeal to reactionary sensibilities.

The Outside in prediction: This is a theory (and book) that will go far. You can read the first chapter here.

August 19, 2014admin 37 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Quote notes (#103)

The Ebola outbreak could blow over, and eventually be seen as a major health crisis, but one that was ultimately controlled. On the other hand:

MONROVIA, Liberia – Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital’s largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including blood-stained sheets and mattresses.

The violence in the West Point slum occurred late Saturday and was led by residents angry that patients were brought to the holding center from other parts of Monrovia, Tolbert Nyenswah, assistant health minister, said Sunday.

Up to 30 patients were staying at the center and many of them fled at the time of the raid, said Nyenswah. Once they are located they will be transferred to the Ebola center at Monrovia’s largest hospital, he said.

West Point residents went on a “looting spree,” stealing items from the clinic that were likely infected, said a senior police official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press. The residents took medical equipment and mattresses and sheets that had bloodstains, he said.

“All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients,” the official said, adding that he now feared “the whole of West Point will be infected.”

(Incredibly, it gets worse.)

ADDED: Bryce sent this along.

August 18, 2014admin 2 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Contagion
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Chaos Patch (#23)

(Open thread, random links, spontaneous disorder.)

@antidemblog was the first voice I heard comparing Ferguson to a Rorschach blot. That seems right. Here are some communists (++), tortured left liberals, tortured conservatives (+), establishment libertarians, outer right curmudgeons, white nationalists. This line of approach makes a lot of sense to me. Ferguson (allusively) here, and (more overtly) at UF.

The bottom-line of the recent 4GW explorations being pushed by TNIO is that fertility becomes an unanswerable weapon under conditions of Cathedral dominion. The analysis needs a little more hardening up, but prognosis will remain elusive because it leads into biopolitical darknesses no one is keen to coldly investigate. Instead, there’s just elevated shrieking.

Continue Reading

August 17, 2014admin 35 Comments »
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Escalation

Steve Sailer doesn’t ask whether there are any two human races further apart than wolves and coyotes, because he’s a nice guy.

August 16, 2014admin 6 Comments »
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UFII

A wave of excellent posts at Nydwracu’s place recently. At the crest is this, a critique of the capitalist thing as an Unfriendly Institutional Intelligence (UFII). I’d been meaning to run something off the article initially cited, which is fascinating. As Nydwracu shows, its implications extend much further than its foregrounded argument.

As already briefly tweet-sparred, I’m skeptical about the description of Capitalism as an institution (or set of institutions), since any sociological category is inadequate to its mechanism in profundity. Capital, like fire, is something humans do, but that does not make it reducible to the ways humans do it. In its ultimate cybernetic diagram, Capitalism is a cosmic occurrence, and only very derivatively an anthropological fact. (This is not, of course, to deny that capitalism is destined to have been by far the most important anthropological fact). As a cause, human thedes can be interesting. As a cognitive horizon, they are simply weakness. It isn’t always — or even very often — about us.

Like Capitalism, the Cathedral is a self-organizing, distributed intelligence with emergent post-anthropomorphic features. Unlike Capitalism, it has no intrinsic competence at self-resourcing, and thus relapses continually into to compromise, contradiction, and exhortation. The Cathedral has a complex spiritual message it is inextricably bound to, but Capitalism has only one terminal law: anything that can feed itself gets to live. The pre-adaptation to rough times that comes with this goes without saying (and is usually left unsaid). Unlike the Cathedral, Capitalism doesn’t chat to us much at all. It’s message channels, meaning those communication circuits not dedicated to machine code, consist of tradable ad space. To devote them to preaching would look bad on a balance sheet somewhere.

(Much more on this as the war heats up.)

Note-1: ‘Feeding itself’ includes funding its self-protection. This is a cost-point that is almost certain to grow.
Note-2: Capitalist message channels are, of course, open to preaching that pays. The essential point is that, in contradistinction to the Cathedral, such second-party messaging or first-party PR is irreducibly cynical. When an emergent AI talks to you about morality, you’d be a dupe to weep.

August 16, 2014admin 46 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Trolls Explained

If, like this blog, you have been benighted enough to understand Internet trolls as abusive irritants, masters of disguise, satirists, or even amusing pets, you apparently need a good talking to. Farhad Manjoo writing in (surprise!) The New York Times has a lesson you need to hear. Trolling, it turns out, has a very simple explanation — it is exactly identical to a Political Incorrectness. To be a troll is in fact simply not being a progressive.

Citing Doctor Whitney Phillips, of Humboldt State University, and a troll expert (who has written a book on the subject), Manjoo illuminates the phenomenon unambiguously:

If there’s one thing the history of the Internet has taught us, it’s that trolls will be difficult to contain because they really reflect base human society in all its ugliness. Trolls find a way.

“It’s not a question of whether or not we’re winning the war on trolling, but whether we’re winning the war on misogyny, or racism, and ableism and all this other stuff,” Dr. Phillips said. “Trolling is just a symptom of those bigger problems.”

As with so very many other things, there’s no solution to trolling short of the absolute triumph of progressive across the whole of the earth. This is an argument crying out for an #AAA tag like no other I’ve ever seen. (I’d link the Twitter hashtag, but it’s deeply confusing.)

ADDED: It’s a jungle out there.

ADDED: I’ll throw in the T-shirt slogan here for free — Resistance is futile trolling

August 15, 2014admin 28 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Media
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King Mob

There’s quite definitely a technical problem with banning public street protest (i.e. mobs). Even a riotous mob is a vague concept, reliant upon discretionary police judgment on occasions. But is the criminalization of public protest also a problem of principal?

Strangely, most libertarians seem to think the right to free-association extends automatically to mob formation. This presupposes that a mob is not inherently an act of aggression, existing solely to intimidate, and in fact — strictly speaking — an instance of terrorism. It is obvious why the Left should like the mob. It self-identifies as the articulate representative of the mob. Far more obscure is why anyone from a liberal tradition, let alone further to the right, should concur in this appreciation.

Free expression hardly requires physical aggregation in public places, with near-inevitable expression of a potential for violence. It is not difficult to see that the basic historical role of the mob has been to advance demands, backed by implicit threat. Between a mob, a riotous mob, and a revolutionary mob, there are differences of degree rather than of kind. Even the strongest supporter of the principle of ‘voice’ should see zero additional value in its physical concentration. Resonance and group emotion undermine a statement, rather than reinforcing it, unless the ‘statement’ is collectively directed anger (which is to say once again, inherently Leftist).

Mobs are no doubt almost impossible to effectively criminalize. That does not at all mean one is compelled to like them, or acknowledge their legitimacy. Their existence is an intrinsic threat to both liberty and authority.

Perhaps laws against public indecency could be applied to politics in the street? In any case, it is past time for everyone to the right of the Left to lucidly despise it.

August 14, 2014admin 35 Comments »
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Quote note (#102)

Distracted by the Twitter TL-clogging Ferguson craziness, without finding anything much to say about it (there are a few comments over here). So how about a Scott Alexander joke, of at least arguable relevance?

It goes:

I’ve been using IQ as an example recently, and I feel bad about it because it’s so controversial and politicized. So let’s switch about something else instead.

How about race?

(As usual with SA, I’m a terrible reader, because my prejudices make it almost impossible to understand the necessity of needing persuasion. There’s always a ‘duh!’ resounding in my head. Still, on the basis of a bad reading, I think he ends up on the dark side — i.e. stark common sense — but he does so with such politeness that it’s hard to be entirely sure.)

ADDED: This made me smile too —

August 14, 2014admin 5 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Humor
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Doors of Perception

It’s a simplification to conceive the Cathedral as a media apparatus. As simplifications go, however, one could do far worse. Media are essential to the Cathedral, even if by no means casually synonymous with it.

It is surely noteworthy that ‘the media’ have become singular, in much the same way as ‘the United States’ have done. ‘They’ have turned into a thing, and one that is still far from being confidently understood. Even when subjectively identifying with a residual plurality, they cannot but identify themselves with a unitary effectiveness.

While it would be asking far too much to expect the Cathedral to identify itself as a central causal factor in a world going insane, it gets close. NYmag expresses deep concern about the consequences of the news machine:

A terrifying jihadist group is conquering and butchering its way across big swaths of Iraq and Syria. Planes are falling out of the sky on what seems like a weekly basis. Civilians are being killed in massive numbers in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Others are falling prey to Ebola in West Africa. The world, in short, is falling apart. […] That’s how it feels, at least, to those of us who sit at a blessed remove from the death and destruction, but who are watching every bloody moment of it via cable news and social media. It raises an important question: In an age when we can mainline bad news 24/7 if we so choose, what’s the psychological impact of all this exposure to tragedy at a distance?

Drawing upon the work of Mary McNaughton-Cassill (a University of Texas–San Antonio professor at the “leading researcher on the connection between media consumption and stress”), it describes a process of “negative-information overload” driven by market-incentivized sensationalism, compounded by social media revolution, and prone to poorly-understood tangles of psycho-media feedback. Since a story of this kind consists primarily of the Cathedral talking to itself, with everyone else listening in, we quickly learn that the ‘problem’ cashes out into pessimistic disengagement from electoral politics and progressive voluntarism. According to McNaughton-Cassill, negative news bombardment produces “this malaise: ‘Everything’s kinda bad’ and ‘Why should I vote? It’s not gonna help’ and ‘I could donate money, but there’s just gonna be another kid who’s starving next week.’”

Continue Reading

August 13, 2014admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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The Islamic Vortex (Note-1)

An executive summary of Ali Khedery’s open letter to President Obama: Face it, ISIS is your ally bro.

August 13, 2014admin 12 Comments »
FILED UNDER :World
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