Archive for October, 2014

Flash Ecology

Himanshu Damle (@) shared the link to this paper, which definitely needs to be passed along here. Called ‘Abrupt rise of new machine ecology beyond human response time’ it is co-authored by Neil Johnson, Guannan Zhao, Eric Hunsader, Hong Qi, Nicholas Johnson, Jing Meng & Brian Tivnan. Abstract:

Society’s techno-social systems are becoming ever faster and more computer-orientated. However, far from simply generating faster versions of existing behaviour, we show that this speed-up can generate a new behavioural regime as humans lose the ability to intervene in real time. Analyzing millisecond-scale data for the world’s largest and most powerful techno-social system, the global financial market, we uncover an abrupt transition to a new all-machine phase characterized by large numbers of subsecond extreme events. The proliferation of these subsecond events shows an intriguing correlation with the onset of the system-wide financial collapse in 2008. Our findings are consistent with an emerging ecology of competitive machines featuring ‘crowds’ of predatory algorithms, and highlight the need for a new scientific theory of subsecond financial phenomena.

The techno-financial ecology is not evolving as fast as it is running, and scientific research has computers too, so pursuing a cognitive arms-race against this thing is not necessarily as futile as it might at first sound … but still. Operations in the “all-machine phase” is the strategic environment under emergence.

October 25, 2014admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology
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Entryism

If NRx is spiraling back into a second phase of entryism paranoia, it looks as if it might be a lot more reflexively intense — and therefore more creative — than the last one. It’s still too early to get a firm grip at this point, and it is quite possible that the very nature of the threat makes confident apprehension an unrealistic expectation. Subversion is an abstract horror, or integral obscurity, presumed to be actively restraining itself from emergence as a phenomenon. However, some stimulating indicators:

The self-exemplification (by Konkvistador) here has surely to be taken as the provocation to a more abstract suggestion. If ‘I’ could do it, then others could too. The generalization is strongly encouraged:

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October 25, 2014admin 41 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Into the Dark

As the Occident subsides into an ocean of shadow, the FBI is noticing:

“We’re seeing more and more cases where we believe significant evidence resides on a phone or a laptop, but we can’t crack the password,” FBI Director Jim Comey said during a speech in Washington. “If this becomes the norm … justice may be denied.” […] Specifically, Comey said he is “deeply concerned” about what’s known as “going dark” — operating systems being developed by companies such as Apple and Google that automatically encrypt information on their devices. And that means even the companies themselves won’t be able to unlock phones, laptops and other devices so law enforcement can access emails, photos or other evidence that could be crucial to a case …

Comey, however, didn’t place full blame with companies like Apple and Google for creating devices with such encryption. They were “responding to what they perceive is a market demand” from the general public, which has grown “mistrustful of government” in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures of secret government surveillance. […] Encryption “is a marketing pitch,” Comey said. “But it will have very serious consequences for law enforcement and national security agencies at all levels. Sophisticated criminals will come to count on these means of evading detection. It’s the equivalent of a closet that can’t be opened. A safe that can’t be cracked. And my question is, at what cost?”

A process of Exit-in-place is underway, automatically, and it’s not easy to imagine how it could be stopped. With message management disintegrating on one side, and the public sphere eroding into dark nets on the other, it must seem to the State in the age of Internet runaway that the walls are closing in.

October 24, 2014admin 21 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Horror
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Thedes

The formulation of this concept was a building-block moment for NRx, but the trend in its usage has been dismally regressive. Apparently devised as a tool for the analysis of social identities, it is increasingly invoked as a rallying-cry for neotribalism. From the perspective of Outside in, it will soon become entirely toxic unless it is dramatically clarified.

Nydwracu initially employs the word ‘thede’ to designate the substance of group identity, “a superindividual grouping that its constituent individuals feel affiliation with and (therefore?) positive estimates of.” Thedes are multiple, overlapping, sometimes concentric, and honed by antagonistic in-group/out-group determinations. They are seen as following from the understanding that “Man is a social animal.” Ideological arguments disguise thede conflicts. At this level of abstraction, there is little to find objectionable.

In his essay on Natural Law, Jim writes:

Man is a rational animal, a social animal, a property owning animal, and a maker of things. He is social in the way that wolves and penguins are social, not social in the way that bees are social. The kind of society that is right for bees, a totalitarian society, is not right for people. In the language of sociobiology, humans are social, but not eusocial. Natural law follows from the nature of men, from the kind of animal that we are. We have the right to life, liberty and property, the right to defend ourselves against those who would rob, enslave, or kill us, because of the kind of animal that we are.

Occupying a band of group integration between ants and tigers, humans have intermediate sociality. Even the tightest mode of human social organization is loose relative to an ant colony, and even the loosest is tight relative to a solitary feline. In human societies, neither collectivity nor individuality is ever absolute, and — even though these ‘poles’ are commonly exaggerated for polemical purposes — they realistically apply only to a range of group integrations (which is both narrow and significantly differentiated). To say that “man is a social animal” does not mean that collectivity is the fundamental human truth, any more than the opposite. It means that man is a creature of the middle (and the middle has a span).

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October 24, 2014admin 46 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Face Hugs

An engagement with this (extraordinarily interesting) monetary analysis isn’t going to reach any kind of remotely convincing state tonight. Perhaps I can buy people off for a while with a few of these:

facehugger-five-dollar-bill

It actually says pretty much everything that needs to be said, in compressed form.

There’s an additional Weiner post of special relevance here. (His definition of inflation as ‘counterfeit credit’ does a lot of theoretical work, very quickly.)

October 23, 2014admin 13 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Images
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Quote note (#121)

From ClarkHat‘s Gamergate epic, a masterpiece of Gnonology:

It doesn’t matter if it’s nice; it matters if it’s effective. Gnon has no pity and laughs at your human ideals … especially because he created your human ideals to help you be a convincing liar in social games.

(Cited with whatever degree of apology is appropriate for the self-referential loop.)

October 22, 2014admin 15 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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Interface

Facebook is a grotesque orgy of resonating petty narcissism and vacuous self-obsession evidently doing something right:

The lion’s share of the mechanism for disseminating information from professional news gatherers to readers is now handled almost entirely by a company with a frustratingly opaque method of operation and interests that don’t necessarily dovetail with news organizations or their readers. Publications haven’t just lost control over their distribution models to a decentralized collective — they’ve effectively ceded it to a 30-year-old Harvard dropout in a gray hoodie.

There might be something that could happen on this planet that would be bad news for journalists and still worthy of criticism on that account — but for the life of me I can’t imagine it. Better the migration of information control to a repulsive socio-technical cancer like Facebook, which pretty much everybody hates already, than a continuation of the smug news-management guild presently in power. Among the best parts of this, everyone gets to hear the super-amplified journalistic squealing as their class privileges drop off the cliff into historical oblivion. The inaudible death of the buggy-whip industry was nothing like this much fun.

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October 21, 2014admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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Close …

… but not quite getting it. (Via Rufio.)

human-resources-660x350

Primordial Abominations versus Ultimate Techno-Horror is so sub-NRx. Alpha-Omega, outsider-incoming is the synthesis in process.

“I was rather hoping you had a game in which the humans win.”
“Oh, that won’t be a problem sir. You should probably be looking in the sarcastic comedy section.”

From the same people (and also via Rufio).

October 21, 2014admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Chaos
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Laundered

Joel Kotkin on the Cathedral Clerisy:

In “The New Class Conflict,” I describe this alliance as the New Clerisy, which encompasses the media, the academy and the expanding regulatory bureaucracy. This Clerisy already dominates American intellectual and cultural life and increasingly has taken virtual control of key governmental functions, as well as the educations of our young people. […] Although usually somewhat progressive by inclination, the Clerisy actually functions much like the old First Estate in France – the clergy – helping determine the theology, morals and ideals of the broader population. […] Against such established and accumulated power, even a strong November showing by the GOP may have surprisingly little effect. Indeed, even with a Republican in the White House, the Clerisy’s ability to shape perceptions, educate the young and control key regulatory agencies will not much diminish. The elevation of the Clerisy to unprecedented influence may prove this president’s most important “gift” to posterity.

Kotkin throws in some misdirection, towards “Daniel Bell [who 40 years ago] predicted … [the rise to] ‘pre-eminence of the professional and technical class.'” You can judge the credibility of this intellectual genealogy for yourself.

(Link and title stolen from Stirner.)

October 20, 2014admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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De-Dynamization

If you want to break an economy, democracy is the solution you’re looking for. The crucial reference is to this paper (via Cowan), dedicated to the The $42 Trillion Question: Will Rapid Growth in China and India Persist? The economic consequences of socio-political ‘progress’ are spelled out about as clearly as anyone could want:

… nearly every country that experienced a large democratic transition after a period of above-average growth (more than the cross-country average of 2 percent) experienced a sharp deceleration in growth in the 10 years following the democratizing transition. Among 22 countries in which episodes of large democratic transition coincided with above-average growth, all but one (Korea in 1987 with an acceleration of only 0.22 percent) experienced a growth deceleration. The combination of high initial growth and democratic transition seems to make some deceleration all but inevitable. The magnitude of the decelerations was very large: The median deceleration across the 22 countries was 2.99 percent and the average deceleration was 3.53 percent.

The phenomenon of demosclerosis is already theoretically well-grounded. It appears to be a more rapidly-acting poison than even its fiercest critics have acknowledged.

October 20, 2014admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Democracy
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