Archive for April, 2015

Quote note (#162)

Robert Tracinski on ‘The Paradox of Dogma’:

If I were to come up with one idea for how the left could cripple itself over the long term, it would be: teach your young adherents that ideological debate is an abnormal trauma and that it is a terrible imposition to ever expect them to engage in it. It is a great way of raising a generation of mental cripples. And that is exactly what they have set out to do.

(Congenital conservative optimism aside, that seems right.)

April 30, 2015admin 10 Comments »
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Tsunami

Either Europe is absorbed into Africa or at some point it learns, pitilessly, to say ‘no’. Neither alternative is likely to be remotely pretty.

The 21st century would probably be a good time to be somewhere else.

… two years ago the United Nations Population Division released a shocking update to their population projections, revising the forecast for the continent of Africa upward to 4.2 billion in 2100 from 1.1 billion today. […] That is about a half dozen times greater than the population of Europe. […] Africa is almost certainly not going to add over three billion residents over the next 85 years. Something else will happen instead …

For an example of how ugly it looks — in the eyes of polite opinion — to get anywhere close to realism on the topic, try this. It’s unthinkable! So, by far the most likely outcome is that Europe buries its head in the sand until it is already deep into existential crisis, then lurches into some new and even more hysterical version of its traditionally-favored fascist ‘solution’. Quite probably, it will get to lose another World War before the complete extinction of its civilization.

(If there’s a positive spin to put on this glacial catastrophe, don’t hesitate to share it in the comments.)

April 30, 2015admin 49 Comments »
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Kicking the Can

It’s difficult to keep track of all the ways in which the hyperbolic explosion of time-preference is expressed in the present world economic order, especially in its Western core, where the rot is deepest. From insensate looting to exponential debt expansion, and from sugar-high stimulus programs to insolvent, culturally-ruinous welfare systems (cooked-up for a succession of short-term political head-rushes), the entire economic machinery is locked into virtual apocalypse accumulation. Never deal with anything today that can be added to the mountain of woes due tomorrow. As historical time collapses into sheer orgiastic spasm, it converges with the frothiest media attention span, hurtling towards the edge of the precipice where nothing remains but news.

Here‘s the latest dimension of kicking-the-can:

… if US inventories, already at record high levels, and with the inventory to sales rising to great financial crisis levels, had not grown by $121.9 billion and merely remained flat, US Q1 GDP would not be 0.2%, but would be -2.6%. [Emphasis in original]

Systematic unreality has a face, and it’s that of a talking-head telling you that the end hasn’t yet happened.

Nemesis is not mocked. When she arrives, it’s going to hurt.

ADDED: The popcorn version. (Think I linked this before as an Outsideness Strategy classic.)

April 29, 2015admin 32 Comments »
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Trash Space

There’s so much wrong with this it’s hard to know where to start:

Baltimore is burning as I write, the streets are filled with rioters and police. They don’t seem to be “clashing” much, however. Photographs show looters looting, and cops standing around. The black lady mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake … made a statement that, in the interests of the demonstrators’ “free speech” rights, she had told the Baltimore PD to “give those who wished to destroy space to do that.”

Baltimore00

Nothing says ‘free speech’ like torching a city to the ground. (Shouting “fire” in a crowded cinema might be irresponsible, but burning the cinema to the ground is political art.)

Continue Reading

April 28, 2015admin 35 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#16)

Excited oath aside, this is the perfect framing:

April 27, 2015admin 18 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#59)

(Open thread + links)

Discrimination watch. Rehabilitated inquisition. More on de Jouvenel, plus. Eucivic engineering. Criminal law collapses. The corporate slave class. Scharlach on Dyal on D&G. Fragged Friday. Weekly roundups.

SoBL on Yemen (linking this), Russia, and Venezuela. Euro-American comparisons (1, 2). Smart-nation Singapore. World Bank make-work.

“In a fiat currency system, perception is, by definition, everything.” From Georgism to propertarian cities. The use of ‘silliness’.

Genetics of IQ (related?). Wishful thoughtlessness.

When Malcolm X met the Nazis. Down the Jewish rabbit-hole (video). Outsider trolling. Bonald on racism.

On Bork on liberalism. Can free association be recovered? Hood and Neovictorian on Hillary. Safe spaces.

A hole in the universe. Entropy and aliens. Space-elevator update.

April 26, 2015admin 68 Comments »
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Through the Mirror

The articulate Left comes close to capturing NRx from the other side, mapping out a persuasive genealogy (through games theory and public choice analysis). The final line of this piece gets closest:

It is the logical endgame of a dark political vision crafted in opposition to democratic advances; the realisation of a strange freedom which lies at the root of the neoliberal dystopia, from which the political establishment offers no deliverance.

… except, they think counter-democratic darkness is already in power, in the guise of ‘neoliberalism’, and that the populist political charade, with its 40%+ state absorption of economic product, financial central planning, and publicly-promoted egalitarian evangelism, is an outcome compatible with the triumph of a disillusioned right. It seems an absurd sticking point to reach — that in the end, we can’t even agree about who is ruling the world.

April 25, 2015admin 16 Comments »
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Sentences (#18)

Steen Jakobsen sounds the abyss in the final sentence of this short analysis (embedded video):

… a big fat zero in terms of hope for the future.

ADDED: Jakobsen talks to Chris Martenson on ‘the biggest margin call in history’.

April 24, 2015admin 13 Comments »
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Quote note (#161)

Make of this what you will:

Men make up an estimated 96% of the Bitcoin community, which means that if Bitcoin does end up succeeding, as its adherents think it will, and if the people who own Bitcoin see their holdings soar in value, then all of the profits will end up going to what Brett Scott calls the “crypto-patriarchy.” Not many men, to be sure: as Charlie Stross says, the degree of inequality in the Bitcoin economy “is ghastly, and getting worse, to an extent that makes a sub-Saharan African kleptocracy look like a socialist utopia.” But it’s not many men, and effectively zero women.

ADDED: Andrea Castillo responds to Salmon (I’m attaching a ‘massive scowling bitterness deficiency’ warning).

April 24, 2015admin 27 Comments »
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Stock and Flow

Some clear, sensible, extremely practical suggestions on balancing production (via). It’s a problem — tractable in principle, but tricky, and easy to get wrong — that a lot of people are working at right now, NRx very much included. I’ve not seen it stated with such conceptual elegance before now.

… stock and flow is the master metaphor for media today. Here’s what I mean:
* Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist.
* Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
I feel like flow is ascendant these days, for obvious reasons — but we neglect stock at our own peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audience and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a treadmill, and you can’t spend all of your time running on the treadmill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: Oh man. I’ve got nothing here. […] But I’m not saying you should ignore flow …

NRx epitomizes the problem. It’s been through a phase of excited flow, but the question of stock-building is becoming unavoidable. Correct too hard, and the current dies altogether. Fail to correct at all, and nothing gets built. Every time I see someone burn out of Twitter, it looks to me as if the stock-flow balance problem has claimed another casualty. At least, that’s what I now realize I’ve been seeing.

April 23, 2015admin 29 Comments »
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