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Extreme corrosive pessimism is an NRx specialty. Since optimism bias is a status quo-supported human cognitive frailty, it’s a good thing to have. If rigidified, however, it can result in missing things.
One systematic distortion stems from hubris, taking the form of a confusion in causality. “We don’t like X, and want bad things to happen to it” can actually be a distorted expression of a more basic process: X is dying, and therefore we have started to dislike it.
This blog strongly suspects that the Cathedral has become an object of animosity as a consequence of its morbidity. After all, it’s a mind-control apparatus. If it’s no longer universally accepted, and in certain problematic patches actively loathed, dysfunction is clearly indicated. Contestation of its story is not supposed to be part of the story.
The Zeitgeist is its story, not ours. In this tale, it goes from strength to strength, overwhelming everything in its path. Recognizing the structure of this narrative is important. Subscription to it is not thereby implied.
Every critical component of the Cathedral — media, academic, and bureaucratic — is exceptionally vulnerable to Internet-driven disintermediation. The current phase of capital reconstruction is distinctively — and automatically — Cathedral-hostile, when evaluated at the level of technonomic process (which we do not do enough), rather than at the level of surface public pronouncement (which we concern ourselves with far too much with). Dying things can be very dangerous, and even more frenzied. It would be a mistake to confuse such characteristics with fundamental strength.
A step down from hubris might begin with an acknowledgment that NRx is — primarily — a symptom. Whatever imagined heroism is sacrificed thereby, it is more than compensated by an opportunity for deepened realism.
All of which is a framing for Fernandez’s latest. Even amidst the stupidity of the degenerating political cycle, he notices that “… the current crop of Republican presidential candidates … are openly breaking with the really important modern faith — the media-led church that has held mainstream politics together for so long.” The integrative media is fatally sick. That NRx exists at all is a sign of that.
ADDED: “I might be biased here myself, because this is what obsesses me, and this is what angers me. I could care less, to be honest, about the GOP or its programs. […] What keeps me interested in politics at all is my loathing for the self-appointed Preistly Class of the media. […] … the media serve as the shamans and witch-doctors of an enemy Tribe, and the purpose of those shamans is to relentlessly disgrace outsiders to the Tribe, which is pleasing to those within the Tribe, while also keeping the shamans in power (because they have no other skills which would earn them money or sex, except the denigration of those considered Unclean).” (Ace links to this.)
Urbit on entropy dissipation:
Bringing people together is an easy problem for any social network. The hard problem is keeping them apart. In other words, the hard problem is filtering. Society is filtering.
A society without filters is a whirling, beige mess of atoms in a blender. Beigeworld is an inhuman antisociety. A digital republic is a garden; not only does a garden smell good, but every flower smells good. An unfiltered network is a sewer. All sewers have exactly the same smell.
It isn’t entirely clear whether Warg Franklin is asking: How does NRx think? Nevertheless, his introduction to postrationalism cannot but contribute to such a question (whether the latter is taken descriptively, prescriptively, or diagonally). The excellent onward links merit explicit mention (1, 2, 3).
How NRx thinks is a critical index of what it is.
Outside in is probably ‘postrationalist’. What it certainly is, however, is disintegrationist. It translates the caution against rationalist hubris — dubbed reservationism by Moldbug (in the link provided) — as a general antipathy to global solutions (and their attendant universalist ideologies). To be promoted, in the place of any Great Answer, is computational fragmentation. Whenever the research program meets an obstacle, divide it. “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Or at least, since selection is inescapable, defend the fork (as such) first, and the chosen path only secondarily.
Delegate selection to Gnon. To do so not only husbands resources, but also maximizes overall experimentation. Intelligence is scarce. It is needed, above all, for tinkering well. Global conceptual policing is an exhausting waste, and an unnecessary one, since territorial distribution, or some effective proxy, can carry it for free. Security capacity is needed to fend off those determined to share their mistakes. Using it, instead, to impose any measure — whatsoever — of global conformity is a pointless extravagance, and a diversion.
Whether articulated as epistemology, or as meta-politics, NRx is aligned with the declaration: There is no need for us to agree. Refuse all dialectics. It is not reconciliation that is needed, but definitive division. (Connect, but disintegrate.)
Think in patches. Eventually, some of them will work.
A realist case for markets:
The market mechanism is loosely efficient. But the idea that efficiency is the main virtue of free markets is wrong. Competition itself is highly inefficient. In my home town, I can buy food from about eight different places; I’m sure this system could be much more ‘efficient’ if Waitrose, M&S and Lidl were forcibly merged into one huge ‘Great Grocery Hall of The People No. 1306’. I am equally confident that after a few initial years of success, the shop would be terrible. […] The missing metric here is semi-random variation. Truly free markets trade efficiency for a costly process of market-tested innovation heavily reliant on dumb luck. The reason this inefficient process is necessary is that, though we pretend otherwise, no one knows anything about anything: most of the achievements of consumer capitalism were never planned; they are explicable only in retrospect, if at all. (XS emphasis.)
Carle C. Zimmerman, the Harvard historian and sociologist, was not a religious man, but in his book Family and Civilization, which examining the history of the decline and fall of ancient Greece and Rome, and looking at medieval and modern European history, Zimmerman found that the presence of 11 factors preceded the dissolution of those civilizations — factors relating to the atomization and fragmentation of what he calls the “domestic family” (one man + one woman, exclusively). Those factors include widespread divorce, the loss of a sense that the domestic family is normative, and the general acceptance of sexual diversity (called “perversity” by Zimmerman, but he wrote in 1947).
In Zimmerman’s view, the family is the basis for civilization, and “familism” — an ideology that in general puts the family’s needs above the needs of the individual — is necessary for a healthy, stable society. A society that has lost familism will follow customs and impose public policies that work against the domestic family, thereby eating its seed corn. Fertility declines, and with it, the civilization’s ability to thrive.
So says Zimmerman. If he’s right … this is us.
(Yes, the first sentence of this quote is a grammatical train wreck — beyond anything I could work out how to fix. Read Dreher’s intro. to the article for a — partial — excuse.)
(Open thread + links)
Dry-run for dictatorship. The multi-cultural defense against socialism (and the feminist one). White power. Asians in the age of microaggression (note). Revolution comes around (also, and also). “We cannot apologize enough.” The IRS @ work. What are British values? Idiocracy watch. Still closing. Correcting the Net. Who wants equality? Caplan being Caplan. Pagan revival (with a Girard twist). Ideology on the big screen.
“… rational people simply ignore their reports. […] This is a sad state of affairs, but it is, of course, the equality-theorists who are chiefly to blame for bringing it about. For they have created in recent years a climate of feeling in which many men are afraid to deny the equality-theory openly, and even ashamed to doubt it inwardly. Hence the phenomena which are now so observable, of hypocrisy, self-deception, and pious fraud: those invariable concomitants of a militant religion. … our contemporary equality-theorists are in fact (as I have hinted several times), religious rather than rational in their attitude to evidence.” Some data. A tale of two sisters.
The quantum stack. Fermi paradox intensification in space and time. Cometary alcohol. The anatomy of intelligence and the Internet. The intractable brain. Contesting the gap. For all your periodic tables needs. “Ebola was a warning we have yet to heed.” Puppy-sized spiders. Paramecium video.
“… it became clear that like the environmental movement itself, climate change had been hijacked and turned into the usual revenge-against-the-more-competent agenda of the left, involving first-world nations limiting themselves so that more numerous third world nations could pollute.” Trustless climatology.
A statement to be preserved for the fascinated scrutiny of generations yet unborn:
I am experimentally tabooing the words “neoreaction”, “neoreactionary”, and “NRx” in this blog’s comments effective immediately. It’s emotionally charged and politicized in a way that I think potential substitutes aren’t. I got my first exposure to far-right ideas from the neoreactionaries and so historically I’ve viewed rightism through their lens and spread that to my readers, but I think that this emphasis was a mistake. Also, nobody agrees on what “neoreactionary” means, least of all self-identified neoreactionaries. If you want to talk about monarchists, call them monarchists. If you want to talk about traditionalists, call them traditionalists. If you want to talk about the far right, call it the far right. If you want to talk about HBD, call it HBD. If you want to talk about Mencius Moldbug, call him Mencius Moldbug. First infraction will be punished with a warning, second with burning eternally in the caldera of the Volcano God.
(If I followed SA’s comment threads more diligently, I’d have a better sense of the context for this. Seems like an interesting experiment in any case. It also says something about triggers — or memetic virulence — although that’s still a little blurry …)
I have to add the ‘mind-control’ tag — but it works both ways.
Hurricane Patricia became the strongest storm ever measured on the planet early Friday …
Sailer asks a sharp (and largely self-answering) question:
… has the term “human rights” simply become, like “civil rights,” a who?-whom? term to depict whose side you are on, with no relation anymore to general principles?