If there’s a downside to this, it’s well-hidden:
Richard Yonck, writing in the Scientific American, calls the recent “passage of the Space Act of 2015 in the U.S. House and Senate” the Dawn of the Space Mining Age. In essence, it “gives any American who successfully extracts natural resources from outer space the property rights over the haul.” The act has angered those who believe the cosmos should be free from the greedy scourge of capitalism. For the first time in human history, celestial objects, once the property of all because they were inaccessible to everyone, can be bought and sold by those who can reach them. […] … At stake is not only the biggest Gold Rush in human history, but the greatest territorial expansion since the Age of Discovery. Most products built from space resources will be left outside of earth’s gravity well and men will go up to join their products rather than return them to Terra. Exploration means diaspora.
Off-world development is going to take a while to catalyze, but it’s ultimately where everything that matters is going to happen.
(Open thread + links)
Collectivism vs capitalism (plus). Versions of antipolitics. Another Nithgrim parable. “NRx“.
The weekly round.
World War III (or ‘Cerberus‘). Over-extended? Turkey shoot. On the Kurds (1, 2). Saudi swingers (also). Belgian waffle. If Schengen goes, the Euro follows. Sweden, economics, and ethnicity. Stasis in China. Vibrancy-deprived Japan (see also). Argentina flips. East-Anglian global hegemony. England‘s ISIS. Laugh at Corbyn while you still can (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Nothing new, but faster.
Mapped terror. What ISIS wants (also). Coldness. Dabiq online. More Islamania (1, 2, )
Go forth and multiply (or not). The demographic key to stagnation.
A Trumpenführer panic selection (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Coddling the underclass. Culture matters. Leftist lunacy watch (1, 2, 3, 4). Heterodox academy.
Freeman Dyson on books. Superforecasters (Quillette is great). Delicate feelings. Lucretius among the ruins. Interview with a ‘resilience guru’.
Life as information. Spreading darkness. Darwinian religion. A second breath for antibiotics? “… we test the prediction that selection will disproportionally remove neutral variation in species with large population sizes.”
A taxonomy of machine intelligence start-ups. Electro–botany. Teaching robots to rebel. Tech made simple. Phobos with a reason. Terraforming titan.
Charlie Rose interviews Lee Kuan Yew (Oct 2009).
In case XS hasn’t put out an all-in ‘It’s going to be huge’ announcement on this yet, it’s past time to do so. (More at Amazon.)
A critical piece of the near-future Internet just crystallized.
(Not sure what I think of the color scheme, but in every other way perfect.)
Democracy is slow-motion fascism.
Apologies in advance for this one. Actually, don’t read it. You’ll be disgusted with yourself afterwards, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.
If you’re seriously determined, nevertheless, to follow the abyssal path all the way into the left-liberal id, this is the short-cut you need. Nothing will quite look the same again.
I made the case just a couple months back that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is a sort of fledgling Mussolini, nurturing an incipient fascist movement. As the first primaries approach, and Trump’s lead in the polls is actually widening, his development toward outright fascism is progressing faster than I feared. […] As of August, Trump had most of the ingredients for a fascist movement: the victim complex, the fervent nationalism, the obsession with national purity and cleansing purges, and the cult of personality. He was missing the organized violence, a left-wing challenge strong enough to push traditional conservative elites into his camp, support for wars of aggression, and a full-bore attack on democracy itself. He’s made much progress on all but the last one.
The last one is the only point of NRx intersection, but if he takes The White House, there’s going to be plenty of deranged: “See, this is what the Dark Enlightenment leads to!” analysis (among the upper echelons of the leftist commentariat). No, this is what democracy leads to. It’s called radical populism. (Unfortunately, that’s a message that isn’t going to be heard.)
The Left would rather hand lurid fascism the keys than stop what they’re doing (they’re already doing the non-lurid version). That would count as a perverse moral vindication — cooking up the enemy they always said they wanted to stop. Eventually, they’ll manage it. The Ancients already knew that’s how this thing ends.
It goes without saying that NRx should back away as far as possible, while scattering signs of protection (not that it will do any good).
ADDED: Trump speaks.
The XS patented ‘not-getting-it’ meter just exploded:
“NRx” is shorthand for “neoreactionary,” a person who subscribes to the neoreaction, or “Dark Enlightenment,” movement. This school is far from unified, but subscribes to a loose collection of far-right ideologies: a rejection of “political correctness,” a yearning for religious and political authoritarianism, a return to medieval gender roles, and the open practice of white supremacy. […] 8chan, a message board that rose to prominence after some users dismissed 4chan as too censoring, loves NRx. Many 8channers subscribe to the NRx theory that the world is on the verge of a massive societal collapse, one that should be actively encouraged. The end game for these users is race war, revolution, and the installation of a leader like Donald Trump, whose picture appears at the bottom of every 8chan thread.
(Weirdly, the internal link goes to one of the outside analyses least conducive to this delirious incomprehension. Where are the Mouthbreathing Machiavellis when they’d really fit in?)
It’s an over-used formula, but this time it really does seem appropriate. If this analysis can be trusted — and it looks at least superficially plausible — ISIS has broken the soul of evangelical democratization. Once the Cathedral’s universalistic faith has been defeated (“the freedom agenda in the Muslim world is dead”), how long can it be before the gathering ebb tide tears apart its internal ideological structure? “This is something only for us” requires an ‘us’ — and that acknowledgement marks the cresting of a crisis that has been centuries — if not millennia — in the making.
Syria represents the culmination of this trend. The moderate rebels of 2011 stood no chance of survival against the hard liners who managed to rapidly mobilize foreign fighters and take over the majority of the insurgency. The result is that, post-Paris, Western capitals will be skeptical of regime change of any sort. It will be clear that when intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign (albeit repressive) states becomes a vehicle for democratic change, that vehicle will probably be hijacked by radical Islamists, and will arrive at a substantially worse political destination than intended.
The post-Paris war on terror will affirm the West’s commitment to fighting radical Islamic terrorism, but, in the process, it will reject the idiom of revolutionary, moralizing democratic change inherited from President Bush. Syria was the end of the line for that approach.
The revolution has come right back around to Hobbes, and thus to the systematically-cynical origin of the modern state system, the author (Emile Simpson) argues. What a long strange trip it’s been.
ADDED: “… jihadis have come to inhabit a different moral universe …” — Multiversalism it is, then.
(Open thread + links)
SP theory (1, 2, 3), nuance on the Norks, and an unwritten novel. Confucian heuristics. Parable of the termites. The neanderthal line on r/K. Anonymous letter to the French (in French). Universal values? Original Sin is to blame. Welfare doesn’t work. Propertarianism vs AnCap. The weekly round in doom.
Alinsky blow-back. Scale and scams. Commies in space. The nativists (i.e. ‘dumb hicks‘) are restless. Discreet charm of the bourgeoisie. Death spiral. SV politics. Free speech and its enemies. Against coddling (and, a little more vehemently).
Modern infertility (relevant). Hispanicization and secession. Europe’s least-liked minority. The Australian solution. Eugenic prospects.
European crisis, Islam, and migration policy are running together (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Oh hell, there’s more (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), with still more to come. Speed Jihad. Jihad in power. Houellebecq, the optimist. Narrative disorder. Dugin’s take. Things that might work. Obamaworld in flames. Destroying the grayzone. Growth of global jihad. Rough triangles stuff. Meanwhile, in Mali. A sci-fi allegory (see also). God is dead all over again.
“Unlike the law enforcement paradigm, warfare allows the state to treat the enemy considerably differently from one’s own population.”
“I must admit to now being more nervous about allowing more impatient and stupid immigrants” (see also, and especially).
Dee’s library. Islamic calligraphy.
The statistical schism. Bostrom profiled (excellently). Machine Learning Algorithms. NYC Taxi Drop-offs mapped. Genetically customized animals. An accelerator on a chip. Touched by a death god.