Archive for November, 2015

Parametrics and Provocation

This is from April last year (but I’ve only just found it). It’s quite amazing how many lines intersect in it:

Both Schumacher’s and Hadid’s language propose an architecture that’s “above” trivial moral and political hand-wringing, like worker’s rights. Peggy Dreamer, in a recent CalArts panel, described Schumacher’s style as “über-form,” meaning that it takes on the aesthetic of the universal and inevitable in order to create icons of an imaginary future. And that is what China and the Emirates are buying — the Seoul Design Park, Galaxy SOHO, Guangzhou Opera House, the 2022 Qatar World Cup Stadium. These are icons of future cities, not current ones.

The reason it’s here, now, though is to add some framing for this Patrik Schumacher talk, which I was politely asked (on Twitter) to trigger a Xenosystems conversation about it. While I’m in no position to directly wire-head XS readers, it looks stimulating to me. (There isn’t much capitalistic historical materialism about.)

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November 22, 2015admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Sentences (#31)

Sunic:

In the eyes of the New Right, unlike continental Europeans, Anglo-Saxon peoples fail to perceive the importance of organic community and the primacy of political over economic factors.

— In other words, the New Right is fundamentally alien (and hostile) to our thede.

November 21, 2015admin 43 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Quote note (#202)

This kind of thinking is still considered controversial among true believers:

People often cite the war guilt of Germans as driving their hostility to xenophobia, but it is far deeper than that. Europe’s establishment is overwhelmingly universalist, in that it believes that not only are all humans equal in dignity and rights but that we as people have no moral right to discriminate between in-groups and out-groups. This is a secular heresy of Christianity, and it is why diversity has become a sort of religion in countries populated by Europeans, especially for those who have lost their actual faith; outside of European-populated lands such an idea remains mostly alien, and totally impractical, especially in the countries from which Germany now attracts many of its migrants.

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November 20, 2015admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Vauung

There’s a horror story I’m writing (slowly), developing from the central conceit that the ‘monster’ (Vauung) is the war. It feeds upon escalation, zig-zagging between antagonists, to extinguish any inclinations towards peace. It’s part Apocalypse Now, part Blood Meridian (“War is God”), part other stuff … It’s not going to be finished for a while.

Scott Alexander has finished something truly excellent, which isn’t fiction (exactly), but clearly tunes into Vauung-signal:

Toxoplasma is a neat little parasite that is implicated in a couple of human diseases including schizophrenia. Its life cycle goes like this: it starts in a cat. The cat poops it out. The poop and the toxoplasma get in the water supply, where they are consumed by some other animal, often a rat. The toxoplasma morphs into a rat-compatible form and starts reproducing. Once it has strength in numbers, it hijacks the rat’s brain, convincing the rat to hang out conspicuously in areas where cats can eat it. After a cat eats the rat, the toxoplasma morphs back into its cat compatible form and reproduces some more. Finally, it gets pooped back out by the cat, completing the cycle.

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November 19, 2015admin 34 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Horror
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Who needs an argument?

The kind of things 19th century English geniuses believed will set your teeth chattering:

Galton feared that the English race was degenerating, declining in both mental and physical ability. (It remains a common fear; the French thought they were degenerating, too.) Like others of his day, Galton used the term ‘race’ loosely. He referred alternately to the English race, the white race, the human race. But overall, English eugenics was less about race than class. To Galton’s mind, the filthy working poor were breeding like rabbits while the gentry were chastely dwindling. He became convinced that unless something were done, the flower of English manhood – not excluding specimens such as his cousin and, ahem, himself – would soon vanish, swamped by a massive tide of Oliver Twists and Tiny Tims.

Thank goodness that preposterous conviction has been rigorously debunked.

November 18, 2015admin 21 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Fertility
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Quote note (#201)

Apologies for the Quote note spam, but this is just too exquisite to pass over. It’s Žižek melting-down spectacularly under pressure. Quasi-random sample:

What should people in Haiti and other places with food shortages do? Do they not have the full right to violently rebel?

— Oh sure, you’ve got the solution right there.

This is the true squeal of anguish:

… corporate capitalism has triumphed worldwide. In fact, the Third World nations that embrace this world order are those now growing at a spectacular rate. The mask of cultural diversity is sustained by the actual universalism of global capital; even better if global capitalism’s political supplement relies on so-called “Asian values.” […] Global capitalism has no problem in accommodating itself to a plurality of local religions, cultures and traditions. So the irony of anti-Eurocentrism is that, on behalf of anti-colonialism, one criticizes the West at the very historical moment when global capitalism no longer needs Western cultural values in order to smoothly function. In short, one tends to reject Western cultural values at the very time when, critically reinterpreted, many of those values (egalitarianism, fundamental rights, freedom of the press, the welfare-state, etc.) can serve as a weapon against capitalist globalization. Did we already forget that the entire idea of Communist emancipation as envisaged by Marx is a thoroughly “Eurocentric” one?

“Comrades! — We’re obliterating ourselves.” Indeed, yes.

ADDED: Another piece of delicious high-IQ Leftist meltdown. Everything is there — but the equations just won’t come out right left. “Rather more difficult is to conceptualize a radically different mode of production, and how to represent the sociopolitical transition required to take us there.” Quite.

November 17, 2015admin 25 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Collapse
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Quote note (#200)

Crypto-core of the XS Moldbug:

Internal security can be defined as the protection of the shareholders’ property against all internal threats — including both residents and employees, up to and certainly including the chief executive. If the shareholders cannot dismiss the CEO of the realm by voting according to proper corporate procedures, a total security failure has occurred.

The standard Patchwork remedy for this problem is the cryptographic chain of command. Ultimately, power over the realm truly rests with the shareholders, because they use a secret sharing or similar cryptographic algorithm to maintain control over its root keys. Authority is then delegated to the board (if any), the CEO and other officers, and thence down into the military or other security forces. At the leaves of the tree are computerized weapons, which will not fire without cryptographic authorization.

Thus, any fragment of the security force which remains loyal to the shareholders can use its operational weapons to defeat any coalition of disloyal, and hence disarmed, employees and/or residents. Ouch! Taste the pain, traitors. (Needless to say, the dependence of this design on 21st-century technology is ample explanation of why history has not bequeathed us anything like the joint-stock realm. It was simply not implementable — any more than our ancestors could build a suspension bridge out of limestone blocks.)

(Emphasis in original.)

Crypto-sovereignty is huge (and on the to-do list here). ‘Formalism’ is a place-holder for crypto-architecture. ‘Sovereignty’ means keys.

November 17, 2015admin 27 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Twitter cuts (#35)

November 17, 2015admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Realism
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Quote note (#199)

An excuse to link this, by Niall Ferguson, because the next Chaos Patch is almost a week away:

I am not going to repeat what you have already read or heard. I am not going to say that what happened in Paris on Friday night was unprecedented horror, for it was not. I am not going to say that the world stands with France, for it is a hollow phrase. Nor am I going to applaud Francois Hollande’s pledge of “pitiless” vengeance, for I do not believe it. I am, instead, going to tell you that this is exactly how civilisations fall. […] …

ADDED: Article has maddeningly retreated behind a paywall. (I wouldn’t have linked it — or would have quoted a lot more of it — if I’d predicted that was going to happen.) Apologies. And thanks to Nydwracu — in the comment thread — for doing something practical about that …

November 16, 2015admin 23 Comments »
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The Management of Savagery

Is this strategic guide to Jihad by Abu Bakr Naji the equivalent of Mao Zedong’s On Guerrilla Warfare (link) for our time?

November 16, 2015admin 5 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Strategy
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