Archive for January, 2016

Twitter cuts (#43)

(Time-travelers from the future might need to know that it’s responding to this.)

A singularity is crossed there, whether or not it’s widely noticed.

ADDED: Some Bitcoin thoughts from Jim.

January 15, 2016admin 22 Comments »

Quote note (#211)

At Nathan Cook‘s new blog:

Bitcoin is not a Marxist reification. Bitcoin reifies in the rare sense of ‘ex nihilo, actually create a physical object’. Bitcoin reifies property. Property before bitcoin is an abstraction, a social relation treated provisionally as an object, but never attaining that status (Property is Impossible). Bitcoin quite literally makes property into something physical. Anything that can store a private key and keep it secret, and can use it to create and emit transactions, can own Bitcoin. The relation ‘X owns Bitcoin’ is spatially local and temporally persistent; in other words, it more closely resembles relations like ‘X is made of wood’ or ‘X weighs 20 kilograms’ than it does relations like ‘X is a dollar billionaire’. Property is possible — when property is Bitcoin.

Prior to functional, distributed crypto, ‘property’ was nothing but confused political pleading. Now it’s something else.

ADDED: Still a rocky road ahead. “What was meant to be a new, decentralised form of money that lacked ‘systemically important institutions’ and ‘too big to fail’ has become something even worse: a system completely controlled by just a handful of people. Worse still, the network is on the brink of technical collapse.”

January 14, 2016admin 21 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

The Sex Trap

More malignant cybernetics, this time outlined by Janet L Factor in a brilliant essay at Quillette. The basic grinder:

Because the human population sex ratio is normally 50/50, when one man takes on an extra wife, another man is deprived of the opportunity to have one at all. So if just one man in ten takes a single extra wife, a very modest degree of polygyny, that means fully 10% of men are shut out of the marriage market entirely. This sets off a mad scramble among young men not to end up in that unfortunate bottom 10%. There, the options for obtaining sex (at least with a woman) are reduced to two: subterfuge or rape.

Now, think about the reproductive numbers. Say a woman can be expected to successfully raise ten children in her lifetime. But a man can have that 10 times the number of wives (or concubines) he obtains. What does this mean for parental investment? Parents can hope for only a small number of grandchildren from daughters, but a large number from sons. Selection will favor parents who favor sons by granting them the means necessary to obtain wives. Daughters will suffer neglect; some desperate man will likely take them anyway.

In fact, the reality is even worse than this, because the relatively low biological value of daughters encourages female infanticide. So the number of women available for marriage actually becomes less than that of men even in theoretical terms, yet the number of children each of them can have does not increase. It’s a vicious circle that escalates sexual conflict — a trap.

Gnon’s sense of humor is not always easy to appreciate.

(Previous harsh trap-circuits at XS here, and here.)

January 13, 2016admin 55 Comments »
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Progress (IV)


Facile progressivism is over.

January 12, 2016admin 36 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

The Basics

The fundamental insight of the West is tragedy. It cannot be cognitively mastered, assimilated, or overcome. At the end it will be as unsurpassed as it was at the beginning. The essential insight is already fully achieved within the fragment of Anaximander, at the origin of Occidental philosophy.

There are English translations of the fragment here, and here. A definitive version still awaits us. This is the Wikipedia rendering:

Whence things have their origin,
Thence also their destruction happens,
According to necessity;
For they give to each other justice and recompense
For their injustice
In conformity with the ordinance of Time.

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January 12, 2016admin 52 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Philosophy

Sentences (#36)


The single worst impediment to better forecasting is a culture in which respectable people aren’t supposed to notice the obvious precisely because it’s obvious. Dr. Merkel, for example, isn’t stupid or notably less competent than her peers; she’s just part of a zeitgeist in which there are certain things you aren’t supposed to say because they are so clearly true. But if you aren’t allowed to talk and write in public about the truth of stereotypes, it’s hard to always remember them when making decisions in private. (XS emphasis.)

When fretting about the radical entrenchment of the present social order, it’s worth recalling the degree to which it has cognitively incapacitated itself. Chronic lying is hard. Eventually, it results in mistakes.

January 11, 2016admin 23 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Chaos Patch (#96)

(Open thread + links)

On facts and truth. Herds (viz). The schizoid empire. A Russian refuge. Soft power (plus outrage). The r/K social super-cycle (succinct version). Defection problems. Lessons of osmosis. An Amerika link-squirt (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). The weekly round.

A few 2015-16 reflections (1, 2) and predictions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Aping ideology (viz). PC and the Turing test. Back-to-back political spectrum warpage. Constitutional code. Philosophers of the 21st century. Property puzzles. The JQ gets weird.

British exodus. The House of Saud is built on sand (1, 2, 3). The Chinese debt monster. End of the deflationary epoch? Scared liberals.

Trumpenführer panic report (‘It’s happening!’ ‘Noooo!’). Mixed messages on Trump and the GOP establishment. Scream samples (1, 2, 3, 4). Listen to your laughter.

2016 starts with a gang bang (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Cover-up and denial (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Who could have guessed? Cologne, biorealism, and religion. Video nasties (1, 2). Global rape culture. Reflections on Submission (1, 2). Gasoline on the fire.

” … the further modernity moves away from C7th Arabia (in every dimension, social and technological) the greater the tension with Islam-derived moral sensibilities and framings. Hence modernity creates a deep problem for Islam in a way that has no equivalent for any other civilisation. Hence the temper tantrum with serious homicidal edge that Islam is having with modernity.”

Catfishing and media cluelessness. Into the dream world. Medieval black magic. Please, stop screaming.

What twitter wants (but also, plus). Bones of the cloud. Ex Machina, the program. Matrix mutterings.

An image of everything. The edge of extinction. Into the anthropocene. Hybrid solutions.

January 10, 2016admin 69 Comments »
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Quote note (#210)

Noah Smith wants everyone to know that his head has exploded:

The right’s way of talking – and thinking – about race is just totally poisonous. The conservative movement has been recruiting working-class whites and Southern whites for decades by using anti-black dog-whistles, and by promoting the idea that government spending equals white-to-black racial redistribution. More recently, the Trump campaign has ridden – and possibly spurred – a wave of anti-immigrant xenophobia. In the online social science discussion, racial theorists like Steve Sailer have gained an inordinately huge amount of currency among right-leaning intellectuals. Then there are the Twitter Nazis and the Reddit Nazis (and let us speak no more of them). So it is basically now impossible to talk to people on the right about race in a rational way.

So people on the left are the only ones I can talk to. …


January 9, 2016admin 34 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#42)

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January 8, 2016admin 5 Comments »

Sentences (#35)

Genuinely thinking Donald will save us all will get you kicked from the HRx and NRx Sith Lord club houses, yet tacit support for his whirlwind of chaos should be very much expected by us at this late hour.

That would be true, even without the private portfolios of popcorn stock. (Note.)

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January 7, 2016admin 52 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn
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