Archive for May, 2016

Quote note (#248)

At the risk of falling into a temporary ‘all-gone, all the time’ rut here, there’s this:

… Ishmael Bey, a former assistant Nation [of Islam] minister, told me that years ago he’d heard from a top official that headquarters was flirting with “a white church in L.A.” Initially, Farrakhan never mentioned Scientology in public. Instead, he cryptically alluded to the “study” of “a technology” that would help his people. His caution made sense: after all, the Nation was explicitly conceived as a black separatist organization and a repudiation of Christianity, which Nation leader and prophet Elijah Muhammad derided as “the slave master’s religion.” Farrakhan himself has called white people “a race of devils” and the Nation teaches that the apocalypse will involve a UFO, or “mother plane,” that will eradicate all Caucasians. […] However, there are some striking theological overlaps that might help explain how Farrakhan came to adopt a religion invented by a white man. There is, of course, the attachment to science fiction: Scientologists believe in an alien dictator, Xenu; the Nation holds that the white race was created by a mad scientist named Yakub. More significantly, though, at the core of both religions is a never-ending pursuit of a better self. In the case of Scientology, that best self is “clear” of residual traumas buried in the subconscious. In the Nation, that self is free of the hang-ups of white culture that black people have internalized to their detriment. Scientology, Farrakhan seems to believe, provides a new path toward black empowerment. “I’ve found something in the teaching of Dianetics, of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, that I saw could bring up from the depth of our subconscious mind things that we would prefer to lie dormant,” he said to his Chicago congregation in early summer. “How could I see something that valuable and know the hurt and sickness of my people and not offer it to them?” …


May 12, 2016admin 5 Comments »
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Transistors of the Gods

(A labyrinth of mad-circuitry for the rabbit-hole deprived.)

If you only slightly suspect that the origin of Silicon Valley is plugged into an occult matrix buzzing with UFOs and ceremonial magic, then this — still unfinished — series won’t be less than suggestive (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).


From the conclusion of Jack Parsons’ (linked) scripture:

The choice is me or Choronzon.
I await you in the City of the Pyramids.


May 11, 2016admin 12 Comments »

Quote note (#247)

John McAfee (“running for president on a cybersecurity platform”) has a way with words:

“The number one problem in the world today,” he said, “is America’s decline in its cybersecurity.” According to McAfee, we’re in a cyber war with the Russians, Chinese, and Iranians, and our technology is twenty years behind. […] “I think this is the greatest danger that America has ever faced,” he said gravely. “In a cyber war, the first thing we’re going to lose is our power. A month and a half ago, two fifteen-year-old boys hacked into the Ukrainian power grid. Do you think the Russians and Chinese cannot do the same thing with us? And without power, what happens? We have no power, we have no food.” McAfee’s voice rose in the middle of sentences, brimming with energy. “Half of us would survive a nuclear threat,” he said forcefully. “But no one would survive a cyber attack. No one. And if we do, we’re going to be in tatters on the street eating rats.” […] … “We are on the brink of devastation,” he warned me many times during our two days together. “It doesn’t even have to be me, but our country is lost if we do not have a cybersecurity expert as president.”

May 11, 2016admin 39 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Apocalypse
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Sentences (#52)

Fernandez digs a finger into the wound:

Obama’s biggest mistake was to imagine you could have a globalized world without someone to run it. One or the other, but not both.

May 10, 2016admin 11 Comments »

Quote note (#246)

Mild cynicism from Cowen (on the Zuckerborg):

The cynical underlying reality is that Facebook does not wish to appear heartless, but does not (yet) have the more subtle manipulative institutions that newspapers and TV stations have developed over decades or even centuries. They clumsily act in a politically correct manner, without proper institutional camouflage, and now they are being called on it. They will refine their bias, and make it subtler and harder to criticize, thereby becoming more like most other media outlets.

May 10, 2016admin 6 Comments »

War is God

Via Landry, an introduction to the “new generation of unrestricted warfare”.

Colonels Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui argued that war was no longer about “using armed forces to compel the enemy to submit to one’s will” in the classic Clausewitzian sense. Rather, they asserted that war had evolved to “using all means, including armed force or non-armed force, military and non-military, and lethal and non-lethal means to compel the enemy to accept one’s interests.” The barrier between soldiers and civilians would fundamentally be erased, because the battle would be everywhere. The number of new battlefields would be “virtually infinite,” and could include environmental warfare, financial warfare, trade warfare, cultural warfare, and legal warfare, to name just a few. They wrote of assassinating financial speculators to safeguard a nation’s financial security, setting up slush funds to influence opponents’ legislatures and governments, and buying controlling shares of stocks to convert an adversary’s major television and newspapers outlets into tools of media warfare. According to the editor’s note, Qiao argued in a subsequent interview that “the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.” That vision clearly transcends any traditional notions of war.

How ‘traditional’ are we talking? “War is the Father of all things, and of all things King” (πόλεμος πάντων μὲν πατήρ ἐστι, πάντων δὲ βασιλεύς) Heraclitus asserts at the dawn of philosophy. There seems little indication of ‘restriction’ there.

Whatever the positive semantic associations accumulated by the word ‘war’, its most rigorous meaning is negative. War is conflict without significant constraint. As a game, it corresponds to the condition of unbounded defection, or trustlessness without limit. This is the Hobbesian understanding implicit in the phrase “war of all against all” (bellum omnium contra omnes), in which “the state of nature” is conceived – again negatively – through a notional subtraction of limitation. Treachery, in its game-theoretic sense, is not a minor theme within war, but a horizon to which war tends – the annihilation of all agreement. Reciprocally-excited mutual betrayal in departure from an implicit ‘common humanity’ is its teleological essence. This is a conclusion explicitly rejected by Carl von Clausewitz is his treatise On War, even as he acknowledges the cybernetic inclination to amplification (or “tendency to a limit”) which drives it in the direction of an absolute. “War is the continuation of politics by other means,” he insists, because it is framed by negotiation (book-ended by a declaration of war, and a peace treaty). According to this conception, it is an interlude of disagreement, which nevertheless remains irreducibly communicative, and fundamentally structured by the decisions of sovereign political agencies. Even as it approaches its pole of ultimate extremity, it never escapes its teleological dependency, as a means (or instrument) of rational statecraft.

The reduction of war to instrumentality is not immune to criticism. Philosophical radicalization, alone, suffices to release war from its determination as ‘the game of princes’. The Clausewitzean formula is notoriously inverted by Michel Foucault into the maxim “politics is war by other means”. If political sovereignty is ultimately conditioned by the capability to prevail upon the battlefield, the norms of war can have no higher tribunal than military accomplishment. No real authority can transcend survival, or survive a sufficiently radical defeat. There is thus a final incoherence to any convinced appeal to the ‘laws of war’. The realistic conception of ‘limited war’ subsumes that of ‘war lawfully pursued’ (with the latter categorized as an elective limitation). Qiao’s words bear emphatic repetition: “the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.” The power to forbid is — first of all — power, which war (alone) distributes.

Between peace and war there is no true symmetry. Peace presupposes pacification, and that is a military outcome. There is no authority — moral or political — that cannot first assert itself under cosmic conditions that are primordially indifferent to normativity. Whatever cannot defend its existence has its case dumped in the trash.

Cormac McCarthy’s Judge Holden provides us with a contemporary restatement of the ancient wisdom:

Suppose two men at cards with nothing to wager save their lives. Who has not heard such a tale? A turn of the card. The whole universe for such a player has labored clanking to his moment which will tell if he is to die at that man’s hand or that man at his. What more certain validation of a man’s worth could there be? This enhancement of the game to its ultimate state admits no argument concerning the notion of fate. The selection of one man over another is a preference absolute and irrevocable and it is a dull man indeed who could reckon so profound a decision without agency or significance either one. In such games as have for their stake the annihilation of the defeated the decisions are quite clear. This man holding this particular arrangement of cards in his hand is thereby removed from existence. This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one’s will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god.

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May 9, 2016admin 49 Comments »

Chaos Patch (#113)

(Open thread + links)

Formalism (versus priestly power), or lies. Herding cats. On independence. Activist error. “The answer to global ethnocultural diversity is a global diversity of political regimes.” Reality inversion, and American Mayday. A case for popularity. The weekly round, plus outliers.

Marxist marginalization (connected). Individualism by the numbers. Alt-Right ripples (1, 2, 3), and links. Alt-Right Hawley reviews (1, 2). Alt-Right economics. Regime rules for niceness. The sexual marketplace. Political spectra. “[W]e all went berserk.”

Social implosion watch, Venezuela (1, 2, 3) and Arab world (1, 2) versions. Nuclear geography. The world of mercantile realpolitik. Londoners submit (relevant). Young French people today. A world gone Trump.

Trumpenführer panic report (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Never-never Trumpland (1, 2), and commentary, also. Acceptance indicators (1, 2, 3, 4), and beyond (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). “Trump is playing this game at a higher level than most of his critics” (plus). The demographic dimension (plus). FP rumbles. The big picture (1, 2, 3). Running the numbers (1, 2). Top influencers (supposedly). Popcorn bonus (video).

Sanders’ people (1, 2).

News curation. ZH doxed.

The tide of awkward information. Wilfred Reilly and Jared Taylor debate diversity (video). Inter-racial friendships. Tackling the model minority stereotype (poorly). Ask an indiscriminate question …

Epigenetics over-reach. Time to talk? (Plus.) General fitness. Deep learning meets the genome. Biological insecurity. Neuroscience and volition. Super-males obstruct speciation. Unreconstructed nature.

Mundane robot security. Edgy IBM. Bitcoin mining in China. SpaceX is getting good at this (video).

ZH doomcore (1, 2).

Extra triple-popcorn bonus (1, 2, 3).

The most expensive object on Earth. Crusaders against Cthulhu. Hypatia.

May 8, 2016admin 50 Comments »
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Quote note (#245)

Nydwracu on Great Awakenings:

La Wik:

First Great Awakening: 1730-1755
Second Great Awakening: 1790-1840
Third Great Awakening: 1850-1900
Fourth Great Awakening: 1960-1980
From 1730 to 1790 is 60 years. From 1790 to 1850 is 60 years. From 1850 to 1960 is 110 years. 110 / 2 = 55. Close enough. 1960 + 60 = 2020.

As we all know, the Fourth Great Awakening had secular and folk-religious components. We should expect the fifth one to as well. The obvious candidates for the secular component are the already-existing revivals of Communism, Fascism, and flat-earthism, and the obvious candidates for the folk-religious component are Tumblrism, fad diets, and singularitarianism. There are probably more.

What will the religious component look like?

Well, things are getting weird. Really weird. …

As for that missing episode, it would be preposterous to advance this (1904) as the apex of a ‘Great Awakening’ in the sense at stake here, but perhaps not such a stretch to think it was picking up on some strange turbulence in the Aethyrs.

May 7, 2016admin 21 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#63)

Certain reactosphere tendencies could find a valuable corrective in this. (First tweet is throat clearing, second is context without a link.)

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May 6, 2016admin 35 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

Extinction Genetics

Like everything great it appears superficially as a paradox, but there’s now a practical model for it:

The paradox Burt had to solve is how something very bad for mosquitoes could also be spread by them. One answer, he saw, was a selfish gene that is harmless if one copy is present but causes sterility if two copies are. (Like humans, mosquitoes have two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.) Starting with a male mosquito with one copy, the selfish gene will ensure that it ends up in every one of his sperm, rather than just half. That way any offspring with a wild mosquito will also be carriers, as will all their offspring’s offspring. As a result, the gene will rocket through the population. […] Eventually, it becomes likely that any mating pair of mosquitoes will both be carriers — and their offspring, with two copies, will be infertile. Quickly, the population will crash, reeling from the genetic poison.

So the provocation of malaria has resulted in a remarkable piece of abstract anti-biological ordnance being put together. (Abstract, because the principles are applicable to any sexually reproducing species. The concrete details of the mosquito-killing version are fascinating, and outlined in the article.)

Hypothetically, the optimum strategic environment in which to unleash this thing is high-intensity global warfare between bio-conservatives and their enemies. Given the length of the human generational cycle, it would be a slow weapon — but one that compelled its target population to submit to techno-genetic plasticization as the only alternative to extinction. Naturally, all vestiges of decency would have had to be stripped from the conflict for such abominable genius to be imaginable (which is why it’s a Frightday night scenario here at XS, where we’re appalled, of course). In any case, the essential asymmetry of this thing in the direction of extreme neo-eugenics is unmistakable, once noticed.

Technology is neutral goes the orthogonalist refrain. Really, it isn’t.

ADDED: A gene drive introduction (video). (Via.)

May 6, 2016admin 8 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Fertility