Archive for August, 2016

Twitter cuts (#79)

Embedded citation: “I don’t have any interest in turning back the clock because I don’t believe it can be done. You can only observe and describe.” — Houellebecq

Anything not dealing with ratchets is wishing modernity away, rather than engaging it.

August 21, 2016admin 31 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Practicalities
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Quote note (#276)

Fernandez on the escalation of irreversibility:

In Orwell’s view the mutability of the past was the foundation of tyranny. “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” To ensure this the Ministry of Truth was honeycombed with Memory Holes into which any inconvenient fact could be dropped and be disappeared. […] But just to illustrate how things have changed for the State we now know that Orwell was wrong. The mathematically dominant method for recording transactions, whether they involve the transfer of financial assets, intellectual property, health records or any type of information is probably going to be the blockchain. It has three important properties. First the entire record can be reproduced by anyone from a Genesis cryptographic starting such that all records will have the same signature if and only if they are the same. Second, no part of the record can be altered without regenerating the entire block chain from the beginning. Third, it is impossible to rewrite the block chain without incurring enormous real costs in electricity and computing power, as guaranteed by the laws of thermodynamics. […] The first property means that blockchain by nature it is a public ledger. The second ensures the database can only be falsified in its entirety. The third makes it prohibitively expensive to do so. …

There are still countless fools advising Cnut the Great to defy the waves, but time is not on their side.

August 20, 2016admin 28 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Broken

‘Absolutist neoreaction’ seems to think its techno-commercialist enemies (and I think it’s fair to say, XS in particular) will have some kind of fundamental problem with this:

The history of ideas is the history of the resources behind them (which has some overlap with the base superstructure of Marxism) but that this is augmented and overridden by the action of Power, and power centres in both unified, and un-unified political structures.

If there is some determined attempt to separate Power™ from techno-economic capability, then incomprehension is probable. (But no one could possibly be suggesting anything that preposterous, surely?)

To ignore the historical association of power disintegration with the emergence of self-propelling techonomic competences also looks like a serious blindness. Capitalism hatched in Europe because Europe was broken. Keeping the world broken seems similarly indissociable from the survival of capitalistic historical momentum, and breaking it more profoundly is the route to capital intensification. Perhaps that’s the argument we’re having (not that such arguments matter much).

The Idea that unified power is the reliable principle of social competence is ethno-historically French. That is where it has worked its magic since the epoch of the Sun King. Under sufficiently dismal circumstances, the RF analysis might catch on there.

August 19, 2016admin 39 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Qwernomics

Qwernomics
(Image source: Amy Ireland.)

Paul A. David provides the theoretical backstory, in his essay ‘Clio and the Economics of QWERTY’:

A path-dependent sequence of economic changes is one of which important influences upon the eventual outcome can be exerted by temporally remote events, including happenings dominated by chance elements rather than systematic forces. Stochastic processes like that do not converge automatically to a fixed-point distribution of outcomes, and are called non-ergodic. In such circumstances ‘historical accidents’ can neither be ignored, nor neatly quarantined for the purpose of economic analysis; the dynamic process itself takes on an essentially historical character. […] Touch typing gave rise to three features of the evolving production system which were crucially important in causing QWERTY to become ‘locked in’ as the dominant keyboard arrangement. These features were technical interrelatedness, economies of scale, and quasi-irreversibility of investment. They constitute the basic ingredients of what might be called QWERTYnomics.

The format of the Qwerty keyboard illustrates the production of a destiny. Even in the epoch succeeding the mechanical type-writer, and its specific design imperatives, the legacy layout of alphanumeric keys settled during the 1890s has remained frozen into place without significant revision. In the language of complex systems analysis, this is a special example of path-dependency, or irreducible historicity, characterized by irreversibility. Qwerty persists – arguably, as a suboptimal keyboard solution – due to identifiable ratchet-effects. Based upon this privileged model, the historical, technological, and economic process of ‘lock in’ through positive feedback is called QWERTY-nomics (and — going forward — simply ‘Qwernomics’).

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August 18, 2016admin 36 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Quote note (#275)

From James C. Bennett’s indispensable book The Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the Twenty-First Century (2004), on the genealogy of the Neocameral State (though he doesn’t call it that):

The lowering of transaction costs for international financial activities in the 1960s started to allow major corporations and banks to take advantage of the lower tax and regulatory burdens of tax havens such as the Netherlands Antilles. Corporations became sophisticated consumers of “sovereign services,” in this case, venue of incorporation. In doing so, they built on a trend started by 1920s shipowners, who had increasingly sought Panamanian and Liberian registry for their ships.

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August 17, 2016admin 66 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Quote note (#274)

‘Evolution is Not Relevant to Sex Differences in Humans Because I Want it That Way! Evidence for the Politicization of Human Evolutionary Psychology’, Abstract:

This research explored political motivations underlying resistance to evolutionary psychology. Data were collected from 268 adults who varied in terms of academic employment and parental status. Dependent variables represented whether participants believed that several attributes are primarily the result of biological evolution versus socialization. Variables addressed attitudes about: (a) sex differences in adults, (b) sex differences in children, (c) sex differences in chickens, (d) human universals, and (e) differences between dogs and cats. Using a Likert-scale, participants were asked to rate the degree to which they believed items were due to “nature” versus “nurture.” For instance, one of the items from the cat/dog subscale was “Dogs are more pack-oriented than cats.” Independent variables included political orientation, parental status, and academic employment status. Political liberalism corresponded to endorsing “nurture” as influential – but primarily for the two human sex-difference variables. Academic employment status was independently predictive of the belief that sex differences are the result of “nurture.” This effect was exacerbated for academics who came from sociology or women’s studies backgrounds. The effect of academic employment status also corresponded to seeing behavioral differences between roosters and hens as caused by “nurture.” Further, parents were more likely than non-parents to endorse “nature” for the sex-difference variables. Beliefs about differences between cats and dogs and beliefs about causes of human universals (that are not tied to sex differences) were not related to these independent variables, suggesting that the political resistance to evolutionary psychology is specifically targeted at work on sex differences.

(XS emphasis, in submission to the Dark Rites of Kek.)

August 16, 2016admin 18 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Lunatics
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Twitter cuts (#78)

You have 60 seconds to ideologically decrypt this meme.

August 15, 2016admin 17 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Chaos
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Quote note (#273)

Left behind:

Western democracies are, by design, sensitive to popular opinion. Elected politicians will be less likely to fund controversial projects, and more likely to restrict them. By contrast, countries like China that lack direct democratic systems are thereby less sensitive to opinion, and officials can play an outsize role in shaping public opinion to align with government priorities. This would include residual opposition to human enhancement, even if it were present. International norms are arguably emerging against genetic enhancement, but in other arenas China has proven willing to reject international norms in order to promote its own interests. […] Indeed, if we set ethical and safety objections aside, genetic enhancement has the potential to bring about significant national advantages. Even marginal increases in intelligence via gene editing could have significant effects on a nation’s economic growth. Certain genes could give some athletes an edge in intense international competitions. Other genes may have an effect on violent tendencies, suggesting genetic engineering could reduce crime rates. […] Many of these potential benefits of enhancement are speculative, but as research advances they may move into the realm of reality. If further studies bear out the reliability of gene editing in improving such traits, China is well-poised to become a leader in the area of human enhancement.

(Relevant.)

August 15, 2016admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Quote note (#272)

Frederick Jackson Turner, from his essay The Significance of the Frontier in American History (1893):

From the conditions of frontier life came intellectual traits of profound importance. The works of travelers along each frontier from colonial days onward describe certain common traits, and these traits have, while softening down, still persisted as survivals in the place of their origin, even when a higher social organization succeeded. The result is that, to the frontier, the American intellect owes its striking characteristics. That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness, that practical, inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients, that masterful grasp of material things, lacking in the artistic but powerful to effect great ends, that restless, nervous energy, that dominant individualism, working for good and for evil, and withal that buoyancy and exuberance which comes with freedom — these are traits of the frontier, or traits called out elsewhere because of the existence of the frontier. […] Since the days when the fleet of Columbus sailed into the waters of the New World, America has been another name for opportunity, and the people of the United States have taken their tone from the incessant expansion which has not only been open but has even been forced upon them. He would be a rash prophet who should assert that the expansive character of American life has now entirely ceased. Movement has been its dominant fact, and, unless this training has no effect upon a people, the American energy will continually demand a wider field for its exercise. But never again will such gifts of free land offer themselves. […] For a moment, at the frontier, the bonds of custom are broken and unrestraint is triumphant. There is not tabula rasa. The stubborn American environment is there with its imperious summons to accept its conditions; the inherited ways of doing things are also there; and yet, in spite of environment, and in spite of custom, each frontier did indeed furnish a new field of opportunity, a gate of escape from the bondage of the past; and freshness, and confidence, and scorn of older society, impatience of its restraints and its ideas, and indifference to its lessons, have accompanied the frontier.

Recollected with reference to the prospects of seasteading and space colonization, and their continuity with a distinctive Anglophone cultural impetus to resolve political tension through dissociation in space (with Exit as its key).

August 14, 2016admin 52 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Moron bites (#14)

Single most deluded passage in a consistently dismal effort:

Elsewhere on the Internet, a woman calling herself “hbd chick” runs a wide-ranging personal blog on HBD; she seems particularly consumed by the inbreeding habits of Ashkenazi Jews and the genetic makeup of Europeans.

Alternatively (recommended) you could actually read one of the most brilliant blogs on the Internet. The groundless paranoia of this slur would then quickly be evident.

August 13, 2016admin 86 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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