Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Scrap note #5

Jim wonders whether AI is still progressing:

AI is a hard problem, and even if we had a healthy society, we might still be stuck. That buildings are not getting taller and that fabs are not getting cheaper and not making smaller and smaller devices is social decay. That we are stuck on AI is more that it is high hanging fruit.

Do we need a theory of consciousness to close the deal? (Alrenous  has a long-standing commitment to this topic — see the comments.)

FWIW, Outside in is strongly emergentist on the question: doing AI and understanding AI might not be tightly — or even positively — related. (Catallaxy and AI are not finally distinguishable.) Of course, that makes the relevance of social decay even more critical.

January 30, 2014admin 17 Comments »
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Scrap note #4

Into the closing days of this Cambodian escape, I’m now in Kep, on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It’s an interesting place (which I’ll say something about in the Cambodia scrap log). Note the link there? There haven’t been any of those for a while. The reason it has now become possible is the Kep Lodge guest computer, which leaves my tablet in the dust. Links, cursor control, copy-and-paste … ecstasy. So I have to try and seize the opportunity …

Starting meta, there are two media-reaction compilation resources which everyone needs to know about (and I’m sure just about everyone already does). Both are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up. Handle’s (here) might by updating sluggishly for a few weeks, because the Hausmeister is taking a well-earned break. It might fall upon Amos & Gromar (here) to track developments, which are getting steadily more encouraging.

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January 28, 2014admin 44 Comments »
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Cambodia (scraps)

The Angkor remains tend to overwhelm the experience of the country — probably as the pharonic remains of ancient Egypt do there. The better half raised some thought-provoking points about the situation. A regime based on god-king sovereignty, caste, and war — hardcore even by the wildest imaginings of contemporary reactionaries, therefore (and with no hint of ‘neo-’ in sight) — created a legacy that continues to support the country six centuries after the collapse of the Khmer kingdom. How does this affect calculations of social order, economics, and time? It certainly inclines the mind toward illiberal musings.


Cambodian money is a study in the contemporary world order. In Siem Reap, especially, the economy is fully dollarized. The local currency, the Riel, is worth USD0.00025, and we never came across a note worth more than 25 cents until leaving SR. Riels were used as change (compensating for the absence of US specie). Seignorage bitchez. Everyone says it doesn’t amount to much in aggregate, but the symbolism is certainly something.

In Kampot, we threw a chunk of the local economy into chaos trying to break a 10 dollar bill. The first group of street traders we approached had no idea whar it was (might as well have been some kind of arcane futures contract). It was only when we got into the center of town that ‘money’ and ‘small change’ became differentiable concepts?

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January 26, 2014admin 4 Comments »
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Scrap note #3

Uploading images of (what are for us) psychotic despotic-militaristic glories — upon which Cambodia still floats after six centuries of cultural senescence — is impossible here due to bandwidth issues. So I’m falling back upon relative trivialities, of the kind Handle has so masterfully compiled in his Reaction Ruckus resource (which I can’t link to now, either).

It strikes me that the basic accusation against Neoreactionary thought, found in the increasingly mainstream channels Handle tracks, is that of moral nihilism. This is a non-trivial issue, or at least, it is not one that will soon cease to make noise. As a symptom, it opens onto seriously involving questions.

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January 24, 2014admin 26 Comments »
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Scrap note #2

Nydwracu (twittering) describes the MSM’s recursive regurgitations of the previous week’s neoreaction creep-out as “the human centipede” — sheer genius.

ADDED: The Centipede.

January 22, 2014admin 18 Comments »
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Scrap note #1

The Dark Enlightenment needs to keep its message to the mainsream ‘right’  as simple as possible, because it is dealing with people who have let chronic dishonesty lay waste to their powers of organized cognition. The point I would most like to see addressed is this: “Over two centuries of historical experience strongly suggest that you only exist to facilitate the triumph of the Left, have you any response to that? (And if not, do you seriously expect to dominate the right pole of the political spectrum indefinitely, i.e. to prevent anything from deterioration leftwards ever happening?)

I’m not holding my breath.

January 22, 2014admin 48 Comments »
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Angkor (scraps)

Siem Reap (Cambodia) is a scruffily exotic town that never threatens to over-stretch the adjective bank. For anyone who has been out of the tropics for a while, it’s charming enough, and the locals are pleasant, dignified folk. Our hotel, with its hints of French colonial heritage and lush foliage is more than OK (as long as you don’t make the mistake of testing their catering capabilities). Siem Reap, however, is just a jump-off point.

The Angkor sites, in contrast, incinerate all available positive adjectives within seconds, threatening speechlessness. It’s absolutely necessary to assume a front-rank wonders-of-the-world baseline in what follows, with awe-struck mind-melt accepted as the default perceptual mode (in the absence of, and in addition to, any explicit qualification). There might be more stunning spectacles to be found on this earth, but that would require a serious argument.

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January 21, 2014admin 7 Comments »
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Due to a mixture of out-in-the-stickitude, device deficiency, and technical incompetence I can’t even link to the Demos attack on ‘the dark enlightenment’ hosted by The Daily Telegraph (at the right edge of the UK MSM). I’ll be grateful for a link to this piece in the comments here (complacently confident there’ll be one).

Some not-quite-random remarks:

1. The article is dismally poor, even by the standards of these things. Neoreaction is something cooked up by Moldy and me, apparently, starting from “two blogs”. It’s also ‘neofascism’.

2. The comment thread isn’t remotely cooperating.

3. Demos has an interesting history.

4. As this nonsense gets bigger, it’s descending into sheer self-parody. Cathedral culture is a kind of chaos, which makes the strategic issues far more intriguing than the quality of this material might suggest.

January 20, 2014admin 85 Comments »
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War and Truth (scraps)

“War is computation with tanks. War is truth revealing. As war proceeds uncertainty collapses.”
— Konkvistador (on Twitter)

“You might not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”
— Lenin

“War is deception.”
— Sunzi

Neoreactionaries are often talking about ‘oikos’ tacitly, even when they think they are concerned with something closer to the opposite. For there to be an ‘economy’ much has already to have been settled. (Unlike his liberarian precursors, Moldbug never assumes peace, but he betrays his inheritance by conceiving it as an original task — a foundation.) “Begin from the inside” — that’s the idea. The Outside is war.

War is the truth of lies, the rule of rulelessness, anarchy and chaos as they are in reality (which is nothing at all like a simple negation of order). It is the ultimate tribunal, beyond which any appeal is a senseless prayer to the void. A ‘realism’ that resists such conclusions makes a mockery of the name.

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January 19, 2014admin 39 Comments »
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Vietnam (scraps)

My Vietnam is like my China: accessed from the South, from the mega-urban, commercial culture, and from pre-communist traditions. It’s very much the view from Saigon (and that isn’t something I regret). Saigon would be a great place to live (in small part because the idea of calling it Ho Chi Minh City is a transparent joke).

Doi Moi looks like it should work a lot like Gaige Kaifeng (as a local version of generic ‘Reform and Opening’ in a ‘Market Leninist’ regime) — but it doesn’t seem to be quite working out. If rationalized corruptocracy is close to ideal limit of effective government among large states, Vietnam seems to have managed the corruptocracy far better than the rationalization. Infrastructure development — the magic sauce of recent Chinese hyper-growth — has not reached ignition. The country is too small to fund its own ambitions, and too chaotically kleptocratic to bring in foreign investment on the scale required. Despite many excellent things going for it, the country is floundering with a morose economic spirit that is almost Western.

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January 17, 2014admin 30 Comments »
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