Chaos Patch (#1)

A blog closely models a patchwork-embedded neocameral micro-state, which is to say that its governance is dictatorial, controlled by external competition. Internally, it’s God-king stuff: zero-democracy, undivided power without constitutional constraint, absolute discretion tilting into sorcerous extremities. The sole counter-balance comes from outside, sustained by a freedom of exit no less highly realized than the administrative power it evaluates. If people don’t like what’s happening, they leave.

As in the (virtual) neocameral state it models, a blog stages a dramatic collision between administrative authority and radical liberty. Admin and commentators coordinate tacitly to make things work, already conjoined in the production of value.

Commentators speak for themselves. That is their work and investment, which the blog exploits, to develop. Necessarily, therefore, from the side of the sim-neocameral Admin, there are inescapable but obscure responsibilities. Undoubtedly, among the first of these, is the maintenance of order.

Three aspects of order are especially relevant at this point (although there are others).
(1) Troll eradication. This responsibility has been very undemanding at Outside in so far. The prospect of prompt and certain liquidation, coupled with a minimally-efficient comment processing system, deters troll invasion to a truly remarkable extent.
(2) Ensuring civility. This is a far hazier and potentially more challenging task, involving cooperative interaction between multiple parties. There are sure to be micro-ethnographic theories that relate to it, because a blog ecology is a small, artificial culture, and reasonable differences exist as to how these can be propagated, nudged, incentivized, and / or directed. These are questions for another time.
(3) Entropy suppression — finally, our topic. How does a blog climb backwards along the incline into chaos, perpetually restoring the order of things in their place, or on-topic commentary? How to maintain a micro-culture that, in its balance of creative liberty and efficient order, is more Singaporean than Somalian?

The emergent policy of Outside in is to be troll-free and civil, but beyond this it aims to be minimally suppressive. It does, however, aspire to the perpetuation and development of order. Its model comment thread is coherent, even in its diversity and controversy, which is to say that on-topic commentary is its ideal. Departures from this are registered as error, and in fact as classical entropy, or disordered distribution. The solution presently entertained is zoned liberty.

Flagrantly off-topic commentary will be increasingly discouraged, but regular ‘chaos patches’ (or open threads) will ensure that any civil remark has a place. If your comment would be obviously out of place on any given thread — and thus effectively entropic (I’m looking at you Fotrkd and Northanger) — it would be to our mutual advantage if it were directed towards the most recent Chaos Patch. In exchange for cooperation in this respect, Outside in neocameral Admin proposes the following deal:

Use Chaos Patches (CPs) neatly, like a good pseudo-Singaporean, and Admin commits to:
(a) Read all CP contents (and avoid all temptation to treat them as black-hole entropy-bins).
(b) Introduce new CPs on request (request to be made in latest CP).
(c) Thematically direct each CP according to the content unfolding within it, by providing — at least minimally — an ADDED directory function, plus discussion where possible.
(d) Modify the CP concept in response to feedback, with open-ended flexibility, given only the understanding that entropy regulation is an indispensable Admin responsibility.

Let’s see how it goes …

ADDED: CP#1 Topic Summary:
— Thoughts on blog commentary
— What (the hell) does Continental Philosophy contribute to Dark Enlightenment?
— Web search systems, social media, and soft Cathedralism
— Handle’s ‘Darkest Enlightenment’ (as glimpsed here)
— ‘How about you and him fight?’
— Phallic leftism
— Sodomite abomination
— Did Turing screw up computer science?
— Streaming reaction

Discussion diffuses, so the order listed here is only an inexact approximation.

‘Meta’ (or ‘admin’) questions predominate at this stage — how is commentary most effectively handled? Since no one has yet staked a claim to the lead CP#2 topic, I’ll begin from there. Current assumption: once the number of comments exceeds 100, it’s time to make more space. Does this seem reasonable?

May 19, 2013admin 116 Comments »
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116 Responses to this entry

  • fotrkd Says:

    Yokai

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes, you have an official green-light to let them off the leash here.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 3:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • James Goulding Says:

    Discrimination towards anti-social commenters is, in my opinion, an unsolved problem of the blogosphere. Ideally, wholesome commenters could register their wordpress account with a given blog, subject to approval of the owner and continuous review, and then comment at their liberty. The blog owner would receive a list of registered commenters on his dashboard, and a record of other blogs in which they participate.

    Another desideratum is a 3-strikes moderation system, with strikes lasting say a week, which allows irregular, disruptive comments to be punished by a slap on the wrist.

    This would partially bridge the gap between blogs and fora. Why should the two be so distinct?

    Also, I’ve noticed an unmet demand for people to “follow” certain commenters (e.g. Handle at Foseti’s place). Subject to their consent, the same intermediate blog-forum system could permit nomadic commenters to develop an archive, and perhaps to delete and modify their comments. Bits of pieces of such a system may exist (e.g. Gravatar), but it could be far better structured.

    I am surprised that such obvious and feasible improvements don’t already exist. Perhaps, given the fate of Google Reader and the way techies speak of RSS as a relic, I am misled by my personal interest in the blogosphere, when social media and apps are more profitable areas of development.

    [Reply]

    Vladimir Reply:

    Anti-social commenters aren’t such a big problem. They can be dealt with easily with some heavy-handed moderation. A much bigger problem is that as a blog grows in popularity, there will be an influx of commenters who are polite, on-topic, and moreover respectful and approving towards the blog owner and his ideas — but whose intellectual level is nevertheless so low that it drags down the discourse and dilutes the formerly excellent comment section with an ever larger portion of unintelligent and uninteresting comments.

    I’ve seen this process happen with several great blogs already. At first the blog has only a few commenters, nearly all of whom are smart and interesting, so that it’s usually worthwhile to read through the comment section without skipping anything. Then you start seeing more and more commenters and an ever higher volume of comments, but the absolute number of good comments stays roughly the same, since very few of the newcomers are equally smart and interesting as the old guard. After that, reading the comment section becomes a tedious exercise in skipping blocks of junk to reach the occasional good stuff, and at the same time it becomes increasingly harder to have a coherent discussion with the good commenters, due to the whole bloat and fragmentation, as well as the constant intrusion of people who have nothing interesting to contribute. Eventually the original commenters stop bothering and the comment section degenerates to the point where it’s a waste of time to look at it.

    To prevent this situation, it would require a kind of moderation that seems to run against the normal human standards of decency — especially since, to be effective, it would have to start with the very first commenters who drag down the discourse from its initial heights, and these commenters will still look pretty good by any general internet standards. It would require telling people, “Yes, you are respectful and kind and you argue in good faith, and moreover you’re not saying anything clearly wrong, stupid, or improper — but I’ll nevertheless ban you because you’re just too unintelligent and ignorant to participate in the discourse here.”

    The Lawrence Auster approach of mail-in comments is one possible solution, which avoids the unpleasantness by treating all comments as private correspondence at first, and publishing selected ones only as an exceptional recognition. However, I don’t like this solution at all, because it involves too much hassle and complicates privacy concerns. (I like to maintain a razor-sharp distinction between what I write for publication and as private correspondence to some specific person. The very idea of writing something that can’t be clearly placed into one of these categories is psychologically unsettling to me, and I suspect to many other people as well.)

    Overall, I don’t know if a good solution exists at all. Maybe all successful blogs are incurably doomed to go through this cycle of gradual comment section death.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    If the Cathedral exists then part of our stupidity is due to conditioning. If the neo-reaction truly wishes to liberate then a process of de-stupidification is essential. Without bearing witness to such a process how can we know how deeply the Cathedral has penetrated any of us?

    “Swinburne, then classes himself among those who believe ‘that the poet, properly to develop his poetic faculty, must be an intellectual hermaphrodite, to whom the very facts of the day and night are lost in a whirl of aesthetic terminology,” as he himself affirmed, “great poets are bisexual; male and female at once” (Dellamora 69). One can even infer that this stance on intellectual androgyny transfers to an ideology that revolves around the idea of the “perfect spiritual hermaphrodite,” as Swinburne “imagined a primordial sexlessness in man” (Landow)

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    Erich brought up “Manifesto of accelerationist politics” here–
    >www.xenosystems.net/hammer-of-the-witches/#comment-3851

    also available here…
    #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics
    http://criticallegalthinking.com/2013/05/14/accelerate-manifesto-for-an-accelerationist-politics/

    Accelerationism is probably OT on this blog, but i could discuss this (& similar topics) on another blog. certainly, chaos patching is an invitation for that.

    admin Reply:

    @ Northanger
    An evolving — and perhaps multi-level — Chaos Patch system would imply unrestricted liberalization as the complement of zoned order (overall negative entropy). Down in the deep CP ‘gonzones’ there would be no need for anything beyond bedrock civility requirements, and qabbalese dialects could spread once again. A controlled experiment would be helpful, in getting from homogeneous decaying order, to heterogeneous (local) counter-entropy production.

    northanger Reply:

    @Admin
    got a complicated cross-stitch project that’s a way overdue xmas present–yes, it’ll takes that long. (besides, i’m out of cigarettes). i’ll keep lurking tho. good luck with your new blog 🙂

    James Goulding Reply:

    This provoked in me the idea that the social problem is the proper object of an improved technological approach to blog comments. Viz., “normal human standards of decency” can probably be modified or ameliorated by mechanical coercion. For an existing example of coerced good behaviour, which is against the grain of human nature, consider the feedback system on freelance websites. The star ratings and comments after completion of a project are made simultaneously by design, and the sites thereby reduce the probability of malicious retribution for negative feedback.

    On blogs, comments might automatically be filtered into quality streams. Early or high-quality commenters may be granted member status. New commenters go through a period of probation, in which their comments are only visible if readers select this option. It seems a minor, plausibly deniable (on both sides) insult to defer membership for a mediocre but good-faith commenter, yet the effect is similar to a ban. Division into three quality-streams—unapproved, approved and members—might also work. This also raises the interesting possibility that only members might be able to filter the comments. In that case, merely approved visitors wouldn’t necessarily know whether the blog owner discriminates against them.

    I think that such a system would already exist, except for the fact that this problem of comment section degringolade, although familiar to us, is not a big deal for most people or even most blogs. I’m not sure whether it could be jerry-rigged—probably not.

    I have updated on your desire to distinguish perfectly between private and public discourse, which must be shared by many others. The problems herein are high mental transaction costs and excessive reliance on other people’s discretion. However the Austerian system, although flawed, not only engenders quality but also reduces the necessary level of vigilance and social finesse on the part of the blog owner. I’ll have to see how it goes on my site.

    The best solution I have seen, in the absence of quality streams, is EconLog’s Lauren—not that I have had a run in with her, but I suspect she contravenes the normal standards you mention. This may seem acceptable because the EconLog bloggers are professional economists, hence entitled to regard the site as part of their job, or else because Lauren is not herself an author. Of course, this solution isn’t practicable for the supermajority of blogs.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Razib does the evil commenter crackdown quite nicely IMO.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    A Razib-style policy keeps Admin in a ferocious state of irritability, haranguing commentators. It’s an impressively energetic policing style, but it looks like a lot of work. I’d rather try to get auto-catalysis working as a spontaneous entropy dissipator.

    Alrenous Reply:

    Doesn’t seem to have worked, admin.

    Contemplationist Reply:

    Razib Khan of GNXP seems to do this.

    [Reply]

    things are always bad before they get worse Reply:

    actually they did exist in the past with “inferior” technology called usenet. nn killfiles were the bomb for controlling the noise of commenting, pro and con. that they still haven’t found their way back into the shiny new is just more evidence of the decay of civilization. and that guis suck, have always sucked, and will continue to suck. command lines forever!

    tl;dr: if you can’t program it, it’s fundamentally broken.

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    If someone ever writes a single frontend for all this blog stuff… perhaps as personal cloud computing…

    (god, I give up, I’m going to have to learn Ruby and Python [I can use any type of gem to control any species of snake, and so on, and so on])

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    If you’re serious about this, I would be willing to work with you, though I only know Python, but I highly recommend it. I have managed several Python projects in the past.

    nydwracu Reply:

    Python could be the Correct language for Birch, but I doubt I’ll get around to it in time for the prediction in the post to come true. I’ve been out of programming for quite a few years, and I’d have to start learning essentially from scratch… once I find the time to commit to it, that is.

    survivingbabel Reply:

    Understandable. There’s also plenty of analysis and design work to be done before code hits electrons, so if you’re interested, I’ve got some free time coming after next month.

    vimothy Reply:

    command lines forever!

    Amen.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    Amen, reverend.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 4:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • j. ont. Says:

    “Zoned liberty”. Interesting phrase. We are, I guess, talking about degrees of liberty, so zoning is about creating pockets of free association. Too much of that is always a problem, but it’s a tight-rope walk – easy to go the other way as well. So far I’ve been very impressed by the degree of patience displayed by Outside In (both its administrator/dictator and its commentators).

    “(a) Read all CP contents (and avoid all temptation to treat them as black-hole entropy-bins).” By “black-hole entropy bins” you mean what exactly? Silliness?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Meaning — a disposal site, beyond an event horizon, in which nothing but senseless disorder is assumed to exist.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 4:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • James Goulding Says:

    Admin, in this chaos patch I shall, with your permission, take the opportunity to ask you a random, impertinent question.

    I have read and enjoyed Fanged Noumena, but that is my only exposure to continental philosophy and cybernetics. I am interested to know what relationship exists between these fields and dark enlightenment, however tenuous, and which if any authors I ought to read.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I have no pre-formulated answer to this questions, and the first is truly experimental (having no possible answer prior to what we are presently undertaking), but I will try to address them in my What is Philosophy? series. (Everything in ‘Continental Philosophy’ worth excavating is already found as a quite highly-developed embryo in Kant).

    [Reply]

    j. ont. Reply:

    More “What is Philosophy?” would be good.

    Schultz told Schopenhauer to start with Plato, then read Kant – that those two are really the backbone of philosophy. Aside from Kant, what’s worthwhile? (I suspect Deleuze-Guattari is on the list already…) Any suggested progression?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Does the new reaction need Deleuze-Guattari? I doubt it (despite the enormous debt I owe to them). More fitting is a backward cascade towards the origins of Occidental philosophy, which in the terms of modern ‘Continental Philosophy’ probably looks like a critical negotiation with Heidegger.

    James Goulding Reply:

    The first thing that comes to mind, upon mention of “critical negotiation with Heidegger”, is Majority Rights and its “ontology project”.

    Although I have poured scorn on Salterism, I am fond of intellectual diversity and genuinely original ideas, and I used to be a regular visitor. Whatever you make of them, some of the articles mentioned in this thread are fascinating.

    Salterism is but one of (at least) three very original memes in circulation on that site, others being “Jewish extended phenotypism” and the Heideggerian musings. I should add that the site peaked several years ago, and the infamous Rienzi (“JW Holliday”) is rarely sighted these ideas.

    My impression of their ontology project is that all the essays are fundamentally skew to reality, i.e. nonsensical, but I’d be interested to hear the opinion of someone who has read and understands Heidegger.

    The “Jewish extended phenotype” idea is based on the work of Kevin MacDonald, who is Frank Salter’s friend.

    Richard Dawkins coined “extended phenotype” in reference to the idea that objects usefully regarded as a gene’s phenotype are not limited to the body it inhabits. A beaver’s dam is reliably built in a certain way; the genes of a parasite predictably determine the form or behaviour of their host organisms.

    MacDonald argues that the genes of Ashkenazim, due to their centuries of evolutionary selection for a niche role in Western civilisation, encourage them to be critics of the host culture but simultaneously nepotistic towards their ethnic kin.

    The main problem with this hypothesis is that it posits a complex, hard-coded map of the civilised world and a set of in-built yet very sophisticated behaviours. This is implausible due to the short evolutionary time frame and the constantly changing nature of civilisation, especially given the parsimonious alternative explanation for Jewish over-representation amongst powerful leftists (i.e. Ashkenazim are unusually smart, and smart people are unusually leftist).

    It implies that a Jew born in seclusion on the moon has pre-installed in his brain a little model of his Jewish ethnic group and a distinct outer sphere of goyim, a means of distinguishing these from each other without very obvious markers, and also targeted, subconscious behavioural mechanisms for dealing with each group separately. These mechanisms would have to be sophisticated, since Jews are certainly not incapable of interacting peacefully and genially with goyim. They supposedly cause Jews to be duplicitious, and to enact highly indirect schemes (e.g. founding of the Frankfurt School of social research) in order to shatter the cohesion of the outer society.

    Secondly, the hypothesis sits uneasily with the typical skepticism of evolutionary biologists towards group selection. If the above mentioned mechanisms did exist, it still isn’t clear how individual Jews are supposed to benefit, rather than their free-riding co-ethnics. On the other hand, Richard Joyce (p. 33 onwards) has furnished a convincing argument that group selection isn’t to be dismissed outright, and Nick Szabo has provided a fascinating defense of the green beard effect, the alleged non-existence of which is a popular counter-argument against the notion of kin altruism extended to ethnic groups.

    I don’t think that the extended phenotype perspective is useful in analyses of race, politics or social critique. However, it might be usefully applied to a question posed by the PUA community: why, if confidence and psycho-social dominance are attractive, does exposure to highly attractive women cause a decrease in composure and social competence in most men?

    One answer is that this is a somewhat crude mechanism that prevented our male ancestors from becoming involved with unduly (dangerously) desirable mates. However an alternative, extended-phenotype perspective is that this “stunned” male phenotype is reliably effected by genes in the female, which have been selected for their capacity to provoke such a response in insufficiently experienced men. It would be in the man’s genes’ interests for him not to respond in this way, but within the constraints of design and variation, that would probably have to come at the expense of generally decreased sexual desire, so the selective equilibrium permits male behaviour to be (in a non-trivial sense) an extended phenotype of women in certain reliably occurring circumstances.

    Wagner Reply:

    *cricket-chirps*

    Admin, you could have nipped the problem in the bud here but you didn’t have an answer, and you still don’t. You won’t even talk about how you don’t have an answer, that’s how little of an answer you have.

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 4:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Discrimination towards anti-social commenters is, in my opinion, an unsolved problem of the blogosphere.

    I try not to take things personally, but as I’ve already been singled out in the initial post…

    To my mind nothing in the milton thread was ‘off topic’. I’ve accepted admin’s recommendation (his blog and things did spill over into the definitions post – my apologies), but I was actually trying to engage with northanger in a constructive way to explore the following:

    Among all the regressive Miltonic currents to be followed, those emptying into Old Night (I:544, II:1002) will carry us furthest …

    That to me isn’t anti-social but collaborative. That ultimately it wasn’t completely successful – and therefore does not tie everything together or tightly back to PL – was not foreseeable. But considering the whole subject of Milton arose with admin’s statement:

    How are you on John Milton? (I’m extremely rusty, but that’s the direction the tug is coming from …)

    It would seem perverse to single individuals out for following similar ‘tugs’. Anyway, I’m too knackered (a good, English word connected to that chief animal of fate, the horse) to mount a decent defence.

    The three strike system sounds like a riot, btw.

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    i lurk at a lot of blogs, http://www.balloon-juice.com/ still has the best blog dictator: Tunch 🙂

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    @ fotrkd — don’t get sensitive about it, you’re an extremely welcome commentator here, and no one is impugning your intelligence, but this is ridiculous:
    “To my mind nothing in the milton thread was ‘off topic’.”

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    No it [wholesome, lovely words] isn’t,

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Anyway, forget about it. Maybe I’ll send you an email about it one day.

    admin Reply:

    Why use email, when you’ve got the Resevation Chaos Patch? Seriously, unless you deny the advantage of tightly-themed comment threads anywhere, I think you’re forced to concede the merits of this.
    (And if you’re still seriously saying the Harry Potter and Egyptian religion material was crucial to the Milton discussion, how about the migration of Milton material to the Wolves-and-sheep thread, which was pure opportunism — following the perceived meanderings of attention — wasn’t it? I’m not finger-pointing. It’s Admin responsibility to insist that thread-theming is taken seriously, and if it fails to do so, of course entropy results.)

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 4:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    final PL notes:

    Herbert Marks, The Blotted Book
    in, Re-membering Milton: Essays on the Texts and Traditions
    Edited by Mary Nyquist and Margaret W. Ferguson
    Commentators sometimes make the same mistake, misreading Raphael’s words to Adam, “#Satan#, so call him now, his former name / Is heard no more in Heav’n” (V.658f.; cf. I.82), as intending the name “Lucifer;” yet Milton explicitly tells us that that name too is only applicable “by allusion” (X.425), apt but “in the Dialect of men / Interpreted” (V.761f.). The fact is that neither Milton’s reader nor his heavenly muse can ever know Satan’s former or true name, this being one of the key points at which the “Books of Life” and the poem tentatively coalesce.

    Biblical Naming and Poetic Etymology
    Herbert Marks
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/3266588

    The Deuteronomistic History and the Name Theology:
    lešakkēn šemô šām in the Bible and the Ancient Near East
    Sandra L. Richter
    As regards the impact of this theory upon the lexicography of “name” in the Hebrew Bible, van der Woude has stated: “The thesis that in the entire ancient Near East the name is ‘not only a sign of the difference between various entities but a definition of the essence of the entity named’ requires correct”73 Moreover, in his innovative article on biblical naming, Herbert Marks (to whom I owe the genesis of this discussion), boldly states that the “primitivist approach to the name traditions” arises from outdated theories and “the comparatist’s appeal to universals of human behavior,” resulting in a “naïve form of linguistic realism—a humbler version of the correspondence theories assumed by the precritical allegorists.”74 And he, too, calls for change.

    godspeed.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 4:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • j. ont. Says:

    @

    http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2010/09/accelerationism/

    Perhaps not directly related, but of interest.

    [Reply]

    j. ont. Reply:

    The above comment was directed at James Goulding. Something went wrong.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 4:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Artxell Knaphni Says:

    Aww, you used the word “incentivise”. I’m writing a response over at “Definitions”: I used ”incentivisation”, there. lol

    I lived in Singapore in the 60s for two years, we were ‘posted’ there. Singapore was paradise then. You could get cans of squirty cream there. When we returned to the UK, it wasn’t until the 80s that they were available here.

    I hope my ramblings aren’t causing the wrong sort of trouble?

    Aren’t Somalians pirates?

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Pirates

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    Squirty cream?

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 5:14 pm Reply | Quote
  • Vladimir Says:

    James:

    Perhaps, given the fate of Google Reader and the way techies speak of RSS as a relic, I am misled by my personal interest in the blogosphere, when social media and apps are more profitable areas of development.

    I found this sentence profoundly unsettling and disheartening. If the traditional web and blogosphere are going into obsolescence, and we’re converging towards the situation where all the information is routed through Facebook, Google Plus, and the like, this means that the Cathedralization of the internet is being completed in a way even more horrible than we could have imagined.

    Maybe it really is time for me to buy a TV and learn to stop worrying and love Big Brother.

    [Reply]

    James Goulding Reply:

    “RSS is dead” was a narrative of the tech media quite recently. There was much dissent, but I was shocked that the very idea could be raised. If Google Search is “The Internet”, then I thought of RSS as “how people read the Internet”, and blogs as “how average people share ideas on the Internet”—evidently not.

    On the optimistic side of things, that is an excellent pun if you meant to refer to the reality TV show. Secondly, although social media does seem like a potential repeater for the Cathedral, and your idea that the Internet actually facilitates thought police is probably accurate, there are a number of promising trends.

    1. Tech entrepreneurs as a political force. It seems to me that, following SOPA, they are a legitimately independent power base and they know it. FWD.us is not really about money, or creating positive externalities, but an attempt to accumulate more power, economic and otherwise. To the extent that they succeed and continue, without being assimilated by the Cathedral, they will be defenders of freedom. The Internet, and the Cathedral’s imperfect control of it, can be held responsible for this unusual, countervailing phenomenon.

    2. Lack of enthusiasm and power. I interpret the over-excitement about Bitcoin, across a wide political spectrum, as due to an unprincipled desire for power, i.e. in anticipation of the destruction of the existing economic and political system. If a movement or new set of ideas did offer young people a taste of enhanced power, I believe they would eagerly take the opportunity. I think the only progressive position in which they idealistically and reflexively believe, to the extent that it would discourage them from shifting en masse to a viable new movement, is (the sinister kind of) anti-racism. The Cathedral’s strength today is not in its capacity to inspire, but its ability to set high barriers for akrasia, undermine rival status-communities and intimidate without quite appearing to be oppressive. These could all perhaps be conquered by the innovation of a bootstrapping, distributed legal system, combined with piercing analyses of our existing polity and its flaws. (Now we just need to design it…)

    3. Information. It seems to me that principled anti-market positions are an increasingly fruitless avenue for elite power. Accurate micro-economic theory is so ingrained, down to a fairly low level amongst the population, that if any organised group tried to increase its power by denying the centrality of markets to human affairs, a competing splinter of the elite would easily garner overwhelming coercive support. Truth is less central to politics than most people like to imagine, but eventually, with repeated and clear exposition it does diffuse into enough human minds that many kinds of malign political strategies are rendered infeasible.

    What we lack is a good theory of coercive game theory. The ideas about Schelling points that you expound are not well understood, and consider the immense diversity of belief amongst mainstream political theorists and each popular blogospheric iconoclast—they don’t even agree on how to reduce basic concepts such as “law”, “government” and “sovereignty”. The reasons for this are two-fold: firstly, catallaxy is simpler than politics; secondly, state-funded researchers are especially discouraged from conducting accurate political analyses. There is a lot of low-hanging fruit in this area that the Internet should allow us to pick, and I think that this knowledge, as in the case of broadly free-market micro-economics, could eventually cut off some of the worst excesses of malign politics.

    Consider the positive feedback of just one change: disgust for state education.

    [Reply]

    Vladimir Reply:

    There’s a lot here I could argue with, but to avoid losing focus on the main point, there are at least two fundamental reasons why I loathe the idea of social network websites becoming the main publishing channel and discussion venue on the internet:

    (1) These websites are designed to encompass your whole identity, and tag everything you write, post, comment, relay, like, etc. with this identity — and in such a way that all of this is just one click away, and to some degree even replicated, everywhere you leave a trail. Moreover, this identity is revealed to your real-world social connections over these networks.

    The trouble is, even regardless of any issues of privacy and thought-policing, this feature is absolutely destructive for all honest, sensible, good-faith discourse. It makes it impossible to conduct a conversation of the sort which is possible in anonymous forums and blogs, where you have at least some chance to focus on the conversation at hand in a dispassionate and objective way, and overcome those parts of your mind that struggle to optimize what you’re saying for signaling value rather than truth and logic.

    Instead, every single input you give into these social network websites becomes an intrinsic part of the overall identity and image that you’re building there, which is practically guaranteed to crank up your signaling urges to eleven, and make you approach everything you write the same way you approach the choice of your profile picture and info. The system is effectively designed to ensure that status jostling and self-image-directed signaling will overpower any inclination towards quality discourse.

    (2) Of course, in reality, thought-policing is a very real problem. I don’t expect any problems with the government, or even with the corporations that run these websites — this privacy battle was lost from the beginning, and this was bound to happen regardless of the specifics of how the internet technology would develop. The government or Google can easily read and cross-reference everything I ever wrote anywhere, both publicly and privately, if they care to, but they have no incentive to use this information against me, as long as I obey the law and don’t do anything egregiously offensive to them. On the other hand, the amateur thought police and risk-averse HR departments are a deadly threat to anyone who aspires to have a decent job nowadays. And while they have no plausible way to cross-reference your real-life identity with what you write on anonymous blogs (or even in blog comments under your real name if it’s not very common and you’re not talking about too much personal stuff), the social network websites are a gold mine of compromising information for them.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    This analysis is crucially important and highly persuasive. It is a vastly more thoughtfully-formulated version of my own twisted gut pain on the issue: Social Media Networks are the capture of Cyberspace by malignant forces of Cathedral normalization. You explain how this works with terrifying clarity.

    James Goulding Reply:

    These are valuable insights. However, unfortunate as it is, I’m inclined to disagree with the characterisation of such a process as “Cathedralisation” of the Internet. The essential characteristic of Cathedralisation, as we would usually identify it, is the use of subtle and distributed-Machiavellian legal incentives, and sporadic “lessons” for dissenters, to sabotage or assimilate rival social forces, status-communities and repeaters.

    It would appear that the web is slowly moving towards a social media paradigm, and this engenders the very unpleasant signalling effects that you describe. However, I assumed that it was a matter of economics—most people are not adventurous enough for the blogosphere to interest them, and money follows the median Internet user.

    If it is in fact mere economics, then we might call this problem “weak Cathedralisation”: existing Cathedral phenomena corrupt the intellectual quality and freedom of cyberspace, due to incidental economic incentives. The strong Cathedralisation hypothesis is that somehow and at some point in the chain of human action, legal incentives have stimulated this movement from blogospheric anonymity to social media. The former is disappointing, but I can live with it since I suspect that the most promising individuals (i.e. who might become involved with crowdfunded research) are disproportionately attracted to anonymity and the blogosphere. The latter hypothesis is disturbing.

    If you have time, I would be interested to see a brief indication about which of the above claims you find problematic. I try to think for myself, but you are one of the authorities towards whose beliefs I often update.

    Wagner Reply:

    “The trouble is, even regardless of any issues of privacy and thought-policing, this feature is absolutely destructive for all honest, sensible, good-faith discourse. It makes it impossible to conduct a conversation of the sort which is possible in anonymous forums and blogs, where you have at least some chance to focus on the conversation at hand in a dispassionate and objective way, and overcome those parts of your mind that struggle to optimize what you’re saying for signaling value rather than truth and logic.

    Instead, every single input you give into these social network websites becomes an intrinsic part of the overall identity and image that you’re building there, which is practically guaranteed to crank up your signaling urges to eleven, and make you approach everything you write the same way you approach the choice of your profile picture and info. The system is effectively designed to ensure that status jostling and self-image-directed signaling will overpower any inclination towards quality discourse.”

    “This analysis is crucially important and highly persuasive. It is a vastly more thoughtfully-formulated version of my own twisted gut pain on the issue: Social Media Networks are the capture of Cyberspace by malignant forces of Cathedral normalization. You explain how this works with terrifying clarity.”

    “It would appear that the web is slowly moving towards a social media paradigm”

    TLDR; “FUCK YOU, LAND.”

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 5:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Vladimir Says:

    admin,

    On a more upbeat note — and if you’ll pardon the self-promotion — there was an exceptionally interesting comment thread at Foseti’s yesterday, which I’ll link here in case you missed it:
    http://foseti.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/randoms-110/

    I think the discussion about the Maistrean “Darkest Enlightenment” thesis is something techno-commercialists should especially make sure to think about carefully. I would of course be very interested to read any comments you might have on this topic.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes, I noticed that discussion thread, with awe. I was going to mention it here, as an example of what focused discussion can generate, and why it should be treasured. I’m probably behind on it … I’ll hop over there.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    One “Chevalier de Johnstone” makes an excellent point regarding teleology (over-systemization being an evergreen critique of rationalists), but is he not hip to the Spandrellian Trichotomy by now?

    I wouldn’t accuse a fellow of being in hypersleep for missing the last two months, but they’ve been a very explosive two months — hard to miss if one’s been on the grid.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 5:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    Visions of the Reckoning and Left Singularity. In the future, the vacant land of perma-broke Detroit, after the few remaining residents finally succeed in burning the last standing, mouldering structure to rubble and ashes on some final Halloween hell’s night, shall be reduced to a large crater that is pit-and-mountain of mildly valuable black coke that the Omni-impotent Brezhnevocracy refuses to permit anyone to move or use, so it lumps on. Where once Henry Form reigned, what was once called “Paris of the Midwest” and the might foundry of the “Arsenal of Democracy”, is now, from the few drones that have any reason to overfly such an obscure and abandoned site, seen from above as little else than a curious cartographic anomaly – a Black Hole.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Addendum: Not to say that Detroit wasn’t a “Black” “Hole” for a long time before it was a “Black Hole”. Now that is “Dark”.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 6:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    *Test* – my post (same one) keeps going missing…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Still having problems? (There’s nothing in my comment filter queue)

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    I thinking hammering on the keyboard (the same thing, three times – well twice, plus a cut and paste) was therapy enough. Something poetic about dark thoughts and black milk (Celan). I wasn’t pissed off at all with your chaos points suggestion – I laughed my way through your very tactful post and was more than happy with the suggestion. What winds me up (you may have noted) is… well, neo-reactionaries complaining no-one can talk about race, no-one can talk about marriage etc etc… all the complaints about PC conditioning and Cathedral control narrowing thought, and then you (not you) want to re-erect barriers on the basis of what you think can be passed over; what’s wholesome; decent; intelligent – all the [wholesome] hypocrisy. [O]rder of things in their place I’m fine with; the substitution of one Cathedral for another – not so much. But your response to Handle over on Quote notes did placate me to some extent. Obviously not as much as I thought though. Hopefully this is therapy enough 🙂

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    As in all things, there’s an irreducible trade-off — or, more optimistically, something akin to a trade off (but with positive-sum latency) — between untrammeled creation and efficient order. I agree with you that everything should be sayable, but that doesn’t mean that it’s best said anywhere. Even the most precious gem of a comment becomes sheer entropy in the wrong place. Perhaps naively, I’m quite excited about the prospects for the CP structure — it should be possible to simultaneously tighten and de-circumscribe discussion. We’ll see soon enough, I guess.

    fotrkd Reply:

    Maybe at the lowest depths of the chaos patch should be a rage pit? (Whisky drinkers only)

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 10:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    @admin

    (And if you’re still seriously saying the Harry Potter and Egyptian religion material was crucial to the Milton discussion, how about the migration of Milton material to the Wolves-and-sheep thread, which was pure opportunism — following the perceived meanderings of attention — wasn’t it? I’m not finger-pointing. It’s Admin responsibility to insist that thread-theming is taken seriously, and if it fails to do so, of course entropy results.)

    As I previously acknowledged:

    (his blog and things did spill over into the definitions post – my apologies)

    Potter and Egypt were crucial to my attempts to try to understand Milton, yes. Milton is drawing on a creation myth. The parallel between Satan and God and Osiris and Set is uncanny. Harry Potter I’ve discussed to my chagrin so I’m not going to launch into again now, but it’s pretty obvious how we were using it – and Snape in particular.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    OK, that’s fair enough, but I think there was a problem — at least one of speed. If discussion gets too far ahead of its trigger post, it might be relevant to the future state of a tight-themed discussion, but it also near-perfectly simulates high-entropy conditions at the time it actually takes place. Taking what you say seriously (as, of course, I always do!), then it seems reasonable to extend the Chaos Patch idea to encompass ‘advanced wave’ discussion on any post, venturing beyond the horizon that could be integrated by a ‘reasonable’ reader. In this way, it would set the agenda from out of the commentary, with more force than Admin is willing to recognize as normal for the blog as a whole. In this instance, Miltonic Creation Myths is a topic that might be reasonably expected, but it had leaped far beyond schedule, crossing the threshold at which speed becomes chaos (and — I am quite confident — lost almost everybody).

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 19th, 2013 at 11:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @fotrkd
    “Maybe at the lowest depths of the chaos patch should be a rage pit?” — Are you aiming for a nine-circles model?

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    If we all knew what we were aiming for we wouldn’t need chaos patches would we? I’d prefer something altogether more appealing, but apparently – and I don’t disagree – that’s no longer realistic. I’ve tried running to the hills – it gets boring. And for the first time ever a few things have started to click together… so yeah, [l]et’s see how it goes …

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 12:17 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Isn’t Facebook losing people? And Google + never god popular at all.

    RSS isn’t dead as long as we use it, and I don’t intend to stop.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “God popular” is setting the bar high.
    Obviously, there’s almost nothing I’d rather see than Facebook crashing in flames, but my sense of the thing is that the Social Media revolution is almost unstoppable, because it latches onto ghastly paleolithic instinct structures, and then uses social signalling as a self-organizing cultural control system. The whole ‘likes’ and ‘friends’ architecture might have been designed for the most pitiful kind of mindless conformism — it gels perfectly with Cathedral-epoch soft-totalitarian religiosity.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    typo for ‘got’, of course.

    My impression is that most people aren’t attention whores, and they are starting to notice that total surveillance by others has more dangers than benefits. The actual posting of life issues of people around me on facebook has decline very sharply in the last year. In the end, the status rat-race is a lot of work, and when people realize they’re not going to win, they’d rather be left alone.

    See also how very few twitter users post regularly or at all. Teenagers are flocking to tumblr where they can make up a new fantasy identity aside from their real life.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    A Facebook to Tumblr migration would be altogether worthy of celebration (but because I like the prospect, I’d assumed it must somehow be impractically paleo — it’s delightful to hear that you think it’s happening).

    With Twitter, things don’t seem so bad — the deranged ego-stroking aspect doesn’t seem to be baked into the technology (Facebook-style). Even the 140-character constraint has a positive aspect (opt-in constraints usually do). Tech-set poetics might be an automatic compensator to let-it-all-hang-out senescent modernism.

    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 1:35 am Reply | Quote
  • zhai2nan2 Says:

    @admin Does the new reaction need Deleuze-Guattari?

    Neoreaction needs other philosophers more than it needs Deleuze and Guattari.

    The Logical Positivists and Godel would be considerably more useful.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Goedel is absolutely indispensable (and has to be promoted beyond philosophy), in small part because he left Logical Positivism a smoking crater, but mostly for other, more important reasons. If we’re casting the net this wide, Turing and Von Neumann have to be fished in too.

    [‘promoted’ chess-style, not PR style — apologies for that hopelessly confusing phrase]

    [Reply]

    j. ont. Reply:

    Up for some Wittgenangst?

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=YMzajTUpEp0C&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=wittgenstein+God+knows+what+will+become+of+me&source=bl&ots=VMr_R0s7zS&sig=LnMHsgNh9oeeM9aerFROzc-H8T8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Eb2ZUc-HMsaSqgG1poHwCQ&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=wittgenstein%20God%20knows%20what%20will%20become%20of%20me&f=false

    I see people throw his stuff around on Less Wrong sometimes. Funny guy. Had a prof who insisted he was a “phoney”.

    I’ll stop posting now.

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    One relevant philosophical question, at least for me, is: what comes after the death of God? Christianity has gone boink and attempting to secularize and reestablish it is inherently stupid. What then?

    Nietzsche provides an answer, but doesn’t say how to get there. If you’re not on board with Nietzsche, he’s not going to get you there; he’s done a remarkable job of clarifying what I’ve been vaguely thinking a century before I was even around to think it, but not everyone is me.

    The answer might lie in Kant, although I hate to give credit to anyone who could come up with such an awful joke of a moral philosophy. Synthetic a priori! What does one know about oneself that allows one to 1) escape skepticism and 2) establish values? Or: how can you do a proper job of what Descartes’ Christianity made him botch?

    [Reply]

    Wagner Reply:

    Too bad Nydwracu went from asking these kinds of questions to spreading his cheeks for an ass-fucking.

    FUCK YOU, NYDWRACU.

    GOD IS ALIVE, ONLY AMONG THE DEAD IS HE DEAD.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 1:36 am Reply | Quote
  • Nicholas MacDonald Says:

    Nick,

    Have you ever taken on Dale Carrico?

    http://www.amormundi.blogspot.sg/

    He seems to me like the anti-Nick Land (even though he doesn’t appear to be familiar with you); he’s a Bay Area-based critical theorist whose work is mostly devoted to hammering transhumanists and accelerationists. He wrote some pretty impressive critiques back around 2004-2007, but in the last few years he’s just turned into a broken record of repetitive invective against what he terms “robot cultists”, and cynicism regarding virtually every development that comes down the pipeline.

    A Land vs. Carrico dust-up would be worth watching; Carrico vs. More turned out disappointing as they don’t speak the same language (the former being basically continental and the latter more or less analytical with a hint of Objectivism), but you’re as heavily armed in the critical theory department as he is. I’d love to see him hoisted by his own petard, but he’d probably enjoy it just a bit too much.

    (BTW, hope you don’t take any of my comments as trolling. The Hypercapitalist tries to be a gentleman.)

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Argument is a delicate thing — it’s almost impossible between people unless they share a lot of common ground. Dialectic (in its modern,strongly antagonistic sense) is a myth. When did you ever see a hostile argument get anywhere? Perhaps at a great distance, slowly and coldly, but even then, it requires respect.

    As for trolling, it’s hard for me to imagine anyone less trollish.

    [Reply]

    John Hannon Reply:

    A hostile argument that never gets anywhere can nevertheless be instructive from a spectator’s perspective as it brings the opposing positions into sharper focus.
    Plus it can be jolly entertaining if it gets really hostile.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Gladiatorial combat is popular with everyone, except for the gladiators.

    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 11:56 am Reply | Quote
  • Nicholas MacDonald Says:

    Carrico has become virtually impossible to argue with- like many thinkers, after years of engagement, he ultimately has wrapped himself in his own cocoon. You seem much more… open, more in the character of Moldbug.

    I’ve managed to royally piss off other bloggers over the years- I almost got myself perma-banned by David Brin a few years ago (though I grew up and got myself back into his good book- at least sufficiently to get myself thanked in his most recent novel, for no apparent reason other than giving him some details about Shanghai from the point of view of someone who actually lives here. His future Shanghai in “Existence” wasn’t nearly as vivid as Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age visions, but hey, we can’t all be perfect.)

    Making any public appearances this summer? I’ve gotta buy you a drink sometime for giving me such a great guide through my years in Shanghai. I’m moving back to the US- trying to get a job in Silicon Valley- this fall, though my wife and I will be keeping our house here and I’m sure I’ll be back again at least part-time someday. This city is hard to stay away from, at least for a certain species of Pacific Rim cosmopolitan-futurist-romantic…

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 12:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick Land: Shuggoth’s Revenge | noir realism Says:

    […] his most recent blog post Land in a satirical jibe tells […]

    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 5:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    Are dick picks acceptable chaos?

    _______
    _____ O
    ____ \
    ___ T H I S |
    \_ |
    |\_ E N D /
    / \_ |
    / \_ U P /
    / \_ |
    / \_ /
    /\_ \_ |
    / \_ / \_/
    / \_ /
    / \_ |
    / \_ /
    / \/
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    / /
    \ / /
    | / /
    | / /
    |/ /
    /
    /
    |
    \
    \

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Apparently the <pre> switch doesn’t work at xenosystems. So that’d be a “No.” Thankfully.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    Jesus Hendrix Christ, I really do not want to know what you were going for there…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The failure of that art project has produced a rare twinge of genuine religious feeling (based on gratitude). Now I can treat it as a diagram of the Fotrkdian Abyss.

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    The prurient may find the correctly rendered ascii-art porno pic here–a blog which happens to accept the <dev> switch!!

    Ack my mind has really been on sex these last few days.

    Thales Reply:

    It’s flattened against the left margin — like everything else, crushed by the Left Singularity…

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Nick Land: contributes to Left Singularity by disallowing <dev> switch. Who knew?

    fotrkd Reply:

    I think it was deliberate so we could reconstruct Dante’s Inferno based on the architectural plans of a failed ASCII penis. Now that surely is neo-reaction in action? We just need the measurements, preferably in cubits.

    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 8:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Vladimir Says:

    James,

    Re: “strong” vs. “weak” Cathedralization of the internet,

    This is a fascinating question, and one which I frankly don’t know enough to answer reliably.

    The new large internet companies are operating in a somewhat uncomfortable space between two cultures. On the one hand, they are rooted to a large degree in the culture of the computer industry, which has in recent decades been one of the last bastions of traditional apolitical, non-ideological, purely profit-driven business. On the other hand, they have a much greater public presence than the traditional computer companies, which by itself implies that they’re under great pressures to be much more ideological in their operations. Unsurprisingly, by all accounts, these companies are indeed far more Cathedralized and ideologized both in their public statements and in their internal culture. (Whereas working for an old-fashioned computer company is nowadays still one of the best options if you want a decent job where you won’t be pestered with ideological propaganda and forced to affirm ideological conformity.)

    Now, the question is, how does this reflect on what these companies do to push various internet publishing and information-sharing technologies? Here it’s extremely difficult to disentangle their ordinary profit motives (what’s easier to monetize), ideological profit motives (what will boost profits and avoid trouble by pleasing the Cathedral), and honest ideological motives (i.e. decisions where their management honestly believes they’re being a force for good). (The latter would be unlikely in companies fettered by strong competition, but I think it’s quite plausible in huge monopolistic entities of this sort.)

    Thinking more about this, it’s hard to imagine some real organized effort on part of the Cathedral institutions to attack anonymity and free-wheeling public discourse on the internet by pressing the internet companies to promote these non-anonymous and well thought-policed social networks. This just seems too complex and far-fetched (although stranger things have happened). On the other hand, I can easily imagine the leaders of these companies believing, even aside from the profit motive, that they’re doing humanity a great service by corralling everyone into these wonderful, thoroughly Cathedralized spaces. Yet even that seems like it must be secondary to the pure profit motive — it’s certainly intuitively plausible that a social network based on exploitation of the basest instincts for conformity and status jostling offers far greater profit opportunities than any genuinely free online medium.

    So, on the whole, I’m inclined towards the weak Cathedralization hypothesis. But still, this is going to be small comfort if the endgame is an internet where everything interesting happens in these awful spaces, and free information channels are thoroughly obsolete and empty. Sure, there will always be a small minority of computer geeks who will still use the legacy free information channels — but interesting public discourse depends on attracting people from different backgrounds as well, and in a world where the internet is synonymous with social networks, this won’t happen.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    For anyone with a broadly praxeological take on these matters (under series challenge in this neck of the woods recently, I fully realize), ‘weak’ Cathedralism would be expected to be stronger than ‘strong’ Cathedralism. According to my naive sense of things, conspiratorial explanation isn’t really required — although as the power structure updates, it becomes more plausible all the time. Instead, two basic inputs get us to the status quo:
    (a) Social conformism, working through status games, does the work of Cathedral indoctrination once the neopuritan cultural framework is in place. People compete for status, by outbidding each other in Cathedral sensitivity and attendant skirt-clutching. Nothing more is needed, beyond a few subtle nudges from the media-educational complex, advising on the spiritual landscape of sanctified qualms.
    (b) The Internet-economy is still unclear about where profits are going to come from (beyond advertising — parasitic upon the paleo-economy). Fundamentally undisrupted by the millennial dot-crash, it remains satisfied with a traffic metric for economic performance, with speculative stock-valuations and venture-capital funding guided by traffic stats into a future in which the business model is expected to somehow, at some point, sort itself out.

    Combining (a) and (b), soft Cathedralism emerges automatically. There’s no need for the Web-Moguls to push an ideology. The business pushes them to reinforce neopuritan spiritual resonance, because that’s the way to latch onto the status dynamics (‘friending’) their traffic depends upon. A collective Cathedralist moral orgasm is the intrinsic teleonomy of the process.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 11:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • zhai2nan2 Says:

    Since this appears to be an open thread, and nothing is offtopic, I will open up a new topic.

    Homosexuality is a relevant issue for neoreaction. The fact is that for centuries, from Tacitus to George Washington, Western moralists have refused to countenance homosexuality. The ancient Germans drowned their sodomites in bogs, and Washington drummed sodomites out of the revolutionary ranks.

    I assume that the theist and racialist wings would be ready and willing to eliminate or suppress homosexuality. I assume that the neo-capitalist wing might favor homosexuality. I am open to correction on those assumptions.

    I recently commented at WIntery Knight:

    We can talk about neoreaction until we’re blue in the face.

    We will know that neoreaction is actually getting somewhere when a viable community says, “No, in fact, we don’t tolerate homosexuality, any more than we would tolerate polio or tuberculosis.”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “I assume that the neo-capitalist wing might favor homosexuality.” — Missing out on an Alan Turing would be less than impressively functional.

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    Don’t forget Peter Thiel!

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    I think one can oppose the homosexualist political agenda without necessarily calling for death camps. Even some sane homosexuals do.

    [Reply]

    Scharlach Reply:

    Yes, this is actually an issue on which all of us can surprisingly agree. I don’t know any traditionalists who want to actively persecute gays; they simply want the normalization of homosexuality to stop, which isn’t a) incompatible with tolerance and even acceptance of gay individuals or b) a terribly reactionary request given that ~3% of the population is gay. The importance of the issue is, in my mind, commensurate with that percentage.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    BTW, I had forgotten about that Lee Harris essay from 2005. It is absolutely essential reading to grok Deep Heritage. I think that’s where I (subconsciously) got my pithy summary ala “Burke with Darwinian commentary”. Also The Return of Patriarchy.

    I’ve added a foundational readings page at my blog… foundational for me at least…

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    It’s a tricky subject. We can no longer hold our heads in the sand and simply claim that homosexuality* is an unnatural abomination: gay people exist, and all evidence suggests they aren’t choosing their innate sexuality. On the other hand, PC or not, we should not ignore the fact that gay male promiscuity is a serious vector for illness, as well as just an inhuman way to treat other people (imo).

    So, what reactionary options are there? Here are some thoughts I’ve had.

    Permit and direct – Make monogamy/SSM the only socially acceptable outlet for homosexuality. (It helps, in this instance, to take the same stance on heterosexuality.)

    Agnosticism – Take no official position on homosexuality, but discourage bad behavior through enforcement (perhaps aggressive quarantining of problem sub-populations) or incentives. I’ve been playing around with the idea of a caste system where entry into the “upper” castes requires marriage and reproduction, with no concern with what your “carnal urges” desire.

    Soft Ban – Homosexual acts are banned (fine + exile seems like a strong deterrent), but non-offending homosexuals are offered free exit (perhaps even assistance, if the issue is that important). Those who wish to stay are directed to pursue celibate vocations (without direct access to minors) and are offered societal support in “restraining their urges”.

    I personally would prefer option #1, but I believe the others would also be sound policies. One suggestion I see bandied about, to “push it back into the closet”, and discourage the behavior without any official policy against it, is a complete non-starter. It’s not sustainable to just pretend certain potentially negative behaviors don’t exist. Eventually they will force themselves back into the open and require addressing at a later date. “Kicking the can down the road” should never be a reactionary policy.

    *That doesn’t mean you can’t classify the act as an abomination.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Humans have evolved (or been imbued by god or both) methods of dealing with pederasty at the local level. I say leave it up to local authorities. Whenever someone has a “right”, it necessarily adds up to a responsibility on the part of someone else (or a lot of someone elses). The details of how that balance is implemented is best left to the lowest levels where justice may broadly prevail. (Like it was for most of human history.)

    Saddam Hussein's Whirling Aluminium Tubes Reply:

    Well, the *most* reactionary option is probably not a good idea, heh.

    But the *second most* reactionary option would probably involve tolerating homosexuals, so long as they remain discrete and stay away from children. Meanwhile, we somewhat reduce the ongoing active measures to suppress normal homophobia.

    Can that policy be maintained as a stable equilibrium in a post Cathedral universe? Probably?

    Is that the ideal solution for all reactionary states? No, this is probably an issue area in which it would be beneficial to have multiple competing paradigms across multiple different jurisdictions. We don’t really understand the issue particularly well. The traditional option is probably safest, but there could be benefits from trying other paradigms.

    We don’t know what causes homosexuality and we don’t know whether or not social conditions can influence it (think Pashtuns) and we don’t fully understand how homosexual parents influence children.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 2:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • zhai2nan2 Says:

    >Missing out on an Alan Turing would be less than impressively functional.

    There are only seven humans on Planet Earth who think that Alan Turing’s ideas are over-rated. But I am one of those seven.

    Given that homosexual thinkers often come up with deviant ideas that end up helping the cause of science, is it possible that homosexual thinkers also come up with some deviant ideas that end up harming the cause of science?

    I would say yes.

    The rhetoric of science claims that it can overcome all bad ideas. Theoretically, I agree with that. In practice, getting past bad-but-persuasive ideas can take centuries.

    Turing himself might disagree with some of the modern computer scientists who attribute great profundity to some of his ideas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super-Turing_computation

    Both before and after Turing, there were models of computing quite dissimilar to the models that Turing is now famous for. Turing himself would probably , in my arrogant and biased opinion, admit that the work he is now famous for was not his best work.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Beyond your unsubstantiated opening claim that Turing’s ideas are over-rated, what’s your point?

    Given that homosexual thinkers often come up with deviant ideas that end up helping the cause of science, is it possible that homosexual thinkers also come up with some deviant ideas that end up harming the cause of science?

    Stop thinkers from doing science, or can only homosexuals screw science up?

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 22nd, 2013 at 12:02 am Reply | Quote
  • zhai2nan2 Says:

    >Beyond your unsubstantiated opening claim that Turing’s ideas are over-rated, what’s your point?

    The unsubstantiated claim was not that Turing’s claims ARE over-rated – the claim was that a very small number of humans think Turing’s claims are over-rated.

    The number was exaggerated to seven for humor value, but clearly that exaggeration only served to muddy the waters.

    There are a number of issues that I’m pretty sure that you’re not going to engage in dialogue on. So for the moment let’s narrow it down to what you quoted:

    >Given that homosexual thinkers often come up with deviant ideas that end up helping the cause of science, is it possible that homosexual thinkers also come up with some deviant ideas that end up harming the cause of science?

    Given that Turing came up with one set on non-oracle machine theories that everyone praises, is it possible that Turing came up with other theories that people don’t praise.

    Yes. It’s possible. In fact, it’s substantiated, if you bother to read the linked Wikipedia article.

    But if you bother to read the linked article, you will see that the subset of Turing’s ideas that everyone praises are in fact possibly stupider than the subset of Turing’s ideas that most people don’t praise.

    If you get that far, you have two options:

    1 – You can claim that the popularly praised ideas of Turing are his best ideas;

    2 – You can claim that the popularly ignored ideas of Turing are his best ideas.

    If you go with 2, then you must agree that Turing set the cause of computer science back a great deal, and his shallow, uneducated groupies are perpetuating his mistake.

    And claim 2 is the claim made by a few very productive computer scientists with whom I happen to agree. You don’t have to agree with them. Unless you publish a lot in computer science journals, your agreement or disagreement will not matter.

    So if you want me to care about your opinion, post a list of your computer science publications. I’ll make some time in my schedule to read your scholarly work.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    To move this forward, it would be helpful to know what the ideas in your categories (1) and (2) actually are. You’re swimming against the tide of the computer science tradition, so some ‘extraordinary evidence’ supporting your judgments might reasonably be requested.

    Also, your argument as stated is rather confusing. How does it follow from option (2) that “Turing set the cause of computer science back a great deal”? All I can derive from this suggestion is the very different claim that Turing’s potential contribution to computer science was even greater than it actually proved to be.

    Bases of Turing’s influence (in declining order of importance):
    (a) Formulation of the UTM, the foundation of computer science.
    (b) Church-Turing thesis, rigorously demonstrating undecidability of the halting problem. (A contribution second only to Goedel — from which it depends — in the history of logic.)
    (c) The imitation game (‘Turing Test’), establishes the protocols for recognition of AI — of greater popular-cultural than technical importance
    (d) Contributions to cryptoanalysis, mathematical biology, etc. …

    If there’s something yet to be uncovered that eclipses all of this, it has to be seriously epoch-making.

    [Reply]

    zhai2nan2 Reply:

    “You’re swimming against the tide of the computer science tradition, so some ‘extraordinary evidence’ supporting your judgments might reasonably be requested.”

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03043975/317/1

    I’m not so much swimming against the tide as I am sitting on the shoulders of giants who are wading along, oblivious to the tide.

    The linked issue is entirely about why the Turing-groupies were wrong to anoint him as the Messiah.

    Here’s the introduction to an easy paper from that issue:

    The concept of computability, Carol E. Cleland (p. 209):

    I explore the conceptual foundations of Alan Turing’s analysis of computability, which still dominates thinking about computability today. I argue that Turing’s account represents a last vestige of a famous but unsuccessful program in pure mathematics, viz., Hilbert’s formalist program.

    It is my contention that the plausibility of Turing’s account as an analysis of the computational capacities of physical machines rests upon a number of highly problematic assumptions whose plausibility in turn is grounded in the formalist stance towards mathematics. More specifically, the Turing account conflates concepts that are crucial for understanding the computational capacities of physical machines. These concepts include the idea of an “operation” or “action” that is “formal,” “mechanical,” “well-defined,” and “precisely described,” and the idea of a “symbol” that is “formal,” “uninterpreted,” and “shaped”. When these concepts are disentangled, the intuitive appeal of Turing’s account is significantly undermined. This opens the way for exploring models of hypercomputability that are fundamentally different from those currently entertained in the literature.

    Alan Turing’s analysis still dominates thought about the nature of computability and the capacities of physical computing machines.

    This is somewhat ironic because Turing explicitly designed it to solve a problem arising out of an unsuccessful early 20th century program in the foundations of pure mathematics. The program, known as formalism, originated with the work of David Hilbert. Hilbert was responding to the discovery of paradoxes in Georg Cantor’s remarkably fruitful new set theory. In this paper I trace the development of the formalist school of thought in mathematics and analyze its impact on current conceptions of computability. I argue that the plausibility of Turing’s account as an analysis of the computational capacities of physical machines rests upon a number of highly problematic tacit assumptions. When these concepts are disentangled, the intuitive appeal of Turing’s account (as providing an analysis of the general concept of computability) is significantly undermined. I conclude with a discussion of the consequences of my findings for the possibilities for hypercomputation (computation beyond the so-called “Turing limit”).

    All of that is just high-level overview. For the nitty-gritty, you need to get into actual mathematical logic.

    Aside from that journal, you can also look at some other CS journals:

    Journal of Computer and System Sciences 
    Computers & Structures 
    Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 
    Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics
    Information and Computation 
    Information Processing Letters 

    As I said earlier, there aren’t any good undergraduate-level introductions to this issue. You pretty much have to hit the journals running.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That’s very helpful. Thanks.

    Posted on May 22nd, 2013 at 12:46 am Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    OK, I have no computer science publications so can’t evaluate the relative merits of Turing’s ideas, but even if your computer scientists are right, the following doesn’t follow from 2:

    If you go with 2, then you must agree that Turing set the cause of computer science back a great deal, and his shallow, uneducated groupies are perpetuating his mistake.

    If we’ve gone with the ‘stupider’ ideas that doesn’t mean Turing set the cause back a great deal, but that science collectively has taken a slow path. You can’t blame a thinker for having better ideas than we’ve managed to pick up on or correctly evaluate. It would be like judging Da Vinci on his least successful inventions and complaining we took so long to develop the helicopter.

    But I really didn’t understand your point. I thought you were extending the homosexuality discussion, I didn’t realise you wanted to discuss Turing’s ideas. As I say, I’m not qualified or informed enough on the subject to do that, but I’m sure there are some around here that are.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 22nd, 2013 at 1:21 am Reply | Quote
  • zhai2nan2 Says:

    >You can’t blame a thinker for having better ideas than we’ve managed to pick up on or correctly evaluate.

    Let me be as clear as I can.

    I don’t blame Turing for anything. He did his best, he sinned some times and he did the right thing some times.

    Even if Turing were entirely destructive, I wouldn’t bear him any malice.

    The people whom I *do* blame are Turing’s groupies.

    Computer science is plagued by half-educated students who adopt Turing much as they would wear a Che Guevara T-shirt.

    They don’t study Turing; they haven’t bothered to read his work. They just know that he was gay and he was smart and so he is a hero to them.

    And then, when I try to raise an issue that requires reading Turing’s actual work, they refuse to even crack a book.

    My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it.

    At any rate, thank you for listening. If you want a good undergraduate-level introduction to the issue – well, there isn’t one, and I don’t have time to write one this year.

    Since the issue of Turing tends to get me onto obscure side-tracks that most people here won’t have the patience to follow, perhaps we should back up and reconsider the “gay scientist” issue from a more general perspective.

    There are several openly gay scientists in the modern world:

    http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=116365

    Here are three possibilities:
    A- Perhaps a culture that tolerates gay identity will produce more scientific advances.
    B- Perhaps a culture’s toleration for gay identity has zero effect on its science output.
    C- Perhaps a culture that tolerates gay identity will produce fewer scientific advances.

    I think the admin of this site believes that A is more likely than B or C.

    I don’t know whether A, B, or C is more likely; however, I think people should consider that C is at least possible.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “I think the admin of this site believes that A is more likely than B or C.” — ‘Tolerance’ could mean a variety of things. Both N.B.Steves and Scharlach get the balance roughly right, plus this from SHWAT:
    “… this is probably an issue area in which it would be beneficial to have multiple competing paradigms across multiple different jurisdictions.”

    [Reply]

    Scharlach Reply:

    I think you need to separate the political machinations of “gay identity” and homosexuality itself. The trumpeters of gay identity are a minority within the minority—they’ve simply been handed the democratic megaphone at this point in history.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    I have a pertinent reaction point for you.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 22nd, 2013 at 1:40 am Reply | Quote
  • survivingbabel Says:

    So, latching onto both the theme and purpose of the Chaos Patch:

    I plan on opening my blog up by the end of this week, and I am considering going No Comments, like Mr. Goulding. Instead, I am considering leaving a “commenting” policy at the bottom of posts to the effect of:

    Short comment: Tweet me
    Medium comment: Email me
    Long comment: Blog it, trackback me

    Having too many places for community building is worse than not having enough of them. A lot of amazing commentary happens on all the different blogs of reaction-space, but it takes a full-time commitment to read them all. I plan on having longer posts, non-topical when at all possible, dealing with higher-end theory, and I’m just not interested in the work it would take to moderate. Besides, moderation kills fluid conversation (Lion/Sigma is the worst at this).

    Feedback?

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Sounds good.

    Any news on The Surviving Babel Show?

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    I have a sample vocal mp3 on my laptop, but I was hoping to make a new one with a better mic. I will do my best to get it done tomorrow.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Does the show look anything like this?

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but I hope that sort of thing can show up on Reactionary Public Radio or Viewer Supported Reactionary Public TV!

    Chevalier de Johnstone Reply:

    I agree. Community-building requires social centralization, not atomization.

    I’d prefer to see a reactionary refusal to succumb to Twitter culture, though.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 22nd, 2013 at 8:43 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Mark Warburton in his latest post has just reminded me about Chaos in relation to Paradise Lost, which neatly was the catalyst for Chaos Patches:

    “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.” – Lord Baelish

    Which reminds me of something admin quoted somewhere (I think – any clues?) along the lines of (though possibly conflated and horrifically stripped of it’s grandeur) ‘only the person prepared to lose everything will make it out’…

    But my main PL point was that Moldbug, in a post linked to in admin’s latest piece, had some relevant insights on Chaos, including:

    “Tyranny is one form of chaos; freedom is one form of order. There are others of each, however. And order is always preferred to chaos. Thus, to a Carlylean, the fatal error of libertarianism is the confusion of anarchy and freedom. Not only are they not the same thing; they are opposite poles of the political spectrum. Freedom – spontaneous order – is the ultimate form of order. Anarchy is the ultimate form of disorder.”

    Satan was rebelling against tyranny asserting itself over (originary) spontaneous order. But how do Chaos and Old Night “hold / Eternal anarchy”? ‘Hold’?

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 23rd, 2013 at 4:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Oh, I know all about paraconsistent logics, I’ve been researching them for six whole months! | vulture of critique Says:

    […] http://www.xenosystems.net/chaos-patch-1/ […]

    Posted on December 15th, 2013 at 8:25 am Reply | Quote
  • pseudo-chrysostom Says:

    >Troll eradication

    banning or ignoring is admitting defeat

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 15th, 2013 at 11:33 am Reply | Quote
  • Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Curses! Says:

    […] first Chaos Patch here drew an analogy between a blog and a virtual micro-state. Considered at a sufficient level of […]

    Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 3:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Under the Eye

    Take two?

    (Still don’t know my Milton).

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 11th, 2017 at 10:00 pm Reply | Quote

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