Chaos Patch (#3)

As per request.

Weekend disorder now enabled (although I have no idea at all what to expect).

ADDED: CP#3 Topic Summary:
— Bitcoin in China (with some surrealism)
— thread instigator (Peter A. Taylor) introduces the topic of ‘Gnon polity’ with suggestions for institutional structures and reading list …
— Why not the Antiversity? (with digression into chaos theory)
— Call it Resartus (or at least grab the domain name) … a new Lunar Society?
— … cryptic chaos …
— Time-travel obviously impossible (at least without a very bad hangover)

June 7, 2013admin 82 Comments »
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82 Responses to this entry

  • spandrell Says:

    http://www.coindesk.com/chinas-romance-with-bitcoin-continues/

    Too good to be true?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Wow, that has cheered me up. Let’s hope the regime here see it as a way of waging economic warfare against the USD. It would be delicious in the extreme to see a free post-national financial system emerge as ‘collateral damage’ from a virtual hyperpower confrontation.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 7th, 2013 at 8:06 am Reply | Quote
  • Mary Mazip Says:

    Can you assure us that “we” (term used very loosely here) will take charge of the evonomy via BitCoin? The Cathedral is very good at adapting to the changing tide, and I see no reason why these people would not monopolize BitCoin with more of their Cultural Marxism. The majority of the tech elite are skilled liberal capitalists. The reactionary minority would have to invent a new currency, as BitCoin is already Cathedral owned and operated. If we took over memetically, the Cathedral would quickly adapt to our ideas and claim to support the Dark Enlightenment to stay in the game. Would you want a bunch of PC enforcers to side with you to make BitCoin? What stops another strong leader with prog ideas from making BitCoin a hate free zone?

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    If th Cathedral agrees with us it’s not the Cathedral anymore, by definition. We don’t want personal power, we want sane politics.

    [Reply]

    Mary Mazip Reply:

    So if they change their ideas to go with the flow of cash then it is win game?

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Just how could The Cathedral monopolize bitcoin? That’s like saying The Cathedral could monopolize TCP. They could accept bitcoin. But by by so doing, they accept the death of monetary policy qua policy, and thereby the means of funding their constituents. Yes, it’s a win for us.

    Gom Jabbar Reply:

    “What stops another strong leader with prog ideas from making BitCoin a hate free zone?”

    What would that look like? To give an example, I sent money to Derb after he was defenestrated. So if they can’t make Paypal a hate free zone how on earth are they going to make Bitcoin?

    [Reply]

    Mary Mazip Reply:

    A monopoly on the digital economy, much like they have now. New currency same boss.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    But they don’t have a monopoly on the digital economy per se. They have a monopoly on banking, and thereby they have a monopoly on large transfers of cash and anything else that clear through banks. They don’t have a monopoly on you trading your picture of Ben Franklin to Baggy Pants Pedro at the park for some item. And they couldn’t possibly have a monopoly on you trading one BTC for the same purpose. The entire design of BTC is so that it trades like cash… but on the internet, without the aid of a 3rd party. That is its ONLY new feature… but it is a big one.

    Thales Reply:

    What stops another strong leader with prog ideas from making BitCoin a hate free zone?

    Zen koan of the week right there.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 7th, 2013 at 10:55 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    I want to talk about church polity for the Cult of Gnon. James Goulding and Vladimir, put down your drinks and take your blood pressure medicine.

    I have been hostile to Mencius Moldbug’s genetic analogy that Progressivism “evolved” out of Protestantism (specifically Calvinism). I prefer the analogy that a nautilus died, and its empty shell was taken over by a hermit crab. But thinking about church polity makes me more sympathetic to Moldbug’s analogy.

    Suppose a Catholic church and a Congregationalist church start out with members that have nearly identical beliefs, but a fashionable local club requires its members to worship a golden calf (or endorse gay marriage, or polygamy, which is likely to be the Next Big Thing that the Unitarian Universalists will be pushing). If a majority at the Catholic church want to worship a golden calf, the Pope or his representative will say, “Take a hike”, and be able to make it stick. At a Congregationalist church, the majority can fire a resistant minister and hire a more compliant one.

    How should church polity work in the Cult of Gnon? I would like voting on doctrinal issues to be limited to some sort of “deacons” who have passed tests on the most important works of church canon, and possibly been invited by some higher authority. But we have this Trichotomy, which makes it hard to agree on canon. Is the Bible canon? What about Atlas Shrugged? The obvious model for dealing with this is the system of “houses” at J. K. Rowling’s Hogwart’s School. The founders agreed to disagree, and set up parallel sub-institutions.

    What is the minimum set of books and articles that you would require a student to read in order to graduate as a member in good standing of your house (or become a deacon)? (At this point, Nick Land and James A. Donald should probably also put down your drinks and take your blood pressure medicine.) What books/articles were essential in your journey? I would like to hold the number down to something like five, but I don’t think I can. For me (House of Glaucon?):

    Herman Kahn, _Thinking about the Unthinkable_
    Milton and Rose Friedman, _Free to Choose_
    Henry Hazlett, _Economics in One Lesson_
    David Friedman, _The Machinery of Freedom_, “Should Medicine be a Commodity”, perhaps more
    Thomas Schelling, lead essay in _Choice and Consequence_, perhaps more
    Bernard Crick, _In Defence of Politics_
    Adam Smith, _The Theory of Moral Sentiments_
    J. S. Mill, _On Liberty_, _Utilitarianism_
    Bryan Caplan, _The Myth of the Rational Voter_
    Jonathan Haidt, _The Righteous Mind_, _The Happiness Hypothesis_
    Steven Pinker, _The Blank Slate_
    Friedrich Hayek, “The Use of Knowledge in Society”

    Do we also need a catechism? I would start with some stuff from the Kuk Sool Won Student Handbook:

    “When a winner makes a mistake, he says, ‘I was wrong.'”
    “When a loser makes a mistake, he says, ‘It’s not my fault!'”

    Is it even thinkable that the Trichotomy could come together in separate houses like this?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    First thing: If this attracts any commentary, it earns its own thread, for sure.

    Second: What is the creed of Gnon? — Suspension of theological decision. It is an odd Church, ‘certainly’, and in calling itself a Church it risks alienating its largest potential constituency (who have a Church already, and a ‘jealous’ one at that). Extreme delicacy is advised in this regard.

    Third: Scripture — beyond the Outlines of Pyrrhonism by Sextus Empiricus, does the cult of Gnon have an essential scriptural canon? Before division into schools, a core ‘curriculum’ seems indispensable. It should be as economical as possible, should it not? The numinous is not unrelated to selectivity, and in this case the topic is complicated by the central reconciliation of skepticism with pre-existing religious tradition (in a ‘higher skepticism’).

    My recommendation is that you be appointed Probationary Pope, in advance of more specific institutional foundations.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    You make it sound like Cathedral beliefs are set top-down by the Unitarian Universalist church, and they are screwed up because of some fixable artifact of church politics.

    I thought the consensus was about Progressivism not being a contingent event, but a necessary result of democratic politics, themselves a necessary result of industrial society.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That sounds more like Marx than Moldbug to me.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Moldbug started looking for a golden age before Progressivism and ended up hailing Henry VII.

    It can’t be a conspiracy if it goes back that long.

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    What do you call a conspiracy without conspirators?

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    a prospiracy? http://yudkowsky.net/other/fiction/prospiracy-theory

    Gom Jabbar Reply:

    Various people have asked whether we need something more than the various blogs with their associated commentary. For example I know someone, I forget who, suggested a membership only forum. But what about a wiki? Technically it’s not very difficult (i.e. I’d be happy to set it up if there was interest).

    I confess that this is a couple of Chaos Patches ahead of where I was thinking of making this offer, so I haven’t done as much thinking about the implications as I would have liked, but as it seems germane to the present discussion further delay is counterproductive.

    Largely my goal would be to have a place where the various ideas and arguments can be refined down and centralized. If every convert to the Church of Gnon has to actively follow five blogs, read everything Moldbug has written, plus everything on Peter’s list (to say nothing of this list: http://freenortherner.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/dark-enlightenment-reading-list/) then I think action will be sparse on the ground.

    Now of course the minimum standing for a high priest or deacon would be different, but for the neo-curious a wiki could, potentially, be invaluable.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    That is a great idea.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    The Wiki of which you speak is, I think, Moldbug’s Antiversity. The information, as you note, is already out there. It needs to be brought under one roof and given a user-friendly interface, appropriate to the needs of everyone from open-minded progressive, to (Handle’s term) pre-reactionary libertarians or traditionalists, to hard-core dissidents. All with one voice, the truth, offered without snark, name-calling, or financial or political axes to grind… the future mainstream narrative.

    [Reply]

    Gom Jabbar Reply:

    I confess (endangering never becoming a deacon in the new order) that I have not read all of Moldbug, having only recently swallowed the red pill. Has anyone taken a crack at the Antiversity yet? Anything else I should know? Advice up to and including, “you’re out of your depth”, is appreciated.

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Well if it’s out of anyone’s depth (of about 100 IQ) then it will not have succeeded in my opinion. It needs to be as accessible as Fox News at the narthex level, and then go deeper into the nave for the 110 to 130 crowd, and then finally into the 140+ sanctuary, where all the deepest truths can be expounded and documented.

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    I founded my blog this long month ago for the principal reason to assemble the 10-point Reactionary Consensus® upon which (something to the effect) “Religious traditionalists, ethno-nationalists, techno-commercialists, assorted non-affiliated particularists and non-brain dead PUAs” might agree.

    Now I’m only up thru point 4 because I’m stuck on #5 (micro-economics) mostly because I’m not sure how much consensus there really is on the matter… maybe I should skip and come back to it…

    But to the larger question: No. There is no Catechism. We believe, if we believe in anything at all, in the right to agree to disagree, and a hard—oh, so painfully hard… and pointy (*OUCH*)—wall of separation between the particularities. A wall which, the Cathedral in a signal, epoch-making failure to live up to its own Firmly Declared Foundational Principles, utterly refuses to mend or safeguard or even acknowledge in its mad rush to immanentize its own particularist (and sacred and devoutly areligious) eschaton.

    The design of The Reaction® must concentrate on this defect: Walls tall enough to keep neighbors apart (and therefore neighbors and not attractive foodstuffs).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Somewhat ironically, the Cathedral doesn’t really get diversity.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 7th, 2013 at 2:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • j. ont. Says:

    Perhaps even further out than is acceptable around here, but…

    What’s the feeling on René Thom/Catastrophe theory? For the (as yet) non-hypermathematically inclined, what would be something worthwhile to read on the subject? I’m thinking specifically in relation to biology and ecosystems, but anything a little more lay would be appreciated.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That’s absolutely acceptable. I’d try to say something helpful if I had done more recent reading on the topic. (My dated sense of it is that most invocations of ‘catastrophes’ in these field refer more to Prigogine & Stengers-type models — i.e. phase changes in complex systems — than the abstract geometric descriptions of Thom.)

    [Reply]

    j. ont. Reply:

    Now chewing my way into Order Out of Chaos. Tasty stuff. Is there a physics/math/science minor in your past or something?

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    My impression of Nick Land is that he probably minored in just about everything at one time or another.

    Posted on June 7th, 2013 at 3:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Francis St. Pol Says:

    Gom Jabbar,

    yeah, implementation of the Antiversity was briefly attempted in ’08. http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2008/08/resartus-social-revision-engine.html

    I wouldn’t worry about that though. The important point is to get something up and running, if only in a closed beta.

    You should definitely read the relevant Moldbug though, some interesting ideas here:
    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2008/01/revipedia-how-to-defeat-us-government.html

    and here:
    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/08/uberfact-ultimate-social-verifier.html

    Factional reputations is pretty apropos.

    [Reply]

    Gom Jabbar Reply:

    Thanks, this was just the kind of information I was looking for. I’ll start reviewing.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 7th, 2013 at 9:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Gom Jabbar Says:

    Well if it’s out of anyone’s depth (of about 100 IQ) then it will not have succeeded in my opinion. It needs to be as accessible as Fox News at the narthex level, and then go deeper into the nave for the 110 to 130 crowd, and then finally into the 140+ sanctuary, where all the deepest truths can be expounded and documented.

    Not the depth of the wiki, but the depth of the wiki project. For it to be successful it has to have a lot of contributors. Getting people engaged and getting a critical mass of usage and contribution is going to be non-trivial. But I’m willing to give it a shot.

    [Reply]

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    let me know if you need help with anything.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 7th, 2013 at 10:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    1. Errata to my previous comment:

    Add Guenter Lewy, _Why America Needs Religion_.
    Delete both John Stuart Mill books and replace _Utilitarianism_ with David Friedman’s paper, “What Does Optimal Population Mean?”

    2. @admin: Besides Pyrrhonism, I think the creed of Gnon should include something like:

    ‘The point is that a working civilization is an extremely, impossibly remote result. Statistically, failure is the norm. Barbaric animal stupidity is the natural state of mankind. It is by the slimmest of probabilities that any civilization manages to drag itself up out of the muck, and the entire history of civilizational tradition is the shaky structure on which civilized society is balanced. You cannot throw out that tradition and expect anything but barbarism to result. The only option is a restoration of those civilizational traditions which so many ancestors established by painful trial-and-error; not because these traditions are “good” or “right” but because against all possible odds they have been proven to work.’
    — ChevalierdeJohnstone
    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2012/11/romney-he-sucks.html#6064269846577266507

    3. @admin: I think the core curriculum is basically psychology/spirituality. Once people quit lying to themselves so much, we can work the rest out. So the core readings would be Pinker’s _The Blank Slate_, and Jonathan Haidt’s books. Also, everyone has Bayesian priors, they are all different, and it’s impossible to reason without them, so we should cut each other more slack regarding theology. I gather that that’s the point of Pyrrhonism. There was a nice lecture by statistician I. J. Good to the Virginia Tech Philosophy Club back around 1980 about what makes a good theory; it is sensitive to “initial propabilities”. And there was a great essay by David Wang in Cracked Magazine about theists and atheists not being as different as either claims.

    4. @admin: Pope? You win the contest to see who can make me spray my monitor.

    Seriously, I don’t think I’m ever going to want to have a Pope, and certainly not yet. We’re still in the preliminary phases of negotiation to see if the Theonomists and the atheists can cooperate at all. I don’t think a unified executive is possible or desirable, and I’m certainly not cut out for it.

    5. @spandrell: I claim that Progressivism (the triumph of envy and the rationalization hamster) was a result of the Death of God, more or less. Unitarian Universalists are just really fast at seeing where the idiots are marching, and running out ahead of them.

    6. @Gom Jabbar: Thanks for that link. I was looking for that.

    No, I don’t want to make everyone read everything. In order to be a non-voting member, just agree to (1) the theological peace treaty, and (2) the above ChevalierdeJohnstone quotation. (This dogma under construction.) In order to be a voting member (“deacon”), you have to (1) pick a major, (2) do the assigned readings for that major, (3) show some minimal understanding of them, and (4) convince the other deacons that you’re not a jerk.

    I like the idea of a reactionary wiki.

    7. @Nick B. Steves: If I read you right, you’re saying that the whole Cult of Gnon idea is unworkable, and that the best we can hope for is a reactionary ecumenical tendency that suppresses fratricide. Pyrrhonism may make intellectual sense, but it is not “salted with fire.” Your attempt to steal Christianity back from the Cathedral, then, will have little in common with my attempt to steal atheism back from it. I can half-understand that. My Episcopalian friend has a deep need for a personal relationship with God. It’s what charges his battery. We have incompatible energy sources.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Well last time I checked God was still dead. I don’t think we can do anything about that, can we?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “… last time I checked God was still dead.”
    — the polite term is ‘Gnon-dead’

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Plenty to chew over here, but just one trivial (or at least merely procedural) point from me right now: If you and NBS converge, things advance to stage 2, if not I don’t see much genuine process. For that (convergence), some delicacy is required. I’ve already dragged out the goat, and mopped up a bit, but I also think any talk of ‘Deacons’ is going to be a problem, for instance, because it implies a substitute ecclesiastical organization, and I can’t imagine that passing muster with NBS (please correct me if I’m wrong). Gnon is a non-alternative to traditional religious commtiments, and as soon as it strays beyond that the theological fraternity — quite naturally — flee.

    A reading list, whatever its merits (considerable), is not scripture, but positive scripture runs into the problems already mentioned. Hence, the unrecorded words of Pyrrho — radically numinous, but (G)non-competitive.

    Oh, and, a ‘Probationary Pope’ is not a Pope, so don’t worry about that. I’d suggest ‘Primate’ to keep both ecclesiasts and Darwinians happy — but that falls prey to the same problem. (Neo-Primate? — same problem again.) Regarding institutional consolidation, I’m not quite sure which subtle twist to recommend …

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    These post by Vladimir asks the right questions IMO.

    The thing is, you can’t derive the exact content of today’s progressivism just by looking at Puritanism from centuries ago, or even at the beliefs of progressives from several generations ago. Even if you argue that its basic ideas were discernible long ago (for which a reasonable case can certainly be made), this still doesn’t answer the following questions:

    1. As progressives won on one issue after another, what deternined the choice od issues that they would focus on next?

    2. What determines the issues where progressives will compromise with reality to a significant degree, and where they’ll refuse to budge an inch no matter what?

    3. How exactly do the core progressive doctrines get interpreted in the context of novel social and technological circumstances? This is by no means a trivial question with a clear answer.

    4. How do the numerous contradictions inherent to progressivism get resolved to form a practical platform?

    5. What determines the length and outcome of ideological battles between progressives and conservatives? (Ultimately, the outcome is nearly always a progressive victory. But sometimes there is also a setback, leading to an at least temporary compromise, or an indefinitely prolonged conflict without clear resolution.)

    All of these questions could have plausibly had different historical resolutions, leading to a very different kind of progressivism (and overall political landscape) in our time. And in their resolution, very often crucial contributions came from external influences that can’t be reduced to a Puritan origin in any plausible way.

    Note that all this is perfectly compatible with a theory that Puritans are indeed the main historical source of the modern Anglospheric leftism, unless you take it to the absurd extreme that denies all other influences, as Moldbug tends to do.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    I like the idea of a reactionary wiki.

    Only don’t call it that. We need a non-snarky, non-political, non-controversial, non-pretentious, non-cultish sounding, non-ironic name. I’m not certain even “Antiversity” will do. “Voice of Truth” is out… I’m at a loss…

    If I read you right, you’re saying that the whole Cult of Gnon idea is unworkable, and that the best we can hope for is a reactionary ecumenical tendency that suppresses fratricide. Pyrrhonism may make intellectual sense, but it is not “salted with fire.” Your attempt to steal Christianity back from the Cathedral, then, will have little in common with my attempt to steal atheism back from it. I can half-understand that. My Episcopalian friend has a deep need for a personal relationship with God. It’s what charges his battery. We have incompatible energy sources.

    I’m not sure I’d put it quite that way. This whole Cult of Gnon thing, which I’ve never per se actually endorsed (although apparently I invented it (ala Life of Brian?) tho’ I only stole it from Th. Jefferson), perhaps obscures the fact that the Various Particularities actually do agree on Nature, and what She (or It) properly so to speak teaches us. (“Properly so to speak” is code for provided we don’t make Nature say things She (or It) is incapable of provably saying.)

    The way the Cathedral seems to work against Various Particularities is to kill them by grafting their distinctiveness onto itself which it then neuters and dominates. The Borg Collective is not all far from the true picture… except without the cube spaceships. And it’s way nicer. You don’t need a Pol Pot, or a Kim Il Sung to implement the revolution. In fact such extremes are counterproductive. “Oh you are now so perfectly free to pursue your own distinctiveness. We believe in freedom of course.” But meanwhile it has replaced every natural connection between men (and importantly between men and women) with its own perfectly rational, perfectly fair system of connections. This is the essence of Cathedralization: replace the natural, organic ties with bureacratic ones. Enforce everyones freedom and equality to pursue whatever “good” they alone wish to pursue.

    The only problem is that isn’t how people work. We didn’t spend 1 million years evolving, and 10,000 years building civilization from the ground up with bureaucrats scrutinizing the power imbalances inherent to any normal human relationship.

    Natural hierarchies (based on natural loyalties, pre-rational commitments and so on) are hard grit in the gears of the Cathedral for obvious reasons (Hitler QED). So they must be killed, but 99.9% of the time they don’t kill them. Instead they graft them. They adopt them into their collective and slowly replace the hard grit with Cathedral approved connections. And so the only way any of it works if everyone plays the game as a deracinated, perfectly rationalized, perfectly “free” individual.

    And BTW, you’d better have your kids in school from ages 5-18, and we’ll make darn sure their “educated”. (Try homeschooling in Germany… Hitler QED)

    So Particularities are fine, except they have to be perfectly voluntary. Marriage is fine but it has to perfectly voluntary… irrespective of the contract you made to that marriage. “Love honor and obey”, “Til death do us part”… isn’t that cute? And the Cathedral treats marriage vows or the rules of any voluntary organization with that much respect: Cute. But WE’LL decide what’s right.

    OK, I’ve gotten long here… probably because I don’t have a good answer… better wrap it up. So there are Christian Particularists and Atheist Particularists and they agree at the very least upon the following facts: 1) that the Cathedral is destroying their particularities, and 2) telling a lot of lies and making a lot of mischief for people all over the world all along the way; and probably 3) the way we got into this mess in the first place is that a bunch of crazy Puritans seized the reigns of power about 4 centuries ago and won’t stop til they’ve converted the entire world into their own (admittedly rapidly evolving) image.

    Now it is perfectly natural for Particularists of a certain feather to flock together. Therefore the right way to run a city or a state or (god forbid) even an empire is to give people freedom to retain their own particularities, their own “peculiar institutions” as it were, and come up with some way to promote trade (to make everyone more or less rich) whilst keeping them from tearing each other apart for not being the right kind of particularists. In a word the Patchwork, but with some sort of super strong yet completely non-ideological structure, some sort of Earthly Prime Directive, in which no one is allowed to interfere in the “natural development of a species.”

    And that is something of which, I think, Gnon would approve.

    [Reply]

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    “Only don’t call it that. We need a non-snarky, non-political, non-controversial, non-pretentious, non-cultish sounding, non-ironic name. I’m not certain even “Antiversity” will do. “Voice of Truth” is out… I’m at a loss…”

    But how does that square with Conquest’s 2nd Law? “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

    And explicitly right-wing is almost by definition snarky, political, controversial, pretentious and cultish. At least from a leftist perspective.

    I think “Resartus” works reasonably well. It is, after all, the name the inventor of the concept gave to it. However, the name is really up to Gom Jabbar, if he’s the one that ends up implementing it.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Resartus (re-tailored) Yep, although it’s close association with Carlyle is a bit of a problem… but truly too opaque for the 99%.

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    It’s more the association with Moldbug that’s the problem. Carlyle on his own is only slightly controversial, if only because Sartor Resartus is the only work of his that’s still really read in academia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sartor_Resartus). And the fact that his wild and crazy beliefs can be safely dismissed as a product of the Past, not relevant to our Enlightened Modern Age.

    Moldbug, though, Moldbug is controversial. So we can either pretend that we’ve never heard of him, or be honest. Which is why opacity is probably a feature, not a bug. It filters our interlocutors and lets us engage the controversy on our own terms.

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    It is my hope that Moldbug will either de-cloak or adopt a more suitable academic name (like Charles G. Yarborough) and join the effort. His participation is somewhere between pretty important to absolutely essential. (BTW resartus (Department of Transportation)* org appears to be available at the moment, anyone one wanna buy it? I’m already in for altright.org but I’m not sure that one’s gonna be useful)

    *Department of Transportation=DOT

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    Bought the domain. Gom Jabbar, if you want it, let me know.

    I agree, Moldbug is essential. But he hasn’t abandoned the cause. His present project is muy relevante and I think might prove decisive.

    Posted on June 8th, 2013 at 6:16 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    @spandrell:

    “The death of God” is misleading. If you look at social statistics in the US, a vast majority believe in some sort of God. The problem is that they don’t believe in the old Christian teachings about God’s will. Nick B. Steves says that God says that envy is a sin. The Social Gospel and Liberation Theology preachers say that God says, in effect, that envy is a sacrament. Who are you going to believe, Nick B. Steves, or the rationalization hamster?

    Vladimir is great.

    I like John McCarthy’s view of the left-right spectrum. What is the logical connection between abortion rights and nuclear power?
    http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/ideology.html

    @admin:

    I once took a class called “Industrial Ecology”, in which the professor said that a lot of arguments about environmentalism were misplaced. People argue about whether decisions about cutting down trees should be made in the private sector or the public sector. But regardless of who’s making the decision, the real problem is that nobody knows how to price a tree as an environmental good. So the person who saves the Earth is going to be an accountant.

    By the same token, Theonomists and atheists argue about God. But people like Episcopal Bishop John Spong believe in God, and they still are part of the Cathedral. So the real question is, “How do you know that the moral principles you preach are the correct ones?” I think the answer is that, theist or atheist, we have to look at the consequences, like Guenter Lewy did in _Why America Needs Religion_. But one of the recurring themes on EconTalk is that it’s almost impossible to convince anyone of anything using social statistics. Everybody knows on some level that it’s really easy to cherry-pick these kinds of statistics, even when you’re trying not to. We need somebody who can convince people that his statistical analysis is right. We need a Messiah who’s a statistician. I want to argue that the Theonomists and the atheists basically need the same Messiah. But maybe that’s wrong. Maybe the real problem is “How do we keep the rationalization hamster on his meds?” To paraphrase Andrei Codrescue, what we need are not statisticians, what we need are psychiatrists.

    I’m inclined to give up on Gnon, and go back to preaching the Word of Glaucon to my unendarkened libertarian friends.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Gnon today, gone tomorrow …

    Seriously though, I think the most practical way to develop this line of thinking is to recognize that it begins as a conversation, and what it needs initially is not so much a church, as a club. Clubs are the topic of the hour, it seems, with a great post on the topic at the Great AUK, following the realization of the same reported at NBS’s place and at Foseti’s. The Gnon Club — entirely virtual at first — wouldn’t threaten anybody’s sacraments, but would exist as a forum to discuss the role and future of religion in society, in a way that systematically suspended dialectical disintegration on the grounds of belief.

    I’ve been quietly intrigued by your thoughts on this topic for some time now (after Spandrell tuned me into them), and it would be disappointing to learn that it is impossible at the present time to sustain a spiral of discussion around them.

    ADDED: Francis St. Pol is on the same wavelength: “In its nascent form, I imagine the Party looks rather like a monthly dinner club.” (FWIW, ‘Party’ strikes me as a word to be scrupulously avoided.)

    [Reply]

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    I could probably have phrased my thought more accurately as “The Party will emerge from our monthly dinner clubs.” To call whatever it is we’re about “The Party” is somewhat inaccurate (though perhaps aspirational) and I agree, leaves a bit of an acrid democratic taste in one’s mouth.

    I’m partial to the Moldbuggian terminology though, if only because the Moldbug Plan is the clearest one we have. I strongly believe that it needs updating. Plans may be somewhat useless, but planning is crucial. Or so says my favorite progressive.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Isn’t Moldbug’s ‘party’ label simply spoofing Comintern? I’m not seeing how a party could be anything other than a democratic-political vehicle, caught somewhere between electoral irrelevance and revolutionary dementia.

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    Yes, it’s all exactly in line with his point about using democracy to get rid of democracy. Which I think is a perhaps unlikely route to victory, but I can’t really think of anything obviously more plausible.

    Under the Moldbug Plan, The Party is a democratic-political vehicle but a very very odd one. It does no electioneering, has no candidates, peddles no influence. It seeks no power and always votes Democrat. And as for revolutionary dementia, The Party is thoroughly anti-revolution. To the Modern Structure, the present holder of the Mandate of Heaven, The Party is utterly loyal. There should be no inconsistency for a Party member to swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” as in the Uniformed Services Oath of Office as the Constitution provides for it’s own obsolescence in Article V. The entirety of The Party’s politics can be summed up in a sentence: “Through Amendment or Convention, we wish replace the Modern Structure with the New, as described by the Antiversity.” And, of course, the Party itself is not the New Structure.

    As I described in my blog post, the more immediate purpose of The Party is to help the virtue of its members. Cultivating Character and Family. Dinner clubs, book clubs. Applying the lessons of the Antiversity to the real world. Aid and support against the depredations of Modernity. We could all use more friends and allies.

    When Tianming finally slips from its current corrupt wielder’s clutches, it will fall to the most virtuous.

    John Hannon Reply:

    Something along the lines of The Lunar Society of Birmingham, perhaps?

    This was a dinner club and informal learned society of industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals who met regularly between 1765 and 1813. Regular attendees included James Watt, Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgewood and Joseph Priestly, while among those more loosely associated with it were Benjamin Franklin and William Herschel.

    Today the University of Birmingham Lunar Society hosts symposiums every 2 weeks, where topics ranging from current affairs to philosophy, science and art are discussed. Any member can suggest a topic for discussion and the society is intended to provide an alternative to the more regulated debate options available at the university.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Do our contemporary ‘lunaticks’ have a distinctive outlook? I’m obviously predisposed to assume precipitous decline.

    Posted on June 8th, 2013 at 2:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • On The Design of The Antiversity | Banner of Cosmos Says:

    […] many have mentioned, the logical way to do this is some sort of Wiki. I strongly believe that this Wiki […]

    Posted on June 8th, 2013 at 3:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Gom Jabbar Says:

    It is my hope that Moldbug will either de-cloak or adopt a more suitable academic name (like Charles G. Yarborough) and join the effort. His participation is somewhere between pretty important to absolutely essential. (BTW resartus (Department of Transportation)* org appears to be available at the moment, anyone one wanna buy it? I’m already in for altright.org but I’m not sure that one’s gonna be useful)
    *Department of Transportation=DOT

    Mostly AFK today, but I checked out resartus.org, there’s nothing there, but someone does own it (http://www.whois.com/whois/resartus.org). As there is some differing ideas as to the intended audience and the degree of obfuscation, etc. I was thinking that, rather than continue to shoehorn the discussion in here, that I could set up a free blog, post questions on how to structure things and then use the comment thread for discussion. This also allows me to see how much traction the idea is getting before putting in a lot of labor.

    Thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    Yes, that’s me. Sorry, should probably have let you buy it to save on transfer costs.

    [Reply]

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    Send me an email at francis_st_pol@fastmail.fm and we’ll coordinate.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    I was going to SAY… whoever it was that got the domain must have been listening to this conversation because it is registered like only a couple hours before I pointed out that it was available…

    Good get Francis!

    You didn’t use GoDaddy’s name hiding stuff? Might be worth it.

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    Yeah, just went in and changed the whois details. Oh well. The whole point of the pseudonym is really more to make my blog ungoogleable than to hide from all you wonderful people here.

    Michael Reply:

    have you seen the video of moldbug explaining his ideas at the comedy club or debating

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 8th, 2013 at 9:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Seems the Xi-Obama meeting didn’t go that well

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nicaragua-china-panama-canal?CMP=twt_gu

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    A Xi-Obama meeting that ‘went well’ would be truly terrifying.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 9th, 2013 at 1:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Christopher Says:

    ‘His present project is muy relevante and I think might prove decisive.’

    Anything you can share?

    [Reply]

    Francis St. Pol Reply:

    Yes. Send me an email.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 9th, 2013 at 4:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Slow Numbers.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    “You will die in seven days…”

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    INTERVIEWER

    It corresponds, in a general way, to the metaphor George Eliot uses in Middlemarch, that society is a web and one cannot disentangle a strand without touching all the others.

    BORGES

    [With great interest] Who said that?

    INTERVIEWER

    George Eliot, in Middlemarch

    BORGES

    Ah, Middlemarch! Yes, of course! You mean the whole universe is linked together; everything linked. Well that’s one of the reasons the Stoic philosophers had for believing in omens. There’s a paper, a very interesting paper, as all of his are, by De Quincey on modern superstition, and there he gives the Stoic theory. The idea is that since the whole universe is one living thing, then there is a kinship between things that seem far off. For example, if thirteen people dine together, one of them is bound to die within the year. Not merely because of Jesus Christ and the Last Supper, but also because all things are bound together. He said—I wonder how that sentence runs—that everything in the world is a secret glass or secret mirror of the universe.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    Miller: A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidences and things. They don’t realize that there’s this like lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. I’ll give you an example, show you what I mean. Suppose you’re thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like plate or shrimp or plate of shrimp out of the blue no explanation. No point in looking for one either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconsciousness.

    Otto: You eat a lot of acid Miller, back in the hippie days?

    Miller: I’ll give you another instance. You know the way everybody’s into weirdness right now. Books in all the supermarkets about Bermuda triangles,UFO’s, how the Mayans invented television. That kind of thing.

    Otto: I don’t read them books.

    Miller: Well the way I see it it’s exactly the same. There ain’t no difference between a flying saucer and a time machine. People get so hung up on specifics. They miss out on seeing the whole thing. Take South America for example. In South America thousands of people go missing every year. Nobody knows where they go. They just like disappear. But if you think about it for a minute, you realize something. There had to be a time when there was no people. Right?

    Otto: Yeah. I guess.

    Miller: Well where did all these people come from? hmmm? I’ll tell you where. The future. Where did all these people disappear to? hmmm?

    Otto: The past?

    Miller: That’s right and how did they get there?

    Otto: How the hell do I know?

    Miller: Flying saucers. Which are really? Yeah you got it. Time machines.

    Posted on June 9th, 2013 at 10:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    @
    OK, so it’s probably all a bit fuzzy-focused these days, but its basic structure might still be worth emulating.
    Other than that, maybe the Algonquin Round Table
    – Mencius Moldbug as Dorothy Parker.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 3:12 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] momentous stuff going on in Nick Land’s Chaos Patch. Resartus is happening. Also from Nick, Sinocoin, which I think is some sort of Chinese finger trap […]

    Posted on June 10th, 2013 at 8:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Random (chaotic?) trichotomous thoughts from Michael Maier:

    … from thence to the Triangle which consists of Body, Soul and Spirit, or Sol, Luna and Mercury.

    What else did we have? Warrior, priest and peasant[?]; colours – red[?]; white and black. Isis (Mary) is the moon; Osiris (Jesus) is the sun; leaving Mercury!

    On reading lists: Rimbaud seems to be adding some clarification (“I’m now making myself as scummy as I can…”; or, more positively, “the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed – and the Supreme Scientist!”), and Foucault still, but maybe they’re not required neoreactionary reading… Paradise Lost is coming closer I think – somebody sent me this the other day (not physically – that wouldn’t be so amusing). Think I might wait and build up to Milton when the time is right…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The foot-dragging (viz PL) I get — the Egyptian references have the same effect on me. It should be irresistible, deep regression into the Occidental pre-classical, but the New Age perversions have encrusted it with such emetic associations that it’s all but inaccessible. Probably it’s necessary to get a little literate with hieroglyphics and visit a good Egyptological collection to get over that.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Yes, the Egyptian stuff isn’t out of choice. It’s also hugely confusing even if you can filter out the new age intrusions. I’ll try to tone it down (new age tip: for stomach ailments malachite was once considered useful, it also warded off the ‘evil eye’ and was (apparently) mined in Egypt as far back as 4000 BC. I pinpointed – not literally – my butterfly a while ago: a malachi butterfly). Oddly there is a strong China-Egypt link (and not just via the Bangles – “The Chinese know (Oh-Way-Oh)/ They walk along like Egyptians”), but that’s for another time. Phew, lucky this is a chaos patch…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “lucky this is a chaos patch” — yes, no need to feel inhibited about it.

    fotrkd Reply:

    I’ve been mulling and wrote this:

    In response to what physicists already know, Genomicon asks, “If linear time is a useful navigational aid, but essentially an observational fallacy…”? In ‘Non-standard Numeracies’, Nick Land announces:

    “The first one to master time-travel rules the universe forever.”

    Where do you go within the illusion of linear time to be its master? The end. Everywhere flows to it. And if it is an illusion what’s stopping ‘the Master’ from going there (i.e. what’s stopping this from being bonkers)? The end creates the beginning (and itself). Sounds ass-backward to me…

    I then got thoroughly confused before coming back to the Genesis account – why is the serpent there? Why does God create evil? And that’s the trick – to make us think that evil is contrary to God’s plans, a force to be overcome; free-will not automatons etc. But the serpent as the revealer of wisdom is put there by God out of selfish necessity – the serpent gets God built.

    So setting aside for now what these names actually mean, is this a useful trail to be on? And if so, what does it mean regarding the eternal return? Is it breakable? Or are we just trying to shorten it as much as possible (eventually to the point of perpetual death/rebirth)? Removing all else from the story? And is that the point of regression, and why…hmm.. are we losing? Is it getting longer? Too many questions…

    fotrkd Reply:

    Right, hang on.. (at least) some of that’s crap. It’s just a fable isn’t it. The story told to get us from A to B. And the straighter the line the better. Do I get to stop flailing at any point?

    Anyway, I wrote that earlier – I have a new plan: been to the pub; drunk all the wine in the house, now have a few cans of John Smiths and some gin. Unfortunately I’m in a small village with no cigarettes, but I’m optimistic (also tired)… paper and pen… (feel free to clip me round the ear, I do respond).

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    No cigarettes?!! Darn…

    Time travel forward in time is a trivial and well-solved problem. We’re already doing it. If you want to go forward in time relative to your mates, hop on a jet airplane. If you want to get VERY far forward in time, just go a whole lot faster for a longer time (like Charlton Heston did…)

    But if you want to go backwards in time…

    Well, if the future has sentient beings for a long time, and time travel is ever (in the future) possible… then someone would have traveled back to our own past already… In fact, they would have done so many times. If enough times, surely one of them might have gotten caught and had their cover blown. Since this has never happened, time travel to the past (the only thing people mean by non-trivial time-travel) must always be impossible (even in the future). QED. Either that or sentient beings don’t survive that much farther into the future…. Plus, anyway, you could kill your father and then never be born…

    Posted on June 11th, 2013 at 12:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @ Nick B. Steves
    There are a lot of questionable assumptions built into that. (Of course, the detailed rejoinder has already been made)
    Seriously, though, as soon as I can carve out a chunk of time a thorough time-travel discussion is overdue — it isn’t straightforward [sic].

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 15th, 2013 at 3:25 am Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    @fotrkd

    How’s the hangover this morning?

    Incidentally, rather than merely disinhibiting your thought-flows with gin and John Smiths, you could have obtained some extraordinarily intense and profound perceptions concerning the nature of time by availing yourself of some 60X Salvia Divinorum.
    Ontological discombobulation of the highest order –
    and no hangover.

    (And still completely legal in the UK)

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Thanks, but if cigarettes weren’t an option… Anyway, I’ll bear it in mind for the future. For the record John Smiths is shit for discombobulation purposes. Just sent me to sleep (and I don’t remember any dreams). Still, you work with what you’ve got. Now, coffee…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Bad news.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 15th, 2013 at 9:22 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    I’m looking for an essay I can link to that explains what neoreactionaries mean by “The Cathedral”. Is there something better out there than Moldbug’s “Gentle Introduction” part 1?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Could there be anything better than Moldbug’s Gentle Introduction Part 1? The structure of argument in that essay is so masterful it totally floors me.

    [Reply]

    Gom Jabbar Reply:

    For those who really want to understand it, in all it’s terrible majesty, probably not, but not everyone will make it to the end of an 8000 word essay (and the word Cathedral doesn’t even appear till around 5700 words in). As my people say, “Milk before meat.” The Moldbug essay is certainly the meat, but there might be a need for some milk.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    ‘Thatcher the milk snatcher’ (just saying)

    Posted on July 4th, 2013 at 6:47 am Reply | Quote

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