Economic Ends

“The economists are right about economics but there’s more to life than economics” Nydwracu tweets, with quote marks already attached. Whether economists are right about economics very much depends upon the economists, and those that are most right are those who make least claim to comprehension, but that is another topic than the one to be pursued in this post. It’s the second part of the sentence that matters here and now. The guiding question: Can the economic sphere be rigorously delimited, and thus superseded, by moral-political reason (and associated social institutions)?

It is already to court misunderstanding to pursue this question in terms of ‘economics’, which is (for profound historical reasons) dominated by macroeconomics — i.e. an intellectual project oriented to the facilitation of political control over the economy.  In this regard, the techno-commercial thread of Neoreaction is distinctively characterized by a radical aversion to economics, as the predictable complement of its attachment to the uncontrolled (or laissez-faire) economy. It is not economics that is the primary object of controversy, but capitalism — the free, autonomous, or non-transcended economy.

This question is a source of dynamic tension within Neoreaction, which I expect to be a major stimulus to discussion throughout 2014. In my estimation, the poles of controversy are marked by this Michael Anissimov post at More Right (among others), and this post here (among others). Much other relevant writing on the topic within the reactosphere strikes me as significantly more hedged (AnarchopapistAmos & Gromar …), or less stark in its conceptual commitments (Jim), and thus — in general — less directed to boundary-setting. That is to suggest — with some caution — that More Right and Outside in mark out the extreme alternatives structuring the terrain of dissensus on this particular issue. (In itself, this is a tendentious claim, open to counter-argument and rectification.)

So what is the terrain of the coming conflict? It includes (in approximate order of intellectual priority):

— An assessment of the Neocameral model and its legacy within Neoreaction. This is the ‘gateway’ theoretical structure through which libertarians pass into neoreactionary realism, marked by a fundamental ambiguity between an enveloping economism (determining sovereignty as a propertarian concept) and super-economic monarchist themes. The entire discussion could, perhaps, be effectively undertaken as commentary upon Neocameralism, and what remains of it.

— A rigorous formulation of teleology within Neoreaction, refining the meta-level conceptual apparatus through which means-and-ends, techno-economic instrumentality, strategy, purpose, and commanding values are concretely understood.  This is a strong candidate for the highest level of philosophical articulation demanded by the system of neoreactionary ideas. (From the perspective of Outside in, it would be expected, incidentally, to subsume all considerations of moral philosophy — and especially a thoroughgoing replacement of utilitarianism by an intrinsically neoreactionary alternative — but I will not presume that this is an uncontroversial stance, even among ourselves.)

— Ultimately inextricable from the former (in reality), but provisionally distinguished for analytical purposes, are the teleonomic topics of emergence / spontaneous order, unplanned coordination, complex systems evolution, and entropy dissipation. The intellectual supremacy of these concepts defines the right, from the side of the libertarian tradition. Is this supremacy now to be usurped (by ‘hierarchy’ or some alternative)? If so, it is not a transition to be undergone casually. The Outside in position: any such transition would be a drastic cognitive regression, and an unsustainable one, both theoretically and practically.

— The philosophy of war, which is credibly positioned to envelop all neoreactionary ideas, and even to convert them into something else. (It is no coincidence that Moldbug, like the libertarians, axiomatizes the imperative of peace — even at the expense of realism.) War is historical reality in the raw, and its challenges cannot be indefinitely evaded.

— Cosmopolitanism. Exit-emphasis strongly implies a crisis of traditional loyalty, of enormous consequence. There is much more to be said about this, from both sides.

— Accelerationism. Not yet an acknowledged Neoreactionary concern, but perhaps destined to become one. As the pure expression of capitalist teleology, its intrusion into the argument becomes near-inevitable.

— Bitcoin …

One conciliatory point for now (it’s late): Neoreaction has no less glue than internal fission, and that is described above all by the theme of secession (dynamic geography, experimental government, fragmentation …). More Right is not anti-capitalist, and Outside in is not anti-monarchical, so long — in each case — as effective exit options sustain regime diversity. As this controversy develops, the importance of the secessionary impulse will only strengthen as a convergence point.

Michael Anissimov tweets: “Instead of having an election in 2016, the United States should voluntarily abolish itself and break up into five pieces.” In this respect, Outside in is unreservedly Anissimovite.

 

69 Responses to this entry

  • nydwracu Says:

    It is not economics that is the primary object of controversy, but capitalism – the free, autonomous, or non-transcended economy.

    We need more terms! The autonomous economy is not the same concept as the form of organization in which there are capitalists; nor are either of those the same concept as the market method of price-setting.

    [Reply]

    Contemplationist Reply:

    Agreed.
    ‘Capitalism’ has historically referred to any and all mixed-economy systems.
    More terms are needed for clarity.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    OK, more terms, but there’s no way I’m surrendering ‘capitalism’ to people who don’t metaphysically appreciate it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 11th, 2014 at 11:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • anonymous Says:

    1. general slightly related comment – we should use the word catallarchy more

    2. Can the economic sphere be rigorously delimited, and thus superseded, by moral-political reason

    Yes, but, do we really want that – given what we know about who has shaped “moral-political reasoning” over the last several generations, and how they have shaped it?

    [Reply]

    Contemplationist Reply:

    Do you mean catallaxy?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    With point #2 I am of course in full agreement (and then some).
    Probably should have used catallaxy in the obvious place (spontaneous order), but given its skew to an economic register I thought it might be cheating.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 11th, 2014 at 11:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    One of the problematic terms is “economics”. James M. Buchanan writes in ch. 3 of Cost and Choice about the difference between one side of economics that tries to be a science, with falsifiable theories about things that people can measure, and another, philosophical side, “the pure logic of choice”, that tries to set the problem up correctly. The “pure logic” side is interested in whatever people care about, whether you can figure out how to measure it or not.

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Buchanan/buchCv6c3.html

    Also, Mansur Olson made a distinction in one of his books (The Theory of Collective Action?) between “laissez faire” and “free market”. He did not consider a natural monopoly to be a “free” market.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Economic history does much to dispel the phobia about monopolies — the efforts to route around them by private economic agents is responsible for an extraordinary amount of productive innovation, whilst government attempts to control them does more to grow government than to encourage competition. Damp down the private economic war between monopolies and creative destruction is hugely inhibited — just look at the transition from dynamic 19th century capitalism to the flabby domesticated 20th century version. The progressive era began with anti-monopoly demagoguery. Once that gets in the door, the free economy is over.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 11th, 2014 at 11:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    David Friedman defines “economics” as “that approach to the study of human behavior that assumes that it is goal oriented”.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    David Friedman is so brilliant on occasion that it baffles me how he’s so clueless on all the rest.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 11th, 2014 at 11:48 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bryce Laliberte Says:

    What’s the contradiction between spontaneous order and hierarchy?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    None, but hierarchy emerges inevitably and doesn’t require policy reinforcement.

    [Reply]

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    Agreed, however, policy and policy reinforcement also emerge.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    The policy reinforcement inevitably fragilizes that which it attempts to preserve by crippling its real source of vitality, the emergent system. The system ossifies until it shatters itself.

    It tenses in fear, usually of the unknown or social-signalling kind, and then writes those tensings into law. Eventually it attempts to tense and, having become so brittle, it cannot absorb the Newton’s third force.

    James James Reply:

    “None, but hierarchy emerges inevitably and doesn’t require policy reinforcement.”

    It does require force. What is the difference between force and “policy reinforcement”?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 1:37 am Reply | Quote
  • Wilhelm von Überlieferung Says:

    Once one truly understands that information is the neutral monism underlying all of reality–from matter, to energy, to thermodynamic processes–then one can begin to formulate a teleological orientation that will stand the test of time.

    Emergence & self-organization are not principles that are or should be opposed to the principle of hierarchy. These are all interrelated concepts. If anything, it is emergence and self-organization that are in mutual opposition to one another. Hierarchies crystallize from the complexity within a system that achieves some level of homeostasis. A hierarchy is a natural property within all systems that exist for any length of time, especially those systems that are cyclical.

    Think of emergence as the Dionysian force of chaos and self-organization as the Apollonian force of form. Only when both the Dionysian and Apollonian forces are in balance do higher elevations of complexity, and so too hierarchies, manifest themselves.

    If you want a more formal understanding of these concepts, please see “Complexity and Information: Measuring Emergence, Self-organization, and Homeostasis at Multiple Scales.”

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.2026

    When we say we want more organic societies, more emergence and self-organization, what we’re really saying is we want to free ourselves from the prevailing will and anti-hierarchy of the Cathedral so that we may form numerous hierarchies of our own. With any luck, we might just be able to escape the gravitational well and ultimate death-spiral imposed by the current regime.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 2:00 am Reply | Quote
  • Noir Says:

    What are your thoughts on this book as representative for a Catholic source:

    What is Neoreaction: Ideology, Social-Historical Evolution, and the Phenomena of Civilization

    http://www.amazon.com/What-Neoreaction-Social-Historical-Evolution-Civilization-ebook/dp/B00FIVER0K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389494669&sr=1-1&keywords=neoreaction

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It’s complicated … (I strong suspect my Hyper-Calvinism is getting in the way). In any case, I’m determined to get a long-promised review completed — hopefully before the late Spring.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 2:58 am Reply | Quote
  • piwtd Says:

    Even though this is only tangentially relevant to the topic, I would like to ask if anyone here has any thoughts on The Unabomber Manifesto, or as he called it “Industrial Society & Its Future”. There is a section in it named “The Psychology of Modern Leftism” where he describes and denounces “the cathedral” in 1995. Naturally, when I first heard of him I assumed he was a leftist like other anarcho-primitivists are, but his views are far more accurately described as “traditionalist” with a large time-horizon, where the traditional society he wants to return to is the one of the paleolithic and the insanity of modernity started with agriculture. The simultaneous similarity and polar opposition to the ideas of neoreaction makes me wander if anyone here has anything to say on the subject.

    13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the problems of groups that have an image of being weak (women), defeated (American Indians), repellent (homosexuals), or otherwise inferior. The leftists themselves feel that these groups are inferior. They would never admit to themselves that they have such feelings, but it is precisely because they do see these groups as inferior that they identify with their problems. (We do not mean to suggest that women, Indians, etc., ARE inferior; we are only making a point about leftist psychology.)
    14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong and as capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.
    15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc., clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate the West because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist countries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the leftist’s real motive for hating America and the West. He hates America and the West because they are strong and successful.
    16. Words like “self—confidence,” “self—reliance,” “initiative,” “enterprise,” “optimism,” etc., play little role in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve everyone’s problems for them, satisfy everyone’s needs for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense of confidence in his ability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser.

    [Reply]

    Richard Brookes Reply:

    Funny you should mention him: I recently came across John Zerzan, looking for examples of feminist-anarchists who make the (correct) claim that civilization is inseparable from patriarchy.

    That strain of left-anarchism is in a sense the “honest opposition” to neoreaction: they have a similar understanding of the real facts of human society, but make a different subjective choice of what is desirable and consistent with those facts.

    [Reply]

    piwtd Reply:

    The reason I ask about the unabomber is precisely that his worldview is in some way exactly the opposite of John Zerzan. They both want to destroy the civilization but for opposing motives. Your typical anarcho-primitivist sees that civilization is inseparable from patriarchy and is against both. The unabomber, on the other hand, sees the civilization as inseparable from the suppression of masculinity and natural family. Civilization is castrating free man and turning them into genderless consumers, and he is against that. This, i.e. the rebellion against the “dildocracy”, seems to me as fundamentally the same sentiment that is driving a lot of neoreaction.

    You could make a square of worldviews where on the right you have those who are for hierarchy, on the left those who are against, on the top those who think civilization is inseparable from hierarchies and on the bottom those who think civilization is the egalitarian impulse to destroy hierarchies. John Zerzan is top left, The Unabomber is bottom right, reactionaries are top right and Noam Chomsky is bottom left. Those on the ascending diagonal are for civilization, those on the descending diagonal are against.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 4:08 am Reply | Quote
  • Diogenes Says:

    How is cosmopolitanism being construed as compared with universalism here?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    They’re easily confused, but not in fact the same. (I think this requires a separate post.)

    [Reply]

    Roi Reply:

    The cosmopolitan is easily uprooted in his quest for great projects, likeminded people and money.

    The universalist simply thinks that one way of life i suitable for everyone.

    The cosmopolitan is drawn towards the “meling pot” organizations. Due to the fact that everyone there has gone through a screening process, there is a base level of trust, so they don’t encounter as much of the normal drawbacks of diversity. Coupled with the fact that they didn’t feel at home in their “backwards” hometowns, they get pretty suceptible to righteous universialism.

    My ideal situation would be to do away with universalism and get the cosmopolitans to keep the connections to their hometowns, in case their children don’t apreciate the metropolis as much as they do.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 4:34 am Reply | Quote
  • Bill Says:

    @piwtd I just read Alston Chase’s biography of the Unabomber. I wouldn’t rely on the Unabomber, he was not a fully formed human being. For one, he was experimented on in MKULTRA experiments at Harvard, and they messed old Teddy K up ultra bad. If we are thinking about teleology I really could not think of less rewarding dead end than living alone in the woods hated by people you have hurt. He was also paranoid and emotionally child like. The way I see neoreaction is as a movement that wants to break out of traditional politics. If we are thinking about teleology, we might even have a germ of hard right progress in us, and ask ourselves about how can we make life better only for people who practice spontaneous altruism. For me, more of a lover of Lovecraft’s horror than the loser Unambomber, my good life would be reality based and exclusionary.

    Also, having fought in a war. In Afghanistan from 2004 to 2005, I can say that it definitely was fun a good portion of the time. For one thing, all the big talkers suddenly become wall flowers and the men of action are given full control.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    And [me Iraq 2X] then..then…Big Army arrived to “save the day”.

    Not a total loss, the Men of Action learned guile and to sneak around. Maybe. 😉

    [Reply]

    piwtd Reply:

    Also, having fought in a war. In Afghanistan from 2004 to 2005, I can say that it definitely was fun a good portion of the time. For one thing, all the big talkers suddenly become wall flowers and the men of action are given full control.

    But isn’t that pretty much the spirit of his manifesto? The civilization is, according to him, the suppression of natural impulses like engaging in war, and instead turning men into castrated consumers.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 5:51 am Reply | Quote
  • Jones Says:

    It is not economics that is the primary object of controversy, but capitalism – the free, autonomous, or non-transcended economy.

    There’s no such thing as a “free, autonomous, or non-transcended economy.” Any economy is based on force hence political power.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That’s a reasonable (rigorously socialist or left-reactionary response), but it’s also too hasty. Capitalism is teleologically directed towards autonomization, and there are several ways this can be realized. Most obviously:
    (a) Social programming through capital imperatives (basically the Marxist analysis of what was already happening in the late 19th century), and / or
    (b) Artificial intelligence development as the escape of capital from human security confinement.

    [Reply]

    Carl Reply:

    What does “based on force” actually mean? That if one of the parties to an economic exchange gets attacked or robbed, they will probably have some provision to protect themselves and/or retrieve their property? By this definition buying an ice-cream or going to the ballet is “based on force”. You sound like one of these leftist wannabe Sherlock Holmes types who think that by identifying an “interest” they have Uncovered the Secret Marxist Truth about that time some builders came over and fixed the flashing on my porch. It was all “based on force”! Gasp!

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 6:08 am Reply | Quote
  • Jones Says:

    David Friedman defines “economics” as “that approach to the study of human behavior that assumes that it is goal oriented”.

    That would be “sociobiology”, not “economics.”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    How clearly defined is the distinction between ‘sociobiology’ and ‘economics’?

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    “Pure logic of choice” economics assumes people are goal-oriented.

    “Scientific” economics assumes people are goal-oriented and that the goals are simple and obvious enough that you can second-guess their decisions.

    Sociobiology assumes people are goal-oriented and that the goal is reproduction in an environment that existed 100,000 years ago.

    http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/econ_and_evol_psych/economics_and_evol_psych.html

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Not even close. Ants and bees and schools of fish and flocks of birds all demonstrate evolved behavioral patterns of sociobiology. The difference between genetically programmed instincts and trying to win competitive chess-games through a process of reasoning responsive to incentives is too vast a chasm to bridge with a term like that. Economics is closer to the latter than the former.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 6:10 am Reply | Quote
  • Anomaly UK Says:

    I think in the nydrwacu tweet-length quote, “economics” means “what people normally think of as economics”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Institutional_Economics overlaps with some major areas of neoreactionary thought. My impression is that the academics often deliberate stop short of drawing neoreactionary conclusions from research that pretty clearly imply them.

    Even when academics in this area reach anti-reactionary conclusions—Bueno de Mesquita for instace—they are asking taboo questions about governance, to which the mainstream response is not to argue against reaction but to deny the validity of the question.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Bueno de Mesquita is great, but yes you can see they’re pulling their punches.

    [Reply]

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    “My impression is that the academics often deliberate stop short of drawing neoreactionary conclusions from research that pretty clearly imply them.”

    Anecdotally, this has been my experience with literally all my economics professors. There were a lot of interesting discussions between my professor of monetary theory and I about the implications of the papers we were focusing on, with essentially every discussion ending at an impasse where I wanted to follow the rabbit hole all the way down and he would impose an artificial limit on what conclusions could be drawn from economics. Every. Damn. Time.

    “According to this Kydland and Prescott paper, discretionary policy by the Fed destabilizes markets by making predicting the value of monetary (M0, M1, M2, etc) assets harder to predict.”

    “That is correct.”

    “So wouldn’t the very possibility of discretionary policy have the same effect?”

    “What are you getting at?”

    “Well, what’s the point of having the Fed around if *not* to engage in discretionary policy? What purpose is there to the government having absolute sovereign control over the money supply?”

    “To stabilize the value of money.”

    “You know that’s bs.”

    “Well, yes.”

    “So the only conclusion to be drawn…”

    “We’re no longer in the subject of economics, but you could pursue this in political science if you wished.”

    Many many discussions that went exactly like that. Academic economists engage in an incredible amount of doublethink.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    No, it is the economics of their paychecks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 8:49 am Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    I’m still contemplating the implications of this paper for Bitcoin (HT: Tyler Cowen).

    A ‘Cambrian Explosion’ of competitive fiat cryptocurrencies with negligible barriers to entry undermines the ability of any one in particular to store value. Copy and paste the source code, maybe a few tweaks, create a new community, call it ‘Newcoin’ or whatever, and you’re off to the races. And if you don’t make your source code open (thus immediately copyable), it won’t be trusted.

    To be anything besides an in-and-out medium of exchange (not fully ‘money’), the ‘favored protocol’ effect has to settle on a few ‘hard currencies’ as Schelling points.

    But that’s the problem. Any hardness belonging to any hard cryptocurrency is precisely the seigniorage rent that incentivizes attack.

    So, even though a particular cryptocurrency may have an algorithmically-defined limited stock, if an imitator becomes competitive (by setting rates equal to the tipping point), then it has the equivalent effect of monetary-base expansion, debasement, and inflation. With a lot of participants in the market, the ‘limited stock’ doesn’t actually mitigate the ‘fiat’ as was anticipated.

    In a cryptocurrency tournament, Gresham’s law operates, bad money drives out the good, and no one is willing to hold any cryptocurrency for more than the moment it takes to settle a transaction. Indeed, because no one is willing to hold it, the money bubble prices collapse to zero, and the cryptocurrency reduces merely to being a clever way to conclude contracts and facilitate e-commerce.

    Now, for social and psychological reasons, people may initially prefer one particular and famous cryptocurrency, but such a position (and any value stored in it) can never be stable. People can prefer one social networking site to others too, to the point where it seems everyone will use it forever, but then facebook comes to replace myspace, etc.

    The only way to mitigate this problem is for the protocol hard-money cryptocurrency to have some kind of backing in the real economy.

    I propose we set up a company that does this with a weighted index of commodity and real estate futures. Anyone want in? Also, it’s probably illegal.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    We are entering a new internet-based monetary ecology, and the way it develops will be so fabulously complicated that confident prediction is almost certainly impossible. One thing that I think we can be very confident about, however, is that a threshold has been crossed from which there is no going back.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    Once you go HandleCoin, you never go back.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    It would be worth it if only to get you on the offending side of the law instead of upholding it.

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    You may well get your wish, and soon. Certain less politically-favored divisions of the ‘upholding the law’ labor market are experiencing a gradual, but increasingly austere, reduction in force. The computers are coming too; they are already replacing the linguists with the machines which are, of course, faster, better, can deal with a lot of background noise, and so on.

    HandleCoin would be a good hedge. On the one hand, if it worked, it would make a lot of money, and so I wouldn’t need the law-upholding salary if the jobs and contracts all dried up.

    On the other hand, It’d be worth making HandleCoin if only to create a potential threat warranting the creation of a standing task force or working group chartered to address it. Who better to lead it than real-life Handle? That’d be a good slice of the shrinking pie to monopolize. We could catch terrorists and drug dealers and somehow never discover the original creators. Also, the whole task force just moved into David Brooks’ tony neighborhood – funny.

    Either way, gotta put food on the table!

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    hey are already replacing the linguists with the machines which are, of course, faster, better, can deal with a lot of background noise, and so on.

    I’d very much like some details on this. I’ve been hearing about it for a long time but I’m still skeptic. Not that I give a shit that Pashto translators are losing their jobs, but all the machines I’ve seen make really bad translations of colloquial speech, and handling background noise isn’t their strong suit.

    Unless all you’re doing is trying to find the keyword “bomb” so you can justify sending the SEALs.

    Handle Reply:

    @spandrell:

    1. It depends on what you’re having the machines do, what it is you’re looking for, what you already know about your targets, and how much computation power you throw at a particular piece of audio. They aren’t better at everything … yet. Most of the time one isn’t trying for a Siri / Dragon style broad-spectrum general transcription and translation. The computers are definitely better at individualized voice recognition. No human being can sort through a million phone calls in a few minutes and pick out all the ones where it sounds like subject X.

    2. There is a lot of machine learning going on. There is also a lot of human supervision, cross-comparison, mentoring, tutoring, etc. Gradually they are building a large library of ‘patch heuristics’ where the machines remember every time they mess up and do their own advanced statistical analysis on that library to try and upgrade their original software with the new signatures. There is a lot of ‘labor market black humor’ with people ‘joking’ that they are training their replacements, and thank God they are only a few years from retirement.

    3. The real medium-term evolution seems to be in the direction of ‘freestyle chess’. That is, man-machine combos which play on each partner’s comparative advantage. It’s probably not efficient to try and mimic the hardest-to-replicate human factors directly through human-written software anyway. Just let the teams work together long enough and the computers will eventually figure out to how to simulate their human team mates.

    Diogenes Reply:

    If you don’t mind Handle, I’d like to see the evidence that machines really are replacing linguists in any profound sense. As a student of linguistics, I’m skeptical (it’s not my profession though, so I don’t have a dog in this fight or anything).

    Until that evidence is brought forth, all the toing and froing about AI on this thread is intractable, in my view.

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    @Handle:
    “I propose we set up a company that does this with a weighted index of commodity and real estate futures. Anyone want in? Also, it’s probably illegal.”

    I was wondering why I never heard of a mutual fund trying to do something like that. It doesn’t sound all that different from a money market fund. Instead of trying to maintain a constant nominal share price, try to maintain constant purchasing power per share. Legally, you probably couldn’t call it a “mutual fund”, but that doesn’t seem like a major problem. What’s the catch?

    [Reply]

    handle Reply:

    Well, I’d have to research it to be sure. If I had to make a quick guess, I’d say ‘nominal taxes on capital gains’ but it’s been a while since I’ve dived into financial industry law (and they don’t exactly make it quick and easy to learn these days).

    But let’s say we could find a loophole and get around that. Then you could create shares that had a best effort attempt at constant real purchasing power. Those shares would be an attractive stable store of value and thus candidates to circulate as currency. (Or be written into contracts as a medium of account, which is close enough). A synthetic good standard.

    I’m going to guess the government won’t like that at all for lots of reasons. So the trick is to bridge from this real economy backing into non-fiat cryptocurrency – HandleCoin. Without real value volatility – and a good theoretical reason to believe the price will come under attack and crash -, a lot more people would be willing to jump in.

    [Reply]

    handle Reply:

    Synthetic gold standard, I mean.

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 12:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • derp weenerschnitzl Says:

    coingen vanity coins:

    “Think you can market an altcoin better than Dogecoin, Catcoin, or even Litecoin? Want to create your own coin and get in on this gravy train? Follow this simple form to get started with your very own altcoin!”

    more seriously, here is a turing complete overlay of bitcoin:
    Ethereum: A Next-Generation Generalized Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform

    “In the last few months, there has been a great amount of interest into the area of using Bitcoin-like blockchains, the mechanism that allows for the entire world to agree on the state of a public ownership database, for more than just money. Commonly cited applications include “colored coins”, the idea of using on-blockchain digital assets to represent custom currencies and financial instruments, “smart property”, physical objects such as cars which track a colored coin on a blockchain to determine their present legitimate owner, as well as more advanced applications such as decentralized exchange, financial derivatives, peer-to-peer gambling and on-blockchain identity and reputation systems. Perhaps the most ambitious of all is the concept of “autonomous agents” or “decentralized autonomous corporations” – autonomous entities that operate on the blockchain without any central control whatsoever, eschewing all dependence on legal contracts and organizational bylaws in favor of having resources and funds autonomously managed by a self-enforcing smart contract on a cryptographic blockchain.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 5:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Says:

    “The philosophy of war, which is credibly positioned to envelop all neoreactionary ideas, and even to convert them into something else. (It is no coincidence that Moldbug, like the libertarians, axiomatizes the imperative of peace — even at the expense of realism.) War is historical reality in the raw, and its challenges cannot be indefinitely evaded.”

    Might makes right. I don’t mean might philosophically, morally, spiritually, religiously etc makes right, rather it is a cause and effect relationship. Smarties have a tendency to want to deny this position. Asimov may be right that “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent” but this doesn’t change the cause and effect facts on the ground that Heinlein got it correct:

    “Anyone who clings to the historically untrue and thoroughly immoral doctrine that violence never settles anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history that has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.”

    This may be very distasteful to smarties and seem to jock-like but it has the unfortunate quality of being true. A lot of people would seem to like to believe that Hitler lost because he was morally wrong rather than he just didn’t have the might to enforce his vision. He also shouldn’t have invaded Russia, you fuck with the bear you get the claws.

    So why did the Traditional West fail? Was it because democracy is morally superior? Oh please.

    Might makes right is a basic truth I think a lot of moral philosophers fail to recognize. Sure we could argue some line of moral reasoning from first principles and implement the institutions our philosophy instructs us to, but those institutions will succeed or fail based on if power flows to them or not (ok external factors make it more complex than this, but that would take way too long to get into).

    NR should examine to which institutions and structures does power/might naturally flow. Here’s two I think most NR’s would recognize: the military and patriarchy. It’s no coincidence that one of the essential features of these two institutions is hierarchy. So we can break this down even further: hierarchy is an institution to which power naturally flows. NR and the Right in general can start winning if they accept this basic truism and work towards understanding and creating or reinforcing such institutions.

    The dark side to this is that if “might makes right” is taken as more than cause and effect, if it is taken as a moral imperative then you end up with a cult of power. I think the internal culture of Enron is a good example of why accepting “might makes right” or “survival of the fittest” as a moral imperative is a bad idea. Seriously, read about some of the internal goings on at Enron, that place seems like it was a hell hole.

    Another danger of accepting “might makes right” is that a lot of people will naturally assume an amoral Machiavellian world view. I see this as dangerous because I think it is actually contrary to the facts of how the world works. Taking the Enron view of the world we miss out on the fact that high-trust societies are another example of an institution to which power naturally flows. But you don’t create a high-trust society by being a manipulative cynical SOB.

    Virtue is another good example of this. Wisdom, justice, courage and temperance are the four classical virtues and it seems evident to me that an individual or a group of people who embody this would have power naturally flow to them.

    Might makes right is factually true but I think people lose sight of the meaning of this in the same way people lose sight of the meaning of “survival of the fittest”. When they think of “survival of the fittest” most people seem to be thinking of some kind of Conan the barbarian type. The reality is more subtle. One of the early populations of Europe was replaced by another population that had one single mutation different than the natives. What mutation allowed this new population to become continent conquering blood drinkers? I’ll give you a hint: it’s the same gene that gave you your milk mustache. Lactase persistence came to dominate Europe and gave us a vast ice cream industrial complex we know and love today.

    “Fittest” like “might” doesn’t always mean thug life. It can mean the cooperation of a high trust society or a military unit or a patriarchal family.

    Ok, now I’m just kind of meandering around so I’m going to stop this here. Hope this opens up the discussion a bit.

    [Reply]

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    purpose predicates power.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    Sometimes. As does force and other resources, such as numbers.

    Actually power can quite exist without purpose. It can and usually is the purpose.

    [Reply]

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    more than mere pithy sayings, it would be quite impossible to recognize power, as such, without intentionality. how would tell? power.. to do what?

    >to get power

    very good, now that weve reduced it to a tautology, we need no longer speak of it again, and can turn our minds to more useful constructions.

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    read: ‘one tell that ‘power’ is infact had or happening’

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent…”

    …while the competent use violence before last resorts become necessary.

    [Reply]

    Giacomo Reply:

    Machiavellian world view. I see this as dangerous because I think it is actually contrary to the facts of how the world works.

    Yes, I should be more trusting.

    This operation is a cock up because progressive enforcers have been overambitious. Take Nick Land.

    () (or (()) ((or ((( )))))) does not signify absence. It manufactures holes, hooks for the future, zones of unresolved plexivity, really so (not at all metaphorically). It is not a ‘signified’ or a referent but a nation, a concrete interruption of the signal (variably blank, pause, memory lapse …) / cut / into (schizzing (())) / machine. Undifferentiable differentiator (=) outside grammaticalness. Messageless operation/s technobuzz (wasps switching).

    I enjoyed the book, but is this a person who ought to aspire, on a level playing field, to “program” me? Is there any need; did someone decide so on a firm basis? What did you believe when you were 21, has any of it changed?

    We could in theory have an interesting conversation about Machiavelli, Foucault, status and institutions. What is power, how is it shaped? That would probably not have much to do with “Reaction”, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about. C’est moi. After I updated towards the elite progressive ideology recently, based on plausible information, already the difference of our views might be pretty small.

    I’m interested in ideas and creation, and I thought Reaction was one of the best places for that. Yes I dislike arsehead economists, so if enforcers want to make the absolute worst interpretation of my occasional cruel and wicked blog entries they can. I guess they kind of need that justification. And yes, I would like to see good ideas come to fruition, but I am still far from sure about what those ideas are. I see blogs as a medium of experimentation and play—my blogs, at least. That’s why I tend to delete most of the stuff (i.e. crap) in hindsight.

    Me, I would be more worried about powerful people who want to turn the Internet into something from 1984. Powerful people, bloggers. Internet commenters, spooks. Temper tantrums, secret police powers…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You think it’s even imaginable I’m going to ‘program’ you?

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 9:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    ““Instead of having an election in 2016, the United States should voluntarily abolish itself and break up into five pieces.” In this respect, Outside in is unreservedly Anissimovite.”

    This deal…is very fair. And we’ll be happy to be part of it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpE_xMRiCLE

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 1:15 am Reply | Quote
  • Jones Says:

    Not even close. Ants and bees and schools of fish and flocks of birds all demonstrate evolved behavioral patterns of sociobiology. The difference between genetically programmed instincts and trying to win competitive chess-games through a process of reasoning responsive to incentives is too vast a chasm to bridge with a term like that. Economics is closer to the latter than the former.

    Every living thing, including humans, demonstrates evolved behavioral patterns. Sociobiology subsumes all evolved behavioral patterns, whether they’re simple instinctual responses or more sophisticated cognitive activity.

    Regarding “competitive chess-games”, obviously there is no such “vast chasm” between them and “genetically programmed instincts”, as chess playing computers with programmed instincts have made quite clear.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 3:25 am Reply | Quote
  • Jones Says:

    That’s a reasonable (rigorously socialist or left-reactionary response), but it’s also too hasty. Capitalism is teleologically directed towards autonomization, and there are several ways this can be realized. Most obviously:
    (a) Social programming through capital imperatives (basically the Marxist analysis of what was already happening in the late 19th century), and / or
    (b) Artificial intelligence development as the escape of capital from human security confinement.

    It’s not a socialist or left-reactionary response. Socialism is based on force as well. Both capitalism and socialism are based on centralization and exercise of force and political power.

    An “autonomized” capitalism would be based on force as well. Force and political power aren’t exclusive to human beings or organic entities.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “An ‘autonomized’ capitalism would be based on force as well” — in which case ‘force’ doesn’t serve as a distinguishing characteristic over against the economy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 3:27 am Reply | Quote
  • Jones Says:

    Sociobiology assumes people are goal-oriented and that the goal is reproduction in an environment that existed 100,000 years ago.

    “Sociobiology”, “evolutionary biology”, “evolutionary psychology”, etc. in general don’t specify a precise time (e.g. “100,000 years ago”) as the EEA (environment of evolutionary adaptedness). Individual arguments can and do of course.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 3:35 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Economics is War by Debt and Money with the usual Objective of Conquest.

    And more than the usual portion of Deceit.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 11:35 am Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin's Severed Penis Says:

    This list of questions is quite simply excellent. It would be fantastic to see some of them worked through (or revisited after being worked through) in a long-format multi-series piece in the vein of your Suspended Animation / Dark Enlightenment series. Since Moldbug has (apparently) stopped writing multi-part essays, it feels to me that there is pressing need for something to take their place… Foseti’s series revisiting UR looks to be exceedingly timely and helpful as a clarifying tool, and Anarcho-Papist’s multi-part piece on the Cathedral looks interesting. But these are largely about revisiting and extending existing knowledge / concepts, as opposed to the formulation of new ways of thinking through the Neoreactionary philosophy – defined in as mind-shatteringly expansive a way as possible.

    For me you / your site was second to none in 2013 in terms of galvanising Neoreactionary thinking, largely due to the frequency of the posts, the quality of the comments section, and your omni-presence within it. Throughout the whole year OI maintained a frenetic pace without so much as the merest hint of flagging once – impressive stuff!

    So I feel a bit like Oliver asking for ‘More’ in requesting some long-format, multi-part, pioneering Neoreactionary essays in 2014. But there it is – I’ve gone and done it anyway.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thanks (a lot), and I agree with you about what’s needed. Some more effective time-management on my part needs to be part of any practical solution.

    [Reply]

    Rasputin's Severed Penis Reply:

    Now I feel like a twat – I have no idea how you generate so much amazing stuff as it is. I can only assume you cracked cloning a while back and are a hard task-master to your multi-selves.

    [Reply]

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 5:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • Criticisms of Monarchy and Neocameralism as proposed by More Right and Curtis Yarvin | The New International Outlook Says:

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    Posted on May 19th, 2014 at 10:58 pm Reply | Quote
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