Quote note (#359)

Is capitalism defecting from democracy?

The central reason why Western democracy is in decline is that its capitalist bedfellow can no longer afford the financial demands that full-blown democracy is placing upon it. History has shown that capitalism can adapt, consorting with a variety of political systems in the past 5,000 years. Looking ahead, it will probably find another political host to aid its survival. Democracy — capitalism’s host over the past century — is far more brittle. …

(Via.)

June 15, 2017admin 123 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Twitter cuts (#137)

(Posting this Notch response to the accusation that “You’re stirring up shit because you’re a lonely entitled white dude with no meaning in life” mostly to provide circumstantial evidence that I haven’t secretly died, although it does have a classic tweet quality to it.)

June 12, 2017admin 49 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Sentences
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Quote note (#358)

David French at NRO (wait, it’s good):

Our national political polarization is by now so well established that the only real debate is over the nature of our cultural, political, and religious conflict. Are we in the midst of a more or less conventional culture war? Are we, as Dennis Prager and others argue, fighting a kind of “cold” civil war? Or are we facing something else entirely? […] I’d argue that we face “something else,” and that something else is more akin to the beginning stages of a national divorce than it is to a civil war.

Also this:

The Internet brings all of human knowledge to our smartphones, but rather than using it as a tool for outreach and understanding, we’re using it to find and live with people just like us. In other words, we’re sorting.

And:

A civil war results when the desire for unification and domination overrides the desire for separation and self-determination. …] … I don’t believe a civil-war mentality will save America. There are simply too many differences and too many profound disagreements for one side or the other to exercise true political dominance. Red won’t beat blue in the same way that blue beat gray. Adopt the civil-war mentality and you’ll only hasten a potential divorce.

We’re getting there.

June 8, 2017admin 35 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Trends
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Jacobite 2

My second Jacobite essay is online (on Atomization). Relatively confident that it will annoy everybody.

Too early to tell what company I’ll be keeping this time, but the precedents are good.

June 6, 2017admin 145 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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Quote note (#357)

Szabo:

Millions of millennia ago, in our own Milky Way galaxy, but far upstream of where we are today, two neutron stars spiraled around each other, each embodying the mass of a sun but smaller and faster than a speeding planet. Each of these tiny gigaworlds, millions of times denser than our sun, had been produced, not by a mere exploding star, but by a far more powerful supernova. Each supernova, burning a nuclear fire with a far greater power density than a normal star such as our sun, had besides a neutron star also produced a cavalcade of new elements. For elements lighter than iron, this nuclear fusion releases energy; but for elements heavier than iron, including copper, silver, and gold, nuclear fusion requires a net energy input as well as astronomical power densities. Our supernovae were powerful enough to create many metals, including copper and silver, from the fusion of lighter elements. But they were not powerful enough to create gold. Gold awaited the current, far more powerful and rarer event. […] Our two stars, fortuitously set into collision course by two separate supernovae, approached each other and then, captured by each others’ gravity, entered a death spiral. They collided in an unimaginable explosion, unleashing a power density far greater than that of a mere supernova and trillions of times greater than if a mere mountain-sized asteroid had hit the earth. The collision was so intense that it created a black hole and a burst of extremely high energy light called gamma rays. Escaping the black hole along with the gamma rays was a spray of new, heavier metals, including gold. This gold-rich cloud in part expanded and in part coalesced, participating in the subsequent formation of new solar systems, including our own. Due to this collision of rare intensity, our unusual solar system was seeded with astronomically rare heavy metals such as gold along with the more common supernova products such as copper and silver. …

His source.

June 2, 2017admin 57 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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Quote note (#356)

XS makes more of this than the article itself does:

Last summer, the AutoML challenge saw teams go head-to-head to build machine learning “black boxes” that can select models and tune parameters without any human intervention. Even game designers are in on the act—the team behind the hit game Space Engineers has used some of their profits to set up a team of experts to design AI able to optimize its own hardware and software. […] While this kind of automation could make it easier for non-experts to design and deploy AI systems, it also seems to be laying the foundation for machines that can take control of their own destiny. […] The concept of “recursive self-improvement” is at the heart of most theories on how we could rapidly go from moderately smart machines to AI superintelligence. The idea is that as AI gets more powerful, it can start modifying itself to boost its capabilities. As it makes itself smarter it gets better at making itself smarter, so this quickly leads to exponential growth in its intelligence. …

June 1, 2017admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Trends
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Quote note (#355)

This is going to be good …

In today’s crowded societies, once again many people are feeling the drive to break away from existing cultures and establish their own institutions. Ignorant of human history, most people treat such an idea with scorn. The world of the here and now is the only real world, they say. Talk of starting a new country is “escapism.” One’s duty is to direct one’s energies toward making contemporary society a better place to live. And so on. But those who know better realize that schism is the fundamental human method for dealing with frictions within groups of people. In fact, it has been so for so long that factors predisposing people to break off from one group and start another may even have seeped into the human gene pool …

(Via.)

XS emphasis, with the addition: Inclination to this method is evidently unevenly ethnically distributed.

May 29, 2017admin 56 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Realism
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Jacobite

A new online magazine for the Exit-oriented right.

Honored to be in the first issue (with an essay on Accelerationism), along with Andrea Castillo, Edward Waverley, Chris Morgan, and Mark Lutter.

May 28, 2017admin 87 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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Sentences (#102)

Glimmers of realism (from Yuval Harari) in The Guardian:

instead of globalisation resulting in prosperity and freedom for all, it might actually result in speciation

(Lopping off the last paragraph sacrifices nothing but formula comforting babble.)

May 28, 2017admin 13 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Realism
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Twitter cuts (#136)

This is what losing looks like (a hole in Cathedral memory).

May 25, 2017admin 25 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Ideology
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