Quote note (#138)

Gibson now using the ‘N-‘ word:

“I’ve been making fun of the singularity since I first encountered the idea,” he says. “What you get in The Peripheral is a really fucked-up singularity. It’s like a half-assed singularity coupled with that kind of neoreactionary, dark enlightenment shit. …”

There’s some kind of counter-factual retro-futurist irony going on here that I’m not remotely getting:

ADDED: (The Peripheral, end Chapter 79, The Jackpot, page 322) Also cited by Erebus, in comments below, with spoilers removed.

“What about China?”
The Wheelie Boy’s tablet creaked faintly, raising the angle of its camera. “They’d had a head start,” he said.
“At what?”
“At how the world would work, after the jackpot. This,” and the tablet creaked again, surveying the mother’s lawn, “is still ostensibly a democracy. A majority of empowered survivors, considering the jackpot, and no doubt their own positions, wanted none of that. Blamed it, in fact.”
“Who runs it, then?”
“Oligarchs, corporations, neomonarchists. Hereditary monarchies provided conveniently familiar armatures. Essentially feudal, according to its critics. Such as they are.”
“The King of England?”
“The City of London,” he said. “The Guilds of the City. In alliance with people like Lev’s father. Enabled by people like Lowbeer.”
“The whole world’s funny?” She remembered Lowbeer saying that.
“The klept,” he said, misunderstanding her, “isn’t funny at all.”

December 15, 2014admin 34 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction

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34 Responses to this entry

  • Puzzle Privateer (@PuzzlePrivateer) Says:

    Here is the ebook, several formats.

    http://dropproxy.com/f/9F3

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 15th, 2014 at 11:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Henry Dampier Says:

    Is it happening?

    Est-ce qui se passe? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30436692 — conflating la nouvelle réaction avec la nouvelle droite.

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Great piece … thanks. So much of the writing on nationalist movements is couched in shaming language. The BBC is even-handed here.

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Here’s another interesting piece: New York Times on the December 7 anti-immigrant march in Dresden. The reporter is pretty neutral here. Some obligatory quotes that they are all nazis etc etc but you can tell she sympathizes with the Dresden-ers to some degree. The locals have a pretty good case to make: We’re barely getting by ourselves (it was part of east germany) and nobody asked us if we want 2000 Muslims to move into our city in government subsidized housing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/08/world/in-german-city-rich-with-history-and-tragedy-tide-rises-against-immigration.html?action=click&contentCollection=Europe&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

    If the Bilderberg Group is not really pulling the strings behind the Islamization of Germany it might as well be. Individual Germans certainly aren’t …

    [Reply]

    soapjackal Reply:

    The French appear to be using post modernism against the left. Interesting that BBC would be so fair.

    Maybe it has the potential to get past the errors of deconstruction and apply the intellectual equivalent of positive disintegration.

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    A solid maybe.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 15th, 2014 at 11:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • forkinhell Says:

    Wow. You forgot to close your quote btw (but that sort of added to the ‘did he really say that?’ vibe). Reading the full quotation, he’s obviously not totally convinced just yet…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thanks — fixed

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 15th, 2014 at 11:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scharlach Says:

    Despite the “shit,” he sounds rather descriptive and not at all prescriptive with his use of the terms. A detached and amused observer, as he generally is.

    [Reply]

    Mr. Archenemy Reply:

    He writes professionally like a detached observer, but my recollection of his web forum from back in the day is that he’s a disappointingly ordinary liberal baby boomer in his personal perspectives.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Yeah he pretty much is, or at least was, not sure about now, but I doubt he has changed.

    Anyone remember that article he wrote about Singapore in the early 90’s?

    [Reply]

    Henry Dampier Reply:

    Yup. He’s actually a really boring liberal Canadian, but I like to think he writes in the voice of an alter which is much more interesting.

    scientism Reply:

    “Disneyland with the Death Penalty”

    http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/1.04/gibson.html

    admin Reply:

    Tragedy of Gibson is that he’s a genius destroyed by political correctness. When he unleashed Wintermute in Neuromancer, it was a limit-moment of literary (and intellectual) possibility. Even in that book it was then roped back, and kept on a tight leash of acceptable thought and affect ever since.

    [Reply]

    Mr. Archenemy Reply:

    As he walked past the bank of payphones each one rang, once. Case picked up the last one and said “Yes?”

    A voice echoed down the line, the sound of cold winds blowing across the steppes. “9/11 was an inside job, maaaaan!”

    Posted on December 16th, 2014 at 12:02 am Reply | Quote
  • That Rabbit Says:

    From Bruce Sterling’s preface to Burning Chrome:

    “Many SF authors, faced with this lurking monster, have flung up their hands and predicted shipwreck. … [Gibson] has avoided this easy out. This is another distinguishing mark of the emergent new school of Eighties SF: its boredom with the Apocalypse. Gibson wastes very little time shaking his finger or wringing his hands.”

    LOL. 1986 was a long time ago, I guess.

    [Reply]

    Hanfeizi Reply:

    By the end of the Cold War, looming nuclear apocalypse and analogs of it were pretty played out. The ramifications of a continuing status quo had become more interesting.

    [Reply]

    That Rabbit Reply:

    Oh, no, I know that. I was a lukewarm SF fan in college at the time cyberpunk hit, and Sterling’s essay nails it: Gibson absolutely electrified and transformed the field. I just think it’s funny he’s come full-circle, flung up his hands and decided to write about the Apocalypse (albeit a “multicausal” one).

    Actually, I don’t want to be too hard on the guy, though. For my money, the Gibson of those Burning Chrome days was — at the sentence level — the best writer I’ve seen.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 16th, 2014 at 1:36 am Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#138) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on December 16th, 2014 at 3:32 am Reply | Quote
  • Lord Auch Says:

    Wow! Appreciating the scorn of Gibson I’m reading here.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 16th, 2014 at 10:55 am Reply | Quote
  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    It will be a dystopian future. It’s simply a matter of who has to clean it up.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 16th, 2014 at 3:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • JS Says:

    Has anyone read the book? What is DE/NRx about it?

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    The book’s future is run by neo-monarchists, corporations, and phyles. Democracy has led to utter disaster, and democratic systems of government — along with the populations of democratic countries — have universally collapsed.

    I don’t think that the below is spoiling anything. I’ve gently edited it to remove some spoilers in the text…

    And he just nodded and went on, about how London, long since the natural home of everyone who owned the world but didn’t live in China, rose first, never entirely having fallen.
    “What about China?”
    “They’d had a head start,” he said.
    “At what?”
    “At how the world would work, after the jackpot. This,” surveying her mother’s lawn, “is still ostensibly a democracy. A majority of empowered survivors, considering the jackpot, and no doubt their own positions, wanted none of that. Blamed it, in fact.”
    “Who runs it, then?”
    “Oligarchs, corporations, neomonarchists. Hereditary monarchies provided conveniently familiar armatures. Essentially feudal, according to its critics. Such as they are.”
    “The King of England?”
    “The City of London,” he said. “The Guilds of the City.”

    …I’d perhaps add that I’m not convinced that the future-world of The Peripheral represents any sort of “singularity” at all. Temporal distortion aside, its future is not much more advanced than the future of The Diamond Age, and I don’t think that this sort of thing is what’s generally implied by “singularity”. (I have the Vile Offspring in mind there.) The book is also no more DE/NRx than The Diamond Age.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    [*facepalm*] — I’ve just painstakingly typed in exactly the same passage (excepting only the first paragraph you include). Still, it’s a confirmation of where the money quote is found.

    [Reply]

    Athrelon Reply:

    The Diamond Age is pretty damn reactionary.

    [Reply]

    R. Reply:

    Is it?

    I’ve always wondered how serious Stephenson was. I’m leaning towards dead serious – similar sentiments can be found in other books of his.

    Very amusing to read on lit critics assuming he must have been totally joking in that book.

    Athrelon Reply:

    Vickies explicitly contrast themselves with the universalist past and are shown to be among the most functional thedes thereby, rivaled only by a few ethnically defined, culturally traditionalist thedes. Thete dysfunction shown in it’s full glory, and correctly attributed to thete behavior and culture, not material scarcity or external oppression. China goes Confucian in a way Xi could only dream of, albeit at a level of technological development that in retrospect was an far underestimate that has aged badly.

    Anathem has some reactionary themes of note too. If there’s a common thread, it’s that Stephenson takes part cultures and institutions seriously a social technologies that actually possess virtues, rather than being backwards rungs on the grand narrative of social progress. SF fans like new ideas and strange societies, making it a surprisingly friendly medium for a bunch of novelty seekers so open to new ideas that they became traditionalists.

    Athrelon Reply:

    Upon more thought I wonder where Stephenson got his portrait of thete culture. It seems incredibly true to life, and not drawn from the stereotypes ofthe left or conventional right

    Erebus Reply:

    @Admin
    Hah! That’s funny. Well… It looks like we’ve each independently confirmed that the passage we’ve posted here is the money quote!

    @Athrelon
    That’s true, and the two books are extremely similar in that respect. We could draw a lot of parallels between the future of The Peripheral and that of The Diamond Age. Politically, they’re essentially identical; both futures feature the same warring factions and phyles, generally without the oversight of larger political entities. Technologically, the two futures share a similar level of ubiquitous nanotechnology, and they make use of it in generally similar ways. (Though it’s perhaps worth noting that Gibson’s nanotech is more conventionally weaponized. Fans of conceptual/visionary military sci-fi should really enjoy this one…)

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 16th, 2014 at 4:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • Curt Doolittle Says:

    They promised us star trek and are delivering a world full of Syrias, Calcuttas and Favelas.
    I’ll take return to nation-state monarchies any day. Capitalism and Authoritarianism seem to have won the day.

    [Reply]

    R. Reply:

    Have they, really?

    I’ve yet to seen a convincing approach on how to curb corruption in a nonliberal system..

    [Reply]

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    because in large sense, its the wrong question; the answer to corruption in liberal systems is (and has been historically) generally to make them less liberal (for instance, the end of the spoils system, creating permanent civil service). amongst other things, popular governance creates an environment where dynamics which are most adept at disguising its sovereignty are selected for.

    regardless of apparent system, at some point some being some where will have to make decisions, and the only thing he really has to answer too is god. in the end it is men that rule over laws, not vice versa. fear or opposition to this fact is generally predicated by the projection of a persons own (lack) of capability onto others (he imagines himself in such a position, and is rightly fearful, though this is often less than conscious). denial to this fact is infact what creates more space for disingenuous gaming of systems. and more perniciously, the banalization of traditions as a consequence of such leaves beings more unsuited to such offices ere they find themselves in them.

    [Reply]

    pseudo-chrysostom Reply:

    >creating permanent civil service

    should also read: ‘a band aid if there ever was one’.

    Posted on December 16th, 2014 at 7:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • soapjackal Says:

    Actually I am more impressed with that than I was before. The City of London does function as a pseudo-corporate governing entity and has for years. Deserves a Neoreactionary review if it hasnt already.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 17th, 2014 at 7:37 am Reply | Quote

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