Hard Reboot

As intelligent media begin to interlock with NRx in a serious way, the fundamental problem it poses emerges ever more starkly into view. Compare the analysis of Moldbug in this technology article by Clark Bianco, focused resolutely upon Urbit (and its substrata), with Adam Gurri’s political-economic critique of Moldbuggian ‘technocracy’ and saltation. Strikingly, the technological and political questions are indistinguishable. In both cases, the central issue is the practicality of ‘hard reboot’, or starting over.

Repeating and responding to a point in his own comment thread, Bianco remarks:

“If you start looking for a way to replace our current centralized, hierarchical, public-identities network naming system (DNS) with a Bitcoin-like decentralized, anonymous-but-reliable identity service, you might well end up on the road leading to Urbit.”

We are entirely of one mind on the general thrust here.

The neo-reactionary stuff on Urbit that seems to be decoration is not. It is the whole point.

I’m not going to try processing this topic right now — it’s too vast. Over the next few months, however, it will be a guiding thread. Most prominently: Can a high-level theoretical engagement with Moldbug as political thinker and provocateur not also be an entanglement with Urbit and technological enterprise? My suspicion is that any such attempted cleavage would fail, or at least fall short of an adequate level of abstraction. In particular, any invocation of neoreactionary political ‘practice’ that ignores the back-to-back project to reboot the freaking Internet is in danger of utter misdirection. (More on all this to come.)

(Thanks to @mr_archenemy for the pointer to the Popehat piece.)

February 20, 2014admin 27 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , Technology

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27 Responses to this entry

  • RiverC Says:

    It should be interesting to see structural changes in the internet and how that edge drives structural changes in the corresponding physical spaces. In some sense we owe both the NSA and Snowden a lot more than they know.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 3:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    Even seeing Urbit as like bitcoin is misleading.

    Urbit is philosophically correct coding. That’s it. That’s all. As it happens, BitCoin is similar to philosophically correct coding.

    We know the correct rules for thinking, and have known them for millennia. (That said, I cannot enumerate them on command. I work off examples – e.g, why is 1 intuitively ‘no’ and 0 intuitively ‘yes?’ This I can answer.)

    It’s about understanding what a ‘hack’ is. It’s a shortcut, taken for expediency. But in logic, shortcuts have side-effects. It has false positives and actually-true negatives. In a computer, those are potential crashes.

    That Urbit happens to be a hard reboot is simply that all that has gone before is that bad. It’s all hacks, all the way down. None of it follows good epistemic hygiene.

    I could say more but I’m a total newbie at coding.

    The similarity to neocameralism is that N-cam is (an attempt at) philosophically correct government. When you attempt to implement a contradiction, you get wars. Step one, then, is to stop trying to implement contradictions.

    [Reply]

    James James Reply:

    @Alrenous “Why is 1 intuitively ‘no’ and 0 intuitively ‘yes?’ This I can answer.”

    Could you explain? I’m capable of reading “0” as success and “1” as failure in one context (return values at a command prompt), but 0 as false and 1 as true when compiling truth tables / electronics.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    0 is full, 1 is empty. Imagine grasping either. 0 is large, 1 is small. It allows you to strip an entire abstraction layer out of your thoughts. The meaning of the symbols is irrelevant, they become their shapes.

    See also bouba/kiki. Why fight it when you can go with the flow?

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 5:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • survivingbabel Says:

    Over the next few months

    That’s a surprisingly optimistic view of NRx’s trajectory. If I am reading the tea leaves of exponential growth correctly, we should have our first major media expose within the next month, then a couple weeks of non-stop Talking Headism about this new topic du jour, a rapid increase in internal fights and “purges” along our fault lines, and finally a full-fledged Name, Shame, and Defame campaign from GawkSlaHuffOn by Tax Day.

    I certainly picked an opportune time to return.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 5:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner Says:

    The Popehat piece is excellent. Urbit links to it on their About page, so that is a clear indication that Popehat is in the right ballpark.

    One friendly warning for interested Urbiters – Urbit is barely in Alpha right now, so if you want to play around with it, you need to have some basic familiarity with the Linux command line.

    [Reply]

    Ademonos Reply:

    I fired up Urbit, got myself a couple of destroyers, hoisted the black flag and so on; but the whole thing seems rather pointless at this stage. Even simple things like chat seem to be somewhat broken (and everything is painfully slow for some reason) – and there seems to be no-one in the channel(s?) anyway. Is anyone actually actively using it at this stage?

    [Reply]

    John C. Burnham Reply:

    Did you not get the gigantic wall of text when you ran :chat? Urbit stores and forwards all past messages, so :chat ends up socially behaving a little less like irc and a little more like twitter.

    I suspect something went wrong with your build. This happens, we’re still a buggy alpha prototype. Send me an email and we’ll debug.

    Actually, the only point to using Urbit right now is debugging Urbit. Very few people find this fun, but those who do…

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 5:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ex-pat in Oz Says:

    I am guided in technological speculation by other, far smarter posters here but I would say that, even for a dullard like me, I instinctively sense the connection between NRx and a future-forward orientation. I also see in Nick’s discussions regarding the evolving nature of space and the focus on the internet as the Undiscovered Country– well, exciting, inspiring and dangerous– a wonderful combination.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 6:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kevin C. Says:

    I’m sorry, but this is just silly. It is literally magical thinking, voodoo-doll thinking. The idea that “fixing” and decentralizing the internet will, by sympathetic magic, cause society to follow suit is laughable. The internet is not the heart and nexus of all human existence, and if it seems to you that it is, that’s a sign you should step away from the computer, from this miniscule online echo-chamber, for a while and come back to actual “meatspace” life.

    This is yet another example of faith in the Deus ex Machina of technological Progress, that every human problem can and will be solved by some clever invention. This is a fundamentally Progressive view, and if you truly hold it, you are no reactionary; you are a Progressive. And by holding yourself out as a reactionary, and falsely claiming that your brand of Progressivism is reactionary, you lead astray reactionaries and potential reactionaries, and thus prove yourself an enemy of true Reaction, and should be denounced as such by all true Reactionaries.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Except that if you think Reaction is pointless because doom is certain, its hard to see why you should care if someone leads reactionaries astray.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    OK, denounce away. If I’m diverting energies that could better be channeled into paralyzing despair, I deserve it.

    [Reply]

    survivingbabel Reply:

    Hence, why despair is a mortal sin. It causes all sorts of faulty, nihilistic logic. If there’s any group that needs a good NRx purge, it’s people without any hope. Nihilism is a memetic disease, and will kill us deader than dead if the infection gets hold.

    Kevin C., find hope, find God, or find Karl Hungus and GTFO.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    You say “despair”, I say “accepting the things we cannot change.”

    Hurlock Reply:

    “Reactionarier than thou” competitions ain’t a lot of help either.
    Besides, admin is asking a question, not preaching a doctrine. He is trying to provoke intellectual engagement, not saying that vodoo worship of html scripts on glowing computer screens will lead to salvation by the divine interference of cyber Cthulhu.
    The internet is not the heart and nexus of the whole human existence (yet), but we seem to be definately moving in a similar direction. (and this has been obvious for quite some time now) Hell, even this whole neoreactionary thing we got going on here is only possible because of the internet. (and that by itself should tell you something)
    I would say that, on the contrary, neoreaction is doomed as a serious intellectual movement precisely if it fails to adress (and possibly take advantage of) such important technological developments.

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    On the flipside, it’s feasible to fix technology and not feasible to “fix” people.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 8:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • for the love of pete gibbons Says:

    no true reactionary is like no true scotsman.

    [Reply]

    Ademonos Reply:

    Is it in this case, though? You might want to revisit your definitions of ‘reactionary’. Hint: reactionaries do not (or shouldn’t, at least) like progress.

    [Reply]

    Deogolwulf Reply:

    Misunderstanding logical fallacies makes you stupider than if you had never heard of them.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 20th, 2014 at 11:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Despairmongers should have more imagination and take the B route. Find a small Amish-ish religious group which might be self-sufficient after the Collapse. The John Robb “resilient communities” rout is cool though.

    Any consistent despairmonger must be a survivalist, and any consistent survivalist should try to build or join a community based on that idea. Community building is lots of fun and will keep you busy enough to forget the Collapse that’s coming.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “Find a small Amish-ish religious group which might be self-sufficient after the Collapse.”

    I see at least three problems.

    1.) First, this assumes that any such group will survive to and through the collapse. I think that, for example, the Amish’s days are numbered. Consider how the media, with things like “Amish Mafia”, have been working to shift perception of the Amish and similar groups from “quaint and funny”, to dangerous, fanatical, and un-Diverse. Add in increasing chatter in legal circles about how Wisconsin v. Yoder was wrongly-decided and is ripe to be overturned; as well as the first steps being taken (“Teddy’s Law” proposed in Ohio) towards restricting homeschooling (likely with an eye to eliminating it), I expect it’s only a matter of time.

    And even if they withstand that, the collapse means the current “soft” genocide of whites becoming hard, and given demographic trends, I expect the numerical superiority of the third-world hordes to be sufficiently large to make the extinction of whites likely.

    2.) The Groucho problem: the question stands whether any such group worthy of joining would have one.

    3.) Joining such groups means either sharing their beliefs or being able to effectively fake it; and if one could fake belief in Amish Christianity, then couldn’t one fake belief in Progressivism instead, to much greater personal benefit?

    And isn’t all this dependent on the collapse occurring in our lifetimes? I fully expect the Cathedral to continue dominating and expanding, with consequent dysgenic breeding and consumption of irreplacable civilizational “seed corn”, until well after I’m dead.

    “Community building is lots of fun”

    How so?

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    “Community building is lots of fun”

    How so?

    Keeps you busy and gives you hope which you sorely need.

    You have far-mode disease, in that you can’t stop focusing on things you can’t actually predict with any accuracy and won’t even probably live long enough to verify. You have to reestablish contact with near mode, and stay there.

    And anyway the “white genocide” is way over the top. NAMs just don’t have the ability to kill all whites even if they wanted to. South America has been a mess for centuries; whites still rule supreme. So chill out.
    And the best way to make sure that your dear race survives is by making babies! And to maximize that you should build or join a community which focuses in making lots of babies.

    The ability to fake beliefs is not a given, it depends a lot in the motivation, expected results and peer pressure in a given community. Faking belief in progressivism probably triggers not only the bullshit sensors in your brain, it also triggers your sanctity of civilization sensors, disgust to homos, NAMs, feminists and brutalist art, etc. You might find a religious cult to have retarded beliefs, but if they have chaste women with long hair and pretty houses you might find it quite tolerable.

    Anyway don’t take my word for it, just give it some thinking. Life is about doing stuff, might as well keep busy doing something you think is good. Going online to make everyone pissed talking about how we’re DOOMED, DOOMED I TELL YA is not good.

    And please the whole point about the etymology of Reactionary is boring as fuck. We know, we know. You might as well go complain that Progressive ecologists who demand deindustralization are actually against progress! Welcome to polysemy.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “Keeps you busy and gives you hope which you sorely need.”

    How so? “Community building” involves meeting new people, which I find enormously taxing (all my friends I met in elementary school).

    “NAMs just don’t have the ability to kill all whites even if they wanted to.”

    Not yet, but eventually, as white populations shrink, NAM populations grow, and self-hating libs continue to prop up the latter, the NAM advantage in quantity will overcome any advantage in quality.

    As to “…if they have chaste women with long hair…”, as a natural celibate, this isn’t really a draw. In addition, with regard “making babies”, I have enough personal and family history with highly-heritable diseases that eugenics says I should not be having kids, even if I were interested.

    Kevin C. Reply:

    “all my friends I met in elementary school”

    Correction: I met one in junior high.

    And I’d add that my paternal line is a long chain of unchurched heathens, due to being wilderness-dwellers too antisocial for organized religion.

    Posted on February 21st, 2014 at 8:20 am Reply | Quote
  • Deogolwulf Says:

    If you interpret not putting hope in technology as meaning being without hope, being in despair, then it reveals where you have — absurdly — put all your hope.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 21st, 2014 at 4:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Laying down and dying is best a private affair. Ahem.

    [Reply]

    Posted on February 21st, 2014 at 5:19 pm Reply | Quote
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