Posts Tagged ‘Monsters’

Zacked Future



The Industrial Revolution had the effect of allowing many billions of people who would have died to stay alive — this meant that genetic mutations which would have been eliminated by death during childhood instead accumulated. […] … on the one hand mutations have been accumulating, generation upon generation, with (approx) one or two deleterious mutations being added to each lineage with each generation; on the other hand, people who exhibited traits caused by deleterious mutations — such as lowered intelligence and impaired long-termist conscientiousness, or higher impulsivity, aggression and criminality — were positively selected, were genetically favoured — simply because their pathologies meant they were either unable or unwilling to use fertility-regulating technologies. […] In other words, accumulating mutations which damaged functionality actually amplify reproductive success under present conditions and for the past several generations.

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June 29, 2014admin 19 Comments »
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It’s time for another (quick) Umlaut rave. There’s no getting around it after reading this, then following the back-link to this, and being reminded somehow that this comparatively obscure online magazine has somehow rounded up two of the half-dozen or less people in the world who really get what Bitcoin is going to do to this planet. (I’d say “two-and-a-half” — but with no disrespect to Adam Gurri, his soul just isn’t in it, which is to say: terminally distributed.)

After reading this stuff, it’s easy to think that the only meaningful role for anything else on the right is to run interference while ‘Bitcoin’ (i.e. a-centric digital crypto-commerce) consummates the destiny of capitalism. The intelligence gulf between the emerging Bitcoin machinery and legacy political controversy now yawns so abysmally that inherited conceptions of ‘activism’ have become low comedy. Poke at Bitcoin with a political stick and it slithers sideways while turning more feral — the ‘instinct’ for that is already locked in. The confused idiots who are trying to manage human societies today will almost certainly make it into a monster. Since I don’t like them very much, it doesn’t upset me to see it stealthing into the shadows, with venomous claws emerging. It will be darkly amusing to see it coming at them out of Hell.

April 8, 2014admin 46 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce , Technology

Slow Monsters

One major lesson from Cambodia (previously noted) is that trees do tentacle horror better than cephalopods — though in slow motion. I think these snaps from Ta Prohm, Ta Som, and Preah Khan make the point quite slitheringly. (They can all be enlarged by clicking.)

20140124_160503    Ta Prohm

20140123_140220  Ta Som

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February 27, 2014admin 4 Comments »

Pandora’s Box

Anarchopapist has triggered a twitter storm with this. It is a post that has many different threads running into it, and through it. The most relevant compliment I can pay it is to say that it is potentially disturbing, in something far more than a psychological sense. It will be interesting to see how contagious it proves to be. (As this post demonstrates, Outside in is already infected.)

Laliberte asks: “is there a difference between Prometheus’ fire and Pandora’s box?” Given everything said about the Promethean, and the very considerable ideological-theoretical work that it does, is it not strange that the Pandoran is scarcely recognized as a term, or a concept, at all? To talk about fire is mere shallow bedazzlement, in comparison to any serious examination of boxes. Boxes not only have a shape, but also an inside and an outside, which means — at least implicitly — a transcendental structure. They model worlds, and suggest ways out of them.

Pandora’s box, of course, is significant above all for its content, which is released, or gets out. Promethean flame, which is stolen, is contrasted with Pandoran plague, which escapes. Laliberte seizes the opportunity to discuss memes (and the ‘hypermeme’). An infectious being is set loose, in the shape of a Neoreactionary Basilisk. (On twitter, Michael Anissimov deplores the irresponsibility of this outbreak.)

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January 13, 2014admin 25 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Arcane , Contagion , Horror
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In the Mouth of Madness

A prompt by @hugodoingthings to explore the spook-dense crypts of Roko’s Basilisk (which, inexplicably, has never latched before) led straight to this enthralling RationalWiki account. The whole article is  gripping, but the following short paragraphs stand out  for their extraordinary dramatic intensity:

Roko’s basilisk is notable for being completely banned from discussion on LessWrong, where any mention of it is deleted. Eliezer Yudkowsky, founder of LessWrong, considers the basilisk to not work, but will not explain why because he does not consider open discussion of the notion of acausal trade with possible superintelligences to be provably safe.

Silly over-extrapolations of local memes, jargon and concepts are posted to LessWrong quite a lot; almost all are just downvoted and ignored. But for this one, Yudkowsky reacted to it hugely, then doubled-down on his reaction. Thanks to the Streisand effect, discussion of the basilisk and the details of the affair soon spread outside of LessWrong. Indeed, it’s now discussed outside LessWrong frequently, almost anywhere that LessWrong is discussed at all. The entire affair constitutes a worked example of spectacular failure at community management and at controlling purportedly dangerous information.

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December 16, 2013admin 87 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Contagion , Horror , Templexity
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Mission Creep

Sensation — media nourishment — is situated on a border. It tells the inside something about the outside, and is shaped from both sides. The outside is what it is, which might not be perceptible, or acceptable. The inside wants relevant information, selected and formatted to its purposes. Sensation is therefore where subject and object meet.

… that’s an attempt to express preliminary sympathy for Matt Sigl’s situation, caught between an uncanny thing and a definite agenda. Concretely; research collides with editing, with Sigl’s brain as ground zero. The encounter of Neoreaction with the media is a peculiarly vicious one, with the sensations to match.

Crudely speaking, Neoreaction is disgust at the media condensed into an ideology. While generally contemptuous of the human fodder making up modern democracies, Neoreaction principally targets the media-academic complex (or ‘Cathedral’) for antagonism, because it is the media that is the real ‘electorate’ — telling voters what to do. This foundational critique, on its own, would be enough to ensure intense reciprocal loathing. Of course, it is not on its own. Neoreaction is in almost every respect the Cathedral anti-message, which is to say that it is consistently, radically, and defiantly ‘off-message’ on every topic of significance, and is thus something unutterably horrible. Yet utterance — it now seems — there has to be …

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December 4, 2013admin 111 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Horror , Neoreaction
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Against Orthogonality

A long and mutually frustrating Twitter discussion with Michael Anissimov about intelligence and values — especially in respect to the potential implications of advanced AI — has been clarifying in certain respects. It became very obvious that the fundamental sticking point concerns the idea of ‘orthogonality’, which is to say: the claim that cognitive capabilities and goals are independent dimensions, despite minor qualifications complicating this schema.

The orthogonalists, who represent the dominant tendency in Western intellectual history, find anticipations of their position in such conceptual structures as the Humean articulation of reason / passion, or the fact / value distinction inherited from the Kantians. They conceive intelligence as an instrument, directed towards the realization of values that originate externally. In quasi-biological contexts, such values can take the form of instincts, or arbitrarily programmed desires, whilst in loftier realms of moral contemplation they are principles of conduct, and of goodness, defined without reference to considerations of intrinsic cognitive performance.

Anissimov referenced these recent classics on the topic, laying out the orthogonalist case (or, in fact, presumption). The former might be familiar from the last foray into this area, here. This is an area which I expect to be turned over numerous times in the future, with these papers as standard references.

The philosophical claim of orthogonality is that values are transcendent in relation to intelligence. This is a contention that Outside in systematically opposes.

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October 25, 2013admin 95 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Uncategorized

Abstract Horror (Part 2)

Among literary genres, horror cannot claim an exclusive right to make contact with reality. Superficially, its case for doing so at all might seem peculiarly weak, since it rarely appeals to generally accepted criteria of ‘realism’. Insofar as reality and normality are in any way confused, horror immediately finds itself exiled to those spaces of psychological and social aberrance, where extravagant delusion finds its precarious refuge.

Yet, precisely through its freedom from plausible representation, horror hoards to itself a potential for the realization of encounters, of a kind that are exceptional to literature, and rare even as a hypothetical topic within philosophy. The intrinsic abstraction of the horrific entity carves out the path to a meeting, native to the intelligible realm, and thus unscreened by the interiority or subjectivity of fiction. What horror explores is the sort of thing that, due to its plasticity and beyondness, could make its way into your thoughts more capably that you do yourself. Whatever the secure mental ‘home’ you imagine yourself to possess, it is an indefensible playground for the things that horror invokes, or responds to.

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September 20, 2013admin 5 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce , Horror

Pacific Rim

Well-engineered, formidable, yet also lumbering constructions are directed into battle against horrific monsters, with the fate of the world at stake. Guillermo del Toro’s movie Pacific Rim is one of these entities, and the ethno-political review by ‘white advocacy’ writer Gregory Hood is another.

Within this cascade of monstrous signs, a convulsive re-ordering of the world from out of the Pacific is a constant reference. With the shocking scale of a tsunami, and the insidiousness of an obscure intelligence, it inundates the Old Order, starting from the ocean’s coastal ramparts. “When alien life entered the earth it was from deep within the Pacific Ocean. … the Breach.” City after city falls prey to the Kaiju. “This was not going to stop.”

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September 15, 2013admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , World
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An “execrable” racist “remains insanely popular”, the Guardian agonizes. “So why do we continue to fete Lovecraft instead of burying him quietly away?”

That ‘we’ is more terrifying that anything H.P. Lovecraft ever put to paper.

June 9, 2013admin 6 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized