Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

Suspense

In respect to the initial formulation of a question along the rough lines “How is suspension of consequences possible?” there are only three basic options:

(1) It’s not. All deferral of consequences is illusion. The reality is something akin to instant karma. (There’s something about this line of thinking I respect, but I’ve no idea how it could be coherently put together, and then knitted with explanatory plausibility to evident historical fact.)
(2) It’s complicated.
(3) That old problem is over. Haven’t you heard of the Death of Reality? Postmodernism, bitchez. (This is Derrida and Baudrillard — smart, terminally decadent, and radically inconsistent with NRx. It’s also the implicit principle of post-liberal macro-economics.)

Number Two is surely the only path here that is NRx-compatible. Its articulation remains almost entirely unachieved, although this is no great source of shame — the prior intellectual history of the world got nowhere with it, either. It might not be the deepest problem about time, but it is the one with the greatest immediate relevance to generally-acknowledged historical processes, and (perhaps) also the greatest direct practical application. What it explores is the potential for a realistic analysis of the provisionally-functional denial of reality. It crosses almost everything ‘we’ are talking about.

Charles Hugh-Smith writes:

By the time extend-and-pretend finally reaches its maximum limits, the resulting implosion is so large that the shock waves topple regimes, banks, currencies and entire nations.

If NRx seems predisposed to apocalypticism, it is because it concurs — both with the proposal that “maximum limits” exist, and the attendant thesis that some reality-suppressing tendency is reaching them. “Extend-and-pretend” — or radically finite reality denial — is an engine of catastrophe. It enables negative consequences to be accumulated through postponement, without prospect of final (‘postmodern’) absolution. Yes, the coagulated detritus does eventually collide ruinously with the unpleasantness purifier. The fact it hasn’t already done so, however, is a puzzle of extraordinary profundity.

ADDED: Scharlach responds.

February 19, 2015admin 33 Comments »
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Against Democracy

Michael Anissimov has published an e-book condensing the main Neoreactionary (and in fact older Right-Libertarian) arguments against democracy. The first chapter can be read here, the book purchased from here.

ACD00

February 2, 2015admin 83 Comments »
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Quote note (#135)

From Erasmus, Moriae Encomium, which can be found here, but adopted in this case as translated by Sir Edmund Whittaker (in his A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricty, Volume I, p.3):

There are innumerable niceties concerning notions, relations, instants, formalities, quiddities, and haecceities, which no-one can pry into, unless he has eyes that can penetrate the thickest darkness, and there can see things that have no existence whatever.

Appealing enough, already, in its light-footed philosophical modernism, it becomes utterly sublime when tackled — inversely — by the method of ‘hyper-literal anagogy’. It then suggests a Miltonic recovery of ancient philosophy, undertaken — with blind irony — by modernity itself.

December 1, 2014admin No Comments »
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Owned

Hurlock has a valuable post on the concept of property, especially in its relation to sovereignty, and formalization. Since (Moldbuggian) Neocameralism can be construed as a renovated theory of property, crucially involving all three of these terms, the relevance of the topic should require no defense. The profound failure of enlightenment philosophy to satisfactorily determine the meaning of property has been a hostage to fortune whose dire consequences have yet to be fully exhausted. (Within the NRx generally, the question of property is deeply under-developed, and — with a very few exceptions — there is little sign of serious attention being paid to it.)

The enlightenment failure has been to begin its analysis of property from the problem of justification. This not only throws it into immediate ideological contention, submitting it to politics, and thus to relentless left-drift, it also places insurmountable obstacles in the path of rigorous understanding. To depart from an axiom of legitimate original property acquisition through work, as Locke does, is already proto-Marxist in implication, resting on philosophically hopeless metaphor, such as that of ‘mixing’ labor with things. It is property that defines work (over against non-productive behavior), not the inverse. As Hurlock notes, Moldbug’s approach is the correct one. ‘Property’ — as a social category — is a legitimation of control. It cascades conceptually from sovereignty, and not from production.

These matters will inevitably become intellectually pressing, due to the current technocommercial restoration of money, exemplified by the innovation of Bitcoin (in its expansive sense, as the blockchain). Control is undergoing cryptographic formalization, from which all consistent apprehension of ‘property’ will follow. Property, in the end, is not sociopolitical recognition of rights, but keys. What you can lock and unlock is yours. The rest is merely more or less serious talk, that only contingently compiles. This is what hacker culture has already long understood in its specific (thedish) usage of ‘owned’. There’s no point crying to the government about having paid good money for your computer, if Nerdgodz or some other irritating 15-year-old is running it as a Bitcoin-mining facility from his mother’s basement. The concreteness of ‘might is right’ once looked like a parade ground, but increasingly it is running functional code.

Formalization isn’t a detached exercise in philosophical reflection, or even a sociopolitical and legal consensus, it’s functional technocommercial cryptography. Defining property outside the terms of this eventuation is an exercise in arbitrary sign-shuffling. Those with the keys can simply smile at the surrounding senseless noise. As Moldbug anticipates, with rigorously coded control, there’s nothing further to argue about.

ADDED: Three recommended links from Bitstein; Locke’s mistake, blockchained title, crypto and contracts (video discussion).

November 15, 2014admin 17 Comments »
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Malthusian Horror

The post is pitched like this because it’s Friday night, but it works. A more dutiful post might have been entitled simply ‘Malthus’ and involved a lot of work. That’s going to be needed at some point. (Here‘s the 6th edition of An Essay on the Principle of Population, for anyone who wants to get started now.) A more thoroughly technical approach would have been flagged ‘Neo-Malthusianism’. While sympathizing with groans about another ‘neo-‘ prefix, in this case it would have been solidly justified. It’s only through expansion of the Malthusian insight in accordance with a more general conservation law that its full current relevance can be appreciated. Classic Malthus still does far more work than it is credited with, but it contains a principle of far more penetrating application.

‘Neo-‘ at its most frivolous is merely a mark of fashion. When employed more seriously, it notes an element of innovation. Its most significant sense includes not only novelty, but also abstraction. Something is carried forwards in such a way that its conceptual core is distilled through extraction from a specific context, achieving a higher generality, and more exact formality. Malthus partially anticipates this in a phrase that points beyond any excessively constrictive concreteness:

Malthus00

The qualification “in some shape or other” might have been drawn from abstract horror, and “premature death” only loosely binds it. Even so, this formulation remains too narrow, since it tends to exclude the dysgenic outcome, which we have since learnt is a dimension of Malthusian expression scarcely less imposing than resource crisis. A Neo-Malthusian account of the “X” which in some shape or other makes a grim perversity of all humanity’s efforts to improve its condition grasps it as a mathematically conserved, plastic, or abstract destiny, working as remorselessly through reductions of mortality (Malthusian ‘relaxations’) as through increases (Malthusian ‘pressures’). Both would count equally as “checks on population” — each convertible, through a complex calculus, into the terms of the other. A population dysgenically deteriorated through ‘enlightened’ Malthusian relaxation learns, once again, how to starve.

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November 14, 2014admin 37 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Horror , Philosophy
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Abstract Horror (Note-3)

Nicola Masciandaro discusses the method of ‘hyper-literal anagogy’ in the introduction to his exquisite book Sufficient Unto the Day: Sermones Contra Solicitudinem (p.3-4, also here):

It thus naturally tends to seize semantically on the substantiality of the negative and on what might have been said otherwise but was not — a not that is felt to contain the secret of everything. For example, Meister Eckhart’s exegesis of Paul’s blinding vision on the road to Damascus entirely ignores the ordinary, regular sense of “and when his eyes were opened he saw nothing” (Acts 9:8) [apertisque oculis nihil videbat] in favor of a mystically literal plenitude of possibilities: “I think this text has a fourfold sense. One is that when he rose up from the ground with open eyes he saw Nothing, and the Nothing was God; for when he saw God he calls that Nothing. The second: when he got up he saw nothing but God. The third: in all things he saw nothing but God. The fourth: when he saw God, he saw all things as nothing.”[2] Similarly, Augustine’s well-known statement as to the unknowable knowability of time — “What therefore is time? If no one [nemo] asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to someone questioning me, I do not know”[3] — may be (im)properly read as saying that time is known in the positively negative presence of a nemo, a not-man (ne+homo) who asks about time, a pure question posed by nobody. The presence of this no-one who is still there, a senseless letter-spirit and sudden negative indication upon which superlative understanding depends, provides a fitting structural figure for this method and an image of its divinatory, daimonic form, its sortilegic reading of received signs.

[2] Meister Eckhart, The Complete Mystical Works, trans. Maurice O’C Walshe (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2009), Sermon 19, p. 142.
[3] “Quid est ergo tempus? Si nemo ex me quaerat, scio; si quaerenti explicare velim, nescio” (Augustine, Confessions, 11.14).

sud-cover-copy

Between The Nothing and Abstract Horror there is no difference. Some related hints (and others). Eventually we reach the Vast Abrupt.

November 12, 2014admin 3 Comments »
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Templexity

For the visitors here who are perpetually tortured by the Damn! Where is the tip-jar button? question, less-evil twin has a time-travel book out. (It should be $3.99, but it says $5.99 at my link — which might be a Shanghai-effect.)

UF (2.1) plug here.

epub covernew-2

If you know anybody teetering on the brink of a psychotic episode, who just needs a slight nudge to plunge over the edge, it would make an ideal present.

November 7, 2014admin 17 Comments »
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Will-to-Think

A while ago Nyan posed a series of questions about the XS rejection of (fact-value, or capability-volition) orthogonality. He sought first of all to differentiate between the possibility, feasibility, and desirability of unconstrained and unconditional intelligence explosion, before asking:

On desirability, given possibility and feasibility, it seems straightforward to me that we prefer to exert control over the direction of the future so that it is closer to the kind of thing compatible with human and posthuman glorious flourishing (eg manifest Samo’s True Emperor), rather than raw Pythia. That is, I am a human-supremacist, rather than cosmist. This seems to be the core of the disagreement, you regarding it as somehow blasphemous for us to selfishly impose direction on Pythia. Can you explain your position on this part?

If this whole conception is the cancer that’s killing the West or whatever, could you explain that in more detail than simply the statement?

(It’s worth noting, as a preliminary, that the comments of Dark Psy-Ops and Aeroguy on that thread are highly-satisfactory proxies for the XS stance.)

First, a short micro-cultural digression. The distinction between Inner- and Outer-NRx, which this blog expects to have settled upon by the end of the year, describes the shape of the stage upon which such discussions unfold (and implex). Where the upstart Inner-NRx — comparatively populist, activist, political, and orthogenic — aims primarily at the construction of a robust, easily communicable doctrinal core, with attendant ‘entryism’ anxieties, Outer-NRx is a system of creative frontiers. By far the most fertile of these are the zones of intersection with Libertarianism and Rationalism. One reason to treasure Nyan’s line of interrogation is the fidelity with which it represents deep-current concerns and presuppositions of the voices gathered about, or spun-off from, LessWrong.

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September 15, 2014admin 63 Comments »
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NRx @ LW

Matthew Opitz has put up an insightful post at Less Wrong, attempting to make sense of Neoreaction through contrast with Progressivism. Given the great internal diversity of NRx, combined with its embryonic stage of self-formulation (in many respects), the lucidity Opitz brings to the topic is no slight achievement. His post is among the most impressive Ideological Turing Test performances I have yet seen.

The core paragraph (among much else of great interest):

Neoreaction says, “There is objective value in the principle of “perpetuating biological and/or civilizational complexity” itself*; the best way to perpetuate biological and/or civilizational complexity is to “serve Gnon” (i.e. devote our efforts to fulfilling nature’s pre-requisites for perpetuating our biologial and/or civilizational complexity); our subjective values are spandrels manufactured by natural selection/Gnon; insofar as our subjective values motivate us to serve Gnon and thereby ensure the perpetuation of biological and/or civilizational complexity, our subjective values are useful. (For example, natural selection makes sex a subjective value by making it pleasurable, which then motivates us to perpetuate our biological complexity). But, insofar as our subjective values mislead us from serving Gnon (such as by making non-procreative sex still feel good) and jeopardize our biological/civilizational perpetuation, we must sacrifice our subjective values for the objective good of perpetuating our biological/civilizational complexity” (such as by buckling down and having procreative sex even if one would personally rather not enjoy raising kids).

*Note that different NRx thinkers might have different definitions about what counts as biological or civilizational “complexity” worthy of perpetuating … it could be “Western Civilization,” “the White Race,” “Homo sapiens,” “one’s own genetic material,” “intelligence, whether encoded in human brains or silicon AI,” “human complexity/Godshatter,” etc. This has led to the so-called “neoreactionary trichotomy”—3 wings of the neoreactionary movement: Christian traditionalists, ethno-nationalists, and techno-commercialists.

Most LessWrongers probably agree with neoreactionaries on this fundamental normative assumption, with the typical objective good of LessWrongers being “human complexity/Godshatter,” and thus the “techno-commercialist” wing of neoreaction being the one that typically finds the most interest among LessWrongers.

Opitz’s ‘Godshatter’ reference link.

XoS will do its best to follow this discussion as it goes forward.

This attractively odd thing might be found at least vaguely relevant.

September 6, 2014admin 16 Comments »
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Bonds of Chaos

There are many, I know, who find obstinate invocations of NRx — as a micro-slogan, cultural brand, conflictual stance, or Schelling point — to be crude at best, and perhaps thoroughly deluded, or worse. It is as if, having tumbled into a vogue, one has become enthralled by it, locked into stuttering, mechanical, thoughtless repetition. Those most skeptical about the sign are most likely disposed to mournfulness about it, whether decrying it for congenital flaws, or lamenting its loss of intellectual productivity and direction.

Obviously, I disagree. NRx is still a cultural infant, far younger than the Millennium, even under the most mythically-creative extension of its genesis, and the cognitive ferment it catalyzes remains extraordinary. It has still scarcely begun. The ties of a consistent name are the very least that are required to concentrate it. NRx, whatever it turns out to be, needs lashing together, because explosions tend to fly apart — and it is unmistakably an explosion.

Creative coincidence, or convergent diversity, is the mark of a culture at work (which is to say, in process). Yesterday, September 3, demonstrated this vividly. Approaching the conclusion of a multi-aspected post on Dugin, ethnicity, religion, and the “dementia’ of being, NIO suggests:

Referring to Chaos would seem in this circumstance to be an option of incredible potential, indeed, if you look closely enough at NRx the hints are already there that Chaos is a central defining characteristic of the thought of all branches of the Trichotomy on multiple levels. Chaos creates order, in fact Chaos is also a form of order, just one which is not immediately understandable. [I will not fake an apology for the self-looping internal link, since it it is one that would in any case have been made here.]

Recalling that NIO explicitly invokes the ontological depths of Chaos — its Hesiodic as well as metaphysical density — it is especially remarkable to find, on the same day, an intricate post by E. Antony Gray, which advances an innovative tripartite schema as the key to the aesthetic core of NRx. This text, too, culminates in a call for an integrative expedition into chaos, staged out of the void:

… the ‘face of the deep’ in Genesis is a primordial unformed, unseen void; That it is called ‘water’ in the Septuagint Greek lets us know something about the peculiar state of Chaos in the Void. The Void is thus Darkness but not shadow (a shadow is a deprivation of light caused by an object) but rather the substrate of all existence, only properly ‘unseen’ when no physical light is present. [… ] Chaos is substantial where disorder is insubstantial. Chaos is the ‘quintessence’ of things, chaotic itself and yet always-begetting order. Breaking down disorder, since disorder is maladaptive. Exit is a way to induce bifurcation, to quickly reduce entropy through separation from the highly entropic system. If no immediate exit is available, Chaos will create one.

To denounce the exhaustion of NRx is an absurdity. It is an exploratory departure, scarcely initiated. To cling to its sign is to subscribe to its impulse, and to set out …

September 4, 2014admin 26 Comments »
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