This is where we are now.
If Web 2.0 is already bringing everything crashing down, Web 3.0 is going to finish the job.
While not quite living up to its (superb) title, this critical leftist exploration of the NRx-AI nexus makes some suggestive connections.
… in the decades since, as the consumer-oriented liberalism of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs gave way to the technological authoritarianism of Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, this strange foundation paved the way for even stranger tendencies. The strangest of these is known as “neoreaction,” or, in a distorted echo of Eliezer Yudkowsky’s vision, the “Dark Enlightenment.” It emerged from the same chaotic process that yielded the anarchic political collective Anonymous, a product of the hivemind generated by the cybernetic assemblages of social media. More than a school of thought, it resembles a meme. The genealogy of this new intellectual current is refracted in the mirror of the most dangerous meme ever created: Roko’s Basilisk.
The further right Silicon Valley shifts, the more dangerous their machines will become.
Running the connection through Roko’s Basilisk is sufficiently non-obvious that Sandifer’s book (which does the same) clearly merited a mention.
(Park MacDougald does it better, though, 1, 2.)
The narrative that Russia — a country with an economy smaller than Italy — smaller than New York State’s — will take over the world is less compelling than than the alternative thesis: that the tide of chaos is rising across the planet. With the European Union weakening, the Middle East perceptibly falling apart and African and Latin America their same old selves the danger is less that some rival empire will conquer the world than that power vacuums will spread entropy all over the planet.
Much moral hardening lies ahead.
We [neoreactionaries] are born of these intellectuals ourselves. We come from the same social classes, we attended the same institutions for education, and we have many of the same shared cultural touchstones. We’re not so far away; we fit in well to Progressive society. Hence the crippling Progressive paranoia currently cutting free speech out of our culture: make truth your enemy and you never sleep soundly again.
(Much else of interest at the link, despite the sadly typical ‘transcendence’ and ‘community’ silliness.)
ADDED: Cowen comments.
… and even more starkly ends in Hell.
Is this what Bannon sees? A global scale generational crisis that is going to come to a head in the form of a massive struggle among civilizations? One so large and so bloody that it will leave an enduring mark on the human genome for all time? […] It might be. And here is the hard part — he could well be right.
XS, for one, welcomes our new darkness arms race.
… Here’s another way to put my concern. The percentage of global GDP which is held in relatively non-free countries, such as China, has been rising relative to the share of global GDP held in the freer countries. I suspect we are underrating the noxious effects of that development.
If freedom has become disconnected from economic competence, then classical liberalism is dead.
(The XS suspicion, however, is that Cowen’s sense of “freedom” has been so corrupted by social democracy that it’s incapable of doing the work he wants it to here.)
Thus, nationalism turns into a class struggle.
Is anyone still disputing this proposition?
The new great divergence:
Increasing polarization, even fragmentation, of society is becoming apparent in US politics. There is a sense that society is separating into parts, each of which is listening only to other members of that group. The separation between groups can enable them to deviate even further in values and perspectives. …
That’s the process. Nothing else is necessary. The only task remaining is to accelerate it.