Xenomy

Federico has kicked the living daylights out of me (on this thread), and only the outer darkness remains. It’s a passage through singularity, so mathematical consistency requires me to be infinitely appreciative of that.

The idea of Neocameralism, drawing all its real functionality from Exit, is parasitic upon what lies beyond it: the Patchwork of competitive alternatives. Since an exterior disintegration does all the work, why not fold the outside in?

It’s time to come out as a Xenomist. All power to the Outside!

April 19, 2013admin 24 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized

TAGGED WITH :

24 Responses to this entry

  • k-virus Says:

    It was my understanding that you’d always been a Xenomist. Tracking your productions post-Thirst for Annihilation, it seems you’ve consistently been on a schizophrenic voyage (as all voyages are) into the outside. That said, given the interests displayed in your contemporary output, are you not worried about relapsing into amphetamine-driven “mad black Deleuzeanism”?

    On a related note – “fold[ing] the outside in” reminds me of the production of the cyberspace Kowloon Walled City in Idoru and All Tomorrow’s Parties, but that may be more aptly described as “folding the inside out.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 20th, 2013 at 4:21 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    “It was my understanding that you’d always been a Xenomist.” — I was relying on time-disturbance to heighten the sense of drama.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 20th, 2013 at 4:51 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Well I did tell you Neocameralism makes no sense. Wasn’t too persuasive though.

    I don’t see any Exit though. Thing is competitive alternatives can’t exist in a global economy. Everyone has to pay lip service to the boss or you will get invaded/ostracized.

    If anything we are seeing increasing political uniformity in recent decades. Remember Wesley Clark on Kosovo? All countries will be multicultural democracies.
    Of course this will last as long as the US military hegemony continues.

    [Reply]

    yann Reply:

    You have to pay more than just lip service, don’t you? What are the minimum conditions you have to satisfy to not get invaded/ostracized?

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 20th, 2013 at 11:18 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    “Well I did tell you Neocameralism makes no sense.” — I still thing it deserves some determined devil’s advocacy, if only to understand how it holds up against different angles of attack. You never really made your own objections explicit, did you? At least, I’m not sure what you see as the fatal wound.

    The Idea of Neocameralism is dead, and no Exit options exist anymore? You’re a bundle of joy today.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Heh.

    Well it’s hard to see how we can get from here to there. But even if we did, the idea that a corporate structure with open entrance (salable shares) is ridiculous. Nobody gets out of the ruling class. And the shareholders in such a corporation wouldn’t want to grow the economy anymore, as they have already superior status to the helots, and that’s all people care about. What they’d care about is about internal backstabbing to see who gets to be CEO for 15 minutes, or to put ones relatives in positions of power.

    Power isn’t rational, it’s about tribal psychology maladapted to greater amounts of people. The only way humanity knows of promoting rational systems is competition through war. And that’s hardly feasible with today’s military technology.

    Not to talk about how nasty a corporate sovereign would be to the population, Devin Finbarr has done that case well enough.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 20th, 2013 at 12:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Handle Says:

    The funny thing is that neocameral-ish rational-ish, economic-focused competition for residents was actually once a feature of real History – specifically America post-bellum to 1914. Sinclair Lewis’ hated that boosterism, especially the nonsensical advertising puffery and pure mindless mendacious marketing (Duluth!), but behind the scenes were many free-market-ish attempts to refashion the livability of local communities, in law and common benefits, to satisfy the people’s real wants.

    I’m guessing the era began and ended with two technological explosions of mobility. The transcontinental trains after the Civil War,, and then the Edison-Ford revolution around WWI. In that era, people would pick up their families and move to new towns, looking for growth and opportunity, but probably only able to uproot and reroot once or twice in a lifetime. A certain balance between geographic-temporal constraints. Between Exit and Loyalty, with some Voice. And distance and time acted as buffers against franchise homogenization, so the choices were real ones. By 1950 that era was over, but still, it once was.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    If the era of local competition ended, what do we make of municipal sweet tax deals to attract industries (ball teams) and in some cases artsy-fartsy (i.e., gay) types? Uprootedness also continues unabated (accelerates if anything), often toward major cities, but also constantly re-scrambled by people going farther and farther away to college. There were epochal changes between the eras you mention, but I’m not sure you’ve quite captured the causes. (Not that I have, of course.)

    [Reply]

    Handle Reply:

    How about, “The triumph of efficiency.”

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    Heh! A lot of truth to that, really. It reminds me of Cheaper by the Dozen. They actually lived in NJ not far from where I live now (tho’ quite far in time alas). And the father was some sort of efficiency expert (and very fat, apparently… not like the movie), well paid for it too. It is said that whenever he went into a plant to consult, he would ask the foreman who the laziest worker was, and would study him. That would give him the best guesses about how to make the whole plant more efficient to “reduce the number of motions”.

    I’m not quite sure I’d call the time between 1870-1910 neo-cameral, but there is no doubt it was that last time in human history, if not the first (and only), where the Techno-capitalists reigned. It is no accident I think that this was the heyday of hard money (and legendary growth and stability). US price inflation averaged -1% a year for those 40 years (so much for Keynesianism). Clearly there were excesses, and one wonders (alas) whether a more balanced and stable compromise between the corporate interests and the traditional interests of the common man have been found (Teddy Roosevelt’s vision perhaps? WG Harding’s?) If you imagine Progressivism of 1910 not as a vector to today, but as a fixed and coherent viewpoint (to the extent that it was), it really doesn’t seem quite so stupid. Teddy Roosevelt would be two orders of magnitude (20 dB) more sensible than Obama (or Romney). I could actually live with that.

    Posted on April 20th, 2013 at 3:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • nydwracu Says:

    The what now? I am going to have to read Deleuze and Bataille someday aren’t I.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    How are you on John Milton? (I’m extremely rusty, but that’s the direction the tug is coming from …)

    Bataille’s so reactionary he lets fungus grow in his underwear as a liturgical statement.

    You probably should read D&G, it’s packed with tumblr-compatible ammunition and shares your warped sense of humor …

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    I’m… not. But it’s basically inevitable that I’ll read him at some point.

    La Wik says Bataille was a Nietzschean when it was unpopular to be one, and seeing as how reading Nietzsche is the closest thing I’ve seen to reading a proper articulation of the things I’d already been dimly half-thinking, I’ll have to read him at some point.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Admin: have you been here? It’s wonderfully and magnificently bonkers.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 20th, 2013 at 6:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • David Says:

    “A decade in America already, I want out.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 20th, 2013 at 10:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    In _For the Common Good_, Herman Daly and John Cobb quoted T. S. Elliot as a rebuke to radical libertarians:

    “They constantly try to escape
    From the darkness outside and within
    By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.”

    Aren’t the neoreactionaries falling into the same trap the libertarians fell into, trying to design a constitution so perfect that the Cathedral can’t screw it up? Nick Szabo is fascinating, but I don’t see the US Constitution as being all that badly flawed in the first place. There isn’t all that much room for improvement. Shouldn’t you be studying the sociology of religion instead? Maybe some Laurence Iannaccone or Guenter Lewy?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “There isn’t all that much room for improvement.” — It would have benefited from much better intrinsic protection against abominations such as the Commerce Clause, just for starters. Another obvious flaw is the mechanism for appointment of Supreme Court justices, which fundamentally subverts their supposed independence (even some kind of lottery would have been preferable).
    The missing principle is Constitutional Autonomy. If the constitution is seen as serving the people, it’s already over. Instead, the constitution should be designed to defend itself against encroachments from all sides. Once that foundation is in place, an adequate design can be incrementally realized, through a cyclical procedure of self-improvement. Anything less robust has surrendered to democracy in advance.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    “Anything less robust has surrendered to democracy in advance.”

    Maybe I misunderstood you. The US Constitution was intended for a republic, which only differs from a democracy in the long run if the voters say it does.

    But even if you’re trying to write a constitution for a limited monarchy, I still don’t see how you can defend it against a dysfunctional Cathedral.

    I recommend _In Defence of Politics_, by Bernard Crick. Crick mentions an old Whig saying, “No constitution is better than the character of the men who work it.” A good constitution is just a delay mechanism.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    I agree with that. In the end it’s never a problem of design.
    Any system depends on the people wanting it to survive. All laws can be amended.

    The great insight on politics must be how to make people want a functional system.

    Posted on April 21st, 2013 at 3:24 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Guenter Lewy?

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    Guenter Lewy is an atheist sociologist who started to write a book defending atheists against the claim that religion is critical in promoting moral behavior. He wrote in his introduction, “A funny thing, if one can call it that, happened on the way to the completion of this book….” The result was _Why America Needs Religion: Secular Modernity and its Discontents_. My review of it:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~peter.a.taylor/lewy.htm

    Jonathan Haidt’s recent book, _The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion_, is also excellent.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 21st, 2013 at 6:38 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    ” A good constitution is just a delay mechanism.” — A really good constitution is a self-protective artificial intelligence that sustains a free society irrespective of demotic threats or elite factional machinations. Which is not, of course, to say that we are anywhere close to that yet.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Heh, I didn’t see that one coming.

    How do you get self-protective? Everything can and will be tinkered with.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “I didn’t see that one coming.” — That’s the response it’s counting on.

    “How do you get self-protective? Everything can and will be tinkered with.” — Tinkering arms race needed.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 22nd, 2013 at 12:42 am Reply | Quote

Leave a comment