Archive for January, 2014

War and Truth (scraps)

“War is computation with tanks. War is truth revealing. As war proceeds uncertainty collapses.”
— Konkvistador (on Twitter)

“You might not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”
— Lenin

“War is deception.”
— Sunzi

Neoreactionaries are often talking about ‘oikos’ tacitly, even when they think they are concerned with something closer to the opposite. For there to be an ‘economy’ much has already to have been settled. (Unlike his liberarian precursors, Moldbug never assumes peace, but he betrays his inheritance by conceiving it as an original task — a foundation.) “Begin from the inside” — that’s the idea. The Outside is war.

War is the truth of lies, the rule of rulelessness, anarchy and chaos as they are in reality (which is nothing at all like a simple negation of order). It is the ultimate tribunal, beyond which any appeal is a senseless prayer to the void. A ‘realism’ that resists such conclusions makes a mockery of the name.

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January 19, 2014admin 39 Comments »
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Vietnam (scraps)

My Vietnam is like my China: accessed from the South, from the mega-urban, commercial culture, and from pre-communist traditions. It’s very much the view from Saigon (and that isn’t something I regret). Saigon would be a great place to live (in small part because the idea of calling it Ho Chi Minh City is a transparent joke).

Doi Moi looks like it should work a lot like Gaige Kaifeng (as a local version of generic ‘Reform and Opening’ in a ‘Market Leninist’ regime) — but it doesn’t seem to be quite working out. If rationalized corruptocracy is close to ideal limit of effective government among large states, Vietnam seems to have managed the corruptocracy far better than the rationalization. Infrastructure development — the magic sauce of recent Chinese hyper-growth — has not reached ignition. The country is too small to fund its own ambitions, and too chaotically kleptocratic to bring in foreign investment on the scale required. Despite many excellent things going for it, the country is floundering with a morose economic spirit that is almost Western.

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January 17, 2014admin 30 Comments »
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T-Shirt slogans (#7)

 

Social Justice is my Trigger

(From ‘Anonymous Coward’ in — and triggered by — this thread.)

January 15, 2014admin 20 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#8)

I’m setting off for a family Vietnam and Cambodia trip today, lasting for a couple of weeks, so blogging will be lighter than usual for a while. The off-the-shelf answer to that, of course, is a Chaos Patch. I’ve already received some suggestions from people for off-topic discussion items to get it started.

Angkor Wat is on the travel itinerary, so there’s bound to be some stimulation from my side. If I can get comparatively coherent short travel pieces together, I’ll post them separately — but odds and ends will be dropped in here.

It’s the last few days of the Year of the Snake, so everyone needs to hurry up and get any cold-blooded business finished. (The Horse comes next.)

ADDED: Apologies in advance to anybody whose comments get caught up in moderation for longer than usual — I’m bound to be drifting in and out of Internet connectivity, so some disruption of normal service is to be expected.

January 15, 2014admin 42 Comments »
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2014 Prognoses +

Since predictions solicit feedback from reality they constrain dishonesty, and indicate where correction is needed. This is an outline of what Outside in anticipates from the year.

World

Punctual catastrophes resist remotely confident prediction, unless negative ones. Neither Artificial Intelligence explosion nor Drexlerian nanotechnology will impact in 2014. Nuclear fusion will not be (de-)cracked. A super-volcano will not destroy what remains of human civilization. Global influenza epidemic? Mega-meteorite strike? A malign black swan of cataclysmic scale? — nobody knows.

The three potential catastrophes of greatest prominence heading into 2014 are Asia Pacific war; Sunni-Shia nuclear confrontation; and US dollar (or Japanese Yen) collapse. The probability that any one of these crosses the crisis threshold this year is substantially less than 50% (but possibly greater than 10%). If any does, the chance of a cascading disaster involving one or both of the others spikes dramatically. The probability of a secondary, but still major crisis, is of course far larger (i.e. likely).

The doctrinal neoreactionary prediction for the year is continued, steadily accelerating, general collapse, with an intensity broadly correlated to democratic progress. There will be no economic recovery, or significant resolution of international security issues. All the fixes on offer are fake. In the developed world, underlying human capital deterioration will subvert every proposed remedy, dragged downwards by morbid cultural variations on a remorseless dysgenic theme. The default fascist solution will be undermined by Internet-enabled exit options, exacerbated by inter-state non-cooperation. The Cathedral will fray, but not snap.

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January 15, 2014admin 9 Comments »
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Triggers

This is seriously weird.

January 14, 2014admin 66 Comments »
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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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Quote notes (#56)

Ace of Spades, sounding more than a little reactospheric:

To the left, ever to the left, never to the right, always to the left …

This is how the “ratchet” works …

(The whole post, responding to this righteous denunciation of ‘compassionate conservatism’, is well worth reading.)

January 13, 2014admin 14 Comments »
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Economic Ends

“The economists are right about economics but there’s more to life than economics” Nydwracu tweets, with quote marks already attached. Whether economists are right about economics very much depends upon the economists, and those that are most right are those who make least claim to comprehension, but that is another topic than the one to be pursued in this post. It’s the second part of the sentence that matters here and now. The guiding question: Can the economic sphere be rigorously delimited, and thus superseded, by moral-political reason (and associated social institutions)?

It is already to court misunderstanding to pursue this question in terms of ‘economics’, which is (for profound historical reasons) dominated by macroeconomics — i.e. an intellectual project oriented to the facilitation of political control over the economy.  In this regard, the techno-commercial thread of Neoreaction is distinctively characterized by a radical aversion to economics, as the predictable complement of its attachment to the uncontrolled (or laissez-faire) economy. It is not economics that is the primary object of controversy, but capitalism — the free, autonomous, or non-transcended economy.

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January 11, 2014admin 69 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce , Neoreaction
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The Internet of Money

In an article that might be the most important contribution to the understanding of Bitcoin since its launch, Eli Dourado writes:

[Bitcoin] is a currency, of sorts. You can spend it on things, especially drugs and gambling and getting around capital controls. Krugman and other economists have analyzed Bitcoin in these terms, as a substitute for dollars. This is rather like regarding the Internet as a substitute for, and not a quantum leap beyond, previous communication technologies. It is true that Bitcoin can substitute for other currencies, but as with the Internet, the abstraction of a permissionless application layer means that it is much more than a substitute: it is like a transport layer for finance.

Every Bitcoin transaction is defined in part by a bit of code, called a script, written in a programming language called Script. The script in one transaction defines how the next user can access the coins. In a conventional transaction, the script specifies the hash of the public key that is needed to spend the coins next, and demands a signature from the corresponding private key.

Script is not limited, however, to these conventional transactions that merely transfer coins from one person’s control to another’s. It can evaluate statements, execute conditionally, do math, and move bits around. It is not a Turing-complete programming language (there is no looping), because that would be a security risk; we do not want viruses to spread via Bitcoin’s blockchain, nor do we want Bitcoin transactions to run indefinitely or, if we ever figure out AI, become self-aware. Despite the lack of loops in Script, it can be used to construct some very interesting scripts. … 

Sometimes ratchets work right.

ADDED: In the comments thread to the article, Eli Dourado suggests: “It’s … possible that democracies won’t respond effectively against Bitcoin because they don’t respond effectively to much of anything.”

January 10, 2014admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce
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