Archive for August, 2014

UNESCO Man

Via Cussans (dark channels), comes this crucial document on the intersection of racial anthropology and international institutional politics. The abstract:

From 1945 and the following 20 years UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – was at the heart of a dispute in international scientific circles over the correct definition of the concept of race. This was essentially a dispute about whether the natural sciences or the social sciences should take precedence in determining the origins of human difference, of social division and of the attribution of value. The article provides an overview of the work on race carried out by UNESCO, examines the measures it took to combat racism, pays special attention to their political and social impact in various member states, and demonstrates how UNESCO played a major part in imposing a new view of man: UNESCO Man.

August 25, 2014admin 8 Comments »
FILED UNDER :History
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Chaos Patch (#24)

(Open thread.)

Saw Jesus Camp for the first time (and enjoyed it a lot). It should have been subtitled ‘A Study in Pwnedness’. There was the liberal anti-fundamentalist radio host who seemed to think America doesn’t have a State Religion. Then there were the radical evangelicals at the heart of the movie, who think their holy war is doing something other than sliding inexorably, culturally and politically, to the left. (Both sides were apparently convinced that the Pentacostal take-over of the SCOTUS was advancing smoothly according to the plan.) Some more recent debate about Christianity and politics here.

The rise of ODMS (On-Demand Mobile Services).

How Chinese Internet censorship works.

… the “war on terror” … has demonstrably failed Unless we’re missing something critical about the game. (This probably plunges a little too far down the rabbit-hole.)

An involved discussion of corporate personality (and ‘rights‘) is long overdue.

I wanted this for a T-shirt, but couldn’t think of a way to sneak off with it:

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August 24, 2014admin 43 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Chaos
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Quote notes (#104)

The only thing that Neoconservatism has to offer a non-psychotic policy analyst is bitching, but sometimes the bitching can be pretty good. Bret Stephens (via Brett Stevens (sorry, I had to do that)):

… None of these fiascos — for brevity’s sake, I’m deliberately setting to one side the illusory pivot to Asia, the misbegotten Russian Reset, the mishandled Palestinian–Israeli talks, the stillborn Geneva conferences on Syria, the catastrophic interim agreement with Iran, the de facto death of the U.S. free-trade agenda, the overhyped opening to Burma, the orphaned victory in Libya, the poisoned relationship with Egypt, and the disastrous cuts to the Defense budget — can be explained away as a matter of tough geopolitical luck. Where, then, does the source of failure lie? […] The myth of Obama’s brilliance paradoxically obscures the fact that he’s no fool. The point is especially important to note because the failure of Obama’s foreign policy is not, ultimately, a reflection of his character or IQ. It is the consequence of an ideology.

The ‘ideology’ at its root, of course, is evangelical egalitarian universalism, and it is one the Neoconservatives entirely share. At the limit, which is now being encountered, what America is makes it impossible for it to succeed at what it wants.

August 23, 2014admin 9 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn
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Buy Out

This (via Mangan) is such naked precious metals propaganda — and yet it’s so right.

… markets are behaving exactly as one would expect at the end of a major economic era. That is, markets are totally divorced from the reality of what is going on both economically and geopolitically. Markets are now in a manic phase, driven by false hope and momentum. […] It clearly helps that many economic figures are manipulated and therefore totally inaccurate. If we add to this the most massive money creation in history, we can be certain that these are not normal times. […] We are experiencing the beginning of a hyperinflationary period, with hyperinflation, so far, being noticed only in financial markets, property markets, and other key assets such as art and classic cars. […] And currencies will continue their decline to zero. Continued money printing will guarantee this. And we have to remember that the major currencies don’t have far to go since they are down between 97 and 99 percent in the last hundred years. As currencies start the next major phase of decline we will experience hyperinflation in all parts of the economy. This hyperinflation will be happening in most major countries. …

It’s not just that the analysis is solidly grounded in an obdurate realism (this is the raw economics of Gnon), it’s also that:
(a) Gold is the traditional medium of economic-regime exit, and therefore
(b) This discourse is immediately anti-politics (or resistance).
It says: Get out! That’s not a message to be easily decrypted for representational content, because it’s a war cry.

How does a hyperinflationary collapse begin? With a flight to gold. There’s going to be hyperinflation — flee to gold. It’s a circuit. The Cathedral’s economic authorities are entirely justified in considering such messaging aggressive (even ‘terroristic’), in the specific mode of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If people listened, they’d bring everything crashing down.

It’s no less crucial to understand that, by inversion, the voice of central monetary authority is equally incapable of isolating the communication of objective information from the continuous flow of psychological operations. When the state monetary apparatus speaks, it exercises effective power. It commands. The sole value of fiat currency lies in a popular habit of obedience, which the state money power systematically sustains. There is no other usage of macro-economic signs.

‘Buy gold’ is a counter-revolutionary instruction to participate in the destruction of the state money system.

(… and now we have Bitcoin too.)

August 22, 2014admin 128 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Gigadeath War

Hugo de Garis argues (consistently) that controversy over permitted machine intelligence development will inevitably swamp all other political conflicts. (Here‘s a video discussion on the thesis.) Given the epic quality of the scenario, and its basic plausibility, it has remained strangely marginalized up to this point. The component pieces seem to be falling into place. The true element of genius in this futurist construction is preemption. The more one digs into that, the most twistedly dynamic it looks.

Among the many thought-provoking elements:

(1) Slow take-off is especially ominous for the de Garis model (in stark contrast to FAI arguments). The slower the process, the more time for ideological consolidation, incremental escalation, and preparation for violent confrontation.

(2) AI doesn’t even have to be possible for this scenario to unfold (it only has to be credible as a threat).

(3) De Garis’ ‘Cosmist-Terran’ division chops up familiar political spectra at strange angles. (Both NRx and the Ultra-Left contain the full C-T spectrum internally.)

(4) Terrans have to strike first, or lose. That asymmetry shapes everything.

(5) Impending Gigadeath War surely deserves a place on any filled-out horrorism list.

nuclear-war-global-impacts_32431_600x450

De Garis’ site.

(Some topic preemption at Outside in here.)

August 22, 2014admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology , World
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Non-Democracy

Eli Dourado’s piece at The Umlaut on ‘What the Neoreaction Doesn’t Understand about Democracy’ has already accumulated a mass of (to this blog) telling criticism in its comment thread, plus a full-length critique by Henry Dampier. The tone of the discussion has been encouraging, and the grounds proposed by Dourado upon which democracy is asked to defend itself (government incontinence and rampant redistributionism) is doubly so. Based on this (rather odd) research paper, the conclusion is that ‘non-democracies’ are at least as messed up as democracies on the indicators that matter to the economic right.

From the perspective of Outside in, the central problem with this line of argument is the assumption that ‘Neoreaction’ can be aligned with the grotesquely aggregated category of ‘non-democracy’. (Although, this is of course how things will look from a default commitment to democratic normality.) The Neoreactionary critique is in fact directed at demotic government, a regime class that includes democracy, authoritarian populism, and socialist ‘people’s republics’. The reliable signature of this class is that its members legitimate themselves through democracy, however their various levels of democracy are gauged by social scientific analysis. North Korea self-identifies as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (and to a formalist, this is of ineliminable significance). Since it is the principle of democratic legitimation that NRx denounces, its models are restricted to a far more compact class than ‘non-democracies’ — namely, to non-demotic states: with absolute monarchies and colonial regimes as the purest historical examples, supplemented by restricted-franchise commercial republics (17-18th century United Provinces and United Kingdom*), (still virtual) Joint-Stock Republics, and demotically-compromised Confucian Autocracies, plus rightist military juntas (since Pinochet cannot reasonably be excluded). As soon as regimes of such types are statistically amalgamated with socialist / populist dictatorships, the theoretical chaos is irredeemable.

Furthermore, and even more crucially, main-current Neoreaction does not argue for ‘non-democracy’ over democracy, but for Exit over Voice. It does not expect some governmental magic from ‘non-democracies’ (except on its — admittedly wide — theoretically incoherent fringes). Effective government requires non-demotic control, resulting from (apolitical) selection pressure. The identification of the state with the corporate institution is directed to the fact that businesses work when they can be bankrupted. The attraction of the ‘dictatorial’ CEO is a twin-product of demotic desensitization and competitive hyper-sensitization. The reason to free the ‘monarch’ from the voice of the people is to lock him into undistracted compliance with the Outside.

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August 21, 2014admin 33 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Democracy , Neoreaction
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CWoT

The Cathedralist War on Trolling is limbering up fast. Just a few days ago, we had this. (Paraphrased: to resist the Cathedral is trolling). Now the follow up (“Trolls are like terrorist cells” — literally).

The Duck does the integration:

That escalated quickly.

They’re everywhere and even if one gets eliminated, there’s two more to take its place (that also applies to HYDRA). But I feel like this is the point we’re at now. That’s sad and terrible, but it’s the truth. I used to think turning comments off was *the* solution, and while I do think comments have become useless, and largely a hotbed for hate and racism, turning them off is only going to drive the poison to even more public forums like Twitter and Facebook, where a hateful or factually corrupt tweet or status update can spread like a disease across the globe and turn supposed rational human beings into muckrakers of misinformation, hate, and other dark things.

HailHydra0

August 21, 2014admin 23 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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Curses!

There’s a seemingly irrepressible enthusiasm to discuss Outside in speech codes, so let’s do it here (please). For the precursor exchanges on the topic, see here, and here.

I only became a methodical Moldbug reader in 2011, so I cannot pretend to have followed the degeneration of the Unqualified Reservations comments section in real time. What I did see, making my way back through this blog, was the rapid collapse of its comment threads into an open cultural gutter of no conceivable interest to anybody with a three digit IQ — a situation that hit nadir and remained there. We are talking about what — even inactive — remains arguably the most important blog in the history of the medium. If anyone wants to suggest that its accrued commentary is a model to be emulated, they are encouraged to make the case, for the entertainment value alone.

At the other extreme of cognitive ambition, is 4chan/pol/, a veritable sewer of senselessness, where the idea of an intelligent conversation is an absurdity from the start. This is a discussion forum that revels in its own crass vulgarity. It too is a negative model, to be deeply appreciated for the lesson in degeneracy it provides.

My default assumption is that everything tends to ruin, unless actively tended. UR shows what a naked laissez-faire policy leads to, if crudely interpreted as confidence in self-correcting bohemianism. Spontaneous order requires dynamic entropy dissipation merely to survive.

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August 20, 2014admin 34 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Admin
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The Liberal Agony

I realize it’s very bad to be amused by this sort of thing … but still.

Walking miserably up the High Street I felt profoundly depressed at the state of the world. I could cheer myself with the thought that I’d learned something. I learned that Islam has yet another nasty meme-trick to offer – when you are offended put your hands over your ears and run away. This would be funny if it weren’t so serious. These bright, but ignorant, young people must be among the more enlightened of their contemporaries since their parents have been able and willing to send them on this course to learn something new. If even they cannot face dissent, or think for themselves, what hope is there for the rest? And what can I do?

‘Panic!’ would be the obvious answer, but we’re already well into that stage.

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August 20, 2014admin 65 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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T-shirt slogan (#16)

Ripped straight from Gregory Cochran:

Reality is Unacceptable

August 19, 2014admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Slogans
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