Archive for February, 2015

Quote note (#151)

Fernandez on civilization versus entropy:

You are watching entropy at work, witnessing the destruction of information and seeing disorder take over the world.

To understand this more clearly, open the case of your computer and consider the arrangement of the jumper wires (assuming you still have jumper wires). There are only a few ways the jumper wires can be correctly connected but millions of ways they can be wrongly attached. Order (in the sense of a functioning arrangement) is that small percentage of outcomes that work. Entropy is all the ways it won’t work. Order is statistically hard to achieve. Disorder is relatively easy to create.

It took an ancient craftsman years to produce those statues preserved in the Mosul Museum, but it took a thug only a few minutes to pound it into rubble and dust.

Since order and knowledge are expensive, what we call civilization essentially advances by remembering which wires go where. The innovation of political correctness however, holds that since all jumper connections are equally valid, anything goes and one can even rearrange older wiring to suit aesthetic impulses. By declaring all cultures equal we open the doors to entropy. We may not notice the effect at first, because — to continue the computer example — there is still enough residual functionality in your machine to carry on.

By and by we disable the CD drive, the USB ports, then some of the keys in the keyboard. Then one day we pull out a really important jumper and the hard disk stops. But by then we cannot acknowledge the damage we’ve done since according to our progressive thinking we ought to have improved things. And this thought will still be in our minds as the blade of the machete slices off the hand we put out to ward the blow.

February 28, 2015admin 14 Comments »
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Moral Terror

Before we get around to bravely denouncing — with whatever degree of theatricality falls just short of laughable camp — those ‘sociopaths’ or ‘psychopaths’ who are effortless indifferent to intuitive qualms, perhaps we can agree that such anomalous psychological types are definitively incapable of moral terror. In this respect, they are human precursors of that which, from a strictly functional point of view, we want our military robotics control systems to be. They have no squeamishness to overcome. Stone cold killers no doubt exist, and even more certainly soon will. If moral terror is the topic, however, they fall entirely outside it.

A discussion of the roots of moral intuition far exceeds the reasonable ambition of a modest blog post. Those wanting to plug it more or less directly into God will do so. Even radical religious skeptics, however, are unable to deny the fact of very basic, deeply pre-reflective moral commitments as a human norm. The scientific literature alone is now huge. There is no serious controversy about the existence of a ‘sense or right and wrong’ (irrespective of its variability regarding specifics) as a fundamental component of human evolved psychology. This only needs to be said because of widespread childish delusions that ‘moral nihilism’ could be considered a default condition of the non-indoctrinated human individual. ‘Wolf-boy’ is still a moral animal.

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February 27, 2015admin 55 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#11)

I’m going to put up a post on moral terror later, if I get a chance. A little background:

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February 27, 2015admin 26 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#10)

This ‘Cathedral’ stuff is just too easy:

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February 26, 2015admin 14 Comments »
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Mr. Turner

England’s greatest artist, as portrayed by Mike Leigh:


Despite the depiction of Turner as a shambling, grunting, snorting orc — perhaps motivated by revolutionary class politics — the movie is not without its strengths. The cinematography is often breathtaking, with a purpose. Watch it just for the art that burns through the screen.

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February 25, 2015admin 7 Comments »


The state of play:


Despite its demotion from ninth-planet status (in 2006), Pluto is a special nexus of discovery, with no less than five moons now identified. Insofar as names tell us anything, it has horroristic Outer-NRx stamped all over it.

February 24, 2015admin 7 Comments »

Quote note (#150)

The greatest obstacle to territorial innovation in the United States is status quo bias:

… the state of California happens to be really big. Clocking in at just under forty million inhabitants makes it the most populous U.S. state by a healthy margin. It has over ½ the population of Turkey, is on par with Poland, and eclipses Canada. You can’t drive its north-south length without blocking out at least twelve hours from your schedule. […] Pristine governance however, doesn’t seem to be its strong suit. The Golden State came in at 30th in the most recent 24/7 Wall Street survey of the best and worst-run states, up from 2013’s last place finish. Cali sports a solid 7.0% unemployment rate as of December according to BLS, which is good for 49th in the country. It ranks 35th in terms of poverty rates and dead-last when geographically adjusted. This is hardly a bulletproof case for carving up California like a piece of meat, but it seems like a damn good start.

February 23, 2015admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy


Patri Friedman’s Cuddly Alt-NRx project seems to be coming together nicely. Aesthetics aside, there’s very little to object to. A few hard stompings from Leviathan and the nastiness should re-import itself automatically.

(His critique of Caplan is basically indistinguishable from mine, except that it’s vastly more polite.)

February 23, 2015admin 12 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction

Chaos Patch (#50)

(Open thread + links)

Masters of the NRx energy cycle right now: Hurlock (on economic history, 1, 2, 3) and Poseidon (on significant triangles, 1, 2). Dampier has settled into a marathonrunner pace. Mango politics. “You want to save the world? Have the strength to walk away.” Never trust a non-biologian. Meanwhile, in the Augean Stables of absurd lies. The Christian Question. Teleotheology, and cyclical demography. The worse, the better. Chatting with Chesterton. No NRX for Mike (loosely related). Still speciating. Finally! Reaction rounds.

The slow, painful death of democracy. Russia is cooked. A fairly massive Greek-chicken dump (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) — when it’s time to finally go over the cliff, you get the drivers you deserve. US and China on opposite paths. The strong dollar illusion. Into the crack-up phase?

When Keynes spoke the truth. Classic left libertarian irritability (more here).

On the Internet, darkness will win (with some intriguing twists).

That’s the stupidest, most easily avoidable path to self-destruction ever. And yet it seems to be the one we’re on.” Disparate impact dogma is going to hurt. When minorities attack (each other). Stubbornly non-ethnic whites (stubbornly not looking for understanding). The truth will set you free.

Alain de Benoist on fascism. Submission reviewed. Luther is back.

When Swatch tried to decimalize global time.

Newton’s papers.

February 22, 2015admin 28 Comments »
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Urban Defense

There’s an easy solution to the ‘tragedy of the commons’ — abolish the commons. It works in cities too.

Warning: such policies can produce an upsetting vibrancy deficit, by deterring vagrants and panhandlers from participating in street life within your urban enclave.

Liberal comment on the Neocameral City: “It was impressive in its own way, I guess, but I was deeply distressed about the absence of bums.”

February 22, 2015admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy