Archive for May, 2015

Clandestine NeoCam

This is huge:

The most intriguing secrets of the “war on terror” have nothing to do with al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers. They’re about the mammoth private spying industry that all but runs U.S. intelligence operations today. […] Surprised? No wonder. In April, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell was poised to publicize a year-long examination of outsourcing by U.S. intelligence agencies. But the report was inexplicably delayed — and suddenly classified a national secret. What McConnell doesn’t want you to know is that the private spy industry has succeeded where no foreign government has: It has penetrated the CIA and is running the show. […] Over the past five years (some say almost a decade), there has been a revolution in the intelligence community toward wide-scale outsourcing. Private companies now perform key intelligence-agency functions, to the tune, I’m told, of more than $42 billion a year. Intelligence professionals tell me that more than 50 percent of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) — the heart, brains and soul of the CIA — has been outsourced to private firms such as Abraxas, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. …

Of course, read it all, but especially:

Outsourcing has provided solutions to personnel-management problems that have always plagued the CIA’s operations side. Rather than tying agents up in the kind of office politics that government employees have to engage in to advance their careers, outsourcing permits them to focus on what they do best, which boosts morale and performance.

Under the conditions of a ruined public sphere, trends to the commercialization of government are re-routed around the back. When the time is right for the dismantling of the terminally deteriorated Cathedral Empire — a.k.a. ‘the International Community’ — its power structures will default to the Deep State, which is already undergoing business re-organization. Identify the private agencies who at that point will own the only chunks of security apparatus still working, and you know who’s political ideas will matter. It follows, naturally, that it would be unrealistic to expect these directors to be voluble about their thinking, or anything else. They’re not politicians. That’s over.

The public sphere is already dead. It’s time now to shift all serious attention into the dark.

(Thanks to VXXC for the WaPo link.)

May 12, 2015admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Twitter cuts (#18)

(I’m almost convinced …)

May 11, 2015admin 20 Comments »

Chaos Patch (#61)

(Open thread — just back from Xi’an, after delayed flight, and punchy as hell. I’ll plug some links in tomorrow.)

ADDED: What the DE is for. NRx vs. WN. Egalitarianism ruins everything. Triggered by Western Civilization. Untapped allies. Introducing Futurist Traditionalism, and democracy as disease. Dreams of right unity. Fragments. The weekly rounds.

At some point, Westerners will have to start recognizing that there’s less of a ‘we’ in this than we’re accustomed to thinking. Many Western countries aren’t going to make it. Many regions aren’t going to make it. Many religious groups aren’t going to make it. For small groups of men to solve problems, the problem space has to be shrunk down to a manageable level. Fixing the US isn’t possible; salvaging a portion of it is.

From general election to secession (1, 2, 3, 4). More Schadenfreude-flavored UK regime-continuity popcorn (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Oil glut. Strategic alterations. Wall Street is broken.

Vox gets it (backwards). End-game for Assad?

Left auto-cannibalization watch. (The wholly intra-Islamic version is even more entertaining.) Boiling the Muslim frog.

Defending Wade in detail.

Fake depth.

A Gaudi appreciation. Beauty and fit. American beauty. Fear of the night.

Wolfe on the origins of Silicon Valley (classic).

A filtered future. Selective deregulation (left-style). Dindu Benankeism. Segregation and diversity. A fluffy take on polarization. Peak collapse (if the new millennium coughs up a more deteriorated story than this, things are even worse than I’d thought). Cry-bullies.

ADDED: A few links collected during the Xi’an trip, and today, have been spliced in.

May 10, 2015admin 28 Comments »
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Quote note (#165)

The conclusion to a typically thoughtful, reality-infused Athrelon post:

Ayn Rand’s fantasy of Galt’s Gulch imagined a small number of natural aristocrats noticing that they kept the ungrateful world alive. Feeling their strength, they said “screw the peasants,” seceded from civilization, and the country began to collapse. The reality of the Weak Galt Hypothesis is that the peasants say “screw the aristocrats,” secede from civilization, and the country does not collapse.

(The ‘Weak Galt Hypothesis’ is shaping up as a remarkably solid NRx building block. See also this.)

May 10, 2015admin 29 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

Brain Eater

This will be needed later (for a horror story), but the development is easily thought-provoking enough to merit this mention. Abstract:

Currently only electron microscopy provides the resolution necessary to reconstruct neuronal circuits completely and with single-synapse resolution. Because almost all behaviors rely on neural computations widely distributed throughout the brain, a reconstruction of brain-wide circuits — and, ultimately, the entire brain — is highly desirable. However, these reconstructions require the undivided brain to be prepared for electron microscopic observation. Here we describe a preparation, BROPA (brain-wide reduced-osmium staining with pyrogallol-mediated amplification), that results in the preservation and staining of ultrastructural details throughout the brain at a resolution necessary for tracing neuronal processes and identifying synaptic contacts between them. Using serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM), we tested human annotator ability to follow neural ‘wires’ reliably and over long distances as well as the ability to detect synaptic contacts. Our results suggest that the BROPA method can produce a preparation suitable for the reconstruction of neural circuits spanning an entire mouse brain.

(Captured via Hanson on twitter. If you’ve been following the relevant lines of his thinking, one whole dimension of deep-historical significance falls into place automatically.)

May 9, 2015admin 5 Comments »

UK General Election ’15

Briggs captures the essentials:

You have to love — I do — how the cessation of accelerating profligate spending is called in Europe “austerity”. Here [in the UK] the slow-down-in-speeding-up-yet-still-increases-in-spending are called “budget cuts”.

The “let’s carry on decaying at a genteel pace chaps” party won (unexpectedly). Insurgent parties did badly (except at the geographical — rather than ideological — fringe). A status quo outcome, then. A shallower, longer decline path it is …

The more positive implications concern territorial disintegration. Deepening political alienation in Scotland, and a commitment to a referendum on Europe, promise opportunities for multi-level secessionary tides to strengthen.

Also, the left will go even more nuts. When the teeth-gnashing commentary begins to roll in, I’ll try to link some as Schadenfreude tonic.

ADDED: Conservatives know that they’re losers, even when they ‘win’.

ADDED: HBD Chick applies some biorealism to the election results.

May 8, 2015admin 37 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn

Twitter cuts (#17)

Continue Reading

May 7, 2015admin 45 Comments »
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Shanghai Tower

It’s Aesthetics Week @ Social Matter. Here’s the XS twist:

Shanghai Tower

It’s the new Shanghai Tower, in Lujiazui. Latest glistening jewel in a fabulously beautiful city.

May 6, 2015admin 9 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Aesthetics

Quote note (#164)

The conclusion to a fascinating, data-rich post on support for free speech:

The consistent free speech position gets stronger as you get more liberal, and, as you get more intelligent. But it is interesting that the position where you won’t allow a racist to speak but you will allow a Muslim cleric to speak gets more frequent among liberals and the very intelligent. This, I believe, explains some of the rumblings and equivocation about free speech absolutism. These are a minority, but they are vocal. In contrast, though there are hardcore civil libertarians on the Right, it is almost certainly true that many conservatives who support the right to blaspheme Islam are less willing to stand up for the right to blaspheme the flag of the United States (e.g., allow someone to defecate on it, for example). […] Tne major caveat that needs to placed here is that traditionally the elites of this country have been more defensive about free speech than the populace as a whole. That’s probably because the elites are worried more about power plays by their rivals. Ultimately politically oriented free speech is important for those with ambition and aspirations.

May 5, 2015admin 14 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Sentences (#19)

Breitbart on the Garland event:

A senior officer has said that the officer taken to the hospital will be OK, and that the two suspects will not be OK.

Wry amusement at the death of enemies is always an encouraging sign.

May 4, 2015admin 11 Comments »
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