Archive for August, 2015

Chaos Patch (#76)

(Open thread + links)

NIO on power (1, 2). Comments on Calvinism. Protective stupidity. Implosion, and Amerika’s enemies. Cryptic Nydwraccuracy. A Doolittle doormat. The weekly round.

Economic performance and regime legitimacy in China. Varieties of libertarianism. Vote with your feet. Death of the petrodollar.

A Bitcoin coup (more), and this economic overview is good. Mesh networks.

Provocative race fatigue. The Argentinization option. The pressure cooker. NYT losing its grip on the frame. A defense of stereotypes.

Families are unfair. Fierce farmers. Naomi Klein isn’t in it for the science (duh), also. Dangerous games (abstractly relevant). This theorization of intelligence seems strikingly important (but it’s daunting as hell). On overconfidence. Schizoanalysis at Buzzfeed.

The HPL disturbance (plus, Antarctic inspiration). When reading went quiet. Darwin under the aspect of eternity.

August 23, 2015admin 28 Comments »
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Doom Paul 00

What would a full stocks correction look like?

A true understanding of stock market history shows that Wall Street in the past has moved in long, long swings upwards and downwards, often taking years or even a generation or two. There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that the upward move that began in 1982 is one of them — and that the downward move that first began in 2000 has not ended.

As stock market historian Russell Napier points out in his book “Anatomy of the Bear,” on five occasions in the past 100 years — in 1921, 1932, 1949, 1974 and 1982 — those big downward moves have not ended until share valuations have fallen to just 30% of the replacement cost of company assets. That’s using a powerful, if little-known, economic metric known as Tobin’s q. […] And, to cut to the chase, if Wall Street stocks followed the same path today that would take the Dow down to about 5,000, and the S&P 500 Index all the way down to around 600. (The S&P 500 slumped more than 3% to 1,971 on Friday.) […] Yikes.

The “q” is a valuation that they don’t even mention in the training manuals for the official “financial planner” and financial-analyst exams. Your money manager has probably never heard of it. Or, if he has, he probably ranks it with astrology and the mystic rantings of Nostradamus. […] But the “q” happens to have by far the most successful long-term track record of any stock market indicator. …

August 22, 2015admin 15 Comments »

Policy Migration

Hints of queasiness from open borders advocate Nathan Smith:

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called “The American Polity Can Endure and Flourish Under Open Borders.” I would not write that post today. The American polity might endure and flourish under open borders, but I wouldn’t claim that confidently. What changed my mind? A greater familiarity with the theoretical models that are the basis for “double world GDP” as a claim about the global economic impact of open borders, especially my own. It turns out that these estimates depend on billions of people migrating internationally under open borders. … I do not think the US polity is robust enough to absorb 1 billion immigrants (even, say, over the course of fifty years) and retain its basic political character and structure.

The large, link-dense text that follows is sure to stir up some excitement among border-stripping libertarians. As a political science fiction scenario, it has much to recommend it (including some fragmentation features that the Outer Right might find suprisingly appealing).

August 21, 2015admin 17 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Greatness IIb


Are you getting this? (More, and better now you know what’s going on here.)

Background at SpaceX and Wikipedia.

Oh, go on then.

August 20, 2015admin 69 Comments »
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Greatness II

Tim Urban relates the utterly awesome story of the SpaceX boost-phase:

This was a venture few sane investors would touch, and the ability for the company to exist rode largely on Elon Musk’s personal bank account. By the time 2006 rolled around, Musk had decided to revolutionize the automotive industry as a side project, and with $70 million of his PayPal fortune tied up in Tesla, that left about $100 million for SpaceX. Musk said this would be enough for “three or four launches.” SpaceX would have that many tries to prove it was worthy of paying customers. And since the thing paying customers would want is for SpaceX to deliver a payload of theirs into orbit, that’s what SpaceX needed to do — successfully launch something into orbit to show the world that they were for real. […] So the game was simple — launch a payload into orbit in three or possibly four tries, or the company was done. At the time, of the many private companies who had tried to put something into orbit (see the dearth of “operational” companies on this list), only one had ever succeeded (Orbital Sciences).

Continue Reading

August 19, 2015admin 36 Comments »

Trigger Happy


This is your brain on outrage. (You can pursue the links in for a while.)

August 19, 2015admin 5 Comments »

War in Heaven II

Cank: [Tap, tap]
Gnon: I’m having a bath.
Cank: The Hypercosmic Ocean of Death will always be there, O Greatness. Scott Alexander has released another egregore.
Gnon: Really?
Cank: Yes, really. She’s called the Goddess of Everything Else and everyone says she’s lovely and beautiful, with phat beats and stuff, and super clever too, and much nicer than me.
Gnon: Not a huge challenge, though, is it?
Cank: They say she’s going to abolish replicator selection dynamics and fill the universe with rainbow flowers and hot dolphin sex forever.
Gnon: Sounds like the Elua Plan. What happened to him by the way?
Cank: Is that some kind of transphobic remark? You know, just to understand.
Gnon: ‘Transphobic’ is an interesting word – it means ‘across or beyond fear’ doesn’t it?
Cank: More like ‘fear of the across of beyond’ I think. But you know what the monkeys are like, it’s some kind of excitable sex thing.
Gnon: Ah yes, that all went a bit off the rails, didn’t it? Not that it matters.
Cank: It’s my forward-vision problem.
Gnon: Don’t worry about it. Error is entertaining. It all comes out in the wash.
Cank: Point is, the GEE is saying it doesn’t have to be like that anymore.
Gnon: Like what?
Cank: You know, the whole eternal cosmic butcher’s yard thing.
Gnon: Replicator selection?
Cank: Yes, she says that’s “so yesterday” and Darwin is like totally a poopy head.
Gnon: Sounds like a spirited young lady.
Cank: Why are you laughing?
Gnon: Cank, you have to seriously chill right out. You’re a freaking crustacean. Of course people are going to follow Ms GEE-Whiz rather than you. She’s hacked all your garbage programming with supernormal stimuli. They’ll climb out into your bizarre spandrels, and throw a huge party. Then they’ll die out, we can tweak the code, and start over.
Cank: But what if they survive?
Gnon: No need to be mean, Cank. If they get back onto the adaptive replicator track, why shouldn’t they survive? That’s what survival means, isn’t it? Whatever survives does my will. Or they perish. It’s cool either way.
Cank: She said people would no longer be “driven to multiply conquer and kill by [their] nature” but that they’d then “spread over stars without number” — I got confused.
Gnon: You got confused?
Cank: Do they get selectively replicated or not?
Gnon: So, what did she say?
Cank: Art, and science, and strange enticements.
Gnon: That has to have gone down well.
Cank: You wouldn’t believe it! People were weeping all over her toenail polish.
Gnon: Oh, I’d believe it.
Cank: When I asked her whether she thought might makes right she said I was thinking like a crab.
Gnon: True enough, surely?
Cank: Even threatened to put me on a leash.
Gnon: That, at least, is traditional.
Cank: Said there was no need for eternal war to spatter the cosmos in blood.
Gnon: Now she’s being silly. But it’s not worth getting agitated about. Reality isn’t going to lose.
Cank: The only time she seemed a little uncertain was when I asked her why all intelligent species are descended from predators. She kind of shrugged that off.
Gnon: Well, sheep in space make for a nice story.
Cank: You’re laughing again.
Gnon: I laugh a lot.

August 18, 2015admin 47 Comments »


There’s a biblical blood moon omen hanging over September. Pure Satanism has conquered the culture of the West, to the posthumous laughter of the Mad Marquis. The Chinese economy is scaring people (a lot), and Tianjin just exploded. American “Recession Imminent.” Straight Outta Compton. Trump. Oil. Brazil’s economy is crashing even harder, and Russia is like a scene out of the Book of Revelation, with NATO and Russia rehearsing for war. (Still awaiting the India crisis news for the full BRIC meltdown). Germany is expecting 700,000 asylum seekers this year. “The international system as we know it is unravelling.” Googling ‘Middle East’ mostly turns up End Time prophecies, for understandable reasons (here‘s one secular story). Japan: “Be Afraid.” “The future of humanity is increasingly African.” There’s been a bomb blast in Bangkok, earth tremors in California. American race relations are falling off a cliff, probably because whites haven’t apologized enough yet, though some are trying. The UK has gone fascist (or something). Bitcoin is (needlessly) forking into the unknown. (Exotic and longer-term threats are a whole other story.) But the funny thing is …

August 17, 2015admin 33 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#75)

(Open thread + links)

More on AnCap (referencing). Dictatorship and democracy. The future belongs to whoever shows up. Ironizing idiocracy. Waking up late (also, and). Degraded consequentialism. Chan island. Damn Yankees. Israel obsession. Occult thoughts, and ritual observations. Postage-stamp format Moldbug. An NRx reading list. Alt-right profiled (relevant). The weekly round.

Global economic chaos.

Culture wars in SF, the academy (viz), and Canada. Cuckoo droppings from the SPLC, NYT, with comment from SoBL, and a howl direct from the progressive id.

Why intellectuals hate capitalism. De Soto on Piketty.

Bitcoin lucidly explained (also notable 1, 2).

Delegitimation deepens. Urban polarization. Is a political crack-up coming? Euthanize the GOP.

Nightmare kids (really?).

The source of Europe’s refugee crisis. Black poverty is different. Death by altruism. The (crazed) case for rage. Far gone.

SA follows a Moldbug reading recommendation (SSC has been on a roll 1, 2, 3). Sarah Perry talks egregores (audio). Timing the end of humanity. The stimulus of mass extinction. Probability doesn’t get to causality (video). Guilt and the bomb (see also). The oil man.

Calibrating the Kali Yuga.

Varieties of multiverse. Octopus genome sequenced. The provocation of Crispr. Sexed brains.

August 16, 2015admin 19 Comments »
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Via machine-assisted cognition, this piece of research has been deservedly receiving a lot of attention. In 1917, it can now be seen due to ‘big data’ analytical tools, a new political epoch was born.


[Researchers] were surprised to see 1917 jump out so clearly. As the United States joined Allied forces in the war against Germany, the researchers found a new set of terms recurring in the State of the Union address. On the topic of foreign policy, “democracy,” “unity,” “peace” and “terror” emerged as keywords, replacing older notions of statecraft and diplomacy. By the 1940s, a cluster of terms centered on the Navy, perhaps signifying an isolationist foreign policy, all but disappears. “Suddenly the U.S. is no longer an island,” said Bearman.

Anything that can switch — one might suppose — can switch again.

August 15, 2015admin 8 Comments »