Archive for September, 2015

Chaos Patch (#80)

(Open thread + links)

Left Singularities and restoration (plus, the Cathedral isn’t ZOG). Private cities (1, 2), and police. Swimming right? Chomsky’s methods. Babies and bathwater. Distrust. Liberated power. Welcome to the future. Migration. Fresh blood. A Moldbug-gloss for Marxists. The weekly round of doom.

America’s ideological divide. The Amerika Plan. Go Texas! The end of social democracy. Google-core. Death spiral in SA. Cathedral clean-up in Japan. Swedish discord.

High-popcorn diet section. Trump stuff (1, 2, 3). Corbyn stuff (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Refugee crisis stuff (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Let’s compromise. The microaggression discussion (1, 2, 3, 4). Heterodox academy (Haidt-think, plus Briggs comment). Intersectional auto-cannibalism watch. The menace of libertarians Nazis. Matt ‘Lyncher‘ Damon. Taylor ‘1488‘ Swift.

Perspectives on African demography. Diversity Island. Annihilation (viz). Race against time. Heel-digging in Hungary. Was Mahatma Gandhi a racist? Dreher’s errors. On the way to the jury box? The case for leftist over-reach on race (plus commentary). Genetics of the American nations. Weird history.

Robots and jobs commentary, plus footnotes on America and Japan. Eating the Chinese journalists first.

Selective impressions. Time to start writing. Schrödinger’s bug. Tragedy of the commons. Pluto pictures. Climate discrepancy (also relevant). Where robots are at (video). Quantum chess.

Government intelligence. The claim of tradition. Against schooling. A Polish prophet. Cryptic aliens.

September 20, 2015admin 43 Comments »
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Wikipedia

Awkward personal confession moment: I appreciate Wikipedia a lot. OK, it isn’t the Antiversity, but then, on the positive side, it exists.

Here are three Wikipedia articles dropped in the Outsideness TL very recently (with footnotes stripped out):

Universal Darwinism (via): “Universal Darwinism (also known as generalized Darwinism, universal selection theory, or Darwinian metaphysics) refers to a variety of approaches that extend the theory of Darwinism beyond its original domain of biological evolution on Earth. Universal Darwinism aims to formulate a generalized version of the mechanisms of variation, selection and heredity proposed by Charles Darwin, so that they can apply to explain evolution in a wide variety of other domains, including psychology, economics, culture, medicine, computer science and physics. …”

Galton’s problem (via): “Galton’s problem, named after Sir Francis Galton, is the problem of drawing inferences from cross-cultural data, due to the statistical phenomenon now called autocorrelation. The problem is now recognized as a general one that applies to all nonexperimental studies and to experimental design as well. It is most simply described as the problem of external dependencies in making statistical estimates when the elements sampled are not statistically independent. Asking two people in the same household whether they watch TV, for example, does not give you statistically independent answers. The sample size, n, for independent observations in this case is one, not two. Once proper adjustments are made that deal with external dependencies, then the axioms of probability theory concerning statistical independence will apply. These axioms are important for deriving measures of variance, for example, or tests of statistical significance. …”

Toba catastrophe theory (via): “The Toba supereruption was a supervolcanic eruption that occurred some time between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago at the site of present-day Lake Toba (Sumatra, Indonesia). It is one of the Earth‘s largest known eruptions. The Toba catastrophe hypothesis holds that this event caused a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode. …”

September 19, 2015admin 15 Comments »
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Quote note (#185)

After quoting Robert Frost on fences, Kevin Williamson (recipient of much reactosphere disparagement recently), notes appreciatively:

One has to admire the Burkean conservatism at work there: Confronted with the poet’s idealism, the flinty atavistic old farmer, ever mindful of the proverbs of his fathers, sets about rebuilding the damaged stone fence because it is there. Frost, it is worth noting, wrote “Mending Wall” some years before G. K. Chesterton (both men were born in 1874) published his famous advice to never knock down a fence until you understand why it was put up in the first place. […] The European Union is one of the great fence-demolishing projects of our times, and it is not without its merits. There are some persuasive arguments for governing the movement of European capital, goods, and people under a very liberal regime; and, given the unhappy history of Europe in the 20th century, there’s a heaping helping of idealism at work, too, and as William F. Buckley Jr. once observed: “Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”

I’m not imagining the fizzing cognitive distress here, surely?

September 18, 2015admin 13 Comments »
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Protocols

“Protocol governance can come in many forms, these include bureaucratic rules, literal interpretations of religious texts, democracy, proposed block chain or P2P governance, statistics based governance, rule of law, and any other form of governance which seeks to provide a protocol as being ultimately sovereign as opposed to ultimate human judgement,” writes NIO.

The meaning of ‘protocol’ here? I’m assuming, until corrected, that it’s something like: A formalized procedure. If so, it elides a critical difference, because while “bureaucratic rules, literal interpretations of religious texts,” and constitutions tell people what to do, “proposed block chain or P2P governance” doesn’t.

A set of instructions opens itself to derision, if it ‘demands’ human compliance, without possessing the means to compel it. Constitutions, laws, and bureaucracies are massively — and demonstrably — vulnerable to subversion, because they require what they cannot enforce. It is exactly this problem that has propelled the development of software protocols that are intrinsically self-protective. The longest section of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin paper (#11) is devoted to an examination of the system’s automatic defense capabilities. The problem is a serious and complicated one, but it is certainly not susceptible to resolution by armchair philosophizing about the essence of sovereignty, however much this latter proclaims its possession of the truth.

Claims to ‘truth’ demand trust, and trust is a social and technical problem (of ever increasing urgency). Mere assertion is certainly incapable of generating it. Only a trust engine can, and that has to be built, if it cannot be simply preserved, which — on this at least we are surely agreed? — it could not.

Bitcoin is only a stepping stone, and the scale of the step it enables remains obscure at this point. What is already clear, however, is that the principle of trustless (or open-source, automatically self-policing) protocols is concrete, in large part technical, and invulnerable to a priori dismissal. The theoretical difficulties involved have been largely solved, based upon a series of radical innovations in cryptography — public key systems and proof-of-work credentials, among others — compared to which the recent ‘advances’ of political philosophy, let alone governmental institutions, have been risible at best. If Byzantine Agreement is realizable, protocol subversion is exterminable. What then remains is productive work, in the direction of automatic or autonomized agoras.

Carlyle is a lament (admittedly, a rhetorically attractive, and insightful one). Satoshi Nakamoto has built something. The former is vindicated by progressive socio-political decay, the latter by the escape of self-protective catallaxy from the ruins.

Within a few decades, most of what still works on this planet will be on the blockchain.

ADDED: This is excellent. (Adam Back, via Twitter, describes it as the “Best article yet on what Bitcoin *is* & why decentralisation is necessary”.) The proposal of this post is that the conflict it outlines is obviously of massive importance. Those who think the entire problem of decentralized protocols is an irrelevant distraction from other things, are surely compelled to disagree. The XS position here is that trustless decentralization is worth defending. Clearly, that presupposes it’s something real (and consequential). As far as the NRx discussion is concerned, I’m going to assume that’s the matter at stake.

September 17, 2015admin 76 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Back to the Roots

Left00

In the age of Corbyn-style socialist fundamentalism, George Monbiot wants the Left to get (still more) religion:

Evangelical groups unite around a set of core convictions, overt, codified and non-negotiable. It would surely not be difficult to create a similar set, common to all progressive movements, built around empathy, kindness, forgiveness and self-worth [you know, redemption]. A set of immutable convictions might make our movements less capricious while reinforcing the commonality between the left’s many causes. […] Evangelism is positive and propositional (to evangelise is to bring good news). You cannot achieve lasting change unless you set the agenda, rather than responding to that of your opponents. […] They welcome everyone – but in particular the unconverted. Instead of anathematising difference, doubt and hesitation, they explain and normalise these responses as steps within a journey to belief.

The only reason this isn’t pure Left-Moldbuggianism is that it still seems to think it’s doing something new.

(The Guardian actually used that picture to illustrate the Monbiot piece, just in case you think I might be exaggerating what’s going on here.)

September 16, 2015admin 26 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Ideology , Religion
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Twitter cuts (#28)

Propaganda is almost entirely based upon selection.

(Frum’s been doing a remarkably convincing vertebrate impression on this issue.)

Continue Reading

September 15, 2015admin 14 Comments »
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Quote note (#184)

Thompson:

It is little surprise that people want to move from badly organised countries to better organised ones. What is more surprising is that the causes of bad national organisation are so often ascribed to external factors rather than to the people who live in such countries. The theory seems to be that some people, by an accident of birth, had the good fortune to be plonked down in a place with laws, institutions, roads, schools and hospitals, while others had the misfortune to be born in places with dictators, gangs, muddy tracks and slums. According to this world picture, if you move people from the unfortunate to the fortunate geographies, then the world’s problems are solved.

One consequence of escaping this common error is the downgrading of the territorial obsessions common on the right. Free association is the real topic of concern. Pieces of real estate are never more than rough proxies for that.

September 14, 2015admin 39 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#79)

(Open thread + links)

Yes, this merits a serious response. Swimming left. Two equilibria. Principled positions. White blight. Difficult spreads. Zones of progressive failure. Idiots at the controls. Popular activism. Cultural analysis. Order force. The weekly round, and the week in doom.

Elements for a popcorn apocalypse: Trump (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); Corbyn (1, 2, 3, 4); NRO (1, 2, 3), yellow stars at the NYT, bathhouse genocidaires, the ugly European, re-colonization time (see also), counter-revolution in the Vatican, burning with indignation (and icy dissent), TSA-grade security, scary book of the century watch, bullet points, and the most confusing story of the week (1, 2). Taylor Swift is, like, way problematic. Imitation games.

Refugee chaos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). An AoS round-up. “Among them actually there were no women, no children – the vast majority were aggressive young men …” (If anyone has bothered to try and deny that, I’ve yet to see it.) Rising Dampier (1, 2). Best to get on with it?

Negative economic theorems. Half-baked Alaska. Back to the Malthusian trap? How to isolate mass murder memes. Eugenics for the left. Poor brains. Deep roots of poverty (the NYT notices). Women in philosophy.

The Kaiser’s Jihad.

Quantum-resistant protocols. Superconducting graphene. Large Hadron Collider info-graphics. Falcon Heavy schedule.

Alexander on Chomsky. Error and destiny. Pynchon in disguise? Star Trek politics. Vickies.

September 13, 2015admin 46 Comments »
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Sentences (#24)

Reports say lightning struck the crane in Mecca before it collapsed into the Grand Mosque

Note: It is not being suggested here that Gnonology has spontaneously sublimed into a revealed religion.

Here‘s some suitably chaotic video, mostly of value for the date stamp.

(Via.)

ADDED: It’s cranes versus skyhooks. “One might look to the potential deep in matter, ‘cranes all the way down,’ as Dennett puts it.” The prophecy is strong with these guys.

September 12, 2015admin 8 Comments »
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AAA … II

There follows an XS-endorsed message from Henry Dampier:

… we can’t make the omelet of perfect, universal justice without breaking some eggs. […] The presence of White men in any classroom, owing to their historical record, can be profoundly triggering to women and people of color. To protect their historic victims – to give them mental and physical space for them to flourish – we must keep White men away from the university, and by blocking them from those institutions, we must keep them far away from political power, also. […] We have tried reform. We have tried patient education. It has not worked. Harsher measures will be required. The world can’t wait.

(For reference, AAA …)

September 11, 2015admin 42 Comments »
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