Archive for September, 2015

Quote note (#183)

Daily Kos has exposed the Neoreactionary evil behind the Trump phenomenon. (Yes, it’s terrifying.) So that provoked a trawl through the Googleverse for ‘Neoreactionaries’, turning back up one of the most lucid (and succinct) unaffiliated perspectives on NRx — from January this year — which never got the appreciation it deserves. This is Pearce on the Neocameral idea:

The theory of corporate government goes something like this: if the country, or city-state or whatever, is governed by a corporation that delivers services like — guaranteed safety in public places, guaranteed neutral arbitration of contracts and efficient public transport, and charges residents a fee for these services, and (very importantly) guarantees the right to leave with one’s family and property if one chooses — so long as the corporation delivers on its guarantees, why complain you don’t get to choose the CEO? You can’t choose the CEO of any of the other businesses you have anything to do with, so why would you expect to choose the CEO of this business? Even better, if there are numerous, competing corporate-states, each one can tailor itself to a particular market, attempt to outdo the others with exclusive lifestyle offers (like to get high? I’d bet that BrightonCorp would like to make you an offer…). The wonderful thing about this is that the corporation isn’t answerable to its customers, except through consumer choice, and it is in the direct financial advantage of the rulers to rule well, that is, to satisfy its customer’s demands for personal freedom and security.

(As a relevant aside, the Wikipedia entry on the Dark Enlightenment — top Google hit for ‘Neoreactionaries’ — is nowhere near as bad as I would have guessed. Its three external links are to Moldbug, Hoppe, and — for criticism — Alexander (plus). Difficult to grouch convincingly about that.)

September 10, 2015admin 17 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Haidt: “We argue that the social conditions that promote complaints of oppression and victimization overlap with those that promote case-building attempts to attract third parties. When such social conditions are all present in high degrees, the result is a culture of victimhood in which individuals and groups display high sensitivity to slight, have a tendency to handle conflicts through complaints to third parties, and seek to cultivate an image of being victims who deserve assistance.”

Bitcoin: “What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”

(XS emphasis in both.)

Insignificant coincidence? Or a key to the crucial conflict nodes of the 21st century?

This is the thesis I’m tempted by:

September 9, 2015admin 38 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#27)

This (cubed).

It shouldn’t even be difficult. Could any ‘rectification of names’ be more straightforward? If the word is grasped with any lucidity, the more diversity the better. Every problem that the (non-totalitarian) right has with ‘diversity’ is in fact a rejection of homogenization. To allow the prevailing pattern of usage to continue unchallenged is an absurdity.

‘Diversity’ already tilts into non-universality, and that is meta-level rightism itself.

The diversity between diversity and non-diversity is the best diversity.

September 8, 2015admin 59 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Here’s the All Nations Party vision of the American future:


Some background, and a discussion with Keith Preston on the topic.

The party-political strategy is clearly questionable, but it deserves more engagement than I’ve noticed in NRx circles. A path to Patchwork has to be something — and this is something.

(AnarchoAbsurdist is all over this at the moment, for e.g. linking to another ANP video.)

ADDED: A vehement critique of Preston from the far left that is well worth a read.

September 7, 2015admin 32 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

Chaos Patch (#78)

(Open thread + links)

Hard history. The new man (and also). Odd comparisons. The medium is the message. Pan-nationalism (and ideological genetics). The Norman hypothesis. Restoring virtue ethics. Why I am not a propertarianist (related). Against horrorism. Democracy in question. Meanings of immorality. Is updating imaginable? The weekly round.

The Fed-media disconnect. More cultural libertarians and stuff. Totalitolerance. Culture war escalation. Politeness works.

“Austrian-like perspectives on China are looking pretty good these days.” Plus, a China-slide primer. ZH on the yuan (1, 2). Stockman on local government debt. Some Chinese counter-spin. Investing in failure.

Nervous about the Norks. Italy’s 15-year flatline. Twitchy Pakistan. Silent in Bangkok. Grimness in Gaza.

Germany rolls over. European comedy hour. Image analysis. International fencing champions. Opportunities. Better still. The Australian way. What people are reading.

Trump fear and loathing watch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Implications of contingency. “If you like your religion, you can keep your religion.”

Computers can’t solve communism. Closer to fusion gain? Exploding batteries. Dehumanized (and retro-chronic) Singularity. Complicated dark matter.
Dead ends. Genes from junk (see also), and synthetic bug bits. Smarter people (or not). Cellular skepticism. HBD blogging season.

Scales of conflict. Solitude or death. Trustless biology. Demand crunch. Talking tools.

What‘s your poison?

September 6, 2015admin 14 Comments »
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Quote note (#182)

A dynamic cultural analysis of the immigration mess from Ed West:

The downside to guilt culture is that social justice politics, having evolved from Christianity, often sounds sanctimonious – a deeply unattractive trait. In particular, Christianity’s universalism, referencing St Paul’s idea that there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, can often lead to pathological altruism. This is problematic, especially when it involves integrating people from a shame culture into a guilt culture, and in particular the second generation when the restraints of the former are lifted. The Syrian war is like a positive feedback loop of migration and misery, with alienated second-generation Muslim immigrants leaving Europe to fight jihad in the Middle East, which in turn ruins the lives of middle eastern Muslims, who are forced to settle in Europe. […] It is because of Europe’s previous immigration problems that many people are reluctant about accepting more people from the Middle East. In recent days, however, their reservations have been overruled by our culture of guilt and the silent triumph of Christianity.

September 5, 2015admin 48 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Quote note (#181)

Hsu waxes optimistic about the coming ecology of explosive intelligence:

… perhaps we will experience a positive feedback loop: Better human minds invent better machine learning methods, which in turn accelerate our ability to improve human DNA and create even better minds. In my own work, I use methods from machine learning (so-called compressed sensing, or convex optimization in high dimensional geometry) to extract predictive models from genomic data. Thanks to recent advances, we can predict a phase transition in the behavior of these learning algorithms, representing a sudden increase in their effectiveness. We expect this transition to happen within about a decade, when we reach a critical threshold of about 1 million human genomes worth of data. Several entities, including the U.S. government’s Precision Medicine Initiative and the private company Human Longevity Inc. (founded by Craig Venter), are pursuing plans to genotype 1 million individuals or more.

The feedback loop between algorithms and genomes will result in a rich and complex world, with myriad types of intelligences at play: the ordinary human (rapidly losing the ability to comprehend what is going on around them); the enhanced human (the driver of change over the next 100 years, but perhaps eventually surpassed); and all around them vast machine intellects, some alien (evolved completely in silico) and some strangely familiar (hybrids). Rather than the standard science-fiction scenario of relatively unchanged, familiar humans interacting with ever-improving computer minds, we will experience a future with a diversity of both human and machine intelligences. For the first time, sentient beings of many different types will interact collaboratively to create ever greater advances, both through standard forms of communication and through new technologies allowing brain interfaces. We may even see human minds uploaded into cyberspace, with further hybridization to follow in the purely virtual realm. These uploaded minds could combine with artificial algorithms and structures to produce an unknowable but humanlike consciousness. Researchers have recently linked mouse and monkey brains together, allowing the animals to collaborate — via an electronic connection — to solve problems. This is just the beginning of “shared thought.”

September 5, 2015admin 23 Comments »

Terminator Genisys

A confession is necessary at this point, and it’s one that might disturb people a lot. I have seen this movie twice. (Once on DVD, alone, and once with the Better Half + friends under optimal 3D IMAX conditions.) So that’s the scary part over with. (Official trailers, 1, 2. Neither at all great, but the second is a little better.)


It is, undeniably, as schlocky as hell. Sometimes, though, that provides a window all of its own. In this case the crucial factor is the compact between AI-Singularity and time-travel narratives, which the Terminator franchise put together largely by itself. Terminator Genisys sticks to the knitting in that respect. Paying to see it is an investment in this story. If you think it’s an important one — however abstractly — then you’re doing the Lord’s work, or somebody’s, or something.

Continue Reading

September 4, 2015admin 11 Comments »


From a widely cited defense of the Black Lives Matter synthetic meme at Reddit:

… societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.

Two points:
(1) Some lives (and deaths) do matter far more than others, obviously. Everyone knows this, when they’re not high, even if they usually feel compelled to lie about it. (Some lives, indeed, characterized by criminality and parasitism, are worth less than nothing — and even considerably less.) Only bizarre religious ideas could lead anybody to think the opposite.
(2) Western societies are very rapidly losing the ability to make sane calls on the point, as exceptional productivity loses its capacity to inspire attention, and the merely piteous usurps its central cultural position.

In the absence of adaptive sensibilities, life insurance premiums — or some equivalent expression of undemonstrative, practical value-processing — will have to serve as a default.

September 3, 2015admin 24 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Meanwhile, in Paris

How could any society not want this type of enrichment to happen in its urban centers?


Uber-Chaos, apparently. [Or not.]

ADDED: Given the likelihood of time-pwnage here, ‘meanwhile’ should probably be read as ‘sometime in the 21st century’. It says Sept. 1 on the Youtube video, but that probably means less than I’d assumed. See (brief) comment by ‘Ano nymous’ in the thread below.

ADDED (from The New Yorker): To add a little gravitas.

September 2, 2015admin 10 Comments »