Archive for the ‘Cosmos’ Category

On Gnon

Nyan on Gnon (also here). This might be part of a consistent definition of (trans-Less Wrong) ‘Post-Rationalist NRx’ as an ultrahumanism.

Ash Milton has some incisive Gnon commentary on Twitter, but his protected account can’t be cited. Some impressions:

[Gnon is] not a deity, it’s a placeholder. … I’m glad NRx is honest enough to admit not knowing the ultimate mystery. … How is an admission of ignorance a place of authority? … Catholic NRx submits to Christ. Gnon has a similar role to “Providence”. ..in old Rightist writings. … “the dread rites of Gnon” is used in a similar spirit as Cthulu in Moldbug. … Which is to say, NRx’s fascination with that which modern society fears. … It’s turning into the most complex set of brackets around a blank space I’ve yet seen.

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July 13, 2014admin 15 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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Time Scales

The word ‘neoreaction’ is a split, productively paradoxical formula, simultaneously referencing two incompatible cultural formations, each corresponding to an abstract model of time. On one side, it is a gateway opening onto techno-libertarian hyper-progressivism, and an order of time structured by irreversible accumulation, self-envelopment, and catastrophe horizon (Singularity). On the other, it opens onto the temporality of reaction and the cycle, where all progress is illusion, and all innovation anticipated. Within NRx, the time of escape and the time of return seek an obscure synthesis, at once unprecedented and primordial, whose cryptic figure is the spiral. (This is the time of the Old Ones and the Outside, from which the shoggoth come.) If NRx thinks itself already lodged articulately in this synthesis, it deludes itself.

From a strictly philosophical perspective, the time of reaction finds no defender more able than Archdruid John Michael Greer. while his specific form of religious traditionalism, his social attitudes, and his eco-political commitments are all profoundly questionable from the standpoint of throne-and altar reaction, his model of time cannot be surpassed in an Old Right direction. Those who would install a prejudice of relentless degeneration in its place, anchored by a revealed religion of recent creation and subsequent continuous fall, only position themselves to the ‘right’ of Greer by making God a revolutionary. If deep time is to be preserved, there can be no archaic authority beyond the cycle.

Why call Greer a reactionary? It is not, after all, a label he would accept for himself. The answer lies in cyclical time, and everything that follows from it: the supremacy of wisdom among human things, the enduring authority of history, the dismissal of modernist pretension as a mere mask for deep historical repetition, an absolute disillusionment with progress, and an adamantine prognosis that — from the peak of fake ‘improvement’ where we find ourselves — a grinding course of decline over coming centuries is an inevitability. The cultural and political decoration can be faulted, but in the fundamental structure of Greer’s thinking, reaction is perfected.

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July 12, 2014admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Neoreaction , Templexity
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Conflict

Burroughs:

This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games.

Triggered by this:

It’s docile obedience to Gnon.

July 3, 2014admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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Quote notes (#89)

Taken from the second chapter of Matt Ridley’s Genome (1999), a superb popularization of human genetics:

… the remarkable truth is that we [humans] come from a long line of failures. We are apes, a group that almost went extinct fifteen million years ago in competition with the better-designed monkeys. We are primates, a group of mammals that almost went extinct forty-five million years ago in competition with the better-designed rodents. We are synapsid tetrapods, a group of reptiles that almost went extinct 200 million years ago in competition with the better-designed dinosaurs. We are descended from limbed fishes, which almost went extinct 360 million years ago in competition with the better-designed ray-finned fishes. We are chordates, a phylum that survived the Cambrian era 500 million years ago by the skin of its teeth in competition with the brilliantly successful arthropods. Our ecological success came against humbling odds.

June 15, 2014admin 6 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , History
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Cosmic Copies

illustris

So, as soon as practically possible, simulation of the universe gets started.

Hmmm.

ADDED: It’s all about splitting (see the discussion below).

May 9, 2014admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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Exhumation

They had buried him deep, shuddering all the while, scattering their incantations of protection on the accursed grave, as if to entomb their memories there, interring everything they had known in the infinitely forgiving clay. What they begged silently to forget, most of all, was the prophecy that when the stars were right he — it — would return for some hideous completion. Time passed, in the exact measure that had always been necessary, until the moonless night came, unheralded, and unstirred by the slightest breeze, when the stars were — in icy, twinkling fact — perfectly and pitilessly right

April 22, 2014admin 9 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Horror
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Abstract Horror (Note-1)

On twitter @SamoBurja has proposed the silence of the galaxy as an undeveloped horrorist topic. He’s right.

The absence of any signs of alien intelligence was first noted as a problem by Enrico Fermi in 1950. He found the gaping inconsistency between the apparent probability of widespread life in the cosmos and its obvious invisibility provocative to the point of paradox. “Where are they?” he asked. (Responses to this question, well represented in the Wikipedia references, have constituted a significant current of cosmological speculation.)

Among recent thinkers, Nick Bostrom has been especially dogged in pursuing the implications of the Fermi Paradox. Approaching the problem through systematic statistical ontology, he has shown that it suggests a ‘thing’ — a ‘Great Filter’ that at some stage winnows down potential galactic civilizations to negligible quantities. If this filtering does not happen early — due to astro-chemical impediments to the emergence of life — it has to apply later. Consistently, he considers any indications of abundant galactic life to be ominous in the extreme. A Late Great Filter would then still lie ahead (for us). Whatever it is, we would be on our approach to an encounter with it.

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December 14, 2013admin 55 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Horror
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Quote notes (#47)

John Michael Greer caught in a Nietzschean moment:

… the entire concept of “laws of nature” is a medieval Christian religious metaphor with the serial numbers filed off, ultimately derived from the notion of God as a feudal monarch promulgating laws for all his subjects to follow. We don’t actually know that nature has laws in any meaningful sense of the word—she could simply have habits or tendencies—but the concept of natural law is hardwired into the structure of contemporary science and forms a core presupposition that few ever think to question.

Treated purely as a heuristic, a mental tool that fosters exploration, the concept of natural law has proven to be very valuable. The difficulty creeps in when natural laws are treated, not as useful summaries of regularities in the world of experience, but as the realities of which the world of experience is a confused and imprecise reflection.

November 29, 2013admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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The Way of the Worm

Here‘s the link to a recent short ‘essay’ of mine on philosophy and war, written for an intriguing art project, themed by the Stuxnet worm. The PDF also includes a piece by John Menick and an interview with David Harley. (I haven’t had time to properly digest the whole thing yet — but it looks extremely interesting.) Lars Holdhus, who initiated the project, has generously given me permission to share it.

November 27, 2013admin 18 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Contagion , Cosmos , Philosophy
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Quote notes (#43)

As a discussion trigger, dedicated to VXXC  (while awaiting something more substantially off-planet):

… we can see that the kind of libertarianism inherent in Planetary Resources is a far cry from the libertarianism of those who wish to see Tennessee opt out of Obamacare. That’s the difference between the Heinleinians and the Calhounians. The Heinleinians are reading technical papers and spreadsheets, not the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.

Yet make no mistake—the Planetary Resourcers are fully revolutionary. None of them are interested in waiting around to see what the federal government is willing to do in space—although, in their pragmatism, they are willing to work with NASA. Still, it has surely has crossed the mind of these investors that there’s no EPA in space; indeed, space can be seen as one universe-sized enterprise zone.

The whole article is remarkably original and thought-provoking. (Outside in is sure to return to it when the trends and prospects of libertarianism stray back into the cross-hairs.)

November 17, 2013admin 14 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce , Cosmos
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