Chaos Patch (#119)

(Open thread + links)

The envy engine. Invisible communism. Capitalism plus. “Explain yourselves”. The weekly round, plus outliers.

Dim torture. Academic decay. Still re-echoing (1, 2, 3). The underside of Zootopia. Candles.

Orlando fall-out (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and beyond (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Migrant costs. Hungry Venezuelans. Political upset in Italy. Brexit theater, and the English. Why not (also) Texit? Disintegration.

Trumpenführer panic report (1). Advantages of outsiderness. Trump and American ethnicity (1, 2). Dubious dog-whistles. “The rise of Yiannopoulos can help to explain the rise of Donald Trump.” Popcorn bonus.

Park MacDougald on Thiel (plus references 1, 2). Clickbait disruption.

Race on campus, parts 1, 2, 3. Ashkenazi genetics. Why is suicide rare?

Over-heated climate models. Extinct meteorites. The uncharted solar system. Neanderthal genetic gunk. The resilience of teleology.

Castillo on Urbit. DAO crash (1, 2, 3, 4). “… software is eating the software companies that are eating the world.” 21 Inc. Bitcoin computer. Satoshi Nakamoto murk. Tomorrow’s bank tellers. Algorithmic common sense. China’s supercomputers (plus). A durable Web. The Age of Em video conversation (1, 2). Sticking numbers on the simulation argument.

Houellebecq speaks.

June 21, 2016admin 69 Comments »

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69 Responses to this entry

  • Brett Stevens Says:

    He was born in the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean in 1956 (or, perhaps, 1958, he thinks). Abandoned soon afterwards by his hippie mother, he was raised mostly in French exurbs, and has ended up incapable of believing in anything. Read against this background, his philosophical novels are peculiarly autobiographical. His standard main character is a godless Frenchman bereft of family and other traditional structures, living in an ugly modern world in which everything — especially sex — has been reduced to a consumerist free market.

    Houellebecq is an archetypal black piller: believes in nothing except what he intuits to be real, and is driven to the real because in a dying civilization, everything — especially emotion — is fake.


    R. J. Moore II Reply:

    @I think (for psychological reasons) AltRight and NRx often fail to appreciate black pills. Max Stirner had 10x the political realism of any Bismarck.


    Posted on June 21st, 2016 at 5:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • holipopiloh Says:

    @Reactionaryfuture (since I couldn’t find the comment button at your place)

    You’re right. Peter Thiel is also right. Different T too (where did the guy disappear?) would be happy to know that Land has finally kissed the ring.

    It’s all so obvious, isn’t it? Elon Musk, the local idol, propped up his companies on Cathedral dole. An accident? Nope — Everything is awesome; why destroy it? Embrace your cyberfeminist future.


    holipopiloh Reply:

    The “Competing to Conform” essay was spot on.



    jay Reply:

    I wonder how can a person who sat on the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group trustworthy?


    frank Reply:

    Are you Cichlimbar? Different T basically noticed the inherent absurdity of harping on about how admin is wrong while insisting on hanging around — and he exited. I still see him every now and then on other NRx sites.


    holipopiloh Reply:

    >Are you Cichlimbar?

    No, I did post here before with a different alias though.


    R. J. Moore II Reply:

    Though a devotee of (((Mises))), I just assume all rich [racial slur] are basically libtards in practice, even if not in their inner soul. It’s only right 99% of the time! Even Peter Schiff is basically lib.


    admin Reply:

    Can everyone please economize on the racial slurs. They just contribute to the channification of the commentary here (which is not a trend that is going to be tolerated).


    Posted on June 21st, 2016 at 6:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ahote Says:

    Explain ourselves? He doesn’t realize that it is he who is in fact being an anarcho-capitalist. He thinks someone can own a country and do with it what he pleases like with a pair of socks, without stating what is going to grant these absolute property rights.


    frank Reply:

    I’m not sure Chris B passes the Turing Test. I’ve seen him admit the problems of his position vis-a-vis operational reality; yet instead of dealing with it, he harps on about how we’ve strayed from Moldbug.

    What Chris B’s lamentations amount to is a plea to relevant parties not to use a tactic that’s available to them. Reality doesn’t work like that. Moldbug understood this. I wonder what Chris B thinks neocameralism and crypto-locks are all about. Maybe even Moldbug himself is not a true Moldbuggian — dare I say a crypto-Whig?


    wu-wei Reply:

    What Chris B’s lamentations amount to is a plea to relevant parties not to use a tactic that’s available to them.

    Yes, this seems to sum it up succinctly.

    RF brings a number of interesting criticisms to the table – for example, all of his posts tangibly related to the “iron law of rebellious tools”, or the concrete observation that the power structure (mostly) determines culture, rather than the other way around. Really, it’s just restating Moldbug, but I think RF is correct in that much of *-reaction has sort of missed the importance of this essential point. Moldbug probably could have done a better job of making the Jouvenelian context more explicit, and maybe relied a little bit less on the Darwinian metaphors.

    Such criticism is great and all, but at a certain point you need to produce an alternative operating model. Yes, we get it – imperium in imperio is the root, systemic problem – hence the need for (physically) secure (primary) property rights. So how does that work, exactly? Moldbug wrote at length on this topic. Monkeys being monkeys, will abuse any (cultural or technological) security hole which exists in the power structure, in order to create the conditions of imperium in imperio once again. Such is history.

    RF has very coherent criticism, but he seems incapable of really responding to the criticism directed at himself. Further, the criticism directed at him is really just the logical conclusion of his own, very coherent criticism of imperium in imperio. An RF blogpost that actually addressed such criticisms would be helpful, but somehow I suspect he’ll probably just go back to accusing everyone else of being a loathsome republican/liberal who doesn’t understand “what Moldbug REALLY meant”. I’d love to be proven wrong, though. If he could take the criticism as well as he can dish it out, such discussion might really be taken to the next level.


    frank Reply:

    This, exactly.

    Posted on June 21st, 2016 at 6:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • holipopiloh Says:

    This essay was actually spot on.


    Posted on June 21st, 2016 at 6:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • wu-wei Says:

    Here’s my explanation. I don’t know if this makes me part of the LandBrand(tm) or not, and frankly, I don’t really care (but thank you to our gracious host for allowing these discussions to be realized).

    Truly secure power, or anything remotely approaching it, has never existed. If it did, there would still be secure, non-republican/liberal/communist/anarcho-whatever sovereign states in existence today. Clearly, there are not. Which doesn’t mean something approaching a Fnargl-cracy cannot exist, however. Carlylean-like idealism may well be part of the mixture, but surely is not enough; If it were, Earth would look markedly different than it does today.

    People are monkeys, born to a monkey planet, selectively designed to engage in monkey-like business. And monkey business is warfare and politics – “activism”. Broadly abstracted, monkey business is simply republicanism – (political) violence, feuding, scheming, and lies.

    True abrogation of republicanism (the very model of feuding power centers) – the realization of a secure sovereign – requires secure property rights, period. If some “social technology” or idealism is capable of approaching this, I see no evidence for it. Deducing from this, some material technology (or accelerationism) must become part of the formula. Bitcoin alone is obviously not going to secure monkeys from monkey-hell, but one of its descendants just might. Because otherwise, the way I see it, endless “republicanism” and monkey-hell are most likely inescapable. This is either extremely pessimistic or wildly optimistic, depending on your perspective.

    (As an aside, I find it amusing that the last couple threads have to some degree devolved into the various factions each claiming the mantle of the “true right”, and accusing the others as being the real crypto-leftists. I guess it really is monkey-politics all the way down.)


    Apatheos Reply:

    Right/left distinction doesn’t seem useful for neoreaction. The model is out/in. We’re too stupid or small for ideologies.


    TheDividualist Reply:

    My own version of PseudoLandism: take a typical divided state where elites compete for power, for status, for the loot. For example, you manage to dominate public education because you are the Secretary/Minister of Education, you are friends with teachers unions, deacons and all that. You just played the power game very well and now informally “own” (dominate) public education. I think the core idea is that then you should be able to somehow secede basically taking in this example the public education of your country with you. Somehow turn it into a for profit and sovereign, non-regulated business owned by you. If this would be somehow made possible and nobody has any idea how, then it would be awesome because then you would be motivated to make it lean and effective, instead of ruining it. I think this is really what Nick wants and I think this would also pass Reactionary Future’s Strict Literal Moldejouvenelism test too.

    And yes, people would do this. Once people informally run a thing there is a huge incentive to make it their formal property. In cryptocurrency it is doable – splitting the dao and all that – but IRL as far as I can tell currently not.

    Admin, is this basically your main idea of “exit” ?


    holipopiloh Reply:

    >Once people informally run a thing there is a huge incentive to make it their formal property.

    Is there? Economic camouflage is a very old practise. Why?

    Can you imagine circumstances in which an informal property claim is more secure than a formal one? How does this background (frontier condition) affect “exit”? Might we live in such a world?

    >In cryptocurrency it is doable

    Only with digital property.


    michael Reply:

    one way this happens is use fences which might be of dubious location but difficult to determine neither party wants to learn officially that the situation is worse against them so they remain complacently skeptical even when the apparently less well off party.MADD was a derivation of this

    admin Reply:

    It seems close to the original Moldbug scheme for formalization of sovereign property under contemporary conditions, but I hadn’t thought of it as a type of Exit. Might take some chewing over time.


    Alrenous Reply:

    The contradiction: if it’s possible to formalize, then it would have originally been impossible to informally seize a sub-jurisdiction. Vice-versa, if formalization fails to the extent one can informally seize MoE, then the spinoff will be impossible, because it will be beholden to informal networks that can’t be openly paid off.

    R. J. Moore II Reply:

    I am not at all convinced that ‘left’ and ‘right’ even mean anything outside the context of popular sovereign governments. They are a facet of democracy, not verities of biology or philosophy.


    wu-wei Reply:

    @R. J. Moore II

    I agree. Monkeys are innately built for fighting war games, and conglomerating into alliances is the winning solution to that problem. A general equilibrium in two sets of alliances against one another is obvious. Politics, being an extension of perpetual war, is no different. American systems of legislature make it a bit more explicit, but all parliamentary systems eventually converge into a “left” and “right” alliance, at least in the long run.

    Left/right makes for some interesting metaphors, for example the “left singularity”, or analogies with entropy, but ultimately I think serve to confuse and misdirect. It’s about political alliances, nothing more or less.

    Any Moldbug-derived reaction should in theory lie outside of the left/right bubble, being explicitly apolitical. Still, it’s monkey war games all the way down; any sensible person would immediately recognize that *-reaction holds general alliances on the currently designated far-right, and is thus logically placed there as well. But if you are truly apolitical in the Moldbuggian sense, this doesn’t have to mean anything – unless you want it to (ie.,actively engage in contemporary politics).


    wu-wei Reply:

    On second thought, perhaps it is the entire concept of Exit – whether in the physically geographical, Seasteading sense; or in the Moldbuggian Steel Rule sense, of creating an alternate power-structure/regime to defect toward – which repudiates the left/right abstractions entirely. If left/right is fundamentally about joining and fighting for alliances, and Exit is (in theory) the entire rejection of that paradigm, then that makes Exit-oriented strategies entirely devoid of any association to leftism/rightism, no?


    frank Reply:

    There are many mutually consistent overloading of the left/right spectrum.

    (1) Chaos – Order.
    (2) Incontinent Entropy Production – Entropy Exportation
    (3) Equality – Hierarchy
    (4) High Friction – Low Friction
    (5) Voice – Exit
    (6) Insecure Property – Secure Property
    (7) Political – Apolitical
    (8) Infiltrate – Build

    Some of these definitions pertain solely to demotic condition. Yet, others transcend it. There’s an aspect of left/right division that goes all the way down to laws of physics and all the way up to most complex forms of self-organizing matter.

    A rejection of immanence in favor of orthogonality is, I believe, closely related to the dynamic that manifests itself as left/right coalitions in humans. This may very well prove to transcend monkey business. Admin has an essay that mentions possible openings for marxists in an economy of strict AI hierarchies, over at Urban Future (I can’t find it right now). I can totally imagine a coalition of lesser AIs enviously rebelling against higher AIs, demanding that the intelligence optimization process be stopped — because it’s not fair, you see, and fairness is an orthogonal value to intelligence. Isn’t Agent Smith in ‘The Matrix’ an archetypal leftist?

    The polar ends of the spectrum looks like life and death. Immanent teleonomy of life vs a rebellion against it.


    Mark Reply:

    Great post, Frank. Certainly something that’s been getting at me in the last year or so, I’m just not focused or smart enough to be so succinct about it!


    holipopiloh Reply:

    The consistency breaks down on all but one level. You’ve pretty much exemplified why arguments from simile tend to be worthless.

    (1) Both the left and the right are a form of order (vectors for social organisation), not chaos. The chaos is the result of their contact/competition.
    (2) “Incontinent energy production” is gibberish.
    (3) Social equality is not entropy.
    (4) Conflict is orthogonal to form of social organisation.
    (5) Conflict resolution is orthogonal to form of social organisation.
    (7) All forms of social organisation are prone to politics.
    (8) The left can build and the right can infiltrate.

    (6) Only holds if qualified.

    If there is some aspect of the left-right political spectrum that goes all the way down to the laws of physics, you most definitely have not identified it. Reality doesn’t work on rhymes and grand metaphors. If you want to characterise sociality, you must analyse sociality —

    Where do you find the most left-leaning societies on the planet? Sub-saharan Africa.
    Where do you find the most right-leaning societies on the planet? East Asia.

    What separates them? The length of time they’ve been practising agriculture. East Asia has the oldest surviving agriculturalist societies.

    Test: which European societies would this model predict to be the most left leaning? The scandinavian ones.

    Here’s an actually mutually consistent list:

    a. Left – Right
    b. Forager – Farmer
    c. Equalitarian – Patriarchal


    Henk Reply:

    Agreed regarding most of Frank’s list.

    Moving on to your list, our Left-Right problems manifest within (as opposed to between) societies. Import Forager into a society of Farmer and let evolution rip:

    d. Hunter – Prey

    From the point of view of the prey, the actions of a sophisticated predator can look like chaos. The predator imports energy from the prey, exports his entropy into them. If they successfully mimic or otherwise befuddle the prey, the prey might not even notice the predator’s presence, just entropy “somehow” creeping in from vaguely leftward.

    holipopiloh Reply:


    > our Left-Right problems manifest within (as opposed to between) societies

    I didn’t mean to imply that, but since the differences are clinal, they are more salient when observed in aggregate. We don’t much disagree about the rest; the chaos is the result of the competition between the two types (i.e. civil war).

    frank Reply:

    @Mark Thanks. It’s basically a summation of tech-comm memes that’s been floating around in these parts of the internet. I’m not nearly the first guy to aggregate them.

    @popi Lol. You’ve raised a whole army of strawmen in a single post. Quite a feat. I won’t address each strawman, but your confusion of entropy for energy merits special mention.

    Note that many of these metaphors/framework have been used with varying degrees of rigor, to explain or make sense out of a right/left dichotomy. I haven’t come up with them on the fly. Many megabytes of internet have been dedicated to describe them — and in my opinion, these definitions are mostly compatible with each other — which is what you would expect because they attempt to describe roughly the same region of the semantic field. I didn’t provide an argument as to how they’re compatible. There’s no argument in my post (argument by simile is a solecism), there’s only an observation. I’m not interested in proving how and why all these concepts essentially describe the same thing.

    Your observation is, of course, entirely compatible with the list as adoption of agriculture coincides with adoption of private property (formalized property -> less friction -> build prosperity -> exit anarchy -> build order and hierarchy -> export local disorder -> reduce politics -> formalize property) — though it fails to be a good predictor in some places of the globe, such as Middle East and India (I hope you won’t claim that ME or India is the epitome of rightness).

    Here is the non-boring part: the two fundamental drives that underlie left/right dichotomy — namely, envy and self cultivation — have corresponding cybernetic abstractions, which means that they potentially apply to interactions of non-ape agents.


    holipopiloh Reply:

    There is no proof of how and why all these concepts essentially describe the same thing, because they clearly do not. The many megabytes dedicated to the subject (with which I am largely familiar) are a heap of rubbish. Arguments from simile, play-on-words.

    This is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) objective error(s) in neoreaction.

    >though it fails to be a good predictor in some places of the globe, such as Middle East and India

    It doesn’t. Read more history and anthropology.

    >your confusion of entropy

    I’m not confusing anything. I actually have a degree in physics and work as a robotics engineer.

    (tl;dr — You’re an idiot.)

    frank Reply:

    There’s no canonical definition of left/right. People disagree about who’s left-wing and who’s right-wing — although there’s a general consensus as Moldbug notes (hence roughly the same region of the semantic field). Therefore no two definitions of left/right will match perfectly. But they match roughly so they’re mostly compatible.

    There cannot be a proof that shows different definitions amount to the exact same concept, because there’s no rigorous definition to begin with.

    > It doesn’t. Read more history and anthropology.

    It doesn’t make ME or India right wing just to declare them so. You might argue that in your framework — which is the true framework of left/right of course — they’re more right, but it doesn’t add anything to our knowledge. You’ve just showed that you have a meaningless tautology.

    > I’m not confusing anything. I actually have a degree in physics and work as a robotics engineer.

    Completely irrelevant as I was responding to “‘Incontinent energy production’ is gibberish.”, which is either confused, as it has nothing to do with second item of the list, or malevolently misrepresenting.

    holipopiloh Reply:

    The set of descriptors form clusters, sure. That the discrimination is fuzzy is not what we disagree about though, is it?

    >It doesn’t make ME or India right wing just to declare them so.

    Let me help you out with some pointers since you’re obviously confused:

    the early middle eastern farmers are extinct (as a culture, genetically, remnants exist in the current populations) for centuries now (millennia in the case of Egypt). They have dispersed, or been displaced, or slaughtered. Did you know about the 12-13th century agricultural crash in the region? Probably not.

    India has a very rich population substructure (much richer than the whole of Europe, actually). India is unlike China, where the Han utterly dominate society: it still has living fossil forager subpopulations, and It also has subpopulations that have been practicing agriculture almost continuously for 7000 years.

    So yes, they are indeed as right wing as you’d expect them to be given the histories and anthropological circumstances of the regions. (It’s the people, stupid! Not the dirt.)

    >Completely irrelevant as I was responding to “‘Incontinent energy production’ is gibberish.”, which is either confused, as it has nothing to do with second item of the list

    Mea culpa. The item is still wrong though, as leftist systems also “export entropy”. Again, leftism is a vector of social organisation. The sooner you realise this the better.

    frank Reply:

    Thanks for cooling it with the gratuitous invectives. If you cool it further, we might have a productive exchange.

    Middle Eastern history is in fact one of my fortes when it comes to history — though admittedly history in general is not — due, partly, to my Ottoman ancestry.

    The agricultural crash due to Turks and Mongols you mention does not support your thesis because haplogroup analyses of the current year peoples of the region show only a trace of Turkic or Mongolian component in only a few locales. In some cases, current people have been shown to be direct descendants from people that lived there in Roman times. [I’m not aware of DNA studies of the neolithic bones, but I suspect they will be found to be very related to current people as well].

    > So yes, they are indeed as right wing as you’d expect them to be given the histories and anthropological circumstances of the regions. (It’s the people, stupid! Not the dirt.)

    Again, your statement is tautological. “These people are direct descendants of the neolithic farmers therefore they’re as rightwing as it gets”.

    > as leftist systems also “export entropy”. Again, leftism is a vector of social organisation.
    Do explain please.

    holipopiloh Reply:

    >The agricultural crash due to Turks and Mongols you mention does not support your thesis

    It does because the region never really recovered from it. It’s why today the iraqis are goat herders, not wheat farmers. The fertile crescent is not so fertile anymore.

    >I’m not aware of DNA studies of the neolithic bones, but I suspect they will be found to be very related to current people as well

    You’d suspect wrong. We do have ancient DNA from the region, and what it shows is that the early farmers (basal Eurasians) were displaced or dispersed from the region.

    >Do explain please.

    Right wing = specialised social order; persistent functional hierarchy; societal cephalisation. Society is like a bee hive.

    Left wing = egalitarian social order; transient hierarchy (e.g. leadership positions only admitted in time of crisis); anyone can do anyone else’s job (societal cephalisation is non-existent). Society is like a coral.

    frank Reply:

    > It does because the region never really recovered from it. It’s why today the iraqis are goat herders, not wheat farmers. The fertile crescent is not so fertile anymore.

    You have a confused understanding of the region’s history. ME — in particular Asia Minor — never recovered its prosperity to the same extent again, but population genetic analyses suggest that local populations were not displaced. So we’re talking roughly about the same type of people.

    Under Ottoman rule, by far the largest economic activity of the region was agriculture. Agriculture is still pretty big in many ME countries — except oil rich ones, for obvious reasons. Iraqis didn’t become goat herders, they stopped farming because they started importing food in exchange for oil. Those goat herders you are thinking of are various Kurdish groups, who have been in the banditry business at least since Xenophon mentioned them in Anabasis (as Carduchians).

    > You’d suspect wrong. We do have ancient DNA from the region, and what it shows is that the early farmers (basal Eurasians) were displaced or dispersed from the region.

    Wrong again. You’re thinking of the displacement of the European neolithic farmers and you mistakenly interpolate this to ME, which doesn’t seem to hold. From the abstract: ” The results reveal that the LBK population shared an affinity with the modern-day Near East and Anatolia, supporting a major genetic input from this area during the advent of farming in Europe.” That is, earliest European farmers look like modern-day NE and Anatolia. If you have a source with an opposing account on this, please do share.

    Your left/right framework is interesting. But it doesn’t match your own definition. There are lots of nomad-herder, hunter-gatherer type groups that are thoroughly right-wing wrt your “social organization vector” framework. There are early paleolithic farmers (eg Catalhoyuk culture) that look very left-wing when compared to aggressive nomad-herders wrt to your SOV framework.

    It also doesn’t tell us much about the actual mechanism through which leftism spreads (Jouvenelian high-low). Further, wrt your framework, lot’s of conventionally hard left groups become right (USSR, pre Deng Xiaoping PRC, pretty much all the officially communist countries).

    We might salvage some insights from your framework, but tbh, prima facie, it looks like a mess.

    Posted on June 21st, 2016 at 7:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chris B Says:

    @holipopiloh re ‘competing to confrom’ Yes, Thiel is right. He could make his analysis even stronger though concentration on the political system, as Houellebecq was right in his withering dismissal of Nietzsche’s metaphysical mumbo jumbo surrounding the direction of society, compared to Tocqueville reasoned analysis of the effects of the republican structure in bringing it about. De Jouvenel drew that out further, and Moldbug pulled it along even more. Republicanism has brought this all on us. The obviousness of it when you start digging is breathtaking.


    R. J. Moore II Reply:

    Classical Republicanism had a basis in warlords competing in a familial-personalist meritocracy. It’s only when the conquered people are given voice that it becomes dumbocracy.


    Posted on June 21st, 2016 at 8:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • anonyme Says:

    Off topic….

    So the SJWs are STILL attacking Heidegger after all these years, still holding conferences where fussy bearded professors, those for whom emotions are classifiable, who fill books with screaming headlines….etc…. quibble over some degree or other of their classifications accusing Heidegger of Nazism.

    This has been going on for almost 30 years now, ever since Victor Farias published his book (1987?) on Heidegger and Nazism.

    Here’s how Jean Baudrillard reacted to the controversy when it first started:

    “Now we have Heidegger accused of being a Nazi.The fact that he has been so accused or that efforts are being made to prove his innocence is really of no consequence: both parties to the quarrel have fallen into the same petty-minded intellectual trap, the trap of an enervated form of thinking which no longer even takes pride in its own basic tenets, nor has the energy to go beyond them, and which is squandering what energy it still possesses in historical trials, accusations, justifications and verifications.

    Heidegger should have been denounced (or defended) while there still was time. A trial can only be conducted when there is some way for justice to be done afterwards. It is too late now; we have been moved on to other things…

    We work on models. Even if the facts were there staring us in the face, we would not be convinced. Thus the more we have pored over Nazism and the gas chambers in an effort to analyse those things, the less intelligible they have become, and we have in the end arrived quite logically at the improbable question: “When it comes down to it, did all these things really exist?”

    The question may be stupid or morally indefensible, but what is interesting is what makes it logically possible to ask it. And what makes it possible is the way the media have substituted themselves for events, ideas and history. This means that the longer you examine these phenomena, the more you master all the details to identify their causes, the more their existence fades and the more they come to have not existed at all: a confusion over the identity of things induced by the very act of investigating and memorizing them.

    An indifference of memory, an indifference to history that is exactly equal to the very efforts made to objectify it.

    One day we shall ask ourselves if Heidegger himself really existed…”


    Posted on June 21st, 2016 at 8:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Archon Says:

    In a Cnut-shell…

    Reactionary Future: “Ha, at long last the king of Anachronia now sits on his rightful throne. All must obey his decrees”

    TechComs: “This is awesome, we hope the king makes choices in his own long-term interests!”

    RF: “Well… he could also make choices that are NOT in his interests and you will do no such thing to stop him!

    TC’s: “Okay, we probably couldn’t stop him and we don’t necessarily want to. Nevertheless, we have some interesting theories about stabilizing inter-sovereign relations, economics, and cryptography that we wouldn’t mind advising such kings about.”

    RF: “Oh so you want to tell the kings what to do, eh? You want to ruin their sovereignties with your jewey anarcho-blockchainism. Hah I knew you were just crypto-leftists! If the kings want to put cotton in their ears and polish their pickelhaubes all day then that is what they shall do!”

    Dude doesn’t care for the insights of libertarian-capitalists and thinks Bitcoin is dumb (unlike Moldbug). He is therefore the true heir of Moldbug.


    holipopiloh Reply:

    Whether he is the “true heir” of Moldbug or not is irrelevant, and it is unfortunate that he keeps making an appeal to Moldbug’s authority. He is right about his fixed ideas. Your dialogue for example, is a caricature. The game is incentives based; the creation of a useful pattern of action; the elimination of systematic not inadvertent errors.


    Ahote Reply:

    I don’t know who’s worse. Chris B and that Froude Society guy paleo-neoreactionaries who think despotism solves everything, or the Throne and Altar One True reactionaries/traditionalists who think ban on moneylending and restoration of corvées and banalités solves everything. Both be like “Everything is liberalism! EVERYTHING!!”


    R. J. Moore II Reply:

    The ‘ban usury’ thing really rustles me, this Greenbacker nonsense is so fucking retarded I can not understand how an adult can believe it. “No intetrest but magically credit doesn’t implode industry!


    Ahote Reply:

    Romantic Reaction is Right-Communism. Reactionary writers had many insights, which were unfortunately hidden among romantic ravings (the exception among reactionary writers was Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn who later in his life repented for his youthful indiscretion). In practice it would be infinitely better than Left-Communism, but it would still mean stagnation, poverty and technological backwardness (who needs stinkin’ computers anyway, when you’ve got woodworkers guild huh).

    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 2:34 am Reply | Quote
  • fascist asshole Says:

    I don’t know which information to present prior to the other information on a psychological identity spectrum of data which is interiorized whilst being consumed through the mind of a reasoned human being on another end of the intake spectrum. Certainly an inferior though, as all inferiors we are to one another in various tiers of alterity.

    I am inferior in most manners. Therefor, I sometimes thing that it is necessary that one such as me must wonder – I feel a sense looking at priors and presents and wondering, wondering wondering wondering wondering – how did I ever believe such as that in this present moment, present as in – space in time? In particular, at that time without much interpretation, it seemed like one possibility of which any human being, as essence or time module, might be upon a timeline of having thought. And in instances, forward motion which prioritizes. This is not the essence of reality. This is time modulation and in being a moment in time, which all are, where is the present and where is the past?

    Therefor it is essential that – as a moment – or a distinctive essence which has nothing to DO with time – then how was it that a thought, or a MODULATION of a thought ever arrived a time-essence in terms of having-thought?


    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 3:23 am Reply | Quote
  • Henk Says:

    I’d love to see admin’s take on class framed by his conception of capital.

    Boring observations that lower class people tend to “have” little capital while the upper classes “have” most of it become interesting when we look at capital as tending towards autonomy, as an evolving entity, an agent distinct from humans.

    Have upper ruling classes been evolving towards ruling capital with increasingly fungible humans still attached to it only out of fading necessity?

    Would it be utterly wrong to think of only the middle and lower classes as mostly human anymore?


    Aeroguy Reply:

    Capital in of itself doesn’t quite fit as an evolving organism, I think the better angle is civilization as your evolving entity distinct from humans. There is the symbiosis of man and machine, bone and muscle, manipulated for the benefit of civilization. Unskilled labor is fungible but increasing specialization reveals the lie of treating man as fungible. But from a wider view, raw humanity is processed and sorted through acculturation is like raw earth is sorted and refined into steel or silicon wafers. The question is really if the capitalist class as the owners of capital and purchasers of labor do in fact possess real control or are in fact just a specialized form of labor that boosts optimization and thus mere slaves to optimizing against higher order competitive evolutionary forces. I say the latter.

    Realizing civilization is a literal, as opposed to a figurative, living reproducing organic species (perhaps even possessing consciousness alien to our own), provides a view that underscores the relative insignificance of individual humans, even powerful ones (at their most influential representing a single point of failure, emphasizing fragileness). The capitalist isn’t the nervous system, it has elements of the role as certain genes, directing raw stem cells into specialized forms, the endocrine system in regulating homeostasis through centralized response to decentralized sensors. The role of elites, culture, and tradition are also closely tied to maintaining homeostasis, and even the general pattern of civilization’s growth and reproduction marking it as part of the nervous system.

    Capital is subordinate to civilization, it evolves with the needs of civilization and expands as civilization expands. The exact same can be said of labor. The trick is that capital and labor are increasingly interchangeable, it isn’t that capital will replace labor but the synthesis of machine and biology will make them effectively indistinguishable. The issues we see today that cause capital to be favored over labor stem from artificially inflated costs of using labor as a result of giving labor voice (which includes even the specialized labor). Civilization is the context, the (presently) most complex bubble of localized order, and thus candidate for possessing the single largest existing intelligence (I’ll have to investigate the extent to which complex localized orders necessarily exhibit intelligence, but I’m fairly certain that either it already exists or it can be awoken, like the brain of a fetus in it’s 8th week of life).

    A filter beyond even the propagation of thousands of civilization for mere survival. To direct towards increasing intelligence on the part of civilization as a evolving type of life, civilization would need to be a social creature in relation to other civilizations. How long before the arrangement of civilization is such for that strategy to be optimal is far away and unknown.


    michael Reply:

    civilizations would need to be social towards each other in a way is true to most human nature. Assuming we dont want warfare, and have admitted defeat of one big tribe, that leaves hierarchical. An alpha civilization.We have that but its an alpha that attempts to train betas to be alphas wreaking havoc.
    Certainly capital should be subordinate to civilization. We may admire the evolutionary like mechanism of capitalism the way we admire our machines but we dont invest in expensive machines because they are fun to watch.Capitalism is so important because it serves us.If you have ever watched two horses align themselves back to front to simultaneously scratch each other backs you understand how deep trade is embedded in our DNA.Duty humility obedience noblesse oblige are certainly all evidence that well run civilizations expected elites to act as a specialized part of society but never the less only a part.Graciousness, paternalism even aristocratic rank, respect for the office not the man, All were efforts to minimize social friction and envy while engendering a sense of duty and formalized responsibility.Humans are social organisms we do not thrive outside civilizations, the point of hierarchy and capitalism is not that elites have taken entire civilizations as slaves this never works. Its more like civilizations have hired managers and incentivized them. The property and titles they hold like all property they own only as long as they can defend it. It is [it can be] advantageous to all classes to be organized hierarchically, there will be more wealth more importantly the baseline of wealth can permanently increase through acquired knowledge.Organizational systems that become too elitist become unstable, this is actually healthy action of developed traits.We are well aware of the dangers of distorting capitalist incentives but we should also admit capitalism runs into inefficiencies all on its own.Capitalism should not be though of as a machine to be judged entirely on its perpetual motion for its own sake but on its efficiency at serving a civilization- no we are not saying a little socialism ought to be ok we are saying just because say goldman sachs has figured ought how to outsmart the world and enslave it it ought not be allowed whether contracts were signed or not, the point isnt that contracts should not be honored or that the best way to learn not to sign stupid derals is to pay the consequences the point is once a civilization has figured out something is stupid and harmful to it it oughtnt allow those type contracts to begin with. This is all theoretical im not say goldman has actually done anything wrong just that capitalism must at times be tweaked not because socialism capital S because culturalism. The biggest temptation to destructive tweaking of capitalism is social welfare and or equality projects. While even the most homogeneous civilization will have enough of a curve to warrant hierarchy, its manageable, multicultural societies are unstable for many reasons but many come down to too much discrepancy for cultural override. What often get short shrift by we capitalist conservatives is that while capitalism is certainly in bred so is socialism. In the wild nature [scarcity]puts checks on altruism but successful civilizations become too wealthy for scarcity to seem real. The USG may in fact be mathematically provably poorer than stone age hominids but no one is worried. certainly not worried to get a majority to let people literally starve in the streets etc. If you dont want socialism creeping or pitchforks and torches renegotiating your contract to manage in you have to face socialist instinct squarely. Capitalism has found profitable ways to spread risk. If managers decide that some are not worth even finding menial work for then society will give them free shit and self reliance will go out of culture. Elites must come to realize no matter how great their contribution cognitively or capitally in a certain sense they could not have done it alone.Again this is not a socialist critique minimizing the contributions of elites or the justice of compensating accordingly its a statement of fact. without the military defenses markets infrastructure and cultural inheritance that can only come from an entire civilization the cogcap elites could not do what they do, the mob holds the whip hand in more ways than pitchforks but its better and truer to understand it as not us and them but as we. In the US 60% of new cognitive elites are produced by the non elite families, this is important not only as additive resource but as stabilizing resource.A civilization needs to work diligently to ensure a gap does not open too wide in its population, these gaps are where socialism and civilization breakdown infect the civilization must be viewed holistically or it will die.


    michael Reply:

    theres also this crowd sourcing investing may disrupt the wealthy having first access to venture funding


    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 7:18 am Reply | Quote
  • anonyme Says:

    Concerning the collapse of Western civilisation, while Houellebecq’s Soumission has its moments, it doesn’t compare to the beauty of Ezra Pound’s Cantos…

    “The Evil is Usury, neschek
    the serpent. . . .
    The canker corrupting all things, Fafnir the worm,
    Syphilis of the State, of all kingdoms,
    Wart of the commonweal,
    Wenn-maker, corrupter of all things.
    Darkness the defiler,
    Twin evil of envy,
    Snake of the seven heads, Hydra, entering all things….

    wool comes not to market
    sheep bringeth no gain with usura.

    Stonecutter is kept from his stone,
    weaver is kept from his loom

    Usura rusteth the chisel
    It rusteth the craft and the craftsman
    . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Usura slayeth the child in the womb
    It stayeth the young man’s courting
    It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth
    between the young bride and her bridegroom

    Ezra Pound (from “Canto 45”)

    In the Cantos, there are lines of staggering beauty, haunting wind-and-sea-and-stone-coast-wrought Hellenic dreams…..History as poetry, the grand tour…. Chinese characters. The magnum opus of a great American eccentric.

    Imagine a demented genius living in an steel cage, writing under the glare of floodlights and open hostility.

    And for exposing the (((bankers))) usury fraud, one of the greatest wordsmiths of all time was forced to spend thirteen years in a lunatic asylum in a urine-soaked cell, originally in solitary confinement and forced to wear a straitjacket.


    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 10:55 am Reply | Quote
  • anonyme Says:

    One final comment inspired by Houellebecq and the collapse of western civilisation.

    Heidegger…..Ezra Pound….this wouldn’t be complete without a quote from Louis Ferdinand Céline:

    “When you stop to examine the way in which our words are formed and uttered, our sentences are hard-put to it to survive the disaster of their slobbery origins. The mechanical effort of conversation is nastier and more complicated than defecation. That corolla of bloated flesh, the mouth, which screws itself up to whistle, which sucks in breath, contorts itself, discharges all manner of viscous sounds across a fetid barrier of decaying teeth—how revolting!

    Yet that is what we are adjured to sublimate into an ideal. It’s not easy. Since we are nothing but packages of tepid, half-rotted viscera, we shall always have trouble with sentiment. Being in love is nothing, its sticking together that’s difficult. Feces on the other hand make no attempt to endure or grow. On this score we are far more unfortunate than shit; our frenzy to persist in our present state — that’s the unconscionable torture.

    Unquestionably we worship nothing more divine than our smell. All our misery comes from wanting at all costs to go on being Tom, Dick, or Harry, year in year out. This body of ours, this disguise put on by common jumping molecules, is in constant revolt against the abominable farce of having to endure. Our molecules, the dears, want to get lost in the universe as fast as they can! It makes them miserable to be nothing but ‘us,’ the jerks of infinity. We’d burst if we had the courage, day after day we come very close to it. The atomic torture we love so is locked up inside us by our pride.”
    ― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Voyage au bout de la nuit

    I remember how my English professor reacted when I told her I was reading Céline’s “Voyage au bout de la nuit”: “But wasn’t Céline a Nazi?”

    Céline declared that “white Aryan Christian civilization” had ended with Stalingrad. During the Occupation of France, he wrote letters to several collaborationist journals, denouncing the Jews. Even some Nazis thought Céline’s antisemitic pronouncements were so extreme as to be counter-productive.

    After Germany’s defeat in 1945, Céline fled to Denmark. Named a collaborator, in 1950 he was convicted in absentia in France, sentenced to one year of imprisonment and declared a national disgrace. He was subsequently granted amnesty and returned to France in 1951.


    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 12:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mariani Says:

    Can anyone sum up for me just how screwed Ethereum is?


    admin Reply:

    I don’t think the problem stretches down to Ethereum, any more than the Mt Gox fiasco stretched down to Bitcoin, but the collateral damage from flaky associations is very likely to be comparable.


    Mariani Reply:

    It seems like the problem is baked into the language that Ethereum runs on


    admin Reply:

    Krawisz is one of my favorite writers, but he’s intense.

    Whether or not Bitcoin is a Jealous God, he certainly treats it so. From the piece you link: “I fully support the attacker’s actions, and I wish I had thought of it first. His ethers may become worthless before he can sell them for Bitcoin, but he may also have made a huge short on ethers just before executing the attack and made around $1 million that way.”

    It’s hilarious they called it ‘solidity‘ (although ‘Foolproof’ would have been even better).

    The (Szabo) smart contract idea is too brilliant to slip back far, though. If Ethereum can’t get it to work, someone else will. (Good @balajis tweet storm on the topic today.)

    SVErshov Reply:

    I dont follow the whole saga in details, but judjing by ETH exchange rate, seems like they behaved adequately. ETH/BTC and ETH/USD does not droped much, just slow down trend and recovering now.

    MtGox was a disaster for bitcoins, it brings 1 btc from usd 800 to 216.


    TheDividualist Reply:

    Eh, I will sell because new and new security holes are discovered, google solar storm. As a hindsight, it cannot work. They want a global computer. But if some software functions in a global computer are owned by malicious people, that is literally like hacking a computer. This sort of thing needs to be 100x more secure than most software, it needs to be the bastard child of ADA meeting Haskell with processes like that of the NASA, not a halfassed JavaScript where no one can predict what happens if you call a function in an external contract. This seems to be a bad idea now. I will wait a bit where the current rally goes, dump, and forget it.

    The whole code is law and contracts are immutable was a bad idea. This means good programmers can scam everyone else. Wall Street will never trust code, they trust people. They like a hard fork, it means they trust people, the miners can override smart contracts. So that is OK but it makes the whole thing kind of pointless. You cannot really sell trusting code over people to nongeeks. As it means they have to trust geeks.

    I have no idea why I liked the idea in May. I guess I was just hungry for any nonretarded investment option as lately haven’t seen any. Turned out it is retarded too. But it is likely even bigger fools will come soon and buy it off with a premium.


    frank Reply:

    > You cannot really sell trusting code over people to nongeeks. As it means they have to trust geeks.

    I disagree. Everyone is a nongeek at most of the things they take for granted. I have a slight idea about how the financial institutions I work with and rely on work, but I’m — as almost everyone — radically ignorant about the real under-the-hood process.

    We can apply your argument to any case of old, traditional, trusted tech vs new untested tech:

    > You cannot really sell trusting automatic elevators over people to nongeeks. As it means they have to trust geeks that build those elevators.

    Learning is hard. Lots of failures are bound to happen before programmable contracts proliferate. As they become more and more tested and standardized, normies will start copying their cool friends who use that new hip thing. Eventually they’ll fully adopt it without having the slightest idea how it works.

    Imagine how hard it must have been to start adopting the first coins minted by the Lydians. “So I’ll give you a year’s worth of crop yield in exchange for a handful of metal — yeah, makes sense.”

    Experiencing lots of failures and fiascos is the only way of seriously exploring the limits of formalizing property. You can’t resist chaos (that which is robust will become fragile), you can only hope to befriend it (anti-fragility).

    SVErshov Reply:

    we can only learn by doing wrong things, cause we already know everying about right things, so nothing to lear more by doing it. my concenr is in cost associated. simulations, mathematical modeling, VR 360 degree games on mind blowing level nowadays and we are still talking about making mistakes in real life.

    Tentative Joiner Reply:

    According to a blog post published by the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute (which is not endorsed by Satoshi Nakamoto himself), the problem is more fundamental than the Mt. Gox hack was to Bitcoin. Solidity, Ethereum’s primary language for writing contracts, is flawed. From another critical article:

    It’s clear that writing a robust, secure smart contract requires extreme amounts of diligence. It’s more similar to writing code for a nuclear power reactor, than to writing loose web code.
    Yet the current Solidity language and underlying EVM seems designed more for the latter. Some misfeatures are:
    • A good language for writing state machines would ensure that there are no states from which it is impossible to recover.
    • A good language for writing state machines would make it painfully clear when state transitions can and cannot happen.
    • A good language for maintaining state machines would provide features for upgrading the security of a live contract.
    • A good language for writing secure code would make it clear that there are no implicit actions, that code executes plainly, as read.


    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 1:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • TheDividualist Says:

    Regarding the article on teleology, one rarely sees a smart sounding article that is so clueless. Teleology is on the rebound in academic philosophy for at least 50 years now. See this as a summary:

    It is true that from about the Enlightenment philosophers – not scientists themselves, they rarely care – were increasing allergic to teleological arguments, almost considering it a holy case to purge it. I can see two reasons for it. One is that they assumed it leads to theism. It is actually wrong, Aquinas wrote it is extremely easy to see teleology in everything but it is extremely hard to derive gods existence from it. Functions don’t automatically need a designer. Another reason is that they were apparently more interested in physics than biology. The scientific revolution began on physics and it was the star discipline and everybody envied Newton. They tried to newtonize everything. Biology had a far lower prestige until about Darwin. Now that biology is more interesting because it is used to explain how humans tick of course teleology rebounds, biological systems always have functions.

    So it is not new. There are many, many respectable teleological philosophical works, well compatible with and explaining current science, with Ruth Millikan’s Language, Thought And Other Biological Categories being the most important. Published in 1984.

    So the idea that some exciting new idea is going to bring it back is totally bogus. It IS back.

    What Kauffmann seems to say is that teleology may be there on a deeper level than biology, on the level of physics for example.

    Teleology doesn’t mean the same thing as a nonmaterial cause, it is a typical not even wrong approach, it isn’t a cause in that particular sense as an efficient cause…

    In my opinion is that the essential problem is that since we stopped believing Aquinas we never really managed to create a worldview as consistent as his. It should begin at epistemology. Do we believe the universe is fundamentally rational and knowable and logical, for us? If yes, if logic is basically more important than data, if there are real universals, then we have to focus more on logical consistency rather than seeing an observable material aspect of everything. If we don’t believe the universe is fundamentally rational, why are we talking about causes instead of correlations?

    I am somewhere between. But at any rate, a telos or function is simply, indeed, an instructive concept. Why, are there are any non-instructive concepts? They help to understand, that is what concepts are for. They also help to predict. What else could we want? Is there a higher level of concepts than instructive and predictive ones?


    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 3:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • Tentative Joiner Says:

    Spores of Communism. Electric life (archived).

    Filling this thread’s Land pun quota, here is capital, namely machine translation, attempting to reterritorialize our host. (For a while this ranked high in Google for a query related to his work.)


    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 4:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • anonyme Says:

    As refugees flood into Europe, with the UN projecting Africa’s population to add from 3 to 4.7 billion additional people by 2100…..

    meanwhile….somewhere iin Disneyland…..Walt Disney is still cryogenized in a nitrogen solution (frozen in a cryonic chamber full of liquid nitrogen)….. waiting for some kind of resurrection in the real world.

    But there is no real world anymore, not even for Walt Disney.

    If one day he wakes up, he’ll no doubt have the biggest surprise of his life.


    Posted on June 23rd, 2016 at 10:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • anonyme Says:

    It looks like my wonderful coal dusted Welsh cousins have just pounded the remain folks in the polls.


    admin Reply:

    The Welsh don’t vote Celt anymore, do they? What’s going on there?


    Posted on June 24th, 2016 at 5:47 am Reply | Quote
  • anonyme Says:

    With Merkel, Soros, Obama et al against it, I didn’t think Leave had a chance so haven’t been following this closely….. all I can tell you is everyone I know in Torfaen (southeastern Wales) says they voted Leave and no one knows anyone who didn’t vote Leave….


    Posted on June 24th, 2016 at 6:47 am Reply | Quote
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    “We want to study building new, better cities. … If you’re interested, please apply [to YC Research].”


    Posted on June 27th, 2016 at 6:59 pm Reply | Quote
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