Posts Tagged ‘Time’

Kicking the Can

It’s difficult to keep track of all the ways in which the hyperbolic explosion of time-preference is expressed in the present world economic order, especially in its Western core, where the rot is deepest. From insensate looting to exponential debt expansion, and from sugar-high stimulus programs to insolvent, culturally-ruinous welfare systems (cooked-up for a succession of short-term political head-rushes), the entire economic machinery is locked into virtual apocalypse accumulation. Never deal with anything today that can be added to the mountain of woes due tomorrow. As historical time collapses into sheer orgiastic spasm, it converges with the frothiest media attention span, hurtling towards the edge of the precipice where nothing remains but news.

Here‘s the latest dimension of kicking-the-can:

… if US inventories, already at record high levels, and with the inventory to sales rising to great financial crisis levels, had not grown by $121.9 billion and merely remained flat, US Q1 GDP would not be 0.2%, but would be -2.6%. [Emphasis in original]

Systematic unreality has a face, and it’s that of a talking-head telling you that the end hasn’t yet happened.

Nemesis is not mocked. When she arrives, it’s going to hurt.

ADDED: The popcorn version. (Think I linked this before as an Outsideness Strategy classic.)

April 29, 2015admin 32 Comments »

Stock and Flow

Some clear, sensible, extremely practical suggestions on balancing production (via). It’s a problem — tractable in principle, but tricky, and easy to get wrong — that a lot of people are working at right now, NRx very much included. I’ve not seen it stated with such conceptual elegance before now.

… stock and flow is the master metaphor for media today. Here’s what I mean:
* Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people that you exist.
* Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.
I feel like flow is ascendant these days, for obvious reasons — but we neglect stock at our own peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audience and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a treadmill, and you can’t spend all of your time running on the treadmill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: Oh man. I’ve got nothing here. […] But I’m not saying you should ignore flow …

NRx epitomizes the problem. It’s been through a phase of excited flow, but the question of stock-building is becoming unavoidable. Correct too hard, and the current dies altogether. Fail to correct at all, and nothing gets built. Every time I see someone burn out of Twitter, it looks to me as if the stock-flow balance problem has claimed another casualty. At least, that’s what I now realize I’ve been seeing.

April 23, 2015admin 29 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Practicalities

The Iron Law of Six

The Zhouyi (or Yijing) identifies ultimate cosmic law with the order of time — which is the eternal in change. It consists of hexagrams — figures of six lines — because decimated duplication produces the endlessly recurring sequence of six phases, in the cycle 1, 2, 4, 8, 7, 5. As explicitly acknowledged in the Ten Wings of the Zhouyi, this six-step cycle is diplo-triadic. It consists of two trigrams, or twin triangles, with each set of pairs summing through addition to the number nine. Notably, exponential growth and rigid cyclicity are integrated in the abstract model of time. The ‘byte’ (2^3) still defers to its final authority in advanced modernity. That is the robust, arithmetically indisputable foundation of The Iron Law of Six.

“If you would promote a law, first submit yourself to it.” There is perhaps no antidote to moralism sounder than this. How, then, to make of The Iron Law of Six an overt, private fatality?

Consider this (utterly crude) convergence upon the same problem. In an age of unprecedentedly scrambled attention, “deep projects” tend to get lost. Nothing that is not built into the order of time will get done. (Some very relevant neuro-psychological background can be found here.)

Submission to the order of time is thus indispensable to any real power of execution. That time repeats is the only basis upon which to build anything new.

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March 31, 2015admin 11 Comments »


In respect to the initial formulation of a question along the rough lines “How is suspension of consequences possible?” there are only three basic options:

(1) It’s not. All deferral of consequences is illusion. The reality is something akin to instant karma. (There’s something about this line of thinking I respect, but I’ve no idea how it could be coherently put together, and then knitted with explanatory plausibility to evident historical fact.)
(2) It’s complicated.
(3) That old problem is over. Haven’t you heard of the Death of Reality? Postmodernism, bitchez. (This is Derrida and Baudrillard — smart, terminally decadent, and radically inconsistent with NRx. It’s also the implicit principle of post-liberal macro-economics.)

Number Two is surely the only path here that is NRx-compatible. Its articulation remains almost entirely unachieved, although this is no great source of shame — the prior intellectual history of the world got nowhere with it, either. It might not be the deepest problem about time, but it is the one with the greatest immediate relevance to generally-acknowledged historical processes, and (perhaps) also the greatest direct practical application. What it explores is the potential for a realistic analysis of the provisionally-functional denial of reality. It crosses almost everything ‘we’ are talking about.

Charles Hugh-Smith writes:

By the time extend-and-pretend finally reaches its maximum limits, the resulting implosion is so large that the shock waves topple regimes, banks, currencies and entire nations.

If NRx seems predisposed to apocalypticism, it is because it concurs — both with the proposal that “maximum limits” exist, and the attendant thesis that some reality-suppressing tendency is reaching them. “Extend-and-pretend” — or radically finite reality denial — is an engine of catastrophe. It enables negative consequences to be accumulated through postponement, without prospect of final (‘postmodern’) absolution. Yes, the coagulated detritus does eventually collide ruinously with the unpleasantness purifier. The fact it hasn’t already done so, however, is a puzzle of extraordinary profundity.

ADDED: Scharlach responds.

February 19, 2015admin 33 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Philosophy
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While schematic qabbalism is the most rigorous science to which the transcendental intellect can aspire, symbolic qabbalism — even that in the subtlest Neo-Lemurian vein — merits the very deepest distrust. Nevertheless, in this interim period of near-complete exile from Cyberspace, there has been plenty of opportunity for exploratory calculations. For what little it is worth, 2015 radiates a peculiarly distinctive signal, suggesting an emphasis upon the deep state, maritime civilization, and mathematical zero, with a dominant oceanic affect. This is not an agenda set to provoke obvious resistance at Outside in.


(Tomorrow is likely to be socio-technically challenging, but I’m hoping to sleaze back towards functionality from the start of the new year.)

December 30, 2014admin 7 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#42)

Stranded in 90% disconnection, and completely out of touch with what the Internet has been up to — so this is a classic (link-free) CP. Open thread, as always. Turn-of-the-year themes would obviously be especially suitable — but anything (civil) goes.

December 28, 2014admin 82 Comments »


This is what my third half has been doing recently:

Phyl Undhu

December 21, 2014admin 8 Comments »

Abstract Horror (Note-1a)

Robin Hanson on the Great Filter for TED. It’s too well done to hold back until next Friday. “Something out there is killing everything, and you’re next. … You should be worried.” (He has the nightmare smile down to a T.)

December 13, 2014admin 11 Comments »
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The most prominent problems with Interstellar have already been capably discussed, so it’s not worth spending much time going back over them. The basic catastrophe scenario has more gaping holes than a Hawking cosmology, and is in fact so ludicrous that it quite neatly takes itself out of the way. The framing ideology is romantic superhumanism, which might even count as a positive for some (although not here). The musical score (by Hans Zimmer) was wildly overwrought. All-too-typically for Hollywood, high-pitched emotional extravagance was shamelessly indulged. Despite all of this, it was a great movie.


Interstellar‘s narrative architecture is composed of a deep cosmic space-frontier story, and an occult communication story, bolted together by a time loop. (Plug.) The involvement of Kip Thorne reinforced the seriousness of this framework. (Thorne’s explorations of cosmological warping are a marvel of advanced modernity.) Nolan is, in any case, a director who knows things — or at least suspects them, enough to stretch his audience. As a piece of contemporary myth-making on an epic scale, the achievement of Interstellar is formidable.

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November 22, 2014admin 9 Comments »


For the visitors here who are perpetually tortured by the Damn! Where is the tip-jar button? question, less-evil twin has a time-travel book out. (It should be $3.99, but it says $5.99 at my link — which might be a Shanghai-effect.)

UF (2.1) plug here.

epub covernew-2

If you know anybody teetering on the brink of a psychotic episode, who just needs a slight nudge to plunge over the edge, it would make an ideal present.

November 7, 2014admin 17 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Templexity