Randoms

Gay, super gay.

– James Goulding on Moldbuggery.

– Outside In has some thoughts on government that are worth your time.

– DC’s on track for another record low murder rate, “despite a rapidly rising population.” I’d change the “despite” to “because.”

Bad news for Bitcoin. Or not.

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79 Responses to Randoms

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lowering the BAC is gay but it seems like it will have a disparate impact on single women, so… yawn

  2. Handle says:

    In Japan the limit is 0.3! A single drink and even a full grown man has to wait half an hour to be sure.

    Then again, Japan used to have a horrible drunk driving problem, and aggressive prosecution of this rule has significantly improved the situation.

    But on the other hand, they’ve got affordable (and even subsidized in some prefectures) Daiko cabs where two guys come in a ridiculously tiny car, and one drives your drunk ass home in your own car, while the other follows in the glorified moped with a roof. It’s a great system, but it really only works when you can trust the drivers. In Japan, you can. Here?

  3. […] Goulding provides perhaps the definitive Cliff’s Notes on Moldbuggery. (Via Foseti who always beats me to the good […]

  4. Chevalier de Johnstone says:

    And once again Goulding, like Mencius and much of the Reactosphere, makes great points but misses the central problem, which is that any system of government is simply a reflection of the society it is designed to govern. Democracy does not elect its own people, this is a meaningless statement which wrongly attributes conscious actorhood to “democracy”. People elect their own democracies, just as monarchs are born and raised in their own societies, plutocrats respond to the values with which they are socialized, and so on. Any -cracy is defined by that which it governs: the people and their social interactions.

    Amazingly, this is the exact message of Carlyle, repeated over and over, not that democracy cannot solve problems but that democracy cannot solve problems that men refuse to solve, because “cracy” doesn’t solve problems, men do. Over and over again Carlyle points out the magical thinking of chartists and democrats who wrongly think that changing the system will provide a solution to social problems without having to find a man of action to solve the problem. And Moldbug and others take this and turn it into a cry to do what? — to change the system! It may very well be the case that a proto-monarchy is a “better” government than a democracy but this depends entirely on having a good king, and no matter how many formal processes and crypographic safeguards and systems you put in place the only way you can have a “good” king is if you define what it means to be “good”.

    Until this “Reaction” defines a teleology of human society it is doomed to failure, because if all you do is is devise a new system that appeals to “amoral elites”, you will wind up right back where you are, in a society where morality — human teleology — is defined for you by someone or something else, and if there is no such definition then you will have no society left and will return to barbarism. This does not mean you have to join an organized religion and adhere to its rules, but it does mean that you must have a conscious understanding of what you value, and your goal must not be to change “the system” but to change society. A government, whether democracy or autocracy, will never keep peace and order in the streets at night because you want to feel safe walking home; it will only keep peace and order because Society, that great communal collective polity, adheres to a moral teleology that says it is wrong, not inefficient or inconvenient but wrong, to take by force or threat of force from someone walking at night, and thus decides that any such anti-Social behavior must be prevented.

    The problem is not democracy, it is not the Cathedral; every society has some form of Cathedral, which can take the form of state religion or cultural tradition passed on within the family unit or some of each, and which ensures that the cultural values which define that society are communicated to the next generations. In a misguided focus on material utilitarianism we collectively ceded the Cathedral to those who are still prepared to define a moral teleology, and this is the result. The widespread sentiment in the Reactosphere that we just want a government that works well is meaningless without defining what the purpose of that government is, and this itself is meaningless without defining what our purpose is as a society. If you want a government to protect you from being robbed and murdered you must have some idea of why it is important for you to have life and property: what are you to do with it?

    So many writing about this are still, wrongly, “libertarians” despite their sometime rejection of the term. They don’t understand that liberty is always positive and only subjectively negative: freedom from government control is freedom to do something — to be you, for one thing. Liberty is a means, not an end. The founders of the Whig-Protestant experiment in America understood this, and wanted liberty to pursue a basically Protestant lifestyle, with teleologies defined at the community-level by the various Protestant congregations. But they always understood that this system would only work so long as the American societies shared this basically Protestant teleology (even the Catholics and Jews and other immigrants). The system was designed to allow people the freedom to pursue a goal, not any goal. It may be the case that we can find a better system by means of which to pursue that goal, or it may well be that we no longer identify with that goal at all, but without defining what that goal is — what is the purpose of our society and our human existence — talking of a change in the system is meaningless fancy.

    And so Goulding like so many others mistakenly says that people are drawn to progressivism because it offers them power, which is wrong: very, very few people are attracted to power for the sake of power. We are attracted to power because we want to achive something: wealth, status, sex, a sense of importance. and progressivism provides that defined sense of meaning. We want to know that our lives mean something, and we want to be assured of this by surrounding ourselves with others with whom we can broadly agree as to what that meaning is. The human mind seeks naturally to discover and explain and change its environment — it is by nature progressive, and the only question is “Towards what will we progress?”

    So many in the Reactionary proto-culture are technologically inclined, but forget that any technology is simply a tool that is wielded by a consciousness to achieve some desired end. We will never achieve anything of lasting import if we continue to design new tools without defining what they are to be used for and using them for that purpose. The common analogy of a “reboot” is apt: we talk far too much in terms of “rebooting” the system and installing a new operating system, but the purpose of a computer is not defined by its operating system but by its user. Rebooting the system is not a teleological revolution.

    • Those are all quotes from Mencius, except for the first which is PKD. I guess you know that? I wanted to demonstrate, with choice excerpts, that his great contribution is to have conducted accurate, Machiavellian analyses of liberal democracy. The rest (“formalism”, castes, crypto-calvinism, Austrian economics…) ranges between crazy and brilliant, but is less original and important.

      To answer your critique anyway, please begin by defending this claim:

      very, very few people are attracted to power for the sake of power

      with reference to the motivations of Chairman Mao.

      We are attracted to power because we want to achieve something: wealth, status, sex, a sense of importance.

      Are status and “a sense of importance” easily or correctly distinguished, as human motivations, from power?

      • Chevalier de Johnstone says:

        My bad, I didn’t see the quote-marks.

        That’s not Machiavellian, however, at least not the Machiavelli of Discourses.

        Power is a means, not an end. The social definition of power matches the physical: it is the energy expended to move something in a defined period of time. To change the world. It is the effect of that change that attracts us as intentional conscious actors. We desire power in order to effect change, not to put power in a box safely out of sight.

        I don’t understand the question about Mao. Mao sought and succeeded in realizing a revitalization and unification of the Chinese empire free from the (direct) foreign rule of the century prior. Both communism and multicultural colonialism of the Chinese hinterland were a means to this end. If the idea is that Mao was attracted to power for the sake of power…I would say this is more clearly not the case for Mao than for many other political leaders.

        The answer is yes, status and a sense of importance are easily distinguished from power. These are achievable goals; power is a means of achievement.

        Our most fundamental desire is the preservation of the conscious self; this supersedes survival. That’s what I mean by “a sense of importance”. Having power and not using it can be a means of creating and preserving that sense of importance, but here again the goal is not the power, power is a means to an end. (This is an example of the sin of vanity, BTW.)

      • Chevalier de Johnstone says:

        BTW I hope it’s understood that my singling out of Mr. Goulding as an exemplary in my critique isn’t meant as an insult but because his analogy (and condensation of Moldbug’s thinking) is such a useful rhetorical tool. I’m a (relatively new) fan; I don’t need to always agree to see the worth in someone’s thinking. I frequently disagree with Moldbug but I still consider him a godfather of what we appear to be calling the DEC.

    • Handle says:

      This is a fascinating comment. You’ve done a good job of fleshing out the issue here. And I think you’re right in the sense that if there’s one thing the neoreaction lacks it’s a unifying, and comprehensive principled moral or ethical theory.

      I’m working on an essay about this very topic. Peter A. Taylor’s been thinking deeply about morality and religion for years – his essays are great – mandatory reading – but I think he’s still missing a few pieces.

      But part of this is the reaction (‘natch) against the ceaseless and nauseating fanatical moralism of our opponents. The worse their arguments, the more unreasoning and moralistic they become. You see the same thing in Libertarians too, and when they do it (I’m looking at you, Caplan), it’s just as disappointing and revolting. It makes one suspicious every time morality gets trotted out these days, when it’s constantly used to sanctify and demonize positions in the exact opposite way you would choose.

      Then again, “Most of the time, Truth is good, Lies are bad.”, “Watch out for deception, delusion, and manipulation everywhere, that stuff can be real bad” and “It’s better to live in a society where you can trust your neighbors” and “popular government is bullsh*t” seems to be a decent start for a neoreactionary teleological foundation. “Maximize Intelligence” is Land’s answer. It’s got some traction.

      But I have to disagree with you about Liberty. Liberty is both a means and an end. Just like in the financial markets, options have value in an of themselves, whether you decide to exercise them or not. Liberty is power and power means having options. People would pay for liberty even if they hoped never to use them – like taking an expensive course in order to get a license to carry a concealed handgun.

    • One can, I’d say ought, recognize that human governance is not merely an engineering problem, but also that not all engineered systems work equally well given the facts on any particular ground.

    • Foseti says:

      Nice comment.

      I’ve often wondered if there’s a really dark enlightenment, which posits that society is not salvageable at all – it must save itself, and at a certain point, it can no longer do so. Perhaps decline and decay are inevitable. The ideas that defined the west are dead and can’t be resurrected. Isn’t this what one is forced to conclude from your line of reasoning?

      The “amoral elite” you speak of is also a matter of debate. In action, today’s elite are rigidly upright. In speech, not so much. In my opinion, their “amorality” is much exaggerated (mostly by themselves).

      • Handle says:

        I would say there’s actually a “darkest enlightenment”.

        Posit the post-reckoning, post-Cathedral-collapse, DE-society. But before and escapist-techno-futurist-eugenics “maximize for intelligence” or “Nietzschean Superman Content” or “transhumanist” or “AI-singularity” events. Dealing with the same human material we’ve got to deal with now, in, more-or-less, similar technological circumstances.

        The leadership of that society would realize that they would need to attend to the mass population’s moral needs. To create the kind of society you want to live in means doing what one can to shape the inner-motivations of behavior of the people into neighbors you’d like to live next to, employees you’d like to have, etc.

        They’d take all their Dark Knowledge and conclude what Spandrell (and, to an extent, me and Peter A. Taylor, and I think Moldbug) have concluded – which is what GK Chesterton said – the brains of most people are too fertile a place for religious-like thinking. You can’t make a “less-wrong” “everybody’s a disciplined Bayesian ultra-rationalist” society. You need a substitute or alternative religion-ish thing to put in there that gets you what you want to achieve socially. A set of irrational unfalsifiable beliefs. A structure of taboos. Constant Reinforcement through social pressures and all the opinion-making institutions. And, if you’re really confident you’re doing it right – a heresy mechanism that deters people from openly questioning the system and undermining all the hard work it took to decrease social-entropy and build social-capital. A set of Platonic-Straussian noble lies (and maybe your next generation of elites will even forget that they are lies) to keep the harmony going. A line of thinking that goes back thousands of years.

        Why is this the Darkest Enlightenment? Because it’s exactly what the DE Community (“The DEC”?) is complaining about with the Cathedral, and what the Cathedral was complaining about with the Church, and the Church was probably complaining about with something else, etc. Celsus lost to Origen, after all.

        The real ugly truth, the real harsh reality, is that we probably can’t do away with suppressing some ugly truths and harsh realities – the very things we complain about. I think both Jung or T.S. Eliot who said “humankind cannot bear too much reality.”?

        Well, so what? Suck it up. Lord of the Rings rewrite. You can’t throw the ring in the volcano, now what? Well, sh*t, Boromir’s right. Somebody’s got to wear it and we’ll have to risk the corruption because it can’t be any worse than letting Sauron, already armed to the teeth and on his way, have it. I vote Gandalf.

        So, the work that needs to be done is basically comparative religion – figuring out a metric to evaluate them and finding and semi-secretly implementing the one that works best for us. That’s my take on what Peter A. Taylor has been thinking deeply about for years. I think I’m more optimistic than he is about whether it’s possible.

        But, again, that’s the Darkest Enlightenment. The best we can do is build new Cathedrals, and hope that this time we’ll build them better.

    • spandrell says:

      Here comes the theonomist again.

      Systems are made of people, but people’s behaviour isn’t uncaused. People respond to incentives, and the system sets incentives. Of course it’s a double feedback loop. But the old trope that government can’t be virtuous if people aren’t virtuous assumes that people’s virtue comes from spontaneous generation.

      Not to say you’re wrong, I’m the first who said we need a new religion. But it ain’t easy.

      • asdf says:

        Yes, I agree with the comment, but there is a feedback mechanism. “Making good people” is one of the goals of society. I think what people dislike about pure democracy is it encourages the growth of bad traits in people.

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but the goal most reactionaries seem to have in mind is a society that values “virtue”. Where virtue is defined in a more traditional and personal sense.

  5. VXXC says:

    @ low murder rate -“Kevin Drum of course wants to talk about lead, and certainly everyone should remind everyone they know that additional lead abatement is possible and highly cost-effective.”

    It depends on what you mean by lead abatement.

  6. Vladimir says:

    Handle,

    Your “Darkest Enlightenment” echoes a similar argument by De Maistre:

    Human reason left to its own resources is completely incapable not only of creating but also of conserving any religious or political association, because it can only give rise to disputes and because, to conduct himself well, man needs beliefs, not problems. His cradle should be surrounded by dogmas; and, when his reason awakes, all his opinions should be given, at least all those relating to his conduct. Nothing is more vital to him than prejudices. Let us not take this word in bad part. It does not necessarily signify false ideas, but only, in the strict sense of the word, any opinions adopted without examination. Now, these kinds of opinion are essential to man; they are the real basis of his happiness and the palladium of empires. Without them, there can be neither religion, morality, nor government. There should be a state religion just as there is a state political system; or rather, religion and political dogmas, mingled and merged together, should together form a general or national mind sufficiently strong to repress the aberrations of the individual reason which is, of its nature, the mortal enemy of any association whatever because it gives birth only to divergent opinions.

    […]

    Once let everyone rely on his individual reason in religion, and you will see immediately the rise of anarchy of belief or the annihilation of religious sovereignty. Likewise, if each man makes himself the judge of the principles of government you will see immediately the rise of civil anarchy or the annihilation of political sovereignty. Government is a true religion; it has its dogmas, its mysteries, its priests; to submit it to individual discussion is to destroy it; it has life only through the national mind, that is to say, political faith, which is a creed.

    • Handle says:

      Excellent Vladimir. As always. You’re one of the most esteemed members of the DEC in my opinion.

      Denying de Maistre is what modernity is all about, n’est pas? Anything that dares call itself “the darkest enlightenment” is destined to point back to him or Carlyle.

      • Vladimir says:

        Handle,

        What I find particularly interesting is that the full-blown scary Maistrean Darkest Enligtenment position seems to follow from several simple and not overly controversial propositions — which are moreover fully compatible with the empirical, materialist, and reductionist worldview:

        1. Any social order necessarily rests on a complex system of stable Schelling points.

        2. Some of these Schelling points are based on simple physical objects and observations. Others are established by custom and precedent. Yet other ones — which are crucial for the most subtle and complex social institutions — rest on some kind of shared belief in metaphysical entities. (People may explicitly profess belief in their existence, as in traditional religions or Platonism, or just avoid the unpleasant ontological questions about their nature, as in the modern-day talk about e.g. “human rights.” But in either case, the discourse always takes the form of debating about these entities in a way that treats them as absolutely real, and treating the outcome of the debate as a Schelling point. Think medieval theologians debating a point of theology and modern lawyers debating a point of law, as equivalent in this regard.)

        3. Schelling points can be changed or destroyed by mere acts of thinking or arguing about them.

        Now just apply the insight that a complex and stable system of Schelling points necessary for any organized society must in large part rest on a tacit consensus about beliefs that aren’t (and usually, given their nature, cannot be) based on rational and empirical evidence — and you’ve basically restated de Maistre’s argument in modern language.

        Note also that this argument doesn’t even require the assumption that most people are unintelligent, gullible, short-sighted, and incapable of rational thinking. Even a society of geniuses, as long as they were of the human species, would still require these “useful prejudices” to function.

  7. Vladimir says:

    Handle,

    Also, to continue on my above comment about Schelling points, the same insight leads to an explanation for the grotesque failures of some honest and intelligent attempts to understand the world.

    First, the rationalist-utilitarian type (well exemplified in an extreme form by the Lesswrong kind) likes to imagine an ideal world in which every decision and action would be guided by a rigorous utilitarian calculation, and to derive practical conclusions about human life and society by asking how to approximate this ideal the best. What follows are ridiculously naive and wrongheaded ideas that completely neglect the essential game-theoretic aspects of any social interaction between people (and Schelling points as their special case).

    Second, the libertarian type (well exemplified, also in an extreme form, by Bryan Caplan) operates with a set of peculiar metaphysical ideas, which are out of sync with those of the broader society, and which similarly imply some kind of ideal libertarian world where all legal and social norms would flow from private property rights. On the one hand, the libertarian would like the lines of private property to be far stronger Schelling points than they are in reality, and is consequently shocked by the immorality of all those situations where there is broad consensus that some other principle trumps property rights. On the other hand, he is blind to some other Schelling points, like e.g. national borders, and is similarly shocked by the immorality of all the legal and social norms that are based on these Schelling points. (Caplan once wrote, arguing that “law is a shockingly phony discipline,” that “[i]f there’s no such thing as unicorns, we can’t argue about unicorns.” What he doesn’t understand that the “unicorns” are in fact Schelling points, and that those he would like to be treated as sacred are, in the final analysis, no more or less real and essential than those he sees as arbitrary and wanton evil.)

    Third, the naive rationalist type who buys our society’s official ideological line about free thought and free inquiry. On the one hand, he burns himself badly by naively attempting to argue in good faith with various ideological commissars. On the other hand, he ends up believing a whole lot of nonsense on the strength of the argument that if all these academic authorities — who work in these august learned institutions whose motto is free thought and free inquiry — agree and insist that something is true, then only some awful crackpot might believe otherwise. He is not aware that “[g]overnment is a true religion; it has its dogmas, its mysteries, its priests” — and that attempting to argue with these the way you’d argue about some mundane technical issue is usually not a good idea.

    • Handle says:

      I’ll say it again, the DEC has just gone nova lately in quantity and quality of conversation, and the above is a great example. Scharlach’s DE map seems best to coincide with whatever spark that set it all off.

    • Chevalier de Johnstone says:

      I’m amazed to say that I can’t recall seeing your comments before Vladimir; I feel like I’ve encountered a kindred spirit.

  8. Sharlach’s flagship post on the DE map occurred 2013/04/21. Indeed it was a doozy. Sharlach in that post (and since) seems to consider “Dark Enlightenment” and “Neoreaction” to be (at least near) synonyms.

    Spandrell’s “Conflict” post, however, occurred on 2013/04/10, in which he outlined his now eponymous trichotomy. Spandrell used the term “reactionary(ies)” simpliciter, however.

    Were they talking about the same thing? Hopefully.

    Both I think were central to the recent boom(let?). They certainly inspired me… which reminds me I have 8 more parts to go in my 10-part series!!

    • Scharlach says:

      As of today, I’m no longer considering them synonyms. What a thread this is . . .

      Perhaps Neoreaction is the outward-looking, practical face of the DE, which is more inward-looking and pessimistic about the cycle of history?

  9. RS says:

    > Dealing with the same human material we’ve got to deal with now, in, more-or-less, similar technological circumstances.

    That’s your darkest enlightenment? Man… dysgenesis? Since it’s probably happening, your Straussian noble lie society wouldn’t even be stable unless it reached genic stasis, intentionally or unintentionally.

    • RS says:

      Perhaps I am just reading uncharitably and your Straussians would consider genostasis a pretty high priority. I think it’s a very high priority if you want society to be good, but probably also quite high even if you just want it to be stable under present technology. Though global warming might be a similarly high priority if there’s any truth to it (I don’t know how to find out if there is or not, but I suspect there is).

  10. RS says:

    The ethical heritage of the ‘right’ is virtuism AKA eudaimonism. MM recently took a bit of a virtuist turn in his latest take on economics. As I explained to TGGP he was not ‘really’ turning toward mercantilism or whatever — per se — but virtuism. Actually, he was simply rejecting economic considerations themselves as highly salient per se.

    One might also read my discussions with death maiden at Mencius’, or my harranguings of Charleton at Jim’s, in response to Charleton’s oft-repeated claim that it is either Christianity or utilism.

    Actually, in my experience, virtuism vs utilism is substantially more well-defined than are rightism/leftism. The shortest definitions from Nietzsche are very simple — certainly moreso than the Nichomachean Ethics — stemming as they do from the proto-existential reaction against Hegelian abstraction:

    Pleasure and pain not opposites: the feeling of power…

    …[we seek] the conditions under which the plant ‘man’ has grown to its greatest height [which, as he details repeatedly, usually involve lots of discipline and suffering]

    In brief, the old chestnut, it builds character. That’s virtuism’s telos, having character, having strength, being excellent, ‘always be first and best’. Nietzsche used ‘power’ partly in order to be in-your-face, as Mencius would use sith. But he was referring to romantic love just as much as he was referring to war (which he praised, with truly limited nuance).

    • RS says:

      > Actually, he was simply rejecting economic considerations themselves as highly salient per se.

      Not really rejecting but delimiting, or whatev. Y’all know what I mean

  11. RS says:

    Anyway Nietzsche obviously shared your orientation, I also do. That’s why he didn’t talk all that much about the structure of government, he talked about personal and social eudaimonic palingenesis, by way of the hellenic, roman, romantic, Renaissance, and Goethean romanto-classical psychologies, outlooks, experiences, practices. That’s what he and Wagner were up to from the beginning, when they formed their ad hoc committee to save the world in ’66 or so. Not that that was Wagner’s beginning (he was 30 years older and had started out as a 1789er), but it was his.

    Both are important, though ; power structures are nothing trivial.

  12. VXXC says:

    I wonder if the way out of the debt crisis is debt Jubilee? Debt’s a hopelessly tangled mess.

    Also it screws the modern State out of business.

    Also it’s something to offer the proles. Other than Simon LeGree slots on Jim’s Plantations and the right to smack the bitch up. After both digging the ditches and dying in them to “Restore” rightful rule.

    You do realize all this numbers/dysgenics/HBD counting means you can’t conceive of anything other than democracy, right? Would Rhodes, the Boers, or Hitler worried about it? If they did of course they did something about it. If the franchise is restricted, or let us dream of the return of the Stuarts then numbers don’t matter.

    Imagine a Great Captain of Reaction quitting before leaving his comfy chair over “demography is destiny” or some such excuse?

    You can’t actually conceive now really of any other state than the one you live in – and thrive in – now, you just want the help to know their place, is that correct?

    That’s all well and good, if things weren’t going someplace other than they are now anyway. But they are. Anyway.

    So let’s refer to what’s next, by which I mean immediately next and not after ________ then we walk down the Streets of Stuart ruled California where the King’s Peace is kept by the Ring of Fnarngl… I propose to call that next “Anyway”. Here you are: πάντως. In contrast to Utopia – nowhere. We will definitely and unfortunately for many be somewhere, call it πάντως. [pantos].

    We are now in pre-πάντως. In pre-πάντως America is already quite insolvent and floating on a paper money bubble, administered by the worst ruling class in History. Who happen to be academics. This means they will be quite useless and frankly irrelevant when πάντως begins.

    In pre-πάντως our rapidly dysgenizing proles have figured out at last that their government hates them, stopped voting, and escalated a domestic arms race to “Out of Stock, no Backorder” sea to sea. I do believe they at least want options. I also think that is power lying fallow, not its’ natural state. It will not be fallow forever, certainly not as πάντως approaches. And then suddenly happens. It will be natural for leaders to emerge. Hierarchy and all that…and I don’t think Stay at Home Moms [Tea Party actual Cadre Profile] whose only real goal was a solvent welfare State are going to fit the Bill.

    I wonder who will?

    I think if you want a seat at the post-pantos [πάντως] table, never mind Head of the Table you’d better start looking at the role of the Tribunes. Also what you have to offer the prole cannon-fodder.

    This would of course mean work, and risk. However consider pantos is coming.

    Many of you know the numbers better than we do.

    Speaking of which perhaps debt Jubilee and their houses is something to offer the proles, dysgenic or not. I think the Stay at Home Mom’s would nod off on that one…

  13. RS says:

    > “Maximize Intelligence” is Land’s answer. It’s got some traction.

    Maximize Tallis. Maximize Berlioz’ Agnus Dei.

    • Nick Land says:

      To ‘optimize for intelligence’ is to back away from the hedonic black-hole implicitly promised by utilitarianism. It is most clearly conceived in relation to Artificial Intelligence design — strip out extraneous (and thus irredeemably arbitrary) ‘utility schedules’ and replace them with a consistent (self-improving) performance metric. Nothing else is coherent.

      • RS says:

        If a strong AI can exist, it can experience anything we can and be aware of anything we can, presumably.

        Insofar as I can/could change myself, I don’t/wouldn’t just go for higher intelligence. Of course, as it stands I cannot really increase my intelligence in the common sense of the word, but with future tech maybe I could. Even then I would be equally interested in increasing my depth or vividness of affect, that sort of thing. Possibly my capacity both for pleasure and for suffering, and for things that seem like paradoxical admixtures of the two, such as feeling ‘beautifully’ sad/crushed. Also courage and self-control.

        I don’t see why a strong AI should necessarily be different. I mean it would be similar if it were a lot like me, otherwise more or less different. Presumably many people would be interested in roughly the same self-improvements that do/would interest me. I guess I hope that if AIs ever do partly, largely, or wholly supplant us that they have those sort of valuations — why not? It’s hard to feel otherwise, it’s just human nature to want your valuations to be repeated/ carried on through future time.

  14. Nick Land says:

    @ RS
    All fair enough — and in keeping with what the friendly AI crowd are looking for. The trouble is, there’s no consensus upon which to draw up an artificial utility schedule, and no obvious reasons for confidence that such a consensus is achievable. If the history of moral philosophy has failed to arrive at it — in part because it’s a keystone element of ideology, and therefore radically controversial — why should we think that re-baptizing the problem in technical terms will significantly speed its resolution?

    The opposite is the case. Military robotics is probably the most dynamic area of advance, based on the search for intelligent capabilities with which to pursue unresolved ideological rivalries. AI arises as a tool (weapon) with which to pursue moral arguments. To me, that suggests that technical (or performance-oriented) criteria are already in the driving seat, and are extremely likely to remain there. Optimization for intelligence is available as an urgent priority now. Uncontroversial ‘friendliness’ criteria aren’t, and won’t be any time soon.

  15. Tarl says:

    Thus the Reaction has the ability to become fashionable with amoral elites, which was clearly a prerequisite for any kind of political success in the 19th and 20th centuries. Instead of a tiny slice of power in the existing regime, which is real, it offers supporters a large slice of power in the new regime, which is hypothetical—but which will become real, as soon as enough people support it.

    If Reaction is proposing a reboot in which democracy is still the operative form of government, then (a) the reboot will not solve any real problems since we already have democracy, and it’s not really a reboot just a rollback to a previous version of the same operating system, and (b) the amoral elites would not be chasing a large slice of power in the new regime, because all you can have in democracy is a small slice of power.

    If the Reaction is proposing a reboot in which democracy does not prevail, but monarchy, then yes supporters can aspire to a large slice of power in the new regime. However, the “as soon as enough people support it” part becomes problematic. How often have mass movements demanded the installation of a reactionary monarch? It is far more common for mass movements to demand the installation of a “democratic” dictator of the Hitler/Stalin type.

    In sum, what the amoral elites are working towards is not a reactionary regime in which they have a large slice of power due to the elimination of democracy, but a “progressive” (PC) regime in which they have a large slice of power due to the elimination of democracy (the forms of democracy may be preserved but the actual substance will be absent).

    • VXXC says:

      Tarl – Yes, exactly. They want to take over their own offices.

      I can’t see any interest in the nation or people, or their well being here…this seems mainly to be an interest in power so people less intelligent need not be acknowledged or associated with and will know their place.

      Since you’ll have no people behind you perhaps your AI army will replace the proles, who shan’t be leaping into the cannon’s mouth for King Jim and Lord Chamberlain Foesti.

      Pantos – “Anyway” – remains. Perhaps while your waiting for AI to save ye from not only stupidity but danger and toil you could print out some drones. I’d make it fast. Proles are good at making things, including every sort of weapon. They might find it difficult to nuance out your positions from the Progs, and file ye to the same gibbets. Figuratively speaking of course.

  16. […] has not yet been as big a deal as the Dark Enlightenment Community (DEC, first use AFAIK here) seems to think. In fact, such obviously irrational practices have not yet been a big deal to […]

  17. Scharlach says:

    @ Handle, who writes . . .

    The real ugly truth, the real harsh reality, is that we probably can’t do away with suppressing some ugly truths and harsh realities – the very things we complain about. I think both Jung or T.S. Eliot who said “humankind cannot bear too much reality.”?

    Well, so what? Suck it up. Lord of the Rings rewrite. You can’t throw the ring in the volcano, now what? Well, sh*t, Boromir’s right. Somebody’s got to wear it and we’ll have to risk the corruption because it can’t be any worse than letting Sauron, already armed to the teeth and on his way, have it. I vote Gandalf.

    So, the work that needs to be done is basically comparative religion – figuring out a metric to evaluate them and finding and semi-secretly implementing the one that works best for us.

    A major component of DE is a re-embrace of uncomfortable realities about human nature, intelligence, social cohesion, et cetera. You’re taking it as a given that people cannot accept these realities and thus need a pseudo-religious veneer on them to make the DE realities more palatable and acceptable.

    But weren’t many of these realities accepted in the past, and not in the too-distant past? You don’t need to go back a full century to find respectable, mainstream people warning about dysgenic trends, for example, or speaking sense about segregation. (And, despite our pessimism, people on the fringes of the mainstream today continue to extol at least partially reactionary principles—although those who spoke out against the transgendered MMA fighter have been neutered, people at least spoke out about her/him/it. Even Joe Rogan called her/him/it out.)

    My point is, we don’t need to start from scratch or reboot wholesale to make the DE acceptable according to popular mythology . A project of ‘comparative religion’ shouldn’t fail to look at contemporary discourses, to see which ones are salvageable or already acting as the veneer for DE realities.

  18. Scharlach says:

    The real ugly truth, the real harsh reality, is that we probably can’t do away with suppressing some ugly truths and harsh realities

    I’ll add that I don’t envision DE governance being built on SUPPRESSION so much as ACCEPTANCE of harsh realities amongst the polis. This puts us in a much less tyrannical position than the Cathedral because the popular mythologies that make reality palatable will still be grounded in reality. The Cathedral’s myths, on the other hand, have been jerry-built according to political expediency and a particular brand of hyper-moral Puritanism, and thus intersect with reality only at the best of times. Everywhere else, the Cathedral mythology is divorced from reality; its clerics are false prophets and obfuscating sophists. DE mythology would be more like sugar for a foul-tasting medicine.

    • VXXC says:

      What do you actually have to offer people? Other than knowing their place?

      • Scharlach says:

        1. You say “knowing their place” like it’s a bad thing. If you know your place, you know what you can and cannot do in this life, so you do what you can to the best of your ability in order to support yourself and your family.

        I wanted to do a lot of things growing up, but I quickly realized I couldn’t (or, I realized that if I tried, I’d most likely end up broke and alone), so I put energy into what I knew I could do most profitably. The strategy has worked pretty well so far.

        Right now, the Cathedral leads the masses on with the myth of equality: Yes, I Can! The result is that everyone thinks he should be a millionaire. When people realize they can’t all be millionaires, they get upset. They lack humility, which is, in my opinion, the exact opposite of equality.

        The DE myth would be more based in reality: No, You Probably Can’t. But what can you do, and what does society need from you? This ethos would lay the groundwork for a re-mythologization of work. Once upon a time, people took pride in humble work, didn’t they? Well, there will always be proles doing humble work, so we’d better find a way to make that work meaningful in their eyes again. And an anti-equalist myth is far more likely to do that than an equalist one.

        2. Also, I think your future vision is so dystopian that I’m not convinced as yet that it’s worth addressing. If debt-riddled, ethnically diverse California were going to erupt, it would have done so already. Never underestimate the anodyne potential of film, music, porn, and booze.

    • Handle says:

      The trick is whatever makes “ugly truths”, ugly. I think in the past, they didn’t so much “accept ugly truths” as “believe in the truth while thinking it be ordinary and natural and having no sense whatsoever that it could be ‘ugly’ ”

      In a large part, the Cathedral has made ordinary truths so very ugly, thus unpalatable, and thus minds that hunger lustfully for someone to feed them pretty lies.

      But, in general, I greatly suspect that most people’s nature requires some set of pretty lies to generate the kind of behaviors you’d most want your neighbors to possess.

      And, if I’m correct, then the implication of my “Darkest Enlightenment” hypothesis is that the contest between us and the Progressives distills down to “The Tournament of Illusions.”

      I have no doubt we could make a much better set than the one we’ve got today. I also don’t doubt that the one the Cathedral gradually digested was also a preferable set to what replaced it.

      I look at the Mormon Americans. They believe really bizarre things, even from the point of view of other religions – or at least other Christian denominations. But they’re doing really great. You’d enjoy having them as neighbors or coworkers. They make perfectly adequate rationalists when some technical profession requires clear thinking. Do you want or need more than that? Why?

      On the other hand I can take you to the local ghetto where the real religion seems to be “gonna get mine anyway I can”. Perfectly rational, in the dark way of the predator. The most rational people I know are actually (and obliviously) the most irrationally-nice-to-each-other people I know. They can try to make up “it’s really rational if you think about it” stories for that, but really it’s not.

      • Scharlach says:

        Re: the Mormons. Crossing over into Utah on I-15 from the south is like entering another world. Everything’s cleaner. No trash—human or literal—on the sides of the roads, no graffiti, the kids behind the counter are white and polite. Are there any Mormons around here? We could use some insight.

      • A Lady says:

        The Mormons are not doing that great. They are failing due to degeneracy as the WASPs before them,

    • VXXC says:

      Scharlack,

      How is a Restoration back to an America governed by the Constitution with the additional check of American democracy “dystopian”? This was the system of the 19th century. Did the 19th century build our cities and our wealth, or ruin all that it touches as the rule of the smart has?

      The Constitution for instance is not just a standard many would get behind, many already DO. I realize DO is not in your 1st person vocabulary, but you should have noticed these people by now. Many of them wear uniforms making them easy to identify.

      Ye are all Augustine reincarnated as Gaius Baltar, doubt it not.

      Now if the 19th century into the 1930s is your idea of dystopia, then yes…I suppose it’s dystopian. One could argue that what followed with the rule of philosophers is the dystopia we have now, the people were the rube victims of the scam. Your chief complaint being your not in charge of it.

      Meanwhile on non-AI paradise dystopian earth: The People Sir have only just recently become aware they DO NOT GOVERN, the 1st response [dare I say “reaction”?] was the Tea Party. That began to prevail in 2010 and was thwarted by systematic govt intimidation in 2012. They flailed about and only now became aware that they were not being persecuted alone but that they have numbers – again. They at this writing seem to be rallying – again. Put it in any terms – the people realizing they lack power have rallied and marched. NOW. They just did it.

      The People lack Tribunes other than Stay at Home Moms at this point – that’s the Tea Party Profile. Really.

      It seems the most intelligent thinkers on the side of Tradition would rather sit on the sidelines of History and hope to reap the fruits of Victory. Earned by others they look down on. Or perhaps seeing that government is a dying gig…merely are awaiting the next sinecure. And perhaps you’ll get it.

      But Power? NO.

      Of course not. Power you know, and governance requires actual work – and risk. Getting it and keeping it.

      Don’t worry I’m sure whatever follows the latest round of socialist collapse will have sinecures. But don’t expect to be a spectator to History and then have any actual Say. You don’t want it anyway..”Say” means responsibility.

      Now enjoy contemplating the Just Kingdom of AI.

      • Scharlach says:

        I think I mis-communicated here. I was simply talking about your description of pantos as being dystopian, with its vision of academics in gibbets. Sorry if I misread you or was unclear.

        I think 19th and early 20th century America was absolutely wonderful, by the way. You’ll get no quarrel from me about that. Remember, though, that this time was also marked by great technological advancement. Many of the captains of industry back then were futurists in their own way. They also, of course, had a sense of noblesse oblige, which our current captains of industry completely lack . . .

      • Foseti says:

        “How is a Restoration back to an America governed by the Constitution with the additional check of American democracy “dystopian”? This was the system of the 19th century.”

        Is this a trick question? Assuming it’s not, I’ll go with because 10% of the population died in a war fought over what the document meant.

        Also to refer to that government as democracy is to stretch the word beyond use. The English monarchy was also “democratic” while we’re at it.

      • VXXC says:

        Well if I misunderstood my regrets. The goal I support – and what I think people would get behind in sufficient if not majority [not necessary] numbers IS the America of the 19th century. 1830-1933 – minus racial codes. ANY RACIAL CODES.

        The Constitution as amended rules. With the exception of the Universal franchise. NO. NO. NO.

        Equality under the Law. With far less laws.

        But absolutely NOT Equality of the Levers.

        The Franchise would NOT be universal but restricted to the responsible. That was the system for much of the 19th century. We began to stray as the Franchise broadened. Responsible was of course land owner got the franchise. There are other metrics of responsibility today.

        Not every Fool gets the Vote.

        Now please consider if HBD and Lord Jim are correct about ..er…the D in HBD as well as the little woman then if only the responsible can vote then this dear Sirs satisfies many concerns.

        It is not Just to deny full citizenship – The Vote which did mean something once and can again purely on the basis of gender or “diversity”. We have a thousand instant metrics on nearly everyone. On a personal note I’m not Asian, and I’ll be damned and dead before I go to the back of the Bus for anyone.

        Of course it’s not perfect. Nothing will be.

        And again it’s not just something Americans would get behind, they already ARE.

        They need Tribunes. Leaders. As you are quite capable people, that’s why I have been writing harshly. Don’t watch History happen – *They are Arming at a Arms Race Clip* – they certainly may have something on their mind. Give them some credit, the Administrative State only revealed it’s utterly ruinous nature in the fall of 2008 and they’ve certainly had no real choice at the polls. Nor is that coming under the present system.

      • Foseti says:

        Honestly, that’s a fine goal, but it’s no more likely or easy to achieve than wishing for the rightful king to return.

      • VXXC says:

        Foesti – Pantos just means “anyway” as in something is coming anyway. Whether it’s better or worse depends on…US…as well as others.

        I don’t want pure democracy. Good Heavens Athens wasn’t pure democracy. The Founders didn’t want it at all…but look at the history of Democratic/Republican movements in the early United States. My God they were everywhere, in everything. They understood it had to be responsible and limited. That’s why it worked.

        It’s the Constitution – a winner at least in name with everyone…ALMOST…buttressed by democracy, limited to the responsible. That was the genius of American democracy.

        It also forces a rather constant change in oil in the administrative State. On Jan 21st you’re not looking at the same clerk. I doubt efficiency will suffer to a catastrophic degree. In any case we’ve got a permanent, non-political Civil Service, and matters are worse.

        The Constitution again and American democracy, again.

        *The Entire New Deal Apparatus and Government, with all Supreme Court Decisions, is voided*. Administrative Government is no more.

      • Foseti says:

        We’ll always have the constitution. Exactly like Rome always had the republic.

      • VXXC says:

        I’ll bite. Who’s the rightful King of America?

        I’ll bite more. If it’s the Constitution this King has many adherents.

        Mind you they’re going to need more than Tea Party Mom’s.

      • Handle says:

        The vast majority of people that believe they believe in “The Constitution” do so in the same way they believe they believe in their Religion. But they don’t, really.

        These days, even most genuinely religious people couldn’t pass a quiz on the theological content of their religion. They may not even realize they don’t really believe in the things they think they believe, at least, not like people used to believe it in, as Orwell noted in 1944:

        The point Mr. Dark has missed is that the belief, such as it is, hasn’t the actuality it had for our forefathers. Never, literally never in recent years, have I met anyone who gave me the impression of believing in the next world as firmly as he believed in the existence of, for instance, Australia. Belief in the next world does not influence conduct as it would if it were genuine. With that endless existence beyond death to look forward to, how trivial our lives here would seem! Most Christians profess to believe in Hell. Yet have you ever met a Christian who seemed as afraid of Hell as he was of cancer? Even very devout Christians will make jokes about Hell. They wouldn’t make jokes about leprosy, or RAF pilots with their faces burnt away: the subject is too painful.

        They’ve never read the Constitution, and couldn’t tell you what it says about anything – even just the raw plain text, let along the Court-created meaning, but they profess sincere allegiance to it.

        Millions of public officials, who, despite their “education” likewise take oaths to protect and defend it, and have no notion of what’s in it. It’s only a few thousand words. This comment thread is now much longer!

        In centuries past, when literacy was scarce, especially in Latin, a peasant has to have his priest read his Bible to him, as well as sermonize the meaning. Eventually they published the book in the vernacular and taught the peasants how to read, and, behold, they actually read it! Whoops – big mistake Catholic church!

        There is certainly no lack of sermonizing about the Constitution these days, all false preachings naturally, but there is likewise no excuse for the almost universal utter laziness (not to mention educational dereliction) at not having examined the document. But does anyone have to beyond a selective priestly caste?

        No, not really. A document smaller than a pamphlet or any Moldbug essay, that people worship like an idol, and accept that it runs their lives, but without even being curious or disciplined enough to give a cursory glance, can come to mean anything. And, no surprise, it does! What is it, really, that these loyalists think they’re loyal to? And what are they actually loyal to?

        It seems tragic, yes, but in a way, it’s probably for the best. Once upon a time, real men took a real charter really seriously – and they slaughtered each other until there was more blood than water in the Rappahannock.

      • VXXC says:

        Handle, then they need to be led to where they have read and understand it. By for instance those of us who have actually taken the Oath. As I believe you probably have.

        Beware of Oaths, they are treacherous things. They tend to bind you in ways you may not imagine or foresee. And if God is invoked, I have a personal belief he enforces his contracts.

        You also seem strangely unaware of the Tea Party? The entire movement that is not only re-reading the Constitution with new eyes but the Federalist Papers as well? This is the widest movement in a century. They were asleep. They’re awake and rather angry. I will grant they didn’t learn it in school. Making them all the hungrier to learn.

        Beside you know numbers aren’t everything. People who will act are everything. Rappahannock’s or not. It’s preferable to the degraded ruin we find ourselves in now. This postmodern mad party on ever escalating fiat money can’t last. Nor should it given their legion of sins, for instance the much vaunted about degradation of the proles. For that alone many Rappahannock’s are merited.

    • VXXC says:

      [The Lost City – Erhenbach] – “shows that the glue holding each neighborhood together was an unstated social compact under which people accepted limits in their lives and deferred to authority figures to enforce those limits—a compact destroyed by the baby boomers’ rejection of authority in the 1960s. Since that time, an entire generation has come to believe that personal choice is the most important of life’s values. But Ehrenhalt argues that if we truly wish to balance the demands of modern life with a feeling of community, we have a great deal to learn from the ”limited” life of the 1950s. The Lost City reveals the price we must pay to restore community in our lives today and the values that will make such a restoration possible.”
      =========================================

      If you wanna put common morality for community on a banner..and notice how critical some version of Christianity is to it..then I think this “sells”. Someone said last night let’s steal Christianity back from the Cathedral. WIN. It’s not as if Post-Modernism is any replacement. They threw down Christianity and replaced it with serial fashion. None of their mud is sticking to the wall. Christianity remains the underlying foundation. It’s really only been under direct assault for 50 years and the results are universal disaster. And like Constitutionalism – limits on the State as a political compact – Christianity has a large following still. Certainly past the 10% tipping point. WIN with Constitutionalism and Christianity. [<<insert Reactionary values subtly here <<]. WIN

      And please don't denounce the democracy we have that doesn't rule in any case, over and over denouncing it while also posting it doesn't rule [???], then turn around and imply that Team WIN can't get a majority at the polls.

      Do you really think this is a conventional election?

      Second Democracy?

      Really?

  19. A Lady says:

    Sigh, just like the traddies and the proggies, everyone here believes they’d be on top of the new improved hierarchy they imagine replacing the current one with.

    • I am a natural follower, not a leader. I’m just persnickety about whom I follow.

      Incidentally, take a look at (atheist sociologist) Guenter Lewy’s book, _Why America Needs Religion_. Mormons stick out in the statistics because of their concentration in Utah. They’re doing *something* right.

    • survivingbabel says:

      Unlike Peter, I am a natural leader, but I would gladly sign away, in perpetuity, all official power and titles for myself, in exchange for the implementation of my ideal political system. Of course, I, like nearly every other human being who has ever lived, desire power, but I would gladly settle for sanity.

      I would rather serve in Heaven than rule Hell.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would rather serve in Heaven than rule Hell.

        the current ruling class clearly prefer to rule hell

    • VXXC says:

      Are traddies – Traditionalists?

      I think the important thing may be people want to replace the hierarchy. May the Strongest Meme win.

  20. […] Over at Foseti’s, Handle makes the following observation: […]

  21. VXXC says:

    “Never underestimate the anodyne potential of film, music, porn, and booze.” Bought to the people..by who? The people for instance again and again have voted to ban porn. Their decisions overturned by…The Smart. Acting through their courts. In fact the people will usually band together to ban harmful substances introduced into their communities. but then they are thwarted by…The Smart.

    The Progressives didn’t begin by pimping all these substances into the community, they began by Championing AGAINST them.

    They embraced a complete reversal 50 years ago when they realized The People, stubborn to efforts to perfect them, apparently needed to be destroyed. The anodynes are no such thing…they are poisons. To weaken and in many cases destroy the people.

    CA is not rising because they can flee. The people are coming to realize they ultimately will have no refuge. Then..we see.

    What makes you think that when your efforts to make them know their place are also frustrated ..as were the current rulers and past…you won’t reach the same conclusions? AI means you already have…that’s AI…

    So you’re also unfit to rule, you see. You cannot justly rule a people you hate. That is the current government. Classic reactionaries may have looked down on their people, they didn’t hate them.

    Hate is Hitler in the bunker screaming they’ll pay with their own blood, he and Goebbels candidly admitting they don’t pity them as they gave them the mandate. You already seem to be there, do spare the people the Gotterdamnerung.

    • RS says:

      You extrapolate rather freely from me talking about dysgenesis to me ‘hating’ everyone. You don’t seem too aware of Jim’s sharing your admiration for valor and soldiers, or his (and my) affinity for Xenophon’s Anabasis.

      • VXXC says:

        I was rather angrily taking people to task for looking down on mine – proles. It was a general shotgun blast. Not particular. Not unwarranted either. In line with…

        Let’s take an actual look at the American Military. 40 years ago most other institutions [the other main exceptions are Police and Emergency Services] but most other American institutions threw traditional retro morality and with it concepts of Honor and Duty out the window. At exactly that same time the leaders – mostly then young Officers who were Vietnam Veterans – decidedly rejected the modern. The reason for this was Vietnam and observing the quants idea of morality, statistics in everything being quantitatively FALSIFIED as the price of professional survival, and the general moral catastrophe of modernism [then morphing into post-modernism] being played out before them in the ranks. Remember the military is an entire separate society and not just a job. If they’re in your unit they’re FAMILY with all that implies, the main implication being including the fuck-ups. At the same time the Army was disintegrating along with the rest of 1970s society it had to contend with the end of 33 years of conscription as the man-pool and recruit Volunteers into a then disgraced institution. The choices they had were either to attempt to preside over a gang to rival Sao Paulo’s favelas and utterly FAIL, or..perchance…somehow rebuild.

        Which you know..rebuild they did.

        The modern was decisively rejected. Values were embraced and it’s only continued more and more – with fits, starts, human failings galore along the way – more and more in that direction.

        You see there really is no other way. We currently call that way “Values”. It had earlier names.

        The underlying rhetorical case for this – please understand we are creatures of limited rhetoric – was “we have lost our way”. Now that’s the Army Chief of Staff. 1979. This was followed by “Sergeants Business”. Meaning the NCO is back to sternly mothering over his soldiers and the Officers don’t try [and fail] to run everything. Now this is 1979/early 80s. By the mid-80s – when I come into the picture – the institution had quite found it’s way back. The ghosts are exorcised in 91 with Desert Storm.

        We have long since moved past the modern, it was a disaster called Vietnam. The latest challenge you know has been legalism mid aughts. A constant drumbeat threat of JAIL JAIL JAIL if you…commit war.

        And guess what. Legalism has quite lost all credibility and most of it’s threat potential. And filled a cohesive body of dangerous men with contempt for the Law. See ROE and it’s dysfunctions.

        Because you see we face unflinching brutal reality. We have to be “real”. And the return is always to Honor and Values.**

        **holds true across all “races”. There’s a reason I despise all the racism, it shits on my brothers and sisters. **

        The Scotch-Irish martial culture, aka “gun culture” benignly infects all people it touches BTW. These are America’s Sikhs.

  22. RS says:

    I think the extent to which you need pretty lies in order to get prosocial behavior depends on what population you had in mind. I certainly don’t think the Japanese need it.

    A broader question is whether you need it to have a functioning/ stable/ good society, as opposed to one that merely exhibits plenty of prosocial behavior. Is modern Japan great? Demographically sustainable?

    • VXXC says:

      [The Lost City – Erhenbach] – “shows that the glue holding each neighborhood together was an unstated social compact under which people accepted limits in their lives and deferred to authority figures to enforce those limits—a compact destroyed by the baby boomers’ rejection of authority in the 1960s. Since that time, an entire generation has come to believe that personal choice is the most important of life’s values. But Ehrenhalt argues that if we truly wish to balance the demands of modern life with a feeling of community, we have a great deal to learn from the ”limited” life of the 1950s. The Lost City reveals the price we must pay to restore community in our lives today and the values that will make such a restoration possible.”
      =========================================

      If you wanna put common morality for community on a banner..and notice how critical some version of Christianity is to it..then I think this “sells”. Someone said last night let’s steal Christianity back from the Cathedral. WIN. It’s not as if Post-Modernism is any replacement. They threw down Christianity and replaced it with serial fashion. None of their mud is sticking to the wall. Christianity remains the underlying foundation. It’s really only been under direct assault for 50 years and the results are universal disaster. And like Constitutionalism – limits on the State as a political compact – Christianity has a large following still. Certainly past the 10% tipping point. WIN with Constitutionalism and Christianity. [<<insert Reactionary values subtly here <<]. WIN

      And please don't denounce the democracy we have that doesn't rule in any case, over and over denouncing it while also posting it doesn't rule [???], then turn around and imply that Team WIN can't get a majority at the polls.

      Do you really think this is a conventional election?

      Second Democracy?

      Really?

  23. RS says:

    > The opposite is the case. Military robotics is probably the most dynamic area of advance, based on the search for intelligent capabilities with which to pursue unresolved ideological rivalries. AI arises as a tool (weapon) with which to pursue moral arguments. To me, that suggests that technical (or performance-oriented) criteria are already in the driving seat, and are extremely likely to remain there. Optimization for intelligence is available as an urgent priority now. Uncontroversial ‘friendliness’ criteria aren’t, and won’t be any time soon.

    Well, your military AI had better at least be friendly to your moral-ideological cause! (If it’s weak AI, perhaps this is no issue, but I mean strong AI.) Anyway I don’t rule anything out, but I’m kind of a strong AI skeptic, assuming the weak/strong thing is well-defined.

  24. VXXC says:

    A way forward: The modern was decisively rejected. Values were embraced and it’s only continued more and more – with fits, starts, human failings galore along the way – more and more in that direction.

    You see there really is no other way. We currently call that way “Values”. It had earlier names.
    ==================================================
    This is what the American Military in particular the Army did to rebuild amidst the wreckage of the 70s.

  25. VXXC says:

    A/I – this is currently the realm of escapism.

    Muslims call this “Shirking”. Me too. It’s a sin in Islam. It was the first sin. Remember Islam begins as a military tribal cult that wants part of the Levant as Home. Shirking your duty is a sin.

    If A/I succeeded you’d have SKYNET seizing up the Air Assets and Cylon Centurions either exterminating you or ordering you about as slaves.

    Recall that strangely our computer’s work along the same lines as the Human Brain. They mirror them. There’s no reason to believe this wouldn’t continue into consciousness. Because computers mirroring the human brain isn’t strange at all.

  26. VXXC says:

    Demography seems to firm up with confidence in your civilization and people. As noted if not here then on other pages of reaction. We experienced a mini baby-boom after the national resolve after 9/11, we certainly experienced one in 1945. For decades. It was noted that ..um..for instance Germany had one say…er..prior to 1945. Given confidence and purpose people seem to perform the ultimate “ant” act of future planning – Children.

    So if you build confidence, purpose, and delivery VICTORY then it seems the rest takes care of itself.

    Of course that requires leadership.

    Notice DEFEAT serves the opposite purpose. Germany, Japan and Europe stopped having Babies.

    Islam – if AQ is the way forward for them – then the answer is NO. They’ve stopped having babies. Why would a woman bring a child into that?

    Muslim women aren’t even interested in housework. They’re not, I was there. Osama’s housework pigstye is typical. Perhaps he didn’t beat them enough. [NO I wasn’t at Abbotadad].

  27. […] all due respect to Machiavelli and Dostoyevsky, it came to my attention at Foseti’s (where everything always starts) via the Reactosphere’s blogless, nameless, and most capable […]

  28. […] interesting discussion in the comments led to some follow up blog posts that are worth your […]

  29. RS says:

    > [the return to honor and values] **holds true across all “races”. There’s a reason I despise all the racism, it shits on my brothers and sisters. **

    So you say. My racism is mostly just wanting my own race to continue existing, indefinitely. The future existence of people like yourself — proper inheritors, your own race — is a major reason to have honor and values. Possibly not having proper inheritors in 150 years is a reason for hedonism.

    Man at large is also my inheritor, just less so.

    > Recall that strangely our computer’s work along the same lines as the Human Brain. They mirror them. There’s no reason to believe this wouldn’t continue into consciousness.

    Really? I’m not so sure.

    • VXXC says:

      Software works in stacks. Protocols work in stacks. Strangely they have just recently mapped our brains – this is after the development of computing and software – and they find..stacks of neurons.

      >”There’s no reason to believe this wouldn’t continue into consciousness.”< THEY'LL EAT US. That's my point.

      If your plan is to build the Cylons so be it, but understand you'll build the Cylons.

    • VXXC says:

      Ties that bind are what will see us through. Some of mine cross racial lines. As I know of the individuals valor I cannot discount these ties.

      I’m wearing a Celtic ring, it’s race not romantic. But that’s no reason to have unequal laws. Equality under the law, no racial codes. At all. No racial questions or calculations. Mind you that takes much of the sting from whites, justly angry at being betrayed by their tribunes.

      It also takes the livelihood away from racial con artists, babbling apes I grant you. Let them find a shovel to fill in the ditches of the inner city. Honest labor and just punishment at last.

      However I can’t be unjust to a man because of his skin simply because it was done to me and mine.

      As the law will apply with reactions hand as regards constabulary matters I think the crime problem will quite abate.

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