Angst and Madness at the End of Empire

The concurrent madness of the ruling class and the angst of the bourgeoisie in our age isn’t anything surprising. Like the phenomenon of Trump, it has been an unholy union in the making for a long time. The product of empire itself. Social media and the death throes of capitalism have only made it more visible to the general public as of late. But it should be understood that while the ruling class are moneyed and powerful, they are not omnipotent, nor are they more intelligent than the rest of us. On the contrary, even as it sees the demise of the biosphere on which it depends, this “elite” class can do nothing else but marshal the language in an attempt to save its failing economic trajectory. Thus, it is militarizing our collective existential moment: not to save the planet, but to save capitalism itself. And it will do this by deflection, brutally punishing or even eradicating those who have the least impact: the poor, the working class, and the global south.

Under a darkening, climate changed sky, created by the avarice of a few and their ceaseless wars and atrocities, an imperiled and disappearing biosphere lies before us all. Therefore, remaining silent and accepting the status quo in the face of ruling class folly, cruelty and madness, should only be interpreted as complicity to the crime.

via Angst and Madness at the End of Empire

Evading the State is Good For You: Upland Natives, Valley Civilizations, Mitochondria, and Carbon Dioxide

What they found was that the mice with very specific defects of mitochondrial energy production experienced profound deleterious effects from the level of the cell all the way through to the entire organism. Their organs, their axes, and the entire mouse failed to adapt to the insult of restraint stress if the right defect in energy production was introduced. Some were more deleterious than others, but the overall point stands: if you can’t produce energy under stress, whether it’s psychological or physical materialist in its nature, you fail to adapt down to the level of your lived biology.

In my speculations, though this hasn’t been shown to be the case in humans yet, there is no reason to suspect that our own responses to psychological stress aren’t mitigated in the same or similar ways, and modern life in bureaucratic, systematic civilizations is one long constant stressor of domination that strips people of their autonomy. I think on a near societal scale we are experiencing learned helplessness from chronic psychological stress, and the people who have successfully evaded state control to self-determine their circumstances not only have a desire to do so, they also have real, material, physiological advantages, if the story I’ve woven together makes sense.

via Center for a Stateless Society » Evading the State is Good For You: Upland Natives, Valley Civilizations, Mitochondria, and Carbon Dioxide

Primordial Abstraction

Such software has certain distinctively teleological features. It employs massive reiteration in order to learn from outcomes. Performance improvement thus tends to descend from the future. To learn, without supervision, is to acquire a sense for fortune. Winning prospects are explored, losing ones neglected. After trying things out – against themselves – a few million times, such systems have built instincts for what works. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ have been auto-installed, though, of course, in a Nietzschean or fully-amoral sense. Whatever, through synthetic experience, has led to a good place, or in a good direction, it pursues. Bad stuff, it economizes on. So it wins.

Unsupervised learning works back from the end. It suggests that, ultimately, AI has to be pursued from out of its future, by itself. Thus it epitomizes the ineluctable.

For those inclined to be nervous, it’s scary how easy all this is. Super-intelligence, by real definition, is vastly easier than it has been thought to be. Once the technological cascade is in process, subtraction of difficulty is almost the whole of it. Rigorously eliminating everything we think we know about it is the way it’s done.

via Primordial Abstraction – Jacobite