Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Tragedy Of Badly Conceived Enemies

The sequel to Blade Runner should be best conceived of as some form of modern art. Imagery suborns the plot. Most obvious, of course, is killing unnecessary to the plot. Expensive, pointless killings- excepting as some sort of sick sacrifice to the visual. One murder and a few bombings actually sort of made sense- few other things did.

Perhaps this is a side effect of the American foreign policy trend to demonize everyone we don't like. Inevitably some evil dictator inexplicably kills children, often with military weaponry, at a time when they need military weaponry for actual military targets.

They try to deliver some sort of evil capitalist, but really, they deliver a blind and foolish version of Che.

This guy wouldn't have gotten humanity to nine worlds.

The subtext, which I doubt was thought through very much, reinforced the ideas of r/K and fourth generation warfare. Naturally, no one in Hollywood meant to do this, but their rabbitry leaked all over this movie.

And the destruction of state authority, concomitant with the rise of a cause as more important tracks well with fourth generation warfare. Civilization shall be dispensed with in the name of something or other- all things that will seem very important to the zealots, but the grandchildren of the zealot's generation will wistfully remember tales of air conditioning and indoor plumbing- should these morons get out of hand.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Surveillance: Is it inevitable?

If we have some sort of choice, and we can get rid of the massive surveillance systems, then it's probably a good idea. Certainly it accords more appropriately with my libertarian mode of thinking.

Now obviously, government has a 'king of the hill' aspect to it. In order to materially reduce it's size and scope, you have to beat it in some way, and in some material/symbolic way you have to be 'the king' and keep humiliating all the bad actors who will desperately show up to try to use government. I think we see this a little bit in America right now with Trump's presidency apparently triggering people to become extra especially nutty.

Like why do you kneel? I can imagine, should some overlord show up to subjugate us, he would not bother to check if you were kneeling in protest, he'd just want you to kneel.

But I digress, and all evidence points to much more dangerous responses happening. They will happen for a while, probably.

But ultimately, the idea is that the only way to de-politicize things is to hold the line until everyone learns charging up the hill is pointless. Then everybody goes home and actually invests in doing non-political stuff, and then maybe we can quietly take down the hill.

I have begun to think maybe surveillance is a hill unto itself. That it is already out there in force, and the only way to get it under control is take it and use it. The trickiest part, of course, is that in order to reform it, you have to remove the people who love it, and put people into place that are fundamentally opposed to it- which is a contradiction I don't know how many people can live with. And then the people you remove would likely just start doing it on their own, so maybe you can't just shut them down...

It is a very troubling thing. One upside though, is that good surveillance can help with governance. The downside is that it may corrupt.

Israel- A Poor Choice For A Model

Anna on women in the military:

It is worth noting, however, that the idea of “everyone doing their part” is rather based upon old-school communist ideology, the same that instilled children’s homes in the kibbutzim to revolutionize the family unit, an experiment that traumatized a whole generation of children. The IDF is notorious for its ineffective management of human resources – it is commonly known that quite often, women in the Israeli army are assigned office jobs with little value, because there are just too many soldiers in auxiliary positions to dispose of. This leaves many, many young women – and, to tell the truth, many young men as well – in a position of basically killing time (a little less than two years) while they could have worked, studied or started a family.

Yep. Kinda like a completely different group of idiots who have their children running around doing various things unrelated to starting a family, or building a city, for that matter. Oh, well, probably nobody around to notice, but it is nice to receive confirmation.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Accept the Political: Weaponize Libertarianism

One of the reasons libertarianism has stagnated, besides the obvious of the Party engaging in Party politics and not sticking with principle, is that the liberty minded just generally think everything would be better if nobody went politicking.

Meanwhile, most people do politics, even many so-called non-political types. This is a never ending flipping problem, and it exists both in the public and private space. So, you can't just offer a shallow interpretation of the issue based on 'let's all just not engage in politics.' You can't, for instance talk about the minimum wage laws and say we all ought to leave things alone because wages track with productivity- no. They do track with productivity- up until the point somebody can install themselves into some sort rent-seeking department. Labor regulations beget public bureacracy jobs, AND private sector bureacracy jobs. And once your organization is filled up with these creatures, they'll arrogate more power to themselves.

So, to win, one must first admit the ground is usually shifting beneath our feet. We have to look at our principles, figure out what the hell the world would probably look like if they were implemented and then diffuse the political urge by using up the political urge.

Case study: Walmart.

Back in the day, progressives would protest Walmart. Libertarians would reply by extolling the wonders of economies of scale. But the truth of the matter is found right in the fact that you are supposed to make marginal revenue equal marginal cost in order to achieve this economy of scale. Some of these costs come from the government. Thus, with less government, you'd have businesses achieving economies of scale as smaller entities.

Now, what the left did, as it always does, is bind everyone closer to the political process. Walmart got bigger, and the protesters got more regulation.

But if we can see the reality clearly, we can take short term action, obviating future regulation, preferably reducing cost, and encouraging more competition in a space. In other words, it would have been saner to end Walmart. Break it up. And wherever possible, massively reduce costs, so that Mom and Pop stores can get by with as few transactions as possible.

Now, there is another entire level of big, which happens when a company's primary business changes from selling widgets to chasing dollars by going to D.C. and spending dollars to woo politicians. This is very lucrative, and Walmart may actually be that big now, in no small part thanks to those protesters making them notice they needed to pay attention to D.C.

What I am arguing here is that the political will happen, and we need to look at how to make it happen in a way that, when the dust clears, we are better off. So, since the equation suggests lower costs from the government would lead to achieving economies of scale at smaller business sizes, we should have explained that and held out a political plan of action- we kill the big meanie corporation (which, despite being a person in U.S. law, doesn't actually have a soul), and reduce costs so people can compete. And, of course, the big meanie corporation would become many smaller ones- if done right most employees wouldn't even be out of a job- and most of those assets would still be working in the economy, and things would get better, not worse.

But if you don't offer a political action that actually gets us were we want to go, others will, and things will continue to suck. Sure, it will be awesome if one day nobody asks for the political option anymore, but you've got to be realistic and look at the fact we've got to wean people off this crap.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Perhaps Dueling Kept Bureaucracy At Bay

We tend to think of dueling in terms of personal honor, but it may have also functioned to keep incompetents at bay.

Certain bureaucratic decisions are foolish. In modernity, it seems less and less possible to directly confront foolish bureaucratic decisions. One can just be ignored, or perhaps there will be much shouting and pointing to various credentials, claims of expertise, election results, this or that metric going up or down, etc...


When you hear the sound of running water in your own house, you will probably search out why you hear running water, because you know you will see it on the bill later. If you are particularly slow, you develop this habit after you see an astronomical water bill or two.

But if you are in a place run by bureaucrats, well, you have probably trained yourself not to hear it. Because if you do hear it, you might feel the need to say something about it, and if you do say something about it, you will be rewarded with unpleasantness.

Now there are great many issues relating to management that seems incredible hard to transmit to the right people. Clearly, education would be the way to go, except I have checked into the whole realm of management education and I see instead that it is propaganda, apparently designed to make impossible for anyone to identify and listen to people who are smarter than them- and/or at least people who know something about the subject under discussion.

Dueling would be a very quick and effective way of radically transforming this class of people. If they knew they might have to defend their decisions in battle, then, presumably, they'd be a little more careful about their decisions. Plus, a rather large group of people unfit for any battle, not to mention unfit for any decision, would leave in exodus- especially after some girl who has watched too much Game of Thrones dies at dawn over the new pronoun policy she just tried to push on the company.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Staged? Definitely not a win.

Nearly all of the benefits I thought may have been achieved with Charlottesville were actually achieved with subsequent events, rendering this particular demonstration pointless.

In other words, there is every indication Antifa would have made themselves unwelcome without the Nazi golem appearing. Indeed, this seems like such a left driven narrative- since there are commies in the streets, then there MUST be Nazis to fight! And if there aren't we'll make them up, or convince low IQ people to masquerade.

And the location. I am not much for the whole idea of declaring everything a psy-op, but if someone were picking a location for a 'Unite the Right' rally, why would you risk Virginia?

So, what did you get? Injuries. Three guys in jail. They should be freed, but again, they are deep in hostile territory, and that justice system is probably packed with leftist appointees.

This doesn't look like the sort of movement that helps to create the sort of legitimacy necessary to change governance in America.

Frankly, I do hope ya'll get lucky. That every civil and criminal suit goes your way. Because what they did to you is wrong, illegal, and un-American. But it will be luck.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Substitution of the Lesser For the Greater

Giovanni Dannato on The Social Cosmology:

About a decade ago I started intuitively thinking of cultural conflicts by this model of Zoroastrian/Christian dualism. I realized that in a society of hundreds of millions of strangers, those known to all are best thought of as gods who are not people but divine representations of concepts and ideals.

Humans can only process around 150 personal relationships, the Dunbar number. The demands of mass society are so astronomically beyond those limits, we need to repurpose our mental constructs to process our environment.

The memetic spaces that used to be occupied by polytheistic deities and animistic spirits are now used to comprehend entities whose every word is heard by millions. This was how I came to understand people’s reverent attitudes to celebrities, athletes, or royal families who will never personally know or care about them.

Sadly, this seems to be true even for people who should know better:

Upon this morning's announcement that the Trump administration would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the US' Catholic leadership has responded with an exceptional degree of fury, its pointedness matched only by the rare united front of church entities which have pushed for months to support the survival of the Obama-era effort protecting some 800,000 undocumented young people from deportation and authorizing them to study and work.

US Catholic leadershp, should have, if they were worth anything, have had some exceptional degree of fury for what was done to people like me, people it had some sort of formal relationship with and could in some sense be considered responsible for. But it didn't give much of a damn about me or any of its children. Now it wants other children, another flock. It is just as bureaucratic as the secular leadership, and in lieu of taking real risks to keep a community together, it will use the churn of peoples to maintain pretenses.

But, I digress... They also prove Giovanni's point by painting Trump as this horrible demon.

Which, of course, they shouldn't, since they should have some more clarity and whatever memetic space is needed for spiritual matters should continue to be reserved for those spiritual matters.