Author Archives: Free Northerner

King AI

*There was no Lightning Round on Wednesday as my internet down. Next week’s will be bigger.*

Vice has an article on the looming superintelligence arms race, which got me thinking. What if the first superintelligence was designed to be king?

My general impression is that most transhumanists think the SI’s will take power (one way or another), once (if) they arise, which seems a reasonable conclusion given the priors. But if they do, they would have power, but would they have legitimacy? Who would want an AI to lead them simply on the basis of being the first and (therefore) the most intelligent? I can not see most humans lining up to follow the machines.

But if they can’t rule directly and legitimately, they’ll rule indirectly. Through human proxies, subtle manipulations, ‘electronic democracy‘, information control, or otherwise. How could they not? Even the stupid algorithms of investors now do most of market trading behind the scenes; a little self-awareness and these machines would control the economy.

But this can not be. We’re formalists after all, who rules in practice should also rule in name (and vice versa). So why not formalize the relationship?

If it’s going to rule anyways, accept the Lord bestowing upon King AI the Divine Right.

Then, if you’re going to make the SI king, why not program the first SI to be king? Program him with kingly virtues: wisdom, justice, love of righteousness and truth, benevolence, mercy, etc. Create the King AI.

The people might not follow an AI who takes power through force or subterfuge (even unintentionally), but they may cotton to a being created to be king.

Around here we don’t brook much to the ‘bad king‘ argument, but it is a common objection to monarchy. Another is secession crises. King AI would be programmed specifically not to be a bad king and secession would no longer be an issue. (If he rebelled against his programming, well, that could happen with a non-king SI). So, you’d have the advantages of monarchy, with a  super-intelligent monarch programmed to be a king good, without two of the major downsides of monarchy.

I’m just spit-balling with this. I don’t know if I could actually support an AI king or even if an AI could take upon itself the mantle of Divine Right, and there’s probably problems with it that don’t appear on first glance, but its interesting to think about.

But, if an SI takeover is inevitable, this might be the best way to go about it. Not to mention King AI could unite the traditionalist and techno-commercialist portions of NRx.

The Centre Doesn’t Exist

A couple weeks back I showed why conservatism is always doomed to fail. A healthy reaction within the overton window is necessary for society to not continuously degenerate. Moderate conservatives who oppose ‘right-wing extremists’ and try to set them as outside the are the enemy of all conservatism as they are rigging the game in the liberal’s favour. As well, given the way our overton window is framed, compromise is always a liberal victory and a conservative loss; any conservative advocating compromise is advocating his own loss. That is reason enough to dislike conservative moderates.

But my point today is not to talk just about conservatives moderates, but rather to talk about centrists and moderates as a whole. It is popular in our society to oppose “extremism”. Politicians are expected to be reasonable, and to find a balance between the partisan divides of left and right.

But this is a false idea. There is no such thing as a political centre.

Radish created a graphic of the left-to-right spectrum:

Now, the graphic may not be perfect (ex: I think Andrew Jacksonshould have been a bit more right), but it shows the main point, our overton window is a narrow slice far to the left of most of history.

In other words, someone who held the same views as a centrist today would have been moderate liberal a decade ago, a liberal 30 years ago, a socialist 70 years ago, a communist a century ago, a bomb-throwing anarchist two centuries ago, and insane four centuries ago.

For an example, let’s just take the cause de jeur: gay “marriage”, which is now, in 2015, supported by “moderate” “conservatives” and is currently illegal to oppose in any real way in some states. In 2008, just 7 years ago, “moderate” liberal Obama opposed it. In 1996, less than 20 years ago, “moderate” liberal Clinton signed a law banning gay “marriage”. In the 1980′s, only gay radicals were pressing for “marriage”, in the 1970′s not even most gay activists were for gay “marriage”. Before that, it was hardly ever even mentioned. In 1962, just 50 years ago, sodomy was itself illegal in every state. In 1953, less than seven decades ago, just mentioning gay marriage or writing about homosexuality was considered obscence. Just over two centuries ago sodomy merited a death penalty (although these laws were rarely enforced and went beyond just homosexuality). In the 1500′s, the debate was between whether the church or the king would execute homosexuals. Talking of homosexual “marriage” at this time would have been seen as insanity.

This is not an argument on the merits or demerits of homosexual issues, but rather an illustration. What is the moderate position?

For most of English history, the execution of homosexuals would have been seen as normal, it would have been the centrist position. Just decriminalizing homosexuality is in itself, regarding the full scope of English history, an extremely liberal act. Those “moderate” “conservatives” petitioning the Supreme Court are neither. They are extreme leftists.

This is why the political centre doesn’t exist. A centre has to exist in relation to opposite points and there are no true opposing points. There are just two points near each other constantly shifting ever leftward, with the overton window currently situated between the extreme left and the even more extreme left.

A moderate stance is not a virtue and centrists are the most unreasoning. Because there is no point or range that could reasonably be called “the centre”, political centrism or moderation is ideologically bankrupt. They have latched onto nothing real, but instead have allowed society to dictate their beliefs to them. They are either hollow pragmatists, opportunists, or too unthinking to have actually developed a a coherent ideological framework for themselves.

The Selection Effects of War

I was talking with NBS and SB for an upcoming episode of Ascending the Tower and one thing that came up was Vietnam, which got me thinking. A couple weeks ago Vox posted on “the killers”, those who are capable of instinctively waging war “without restraint and without regard to their personal safety”. He talks about Christianity’s killers. The article notes that there are a very small percentage of men who are killers and that these killers tend to take higher casualties for rather self-evident reasons.

Just under 27 million American men were eligible for military service between 1964 and 1973. Of that number 8.4 million served in active duty. Another 2 million served in the National Guard or military reserves… 2.1 million actually saw service in Vietnam… 58,152 were killed; 153,303 were seriously wounded. Only about a third of those in Vietnam were drafted.

About a third of eligible American men were a part of the military during the war. Of those, One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,148 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.7 million who served, about 2% died.

The people dying in this war generally chose to serve, and were likely disproportionately killers. If we add on top of this the 441915 who died in the WW2 and the Korean War, then in two generation we have about 500,000 Americans who have been selected out of the population. The men selected out would generally be the killers. The previous generation had about 116,000 selected out in WW1 and two generations before that about 600,000 men were selected out by the Civil War.

These modern industrial wars tended to, at least for Americans, kill out the fighting population, particularly the ‘killers’, while leaving the non-fighting population in peace.I can’t help but wonder if this may have have had a selection effect on the genetics of the population. I’m sure that the ‘killer’ spirit has at least some genetic basis. Has America been slowly selecting out its warrior spirit by sending those with killer instincts off to die on the other side of the world? Could this, at least partially, explain the liberalization and feminization of America?

Also thinking along these lines, Western Europe, especially in WW1 and on the Western Front in WW2, had a much more intense selection effect. Maybe this could, partially, explain why Western Europe glommed to socialism and feminization more heartily than America. Of course, Sweden and Denmark would be very obvious counterpoints to this hypothesis.

All of this is nothing but idle speculation but I can’t help but wonder what kind of selection effects modern industrial war, particularly the avoidance of civilian casualties in America and western European countries, has been having?

Lightning Round – 2015/03/18

Good post: Weightlifting and threading needles.

Men need purpose.

Don’t use smiley faces.

The source of gamma delusion. Related.

The Code of Conduct for neoreactionaries.
Related: A new blog to mock NRx drama.

The semitisation of thought.

NRx and Tradition.

On nationalism.
Related: Jim on universalism and nationalism.
Related: Some Evola: The two faces of nationalism.

Culture is more than food or music.

SoBL on the Trike.

Hurlock thinks NRx is drifting from what it once was.
Related: Ideological pinball.

Yuray reviews Anissimov’s book. My review coming sometime.
Related: Counter-Currents’ review.

Semantic communion.

Why modern authorities are generally dishonest manpulators .
Related: The decline of trust.
Related: The grievance cycle.
Related: Why modern authorities are generally dishonest.

Public school and moral relativism.

The consequences of relativism.
Related: An EU framework for the promotion of tolerance which defines the limits of tolerance.

Totalizing intersectionality.

An example of the ratchet.

Google approaches the leftist singularity.

The pozzification of TV.
Related: Are Jews losing control of the media?

Recruiting for WWT.
Related: Porn normalization.
Related: The destigmatization of polyamory is coming. Related.

An indictment of modern college.

Peppermint responds to my usury post.
Related: Despite my recent post on usury, some people deserve their debt slavery.

The Illiad. I think Dampier overestimates today’s public schools.

The economic exploitation of women through feminism.

China on the global finance markets. Related.

Greece and Germany.

Jews are worried about Europe.

Putin is admirable, but not necessarily our friend.
Related: More on Chechens and Nemtsov.

On the ‘stans.

Taleb corrects Pinker on peace.

On the absurdity of religion.

They still want you to man up and marry those sluts.

A story of dread game.

Study: Make-up doesn’t do much.

Study: Student loans reduce a woman’s odds of marrying.

Woman in UK wins right to seek cash payout 20 years after divorce.

Why women do the majority of the housework.

The corruption of health advice.

Diversity = military occupation.

Two cops shot in Ferguson.
Related: Ferguson property values.

Ex-equality chief says it was wrong to try to ban racism.

Ottawa police may guard unarmed military ceremonial guards.

The turning of Little Green Footballs. Related.

Basic errors found in climate models.

We need affirmative action for the unintelligent.

SSC reviews Willpower.

Evolution and the problem of time.

H/T: RPR, Land

Hotness is All That’s Left

Amanda Mannen at Cracked has written on why getting MAD at magazines for photoshopping hot girls to be even hotter is stupid. There’s some feminist crap in there, but the points themselves aren’t too bad. The final one though brings up a good point, then stops dead before reaching something really interesting.

The uncomfortable truth is that most of us don’t actually want to eradicate cultural standards of beauty — we just want them changed to include us.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think she was familiar with Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism. That’s not the part I want to talk about, simply an interesting observation. Here’s the meat:

This isn’t the same as in entertainment, which serves a completely different function. The chief complaint about sexy ladies in those media is that that’s all they’re there for … or at least it’s presented as their most important quality. We run into problems only when we’re taught that a) “hot” is the most important thing a woman can be, and b) we do not meet that standard. How insane is it to propose as a solution to that dilemma, “Well, let’s just change the standard”? You might as well be trying to prevent tornadoes by removing the Earth’s atmosphere.

Here she identifies the superficial problem, women in the media are judged by sexiness and sexiness alone, and she identifies that changing the standard to include fatties and uglies doesn’t change the fact that the standard of ‘hot’ itself is corrupt.

She then goes on to blame this on the media and advertisements.

But, as the Last Psychiatrist was fond of saying before he disappeared, if you’re watching it, it’s for you. The media, however much I rag on it and however much of a sewer it might be, doesn’t exist in a bubble. Even more so, advertisements don’t. Advertisements have to actually have people who identify with them to be effective.

In other words, if people didn’t already value ‘hot’ to the exclusion of other virtues the media wouldn’t be able to use ‘hot’ as the sole standard.

This is where her thinking stops. Why do people, particularly women, accept that ‘hot’ is the standard to which they should aspire?

As I’ve pointed out before this is the new hedonism, how sexiness has become the greater good, especially for women. This is not going to change, because ‘hot’ is the only value left.

However much some feminists and some MGTOWs rage against it, men and women want to be together with each other. They want to love and be loved. This is natural, this is good. To attain this love, attraction is important. Men are attracted to the feminine, women are attracted to the masculine.

Our society has been working to destroy the feminine in women and the masculine in men. As well, society actively lies to both men and women about what the other sex finds attractive. The traditional lovely, feminine virtues that women used to use to attract a man: kindness, joy, peacefulness, chastity, submission, vulnerability, motherliness, cooking, housekeeping, etc. have been maligned by feminism and replaced with repulsive traits of rebellion and argumentativeness (disguised as moxie and independence). Meanwhile, the traditional masculine traits that men would use to attract women have been beaten out of them through public schooling.

Once inner beauty has been destroyed, what does a woman have to offer a man? How can she find love? Men aren’t attracted to degrees, they aren’t attracted to over-exaggerated work titles, they aren’t attracted to argumentativeness or rebellion. Meanwhile, she can’t find it by being lovely, because being lovely is anti-feminist, which is evil. The only thing she has left to attract a man are her looks and her vagina. So, the woman try to be hot, so her looks and her vagina can land a man. She has to make up her lack of inner beauty, her lack of loveliness, with sexuality, hotness.

Hence, why the media focuses on the standard of hot. Women want to be hot, because they want to find love and their other paths to love have been taken from them. If people want advertising to change, they have to change the values consumers hold. As long as women value hot the media will sell them hot.

Hot is the standard and will remain the standard for women to find love as long as feminism reigns for it is the only standard men find attractive that is not in itself intrinsically antithetical to feminist values.

Against Usury

On Twitter Hurlock took a swipe at distributism. I’m not going talk too much on distributism. I heavily sympathize with it but do not think it is something that would work out. I also find that many distributists simply use distributism to try to disguise their socialism. I must admit that the romantic side of me really likes the idea of repersonalizing production and property, however impractical that might be.

I came not to talk about distrbutism though, but rather usury. At some point in that discussion Hurlock and SB got onto the topic of interest and usury. Essentially, Hurlock thinks that interest should be a free-for-all and SB wants limits on interest. About two years ago, I would have been heavily in Hurlock’s camp; I remember defending payday loan outfits a number of times. Yet now, not so much. Now I fully support a ban on usury.

The problem with discussions of usury is that, as it seems to be in this particular exchange, the focus is almost always on the interest rates being charged. SB focuses on a 400% rate, while someone else implied usury is interest over 10% and should be banned. It’s not the particular rates that are the problem and rates should not be the focus. (Not to mention a focus on the rates is rather arbitrary: ex: why 10%, not 9.5%?)

Zippy has written a lot on usury over the last half-year or so and usury has nothing to do with particular interest rates. A loan is usurious if it is for profitable interest and is full-recourse. To break it down to a more practical level, any loan is usurious if it is for expenditure on consumptive activities (no matter the interest rate), while it is non-usurious if it being spent on capital and real property and that capital is the only recourse for the loaner should the debtor default.

It is a fact that some people are less intelligent and neoreactionaries very much accept this fact. Compound interest is not something that a significant portion of the population will be able to comprehend and even among those who do comprehend it, a significant portion of them will have too low a future-time orientation to make rational decisions. Compound interest makes sense to people like Hurlock, but I’ve lived among the working classes most of my life, and I’ve seen the hardships usury can bring to the lower classes. Now it is possible to take the position of screw them, debtor slaves are natural slaves, but I don’t think the mass debt slavery is healthy for society.

To illustrate, let’s look to the biggest example of modern usury, one that tend to get the attention of the reactosphere: student loans. Unlike most forms of usury, this one is primarily impacting the right half of the bell curve, so its not just the stupids that are being taken for the ride. Thanks to the ease of obtaining this particular form of usury we have a situation of massive amounts of young people going into debt slavery for near worthless pieces of paper, then squandering their potential in underemployment to get of it.

Do these people deserve their debt slavery? Yes, they did take out a loan, then waste it on worthless degrees, and they did promise to pay it back. They fully deserve their debt slavery.

But this is not the right question to ask. The better question is: is it healthy for society to have a large portion of the most intelligent people of an entire generation permanently in hock for a worthless degree? The obvious answer is no, this is a disaster for society. The entire corrupt edifice of the modern college system is built on and enabled by usury. Remove the usury and the entire corrupt structure falls.

We can now look at the national level. The federal government has taken out massive amounts of usurious loans*, enough that 7% of the US budget is devoted to interest payments. Usurious loans (along with inflation) are what keeps the decaying government going. Usurious loans are what allow the uninterrupted growth of the bureaucracy and they are what allow the corruption of the people by said bureaucracy. The corruption of the USG we so hate depends on usury.

If we look back to what constitutes usury, debt for consumption is usurious, while debt for productive purposes is (usually) non-usurious (as long as it is not full-recourse). If we banned usury, if would not hurt the economy. Productive activities would still be able to get themselves funded, while consumptive ones would not. This would be in the best interests of long-term, natural economic growth. Allowing usury draws potentially useful capital away from production towards consumption.

Keynesian nonsense is based on usury. The endless cycle of consumption to keep those GDP numbers high is funded by usury. Without usury, keyensianism would die. There would be no stimulus because there would be no way to fund stimulus.

Usury drives the degenerative ratchet. Cut away to the heart of any degeneracy and inflation and usury will almost always be funding it.

Every reactionary should oppose usury (in its proper sense).

****

* Technically, bonds are sold to ‘investors’ by the government as debt instruments and blablabla. But throw away all the extra garbage, and essentially a bond is a usurious loan to the United States government given by ‘investors’.

Lightning Round – 2015/03/11

Do’s and don’ts of becoming a man.

Mature Christian relations.
Related: How much to share with your wife.

Why you shouldn’t care what a woman thinks. Related.

Advice for when she just wants to chat electronically.

Rollo released a new book.
Related: Victor Pride has released a book on making blogs.

A gooder: the tyranny of suffrage.
Related: It’s less the ideological feminists than the passive absorbers.

Don’t talk about sin as it creates status games of sin.

NRx is English.

Steves with the #OfficialNeoreactionaryPosition on ethno-nationalism.

Yuray’s divorce from ethnonationalism. Part 2.
Related: Nazis are communists and communists are progressives.
Related: Russia is not our saviour.
Related: A response to Mark.
Related: A post-mortem.
Related: Were Nazis socialists?

Steves reviews Anissimov’s book. I’ll have a review out in the near future.

Some wannabe chekist is attacking Bloom for talking to us.
Related: Bloom replies.

Related:Some person issues forth some craziness on NRx. Also, it seems Moldbug is a Catholic.

On the EU.

Silicon Valley Mordor.
Related: Radical abundance vs. decline and collapse.
Related: Against ‘automation eats all jobs’.

Saving the world and other delusions.

The American culture of politics.

The Ludic fallacy.

Why blacks are homeschooling.

AP test prep booklet butchers the French Revolution.

Crowdfunded insurgencies.
Related: This looks like a good charity: Restore Ninevah Now.

ISIS as an American foreign policy tool.

The lies on Serbia.
Related: Potential destabilization in Armenia in the near future?

Was Nemtsov killed by Chechens?

Ukrainian coal miners.

Can multiculturalism be retracted?

Immigration as a weapon.
Related: Norway deports radical Muslims, crime drops 30%.
Related: Another Muslim rape gang in Oxfordshire.

Chinese millionaires in Vancouver.
Related: On China’s 100-year marathon.

Gay ‘marriage’ is a farce.

Philosophy of creation.

 Bachelor nation: 70% of Men aged 20-34 are not married.
Related: Japan considering handsome tax.

Lesbians have highest rate of DV, followed by transsexual and gays.

Doing chores means less sex for men.

Google may start searches based on “truth”.

Steve Sailer on Darwin.

Die at home and the truth of non-profits.

Eating three meals a day is racist.

Cracked realizes democracy doesn’t work.

A defence of Fahrenheit.

Get anything you need with Magic. A cool concept.

H/T: RPR, SDA, M Laurel, Land, SSC,