Category Archives: Politics

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.

Conservatism is Always Doomed

Let us posit that society is at point “X” on a particular issue.

The conservative position is to conserve X.

The liberal position is to ‘progress’ to X+10.

We can posit there are some hardcore conservatives that wish to conserve X-10, the society of a few years back.

We can also posit that some hardcore liberals wish to progress to X+20.

Now we posit an overton window is accepting of the range: hardcore conservative to hardcore liberal. There are some rightests who want x-50 and some leftists who want x+50, but these are radicals and fall outside the overton window, the debate is generally kept to the conservatives and liberals, with the hardcore of each allowed a voice but being outside the mainstream.

From this we now see the range of acceptable opinion is from X-10 to X+20, while the mainstream and centrists would be be in the range of X to X+10.

Any positive deviation from X is a liberal victory and a conservative defeat. The liberals might want X+10, but X+5 is still better for them, while X+5 is still farther away from the X conservatives are conserving.

Yet the moderate opinion is almost always X+Y, it is never X-Y, and only rarely just X. So, the vast majority of acceptable choices are conservative losses and liberal gains, while non-loss is the best a conservative can realistically hope for.

The conservative will almost always lose this game.

Of course, the game is never a single competition; in real life it always iterated. In an iterated game, the conservative will always lose eventually.

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To make matters worse for the conservatives, is that after the conservatives have lost, the centre changes.

Let use say the game is played and a compromise was reached, neither the conservatives nor the liberals got everything they wanted and the decision to implement X+5 was reached. After a few years or a decade or two, point X+5 has become the new norm for society, point “Y”. A conservative is now conserving point Y.

The game is now being played over the territory of Y to Y+10.

If one more compromise results in a decision to implement Y+5, it has come to the point where where liberals have obtained X+10, while the conservatives have lost completely.

As more iterations occur, society will always move towards the liberal position, with only slight slowdowns and the rare win of hardcore conservatives.

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So in any political body where conservatism and liberalism are the opposed choices, conservatism is always doomed.

To not lose the conservatives have to win completely every single time. Compromise is always a long-term liberal gain and conservative loss. Any liberal win is almost always permanent, while any conservative win will likely be lost after a few more iterations.

The only way for society to not become perpetually more liberal is to make conservatism the centre. If conservatism is not the political centre, the game is always rigged in the favour of liberals.

Conservatism is always doomed.

For any society to not inevitably become increasingly liberal, reaction must always be posed against liberalism, with conservativism as the centre.

Any conservative who opposes reaction is setting himself up for a loss. Reaction is the proper opposition to liberalism, conservatism is not.

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* All numbers used are arbitrary and meaningless, useful for only for illustrative purposes.

Feminism is About Equality…

Feminism is about equality or feminism is about equal rights is a common motte used by feminists. I’ve already shown how that is not true and shown the ideological reasons feminists like to push this bit of drivel, so go read that if that’s what your looking for.

Instead, today I’m going to show that anybody using this phrase inherently recognizes that equality is meaningless conceptual nonsense, or possibly that they simply grossly ignorant of that of which they speak.

Feminism has gone through a number of evolutions. There have been three major evolutions of feminism: the first focusing on suffrage and prohibition, a second focusing on domesticity, patriarchy, and access to the workplace, and the third is more diffuse but tends to focus on empowerment and abolishing gender roles.

Just in these very broad outlines we can see the contradictions of various form of feminism. First wave feminism and prohibition were virtually indistinguishable, yet one of today’s large post-feminist empowerment crusades is the “right” of women to get as irresponsibly drunk as they want without having to take responsibility for any actions taken while drunk. The need to dress sexily for men was on of the shackles of patriarchy the second-wave tried to throw off, while self-proclaimed feminist sluts of the third-wave are arguing for their right to dress as whores without being judged for it.

When you add in all the various permutations of feminism the contradictions abound even more: Sex-positive feminists and anti-porn feminists, TERFs and queer theory feminists, liberal feminists and radical feminists, equity and gender feminists, choice feminists and actual feminists, etc.

Given the vast array of what feminists desire, we can now see why equality is meaningles nonsense. If feminism is about equality that means equality is simultaneously defined as banning alcohol, getting irresponsibly drunk, dressing like a slut, not dressing like a slut, having lots of heterosexual sex, making pronography, avoiding non-lesbian sex, people with penises are men, those same people with penises are women, being economically independent, not being economically independent, being given equal access to the workforce, and being given preferential access to the workforce.

To anybody with two brain cells to rub together, this mess of contradictions means equality is simply a nonsense phrase with no real meaning besides some vague Orwellian exo-semantic feelings of ‘good’.

Anybody saying feminism is about equality either believes assumes equality is a meaningless word, has not actually thought of what they’re saying, is ignorant of even the basics of feminist thought and history, or is dishonest.

Abolish Prison

Count Nothingface made a crack at libertarians wanting to abolish prison on Twitter. I happen agree with the libertarians on this one, prison should be abolished. On the other hand, I think it should be replaced with things those same libertarians might not agree with: public whippings, executions, and restitution, depending on the crime. Prison should be abolished for a few reasons: it’s cruel, it’s costly, it’s actively harmful, and the alternatives are more useful.

1) It’s cruel:

Prison is unnecessarily cruel, yet everybody seems to accept it as normal, while thinking its alternative as cruel. Why is locking someone in a hole with the scum of society somehow less cruel than a few moments of pain. If you were given the choice between 20 lashes spread over 5 days or 3 years in prison, which would you choose?

Obviously, the former. Everybody I’ve asked would choose the former. I’m sure if you even gave just criminals the option, the vast majority of them would choose whipping.

If everbody would choose whipping then that then why is whipping considered cruel while prison is not? It makes no logical sense.

(It does make societal sense though. We do it for the same reason we send old people to die in old folks homes and hospitals: decadence. We have become so soft we hate to see pain and death in the open, so rather than accept that, we inflict greater cruelty on criminals [and old folks] by locking them away where we don’t have to see them.)

2)  It’s costly:

It costs $20-50k per year to house a criminal in a prison. A bullet costs a buck or less. A bullwhip costs a few hundred dollars. A person to execute the punishment will probably cost under $50/hour. We could save a lot of money by eliminating prison. Restitution pays for itself.

Now, the standard argument is that death row inmates cost a lot to execute, but that is only because of the insane legal process involved in executing someone and holding them in prison until they are executed. If we streamline the process, the cost would not be so insanely high.

3) It’s actively harmful:

Prison is actively harmful in three main ways. First, it separates children from their fathers and destroys families. A man in prison is not raising his children; his kids are being supported the state and single moms. This is not good for children, it’s not good for families, and it’s not good for the state.

Second, it separates a man from his community. Instead of being able to get a job, learn a skill, or otherwise doing something that would help him become a productive member of society, he is forced into prison where he becomes a parasite for years. Then, when he gets free form prison, he has become so used to the prison lifestyle that he can no longer function productively in the real world.

Third, it turns minor criminals into major criminals. Prison takes minor criminals and/or misguided youths, who with a bit of guidance or stern correction could be set right, and forces them into spending months or years interacting with nobody other than other criminals. This turns minor problems into major ones.

4) The alternatives are better:

The immediate objection to eliminating prisons is ‘how do we keep criminals from law-abiding citizens?’ The answer is execute them.

If an individual is so anti-social that society can find no better use for him than to store him in a warehouse to keep him from being around other people, he should be executed. It is of no benefit to society to keep a useless criminal alive in prison for years and I don’t see how keeping someone hopelessly caged for his whole life in conditions worse than we treat zoo animals is less cruel than a quick death after a good meal and an opportunity for repentance to save his immortal soul.

So, for perpetual criminals and the fully evil, execution is the superior alternative to a life of caged parasitism.

For those criminals who commit lesser violent crimes whipping is the preferable alternative (possibly castration for sexual crimes). It is at once less cruel and less destructive, yet also more of a deterrent. While everybody knows abstractly prison is bad, the full scope of imprisonment is somewhat abstract and not all that easy to grok. On the other hand, a whipping is real and visceral, it is easy to picture and the pain of it is easy to imagine. The sight of a public whipping would be a much stronger deterrent than knowing bad guys are locked up somewhere away from here.

As for the petty criminals and property criminals restitution is easily a better alternative. Make criminals pay monetary damages for monetary and petty crimes. In the case where they cannot afford to, garnish wages over time until the debt is paid. If they are unwilling to find productive work, put them into forced labour until their debt is paid.

This is better for a number of reasons: First, it avoids the problem of prison making petty criminals into greater criminals. Second, it keeps a man with his family and his community. Third, it helps, or forces, a man to become a productive member of the community. Through forced labour, he’s forced to contribute to society and forced to learn a useful skill of some sort.

For the above reasons, I think that any wise society would end the wasteful, inhuman, and cruel prison system and institute a humane, human system of execution, public whippings, and restitution.

Abolish prisons now.

Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

As of my writing this the Google news search of Charlie Hebdo shooting nets “About 21,700,000 results“. Rotherham abuse nets “About 27,800 results“. Rotherham rapeAbout 9,520 results“. The latter story has had four months for stories to be written, the former a couple days.

Here we can see the West’s priorities: a dozen left-wing journalists get killed by the same people they fought so hard to import and it is an international crisis that everyone must care about. 1400 innocent children get raped by those same imports and nobody gives a shit.

You should have been angry months ago.

Anyway, here’s my opinion on Charlie Hebdo: they got what they deserved  the natural consequences of their pro-immigration beliefs (Ed: Ill-phrased and added a clarification) and I’m not going to shed a tear. May God grant them mercy in the next life.

Charlie Hebdo was a vile left-wing rag that regularly engaged in anti-Christian blasphemy. They are not ‘us‘. The Muslims aren’t us, but neither are Charlie Hebdo. If our enemies want to start killing each other, why should we involve ourselves? Let them take each other out.

I do have some sympathy for free speech and I might be sympathetic if Charlie Hebdo was staunch ideological pro-free speech organization but like most left-wingers Charlie are very selective in their desire for free speech. From Charlie Hebdo’s wiki:

In 2008, controversy broke over a column by veteran cartoonist Siné which led to accusations of antisemitism and Siné’s sacking by Val. Siné sued the newspaper for unfair dismissal and Charlie Hebdo was sentenced to pay him €90,000 in damages. Siné launched a rival paper called Siné Hebdo which later became Siné Mensuel. Charlie Hebdo launched its Internet site, after years of reluctance from Val.

Charlie gutlessly sacked a cartoonist for violating a more-untouchable taboo. I guess they fear Jews more than Muslims. They are not pro-free speech, they are simply anti-religion. Why should I, or any religious person, support them in this?

To add is this:

On 26 April 1996 François Cavanna, Stéphane Charbonnier and Philippe Val filed 173,704 signatures, obtained in 8 months, with the aim of banning the political party Front National, since it would have contravened the articles 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

The people at Charlie loved free speech and free assembly so much, they literally tried to ban a political party* and silence 15% of the population. (I wonder if they would/will reconsider their dislike of FN now?)

There is no reason to support Charlie. All this is is a left-wing organization, a supporter of diversity, receiving the natural consequences of diversity. If you invite savages into your country, do not be surprised when savagery results. Mourn not for those who helped engineer the invasion, but for those innocents who suffer due to it.

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* Mike Anissimov indicated on Twitter that it may have been a joke (as did another rude person), but I haven’t been able to find a source for that. Wikipedia and the article wikipedia sources seem to be playing it straight (‘pilon’, translated ‘drumstick’ at the end, also means to pulp a book). Other sources than wiki seem to take it seriously as well. The translations of a random set of these forum members seem to take the attempted ban seriously. Now, I can’t read French very well, so I would miss any subtleties to these stories that would indicate humour and this story is from two decades ago, before the internet went mainstream, so I am having a hard time finding much. It’s possible that this is a joke, but 173k signatures is a long way to go for a joke, and there was an official inquiry into banning FN that followed soon after. I’m accepting it as legitimate until such someone shows otherwise.

The Law is a Death Threat

VD linked to a post by law professor Stephen Carter that makes a point that can not be made enough, so I’m going to reiterate it here:

That’s too bad. Every new law requires enforcement; every act of enforcement includes the possibility of violence. There are many painful lessons to be drawn from the Garner tragedy, but one of them, sadly, is the same as the advice I give my students on the first day of classes: Don’t ever fight to make something illegal unless you’re willing to risk the lives of your fellow citizens to get your way.

The government exists solely to force people to do something they wouldn’t do otherwise. No matter what the government is doing: public health care, economic redistribution, taxation, fighting obesity, etc., it is doing so by force. At the very least, they have forcibly taken taxes from the citizenry to pay for whatever activity they are doing.

Every law is a threat of violence: Do (or don’t do) this or we will sic the police on you.

The police’s sole purpose is violence, they exist solely to enforce the law through the use of the threat of violence and, failing that, violence.

But even further than that every law is at heart a death threat: Do (or don’t do) this or we kill you.

Don’t believe me, consider the one thing every government needs simply to exist taxation.

Pay your taxes or the IRS will fine (or jail) you. If you refuse to pay the fines, they send police to take you to jail. If you refuse to go to jail, the police will threaten you or forcibly move you to jail. If you do not bow to their threats or rseist them forcibly moving you, they will shoot you. If you resist being shot, they will shoot you until you are dead.

If we remove all the intermediary bureaucracy, the law is: pay your taxes or we will shoot you until you are dead.

Smaller laws and regulations hide this behind layers of bureaucracy. You might have to deal with the Department of Administrative Affairs, then the DAA’s enforcement arm, then the courts, then the Department of Justice, all before finally meeting the police, but if you refuse the law long enough, eventually the police will be there (if they’re don’t eventually arrive, then you simply don’t have to obey, but anarcho-tyranny is another topic for another time).

The police are the eventual enforcement mechanism of any law or regulation, however many layers government may use to muddy the waters, and the police’s job is, at base, to kill you if you don’t obey. Again, the police’s job is muddied as are society is soft and unable to deal with reality, but everything the police do, the Miranda Rights, the “please come with us”, the “do you mind answering a few questions”, the handcuffs, the tasers, the “stop or I’ll shoot”, all of it, is predicated on: if you don’t obey, we will kill you.

Most people in the West abide by the law and so they never go farther than a layer or two into the bureaucratic swamp; even most criminals generally obey the police before it becomes necessary for the police to kill them, so this reality is obscured by common social delusion. This delusion is how leftists can always cry for more laws but whine when the police enforce the laws on the likes of Michael Brown or Erik Garner.

Now, just because every law is a death threat and the police’s job is to kill you if you don’t obey, doesn’t make the law necessarily evil. Sometimes death threats and killing are justified. If someone was trying to rape your daughter, “stop or I’ll kill you” is justified, as is following through on the threat if necessary. Arguably, it’s the only just course of action. So, by calling the law a death threat and saying the police’s job is to kill is no indictment against the law or the police, it is simply a recognition of reality.

This reality is important to remember whenever we theorize on politics or call for more laws: more laws means more death threats and more reasons for the police to kill. It is also important to remember when someone gets themselves shot by the police: the police exist to kill, that is their job.

So remember for all political philosophy or law-making:

The government’s sole purpose is violence and every law is a death threat. Unless you are willing to kill for something no law should be made over it.