• AMMDI is an open-notebook hypertext writing experiment, authored by Mike Travers aka mtraven. It's a work in progress and some parts are more polished than others. Comments welcome! More.
Incoming links
from Rationalism
  • Connections (socially and intellectually) to unpleasant political movements like libertarianism, objectivism, and neoreaction, fueled by an antipolitics stance that is ultimately shallow.
from Weird Studies/a note on Yarvin
  • A contribution to a Discord discussion on politics. Thought this articulated some things I keep trying to pin down. (see neoreaction)
    • (note: I've got no interest in starting a vanilla political debate here, so I'm not directly responding to the question of whether Yarvin is or is not terrible or should or should not be cancelled, etc)
    • I must say I'm surprised to see the opinion that discourse and material power are separate here (although I know there must be a wide diversity of views). One of the things attracting me weird-wards is the realization that the old-school liberalism that I grew up with is just false in many respects, and one of those its its model of free speech. The liberal idea is that speech and discourse is highly separable from action and power, so you can let all manner of ideas be debated in the speech-sphere and hopefully the good ones will win out due to rationality and make it into the sphere of action.
    • But this is entirely wrong, and its particularly wrong for political speech, which is always aimed at producing some kind of power shift in the real world. Political speech is not about ideas, its about the political strength of people and coalitions. Everybody kind of knows this, too, except a few naive intellectuals.
    • And it's particularly wrong when it comes to fascism, which attacks the liberal and rational basis of society. Fascism doesn't operate on ideas; and the Trumpian form of fascism is explcitly designed to allow people to express their feelings without regard to any ground truths, which are dismissed as "fake news".
    • Liberalism doesn't really know how to defend itself against these toxic ideas, given its metaphysics. I view all the cancellation brou-ha-ha as kind of a weak immune response of liberal civilization against an invasive and potentially fatal disease. Like a biological immune response, it can go too far and cause more damage than it prevents.
    • Also I would think that all the weirdness at the margins of the Trump phenomena (Kek, meme magic, the Qanon cult, and the connections Yarvin and Nick Land) would be topics of great interest here. Maybe it's too unpleasant to think of how weird shit is being weaponized by malignant forces, but probably not good idea to ignore it either.
from AI Risk
  • Accelerationism acknowledges capitalism/technology as an insanely powerful force, but there is no hope in opposing it or trying to tame it. Not sure what their program is – surfing the wave until it crashes? They are tightly linked with neoreaction which advocates "monarchy", by which they mean a single, all-powerful nexus of power. I guess that is another approach to social agency, albeit a ridiculous one.
from vitalism
from Nick Land
  • He's later become a neoreactionary which made him seem much less interesting to me
from Meditations on Meditations on Moloch
  • (see naturalist agency. But where Landian Accelerationism is basically about the inevitablity of Gnon and preaches surrender to it (that's how it eventually merged with neoreaction); Scott still believes we can somehow escape
from tedious fights with wingnuts
  • Later I did the same thing with Mencius Moldbug and the growing ideology of neoreaction, and other wingnuts of the early blogging era. I find this stuff pretty embarrassing now. My justification was that it was actually kind of interesting to interact with people who don't share the values and axioms of your world view, but are intelligent enough to be interesting (I wouldn't bother to fight with a dumb right-winger, what would be the point, and in fact you can see I was actively seeking out the most interesting ones I could find).


30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 19 Nov 2022 10:04
Open in Logseq
    • An extreme right-wing political ideology that for some reason has a serious following in a subset of the technology world, with considerable overlap with the Rationalism community. Also called NRx by those in the know. Neoreactionaries don't like to be called fascists or white nationalists, but their writings contain astounding levels of toxic racism and calls for violence, just the sort of thing you would expect from fascists or white nationalists.
      • Scott Alexander has put a lot of effort into distancing himself from neoreaction, which is good, but he's basically in trouble for being in.a social position where he had a need to do that. Which might not be quite fair, but this is how things work.
    • Founded more or less by Curtis Yarvin aka Mencius Moldbug. I actually tried to engage with him and his followers when this movement was getting off the ground and he had a very verbose blog called Unqualified Reservations. The blog comments are gone, here's a representative one of mine ](http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/10/how-dawkins-got-pwned-part-4.html#1437567684200948985))from archive.org
      • Universalism must be a hardy infection indeed. It is the underlying motivator of everyone from Lincoln to Hitler to Gandhi to bin Laden. It rules everyone from the starry-eyed internationalists who work for NGOs to the rabidly xenophobic and nationalistic Kim Jong Il. It has infected both sides of every war in the past couple of centuries. The only people who seem to have immunity are the you, maybe a few libertarians and reactionaries, and the nations of Dubai and Singapore, perhaps China. It seems like the memetic equivalent of E. Coli -- essentially omnipresent, usually relatively benign, occasionally pathological.
    • Another very different critique may be found in Elizabeth Sandifer's Neoreaction: A Basilisk which draws out the connections between rationalism, neoreactionary politics, and quasi-Lovecraftian hyperstition .
    • Another recent (May 2022) fawning article: Curtis Yarvin, Political Theorist - Tablet Magazine
      • This gets at something:
      • The essence of Yarvin as a historical figure begins not with his politics but his talents as a computer engineer... To separate his roots in technology from the politics he developed is to miss what is most powerful about him—his understanding of the hidden designs behind the systems of knowledge and power that keep both computers and societies running. The universal rule that he deduced is almost mystical in its simplicity: Order is good, not merely in an instrumental sense because it leads to virtuous outcomes; it is good in itself. Whatever leads to more of it is also good, while anything that produces disorder is bad.
      • I think that accurately captures one of the core aspects of Moldbugism, but of course it's extraordinarily wrong. Order is not always good, too much order is oppressive, and societies need a healthy amount of disorder along with their order. "Order is good" is a ridiculously oversimplified political philosophy, and is reminiscent of of the bad guys from Illuminatus!, which revolves around a war between the forces of order and the forces of chaos.
    • Oh holy shit this is hilarious, why have I not seen this before