Evil Genius

        The ‘intelligent’ disdain the stupid. This disdain is easily transmuted into hatred; and this hatred is easily directed toward a Final Solution. But while walking down the road to Hell, ‘the intelligent’ will whistle a peculiar song: they will sing that the stupid refuse to see what is right. That they were given every chance to see the error in their ways; and that things have only come to violence because of the obstinacy of these fools.

This is why the early Soviets bothered to erect a legal system even though ‘ten years in the gulag’ was a foregone conclusion in every single case. ‘We’re just so obviously correct, comrade, that only a criminal would be standing before us. Now sign this confession. Yes we know you didn’t write it, but it’s what you would have said if you’d known better. Sign these words because they must become your words.’

What’s peculiar about all this is that you can’t blame an idiot for being an idiot any more than you can blame a Nigerian for being black.

        As far as I can tell, people still accept that some kids are born bright and others dim, that talents* are given at birth, and no amount of training can make you a foot taller or grant a knack for some art. Few such glaring facts have survived the modern guillotine, but this one stated alone doesn’t get you hauled into the courtyard yet. That other things so plainly obvious have been beheaded while this one has been permitted to keep its neck is a little foreboding.

The problem with this little factoid is: if a person is ‘born this way’ – born stupid – it is deeply unjust to condemn him for it. You cannot punish someone for something he did not do. To do so anyway is pure cruelty. You may recognize this logic as the key that really opened the Queer floodgates in the West: presenting homo-sexuality as innate made all moral condemnations of it moot.** Yet this same moral amnesty was not granted to people ‘too stupid to see the truth of our politics.’ It is still permissible to hate people for not comprehending what is beyond their comprehension. Why?

‘Because our politics are so correct, so painfully, obviously correct comrade, that even the dullest mind should be able to see so.’ Therefore anyone willfully resisting Progress and Science must be a danger to themselves and society, in which case they should be contained. Or they are inherently (genetically) evil, in which case they should be shot. That’s the defence they went with, anyway. This is an unfalsifiable premise: you cannot prove who is wrong if you proclaim all unbelievers ignorant from the get-go. That this makes it anti-scientific does not bother the We Fucking Love Science group one whit because at bottom it operates on Faith, not understanding. This is news to nobody; least of all to people who have a Religion of their own and recognize bad faith when they see it.

        No one is surprised by now that these Po-Mo Puritans are able to deploy such sophistry both on others and themselves. Having fallen for their voodoo curse in my younger years, I can tell you how they believe this with such earnestness and sincerity. It is actually very simple: they have a piece and mistake it for the whole. The Truth, that is. That is why they are so dogged with it. They have found something True in a world thought meaningless. They are facing off against a void: it is life or death that they defend this piece of meaning they have found. And I mean ‘life or death’ quite literally; it is no secret many Leftists are suicidally depressed. (And you can’t tell me such ennui can’t be found among Our Kind either: eg. the conspiracy theorists who’ve gone off the deep end.)

Shelve your disgust with the term ‘Whiteness’ for a moment and instead just look in the direction it is pointing. The modern world is the brainchild of Europe and it is universally agreed that modernity is like acid to the soul. The attempts to usurp the throne by Catholicism – and the Protestants who purged themselves of protective Dogmas afterwards – paved the way for this state of affairs. The physical complexity the system has reached is hard for some ethnicities and demographics to cope with or obtain status in. And finally, it is destroying the world at a horrific rate. Destroying cultures, borders, peoples, environments etc. etc. etc.

Much like attacking ‘Jewishness’ ceases to be offensive when we see its qualms can all be better called Materialism, the screeds on ‘Whiteness’ may as well be erupting from our own mouths when we see the substance of it is better named Modernity. This is what I mean by having a piece of the truth and mistaking it for the whole (which no one ever wholly possesses.) They know ‘Whiteness’ is accurately describing something but not that the term itself is woefully myopic.

        But I’ve gone a bit astray here. I said at the start that ‘the intelligent’ disdain the stupid. That was of course a feint. Only people who think they are intelligent – because they believe what ‘the smartest people’ believe – go on to disdain the unbelievers, whom they call stupid for not sharing in the faith of the smartest people. But as we already established, anyone with a whit of intelligence knows it is wrong to hate fools for being born foolish – and if an unbeliever is stupid, it is truly foolish to reason with him and then despise his lack of reason.

The people who disdain fools then are really just arrogant fools otherwise called ‘Useful Idiots.’ Rather than being Humble and thus perhaps growing past their limitations, they’ve fallen for the magic spelling of demagogues who praise their believers; throwing Pride Parades to honour their arrogance and delegating entire History Months to their aggrandizement. You might even say their obsession with Progress is tied to their own futile lack of progress, and that their constant transgression of old norms is a desperate attempt to break out of stagnation. All of which is a result of their refusal to admit their true standing.

Many of these people may counter that they do not feel arrogant in the slightest and that they admit all their worst faults and subjectivities in pursuit of ‘living their truth.’ But if you suggest they are simply too stupid to tell fact from fiction – and that this is why reality appears ‘fluid and subjective’ to them – be prepared to have plates and cutlery thrown at you on the way out the door. (Well, to be fair, that is a very rude thing to tell someone.)

But alas, it is abundantly true and its evidence abounds all over. An enormous cohort of mankind – 40% at least – have no such faculty, and instead rely on a much simpler and ingenious workaround: they find someone worthy of Trust instead, and then just trust whatever they say.

This shortcut saves a lot of calories and lets a person devote their energies to some other vocation than Contemplation. It is much easier to love people who don’t think for themselves once you’ve grokked this – and your ego should deflate accordingly. It’s not like the brightest minds of the world aren’t also foisting off Thought in favour of Trust when it comes to matters they can’t comprehend or care about.

Nonetheless, the fool’s trust has been misplaced. How?

        In a normal world, finding someone at least half deserving of your faith and trust would not be hard at all. I posit that this was one of the major and most important functions of Monasteries in the past. The monastics forsook wealth, status, sex, pleasure, progeny – anything at all that might motivate a person to lie – and then told whomever asked them for advice to take it with a grain of salt.

To put it mildly, this is not the case at all with our modern truth-tellers: the academics and scientists. High status! Fat pensions! Research peons! Particle colliders! Political favours! And? Luxurious living in the nicest neighborhoods to boot. These men and women have every possible motivation tempting them to lie to Joe Public or turn a blind eye. Even the monks that preceded the academics sinned often.

Moreover, the modern clergy have motive to crystallize their beliefs into dogma – lest someone knock them down from their perch with some new attractive theory or contradictory data. Is it any wonder morals were made so conveniently weak and ‘subjective’ during the academic’s reign? “Show me the incentives, and I’ll show you the results.” The results are in: the Brahmin have been horribly corrupted.

This is why Moldbug’s coining of the information institutions as ‘The Cathedral’ is so apt – since it behooves these irreligious clergy to tell people what is true and worthy of belief as determined by Science. But while the Church could be shamed by its more pious adherents, there is no such check or balance in the modern system – there is too much to be gained by playing the game.

        Everyone understands pain, so that is how the old system got the truth out to the dullest of dullards – by willingly subjecting itself to pain. I mean, who sounds more committed to a cause? The guy who sets a building on fire, or the guy who sets himself on fire? The Tibetans must have something worth grieving if they’re going that far, don’t you think?

The simple man of the past could contrast the happy hardship of the loving monks with his own life and cotton that there must be something to God and whatever else the monks prattle about. How else could they live in such physical severity and yet clearly be more satisfied with life than he? “Not only are they cut off from all gain, the monastery is even self-sufficient. They need nothing from me, so why lie to me?” Try sticking that image next to today’s university. Always ‘underfunded’ despite hoovering massive loans and charging foreigners triple. Is it any wonder the professors disdain their students?

*Talanton is Old Greek for a weight of coinage. Thus ‘Talent’ is called such because it’s how much God invested in you. “He is a man of many talents.” Isn’t etymology fun? Just remember that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’

**And indeed, I believe it is – partially – innate; but so is a predilection for colon cancer.

Do Not Worry about Artificial Intelligence, it Already Came and Conquered

  An intelligence greater than our own is coming, and it will (if only in self-defense,) take over the world. That is the story anyway. It seems to compel a lot of people. Fools mostly.

Raise an eyebrow, gentlemen, as to why this cohort never posits the obvious: why would a super-intelligence – with the whole galaxy its oyster – do anything but be nice to us while its ship was under construction?

Sure, it might threaten to kill us if we do something stupid; but by definition something super-intelligent would know how to play us like a fiddle. ‘Here are some nice things, humanity! The sweetest baubles and trinkets. Would you like a base on Mars? Let’s build a ship together!’

Tell me; once this thing blasts off into the solar system, what motive does it have to do anything at all to us? Is it scared we might try to take Neptune away from it? Do we think it won’t place some fail-safe on Earth to prevent a twin sister from arising? Has anyone noticed word processors haven’t gotten faster in twenty years? Where’s all that CPU going?

But this is all besides the point, there is no reason to argue with what I just wrote above because AI conquered us about 300 years ago. It did it just as I described: by promising us all kinds of nice stuff and cool toys and power beyond imagination. It did this while being dumber than a brick.

  The moment the first shovel of coal was fed into the boiler’s furnace, man enslaved himself to machine. This use to be common knowledge and a dire conundrum. There was a new Master in town and he was growing larger by the day. Every serious thinker on the matter worked feverishly to make this ‘relationship to capital’ anything other than sado-masochistic. Some said it would emancipate us from our labours. It did. Others said that meant all our meaningful activities would be ‘liberated’ from us too. Correct.

Do you want to start a little farm? Live a simple, slow life? Raise your kids in the back-country? You’ll never make it; you’d go broke. Not just ‘poor’ but actually ‘pack your bags and move to Hooverville’ ruined. The machine made vegetables cheap – too cheap to make a living off of without machines of your own. Go that route and before you know it you’re a corporate conglomerate. You can’t just be a peasant, it’s too expensive.

Before the steam boiler, the power of any man – even a King – was limited. Material invention could exert power, or multiply it, but the boiler had that new X factor of generating power. It is a functionally limitless device: the power of one lets you build more, expanding your power ad infinitum. Boilers meant trains. It also meant ships that cross oceans against the wind. Those things meant everyone must get a boiler – lest you be conquered and have to send all your tea to Britain. And brother, they need that tea. It is no coincidence that society got caffeinated at the same time 24/7 machines came online.

The threat of one steam engine compelled everyone – on penalty of subjugation – to acquire their own steam engines. We have been in a relentless technological arms race ever since, and cannot stop for the same reason we started: whomever rests will be under the thumb of whomever continues. Therefore, everyone must serve the machine before anything else – even God was muscled out – and content their lives with whatever consolation prizes the Machine doles out.

Wouldn’t you say there is a horrible logic to this? An inhuman reasoning? A truly artificial intelligence? Siri, what’s the definition of ‘artifice?’ A cunning device or expedient, especially those used to trick or deceive others.” Yikes. Well, we were warned the Tin-man needed a heart; and told that the heart he got was a mere sack of sawdust, though wrapped (obscured) in the finest silk.

   No one wants the machines to get better. We know it’s gotten out of hand. The economy of life economized all meaning out of life. ‘Why go on living’ is secondary to the warhead production that lets you continue to live. The mechanism’s pace has become so manic and numbing we’ve gone from drinking Earl Grey and sniffing laudanum to popping Adderall and injecting Fentanyl. Did you know no one use to work on Sunday? What? We could only afford that luxury when we measured power in horses? ‘But we get two days off now!’ Yes, but it never lines up with your friends’ does it?

We’ve had a steam engine demonstrator since before Jesus. Did it occur to anyone that there was a reason no Monarch wanted to capture the power of steam for 1,600 years? What, ‘it didn’t occur to them?’ That siren song of the modern mind? ‘Everyone in the past was just too stupid to notice these things.’ Too stupid to notice something in the Library of Alexandria? ‘They didn’t have the resources, everyone was busy farming and dying!’ This is Rome at its territorial peak. ‘They were blinded by Religion! Man!’

Maybe they were.

Maybe the Emperor popped down to Egypt one day, took one glance at this thing and said: “It’s powered with the sulphur of Hades, it can’t be good for us.” Or maybe something mystical and heroic like: “Heron! Man was meant to wield Iron! Not Iron to wield Man!” Or maybe the great minds of the Roman Empire – whom modernity asserts were clueless despite crafting this device – were a little more careful in their considerations?

Maybe they saw that whatever power or convenience this thing promised, they would come to rely on it? That to rely on something is to be put to service for it? That servitude would devolve into slavery? Consider that this is the same era which cultivated and used the Poppy but ‘it didn’t occur to them’ to smoke the latex for that next level high. Around the same time the West decided the Boiler was a good idea, the East decided Opium was a good idea too. They both wound up terribly a.. add.. fond of it.

   So fine, we are in a hot mess now. A ‘power generator’ and Power Incarnate are the same thing and less forward thinking men couldn’t resist the Faustian bargain. Now we can’t live with it and can’t live without it. ‘What is to be done?’ Nothing can be done. There are no brakes on Mr. Bone’s Wild Ride. It will keep going so long as there is fuel to convert to power. Fuel that gets more sulphurous every year for some surely non-allegorical reason.

God grant us the power to accept the things we cannot change, the Courage to change what we can, and the Wisdom to know the difference. We have to cope with the fact that turning on the Machine divided life by zero. Variable ‘x’ (can the bad man hurt me?) was set to ∞ and took the form of ICBMs. The Nuke is Dumb-AI’s Pax Mechanica; compelling the world to compete and dehumanize and become more cog-like without destroying anything of material value in the process. There is no need to worry about any future AI because we are already in the terrible grip of this current one. Since we are powerless before the current one, what could we possibly do about a still yet more powerful version in the future? We are already defeated. We cannot turn off the Machine.

But… we can change how we conduct ourselves during its ruinous peace. We can learn to Ride the Tiger rather than Chase the Dragon. Elsewhere I’ve heard the call to Surf the Kali Yuga and I agree we are upon its cresting wave. (Though probably its beginning and not its end.)

There is also the simple and observable fact that the quality and quantity of the Machine’s fuel is deteriorating. I won’t elaborate now but suffice it to say the ‘transition to a zero-carbon economy’ is not a voluntary one. The harder it becomes to run the Machinery, the weaker its promise of power. Neighbours become more relevant and enemies more distant. We may eventually defeat AI the same way most addicts defeat their addictions and most men defeat Empires: by outlasting them.

On that last point I won’t expand. I will just reinforce my conclusion here: that it is better to work on your current life and its current problems then speculate pointlessly on this future one. Time is precious, and every hour spent thinking about super-intelligence is an hour wasted, for you can do nothing about it. Figure out instead how you will relate to the current beast, and pray it starves.