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Messages - Petrarca

[1] 2 ... 6
Interzone / Re: The Dunning-Kruger effect
« on: April 25, 2014, 03:06:49 AM »
This worries me too. Low self-esteem seems pretty pervasive.

How do we instill confidence in the intelligent? And if not confidence, hope?

One contributing factor is that our credentialing systems are shit. People don't have a reliable means of affirming their competence. As such, some hope might come from the obsolescence of academia. There's good reason to be optimistic about MOOCs (Massively Open Online Course) being a viable replacement.

Interzone / Re: The problem with rationalism
« on: April 25, 2014, 02:58:39 AM »
To me, the problem with rationalism is that it's very low level construct. It doesn't take much to be rational, to be able to come up with means of achieving your goals.

LessWrong is a community blog that dedicates itself to the "art of refining human rationality". It's all about overcoming biases and hacking your brain to becoming more productive. One of many problems I have with it is that they conflate values with biases, so a person who thinks in terms of ideals is considered "irrational".


If rationalism is pragmatism, then count me out. Compromise is for cattle.

Interzone / Re: What is conservatism?
« on: April 02, 2014, 03:35:47 PM »
Divine intent doesn't necessarily have to mean will of the god of the bible. Why not understand it as the intangible informational plane ordering the material plane into its best state? People without divine conscious will muck up their material state into third world living.

There's the physical plane, the informational plane, and above that, the value plane. The human mind is the only entity that operates on the value plane, and therefore, the human mind is the only thing with the divine capacity. What is value? Consciousness, meta-circularity, the ability to read and write to your given state. So unless physical or informational reality is meta-circular, I don't think that either can be conceived of as a guiding force.

Funny, because I thought that death metal was a lesson in cosmic indifferentism. :-\

Interzone / Re: Deep Ecology is bullshit
« on: April 02, 2014, 03:29:41 PM »
Can you breathe virtual air?  Eat virtual food?  Drink virtual water?

Why would we design AI to depend on such things? Even humans could be bioengineered to eliminate such dependancies. Or at the very least, to significantly minimize them. The desire to continually rely upon them is pre-emptive atavism.

Interzone / Re: Deep Ecology is bullshit
« on: March 31, 2014, 12:08:59 AM »
Virtual reality can never offer reality, since it is not real.
Real is only, and can only ever be, real, if it is real.
Hands-on, bloody-nose, or worse. That is real.
There is already more than enough simulation in what passes for life.

But what if we think of virtual reality as merely a different form of information input? A virtual database can store the same information as a virtual database, albeit far more efficiently. Why can the same be true for physical reality? There is plenty of noise in our communications that virtualization could help us eliminate. Noise as defined in Shannon's information theory, that is.

Here's another question to ask: is the DMU any less of a community because of its digital substrate? Or for that matter, why does any aspect of reality have to be built of brick and mortar?

This is a bit of fallacious equivocation. Deep ecologist = someone who wants to revert to animal skins, mud huts and nose bones? No that's a primitivist, hence the obvious distinction in terms. Deep ecology is much closer to futurist-traditionalist-minimalism than extreme techno-social regression.

I tried to address this in the taxonomy. Would you agree with my definitions? And if not, what is it that deep ecology values that isn't covered by some sort of spiritual affinity for nature?

It uplifts the...(I am trying to avoid using the word "soul" here) mind/body relationship to consider oneself as a part within nature rather than an external parasite imposed upon it. If we would realize this, we could preserve nature and a quality civilization, simultaneously.

This type of thinking is why I'm convinced that deep ecology is bullshit, or at the very least, that its conclusions are generated by magical thinking. It seems to regard nature as if it is a spiritual entity, one that demands reverence, worship, and some sort of personal relationship. Mine as well call it a religion, though I suppose that some might take that as a complement.

Everything mankind (civilization) produces relies on the goods and services produced by nature. Ecology/Environmental conservation is not just an ethics question, it's economics. Man has to be careful to not only avoid overshooting the resource base, but avoid making disruptions in the cycles of nature which produce the raw materials and energy resources a civilization relies on.

Okay, but this seems to be a secondary motivation of deep ecologist. If civilizational growth is the primary motivation, then I think we need a different term to refer to this attitude towards the environment.

My proposed nomenclature: Progressive Civilizationalist

Its defining features:
- protection of the environment insofar as it is necessary for the continued development (hence Progressive) of human civilization (hence Civilizationalist)
- no ethical obligation to the preservation of individual ecosystems, plants, or animals for their own sake

Interzone / Re: What is conservatism?
« on: March 30, 2014, 11:22:25 PM »
A divine intent, as well as personal conscience, rules society

This is a religious claim. Shouldn't we restrict our definition of conservatism to the political realm?

Traditional life is filled with variety and mystery while most radical systems are characterized by a narrowing uniformity.

This isn't obvious to me. As far as I can tell, traditional life has significantly less room for variation, as it is dictated by preexisting structures and a predetermined role within them.

We can see this in the difference between having a career and being a freelancer. The latter is becoming increasingly more viable, while the former continues to be defended by the previous generation. Why? It's a social norm, and conservatism is all about the preservation of social norms.

Civilized society requires orders and classes

This seems to be addressing a different dimension of political alignment, that between authoritarians and libertarians. Conservatives can be found on either side of this chart, so I don't think this is all that helpful of a distinction.

Property and freedom are inseparably connected

True, and true of American conservatism. American conservatism is pro-capitalist, but that's only because capitalism is the preexisting principle of resource distribution.

Man must control his will and his appetite, knowing that he is governed more by emotion than by reason

This is a statement about human nature, which doesn't offer much to clarify the boundaries of what we mean by conservatism.

Society must alter slowly.

This is the only definition that captures the essence of conservatism social inertia. Everything else seems like a misguided attempt to turn it into something it's not.

The best definition I've found by Kirk is something like the true conservative's dream is "to walk in the footsteps of his father". Continuity, tradition, inertia. All the same basic principle.

Interzone / Re: Deep Ecology is bullshit
« on: March 30, 2014, 12:28:35 AM »
I'll address the individual comments once I have more time. Despite his intellectual poise, Nydwracu can be rather imprecise with his terminology, so I agree with a lot of complaints. For now, perhaps the most useful next step for this discussion would be a taxonomy of Greens:

Nature lovers: concerned about the well being of individual plants and animals, e.g., an African elephant.
Environmentalists: concerned about the well being of systems of plants and animals, e.g., a terrestrial ecosystem.

...and also of their political corollaries:

Primitivists: desires technological regression to restore society to an earlier state, e.g., John Zerzan.
Deep ecologist: desires technological minimalism due to being either a Nature Lover or an Environmentalist, e.g., Pentti Linkola.

My questions for the deep ecologists here:
- As long as civilization prevails, why should we give a damn about the continuation of any plant or animal species?
- To those who point to the beauty of nature in its defense, what does it really have to offer that Virtual Reality won't eventually be able to match or surpass?

Interzone / Deep Ecology is bullshit
« on: March 29, 2014, 12:47:14 PM »
Sums up the argument quite well:

Edit: Some introductory remarks, courtesy of a young Neoreactionary:

positions on environmentalism+hard green+conservationism?

Systemic short time-preference leading to disaster is definitely a thing, so, while the environmentalists' particular concerns may or may not be well-founded, the mechanism underlying them definitely merits great concern. If global warming isn't true, there will eventually be something like it that is.

Conservationism is a difficult problem. There will always be people like Kaczynski who want to go 'back to nature', and I don't see the harm in keeping around some place for them if possible -- but we've already run out of frontier and we really haven't figured out what to do about that. (There's a related problem: even if we had frontier, it wouldn't be a viable escape method, given the shift away from farming. This will be ameliorated somewhat by the rise of tech jobs that can be done from anywhere with an internet connection, but only somewhat -- and once jobs start to run out and basic income takes over, most people will be pretty much reduced to serfdom as far as exit goes.)

As for hard green: primitivism is ridiculous bullshit, and not just because it's an impossibly unstable strategy unless the entire world does it. Linkola's vision for humanity is one that reduces its entire existence to a massive act of masturbation. To hell with all that.


Interzone / Re: No God, no Satan.
« on: February 17, 2014, 04:29:17 AM »
Whereas it is (or rather was) soundly based upon good and valid concepts, over the ages it has morphed into such abstractedness, that its message and its reason have all but totally dissolved.

I think the solution to this is to reclaim those concepts such that they actually become usual.

I don't believe in God, but I do believe in gods. And when I say that, I don't mean the Pagan gods, nor any other collection of gods that were worshiped in antiquity. I simply mean that my conception of godhood (omnipotent and omnipresent) has been manifested in reality.

Jesus is a god, but not for any of the reasons that people tend to call him a god. He is a god simply because his teachings have had an all-reaching influence on human culture. His omnipotence comes from the significance of this influence. His omnipresence comes from its breadth.

Note well that being a god is not equivalent to being good. Earth is currently ruled by evil gods and demons, and that's what makes it a hell. There are pockets of heaven here and there, but in the aggregate, this world is evil.

Which is why need more angels. This website seems to think that we need more demons, but that's only because they conflate angels with bondservants of God and ministers of peace. But angels are not hippies. They're not even nice. They're burning incarnations of goodness that smite all that is evil, and shudder with contempt at those who can't see it as such.

So I think you're doing wrong by saying that there is no God and there is no Satan. That's only the first step, rejecting their historical definitions. The second step is to reforge your own. If you can do this effectively, then you get that much closer to achieving the most ancient dream of man, "to know good and evil". It starts with redefining all of the religious terminology that you've junked. Once you reclaim them, you soon realize that they have a whole lot to offer.

Interzone / Re: Beowulf
« on: February 03, 2012, 05:28:07 AM »
I only read portions of Beowulf in college.  Petrarca - what translation are you quoting from there?

That'd be Seamus Heaney's, an Irish poet who is apparently fairly renowned in his own right

Interzone / Re: Beowulf
« on: February 03, 2012, 05:19:05 AM »
This poem glorifies a king leaving his land to go fight a battle in another land that is of no concern of his own people and battles with a monster that plagues another kingdom that is too weak to face it on its own.

It's worth noting, also, that Beowulf does not come to the aid of the other town while he is king, but rather many years before. It was an act of reciprocity to the Danish king, Hrothgar, for the assistance he had given to his father. My reading of it is that it is a glorification of honoring such a relationship, and also a means for Beowulf to begin his ascent to heroic status.

This poem was written during the Mirgration era where Kings justified warfare by backing underdogs.  I think the poem is a representation of that as well as anything else. Its value is that the pagan structures and values were not yet decayed and it can be used a window of these structures.

This very well may be true, my knowledge of such historical factors is not sufficient to debate. Regardless, the poem muses on so many other topics that I think it'd be a waste to cut off inquiry here. In addition to the pagan values it displays, it is also interesting to see the amalgamation of these values with Christian thought and how they were each acknowledged in their own way. Coupled with the overall theme of "the death of heroism", I think that there is a great more worth excavating.

Interzone / Re: Beowulf
« on: February 02, 2012, 06:42:33 PM »
I'd highly recommend Tolkien's lecture "Beowulf: The Monster and The Critics" if your interested in a more literary reading of it, though historical perspective (as you have provided) as also key. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/21301124/J-R-R-Tolkien-Beowulf-The-Monsters-and-the-Critics)

It's probably based on a real person and was composed for that person's pleasue and a hit among his army.  It's major use is understanding what morals were important among the warrier class in relation to a king, but it could be dangerous to look at it in that way exclusively, as this could very well have been propaganda by a monarch to justify warfare that was of no interest to his people, during an age where expansion was beneficial to rulers.

The poem spends a lot of time criticizing frivolous warfare and hardly mentions Beowulf's military accomplishments outside of his fights with the monsters. With this in mind, I don't think that it makes sense to read these fights as "battles of expansion" in disguise. Each of the monsters have characteristics similar to those of the more reckless kings mentioned throughout, and Beowulf chooses to curb such traits by standing up to them in battle. Fighting the good fight, if you will.

Interzone / Beowulf
« on: February 02, 2012, 04:58:08 PM »
A summary: The background of Beowulf is endless tribal warfare driven by unbridled vengeance, blood lust, and avarice. As a cure to the epidemic violence, morality is fabricated with ligaments such as reciprocity, kinship, and peace-weaving, though all prove to be illusory. In the foreground of this amoral battleground stands Beowulf, the good king who fights fantastical embodiments of these aforementioned vices despite the fact that his fate is to be defeated in the end.

It is a great wonder
how Almighty God in His magnificence
favours our race with rank and scope
and the gift of wisdom; His sway is wide.
Sometimes He allows the mind of a man
of distinguished birth to follow his bent,
grants him fulfilment and felicity on earth
and forts to command in his own country.
He permits him to lord it in many lands
until the man in his unthinkingness
forgets that it will ever end for him.
He indulges his desires; illness and old age
mean nothing to him; his mind is untroubled
by envy or malice or the thought of enemies
with their hate-honed swords. The whole world
conforms to his will, he is kept from the worst
until an element of overweening
enters him and takes hold
while the soul's guard, its sentry, drowses,
grown too distracted. A killer stalks him,
An archer who draws a deadly bow.

An absolute gem of ancient literature, I'm surprised that it isn't cited more often here. It's a handy reference for those interested in what it means to be a warrior, and how this is distinguished from being a brute.

For every one of us, living in this world means
waiting for our end. Let whoever can
win glory before death. When a warrior is gone,
that will be his best and only bulwark.

Sometimes it seems like they is a very low moral bar by which men are measured, but this is often an insight into the greater motives as opposed to specific actions.

So ought a kinsman act,
instead of plotting and planning in secret
to bring people to grief, or conspiring to arrange
the death of comrades.

Like most any old / good text, it requires a bit of decrypting in order to understand what is being implied. I'm interested to hear how others here have deciphered its meaning, or any general thoughts.

For those who haven't read it, here's an online translation: http://www.heorot.dk/beowulf-rede-text.html. I'd recommend the Heaney translation, but I've only been able to find it as a scrbd doc: http://www.scribd.com/doc/20757289/Beowulf-a-New-Verse-Translation-Seamus-Heaney

Interzone / Re: Nothingness after death - As uncertain as afterlife
« on: December 23, 2011, 04:21:54 AM »
At times, the meaning we create may need to be more compelling than "real", especially if this meaning is to be distributed to the more apathetic among us.

Metal / Re: Burzum - From the Depths of Darkness
« on: December 07, 2011, 04:16:28 AM »
With "From the Depths of Darkness", tell me about the journey you take the listener on?

To me it is a journey to my own past, of fighting with wooden sticks in the forest, longing for the time when I was playing roleplaying games with RPG-nerd friends. It is a journey to a time when I had long hair, when I was dreaming of a fantasy world, living life free of responsibilities and being more alone than ever, before or after. It is both sad and fascinating, it makes sense and is absurd at the same time. It was my fall into a reeking bog, but also my rise to... "greatness". In a sense I died back then, or at least I gave up living normally, but I am still alive and fighting. In a different reality.

To you, the listener, "From the Depths of Darkness" might be something entirely different, but I can hope it will take you on your own special journey; wherever you want to go. Wherever you are able to go. Your DNA is your limit... limiting your mind.


He seems to defend it as a "nostalgic" trip, revealing an expected desire to re-engage with his younger (and artistically superior) self.

Of course, it may just as likely be a fundraiser for the construction of a "tall stone wall" around his property.

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