Posts Tagged ‘entropy’

How Modernity Will End In The Collapse Of All Empires

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

We are accustomed to thinking of our present time as the ultimate evolution of humankind. We look back and see that all of our ancestors existed just to produce, we think, what we have right now, which avoids some problems of the past, so we assume it is good. However, this is merely bias toward the present.

The problems that we consider solved comprise only part of the list of problems that we face, making our self-congratulatory triumph more a case of distraction than completion. If there is a possibility of something better, then our present time is far from and end position and more resembles a downturn before correction. Even more, we ignore the glories of the past.

If we reduce the argument to its simplest form, we find an argument that modernity has technology and wealth and is safer than any previous time, therefore is better, mainly because we fear those other times. We see bad things that happened to others and fear they could happen to us, despite making different choices than those who faced fate in the ways we fear.

Maybe that will convince us at first, but in the long term, that explanation begins to develop cracks. We see how many of our problems have been intractable because we will not admit the truth of them. We recognize that our art, literature, architecture, and even public speaking have declined to be pitiable, simplistic, and child-like. We see the corruption, insincerity and lack of innocence.

As a result, we realize on some level that our civilization is in decline. Occasionally someone says this in public, but always couches it as an inevitable result of history, and not a consequence of our choices. A prime example can be found in this chronological view of the inevitable end of the American century:

My third heresy says that the United States has less than a century left of its turn as top nation. Since the modern nation-state was invented around the year 1500, a succession of countries have taken turns at being top nation, first Spain, then France, Britain, America. Each turn lasted about 150 years. Ours began in 1920, so it should end about 2070. The reason why each top nation’s turn comes to an end is that the top nation becomes over-extended, militarily, economically and politically. Greater and greater efforts are required to maintain the number one position. Finally the over-extension becomes so extreme that the structure collapses. Already we can see in the American posture today some clear symptoms of over-extension.

Blaming over-extension provides a convenient scapegoat and to avoid the obvious condition that with power, societies become unstable, and that then shapes their citizens toward certain behaviors. The crisis proves to be not external, as he argues, but internal, as the civilization becomes unable to make choices, perhaps caused by how much a concentrated form of power is under attack from those who would usurp it. Another interpretation suggests that states which cease to focus on the internal, or self-improvement, become committed to the external as a means of holding themselves together, which is why they peak and then fall.

As is often discussed on this site, we see in these crises different manifestations of The Human Problem: our tendency to shape any activity around its audience, instead of around purpose, which we might see simply as social influences and peer pressure winning out over an ability to focus on the abstract goals of the activity. The failure of nations relates to The Human Problem, not “over-extension,” and democracy, diversity, and wealth expand it, but its fundamental method is caste revolt, by which The Herd of people without purpose overthrow those who are actually useful.

While this group are not entirely comprised of lower classes, it is the expansion of people who are lower echelon in consideration of their parallel “force of intellect” and “force of character” that overthrows nations. They are opposed by The Remnant, a small group of people who are capable of making both realistic and qualitatively good decisions — maybe five percent of your average European population — but this group usually does not recognize itself as what it is, so seems to always become overwhelmed by the others.

The basics of human civilization have not changed since before Biblical times. There are a few people who have an actual sense of identity, meaning a purpose which unites self and civilization with nature and the divine, and they make all of the important decisions that give civilization shape, where the rest are a vast crowd of people just milling around, competing for wealth and status, acting like a counter-current to the qualitative refinement of that civilization. The good want to go one way, and the rest are not so much an opposite, but people who are engaged in chaotic, pointless, distracting, or otherwise non-contributive behavior toward that goal. Certainly they do their jobs, pay their taxes, and obey the laws, but these are negative considerations, as opposed to measuring whether they advance the cause of civilization itself.

When this group wins out, society becomes internally disordered, and reverts to its most basic form, which is a mixed-culture crowd overseen by tyrannical leaders and run as an open-air bazaar. Almost all of the world, which exists at a third-world level of subsistence living, lives under these conditions, and not surprisingly, they produce little except when told exactly what to do with imminent consequences for failing to do so. Most people are slaves in their hearts, regardless of their condition outside, which is why they constantly blame others for oppressing them; this is their way of rationalizing their inner inability to be anything but slaves.

This means that degree of social order, not wealth, determines when a civilization will collapse.

Unlike Freeman Dyson who is quoted above, many of us see the broader problem: humans have forgotten — through centuries of willfully denying, erasing history, obscuring truths, and otherwise indulging in individualistic behavior at the expense of civilization — how to be civilized, which means the condition of having both social order and people who are genetically inclined to perform within it. In other words, the group gave in to the weakness of individuals, and lost its order which was larger than those individuals, thus like a body whose cells have turned against it, died.

What this means for us students of human history is that any society which does not restrain the impulses of individuals will be torn apart and consumed by them. Regulatory systems like democracy, including democratic republics, do not limit this, but rather enhance it, by shifting the moral center from the individual to following the rules. This sentiment appears also in some apropos words from John Adams:

Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. … Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.

Adams notes what Plato noted: the problem is individualism. When leaders are good, they pursue virtue instead of personal wealth because they have the foresight to know that with virtue comes qualitatively-enhanced adaptation, and with that comes wealth for everyone, but that with decline, all wealth is short-term because it is based on the stability of an increasingly unstable civilization. You can run away with your gold, but what can you buy with it, when there is no advanced civilization? At best, you get a rich man’s house in a poor man’s nation, where your children will find no mates of their own intelligence, and you will grow old among the sounds of foreign languages, with alien customs and none of the people or institutions that would appreciate anything good that you did.

With the rise in individualism, society becomes more inclined to cater to individuals, and this in turn changes individuals. Deleterious mutations increase because life is easier. Bad behaviors proliferate because they are rewarded. The ability to focus on purpose and principle disappears because it is irrelevant. Civilization turns into a race to the bottom as the lowest common denominator is rewarded. No matter what form of government this occurs under, the symptoms of the same: a managerial or outside-in approach, bureaucracy, consumerism, recycling wealth through self-referential economies, and the formation of a crowd which enforces these ideals on others.

We can even see this occurring in seeming opposites to our democratic modern state, as it did in the Soviet Union, such as modern China, which is heading for a similar boom-bust cycle because its power is based on the individualism of a consumer economy:

Alibaba has set another Single’s Day record after the e-commerce giant sold over $25 billion of product on the Chinese biggest online shopping date.

…That represents an impressive 39 percent increase on last year’s sales total of RMB 120.7 billion ($17.79 billion), and it comes nicely on the heels of another blockbuster quarter in which Alibaba’s revenue surged by 61 percent thanks to its core business in China.

For comparison, Alibaba’s Single’s Day haul puts America’s largest shopping days in the corner. Retailers pulled in a record $3 billion on Black Friday and then $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday, both of which were records.

We are emerging from The Age of Ideology, a time when what humans felt “should” be true was considered to be true because we had a self-referential crowd to enforce it through social pressures, democracy and consumer economics. When those reached global control, people realized that our way of life was miserable and would never change under the current order, and the pushback that has manifested in Brexit, Trump, and European identitarian cultural revolutions began. While the old order looks stable because it is generating money, much of this is merely hype based on its ability to sell junk to itself, and so will be as fragile as the dot-com bubble and bust cycle which is about to consume the American economy. These economic tragedies are not isolated events, but part of the larger process of civilization decline.

Donald J. Trump won because he conveyed two ideas to his audience:

  1. We need to act for ourselves, not some universal vision of humanity called “globalism”; and
  2. The old America — last seen in the 1980s — was better than the new, Leftist, globalist version.

His appeal was both practical and emotional. Americans had seen their country change radically since the increasing diversity push of the 1960s-1990s Leftist parties, who adopted the Communism vision of importing different races to erase national culture and leave only the Party as a source of meaning for citizens. Clever monkeys, they knew how to manipulate others, but only did so in a negative way which removed connections to the outsider world, and failed to build corresponding connections. This manipulation without regard to the needs of civilization creates the conditions for collapse.

Right now, the people of the West are trying to resist collapse because we are the only group with something to lose. If China collapses, it goes back to being a third-world country for another thousand years, which is not exactly unexpected anyway; if Brazil or Russia return to their original role as serf colonies, they will shrug and say “oh well,” because they never really anticipated having more than that anyway. But the first-world nations of the West, and those at the periphery like Israel and Japan, we depend on being organized as civilizations in order to survive, because only civilization recognizes what we have to offer as more important than the gyrations of tropical music, tasty ethnic food from climates where spices thrive, and the sexual license of impoverished lands.

The rising fashwave in the West emerged from this realization: people recognized that, in our zeal to tolerate the individual, we abandoned social order and gave way instead to socializing, or the habits of people that flatter each other and prize novelty in social settings, sort of like the “peer pressure” they warned you about in anti-drug ads in the 1980s. We see that the entire world has begun following this path started in The Renaissance™ and that it will doom them all, first by destroying social order, then crashing economies, then revealing a natural world savaged by our excess, and finally through the misery of people themselves, who will have become smaller, weaker, dumber, and of indecisive character.

Those who wish to avoid this fate will need to convince The Remnant of the following:

  1. Our current worldview based in individualism does not work, and any amount of it will lead to our decline;
  2. In planning our future, the relevant time scale is the 10,000 year view instead of the immediate.

We, the people who can still independently think and may possess souls, can see the crowd forming around us. They are chaotic, pursuing individual ends that ultimately do not reward them, and they are defined by being unstable, mainly because they have no direction and instead fill in the gaps with a pursuit of self-interest based on whatever trends, illusions, fads, panics, or opportunistic situations present themselves. They are a vast group of no pride in its heritage mainly because it either has mixed heritage or no distinctive ancestors, that is cultureless for the same reason, and is filling the void with consumption such that it becomes like a plague of insects, consuming whatever it can in the moment and rejecting anything more complex, essentially cannibalizing civilization for a few moments of feeling better about its pointless existence.

The modern age winds down around us as we speak. Technology will remain, so long as we have enough social order to support it with the knowledge and innumerable parts it requires, but the belief in the individual and through that in mass culture has fallen. People are finding refuge in the “old” concepts of identity, culture, values, customs, faith, and naturalism. They no longer believe that humans can socially engineer a Utopia, or that socializing provides an alternative to understanding our world and mastering it. They know that this Utopia is crashing down around them, slowly at first, but that this will accelerate.

That Utopia made itself doomed by having no internal order. It built itself around the individual, which means a civilization of many small parts, not coordinated parts which produce an order greater than the sum of its constituent elements. As it turns out, we needed that gestalt in order to have a civilization, and we need a civilization in order to be appreciated, and to know who we are. The passage of modernity into oblivion will not be much lamented.

Western Civilization Needs To Break Away From The Failing Human Species

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Next time you encounter a so-called “conservative,” you might ask them what goal conservatives aim to achieve. You will usually either get an answer about traditional values, or a short discourse on the Constitution (if in Europe, they will talk about social benefits instead).

Very few of them will point out that the word “conservative” comes from the Latin word for “to preserve,” and that this means they are preserving something. If you bring this up, they will probably answer something about the founding of the nation, or maybe a favorite decade like the 1980s or 1950s. Anything farther back is a mystery, except the founding, which since no one remembers it, is handy like a movie screen for projecting upon.

But preservation calls to mind a few ideas. We can only preserve that which is alive, so it implies a continuity with the society of the past. Since civilizations outlast governments, which are institutions tasked with preserving civilization, it means the civilization is the goal of the preservation, not government. And since fortunes vary, it brings to mind a normally forgotten dimension of thought, which is that composed of degree and quality. When were the best days, and what did they do differently? That is what we preserve, and by recognizing that there are ups and downs to civilization, we argue for a timelessness, meaning that there are some ways — folkways, customs, structures, patterns, principles — which are good no matter what the year number is. In this sense, conservatism is entirely different than ideology, which argues for what “should” be true; conservatism argues from what is real, and within that, thrusts the question back onto us of what is good, which is more complex than “right” because it combines function and morality into a single measurement.

If you make it to that point, you have found an exceptional conservative.

From there the ship departs to unknown and barely remembered lands. Most conservatives grew up with a knowledge of Western Civilization, the series of societies stretching forward from the Romans and Greeks to the present day Western nations — Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, maybe parts of France, perhaps the money-addled Swiss — who shared a similar outlook on the world and notion of what civilization should be. This group is easily spotted because it is distinct not just from those in other parts of the world, but from the people and styles of society in Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and, of course, Ireland. It will not be hard to achieve agreement on the idea that we are attempting preserve Western Civilization, and that not just governments but nations are a means to that end.

At that point, you might even ask about what defines Western societies, and the answer after much batting about will converge on the notion of a “spirit” or “principles,” rarely mentioned as seeming to emerge as if autochthonous to a genetic group who not only look like those ancient Romans and Greeks — but not their modern descendants — but appreciate and act toward the same notion of “greatness” which means not just a prosperous society, but one geared toward beauty, virtue, and a transcendent appreciation of the wisdom of nature instead of attempting to replace it with an entirely anthropogenic substitute. They might mention Plato and his quest for the good, the beautiful and the true by doing good to the good, and bad to the bad, or they might look toward a semi-modern alternative like Fred Nietzsche:

Let us look each other in the face. We are Hyperboreans — we know well enough how remote our place is. “Neither by land nor by water will you find the road to the Hyperboreans”: even Pindar,in his day, knew that much about us. Beyond the North, beyond the ice, beyond death — our life, our happiness… We have discovered that happiness; we know the way; we got our knowledge of it from thousands of years in the labyrinth. Who else has found it? — The man of today?— “I don’t know either the way out or the way in; I am whatever doesn’t know either the way out or the way in” — so sighs the man of today…This is the sort of modernity that made us ill, — we sickened on lazy peace, cowardly compromise, the whole virtuous dirtiness of the modern Yea and Nay. This tolerance and largeur of the heart that “forgives” everything because it “understands” everything is a sirocco to us. Rather live amid the ice than among modern virtues and other such south-winds!… We were brave enough; we spared neither ourselves nor others; but we were a long time finding out where to direct our courage. We grew dismal; they called us fatalists. Our fate — it was the fullness, the tension, the storing up of powers. We thirsted for the lightnings and great deeds; we kept as far as possible from the happiness of the weakling, from “resignation”… There was thunder in our air; nature, as we embodied it, became overcast — for we had not yet found the way. The formula of our happiness: a Yea, a Nay, a straight line, a goal…

If we look deeply into the Western spirit, we see that it is not of this material world, but a desire for greatness and beauty which denies the lazy impulse of the human heart to lounge in the comfortable, familiar and unchallenging. This spirit demands conquest, but first of the self, and only then through the ways of the world.

Most of humanity, even most of our own people, will never understand this and so they will oppose it as if it were superfluous ornamentation. And yet, it is the core of who we are: we are that which is endlessly becoming, pushing farther, striving not for distance itself but for excellence, which is a combination of adaptation and grace, beauty, honor, pride, and all other good things. We aspire to the greatness of life itself amplified through our consciousness, instead of denied so that we can lurk in the seemingly impregnable castle of our bodily urges and self-importance.

With this in mind, “conservatives” have a full task indeed, because their cause forms a resistance not just toward the inevitable pull toward entropy of the universe, but to the natural human tendency of solipsism, or to pay more attention to our own thoughts and impulses than to the greatness that can be found in joining with the world and bringing forth all that is excellent about it.

With that in mind, we have to realize that our people — the genetic group that produces Western Civilization and has done so over the centuries — will be a target, simply because others will resent them. This means that any attempt at preservation starts with our people, who will always be a target no matter how nice they are, simply because others resent the heights to which we can climb:

The observations of liberal African-American journalist Keith Richburg are particularly pertinent here. Richburg believes that on the Dark Continent, tribal allegiance trumps political persuasion and envy carries the day. He cites the fate of the Tutsi—an alien, Nilotic African people, who formed a minority in Rwanda and Burundi—among the Hutu who are a Bantu people.

The Hutu have always resented the tall, imposing, attractive Tutsis, who had dominated them on-and-off since the 15th century. When Hutus picked up machetes to slash to bits nearly a million of their Tutsi neighbors in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, they were, on a deeper level, contends Richburg, “slashing at their own perceived ugliness, as if destroying this thing of beauty, this thing they could never really attain, removing it from the earth forever.”

To preserve an ethnic group, you must first preserve it from itself, because people are inherently chaotic and make personal decisions based on whims, convenience, finance, and simple proximity. For that reason, the group must isolate itself by removing itself to a territory where there are no others, and actively excluding those others with a strong sense of self and the need for its preservation. Every species that has come about on Earth broke off from others, went its own way, and by excluding its nearby relatives, became something different — often greater — than the larger, more varied group from which it originated.

However, this racial-ethnic preservation alone will not be enough because in itself, it is not the grand force of unification that we need. Jared Taylor convincingly argues that instead of mere racial preservation, we need civilizational preservation and nurturing, because race alone is not enough:

I agree with Rabbi Schiller (and for that matter with Father Ronald Tacelli in an earlier issue of AR) when he writes that “so much of our civilization’s crisis goes beyond race.” While race is necessary for an explanation of the civilization of European man, it is not sufficient. If race were sufficient, there would be no problem. If racial (biological, genetic) factors were sufficient to sustain a people, it would never experience a decline as long as its racial integrity endured.

Thus, whites did not descend to their present pitiable condition because their racial purity was somehow diluted but because they conceptually surrendered their will and identity — which they did well before they began to surrender their heritage politically and materially. If race were sufficient, that conceptual surrender would never have taken place. The conceptual surrender is leading to a situation where the biological survival of the race is threatened, and if that occurs, then — because race is necessary, because no other race or people seems able to replicate or adopt the concepts on which white civilization is based — the conceptual surrender will not be remedied, and white civilization, the whole conceptual corpus, will die with the race.”

Taylor goes on to argue that separatism is therefore also not sufficient, nor is white supremacy, but that our only future comes in understanding a racial hierarchy where we are in power in our lands and other races are seen in a negative light, such that cultural forces push back against miscegenation and any kind of power-sharing. Although his logic is good, a more sensible approach might involve separation on an ethnic level, where culture is strongest and not weak as on a racial level, and a pervasive sense of xenophobia that is both non-judgmental and absolute. The point of being racially-aware is not to focus on other races, but on our own, which requires separation and alienation from other groups no matter how good, friendly, nice, or intelligent they are.

He touches on the ethnic issue briefly:

To name only the obvious, would John Kenneth Galbraith, Bill Clinton, Earl Warren (were he still alive), George Bush, Bill Buckley, etc., be admitted into the white separatist enclave? All of them are undoubtedly white, but if you did admit people like these, you would soon have all the problems that made you want to separate in the first place. There would be other debates: How about Eastern and Southern Europeans? The Irish? How about Jews? Could Yankees come into a Southern white separatist state? If there were several white racial states, would one or some ally with non-white states against the white states? My point in bringing up all these questions is that it is idle to talk about racial separatism without (a) a widely shared and well defined concept of race to which virtually all whites would rigorously adhere and (b) equally widely shared and well defined concepts of other criteria in addition to race that would prevent replication of the same errors and flaws that caused the problems in the first place.

Perhaps, looking at this from the opposite angle, we can see another path. We experience life in terms of effects which we diagnose backward to their causes; in other words, by the nature of time itself, we experience life backward. For that reason, it makes sense to look at the threat to our existence from outbreeding — the real problem behind all racial strife — as an effect of the underlying cause mentioned above, which is lack of an understanding of the spirit of Western Civilization.

Our struggle in doing anything about this is The Human Problem, namely that every organization adapts to its members instead of its purpose, purely because humans are social animals because they fear the disapproval of others or worse, the lack of approval, which in a society with specialized roles, means an inability to gain what is needed in daily life from others. Evolution worked for humanity when each person started a farm and provided everything needed for the family, but with the rise of other organized civilizations — think of the Mongols here — it became clear that centralization would occur and with it, specialization of roles. That presents to us the challenge of civilization: how do we motivate people to work together without placing the focus on individuals, who will then make the group adapt to them and in doing so, change its purpose to an inward-looking and thus neurotic one?

Davis M.J. Aurini summarizes the problem as a question of the simpler and thus more inclusive pushing out the finer and thus more elitist:

Our civilization is suffering from a failure of coordination. We are no longer able to organize mass movement with an achievable purpose, and nowhere is that more evident than in the still birth of Right wing movements. This is because every attempt at a movement compromises its purpose for a lower common denominator that will attract more adherents.

In other words, popularity beats out rarer analytical ability. This is not surprising since humans tend toward solipsism, and this encourages them toward social thinking because others are controlled with the same tokens and words used in our thoughts.

We have tried many forms of collaboration. Modern states work by self-interest; citizens are rewarded with money and services for working together. This ended up being exploitative just like the notion of uniting citizens by ideology, as in Communism or fascism, or even uniting them by religion, as we see in theocracies. If there is a problem for the ages, it is this question.

A hint can perhaps be found in the idea of inequality in nature, namely that there must be potentials which people seek to transect. For us to avoid the apathy that comes when any decision leads to about the same result as any other, which is what crushes both Communist societies like the Soviet Union and large corporations with their bloated pointless jobs, we must have striving:

I have a friend named Bob Wyman; he was the founder of a startup company I worked for a few years ago. He’s a mighty smart guy. One of Bob’s pet ideas is that we can understand a great many things about the human and social world through the metaphor of thermodynamics. In particular he likes to say that everything that is good in the world tends to reduce entropy, while everything bad increases it. For example, war is bad. This makes sense, in Bob’s view, because wars take highly ordered systems — the social and physical infrastructures of nations — and reduces them to disordered rubble. Meanwhile, wars also kill people — and a living human body is a far more ordered arrangement of the substance of the world than a decomposing corpse. And so on.

It isn’t hard to apply Bob’s idea here. For any system to be capable of producing useful work, there needs to be disequilibrium, a difference in potential. For a mill-race to turn a water-wheel, the water must flow downhill over the wheel. If the water on one side of the wheel is at the same level as on the other — that is, the parts of the system are at equilibrium — then nothing will happen. When the potential gradient inside a flashlight battery reaches zero, the battery is dead.

We need not just inequality between people, but between our current situation and where we want to be. We need something to strive for, and it cannot be anything we can fully achieve; it must be an ongoing goal, with a transcendental component such as a quest for virtue, such that we can always strive no matter how far we climb.

Western Civilization once had such a goal, when it was new, at which time the goal was to survive, and then to become the type of place its inhabitants had always dreamed of, beating back nature and enemies. Once that was achieved, a trap awaited: at the same time society became becalmed by its lack of goal, its success also led to the breeding of many of the lower echelons, which caused a Dunning-Kruger trap in that the lower classes could not understand the utility of their leadership hierarchy, its principles and values, or the need for their own position as lower echelons. For that reason, overcome by resentment and scapegoating, they revolted.

Specifying a future plan involves both external elements of form, such as restorationism and the ult right, but also an inner sense of what we want our spirits to be like that is in concert with the traditional spirit of Western Civilization. Any scapegoating, focus on economic systems, trying to use race or strong power (fascism) to apply this, or appeal to what is popular to the group will defeat us. We must become what we once were, but in the context of the future, and this requires resurrecting that ancient spirit and then picking up where it left off, in the process restoring a purpose to the remnants of our civilization.

Entropy And Heat Death

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Human convention and social lore hold that we must always be vigilant for external threats: monsters from beyond, invading tyrants, alien invasion, nuclear war or world financial catastrophe.

As always with humanity, the vivid threats deflect from the prosaic reality that the threat is within. The brutal truth tells us that most human efforts fail because the people involved give in to an impulse — greed, lust, self-importance, convenience — and lose sight of the purpose, thus become agents not of their own goal but of their own misleading desires.

This shows us that while the conventional is not incorrect, it is also not the full story. Threats occur from both outside and inside our walls, but the ones inside are more likely, statistically, to carry us away or at least prepare us to fall to the external threats. We self-destruct more than experience conquest.

Perhaps the most challenging and most typical circumstances are those between two extremes. We are oblivious to some facet of reality, so a parasite or enemy takes advantage of it, defeating us through our insistence on paying attention to something other than the task at hand and the rules of nature, logic, mathematics, information or the divine.

Focus requires constant re-investment of energy in something that is invisible. If you are working, and produce objects, even if they are useless, everyone in the crowd can say you are doing your part. If you are investing time and energy in avoiding change or decay to the present tense, then most people have no use for that, because they do not realize that without your work, decay would win.

When we are athletes, soldiers, musicians or other high-performance roles, it is understood that daily effort must be spent to avoid losing ground one has won in terms of ability. But for civilization itself? No such thing is permissible to expend, because the rest of them will not understand, and upon seeing you do nothing they recognize as necessary, will begin doing nothing.

Thus it is that human populations become vulnerable to entropy, or the process by which too many possible directions make choices difficult if not impossible:

Entropy, the measure of a system’s thermal energy per unit temperature that is unavailable for doing useful work. Because work is obtained from ordered molecular motion, the amount of entropy is also a measure of the molecular disorder, or randomness, of a system. The concept of entropy provides deep insight into the direction of spontaneous change for many everyday phenomena.

We have to look critically to see how this works: thermal energy (potential) per unit, measured in temperature, refers to the advantage to any choice in terms of heat. When a choice offers wide variance, or inequality, then some choices return a huge amount of energy, and others return less. When they are made equal, every choice returns the same, and so the process of choosing itself breaks down, and with it, the incentive to do anything.

This quickly leads to a condition known as heat death, where the lack of potential advantage to any particular choice makes the selection of options random, since any is as good as any other. Heat death causes complex systems to break down from a lack of purpose to any given choice:

For any system to be capable of producing useful work, there needs to be disequilibrium, a difference in potential. For a mill-race to turn a water-wheel, the water must flow downhill over the wheel. If the water on one side of the wheel is at the same level as on the other — that is, the parts of the system are at equilibrium — then nothing will happen. When the potential gradient inside a flashlight battery reaches zero, the battery is dead.

Without that disequilibrium, where one choice wins bigger than another, no motion happens and energy dissipates through a lack of ability to keep it in motion. An acceleration in entropy eventually begets heat death, much as when a society looks inward and stops having a purpose related to the external world, all choices become about the same.

Look at our world. You can take just about any job, and some will earn you more money than others, but you will still be there for most of your life, dealing with similar problems. You can live anywhere, but eventually some idiot will destroy that place, combining your school system with that of the poor kids across the tracks, building shopping malls and apartments, running in new freeways.

It all becomes the same in the bigger measurement of things, which we refer to as “existential.” If we have some purpose, our actions are not random, but designed to end up fulfilling that purpose, therefore converge on a few basic notions, which reduces entropy. With purpose, each action is ranked by how well it succeeds, which creates the inequality necessary to avoid heat death.

When thinking about such things, we translate them into temperature, but really, they reflect differences in information — patterns, essentially — associated with each choice. Thermodynamics provides a way of understanding the world through its underlying mathematics, as expressed in patterns, that shows us the order of life in a way that material existence never could.

In other words, we can measure entropy by the amount of variation between reality and our actions. The more we are realistic, the less chaos we introduce and thus, the farther from heat death we are; the more we are humanistic, or focused on individualism and its extension into the social group and process of socializing, the farther we are from purpose, and the more entropy we retain.

Our modern — from the age of ideology, or egalitarian — society seems to be designed around entropy-as-a-virtue. This makes sense, because the more entropy there is, the less any individual is likely to suffer consequences for his actions. Heat death is his ideal because when no action has consequences, any action is permissible, and in this energyless disorder, the individual feels he is safe from social judgment or Darwinistic consequences.

The non-modern style of acting toward purpose at first seems inefficient because there is always a shorter path to material reward, comfort, convenience and the mental stability that arises from a lack of social threats. But in the mathematics of the universe, the modern style brings nothing but a grey void, while from the non-modern style, infinite colors emerge, but they reflect order, and not the chaos of individuals expressing themselves to a sky they believe is empty in a universe where no purpose can be discovered.

How Can We Blame Capitalism Today?

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

On a lazy weekend day, sometimes one wanders into a bookstore, looking for a place of solace from the screaming engines of the world and the constant chatter of others. But since the corporate chain replaced our local stores, much has changed in the quest for a few moments to become lost in the presence of old printed friends and maybe to find some new ones.

It is hard to blame the corporate bookstore. They offered the product at a lower price, and could stock many more options. In addition, they installed a large seating area which serves coffee and treats, which makes the bookstore an ideal destination to meet someone. In our society, the only way to interact in public is through buying things, and these big stores have made that easier and cheaper.

At the same time, something was lost: choice. We have more options than ever, but because they are all about the same, analysis paralysis results like a type of heat death. Where the local bookstore, having far less shelf space, had to choose the best of each category according to the judgment of the employees and owners, now everything hits the shelf and it is up to us to wade through it.

That of course hits the limits of human tolerance. After you have sampled fifteen modern novels, they all start to sound about the same. Maybe they are; perhaps the same phenomenon has happened in the publishing industry itself, where instead of trying to find something good — an uneven, unpredictable process — they have decided to just crank out the average but turn up the irony, novelty of setting, and other surface traits to make each book seem to stand out. But when every book stands out that way, no book stands out.

Before everyone gave up on the idea of quality and focused on quantity, we had editors and book reviewers. These would do their best to filter out the good from the nonsense, and while they got it wrong sometimes, there was also a backup system of salons, professors and fellow writers who could convince them otherwise. Generally, the system worked.

It would not support a bookstore, however. The normal distribution applies to everything, and it means that 90% of books are mildly entertaining, 9% are informative and 1% are transformative. This means that a healthy bookstore has perhaps ten percent of the output of the industry as the bulk of its stock, with some classics and new releases thrown in for good measure.

If we were to do that, most of Barnes and Noble would be empty, for example. This works by me; turn it into a coffee shop with book racks and a row of internet-connected tablets or computers. Keep it open 24-7. Serve alcohol, and give people back a public space that they need. And drop the endless garbage — the 90% — that provokes a frenzy when it is new, briefly, then goes to the sale rack.

The cool kids are out there trying to blame capitalism for this dilemma. They argue that capitalism rewards the bad, and naturally corrupts every industry, and chases the lowest common denominator. The only question we might ask them is: are they sure that it is capitalism doing this, or something else?

First, anywhere the human herd goes it rewards the bad but glib, corrupts every industry, and chases the lowest common denominator. The perpetual human problem is that we tend to be solipsistic, and form together in groups to enforce this as a standard, which rewards the lowest common denominator and thus has those negative effects.

Second, we might point out that capitalism is an economic system, not a social, moral or leadership one. In other words, it is designed to keep the fires burning and nothing more. You do not ask a fruit tree for its advice on how to use its fruit; you have a social order wrapped around your economic system which directs it toward certain ends through the values and mores inherent to culture.

Finally, it is useful to point out that there are different options for economic system. You can have one that is chaotic because it is super-simplified and centrally controlled like communism, or you can admit that systems work best when distributed and localized, and have abundance with capitalism. Communism and socialism create shortages; capitalism creates excess, but you can work with that.

Who is the bastard here? I would point the finger at two other ideas: (1) the Eternal Human Problem, which is the formation of herd behavior, and (2) the naive fear of accountability in corporate America, where anyone who does not follow the current trends is seen as risky and removed the instant something “seems to” be going wrong, even though chasing trends devalues — i.e., makes more ordinary — any initiative.

Add to that the fact that we have educated the ineducable, so they are now book-buying customers, thrown diversity into the mix so that the market has fragmented in niches where low quality is more easily tolerated, dumped money on the clueless and made politics a replacement for transformative profundity, and you can see why the stuff in the bookstore is mostly bad.

Suggesting that our world needs editors, tastemakers and wise leaders like aristocrats is considered a form of blasphemy these days. It is like slapping the average citizen in the face and saying, “You’re not equal!” but it is the right thing to do. In the hands of experts, who are distinguished by their natural intelligence and not test scores or grades, we get quality; with the herd, we get entropy.

Nihilism As A Necessary Mindset For Human Organizations (And Human Survival)

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

In a chaotic world, we find that successful humans adopt a mindset to establish order. A mindset is not just a set of assumptions or a way of thinking, but an approach to life that emphasizes necessary strengths as the order for thinking.

Mindsets are effective. When you are thinking through the aid of mindset, it is easy to visualize goals and be effective. But then black swan events occur, or fragmentation of the power structure happens and everybody is thrown back into chaos.

Thinking the nihilistic way, a manager would divide his risk into two categories:

  1. Risks in the world as it is (reality)
  2. Risks in the world as we experience it (organization)

Organizations are a simulation where humans try to model order as it is found in nature, and especially its invisible portions like logic and human politics, in order to live a little longer and to reap a little more of our enormous potential.

But do we really have that potential, or is it just a figment of our imagination? After all, there is no real proof that humans won’t destroy themselves. In fact, they like doing it.

Clearly there is something wrong with the world as we experience it. In other words, there is something wrong with the basic mindset which requires the intervention of an advanced technique such as nihilism in order to solve a reality deficit in our thinking. In other words, we are not modeling order as it is found in nature, or not doing so accurately enough.

Nihilism tells us what we do not acknowledge, which is that the world as we experience it is fake. In other words, we can quite easily die from going to war based on ideological pretense, fake pretexts or just bad data -– like Iraq’s WMDs — in a situation where we are responding to the world as we experience it, including the organization, but have failed to ensure that those assumptions correspond to reality outside of the organization, human socialization and our own memories and conclusions about the issue from the past.

We might see all human failures as a type of “tunnel vision,” where an assumption is made from an initial read on the data, and we keep pursuing this idea and organizing all else we learn around it. We then deceive ourselves. If we assume that Iraq has WMDs, then any information we get will be interpreted from the perspective that those WMDs indeed exist.

And so when we see trucks moving objects to a remote facility, we assume that these are WMD parts and bomb it, not realizing that we just shattered archaeological treasures with a JDAM. If the enemy launches a missile, we assume it is a WMD attack and may respond in kind. Only when we update our thinking with new data, and change the paradigm through which we are processing all other data, can we start to see glimpses of reality again. Our big brains mislead us.

It has been reported that mankind’s greatest threat is his social organization, or the way humans in social groups pass along information and frequently manipulate each other by doing so. Despite experience over millennia, we still do not recognize this threat of fake data.

To counter this, nihilism suggests that managers should recognize the innate fake-ness of their organizations, and the “realness” of individuals. Instead of opting for control, where we set up a central command and have it micromanage others, we delegate goals and principles and let each person do what they can, promoting the best because their superior ability helps everyone keep their jobs.

We cannot write enough rules to keep institutions — a type of organization — from going bad. People are self-deceiving and self-destructive, and being clever little monkeys, excel in manipulating one another. Any organization will acquire people within it whose general agenda is to deceive so that they manipulate others into doing what benefits the manipulator at the expense of the organize.

This has become more visible since 2016 as we observe that the mainstream media is getting worse by the day. People lose their jobs and livelihood because of this; the President literally tells listeners that the media is fake. But in human organizations, like a civilization, people rely on organizational reality — such as by trusting the media — and this crowds external reality from their minds.

Perhaps one in twenty humans has the capability to be a manager, or one who keeps organizations organized and pointed toward a goal. If managers want to solve the riddle of organizational deception, they will adopt nihilism as a mindset because organizations are actually mankind’s greatest asset if managed correctly, but tend toward deception much as our world always cheats toward entropy.

But to be honest, the odds are against you.

An Economic Argument Against Equality

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

We know that there are practical arguments for the failure of equality on a biological level, namely that it eliminates striving for improvement and creates a downward pressure — averaging — instead. If we look at equality on an economic level, we see that this problem replicates itself in a different form.

Equality means that mediocrity is equal to superiority in terms of social value. This makes mediocrity more efficient because it requires more work and attention to achieve superior results. If the outcome is the same, choose the approach that requires the least amount of work; through this mechanism, the mediocre becomes superior to the superior, at least as far as the individual is concerned.

This economic efficiency explains the soft drinks, fast food, junk mass culture, mediocre appliances, inept bureaucrats, mentally lazy voters and other aspects of the blighted modern landscape: when no one is interested in quality, people do not lose jobs or income for being mediocre, and since that gives them more time for themselves, they become active apathists who deny reality.

At a mathematical level, far below the delayed consequences to biology and social order, equality prioritizes the efficiently bad. Whatever is easiest to do wins out over quality; quality, in fact, becomes an impediment, because it is an unreturned cost. Equality is a bias against quality.

With this thinking in mind, it makes sense to replace food with rehydrated soy product, and to serve people carbonated sugar water instead of real beverages. The simple, repetitive song becomes more important than the symphony. Easy-to-understand lies are more effective than complex, less dramatic truths.

Our civilization has undone itself with the idea of equality. However, through this economic analysis, we also see why individuals choose equality: they are guaranteed acceptance, inclusion and validity without having to prove themselves, which means that for them they achieve greater efficiency through mediocrity. Do the minimum, and reap the full reward.

Over time the efficiency of this approach breaks down because it reduces the value of social participation. A dying society where every person is a selfish promoter of mediocrity has little to offer, but once it was a thriving civilization, and then its carnies, snake oil salesman, sycophants, priests, neurotics, parasites and enemies joined together to leach out its value.

Much of human activity for the past several centuries has involved concealment of this simple logical fact. When there is no distinction for doing things the right way, you get less done the right way and more — across the board — done to a minimum standard. This naturally causes social order to unravel and makes people bitter, hateful and prone to take all they can and give nothing back.

As we come out of the centuries of spaced-out delusion, we can again face these simple but prevalent truths about equality. At that point, our only decision is whether we want to encourage mediocrity or superiority. There is no other option.

Death Spirals, Red Tide And Virtue Signaling

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Life is mathematical. Every organism faces a series of challenges which are defined more by numerical factors than anything else. For example, how much food is there? How many offspring must be produced? All of these calculations determine outcome more than doing one specific task so well that it overcomes the numeric limitations imposed upon it.

The mathematics of life determine survival. A parasitic disease, like a flu, that takes too many resources will kill the host and be less successful as quarantine kicks in; a rapidly-reproducing organism, like yeast, is most likely to reproduce too fast, consume all of its nutrition and die in a bloom of excess.

We see these events happen in nature all of the time. The dreaded “red tide” is one type of population bloom that occurs through algae which reproduce too much and then deprive the water of oxygen, killing off all sea life in the area. If not whacked back, crabgrass takes over lawns and chokes out every other species.

These extreme examples conceal the fact that these mathematical limits apply to every species. If there are too many deer, they will destroy enough trees that next season, they will starve. Too many squirrels means starving squirrels. But the same is even true of human attempts to form groups; if the group cannot limit its natural impulses, it implodes.

Let us look at an entertaining episode where human impulse control failures coordinated with natural over-population and created an ecocidal disaster that destroyed the overgrown species as well:

In August 1944, the Coast Guard released 29 reindeer on the island as a backup food source for the men. Barged over from Nunivak Island, the animals landed in an ungulate paradise: lichen mats four inches thick carpeted areas of the island, and the men of the Coast Guard station were the reindeer’s only potential predators.

…[thirteen years later the] herd was then at a staggering density of 47 reindeer per square mile. Klein noted the animals’ body size decreased since his last visit, as had the ratio of yearling reindeer to adults. All signs pointed to a crash ahead.

…in summer of 1966, he, another biologist and a botanist found the island covered with skeletons; they counted only 42 live reindeer, no fawns, 41 females and one male with abnormal antlers that probably wasn’t able to reproduce. During a few months, the reindeer population of St. Matthew had dropped by 99 percent.

Let us look at the mathematics of the situation:

St. Matthew then had the classic ingredients for a population explosion—a group of healthy large herbivores with a limited food supply and no creature above them in the food chain.

In other words, there is a mathematical threshold here imposed by the ratio of animals to resources given the need for the resources to replenish themselves. With few enough animals, the food source is able to renew itself; with too many, a situation like “eating the seed corn” occurs and there is no crop in the following year.

These thresholds are invisible because they are not formed of anything tangible or evident, only a prediction based on the mathematics of the situation. For this reason, human groups routinely stumble over these and self-destruct through a process known as a death spiral.

In a death spiral, a human group engages in a pathology based on what has worked in the past. They do this because of social factors, which ties into the same type of neurosis that causes “cargo cults” among human groups:

Cargo cult, any of the religious movements chiefly, but not solely, in Melanesia that exhibit belief in the imminence of a new age of blessing, to be initiated by the arrival of a special “cargo” of goods from supernatural sources—based on the observation by local residents of the delivery of supplies to colonial officials.

In these, people confuse what they were doing at the moment an event occurred with the cause of that event. This leads to groups engaging in religious rituals to bring back the cargo, even though the delivery of the cargo was initiated by events entirely unremoved from the group. This provides a good metaphor for human pathology.

A small village has a few dozen farmers. One of them has an abundant crop. “I didn’t do anything different, except sacrifice this fish to the god Ba-El,” he says. The other farmers face a difficult choice: if they fail to sacrifice a fish to Ba-El, and they do not have a good crop, they will appear incompetent to others. Whereas if they do, they are merely out one fish.

The economics of pathology unfold from this moment. The symbolic task does not represent a risk in itself directly, but will cause a “sin of omission” where those busy with the symbolic will miss actual problems. But the social cost of not doing the symbolic task could be much higher, especially if something goes wrong and then no one wants to aid the guy who did not conform.

As a result, economics dictate that people follow the socially acceptable path even though it requires the adoption of what is essentially a lie, which is the idea that the fish sacrifice made the abundant crop. The lie unites the social group. Through this method, the human group starts its equivalent of a yeast bloom or red tide, which is a virtue signaling death spiral.

In a death spiral of this type, appearance is more important than reality and simultaneously, is detached from reality much like the symbolic fish sacrifice mentioned above. This means to social success, and success in terms of realistic results, rapidly become opposites. Symbols and their referents even more widely diverge. And so, the civilization becomes dedicated to lying.

For example, the fish sacrifices may have never worked, but those farmers who were conscientious enough to plough, plant and irrigate correctly are also those prone to make fish sacrifices. And so, it appears that the talisman works; everyone does it and those who do not are not trusted, cannot get loans or sell their product, and are marginalized.

The result is that to be a successful farmer, one must make the fish sacrifice, because social factors mediate reality through the actions of other people needed by farmers. At this point, something fascinating happens.

Clearly the fish sacrifices are not working. Normally, we would conclude that the method either never worked, only partially worked or has stopped working, and place less emphasis on it. But because of social factors, we must double down and place more emphasis on it.

Through this runaway acceleration feedback loop, more fish sacrifices will be performed. They may happen daily or require more or bigger fish. Farmers will spend themselves bankrupt buying fish because to do otherwise is to lose social approval, and so to be unable to get help (loans, sales, labor) from others. Insanity replaces sanity.

A virtual signaling death spiral of this sort adds to the natural conditions for a sudden extinction: unlimited growth plus finite resources reaches a threshold, but now, the added wrinkle is that resources are being expended for symbolic and not realistic ends. This does not cause sudden failure, which is why it is deadly.

Instead, it causes a gradual slowdown. For every dollar made from a farm, ten cents go to fish. This cost is passed on to consumers, who now pass it on to others. Lawyers, teachers, and repairmen all charge ten percent more. This in turn raises costs to farmers, so they raise their costs in turn. This feedback loop continues until the economy is near collapse.

Human groups of all types fail through this process. Symbolic and social behaviors replace practical ones. Then, the group both divides itself internally over the issue of symbolic behaviors and how to interpret them, and bleeds itself dry pursuing non-issues instead of the obvious and massive actual threats.

We see these patterns time and again in human society:

  1. Communism. Being Leftist meant social success, so people went far Leftist and then destroyed their society. At the time when they needed to be fixing real problems like a lack of food in grocery stores, they were instead fighting over ideological issues.
  2. Greenland. This Nordic colony thrived on hunting ivory from walruses, but then the market discovered elephant ivory. Instead of admitting the failure of this market, the colony continued hunting walrus with the energy it should have spent relocating or finding new industry.
  3. South Africa. This colony made itself rich on natural resources until other sources were found. At that point, it could no longer support its underclasses, and mass revolt resulted in a typical diversity death spiral where two groups fight each other instead of looking toward a new source of income.
  4. Immigration. The West experienced a huge population boom after World War II and started looking for ways to fund the social benefits it had appointed to those people. Instead of admitting that it could not pay these benefits, it began importing immigrants, only to find the tax revenues from these were not what were hoped for.

Future human leaders will be more concerned with feedback loops that produce death cycles than we are now. Failure of organization to respond to changing resource needs, including to slow growth before a crisis, destroys civilizations. Instead of adapting, the dying organization relies on proxies which increase its free rider and tragedy of the commons crises.

Those looking for rules that can prevent this situation will be disappointed. Humans are biological organisms that vary in ability; those with low ability, even in the presence of enlightened rules, will only misinterpret those rules. Without perceptive leaders with the power to act decisively before a crisis, that group will fall into a virtue signaling death spiral and perish.

Collapse: Modern Sexuality

Friday, March 17th, 2017

The democratization of sex — making it available to all on an individualistic basis, or demand-based economy — has led to unexpected consequences, namely that making something universal makes it worthless, and now people are pulling away. Notice the demystification of sexuality caused by sexual liberation:

The debate was ignited on Mumsnet after one poster revealed how she disagrees with the assumption that everyone wants sex, and she was by no means the only one.

Even those who have previously enjoyed an active and even satisfying sex life agreed that they were perfectly happy never to be intimate with a partner again.

She and others pointed out that believing everyone should want sex is akin to thinking everyone must like cake or cats, and there’s something wrong with anyone who doesn’t.

Now that sex is everywhere, it has low value, sort of like running water. We are learning that sexual liberation means sexual conformity, and because the herd is all doing the same thing, value flees to those who are outsiders and doing something else, like tying sex to family and existential purpose, which makes it more valuable where “liberation” makes it less valuable.

Like all things Leftist, sexual democratization renders worthless something one prized by destroying the best examples of it so that the other examples can feel “equal.” In other words, no one gets what is beautiful; beauty is destroyed so that the average can rule. This is what the fearful and tyrannical human ego does to any segment of experience.

For example, Americans are having less sex because sex is sort of like running water or wi-fi now, i.e. everywhere and without much significance, which cries out for it to be bonded to something larger and more transcendental than what modernity has reduced to a bodily function:

American adults are having less sex than they did a quarter century ago, with married people showing the most dramatic decline of all.

The paper, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, showed a drop across gender, race, region, education level, and work status. One factor is the higher percentage now of unpartnered people, who tend to have less sex than partnered ones. But a major driver is a steady fall in the rate of sexual activity for people who are married or living with partners, which reduces what had been known as the “marriage advantage.”

…At the same time, Americans overall became less coupled. In 1986, 66 percent of American adults were living with a partner; by 2014 only 59 percent were, according to GSS data. People who are not in couples, including those who have been married in the past, tend to have sex half as frequently as people who are, the study said.

In other words, sex has become a bargaining chip. People trade it for acceptance in a relationship, and once they are in one, there is no need for a further transaction. The liberation of sex has made everyone into slow-motion prostitutes. And as a result, sex has become a chore like any other job, something done in exchange for money or power and therefore, something undesirable.

This is the nature of all things under egalitarianism. Because society is re-oriented toward a minimum, everything which is not mediocre becomes a commodity, and as the herd chases after it, its value falls as it becomes democratized or spread around. In the end, nothing is worth anything, but each prole can claim they are a king… albeit in an entropic wasteland where nothing has value.

Origins Of Decay

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The decay of Western Civilization is all around us. If you have doubts, take your history textbook to a busy public area and focus on observing what you see around you. Other than an increase in technology and wealth, how does this time compare to the past?

Recently someone asked me when the decay started. This proves challenging to answer because most commonly we know decay only through its symptoms, with its causes being invisible and buried under layers of analysis. To simplify the process, it makes sense to look at what public figures have said about decay.

Bill Clinton is known for exporting the concept of climate change to the world. His opinion was that the Earth is in decay and that it is caused by humanity. What he should have said was that climate change is caused by organizations comprised of humans, instead of pointing towards his people as being in decay.

In other words, the organizations are in decay, and this cause results in the symptoms or effects of Earth experiencing decay. We can extend this to any other type of social problem: if dystopia arises around you, stupidity becomes the norm, culture is garbage and your fellow citizens seem more like criminals, this is a result of bad leadership and hierarchy.

Decay can have multiple causes. For example, a population bloom like red tide can eliminate the ecosystem of a lake; introduction of invasive species can destroy indigenous flora and fauna and then, since the invaders are not well-adapted, cause them to die off as well. Invasive species in fact present a powerful metaphor:

All native species — not only those on islands and mountaintops — lack a co-evolutionary history with species from elsewhere. This is why non-native species are far more likely to cause ecological damage than native ones (up to 40 times more likely in comprehensive reviews of data)…

We know that about 80% of all extinctions recorded since 1500 occurred on islands. Two papers recently analyzed extinctions events and concluded that invasive species were cited most frequently as the cause of island species extinctions and invasive species are the most common threat associated with vertebrate extinctions globally.

This provides a vision of decay: the island is still there even though all the animals are dead. Eventually, life will renew itself in different forms. Driftwood will bring animals; birds blown off-course will land there and start colonies. Over time, these will adapt and a new set of distinctive species will arise.

This continuous renewal means that decay is a permanent condition, which means that it varies in degree over time but is never completely absent. All islands, societies and organizations are somewhere on the spectrum of breakdown. Organizations for example are in permanent decay, therefore requiring continuous renewal.

Similarly, human history shows us many instances of humans dying off in large numbers, but somehow renewing themselves and growing to even larger numbers of individuals. How can humanity be in decay when its populations are expanding? How can organizations be in decay when their wealth is increasing?

Comparing to animal populations exploding unabatedly, we see that the differences it that humans have the wherewithal to subconsciously know that an exploding population is a very bad thing. It is inexplicable in the natural order of things. It is out of balance. We know that this means short-term success and long term catastrophic failure.

However, this works against our need for power. Controlling population growth of anything is not a business opportunity. You do not make money from reducing the number of consumers or resources, and so if you succeed in controlling population, the business will fail and the population will fail in consequence.

Humans have always been in decay because they refuse to accept the natural order of things. This means humanity is a mistake; the human species is nature’s mistake. In fact, most planets do not have humans and we commend them on that choice. The reason for refusal to accept the natural order is that humans choose to filter out scary ideas and instead to seize business opportunities.

We peripatetic intelligent Simians have been genetically endowed with the ability to trick ourselves into ignoring bad news. Humans will never tell their children bad things, only the positive, thereby literally selection for the gene that allows for self-deception. Without awareness of the negative, people see only business opportunities, and thus every society grows out of control and suicides.

This makes humans like the animal swarm on the island: a force of its own self-destruction unless restrained by some wiser force. In human history, this force has only come through institutions like the aristocracy which concentrate ability and wisdom and apply it to the rest who will otherwise create a tragedy of the commons and destroy all that is dear to them.

Organizations of this nature need renewal, or constant struggle against the entropy within that occurs through the accumulation of bad genetics, weak people, and corruption in the principles and ways of the institution. The first goal of an institution should be to ensure its own quality, but this is the last thing that most organizations consider, which is why few survive.

Another solution can be found on the individual end. The opposite of renewal in organizations or the individual is the subsidy, because it allows bad traits to persist as well as good ones, and in fact more equally since bad traits are a lower energy investment. We need renewal in human beings as well as in organizations.

This requires humans to better adjust to nature — not being insulated from it with subsidies — in order to limit their decay. That in turn adds value to nature and knowledge of nature instead of self-trickery, and in doing so, forces the human curve upward by demanding adaptation to nature and thus creates a co-evolutionary history for the organization.

Civilization Space

Friday, February 24th, 2017

In the movie Office Space (itself perhaps a riff on the Michel Houellebecq book Whatever which came out a few years before it) the protagonist summarizes his working career to a psychologist with the following words:

So I’m sitting in my cubicle today and I realized that ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So it means that every single day you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.

Jobs are jails for a number of reasons. They are based on appearance, so everyone shows up regardless of whether there is a need or not. There is no purpose, because the task is defined by law and perceived demand, not necessity. At jobs, the dysfunction of other people comes out in the form of competition, with those who are most obedient and care least about efficient and meaningful use of time winning. And jobs are a form of control, or herding equal/interchangeable humans toward quasi-achievement by doing the same things in a mob assault. Jobs are spiritual death.

Then again, so is living in the post-collapse West.

Collapse is not an event. It is a process. It starts with slow corruption of what seems like an irrelevant detail, which is the first sign that vital knowledge has been lost, which in turn means that incompetents and neurotics have seized power. It slowly infiltrates everything, like a bacterial infection seeping into different tissues, because it corrupts language to pre-load all of the terms we use with the assumptions that rationalize collapse, like egalitarianism and tolerance (which equalizes good and bad). Then it becomes malignant as it turns those rationalizations into affirmative values, and actively reaches out for ever-increasing degrees of insanity as a means of distracting from the gaping void ahead.

In the West, each year is worse than the year before it. The changes are subtle, but they never reverse. So it means that every single year that we are here is the worst year of our lives.

The root of the problem is the thronging herd. Any time one person makes a change for the better, like Donald J. Trump or Nigel Farage, the herd creates an equal and opposite reaction in favor of degeneracy and pretentious false good things. The herd is composed of individuals, and individuals value breakdown of society because it makes individuals proportionately more powerful and camouflages their personal failings amidst a background of social chaos. But because such thinking requires denial of the role that nature, natural mathematical order, and civilization play in enabling the individual to not just act but act realistically and toward qualitative improvement, we refer to that thinking as hubris or solipsism. It is a pretentious overinflated sense of self-worth.

Each year, the people know more words and less critical thinking; the art and culture shows more flesh and flash but less aptitude for evoking a feeling of the significance of life and its meaning. Each year, the leaders are more polished and less able to respond with anything but clichés to the inevitable stream of repetitive events. The quality of everything declines where, as if to compensate, the quantity surges, meaning that we get a whole lot of nothing important at all. Most of our hours are wasted on nonsense, from jobs that do not need doing to bureaucracy, lines, glitches, and constant incompetence.

Western Civilization lies adrift in the throes of entropy, or the inevitable decay which — unless countered by an organizing force — reduces all things to an equal lowest common denominator. This state, known as “heat death,” consists of an equal distribution of energy among those granular units, meaning that every action yields roughly the same benefit, which means that choice has become irrelevant. This is the state the human mind secretly desires because in this state, there is no social status hierarchy or right/wrong. Everything is equally right and wrong, meaning neither. There is no way to screw up, or to be seen as worth ostracizing, because everything is accepted and so nothing is worth anything. Time slows to a crawl, and the world becomes grey and listless like a miscegenated race.

If the Alt Right has a mission statement, it is this: restore Western Civilization. We, unlike the herds of denial-bound daytime TV watchers, recognize that The Fall has occurred. We know we have to bounce back or we will simply fade away like Elvis. And because we are people who value ourselves, we desire the meaning that comes from a good and noble fight, and have staked our claim on being those who raise this civilization from the ashes — but not all of its people, because some or most must go elsewhere — and make it greater than ever before. If you ever wished for meaning and purpose to life, there they are, right within your grasp.

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