Making Sense of the Downward Spiral, Daniel Sc

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techstepgenr8tion
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02 Jun 2020, 11:45 pm

I posted this in the News And Current Events thread on the topic but over here I think it warrants it's own discussion. It looks like Daniel has everyone on Zoom and is trying to share some thoughts about current events and how we might best analyze them:


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05 Jun 2020, 8:03 pm

I intended to watch this and still do, but it's late, again. Too late to start.

But the other day when you posted it I thought I'd goigle for the guy, because I had come across the name before in Germany.

I read his CV. ... And I was a bit confused. He's apparently now concerned with the long term development of the species. ... I wonder if he's ever read history - one of the more noticeable things seems to be that long term development plans have proven to have a short half-life.


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06 Jun 2020, 12:17 am

shlaifu wrote:
I read his CV. ... And I was a bit confused. He's apparently now concerned with the long term development of the species. ... I wonder if he's ever read history - one of the more noticeable things seems to be that long term development plans have proven to have a short half-life.

I've been listening to him when I can for a while, similar type of thinker to Jordan Hall but possibly even a bit sharper. I posted his chat with Eric Weinstein on The Portal Ep 27, that was 3 1/2 hours but one of the strongest Portal episodes in my opinion on the level of engagement of meaningful social issues.

I would recommend, if you're not familiar with him giving something a go - maybe some section of The Portal Ep. 27 before this, and hear him out on his content. He also held up a couple portions of Rebel Wisdom's 'The War on Sensemaking', I only say a couple becuase I know he did part I and II, I believe Jamie Wheal took part III if I remember correctly.


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06 Jun 2020, 4:28 pm

Thanks, I'll check that out.
I listened to the video above, and found it to be full of platitudes thoguh - but I though: well, it's meant for popular appeal, not academic.
What surprised me is that he mentioned to have rad baudrillard, yet he still thinks of postmodernism as this evil meomarxist conspiracy. Usually, people who actually read the postmodern guys realize quite quickly that they are very intelligent sceptics, and also sceptic of marxism.

I'm somewhat surprised by this idea of 'sense-making' though. I don't understand why he thinks that's possible beyond human narratives and scientific facts (but those don't really go together. The knowledge of Quantum mechanics is meaningless in itself for human stories, only interpreted as technology *based on quantum effects* it has an effect.) Scientific facts sometimes knock over human stories, like evolution knocked over the idea of human exceptionalism.
What I mean is: there's no reason why things should make sense, other that that's how human brains work. "Sense" gives us a little dopamine hit. That may be all there is....


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06 Jun 2020, 5:51 pm

half an hour into portal ep.27 they seem to be discussig bruno latour's terrestrian manifesto... you know, bruno latour, who declared scientific fact a social construct. one of the arch-postmodernists. his books were some of the most enlightening books I've read in the last ten years. they're also ridiculously hard to read, and I wonder if it's because the translation from french is so inadequate...

anyway. what I find fascinating is that there's two smart, rich guys discussing the fate of the world. as if there was one global solution these guys could come up with in their armchairs. this has been going on for centuries: rich guys who got rich in a system that exploited workers and the environment etc. talking about hiw to save the world. well, how about thiel capital's eric weinstein divests thiel capital's money away from companies that harm the environment?


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06 Jun 2020, 6:33 pm

Part of why I appreciate your insights is they tend to chop almost orthogonal to my own in a lot of respects on these sorts of things and typically they're good critiques.

I think the best way I wrap my head around the Rebel Wisdom narrative is as outlined by Jordan Hall, that is to say there was this massive institutional structure which filtered information for us since the mid 20th century and kept the variety of narratives to a minimum. The 'blue church' (Jordan's name for this structure) ran on centralizing and then focusing people's attention on a particular problem at a time. The benefit - they helped keep society organized and rowing in the same direction at the same time, a bit like the barker on a canoe who sets the rhythm, the downside - complex and nuanced problems (especially issues like that of the commons) are ones that they can't get their fingernails under because their hallmark is low-resolution grand narratives designed for someone with a fourth or fifth grade reading comprehension level to be able to track.

From here, from 2000 onward, accelerating with the global financial crisis of 2008, you had a disintegration of both the quality and capacity of the classic institutional media and the institutional filters who seemed to be drifting further and further off point or forced to defend (coopted / captured by) bigger and bigger crooks. That tied in with that same 1973 to 1980 knee where worker productivity broke from wages started getting really pronounced through the 2000's and early 2010's, the problem accelerates, the 'blue church' has been crumbling, and so the claim would be that we're in an interegnum between institutions of the sort that can achieve and hold coherence. Jordan Hall's prediction of what's comming next is something he's titled the 'red religion' which is decentralized sense-making. What I think could be criticized relatively easily is it seems like what he models of the red church is its a bit like Silicon Valley savants and geeks talking to other people who are like them all over the globe and all over the US, trying to use the mentality of listening to what people say very carefully whose messages and ideas are catching surface in society - even when it seems like they're mostly wrong - for the sake of identifying what actual signal there is in what they're saying, if there is a new formulation of something true and important under the dross the idea is that nerd network would be doing what they can to clean up, iterate, and as time goes on amplify a coherent understanding of what was before only a vague feeling someone had, couldn't articulate, and was coming out in something almost more like a spasm.

I don't necessarily think the idea is crazy, the only thing I'm starting to worry about - can enough normal people think this way or accept their information sourced and filtered by people this way. They'd also have to deliver narratives on multiple levels of resolution. For example the 'blue church' alienated intelligent and observant people by dumbing things down to the point of being literally wrong quite often, and yet if you're going to enfranchise all levels of society it's a bit like you'd have to give the same news at different levels of resolution to different people and know how to do that in a way people can accept. That might not be too difficult come to think of it - ie. you already have deep-dives vs. surface scraping and that's what you'd keep up with.

I guess my view - their concern (ie. the Rebel Wisdom crew and those who's loosely associate with them) is doing what they can to spread ideas to sort of help shepherd sense-making or maintain coherence to the degree that we can get through the interregnum while side-stepping four out of five of Jim Rutt's basins of attraction (eg. neo dark age, neo feudalism, totalitarianism, or chaos) and make our way toward a fifth attractor which the idea is to have something better and freer than what we've had to date.

The part of this for why I'm not particularly perturbed about people's financial status who are saying these things - if someone wasn't saying these things hardly anyone would be and if hardly anyone was there'd be no said narrative in the pipeline for people to do something with, polish, criticize, improve, etc..


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06 Jun 2020, 7:31 pm

Fun fact: halfway through portal ep.27 I felt like listening to a Donna Haraway/Bruno Latour lecture, employing silicon-valley vocabulary.
Which is great - the anolgy of the the paperclip maximising AI and capitalism as the algorithm that maximises capital, i.e., turns everything into capital, is a great way to describe the issue in their vocabulary.
What dumfounded me was their brief discussion of how they are confused they can even have this conversation, and how they're pirate radio, basically.
Dumbfounded because it felt so much like a far left academic discussion - which do happen at universities around the globe. And they get streamed on youtube etc.

But it's great they're having this conversation for a completely different audience.
And maybe this talk about how they're pirates is good for marketing. Be a rebel, self actualize, all that advertising lingo.

On a side note: they are expressing themselves in deliberately scientific and high-brow vocabulary, even to say relatively simple things. It sounds way more complicated than it actually is. Just like far left academia.
That realisation made me laugh.


Btw. The term interregnum was introduced into the social sciences by Zygmunt Bauman, an actual old school marxist, who denied the existence of "postmodernity" altogether.
He preferred the term liquid modernity - a state in which the forces of modernity (industrialization, capitalism, globalization) has dissolved all social structures that used to be "solid". - he was referrencing the communist manifesto and the famous line "all that is solid melts into air, all that is sacred is being profaned".
Zygmunt Bauman is very much worth getting to know. And he was certainly not PC and shy of expressing harsh truths.

And finally, regarding a phase of individual sensemaking:
Peter Sloterdijk once spoke of the national media as outrage-machinery that created a community based on the focus of anger. - you may not be of the same opinion, but through the media's gatekeeper function, people of a nation had in common that they were arguing about the same thing.
He also says this unifying force that dictated what to be angry about has lost its power, and now people can't argue with each other, because they can't even agree on what to argue about.

And finally, here's a link to a short story, written by Vladislav Surkov, Putin's former propaganda strategist.
I wonder what you make of it/hope you enjoy some russian (postmodern) sci-fi:

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue582/without_sky.html


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06 Jun 2020, 7:55 pm

shlaifu wrote:
And finally, here's a link to a short story, written by Vladislav Surkov, Putin's former propaganda strategist.
I wonder what you make of it/hope you enjoy some russian (postmodern) sci-fi:

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue582/without_sky.html

I took a look, a lot of what bothers me about the flavor of it is what bothered me about the Herman Hess's The Glass Bead Game - ie. reality impoverished or flattened to make a point almost in the way that M Night Shamalan had no problem making movies that were awful but, the core idea, was that you'd be captivated by what twist he'd throw in at the end to justify the flattening of his story (that hit its bottom IMHO in 'The Happening').

I guess one assumption I'm making and perhaps I forget that it's not universal - the idea that enough people matching content-per-content to 'steelman', pick out each other's errors, someone ends up making a lot of good points but bumbles postmodernism which often happens, you have then someone else whose well-versed in postmodernism but sympathetic to what they got right who then tries to clean up what they missed, it's a bit like the hope is that through enough iterations of this we can come up with better guiding ideas that - hopefully - decrease human suffering and give us more room for civilization by coming up with civil frameworks that better handle the immutable and better guide the mutable. Where I tend to be with postmodernism - I get that it's a deep enough field that, almost like the whole heading of 'philosophy', you have to to spend an incredible amount of time over there to follow the breadth and depth and I do like that i get the upside of it from Gordon White periodically when he feels like it has a lot to do with current events or integrates into 'magical working' which, my sense increasingly, is that can be best understood as re-ensouling nature, our contacts with each other, and breathing life back into the space that strict-efficiency capitalism voided.

To me that conversation (ie. academics, IDW, or whoever else hashing things out) works so long as people keep matching their ideas against one another in the most constructive sense they can hoping something new shakes out for all parties involved (you get this as well with the podcasts that people like John Vervaeke, Jordan Hall, Chris Mastropietro, and Guy Sengstock occasionally do). Could it be that the final joke is that there is no solution and that Darwinian evolution is the kind of thing that can overcome any solution with chaos? Possibly. I'm still not sure we've hit a far enough frontier that we know that one for sure.


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07 Jun 2020, 4:36 pm

Well, here's why Haraway is more interesting to me than Weinstein/Schmachtenberg.
She already knows that the Game A/Game B talk is artificial. She's a biologist and well aware of symbiosis and sympoeisis as viable evolutionary strategies. The whole idea of "Darwinian" as 'survival of the strongest' is just the way 'the strongest' justified their supremacy and prevented weaker people from even thinking of collaborating.

I mean.... Covid 19 seems to be stronger than Humans - who are we to even resist. Oh wait, we can use our brains and collaborate. At least in theory.

But we already are symbiotic beings. Symbiotic with billions of bacteria, and our whole environment. We were just told by white 19th century guys that only the strong survive, on their own, and create themselves as Randian heroes. .. I wonder what Ayn Rand would have made of the effect of the intestinal microbiome on the human psyche.
But eventually, this concept of humans being somehow outside of "nature" is still religious.
It's still the idea of being somehow created as special - if not by god, then by ourselves.
I think what Darwin really pointed at is still so heretic that it's unacceptable by western society: that himans are dependent on their environment, and that they can go extinct through loss of habitat due to degradation of the global ecosystem.


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07 Jun 2020, 4:58 pm

shlaifu wrote:
Well, here's why Haraway is more interesting to me than Weinstein/Schmachtenberg.
She already knows that the Game A/Game B talk is artificial. She's a biologist and well aware of symbiosis and sympoeisis as viable evolutionary strategies. The whole idea of "Darwinian" as 'survival of the strongest' is just the way 'the strongest' justified their supremacy and prevented weaker people from even thinking of collaborating.

I mean.... Covid 19 seems to be stronger than Humans - who are we to even resist. Oh wait, we can use our brains and collaborate. At least in theory.

But we already are symbiotic beings. Symbiotic with billions of bacteria, and our whole environment. We were just told by white 19th century guys that only the strong survive, on their own, and create themselves as Randian heroes. .. I wonder what Ayn Rand would have made of the effect of the intestinal microbiome on the human psyche.
But eventually, this concept of humans being somehow outside of "nature" is still religious.
It's still the idea of being somehow created as special - if not by god, then by ourselves.
I think what Darwin really pointed at is still so heretic that it's unacceptable by western society: that himans are dependent on their environment, and that they can go extinct through loss of habitat due to degradation of the global ecosystem.

I find this confusing because I don't know what claims so many of the above statements are meant to address.

So nature is both in-species cooperation, sometimes cross-species cooperation, there's an entire cycle from plant life at the bottom to herbivorous animals up to apex predators where the apex predators return to the dirt and the cycle repeats - with many lateral exchanges between.

If Schmachtenberger, Greenhall, or any of those guys have made a claim that we're somehow separate from nature I'd like to know where it was and perhaps figure out how it is that I missed it. If anyone here is claiming that being an apex predator of other human beings (some type of master race) is a goal, again, I missed it and I'd like to know where anyone is saying that.

As far as Daniel Schmachtenberger being opposed to anything like Marxism, you might want to take a look at this article and imparticular see some of what gets said in the 'ownership' subsection:
https://civilizationemerging.com/new-ec ... z2_m4PSSRo

While I like just about everything that's said in this article about enforcing much stricter rules on externality and much more rigorous accounting of the commons I see the ownership section and ask the question - can we really have autonomy, such as the oppressed or misunderstood having sanctuary or spaces to get away from those who are stressing us out (especially thinking as an aspie where if people can't read your body language you're constantly arousing hostility and suspicion without needing to do anything wrong), it's a bit like one who needs that private space to call their own would find very little room to do so. The question then is - what kinds of 'pseudo-ownership' could we have in such a system where you can still maintain to some degree privacy and rights to privacy without anyone whose the slightest bit different being perpetually naked to witch-hunts.

I'm still hoping we can get on the same topic here - ie. criticizing the core concerns rather than either forever picking at the periphery or injecting things that don't seem to be there.


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07 Jun 2020, 5:33 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
shlaifu wrote:
Well, here's why Haraway is more interesting to me than Weinstein/Schmachtenberg.
She already knows that the Game A/Game B talk is artificial. She's a biologist and well aware of symbiosis and sympoeisis as viable evolutionary strategies. The whole idea of "Darwinian" as 'survival of the strongest' is just the way 'the strongest' justified their supremacy and prevented weaker people from even thinking of collaborating.

I mean.... Covid 19 seems to be stronger than Humans - who are we to even resist. Oh wait, we can use our brains and collaborate. At least in theory.

But we already are symbiotic beings. Symbiotic with billions of bacteria, and our whole environment. We were just told by white 19th century guys that only the strong survive, on their own, and create themselves as Randian heroes. .. I wonder what Ayn Rand would have made of the effect of the intestinal microbiome on the human psyche.
But eventually, this concept of humans being somehow outside of "nature" is still religious.
It's still the idea of being somehow created as special - if not by god, then by ourselves.
I think what Darwin really pointed at is still so heretic that it's unacceptable by western society: that himans are dependent on their environment, and that they can go extinct through loss of habitat due to degradation of the global ecosystem.

I find this confusing because I don't know what claims so many of the above statements are meant to address.

So nature is both in-species cooperation, sometimes cross-species cooperation, there's an entire cycle from plant life at the bottom to herbivorous animals up to apex predators where the apex predators return to the dirt and the cycle repeats - with many lateral exchanges between.

If Schmachtenberger, Greenhall, or any of those guys have made a claim that we're somehow separate from nature I'd like to know where it was and perhaps figure out how it is that I missed it. If anyone here is claiming that being an apex predator of other human beings (some type of master race) is a goal, again, I missed it and I'd like to know where anyone is saying that.

As far as Daniel Schmachtenberger being opposed to anything like Marxism, you might want to take a look at this article and imparticular see some of what gets said in the 'ownership' subsection:
https://civilizationemerging.com/new-ec ... z2_m4PSSRo

While I like just about everything that's said in this article about enforcing much stricter rules on externality and much more rigorous accounting of the commons I see the ownership section and ask the question - can we really have autonomy, such as the oppressed or misunderstood having sanctuary or spaces to get away from those who are stressing us out (especially thinking as an aspie where if people can't read your body language you're constantly arousing hostility and suspicion without needing to do anything wrong), it's a bit like one who needs that private space to call their own would find very little room to do so. The question then is - what kinds of 'pseudo-ownership' could we have in such a system where you can still maintain to some degree privacy and rights to privacy without anyone whose the slightest bit different being perpetually naked to witch-hunts.

I'm still hoping we can get on the same topic here - ie. criticizing the core concerns rather than either forever picking at the periphery or injecting things that don't seem to be there.


I was going off on a tangent because of the Game A/Game B remarks. Weinstein asks Schmachtenberger about his involvement in theorizing a "game B", which would be an evolutionary strategy that is not 'survival of the strongest' (Game A), but an alternative to it.

Which is where I went off to state: well, yes, there is, because Game A was never an evolutionary strategy that, in this pure form, ever existed. I.e., even the strongest need for their survival 'weaker' elements. So 'survival of the strongest' requires a survival of the weak, and a lot of elements that aren't even part of the equation. - in the way, a successful capitalist like Jeff Bezos might argue that he earned everything himself by outcompeting the competition. Well, to some extent. But if he squeezes book publishers, workers and postal services any more, this might collapse. And if he keeps dodging taxes, the postal service won't have roads to drive on. So he's not this unitary figure outside of an ecosystem, he's just taking advantage of it in an insustainable way. He's playing game A, and just destroying everyone else playing game B. There should be laws preventing this, but as long as we believe there's only Game A and simply neglect that that's a fabrication from the start, then regulating something like amazon becomes a violation of this supposedly "natural law" of game A.

Yes, this was a tangent, but I hope i could makebit clearer how I meant that Game A presupposes a world in which it's possible to exist outside of a society, an economic ecosystem, but also a natural ecosystem, and nature ss a whole.


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07 Jun 2020, 5:48 pm

shlaifu wrote:
I was going off on a tangent because of the Game A/Game B remarks. Weinstein asks Schmachtenberger about his involvement in theorizing a "game B", which would be an evolutionary strategy that is not 'survival of the strongest' (Game A), but an alternative to it.

Which is where I went off to state: well, yes, there is, because Game A was never an evolutionary strategy that, in this pure form, ever existed. I.e., even the strongest need for their survival 'weaker' elements. So 'survival of the strongest' requires a survival of the weak, and a lot of elements that aren't even part of the equation. - in the way, a successful capitalist like Jeff Bezos might argue that he earned everything himself by outcompeting the competition. Well, to some extent. But if he squeezes book publishers, workers and postal services any more, this might collapse. And if he keeps dodging taxes, the postal service won't have roads to drive on. So he's not this unitary figure outside of an ecosystem, he's just taking advantage of it in an insustainable way. He's playing game A, and just destroying everyone else playing game B. There should be laws preventing this, but as long as we believe there's only Game A and simply neglect that that's a fabrication from the start, then regulating something like amazon becomes a violation of this supposedly "natural law" of game A.

Yes, this was a tangent, but I hope i could makebit clearer how I meant that Game A presupposes a world in which it's possible to exist outside of a society, an economic ecosystem, but also a natural ecosystem, and nature ss a whole.


Okay, TY, and that's a bit clearer now.

I think the problem we're looking at, particularly any concept that Game A can exist by itself, isn't a rational conclusion, just that I'd argue that the conclusion doesn't have to be rational to either be consequential or to be incredibly magnetic. It gets back to arms-races, situations where everyone's coerced to run just a bit faster than the person next to them in order to stay alive, and once that happens the arms race itself becomes all-consuming for those still coerced into it who weren't eventually left behind panting on the sidelines. It's that arms-race mentality which is hyper-focused and can think of little more than surviving the next cut. That term auto-poitic, self-reinforcing, comes to mind.

To have a culture that can survive into the future without cascades of the sort mentioned above we have to figure out what kinds of counter-systems can prevent them from races to the cliff, much like in international affairs right now it's being suggested that China is already experimenting with creating super-humans and made their first CRISPR-augmented babies a few years ago, all because many western powers have been terrified of the consequences of doing such things and yet China - as an authoritarian power - simply doesn't have the moral hangups that the rest of the world would. The only hope one can come up with as a remedy to that sort of insatiable international competition, in this particular instance, is coming up with AI that would make any sort of genetically-augmented superhuman obsolete on arrival.

I guess that's really what I'm seeing though - people don't seem like they're in control of this, rather algorhythms, various kinds of attractors and gravity wells, ie. non-human factors that better resemble social geography and future potentialities, seem to hold the power where people, in aggregate, are more like a liquid that will pour like water into any feature of the landscape that offers the path of least resistance. That landscape may very well have zero regard for us and a consequence of that consideration we may need to get into building our own dams and reservoirs somehow, if only we can figure out how to do this rather than be perpetual slaves to future potentiality, risks, and near-term incentives in the sense that they can lock us into what seems like dutiful rather than logical paths of travel.


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07 Jun 2020, 7:12 pm

Yes. So. We're talking to some extent of another version of the paperclip maximizer - Nick Bostrom's thought experiment on artificial general intelligence.
As Schmachtenberg and Weinstein correctly point out, capitalism is a version of that, an algorithm that turns everythingbinto capital by incentivising humans with general intelligence to use it for that purpose.
Technological progress, the arms race, is like that, too - in that technology incentivises people to use their intelligence to make more technology (and give up their freedom for it, or even their humanity) lest they be overpowered by someone else with more advanced tech.

The Chinese have this dynamic more ingrained into their national myth than snyone else, because they used to be the world leader in art and craft, and everyone was trying to buy it with precious silver, the only thing they were interested in obtaining from less technologically developed nations.
And then the British came and basically with one steam-powered ship defeated the Chinese armada, and then went on to destroy the Emperor's summer palace, to humiliate the Chinese further.
Then they were colonized, had some internal political spasms, and have now found a way to embrace suthoritarian capitalism and become the world's production facility, and gaining all the technological knowledge with it. You can't say it's not smart.

So here's how Nick Bostrom's paperclip maximizer thought experiment ends: with the question of at what point this machine is starting to be a threat. His answer: the moment you turn it on.

At what point does a capitalist mode of production become a threat? The moment the Dutch started it to finance the VOC.

And according to Ted Kaczynski, technology becomes a paperclip maximizer, as soon as it is invented.

He makes some suggestions of how to reign it in though: with an extremely conservative religion.

That's to some extent what the Chinese had, before the British came: a very conservative culture. In the eyes of western historians, the Chinese 'dropped the ball' on technological development during the Qing dynasty - describing it as frozen in its complicated bureaucracy and imperial traditions. (But when you look at Qing dynasty furniture and architecture.... It's so gorgeous)

I have no solution, other than an extremely conservative culture. Or rather, an extremely conservationist one, as in, preserving the environment.
Technological progress like the one we're seeing is requiring ever more resources and the destruction of ever more far off ecosystems.


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07 Jun 2020, 7:34 pm

shlaifu wrote:
I have no solution, other than an extremely conservative culture. Or rather, an extremely conservationist one, as in, preserving the environment.
Technological progress like the one we're seeing is requiring ever more resources and the destruction of ever more far off ecosystems.

IMHO it calls for a fork in the project. To a degree that fork has been there since the mid 20th century with the beginnings of green technologies, efficiency research, etc., onward to building better solar cells and it sounds like we might be on our way to solid state batteries that can carry a car 900 to 1,000 miles on a charge - which makes the source of that electricity a matter of plug-and-play.

It sounds like the domestic goal right now, at least side-barring international arms races and struggles for hegemony, is finding ways to bring our economic systems closer to a closed loop and then really evaluating the capacity to which each nation's land mass might even set a limit as to how far that nation can go in raiding its own commons before collapsing (and that may very well even make strong moves toward ecology a national security interest). The trick is finding ways to shift to at least domestic practices that are sustainable while staying competitive internationally and then, with several decades of that catching on, trying to figure out if we can slowly walk down the battle for world hegemony and figure out if that race can eventually be rendered meaningless as more of the developing countries find themselves in palatable living conditions, higher education attainments, lower birth rates, etc..

The goal would be for humanity to have a future other than backward collapse to barbarism or extinction and, TBH, it doesn't really seem like there's a better project to be involved in. Obviously someone could try bringing Hindu, Buddhist, or Hermetic/Rosicrucian enlightenment into that conversation and sure - that might save or at least help one person, really it seems like everyone has to be working on their own psychological stability and mastery over themselves throughout all of this because without that our culture is too malleable and explosive, too vulnerable to demagogues and hucksters, to get much farther without that issue being properly handled, but the point being - no outside force is coming to save us and there really isn't a good reason to hang it up either and say 'Well, it was okay-ish while it lasted...'.


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shlaifu
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07 Jun 2020, 8:14 pm

If you're 70 something and a billionaire president, you might be more on the 'f**k it, it was fun while it lasted' side of things. Actually, make that anyone who's rich enough to have a bunker in New Zealand. Like Peter Thiel of Thiel investment.

Regarding religions: as far as I can tell, only Jainism actually does the job. Buddhism, in particular Zen, doesn't keep anyone from anything. After all, as Zizek says, isn't reality all just appearance, let's enjoy the cosmic dance of a blade, entering a human body. He takes the example from 'Zen at war', a book on jow Buddhism was used in war times.
Somewhat similar is Hinduism, in particular the Bhagavad Gita, famously the book of eastern wisdom of choice of Heinrich Himmler.

Basically all majour religious texts and teachings have this quality to them, that they can be interpreted in several ways, whichever the situation affords. If it weren't the case, that religion, or rather its followers, would have a hard time keeping their society going over thousands of years.

Except, of course, Jainism. I should read about how it even survived.


But I'm vaguely guessing you meant to incorporate some specific teaching from Hinduism or Buddhism, about some greater consciousness, something bigger than us?

And finally: I'm not a hundred percent sure an ecologically aimed economy has to outcompete one focussed on technology as a weapon. Or rather, maybe just in one aspect: standard of living.
Here, the west still outcompetes China. Unless you're somewhat wealthy, I guess, so you can personally take advantage of the cheap labour and low cost of living of the people below you.

When working in Indua, I had a housekeeper. Which only made sense because for her standard of living, the wage I paid her was enough. Had she needed more, I couldn't have afforded such luxury.
I also felt very very uncomfortable about the whole situation. I left in part because I couldn't really cope with the massive inequality, and me taking part in this game.


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07 Jun 2020, 8:26 pm

shlaifu wrote:
But I'm vaguely guessing you meant to incorporate some specific teaching from Hinduism or Buddhism, about some greater consciousness, something bigger than us?

Not even that, I'm strictly talking about the very idea that even if humanity, even a single human being, isn't perfectible they can at least be their own perpetual project and take a serious try at taking as much responsibility and investment in that project as they can.

shlaifu wrote:
When working in Indua, I had a housekeeper. Which only made sense because for her standard of living, the wage I paid her was enough. Had she needed more, I couldn't have afforded such luxury.
I also felt very very uncomfortable about the whole situation. I left in part because I couldn't really cope with the massive inequality, and me taking part in this game.

That's a good sign, and it's a good thing to want to dismantle the inequality. The trick is figuring out how to do that in a way that lifts people up rather than throwing us all back into survival mode.


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