fbpx
Bear Traps

It is very clever how Moldbug chooses extra-provocative phrases and examples—for instance, extended reflections on the successful infrastructure projects of the Third Reich. He likes to purposefully trip social justice trip-wires, as if he's a literal Nazi naïvely unaware that certain rhetorical choices are way beyond problematicHe's playing a two-level game. Any calm, half-intelligent person with the patience to hear him out will see he has no interest in white supremacy or Naziism, but anyone at all inclined to outrage will be so quickly overwhelmed with the smell of evil that they'll turn away. These latter individuals will be rendered either speechless and therefore innocuous, or they will be launched into expressing something somewhere (always a win for any project of public communication). The only people who won't be scandalized by such ridiculously bad "optics" across such long texts will be, by definition, above-average in discernment and conscientiousness.

Compare this devilish rhetorical strategy to all of the public intellectuals today who seek to criticize overly sensitive outrage tripwires, such as the Intellectual Dark Web clique. These folks dedicate the utmost care and attention to not tripping the trip-wires they are criticizing: such souls continue to be surprised and saddened when they realize they've accidentally tripped one, probably because its threshold was turned down a notch since they last checked. Go directly to jail. Do not collect $200 for your impeccable commitment to not breaking any rules whatsoever. Contemporary, mainstream public intellectual life is like a large forest with so many open bear traps scattered everywhere, that you can't tip-toe around one without hitting another.

People such as Moldbug — and Nick Land, too — seem to grasp the underlying, actually operative rule of what is and is not acceptable to express: 'thou shall not approach what is unacceptable.' Intuiting the long-run equilibrium of such a rule, and realizing that for any seriously thinking person it would be worse than death, they choose to run, jump, and do a big ol' somersault right into the center of the biggest bear traps they can find. It turns out these bear traps have a weird design flaw, in which they fail to kill large bipeds who land on them with sufficient force.

Ideology, Intelligence, and Capital with Nick Land

Nick Land is a British philosopher living in Shanghai. Nick is one of the main figures in the school of thought known as accelerationism. He is currently writing a book about the philosophical implications of Bitcoin. We talked about accelerationism, cybernetics, ideology, the evolution of Nick’s perspective, Deleuze and Guattari, emancipation and dehumanization, artificial intelligence, capitalism, Moldbug, mathematics and the significance of zero, religion, blockchain/Bitcoin, Kantianism, synthetic time, and more.

We recorded this online, over two sessions. We did have some unavoidable connection problems, so you'll notice some imperfections such as clicking sounds throughout. We did the best we could; big thanks to those who helped with the editing.

A full-text transcript with timestamps is now available at Vast Abrupt.

Don't forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Reactionary Leftism with Uriel Fiori

Uriel Fiori (@cyborg_nomade) is a theorist and translator based in São Paulo, Brazil. He's an expert on the work of Nick Land, having translated and archived many of the various fragments Land has scattered around the web.

We talked about Uriel's idea of "left-wing neoreaction (LRx)," how to combine a commitment to equality with realism about objective inequalities, Proudhon and early modern anarchism, mutualism, Nick Land, patchwork, blockchain, and we even snuck in some #cavetwitter at the end.

Uriel's website is antinomiaimediata.wordpress.com and he is active on Twitter as @cyborg_nomade.

Left Singularity

…modern political history has a characteristic shape, which combines a duration of escalating ‘progress’ with a terminal, quasi-punctual interruption, or catastrophe – a restoration or ‘reboot’. Like mould in a Petri dish, progressive polities ‘develop’ explosively until all available resources have been consumed, but unlike slime colonies they exhibit a dynamism that is further exaggerated (from the exponential to the hyperbolic) by the fact that resource depletion accelerates the development trend.

Economic decay erodes productive potential and increases dependency, binding populations ever more desperately to the promise of political remedy. The progressive slope steepens towards the precipice of supreme radicality, or total absorption into the state…

The content of this website is licensed under a CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL LICENSE. The Privacy Policy can be found here. This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram