Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our existence is proof enough.

I've seen a lot of people worrying about the future collapse of the USSA. They probably envision some sort of Mad-Max-like "after the bomb" scenario or maybe US as Somalia.
First off, I'd like to say: Would you tell someone in the Soviet Union of the 80s that they should be worried about the collapse of the USSR in the near future? Do you think they were worse off for it? I mean sure, Putin's Russia is no utopia, but it has to beat the USSR.
But even then, the situation here is much different. Why?
Us. Or rather, people like us, all over the place. Agorism/Anarchism is working. It's doing its job. You might not see the results in front of your face, but it's doing its job. Of course the media is not going to report things that way as long as they can help it. If you're waiting to see CNN saying "free market at last?" you'll be a waiting motherfucker...
But let's look at things not in theory or in propaganda, but in practice. Anarchism, to me, is merely an understanding that the supposed "legality" of a particular act means nothing.
How many people do you know that avoid doing something simply because it is "illegal", even if they know they can get away with it and want to do it?
I don't really know anyone like that, personally. I know they exist: for instance, people who make a big deal out of "illegal immigration" as some sort of meaningful category of immigration. But most of the people I know just don't think that way. If they obey the law it's because they think it's the right thing to do anyway, or they're afraid of getting caught. Even though these people may not call themselves "anarchists" in theory, even though they might shudder at the thought, they are acting anarchistically, whether they know it or not.
Most people that want to smoke pot, do so.
There are more and more people each year that either don't file tax forms altogether, or don't report significant amounts of their income. Lots of people who own their own small businesses pay at least some of their vendors and employees in direct cash payments. Lots of people ignore regulations that they don't think they'll get caught disobeying.
And our own philosophy is growing. Look around at the interwebs. Sure there are plenty of social-democrats and neocon fundamentalists and the like... but imagine the internet of the 70s if such a thing were to exist... we've come a long way baby.
The fact that a large number of congressmen want to Audit The Fed, which, while it's a small act, is still historically significant.
We are having an impact. We might not be able to see it up front and center all the time, but life happens at the margins.
Many "agorists" expect something like the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre to show up. But really, that's unlikely until near the very end of our struggle, when they will be willing to risk being shut down or exposed. I think people expect that because it fits the model of what they were raised on, large organizations that one can simply plug into and follow. But this ironically goes against the whole point, the very strength of our philosophy.
The state will make more rash moves forward, but each time they do, they will lose more people at the margins... and we will pick up more people at the margins.
Productive people of the world, Untie!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All that shit they sold you about ceramic space rockets and albedo suits was just memetic heroin...

Part of the reason why I seem a bit more optimistic than a lot of people who now see our current society as a dead end... is that I never saw it as a living end to begin with. It would be kind of horrific to me to think of what currently exists being made to "work".
I never thought of modern postwar technoptimism as a progression over the long run, just a spasm of relief maybe. Like after you pee. You haven't gotten any better, you've just relieved something particularly troubling. (i.e the first 4 decades of the 20th century, basically a descent into total horror)

Only now, once we shrug off corporatism and WWII-based thinking, are we in a position to make any real historical progress from the mean. And if it is temporarily painful, it will be the pain of withdrawal from the most horrible drug ever devised.

The future looks very bright indeed, once you dismiss the 20th century as a sick aberration. We are not meant to live like this, and we'll be better off, even if we have to amputate some of the more pleasant aspects of the last 100 years...

I'm not talking about going back, I'm talking about going forward in the direction we should have in the first place, if only we hadn't made that left turn at Albequerqe.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm going to tell a story. It's not a "true" story, maybe, but it is a real story.
1. Life, the universe and everything.
Basically, the universe is a shear thickening fluid.
It is also a non-uniform fluid, it's "lumpy" in other words. Some parts of this fluid seem "solid" to us because their coefficient of adversity, that is the amount of resistance they put up to force applied against them, is very high. All force creates a resistance. This creates a counter-resistance, ad infinitum.
As a different metaphor, imagine a bowl of very soft jello that's been banged on from many different directions at once, creating ripple patterns that interfere with each other.
Even though at any local position, the composition of the universe is constantly changing... overall, in the aggregate, nothing changes. That's right, nothing changes, when the universe is looked at as a single fluid. There will always be the same amount of matter-energy in the universe.
We are also part of this fluid, and everything we encounter around us is as well. Everything that has a beginning, has an ending. Just as our bodies will die one day, so will the universe, in that it will no longer be a dynamic system. Everything will be uniformly spread everywhere and there will be no more rippling and shifting of the fluid. It will just sit there. The fluid is settling out.
The good news has to do with time. Time is eternal. There is nothing before time, because the concept of "before" implies time. There is nothing after time either, for the same reason. Time is the rate of change of the composition of the fluid. When the fluid stops changing, there is no time. Part of all of us, humans and maybe other things in the universe too, maybe, is made of time in addition to the fluid. That part of you can never die. You can never experience anything outside of time. You can't "be dead". It's not possible. To exist as a person, implies being alive. Your body can die. But you can't actually die. I'm not quite sure how it works near the endpoint either.
2. How human life works.
Every action has a reaction. Everything you do creates resistance from the world. There is a lag between your initial undertaking and the resistance. Even lightning takes time, as Nietzsche said. Remember the fluid? The harder and faster you "push out" into the world, the harder and faster the resistance will come. By moving slowly and smoothly, you can push through this resistance. The Slow Blade Penetrates The Shield.
Or as wikipedia said "The dilatant fluid would disperse the force of a sudden blow over a wider area of the user's body, reducing the blunt force trauma; against slow attacks, such as a slow but forceful stab, the dilatant would not provide any additional protection."
People don't perceive imaginary time very well, maybe because we're partially made of time. That is, we have trouble imagining time correctly when we look back at the past or into the future. In 5 years, if you move one inch, only one inch, per day, you will have travelled half the length of a football field.
5 years seems very long when we imagine it into the future, but looking back through the past, it doesn't seem very long to us. Just one inch per day.
If you move 2 inches per day, you can go endzone to endzone in 5 years.
This is an analogy, I think you can see where I'm going with this.
Most people (myself included, I'm not being an elitist here) like to move very fast when they first undertake a project... they are very excited about what's going on, etc... then the resistance hits and they are slowed or stopped by it. This is usually when they give up, maybe they'll try sprinting into the hardened cornstarch a couple of times. One inch per day...
The downside to the slow, easy way to do things is that it's boring and frustrating. See, repetition breeds confidence. This is a phrase my friend Jesus told me once after a night of drugs and music. Not that Jesus, the hispanic raver Jesus. No matter how you interpret that last sentence, we're venturing into lulz territory. Anyway, the important thing to remember is that repetition breeds confidence.
If someone asked me to build a computer for them, I could undertake such a project with no hesitation, because I've done it so many times now. I know that even if something initially went awry, I have a strong model/map for how to get around that and fix it. I wouldn't think of it as anything scary or challenging at all. But it would be, if anything, boring. And when something did go wrong it would be frustrating. "Not this shit again"...
So the slow, easy way to do everything can be boring and frustrating. It might be more fun to run fast, create walls of resistance and overcome them, so in the end when you get where you're going, you can say "I did it, against all odds!" But really, it was always just you. You made your own odds.
In a way, I'm not doing you a favor by telling you this. I am taking some of the excitement and fun out of it. On the other hand, your brain will probably make you forget most of this, for that very reason, when you're in the middle of living your life.
But on the other hand, a lot of people are upset by life... mostly because it hasn't matched their expectations. They don't understand the implications of their own life strategy. As an example, I have a friend who basically lives life by a series of explosions. He bursts, then gets hit by an immense backpressure of resistance, and then gets really angry at everything. Then he bursts forward again, rinse and repeat. I mean, if he saw how he was creating this, and was just doing it for fun, cause he likes living that way, on the other hand... he'd at least have the option to accept and expect that pattern or try a different approach. There are all kinds of ways to play with the fluid.
Rollercoasters are fun because we expect them to do crazy shit. But if someone put you in one for the first time, and you had no idea of what a rollercoaster was, and they said before you left, "oh this is a nice train ride"... you'd flip out.
But that would definitely be the most exciting rollercoaster you'd ever ride. So sometimes knowing that it's just a rollercoaster can take a bit of the drama and intensity out of it.
3. Made in G-d's image.
What does that phrase really mean? That God has a body that looks like our bodies? A lot of people used to think that, but that's kind of ridiculous. The people who promoted that sort of interpretation either were scamming someone or really didn't think about what they were reading.
It is the part of us that is made of time that is an image of God. Or, to put it a different way, we are acting in a movie being made by God. God is the director and the audience. So are we. It's all part of the greatest piece of performance art ever.
In order to be able to be the director, audience and actor and still have a good time, there needs to be a separation of consciousness so the left hand doesn't realize what the right hand is doing, so to speak. If it were simply imagination, well, you'd know what all the characters are going to do... when you played with dolls or "action figures" as a kid, you knew what you were going to make all of them say.
When do you not know that? In a dream. We are all being dreamed by God at once. We are the dreamer, and the dream self, and we don't even know sometimes what we're going to do next. This makes it interesting. Again, I have done you no favor here. By reading this, if you hadn't already, you have now begun a path toward becoming a lucid dreamer.
Eventually your particular dream-self will find its endpoint in the story.
What happens to you when you get to the end of a dream?

Friday, July 10, 2009

On "Sociological Calvinism".

If people at large were really Evil at heart, the safest way for us to live would be anarchism (do you want to give Evil people power over you?). If, as I suspect, they are not, then the state is needless and irrelevant. Only if you believe in a small elect group of moral persons, and a larger group of evil persons, can you justify the state... and yet even still, you must devise a way that the elect can end up in charge. I dare you to.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

"Can we put a price on basic standards of quality?"

Actually we have to. The alternative to quality allocation by price, which generally amounts to Regulation, ends up becoming allocation by status. Of course the people who propose these non-priced solutions tend to be people of high status. Coincidence?
Schools are one example. "Public" schools really are just one aspect of a multi-tiered system of regulated education. The only truly private school in the US is the home school. In some places that isn't even the case any more.
If the logic of Regulation is taken to its conclusion, the only beef allowable by law would be Filet Mignon or better, and since its price would be regulated, it would not be available to the peons at all. Only the well connected would get beef. And maybe people on welfare could get "government beef" which would probably be decent (I know the government cheese was) but only available on a first come first serve basis.
Does this remind you of a certain Union of Republics? Soviet Republics?
Well that's also no coincidence. They know the hard limit now, but they will try to get us as close to that asymptote without breaking the engine of "white market" labor power altogether. Fortunately, I doubt their ability to pull off this brinkmanship for long, no matter how many PhDs and other supposed "experts" they've got trying.