Category: philosophy

Work and jobs

Just found this interesting essay. It included this quote from Buckminster Fuller:

We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.

It reminded me of the dichotomy of types of work presented by Bertrand Russell, in ‘In praise of idleness’:

Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid. The second kind is capable of indefinite extension: there are not only those who give orders, but those who give advice as to what orders should be given. Usually two opposite kinds of advice are given simultaneously by two organized bodies of men; this is called politics. The skill required for this kind of work is not knowledge of the subjects as to which advice is given, but knowledge of the art of persuasive speaking and writing, i.e., of advertising.

What’s this taxonomy good for? Russell’s purpose here is to show the absurdity of work as such. And it certainly is absurd if conceived materialistically, without any reference to values, as he does here. His aim is to denigrate industriousness. And politics too.

Here’s something else, icy’s formulation of two kinds of jobs:

671. What must be understood about the subject of “jobs” before any further discussion can begin on the subject is that there are two types of job: the one that you create yourself, and the one that others offer you, and it is always the latter type that subhumans mean whenever they use that word. But in order for the latter type to exist, the former must have originally created it (since “jobs” do not exactly grow on trees in the jungle by themselves now do they). Translated from Subhuman, “We need more jobs” means “We need more innovative, daring individuals to risk their lives’ savings (or borrow from banks by placing their property as collateral at the risk of losing everything and even going to prison) to launch mankind on new, daring and untried paths, and advertise whatever secondary subservient roles they might have for us under their tutelage and protection”.

 

Terrible dating advice as a self-propagating systems

Everyone should be generally quite sceptical of dating advice and pretty much mostly go by their own instincts.

Why? Dating advice gets communicated, then re-circulated, regardless of its efficacy. It spreads because it makes the spreaders feel good. There’s no strong evolutionary pressure to kill off bad advice. In fact, the opposite is true: bad advice makes for a stronger memes. Because bad advice memes keep their hosts failing at the dating game, enabling them to put more energy into the dating-advice-spreading game.

Put some trust in words of demonstrably wiser and superior people. Otherwise trust and develop your own instincts.

Arousal as intoxication, and the infinite regress of reciprocal meta-desire; diabolical theorems

It’s time to write this shit down. I have not totally clarified these thoughts in my mind, and I doubt that I can communicate them in an optimal manner here and now, but I’ll begin my attempt anyway.

Before I begin: a warning. If you read and understand this theorem, you may never want to be involved in a sexual/romantic relationship ever (again). If the reasoning holds up, then the conclusion is that sex or romantic relationships are inherently anti-rational, unavoidably non-consensual (and therefore unethical).

Continue reading “Arousal as intoxication, and the infinite regress of reciprocal meta-desire; diabolical theorems”

I wonder if Francois will talk to me again

He replied to my post on natalism indicating he might… or he might not. I can’t really blame him if he doesn’t think that to respond would be worthwhile. My answers may seem to reveal that my core position is far removed from his own, and has a religious aspect to it. And arguing with religious nutjobs is known to be often quite futile. And if it’s a tiny, non-influential cult, that’s even less worthy of engagement.

Continue reading “I wonder if Francois will talk to me again”

2009 anarcho-escapist manifesto

This piece has been reproduced here with the permission of the author, who no longer supports the proposals of this document, for historical reasons.

#Anarcho-escapism

We strive for a world that implements the promise of libertarianism: freedom for everyone who wants it. The closest possible implementation of an extreme personal autonomy, freedom to do whatever one wants, no matter who disapproves. “As long as it doesn’t affect other people?” With that caveat, this project is impossible. So we must modify the premise.

Everyone will be able to pretend to do whatever they want.

On first inspection, this may seem laughable, a parody of freedom. It is. But we propose that it can be a satisfying surrogate anyway. To introduce an important technological element and to reformulate the statement:

Everyone will be able to do whatever they want in simulation.

Simulation. Like videogames. The expressive and immersive powers of simulation will increase, growing toward a perfect mirror image of reality. Information technology will eventually interface directly with our brains. Assuming the inevitability of technological progress, the privacy of one’s thoughts will not be guaranteed. Same goes for self-determination/free will/volition, to the extent that that’s not illusory. It will be possible for the kernel of individual autonomy to fall under dictatorial or democratic domination. We find this idea detestable. Partly to stave off this dystopia, we hold to an absolutist, uncompromising assertion of individual freedom of thought.

We unreservedly oppose any efforts to impose coercive controls over the activity of escapism. This includes any compulsory censorship of fictional material, written, drawn, or moved from the imagination of the author to any media by any method. Production of fiction and publication to free adults will be unrestricted, no matter how disgusting, degrading, obscene, pointless, or gratuitous the material seems to someone else. As to the possibility of fiction and simulation encouraging undesirable behaviour in the real world, we hold that a freer, more compelling virtual world will lessen the appeal of doing anything ‘bad’ in reality. Laws may be required to suppress harmful actions in reality, but we advocate anarchy for the realm of escapism.

We oppose controls to make anything prohibited or mandatory in simulation, for example: forced time limits to prevent excessive use of MMO games. Game developers will be free to choose the rules and content for their games, and their decisions may include self-censorship to satisfy some ‘social responsibility’. Their deliberations will be free from fear of punishment.

Thanks to the Internet, getting away from the world doesn’t mean one is necessarily alone. Solitude is an option, of course. People are free to communicate with who they want, and free to ignore who they want. This can be seen as workable implementation of freedom of association.

So are we advocating that people play videogames all day? If they want to, sure. Don’t we still have to deal with the real world? Of course. Making hardware and generating the power to run it requires work in the real world.

How will the real world be run? Do we expect the Free Market to produce efficient, accessible simulation technology, or should videogame development be Government funded, or what? As far as this ideology is concerned: we don’t care. This ideology is concerned primarily with the realms of fiction and simulation. Individual proponents of these views may strongly advocate a particular mode of production, or they may be ambivalent. Regarding the method of implementation of the positive freedom of escapism, this movement (if it ever becomes anything like a movement) will necessarily become fragmented. That’s just fine. If you empathise with these views, and you’re a socialist, talk with your comrades about the importance of universal community-funded Internet access. If you’re an environmentalist, argue for the efficiency of digital distribution over shipping packages of plastic and paper across the world. If you’re a capitalist, invest in profit-seeking tech companies that are advancing simulation technology.

Crypto-anarchy is a feasible method for simply ignoring Government. But it is dangerous for many. Cryptography is illegal in some countries, surveillance technology will keep getting better, and the culture of control will only grow more suffocating if it isn’t fought.

We believe a more unified approach can be taken in the struggle for negative freedoms. That is, to establish the necessary cultural/social/legal groundwork: rejection of coercive mind control. We don’t see a need for revolution, not the violent kind anyway. We need creative propaganda. Use democracy to limit the powers of democracy, promoting autonomy instead. Campaign to change specific laws in your country. We see ways to leverage the Western zeitgeist: there’s the historical ‘right to freedom of expression’, and the modern trend of encouraging tolerance. These principles are often set against one another, but they fit a culture of escapism like a glove.

Version 1.0.1, released 22 July 2009, released under the WTFPL