Underlinings (#8)

Still defaulting to Bostrom as a foot-tapping exercise. Another crucial insight (p.63-4):

Slow [superintelligence] takeoff scenarios offer excellent opportunities for human political processes to adapt and respond. Different approaches can be tried and tested in sequence. New experts can be trained and credentialed. Grassroots campaigns can be mobilized by groups that feel they are being disadvantaged by unfolding developments. … Fast takeoff scenarios offer scant opportunity for humans to deliberate. Nobody need notice anything unusual before the game is already lost.

Anthropol has to be anti-accelerationist implicitly. Nothing else is compatible with a human security agenda.

(As Sunzi understood — speed is the essence of war.)

Underlinings (#7)

Another from Bostrom (p.58-9):

… one can speculate that the tardiness and wobbliness of humanity’s progress on many of the “eternal problems” of philosophy are due to the unsuitability of the human cortex for philosophical work. On this view, our most celebrated philosophers are like dogs walking on their hind legs — just barely attaining the threshold of performance required for engaging in the activity at all.

Underlinings (#6)

Nick Bostrom is far too good-natured to be trying, deliberately, to create conniptions among bio-ethicists, but still (p.38) …

… stem cell-derived gametes would allow multiple generations of selection to be compressed into less thasn a huamn maturation period, by enabling iterated embryo selection. This is a process that would consist of the following steps:
1. Genotype and select a number of embryos that are higher in desired genetic characteristics.
2. Extract stem cells from those embryos and convert them to sperm and ova, maturing within six months or less.
3. Cross the new sperm and ova to produce embryos.
4. Repeat until large genetic changes have been accumulated.
In this manner, it would be possible to accomplish ten or more generations of selection in just a few years. …

English Qabbala

The utter howling chaos that has been qabbalization of the English language is truly a thing of wonder. It’s not as if sound foundations are especially difficult to establish. The entire phenomenon demands to be considered as a kind of comically lurid camouflage.

Trawling the Net, it’s peculiarly hard to find anything acute on the subject of John Nash’s ‘numerology’ — which was at least as firmly grounded as anything in the hermetic traditions (though still lost). I’ve abandoned the search for anything worth linking, in disgust.

In fact, Nash’s system, which treated words as modulus-26 numbers, and those of the hermeticists (which either slavishly model English Qabbala on Greek and Hebrew alphabetic numerals, or construct highly arbitrary numerizations through incontinently elaborate methods) involve complementary errors. Nash assumes a level of notational efficiency that is appropriate for arithmetical, but not qabbalistic functions, while the hermetics assume a level of esoteric obscurity that is beyond all historical precedent — derived from a profound abuse of tradition. Qabbalistic method is simple, mechanical, and intuitively plausible, however improbable — or even ‘schizophrenic’ — its epistemological object.

English Qabbala is Alphanomics. The rest is ruined Babel-towers of lunacy.

Five Twins

From The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall (1928):

The description of the Atlantean civilization given by Plato in the Critias may be summarized as follows. In the first ages the gods divided the earth among themselves, proportioning it according to their respective dignities. Each became the peculiar deity of his own allotment and established therein temples to himself, ordained a priestcraft, and instituted a system of sacrifice. To Poseidon was given the sea and the island continent of Atlantis. In the midst of the island was a mountain which was the dwelling place of three earth-born primitive human beings — Evenor; his wife, Leucipe; and their only daughter, Cleito. The maiden was very beautiful, and after the sudden death of her parents she was wooed by Poseidon, who begat by her five pairs of male children. Poseidon apportioned his continent among these ten, and Atlas, the eldest, he made overlord of the other nine. Poseidon further called the country Atlantis and the surrounding sea the Atlantic in honor of Atlas. Before the birth of his ten sons, Poseidon divided the continent and the coastwise sea into concentric zones of land and water, which were as perfect as though turned upon a lathe. Two zones of land and three of water surrounded the central island, which Poseidon caused to be irrigated with two springs of water–one warm and the other cold.

From Louis Ginzberg’s Haggadah compilation, Legends of the Jews (1909):

On the first day of creation God produced ten things: the heavens and the earth, Tohu and Bohu, light and darkness, wind and water, the duration of the day and the duration of the night.

Continue reading


Norbert Wiener, from The Human User of Human Beings (1950, Da Capo edition, p.24-5):

This control of a machine on the basis of its actual performance rather than its expected performance is known as feedback, and involves sensory members which are actuated by motor members and perform the function of tell-tales or monitors — that is, of elements which indicate a performance. It is the function of these mechanisms to control the mechanical tendency towards disorganization; in other words, to produce a temporary and local reversal of the normal direction of entropy.

So — if “cybernetics really is dead” — what kind of circuitry malfunction has taken place?

Ccru book (update +)

Ccru: Writings 1997-2003 was uploaded to the Kindle platform 5 minutes ago. Should be available within the next couple of days.

Here’s the re-worked cover:


Thanks to Amy Ireland for hunting down this Numogram for us.

ADDED: The version of the book with a functioning Table of Contents and de-murkified cover (damn!) is still in suspension. We’ll make an announcement when this approved product has cleared the Kindle review process — so please hang on for now.

ADDED: OK, go for it. (Table of contents works on the product, even if it doesn’t show up at the Kindle store.)