Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Technosphere chokes on a chip

The technosphere, which I defined in my 2016 book Shrinking the Technosphere as a nonhuman global emergent intelligence driven by an abstract teleology of total control, has seen its interests greatly advanced in the course of the 2020-21 coronavirus pandemic, with large parts of human populations forced to submit to control measures that made a mockery of their vaunted human rights and democratic values. This is as expected: the technosphere's most potent technologies are its killing technologies, and the way it goes about using them reflects its profound hatred for all living things, especially the willful and hard to control ones. But then the technosphere started to shrink—in certain locales. It is still going strong in others, but it not to early to imagine (dare I say, predict?) how it might continue shrink and what the consequences are going to be.

In my book, I described the reasons why and the methods how we should avoid becoming trapped under the inert hulk of the technosphere. I even provided a worksheet which readers could use to track their progress in freeing themselves from the technosphere's clutches. This was, as was to be expected, to no avail. The only how-to books in this world are cookbooks; the rest are read mainly for entertainment—first alone and, later, at cocktail parties. And the purpose of writing them is to make a bit of extra money to pay baby-sitters (at least it was in my case at the time).

To understand what seems likely to unfold, have to first delve into the technosphere's ontology: what does its emergent intelligence software it run on? It turns out that, seen as a network operating system, it runs partially on human brains but mostly on various microchips, with a wide assortment of optical, electromagnetic and mechanical sensors attached. Although humans still (think that) they exercise a modicum of control over the technosphere, it is the technosphere's natural tendency to take control away from humans even unto life-and-death decisions, as evidenced by a recent event in Libya where an unmanned military aircraft autonomously made the decision to kill someone. And exercising control requires control circuitry.

Having had successful careers as an electronics engineer and then as a software engineer, I am something of a walking, talking museum of automation technology, and can take you on a brief tour of its development. The dumbest control element is the light switch. It has no memory and it decides nothing. The next slightly less stupid control element is a toggle: it remembers whether the light is on or off and when pushed turns it off or on, respectively. This is already surprisingly far along: to build a computer, we need just a few more elements. We need a threshold switch with two buttons, which, depending on what you want, turns the light on when either button is pushed (called an "or gate") or when both buttons are pushed (called an "and gate"). We also need a "not": something that turns the light off when actuated. Finally, we need an actuator; instead of turning on a light bulb, all of these elements should be able to push each others' buttons. And now we are off to the races!

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Putin fully agrees with me




"The United States are making sure-footed strides directly along the path of the Soviet Union."
 
It's been 16 years since I published my article "Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century." It was based on realizations I made a decade earlier, back in 1996, upon returning to the States after observing the aftermath of the Soviet collapse. Since then I have been focused on what I saw as the main causes of collapse in both the Soviet and in the American case: exorbitant debt, problems in the energy sector and unreformable political systems mired in corruption, their elites delusional in their feelings of omnipotence. And now comes a truly eerie analogy: the powder keg that detonated under the USSR was ethnic nationalism and separatism; and the powder keg that is currently detonating under the US is "woke" (anti-)racism: another brand of ethnic fascism but with American characteristics.

That article opened with the following paragraph:
A decade and a half ago the world went from bipolar to unipolar, because one of the poles fell apart: The S.U. is no more. The other pole – symmetrically named the U.S. – has not fallen apart – yet, but there are ominous rumblings on the horizon. The collapse of the United States seems about as unlikely now as the collapse of the Soviet Union seemed in 1985.
At the time my message was perceived as being provocative but very far from the political mainstream thinking of the time. But the world has since caught up with me. The following quotes (translation mine) are from Vladimir Putin's address and the currently running St. Petersburg World Economic Forum.

Мы слышим угрозы, продолжающиеся из Конгресса, еще откуда-то. Все это делается в ходе внутриполитических процессов США. Вот люди, которые это делают, они исходят, видимо, из того, что мощь, экономическая, США, военная мощь, политическая, такова, что это не страшно, что это мы переживем, они думают

We are hearing threats coming out of US Congress and elsewhere. This is happening in the course of internal political processes within the USA. The people who make these threats are assuming, it would seem, that the power of the USA, its economic, military and political power, is such that this isn't serious, that they will survive this. That's what they think.

Вы знаете, в чем проблема, я вам расскажу как бывший гражданин бывшего Советского Союза. В чем проблема империй – им кажется, что они такие могущественные, что они могут позволить себе небольшие погрешности и ошибки. Этих купим, этих напугаем, с этими договоримся, этим дадим бусы, этим погрозим военными кораблями. И это решит проблемы. Но количество проблем нарастает. Наступает момент, когда с ними уже не справиться. И Соединенные Штаты уверенной поступью, уверенной походкой, твердым шагом идут прямо по пути Советского Союза.

But I'll tell you what the problem is, as a former citizen of the Soviet Union. The problem of empires is that they imagine themselves to be so powerful that they can allow themselves small miscalculations and errors. Some they'll bribe, some they'll scare, some they'll make a deal with, some they'll give glass beads, some they'll frighten with warships—and this will fix problems. But the number of problems continues to grow. There comes a moment when they can no longer cope with them. The United States are making sure-footed strides directly along the path of the Soviet Union.

It is one thing for such thoughts to be expressed by a little-known blogger; it is quite another for them to be voiced by the long-standing leader of a world superpower at a very prestigious and well-attended international forum. Those of you who have not been paying attention, or have but see the collapse of the USA as a somewhat whimsical, futuristic notion, need to pinch themselves.

If there is anything at all that you can do to prepare, your time is short. This is not a drill.

The Arctic Fox is at your door. 

Thursday, June 03, 2021

The Order of the Arctic Fox

 

Why the Arctic Fox?

And wherefore cometh he?

There arise occasions in the course of human affairs that cannot be properly characterized without resorting to the strongest possible language. In situations when nothing can be made to work and all has come undone the term “collapse” tends to get a lot of use, but it is too abstract and too technical to do justice to the visceral experience of the event. It comes from the Latin col-labi—to slip together—but the exclamation “Goodness gracious, we slipped together!” just doesn't resonate.

What one is more likely to hear is something more along the lines of “Holy shit, we are totally fucked!” or some other string of obscene expletives, and this rather spoils the solemnity of the occasion. What is called for is a way to ennoble our suffering, not to cheapen it with vulgar expressions.

The connection between the sacred (that which is holy) and the sacral (that which is related to the pelvis and its varied functions) is a most intimate one. Both derive from sacrum, which is an anatomical term: it is the triangular bone in the lower back formed from fused vertebrae and situated between the two hipbones of the pelvis. The word is a Latin translation—os sacrum—of the Greek term—hieron osteon (holy bone)—for the Ancient Greeks believed the sacrum to be the seat of the soul. There may be something to this belief: when we suddenly realize that we may be about to die and as our soul makes emergency preparations to leave the body, we tend to experience a pronounced tingling sensation centered on the sacrum. The entire pelvis also tends to become affected: the anal sphincter relaxes, sometimes resulting in something vernacularly referred to as “losing one’s shit,” and, in men, the scrotum tightens and the testicles retract.

At that point many people also involuntarily utter sacrilegious profanities (there’s sacrum again!) which freely combine references to sex, defecation, genitalia, motherhood and God. Across many languages much use is made of vulgar terms for female genitalia: they form a sacred portal through which all human (and even some divine) life enters this world, and this makes references to them particularly potent in this context.

The holy and the obscene are really one and the same; swearing is a form of prayer and the female pelvis is the altar to which we spontaneously direct our prayers when we suddenly find ourselves in extremis. One often hears that there are no atheists to be found aboard a foundering ship but a lot of cursing/praying to be heard; are these two in some sense not the same?

The need to be vivid and evocative yet polite when referring to financial, commercial, political, social and cultural collapse forces people to resort to euphemisms. One nation that has a recent and profound of experience of collapse is Russia, having lost an estimated ten million people to alcoholism, violence, emigration and despair in the wake of the collapse of the USSR during the 1990s.

Referring to collapse, the Russians tend to make references to “the white furry animal,” thereby indirectly referring to the arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus. The Russian word for it is песец (peséts). It is a polite substitute for the term пиздец (pizdéts), which is reasonably well conveyed by the English exclamation “Holy shit, we are totally fucked!” It is in turn derived from the word пизда (pizdá), which is a vulgar term for female genitalia.

Take this white fluffy animal into your heart, and you will no longer have to wanly banter about collapse; instead, you can now harness the full depth of the sacred and the profane and refer to it as “the advent of the arctic fox” or, if you want to be coy and use a euphemism, you can instead obliquely mention “a certain furry animal.” Those in the know will appreciate this bit of finesse while those who have no idea... well, what of them?

Witnesses to the advent of the arctic fox need a sacred symbol, which I am happy to provide. In keeping with the light-hearted, whimsical nature of the subject, it is a talisman that symbolizes Golgotha, with four crosses rather than the usual three. One cross is, perforce, for Jesus Christ. At the center is the symbol of Death, which Christ vanquished through His resurrection. Two more crosses are for St. Petrov and St. Boshirov, the intrepid time-traveling GRU agents who will have had been crucified together with Jesus, cleverly disguised as the two thieves. And the fourth cross is for your own good self: on it you will be crucified during the advent of the arctic fox but will, with any luck, be reborn into a new life once the arctic fox departs.

 

Please order your copy of The Arctic Fox Cometh, available locally wherever Amazon.com has a foothold (now including Australia).

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Brave Soldiers Petrov and Boshirov at the Arsenal in Vrbetice, Czechia

Text of the investigative report by J. Hašek, Bellingcat

His excellency said: "Petrov and Boshirov, you are scoundrels! But since you want to serve, go and learn to work with guncotton. It will do you good."

And so brave soldiers Petrov and Boshirov went to work at the arsenal, learning to pack guncotton into artillery shells. It's a tricky business: you could get blasted up in the air at any time, and then it's curtains!

But brave soldiers Petrov and Boshirov did not shy away from this work. Quite contented, they spent their days in a separate barrack, sitting between casks of dynamite, ecrasite and guncotton, packing artillery shells with these frightening substances and singing battle hymns.

After some rousing battle hymns there followed heartfelt songs about dumplings the size of a person's head, which Petrov and Boshirov swallowed with indescribable pleasure.

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Arctic Fox Cometh [new book]

I am happy to announce that my newest book of essays is finally ready to order. It contains a choice selection of essays which I have written over the past year and a half, carefully edited and proofread and typeset in easy to read 12-point type on ecologically benign paper in a tastefully designed paperback tome of 300 pages. Thousands of my faithful subscribers on Patreon and SubscribeStar have already been given access to these essays as soon as I wrote them. And now I am very glad to be able to offer them to the whole wide world.


Description:

We don’t know when it will come.
We don’t know what it will be like.
But we do know that it will come
and that we won’t like it
at all.


There arise occasions in the course of human affairs that cannot be properly characterized without resorting to the strongest possible language. In situations when nothing can be made to work and all has come undone the term “collapse” tends to get a lot of use, but it is too abstract and too technical to do justice to the visceral experience of the event. The need to be vivid and evocative yet polite when referring to financial, commercial, political, social and cultural collapse forces people to resort to euphemisms. Referring to collapse, the Russians tend to make references to “the white furry animal,” thereby indirectly referring to the arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus. Take this white fluffy animal into your heart, and you will no longer have to wanly banter about collapse; instead, you can now harness the full depth of the sacred and the profane and refer to it as “the advent of the arctic fox” or, if you want to be coy and use a euphemism, you can instead obliquely mention “a certain furry animal.”

Contents:

Why the Arctic Fox?

My Political Credo

Putin, Kipling and the Russian Man’s Burden

Putin’s Latest Warning

Real Life

Real Life—The Redux

Getting Hyperinflation Right

Why Trump was bound to fail

The Great Reset as a Suicide Pact

A Beautiful Plan

How American Propaganda helps Russian Propaganda

Voices from the Grave by Microsoft

The Petrochemical Pandemic

Genghis Khan does America

How the World has Changed Lately

World Satanic Society Year-End Report

The Stupidest News Story of the Year

Lunar Soil Revisited

Are Americans Rational?

“Watch this!”

Nefarious Objectives

The Novichok Spa Treatment

Harder, Faster, Deeper!

How to vote for Satan

The Virtuous Collapse Sequence

Charting the Collapse of the American Empire

Beheading the Statue of Liberty

Post-Collapse Administration

Repent&Pay™ Considered Harmful

The Great Wall of Russia

The Coronavirus of Kindness

Gaslighting the Coronavirus

The Clay Machine Gun

Bat-eating Troglodytes of Wuhan

The Global Warming Apocalyptic Cult

2020: New Decade, New Rules

Predictions for the 2020s

ORDER LINK


Saturday, May 08, 2021

My Political Credo

Given the high level of political polarization in the US and, increasingly, in Western Europe, it seems rather important to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. Some inquiring minds may wish to know what my political stance is: am I perhaps a Trumper or a Bidenoid? Am I a communist or a fascist? It is no use telling people that I am none of the above. People automatically assume that if you are not one thing, then you must be the other. Luckily, I do have a principled political credo. It's not even individually mine; I share it with my colleague Sergei Vasilyev and probably a whole lot of other reasonable-minded people who will gladly accept it as their own once they have read it. And so, without further ado, here is my (and Sergei's) political credo.

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Putin, Kipling and the Russian Man's Burden

In his speech, of 21.04.2021 Putin made a very sharp cultural reference which, if unfolded, offers some major insights as to current events and what is likely to unfold.

First, some background. In February of 2021 Josep Borrell, EU's chief diplomat, made a trip to Moscow which was roundly declared a disaster. While in Moscow, Borrell demanded that Russia release Alexei Navalny, who had just serving out his sentence for a previous fraud conviction. In return, Borrell was shown a video montage of human rights atrocities perpetuated by European police against demonstrators in a number of EU countries and was told that such behavior was unacceptable, implying that the EU was in no position to lecture Russia on human rights.

His trip coincided with the expulsion of a group of European diplomats who had interfered in Russia's internal affairs by becoming involved in political protests there, this being inconsistent with their diplomatic status. Thereafter, minister Sergei Lavrov declared that although relations with the EU are almost dead, Russia will continue to develop its relations with individual European nations. Then, a little less than two months later, several European countries, all of them formerly part of the East Bloc but now part of NATO, started expelling Russian diplomats on a thought-up pretext.

And then came Putin's speech of 21.04.2021, which contained the following passage: "We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Sheer Khan – everything is like in Kipling's book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer." Upon hearing these words, much of the Federal Assembly he was addressing smiled and laughed. Putin's arrow found its target.

What does this all mean?

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Putin's Latest Warning

Putin picked the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, in the 21st year of his illustrious reign as an auspicious date on which to give his annual address to Russia's Federal Assembly. You can read it yourself here. What follows is my own opinion as to what it means.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/65418

Here's a very short summary:

1. The "war" of 2020 is over and Russia has won
2. Russia is going to be very busy making life better for its people
3. Anyone who tries to interfere with Russia will regret it.

Now, let me unfold this for you.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Putin's Ukrainian Judo

A terrible war is about to erupt on Russia's border with the Ukraine—or not—but there is some likelihood of a significant number of people getting killed before project Ukraine is finally over. Given that around 13 thousand people have been killed over the past seven years—the civil war in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine has gone on for that long!—this is no laughing matter. But people get desensitized to the mostly low-level warfare that has killed over ten thousand people. Just over the past couple of weeks a grandfather was shot by a Ukrainian sniper while feeding his chickens and a young boy was killed by a bomb precision-dropped on him from a Ukrainian drone.

But what's about to happen now is forecasted to be on a different scale: the Ukrainians are moving heavy armor and troops up to the line of separation while the Russians are moving theirs up to their side of the Ukrainian border, a position from which they can blast any and all Ukrainian troops straight out of the gene pool without so much as setting foot on Ukrainian territory—should they wish to do so. The Russians can justify their military involvement by the need to defend their own citizens: over the past seven years half a million residents in eastern Ukraine have applied for and been granted Russian citizenship. But how exactly can Russia defend its citizens while they are stuck in the crossfire between Russian and Ukrainian forces?

The rationale of defending its citizens led to conflict in the briefly Georgian region of South Ossetia, which started on August 8, 2008 and lasted barely a week, leaving Georgia effectively demilitarized. Russia rolled in, Georgia's troops ran off, Russia confiscated some of the more dangerous war toys and rolled out. Georgia's paper warriors and their NATO consultants and Israeli trainers were left wiping each others' tears. Any suggestion of arming and equipping the Georgians since then is met with groaning and eye-rolling. Is the upcoming event in eastern Ukraine going to be similar to the swift and relatively painless defanging of Georgia in 2008? Given that the two situations are quite different, it seems foolish to think that the approach to resolving them would be the same.

Is it different this time and is World War III is about to erupt with eastern Ukraine being used as a trigger for this conflagration? Do the various statements made at various times by Vladimir Putin provide a solid enough basis for us to guess at what will happen next? Is there a third, typically, infuriatingly Russian approach to resolving this situation, where Russia wins, nobody dies and everyone in the West is left scratching their heads?

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