back to the future

one of the first ever posts on this blog was this one, commenting upon Park MacDougald’s “Accelerationism, Left and Right“, to date one of the very best primers on acceleration and its schisms. there I made a few points that deserve follow-up given my recent developments.

the first one, regarding the acceleration of market catallactics as a propellant of human autonomization is very much the topic of the last section of the Dark Enlightenment essay, although in a much darker vein. darkness notwithstanding, there is no real distinction between the dissolution of a population in its technology and the autonomization of human beings.

the second one deserves full restatement here, following-up my last arguments against left-accelerationism:

Left-Accelerationism mostly ignores left-wing anarchist tendencies which focus on individual autonomy and the forces of bottom-up global organization through capitalist technologies (bitcoin, ethereum and the Internet itself being the foremost examples). It’s my contention here that any “left” that does not interest itself with decentralized, disruptive processes, and focus rather on keeping and maintaining centralized power, is not “left-wing” at all.

market forces need no “repurposing” to deliver left-wing results, they need intensification(as a brief aside about a text that deserves much more attention, Justin Murphy’s point here can be answered from that: yes, “revolution” can be properly understood as an enterprise within an inherently competitive system – call it “capitalism” if you want – and it’s within enterprises that any action can be made sense of).

the third point, regarding Carson’s subjective LTV still stands, especially since some reflections on Bohm-Bawerk’s roundaboutness and subsequent Cambridge Capital Debate have led me to ponder that maybe Carson’s work has indeed much deeper insights to questions of accelerationism. i will be returning to those soon.

finally, i guess i’ve touched repeatedly on the topic of Neocameralism and territoriality lately (1, 2, 3, 4), so the fourth point has been dealt with.

xenoeconomics 1: how to measure capital formation?

if capital is an alien invasion from the future, the first thing needed is a way to see it, to measure it, since it evidently eludes us and appears as the history of capitalism. what we need is an index.

taking capital to be a process such as biological life, measuring its formation (intensification) should probably follow a similar logic.

a first immediate index to life’s formation is simply how much matter is trapped in the form of biological entities. a biomass index is readily available in fact.
given a certain mass, intensification is tracked by the alterations in that mass, so that an index of proliferation (reproductive success or fitness) makes itself necessary.
finally, probably due to the cosmic calculation problem, life intensifies also in how complex a metabolism is, so that it can miniaturise and thus function at a deeper time scale. (there are many complexity measures, all of them roughly represent the same insight: more degrees of freedom (more fine indirect expenditure of energy over a certain time for the same quantity of mass), but the network theory measure (number of paths in a graph) is the most amenable to the socio-economic dynamics that, as i’ll propose below, track capital formation. also, it’s only expected that a cybernetic intensification such as capital be described asymtoptically (i.e., teleologically). using Big-O notation can be useful when tackling capital’s complexity. Land, of couse, expects – by Moore’s Law – that capital’s complexification rate be O(2^n), that is, exponential on base two.)
taking this view, a list of three indexes to capital formation can be made:
  1. capital’s mass index, relative to total earthly mass (at least);
  2. capital’s reproduction or proliferation rate (arguably the trickies to spot);
  3. capital’s complexification rate
these will be the xenoeconomist’s primary tools to see the alien they’re hunting.
in mainstream economics, are there any indexes to which these can be roughly mapped? I initially thought of something in the lines of:
  1. gross world’s wealth estimate
  2. gross world’s growth rate
  3. technological innovation rate
but i have no idea if economists are tracking any of those things.
* * *
in a related thought, what if, taking Land’s lead, we are to think of capital as a collection of individual urban centers, such as life is a collection of individual organisms? then, i think, we get a little less tangled. we could use indexes of urban development to track capital formation. a rough and provisional mapping would be, respectively:
  1. urbanisation rate (% of people in urban centers)
  2. city proliferation rate (first derivative of the urbanisation rate in relation to time)
  3. average city complexification rate
Vincent Garton has pointed to me the first obvious objection to this urbanomist approach: it apparently ignores the deployment of capital in agriculture, which would be inconvenient, given the “green revolution”. a rejoinder could possibly be developed along the lines Land’s already touched upon here: it’s cities that provide big and stable enough markets so that industrial agriculture can develop, thus capturing one is already implicitly capturing the other. a better formalization of this is, surely, wanted.
a very interesting paper on China’s megalopolisation, made me think that megalopolisation could be another good proxy for the second metric, of city proliferation, since it’s a doubling down of urbanization (cities going to cities). but possibly it could be better captured by city complexity rates. i totally think Land’s theory of mega-cities as AI bodies gets traction in seeing the maps of megalopolises.
* * *
since we’re talking about measuring a cybernetic intensification, this Wikipedia compilation of measures of “Accelerating change” can be quite useful.

red markets and the monetizing of justice

one lesson any libertarian has to have learnt already, from the many “Wars On…” that progressive governments waged across the centuries is that not only do they not eliminate anything perceived as evil, they strengthen it and produce even more entropic undercurrents. example on display: the war on drugs. cocaine, marijuana, etc have become more available, and mega-cartels are now sometimes bigger than their host societies.

I would go one step forward and say: prohibitions don’t ever work. a moral hunt backed by massive troops payed from taxes do not provide the right incentives to reduce the production and distribution of anything. quit it.

the usual counter-move is: “but what about, say, murder“. as if I was some kind of puritan who, in face of the name of the devil, would shriek away from anything. no, the prohibition of murder also doesn’t work.  what works is some incentive structure that produce an eugenic trend and thus reduces murderers in the long-run, irrespective of how many battalions are after murderers.

my suggestion – wait, and spit on me – is to put a price tag on everyone. it’s also usually called “life insurance”. the workings are simple:

  1. you hire a life insurance.
  2. if someone attempts of actually murders you, they have to pay a fine, proportional to your life insurance (plus due process fees, etc).
  3. behavior adapts to such state of affairs.

the same can be applied to pretty much every crime.

this helps internalize costs (you have to pay for your own security – the more you pay, the safer you are). it frees people from state dependency (you can choose to protect yourself). it eliminates criminal and unproductive lineages of people in the long run (sometimes insurance companies will pay rogue death-squads to eliminate “negative premium” people – those whose debts are above their insurance premium). it incentivizes people to work in security of others (they can gather the premiums of deflecting criminals), all the while economizing on police forces (who can answer calls now based on insurance premium values), and disincentivize would-be criminals, given both the prices in money and blood they can incur.

also, prisons become obsolete and useless. why lock people away and spend millions taking care of them, or putting them in make-work, when you can put a debt in their balances, black-list them on general records, and still have them free to do productive work? if they become unproductive enough to not even cover the cost of their behavior, there good incentives in place to eliminate them, in decentralized form.

seriously, monetizing justice may be the greatest social improvement since private property.

meta-neocameralist program of research

Land starts MNC here. in this post I list general questions that have to be answered by a MNC research program.

Descending the levels as the original landian post, we start at the occult level-0 and dig deep:

(0) MNC-theology: what is the arcane fundamentals of organization and order? what is the formalization of order in the universe (i. e., what is the cosmos)? Who or what has sovereign property over the cosmos?

(1) Power economics: How is power produced, distributed, maintained and lost? Which physical quantities determinate the quantity of power? Does power define boundaries? If so, how? Is division of power possible? If not, does secession really ever happen or only a single hegemon always governs the world? Else, what are its possible configurations, and which configurations determine the growth or decrease of systemic power? How does level-0 entities check power? What is a realistic definition / determination of power? How does power relate to (systemic) survival, i.e. linearly, non-linearly, inversely, etc? Abstractly, what is reality, especially from the point of view of power? How to discover it?

(2) Power pedagogy: How do regimes learn? How do they learn how to learn well? How do they produce realistic information? How do well-governing regimes learn and apply such information? How does power recur upon itself, i.e. how does it intellectualize? And what are the specific consequences of this? Is power indeed selected to check itself? If so, how does it happen? If not, where does Land go wrong? What is a formalization of power? How does this increase its commercial liquidity? What is a model for power to become a business, and thus perform experiments? What are the networks of exchange between “public” and “private” spheres, and how fast do they integrate both? How can entropy in government be dissipated through bankruptcy and market-drive restructuring?

(3) Power formalization: How can one formalize existing regimes as sovereign corporations? Who are the clients, executives and shareholders in each polity? How is power sold and bought? How does power markets function? Does power increase through this monetization cycle? If so, how and how much? Which definite social quantities are power factors? In which proportion to each other?

Of course, some answer have been pursued ever since “neocameralism” became a word, and thus may have been more or less thoroughly answered. Also there may be questions which I haven’t covered. Link both of them to me, and I’ll link them here (so that this becomes a reference post). Most of them, though, I suspect have been mostly neglected in the last 2 years, and deserve further investigation.

There is a fourth possible degree, called “power engineering” that Land has not (for obvious reasons) included. This is the point where MNC folds back upon NC and finally tells you which principles have been the “best practices” of functioning social orders, and thus at least a little of how to design a society. It may be included here, if there is any exploration in this regard going on.

capitalism = feminism (sketch summary)

bullet points, for starters

  1. as per Levi-Strauss, women are the first commodities in human societies, being traded in the marriage circle, to avoid incest (and, thus create genetic variation). this starts the expansion of exogamy in humanity.
  2. capitalism (economic modernity), as the process in which everything turns into commodities, and then money, and then…, is the process of the empowerment of commodities. they serve to rule.
  3. women, as commodities provided with brains are empowered as members of the economy. their character as primitive commodities gives them “a revolutionary destiny”, as they now tower upon those that once owned them. yes, modern society is gymnocentric, and will only get ever more so as capitalism intensifies.
  4. becoming women = becoming commodity = becoming capital. it’s only by dissolving into flows of information that anything survives within and throughout capitalism. any resistance is an undoing of these fluxes. resist capitalism, and the fatherlands win. dissolve into capital, and then… who knows?
  5. feminism is the drive towards the Technological Singularity.

2017 prophecies

I’ll get in the business of yearly predictions, since I’ve managed to nail the election of Donald Trump in a private bet (and got nothing of much more value written yet):

  • At least one country starts procedures to leave Europe
  • …this country is from East Europe
  • Russia, in formal alliance with Israel and Iran, makes the first strike against ISIS in Syrian
  • BTC remains 70% of the year above 1000USD
  • Second Urbit sale
  • Brazilian interim president Michel Temer remains in office
  • Donald Trump doesn’t start building of the wall
  • Trump exits at least one international organization the USA is currently a member of
  • Higher tariff in the US doesn’t increase employment (and everyone gets angry)

If I think of anything else, I’ll add later. At the end of the year, we see.

on free trade

I just finished reading John Michael Greer’s post “The Free Trade Fallacy” from last November, and it got me intrigued.

As a libertarian, I usually face the charges Greer puts forth: if goods and capital can flow freely through borders, some countries will be much better at the expense of their populace and of other countries. Hardly, though, with such clarity as Greer’s. So much that I think merits at least a response (even if mine is not very brilliant).

A couple caveats before we get into the argument itself:

  1. I think nations should, in fact, enter voluntarily into free trade agreements, and never if they perceive this is bad for their interests. I am completely against an “Open Door Empire” that violently imposes unilateral “trade agreements” on its in fact subject nations.
  2. I am specifically countering JMG’s assertion that free trade, per se, without further intervention policies from the State, is cause of working-class poverty, wealth concentration and economic crises. I will argue solely that no, free trade alone does not cause those things – and I’ll leave open the reasons why such things happened when there were “free trade waves” (if reading is of interest, my main source here is Kevin Carson, his books cover most of the historical arguments I’d make).

The flesh of Greer’s argument is here:

When there are no trade barriers, the nation that can produce a given good or service at the lowest price will end up with the lion’s share of the market for that good or service. Since labor costs make up so large a portion of the cost of producing goods, those nations with low wages will outbid those with high wages, resulting in high unemployment and decreasing wages in the formerly high-wage countries. The result is a race to the bottom in which wages everywhere decline toward those of the worst-paid labor force in the free trade zone.

Well, certainly, those suppliers that offer the smallest price (and keep the biggest profit) will get the lion’s share of their market. They will most assuredly look for the lowest labor costs possible – given all other factors – and will choose the bundle of factors of production that yield the smallest price at the biggest profit.

Now, if a nation has high-wages, it will (sometimes) lose companies and thus jobs to nations with lower wages. But it will get cheaper products. This means that, even if nominal wages fall, real wages (purchase power) will either remain the same or even increase (because cheaper imports).

Also, if a nation chooses to keep their nominal wages, it will mean unemployment. But otherwise, if they lower their nominal wages, unemployment won’t be an issue, unless it is a nation that can produce nothing at all, which is clearly absurd.

As capital moves to these configurations that yield smallest prices and biggest profits, and wages adjust accordingly, it is probable much more material wealth is produced and distributed widely. Little by little, amongst nation there evolves a specialization of labor, similar to the one that happen inside those nations, among individuals.

The mismatch between purchase power and capital investment that Greer identifies will only happen if real wages are lowered. And that demands something more than plain free trade.