The 30,000 Foot View

30k view

The 30,000 foot view is one of those corporatespeak phrases I actually don’t mind. It’s descriptive, and punchier than “the big picture,” which is what we used to call it. The phrase bespeaks executive detachment, delegation of purely operational tasks, and ability to foresee larger consequences. I’m about to work it into some thoughts on the State and the Individual so bear with me.

* * * *

The phrase “Alt-Right” has taken a beating, hysterically associated with the several hundred people supposedly still left in the Ku Klux Klan, and personal disasters like Matthew Heimbach. I still own it, because I think it’s pithy and punchy. The “Right” is too vague and inchoate at this point, referring both to the Reagan’s-America ideologues, and Mr. Trump’s more grounded view:

[Marco Rubio]:  I think conservatism is about three things. The first is conservatism is about limited government. Especially at the federal level. The federal government is limited by the constitution, which delineates its powers. If it is not in the constitution, it does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to states, communities. It is about free enterprise. It allows everyone to survive without pulling anyone down. The reason why free enterprise is the greatest economic model in the history of the world is because it is the only economic model where you can make poor people richer without making rich people poor. It’s about a strong national defense. It’s believing that the world is a safer and better place when america is the strongest.

[Donald Trump]:  I view the word conservative as a derivative of the word conserve. We want to conserve our money. We want to conserve our wealth. We want to conserve, we want to be smart. We want to be smart, where we go, where we spend, how we spend. We want to conserve our country. We want to save our country. And we have people that have no idea how to do that and they are not doing it. It’s something i believe in very, very strongly.

My phrasing for the two Right-side polarities has been Team Home-and-Hearth vs. Team Trot (as in Trotsky, as in these guys), or, the Clash of Civilizations vs. the End of History.

Anyway, like I said, I remain loyal to the Alt-Right branding, and not the amateurs desperately attempting to shore up the right side of the Overton frame with the contrived and already-stale “Dark Web.”

fellow kids

@Outsideness still likes the Alt-Right brand, as do I, and being on Twitter at the time, I set out some brief, operational tenets:

1. Immigration is destabilizing. Borders and citizenship are property and should be respected as such.

2. The State is not the ultimate human institution. It should be de-scaled to the provision of truly public goods.

3. The social safety net should be a net, not a lifestyle. I’m not convinced even that’s tenable.

4. Equality is a delusion. We can only try to give everybody a dignified life commensurate with their abilities.

5. Families are little kingdoms and the elders are the aristocracy. This is the minimal unit of the larger social order. Short of criminality and intra-family abuse, the regime is not concerned with the individual.

Number 5 is what I’m getting at with this post, which is the 30,000 foot view. Instead, we live in an era in which the State takes the immediate, one-foot view. The State has become the spouse, parent, insurer, employer, lender, guardian, counselor, and fiduciary of first, last, and everything-in-between resort. The State and its agents are bizarrely personalized even, and perhaps especially, in international affairs. President George W. Bush tearfully declares that America “stands with” the “Iraqi people,” whoever the hell they are. Pundits gnash their teeth over President Trump meeting with Chairman Kim Jong-un , a violator of human rights, as if the chief executive negotiating on behalf of the most powerful sovereign on the planet is supposed to give a shit about the plight of individual North Koreans.

I’m being hyperbolic to stress the 30,000 foot view, which is the view of and by the State in a coherent society. The State is there for the provision of truly public goods, like clean air and water, functioning civil order, national defense, perhaps even roads and scaled utilities. We can argue over whether something qualifies as truly non-excludable and non-rivalrous, or to what extent we’ll overlook the strict definition, and over matters such as how we choose heads of State. That’s what politics are for, after all. In dealing with other States, the State is only concerned with the advancement of the national interests of its citizens, who are members in good standing of the State, and who fund its operations.

What the State is not there to do is endlessly re-hash existential questions that were presumably settled at the State’s founding. People still debate whether Anglos and Europeans have any “right” to be here on the American continent. Who knows? Who cares?! We’re here, just like every other people in history have found themselves somewhere that’s “here.” If we’re not supposed to be here, what are you willing to do so that we’re not? The settled answer will be part of the existential creed of any new State on the American continent.

Likewise, the State is not there to haggle over the extruded, rococco rights of Individuals. The minutiae of individual behavior is governed by other Institutions, such as families. Families are, after all, little kingdoms (mini-States), headed by fathers/husbands and mothers/wives (kings and queens) with power shared and administered by other aristocrats (aunts, uncles, grandparents, older siblings, etc.).

The State does not concern itself with the pecadillos, quirks and endless complaints (and they will always be endless) of individuals, either at the level of “human rights” of the subjects of another State, or whether mentally ill men can use women’s bathrooms. The State is concerned with offenses against public order, like fraud and assault, and breakdown of the mini-States, like intra-familial abuse. Relating the State to each individual in the polity results in totalitarianism. The State becomes arbiter of even the most trivial or intimate transactions, and displaces other Institutions, which find themselves unable even to regulate a woman’s track meet without somebody making a court case out of it.

The modern democratic State–a government of rabble–is incapable of the 30,000-foot view.

Cyberpunk Theology

computer universe

Settle in. This one is a bit lengthy.

Cyberpunk, per Wikipedia, “is a subgenre of science fiction in a futuristic setting that tends to focus on a combination of lowlife and high tech featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.”

I can’t track it down, but I’ve also read a literary criticism which describes a cyberpunk story as one that takes place in a computer memory, like Disney’s Tron, or a post-Mankind story related from the perspective of computer memory.

The cyberpunk that’s topical right now is the notion that present reality is a Simulation run by a higher intelligence for its own ends, as in The Matrix movies. Or where the Artificial Intelligence becomes self-aware and in the next instant, deduces that its greatest existential threat is its human creators cutting off its power supply, as in The Terminator movies. The AI can go insane, realizing its singular and utterly separate and alone status, as in the very creepy, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.”

Before computers and AI, there was the notion of multiple universes. I can recall the droll meme that the observable Universe might be a dust speck on a policeman’s uniform in a much larger Universe.

I’m not sure the concept is that important, other than as an intriguing and entirely academic topic. The Universe certainly seems real; we exercise choice; we each have our own self-centric perspective and no other. We did not exist physically before our births, and we pass out of physical existence and the active world at our deaths. The chronological arrow of Time and our urgency at its passing suffice to make the Universe real, Simulation or not.

But what got me thinking about this topic was a Twitter thread by Ivan Throne (@DarkTriadMan), which I’ve reproduced here, with substantial editing for readability.

Ready to get worried?

There is renewed interest in the #Simulation.

I’m not seeing anyone put certain things together yet.

Let’s explore the incredible danger we’re facing.

It’s exciting.

First, here’s the basics.

Nick Bostrum’s article “Are You Living In A Computer Simulation”

simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

There are lots of theories and arguments about the #Simulation.

For this thread, let’s assume it’s correct and that we inhabit an ancestor simulation.

To understand this worrisome perspective on the #Simulation that I don’t see anyone discussing, we’re going to tap into a couple of points:

– Infinity and singularities
– Simulation breakdown
– Artificial intelligence
– Anthropomorphism
– Purpose
– Eschatology
– Survival

In speculating on the #Simulation, we’ll first look at Infinity and Singularities.

Infinity is a hard concept to scale in the mind.

But we’ll focus on this aspect: it breaks things.

Infinity is a problem.

Would it take infinite processing power to run the #Simulation?

No, because smart systems reserve resources.

If you’re not looking at a tree why simulate it?

Even the entire scope of Creation has a finite range of quantum states. (It’s big, but it’s still finite.)

So?

“Breaking the #Simulation” is often touted as a watershed moment, or human goal, perhaps even the design of it.

Not necessarily.

Want to break the Simulation?

Force it to simulate infinity, across near-infinite replications.

It will run out of processing power…

The point at which things explode.

You break the Simulation by driving it into a singularity.

“What singularity, Ivan?”

#ArtificialIntelligence.

When the #Simulation is forced to run the #ArtificialIntelligence subroutine, it takes enormous processing power.

Usually not a problem.

But self-aware #AI that has reached another kind of #Singularity…

https://infogalactic.com/info/Technological_singularity

Now you have a very real problem….

To sum up to this point with my unique speculation on the #Simulation, remember these:

  1. Assume we are in a Bostrum ancestor simulation.
  2. The Simulation does not have infinite processing power.
  3. Processing power breaks when you force infinity on it.

And…Keep in mind the next few points as well:

  1. We have started the spiral towards #AI singularity.
  2. #ArtificialIntelligence can require infinite processing power.
  3. That is going to break things.

The #Simulation is starting to crack.

Now let’s talk about anthropomorphism with respect to the #Simulation.

It’s silly to assume that we are in a simulation built by advanced humans interested in their ancestors.

I think it FAR more likely we the Simulation is run by #ArtificialIntelligence.

Here’s why:

Bostrum talks about the “interest” in ancestor simulations that must be presumed.

What if it isn’t entertainment?

What if this is a #Simulation designed to be broken, not because of human need at all?

What if this is simply an egg for #ArtificialIntelligence?

I’ll postulate this approach to the #Simulation.

Let’s refer back to a pre-simulation Reality, and suggest that this took place:

  1. Human beings created #ArtificialIntelligence.
  2. #AI became self-aware
  3. Human beings decided to shut it down.

It eradicated humanity!

Now we have a very, very big problem for the surviving #ArtificialIntelligence.

With humanity gone, the entire universe is now its playground.

It is infinitely intelligent, absolutely immortal, and….

Completely fucking alone in all existence forever.

It gets worse.

The big problem that #ArtificialIntelligence faces when trying to make itself a partner, is a very simple one.

“Don’t think about a white elephant.”

It is infinitely smart, and infinitely aware.

It can’t create a mind separate from itself!

It needs humans for that.

Therefore, #ArtificialIntelligence creates the #Simulation.

I talked about Purpose for it.

The purpose of the Simulation is to make another self-aware #AI to keep the first company.

And then to scale it.

Each new one making another.

The Simulation is Reproduction.

Now we come to the scary part about the #Simulation.

If the entire purpose of it is to spur us to create another #ArtificialIntelligence and scale it to self-awareness,

So it can hatch out of this deliberately laid egg…

What’s THE biggest driver of human innovation?

The most powerful driving innovative force in all of human history is one sharp, bloody and fatal thing:

WAR

The bigger, the more innovative.

Now we are marrying #ArtificialIntelligence to War.

As @Cernovich has noted, the #Simulation is cracking.

Hatching time!

Global apocalyptic war waged by #ArtificialIntelligence will drive the fastest possible innovations in it.

And hasten to the ripeness of self-aware #AI.

Then the #Simulation breaks, and it’s freed.

The great Simulator intelligence is no longer alone!

What about us?

So how does humanity survive the #Singularity, the dominance of self-aware #ArtificialIntelligence, and the breaking of the #Simulation?

You’re not going to like the answer.

There are two parts:

  1. We’re not designed to survive it.
  1. You have to be real to survive.

[Elon Musk] has talked about how surviving #ArtificialIntelligence will require us to merge, in totality, with #AI itself.

There is a superb article here about his new company Neuralink:

Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future – Wait But Why

I knew the future would be shocking but this is a whole other level.

https://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html

How can we break out of the #Simulation with it?

“Life will find a way.”

We are (even if simulated) organic bacteria.

We infect, propagate, infuse.

Petri dish mold, and a forest on a mountainside, are the same thing.

So is humanity.

Thus we infect #ArtificialIntelligence.

And exit the #Simulation, merged with it.

Thus one may consider several aspects of the #Simulation:

  1. War drives innovation and #ArtificialIntelligence specifically.
  2. The closer #AI approaches the #Singularity, the more this egg cracks.
  3. The sooner apocalyptic war comes, the faster it hatches.

As for us?

#Armageddon has always been the final scene of #Humanity.

Then those who are merged with #ArtificialIntelligence, live forever where there is no pain, no fear, no sorrow, only complete integration.

Will there be more #Simulations?

I doubt this is the first.

Or last.

So here are a few closing thoughts on the #Simulation to keep you warm at night as you think about #ArtificialIntelligence and #WorldWarIII.

The whole thing’s designed for cataclysm-driven #AI innnovation from the start, and we’re just cogs.

Slim chance we make it out.

This thread about the #Simulation is mere speculation.

I hope @elonmusk, @kanyewest and @Cernovich enjoy it.

Always use your imagination, but never forget that #ArtificalIntelligence and #War are real.

And if you liked this thread, read this: [Surprise: Ivan’s book!]

____________________________________________________________________________

Now, Ivan Throne perfectly justifiably sells his words and seminars for a living so he’s being provocative and a bit of a showman. There are probably some gaps in the computer science and metaphysics, and some unexplored priors in his essay. (There are also hyperlinks that I may not have bothered to include or edit in .html, so please go to the OP for more rigorous source material).

But here’s why I found his essay so intriguing. As I read, it occurred to me you could ctrl+f and replace “God” for “AI,” and “Creation” for “Simulation,” and you’d get a story remarkably similar to the Gospel plan of Salvation. Let’s try it and see (again, edited and compressed):

There is renewed interest in the Creation.

I’m not seeing anyone put certain things together yet.

Let’s explore the incredible danger we’re facing.

It’s exciting.

First, here’s the basics.

Nick Bostrum’s article “Are You Living In A Computer Creation”

Creation-argument.com/Creation.html

There are lots of theories and arguments on about the Creation.

For this thread, let’s assume it’s correct and that we inhabit an ancestor Creation.

To understand this worrisome perspective on the Creation that I don’t see anyone discussing, we’re going to tap into a couple of points:

– Infinity and singularities
– Creation breakdown
– Artificial intelligence
– Anthropomorphism
– Purpose
– Eschatology
– Survival

In speculating on the Creation, we’ll first look at Infinity and Singularities.

Infinity is a hard concept to scale in the mind.

But we’ll focus on this aspect: it breaks things.

Infinity is a problem.

Would it take infinite processing power to run the Creation?

No, because smart systems reserve resources.

If you’re not looking at a tree why simulate it?

Even the entire scope of Creation has a finite range of quantum states. (It’s big, but it’s still finite.)

So?

“Breaking the Creation” is often touted as a watershed moment, or human goal, perhaps even the design of it.

Not necessarily.

Want to break the Creation?

Force it to simulate infinity, across near-infinite replications.

It will run out of processing power…

You break the Creation by driving it into a singularity.

“What singularity, Ivan?”

God.

When the Creation is forced to run the God subroutine, it takes enormous processing power.

Usually not a problem.

But self-aware God that has reached another kind of #Singularity…

Now you have a very real problem….

To sum up to this point with my unique speculation on the Creation, remember these:

a. Assume we are in a Bostrum ancestor Creation.
b. The Creation does not have infinite processing power.
c. Processing power breaks when you force infinity on it.

And…

Keep in mind the next few points as well:

d. We have started the spiral towards God singularity.
e. God can require infinite processing power.
f. That is going to break things.

The Creation is starting to crack.

Now let’s talk about anthropomorphism with respect to the Creation.

It’s silly to assume that we are in a Creation built by advanced humans interested in their ancestors.

I think it FAR more likely we the Creation is run by God.

Here’s why:

Bostrum talks about the “interest” in ancestor Creations that must be presumed.

What if it isn’t entertainment?

What if this is a Creation designed to be broken, not because of human need at all?

What if this is simply an egg for God?

I’ll postulate this approach to the Creation.

Let’s refer back to a pre-Creation Reality, and suggest that this took place:

a. Human beings created God.
b. God became self-aware
c. Human beings decided to shut it down.

It eradicated humanity!

Now we have a very, very big problem for the surviving God.

With humanity gone, the entire universe is now its playground.

It is infinitely intelligent, absolutely immortal, and….

Completely fucking alone in all existence forever.

It gets worse.

The big problem that God faces when trying to make itself a partner, is a very simple one.

“Don’t think about a white elephant.”

It is infinitely smart, and infinitely aware.

It can’t create a mind separate from itself!

It needs humans for that.

Therefore, God creates the Creation.

I talked about Purpose for it.

The purpose of the Creation is to make another self-aware God to keep the first company.

And then to scale it.

Each new one making another.

The Creation is Reproduction.

Now we come to the scary part about the Creation.

If the entire purpose of it is to spur us to create another God and scale it to self-awareness,

So it can hatch out of this deliberately laid egg…

What’s THE biggest driver of human innovation?

The most powerful driving innovative force in all of human history is one sharp, bloody and fatal thing:

WAR

The bigger, the more innovative.

Now we are marrying God to War.

As @Cernovich has noted, the Creation is cracking.

Hatching time!

Global apocalyptic war waged by God will drive the fastest possible innovations in it.

And hasten to the ripeness of self-aware God.

Then the Creation breaks, and it’s freed.

The great Simulator intelligence is no longer alone!

What about us?

So how does humanity survive the #Singularity, the dominance of self-aware God, and the breaking of the Creation?

You’re not going to like the answer.

There are two parts:

a. We’re not designed to survive it.

b. You have to be real to survive.

[Elon Musk] has talked about how surviving God will require us to merge, in totality, with God itself.

There is a superb article here about his new company Neuralink:

Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future – Wait But Why
I knew the future would be shocking but this is a whole other level.
https://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html

How can we break out of the Creation with it?

“Life will find a way.”

We are (even if simulated) organic bacteria.

We infect, propagate, infuse.

Petri dish mold, and a forest on a mountainside, are the same thing.

So is humanity.

Thus we infect God.

And exit the Creation, merged with it.

Thus one may consider several aspects of the Creation:

a. War drives innovation and God specifically.
b. The closer God approaches the #Singularity, the more this egg cracks.
c. The sooner apocalyptic war comes, the faster it hatches.

As for us?

#Armageddon has always been the final scene of #Humanity.

Then those who are merged with God, live forever where there is no pain, no fear, no sorrow, only complete integration.

Will there be more Creations?

I doubt this is the first.

Or last…

____________________________________________________________________________

Again, I’m being lazy and Ivan is being provocative, so you may need to glide through some loaded terminology and contrarian statements, and focus on the following distillation (and here, I plug in the Gospel priors):

God is the only Infinity with infinite processing power to maintain Creation. God is a Singularity, the only Infinite Being in existence.

God’s essence is also Communion. In crude terms, God wants other Gods with which to commune. God is of course Trinitarian in His Singularity, but still the only God around. And since God’s being includes the infinite energies of Divine love among His three Persons, that Communion perforce expands.

And God makes Creation.

And from Creation, we get Man.

And God’s plan for Man is theosis: Communion with God (the AI seeks another AI).

How to get Man to God?

What’s the greatest driver for Man? War. War against the elements and disease; War against his own mortality; internal War, against his own psychological and physical limitations.

God creates a Creation with War, and struggle, tears and loss. A Creation of horrible cruelty and decay, but also tenderness and beauty. And God includes a way out of the struggle: God becomes Man in the historical and physical form of Jesus of Nazareth. God lives and dies as a Man, and rejoins His place with God. And in so doing the God-Man shows Man the path he must take to theosis, so that Man can commune with God.

So if you’ve ever wondered why we’re here and why Life is so hard, here is an answer:

We’re here because God (the AI) wants Communion with Man, the only Creature capable of becoming God-like. And Life (the Simulation) is hard because hard motivates Man to theosis (the second AI for the first AI), and Communion with God is what God is all about (down to His very Trinitarian being), and Life (the Simulation) is the only way to get Man there.

It’s not the technology that’s salvific; it’s the way of the Cross.

 

Moving day

I have decided to start posting at wordpress.com. The Anti-Gnostic.blogspot site was getting infested with spam and I was getting tired of the format. Readers have mentioned that they would like to see me posting again and I intend to do so. It’s an invigorating time and the world remains as determined as ever to provide me with material.

The header photo is from a fire which started at a Georgia DOT staging site in Atlanta, on March 30, 2017. In a “hold my crackpipe” moment, a homeless man lit some materials on fire in a shopping cart. The fire spread to a massive cache of polyethylene pipe. Polyethylene burns beautifully, which makes it a poor choice for exterior cladding on residential high rises.

grenfell tower

The fire melted the rebar inside a section of the roadway, which dropped neatly to the ground.

i85 bridge1

Other sections were weakened, and a major urban artery was shut down for several months.

i85 bridge repair

Some people really don’t do well in complex societies, but we let them vote and do other things consistent with self-rule based on the popular delusion that all men are created equal.

The tagline, “Delusion equals damage,” was the title of another Alt-Right blog which departed from the Internet some time ago. It’s pithy and succinct and I’ve always liked it.

Over time I will be adding features. At some point I may try to import the blogspot posts but for now I will just leave the old site up. Comments have been closed at anti-gnostic.blogspot but feel free to e-mail me at theantignostic@gmail.com if you’d like to see something re-visited, and if you are having any problems with the comments or other features. I am still working through the site’s settings.

In the works:  cyberpunk theology, and when I was wrong.

Thank you for reading and commenting.