Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cyclic Lightform Development, Part 2

Why should I care? Everyone's so stupid, anyway. Why should I listen to you? The details only make it hurt more.

Some form of despair, whether conceded to others or not, underscores all of our experiences here. If you're intelligent enough to recognize that something is wrong--that something is actually wrong, as opposed to a casual, "Yeah, the world isn't perfect"--then myriad options become open to you.

Refuges of righteous victimization, hatred, and collective punishment are popularly chosen, although usually personal cowardice causes these verbally advocated personal philosophies to be conjoinedly limited to activities which can be completed from the couch or the office, such as complaining (petitioning, blogging, etc.), settling (rationalizing, compromising, voting, etc.), or pursuing sensory disengagement (books, movies, video games, suicide, etc.). If you're stronger than that, you may flirt with any and all of the above, while trying to find meaning elsewhere--painting, woodworking, or the protection of one or a few treasured relationships. And if you're sufficiently selfish, that can work, but awareness of the greater conditions here and elsewhere, plus a little empathy, leads ever back to some form of the essential question, "Is it worth it?"

Would you prefer to be so stupid you're actually content with all of this? To do it the stupid way, you have to rationalize collective hatred somehow, which makes you one of the bad ones, but then, at least, you might thereby achieve the kind of primitive group bonding that lets you blithely enjoy a beer on the couch while hooting over something unimportant. If you forget the connection between the sick repression of vicarious fetish identification, and the horror of actually living as that thing, it can seem that the only way out is to be become one of them.

In Cyclic Lightform Development, we discussed evolution--actual, real evolution, contra Terra's current nihilistic religion. We discussed the inevitable creation of light from darkness via darkness' inherent yearning, and light's establishment of physical laws to provide a space in which to manifest. Beyond that initial paradox, we looked at the evolution that can be tracked at this stage: the development of energy in vacuum, as light fills reality, and the subsequent development of matter, as light crystallizes into structures that magnify its manifestation. We looked next at how the structures resulting from this process exponentially magnify the same incessant press of light that originally created them.

Aside from the initial paradox, those are all concepts that can be materially tracked. Lightform evolution--whether referring to the recursive process of gravitational conglomeration, to progressive biological complexity--can be charted and graphed and pinned to sheets and studied in minute detail. The tendency of matter and energy to appear out of nothing can be directly observed, as can the subsequent tendency of matter and energy to conglomerate into nebulae, planets, and increasingly conscious self-replicating lightforms. That can be proven, reflected upon, et cetera.

Where do we go from here?

So now you're here, and you're at this point we call "self aware." And everyone is mean and dumb, and it begins to look like a pointless process. Sure, you can see "the rich tapestry of life" or whatever, but this new aspect to it which you are now able to perceive--the aspect of intentional cruelty; of an active, self-aware negativity--is tough to deal with. Here come the existential questions (as humans like to possessively call them while dealing with a certain simple set of them).

You've moved mostly beyond the stage of expressing ritualistic consciousness--the consciousness of the yak, or the learning computer--and now you're confronted with the ability to perceive greater horrors than just being hungry, unable to find food, and enduring hunger. Your job here, in part, is to move into complete self-awareness; to conclude cogito ergo sum and actually mean it. Here in what we might call Stage Four development, the graduation is the realization that you exist. It's un-tellable; it is, of necessity, un-learnable by outside application. Ironically (but also not ironically), any ritualistic consciousness possessed of verbal programming can process cogito ergo sum without processing it, if ya know what I mean.

All is not merely ritual--it cannot be, because you. There is no utility to you; in fact, you would be a drawback to a wholly realistic ritualistic reality (just like reality would, itself, be a drawback to a wholly realistic version of itself), ergo not have existed, ergo sum. Always.

Consciousness continues to develop past that point. You do time as nothing, then as energy, then as matter, then as more complex combos thereof, in order to develop ritualistic consciousness through an understanding of all its components...and then suddenly you're here, possessed of something like an active willpower, and you work on acknowledging your existence. You struggle with the desire to crawl back into ritualistic consciousness, which is easier--to deny that you have to leave the crib, as it were, and pretend that you're just a machine and that nothing more can really be expected of you.

More than self-aware

That's where we are. And we're surrounded by idiots--but they're not really "idiots" in a permanent sense. They're just people who haven't yet learned that they really exist. They believe in nothing, so naturally, they act like babies, cherishing their hypocritical notion of self-existence (their desire to pleasure-seek) while denying the outer world's ability and tendency to do the same. This doesn't mean that nihilists, et. al. don't unfairly believe that others don't exist. Nihilists aren't solipsists--they're as harsh upon themselves as upon others. Their disbelief is of a hypocritical sort, because it is their existence that permits them to develop philosophies of non-existence. The nihilist is just a developing little tadpole-scientist, seeking powerful doses of sensation to prove (for the millionth time) something that it already knows--that it exists. So it builds up lifetimes of horrible emptiness, in order to obtain a death during which abject despair can be experienced. Experience points for the soul, if you will, so that they'll do better next time around.

More advanced people learn from nihilists, in turn. The selfish, jerky, irrational crap that nihilists do--including nihilists who aren't really "faithful" and who insult some kind of belief system by being an ass about it--provide exactly the kind of rent-seeking opportunities that more advanced people need in order to move from self-aware toward all-aware. The temptations of the devil (again, if you will) provide a spur to development, because your freedom to choose whether or not to poison the other princes in pursuit of the throne provides you ample opportunity to be consciously aware of (1) yourself, through desires, (2) the effort you'd like to put into yourself, and whether putting effort into one physical lifetime or one eternal self is more worthwhile, and (3) others, and the realization that they're just like you, and will always remember what you've done during any given lifetime.

You with me so far? Here's what we've got: High Arka is a batshit-crazy crazy who claims that electromagnetic structures are the immortal soul, which sequentially incarnates in more complex forms in order to more-progressively incarnate. That leaves us one of two places. Either we want some kind of proof, which she's never going to give because she doesn't have it and knows she's making it up for attention, or we'll at least hear how the story ends.

Let's first hear how the story goes on. Increasing concentrations of light produce increasing consciousness. Again, the human neurological reactor, e.g. brain, is vastly more powerful, per cubic displacement, than a stellar reactor, e.g. star. (Seriously, look it up, that's not just more of my bullshit.) Light's development of more complex forms within physical reality produces what we call consciousness, which is to say, more intense concentrations of light. You can dump a whole bunch of energy somewhere, or turn on a reactor, but light Itself is the only perpetual motion machine.

This one can tell you all sorts of things about later consciousness, but they'd only be stories. What would be better for you, at least once, is to do it yourself. You do this, as with everything else, by drawing upon experience. Light's establishment of the physical laws which provide a space in which it can manifest has resulted in the similarities binding all versal structures (everything within "creation"). This is fractals; this is all those cute pictures of the nervous system or cardiac blood vessels looking the same as the Amazon river delta or the Milky Way. That pattern continues.

As we move between stages of existence in the service of our relentless master light, we notice similarities at every stage. Each more complex lightform we channel brings a version of the same paradox by which darkness and light created each other and existence: more pleasure and more pain; more intelligence and more stupidity; more freedom and more responsibility.

You can do this yourself just thinking about life. Like, when you're a kid, it seems like a good idea to eat as much dessert as you want, and you couldn't care less, but you don't generally have the kind of access to dessert that you'd prefer to have at that time. Then when you're older, you might actually reach a point where you can eat as much dessert as you want (and you might appreciate more refined desserts better as your palate develops), but you also have to endure the crushing pain of getting fat and knowing that it was your own damn fault. And then the dessert doesn't ever taste quite the same again, does it? It's both better and worse; it's bittersweet, like falling in love and then watching love die, or living only to approach death yourself.

Or if you go to college or something, and you can finally choose your own classes instead of just taking a stock of simple things--and choose to skip or sleep through classes without being scolded by a live-in parent--but then you figure out that your choices in classes and/or effort might have a huge impact on your life later, and that it was pretty nice when/if your guardian(s) or parent(s) provided the necessities of life, and you could just focus on learning/playing.

Or getting old. No more expectations, you've proved what you were going to prove, the past belongs to you, and you finally understand Mozart the way you pretended to earlier, but it's also all going to be over, and you can't ever prove to your own non-nagging satisfaction that it isn't the end.

Everywhere. Fractally everywhere. You finally get to drive, but you have to pay registration and gas and insurance, and then you realize driving frickin' sucks and you'd rather be home playing Gran Turismo. And yet, at whatever the stage, there are positives to not going back. Without developing intelligence to a certain level, you can't appreciate light/love at that level. Music or swiving; looking at a picture, breathing some winter air, thinking about the right person; whatever. You can't do that while you're an ant, but along with being able to appreciate the symphony comes being able to understand what it is like when someone bombs Cambodia, or even worse, when they rationalize it with strong misgivings.

Why care? Because progression brings the ability to channel more light, which you want. You want it for the same reason you'd rather be you than be a styrofoam plate: because you can eat tasty food, while the plate can't. The pleasures attendant upon being here--the intensities of light that neural networks, contra flatware, are able to channel--produce pleasure, love, and other higher forms of consciousness. Going through all this is part of learning how to do that. This one could tell a hundred stories about super orgasms, the immense satisfaction of a well-scripted phantasil network, or the face of God, but it would just be speculative fiction. It's more helpful to others to overlay fractal formulae upon their own prior experiences, and draw therefrom the relevant conclusions about what their own future holds.

Another apt question is, why are Killary & Co. still assholes if it doesn't matter anyway, since everything will always eventually turn out all right? Because, subject to light's infinite expansion, the rate of expansion is one of the hobbyist's most important determining factors. The longer people clutter about in nihilistic disbelief in their own non-material existence, the longer it takes for them to get to better places. Damaged goods that so hate existence that they will themselves toward destruction get reformed, but then their part has to start the process over.

It's similar to disliking "wasting water." Water can't actually be "wasted," because dumping a million gallons into the desert might cost the city a lot of money, but the water just gets absorbed into the planet, recycled eventually as water, and is just as good as new. And polluting water might make that process take even longer--taking the example farther, a totally polluted planet might have to get blown up before its components can drift around space, get caught up in gravity, and form a clean, new planet. But it's never "wasted." What matters is the expansion rate. A polluted planet filled with nihilistic assholes can waste millions of years. So I don't like it when some idiot leaves the faucet on all night anymore than I like it when some idiot lives for a pragmatic today because he thinks that he doesn't really exist because he thinks the mind is an illusion generated by matter.

The damage caused by, say, modern ethnosupremacist Talmudists, when they claim that, "We are Jehovah, because Jehovah is our memories," is quite similar to that caused by Anton LaVey's nigh-identical version of immortality from his Randian Satanic Bible, when he promises immortal life via the form of "the muscles and sinews and memories" (paraphrase) of those whose respect you've earned. Both philosophies involve an antilogical belief in materialism--incorrect because, by the time you can think, cogito ergo sum, it's a fearful step backward to insist that you're the false impression of a clockmaker's dream. Regressive behavior of this sort is like bed-wetting at twelve. It may resolve, and everything may turn out all right, but why lie in your own filth when you should be old enough to know better? Sheets can be washed, but it wastes water--right?

Why is everyone so stupid and why does it take so long? Because there's a lot of stuff to learn, and learn the real way, by experience. At this level of consciousness, you have to learn the Law of Contrasts. You have to learn how to learn. You have to understand the difference between pain and pleasure, good and evil, and the process of seeking or avoiding those things, and the rationalizing thereof. You have to begin to see darkness and light, as expressed by the distinction between your self (which you have to come to believe in) and a reality that didn't include you (with which the pendency of mortality assists). Without developing that understanding, you can't appreciate what it is to design your own incentives and disincentives (which is something fun you do later).

The need for time spent figuring out contrasts (and nihilism) can look stupid when you've already learned it, but then, by suffering others' learning processes, you learn about your own learning process, and about the trouble you caused to others while you accomplished that same learning. It's worth it because it gets more refinedly better for everyone who wants it to get better, and it gets more refinedly worse for everyone who wants it to get worse.

Lightspring embrace.


  1. Water can't actually be "wasted," because dumping a million gallons into the desert might cost the city a lot of money, but the water just gets absorbed into the planet, recycled eventually as water, and is just as good as new.

    Not really. That chemistry thing is one reason, water displacement by vapor transport is another. Water can disappear from a region and there's droughts and minidroughts aplenty throughout history to show you how that happens.

    Maybe you had some other point in mind, though.

    I've watched streams get dewatered and previously irrigated fields go dry to fallow when water location is changed.

    The water that gets polluted by nearby fracking isn't really "water" any longer, not without purification treatment. Same with the groundwater that gets mixed with your local Monsanto product. Might look like water to the naked eye, but so does giardia-infused water.

    1. The key word here is "eventually." A city (or a continent) can waste water, just like a household can...but the water doesn't vanish from existence. It will eventually turn up somewhere else. California, for example, wastes water all the time, and yes, maybe it later has to buy the water back from Colorado or Arizona, but it didn't destroy the water. It just redirected it in a way that was inefficient (and stupid) for the people who wanted to use it at that particular spacetime.

      That might be a more suitable term than "waste," incidentally--"destroy." A region can have a drought, and water could be polluted for a million years, but the water isn't destroyed.

      In our short lifetimes, we can certainly pollute, lose, or otherwise waste water. On a time scale relative to a solar system's lifespan, though, we can put Ebola and DU into the entire ocean, and eventually it gets cleaned out.

      Looking at this from the perspective of light expansion, it's the same with a person. It's really, really sad (and really wasteful) to see, e.g., Harry Truman incinerating yet another city. It's a bad thing. But he can't permanently, irrevocably waste the lightforms that he's dispersed--they'll be back, again and again, because he can't stop the flow.

      I find it occasionally difficult while here to blend human lifespan perspective with larger scales. For example, personally, this one loathes dirtying or wasting water, and regularly employs such temporal terminology to critique such occurrences--just like I don't enjoy it when someone is mean to me, or when I lose my keys. Different temporal perspectives should not overshadow our concerns here, which are quite valid. When dealing with existential issues, though, our inability to cause The End is an instructive thought.

      Terra and Time can cycle out massive amounts of pollution, and if they can't do it together, Sol and Time can reorganize subatomic particles in an even more dramatic fashion. Similar safeguards exist at every level.

  2. Well, I suppose to an Eternal Being, nothing matters. If I were assured of eternal life, no earthly trouble would bother me, I would simply sit back, fold my arms comfortably while reclining somewhat in my place of worldly remove, and chuckle at the short-timer's worry. To me in that existential plane, nothing that harms a few short-timers would concern me.

    This must be what it's like to belong to a religion that assures me of my eternity. No earthly trouble is mine; such bothers are for the unwashed!

    1. Posit the ability to differentiate between the polar absolutes of "worldly concerns are paramount" and "worldly concerns are irrelevant." Imagine instead that worldly concerns are very important, but not of paramount importance.

      Example: you go to a weekend conference for naturopathic healers in Guatemala. The conference isn't being filmed, and none of the naturopathic wackos who attend the conference would be considered trustworthy enough to testify as to your qualifications as a licensed physician in Oregon. So you can attend any of the conferences and panels you like, contemplate and even vocally support wildly unorthodox treatments, have engaging discussions with spirit mediums, and be seen getting drunk and going to bed with someone attractive you met there.

      At the end of the weekend, you go back to your practice in Oregon, and life resumes as normal.

      Now, in one sense--your ability to practice as a licensed physician, publish articles, etc.--nothing you say or do at the conference matters. No one at that hotel in Guatemala will ever connect with your life in Oregon. So nothing you do there "matters." If you are denounced by the committee on invisible acupuncture, it doesn't matter. You with me?

      And yet, things that happen there do, also, matter. They matter very much: your feelings; the people you meet; the memories of interesting things you heard or saw; your contribution to the community, et cetera. Those things all very much matter.

      If something bad were to happen at the conference, and you came to me in a panic, I would tell you, "Calm down. You can just get on a plane, go home, and it won't matter." That isn't telling you that your feelings don't actually matter (because of course they do), but it's reminding you that nothing at the conference has the ability to destroy your home and livelihood.

      So too an earthly lifetime. We'd prefer not to spend our time here being tortured or ridiculed, and we'd prefer to come away with pleasant memories, some self-improvement, et cetera. Our character will have an opportunity to display itself--which is very important. And yet, the knowledge that it's just one human lifetime possesses great utility.

      Note the crucial distinction here between "one life as absolute, inviolable test" offered by Abramic religions, and the "many lives offering endless chances to improve" offered by pre-Jenomic Indus valley religions.

  3. Hey, great blog. would be curious to know what you make of this (might be somewhat irrelevant to the topic, but I wasn't sure where else to post this since it's here that you seem to be at your most fundamentally speculative and philosophical)

    1. That was fun; thank you. That's a nice breakdown of recent trends in the ongoing debate over whether or not we exist--e.g., are we illusionary side effects of matter, who make-believe in our own existence, or do we actually exist?

      As ever, further study of matter gives materialists more proof that we are mere illusions...and as ever, some people keep believing that they actually exist, giving the materialists more justification to investigate and explain why we persist in such childish illusions.

      That's all good stuff; that's what we should be doing, is confronting even more intimate relationships between genetic coding and behavior that we thought was "ours." The more sophisticated our (presumed) understanding of these relationships, the more primally valuable becomes one's stubborn insistence, "And yet, I exist."

    2. Continuing on from this, I think it is important to recognize that what makes neuroscientific findings that do away with concepts such as 'self', 'intentionality', and, most substantially, 'meaning' so worrisome is the possibilities that open up for simulating and exploiting humans in increasingly complex environments and that they would ultimately entail that we give up on everything we hitherto thought of as sacred and profound in order to be able to manage and combat such potentials.

      It would be worth looking at the comment section for further clarifications, if you're interested. Here's a nice little stab from said section:

      "This is the best explanation I’ve read so far on the theoretical and practical implications of BBT.

      Ultimately, as you mention at the end, it is ‘too late’. I remember watching an interview with a climatologist who explained that the goal was to ‘avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable’. The problem I suppose is that the industrialization and commercialization of Cheat Space threatens to create a situation both unmanageable and unavoidable. The manipulation of heuristics or Cheat Spaces by writers (like you) in order to ostensibly ‘reveal’ the Cheat Spaces via (or is it ‘along with’?) their underlying function can never hope to reach (and thereby compete with or check) the scale of industrial/commercial applications of manipulations of these same Cheat Spaces – at least not without tossing out traditionalist views of literature which themselves are also competing with the project you articulate here (a project that I think you make an excellent case for).

      This has the dual effect of imparting both a sense of urgency and a sense of futility. Still though, I support the gesture, no matter how futile. And I’m starting to feel like the punchline of an offensive joke you’re telling, which is another way of saying all this stuff is starting to keep me awake at night."

    3. Mm-mm! Thanks for the link. The more intelligent someone is/sounds when they make that kind of argument, the more useful it is. Maybe I'll base a post around that sometime after I do Original Sin.

  4. Thanks for the swift response. Your position seems reasonable and it very much resonates with me at this point.

    I would also like to posit another set of questions. Given your understanding of lightspring embrace/lightform evolution, how should non-human species and their operation within the grander scheme of things be viewed by us humans? Should we feel ok, as more complex lightforms, with exploiting them as we do presently for our pleasure and convenience? Should we also not be alarmed at the rate we are endangering and extinguishing their existence in the wild?

    Note there are people out there, generally of the antinatalist persuasion, meaning they ascribe a negative value to birth and the 'crude' natural forces that urge procreation and therefore prolonged suffering, that argue, from a utilitarian, anti-paternalist point of view, that we should aim to eliminate all non-human sentience so as to put an end to needless suffering. (f.e.

    Apologies if you've expanded upon such issues elsewhere (I've only just started going through earlier entries).

    1. Ritualistically conscious lightforms are in the process of evolving a self. That's good, because a human processes more light than a goat, just as a goat processes more light than a plant, which...than a rock, which...than helium, etc.

      Carnivores aren't evil for eating animals, though, anymore than goats are for eating plants or plants are for eating sunlight. We all draw upon each other throughout all of this process. There are noteworthy differences between actions furthering what we would call "needs" and "wants," or "fairness" and "cruelty."

      In very Terran terms, the difference between killing to eat and killing for fun is akin to unearthing a plant to eat versus unearthing a plant for fun. The dead animal/plant reincarnates, but there's a loss in developmental opportunity between the time of death and time of birth. If that loss is borne in the service of efficiently maintaining/developing a different lightform, it's a net gain for the system. If it's born randomly, it's a net loss. That's the rationale behind "good" and "evil."

      Regarding stuff like "factory farming," that's not uncommon to find at this stage, particularly in an infected planet. What you mean when you say "factory farming" is, indeed, a "bad" thing. Here's why:

      Evolutionary processes work most efficiently when lightforms use/help each other to develop. A lot of that goes on in the relationship between predators and prey, causing them to internalize notions of desire and fulfillment, self and other, etc. It can happen with somewhat-domesticated animals also, but the scale can also go too far, toward factory farming, where the animal is treated regressively (akin to a plant or a rock), and therefore its development does not happen.

      This isn't bad just because it restricts the animals' evolution; it also restricts the carnal benefits to humans. Working with ("eating") higher-ordered lightforms usually provides more of an evolutionary benefit than with lower-ordered, ergo the generalized correlation between carnivorism/omnivorism and higher-ordered development. Regressing one's prey into a fungal state, by not valuing the consciousness that makes them so rewarding comparative to, e.g., plants, produces less of a return to the "predator."

      Ergo the developmental benefits to humans eating animal flesh that regresses toward an earlier, plantlike stage will be lower than by eating animal flesh that is fully enmeshed in ritualistic consciousness.

      (There's a bit of a "happy medium" effect in there also, in the sense that cannibalism doesn't then become correspondingly more efficient because it involves working with a "higher order being." It's most efficient for purposes of those who have gone past ritualistic consciousness to work with the ritualistically-conscious vis-à-vis eating, rather than other simple-self-aware forms.)

      That effect applies on a larger scale. Surrounding ourselves with the trappings of both self-aware and ritualistic consciousness is part of efficient evolution. We want, therefore, to have both sparkling high-tech cities, which reinforce/stimulate us in one type of learning, and also pristine wilderness areas, which reinforce/stimulate others.

      So, in short, it is inefficient to advocate either a "child in a candy store, the past has no meaning" regression to high-tech toys only, or a "child afraid to come out from under the bed" regression to being a happy deer again.

    2. Interesting stuff.

      What about suffering and pain though? A fish fully immersed in ritualistic consciousness will do everything in its power to remain alive and stay out of the dinner table; it doesn't give a hoot over net gains in any given system.

      We're at a stage in our development were we can empathize, recognize pain and suffering in others and choose alternatives to past trends and preconceptions. Whether that choice involves going vegan and lying in bed all day or just opting out of existence altogether is another issue, but it's worth noting I suppose that we don't have the ability to track all the suffering and pain we cause given the butterfly effect.

      If the there is a universal force that tends towards the maintenance and evolution of higher light concentrations then why do animals resist being consumed by us? And is it all worth the trouble and pain?

      Hope all this makes sense and is not too contradictory. My brain is being bombarded by all sorts of uneasiness given all the pessimistic stuff I've been reading lately and I'm finding it hard to articulate my skepticism properly ;)

    3. The fish trying to stay alive is, in so doing, developing its perception of self toward a more human-equivalent level. The reality of the transition (death v. escape) reinforces the immanence that can spur learning.

      At the same time, there's a different sort of exchange between torturer/victim and predator/prey. Predator/prey ultimately ends up respectful and positive, torturer/victim negative. It's like the difference between a couple boxers who respect each other but are trying their best to knock the other out, versus a burly teenager beating an old woman to death--materialism sees no distinction, but there is one there, even if the math explaining the difference isn't something we can write down here.

      The vegan in bed is trying to withdraw from the cycle, just as is the hunter who kills for fun. Both are lamentable, though differently so.

      Why do animals resist being consumed? Because it's their nature at the time. It helps them learn what it is to have a "self." Enough ritual eventually gives rise to the question, "Why?" And the answer, "Because I am." Realizing the existence of a presence which experiences the materially-generated desire is the important step to take there. That's still a very important step here, too, as so many humans try to argue that there is in fact no presence which experiences that desire--that the presence is merely an illusion.

  5. Back again

    I just came from a neo-reaction binge, and I would like to have your thoughts on the pessimistic/deppresive realistic Social Darwinist philosophy as espoused by Nick Land, contextualized to his big project: the Dark Enlightenment. Source:

    Having first come across your writing through your comments over at Rants within the Undead God, you will probably be well-acquainted with this sort of thinking.

    Of course, it wallows in the 'dark' modern scientisitc ideology you rally against, i.e. the universe is entropy (as per thermodynamics), nature is a killing-machine (as per Darwinism), all we have going for us ultimately is a Big Crunch (thermodynamics and cosmology). Land's solution to this, in dumby terms and at least on an individual level, seems to be: man up, discard your futile, utopian liberal-humansitic impulses and face the music of Iron Law. Depressing indeed for an impressionable softy like myself.

    Would I have correctly understood your philosophy over this matter if I were to say that you believe that all the evidence (either scientific or experiential) that are referenced to point to such a conclusion is falsely, though intentionally, constructed/interpeted by the elites to feed off their regime of fear? I hope I don't come off as cheeky, though I am in that sort of mood right now.

    Also, i'm gonna pose this question again since I don't remember you replying to it specifically (unless I wasn't careful enough). If evolution is indeed progressive rather than mindless/merciless as Cain and Land would have it, would it be worth cheering for given all the suffering and death that comes along the way? Of course, this would be a problem only if we take 'death' to mean what it traditionally (in the modern West, at least) entails, that is, the utmost negative of negatives, instead of a dynamic event of transition of some sort (this would be the New Age take on it, I think).

    1. Here's two more links from Land's blog that stroke his neo-pessimism, if you feel inclined to get a better grip on the issues at hand. One is on the inevitable tragedy of the 'Malthusian crash' and then there's another on why nature's a bitch:

  6. Also, this is relevant:

    "Modern Darwinian evolutionary theory is proud that it has cast off the quaint Aristotelean notion of teleological cause, causa finalis. Instead, it sticks to the strict scientificity of efficient cause. Or so it claims. Evolution is said to proceed via natural selection that selects the successful living species that are generated by chance mutations of genes. The criterion of success is simply that a species survives, for there is a so-called ‘struggle of survival’ among the species.

    Teleological explanation, by contrast, is said to ‘explain’ the successful features of living beings that allow them to survive in terms of their purposeful design by some maker or other. For instance, the beaks of certain species of finches would be designed to be adapted specifically to a certain environment, thus enabling the finches to successfully survive to the point of reproduction. (If you don’t believe this is how teleology in evolution is thought about, listen to the reputable philosopher of science, Michael Ruse, in his recent lecture on the Gaia Hypothesis.) Evolutionary theory pooh poohs the ‘ridiculous’ idea of teleological design.

    But is evolutionary theory too quick to assume airs of superiority?

    First of all, its claim to stick to efficient causality is shaky, since the mutation of species relies essentially on chance, i.e. contingency. In Aristotle’s thinking this is change 'kata symbebaekos', i.e. change that just ‘comes along’ (from 'symbainein' ‘to go along with’). Mutations just ‘happen’, without any cause at all being able to be named, let alone any efficient cause. Contingent being, i.e. the mode of being 'kata symbebaekos', is opposed in Aristotle to being 'kath’ auto', i.e. being according to itself, or being in itself, intrinsic, essential being. Thus e.g. human being is ‘according to itself’ being that ‘has the logos, language’, whereas whether a human being is white is contingent; whiteness just ‘comes along’ as an accidental attribute to human being...


  7. (cont.)

    ...Second of all, and more importantly, that life has a 'telos' does not boil down to the notion that each species were purposefully designed. Purpose ('hou heneka') in Aristotle is not to be equated with 'telos', since it is only one kind of 'telos'. The scientists miss this. Furthermore, they overlook that they already unwittingly name the 'telos' of life, of course, without thinking at all about it, for they say there is a ‘struggle for survival’. This means life is essentially a will to live. According to Aristotle (and today, modern science is by no means beyond Aristotle, but abysmally ignorant of his thinking), life is that mode of being characterized essentially by 'metabolae kath’ auto', i.e. by movement/change from within itself. Living beings move/change by themselves, rather than having to be moved by something else. Aristotle has four kinds of movement/change according to i) where (locomotion), ii) how much (growth and decay) iii) how (qualitative change, such as when a dog learns a new trick or a tree’s leaves change colour) and iv) what (reproduction). The last named is a synonym for survival of the species. Life is that mode of being that strives to perpetuate itself.

    Now, the evolutionary scientists’ next move is to pooh pooh the idea that life could be characterized as essentially a will to live. Where’s the will? they ask. Have you asked a plant lately what it wants? But there are different levels of will. Will that sees what change it wants and strives to get it is purposeful will. Wishing is a will that doesn’t strive. Urge or drive is blind will, but nevertheless directed toward some end, some 'telos'. Living beings are essentially characterized by the urge to survive. This urge includes the drives to flee or otherwise avert life-threatening danger, to nourish themselves, to reproduce.

    So scientific evolutionary theory, albeit implicitly, smuggles in from the outset the 'telos' of all life: the urge to survive. Life is that mode of being with the urge to perpetuate its own self-movement. All living beings strive essentially to bring themselves into presence and maintain this self-moving presence for as long as possible. One aspect of life’s self-movement is reproduction itself, through which the species itself is propagated.

    Evolutionary theory is at a loss to account for the essence, the nature of life itself as self-movement. Its apparatus of efficient causality must capitulate before this self-presencing of life itself. This does not prevent it, however, from blindly and vainly seeking the efficient causes of life itself through, say. molecular biology, thus maintaining the efficient causal hierarchy for the ultimate scientific explanation of the cosmos from physics through chemistry to biology (and then on to explaining human consciousness itself as some complicated kind of neuronal processing).

    Modern science is in its essence wedded to efficient causality, i.e. to effectiveness, and it will defend to the bitter end this betrothal to the will to effective power — that is, until there is an historical occasion for an alternative way of thinking to make inroads against its dogma. Modern science’s arrogant over-self-confidence is the present-day form of superstition that reigns in the universities right through the media to everyday prejudices."

  8. yooo

    "The 101 version of his big idea is this: Under the right conditions, a random group of atoms will self-organize, unbidden, to more effectively use energy. Over time and with just the right amount of, say, sunlight, a cluster of atoms could come remarkably close to what we call life. In fact, here’s a thought: Some things we consider inanimate actually may already be “alive.” It all depends on how we define life, something England’s work might prompt us to reconsider. “People think of the origin of life as being a rare process,” says Vijay Pande, a Stanford chemistry professor. “Jeremy’s proposal makes life a consequence of physical laws, not something random."

    1. <3

      There's plenty of room in there to mutate the selfish theory into a form that can absorb that evidence without altering the nature of the social philosophies they want to propagate.

      BTW, I read the Nick Land link--thanks. I'll put together a fresh post on it rather than sticking a response here in several parts.