Silicon Valley Techno-Utopianism

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Thread for general discussion of, and feeble resistance to, our new overpaid 20-something savant overlords, starting with this lovely article:

http://thebaffler.com/blog/2014/05/mouthbreathing_machiavellis

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:27 (three years ago) Permalink

is the baffler as smug and unreadable as it was in the late 90s/early 00s? to be frank all i ever got from them (or thomas frank solo) was a withering contempt for most of america, rather than any mournful concern.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:41 (three years ago) Permalink

haha to be frank see what I (unintentionally) did there?

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:41 (three years ago) Permalink

nerds with power

shudder

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:42 (three years ago) Permalink

This is the first Baffler thing I've bothered with in a while. I thought it had its moments back in its earlier incarnation -- there was an essay on cities and the "creative class" that I still refer to mentally sometimes. I think the internet has kind of made the sort of bullshit-skewering it specialized in more widespread and diffuse.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:46 (three years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, they had some good articles from time to time. there was one incredibly condescending and snide and yet fascinating one about gay pornography. unfortinately they also published ray carney's screed against tarantino and a lot of other worthless crap. and i always felt tom frank needed to have a few beer bottles smashed over his head.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:48 (three years ago) Permalink

Frank seems kind of worse to me now in his Harper's editorials. I always hated Lapham's and it feels like Frank is really trying his best to assume the mantle.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:53 (three years ago) Permalink

Anyway

In a widely covered secessionist speech at a Silicon Valley “startup school” last year, there was more than a hint of Moldbug (see video below). The speech, by former Stanford professor and Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji Srinivasan, never mentioned Moldbug or the Dark Enlightenment, but it was suffused with neoreactionary rhetoric and ideas. Srinivasan used the phrase “the paper belt” to describe his enemies, namely the government, the publishing industries, and universities. The formulation mirrored Moldbug’s “Cathedral.” Srinivasan’s central theme was the notion of “exit”—as in, exit from democratic society, and entry into any number of corporate mini-states whose arrival will leave the world looking like a patchwork map of feudal Europe.

Forget universal rights; this is the true “opt-in society.”

An excerpt:

We want to show what a society run by Silicon Valley would look like. That’s where “exit” comes in . . . . It basically means: build an opt-in society, ultimately outside the US, run by technology. And this is actually where the Valley is going. This is where we’re going over the next ten years . . . [Google co-founder] Larry Page, for example, wants to set aside a part of the world for unregulated experimentation. That’s carefully phrased. He’s not saying, “take away the laws in the U.S.” If you like your country, you can keep it. Same with Marc Andreessen: “The world is going to see an explosion of countries in the years ahead—doubled, tripled, quadrupled countries.”

Srinivasan ticked through the signposts of the neoreactionary fantasyland: Bitcoin as the future of finance, corporate city-states as the future of government, Detroit as a loaded symbol of government failure and 3D-printed firearms as an example of emerging technology that defies regulation.

The speech succeeded in promoting the anti-democratic authoritarianism at the core of neoreactionary thought, while glossing over the attendant bigotry. This has long been a goal of some in the movement. One such moderate—if the word can be used in this context—is Patri Friedman, grandson of the late libertarian demigod Milton Friedman. The younger Friedman expressed the need for “a more politically correct dark enlightenment” after a public falling out with Yarvin in 2009.

Friedman has lately been devoting his time (and leveraging his family name) to raise money for the SeaSteading Institute, which, as the name suggests, is a blue-sea libertarian dream to build floating fiefdoms free of outside regulation and law. Sound familiar?

The principal backer of the SeaSteading project, Peter Thiel, is also an investor in companies run by Balaji Srinivasan and Curtis Yarvin. Thiel is a co-founder of PayPal, an original investor in Facebook and hedge fund manager, as well as being the inspiration for a villainous investor on the satirical HBO series Silicon Valley. Thiel’s extreme libertarian advocacy is long and storied, beginning with his days founding the Collegiate Network-backed Stanford Review. Lately he’s been noticed writing big checks for Ted Cruz.

He’s invested in Yarvin’s current startup, Tlon. Thiel invested personally in Tlon co-founder John Burnham. In 2011, at age 18, Burnham accepted $100,000 from Thiel to skip college and go directly into business. Instead of mining asteroids as he originally intended, Burnham wound up working on obscure networking software with Yarvin, whose title at Tlon is, appropriately enough, “benevolent dictator for life.”

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:57 (three years ago) Permalink

I love this stuff, these guys are like comic book supervillains.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:58 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah i dunno, this seems discountable. it's not going to get much traction.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:33 (three years ago) Permalink

i still think we shd take these guys out before they acquire sentience

coign of wantage (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:35 (three years ago) Permalink

another school of thought says that they just need to experience a moment of humanity to temper their wild anti-humanist delusions

we could administer this cure from a safe distance thanks to their work

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PspagsTFvlg

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:41 (three years ago) Permalink

Been dismayed with The Baffler since it's new revival. Seems about as shrill as Adbusters these days.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:44 (three years ago) Permalink

OTOH, there's these guys to make fun of: http://nymag.com/news/features/laundry-apps-2014-5/#

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:46 (three years ago) Permalink

i still think we shd take these guys out before they acquire sentience

― coign of wantage (Noodle Vague), Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:35 AM (8 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

100%

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:10 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah i dunno, this seems discountable. it's not going to get much traction.

― display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:33 AM (8 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i'd be more willing to discount it if these weren't people with money, political fever dreams, and the ability to build & destory things

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:11 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah I'm not exactly alarmed yet but I am a little o_O

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:12 (three years ago) Permalink

these people aren't good at building things that people actually need to survive so I dunno - the rhetoric is horrible and these people are frightening, at the same time they're woefully inept

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:14 (three years ago) Permalink

fantastic article, thank you for sharing

famous instagram God (waterface), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:15 (three years ago) Permalink

A seafaring community of 10 plutocrats is probably going to do just fine. They can just take a private jet back to the US any time they need fresh virgins to feed on. They don't want the rest of us anyway.

popchips: the next snapple? (seandalai), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:18 (three years ago) Permalink

Shouldn't that be Tlön, and holy shit we do not need techno-libertarians referencing Borges

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:20 (three years ago) Permalink

I thought the setting up a new country idea sounded really good, hopefully it would end like jonestown

badg, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:21 (three years ago) Permalink

I am all in favor of techno-libertarian island

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:22 (three years ago) Permalink

me too. preferably one that will be underwater in a few decades.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:25 (three years ago) Permalink

tru

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:25 (three years ago) Permalink

im less worried about these creeps building their own bioshock dystopias than i am about them using their tremendous money and influence to undermine regulation and other democratic things (tm) at home

socki (s1ocki), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah that is a more serious danger

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (three years ago) Permalink

I wonder if we can convince them to relocate to Canada

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (three years ago) Permalink

I think their politics might go over well in, like, Edmonton

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:29 (three years ago) Permalink

It should be fun to watch what happens when the VC money starts to dry up.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:43 (three years ago) Permalink

they all scramble for the surviving corporate monoliths

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:44 (three years ago) Permalink

This Baffler article mentions Nick Land. That's kind of depressing, is he fully in that camp? I've only read some of his stuff but have liked work from his contemporaries.

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:46 (three years ago) Permalink

isn't his own camp bad enough???

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:54 (three years ago) Permalink

maybe! I'm out of the loop

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:56 (three years ago) Permalink

yes, nick land is fully in

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:19 (three years ago) Permalink

this is all a lil weird to me cos reading these dudes has been a minor internet fascination of mine for a long time

if anything, land's story is evidence against the thesis that an encounter with adulthood will chill these guys out: he was a philosophy professor in the 80s (?) and 90s, left for china at some point to be a journalist, was a pro-war neocon type in the early 00s and at some point during/after the 08 crash flipped to austrian economics, "race realism" (if you don't mind me using their euphemisms for a sec) and all the rest.

i feel super weird that even know this shit tbh

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:22 (three years ago) Permalink

the connection with silicon valley utopian-supremacy is only one leg of the thing, there are linkages to a lot of weird old righty type scenes that have been left behind by contemporary conservatism, which have been kept alive in its most public face by association with ron paul. but also the remnants of european throne-and-altar type stuff

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:25 (three years ago) Permalink

this isn't what I think of when I think of 'techno-utopianism' these dudes are just idiots

dude (Lamp), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:26 (three years ago) Permalink

really the most salient through-line is hostility to democracy.

xp yeah this thread title is a little narrow & off from the corey pein article

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:28 (three years ago) Permalink

feel like the broader 'apps with solve it'/obsessed with meritocracy and measurement/transnational professionalism stuff that permeates the valley and its politics is way more pernicious and worth countering than these dudes who cant help but marginalize themselves by being themselves

dude (Lamp), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:28 (three years ago) Permalink

I feel like these guys make better bad guys than the republican party, at least their politics are internally consistent

iatee, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:30 (three years ago) Permalink

idk i think their predilection for lingo and willingness to set up their own discursive zones is an important idea generator.

there's huge overlap with the PUA/men's rights scene, and *their* language and pop-psych antifeminism is reeeally short work way from being conservative canon

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:32 (three years ago) Permalink

Definitely seems like there is at the root of a lot of it a bitterness stemming from a dissonance between the "meritocracy" these people have been sold on (in which their particular skillset is supposed to make them the fittest dudes) and the reality they grew up in, and the *other* reality they grew up in (having to attend high school and go on the dating scene and such) in which their supposed superior qualities didn't seem to help so much. I know this might sound like just a rehash of the "butthurt nerd" canard, but I think there's something about the combination of ego inflation AND deflation that they experience -- one world telling them they are geniuses and another telling them they are losers at the same time, that makes them want to remake the entire world in the image of the former.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:49 (three years ago) Permalink

Like you don't get this kind of worldview coming out of getting sand kicked in your face alone, it's more the rage that results from feeling entitled to alpha status and then getting sand kicked in your face.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:51 (three years ago) Permalink

yup

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:54 (three years ago) Permalink

And to cross reference that with the "men's rights" stuff, it's not unlike "I'm a *nice* and *intelligent* guy and yet hot babes are not throwing themselves at my feet like they are supposed to. Therefore women are defective and dangerous and I must use 'techniques' to disarm and conquer them."

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:58 (three years ago) Permalink

is there an app for that

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:07 (three years ago) Permalink

i'm really skeptical of 'just a thwarted nerd' type explanations. some people just end up believing this kind of shit for reasons that aren't readily explicable. in many cases it doesn't appear to be true.

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:24 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah 'chicks just didn't want him and he's not successful' doesn't explain peter thiel very well

iatee, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:32 (three years ago) Permalink

will plain ole megalomania do.

ryan, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:37 (three years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

good lord https://t.co/pg1VZdEtE1 pic.twitter.com/iNgoWytag9

— Alex Press (@alexnpress) December 11, 2017

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 12 December 2017 14:56 (two months ago) Permalink

Wait is that dude saying the real GDP is the friends we made along the way

— R. (@rickyslams) December 11, 2017

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 12 December 2017 15:46 (two months ago) Permalink

lol I was like why do I have deja vu reading this and then got to the link

I'm much less enthusiastic about Tim Harford than I was ten years ago but this recent article makes a good point, that it takes a generation to figure out how to optimally apply a new technology, and The Web is maybe halfway there. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40673694

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 12 December 2017 16:02 (two months ago) Permalink

I can't even begin to formulate a coherent response to this sam altman (y combinator douchebag) run-on sentence of a blog post but I'm going to use this moment to vent

ARGH JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE FUCK YOU IDIOT

mh, Thursday, 14 December 2017 20:13 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm not linking it, but I am sure someone will, and it is one of the dumbest tone-deaf things I've read

mh, Thursday, 14 December 2017 20:13 (two months ago) Permalink

I tried to express some of the same sentiments regarding moderation, although not nearly as clearly, on the ilx twitter thread

Ted gets it

mh, Monday, 18 December 2017 17:20 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, this is a good essay

Google Murray Blockchain (kingfish), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 00:06 (two months ago) Permalink

Excellent

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 19 December 2017 01:42 (two months ago) Permalink

ted chiang i luv u

dipso inferno (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 15:36 (two months ago) Permalink

it's a good essay until the conclusion which is "why can't capitalism just be a bit nicer?"

Thomas NAGL (Neil S), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 15:53 (two months ago) Permalink

^
Exactly

Volvo Twilight (p-dog), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 17:58 (two months ago) Permalink

enh i dunno if it’s ted chiang’s job to come up with a cure for the illness he’s diagnosed

dipso inferno (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 18:06 (two months ago) Permalink

one of chiang's first short stories is a duel between flowers for algernon dudes who keep upping their smart drugs until one of them becomes a messiah, so basically his cure is elon musk and jeff bezos should be popping nootropics until one of them saves the planet.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 19 December 2017 19:05 (two months ago) Permalink

can we have them popping opiates until both of them leave the planet instead pls

dipso inferno (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 19:12 (two months ago) Permalink

given their private little space race they've got going, they're certainly trying!

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 19 December 2017 19:28 (two months ago) Permalink

enh i dunno if it’s ted chiang’s job to come up with a cure for the illness he’s diagnosed

I think the problem is that he kind of does. Either way, it's a good essay.

Leaghaidh am brón an t-anam bochd (dowd), Thursday, 21 December 2017 00:16 (two months ago) Permalink

hey everyone’s fav juice entrepreneur is back!

The most prominent proponent of raw water is Doug Evans, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. After his juicing company, Juicero, collapsed in September, he went on a 10-day cleanse, drinking nothing but Live Water. “I haven’t tasted tap water in a long time,” he said.

Before he could order raw water on demand, Mr. Evans went “spring hunting” with friends. This has become more challenging lately: The closest spring around San Francisco has recently been cut off by landslides, so reaching it means crossing private property, which he does under cover of night.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/dining/raw-water-unfiltered.html

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Sunday, 31 December 2017 19:34 (one month ago) Permalink

lol @ "raw water".

I hike, so get to drink from natural springs in the mountains and it is always great water, but lake water is just as "raw" as spring water and it is nowhere near as good. hell, if this guy wants really RAW stuff he should gather water from small streams that run through pastures where cattle graze. I guarantee that would be very lively water!

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 31 December 2017 19:41 (one month ago) Permalink

raw water is a real clarion call to roll out the guillotines

pee-wee and the power men (bizarro gazzara), Sunday, 31 December 2017 19:53 (one month ago) Permalink

or what SZ said: "Little known fact: Roman shopkeepers were using the terms mouth feel and flavor profile to describe aqua right before the empire collapsed."

El Tomboto, Sunday, 31 December 2017 20:02 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTmxwEpWkAAsp9l.jpg

mookieproof, Monday, 15 January 2018 22:16 (one month ago) Permalink

abysmal real names

Choco Blavatsky (seandalai), Monday, 15 January 2018 22:31 (one month ago) Permalink

that’s a risk i’m willing to take xp

grim-n-gritty hooty reboot (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 15 January 2018 22:31 (one month ago) Permalink

As a mixed martial arts fighter, Mr. Buttram said he would fight for a couple hundred bucks, sometimes a few thousand, and worked security at a start-up, but his main hobbies were reading 4chan and buying vintage pornography, passions that exposed him to cryptocurrency.

mookieproof, Monday, 15 January 2018 22:44 (one month ago) Permalink

those north korean ballistic missiles can’t come fast enough tbh

grim-n-gritty hooty reboot (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 15 January 2018 22:49 (one month ago) Permalink

welcome to the future, where the rich live on mars and no-one on earth has a job but, thanks to elon musk, everyone has a flamethrower

https://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/boring_company_flamethrower_2048x2048.png?w=738

https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/27/elon-musks-boring-co-flamethrower-is-real-500-and-up-for-pre-order/

your skeleton is ready to hatch (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 29 January 2018 12:31 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Musk’s Boring Company is literally a company focused on tunnel boring, but it seems like it’ll be a while before it has revenue or significant results (even if it’s already digging test tunnels). To fund the project until then, selling weird stuff with the company’s logo to Muskheads everywhere seems like a decent plan.

El Tomboto, Monday, 29 January 2018 12:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

imagine being so invested in cult-of-personality vaporware that you're willing to drop 500 bucks on a flamethrower that doesn't even throw flames well enough to let you pretend to be the doof warrior from fury road

your skeleton is ready to hatch (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 29 January 2018 12:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I don’t have much use for a flamethrower.

Jeff, Monday, 29 January 2018 13:22 (three weeks ago) Permalink

his bore's like vapor, so buy this flame

...and take your money

Righteous wax chaperone, rotating Wingdings (Doctor Casino), Monday, 29 January 2018 13:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

the boring company has sold all of its 20,000 flamethrowers in less than 24 hours fyi

if this means just one silicon valley asshole dies by immolation it'll all have been worth it

your skeleton is ready to hatch (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 29 January 2018 16:53 (three weeks ago) Permalink

You could use it to melt the ice on your front walkway, but it would just refreeze again later. Other than that I am stumped for a practical use for that flaming contraption.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 30 January 2018 02:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

melt ice, you say

pic.twitter.com/NyjqDrj431

— "ascetic house" (@AsceticHouse) January 28, 2018

mh, Tuesday, 30 January 2018 02:17 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Oh boy, Uber but for doula

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/doula-drama

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Thursday, 1 February 2018 22:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

there's one born every minute

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 1 February 2018 22:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I’ll read that when I’m feeling stronger

El Tomboto, Sunday, 11 February 2018 22:05 (one week ago) Permalink

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/02/10/technology/his-2020-campaign-message-the-robots-are-coming.html


“All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society,” Mr. Yang, 43, said over lunch at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan last month, in his first interview about his campaign. In just a few years, he said, “we’re going to have a million truck drivers out of work who are 94 percent male, with an average level of education of high school or one year of college.”

“That one innovation,” he continued, “will be enough to create riots in the street. And we’re about to do the same thing to retail workers, call center workers, fast-food workers, insurance companies, accounting firms.”

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 13:06 (one week ago) Permalink

pretty scary they are going to start automating call center workers

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 13:10 (one week ago) Permalink

lol

tom i'm kinda eh about that stuff. 90% of the workforce used to be in farming. driving trucks is dull. working in fast food is dull. there is no career path in any of that stuff and never has been. old jobs will close but there are new jobs that need desperately need doing i.e. nursing

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 13:26 (one week ago) Permalink

Paul has only received one community strike against his channel, for the video he uploaded on Dec. 31. The other videos, as tasteless as they may be, aren’t enough to violate the company’s code of conduct. Instead, YouTube has removed monetization privileges from his channel and placed an age gate (a tool that prevents users under the age of 18 from watching a video) on the vlog that contained footage of Paul tasing dead rats.

“What you think is tasteless is not necessarily what someone else would think is tasteless,” Wojcicki said.

There’s no denying that Paul is still a top creator on the platform. With more than 16 million subscribers and growing, Paul may also a financial asset to the company — or he will be, once advertising is restored on his video. YouTube still collects 40 percent of all advertising revenue made from videos, and with millions of eyes on Paul’s every vlog, the company appears to be investing in a sure moneymaker. The company denied earlier reports that YouTube restored ads on Paul’s channel 72 hours after the suspension was instituted, pointing to a glitch that was causing some users to see ads displayed.

https://www.polygon.com/2018/2/13/17006890/logan-paul-ban-suicide-forest-youtube-susan-wojcicki

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 13:46 (one week ago) Permalink

unfortunately nobody asked her if she finds filming suicide victims or tasering dead rats tasteful

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 13 February 2018 13:48 (one week ago) Permalink

could just as easily post this to the rolling apocalypse thread but there's a good longread in the grauniad today about peter thiel and other silicon valley assholes' obsession with using new zealand as their supervillain lair/doomsday bunker, possibly inspired by a batshit libertarian screed published at the turn of the millennium

The book’s 400-odd pages of near-hysterical orotundity can roughly be broken down into the following sequence of propositions:

1) The democratic nation-state basically operates like a criminal cartel, forcing honest citizens to surrender large portions of their wealth to pay for stuff like roads and hospitals and schools.

2) The rise of the internet, and the advent of cryptocurrencies, will make it impossible for governments to intervene in private transactions and to tax incomes, thereby liberating individuals from the political protection racket of democracy.

3) The state will consequently become obsolete as a political entity.

4) Out of this wreckage will emerge a new global dispensation, in which a “cognitive elite” will rise to power and influence, as a class of sovereign individuals “commanding vastly greater resources” who will no longer be subject to the power of nation-states and will redesign governments to suit their ends.

The Sovereign Individual is, in the most literal of senses, an apocalyptic text. Davidson and Rees-Mogg present an explicitly millenarian vision of the near future: the collapse of old orders, the rising of a new world. Liberal democracies will die out, and be replaced by loose confederations of corporate city-states. Western civilisation in its current form, they insist, will end with the millennium. “The new Sovereign Individual,” they write, “will operate like the gods of myth in the same physical environment as the ordinary, subject citizen, but in a separate realm politically.” It’s impossible to overstate the darkness and extremity of the book’s predictions of capitalism’s future; to read it is to be continually reminded that the dystopia of your darkest insomniac imaginings is almost always someone else’s dream of a new utopian dawn.

full thing here: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/15/why-silicon-valley-billionaires-are-prepping-for-the-apocalypse-in-new-zealand

albondigas con gas (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 15 February 2018 14:56 (one week ago) Permalink

i'm aware i've said this before a few times on ilx but jesus christ the obsession of these billionaire assholes in securing their own wellbeing in the face of a threatened societal collapse which they are ideally-placed to help mitigate is just breathtakingly evil

albondigas con gas (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 15 February 2018 14:59 (one week ago) Permalink

more proof, if any were needed, that in order to become a billionaire asshole, one must already be breathtakingly evil before attaining that eminence

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 15 February 2018 19:05 (one week ago) Permalink

tru

albondigas con gas (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 15 February 2018 19:11 (one week ago) Permalink

(isn't new zealand earthquake-prone?)

( yes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_earthquakes_in_New_Zealand#2010%E2%80%93present )

koogs, Thursday, 15 February 2018 19:24 (one week ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.