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Topics - Captain Utopia

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Techmology and Scientism / Google Wave
« on: August 15, 2009, 08:30:54 pm »
Has anyone else got it? I would like to plan something fun with it, having collaborators would be handy. PM me your wave account address if you'd like to do something.

They're finally getting it? Sounds like a recipe for escalation to me.

Thing is though, how do you wage a meme war, if you don't have a firm grasp on how ideas evolve? Just because you can design a good meme, that doesn't mean that strong memes don't evolve without individual intent. Etc, etc.

Bring it on, I say.

Or Kill Me / danger
« on: August 08, 2009, 07:27:09 am »
I saw a guy on a motorcycle today.

He looked kinda cool.

I wish I had done that when I was younger.

Now I just avoid recklessness and I tell myself there are plenty of safe ways to have fun.

But isn't the danger the essential ingredient of the whole experience?

Why would I want to chew the wrapper and throw away the candy?

If we let concerns over our own mortality control our experiences, then those concerns inevitably make us stupider.

If your stupidity gets you killed, then society doesn't mourn your loss for very long.

If you survive because you added something new to the mix, then society benefits.

Go on kid, make Darwin proud.

But Fuck Society.

A society which has not found a way to make the bargain mutually beneficial does not deserve my devotion.

It's learned some neat tricks, but it is still young and stupid.

It's still too early to serve society as a God.

And it's still too early to let it make childish mistakes of its own choosing.

And Lo! God came down from the Heavens for one week.

She healed the sick, performed miracles, and proved herself to All.

She baptised a willing planet into her new Global Unified Religion.

But when she granted Larry King an exclusive interview, the people saw she was a vapid idiot.

This changed nothing.

They just prayed slightly harder when she left them all alone.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Agnosticism and the socratic method
« on: August 05, 2009, 03:47:35 pm »
I've only read the first post, and it was extremely well written. Why you aren't getting many responses: A) it's longish, and people usually ignore longish pieces by new members B) it's preaching to the choir; most people here already know a great amount about classical greek philosophy, maybe logic, RAW and PKD, and C) fictionpuss posted in this thread, which ends up turning everyone off.
Ratonderio, if you'd prefer that I don't respond to any more of your writing, I will absolutely respect that.

Everyone else - if (C) is part of the reason then WTF are you doing allowing someone who you perceive as a whiny little troll getting in the way of someone else trying to make a genuine connection to you? Ratonderio has not responded to me in any fashion, none of my shit sticks to him. Here I am. Bash the fuck out of me in this split thread instead please.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / The Joy of Slack
« on: August 03, 2009, 04:31:53 pm »
The Google-Count is currently at six. I'm sure that could be raised quite easily.

It's an idea similar to the BIP project, but perhaps less direct. Like a pamphlet giving advice on how to slack off in the office, bend office-politics to your will, presented as subversive "better not let your boss find this pdf in your inbox or ELSE!". Basically starting with a light "try these things if you're pissed off at work - you can get away with them and you'll have lots of fun - Slack is your right!", and ending with the unstated but obvious question of why are we a species who willingly places themselves in office-zoos?

Has it been done? Is something along these lines happening already that I could perhaps help with?

Techmology and Scientism / Hive Mind Science
« on: July 31, 2009, 03:50:41 am »

This was on Slashdot recently, but it seems to have crossover appeal with some of the work done here. Basically he redefines intelligence, not in terms relative to humanity (the smug monkey scale), but in survival ability:
The road system of a given city may require between ten to a hundred human obstructions to shut it down. This is what it takes to cut off major arterial roadways and possibly other minor linking streets. Actually, it may take significantly more human obstructions to fully shut the system down, but these numbers give a good baseline metric of a survival intelligence of between one and two.

Legal and healthcare systems are also given as examples. Though I'm unclear why it doesn't apply to most if not all organisations. As he points out this is an area which hasn't seen much academic focus.

As passive maintaining agents of these systems, we must wonder if we need to redefine our ideas about human purpose in this context.

Anyway, I thought it was a positive story as a lot of cultural inertia seems to result from the common belief that institutions are built to serve humans and not the other way around. C.f Greenspan last year expressing surprise that agents in the free market system didn't always "do the right thing", you know, magically.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Purposes and goals of mindfucks
« on: July 20, 2009, 01:48:17 pm »
I started writing an essay but, mercifully, I think a summary might work better.

Apart from fun/new experiences, is there any point to mindfucking oneself once you've bootstrapped yourself to a certain level of awareness?
Assignment #1: write an essay on the point of a mindfuck.
I see two broad categories of mindfuck - one which works with large memesets/tropes and seems more of a scattershot approach, like leaving tracts around a city - I see its impact as either accumulative or direct (lightning-bolt inspiration), but either way it increases receptivity if done in a way which doesn't actively make people turn off. The chick-tracts seem to have this memetic fault, although in that case it might just be built into the business model.

The second category of mindfuck involves the internal thought processes/memes, which tend to be significantly more nimble and dynamic. Especially when they camouflage themselves - the evolution aspect gives a strong expectation that your bad habits will find other ways to express themselves, rather like a game of hungry hungry hippos. So meta-programming requires an individual to become aware of their own thought processes/triggers and debug them, sometimes with the luxury of foresight, but often with the associated complexities of doing this in real time.

The social mindfuck does not seem strictly required to push an individual into self-mindfucking/meta-programming, but it probably helps. This sub-culture for instance, seems geared towards that, and does appear more effective at it than mainstream culture - which reflects the respective motivations.

You could try to scribble a third mindfuck category out - that of the group-mind as a tangible form of consciousness. I can't think of any examples of mind-fucks at that level - societies tend to happily march themselves into disaster without a second thought - but perhaps it can be found in individuals escaping the sinking ship of any ideology?

So it seems cleaner to think of it in various recursions as societies and individuals influence each other with increasing levels of sophistication. If so, the point of any mindfuck would be to increase intelligence - we are the universe exploring itself, etc.

This may be kicked in the shins with "No - a mindfuck is just for fun". This construct doesn't disagree with that, but unfortunately can't do so without appearing smug.

By which I mean - if there are literally endless ways to mindfuck yourself, and countless reality tunnels to explore - then a totally random exploration of them will be interesting but will stand a terrible chance of being 'big I' illuminating in any way.
Assignment #2: rewrite assignment #1 to answer this question.
It still seems valid to me.

I.e. Is it possible to use the scientific method to map out the problem space towards the end of recognising the "ultimate mindfuck" (of the current selection) which leads to the most robust reality tunnel currently known? Is there any evidence that the appearance of multiple "truths" is not itself an illusion?
Assignment #3: do assignments #1 and #2 if you still think this paragraph makes sense.
I'm failing these assignments, since I did and I do. The existence of multiple realities does not grant them equality.

Apple Talk / FWD: Testing
« on: July 17, 2009, 04:25:35 pm »
Got an annoying forward in the mail today while reading through Illuminatus! Thought it might be of interest to Discordians. Or perhaps I was more interested in what Discordians would make of it. Anyway, it's worth a try, or a fry. And hello!

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