Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Diogenes Wasn't Cynical Enough

Diogenes tried to persuade Athenians to suck less, in his own way. As we can see, it didn't work. There was nothing that could be done or said to make Athenians suck less; they had no demand for virtue, and great demand for vice. Diogenes should have accepted the inevitable, got his, and got out. In other words, don't live in a jar, because nobody cares anyway. Live in a mansion, though be aware mansions are expensive and the ROI might be negative. Find the peak housing and live in that.

My starting point for modelling humanity is pure evil. There is no people anywhere who you can say nice things about. Rounding to the nearest 5, 10% are obligate defectors, 85% will defect at every opportunity, and 5% have the capacity to cooperate. In other words, 95% criminal.

However, humans appreciate some aspects of Gnon's wrath. If they are intelligent enough, they can sacrifice their urge to defect now in exchange for fulfilling narcissistic greed in the future. In other words you can say basically anything mean you want about Americans without any risk of being wrong, except the fact they're smart enough to occasionally understand Gnon will wreck their face if they indulge in the wanton depravity they would prefer. As it happens, other countries understand this less.

Except the most criminal 10%, who just can't help themselves. Note these are mostly families, not random mutations. Put another way, 10% will steal pens from the office even while you're looking, 85% will steal pens if you're not looking, and 5% can be trusted not to steal the pens.

It's not hard to blame government for this. Coercive government is inherently irresponsible, and government is always population husbandry. The reflexive, knee-jerk eugenics program they stumbled upon has made the populations effectively 100% shitbag everywhere in the world. As with all defection, this is fatal in the long term. Government will husband populations into annihilating government, having made them so depraved it cannot support any form of organization whatsoever. 

In a sense, the common Statist / Hobbesian argument that the State is necessary to suppress human viciousness is true. I've had to change my mind about that. Unfortunately, the common Anarchist argument is still/also true: if humans are inherently vicious, you can't afford to have a State, since that only provides more opportunities for viciousness. It is a net viciousness gain, not net viciousness suppression.

Occasionally a State arises that's aware that it needs to suppress its own tendencies toward viciousness, so it doesn't get wrecked by the vicious neighbouring States. However, sooner or later the leaders realize they can get theirs and skedaddle, and they'll die before they have to lie in the bed they've made. Then the State falls to infighting until it can't defend itself even if it wanted to. Meanwhile the gene pool is being constantly degraded by twisted State edicts buggering the selection criteria. 

Spandrell notices Singapore is a gene shredder. Au contraire; all of so-called civilization is a gene shredder. Buying temporary wealth and knowledge by permanently selling genetic virtue. Saying Singapore is a gene shredder is way of being able to forgive Rome for being a gene shredder, because you want to be Emperor so you can do vicious things to foreigners, until you can afford to do vicious things to the domestics too.

If you believe there is a solution to this problem, by all means propose it. I will almost certainly make fun of your ridiculous level of ignorance, but there is an "almost" in there. It would be very stupid if there was a practical discussion to be had and I dismissed it without even trying. Trying and failing is cheap, by contrast. (Principle: in uncertainty, assume you're going to do the wrong thing and do the right wrong thing. Make the right mistake.)

Remember it has to be something we can actually try. E.g. some conversational gambit we could go on Twitter and test on someone, which would indicate they have some secret demand for virtue if they can be informed of how to reach for it. 

Then we can try it, and I can laugh at you for thinking it would work. 

Even Diogenes couldn't do it. It's really, really hard to be more cynical than the Human World deserves. You can go as extreme as possible without epistemic fear. Just push until you can't.

P.S. I guess I do believe in the Great Filter after all. Though I also still believe there has been no other observable life in the universe, because humans are so early. It's not a technology or telescope problem. There has never been anything else to find, at least not yet.

P.P.S. There's also the reserve currency thing. The Fed inflates the dollar and distributes some of the re-distributed wealth to Americans at large, making America seem richer than it is. You can tell every country is governed by morons in absolute terms, because it would be very smart to straight-up ban $ and $-denominated securities from your country entirely. "Hey America, no stealing, assholes." Admittedly any country that switched back to a gold standard or some equivalent would immediately draw literally insane levels of envy from Arlington, Foggy Bottom, and the London central bank. Sadly all three have invested heavily in tools of destruction. 

P.P.P.S. https://www.xenopolitix.com/post/267-youthful-folly-vi

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