Categories
Psychology

Autocracy: a Spiral into Madness

Context: Will Putin Outlast the War? I can never quite get past the astonishing degree to which these things resemble individual psychological pathologies writ large. There may indeed be some kind of unhappy statistical inevitability of cognitive macrocosm here but for all its failures, the antithetical pole of liberal democracy certainly resembles a more successful […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

War Crimes

It is quite unlikely that you do not know what is going on in Ukraine at the moment and notwithstanding that this is only the most recent of a long litany of horrors that neither belong uniquely to Russian military or even this particular moment in history, it is a terrible, terrible thing. We should […]

Categories
Futurism

Fear of fully autonomous AI

The mystery here is that what makes AI so eminently useful is its ability to do what we can not in ways we do not in all cases need to understand. There is something of a resonant psychological pathology here: we seek at all costs to invoke generally intelligent autonomous systems that significantly surpass our […]

Categories
Philosophy

Rage Against the Trolls

Context: Trolls Aren’t Like the Rest of Us I do wonder if the adversarial and tribal biases that so readily percolate through (for instance, but not only) online social networks have a tendency to reflexively cultivate and incentivise a bundle of pathological personality traits. In this sense, the technologically-mediated self-propagation of inflammatory and provocative narrative […]

Categories
life

The King that Fell

Imagine, if you will, a king. A mighty ruler, a keen follower of Machiavelli and thus feared much more than loved and very clever indeed. Of course, being clever is only ever measured by the breadth and depth in which intelligence is defined and this king had come to live in a half-mirrored world of […]

Categories
Philosophy

Damocles

The essence of a human life is in so many ways its natural orientation towards anything and everything other than death, negation, extinction and the oblivion of forgetting or of being forgotten and yet so many of our actions, behaviours and mental abstractions lead and leave us so perilously close to the abyss. There is […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

War as Atavism

The fault and flaw that at times percolates to catastrophic ascendance likely runs deep within our nature as the biological entities we are; conditioned by, through and as reflexively competitive complex information and energy-processing systems biased towards a primitive archetype of individuation and survival. If the intelligence and sophistication measured by technological civilisation to any […]

Categories
history

Imperialism

On the topic of autocratic ideology, it is no long stretch of the imagination to understand that good ideas sell themselves, bad ideas require a little more persuasion but it is only the truly ugly ideas that kick in your door and point a gun at you.

Categories
Alien Anthropology history Philosophy politics Psychology

Making Monsters

As an authoritarian regime always and implicitly depends for self-validation upon the presence of external and internal threats, where it does not find them it will manufacture them. This is a narcissistic pathology, writ large. The essential and interior psychological surface as self-definition of an individual (or organisational system as political abstraction of nation) is […]

Categories
Philosophy

Endless Crises of Political Failure

Interesting to note, perhaps, that many if not most (although not necessarily all) political, ideological and/or strategic designs have an inadvertent – arguably unconscious – bias towards generating precisely the kinds of errors that optimally reproduce and self-validate themselves. The ways in which this error-encoding occurs and the sophistication with which it is engaged is […]

Categories
Philosophy

No Bravery Without Fear

Bravery is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in spite of fear. Only a fool knows no fear and were it not that we demonise emotional experience in the ways we all do and as a function of the constructive paranoia that binds us all into one writhing mass of […]

Categories
Psychology

Shame

You should see (or intuitively feel) how shame is a trap, a labyrinth of pure abstraction and emotionally-infused imagination or half-blind fear that no rational or intelligent person should ever become ensnared by and yet we just can’t help ourselves and so easily and serially drift through regret into pity and – often enough – […]