Let’s call this the “weak Antisingularity hypothesis” - the idea that technical progress and social progress are uncorrelated, and may even run in opposite directions.
The weak Antisingularity hypothesis doesn’t mean the Singularity won’t happen. What it means is that technical progress has overcome the declining trends in Western society. Perhaps in the absence of the Industrial Revolution, the experience of late Antiquity would have been revisited, and Uzbek horsemen would be cantering across the ruins of Paris. But we do have the steam engines, the SUVs and HDTVs, and we will have the Singularity. Exponential technical acceleration has broken the savage cycle of history.
Unfortunately, there’s also a “strong Antisingularity hypothesis.” The strong Antisingularity hypothesis suggests that the coincidence of technical progress and social decay is not, in fact, a coincidence. It’s actually a case of cause and effect.
It’s very easy for technical progress to cause social decay. Evolution designed humans to compete in a variety of brutally selective environments. When robots - or Helots - do all the work, why bother? We can just sit on the couch, play XBox 360, smoke green bud and masturbate frantically. Idiocracy beckons.
If technical progress actually causes social and political decay, Mike Judge is an optimist. What happens when the Singularity really approaches, but it’s not quite here yet? When the curve of technology is almost vertical, but not yet infinite? “Damn, yo.”
What the strong Antisingularity hypothesis suggests is that we haven’t escaped the cyclical pattern at all. We are just in an unprecedentedly steep upcycle. The Uzbeks may yet water their horses in the Seine - if there are any Uzbeks left. Or horses, for that matter.
Gärten und Straßen | Ernst Jünger
'98 - '13
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“Short film about our two weeks trek through the Jura range with our yaks in spring 2013.”
This is really sublime
With no significant political forces opposing the conversion of our world into a universal marketplace, the conflict of our time is the struggle to retain one’s humanity in an increasingly artificial world. That is the only battle that retains any genuine significance from a traditional perspective.
Quote reblogged from with 58 notes
What shall I become when this body is dead and gone?
A tall, thick pine tree on the highest peak of Bongraesan,
Evergreen alone when white snow covers the whole world.
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The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
…the moment we have a fixed heart we have a free hand.
Umberto D. — Vittorio De Sica, 1952
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