On a Second-Order Pragmatism

RWY

Well-known member
it's just not familiar territory and would involve building something of a platform, I suppose, before peddling any theory. Would you consider such a place to be receptive to such theories?

There are entire communities (i.e. subreddits) on there that will be far more receptive to your proposal and some of them may even include members versed in the same vocabulary you are deploying here - you won't need to "build a platform".

r/singularity
r/Futurology
r/transhumanism
 
I am and would be dead-set against ever voluntarily sublimating my individuality to algorithmic rule for any reasons

Considering our current moment rather than some philosophical endpoint, If we accept that this is already happening, endemic, shaping politics and consumer choices etc it raises the question can we turn back? And if we can’t do we then have to consider how the left might use technology like this as effectively as the populist right currently do? Or do you see it as a matter of regulation?
 

pattycakes_

Well-known member
Gonna have to tap out of this one. If it ever came down to a mandatory draft type situ, you can be sure I'd be heading for Canada.

I like your energy though, @constant escape maybe we should have a proper go at the original premise in the resistance thread again another time.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Something I would never trust a computer, no matter how infinitely wise or well programmed, to deal with.
I can agree there, that our computers, such as they are and such as they will be for the foreseeable future, are ill-equipped to do justice to such feelings. That said, much of the theory I'm suggesting asserts that our feelings are highly ramified outcomes of a physics that bears some resemblance to what we call algorithms.

I don't think it will be as simple as letting our computers think for us, nor do I think it can be boiled down to a psychological becoming-algorithmic. But I do believe and think its possible to trace something as seemingly chaotic and unplaceable as the psyche down through its increasingly fundamental physical infrastructure. And I believe and think its possible to understand how those increasingly fundamental components behave and react to one another, such that they combine/cooperate to give rise to ever more complex things.

I think if we can nest ourselves (our personality, our ideology, etc) within such a framework, we can be better positioned to process our world, and that is where things become much more realistic and down to earth. I don't think we even need to jettison our more human aspects - seeing as our more human aspects are still aspects that emerged from physics, and to that extent can be understood to whatever extent.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Gonna have to tap out of this one. If it ever came down to a mandatory draft type situ, you can be sure I'd be heading for Canada.

I like your energy though, @constant escape maybe we should have a proper go at the original premise in the resistance thread again another time.
I'd love to. Take it easy.

edit: I just realized that "Take it easy." can read more than one way. To be sure, I meant it in sense of "have a relaxing time"
 
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constant escape

winter withered, warm
I take that possibility seriously, or at least I try to always bear it in mind. I believe that the really useful ideas, whether or not they seem useful to us, tend to find their way to the center. I'm just trying to set up as wide a farm as possible, in that respect. If the harvest doesn't prove fruitful, then at least it was a learning experiment.

Sorry if I come across as trying to control other people. Much of the language I use, admittedly, lends itself to projects of control and regimentation and such, but that is by no means where I plant my feet.

That said, it does seem that, given the current climate of capitalism (I suppose? not sure if it is broader or narrower than that), monsters are being incubated in masses, and remain largely nascent, their dormancy increasingly precarious. More and more are awakening, seemingly, as a result/output of a larger function, a function whose agency is an order beyond our own.

A bit indulgent with the drama, but there's a point in there somewhere.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
I'm not sure, but I might be arguing that the tendency to create ever more complex systems is intrinsic to intelligent matter - granted, before I get carried away again, this can begin to look like an increasingly... theological (?) argument, or one that takes root in an unfalsifiable claim. I'm hesitant to put forward such propositions.

Anyway, such an argument does, to me, begin to shed a light on how capitalism took hold in the first place. Really, it's beginning to make more and more sense - an opinion which doesn't necessarily reduce to a pro-capitalism. But it might necessarily reduce to a pro-_____, the blank being whatever is at the roots of capitalism, whatever is essential to it that doesn't necessarily leave so much suffering in its wake. Maybe capitalism is as monstrous and formidable as it is because it is coupled with some other toxic elements that exacerbate such exploitation and suffering.

Maybe capitalism is an expression of something essential to intelligent matter, but maybe those toxic elements are not essential to capitalism.

If human nature is the thing preventing capitalism from being... better, then maybe human nature needs an overhaul.

If things are going to get more and more complex, should not our abilities of understanding scale up likewise? And such a scaling need not, as far as I can tell, amount to some despotic (?) few doing the thinking for everyone else.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
In case you meant this for me, and not for luka.

The theory-machine, as mentioned in the first sentence of the original post, would consist of an algorithmically optimized and unified worldview/ideology/toolbox that would come to supplant one's life, or, depending on how you view it, support one's life. The goal (not sure how much I'm willing to defend this particular articulation) is to optimize the cognition of the subject whilst sparing them a good deal of psychic tension. Pathos would be preserved, but harnessed in a different way. It could involve a dialectics of pathos-yielding-to-system and system-yielding-to-pathos.

The machine, in short, would produce a much more efficient subject-processor, one that would experience, viscerally, the return of the cosmic ambition and, at least to jumpstart the transition, hope. Again, not sure if I will stand by these answers, but there is something to them.


this sounds great! im in!
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
dont listen to these wet blankets. me and you are going to socially engineer a utopia whether the people want one or not~!
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
This reeks of despotism.

the petty qualms of small minds! sentimentally attached to the illusion of freedom! constant escape. youre a man after my own heart. run the data! let's start programming!
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
this is the best thread on dissensus in years. now listen to me, ride roughshod over all this quibbling and carping. they do this any time anyone has an idea. don't let it get to you. once we've streamlined and rationalised their messy squalid lives they'll be on their knees thanking us for what we've done for them
 

sufi

осом
Surely this future algorithm engine is what already connects everything informationally, we humans are so deeply mired in it that it's impossible to split it off into hypotheticals?
Dissensus is our best interface, the control panel
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
One inlet to such a psychic transformation (theory-machine as transformative of the psyche?) would be the dharmic point of departure (and someone tell me if I'm using that term too broadly: Hinduism, Buddhism, maybe Daoism, maybe more?), and suddenly we can move away from the industrial/technological imagery and toward the spiritual imagery.

Is desire empowered and kept active by a fixed scope? That is, do the things that elicit and fuel desire only work as long as the framework in which they are nested remains more or less fixed? If we can expand it, does desire begin to lose root? Does this merely prompt desire to take root elsewhere, to adjust its aim? Perhaps my conception/understanding of desire can be refined.

What does the aforementioned expansion entail? Reevaluation of desire? Coming to increasingly appreciate/understand that that-which-is-supposed-to-grant-satisfaction only grants a transient satisfaction? This increase, can it be expedited by sustained focus on the object of desire? (Not sure how this relates to Lacanian discourse, but all that should factor in as well).

If the focus on that-which-is-supposed-to-grant-satisfaction is sustained long enough, do we get a sense of the broader categories underpinning that-which-is-supposed-to-grant-satisfaction? Can we shift our focus to these broader categories, and sustain it there, undertaking the same general reevaluation? Can even broader categories be ascertained underneath these? Can this digging persist until desire loses its roots for good? Or must this kind of focus be regularly exercised in order to ensure this rootlessness?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I think anything collective is probably doomed. You're on your own really. Once you start trying to control other people or come up with systems to do it for you, you run the risk of either driving yourself insane or becoming/creating a monster.

my view is the complete opposite of this. my view is that you can't do anything alone.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Surely this future algorithm engine is what already connects everything informationally, we humans are so deeply mired in it that it's impossible to split it off into hypotheticals?
Dissensus is our best interface, the control panel
This does touch on a point I've been trying to make. If by hypotheticals you mean radical alternatives, systems truly closed off from the roots of our current system, then I think I would ultimately agree

Functions can be algorithmic without their outcomes being deterministic. I think. The system cannot, as far as I can tell, perfectly account for its environment, but it can anticipate it to some extent and employ, what, categorical imperatives? It (our genetic system?) can establish a response that can be activated by some set of stimuli connected by some common characteristic, without taking into account the complete detail of the stimuli.

Maybe this can be called a categorical determinism, but I don't see much of a need to keep using that term. In this sense, the freedom would reside in whatever margin isn't accounted for by the genetic algorithm (if "algorithm" can even be applied to genetics. I don't see why not).

Not sure if this came across as anything but gibberish - it's a tough point for me. It's a point that cancels the determinism/free-will debate by affirming them both within reconciled parameters.

It's sort of like the "free-will" side is the vanguard, and the "determinism" is the rearguard, if I understand those terms. That which is deterministic, genetically coded/ossified, is the basic function, which positions consciousness to sort out that which isn't already coded/accounted for by the genetic information.

So yeah, we already in this system, we just seem to primarily operate in an ever shifting margin that exists along the periphery of the genetic acumen - and this to me bears a striking resemblance to capitalism. Consciousness as the head of cognition, which is connected, through the gradient of the unconscious, to the genetic intelligence, the species intelligence. And the species intelligence is nested in the larger biosphere (?) of intelligence, which is itself a subset of the set of all possible molecular permutations - all of which constitute intelligent matter.

We, as far as I can tell right now, just occupy the head of it. Which doesn't mean we are in charge, any more than the whisker is in charge of the cat. A weak example, but the point is there I hope.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
can we turn back?
no. might happen involuntarily - collapse of power grids/telecommunication networks, or eventual diminishing thru scarcity, etc - but otherwise, no.

it's already pervasive - dominates how we consume information (i.e. perceive reality), buy things, choose sexual partners, etc

and it will only increase. all the trends point that way. there's vast oceans of $ behind it.

it's not a left/right thing per se. it's the tyranny of optimization, the drive to optimize everything as an end in itself if for no other reason.

linked to the idea that there is no longer a division between work/leisure, only time that you're working and time you could be working

the two things it's very well suited for are authoritarianism and market capture.

regulation is probably futile - technology and the profit incentive will find a way - but it's better than not even putting up a fight
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
we're not just talking about one thing, also

algorithmic rule isn't the same thing as the singularity or whatever you want to call sublimating the individual to some kind of hive mind
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
regulation is probably futile - technology and the profit incentive will find a way - but it's better than not even putting up a fight

The approach I'm really drawn to is this: figure out a way to optimize the system, seeing as there is (probably) an infinite set of more optimized capitalisms. Of that set, there must be some subset of capitalisms that are not only better for capitalists but also for those exploited or disregarded by capitalists. What do you think of an approach like this? Not quite accelerationism, from what I gather.
 
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