version

Who loves ya, baby?
There's a lot of back and forth on him atm as he claimed "Antifa" and BLM were starting the fires in Portland then publicly apologised for spreading misinformation. Now some of his listeners are saying it's good he did that and others are claiming he's sold out and covering up the truth for money. There's also some issue with Spotify employees apparently wanting his podcasts monitored and edited before being uploaded and trigger warnings being put in place which has pissed a bunch of them off too.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
It is a problem of desire, and desire is part of the infrastructure
something something the intrinsic genius of capitalism at sublimating, rebranding and selling back to you your own oppositional desires

something something further Edward Bernays, spooky Clint Mansell music, Adam Curtis voiceover, fin

as the copywriting saying goes "if the truth isn't tellable [or, sellable] fix it till it is"
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
@constant escape I read this last night and I bet youd appreciate it:

"It is not a question of ideology. There is an unconscious libidinal investment of the social field that coexists, but does not necessarily coincide, with the preconscious investments, or with what the preconscious investments "ought to be." That is why, when subjects, individuals, or groups act manifestly counter to their class interests-when they rally to the interests and ideals of a class that their own objective situation should lead them to combat-it is not enough to say: they were fooled, the masses have been fooled. It is not an ideological problem, a problem of failing to recognize, or of being subject to, an illusion. It is a problem of desire, and desire is part of the infrastructure. Preconscious investments are made, or should be made, according to the interests of the opposing classes. But unconscious investments are made according to positions of desire and uses of synthesis, very different from the interests of the subject, individual or collective, who desires."

doing is sexier than knowing
What do you think is meant by "preconscious investments"? How can preconscious investments be distinguished from libidinal investments?

If the argument here is that the proletarian subject is always-already predisposed in the direction established by hegemony (or in the directions stemming from relations of production), and that their conscious decisions grow from tainted ground, I can see where such an interpretation could let us see past many of the clouds.

And I guess ideology here means post-libidinal value systems, "post-" in a structural sense, sort of how the psyche can be figured as vesicle/sac with a membrane (nervous system), libido/preconsciousness as a secondary layer, and an inner conscious section where the ego ruminates upon itself, with stimuli/energy-flows moving in from the outside, through the libido before reaching the ego - hence the reception of the stimuli/flow by the ego would be "post-libidinal".

Not sure how worthwhile that elaboration was, but there it is. I pulled that vesicle/membrane imagery straight from Beyond the Pleasure Principle, I believe. I don't claim to accurately represent or understand Freuds points though.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
What do you think is meant by "preconscious investments"? How can preconscious investments be distinguished from libidinal investments?

If the argument here is that the proletarian subject is always-already predisposed in the direction established by hegemony (or in the directions stemming from relations of production), and that their conscious decisions grow from tainted ground, I can see where such an interpretation could let us see past many of the clouds.

And I guess ideology here means post-libidinal value systems, "post-" in a structural sense, sort of how the psyche can be figured as vesicle/sac with a membrane (nervous system), libido/preconsciousness as a secondary layer, and an inner conscious section where the ego ruminates upon itself, with stimuli/energy-flows moving in from the outside, through the libido before reaching the ego - hence the reception of the stimuli/flow by the ego would be "post-libidinal".

Not sure how worthwhile that elaboration was, but there it is. I pulled that vesicle/membrane imagery straight from Beyond the Pleasure Principle, I believe. I don't claim to accurately represent or understand Freuds points though.
preconscious just means thoughts/feelings that you aren't currently meditating on. Where the unconcious/libidinal investments are mysterious and illogical, the preconscious can be said to be the bank of thoughts and values that you have access to whenever you are inclined to bring them up.
 
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constant escape

winter withered, warm
Okay, so I've seen a technical distinction made between subconscious and unconscious, stating that the former was a term not used in Freudian discourse, but it seems to align with your explanation of preconscious.

Yeah I tend to have a more physiological interpretation of preconscious. Like the preconscious effect winning a jackpot has is neurochemical, the effect before conscious apprehension. Preconscious effects would play some determining role for conscious effects.

But I overlooked the alignment of libidinal/unconscious, until you pointed it out. That makes sense as a layer.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
you'd have to go a far way to find someone more cynical about human nature, competence, or the extant/coming crisis of meaninglessness

I am not an optimist, nor an idealist. it's part of why I would never identify myself as a "progressive" albeit I share some values.

I think your prescriptions are narrow, arrogant (the arrogance of youth), and have equally as many unsupportable assumptions about human nature

you're free to try to convince me or whoever why you're right and we're not. or you can take your ball and go home.

threatening to leave stops being cute when you do it all time, just FYI.
This is the weirdest reply I've ever seen. I say "a lot of progressives are too idealistic." You tell me I'm an idiot, and then say that "part of why" you don't identify as progressive is because you're cynical about human nature. You're literally agreeing with me while telling me I'm "narrow and arrogant." You seem to have internalized every critique of mine about progressives as being about you, which is just bizarrely self-centered. I'm not talking about you, and I'm certainly not calling Dissensus a bunch of "idealists"; I'm talking about "a lot of progressives," so a tip, if you're not a progressive, and you're not idealistic, I'm not talking about you.

It's not about you, I really don't give a shit what you think or believe. I'm talking about myself, and my experience with progressives. Which you've confirmed by saying that you explicitly don't identify as progressive because you're not idealistic about these issues, which was literally my point about progressives in the first place.

And for the record, logging off for the night to avoid a stupid, useless conversation isn't "threatening to leave" the forum. Maybe be a little more careful reading my posts before shooting from the hip—talk about strawmen.
 
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suspendedreason

Well-known member
You go around looking for fights and taking everything too personally. It leads to lame and unnecessarily personal conflicts, and I have a right to not want to fight to the death over a shitpost that I said repeatedly was "mostly joking." My "it's a stupid forumpost, get over it" comment is justified: there are no stakes to conversation here.
 
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padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
You tell me I'm an idiot
didn't say that

You seem to have internalized every critique of mine about progressives as being about you, which is just bizarrely self-centered
Sure, but I think you only give a shit because you identify as progressive
I don't want to get into one of those "learn to read better" back and forths, but come on dude

I don't think you are narrow and arrogant. or maybe you are, but how would I know? I don't really know you. I don't make those assumptions.

whereas you do make those kinds of assumptions about people here, individually and collectively, constantly

or if you don't, you're really failing to communicate effectively given how often people - including me - keep calling you out on it

what I actually said and what I actually think is that some of your ideas, as you've expressed them here and elsewhere, are narrow and arrogant

i.e. paternalistic concern about "the bottom-end of the performance bell curve"

with it's implicit attendant need for and right of the supposedly more capable to make lifeshaping decisions for their inferiors

a very common line with technocracy fans, of course
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
and the shitposting/I was only joking defense is the saddest one there is, an automatic exit

every post is de facto a stupid forum post. there's no reason to make that disclaimer unless you're backtracking out of something.

do I think you and @constant escape escape literally want to start sterilizing people under a certain IQ line (or whatever)? probably not, no

but if you start tossing the word eugenics around, don't be surprised when there's pushback

there are stakes to all communication, they're just (much) lower here than if you were in a position to execute an actual policy
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
you're probably aware that eugenics was a progressive cause

exactly part of the cult of efficiency - currently expressed as optimization of everything - of which I am deeply skeptical

and also probably aware that people have accused Rawls of implicitly endorsing a kind of eugenics in the ultimate service of a just society
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
There's a lot of back and forth on him atm as he claimed "Antifa" and BLM were starting the fires in Portland then publicly apologised for spreading misinformation. Now some of his listeners are saying it's good he did that and others are claiming he's sold out and covering up the truth for money. There's also some issue with Spotify employees apparently wanting his podcasts monitored and edited before being uploaded and trigger warnings being put in place which has pissed a bunch of them off too.
In general this one thing (possibly the only thing in fact) on which I often feel sorry for politicians - when they make a mistake with a policy decision that will set out a long running strategy they are faced with two choices.

1. Continue bloody-mindedly pursuing the same incorrect strategy - which is really a totally insane thing to do
2. Admit they were wrong and change the strategy - and be accused of making a U-turn

Nine times out of ten they opt for option one which is why we see loads of fucking completely mental ideas pursued pointlessly to the bitter and disastrous end. But in fact, I would rather - as a rule - they went for option two.
Our present Tory government has often in fact chosen option two and as a result their leadership strategy is - not unfairly, but even so, actually rather harshly - described as "government by U-turn" or some such.

Now, far be it for me, to actually stick up for this useless bunch of lying, vicious scumbags, but actually the only things they have done right as far as I've noticed is when they have had the balls to admit that they have made an almighty cock-up and changed direction.

Of course, before anyone thinks that I've suddenly gone soft on these arseholes, I do feel it incumbent on me, to point out that the reason that they have so often done the right thing in changing their strategies are

1. They have made lots and lots of bad mistakes
2. They have made lots of mistakes that are so bad that even they - the MOST fundamentally dishonest and uncaring government of our lifetime, whose natural instinct is to lie their way out of any given situation, regardless of how ridiculous the lie is and how harmful it would be to the people and to the country to pursue that lie - recognise that it cannot be lied out of and even their supporters would be able to grasp the consequences and understand that it was their fault.

In other words, Boris Johnson's government had made a number of utterly colossal fuck-ups that it has made them momentarily honest.

So, to go back to the original dilemma and to look back at the insoluble question

1. Continue bloody-mindedly pursuing the same incorrect strategy - which is really a totally insane thing to do
2. Admit they were wrong and change the strategy - and be accused of making a U-turn0
There is a solution to this constantly arising issue - just stop making such an enormous number of potentially disastrous fuck-ups.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
1. Continue bloody-mindedly pursuing the same incorrect strategy - which is really a totally insane thing to do
2. Admit they were wrong and change the strategy - and be accused of making a U-turn
it's the sunk costs, both political and material, problem - Vietnam is a classic historical example

there's also the specific problem democratic leadership has with short-term thinking, one of democracy's unavoidable trade-offs

the best solution is indeed to not fuck up at the outset, when the most options are always available to you

one way to encourage that is to go for as many small solutions as possible instead of gambling on one large strategy

that's what the U.S. govt did in its response to the Great Depression and to some extent with Obamacare

it's about as keeping as many of your options open as possible for as long as possible, to avoid the sunk costs dilemma

not every situation is as conducive to that, of course
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Well, on the lovely topic of eugenics: do we think advancements with human gene-editing is going to stop where it is? I would be cosmically surprised if it does. Should we not then preemptively devise an ethics around it, so as to better insulate ourselves from its impact? Rather than wait for the impact and flounder to reactively devise an ethics then?

Frankly, where pharmacology ends and eugenics begins, I'm not too sure. Googling "Epigenetic pharmacology" gave a few insights.

Perhaps a proper understanding of it will let us sidestep some potential atrocities - but denying the tech/studies wholesale enters head-in-the-sand territory, as far as I can see. That said, we need people to deny it wholesale, heads-dragging-in-the-sand as a braking mechanism, to prevent runaway, as with almost any development in any direction. In that sense, the conservative is in the interest of long-term progress.

The question of whether or not eugenics most broadly is right is a subordinate question to whether or not it is happening, and it is. Within that, we can collectively steer its direction. I could make a similar argument for capitalism, as well as artificial intelligence (which really isn't as otherworldly a concept as it is often made out to be).

Hence all the complex metaphysics and theory - there could be other, less explored manners of advancing collectively, attempting to integrate as wide a variety of opinions as possible as we move forward.

I get that it was a joke, but sterilizing people won't help any interests but the narrow interests, the ones that are quite likely bigoted in some fashion, as far as I can tell. If we are talking potential dystopian outcomes, hedonistically coercing people into data-extracting VR EEG headsets would probably be much more viable. Wait a minute, are we not ankle-deep into that already?

It all depends on whether or not we can board the train before it speeds past us, and I think we will, so long as we don't slack. Humans are significant in a fundamentally quantitative way, and we can only hold that lead for so long - and we'd be bad parents if our offspring didn't surpass us, no?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
it's the sunk costs, both political and material, problem - Vietnam is a classic historical example

the best solution is indeed to not fuck up at the outset, when the most options are always available to you

one way to encourage that is to go for as many small solutions as possible instead of gambling on one large strategy

that's what the U.S. govt did in its response to the Great Depression and to some extent with Obamacare

it's about as keeping as many of your options open as possible for as long as possible, to avoid the sunk costs dilemma

not every situation is as conducive to that, of course
Absolutely. I mean my thing about saying "don't make mistakes in the first places" was obviously kinda glib. But I do mean that the reason that the UK government has made so many U-turns is simply down to the number of ill thought-through decisions they made to start with. I suppose that what I'm trying to say is that, while I have sympathy for a politician (or anyone) who is accused of weakness because they have the sense to recognise that they have made a mistake and try to correct it, this government (UK) does deserve criticism in the very same area cos the need for bold u-tun decisions has arisen entirely out of their incompetence and mendacity.
there's also the specific problem democratic leadership has with short-term thinking, one of democracy's unavoidable trade-offs
This is a big one in fact. Why should any government (that is hoping to be re-elected at the end of the political cycle) do anything whose effects will be felt and appreciated long after their term of office? Again it seems to depend on an honourable leader who can put the country's interests before her own... but from where I'm sitting right now such a thing seems more and more like a childishly naive dream.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
@padraig (u.s.)

It's true I might be guilty of mixing up my takes getting called arrogant for my person getting called it. But I feel I was pretty clear what my actual concerns are in this thread, and nowhere was it an advocacy for eugenics. Unless you count my suggestion we put babies in "pens" and let them duke it out as a sorting algorithm.

If you think my concerns are misplaced w/r/t the economic and cultural conditions that are rapidly developing (meaning crisis, automation displacing work, cognitive inequalities exacerbating), or the limits of redistributing money (we could divide it up evenly & in 50 years we'd be back to deep inequality)—then I'm curious to hear that. But I don't get why such a half-assed troll as an insincere "eugenics" namedrop has taken over and dwarfed the discussion I was trying to have about those things, including how someone who fanboys for Rawls & Peter Singer could be tempted by the alt-right, or its technocratic leanings—a question you yourself asked me!

But as you I'm sure know, this package of thought goes all the way back to Plato, and resurfaces in parts of the alt-right, especially its rationalist side. Eugenics is a part of that historical picture of paternalism, which is why I even namedropped it in the first place. It's part of the vague ideological vibespace.

My feeling is there's a hard tug-of-war in political philosophy between paternalism and libertarianism, and I don't think it's easy to answer which high-level philosophy (freedom or optimization) is right. Utilitarianism has a lot of ugly implications, but so do all our other moral philosophies taken to the limit
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
do we think advancements with human gene-editing is going to stop where it is?
no, almost certainly not

but you need to distinguish between kinds of eugenics

one of individual choices - consumer eugenics - we're going to have to grapple with, for better or ill

yr typical Gattaca scenario - already in its infancy and will intensify as more options become available

not to say that's great, but it's more like an intensification of the ways inequality already manifests than something totally new

the other kind is an imposed systemic eugenics

the word "eugenics" almost always implies the latter, which is exactly why people talking about modern genetics generally avoid it
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
but there's also a concern where the former bleeds into the latter

and "sterilizing people won't help any interests but the narrow interests" is historically inaccurate

classics eugenics from Plato to the 20th C, has always been promoted as being exactly for the good of society over the individual

it doesn't have anything intrinsically to do with a specific racism - it's about who is and isn't excluded from "society"
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
there's a hard tug-of-war in political philosophy between paternalism and libertarianism
my history of philosophy is autodidactic and patchwork, but from what I have that seems basically right

I definitely fall closer to freedom

or I guess, at higher philosophical level I'm concerned with reconciling freedom and equality. in either case, dead set against paternalism.

but I grant that just like every serious philosophical problem there's no neat or easy answer
 
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constant escape

winter withered, warm
the other kind is an imposed systemic eugenics

the word "eugenics" almost always implies the latter, which is exactly why people talking about modern genetics generally avoid it
This is what I meant by eugenics vs racist eugenics, but you put it better than I did.

But couldn't consumer eugenics "naturally" become widespread enough as to be indistinguishable from imposed systemic eugenics? I mean imagine the ways neoliberalism could scale down and milk consumer eugenics - we'd be able to better curate and market ourselves from our genes up.

Or even more, the kind of helicopter parent maximizing the human capital of their kids, and what they could optimize before birth? Skys the limit there. And once a few take off in that direction, its only a matter of time before the benchmarks adjust themselves and that becomes standard practice, no?

Wish I knew more about antidepressants and such medications, and the various feedback loops that function to perpetuate some of these industries. I don't think its beyond the realm of possibilities that some eventual consumer eugenics spread out this widely and plant themselves this firmly in the mainstream - then it would be voluntary systemic eugenics, rather than imposed. Still systemic, though.
 
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