Agency and other notes

Monday, 06 January, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu


Should you suddenly find yourself with enough success to, say, help significantly decrease poverty and famine in some 3rd world country, would you be prepared and ready with a game-plan or stumbling and mystified that something of this kind of magnitude occurred for you?

Rahab What's this.

Phryne This is what they do now with their time. Mouthbreathers living in squalor all over the US are mentally preparing to solve the 3rd world's famine problems. Just in case. You never know when you suddenly become powerful.i Fucking Cinderella syndrome, an entire generation of sleeping beauties.ii

Rahab Nobody cancelled armchair generals. Favourite sport of, well, damn near everybody.
Phryne Well nobody cancelled them, but I tell you... years ago it was a rare sport. What if one day you came to New York and EVERYONE was playing checkers. Not just the Central Park geezers. Everyone. Everywhere. All the time.
Rahab As a kid I had a book by a chap named Perelman, 'Living Mathematics' (my transl.).

Phryne The Perelman ?
Rahab Not the Riemann one, no. Described exactly this happening in the late 19th with the game '15'

Phryne I recall that. But that was a fad. This doesn't look like a fad.
Rahab Was sold with the stipulation that the 'winner' gets a bag of $. It was sold in an unwinnable arrangement, of course.

Phryne Of course. You know we invented a splendid drink game with that thing ?
Rahab Oh ?

Phryne You ideally need some girls. Girls pick numbers, bois have to get said number form on the top line, get to kiss the girl or w/e.
Rahab Aha. Neat.

Phryne Course if there's no girls you can just have drinks. "Dial 1 for vodka".
Rahab Anybody plays Alcoholic Chess over where you live?

Phryne Nope. We do play alcoholic bridge tho. I think it's better, especially if you have a recorder and record the angry arguments over bidding conventions for the next day. People can get pretty confused after the 20th drink.
Rahab Here you can get nice glass sets, hollow pieces. Damned if I know who they're for, americans don't play much chess any more.

Phryne Chess is a dead fish imo.
Rahab You pointed out correctly who killed the fish. The true chess fiends are playing Go now.

Phryne I briefly looked into it. I do not think it will survive the decade. The only reason it's not already solved is because the Deep Blue rewards are no longer available (ie, whoever makes the machine will not be hailed as a hero, but decried as hostis humani generes).
Rahab All the advances have been on small boards. On full 19x19 the computational load is greater by several orders of magnitude.

Phryne So ? Need I show you the hashpower count ?
Rahab Actually there is a Japanese prize. Unclaimed. $1mil if I recall.

Phryne Baby, 1 mil doesn't get you a garconniere in LA.iii
Rahab Not that it can't be done, in principle. One thing with machine chess, is that it instantly killed the online game. Idiots immediately hooked up engines to the servers, posing as humans.

Phryne Yeah. Machine poker is a big problem for online poker. The big houses don't like to admit it, but... I know at least a coupla people who used to be into grad math now mostly do tuning for their poker bots.
Rahab If I recall, the standard move is to write a 'conservative strategy' engine that steadily fleeces suckers. Pays a few $/hr.

Phryne Yah. You have to hide it tho, because they ban obvious cases.
Rahab Naturally.

Phryne You can actually get 2-3k a month iirc, if you put in the 8 hours a day.
Rahab These folks spend much time thinking of phantom mouse-movers and other minutiae. I don't envy them.

Phryne This may be a step up for a grad, of course, but as I tend to point out to them... my pimp friends make better money.
Rahab Even here in this Zoo, one can make considerably more pay for doing considerably less.

Phryne Math people suffer from a disproportionate ability to focus.
Rahab Yes, i know this well.

Phryne They kinda just get lost... you know that theory that people don't pick fields of research, the field where they just happen to encounter their first success picks them ?
Rahab I often like to suggest to people that they recalculate their wage - per minute of actual work that they must ever do.

Phryne This is very problematic.
Rahab Well, sure. Sleeping while the bell might ring does have a cost, of sorts.

Phryne On one end of the spectrum, it makes child rearing impossible. On the other end of the spectrum, it makes things like start-ups impossible. Not that it's not a useful mental exercise, but consider also that people are able to change. Situation : you live in a small town, run a red light, cop is slightly amazed you don't want to argue with him. He asks how come, you tell him you make more per minute than the fine implies. Two weeks later, the entire police department is out to fine you. In other words : any rigid, predictable behaviour weakens your negotiation position in society. That's why chastity is such an important tool in the subjection of women, and other things.iv)
Rahab Right. Tom Schelling's nuclear war (and other game-theoretical adventures).

Phryne When the fuck did this "warriors = psychopaths" bsv gain such currency.
Rahab USA. Where else.

Phryne I get it, lazy worthless cattle believe the men are evil, because it's easier than to believe they're cattle. But for crying out loud!

In my family, the same is true of the males, who we also cannot risk getting killed to enrich oil companies' bottom lines, or be permanently damaged with PTSD because they are not psychopaths, who are the only people who can survive combat duty unscathed by permanent mental scars caused by what they were ordered to do.

(from some guest article Orlov published).
Rahab I've this age-old desire to translate Limonov to English. As if it'd maybe cure people.

Phryne Some woman who's more than happy to be a domestic slave, instead of realising there's nothing in principle wrong with domestic slavery, uses the guy's thinking to rationalise her imaginary apartness. Ie, she's not REALLY what she is, because blabla, and then proceeds to expand this hive of feminine nonsense. It's not like the Russian domestic slave women of 1700 thought it bad for their kids to be impressed into the Tsar's army just like she does today, in the exact same way, for the exact same reasons. Ono! It's all different, and it has nothing to do with her difficulty to cope with the intrinsic worthlessness of the spawn of her womb that she's put so much work into. So no, I don't think it'll ever cure people.
Rahab Probably not. Konrad lorenz was translated... When? and where's the cure.

Phryne The way the world works everyone's required to spend his life (ie, everything) for nothing. Otherwise the world wouldn't be here tomorrow. And so... women that play the domestic slave spend their life to raise kids, who grow up into adults, who are people and therefore worthless. If they die in Chechnya or not it makes no difference, just like whether you find out your wine barrel in the cellar has gone sour or not has no bearing on how you got a barrel of bad vinegar in the cellar. On the other hand if they don't spend their time raising worthless children, they spend their time getting worthless careers. Big whoop. Let's find solutions to the problem of light not coming out of our ass. Because this is now a problem.
Rahab I have a term: 'launch vehicles'. As in the rocketry concept.

Phryne What's it denote ?
Rahab People who live so that payload can go somewhere.

Phryne But it never goes anywhere. Where'd it go ?
Rahab Occasionally it goes.

Phryne Give me one such example.
Rahab R. Feynman, approached by William Shockley's sperm bank: 'go talk to my father.'

Phryne Ahaha. But see, my point is, inasmuch as the world is, then no action of the agents inside it could breach the glass of that snowglobe. Because if one action did so breach it, then it would cease to be. On the other hand, inasmuch as the definition of futility exists in the snowglobevi, everything is futile by definition.
Rahab Snow globe, or aquarium, yes.

Phryne Right. Meanwhile they go to all these contrived, paralogical lengths to introduce "progress", as if in point of fact what happens is that a succession of Matryoshka snowglobes is breached endlessly. I mean... these people'd benefit from a casual acquainting with primitive Greek thought. Herpderp, we are so much better than the biblevii, that latter reformulation of basic concepts such as the regression to infinity which we have yet to discover.

  1. Here's a hint : nobody ever "became" powerful. Not even Richard the 3rd. (Speaking of which, ever seen The Lion in Winter ? It's a grandiose achievement, moreso than Salo for instance, if in very much the same vein.)

    Power doesn't fall into your lap, power you make a grab for, over the dead bodies of everyone who'd stand in your way. And if that's not your cup of tea, no big deal. We don't have to all be doing the same things, we just need to understand that if we don't that's because we are less than people, not because those who do do them aren't really people. []

  2. While this entire "waiting to be awakened to your real life by a random outside event such as the prince's kiss" was bad enough back when only girls did it, the fact that it's become socially acceptable for boys to behave like little girls is significantly worse. Because women can in fact live a happy, fulfilled life as domestic slaves, even if they don't have to, but boys can not, even should they try to. Because women can give birth, and men can not, that's why. Not negotiable. []
  3. Seriously, today's dollars are not exactly worthless, as in worth 0, and are not yet as worthless as they will be in ten years. However, if you were born back when the world still worked (ie, before 1980), for practical purposeses you can divide any current dollar sum by 1000 to get a value that's meaningful in your mental context. Conversely, if you were born after, multiply any dollar amount quoted in media from back then by 1000 to get a value that's meaningful in your mental context. I call this my xthousand rule. []
  4. Other things such as, that's why art, with its focus on flexible and improbable behaviour, is such an all-important stindard of freedom, and tool of liberation. Other things such as, that's why censorship efforts to ensure art doesn't threaten the establishment, as if anything ever could be art that didn't. (Per the very definition art threatens the establishment, that's what it is, the tool I use to extract the eyes out of the skull of my still living father, to crash them under my heel for that satisfying splat sound they make. Try it sometime - if you're any good at it you may one day be the establishment in your own turn, and enjoy Laius' fate for yourself. []
  5. It is bullshit. Someone who can walk up to you on the street, grab you firmly by the neck, pull out a knife and proceed to extract your pancreas, (not a psychopath yet, by the way) after which clean his blade on your hair and proceed to buy a hot dog from the stand and take the subway as if nothing had happened, and think nothing further of his momentary curiosity to visually examine your pancreas (now we're talking) is not a bad guy just because he can do something you can't. Even if that thing he can do while you can't scares the living daylights out of you. That's just not how bad works.

    In fact you're just a stunted human being (and so in some ethical views, bad) because there's parts of what people can do that you can't do yourself. Because that's how the definition of humanity's identity works. Humanity isn't "those dorks that closest resemble me" or "whatever twerps I don't feel particularly threatened by". Humanity is everyone and everything that ever was and ever could be. Which is why calling something "inhumane" is about as ridiculous as calling weather "unseasonable". Herpderp and a bucket of who asked you.

    Moreover, and more importantly, that you couldn't be Pol Pot makes the fact that you aren't Pol Pot morally irrelevant. You don't get to go to Catholic heaven through being boringly pointless, you get to go to Catholic heaven through being the vanquisher of your failings and your infinite potential for evil. That's how they manage to keep their heaven relatively free of furniture and slabs of marble. Other religions are no different, the concept transcends religion as it's part of logic : to be a moral agent one first needs the ability to act in the first place. That's what "agent" means. So if you can't act it then follows you're no agent and therefore... not a person and fuck you! Ever noticed how no Western movies ever are about the farmers ? []

  6. This is higly debatable, incidentally. There may exist futility defined in a specified, contained context. Futility defined "vaguely" (ie, not fully specified) or "universally" (ie, including any elements outside the globe) most likely does not exist. []
  7. I'd appreciate it if you managed to avoid turning my statement that "Look, some idiots are too stupid to have groked even Ptolemaic astronomy!" into some sort of "Even MP said Ptolemaic astronomy is the best!!1". Thank you. []
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38 Responses

  1. [...] of course, with spending your life avoiding work and avoiding learning is that you end up without agency; to quote MP: Moreover, and more importantly, that you couldn't be Pol Pot makes the fact that you [...]

  2. [...] unbecoming. Like smoking, or "carbon footprinting", or fucking children, or not caring to feed the world out of imaginary bounties you can't bring [...]

  3. [...] available to the majority of the population nor something one can "develop", and on the other hand the sorts of people that aim to "solve world hunger" out of their ramen bowl / subsidized studio are biogas fodder. [...]

  4. [...] their exposure taking into account the new odds.iii Your average two bit web-entrepreneur, the "solving world hunger from my rent controlled studio" sort figures this is great, because he's thinking of it happening to other people [...]

  5. [...] that could ever have happened to your children is having met you. ———As explained elsewhere, agency is the term of art that is used by specialists in this particular field to describe what [...]

  6. [...] of any kind with the foregoing. [↩]A group in this context simply means "any set of agents". [↩]This is exactly equivalent to property, and so it's defined as the power to extinguish [...]

  7. [...] and "the destructive influence of internet webpages [and videogames]" isn't worth a second read. Agency is built by the agent, that's how it works. Let it be built, go do something useful with your [...]

  8. [...] than the car aims to take you to McDonalds and is intended to make you fat. Items are incapable of agency, and as such necessarily incapable of either goal or purpose. Items just are, that's [...]

  9. [...] the prickly is passive, then the other party is active, and to the active goes the agency. Too much agency for a monkey. asciilifeform Sometimes this situation evolves in interesting directions e.g., [...]

  10. [...] in stark opposition to the narcissist's outgoing, seeking behaviours. [↩]A very typical case (see discussion) : Should you suddenly find yourself with enough success to, say, help significantly decrease [...]

  11. [...] can act) and the next year her father died leaving her a modest fortune. She then proceeded to "be ready with a game-plan" and "leave her mark" through the quite American procedure of spamming social clubs with membership [...]

  12. [...] you ask - my being the only billionaire you know doesn't mean I do what you think I should. It means you do what I think you should. [↩]"Fiverr" ie everything costs $5, except there's [...]

  13. [...] day. I understand it's very tempting to apply one's meager powers and inadequate self to "solving" "big" problems, especially of the entirely hallucinated kind. They provide a welcome distraction from [...]

  14. [...] with things too large for their narrow minds never tire to inform us (notwithstanding they never seem to find the time to bother themselves with infinitely smaller things, in principle more relevant to them, such as an [...]

  15. [...] understands facere will collapse under a pile of misconstrued agency, will end up buried in its own inadequacy of agency [...]

  16. [...] [↩]Have you ever thought of this, by the way ? Or are your thoughts entirely consumed with stuff that comes much after ? On the basis of how fucking stupid this generation of stupid narcissists is, I entirely don't [...]

  17. [...] not in spite but because coordinated, insistent, financed -- which is to say, not exactly impotent, outright and visibly so -- will in due time earn him a spot on the Enemies of The People List. Because that's how "The [...]

  18. [...] about it's because when the population gets sufficiently disinterested in agency, the forms of economy necessarily collapse into state ownership ? [↩]That is exactly it, the [...]

  19. [...] males. How unacceptable of me. Well, let's fix it then : who (not what, who) do you want to be when you grow up, some lobbyist ? Che ? [↩]But from the other direction, you understand me ? "Republicans" [...]

  20. [...] in the interval ? [↩]Don't you find the fact that Alphabet created "Artificial Intelligence" sorta capable to win a game of Go years ago but you've not heard anything of it since kind-of suspicious in the "you're fucked" vein [...]

  21. [...] you believe what abundance of clueless idiots ready and willing to give me fucking advice on how to conduct myself lies undiscovered in the great zone ? Seriously now, if I ever need someone to tell me just how to [...]

  22. [...] sent to rack and ruin", says the ex-merchant, now stuck in a woman's notion of "a proper world" ; "That's absurd, you're not such an important an individual as all that", calmly retorts the [...]

  23. [...] "idea man" ironized in Bitcoin for years (not that it started there), fretting importantly about "what if the pie in the sky had hostile intentions". Whether he's a shy (and fundamentally boring) child, [...]

  24. [...] a very different sort, of course, than the sorts of promises lords make. Lords expect to live up to them ; peons expect [...]

  25. [...] By the way, whatever happened to digg ? Remember that thing, back in the day it was just as much a pretender to "this is everything" as retarddit was earlier this decade. What happened ? Did it buy Russia ? Or did it buy the barn, the same old barn all these glories've been buying like cockwork ? [↩]And they will, because... what ? Someone might be wrong on the internet ? [↩]Such as what, Perelman voting you all down to 0 ? For perfectly good reasons ? [↩]Just another imaginary "funding source". Homeboy's ready with a gameplan. [...]

  26. [...] problem isn't that it's not your loss ; the problem is that there is no loss. [↩]And how. [↩]More generally speaking, empathy is a solution in search of a problem. [↩]In fact, [...]

  27. [...] intra vires, which is an impossible conundrum to resolve. (Yes, I'm aware you stand quite ready to "propose a resolution" ; thank you very much si-un praz verde). [↩]My enchanted life in my harem, surreal as it is [...]

  28. [...] it may seem improbable yet maybe it could be the case -- if not right now then who's to say, maybe one day. "You never know", as the expression goes, "perhaps one day". For such a time as that may be, if [...]

  29. [...] no difference between Zimbabwe and America, Congo and Germany, etcetera. Which, I suppose, was "the plan" in the first place, rite [...]

  30. [...] see if she has any friends ? Call da polis ? It's... your moral responsibility, rite ? Action, you gotta do something, say something cuz you saw something, how does it go [...]

  31. [...] for fucking seamstresses, how do you like that! The precious cuntlets / "collegiate" baristas of 1800 are just as too special to whore out like [...]

  32. [...] vanishingly dubious call or demand. Since the game is a game (meaning there's a player to heap all agency unto) the remainder gutted cartoons of males shambing about are good for pretty much nothing [...]

  33. [...] of imaginary others, as imagined by... himself. Do you recognize this recipe, incidentally ? Some schmuck "solving" problems, but mind : not his own problems ; not even the problems of others as they are (god damned racists [...]

  34. [...] to greatly enjoy back in the 90s). It's a funny thought, this : even if you managed to somehow "suddenly find yourself with enough success to, say," afford the things I did afford over the years... you still couldn't do what I've done. Because [...]

  35. [...] make my own, because nobody does anything useful, because everyone's way too busy jacking off and "helping everyone get the basics". Fuck that dumb [...]

  36. [...] and everything else. Everything else. [↩]Sounds a lot like the anal child, actually, and his hare-brained nonsense. [↩]It's certainly the case that religious preoccupation in females denotes either [...]

  37. [...] do when the benefit of their effort is for that vague naught that's "all" ? If anything besides empty talk is sought, a first mate with knotted club seems necessary ; the dread of getting "the bounce" [...]

  38. [...] a successful oniric career otherwise, much to his own satisfaction and very much according to his pre-planned plannings) sits down to watch the big fight on his humongous, flat screen, plasma-whatever TV [...]

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