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Exploring the future of governance and society.
23 Nov
There will be no grandchildren. millennials and zoomers aren't having kids, and aren't going to. How does this affect the world?
This has something to do with economic modernization. Since the late 1700s, modernized societies increasingly prioritize work and leisure over reproduction. Maybe it's just the obvious: institutions that eat the seed corn win.
All modernized populations that don't specifically and deliberately maintain institutional power against it, and even most of those, undergo the demographic transition.
Read 5 tweets
23 Nov
Humanism believed that we could conquer the world. In reality, modernity has escaped our control. Only a posthumanist framework can see us through.

Bold thesis this week from Charlie Smith (@whoiscsmith)…
Modernity melted away our certainties. Many of the ideological responses have tried to reclaim them, or create new ones.

What if those choices are no longer open to us? Can we existential uncertainty in a way that lets us navigate the world we've made?
Through @whoiscsmith, we encounter @nntaleb's focus on fragility and heuristics, Alasdair MacIntyre's communitarian thought, and John Gray's critique of humanism.

Likewise, Deleuze's de-centering of the human perspective, and successors like @Outsideness and Manuel de Landa.
Read 4 tweets
20 Oct
What should we be allowed to talk about?
The best way to get to sanity in public discourse is sanity in how we understand what the limits should be.

Right now the limits of public discourse are set by a chaotic process that no one likes because the alternative is no limits at all.
This should be the key takeaway from discussions of censorship: the power isn't going anywhere. The demand and moral high ground for some censorship isn't going anywhere. What censorship is good and why?

Grab the issue firmly and actually try to answer the question.
Read 15 tweets
17 Oct
You, a "Scientist": I have carefully worked within established frameworks to advance our knowledge slightly. More research is needed.

Sir Isaac Newton, noted weirdo: here, I used math to describe gravity to prove my own weird metaphysical heresy. Brb studying secret bible codes.
All intellectual progress is driven by weirdos with obscure grievances against normal society who are wrong 90% of the time, but uniquely right 10% of the time.
This is very difficult for relatively normal and respectable people to understand. If we admitted that those weirdos we exclude are actually the instruments of progress, our class position is threatened! So we creatively identify ourselves with past heretics, but not current ones
Read 8 tweets
17 Oct
Broke: censorship is fine because Twitter isnt part of the government.

Woke: censorship is fine because Twitter IS part of the government
With more nuance: all societies thought history have engaged in censorship to shape public discourse, shape culture, and yes, cover things up. It's a key power of state.

In America, we would do better by admitting that we manage public discourse with quasi-state power.
We need a national conversation on what the rules should be for censorship, to bring this incredibly dangerous power back under the purview of formal government.

The current informality just turns over a key power to political gangsters with no restraints.
Read 6 tweets
25 May
You can't separate civilian and military nuclear power. This drives fear of nuclear. We need to come to terms with this, and build a positive vision of a green nuclear-powered civilization.
When Japan talks about their peaceful nuclear program, they are sure to mention how much plutonium they have, and how successful their rocket program has been. They want you to know how close they are.
Progress in civilization is largely denser forms of energy and power generation. Renewables are too low-density, and thus high-impact. An individual's lifetime energy use can fit in a few kilograms of uranium. Very low actual waste.
Read 7 tweets