Quotable (#219)

The NYT talks to Thiel:

His critics demanded to know how someone who immigrated from Frankfurt to Cleveland as a child could support a campaign so bristling with intolerance. How could a gay man back someone who will probably nominate Supreme Court justices inclined to limit rights for gays and women? How could a futurist support a cave man who champions fossil fuels, puts profits over environmental protection and insists that we can turn back the clock on the effects of globalization on American workers?

“There are reduced expectations for the younger generation, and this is the first time this has happened in American history,” Mr. Thiel says. “Even if there are aspects of Trump that are retro and that seem to be going back to the past, I think a lot of people want to go back to a past that was futuristic …

That “a past that was futuristic” thought could go somewhere — all we need is a name for it.

Synthetic Templexity

Why a sufficiently competent artificial intelligence looks indistinguishable from a time anomaly. Yudkowsky’s FB post seems to be copy-and-paste resistant, so you’ll just have to go and read the damn thing.

The Paperclipper angle is also interesting. If a synthetic mind with ‘absurd’ (but demanding) terminal goals was able to defer actualization of win-points within a vast time-horizon, in order to concentrate upon the establishment of intermediate production conditions, would its behavior be significantly differentiable from a rational value (i.e. intelligence) optimizer? (This blog says no.) Beyond a very modest threshold of ambition, given a distant time horizon, terminal values are irrelevant to intelligence optimization.

Quotable (#95)

Dark Ecologies has been digging ever deeper into time anomaly. An impressive knot of twistedness is gathered together in this post:

… the collapse of the future upon the present event retroactively posits the event as a consequence of this future decision; therefore future information collapses upon the past in such a way that the causal system appears teleological (from our standpoint) when in fact it is retroactive (from the future decisional process). What we’re saying is that Time a weirder than we would like to believe … it’s as if from our perspective things, events, etc. have a purpose, a teleology; but, the truth is that it is much weirder: time is not bound to the arrow of some forward, linear movement, but can effect our present moment from the future …

Is there really a difference being noted here?

Twitter cuts (#26)

The tweet stream begins from this (I think). Its progression is enthralling:


Continue reading

Templexity Matters

Postulated: The intensity of time-travel fiction — and specifically backward time-travel fiction — is a critical index of modernity. As the time of modernity, initially grasped as a departure from traditional cyclicity, is prolonged into deepening nonlinear vortex, it provokes time-travel narrative as a figure in which to seek resolution. The apocalyptic, or communicative action of the end upon its past (through prophecy), is destined to final subsumption within the image of templexity. With the formulation of the Terminator mythos, in the last years of the 20th century, this process of subsumption is essentially complete. In this rigorous sense, the Terminator — as its name suggests — announces the inauguration of the End Times, when the thought of auto-production, emerging in phases from developments in cybernetics, is culturally acknowledged in its comprehensive cosmic-historical implication. The time-travel ‘bootstrap‘ or ‘ontological paradox’ is hazily recognized as the occult motor, or operational singularity, of the modern historical process.

Any positive cybernetic dynamic is open to logical interpretation (and dismissal) as a paradox. The Epimenides or Cretan Paradox, for instance, describes a reality-consistent recurrent cycle of escalating skepticism from the perspective of positive cybernetics, but nothing more than a concurrent self-contradiction from that of formal logic. The ontological paradox invites the same divergent reception. Auto-productive being is either a realistic foundation, or a formal absurdity, with the variance depending on whether self-reference is apprehended as a substantial dynamic or a static formality. From a certain — respectably established — orientation, the encouragement of circuit ontology within advanced modernity can only appear as a solicitation of madness.

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (2014) is a movie whose narrative loop is based explicitly upon ontological paradox. (It arrived too late to be referenced in Templexity.) The circuit of auto-production it describes is looped around black-hole cosmology, involving specific gravitational information that is inaccessibly occluded by the event horizon of collapsed stars, yet indispensable to the survival of the civilization eventually capable of retrieving it. The templex pattern outlined in the movie is exquisite. (Kip Thorne is doubtless owed considerable appreciation for that.)

The hypothesis of templexity is that the machine stimulating cultural absorption in the ontological paradox cannot stop. In regards to what has already happened, we haven’t seen anything yet.

Templexity Reviews (#1)

I’ve attached a number to his post out of sheer hubris. The two Templexity reviews so far have already exceeded my expectations as to sympathy and insight.

Craig Hickman provides a typically-intricate, richly-contextualized, and metaphysically-engaged discussion over at Dark Ecologies. While keeping his own preoccupations impressively unobtrusive, it isn’t difficult for the reader to connect his angle of approach with persistent themes running through the blog — especially the recent abundant explorations of accelerationist writings and controversies.

Henry Dampier takes a more urbane, literary and sociological approach, with greater attention to the American side of the Hollywood-meets-Shanghai narrative.

The only reasonable complaint I could muster about these responses is that their relentless amiability threatens to throw me badly off my guard.

Templexity is Out

Thank you Amazon. Despite some frustrations with the Kindle Direct Publishing interface — which isn’t designed for editorial convenience — the excitement of disintermediation-in-action more than makes up for it. If the self-publishing system reached the stage where writers spent their time on the platform, as a work-space, in the same way they can on a blog today, the horizon of possibility would be pushed out to yet inconceivable distances.

Templexity aims to catalyze a theoretical coagulation where the philosophy of time, contemporary (complex) urbanism, and pulp entertainment media are complicit in an approach to singularity (as a topic, a thing, and a nonlinear knotting of the two (at least)). It proposes that the urban process and the techno-science of time machines is undergoing rapid convergence. (This seems to be a suggestion whose time has come.) Grasp the opportunity offered by computers to visualize what cities really are, and the dynamics of retro-temporalization are graphically displayed.

epub covernew-2

That being for which the being of time is opened as an exploratory path is the advanced global metropolis. This is a contention already tacked to a cinematic, mass-media revelation, although one formatted by deeply-traditional dramatic criteria, thus systematically, and automatically, encrypted.

Far more on all this later. (If I say too much now, I’m worried I might save you $4.00.)