On the vibe shift, pt 1: Worldbuilding

Chatting with a friend last week, I mentioned I was writing a party report on the Lisbon ETH conferences for Spike. She said she was surprised. That there was a narcissism to the genre she’d expect to turn me off. A reasonable criticism—the format’s short history is ≈ synonymous with vanity, the it-girl who moonlights…… Continue reading On the vibe shift, pt 1: Worldbuilding

Zoom Call #1

And I said, I said, ‘a simple point that people forget to explain to outsiders about the consumption of random/plain/goofy/noisy artifacts is that it’s not the random/plain/goofy/noisy artifact that is doing the work but the 3000 years long acummulation of techniques for attentively scrutizing objects (which developed as a corollary of 3000 years of creating…… Continue reading Zoom Call #1

Barry Lyndon, pt 2: The Duel

Last time: It is selection games and debt, all the way down. Nora has been “flinging” herself as an option to “every man” in the area, but none have selected her. Barry owes his uncle a great deal, and his uncle owes the bank a great deal in turn, which puts both into obligation. This…… Continue reading Barry Lyndon, pt 2: The Duel

Notes on the Inexact Sciences

“Philosophers constantly see the method of science before their eyes, and are irresistibly tempted to ask and answer questions in the way science does. This tendency is the real source of metaphysics, and leads the philosopher into complete darkness.”

Transfer Phenomena & Two-Person Languages

“Spotted: a dirty brown bag crushed under a tennis shoe. Looks like someone won’t be eating dinner tonight. XOXO… Gossip Girl.”

The thing about voices is they are contagious.  I can’t do accents, but spend a week watching TV re-runs and I can GPT-3 an essay in the narrator’s delivery.

Positional pricing, positional leverage

To understand positional leverage, we first need a theory of public belief. My contention is that—to give a “just so” story from our evolutionary history—humans have traditionally lived in relatively small communities, where individual opinion held some sway in group decision-making, if only by exerting tacit pressure on a chieftain or council of elders. (We see this dynamic still: politicians in democratic societies are beholden to their populations, so that even if individual discontents are not registered, widespread discontents are.) Public beliefs, then, are situated, strategic interventions into a communal decision-making discourse.

Oh Barry

And I said, PDL’s protagonist is basically a Barry Lyndon who always stayed a mama’s child, who never volunteered for military service which is to say never ran into highway robbers. It’s resemblance down to the disrupted dinner parties and shattered glass, disappointed relatives in varying states of shock, their shared naivete with women. You really expect me to believe it’s accidental, his name, Barry Egan? Egan’s an Irish name too, with the fiery connotations of its pagan namesake Aodha.

Barry Lyndon, Man of Games pt. 1

Our lives, being a kind of game—an attempt at optimization, within constraints and laws—are subject to four interwoven influences which determine the game’s outcome. Who we are, the choices we make, the abilities we carry, and the luck which accompanies them. In other words, our status, our selections, our skills, and our stars.

Surrogation, or why we can’t have nice things

X: Representation and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.

Y: True, but but anything before that probably couldn’t be called the human race.

Selection games

rock’s apparent shape, size, and kind. The rock has no perception of John’s selection, nor any interest in whether or not it is selected. It is unable to change itself or its appearance in any way to increase or decrease its chances of selection, even if it were aware of, and interested in, the selection process.