Letter to Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro

“In each part of the poem, the goddess of cancer orders the evolving entities to compete, but the goddess of everything else recasts it as a two-layer competition where cooperation of the internal layer helps win the competition on the external layer.”    — A Sextant Colder Honor culture isn't dead, just mutated. Alternate titles: The… Continue reading Letter to Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro

The surrogation matrix

The “thing in itself” (which is precisely what the pure truth, apart from any of its consequences, would be) is likewise something quite incomprehensible to the creator of language and something not in the least worth striving for. This creator only designates the relations of things to men, and for expressing these relations he lays… Continue reading The surrogation matrix

From measurement to degeneration

There is no characteristic that is common to everything that we call games... It is a family-likeness term. Think of ball-games alone: some, like tennis, have a complicated system of rules; but there is a game which consists just in throwing the ball as high as one can, or the game which children play of… Continue reading From measurement to degeneration

Economics thinking

Mistakes in business or in science are costly and deplorable, but mistakes in the conduct of life are usually dangerous to life itself. To the tack of illuminating man's progress toward a better understanding of human nature, this book is dedicated. —Alfred Adler (1927) Everybody gets something out of every transaction. —House of Games 1.… Continue reading Economics thinking

The Dark Miracle of Optics

Epistemic status: no idea how original any of this is; it just connects a lot of nodes in my brain. I’ve been told there’s a real debt to Robert Trivers, which I hope to educate myself on shortly. I may just be reinventing signal theory. Alternate titles: The Public-Private Information Gap Rules Everything Around Me… Continue reading The Dark Miracle of Optics

Institutional Myth in Contemporary Art

I’ve spent a lot of time in & around the New York visual art scene the past few years, and it’s been a very strange & uncanny & informative experience. A lot of the preference falsification and undead prestige cultures of, say, academia, or science, or politics are in play, but here the emperor can… Continue reading Institutional Myth in Contemporary Art

Re-engineering “taste”

One way I've found it helpful to think about "culture" in a more manageable scale is through the metaphor of an unending variety show, with many theaters and stages (think music festivals—GovBall, Coachella). This neverending show presents a class of problems to any audience member attempting to grok an act, or to any act attempting… Continue reading Re-engineering “taste”

The telephone effect, and the reciprocity of perspectives

In F. L. Allen's Only Yesterday, a history of the 1920s published in the early 30s, Allen writes about the revolution in manners and morals that began to pick up in the early years of the decade: Like all revolutions, this one was stimulated by foreign propoganda. It came, however, not from Moscow, but from… Continue reading The telephone effect, and the reciprocity of perspectives

Overhaulism

overhaulism (n): related to Chesterton's fence, Hayek's "fatal conceit," Christopher Alexander and James Scott's "high modernism," Taleb's "modernistic intellectualism," and John Gall's "systemism." A belief in the power of individuals' synchronous reasoning & intelligence to intervene in a complex system; correspondingly, an attitude of bearishness toward evolved solutions. Ethical overhaulism is an arguable facet of… Continue reading Overhaulism