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ȘȈǤƝȘ 85: There Is No Regime

5 min

"It is muddleheaded to say, I am in favor of this kind of political regime rather than that: what one really means is, I prefer this kind of police." —Cioran

Welcome to Signs of Life, a periodic roundup letter from Other Life, the coolest newsletter in the world. If someone sent you this, subscribe for yourself here.

In this issue, you'll learn about:

Come to the Imperceptible Mansion in November

This will be our third annual mansion meetup, which will be held on the California coast near San José on the weekend of November 4-6. The image shows the actual site.

The Imperceptible Mansion
The annual meetup of the Other Life community. November 4-6 in San José, CA.

This started as a small experiment in Los Angeles two years ago, it grew into a larger event last year in Austin, and now I guess it's officially an annual tradition.

This unique weekend getaway/conference/retreat is typically a combination of two types: Independent writers and creators interested in exiting institutions, and philosophically inclined software engineers interested in building exit technologies. Anyone is welcome to request a spot, as long as you're working on something interesting, but this summarizes the center of gravity.

It's about 40% booked as of right now.

There Is No Regime

People love to talk about the regime.

There is no regime.

People like to talk about the regime because it plays well on social media. Having an enemy is beneficial for building an energized audience. But there is no regime.

There is a purely impersonal, technocapital machinery assembling itself from the future.

All earthly cultural activity has been dissolved by instrumental rationality and every public person is just acting rationally, according to simple heuristics.

Nonetheless, a variety of bizarre and perverse phenomena emerge at the system level. This is the nature of complex systems: Simple agents following simple rules may still produce complex, system-level patterns.

Ironically, atheist rationalists reject God as the naive imputation of agency to an impersonal universe, but then they'll always see some regime causing problems for the world—naively imputing agency where it does not exist. Whether it's the Deep State, Patriarchy, or the World Economic Forum, modern skeptical-rational people always see regimes.

Quit feigning shock and awe at the dastardly machinations of your imaginary enemies.

Is anything ever really surprising anymore? Just expect the worst. Try to create the best, but expect the worst.

If you're ever outraged or scandalized, it only means that your model is off.

People talk about the regime because it's invigorating to imagine that there are still humans in the cockpit—even if they're enemies. In fact, it's all the more encouraging if your enemies are in the cockpit because, by implication, the near future could be better to the degree the present is controlled by the worst. "If only we could bust into the cockpit, things could be so different."

Humans no longer have access to the cockpit.

Don't worry about the regime; worry about exiting the instrumental grid. Worry about escaping the gestell that pre-formats human culture into standing reserve.

Graham Greene's War

By the time of the Munich agreement in 1938, the English writer Graham Greene feared he would be drafted and unable to provide for his family.

So before the fighting commenced, he decided to increase his writing output. He wanted to finish as much work as possible.

His strategy? Benzedrine, i.e. amphetamines. Or in today's pharmaceutical parlance, Adderall.

Before this time, he would typically write about 500 words every day.

Now, he would write 2,000 words every day.

He wrote The Confidential Agent in only six weeks.

The Curious Realignment of Education and Partisanship

Education was positively correlated with Left voting for most of the twentieth century.

Now, education is negatively correlated with Left voting (Gethin, Martinez-Toledano, Piketty 2022; Kitschelt and Rehm 2019).

The Economist

Teleological Technology

My teleological theory of technology is gaining currency.

Currently, it's buried in a talk I gave in May of 2021. At the 54:32 mark here.

You don't really see that word anywhere, so I did a double take when I saw this.

I was curious so I did some sleuthing and one of the guys follows me. Nice.

Shout out to these guys.

This week on the Other Life podcast

How to persist on strange paths.

🎧 Flannery O'Connor and the Mysterious Secrets of Writing

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast player.

The Imperceptible Country

We give you a new private computer in the cloud, a pseudonymous identity, and governance tokens representing control of the country's treasury and digital land.

Become a member


Just hit reply if you're interested in any of these opportunities.

All employers are friends of mine—anti-woke chads who don't care about your personal beliefs or private internet networks.

React Native mobile developer

Building on Urbit. In person, in Austin. Needs to have experience with React, React Native, Javascript; experience with iOS or Android development; and experience using Figma to mirror design specs in code.

Electron/React developer

Same as above but with a focus on Electron.

Full Stack developer with Solidity experience

Austin preferred but not required.

Podcast producer

I have a friend who is looking for an experienced Producer of video/audio podcast shows. Not an editor but someone with showrunning skills. It's a big company looking for a rockstar and they'll pay accordingly. In person, in Austin.

Poetry Avoids the Last Illusion of Prose

"Exquisitely leaning toward an implied untruth, prose persuades us that we can trust our natures to know things as they are; ostentatiously faithful to its own nature, poetry assures us that we cannot—we know only as we can." —Williams


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