Skip to content

ȘȈǤƝȘ 75: The secret of victory

6 min

“War hath no fury like a noncombatant.” —Montague

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

In this edition, you'll learn about:

Imperceptible Computers

I recently started running one of my Urbit stars, ~ripwet. This means I can spawn up to 65,000 Urbit planets. Thanks to some technical solutions devised by the Tlon company, spawning new planets is now much cheaper than it used to be. It’s also really easy to boot your planet and explore the network (imagine a more calm version of Discord, from Mars). For these reasons and a few others, I think 2022 is going to be a very exciting year for Urbit.

So I want the people in my network to be early. In this spirit, I’ve decided to give a free Urbit planet to anyone who wants one (probably for a limited time).

Feel free to tell friends. I’ve built out some onboarding/welcoming/tutorial stuff so I think this will be one of the best onramps for new people interested in Urbit.
to paint oneself gray on gray...

Joep van Lieshout

Joep van Lieshout is a contemporary sculptor I recently learned about via Bethany Tabor in the Other Life community. It's pretty rare I learn about a contemporary artist in "the art world" who really piques my interest, but this guy is pretty cool.

He's best known for building insane houses, but one of his works was the creation of a new micronation in 2001. It was called “AVL-Ville” and it was located in the Rotterdam harbor. I heard he was ‘canceled’ a few times but nothing really seems to stop him.

The currency of AVL-Ville was not backed by gold but beer, 1 AVL was equal to 1 beer. The money is designed with heroic national symbols, like guns, alcohol, sex, and mobile homes.

In Artforum, he was asked whether the Dutch government has jurisdiction over AVL-Ville. He said:

“We’re trying to get a blank building permit. We could wait for approval, but we decided to keep on building. If we already have ten buildings, then it’ll be difficult for the city to stop us. That’s why we get so much done. We don’t secure things; we simply do them. Later we see if it gets approved.”

Hat tip to Bethany Tabor.

Upcoming Community Events

Call for papers: On CP Snow's The Two Cultures

Hal Conte is hosting an independent digital conference on CP Snow's The Two Cultures. He recently recorded a jam with Samuel Barnes on this topic. This is a solid little crew of interesting writers in the community, and they're very friendly and welcoming. If you're interested in themes around the role of social sciences, the professional class and elite overproduction, or tech versus humanities—and you've been meaning to get more involved in public exchange—definitely reach out to Hal in the community. Submit an abstract here.

Zoom call about building a private village outside of Austin

Community member Andrew Hitchock recently bought 21 acres in the hills west of Austin, right next to the CabinDAO property. He wants to build a private village he’s currently calling Montanoso—with dense European-style housing and traditional architecture. Since the CabinDAO folks are already bringing interesting people out there on a regular basis, this little patch of Johnson City stands a decent chance of fomenting a little Web3-in-the-Country network effect, within easy driving distance to a thriving metropole. 7 PM Central on March 16. Signup for the open Zoom call here

The next indiethinkers cohort is now open for enrollment

It will start on April 25. We're in the middle of the first cohort and I'm very pleased with it. I think our cohort system will get better every time, and we're going to earn a reputation as one of the best places for independent intellectuals to level up their projects and processes. Learn more and request an invitation at

Nota bene: It used to be that the private community was exclusively for and people who took one of our courses. Well, these various projects have outgrown themselves so I’m in the middle of a big overhaul and simplification… Moving forward, the Other Life community is going to be our major “Web 2.5” initiative. I haven’t really announced it yet (I’m still working on it), but readers of the newsletter and listeners of the podcast will be able to join the private community on a relaxed “pay-what-you-want” basis. Technically, you already can. Together we'll navigate from Web2, to Web3, to WebN—perhaps, with some luck, all the way to our own sovereign country. It's a big bet I'm making on the next several years, so I’ll need more time to design and communicate it, but I'm starting to share the vision.

CleanShot 2022-02-28 at 11.44.11.png
My official editorial position on the Russo-Ukrainian War, at the time of this writing

Cold Anarchy

There's a new essay by Nick Land, in a new journal called Agorism in the 21st Century.

“Any chance of liberal rejuvenation is found only outside, in cold anarchy. It is from cold anarchy alone that the fundamental liberal commitment—to spontaneous order—flows…
Pass from nationalism, through micro-nationalism, to nano-nationalism…
Insofar as [Cold Anarchy] exhibits activity of any kind, it is in opening every conceivable social aperture to the ice-blasts of the Outside…”

Read it here.


Other Life reader "The Viscount" sent me a music video by the Azerbaijan Military. It's pretty insane, the subtext is their conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno Enclave.

Azerbaijan Army Military Music song - Ates alxanli yasar baxis - Atəş - Nagorno Karabakh
#AzerbaijanArmy Military Army Music video song - ates alxanli yasar - #Azerbaijan State Border Service #KaraBakh #NagornoGuy’s Please do contribute & help su...
Pretty insane music video for a military

The Viscount added some interesting gloss:

Necropolitics will likely sediment itself as the norm of state management. Trump et al. Fifth Great Awakening seems to attempt to reinvigorate not exactly Schmitt's Friend-Foe Divide, but a rather scatological and eschatological distinction between Redeemable and Irredeemable, Pure and Contaminated, Human and Inhuman...
After the catastrophes of the XX Century, however, Ideology is less about the delivery of an ultimate ending (either paradise with n-n-number of virgins or eternal peace, total stillness etc.) and more and more about the protection against inevitable, mundane disgraces, generally coming from "groups we cannot see and reasons we cannot understand" (Cf. Adam Curtis, "The Power of Nightmares'')
The more complex the world is, the less meaning everything makes, so cultural/social norms (which were more or less natural in a more limited world) need higher and higher levels of libidinal investment to adhere…

Thought-provoking. I always welcome submissions! If published, I pay honoraria in $LIFE.

The Other Life podcast

The Most Correct Computer (How Urbit Wins) with Philip Monk, CTO of Tlon | The Urbit Series. Philip Monk co-authored the Urbit whitepaper with Curtis Yarvin in 2016. He's now one of the lead engineers working on Urbit, and a thoughtful writer as well. We discuss how to find frontiers, the philosophy of "correctness at all costs," how the current internet is captured by gradient descent, and how Urbit will achieve mass adoption. Subscribe to the Other Life podcast.

"Materials for a Theory of the E-Girl with Soph and **** of Remilia Collective | The Urbit Series. Soph, aka praxisbaby, is a niche e-girl from the GenZ wing of the Weird Theory twitterverse. Now she's into Urbit, so I interviewed her to learn what's bringing e-girls to Urbit. Subscribe to the Other Life podcast.

The Secret of Victory

“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the nonobvious.” —Spengler

Road to Versailles at Louveciennes (The Snow Effect) by Camille Pissarro (1869)


Subscribe to receive the latest posts in your inbox.