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ȘȈǤƝȘ 80: Flatline

8 min

"Perhaps it is a joke when he suggests that AI-schizophrenia could be sold to web-heads as an artificial drug (micropause-abuse), but he is sufficiently Axsys-intermeshed to know that net-schizzing is contagious." —CCRU

Black Lake Technical Institute in Northern Ontario, ancestral home of the Tzikvik
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 edition, you'll learn about:

News and Events

Hey folks, a lot of upcoming events, some virtual and some IRL. Most are free.

A-Death to Flatline: Meetup in Brooklyn

I'll be hosting a public Other Life meetup in Brooklyn on Monday, May 23 at 11am.

A-Death to Flatline

If you'd like to join, just drop your email here. More details later—although not too many more...

Writing retreat in Norway with Nina Power

I would do this in a heartbeat. Nina is amazing—the one week I spent living with her in London was one of my favorite memories from 5 years in England. I suspect this could be life-changing for the right type of person. If you have some $ put away and could benefit from an epic dose of intellectual rejuvenation right now, I'm certain this will be worth the money.

The Betty Fjord University is an intellectual summer camp, reading group and writing retreat. A residential studio and sauna in the Randsfjord Valley an hour from Oslo, the BFU welcomes friends old and new for a week of creative experimentation, relaxation and socialising.

Sunday 22 May to Sunday 29 May, 2022. Lodging, all meals, and airport transfers included. £1500.

There are only 2 spots left. All you have to do is email and tell 'em a little about yourself. No need to mince words—if you read this newsletter, I'm sure they'll be happy to have you.

Build Apps on Urbit now

An Info Session for Non-Urbit Software Engineers. (Zoom, free). Thursday, May 5, 12pm to 1pm Central.

If you're a good software engineer, I want to convince you to start building on Urbit now. I really think people just don't understand the opportunity. There are startups for you to join, there's capital waiting for you to launch your own startup, and more. In this info session, I want to explain. Nobody is paying me to do this, I just really think there's an insane opportunity that I'm in a unique position to catalyze (since a lot of engineers read this newsletter and I have one of the fastest-growing groups on the network). Just drop your email here.

Heard Mentality

The trial of Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard is like a magical keyhole into the hidden realities of Hollywood power politics and modern gender relations. It’s like a little wormhole in the Hollywood social fabric exposing things nobody was ever supposed to see.

Johnny Depp chose to initiate a defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, who has publicly accused Depp of abusing her. Either Depp is a stone-cold liar voluntarily embarked on the most audacious stageplay of his entire career, or Amber Heard is a BPD psycho-bitch who played a totally fake #MeToo card to advance her career. Because Depp initiated the suit, at least one of these two inferences seems inevitable—this starkness is one reason why the case is particularly interesting.

I don’t want to pre-judge the matter too confidently before the trial ends—Heard has not testified yet—but to most observers it’s not looking good for Heard.

One former employee testified that Heard pressured him to commit perjury a few years ago, when Heard was caught smuggling dogs into Australia. On another occasion, it seems that one of Heard’s female employees was raped in Brazil, and Heard later used this story as her own.

Other employees have testified to seeing no marks or bruises on Heard during times when, according to her story, she was supposedly marked or bruised.

On the other hand, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder have both testified that Depp was never abusive. There is not much evidence yet of Depp physically hurting Heard, but there is evidence of Heard physically hurting Depp. There is an audio recording of her admitting to hitting him. And there is photographic evidence of Depp's badly wounded finger, allegedly cut to the bone by a vodka bottle Heard threw at him.

OK, but who cares? Why am I writing about celebrity gossip?

If the jury agrees with how the internet hivemind currently sees the case—Heard is the abuser and Depp is the abused—then this case will surely be the most dramatic and influential defeat of Woke Hollywood ever.

If Heard is found guilty of defamation, it will be the clearest signal yet—to millions of rapt American observers—that #MeToo was not some kind of ethical awakening but rather a moral cover for psychotic female ambition. Amber Heard was explicit: In one of the audio recordings, she mocks Depp:

“Let's see who believes a white man; a white man of privilege can be a victim over a woman? Go on.”

The Heard mentality might even explain why Hollywood movies suck so badly today: It seems the Hollywood machine rewards the traits and behaviors of hot BPD chicks more than it rewards the traits and behaviors of… great actors and directors.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Amber Heard is an A-list actress who starred in many “big” Hollywood films—yet most of them sucked. Does anyone know the name Amber Heard because of a notable performance she gave in a notable film? I certainly don't. Perhaps what Amber Heard has done to Johnny Depp, a certain breed of power-hungry women have done to Hollywood as such. Perhaps ruthlessly ambitious women who excel at manipulation have overpowered all of the sensitive and thoughtful artists who excel at making good movies.


"As the net integrates, it simultaneously frays into mesh: an intensive subspace which both escapes and parasitically occupies it. Mesh makes itself out of the spaces beneath and between the net, and in the biotechnic intervals between net-components. Mesh necessarily–but coincidentally–assembles a fully connective system whenever it emerges. Any two mesh-pauses always interlink. Mesh consists of feral-noise in the divisional signal-fabric, arranging a set of demonic interzones in wormholespace, as cyberspace-utopia dissolves into Pandemonium." —CCRU

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Scientific conclusions need not be accurate, justified, or believed by their authors

Someone in the current indiethinkers cohort raised a question about whether it is irresponsible to publish ideas too quickly.

Here is one answer, in the form of a badass paper someone recently sent me (sorry I forget who). Epistemological anarchism FTW.

We argue that the main results of scientifc papers may appropriately be published even if they are false, unjustifed, and not believed to be true or justifed by their author. To defend this claim we draw upon the literature studying the norms of assertion, and consider how they would apply if one attempted to hold claims made in scientifc papers to their strictures, as assertions and discovery claims in scientifc papers seem naturally analogous. We frst use a case study of William H. Bragg’s early twentieth century work in physics to demonstrate that successful science has in fact violated these norms. We then argue that features of the social epistemic arrangement of science which are necessary for its long run success require that we do not hold claims of scientifc results to their standards. We end by making a suggestion about the norms that it would be appropriate to hold scientifc claims to, along with an explanation of why the social epistemology of science—considered as an instance of collective inquiry—would require such apparently lax norms for claims to be put forward.

Scientific Conclusions Need Not Be Accurate, Justified, or Believed by Their Authors

The Imperceptible Country

Highlights from the Other Life community this week

Become a citizen

It's the VCs, Stupid. "Purpose, as an asset, is sorely undervalued... A man with purpose can work for years, achieving little reward, and still preserve his soul... Up to 95% of [venture-backed startups] fail... Why?... Engineers seldom feel they have autonomy... Engineers want to have purpose...

In a near future, when communities have the power to control their own destiny, we might picture a new sort of business: a society of mutual investment, a monastery of thought, committed to a labor of love. Such a community would constitute a kind of egregore, which produces works as a side effect of true communion with other people: a collective spirit of construction, a new kind of settler community on a new kind of frontier. An organization like that might produce something truly beautiful, and if they should choose to invest some of their returns, and hold tight to that spirit of communion, I can imagine a far better success rate than 5%."

By ~normul-postem in the imperceptible city. Read and reply in the Open Group Blog.

Web3 game world Nifty Island is hiring Unity devs. I just recorded a podcast with co-founder Charlie Smith, who I've known for a while now. When you listen to the podcast, you'll see Charlie is the real deal. If I was a Unity developer, I can't think of somewhere I'd rather work. Hit reply if you think you might be a good fit.

Part-time crypto office job in Austin. I know someone looking to hire a recent college grad, in Austin, to help with different tasks around the office. It’s a crypto-focused business and you’ll be working in the same office space as my new podcast studio. Pay is $20-$25/hour; about 2 days/week (could change). Hit reply if you might be a good fit.

Video editing job (Canada only). "Looking to hire video producer/editor to help create some education content. Unfortunately you have to be under 30 and in Canada so we can get the salary grants. The project is cannabis cultivation related. We have chapters that need to be chopped up into videos." Reply here.


"With A-Death comes the Crypt (dark-twin of the net): the digital underworld of unlife. Broken-off by the calendric secessionism of millennial time-wars, it settles into a sunken continent of infotech, a strobing black-mass of chronodisintegration, populated by cybergoths, cargo-cultures, zombiemakers, tomb-scavengers, vermomancers, and various alternative neolemurian tendencies. It pulses erratically to the cryptic rhythms of A-Death ritual, soul-splinterings along the main-flatline that hurtles continuously into the mesh." —CCRU


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