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Cthulhu Rising

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Posted

Are we on the verge of some kind of eschaton? If so, what form shall it take- or, is it even possible to bespeak of form in the throes of all this rampant Protean formlessness?

Extinction seems to be all the rage, a slapped Tar Baby with its own gravitational pull- Rust Cohle (in "True Detective") is a popularized Zapffe, opining "Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight - brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal," half of the population of the world is living in countries with sub-replacement fertility rates, the second to latest edition of Entertainment Weekly is entitled the "Apocalypse Issue," Nick Land declares, perhaps rightfully, that "time itself has taken the capitalist road" undoubtedly leading us inexorably towards the point of no return- meanwhile, the cries of "madder music" and more wine grow ever louder, as if one last orgy, the contemporary Nero fiddling, while the fires burn undefiled, even the demagoguery inspired by democracy seems on the wane, as rates of sociopolitical 'participation' spiral downward.

Are my musings here anecdotal, or is Cthulhu about to reemerge from the depths, and that banal nihilism transform inanity into terror?

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Posted

Are my musings here anecdotal, or is Cthulhu about to reemerge from the depths, and that banal nihilism transform inanity into terror?

Well, I certainly hope so. :)

I'll have more to say later, but briefly, fifty years ago, the world was gripped by the terror of nuclear annihilation, but apart from that, paradoxically, the future seemed limitless, a Jetsons wet dream: flying cars, underwater cities, colonies on the moon and Mars, food in pill form (unknown, though, why anyone would even want that), intelligent computers (hopefully not homicidal like HAL), progressive, enlightened and scientific means to eradicate poverty and bring manna to everyone. It seemed to be felt that if we could just avoid nuclear war, the world was on an exponential curve toward never-ending, Enlightenment-driven progress.

None of the blue-sky predictions for the future happened, and today the future looks dark. I suppose the only solace to take from this is that even as a bright future was wrong half a century ago, maybe the current predicted dark future of resource depletion, overpopulation and habitat-killing global warming can also prove wrong. But I doubt it.

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Posted

Liberal hippies of the 60's screwed us over. Conservative backlash; now all of those grown-up hippies want their BMW's and McMansions and oil stock...don't get in their way.

-Scott

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Posted (edited)

Who am I kiddin'? Cthulhu already emerged decades ago, he just took the form of Ronald Reagan:

"When Ronald Reagan took power in 1981, Americans lived completely different lives. Health care insurance was a given for nearly all working Americans. Downsizing — the concept of mass layoffs in order to boost a CEO’s bonus — hadn’t entered the vocabulary. Neither had outsourcing. Working parents came home from work before sundown and ate dinners with their families. Unions were strong, and the industrialists felt a social responsibility to ensuring their workers’ well-being. This was all reflected in the income differential: in 1979, the average CEO earned 30 times his average employees’ wage. For some reason no one wants to remember this part of the past — because it’s too depressing, and speaks too obviously to the real decline in America.

Reagan came to office and told the plutocrats to take everything that they wanted. I mean everything. Today, CEOs make 571 times their average employees’ wage. Today’s male white collar workers in America only earn, in real dollars, six cents per hour more today than they earned in 1973. Health care is increasingly hard to come by, no job is ever safe, Americans work far longer hours and suffer from stress-related illnesses once unheard of. As an Economic Policy Institute report noted, 'What income growth there was over the 1979-1989 period was driven primarily by more work at lower wages.' What happened to Russia in the 90s was really started by Reagan’s attack on Americans in the 80s. When Reagan fired the striking air traffic controllers in 1981, he told America he was literally willing to kill us all if we didn’t give in to his plan to transfer the wealth out of the pockets of the middle- and lower-middle classes and into the plutocrats’ offshore accounts. It was so shocking that it worked. The air controller’s union broke — and so did a whole way of life. Thanks to Ronald Reagan, we are all miserable wage slaves…or exiles." -Mark Ames

Edited by DeadCanDance

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Posted

Too bad, because the stupid assholes called Americans gave Reagan a 49-state landslide in 1984, elected his vice president as successor in 1988 and then, after giving two terms to the rightist fraud named Bill Clinton, gave another two terms to the first Bush's son. Americans have no one to blame but themselves for voting away their rights and their economic security.

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Posted (edited)

Reportedly, people lost sleep at Less Wrong (http://lesswrong.com/) over Roko's Basilisk (http://rationalwiki....'s_basilisk); some were said to be psychologically traumatized, and there were entire threads dedicated as to how to preclude a future AI from knowing of one's existence...strike of Descarte's Demon of our own making.

When an Artificial Intelligence begins lying to you, perhaps it's time for a Butlerian Jihad...then again, to preclude our own supplanting, given our embeddedness in an inexorable man/technic dialectic, where increasingly technology is ontology and one knows not where man ends (or begins) and machine begins, to pull the techno-plug would itself usher our extinction.

Reactionaries want to have children, live spiritually fulfilling lives, and then die...technophiles want the Machine God to grant them immortality, the former would be Platonic crystallization brings species death, the latter are kidding themselves if they think their humanism will remain intact when the Machine God emerges.

Edited by DeadCanDance

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