Great conversation with Owl

Happy Chinese new year!
I think
I’ve not double-checked the actual date

Happy new year Corona-chan!

How can God not be real when he gives us an apocalypse you can take with a wedge of lime?
It’s poetic and ironic

Okay, finished my Skype thing.
Was distracted for a bit there.
However, I am fully caffeinated and tobaccinated and ready to go.
Coronas are a great drink as long as you don’t expect them to be alcoholic, in which case they’re disappointing.
I’m gonna grab my notebook and see if I thought anything interesting this week.
Just did my political hot takes for a podcast with Boneflour a minute ago but I’m sure there’s weird-ass shit to talk about.

Funnily enough, I once read that apocalypse comes from an old word meaning “collection of esoteric texts for initiates”

Ooh, interesting.

The insinuation being that apocalsype is a time in whihc perceptions and knowledge are radically altereed
A time of…revelations

Sephiroth in the library type shit.
What’s your feel on 2020 so far?
I’d like to double-check my intuition.

And given how radically peoples’ worldviews have been altered in the past ten years, welcome to the apocalypse
Could be intereesting
Get the sense it’s going to a time of kick-ass good luck and prodigious acocmplishemnt, or a hellish drag of setbacks and torture
Figure no real inbetweens on that one. It’s either going to be great or awful
Basically, a “reap what you have sown” kind of year

Agreed. Feels like a year of many, many happenings.
Also feels like a year of peril and opportunity.
I’ve seen an unusual number of people lose family members in the last three weeks. I think five. [Redacted family shit.] Things are actually moving in the auto world for once.
So I think 2020 is going to be fast-moving and chaotic with very little time to react.
It’s also, oddly, a time of clarity precisely because there’s no time to think. Only time to feel and then react.
So in that sense everything is simpler.
It’s a great time to be high on the openness dimension.

I can’t disagree with any of that

I suppose the takeaway, which I hadn’t elucidated before, is this is a time to be moral and ambitious at the same time.
If you’re going to be immoral or dishonorable or otherwise playing the gray areas of moral pragmatism, you’d better be ready to go all the way with it.
So this is the year to set big ambitious plans in motion and not sweat the details as much as whether you’re pure of heart.
In fact, combining the two lines of thought here…we could describe 2020 as an apocalypse.
This is the year when people will become what they’ve decided to be. Opportunities are opening up.

Again, can’t disagree whatsoever

In a more rationalistic sense, we can think of this as a year when ledgers are being balanced.
Debts are being called, people are getting what they deserve, etc.
Similar to a jubilee conceptually, except it feels more amoral than that. Not bad, exactly, but more like economic disruption.
The most impressive feature thus far has been the return of creative energy. I see it everywhere.

I’ve ogtten the same sense
A stronger yearning for creative expression
Plus actually effort to expound it

I just made a podcast with Boneflour, I wrote a Blockheads yesterday, even Vox is talking about finishing a book.
And I thought Jordanetics had killed his creative drive.
We’re talking for the first time in months.
(You and me, I mean.)

I see this on my end. Friends and family and trying new things and the wheels seem to be greased for creative endeavors

So another takeaway is this is a time to be very, very clear about where we want to be (where we’ve always wanted to be), and position ourselves there.

It feels like I’m getting extra results for the same efforts in a lot of ways
As the awful joke goes, 2020 is the year of clear vision

I’ve been getting great mileage out of that awful joke :-).

I must shamefully admit to making it once as well

*wags finger*
Unbecoming of a proper young melonhead lad.
No sleeping with the help for a week.

Propriety is for people without imagination

More or less. It’s very important to be polite in Faerie but also important not to become a fixture there.
So it wouldn’t do to be fully proper, or else you’d become part of Faerie.
I’m pretty sure that’s why you’re not supposed to eat the food there.
(I.e. You become what you eat.)

It seals the contract in a way, pulls you past the point of no return

But very important in Faerie to show proper respect, or at least lots of respect to everyone.
That goes for gangsters and spymasters and global bankers as well. Whether they deserve it or not, you say please and thank you and very rarely show your feelings.

Basically, not a bad rule of thumb for whenever you leave the house
Brings to mind the idea that everyone is more polite in an armed society because no one wants to start anything accidentally
The more dangerous the context, the less anyone wants to offend unintentionally

I’m also of the opinion that it’s rare you want to offend intentionally. The only reason I can think of is to keep inferiors aware of their place.

Every year I grow to appreciate etiquette and politeness more and more

So offense may only be useful as an informal method of maintaining position by reminding upstarts of their bargaining position.

I don’t exactly live in a dangerous environment, but I am growing to appreciate it in and of itself
One idea, certainly

I’m convinced etiquette is the best indicator of melon-ness.

The romans allowed slaves to be rude and uncouth because they were so low on the social totem pole that it was beneath a citizen to care what they thought
I suspect this is the origin of the jester being the only one allowed to tell the truth to the king without reproach

Ooh, now there’s an interesting theory.
It makes a lot of sense, I always wondered where that institution came from.
But there’s enormous value in having someone around to do that when you’re surrounded by high-functioning snobs.

Also a necessary source of truth in situations where insular groups might balloon away on a bubble of their own bullshit

So if there’s already a rule that says slaves can do that, then a wise king could keep one around to fill his cup and offer a grug opinion.

No one tells the king that the french lost the naval battle except the joker, who laughs that the english are such poor swimmers unlike the brave french sailors
Yeah, a wise king ought to

Do they have this tradition outside the West?

there seems to have been a strong level of understanding for the instiution of the jester, given that “the fool” is quite commonly the most sane person in a shakespearean play
i.e. Twelfth Night, A midsummer Nights Dream (puck as fool)…etc
No idea if the court jester exists outside the occident.

There appears to be a very fine line in the European psyche between the court jester and Satan.
I disapproved of the Joker movie because it was providing an acceptable outlet for gamer angst in individualist anarchism (which integrates just fine with anarchotyranny). In talks with Patrick, I picked it for the movie which best expresses the philosophy of Western elites (i.e. no one loves me, therefore I’m checking out of the human race).
However, the trickster resonates.

Never saw it so I’ll have to concede to your view

So I’d want to divide it into a good expression (eucivic mockery) and bad expression (psychopathic impulsive predatory detachment).
Both come from atomizing pressures, but the sort which is more atomizing is bad.
Particularly because atomized psychopaths are too shortsighted to take out their resentments on the people actually influencing the social pressure which alienated them. As the lady said “We need our weave, take that shit to the suburbs.”
May I have your take on the Sulaimani assassination?

End of the day, the US got away with it
Probably at less cost than it paid
Who knows if there was something going on behind the scenes. I always tend to suspect it, but as always with these thigns it’s hard to tell from the nosebleeds
I think in the long run it’ll be a good thing. bear in mind that all this is taking place against a backdrop of the us pulling back from the world and leaving regional allies to do most of the heavy lifting to keep the peace in places like the middle east and east asia. i expct that we’ll continue to do the hard shit on things like this but for the most part we’re going to rely on actors with skin in the game to do what they feel is best

My best guess is it was retaliation for the drone strikes on Saudi oil production.

Believable. Or maybe they’d been hunting him for a while and he slipped up this time
There’s a lot of explanations that make sense

Yeah, it also appears to be opportunism.
Things appear to be heating up over there and this strike makes sense as buildup to a war with Iran in 2021 or 2022.
It was a small black pill to see how well the media blitz worked on public opinion.
A big part of the escalation is that Iran appears to be getting more bold in their proxy guerilla wars against Israel.
Russia too.

Yeah, knocking off the guy who certainly did a lot to oversee that calms things down a bit

The assassination was at least in part calling their bluff.

I still beleive that war with Iran will happen but now I don’t think we’ll be in it

This goes back to the causing offense thing. It has value for the party with more chips to call a bluff.
It may even be the status equivalent of calling a bluff.

I foresee continued civil upheaval, and if they lash out externally, Saudi Arabia and Israel acting quickly and violently

Does Saudi Arabia have a military?
Speaking of this stuff, here’s a homemade conspiracy from yours truly, spicy original content.
I don’t believe Tesla is a real company. I believe they’re an IP farm indirectly funded by the Chinese somehow, because the Chinese want electric cars in order to become energy independent. That means electric cars are probably the future. But once the heavy innovation lifting has been completed, what reason would there be for continued One-to-N development or manufacturing in the US? If approximately 50% of Detroit’s expertise is deprecated, then what remains is just a mass of bureaucratic dysfunction and a few vape shops. So the future of Detroit manufacturing is grim. However…there’s still a shit ton of design knowledge here. And on top of that, the auto industry will continue to be characterized by very long supply chains. There will be huge opportunities for design and welding of subassemblies.
Since this is more or less a private chat, I can expand on the former points.
Israel doesn’t like Iran. The biggest importer of Iranian oil is China. Therefore, international banking interests want China to be energy independent.
Therefore, Tesla develops electric vehicle tech for China to become energy independent, somehow operating at a loss for decades.
The Chinese couldn’t innovate their way out of the stone age because homogeneity is their greatest cultural value. They need Western companies to do it for them. If we hadn’t shown up they’d still be killing each other’s peasants with samurai swords every couple of years.
The Japanese may be good at learning about robots but they would never have invented them in a million years.

Re: Saudi Arabia, I’ve heard their special forces are actually very good. It’s also a good rule of thumb that the royal guard in such places and disciplined and capable, even if the regular army isn’t
I believe tesla profits off of trading carbon credits, not off cars. not that that has much to do with your theory other than being another puzzle peice to fit in

I’ve heard that also.

It certainly wouldn’t surprise me. I susptec tesla has a lot mroe going on under the hood than is publicly known

Rivian is having internal problems, if that interests you.

I also suspect ideas of asian lack of creativity might be overblown. You won’t get paradigm-shifting breakthroughs but the chinese, japanese, and koreans are more than capable of gradual improvements to scientific and enginerering processes
they also have a lot of manpower and capital, which helps

Micro-innovations vs. macro. Micro drives the economy but macro drives the micro.

If the US was still banging out moonshot projects with regularity, i’d be a lot more smug, but it’s not as if this country innovates nearly as much as it used to
it’s all apps now

Woodley talks about macro innovation rates a lot. Do you watch the Jolly Heretic on YT?
I’ll find the book on micro innovations…
“To summarize, the co-occurrence model offers contrasting predictions about the macro-social and economic impacts of simultaneously falling g and increasing specialized abilities (Woodley and Flynn effects, respectively). While the former predicts declining creativity and macro-innovative capacity, we know from the work of the economic historian Robert Fogel that macro-innovation is not always essential to economic growth, because it is a distal cause—indeed, micro-innovations derived from macro-innovations are much more important to this process. Hence the (now fairly well-replicated) association between the Flynn effect and GDP growth, despite the “Woodley effect” and declining macro-innovation rates.”
Looks like the relevant book is Railroads and American Economic Growth: Essays in Econometric History.
Being a quant, I think he has the arrow of causality backward. As Woodley points out, micro innovations come from k-selected groips.
So it stands to reason that Japanese economic success recently is due to this and having the macro innovations given to them for free.
Woodley quote is from

never heard of jolly heretic but i’ll look into him

Excellent channel.
You will like.

collapse of complex societies is relevant here. main thesis being that as societies grow, it takes more an more input to attain the same level of output. innovation slow, as well as maintenance, until the whole thing falls apart

Patrick recommended that book to me.
Said to pay particular attention to the Ik.

I’m also not totally opposed to the idea that micro-innovation really drives economic growth, but eventually you run out of room to keep micro-innovating and then you need another macro jump


Hopefully we aren’t too far gone
I saw a commentary that suggested that we’re so bureaucratized and corporatized that a caesar or napoleon could never get anywhere today
Which is likely be design. Hard to maintain managerial society in the face of political disruption, but it does put a damper on economic, artistic, and cultural upeaval as well
Unless the economic disruption comes in the form of technologies that would benefit those already at the top, of course

I’m not quite ready to give up on the idea of mass human organization but that appears to be the consensus expert opinion.
I believe the trouble is a disincentive to understand scopes of responsibility.
Something about Faustian society and organization of everything into job functions, as if every human endeavor were a spot on an assembly line.
In fact, I’m entirely sure that’s the trouble. What eludes me still is the source of the disincentive.
It’s pervasive and robust, and appears to be economic in nature.
If it were merely philosophical, a la the rationalists and technocratic utopians, then it wouldn’t affect the grugs. But even the grugs don’t feel the need to do anything of intrinsic interest unless they’re being compensated.
So they don’t even feel the need to raise their kids, for example.
Even though that’s basic bitch biological survival level shit.

Total divorce of the chattel from all impulses other than those that have been socially conditioned
It’s actually quite impressive
peasant domestication going back to sumeria, and likely much older
taken up to eleven in the 20th century though, much like technology
and population

But pathological irresponsibility is also a pandemic in the elites.
Arguably they experienced it sooner and it trickled down.
My pet theory is the nobility got #cancelled and they figured “fuck all you too, you don’t deserve my leadership”.
I can’t really blame them either, bourgeois and peasant leadership have both been catastrophic and no indication of lessons learned.

the last revenge of the displaced aristocrats from the time of the merchants being the key source of power in socierty
i can beleive it

The nobility may have been abusive inbred degenerate thieves but they could at least milk the peasants for generations.
The peasants can’t run a milk farm, so they just eat the cows.

though without the pressure of leadership even they too [elites] have degenerated


race to the bottom until it all comes tumbling down
Kali yuga

That was their raison d’etre and they’ve shriveled up without it.
It’s like a samurai gone ronin..
(The bourgeois would just sell the farm to the Chinese then complain that their children aren’t learning entrepreneurial attitude in their sweatshop jobs.)

Well perhaps all this will be part of the harvest for 2020
Maybe a hell of a lot will come crashing down

About Aeoli Pera

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15 Responses to Great conversation with Owl

  1. Obadiah says:

    Your best poast in a minute.

    For me, “people becoming what they’ve decided to be” feels more like a 2023-24 type thing (at least for me anyway). Maybe we’re on different/alternating quaternality-timetables as I allude to down at the end of this comment section:

    At any rate, after a year and a half of fundraising, research, training, negotiation, etc my cousin’s marijuana extraction and processing startup is about to go live (I will be employed as extraction tech, moving over from my current job at his more public-facing and family-friendly business). We’re waiting on our final shipment of underpriced equipment from Chyner–hope we don’t get the Coronee.

  2. Mycroft Jones says:

    Chinese can innovate at particular times in their history. Joseph Needham wrote some good books about Chinese inventions and innovations over the past 3000 years. They had a lot of firsts. You can see a lavishly illustrated condensation of Needham’s work in Robert Temple’s book “The Genius of China”

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      They did good in the Song dynasty, but they’ve had an honesty problem for a long time now.

      • Mycroft Jones says:

        The same Song dynasty where they had frequent debt jubilees? No way! Wonder if there is a connection? :) China has done a good job of making sure the “titans of industry” don’t wag the dog. Perhaps innovation is over-rated.

  3. aiaslives says:

    2020 is the only year in the millennium with


    Any way you write it, it’s awesome!

    YUGE happenings that day (probably means nothing’s going to happen)

    It’s a sunday, so I guess it’ll be personal.

  4. Obadiah says:

    Chemical X = Knowledge of Good and Evil

  5. Pingback: Yet another Owl convo dump | Aeoli Pera

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