Somebody asked about R/ACC at a party the other day and it fell to me to explain exactly what that term meant. As much as you might have thought that it would be some weird fantasy of mine to over-eagerly explain an esoteric philosophy in polite company, it did take a significant quantity of bourbon to tease out a satisfying explanation from my own head, which likes to talk to itself and must be tricked into doing words at other people. In fact at this very moment I am employing tricks to bind these reluctant thoughts to silicon rather than allowing them to rot among (d|m)isused neurons - lucky you.
The discussion began when the interrogating party joked that R/ACC was the reactionary response to having one’s Xbox Live subscription cancelled by one’s mother. I laughed then as you should now, but there is a bitter truth hiding within, and around, this sweet chocolate - the production line at the chocolate factory conceals much from short-sighted levity. That R/ACC is reactionary is a given, but the perspective that it is a reaction to a theft (of sorts) is not inaccurate, although there are deeper inaccuracies that we will cover shortly.
You are humanity. You have enjoyed the fruits of your geologically breakneck development for hundreds of thousands of years, innovating advanced surplus-generating techniques every generation, bequeathing a marginally easier existence (on average) for each successive generation of your offspring. Things are looking up. Cities happen and suddenly you can capture more value with each human life than ever before. Your children’s children’s … children’s children have weathered their share of catastrophe and yet the species survives, and even thrives. Transaction costs for goods and information trend towards zero. Cultural teaching, historical precedent, and scientific inquiry reinforce the species’ shared knowledge and combine to iteratively improve both each other and a trial-and-error model of the dynamics of the local universe. Perfect efficiency is on the horizon. What could go wrong?
Well… consciousness happened.
We became too smart for our own damn good. We questioned tradition - not because tradition was ineffective, but because we could; because it was just so difficult to maintain sometimes; because it hurt some of our feelings. Because we should try not only questioning it, but destroying it, just once, just to see if everything goes up in flames.
And it didn't… not at first. Instead, life just got a little worse for a little more people, year over year, for a small handful of generations.
(Couldn't find the original, but Hayek is cited in the footnotes of this book:)
There is a great deal of implicit knowledge involved in habits, rules & traditional customs, before we understood them, were regarded as irrational. We are now beginning to understand that such things may have persisted because they were in fact rational and useful.
I don’t mean tradition as in geocentric Church doctrine, I mean scorched earth policies, subjugation schemes, vae victis, who-dares-wins. Natural order - as in the way complex systems tend to organize in pursuit of the solutions to intractable problems. “How can we possibly determine which of these highly advanced organisms is the most worthy of the limited resources in this ecosystem?” Well, the old fashioned way - the only way that actually works - competition. Total war, or at least war games.
How do you win at these games? Well, it takes suffering, but that's not all - it also takes time, and commitment to victory. One could reasonably make the argument that sacrifice = suffering + commitment. But the point is, you need to be willing to do anything to win the race to the top if you're going to have any chance at all.
Look: this inconsequential species of fruit fly used to drone through the air at 2cm/second. A researcher applied selection pressure to their population for 100 generations. They closed out the experiment with a top speed of 170cm/second. That's a 185% increase in velocity capacity per generation.
"Sure, fruit flies are easy, but what about humans?" you ask. You think it would take hundreds of years to see appreciable results. We aren't after an 8500% increase in intelligence. We only need, say, 200-300%. And we can make 170% happen in 60 years, give or take. Obviously, humans are more complex than fruit flies - but even when you multiply that ratio by a few fractions, the salient point remains: human-guided self-evolution is not only possible, but facile. But is that the only point? Or is this weapon multipunctuous?
If we can ratchet ourselves closer to godhood this quickly, couldn't we also unravel our adaptations just as easily? How little time would it take us to degenerate into a species of slave-cows with just a few messy footsteps, or one too many evenings spent indulging?
If you think the answer is only an even "yes", it gets worse.
In my previous post, we learned about Agonistic Inamic Unity, and the theory of the universal matter-energy TEOTL. Related to these two concepts is the unfolding of the universe itself, and the teotl within it, as the twin inamic partners Order and Chaos do battle with one another en route to the end of time. We also learned to extrapolate from the fundamentality of this one pattern to innumerably many systems and subsystems, e.g. male/female sexuation in organisms, supply/demand dynamics in markets, and predator/prey population regulation. Crucially, "Not Everything Is an Inamic Partner", except when… well, you look at the biggest (in-universe) picture. (Matters of extrauniversal importance are not the domain of this exhortation.)
The all-encompassing inamichuan is Order/Chaos. The two aspects of being are not so much innate properties of matter as they are the innate organization of matter, the one basic axis upon which matter flows (in either direction). (We could call them Negentropy/Entropy, but those words don't both have five letters and two syllables. However, you are excused for using "entropy" when you need to sound scientific, cf. "stochastic" as a snooty substitute for "random".)
"Complex flow field around a Formula 1 car’s front wing [endplate] in ground effect; lifted from J Pegrum 'Experimental Study of the Vortex System Generated by a Formula 1 Front Wing', Imperial College London, 2006"
This picture isolates a concept that I haven't been able to stop thinking about for months now. The whorls. Swim through a pool and watch the water surface carefully: you'll see the same thing. Consolidation of local energies. Compared to the movement of the big, simple Formula 1 car wing - which only moves straight forward - these wind patterns are highly complex, and yet inside them there arise these tiny singularities of perfect stillness. Pass your finger through one of them and watch it collapse. Cease to swim and watch them all disappear.
Our sun is like one of these whorls. Space is vast and mostly empty, but sometimes these random clouds of hydrogen accumulate, thanks to the gravity of the individual atoms. The cloud begins to rotate, very slowly, and collapse upon itself, and the rest is ancient history.
You know where I'm going with this: celestial bodies are whorls within whorls, as are water-bearing planets, as is life itself, as are you. If you are reading this, you inhabit a flesh capsule whose existence is entirely due to the fact that an incomprehensibly massive meat-grinder has funneled solar energy FROM the sun THROUGH a torturous series of interlinked dynamos TO your nervous system, and your energy stores, although limited, can sustain the computronium in your skull for at least as long as it takes you to scan and interpret this sentence. All your life has led to this moment.
(Extremely Urbit voice) A whorl is a singularity or an arrangement of whorls. Chaos is the absence of whorls.
Your computer/phone represents a time-delayed whorl of kilogenerational scale (assuming we're only talking Anthropocene) - passed-down wisdom from ancients to industrials to moderns, refining ores in progressively more stylish fashion until the deepest orifices of our planet are raided, in pursuit of ever rarer metals with which to manufacture slightly slimmer iPhones for all my Beyonce fans in the audience. Put those hands in the air, ladies!
What's that? This is all so obvious, you say? You figured this all out in middle school, you say, and there's no need to reiterate the same tired I Fucking Love Science talking points, you say? Well, dear reader, I thought I was too good for this shit, too, until I realized this is the only thing that actually matters.
Garbage time is running out.
"Via". (Yes, ccru.net is down again, maybe forever. Another whorl spun its last cycle.)
You need to start seeing the world like I see it, like there's an overlay on every object and person estimating how many billions of coinciding order-whorls were necessary to create that specific person or tree or mountain. And yes, it is a process of creation - none of this is happening by accident. More on that later, if I can stomach it long enough to vomit it onto silicon.
And if we fuck up this process for even one generation, we lose thousands of generations of momentum.
I hadn't read much of anything about "Choronzon", ever, until just now. I looked up that link above - which never mentions Choronzon, but it did remind me of Nick's new avatar and someone's passing comment about the "Choronzon connection" to numeral 333. I decided to check out the Wikipedia article on Choronzon, which has an alarmingly relevant excerpt.
"The name of the Dweller in the Abyss is Choronzon, but he is not really an individual. The Abyss is empty of being; it is filled with all possible forms, each equally inane, each therefore evil in the only true sense of the word—that is, meaningless but malignant, in so far as it craves to become real. These forms swirl senselessly into haphazard heaps like dust devils, and each such chance aggregation asserts itself to be an individual and shrieks, "I am I!" though aware all the time that its elements have no true bond; so that the slightest disturbance dissipates the delusion just as a horseman, meeting a dust devil, brings it in showers of sand to the earth."
Crowley's Confessions (ch. 66)
I am the very last person to defend or support Crowley - I'd be in line behind the Pope, and I mean a good one, not the one in the Pontiff today. But he has named Chaos here and dressed it in supernatural drag. (And, the excerpt was coincidentally sitting smack in the middle of the page I randomly searched for in the middle of writing this article. It's past 4AM. I'm straight spooked.)
Anyway, let's make some healthy improvements to these deranged ravings so that we don't get any of his mascara on our hands:
Chaos is empty of Order, and yet it is filled with all possible orderings. [Literally verbatim description of agonistic inamic unity.] These orderings swirl into vortices like whirlpools whose elements are bonded by their coincidence in time and space, although a sufficiently precise or violent disturbance can dissipate the structure just as a galleon can slice through a whirlpool - but not without stirring up even more whirlpools in its wake.
Much better, don't you think? A little less 𝓓𝓪𝓶𝓪𝓰𝓮𝓭? Once we remove the Edge and the cringey self-insert masochism (what Satanist doesn't secretly want a big, strong Horseman to trample all over his pitiful devil body? Have you ever met a Satanist who wasn't a closeted bitch boy?), the actual insight is easier to perceive.
So once we have the playing field down, we can start talking games. How do you have any fun when everything's randomly exploding and contracting? Well, with coordination - basically, who can make the biggest whorl?
Humanity as it stands is a pretty nice, big, fat whorl of complexity in a vacant oven of chaos. But we can do better, right? How?
Well, every so often a random disturbance occurs. This is a perfectly general statement: it applies to neutrinos, large structures, heartbeats, weather. It's actually a fundamental property of the universe called Brownian motion - the original principle applies to gas particles but it's trivial to extrapolate. Life-forms and other engines that convert energy into motion need some way to convert the Brownian motion of particles, EM radiation, edible prey, etc., into future energy, and that's where engines of creation come in. (If you're one of those unconditional types who starts bleeding anytime somebody posts a research paper, consider this your cue to go take a nap, give your cognitive dissonance a break.)
We attempt here to describe and justify what we assert is the correct alternative view of how phenomena are powered in nature, focusing especially on the molecular-level conversion processes (often called ‘‘energy conserving’’) that power life and that must, then acting in an entirely abiotic context, have driven it first into being.
So we sort of understand the rules of the game, and we sort of understand what ENDGAME 100% WORLD RECORD OPENAI gameplay looks like (that is, the presence of human beings as distinct from hydrogen gas), but we don't understand how to spaceship ourselves to the next gas cloud over and fast-forward it to Humans II: This Time, We Didn't Also Invent Mosquitoes.
But we do understand some smaller steps of the process which are no doubt vital to getting there:
Big whorls have little whorls, Which feed on their velocity, And little whorls have lesser whorls, And so on to viscosity.
Lewis F Richardson, Chaos: Making a New Science
We turn this poem on its head to find the treasure beneath: if we want a real big whorl, we need to make lots of little ones, line them up just right, and feed them into the big one very carefully such that the entire system whorls faster without destabilizing anything in the immediate neighborhood.
A recent video game which gamifies this precise concept and papers over it with Lovecraftian mythology and some truly excellent writing is Cultist Simulator, and no, I was not paid to say that - it's merely the closest any game I've seen has gotten to making explicit this magnification-and-synchronization-of-whorls process (except for maybe Paperclips). Every video game has to take advantage of this process to be a "game" - Minecraft grinding for loot to grind and build faster, League grinding minion kills while avoiding ganks to concentrate power spikes in precisely coordinated kills, PUBG scavenging loot and avoiding confrontations/murdering relentlessly but also tactically… the concept is completely general; you cannot find a game that will not fit inside it because all games are simulations of the fundamental process of the universe.
Now naturally, finding, cultivating, synchronizing, and enmeshing so many sensitive whorls takes extreme care and precision, and leaves little time or capital to be wasted. Singleminded pursuit of victory ought to confer upon the player a ruthless twin instinct - if it's useless, we must destroy it; if it can be of use, we must make use of it. This is the cruel reality of natural selection: inadequate germlines perish because the ecosystem cannot afford to support them. If every deer, no matter how frail or sickly, was allowed not only to live but also to bear young, the forest would be barren of foliage in no time. Hence the presence of wolves, who trim the ragged edges of the deer population such that only the healthiest and fastest survive. Yet the same applies to wolves: if every limping mongrel got a place at the carcass, the hunters would quickly exhaust the deer supply, and there would never again be enough meat to go around. THEN the wolves would die, too, leaving an empty forest for the next predator/prey symbiosis to colonize. The STRUGGLE between the two - the agonistic inamic unity - transcends the mere game of "eat or be eaten"; via their endless war the two species are improved and streamlined with every successive generation: deer become leaner, quicker, more sensitive to noises in the dark; wolves become more intelligent, more coordinated in packs, more lethal, more silent. And even within these populations there are competitive dynamics of improvement: females mate with the strongest, and yet every year the power of the strongest is contested by the younglings - decrepitude lasts at most eleven months. Inefficiency is assailed from without and from within.
The cultivation of whorls requires all of this and more.
Competition, iterated solutions, evolution: Nature can do this on her own. What about when humanity steps in and decides to try and take the whorl?
This is R/ACC: Harnessing the fundamentals of the universe to maximize local order.
@ungeometer echoed this sentiment in a private message: "[R/ACC is] Alignment with the processes of intensification and increasing local complexity that began when the universe started to cool. Interest in the control structures involved in producing, sustaining, and reconfiguring complex systems." Insurrealist has called it "the study and development of derealist intelligenesis" - which, somehow, manages to transcend even the order/chaos dynamic, raising the higher-level questions: what are the whorls thinking?, How are they thinking?, and Can we make this happen again?.
So we understand now: the GOAL is not to minimize entropy, it is to maximize the manufacture of intelligence.
This is R/ACC: Distilling intelligence and flooring the gas.
My previous post emphasized one aspect of the broader process of evolution - or rather, the process of progressively developing solutions to intractably complex problems (of which the evolution of species in an ecosystem is a special case) - as applied to the set of all human germlines: BILLIONS MUST DIE. Oh but Akira, that's too edgy, can't we walk back a little to something like BILLIONS MUST GET EDUCATED OUT OF THEIR REGRETTABLE BUT NON-INTRINSIC IGNORANCE, or BILLIONS MUST BE CRISPR'D OUT OF ROOM-TEMPERATURE I.Q. SO WE CAN HIRE THEM AS BURRITO ARTISANS FOR TOMORROW'S POLICE STATE? My question to you is, do you honestly believe we have room for them on the spaceship? Every gram of mass costs money, time, and intelligence-years (that is, the time of scientists who have trained heavily their entire lives to make orbital launches happen, in addition to the resources necessary to train those scientists, and so on to viscosity) to get into orbit. We have not a single drop of liquid oxygen (or whatever rocket fuel ends up being) to spare. No, not even if we invent more efficient rocket fuel.
AND IF WE FUCK UP THIS PROCESS FOR EVEN ONE GENERATION, WE LOSE THOUSANDS OF GENERATIONS OF MOMENTUM.
THE LARGER A WHORL OF COMPLEXITY IS THE MORE DIFFICULT IT IS TO REPLACE.
THE MORE TIME WE WASTE THE FASTER DOOMSDAY COMES.
This is what non-eugenicist CRISPR advocates don't understand: cybernetics is not on your side. The first in line will be the first to ascend, and there's no one suicidal enough to let the lisping antifa-masochist cut in front of them - except for maybe another masochist. An effective and efficient initiative to harness the innate cybernetic feedback loops of the universe must be judicious in eliminating wasteful sub-initiatives, including free-riders and rent-seekers.
In order to even be present at the table (or on the spaceship, or in the Mars colony), you'll need to have spent so many years selecting for talent and filtering out the non-workers that no philosophy other than competing intelligence incarnate will survive. And if anything else ever does survive, it's a signal that selection pressures have relaxed.
Where is this all headed?
Why bother accelerating?
Again: Garbage time is RUNNING OUT. The human race has mined most if not all of the easily available minerals on the Earth's crust. We now dive deep into the ocean for our oils and gases, where once we stuck a shovel into a Texas plain. Slowly but surely, we are leveraging the most advanced scientific knowledge our species has ever possessed to convert our only planet into teeming hordes of EBT cards and Instagram likes.
THIS CANNOT CONTINUE.
We have miles to go before we can leap. I wrote previously:
Martin Luther spread free thinking with the printing press, and killed the authority of the Church. Rockefeller saw the industrial Matrix, and simply bent the spoon. Princip believed he was fighting for his country, when in fact he and his friends just removed the a card at the base of the house. Gates and Jobs brought computers into every home and hand. Satoshi made money 100x faster and available everywhere. Thiel and Musk are geniuses at creating and capitalizing on massive opportunities. Zucky struck lucky, and made big friends.
What else did these humans have in common? Each of them was only one person. Somehow, the efforts of a single human brain were able to fundamentally restructure a huge part of the world. It follows, then, that at any given time, the world must have one or more human-brain-sized points of extreme sensitivity. For consistency’s sake, let’s call these points nodes. A node can be a city councilmember, a small business, or a community of artists. If it guides people to act in some way — that is, if it has the power to influence individuals — it is a node. If a node is sensitive enough to be affected by the actions of a single human, then it is “human-sized”. Each node can connect to any other node, and the sum of all nodes is the complete set of power forces that act on humankind.
It is incumbent upon us to take whatever action we can - no, not "direct action", we aren't communists looking to maximize local chaos - I mean mutually reinforcing complexification, training regimens and training regiments preparing mind and body for One Fateful Day in the future when the load-bearing capacity of our whorl, our planet of civilized apes will be put to its final test. If you're reading this you have the capacity to find and finesse any number of nodes, any number of whorls in your vicinity, and there is no force on Earth that can stop you.
We can coin the two fundamental interactions as Investment and Wireheading.
Investment: Creating order. You toss one whorl out on a trajectory that looks weird at first, it spins out into nowhere, but by some miracle it seems to gain velocity on the return trip, and suddenly it's ten times its previous size and gaining. The art of growing, cultivating, becoming-more-of-itself. The act of designating one subset of order to become more order.
Wireheading: Consuming order. You dunk your head into one whorl and it feels amazing, you've never felt this good in your entire life, your body and mind are on fire with sensation, you lose track of all time and place as you sink into ecstasy and … it's over, suddenly, sadly, you're still right where you started, only now there's one fewer whorl in your neighborhood, a few more candy wrappers on the floor.
Chaos is order that decides to stop becoming more order. Do you get it now? When you let a candle burn out and die rather than using its flame. When a lonely man pays a lonely woman to be his friend for a night. When a girl with nowhere to turn decides she can't keep the child. When a godless aristocrat opens the gates to the cannibal horde and declares, "Enjoy - this round's on them." The cessation of potential-building, the action that begets no further action, the point at which the recursive function stops.
Please forgive me if I am repeating myself.
Spent all day building a project with some friends of mine, whose purpose shall remain nondescript. Planning and preparations took hours of finely tuned work, we're talking power tools, practice runs. The time came and we set off. Five minutes in - we have to bolt. Precious whorls can dissipate in an instant.
Sturgeon's law: 90% of everything is shit. Brandolini's law: Bullshit is ten times easier to produce than it is to refute. Do these concepts sound familiar to you now? Perhaps connected?
One day this all has to come to an end. We will detect the end of our ability to harvest resources on the horizon and we will need to make a choice: how will we continue? Will we attempt to continue at all? Or will we throw up our hands and suicide our race on the biggest dose of ecstasy ever brewed?
Do you remember PROLIFERATION?
The means by which a truly complex process escapes its local system. In Spain it was conquest: the monarchy spent a huge amount of human talent and capital on the gamble that they would control the New World, that they might be able to coordinate enough complexity to make the jump to a new environment, to seed a new continent with their civilization's blueprints. Many civilizations attempted this leap. A few succeeded.
Leaps are everywhere: when an animation studio releases a new episode of their series, that too represents a consummation of months and years of potential into a crystalline collection of complexity. Readers will make note of which animation studios consistently produce the best material, compared with which ones produce the most material, and the trade-offs involved - and how those trade-offs are represented in the organizational structure of those companies and teams.
Leaps are why it's so easy to make appealing music that features "drops" - the DROP is the exact moment that the build-up of the musical potential is consummated. The Drop of the Beat is a microscopic cybernetic escape. Our deepest brain recognizes this resonance with the fundamental universal pattern and it relishes in the orgasmic release of rhythmic buildup. Even this damn post has been brewing in my head for months, tick tick ticking away in the back of my mind, pieces of concepts assembling and squirreling themselves away on some hidden shelf until such time as they were ready to emerge - and of course I had to take care of my own body and livelihood the entire time as well - the entire fractal castle of complexity gyrating and cycling upwards until finally, finally I smash the Enter key, SPIT IT OUT into the world, and it is complete, the process begins anew even before the whorl is finished exiting the system of my brain.
These leaps are also intrinsic to the universal dynamo: systems are limited in scope. Whorls that want to make it out alive need to JUMP. This is why Elon is so obsessed with the trip to Mars: he's not some kid who's high on astro-fumes. He sees it too: the advancing dark. The blackness swarming on the horizon, coming closer. The end of garbage time. Humanity must LEAVE THIS PLACE before they are consumed by the accumulating chaos.
It doesn't have to be Mars. But it's got to be somewhere less fucked than the place we're making our backyard into.
Since the industrial revolution humanity has unilaterally increased the frequency with which its members wirehead. I'm not saying the industrial revolution was a disaster for the human race - at worst it was a necessary evil. I'm saying humanity was not worthy of the industrial revolution if all we have to show for it is abortion clinics and transgender teenagers.
Wireheaders will eventually remove themselves from the gene pool - the question is, will we survive the storm they call down upon the world? Will anything?
Eventually, the stars will die. Anyone left will need to confront this question again, on a much larger scale. Maybe they will succeed, and maybe the next universe will contain their blueprints, the initial conditions that led to life like them - maybe they will even improve the schematics.
Our job is to make sure the chain of leaps does not end with Earth. Our job is to advance the march of intelligence no matter what it takes, no matter how many sad stories we have to hear about the poor lost phytoplankton we burnt along the way to the next nearest Earth-like planet. On the escape pod, there is no room for any but the highest.
AQ 476 = GARBAGE TIME IS RUNNING OUT = EXTREMIST MATHEMATICIANS = GENERATE ALL AQ EQUIVALENCES = HELENA PETROVNA BLAVATSKY = NO MAN IS BEYOND REDEMPTION = NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR FEAR
Can what is playing you make it to level-2?