Definition of Conservative, effective

“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protectes but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time.”

I have been looking for a synthetic operational, braod definition for all those behaviours relating to universality and particularism, privilege and rule of law and I like this one

Being in Italy there is no conservatism (funny, there’s lot more “conserved” from the past here) soi I think to it as an effective defintion of “right politics”

thanks Cory Doctorow for the pointer, funny the defintion is buried in a comment in Crooked Timber

I like the idea of a Gresham law for political ideas “

There is no such thing as liberalism — or progressivism, etc.

There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham’s Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation.

BTW the comment is fresh, Frank WIlhoit has been dead for over 10 years, it is a famous quote. I know nothing of political science and indeed the quote is misapprorpiated, it was said by a Frank WIlhoit composer

Mis-appropriated Quotation on Conservatism[edit]

There’s a quotation[10] floating around the internet originally written by the composer and software architect Frank Wilhoit:[11]

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.


Several authors have misattributed this quotation to Francis M. Wilhoit: e.g. [12] with people later realizing that the comment was made 8 years after Francis M. Wilhoit died.

Africa latent assets

– African societies are based on achieved status – is closely related to Chinese meritocracy (..) shows Africa to be the most socially mobile part of the world. Africans are also the most optimistic about future mobility.

-‘scepticism of authority’. Unlike many societies in East Asia, Africa is much more like Western liberal democracies in its anticipation that political power will be abused

-‘cosmopolitanism’. Because of the heterogeneous and small-scale nature of historical African society, Africans endlessly had to deal with differences – different languages, different cultures, different histories. This is reflected in African languages where the word for “stranger” is typically the same word as for “guest

from here

Got to note this here while I a reading “Things fall apart” by Chinua Achebe, where it shows

Diverse libertarianism

actually Diversity Libertarianism

libertarians want to be free from the state, what about religion, corporate oppression, monopolies etc.

Thiel comes out as somebody who just does not want to pay taxes, but “Freedom and (small “d”) democracy are, in conditions of rampant inequality, a cruel sham as Bakunin understood.” this is James C. Scott

Scott again “Nor do I believe that the state is the only institution that endangers freedom. To assert so would be to ignore a long and deep history of pre-state slavery, property in women, warfare, and bondage. It is one thing to disagree utterly with Hobbes about the nature of society before the existence of the state (nasty, brutish, and short) and another to believe that “the state of nature” was an unbroken landscape of communal property, cooperation, and peace.”

this is Tyler Cowen on how there is no stable “libertqrian equilibrium” when a virus kills score of fellow citizens andntherefore is better have an efficient state at the onset of an epidemy that spares everybody much suffering “Given the way government and public choice work, anything that kills over half a million Americans is going to be a big deal for policy, whether we like it or not (Don should be the first to recognize that government will restrict your liberties for far less than 500k deaths!).  You want the best feasible version of a response, as there isn’t really a stable libertarian response pattern out there.  Trying partial but non-sustainable libertarian approaches will in the end get you more and more statism as the virus keeps on defeating you, deaths rise, and calls for ever-greater state action increase.  A lot of what libertarians don’t like about lockdowns in part stems from the “do nothing” response of the first two months of notice that we Americans had when Covid first appeared in China.” from here

Tyler coined the term “State Capacity Libertarianism” by the way

So we are at 2 diverse types of libertarianism here, and I have also quoed an anarchist

Future “legibility”

Charlie Stross, SF writer, on reality stickness and ability to forecast into the future:

“You don’t need a science fiction writer to tell you this stuff: 90% of the world of tomorrow plus ten years is obvious to anyone with a weekly subscription to New Scientist and more imagination than a doorknob.

What’s less obvious is the 10% of the future that isn’t here yet. Of that 10%, you used to be able to guess most of it — 9% of the total — by reading technology road maps in specialist industry publications. We know what airliners Boeing and Airbus are starting development work on, we can plot the long-term price curve for photovoltaic panels, read the road maps Intel and ARM provide for hardware vendors, and so on. (..)

(..) However, this stuff ignores what Donald Rumsfeld named “the unknown unknowns”. About 1% of the world of ten years hence always seems to have sprung fully-formed from the who-ordered-THAT dimension: we always get landed with stuff nobody foresaw or could possibly have anticipated, unless they were spectacularly lucky guessers or had access to amazing hallucinogens. And this 1% fraction of unknown unknowns regularly derails near-future predictions.”

from this speech on, of all things, AI

Legibility is a “seeing like a state” term, James Scott terminology but it sticks lately. Scott Alexander on the experts, journalism and legibility. In different terms, like Nate Silver put it, the surpirsing gap between what you read in the news about Covid and what you could gather yourself from preprints and experts’ twitter threads

The point of Scott is that experts in public position and journalists with duty to report to the public have to strip down what the want to communicate in order to make it “legible” to the wide audience, so information and even message geto lost in mainstreammedia

this is not what I wanted to write, I got carried away by the legibility concept which is probably misappropriated and used outside its intended reach. Anyway I wanted to say really, reality ius mostly sticky and the part that sticks from a decade to the next moves in ways you can guess with a proper knowledge strategy. )0% stays the same, )% changes in this way, 1% can’t be easily guessed and that probably chages the meaning of all the rest

Tyler Cowen got me down the rabbit hole…

saying that he finds Peter Thiel one of the most interesting thinkers of late “For instance, Ross Douthat and Peter Thiel are two of the most interesting thinkers as of late and they are both religious and Christian.  I am also struck by the enduring influence of Rene Girard”

Well, I have sort of followed Thiel because of startup, I have been reading “from zero to one” for a couple of years, I like it though I do not progress much in reading it. I try to understand what’s Thiel’s role in coaching Zuck and steering Facebook evolution in recent years, since his endorsement of Trump with the tech world.

So I looked up google for Thiel’s writings and I got here

I found this “The education of a libertarian” maybe bad luck but it is a speech about: we were libertarians at uni, could not change much so most of us got into alcohol. The world out there is difficult for us libertarians because of the interests of people on welfare (the poor) and women. So we have 3 alternatives: cyberspace, emigrating to space, living on a ship.” and in an addendum he said “I do not understand, I thought you would have discussed the 3 options, but all of you discussed the thing that women rights are bad for libertarians”

Elesewhere Thiel is always quoted for dissing Michelle Obama for saying she would not want to send her daughters to ivy league unis, but Malia eventually got into yale or something similar. But you can fault Michelle only if you thinks kids don’t get to choose university, mothers do, how liberatarian is that ?

And Thiel followers like that thing he said about Europe, it could go that way, or that other way, but the third way is Sharia law. Well, Tyler, thank you, it was 2009 but still, what a provocative thinker.

Much better going sideways, in hacker news comments they quote a podcast on “the Portal” with Eric Weinstein who happens to be CEO at Thiel fund and also a mathematician who has a unifying theory of particles “The unpublished theory includes a 14-dimensional “observerse” and predictions of more than 150 new subatomic particles, some of which Weinstein believes could account for dark matter.” this is from wikipedia.

well, rabbit hole. I will anyway listen to tyler cowen interviewing him

UPDATE thank you easter bunny, the hole is fine. Sabine Hossenfelder has a guest post on Eric Weinstein, hole worth following 🙂

Resilienza a spasso nei boschi

a spasso per i boschi, su una mulattiera della pendenza giusta per un uomo e unmulo da soma, salire senza fare un metro di sviluppo in più

Non so perchè pesno all’episodio dei muli e dei tedeschi nel “Sergente nella Neve” (visto il titolo di questo sito la citazione ci sta) La< resileinza dei muli nella ritirata di russia, il gasolio finisce, il mulo continua ad andare e poi purtroppo te lo puoi anche mangiare

ecco, si parla di resilienza anche nei programmi del governo, ridaranno i muli agli alpini per affrontare al meglio ogni rotta, rottura, urto ?

E se il governo ricerca la resilienza, non è venuto il momento permttere le subreti elettriche private ? Cioè permettere ai privati che hanno pannelli solari o pale eoliche di collegrasi con i proprio fili senza sottostare al monopolio della rete. Poi la rete serve sempre ma il giorno che va giù se tutti hanno pannelli o pale, auto elettriche e pompe di calore, si tirano cavi tra vicini, si creano piccole reti di villaggio, qualcosa si accrocchia. Oggi no

E poi Zoom ci mostra la resilienza della rete, continuare a lavorare e studiare da remoto, ma non è zoom a essere resiliente, è la rete,. Non è la piattaforma glibale che gira sulla rete, è il protocollo della rete che fa girare tutto il resto a essere resiliente.

La piattaforma poi lo può essere, ma non lo sei tu che la usi, ogni volta che usi una piattaforma invece di contare su te stesso e un protocollo di comunicazione, non sei resiliente. Al limite, ti de-piattaformano e sei fregato. Ma ci sono altri scenari, anche peggiori, la resilienza deve essere la tua di user, non della piattaforma e dei suoi proprietari

Se il proietario è un umanista la piattaforma da èpotere agli user, vedi wikipedia, se il proprietario è un darwinista o peggio un ubermenshista allora la resilienza definitiva è quella di comprare casa e cittandinanza in Nuova Zelanda, dove sotto la casa ci costruisci un bunker antitutto e allora sei resiliente anche in uno scenario estremo di milioni di eletti che sopravvivono invece dei 10 milairdi a cui tendiamo oggi

Ma sto divagando, i rfierimenti sono chiari ma a me interessa parlare di protocolli che mi rendo resiliente a moltoi shock che potrebbero colpire le pèiattaforme. Scrivo tanto su piattaforme e diciamo che una cosa mi tutelerebbe, un protocollo concordato implementato da tutte le piattaforme per fare backup di ogni cosa che scrivo su un mio nodo, e il mio nodo sarebbe una mia identità più resiliente di ogni home in giro per il web

Credo che questa cosa venga chiamata portabilità, non so se io la capisco così solo ora alla luce della richiesta di resilienza o se la mia sia una posizione più estrema, di ritorno ai protocolli. Però, ecco, un governo che parla di resilienza dovrebbe obbligare tutte le piattaforme che voglio avere i propri cittadini come user, a utilizzare questo protocollo che ricollega tutti i bits e i crumbs e i posts e le chat e le foto i video i meme e le gif insomma tutto al nodo personale, secondo le preferenze dello user

quindi, è vero che anche l’azione antitrust serve a rendere tutto resiliente, ma ritorniamo ai protocollo riaggreghiamo tutto istantaneamente nei nodi personali

Anarchism on Anarres

yes, I just read The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin and here i will collect ideas and links on anarchism

thanks Ursula you made anarchism real and now I got interested in it. Can Anarres be generalized?

first, complete isolation, there’s also the Berlin Wall in reverse, the incipit so metaphysical

second, Anarres is a tough planet, survival forsters solidarity, cooperation, respnsibility

but if you start with a language created from sscratch, no money, no private ownership and no family you can still create a mix that works

I love the idea of cooperatives, associtaion and similar which manage the economy and the needs of the people. L Guin hints at technology helping total decentralization and we should be there with our technology now, anarchists using slack and CRM software. Ah no, no money, no private property, non customers 🙂

so there is freedom, there is a tension keeping the society alive, there s the need to survive. Over time though the decentrilized associations ossify, become bureacratic, freedom is stifled. So, permnent revolution


Anarres is “Scarcity Anarchism”, a few year later Murray Bookchin introduces the idea of Post-scarcity Anarchism worth spending some time on it. In SF an oft quoted example opf post-scarcity anarchism is the Culture world of Ian M. Banks where humans have gone past the limits of need and things come easy, but also funnily-named spacewships are intelligent and a sort of mighty species by itself. BTW is Musk a post-scarcity anarchist because he give Culture-sounding names to his missiles ?

the net generation will call them …

Gamestoppers they are the ones who face reality with the POV of a shooter, don’t move without the company of the posse met on the shittiest server of that box game, nothing moves them more than defending a meme or trope o childhood memory

you are trying to get rich not working and check on reddit7stockpicks, you see your beloved childhood brand being destroyed by a short seller, I mean tha place where you would swap used disks and get rebates on your old console. How dare they?

you shortsquezze them with your reddit buddies and of course, 19th century sotckmarket meets a videogame mob of last generation, who wins?

so you deserve to be the gamestopper, I am sure that bodes well for the future, your older brothers complain that boomers fucked the planet for them, you will stop their games, WTF it is videogame mob of last generation against thos 20th century types. And the fund they call them Citron, losers

and because it is cool now in tech world to quote the most ridicuolous book of the last century, Fukuyama end of history, I quote it, this is the hyperthymic generatiopn, google the term and you know what to expect

maybe you want to read the facts not the rant


oggi si insedia Biden, contro tutte le attese. Trump era il favorito ma sta lasciando la casa bianca. la causa, interamente la disumana risposta di trump alla crisi del covid.

Il Covid, uno “shortcut” al successo elettorale, dicui si è avvataggiato biden. shortcut come nella terminologia dei videogames

“passaggi/livelli tortuosi che apparentemente non servono a niente, solo a mettere in difficoltà il giocatore e, forse sulla via, aumentare la sua esperienza.Spesso alla fine di questi “livelli” c’è un porta o un accesso che avvicina due luoghi altrimenti lontani. Si trovano frequentemente presso siti di grande difficoltà per il giocatore, ad esempio alle porte di una stanza del boss.” 8hochiesto ammiofiglo9

Insomma lo shortcut alla Presidenza lo ha preso Biden. Ma il Covid ha anche offerto uno shortcut al successo economico

.Il successo economico, un tema così complesso e dibatutto che a più di 2 secoli dal primo libro di economia “ever”, quello di Adam Smith  “The Wealth of Nations” ancora non c’è un ricetta sicura vrso la ricchezza delle nazioni

Ma in pandemia Covid la ricetta c’era, test6trace, distanziamento, soppressione del virus mantenendo l’conomia apertail più a lungo possibile. Loshortcut al successo economico l’hanno preso la Cina e il Vietnam, con metodi e gradazioni diversi anche altri paesi

Non l’Italia, moratlità e calo del pil tra i peggiori, l’economia italiana di nuovo buttata indietro di un decennio. oggi conte, forte de unamaggioranza relativa al senato,insediail suo terzo mandato,o si considera ancora il conte 2′. ancora una volta una occasione mancata, una riprova della crisi di un paese di un sistema, a tutti i livelli, politica, amministrazione pubblica, società civile,laddove invece poteva diventare una più 2facile2 occasione di riscatto, unoshortcut al successo.