You can’t have door-to-door shakedowns in defeudalised France.

From IRC‘s lips to God’s ears, Stan kicks off today’s log-fest with his usual glass-half-empty prognostications:i

asciilifeform: I’ve said it before, but will say again, if ‘humane’ paper tax collection falls apart (and it seems that eventually must) – the old-fashioned door-to-door shakedowns will return.

At this point, when (if you’re to believe Stan) the Grand Inquisitor comes a knockin’, you invite him in for a cup of tea, sit down next to the fireplace with your fluffy dog on your lap and one of your fluffed-up ladies on his, and quietly explain to your good guest that there’s no such fucking thing as taint and that his efforts would be far better applied towards an evening of carnal distraction and that’d you be more than happy to make the necessary arrangements.

Barring that, I guess they’re going to have to break your brainwallet.

*: ben_vulpes wonders if this ddosser can be coerced into attacking arbitrary people in arbitrary channels.

One of the more unintentional barriers to entry in #bitcoin-assets is a ddosbot that hits anyone without a cloak on their IP address. We’re not really sure who runs it or why, but it’s effective in more ways than one.

ben_vulpes:  Poverty looks good on me.
BingoBoingo: Or arbitrary things.
asciilifeform: The algorithm for sniffing out faux poverty is also not a deep secret, nor especially new. ‘Mr. X, you’re a registered pauper, but is that a first class air ticket you’re holding? Where ‘dyagetthat.’ The above is not a statement of ‘history is a boot stomping on a human face forever’, but a testable hypothesis about actual near-future observables.
hanbot: Was a funny case of that in Romania. Prime minister, very corrupt, “From my auntie!”
asciilifeform: ‘Let’s meet the auntie.’
pete_d: Never hurts to have a rich uncle.

asciilifeform: In the orcish world, if you’ve paid your bakshis / filed mircea_popescu-style 38 lawsuits against city hall / etc. – you’re golden.
hanbot: Auntie had passed…
trinque: W-w-won it in vegas?
pete_d: Found on floor with name on it, hey ppl win the lottery all the time! Or in Tahiti without cell or email.
hanbot: Huh?

Auntie is in Tahiti…! Oh nevermind.

trinque: Better to just give unto bezzledom what is bezzle.
asciilifeform: << obligatory

pete_d: @nntaleb: In 80s terrorists captured 4 Russians in Beirut.Russians kidnapped 10 relatives of terrorists, sent body parts.Nobody since messed wRussians

The story of the Soviet KGB Alpha Group in Lebanon apparently when something like this:

When Alpha arrived on the ground they found that one of the four hostages had already been shot in the head and left in a trash dump. Alpha Group quickly responded by doing something which sent a very clear and unambiguous message to those hostage-takers. Through their knowledge of who the hostage-takers were they tracked down and located one of their kinsmen and proceeded to castrate him and then send on the dismembered body parts to the hostage-takers! But not only that, with that they also sent a note indicating they knew some other relatives of the hostage-takers who could also be hurt in similar ways.

Seeing how serious the Russians were the hostage-takers promptly released these hostages — dropping them off near the Soviet Embassy. No more Russians were taken hostage in Lebanon for another twenty years as a result of the Alpha Groups ruthlessness when it came with dealing with those people.

Experts on Russian and Middle Eastern affairs are welcome to chime in. Now back to the logs:

asciilifeform: Really, nobody?
trinque: Not once.
pete_d: USA locks up girls, refuses to “negotiate with terrorists.” Well … Chechens. Pt 2 of Taleb’s note was “in Leb/Syr.” More digestible when the claim is geographically isolated.
asciilifeform: trinque: better to just give unto bezzledom what is bezzle << consider the implications of the well-known u.s. court case Wickard v. Filburn. Which is, as good as any, a demarcation point for the birth of modern USG. The one that lays claim to every drop of water in the sea, every grain of sand on land, etc.ii The case was resolved in favour of ‘subject, you are meat and we own you.’
pete_d: ;;later tell peterl << borked.iii
trinque: Right, I assume they can and will warp reality to suit them as needed.
asciilifeform: There was no rebellion, note, then, when it was vastly more realistic. Than today. Nor was there anything more than picketing when FDR pissed on WWI vets demanding their pensions. Well, first Hoover, then FDR. But this is well known.
pete_d: For the greater good(tm)

It’s funny what’s “well known” to some people and entirely novel to others. Ask NFL fans what’s “well known about Payton Manning” or something, if you don’t believe me.

trinque: This brings to mind again my (hardly novel) thought that the USG is a shattered sovereign, rather than the absence of one. In that the ruler clearly always has the power to sort of speak declaratively about reality, and he/it will be mostly believed, or at least ignored. If that exists, in other words, humans are wired to mostly receive their understanding of what is real from authority, this mode of “state” is exceptionally irresponsible. Did any of that parse?
pete_d: Sure, except for how it might be seen to be “irresponsible.” People are religious. Whether they pray to the state or science or the church is a matter of fashion.

Science, being, like so totally cool and hip with all the cool and hip potatato-headed millenials.

Obviously. When your sleepy provincial French town doubles in population on account of a bunch of African immigrants, you’ve not really received a bunch of French citizens, and your institutions will migrate from what you’d like to see to closer resemble what they’ve “come to expect“, or in any case what they can mentally carry.

Similarly, if you put up “science” as the “vaniquisher of religion” you won’t get a bunch more scientists. You’ll get just as many scientists as before, who now have to swim in a river of religious zealots worshipping Sciencehweh.

MP says it all, doesn’t he?

trinque: This form of govt does not broadcast a coherent model of reality.
pete_d: Nor can they. Nor can anyone.

trinque: I am saying that this religion is irresponsible.
pete_d: It’s not clear to me that reality is digestible below a certain level of intelligence. What’s reality? It’s all perspective.
trinque: I think we’d agree then. I’m saying the OS that’s being distributed is a mangled hack. Sure one can’t apprehend reality in some objective way.
pete_d: It’s a pretty naive os to be sure.
trinque: But some confucianism for the peasants never hurt.
pete_d: This OS is definitely in the first! biggest! best! vein. We all have to believe in something, some moreso than others.
trinque: Yep. There was a moment where I realized my whole model of my life, experience, etc was that, a model.
pete_d: The less critical capacity, the more articles of faith.

Upon further reflection, this statement isn’t quite complete. Superficially attractive though it may be, it’s a bit like Las Vegas dentistry – pearlescent beauty on the outside, unknowable levels of decay just beneath the surface. I’m more inclined to argue that quantifying articles of faith is completely meaningless and is entirely unrelated to one’s capacity or inclination towards critical thinking.

It appears to me that one’s critical capacity doesn’t dictate the number of things he believes so much as what he does when an objective, or at least a logical and well-reasoned, point is presented to him that contradicts an earlier held belief. Does he use one hand to sprinkle himself in holy water, use the other to pinch his nostrils shut, and then burst into a full-length full-blast rendition of Ave Maria until everyone else has left the room with their fingers in their ears?  Does he accuse you of trolling or otherwise “not understanding how the world works?” Or does he use your words as a scalpel with which to pick apart his formerly held articles of faith and see if there aren’t some nips and tucks to be made.

The risk of the latter strategy, of course, is that the patient can die on the operating table, resulting in an overwhelming torrent of grief in those who take their sense of self worth from their ideology du jour. To be sure, this isn’t for everyone.

However, at the other end of the spectrum, they are those of us who literally get off on cutting up one idea with another, who can think of nothing more pleasurable that being worked into a conversational corner and slashing ourselves back out of it in Hikikomi Gaeshi worthy of a black belt. Bring on the blood and guts, I say!

trinque: One cannot just give up modeling at that point.
pete_d: trinque: there was a moment where I realized my whole model of my life, experience, etc was that, a model << Curious, when ?
trinque: I just spent a long time sitting once upon a time.
mircea_popescu: hanbot Lol Nastase. Totally. He did end up in jail tho. Btw : he only ended up in jail because he was a politician, and poiliticians exclusively are required to DECLARE their fortune. Otherwise ordinary Romanian can just go “Where from ? Your mother paid me.”
pete_d: Lol.
mircea_popescu: Door to door shakedowns are incompatible with the present day USG.
asciilifeform: I still don’t understand why.

Stan says “still” because this has been a long-standing debate between the two over the US’ potential to “go all stalin.” Stan says yea, Mircea says nay. It’s not expected that either will ever cross over, which works out well because they’re brilliant foils for one another.

mircea_popescu: <asciilifeform> Which is, as good as any, a demarcation point for the birth of modern USG << More like the birthplace of the central planning element thereof. “We affirm Congress has the authority to central plan economic activity.” The Fed was similarly, except re: Finance. Centralism is ever the temptation of the stupid and the lazy, for very good game theoretic reasons : they know that greatness won’t be oozing out of them personally any time soon. Perhaps if it were all put into this box then it may ooze it ?
pete_d: Centralism would be that Eretz Israel geese in a barrel thing again?
mircea_popescu: So it would.


trinque: This calls into question whether the interaction between sovereign and subject is one of the dispensation of a (hopefully better) OS, as I stated, or whether he is rather to be a force of nature which is so, regardless of what winblows they’re running.
mircea_popescu: What’s an OS anyway?
trinque: As I think about it, mostly a fairy tale that extends the reach of foot-soldiers to nightmares.
asciilifeform: And the whole concept of everybody getting their mental firmware from the palace, rather than from organic hierarchy that’s been around for millenia, is a 20th century evil.
trinque: I was thinking of it in terms of “go read these books” and “you know, don’t steal that guy’s potatoes”
trinque: asciilifeform: Yep, that would make sense. “the state is everywhere”
mircea_popescu: Yeah srsly. Exactly antithetical to how WoTs work, incidentally. because coherence is the only possible attack against a WoT.
*: asciilifeform digs in log, fails to find, mircea_popescu’s line about state-imposed star topologies
mircea_popescu: is prolly too opaque. But the idea being that Sybil attacks succeed when and only when the nodes are too agreefull.
mircea_popescu: recurring theme on Trilema and here, but most recently
assbot: Logged on 30-01-2015 05:50:13; mircea_popescu: the socialist state does not want a normally functioning society, but instead this stellar configuration where the state is at the center,
asciilifeform: Aha ^^^ Here we go.

mircea_popescu: Good companion for
asciilifeform: We’re still at a point where a great many people alive would need a time machine tour to be convinced of anything like civilization being possible without state-at-center.
mircea_popescu: “Why vote for women ? Because if women spend more time talking to the state and less talking to their husbands, the state will be stronger and society weaker.” Amusingly, this was a strongly held Byzantine notion, too.
asciilifeform: Certainly. It wasn’t like it requires the transistor.
mircea_popescu: All it requires is other people’s wealth. To this day I suspect Xiaoping’s plan was exactly 1. Industrialise through giving away the products to the west. Within half a century you will have the industry and they will have collapsed. Best one point plan for world domination I ever heard. Plus it worked.

asciilifeform: ‘Thirty years ago the Blimp class was already losing its vitality. The middle-class families celebrated by Kipling, the prolific lowbrow families whose sons officered the army and navy and swarmed over all the waste places of the earth from the Yukon to the Irrawaddy, were dwindling before 1914. The thing that had killed them was the telegraph. In a narrowing world, more and more governed from Whitehall, there was every year less room for individual initiative. Men like Clive, Nelson, Nicholson, Gordon would find no place for themselves in the modern British Empire. By 1920 nearly every inch of the colonial empire was in the grip of Whitehall. Well-meaning, over-civilized men, in dark suits and black felt hats, with neatly rolled umbrellas crooked over the left forearm, were imposing their constipated view of life on Malaya and Nigeria, Mombasa and Mandalay. The one-time empire builders were reduced to the status of clerks, buried deeper and deeper under mounds of paper and red tape. In the early twenties one could see, all over the Empire, the older officials, who had known more spacious days, writhing impotently under the changes that were happening. From that time onwards it has been next door to impossible to induce young men of spirit to take any part in imperial administration. And what was true of the official world was true also of the commercial. The great monopoly companies swallowed up hosts of petty traders. Instead of going out to trade adventurously in the Indies one went to an office stool in Bombay or Singapore. And life in Bombay or Singapore was actually duller and safer than life in London. Imperialist sentiment remained strong in the middle class, chiefly owing to family tradition, but the job of administering the Empire had ceased to appeal. Few able men went east of Suez if there was any way of avoiding it.’
asciilifeform: (Orwell’s ‘Lion and the Unicorn’) Yes, long, but dropped here for record. Telegraph – major boost to the disease.
mircea_popescu: Only in a sense.

asciilifeform: It made palatial micromanagement of an empire at least thinkable. Before – it would have been Caligula-grade lunacy.
mircea_popescu: Early internet – boost of disease, mature internet – cure. Consider the doomed nature of centralism. So Louis [XIV] defeudalized France, forced the nobles away from their estates and relevancy, captive at Versailles. Fifty years later his heir was being decapitated, and the system collapsed.

King Louis XIV may have centralised France into oblivion, but before the sun set on the Sun King, he left the country with a set of institutions and a sense of dignity the likes of which are still the crown jewels three centuries on.

mircea_popescu: A system, mind you, that had supported nine centuries of previous monarchs just fine. Through horror of all type , famine, plague, rebellion, invasion, everything possible, thinkable and unthinkable. All it took was Merlin, I mean Mazarin.

Cardinal Jules Mazarin was a wizard at negotiations, establishing peace with England, Germany, and Spain in his role as First Minister of France under both Kings Louis XIII and the young Louis XIV.

Yet he was nearly undone at the hands of the Parisian elites, whom he sought to tax the living daylights out of to pay for military expenditures. He survived but the wound to the established order would never heal and the revolutionaries would soon have their day.

Hm… does Mazarin sound like Obama and his “Robin Hood Tax” to anyone else? Barrack might find a Anne of Austria or Louis XIV to save him today, but this time it’s the reaction waiting in the wings.

trinque: I read that article re: representative democracy, but it’s clarified in the context of the current conversation. This experience of finding oneself to be using old concepts to try to label new data in the present was sort of what I was trying to describe with the meditation experience
mircea_popescu: And I’ll take any bet that feudalism as promoted by #b-a will take the piss, vinegar and cockroach guts out of any alternative, starting with the USG. And ending with whatever the Chinese will come up with at the final end of it.

___ ___ ___

  1. If there’s a more intellectually stimulating and paradigm shattering place on the planet than #bitcoin-assets, for the love of all that’s good and holy, pray tell what can hold a candle to this yeshiva in the clouds. Pray tell.
  2. The one everyone sane wants out of.
  3. Gotta look out for your WoT, y’know?

4 thoughts on “You can’t have door-to-door shakedowns in defeudalised France.

  1. […] more than just steadily, but in true American French style, inexorably as well. As the number of users and accounts increased – an explicit aim achieved […]

  2. […] entity is going to survive for another 130 years is pretty lulzy to me. Seriously, that much centralisation, that much command economy, that much socialism – with the exception of the 13-16th century […]

  3. […] get a job, you lout !” “Shut up dad.” “If I wasn’t worried about a SWAT team busting down my door the second I laid a finger on you, and if I didn’t believe that fathers […]

  4. […] that you should instead be worried about door-to-door shakedowns – you shouldn’t worry about that either! – it’s just that engaging with the USG on terms other than those of complete and total war are […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *