Throughout history, civilisation has proven itself to be incredibly fragile. Invariably, we move two steps forward, then two steps backwards.i And yet we keep building and rebuilding, iterating with new stories of worlds to come.
So while it’s true that our current era of Nietzschian nihilism mostly manifests itself as stoicism or epicureanism or doomcore,ii it’s actually somewhat remarkable that we never seem to go
“full retard” “full nihilist”… because here we still are. If we really had complete contempt for existence – as the sophists telling us that dictionary definitions are equivalent to reality would have us believe – the big red button would’ve been pushed long ago. But it hasn’t! So we have at least that much “evidence” of having some sense of self-preservation… if not of being turkeys awaiting Talebian Thanksgiving.
But if we really do have some latent sense of self-preservation, as I’d like to propose, shouldn’t a further maturity flow naturally from that? Like, if self-preservation is contingent upon the survival of our species in a fundamentally hostile world, shouldn’t some responsibility be required to ensure that? I mean, since when did we all become Efficient Markets adherents, suckling on the teat of passivity?iii
Indeed, it’s kinda crazy how much bloody childish behaviour there is stirring about at the moment. And I don’t mean childlike in the positive sense of being curious and creative, but rather in the sense of being soft little entitled bitches who (allegedly) get triggered by thumbs up emojis. Of course these same snowflakes aren’t starting families either. Because
it’s expensive it’s bad for the planet reasons blah blah, but I have to think that they (and their disgraceful parents) have it all backwards. Y’see, kids these days aren’t too immature to start families, they’re immature because they haven’t started families. Making is everything!iv
This, quite in spite of what we’ve been “taught” by criminally eugenicist sex-ed classes and neotenic consumer culture in general. Action is how we become, not magical thinking and “life experience” as a series of IGable fragments. I know, I know, it’s very “post-modern” to be anxious and paralysed and therefore unbelievably inept, but don’t let the scientistas have the last laugh. They’re terrible comedians. Don’t let themv impose their 19th century values on us, particularly the ones espousing selective breeding and greater proliferation of the “upper” classes at the expense of the relative diminution of the “lower” classes, by force if necessary.vi Sound familiar based on all the propaganda being shoved down our throats about how THE WORLD IS ENDING in nineteen bajillion ways? If we’re watching it, it’s for us!
So ignore their “degenerate” labels, and all labels for that matter, especially the “ironic” self-deprecating ones. It was only a century ago that they tried to pigeon-hole the Cubists and their chicken-loving patrons, but we fought back. The few against the many.vii We kept making, refusing to let them convince us that we were unfit to procreate, or make at all. We won’t let them do us dirty like that again. Not just for the asking. We don’t have to just be Icarus flapping our wax wings, doomed to fail and fall. We can be links in a chain, each stronger than the last… or at least strong enough to keep building.viii So what if streetwear has to die to make this a reality? So what if we have to empty our cups so that we can refill them anew?
It’s worth it to make a little more (block)space for the next generation. And to see what’s possible in this one.
- “But Pete, we at least have better tools today than the ancients did, we have computers!” We might have computers, Timmy, but the ancients had better metal tools. They built the Parthenon faster, more accurately, and more elegantly than we could today, for all our supposed progress. Yes, we have a couple of incredibly fragile semiconductor fabs in Taiwan and SK, but after China invades them and sets off WW3 sometime in the next decade or two, we won’t even have that. Kings indeed! ↩
- Doomcore is also known as “YOU ARE HERE,” per Shumon Basar (archived):
- To quote Samo Burja:
I found it notable how big a difference assuming most things in the world don’t get done vs thinking they are is. Efficient markets, technocratic competency, thinking society actually has millions of free individuals running around, hyper-competent shadow state… All of these are worldviews that amount to most things in the world worth doing have been done. From personal and professional experience the world seems overflowing with things not done. Hence a Great Founder Theory view of the present.
- To quote Sam Sarris:
The act of creation causes imagination, not the other way around. To understand this is to understand the ecology that fosters the unique. Agency is precious because the lucidities that purposeful work and responsibility bring are the real education. The secret of the world is that it is a very malleable place, we must be sure that people learn this, and never forget the order: Learning is naturally the consequence of doing.
Sarris isn’t just, in my reading, talking about making things, but also making families. Procreation is the fundamental creative force, after all!
“But Pete,” you reply, “You don’t make a goddam thing in this Web3 space for all your bag-pumping grifterliness. Wen mint broski??!” Well Timmy, aside from this blog and raising a young family, I actually run a physical business that makes physical things. We don’t “make” our things in China either. We make them right here in North America. Who knew that manufacturing was still possible here amirite! It’s not easy, nor even all that profitable, I’ll admit, but it’s The Right Thing™.
But I really should mint some JPEGs one of these good days. No doubt that guys like 6529 have learned a TON about the psychology of collecting and the challenges of minting mechanics by getting their hands dirty, not to mention making a buck or two for their troubles. ↩
- With a straight face you’re going to tell me that moderns invented the scientific method? What, like the Ancient Greeks didn’t have mechanical clocks, steam engines, and calculus? So then why shouldn’t they have figured out that good strain + bad strain = good strain 50% of the time? I get that we don’t have records of all of their ancient wisdom, but absence of evidence is hardly evidence of absence. At the very least we have Scripture extant, and I assure you that there’s a lifetime of learning in there, if only you’ll have a peek inside… ↩
- Y’see the British have “classes,” which are good! But the Indians have “castes,” which are bad! Basically a freedom fighter vs. terrorist kinda thing innit. ↩
- Like the Maccabees! How seasonally appropriate. ↩
- Stronger, yes, but never too wealthy and never too civilised! ↩