Assigned reading

Habitual readers of asemic horizon would do better to spend the time with the new essay by the resurfaced Mencius “Curtis Yarvin” Moldbug titled The Clear Pill, part 1. The editorial note that immediately prefaces it chides us:

Partisans of every stripe would do well to prepare themselves to respond to this line of attack—one building strength and authority in tech circles.

Moldbug is probably best well-known from Nick Land’s reconstruction — less dense in the specifics of his intense scholarly style, but much clearer in its philosophical preconditions and implications.

Land’s Moldbug is entirely submerged in realism — cleverly rhetorically reinforced to provide an appeal to all kinds of internet right-wing fads. But it’s not just Land’s — and Moldbug’s, who is a fine rhetorician on his own — snark a response to this line of attack would have to contend with: it’s realism itself, which is nontrivial to construct and reinforced-concrete strong — almost impossible to deconstruct. 

Reinforced concrete is Portland cement, sand and iron rods. It’s a structural system, but it’s neither the “real thing” they claim it to be (by exploiting faint echoes of Darwinism like “neural networks”  once exploited faint neurological analogy — before success with the addition of generalized frequency transforms), neither Lacan’s order of the Real or Meillassoux’s “Great Outdoors” — the excess over symbolic intersubjectivity that could authorize their self-legitimizing politics.

But it’s exceedingly hard to “respond to”. Even worse from the brittle vantage point I’ve been building — one that swerves time and again from the problem of infrastructure. Instead we appeal constantly to a confused principle of sufficient infrastructure.

Yarvin/Moldbug on the contrary not only did his structural rebar work back in the Unqualified Reservations era, but continues to mix concrete. His new essay reminds us of his status as an era-defining intellectual that should be known to be strong and studied in his (scholarly, philosophical, rhetorical, political) strengths.

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