Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Land Navigation Course Basics"
OE TSC G&V (10 min.)

       The epitaph of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is being written by cowardly corporations, spineless politicians, politically correct adults afraid to say anything, and of course the liberal media. The Washington Post and The New York Times have been on the front lines of the “progressive” movement that now seeks to abolish the differences between the sexes by using our children as guinea pigs in the latest version of their sick social experiment.

    * * *

             Conservatives who have done their homework will recognize the BSA takeover as the Gramsci [cultural Marxist] strategy of marching through the institutions, named after the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci. If they can conquer the Boy Scouts, there’s not much left. The churches and the religious believers who attend them constitute one possible last line of defense.
      I would note that this takeover was largely possible due to Robert Gates. Gates, if you remember, headed the CIA and sat on the National Security Counsel under Pres. George H. Bush, who later appointed him Secretary of Defense. He went on to serve for Secretary of Defense for a time under Obama, before later being named President of the BSA. If Gates was nonplussed about undermining the BSA, thing of what he did to the DOD and CIA.
               ... Lenin and Stalin wanted classical-liberal individualism replaced with something less able to resist totalitarianism, not more. Volk-Marxist fantasy and postmodern nihilism served their purposes; the emergence of an adhesive counter-ideology would not have. Thus, the Chomskys and Moores and Fisks are running a program carefully designed to dead-end at nothing.
                 Religions are good at filling that kind of nothing. Accordingly, if transnational progressivism actually succeeds in smothering liberal individualism, its reward will be to be put to the sword by some flavor of jihadi. Whether the eventual winners are Muslims or Mormons, the future is not going to look like the fuzzy multicultural ecotopia of modern left fantasy. The death of that dream is being written in European banlieus by angry Muslim youths under the light of burning cars.
                   In the banlieus and elsewhere, Islamist pressure makes it certain that sooner or later the West is going to vomit Stalin’s memes out of its body politic. The worst way would be through a reflex development of Western absolutism — Christian chauvinism, nativism and militarism melding into something like Francoite fascism. The self-panicking leftists who think they see that in today’s Republicans are comically wrong (as witnessed by the fact that they aren’t being systematically jailed and executed), but it is quite a plausible future for the demographically-collapsing nations of Europe.
                     The U.S., fortunately, is still on a demographic expansion wave and will be till at least 2050. But if the Islamists achieve their dream of nuking “crusader” cities, they’ll make crusaders out of the U.S., too. And this time, a West with a chauvinized America at its head would smite the Saracen with weapons that would destroy entire populations and fuse Mecca into glass. The horror of our victory would echo for a thousand years.
              • Related: "Can't Close"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media. Explaining the left's sudden reversal: "The sales pitch was going great until the moment the Gramscians had to state the price and show the product.  Then the customer looked in the box, shivered in horror and walked away."
                     ... Chinese economic statistics, never fully reliable, continue to be adjusted downward. Wages have risen sharply over the past decade; indeed, for several years, the minimum wage was growing at double digits—as high as 18 percent. The Chinese banking system remains opaque, and bank balance sheets are unreliable, as they continue to overstate the value of their assets, notably state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Moreover, obtaining financing in China often requires connections in Beijing, further undermining the efficiency of the banking system. Finally, local and provincial regulations often impede business growth, while corruption, particularly at those levels, remains rampant, despite President Xi Jinping’s ongoing efforts to clean house. Lastly, Auslin rightly identifies yet another scourge that China—and other Asian economies—suffer from: Mafia-like intimidation, or worse, of foreign investors. Not surprisingly, companies that are contemplating investment in East Asia are looking more and more at Vietnam, Malaysia or Indonesia, or even the Philippines, rather than risk shrinking margins in China.
              Yet, as the author notes, China cannot rid itself of the SOEs.
                       The Google team ran 40 million turns of a simple 'fruit gathering' computer game that asks two DeepMind 'agents' to compete against each other to gather as many virtual apples as they could.
                         They found that things went smoothly so long as there were enough apples to go around, but as soon as the apples began to dwindle, the two agents turned aggressive, using laser beams to knock each other out of the game to steal all the apples.
                  The article continues:
                          Interestingly, if an agent successfully 'tags' its opponent with a laser beam, no extra reward is given. It simply knocks the opponent out of the game for a set period, which allows the successful agent to collect more apples.
                            If the agents left the laser beams unused, they could theoretically end up with equal shares of apples, which is what the 'less intelligent' iterations of DeepMind opted to do.
                              It was only when the Google team tested more and more complex forms of DeepMind that sabotage, greed, and aggression set in. 
                                As Rhett Jones reports for Gizmodo, when the researchers used smaller DeepMind networks as the agents, there was a greater likelihood for peaceful co-existence.
                                  But when they used larger, more complex networks as the agents, the AI was far more willing to sabotage its opponent early to get the lion's share of virtual apples.
                             What this tells me is that the idea of extraterrestrials being friendly is probably B.S. 


                            1. Re: Gramscian Damage: "[A] West with a chauvinized America at its head would smite the Saracen with weapons that would destroy entire populations and fuse Mecca into glass. The horror of our victory would echo for a thousand years."

                              What's the downside? Victors write the history books - it would be a glorious triumph against evil.

                              1. I think you have captured the essence of the Second Coming and Millennium.


                            The Docent's Memo (8/15/2022)

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