CT - 01 Jul 2022

Essays, articles, reports, opinion pieces of note discussed at FVN in the past two weeks.

1984 - MIT Press - Valentino Braitenberg - Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology: A book which is required reading for anyone interested in autonomous robots (as opposed to chatbots which might pass the Turing test but have no understanding of the world around them). Especially salient given advances in memristor technology, which the book anticipated. For example, a 2020 design the size of a confetti with tens of thousands of memristors was described as a “brain-on-a-chip” .

2017.03.13 (originally 1962.04.18)- Mises Institute - Murray N Rothbard - Review of (A P J Taylor’s) The Origins of the Second World War: The distinguished historian APJ Taylor’s revisionary history of the Second World War is exhaustively reviewed by Murray Rothbard. A book review as excellent, exceptional and thought provoking as the book itself, it challenges fundamental assumptions deeply embedded in popular and scholarly discourse as to the causes and the responsibility for the Second World War. One may agree or disagree, but this review is a required reading for understanding the present controversy around the Ukraine.

2020.12.22 - Gold, Goats ‘n Guns - Tom Luogo - End the Great American Myth: Secession not Revolution: The American Progressive Establishment is painting the image of a Right committed to violent installment of right-wing totalitarianism (fascism). Luogo exhorts those who wish to conserve the American founding ideal, which is not violence but peaceful secession. He does so by contrasting the mythical virtue of revolution which has come to dominate the American imagination with the reality of the foundational virtue always being secession.

2022.05.17 - Geopolitical Monitor - Jose Miguel Alonso-Trabanco - Ukraine War: A Reshuffling of the Global Monetary Order?: A short article discussing the Russia-West contest from the vantage of international finance. Alonso-Trabanco describes the parallel financial campaign against Russia waged since 2014 and the implications for the global monetary order. The article offers a crisp consolidation of national responses to such financial weaponization and what it may portend for the status of the greenback as the international reserve currency.

2022.06.13 - The Intercept - Ryan Grim - Elephants in the Zoom: Meltdowns have brought Progressive Advocacy Groups to a Standstill at a Critical Moment in World History: Reportage sympathetic to social justice organizations dealing with the problems stemming from importing social justice into the organization. Executives of these organizations find social justice for the country most admirable, but demands by their own staff of social justice most disruptive. The implications of such a paradox of social justice being virtuous for the country and ruinous for social justice organizations are not noticed by the author, but yet the reportage itself makes it compelling.

2022.06.16 - - Fiona Harrigan - The U.S. Is Spending $130 Million a Day on Military Aid for Ukraine Without Meaningful Congressional Oversight: Reportage concerning the enormous American aid to Ukraine (+$80 billion) lacking any Congressional oversight despite demands by legislators.

2022.06.20 - The Critic Magazine - Sam Ashworth-Hayes - Rodent Utopia: Short essay comparing a previous experiment around post-scarcity existence in animals and the crisis it induced in those creatures with the possible technological advances which may repeat the same phenomenon for humans. Ashworth-Hayes speculates on a material utopia which culminates in an existential dystopia.

2022.06.21 - Gray Mirror Substack - Curtis Yarvin - Gory to Ukraine: Polemic criticizing the Lithuanian escalation in the conflict around the Ukraine. Yarvin describes how the US intervention, using the language of nationalism, has escalated its commitment to the Ukraine to dangerously unpredictable levels. Yarvin notes that Poland’s role as the cudgel for Anglo-French alliance culminated in its destruction in WWII, and that the West’s intervention in the Ukraine may portend a similar fate. The article highlights the danger of interventionist wars around nationalism intended to be secretive and controlled, but which could turn into an overt, uncontrolled disaster, and even possibly WWIII.

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