Side Effects

I’m gradually moving towards thinking that the phase space of productively arranging human beings is largely unexplored, and that there are entire axes that have not been considered. It could be that the rapidly decreasing cost of genetic sequencing combined with a ubiquitous and pervasive electronic network will make possible entirely new and exciting (albeit highly illiberal) political structures. I think this would be better than the (somewhat atavistic) preferences of many neo-reactionaries.

I would not be surprised if the current discourse on ways of resolving war and hardship in the world turns out to be on the same level as late 19th century civic discussion about the best methods of removing horse manure from the streets of major cities.


I heard a woman on the World Service say that we must teach children that pornography does not provide a realistic depiction of normal sexual relations. Should we also teach them that High Dynamic Range photography does not provide a realistic depiction of a landscape?


Lord spare me from the ‘thoughts’ of those whose opinions on any given subject can easily be predicted from their position on the ‘political spectrum’, a conceit sorely in need of additional dimensions.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that a new born child is not a blank slate, that a person’s culpability for their actions in the eyes of the law should account for their intrinsic genetic proclivities, that the aim of a moral civilisation should be to raise the intellectual productivity of humanity and reduce particular differences between population groups so that all may compete more equitably, that it behoves us to consider the long-term well-being of humanity and perform those actions that will allow the flourishing of science, technology and society to continue unabated. We believe that ethnocentrism and nationalism are hateful atavistic scourges and that a just people will welcome taxing the rich in order to improve the abilities of the poor, even though this will require the use of embryo selection and genetic editing.


Social structures are usually considered in terms of either morality or personal liberty. I find both of these fairly dull. What interests me is what (if any) selection pressures they exert. If you have a society with an entrenched version of the “marshmallow test,” a society which shuns those who fail, are you selecting for future time orientation and a well developed pre-frontal cortex? What effect will this have on a population over 1000 years? If no evidence of such selection is apparent, why not?


I experience fleeting moments of heightened lucidity. In them, my thoughts run with extraordinary speed and clarity and all the myriad information I have accumulated seems accessible and connectible. Then, usually within minutes, I plummet back to a dull sluggish state, a low state, my baseline prole. Glucose and caffeine seem key, but the relationship is not straightforward. Should I look into nootropics?

Note to self

Carpe diem you lazy bastard. There’s so much dreadful crap out there being created by dynamic idiots and lauded by passive idiots. Get fucking writing. You have reams of stuff to put out, not just this weak trickle.


The problem with deriving social and political views from an examination of the available data in the relevant scientific fields is that what you end up with is unlikely to resemble any traditional political position. As far as I am aware, my (still crystallising) views would be balked at by pretty much any group or party you care to name.


Is the average lifespan of a population controlled by the relative importance of two different means of transmitting information? Organisms with a longer lifespan have more opportunity to gather, collate and transmit (memetic) information to new generations. Organisms with a shorter lifespan  can more easily adapt to environmental changes through the rapid modification of (genetic) information.


Personal ideology status: inchoate. Or probably just incoherent, inconsistent and likely to remain so. Used to be a centre-left social-democracy kind of person. I’m increasingly of the opinion that none of the socio-political systems in use anywhere really approaches what might be considered optimal for the long-term future of humanity.  Gaining a better appreciation of the heritability of human characteristics really alters your worldview.