The shape of dust settling.

Almost four years to the day since yours truly first registered his PGP key with gribblei and in doing so entered the ethereal parliament of digital power, its undeniable leader, Mircea Popescu, finally ran out of patience with the fledgling, the most serene, and most bitcoiny of Republics. You can read all about it on his blog – Trilema – but the long and the short of it is that the complexity of the undertaking – that of fixing forever for now even both man and machine – exploded and ultimately diffused into a million shards what were originally concerted and concentrated efforts ; like a beam of white light hitting a thousand hidden prisms and scattering the weakened deflections in every direction and into every colour imaginable.

The failure to secure WoT-based WSAASii outside of NATO, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, or really anywhere occupied by semi-civilised peoplesiii was the last straw for MP, his final experimental result.iv Lest you think he’s joking, and that HAHA HE’S NOT REALLY STEPPING BACK LOLOLOL, don’t be so sure. MP doesn’t forgive, nor is he at all likely to change his mind like Achilles did in Book XVI of the Aeneid and come back to die for the Republic just so that his name can enter the annals of history. If MP’s name isn’t already there,v he seems quite happy to tend to his farm and keep tabs on the appropriately appelled “fan-chan” without being as fully involved in the project anymore, at least not with the current crop of L1.

The dust is still settling, but it’s already a lot quieter in general,vi and what chatter remains is fairly chaotic and (one hopes only temporarily) self-destructive to boot. But what else could be expected when the large entity with high esteem in front of all the nodes dials it back from 10 to 2 ? There’s no sovereignty outside of that vested in a person! And MP is primer inter pares : that within whom sovereignty is invested.vii

What’s left now is a model, an imprint, one at once conservative, reactionary, and largely subtractive. The lesson learned (at least to this failed Lord of the Republic)viii is that management is effectively parentingix and being a parent in praxis always requires threats of physical violence in order to be effective. These threats turn out to be sine qua non for the enduring functioning of productive institutions, and therefore any efforts to manage semi-independent, semi-rebellious individuals “reporting for duty” will largely be an exercise in frustration akin to potty-training a poodle via Skype. It certainly seemed like the aristocratic approach to have a selected cadre of tech-savvy elite lead The Reaction against The Empire, but without real whips and chains, it ultimately proved unmanageable for even the best among us. Don’t be ashamed to shed a tear, for yes, these men were the best of the 7 bn available. Socialism aka pantsuitism has simply pervaded too much of the last 250 years, and the last century in particular, to tolerate MP’s 10/10 landmine management stylex when exercised virtually on a group of soi-disant engineers largely raised and still residing in the USSA.

It was a hell of a ride – one that indelibly impacted all involved and gave form to the most important discovery in our lifetimes – but it wasn’t enough. There appears to be little future for a Republic without the prospect of sharing Khodorkovsky’s fate, without the dangling Sword of Damocles.

From here on out, the winds will need to be favourable because the nuclear engine propelling the TMSR aircraft carrier is no longer, and the occasional pop-in-‘ello from MP is but an outboard motor compared to the hundred-hour work-weeks of atomic drive. We’ll now see if this ship was aimed at a new world of untold bounty or yet another deserted island.

I have my money on the former, but I’ve been known to be painfully optimistic before.

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  1. gribble was the assbot before there was deedbot. Anyways, it’s complicated. But one recently learned lesson related to WoT-bots was that updating soon-to-expire PGP keys is a pain in the butt and one predicated on the idea that, I dunno, maybe you’ll not be you in four years time!!1! You can make back-ups keys in case of compromise, sure, but throw the expiring keys business out like last week’s newspaper. []
  2. Web-Servers-As-A-Service. Isn’t that what the whole post-industrial economy is moving to ? -AAS thingies ? Anyways, “WSAAS” is a lot clearer conceptually than ISP or DC ever were to me. []
  3. You might wonder why an airplane filled with cord-pullers couldn’t pretty much travel wherever, whenever, and further figure that dealing with the dumbest orcs imaginable isn’t a great trade-off for this strategic decision, but not only are neither of us counter-counter-terrorist experts, that question is also above both of our paygrades. So that’s that. And if you’ve only learned one thing from the early years of Bitcoin, it’s that MP’s strategic superiority is second to none. []
  4. For now… MP has retired once before and he’s still only 40 or so. []
  5. And of course it is, just for as long as you’re not reading history as written by the losers. []
  6. Not that some degree of quietude isn’t overdue. It’s been 16 months since I posited in-channel that there was quite possibly too much day-in-day-out pooh-poohing of progressivist charlatans and winbloze sekoority and not enough back-breaking labour to fix what needed fixing, particularly from certain capable individuals :

    pete_dushenski: Anyways, looks like a hot chocolate kind of day today. The snow started lightly last week but is coming down in earnest today. Prolly 10cm on the way. Too bad there’s not more logs to keep me warm. Quieter around here without turbo-alf.
    asciilifeform: Believe or not, I am doing something useful.

    mircea_popescu: #somethinguseful
    pete_dushenski: While useful conversations happen in channel, i have little doubt that shiva* would be more productive if he weren’t reading and reposting yarvin, bbc, el reg, or whatever ‘sekoority’ bloggers. it’s really not hard for anyone to imagine.

    mircea_popescu: tu quoque.
    pete_dushenski: in degrees!
    pete_dushenski wonders what planet he is living on where he is as useful to republic as alf

    Turns out that there still exists no such planet. But you knew that already.

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    *shiva = alf = asciilifeform = Stanislav Datskovskiy = the most gifted engineer in the IRC Channel Formerly Known As The Republic and also the only one in the WoT who even came close to having the intellectual resources and wealth of historical knowledge to go toe-to-toe with MP with any regularity. By some estimation, Stan’s lack of real-world experience and relatively sheltered upbringing ultimately led to the thread between the two worlds unravelling. Successfully retired gangsters who are also multi-multi-multi-billionaire bdsm-fixated savants are exactly as “reasonable” as you’d think if you grew up in a latter-day-shtetl-of-the-mind. It’s actually a bit incredible that MP tolerated alf’s inability to schedule for as long as he did. Wat do ? My humblest of suggestions is to keep alf the hell away from recipe-following tasks altogether and aimed at recipe-making tasks wherever possible. This doesn’t bode well for alf’s continued involvement in the BBISP/Pizarro enterprise, which is recipe-following, but I wouldn’t bet against the experiment succeeding in one shape or form even at that. I’m just not particularly inclined to bet on it either. []

  7. Is it a coincidence that, shortly after MP returned back to the land where he retired for the first time, Costa Rica, he’s now (semi-?)retiring again ? There was that bit about the land never forgetting… maybe CR just invites retirees. []
  8. And yes, there’s an “us” here, lest you think I’m removing myself from responsibility for this failure of the Republic. However meagre the prospects of a fambly-oriented (ie. unfit dissident) blogger/investor ever were, which probably wasn’t much if we’re honest, I didn’t throw it all away to die for the cause either, nor did I really do much at all that wasn’t on my own terms (ie. in the wrong way), which basically meant that I indulged in some light propaganda and some TRB tickling and some of the same pooh-pooh’ing of pantsuits. But we laid all that out two years ago (has it been that long?).

    Do I regret the modesty of my efforts ? Well, no, because I’m not one for regrets, but this whole experiment did emphasise the frequently underestimated power of meatspace against the limited cohesive abilities of this decentralised digital future of ours, at least to your humble author. []

  9. See Mothers and fathers. []
  10. I personally found myself dazed, confused, and on the wrong end of MP’s management style on two memorable occasions. As you’d expect, neither was particularly pleasant but at least the latter experience set me straight, even if the former just discouraged me from entering into anything more than purely transactional arrangements with the big guy. Sometimes you just have to admit that you’re not good enough, y’know ? []