The FTX crypto scandal has unmasked the hypocrisy that drives our “philanthropic” elites
Another fantastic paper!
I use to believe that we were heading to some kind of future that would be a mixture between Minority Report and Mad Max. After the SBF scandal unfolded I'm coming to think I missed Idiocracy in the picture. And Brazil (silly me)...
Excellent read Joe Allen especially after watching Smart Cities last night!! You always scare me though you always enlighten me and assist in pealing off scales.
Wow, Joe. My head is spinning. I keep thinking that 'Nerds on the Spectrum' would be a good title for a book.
Yes, I agree with Swabbie Robbie, this is an excellent piece. Worth reading and thinking through again and again. The intellectual "elites" are hardly that. They are gullible and stupid and believe their own self-flattering rhetoric. Because their "ideas" are essentially unintelligible, they pass themselves off a "sophisticated" do-gooders instead of the "cracked pots" that they really are.
Phenomenal Newsletter. There is a lot to study and think about here before I would comment on anything except to say This is your best work yet!
OK, one quip re Bostrom: You want omelettes? Better not use cracked pots!
We are controlled via language, and all language is functional, which brings me to my point—I never refer to these predatory parasites as “elite”, as “El” is the name of an ancient god. I’ll let you figure out who fawns over that one. So, in my mind, we are giving these predators power over us by qualifying them as little gods or demigods.
As our smart parents of the past used to wisely tell us, “Watch your language!”
I have a lot of not-nice things to say about EA and its followers, but this bit strikes me as worth special contempt:
"A few years back, William MacAskill argued “To truly end animal suffering, the most ethical choice is to kill wild predators (especially Cecil the lion).”
The very idea of *ecology* has escaped these world-historical geniuses. What's a functioning ecosystem when you can emote your incontinence for academic journals and well-off dilettantes?
What shoddy set of elites we've inherited. I want a refund.
This is a great piece. Anyone who wants to see a representative parade of the most twisted ideas in current circulation among the “thinking class” could do much worse than to read this article.
What’s worse is that effective altruism and longtermism aren’t even new ideas—they are just old ideas dressed up in new clothes, taken to their obscene extremes.
Longtermism recalls that old Greek proverb about society growing great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. But the “new” version of this ignores the cost of the inputs to an extreme.
Effective Altruism sounds like a mutated form of the sociological “Big Man” concept observed by sociologists in simpler societies. Try on this excerpt from “The Collapse of Complex Societies” by Joseph Tainter and see if anything sounds vaguely familiar:
“Leaders, where they exist, are constrained from exercising authority, amassing wealth, or acquiring excessive prestige. Where there are differences in control of economic resources these must be exercised generously…Personal political ambition is either restrained from expression, or channeled to fulfill a public good. The route to an elevated social position is to acquire a surplus of subsistence resources, and to distribute these in such a way that one establishes prestige in the community, and creates a following and a faction…”
Notice what has been twisted here. The “leaders” still get to exercise authority, amass wealth, and acquire excessive privilege. The only thing left is the distribution of the surplus, but even then, the “leaders” always somehow get to keep most of their surplus.
I might note in passing that this is, I believe, a core concept of what the WEF is striving for in its “Great Reset.” They agree with the future described in the Club of Rome’s “The Limits to Growth”, and intend to implement its recommendations, but with an important difference: they get to keep their wealth and privilege, while the “more equal and just world” will come into being by having the rest of humanity make all the sacrifice, becoming their servants, and ultimately, their lab rats.
Another excellent read by Allen. As I am reading this piece, I am thinking that we are reaping the weeds sown by the Enlightenment. Transhumanism appears be Enlightenment philosophy taken to the extreme in that we can know and control all things through human reason, as we progress toward a transhumanistic utopia of the 'perfect life.' However, as history shows, human reason errs more often than not and paradoxically often creates more human suffering in an attempt to avoid it. It's a fools errand to believe this trend will change. The sooner we recognize the limits of human rationality, the better off we'll be.
Oh yes, good run down. This EA thing is so cringey it boggles the mind. I wrote about its philosophical errors a few months ago, but I didn't know then how far the insanity goes with these people. See here:: https://luctalks.substack.com/p/effective-altruism-cringe-alarm
Excellent piece, Joe, as usual. C.S. Lewis predicted all of this in his book, "The Abolition of Man". At only 81 pages, it is considered his masterpiece work of non-fiction. The exact moment when Man thinks his has Nature conquered, he has in fact, been conquered by Her. It may as well have been the prequel to the as-yet-to-be-written authoritative book on The Singularity. Perhaps, you would endeavor to write such a book?
Hey Joe, I think you covered all of the bases. Too bad the elites forget that when we don't have disappointment, physical pain or torment then how would one know goodness, miracle healing or freedom from tyrants? Like the freedom we may one day have from those freaks known as mindless elites. All the money in the world will not save them from their own stupidity...pray for
Technology is the means. This is an excellent 'layman's terms', practical action blog: Parents and Concerned Citizens Against 5G. https://parentsandconcernedcitizensagainst5g.wordpress.com/ . We urgently need to be taking every action possible. Bless you, Joe Allen, for your erudite and eloquent action.
When I was a teenager and being an avid reader of science fiction stories, had no way to foresee the future so derailed by a trans-humanism controlled by lunatics and brainless money-makers. If we add the developments in the military-industrial complex there is no escape from a horrible future... everything looks so pathetic that not even the extraterrestrials want to contact us...
Sounds like MacAskill, et al., are arguing in favor for their own extinction 🤷🏼♀️
Gotta fly, over my cuckoo's nest....they'e coming to take me away ho ho he hee ha haa...