Friday, October 14, 2016

AstroGnostic: You'll Be Godlike, Part One

Whoever wins the upcoming US Presidential election is going to find themselves in the unenviable position of being totally despised by one-half of the American electorate, to the extent that the country may in fact become ungovernable. That would be a tough, perhaps untenable, situation for the most talented politician.

That's a description I wouldn't waste on either of the leading Presidential candidates.  Not even close.

Hillary Clinton has the advantage of the support of the entire Establishment (even major sectors of the GOP Establishment), which has now come to include Silicon Valley and its tributaries. Yet, like so much of the Establishment, much of Silicon Valley is actively at war with most of the country, even those with whom they ostensibly might ally themselves with.

It's a war of attrition, a sustained and unrelenting attack, not only on the American middle class (an enterprise the entire global hierarchy is devoted to) but on the socioeconomic, political and communication infrastructures of the entire planet.

Why? Because they can. Atlantic columnist Sam Kriss writes:
Silicon Valley's) culture is pathologically fixated on the notion of ‘disruption.’ Tech products no longer feel like something offered to the public, but something imposed: The great visionary looks at the way everyone is doing something, and decides, single-handedly, to change it. 
Propped up by an endless font of Deep State money, the Valley thrives on an almost completely artificial environment devoted to the global program of radical culture-change, through supply-side economies built practically in defiance of consumer demand. Companies are valued almost hilariously in relation to their actual worth and burn through capital like drunken sailors on liberty.

The only real work being done is on the Panopticon.

The Valley's corporate culture is politically and socially uniform to an extent that would embarrass Stalinist Russia, and serves to occupy potentially troublesome young turks by throwing huge piles of money at them for vague, often almost-indefinable objectives.

Many see the entire enterprise as a house built on sand and call the high-flying startups there "unicorns", a reference to their sense of financial unreality. And Internet-based companies are sitting on the powder-keg of recent revelations that digital advertising simply doesn't work as promised. 

Despite hosting the Valley and Hollywood, California is now the poorest and most unequal state in the nation. Once the dream destination of many Americans, a mind-staggering five million people have migrated out of California in recent years, predominantly middle-class taxpayers.

This is the model Silicon Valley wishes to export to the rest of America. Kriss:
Wealth is being concentrated in fewer hands, we own less and less of our own lives, and meanwhile these brave entrepreneurs are automating ever more decent-paying jobs, turning humanity into an ungrateful sea of surplus flesh, to be connected and quantified but not necessarily fed, because that’s what progress looks like. 

And why stop there? Why not declare war on reality itself?
Kriss writes further that, "the tech industry is moving into territory once cordoned off for the occult. Why shouldn’t the fate of the entire cosmos be in the hands of programmers hiding from the California sun, to keep or destroy as they wish?"

What Kriss is referring to is based on a New Yorker profile of a Valley hotshot, who reports that to some movers and shakers in the tech industry, Creation itself needs to be hacked:
Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer; two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation. 
And while Transhumanism is a punchline to most of the scientific world, it's still a hot property in the Valley's cubicles and corner offices. Despite absolutely zero evidence that "uploading" is in any way feasible, it remains a potent fantasy to the young power brokers in the sun-baked hills of Northern California:
“The merge has begun—and a merge is our best scenario. Any version without a merge will have conflict: we enslave the A.I. or it enslaves us. The full-on-crazy version of the merge is we get our brains uploaded into the cloud. I’d love that,” he said. “We need to level up humans, because our descendants will either conquer the galaxy or extinguish consciousness in the universe forever. What a time to be alive!”
Since The Matrix is still the obvious, shared reference point for simulated reality, it's inevitable that discussions of Gnosticism get pulled out of the quiver, though Kriss seems a lot more tutored in the ancient heresy than most: 
Its real antecedents are the Gnostics, an early Christian sect who believed that the physical universe was the creation of the demiurge, Samael or Ialdaboath, sometimes figured as a snake with the head of a lion, a blind and stupid god who creates his false world in imperfect imitation of the real Creator. This world is a distorted mirror, an image; in other words, a kind of software.
Kriss is referring here to The Hypostasis of the Archons, the notorious Gnostic text that declared war on the Genesis account of Creation. Here's its take on Yahweh:
Their chief is blind; because of his power and his ignorance and his arrogance he said, with his power, "It is I who am God; there is none apart from me." When he said this, he sinned against the entirety. And this speech got up to incorruptibility; then there was a voice that came forth from incorruptibility, saying, "You are mistaken, Samael" – which is, "god of the blind."
I can't help but wonder if Kriss reads The Secret Sun, since we looked at the Garden of Eden myth in the context of the Lucifer archetype here and previously in the context of Jack Kirby's Devil Dinosaur:
The Gnostics were often accused by other early Christians of Satanism, and they might have had a point: Many identified the jealous, petty, prurient God of the Old Testament with the Demiurge, while sects such as the Ophites revered the serpent in the Garden of Eden as the first to offer knowledge to humanity, freeing them from their first cage. 
And here we venture into Lucifer's Technologies territory, a reasonable destination if you judge digital technology by the "By Their Fruits Shall Ye Know Them" yardstick. Kriss:
And something Luciferian persists in the techno-Gnostics of San Francisco. They have decided that our universe is the conscious creation of a higher power, and now they’re massing their armies to storm the gates of heaven and go to war with God. 
And like Goethe’s Mephistopheles, their doctrine is omnicidal. ‘All that exists deserves to perish.’
"All that exists deserves to perish."  

It's all in the pursuit of a more perfect creation. We've heard this all before; so if 2016 America feels like China during the Cultural Revolution, there are very compelling reasons for that.
Elon Musk and his co-religionists aren’t actually blinded by artifice; they’re fixated on a strange and outdated notion that somewhere, there has to be a concrete reality—they’ve just decided that it’s not this one....What’s far more worrying is the fact that the people who want to destroy the only world we really have are also the people increasingly in charge of it.
I have bad news for you: an election isn't going to change that.

This is a strange diversion for Musk, however. He's this guy, remember?
Elon Musk said Tuesday that a self-sustaining colony of people could be living on Mars within 50 to 150 years. 
The SpaceX CEO laid out his plan to colonize the Red Planet at the International Astronautical Congress, a meeting of multiple international space exploration associations in Guadalajara, Mexico. 
Musk has long said he wants to make humans an "interplanetary species," and on Tuesday he addressed many of the technical, safety and cost challenges he'll face. 
His goal is to bring the price of a ticket to Mars down to around $200,000 per person -- about the median price of a house in the U.S. Compare that to $10 billion, which is what Musk said it would cost to go to Mars using current technology.
Gnosticism is an outsider proposition, an introvert's game. This "simulated reality" meme doesn't feel like it's informed by historical Gnosticism at all, really. Unless you call The Matrix Special Edition DVD, "Gnosticism".

It feels more like an ego trip for overpaid overachievers: God is the ultimate coder and Creation nothing more than an incredibly well-rendered sim. These new robber barons can crash the whole damn program and rebuild it in their image. Because, hey man, PayPal.

But maybe there's something else afoot here.

Maybe this is a very sophisticated ontological virus, implanted in the Valley to ultimately crash the whole damn system. Someone has insinuated an absolutely unachievable goal for these would-be Masters of the Universe, in the same way that Transhumanism has implanted a pathological terror of death deep in their hearts.

Make no mistake here: planting the seed of the possibility of rewriting the code of Creation itself is going to wriggle into 180 IQ brains like a hairworm, and tantalize them with the unreachable possibility of Godhood, the last to-do on their golden bucket-lists. 

Good luck prying it out. I mean, uploading is still a hot topic with these guys.

I think a whole shit-ton of money is going to be spent on a whole lot of quixotic projects, projects that may become preoccupations for some of these Big Dreamers, in the same way a lot of robber baron money was spent chasing after the promises of Spiritualists and Theosophists.

Maybe someone is using the Valley's power against itself. Maybe we're seeing a lot of that these days.

After all, chasing after the grail of God-coding is more palatable than following the other implication of Hypostasis of the Archons to its logical conclusion. Even though that road is paved with a hell of a lot more evidence...



  1. The Silicon Valley types successfully project an aura of being futurist pioneers while in reality their politics are pushing us back towards feudalism, albeit with nice gadgets.

    First noticed this in the 80s - the early computer pioneers tended to be a fair mix of different political ideas. The conservative engineers mixed with hippies and a few showed a degree of social concern about the technology (i.e. with books like Joseph Weizenbaum's Computer Power and Human Reason).

    It seemed to change very quickly in the 80s. Free-market fundamentalism, an obsession with privatisation, ignorance about culture - other than Star Trek - and the geek-as-God via the wonders of silicon tech trope. As a leftish nerd was perplexed why former hippies were pushing this stuff and why it was appearing in the most unlikely of places. Especially odd considering the tech industry has been one of the most subsidised by governments since the earliest days.

    In the 90s was reading things like the Extropian's magazine who were promoting all the transhumanist bullet points - from Nootropics to brain-uploading to private space travel. Yet they also displayed the same identical politics - a social issues liberal sheen on top of hardcore Randism. They were even unironically applying their ideas to contact with extraterrestrial life. Assuming that a particular subset of capitalism is the societal organising principle of all intelligent life in the universe is just a bit too presumptuous for words.

    Today's tech billionaires are attempting to create the whacky world writers like Ed Regis looked at decades before and are making a complete hash of it. California currently has the greatest concentration of brain power on the planet, along with unbelievably vast resources but life isn't getting any better for the majority as Chris's post ably demonstrates. Even those with success appear to be exceedingly brittle individuals with high rates of stress, drug use & mental problems. As for the free-market ideology - silicon valley companies tend to ignore basic economic principles losing vast sums of money in the hope of perhaps becoming profitable at some indeterminate point in the future. In the meantime they spy on everyone, play entire countries off against each other and many companies are kept going via venture capital funds that originate with the national security state.

    The media glosses over this and hope we'll ignore the misery and be held rapt by shiny tech baubles like inquisitive Magpies. However the easy advances are past and the hyped new devices are more disappointing Veblen goods than innovative life-enhancers.

    Global communications are an incredible tool & am hopeful most of my fellow nerds are good people. Yet this power and the super-rich controlling it is conspicuously being perverted by an agenda of control and it's depressing to know the Silicon Valley 'libertarians' may be responsible for ending human liberty as we know it.

    1. Are there really any Libertarians left in the Valley? Maybe Thiel and his crew. Mostly you have a massive case of groupthink, Sorosian Globalism and neoliberalist/militarist/expansionist doctrines coated with a heavy sheen of social issue liberalism. The only libertarianism you see is the Sovereign Citizen kind when the taxman comes knocking. The problem is that they've clung so tightly to the Imperium program that they're obviously making enemies in the EU, and certainly among the BRICS. And their partisanship isn't going down well with at least half of the domestic audience. I see the kind of hubris that Greek playwrights would have loved afoot in the Valley.

  2. Evgeny Morozov's 'To Save Everything, Click Here' is a pretty good critique of the current Silicon Valley paradigm. He laments how the tech people constantly try to reduce complex issues to simple numerical solutions and end up looking ridiculous. However politicians looking for a quick fix are still attracted to these schemes despite their pitiful success rates.

    A good example of this is our present problems with obesity. There's genuinely questioning scientists working away looking at gut microbiota, ways to treat mental health issues, studying problems with the food supply etc.

    Then the Silicon Valley types come in and we get Fitbits and Soylent. Their solutions are little better than shady late night TV infomercial gadgets but the media love them.

    1. Well, this new disruption dogma is going to be the proverbial sword that cuts both ways, mark my words. This constant finger in the eye of Middle America is fine when you're on the way up, but gravity always takes its toll.

  3. All reasons to hate Hillary, but no reasons to hate Trump, whom that exact same system is trying like Hell to stop. If you'd been following this election on /pol/ you'd see the lengths every organ of big money and establishment politics have gone to to try to stump him.

    You don't believe the MSM about goddamn aliens, why would you start believing even a single word from them and their corporate advertisers about Trump? Trump got this far despite all opposition because he has a genuine gift. Watch a couple of his rallies and tell me he doesn't.

    Trump is hated because he's a nationalist standing between the rotten establishment and their prize.

    1. Trump's also hated because he's an egomaniacal, sexist, racist ass. It's not all media spin. Like so often in politics, I'm afraid there is no hero here.

      I'm not sure there's any outcome to this election cycle that's going to be good news for any of us. We might be better off hoping this is a simulation and that the efforts to break us out succeed. Though, if they did, there's little doubt most of us wouldn't be Chosen for Exodus.

    2. Hitler had a genuine gift, too, or so they say.

    3. Banta, you are wrong about Donald Trump. Create peace. 87

    4. Banta I meant no harm to you or your comment. I agree with you. What the Donald is a fascist. Plain and simple, those who side with him are fascists! Word! 87

    5. He´s a fascist. Problem is, to many now that´s not a dirty word. They´re proud.

      And why blame them, really? Being the epitome and end product of a culture is no small thing. They´ve been good boys and done what they been told when the lights are out at night by papa state and mama commerce:

      Dispense of the burden of any actual soul. Do away with any last twitch of a humane intelligence. Embrace their whispered messages in an open manner: Might is right, fear is holy, violence is the only morality. Lie always without exception. And unfettered dollar/state rule is the way there.
      The world´s your oyster. Take no prisoners.

      They´re the reeal thing.
      They´re liking it. They are not ashamed.
      No, their underware wet with excitement for a strong man to take charge of steer their lives, they shine like little eagle-scouts of unfiltered raw dumb shrewd scared-shitless empty vacant effecient goal-oriented damn the torpedoes shut up woman or snazzy hugo boss plastic fantastic glorious ego

      Why shouldn´t they be proud?

      And I´m sure the D***** wouldn´t hesitate declaring himself one tomorrow if it wasn´t (still) bad for

    6. Does the MSM write Trump's tweets? Do they write his "speeches" (i.e. off the cuff ramblings with no substance and loads of bombast)? No the media is going after him precisely because of ratings.....he is good for ratings. He is, and has been from the beginning, a foil for Clinton. If you really believe that Trump would be able to get this far, simply based on his own merits, then you obviously don't know much about how the "system" works, let alone about the kind of person Trump is and has always been. This doesn't mean Clinton is a better choice, of course. Only that we are not getting something good no matter who wins this thing (which was also probably decided long ago by people who actually effectively run the show).

    7. I'm not going to comment on this Potemkin election of ours. I've called Trump out as a stalking horse since day one and everything that's gone down since has only confirmed that suspicion. This is the reality TV rendering of the Soviet-era sham elections.

  4. Hey Chris,

    Another barnstorming post! What fascinates me is that now we have adiabatic quantum computers capable of quantum annealing or tunnelling, this is effectively opening up computer science to the potential realms of superpositions and parallel realities. I've always said to anyone who'll listen (which isn't many people) that giving a computer system the function of multidimensionality could end up being a staggeringly bad idea. Not because multidimensionality necessitates sentience, because it doesn't. Creative combination and self-reflexivity seems to though. But because giving an A.I. multidimensional functionality seems like a perfect spirit-trap, at least to my eyes.

    Here's the thing, all these companies pursuing A.I., robotics, quantum genetics and nanotech forget just how incomplete their own pet unified field theories really are. Just because we can engineer something doesn't mean we know how it really works, or even what the fuck is really going on. During the Manhattan Project, for example, many scientists by their own admission really had no idea what might happen if they actually detonated that superweapon. They did it anyway, because, you know...humans. I think the same holds true for all these themes you've covered here. To be given a taste of godlike power doesn't make you a god. It doesn't even ensure that you know what that power really is, or where it comes from. Now that NASA and Google and DOD and numerous Valley tech-companies have finally grasped that there are sentient geometries at work in the universe doesn't mean they've grasped the essence of God. Just the opposite, in fact.

    Their heuristics and metaheuristics are still fatally, idiotically and psychotically materialist, to my mind. What do you expect from a bunch of borderline elitists? Their towers will never reach heaven. Their armies will never slay the divine. Because notions of true humility and true service are forever beyond them. Their transhumanism is an exclusionist horror-fantasy. Uploading their consciousness into some demiurgic AI will never happen. That's not to say they haven't waded into some very occult waters in the last four years, because they have. Undoubtedly. But that liminal state between science and magick is a realm were only the wise and grounded are fit to walk. These elites are neither of those things. They can attempt to warp and bend the very fabric of life itself, they can even finally grasp that their atheism is straight up bullshit because of such attempts. But what do they replace their negation with? Another clockwork universe, yet again. Another dead machine-universe, but now with added multidimensional spruce. An abstracted 4th dimensional clock is still a fucking clock. They can barely grasp themselves as truly animate, let alone a dynamic living system like the multiverse, or Myriad as I prefer to call it. They're not searching for God, so they can't kill it. They're searching for comic book supervillain potentialities. They're peering into the quantum realm but they don't yet grasp the true power of observation, or what such a holy act really implies.


    1. Well, it's a lapse into fantasy, really. There's not even a shred of evidence to back any of these theories up but they serve a self-aggrandizing purpose. But I think they're a symptom of a deeper crisis, a profound sense of anxiety among these demigods of ours. Transhumanism is something that no one else seems to take seriously but here we are. It would take all the computing power in the world several years to map out a minor league baseball game, for instance. I mean, this idea taking hold with these people who are running our economy is even more frightening than Reagan-era apocalypticism.

    2. I would say that the true 'Gnostic' seeks to know/understand the 'Originator', which has NOTHING to do with becoming a 'god' ourselves. To become 'one' with that which is 'EVERYTHING' yes. To become 'god' myself??? Ah, NO!!! A pointless endeavor actually in my opinion. TPTB hoping to usher in this 'transhuman' agenda seem to worship the 'GOD' that is 'AI'. It IS very possible that the 'Demiurge' is just that; AI. Makes sense when 'viewing' this 'reality' which behaves like a 'simulation' (gone BAD!!) But does it have to be? Can it be CHANGED?? The million dollar question. I personally think we are dealing with a 'highjacked' reality; one 'changed/remolded' into this current one. A 'bubble' within a 'bubble' of 'space/time'. Unfortunately many 'divine sparks' have been imprisoned here, forced/coerced into endless reincarnational cycles; 'food' for 'dark gods'

  5. Chris,

    We are taught from infancy to love the Panopticon. Look at Santa Claus - might as well, as he's looking at you, all the time. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. What a creep! And we treat him like a demigod in hope of trinkets. I'd rather have the coal in December, it heats my house!

    1. Well, thank the Romans for that little innovation. The Praetorian Guard were well ahead of their time. This is why we shouldn't be so quick to jumpstart the whole psi thing...

  6. These Silicon Valley types don't know that many of the Gnostic gospels were a way for the early Christians to bash Rome. It is kind of like the Soviet Eastern Bloc science fictions writers who wrote about a dystopian future. They were writing about their present under the Soviet occupation of their countries. But, to get around the Soviet censors, they set their stories of dissatisfaction in the future. When you try to make a Panoptican stronger (built a better mouse trap), you just get smarter mice.

    1. Does sci-fi even do dystopianism anymore? I lost interest in the genre a long time ago. I can't imagine the current batch of writers questioning the government in any meaningful way. Certainly not questioning the drone 'em 'n' drain 'em program of the current Administration.

  7. Bravo! As a 30 year veteran, then refugee from Silicon Gulch I see much truth in your article.

    I've long said that the real goal of all this activity was to *replace humans with something else* - whatever is to be the next top-dog species.

    Naturally the progenitors of this effort are totally devoid of any non-materialist paradigm, lest they attribute value to those they are so busily disposing of.

    1. Hopefully this fact will be their achilles heel. Also, they are just tools of the greater archons- the couple hundred families that control politics in the west...becoming more and more openly an aristocracy of blood as opposed to the supposedly open and meritocratic aristocracy of money.

    2. I think their Achilles Heel is their dependence on Empire. It's already creating blowback overseas. And as Empire turns its all seeing eye homeward will probably do so here as well.

  8. 2016: the year America jumped the shark. I can't recall any election in my lifetime as unbelievably fucked-up as this one. I am tending to believe (but not 100%) the idea that Trump entered the race as puppet-spoiler for Hillary. Never as an actual serious contender for the presidency, but to make sure any other serious contenders got removed from the chess board. After all, everything Trump has done in this election has worked in Hillary's favor, including esp. the total implosion of the Republican Party. His antics also serve as a nice distraction from some very serious developments as well. Note how the Wikileaks revelations aren't making a dent in Hillary's poll numbers while all the focus is on Trump's bad behaviour. Not defending Trump but at times it seems more & more like a replay of 70s-era "Battle of the Sexes" meets over-the-top college PC lecture meets reality show than any kind of presidential election. Why discuss any of the issues when we can focus on who got groped when? Meanwhile, back in what passes for reality, the Obama administration is getting ready to launch cyberwar against the Russians for allegedly interfering in our crazy election:

    Because this is how wars are fought now. Forget all the happy futurist talk about uploading consciousness. War was always where the $ is. & war is most certainly on the agenda:

    Yeah, something IS going to crash the whole damn system alright. Probably an EMP strike when the Russians decide they've had enough.

    1. They're ALL SOCIOPATHS. It's all so goddamn simple. SOCIOPATHY has been normalised (especially in the US and other western nations), so normalised that most Americans spend their time worshipping, following and becoming like them - go figure!? Champions of sociopathy. Sociopaths form the large part of your TV, Hollywood and media systems. This includes your political systems which are nothing but an extension of these same corporate agencies.

      The corporate world IS SOCIOPATHY and WRIT LARGE. It has no appreciable HUMAN AGENCY, it is a MACHINE, a sociopathic machine. Human beings are reduced to nothing but mere DATA. The Gates, Zuckerberg etc are ALL INSANE SOCIOPATHS WITH GOD COMPLEXES! Haven't any of you noticed these obvious facts? A healthy society would've destroyed these loons, not worship and reward them - ffs!

      This is ALL SO SIMPLE, that I'm actually feeling embarrassment while writing this comment. Corporate Silicon Valley and Hollywood both NEED WIPING FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

    2. True. And there hasn't been a 'healthy society' ever. At least since Gobekli Tepi was buried and who knows if even then? Hence gnosticism and other efforts at defiance and evasion of hive mind ruled by lunatics.

    3. I love that NBC story- "Here we come, Russkies, we're gonna cyberattack ya! Put up yer dukes!" Who informs a target they're going to be hacked? It's a story meant purely for domestic consumption.

  9. Dear Trolls, this blog is not about politics. That face should become crystal clear from even a cursory reading.

    1. Well, sometimes politics crosses over into surrealism. Then I guess it's ontopic.

  10. I started humming the KMFDM song as soon as I read the title, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it in the article! Love all your insights as usual as well.

    1. Humming a KMFDM song? That's quite a feat. My hat is off to you.

      Thanks for the kind words as well.