The 'Moloch' Thread

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Papus79
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The 'Moloch' Thread

Post by Papus79 »

I looked around and I haven't seen anything here to date on Moloch (at least in the modern Allen Ginsberg / Slate Star Codex / GameB context) so I thought I'd pin it up.

A link to the Slate Star Codex article:
https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/30/m ... on-moloch/

The core of what's being discussed here is the concept of multipolar traps. Multipolar traps include defection incentives but really describe a dynamic where if people start defecting in a certain area it then becomes an existential issue for those competing in the same area where if that other actor can get away with defection, or at least get away with it long enough to obtain an unfair advantage for having defected, their choice is either defect themselves, go out of business, or in more severe scenarios be enslaved or die.

Moloch is then a way of describing defection space or the geometry of toxic incentives leading to multipolar traps and zero-sum / negative-sum games.

Seeing Liv Boeree make her rounds in different places in the last month (Stoa, Lex Fridman, etc.) got me thinking about it again. On one hand I'm really glad they've got a celebrity exponent who both has applied competence with high-stakes competition as a world-class poker player but also has the intellectual chops to then speak directly to both the causes and what the solution space might look like.

It won't surprise me too much if this whole thing is new to a lot of people, I've been consuming a lot of GameB material and long-form podcasts (especially when I see Daniel Schmachtenberger getting interviewed in various places). IMHO it's a concept that does need to go mainstream because I think it really has a big Girardian component, ie. that like scapegoating it works best when people don't have the language for it and/or when people full stop don't realize that it's a thing and they may very well act on it but it's purely subconscious without having any 'nameable' point of reference.
Sunlight as the best disinfectant is a double-edged sword often because it leaves out whose paying attention and why but in some cases I think there are dynamics where the bulk of the problem is that people swim in it all day long without a cohesive grasp and consequently a lot of it happens below their own moral radar (a great example is when anonymity prevents one from seeing visceral effects of harm, like someone robbing BTC/ETH wallets online).
People aren't fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, we're fundamentally trying to survive. It's the environment and culture which tells us what that's going to be.
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Oliver Krieger
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What a great poem

Post by Oliver Krieger »

Where does defection start ? From a political distance, it starts with people realizing, that they are about to enter something they experience or know to be morally and existentially false, or dangerous, but from whence such a consciousness ? Since it it takes more than just a feeling of incongruence.

German conscientious objectors of the year 2022 cite the realization, they'd be expected to fight Russia, as main reason for their rejecting the military service.

From the perspective of somebody with a military, not militarist family background, but lacking parents who were soldiers themselves, i understand conscientious objection of truly have become a matter of not wanting to be the family scapegoat, that is, the one from the group who has got to do it for sake of all of its members. I also understand that education is a critical influence, which means, given the soldierly education, including the devolution of familial responsibilities, duties, powers, and concepts from the above of elder generations, there would be less of a question of whether or whether not do it, of feeling like being the scapegoat for the job at the front already within ones family.

But, since demilitarization, social criticizm, automatization of warfare, decolonization, to name a few, all served and serve to make families less militarist, and independent from militarist virtues, there is, from the perspective of the traditionalist, fearing to be forsaken and left without anyone to grab the gun and fight for the cause of everybody, no cure available.

The dawn of the war-robot is the redemption of the soldier.
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Papus79
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Re: The 'Moloch' Thread

Post by Papus79 »

Daniel Schmachtenberger on Stoa (6/12/2020), Converting Moloch from Sith to Jedi:
Liv Boeree, again on Stoa (9/12/2022), giving more exegesis on Moloch and means to manage it:
People aren't fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, we're fundamentally trying to survive. It's the environment and culture which tells us what that's going to be.
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