A Theory of Pervasive Error

by Zack_M_Davis 1 min read26th Nov 20196 comments

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(Content warning: politics. Read with caution, as always.)

Curtis Yarvin, a computer programmer perhaps most famous as the principal author of the Urbit decentralized server platform, expounds on a theory of how false beliefs can persist in Society, in a work of what the English philosopher N. Land characterizes as "political epistemology". Yarvin argues that the Darwinian "marketplace of ideas" in liberal democracies selects for æsthetic appeal as well as truth: in particular, the æsthetics of ambition and loyalty grant a selective advantage in memetic competition to ideas that align with state power, resulting in a potentially severe distortionary effect on Society's collective epistemology despite the lack of a centralized censor. Watch for the shout-out to Effective Altruism! (November 2019, ~8000 words)