ȘȈǤƝȘ 95: An Edifying Death

The Funeral of Shelley (1889) by Louis Edouard Fournier. In 1822, the poet died in a shipwreck. From left to right, that's Trelawney, Leigh Hunt, and Lord Byron.

Welcome to Signs of Life, our periodic roundup edition sharing the best ideas, art, code, and events from the Other Life community on Urbit and beyond. If someone sent you this, subscribe for yourself here. 

Nota bene 1: We just announced cohort #3 of the René Girard Course with Geoff Shullenberger, starting March 20. If you'd like an email when enrollment opens, download the 18-page study guide.

Nota bene 2: Brandon Van Dyck has volunteered to host a 2-hour writing session every weekday morning for the next 3 weeks in the community. I strongly recommend if you're trying to get your habits/output up; totally open and free to members, just RSVP in the events channel.

Reading of the Week

I haven't fully absorbed Nick Land's recent theological arc, but his recent piece for Compact goes a certain way toward clarifying it:

"Prophecy is rigorously inter-translatable with time-travel, which means it is essentially implausible. If prophecy ever occurs, at all, the way of things cannot be as it seems. What prophecy then says, primarily, is almost entirely independent of its message. Whether there is prophecy means more than anything it might say. So, is there prophecy? To settle this question, and any others of comparable gravity, falls not to us, but to Solemn Providence. It is here, exactly, that we are divided from our enemies. Sacred destiny stands upon one side, sovereign politics upon the other...

Whether and how the Bible—the Authorized King James Version of 1611, and only that—is believed, or disbelieved, and in either case how, is downstream of its canonicity. It should, regardless, as all those who are with us must accept, be taught, prior to any interpretation. On this point, the fundamentalist case is impeccable. What the Bible says does not depend upon what it means, but only the inverse. Its cultural authority, or canonicity, is solely grounded in the former, and not the latter. It is not even seriously shaken by being entirely disbelieved. What needs to be believed will be believed, when needed...

Sublime intelligence has established the 1611 Bible as the keystone of the English canon, so that through it signs and wonders will be manifested. This is the core and irreducible prophecy, outside of which our people have no future. Peoples without veneration for their angels are done."

(It's paywalled so support Compact to read the whole text. Compact shares a lot of DNA with Other Life—Geoff, Nina, Emmet Penney, others too I'm sure—so I'd like to see them do well!)

A Few Links

Realm now works on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Realm is the premier desktop client for Urbit communities. I'm biased because I'm working with them, but I'm guessing that Realm will be the primary home for the Other Life community within a year from now. Try it now.

Kickstarter: Delicious Tacos Film. Delicious Tacos is an anonymous and independently-published fiction author who's sold more than 20,000 books. The Director, Asher Penn, you may remember from episode #211 of the podcast. If you're a patron of the arts, you know what to do. These are hard-working stars of the counter-institutional art scene, I see no execution risk with these guys.

Wiktoria walked so Sydney could run. "In 1990, 1st election in Poland after fall of USSR, a group of artists ran an avatar called Wiktoria Cukt for president. 'Best candidate for the information age because she is information; her political program is a computer program.' Her slogan was 'Politicians are useless.'"

The Youtube algorithm does not radicalize. "We created 14 personas—each with their own watch history exclusive to a political niche—to see how YT tailors recommendations... The home page is 'bubbly' for users who are already watching within a content niche, but it's not a radicalization pipeline. Our personas saw on average 34% recommendations toward their own category, but were rarely introduced to new channels within their bubble."

This Week in Other Life

🎧 Oscar Wilde and J.R.R. Tolkien with Paul Fortunato. Oscar Wilde and Tolkien used consumer culture to create works of art. In this podcast, we try to draw some lessons from their lives. I'm joined by Paul Fortunato, an English professor, member of Opus Dei, and author of a book on Oscar Wilde.🎧 YouTube Radicalization is a Myth with Mark Ledwich. It's widely believed the YouTube algorithm radicalizes viewers but Mark's research puts this theory to rest. Mark is an excellent independent researcher and OG of the Other Life community.Satisfice Money, Maximize Freedom. On the fine art of serious play.

The Great Flaw in West Coast Thought. Rationalism has made its bed; now it's time to sleep in it.


Classical Rhetoric Leadership Retreat in Rome. "Participants are going to see the city, and learn the fundamentals of classical rhetoric from two experts in the theory who are also practitioner-entrepreneurs."What makes you trust? "For me it is a certain feeling rather than argument or reason.. Even the most iron-clad argument I've heard can still leave me with that gut feeling of doubt..."Writing to think happens horizontally. Reading is vertical. "So the text you wrote in the process of doing your thinking is not the text that is suited for the reader, even if that reader is someone like you."On the topic of "Science Cannot Be Our God. "Some of you expressed interest in my writing project, "Science Cannot Be Our God" from my intro post. I was watching Adam Curtis tonight and wrote this..."

Our Little Dark Age. "How can a swarm of Urbit Hilux’s maintain imperceptibility?" By ~sicrul-naprys in the Urbit group.

Nothing Forever. "Behind the screens of our computers we laugh at how ridiculous it is, as we pick up our iphone alerting us that it’s time to feed; our DoorDash has arrived." By ~davnyl-dorreg in the Urbit group.

The Meaning of Life. "Being repurposed, whether for the sake of removal or to act in a different function, shouldn't feel like jerking off while eating a black forest cake from the grocery store. It should feel like enlightenment." By ~bintus-ragret in the Urbit group.

Cannabis Research is the fertile Field in which DeSci can grow in. "The majority of current DeSci work is in the trad pharmaceutical sphere, and I argue that DeSci shouldn't go directly against the massive institutions right away but start with a fertile envelope of opportunity using jurisdictional arbitrage." By ~ripnyt-ripnyt in the Urbit group.

"Many men on the point of an edifying death would be furious if they were suddenly restored to health." —Pavese

Xue Jiye

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