Repulsion (May 2018)

A lot of anxiety about efficacy goes away when you realize that it's more than okay to refrain from something simply because it aesthetically repulses you.

Aesthetics is the best defense against overoptimization.

"Late capitalism" has become a bogeyman as of late, but most valid critiques of it are critiques of the danger and toxicity of a dynamic that relentlessly pushes people and institutions to overoptimize.

Like doctors before the advent of modern sanitary practices, self-help gurus have a tendency to make people physically ill.

Religion was a way of staving off quacks through tasteful praxis. But you don't need to believe in God to act against narcissism.

Aesthetic acts are ultimately religious acts. Praxis fills a void that otherwise leads to self-cannibalizing instrumentalism. To act according to taste is to build gods who will protect you from toxic idolatry.

They don't need your overt belief; they're more tahn happy to help you if you work to summon them into existence.

The narcissist optimizes relentlessly, hoping to immortalize his machinic membrane.

Narcissism == systemicity for its own sake. Prediction and control devoid of life and left with nowhere else to go but fetishism, jolts of excitation to keep efficacy running.

If so many of them are bigots, it's not from any kind of traditionalism, but a contempt for that which can't be controlled.

It is not the irrational to be feared, but the cybernetic; not computers, not technology, but the invasive species of equilibrium.