The Dauntless Rook OST (Disc 1)

The Dauntless Rook

Oeric Adair

Legerdemain (Drake’s Theme; Piano Arr.)

Volfsige

The Ironworks (Sibranth I)

Master Of The Ironworks (Sibranth II)

Suzerainty (Avarr’s Theme)

The Lord Paramount’s Court

Judgment of Iron (Sibranth III)

Legerdemain (Drake’s Theme; Chamber Arr.)

All tracks composed by Kaiter Enless.

Suzerainty (Avarr’s Theme – Remastered Arr.)

Composed by Kaiter Enless.


All music published to the site may be downloaded by our patrons from our music archive.


 

The Silence & The Howl OST (Disc 1)

1 – Time-Eaters

2 – Harmon

3 – Harmon’s Daydream

4 – Blood For Butterflies (Lynder’s Theme)

5 – Theatrum Mundi

6 – Partridge Manor

 

 

Leaving Ogygia

Bounding the steep acclivities which seethed 
Upon the deep, some remnants of his raft— 
Spars and their fastenings—withheld the sea 
From closing upon the man its watery folds. 
Beyond the spiring waves, the heavens shook 
With thunder. A towering wave advanced 
Over the dreadful aspect of the ocean, 
Aspiring to conceal the heavens, 
And toppled upon him, dashing the man 
From what remained of his raft, spreading far 
The spars over the rush. Yet did he grasp 
And mount a final portion, as though to ride 
The un-stabled canter of the waves to shore. 
Then a livid light convulsed the air and water 
With ruin, and in his heart the man at last 
Relented. Doffing the garments 
Calypso had woven, he offered 
Himself to the mercy of the untamable 
And welling sea, and dove. 

The Inevitability of Technocentrism

The term “technocentrism” refers to a value systems that places a exceedingly high premium upon technology (in some variants, to the extent that it is second only to survival itself) and continuous technological development. The first thing to say about technocentrism is that the ideology is implicit or explicit in nearly every facet of modern industrialized society (primarily in Western and East Asian societies), the second is that it is rarely questioned and when it is the value system is generally questioned almost exclusively by obscenely anti-humanistic philosophers. The Norwegian philosopher Lars Svendsen (who I do not necessarily lump into the anti-human camp but who, below, certainly sounds like it) writes of the subject that:

Anthropocentrism gave rise to boredom and when anthropocentrism was replaced by technocentrism boredom became even more profound.

This is precisely the kind of boring, unspecific nonsense that one might expect of anonymous online neo-Luddites who brashly decry the evils of technology even as their ill-kept fingernails scamper like harried lambs across their keyboards, yet one does not expect it from a well published and erudite university professor (least I didn’t). Anthropocentrism – defined as the philosophy that mankind should place supreme importance upon himself and his own existence and continuation (above say, supernatural entities or animals and plants, ect.) – certainly gave rise to technocentrism – though not tech itself, obviously – but technocentrism itself has not given the world over to boredom, for after all, does the robotics engineer who labors half his life to program a walking, talking robot of potent and utilitarian application look upon his creation with listless vacuity? Do those who behold it? No. This is merely a excuse for snobbish, obscurantist anti-humanists to launch into a tirade about how mankind’s “reach exceeds his grasp,” a maneuver which is generally more to do with social status signally (“Lo, I decry man’s endless hubris because I am not near so foolhardy, I am a learned man of letters who has transcended all such earthly slag and material fixations in pursuit of far loftier goals. Also – please buy my book and donate to my Patreon and be sure to give me a like and subscribe and… you know it would be really great if you could scratch out a little Amazon review. K. Thanks.”) or some other such nonsense. For it is not to be thought that this is untrue, man’s reach does indeed exceed his grasp, the tragedy of the thing is that he has no choice but to reach. In point of fact, he never did.

What I mean by this is that, regardless of the potential risk posed by relentless technological innovation (one thinks instantly of the atom bomb, grey goo and AI drones), so long as mankind’s view of himself is anthropocentric he cannot help but also be technocentric as well. Why? Because of his fellow man. This is not meant as a value judgement but merely the axiomatic observation that so long as there is a tribe of peoples whom think of themselves as such that is surrounded by other tribes, there will always be other tribes who, in totality or partiality, seek to exploit or subsume their neighbors. There is a saying popularized by the British sci-fi author, Arthur C. Clarke that: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Against eldritch powers mere mortals haven’t the faintest chance.

The question one should pose is not whether or not we (the US, that is those of us who want, as yet the US to continue, albeit in highly modified form, to be) should be technocentric (our ultimate survival as a species depends upon it for we shall not reign over the earth forever as a matter of thermodynamic principle) but rather in what way we are to be technocentric. That is to say yes and no and maybe but probably not to certain technologies, to say, just because we can does not in any way mean that we should. That should itself should be predicated upon our survival and continued expansion as opposed to the quaint Natural State of the Luddite or the Peace on Earth of the protestant-turned-greenpeace. Anything else is a pitiful bowing down before the cosmos which, like man himself, is a thing to be conquered even as it is venerated.

Məhshinēk Horryr, Prt.2

To the machine, performative contradiction is anathema. Theoretical contradiction is nonexistent. 

-Məhshinēk Horryr, Prt.1

The Scourge of Neo-Luddism

In our previous installment we looked into the pervasive aversion to The Machine and ventured into the labyrinth of the intentionalizing instinct, that primal inclination to attribute agency (and often malevolence) to the inanimate (rocks, bushes, machines) which lies at the root of it (your chances of survival increase dramatically if one jumps at every rustling bush since occasionally there may be more than the wind moving it). Doubtless we have all heard someone say, “The internet is making people [X].” If you haven’t as of yet rest assured that at some point in time you will. Whether [X] is a negative or a positive attribution one is here saying the internet is forcing a individual or individuals into a particular set of behaviors. This makes no sense at all, the internet cannot force anyone to do anything anymore than a gun can force someone to shoot it. Both are machines. Both are oft attributed agency where none exists. The internet can no more will a thing to be anymore than can a gun or a stapler. What is really occurring when one utilizes the internet and finds one’s behavior altered is that one is merely adapting to the internet in a particular fashion. To say, “The internet is making me lazy,” may indeed sound convincing enough but what made you use the internet in the first place? Certainly not the internet itself. Impulse drove one to use it and impulse, reaction, drives one to continue doing so, whether that impulsive and instinctual set of chain reactions leads one to utilize the web for  largely positive or negative or mixed ends will, as with everything, end up being constrained to the biological makeup of the individual using it.

Consciously or not, this move (internet agency attribution) is one which absolves oneself of agency in near totality (that is to say, to think outside of and beyond genetic propensities – to think in realms of pure fate, designs without cause). The Machine then becomes conceptualized as a agent who functions counter to it’s silver-screen cliche  – whereas Hollywood machines are oft lumbering or digitally deft and invasive monstrosities of twisted, malicious steel – the machine here is a scapegoat for personal failing. For the hedonist, the machine, in this particular conceptual matrix, is not a villain but a savior. A comfortable scapegoat whose woolly backside offers a bounty of inter-personal reprieve. This brings up a interesting question: Why does the fear of The Machine, run so deeply if in most situations the end result is merely a waste of time, a trivial annoyance? The answer is that machines as we have known them have never actually been cognizant agents able to operate in the world by their own designs. There has never been properly thinking and self aware machines, that is to say, AI or Artificial Intelligence. Thus why, as we covered in the first installment, the fictional conceptions which have become icons of both horror and science fiction are so often just that. Whether it is 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s Hal 9000, Eagle Eye’s ARIIA (Autonomous Reconnaissance Intelligence Integration Analyst) or Prometheus’  sinister and charming human facsimile, David.

Rather than being mere representations of the intentional instinct these characters are possessed of their own. They have agency. Will. Designs and desires. That is to say, they are not machines, or, at least, not simply just. The first fear entailed here is – in stark contrast to a fear that something like the information superhighway is “making” some nebulous “us” do X – is that artificial intelligence will, due to it’s inherently superior informational processing capabilities and virus-like ability to recursively self-replicate; the first AI has 1 million times the computational powers of a average human, let us say, it creates a new AI which has twice that computational information processing capacity and so on and so forth. If this happens to be be the case (as seems likely) AI’s would swiftly overtake human-kind as the Earth’s supreme apex predator (or they would at least have the capacity to earn that title, though this is far from certain) as humanity is either reduced to nothing more than chattel (as depicted in The Matrix) or utterly annihilated (as happens in one of the timeline eventualities of The Terminator). This fear is one which is felt up and down the social hierarchy, popper and priest alike shudder at the thought (even if they are simultaneously elated as well, as far as end times scenarios go it is one of the “cooler” ones).

For example, the tech maverick and founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk has referred to the eventuality of AI creation as “Summoning the demon” whilst the diet supplement merchant and boisterous founder of InfoWars, Alex Jones, has stated, “Death to all robots!” in response to a public exhibition of Hanson Robotic’s newest product, a human facsimile named Sophia (whom David Hanson, the founder and CEO of the tech company, claims is already, to a very limited degree, self-aware, though this is nearly impossible, objectively, to quantify – my assumption is that this is untrue and is merely a PR move due to the seemingly scripted nature of most of the “android” Sophia’s public appearances). The philosopher and neuroscientist, Sam Harris, echoed Musk’s sentiments in a 2016 TED talk concerning AI wherein he stated that, “We are creating a god. Now would be a good time to make sure that it’s a god we can live with.”

The anxiety concerning AI, however, does not confine itself merely to fears of violent planetary takeover and human overthrow but also to more mundane quandary economic usurpation. Job replacement. Western workers have for years and years voiced their concern surrounding automation. The most stark example of the this technophobic attitude is the Neo-Luddites, a revivalist movement of the 1811’s anti-machinist movement (who opposed weaving looms not because they detested the machines themselves but the replacement of the jobs they represented). The Neo-Luddites first appeared around 90s with the publication of the Neo-Luddite Manifesto penned by “ecopsychologist” and anti-technologist, Chellis Glendinning. Glendinning’s manifesto, much like what we can call mainstream Neo-Luddism, protested almost all new and potent forms of technology and decried the atomizing and exploitative effects (on both peoples and lands) of the world capitalist industrial hegemony. This philosophy is predicated upon several pillars which are long overdue for hewing down. First and foremost is the absurdist idea that there is a “natural state” of man, this is quintessentially Rousseauian notion. The idea that collective Man no longer existed in “his natural state” and had become perverted and malformed from his separation from “the natural” was also a notion upheld by none other than that most supreme devotee to Rousseau , Maximilian Robespierre, one of the principal sources of The Terror during the French Revolution. The idea that man had a specific “natural state” which was far removed from technological invention and industrialism is not incorrect because it happened to be adopted by Robespierre but it is worthwhile to not the personality types who seem most drawn to such notions, that is to say, extreme ideologues for whom the “pure” and transcendent” oft trumps decency and the sanctity of life itself. But the natural state idea is still wrong to its core in every conceivable way. Consider a beavers dam. This is not something which would “naturally” occur unless a beaver built it but a beaver is a “natural” creature. One sees the parallels instantly. The beaver’s dam is no different in how it was brought about than any industrial factory or house crafted by human hands. Certainly, in terms of scale, the dam is generally dwarfed, but both a human house and a beaver’s dam were created by cognizant agents and would not have occurred otherwise and yet no one ever refers to the dam as “unnatural” and yet many would have no hesitation in calling a industrial factory a perversion of nature. If the natural world is all there is that is amenable to our sense perception (and a good deal of things which are not) then there is no need even for the word itself. The problem is reflected in how the idea of the supernatural is so wholly self defeating. If the supernatural is that which is beyond nature (that is to say, other or extra-dimensional or beyond our notion of space-time) then it would not be, in anyway, amenable to our perception and if it is not amenable to our collective perceptions by definition then there is simply no reason to refer to anything as supernatural which can be perceived within the natural order because, again, by definition, if it were truly supernatural said supernatural entity would not be in the natural world to begin with. The natural state of man position of the neo-ludds is then hopelessly flawed from the start.

A secondary problem with the neo-ludds is the wholly negatory tenor of their rank-and-file. They are not one’s who create but only seek to destroy, they do uphold an ideal but merely seek to take apart others which they encounter that have more demonstrable potency in the real world. Much like the anti-tribe crowd who I wrote about in my previous article, The Opposition Identity of the Anti-Tribe the neo-ludd is constantly mewling and whinging about “the singularity” or the way in which “computers are making people isolated and degenerate, lazy and stupid.” It is not that these are not valid concerns to hold and questions to raise (they certainly are, for the price for machines which think may well be men who do not), but rather that their solution is… what? Destroy all electrical grids and live in some neo-feudal dystopian agrarian waste? Yes, let us get rid ourselves of all of our guns and computers and railways and electrical equipment and refrigeration units and life-support systems and throw on some grass skirts and live in mud huts like those “noble savages” of old. One might as well shoot oneself in the head! Consider the fact that the destruction of the US powergrid would literally send us back in time and cause a total social collapse into grim and filth ridden anarchism. Everyone in hospital life support would die. Water would stop flowing. There would be no more lights, no more GPS – cars would smash into each other on the free way and various individuals would no longer have any idea where they were going given the rarity of paper maps – toilets and sewer pumps would cease working causing massive sanitation problems, paper money would cease being of any worth and all markets would collapse and all the social hierarchies which were built up by them. Not to mention that nearly the entire defense system of the USA would be rendered powerless which would then leave the empire open to attacks from hostile foreign powers in a way as yet unprecedented in the countries history. It would be the end of the USA as we know it and as it was known.

All technologies are extensions of our phenotype, of us, of our will. They are not some foreign and alien thing which has slithered in and corrupted the fabric of society and in any given situation where a prevalent or prospective technology has caused perceived irreparable “harm” (porn, TV, nuclear weapons, dirty bombs, nano-tech “grey goo” ecophagy, repressive runaway A.I. systems, ect.) the “harm” is often poorly defined – there is almost always a trade-off, speaking in terms of instinctual biological drives, those being the primal desires for sex, propagation and the power to secure a means to the two former eventualities. That is really at the root of the luddistic problem, they themselves cannot adequately articulate the problem itself. They fail to realize that everything is an arms-race, there was a golden age, a good ole fashioned time when “things were simple” and people were pure and just worked the land in wholesome contentment unvarnished by capital or machines and all the hideous detritus they brought with them. Well cast your blinded and bleary eyes out upon all those “noble savages” who still as yet live in a state of archaic agrarianism, the cannablistic Arawak and the ritualistic Maya, the shamanistic Yanomami and the self-isolating Sentinelese of the Isle of North Sentinel – where are they now and where will they go? The answer to the first question is that almost without exception all of these tribes have been conquered and subjugated, those who have as yet not been assimilated into a prominent industrialized nation (such as the Sentinelese) maintain their independence and security only due to the good graces of their neighbors. Due to a lack of industrialization, general technological innovation, immunization to foreign diseases and so on, these indigenous tribes are placed in a exceedingly fragile position against every other modern civilization. They generally number some couple hundred a village and possess nothing to defend themselves but wooden bows and wooden arrows, sometimes tipped with poison, sometimes not and clubs and, on occasion, the odd knife or sword. Against a small band of US military troops any one of these secluded peoples would be utterly decimated. Against bulletproof flak jackets, night-vision googles, hundreds of years of tactical war planning, training and advanced ballistics technologies primitive stick and stone weaponry would be rendered utterly useless. This is not to say that such a eventuality is likely or indeed to be hoped for, it would be a grave and depressing slaughter-bench, but it is to say that the neo-luddistic instinct would foster a inability for their own survival comparable to the aforementioned indigenous peoples, many of whom will not exist 200-1000 years from now, some of them will vanish from histories great loom even sooner. Survival is the greatest metric across all periods of time because there are no other heuristics for human success without it. Even in those instances where a given individual of a particular tribe finds it prudent to sacrifice himself for the good of his folk the whole of the aim is to ensure the survival of a set group of individuals. The neo-luddite then, in their paranoiac and misplaced terror of the machinic ends up adopting a thanotropic drive to purity over survival which accounts in many ways for why they are so few and far between.

Hieroglyphic Ire and Monolithic Representation

The internet’s propensity for time-compression fosters a sense of palpable immediacy. One no longer wants things soon, or, quickly, but now. As such the desire for a suitably curt response is fed into a matrix of intensifying entropy. As information processing capabilities increase so does the corresponding speed at which the information being processed can be transmitted; as the speed of the information being transmitted increases so does the speed of the responses to said information. A brief example of the phenomenon of systemic informational entropy can be seen in generative language fragmentation; one breaks up the lengthy pronunciations and de-syllableizes the words to reach for the core meaning the better to more quickly to communicate. Thus, in place of the affirmational text, “Okay,” one substitutes merely, “k,” precisely because k is more economical and is also understood to be representative of okay, which is itself a colloquial shorthand for “alright,” “very good,” “very fine,” or “that is fine.”

This principal is, perhaps, pushed to its limits by online “meme” pushers. The obnoxious and inherently baleful variety include such examples as the right-libertarian’s Helicopter Pilot For Pinochet rigmarole (a typically half-ironic proclamation of the intent or desire to liquidate communists) as well as the more broadly established right-meme of Communists Aren’t Ppl. Then there is the ubiquitous “reee” image of a crab-man wailing, a encapsulation of “autism.” Then there is the ludicrously absurdist “Flying Spaghetti Monster” (which looks exactly like it sounds) oft employed by progressive atheists in a effort to mock the deity (or deities, depending upon your theological persuasion) of the Abrahamic faiths. Then there is the “tips fedora” gif or jpeg, a image of a fat, ungainly man with messy facial stubble smugly tipping a trilby (which isn’t a fedora but a different type of hat altogether, by the way) which is utilized as a counter-punch by the faithful to rebuke the irreligious or materialistic.

neckbeard
Popular derisionary picture circulated by religious traditionalists, typically of a venomous and baneful variety
FedoraVsTrilby
The “tips fedora” man is actually wearing a tribly – which is similar to saying “tips cowboy hat” when one is actually wearing a bowler.

What all of these popular hieroglyphic representations of ire share in common is their propensity to reduce every single facet of, not just a individual’s, but of a entire coherent group’s attributes to one linear, mono-singular character trait. Therefore when one is posting the “tips fedora” man what one is really doing is saying that the targeted individual is both a member of a particular irreligious group and that he shares a projection of their imagined traits. It, of course, is very rarely a accurate representation, anymore than the Flying Spaghetti Monster accurately represents the views of the faithful.

e7b4083035a3263f5f6377ce7cb6b576--funny-videos-funny-memes
A priest, a rabbi and a imam are greeted by a peculiar surprise at the gates of heaven.

Of course, such memetic derisionary tactics are not meant to actually foster a dialogue they are merely meant to spit venom, merely a digital placeholder for “you’re a fool,” or, “fuck you, idiot.” Therefore a discussion of the hieroglyphics of ire with anyone who is not actually interested in fostering and reciprocating a dialogue is completely pointless because the purveyors thereof have ceased to retain any semblance of individuation and have instead subsumed themselves into a pure machinic process. They are not really the generative force behind such messages (given that popular memes are typically created by but a single individual and are then passed around and around until they fall into obscurity ) but rather only a envoy of another’s message. They are purely mouthpieces carrying around the word’s and ideas of others without any capacity to realize that their “social” signaling – in maximizing speed and recognition – utterly sacrifices any depth or breadth of communication. The response to any naysaying regarding such aforementioned hieroglyphs is always met with “its just a joke” but this is obviously not true, especially in any case where no one is laughing.

There is a pervasive assumption that because the majority of a user-base upon any given platform acts in a certain way (usually absurdly and crudely) that the whole of the purpose of the platform is just that. Therefore if people are curt and strangely sadistic on Twitter, that is the whole of the purpose of the platform. If people are coddling and emotionally fragile on Tumblr then that is the whole purpose of the platform. And so on and so forth. Of course this is absurd, indeed, patently false, and it is false precisely because the individuals who operate and utilize these platforms do not control them. They might declare their rights (and they always have ever so many – an obnoxious cornucopia) but they have no ability at all to enforce these “rights” they are largely at the mercy of the operators who own the monopolistic companies that control the sites (which is precisely why so many individuals are now clangorously raising their voices to declare them public utilities and have them regulated as such). So when someone tells another that X site is just for lulz (which is just a excuse for juvenescent and puerile behavior, a catharsis for mundane repression with which they cannot properly contend) that may well be their aim but it is not necessarily others. It is certainly not mine, as I much prefer conversation to digital, imagistic vomit.