When the cold, dark, dusty silence starts to settle in

March 18, 2020 by Lucian Mogosanu

It's been more than a couple of days now, so I guess we can safely say this ain't news no mo': The Most Serene Republic is gone; and it so happens that some of the respectable folks previously inhabiting it have started asking and sharing their thoughts1 regarding what comes next. I'll readily confess: two days after the event still seemed to me too early to think about the future; although it's public knowledge by now: these things usually get me thinking and spinning, and then some, only this time they did quite the opposite. No, I didn't start thinking about this until maybe the third day in, the result being the brain-farts that you're just about to consume... you're welcome.

So then, what am I to do now?

In practical terms: I'll be around, tending to the stuff I own (IRC bot(s), code and the likes), responding to the best of my power regarding their functioning and generally trying to make myself useful to those around. I'll be here on the blog, in #spyked and most likely in other IRC channels belonging to the former Lordship2, although given the stuff going on in my life, for now I'll be mostly silent unless otherwise needed.

If I'm instead to look at this from, let's say... a more philosophical perspective, things don't look nearly as plain as stated in the previous paragraph, because... where shall I start, now? Well, let's start with the beginning, or with the end rather: the construction previously known as The Republic has ceased to exist, its top node deciding to put an end to its miserable existence, just like that3. This is all clear as daylight, absolutely nothing to question there from my point of view; but at the same time I hope you're aware of the fact that along with the symbol "The Most Serene Republic", there's a few other very important things that are now gone down the proverbial drain; or rather, as a consequence, there's now a bunch of things missing that were previously essential, and dare I say that not just for "the same thing", but possibly for any like thing at all. At least to my eye4 they're essential, and furthermore, their absence comes with a huge bunch of (for now disorganized) questions and no answers whatsoever. So let's begin somewhere, namely at the "things now missing" in question.

The foremost thing gone, along with the demise of TMSR -- or should I say, the thing missing foremostly now that the Republic is gone -- is a structure of authority. Do you remember that, by the way? no meaning outside of it is possible and the thing in question cannot be predicated on the meaning. So then, let's begin with the most vague question and build from it: what does this lack mean, first and foremost? who will fill this void, if anyone? and if no one, then what kind, sort or type of structure is to replace it? in which ways similar to the previous, and in what ways different? And the line of questioning may continue from here indefinitely; at which point you may object that I'm trying to think about the future by proceeding from something that's dead, which admittedly, sounds a bit weird, but... well, where else am I to start?

Then along with the auctor and the auctoritas, there's a whole pile of political thought -- ideology, philosophy, and what have you -- that remains in an ambiguous relationship with... whatever the next thing is supposed to be. I don't know, perhaps it would be fairer to say that it has no relationship whatsoever? I mean sure, it's all there on the man's blog, go ahead and read it all, study it well and then... what? Are "we" going to go the Apostolic way now? just start reinterpreting the Scriptures, giving birth to Popescuianity, or what's the whole idea? Because I've read the old ones and I know how this kind of thing ends: with a whole new pantsuit post-religion stuck in yet another variation of incantation slash bureaucracy, for the lack of intellectual power to grasp5 these so-called scriptures. If you see something else, some other way to look at it there that I'm missing, then pray do tell, because this one looks fugly and I'll have no part in it.

Perhaps, quite possibly, very probably I'm looking at this from the wrong angle. After all, as long as the people are there, heads on their shoulders and willing to do something worth doing, where's the problem? Which begs the question, then: what is there worth doing? and on what basis do you now establish that some thing is(n't) worth doing6? The Republic died, among many reasons, because that's what happens to living things following a period of stagnation, after it becomes apparent that their development is systematically stunted. Moreover, growth wasn't a purpose unto itself, as much as it may seem this way to the naive eye; no, the Republic's growth was supposed to enable a whole array of items, among which a computing stack, controlled from one end to the other, no more (because what "more", that's the whole of computing) and no less (because "less" is what I already have and it's fucking frustrating, to say the least). I'm not throwing empty words on the virtual paper when I say "I believe(d)" in that or the other: how is the whole of computing going to be stolen from so-called "Imperial" hands and more importantly, assuming this impossible task will have been achieved, how's its new home going to look? Moreover, how's the computer going to look7? Almost four years in, the future looks more along the lines of hoarding whatever useful hardware one can, in expectation of the next aqueduct-like ruinous marvel to be admired by the alien anthropologist; what else do you think is bound to happen once the foundries stop burning? More importantly, where does the dream stop, and when does the time come to admit that I just wasn't smart enough for this shiz?

I bet that from the outside, this philomosophical point of view of mine might look like an overdose of silly nihilism. I assure you that it's anything but that, especially since the questions above have been haunting me for the last few days and are likely going to continue haunting me for a while. So I'll sit here, ruminate, rest, regroup my thoughts and last but not least grieve, because why the fuck not.

Requiescat.

P.S.: If ye olde sun continues to lay its warm rays on these SARS-CoV-2-infested plains -- and by the looks of it, it's not going anywhere -- then I'll hopefully get myself to write more. So stay tuned, or at the very least, here's hoping!


  1. See the very same #ossasepia logs for details. The discussion threads with Trinque starting on the 14th I've found particularly interesting. 

  2. #trinque, #ossasepia, #asciilifeform and so on; they're all linked in Diana, Stan and Eric's loggers. 

  3. It's not the first time I'm living to see this, either. Yes, I'm very well aware, you see, as the song says: "n-am fost acolo" when #bitcoin-assets split from #bitcoin-otc, as I wasn't there during the Kakobreklian split, although for what it's worth I was already reading the logs on a daily basis at that point. I very much was there, however, when he shed Twitter, followed by Fain, along with the Romanian language and then Timisoara -- after starting a party and then burning it down, nonetheless. So perhaps this would explain why, of all things, I'm not surprised; disappointed, of course, first and foremost with myself; sad, verily; but not surprised.

    By the way, did you happen to notice how many orcs are panicking nowadays over some virus or the other? how they're all taken aback by all this, because whaddaya know, nobody could have foreseen, could they? Maybe there's a parallel to be made here: when things collapse, the event -- if, say, you were going to view it as a bunch of variables on a graph -- is easily discretizable, like a freight train running at 150 km/h just hit you out of the fucking blue. So yes, this may have been shocking, but I don't know if you've noticed for example the following bit from two days before:

    mp_en_viaje: on the other hand, it doth offer quite the neat solution to the "wtf are you going to do with that lordship thing THIS time" conundrum.

    and the other, before it, and so on. So no, I'm not surprised at all, what the fuck; God knows I've had my hand in this with my own failures, whose enumeration I'll leave for another time. 

  4. Let's take a moment to contemplate the "I" here exposed. For the record, I've never fancied myself much of a lord since, for one, Lordship entails much more than a mere title, and given what I am, the title alone described at most a potential.

    So wait, what am I then? Well, I'm a man who gets his monthly salary from some corporation or the other while doing this or that other thing he deems useful, meanwhile striving to get (and keep) his brain in working order. Sure, itssomething.jpg, but it's not much, is it? I don't own lands or anything of the sorts, nor do I own a business, while my very limited intellectual realm is no match for say, the dude who created Unix, or the other one, the guy who made the Lisp language. If anything, they were lords in their own right, and my own claim to any actual (as opposed to potential) Lordship, with a capital L, would entail pissing on whatever legacy these dudes have left to the world of computing.

    So then what the fuck was I doing there the whole time? Admittedly, not much, but to answer this more concretely: I answered a call, not because I was totally ready to burn down the world and rebuild it from scratch, but because I believed and I do yet believe in this so-called "Republican ideology", and I honestly wanted to see where this would go. This much I left in my comment on Mircea Popescu's post black on white, didn't I?

    So then the call was answered, the years meanwhile passed and now I'm left with a bunch of failures to examine in earnest. This, I suppose, was long overdue, who knows, this may be what's keeping me from venturing so easily to look at the future? 

  5. The Romanian word that keeps coming to my mind is "a pătrunde", i.e. deeply, completely understand in full clarity every aspect of the thing in question. Only as far as understanding is concerned, you've even no idea how many layers deep most of his writings go.

    And no, neither do I, since you're asking. 

  6. Do you see, by the way, how, when the structure of authority vanishes, along with it goes the meaning, and along with that it becomes so easy to call things their exact opposite?... or whatever. No, I'm not an idiot, I do realize that there's still the entire baggage of the ex-Republic as a guide, but allow me to step outside the dead thing for a moment here.

    So read the above paragraph again and tell me: do you not see the void of meaninglessness lurking by? 

  7. Let's take a step back for a bit. It happens that I put quite a lot of faith in Stan's "sane computer", and I've seen this very idea turn to shit right before my eyes while pursuing it myself. I was disappointed for sure, since I'd naively hoped that going back to the roots of McCarthy's texts and reviewing them would leave a basis for future generations, allowing them to build computers that don't suck balls, or at least not as much as the current crop. But more importantly, that disappointment has helped me outgrow this dream, and bringing this one step further, the Republic's irreversible disappearance is slowly placing me face to face with the prospect of plain impossibility, and not of a "sane" computer, but of any useful computer at all.

    Back when I came out of the shadows, I took an opportunity cost; and just to be clear, I took it willingly, eagerly and with a fully open heart, so no, I don't want to hear you bitching about how I'm bitching that the Republic stole my lost opportunities, this couldn't be further from reality as far as I'm concerned. Having said that, the cost consisted of an entire pile of ancient writings being neglected, a few guitars gathering dust in the attic and a bunch of other things that I'd been manaloning way since the early two thousands; hell, translating Trilema articles has been on my list since forever, only I never considered it much of a priority, at least not until I was certain that this computing problem reached its end one way or another.

    So now looks like a pretty good moment to reevaluate such items: aside from the software that I'm ingurgitating on a daily basis, I also have with me some rusty fingers who've played music for a while on one or three instruments, some knowledge of mathematics, an inclination towards literature and other stuff and things that I should just put on a separate piece of paper one of these days, I don't know what the fuck I'm waiting for. Meanwhile, do let me know if anything there looks interesting to you. 

Filed under: asphalt.
RSS 2.0 feed. Comment. Send trackback.

5 Responses to “When the cold, dark, dusty silence starts to settle in”

  1. #1:
    Mircea Popescu says:

    Noi in anul doua mii...

  2. #2:
    spyked says:

    Mda...

  3. [...] as such doesn't seem to have space for much other than historical interest. I could try to add to the conversation around the end of the Republic, but what can be said other than "In hindsight, it is clear that [...]

  4. [...] Well, let's suspend disbelief for a tad more: one of the problems with such complex-yet-so-easily-discretizable events is that they make it so easy for the average derp to come up with fanciful scenarios, which [...]

  5. [...] is one of the main disadvantages of not having a Res Publica, by the way: that people are no longer expected to publish the shit they own, and that there's a [...]

Leave a Reply