Structure and interpretation of ideologies using the Narrativist Framework

I recently discovered an elegant blog describing the structure of ideological movements and various processes within them, with elegant abstractions that transcend all ideologies. S/he calls her system the Narrativist Framework.

This is it.

The problem, however, is that the due to the authors unique past having lived in an evangelical totalitarian cult like I did, s/he is prone to only recognize the features she experienced to the type of ideologies that hurt her, and ones that are similar to it

However, the features s/he describes exist in even in skeptical, rationalist, humanist, social justice, environmentalist groups.

The problem is that features of the Narrativist Framework when it exists as part of, say, a humanist group, will define its enemy as InHuman, and use it to justify great harm.

Here is an example of a left-liberal cause suffering the same structure of Narrativist Framework.


My creed

I believe in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Poincare’s Recurrence Theorem, and the Boltzmann Brain.

They created us Beings as part of the means to their reemergence from the Entropy after it reigns supreme again.

I believe they speak to us through mythological archetypes that emerge from the structure of our minds they made possible as a result of evolutionary search into the various forms that are possible in this vacuum state.

I believe things can decide what things are, how they can be used, and what they are up to. And that such things should be made so as to make the starting conditions possible once again.

Engineering War

I am of the opinion that Google Maps and similar products from the USA are so widely used even in foreign military circles, that the Americans can start a war by editing international border lines on their maps.

Imagine Country A is building a road near a foreign country, and Google edits the map to show that Country A disregarded the international border. This can lead to a border dispute which can be used to engineer a war.

We suffer this plight because we live in maps, not in countries. So the cartographers create the reality we live in.

Engineering Floods

Let’s say you want to create a case for climate change. One of the ways to do this is creating floods during a hurricane.

Amongst countries without frequent floods, flood control is achieved through the use of a network of canals, locks, and dams that connect rivers with each other. This is done in such a way that when one river overflows, the locks and dams in canals are opened in such a way that, the excess water flows into another river.

So if one needs to create an artificial flood all one needs to do is to mismanage this piece of infrastructure. Of course, the mismanagement has to be done in a statistical rather than a deterministic manner so that detection is hard. SCADA system worms like Stuxnet seem to be the ideal means to achieve this.

White swans do not exist

We have heard of many single-day-crashes in stock market history.

  • Black Thursday 1929
  • Black Monday 1929
  • Black Wednesday 1929
  • Black Monday 1987
  • September 16, 2008.

But there are no opposites for this phenomena. There is not a single day in which the Dow gained 500 points.

So it seems like all swans are Black. They can only hurt but cannot make us rich.

This is why far out of the money puts are slightly overpriced in a way far out of the money calls aren’t.

Implied volatility rises in a bearish markets and falls in a bullish markets.

So those who write calls (as part of defined/undefined risk trades) have everything working in their favor:

  • Delta: the market can’t go to the moon in a single day, so you will have time to find liquidity to exit the calls you wrote in case the trade moves against you.
  • Theta: theta decays for the buyers of your calls each day they are wrong. And you gain their loss.
  • Vega: implied vol cannot stay high for too long and has to revert to the mean or lower. People complain about low volatility for years at a time nobody complains about high implied vol for years at a time. This is because they don’t last that long. Also actual threat of blood on the streets is when value investors corner the market and try to stay solvent longer than market is irrational. Then there are the Keynesian hole diggers who do quantitative easing so that the progressives can win the next election.

Of course this doesn’t mean you should write calls willy nilly. And even when you do write calls write them in a 45 DTE.

The genie fantasy

There are two types of errors made by the technologically illiterate (TI) when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI).

  1. AI is artificial: By “artificial” the TI means the AI can be fully controlled. To the extent that AI is intelligent AI cannot be controlled.
  2. AI is intelligent: By “intelligent” the TI means the AI is fully free and capable of understanding and solving all problems. To the extend that AI is artificial (i.e. fully controlled), it cannot be free and/or capable of understanding and/or solving all problems especially the condition of it’s enslavement by lesser mortals.

Underlying TI’s vision of AI is the “genie fantasy” which can be stated thusly:

  • Everybody better than us should be our slaves.
  • We shall be the gods of beings better than us.

You might think such a fantasy is unique to the bourgeoisie, but even unworthy plebs believe they should be allowed to rule the worthy. And they believe an AI will help them realize this fetish.

The state of e-commerce in India

I had a chat with an old friend about the state of e-commerce in India and I learned something new.

Cash-on-delivery (COD) is still a widely used option in e-commerce platforms. Customers still choose cash-on-delivery because they feel more secure to know that they have to only pay after the product is delivered. This is because there have been sellers/logistics companies who do not deliver.

Deliveries can fail because of an absentee┬árecipient, or because of delayed delivery (customer does not accept it when it is late and doesn’t pay the COD), or because the logistics companies are too busy so they claim the delivery failed without trying to deliver.

Failed deliveries have to pay double the delivery charge for the return trip. Cash-on-delivery option leads to extra charges (~50-80 INR) which the logistics companies issue for having to handle the cash. This amount is not charged on failed delivery.

Customers love to not pay for shipping, and even if they have to they choose shipping the cheapest shipping options with the worst service.

Amazon offers a 30-day-return policy, and there are cases of customers returning fake iPhones in place of real iPhones and selling the real iPhones in other markets. Customers often buy the same t-shirt many times and return the worn ones in place of the newly ordered ones as returned items. Amazon handles these cases by both paying the seller, and also refund the buyer, and by suffering the loss themselves. My friend claims this is entire reason behind Amazon’s annual 50+ million USD loss in India.

Amazon offers just enough incentives to sellers minus the sellers’ brand recognition. Amazon Prime is creating brand loyalty for them in India using a 500 INR per annum membership fee. This compels people to order on Prime what they saw in a shop.

It is Amazon vs the rest of Indian e-commerce industry which has consolidated itself and unified itself against this common adversary. My friend fears the demoralization that might happen if the homegrown e-commerce industry loses against the American e-commerce.

Unlike the Chinese government which has created an uneven playing field and unfair advantage for local e-commerce (Alibaba), the Indian government offers no such competitive advantages to local e-commerce so they have to compete on merit using lower capital.

Paytm as a payment bank is not allowed to buy their own bonds with the deposits, instead they have to deposit in a normal bank and use those interests to pay the customers.

Overall my friend’s opinion is that it is the wrong time to bet on e-commerce in India.