[ExI] Apocalypse Codex (Was: Religions)

Charlie Stross charlie.stross at gmail.com
Mon Oct 1 20:51:43 UTC 2012

On 1 Oct 2012, at 21:27, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> If I may guess, what really irked the critics was the "There’s a certain point beyond which any sufficiently extreme Calvinist sect becomes semiotically indistinguishable from the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh.", right? Or was it that you didn't represent the American Powers That Be as nice?

It was mostly the former. People get really uncomfortable when you examine the semiotics of their belief system and compare it to some other belief system that they've been trained to disapprove of. 

(That's why I'm a bit of a singularity skeptic these days, BTW: the structure of the belief system, especially in the Kurzweilian mode, bears resemblances to millenarian apocalyptic christianity that make me deeply uneasy. Hence, ahem, a certain collaboration with Cory Doctorow.)

> Incidentally, while I am in fanboy mode, I should report that it was the paragraph on Brains' security clearance in The Atrocity Archives that gave me a proper rationale to come out of the closet. It made complete sense.

IIRC it actually happened, in the 1970s, at the NSA. They concluded that the nature of a security risk lies in the potential for blackmail, so as long as their staff were willing to be out of the closet about being furries, gay, whatever, it was okay. What *wasn't* okay was keeping secrets because you could be blackmailed ...)

-- Charlie

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