Drinking Soylent With The Last Of The California War Boys

There are doubtless a ton of hot takes about Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart’s recent detailed statement about his current lifestyle and philosophy.  Everyone’s done jokes about Soylent, including me, so we’ll leave that to the side.  One summation of his new statement would be that he’s living the classic 80s cyberpunk lifestyle – living off a single solar panel and a butane burner, wearing clothes made by subsistence-wage workers in China that he throws away when they get dirty, and writing long, confused philosophical screeds that probably largely make sense only in his head.  It would be both pointless and cruel to go after every single example of choplogic and error.  All that should be taken from his statement is that he treats humanity in much the same way he treats food — as something “rotting.”  The guy’s going to be found living in an old bath in Oakland in five years, and we should only feel pity and concern for his well-being.

Seasteading’s been and gone for the second (third?) time, the secession and Six-State-California guys have been and gone.  It is that time in the cycle where the Libertarian App Future Brothers start living off the grid, buying guns and getting good and weird out there alone in the dark.  I wonder how we’ll look back at this whole period of the last five or ten years.  At how the digital gold rush and the strange pressures of a new, yet accelerated, period of cultural invention cooked a whole new set of mental wounds out of the people swept up in it.  Yes, sure, it gave us sociopaths who prefer humans to be drones and believe that everything is rotting.  But I think, reviewing the era, that we will be sad.  I think we may look back and consider that, one more time, we saw the best minds of our generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves after an Uber that isn’t actually there because Uber fake most of those little cars you see on the Uber app map.

 

READING: UNDERSTANDING ME, Marshall McLuhan  (UK) (US)