Cultural Entropy
The essential idea
I believe there exists some kind of "cultural entropy", which is opposed to "cultural will to power" in the same way that there exists entropy and will on a physical level in every single aspect of the universe, it exists in the human mind like energy and particles dispersing evenly (chaos) individual people are always exerting individual will, if you think of schopenhauer's writing, you know how existing inherently means a constant drive to somehow exert/perpetuate one's existence (called the "will"), even if it's indirectly (+nietzsche writes a lot about how people exert their will through cultural influence, the genealogy of morals etc) Schoppenhauer also writes about how the concept of being individual means that every person, and even every form of life, has a separate will. This separation inevitably creates conflicting interests, as all life wants to exert existence and not all life can coexist (ex; prey wants to live but a predator must also eat the prey to fulfill its will to live) so there's always a struggle in nature.

(this applies to human interactions as well, regardless of how much we may want to care about other people, our individuality means there will be struggles with coexistence to overcome, imagine the example of romeo and juliet, this principle applies to literally everyone in existence at the same time.+If you've watched neon genesis evangelion you might think of the last scene with Kaworu, the show is full of Schopenhauerian themes.)

On a cultural level, people also exist with a neverending instinct to distinguish their own identity. having stronger identity and/or cultural influence makes us feel like we exist more, which satisfies the instinctual will to perpetuate our life
(think of how often a very dedicated artist or scientist will describe a project they care about as being "like a child" to them)

In the will to exert our own existence we require more than to just agree with a bunch of people, we need to create something (different) in order to differentiate "us", even if we're just finding new ways to fit together the same old pieces of culture. But the result is that there can become trends of entropy in culture, every aspect of culture is split up, altered, distorted, and worn down in every possible way until it loses all its energy. Culture is a collection of shared personality, but personality is inherently individual. And in pursuit of existence as individuals, personality is opposed to being shared, therefore...cultural entropy

The Degredation of Culture, and of the things which make it up
No culture or artifact of culture or subculture ever actually gets better over time. Absolutely everything in the world is in a constant process of getting worse, what appears to be a culture getting better is actually the introduction of truly new artifacts of culture, new genes are introduced into the populace of the collective consciousness. A small degree of (good) development upon an origin, if any, is actually part of the creation of the original good (i.e the origin is still in the process of being created), and the reality is that further development simply represents an extension of the host artifact, which is not complete yet. Once the host artifact of culture is complete, it only ages. The development of a cultural origin may be better described as *discovering* it's innate good qualities which were not initially known, as opposed to creating them.*

*for those looking to be optimistic, I think it's possible that the good qualities of a thing are not as finite as they seem, as new cultural contexts are created by *other* new cultural origins, and within these new contexts there may be further development to discover in the old cultural origins

It's just like how people always get older, nobody ever gets younger, instead they are just replaced with new people. (After a certain age, development of the origin is complete, and from that point the desired quality comes not from continued growth but from stability.**) In the same sense culture follows entropy. The quality of goodness only comes from cultural youth. A culture only appears to become better though continuous origination.

**although... Just like culture, the value of life and meaning of existence even as we grow beyond some imagined ideal, beyond our simple origination and progenation, our basic childhood development, is the continuous discovery of the self, something ultimately indistinguishable from the *creation* of the self.

History is the story of cultural entropy. The physical individual feels the necessity to follow the evolutionary instruction of the genome of culture they have created, because humans are cultural animals and we exist within our culture, so in order to exist we must exert culture, an exertion which extends into the physical. Evolving to become complex sentient and social life, humans cannot live on physical existence alone.

People socially and materially invest in the kind of person they are, without even realizing it, until eventually being a different person isn't even a choice, or at least an extremely hard conscious choice. Try to imagine what would be left of your human identity if there were no more algorithms or industrial facades mediating your interaction with the world around you, there would be almost nothing left, for that reason people essentially choose to lose freedom. you stay inside a mental prison you create for yourself because you are incapable of wanting or even imagining that there exists an "outside" to this prison. You become afraid to lose the part of yourself that *IS* the prison.

Unable to realize or unwilling to admit that all our lives have been rebuilt to rely on something which has withered so grotesquely, we sit back as it is kept in this suspended state of rot, rather than destroyed and regrown like everything else in the course of nature and history. Like some cancerous growth on society, we are subconsciously afraid to destroy it because it is now so inseparably part of ourselves.

Every year, the internet just keeps getting better.

it's all so exhausting, the friction is causing society to overheat

Exerpts from my drafts
5/11 i assumed i had written or implied this before but i wanted to say that normal words or phrases (or iconography) becoming ruined or at least distracted by the fact they're forever associated with something is also an aspect of cultural entropy. Like ive implied before; that is especially when it's associated with something that stops you from being able to take it seriously.

(like if a word or phrase is used in the title of a movie, the phrase may be too synonymous with it to ever only invoke itself again / to invoke it's original meaning. as time progresses, everything gains connotations faster than connotations are lost. To be fair all meaning is made of connotations, but the point is that this process is entropic)

(6/23 addition) "it will be a rocky road to recovery from cancer" "woah- just like the ice cream!?"

8/24 Why are they just releasing sequels of everything instead of creating something new? and why do they always have to change it instead of making it the way it was intended and for the audience it was indended for and with the themes it's supposed to have? The reason is that the cultural artifact, usually a movie or game, has already appealed to it's demographic, and already made the money it needs to make with the way it is by appealing to it's own evolutionary niche, but rather than leave it for something new to introduce into culture, the cultural artifact, if it is to continue at all, must undergo entropy at the hands of a media conglomerate to exert the will of the artifact to a new demographic it was not intended for. The artifact has to change because the media company knows it already has an appeal to the old demographic, and needs instead to mutate to spread itself to more audences and mutate to evolve to the change in old demographic and needs to mutate to distinguish itself from it's own old iteration, even when it's old iteration was better. The profit incentive in this case is the catalysit for the will, which seeks to disseminate through culture.

4/29 Not only are people driven to cause cultural entropy by producing garbage for attention, (by filling in the easier niches of attention-getting which are within reach, which require the least effort or skill) they invest in their personality by doing so, and are unable to go back to anything better, they must continue to produce garbage to remain relevant, the garbage must become increasingly subversive upon itself, and the more garbage they produce the less chance they have of changing their public image and undoing their personality or changing what they want to culturally contribute. The time spent blindly filling these niches also means they’ve failed to invest in growing in different directions. You wouldn’t trust someone to make something good after they built their whole personality off of garbage, even if it was good you wouldn’t be able to appreciate it. Think of the the cultural trend following all of celebrity culture, following all art movements, all communities of online creators, just to name a few examples.

“why would someone make this garbage? Why is all this garbage content and garbage culture produced?” Because it gets attention, because there’s a market to consume it. The supply creates the demand, or not exactly demand but more of an acceptance for the supply within the infelxable demand for some kind of cultural consumption. “but why would people give this attention? Why would anyone consume this? Why would this be any part of culture?” Because it is produced, because it is shown to you. People will never stop trying to make something so new that it can’t be ignored, no matter how bad, and every time that happens, you will pay attention, and the cultural entropy will continue. your mind will be a little more destroyed by entropy and you’ll be a little weaker to stop it

Really stop and look at anything you see on the internet, think hard, is it really anything more than cultural sludge? Is it anything more than someone giving in to cultural entropy? (Someone creating anything just to fill a market for unstable attention spans and absent standards? just exerting their voice for no reason other than to claw further into the collective consciousness? Is it ever because it’s something actually good or unique or groundbreaking worth sharing?) and remember to ask, are YOU giving in to cultural entropy by consuming it?

4/20 trying to say things that make sense to stupid people slowly makes you stupider over time. I’ve noticed the effect tumblr has on me and other people #Same thing with appealing to other people’s bad attention spans #Or appealing to people who have irrational emotions #It effects the way you think, this definitely is the case with every social media. maybe this is also related to cultural entropy? (addition 4/28) the scariest part is that you start doing this subconsciously whenever you're exposed to people

the language I want to speak doesn’t exist anymore. It died out along with the world that came before.

7/1 we find people who are the same as so we can talk and share our interests and find new things. but all we will have to communicate is that we are the same. and we will have nothing new to find because we are all only here to find people we are already the same as. in real life there would be some variability between people seeking those similar to them, online we can all find the exact same things and become the same people as eachother and meet only empty variations of ourselves. Only different enough to annoy us and drive us insane. After becoming the same online, we return to real life and again find that we have the same problem, because the people we meet in real life also use the internet and have undergone the same process. On purpouse people will make themselves irritating out of sheer desperation to find individuality, to sever themselves from crowds. It cultivates increasingly fringe borderline personality disorders as people desperately try to disdingush themselves in the same ways. Because even their drives to distinguish individuality are picked up by the algorithm, and so subsumed into new kinds of sameness.

6/21 i dont want people getting their grubby rancid social media brains all over my website and my writing and art. theyre polluting everything with their "thoughts". even just looking at the things ive worked so hard on is a pollution. a ruining of it. theyre touching it with their gross twitter user eyes. fucking freaks. everything they touch gets worse. everything they even tthink about gets worse. their total inability to appreciate things or understand them as they are meant to be means that theyre almost magically reducing how good it is. theyre corrupting it's worth just by perceiving it wrong, it's like quantum physics but with cultural disease

so many of these people in the world are not real sentient humans and should never have been given the language of sentient humans, the ability to express things they won't experience. the ability to consume and change the course of cultures they will not understand. the truest emotions in the world are all being dug up and destroyed by them. its not just mainstream being bad or social media being bad. people are sinking to being lower forms of life. conswumer brained and irony poisoned and shallow, without agency or individual human identity. just reinventing themselves as lower and lower forms of life

if you reach acceptance that means your brain is destroyed

9/17 In haute couture, as in the Cambrian explosion

We see entropy in evolution. A shopehauerian drive to division of the will. a wild drive into the niches that has lost control. Internet users are a lot like these strange outfits and creatures, only with their flavors and expressions of mental disorders instead. In benefiting from rapid evolution, a creature (or culture) becomes vulnerable to the shortening of its own genome, less and less is it encoded within itself not to mutate. An extinction awaits the experimental animals and leviathans of our culture who had so distorted from the forms of reason in a time of uncertain opportunity. But left behind may be gems

With parents you see too, the desire for raising a child is to extend the self, but parents want their child to be an individual. To extend the self, but beyond the self, requires division. Every border implies conflict (both the international and that of the ego barrier). Parents want their child to somehow develop individuality- in conflict with their own desire for the child to be like themselves.

In the biblical story of genesis, the entire creation of humanity, we see this same idea. God has a sense of virtue for which his children are meant to follow, a likeness to himself opposed to ontological evil (to be “un-godly”) but god creates the fruit of knowledge, he creates evil so there can be free will. The children of god are meant to disobey him, and this is how he can love them, they are more than dolls he plays with and controls every action of. In essence the entirety of the Biblical worldview is a question of how we should respond to god’s desire for free will to love. And the biblical worldview as mythos reflects very accurately the reality of how actual parents view their children and the concept of purpose in life -certainly by no coincidence, either we were created in god’s image or his image was created from us, the truth remains the same. The adolescence is the schopenhauerian severing of the umbilical cord, the will of individual life breaks out! A sovereign life escapes from the primordial soup of the ocean!

Doing what is uncomfortable and unreasonable and stupid and tasteless, all just to be free, to be different, alive, to be a real human. The things that are wrong with pubescence are necessary. You might even theorize that sometimes teenagers will intentionally but subconsciously have bad taste just to become independent. Taking the path where they know their parents will not follow. (It's as people grow up- after becoming individuals- that they can refine themselves, so too may be true with culture.) For many cultures a literal path which the parents cannot follow has been a rite of reaching manhood, where a boy must survive in the wild on his own for some period of time.

In many doctrines of east Asian religion (I’m mainly referring to Buddhism but I know at least the Sikhs and maybe even Hindus have something similar) there is an idea not necessarily similar in delivery but somehow containing the same mythologized truth of existence. That there is only one thing in the universe, the god or demiurge or samsara, the single thing develops into these patterns and from this thing are all the emerging complexities from where individuality separates. And as the universe branches into all these things it emerges to observe itself and its own nature and experience itself, but divided into its many parts in the form of sentient life. Whatever we look at is not truly seperate from ourselves, everything is the same self, or rather "god" IS everything, or even yet still if you’re a Sikh it’s both god and the self at the same time. And this is how reincarnation works, not exactly a soul being pulled out of the body, but whatever it is that makes a person, it is returned or reappears again and again through the carnal form (re - in - carnation). The doctrine of these religions is generally asceticism and detachment from the cycle of suffering and desire, but if you wished to appreciate the universe you would embrace your individuality within it, even as it is a source of conflict.

This show made more sense when people didnt talk about it as much. it made sense when it was a widely-kept secret. It's lost meaning.

9/18 ideas make more sense when fewer people understand them. people are nostalgic for what was niche and avant about the past, but these things have lost meaning in becoming so broadly and openly appreciated. it was in the lost cultural moment where they belonged, that they were understood by few, even as they were influential. it's when only the friend groups talked about something rather than the whole internet that it was best understood. when you're in a dialouge of the community the idea makes less sense than when it was first a revelation you had on your own. secrets keep knowledge in culture, in the mystery is the personality

let me rewrite this...

life is better when everything is a well kept secret even as lots of people still know about it. Things make more sense the fewer people understand them. The show you like made more sense before everyone talked about it. it made more sense when it was hard for you to explain in a one-on-one conversation. The things from the past that make the most sense are the things that have remained obscure and least influenced by the present.

We need to "normalize" things people cant understand. Normalize living in a world people don't always understand. Normalize being immersed in a world with things other than understanding. Theres a lack of the dreamlike quality in culture, it might seem like the trend twoards hyperreality would mean increase in the presence of the surreal, but no! Anything in the world that still doesnt make sense is just being subsumed into irony and restrained to being a joke. You need to culturally revive earnestness for things to feel fresh and mysterious and interesting again.

9/20 Nostalgia, foreign culture, people you can’t fully understand. Sometimes you can only see something from the outside.
#When everything’s mysterious that’s what life is really like.
9/21 nummbed by normalcy we dont see what life is really like until we see it, for example, in a foreign country. Where we cant read the signs we start to see the forest for the trees. We become nummbed with routine until it becomes a memory and then once it's not right in front of us to experience, when it's nostalgia we see in a way what it was really like. Nostaliga isn't a dishonest way of seeing, if you do it right it's more real than the present. I think we can learn to see our present the way we see nostalgia and foreign culture through the right art, but it takes effort to do it right, most people exoticize things and romantacize in the wrong ways and dont care to do it right.

Cultural youth, when you're a child everything is mysterious and unfamiliar.

5/26 I'm constantly mourning the loss of something so nameless and vauge and obscure and easily forgotten and thoroughly erased from existence that i have to fight to even prove to myself and others that it once existed. It's an uphill struggle to reveal even a hint of what was lost. This cluster of emotions, some experience, some idea, some all encompassing worldview on its own, some entire way of being, that's gone forever. It's a time and a place that no longer exists. It's a person who can no longer exist, a kind of person who can no longer even be *imagined*. All of these things are so lost that they can't even be imagined.

5/22 the race to have the most special personality has vastly far surpassed the ability of anyone on the internet to actually grow as a person. (later addition) everyone forces themselves to unnaturally mutate their personality just to stand out, but they arent even capable of changing as a person that fast, so they all end up with a persona that is completely imaginary. something to do with jungian persona and ego. I haven't read jung yet but I'll come back to that thought when I do.

8/8 There was a brief time, back when it was quiet, when much of the internet very truly fell in love with something beautiful, with a sort of reverence for all the never before expressed, found, created or shared worlds of thoughts and emotion. But it was too delicate, too easy to ruin, and you could just get so much attention for ruining things. Once something was made fun of, you couldnt go back. It wouldnt sell like the new web sold. Like all of history, it's human nature, people eventually get tired of things being good, someone always does. Cultral entropy took it's course. And even as you tried to save it, to chase that old feeling, that quiet emotion, you could never again drown out the noise of the new internet. The noise is nonstop. In the fabric of reality, everywhere you go the noise is there. It's in your head, nails on a chalkboard, in your eyes like staring at the sun. Nothing ever stops the noise.

Entropy and Ancient texts
5/4 I’m increasingly taking the importance of ancient texts more seriously. It’s really surprising how so much was realized from the beginning and then lost to the complexity of history and the entropy of cultures. What Schopenhauer and Nietzsche wrote in their philosophies was already contained across ancient text and systems of belief, only written with a much more poetic, metaphorical, or spiritual tone, which is easy to misinterpret over time. Much of Ancient Greek philosophy, Gnosticism, hermeticism, the Veda scriptures (other than just their record of symbolic rituals), Jainism/ the original Buddhism (before it accumulated it’s more superstitious and pseudoscientific aspects), the same aspects of meaning are to be found to some extent in the original birth of Abrahamic religion, and many other ancient texts I probably don’t even know about. Intuitively it seems that the progression of culture and of society means that these recent philosophers represent growing millennia of advancement and discovery and factual confirmation, but what is to be found is essentially the uncovering of the universal truths which, on account of their nature, are already discovered far before they can be truly understood, and as such (being the earliest in an overwhelming lineage of writings) their knowledge disappears into history.

A sort of small scale funny example I noticed was how the “rules of the internet” which was first written in 2006, was originally meant as a joking commentary on the internet, which was extremely new to most people at the time. The observations seemed kind of obvious but were not understood or seen as important, it was just seen as a meme. Rule number one was don’t talk about /b/, rule number two was DON'T talk about /b/. And then, ten years later, the 2016 election happened, people talked about /b/ on a national scale, and look what the consequences were in the landscape of social media. The real and digital world collided, and then both were ruined. On the one side real life was no longer real, and on the other there was nothing left to post about, there was no origin for content, there was no dream. Political unrest reached never before seen levels of nastiness, there was cultural stagnation, cultural decay, more people became trapped online as part of their daily life, for many of these new users, getting trapped online began with following the news coverage of/on the internet, in massive part as a result of 4chan's influence specifically. Many of the other serious rules turned out to be not only accurate, but much more important and omnipresent and often subliminal than people could have fully understood at the time.

in this way, the "rules of the internet" list feels a lot like how ancient texts from lost civilizations do.

I think many ancient religions and philosophies fall victim to myth, poetic license and metaphor, where as a result they become taken and is misunderstood and mutated. people, unable to understand what is being said, will attribute genius observations of the forces that exist in the world, and assign a magical understanding to them, because they assume that there is more to what is described than what they perceive in the literal world, how can the confusing texts descibe what happens in the literal world if they fail to see any of it? They rationalize how nonsensical philosophy can be by replacing it with the simpler but more mystical. They cannot understand that these concepts do not describe the literal way of the world in itself, rather than an imaginary hidden spiritual or magical force which is behind and controlling of the world. These magical and spiritual elements are not fictional in origin, they are real but misrepresented and misunderstood until the point where an entire fictional cannon arises. In the most ancient of knowledge there is a literal observation of the world in a lacking language. The magical and spiritual are not beyond or outside of anything, they are the thing itself, it's nature. It is not to be discredited but understood in what it was originally meant to explain.
>6/2 addition. "Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things." — G.K. Chesterton