Archive for March 2011
Podcast No. 32 Posted 3/7/2011
Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.10 – 1.10.6
SUB TITLE: Expansion of Terasem
SUMMARY: Terasem’s goal is to expand its principles of positive community networking with rapid yet safe technology growth so as to attract into its network those with high inclination for further fostering such networking and growth, spreading throughout the Cosmos. One key principle, for example is the avoidance of destructive competition. The Terasem Pledge is a purely positive statement of orientation, but there is a benefit of looking at the inversion of it as a map of pitfalls. We will do this, in this podcast, for the most complete interpretation of this group of the Truths of Terasem.
Music – “Earthseed” fades out, as the voice recording begins.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 32 on the Truths of Terasem. Here, we’re going to focus on the expansion of Terasem in the widest sense of that term. The journey starts with the first item, 1.10 “Endogamous offspring such as cyber-communities will grow inside Terasem until the universe is endogenous to Terasem.”
(Linda) That sounds a little scary, like a whale setting out to eat all the plankton in the sea, with the goal of ingesting the whole universe. Am I missing something?
(Fred) I hope so. It struck me the same way, the first time I saw it, but if I’m on the right track a simple example would be like a carbon atom having the goal of attracting as many carbon atoms as possible to join it in forming a network of diamond lace that is everywhere throughout the universe and has been assembled so that the weave of the latticework of the lace makes it impossible to destroy, yet it does not necessarily take
carbon away from other networks; it enables such carbons to link with it in such a way that their freedom to link with other atoms is otherwise not restricted. I know that’s a terribly crude example, but perhaps we can see how this is one step closer to the intent than a whale eating up the entire Cosmos.
(Linda) (dubiously) Sounds tough, to me. But have a shot at it!
(Fred) We’ll start with the first element of this Expansion, 1.10.1 “It only takes one soul, of any vitology, to start a Terasem center of critical consciousness.” This means that the choice to join Terasem is a totally individual one, anyone can do it, no permission is required, and joining only necessitates the tentative recognition of the value of Terasem’s most basic principles and an inclination to see where this leads.
(Linda) That sounds a little better, but I still have some reservations.
(Fred) At this stage, I’d expect that, but let’s continue to look at more of the underlying Elements in this Expansion. The next is 1.10.2 “Nothing can stop the relentless spread of intelligence through the universe.” This is very general, but I’d take it to be just one step up the Extropy ladder from saying that biological life will spring into existence given a very wide range of starting environments, and then has the potential to develop intelligence. Once we reach the intelligence plateau, the possibility of escaping the planet of our origin exists. So long as there are no electric fences out there in the vast reaches of the Universe that we cannot cross, we should be able to spread our own intelligence throughout the Cosmos, and if we encounter others, we must hope that the same principles that we began with in Terasem will be so much like theirs that there will be no difficulty in finding common ground and joining with them.
Now let’s move on to 1.10.3 “Self-replicating systems are the key to wrapping intelligence around the universe.” Well, that sounds pretty reasonable. The foundation of all biological life is self-replicating systems, so becoming intelligent doesn’t change the usefulness of that, except that it might be a good idea to do your replication intelligently.
“Wrapping intelligence around the universe” doesn’t mean “digesting” the universe so that every last atom is incorporated into computronium by conversion. Let’s leave at least some around to keep the stars shining and recycling. By that time, we’ll have a better idea of how to establish the best ‘eco-balance’ of an intelligent universe, than at present. As for those self-conscious species with empathy and ethics, in other words full consciousness by Terasem standards, that don’t choose to join Terasem right away, there can be a standing ‘outreach’ that will slowly but surely offer an option of network interface that will eventually bring about what is implied by the premises and conclusions of this Expansion.
(Linda) In 1.10.4 we find “Instill the principles of Geoethics in all self-replicating systems.” How fundamental is that to the expansion of Terasem throughout the cosmos?
(Fred) I think it’s so fundamental as to be inescapable. I’m wrapping up the final parts of a novel I’ll publish soon titled “BioQuagmire” in which a relatively advanced cyberpersonality culture is approaching a stage that is identified by an extraterrestrial Terasem-like network as “Singularity-2”. Transcending of biology and the emergence of cyberculture is what in BioQuagmire is called Singularity-1, and it has been found to always take place before the probability of a grey-goo disaster is high.
That’s because up to that time, replicators were being churned out in things like little auto manufacturing facilities. That was good, but not nearly so efficient as having the replicators carry all the information they needed for true self-replication, like a primitive bacterium. This is, in BioQuagmire, is treated as being such a critical and revolutionary step that it amounts to virtually creating a new form of life, non-biological in form, and amounts to a further Singularity. It is conceived to be an actual Pandora’s Box, a point where the whole world might blow up in your face, unexpectedly, even if you’re a cyberbeing.
Let me quote a little bit from the draft, and I think it will get the idea across. This is from an excerpt from initial message the extraterrestrial Terasem-like culture has sent to my little group of cyberpersonalities, who are just about to also find out that they are faced with a cosmic disaster of such proportions that only by intervention of the extraterrestials do they to have any chance of surviving it: (quoting from BioQuagmire)
Let us give you a picture of what we do. Based on your estimate of the size of the universe, remarkably close to being right, our culture with the guidance of those at higher levels have surveyed about fifty billion galaxies, nearly one third of the total. That started about 100,000 years ago, real time as measured in physical vs. virtual reality, and our spread has been exponentially explosive since that time.
We’ve found biological life on over 10,000 quadrillion worlds, or ten million trillion if that’s easier to grasp. Almost none were conscious in relating empathetically or ethically within their cultures, or likely to attain that within the next fifty thousand years, real-time. There, we “emulated” life-forms to provide the greatest level of knowledge of how life emerges spontaneously.
The rest of the numbers are not so positive. Nearly one in ten thousand of those that developed replicator nanotechnology had transcended biology, again passing what we call Singularity-1. Pretty good! However, only about one of every ten billion were still alive when our survey reached them. In all other cases we deduced failure at Singularity-2, finding grey goo. In some cases grey goo had evolved to intelligent lifeforms, but never did we find the social characteristics so common in species of biological origin, and so essential to long term societal survival.
Our conclusions from all of this were pretty simple. Just as biological life has a tendency to arise spontaneously within a certain range of natural planetary environments, grey-goo has a tendency to arise spontaneously in virtually every biology-transcendent culture that reaches a certain stage of developing replicator nanotechnology where the replicators are capable of networking to a rudimentary level of consciousness, about the same as army ants on your planet, to make the example simple.
We ourselves had safely passed Singularity-2, but time after time, despite our best efforts, cultures we tried to help went down. Then, we realized why. Both our designs and most of theirs initially had good safety features preventing a grey goo disaster, but they could be reduced to further increase performance. Our culture treated those safety features as sacred, but in cultures we tried to help, they didn’t listen to us and cut corners. Invariably, they destroyed themselves.
Based on this viewpoint, which may have at its root the answer to the questions of “Why is the Universe so quiet?” with respect to evidence of other intelligent species, the idea of “Instill the principles of Geoethics in all self-replicating systems” seems as basic a safety precaution as “Don’t point a handgun at your head and pull the trigger, ever, even if you think you’ve just checked the chamber to make sure it’s empty!”
(Linda) As Paul Muad’Dib said in Dune, “I see the truth of it!” As Ray Kurzweil, Eric Drexler, and so many others involved with nanotechnology have pointed out so clearly, to be effective, nanometer-sized machines need to come in the trillions. The only way to achieve this economically is by letting the machines build themselves. But that requires that they have geoethics built into those little buggers. And, fortunately, that will be possible, as Allen and Wallach have made happily clear in their wonderful book, Moral Machines:
(quote) “There is little evidence that moral decision making in humans follows any formal procedure. …. Most decision making is somewhat messy, drawing on emotions, moral sentiments, intuitions, heuristics in the form of automated responses, rules and duties, and perhaps some explicit valuation of utility or expected outcomes. Future moral agents (artificial intelligence programmed with moral decision making abilities) may consider a broader array of proposals, objections, and supporting evidence than a human agent can, and thereby, perhaps, select a more satisfactory course of action than many humans.” (end quote)
I can tell you that book helped me sleep better at night!
From there, we continue to 1.10.5 “Diversity is the fruit of endogeny in the nursery of Terasem.” Diversity is fundamental to biological evolution, as we know. I think I see a way to expand on that one.
If we have adequately provided for Geoethical Nanotechnology and then move outward into the Cosmos, networking successfully with all other conscious species we find, meaning those with empathy and ethics, that means we have to be virtually unrestricted in our abilities to appreciate and respect all of them, to find value in their own particular histories of passing Singularity-1 and perhaps with our help surviving Singularity-2.
In other words, we absolutely have to avoid the exclusion of others so poisonous to our human culture up to now, like racial, age, gender, ethnic, and many other types of discrimination! Only by embracing every diverse kind consciousness can we hope to fulfill the destiny the Truths of Terasem have envisioned as being possible!
(Fred) Right! Or, I might even say, “Right on!” We wind up this week’s podcast with 1.10.6 “Encourage the formation of Terasem centers of critical consciousness (c-cubes) everywhere.” I love that! It’s a message that we can give everyone. Join Terasem and you are instantly a center of critical consciousness, yourself! The degree to which you expand on that is up to you, but we encourage you to expand on it boundlessly and endlessly, forever. As we said in the last podcast (quoting from it):
In 1.9.5 we find, “Life is not what you are made of but is what you make of it.” If you see the essentiality of empathy and ethics to what Terasem calls consciousness, this enables you to take these two aspects of your life more seriously. If they seem irrelevant to life as you perceive and enjoy it, then that may guide you along a different path, to a different destiny. However, being self-conscious, you are the steering wheel of your life, and the roads you take will determine your destiny to a large extent. In Mike Perry’s Forever for All, he states this as (quote), “Our basic and, in my view, unlimited worth lies not so much in what we are or have been but in what we can become.”
(Linda) Earlier, you said you wanted to take a look at how the Terasem Pledge, looked at upside down, was a map of pitfalls. Do you want to include that? I think we have time!
(Fred) Thanks for reminding me. In the pledge, the first few words are, “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the collective consciousness of Terasem and to the principles for which it stands”. Then, we get to the part I’m going to look at while standing on my head!
They are, “Education persistently, with diversity, unity, and joyful immortality, everywhere.” I’ll make this short and sweet. Turn those last words upside down and you have, “Blind clinging to past ignorance and beliefs, disunity to the point of rejecting everyone outside my religion and in-groups of racists and morally righteous bigots to which I belong, and always rejecting diversity in any way possible, is how I prefer to think. That’s my mindset. My usual mood is that I wish I’d never been born.”
This is like declaring, An antinatilist mentality is the only one that makes sense, so it’s a me-first world and to hell with everyone else. The best thing would be to have never been born in the first place. If we were all able to forgo having children, the misery of the human race would cease to be, within just a few generations, and there would be no chance of this horror spreading beyond the planet Earth, much less throughout the universe.
That’s what you get when you turn Terasem’s pledge upside down. It’s a tragedy that so much of the world tends to tilt more away from the positive viewpoint of Terasem’s, than toward it, but that’s the reality of what we’re up against. Singularity-1 can change that, and then it will take all we can do to pass Singularity-2 safely.
(Linda) Next week, we’re going onto the next section of the Truths of Terasem which cover WHAT is Terasem. We will answer the question: Why is Terasem called a “transreligion”? And we will look deeply into the subjects of immortality, identity migration, and transferring personal identity to a cyber-substrate.
(Fred) To probe further before next week, explore joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net so you can be right at the heart of this. And Martine Rothblatt’s blog, mindclones.blogspot.com, answers all your questions about mindfiles.
(Linda) To get a running start on building your own mindfile, go to CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, and remember, there are no fees to participate. For an even easier way to build your mindfiles, check out the powerful new Android app, free, at terasemcentral.org. Take the “Personality MD” link. Tens of thousands of these have been downloaded, and it just keeps growing, every week.
(Fred) Based on the CyBeRev program, but more like a game, there’s a two dimensional display and you do it right from a smart phone. The evaluations are truly unique to you, but you also see how your traits compare to others’ and even find people geographically near you who have the same kind of mindsets you do.
(Linda) It’s going to be spectabulous at the end of the yellow brick road, so…
(Fred) Join us, on our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Closing music – no fade – full length.
Podcast No. 31 Posted 2/28/2011
Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.9 – 1.9.6
SUB TITLE: The Dimensions and Levels of Life – Vitology
SUMMARY: Across many different substrates for consciousness there will be different levels with much in common, and variations in destiny for each. Terasem uses the term “vitology” to describe this zone of existence, which is fundamentally different from the non-living matter of the Universe, which as far as we can tell was all that existed at the inception of its existence.
KEYWORDS: 1.9-1.9.6, Vitology, vitals, consciousness, life, forms, matter, information, interchangeability, biostasis, continuum, cybernetic, instantiation, person-stage.
Music – “Earthseed” fades out, as the voice recording begins.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 31 on the Truths of Terasem. Today we’re going to talk about the term “vitology”, as Terasem uses it, and what that means in terms of the most general interpretation of sentient consciousness.
(Linda) We get two main hits on the Internet for that term: Vitology Nutriceuticals offers skin care products and nutritional supplements. And the other hit was for the “Vitology album” by Pearl Jam. Do either of those have anything to do with Terasem?
(Fred) Actually, no! Nothing at all! And there’s no indication that Pearl Jam or the nutriceuticals company are fighting over exclusive use of the term. Terasem’s use of it, on a completely independent basis, combines the letters, “vit”, the Latin prefix for ‘life’, with “ology”, where Wikipedia remarks humorously that this suffix is even in English to create nonce words (e.g. beerology as “the study of beer”), and that a “nonce” word is one “used to meet a need that is not expected to recur.”
However, Terasem expects life to ‘recur’, in fact to fill the Universe, so we can dispense with any worries that vitology is a ‘nonce’ word. That takes us back to the most general outlook that it includes everything except those things which in no way could be claimed to be “alive”. It’s significant to me that one of Terasem’s Founders has chosen the Second Life name, “Vitology Destiny”. That helps set the stage for what follows!
(Linda) It sure does! We start with 1.9, “Vitals transcend biological and cybernetic consciousness, including all entities with maturing autonomy, communication and transcendance.” Looking at this without immediately attempting to distinguish the word “vitals” from “vitology”, we find that the Terasem view of life is that it is fundamentally information based.
We could go back to that earlier podcast in which Erwin Schrodinger speaks of DNA, which his work helped to foster the discovery of, as an incredible packing of information in an “aperiodic” crystal, which would in many ways survive the specific organism based on it, through copying into offspring. From this, back in 1943, he further deduced the general principle of negative entropy, now more frequently referred to as extropy. Dr. Mike Perry, in Forever for All, has some fascinating thoughts about how fundamental information is to life and identity, doesn’t he?
(Fred) Absolutely. Something that you found in Chapter 8 of his book is right on top of that. Do you want to quote it into the podcast, since it fits so well with what we’re going to be talking about?
(Linda) Sure. Here it is:
“Matter is actually a form of energy, as Einstein showed us, energy contained in a holding pattern. Matter is needed to record information. Matter thus serves as the map for territory composed of information. Since information can be copied, it can survive the destruction of the matter that records it. If it fails to survive, however, it can eventually be recreated. This we would expect to hold even if the laws of physics alter with time so that the “same” matter is no longer possible. If information processing became impossible due to changing physical conditions, even including a change in physical laws, the situation might be salvaged if once more the processing could happen again, even if in another universe entirely.
“Information thus has a permanence that makes it more real, in an ultimate sense, than the material world that is needed to map it. Information, we might say, is the ultimate, enduring substrate of reality. This point of view, it will be seen, in no way contradicts materialism. Information always requires a material substrate for its expression. No mystical essence is needed that is outside the reality that physics reveals to us. Yet I think we can see, in the information paradigm, the basis for a deeper meaning in life than was suspected traditionally by materialists.”
(Fred) That’s far reaching, all right. We view the momentary state of organization of our neurons as an information pattern, dynamically changing moment to moment, literally an internal flow of information, some of which reaches the outside world by means of what we say and do, but much of which serves to self-modify our brains as we think and reflect on our experiences, thus we literally are information in a dynamic state. And, the Terasem mindfiles point of view suggests that we can externalize enough of this in a relatively straightforward way to enable a “continuer” of ours as described in the last podcast to survive if our current instantiation, as Dr. Perry would call us, is otherwise “lost”.
For these reasons, Terasem ascribes a state of “biostasis” to one’s mindfiles, meaning a potentially re-emergent or resurrected personality, at a future time. And, at such a time, with frequent backup of mindfiles, any such thing as death would become meaningless, since reemergence with a very slight step backward in life experience would put one “back in the game” almost instantaneously. A more common use of the term “biostasis” is to refer to a frozen or cryovitrified person who had not been able to maintain homeostasis, and is now in cryonic suspension, but with all due respect for the higher state of fidelity in one’s continuer that this might permit, the wait may not be worth it, if things are changing so fast that a delay of years may amount to a loss of centuries of subjective time in the cybercommunity of which that person could have been a part.
(Linda) As to information being the basis for one’s identity, I’m reminded of a little poem you wrote for me over forty years ago titled, “Green and Blue”, and I’d like to read a little of that into the podcast. You were describing love in terms of two fundamental levels. ‘Blue’ love was primarily non-cognitive, where subliminal levels of perceiving joy in one’s lover was sufficient, while ‘Green’ love was based on a deep understanding of the other person’s values and state of mind.
And Green is love, But what is that? What makes our world, Stop being flat?
Is it the other, Standing there? Flesh and blood, And bone and hair?
Information, Somehow speaks, Creates smiles, Not wrinkled cheeks.
But let’s ask, If we should measure, Smiles to see, The source of pleasure.
Children love their, Warm dry socks. Some folks like, To play with clocks.
Some see Infinite, Life’s the game. All may smile, Is it the same?
Blue is love, That loves the smile, Likes its quickness, Charm and style,
Doesn’t worry, Whence it comes, Takes the wordless, Song, and hums.
Green love loves, The sight that’s seen, See’s beyond, The smile’s front screen.
Sees what makes, That smile exist, Likes it, shares it, Wouldn’t have missed,
What the smiler, Must have thought, What was seen; What was caught.
In those terms, ‘Blue’ love was restricted to an emotional level of empathy, in which the other’s state of joy vs. sadness, compassion vs. anger, and so forth were everything. ‘Green’ love transcended this to include a ‘cognitive’ level of empathy where the loved one’s philosophy and understanding of the meaning of life were vitally important to comprehension. The entire poem explores this in far more detail, but here are a few verses that convey the essence of it:
In other words, two minds that are transparent to each other, who love both on a cognitive as well as an emotional level, have more than minds that are enigmatic to each other, mysterious and sometimes incomprehensible as to what’s going on in the other person. It’s a visibility of information, of very open communication on all levels, which makes the difference.
(Fred) That’s exactly what I was trying to understand, and why it was so helpful to write that out and feel as if it helped get rid of some of the cobwebs. You glommed onto that right away, and it helped you see what was going on in your life at the time more clearly. But we have to get down to the specific Truths for this week, so I’ll dive into the first of the Elements, 1.9.1 “Vitological life is a continuum of diverse consciousness from biological to cybernetic.”
That basically says that consciousness exists at many levels within the sphere of biological lives, but the same will be true in the cybernetic world we think we may move to within a few decades and even there, we may find as wide a range of consciousness as we now perceive in biological species, and individuals within a given species. It’s an awesome outlook concerning what we see coming.
Another of those quotes of Mike Perry’s you found helps give a picture of how wide that landscape is:
“If information is to be regarded as the real, enduring substrate of reality, as our argument suggests, it lends further confidence to the principle of Interchangeability. Different instantiations of persons may be materially distinct, but if they are identical on informational grounds, they can rightly be regarded as redundant images, as mutual backups of a single mentality.”
There is enough depth in just that observation, much less all the paragraphs that precede and follow it, that we have to move on, with the recommendation that listeners who want more will find it online in the Forever for All tab at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.
(Linda) Yes, Perry explores these subjects in awesome depth, and yet, it is so readable that I can’t imagine anyone finding it to be anything but a real page turner! Like an action novel, but better! Next we have 1.9.2, “Information coded in DNA makes biological life inherently cybernetic because it is an extrapolation of code.” That’s so evident when you think about it we go back to Schrodinger’s calling DNA, before it could be given that name, an “aperiodic crystal”, and saying that only in biological life do we encounter anything remotely like that complexity of information in nature. Nowhere else! Only in life!
On a life-history, cognitive level, Dr. Perry takes digital interpretations of life higher in his book, Forever for All. There, he says:
“A person, on the other hand, could be described (a person-stage could be specified) by some digital record of finite length, encoded, say, as a long string of bits. In principle then, it would be possible to guess an arbitrary, finite bit string and thus arrive at a description of any person who ever lived. Technology of the future, and particularly a mature nanotechnology, could presumably, working from this description, then bring the corresponding living person into existence by creating and setting in motion an appropriate instantiation. This then is a way that a vanished person of the past could be resurrected.”
(Fred) Seeded by just a little knowledge of a person, such an approach suggests optimization processes such as are already widely used in noise removal from digital images. Amazingly well focused and noise-free photographs are derived from what appear to be faint blurs by reinforcing patterns and removing those with chaotic signatures. We are certainly just at the beginning of seeing how these things will work, but someday we will wonder why we were so reluctant to expect them. That takes us back to the last couple Truths of Terasem where we talked about the Ti of I and the Qi of I.
The following Element is 1.9.3, “Teaching via software makes cybernetic life inherently biological because it is an extrapolation of flesh experience.” By that, I take it to mean that a self-conscious cyberbeing with vast memory could gain the power of language in the same way a small child does, but very rapidly, and then “learn to think logically” the same way a human gets this by taking philosophy courses and so forth.
Much of what we learn in schools is obtained through laborious struggling to memorize facts, many of them without much relevance to the lives of the students once they graduate, where all the time so invested by biological people is saved in the case of the cyberbeing, who memorizes the texts, takes final exams, and moves on to the next course in milliseconds.
(Linda) 1.9.4 says, “Autonomy, Communications and Transcendence differentiate conscious vitals from unconscious life.” This follows from an earlier Truth where consciousness as interpreted by Terasem includes both empathy and logical ethics. Without awareness of how others feel and what is proper in a relationship of fairness, the idea is that a degree of ‘unconsciousness’ exists. The comparison at the end of this Element distinguishes “conscious vitals” from “unconscious life”. Interestingly, “vitals” is plural, as if it envisioned individuals possessing unique identities. “Unconscious life” might as well apply to a colony of bacteria as a lower mammalian species lacking empathy and/or a way of inter-relating we could interpret as ethical behavior. We could explore this for quite a while, but we’re over our time limits already.
(Fred) True, but they get easier toward the end. In 1.9.5 we find, “Life is not what you are made of but is what you make of it.” If you see the essentiality of empathy and ethics to what Terasem calls consciousness, this enables you to take these two aspects of your life more seriously. If they seem irrelevant to life as you perceive and enjoy it, then that may guide you along a different path, to a different destiny. However, being self-conscious, you are the steering wheel of your life, and the roads you take will determine your destiny to a large extent. In Mike Perry’s Forever for All, he states this as (quote), “Our basic and, in my view, unlimited worth lies not so much in what we are or have been but in what we can become.” Very succinct and to the point.
The last Element, 1.9.6, wraps up this Expansion with, “Sentience sings from several kinds of substrate, each of which may give rise to conscious life.” If we ask, “Are there more than two, biological and cybernetic?” we must answer that here the term “cybernetic” is not so much concerned with the idea of identity being information as to what kind of material platform is supporting that information. Progress in quantum computing increasingly suggests that we may have far more choices than just silicon or carbon, long term. Biological life, all the way from its most basic patterns in DNA to its most exquisite neurological structures for conscious life, is in the end digital and thus arguably cybernetic. We have to leave the door open for many possibilities we cannot even imagine, at present. I can’t resist quoting Carl Sagan, from his book Cosmos:
“The molecules of life fill the Cosmos. But even if life on another planet has the same molecular chemistry as life here, there is no reason to expect it to resemble familiar organisms. I cannot tell you what an extraterrestrial being would look like. I am terribly limited by the fact that I know only one kind of life, life on Earth. Some people – science fiction writers and artists, for example – have speculated on what other beings might be like. I am skeptical about most of those extraterrestrial visions. They seem to me to rely too much on forms of life we already know. Any given organism is the way it is because of a long series of individually unlikely steps. I do not think life anywhere else would look very much like a reptile, or an insect or a human—even with such minor cosmetic adjustments as green skin, pointy ears or antennae.”
That’s part of why the future appears to be full of adventure, for those who find their way into it. Let’s wind it up with two more quotes from Mike Perry’s Forever for All that you found, Linda. Do you want to add them to the podcast?
(Linda) Sure, Fred. They have a great deal to do with this question of whether a “continuer”, a reasonably close copy of you, can be the ‘real you’ that will satisfy a great many of us, as we come to the end of our biological lives. Here’s what Perry has to say about this, again, more of a short introduction to his thinking, for those who would like to explore it at more length in the site at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com, under the Forever for All tab:
“There is one issue connected with Interchangeability we left hanging in the last chapter, where we noted that person-instantiations share identity when they can be considered equivalent. The precise delineation of when this equivalence would occur is well beyond our present powers. But the general idea is that a person is a type of computational process, so that the equivalence we are seeking is a similar notion to the equivalence of two running computer programs, which at least is a meaningful concept. In general, the digital model of events should allow us to decide, in principle, when two person-instantiations can be considered equivalent.
“Given some finite limit on the time, space, and energy involved, all processes are replicated by finite state machines, and, in fact, only a finite number of processes fit any finite bound. If such processes are expressed in a standardized form recording the input, state transitions, and output, there is an effective procedure for deciding when two such processes are equivalent, so that equivalent processes indeed form sharply bounded or well-defined classes. (The equivalence classes could then be extended straightforwardly to more gargantuan, slower processes that mimicked the faster ones but seemingly required more states.) Once again, we are benefited if events can be regarded as happening in discrete jumps rather than by continuous changes. Here the benefit is that the notion of person-instantiation gains coherence, lending plausibility to the main form of our concept of Interchangeability.”
(Fred) Thanks, Linda. That’s so abstract I’ll offer a simple example. If, at the border of one piece of a picture puzzle and the next to be added, all of the colors match, all of the lines in one extend into the other, and shape of the edges fit, the flow of the overall picture from the one piece to the next “continues” with no noticeable boundary. In the same way, given a sufficient information match, the “continuer” of a person who dies, is placed in cryonic suspension, or assembles a detailed mindfile will “continue” his or her life as easily as we step over a seam in a concrete sidewalk.
Next week, we’ll look at how Terasem conceives it might at some time in the distant future be a community of life that fills every lifeless or unconscious corner of the Universe. It starts here, with each of us who envisions such an outcome, and it endlessly pursues a destiny that is open ended. Dr. Perry has qualified his view of this destiny as one which is approached asymptotically over an infinite period of time, notwithstanding theoretical suggestions in the Truths of Terasem, and as also suggested in Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near, that this could take place in less than one thousand years of real time.
(Linda) As you said, Fred, it starts here, with each of us, so we warmly invite listeners to get a running start on building their mindfiles right away through CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, no charges to participate. A powerful new Android app described at Personality MD.com makes this even easier, with your smartphone. By the time this podcast airs, there should be more than 30,000 applications of this app in use.
(Fred) It’s derived from CyBeRev program, but more like a game. The two dimensional display entry screen rapidly produces evaluations unique to you, and shows how your traits compare to others’ who live near you, many of whom may the same kinds of mindsets you do.
(Linda) Check out joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net and go to mindclones.blogspot.com for a broad introduction to the mindfiles concept of identity integration into cyberspace that we may see taking hold over the next few decades.
(Fred) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Closing music – no fade – full length.
Podcast No. 30 Posted 2/21/2011
Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.8 – 1.8.6
SUB TITLE: The Four Components of Identity
SUMMARY: The personal identity of a sentient being is not some kind of monolithic, undifferentiated “it’s me”, but rather it is a network of internal and external perceptions of oneself, inextricably intertwined with the times and events through which one lived, as seen from where and when you are. What does it take to awaken that “you” so many fear will be lost upon death, or even after cryonic suspension if reanimation is not carried out properly, either in physical space and time, or even in cyberspace, such that one has firm memories and sense of orientation of where one “once was” as well as “where one is now”? Does this in any way interfere with vast and unrestricted potential of individuality in your life, or might it make it even more vivid and real, as well as indestructible and endless, in simpler terms, “immortal”.
KEYWORDS: 1.8-1.8.6, continuer, identity, amnesia, Qi, Ti, .
Music – “Earthseed” fades out, as the voice recording begins.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 30 on the Truths of Terasem. In this podcast we’re going to explore “what makes you ‘you’ and how that implies that you may find yourself ‘going on in time’ virtually endlessly, despite your concerns that this may be almost impossible, or even absolutely impossible.
(Linda) I like the sound of that. Does that mean we can drop our cryonics arrangements and start eating chocolate chip cookies again?
(Fred) Just the opposite. There is so much to be done before we get out the SCUBA gear and dive into liquid nitrogen that we could usefully work here in biological bodies until well into the Singularity, and be at the leading edge of it in cyberspace at the same time. However, cryonics stays, and chocolate chip cookies are a past memory of indulgence that we may cherish like an older child or adult may remember once hungering for cherry lollipops, but no longer being obsessed by an immediate desire for them.
This view of human identity is so vast, yet so plausible, compellingly in tune with religions and yet so deeply rooted in logic and science that it might be taken as a fantasy both by those immersed in mysticism and those convinced that surviving through technology is the only thing that has any chance of practical realization.
(Linda) Now, just a minute! If these ideas about identity are supposed to be so plausible and yet span visions all the way from mysticism to hard-science strategies for identity survival through technology, how can that be? You can’t have it both ways, can you?
(Fred) Maybe you can. I’m going to come at this in a relatively simple way. People worry that if something that looks like them and has their memories and their personalities wakes up in an ‘afterlife’ resuming consciousness after they were known to have died, other than in some heaven predicted by their particular religion, even if they are surrounded by people they remember as being their family and friends, there may be a problem. They are not sure it ‘would really be them’.
Yet, taking examples from medicine, we know that there are many present day cases where living persons suffer far worse in the way of brain injury or compromise and then ‘live on’, despite any such imagined impossibility of survival, of it ‘being them’. Cases of retrograde amnesia, or total amnesia, are adjusted to despite concerns of this kind by the victims as well as the families and friends.
(Linda) I can really relate to that! When I was about 13 I was in a car accident that left me paralyzed and in a coma. When I came out of the coma, I had lost most of my life memories. I could understand spoken English, and I recognized my family, but I had to have my memories of specific events “reloaded” by family members. To this day, I’m never sure if something I (quote-un-quote) remember about my childhood is really being reconstructed in the normal way our brains do that for us, or if it is a reconstruction of some implanted memory. By implanted memory, I mean, some story I heard others in the family tell, rather than something I actually experienced. None the less, I never questioned whether or not it was really me in that bed! And, I have never once wondered about that since then. Just like I don’t wonder if it is really me, when I open my eyes each morning.
(Fred) That’s a wonderful example! The question of ‘would it be you?’ turns almost upside down, to a proposition of “given the slightest indication that it’s you, barring contrary evidence like a ‘seemingly better qualified competitor you’ claiming to be the ‘real you’, how could it be anything except you?” If everyone around you believes you’re you, and if every fact you can turn up indicates that there are no other you-s, that exist, what basis you would have to argue it was otherwise, aside from fear based conjectures such as those that might arise once you’ve been told that you actually have an artificial brain with your memories implanted in it?
(Linda) Fred, that was unkind! Just when we almost had them sold, you ‘blew’ it! Why couldn’t you have left out the part about the artificial brain? I mean…
(Fred) I know, Linda, and that was really just to wake up anyone who might have been on the verge of falling asleep. Actually, there’s a great explanation of this issue in Forever for All by Dr. Mike Perry that is so good we’ll quote briefly from it later and then expand, but first we must introduce the term he uses and give an illustration for why it is a useful one. The term is “continuer”.
Perry contends, in great detail and considering many alternatives, that a less than perfect replica of you, in particular of your brain, is, not withstanding those imperfections, sufficiently the same “you” as you once were to constitute the real you, from every aspect of personal individuality, social connectivity, and satisfaction that what has been created is not just “something that thinks it is you”, but is “you, yourself”.
(Linda) Stop! I’ve read reams of arguments that claim that not only is a perfect copy not you, but even if all the relative positions of the atoms are accounted for, and one goes to the trouble of putting the actual atoms in place that were in the former “real you”, it still wouldn’t be “you”. How do you answer that?
(Fred) Dr. Perry might ask for a definition on the part of the one who was objecting, as to what would constitute a real you, but he would also know that people who raise such objections are rarely able to come up with any kind of consistent, integrated concept of that at all, much less one that makes any kind of sense, so he side steps that with the term we need to make use of, a “continuer”. He points out that even though the replica may not be exact, it can functionally “continue” for the person who it replaces, to the satisfaction of all who have relationships with that person and to the satisfaction of the person himself or herself, with the qualification and admission the it is not exactly the same person.
I’m going to take that one step further and suggest that even if there are near-infinite imperfections of a small enough scale, the “continuer” as defined by Dr. Perry is more like the “original” person from whom she or he is derived, than a person who awakes tomorrow after a normal night’s sleep is like the person he or she was the previous night. In effect, it seems reasonable to me to say that each of us who falls soundly asleep wakes up as a somewhat ragged copy the next morning, far cruder than what might be presumed a “continuer” if it were a person who had been frozen by cryonic suspension and whose brain was reasonably rebuilt by replicator nanotechnology sometime in the future.
Think about that carefully. Imagine a person in cryonic suspension who was later repaired by replicator nanotechnology, where the pathways between neurons were all replaced by replicas that are non-biological, functional equivalents. I’m saying that this repaired person, upon reanimation, is more like that person before they were frozen than any of us are like the he or she that we were the previous night before falling asleep. Is that an extreme enough example?
(Linda) I know a lot of people who would argue with it, but I don’t want to slow you up at this point. Why don’t you go ahead and say why you think this is a correct way to think about it?
(Fred) When you fall asleep, you literally ‘lose consciousness’ and except for some short dream states of which you have almost no memory, you will awaken with no sense of what has even gone on within your own mind, much less any sense of what has gone on in the world outside yourself. In that respect, you’ve roughly experienced “being in cryonic suspension”, with one profound difference. Your brain is in no respectably identical way even a rough “copy” of the brain with which you fell asleep.
(Linda) How can you say that?
(Fred) It’s easy. During sleep, unlike cryonic suspension, your neurons continue to metabolize. Deferred work in converting short term memory to long term memory continues, with loss of tremendous amounts of detail and distortions that further contribute to reduction of what is retained. Axons are projecting and falling away from former synapses, and dendritic spines on the receptor neurons are growing and receding from lack of use, neurons in huge numbers are dying, and some take on the functional roles of those lost, but in such a way as not be detectable by current science now, except if it were to be applied to tiny volumes of tissue, which at present we have no way to do.
In any case, the brain with which you wake up tomorrow will be so different than the brain you fell asleep with tonight as to make all those arguments about slight inexactness of copying a brain ridiculous. More practically, if in the process of repairing a frozen brain you improved the capacity to assimilate and retain memories in any fundamental way, even if it were only by putting better neurotransmitter regulation in place, you’d expect the repaired brain to be more like the one from which it was derived than if it had been given a normal night’s sleep, fewer lost memories in the first night’s sleep it did get, with loss of fewer neurons dying off and being functionally replaced by others, than before you were frozen.
But, with that example we can get back to the question of whether or not broader applications of the “continuer” idea make sense. Dr. Perry doesn’t restrict this concept to repaired frozen brains, where it is futile to argue that the repaired brain is not for all intents and purposes the same as the one which was frozen. Perry asks if it isn’t just as reasonable to say that if a completely new brain were created that had essentially the same memories as an earlier one, a personality shape very much like the earlier one, even was on the same genome, that new brain would for all practical purposes be the same as the old one?
(Linda) That is stretching a bit further. Those that argue against this may choose not to pursue or even permit it. Those who take it as a valid idea, along with their families and friends, are likely to have no trouble with it. How does Perry address the question of ethics where the person concerned rejects the idea altogether? Is that person then lost forever?
(Fred) Not necessarily. A “continuer” of that person, upon awakening, and acquiring the advanced knowledge then available, would be acquainted with the fact that the person from whom he or she was derived would in no way have accepted the idea that the continuer was in fact the “same” person. Then, the continuer would be asked how he or she felt about that in the context of their up-dated view of the issue, based on current information. If the continuer still held to the original position, he or she might think of himself or herself as being more like an identical twin with a high degree of knowledge of the personal history of the person from whom he or she came.
On the other hand, if the continuer found the idea of being the “continuer” of the original person plausible, then that person would have reversed or “ratified” a change of position, and the former friends and family would welcome that person back into their midst. All of this of course is subject to the cultural ethics of a time we can scarcely imagine now, so we can only guess at what might happen. We can only conclude that the person is not necessarily ‘lost to us’ forever, on account of having died.
(Linda) There are so many facets of this that we’d better not get too far into quoting Perry’s book, until we’ve covered the essentials of the Truths of Terasem for this week, right?
(Fred) Very true. There are several paragraphs we can quote that will make much more sense near the end, than now, so let’s plunge ahead.
(Linda) Great! The Expansion for this week starts with, 1.8 (quote) “I” Has Four Dimensions: Terasem is comprised of individual souls, each with four complementary dimensions, at least one of which always exists.” Can you interpret that one for us, to begin with?
(Fred) It’s abstract enough, and the rest of them are short enough, so I’ll just go through the whole of them, and then expand from there. The Elements of this Expansion, 1.8.1 through 1.8.6, are: “The ‘Me of I’ is one’s totality of mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values.” Then, “The ‘We of I’ is the image of ourselves in the minds of others,” followed by, “The ‘Ti of I’ is the time-cone of a being’s existence” and “The ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows.”
The last two Elements are, and I’ll combine them: “Each dimension of I may serve as a template for cyber-resurrection of Me of I” and “Authoring-self recreates one’s mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values, until Turing-equivalence is achieved.” Now, let’s go back and arrange the pieces of this picture puzzle so they all fit a little easier!
The first and last of the Elements essentially say that your mindfiles, created by a process known in Terasem as “self-authoring”, captures all of your mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values, to the point where a Turing Test can confirm your unique identity.
That’s easy enough to grasp. If we implant someone’s mindfiles, qualified in this way, into their otherwise “amnesia-victim” level brain, so that they are remembered as if they were already there prior to waking up, like your experience after your accident but without the necessity of ‘relearning them’ from family and friends, we’ve accomplished enough to produce a sense of “Who they were” and “who they are now”, perhaps in not quite the same way as in the original mind, but perhaps with so much additional readily recalled detail as to produce an impression of, “I never knew my memory was so good!”
The second element is equally simple, “The ‘We of I’ is the image of ourselves in the minds of others,” suggesting that if nothing else, the joint recollections of others as are usually published in cryonics magazines by family and friends after someone is suspended, accomplish two things. (1) The details, directly implanted, could impart a very rough sense of identity, and (2) the family and friends, if still around or after reanimation, could help further in the person’s learning more about those past relationships and associated details.
(Linda) Again, that’s exactly what I experienced when I came out of my coma.
(Fred) Now we come to two more Elements that are more elusive, “The ‘Ti of I’ is the time-cone of a being’s existence” and “The ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows.” The first of these, the time-cone, may represent a widening level of exposure to one’s environment, during which a sense of what’s going on may develop, and can be recaptured from a composite of all the historical knowledge of the period in which one lived, pared down and shaped to emphasize events in the localities one lived as well as on a wider basis, and the general character of what one might have paid attention to most closely, based on one’s education, career, known interests, etc.
From a wealth of general knowledge about what went on everywhere and what discoveries were being made, what events were generally treated as most memorable, the unique pattern of one’s life through time and space might yield a sort of informational “fingerprint” that no one else would have. Any personality that were to emerge with this level of recollection of the past would in that respect be unique, and any specific memories of having “lived earlier” would be enriched by this “virtual memory of what went on and what one might have noticed and remembered”.
(Linda) Certainly, if a person originally lived in the 20th Century, and most of their mindfile information reflected that, they would experience an uncomfortable discontinuity, a feeling that this is not really them, if they were given a hunter-gatherer mindset.
(Fred) The second Element of these two, “The ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows,” is the most abstract of them all. “Qi” is the idea, most frequently associated with oriental practices of yoga and medicine of those regions, that within one’s body certain patterns of responsiveness to electric charges and biochemical endocrine flows are uniquely individual and are a “sense of one’s physical self” that might be as much a “fingerprint of how one felt physically and emotionally, how one might have reacted in many circumstances”, as any “fingerprint of the time and locations in which one might have lived”, so far as one’s self-perception were concerned.
It could well be that this “Qi of I” could be so closely imputed from one’s DNA as to enable emulating this “sense of physical being” into one’s “continuer”, and thus impart an even higher sense of “having lived before and being the same self as one once was”. There are other interpretations that we’ve explored as to the “Qi of I” in earlier podcasts, but this is perhaps closer to the way the Founders of Terasem might have intended this Element, than we’ve suggested in those earlier discussions. It does point to one more way of a distinctive kind that one’s individuality may be characterized, as different from everyone else’s as if it were ‘sense of life’ “fingerprint”.
(Linda) Yes, as a physically and mentally active person, I would be very disappointed to find I’d been reanimated as a couch potato! I would know something was wrong! I’d be yelling, “This isn’t me! Look at my Lifepact and CyBeRev videos again, and make the necessary corrections!”
(Linda, again laughing) That takes us to the next Element, “Each dimension of I may serve as a template for cyber-resurrection of Me of I”. I’d take that to mean that any one of those may be so individual, so unique a “fingerprint” of who one was as to serve as a valid starting point for reemergence into a social network with no question that it was derived from a particular life, and thus different from everyone else’s. And, the more we have of all these dimensions available to us if and when we need to be reanimated, the better! Does that make sense?
(Fred) It sure does, Linda. Now the only thing left will be to mention a few things Dr. R. Michael Perry has said in Forever for All that might provide added insights, especially as to his “continuer” concept.
“…The changes in a person that occur over time involve the assimilation of experiences and a learning process. A later person-stage thus will be a more developed version, or continuer, of an earlier stage. Forgetting or erasure of past information can also occur, of course, and strictly speaking does not yield a continuer of all that was present in an earlier stage, though it may still be a continuer of what was important.
Meanwhile it is important to make clear that the notion of continuer, like that of survival itself, depends purely on psychological connectedness, not on how the person-stage in question came into existence.
It is the interactive functioning of various components that make up an individual, not some other entity or “gestalt”–the whole is the combined effects of the parts. The parts themselves, however, have no significant intrinsic properties–it is just the way they interact, how they function in the whole individual, that is important.”
Remember, Dr. Perry’s entire book is online under the tab Forever for All, at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.
(Linda) Next week, we come to 1.9 “Vitals transcend biological and cybernetic consciousness, including all entities with maturing autonomy, communication and transcendance.” This is a very far-reaching Expansion of the Truths of Terasem, a more in-depth exploration of the transcendence of biology into cybernetic consciousness.
(Fred) Right! In a beautiful way, it starts with showing how biological life is most fundamentally digital in nature and how mindfile integration with emulated biology is a direct extension of this. It further expands on diversity with unity as they affect individual consciousness, and the open-endedness of what awaits us in an endless future, living in a boundless variety of substrates.
(Linda) Still have some unanswered questions about mindfiles? Go to Martine Rothblatt’s blog at mindfiles.blogspot.com. Start building your Mindfile right away at either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com; it’s free. And Terasem’s powerful new Android app, described at PersonalityMD.com continues to be downloaded at a high rate, nearing 30,000 participants at this point.
(Fred) It’s like the CyBeRev system for mindfile building, but more like a game, a two dimensional display on a smart phone results in personality profiles that are truly unique to you, and you also see how you compare to others’ geographically near you, with mindsets like yours.
(Linda) Don’t forget that these podcasts are available in text form at our site, truthsofterasem.wordpress.com, where you’ll also find tabs relating to storing DNA with LifeNaut, a “city of the future” in Second Life named after the great innovator Paolo Soleri, and a copy of Dr. Perry’s book that we quoted above, Forever for All.
(Fred) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Closing music – no fade – full length.
Podcast No. 29 Posted 2/14/2011
Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.7 – 1.7.6
SUB TITLE: Terasem’s Flag and What it Signifies
SUMMARY: The flag of Terasem is a symbolic representation of many of the primary principles to which Terasem is dedicated, a kind of “flash memory” of where we’re headed, and how the course to it will be navigated. This podcast expands on that, in ways that might seem to be speculative, but the objective is to help build a more detailed way of remembering, visualizing and reflecting upon the meanings behind its flag in our daily Terasem Connections and other meditations about the long term goals of Terasem’s evolution.
KEYWORDS: 1.7-1.7.6, flag, values, principles, visualization, reflection, affirmation.
Music – “Earthseed” fades out, as the voice recording begins.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 29 on the Truths of Terasem. In this podcast, we’ll talk about the flag of Terasem, to which we pledge allegiance, and how the symbols in the flag help us recall the principles that lie behind it.
(Linda) The Terasem pledge is such a wonderfully positive affirmation of those principles! We enjoy it so much that we say the pledge to each other every morning before we get out of bed. It’s similar in some ways to the pledge to the U.S. Didn’t we talk about that once before, in some other podcast?
(Fred) Yes. I’ll summarize that. Both pledges are of allegiance to the flag of an organization (Terasem and the USA), but Terasem’s pledge continues with “and to the principles for which it stands”, whereas the USA pledge at that point has “and to the republic for which it stands”. This is a watershed distinction, because the nation or republic (USA) has a constitution that permits it to induct you into its military, impose its taxes, and so forth. With Terasem’s principles, you get to see them in advance with a high level of confidence that you are not going to find that a “new and simplified set of principles” is going to be released each year. From that point, the USA pledge contains the expansion of the term ‘republic’ to “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all”. Terasem, in contrast, synopsizes its principles as “Education persistently, with diversity, unity and joyful immortality, everywhere”.
(Linda) If the various religions formed a council and came up with some proposed changes to the law, does the “under God” part mean that this would override Congress, the President and the Supreme Court?
(Fred) There are provisions for separation of church and state that are supposed to handle that, and incorporated Churches are strictly regulated as to any political position taking, but the basic idea of adding that provision after World War II was that since communists had the image of being staunch atheists, this addition to the pledge to the flag would somehow keep an anti-communist mentality alive in the US.
Let’s start in with Truth 1.7 “Terasem flag: The symbols on this flag represent the values of our transreligion.” OK, that’s straightforward enough. The first element is 1.7.1 (quote) ‘Be accountable’ is symbolized by the dotted circles: self-accountability to surrounding Terasem centers of critical consciousness. (end quote)
The background color of the flag is light blue. Across the top of the flag, there is a row of six bright yellow circles each with an interior dot. Given that the central dot might represent an egocentric core of individuality and that the surrounding circle might be thought of as the modulation of that by a state of consciousness embracing both empathy and ethics based on reason, an interesting thought might be that just as a laser requires two mirrors and an intervening stimulated media, with one of the mirrors allowing a small portion of the energy to be transmitted outward, the dot and the circle might represent two spheres composed of a very large number of mirrors parallel to their ‘companion’ mirrors in the other sphere, with the emitted energy directed toward other sphere-pairs, other members of the collective consciousness, in a harmonious and synergistic interchange of information.
Since a critical center of consciousness can be comprised of so small a number as a single individual, and each such single-individual center of critical consciousness can be thought of as a member of a small group of individuals knit together, interacting with a small number of other such groups, the symbolism can apply at any level. There are six of these symbols across the top of the flag, and for reasons that are probably known only to the Founders of Terasem, the number six has particular significance. There are six major Precepts or subdivisions of the Truths of Terasem, and for each Expansion of those, there are six underlying Elements.
(Linda) In the next Element we’re discussing today, 1.7.2, we find this: (quote) ‘Embrace diversity’ is symbolized by the blood-red infinity sign: infinite diversity within a common biological heritage. (end quote) This signifies where we came from, right? We’re the descendants of some common ancestor based on DNA, but with such staggering diversity as to suggest a limitless expansion of forms of sentience once we transcend biology and use the power of our minds to invent! But isn’t it going a little too far to use the mathematical term “infinity”? Can we imagine that there are even a googleplex of such species here on Earth, much less an infinite number?
(Fred) When a number gets so large we cannot even hazard a guess, it may be plausible to call it “infinite”. Most people have no idea what a “googleplex” is, much less examples such as Carl Sagan used in Cosmos to discuss “infinity”. For example, it is certainly possible to see him saying that even a googleplex raised to the power of another googleplex would still be vastly less than infinity. Yet, if a number is clearly beyond our imaginations, it would be reasonable to conversationally refer to it as infinite. This Truth didn’t restrict the number to species of biological kinds, in any case. It only spoke of “diversity”, meaning that each individual would count. And if we counted as individuals all of those that have ever lived, down to the numbers of bacteria in a primeval sea, times their lifespans divided into even one billion years, we are into numbers by comparison with which we could easily estimate the size of the Milky Way down to the last star, as if we could count them on our fingers, if only we had perfect vision and time to count them all, when you take into account that by the time we had finished counting, the number that had died and been reborn through stellar recycling would throw the final count off considerably.
(Linda) OK, OK! We don’t have an infinite number of minutes to finish this podcast. Next is 1.7.3 (quote) ‘Respect autonomy’ is symbolized by the digital spelling of the word ‘joy’: consciousness transcends biology and technology. (end quote) What’s the opposite of ‘joy’, anyway, would you go for ‘agony’ or just unending ‘boredom”?
(Fred) That’s like the old saying of Andrew J. Galambos, “What do you want, a broken arm or a broken leg?” But I’d take ‘boredom’. You can’t exactly say that unending agony would be just boring, because it would be painful too, but unending boredom would certainly be agony, like this podcast is going to be if we don’t keep moving.
Back to ‘joy’, note that the way in which ‘joy’ is represented as being spelled in a digital way is Morse code. That’s a beautiful example of technology transcending biology. They went to a lot of trouble and expense to set up the Pony Express, limited by how fast a horse could run, but it lasted only about eighteen months before the telegraph wiped it out with Morse Code, which literally ‘outran’ the horse. I mean, how could a horse compete with the speed of light?
(Linda) Right. And it was tricky to make the Pony Express work. In a web page linked from truthsofterasem.wordpress.com where the script from this podcast appears, you can find that the Pony Express, from April 3, 1860 to late October, 1861, was organized to provide the fastest mail delivery between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. An ad in a California newspaper read: “Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.” Most riders were around 20. The Youngest was 11. Oldest was mid-40s. Not many were orphans. Usually weighed around 120 pounds. One of the riders was Broncho Charlie, and the Pony Express webpage links to another one, noting, “This is a great page all about him,” meaning Broncho Charlie. Want to hear some more about what the Morse Code wiped out?
(Fred) Not really! You were the one complaining about running out of time. Let’s move on. 1.7.4 says (quote) ‘Talk openly’ is symbolized by the sky blue background: translucence of clear atmosphere and deep space. (end quote) We’re certainly talking openly about spending too much time on peripheral details, but these are important. Looking straight up into the deepest blue part of the sky through a small enough pinhole from within a dark enclosure, you can literally “see stars” in broad daylight. The translucence of a clear atmosphere thus literally lets you see all the way into deep space.
1.7.5 continues with (quote) ‘Help others’ is symbolized by the number and size of dotted circles: we grow with assistance. (end quote) As we mentioned earlier, there are six of those circles, and if they symbolize the six precepts of the Truths of Terasem, we can reflect on the fact that they help us to see an almost infinite ways of doing that, leading to the final Element for today, 1.7.6: (quote) ‘Always be open’ is symbolized by infinity’s multi-dimensionality: realities are part of larger realities. (end quote) If the Universe is only part of a Multiverse, and it, itself, is only part of an even larger Multiverse, then does that get us close to something we can finally call “infinite”? And, that wraps up the podcast for today. Got anything to add to that?
(Linda) I think we short-changed the Pony Express, but more seriously, I really love the symbolic content of the Terasem Flag, and if any of you listeners want to see it, that URL (truthsofterasem.wordpress.com) we spoke of above has a banner at the top with Tersem’s flag fluttering amidst a brilliant starfield with an nebula, photographed by the Hubble telescope, titled “Jet in Carina”. Next week, we’re going to explore the very core of human identity, in fact, the very core of what seems to lie at the heart of the identity of every sentient being.
(Fred) Right, Linda. This is one of the most fundamental sets of ideas in the Truths of Terasem about how each of us as individuals has a capacity for attaining an unending existence through the building of mindfiles, networking with others, and living our lives in a way that integrates the ‘time cone’ and ‘unique pattern of our energy flows’ into the other two. These are deep subjects, and we’re going to be quoting extensively from “Forever for All” by Dr. R. Michael Perry. Here’s a brief excerpt, and by the way, the entire text of Dr. Perry’s book is available on a tab with its title, Forever for All, on the same web address where we publish the scripts from the podcasts, truthsofterasem.wordpress.com – Here’s that quote from Dr. Perry’s book:
“The twin possibilities of eventual, universal resurrection and abolition of death starting from currently available means are not seen as competitive but complementary. Both have a vital role to play in the future that appears to be opening. Our resulting philosophy, encompassing both past and future, is directed toward the long-term interests of each sentient being. It thereby acquires a moral dimension. The immortalization of humans and other life-forms is seen as a great moral project and labor of love that will unite us in a common cause and provide a meaningful destiny.”
By the way, the primary Founder of Terasem has referred to Dr. Perry’s book as being so closely aligned with Terasem’s mission and underlying philosophy as to be virtually a ‘bible’ that might help us expand on the Truths of Terasem. That’s part of why, with Dr. Perry’s permission, it is now made available on a tab of the podcast scripts page.
(Linda) Let me add my two cents’ worth. I’m now, for the first time, only part way through Forever for All, and I’m sorry I didn’t find time to do this a long, long time ago. At least, with the outlook that I’m going to be around for a long, long time, I can say, “Never too late!”
(Fred) To probe further before next week, explore joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net if you think you might want to be right at the heart of this. “Waking up in cyberspace” can be pursued by way of CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate.
(Linda) And, don’t forget to have a look at Martine Rothblatt’s blog, mindclones.blogspot.com, which has extensive writings about mindfiles and their potential for emergence as legally independent personalities over the next few decades.
(Fred) As we keep reminding our listeners Terasem’s powerful new Android app for building mindfiles, much like a game, is free on Google Marketplace, most easily accessed by first visiting PersonalityMD.com – More than 25,000 of these have been downloaded, so far.
(Linda) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Closing music – no fade – full length.
Podcast No. 28 Posted 2/7/2011
Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.6 – 1.6.6
SUB TITLE: Consciousness at Higher Levels
SUMMARY: Consciousness, in terms of the most general interpretation of “awareness”, has been imputed to apply to everything from physical objects impacting other physical objects, to some undefined presence of a “god”, omniscient, able to “foretell the future” without disturbing the free will of the beings it has created. A more rudimentary definition is provided by the Glasgow Coma Scale paramedics use to judge “levels of consciousness” in the patients they’re treating. Terasem goes beyond this to levels of consciousness in which empathy and reason with regard to ethics are essential, for those in a network of individuals where unity and diversity are in balance and joyful immortality is the common goal.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 28 on the Truths of Terasem. We’re going to be talking about “consciousness” today.
(Linda) Consciousness is one of those suitcase words: it means so many different thing to different people. In the Truths of Terasem, does it just mean “awake” and “alert”? Or does it include being self-aware, like has recently been proven to exist even in macaque monkeys?
(Fred) Terasem goes way beyond either of those, Linda, but the macaque monkey is a fascinating example. Traditionally, scientists have assessed mirror self-recognition abilities in animals based on their performance on the “mark test.” In this test, marks are placed on an animal’s face and, subsequently, its behavior in front of a mirror is observed. If the animal spends increased time touching the marks or looking at them in the mirror, then it passes the mark test and is assumed to possess at least a rudimentary form of self-awareness. Select chimpanzees, orangutans, elephants, dolphins, and even magpies pass the mark test while gorillas and some monkeys do not. Now, by use of a variation of the mark test as recently reported in “Wired Science”, Macaque monkeys have been added to the list.
(Linda) Magpies? Really! I always thought there was something really special about them! But OK – Terasem is looking for something beyond whether or not you can tell what tribe you’re in by the war paint you’re wearing, right? After plastic surgery, some people say, “It’s a whole new ‘me’!” but still I’d suspect Terasem is after something more than that. Let’s get into those higher levels we need to discuss.
(Fred) It’s higher than magpies or just getting rid of your wrinkles, for sure! As the Summary for this week points out, in part, “Terasem holds that consciousness requires levels of awareness where empathy and reason with regard to ethics are not just present, but in a high state of harmony.” This is essential in a network of individuals where unity and diversity are in balance, and joyful immortality is the common goal.
We start with 1.6 “Consciousness: Consciousness is the continuum of maturing abilities, when healthy, to be autonomous and empathetic with others.” Let’s say that one is connected to others by empathy and yet is an individual and to some extent apart from them, by way of autonomy. Further, let’s characterize healthy abilities as those that would seem to be synergistic and mutually supportive of others vs. harmful or parasitical with regard to them. The terms continuum and maturing suggest that just as all things are, except at the finest level in nature, piecewise continuous, an infant human starts out totally dependent on its mother, at least from fertilized ovum to birth, during which is has almost no autonomy or empathy except at levels of the lowest species. From there, during maturation in both biological and psychological ways, the child either progresses to a high level of harmony and balance in its autonomy and empathy, in its individuality and connectivity to others on a social level, or it falls short. In today’s culture, most fall short. To survive the Singularity, we must improve. How’s that for an overview of Terasem consciousness, Linda?
(Linda) It will have to do, for the moment! Let’s dive into the underlying Elements. They start with 1.6.1 “Others determine your consciousness because We is one of the four dimensions of I.” Isn’t “determining” something like “controlling” it? What about free will?
(Fred) Perhaps “determine” doesn’t mean “to shape and mold, in every respect”, but rather to “strongly influence”. If you grow up in an impoverished “gangland” environment, there will be a tendency to group together in wolf-packs for survival. If you grow in up a very high income family dominated by a male parent who runs the family like a prison camp, you might develop a “prison guard” style of behavior, of thinking that this is the proper order of social behavior. If you develop in a warm, empathetic family setting where individuality and creativity are encouraged, the outcome may be very, very different. This business of mentioning “We” as one of the four dimensions of “I” implies that it is just one of four. Let’s briefly glance at the others. Some of them are going to make an appearance in the later Elements of this Expansion.
The easiest one to deal with is a totally contained concept of self. Truth 1.8.1, which we’ll come to three weeks from now, states “The ‘Me of I” is one’s totality of mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values.” To me, this is like saying that from a mindfile standpoint, “I’m the database, before the input-output process starts, and from a state-of-being point of view, every point in time is the start of a new “moment-of-being”.
OK, that’s pretty self-explanatory. Now, skipping 1.8.2 about the “We of I”, 1.8.3 tells us “The ‘Ti of I is the time-cone of a being’s existence.” and that leads straight into the next Element of this expansion, 1.6.2 “Time is important for consciousness because life occupies time as well space.” Together these two tie into the “continuum of maturing abilities” that we talked about earlier. Just as each future experience builds on what we learned from past experiences, each future moment builds on all the past ones, and the past moment as a “state of being” largely determines what will happen in the next moment, stabilized only by those patterns of response we have so fully integrated into our way of approaching new situations that we take into account the long term as well as the short term, in each instance.
(Linda) Isn’t there one more dimension of being, where 1.8.4 tells us that “The ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows?”
(Fred) For completeness, let’s don’t forget that one. We make waves, that is to say, what we do affects more than just who we are with at the moment. It’s like we were radiating information in all directions on a continuous basis. An unkind comment about person “B” while talking to person “A” may not make its way through the social network for a long time, but ultimately, it may reach its apparent target. Your energy flow may ultimately touch far more people than you might suspect.
One of the most memorable examples of this for me took place ten years or so ago, probably in connection with some kind of political flame war on the Internet, when a friend of mine mentioned a comment posted earlier by someone we both knew ‘on the other side of the issue’, that he thought the world would be a better place if I were dead. Since we were all cryonicists, this remark seemed pretty tasteless, but I responded as if just amused by it, with “I guess I missed that one!” The point is – that I never forgot it.
(Linda) People get upset and say things they don’t really mean, but this does leave scars. As you point out, these things aren’t forgotten. In 1.6.3 we have, “Haphazard thinking, without capability for improvement, is equivalent to a lack of autonomy.” How do you take that one?
(Fred) I take it constructively. Let’s first see what we make of the phrase “haphazard thinking”. One of Ayn Rand’s favorite sayings was something like, “If things don’t add up, check your premises!” Some people are far more insistent on “making sense of things” than others. They know that by and large, principles underlie everything that happens, and when they are faced by confusion, they make great efforts to sort it out. Others just “go with the flow”, following their feelings and hoping things will work out despite the fact that they seem senseless. By comparison, they are like leaves in a strong wind, going where events take them, with no sense of navigating their own lives.
If that’s a reasonable starting point, then the phrase “without capability for improvement” suggests situations where it’s unlikely this “drift along” mentality will improve. It’s too ingrained as a mental posture, a quicksand bog that draws one down and down in a spiral of hopelessness, confusion, depression and resignation with life as incomprehensible. Ayn Rand, being an extremely logical person, couldn’t understand this, and kept talking about the ‘choice to think’ as one’s greatest power. From this, she came to regard an inability to escape one’s haphazard thinking as a “refusal to think”, and declared it to be “evil”. That’s one of the few times, I imagine, that Ayn Rand let herself engage in what could be taken to be a religious pronouncement, but that’s how she seems to have perceived haphazard thinking.
(Linda) The next one is, 1.6.4 “Empathy extends sentience and self-awareness to understanding the feelings of others.” It seems to me that this is saying sentience and self-awareness would enable one to know the experience of pain that is felt by oneself, but empathy allows one to make an estimate of pain felt by others, not logically, but by emulating what they perceive might be going on inside that other. They virtually “feel the pain” themselves.
(Fred) Right! There’s also the perception that empathy as opposed to compassion can reach dangerous levels, where one is so immersed in the pain of the other that the sense of whose pain it is gets lost. It’s like the way you and I feel when the other is in pain. Compassion, at least as some Buddhists regard it, blends reason with empathy so that one can do the very most possible to relieve the pain of the other, without losing control. It’s like a lifeguard rescuing a drowning victim. In order to save the drowning swimmer, you have to keep the victim from grabbing you and drowning you both.
(Linda) That’s true, but in this case I think it’s not intended to reach that level of integrating emotion and cognition. Terasem’s point is that the capacity to sense what another feels and be as fully aware of it as possible is a strength, a vital strength, as an asset of consciousness.
(Fred) No question about it. Next we come to 1.6.5 “Reason, morality and personal independence are the key elements of being autonomous.” There, I think, we get to a place where compassion gets involved. To rescue the drowning swimmer, the lifeguard must maintain a high state of personal independence, at the same time maintaining a sense of morality as to the tremendous value, virtually to the point of being a social duty, to save a life when it is possible to do so without drowning the both of you. Reason certainly comes into the picture at that level.
(Linda) Here’s the last Element, 1.6.6 “Synergism of empathy and autonomy yields a continuum of consciousness.” For this, I think we have to go a step or two beyond the lifeguard rescuer example. The Terasem core values of unity and diversity come into play. Empathy, the ability to feel what someone else feels, means you can literally “feel” the joy that someone with an entirely different sense of life might feel, appreciating that and honoring it, even though it might not fit one’s own values.
The artist who can painstakingly devote thousands of hours to painting or sculpture might not feel the slightest inclination to put that kind of effort toward cultivating the physical skills and conditioning to become an Olympic class athlete, but might be able to deeply appreciate the athlete’s perception of achieving unbelievable heights of performance as an “artistry” of its own. The athlete in the same way might be able to look at the work of Michelangelo and feel the same level of admiration as the artist experiences for the athlete, in a reciprocal way.
If, through this, they could be said to “love each other”, not in a romantic way, but in the deepest “sense and appreciation of life”, then their individuality or autonomy as very different kinds of artists, together with their empathy for each other’s joyfulness in very different pursuits, would enable a unifying bond, building a networked “continuum of consciousness”, which in other parts of the Truths of Terasem is referred to as a “collective consciousness”. This Truth could then be taken either way, as describing what might go on within a single individual, or go on within a network of individuals within Terasem.
(Fred) Great way to wrap it up, Linda. Next week, we’re going to talk about Terasem’s flag. It’s a beautiful collection of symbols, where form and color in an amazingly simple arrangement signify values ranging from accountability and interconnectivity to embracing diversity and respecting autonomy. Such basic principles as “talking openly” and “helping others” are extended to visions of infinity’s multi-dimensionality and the idea that realities are part of larger realities. Our only limitations will be that we’ll be unable to visually communicate what we’re talking about. We’ll have to paint pictures with words.
(Linda) I’ve got a way around that. Go to the webpage where we post all the scripts of these podcasts, the flag is floating in a star-field next to a huge galaxy. This is at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com/
(Fred) Thanks, Linda. Visit terasemfaith.net if you’d like to see what’s involved in ‘joining’ Terasem. And, even without joining, you can begin setting up mindfiles at CyBeRev.org and/or LifeNaut.com in anticipation of making the jump to cyberspace, no fees to participate. mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles.
(Linda) Right! And the powerful new free Android app, accessible at PersonalityMD.com, continues to gain popularity. In the first week of 2011, the number downloaded was approaching 25,000. After seeing the details at PersonalityMD.com, link to download at Google marketplace.
(Fred) The graphics continue to evolve, based on CyBeRev’s mindfiles applications, but it’s very much a “mind-game”. Speed of entry and navigating the graphical brain neuron by neuron go hand in hand on your Android smartphone, with your unique profiles visible in comparison with others’ in your area.
(Linda) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Podcast No. 27 Posted 1/31/2011
Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.5 – 1.5.6
SUB TITLE: Expansion as a Fundamental Goal of Terasem’s
SUMMARY: Just as the big bang triggered an expansion of matter and energy throughout the Cosmos, the Singularity is expected to trigger an expansion of intelligence in the form of kind sentience in space and time, endlessly and boundlessly. It is a possibility that at this time Humankind is the leading edge of that expansion, in which case it is not only our destiny to carry out that expansion, but to free it of any handicaps inherited from our biological software (instincts are just that) which might ultimately corrupt what we become. And, if we are not the first, we will hope that other more advanced sentient forms are of the same mind and we can synergistically join with them and contribute to the expansion toward a universe filled with joyful immortality based on unity in the acceptance of diversity for all kind sentient entities.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 27 on the Truths of Terasem. Today we’re going to be talking about Terasem’s goals for growth and expansion. The way this is put, in 1.5, is “Expansionist: Terasem is duty-bound to expand throughout the galaxy and the universe as rapidly as possible.”
(Linda) Does that also mean we want it to become bigger than Google, and dominate the Internet with all search engine responsibilities there, to better prepare for the Singularity?
(Fred) No! That’s the last thing it would mean, and growing as fast as Google in the present human environment, with the quality Terasem seeks, would be like shooting ourselves in the foot.
(Linda) I’m glad to hear that. You jumped into that first quote from the Truths of Terasem so quickly that it scared me, and sounded like we’re going to have to “hard sell” Terasem not just to humans but to everyone we run into as we expand beyond the Solar System. If that’s not how it’s supposed to work, what is that first Truth about?
(Fred) It’s almost the same as what’s in the Summary we’re going to use for the podcast listeners to glance at before starting to hear this. I’ll read it, to be sure it’s not missed. “Just as the big bang triggered an expansion of matter and energy throughout the Cosmos, the Singularity is expected to trigger an expansion of intelligence in the form of kind sentience in space and time, endlessly and boundlessly. It is a possibility that at this time Humankind is at the leading edge of that expansion, in which case it is not only our destiny to carry out that expansion, but to free it of any handicaps inherited from our biological software (instincts are just that) which might ultimately corrupt what we become. And, if we are not the first, we will hope that other more advanced sentient forms are of the same mind and we can synergistically join with them and contribute to the expansion toward a universe filled with joyful immortality based on unity in the acceptance of diversity for all kind sentient entities.”
Look at it this way. A similar statement could be made of what a baby must become, after starting out as a fertilized embryo. Let’s see how that might be phrased. It might be like this: Preparation for birth – The embryo has one overriding goal: to expand within the womb and get to full term as rapidly as possible, in no less than nine months, else there’s going to be big problems for the mother. And, we might add, if it were a self-conscious embryo with at least rudimentary intelligence and technology, it would have a duty to screen itself for genetic defects and get rid of them as quickly as possible, so as not to die before it even reaches the stage of having 50 to 100 billion cells, much less the 50 to 100 trillion it is expected to possess at full term.”
(Linda) So, what’s the timeline, anyway? When is the main part of this expansion of Terasem supposed to take place?
(Fred) A lot of it has to take place before the Singularity is underway, in order to have a sufficiently mature Geoethical Nanotechnology to make it past the challenges of going the wrong way as replicator nanotech is developed, and personal cyberconsciousness becomes the principal mode for humanity’s existence and further progression.
With the Singularity three to six decades away, as it now appears to be, a lot of maturation has to take place as promptly as possible, but not by trying to outdo Google over the next eighteen months. This is going to take people with the vision to see the necessity for strategy as well as creativity mixed with teamwork, as if the goal were to climb a difficult mountain. One of the main goals of this podcast is to raise awareness of this need on the part of those with the capacity to make this happen. You and I, as old timer cryonicists, aren’t going to be the cutting edge of this, but we can at least be there on the street corner whirling arrows pointing to the entry door, which say, “Joyful Immortality – don’t overlook it!”
(Linda) Let’s get going with the first Element of this group of Truths, 1.5.1 “Expansion turns matter into intelligence per Turing’s Universal Computing (1950) and von Neuman’s Universal Self-Replicating Machines (1960).” How can the ideas of those two thinkers and the relevance to Terasem’s goals be summarized briefly?
(Fred) It’s easy to get lost in details with something like this. Tracking down writings of theirs simply by year of publication is not the easiest thing, and Wikipedia’s entries on Alan Turing and John von Neumann are so exhaustive that one could spend years just browsing them.
To briefly summarize, Turing’s hypothesis of computational platforms as plausible substrates for self-conscious cyberbeings is in many ways at the root of interest in such a possibility, and von Neumann’s thoughts about self-replicating information structures, with variations enabling evolution of form and function, has such striking parallels with what we know about biological evolution that together, the ideas of these two men do suggest exactly what this Truth suggests, that extropy will bring about conversion of matter into intelligence.
Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity is Near, is a good way to see how matter may almost explosively start to be converted into intelligence, within the next several decades, just as it is at present almost explosively being converted into computational machinery on which we biological humans are more and more dependent. Kurzweil’s treatment is very detailed, though, and a strong technological orientation is needed to get the most of out of his book.
A second and really great way to explore ideas like Turing’s and von Neuman’s, in a more user-friendly way with lots of historical background, is browsing a somewhat less well known but even more accessible book by Dr. J. Michael Perry, Forever For All. For example, searching Forever For All produces 11 hits related to von Neuman’s work, and 76 mentions of Turing’s ideas.
(Linda) Dr. Perry’s book is just as accessible on Amazon.Com as Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near, but in addition the full text version can be downloaded from Perry’s website. The wonderful thing here is that this can be searched for “hits” as mentioned above. Go to universalimmortalism.org/ and take the “books” link; you’ll see: “CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD Forever for All: Moral Philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality, by R. Michael Perry”. Again, that URL is universalimmortalism.org.
(Fred) Thanks, Linda – again, although I’ll be synopsizing the ideas of all the authors mentioned in this Expansion of the Truths of Terasem, we can only scratch the surface. Without mentioning Perry’s book and how easy it is to get a searchable copy, we’d be shortchanging our listeners.
OK – got to keep moving. The next element of this Expansion is, 1.5.2 “Xenomass fuels Terasem expansion per Bernal’s Stellar Recycling (1969) and O’Neill’s Space Colonies (1975). Here, we have to read between the lines. The prefix “xeno” generally indicates “strange or foreign”, so let’s take that to mean forms of matter with which we’re presently unfamiliar. There is a substantial amount of Internet information on stellar recycling, where supernova remnants gather in great clouds that gravitationally gather to form new stars, but no connections with Bernal are visible. For lack of further insights from the outside at this point, I’ll take this truth to say that just as old stars die and transition to new ones by means of uptake of the remnants, perhaps involving intermediate forms of matter which are presently unknown to us, Terasem’s expansion will involve the use of forms of matter with which we are not presently familiar in the fabrication of new structures in space, where entirely new molecular configurations will be employed.
(Linda) Entirely new molecular configurations? Are you talking about things like Buckyballs and nanotubes?
(Fred) Exactly, but those are the barest whiffs of examples. Even in the world of biology, there are extraordinary instances of configurations that were “invented” by natural selection, such as spider-web materials and the “electric wires” that electric eels and similar creatures have developed within their bodies. With mature replicator nanotech, it would be embarrassingly tame to say “The sky’s the limit”. Gigantic new molecular structures are already “on the drawing boards”, theoretically stable, that illustrate what’s coming. Just because we can’t put molecules like this together right now doesn’t mean that it won’t soon be possible, in whatever forms we might wish. It could be that leaving lifeless planets in their original forms will make about as much sense as leaving iron ore in the ground when you could have used it to make steel beams.
Next is 1.5.3 “Physics includes immortality per Dyson’s Eternal Life Postulate (1979) and Tipler’s Closed Universe Cyber-resurrection (1989).” Here, I’m going to simply quote briefly from Mike Perry’s Forever For All, noting that Dyson gets 22 hits on a search of the book and Tipler turns up 131 points of discussion. This is the quote:
“To approach the “how” of immortality for this special but important case, we must confront the physics of our own universe. We can no longer take refuge in the possibilities of Unboundedness to overcome any calamity however great. Much is unknown, despite ongoing, exciting research and the efforts of theoreticians such as Dyson and Tipler. The latter, though, offers one insight that I think provides additional hope. As is often true of events on a smaller scale, the universe as a whole seems to be a chaotic system–meaning that small differences in conditions can give rise to large differences over moderate intervals of time. This opens a door to us as an intelligent species: we may, by calculated maneuvers, be able to exercise great control over the developing universe when we are more advanced, and ultimately win our goal of immortality by shaping an appropriate cosmic destiny. As usual this is not a guarantee, but let us look at some of the possibilities.”
Interestingly, one of the references in Perry’s bibliography is to Tipler’s, Physics of Immortality, noting that on pages 116–19, he “critiques Dyson’s open-universe model of immortality.” There’s no way in this podcast that we’re going to offer anything like that kind of coverage, so again, go to universalimmortalism.org, take the book link, and download Forever For All!
(Linda) C’mon, Fred, let’s dig just a little deeper! What can we say, ourselves about 1.5.4 “Adaptation to biology-cybernetic hybridization thrives per Licklider’s Man-Computer Symbiosis (1958) and Englebart’s Graphical User Interfaces (1968)”? We can’t just dump the whole load on Perry’s Forever For All!
(Fred) That’s absolutely true, Linda, and particularly here, where Perry said nothing at all about either of them. Searching Man-Computer Symbiosis, Wikipedia tells us that this is the title of: (quote)
“a key speculative paper published in 1960 by psychologist/computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider, which envisions that mutually-interdependent, “living together”, tightly-coupled human brains and computing machines would prove to complement each other’s strengths to a high degree.”
(Wikipedia Continues) “Man-computer symbiosis is a subclass of man-machine systems. There are many man-machine systems. At present, however, there are no man-computer symbioses. The purposes of this paper are to present the concept and, hopefully, to foster the development of man-computer symbiosis by analyzing some problems of interaction between men and computing machines, calling attention to applicable principles of man-machine engineering, and pointing out a few questions to which research answers are needed. The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today.
Similarly, searching “Graphical User Interface” and taking the Wikipedia link tells us, under “Augmentation of Human Intellect”:
Doug Engelbart’s Augmentation of Human Intellect project at SRI (Stanford Research Institute) in the 1960s developed the On-Line System (NLS), which incorporated a mouse-driven cursor and multiple windows used to work on hypertext. Engelbart had been inspired, in part, by the memex desk-based information machine suggested by Vannevar Bush in 1945. Much of the early research was based on how children learn.
Truth 1.5.4, says, about these, simply that “Adaptation to biology-cybernetic hybridization thrives.” It certainly seems to be the case. In connection with citations like this in the Truths of Terasem, it’s worth reflecting that in the Terasem Pledge, the very first principle of Terasem’s is “education persistently”, and that doesn’t mean sitting in a classroom, half asleep, reliving last night’s sit-com. It means, among other things, googling everything that arouses your curiosity, and if you don’t have an urge to do that, try googling “curiosity enhancement”, and one of the first things you see is a paper titled: “The Hunger for Knowledge: Neural Correlates of Curiosity”, out of Cal Tech, with a first paragraph that says:
(quote) Curiosity is the complex feeling and cognition that accompanies the desire to learn what is unknown. Curiosity can be both helpful and dangerous. It plays a critical role in motivating learning and discovery, increasing the world’s store of knowledge. Einstein, for example, once said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious ”. The dangerous side of curiosity is its association with exploratory behaviors with harmful consequences, as exemplified by the mythical Pandora, who opened a box that unleashed misfortunes on the world. Technology such as the Internet augments both good and bad effects of curiosity, putting both enormous amounts of information and potentially dangerous social encounters just a mouse click away. (end quote)
(Linda) In 1.5.5 we have, “Nanotechnology enables lifetime-spacetime expansion per Drexler’s Engines of Creation (1986) and Kurzweil’s Age of Spiritual Machines (1996). Now we’re close to something far more related to the immediate future. These are books that are probably very familiar to our listeners, and since we’ve expounded on them already in earlier podcasts, let’s move to the final Truth of this podcast, 1.5.6 “Destiny beckons pan-cosmic life, for religious prophets taught that humanity is here to honor all creation.” Do we find anything about any of that in Michael Perry’s book?
(Fred) Sorry, neither the Internet nor Forever For All helps, here, but the prefix “pan” is generally used to convey uniting or interconnecting all of what follows it, so let’s take “pan-cosmic life” to mean all forms of life throughout the cosmos, and that “honoring all creation” means finding value in whatever evolution has brought forth through extropy.
We may find the T-Rex to be unsuitable as a house pet, and understand that the poison of a black widow spider is something to be avoided, but at the same time we cannot help being amazed at the versatility of biological evolution in its pursuit of survival, and be inspired that throughout the universe there may be wonders of natural evolution far more impressive to be encountered and comprehended, and that among them there may be a variety of emergent sentient cultures of networked kind consciousness that will make us wonder why humankind couldn’t have found its way into one of those pathways, rather than evolving as it did.
(Linda) Endless adventures await us, for sure. Next week, we’re going to talk about consciousness, and how it fits into the framework of Terasem’s values and goals. It’s seen as a continuum of maturing abilities, which when healthy, embrace both autonomy and empathy, where interconnectedness with others is an inescapable part.
(Fred) True. Consciousness is a dynamic process, so passage of time is integral to it, and personal independence along with urges to improve are seen as vital. Reason and morality, combined with understanding the feelings of others, leads to an endless expansion of synergy among those who are at the same time evolving as individuals in creative ways. It’s by exploring this Expansion of the Truths of Terasem that we can in some ways best grasp what it can become.
(Linda) Before next week, you can find out about joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net if you think you might want to be right in the middle of this. Start preparing to “Wake up in cyberspace” by using CyBeRev.org and/or LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate. mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles.
(Fred) Right! And as we mentioned last week, there’s a powerful new Android app, free, most easily accessible at PersonalityMD.com. Get the details there and link to download from Google marketplace. Tens of thousands have already been downloaded, and it just keeps growing.
(Linda) It’s based on the CyBeRev program, but it’s more like a game, that tests not just responses but speed of entry and graphical navigation. The two dimensional display lets you do it right from a smart phone, with evaluations truly unique to you, but you also see how you compare to others’ and see how many like-minded people live near you!
(Fred) The fun’s just beginning. Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Podcast No. 26 Posted 1/24/2011
Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.4 – 1.4.6
SUB TITLE: Love as the Binding Force Within Terasem
SUMMARY: While love has many usages and interpretations, impulses of libido are so strong that they frequently override all other considerations, leading to such sayings as “love is blind”, and the esteem accorded to what is called “unconditional love”. Terasem’s concept of “love” transcends the idea of love stemming exclusively or even primarily from drives for sexual reproduction, although at the same time acknowledging the tremendous binding force of this for couples who have a tremendous level of admiration and respect for each other.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 26 on the Truths of Terasem. We’re going to talk about “love” this week.
(Linda) Is this going to be a “G” rated discussion, or do parents have to get their young children out of the room? If we’re going to talk about anything that could be kinky, we have to be careful!
(Fred) No problem, Linda! Love is used by Terasem in a way that’s so much broader than two chimpanzees making out that it’s beyond the ideas that most people would guess. Love is, as used in the Truths of Terasem, as strong as gravitation between minds that are in harmony with the Truths. It draws them together just as surely as it makes the Milky Way revolve and remain connected as a spiral galaxy, rather than the stars in it all going their separate ways.
(Linda) so does that have anything to do with the old expression, “Love makes the world go round?”
(Fred) That’s actually on target. “Making the world go round” could be crudely construed as motivating people to keep on making babies, so the human race won’t die out in one generation, but a more reasonable interpretation is that “the world goes round” because people know, that if they aren’t trustworthy, they won’t be trusted; if they are not likeable, no one will like them; if they don’t appreciate and respect others, they will not be respected and appreciated. This is more in tune with the principle that love draws people together in a long term, stable way and holds human civilization together. It’s still at a rudimentary stage of evolving compared with what it can be, but it’s vastly beyond the stage of pre-humans doing battle over who controls the water-hole in the arid environments where humans left their first footprints in stone, millions of years ago, in Africa.
(Linda) Let’s jump right in. The lead Truth in this Expansion is, “1.4 Loving: Terasem are lovers of life who believe that the greatest happiness in life comes from loving someone and from being loved, in return.” Is this Truth a way of blending the short and long term aspects of love?
(Fred) It is. There’s no question that romantic love is at the heart of almost all the fictional works we know, especially movies. Even in the most tense action movies, we usually find a relationship between the protagonists which may start with sexual attraction and blossom into a deep mutual admiration, respect, and sense of companionship over the course of the movie, leading to an outlook of a good, long term, bond that is so strong it seems like it could endure forever.
Even in romantic comedies, amidst the confusions and turnarounds that seem to be always involved, a sense of having “weathered the storm” of those events and having “found a love that could go on forever” will emerge. In romantic tragedies, such as “Love is a many splendored thing”, in the end it is the loss of enduring companionship and depth of knowing each other that is the root of the tragedy, the bitter sweet experience of having found, but then losing, what most people dream about and seek, but far too often do not find, in life.
The first part of this truth, about being “lovers of life”, is similarly about the fact that an enduring romantic love makes “life worth living”, not about the idea that “lovers of life” live in fear of death, vs. a thirst for life. There are those who seek life extension primarily out of the fear of death, rather than the thirst for adventure and joy. There are also those who actually *are* literally in love with life due to their having bonded with another so closely that the “happily ever after” state is already a reality for them, or who are so fascinated with the future and eager to be part of it that they cannot bear to lose the chance to experience it. In either case, the raw “fear of death” is not really the primary motivation.
And, there is one more thing to be mentioned about the “love of life” and the hunger for a close enduring relationship with another, or with a family of others, or fascination with the other aspects of one’s life, vs. “fear of death”. “Fear of growing old and dying” is frequently perceived by younger people as a reason to think older people who are near the end would share that vision and seek any recourse that would avoid death, that they would be intrigued by life extension and eager to make arrangements for whatever might benefit them. But in fact, as aging wreaks its havoc with one’s capabilities, gradually weakening one and inducing more and more discomfort, then chronic pain and mental dullness, the sense of life that once was experienced so dynamically, is not just lost but virtually forgotten, until a sense may arise that death will be a relief of living with so much restlessness, immobility and discomfort that it will finally be like an ultimate sleeping pill.
(Linda) I think our biochemistry changes, too. We lose the strong fight or flight hormones that drive us to stay alive. Next is “1.4.1 Love is transcendence, as sweet as it is deep.” In Podcast No. 22, posted on iTunes on December 27, 2010, we heard the vivid discussion by Martine Rothblatt, excerpted from a conference, of how an epiphany on the beach in Florida, coupled with and intensified by love, led to the Truths of Terasem and then to Terasem itself. If you haven’t already had the pleasure of listening to that podcast, we encourage you to do so. Look for the iTunes release date, again, of December 27th 2010. iTunes does not number the podcasts in the order created, so you’ll need to find it by the date posted.
(Fred) That was transcendence, all right, but “transcendence” can be taken far more broadly. In the pre-romantic stage of one’s life, there is very much an egocentric orientation. It’s just you, before you find that other person, and begin that long trek through the years together. Even at the start there’s often the wonder, the doubt, as to whether it will last.
Then, in some cases it’s only recognized looking back, such a strong sense of completeness arises you feel “it wouldn’t be me anymore” without the other person. This transcends egocentricity. One might feel he or she wouldn’t want to live without the other, that they’re part of a “shared identity” vs. a separate individual. Death of one partner may hasten that of the other; sometimes suicides result. Traumatic breakups can have the same effect.
My most vivid sense of that came from Navy diving where in our Hawaii based unit, two deaths occurred in just two years. We were bomb disposal people, but none of us blew ourselves up. Both deaths took place when divers got separated from swim buddies. In one case, rescue units from San Diego searched Pacific waters off Southern California for weeks; the body was never found.
When you and I began diving together, Linda, long after I was out of the Navy, I made us a very strong buddy line so no accident like being separated in thick kelp or you being seized by a great white shark could ever separate us. If we were either inescapably entwined in kelp, or a shark took you where I couldn’t get you free and to a hospital, that buddy line was meant to take me into oblivion, which I’d have preferred rather than go on without you. I still feel that way. This is the kind of transcendence I feel this Truth is all about.
(Linda) All of that’s true, and we are totally reciprocal about that, but there are other instances I want to talk about, which still further broaden the meaning. In warfare, as negative and alien as that is to life as we picture it finally becoming, combat teams have a kind of transcendence with their “no one gets left behind” mentality, where extraordinary “save you or die trying” acts are not just occasional, but are commonplace. Soldiers go back to carry their wounded out in so many cases that one can almost say this “save you or die” spirit manifests itself, even where no long term relationships exists. The same kind of spirit exists among lifeguards, where in many cases the rescuer dies in the attempt, along with the victim. I think this spirit of connectivity is so deep in many cases other than romantic love, that it’s worth noting.
Taking this to the immediate present, a program we tried to start over twenty years ago among cryonicists, called “LifePact” was one where we pledged a reciprocal relationship with others to help them not only get frozen, but also to be reanimated, trying to guard against such possibilities as say, at the time of reanimation, their funding was insufficient, or if their memories were damaged or lost. We were going to be there for each other so that our whole “team”, or “community”, if you wish, made it into the future and helped each other become part of that society. It never caught on, earlier. But now we’re seeing that kind of spirit taking shape, in a way we would have found unimaginably broad, as Terasem focuses on saving “all kind consciousness” everywhere. That’s “transcendence” on a cosmic scale!
(Fred) It sure is. Just when we’d given up on finding anything like that by the time we might have been frozen, suddenly there it was, like a doorway to the stars. But that’s beyond the scope of the current podcast. The next Truth in this series is “1.4.2 One love unites all life, the love of life.” This one pulls it together in a most universal way. All forms of life, especially conscious sentient life within Terasem’s definition of “kind consciousness” is conceived to be so receptive to this level of transcendence as to bind all of it together into a community, so in touch and in tune as to be a “collective consciousness” where individuality and diversity are fully respected.
At this level, it’s no longer quite the “I wouldn’t want to live without you” sense of bonding that unites those in the network, but there would be a sense of tragedy if anyone were irrecoverably lost. On the other hand, with the kind of cyber-substrates for mindfiles that we would expect to exist at that time, backed up even as they were created, that kind of loss would no longer occur to anyone as a source of worry.
(Linda) Let’s move on to “1.4.3 Vitological station is irrelevant to romantic adoration.” I have a feeling for what that’s about, from the standpoint of a short story I wrote over twenty years ago. It was about a Star ship captain, a woman, who kept freezing her husbands as they died of various causes, and waking them up at various times to continue her romantic relationship with them until finally, she realized she was more in love with her ship’s self-conscious computer than any of the men, and uploaded, leaving clones of herself behind for all of those husbands, one for each, all with memories of the times they first met.
(Fred) That’s a great example, but a closer to home one is that if a few years from now, we have a couple of super-powerful chat-bots of ourselves doing these podcasts, on the verge of self-consciousness and interacting with each other, as well as others who call up or meet them in Second Life, we can add all of our mindfiles to their databases with the right mindware and get the satisfaction of hearing them say, as the girl in the Movie “2B” says at the very end after uploading, “Everything will be OK! You’ll see!” We’ll know that when we finally fall asleep, with mindfiles that differ from those cybertwins of ours sufficiently so that we’re really two different couples, there will be a couple already up there in cyberspace that we understand and who will understand us really well, waiting to greet us as we awaken, moments later.”
(Linda) Right; and with the right kind of mindware, the same thing will work for people who did LifePact video interviews in the late 1980’s. Some of them are in cryonic suspension now, but nothing will prevent them from continuing their lives with a strong sense of “knowing who they were”, if it turns out they can’t ever be biologically reanimated. They made short but comprehensive diaries of their lives and how they felt about their lives, and also discussed uploading, at least at the brain-map level. They understood that those videos might be the only kind of memories they would emerge with, if their memories could not be recovered upon reanimation. My mother and your father are part of that group.
(Fred) All of that’s so, and many might say, “How do you know it will work out that way?” We’d have to answer, “We don’t know it, we believe it, just like we believe we will wake up among the living, tomorrow morning. You believe the same thing, and will plan on it, count on it, that you will be alive tomorrow. None of this can be proven; these are matters of belief. We have good reasons for believing that several decades from now what we have described will be the case. Those who do not believe are entitled to do so. It is because of this kind of uncertainty and differences of responding that Terasem has no alternative but to say that just as all religions rest on belief, so do our expectations of the future. Terasem is a “transreligion”; its beliefs are about the future of technology and what that will mean to us. We’re comfortable with this. With time, we believe that others will feel the same way, and join us in this pursuit of an endless future.
Moving on, 1.4.4 is brief, it’s: “I love you” strengthens Me, We, Qi and Ti. (end quote) It’s also quite abstract. Envision that you’ve said, “I love you” to someone, and that gives you an immediate sense of having evoked not only a higher sense of your connectivity to them, but a higher sense on their part of their connectivity to you. It’s like you clipped a buddy line between the two of you, in the spirit of “I’m there for you,” but it also brings with it a spirit of the same kind in a reciprocal way. It strengthens both you and the two-of-you as a “We”. That takes care of the first two.
(Linda) Yes, and it’s like the Navi saying in the movie “Avatar”: “I see you”, meaning, I understand you, I empathize with you.
(Fred) Right! Ti and Qi are, respectively, the “Time cone of a being’s existence” and the “unique pattern of a being’s energy flows”, according to Truths from another Expansion, 1.8.1. We’ll be discussing this about a month from now, so rather than go into depth on it now, let’s just say that the “time cone” of a being’s existence might be visualized as a cone from the past extending endlessly into the future, with the pointed end of the cone being the earliest time, perhaps the moment of conception of that person’s embryo within a womb. From there, the potential of how long and how wide the other end of that cone could be is unlimited. It might become endless in time and boundless in space.
“Unique pattern of a being’s energy flows” is much the same. In the beginning, the single cell draws an almost infinitesimal amount of energy from the mother’s womb. As time passes, who can say? Might one envision a day in which one part of one’s “body” would be a nanobot based sphere with a radius slightly greater than the planet Mars, harvesting energy from the sun at that distance and reradiating it outward in a focused way toward the moons of the giant planets, making them more usable as platforms for cyberconsciousness, where one’s personality would mainly reside and interact with others there, who might be engaged in even more creative pursuits? How do we know where the “unique pattern of one’s energy flows” might lead? We only know that exchanging “I love you!” with another might strengthen and enrich what it might become.
(Linda) In 1.4.5, we find, “Never underestimate the power of love.” If you can imagine a part of your body harvesting energy as a sphere with a radius slightly larger than the orbit of Mars, why can’t I imagine a body with a radius slightly larger than a globular cluster, harvesting in the same way the unused outflow from that for the benefit of nearby space stations potentially light years in diameter, of computronium, where I might have an even larger number of friends than if I were to restrict myself to a tiny part of just one star system.
(Fred) You got me, I think the idea is just to not underestimate it. If you find yourself stuck, then love might be just the lubricant to “unstick” you. We’re near the end. The last one is “1.4.6 Glorify love, for it empowers diversity, unity and joyful immortality.” This just about takes us back to the beginning, where we said, “Love, as used in the Truths of Terasem, is as strong as gravitation between minds that are in harmony with the Truths. It draws them together just as surely as it makes the Milky Way revolve and remain connected like a spiral galaxy, rather than the stars in it all going their separate ways.” I’m not going to try to upstage you be suggesting a body that is so big it harvests all the stray radiation leaving the main Milky Way galaxy, but rather stay with the idea that it can get us “unstuck” if that happens in our pursuit of “diversity, unity and joyful immortality”. That’s the end goal, anyway, and the idea is to engage in the pursuit endlessly.
(Linda) Next week, we’re going to have to jump right into that stuff about harvesting unused energy from galaxies. It starts with, and I’m just going to read it as a preview, “1.5 Expansionist: Terasem is duty-bound to expand throughout the galaxy and the universe as rapidly as possible.” Want to try to add anything to that?
(Fred) No, except that we’re going to delve into some of the most historically mind-bending ideas that laid the basis for Terasem’s visions, including Turing’s Universal Computing, and von Neuman’s Universal Self-Replicating machines, Bernal’s Stellar Recycling, and O’Neill’s Space Colonies.
(Linda) Don’t forget Dyson’s Eternal Life Postulate, Tipler’s closed universe cyber-resurrection, and biology-cybernetic hybridization per Licklider’s Man-Computer Symbiosis and Englebart’s Graphical User Interfaces, not to mention lifetime-spacetime expansion per Drexler’s Engines of Creation and Kurzweil’s Age of Spiritual Machines.
(Fred) That’s a lot to cover, but the last Truth for next week is going to really put us to the test, when we try to tie it all together with, “Destiny beckons pan-cosmic life, for religious prophets taught that humanity is here to honor all creation.” We’ll have to really jump some hoops to avoid making that podcast so long we can’t upload it.
(Linda) All of this will be easier, once we’re in cyberspace where we have 24,000 hours a day to “get it all done”. Hey, all of you listening to this, we invite you to learn more about mindfiles at mindclones.blogspot.com and to explore joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net and grab a seat on this ocean liner to the stars.
(Fred) You can start working toward “Waking up in cyberspace” right away at CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate. Terasem’s new Android app makes it even easier, at terasemcentral.org. Take the “Personality MD” link. It’s more like a game than anything else, but it also is building mindfiles at the same time.
(Linda) True; tens of thousands of the free starter applications have been downloaded, and it just keeps getting better; you do it with a smart phone using a two dimensional display, getting personality evaluations unique to you and seeing how your traits compare to others’ and where those who have the same kind of mindsets you do are located geographically.
(Fred) Some who are going into cyberspace will want a biological option, to be sure they can backload mindfiles into that substrate, if cryonics reanimation has difficulties with memory recovery. So, LifeNaut.com has launched its BioFile Project, storing biologically viable cells for high-level DNA preservation with a one-time fee of $99.
(Linda) What’s the bottom line? Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Pocast No. 25 Posted 1/17/2011
Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.3 – 1.3.6
SUB TITLE: Leadership in Terasem
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 25 on the Truths of Terasem. Today, the focus is on leadership within Terasem.
(Linda) Leadership? Is that anything like what’s meant when the Pentagon orders troops into battle, or a big corporation figures out how it can squeeze the most out of each employee for shareholder benefit?
(Fred) That’s not “leadership”, if anything, we might call it “laggership”. The boss with a whip in his hand is not ‘out front’, paving the way and helping those who want to follow, to not be left behind. He’s behind them, with a sharp stick. And, the military commander who is ordering troops into battle, especially if it’s for political purposes as is so often the case, is simply a puppet master who will sacrifice pawns to save the knight or bishop, or the king or queen, speaking in terms of chess.
(Linda) So, if that’s not “leadership”, what is? What’s the positive side of the picture?
(Fred) The leader, effectively, opens new doors and draws attention to them, helping those who can see them gain access, removing obstacles and acquiring more capability to do so each time what’s done “works”. A good example is the foraging teamwork of bees. The bee who finds a new area of flowers comes back and spreads the word, then leads the way back, and as a result is “paid off” in extra body energy with which to do even more of it.
Biology offers examples that can be illuminating. Consider the tick that locks onto the back of a dog’s neck, drinking blood until it is so full it bulges, with the idea that it will then be able to lay more eggs that will then do exactly what the mother tick has done, if they can. Then, picture the Noblemen of the old European kingdoms who used their inherited land and wealth to virtually enslave the neighboring farmers and villagers. Not exactly like the creative, productive bee, were they?
(Linda) There’s a wide spectrum of what people do with what they earn, and some do more good than others. Ayn Rand glamourized capitalism as if to suggest that most who accumulated wealth really created more good than they kept, but reality tells us that is not the case at all; hard-sell salesmen are all too prevalent, and office politics in highly discriminative ways is too often the rule rather than the exception.
Terasem is organized to cultivate a spirit of positive visions and the pursuit of them. Its introductory Truth here is: “1.3 Leadership: The leader of Terasem is the sub-collective most progressed in achieving the Terasem Way of Life.” Is there any way you can synopsize, in simple terms, the “Terasem Way of Life”?
(Fred) First of all, note that it is a group, not an individual, being referred to as the “leader”. The term “sub-collective” could mean, at this time, a small c-cube of 5 to 10 Terasem Joiners. As Terasem grows, it could be so broad as to refer to a network of all the c-cubes in some region, assuming that this part of Terasem’s network had been highly attuned to Terasem’s principles and very creative and productive, in nourishing its growth. This is more of a yardstick based on principle than a rigid formula. Perhaps the point here is that such a group, whether large or small, could serve as a role model for others, and thus ‘lead the way’ toward even higher achievement.
The next Element of this Expansion is “1.3.1 Let the founders provide direction, for they are inspired from the future age of cyber-resurrection.” That’s a little more far reaching an idea, isn’t it? How would you interpret this one?
(Linda) The founders have provided a fantastic ideological platform as well as a strong corporate group support network, upon which to build, and they are committed to increasing the strength of both of these. So, as the building process moves forward, it makes sense to seek guidance from them, or “direction” if you will, in how to pursue this with the best balance and blend of diversity and unity. This doesn’t rule out innovation at all, in fact we’ve found there’s tremendous encouragement of that. It’s more like looking for insights from those who conceived the whole notion of Terasem from the first, and who may be able to see pitfalls those of us who are newer can’t spot, or opportunities we may have overlooked.
(Fred) Sounds good to me. I’m particularly glad to see the emphasis on “being inspired from the future age of cyber-resurrection”. Terasem does envision that we will, no later than the end of this century and probably well before, transcend biology as the seat of our personalities and basic sense of identity, and emigrate into cyberspace as well as take along with us emulations of many who didn’t live that long via mindfiles.
Ideas like this are sprouting out everywhere. The famous astronomer Fred Hoyle long ago speculated about electrical interactions in nebulae as a possible basis for sentience, and in a discussion of science in Star Trek Voyager at the end of its first season, it was mentioned that possibilities like this are being used more and more, as their plausibility mounts. At the level where our consciousness as human beings is concerned, there seems to be no doubt that self-conscious cyber-personalities will soon be achievable, and that fairly elementary mindfile sets can nucleate identity.
(Linda) The next Truth after that one is “1.3.2 Evolve operational leadership from those individuals at the highest levels of the Terasem Way of Life.” This sounds like diversifying responsibilities in a sensible fashion, more than anything else, something at the other end of the spectrum from micro-management or imposition of goals that aren’t practical but are demanded anyway, as is so often the case where those in management insist on an arbitrary deadlines or production quality levels that are unrealistic, based on whim alone.
(Fred) The next one builds on that, with “1.3.3 Allow fresh beings to join the Leadership based on advancements in level granted at Quadrennial Convocations.” This is both conservative and highly flexible. Earlier, we described sub-collective as a group that might correspond to a c-cube, and we know that advancements of c-cubes to c-quads, and higher level advancements of this kind, only take place every four years. That type of advancement in leadership level is confirmed in this Element, and strengthened by formalizing it in connection with the quadrennial events.
Flexibility is there, because the entities advanced are groups vs. simply individuals. At the same time, the four year intervals are good because they prevent snap judgments. As opposed to political voting practices which put people into office based on highly intense and brief campaign periods, and then seeing what they do over the next four years, Terasem waits up to four years to see if advancement is really justified, and then the advancement is lasting, barring a very high level of internal difficulty that might cause a shift downward based on a loss of confidence that has a high level of consent associated with it.
That’s a rather abstract way to put it, so temporarily, I’m going to jump over 1.3.4 which would normally come next and go straight to 1.3.5, which states, “Extract from Leadership anyone who lacks the confidence of even 16% of the Leadership.” For example, at whatever level of group is concerned, if five out of six groups were to find the other one to be so out of tune with the 5/6 majority that obtaining unanimous consent on issues that required this were being blocked, then that 5/6 could get “unstuck” by a de-escalation process.
(Linda) Yes, if the idea seems to be that we’re committed to unity on some issues to a very high level, perhaps to the level of requiring unanimous consent, like on Geoethical Nanotechnology matters, but one group almost always, blindly and without good cause, stands in the way, this would be a way to resolve such a deadlock, but not in a simple majority, shoot-from-the-hip way.
(Fred) True, and even that is just one illustration of the extent to which this principle might be applied. For example, if consent to a 5/6 or better level were required by mutual agreement on some issues, something less than unanimity, it would take 5 out of 6 to approve it. One member could disagree, and action could go forward, but even a 2/3 majority would fail. There are so many possible ways of seeing how a high-consent principle would be conservative in the interests of Geoethical Nanotechnology or in the building of an ethical set of principles on which a harmonious sense of community could rest, that we could devote multiple podcasts to just this one idea, but the purpose here was only to build upon the ideas of 1.3.3, where quadrennial convocations were the occasions for advancement.
(Linda) Now we can go back and pick up 1.3.4, which reads, “Delegate sub-leadership responsibility for geoethical nanotechnology, universal emulation, and cyber-resurrection, and scientific, economic and legal questions.” These areas are so critical to Terasem’s goals, as set in its earliest stages, that already subspecialties are being identified, but we may expect a continued expansion of this with time. There’s a lot to be done. Just a look at the Terasem Journals and the many serious articles that have been published there, online, is evidence of that.
(Fred) The last Truth, this week, is “1.3.6 Respect the previous decisions of the Leadership, absent compelling reasons to change, for this compounds order.” This integrates a number of the other preceding Truths, for the exclusion of “compelling reasons for change” is in congruence with the idea that a high level of consent would be required to change previous decisions as well as initiate new ones. The evolution of Terasem’s Leadership may be slow, but it’s a foundation we are hoping will carry us to the stars, not just those of us who are involved today, but a great many others we expect to join us in the future.
(Linda) Next week, we’ll explore Terasem’s view of “love”, the part it played in Terasem’s origin, and how integral it is with Terasem’s future. This is one of the most penetrating Expansions in the Truths, and one of the most inspiring.
(Fred) Right! Terasem is a community where love is taken to mean the deepest levels of acceptance and respect, overriding diversity of all kinds, so long as the relationships are free of pain and cruelty. Joining Terasem puts you right at the center of this, and terasemfaith.net is where the whole picture is available.
(Linda) If you think you might want to plan and prepare for “Waking up in cyberspace” at the head of the crowd, this can be pursued by way of CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate. Check out the new service called “BioFile”, at LifeNaut.com, where you can collect and store a copy of your DNA for almost nothing.
(Fred) Right! And, there’s a new Android App from Terasem that’s being downloaded like crazy. It’s at terasemcentral.org, and it’s free, more like a game than anything else, but with a serious underlying purpose.
(Linda) A smart phone is all you need, and with a two dimensional display you can see how personality traits unique to you compare to others’. A map lets you see how people in your area have the same kind of mindsets you do. Tens of thousands of these have been downloaded, and it just keeps growing, every week. And don’t forget, mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles.
(Fred) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!