Podcast No. 32 Posted 3/7/2011
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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.