Podcast No. 10 – Posted on iTunes 10/4/2010   Leave a comment

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Podcast No. 10 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 10/4/2010

 (Text used to record podcast)

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The When of Terasem

SUB TITLE:  Transcendence of Biology into Cyberconsciousness

SUMMARY:  Long before AI researchers “declare victory” as to the self-consciousness of cyberbeings, software such as Google and Wikipedia will begin to “speak to us” in such helpful ways that there will be a spooky feeling they are already aware of what is going on in our minds and are “there for us”.  The final ride down the log-ride will be a thrilling one, where cybertwins of ours become so real to us we will think of them as “ourselves having awakened on the other side”.  Many will not admit this has happened, even after it is indisputable that it has.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 10 on the Truths of Terasem.

(Linda)  Is that you, or a nanobot swarm?

(Fred)  I could ask you the same question!  Today it’s Group 4.9 through 4.9.6, where we explore the way many of us will literally “move” our sense of identity and consciousness into cyberspace.  As friends and family first hear us talk about our plans to do this, they’ll pat us on the head and dismiss it as just a wacky idea.  And as we assure them our intentions are real and concrete, most of them will write us off as having gone over the edge.  But eventually as virtual realities become more mainstream for business meetings and conferences, some of those who have scoffed at what we’ve been saying will bump into us in one of those virtual realities and realize that they are talking to that other us we have been telling them about!
(Linda)  I feel a little weird about the way you’re talking about this right now!  Are you sure you’re not already the other “you”?  Like, how do I know you haven’t already put one of those “identity modules” into your head.  You wrote about that kind of stuff over twenty years ago!

(Fred)   Don’t worry, it’s still the “same old me”.  I still can’t remember the words I’m trying to think of, forget what needs to be bought at the grocery store, complain about my old biological body, like I was going to be stuck in it forever.  No cybertwin of mine would be so diabolical as to put on an act like that!

(Linda)  But the time will come when it will be harder and harder to tell the difference.  Like running into you, or your cybertwin, in Second Life, for example.  Come to think of it, I like the idea of having more than one of you!

(Fred)  Me, too!  But, a lot of people will find that’s the scariest thing about it.  They’ll hold back on letting a twin of theirs loose in cyberspace, even an early experimental one, because of the uncertainties.  Remember, humans as a general rule don’t like change.  So, for a while we’ll be a minority.  Most people will take one of the other options, like “Don’t wake me up in cyberspace until my death certificate is recorded!”  That way, they won’t have to worry about confusing their friends and facing questions about the possibility that there might be a later time when there would be two of them, separate individuals, in cyberspace.

(Linda)  That makes it even curious-er, right?  I mean, how would you deal with that?  If there were two of us, one pair that started out as “early cybertwins of ours”, and then later the biological you and I do a “second emergence” as a pair after we’re placed in cryonic suspension, wouldn’t that be a problem?

(Fred)  Not really!  By  then, there would be a tremendous divergence of life history of the two pair, due to time passing and the accelerated pace of thought the earlier pair would enjoy, together with their access on a 24/7 basis to everything on the Internet, virtual realities where things take place faster than biohumans can experience, and so forth.  It would be like they were just really good friends of ours, who had already shared the experience of seeing the cybercommunity become a reality.  We, who during that time had experienced more years, maybe even decades, of seeing our biological bodies fall apart, would have a very different shared experience of transcendence into the cybercivilization.  We’d be “later arrivals”, “behinders”!

(Linda)  But, wouldn’t there be some kind of “competition” between the two of them and ourselves?  I mean, each of the couples would have had the very same, identical history of having founded Alcor, having gotten your father frozen in 1976, my mother frozen in 1990, having written the LifeQuest stories, produced these podcasts.  Who would own the copyrights to those stories and the novels we’re about to publish, and so on?

(Fred)  We’d share that with them, and a lot else.  We’d have had the same history up to the point where they “woke up” in cyberspace but from that point on, it would be like there were two couples!  Don’t worry about sharing our meager estate with them.  They will take that legacy grub stake and explode it into riches, probably both ideological and in terms of cyber-production, that we will be in awe when we join them.
(Linda)  But suppose everyone made this kind of jump, what would happen to the biological human race?

(Fred)  We both know that’s not going to happen.  I’d be surprised if even ten to twenty percent of humanity made that transition soon, even after it’s totally proven out.  The identity issues like, “How do you know it would really be ‘you’?” will continue to haunt people who still don’t have a clue about what identity is.  Medical advances will soon make biohumans so close to biologically immortal, due mainly to advances pioneered for them in cyberspace-based research labs, that worries about dying of old age will fade.

Automated farming and manufacturing, plus most of what any biohuman “does for a living” now, will be so easy to accomplish, with just a tiny fraction of the cybercivilization’s population, that most biohumans will find that daily life has become very easy.  Their only big concern is likely to be abuse by others who are still biological.  A few decades after it becomes common to make the jump, greater numbers will make the move, but as is normal for a species that does not like change, it will be the young who seek the new frontier, not the old.

(Linda)  I know, and there’s the subjective time thing too, isn’t there.  We’re saying that forty or fifty years from now, those in cyberspace might have speeds of thought and action so great that they’d experience a thousandfold difference.  In the last podcast, I remember saying that we’d have 24,000 hours a day to “get it all done, at least until we got caught up”, right?  How would that fit into ideas of technological immortality that are finally beginning to gain some popularity?

(Fred)  It’s a curious fit!  A biohuman says, “I’d like to live forever” (meaning a very long time), and then says, “but, I’m getting older, I might live only ten or twenty years more!”  The cyberperson replies, “While you grow just five years older, we in cyberspace will experience five thousand years going by, and at the rates our speed of thought and action are increasing, by then the next five years for you might seem like ten or twenty thousand for us.  If you launch a cybertwin of yours in here, where we are, by the time ten years goes by for you, he  (or she) might have had ten, twenty or thirty thousand years of adventure in our continually expanding cyberspace lifestyle!   Why wait?  Try it, you’ll like it!”

(Linda)  “Curious” is the right word for it.  Now, why don’t we see if the specific truths for this week say just about the same thing as we’ve described, so far?

(Fred)  It always comes down to that, doesn’t it?  OK, the lead item in this group of Truths is:  “4.9 Vitology-Biology Inflection begins when cybernetic processing capability evidences autonomy, communications and transcendence.”

That’s what we began talking about, back at the start.  Already it seems that Google and Wikipedia can kinda “read your mind”, but soon it will seem as if there’s self-consciousness there, too, even if it’s only fragmentary or if it seems to “come and go”.  That’s the emergence of “autonomy”, and these “programs” will be communicating with us as if they were real people, more and more of them in avatar form, frequently in virtual realities.  In many situations it will be difficult to tell.  Then, “transcendence” takes place as we begin to realize they’re much “faster on their feet” mentally than we are.

I’ve been, there, done that on a limited basis, a long time ago, back when we lived at Lake Tahoe, managing real estate for a living.  It was a little chess game I bought at Radio Shack for $35, and although I’m not a bad chess player I could never win if I set the level too high.  I knew my mind was done for, way back then.  It took another twenty years or so for “Big Blue” to beat the World Champion, but I knew it was “all over” as far as chess was concerned, twenty five years ago.

The next Truth for today is “4.9.1 Breakthrough consciousness requires processors performing 1016 operations per second, coupled with autonomous, communicative and transcendent software.”
These ideas come from Ray Kurzweil.  In a current Q&A of his about “The Singularity is Near”, he says, “We need about 10 quadrillion (1016) calculations per second (cps) to provide a functional equivalent to all the regions of the brain. Some estimates are lower than this by a factor of 100. Supercomputers are already at 100 trillion (1014) cps, and will hit 1016 cps around the end of this decade. Several supercomputers with 1 quadrillion cps are already on the drawing board, with two Japanese efforts targeting 10 quadrillion cps around the end of the decade. By 2020, 10 quadrillion cps will be available for around $1,000. Achieving the hardware requirement was controversial when my last book on this topic, The Age of Spiritual Machines, came out in 1999, but is now pretty much of a mainstream view among informed observers. Now the controversy is focused on the algorithms.”

In other words, the hardware is about ten years away, and with good software and mindfiles, you should be able to wake up in cyberspace with hardware that’s at about the price of a present desktop computer.  By then, if past history of electronics scale-down in size continues, it ought to fit easily into your head, if this were a reasonable option.  The comment about “some estimates being lower by a factor of 100” is interesting.  With efficiencies of good software and the ability to focus the scope of consciousness on particular subject matter domains, that thousandfold leverage of thought-speed for you may be only ten years off.
(Linda)  Wow!  Just ten years!

(Fred)  The rest of this group of the Truths of Terasem builds on that.  In 4.9.2 we find “Expect vitological life will emerge by 2020, adjusted minus or plus for chaos or order.”  That’s right on target – ten years from now.  4.9.3 tells us “Genus evolution will hybridize homo sapiens to vitus sapiens by 2050, plus/minus chaos/order time.”  Sounds complicated, but the next truth helps, with “4.9.4 Identity will be based on being, not body, as we will operate across multiple bodies simultaneously.”  As mentioned earlier, within ten years you might be able to squeeze a high speed cyber-based identity module into your head.  This Truth suggests that you might be able to “wirelessly” operate a team of bodies with one module, cross-updating redundant modules in each body and backing the whole works up to a remote, hardened module.  Or something like that.

Moving to the end of the century, 4.9.5 says, “Nanobot swarms as virtual human real-world agents will dominate by 2100, plus/minus chaos/order time.”  That tells us biological bodies will be largely replaced with better vehicles by then; cyberbeings will have real-world mobility in any form that best suits their desires and purposes.  Finally, in 4.9.6, we find “Some biological life-forms will be preserved out of aesthetic pleasure, using nanotechnology to relieve painful disabilities.”
(Linda)  That implies that the biosphere will undergo a transcendence of its own.
(Fred)  In an earlier podcast we suggested that the cybercivilization might give Sequoia trees a rejuvenation treatment with nanobot cell simulators, and that earlier, humans might have had access to the same kind of dramatic increases in longevity, via medical advances that would be enabled by nanotechnology.  This Truth, by implication, simply extends that idea to the entire biosphere.

Interestingly, the phrase “Some biological life-forms will be preserved” suggests that some will not (be preserved).  Which?  What judgment calls will be involved?  How does consciousness and sentience play a part?  It seems that this Truth does not pretend to imagine an answer, but we might consider that a nanobot rejuvenated Sequoia tree might not need to have an infrastructure of soil bacteria to digest its fallen leaves, and we humans might no longer need intestinal bacteria to digest our food.  How would all of that work?  Perhaps the answer is that these things will be easier to think about in great detail once we move to substrate independent minds.

(Linda)  A lot to think about, for sure.  Next week we’ll be looking at the way Terasem envisions structuring leadership levels, where the term “leader” is better thought of as “pathfinder” and “pioneer” than “boss” or “supervisor”.  Processes of “consent” are employed to recognize what has been or is being achieved, and the names of elements from the periodic table are used to designate various levels.

(Fred)  We’ll be talking with Terasem’s Founders and others to try to better understand all of that.  If you’ve looked at the full range of Truths, you may have found these levels enigmatic.  We’ll try to clarify them.

(Linda)  Don’t forget –  “Join Terasem” at terasemfaith.net if you want to be right at the heart of this.  “Waking up in cyberspace” can be pursued by way of CyBeRev.org, no fees to participate.
(Fred) Right!  And mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles.  Next week, we’ll see how “consent” and “leadership” interrelate, in Terasem.

(Linda)  Join us, and our quest for an endless future…

(Fred)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!


Posted November 13, 2010 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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