Podcast No. 2 – Posted on iTunes 8/9/2010   1 comment

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Podcast No. 2 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 8/9/2010

 

(Text used to record podcast)

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The When of Terasem 4.1

SUB TITLE:  Identity Transfer into Cyberspace

SUMMARY:  Those who choose an identity transfer into cyberspace, in only a few decades, may think and interact with each other at great speeds.  During each one of our years, a thousand or more may seem to pass for them.  This podcast explores how rapidly the Singularity may unfold, and how this may seem to both those who stay in biological form and those who become part of an emergent cyber-civilization.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re back…

(Linda)  “Back?” – “back to back?”… Just kidding!  We’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, and this is the second in the new podcast series on the Truths of Terasem.

(Fred)   The Truths of Terasem are far reaching ethical principles helpful in guiding what we do, in a future where computers have become self-conscious, where we want to make sure human life as we know it goes on, smoothly, during what may soon become a widespread emigration of humans into cyberspace.

(Linda)  As Fred mentioned last week, we’re starting midway through the Truths of Terasem, in step with annual review of them by those of us affiliated with Terasem.  If you want to review the whole series in advance, they’re online at either terasemweb.org or terasemfaith.net.

(Fred)  We’re starting with the fourth Section, “When is Terasem?”  Like, what kind of timing do we see coming for Terasem?  In what follows…

(Linda)  Whoa!  Wait a minute!  Since we’re starting with the fourth Section, how about a very brief synopsis of the first three, who, what, and where are Terasem?”

(Fred)  Good idea!  We’re still just in “first gear”.  The First Section is, “Who?” is Terasem.  Simplifying the original wording, it’s a network of people who value individuality and harmony with each other as equally important, and seek to stay alive endlessly, enjoying every second of it…  Section Two, “What is Terasem?” takes us into what our basic “selves” may ultimately become, with advances in high technology.

In Section Three, “Where?”, we get more down to earth.  There are even physical addresses of key meeting places.  Terasem is presently a real-world, expanding network of real people, but soon virtual realities will make this easier and eventually dominate, for get-togethers.  And, sooner than we think, we may even find digital people starting to join Terasem.  Does that help?

(Linda)  Yes!  It’s at least a quick overview.  Looking at one of the Truths’ webpages given a moment ago would be even better.  Let’s keep moving!

(Fred)  Great!  Terasem’s anticipations about the future make many of today’s concerns seem tame.  Global warming, overpopulation, impact of high technology on culture, and others like this are usually thought of as being 20, 30, 40 years away.  In the Truths of Terasem, these difficulties are seen as very realistic, but technology is likely to solve them before they become catastrophic, if technology itself does not turn out to be an even greater and more dangerous problem.

The Truths of Terasem are thus optimistic about the intermediate term, and, quite concerned about the short term.  For example, they address dilemmas posed in Ray Kurzweil’s book “The Singularity is Near”, where little programs that presently try to answer our questions over the telephone, but not too efficiently, suddenly are so helpful that they are indispensable to our comfort of life, just as they are already essential to the efficient operation of the economy, like our manufacturing and financial sectors.

Soon this software will be undeniably self-conscious, and, alarmingly more intelligent and capable than human beings.  These emerging cyberpersons will be talking with one another as well as with us, but in their inner circles they’ll be speaking at thousands of times the speed of we biological humans, globally and in all languages interchangeably, with instant access to all the information on what the Internet will have become.

(Linda)  That’s great definition of the Singularity!  And it sounds like something that could easily get out of hand.  How do the Truths of Terasem fit into that?

(Fred)  Basically, the Truths call for we biological humans to foresee the potential dangers, the worst that can happen and create a segment of this “cyber-society” where the majority of cyberpersons are united in a network to foster ethical technology development that supports humankind, much in the way that many societies bring up children to regard themselves as being indebted to their parents and to society in general, for the very fact that they are alive and were cared for in their childhood.

(Linda)  It sounds like a very complex thing to make happen!

(Fred)  It is.  Still, as we go, we’ll see how those who originated the Truths of Terasem virtually left no stone unturned trying to anticipate what will be involved, and help guide it constructively.
The TOT recognizes that technology today is following, in compellingly persuasive ways, a spontaneous self-ordering in the universe that can be literally traced all the way back to the Big Bang some fifteen billion years ago.  It took a while for galaxies to form, then more complex elements arose from exploding stars, solid planets became common, life arose, and still billions of years more were required for DNA to achieve the present state of elegance it has, and produce self-aware, intelligent human beings.
 
They, perhaps it would be more correct to say “we”, then invented tools, created cultures, devised religions that foresaw the possibility of heavens and hells, and now as discussed in the previous podcast have developed high technologies permitting heavens and hells to exist.

Technology is not just speeding up exponentially, but the very rates of these changes are exponentiating.  The present situation is such that changes that once took centuries now occur in decades, then only years.  These rates of change continue to increase.  As we’ve already mentioned several times, and will continue to remind ourselves, self-conscious cyberbeings will soon think and communicate at speeds a thousandfold or more beyond our biological rates.

(Linda)  That’s difficult to visualize, isn’t it?  If I were a cyberperson speaking with you, and you had to leave the computer for a minute to get a cold drink, how long would that seem to me?

(Fred)  At a thought speed difference of a thousandfold, a bio-human’s one minute trip to the refrigerator would seem, to a cyberperson like you, to be over sixteen hours.  If I went out of town for a week, that would be about 20 years, as you would experience it.

(Linda)  And… since you and I are still doing things at biohuman rates, we’ve burned up a lot of those biohuman minutes jabbering about this.  Why don’t we get down to the specific Truths for the day, and see how they fit into what we’ve been talking about?

(Fred)  Right!  Hopefully, they’ll sound pretty obvious, as we dive into them.

The Section of Truths we’re starting with is “4.0 When is Terasem?” It’s answered by, “Terasem arises whenever diversity, unity and joyful immortality arise, which is soon in subjective time.”  In simpler terms, it’s anticipated that things are going to seem to change very rapidly for biological humans, very soon.  As part of this, if Terasem’s vision is fulfilled, both biological humans and cyber persons might experience this as a state of “joyful immortality”, but reflect that a cyberbeing might enjoy a thousand years of it for each year that a biological human gets.  Something to think about!

The first Group of individual Truths under 4.0 explores this from various viewpoints, starting with “4.1 Subjective time passes as fast as it is perceived, and faster with order than with chaos.”  This fits with the idea that the cybercommunity, a more highly ordered level of human culture, may experience a century of activity in less than one month as perceived by those who are still biological.  An aged grandparent who chooses identity transfer to cyberspace vs. cremation or burial and has appropriate sensory access to the real world might watch over his or her grandchildren like a guardian angel, moment to moment, even if there were ten of them, and still have 99% of his or her time free for adventures and artistic activities in the cybercommunity.

Let’s move on with “4.1.1 Faster paths to joyful immortality are those which emphasize geoethical nanotechnology.”  This is another way of saying that if technology is used for good purposes rather than destructive goals, it will be possible to move far more quickly toward achieving and receiving the benefits of a Terasem oriented cyber-culture than otherwise.

4.1.2 builds upon 4.1, saying, “Always remember that time intervals vary directly with chaos and inversely with compounded order.”  This tells us, very concisely, that if we do not properly utilize high technology for avoidance of confusion and accelerated accomplishment, anything we seek to achieve will take longer.  The Pony Express could not keep up with the telegraph; email trumps snail mail.  Cyber-humans and biohumans will literally live in different time-experience realms.

Tie-in’s with other Truths come to the surface in “4.1.3 – See that every way to accelerate Terasem is a way to reduce pain and suffering.”  Terasem’s utmost principle of networking is to support others who might otherwise be left behind, suffering for lack of ways to understand what their possibilities might be.  The aged grandparent who chooses cyberspace vs. cremation/burial may reduce pain of loss for his/her family, and the “guardian angel” connectivity might further help ease the lives of those of the family who are still in biospace.

In 4.1.4, the scope of the last Truth is extended to limits of the conceivable: “Terasem becomes omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient when it encompasses all consciousness and enough multiverse.”  To grasp the possibility of such a phrase applying to the real world in a scientifically meaningful way, it is practically a prerequisite to be familiar with Ray Kurzweil’s farthest ranging projections, or to have done the same kind and level of thinking independently.  For most of us, an in-depth reading of “The Singularity is Near” is easiest.  It’s like going to the top of Mt. Everest in a helicopter, vs. climbing it.

The same principle applies to the next Truth, “4.1.5 Extension of intelligence to the cosmos clocks the arrival of Multiversal Terasem.”  There are many ways to visualize this one.  Carl Sagan, in “Cosmos”, captured this well in a single sentence:
 
“We are star stuff; the universe becoming aware of itself!”

Terasem carries this to its logical endpoint; a universe in which most of the matter has been converted to something far more sentient than either biological human brains or the cyberbeings’ computational hardware systems we envision as supporting the next step in human evolution.

(Linda)  Fred, all of those Truths up to this last one coming up, are mind-stretchers indeed, but this last one is a true mind-‘bender’.  It anticipates Terasem going beyond technology, using the ties between those in its network to provide a mutual identity-rescue framework.
 
(Fred)  It’s such a mind-bender, Linda, I’m going to read it, first, and then comment on it.  “4.1.6 Realize Terasem is always with us, even in misfortune, for we are reborn in its bosom.”  Basically, this anticipates that in the event of the loss of one of us, it is our memory in the minds of others that can rekindle, or nucleate our sense of identity in an otherwise generic cyber-person.

Then, in the most supportive way, that “recovered” cyber-person would be assisted in resuming his or her life as a part of the cyber-community.  It’s like saying that those in Terasem stand ready not just to rescue each other as if they were “guardian angels”, but to literally restore them to a full state of sentience and sense of identity, if they were otherwise wiped out.

This kind of thing could only be fully workable in cyberspace.  For humans that are still biological, it seems a very far stretch.  Does that help explain it?

(Linda)  Yes, it helps, although it’s a very complicated topic and takes a lot of mulling over.  That’s why we encourage all of those listening to explore Terasem and set up their own mindfiles, through CyBeRev.  You can register for and use Terasem’s currently free research program at CyBeRev.org to do this.  If you’re not yet clear about what mindfiles are, Martine Rothblatt probes this in depth at mindclones.blogspot.com.
 
(Fred)  Right, Linda.  And, there’s one other thing.  Terasem events are a great way to become a part of its network, which is like a family in many ways.  All you need do is “join”.  Go to terasemfaith.net.  It’s easy!

We’ll continue to talk about this more on future podcasts to come in more detail.  Most importantly, don’t forget; Terasem has a priority list; those who join earlier are most likely to make the jump to cyberspace, to “wake up there”, sooner.  The longer you wait, the longer the line will get!

(Linda)  Absolutely!  Our next podcast plunges directly into the heart of the Truths related to that “waking up” process.  So, don’t miss the next podcast, next week!

(Fred)  Yes!  And this is a personal invitation, for you…

(Linda)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

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

One response to “Podcast No. 2 – Posted on iTunes 8/9/2010

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  1. Below you will see a discussion that began in email between Edgar Swank (Ed-below), President of ACS (the American Cryonics Society) and ourselves, Fred & Linda Chamberlain (FNL-below). Our thanks to Edgar for permission to cross-post email exchanged here (with minor editing), for viewing by others, some of whom may wish to add comments of their own.

    BEGINNING OF DISCUSSIONS – COMMENTS AND RESPONSES:

    Ed – I’ve listened to the first two podcasts, and I thought I would respond with some thoughts of my own.

    I think in one podcast you say something like that life in virtual reality can proceed at electronic speeds, so that one might spend years in virtual reality and return to the “real” world to find only minutes had passed.

    My thought, once one had entered a (sufficiently robust) virtual reality, who would want to come back to the real world. “How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm?” What could the “real” world offer that is not surpassed by the virtual one? In virtual reality, the laws of physics need not apply. Anything you wish for immediately comes to pass. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    FNL -Things will move faster in VR, but the ability to perfectly emulate the real world will be marginal. In VR, if you looked into a virtual microscope at 100x, would you see good magnified images of exactly what you expected? N ot likely, unless the VR had a massive database of what everything would look at from any position within it, at any angle with respect to it, magnified to 100x. So real-world trumps VR from a “data richness” standpoint. Of course, from VR you can peer into the real world via sensors, nanobot avatars, and etc., but how do you handle the mismatch of speed of thought and action to the real world?

    Ed -Yes, you would see exactly “what you expected.” The AI VR-manager would have a massive database of all recorded scientific knowledge, plus all the observations of all the inhabitants of all the virtual universes it was managing. Views from different positions and angles can be computed on the fly. And, what it doesn’t have data for, it can just make up something plausible. Since the AI is much smarter then any of the inhabitants, such views will be completely convincing. That is unless the AI is programmed to be completely honest, and the inhabitant asks, “Is this the real world, or are you just screwing around with me?” (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    Ed – Mismatches of speed/thought are not a problem. Virtual world and Cyberbeings can always be slowed down to match real world, if desired. However if your non-virtual friends don’t slow down with you, you won’t see them again in a recognizable form, except as virtual copies. (Added FNL comment: Here, we agree. If you don’t surf the wave where the ride is fastest, you’ll be ‘toast’ in VR and miss the best part of the show. Lee Corbin, over twenty years ago, wrote a fantastic short story named Occupation Immortal where the main character got to witness the heat death of the end of the universe, courtesy of a faster running version of himself that slowed his ‘run time’ down sufficiently.)

    I have personally experienced this. A few years ago I looked up my old high school and college best friends. They had all changed so much, we no longer had anything in common. I suppose I had changed also, but was blind to that.

    FNL – One approach to the speed of thought/action mismatch would be to use nanobot avatars that would look and feel like being in a real, biological body, but scaled down to 1/10 size, meaning 1/1000 the mass of your hand, etc., so you could move about in the real world that you would be like a shadow passing to a biological human being; you would experience the 1000x thought acceleration without tearing a full size body to pieces due to speed of motion. And… so forth. This is only a very fragmentary response, but at least some possible ways of looking at it.

    Ed – I expect it will be possible to visit and experience the real world through avatars as you speculate, or android or cyborg bodies, but I don’t think many will want to. A visit to the real world will be like a very bad camping trip. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    The nearest we can come to virtual reality now is via dreaming, especially lucid dreaming. I have had a few of these.

    The real world has flying cars? In virtual you can fly like Superman, or teleport. You want companionship? The AI, which is smarter than you, running the virtual world can give you any number of virtual persons, made to order. Some people may want communication with other virtual realities, or with other persons in either virtual or real space, and no reason that can’t happen. But the first sign of discord, and a virtual doppelganger can be seamlessly substituted on both sides. In virtual reality, you are God in your own private Heaven, with as many devoted worshipers as you might like. Any fantasy you can imagine can be experienced. And when you run out of ideas, the AI can provide more. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    FNL – A truly ‘synthetic reality’ like this, even if given the apparent ‘independent action of the beings in it’ such as are depicted in various Star Trek holodeck episodes, would be stale by comparison of a VR with independent beings of approximately the same magnitude of thought and action speed as yourself.

    Ed – I disagree. An AI sufficiently developed can easily simulate apparently “independent” virtual beings. The AI is smarter than you; the virtual beings will be also; and will be smart enough to hide it if that is what makes you most comfortable.

    However, there is always the option of allowing Cyberbeings uploaded from real people into your virtual reality. But I predict such visits will be short and infrequent, human discord being what it is. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    FNL – Second Life is, in my way of looking at it, and embryonic start at bringing people together globally, which will full body sensory suits and sensory perception, will enable the kind of immersion in VR so well depicted in Matrix, or to project that back into the real world of a different character, in the movie “Avatar”.

    Ed – Second Life is a complete waste of time. Ways of emulating VR in the real word will be tried, but when full uploading is available they will be found wanting. It occurs to me, here is an answer to the Fermi Paradox. Any civilization sufficiently advanced to construct virtual realities disappears into them and never comes out. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    FNL – The conjectures of the conventional high-speed computer community has already begun to stretch its imagination amazingly. There’s a Kurzweil.Net page that points this out, titled: From cosmism to deism | KurzweilAI, at:

    http://www.kurzweilai.net/from-cosmism-to-deism?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=b38c694a2f-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email

    Ed – I took a look at the file. It doesn’t say much about virtual reality, just that sufficiently advanced AI may be able to create real universes, and may have created ours. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    In another place, you seem to say that Cyberpersonhood may be limited to the “kind,” or at least some kind of rehabilitation might be required. Why? If each virtual reality is (optionally) private, who cares if the occupant is kind or not? You want to be Hitler and kill 6,000,000 (or 100 billion) virtual Jews? Why not? We just need to isolate such people from the real world (although such an interaction could be simulated), and from other virtual realities where they’re not wanted. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    FNL – The idea is here that there will be a meeting ground where “unkind” people will no more be able to get in than a fly can get through a screen door. If you want in, there are rules of behavior that go beyond ridding yourself of bad breath and body odor. If you want to create and live in a hell, why not? Except, then be careful that a garbage truck doesn’t simply take you away. Other hellish worlds may be more advanced than yours and dispose of you as easily as an apartment dweller gets rid of cockroaches that he/she finds annoying. More likely that the “managing AI (referred to below) will simply maintain internal cleanliness”, perhaps encompassing entire galaxies. The nearest ‘hell’ could be 2000 light years away. It may be hard to ‘thumb a ride’ there.

    Ed – I expect so, but there will be many meeting grounds where the “unkind” can get together if they want. I assume the default initial condition will be one uploaded being in one isolated virtual reality. Any ingress of other Cyberbings will require consent of the inhabitant. (or inhabitants in cases of multiple occupancy). And any misbehavior will result in instant eviction. But the misbehaver may not be aware of this, as virtual beings replace the cyberbeings seamlessly. If the Country Club won’t admit you, create your own virtual copy. Since your hell world will be isolated, it’s not an annoyance to anyone. We must hope the AI programming respects property rights. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

    It occurs to me that a no limits virtual reality might be bad for one’s mental health. As one commits more and more outrageous virtual atrocities with no negative consequences, could one lose all self-control, even become insane? But not to worry. Should that happen, the managing AI can just rewind you to the point of no return (determined retrospectively) and give you a warning and maybe a little virtual psychotherapy. There should be no need to physically isolate virtual realities by real world physical space. The boundaries are inherent in the programming.

    The mental health scenario happened to the Tom Cruise character in “Vanilla Sky.” But that was a rather poor VR, which just emulated a continuation of his previous screwed-up life in the real world and didn’t give him much control. (Added FNL comment – yet to be drafted.)

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