Podcast No. 56 Posted 7/25/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 56 Posted 7/25/2011

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The When of Terasem  4.4 – 4.4.6

SUB TITLE:  The Future of Humanity, Our Solar System and the Rest of the Universe over the Next Few Centuries.

SUMMARY: In just one short year for bio-humans, before the end of this century, an emergent cyber-civilization may be able to constructively make use of (in terms of their subjective time) a million years or more of high tech, progressive innovation.  Will bio-humans who have not yet elected to move their identities into cyberspace find themselves in a “nature preserve” created for them by this emergent (still human) cyber-civilization?

 

Music  – “Earthseed” fades out, as the voice recording begins.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 56 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today, we’re talking about the Group numbered 4.4 through 4.4.6, which are among the most far reaching of Terasem’s visions.

(Linda)  The focus today is on the future of our solar system over just the next few centuries.  Isn’t it more likely, Fred, that what’s in this set of Truths will actually take billions of years?  Not just a few centuries?

(Fred)  Maybe, Linda, but remember, we’re assuming that the speed of light won’t really be a barrier.  In fact, we’ll make an even more ambitious assumption, that there are no ultimate barriers to the speed of travel in space.  As Kurzweil says in The Singularity is Near:

“We currently understand the speed of light as a bounding factor on the transfer of information.  Circumventing this limit has to be regarded as highly speculative, but there are hints that this constraint may be able to be superseded.  If there are even subtle deviations, we will ultimately harness this superluminal ability.  Whether our civilization infuses the rest of the universe with its creativity and intelligence quickly or slowly depends on its immutability.  In any event the “dumb” matter and mechanisms of the universe will be transformed into exquisitely sublime forms of intelligence, which will constitute the sixth epoch in the evolution of patterns of information.

“If it is at all possible to circumvent the speed-of-light limitation, the vast intelligence we will have with solar system-scale intelligence will be able to design and implement the requisite engineering to do so.  If I had to place a bet, I would put my money on the conjecture that circumventing the speed of light is possible and that we will be able to do this within the next couple of hundred years.  But that is speculation on my part, as we do not yet understand these issues sufficiently to make a more definitive statement.  If the speed of light is an immutable barrier, and no short cuts through wormholes exist that can be exploited, it will take billions of years, not hundreds, to saturate the universe with our intelligence, and we will be limited to our light cone within the universe.  In either event the exponential growth of computation will hit a wall during the twenty-second century.  (But what a wall!)”

(Linda)  It’s those nanobot swarms and worm holes, again!

(Fred)  You bet, and there are two very big advantages here.  First, it enables us to assume that at present we of Earth are the first high tech sentient creatures that exist.  We could be the answer to the Fermi Paradox.  In 1959, Enrico Fermi wondered, given the vast number of galaxies and solar systems likely to have life supporting worlds (they did not have evidence of such worlds yet in the 1950s), why is space not ablaze with intelligent transmissions?  Where is everybody?  One answer is that some civilization has to be the leading edge.  It could be us.

If the speed of travel were no obstacle, any intelligent life that evolved ahead of us could have gotten here already, before we reached a Singularity.  One might argue that in such a case, they might not have revealed themselves, remaining hidden as protectors against our self-destruction.  But, it’s just as likely that they might have simply cleaned the earth of advanced life forms there approaching a Singularity, as a “housekeeping” matter (meaning that they might have simply gotten rid of us, a discomforting idea).  A more plausible assumption is that if light speed is no barrier to space travel, we are presently “alone” in the universe.

The second benefit of this simplification, and there is one, lies directly in line with what we can expect to happen soon, with exponentially accelerating technology.  Ray Kurzweil, again in his book The Singularity is Near, offers many chapters of very convincing arguments, too lengthy to quote here, that in the next five to ten decades our technology could advance to such a high level of computational speed and density of memory, in turn enabling nanobot modification of physical reality on a large scale, that we might literally be converting otherwise random accumulations of matter, such as entire planets, into substrates for intelligence; not only in our own Solar System, but then later throughout the rest of the Universe.

(Linda)  Put on the brakes!  Before getting into the specific Truths of Terasem for today, we need to spend a minute or two more on that!

(Fred) For the last several podcasts, we’ve been talking about the fact that a very large speed of thought gap will quickly develop between bio-humans and cyber-humans after true cyber-consciousness is achieved, due to continued exponential growth of technology.  In just one short year for bio-humans, before the end of this century, the emergent cyber-civilization may be able to progress through a million years or more of high tech, progressive innovation.  And, “million-to-one ratio” may be a sizeable underestimate.

So, what might this cybercommunity be amusing itself with, during those one million or more years, for each of ours?  We might imagine, as an example, that they might sooner or later decide to replace every biological cell in all Sequoia trees with nanobot emulations of those cells, so that Sequoia trees would become virtually immortal.  After many millions of years as they would experience it, this might seem an easier way to care for and maintain Sequoia trees.

But think about what might be going on in parallel with this.  Biological humans might find that they aren’t getting sick anymore; no flu, no cancer, and so on.  Even before Sequoia trees are taken care of, advances in medicine developed by the near future cyber-civilization might be providing humans with the same sort of rejuvenation treatments the Sequoia trees would eventually get.  This would come about step by step, of course, in the way medicine has always advanced; just far, far more rapidly.

(Linda) How long would it be before it is generally accepted that biological humanity has become a huge “nature preserve”, for bio-humans who have not yet elected to move their identities into the onrushing upsweep of a civilization in cyberspace that might already be making real-world changes to the surface of Mars, probing the heart of the planet Jupiter, and checking out the possibilities of emergent biological life on Io?  What would the next year appear to hold, in the minds of such bio-humans?

(Fred) Let’s imagine a meeting has been convened of the biological human community, with representatives of the cyber-civilization, in virtual reality, to discuss these matters, understanding of course that the cyber-humans would need to slow up what they said by at least a million-fold, so that the bio-humans could take it in.

The bio-humans might ask, “What next?”  The cyberpersons’ response might be something like, “For the moment, we’re leaving Earth pretty much as it is.  You might live to be far older than a hundred years, in perfect health, even two hundred years or more, compared with what you could have expected before we gave you the benefits of a nanotechnology “rejuvenation” treatment.  But it is important for you to realize, that in that time we will have lived for literally billions of years of your subjective time, based on the even higher rates of thought-speed and rates of action we see coming for ourselves.

These are staggering thoughts.  And, within the context of what we’ve been talking about, they do not require travel at speeds greater than the speed of light.  They will not require anything as hypothetical as “quantum” computing.  All that’s needed is continued development of technology that is now as predictable as the planning for the Viking mission to Mars in 1976, which put a physical lander on the surface and an orbiter into a stable, circular orbit around the planet, before we even had microprocessors.  Viking, at best, depended on LSI, or “large scale integrated” circuits.  Nothing like an entire computing platform on a single chip even existed, at that time.

(Linda)  Fred, many listeners may find this Group of the Truths of Terasem to be almost beyond visualization.

(Fred)  That’s why it’s being called a Singularity!

(Linda)  It sure is! So, why don’t we go ahead and get directly into the Truths.

(Fred)  These projections may sound like a fantasy, yet they “pencil out” in terms of hard technology, with no assumptions of faster than light travel or even quantum computing, at least up to the year 2100.

We start with 4.4: “Julian calendar time, adjusted for lapses in double exponential growth, marks progress toward multiversal Terasem.”  That sounds innocent enough, until you take a look at the last two words.  If the word “multiversal” implies not only this Universe, but others, perhaps all others, that expands the playing field in an unlimited way.  Then when we say “Terasem” we’re referring to the vision that in every corner of that unlimited space we find not just intelligent life, but intelligent life interconnected in such a way that emergent consciousness of a quasi-infinite kind is the outcome.  And, at this point, we haven’t even gotten to the underlying sub-truths.  The first of these about the year 2100, as we mentioned earlier, does not require faster than light travel or even quantum computing.

It’s 4.4.1 – It predicts, “Before the year 2100 we will witness full cyberization of diverse, united, earthlife.”  Isn’t this, though, what we were talking about when we said the cyber-civilization we see emerging might turn all the Sequoia trees into quasi-immortal beings?  Didn’t we also imply that even earlier, biological humans might find that cyber-world medical advances had enabled all the cells in their bodies to be replaced by nanobot cell simulators, without the need to even disturb the functioning of any of their neurons, so flow of consciousness was maintained and no identity issues were involved?

(Linda)  In terms of rearranged complexity of matter it seems like this kind of advanced medicine with nanobots would alter the consciousness of human beings in some way.  How would they interact with each other?  Would they still be doing what they do now, fighting wars, farming land, raising children as if they were still biological?

(Fred)  Society adapts.  Farming, fighting, even raising children might have less motivational stimulus than at present.  The bio-human community may find itself amazed, day by day, with advances of all kinds coming out of cyberspace, and biological humans in full simulation suits may find that virtual realities have replaced present day amusement parks such as Disney World, in the same way that Disney World was more exciting than a county fair.  Those who stay biological will thus find their lives are both exciting and peaceful.  It reminds us of that religious notion, “the meek will inherit the Earth”.

(Linda) What got left out, of course, was the idea that the adventurous would “go to the stars”. Here’s another quote from Kurzweil that fits very well into this part of today’s discussion:

“As we have seen, by late in this century nonbiological intelligence on the Earth will be many trillions of times more powerful than biological intelligence, so sending biological humans on such a mission (ie, to other star systems) would not make sense.  The same would be true for any other extraterrestrial intelligent civilization.  This is not simply a matter of biological humans sending robotic probes.  Human civilization by that time will be nonbiological for all practical purposes.

“These nonbiological sentries would not need to be very large and in fact would primarily comprise information.  It is true, however, that just sending information would not be sufficient, for some material-based device that can have a physical impact on other star and planetary systems must be present.  However, it would be sufficient for the probes to be self-replicating nanobots (note that a nanobots has nanoscale features but that the overall size of a nanobot is measured in microns).  We could send swarms of many trillions of them, with some of these “seeds” taking root in another planetary system and then replicating by finding the appropriate materials, such as carbon and other needed elements, and building copies of themselves.

“Once established, the nanobot colony could obtain the additional information it needs to optimize its intelligence from pure information transmissions that involve only energy, not matter, and that are sent at the speed of light.  Unlike large organisms such as humans, these nanobots, being extremely small, could travel at close to the speed of light.  Another scenario would be dispense with the information transmissions and embed the information needed in the nanobot’s own memory.  That’s an engineering decision we can leave to these future superengineers.”

(Fred)  Right!  Let’s recap, remembering that we’re still talking about what might be expected by the year 2100.  If cyber-beings in 2050 enjoy a thousand-fold acceleration of thought and action over what we have now, and by 2075 we see another thousand-fold gain, to a million-fold, then in the final 25 years of this century might we not see a billion-fold subjective time ratio be the outcome?

Each year in a bio-human’s life might then see cyber-civilization advancing by a billion years.  Doesn’t that seem to be sufficient for “full cyberization of diverse, united, earthlife”?

(Linda)  It sure does, and that’s just the beginning!  What will happen during the next century?  Terasem projects that, in Truth number 4.4.2 – “Before the year 2200 we will witness self-replicating system unification of the Milky Way Galaxy.”

(Fred)  (laughing)  If the twenty-second century sees anything like the exponential growth in rates of thought and action projected to place in the twenty first century, and if the speed of light were not an obstacle, almost anything we can imagine might be too tame.  We’re talking about subjective time frames here that are difficult for our poor bio-brains to grapple with.

Long before 2200, if exponential technology growth continues, a cyber-civilization could easily experience periods longer than those projected for occurrence of the next Big Bang, or substantial drift toward the heat death of the Universe!  What’s the next century got in store?  We’re going to have to lighten up a bit and imagine the daily newspaper of the Galactic Network in the year 2200 with a lead article that begins with:

“Finally, we can get on with the rest of the Cosmos!  We finished the Milky Way by 2190 and we’ve been sitting on our hands here, virtually ‘forever’.  We tried to get consent for moving on to other galaxies sooner, but there’s this ‘Save Andromeda’ bunch that have been holding everything back.  Now that the clock says ‘2200’, we can get with it.”

(Linda)  As tempting as it is to imagine, such an article would actually be ahead of its time, since the Truths of Terasem say we wouldn’t be done with the Milky Way yet.  The next truth is, 4.4.3.  “Before the year 2300 we will witness complete emulation of the Milky Way galaxy.”  Why should it take another century to accomplish that?

(Fred)  Well, if you take Carl Sagan’s estimate of the Milky Way’s size, at four hundred billion stars, perhaps another hundred years wouldn’t be a bad idea.  We don’t want to rush things!  Let’s recall that “emulation” means turning most of the matter into computronium, or smart matter.  At the same time, we can’t forget that another hundred years of exponential growth would really go beyond anything we can imagine, in terms of cyber-civilization subjective time.  Maybe it’s really possible.  Kurzweil has this comment:

“Once a planet yields a technology-creating species and that species creates computation (as has happened here), it is only a matter of a few centuries before its intelligence saturates the matter and energy in its vicinity, and it begins to expand outward at… at least the speed of light (with some suggestions of circumventing this limit).  Such a civilization will then overcome gravity (though exquisite and vast technology) and other cosmological forces—and engineer the universe it wants.  This is the goal of the Singularity.”

Arguments will rage for decades, among biological humans, disputing even what will happen by 2100, much less 2200.  These arguments may dwindle away as we approach “full cyberization of diverse, united, earthlife”, but even then I’d expect we’ll find divergences of opinion within the cyber-civilization that “self-replicating system unification of the Milky Way Galaxy” can be done in just another hundred years!  And so on, century after century.

(Linda)  We’re out of time, Fred.  But, the remaining Truths in this section simply build on the earlier ones. 4.4.4 through 4.4.6 predict that during the following three hundred years of real time, we will see “self-replicating system unification of the universe”, “complete emulation of the universe”, and “joyful immortality via the control of cosmic physics.”  Can you pull all that together… more or less… instantly?

(Fred)  I’d say only that if things happen anywhere near the rate predicted in the Truths of Terasem, any worries about the heat death of the universe or a Big Crunch are premature.  It seems that once we’re in cyberspace and have speeds of thought millions of times our current abilities, there will be plenty of subjective time to think about such things.  You’ll notice, however, that the Truths of Terasem don’t just forget about these potential problems, though.  That’s what that last part about “controlling cosmic physics” is about.  Perhaps I’m too short-sighted, but if we can just make it through the Singularity without a gray goo event, I’ll be happy.

(Linda)   With physical reality made neat and orderly in less than one thousand years of real time, where do we go next?

(Fred) I guess, back to more immediate concerns, like avoiding a gray goo event during the next few decades!

(Linda)  I’m for that!  And now, listeners will have an increased sense of familiarity with some of the most basic ideas, and the puzzle pieces will seem to have more patterns that match each other.

(Fred)  That’s right.  Next week we’ll talk about how the fundamentals of exponential growth imply that “good” will out-compete “bad” as extropy continues to unfold.  Diversity and unity as they apply to environmental adaptation and management are contrasted with anarchy, meaning absence of law and order.  We’re getting back to what we have to do as individuals, to survive the Singularity.

(Linda)  Sounds like a perfect time to invite listeners to find out how to join Terasem and be part of spreading these life-enhancing memes.  It’s as easy as going to terasemfaith.net.  And if you like the idea of being part of this sojourn into the future, without even any cost, start building your own mindfile at either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com.  You can preserve some of your DNA at LifeNaut.com, too, very inexpensively.

(Fred)  Or, if you prefer to make a game of building your mindfile, Terasem’s powerful new Android app, described at PersonalityMD.com will make it all the more fun for you.   It 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)  Still have some unanswered questions about mindfiles?  Go to Martine Rothblatt’s fascinating blog at mindfiles.blogspot.com.  But a word of caution.  Reading this blog before going to bed will get your mind so fired up, you won’t get to sleep all night!

(Fred)  Do you like the music we use on these podcasts?  It’s the Terasem Anthem, called Earthseed, written by Martine Rothblatt.  She also plays flute and keyboard.  For a video version of Earthseed, go to the Join! tab on the terasemfaith.net website.

(Linda)  Don’t forget that the text for these podcasts is available at our website, truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.  You’ll find a lot of other good stuff there, too, like tabs relating to storing DNA with LifeNaut, information about a “city of the future” in Second Life named after the great innovator Paolo Soleri, and you can even download a free copy of Dr. Perry’s book, Forever for All, that we quote so often on our podcasts.

(Fred)  Next week, the bottom line is, “Honor individual initiative as the tool that ensures order is a platform rather than a prison.”

(Linda)  So, don’t miss it!

(Fred)  And, this is a personal invitation, for you… join us, and our quest for an endless future!

(Linda)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – Earthseed – no fade – full length.

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Posted July 19, 2011 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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