Podcast No. 64 Posted 9/12/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 64 Posted 9/12/2011

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

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The Why of Terasem  5.2 – 5.3.6

SUB TITLE:  Belief vs. Knowledge

SUMMARY:  Faith is belief, in many cases supported by little or nothing in the way of evidence.  Yet, without belief in what might be possible, nothing new would be created.  It is a slippery slope.  Here, Terasem puts on cosmic skis and takes on the black-diamond slopes of the Multiverse, ready to ski deep powder directly up the slope of  rapidly accelerating technology to a point where the upturned exponential of the Singularity is perfectly vertical.

 

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast #64 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today, it’s 5.2 through 5.3.6, in the “Why” of Terasem!

(Linda)  I know, and a lot of the terms and ideas this week have a pretty religious sound to an old atheist like me.  Does this mean we’ll go outside the realm of science, or is there a system of logic connected with it?

(Fred)  There’s logic all right, building upon real-world technology, but the ideas are extended to the transfinite, and use religious terms with which I’m somewhat uncomfortable, too, so I want to lay a firm groundwork in that respect.

(Linda)  Let’s start by talking about the difference between fact and belief, between knowledge and faith.  Is there a way to draw a line in the sand and say that one of these lies on one side, and the other on the opposite side?

(Fred) I think there is.  The dividing line is known as the “present moment”.  If something has already taken place, we might know something about that, and call it a fact.  On the other hand, if we’re talking about something that might take place a hundred or thousand years from now, or even an hour from now, we’re guessing, making a prediction, without a way to prove the event will take place.

We can predict with great precision where the planet Jupiter will be ten years from now, but a cosmic event like the intrusion of a rogue black hole into the Solar System could change the playing field.  You can plan on being at work tomorrow morning, but you cannot be absolutely sure; many things could emerge that would make it impossible.

In a matter like this, to be honest, we have to say that we plan on and take action on things like getting to work tomorrow and where Jupiter will be ten years from now as matters of faith.  Stretching the limit, and there are very definite limits, which can be illustrated by a religious leader calling upon his or her followers to “have faith” that “God will provide” in the midst of a war, a pandemic, or a natural disaster such as a tsunami.  Such reassurances may be comforting in times of danger, but in the end seldom provide much more.

(Linda)  In other words, when you are making a prediction of a future outcome, or having faith in a future outcome, it’s wise to make sure that your grounds for such a belief are sound.  Like, having faith in a medical doctor.  Not all physicians are equal, and we may need to rely on their advice in a life or death situation.  So before we put our faith in them, we need to make sure we have gotten referrals from others, read some of their papers, and interviewed them carefully in advance to reassure ourselves of their competence.

(Fred) Right.  It does not serve our purpose to deny the possibilities of what the future might hold, or to forego speculating on what might already be the case, so long as we are clear that we are speculating, and not trying to use blind faith as a tool for such things as calming the “faithful” in cases of disasters.  To move our thinking beyond the bounds of conventional science, and before delving into the specific Truths of Terasem, let’s consider for a moment the ideas of Erwin Schrödinger concerning the nature of life, and God.

(Linda) Fantastic way to start!  Schrödinger was an early thinker whose ideas are particularly insightful and will help us creep up on these issues.  For listeners who may not be familiar with Schrödinger, a mini-biography might be useful.  In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell published the start of what later became known as Maxell’s Equations, upon which most of electromagnetic science and engineering are now based.  In 1926, Erwin Schrödinger published what later became known as The Schrödinger Equation, which extended Maxwell’s equations to electromagnetic phenomena where relativistic and quantum mechanics are involved.

(Fred) Wikipedia more generally summarizes this by saying, “The Schrödinger equation, formulated by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, is an equation that describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes in time. It is as central to quantum mechanics as Newton’s laws are to classical mechanics.”

(Linda)  The reason Schrödinger is relevant to this podcast is because in 1945, based on a series of lectures given in 1943 at Trinity College, Dublin, he published a very short but profound book titled, What is life? in which he delved into things ranging from forecasting the nature of DNA to free will and determinism, and yes, what he considered to be a rational way of describing that concept we call “God”.  This lays the groundwork for most of what we’ll have to say about today’s Truths of Terasem.

(Fred)  That’s right.  Schrödinger is firmly on the basis of thinking of life processes as “negative entropy”, now termed “Extropy” among Singularitarians and other transhumanists.  He says (and I’ll give you just a few brief quotes):

“Every process, event, happening – call it what you will; in a word, everything that is going on in Nature means an increase of the entropy of the part of the world where it is going on.  Thus a living organism continually increases its entropy – or, as you may say, produces positive entropy – and thus tends to approach the dangerous state of maximum entropy, which is death.  It can only keep aloof from it, i.e. alive, by continually drawing from its environment negative entropy – which is something very positive as we shall immediately see.  What an organism feeds upon is negative entropy.  Or, to put it less paradoxically, the essential thing in metabolism is that the organism succeeds in freeing itself from all the entropy it cannot help producing while alive.”

“An organism’s astonishing gift of concentrating a ‘stream of order’ on itself and thus escaping the decay into atomic chaos – of ‘drinking orderliness’ from a suitable environment – seems to be connected with the presence of the ‘aperiodic solids’, the chromosome molecules, which doubtless represent the highest degree of well-ordered atomic association we know of – much higher than the ordinary periodic crystal – in virtue of the individual role every atom and every radical is playing here.”

(Linda) Now, here’s what Schrödinger has to say about “God” in his epilogue, and I apologize for having to abbreviate it, for this no doubt reduces its comprehensibility:

“Immediate experiences in themselves, however various and disparate they be, are logically incapable of contradicting each other.  So let us see whether we cannot draw the correct, non-contradictory conclusion from the following two premises:

  1. My body functions as a pure mechanism according to the Laws of Nature.
  2. Yet I know, by incontrovertible direct experience, that I am directing its motions, of which I foresee the effects, that may be fateful and all-important, in which case I feel and take responsibility for them.

“The only possible inference from these two facts, is, I think, that I – I in the widest meaning of the word, that is to say, every conscious mind that has ever said or felt ‘I’ – am the person, if any, who controls the ‘motion of the atoms’ according to the Laws of Nature.

“Within a cultural milieu where certain conceptions (which once had or still have a wider meaning amongst other peoples) have been limited and specialized, it is daring to give to this conclusion the simple wording that it requires.  In Christian terminology to say: ‘Hence I am God Almighty’ sounds both blasphemous and lunatic.  But please disregard these connotations for the moment and consider whether the above inference is not the closest a biologist can get to proving God and immortality at one stroke.”

(Fred) There are some weighty implications in what Schrödinger says here, that need to be interpreted.  Premise (1) is pretty simple.  Schrödinger is saying that he accepts he is a “biological machine”.  But this would mean, deterministically speaking, that whatever he did, he “had” to do, because that was the way the universe unfolded, and this amounts to pure fatalism.

In premise (2), to escape this trap, he says that by “direct experience” he knows that he is “directing the motions” of his body, which may affect others as well as himself, and that he “feels and takes responsibility” for this.  In other words, he asserts the existence of what most of us call “free will” by means of what he describes as “direct experience”.

Now, we know that we are driven by all kinds of evolutionary tendencies that  cause us to do anti-social things, we make mistakes, and we do many things we later regret.  Schrödinger does not deny that, rather he takes personal responsibility, he does not excuse himself on the basis that “he had no choice”, but rather takes the point of view that he is “a universe unto itself, of which he is God”.  Liberally interpreted, this means that if one adopts moral and ethical principles and then enables these to guide one’s words and actions, one has become, within the limits of one’s power and knowledge, a self-contained, moral and ethical “god”.

(Linda)  In other words, fate is really a feed-back loop!  Few people take such a stringent view of personal responsibility; few allow themselves to feel accountable for whatever they do.  Usually, those that do lead solitary lives.  Even in the highest levels of churches as well as other institutions, corruption exists, and whistle-blowers are not treated kindly.

Terasem has a different way of thinking about such things, though, and seeks to find people who will commit themselves to such a standard of ethics and responsible action through what it calls “Geoethical Nanotechnology”.  In the widest vision of what the future might hold, Terasem views a community of such committed people as a “collective consciousness” where individuality and diversity are at least as important as unity, where continuous, endless mind-expansion is a goal shared by all, and where what is described as “joyful immortality” is the outlook that endless, creative life can be made a reality.  We’ll see these concepts in today’s Truths.

(Fred) In this context, then, Terasem takes Schrödinger’s “I am God” and converts it to “We are God”.  It is such an outrageously demanding idea that it equates to other ideas considered to be far beyond the reach of humans at an earlier time, like climbing Mount Everest, running a four-minute mile, and yes, going to the Moon.  As difficult and impossible a task as building a community of that kind might seem, Terasem has taken the point of view that only a community like that has the best chance of insuring that humanity can survive the coming technological Singularity, and then going on to turning the entire universe into moral and ethical computronium!

Now, with this as background, let’s contemplate what today’s group of the Truths of Terasem have to say about where that might lead, taken to the ends of the multiverse and unlimited by time markers of any sort.  This is a long podcast, but it’s taking on some very large questions.

(Linda)  The first of these is 5.2 “Utilizing the future omnipotence of Terasem, the Multiverse has ensured its own survival.”  That sounds like a “tall order”! But this means that as the universe evolves into consciousness itself, it will create its own answer to such proposed endings as from heat death, or a big crunch, or some other alternative.  And, the evolution of life and intelligence is part of that answer.

(Fred) 5.2.1 elaborates by saying, “Future omnipotence of Terasem means Terasem is dear God in the making.”  This means that however little of “God’s work” is as yet done, more is possible, in fact enough to fill the universe with it, and possibly in a short time (if vastly faster than light speed communication and travel is feasible).

(Linda)  In 5.2.2 we find, “Until Terasem achieves Multiversal omnipresence, God is incomplete, and evil can exist.”  Many listeners may resist the idea that God does not exist as yet, since it conflicts with the teachings of many religions that God existed even before the universe itself, and was, in fact, the creator of the universe.  But as Truths of Terasem 2.2 says, “Omniscience, omnipotence, and omnificence are what uniquely define “God”.  2.2.2 tells us, “Earth’s innocently suffering millions is proof that there is nothing omniscient, omnipotent and omnificent today”.  And 2.2.5 brings us full circle with, “Nanotechnology and geoethics are the tools for expanding Terasem into universe-wide omniscience, omnipotence, and omnificence.

(Fred) So, by seeing that the concept of god is an evolutionary process, just as humanity and even the universe itself are still evolving, we can make sense of the idea god’s work is a process, not a completed commodity.

(Linda) Certainly, we can look at the history of human brutality and ignorance over the thousands of years of recorded history and know that god’s work is not yet done.  One could not say that god’s work was done three hundred years before the rise of the Roman Empire led to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria, when as history recounts followers of the local Bishop literally “skinned alive” in the streets in broad daylight, the scientist Hypatia, the daughter of the Chief Librarian, burned all of her writings, and then proceeded to destroy the greatest collection of scientific thought and literature the world had ever known, up to that time.  Shortly thereafter the dark ages began, with centuries of superstition and ignorance.  God’s work was anything but done!

(Fred)  Clearly one would have to admit that god’s work was not finished even as recently as several hundred years ago, if we consider the conditions in the year 1710.  For just a moment, I’m going to read you a description from a website on the American economy of that era.  You can decide if by any stretch of the imagination god’s work could have been considered done, at that time:

From: http://www.slavenorth.com/profits.htm

“On the eve of the (American) Revolution, the slave trade “formed the very basis of the economic life of New England.” It wove itself into the entire regional economy of New England. The Massachusetts slave trade gave work to coopers, tanners, sailmakers, and ropemakers.

“Countless agents, insurers, lawyers, clerks, and scriveners handled the paperwork for slave merchants. Upper New England loggers, Grand Banks fishermen, and livestock farmers provided the raw materials shipped to the West Indies on that leg of the slave trade. Colonial newspapers drew much of their income from advertisements of slaves for sale or hire.

“New England-made rum, trinkets, and bar iron were exchanged for slaves. When the British in 1763 proposed a tax on sugar and molasses, Massachusetts merchants pointed out that these were staples of the slave trade, and the loss of that would throw 5,000 seamen out of work in the colony and idle almost 700 ships.

“The connection between molasses and the slave trade was rum. Millions of gallons of cheap rum, manufactured in New England, went to Africa and bought black people. Tiny Rhode Island had more than 30 distilleries, 22 of them in Newport. In Massachusetts, 63 distilleries produced 2.7 million gallons of rum in 1774. Some was for local use: rum was ubiquitous in lumber camps and on fishing ships.

“But primarily rum was linked with the Negro trade, and immense quantities of the raw liquor were sent to Africa and exchanged for slaves. So important was rum on the Guinea Coast that by 1723 it had surpassed French and Holland brandy, English gin, trinkets and dry goods as a medium of barter.” Slaves costing the equivalent of £4 or £5 in rum or bar iron in West Africa were sold in the West Indies in 1746 for £30 to £80.

“New England thrift made the rum cheaply — production cost was as low as 5½ pence a gallon — and the same spirit of Yankee thrift discovered that the slave ships were most economical with only 3 feet 3 inches of vertical space to a deck and 13 inches of surface area per slave, the human cargo laid in carefully like spoons in a silverware case.”

(Linda)  I can hardly breath after listening to that.  I feel like I’ve just been punched in the stomach.

(Fred) Me, too.  And as with the other examples, it would have been only through blindness of the most extreme kind that one could say that “God’s work was done!” at that time.  Fast forward past the Nazi death camps, Pol Pot in Asia, genocide in Rwanda and Darfur, just to spotlight a few, and we cannot escape the conclusion that God’s work is far from done… even today.

So it’s with relief from this depressing historical journey that we finally get to 5.2.3 which tells us, “Terasem’s omnificience will vanquish evil everywhere our collective consciousness encompasses reality.”  Omnificience equates to “unlimited creative power”.  It ties in with the concept of emulating the physical universe.  There are deep ethical issues here, that will be elaborated upon in still other podcasts, but the term “everywhere our collective consciousness encompasses reality” implies that this will be an on-going process, that the work of Terasem, dear God in the making, will not be done over night.

(Linda)  5.2.4 says “Unlimited physical existence describes the Multiverse before now, unlimited conscious existence describes the Multiverse after now.”  This describes our evolutionary journey.  We’re already turning so much of the Earth’s material into computing machinery that at least at an infinitesimal level, the transformative process has already begun.  Soon we will see physical materials being transformed into computational substrates at such a rate that it will be possible to say that untransformed materials in the universe are shrinking, while those that have been converted to substrates for intelligence are increasing. Our transcendence of biology is part of this process.

(Fred)  5.2.5 tells us “Religious resurrection in the body of God is Terasem’s future cyber-resurrection of all good souls.”  This means that at some point, we’ll do what we can, with whatever we have in the way of information, to lose as few people as possible, as cyberspace expands.  In fact, Terasem already has in place a system on its LifeNaut website where people can add to the creation of mindfiles for great minds of the past, and this same principle already applies to creating mindfiles for relatives of yours, past acquaintances, etc., through Terasem’s CyBeRev program.

To finish this first Expansion, 5.2.6 tells us, “Exponential creation of all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good Terasem is equivalent to maximizing joy as life’s purpose.”  That sums up in a single sentence everything we’ve said so far in this overly wordy podcast!

(Linda)  –  And we’re going to wrap up with 5.3 through 5.3.6, which is a positive, poetic, six line affirmation:

 “Life lasts a lot longer than we think.

Long time may the sun shine upon us.

Only love surround us….

Now the pure light within us.

Guides our way on.

Energizes our way on.

Realizes our way on.”

 (Fred)  Usually at this time, you say, “we’re out of time”, but we’re so far over the usual markers that the only thing I can do is say, next week we’re going to look at the ways Terasem takes on diversity in every conceivable way.  It’s about getting rid of pain, replacing it with joy, looking at gender in a multidimensional way, seeking knowledge, positive values, and “being everywhere at once” in vanquishing cruelty throughout the Multiverse.

(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.  Start building your own mindfile at either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com.

(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.   Go to Martine Rothblatt’s blog at mindclones.blogspot.com to find answers for all your questions about mindfiles, mindware and mindclones.

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

(Fred)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

 Closing music – no fade – full length.

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

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