Podcast No. 70 Posted 10/17/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 70 Posted 10/17/2011

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

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The Why of Terasem  5.9-5.9.6

SUB TITLE:  Relationship of Religion and Individualism

SUMMARY:  Terasem is rightfully described as a hard-science oriented ideology.  And yet there is nothing cruel, uncaring or harsh about the geoethical and harmonious collective consciousness that Terasem is evolving into.  The ethical standards are based on hard-science, but the need for those principles is based on the greatest foundation of foresight, compassion and love that have yet evolved from human consciousness.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 70 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today we move into attitudes and feelings, and are even more focused on individual experience and ways of thinking about both ourselves and others as unique humans.

(Linda)  Terasem is rightfully described as a hard-science oriented ideology.  And yet there is nothing cruel, uncaring or harsh about the geoethical and harmonious collective consciousness that Terasem is evolving into.

(Fred)  The ethical standards are based on hard-science, but the need for those principles is based on the greatest foundation of foresight, compassion and love that have yet evolved from human consciousness.

(Linda) The first Truth of Terasem today is 5.9: “Soulful answers to the existence of Terasem can be felt as a matter of Belief.”  What would we think of as being a “soulful” answer?  It sounds like a poetic way of expressing the idea that the geo- ethics taught by Terasem are a comforting concept, like chicken soup for the soul of science-based thinkers who are aware of the dangers of the new technologies we face.

(Fred) What do we mean by “existence”, here?  Future existence?  That would be speculation on how it might evolve.  Present existence?  How it looks as it stands today?  Or, do we mean “existence at every moment from inception up to the present time”? For me, this last one is the kind of “existence” that would be meaningful.

(Linda) Yet, is it proper to leave out the farthest reaching visions of Terasem, in answering this question.  Each of us will have our own personal history of relating to Terasem, our own level of visibility into it, and our own meaning of the word “belief”, bit for me, I’d answer the question this way.  Comparing Terasem to a space vehicle, it reflects five or more years of impeccable planning and a conceptual design accommodating any mission I can imagine.  It’s already loading databases as well as launching its space-casts and its early personality emulation experiments.

(Fred)  Moving on to the first Element of this Expansion 5.9.1:  “Belief in respect for our uniqueness tells our heart we must respect the uniqueness of others.”  I’ve been fairly individualistic about how I’ve lived, unique in various ways, and I’m strongly inclined to feel very good about this stress on respecting the uniqueness of each individual.  This kind of thinking places Terasem so far from any chance of being “Borg-like” that it gives me a profound feeling of safety to be involved in it.

(Linda)  5.9.2 tells us:  “Every sensible soul feels the truth of united we stand and divided we fall.”  This is the same spirit as quoted from the meeting at which the Declaration of Independence was signed.  “If we don’t all hang together, we’ll all hang separately!” This is one of those soulful feelings, deep in our gut, about why a collective consciousness is vital to the survival of humanity.

(Fred)  Yes, and the next element is 5.9.3, which states: “Love teaches us that joy is wonderful and sadness is terrible.”  If you’ve really experienced love, you know that you’d have died for just 24 hours of it rather than have never had it happen.  If it’s a love that lasts decades and only grows stronger with time, you know that when it ends with the death of one of the partners, the one who’s left behind dies inside at the same time and usually follows soon after, even if this means going into oblivion.  If you haven’t known love like this, or if you’ve had a love die quickly and never found another, believing it to be impossible, then this may seem difficult to grasp.  But there is a very deep truth in this one, and it is generalized to wider and wider circles in the kind of emergent society Terasem seeks to become.

(Linda) 5.9.4 says: “Immortality is everywhere believed in because it is wired into the human soul.”  I think that Michael Perry, in Forever for All, says the same thing, and says it very well:

“Many would agree that there are shortcomings in the human condition that one might like to overcome—but the means are not at hand.  The main shortcoming of this sort is the finite life span.  People seek something more than this present existence.  They would instead prefer a reasonable immortality, a good life beyond the death that up to now has been the lot of living things on Earth.  That immortality in some form is our rightful destiny is, to such a viewpoint, no idle thought or daydream but a deep-seated conviction of the most serious sort.  This conviction has been arrived at often and independently, as the records of numerous cultures attest, and in it people have seen fit to rest and defend their hopes, in the face of formidable obstacles.”

(Fred)  Yes, but I think the best part of what Perry has to say on that subject is:

“Indeed, many have willingly faced death rather than renounce their particular ideas and practices regarding a hoped for immortality.  This is all the more remarkable in that no shred of material, verifiable evidence exists that anyone has ever achieved immortality or a life after death.  Something so problematic and challenging, a hope up to now unsubstantiated, has been a necessity to many; among them I number myself.”

(Linda)  Humans are capable of believing this for many, many reasons.  Just like the Earth seems obviously flat, it seems obvious  to living, conscious creatures, that life, consciousness, must go on… if not in the same form as we now know it to exist, then surely in some other form.  It’s a soulful reaction.  In the earliest long-distance trading circles of primitive peoples, when there would be an annual gathering and those of many tribes would see again those they had not seen for a year, it was easy to visualize that a person still existed, even if not seen.

(Fred) The myth that persons survive death emerged early, and systematic attempts to do something meaningful that fitted this outlook began with burial rites or other practices as far back as organized humankind has been traced.  With the rise of more sophisticated philosophies, a soul-body dualism or dichotomy arose that remained the heart of vitalism, a philosophy still prevalent even today.

(Linda)  Is there a physical basis for such a belief?  That life is more than matter and energy, like all else in the universe.  That life requires some kind of magic spark.  Suppose, for example, you were to ask, “Is it possible that a basis for identity might exist within the body, based on physical energy, but weighed nothing and could not be differentiated from ordinary metabolic and associated processes?”  Could such a question be answered rationally, so that it would make sense to claim that something corresponding to a “soul” existed, but was of a nature such that no scientific evidence had yet proven that it was other than a fantasy?

(Fred)  The answer might be that the organization and functions of the human neurological system might represent an informational structure that cannot be weighed, but that in a similar sense, the informational content of a computer cannot be weighed either.  The computer that has not even had an operating system installed, much less any specialized software, does not weigh less on that account.  Yet, it is as “dumb” as can be imagined.  Even the future computers that will have processing speed and memory compatible with sophisticated mindware and mindfiles will be only dumb machines prior to loading.

(Linda) A biological human baby, to carry this example forward, is in much the same situation.  By comparison, a chimpanzee who has learned the social structures of its group is far ahead of the newly born human infant, in so many ways that it would be difficult to find a place to start in describing the differences.  The infant perhaps could be compared to a “blank” computer only in that the computer’s individual components might have read-only-memory utilities embedded, certain power management interlocks, and voltage regulation that would prevent it from low level failures on first power-up.  Otherwise, it would be as “dumb” as the preloaded computer.

(Fred) The situation changes as the human grows and adapts, though, acquiring at least one language, social skills and information, and finally reaches adulthood.  Now, without any like changes in weight or power consumption of the brain, an informational structure exists which is of such complexity as to believe that it could not be destroyed, if one did not know much about it’s nature, origin, or destiny (biological death).

(Linda)  So, in addition to the comforting, soulful idea that a joyful immortality is hard-wired into us, we also find that our emerging technologies will finally make that long-held goal, of living as long as we may choose, a reality.

(Fred)  Here, Terasem leaves no stone unturned, conceptually.  Not only does it conceive that by mindfiles this can be accomplished, but the traces left in other’s people’s minds who knew a person could provide a starting point for emulating that person and allowing them to continue with their life.  Beyond that, there is the idea that a person’s life may leave behind a “wake” or disturbance in society like ripples spreading out from the passage of a dolphin just beneath the surface of the ocean, so that in the end, far fewer people are lost in the transcendence of biology into cyberspace.

(Linda)  The last two elements are very inter-related.  And although they may be very soulful concepts, they are also based on hard science. The next to the last element, 5.9.5, states, “Explaining the purpose of life is as simple as seeing life’s beauty, and wishing it everywhere.”  At first this sounds like just an obvious observation.  But it is really saying something very much deeper than that.

It’s time for the short version of my favorite Carl Sagan quote again:  “Star stuff pondering the stars.”  In his book, The Intelligent Universe, James Gardner expands meaningfully on that:

“The universe is coming to life.  Not generating living beings haphazardly as the result of a random toss of the chemical dice.  Not transforming inert matter into a growing, evolving biosphere as the consequence of a spectacularly improbable cosmic accident that happened, against all odds (and perhaps only once throughout all of space and time), on an ordinary planet orbiting an undistinguished star in the outer reaches of an ordinary galaxy.

“No, the universe is coming to life, purposely and in accordance with a finely tuned cosmic code that is the precise functional equivalent of DNA in the terrestrial biosphere.  The universe, under this interpretation, is a kind of vast emerging organism in the process of self-assembly and self-animation, endowed with the capacity to not only replicate itself, but also to transmit heritable traits—that same cosmic code, consisting of the laws and constants of physics, which not only prescribes an ontogenetic program, but, again similar to DNA, furnishes a recipe for the self–assembly of offspring (so-called baby universes).

“The essence of what I am calling the “Selfish Biocosm” hypothesis is that the universe we are privileged to inhabit is literally in the process of transforming itself from inanimate to animate matter… Under this theory, the emergence of life and intelligence are not meaningless accidents in a hostile, largely lifeless cosmos but exist at the very heart of the vast machinery of creation, cosmological evolution, and cosmic replication.”

(Fred)  This a very broad insight, and in ways corresponds to the visions of Paolo Soleri in his 1969 book, “The City in the Image of Man”, where he foresees that if humanity does not destroy itself, it will ultimately move upward in the course of evolution beyond technology into what he calls the “Compassionate Aesthetic Domain”.  Soleri puts it this way:

“The beauty of nature is achieved in the awesome reservoirs of space and time where things are hammered out in the order that probability dictates, justly, rationally, impassionately.  The genesis of man-made beauty, the aesthetic, is of a different nature.  It is not incidental to man’s action but is the very essence of man himself.  By necessity it has to be frugal.  It does away with probability and predictability.  It is synthetic and transfigurative.  It is never irrational because it is always superrational.  It cannot simply be just, because it must also be compassionate.

“With the aesthetogenesis of nature, man reaches into the structure of reality and forms a new universe in his own image.  Arcology (architecture plus ecology) can be one of these forms.  Arcology is essentially an aesthetocompassionate phenomenon.”

(Linda)  And 5.9.6, ties it all up with a big golden ribbon:  “Faith in Terasem arises from soulful certainty that this is what the Multiverse must become.”  More than anything, to me, this is an expression of confidence in the principle of Extropy moving with exponentially increasing rapidity toward a point in time not so many centuries from now when by anything we can presently visualize, order in the universe will replace disorder with all of the closure that has been imagined to have characterized the spread of matter and energy immediately following the Big Bang, except in an inverse way.

(Fred)  All right.  I’m going to have the last word!  Or, maybe Ray Kurzweil will.  I want to quote from his Foreword to Gardner’s book, The Intelligent Universe:

“Clearly, the universe we live in does appear to be an intelligent design, in that the constants in nature are precisely what are required for the universe to have grown in complexity.  If the cosmological constant, the Plank constant, and the many other constants of physics were set to just slightly different values, atoms, molecules, stars, planets, organisms, humans, and this book would have been impossible.  As Jim Gardner says, ‘A multitude of…factors are fine-tuned with fantastic exactitude to a degree that renders the cosmos almost spookily bio-friendly.’”

(Linda)  Well, we can’t stop there, though, Kurzweil continues:

“Or perhaps our universe is not someone’s science experiment, but rather the result of an evolutionary process.  Leonard Susskind, the developer of string theory, and Lee Smolin, a theoretical physicist and expert on quantum gravity, have suggested that universes give rise to other universes in a natural, evolutionary process that gradually refines the natural constants.  Smolin postulates that universes best able to produce black holes are the ones that are most likely to reproduce.  Smolin explains, ‘Reproduction through black holes lead to a multiverse in which the conditions for life are common—essentially because some of the conditions life requires, such as plentiful carbon, also boost the formation of stars massive enough to become black holes.”

(Fred)  I think you did me out of my last word, so I have to add this last paragraph from Kurzweil’s Foreword:

“As an alternative to Smolin’s concept of it being a coincidence that black holes and biological life both need similar conditions (such as large amounts of carbon), Jim Gardner and I have put forth the conjecture that it is precisely the intelligence that derives from biological life and its technological creations that are likely to engineer new universes with intelligently set parameters.  In this thesis, there is still an important role for black holes, because black holes represent the ultimate computer.  Now that Stephen Hawking has conceded that we can get information out of a black hole (because the particles comprising the Hawking radiation remain quantum-entangled with particles flying into the black hole), the extreme density of matter and energy in a black hole make it the ultimate computer.  If we think of evolving universes as the ultimate evolutionary algorithm, the utility function (that is, the property being optimized in an evolutionary process) would be its ability to produce intelligent computation.”

(Linda)  Okay, you win!  That’s a great place to end this podcast!  Next week we look at how evolution implies not only the spontaneous emergence of life, but the spontaneous emergence of what has always been envisioned as “God”, as intelligence expands like an explosion in reverse.  It’s a beautiful follow-on for the Truths we covered this week.

(Fred)  Right, Linda, and next week is also the start of the final or sixth precept of Terasem’s, “How” does Terasem work?  It’s a broad landscape of ideas, going all the way from how to make use of rituals and programs in a rational way to creating ways for geoethical nanotechnology to be part of the self-ordering of the Multiverse, everywhere.  Actually, the term “rituals” is barely mentioned at all, just as if it were there so as to not be left out, but we’ll expand on that.

(Linda)  Another reason we’ll expand on that is because they’re so important.     As just one example, if after Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, it had become institutionalized into all the schools so that children repeated it each morning, instead of the “Pledge to the U.S. flag”, all of the conflicts of segregation that went on for many, many decades and still litter our cultural landscape today with pain and darkness of the past might have been swept away before the beginning of the Twentieth Century.  Rituals, if used intelligently, can help us transcend old, mistaken ideas and move into the future faster and more safely than practically anything else we can imagine.

(Fred)  Wow!  What an example.  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.  And you can create your personal history or autobiography, to be uploaded to CyBeRev.org by using the LifePact interview form.  Go to Terasemfaith.net and go to Mindfile Building, about half way down the page.  You can preserve some of your DNA at LifeNaut.com, too, very inexpensively.

(Linda)  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.

(Fred)  Still have some unanswered questions about mindfiles?  Go to Martine Rothblatt’s blog at mindclones.blogspot.com.  But don’t read this blog before going to bed… your mind will be so fired up, you won’t  get to sleep all night!

(Linda)  If 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.

(Fred)  Don’t forget that these podcasts are available in text form at our site, truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.  You’ll find a lot of good stuff there, 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 download a free copy of Dr. Perry’s book, Forever for All, that we quote so often on our podcasts.

(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 October 19, 2011 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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