Podcast No. 71 Posted 10/20/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 71 Posted 10/20/2011

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

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The Why of Terasem  5.10-5.10-6

SUB TITLE:  Evolutionary success requires cooperation and incorruptibility.

SUMMARY:  Extropy produces animate from inanimate matter by natural selection on a biological level, after sentience, cyberlife arises.  Cooperation and the need for absolute incorruptibility are key factors in sustainable progression and survival, and are implied by the self-survival principles of diversity, unity and joyful immortality.


(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 71 on the Truths of Terasem.  This week we finish the “Why?” of Terasem.

(Linda)  Right!  We’ll look at the big picture, at where Terasem’s longest range visions lead.

(Fred)  OK!  Let’s get started.   The first Expansion for this week starts with 5.10: “Evolution brought us Terasem as it brought us life itself.”

This simply says that just as molecular evolution enabled life to arise, increased complexification of life by natural selection led to sentience that might survive the Singularity by use of geoethical nanotechnology, developing replicator nanotech without self-destruction.  And, that any culture of this kind would be a Terasem level society, a collective consciousness fulfilling early humankind’s notion of what it means for there to be a “God”.  In any case, the principle of evolution gets the credit.  If we don’t destroy ourselves, we all “win”!

(Linda)  Martin Nowak in his book, Super Cooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed, draws the straight line between biological and cultural evolution very well:

 “Mutation and natural selection are not enough in themselves to understand life.  You need cooperation too.  Cooperation was the principle architect of 4 billion years of evolution.  Cooperation built the first bacterial cells, then higher cells, then complex multicellular life and insect superorganisms.  Finally cooperation constructed humanity.”

(Fred) In like manner, we tend to think of Terasem as the evolutionary outgrowth of many currently existing as well as other, some long-vanished, philosophies that conceptualized how the universe worked and how humans might become, or already have become, a central part of it.  After all, there can be no collective consciousness without cooperation.  Another quote from Nowak’s Super Cooperators says it this way:

“Cooperation can draw living matter upward to higher levels of organization.  It generates the possibility for greater diversity by new specializations, new niches, and new divisions of labor.  Cooperation makes evolution constructive and open-ended.”

(Linda) Terasem, by adapting such imaginative and far reaching visions to the realities of where science and technology seem to be heading, is building an ethical framework with the capacity to adapt, mutate, grow, survive and become the core of a universal collective consciousness.

(Fred)  Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” in his book, The Blind Watchmaker; Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design.  His definition of memes fits very well with this discussion:

“The new replicators are not DNA and they are not clay crystals.  They are patterns of information that can thrive only in brains or the artificially manufactured products of brains—books, computers, and so on.  But, given that brains, books and computers exist, these new replicators which I called memes to distinguish them from genes, can propagate themselves from brain to brain, from brain to book, from book to brain, from brain to computer, from computer to computer.  As they propagate they can change—mutate.  And perhaps ‘mutant’ memes can exert the kinds of influence that I am here calling ‘replicator power’.”

(Linda) And Dawkins continues:

“Remember that this means any kind of influence affecting their own likelihood of being propagated.  Evolution under the influence of the new replicators—memic evolution—is in its infancy.  It is manifested in the phenomena that we call cultural evolution.  Cultural evolution is many orders of magnitude faster than DNA-based evolution, which sets one even more to thinking of the idea of ‘takeover’.  And if a new kind of replicator takeover is beginning, it is conceivable that it will take off so far as to leave its parent DNA far behind.”

(Fred)  Indeed, biological evolution took about four billion years or so from the emergence of life to get us to where we are today.  The coming technological Singularity, on the other hand, suggests that the next four hundred years might virtually take us through a snap, crackle, pop of extropy that would be almost equal to the Big Bang itself!  The next wave of evolution will be one of natural selection, but in a very different way than with biological life.  Biological species competed for scarce food resources, literally eating each other in the process.  That is not at all the way we hope cyber-evolution will take place.

(Linda)  Since our very lives depend on that, we’d better hope it entails cooperation rather than the bloody tooth and claw!  And, building on that 5.10.1, tells us: “Intelligence compounded can ultimately survive any environmental challenge and thrive until it becomes the environment.”  Eric Drexler, in his classic book on nanotechnology, Engines of Creation, says it this way:

“With replicating assemblers, we will be able to do more good for ourselves, yet do less harm to the Earth.  In addition, we will be able to build planet-mending machines to correct damage already done.  Cells are not all we will want to repair.

“Consider the toxic waste problem.  Whether in our air, soil, or water, wastes concern us because they can harm living systems.  But any materials that come in contact with the molecular machinery of life can themselves be reached by other forms of molecular machinery. This means that we will be able to design cleaning machines to remove these poisons wherever they could harm life.  Cleaning machines will render them harmless by rearranging their atoms.”

(Fred) The next element, 5.10.2, says “Terasem connects intelligence together with the self-survival principles of diversity, unity and joyful immortality.”  New-being creation will depart biological norms quickly.  Some may find that their thirst for creation and productivity results in self-replication and teaming up in order to specialize in synergistic ways.  Some may find harmonies with others that encourage reproduction by mindfile mergers where the originals remain and grow, while joined by hybrids of themselves, perhaps in such a way that the new beings are hybrids of two, three or even more individuals.  Some, with more private and less adventurous personalities, may remain much as they are for long periods of time.  With time, the overall character of such a civilization will change, not from turnover of population but expansion of it in uneven ways.

(Linda)  In the near future, individuals will not need to die, and this constitutes immortality for all practical purposes.  Life will be joyful, because all sources of pain, exploitation and death will have been filtered out.  Just this contrast suggests unlimited diversity, but the universality of respect for individualism will represent a binding unity among all in such a culture.

(Fred)  5.10.3 tells us: “Self-replicating systems will arise and Terasem is needed to ensure their beneficence.”  The usage of “arise” here means that in the context of a rapidly advancing technology such as ours, the principle of extropy suggests that replicator nanotechnology as distinct from biological replication will be an inevitable outcome.  We have in many other podcasts discussed the need to develop geoethical nanotech to make sure that our future technologies serve us rather than destroy us. Together with that we also need to develop strong safeguards against corruption.  We need to make sure our joyful immortality is not destroyed, perhaps even from within, like the story of Camelot.

(Linda)  True, the initial primary benefit will be the avoidance of our own self-destruction.  However, this Truth also addresses the need for beneficent interactions with other cultures, both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial.  The ethical principles of Terasem will be even more essential as humanity moves outward into the universe, to prevent the abuse of the power that such technologies will bring with it as we encounter pre-Singularity cultures.

(Fred) The likelihood of encountering pre-Singularity cultures and even post-Singularity cultures is expressed in 5.10.4:  “Extraterrestrial connections will arise and Terasem is needed to ensure their beneficence.”  In either case, it is up to us, those of us who are building Terasem, to maintain integrity as it assists and/or merges with other cultures so that its basic principles and orientation toward the realization of Joyful Immortality are preserved.

(Linda)  And, 5.10.5 builds on this, with: “Love and God are immanent in the Multiverse, but must be realized by Terasem.”  The word “immanent” means “potentially realizable”, to me, and as this Truth of Terasem so plainly states, this requires Terasem to be “realized”, which means it has to be built strong and incorruptible.

(Fred) We’ve previously covered the concept that God is technological, this is one of the core values of Terasem.  We’ve also discussed the concepts that both God and love exist only in small part now, but will continue to evolve as Terasem evolves.  It won’t happen by accident.  We who are building Terasem must take responsibility for making it happen.

(Linda)  That reminds me of a nice little quote from Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species:

“When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian (geological) system was deposited, they seem to be to become ennobled.”

To paraphrase: Terasem, God and love are evolving and will eventually become ennobled.

(Fred) 5.10.6, the last Element in this Expansion, is:  “Faith in the future requires faith in Terasem.”  Worded inversely, this says that without a Terasem-based culture, we don’t really have a future, in the sense of a roadmap that takes us in a logical, long range, positive direction.  As Bertrand Russell said: “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation”.

These issues we’ve been talking about today are very fundamental to both our ability to survive a Singularity, where thought speeds and the pace of events may accelerate beyond current rates by thousands of times or more, and ultimately achieve a condition described throughout the Truths of Terasem as “Joyful Immortality”.

(Linda)  These issues, all brought to a single focal point, reduce to ‘abuses of power’.  Egyptian and Roman slavery, religious inquisitions and wars, inter-human discrimination and exploitation, whether under the guise of unbridled capitalism, totalitarian communism, or Nazi oppression, these all reduce to abuses of power.

(Fred)  There is a paradigm that is so much of a truism we take it for granted and accept it, saying ‘it’s only human to be that way’ or ‘you can’t beat the system’, or even ‘the devil made me do it’.  We have to turn that way of thinking upside down.  We must abolish the abuse of power, not condone it.

(Linda) We talk about Terasem becoming all powerful, all present and all good.  But we also know the old saying:  ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.  We have to replace that with the paradigm ‘Absolute power has to be absolutely incorruptible’.  And even more practically, power of any kind over other sentient beings must be so incorruptible that even its potential to be corrupted must be forever seen as a danger to be safeguarded against.

(Fred) If we cannot agree upon this as a common standard, a goal to which we wholeheartedly commit ourselves, we shape our destiny toward self-destruction, toward every horror from global nuclear suicide by means of those tens of thousands of H-bomb missiles now sitting on launching pads, to every kind of disastrous scenario so far conceived by science fiction and all those yet to be imagined.

This is what Terasem may evolve to be: a network of those who, while retaining all the diversity that joyful immortality implies, are united to abolish abuse of power as an intolerable poison that has no place in its future.  Look deeply into the Truths of Terasem, and you will find paths leading in this direction.   We must be accountable to each other in this pursuit of incorruptibility, in the pursuit of abolishing the abuse of power, as if we were a finely woven fabric of diamond fibers, indestructible by any conceivable mechanism of corruption.

(Linda) Today’s podcast reflects a unity on the part of both of us, as to a principle we believe must be part of the spirit of life, the hearts, souls, and minds of those of us who truly believe in Terasem and its destiny.  A good way to pull this all together is to use another quote from Nowak’s Super Cooperators:

“Those civilizations that have solved the problem of cooperation will persist in the cosmos.  We can only hope that this list of successful Super Cooperators will include those carbon-based life forms that we call human beings.  In this great adventure, everyone has a role to play.  Success depends on all of us.”

(Fred)  I like the last two sentences in Martine Rothblatt’s book, From Transgender to Transhuman.

“We are all part of one big human/transhuman family.  Let’s connect to each other and connect to ourselves.”

(Linda) Did you just get the last word in?

(Fred)  Definitely!  And it wasn’t easy, either!

(Linda)  And, this wraps up the “Why?” section of the Truths of Terasem.  For me, the biggest “why?” for Terasem is that it’s the most comprehensive program of its kind.

(Fred) There are a lot of other wonderful groups out there that are ideologically parallel, and that is encouraging, but Terasem is not just an armchair debating society.  Terasem is devoted to actually creating the mechanisms we will need for survival.

(Linda) After forty years in cryonics, which is a lot more about planning how to get around death than about building the future, Terasem is such a breath of fresh air that we tossed everything else aside to put our energies into building Terasem.

(Fred)  Right, Linda, and next week we’ll start the last group of the major precepts.  “How?” does Terasem work?  That’s where the rubber meets the road.   We don’t have to just sit on our hands and hope Terasem will develop.  We’ll find that there are mechanisms to help us accomplish the goals we discussed today, and throughout the Truths of Terasem.

(Linda)  In anticipation of that, let me invite listeners to add their strength to our efforts to build Terasem.  To do this, joining Terasem is a fundamental step.  It simply means expressing agreement with Terasem’s most basic principles.  Find out how easy it is to join Terasem and be part of this future.  Simply go to terasemfaith.net.

(Fred) Start building your own mindfile, without even any costs, 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.  Plus, if you want to preserve your DNA very inexpensively, as an alternative to brain preservation or cryostasis, you can do that at LifeNaut.com, too.  And, don’t forget, Terasem is committed to helping those who join earlier, wake up in cyberspace sooner.

(Linda)  Are you an Android user?  Do you prefer the excitement of a game, over filling out questionnaires?  Then, go to PersonalityMD.com and download Mike Clancy’s new maze-based game as the fun way to build your mindfile.  A word of caution, though, it can be addicting!

(Fred)  And for those of you who crave a mind expanding blog, you can’t beat mindclones.blogspot.com.  I guarantee you that Martine Rothblatt will stretch your neurons with discussions about mindclones, mindfiles and mindware.  Oh, and don’t forget, you can find the text version of these podcasts at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.

(Linda)  If you like the music we use on these podcasts, which runs full length at the end of each podcast,  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)  Join us, and our quest for an endless future…

(Linda)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length. 


Posted October 25, 2011 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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