Podcast No. 72 Posted 10/24/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 72 Posted 10/24/2011

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

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The How of Terasem 6.1 – 6.1.6

SUB TITLE:  Safe Nanotechnology and the Ethics to Achieve It

SUMMARY:  The development of replicator nanotechnology carries with it great risks and dangers, but they cannot be escaped by withdrawal or blindly counting on good luck.  An ethical framework must be erected and firmly guide what will happen; that starts one person at a time, one group at a time, one group of groups at a time, and so on outward until an airtight protective shield exists.


(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 72 on the Truths of Terasem.  This week we begin the final precept section of the Truths of Terasem, “How?” does Terasem work?

(Linda)  Last week we looked at the need for absolute incorruptibility.  How do we accomplish that?  How do we overturn our evolutionary baggage, our  urges to compete, destroy and dominate?

(Fred) One person at a time, at first.  We start with ourselves.  That’s what the rituals, yoga, etc. are all about; giving us a tangible means of dealing with those evolutionary impulses, helping us leave behind the negative traits of unbridled competition and dominance, and learn to become the cooperative and incorruptible people so necessary for our long term survival, both as a species and as individuals.

(Linda)  We’ll talk more about rituals and yoga in upcoming podcasts, in a couple of weeks.  For today’s podcast, we’re going to focus primarily on Geoethical Nanotechnology.  We’ve touched on it often, but this podcast really digs into defining it and expanding on why it is so crucial if we are serious about catching that gold ring: joyful immortality.

(Fred)  I can’t think of anything more important!  Let’s go for it!  This precept, the “How of Terasem”,  starts with the overview statement:  “Terasem organizes collective consciousness via rituals and programs to implement geoethical nanotechnology everywhere.” That’s like saying we’re going to get a group together, fix where we’re going firmly in our minds in an organized way, and then remanufacture the universe.

(Linda) And, in a nutshell, that’s the big picture.  Think of the term “collective consciousness” as meaning a network of minds.  Think of “rituals” as a way of reaffirming the principles we’ve agreed upon.  The word “programs” means methodologies like yoga, to help us open our own minds and grow as individuals.

(Fred) And, the phrase “implementing geoethical nanotechnology everywhere” means not only that we develop full replicator technology here on Earth together with global ethics that allow all people everywhere to benefit from those technologies while at the same time preventing the possibility of destroying ourselves in the process, but further that we set out to do whatever’s necessary to help others we encounter survive also, in the same way, as we expand outward into the universe.

(Linda) Let’s look at the first expansion.  6.1 tells us: “Geoethical nanotechnology is a necessary and sufficient process for achieving diversity, unity and joyful immortality.  Lest any of our listeners are not familiar with the awesome promise of nanotechnology, here’s how the cover of Eric Drexler’s book, Engines of Creation capsulizes it:

“Mankind is on the threshold of the greatest innovation in the history of science and technology; the ability to build molecules atom by atom.  These molecular building blocks can then be arranged in any combination of patterns to produce every conceivable substance or device.  This new technology—called nanotechnology—will also enable scientists to repair damaged human cells.

“The possibilities thus appear limitless in prolonging human life, eradicating disease, and eliminating shortages of natural resources.  But there is also a darker side.  What of the horrifying new weapons that could result?  What are the human implications of nanotechnology?  What are the dangers?”

(Fred)  And I really like this quote by Marvin Minsky, from the Foreword he wrote for Drexler’s book:

“K. Eric Drexler’s Engines of Creation is an enormously original book about the consequences of new technologies.  It is ambitious and imaginative and, best of all, the thinking is technically sound…Engines of Creation is the best attempt so far to prepare us to think of what we might become, should we persist in making new technologies.”

(Linda) Next week we’ll focus on the dangers we face as we develop the most powerful technologies ever seen by humanity.  In this podcast, however, we focus primarily on the advantages.

(Fred)  So, assuming at least for this week, that we will be able to develop nanotechnology and other powerful technologies, 6.1 tells us that our goals of diversity, unity and joyful immortality will be accomplished through ethics and technology.

(Linda) The first element of this expansion, 6.1.1 states: “Joyful immortality arises because Geoethics enables everyone to pursue unlimited happiness via personal mutually respectful growth.”  This is, of course, an affirmation of the outcome of the successful development of geoethics.  The most fundamental concept implied by the word “geoethics” is that it is applied across all boundaries, whether physical or otherwise.  There are no caste barricades of any kind.  Geoethics implies the protection of the rights of everyone, everywhere.

(Fred)  In one sense this is an affirmation of a general sort, but the words “personal mutually respectful growth” puts it in one-on-one or person-to-person terms.  “Personal growth” and pursuit of “unlimited happiness” paints a picture of unbounded individuality, but the words “mutually respectful” and that beautiful term “Geoethics” suggest that no one may interfere with another without consent.  Period.

(Linda)  And that is so important.  Remember that even the American Revolution was only fought over the rights of educated, white, male, landowners.  Women and slaves were not considered privy to those rights.  It was a step forward in the evolution of human rights, but it was not geoethics in any way.

(Fred) 6.1.2 is very specific in how this needs to be implemented:  “Operating under Geoethics means obtaining consent from affected others, always reducing unfairness and independently ensuring compliance.” Events will unfold in such a way that without adjustments, unfairness will exist.  Differences in viewpoint between individuals guarantee that there will almost never be agreement at the outset of what is “fair”.

(Linda)  Make no mistake. True, universal, geoethics will not be easy to accomplish.  But that is why we need to work with all our intelligence and all our might to bring it about.

(Fred)  Right!  Even Martin Nowak, in his book SuperCooperators, makes this clear:

“There is always antagonism and rivalry…Where there is cooperation, there is also the danger of exploitation.  Defectors loom in the dark.  Ready to strike.  Waiting for the right opportunity to pounce and take advantage.  Cooperation comes and goes, waxes and wanes.  It has to be reborn in endless cycles”.

(Linda) It is far less than a perfect world, now, but it is far better than in the days when human slavery was as common as buying and selling cars, and the immobility of people based on birth or class differences inescapably bound them to limited opportunities within society.  So, the outlook is that it can be far more perfect than today, and yet still have room for improvement.

(Fred) Considering the expected pace of life post-Singularity, no time can be wasted in reducing the unfairness that remains as rapidly as possible. Settling disputes over fairness, when they arise, will be of critical importance, to preserve unity while seeking even higher levels of harmony within the Collective Consciousness that will constitute our future society.

(Linda) “Independently ensuring compliance” is not defined in detail in 6.1.2, so let’s pause a moment to consider this.  In our current capitalistic culture, “buyer beware” is a generally accepted rule of interaction.  Our competitive nature gloats when we get the best of the exchange.  But for true fairness to best be supported, both parties contracting for an exchange of values should seek the best outcome not only for themselves, but for the other party as well.  Win-win should always be the modus operendi.

(Fred)  It might also mean not being dependent on government regulators or enforcers, should misunderstandings or disputes arise, but rather taking action based on the observations of the independent individuals who are involved to seek redress of grievances by agreed upon arbitration, applying appropriate assessments of damages upon those who failed to carry agreed upon insurance, and in other ways not relying solely on bureaucracies to assure “fairness”.

(Linda) 6.1.3 says: “You must obtain consent if your actions are likely to meaningfully affect another conscious being.”  Remembering that Terasem’s definition of consciousness means possessing both empathy and a firm commitment to ethics that make sense to all concerned, this is an obvious part of the fairness issue in the previous element.  Not always easy.  But never to be abandoned for greed or impatience.

(Fred) In 6.1.4 we find, “Fairness favors consent, so shape actions to help most those with the greatest disadvantages.”  If the changes you are bringing about in the world are going to impact others, then the idea is to preplan to minimize the impacts on those who would be most disadvantaged by those changes.

A possible example of this might be to look at the early stages of the industrial revolution, where textile factories were going to replace home-industry, where entire lives were devoted to weaving and sewing.  Those families with the strongest traditions of those trades might have been the best prospects for offering employment to, and cultivating as supervisors and managers. One could apply the same approach to the rapidly changing world today.  It is along these lines that foresight in the event of change could be important in seeking optimum outcomes, and mutual consent to the end of maximum fairness should be agreed upon as a guiding principle.

(Linda)  I think everyone is familiar with the hostile take-over scenario so prevalent in our capitalistic culture; where companies are gutted for the profit of a few, while the business owner and employees are helpless to defend their own interests.  This kind of tragedy could never take place in a society where consent is sought by both parties, rather than dog eat dog.

(Fred) 6.1.5 states that: “Umpires are needed because non-compliance with agreements breeds anger.”  It’s important to acknowledge that moving toward the kind of cooperative society we envision, will be challenging.  Again, Martin Nowak in SuperCooperators says this very well:

“Even though we are extraordinary cooperators, human society has been—and always will be—riven with conflict…Many problems that challenge us today can be traced back to a profound tension between what is good and desirable for society as a whole and what is good and desirable for an individual.”

(Linda) Until we leave our biology behind, we will be hindered by two primary factors.  First, we will continue to have slow computing speeds for sifting through the tangles of complications that confront us, as that quote by Martin Nowak so aptly describes.  Compound that with the biological chemistry of our emotions, the inheritance of our DNA, and you have two very frustrating reasons why conflict will be with us for as long as we are the mercy of our biological capabilities.

(Fred) Finally, in 6.1.6, we find, “Love how geoethical nanotechnology replaces entropy with order by converting spacetime into information for beneficent control.”  This looks like the solution to the dilemma you just outlined, Linda, about how our biology is getting in our way.

(Linda) Right!  Spacetime describes the dimensionality of the universe.  We measure how things are related in terms of basic physics by these four parameters (three dimensions of space and one of time).  But, as life arises and becomes sentient, and begins to restructure the material universe in the form of consciousness on many different substrates, those dimensions are not sufficient anymore to describe what is going on.

(Fred)  Or, you could rephrase that simply by saying that as we transcend biology, the combination of technology and geoethics will make the Terasem goals reachable.

(Linda)  Or, we could say we have come full circle and that 6.1.6 is restating what 6.1 said to begin with: “Geoethical nanotechnology is a necessary and sufficient process for achieving diversity, unity and joyful immortality.”

(Fred)  Next week, we’re going to look at Geoethical Nanotechnology again, but with our focus on the development of replicator nanotechnology itself.  This will touch on the dangers, the ways of auditing to ensure against them, independent assurance of compliance, the benefits of passing the Singularity safely, and a comparison of how replicator nanotechnology is almost like a totally necessary “nourishment” we need to expand into the universe.

(Linda)  We invite all listeners to join Terasem and help us build a safe, ethical, positive outcome of the post-Singularity world we will inhabit in cyberspace.  It’s easy and costs nothing, as explained at terasemfaith.net. You can review all of the Truths of Terasem online at terasemweb.org or terasemfaith.net.

(Fred)  Start building your own mindfiles right away, through either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com.  You can create your personal history, your autobiography, and upload it to CyBeRev.org by using the LifePact interview form.  Go to terasemfaith.net and then to Mindfile Building, about half way down the page.  There are no fees for building or storing your mindfile.

(Linda) If you want to create a BioFile by preserving your DNA, you can do that too, very inexpensively at LifeNaut.com.  And if you want to preserve your brain or your whole body through cryostasis, check out both alcor.org and cryonics.org.

(Fred)  For those of you who love games, Mike Clancy, at Terasem, has created the new mindfile building game for the Android.  It’s like a maze.  It’s very fast paced and addictive.  Check it out on PersonalityMD.com.

(Linda) And I’d like to invite everyone to discover, if you haven’t already, my favorite blog:  mindclones.blogspot.com.  Martine Rothblatt will treat you to fascinating discussions about mindclones, mindfiles and mindware that will take you far, far beyond what we are able to just sample lightly in these podcasts.  And you can find the text version of these podcasts at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.

(Fred)  The music we use on this podcast series is called Earthseed.  It’s the Terasem Anthem.  It was written by Martine Rothblatt, who also plays the flute and the keyboard.  If you’d like to experience that music in a video, with spectacular astronomical artwork, go to the Join! tab on the terasemfaith.net website.

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

(Fred)  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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