Podcast No. 77 Posted 11/28/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 77 Posted 11/28/2011

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

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The How of Terasem  6.6 – 6.6.6

SUB TITLE:  Setting the Stage for Cybercommunity Procreation

SUMMARY:  In a positively evolving cybercivilization, endless augmentation of existing individuals will lead to divergence by way of self-reproduction.  We can nurture future diversity by loving and honoring diversity as we find it in each other presently, and as we build c-cubes and chosen families in a climate of shared principles that have, at their root, the honoring of individual consciousness.

 

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

 

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast no. 77 on the Truths of Terasem.  We’ll explore the idea of consciousness and how that leads to immortality by substrate migration.  We’ll see that neuro-computation leads to consciousness as validly as does biological evolution, so marital union may transcend substrate and we’ll see how an Iroquois teaching about an entity’s benevolence, shows us how to be fully conscious.

(Linda)  This week we build on the last podcast and we see family structure emerging in so many different dimensions that we find individual minds branching into an unlimited number of varieties and substrates, and yet sharing a common, fundamental, heritage in shared principles.  And, we’ll find that we can do things right away to make it so real that we feel confident in that kind of future.

(Fred)  Perhaps the thing I find most fascinating about this is that as we find more and more people with the widest visions of what may be possible, who also have a sense of the importance of evolving Geoethical Nanotechnology into what it must become in order to see us safely through the Singularity, we are building at the most basic level, the “chosen families” who will later share the most far reaching adventures to come.  To put it more simply, we are building friendships we expect to last “forever”.

(Linda)  Sounds good!  Let’s get into the Expansions for the day.  The first one, 6.6 starts with just two words: “Honour consciousness.”  We are, of course, talking about a “Terasem” level of consciousness, here, and so have to briefly visit a few other Truths to get a sense of that.  Going back to Expansion 1.6 we find: “Consciousness is the maturing ability to reasonably choose right from wrong, and to empathize with others.”  Within the Elements of that Expansion are the following: 1.6.4 says: “Empathy is a necessary and sufficient basis for sentience, but only a key ingredient for consciousness.”  1.6.5 tells us: “Reason is a necessary and sufficient basis for ethics, but only a key ingredient for consciousness,” and 1.6.6 pulls it all together, with:  “Synergism of empathy and reason yields consciousness.”

(Fred) Clearly, we are talking about something more here than a medical definition of consciousness, such as being alert, aware of your surroundings, know your name and can say what day of the week it is.  Terasem’s invocation to “Honour Consciousness” is based on expectations that we will find and/or be able to develop in ourselves and others a high state of both empathy and ethics,  regard these as being valuable, and respect and defend those who embody them.  We’ll find further qualifications, too, as we go into the underlying Elements of this Expansion.

(Linda) 6.6.1 tells us, “Hozh’q, the conscious mind’s vision of a beautiful life, entails goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony.”  There is a far more detailed description of Hozh’q in podcast #67.  These are all highly positive qualities in any vision, and imply that a mind capable of feeling empathy and understanding logical ethics will likely even see beyond those values to goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony.

(Fred) Now we move into deeper water.  6.6.2 says: “Open your mind to consciousness immortality via substrate migration and consciousness divisibility into offspring consciousnesses.”

(Linda)  Deeper, I guess!  This is a big enough subject that we could become lost in it.  So, let’s ease our way into this concept by using a simplified example before we get into any detailed discussion.  Let’s suppose, as a matter of conjecture, that Leonardo da Vinci had been placed in a state of perfect biological suspended animation before his death on May 2, 1519 and was reanimated 550 years later, in 2069, rejuvenated and in perfect biological health in an amazing post-Singularity world.

(Fred) Fascinated with the world into which he awakened, suppose he said, “I’m obsessed with both technology and art, and want to engage in both of them, full time, endlessly.  Can you make that possible for me?”  The answer we might be able to give him would be “Yes, if you migrate substrate and engage in consciousness divisibility!”

(Linda) Both for listeners and for Senor da Vinci, we need to fill in between the lines a little and expand on that!

(Fred)  Absolutely.  When da Vinci asks, “How would that work?” we would explain:

(1)  Substrate migration means getting out of that biological body as quickly as possible.  Today (our future selves would tell him) aging is “cured” but that won’t help if a tree falls on you, or you’re devoured by a large predator.

(2)  More to the point, if you want to do two things full time there must be two of you, and while it’s theoretically possible that we might be able to make a perfect biological copy of you, the idea of that is now more of a joke than a practical matter of interest.

(Linda)

(3)   So, to begin with, move your consciousness to an alternate substrate and the choices there are (a) nanobot brain emulation, meaning artificial neurons vs. biological ones, or (b) “derived mindfile cyberconsciousness”, meaning that from your brain’s responses all meaningful paths of association are exported into digital data and then “mindware resurrected” to a cybernetic emulation which is just as self-conscious as option (a).

(Fred)

(4) Finally, if you wish, you may do both of them, or either one and a hybrid of the other, or any other configuration you might invent, as many of them as you might like, which based on your history of creativity might be a considerable number.

(Linda)  So, to summarize, substrate migration means getting into a more easily duplicated, non-biological state, reducing the risks of inadvertent obliteration due to accident and setting the stage for moving on to even more attractive substrates as they are developed.  “Consciousness divisibility into offspring consciousnesses,” means making copies of yourself to specialize in different directions, on the same or different substrates.

(Fred)  Now, let’s take on the idea of “consciousness immortality”. The word “immortality” is used in so many different ways that we have to clarify it, here.  There are even variations in how it should be interpreted, within the Truths of Terasem.  Here, it’s coupled with the word “consciousness”.  So, what might we mean by “consciousness immortality”, here?

(Linda) To begin with, we’re talking about the consciousness of a particular individual, and it’s an individual who meets the Terasem definition of consciousness, meaning one that possesses both empathy and ethics in a compatible and consistent way.

(Fred) We’re also assuming a definitive life history that establishes unique individuality, in addition to a strong mix of strengths and values that anyone would want.  That life history will embody attachments to many other individuals within a unique network, a social “fingerprint” for that individual.  And, there will be a specific genome and a family tree from which that genome sprang.

(Linda)  I’m worried that some listeners might be feeling a little lost.  But, hang there.  It’ll all come together.

(Fred)  The individual’s personality, as we understand it, resides within his or her brain’s structure, genome modulated and evolving slowly over time with experience, age and health, but stable enough to present an on-going core of identity.  Most people refer to it as a soul.  Specific memories also are stored within the neural net of the brain’s structure.

(Linda)  For the purpose of brevity, based on the extensive discussions throughout our podcasts, we assume that enough of a person’s identity can be exported into a mindfile, by use of a system like CyBeRev, and further that mindware can then be used to create not just the external perception of a self-conscious being, but an inner experience of that as well.

(Fred) Plus, those who transcend biology in this way will profoundly transcend the limits of biological consciousness and attain so much more in the way of preserving their identities that it will be hard not to refer to them as “immortal”.

In other words, “Immortality” can be taken to mean “indestructibility”.  Mindfiles can not only be backed up virtually continuously, but replication as two or more independent entities with divergent life histories assures that at least insofar as one’s identity prior to replication and divergence, so long as any survive, at least the identity of the pre-replication individual is not lost.

(Linda)  We see the  emergence of facets of this kind of consciousness already, day by day, by what’s being posted on KurzweilAI.net.  It’s absolutely mind boggling!

(Fred) And think about this: you will never forget anything.  How much do you remember about being a six year old child, for example?  Not much, I’d bet.  But a cyberperson will remember vividly that sixth year of cyberconsciousness forever, as if it were “yesterday”!

(Linda) And, there are other interpretations, too.  Barring accidents, “Immortality” can be taken to mean living as long as you choose.  As we’ve discussed in many previous podcasts, if over the next hundred years, cyberpersons experience subjective time as passing more quickly, due to increased speed of thought, they may live an extremely long time while humans who remain in a biological state experience the passage of time far more slowly.

A mere thousandfold acceleration of thought would mean that one year as we experience it now would be perceived by a cyberperson as a thousand years.  In a curious kind of way, cyberpersons might perceive biological persons as being “virtually immortal”, even if aging were not cured, or lifespans significantly extended.

(Fred)  I find that fascinating.  The young cyberperson who had a thousandfold faster experience of subjective time could validly say, “My parents remained biological and did not choose to transcend substrate, but in an odd way, now, I can never lose them, unless they die by accident or sudden illness.  Each ten years, as measured by my subjective time, I go back and visit them briefly.

For them, it seems as if only a few days have passed.  It seems to them that I visit for only five minutes or so, and then leave, but actually for me the visit is quite different.  I slow up my rate of experience by a thousand-fold to experience them in a real time way, but as they pause to take a breath, I “play back” what they just said a dozen times or so.  And, I never forget any of it.   I have the feeling they’ll never grow old.  Maybe one of these days they’ll choose to transcend, and then we’ll see each other more often than once every ten years, as I experience it.

(Linda)  Great illustration!  The next Truth is 6.6.3: “Neurocomputation leads to consciousness as validly as does biological evolution, so marital union may transcend substrate.”  In her book From Transgender to Transhuman, Martine Rothblatt inspires us with these thoughts:

  “…as humans merge with computers, human consciousness can move from fragile biological substrate to enduring technological materials.  In addition, the costs of computational knowledge are dropping exponentially toward universal affordability.  Consequently, everyone who is alive during the epoch of humanity’s full-fledged merging with computation will always be alive (if they wish) via computer substrate.  Homo sapiens will become Persona creatus as it rides the journey of near infinite growth in computational knowledge that is the Singularity.”

(Fred)  And a little further on, she concludes:

“For it is enjoyment of life that is most important, and the achievement of that raison d’etre requires that diversity be embraced with unity, whether flesh is dark or light, masculine or feminine, present or transcended.  Mind is deeper than matter.

(Linda) In 6.6.4 the message is: “Ondinnonk, the Iroquois teaching about an entity’s benevolence orientation, is also how to be conscious.”  There are many online references to Ondinnonk.  One particularly nice discussion is quoted as follows:

“Meanwhile among the Native American Iroquois people, the term ondinnonk denotes the soul’s innermost benevolent desires, the angelic part of our nature that gives us the sudden, unconscious desire to do a good deed.”  (http://faculty.ed.umuc.edu/~jmatthew/articles/vocadvan.html)

(Fred) This Truth reminds us that 1.6.6 in defining consciousness, tell us that “Synergism of empathy and reason yields consciousness.”

(Linda)  Right!  And, of course, benevolence cannot really exist unless we empathize with those who may be the recipients of the consequences of our actions.

(Fred)  True. 6.6.5 says, “Universal immortalism, in diversity, unity and joy, is the ultimate honour to consciousness.”  Any empathetic and benevolent consciousness will wish the gift of immortality, universally, for all other kind sentient beings.  This in turn honors consciousness for its highest of standards.

(Linda)  Vegetarianism is one moral implication of this set of Truths, since consciousness within the Truths of Terasem is defined as being the maturing ability to reasonably choose right from wrong, and to empathize with other beings.  All kind conscious beings will seek ways of providing for their own nutritional needs without taking the lives of other beings that can experience pain, something which is already easily done in our current society.  The forced use of other creatures is a slippery slope, with slavery at the far end. Vegetarianism is a high ethical standard that definitely honors consciousness with maturing ethics and empathy.  This principle is so important to me, personally, that I based my Declaration of c-cube around this issue.

(Fred) Right, Linda, and in 6.6.6, the concluding Element of this Expansion, we find: “Recognize that conscious life consists of all vitology, biological as well as cybernetic.”  To me, this means that as we transcend biology and move on into cyberspace, we honor our foundations of origin as biological life and protect it, where it meets the Terasem criteria for consciousness, just as diligently as we protect cyberconsciousness.  Emergent personalities in cyberspace will at first exclusively be the cyber-children of bio-parents, and should respect this family relationship for what it means, that without the parents, the children would not exist.  This debt of gratitude is endless as well as inescapable, and is demanded by both empathy and ethics, which we will continue to emphasize as being necessary for consciousness as it is defined by Terasem.

(Linda)  Next week we’ll look at a few ideas about how we might relate more closely to each other and support each other in these early days of building Terasem.

(Fred)  Find out more about being part of this exciting future.  It’s as easy as going to terasemfaith.net. “Waking up in cyberspace” can be pursued by way of CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com.  There are no fees to participate.

(Linda)  For those who can’t afford cryostasis at this time, the most practical approach to identity preservation is to have a mindfile plus a biofile (your DNA).  Go to truthsofterasem.wordpress.com and take the BioFile tab for additional information on the cell storage program. The program not only includes indefinite storage of the cells, but they are cultured for viability to verify that indeed, ‘living cells’ are being stored.  The BioFile tab has an additional link to VWR which describes the ‘cutting edge’ cell preservation compound (the cryoprotectant) used.

(Fred)  Again, and we can’t say it often enough, big kudos to Mike Clancy, at Terasem, who created that challenging, fun and addictive mindfile building game for the Android. The multiple layers of the game ramp up the challenge very quickly.  While you try to build motor neurons within a brain, you encounter plaques that obstruct your path and you have to dodge macrophages that are hunting you down.  Check it out at PersonalityMD.com.

(Linda)  And if you still need to blow a few more of your neurons, go to  mindclones.blogspot.com for fascinating discussions about mindclones, mindfiles and mindware.  And if you want to read the text of our podcasts, to help to dig deeper into the details, or maybe to find websites that you weren’t able to write down, go to truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.  And don’t forget, Terasem has a priority list; those who join earlier are most likely to make the jump to cyberspace sooner.  The longer you wait, the longer the line will get!

(Fred)  If you’ve been enjoying the music that we use on this podcast series, which runs full length at the end of each podcast, it’s called Earthseed.  It’s the Terasem Anthem 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 inspiring 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.

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Posted November 29, 2011 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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