Podcast No. 86 Posted 01/24/2012   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 86 Posted 01/24/2012

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem  1.5-1.5.6

SUBTITLE:   Expansion as a Fundamental Goal of Terasem’s

SUMMARY:  Just as the big bang triggered an expansion of matter and energy throughout the Cosmos, the Singularity is expected to trigger an expansion of intelligence in the form of kind consciousness in space and time, endlessly and boundlessly.  It is a possibility that at this time Humankind is the leading edge of that expansion, in which case it is not only our destiny to carry out that expansion, but to free it of any handicaps inherited from our biological software (instincts) which might ultimately corrupt what we become.

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

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 86 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today we’re going to be talking about Terasem’s goals for growth and expansion.  The way this is put, in 1.5, is “Expansionist: Terasem is duty-bound to expand throughout the galaxy and the universe as rapidly as possible.”

(Linda)  Does that also mean we want it to become bigger than Google, and dominate the Internet with all search engine responsibilities there, to better prepare for the Singularity?

(Fred)  No!  That’s the last thing it would mean, and growing as fast as Google in the present human environment, with the quality Terasem seeks, would be like shooting ourselves in the foot.

(Linda)  I’m glad to hear that.  You jumped into that first quote from the Truths of Terasem so quickly that it scared me, and sounded like we’re going to have to “hard sell” Terasem not just to humans but to everyone we run into as we expand beyond the Solar System.  If that’s not how it’s supposed to work, what is that first Truth about?

(Fred)  It’s almost the same as what’s in the Summary we’re going to use for the podcast listeners to glance at before starting to hear this.  I’ll read it, to be sure it’s not missed.  “Just as the big bang triggered an expansion of matter and energy throughout the Cosmos, the Singularity is expected to trigger an expansion of intelligence in the form of kind sentience in space and time, endlessly and boundlessly.  It is a possibility that at this time Humankind is at the leading edge of that expansion, in which case it is not only our destiny to carry out that expansion, but to free it of any handicaps inherited from our biological software (instincts are just that) which might ultimately corrupt what we become.”  And, I might add, if we are not the first, we will hope that other more advanced sentient forms are of the same mind and we can synergistically join with them and contribute to the expansion toward a universe filled with joyful immortality based on unity in the acceptance of diversity for all kind sentient entities.

Look at it this way.  A similar statement could be made of what a baby must become, after starting out as a fertilized embryo.  Let’s see how that might be phrased.  It might be like this: Preparation for birth – The embryo has one overriding goal: to expand within the womb and get to full term as rapidly as possible, in no less than nine months, else there’s going to be big problems for the mother.  And, we might add, if it were a self-conscious embryo with at least rudimentary intelligence and technology, it would have a duty to screen itself for genetic defects and get rid of them as quickly as possible, so as not to die before it even reaches the stage of having 50 to 100 billion cells, much less the 50 to 100 trillion it is expected to possess at full term.

(Linda)  So, what’s the timeline, anyway?  When is the main part of this expansion of Terasem supposed to take place?

(Fred)  A lot of it has to take place before the Singularity is underway, in order to have a sufficiently mature Geoethical Nanotechnology to make it past the challenges of going the wrong way as replicator nanotech is developed, and personal cyberconsciousness becomes the principal mode for humanity’s existence and further progression.

(Linda) With the Singularity, as described by Ray Kurzweil, three to six decades away, as it now appears to be, a lot of maturation has to take place as promptly as possible.  This is going to take people with the vision to see the necessity for strategy as well as creativity mixed with teamwork, as if the goal were to climb a difficult mountain.

(Fred)  One of the main goals of this podcast is to raise awareness of this need on the part of those with the capacity to make this happen.  We have a lot of information dense stuff to cover today.  We could easily expand this one podcast into several.  So, we’ll have to limit how much we say about each part and give listeners resources to use to learn more on their own.

(Linda) The first Element of this group of Truths is 1.5.1: “Expansion turns matter into intelligence per Turing’s Universal Computing (1950) and von Neuman’s Universal Self-Replicating Machines (1960).”  It’s not easy to briefly summarize the ideas of these two thinkers and their relevance to Terasem’s goals.

(Fred)  Indeed not, but let me try.  Turing’s hypothesis of computational platforms as plausible substrates for self-conscious cyberbeings is in many ways at the root of interest in such a possibility, and von Neumann’s thoughts about self-replicating information structures, with variations enabling evolution of form and function, has such striking parallels with what we know about biological evolution that together, the ideas of these two men do parallel what this Truth suggests, that extropy will bring about conversion of matter into intelligence.

(Linda) Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity is Near, is a good way to see how matter may almost explosively start to be converted into intelligence, within the next several decades, just as it is at present rapidly being converted into computational machinery on which we biological humans are more and more dependent.  Kurzweil’s treatment is very detailed, though, and a strong technological orientation is helpful to get the most of out of his book.

(Fred) A second and really great way to explore ideas like Turing’s and von Neuman’s, in a more user-friendly way with lots of historical background, is browsing a somewhat less well known but even more accessible book by Dr. J. Michael Perry, titled Forever for All.    For example, searching Forever for All produces 11 hits related to von Neuman’s work, and 76 mentions of Turing’s ideas.

(Linda)  Dr. Perry’s book is just as accessible on Amazon.com as Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near, but in addition the full text version can be downloaded from Perry’s website universalimmortalism.org. Perry has some fascinating and easily understood discussions of these two men’s ideas and you can easily search the online book for them.

(Fred)  Although we’ll be synopsizing the ideas of all the authors mentioned in this Expansion of the Truths of Terasem, we can only scratch the surface.  Without mentioning Perry’s book and how easy it is to get a searchable copy, we’d be shortchanging our listeners.

(Linda)  The next element of this Expansion is, 1.5.2  “Xenomass fuels Terasem expansion per Bernal’s Stellar Recycling (1969) and O’Neill’s Space Colonies (1975).”  The prefix “xeno” generally indicates “strange or foreign”, so let’s take xenomass to mean forms of matter with which we’re presently unfamiliar.  There is a substantial amount of Internet information on stellar recycling, where supernova remnants gather in great clouds that gravitationally gather to form new stars.  I’ll take this truth to say that just as old stars die and transition to new ones by means of uptake of the remnants, Terasem’s expansion will involve the use of entirely new molecular configurations in the fabrication of new structures in space.

(Fred)  Entirely new molecular configurations may involve things like Buckyballs and nanotubes.  But those are the barest whiffs of examples.  Even in the world of biology, there are extraordinary instances of configurations that were “invented” by natural selection, such as spider-web materials and the “electric wires” that electric eels and similar creatures have developed within their bodies.  With mature replicator nanotech, it would be embarrassingly tame to say “The sky’s the limit”.

Gigantic new molecular structures are already “on the drawing boards”, theoretically stable, many of them becoming reality daily, as reported by KurzweilAI.net, that illustrate what’s coming.  Just because we can’t put molecules like this together right now, in every conceivable way, doesn’t mean that it won’t soon be possible, in whatever forms we might wish.  It could be that leaving lifeless planets in their original forms will make about as much sense as leaving iron ore in the ground when you could have used it to make steel beams.

(Linda) Next is 1.5.3  “Physics includes immortality per Dyson’s Eternal Life Postulate (1979) and Tipler’s Closed Universe Cyber-resurrection (1989).”  Here, I’m going to simply quote briefly from Mike Perry’s Forever For All, noting that Dyson gets 22 hits on a search of the book and Tipler turns up 131 points of discussion.  This is the quote:

“To approach the “how” of immortality for this special but important case, we must confront the physics of our own universe. We can no longer take refuge in the possibilities of Unboundedness to overcome any calamity however great. Much is unknown, despite ongoing, exciting research and the efforts of theoreticians such as Dyson and Tipler. The latter, though, offers one insight that I think provides additional hope. As is often true of events on a smaller scale, the universe as a whole seems to be a chaotic system–meaning that small differences in conditions can give rise to large differences over moderate intervals of time. This opens a door to us as an intelligent species: we may, by calculated maneuvers, be able to exercise great control over the developing universe when we are more advanced, and ultimately win our goal of immortality by shaping an appropriate cosmic destiny. As usual this is not a guarantee, but let us look at some of the possibilities.”

(Fred) Interestingly, one of the references in Perry’s bibliography is to Tipler’s, Physics of Immortality, noting that on pages 116–19, he “critiques Dyson’s open-universe model of immortality.”  There’s no way in this podcast that we’re going to offer anything like that kind of coverage, so again, go to universalimmortalism.org, take the book link, and download Forever For All!

(Linda) C’mon, Fred, let’s dig just a little deeper!  What can we say, ourselves about 1.5.4  “Adaptation to biology-cybernetic hybridization thrives per Licklider’s Man-Computer Symbiosis (1958) and Englebart’s Graphical User Interfaces (1968)”?  We can’t just dump the whole load on Perry’s Forever For All!

(Fred)  That’s absolutely true, Linda, and particularly here, where Perry said nothing at all about either of them.  Searching Man-Computer Symbiosis, Wikipedia tells us that this is the title of:

“…a key speculative paper published in 1960 by psychologist/computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider, which envisions that mutually-interdependent, “living together”, tightly-coupled human brains and computing machines would prove to complement each other’s strengths to a high degree.”

(Wikipedia Continues)  “Man-computer symbiosis is a subclass of man-machine systems. There are many man-machine systems.  At present, however, there are no man-computer symbioses. The purposes of this paper are to present the concept and, hopefully, to foster the development of man-computer symbiosis by analyzing some problems of interaction between men and computing machines, calling attention to applicable principles of man-machine engineering, and pointing out a few questions to which research answers are needed. The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today.”

(Linda) Similarly, searching “Graphical User Interface” the Wikipedia link tells us, under “Augmentation of Human Intellect”:

“Doug Engelbart’s Augmentation of Human Intellect project at SRI (Stanford Research Institute) in the 1960s developed the On-Line System (NLS), which incorporated a mouse-driven cursor and multiple windows used to work on hypertext.   Engelbart had been inspired, in part, by the memex desk-based information machine suggested by Vannevar Bush in 1945. Much of the early research was based on how children learn.”

(Fred) Truth 1.5.4, says, about these, simply that “Adaptation to biology-cybernetic hybridization thrives.”  That certainly seems to be the case.  In connection with citations like this in the  Truths of Terasem, it’s worth reflecting that in the Terasem Pledge, the very first principle of Terasem’s is “education persistently”, and that doesn’t mean sitting in a classroom, half asleep, reliving last night’s sit-com.  It means, among other things, googling everything that arouses your curiosity, and if you don’t have an urge to do that, try googling “curiosity enhancement”, and one of the first things you see is a paper titled:  “The Hunger for Knowledge: Neural Correlates of Curiosity”, out of Cal Tech, with a first paragraph that says:

“Curiosity is the complex feeling and cognition that accompanies the desire to learn what is unknown. Curiosity can be both helpful and dangerous. It plays a critical role in motivating learning and discovery, increasing the world’s store of knowledge. Einstein, for example, once said, ‘I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious’.”

(Linda)  In 1.5.5 we have, “Nanotechnology enables lifetime-spacetime expansion per Drexler’s Engines of Creation (1986) and Kurzweil’s Age of Spiritual Machines (1996).  These are books that are probably very familiar to our listeners, and since we’ve expounded on them already in many earlier podcasts, let’s move to the final Truth of this podcast, 1.5.6:  “Destiny beckons pan-cosmic life, for religious prophets taught that humanity is here to honor all creation.”

(Fred)  The prefix “pan” is generally used to convey uniting or interconnecting all of what follows it, so let’s take “pan-cosmic life” to mean all forms of life throughout the cosmos, and that “honoring all creation” means finding value in whatever evolution has brought forth through extropy.

(Linda) We may find the T-Rex to be unsuitable as a house pet, and understand that the poison of a black widow spider is something to be avoided, but at the same time we cannot help being amazed at the versatility of biological evolution in its pursuit of survival.  It is also inspiring to think that throughout the universe there may be wonders of natural evolution even more impressive to be encountered and comprehended, and that among them there may be a variety of emergent sentient cultures of networked kind consciousness that will make us wonder why humankind couldn’t have found its way into one of those pathways, rather than evolving as it did.

(Fred)  Endless adventures await us, for sure.  Next week, we’re going to talk about consciousness, and how it fits into the framework of Terasem’s values and goals.  It’s seen as a continuum of maturing abilities, which when healthy, embrace both autonomy and empathy, where interconnectedness with others is an inescapable part.

(Linda)  True.  Consciousness is a dynamic process, so passage of time is integral to it, and personal independence along with urges to improve are seen as vital.  Reason and morality, combined with understanding the feelings of others, leads to an endless expansion of synergy among those who are at the same time evolving as individuals in creative ways.

(Fred)  If you can’t wait to be right in the middle of all this, find out about how to join Terasem at terasemfaith.net.  Start preparing to “Wake up in cyberspace” by building your mindfiles with the free tools available at  CyBeRev.org and/or LifeNaut.com.  That wonderful blog, mindclones.blogspot.com, tells you all about mindfiles.

(Linda) Right!  And check out the powerful new Android app at PersonalityMD.com. It’s based on the CyBeRev program, but it’s more like a game, that tests not just responses but speed of entry and graphical navigation. The two dimensional display lets you do it right from a smart phone, with evaluations truly unique to you, but you also see how you compare to others’ and see how many like-minded people live near you!

(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) If you’ve been enjoying the music that we use on this podcast series, it’s 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.

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

(Linda)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length.


Posted January 24, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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