As we sit here deep in an economic recession, with a looming war with Iraq, amidst growing global unrest, it can be hard to imagine how anyone might be optimistic about the next few years. But despite these gloomy prospects, there are larger forces at work, and they point to the prospect of a brighter future for everyone.

We are seeing battle lines drawn with capital on one side, and ideology, criminality, war and political power on the other. Arguably capital has won hands down up to this point. Without capital, ideologues cannot finance their causes, criminals have nothing to steal, wars cannot be financed, and politicians cannot gain or keep their power. Ideology doesn’t buy you guns, money does, and if the machinations of a group is centered around money, they have a greater chance of making more money, and buying more guns, than those whose machinations center around ideology. Ideologues can get money too, but ultimately they depend on the machinations of capital to finance their causes. In the Darwinian sense, those who focus more of their energies on acquiring and keeping capital than fulfilling their ideology have the survival advantage. That’s why the United States, the most capitalist society in history, is the most powerful by far. The US military budget is greater than the next nine largest militaries put together. Yet the power to destroy increases in capability for the individual (bio/chem/nuclear), and this in turn complexifies the game. Now, even the under-financed ideologues can exact great damage with limited resources. 9-11 is a perfect example. Likewise, a single malevolent and resourceful individual could get their hands on a very leathal and virulent strain of biotoxin and kill a huge portion of the population.

With a growing amount of power falling into the hands of individuals through internet resources, strong crypto, bioweapons, etc., the response of the capitalist has been to erode privacy and increase the level of intelligence and surveillance to find these potential threats. Already we have seen some grave erosions of civil liberties by the government embowered by the US Patriot Act. In addition we are seeing a massive increase in public cameras, dataveillance, biometrics, GPS tracking, and profiling. What’s more troubling is these increases in transparency have occurred almost exclusively one-way. Part of the problem is that corruption and criminality reach the highest levels of society and for the moment those unaccountable are using this “war on terrorism” as an excuse to shield themselves while increasing their power over others.

I don’t think its too extreme that we are for all intents and purposes living in a de-facto fascist-criminal regime. Lets be clear, I’m not accusing anyone in the current administration of wrong doing, only that the machinations of how everything is being run as being questionable to say the least. These are trends that have been going on for a very long time, well before the current administration took power. Rather than be shocked and upset by this continuous coup, see it as a weakness that has been exploited while the rest of us weren’t watching and even unable to watch, by the most sophisticated group in history. While they distracted us, they “acquired” large sums of capital and power sufficient for near total domination of the political arena. Now they have grabbed the reigns of government, gained control of the media propaganda machine, brought the economy to its knees (a mistake that will be their undoing) and control the largest military on earth. The only problem is they have already exploited the world to such an alarming degree that they are quickly running out of resources left to take. Having already reached the maximum threshold of taxation of the American people, they created a fake war on non-corporate drugs to increase their financial spoils even further. Now that they have exhausted that avenue, they’ve now created a “war on terrorism” as a cover to justify full-scale preemptive invasion of entire regions of the globe. This a dangerous move on their part, and they know it, but it doesn’t matter now because they are desperate. They are loosing their ability to hide their behaviors behind business as usual, because business as usual is on the verge of collapse (Enron, Worlcom, etc). Now the gloves are coming off and the rest of the world is seeing them for exactly what they are, and it has people scared. Lots of damage could be done by this gang in its desperation to continue its questionable cabal at all costs. But it cannot last, because ultimately it is not based on the free flow of capital but on the stealing of it from others.

If this “war on terrorism” continues it will devastate markets around the world and increasingly anger the true capitalists, the ones who have everything to loose if the economy collapses. These savvy rich people will line up against this cabal in all sorts of ways, least of which is to finance an opposition party to the current regime. And if the that is not possible, finance a way of undermining it from within, through bribery, blackmail and other dirty tricks. Regardless of what you’ve been told, war is not good for business. We are now a global economy and plundering one part of it to boost the coffers of another part is no longer sustainable. Its a short-term gambit at best. The whole damn thing is too interconnected and ecological. When you harm one part of it and you harm the whole. War, fascism, criminality , they are all unsustainable in the global ecological economy that now exists. It will fail, because the free-flow of capital demands it. Already the U.S. military machine is supported by vast subsidies by an economy that is buckling at the seems. And yet. the current administration is proposing an increase in the military budget by another $100 billion per year by 2007. Where is this money going to come from? We have already reached a critical mass of taxation. Any more and it will break the backs of the consumer, who without their spending power renders the economy helpless. If they don’t spend, companies don’t earn, if companies don’t earn, they lay off more people who in turn cannot spend. So if there is less capital, there is less tax to support a war machine or a government – it is that simple.

This so-called war on terrorism, this imperialist and desperate move to invade Iraq could very easily tip the economy right over the edge into a full-scale world-wide deflationary depression. Already it is on the verge of collapse because of massive swindling on every level by the most sophisticated white collar criminals in history. Enron and WorldCom are just the tip of the iceberg. The savings and loan scandal was peanuts compared to the vast robbery and theft that has brought us to our present predicament. It is no coincidence that we are banging the drums of war to divert our attention away from an economy that is on it last legs. Some say the cabal is power-mad and greedy for oil and money. Perhaps. The truth is they need this war if they are going to save an economy based on faulty principles and criminality. However, the only way this economy can possibly recover in a healthy and sustainable way is to have sufficient checks and balances that prevent such criminality and massive swindling from ever occurring in the first place. Corporations and governments will have to become more accountable and transparent. Surveillance will have to go both ways. If we are to see ourselves out of this unsustainable spiral we must now ask the question, “who is going to watch the watchers?’ This is an important question to ask, because as is been pointed out, if nobody is watching the watchers then we have a huge hole of accountability and in turn vulnerability to abuse. And such abuse is ultimately bad for capital. Capital requires liquidity. Liquidity requires liberty. Short-term capital can be made that breaks all the rules, such as corruption, theft,etc. But it cannot be sustained long-term. Long-term, capital favors liberty over tyranny and that is something we should be optimistic about.

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Decentralized P2P Radio

October 10th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Decentralized P2P Radio)

From the article on O’Reillys OpenP2P:

First there was AM. Then FM. Now, the next evolution in radio broadcast technology could very well be P2P.

What could be even more controversial than Internet radio/audio broadcasting–which has made headlines this year over the issue of royalty payments–and P2P file sharing? Probably the merging together of these banes of the music industry. Two P2P clients, PeerCast and Streamer, are exactly that. Without the need to have your own dedicated server, these programs let you stream audio files to other users on a P2P network. Essentially, you can run your own Internet radio station whenever you start up your computer and get online.

There’s only one man to blame for Streamer: Iain McLeod of Warrington, U.K., who describes himself as a “self-employed computer game creator.” Lately, however, the 39-year-old has been finding himself working more on Streamer, a program which he unabashedly describes as “pirate radio for the digital age” and admits that he created it in response to the music industry’s recent efforts to shut down Internet radio stations over royalty payments.”

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Smart Mobs

October 8th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Smart Mobs)

Howard Rheingold, the father of virtual communities, is already on to the next revolution – Smart Mobs. He’s written a new book and created an updated nice website about it. The revolutionary potential of Wi-Fi is that it enables the emergence of an ad-hoc, on-the-fly, real-time, constantly in-flux wireless and decentralized internet. A company Mesh Networks, has already risen to capitalize on this trend. Everyone becomes a node in the emergent network. The beauty of this scheme is that it would completely by-pass all means of centralized control, and empower old-style internet (i.e. anonymous and uncensored) communications from the bottom-up using the unregulated spectrum of garage door openers. Obviously, the emergence of such a network levels the playing field all over again, and therefore scares the crap out of the big boys. Why? Because such a network could easily bypass all of their expensive networks and revenue streams. Will they attempt to crush this technology using legal or technological strangleholds? They are likely to try, but the tricky part is getting this spectrum regulated when nearly every remote control device in existence operates in it.

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Carbon Wonders

October 5th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Carbon Wonders)

Carbon’s covalent bond structure allows for a greater number of molecular combinations than any other element, maximizing it’s role as a building block for complexity. Discoveries made from biochemistry and nanotechnological research has spectacularly confirmed this. Carbon in the form of diamond, and now surpassed by its fullerene companions, are the hardest, strongest, and most versatile materials known. Its amazing how a single element arranged in one way can be soft and brittle (graphite), and in another extremely strong. Nanotubes as they are now known, are sure to become the building blocks of ultra-miniaturized computational machinery and large-scale mega-engineering projects. We are already seeing applications utilizing nanotubes, and there are already plans for using it to build space elevators. And here is a company planning to do it.

If there is other molecular-based life in this universe, chances are carbon plays a crucial role. In our quest for building better brains, the underlying hardware will increasingly resemble our wetware and ultimately surpass it – eliminating any previous difference between computer and neural architecture. The implications of such computer-brain symbiosis are startling, because we essentially become conscious software, gaining the ability to fully reprogram ourselves while freely running on increasingly superior hardware. Imagine for starters perfect recall of all knowledge and archived experience, fully customizable reality mediation and creation, complete empathy/telepathy with others, and the ability to choose exactly what state of mind and mood you’re in. Imagine states of ecstatic bliss becoming the norm in which further experience and exploration is pursued. A place where love is realized, not for any moral correctness, but as the most rational choice available. Please see The Hedonistic Imperative¬†for a great treatise on this subject.

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Astrud Gilberto

June 9th, 2000 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Astrud Gilberto)

Perhaps because I first started hearing music in the 60’s when I was a small child, I have a weakness for music from that era. Growing up, there was this beautiful singer whose voice was always deeply soothing to me. Of course I was too young to know who this was, and by the time I was a teenager and into all the “hip” music of the day, I forgot about her. Then 20 years later, along comes Napster, and I start scouring this new network for any music I can find. I have never been good about names, but there is just an endless amount of music that has passed my ears throughout my life that I haven’t cataloged. Then as I was surfing thru a genre called Bossa Nova, I re-discovered her again – Astrud Gilberto. What a thrill to download her music and listen to it again. After several downloads, I felt a bit guilty and went out and bought some of her albums. I found her website, and wrote her a letter, and a few days later received this personal response from her. ūüôā

flower

Dear Paul,

I’m Glad you rediscovered my music

Many thanks for your kind words.

Best of luck to you!

Sincerely,
Astrud Gilberto

..

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The Singularity and The Apotheosis

February 7th, 2000 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Singularity and The Apotheosis)

By Eliezer Yudkowsky

The Singularity holds out the possibility of winning the Grand Prize, the true Utopia, the best-of-all-possible-worlds – not just freedom from pain and stress or a sterile round of endless physical pleasures, but the prospect of endless growth for every human being – growth in mind, in intelligence, in strength of personality; life without bound, without end; experiencing everything we’ve dreamed of experiencing, becoming everything we’ve ever dreamed of being; not for a billion years, or ten-to-the-billionth years, but forever… or perhaps embarking together on some still greater adventure of which we cannot even conceive… that’s the Apotheosis.

We accept the possibility that this future may be unattainable; there are many visualizations under which Apotheosis is impossible. Probably the most common category is where the superintelligences have no particular reason to be fond of humanity – all superintelligences inevitably come to serve certain goals, and we don’t have any intrinsic meaning under whatever goals superintelligences serve, or we’re not sufficiently optimized – so we get broken up into spare atoms. Perhaps, in such a case, the superintelligences are right and we are wrong – by hypothesis, if we were enhanced to the point where we understood the issues, we would agree and commit suicide.

There was a point where I was sure that superintelligent meant super-ethical (probably true), and that this ethicality could be interpreted in anthropomorphic ways, i.e. as kindness and love (unknown). Now, with the invention of Friendly AI, things have gotten a bit more complicated. Apotheosis is definitely a possibility. I refuse to hope for an Apotheosis that contravenes the ultimate good, but I can hope that the ultimate good turns out to be an Apotheosis – and if there is no “ultimate good”, no truly objective formulation of morality, then Apotheosis is definitely the meaning that I’d currently choose. So I hope that all of us are on board with the possibility of an Apotheosis, even if it’s not necessarily the first priority of every Singularitarian.

The Principle of Apotheosis covers both the transhumanist and altruist reasons to be a Singularitarian. I hope that, even among the most philosophically selfish of transhumanists, the prospect of upgrading everyone else to godhood sounds like at least as much fun as being a god. There are varying opinions about how much fun we’re having on this planet, but I think we can all agree that we’re not having as much fun as we should.

Even after multiple doses of future shock, and all the other fun things that being a Singularitarian has enabled me to do to my personality, I still like to think of myself as being on track to heal this planet – solving, quite literally, all the problems of the world. That’s how I got into this in the first place. Every day, 150,000 humans die, and most of the survivors live lives of quiet desperation. We’re told not to think about it; we’re told that if we acknowledge it our minds will be crushed. (11). I, at least, can accept the reality of child abuse, cruelty, death, despair, illiteracy, injustice, old age, pain, poverty, stupidity, terror, torture, tyranny and any other ugliness you care to name, because I’m working to stop it. All of it. Permanently.

It’s not a promise. It can never be a promise. But I wish all the unhappy people of the world could know that, whatever their private torment, there’s still hope. Someone, somewhere, is working to stop it. I’m working to stop it. There are a lot of evil things in the world, and powerful forces that produce them – Murphy’s Law, blind hate, negative-sum selfishness. But there are also healers. There are, not forces, but minds who choose to oppose the ugliness. So far, maybe, we haven’t had the knowledge or the power to win – but we will have that knowledge and that power. There are greater forces than the ugliness in the world; ultratechnologies that could crush Murphy’s Law or human stupidity like an eggshell. I can’t show an abused child evidence that there are powerful forces for good in the world, forces that care – but we care, and we’re working to create the power. And while that’s true, there’s hope.

There is no evil I have to accept because “there’s nothing I can do about it”. There is no abused child, no oppressed peasant, no starving beggar, no crack-addicted infant, no cancer patient, literally no one that I cannot look squarely in the eye. I live a life free of “the normal background-noise type of guilt that comes from just being alive in Western civilization”, to paraphrase Douglas Adams (12). It’s a nice feeling. All you have to do is try to help save the world.

Related Links:

The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

The Singularity Principles

Singularity Watch

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The Future is Biological

September 5th, 1998 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Future is Biological)

earthnetScientific and technological trends indicate that our transhuman and post-human futures will in many ways become more biological, not less:

1) Our biosphere is the most complex system in the known universe, a product of self-organization and natural selection. Although we haven’t found any others yet, I suspect our universe contains an unlimited number of complex systems equaling or exceeding our own. See the noosphere section for why I think so.

2) Facilitated in large part by a global nervous system called the Internet, our technological and industrial systems are increasingly resembling those of the biosphere. If the biosphere can recycle everything, why can’t we? In order to increase efficiency and reduce costs, industry has been relying on more recycled materials and waste products from other sectors. This burgeoning field known as Industrial Ecology or Industrial Symbiosis is ushering in an entirely new way of doing business – one that is based as much on cooperation as competition. One only has to look at the world of microorganisms to see the tremendous versatility full-cycle systems are capable of.

3) The latest computer hardware and software are also increasingly resembling the biological realm. There is steady progress in developing protein memories, DNA computers and bio-luminescent displays. Software engineers are increasingly incorporating biological metaphors into the creation of more efficient and robust programs. The latest anti-virus programs utilize pseudo-immunological processes that evolve new defenses in response to the latest computer viruses. Below is a an artificial life program running as a java applet. Move your cursor over them and they will try to follow it.

4) Human and some cetacean brains appear the most complex components of Earths biosphere, making them the most densely complexified structures known. Extensive research has revealed that our individual neurons are themselves quite complex, with a plethora of neurotransmitter activity within the¬†synaptic¬†clefts. Pundits have been telling us for years that the future of intelligence lies in silicon, yet silicon’s limits are already being reached. Instead, we’re on the verge of seeing computer architecture transcend the limits of silicon by adopting the more versatile element of its creator, carbon.

5) Carbon’s covalent bond structure allows for a greater number of molecular combinations than any other element, maximizing it’s role as a building block for complexity. Discoveries made from biochemistry and nanotechnological research has spectacularly confirmed this. Carbon in the form of diamond, and now surpassed by its fullerene companions, are the hardest, strongest, and most versatile materials known. It’s amazing how a single element arranged in one way can be soft and brittle (graphite), and in another extremely strong. Carbon Nanotubes as they are now known, are sure to become the building blocks of ultra-miniaturized computational machinery and large-scale mega-engineering projects. If there is other molecular-based life in this universe, chances are carbon plays a crucial role. In our quest for building better brains, the underlying hardware will increasingly resemble our wetware and ultimately surpass it – eliminating any previous difference between computer and neural architecture. The implications of such computer-brain symbiosis are startling, because we essentially become conscious software, gaining the ability to fully reprogram¬†ourselves¬†while freely running on increasingly superior hardware. Imagine for starters perfect recall of all knowledge and archived experience, fully customizable reality mediation and creation, complete empathy/telepathy with others, and the ability to choose exactly what state of mind and mood you’re in. Imagine states of ecstatic bliss becoming the norm in which further experience and exploration is pursued. A place where love is realized, not for any moral correctness, but as the most rational choice available. Please see The Hedonistic Imperative for a great treatise on this subject.

None of these developments should comes as a surprise. Life has been experimenting with form and function for nearly 4 billion years. We as a species are only now becoming sufficiently advanced to apply the process to our own needs. From this, we surmise that future technology will becoming more life-like than anything before it. Along with this, our biosphere will reproduce through us, releasing spores throughout the galaxy. This may be re-assuring for those who thought the future would consist of some mish-mash of metallic robots and super-industrial machinery. I’m optimistic that life in the future will increasingly become more fun, free, and alive than anything we’ve experienced. With the Earth as our womb, and the stars and immortality as our birthright, the biological revolution and its more advanced stage nanotechnology are about to take us on a ride. Are you ready? ūüôā

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A Cosmic Filter?

August 29th, 1998 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on A Cosmic Filter?)

Calculating how often alien civilizations might occur, has been the pre-occupation of scientists for decades. The first person to really formulate such an answer was Frank Drake using his now famous Drake Equation.

The trickiest part of calculating this equation is determining the probability for each variable. Over the years, our knowledge of astrophysics and planetology has increased substantially. For the most part, the probability for the occurence of life has increased along with the discovery of extreme forms of life here on Earth. Life has been found in the coldest reaches of the artic and the deepest parts of the oceans. There is one type of archae-bacteria whose natural habitat is boiling water.

Discovery of planets within a few lightyears of our own star system has upped the ante even further. More surpirsing is the types of planets we are finding, including the recent discovery of 3 planets orbiting a pulsar.

If life does manage to get started, it has a long up hill battle to survive. Assuming that a complex ecosystem manages to encompass a planet, it then has to contend with the possibility of periodic asteroid impacts, nearby supernovas, and deadly gamma-ray bursts.

Of all of the things most likely to extinguish life, one of the more menacing are the gamma-ray bursts originating from the collisions of two or more neutron stars. Radiation from such a collison is so powerful, that it has the potential to wipe out planetary life from a distance of 50,000 light-years. Lucky for us, such collisions only occur in our galaxy about every 100-200 million years. However, in a universe as large as ours, such bursts our detected by our instruments almost once every second!

We can count ourselves lucky that life on this planet has survived the past 4 billion years and is now we ready to leave the womb planet. I suspect we will also soon gain the ability to predict when such deadly gamma-ray burst will occur and get out of harms way when neccessary. Simply postioning yourself on the opposite side of a planetary body as the incoming gamma-ray burst should do it. As intelligence increases so does our chances for survival. My hypothesis is that ultimately no upper limits exist to a suffieciently advanced intelligence.

Either way, such collisions suggest the possibility that advanced spacefaring cultures are very rare, as most life gets irradiated before it evolves the ability to leave!

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Biosphere

March 11th, 1997 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Biosphere)

There are many notions about what¬†biotechnics¬†might be – everything from creating Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS’s) such as Biosphere 2 or a fully self-sufficient Space Colony, to more earth-based applications like using native biological processes to accomplish something better than some man-made top-down system.

Scientific and technological trends indicate that our transhuman and post-human futures are becoming more biological, not less:

earthnet1) Our biosphere is the most complex system in the known universe, a product of self-organization and natural selection. Although we haven’t found any others yet, I suspect our universe contains an unlimited number of complex systems equaling or exceeding our own. See the¬†noosphere¬†section for why I think so.

2) Facilitated in large part by a global nervous system called the Internet, our technological and industrial systems are increasingly resembling those of the biosphere. If the biosphere can recycle everything, why can’t we? In order to increase efficiency and reduce costs, industry has been relying on more recycled materials and waste products from other sectors. This burgeoning field known as¬†Industrial Ecology¬†or¬†Industrial Symbiosis¬†is ushering in an entirely new way of doing business – one that is based as much on cooperation as competition. One only has to look at the world of microorganisms to see the tremendous versatility full-cycle systems are capable of.

3) The latest computer hardware and software are also increasingly resembling the biological realm. There is steady progress in developing protein memories, DNA computers and bio-luminescent displays. Software engineers are increasingly incorporating biological metaphors into the creation of more efficient and robust programs. The latest anti-virus programs utilize pseudo-immunological processes that evolve new defenses in response to the latest computer viruses. Below is a an artifical life program running as a java applet. Move your cursor over them and they will try to follow it.

4) Human and some cetacean brains appear the most complex components of Earths biosphere, making them the most densely complexified structures known. Extensive research has revealed that our individual neurons are themselves quite complex, with a plethora of neurotransmitter activity within the syanptic clefts. Pundits have been telling us for years that the future of intelligence lies in silicon, yet silicon’s limits are already being reached. Instead, we’re on the verge of seeing computer architecture transcend the limits of silicon by adopting the more versatile element of its creator,¬†carbon.

dna5) Carbon’s covalent bond structure allows for a greater number of molecular combinations than any other element, maximizing it’s role as a building block for complexity. Discoveries made from biochemistry and nanotechnological research has spectactularly confirmed this. Carbon in the form of diamond, and now surpassed by its fullerene companions, are the hardest, strongest, and most versatile materials known. Its amazing how a single element arranged in one way can be soft and brittle (graphite), and in another extremely strong.¬†Nanotubes¬†as they are now known, are sure to become the building blocks of ultra-minuturized computational machinery and large-scale¬†mega-engineering projects.¬†If there is other molecular-based life in this universe, chances are carbon plays a crucial role. In our quest for building better brains, the underlying hardware will increasingly resemble our wetware and ultimately surpass it – eliminating any previous difference between computer and neural architecture. The implications of such computer-brain symbiosis are startling, because we essentially become conscious software, gaining the ability to fully reprogram oursleves while freely running on increasingly superior hardware. Imagine for starters perfect recall of all knowledge and archived experience, fully customizable reality mediation and creation, complete empathy/telepathy with others, and the ability to choose exactly what state of mind and mood you’re in. Imagine states of ecstatic bliss becoming the norm in which further experience and exploration is pursued. A place where¬†love¬†is realized, not for any moral correctness, but as the most rational choice available. Please see¬†The Hedonistic Imperative¬†for a great treatise on this subject, and stay tuned for what is sure to become the central theme of this site.

None of these developments should comes as a surprise. Life has been experimenting with form and function for nearly 4 billion years. We as a species are only now becoming sufficiently advanced to apply the process to our own needs. From this, we surmise that future technology will becoming more life-like than anything before it. Along with this, our biosphere will reproduce through us, releasing spores throughout the galaxy (see¬†Gaia Sporing). This may be re-assuring for those who thought the future would consist of some mish-mash of metallic robots and super-industrial machinery. I’m optimistic that life in the future will increasingly become more fun, free, and alive than anything we’ve experienced. With the Earth as our womb, and the stars and immortality as our birthright, the biological revolution and its more advanced stage nanotechnology are about to take us on a ride. Are you ready? ūüôā

exobio
 

[This page originally appeared on my first web site – Planet P – archived here]

Links and Related Sites:

Artifical Life
Autonomous Agents – Stuart Kauffman
Biocomputation
Bioneering
Boids
Brain-Computer Interfacing
Complexity Online
Extra Solar Visions
Extropy Institute
Gaia Nation
Gaia Sporing
The Hedonistic Imperative
Immortality Systems
Industrial Ecology
Nanotechnology
Organic ArtWorks
Tierra

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Nöosphere

March 7th, 1997 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

The nöosphere has been defined as the sum total of all human knowledge and experience. This would include everything from our most private dreams to our knowledge of Universe itself. With accelerating technology as its catalyst, our nöopshere is expanding at its greatest rate in history.

According to the standard inflationary model of cosmology, the ‘visible’ universe mapped by our telescopes is an infinitesimally small speck in a much larger universe of at least a 1035¬†light-year radius. If the galactic density of our own neighborhood is typical, then our bubble-universe could contain at least another 10100¬†galaxies – more galaxies than atoms in our own visible universe!

Despite the possibilility that life might be¬†extremely rare, a number as large as 10100¬†is likely to produce an abundance of life throughout the universe. A place where countless lifeforms evolve beyond their womb planets into highly advanced space-faring civilizations. Even if somehow life only occurs once in the lifetime of a trillion galaxies, and out of those only one a trillion ever evolves out of its womb planet, in this model we’re still left with an astounding 1075advanced societies – more alien cultures than the number of atoms composing planet Earth! For some perspective on such a number, there are more atoms in a single grain of sand than there are grains of sand on the beach from which it was plucked.

Assuming life were this rare, our nearest star-hopping neighbors would probably be trillions of light-years away. Only future technologies like travel through traversable wormholes (like the hyperspace of Star Wars) might ever give us the ability to connect with these cultures. For an enlightening discussion of some possible scenarios, see¬†Michael C. Price’s Some Implications of Traversible Wormholes.

According to Price, the implications of such ‘Contact’ would be staggering,”The number of alien cultures would be so large, that it is unlikely anyone could ever catalog all of them, even if they did have¬†computers the size of Jupiter! No historian could encompass the sweep of history, no biologist catalog the species. In a profound sense we’ll have returned to a vast ancient world, surrounded by distant lands populated with mythical and fantastic creatures. Construction of a single universal map would be impossible. The culture shock of trying to absorb such a vast amount of new data would take close to eternity.

“If she lost her personal wormhole and forgot her
trans-species designation code (a seventy digit number!) she
would never, ever find her way home again. None of her
descriptions of where she comes from would relate to
anything anyone else knows. “

And just when you thought the universe couldn’t get any bigger, along comes the idea of
other universes and infinite dimensions…

As if 1075¬†star cultures all interacting with one another in a universe bigger than any of them can imagine isn’t enough, these may be just the civilizations that evolved in our universe. According to cosmologists like Alan Guth and Lee Smolin, our universe may be only one among an endless variety of others, resulting from a biological process of replication, natural selection and diversification. The idea being that our universe is only one among trillions of other offspring, born from the black holes of an older ancestral universe, in a chain stretching back indefinitely. Likewise our universe might be spinning off millions of baby universes¬† through its own black holes.

According to David Bohm, the 4-dimensional universe we ‘experience’ (the explicate order), is just an arbitrary 4-d submanifold of an infinite dimensional multiverse (the implicate order). Everything we experience might then be just one set of arbitrary conditions among an infinite continuum of possibility.

In this context, a traversable wormhole could be seen as 5-d vector from one 4-d slice to another. A more interesting implication of traversable wormholes, is they open the possibility of engineering our own baby universes. One day we might figure out how to do this with such finesse, that we can change the universal constants, like we do our own DNA with genetic engineering. In this case we could utilize such ‘universal engineering’, ‘cloning’ and ‘splicing’ methods to create our own custom/mutated universes. Imagine creating an endless numbers of other universes, each increasingly tailored to our own desires; playing in dimensions so far beyond our own that familiar concepts like space, time, matter and energy have no meaning. It’s possible this has already been done. Perhaps we are already living in one of these artificial universes, created and imagined by beings from a previous ancestral universe.

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