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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Extropianism
Posted: March 23, 2021 at 1:51 pm
Extropianism is a philosophy of transhumanism that encompasses the Extropian principles in improving the human condition. It was founded in 1989 and incorporated in 1990 as a 501(c)3 non-profit. It established the modern movement of transhumanism through its conferences and publications. While it closed in 2006, for its time frame, it was largely in support of libertarian political values of democracy such as small government, individual rights, liberty, morphological freedom and the Proactionary Principle. However, many of its members were not libertarian and as an international organization encompassed transhumanists of diverse political backgrounds and views. These individuals share the advocacy of individual rights and the reduction of government. The movement's leading advocates include founder Max More.
Members of the Extropian mailing lists would go on to be involved with Bitcoin, encryption and the beginnings of blockchain, future libertarian and transhumanist projects.
Principles: See Extropian principles
Main: Extropy Magazines
Flyer for 'EXTRO 1 - The First Extropy Institute Conference on Transhumanist Thought'
Sunnyvale, California, April 30 - May 1 1994
1994. Extropy Institute's first conference, Extro-1, takes place in Sunnyvale, California, with keynote speaker Hans Moravec on "The Age of Robots" from what would be his next book. At the conference, Dr. Christopher Heward discusses his ideas of "biometrics" for personalized anti-aging medicine. In 1999-2000, the first Kronos clinic will open, implementing this idea. (Chris developed the idea further at his Extro-2 talk.) Based partly on the conference, Ed Regis's major article for Wired magazine brings in many hundreds of information inquiries and bringing awareness of extropic thinking to around 100,000 people. (In the next issue, one reader's letter derides extropy, calling our movement a passing fad. Since then, our numbers have multiplied a hundredfold.) Extropy #12 includes "The Open Society and Its Media" by Mark Miller, Dean Tribble, Ravi Pandya, and Marc Steigler. Extropy #13 includes a seminal article on Utility Fog by J. Storrs Hall, who ran the nanotech Usenet list and who becomes Extropy's Nano editor.
1995 The Extro 2 conference, held in Santa Monica, California, reaches out to new communities by creating liaisons with the digital media community. David McFadzean and Duane Hewitt present a web-based implementation of Dr. Robin Hanson's Idea Futures (now called the Foresight Exchange). Prof. Michael Rothschild, author of Bionomics, speaks on "The 4th Information Revolution". (Dr. More speaks at the Bionomics conference later this year.) Pioneering futurist FM-2030 brings his ideas to a new audience. Presentations by Natasha Vita-More (and the panel following her presentation including Fiorella Terenzi and Roy Walford) expand the conference's approach from science, technology, philosophy, and economics into culture and the arts.
1997 The Extro 3 conference in Northern California tops the previous events: Eric Drexler makes his first public announcement of his cryonics arrangements as part of a witty banquet keynote talk (according to many it is one of Eric Drexler's best speeches); AI pioneer Prof. Marvin Minsky also announces his cryonics arrangement and is awarded his cryonics bracelet by Eric Drexler to resounding applause. Also at Extro-3, Dr. Greg Stock speaks on engineering the human germline, a talk that leads to Stock's UCLA conference on the topic the next January.
1999: The Extro 4 conference on Biotech Futures: Challenges and Choices of Life Extension and Genetic Engineering brings together radical thinkers and mainstream scientists from places such as Geron Corporation, the Berkeley National Laboratory, UCLA, and the University of California, Berkeley. Scientific research is presented, and legal, artistic, and philosophical issues are discussed. Prof. Vernor Vinge and Greg Bear delight the audience with their creative thinking, and Natasha Vita-More forms the focus of a feature article in the January 2000 issue of Wired magazine. The Kronos Clinics starts up, aimed at personalized age management, based on the ideas expounded by Christopher Heward at the first two Extro conferences.
2001: Reason.com review
The Vital Progress conference was held in response to the latest moves by Leon Kass.
Vital Progress Summit II was scheduled for winter 2005 but never materialised.
ExI Satellite Meeting in 2005, Caracus, Venezuela ended up launching under the TransVision instead which held many successive events.
Posted: April 25, 2017 at 4:52 am
April 21, 2017
At 61 years old, Im moth eaten enough to remember not just John F. Kennedys assassination, but his election to the presidency. Which means that since a tender age Ive been subjected to more than a half century of the fanfaronade, buffoonery, and deceit that every four years makes this great republic look like a cross between Animal House and The Manchurian Candidate as the hoi polloi, exercising their sacred constitutional right to vote, decide who will be the most powerful person in the world.
Death is a bummer, yes, but mostly for those who are alive.
I remember, for instance, Lyndon Johnsons infamous Daisy ad, which, with powerful graphics all but assured Americans that wed be nuked by the Bolsheviks if we elected his GOP opponent, Barry Goldwater, as president.
About 12 years later, I howled with laughter along with a bunch of other Florida Gators in a local Ratskeller when the thirty-eighth president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford Jr., declared during a presidential debate that there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europein 1976!
And who can forget Michael Dukakis MI-A-I battle tank ride into electoral oblivion, Al Gores (2000) invention of the Internet, and the Howard Dean Scream of 2004?
Nothing, though, compared to the shtick we endured during the 2016 presidential campaign. Even Isomeone whose mitochondria can get overclocked by presidential politicsjust wanted it over.
Amid the hoopla over Hillary Clintons e-mails and Donald Trumps tax returns, however, you might have missed the candidacy of Zoltan Istvan, who traveled around the country in a vehicle shaped like a coffin, dubbed the Immortality Bus. In the mother of all campaign promises (one that made Bernie Sanders desire for universal health care seem trite) candidate Istvan declared that if elected president, he would allocate funds for science and technology to help us overcome death.
Overcome death? With science and technology? Well, considering all that science and technology have done so far (20 years ago watching a movie on a cell phone would have seemed like Star Trek stuff), why not? In 2013 TIME magazine ran a cover article titled, Can Google Solve Death? The subhead read: The search giant is launching a venture to extend the human life span. That would be crazyif it werent Google.
Of course, extending the human life span is one thing (following the advice in Counsels on Diets and Foods would do the trick, too), but thats as far from overcoming death as adding three inches to a yard is from infinity. These people want immortality, not longevity.
PayPal billionaire Peter Theil, for example, is one of the new ber-rich who actually hope their vast coffers can buy off the grim reaper. Theil has been investing in technology in which older people get blood transfusions from younger ones. If, as Scripture says, the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev. 17:11),wouldnt a fresh supply of young blood be good for the flesh? The logic works. How well the technology will is, well, another matter entirely.
For those put off by this high-tech Dracula stuff, another hoped-for route to the tree of life is to map the complete neural structure of the brain, the unique neuro-chemical configurations that make you and your consciousness distinctly you, and then upload you, in bits and bytes, to a supercomputer. The idea is that if this could ever be done (not likely), your conscious self would exist unencumbered by hemorrhoids, arthritis, and all the other foibles of fallen flesh. However, this potential procedure comes with numerous questions, such as: If they create back-ups, which one is the real you?
Another strategy already being implemented is the freeze-dried approach to immortality, known as Cryonics. At the moment of death, the corpse is immersed into a vat of liquid nitrogen eventually cooled down to -196 degrees centigrade, in hopes that future technology will have so far advanced that you could be thawed out, refurbished, and sent on your merry way. A whole body freeze goes for a cool $200,000. Heads only, called Neurocyropreservation, can be had for $80,000. What good is a thawed-out frozen head? Well, if they can get this brain mapping technology down, the plan would be to thaw out the head, upload the neural structure to a computer and Voila! You are mentally, if not physically, resurrected, existing inside a computer that, ideally, could allow you to exist forever, as long as the parts can be replaced.
If all this seems tragically farfetched, it is. Its its farfetchedness that makes it so tragic, a twenty-first century testament to humanitys futile attempt to beat death, and the even more futile hope that science and technology can do it.
Science is the new God, said Roen Horn, of the Eternal Life Fan Club. Science is the new hope.
Google, please solve death! read a placard carried by a woman on the streets of New York City, another indicator of just how desperately we dont want to die.
Those hopeful mortals counting on some technician in a lab coat to outwit Mother Natures dirtiest trick call themselves Transhumanists, the trans referring to the prospect that science will enable them to transcend their humanity, or at least the one aspect of our humanity that always ends our humanity, which is death. Others call themselves Extropians, a word created to express the opposite of entropy, the physical process that describes on the atomic level why everything, including ourselves, falls apart.
The hope that science can beat death is as mythical a quest as was the search for the Fountain of Youth. Science and technology cant give eternal life. They dont need to. Jesus already has. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1 John 5:11). I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).All that was needed for eternal life has been given to us in Jesus. The provision has been completed, the price paid, the promise fulfilled. And this is what he promised useternal life (1 John 2:25).
This desperate desire to escape our immediate physical demise, however understandable, rests upon the same ignorance that makes people think that Google might be able to accomplish that escape for them. Death is a bummer, yes, but mostly for those who are alive. From the perspective of those dead, death is experienced as nothing but a short, deep sleep until rising to glory at the Second Coming (for those rising at the third coming, well, things are a bit more problematic).
From Zoltan Istvans Immortality Bus to freezing corpses in vats of nitrogen, Transhumanism and Extropianism are doomed to fail. Worse, setting up science as the new God makes it less likely to trust in the only God who can give people the eternal life they so desperately want.
Of all the various approaches for immortality, Peters Theils, however painfully off track, at least has the mechanism right. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day (John 6:54). The key is blood, yes. He just needs the right source for it.
Clifford Goldstein is editor of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. His next book, Baptizing the Devil: Evolution and the Seduction of Christianity, is set to be released by Pacific Press this fall.
Posted: March 7, 2017 at 10:08 pm
Extropianism, also referred to as extropism or extropy, is an evolving framework of values and standards for continuously improving the human condition. Extropians believe that advances in science and technology will some day let people live indefinitely and that humans alive today have a good chance of seeing that day. An extropian may wish to contribute to this goal, e.g. by doing research and development or volunteering to test new technology.
Extropianism describes a pragmatic consilience of transhumanist thought guided by a proactionary approach to human evolution and progress.
Originated by a set of principles developed by Dr. Max More, The Principles of Extropy, extropian thinking places strong emphasis on rational thinking and practical optimism. According to More, these principles "do not specify particular beliefs, technologies, or policies". Extropians share an optimistic view of the future, expecting considerable advances in computational power, life extension, nanotechnology and the like. Many extropians foresee the eventual realization of unlimited maximum life spans, and the recovery, thanks to future advances in biomedical technology, of those whose bodies/brains have been preserved by means of cryonics.
Extropy, coined by Tom Bell (T. O. Morrow) in January 1988, is defined as the extent of a living or organizational system's intelligence, functional order, vitality, energy, life, experience, and capacity and drive for improvement and growth. Extropy expresses a metaphor, rather than serving as a technical term, and so is not simply the hypothetical opposite of Information entropy.
In 1987, Max More moved to Los Angeles from Oxford University in England, where he had helped to establish (along with Michael Price, Garret Smyth and Luigi Warren) the first European cryonics organization, known as Mizar Limited (later Alcor UK), to work on his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Southern California.
In 1988, "Extropy: The Journal of Transhumanist Thought" was first published. This brought together thinkers with interests in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, life extension, mind uploading, idea futures, robotics, space exploration, memetics, and the politics and economics of transhumanism. Alternative media organizations soon began reviewing the magazine, and it attracted interest from likeminded thinkers. Later, More and Bell co-founded the Extropy Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization. "ExI" was formed as a transhumanist networking and information center to use current scientific understanding along with critical and creative thinking to define a small set of principles or values that could help make sense of new capabilities opening up to humanity.
The Extropy Institute's email list was launched in 1991, and in 1992 the institute began producing the first conferences on transhumanism. Affiliate members throughout the world began organizing their own transhumanist groups. Extro Conferences, meetings, parties, on-line debates, and documentaries continue to spread transhumanism to the public.
The Internet soon became the most fertile breeding ground for people interested in exploring transhumanist ideas, with the availability of websites for such organizations that have joined the Extropy Institute in developing and advocating transhumanist (and related) ideas. These include Humanity Plus, the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the Life Extension Foundation, Foresight Institute, Transhumanist Arts & Culture, the Immortality Institute, Betterhumans, Aleph in Sweden, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
In 2006 the board of directors of the Extropy Institute made a decision to close the organisation, stating that its mission was "essentially completed."
fr:Extropianisme it:Estropianesimo sk:Extropy Institute fi:Ekstropianismi
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Posted: at 10:08 pm
What rhymes or sounds like the word Extropianism? Extropianism, also referred to as the philosophy of Extropy, is an evolving framework of values and standards for continuously improving the human condition. Extropians believe that advances in science and technology will some day let people live indefinitely. An extropian may wish to contribute to this goal, e.g. by doing research and development or volunteering to test new technology. Extropianism describes a pragmatic consilience of transhumanist thought guided by a proactionary approach to human evolution and progress. Originated by a set of principles developed by Dr. Max More, The Principles of Extropy, extropian thinking places strong emphasis on rational thinking and practical optimism. According to More, these principles "do not specify particular beliefs, technologies, or policies". Extropians share an optimistic view of the future, expecting considerable advances in computational power, life extension, nanotechnology and the like. Many extropians foresee the eventual realization of unlimited maximum life spans, and the recovery, thanks to future advances in biomedical technology or mind uploading, of those whose bodies/brains have been preserved by means of cryonics.
more on Definitions.net
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Posted: March 4, 2017 at 1:06 am
President Joe once had a dream. I wonder if you recognise the song? Its Saviour Machune from the earl David Bowie album, The Man who Sold the World. The machine is built to solve all problems, and does so, but ends up miserable and disaffected. Its obvious that the thing was a computer, but the word machine works better in the song.
If you havent heard the song yet, its worth a listen. You can find it on Youtube. During those years, David Bowie made songs that still sound modern. That was before he learned to sing properly and became poppish. If you do head in that virtual direction, you might also want to listen to the track, The Man Who Sold the World.
First glance, the song sounds like an oddity, pardon the pun, a preposterous notion. If you go a bit deeper into things and put aside the concept of the machine, you are left with another player, President Joe who built the machine. President Joe is not particularly preposterous. There are a bunch of people out there, just like him.
The notion of the omnipotent machine is nothing new. Its one of the common strands in science fiction, and has been for a long time. The idea of an intelligent machine is old hat as well. The Turing Test scratches the surface by seeking a computer that can fool a human into believing that it too is human. Some or other machine managed to fool a couple of experts into thinking it was a 13 year old a couple of weeks ago.
Next on the horizon, we have The Singularity. That is supposed to be an intelligent machine that is able to replicate itself. After that comes extropianism, the idea of transfering a soul to a machine. All of these phenomena are fetishes, I suspect on the part of people who cannot cope with other people. If I cant cope with the vagaries of real human emotions, Ill hope that machines are more predictable. Sad. It makes me think of Pinocchio as an object of affection, if not desire.
Perhaps its not so much Pinocchios wooden nature that is the problem, but the people who worship machinesd that need to get real.
There is something else that is interesting about the song. The machine is called Prayer and its answer is law. There is definitely something in that as well, yet another get-out-of-jail card for people who really dont want to have to deal with their own thoughts and emotions.
The line that divides the two sides of the thing is the internal and the external. There are a huge number of people who need external systems to get by, not just in the starry eyed worship of tools like computers, but in slavish, slack-jawed belief in and acceptance of thought systems.
I suppose, at the extreme end of the spectrum, the most convinced and optimistic computer geek is really not much different from your average religious fundamentalist, if not in intensity of and reliance on belief, then possibly as in need of control as a bog-standard hell-and-damnation preacher or some angry worshiper at the altar of Dawkins atheism.
Machines are becoming the new cult. They define us and our lives, to the point where personal values and our own judgments become secondary resources and measures of value.
The proof of this lies in processing and graphics capability. Apparently the higher the capability, the more able the person. Yet, at the end of the day, there arent all that many people who use much more than a browser, mail and a productivity suite.
Its about the same with religion. Why do people need theological sophistication and loopholes when the actual object of the exercise is to break as many commandments as possible and ignore the validity of strictures against venal sins? One proof of this lies in the church which handed out guns to people who converted.
If there is a truth to be had from this, it is that tools make things easier but dont make them better. Systems create their own messes. Computers become more complex and less predictable. Religion needs to more enemies and more violence.
Continue reading here:
Posted: January 27, 2017 at 5:53 am
Max More (born Max T. O'Connor, January 1964) is a philosopher and futurist who writes, speaks, and consults on advanced decision-making about emerging technologies.
Born in Bristol, England, More has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from St Anne's College, Oxford (1987). His 1995 University of Southern California doctoral dissertation The Diachronic Self: Identity, Continuity, and Transformation examined several issues that concern transhumanists, including the nature of death, and what it is about each individual that continues despite great change over time.
Founder of the Extropy Institute, Max More has written many articles espousing the philosophy of transhumanism and the transhumanist philosophy of extropianism, most importantly his Principles of Extropy. In a 1990 essay "Transhumanism: Toward a Futurist Philosophy", he introduced the term "transhumanism" in its modern sense.
More is also noted for his writings about the impact of new and emerging technologies on businesses and other organizations. His "proactionary principle" is intended as a balanced guide to the risks and benefits of technological innovation.
At the start of 2011, Max More became president and CEO of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, an organization he joined in 1986. 
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Posted: November 27, 2016 at 9:47 am
xkcd readers: RIES page is here
My resume (a bit untraditional, like me).
More pages and topics, grouped by subject:
Dice : Links to examples of all known types of dice, mainly organised by number of sides; and lists of tabletop games telling which dice are used for each.
Exponentially Distributed Dice : Dice to roll random numbers whose logarithms are evenly distributed. Benford: It's Not Just the Law It's How We Roll.
Formal Power Series algorithms (for now, just the square root)
Generating Functions are discussed in the context of decimal expansions of fractions like 1/98 = 0.0102040816...
How Many Squares : One of the more popular types of mathematical troll-bait.
Hypercalc is my "calculator that cannot overflow", available as a web app and a more powerful Perl version for UNIX/Linux/Mac OS X and Cygwin.
Integer Sequences : I have many pages on specific integer sequences like A181785 and A020916 (some of which required quite specialized high-speed programs); pages on sequence categories like 2nd-order linear recurrence and Narayana numbers; and a sorted table of sequences I find interesting, with links to these and many other pages.
Large Numbers : The -illion names, tetration and faster-growing functions, Graham's number, and other fascinating ways to go far beyond the merely astronomical.
Lucas Garron's "Three Indistinguishable Dice" Problem : a fun little puzzle involving how to make better use of a basically useless three-dice-in-a-box thingy. As seen on Numberphile.
mcsfind : A program that will find the simplest recurrence-generated integer sequence given some initial terms.
Minimally Complex Sequences : An exhaustive index of integer sequences generated by simple "classical" formulas.
My Laws of Mathematics : Kinda humorous, kinda serious.
Numbers : Notable properties of specific numbers, like 2.685452..., 107, and 45360.
Puzzles : Not always mathematical, but those are the ones that I seem to discuss more often. MIT Mystery Hunt stuff is here too.
Riemann Zeta Function MP3 File : Music that only a number theorist would love...
Rubik's Cube and Other Rectangular Delights : My unique solution algorithms from 1982, some software, and a survey of similar puzzles like the 223.
Sloandora : An interactive browser for the OEIS, using a text concordance metric.
Computational Science :
I discovered that the Gray-Scott system supports patterns about as complex as those in Conway's Game of Life. This page links to the paper I wrote and the talk I gave on the same topic.
"Popular" Science :
Orrery : A solar system model built from LEGO parts.
Size Scales Exhibit : An adapted and improved version of the AMNH Rose Center exhibit.
Slide Rules : Notes about slide rules and photos of ones I made myself.
Solar System : Some facts and figures about the planets and their orbits.
Tides : A step-by-step explanation of the tides, designed to explain all the differences that occur from one day to the next and from one location to another.
Here are most of the topics that will not be obsolete with [company]'s next release of [product].
Alternative Number Systems : A list of the most popular alternatives to fixed-point (integer) and floating-point representations, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Answers to Questions on Stack Exchange Sites : I couldn't add corrections or comments directly, so I have published them here.
automeme : A tool for the automatic generation of "mad-libs" style texts, with a simple and powerful specification language.
Diameter-Degree or "TTL" problem : a graph theory problem related to wiring multi-processor computer networks.
Floating-Point Formats : A list of the ranges and precisions of various floating-point implementations over the years.
Functional Computation : A set of recursive definitions starting with a minimal set of LISP-like functions, and specifically related to work of Turing and Gdel.
My High-Performance Projects : Just a brief summary of all the CPU-intensive projects I've created over the years, from Z80 assembly-language to the present.
LogCPU : a simple, very efficient load monitor for MacOS X. (This is in the general CS category because it is a good example of elegant display and UI)
Minimal RNN Implementation in Python : A recurrent neural network that models plain text, based on this gist by @karpathy, but greatly enhanced.
MIRA : A text-only web browser with unique features, designed for scholars and others who conduct research on the Internet.
Perl scripts : The language of choice of those who have that occasional "hankerin' for some hackerin'"
png-csum-fix : Program that recomputes the CRCs in a PNG file; also allows changing colour table (palette) entries on the fly.
Programming Languages : An automated survey of the popularity of various computer languages.
RHTF : The "embarassingly-readable" markup language I created for these webpages.
SimpleGet : A small stand-alone replacement for the perl library LWP::Simple.
The SPEC Benchmarks : Conversion formulas for the industry-standard CPU benchmarks.
This QR does not loop.
Items in this section are brand-specific, dated, and/or purely recreational.
Apple II Colors : An exact calculation of the RGB values of the lores (COLOR=) and hires (HCOLOR=) colors on the Apple ][, derived by converting through the Y R-Y B-Y and YUV systems.
Apple Product History : List of computer and PDA models released by Apple, some with details.
Chip's Challenge : Maps and hints, and some walkthroughs, for the Atari Lynx version of the videogame.
Computer History : The history of the development of computers, with a focus on performance issues and the adoption of supercomputer design ideas into desktop machines.
The Eden World Builder File Format : Eden World Builder is a Minecraft-like game for iOS. I worked out the internal data format so I could print maps.
Eden World Builder : Other pages about Eden World Builder, including a change log and versions of my main creation Mega City Tokyo Unified.
Fitbit Flex : Technical specifications, a list of the flashing light patterns, and some instructions that should have been included in the manual.
iBook: How to Prevent Sleep : A simple, cheap and reversible way to prevent the iBook from going to sleep when you close the lid.
LibreOffice Bugs and Workarounds : Making a great free software project slightly greater.
The Lunacraft/Mooncraft File Format : Lunacraft, originally called Mooncraft is a Minecraft-like game for iOS. I worked out the internal data format so I could print maps and recover from the dreaded "terrain regen bug".
Lynx Chip's Challenge : My maps and hints rendered with a custom font.
MacBook Pro : mainly concerned with hard drive upgrades.
Missile : My first Macintosh program also happens to be one of the few programs that ran from the Mac's introduction in 1984 until the switch to Intel twenty years later.
Playstation : My notes about Sony Playstation games.
Q04B : Based on 2048, with color graphics, boosts, and a lot more (artwork by Randall Munroe).
SDRAM : A list of some older SDRAM chip types giving their speed and size.
TextEdit: Fixing the Margins Bug : How to alter TextEdit's printing code so that it respects the margins from Page Setup.
UNIX Project Build Tools : A partial history of the tools (cc, make, etc.) used to build from source and why it keeps getting more and more complicated.
xapple2 : My modifications to add accurate sound reproduction (/dev/audio) to the xapple2 Apple ][ emulator for UN*X and Linux.
Abbreviations : Common phrases that are frequently made obscure by abbreviation.
Archetypes : A Periodic Table of Jungian personality archetypes.
Associativity Matrix : A little twisty maze of thoughts, all different.
Blogs : In addition to my primary blog, Robert Munafo's General Weblog, I also have two blogs hosted by blog-specific websites: Robert Munafo on Blogspot and Robert Munafo on WordPress.
Core Values : An attempt to describe my preferences for how to prioritise life and make decisions (thus, highly subjective and in need of continual revision).
Data : Miscellaneous small bits of data I want to publish.
Extropianism : Why we shouldn't feel quite so bad about the future.
Filk : Some funny lyrics I've written.
Friends : Links to Web pages of various friends and co-conspirators.
Gearing Ideas and Notes : Mosty related to my orrery work.
General Blog : A weblog of articles not limited to any particular topic.
History of Music : Focusing on the industrialized distribution of music as a recent and unnatural phenomenon.
Index to the One True Thread : Silliness and serious creativity for hopelessly obsessed xkcd fans.
Linux rules : Duh.
Mamma Mia : The Broadway musical.
MBTI : A Karnaugh map of the Myers-Briggs personality types
Mispronounced Words : My bid for the "most useless collection of data on a web page" world record.
MIT OCW 18.06SC errata : Has several corrections and a cross-reference guide to the newer textbook by Prof. Strang.
Movies : Some material I have written that relates to a few movies. (See also the Top Movies list.)
Nest Thermostat: Using Auxiliary Heat : One of the many topics that are poorly documented on the official website.
Non-Obvious Answers to the Stupid Problems Life Gives Us : like how to find a practical lid-wrench.
Non-Obvious Answers to the Senseless Impediments Google Throws at Us : pretty much what it says on the tin.
Pod People : from Apple Customers to Werewolves organized and classified for your amusement and as a public service.
PVC Espas : A musical instrument I have built.
SAMPA : A clear concise way to represent phonetics in ASCII.
South Park on the Gun Debate, Without Blood or Bullets : Fan fiction written for early 2013.
Split Sleep : Sleeping twice per day for greater efficiency
Top Movies : My list of top movies of all time, rated by attendance (number of tickets sold) in U.S. theatres.
xkcd 1190 "Time" : discussion forum index
The following links represent projects that I lost interest in.
Apple Computer : Notes about the company and its history (currently just covers the "1984" commercial)
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Posted: August 23, 2016 at 9:23 am
Quick note: I gave a brief interview at Fallen and Flawed.
Clearly, atheism is not a religion, but there has been much talk in the comments about whether or not atheism is a worldview.
So, lets check the definitions of atheism and of worldview and see if one might be a species of the other.
atheism disbelief in the existence of a god or gods
worldview1. a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world 2. a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group
I do not see how atheism can be a worldview.
I have compared atheism to a-unicornism: disbelief in the existence of unicorns. How is a-unicornism a worldview? Its not. Atheism and a-unicornism are each a single belief about one thing. Neither of these positions tell you anything else about the person who holds them: their morals values, their political views, their driving purpose, their explanations for life or the universe, their beliefs about magic or ghosts or elves, their rationality or their intelligence.
But, Bobmo wrote:
In other words, if there is no God, then x must be true (e.g. matter is eternal, or a multiverse exists; there is no absolute morality, etc.) The same cannot be said for A-unicornism, since the non-existence of unicorns carries no serious implications.
I deny that atheism has such implications. None of Bobmos examples follow from the non-existence of gods. They may be true, but they are not entailed by atheism. As toweltowel replied: Supposing that theism implies p, and that atheism is the denial of theism, it obviously does not follow that atheism implies [not-p].
Neither an atheist nor an a-unicornist must believe in eternal matter, a multiverse, or moral relativism. And in fact, Id bet millions of them dont.
Adiel Corchado has another try:
The difference between atheism and [a-unicornism] is that unicorns provide no answers to why the world exists, why we exist, whether morality is objective or subjective, what happens after you die, etc. If unicorns dont exist that changes nothing. If unicorns do exist that changes nothing. Gods existence or non-existence on the other hand changes everything.
I have never seen a definition of worldview that uses Adiels criteria for something being a worldview. Both bare atheism and bare theism have no answers to why the world exists, why the world exists, whether morality is objective or subjective, or what happens after you die. For you to start answering those questions you have to adopt a worldview, like a particular brand of worldview naturalism or Christianity or extropianism.
Yes, even theism in the bare sense that is the opposite of atheism is not a worldview. Like atheism, theism is a single belief about one thing: the existence of a god or gods.
What else is entailed by belief in a god or gods? Absolute morality? The origins of life or the universe? The afterlife? The purpose of life? None of these things are entailed by theism, not even the origins of the universe. Not all gods are thought to be eternal, or creative. And not all theistic religions think that the gods can explain the origins of the universe, for example many varieties of Buddhism.
Atheism is the mere opposite of theism, and neither of these entail a long list of beliefs like a worldview does.
Some helpful links:
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Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:11 am
strategic philosopher Max More
Dr. Max More is an internationally acclaimed strategic futurist who writes, speaks, and organizes events about the fundamental challenges of emerging technologies. Max is concerned that our rapidly developing technological capabilities are racing far ahead of our standard ways of thinking about future possibilities. His work aims to improve our ability to anticipate, adapt to, and shape the future for the better.
In developing, communicating, and implementing better ways of foreseeing possible futures and of making decisions under growing uncertainty, Max takes a highly interdisciplinary approach. Drawing on philosophy, economics, cognitive and social psychology, management theory, and other fields, he develops solutions and strategies for minimizing the dangers of progress and maximizing the benefits.
Dr. More co-founded and until 2007acted as Chairman of Extropy Institute, a diverse network of innovative thinkers committed to creating solutions to enduring humanproblems. He authored the Principles of Extropy, which form the core of a transhumanist perspective. As a leading transhumanist thinker, Max strongly challenges traditional, limiting beliefs about the possibilities of our future. At the same time, he tempers visionary aims with analytical and practical strategizing.
As a writer, Max has authored dozens of articles and papers on topics including how to improve and apply critical and creative thinking, especially about uncertain future possibilities; the ethics of biotechnology and other technologies that directly affect humans; the philosophical implications of technological transformations of human nature; and strategic futures thinking in business. He recently wrote the Proactionary Principle, the latest of influential pieces that include "The Principles of Extropy", and A Letter to Mother Nature. He is currently working on a book, tentatively titled Beyond Caution, that responds to resurgent neophobia with a spirited yet balanced defense of progress.
As a speaker, Max frequently lectures at conferences and companies, gives seminars, and engages in debates and panel discussions on issues surrounding the impact of emerging technologies. Known as a highly capable communicator, he is able to synthesize diverse areas of knowledge and communicate the results clearly and insightfully.
As an organizer, Max brings together a diverse range of thinkers, scientists, philosophers, artists, and entrepreneurs to examine technological and social trends and then form individual and organizational strategies for flourishing in a time of accelerated change.
As a consultant, Max (as part of the ManyWorlds team) works with companies and other organizations to improve strategic futures thinking and weave it into regular decision-making and innovation processes. This includes analyzing the interaction of technological trends, and developing strategic scenarios.
His academic background: Max has a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from St. Annes College, Oxford University (1984-87). He was awarded a Deans Fellowship in Philosophy in 1987 by the University of Southern California. Max studied and taught philosophy at USC with an emphasis on philosophy of mind, ethics, and personal identity, completing his Ph.D. in 1995, with a dissertation that examined issues including the nature of death, and what it is about each individual that continues despite great change over time.
He is currently writing a book on the forces driving us into the future and how to apply cognitive and strategic tools to improve our thinking about the resulting issues.
Born in January 1964 in Bristol, in the Southwest of England of half-English, half-Welsh ancestry. Married since 1996 to Natasha Vita-More. After living for 15 years in the Los Angeles area, Max moved to Austin, Texas in 2002.
At least since watching the Apollo 11 moon landing at the age of 5, Max has always been fascinated by the possibilities offered by technology for overcoming limits. He started a personal life extension regimen in his early teens, and created several publications to discuss ideas about space colonization, life extension, cognitive enhancement, and liberty. His deep interest in economics shifted increasingly to philosophy as he formulated a "big picture" of possible futures. At the age of 40, More has been writing about these ideas and organizing practical activity for over 20 years. Before moving to the USA in 1987, he incorporated the first biostasis organization in Britain, generating considerable media coverage. His doctoral work on personal identity analyzed the effects of technology on the self, and alternatives to current conceptions of death and identity.
Max More has become a widely recognized thinker on the philosophical and cultural implications of advanced, emerging, and future technologies. Echoing the words of his instructors throughout his education, reporters have noted his ability to explain clearly and persuasively radical and complex ideas. Jim McClellan, in his major 1995 Observer (UK newspaper) article, said: "The funny thing about Max is that while his ideas are wild, he argues them so calmly and rationally you find yourself being drawn in."
Maxs ideas and background have been described in publications such as Wired (where Ed Regis described him as "the primary intellectual force behind Extropianism") The Village Voice, Icon, Knowledge@Wharton, The L.A. Weekly, GQ (Britain), GQ (Spain), The New York Times Magazine, Focus, .net, and ct (Germany), the national UK newspapers The Observer, The Guardian, and The Sunday Times.
His ideas have been discussed in books including Gundolf Freyermuths Cyberland, Brian Alexanders Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion, Damien Brodericks The Spike, Chris Dewdneys Last Flesh, Mark Derys Escape Velocity, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us, by Rodney Brooks, Erik Daviss Techgnosis, among others.
Television and video appearances include a bioethics debate on Crossfire, two series on The Learning Channel and the Discovery Channel, documentaries in France, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, Chile, and Belgium, the Terry Wogan Show (then Britains top talk show); CNNs Futurewatch; the CBS series Mysteries of the Millennium; several appearances on Breakthroughs: A Transcentury Update cable TV show; the documentaries New Edge and the theatrical release Synthetic Pleasures; and many other television and radio shows. Dr. Mores thinking has been discussed in a dozen books. He has also appeared in at least two novels, but continues to insist that he is a real person.
When not working, he may be found scuba diving, skiing, shooting, or in the gym weight-training or running, or at home playing with his cats Quark and Quasar and his dog Oscar.
AND? DON'T BE BASHFUL...
Marvin Minsky, the father of artificial intelligence, said of Dr. More: We have a dreadful shortage of people who know so much, can both think so boldly and clearly, and can express themselves so articulately. Carl Sagan was another such oneand (partly by paying the price of his life) managed to capture the public eye. But Sagan is gone and has not been replaced. I see Max as my candidate for that post. Ray Kurzweil, author, inventor, and winner of the Presidential Medal for innovation in technology said: Max More's ideas are very influential among other "big thinkers," who in turn are influence leaders themselves. Max's writings represent well grounded science futurism, and reflect a sophisticated understanding of technology trends and how these trends are likely to develop during this coming century.
Max More: email@example.com
See the article here:
Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:51 am
Extropianism, also referred to as the philosophy of Extropy, is an evolving framework of values and standards for continuously improving the human condition. Extropians believe that advances in science and technology will some day let people live indefinitely. An extropian may wish to contribute to this goal, e.g. by doing research and development or volunteering to test new technology. Extropianism describes a pragmatic consilience of transhumanist thought guided by a proactionary approach to human evolution and progress. Originated by a set of principles developed by Dr. Max More, The Principles of Extropy, extropian thinking places strong emphasis on rational thinking and practical optimism. According to More, these principles "do not specify particular beliefs, technologies, or policies". Extropians share an optimistic view of the future, expecting considerable advances in computational power, life extension, nanotechnology and the like. Many extropians foresee the eventual realization of unlimited maximum life spans, and the recovery, thanks to future advances in biomedical technology or mind uploading, of those whose bodies/brains have been preserved by means of cryonics.