Monday, May 23, 2011

From a Conversation I had Online:

  1. 2º What's the difference between a subjectively perfect simulation of an emotion and a subjetivecly perfect "reality" of an emotion?

    3ª Do you think that reality is superdeterministic, then? How can exist free will in that scenario? Only way around that problem that I can think of is postulating the existence of strong emergence properties in complex systems
    Also: the problem of apparent quantum uncertainty, which can act as that randomizing effect you are talking about

    4ºUmmm...superintelligent in what sense? Mathematically? Socially? Technologically? Emotionally?
    Are you thinking in God, V.A.L.I.S, Jane (Ender's, of course)? Or Cassanova, maybe?

    By the way, are you a sci-fi nutty, like myself? Just curiosity
    If so, can you recomend me some fine reading that have some connections to these issues?

    Some of my favourites, albeit dated, are :
    Snow Crash/Diamond age, N. Stephenson
    Schismatrix/ Distracction, B. Sterling
    Fairyland, P. McAuley
    Some old sagas like Hyperion Cantos/Dune saga
    Almost all from Charlie Stross (who on a side note, confessed me by email that he is an old b/tard, lol)

    5ºShort answer: yep
    Have you read Promethea, from A. Moore? has an awfull lot to do with this, or any of his rants about the "ideaspace"
    Interesting shit

    6ª I can't see how. By almost definition, advanced societies care for the weak, which effectively invalidates darwinist selection.
    Indeed, people in most developed countries reproduced less, and inside developed countries, succesful people have fewer children (measuring succes in a monetary/intelectual way, as is the case nowadays...)
  2. psklNew

    2* Can't say I'm really sure what the difference would be, but I suspect that any difference would be unobservable, making the difference pragmatically irrelevant.

    3* I guess you could say that I do think that the universe is superdeterministic. I was always going to write this sentence, given my brain chemistry and my environment. At the same time, it feels as though I chose to write that sentence. The difference between free will and superdeterminism, I think, may be a matter of perspective more than anything else.

    4*I think we can agree that there are multiple kinds of intelligence: mathematical/analytical, creative, emotional, social, etc. If something possessed these kinds of intelligences to a degree that is superhuman, I'd call it a superintelligence. However, I'm not sure that's what's required of something to be a superintelligence. If an entity possesses superhuman capacities in any realm of intelligence, I think, we might be able to call it superintelligent, even if that superintelligence is limited to a specific subset of that which might be called "intelligence."

    I haven't read a lot of sci fi, unfortunately. Most of what I know about these topics comes from reading Wikipedia articles. However, I have read Neuromancer, which is about an AI's attempt to possess intelligence greater than is allowed by the Turing Police. It's a good read, though I bet you've already read it.

    I've of course read Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Shadow of the Hegemon, but who hasn't?

    5* Haven't read it yet. Which of the books you mentioned would you suggest should be the first I read?

    6* While it's true that in developed countries, we care for the weak and thus make Darwinist selection a weaker process, I believe that there still is selection for good traits. It's kind of like good marijuana, if I may make the comparison. Most weed is swag, cross-bread with numerous strains to the point that its characteristics are generic and bland. However, stronger/better/more potent strains are bread with each other (much like how one doctor will often marry another), making the strain contain better traits than the vast majority of its peers. I think the same can be said of humans with desirable traits.

    It is concerning that the people least likely to reproduce, however, are precisely the people whose traits are most desirable. This doesn't help notions of continued Darwinist selection in the slightest. Have you seen the movie Idiocracy? It's a comedy, but it's about that phenomenon.

    One way these trends can be combated in the near future will, I think, be through genetic manipulation and gene therapy, as long as it becomes available to most of the public rather than just the rich and powerful.

Chardin and Christogenesis


A radius and a tangent to a circle.
The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51). For the sake of simplicity, Teilhard visualizes the universe as a single spiral galaxy, whose nucleus isself-reflective (turned in upon itself) and plays the role of a conscious observer,quantum-mechanically orchestrating the rest of the "galaxy."
The logarithmic spiral of gravitational in-formation. The closer to the in-formational spiral's centre, the steeper the love-energy's turning in upon itself—self-reflection, consciousness, traditionally symbolized by the Ouroboros serpent. After their encounter with the Serpent, Adam and Eve became self-conscious and began to cover their genitals with fig leaves. Thus, theOuroboros (as well as a scorpion, stinging its own head) is a symbol of mankind itself.[14]
The Ouroboros is a symbol of mankind itself. (Allegoria della vita umana, by Guido Cagnacci (1601–63))
Teilhard visualizes the universe as a galaxy-like[15] gravitational flux (a flux of "love-energy"), whose spiral motion has two components—theradial and the tangential. To reflect the ascent to higher quality, Teilhard makes the evolutionary spiral funnel-shaped:
Hence forward we can and must break away from this view which lacks depth. We have no longer the crawling 'sine curve', but the spiral which springs upward as it turns.
—Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de, The Phenomenon of Man
In accordance with the minimum total potential energy principle, the "spiral galaxy" converts its particles' gravitational potential energy into theirkinetic energy and their gravitational binding energy. The product of the kinetic and binding energies is maximal at the gravitational centre of the "galaxy."
Thus, the narrow top of the funnel-shaped spiral is the point of the minimum gravitational potential energy (the point of the "Great Stability") and, simultaneously, the point of the maximum organized complexity—the seemingly paradoxical and fragile synthesis of the particles' kinetic energy (temperature, disorganized complexity) and their gravitational binding energy (organizedness):
In Omega we have in the first place the principle we needed to explain both the persistent march of things towards greater consciousness, and the paradoxical solidity of what is most fragile. Contrary to the appearances still admitted by physics, the Great Stability is not at the bottom in the infra-elementary sphere, but at the top in the ultra-synthetic sphere. It is thus entirely by its tangential envelope that the world goes on dissipating itself in a chance way into matter. By its radial nucleus it finds its shape and its natural consistency in gravitating against the tide of probability towards a divine focus of mind which draws it onward. Thus something in the cosmos escapes from entropy, and does so more and more.
—Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de, The Phenomenon of Man
Self-reflection (consciousness) is, literally, the turning in of a flux of love-energy upon itself:
reflection (Anatomy) the bending back of a structure or part upon itself.
Reflection Collins English Dictionary
From our experimental point of view, reflection is, as the word indicates, the power acquired by a consciousness to turn in upon itself, to take possession of itself as of an object endowed with its own particular consistence and value: no longer merely to know oneself; no longer merely to know, but to know that one knows. <...>
And we are happy to admit that the birth of intelligence corresponds to a turning in upon itself, not only of the nervous system, but of the whole being.
—Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de, The Phenomenon of Man
The closer to the evolutionary spiral's centre, the steeper the curve's turning in upon itself (i.e., the higher the love-energy flux's self-reflection, consciousness).
Being the centre of the cosmic spiral flux of love-energy, mankind orchestrates the universe, functioning as a collective Christ:
One might say that, by virtue of human reflection (both individual and collective), evolution, overflowing the physico-chemical organisation of bodies, turns back upon itself and thereby reinforces itself (see note following) with a new organising power vastly concentric to the first—the cognitive organisation of the universe. To think the world (as physics is beginning to realise) is not merely to register it but to confer upon it a form of unity it would otherwise (i.e. without being thought) be without.
—Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de, The Phenomenon of Man
Having reached the limit of its complexity, the collective Christ—mankind—will undergo a demographic collapse; all of mankind's universe-orchestrating power will become concentrated in the single survivor, who will be automatically promoted to the rank of Christ personal:
Are we to foresee man seeking to fulfil himself collectively upon himself, or personally on a greater than himself? Refusal or acceptance of Omega? <...> Universal love would only vivify and detach finally a fraction of the noosphere so as to consummate it—the part which decided to ‘cross the threshold’, to get outside itself into the other. <...>
The death of the materially exhausted planet; the split of the noosphere, divided on the form to be given to its unity; and simultaneously (endowing the event with all its significance and with all its value) the liberation of that percentage of the universe which, across time, space and evil, will have succeeded in laboriously synthesising itself to the very end. Not an indefinite progress, which is an hypothesis contradicted by the convergent nature of noogenesis, but an ecstasy transcending the dimensions and the framework of the visible universe. <...>
However convergent it be, evolution cannot attain to fulfilment on earth except through a point of dissociation. With this we are introduced to a fantastic and inevitable event which now begins to take shape in our perspective, the event which comes nearer with every day that passes: the end of all life on our globe, the death of the planet, the ultimate phase of the phenomenon of man. <...>
The end of the world: the wholesale internal introversion upon itself of the noosphere, which has simultaneously reached the uttermost limit of its complexity and its centrality.
The end of the world: the overthrow of equilibrium, detaching the mind, fulfilled at last, from its material matrix, so that it will henceforth rest with all its weight on God-Omega.
—Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de, The Phenomenon of Man
An orchestra with multiple conductors cannot produce anything but an incoherent cacophony. When the number of the conductors becomes reduced to a single man, the orchestra shifts from cacophony to symphony, turning into the conductor's "extended body." Analogously, when the universe is quantum-mechanically orchestrated by billions of human observers, it is incoherent (objective)—every part exists by itself, obeying the principle of localityHaving become orchestrated by a single human observer (Christ personal), the universe will shed its incoherence (objectivity) and turn into the observer's "cosmic body":
Christ has a cosmic body that extends throughout the universe.
—Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de ♦ Cosmic Life 1916
Through the incarnation, God descended into nature in order to super-animate and take it back to him.
—Chardin, Pierre Teilhard de ♦ Mysticism of Science 1939

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era

I recently came across this 1993 paper by Vernor Vinge, one of the preeminent technological singularity scholars.  Happy reading.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Collective Consciousness and the Noosphere

Here's a good article on the collective consciousness and the noosphere.

Anonymous and the Collective Consciousness

The collective consciousness is rapidly evolving, thanks largely to the internet. Take the “group” Anonymous, for example. It originated as a reference to the anonymity behind which posters could hide online, became a meme, grew in numbers, gained complexity and organization, and became an online portal for activism around the world. While the operations carried out by the group are largely influenced by its members’ inherent biases (i.e.; Freedom of Information, a pet topic for hackers), the organization has a distinctly democratic feel: never before have activists been able to so efficiently communicate with each other and organize events around the world in the way they can now. Ideas are spreading to places where they might not otherwise, and as access to the internet becomes increasingly ubiquitous, the composition of Anonymous will become increasingly representative of the views of people as a whole on the international level. Between the number of people constituting the group and its mantra, “DOX or GTFO,” this emerging collective consciousness has the capacity, within the next few years, of becoming something like a science-fiction writer’s idea of a superintelligence: an entity that can independently and almost instantaneously verify or debunk any claim. While the group has focused on only a handful of initiatives so far, as it grows and assimilates more members, more and more initiatives will be added and Anonymous will come closer and closer to becoming a superintelligent activist organization.

Where it will go from there is less clear. Will Anonymous stay focused on social issues, or will it branch out into other domains, such as that of ideas? Will it become not only a voice for social change but also a portal for information? I see several possible paths for Anonymous, but one thing is certain: this group is only just getting started.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Frank J. Tipler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frank Jennings Tipler
BornFebruary 1, 1947 (age 64)
Andalusia, Alabama
EducationPhD (Physics)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Maryland, College Park
OccupationMathematical physicist
EmployerTulane University
Known forOmega Point Theory
The Physics of Immortality
Frank Jennings Tipler (born February 1, 1947 inAndalusia, Alabama[1]) is a mathematical physicist andcosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University.[2] Tipler has authored books and papers on the Omega Point, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. It has been labeled aspseudoscience.[3] Tipler is a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, a society advocating intelligent design.[4]




Tipler is the son of Frank Jennings Tipler Jr., a lawyer, and Anne Tipler, a homemaker.[1] From 1965 through 1969, Tipler attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he completed abachelor of science degree in physics.[2] In 1976 he earned his doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from the University of Maryland.[5] Tipler was next hired in a series of postdoctoral researcherpositions in physics at three universities, with the final one being at the University of Texas, working under John Archibald WheelerAbraham TaubRainer Sachs, and Dennis Sciama.[2] Tipler became an Associate Professor in mathematical physics in 1981, and a full Professor in 1987 at Tulane University, where he has been a faculty member ever since.[2]

[edit]Work in physics

[edit]The Omega Point cosmology

The Omega Point is a term Tipler uses to describe a cosmological state in the distant proper timefuture of the universe that he maintains is required by the known physical laws. According to Tipler's Omega Point cosmology, for the known laws of physics to be mutually consistent it is required that intelligent life take over all matter in the universe and eventually force the collapse of the universe. During that collapse the computational capacity of the universe diverges to infinity and environmentsemulated with that computational capacity last for infinite duration as the universe goes into a solitary-point cosmological singularity (with life eventually using elementary particles to directly compute on, due to the temperature's diverging to infinity), which singularity Tipler terms the Omega Point.[6] With computational resources diverging to infinity, Tipler states that the far-future society will be able to resurrect the dead by perfectly emulating the entire multiverse from its start at the Big Bang.[7] Tipler identifies the Omega Point final singularity as God since in his view the Omega Point has all the properties claimed for God by most of the traditional religions.[7][8]
Tipler's argument that the Omega Point cosmology is required by the known physical laws is a more recent development that came after the publication of his 1994 book The Physics of Immortality.[citation needed] In that book, and in papers Tipler published up to that time, he had offered the Omega Point cosmology as a hypothesis, while still claiming to confine the analysis to the known laws of physics.[9]
Tipler defined the "final anthropic principle" (FAP) along with co-author physicist John D. Barrow in their highly cited 1986 book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle as a generalization of theanthropic principle[10] as follows:
Intelligent information-processing must come into existence in the Universe, and, once it comes into existence, will never die out.
Critics of the final anthropic principle say its arguments violate the Copernican principle, that it incorrectly applies the laws of probability, and that it is really a theology or metaphysics principle made to sound plausible to laypeople by using the esoteric language of physics. Martin Gardnerdubbed FAP the "completely ridiculous anthropic principle" (CRAP).[11] Oxford-based philosopherNick Bostrom writes that the final anthropic principle has no claim on any special methodological status, it is "pure speculation", despite attempts to elevate it by calling it a "principle".[12]Philosopher Rem B. Edwards called it "futuristic, pseudoscientific eschatology" that is "highly conjectural, unverified, and improbable".[13]
Physicist David Deutsch incorporates Tipler's Omega Point cosmology as a central feature of the fourth strand of his "four strands" concept of fundamental reality and defends the physics of the Omega Point cosmology,[14] although he is highly critical of Tipler's theological conclusions[15] and what Deutsch states are exaggerated claims that have caused other scientists and philosophers to reject his theory out of hand.[16] Researcher Anders Sandberg pointed out that he believes the Omega Point Theory has many flaws, including missing proofs.[17]
Tipler's Omega Point theories have received criticism by physicists and skeptics.[18][19][20] George Ellis, writing in the journal Nature, described Tipler's book on the Omega Point as "a masterpiece of pseudoscience ... the product of a fertile and creative imagination unhampered by the normal constraints of scientific and philosophical discipline",[3] and Michael Shermer devoted a chapter ofWhy People Believe Weird Things to enumerating what he thought to be flaws in Tipler's thesis.[21]Physicist Sean M. Carroll thought Tipler's early work was constructive but that now he has become a "crackpot".[22]

[edit]Quantum gravity and the theory of everything

In a Reports on Progress in Physics paper included in the journal's "Highlights of 2005",[23] Tipler combines the Omega Point, a version of quantum gravity, and an extended Standard Model ofsubatomic particles to form what he maintains is the correct theory of everything describing and unifying all the fundamental interactions in physics.[24]

[edit]Intelligent design

Tipler's writings on scientific peer review[25] have been cited by William A. Dembski as having formed the basis of the process for "peer review" in the intelligent design journal Progress in Complexity, Information and Design of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design, where both Tipler and Dembski served as fellows.[4]

[edit]Selected writings



[edit]See also


  1. a b Terrie M. Rooney (editor) (1997).Contemporary Authors157. Farmington Hills (MI): Thomson Gale. p. 407.ISBN 0787611832.
  2. a b c d Frank J. Tipler (2007). "Biography".Frank J. Tipler's Tulane University website.
  3. a b George Ellis (1994). "Review of The Physics of Immortality"Nature 371(6493): 115. Bibcode1994Natur.371..115E.doi:10.1038/371115a0.
  4. a b "ISCID Fellows"International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
  5. ^ Frank J. Tipler (1976). Causality Violation in General Relativity (PhD thesis). University of Maryland. Bibcode 1976PhDT........61T.
       Source: Dissertation Abstracts International37. p. B2923.
  6. ^ Frank J. Tipler, Jessica Graber, Matthew McGinley, Joshua Nichols-Barrer and Christopher Staecker, "Closed Universes With Black Holes But No Event Horizons As a Solution to the Black Hole Information Problem", March 20, 2000. Published inMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 379, Issue 2 (August 2007), pp. 629-640, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11895.x,Bibcode2007MNRAS.379..629T.
  7. a b Frank J. Tipler, "The Omega Point asEschaton: Answers to Pannenberg's Questions for Scientists", Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science, Vol. 24, Issue 2 (June 1989), pp. 217-253, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9744.1989.tb01112.x.
  8. ^ Frank J. Tipler (1997). The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead. New York: Doubleday. pp. 560. ISBN 0385467982.
  9. ^ Frank J. Tipler, "Cosmological Limits on Computation"International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Vol. 25, No. 6 (June 1986), pp. 617-661,doi:10.1007/BF00670475,Bibcode1986IJTP...25..617T. (First paper on the Omega Point Theory.)
  10. ^ Barrow, John D.Tipler, Frank J. (19 May 1988). The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. foreword by John A. Wheeler. Oxford: Oxford University Press.ISBN 9780192821478LC 87-28148. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  11. ^ Gardner, M., "WAP, SAP, PAP, and FAP,"The New York Review of Books 23, No. 8 (May 8, 1986): 22-25.
  12. ^ Bostrom, Nick (2002). Anthropic bias: observation selection effects in science and philosophy. Psychology Press. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  13. ^ Edwards, Rem Blanchard (2001). What caused the big bang?. Rodopi. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  14. ^ David Deutsch (1997). "The Ends of the Universe". The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes—and Its Implications. London: Penguin PressISBN 0713990619.
  15. ^ Mackey, James Patrick (2000). The critique of theological reason. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521772938.
  16. ^ Shermer, Michael (2003). How we believe: science, skepticism, and the search for God. Macmillan. ISBN 9780805074796.
  17. ^ Anders Sandberg, "My Thoughts and Comments on the Omega Point Theory of Frank J. Tipler"
  18. ^ Gardner, Martin (March / April 2008). "The Strange Case of Frank Jennings Tipler".Book Review, "The Physics of Christianity". The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  19. ^ John Polkinghorne (1995). "I am the Alpha and the Omega Point"New Scientist(1963): 41.
  20. ^ Richard G. Baker (1995). "Fossils Worth Studying"Science 267 (5200): 1043–1044. Bibcode 1995Sci...267.1043E.doi:10.1126/science.267.5200.1043.PMID 17811443.
  21. ^ Shermer, Michael (1997). Why People Believe Weird Things. W.H. Freeman.ISBN 0-7167-3090-1.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Richard Palmer, Publisher, "Highlights of 2005"Reports on Progress in Physics;original URL, now dead.
  24. ^ F. J. Tipler, "The structure of the world from pure numbers"Reports on Progress in Physics, Vol. 68, No. 4 (April 2005), pp. 897-964, doi:10.1088/0034-4885/68/4/R04,Bibcode2005RPPh...68..897T.
  25. ^ Frank J. Tipler (2003). "Refereed Journals: Do They Insure Quality or Enforce Orthodoxy?". Retrieved 2011-03-14.

[edit]External links