Friday, August 20, 2010

Joseph's Challenge.

Joseph's challenge;  "All you seem to be doing is redefining terms. Bandwidth = the Grail. Jesus = Simulation Programmer. And none of your redefinitions seems to proceed from a convincing argument.  And what "infinite continuum of life" are you talking about? Please, try to make your case without throwing out a cascade of ill-defined terms. Start with a defense of the reality of contemporary Christianity. Because if you're trying to convince that majority of Transhumanists who are Atheists or Agnostics, that's the first hurdle you'll need to overcome. And thusfar, I see no reason to put any more credence in your Christianity than I do in classical Roman paganism.

So I the Christian Transhumanist respond; Thanks Joseph! Let me give that a try. I had better have the Holy Grail for you, and I think I do :)  It has everything to do with your concern with ill-defined terms. Synthesis of terms is paramount. But it takes lots of work on both sides...the transmitter and the receiver. A lifetime of work!


Let's proceed with the definition of life, using the most advanced concepts in information theory: Life is an information gathering and utilizing system that maintains order upon itself. Life replicates, and modifies itself through feedback loop of doing-learning-modifying-doing... This definition is directly influenced by Cybernetics and Information Theory. Life learns adapts and changes its behavior. This "circular causal" relationship is necessary and sufficient for a cybernetic perspective. Life is special because of its signaling and self-sustaining processes.

Then imagine a living universe; a vast homeostatic super organism that actively produces the conditions necessary for its survival. It is a closed loop of Creation-Evolution-Creation. Plot this over time like a Stephen Hawking space-time diagram but actually plot information in the Claude Shannon sense, instead of space, because we know that matter and life at its deepest level are information.

What might this living universe look like? This is where Cutting edge Physics, Greek Philosophy, and Early Christianity come in. Using peer reviewed references, I need to model Creation- Evolution-Recapitulation (in the sense of salvation to get us back)- to Creation. I found over the years that this model is best approached using the concept of block time. With block time we must remember General Relativity, where time is a dimension not a dynamic. "The hardest thing to realize about this type of diagram is that they represent the past, present, and future all in one diagram. The evolution of physical systems is represented by looking at successive horizontal slices in the diagram at successive times. Space-time diagrams represent evolution, but they don't evolve themselves."



The central point of this torus is what Christians know as the Rapture, some Transhumanist call it the Singularity, and those on the fringe call it the Rapture of The Nerds :) The central point is where Shannon entropy is at its lowest with information compressed to a SIMPLE phrase like; "I Am". I stress simple because here God is not composed or divisible by any physical or metaphysical means. This is often called the Miracle of Being. btw, Have you ever apprehended the Miracle of Being? anyway, I have called this point The Critical Point of Understanding and the Supreme State of Being. It is singular not plural, not PAGAN..sorry :)

If the central point of this torus is I Am then what proceeds above that point is the answer to the question; Now What?  The upper portion of the torus represents the creation; big bang let there be light. There is cosmic inflation and noisy chaos as far as information is concerned. He made a difference.

From the radius of the torus down to the bottom represents the compression of information into the elements and the appearance of life. Here it is critical to define life in terms of information. With life, significant information processing starts at the immanent or local level. The Nobel Prize winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann defines life in terms of information most elegantly in his book the Quark and The Jaguar. He calls life an Information and gathering and utilizing system.

The bright blue region at the bottom is where we are today growing in understanding. This part of the Torus represents the learning strategies in the evolution of life and the Christian concept of worship. With my model above, life looks for a winning strategy and finds it!  Sustained forever as in the "infinite continuum of life". Like anything else you do for fun and as a form of expression...You get to do it again a different way.

From here you can handle the rest if you got an education and pay attention to the world. But here is my challenge to you and any other readers; read the bible, take a quote, or a concept and ask me to reconcile it in terms of Christian Transhumanism. I need the exercise.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Christian Transhumanism A View That Unites Common Ambitions

Christian Transhumanism A View That Unites Common Ambitions


We Would Be Creators

Christianity is the religion of the Logos. It is faith in the in the Creator Spirit, from which comes everything that exists, according to Pope Benedict the XVI. Church Fathers see humanity becoming full participators in this through Christ. In the process of theosis, the messiah leads us up to heavenly participation in the creation. Now, secular Transhumanist think of becoming "Posthuman" creators. According to leading Transhumanists like Oxford Philosopher Nick Bostrom, we are most likely living in a world created by super-intelligent Posthumans who will use advanced super-computers to run ancestor-simulations. Posthumans eventually learn to create their own virtual space-time like we would set up an aquarium today. Science supports this possibility. Many physicists believe our universe and the matter in which we are made is at its deepest level, information. Logos is at the heart of physics, just as information is at the heart of a computer. Some go so far as to conclude intelligence controls the information-processing system we call the universe.

For the evangelist, this puts a foot in the secular door. If I am living in a simulation then Jesus is a posthuman programmer capable of all sorts of miracles. You could further argue that Adams fall was a glitch in the beta test of the software, corrected by a Jesus tweak in the program. The New Testament Gospel becomes revised computer code.

If the thought of living in a "simulation" wrecks your notion of freedom, Christianity offers hope. With the Grace of God and by doing the will of God, living not by bread alone, but by every word of God, we will step out of the "simulation" and into new degrees of freedom. (Transhumanists call this a biological uplift.) Learn the code that is used to create. The Christian message is to overcome the world through love and understanding. It is interesting to note that in Genesis, the first thing God said to us was “Bless you. Now go subdue the world!” Later Jesus Christ as the fully developed human aspect of God, said to his disciples; “I have overcome the world.” Then in the book of Revelations close to the end of times it is the same “overcomer” who says he will guide us into our next form in the continuum of life. The gospel teaches Christians to be like Christ; "Whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother".

Redeemed We Would Be Transformed Into Perfect Lovers

Love is important to Christianity, just as connectivity is important to Transhumanism. Aldous Huxley makes the connection beautifully in his book the Perennial Philosophy. Huxley says; "We can only love what we know, and we can never know completely what we do not love. Love is a mode of knowledge, and when the love is sufficiently disinterested and sufficiently intense, the knowledge becomes unitive knowledge and so takes on the quality of infallibility." A techie would say. For this I need a fast processor with a noiseless fast connection. I need large bandwidth, and many gigabytes of stable memory. This is the geeks holy grail. God bless them. In a spiritual sense the pure attention of selfless love provides this flow-of-word-to-understanding. Worship leads to the Holy Grail.

In the way of the Holy Spirit, I want to understand you and to share your experience. I want to fully apprehend the world. And, I want to be all that I can be. No one on earth today has the capacity to do this perfectly, but we have the potential. What hope do we have of ever understanding each other with the limited time we have? Or what hope do we have of ever understanding the infinite, extra dimensions, or timelessness if our minds are just not able to grasp these concepts? We are living in a time when it is becoming more and more apparent that technologies are converging on the wish of the Holy Spirit. Christian Transhumanists would use transformative technologies in the way of the Holy Spirit. They look at love this way: Technically, love can be seen as the process of connecting. The product of the love process is understanding. If the process is efficient and sustained, understanding increases exponentially. Peace allows unwavering attention so that the love process can establish a clear connection. At the heart of the process; symbols, words, and feelings are ordered into meaning. Forgiveness is important to spiritual growth because it establishes an exhaust for misunderstanding and disorder. Put this all together and you have The Perfect State of Mind.

A broader understanding of love can unite secular and religious social capital upon the same ambition. When these great efforts converge you can expect accelerating returns. The Lifeboat Foundation explains; "An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense "intuitive linear" view. So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate). The "returns", such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There's even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity; technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light."

Paul Tillich; "Early in the Christian movement Irenaeus of Lyons called salvation recapitulation. He was pointing to Ephesians 1.10 which speaks of all things in heaven and earth being gathered up in Christ." "It means that the development which was broken in Adam is resumed by Christ and fulfilled in him. In Christ the new mankind has started. That which mankind was to become... However, not only mankind but the whole cosmos finds its fulfillment in Christ." Paul Tillich calls this idea "The profound doctrine of a transcendent humanism, a humanism which says that Christ is the fulfillment of essential man, of the Adamic nature." "And we can become fully human through participation in this full humanity which has appeared in Christ. This includes eternal life, and similitude with God with respect to participation in infinity." Then Tillich says, "I am always surprised how much better the theology of the ancient church was than the popular theology which developed in the nineteenth century, how much profounder and more adequate to the paradox of Christianity, without becoming irrationalistic, nonsensical, or absurd." Rather than a pointless existence, we are inspired to consciously continue the path of evolution that transhumanists aspire to. We overcome the world with "technos" to the point of Christ. Christ becomes a Critical Point of Understanding in communion with the infinite continuum of life. This is where life creates and sustains itself through communion with God The Father. Life becomes "I Am" like our own mind is an I Am. This is the all encompassing Douglass Hofstadter strange loop which arises by moving up or down through a universal hierarchical system of (creation, evolution, and rapture) and finding our self back where we started. Stepping out of this aquarium of living water space-time we can see that faith and works necessarily coexist...The end is the means.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In God and Technology We Trust

Where is the American Spirit? The Space Race is over. Our unrivaled military invades overmatched third world countries chasing bands of terrorists. Other countries are taking the industrial and technological lead. The economic recession reveals there is no safe place to put money. There is talk all over the world that America is in decline and will eventually collapse like all the empires in the past. Without a vision a people will perish, says Proverbs. Why? Howard Bloom says it well; "Because a vision of a goal, a destination, a promised land, a view of a destiny that can uplift all of human kind, opens a vast reserve of energies. Not the energies that come from solar panels, wind farms, nuclear plants, coal, or oil. The energies of the human spirit. The energies of your spirit and mine. It is a matter of Biology". We are weak without inspiration.

A crisis is looming packed with danger and opportunity. A new race is on akin to the nuclear era and the space race. The new race is for the cognitive high ground where intelligence will rule all aspects of life. Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Mathematician Vernor Vinge predicts that superhuman intelligences, however created, will be able to enhance their own minds faster than the humans that created them. "When greater-than-human intelligence drives progress," Vinge writes, "that progress will be much more rapid." This feedback loop of self-improving intelligence, he predicts, will cause large amounts of technological progress within a short period.

Early signs of the crisis are emerging today. The Internet security company McAfee stated in their 2007 annual report that approximately 120 countries have been developing ways to use the Internet as a weapon and target financial markets, government computer systems and utilities. In activities reminiscent of the Cold War, which caused countries to engage in clandestine activities, intelligence agencies are routinely testing networks looking for weaknesses. These techniques for probing weaknesses in the internet and global networks are growing more sophisticated every year.

Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs, was quoted as saying "Cybercrime is now a global issue. It has evolved significantly and is no longer just a threat to industry and individuals but increasingly to national security." They predicted that future attacks will be even more sophisticated. "Attacks have progressed from initial curiosity probes to well-funded and well-organized operations for political, military, economic and technical espionage,"

The danger will come suddenly but so will opportunities. The Lifeboat Foundation explains; "An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense "intuitive linear" view. So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate). The "returns", such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There's even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity; technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light."

We need a leader to rally us to a goal of conscious evolution as Kennedy did with the space race in the sixties. Here is an excerpt from JFKs Moon Speech; "If we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny, the dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks should have made clear to us all, as did the Sputnik in 1957, the impact of this adventure on the minds of men everywhere, who are attempting to make a determination of which road they should take. Now it is time to take longer strides-time for a great new American enterprise-time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth." 50 YEARS LATER... manned space flight is suffering from lack of tangible returns on investment. It seems space is no place for flesh and blood. But can and we will evolve.

How should we evolve? Yes we can evolve consciously..It seems that Mind Space is the new land of opportunity. How would Christians treat this Transhuman opportunity? In the way of the Holy Spirit, I want to understand you and to share your experience. I want to fully apprehend the world. And, I want to be all that I can be. No one on earth today has the capacity to do this perfectly, but we have the potential. What hope do we have of ever understanding each other with the limited time we have? Or what hope do we have of ever understanding the infinite, extra dimensions, or timelessness if our minds are just not able to grasp these concepts? We are living in a time when it is becoming more and more apparent that technologies are converging on the wish of the Holy Spirit. Christian Transhumanists would use transformative technologies in the way of the Holy Spirit. They look at love this way: Technically, love can be seen as the process of connecting. The product of the love process is understanding. If the process is efficient and sustained, understanding increases exponentially. Peace allows unwavering attention so that the love process can establish a clear connection. At the heart of the process; symbols, words, and feelings are ordered into meaning. Forgiveness is important to spiritual growth because it establishes an exhaust for misunderstanding and disorder. Put this all together and you have The Perfect State of Mind.

In the Christian Transhumanist's view, the cognitive high ground could be no other than Christ. His love is the winning strategy. Where ignorance is a disconnection that weakens and love empowers because it provides the highest form of understanding. Could this be God's Plan? If it is, America would be in the best position to gain the high ground because of its curious mix of God and Technology. In God and Technology we trust.