Turing Church
Turing Church podcast
Maximum Jailbreak

Maximum Jailbreak

A conversation on spaceflight and cosmism recorded in 2019 with the author of "Maximum Jailbreak" (2013).

Here’s the first Turing Church podcast episode of 2024. Happy new year! 2024 promises to be a great year for spaceflight. In 2024 we could make important advances toward the cosmist dream of space expansion.

This podcast episode was first published in 2019. It was the pilot (and alas the last) episode of a media project called Maximum Jailbreak. I started the project with my friends Stellar Magnet, Patrick Donovan, and other participants in the Space Decentral project.

Maximum Jailbreak: We want to break free of Earth’s gravity and go out there among the stars. We want to start now. We want to go back to the Moon to stay, then to Mars and other planets and moons in the solar system, and then to the stars. We want, we can, and we must.

First we looked for a catchy, inspiring and unique name for our project. It was Stellar Magnet who thought of “Maximum Jailbreak,” the title of a perceptive 2013 essay by Benedict Singleton.

Singleton’s essay is also published in “#ACCELERATE: The Accelerationist Reader” (2014), Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS Vol. 67, 2014), and “Outer Space as Extreme Scenario” by V2. See also the review “Benedict Singleton: The Accelerationist Cosmism of Nikolai Fedorov.”

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Singleton’s essay starts with the Space Shuttle disasters “which understandably nixed enthusiasm for the enterprise as a whole” and a picture that shows pieces of Columbia debris. But then: “Now, though, it seems that the action just went underground for a while, a brief retreat to regroup and reassess.” Singleton goes on to present an open, inclusive narrative of spaceflight and cosmism.

I loved the “Maximum Jailbreak” name at first sight and wrote a review of Singleton’s essay.

Singleton elaborates on the ideas of Nikolai Fedorov and other Russian cosmists like Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, noting that “cosmism’s foundational gesture was to conceive of the earth as a trap. Its duty was therefore to understand the duty of philosophy, economics and design to be the creation of means to escape it.”

“This could be regarded as a jailbreak at the maximum possible scale, a heist in which the human species could steal itself from the vault of the Earth.”

We contacted Singleton, who graciously gave his blessing to the project and agreed to participate as a guest in this episode.

Our old Maximum Jailbreak website has disappeared. This episode is still online on Soundcloud, but I thought to republish it here in case it disappears.

The original description of the episode is: “In the pilot episode, our hosts Patrick Donovan and Giulio Prisco talk with Dr. Benedict Singleton about breaking free of Earth’s gravity to go out there among the stars, in a philosophical journey through design history, space history, and more!”


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Turing Church
Turing Church podcast
Science and religion, spirituality and technology, engineering and science fiction, mind and matter. Hacking religion, enlightening science, awakening technology. Spaceflight and Spaceship Earth.