More thoughts on effective accelerationism (e/acc), extropy, cosmism
Also, merry Christmas & a happy, accelerated 2024!
Greetings to all readers and subscribers, and special greetings to the paid subscribers!
Please scroll down for the main topic of this newsletter. But first:
Merry Christmas and happy 2024 to you all!
Since the 11 years old me watched the Christmas mission of Apollo 8 around the Moon with total rapture on an old black-and-white TV in 1968, Christmas has been a magic time for me to reflect on the future and the universe. Turing Church is inspired by Christmas magic and the spirit of Apollo!
In 2024 we could see people orbiting the Moon once again. The Artemis 2 mission will take new astronauts around the Moon. The current schedule is “No earlier than Nov. 2024,” so Artemis 2 could be another Christmas mission around the Moon!
I have great hopes for SpaceX to advance the Starship flight test program in 2024 and make Starship fully operational and ready for NASA’s Artemis 3 Moon landing and private space missions like Polaris and dearMoon. Starship promises to be a key part of our permanent return to and settlement of the Moon. And then onward to Mars and beyond!
“This image is for the people there below, watching,” says John Pisani. “It’s for humanity. This image will stand the test of time and tell the story of that beautiful early morning launch. It shows a shore lined with people, an inlet with boats observing the launch. It shows the leftover fog nestled in the sand dunes of Boca Chica Beach, yet to burn off as the sun just crept over the horizon. It tells the story of IFT-2 from my perspective… It’s also the beginning chapters of how life on Earth became multi-planetary.”
I also have great hopes for Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers to develop more and more spectacular AI breakthroughs in 2024. AI is part of my cosmist worldview. See my essay “Bats and bits” published in Terasem’s Journal of Personal Cyberconsciousness (Vol. 11, Issue 1 - 2023), to be further edited and published as a chapter of my next book.
I was hoping to complete a first draft of my next book “Irrational mechanics: Narrative sketch of a futurist science & a new religion” in 2023, but I wasn’t able to make it. I’ll do my best to complete a first draft in 2024. This will be my priority #1, and also #2 and #3… I’ll have little time for other things until the book is done.
I’m publishing very early drafts of the book’s chapters here. I’ve published 7 drafts of 14 chapters so far.
As soon as the book’s draft is complete (hopeful ETA: 3-4 months) I’ll put together a group of early readers for a review phase. I expect the review to take a few months, after which I’ll publish the book. All full (paid and complimentary) subscribers will be invited to join the early readers group. So if you are interested, please subscribe to turingchurch.com!
I’ve added “e/acc” to my X profile. See my previous post “Effective accelerationism (e/acc) is good. Thoughts on effective accelerationism (e/acc), extropy, futurism, cosmism.”
See also”Move Fast and Make Things,” by Julia Steinberg. It is good to see that young people are warming up to e/acc. I hope their generation will reverse the lamentable trends of today, and do great things on this planet and beyond.
I often disagree with Torres. However, his article is perceptive, and useful.
“And while Verdon and a colleague write that ‘e/acc has no particular allegiance to the biological substrate for intelligence and life, in contrast to transhumanism,’ the fact is that most transhumanists have no allegiance to the biological substrate, either.”
Here Torres is right. Max More agrees. In his comments to my post about e/acc, Max says:
“Transhumanism takes no position on remaining biological vs. becoming postbiological. Funnily enough, the accusation is usually the opposite -- transhumanists are told that they despise their bodies and yearn to get rid of them. Neither of these views are correct.”
I would like to listen to a discussion between Max and Verdon.
Torres quotes my post about e/acc:
“The grand aspirations of e/acc are extremely similar to those of cosmism, and, in fact, a cosmist named Giulio Prisco recently published an article about e/acc in which he concludes that ‘extropy, futurism and cosmism are strongly related in spirit, and I guess e/acc is a new instance of that common spirit.’”
Torres agrees. The difference is that I love that common spirit, and he seems to hate it.
In a related post, Torres says that e/acc is based on “a theory recently put forward by a legit physicist at MIT named Jeremy England.”
England’s theory has been popularized by Dan Brown in his novel “Origin” [Brown 2017], where a fictional Jeremy England explains that “matter self-organizes in an effort to better disperse energy… Nature - in an effort to promote disorder - creates little pockets of order.”
It’s worth noting that, while his theory has been misinterpreted by some militant atheists to promote atheism, England himself is a devout Jewish believer and an ordained rabbi. Here’s what he has to say.
Matter, according to England, tends to spontaneously fall into forms that are optimally adapted to their physical environment in the sense of being best able to absorb usable energy from the environment, make good use of it, and dissipate excess energy as heat, which increases the overall entropy of the universe [Wolchover 2014, England 2020].
This process of “dissipative adaptation,” rooted in nonequilibrium thermodynamics, powers those forms of matter that we call life. Dissipative adaptation spontaneously produces life forms that are “exceptionally well matched” to their physical environment. The ensuing evolution of life is also “quite clearly an instance of dissipative adaptation” [England 2020]. I think the production of technology by advanced life forms can also be seen as an instance of dissipative adaptation and evolution that resonates with the cosmic operating system.
In his book [England 2020], England touches on AI, noting that “the parallels between machine learning of this kind and the mechanism for dissipative adaptation we described in the previous chapter are numerous and significant.”
I found this video interesting: “Paul Davies & Jeremy England - The Origins of Life: Do we need a new theory for how life began?”
The founders of e/acc, Beff Jezos (aka Guillaume Verdon) and bayeslord, derive the overall philosophy of the e/acc movement from England’s theory in a way that makes a lot of sense to me.
Torres gives a description of England’s theory. But then he feels the need to add a completely irrelevant observation that sounds like a personal attack:
“(though, incidentally, England is also an ardent Zionist…)…”
But WHAT THE FUCK do England’s positions on ENTIRELY UNRELATED issues have to do with the validity of his theory? This intellectually dishonest BS is typical of certain segments of today’s “liberal” left, now openly antisemitic.
Contrary to what Torres claims, England does have something to say about economics, and what he says [England 2020] seems to support the libertarian politics of e/acc:
“…This conception of cell behavior has more in common with an economist’s understanding of the free market… suddenly, there is room for a lot more spontaneous creativity and adaptive capability in the system’s behavior.”
To Torres: no, we won’t “go away.” Extropy, cosmism and e/acc are here to stay and grow.
Once again, merry Christmas & a happy, accelerated 2024 to you all! I’ll be back in the first week of 2024 with a new podcast episode - a conversation on cosmism & spaceflight recorded a few years ago.