Turing Church is all about cosmic optimism
Our present homework is to start hiking the road to the stars. Also, review of "Wild Ride" by Hayley Arceneaux.
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:
Stay tuned for the next Turing Church podcast to be published in a few days. I’ll chat with philosopher Eric Steinhart.
Eric Steinhart is one of my favorite philosophers. See my review of his last book “Believing in Dawkins: The New Spiritual Atheism” (2020). The spiritual atheism of Steinhart (I prefer to call it spiritual naturalism) is very close to my religion, and I highly recommend this book. See also my review of Steinhart’s previous book “Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life after Death” in my book “Tales of the Turing Church” (Chapter 12).
I have been on holiday on the beach and I have taken this picture. No, I’m not one of them kitesurfers. That is really for younger people. But watching them flying in the wind reminded me of the importance of optimism.
Unfortunately, in today’s Western culture, pessimism and despair are cool and optimism is uncool. But listen to Guillermo del Toro, who affirms that optimism is “the hard choice, the brave choice.”
“Optimism is not uncool; it is rebellious and daring and vital.”
A couple of years ago Vice asked a group of interdisciplinary thinkers about their fears and hopes about the future. Here’s my response:
“Fear: the trend, evident in the ‘Western world,’ toward a senile society of sedated, reasonable, boring, politically correct zombies. Hope: humanity has done wonderful things on Earth and can move on to do even more wonderful things among the stars, provided we keep a healthy reserve of boundless, irreverent, and unreasonable optimism.”
See Chapter 6 of my book “Futurist spaceflight meditations” for related thoughts.
Another related thought is that much of today’s economy is based on selling useless things to good, obedient consumers. But optimistic, hopeful and happy people tend to be bad consumers and buy less useless things. Therefore, “they” need to keep us in a mild state of dull, sedate despair, hopelessness, and unhappiness.
I say fuck “them.” Turing Church is all about cosmic optimism. I believe that our descendants in the far future, armed with ultra sci/tech, will resurrect the dead and remake the universe - one doesn’t get more cosmically optimistic than that. I also believe that our present homework is to start hiking the road to the stars. See Chapter 9 of my book “Futurist spaceflight meditations” for more.
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First stop on the road to the stars, the Moon. The uncrewed Artemis 1 mission to the Moon will thoroughly test parts of the system that is expected to bring astronauts back to the moon. The first two Artemis 1 launch attempts on August 29 and September 3 have been scrubbed due to fuel leaks. The launch is now scheduled for September 27. Fingers crossed, and f course I’ll be glued to the TV watching the launch.
Next stop on the road to the stars: Mars.
This picture from NASA, taken by crew members aboard the International Space Station, shows the Al-Jawf Oasis in Eastern Libya. But this is how I imagine a picture of an early outpost on Mars, with small settlements and strange infrastructure. I hope I’ll see the beginnings of our adventures on Mars before logging off.
And then, onward to the solar system and the stars.