Toward a Mythos of Extropy

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
We are titans of phantasmagorical complexity, extropic constructs of nature, stewards of our own destiny.

Something to that effect, I think, may be a good taste of a new mythos, a culture to underpin and integrate our ongoing efforts of science and humanism.

A twofold goal, not solely humanistic but partially so, the other part being the advancement of stable, ordered matter through and beyond humans, yet not in directions that come at the expense of human welfare. A plurality of potential equilibria to be discerned and decided as best we can.

Optimizing human fulfillment, which requires basic enfranchisement and economic inclusion, can be both an end in itself and a means for advancing science.

Advancing science, which requires basic enfranchisement and economic inclusion, can be both an end in itself and a means for optimizing human fulfillment.

A collection of concrete and maximally actionable frontiers, pertaining to all relevant sectors of human enterprise, which is to say virtually all sectors of human enterprise. I'm still too early on in this education to define sufficiently concrete directions, but this thread will provide occasion to try.

The state can be a facilitator between private capital and public welfare, in the interest of optimizing human fulfillment as both an end itself and a means for more robust economic activity, which would be both a means for optimizing human welfare and a means for advancing science, which is both an end in itself and a means for optimizing human welfare. Virtuously overlapping circularities, ad infinitum.

Challenge the dichotomy (to call it false is to imply there are true dichotomies, as opposed to pragmatic yet ultimately "shelvable" ones) of the state as either the tool of the 1% to safeguard and silo private capital, or the tool of the 99% to seize and spend private capital. Both are suboptimal, as far as I can tell.

I believe the 1% clearly possesses the bulk of the fuel needed for rapid, systematic advancement of human welfare, fuel which may be operationalized provided such advancement does not run against the grain of financial incentive (see "opportunity zones" as legislated by Booker/Scott/Kind), which for our purposes may be considered a force of nature.

What are the technical and political prospects of establishing an inverse correlation between official power and financial privacy? Can more robustly transparent means of accountability be financially, systematically incentivized? Can public service be programatically rehabilitated as more of a vocation, and less of a career? Is not a more integrated and fluid global economy in the interest of the 1%, at least those who intend maximal mobilization of capital?

Those who wish otherwise, to silo their would-be capital off-shore or otherwise, are suboptimal capitalists in my mind, and perhaps stand to be inspired accordingly. Perhaps it is pure risk aversion, crisis insurance, or some other sound strategy, in which case perhaps some degree of siloing of private capital is negligible.

If such governmental accountability can be technically achieved, might that afford greater trust in pubic servants? What portion of the present distrust stems from insufficient civic education, and the added mystification of the role of government as if it was a unified and coherent unit? What portion stems from actual corruption? Should the state be structured primarily for the expressed purposes of protecting citizens, and of brokering between private capital and public welfare? Does this seem like an organic progression of the logic of neoliberalism - one that the top capitalist libertarians may even support given proper caveats?

How much of governmental power is bureaucratic, procedural power? And how much of this bureaucratic procedure can be outsourced to algorithms, specifically smart contracts, which may prove harder to corrupt than humans? Consider the prospects of an algorithmically driven recruitment protocol, that dynamically weighs recruitment rates for applicants of different demographics, based on how the present demographic breakdown of the governmental body in question relates to that of the population most broadly?

Could such things mitigate systemic prejudice, conscious or otherwise, and free human agents to make decisions on a more purely creative basis, a basis more conducive to humanism?

Can a global hegemony be maintained primarily through diplomacy and posturing of force, perhaps resorting to economic acts of condemnation when deemed necessary? How realistic is it to demand a world order free of hegemony of any polarity?

Science is already a grand testament to global, humanist cooperation (ITER, LHC) - what are the prospects of a global politics engineered around scientific cooperation? It seems that sentiment is ostensibly taking hold already.

What actors and industries, specifically, stand in the way of the liberalization of capitalism? The transition from single-bottom-line to triple-bottom-line, from a linear economy to a circular economy, is obstructed by whom? Where do their incentives lie, and how may they be aligned?

What is the cure to parochiality? Does it consist, at least partially, of the reorientation of content recommendation algorithms, so as to incrementally preclude echo chambers that reinforce parochial standpoints?

Are such standpoints situationally unavoidable? That is to say, who under which circumstances find themselves unable to balance their interests with global interests, and to what degree is this inability out of necessity, and to what degree is it out of stubbornness?

Where and when the procurement of nourishment is threatened by ongoing technological trends of automation and disintermediation, what avenues of value production remain, and which may be enabled by said trends themselves? What is the ceiling, in terms of diversity and multitude, in the market of content production, either artistic or scientific? How many niche, crowdfunded content providers may our global cultural economy permit? How many may one consumer be expected to subscribe to, and at what price?

How feasible is it to unlock the inner scientist and/or artist in every human? Is Maslow's pyramid quantifiable and enforceable as a progression of material circumstance, political circumstance, psychological circumstance? How may such a systematic and holistic progression be administered, along which metrics and by which means, so as to better position more humans to passionately contribute to human culture and welfare?

And once such a state is reached wherein 99% of humans enjoy material circumstances sufficient to afford their pursuit of passions, may we reasonably assume that such passions will in some way contribute to the economy of content, artistic and/or scientific, so as to maximize the sustainability of such a state of affairs?

If we may not reasonably assume this, what work needs to be done to redefine our general notion of fulfillment - substantial and sustainable fulfillment as opposed to strictly short-term and insubstantial fulfillment that leaves many of us feeling hollow and lost in some meaningless existence? How may the adolescent phase of short-term satisfaction at the cost of long-term well-being be programatically and systematically overcome?

Might there be a role here for a new mythos? A new global culture to inspire those who have accepted the cancellation of the future, and to reawaken a belief in humanity? How should this engineering of mythos be gone about?

I am inclined to divide such an effort into aesthetics and values. What already manages to captivate the imagination of mass numbers of humans? With whom, or with which characters, do sympathies tend to align? How may we leverage both the wisdom of antiquity and the fascination with frontiers?

What are the aesthetics of complexity, of extropy? A stack of natural architecture across spacescales that span below and above our sensory bandwidth, activity unfolding at timescales too fast and too slow for us to directly apprehend. Dances too brief for our photoreceptive framerate to capture, galaxies of presently unobservable mass. A breathtakingly intricate weaving of light and heat along dimensions we may only strive to contrive the means to observe, and even partially at that. A sort of narrative that transcends our imagination, yet alone our articulation of it, and thus promises virtually infinite fuel for its inspiration.

What are the values of complexity, of extropy? That there may well be no end to advancement, no shortage of new landscapes to traverse, no ceiling to what our technology may enable, if even firstly for what lucky few of us? That extropy, defined as something like the degree to which the equilibrium of a system permits order - that some valleys stand higher than other valleys - may also have no ceiling, no upper bound of potential, and that by extension the cosmos may perennially combust some patches of order amidst the fabric of relative disorder? That we are our own salvation? That under certain sustained thermodynamic conditions, amino acids may be catalyzed from baser molecules by ionic storms, and persist long enough to construct through further conditional catalysis into nucleotides and finally into nucleic acids, announcing the arrival of a certain sort of information and the incipience of a certain sort of intelligence? That our present knowledge is always a fraction of what it will be? That the unknown unknown holds treasure and tragedy alike, in keeping with all frontiers we've fared thus far?

To my knowledge, barring catastrophe, the thing that best ensures the cancellation of the future is the lethargy that such a declaration inspires.
 

luka

Well-known member
Intelligently doth the body purify itself; attempting with intelligence it exalteth itself; to the discerners all impulses sanctify themselves; to the exalted the soul becometh joyful.


Physician, heal thyself: then wilt thou also heal thy patient. Let it be his best cure to see with his eyes him who maketh himself whole.


A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life. Unexhausted and undiscovered is still man and man's world.


Awake and hearken, ye lonesome ones! From the future come winds with stealthy pinions, and to fine ears good tidings are proclaimed.


Ye lonesome ones of to-day, ye seceding ones, ye shall one day be a people: out of you who have chosen yourselves, shall a chosen people arise:--and out of it the Superman.


Verily, a place of healing shall the earth become! And already is a new odour diffused around it, a salvation-bringing odour--and a new hope!
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
There, where the state ceases - there only commences the man who is not superfluous: there commences the song of the necessary ones, the single and irreplaceable melody.

There, where the state ceases - pray look there, my brothers! Do you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the overman?


The utopian endgame of a communism of enlightened supergeniuses. But sometimes the shortest path is not a straight line, would you agree?

Perhaps such a path involves less in the way of self-abolition, and more in the way of ever-increasing involvement in public affairs.
 

luka

Well-known member
probably, but we do what we can and for me, i cant stretch to that kind of disinterested altrusim. my life is solely concerned with trying to survive in a hostile city and staying alive is itself a source of pride. i cant expand past that point at the moment
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
If this doesn't connect with people, then it stands to be optimized. And that is what I seek your opinion on, expressing this in terms that have more meaning to more people. I understand, despite lack of experience, that these pursuits have preconditions. Until such conditions are met for more people, we must settle for whatever audience finds itself capable of lending an ear.

And that must include investors, as far as I can tell.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
What planted the seed for extropic mythos was this talk by Lebbeus Woods, where he starts down a similar path of an aesthetics of particle physics, albeit from a non-scientific perspective. Like here, he quotes Nietzsche, and then goes into his plans for an underground city to connect both sides of 1988 Berlin.

 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Some of his imagery:

th


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Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
And a nifty visualization of scale from the order of a centimeter (coffee bean), down through millimeters (sesame seed), micrometers (red blood cell), tens of nanometers (various virions), and hundreds of picometers (carbon atom).

 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
The complexity and auto-engineering can be breathtaking, rejuvenating, but I struggle to conceive of how it may be delivered to those who would otherwise be uninterested, and if it may rejuvenate them.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
I wouldn't disagree unconditionally, but I see value in rejuvenation within a larger process of attaining a more enduring equanimity. To curb the relapses into disillusionment, if even routinely and impermanently, in the interest of securing an ever more constant state of peace.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
Equanimity, paired with perennial psychic advancement, would be the axiomatic program for anyone interested in field-testing this. I would call it spiritual, if I didn't think spirituality was a somewhat outdated concept.
 

Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
its oprah winfreys yoyo dieting
Would you scold me for not entirely dismissing this as an avenue for popular appeal? Sorta bleeds into the trend we've already thoroughly covered regarding mindfulness, mindful awareness, whatnot.

Another suboptimal dichotomy to be found here: peace/productivity.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Some of his imagery:


1331344787-woods-geomechanical-machines-fb178608-sm-1-504x500.jpg

this one reminds me of one of the iconic white hotel images, of this odd tower you could see near it, all alone. you would see it most clearly in the morning, it was like a beacon or navigational aid. the council demolished it unfortunately. turned the waste ground into a car park

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Clinamenic

θερμοδυναμικός καπιταλιστής
this one reminds me of one of the iconic white hotel images, of this odd tower you could see near it, all alone. you would see it most clearly in the morning, it was like a beacon or navigational aid. the council demolished it unfortunately. turned the waste ground into a car park

AGk0z-NViMBhgvKMwb8ZTwsnvxDib4UiASxqNqUY3uPQIw13aGPE87LWiUnl9AVgHKckJSpEn-4lMmCJ5yLYoDVz7D09_msbBYlJkJImVmM=s2048
This also, to me, conveys a sort of glorified weatheredness. The Woods ones convey a similar glory through weatherablity, a sense of these metal monuments surviving seriously long times, perhaps beyond human occupation.
 

luka

Well-known member
Would you scold me for not entirely dismissing this as an avenue for popular appeal? Sorta bleeds into the trend we've already thoroughly covered regarding mindfulness, mindful awareness, whatnot.

Another suboptimal dichotomy to be found here: peace/productivity.
yes of course we are just making ourselves into embodiements of this push pull arent we
 
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