Re: MEDIA: NOVA on Gamma Ray Bursters

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sat Jan 12 2002 - 11:11:59 MST

From: "Lee Daniel Crocker" <>
> the question is why haven't they even left
> anything lying around that we can /see/?

So, either they don't exist or they don't exist in detectable form,
Being wise beyond caring, they'd stay in their carefree homes, far from
I suspect that very advanced, technologically savvy civilizations would
discover better alternatives to interstellar travel.

> Surely someone capable of
> interstellar travel is also capable of large-scale engineering. Why
> can't we see that Kemplerer rosette?

Capability does not necessitate performance.
Just because they can do it, doesn't mean they would.

From: "Mike Lorrey" <>
> Hypercognition will only advance when we are able to apply our
> engineering skills to the mind to a significant degree.

Applying engineering skills to the brain (the mind is a myth) could
accomplish some practical things, such as to help repair damage that
prevents the attainment of hyper-cognitive functioning. But the
hyper-cognitive brain has no use for notions of *further* advancement (as
every buddha knows), because consilience of all knowledge into a single
cosmological science discloses the futility of trying to improve this
perfect and ineffable knowledge.

> The Lamarckian
> evolution of technology will always overtake the Darwinian evolution of
> biology.

Consider that Lamarckian evolution of technology merges extropically with
Darwinian evolution of biology to enable emergence of the epiphenomenon
called a hyper-cognitive brain. IOW, consider that the enlightened brain
knows better than to exchange present hyper-cognition (buddhahood) for
imagined advances.

Cognitive phase transition (cognitive Singularity or Enlightenment) explains
the so-called "Fermi paradox" by pointing out that sufficiently sentient
beings surrender to existential indifference, because they are wise beyond
caring. Since extropian buddha brains (as well as equally-evolved supposed
ETs) would be too intelligent to believe in the end of existence, Gamma Ray
Bursters may come and go, yet hyper-cognitive phase transition eternally


From: "John Clark" <>
> J. R. Molloy <> Wrote:
> >Perhaps when our civilization matures a bit more, we'll become more
> >interested in our hyper-cognitive, rather than our engineering
> I'm more interested in it now, but cognition requires hardware, the more
> cognition the more hardware and the energy to run it.

Why not make our own brains hyper-cognitive right now?
In _Zen and The Brain_, the book Anders says uses the word "hyperpraxy"
(what page, Anders?), we read,
"Have we learned anything about meditation? If so, it will not be from
applying EEG electrodes to the scalp, but from the deeper act of practicing
the meditative mode ourselves and infusing it into the present moment.
Finally, each day's practice starts to become life's meditation, by one
life, within all life."
Except for the notion of "practicing" meditation (it's not something that
can be practiced), Austin is correct.


From: "Dossy" <>
> I was suggesting that
> what we "know" to be a "natural" creation (our universe) may very
> well not be.

If it's not "natural," then it's supernatural.
Fortunately, we have the scientific method to prove that this is incorrect
There is absolutely no empirical evidence in support of the supernatural, and
it therefore remains the domain of immature thinkers.


From: "Mike Lorrey" <>
> Well, I was commenting on JR's reference to the philosophies of various
> 'illuminated ones', generally of hindu and chinese origin, as being the
> fruit of the 'most ancient cultures'. Chinese and Indian culture, as
> measured by the relative age of their written languages compared to
> those of the west, are not so ancient. If you want an illuminated one
> from a true ancient culture, you can't do any better than the Epic of
> Gilgamesh. He sought immortality and personal perfection as much as any
> modern transhumanist, and was not averse to defending himself or earning
> a profit either. ;)

I suppose they should be called hyper-cognitive ones instead of "illuminated
Having read the Dhammapada, I find ample evidence of hyper-cognition.
Lao Tzu (author of the Tao Te Ching) looks to me more like a scientist of
cognition, one who recommends direct experience of reality, aka zen, as a
means to understand life, the universe, and everything.
The reason for mentioning hyper-cognition was to explain why the so-called
"Fermi paradox" is a paradox only if one assumes that highly intelligent
beings would necessarily want to phyically travel between the stars. There
are, after all, intelligent alternatives to that specific use of technology.
Furthermore, if it takes a hyper-cognitive being to know a hyper-cognitive
being, then it may also take an ETI to know an ETI. It makes sense to me that
an intelligent species would solve its own problems before trying to reach the
stars... and having solved its own problems, interstellar travel no longer
appeals. The hyper-cognitive ones seem to have solved their own problems, and
some of them have apparently tried to pass their wisdom (or the ability to be
hyper-cognitive) on to others. So, instead of searching for ETIs, I think it's
more extropic to investigate our own hyper-cognitive capabilities.


From: "Spike Jones" <>
> Has anyone here any reason to believe that
> Bradburyesque M Brains are inherently impossible?

I have no reason to believe that M Brains are *necessary* to understand how
reality works, and we need to understand how reality works so that we can act

> In any case, I suggest we build our M Brains quickly and get
> sailing towards the next star, before some other extraterrestrial
> yahoo beats us to it.

I don't think we need to compete with extraterrestrial yahoos, because I think
that humans will either attain hyper-cognition en masse, or we will commit
global suicide.

"Any sufficiently intelligent and powerful weapon is indistinguishable from a
--Alligator Grundy, as reported by M. T. Ness

--- --- --- --- ---

We move into a better future in proportion as the scientific method
accurately identifies incorrect thinking.

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