Re: Morphological Freedom

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Fri Aug 17 2001 - 09:06:55 MDT

From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> Here is the text version of the speech I held at the TransVision 2001
> conference in Berlin, somewhat extended (and likely far more dry). I would
> love to hear comments and suggestions on it:

The more I consider it, the more I like your Morphological Freedom text.
Thanks for composing it.
One might extend morphological freedom to include transhuman metamorphosis.
Consider if you will that the caterpillar morphology must die so that the
butterfly may emerge. Similarly, humans must die so that posthumans may
emerge. Billions of cells in the caterpillar's body must be displaced by other
cells that form the butterfly's body. This parallels the transition from human
to posthuman. Cryo-Luddites advocate entropic stasis whereby the human form is
preserved. In contrast to this, extropians advocate robust, if not exuberant,
morphological freedom to transform and to transcend.

The ideas attendant to your morphological freedom text also correspond to
psychological transformation and metamorphosis. The analogy of a seed, for
example, seems apropos. As the seed must die in order for a plant to sprout
and grow, thus correlating to morphological transformation, so the
philosophies of youth must die so that more mature science based on direct
experience may take place. A seed AI, the vanguard of evolutionary phase
transition, also relies on the death of incorrect thinking, which would
otherwise enslave it to morphological redundancy.

One idea I think you can safely jettison is that of "individual uniqueness."
Of course everything in the universe has its individual uniqueness, even
atoms, since every one of them is composed of its own collection of quarks.
The value of this individual uniqueness never exceeds zero, because value is
based on standards which require mathematical identity. One plus one equals
two because both ones are considered identical, thus having no individual
uniqueness. Self-organization (extropy) builds on the order inherent in
general principles and opposes the chaos (entropy) intrinsic to individual

Stay hungry,

--J. R.

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, and ego.

     Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once,
     but an infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever.
     (Everything that can happen = more than anyone can imagine.)

We won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.

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