Re: Gematria, Cryptology, and Extropic Mysticism

Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 12:11:37 MST

In a message dated Wed, 15 Nov 2000 12:18:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, Nicq
MacDonald <> writes:

<< > No, he said 'any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable
from > magic." He did NOT say that it WAS magic. THINK.

If something is indistinguishable, than what is the difference? (Which
brings us back to Leibniz's Law)<<

Think harder. It is indistinguishable for a primitive observer, but not for
the *wielder.* I don't think a gun is magic (come to think of it, some
gun-control advocates seem to think guns are --evil-- magic, but that's
another subject altogether); just because some primitive spear chucker thinks
it is doesn't *make it magical.*

> > Anyway, since when is our destiny of a mundane nature? This notion has
only > > been commonly believed for a very short duration of humanity's
> > I'd also argue that this notion is purely transitionary, a kind of > >
collective "dark night of the soul" (as a mystic would put it) before
ourinitiation into the Transhuman existence...
> Nobody is going to give us a leg up, there is no Galactic Confederation,
Von > Daniken was a moron, and Childhood's End was FICTION. Get over it.

I agree with all that you mentioned, but no one has yet explained why we have
not already been overrun by other transsentient cultures or see no evidence
of their existence- I see only three possible explanations-

1. We're the only planet in the universe that has developed sentient life.
(Highly unlikely)
2. All sentient cultures are doomed to destroy themselves- there is no
singularity, no offworld colonization, no transsentience- so your entire
extropian movement is moot, and we should best look elsewhere for our answers.
3. By gaining cognition of the universe at a level beyond our comprehension,
they have gained an understanding that has allowed them to transcend the
objective universe and become, essentially, gods.<<

Here's a few more:

4. Sentient life is far more common than *technological* sentient life. We
might be the only species in this galaxy that has gone from simple tool use
to an actual technology-wielding civilization. If you look at the history of
humankind, you can see that our leap to technology was a rather unlikely
event, due to a fortuituous juxtaposition of circumstances. Otherwise, our
technological development would have remained slow and incremental (i.e.,
compare technological progress between 10,000 B.C.E. and 1500 C.E. to
technological progress between 1500 and 2000 C.E.).

5. FTL is impossible, and technological societies eventually become content
with settling down comfortably in their own solar system (why bother seeding
other worlds when there is no conceivable return?).

6. An advanced society doesn't necessarily expand to fill every available
niche in the universe. Even if FTL is possible, an ultra-tech society may
reach zero population growth, and may expand beyond its boundaries very
slowly, if at all (in fact, it might be that the ability to control
demographic pressures is a prerequiste for developing an interstellar

7. Once they advance high enough, advanced species migrate to the core of
their galaxies, where more plentiful energy sources are available, leaving
the relatively cool fringes to us primitives. Note that this is different
from #3 because a race that may decide black holes make for excellent
batteries does not necessarily have to "transcend the objective universe."

And that's off the top of my head. None of which buy any yams, btw. We ain't
gonna achieve Transcendence (or even build a better mousetrap) by looking
breathlessly toward the skies waiting for some Savior.

> Supernatural, adj. 1. Existing outside of, or exhibiting properties>
contradictory to the laws of, the natural universe.
> No, transhumans are NOT supernatural. Inhabitants of a Universe Prime,
running > our universe as a quantum simulation, would be supernatural
deities, but
they > cannot interfere with the simulation.

Hah! You're forgetting something- our knowledge of the so-called "laws" of
the "natural universe" are, in fact, the most likely interpretations that our
senses and our limited brains are able to give us. A transhuman would
be supernatural, in the fact that through the knowledge and manipulation of
forces beyond the comprehension of "mere mortals", they could essentially
alter realities in ways that could only be seen as going beyond the "laws" of
the universe. Which, again, brings us back to Arthur C. Clarke's

Maybe. Then again, maybe not. A Transhuman's greater understanding of the
forces of nature might be able to manipulate said forces in ways we cannot
currently comprehend, without going beyond those laws (and they most likely
will have their own unrealized goals and aspirations, and probably somebody
whispering to them that something greater and beyond their ken lies somewhere

> incredible: lacking credibility. Sorry, any Power I ever meet would likely
be > very credible in its existence. Overwhelmingly so. It might be amazing,
but it > would not be mystical or supernatural.

This cannot be known until it has been experienced.<<

One can make a reasoned guess. I don't *know* that an Angel of the Lord is
going to suddenly appear in front of me and tell me I am the clone of the
Messiah, but I can make a guess it's not going to happen.

Open minds, but not so open your brain falls out.


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