About

I have taken the opportunity to dust off and rewrite the rather outdated ‘About’ section and thought it would make a neat little post reminding myself and others what it actually is I am trying to do here. To date I am not able to engage in much meaningful discussion with my target audience, the Singularity crowd. This might be due to the fact that by now I am approaching the Singularity from the humanities and social sciences as opposed to the standard IT, SciFi angel. This appears to be an approach rather foreign to most observers having the unfortunate result that hardly anyone bothers to penetrate my dense writings.

Not surprisingly, most individuals in the Singularity corner are – and pardon me if I am being a bit overly generalizing here – extremely IT literate geeks with a tendency for militant atheism. Hence the ‘Rapture of the Nerds’ moniker. Now, do not get me wrong – not too long ago I gave every single member of my family a copy of Dawkins’ The God Delusion for Christmas and I worked 10 years in IT security myself….

However all this gradually changed after I published my Singularity SciFi novel Jame5 – a Tale of Good and Evil in 2007 and distributed 500 copies all over the world at my own expense. Since then I have changed my stance on religion and came to find the ‘militant’ atheistic perspective rather unsatisfying. So yes: I get the yuck factor and the cognitive dissonance involved in getting out of ones comfort zone and approaching a seemingly contradictory perspective with open eyes. Particularly ideas of ‘Oneness’, ‘the illusion of separateness’ etc must sound like absolute hokum. I can only encourage everyone to try and get behind the arguments involved and I am more than happy to give a hand.

And please remember that Ben Goertzel has participated in a recent science and non-duality conference and is the author of the Cosmist Manifesto among many other books on AI and the Singularity in which he writes:

Cosmism is not a religion. But it has the potential to deliver some of the benefits of religion in a manner more consilient with science.”, Ben Goertzel, A Cosmist Manifesto: Practical Philosophy for the Posthuman Age, 2009

It is in this spirit that I introduce the ultimate foundation of the Rational Morality project: cybernetics and particularly evolutionary dynamics. In the words of Roy Rappaport:

“Misconstruing the world’s nature is not necessarily, or even primarily, a matter of empirical error. We are concerned here with the adaptiveness of conceptions, not with what the knowledge available at a particular historical moment takes to be empirically accurate. We are concerned with the consequences of the actions to which such understandings lead. If such actions tend to increase the actor’s chances of staying in the existential game indefinitely, and if, in this age of ever-increasing human capacity to destroy the world, such actions tend to preserve the existential game itself, then the understandings upon which they are based are adaptively true even if empirically absurd.” (Roy Rappaport, Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity, 1999, p. 452)

and Valentin Turchin

“Let us think about the results of following different ethical teachings in the evolving universe. […] No one can act against the laws of nature. Thus, ethical teachings which contradict the plan of evolution […] will be erased from the memory of the world. […] Thus, only those [ethical] teachings which promote realization of the plan of evolution have a chance of success. Such is the immanent characteristic of development: what corresponds to its plan is eternalized in the structures which follow in time while what contradicts the plan is overcome and perishes.” (Valentin Turchin, The Phenomenon of Sceince, 1977, p. 334)

These insights are being integrated into the discourses of critical theory, cultural anthropology and moral philosophy. Having its origin in 2005 in the comparatively young area of singularity studies and particularly friendly AI theory these concepts have since been developed beyond that narrow perspective and continue to unfold.

Not relying on metaphysics but on evolutionary dynamics alone, this approach provides the basis on which concern for the self is understood to be equal with concern for the other, until one realizes that everything one does to another one quite literally does to oneself resulting in compassion as a rational moral duty irrespective of an agents level of intelligence or available resources.  As Gilles Deleuze summarizes Schopenhauer

“Because the will according to Schopenhauer, is essentially unitary, the executioner comes to understand that he is one with his victim.” (Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 2006, p. 7)

About me: I became an independent writer/philosopher after a decade long corporate career and am currently studying Anthropology and Social Theory at the University of Melbourne, with the goal of attaining a PhD sometime before the Singularity. My special interest lies in understanding and explaining spiritual wisdom in naturalistic terms.

“I remember who/what I am. I remember Oneness.”