Know Your ABCs (pt.2): Convergence

The previous article introduced the concepts of Asterion and Blackstar, being the ZSARG formulations of Technological Singularity and its TranshumanEvent Horizon”, respectively. Part 2, below, will now explain what Convergence means to ZSers.

 

Top-Level Goal (TLG)

 

As I have explained elsewhere, all intelligent systems require a “Top-Level Goal” (TLG) in order to adapt effectively to their environment, regardless of whether that Goal is explicit or implicit. ZS’ TLG is to survive and thrive, just as that is the implicit TLG of most (if not all) living organisms. Everything ZS does, everything it is, follows from that single basic premise.

 

Subsidiary Goals & Timeline(s): Basic Statistical Analysis

 

What essential subsidiary goals might we expect to follow from that fundamental imperative? Again this is something I’ve alluded to before, when discussing the necessary features of an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Basically, all organisms require resources and the structures necessary to successfully negotiate their (external and internal) environments when searching for those resources. Our own subgoals must also be to gather resources and develop the organizational structure required to manage them optimally.

 

Although the Social Futurist “organism” will best thrive when it enjoys supportive, cooperative relationships with other entities in its wider environment, fundamentally its primary concern must be on effective resource gathering and management for its own safety and benefit. In other words; for the safety and benefit of Social Futurists, of community members, first and foremost.

 

Now, let us turn to the question of timelines for achieving these goals. What is the most basic, the most conservative and fundamental assumption we can make about the 21st Century? As I explained in part 1, this would be that change is coming. Change on a massive, scarcely comprehensible scale, which could only be called “good” or “bad” based upon your personal predilections. For the sake of simplicity, let’s avoid the question of “good” or “bad” by assuming that change is less likely to be a good thing when you are unprepared for it. By combining that simple assumption with another basic notion that underlies all modern statistics, we find ourselves presented with an initial timeline for all action toward achieving our goals, which rests upon a firm logical foundation.

 

The “basic notion” mentioned above is that of the Normal Distribution, which finds its place in our thinking as follows. Let’s start with the simplest possible assumption, given a Social Futurist worldview: That massive change will arrive in a torrent, at some point in this Century. From there, the most conservative assumption is that this major change will most likely happen by mid-Century (HE 12050). We would expect to modify all such assumptions as firm evidence becomes available suggesting exactly how they should be modified. The logic of the normal distribution picks up from there, which is to say that the likelihood of torrential change increases toward that expected midpoint (of highest likelihood), and then decreases again after that (not because overall change has become less likely, but because it is increasingly likely to have already happened by then).

 

Without going into the details of such analysis, suffice to say that under these conditions, the model makes it clear that we need to be comprehensively prepared by a third of the way into the Century, at the latest. We must build an organization capable of efficiently gathering and managing resources, in that order, which means having such structures fully operational at least a decade before that time… which gives us five years, starting now.

 

Let’s re-state that, for maximum clarity:

 

The year is now HE 12018. If we can have the foundation of a serious organization operational by 12023, then we have a chance to gather and manage significant resources by the one-third-Century (1/3C) mark, a decade later. According to the most conservative assumptions, if we expect massive change at any point this Century – and we should – then our ability to reliably predict or control events without serious resources will begin to rapidly disintegrate around 1/3C. If we aren’t ready for a massive wave of change in fifteen years – change both good and bad, on an unthinkable scale – then it will be too late.

 

The details of how ZSers and other Social Futurists will address these goals and timeline will be discussed further in other articles. For now, it is most important to understand that in order to be able to address them at all we must first bring people and technologies together, and that is the essence of convergence:

 

Various Related Phenomena Called “Convergence”

 

Toward Singularity: Technological Convergence & Gathering of the ‘Tribes’

 

Technological Convergence” is a process whereby the features and functions of different technologies become integrated into single, multi-functional technological solutions. The clearest example of such convergence to date is the smart phone, which has now integrated the functions of telephones, pagers, portable recorders, maps, compasses, translators, and any number of other technologies. As different technological functions converge on fewer platforms, the resultant catalytic, social and psychological effects can be quite unexpected. Technological Singularity would, among other things, presumably represent total convergence of myriad functions on very few “pan-functional” technologies, unified by Artificial Intelligence.

 

In something of a metaphorical parallel, as technological development accelerates and converges, we also see a converge of worldviews and of the people who hold them. As technological disruption plays a bigger and bigger part in people’s lives, the more they will seek to understand an address it. In that way, disparate threads of belief and identity will be drawn together by pressing, common concerns. Such a process has the potential to be useful, and as Social Futurists we will work to bring people together under the banner of Positive Social Change Through Technology.

The event-streams outlined below give an example of how we might approach that project, together. You can further Social Futurist efforts either by helping with the events mentioned below, or alternatively by developing your own projects which work toward the same end.


Althing: The Annual ZS Gathering

 

The principal annual ZS event is known as the Althing (“All-Thing”, after the ancient Norse form of parliament), and is held both online and at a physical location each May. The Althing covers a wide range of functions, from executive-level decision making, to regulatory, to games, media, arts & entertainment.

Details of the 12019 Althing will be released soon, and you can ask to be informed of developments or make any other enquiries by emailing contact@althing.zerostate.net.

 

Ekklesia: ZS’ Quarterly Executive Meetings & Gatherings

 

Quarterly ZS events are known as the Ekklesia (being both the singular and plural), held both online and at physical locations in late March, June, September, & December. The Ekklesia tend to be dominated by executive decision processes and discussion, but are open to all active ZS members.

Details of the 12018-12019 Ekklesia will be released soon, and you can ask to be informed of developments or make any other enquiries by emailing contact@ekklesia.zerostate.net.

 

Sessions: Weekly ARG Focus

 

Weekly ZS events, known as Sessions, are held online most days and in geographic locations where ZS groups have an active presence. Although Sessions can fulfil a number of functions, they tend to focus on the gamelike aspects of ZS. Sessions tend to have a limited number of places available, and operate according to criteria set by whichever ZS group hosts them.


Details of upcoming Sessions will be released soon, and you can ask to be informed of developments or make any other enquiries by emailing contact@sessions.zerostate.net.


Change,

Everything you are

And everything you were

Your number has been called

Fights, battles have begun

Revenge will surely come

Your hard times are ahead

Best,

You’ve got to be the best

You’ve got to change the world

And you use this chance to be heard

Your time is now

Change,

Everything you are

And everything you were

Your number has been called

Fights and battles have begun

Revenge will surely come

Your hard times are ahead

Best,

You’ve got to be the best

You’ve got to change the world

And you use this chance to be heard

Your time is now

Don’t,

Let yourself down

Don’t let yourself go

Your last chance has arrived

Best,

You’ve got to be the best

You’ve got to change the world

And you use this chance to be heard

Your time is now

Muse, “Butterflies and Hurricanes

About Transhumanity.net