Extropy Neologisms

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In 1994 Max More compiled this list of transhumanist and extropian neologisms in Extropy.[1] It formed the basis for latest transhumanist jargon intiatives like Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology and the H+Pedia project.

List of neologisms

ADHOCRACY: A non-bureaucratic networked organization. "This form is already common in organizations such as law firms, consulting companies and research universities. Such organizations and institutions must continually readjust to a changing array of projects, each requiring somewhat different combinations of skills and other resources. These organizations depend on many rapidly shifting project teams and much lateral communication among these relatively autonomous, entrepreneurial groups." [Scientific American, Sept. 1991, p.133. Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, 1970]

A-LIFE: Artificial life: The modeling of complex, life-like behavior in computer programs. A-Life forms can evolve and produce behaviors not contained within rules set by the programmers.

AMORTALIST: A person who opposes death.

ARCH-ANARCHY: The view that we should seek to void all limits on our freedom, including those imposed by the laws of nature. [ T.O. Morrow, 1990]

ASIMORT: (a) A dead science fiction writer. (b) A dead secular humanist. (c) Any person who believes it to be their duty to die to "make room" for future generations. [Mark Plus, April 1992]

ATHANASIA: The act of preventing death. [W.T. Quick, 1988]

ATHANOPHY: A philosophical system that offers a possible means of overcoming death scientifically. [Michael Perry, 1991]

AUGMENT: A person whose physical or cognitive abilities have been technologically expanded beyond the range of natural humans. [ David Brin, The Postman]

BIOLOGICAL FUNDAMENTALISM: A new conservatism that resists asexual reproduction, genetic engineering, altering the human anatomy, overcoming death. A resistance to the evolution from the human to the posthuman. [ FM-2030 ]

BIOSTASIS: Broader than "cryonic suspension"; suspension of all biological activity, by infusing the patient with cryoprotective chemicals and freezing or vitrifying (cryonic suspension), or by chemically bonding cellular components in place. [ K. Eric Drexler, 1986]

BOGOSITY FILTER: A mechanism for detecting bogus ideas and propositions.

BROADCATCHING: "Catching television and other media selectively so that the sum of the collected parts is personalized." (Quote by Nicholas P. Negroponte, Scientific American, September 1991, p.112.) [Coined by Stewart Brand, The Media Lab, 1987.]

CHRONONAUTS: Those who travel through time, either by biostasis or through possible loopholes in physical laws as currently understood.

CONNECTIONISM: n. The approach to cognitive science that gives a fundamental explanatory role to neuron-like interconnections rather than to formal or explicit rules of thought.

CONTELLIGENCE: (Consciousness + intelligence) The combination of awareness and computational power required in an Artificially Intelligent network before we could, without loss of anything essential, upload ourselves into them. [Timothy Leary]

CRYP: Cryptographic currency, digital cash. Payment by electronic means where the seller is guaranteed payment, but the buyer can remain anonymous. [Eli Brandt, 11/11/92, on the Extropians E-mail List]

CYBERFICTION: Science fiction embodying the technological ideas of cyberpunk, without necessarily embodying cyberpunk's amoralism or nihilism. [Max More, May 1991]

CYBERNATE/CYBERNIZE: To automate a process using computers and robots.

CYBERSPACE/CYBERMATRIX: The informational and computational space existing in and between computers.

CYBRARIAN: Computer Net-oriented information specialist. [Jean Armour Polly, 1992]

CYPHERPUNK: One interested in the uses of encryption using electronic cyphers for enhancing personal privacy and guarding against tyranny by centralized, authoritarian power structures, especially government.

DEANIMALIZE: Replace our animal organs and body parts with durable, pain-free non-flesh prostheses. [FM-2030]

DEATHISM: The set of beliefs and attitudes which glorifies or accepts death and rejects or despises immortality.

DEEP ANARCHY: The view that "the State" has no real existence; states can be abolished only by changing beliefs and behavior. [Max More, 1989]

DEFLESH: To replace flesh with non-flesh. [FM-2030]

DISASTERBATION: Idly fantasizing about possible catastrophes (ecological collapse, full-blown totalitarianism) without considering their likelihood or considering their possible solutions and preventions. [David Krieger, 1993]

ECTOGENESIS: In vitro reproduction; synthetic wombs.

EPHEMERALISTS: Persons who reject immortalist technology and values (the result of deathist thinking). [MM, 1990, from "Ephemeral", Robert A. Heinlein, 1958]

EUPSYCHIA: A society specifically designed for improving the self-fulfillment and psychological health of all people. A culture or sub-culture made up of psychologically healthy or mature or self-actualizing people. A Eupsychian sub-culture is "decentralized, voluntary yet coordinated, productive, and with a powerful and effective code of ethics (which works)." (Maslow.) [Abraham Maslow, 1954]

EVOLUTURE: An organism produced through evolution; the antonym of creature. [Mark Plus, June 1991]

EXTROPIA: A conception of evolving communities embodying values of Boundless Expansion, Self-Transformation, Dynamic Optimism, Intelligent Technology, and Spontaneous Order. May be instantiated in virtual cultural communities such as those on the Net, or in future actual communities such as Extropolis or Free Oceana. [T.O. Morrow, 1991]

EXTROPIAN: One who seeks to overcome human limits, live indefinitely long, become more intelligence, and more self-creating. A transhumanist who affirms the values and attitudes codified and expressed in The Extropian Principles. [Max More, 1988]

EXTROPIATE: Any drug that has extropic effects, including all cognition enhancing and life extending drugs. [David Krieger, December 1991]

EXTROPIC: Any action or process that promotes extropy.

EXTROPOLIS: A proposed Extropian community located in our solar system, probably at L-4 or L-5 orbits, or the Asteroid Belt. [Max More, 1991]

EXTROPY: A measure of intelligence, information, energy, life, experience, diversity, opportunity, and growth. The collection of forces which oppose entropy. [T.O. Morrow, 1988]

FUTIQUE: Stylishly futuristic.

FUTURE SHOCK: "A sense of shock felt by those who were not paying attention." [Michael Flynn, ANALOG, Jan 1990. Coined by Alvin Toffler, 1970]

HUBRIS: A collection of Extropians, as in "A school of fish, a hubris of Extropians".

HYPERTEXT: Massively interconnected database providing the ability to track information in all directions, notify you of updated information, etc. [Ted Nelson]

IMP: Electronic implant, especially in the brain. [Ron Hale Evans]

INACTIVATE: Non-living but not dead (in the latter's permanent sense). A person in biostasis, or one subsisting in data storage, awaiting downloading. [Max More, 1989]

INFOMORPH: A uploaded intelligence, or information entity, which resides in a computer. See Charles Platt, The Silicon Man, p.109. [1991]

KNOWBOTS: Knowledge robots, first developed Vinton G. Cref and Robert E. Kahn for National Research Initiatives. Knowbots are programmed by users to scan networks for various kinds of related information, regardless of the language or form in which it expressed. "Knowbots support parallel computations at different sites. They communicate with one another, and with various servers in the network and with users." [Scientific American, September 1991, p.74.]

MEME: Self-reproducing idea or other information pattern which is propagated in ways similar to that of a gene. [Richard Dawkins, 1976]

MEMETICS: The study of memes. [Douglas R. Hofstadter]

MEMOTYPE: 1. The actual information-content of a meme, as distinct from its sociotype. 2. A class of similar memes. (Glenn M. Grant)

MEMOID (or MEMEOID): True believer in a meme and willing to die for it. [Keith Henson, 1985]

MORPHOLOGICAL FREEDOM: The ability to alter bodily form at will through technologies such as surgery, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, uploading. [Max More, April 1992]

(MOLECULAR) NANOTECHNOLOGY: The technology of precisely-constructed molecular-scale machines; from nanometer: a billionth of a meter. [K. Eric Drexler,1983]

NEG: Someone who typically complains, moans, and whines, Someone practicing the opposite of dynamic optimism.

NEOPHILE: One who welcomes the future and who enjoys change and evolution.

NEOPHOBE: One who fears change and wants to abort technological and social transformation.

NEUROCOMPUTATION: The study of how natural and artificial neural networks process informa tion.

NEURONAUT: A person who explores their own neural functioning and internal mentational processes by various means, including deep introspection and meditation, psychoactive drugs, mind machines, and neuroscientific understanding.

NEUROPROSTHESIS: Implanted cybernetic brain augmentation.

NOOTROPIC: A cognition-enhancing drug that has no significant side-effects. (cf. EXTROPIATE) [C. Giurgea]

OPTIMAL PERSONA: An imagined model of the ideal person we want to become. The Optimal Persona is the ideal self, the higher (and continually developing) individual much like Nietzsche's conception of the Ubermensch but applied to the individual. [Max More, 1993; same name but different conception from that used by Bruce Sterling in Islands in the Net]

PARTIAL: A computer simulation of part of a person's personality, created in order to carry out a task not requiring the entire person. [Greg Bear, Eon, 1985]

PARTIALATE: A partial personality used as a personality surrogate (see persogate). [Max More, July 1991. See Cryonics, November 1991]

PERICOMPUTER: Any small portable device such as a laptop computer or PDA (personal digital assistant). [Lawrence G. Tesler]

PERSOGATE: A portable expert system used as a personality surrogate (as in Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix). [R.E. Whitaker, June 1991]

POSTHUMAN: Persons of unprecedented physical, intellectual, and psychological capacity, self-programming, self-constituting, potentially immortal, unlimited individuals. [Term: FM-2030 Def.: Max More]

POWERSHIFT: A transfer of power involving a change in the nature of power, from violence to wealth, or from wealth to knowlege. Alvin Toffler, in Powershift, 1990]

RIF: A Rifkinite, or supporter of Jeremy Rifkin and his anti-genetic engineering, anti-nanotech crusade; against any and all research or implementation in these areas. [Glenn Grant, 1990]

SCHEME: A meme-complex. (Douglas Hofstadter)

SINGULARITY: The postulated point or short period in our future when our self-guided evolutionary development accelerates enormously (powered by nanotech, neuroscience, AI, and perhaps uploading) so that nothing beyond that time can reliably be conceived. [Vernor Vinge, 1986]

SOCIOTYPE: 1. The social expression of a memotype, as the body of an organism is the physical expression (phenotype) of the gene (genotype). Hence, the Protestant Church is one sociotype of the Bible's memotype. 2. A class of similar social organisations. (Glenn M. Grant)

SMART-FACED: The condition resulting from social use of cognition-enhancing drugs: "Let's get smart-faced." [Russell E. Whitaker, December 1991]

SPONTANEOUS VOLUNTARISM: A fully free society, with a totally free market and no institutionalized coercion. [Max More, 1989]

TAZ/Temporary Autonomous Zone: A mobile or transient location free of economic and social interference by the state. [Hakim Bey]

TRANSBIOMORPHOSIS (TRANSBIOLOGICAL METAMORPHOSIS): The transformation of the human body from a natural, biological organism into a superior, consciously designed vehicle of personality. [Max More, August 1991]

TRANSCLUSION: A thing existing in more than one place at once; virtual copying of information used in hypertext systems, such as Xanadu. [Ted Nelson, Byte, September 1990]

TRANSHUMAN: Someone actively preparing for becoming posthuman. Someone who is informed enough to see radical future possibilities and plans ahead for them, and who takes every current option for self-enhancement. [Term: FM-2030 Def.: Max More]

TRANSHUMANISM: Philosophies of life (such as Extropianism) that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting values. [Max More], 1990

UBIQUITOUS COMPUTING: Also known as "embodied virtuality". Computers that are an integral, invisible part of people's lives. In some ways the opposite of virtual reality, in which the user is absorbed into the computational world. With ubiquitous computing, computers take into account the human world rather than requiring humans to enter into the computer's methods of working. [See Mark Weiser, "The Computer for the 21st Century". Scientific American Sept. 1991]

UNIVERSAL IMMORTALISM: The view that the problem of death can be solved in its entirety (including bringing back those "dead" who were not placed into biostasis) through a rational, scientific approach. [R. Michael Perry, 1990]

UPLOADING: The transfer of a personality (memories, knowledge, values, desires, etc.) from the biological human brain to a suitable synthetic computing device in order to allow easier upgrading of intelligence, self-modification, and backup of the self in case of accident.

VACCIME: (pron. vak-seem) Any meta-meme which confers resistance or immunity to one or more memes, allowing that person to be exposed without acquiring an active infection. Also called an `immuno-meme.' Common immune-conferring memes are "Faith", "Loyalty", "Skepticism", and "tolerance". (Glenn M. Grant.)

VENTURISM: An immortalist transhumanism founded on the principles (1) to do what is right, understood as implying the benefiting of intelligent life and the reduction or elimination of abuses to the same; and (2) the advocacy and promotion of the worldwide conquest of death through technological means. [David Pizer, 1986]

VIRTUAL COMMUNITY: A community of persons not located in close physical proximity but forming a cultural community across computer networks.

VIRTUAL RIGHTS: Rights given for convenience to a partial; these rights are really rights of the person whose partial it is, rather than of the partial itself. Similar in some respects to currently existing corporate rights. [Max More, July 1991; See Cryonics, November 1991]

VITOLOGY: The study of any life-like system, including biology and artificial life. [Max More, December 1991]

XENOEVOLUTURE: An evoluture from a planet other than Earth. [Jay Prime Positive, December 1991]

References