Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology

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Anders Sandberg in 2016

The following is an unwikified import from Anders Sandberg's transhumanist terminology[1] page from some time in the early to mid 2010's which itself is based on Max More's 1994 list of neologisms published in Extropy.[2]

Contents

#

3D PRINTER

A general term for additive manufacturing technologies such as stereolithography or selective laser sintering.

A

A-LIFE or ARTIFICIAL LIFE

Programs showing life-like behavior, either simple or complex. A-Life forms can evolve and produce behaviors not contained within rules set by the programmers. See also the Introduction to Artificial Life by the Santa Fe Institute.

AI or ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

[field] The automation of tasks that usually require human intervention. [noun] An autonomous agent that observes and imparts changes on the environment in an intelligent manner.

AIOID

Non-biological sentient beings NOT derived from naturally-evolved uploads or alife.

ALEPH

A point or state implementing an infinite amount of computation or storing an infinite amount of information.

ALGERNON

Any human who, via artificial or natural means, has some type of mental enhancement which carries a price. Based on Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

ANTIMATTER

The quantum opposite of matter, composed of atoms composed of anti-protons and anti-electrons. For example, while a Hydrogen atom has a single proton and electron, an antihydrogen atom has an anti-proton and a positron. Contact between the two produces total annihilation, with 50% of the energy becoming neutrinos and the other fifty percent decaying into gamma rays and pi-mesons, which after a short interval decay into gamma rays.

ANTIMATTER-CATALYZED FUSION

A type of catalyzed fusion engine requiring less antimatter than a pure plasma core antimatter engine. In this configuration, antiprotons are accelerated and injected into a fusion chamber, where they annihilate with some of the fusion fuel, the resulting reaction produces enough energy to induce fusion in the rest of the fuel, so very small amounts of antimatter need to be produced to generate significant thrust. A magnetic nozzle directs the plasma and resulting pi-mesons into the exhaust plume.

ARCOLOGY

Main article: Arcology

A term coined in 1959 by architect Paolo Soleri to describe a fusion between architecture and ecology. Also used to refer to megastructures capable of housing massive populations while remaining partially or fully independent from outside material needs.

ARTILECT or ARCHAILECT

A posthuman artificial intelligence. (Artilect means 'artificial intellect'. An posthuman resulting from WBE would not be artificial, so it does not count). [Hugo de Garis, book title too embarassing to quote]

ASEX

A person who has been physically and mentally altered so that ve no longer is male or female [Greg Egan, Distress]

ASIMOV

An AI constrained to serve human interests, like Friendly AI and such.

ASSEMBLER

A: A Universal Assembler[link]

B: A machine capable of performing atomically-precise, computer-controlled chemistry to synthesize chemical structures or varying geometry: From NEMS to furniture, but it would all be made of essentially the same material (For example, diamondoid). See: Mechanosynthesis of diamondoids, Molecular nanotechnology.

C: A biological machine (Such as the ribosome) that produces a set of chemical structures, generally by repeating the same biochemical reactions rather than using computer-controlled chemistry.

D: A machine that uses positional assembly to place pre-fab (By B or C) atomically-precise components into macroscale products.

ASTRONOMICAL UNIT

The mean distance between the Earth and the Sun, 149,597,870.7. Useful for sub-interstellar distances.

ATHANASIA

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

ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPE

A type of scanning probe which uses a tip built on a cantilever to feel atomic interaction forces between the tip and the substrate in which it is used, and build a virtual map of the surface at the level of single atoms.

ATOMIC LAYER EPITAXY

An epitaxial process for the growth of crystalline structures, based on the removal of a terminating layer from a surface and the arrival of matter through the gas phase that bonds on contact, forming a new layer and a new terminating layer above. The process is repeated, and can result in atomically precise crystals by means of removing the terminating layer with an scanning tunelling microscope.

ATOMICALLY-PRECISE MANUFACTURING

Manufacturing where the atomic coordinates of the final product are completely or almost comletely known. This refers to the final product, not to the manufacturing process, it is not the same as atom-by-atom manufacturing.

AUTOEVOLUTION

Evolution directed by intelligent beings.

AUTOMATED ENGINEERING

The use of computers to perform engineering design, ultimately generating detailed designs from broad specifications with little or no human help. Automated engineering is a specialized form of artificial intelligence. [K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation, 1986]

AUTOGENESIS

Self-creation, transhumanism applied directly to oneself. For example: An upload altering the connections of the model of his brain as it is run, a person performing surgery on himself (Or having programmed machines to do so), a person designing an implant for himself (Not necessarily installing it himself).

AVATAR

An interface between a person and an environment, virtual or not, that are physically separated.

B

BASELINE

An unaugmented human.

BABY UNIVERSE or BASEMENT UNIVERSE

An artificially created universe smaller than the one from where it was created, linked to the first (At least for some time) by a wormhole. They have been postulated by some theories regarding black holes and inflation cosmology.

BEANSTALK or SPACE ELEVATOR

A structure (Usually a fullerene cable) on which machines climb carrying cargo from a world's surface to space.

BEAMED PROPULSION

A type of propulsion where the energy is delivered from an outside power source, eg laser-driven photosails or microwave-triggered lightcraft. Has the advantage of leaving the power plant on the outside, thus helping the vehicle's mass ratio.

BEKENSTEIN BOUND

The Bekenstein Bound is an upper bound of the amount of information inside a spherical region with a given energy. Information in this context is to be understood as distinguishable (quantum) states. Due to the uncertainty relations it is possible to derive a bound of the form:

<math>I \leq {{2 \pi E R} \over {\hbar c \ln2}} </math>

where I is the information, E is the energy, R is the radius, hbar Plank's constant, c the speed of light. It can also be written as:

<math>I \leq kMR</math>

BERSERKER

A von Neumann probe programmed to destroy intelligent life. Or just a runaway self-replicator. See Blight. May be an explanation for the Fermi Paradox.

BETELGEUSE BRAIN

A) A Jupiter brain that supports itself on its own radiation pressure. B) Less vaguely, a Dyson built around a Jovian world as opposed to a star, feeding on radiated heat or magnetic energy.

BIG CRUNCH

The reversal of the expansion of the universe and posterior collapse into a singularity.

BIOBORG

Like a cyborg, but the other way around. A robot or another machine modified to incorporate biological parts.

BIOCHAUVINISM or BIOLUDDISM

A new and hip name for luddism. See: Luddism.

B-LIFE or BIOLOGICAL LIFE

Compare to A-Life. Normal, everyday kind of cells and what not.

BLIGHT

Rapidly expanding and devastating transhuman or posthuman, may also refer to kinematic self-replicating machines (With or without intelligence), or, in more speculative cases, to gray goo.

BLIND UPLOADING or BRUTE-FORCE UPLOADING

Uploading someone by scanning and using the data almost as directly as possible with a model that incorporates it, without prioritizing certain functions over others, possibly as a way to determine which biological features can be removed without losing higher level functions. In the most extreme cases, it is a quantum chemistry or protein-quaternary-structure simulation of the brain (In such cases, scanning the tissue would require such resolution that most data would have to be interpolated).

BUSH ROBOT

A robot composed of manipulator arms that subdivide in a fractal pattern into smaller manipulators, ideally down to the micro or nanoscale. Each manipulator would require a certain degree of intelligence to minimize central processing of all movements and minimize latency.

C

CALCUTTA SYNDROME

When a population's available resources falls below the threshold needed to support a given quality of life.

CASIMIR EFFECT

A quantum effect observed in objects separated by very little volume: The number of virtual particles generated between them is less than the average number due to the smaller volume, generating negative pressure, causing both objects to draw nearer.

CLOSED ECOLOGICAL LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM (CELSS)

A self-perpetuating, closed-loop ecology that can maintain life inside a hermetic environment or one with zero exchange of matter with the outside, such as a spacecraft or an orbiting hab. Energy is drawn from the outside or from an inside source to support the recycling of the entire biosphere and atmosphere, while maintaining homeostasis.

CHINESE ROOM

A logical fallacy in which John Searle can't understand that just because the guy, the room, the book or the furniture don't know Chinese, the system as a whole does.

CHURCH-TURING THESIS

The thesis that every computable function can be computed by a Turing machine.

COMPUFORM

The act of turning matter into computronium.

COMPUTRONIUM

A) The ultimate, physically-realizable, maximally-efficient computer. B) Matter optimized for computation to some arbitrary degree.

CONCENTRATED INTELLIGENCE

As opposed to Highly-Distributed Intelligence, an intelligent entity whose hardware is as centralized, possibly to reduce communication lag, at the cost of decreased safety.

CONNECTIONISM

An approach to neuroscience which holds that connections between nodes (Such as neurons) give rise to thought, rather than thought arising from formal or explicit rules.

CONTINUITY IDENTITY THEORY

The theory that "I" am the same person as various future and past selves with whom I am physically and temporally continuous. (see also pattern identity theory). [from Sandberg]

CRYOBIOLOGY

The study of life at low temperatures. Not to be confused with cryonics, the freezing of dead persons. Cryobiology is concerned, for example, with the preservation of organs or other tissue for medical purposes.

CRYOCRASTINATE

To put off making arrangements for cryonic suspension. [Mark Plus; August 1991]

CRYONICS

The low-temperature storage of dead persons for the preservation of the microstructure in their brains, that is, their personality and memories for future, hypothethical revival .

CYBORG

A biological (Typically a human) with electric, mechanical or other artificial parts.

D

DEFLESH

To replace flesh with non-flesh. [FM-2030. Yes, I hate him too, but I like how it sounds]

DIAMONDOID

Structures that have similar properties to that of diamond; such as a three-dimensional covalent-bonded cage-like structure, or material properties such as stiffness, chemical inertness, et cetera.

Diamondoid is a superset of the fullerenes and contains, first and foremost, diamond and lonsdaleite, and also silicon carbide, boron nitride, adamantane (And any n-adamantane), iceane, cyclohexamantane, and even ionic ceramics such as sapphire that can be covalently bonded to purely covalent structures (Such as diamond).

DISASSEMBLER

A hypothetical machine capable of disassembling an object of arbitrary size into small, atomically-precise feedstock. For example: For recycling, dissolving toxic waste, or copying an object.

DISTRIBUTED INTELLIGENCE

An intelligent entity, or a set of them, whose implementation is distributed over an entire world, stellar system or even galaxy, with no central processor or router, and high redundancy. Communication lag would be large (Depending on how distributed it is), but the gain would be in safety, redundancy, and a reduced heat signature.

DMS

Diamond Mechanosynthesis.

DOWNLOAD

Transferring an upload or another kind of aioid into a physical robot, skipping the 'telepresence' part.

DRYWARE

The artificial part of a cyborg or a bioborg.

DYSON*

A generic term for Dyson spheres, swarms, rings, and other sets of Dyson Nodes.

DYSON SPHERE

A set of Nodes orbiting a star in a spherical configuration. Many concentric spheres of satellites can be used, each powered by the waste heat radiated from the one below.

DYSON BUBBLE

A Dyson Sphere where the Nodes are statites instead of satellites.

DYSON SWARM

A set of Nodes arranged in a densely-packed, arbitrary (eg toroidal, a Dyson Torus) non-spherical configuration.

DYSON RING

A set of Nodes orbiting or suspended above a star in a ring-like configuration. Subset of Dyson Swarm.

DYSON SOLAR WIND POWER SATELLITE/STATITE

A satellite or statite where solar wind is used to generate power, for example, by allowing it to flow through a superconducting right. Induction would generate an electric current. In the case of a statite, the ring could also act as a magnetic sail, exchanging momentum with the gas to allow the statite to remain hovering, stationary, above the star.

DYSON NODE

The largest individual element that is part of a Dyson*, a satellite or statite (Or else). For example, a set of human habitats and a PV array. See satellite, statite.

E

ECTOGENESIS

The growth of an organism in an artificial environment (Synthethic wombs).

EI or EMERGENT INTELLIGENCE

An intelligence that evolves from a simpler system as opposed to being explicitly created. [A. Sandberg]

ETERNAL LIFE POSTULATE or TIPLERIST RELIGIOUS TECHNOBABBLE

The hypothesis that life, once it arises in the universe, lasts forever. [Frank J. Tipler through A. Sandberg]

EUTHENICS

Antonym of eugenics, the improvement of the current generation as opposed to exclusively the next generations. [R.C.W. Ettinger, Man Into Superman, 1972]

EVOLUTURE

Antonym of creature, an organism produced through evolution as opposed to creation.

EXCONOMICS

The study of possible trans- and post-human economies. [A. Sandberg]

EXOSELF

A software construct that acts as a shell between an upload (And a possible local virtual environment 'home') and the outside world; abstracting hardware and networking access and control of telepresence robots or Simulacra, and allowing access (To the upload or some outside user) to the ongoing emulation (For example, providing a mapping between (virtual) sensory and motor neurons and their corresponding hardware, to allow linking the virtual body model to a particular robot).

F

FEMTOTECHNOLOGY

Technology at the scale of a femtometer, 10^-15 meters. Machines created by metastable structures made of atomic nuclei.

FERMI PARADOX, THE

The apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of emergence of life (Particularly intelligent life) in the universe and the apparent lack of it. Since a technological civilization capable of ISRU and self-replication could occupy a galaxy in less than a million years (See Von Neumann Probes), and Kardaschev >= 2 civilizations can be identified by their waste heat, the apparent lack of intelligence implies, either, that other intelligent life does not exist, or that there is a "Great Filter" that prevents technological civilization from spreading into interstellar space.

FLATLANDER

Derogatory term for someone who has never been to space. Not to be confused with the two-dimensional creatures.

FOGLET

An atomistic machine that is part of a utility fog. See Utility fog.

FORK

To use non-destructive uploading to create a copy, or a fork, of a person, while this person is still alive. Compare Non-Destructive uploading, where a copy is made and the original is a decerebrated corpse on a bed next to an ATLUM.

FUNCTIONAL SOUP

A posthuman state where metal modules and access to physical bodies is shared between aioids in a virtual manner (Virtual as in independent from the physical world, as in not knowing where the next byte is coming from). [Alexander Chislenko, Technology as extension of human functional architecture]

FUTURE SHOCK

A state of distress or disorientation due to rapid social or technological change.

G

GALAXY BRAIN

A posthuman (Presumably) implemented in computing systems distributed across an entire galaxy. Light speed lag would make higher-level thoughts take thousands of years to form, but individual subsystems (Dysons, Nodes or other ISOs) would be far faster.

GENETIC ENGINEERING

The modification of the characteristics of an organism by imparting changes in its genetic material.

GENETIC ALGORITHM

A problem-solver which, parting from random or semi-random initial conditions, iterates over them and selects the ones that scored higher when solving a particular problem (Using a function that computes time, adequacy of the solution, etc.), then applies random changes to the set of successful candidates and discards the ones below a certain score threshold. The process is repeated until the score of the übersolutions reaches a bound.

GENERATION SHIP

An interstellar spacecraft where successive generations of humans live, have children, and die in a CELSS environment until the descendants of the first generation reach the destination.

GENIE

A subservient intelligence with a molecular manufacturing system or a Universal Constructor, programmed to build structures comissioned by its owner.

GLOBAL VILLAGE CONSTRUCTION SET

A set of 50, modular, low-cost machines that can bootstrap a small civilization with modern comforts. See== Open manufacturing.

GREAT FILTER, THE

(See The Fermi Paradox). A hypothethical mechanism or principle that limits the number of technological civilizations that become interstellar civilizations. See Extinction Level Event.

GREY GOO

Also gray goo. Main article: gray goo

Self-replicating (Hylonano-only) machines self-replicating uncontrollably using all the atoms from the upper-right corner of the table available in the ecosphere. Highly improbable due to energy constraints, heat dissipation, elemental abundance, mechanosynthethic capabilities, the difficulties of maintaining a machine-phase environment within the robots, the need to fit a (Hypothetical) disassembler as well as an assembler inside a robot and still make it 'nano', and what have you.

GODEL'S INCOMPLETENESS THEOREM

Any set of axioms that includes arithmetic is either consistent and incomplete or inconsistent and complete: A complete set contains all the axioms necessary for arithmetic but has at least one statement which within the axioms of the system are both true and false, one needs a larger system that supercedes it to make the statement no longer undecidable. An incomplete axiom set cannot implement arithmetic but can say either true or false to every statement.

GOD

See John von Neumann.

GUY FAWKES SCENARIO

A) A scenario where distributed molecular manufacturing allows terrorist groups to easily manufacture large amounts of explosive or weapons of terror. B) Molecular Manufacturing-enabled anarchy.

H

HAB (Habitat)

An artificial environment that provides conditions for certain kinds of life that would not survive in the surrounding environment, especially for civilization and intelligent beings. See: Space Habitats, Dyson Sphere, Worldhouse.

HEAT DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE

The end state for a flat universe (Such as ours): All energy is evenly spread out, leaving no entropic gradients anywhere capable of performing work. No usable energy would be left.

HERM

Hermaphrodite.

HIGHLY-DISTRIBUTED COMPUTATION

Computation distributed over many different processors, separated by arbitrary distances, synchronized by a central or decentralized scheduler.

HIGHLY-DISTRIBUTED INTELLIGENCE

A Dyson* or a Jupiter brain, or a Moon brain, implementing a single intelligence or a set of intelligences. See Intelligent Super-Object.

HOMORPH

A transhuman or posthuman with a humanoid body.

HU or HUMAN

What it says on the tin.

I

IA or INTELLIGENCE AMPLIFICATION

Technology that is used to expand the cognitive capacities of people.

IDEAL IDENTITY

An internal model of our personality as we wish it to be; the person we seek to become [Max More, Extropy #10]. (See Ego Ideal, if you don't mind Freudian psychology).

ISRU or IN-SITU RESOURCE UTILIZATION

ISO or INTELLIGENT SUPER-OBJECT

Motile or stationary computing cores intended for the implementation of posthuman intelligences, with sizes ranging from the ten kilometers (Asteroid Brains and Moon Brains) up to Dyson*s.

IMMORTALIST

A person who believes in the possibility of secular immortality, advocates it, and seeks to attain it.

INFORMATION-THEORETIC DEATH

Permanent death, where the brain's structure (Or whatever implementation we're talking about) is destroyed in an irreversible manner, where no information can be recovered.

INFOMORPH

A software object showing high-level traits such as cognition.

J

JUPITER BRAIN

A set of Nodes suspended above a Jovian world or a brown dwarf, feeding on solar power, the magnetosphere, or radiated heat. Also refers to a computing system as large as a Jovian world.

JOVIAN or GAS GIANT

A subset of worlds characterized by orbiting a star, having a mass above ten Earth masses, and above all, being composed mostly of gases as opposed to solid matter.

K

KARDASCHEV SCALE

A scale that measures a civilization's level of technology as a function of the power they have available: Type I civilizations ("Earth during the 20th century") have 10^17 watts. Type II harness the entire energy of their star, around 4x10^26 watts. Type III own and use the entire galaxy as a source of energy, 4x10^37 watts.

KOLMOGOROV COMPLEXITY

The complexity of an object is the size of the shortest program or Turing machine required to fully describe it.

KUIPER BELT OBJECT

Bodies with highly elliptical orbits, most of which is spent >100 AU from the central star(s), very low temperature, sizes ranging from dust particles to comets and asteroids.

L

LINDE SCENARIO

A universal history where intelligence life migrates to basement universes from other universes that have become too entropic to sustain life or computation. Requires basement universes and [transversable] wormholes. See wormhole, Tiplerist Religious Technobabble.

LIGHTCRAFT

A lightcraft is a surface-to-orbit vehicle driven by laser or maser.

LIGHT YEAR

(Symbol: LY) A unit of length for interstellar distances, the distance traveled by light in vacuum, in a year: 10e15 meters.

LOFSTROM LOOP

A rail in the shape of an arch where the highest point is above most of the atmosphere, such a structure would be held by momentum exchange from the vehicles accelerated into space by the rail.

LUDDISM

The rejection of modern technology.

M

MAGNETIC MONOPOLE

A hypothethical particle with a single magnetic pole.

MAGNETIC SAIL

A structure (Usually a set of superconducting rings) that creates a magnetic field that decelerates plasma from stellar wind or that which is trapped in the magnetosphere of a planet, exchanging momentum with it and using it for propulsion. Can also be used with beam propulsion by accelerating charges particles in a beam towards the sail.

MEGASCALE ENGINEERING

Main article: megascale engineering

Engineering at the scale of a megameter, the engineering of megastructures.

MEGASTRUCTURE

Any artificially-made structure exceeding one thousand kilometers (A megameter) in any dimension.

MEME

An abstract concept (An idea, behaviour, style) that is passed through individuals in a population by high-level media (Communication as opposed to genetic inheritance).

MEMETICS

A) A theory of mental content and sociology based on the idea of memes B) The study of the behaviour and spread of memes in societies.

MEMIE

An idea, belief or behaviour that spreads through non-genetic vectors, such as communication.

MESOSCALE

An intermediate scale between two known scales, ie the scale between the microscale and the macroscale.

MORPHOLOGICAL FREEDOM

The right to maintain or modify one's body.

MONOPOLE-CATALYZED FUSION

A type of -catalyzed fusion in which magnetic monopoles are injected into a chamber with ionized fusion fuel. Direct contact with the protons causes annihilation (Not of the monopoles) into gamma, providing enough energy to fuse surrounding fuel.

MONOPOLIUM

Matter made of magnetic monopoles.

MOON BRAIN

A moon-sized body composed of or covered (To an arbitrary depth) with computronium.

N

NANOCOMPUTER

A computer or circuit whose logic elements have sizes in the multi-nanometer range. The whole machine may cross far beyond the microscale.

NANOROBOT

A self-contained machine capable of carrying out computer-controlled work at the nanoscale. Generally associated with molecular nanotechnology and NEMS-style machinery: A cell is not a nanorobot, but may be if it could be modified to have its organelles and membrane controlled by a computer.

NANOMEDICINE

The use of nanotechnology for medicine. In the case of molecular nanotechnology, see Robert Freitas' work on Nanomedicine. In the case of ordinary nanoscience, see nanoparticle therapy and nanoparticle-delivered drugs.

NANOMANIPULATOR

A computer-controlled robot arm that can operate at the nanoscale, for example, controlling mechanosynthethic reactions (In the case of a future mol-nano manipulator) or moving multi-nanometer sized parts (An ordinary silicon gripper). The robot itself doesn't exactly have to be nanosized or microsized, at least not all of it.

NANOTECHNOLOGY

The study of matter at the atomic and molecular scale, ranging from 100 nm o 1 nm.

MNT

Molecular Nanotechnology.

(MOLECULAR) NANOTECHNOLOGY or HYLONANO

Nanotechnology based on nano-electro-mechanical systems (NEMS) that are direct downscaled models of MEMS or macroscale mechanical engineering systems, with considerations for the nanoscale. While scaling laws hold the principles of mechanical engineering well into the nanoscale, biology may be more efficient. The one area in which it is guaranteed to outperform biology is in highly energetic environments, that is, high temperatures where polypeptides would dissociate and the redundancy and strength of diamondoid is required.

(BIOLOGICAL) NANOTECHNOLOGY or BIONANO

Nanotechnology based on biological systems. Has the advantage that biological system have already gone through evolutionary, optimizing competition, and the drawback that evolution is a greedy-search algorithm that ignores solutions with a high upfront cost and only works within a limited temperature range.

(MIXED) NANOTECHNOLOGY or SYNANO

A mixture of nanotechnology based on high-vacuum, NEMS, stiff, dry systems and wet, flexible biological machines.

NEOPHILE

A person with a strong affinity for novelty. See futurist, singularitarian.

NEUROPRESERVATION

The chemical or cryonic preservation of the head or brain for future revival.

NEUROPROSTHESIS or CEREBROSTHESIS

A neuroprosthesis: A device implanted in the brain to overcome a neurological deficiency, such as normal human intelligence.

NICOLL-DYSON LASER

Becase the Dawn Hunters will probably get everyone no matter what, but that's no reason to make it easy for them. The outermost elements of a Dyson* act as a phased array laser delivering death and destruction across millions of light years of space. You heard that right. Information can be encoded and sent anywhere. Photosails can be accelerated for years to any arbitrary percentage of the speed of light. Also the death and destruction part.

O

OMEGA POINT or TIPLERIST RELIGIOUS NONSENSE

An Aleph, or a point tending towards Aleph as the universe collapses. Note that the universe has been shown to the flat as opposed to closed, so it is unlikely that a collapse will happen.

OMEGA

A) An imaginary superintelligence capable of predicting the outcome of systems of arbitrary complexity with almost complete certainty. Laplace's demon with a little more abstraction. For the religion, see Omega Point.

O'NEILL CYLINDER

A pair of cylinders that counter rotate to provide artificial gravity along their inner surfaces and reduce torque. Each cylinder would be 8 km in diameter and 32 km long, each holding a ring of service modules and factories and with a set of mirrors that reflect and focus sunlight through large windows into the inside of the hab.

OPEN SOURCE ECOLOGY

A Network of Farmers, Engineers, and Supporters Building the Global Village Construction Set. See Global Village Construction Set, Open Manufacturing.

OPEN MANUFACTURING

Manufacturing technologies whose blueprints are available free of charge, with the freedom to modify and adapt them. See Open Source Ecology, Molecular Manufacturing, 3D printer.

P

PATTERN IDENTITY THEORY

The theory that "I" am the same person as various future and past selves with whom I am physically and temporally continuous. (see also pattern identity theory). [A. Sandberg]

PHYLE or CLADE

A tribe or group of people with a common unifying element (Philosophy, ethnicity).

PARAHUMAN

A hybrid or chimaera between human and animal genomes. An example would be a sheep with human cell proteins to produce insulin. See splice for furries.

POSTHUMAN

A person of unprecedented physical, intellectual, and psychological capacity, self-programming, self-constituting, potentially immortal, unlimited. Finite.

Q

QUANTUM COMPUTER

A kind of computer that stores information as quantum states of subatomic particles and exploits quantum-scale phenomena to compute information.

R

RAPTURE OF THE NERDS

(Humorous) Technological Singularity.

RED QUEEN HYPOTHESIS

An evolutionary hypothesis stating that continued evolution is necessary just to maintain constant fitness. (From Beyond the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carrol, where the Red Queen says "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.")

RED QUEENED

To be outrun by evolution (See Red Queen Hypothesis.)

S

SANTA CLAUS MACHINE

See Genie.

SAPIENT

That which is wise or attempts to appear wise. Synonym of intelligent.

SCANNING PROBE MICROSCOPE

A microscope that forms images by scanning a surface with a probe sensitive to electrical or mechanical interactions. See== Scanning Probe Microscope, Atomic Force Microscope.

SCANNING TUNNELLING MICROSCOPE

A kind of scanning probe in which a conducting tip is set down on a surface and a current flows between tip and surface. The voltage is plotted as a function of the tip's coordinates over the surface, giving a map of the surface at the atomic scale. Manipulation can also be carried out: Single-atom, computer-controlled chemistry was demonstrated in 1999 by Wilson Ho and Hyojune Lee, see "Single bond formation and characterization with a scanning tunneling microscope". A CO molecule was moved by the STM and bonded to an Iron atom on a Silver(110) surface at 13 K.

SENTIENCE QUOTIENT

Where I is the rate of information processing (bits per second) and M is the mass of the processing system (kilograms), the logarithm of I/M is the sentience quotient. [Robert A. Freitas, Jr.]

SELF-REPLICATING MACHINE

A machine capable of building copies of itself using parts either from the natural environment,

SINGULARITY

A) [Gravitational] A point where the curvature of spacetime tends towards infinity. B) [Technological] The emergence of posthuman intelligence.

SINGULARITARIAN

Someone who believes in the coming technological Singularity and/or advocates it.

SINGULARITARIANISM

The belief in the Singularity, particularly the kind where strong AI takes off, setting the end of the human era.

SIMULACRA

A) A humanoid telepresence robot. B) An AI built to simulate a person, built from the top down knowing the person's personality and what not. See Kurzweil's Dad.

SKY HOOK

A cable in low Earth orbit that uses momentum transfer to catch a spacecraft in the atmosphere and accelerate it into a high orbit.

SPACE FOUNTAIN

A type of space elevator that does not have to be in geosynchronous orbit, for example, a nanotube cable connected to a statite supported by radiation pressure against a solar sail, or pulling on the Earth's magnetic field with a magnetic sail or an electrodynamic tether.

SPOCK MEME

The idea that rationality and emotion are mutually exclusive, or that transhumans will evolve to lack the latter.

SOLID STATE SOCIETY

A society where the inhabitants are aioids, for example, a society where all of the inhabitants are uploads interacting with the work through telepresence robots.

STAR LIFTING

The process of extracting a large portion of a star's mass, for example, by using semiconductors is various configurations to draw plasma away from the star. See stellar husbandry.

STATITE

Like satellite, an artificial structure suspended over a large body using solar or magnetic sails (Robert Forward's original proposal was for a satellite-equivalent hovering over the Earth by reflecting sunlight with a solar sail). Forward's original patent.

STRONG AI HYPOTHESIS

The hypothesis that artificial intelligence can match or exceed human intelligence.

STRONG ALIFE HYPOTHESIS

The hypothesis that life is a substrate-independent process, and software entities (Artificial life) are not 'merely simulations' but living entities.

STEREOLITHOGRAPHY

A subset of additive manufacturing technologies that employs a laser to cure a polymer into the solid state.

SOLAR SAIL or PHOTOSAIL

A thin film that adsorbs or reflects light, using is momentum to propel a spacecraft.

T

TECHNOSPHERE

A) The set of humans and machines, that is, the volume of space actively inhabited by any Earth-originated person or automaton. B) The ever-expanding sphere of civilization/technology, boldly going where no hu or Von Neumann Berserker has gone before.

TERRAFORMING

Altering the environment (ie temperature, atmosphere (If any), surface) of a world so that it resembles Earth's for human habitation.

TITHONUS SYNDROME

The consistently negative portrayal of immortality in fantasy and science fiction. Based on the Greek myth of Tithonus, who was granted eternal life but forgot to ask for eternal youth. [S.L. Rosen]

TIPLER CYLINDER

A cylinder of dense matter and infinite length, rotating on the longitudinal axis. Frame dragging would allow closed timelike curves. Oh, whoops - Proven wrong by Hawking in 1992, so this gets filed into the category of Tiplerist Religious Technobabble.

TIPLERIST

A religious nutjob who believes in future revival by the infinitely kind inhabitants of the Omega Point, who obviously have nothing better to do than bring back obnoxious smelly h+ religious people.

TRANSHUMAN

Traditionally, "Someone actively preparing for becoming posthuman". A human in transition. The process between the human and the posthuman.

TRANSHUMANISM

A superior ideology that does not arise from a body dysmorphia and that BIO-LUDDITES like you would never understand.

TT

  1. Trans Time, Inc..
  2. TranshumanTech, a mailing list on h+ news.

TURING MACHINE

An imaginary, ideal computer, consisting of infinitely-long tape divided into discrete information-storage sections, and a read-write head that reads the information on the current section, and carries out an action (Data manipulator, switching from one state to another) depending on its internal state, the set of which is specified in a "skeleton table".

TURING TEST

A test of machine intelligence based on the functionalist perspective, consists of a conversation between a person and a computer (Through a text-only interface), or, usually, a set of conversations between people and either other people or computers, with each candidate not knowing who is who behind the text interface. The idea is that a computer is intelligent once it can have a conversation with a human and convince the human that it, too, is human.

U

UBIQUITOUS COMPUTING

Computing cores integrated into furniture, clothes, cars, streetlights. One person, many computers. See Ubiquitous Computing at Xerox PARC[link].

UPLIFT

[verb] To increase the intelligence of a non-intelligent or near-intelligent species. [noun] The being resulting of the former process.

UPLOAD

A) [verb] To become a figment of your computer's imagination. See Whole Brain Emulation. B) [noun] The resulting aioid. See Nervous System State Vectors & Scan Data for currently-available uploads.

UNIVERSAL ASSEMBLER

Am imaginary (Not even hypothethical) machine that can build any arbitrary chemical structure from computer instructions.

UNIVERSAL CONSTRUCTOR

Originally a 2D cellular automaton capable of constructing itself and anything that can be constructed. Usually refers to an automaton with nanomanufacturing and macroscale manufacturing systems, capable of building a large set of products -- Including, most importantly, a copy of itself.

UTILITY FOG

A set of multi-micron-sized nanotechnological machines ("Foglets") which act together in the air, pulling or pushing on each other, arranging each other in different configurations, et cetera., according to computer instructions in order to better control the environment.

V

VIRTUAL

Sentient beings implemented in a computer that were once 'physical' (Biological or otherwise). Includes uploads.

VON NEUMANN MACHINE

A) The von Neumann architecture, which separates usable memory from long-term storage in computers. B) A self-replicating machine. C) A two-dimensional cellular automaton containing a Universal Constructor and a Universal Computer.

VON NEUMANN PROBE

A self-replicating machine that uses ISRU that build copies of itself, for fast, exponential exploration and/or construction in space. See kinematic self-replicating machines.

W

WETWARE

A) The brain. B) Biological machinery.

X

XENOBIOLOGY

The study of hypothethical alien species. For the study of the origin and distribution of life in the universe, see Astrobiology.

Y

Z

References

[citation needed]