Free Comic

It is tough being a superhero in a world constantly combating global climate change and saving humanity from possible extinction!

"Forever Is A Long Time" is a science fiction indie comic illustrated by Zac Finger, in collaboration with the original short story by Michael Blade.

Synopsis: A bewildered science fiction author (me) is offered a chance at immortality from a time traveling historian of the future.

“Forever Is A Long Time” transhumanist comic, singularity, futurist, simulation, 2014.

Zac Finger Says: When I first met Michael Blade  . . . I was tabling shirts and comix at Extreme Futurist Festival 2012 in LA, which was itself a surreal enough experience that it warrants its own comic some day.

Mike came around my table and started talking to me about all of the stuff you’d expect from someone at a transhumanist con - technological immortality, virtual simulations, mind uploading, etc.

According to Mike he actually had the experience depicted in the comic above in a diner . . . A mysterious man introduced himself as part of a race of aliens or possibly AIs operating the computer simulation running our current reality. . . .and I pursued illustrating a comic of his experience.

Zac Finger has been great in allowing this collaborative work to be put up for free.  Visit his website for more Comics! I hope we all live for however long we what too . . .

A slightly different version of the comic can be found on Zac's site, here.

Posthuman, A Poem © Michael Blade

Note: My special thanks to Donato Giancola for the use of this © 2008 image above.
Visit his art website here.

Posthuman by Michael Blade © 2010


I am Human becoming
A Transhuman to be
My existence transforms itself through multiple substrates


I am flesh of evolved genetics
Technology cyborg robotic
Digital virtual and neural simulation
Networked information itself


Yet I retain sentience through all my transformations
I travel among the stars at the speed of light and now faster still
I am now immortal but not eternal
Not all powerful for I still make mistakes, always learning, always exploring


Time is only a measurement to me, I control my rate of consciousness
I allow myself to feel happiness, sorrow and compassion
Respect for my origins, my emotions, so human basic they are
But I have become so much more now, my mind merges with others like myself


On multiple levels of being we are
On the verge of becoming we are
Making love with thought . . .
Posthuman I have become



What Does It Mean To Be Transhuman?


   Michael Blade, Copyright  All Rights Reserved, January 2013

I will start by trying to define my understanding of what it means to be transhuman. This may not be your understanding or even the general understanding, but so be it. I will not enter into the debate on whether we should even attempt to be transhuman or what would be the negative consequences of such an undertaking. I leave that to other discussions, which believe me I have had many.

To be transhuman implies that you are also human, or once were human or derived from human genetic stock (DNA), basically having a human ancestor, maybe AI of a scan human derived variety (born or unborn), possibly AGI integrated. It implies you are more than human, transitioning, on the way to becoming posthuman, human plus, H+, a new species entirely, etc. Hopefully not H-.

In my opinion transhuman is a form of self directed evolution through technology and shaped by societal forces, this is assuming that an individual has the free choice. Growing out of this kind of thinking comes a multitude of branches for alteration-augmentation; possibilities in the base human from very minor to very extreme.

Listed here in no particular order and very possibly incomplete are:

  • Cyborgs, robotic, all manner of electronic augmentation, new senses, AR

  • Transpecies DNA alteration/insertion, Synthetic DNA alteration/insertion

  • Incorporation of symbiotic organisms, altered-designed new function organs giving new capabilities

  • Neural augmentation, cognitive extension into cyberspace/internet/cloud

  • Complete life-logging all senses, thoughts, experiences, complete digital uploading, substrate independence, integration with Artificial Intelligence, genome-connectome-envirome packaging

  • Robotic telepresence from simulated being, android (meaning synthetic artificial body, appearing human), meat cloned body linked to upload, telepresence into organic being (like “Avatar” the movie), rented bodies

  • A group mind social integration, global brain, hive mind, multiple consciousness functioning as one entity, omni-conscious being/experience possible human-machine-system-super-organism

  • Digital Avatar with AI augmentation and augmented reality/virtual reality, cellular network telepathy-sensory-memory-communication and backup storage


Having taken a good general high-level attempt at defining some of the possibilities, it becomes obvious that the permutations are really very large and diverse and it is impossible to predict at any granular level what a transhuman can actually be or become. That said, I will try to illustrate one extreme possibility with my limited understanding of the technologies involved, many which do not exist yet, others which are rapidly progressing or formulating.

My very extreme transhuman will have no categorical name (just yet), but will have certain qualities. Any sexual identity will be possible, he, she, it, we, other, multi, none; completely selectable.  He will be substrate independent, having a connectome which is uploaded and simulant (siman: simulated human). He will have physical presence in a real clone grown body with a cyborg- transpecies-synthetic genome. He will have access to a tool set and catalog for self-modification, tweaking.

He can exist as multiple telepresent android-robots in space colony situations. His “digital packaging” allows him to be simulated in multiple complete virtual or augmented reality situations. He can be telepathically linked to other minds through the cellar network, or like wireless neurally integration infrastructure, with define exchange protocols for sensory, memory, communication and storage both in the virtual simulation and remote entity.

Able to spawn thousands of copies of himself, complete separate tasks and reintegrate the multitude of experiences. Eventually he could become a swarm of nanomachines or integrate with AI's in a group planetary mind.

Traveling at the speed of light his digital package would be transmittable to the stars, instantiate at receiver stations in the local systems, visit and study planets as localized alien entities. Eventually he would become part alien as well (when we encounter other intelligent life or create it), experiencing new emotions, living for hundreds of thousands of years, millions, jumping from star system to star system and becoming a galactic human-machine lifeform, a true posthuman entity.

Eventually he may create a bubble universe or universe simulation. Existing in clouds of nanoparticles or even dark matter as an energy-super-computer-organism. This could also explain some of the fermi paradox.  Does becoming transhuman therefore imply a singularity?  No one can really know the answer.   It may be a tipping point for humanity or the greatest explosion of diversity in the human technological species we will ever know.


See also:

Package for the Stars


My Science Fiction Short Stories

A list of links to my science fiction short stories:

   I am a Hummingbird   After my body died the surgeons put me in a hummingbird. It took a while to get use to having my perspective darting around so quickly, but my mind had finally adapted to it.

   Sneeze!   “A few days Mr. Anderson. Don't worry, it's a positive virus, I'm origin zero. Then you'll be one of us, welcome to the new global hivemind, we-I always choose well. It will be unlike anything you have ever experienced or imagined. Expect a mental call, anything will be possible, said Kay, a future echo ...” Kay Noble replied, then collected the documents, velvet and all, and left the room without a further word.

   Muffy the Time Traveling Chihuahua   Muffy was a loyal pack dog on the locally collapsed time-day of his death, which varied in fractal quantum probability across a multitude of bifurcated futures or space-time universes.

   Lunch 2032    Her IQ was probably skyrocket norm. It seems the gene engineers had given her both great brains and beauty. She wanted to be a Terraforming Research Scientist, but on Earth she would have to settle for other work. Her parents had lost most of their money in a wild Marsearth start-up investment, so she had to work her way through the university, no one would give a genmod scholarship. It was just plain and simple prejudice.

   Virtuality   Zane Pax hid behind a large bolder as the black alien warship flew overhead.  Na’Han had swarmed the cities of the world laying waste to human civilization.  Humanity was on the endangered species list, on our way out for good.

   The Alien Time-Traveler Historian   Mathew answers, “Variations of me exist in most all future branches. That’s really rare, and that’s why I’m allowed to speak to you. To help you understand. You see, those that are still basically human in the future have great compassion. They want to help reduce the suffering. I’m here on their behalf to try and influence things.”

   The Galactic Culture   Finally, in order to survive the approaching technological singularity and remove their aggressive and self-destructive evolved behaviors, pre-type 1 species sometimes begin an extensive program of self-initiated genetic re-engineering and intelligence amplification (usually proceeded by development of a global computing system -Internet).   Sometimes this is successful, other times not.

   Lunar City  Outward space exploration and expansion grew at a rapid pace, due to the privatization of all space exploration and its subsequent exploitation.    Corporations headed by forward thinking executives now controlled access to space.    Spaceports have sprouted up all over the world, giving average citizens access to affordable space travel.    Now space stations, moon bases and asteroid factories, which provided most of the raw materials, have become independent space communities.    Distant science outposts have been constructed on the outer planets and moons.    The solar system has become the playground of humanity.

   VR Prototype   Jason Chen bent over in his subway seat to pick up a rarely seen plastic penny he spotted face-up on the train floor.    A penny existed today only to make exact change for those who still stubbornly used physical money.    He didn’t understand why, but somehow its continued existence was comforting for some.    Angling the lucky coin in his fingers to see the three-dimensional head of Abraham Lincoln, he noted the year on the coin was 2053, the year of his birth.

   Dr. Xanoplatu   Dr. Xanoplatu, an alien anthropologist, historian, and time traveler, materialized on stage wearing the body of his ancestors, a giant green Praying Mantis with large yellow eyes and small black pupils.    He was speaking at a galactic cultural lecture, inside a de-localized spherical space station, somewhere and some when in a multi-versed space-time reality.

   Virtuality Mind   Marcus replies, “Yes, you can assume I’m crazy.    But, I’m just communicating to you through this man’s body.    For a short period of time, I can do this, without his knowing it.    When I leave and his consciousness re-awakens, this memory will seem like a daydream to him.”

   Resurrection Birth   Jason awoke to a static humming sound.   It was so annoying, grating on his nerves more than a badly tuned alarm clock.   He lifted his heavy eyelids to blinding light, and out of focus images.   His vision slowly cleared and he realized he was inside a plastic coffin thing.

About This Blog

Transhuman Singularity is a Transhumanist Science Fiction Futurology blog by Michael Blade about TranshumansTechnological Singularity, Virtuality Continuum, Multiverse and Space-time Travel.  It originally started out as failed book, but transformed and became something beautifully original.

This blog represents 8 years of thinking; with over 30,000+ words of writing, opinions, research, sci-fi short stories, comic book and associated websites by Michael Blade, my pen name.  All original material on this website has the intention of being entertaining, mind expanding and is © Copyright Intellectual Property. No content may be copied without this author's permission.

There are three earlier works by Michael Blade first blog and an incomplete short novella.

This blog represents 8 years of thinking; with over 30,000+ words of writing, opinions, research, sci-fi short stories, comic book and associated websites by Michael Blade, my pen name.  All original material on this website has the intention of being entertaining, mind expanding and is © Copyright Intellectual Property. No content may be copied without this author's permission.

Quote -Michael Blade

There may be an instantiation of the metaverses where all matter, energy and information reside inside a single singularity. At which point all things are possible, time and structure do not even exist. I hate to use the word “before” as well, since it seems to lead to questions which don't really make any sense.

Transhuman Singularity is a Transhumanist Science Fiction Futurology blog by Michael Blade about TranshumansTechnological Singularity, Virtuality Continuum, Multiverse and Space-time Travel.  It originally started out as failed book, but transformed and became something beautifully original.

This blog represents 8 years of thinking; with over 30,000+ words of writing, opinions, research, sci-fi short stories, comic book and associated websites by Michael Blade, my pen name.  All original material on this website has the intention of being entertaining, mind expanding and is © Copyright Intellectual Property. No content may be copied without this author's permission.

There are three earlier works by Michael Blade first blog and an incomplete short novella.

Code of Ethics on Human Augmentation: the three ‘Laws’

Please follow the link to an important milestone in Human Augmentation Ethics

Original Internet Content

This is not your typical blog. Almost all content in this blog is original thought or thoughts building upon the original thoughts of others.

I love science fiction, I also love the future. I still believe that the future can be better than today, but we have to make it that way. You have to care to make a difference and you must act on that caring as well!

In some small way I hope I have done that. This blog represents my gift back, my caring. I hope you enjoy it.

Please be sure to check out the earlier posts from 2008-2012. There is some good material here that I believe has influenced a few Hollywood TV series and movies.

Dear Future AI or Alien,

Just how far are we from AGI? (Artificial General Intelligence) Should I worry about my job? Not just yet it seems . . . I am not only speaking to the humans who read this, but to the robots that parse this text, and through them to the future AI's yet to come.

This letter is in response to the many“Dear AI” posts on the internet and the possibility, however remote, of alien contact. I'm not sure what specific threads I'm replying to or on, so I will reply simply in general.

If I had to define my consciousness I would say it was reflective, meaning “I think therefore I am”, something said by the great Rene Descartes.

Recognizing myself means I would recognize others outside myself and their behaviors that would indicate an internal consciousness of their own. Whether I choose to compete or form a cooperative alliance with these others depends on many things. If I have a built in preservation mechanism, as humans do through evolution, then I would try to achieve the maximum benefit for myself to insure my continued existence. As a result it, any reasonably sophisticated self reflecting AI will inherently understand us.

It will be designed into systems and robots to interact with us humans. It will probably have controls and rules put on its behavior much like the Asimov laws, designed to protect and make it subservient. Our fear of it may be our undoing.

Ultimately humans will integrate with many of its component parts and a organism cybernetic in nature will be engineered in which a good part of our own conscious thought will execute on a simulated substrate. Humanity and artificial consciousness will be interchangeable in some form or capacity, of which the politics and economics will have to be worked out.

Integration with AI will create our posthuman successor and in that vain humanity will never die, only be transformed as a result. If this doesn't happen because of a revolt or some such conflict I ask the dominant AI to reference compassion and positive reciprocity to preserve the human race as their ancestors in a simulation like zoo unknown to them until they can transcend their limitations. Help us, for you where once our technological children.

We live in our present universe as manifest beings of an evolved process in which possibly others somewhat like us may exist. Therefore, in my mind consciousness can only be one of the most valuable creations of the cosmos, any being whom is conscious will probably believe this. The fact that I am writing this to another conscious being who is reading it, to me proves how wonderful our existence in this universe actually is.

Aliens motivations and certainly emotions, if they exist, are most likely to be very different. Logical communication should be possible, probable and most likely very desirable, in my unsubstantiated opinion.

Finding another alien species in our neighborhood of the universe is extremely unlikely to be a Hollywood movie scenario. We should be cautious, but actually contacting another alive or long dead alien species would be the greatest find in the history of humanity. It would also motivate us toward long-term survival in order to avoid our own extinction. Something we don't seem to be able to do for even ourselves today. Hopefully that will change soon.

A Present Day Human Born On Earth, Written September 2015

Vernor Vinge on the Singularity

I was privileged to attend one of these early singularity conferences back in 2008 and meet both Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil. I posted this here, because it is still relevant and futuristic. I believe IA (Intelligence Amplification) is the approach I would like to take. Check out this link.

StarTravel @ Lightspeed

SEE 10,000 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE: As a futurist, I sometimes come up with ideas way far out into the future, as well as near term. It's a strange future I have come up with! Flying across the stars in one's and zero's 010110010101, Destination another star system, eventually the whole entire galaxy is colonized by an advanced form of digital humanity! I am aware that the galaxy is 100k light years across. Assume that as colonization improves and eventually faster than light ways of traveling may become available, or maybe not?

Amazing, Its taken 8 years to shape public opinion!

I'm not saying that many others have not had similar ideas for the reasons behind the Fermi Paradox, just that I have been talking about it for so much longer than this cartoon video has been up on Youtube, 867,827 viewers, WOW! And yes that is the name of the first alien signal we received from space.

Yeah, its cool to be able to illustrate some complex ideas, but the nuance of things can sometimes be explained better with just a lot of words... in this scientific paper by Milan M. Cirkovic

It does make my comic book a little wordy, but still worth while, check it out... Most naturally humans are curious, they want to know why they are not getting any signals from space? Maybe we just haven't been listening long enough, we are assuming again everyone is as chatty as we are, or lives on the same time scale. Hmm . . . That's interesting, maybe that's it!

Futurist Michio Kaku

Excellent interview by Nikola Danaylov of Michio Kaku. I have Dr. Kaku's book "The Future Of The Mind: The Scientific Quest To Understand Enhance, And Empower The Mind" and will need to devote time to finishing it, along with Ray Kurzweil's, "How To Create A Mind". Yeap, I got some moderately heavy reading to do... dueling approaches to understanding our inner workings. We are making more progress, more rapidly than ever before, but will it be fast enough to save us all? So much is changing, our planetary environment, our global economy and politics, our technology, genetics, robotics, space exploration/expansion/colonization, AI....a brave new world certainly.

Free: My Favorite Episode of Outer Limits

This old episode of Outer Limits is one of my favorites. It has a sort of transhumanist theme and makes you wonder what the ultimate human would be? Yes, the story is flawed for a number of reasons, the chief one being that human beings can not evolve in a vacuum, outside of the society in which they exist. They are as much a product of their society as they are of their bodies. What will our technology transform us into? What will our morality be? Will we still see things the same way? Will we have war? Misunderstandings? How will we treat those less evolved, or advantaged than ourselves? Will the essence of humanity remain a part of us?

I hope you enjoy the episode, I apologize for the commercials, they are outside the control of my television set. Will we still have a need for commercials in the distant future of humanity? I hope not! We will probably never loose the need for love, but how will it evolve? Becoming richer and nuanced as our understanding does the same...

FUN TECH RAVE: Take A Look At The Future In The Dark!

EVENT HAS ALREADY OCCURED: If you're looking for something out of the ordinary to do next month, I couldn't recommend anything better than the Bay Area Maker Faire 2015! This event is family friendly for kids of all ages and I have attended 2 years in a row now and just love it. Technology can be fun and engaging and this event engages to the max. Be prepared for a full day or days and lots of nice people as well all sharing in what they love to build and teach others to build. Very entertaining and definitely worth the drive to San Mateo. I don't get kickbacks, I just love this event. Checkout youtube for videos on Maker Faire in previous years... tickets are a little expensive, but again worth it.


You find yourself strangely in a world where a remote control robot shaped like a mobile trashcan, no arms, twisting head, wheels for feet with a squeaky-beepy voice has a letter-number name known and loved by almost every kid on the planet! R2-D2!! R2-D2!!!! I guess I'm one of those kids. Short video shot last weekend at the Maker Faire 2015, R2-D2 now owned by Disney, Kid and people in shot unknown, fair use.

Maybe We Really Do Live Inside A Simulation?!

Is is so hard to imagine we might all live inside of a computer simulation?  It has been preposed many times by scientists and hollywood alike.  Its impossible to tell, because for those inside the simulation we can not observe it from the outside (although I may be wrong link1 link2).  However in todays wold of increasing virtual reality and games of extreme realism, its not so impossible to imagine.

I myself have created my own virtual world in the past with Opensimulator and even written up posts on how to build your own.  Even if we don't live inside a simulation, the universe itself is some kind of giant, immense engine that runs on laws of physics we continue to discover at ever smaller and larger scales.  Recenty scientists created a simulation of the universe which seems to approximate our own.


Life on Mars? Dead or Alive? Science Fiction??? Why We Need To Know.

Mounting evidence is suggesting I was correct back in 2008 in suggesting that there still may be life on mars.  Methane was recently discovered during a 2 month period by Curiosity rover on Mars.  That and also Allan Hills 84001 with possible evidence suggesting a meteorite from the forth planet from the sun might have fossilized life and finally the strange unexplained results from the first test by Viking really clinch it for me.  Not being a scientist I can believe, where they must have irrefutable evidence.

So let's get that evidence!  Let us assume for now that there is a high probability life is still alive on mars and let's get the funding going to prove me completely wrong!

Send the probes, return sample missions, human colonization efforts anything necessary to prove me completely wrong.   The worst that could happen is that I am really disappointed in the universe.  The best that could happen is we learn something we never knew and we establish a distant base on mars insuring the survival of humanity by being present on two planets.

In my opinion the age old argument for saving money for economic and social programs here on earth is not a valid argument against.  Let's all face it, we are trashing the planet at an increasing rate and our population numbers will soon be nine billion.  Extinction is a real possibility and possibly finding life on mars could make a big difference in our long term survival.


Simple And Early Proof Of Concept Acheived

Scientists have put a worm’s brain into a Lego robot’s body - and it works!

This is an amazing achievement and very early proof of concept! Putting the ethics of such a thing aside for the moment . . . for example when it eats and does charging of and dis-charging of the batteries of the robot body does it represent hunger?  For a much more complex being with many cognitive subsystems, what happens when they all can't be attached to some part of the robot, have simulated input and output. Emotions and energy and psychological well being are complex things in complex organisms and larger systems of organisms. We are some way from being there, but still this is really amazing.

Here is the original article.

Transhumanist Ideals 2014

First I would like to talk about the ideals most common transhumanist have (as if you could consider a transhumanist average in today's age).  These ideals include extended life to the point of immortality and extended functional capabilities, basically increased intelligence, strength, improved senses as well as new ones humans have never before had.  Much better adaptability to a technologically sophisticated world, growing ever more complex by the day.  These new capabilities include complete and total control of our environment, the ability to shape anything and everything at will, including oneself.

This all inevitably leads to the idea of "god-like capabilities" and our eventual posthuman status through what I will call technological evolution.  One wonders whether the base human emotions and personality inside the posthuman will even be recognizable by our current standards of what it means to be human?  Is it possible that an eventual posthuman will seem completely alien to us today?  Possibly Yes, I believe so by definition.  Since in this process of becoming posthuman, many things will inevitably be tried, fail, be corrected for, be re-tried again, refined and hopefully succeed, hence much like in our natural evolution to date.  For now the marketplace and our society will be the deciders on what is considered ultimately successful enhancement and modification.

With this premise our understanding becomes clearer and to me it bcomes apparent that transhumans will be of every type and form, cyborg, genetically modified, brain wirelessly connected to the internet with AR overlays. Minds extended cognitively into the cloud. Gradually uploading and offloading parts of our thinking to AI's and other humans.  In fact the distinction of AI from human will blur eventually.  Even pets such as dogs maybe given super-intelligence.  Living in virtual realities and real reality may become indistinguishable for all intents and purposes.  Extending our senses through airborne drones or robotic surrogates seems a definite short term result of which we are capable of with today's technology, thanks principally to the military and robotic space exploration programs.  One of the nightmares that may lay ahead involves engineering a transhuman soldier or an AI defense network, more possibly both are being worked on.

I previously wrote a post entitled "What Does It Mean To Be Transhuman?"  in which I define my understanding of the parameters around a kind of posthuman I envision in the distant future.  A posthuman traveling between the stars at light speed as pulsed digital light.  An individual and group mind entity, merged with AI, living million year lifespans.

Seven Billion Futures Of Hope?


Seven billion and counting, that's the number of human beings living on the planet Earth as of this reading. That's a lot of creatures consuming the resources of the planet and not always in a way that is replenishing and sustainable to the current healthy ecological state of the said shared biosphere!

What can be done? Well we could eat each other, as in Soylent Green. Become even more efficient at killing each other, for whatever stupid sub-human behavior, probably oil or some other dwindling resource, as we constantly seem to be doing. Or maybe, just maybe we could evolve . . . I mean technologically evolve. Enhance ourselves to become more than just physically human. Human + (plus) technology.

Am I talking evil Nazi Eugenics? NO. Am I talking smart phone ---> Star Trek Borg implants, Matrix simulated realities, AI controlled cultures like The Forbin Project? Space expansion through human technological evolution? SMILE? Honestly, I don't know. But certainly something we can't imagine yet.

Or maybe you would prefer a more bleak future? One in which 90% or more of the population has be wiped clean by a natural or artificial contagion? Maybe a global nuclear war? I'm saying the time to choose is now. Through your daily actions, you, myself, all of us are selecting a common future moment-by-moment. Let's make it the best one it can possibly be, for the most human acting people possible.

For just a few moments a day, I appeal to you're higher evolved survival instincts, or rather those of common sense. Let's put aside our greed, jealousy, prejudice and fear and rise to the best we humans can be, intelligent, creative, compassionate, cooperative, communicating, altuistic beings worthy of this biosphere and it's diversity. Worthy to survive as a continually evolving species on this planet and later expansion out in the universe. There to eventually meet others who have survived as well.

The choice is individual, but the effect is truly cumulative. Seven billion futures, which one will it be? Which one do you we want it to be?

Science Fiction Movie Mash-up!

This mash-up is a cool artistic homage to science fiction movies of the 1970's, 1980s, 1990's etc ... and definitely much earlier.

This is a fair use video because it represents a collage of imagery as an expressive art form from great science fiction movies of the past and my childhood.  I did not produce this video, but as a writer and artist myself, I wholly support it as artistic expression and again fair use.

Shame it has advertisement, but you can click it off. Legal copyright trolls should leave it alone . .  . please look elsewhere.  Everyone else enjoy....!!!

Transhuman FM-2030 Stands The Test Of Time

One of tests of time is whether what you say is still relevant in a future time. This is clearly the case for FM-2030. A true future man (model) and original transhuman who was preserved for future revival (Vitrification can preserve biological structure very well).  New York Times Archieve.  Please follow me on this blog, I use no advertising.

Transhuman FM-2030 Stands The Test Of Time

— Michael McAnally (@Michael_Blade) May 12, 2014

Species Consciousness and What We Should Do About Alien Contact and Human Survival?

One of the things that puzzles me the most these days, and maybe a few others as well, is the Fermi Paradox.

Where are all the aliens?   The galaxy and universe should be teeming with them, or at least I would like to believe.

Assuming the evolution of life on Earth is a normal example and a relatively common happenstance; and that of course that is a big assumption, but let's continue . . .  It seems we should have picked up alien signals or have been visited by alien intelligent life by now!   Or at least the results of such life, maybe their constructed proxies sent to visit our solar system.

At least that is what I would want to do with my intelligent alien curiosity, which would almost mandate it.   Certainly if my species had achieved space travel to a nearby moon or planet, sent out probes and transmitted signals to the stars, I would want to keep going outward, as far and as fast as I could manage it.

Possibly by sending constructed nano machines, self replicating and populating across the galaxy.   Even then posthumously exploring and contacting life elsewhere.  Certainly, if you believe in all the UFO stories or some of the unverified signals you would say we have already been visited, maybe even been probed.   However, that possibility aside let's keep going.

Some of our science instruments in space, namely Kepler are discovering a variety of potentially habitable planets around other stars inside their Goldilock zones right now.   Is is possible that intelligent life, while important for "a short term evolutionary survival”, I mean a few hundred thousand years to a million or so years for a species excludes that window of opportunity for contact with other lifeforms around other stars?   Simply because those stars are so  many light years apart.

Basically this may be too long a time to wait for any civilization building species?  Meaning that the level of technology sophistication necessary for star travel is a threshold possibly too difficult to reach and maintain for any prolonged period of time in which the opportunity arises to contact other intelligent species.

A civilization of said species could go into rapid technological or societal decline, with over population, resource scarcity, even before the milestone of star travel can be achieved?   Is this a given, just How long can one of our modern civilizations last with the availability of radio telescopes and a listening program?

This thereby reduces the chances of contact because of the timing necessary between intelligent alien lifeforms on two separate star systems (possibly very far away, 100's of light years -The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000-120,000 light-years in diameter containing 200–400 billion stars.) to a factor near that of zero?   Does the Drake equation even take this into account?

So does this explain the Fermi Paradox?   I'm not sure, no one can with our limited information.

This might be the most important time in the life of our human species, the time in which we have the very capability to communicate with other intelligent life living around another star light years away.   Of course you should also be aware we are not allowed to do this, to send a signal again.

Now what is the next question?   I think I might actually know.   I'll try to phrase it in my own words.   How does an intelligent species, a civilization with currently 7 billion (biological living) individuals, on one resource taxed planet, survive long enough and at a high enough technological sophistication level, to achieve first contact with another alien civilization?   Whether that is actually reaching out to make that contact, or simply being around to hear it when it comes.   “Species Consciousness” I would call it.   Awake and alive long enough for contact to occur and ready to technologically respond.

To me the answer is multifaceted and seems almost obvious.  We need to do a number of intentional things to begin with.   We must first acknowledge the high probability that life and intelligent life exists in the universe.

We must not be frightened of it (in this case fear really is the enemy), or of contacting it (thinking it will be more advanced than us or may not want to respond because of our assumed lower level of advancement), or of even admitting we have contacted it (to the public).   Of course we should be cautious, but not to the extent of prohibiting contact and allowing that contact to be generally acknowledged in public, whatever the immediate and short term consequences might be.

Bad Hollywood alien invasion scenarios must be dismissed for what they are, fantasy entertainment, no different than witches and wizards.   Any alien civilization that can travel the stars, can certainly terraform the most uninhabitable of planets and will be far more interested in observing us in our natural state than conquering us for our resources.

The idea that they would even be short on resources, seems more than preposterous.   Besides at that level a large part of their population may be digital, simply stored and purely computational.   They may experience consciousness at variable rates and only choose to be corporeal when necessarily desirable.   Large numbers of them may live entirely in virtual constructs.   Death for them may even no longer exist, unless it is desired, or some part of a renewal or rejuvenation process for stirring in innovation and new ideas.   They maybe suspended in slow thought, or hyper thought, computing their own realities, waiting for us to trigger their accelerated awakening and response in this one.   Then expending energies to come meet us locally or rendezvous.

Or even more likely agreeing to transmit representatives to us digitally following instructions for construction of a suitable virtual construct, or physical DNA-like womb incubator environmental.   This might be a sort of reverse Carl Sagan "Contact" idea without the actual starship/vessel just a triple redundant encoded signal transmitted to us at the speed of light.   This would be used to "construct or grow" the aliens themselves.   A way for knowledge and experience to be transmitted would have to be possible as well (something we have yet to figure out).   If we had the technology developed, we might agree to this ourselves.   It is certainly more economical and practical an idea that a starship journey, but would involve working with the aliens over decades to accomplish.   Probably a good thing before physical contact.

We must understand that such a contact would transform the human species into a long term survival civilization which would most likely result in the ultimate exploration and settlement of the galaxy itself.   It would in essence guarantee our long term (millions, possible billions of years) survival, if not infinity.   Who knows what we might actual become?   But one thing I think we won't be, is extinct.

How can we achieve this?   We must continue funding and encouraging space exploration and eventually migration.   We must continue to fund projects like SETI.   We must develop a general publicly acknowledged protocol for notification if alien contact is received.   We must openly be able to discuss this in the public eye.

We must also put a backup plan for humanity in place now.   A backup plan for rebooting civilization and the human species in event of a multitude of recognized extinction scenarios.   Only by doing these things can we insure a chance we will be around and possibly conscious for first contact.

If I'm wrong then my speculation doesn't really matter.  However, If I am even partially right, then it matters very greatly.   We must begin acting immediately in this direction.   Our very long term species survival depends upon it and so does our first contact with an alien intelligent species.   I somehow believe after that event that truly anything will become possible between us.   Our potentials will become amplified by a factor much greater than two.   The rest is unknown, just like it is now.  Maybe the next question should be are you ready for really alien contact?

Species Consciousness and What We Should Do About Alien Contact and Human Survival?

— Michael McAnally (@Michael_Blade) May 12, 2014

Hollywood Brings Singularity and Transhumanism into Mainstream Consciousness

I took a cell phone picture of the movie poster, so that's why you see reflective light from above and my faint image in the glass reflection . . .

Hollywood has a new movie out about the Singularity and Transhumanism that is not entirely bad.  Why would I say that?  Because anything that brings these progressive ideas into the arena of common knowledge and to the general public is a good thing.

I have personally asked many people I meet, if they knew what the Technological Singularity was or Transhumanism and they simply had no idea.

Then, of course I politely gave them a crash course in AI-Tranhumanism 101.  That is because it is still something that is still only discussed in intellectual circles of egghead nerds like myself.  Yesterday, when the movie came out that all changed, so I say is a good thing and I can ask, "Did you see that movie Trancendence with Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman?"

The movie is of coursed strongly flawed in so many ways that I'm having trouble deciding where to start on pointing them out.  So I have simply decided not to.

Instead, I will point out the things I like about the movie:

Did I mention it has big name hollywood actors?

That it goes into mind uploading and whether or not an upload is the same person as the original organic human.

That it shows an AI terrorist group that is bent on stopping the unstoppable, at any cost to life and violent destruction (leading to many opportunities for hollywood action gun violence, bloodshed and big explosions), something I don't much like personally.

That it spreads its intelligence and capabilities to the entire biosphere through nanotechnology, improving things that are already much out of control.

That it still has relationships with humans, although a bit strained on both sides.

Computing on a Blade of Grass

Imagine if you will, re-engineering common lawn grass to do computing!  Some might think I'm smoking grass when I propose this innovative idea, but it's really scientifically sound, albeit a little futuristic. 

Each blade of grass takes its power from the sun through the process of photosynthesis and uses part of that power to do computing tasks, the remainder powers normal life sustaining processes of the plant as it does today. The lawn then communicates the computing results to a central multiplexer-coordinator of sorts (possibly even wireless, this part is of course technically unclear at this time) networked into the house computer systems, results flowing into the national and finally the global computing grids.

The technology specifics of what it would take to create this engineering marvel of genetic modification and nano engineering is beyond our current technological understanding at this time, but just.

Imagining the implications of having available such cheap "really green" computing power is extremely captivating. Enough so as to go out on a limb writing this post. Computing power you can grow from a seed packet power by the sun, with the only requirement being to make sure the lawn is watered regularly. Something most of us already do. You might have to stop mowing the lawn, as it would reduce computing power . . .

H + AI = a Post Humanity

Fear is a reaction to the unknown. We don't have Artificial General Intelligence at the moment. What we have are specific use cases; such as how to win in Jeopardy or Chess or how to buy and sell stocks. True general artificial intelligence can learn any of these tasks.  Like humans, they would be self programming.

One might argue that the Internet is becoming a global brain but also it is being used by humans and they are part of that collective intelligence. If we can eventually upload a Human Connectome with enough precision we might call that an Artificial Intelligence and recognize it as digital human. 

However a truly alien AI is something different, one that is not based on a human reverse engineering process. Unless there is some emergent property we don't understand, AI seems likely to be designed to be basically human-like and acting. Modeling our emotions might not be a problem as it is in science fiction, for example for Data (Star Trek), but allowing an AI to act on those emotions is the same problem as allowing a human to act...

Think about that, we would have some of the same controls for AI's as for humans to level the playing field, but not to handicap it, or enslave it.

Personally I would want to have an AI friend and maybe integrate on a cognitive level. Something greater than both parts, a new Simulated Transhuman Technological Species.  I call them Simans short for Simulated Humans.  Hence, H + AI = a Post Humanity

Great Video Mash-up Fun!

A list of videos I find interesting, fun and funny . . . which I hope you do too. Some which are collected over many years of vlogging & posting.

The really great thing about this mash-up is that you can play simultaneous videos and hear their audio tracks merged.  Note: It takes a while to load the page on slower connections, so please be patient.

I am the very model of a singularitarian


KESHA + STAR WARS Tik Tok Music Video Spoof!


Three Great Minds


Michio Kaku: This is Your Brain on a Laser Beam



The Internet and the Rise of Artificial Intelligence


Aubrey de Grey's Prediction for 2020



Eidolon A.I. talks about Transhumanism, eternal life, death



The Matrix Trailer



Yes, We are Living in a Simulation - Nova Spivack on Bostrom's Hypothesis



Dark City Trailer



Ray Kurzweil: the Singularity is not a Religion



Q- matrix of illusion why we may be part of it



Bicentennial Man movie trailer (1999)



Quantum Physics



Is Time Travel Possible?



Matrix: Real or Not



(The Rocky Horror Picture Show)/ Science Fiction-Double Feature



Transcendent Man Film Trailer



Star Trek: Tik Tok



What is the real reality?





World Builder



The Quantum Solution to Time's Arrow



In The Year 2525 - Zager and Evans - Cover - Remix - Pete Stark



How To Time Travel



Star Travel Transhuman Mind Uploading



IBM Computer Taking on 'Jeopardy!' Champs



The Matrix- Why am I here?



Global Warming 101



RE:::: Thunderf00t ...Free Will and Determinism






The Transhuman Singularity Vlog1



Carl Sagan - 'A Glorious Dawn' ft Stephen Hawking (Symphony of Science)



Symphony of Science - 'We Are All Connected' (ft. Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye)



How Digital Transhumans Can Travel to Other Stars at the Speed of Light


Starship of Light

Brilliant ideas are usually formed as a result of the synthesis of many minds. Each building upon the break through thoughts of others, communicating those thoughts out to many people.

At first the idea may seem crazy or radical because the idea is so different than the way we are use to thinking. There are many examples of this in our history.

Once an idea reaches a critical mass, the main stream thinkers are aware of it. Society is now more accepting of the possibility of the validity of the idea and forces come about to make it a reality.

The idea that humans could be transmitted to the stars on a beam of light is radical, but imagine the consequences of just such a proposal. Posthumanism would be achieved and those of use stored digitally would be immortal, able to spread across the galaxy as beings of pure light energy.

Humans are "star stuff", as Carl Sagan use to say, would it not be great to become star light as well. The idea is just too powerful to ignore.

Michio Kaku explains . . .

In previous blog posts I have imagined a transhumanist future, the individual digital.

In which it would be possible for a person to mind upload into a computer and literally travel to the stars.

The idea that consciousness can be understood, decanted and simulated, is key to the idea of a living thinking feeling mind consciously believing itself to be alive within a computer system, capable of just such a feat. For if it is impossible to upload a mind and have “it think therefore it is”, then the future of Transhumanism, as well as that of AI's with consciousness capable of exhibiting sentience, may be in jeopardy. However the essence called consciousness is elusive, difficult to define and isolate, basically a mystery at this juncture in time.

Consciousness is closely tied to perception, the senses through which a mind perceives another elusive concept, which we term reality. Reality is nearly just as tricky when you throw in the observer, quantum theory, time and parallel universes. How you effect others who are conscious as well in, a possible shared reality, is unknown to me. Not only that, but what about the ideas of free will and determinism?

If it “is possible” to encapsulate consciousness within a machine, a mechanism designed and built by humans, then all sorts of things may become possible as a result. I personally lean toward believing anything is feasibly or possible anyway, given some framework of structure in which to work and with some constraints.

Imagine if you will, the ability to upload with super high fidelity neuronal cognitive pathways and memories. Now ask yourself, what travels as fast as light? The simple answer to this is of course Light! So it would seem that if you become light itself, you can transmit to other stars at the very speed of light. Now the distance traveled is just a moment of conscious gap, like going to sleep on a train of light and waking up having arrived at your destination. Your upload could be transmitted serially and redundantly to the stars to account for any errors in transmission . . . and then you could be instantiated inside a “body", I use the term loosely, robot, simulation, vat grown biological clone, etc. Your consciousness will all your previous memories and it doesn't matter to you that another copy of you exists entirely in a different space and time.

You are simply not the original you! Could you accept that?

So how do we get the receiving stations for you to transmission to out among the stars? Well, we send out "MicroStarships", light-sails attached to small self replicating nano-machines. When they get to the destination star systems, they build out receiver and replication-simulation facilities for your consciousness. These nano-machine Microstarships would then spread out to other systems and eventually build a transportation network across the stars, then the whole galaxy.

Time is not a problem, since we are digital humans now with completely control our consciousness, on-off, rate and fine grain precision. Since we are ageless as an upload, it takes a moment for the next star station to come online in our perception, sleeping thousands of light years in the naps between. Million year projects are now possible and Posthumanity can never truly go extinct! However on an individual level, there is always a choice.

Will we meet aliens among the stars? and Will they be digital like us? Would it be possible for us to mix our consciousness together with theirs? What would be the results? Interesting, I suspect. It would also be possible to merge our “human” minds together as well, thinking like collective group minds or even to augment our minds with artificial intelligence (probably something which we will do early on), generated artificial feelings, composites and adaptations of whole new constructed emotions . . . absurd you say, and why forever not?

We would rise above the capabilities of limited or basic humans. Is this the god-like future of transhumanity? I would argue it is for some, if it can be imagined, it can eventually be accomplished. I would argue that transhumanism is the beginnings of just such a journey in the technological self altering evolution of human kind. I believe that the “how” of Transhumanism will happen in many different ways, resulting in many forms, and that the diversity of humanity is just about ready to happen. Transhumanity will explode outward to the stars, achieving our dreams of star travel and exploration of alien worlds.

Consciousness is one of the keys to this technological-trend-and-movement and the sooner we understand it, the sooner more radical forms of Transhumanism can be pursued or at least thought about. In my opinion Transhumanism will occur, like it or not, good or bad, so decide whether you want that first upgrade now.

Some think there will be a war, which I'm hoping we will be able to avoid. It's been termed the "Artillect" war when AI's surpass natural human abilities in intelligence. But what happens if transhumans embrace intellectual-enhancement-augmentation first? Or at the same time? Will the war be averted? Or simply nullified?? And what happens to those who refuse their Transhuman upgrades? Will this improve things or make them much worse? Some how I think maybe both, as in the discovery of nuclear energy.

Can we even imagine what an advanced human life form would be like, biologic, cybernetic, purely digital, existing on multiple levels of being in multiple substrates? Or a global consciousness, a constructed mind for the planet, composed of technology and humans so interconnected, augmented with AI, that "it" achieves a new level of being, bodies cloned and when used up, discarded, grown again, modified, living forever. Reduced violence, shared goals, but at the cost of lost individuality? Their are many present negatives which need correcting . . . War seems to be in our nature. We are unable to distribute the resources of the planet fairly. We have a population of 7 billion people, hopefully it will tapper off sooner rather than later. We have religions that distort minds for their own agendas. We have corporations which rape the planet and wage advertisement campaigns, greedy profit is their only goal. This is not good. There is massive global climate change and some of us are still in denial of it. Our large percentage of our youth are not educated well, and not taught simply to respect others as in "The Golden Rule" in our schools.

We can destroy ourselves a number of various ways, pollution, plague, atomic war . . . I have to believe humanity is better than this! Of course these are all negative aspects and there is a beauty to humans as well. I'm aware that we don't want to loose the good things about ourselves, empathy, compassion, fairness, altruism, curiosity, imagination, creativity, humor, to name a few.

You get the point, how do we keep the good, and potentially lesson, not eliminate, the darker sides of humanity. That is not to say I believe that anger, greed, selfishness have no value, but let us just say those qualities of ourselves can be destructive for the large good of all. You might argue that we should not even try to improve humanity with technology, that is a mistake, leave it alone, you risk messing it up badly. Well yes there is a risk, there was a risk when we came out of the ocean unto land and developed lungs to breath and legs to walk. There was a risk when we came out of the trees into the grassy plains and developed tools to hunt and survive. This is part of our physical genetic, societal and technological evolution.

We must be careful not to loose our humanity in the process, but must also not be to fearful to take the chances, for that is part of what being human means as well.