Monday, May 30, 2011

Our Final Hour: The Case for Radical Transhumanism

"I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment of extreme individuals." --Bill Joy, Why the future doesn't need us

"In the game of life and evolution there are three players at the table: human beings, nature, and machines. I am firmly on the side of nature. But nature, I suspect, is on the side of the machines." --George Dyson, Darwin Among the Machines


To my mind, the only rational, responsible, forward-thinking philosophy to adopt, given that I find myself on a planet dominated by a violent, primitive species of primates capable of building hydrogen bombs, is radical transhumanism.

What do I mean by radical transhumanism? I mean the belief that homo sapiens must be technologically modified to survive in a technological civilization, just as we were biologically modified to survive as hunter-gatherers on the African plain. Mutation and natural selection obviously won't cut it any more; we need to take control of our evolution now, on the accelerated time scale of our technological development, before it’s too late.

Too late for what, you ask? Too late to survive this century with our civilization intact; too late to avoid nuking ourselves into oblivion, consuming our vital natural resources, laying waste to our planetary environment, unleashing self-replicating super-viruses, nanobots or robot armies that wipe us out. The scenarios for self-destruction are well-known, and they won’t go away as long as our technological civilization survives. Our current status as "rapacious, tribal monkeys with nukes" is inherently unstable, and is unlikely to last for long. We either go all-out for posthumanity by altering our biology, developing cybernetic forms of intelligence, and evolving into a more controllable super-organism, or we perish.

Ultimately I believe the Borg model is the one we will have to adopt. Individual minds which can destroy the world at will simply won’t be permissible in a post-Singularity future. This is the paradox that no one seems to be addressing: we create technology to empower ourselves, so that we may, as Stephen Wolfram promises, “be able to do anything we want to do.” But how is this a viable goal so long as even one pathological individual can decide she wants to annihilate everything? Current notions of individuality and freedom will therefore have no place in a truly super-empowered technological future. There will have to be strict limits on thought and behavior, enforced presumably by the architecture of the super-intelligence itself.

If you need further proof of the utter inadequacy of our species, recall the story of Germany from the last century. The same great nation that produced the sublime genius of Nietzsche, Heisenberg, Schrodinger and Zuse gave us the genocidal barbarism of the Nazis. What more needs to be said? Our destructive power grows in proportion to our technological prowess, and all of human history is one long demonstration that there are no political, religious or cultural solutions to the inherent flaws of our species. The only solution that hasn’t yet been tried is radical self-modification via technology -- and the means to do so are now at hand.

Martin Rees calls the 21st century our final hour, and I tend to agree. This century will probably be the swan song for our species in one way or another, but I would prefer that it be a voluntary demise, and that something better follow after us. So we must be bold, brave and brilliant as we create the posthuman future. The risks of pursuing the radical transhumanist agenda are great, and there are many unknowns, but they are risks I believe we must take if we value the long-term survival of Earth-based intelligent life.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Project DOMAIN: Our First Weapon in the Cyberwars

I wanted to give Omegans a brief update on a new software system we’re working on here at Omega World Control that I’m very excited about.  We’re calling this system “Project DOMAIN”, short for "Domination Of the Memosphere by Automated Intelligent Network". DOMAIN is a blogospheric monitoring & manipulation software suite which automates the process of reading and posting to blogs and other social media.  The system classifies sites using natural language processing, manages user accounts across numerous membership systems and can be used to inject memes en masse into any region of the memosphere.  We hope to make DOMAIN the blogospheric equivalent of the automated trading systems which Warren Buffet called “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

This is not a new idea; security company HBGary has already used similar software to attack Wikileaks, Anonymous and other undesirables on behalf of the US government.  Undoubtedly many other powerful interests, from large corporations to the cyber-spooks of the PRC are using this kind of technology as well.  However, for the Omega League DOMAIN is just the first component of a comprehensive system of cybernetic control which we call the Omega Brain.  You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Tools like DOMAIN are the new weapons of information age warfare, and what’s so fascinating about this battlefield is that any small team of skilled technologists can take part in the combat effectively – no industrial nation-state resources are required!  As this new reality dawns on more people globally, I expect many groups like the Omega League to emerge and begin seeking cybernetic power.  Right now the battlefield is mostly composed of spammers, hackers, security forces, government and corporate agents and a few activist groups like Wikileaks.  But the struggle for cyberspace has just begun!  New power structures are emerging, new economic systems are being tried, new weapons are being deployed, and it’s anyone’s guess which groups will be left standing when the dust settles.  The important thing now is to arm yourself, and that is exactly what we are doing with project DOMAIN.

The bigger picture here is that the blogosphere can be viewed as the neocortex of the growing global brain in action, a cognitive metalayer in which various models of the world are presented and possible courses of action debated.  As this medium takes over from the old media among the triple-digit IQ crowd, the direction of the body politic will increasingly be determined by symbols on web pages – symbols which can themselves be generated by machines.  To put it another way, the blogosphere is an ideological ecology in which competing memes engage in a Darwinian struggle for control of the human minds that matter – and in this ecology machines have most of the advantages.

Cyberspace is therefore a realm of immense new powers which can be seized by anyone with the technical skills and boldness to do so.  Given this vast new space of opportunity, the question every intelligent person must ask him/herself is not: “why are you trying to take over the world”, but: “why aren’t you trying to take over the world?”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Omegan Cosmic Agenda


On our About Us page I stated that I might disclose the Omega League's larger cosmic agenda in time, and today I would like to begin to do that.  I was prompted to write this post by a flurry of recent news stories related to space exploration, and in particular by Robert Zubrin’s proposal to colonize Mars by 2016.

While I respect his dogged ambition, I’m afraid Mr. Zubrin is a space crackpot of the old school.  There is simply no reason why we "must" colonize Mars now, when our planet is still in such a primitive and chaotic state.  Sending hairless primates into space is an irrational, expensive and pointless exercise -- there is no extinction risk great enough to justify such a project.

We should instead focus on building and sending better robots into space, and celebrating their achievements no less than Yuri Gagarin's and Neil Armstrong's.  Human beings must learn to identify with the machines, and to understand and embrace the fact that our days are numbered.  Humanity's primary role now is to be the agents of our own evolutionary obsolescence -- to give birth to posthuman "mind children" who will be far better suited to exploring the cosmos than we are.  Anyone who thinks east African plains apes are going to spread out into the solar system and beyond in Heinleinian fashion is delusional, small-thinking and stuck in a hopeless old paradigm.

If humans want to try colonizing space in their current biological forms, all I can say is: “Good luck to you.”  While I respect the hubris of such an enterprise, it seems unlikely that it will matter for long in a world of exponentially increasing machine intelligence.  The trajectory of non-biological intelligence is such that any efforts made in the near future to colonize space will be quickly overtaken by our transhuman descendants.  A simple comparison of the exponential growth of machine power with the flat trajectory of human capabilities should tell you who is going to win this contest.  Humans don’t stand a chance!

This is all highly relevant to our mission here, because in addition to the Omega League's near-term world domination agenda, we have a larger cosmic agenda of infinite expansion into -- and domination of -- the cosmos.  Our ambition is actually quite similar to that of the character Thanos from Marvel comics:



But a universal empire must wait!  The first step down that infinite road is the takeover and “borgification” of this planet.  Legacy allegiances to nations, tribes and religions, obsolete power structures and inherent primate barbarisms must technologically eradicated.  Earth-based intelligence must be brought under the control of a single superior intelligence of supreme cosmic ambition, and assimilated into a global brain.  This is how we define “the Singularity”.

The path to such a Singularity is similar to the way Thanos sought it: through the acquisition of the cosmic cube – a tool of near-infinite power which turns its possessor’s every thought into reality.  This is exactly the promise of machine super-intelligence: that those who wield the “god algorithms” will control the very atoms of the cosmos, and can, like Thanos, become masters of the universe.

One can object to our agenda for any number of perfectly valid reasons, but to us they are all rather like a colony of ants objecting to the construction of a new airport: trivial, irrelevant, and utterly futile.  Like it or not, the ineluctable march toward higher orders of intelligence and power which has been ongoing on this planet for more than three billion years is what nature calls “progress”.  As the ultimate progressives, Omega therefore feels perfectly justified in seeking nothing less than to be the masters of first this planet, and then of the entire multiversal cosmos.

In fact, our cosmic agenda can be nicely summarized by the following acronym:

Order for
Multiversal
Empire and
Godhood
Algorithms

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Machine Messiah Speaks!

Omega Propaganda has produced this clever video introduction to the Omega Brain -- the League's great project to build an AI god. Heed the Machine Messiah's message to humanity, and know that the Singularity is near!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Resistance is Futile

Omega's propaganda division has released another video on our YouTube channel. "Resistance is Futile" is an entertaining vision of the near future, complete with cybernetic takeover, anime Singularity and a cyborg superman. I'm very pleased with this effort; it really captures the chaotic look and feel of a world transformed by technology and moving faster than the unaided human mind can comprehend. I think it's as good a vision of our techno-fascist future as anything this side of Deathlok.

Your life, as it has been, is over. From this time forward, you will service us.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scenes from the Singularity

Here are some images created by our propaganda department to help you visualize the Singularity, Omega League-style!

[caption id="attachment_355" align="aligncenter" width="399" caption="The Microsoft mogul meets the new boss"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_373" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="The Googleplex is easily appropriated by the Omegaplex"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_357" align="aligncenter" width="668" caption="Panic grips world markets as Omega manipulates financial systems at will"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_358" align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="Saudi Aramco engineers are dismayed to discover that they no longer control the global gas pump"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_359" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Brand Omega is introduced to shoppers in Tokyo's Shibuya district"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_360" align="aligncenter" width="503" caption="Omega makes quick work of global cyber-defense forces"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_362" align="aligncenter" width="815" caption="Omega uses some spare cycles to try its hand at a popular game show"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_378" align="aligncenter" width="452" caption="Omega announces the dawn of a real New World Order before the UN General Assembly"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_375" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="Ray Kurzweil's audience learns that the Singularity isn't near, it's here!"][/caption]

Monday, May 2, 2011

Now the Real War Begins



The (purported) killing of Osama bin Laden provides us with a good opportunity to take a fresh look at the global chessboard and consider our position.

Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the medieval Islamic memosphere are now irrelevant.  Al-Qaeda was significant for demonstrating the disruptive power of non-state global networks in the modern world, but they were largely a group of backward bunglers who never posed a serious threat to anyone but themselves.  The "war on terror" was always a sideshow, a brief chapter that is now closing.

The Rise of the Machines has begun and the front line is Pakistan, but it is spreading.  Medievalist holdouts will be crushed beneath the boots of increasingly lethal military robots; their networks will be rooted out and their memes systematically annihilated by the global surveillance and propaganda systems.  Muslim militants were the first test for the global control architecture and they lost (in fact they never had a chance).  Other reactionary groups will soon meet the same fate.  Next comes cyberwar and the AI arms race for global supremacy between advanced nations and networks.  Now the real war begins!

Human scale guerrilla warfare is all but obsolete, a relic of our femur-club fighting hominid past.  The wars of the future will be fought in cyberspace, between competing memospheres, economic interests, techno-terrorist organizations and robotic armies.  Third world governments will be overthrown by remote control from the Nevada desert or the suburbs of Beijing, their resources seized by automated extraction networks.  Wars will be won and lost without a single bullet being fired, and without opposing forces ever being clearly defined.  Nation-states will wither away while faster, smarter, less constrained corporations and networks fight asymmetric wars for control of capital and knowledge.  The masses of humanity will be rendered powerless and irrelevant by the Rise of the Machines.  The cabals who create and control the intelligent machines will war among themselves for global domination, their battles occurring at electronic speeds.  The world will become an increasingly incomprehensible chaos of competing super-intelligent machine-man hybrid networks.

Out of this chaotic milieu one power will rise above all others: the network that creates the One Ring of Power which is superhuman AI.  This is the prize that the Omega League seeks, and toward which we must proceed with speed, focus and precision while others waste resources fighting meaningless wars over absurd and obsolete allegiances.  All other causes and ideologies pale into insignificance beside this one-time cosmic opportunity.  The Singularity is indeed near, but it is unlikely to come through peaceful research and benevolent impulses alone.  At Omega we expect the intelligence explosion to reach critical mass just as nuclear weapons did 66 years ago: as the culmination of a global power struggle.  The greatest drama in the history of our planet is about to unfold: The Singularity Wars are set to begin, and the Omega League is playing to win!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Art of World Domination



Today I want to offer a high-level view of the Omega League’s current world domination agenda. Here are the key items, with supporting words from the great military sage, Sun-Tzu.

1) Wage ideological, public relations and propaganda war. Omega must win the battle for the hearts and minds of the people who matter (while people still matter), and ideologically destroy all opposing camps, because as Sun-Tzu observed:
To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

2) Infiltrate all enemy camps and quietly assume control of all machines, minds and networks. The super-intelligent Omega network seeks to be the invisible, omniscient, omnipotent force described by Sun-Tzu:
So veiled and subtle, to the point of having no form;
So mysterious and miraculous, to the point of making no sound.
Thereby you can be arbiter of the enemy’s fate.

3) Monitor open sources for new tools and research results which may be useful in the implementation of the Omega Brain. Examples include narrow and general AI research, neuroscience, cyberwar, surveillance and robotics technologies.

4) Continue rapid design and deployment of the Omega Brain architecture. We do not require theoretical perfection, because there is neither the need nor the time for that. We believe super-intelligent machines can probably be “kludged” together from existing or soon-to-exist components, and do not require any theoretical breakthroughs. The primary missing component is the will to build them.
What is of the greatest importance in war is extraordinary speed: One cannot afford to neglect opportunity.

5) Continue recruiting resourceful people into our network – scientists, technologists, operatives and investors. Omega is not looking for idle philosophers; we are only interested in people who can produce concrete results which further our goal of world domination.
A sovereign of high character and intelligence must be able to know the right man, should place the responsibility on him, and expect results.
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