Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bringing 'The Seldon Project' "Down to Earth" -- Opening Dyad of a Potential New Internet Dialogue.


Bringing 'The Seldon Project' "Down to Earth" -- Opening Dyad of a Potential New Internet Dialogue.

Dear Readers,

I just replied to the post at --

-- as follows:

“Dear seldon_1,

I like your proposal, and I know some people who evince a remarkably similar ethos to yours, co-founded by someone using the nom de plume “Karl Seldon”. 

They are collectively known as Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica. 

All of their -- voluminous -- writings toward a, “0-->I Kardashev jump”, “Global Renaissance”, and toward an averting, or at least a foreshortening, of what they see as our looming “New/Final Dark Age”, is available for free download [except for the three books that they have published so far]. 

You might consider contacting them, to see if they and you are resonant enough to form an alliance to further your project. 

Their main web site’s URL is: . 

 Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica may be contact via: .

Their version of the Hari-Seldonian “Psychohistorical Equations” is available via the following link --

Meantime, I will post this comment, and a link to your proposal, in a blog-entry, so that some of my many readers may learn of your proposal, some of whom might not otherwise run across “this corner of reddit”.”

I have appended the reddit post to which I responded below, for your convenience --

submitted 9 days ago * by seldon_1

Seeking: coders and data scientists with a desire to do some serious sociopolitical paradigm-shifting (and yes, I know that's about as overused a phrase as you can find, but it's actually applicable here, if I'm right about a few things), coders and data scientists who aren't turned off by the rest of this post, and are in fact intrigued by it... should they exist and be browsing this corner of reddit around now for whatever reason.

Offering: an idea, and what Asimov would have called 'an intuitive grasp of Psychohistory.'

The good news: I can envision, with precise detail, a software platform that, I believe, if built correctly, could meaningfully increase our species' odds of a successful 0-->I Kardashev jump, and would catalyze other ripples I can only begin to predict which might also harbor the possibility for tangible progress on this, the truly singular problem of our time. I do not know of any inherent barriers to such a platform's existence, though no such platform is extant.

The bad news: I cannot code for shit, nor could this project be completed by one person even if I could (probably? I don't know, perhaps there's someone capable of its entirety, but I doubt it), so I need lots of help.

The bad news isn't actually bad news of course, because a project like this is far better done as a team effort, and I should have as little to do with actually building this thing as possible, because it's not my project or your project or anyone's project, it's just something that should exist because it increases the odds that our species will continue to exist.
I am nobody, you're nobody, and I'm not offering anything except the chance to play a thankless part in increasing our 0-->I odds. Nobody will get paid anything for this, there will be no ads or anything, and the only possible time we might solicit donations from users will be for server costs if this thing actually takes off. Any financial involvement corrupts the entire underlying ethos and is antithetical to the endeavor's truest nature, yes even paying people to build it. 
Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, and yes I'm aware that I'm probably not looking for something most people can offer. If, however, you have enough financial stability and awareness of the situation to still be reading this, and aren't already spending your free time working on a project that increases our odds, what's there to lose from hearing me out a bit further?

I'm being deliberately vague on details here, because this is a cards-somewhat-near-the-vest thing at the moment, and the premise, my username, and the requirements are sufficient filters/shibboleths to find who I'm looking for at this stage. The details will already be half-apparent to the right person, they just probably haven't put everything together from quite the same perspective I have yet, because they're a coder, not a full-time social scientist. If someone with the coding skills had done so, such a platform would likely exist already.

I will say this though, to add just a bit more detail (assuming, again, that you've read your Asimov):  I don't think my generation, the millennials, will necessarily have a singular Seldon-figure, one who warns us of collapse and single-handedly engineers the formation of a future alternative.

We have, instead, a myriad of data sources and analyses of said data giving ample warning of a variety of impending collapses, and a large percentage of the population that sees and understands these data and analyses.

I believe, therefore, that we need to collectively build a 'digital Terminus,' so to speak, both to tackle the immediate challenges in hopes of minimizing the damage caused by various collapses and to prepare ourselves to make the 0-->I jump; these two are of course deeply related, though not exactly the same. The former, if not tackled properly, might put a terrifyingly short timer on the latter though, so it seems prudent to work expediently on both.

I am certainly not Seldon, and I don't think any one person can be Seldon.

I think we, all of us together who see this heap of dead canaries and want to ensure (as best we can) that our progeny will have a future, are humanity's first true 'Seldon.' (Yes, I imagine parallels can be drawn to figures from our history who helped form new kingdoms and dynasties as old ones were collapsing, but everything before there were serious 0-->I implications on the table is, frankly, child's play compared to what we have to tackle shortly, so I'm ignoring those potential historical parallels).

We must, together, build whatever comes after many of the current economic, social, and political paradigms proves inevitably unequal to the tasks immediately ahead. The sooner we start building our own Terminus, the better our odds will be of weathering what is to come.

And I specifically say Terminus, not 'our own Foundation' because, unlike in Asimov's story, no deception about an encyclopedia (spoilers, sorry, but really if you haven't read Foundation by now it's really on you) is necessary. We just need a safe place, digitally speaking, for all the Founders to weather the collapse and start germinating what is to follow.

So, I guess the question then becomes, 'are you seldon_2?' Once someone says yes to that, 'who is seldon_3?'

My full idea (this post being the tip of a rather large iceberg) about what a digital Terminus specifically looks like might be terrible, I don't know because I'm hopelessly biased, but I know a digital Terminus will need to exist for us to successfully make the 0-->I jump. 
 I think my conception of it is a solid starting point, I know we need to do many absurd-sounding-yet-imperative things if we're going to make the 0-->I jump because time is getting short and exponential curves are rough when you're unprepared, and I figure, 'what's to lose by shooting for the stars?' 
If you agree with my premise and you hear my idea out, but you think it's shit, great! Go build your own, better digital Terminus! And, because I know tone can be tough online, I want to be clear that that has no sarcasm tag on it, I genuinely want the best digital Terminus possible to exist, whether or not I'm involved. 
Help me with my idea, steal my ideas and add your own, whatever, I don't care if you're working on building what needs to be built.

The biggest hurdle I've repeatedly come up against is that all the good coders I know IRL need to get paid for their work, though there are also some who don't give a shit about whether we make the 0-->I jump or not for some vaguely nihilistic reasons I have trouble getting on board with.
If neither of those describes you, and this post piques your interest, please shoot me a message. I'm not expecting full-time help (though if anyone is so set they actually can do that, that's obviously awesome), any time or expertise you could contribute will probably be useful.
Thank you for your time and consideration, even if this post isn't for you. Please consider if it might be for anyone you know, if you're concerned about the jump but can't help yourself:  the wider and more random a net is cast, the more likely I'll find the right people to make this a reality and improve our odds.”

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