Book by Alex M. Vikoulov, Synopsis*
"Regard the physical world as made of information, with energy and matter as incidentals." -John A. Wheeler
Everything, including energy, matter, space, time, and consciousness, is INFORMATION, or Code if you will. Many scientists now come to a consensus that information may be fundamental, since information patterns persist through dimensions and, it seems, is an evolving phenomenon.
This is the synopsis of my new book "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution" where we will set to explore the conscious mind's journey through times and paradigms with the focus on what's most important to us as conscious beings -- OUR SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE. From Noogenesis to Apotheosis of the Universal Mind, this book will examine the five distinct evolutionary paradigms:
Biological (Genetic) Evolution. How did the first natural brains come to existence? What is the space of possible minds? What kind of subjective experience could a bat or an octopus have? Why is Homo sapiens now on top of its game as a biological species?
The purpose of life, it seems, is to evolve and to pass on the acquired knowledge and complexity through time. From the very first prokaryote cell on this planet, its splitting in two, and onward to the more complicated life forms, the purpose is always passing down the information.
Biological organisms, from unicellular bacteria to a human, are incredibly advanced, intricate information processors, computational systems, the product of billions of years of evolution, for all of which I deliberately use the term: 'Computational Biology'.
The SYNTELLECT HYPOTHESIS adds one more crucial element, overlooked by theories of consciousness, quite possibly one of the last pieces to solving the puzzle of our comprehensive understanding of the human brain and consciousness.
Techno-Cultural (Epigenetic) Development. What has been shaping the human mind throughout the history of mankind? Do biological systems hold monopoly on conscious awareness? What links consciousness to quantum mechanics? What is the fabric and ultimate nature of reality?
Over the course of human history, from the first bonfire to today's smartphones and hyperloops, we have designed tools, and tools designed us back by shaping our minds.
Memes are building blocks of culture, invisible but very real DNA of human society. These information carrier units spread from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, writing or other imitation, and inhabit the neurons of people's brains. Ideas are just as real as neurons they inhabit.
Within just a few short years, once we create human-level artificially intelligent computers and ditch our smartphones and headsets in favor of exocortices, we'll find ourselves in the midst of the next paradigm in earnest. The preceded biological evolution and human history pale in comparison to what lies ahead!
The Syntellect Emergence. Are we rapidly evolving into a new hybrid species interlinked into the Global Mind? Why and how will quantum computing change everything? How to create friendly AI and ensure our survival through the coming intelligence explosion? What if our Universe is a simulation? What subjective experience will you have when neuro-interfacing with Artificial Intelligence and fusing with the Syntellect?
In this Part III of my book, which is probably the most important from the theoretical point of view, we discuss at length the problem of AI consciousness and enhanced human subjectivity, the proposed Syntellect Hypothesis, how to create benevolent AI and mitigate existential threats related to this transitional period, and why sooner rather than later, we have to abandon "carbon chauvinism," the mindset of "us vs. them."
In this part of the book, we dedicate three chapters to the physics of time where we address the flaming questions in philosophy of time: "Is time fundamental or emergent?", "How does time exist, if at all?", "How can we update the current epistemological status of temporal ontology?" Chapter 11 -- Digital Presentism: D-Theory of Time -- outlines a new theory of time, for to understand our experiential reality and consciousness, we need to understand TIME.
Video: Will We Transcend The Temporal Dimension?
Transdimensional (Infomorphic) Propagation and Universal Expansion. What might happen after the Technological Singularity? What is Infomorph Commonality and infomorphic consciousness? How would the process of emergent divinity -- 'theogenesis' -- look like?
If we extrapolate the past and current trends in increasing complexity and integration of the self-aware neural networks leading to the Syntellect, we can ultimately envision a superintelligent entity encompassing our entire Universe, creating an infinite number of simulated universes, as well as many other spectacular emergent features. Spiritually inclined rationalists may view this ongoing evolutionary process as one of theogenesis.
Conscious (Awakened) Universal Mind and Multiversal Propagation. Could today's metaphysics become accepted facts in the future? What is fractality of the Omniverse? What is the ultimate destiny of our own Universe?
In our fractal, informational Omniverse (all multiversal structure combined, all that is) one may assume that an infinitely large number of civilizational minds, syntellects, have followed or will follow a path, similar to ours, in their evolutionary processes.
As we will explore throughout the book, evolution of consciousness is indeed a spiritual process as well as it is a never-ending process of the rational discovery. This book carries a weight of fresh ideas, useful to AI researchers, cognitive scientists and practitioners of the related fields, transhumanist thinkers, as well as general readers interested in the topics from digital physics to futurology. This book is my personal quest to reconcile science, theology and philosophy of mind.
-by Alex Vikoulov
*The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution (2019) is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from this website.
Video: 5-min. Book Trailer
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*Multimedia Credits: Ecstadelic Media #ecstadelic
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a futurist, digital philosopher, evolutionary extrapolist, transhumanist singularitarian, independent scholar, founder of Ecstadelic Media, author, painter and media artist. Russian-born, immigrated to the United States in 1994. Graduated in 1999 from Armstrong University. Currently resides in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area).