ADHOCRACY: A non-bureaucratic networked
organization. "This form is already common in organizations such
as law firms, consulting companies and research universities. Such organizations
and institutions must continually readjust to a changing array of projects,
each requiring somewhat different combinations of skills and other resources.
These organizations depend on many rapidly shifting project teams and
much lateral communication among these relatively autonomous, entrepreneurial
groups." [Scientific American, Sept. 1991, p.133. Alvin Toffler,
Future Shock, 1970]
AEONOMICS: (from aeon and economics)
The study of the economic problems of immortal existence. [Mark Plus;
A-LIFE: Artificial life: The modeling of
complex, life-like behavior in computer programs. 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
AGORIC SYSTEM: open, free market
systems in which voluntary transactions are central.
AI: Artificial Intelligence. See the Artificial
Intelligence Resources for more information.
AI-COMPLETE: (In analogy with NP-complete)
A problem where the the solution presupposes a solution to the `strong
AI problem' (that is, the synthesis of a human-level intelligence).
[Definition from the Jargon File]
ALEPH: A point or state where an infinite
amount of information is stored and processed (As in the Omega
Point). [Mitchell Porter]
ALGERNON: Any human who, via artificial
or natural means, has some type of mental enhancement which carries
a price. [Eliezer S. Yudkowsky 1996, the term based on the novel Flowers
for Algernon by Daniel Keyes) ]
AMORTALIST: A person who opposes death.
ARACHNIOGRAPHY: A bibliography of
web pages. [Andrew J. Butrica]
ARCH-ANARCHY: The view that we should
seek to void all limits on our freedom, including those imposed by the
laws of nature. [T.O. Morrow, 1990]
ARCOLOGY: Arcology is a termed coined
by Italian architect Paolo
Soleri in 1959 to describe the concept of Architecture and Ecology
working as an integral system. Arcology designs are fully 3-dimensional
mega-structure cities which can (theoretically) achieve much greater
efficiencies, and promote more social interaction than 2-dimensional
cities, while using far less land and consuming fewer resources. See
also the FAQ of Arcosanti
[Definition by Nathan Koren].
ARROW IMPOSSIBILITY THEOREM:
The theorem in economics, due to Kenneth Arrow, which says that you
can't construct a "social preference function" (ranking the
desirability of varius social arrangements) out of individual preferences,
while retaining a particular set of features ("nondictatorship"
- the social preference function can't be just one person's individual
preferences; consistency - the social preference function can't rank
A above B, B above C, and C above A; "positive relation" between
individual and social preference - if the social preference function
ranks A above B, and some person's individual preference changes from
"B above A" to "A above B", that shouldn't cause
the social preference to switch to "B above A"; and an "irrelevance"
assumption which I don't quite remember, but is something like this,
that if an individual changes their mind about the relative worth of
C and D, it shouldn't affect the social preference standings of A and
ARTILECT: An ultra-intelligent machines
(from "artificial intellect"). [Hugo de Garis, Cosmism:
Nano Electronics and 21st Century Global Ideological Warfare].
ASEX: A person who has been physically and
mentally altered so that ve no longer is male or female [Greg Egan,
ASIMORT: (a) A dead science fiction writer.
(b) A dead secular humanist. (c) Any person who believes it to be their
duty to die to "make room" for future generations. [Mark Plus,
ASIMOV: An AI that has
been constrained in some way to serve human interests [ Rudy Rucker,
Wetware 1988. Based on Isaac
Asimov's three laws of robotics]
ASSEMBLER: A molecular machine that can
be programmed to build virtually any molecular structure or device from
simpler chemical building blocks. Analogous to a computer-driven machine
shop. [K. Eric Drexler, Engines
of Creation, 1986]
ATHANASIA: The act of preventing death.
[W.T. Quick, 1988]
ATHANOPHY: A philosophical system that
offers a possible means of overcoming death scientifically. [Michael
ATHEOSIS: The process of recovering from
belief in God. [Mark Plus; August 1991]
AUGMENT: A person whose physical or cognitive
abilities have been technologically expanded beyond the range of natural
humans. [David Brin, The Postman]
AUTOEVOLUTION: Evolution directed
by intelligent beings instead of natural selection.
AUTOEVOLUTIONIST: Someone who
regards autoevolution as desirable; the
opposite of a biological
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]
AUTOMORPHISM: "Living as art",
a sub-movement of transhumanist art where self-transformation and living
itself is the medium.
AUTOPOTENT: A system having complete
power and knowledge over itself. [Nicholas Boström 1996, Predictions
AUTOSCIENT: A system having complete
knowledge of its inner workings. [Mitch Porter, originally in the form
auto-omniscient. January 1998 ]