Transhuman Page

Word Page



DEANIMALIZE: Replace our animal organs and body parts with durable, pain-free non-flesh prostheses. [FM-2030]

DEATH FORWARD: automorphing so fast and profoundly that individual continuity is lost. (In analogy to fast forward) [Alexander Chislenko 1997]

DEATHISM: The set of beliefs and attitudes which glorifies or accepts death and rejects or despises immortality.

DEEP ANARCHY: The view that "the State" has no real existence; states can be abolished only by changing beliefs and behavior. [Max More, 1989]

DEFLESH: To replace flesh with non-flesh. [FM-2030]

DIAMONDOID: Like diamond; chemical structures or systems (especially nanomachines as envisioned by Eric K. Drexler) based on diamond derivatives or stiff carbon bonds.

DIGITAL PSEUDONYM: basically, a "crypto identity." A way for individuals to set up accounts with various organizations without revealing more information than they wish. Users may have several digital pseudonyms, some used only once, some used over the course of many years. Ideally, the pseudonyms can be linked only at the will of the holder. In the simplest form, a public key can serve as a digital pseudonym and need not be linked to a physical identity.

DISASSEMBLER: A system of nanomachines able to take an object apart a few atoms at a time, while recording its structure at the molecular level. This could be used for uploading, copying objects (with an assembler), a dissolving agent or a weapon. [K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation, 1986]

DISASTERBATION: Idly fantasizing about possible catastrophes (ecological collapse, full-blown totalitarianism) without considering their likelihood or considering their possible solutions and preventions. [David Krieger, 1993]

DISTRIBUTED INTELLIGENCE: An intelligent entity which is distributed over a large volume (or inside another system, like a computer network) with no distinct center. This is the opposite to the strategy of Concentrated intelligences. Distributed intelligences have much longer communications lags, but are more flexible in their structure and can survive damage to their parts.

DIVERGENT TRACK HYPOTHESIS: Cultures tend to converge towards a few attractor states (for example borganisms), while the attractor states diverge from each other. A rival to the strong convergence hypothesis [Nicholas Boström 1996, Predictions from Philosophy?]

DIVERSITY_IQ: A basic measure of the capacity to survive and prosper in the Age of Access. Diversity IQ is built on the ability to move freely and tolerantly among people of various races, cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs. [The 500-Year Delta, Jim Taylor and Watts Wacker 1997]

DIVIDUALS: A copy of a personality surviving in more than one body. Example: "Keith Henson wishes to become a collection of such dividuals so that he-plural can explore the galaxy in parallel." (See the Far Edge Party) [Mark Plus, 1992]

DOOMSDAY ARGUMENT : If humanity is assumed to grow exponentially until it ends at some point in time ("doomsday"), then it is more likely to find a randomly selected human near the end of history than at the beginning. Hence, since we are alive today we can deduce that we are close to the end of history and use Bayesian reasoning to estimate the expected remaining time. The argument (which can be applied to many other things, such as the remaining time the Earth is inhabitable) is hotly debated, and involves many subtle assumptions of probability. [The argument originated by Brandon Carter and was published by John Leslie in The End of the World (Routledge 1996)] See A Primer on the Doomsday Argument by Nick Bostrom.

DOWNLOAD: To transfer an mind from one computational matrix to another, especially a slower one. See Upload.

DRYWARE: An artificial part of a cyborg (usage similar to hardware, software and wetware) [Anton Sherwood 1995].

DUBIFIER: A word used to make a statement uncertain or show the limits of its applicability ("The experimental data appears to fit the model in the parameter range tested", "I think so" etc). (Based on quantifier, something that tells how much there is of anything) [Heath M Rezabek, ca 1992]

DYSON SPHERE: A shell built around a star to collect as much energy as possible, originally proposed by Freeman Dyson (although he admits to have borrowed the concept from Olaf Stapledon's novel Star Maker (1937)). In the original proposal the shell consists of many independent solar collectors and habitats in separate orbits (also known as a Type I Dyson Sphere), but later people have discussed rigid shells consisting of only one piece (called a Type II Dyson Sphere). The latter construction is unfortunately both unstable (since it will experience no net attraction of the star), requires super-strong materials and have no internal gravity. The Dyson Sphere is a classic example of mega-technology and common in Science Fiction. See also The Dyson Sphere FAQ.



Anders Sandberg /