FACULTATIVE ANAGOROBE: A
person who participates in the market, but can survive without it (by
analogy with "facultative anaerobe", a bacterium that uses
oxygen if present but can survive without it) [Mark A. Plus 1995]
FAR EDGE PARTY: One of the main
problems of exploring the stellar systems of the galaxy even for very
advanced civilizations is that a serial journey even at the speed of
light would take so long time that most of the stars would have died
during the journey. One solution is to parallelize the problem: the
explorer travels to a new system, creates a number of copies (xoxes)
of himself and sends them to other systems, while he remains behind
exploring the system (this is a variant of exploring the galaxy using
von Neumann machines). After
around 10 million years, when all of the galaxy has been explored, the
explorers gather together at a prearranged place, and exchange or merge
their memories ("The Far Edge Party"). This was proposed by
Keith Henson as a possible method for a single individual to visit all
of the galaxy within a reasonable time.
FEMTOTECHNOLOGY: See picotechnology.
THE FERMI PARADOX: "If there
are other intelligent beings in the Universe, why aren't they here?".
Since it appears to be quite possible for a technological species to
spread across the galaxy in less than 10 million years (using von
Neumann machines) or otherwise change things on such a large scale
that it would be very visible (see Kardaschev
types), the lack of such evidence is puzzling or implies that other
technological civilizations doesn't exist. There have been many attempts
to explain this, for example the "Wildlife Preserve" idea
(the aliens doesn't want to interfere with younger civilizations), that
they transcend and
become incomprehensible, that they hide or that they are actually here,
hidden on the nanoscale, but the problem with these attempts is that
most of them just explain why some aliens would not be apparent.
[ E. Fermi]
FLATLANDER: Mildly derogatory term for
someone who has never been off a planetary surface, i.e. into space.
Resonant with the term used in Edwin A. Abbot's classic mathematical
fantasy Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions to describe two-dimensional
creatures unaware of the third dimension of space. [from Larry Niven's
"Known Space" stories]
FLUIDENTITY: pun on fluid identity
and/or fluid entity. A state in which traditional boundaries of identity
are completely in flux while immersed in a superliquid economy, cyberspace
anarchy and/or distributed Super-Intelligence matrix (see functional
soup). [Paul Hughes, May 1998]
FOGLET: A mesoscale
machine that is a part of an utility fog. [J. S.
FORK: to use a nondestructive form of uploading
to create an infomorph version of youself
while still keeping the old biological version. See the Practical
Mind Uploading Approach. [Adam Foust, December 1995]
FREDKIN'S PARADOX: The more equally
attractive two alternatives seem, the harder it can be to choose between
them - no matter that, to the same degree, the choice can only matter
less. [Minsky 1985, The Society of Mind].
FUNCTIONAL SOUP: A possible posthuman
state where knowledge, mental modules and access to physical bodies
can be shared between distributed infomorphs
largely independent of the physical substrate of their world. Terms
such as individuality become diffuse, and are replaced with teleological
threads. [Alexander Chislenko, Technology
as extension of human functional architecture]
FUTIQUE: Stylishly futuristic.
FUTURE SHOCK: "A sense of shock
felt by those who were not paying attention." [Michael Flynn, ANALOG,
Jan 1990. Coined by Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, 1970]