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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. Hall 1994]

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]



Anders Sandberg /