A nonjustificationist epistemology in which every statement is subject
to criticism. See the entry for PCR in extropian
FAQ for a good introduction, or
Pancritical Rationalism: An Extropic Metacontext for Memetic Progress
by Max More for a more detailled treatment.
A computer simulation of part of a person's personality, created in
order to carry out a task not requiring the entire person. [Greg Bear,
A partial personality used as a personality surrogate (see persogate).
[Max More, July 1991. See Cryonics, November 1991]
PATTERN IDENTITY THEORY:
The theory that "I" am the same individual as any other whose
physical constitution forms the same or a similar pattern to mine. (Cf
continuity identity theory).
Any small portable device such as a laptop computer or PDA (personal
digital assistant). [Lawrence G. Tesler]
PERIMELASMA: The closest approach on
an orbit around a black hole, similar to the words perigee for the Earth,
perihelion for the sun, periastron for a star, etc) [Geoffrey Landis]
A portable expert system used as a personality surrogate (as in Bruce
Sterling's Schismatrix). [R.E. Whitaker, June 1991]
PERVERSION ATTACK: Infiltrating
somebody's computer systems in order to use them against their owner.
PHARMING: Short for pharmaceutical farming.
The process of genetically engineering crops to protect them or their
consumers from disease. For example, researchers at Texas A&M and
Tulane University have genetically altered potatoes to include antigenic
material from E. coli bacteria, one cause of diarrhea. Theoretically,
such potatoes could both feed people in developing countries and vaccinate
them against E. coli. [Gareth Branwyn in Jargon Watch, Wired,
PHYLE: A race or tribe; a body united by
ties of blood and descent, a clan. Used in Neal Stephenson's The
Diamond Age to denote non-nation based cultures and societies.
PHYSICAL ESCHATOLOGY: a branch
applied science studying how intelligent life could affect and survive
in the remote future. The field was opened by Freeman Dyson by his paper
End: Physics and Biology in an Open Universe (1976).
PICO TECHNOLOGY: Technology using
objects on the pico- and femto-scale (as nanotechnology
would use nanoscale objects). This would involve nucleons and other
elementary particles doing useful work, involving quantum effects. Unlike
nanotechnology, picotechnology has
no feasibility proofs and remains pure speculation. Also called femtotechnology.
PIDGIN BRAIN: An artificial part of
a posthuman brain designed so that activity,
memories and skills stored in it can easily be transferred to other
pidgin brains, a "neural ligua franca". [Michael M. Butler]
PINK GOO (humorous) Humans (in analogy
with grey goo). "Pink Goo to refer
to Old Testament apes who see their purpose as being fruitful and multiplying,
filling up of the cosmos with lots more such apes, unmodified."
[Eric Watt Forste August 1997]
PLEXURE: "The ability to see knowledge
as through different lenses, that is, through different epistemological
systems, to enter and hold different worldviews." [David Zindell,
The Broken God]
A computer-generated poem.
Persons of unprecedented physical, intellectual, and psychological capacity,
self-programming, self-constituting, potentially immortal, unlimited
individuals. See also the Extropian FAQ for their definition of Posthuman.
[Term: FM-2030 Def.: Max More]
POSTJUDICE: A negative opinion based
on exposure. [Perry E. Metzger, 1997]
POWER: A posthuman
entity of tremendous intelligence and capability, possibly the result
of transcending [Vernor
Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep]
A transfer of power involving a change in the nature of power, from
violence to wealth, or from wealth to knowlege. [Alvin Toffler, in Powershift,
PRISONER'S DILEMMA: A two-player
non-zero sum game where each player can choose between cooperation and
defection. The pay-off matrix is:
If both players cooperate, they get 3 points each. If they both defect
they earn just one each, if one defects and the other cooperates the
defector will gain 5 points and the cooperator nothing. If the players
will play the game only once, it is rational to defect, but if they
will continue to play it several times (the iterated prisoner's dilemma)
different strategies become possible. In this case mutual cooperation
gives a high pay-off, but defectors can exploit naive cooperators. But
since mutual defection does worse than cooperation cooperators can come
do dominate the population as long as they are not too vulnerable to
The game is a standard model in game theory, and has been widely modelled
in theoretical sociology, theoretical biology and economics. It seems
to capture some of the tensions between selfishness and altruism, which
has led to a great interest in what strategies are evolutionarily
stable in the iterated dilemma.
The name derives from a scenario where two prisoners have to independently
decide if too testify against each other or not. See also Principia
Cybernetica on the dilemma.
PRIVACY MANAGEMENT: Privacy
management Critical in the Age of Access and one of the next great growth
sectors. As connectivity spreads, privacy management will become the
ultimate status tool. [The 500-Year Delta, Jim Taylor and Watts
PROLONGEVITY: The idea that human
lifespan can and should be extended. [Gerald J. Gruman, 1955]