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PANCRITICAL RATIONALISM: 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.

PARTIAL: 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, Eon, 1985]

PARTIALATE: 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).

PERICOMPUTER: 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]

PERSOGATE: 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. [Vernor Vinge]

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, January 1996]

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 of theoretical applied science studying how intelligent life could affect and survive in the remote future. The field was opened by Freeman Dyson by his paper Time Without 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]

POME: A computer-generated poem.

POSTHUMAN: 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]

POWERSHIFT: 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, 1990]

PRISONER'S DILEMMA: A two-player non-zero sum game where each player can choose between cooperation and defection. The pay-off matrix is:

cooperate (C) defect (D)
cooperate (C) (3,3) (0,5)
defect (D) (5,0) (1,1)

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 defectors.

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 Wacker 1997]

PROLONGEVITY: The idea that human lifespan can and should be extended. [Gerald J. Gruman, 1955]



Anders Sandberg /