Dirk Bruere on The Praxis, January 12, 2013

We chatted with author Dirk Bruere about his book The Praxis in teleXLR8, on January 12, 2013.

Main topics: The Praxis, the importance of community and mutual help, transhumanist religion, the multiverse of quantum physics, quantum immortality, quantum suicide, resurrection, reality as a simulation.

See the full video below, thanks Eugen for recording.

This is the first part of the conversation, see also the second part.

Eugen and Dirk


A review of The Praxis by Giulio Prisco

An article Dirk Bruere wrote for the IEET

  • I have had this discussion with Giulio, probably until his eyes glazed over, and am lucky that he is so even-tempered. But my premise is this: Until someone comes up with a physical model, a paper, that deliniates how an afterlife is possible, how recovery from death is doable, I suspect you guys may be stuck in neutral. Giulio holds that what Transhumanism needs is emotion and passionate connection.

    I am guessing that you will not get this passion, until you can demonstrate how recovery from death can be done, in a systematic way, based on computation, and physics (same thing eh?).

    I may be an odd ball, but here is my experience. I always liked science books, and some 20 years ago was looking for stuff on space travel, when I came to view Tipler’s Physics of Immortality. A glance through the book made it an instant seller for me. I spent the next two days reading and re-reading it. A couple of years later I was re-reading Physics of Immortality, at my Mother’s death bed, in the hospital, literally.

    Well, as we all know WMAP sort of shot down Tipler’s cosmological model. But if you use my experiences and a mean average of how people think and emote, and cogitate about reality, themselves, and the hope for transcendence. The model used will have to be rugged enough to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous, astronomical research.

    This is my reaction to your get together. Also, if people do things on faith alone, and say, screw the science, you already know that such folk are drawn to the emotive, psycho-social draw of organized religion. To wit, that you are not going to get them by their emotions, because they are already heading to Church, for feelings of salvation, transcendence, and being with others. That’s my take anyway.


  • Peter Christiansen

    I just ordered a copy, based on your review, and I am very much looking forward to reading it.

  • Giulio Prisco

    @Spud100, I also took Frank’s The Physics of Immortality to my Mother’s death bed! It gave me a lot of hope, and peace.

    Current cosmological observation don’t seem to indicate that the universe will stop expanding enc contract (Big Crunch), which is a requirement for the Omega Point scenario.

    But don’t forget Ray Kurzweil’s VERY good closing observation in The Age of Spiritual Machines:
    “So will the Universe end in a big crunch, or in an infinite expansion of dead stars, or in some other manner? In my view, the primary issue is not the mass of the Universe, or the possible existence of antigravity, or of Einstein’s so-called cosmological constant. Rather, the fate of the Universe is a decision yet to be made, one which we will intelligently consider when the time is right.”

    In The Physics of Christianity, Frank refines his Omega Point model of the far future history of the universe and suggests that, by purposefully annihilating baryons, sentient life will be able to stop the accelerating expansion of the universe and start its gravitational collapse.

  • Giulio Prisco

    @Peter, you will love the book.

  • Giulio Prisco

    @Spud100 re “Giulio holds that what Transhumanism needs is emotion and passionate connection. I am guessing that you will not get this passion, until you can demonstrate how recovery from death can be done, in a systematic way, based on computation, and physics (same thing eh?).”

    Well, as in the comments above, Frank Tipler has proposed _one_ scientifically plausible resurrection theory, based on computation and physics.

    But a theory is not a “demonstration.” The only demonstration that everyone will have to accept, is talking to a resurrected person and becoming persuaded that this person is the original, resurrected. I guess we must wait a few centuries for that.

    Theoretical “evidence” can only persuade those who want to be persuaded. Those who don’t want to be persuaded, can always find flaws in a theory when it is not confirmed by clear, unambiguous and spectacular evidence.

    That is why I insist on memetics for emotional acceptance. The scientific papers (still theoretical and tentative of course) are out there on arXiv, but only those who want to read them will read them.

  • I did haunt ArXiv for many years, looking for the next sort of Tipler paper or some, kind of similar physics, descriptions or goal. They do not seem to exist. Or perhaps they are, buried in the mathematics, and the specialized jargon, and I simply could not recognize the paper for what it was. I always did consider this, but we all plod along as best we can.

    I have hit philosophy papers and books, over the years, including Chalmers’ philosophy website, and have looked Matti Pitkanen’s ViXra, for corroborating data. Jack Sarafatti’s Stardrive site, It is all less then, sparse.

    So maybe memetics is the only conceivable way forward? Continue your work, all. You seem to be on the right track.


  • Giulio Prisco

    @Spud, if a “normal” physicist, that is, one who has not won a Nobel yet and must still worry about career issues, writes a paper that even hints at resurrection, she would bury the hint in many layers of abstruse mathematics to make sure that other physicists don’t notice. Academy is controlled by political correctness, and resurrection is just unPC.

    I can read through the mathematics, and warn you guys. But you will not read what I write if you don’t want to read about resurrection, therefore we need memetics. Also, I don’t have the time to take a look at all the hundreds of papers published on arXiv every week, so I need to read other blogs similar to this to get early warnings. But many bloggers who wish to write about this things are scared to be called cranks or mystics, therefore we need more memetics to change cultural attitudes.

  • Gallileo: Eppur si muove

    I had thought that we were somewhere past the time of the inquisition, and alas, we are not. Can you advise, what mathematically illiterate, such as myself, might look for when observing a paper for content? Something that may hint at what the author really means? Some trigger phrases that you might advise? A terminology that would catch your attention in such a paper?

    I do see the method in your memetic approach, and now it seems very wise, now that I see the constraints people in science suffer under. This can’t help but meet success.


  • phm

    “Formal argument. You can disagree… but… it’s not going to work” :-)

    Who is in this video? Giulio, Dirk, Eugen … Who are the other people speaking?

  • Giulio Prisco

    Hi phm. The others are Lincoln Cannon and Micah Redding:

    Watch out for the second part of the discussion, it will be online later today.

  • Giulio Prisco
  • phm

    Mormon Transhumanist Association?

    This is a joke, right?

  • Giulio Prisco

    @phm, not a joke at all. The Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) is a very active transhumanist community, and by far the best example of integration of transhumanist ideas in an established religious doctrine.

    I invite you to suspend disbelief and take a look

    The MTA believes that many transhumanist elements are _already present_ in the standard Mormon scriptures, which explains how Mormonism can be a fertile ground for transhumanist ideas. Membership in the Mormon Church is not required, and in fact there are non-Mormon members in the MTA (I am one). Of course, most members are Mormons and live in Utah, which permits face to face meetings of the MTA community.

  • The fact that we live in an (apparently) ever expanding universe is evidence against Tipler’s view. It just means we are already living in a simulation and not the “real” universe where a Big Crunch is happening to provide the energy needed.