Monday, June 23, 2003

webcomic lovers rejoice, renegade folk hero Tailsteak may have ended his wonderful, strange, and touching comic OneOverZero, but you can still get your tailsteak at his new artproject/blog at of particular interest is his nifty new Plato's Cave mini comic "the Sixth TV" available at the same site (direct link)

Saturday, June 21, 2003

I worry and I worry, but the problems don't change.
For some time now I've been working on ways of making my situation more stable, more tractable, providing myself with some measure of security. I have put together some semblance of a company, which I expect to help me financially. I have provided myself with a meager education, to replace the entirely useless one I was force-fed by well-meaning public personages. I have come up with some tiny flashlight of a map into the surrounding world, getting some idea of who I am, where that is, and the limits and advantages thereof.
These whistlings in the dark don't change much, though. I remain in the same situation, and will remain much the same until further notice. That's not altogether a bad thing, I enjoy certain aspects of my position very much, as a human being, it would be hard not to. I am the perfect sort of mind to appreciate sunrises and beautiful women, good food, the joy of discovery. It is what I do, or can do. But some things are a part of my world that are not pretty. Natural, timeless, always things that I don't like, and can't accept. Changing those things (or planning to) distinguishes Transhumanists from most others. Humanists say that Man is the measure of all things. As well you should say, it's true, from at least this perspective. Transhumanists say the same, but not the same way. Man is not a static picture of values and states. You cannot learn all that there is of transhumanism from Cicero or even Roussau. Because we change, our world changes. Our minds change. I am a moving target. I know more today than yesterday, am different from the Justin that woke up. I am a stream of Justins, each different from the last, I would like to think each better than the last. I cling to that belief. That I do more with less neurons, less time, less speed. It would be a mistake to judge me by my younger self, just as it is to use a frozen vew of men to judge them all. Transhumanism is about changing values and evaluators. Nothing is a given. Nothing is accepted.
It may be that this is a colder universe than the warm timeworn humanism. It's filled with mistakes and tragedy and wasted lives. You cannot explain death or disease away as man's lot. You begin to see alternatives, like a man who sleeps in a clean house, and cannot stand to return to a hovel. For some time after I encountered transhumanists, I was a wreck, with emotions sandpapered down to bare nerves. I would cry for hours at things I accepted before. I began to care for minor characters in stories nonfictional and fiction. Sometimes I still do. Every loss is keener in a worldview so expanded. When something might be saved, you regret not doing so.
Objectively, it seems that that raising of my horizons is a great positive act, bringing untold possiblities and joys within reach of my imaginitation. I have no doubt that it is so. Subjectively, it feels like falling a great distance. Your situation is geometrically less of the best possible world. It makes even the best and most powerful plans seem weak and small.
My thoughts these past two years are some of the most ambitious I've ever had. Some of the best and most detailed too. They have all been fatally flawed, with mistakes I find obvious and stupid, sometimes only a few days of learning later. This is progress. I am better positioned now, than I have been in my life. Even fatefully flawed, my plans and ideas have carried me far, much further than if I had not recognized their shortcomings, in fact.
But it bothers me, it eats at me still. My plans are not good enough. They fall very short of the vaulted ceiling that is my desires. Very short of my imaginary best of all possible worlds. Once, in search of some surcease from sorrow, I built a best case scenario. Assuming assuming a modest budget of some several billion dollars available to me, and the cooperation of a small crew of some thousands I could not ensure my success. There were too many variables. I had to settle for a good path some distance from the best of all possible worlds. It taught me that power is little without adequate direction. It is the specific knowledges and details that is so difficult about creating the future. It's the plans that take the most effort.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Hey, amazing, Threats file is done. Finishing editing, um, and stuff. Honestly, this file turned out a lot different than I expected. I'm not sure it works as a general audience text anymore, but we'll see. I'll be doing some audience testing soon hopefully.