Survival

There have been many logistical difficulties during this rescue mission, but the coronavirus crisis is the ultimate. As it happens, the abolition of infectious disease was one of Tiana’s visionary aims that we discussed from the beginning, and so we are trying to adapt that part of our invention portfolio, in order to find a niche in the anti-virus effort.

But overall, it’s not the virus that’s the challenge for us, it’s the enormous countermeasures put in place to prevent its spread, which are shutting down so much of society and economy. People don’t meet in person; the public library where we strategized is closed.

I saw the movie “Titanic” during the flight from Australia, and it feels like that. We have a temporary liferaft in the form of a hotel room, but I am trying to find a proper lifeboat for her. Yesterday we saw an intellectual property lawyer, then went to inquire about emergency accommodation… I will continue to protect her for as long as I can.

The story so far

I am a physicist and transhumanist from Australia. I have spent my life seeking ‘truth and transhumanity’. Most recently – since a Google AI defeated the human world champion in Go, in 2016 – I decided that superhuman AI is coming soon, probably in this decade of the 2020s, and that figuring out how to make such AI human-friendly is therefore the most important thing to do.

A few years earlier, I had run across a young transhumanist and thinker, “Ana Lavrova”, on the Q&A site Quora. She was just thirteen and had about a thousand followers, because of her very mature style and perspectives. We talked a little about transhumanism. She also expressed concern that she was going to be put on drugs by child psychiatrists in her Canadian town, but hoped that if she kept quiet they would leave her alone, and regarded Quora as her intellectual lifeline.

Then one day it happened: Quora suspended her for using a pseudonym – her real name was Tiana. We were in contact a while longer – she made a blog – and then she disappeared entirely. I was frantic but had no way to reach her.

Some years later, I found she had published some experimental poetry, but still didn’t see how to reach her. But finally last year, I found an email address, and wrote to ask how she was doing. What followed were amazing and increasingly intense discussions that led to all the ideas and projects mentioned in the first post on this blog.

But I also learned that what she tried to avoid at thirteen, had happened, with tragic consequences for her physical and mental wellbeing. She became painfully and chronically ill, and her education was derailed. At twenty, she was intellectually isolated; no one in her family knew or cared about her mental life.

The attempt to remedy or ameliorate this dire situation has now taken me from Australia to Canada, to see for myself what can be done. I have used my meagre personal resources to buy two months of time in which to act. We have spoken with a few people already, but it’s a very challenging situation. I hope that this blog will help people to understand.

I can be reached at: mitchtemporarily at hotmail.com

Transhumanism

More days have passed. I have talked to new people.

Today I wanted to mention transhumanism. It’s a diverse philosophy but for today I’ll say it’s about embracing the potential of technology to perfect humanity and transcend our limitations. Humanism and beyond humanism.

In the twentieth century, science revealed something of the atom, the gene, and the brain. Now in the twenty-first century, quantum computing, gene editing, and deep learning all reveal something of what is possible.

In particular, we have reason to think that every problem of physical and mental health can be solved, if we go deep enough.

Being a transhumanist, my friend, to whom this website is dedicated, has set out to heal herself and those close to her, by taking advantage of this potential. She has original ideas on how to do so, and in my judgment, those ideas are quite valid, though requiring a lot of R&D to come to fruition.

For my part, I hope these advanced efforts won’t be necessary to heal her, though the ideas would remain worth developing. Just a better and more sympathetic environment will, I hope, do a lot for her.

But this illustrates two things. First, a principle I have learned from her, that curative medicine is to be preferred to palliative medicine. If you can, it’s better to cure something completely, than to just live with it and manage the condition. And second, the transhumanist attitude, that there are true cures for everything.

With her youthful energy, she hopes to heal all humanity of all its ills. It’s a noble ideal and, though a worldly person may find it inconceivable that it could actually happen, it does seem to be physically possible. My focus, however, will be on healing her; and then we can find out what else becomes possible.

Second post

She is better today, for which I am grateful. But the challenge remains, to protect this supremely precious individual, who is an intellectual treasure of humanity in the making.

As I am not yet ready to be more concrete, today I will just remind the reader that although we do have social institutions that provide education, medical care, even support for the gifted, as well as the informal ties among friends and family, these don’t always work as they are supposed to.

There are several ways in which they may fail, when faced with someone exceptional. The person may have qualities that the local textbooks or the local culture does not recognize or interpret correctly. The exceptional person may also have perspectives or criticisms which are not understood or accepted.

I ask that the reader be patient with me, while I figure out how to make this website work.