Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
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The Turing Church and Open Source Religion: Ben Goertzel Interviews Giulio Prisco

Ben Goertzel

Ethical Technology

December 25, 2014

In 2011 I — Ben Goertzel – interviewed physicist and futurist Giulio Prisco on his notion of  Technological Transcendence.  Since that time Giulio has been very active in developing these ideas further – and quite recently he has taken the initiative to start a “Turing Church” with an open-source spirit.   So it seemed time to have another conversation with Giulio on his Turing Church concept and plans, and what it may mean for the future of humanity, transhumanism and spirituality.


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Posted by Kris Notaro  on  12/25  at  01:50 AM

gotta be honest with you both, I do not think that the word “leader” coming from a futurist perspective is appropriate - in fact, i think that the concept or word “leader” is old fashioned nonsense for people with huge ego’s. So obviously, yes, it is very important that “open source” anything is available to the public - and as such, - democracy will mature.

Posted by Giulio Prisco  on  12/25  at  04:23 AM

@Kris, I personally agree with you in considering the word “leader” as “old fashioned nonsense for people with huge egos” that may well become obsolete in the future.

But we aren’t there yet, and I am very much afraid that most people still want and need leaders, better if “young, strong, beautiful, and charismatic” as I said (Jason, if you are reading this, I am thinking of you;-)

Don’t underestimate the unique ability of born leaders to attract and motivate followers and collaborators. For example, love him or hate him, our James Hughes is a natural leader. Lincoln Cannon is another natural leader.

Sooner or later we will be able to do without our leaders, but I am afraid we still need (and want) them. Therefore, since I am not a leader, I try to come up with distributed leadership schemes for the Turing Church, but I also hope that one or more natural leaders will emerge.

Posted by Infin8one  on  12/25  at  10:12 PM

In Warren Bennis’s book, “On Becoming A Leader” he states the difficulty in defining leadership. Yet like beauty you know it when you see it. Leadership has negative connotations when demonstrated by charismatic individuals with big egos. Yet truly potent leaders are inspired by a much bigger vision.

Giulio, your vision seems pretty selfless to me. Perhaps the words you use to describe what you see need to be thought through as they have great power and need to be chosen carefully. Ideas acted upon begin to live and need other ideas as companions to help enhance the lives they are living. Memes are just as potent as genes and are gaining momentum as we move towards the super intelligence to come.

Great conversation, keep it up guys!

Posted by Giulio Prisco  on  12/26  at  01:04 AM

@Infin8one - yes, leadership is like beauty, or like Quality in Robert Pirsig, you know it when you see it but it’s difficult to define it with words.

Regarding the best words to describe a vision, a problem is that the words that work for a person may not work for another. I can find the perfect words… for a person very similar to me, with the same emotional triggers.

If there are many alternate formulations of a vision, by different persons with different words, it’s more likely that one of them will work for a given recipient.

On the other hand, some people seem gifted with the ability to find the right words for a wide range of different interlocutors and broad audiences.

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