IEET > Directors > George Dvorsky > Fellows > Jamais Cascio
Techno-cultural literacy in 2007
Dec 31, 2006  

George Dvorsky has proposed a list of must-know terms for the modern intellectual, terms used by many of us involved in techno-futurist speculation and biopolitical debates. IEET Fellow Jamais Cascio liked the idea, and followed up with a list of his own.

What key terms do you think the culturally literate layperson, policy wonk, thinker or visionary should know, but probably doesn’t? Look over George and Jamais’ lists, and then give us suggestions here.

George’s list:

- accelerating change
- artificial general intelligence
- augmented reality
- automation
- cosmological eschatology
- existential risks
- Fermi Paradox
- friendly AI
- human enhancement
- human exceptionalism (aka human racism)
- information theoretic death
- memetic engineering
- mind transfer (aka ‘uploading’ )
- molecular assembler
- engineered negligible senescence
- non-anthropocentric personhood
- neural interface device
- open source
- participatory panopticon
- political globalization
- post-scarcity economy
- postbiological organism
- posthuman
- quantum computation
- radical Luddism
- remedial ecology
- self-improving and autopotent intelligence
- self-replicating device
- substrate chauvinism
- Simulation Argument
- Singularity
- superintelligence
- ubiquitous surveillance
- uplift
- virtual reality

Jamais’s additions:

- Carlson Curves
- Climate refugees (PDF)
- Climate system tipping point
- Cognitively modified organisms
- Continuous partial attention
- Extended identity
- Open-source warfare
- Post-hegemonic politics
- Thermal inertia
- Uncanny valley


That is a very funny word list.  It’s the kind of stuff that pseudo-intellectuals that don’t really know what they are talking about spew out.  These people confused the hell out of me when I was a kid.  I didn’t know enough to not take them seriously.

The term that people should actually understand is:

von Neumann machine

Some people refer to von Neumann’s Universal Constructor as a von Neumann machine but that is not what I am talking about.  It is also referred to as von Nuemann architecture.

So now we have netbooks, notebooks, laptops, PDAs, PMAs, smartbooks, MIDs, etc. etc. etc.

They are all von Neumann machines.

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