The Science Factions Project

iTerence: The Digital McKenna, Terence Initiative

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art: Tim Parish, The Journeybook anthology

 

The Digital McKenna, Terence (DMTi) Initiative


I, Terence is an experiment to bring alive the spirit of psychedelic philosopher Terence McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000)  by harnessing existing content in the public domain, his talks, ideas, videos, photos, geo-mapping, etc, with the Lifenaut system of AI intelligence into a functioning Avatar interface.

The platform is designed for multi-users to submit content that will eventually aggregate into a personality matrix ("mind file"). It's all experimental but the foundations are there: Lifenaut is a not-for-profit company with good intentions to explore this new AI modality, and all content is retained for ownership by the original makers.  The platform will hold the content and resynthesize with an AI interface, it will learn and grow in useability to enable an interface with the public and the spirit of Terence's ideas, perhaps eventually synthesizing new contours.

Tuesday April 3, 2012 is the 12th anniversary of Terence's passing and the launch of the beta-version of the iTerence project, aka the Digital McKenna, Terence Initiative (DMTi)... We ask the global psychedelic community to  crowdsource any bootleg talks, podcasts, images, text, etc. from Terence. This is a non-commercial, open-community project that in essence aggregates existing content Terence has left us into a new, more useable form.

The Lifenaut system is still in early development in that they are not pulling data or metadata from video, audio or text yet – but this is something they are working on,  trying to develop algorithms to extract ideas and voice synthesis from video and audio. We reinterate that they are not capable of doing this presently, although by aggregating this content now we will be positioned to work with it when their system is able in the near future. People with relevant skillbases  wishing to donate time and expertise or money to Lifenaut may help speed this process to fruition.

At the moment we believe the power in the project is in training the virtual Avatar. After 1000 lines of conversation that digital Terence Avatar starts to become coherent. We  have been spending time training the iTerence Avatar by feeding it interview question and answers and quotes from existing talks. The Avatar is still relatively incoherent, but it is getting there. Every day we work with it, it is increasingly more responsive. At the moment only a generic male voice is possible, but we hope that a closer simulation of Terence's voice will eventually be possible from learning from the audio samples.


The Rael World> by Rak Razam

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So I call up the prophet Raël on Skype, talking to him over the internet in far-off Switzerland, where he’s staying in some chalet or something while he pushes ahead with his mission to preach the word of the aliens to save us from Armageddon – if, like, we live righteously and stuff, and give Raël the money to build an embassy for their arrival.

Raël’s assistant has the sweetest, sexy French voice. Her name is Li-Li. She sounds delectable, and if that’s really her avatar on the Skype dial screen she's a hot, caramel-skinned honey. If I was dialing up the Pope, or the Dalai Llama, or any other global religious leader it might be wrong to think lewd thoughts about their personal assistants, but this is Raël, man, ALL his personal assistants are gorgeous, and at the core of his religious teachings is a simple recipe of free-love and feelgood vibes. Like, if I was there in the chalet I’m sure he ‘d be offering me Li-Li and a one-way ticket to the mothership, he’s just that kinda guy. So don’t be so hard on him, y’know, I mean all people with just one name are a bit weird – Cher, Madonna, Prince, Raël, it comes with the fame, I guess, or the enlightenment.

The Empire of Crime by Alex Steffen

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Nuclear Power and Australia's Energy 'Debate'> by Jim Green

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nucear_power_debatemain


By Jim Green Nuclear campaigner -Friends of the Earth, Australia.


Over the past year the nuclear industry has once again tried to exploit concern about climate change to reverse its ongoing decline. Nuclear power is being promoted not only as the solution to climate change, but also to water shortages (by desalination), the drought (by John Anderson), and world poverty (too cheap to meter --- or too expensive to matter?). You begin to wonder if there's anything nuclear power can't solve.

One positive aspect of this debate is that it has highlighted the need for action to avert the social and environmental impacts associated with climate change. But it's been a limited debate. Only the nuclear 'solution' solution to climate change is being debated. Never mind that nuclear power simply can't do the job. Never mind that the adverse impacts of nuclear power are every bit as alarming as those of climate change. Thus the 'debate' has diverted attention from the range of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures that, combined, can avert climate catastrophe.

HOMOSAPIENS ~ MAN THE WISE by Jeff Wefferson

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Homosapien title Dedicated to all the astronomers and activists of Earth, and life as we know it. Long may you live!!!

It's no coincidence that the man who did the most to awaken our generation to the awe and mystery of the cosmos was also one of the most ardent anti-nuclear activists the world has ever seen. Astronomer Carl Sagan made great contributions in the field of planetary sciences before his name became almost synonymous with extra-terrestrial intelligence. When he entered the realm of mass-communication with his comprehensively mind-blowing television series Cosmos, millions of star-gazers and space-cadets around the world came to love his New York accent and his waving arms telling us there were "billions and billions" of stars out there just like our sun. In our own galaxy. His question: so why haven't we heard from anyone else?


Carbon Dioxide is Life!

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Carbon Dioxide is Life!A still from the rather funny but kind of disturbing Public Service Announcement funded by Exxon through the Competitive Enterprise Institute... Be afraid... More info here: http://www.undergrowth.org/doublespeak_alert_carbon_dioxide_is_good_for_you

HyperModern Warfare

VIRTUAL WAR GAMES The use of depleted uranium in military training exercises on Australian soil.. QLD and WA.. AMERICA"S ARMY Log on to the US Army website and you can download a computer game caled America's Army, a 3D animated first person wargame in the legacy of Doom and endless other sources.. The US Army is reportedly using this as a way to find talented new tacticians, tapping into the computer game skill base a la The Last Starfighter..

Future Home

EARTHPODS from www.hfoesch.com/pod.html "Living Architecture" and "Self-perpetuation" are the core concepts underlying the development of the Earth Pod... The idea of home as a vessel for life. By optimizing the timeless principles of solar benefit, natural ventilation, and permaculture; combined with the utilization of indigenous materials, craftsmanship, and state-of-the-art environmental control systems; a new architectural archtype is being created. Beyond being merely stylistically organic, it is literally organic, it is literally alive!

THE QUANTUM SLEEPER BED

For the paranoid homeowner with money to burn the Quantum Sleeper 'provides a high-level security system designed for maximum protection in various hostile enviornments". Essentially the sleeper is a bed which also converts into a bunker to protect the owner from bio-terrorist attacks, natural disaster and violent intruders into their home. With options for entertainment and communications within
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