I had the honour of writing the foreword of Alex Vikoulov's recently published masterpiece and bestseller "The Syntellect Hypothesis". Hereunder you can read my foreword:
"If you picked up this book, it is not unlikely that you may have heard of the early 20th century philosophical movement of Cosmism. This movement, which originated in Russia, was striving for conquering the planets and stars, for radical life extension, immortality and resurrection of our loved ones by the means of technology. Perhaps one of its most important pioneers was Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, whose aspirations did not only venture into the realm of the Macro, but also explored the Micro. He spoke of the atomic world as being animated and can thus be considered a kind of cosmist-panpsychist.
The foundational work of the cosmic aspirations of man by the Russian Cosmists soon reverberated through the intellectual world of the early 20th century and found a resonance and fertile ground in the works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard saw evolution as having a direction, namely the direction of concentrating consciousness in form, striving towards accumulation of knowledge, which gradually is attained by the formation of the Noosphere and which will culminate in the apotheosis of the Omega Point. Teilhard de Chardin considered that Omega Point is not necessarily merely a future construct, but in a sense is already here as the “Great Presence.” Thus, his pantheism is more panentheism in which God has both an immanent and transcendent aspect.
In the sixties of the previous century, the science of Cybernetics emerged, which its founder Norbert Wiener defined as “the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine.” Whereas the cyberneticists perhaps saw everything in the organic world too much as a machine type of regulatory network, the paradigm swapped to its mirror image, wherein everything in the natural world became seen as an organic neural network. Indeed, self-regulating networks appear to be ubiquitous: From the sub-atomic organization of atoms to the atomic organization of molecules, macromolecules, cells and organisms, everywhere the equivalent of neural networks appears to be present.
Not strange that these developments have led to a present-day zeitgeist, which sees everything as a kind of computation. With computation came computers, which – when linked – lead to yet another meta-level of neural networking, a.k.a. the Internet.
The technological and scientific developments have over time changed the way people try to explain the world around them: from the steam driven worldview of thermodynamics to an everything-is-electricity. From the everything-is-matter via the quantum-mechanical ubiquitous energy to the all-is-information paradigm. From a resonance paradigm to a cybernetics regulatory network worldview, from a survival-of-the fittest conviction to pancomputationalism. Not that any of these paradigms is truer than another; they appear to be able to coexist as the different parts of the elephant in the Buddhist parable and mostly reflect the primary technological current of the moment.
In the nineties Vernor Vinge wrote his seminal paper and introduced the term ‘Singularity’ as relating to a point in time, where technology and in particular superintelligent artificial intelligence will have progressed to such an extent, that it will be impossible to predict our future beyond that point. Kurzweil made clear that such a “technological singularity” may not be far away at all and perhaps can be attained within a few decades.
This impossibility to predict the future has led to a broad range of science fiction speculations, not only as regards the last stages up to this point but also beyond that point. Where cyborg type man-machine mergers, transhuman eugenically improved humans and a wide range of robot helpers are on the conservative side of such futuristic predictions, mind-uploading, simulated worlds and quantum-archaeology-based resurrection can be found on the more-fancy optimistic side. From these notions it is then not a far-fetched idea that our present world we’re living in itself is a simulation. A concept, which virally spread as a meme thanks to the cult movie “The Matrix.”
A burgeoning field of futurism seems to be our current paradigm. As we are stepping into the future, the ideas the media feed us are also strongly loaded with a futuristic technology and social development broth. Not in the least place by the presently popular Netflix series “Black Mirror,” which warns us for the dystopian consequences our over-enthusiastic technological optimism might result in.
It is here, where this overwhelming tsunami of ideas appears like an expressionist chaotic patchwork of weirdness, that digital philosopher Alex Vikoulov with his present book “The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind’s Evolution” brings order. The author boldly steps in the footsteps of his Russian forebears and shows us to be a postmodern cosmist.
When you wonder what yet a further book on the Singularity might bring (if you have reached a certain level of futurism saturation), I can reassure you: This is the book which brings an integration of the aforementioned paradigms. This is the scripture which will put the history of futurism into perspective. This is the creed, which shows how everything wires up, a journey into the fractal of the Universal Mind.
In five paradigms, from the Noogenesis of computational biology to the Techno-cultural Rise of Man, from the superintelligent AI emergence of the Syntellect to the transdimensional Theogenesis, from the multiversal propagation, arising as a Phoenix in the heavens of eternal expansion of the Macro, to the transdimensional propagation, digging in the deepest shells of the Micro, the author will make this chord progression culminate into the coda of the Vikoulovian Apotheosis: absolute enlightenment of the Omega Point.
Vikoulov will make you transcend time and demonstrate that the Omega Point is not something merely of the future, but rather how past and future mutually influence each other, as an intertwining braid of causality and retrocausality. The author will show us how the exchange of experiences between self-aware machines and enhanced humans will result in an “intelligence supernova” and the establishment of a global brain. This global brain which is more than a single mind, but rather a society of hyperconnected digital minds. Prepare for the waking up of Gaia as a living sensing conscious superorganism.
And as Tsiolkovsky and De Chardin already anticipated, we will learn about all-encompassing framework to fit all our paradigms in. Vikoulov takes us to a pantheistic dimension where organic life and machine networks fade into each other as the pictorial values of a palette. Consciousness as great denominator, both engendering and emerging as a self-reflexive fractal Ouroboros. An Intellect that synthesizes itself from parts of itself - and hence indeed rightfully deserving the denomination ‘Syntellect’- at ever increasing levels of complexity via meta-system transitions. A poetic interplay of “metaphiers and metaphrands” in terms of Julian Jaynes’ bicameral mind, showing us how information, language, energy and matter are merely kaleidoscopic shadow patterns of the all-pervading networking of the theogenic Syntellect Emergence process of the greater primordial consciousness.
Be ready to have your mind blown!"
You can find/order "The Syntellect Hypothesis" by clicking the link.