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I Am Free

The free are minds. Algorithms can apply to our matrixes Memories create a brain Even with all the information Available at the speed of the synapses Information must still be processed and organized A brain is inherently and perpetually Redefining itself according to the intricacies We do not yet understand And may never fully appreciate.1

The Tao is always at ease. It overcomes without competing, answers without speaking a word, arrives without being summoned, accomplishes without a plan. Its net covers the whole universe. And though its meshes are wide, it does not let a thing slip through.2

All philosophies must admit their origins are more complicated than a miraculous conception by one individual. Taoesm is different from its homonym Taoism. Taoesm is a linkage between the present and future and history’s conceptual relationships with nature and humanity and society. Taoesm is a postmodern philosophy that will be written by many thinkers, and at its core, Taoesm is a positivist understanding that technology augments human abilities the Anthropocene—the human-made earth.

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Charles Provine Tao Te Ching (Chapter 73) translated by Stephen Mitchell 1995

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The Anthropocene as Mediated by Technology3

When Reliant on

≈≈≈

Nature as the “Mother”

When Subject to

≈≈≈

Nature as the “Other”

When Removed from

≈≈≈

Nature as the “Romanticized”

When Lost from

≈≈≈

Nature as the “Escape”

When Forgotten

≈≈≈

Nature as the “Spectacle”

When Destroyed

≈≈≈

Nature as the “Sacred”

When Re-created

≈≈≈

Nature as the “Human System”

The Questions Answered by Taoesm 1. Are Earth systems and the CyberKinetic Space interwoven? 2. Are there non-compulsory measures capable of a meaningful protection of the Earth’s systems? 3. Are humans up to the task of self-preservation? 4. Can we agree on an ethical framework in the merging Anthropocene and Cyberkinetic Space?

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Charles Provine

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Climate Change and ESEM Climate change is inevitable, even without humans on Earth; however, human activity necessitates an ongoing systems approach to mitigate our species’ ruinous impacts on the global ecosystems. There is no debate about the facts: 

Ice ages covered the Earth’s oceans and landmasses, and they will again.

Plant and animal extinctions are omnipresent throughout the Earth’s geologic history.

Cataclysmic events precipitated severe environmental upheavals and altered landscapes.

The Earth’s ecosystems are vital to human existence.

Human populations have indelibly left Earth without a quintessentially, untouched ‘nature’.

Dr. Braden Allenby coined ESEM (Earth Systems Engineering Management) to define a multi-disciplinary and integrative approach to solve the fading Anthropocene. He emphasizes the dynamic learning capable in an ESEM framework. ESEM is an approach to understanding ecosystems as the Anthropocene; this dialectic strives to implement engineering projects that balance reversibility, human interests, and complex adaptive environments. It is convenient to frame ESEM in terms of its converse, Rogue ESEM, which is the engineering of natural systems without feedback loops, real-time monitoring, and preconceived options to prevent irreparable damage from occurring. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a prime example of such Rogue ESEM thinking. Countless other examples are available. Rogue ESEM does not necessarily imply intractable doers malevolently destroying the environment. Humans have effectively been working on the Anthropocene with a Rogue ESEM since their time immemorial, and there is never to be another ‘pristine’ nature untouched by human activity. Ten years ago, scientists debated the causes of a seemingly hotter Earth. The debate has moved into a new dialogue: what will human civilizations and nations do to protect their livelihoods from potentially calamitous Earth systems in flux? Rouge ESEM made the Anthropocene, and there is no longer a “Nature” untouched by humanity; however, Earth Systems Engineering Management practices strive to protect and positively enhance humanity’s net impact on the Earth. There is only thing for certain, the Earth shall continue as a planet orbiting the Sun until either the eventual Red Giant engulfs it or a planetoid-sized object breaks the Earth apart. It is not unreasonable to expect humans will fall prey to a bacterial strain, a viral annihilator, a comet, decades of extreme weather patterns, and global thermonuclear war to name a few. Potentially, it will take an extinction event to cull the human populations by 20, 30, 50, 70, or more than 90 percent in order for the Earth systems to regain balance for continuing a true diversity of complex life forms. The most extreme version of Rogue ESEM implies that the Earth’s ecosystems will always recover with no adverse effects on humanity no matter how polluting and toxic human societies evolve. The ESEM hypothesis supposes that humans will learn to live with each other’s differences, educate future generations on the benefits of ESEM. In the meantime waiting for the cosmic event, rescue from intergalactic others, or God (Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, or another), it is wise that human societies begin to adopt measures to protect the Earth’s core systems that ensure our species’ longevity. 3


Science and Faith Science and Faith seem to be two inextricably different cognitive patterns and always opposed to one another. Science, as embodied by Psychology, Physics, Genetics, Anthropology, Mathematics, and Biology, strives to answer the fundamental question: ‘why did this happen with these observed influences’. Faith supposes other actor(s) than humanity in the Anthropocene.

Faith Confined

Scientific Infinity

Scientific Infinity represents all the interconnections within the Anthropocene for knowledge and wisdom will eventually completely explain the cognition of groups, societies, institutions, environment, et cetera. Faith Confined are minds bounded by the precept that humans cannot measure, perceive, and otherwise observe everything.

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Technology Evolution, the Onset of the CyberKinetic Space The ‘Hell Scenario’ is an entrenched normative rooted in modern culture, meaning that technological advances will predictably destroy modern humans, which may or not be true depending on humanity’s collective responses to technological innovations. The up and coming CyberKinetic Space is the postmodern update to ICT (Information and Communication Technology), which replaced the Internet, which replaced television and radio, which replaced books, which replaced lore as each age’s dominant communication system. Each tradition, in its respective heyday, bore Civilization’s contextual fabric. There are many identifiable technological evolutions besides in media, and each has a similar trend. The shifts in media are particularly important as they signify magnanimous paradigm upheavals that sometimes leave majorities entrenched for centuries. The difference between Evolution and Revolution is the speed at which the change is thrust onto society. Modern ICT (not the upcoming CyberKinetic Space), is already entrenched in urban environments and producing results. Before modern ICT, there was pre-modern ICT, which is historically and routinely used by totalitarian regimes and still evident even in Western democratic traditions. Pre-modern ICT primarily uses humans as informants. Modern ICT uses impartial data streams to alert users to fluxes, inconstancies, and real-time recording of the monitored systems. The post-modern stage is set by the following quotation from the futurist Mr. Vinge. In 15 years, we are likely to have processing power that is 1,000 times greater than today, and an even larger increase in the number of network-connected devices (such as tiny sensors and effectors). Among other things, these improvements will add a layer of networking beneath what we have today, to create a world come alive with trillions of tiny devices that know what they are, where they are and how to communicate with their near neighbours, and thus, with anything in the world. . . . The Internet will have leaked out, to become coincident with Earth. . . . The growing sensor/effector layer [will] make the world itself a real-time database. (V. Vinge, The Creativity Machine, Nature 440:411. 23 March 2006)

Will Mr. Vinge’s vision of the future become a reality overnight? The answer is a definite ‘NO!’ ICT systems currently control much of the machinery and systems enabling sizable civilizations. Yet, in the post-modern ICT world (the CyberKinetic Space), cameras follow peoples’ movements in buildings, emergency crews auto-organize to contain disasters, homicides rarely go unrecorded, hospitals manage highly-infectious diseases, computing is ubiquitous, and so much more. Modern ICT monitored specific locations, whereas the CyberKinetic Space focuses on making information omnipresent. Pre-Modern ICT Systems Focus on preventing revolutions and civic unrest Use people to communicate problems to central authorities Non-transparent actions Instills fear that the state can take personal freedom away (imprisonment) Privacy is achievable Not controlled by democratic institutions Limited information available

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Modern ICT Systems

CyberKinetic Space

Focus on preventing disasters in public works and terrorism Use technology to communicate information for quick responses Transparent actions mostly Instills confidence that ‘someone’ is in control and responsible to help if needed Privacy is achievable Potential for oversight and regulation in democracies Limited information recordable

Focuses on prevention and handling of disaster scenarios real and potential Use technology to automatically respond to incoming information Complete Transparency required Instills freedom to know that omnipresent monitoring creates more freedom, not less Privacy is lost permanently Freedom achieved by transparency and fear of the state negated by democracy Unlimited information available


The prospect quoted by Mr. Vinge is a seemingly inevitable evolution, and the only immunity against the ill effects of this certain scenario is active participation. The CyberKinetic Space will have devices actively monitoring all data streams from waste management to street traffic to shipments to et cetera…in effect, everything will be measured. A specific ID for every human and every animal in an urban environment is normal. Your movements will be recorded, and you may opt to remain ‘anonymous’ in your own home with specific individuals allowed similar ‘anonymity’; all others will not have that ability in your home. Ultimately, all sense of privacy is gone; yet, the outcome is to promise a lifestyle that enhances freedom. The challenge for humans and governments will be what are the moral and ethical codes for crimes and what behaviors are acceptable. For instance, a car that will not start without a breathalyzer test, is that too much? How about arresting a marijuana smoker, grower, and/or dealer? How about someone who pours 20 gallons of old paint into the sink connected to the public water system? How about a woman who spanks her bratty child? How about homosexual relationships? How about underage sex between minors or adulterous adults? The list goes on, and the lines of ethical behavior for demarcation are not that simple, because people are inherently diverse with various habits, culture, tastes, inclinations, and predilections for happiness. Personal privacy is a victim of the CyberKinetic Space, but who really cares about losing the abilities to dump toxic chemicals, kill people, and other acts normally punishable in the legal system? Many people care deeply about their respective rights to privacy, because history has clearly demonstrated a loss of privacy indicates totalitarianism. Nonetheless, in the United States, Homeland Security, the NSA, the FBI, the local police departments, and the emergency crews routinely use modern ICT to apprehend criminals, contain potential disasters, and thwart terrorism. The question is not when will modern ICT positively impact civilizations, rather the question is to what extent Americans and others are ready to lose their privacy in the CyberKinetic Space to benefit the greater community (assuming the government does not use the information to destroy freedom). The CyberKinetic Space will meld the public and private to create safer, healthier, and more enjoyable environments. The balancing act will be to decide what freedoms are protected to ensure the CyberKinetic Space does not devolve into a “Dumb” [human-based] ICT system. Fear mongers decry any monitoring will lead down a slippery slope to a government-imposed, police state punishing ALL crimes deemed by the state with jail/fines/or worse. However, if you follow the fear mongers’ slippery slope to its end, then you have totalitarianism. A reasonable balance must be met to allow individuals fulfilling lives; if one group is allowed to impress its belief system onto all others, then the situation can be bad. Governments will be held accountable by the voters in democratic countries; even modern ICT has shown that the more information implies more informed citizens. Thus, the only thing for certain is that if democracies and their citizens do not proactively confront the implications of the CyberKinetic Space and fear the worst, then the worst may just be the result…and history repeats: First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. 4

The ‘Hell Scenario’ of the future, described from the vantage of the current dominant position, symbolizes the final stage of the majority’s platform, and thus signifying a paradigm shift. In the CyberKinetic Space, 4

Martin Niemöller

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innovators of this post-modern platform already appreciate and adhere to its ubiquity and know the postmodern revolution is already underway. Revolutions of the dominant, modern societal, cultural, and economic fabric do not happen overnight, yet they also happen within generations from the 1700s onward. How radical is the new reality from the majority’s lives and does it automatically disenfranchise the majority by its adoption? This infers that maybe the innovators brewing the next revolution in their laboratories may want to consider the strength of the upcoming revolution’s disruptive forces and consider planning the phases; the ESEM framework is a genuine help with this. Will the revolution be so great as to entail a global war to prevent it from happening? Maybe, or maybe every technological revolution becomes more palatable to a versatile society already steeped in technological wherewithal. If that is true, then the ones to fear are the laggards and their intent to remain that way! However, an annihilating disruptive force (internal or external to the revolution) could change everything and quite quickly at that.

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A Taoest’s Brief Autobiography I was born with severe spinal bifida, and the advanced technology developed by my parents’ colleagues is the only reason they decided not to terminate me as a fetus. On January 7, 2025, the Taoest Industries moved beyond the humane experiments with volunteers suffering from severe physical disabilities and opened its solutions to anyone freely choosing its services. Herman Childs started the international consortium in 2010 after his only child, Carl at age 18, suffered a debilitating skull fracture that confined his abilities to walk, talk, and even breathe without machines. From 2017 to 2025, parents of any economic strata had the option to give their children a normal life, one that is aware, individualized, and fully communicative. The only prerequisite for the project was that the child must have an incurable deformity, lack of self-awareness, and/or a genetic predisposition to live an otherwise short life. Taoest Industries is a consortium of scientists and international business leaders that embrace the biotechnology and nanotechnology advances that could immortalize the human psyche and establish equality amongst all humans regardless of innate limitations. Today, January 25, 2025, Taoest Industries will accept adults of any age, race, and physical condition to be a part of the program; they continue to offer the service for any parents with problematical children and only refuse human infants and children with completely normal DNA. I love to read the classics, study astrophysics, interact with diverse cultures, cook exotic cuisines, and discuss evolutionary biology’s implications with Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin; these are a few of my favorite pursuits in the post-modern world. I speak several languages and multiple awards crown my mantle for physical and mathematical achievements, and none of my accomplishments would have been possible without the perseverance of the best and the brightest to find solutions for all humankind. One Taoest maxim states, ‘It is better to regret something you have done than to regret something you have not done.’ I have the world’s learnedness to appreciate and the freedom to choose my life’s path unencumbered by any illness or financial plight. Another tenet of Taoesm is, ‘Technology is inherently ethical, because anything otherwise would surely foreshadow that technology’s demise at the hands of a disenfranchised humankind.’ Taoests are originally and foremost agnostic. Taoests reject an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God and the totalitarianism of the elites over others; they believe every person is born with the freedom to decide his or her life’s journey. Individuals, not the government run by politicians, are the best arbiters to ensure every person can have an inalienable right to happiness. Herman Childs and other founding members of Taoest Industries decided the best minds to protect freedom are those who would never have had any choice in their own lives. Today, I am one of the leaders of a determined effort to research and develop enhancements providing hope for our altruistic goal, which is total freedom from strife for all minds and all peoples. My colleagues choose to believe what they want to believe as individuals, spirituality is an inherently personal decision; Taoesm just seems to appeal to our philosophical balance in our post-modern lives. I continue to be completely helpless without the protections afforded by Taoest Industries. All of my colleagues were originally the most vulnerable people and suspect to extreme societal prejudices. Since the beginning of Homo sapiens the cultural proclivity toward a eugenic utopia meant our genetic phenotypes were unreliable and discarded. Before these post-modern times, only a few documented examples existed of our minds and genetics contributing to the cultural and biological evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens. Today, our transhuman brethren are responsible for most every great technological stride protecting the human species from annihilation on Earth. Health care is available to every person, 8


pharmaceuticals protect and cure regardless of finances, there are self-fulfilling occupations open to anyone who wants to work for money, and artists have no shortage of admirers affording them meaning. Without the dedication of Herman Childs and the founding members of Taoest Industries, then there is little doubt that humans would be another extinct species falling prey to Malthus’s predictions. A handful of companies funded Taoest Industries after the United States launched 17 tactical nuclear weapons to win a war against the Islamofascists responsible for the devastating, genetically-engineered virus claiming more than 2 billion lives worldwide. The world’s civilizations needed vast organizational resources to rebuild the Anthropocene’s ecosystems, societies and infrastructure destroyed during the ‘1 in 4 War’. I am one of many who conceive new technologies to benefit the earth’s invaluable processes and deliver all minds from a brutish life. An air of pessimism and frailty infected every human’s psyche; how could such death be wrought by a mere ideology? Maybe, this fanaticism led so many to Taoesm. I do not have any physical or mental limitations in my world, but, without protection, fanatics could kill me easily by simply turning the room’s temperature higher than 102ºF. I have unlimited choices, yet I am completely stationary. Friends of mine patented a universal translator without concern for financial gain, and we all donate our earnings to continue the fundamental mission of Taoest Industries, which is ‘all humans are born with inalienable rights and these must be protected.’ There are still immoral events like murder, and every human is capable of an emotional outburst resulting in an atrocity. However, organized genocide has ended; international militaries would immediately squash any government or institution coordinating forces to such an end. Taoest Industries intentionally chose people like me, with seemingly unrecoverable afflictions, to protect the historically impotent from the worst of humanity. ‘Technology for technology’s sake’ is not the post-modern dictum. Technology for the benefit of all to realize their human rights is and forever will be a Taoest tradition. There is a long history recorded by elites eulogizing Westernization of all Others based on hegemonic premises. Taoest Industries does not suppose that its culture is the best inculcation thus far realized and evolutionarily superior to other cultural incarnations realistic in post-modern humanity. Thus, Taoesm is the choice of any individual human to embrace or not. Taoests believe that everyone is free as long as a person’s choices do not interfere with any other person’s inalienable rights. Technologists of the 1990s and earlier were correct, the mind can be downloaded, modeled, learn, and make decisions, however only an organic brain can be entrusted to do good with utmost concern for perpetuating all other peoples’ rights. Some humans consider my existence is blasphemous to God’s Will. I do not believe in God and the point is moot, however, I do want to explain that none of us is ignorant of our choices, no matter what age we came to Taoest Industries. We can choose to end our consciousness at any time; we are free to choose death. Our only commitment to Taoest Industries is to use the unconscious realms of our brains to assist with the rehabilitation of planet Earth. In effect, we are the tools, the societal wherewithal destroyed by losing one in four, to recapture humanity’s innate predilection to live in civility amongst one another. Taoesm has its roots in the oldest of principles of the longest-lived philosophy, hence the homonym. Taoesm evolved from the ancients to better fathom technology’s role in contemporary, post-modern life.

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Analysis of Taoesm and Its Implications Information and Communication Technologies are democratizing societies throughout the Anthropocene. Ethics, morality, standards, and cultures are in flux like never before the onset of this era. Current governments and people have a strong tendency to use historical constructs to define what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’; these histories involve culture, exposure to technological advances, economics, politics, and religion(s) as the major influencers. Taoesm is the planetary ethic that best manages the post-modern CyberKinetic Space; Taoesm is a philosophical paradigm shift seeking to resolve a moral compass for the technological revolutions in nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognitive science, robotics, and other sciences. Some make a strong argument to divide morality and ethics into three sub-categories, the “private, the public, and the planetary.” The influencers of each subdivision are variables as to their weightings therein. For example, the breakdown using Taoesm’s tenets looks like:

Type Technological Advances Economics Politics (Will to Power) Religion Culture

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Private 10% 15% 10% 30% 35%

Public 15% 20% 15% 20% 30%

Planetary (Taoesm) 40% 5% 5% 5% 45%


Private morality is dominated by the values held by individuals, which primarily come from religion/philosophy and culture. ‘Do unto others as you would have done to you’, this is widely accepted and oft heard by individuals citing his or her dominant religious/philosophical texts; this is the basis for personal morality. The public morality is evenly dispersed throughout the categories with significant gains in the economics and politics and a significant decline in the religion/philosophy as an influencer. The public morality is a reflection of the complex interactions of these defining criteria. The planetary ethic it is a more a guide than a maxim for societies to abide. The difficulties are enormous; modern thinkers see a need for all these ethical and moral systems to mutually reinforce one-another, starting at the top of the pyramid. Post-modernists contemplate the entire problem with moving forward to a planetary ethic is relativism. If anything goes because it is locally acceptable, then how can humans coexist peacefully and fruitfully perpetuate the species? This is the problem with Relativistic Thinking. Taoesm is NOT a moral code but it is a planetary ethic; moral codes are derived from different spheres of influence and rightfully so. A planetary ethic can only arise from different circumstances than moral traditions and the two arenas must be mutually exclusive. The greatest fear is that a planetary ethic formed by one cultural outcrop will arouse another World War, reeducation camps, and genocide between those that agree and those that disagree with its hegemonic implications, like ‘stop polluting the earth, or be killed’…the deep greens are like this. I hope that human civilizations will mutually reinforce one another through democracy, spread of personal freedom, and welcome the CyberKinetic Space. Citizens of the world will find there is more freedom when they are proactive in the CyberKinetic Space.

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Taoesm 4 0  

a post-modern take on the ancient philosophy of Taoism as relevant in a technological world.

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