Archive for the 'Short Writings' Category

An essay about mythical creatures and their relationship to humans

I discovered this fantasy essay from 2004 by Buck Young titled A Historical Overview of The Whereabouts Of Gnomes And Elves, Fauns And Faeries, Goblins, Ogres, Trolls And Bogies, Nymphs, Sprites And Dryads, Past And Present.

I haven’t figured out who this is, but the essay is great read. Someone posted the whole thing on Facebook, and it showed up in my feed. At first it seemed like a very easy read, so I started reading the beginning. Something longer than a short sneeze of information always sticks out on the Internet. Then, I realized the story is about elves and gnomes, and I thought to myself, “why am I reading this?” But then I couldn’t stop reading it.

It makes one think because this essay intertwines between reality and fantasy in a mockumentury style.

From cosmism to deism

From cosmism to deism.
This essay is very interesting and hits on new terms that I have never heard of prior to reading this essay.

  • artilects – artificial intellects, i.e., godlike massively intelligent machines with intellectual capacities trillions of trillions of times above the human level
  • Theism vs Deism
    • Deism — the belief that there is a “deity,” i.e., a creator of the universe, a grand designer, a cosmic architect, that conceived and built our universe.
    • Theism — the belief in a deity that also cares about the welfare of individual humans.
  • Cosmism — the ideology if favor of humanity building artilects this century
  • Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP) – the values of the constants of the laws of physics are so fantastically, improbably finely tuned to allow the existence of matter and life, that it seems highly likely that these values were predesigned.
  • The “mathematical principle” – the idea that the universe appears to have been designed by a mathematician.

A humbling quote from the essay: We humans have existed for about 105 years, i.e., only a thousandth of 1% of the age of the universe – “a mere afterthought of an afterthought.”

The essay exposes that our third-generation star, the Sun, is only about 5 billion years old in our 13.7 billion year old universe, so “so it is likely that there are a trillion trillion second-generation stars in our observable universe that are billions of years older, that possibly have planets on which intelligent life evolved and then moved on in an “artilectual transition” to become “artilect gods.” These artilects may then have designed their own universes.”

I won’t spoil the rest. This is a very good read.