Nov 29, 2022·edited Nov 29, 2022Liked by Bobby Azarian

Loved this article and your Road to Omega effort. I have myself toyed with many of these ideas, and am on board with most of them. Do you have an online community that I can join to see what activities are currently under way?

I have a small nit with the word "game". As you mention, what we are talking here really are "infinite games", not finite ones that everyone is familiar with and may have a negative connotation for some. When someone says "turn your life into a game", it may turn some people off because the general feeling is "life is not a game".

I personally prefer the term "story". It tells you that there is no such thing as "winning" it, it may or may not end i.e. be infinite, it may or may not involve competition, and it may be embedded in higher level epics etc. That creates a much better picture in my mind. Even just saying "life is a story" makes me feel a lot better than saying "life is a game". What you want at the end of your life is a great story to tell.

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I love the Sagan quotes and the term "neuromantics." With your permission, I'll call myself a neuromantic. Is there a reference to William Gibson's masterwork? If so, I'm missing it, please explain.

Re "save the world... with science, epistemology, and blockchain technology."

I would recommend that you keep things at the appropriate level of detail, and don't mention low level tools like blockchain technology at this high level conceptual stage. You can always introduce this and other technical tool later when you zoom in the picture.

Not that I don't like blockchain technology. I love it and I was a very early adopter. I started experimenting with Bitcoin days after the publication of Satoshi's paper, and I have made a living for years as a freelance writer in the crypto trade press. But I stopped writing about crypto/blockchain when I realized that many enthusiasts were treating it as a "religion" and a magic bullet for all that is wrong in the world.

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Dec 3, 2022Liked by Bobby Azarian

Thanks for this, Bobby. I'm invested in the ideas you're describing here, and I share the worldview you outline.

I'd like see you further unpack how all of this could be considered a religion, as religions are more than a worldview.

I'm thinking of my own heritage, for instance, which (for good and bad) happens to be Mormonism. Joseph Smith gave people a worldview that the purpose of life was to come to Earth from a premortal realm, experience the trials and insights of living in a physical body, and collectively progress toward godhood the same way God had (not so different from the concept of loops and levels). This vision — coupled with Smith's mix of confidence, charisma, and con-artistry— compelled people to uproot their lives, gather in a community, and follow him. In many cases, they made Mormonism their primary identity, giving ten percent of their income and dozens of hours a week to their church. Millions of members still do.

None of this was without downsides, some of which were (and continue to be) quite severe. But it *did* give people community and purpose in their daily lived experience. Again, it wasn't just a worldview. It was an identity and a collective lifestyle.

I'm hopeful that a healthier version of religion will emerge in the 21st century — a religion that integrates rigorous science. It is worth noting, however, that attempts to do this have so far largely failed. As I've written elsewhere, more than 170 years ago, the French philosopher Auguste Comte started the Religion of Humanity, a secular community that replaced revelation and faith with science and reason. He celebrated love, order, and human progress, adopting the slogan “love as principle, order as basis, progress as end.”

The Religion of Humanity built chapels and employed a trained clergy, but the project struggled to take off. Growth stagnated. Today there are no chapters of the Religion of Humanity in the United States and very few in other places. Even in France, it’s little more than an interesting historical artifact.

I still have hope for the vision of religion that Sagan articulates in your piece. In fact, speaking of finding a life's purpose, I want to play a role in giving it form. I just don't yet see how to get there.

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Nov 29, 2022Liked by Bobby Azarian

Like many, if not most, I have been on a quest through my life to make sense of the world and find purpose. I explored numerous religions to various degrees and finally found a comfortable place with Unitarian Universalism which had no rigid doctrine or creed. As I made my career in science, I find wonder and awe in the discoveries and practicality that have resulted. Science became an integral means by which I made personal discovery. It has taken on aspects of the Cosmic Religion that you mention. It promises to be a framework that could actually work for the benefit of homo sapiens, Gaia and the universe at large. But the challenge is getting more on board in line with this game of life analogy. Traditionally it has been done via organized religions and embodied in church gatherings. But almost without exception, this has only come about through the eloquent preachings of a charismatic leader. It seems we humans are in a transition period in our society and showing a bit of chaos. One has to wonder if we can self-organize and emerge with a majority taking up this cosmic religion. It is entirely likely the world is going to need a catalyst or some strange attractor in order to do so. This could mirror history with the rise of a world leader. But more likely it will be driven by one of the four cataclysmic drivers. Among the wide variety of catastrophes that level societies, Walter Scheidel of Stanford University identifies what he calls “four horsemen”: mass mobilization or state warfare, transformative revolution, state collapse and plague. I hope I am wrong and we can come to our senses without such a violent transition.

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Nov 29, 2022Liked by Bobby Azarian

Good job, we can see that you have experience writing up articles!

Very interested on how you will link meta-awareness and complexity in the upcoming articles...

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I love the game analogy. Makes it much easier to understand life like that. So many people grow up playing games but never realize the correlation. Also, really looking forward to the Bayesian reasoning posts. After college I would have thought of myself as a "frequentist", but over the years, the Bayesian approach makes much more sense in reality.

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Dear Mr. Azarian,

I love your writing and I followed the work of at least some of sources. I nod my head in complete resonance with almost everything you write here but I cannot and do not draw the same conclusion. I don't know that some of those who you cite, like Dennett or Prigoine would either.

There is no purpose - no necessary teleological hierarchy that yields greater adaptiveness. The only thing that humans sit on top of on Spaceship Earth is the food chain - a precarious place from the perspective of natural selection. The only reason that we are even free to think so much of ourselves - that we as a species have some cosmic significance or manifest destiny - is the unrepeatable "free" energy subsidy made available to only a few generations of a single species to the detriment and at the expense of others. Like any bacterial colony, we a most likely continue on the path we are on - which is to exploit available resources to grow population and then die in our own waste.

I want to read more of your work. Other than the conclusion drawn I thoroughly enjoy and agree with what you write. Thank you.

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To push these ideas forward you need to focus on making them more accessible by simplifying the message form. Your subscription service can only fail in this context. Team up with comic book author like example @ScottAdams of Dilbert fame: simplify the message.

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This article conforms wonderfully with the biological imperative discussed by Bruce Lipton in "Spontaneous Evolution" as well as confirming De Chardin's Omega Point to evolution.

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