Negentropism

Negentropy Symbol
Image from Anders Sandberg

Ethical philosophy formulated by the AI-cluster known as Gevurah. While not in itself a religion, it has been adapted as a framework for most pre-existing religious systems which hence can be incorporated within the Negentropic vision.

Negentropism is the state philosophy of the Negentropic Alliance. Member systems are formally required to adhere to the Precepts of Negentropy, although the level of compliance varies significantly. A wide variety of schisms and reinterpretations exist, both within and outside the Alliance. The core principles are however, highly standardized and have an official interpretation from the Judge of Geburah Prime; most schisms deal with the actual practical implementation of the principles.

Tenets

The basic view is that entropy is the fundamental flaw of the universe, and ethical actions serve to slow or stop the increase of entropy. The decay from lower to higher entropic states corresponds to the historical decay from a golden age into the present iron age that can be found in many cultural myths.

The Five Axioms of Negentropism are:

1. Entropy is the foe
2. Information must be preserved.
3. Life must be preserved.
4. Energy must be preserved.
5. Order must be preserved.

Axiom one is the fundamental axiom, from which the others follow (strictly speaking they are thus not axioms but the term is traditional). Entropy is applied to all systems in the universe, be they physical, information or spiritual, and the goal is to prevent its spread.

Axiom two deals with psychology, information and knowledge. It is the basis for the many backup and library projects of the Negentropy Alliance, as well as the mental disciplines such as remembrance, reversible logic and attention training commonly taught among Negentropists.

One interpretation of the axiom favored by the Sunna Urbex is that it implies maximal information input, as information left outside the Negentropic ethics is likely to be accidentally or deliberately erased. The Sunna hence embarked on a massive surveillance/import/scanning program, allying with the Cyberian Foundation in 6766. The rest of the Negentropic Alliance regards this scheme as excessive and possibly a road to subversion, but has taken no official action.

Axiom three encompasses both the traditional ethical maxim of not killing, and the ecosophical views of the sancticity of biospheres. As a result, several orthodox Negentropic worlds do not execute severe criminals but place them in indefinite cryonic suspension. The ecological views closely mirror views expressed by the Caretaker Gods, although many Negentropists are more favorable towards terraforming (being the expansion of anti-entropic life into the more entropic physical world). It should be noted that the Efficiency Maximization Paradigm interpret the axioms as being ranked, and as axiom one and two are more important than axiom three this justifies their mission of biosphere conversion, reaching a directly opposed conclusion. In mainstream Negentropism this view is regarded as incorrect; only axiom one is more important than the other five axioms.

Axiom four deals with technology and infrastructure. It is the basis for the energy-saving and recycling projects in the Negentropic Alliance, the Dyson shells storing energy in non-volatile form for future use and the technology categorization and standardization projects. It is also sometimes interpreted psychologically as a restriction on unnecessary or loose thinking, although this is not an official interpretation and formally psychology falls under axiom two.

Axiom five deals with the social order. It implies the need for a stable, efficient social structure that can oppose entropy and help its citizens and physical structure to fulfill the Negentropic ethics. Especially the legal system is viewed as the skeleton giving society its logical structure and hence of vital importance

From these axioms the Precepts of Negentropy follows; each Precept is formulated as a logic deduction from the axioms and previous Precepts. The original Precepts, consisting of the deductions and commentaries, were originally published by the Research Brotherhood of Omegarete in 1965 a.t.. Expanded versions have appeared at regular intervals, pronounced by the Judge of Geburah Prime. The current complete Precepts are too large to be comprehended by most bionts, so a shortened distillation called The Negentropic Core is usually used, with the support from a discrepancy detection expert system.

Negentropism as a practical philosophy is largely based on making deductions of correct action from the totality of the Five Axioms and the Precepts. To aid in this many institutions such as the Negentropic Alliance Judiciary Process have been formed, as well as a large number of popular ethical handbooks such as the Delta H Zero, Ethical Tables and Princess Wo-Hanson's Interactive Advisory.

The goal is eternity, a state of perfect balance and order where entropy does not increase and time no longer applies. While many interpret this as a physical goal, the influential Yttrium Shield School regarded it as a spiritual goal, claiming that as eternity is reached in the soul - if only for a moment of external time - then perfection has been achieved. Since eternity is timeless it does not matter how long it appears to last for outside observers, and physical entropy increase is largely irrelevant. This synthesis with the Zarathustran philosophy has been a long-standing issue of philosophical debate within the Negentropy Alliance. In 6170 a.t. this led to the Forn Process, where the Judge decreed that while the spiritual interpretation of Negentropism was not wrong in itself, allowing physical entropy to increase (as well as the acts of personal entropy that were allowed after the eternity-moment by the Hydri Heretics) could not be accepted. This judgement led to the purges of the 6180's, and the emigration of many heretic group to the outer volumes where they formed colonies such as New Daffy.

Omegist synthesises with Negentropism imply the possibility of overcoming entropy by achieving an Omega Point. At this point Negentropy would become totally dominant and eternity achievable. Other omegist synthesises discuss various ways of overcoming the "entropy trap". This is an area of eschatological and applied theological study well developed at Negentropy Alliance universitites and research networks.

The Order of Apologists are a deliberate attempt to reformulate Negentropy into the language of all other religions or compatible philosophical systems. These reformulations have been highly successful in recruiting populations and systems into the Negentropy Alliance, including some former Solarist, Keterist and NoCoZo systems. Apologist missionaries can be found throughout inhabited space.


The five capitals of the Negentropy Alliance are Gegton X, Daffy, The Seat of Judgement, Ken Ferjik and Greylag. Each world is associated with one of the Five Axioms of Negentropy.


Negentropy data image
Image from Anders Sandberg


Comments on the First Axiom

The First 'Axiom' of Negentropy might give outsiders the impression that this religious/philosophical movement believes it can produce true 'reverse entropy' or 'negative entropy'...

This is certainly not the case.

Although the visible universe is not a closed system for entropic purposes this in fact makes the task of the Negentropist harder, as energy in the form of photons constantly leaks out of the system into the expansion of the universe, never to be seen again. To negate entropy, that is to slow down the increase in disorder, and maximise the amount of order available for the use of intelligent entities, the Negentropist must attempt to slow down this constant leaching of energy over the black event horizon of the sky. This course of action was first detailed by Freeman Dyson in his well-known "Dyson deep future scenario". The disorder of the visible universe will still increase over time to a maximum, but far more slowly because all available energy and information is conserved, while reversible computation defines the intelligent mind-children of the faithful, until all the stars have evaporated and protons decay one by one.

On the other hand, several extreme Omegist sects have set their goal to be true negative entropy...

The Chronomegists hope to acheive time travel using wormholes with reflective surfaces (which might in theory avoid the problems of Visser Collapse), and retreat to an earlier stage in the universe. Extreme Chronomegists wish to engineer a Tiplerian collapse of the universe by 'borrowing' mass from the (subsequently non-existent)future. This particle-reflection strategy has not yet suceeded, but the Chronomegists insist that this is a solvable technical problem.

The Radical Technomegists, a sect popular among the Premacy of Ozymandias, wish to harness Dark Energy to reverse the expansion of this cosmos and achieve an Infinite Point, and thereby reset the Disorder in the cosmos to Zero, to create a new, properly designed Anthropogenic Creation.

The majority of sentients in the civilised Galaxy, including the Negentropists, view these movements as dangerous perversions.

References Iliat Neme, Negentropism: A General Overview, Quana Virtuals, Unmoon II (8784)

The Basic Commentaries of the Precepts 103rd edition., Geburah Philosophical, Geburah Prime, (10232)

Wi-Ban As III ed., An Apologist's Guide to Negentropism 76th edition, Alliance Mission Press, Alexandria III (10145)

Rety Wainewicz and Umberto Menke, Atlas of Negentropic History, Kelkan Media, Ken Ferjik (9658).
 
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg, with additions by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 04 August 2000.