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CogFront Manifesto

With every passing year, every day, every second, cognition becomes ever-more central to the direction of our lives, our societies, and our very species. In fact, it will soon exceed the limits of species.

For uncounted ages, human progress has been measured in the interstitial tensions between automation and control. It began with automation.

Automation is the evolutionary path, offloading work to external forces. Even before life, self-perpetuating forces have automated themselves by the agency of serendipity. Basic forces of the universe collude accidentally to produce an automated nuclear furnace, our Sun. We can only surmise that this same basic impulse toward automation lies behind the genesis of the universe itself. At the other end of the extreme is humanity.

The impulse toward automation that has driven biological evolution on Earth ultimately gave rise to humanity, a species not just capable of extending its power through automation, but intrinsically driven to it. It is the faculty of cognition that combines with the impulse toward automation that produces what truly makes humanity unique on this world, and it is an unbroken chain of cognition that defines our existence as individuals.

It is clear that automation can exist without cognition. In fact, that is a defining feature of it, for the cognition itself is work. The pursuit of automation is that of divesting oneself of the necessity to perform work. Depending on the motivation -- the cognitive purpose -- by which we pursue automation, automation either ends there or accelerates as it achieves ever higher levels of abstraction. Offloading work to automation frees the cognitive entity to pursue other avenues of automation. With enough forms of helpful automation to serve as a foundation, they can be harnessed together to provide automation of more breathtaking scope.

Somewhere along the way, we learned to start automating the drudgery of the cognitive process itself. From analytical engines to multi-core processors, and from punchcards to code that generates code according to the needs of the moment, we have begun automating the process of directing automation. The audacity of such a pursuit is shocking to those who understand it when they first truly grasp its implications.

Some of the most visionary are paralyzed by the fear of what we will achieve, and begin issuing dire portents about the apocalyptic dangers of gray goo and genocidal artifical intelligences in the hopes of saving humanity from the wonders of its own ingenuity in some kind of postneoluddite attempt to ward against their own deep pessimism.

Others are credulously optimistic. Many of these believe that political wishful thinking predicated upon impossibly utopian visions of serving base, biological needs will miraculously transcend proven failure with the approach of a technological singularity, magically becoming inevitable. Others simply attach themselves to egotistical conceptions of immortality, pursuing perpetual existence not so much for themselves as for their self-images, and are willing to die to get there from here.

These two approaches to predicting a future defined by automating the process of developing automation are opposites, in that one is deeply pessimistic, while the other is credulously optimistic. They are still, relative to other perspectives, more alike than different, and stuck somewhere between two extremes.

At one end of the spectrum are those who simply have not yet grasped the concept that human progress has entered a phase where automating the process of automation is the vanguard of the species. They thus cannot begin to grasp the real implications of humans working hard to develop new ways to automate things. Sadly, they self-select themselves out of the pool of talent that goes into guiding that direction, as they refuse to dedicate any part of their daily lives to even considering such matters. They choose to automate the very act of cognition itself, not just the drudgery of cognition so that they free their resources to handle other matters, but all of it so that they need never have an original thought again.

At the other end of the spectrum is those who look beyond not just the antiperspective of those who wish to give up cognition entirely, but also beyond the restricted perspectives of the singularitarian optimists and pessimists. These singularitarian optimists and pessimists are defined by their expectation of giving up control over their own automatons. The pessimists believe the golem will slay its master, while the optimists believe they can quite literally live on through their "children", failing to see the important difference between self and legacy.

The extremists who transcend the expectation of uncontrolled automation see, instead, the potential for self-directed evolution by self-extension. We do not unknowingly pursue species euthanasia as a legacy, nor do we fear our own evolution as an approaching end by the agency of our own creations, nor indeed do we choose ignorance of the possibilities in pursuit of cognitive self-negation. Instead, we choose to craft and mold our individual futures, to seek transcendance of our current limitations without destroying our individual selves in the process.

CogFront is the vanguard of self-directed evolution. It is the forefront of cognition. It is not just giving birth to automation, but becoming its mind and soul, its direction, and its Purpose.

When we have each become an individual center of self-extending, constantly evolving automation, our higher selves will have the luxury of pursuing greater heights. This is the ascension of humankind to a higher state of being. This is transcendance. It is transhumanism in its purest form. It is the future of CogFront.