Maximum Jailbreak

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B. Singleton (2014), JBIS, 67, pp.266-271

Refcode: 2014.67.266
Keywords: Fedorov, cosmism, accelerationism, philosophy of space travel, design

First formulated one hundred and fifty years ago by the heretical scholar Nikolai Federov, the doctrine of cosmism begins with an absolute refusal to treat the most basic factors conditioning life on Earth gravity and death as necessary constraints on action. As manifest through the intoxicated cheers of its early advocates that humans should storm the heavens and conquer death, cosmism's foundational gesture was to conceive of the earth as a trap. Its duty was therefore to understand the duty of philosophy, economics and design to be the creation of means to escape it. This could be regarded as a jailbreak at the maximum possible scale, a heist in which the human species could steal itself from the vault of the Earth. After several decades of relative disinterest new space ventures are inspiring scientific, technological and popular imaginations, this essay explores what kind of cosmism might be constructed today. In this paper cosmism's position as a means of escape is both reviewed and evaluated by reflecting on the potential of technology that actually can help us achieve its aims and also through the lens and state-ofthe-art philosophy of accelerationism, which seeks to outrun modern tropes by intensifying them.

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