"Essay" is used here as a grab-bag term for informal nonfictional writing -- as opposed to dense, technical academic research papers. The "essays" given here cover a pretty wide ground, from poetic wild-ass speculations to journalistic articles to more formal explorations that are almost academically rigorous but not quite. There are also a few pieces that were published originally in academic journals, but even so aren't quite fully academic-ish....
Of course this is very far from a complete list of everything I've written -- it's just a small sampling. Nor is it a "best of" -- it's more a "whatever I happened to put online at some point, for some reason or another."
My collection of online pre-2005 essays can be found here. There is a lot of overlap with the current list, but there are some weird old speculative pieces on there that I haven't bothered to replicate here.
Stuff written during 2008 and 2009 will be posted here eventually...
- Ten Years to a Positive Singularity -- If We Really, Really Try
- The Illusion of Immortality and the Immortality of Illusions
- Encouraging a Positive Transcension: AI Buddha versus AI Big Brother, Voluntary Joyous Growth, the Global Brain Singularity Steward Mindplex, and Other Issues in Transhumanist Ethical Philosophy
- Encouraging a Positive Transcension via Self-Improving, Theorem-Proving AI
- Creating Self-Improving, Theorem-Proving AI's that Embody Conceptual Continuity, Intelligently Handle Existential Risk, and Pursue Specified Goals
- Postscript on the above two essays
- Thoughts on AI Morality
- WorldWideBrain: The Emergence of Global Web Intelligence and What It Will Mean to the Human Race" (this is the most recent version of the WorldWideBrain article)
- The WorldWideBrain: Using the WorldWideWeb to Implement Globally Distributed Cognition (this is an old version of the WorldWideBrain article, but it has some interesting ideas that did not survive to the more recent version)
- The All-Seeing A(I): Universal Mind Simulation as a Possible Path to Stably Benevolent Superhuman AI
- Encouraging a Positive Transcension: Issues in Transhumanist Ethical Philosophy
- Postcript: Defining Growth, Joy and Choice
The "Journey of the Void" is basically the same concept as my "Ons" attempt at unified physics, but told as a quasi-theological prose poem rather than an assemblage of equations.
- The Journey of the Void : Beginnings, Complexity, Mind, Reality, Art, Hierarchy, History
- Universal Ethics: The Foundation of Compassion in Pattern Dynamics
- The Virtual Multiverse Theory of Free Will
- Patterns of Awareness: A Pattern-Theoretic, Panpsychist Solution to the Hard Problem of Consciousness
- Science, Probability and Human Nature: A Sociological/Computational/Probabilist Philosophy of Science
- Chance and Consciousness
- Helical Time in Physics and Psychology
- On the Algebraic Structure of Consciousness (I now think the ideas in this essay are largely nonsense, but who knows, maybe I or someone will eventually milk some value out of them...)
This one might be important -- I think I understood some new things about why quantum physics is so peculiar, but I haven't taken time to develop these ideas fully or publicize them at all.
Fragments of a Very Incomplete Attempt at a Unified Physics
These are rough notes that originated during a dialogue with Onar Aam, Kent Palmer and Tony Smith in the late 1990's. A promising direction I think, but very formative and preliminary thoughts.