Who Is This Book For?

The book is for everyone who likes thinking and understanding -- of course. For everyone who wants to understand their world, their mind, or their future.

But it will go down most easily for the reader who's already absorbed a bit of technofuturism -- perhaps from reading modern SF writers like Vinge or Stephenson or Stross; or perhaps from the nonfiction works of Kurzweil or Drexler or other futurist pundits.

There is a lot to say about Cosmism, but in writing this Manifesto I've aimed for compactness over completeness -- not only because I have a lot of other things to do than write manifestos, but also because I want to make sure the focus is on the essentials.

As a result of its compactness, this brief work is probably not too "novice-friendly" -- if you've not plunged into the early 21st century techno-futurist literature at all before, you may find it perplexing and opaque, and you may want to do some other reading first and come back to this a little later. Or not -- sometimes it's best to just plunge in!

No References!

In fact, the vast majority of ideas presented here are things I've written down before in one book, article, essay or another, over the years, often in much more depth than is done here. But most of those prior writings have been aimed at an academic audience; and I've sometimes felt that in those writings some of the core ideas have been expressed with inadequate clarity due to the various connections and complications elaborated therein. Sometimes there is power in simplicity.

There are many, many details pertaining to all the points raised here, and exploring them is critical -- but it's also critical to be clear on the fundamentals and not to get lost in the particulars.

In this spirit, you'll notice an absence of references and citations in this text. I know how to write in a fully-referenced academic style all too bloody well -- and this is intentionally not that kind of work. I'm not representing that every idea presented here is original. Some are original; many are not! Sometimes I mention another historical or contemporary thinker by name, when it seems particularly appropriate -- but these mentions are not particularly systematic and don't necessarily reflect the biggest influences or sources of the ideas given here.

My Hope

My hope is that you'll find the practical philosophy I articulate here not only interesting but also compelling. Cosmism isn't just about cool ideas that are fun to think, talk and write about. It's about actively trying to understand more, actively trying to grow and improve and collectively create a better cosmos, and all that good stuff...

As will become clear to you if you read the rest of this Manifesto, one aspect of Cosmism is, that, roughly speaking: the more sentient beings adopt Cosmist values, the better will Cosmist values be served.

Of course, I don't expect anyone to fully agree with everything I say here -- I myself, in a decade or a year or maybe even a month, may not agree with all of it!

However, if you agree with a substantial percentage of Cosmism as I articulate it here -- and more importantly, if you agree with the spirit in which these thoughts are offered -- then you are a Cosmist in the sense in which I mean the term.


  1. While I'm 'on board' with points 1-10 above, I feel compelled to mention two, fairly trivial, issues:

    1. The term, "Cosmist," is -- exceedingly a-euphonious; it does not lie happily on the tongue. (Ditto, "Cosmism." Ugh!)

    2. The blog or book title, "A Cosmist Manifesto," has an unfortunate resonance.
    While I, having lurked on SL4 for years, can appreciate the doubtless playful intent, I would expect it to register as an immediate negative to many.

    Neither point is worth considering if your intended audience is, explicitly, restricted to those who already know you and/or 'embrace' "cosmism." Yet if you hope for a broader readership, it seems to me you strike a 'newbie' with two modest negatives right away.


  2. Re "no references", I think this is a mistake. This leaves your arguments without external support. Interestingly, you have chosen a medium where you can easily hyperlink to supporting material without being too obtrusive about it.

    Unfortunately, I tend to treat such unsupported essays as personal diatribes rather than reasoned and rational arguments.

    Also, rather than working in Blogger's relatively primitive framework, I suggest that you try Google Sites - http://sites.google.com that offers a much more interesting set of possibilities for structured thinking. Check out https://sites.google.com/site/organizingcommunityaction/ for a few examples of how it can be used.



  3. Hello Ben, I am a total Cosmist. I am reading your book and I am fascinated with what you say. I am looking forward to that future of exceeded intelligence all around us. My goal is to make a paradise happen on Earth, Moon, Mars and beyond, for all sentient beings equally much. Love. Love. Love. Nicola or Nicki (The lady who has a severe crush on you)

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