Re: Egan dismisses Singularity, maybe

Date: Mon Apr 29 2002 - 07:44:46 MDT

evan noted:
<<In Clarke's _Profiles of the Future_, he cites 'failure of imagination',
'failure of nerve' as the two reasons why people so often underestimate the
future. I really have trouble ascribing failure of imagination to either of
these authors. I think the real trouble is that writers who consider
themselves 'hard sf' writers just don't deal with transhumanity or
singularities. Perhaps, in their attitude that's too close to mysticism
than to hard science.>>

Clarke has had to re-evaluate his estimation of technical progress,
downwards, more the revising upwards. Now will computer technology, form a
cascade effect, such as nuclear weaponry did from theories in 1905- to
detonation in 1945? Its quite possible, given the prodigiousness of computer
technology. Will that cascade effect really be a singularity? Given the
example of nuclear power, it made highly effective weapons, but as power
sources, it seems less adaptable to human needs, in the mixmaster society we
all must live in. Also the economics are a bit expensive.

Rocketry seems to be a similar example, where it experienced a mighty
growth-spurt, only to appear to have plateau-ed for quite a while. Again,
will computer technology also reach a plateau before singularity? My opinion
is that modern tech will certainly continue to produce amazing inventions,
however, typically, we are on a road that has more stop signs, then
superhighways. My opinion only.

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