From: Mike & Donna Deering (
Date: Mon May 13 2002 - 10:55:20 MDT

Damien Broderick very briefly wrote:

Thanks! To get any kind of positive feedback from a real writer is very

Spudboy wrote:
>I wonder when a take-off, hard or smoother is really due?

I think calculating the exact moment of the Singularity should be fairly
straight forward. Take a look at Kurzweil's charts for a general idea of
how to approach the problem. But put all the charts on the same paper. His
charts are not high enough resolution and he doesn't show the mathematical
extrapolations. In order to improve the resolution you would need to
research the data for as many points as possible. Get a very large piece of
paper and a very fine line set of colored pencils, so you could see the
individual lines. Color code the different lines in order of importance.
Chart time across the bottom and whatever the appropriate scale for each
dataset up the side. Use a computer to calculate the best fit curves and do
the extrapolations. The Singularity is coming along with such precision and
regularity that it should be possible to pin point it down to a few days.
If I had the time I would do this myself I would, but I have a job to go to,
and a kid to raise. If you read "The Law of Accelerating Returns" by Ray
Kurzweil's Singularity essay on his website with all his charts and
exponential growth formulas, the text explains that he has been purposely
conservative in all his estimates:

Kurzweil writes:
>This is actually a conservative assumption.
>In general, innovations improve V (computer power) by a multiple,
>not in an additive way.

I think his charts and formulas overestimate the time to the Singularity
(2021). My feeling is closer to 2005.

Spudboy also writes:
>I wonder if intelligence, like the speed of light, has a
>embedded limit?

I think there has to be a limit. Consider, 2 + 2 = 4, or the solar system
has nine planets, or the motor branch of the median nerve leaves the main
trunk at the distal edge of the transverse carpal ligament to innervate the
thenar muscles. If we both know these things can you know them better than
I do? Assuming the universe is limited, once you know everything haven't
you hit the limit?

Michael Anissimov wrote:
>Excellent new story! I love your stories, hehe.

Thank you! I appreciate every comment. I write these stories not so much
for people to throw flowers but rather to generate discussion of some of the
controversial points. I was really disappointed on "Four Years Later" that
no one except Eliezer wrote " hey dummy, that's not how it's going to
be...". There was a lot to object to in that one. I hope no one is worried
about hurting my feelings, they're titanium plated.

Michael Anissimov also wrote:
>You should write more,

I wish I could. I'm not a professional writer, but I love it. I'm not a
very good writer, which isn't so much a matter of lack of knowledge or
skills but a lack of discipline. I don't take the requisite time and effort
to add enough description and don't check everything before sending it out.
Every time I send one out, I wait for it to come back, then read it again
and find all kinds of mistakes and stuff I was thinking about putting in
that got forgotten.

Michael Anissimov also wrote:
>May I throw up your latest one and publish it?

Sure. And you don't have to keep asking. Anything I put on here is free to
do with whatever you want. Although, it would be nice if you could send me
a link. I recently tried to access your site and got a "Forbidden" message.

Michael Anissimov also wrote:
>you don't have any good stories you haven't
>sent to the SL4 list you?

Hmm... I have some stuff I wrote for "Penthouse Letters" which may not be
appropriate for this site. The next story which is rolling around in my
head is about what can go wrong when uploading is implemented in a
McDonald's like retail format with an outlet in every town operated by
minimum wage teenagers with no special skills.


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