RE: Threats to the Singularity.

From: Martin Moore (
Date: Fri Jun 14 2002 - 08:20:57 MDT

--- Ben Goertzel <> wrote:
> Kurzweil, however, IS putting effort into helping
> people understand the
> Singularity.

Any major movement is accompanied by some sort of
philosophy, including art & lit. It both prepares the
society for the change, and advances the change
itself. JFK poured tons of cash into the moonlanding,
but his famous speach is remembered for preparing the
Nation and sparking an interest that made it all
(including the $$$) possible.

(excerpts - 1962, Rice Stadium)
"...This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace
cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new
ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the
opening vistas of space promise high costs and
hardships, as well as high reward.

"So it is not surprising that some would have us stay
where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But
this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this
country of the United States was not built by those
who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.
This country was conquered by those who moved
forward--and so will space...

"William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of
the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and
honorable actions are accompanied with great
difficulties, and both must be enterprised and
overcome with answerable courage.

"If this capsule history of our progress teaches us
anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge
and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred.
The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we
join in it or not, and it is one of the great
adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to
be the leader of other nations can expect to stay
behind in the race for space...

"We set sail on this new sea because there is new
knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and
they must be won and used for the progress of all
people. For space science, like nuclear science and
all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether
it will become a force for good or ill depends on man,
and only if the United States occupies a position of
pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean
will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of
war. I do not say the we should or will go unprotected
against the hostile misuse of space any more than we
go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea,
but I do say that space can be explored and mastered
without feeding the fires of war, without repeating
the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ
around this globe of ours...

"And it will be done before the end of this decade...

"--even though I realize that this is in some measure
an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know
what benefits await us...

"And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing
on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest
adventure on which man has ever embarked."

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