Re: Threats to the Singularity.

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Jun 14 2002 - 22:49:51 MDT

At 03:53 PM 6/13/02 -0400, Eliezer wrote:

>Kurzweil is a futurist, not an activist. He argues that the Singularity
>*will* occur. As far I know he is not putting any effort into making it
>occur. He believes it is inevitable. So much for that.

That's very silly. Robert Heinlein and Arthur Clarke didn't build any moon
rockets either, but it's arguable that they massively preshaped the
Zeitgeist in ways that accelerated the (political acceptability of) Apollo
and other NASA projects. True, that was synergized by military dynamics,
but we could have had nuclear weapons hanging in orbit rather than humans
walking (however briefly) on the Moon.

It seems to me that Ray's efforts could prove immensely catalytic in
preparing the mind-set of intelligent people in the USA and elsewhere to
accept and embrace the Singularity prospect, making it vastly easier for
the developers of the relevant technologies to advance without being
crushed or ignored. I tried earlier to do the same thing with THE SPIKE and
THE LAST MORTAL GENERATION, but alas simply didn't have the leverage to
make much difference (outside Oz). In our ways, it seems to me, Kurzweil
and I (and other writer/analyst/promoters going back to Ed Regis and
beyond) are doing quite a lot to `make it occur' in a responsible way.

Damien Broderick

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