Re: How Kurzweil lost the Singularity

From: Michael Anissimov (
Date: Fri Jun 21 2002 - 02:06:41 MDT

Samantha Atkins writes:

>I see him building awareness and momentum now and stepping back, for
>now, from taking any technological lead. Perhaps he believes more can
>be accomplished by him at this point in that capacity and/or that
>technology is proceeding apace in any case. I am a little worried to
>see you or anyone casting moral aspersions on another if there actions
>are not what you would have done in their place. I don't think that
>very fruitful.

Do you seriously think that it is moral to mass-distribute a version of
the Singularity meme that massively underplays the individual's role in
creating the Singularity? What kind of difference do you think it
would make for the Singularity if that same meme were spread, but
*with* encouragement of individual action? I'm not worried about
Eliezer's suggestions at all - as he said, there are futurists out
there who are shocked how someone can "get" the Singularity but not
take personal responsibility or devote a dime of money to technologies
aimed directly at it. Creating musical and poetry writing software is
cute and fun, but the same money invested in that sort of stuff can
give us hundreds or thousands of times the return if invested in a
technology that more directly supported the Singularity. There's
already enough waste in the world, seriously.

>Producing and forwarding the meme is no small contribution.

Producing and forwarding the wrong meme can do more harm than good,
because once the meme gets around, it may be too late to change
anybody's mind.

>If the meme catches fire the technologists and investors will follow.

True Singularity-furthering technologies *may* not turn out to have
immediate, obvious, impressive returns. Other areas will almost
certainly be more appealing, at least at first. Contributions directly
aimed at the Singularity may be generated out of pure altruism and
Singularitarianism alone.

>I don't know what Singularity as religion has to do with this
>conversation one way or the other.

The idea is that if people use the Singularity as a passive excuse to
continue on with what they are already doing, although assigning it
more imaginary value, regardless of whether they have actually changed
their actions to accelerate the Singularity more directly, those people
will be acting religious. And that is absolutely correct.

Michael Anissimov

Free POP3/Web Email, File Manager, Calendar and Address Book

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:39 MDT