Re: How hard a Singularity?

From: James Higgins (
Date: Wed Jul 03 2002 - 22:17:11 MDT

At 10:48 PM 7/3/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>James: "SL4 - Where reality is stranger than fiction."
>James, we live in the absolutely most interesting, terrifying, and
>significant time in all of the history of the universe. The Singularity
>is it! If this had ever happened before, anywhere, we'd have heard about
>it. Nothing we could imagine could be as fascinating or as scary as
>reality right now. Never before

This small piece of time is definitely all those things. But lets not get
ahead of ourselves, we have no idea if this has happened before. My
personal opinion is that this type of thing has probably happened many
times but that its usually cataclysmic. Hell, as pointed out repeatedly we
may just be simulations.

>have we had to concern ourselves with so many existential risks, some of
>which, risks not just for us but for everything. And being on the cusp of
>changing literally everything overnight, the immediate future is so
>unpredictable. When I was a child I had nightmares. Now my dreams pale
>to boredom compared to real life. Something incredible is going to
>happen. Some businessmen who have become aware of the trends are
>wondering how to take advantage of the economic opportunities. They don't
>get it. Everything we are familiar with is going to be wiped away in an
>instant. All of our institutions, our culture,

Even if we don't get a Singularity this will be true. Widespread
availability of nano-technology will make the industrial base completely
obsolete overnight. Just this one aspect of the future would completely
change everything. The value structure of the entire world will transform
overnight with very few things retaining much value. The most valuable
commodities post-nano will be raw materials (including land) and
information. Some level of service organizations may survive depending on
how things go.

No matter what path the future takes it will be quite something to see.

>our way of life. Even if it turns out infinitely good, 'cataclysmic' will
>still be an understatement. Although personally paranoid, I do not
>recommend fear. While I myself expect the worst, I don't rationally think
>a good outcome is unlikely. There is no reason to panic, we are way past that.

I'm not at all convinced that a good outcome is likely (I suspect the
opposite is true). However, I don't see that humanity has much
choice. The nature of man is such that we will continue to progress. Even
if all technology was destroyed today humans will either eventually reach
the point of no return or will be destroyed by other means. I am hopeful
that everything will turn out ok, though.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:40 MDT