Re: Singularity PR: Idea for a Website

From: Slawomir Paliwoda (
Date: Fri Nov 15 2002 - 09:47:46 MST

Ben wrote:
> Hi,
> Thinking a little more about our earlier discussion of "Singularity PR", I
> came up with the following idea for a website designed to get some of the
> Singularity message across.

Let me begin by saying that I have nothing against creating new
Singularity-related websites or blogs (I own one myself). However, before a
serious attempt at implementing such a website is made, perhaps it would be
wise to identify the real goals that this website might help to achieve. If
the goal is to promote Singularity, then, for what purpose? There are two
possibilities. One, to educate the public about Singularity just because it
would be better if people knew about it. Two, to educate the public about
Singularity because that would eventually lead to more funding. I assume the
real goal is the latter, i.e., to get more funding for AGI/FAI research. If
that's the case, then the next question is how effective the potential
Singularity website might be in getting enough funding to continue work on

Of course, internet is part of what is known as media, but it's important to
note that it's very much different than TV, for instance, which is part of
the media too, in a sense that it requires the audience's active
participation in the discovery of the message. In other words, the
difference between internet and TV is that the latter feeds people the
content while the former requires people to feed themselves that content.
Actually, internet and TV are two ends of the spectrum indicating how much
desire and effort an audience member must generate to receive the message.
This spectrum might look like this: TV < radio < newspapers/magazines/books
< internet. It is much easier for people to become aware of something when
it is fed to them through TV screen rather than by means of internet

Singularity is a concept that exists almost exclusively on the internet. If
one assumes that the target audience for the message is a group of people
who have never even heard about Singularity before (including media people),
then how could they be expected to generate desire to learn more about the
Singularity without any prior knowledge of the concept? Just because a site
may be on the internet, doesn't mean that people will automatically be
visiting it. In order to get to the right place on the internet you need a
desire to go there first, and then to know exactly where you want to go.
Without those two things already in place, one cannot even begin a search
for answers which means that before any Singularity website is implemented,
there must exist ways of generating that desire among the potential audience
to learn about Singularity. This also means that the internet Singularity PR
campaign will not be effective until the audience is aware of the concept in
the first place. Only then, the internet might be helpful in the campaign,
but only to the extent that it will provide further information about
Singularity or explain misconceptions about it. There's just so much you
can do through the internet and a PR campaign is not one of those things.
(Unless, of course, someone writes "Singularity-virus" whose only purpose
will be to spam the globe with "legitimate info" on Singularity or AGI/FAI,
:-). That would make news for sure)

Obviously, there is no harm in creating as many good Singularity websites as
possible, but if the audience doesn't even know that the concept exists, let
alone about the websites devoted to it, all that effort required for their
implementation will just go to waste. To get the ball rolling, i.e., to
generate enough awareness among general public (including philanthropists),
so it is able to sustain and perpetuate itself, it would perhaps be better
to initiate attempts to contact the media more appropriate for spreading the
word about

Actually, writing a script for a Singularity movie would not be a bad idea,
after all, if one realizes how much promotion needs to be done to make a
dent in society's consciousness :). Even then, the problem would be similar
to the internet one, that is, how to make the right people want to read the
script in the first place.

All this will not be needed, though, if AGI/FAI research finds funding

> Comments of any sort are welcome of course (why else would I be posting
> idea here? ;)
> -- Ben G

One final comment, then. We already have two great sites on the internet
about Singularity, one at KurzweilAI, the other at Singularity Institute.
The real goal of
"PR for funding" is to provide the right links to the right people. To make
them want to go there, and read that stuff in the first place. That would be
as far as my promotion would go and I would be willing to do it.

Slawomir Paliwoda

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