Re: Has the Singularity already happened?

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Thu Mar 06 2003 - 23:31:24 MST

On Friday, March 7, 2003, at 12:47 AM, Tim Duyzer wrote:

> Then consider that the world of a medieval monk might be
> incomprehensible to
> us. If I was dropped into Europe, 1200 AD, I'd probably have quite a
> tough
> time dealing with society. I might have a better time of it if I
> studied my
> history and learned Latin, but if I didn't have that history, it'd be
> foreign to me.
> Maybe the Singularity is the world at time T, incomprehensible to
> anybody
> T-X and T+X except for short periods of time + and - T. Unless the
> Singularity is a purely technological event, but I don't think it is. I
> think I wouldn't have any trouble at all with AD1200 technology, but
> everything else would be a barrier.

This clearly does not live up to our notion of Singularity. If it did
I think a Singularity happened in 1992 when I first got on the
Internet. Another one happened when the glory of Google came into my

Clearly we can think about the past, so there are no
retro-Singularities. Even if you may find it difficult, we have
records and accounts with which we can reconstruct how it was. Even
into prehistory we can determine enough about what the world was like
(i.e. not too too different from todays world: everyone still ate,
slept, and fucked) that it's not impossible to imagine what it would be

As for "are we living in a post Singularity world?", no because someone
actually imagined many of the things we take for granted today. True,
it wasn't all one person, nor did any one person or group of people
develop an accurate prediction of what the future would be like, but
they had some general idea of the things to come.

A Singularity is where what happens afterwards you cannot predict with
any degree of certainty. If you can assign a probability greater that
is significantly different from 0 to a possible future scenario, it's
not a Singularity (or it is and you're just fooling yourself).

This should be addressed somewhere in the archives on in an FAQ or bit
of documentation somewhere Online (but I can't recall if it's actually
in the archives or not, so I'm now putting it in the archives if it's
not already).

Gordon Worley                      "It requires a very unusual mind               to undertake the analysis of                           the obvious."
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                        --Alfred North Whitehead

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