Re: Has the Singularity already happened?

From: Thomas R Mazanec (
Date: Fri Mar 07 2003 - 10:51:46 MST

On Fri, 7 Mar 2003 01:31:24 -0500 Gordon Worley <>
> 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
> life.
I actually saw someone call the Internet the Singularity
(forgot who).

> 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
> like.
I agree. Just because I do not personally know how to make a spear,
does not mean that the Paleolithic world is incomprehensible to me.

> 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.
But doesn't that *always* have to be the case, to some degree?
If no one can imagine the technologies of the Singularity
before the Singularity occurs, then no one will be able to
implement those technologies and bring the Singularity about.
The Singularity could not happen until it has already happened,
so it will never get here.

> 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).
When have we been able to predict the future with any degree of
accuracy, much less certainty? Judging by the tract
record of science fiction, futurology, etc., it is almost impossible
to make predictions that are not prone to the giggle factor after
several decades.

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

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