Re: Has the Singularity already happened?

From: Simon McClenahan (
Date: Mon Mar 10 2003 - 06:02:58 MST

Take a step back and listen to how you formed these sentences:

From: "Christian Szegedy" <>
> Hmmm, "Change" is not a physical quantity that can
> be measured.

Huh? If you can't measure or recognize the (physical) state of something at
two different points in time, how can you detect change?

> Of course, you could say that even today nobody can
> become an expert without paper, pen, books and internet
> which is also a form of augmentation. (I don't think it's
> true (you can even be a great computer scientist without
> using computers at all), but we can assume it.)

I most definately will not assume it. In fact when I was getting my CS
degree one of my lecturers was horrified by the fact that most of us did not
have personal computers and only used them when we had to do assignments in
the lab every so often. However, I do know a MENSA level genius who wrote a
large software system, got thrown in jail for murder, and now maintains his
legacy code (VMS, BASIC) using paper and pencil and dictation over the phone
to a secretary. The key here is that if you're going to do either
programming or science on a computer system, you need some sort of access to
a computer. Otherwise, you may consider me an Olympic athlete, even if it is
only in my own mind.

> This is somewhat arbitrary and not well defined, (using
> a computer display could also be viewed as a form of
> "neural augmentation") but perhaps it is still clearer
> than any other definitions so far.

I think that there are a lot better definitions if you actually look for
them (and participation in discussions like this is a good source of
answers). But don't ever assume that because you see something as nebulous
and indefinable doesn't make it so.

The point of my response here is that I was concerned about the assumptions
you made. It's almost as if you're trying to claim that you have some sort
of cleverness so as to make absolute statements like "change cannot be
measured" and "augmentation is arbitrarily defined". I think you have shown
a couple of your limiting beliefs and stated them as facts, which in turn
affects how you (and possibly others) think about the topic of discussion.
Human augmentation and the Singularity cannot be discussed with limiting
beliefs such as this.


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