Re: Early forecast of Singularity

From: Randall Randall (
Date: Mon May 12 2003 - 01:32:46 MDT

Thomas R Mazanec wrote:
> In reading about the Singularity, I found a magazine article which
> casually mentioned that the historian Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)
> was interested in technology and forecast that humanity would undergo
> a "Phase Change" by 2025. This would be fantastic at a time when
> most people in the world (and many in America) had never seen an
> automobile or airplane (never mind a radio).
> Anyone have more information on this?
Perhaps this is the quote you are looking for:

QUOTATION: Supposing the Mechanical Phase to have lasted 300 years, from
1600 to 1900, the next or Electric Phase would have a life equal to (the
square root of 300), or about seventeen years and a half, when—that is, in
1917Mit would pass into another or Ethereal Phase, which, for half a
century, science has been promising, and which would last only (the square
root of 17.5), or about four years, and bring Thought to the limit of its
possibilities in the year 1921. It may well be!

ATTRIBUTION: Henry Brooks Adams (1838–1918), U.S. historian. The Degradation
of the Democratic Dogma, p. 302.

So, it appears that he forecast the Singularity for 1921.

Randall Randall <>
'Institute regime change everywhere...
 to "None of the above."' -- Alex Future Bokov

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