Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Perry E. Metzger (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 14:04:21 MST

"Tomaz Kristan" <> writes:
> Actually, a semantic distinction between *problem* and
> *yet unsolved task*, should be appropriate.
> Tomorrow breakfast is a problem, if I am starving and
> have no guaranties, that it will be a breakfast
> tomorrow. But I will (probably) have just to buy and to
> cook something, so the tomorrow breakfast is just an
> unsolved task for me.
> After a successful Singularity, we may still have an
> enormous number of task to solve, but not problems like
> hunger, disease ...

There might very well be something like hunger. Given only a finite
supply of energy and matter in a given finite volume, not all entities
might have as much energy and matter as they might profitably use.

The problem of disease seems unlikely to vanish -- just that it will
bootstrap into an era of unimaginably bad software security problems.

> What's the use of having a singularity, if things were
> not essentially better after it?

Why need it have a use?

The idea of a "singularity" in history is one Vernor Vinge came up
with to explain why you can't write good science fiction about what
happens after humans start amplifying their own intelligence or
creating creatures more intelligent than we are. Such an event is
almost inevitable if our race survives much longer, but it is not
something that has a "purpose" any more than the advent of the
renaissance had a "purpose". It is just a term used for a period of
history -- it need not have a "function".

Perry E. Metzger

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