RE: Pocket Guide to the Singularity

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri Jan 28 2005 - 12:00:36 MST

Well, Kurzweil has his own peculiar take on the Singularity, which based on
the lectures I've seen him give and the writings on his website, largely
shies away from the more difficult and controversial issues...

A better "Singularity for Dummies" guide, IMO, wouldn't try to give an
overall personal perspective, but would give multiple perspectives on the
Singularity, including e.g. Kurzweil's, Eli's, Vinge's, John Smart's, Damien
Broderick's, and those of other relevant thinkers.

-- Ben

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf Of David
> Massoglia
> Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 1:11 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Pocket Guide to the Singularity
> Ray Kurzweil is writing a book (The Singularity is Near) due to
> be published
> in April 2005 that I surmise will answer these questions listed below and
> written at a general level.
> David
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf Of Nogwater
> Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 9:57 AM
> To:
> Subject: Pocket Guide to the Singularity
> Has anyone thought about writing a Pocket Guide to the Singularity? I'm
> thinking about something the size of a small book, maybe 6-10 chapters
> and 20K to 40K words. It would be written in a language that the
> average /Popular Science/ or /Scientific American/ reader would be able
> to understand. Each chapter could contain a short list of end notes on
> where the reader could go to learn more.
> Since it's the general rule on this list to not post a bunch of
> questions, here's what I think would make a decent chapter list:
> 1. What is the Singularity?
> 2. Who are the the Singularitarians?
> 3. How far off is the Singularity?
> 4. Why not? / Technical Objections
> 5. Why not? / Moral (safety) Objections
> 6. Where to go from here.
> The wiki would be a great place to do most of the writing. Most of the
> content is probably already there, it's just a matter of organizing it
> in a consumable format. I have no idea if we could get it published,
> but who knows... O'Reilly might just be interested in publishing.
> Another good rule is: less talk, more action. I don't intend on this
> post to be just idle talk. I've found myself trying to explain the
> Singularity one too many times already. Even if I can't get a group of
> people to help, I think I'll try to write something up. On that note,
> does anyone want to help?
> Feel free to flame me if you think a project like this would be wholly
> misguided and would result in more damage.
> -Aaron
> -- Aaron McBride

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