Re: Anti-singularity spam.

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Apr 20 2006 - 18:40:53 MDT

On Apr 18, 2006, at 8:29 PM, Richard Loosemore wrote:

> But on the other hand, if Seidensticker wants to point to stupidly
> overhyped technology, he is speaking words of wisdom. The
> imaginary version of the internet that drove the investors into a
> feeding frenzy in the late 1990's was a complete fiction. By
> itself, the internet was good, but it was not *that* good. There
> are a lot of details that we could argue about here, but my basic
> point is that the internet by itself (not the other things that
> might one day be facilitated by it, but the direct thing in itself)
> was not something to get that worked up about. It was convenient
> for the Market, because the Market has a voracious need for
> (controlled) volatility, fresh blood and emotional enthusiasm in
> order for the skillful players to make their killings, but for the
> world in general it would have been better if the internet had
> simply developed at a regular pace and nobody threw a hundred
> billion dollars down the toilet trying to get rich on it.

Yes and No. The hype resulted in a massive build out of connectivity
that is enabling hundreds of millions of people to connect up at
broadband speed. Vastly more was built out than we use even today.
The "internet" is not just the actual connectivity stuff but
everything that has been and can be built on top of it. I would say
that the beginning of the ubiquitous always on connectivity between
all intelligences and computation on earth is a REALLY BIG DEAL. In
my view some major investments were and still are required to make
the benefits ubiquitous and to enable maximal usefulness and SL
levels. The hype was extremely useful in this way. I am only sorry
that it flamed out so abruptly.

> And now, today, we are in Nanohype Land, of course: there used to
> be a valid and visionary thing called nanotechnology, but now we
> have a completely redefined new thing that uses the same name but
> is essentially just a convenient hook on which companies can hang
> some old clothes and snag some extra funding. Plus ca change....

Not entirely. Yes true MNT is undervalued and even denied public
funding. But the interest in all things at the nano level will not
be without benefit. Tools that are useful for more interesting
nanotech will be developed and funds will be diverted.

> What I find interesting to contemplate is how the Singularity Hype
> will develop in the near future. How long before someone finds a
> way to cash in on the Singularity concept and milk the cash cows in
> order to do nothing whatsoever of any relevance to the real
> Singularity? What form will the hype take?

I would rather ask how the influx of cash and interest can be used to
achieve true Singularity. We are somewhat evolved chimps on this
rock. The majority are not going to "get it" and we can't be such
purist that we require them to before we move forward. The best we
can do is to ride the waves of actual resources skillfully regardless
of how much bogosity, cynicism, greed and whatever may be giving them
their power.

- samantha

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