Re: [sl4] Unlikely singularity?

From: Byrne Hobart (
Date: Thu Aug 07 2008 - 06:21:18 MDT

> I was just wondering if there were other people like me on the list,
> and if this is a good audience to target. Basically by definition,
> this list self-selects those who believe a singularity is likely. I
> think we critically lack well informed people (I don't include myself
> in that list), who see a singularity as plausible, but unlikely. If
> there were some of these, we could better test the strength of the
> singularity arguments, against real opponents (and not against those
> who just wave their hands and say "that'll never happen!").

I'm glad there are skeptics who are willing to talk about this. I think the
Singularity is so theoretical that most of the people willing to discuss it
think it will happen -- talking about why some gigantic, world-changing
phenomenon is *not* real would be no fun (unless you're Richard Dawkins).

But your aggregate opinion is less important than your view on specific
areas. If we break down possible Singularities into, say, a biotech-driven,
nanotech-driven, hardware-driven, or software-driven singularity, we
probably don't have a full majority supporting each position. And at that
point, it's obvious that we can further divide things, to the point that
each list member has a basically unique view of the most likely outcome.

So we're close to a monoculture on the premise that the singularity could
happen, but we can still have a great discussion of any specific narrative.
That's probably the best we can hope for.

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