[ExI] "traditional (Kurzweilian) progress"
thespike at satx.rr.com
Fri Jun 1 16:19:57 UTC 2007
At 07:04 AM 6/1/2007 -0700, Jeffrey Herrlich wrote:
>I wasn't aware that Vinge had been involved for so
>long (I thought '93 was his debut)
He foreshadowed the Singularity in his fiction in the early 1980s,
but actually posited it (and dramatized its advent) *using that term*
in a remarkable sf novel, MAROONED IN REALTIME, in 1986. He and
others subsequently tracked back both the idea of exponential
technological change to von Neumann, Good, and others--in THE SPIKE,
which lists these predecessors, I cite an over-excited 1961 article
by G. Harry Stine--but Vinge's vivid and iconic representation of the
Singularity was the seed around which subsequent arguments developed.
Here's a minor throwaway image from that novel:
"They were famous pictures: Death on a Bicycle, Death Visits the
Amusement Park.... They'd been a fad in the 2050s, at the time of the
longevity breakthrough, when people realized that but for accidents
and violence, they could live forever. Death was suddenly a pleasant
old man, freed from his longtime burden. He rolled awkwardly along on
his first bicycle ride, his scythe sticking up like a flag. Children
ran beside him, smiling and laughing."
(Vernor Vinge, Marooned in Realtime)
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