[extropy-chat] Wil McCarthy on Singularity

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Apr 5 00:17:29 UTC 2005


ending with:

<Don't get me wrong; the singularity (or inflection point) is a force to be 
reckoned with. We'll hit several of them over the next 100 years­in 
population, computing power, ecological resources and the explosive growth 
of Third World economies. It promises to be a rocky ride. Australian 
writer/philosopher Damien Broderick, author of The Spike, has offered an 
interesting opinion, that if you connect the centers of these many S-curves 
you'll find an even larger exponential curve behind them, representing the 
sum total growth in human capability. And when that one goes vertical, 
Vinge's predictions­ranging from the transcendent to the nightmarish­will 
very suddenly come true, for better or worse. Maybe he's right; it's 
certainly a hard argument to refute.

But again, if history is any guide, that moment of shock, if it comes, will 
be very brief­a few years at most­after which things will level off, settle 
down and become a lot less interesting. And while the world on the other 
side of that event may look very different from the world of today, my 
personal prediction is that we'll still see ourselves in it, with habits 
and motives largely unchanged. The desire for comfort, for wealth, for 
entertainment and novelty and pleasure ... these things will never go away. 
We'll just be richer, more powerful and wiser for our troubles. And what, 
exactly, is wrong with that? >

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