[extropy-chat] Desirability of Singularity (was Are ancestor simulations immoral?)

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Sat Jun 3 05:52:10 UTC 2006

On 6/3/06, Harry Harrison <xyz at iq.org> wrote:
> No, but many seem to have a religious optimism about the singularity that
> defies rationality (for some reason I thought you were one of these people,
> forgive me). That which can dominate matter and energy thrives. Everything
> else is consumed or marginalised. This is one of the few things we can
> predict past a singularity and has good precedence in the best analogies we
> have todate, e.g the Cambrian explosion.

Frankly, the entire Singularity mythology has become the modern day
equivalent of Armageddon, the Rapture etc; yes, I used to call myself a
Singularitarian, before I realized just how far over the edge the myth had
gone, in terms of both irrational optimism and irrational pessimism.

The truth is there isn't going to be any Singularity, in the usual
definition of the word; Jesus isn't coming anytime soon, nor is Great
Cthulhu, nor is their replacement in the AI mythology. What is and will
remain true is that we can keep going up, or we can go down. If we go up we
go up, just as was true in the Cambrian explosion, the Neolithic, the
Industrial Revolution etc (none of which events wiped out life on Earth, you
may notice :)); if we go down, we die. I say we go up, and look to life, not
death. What say you?
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