News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Pondering the Technological Singularity


If there is such a thing as a Technological Singularity, I predict that there will be a general trend of accelerated change punctuated by sudden, massive, and far-reaching paradigm shifts that are too obvious for any rational person to explain away as anything other than a milestone on the way toward the Singularity. Some of these sudden changes might be incomprehensively to humans who have not been enhanced through technology, but they will still be obvious. This theory borrows heavily from current catastrophic theories of geology and evolution (as opposed to uniformity). Change is generally uniform, as is the accelerating rate of change, but from time to time catastrophic change occurs.

So far, I have seen no evidence of such catastrophic changes occurring. Examples might include waking up one morning to read that a scientific and engineering team has discovered the means to travel faster than the speed of light, or mutant children have been born with abilities far beyond normal humans, or an entirely new form of cheap energy has been discovered.

Stories abound of strange things happening in the world but none have been substantiated and are likely similar to unfounded conspiracy theories and UFO sightings. For example, the Internet supposedly acts very strangely at times, with sudden massive data flows not related to any known human activity. Some suggest that this is the Internet “trying to wake up”, but most likely these mysterious data flows are urban legends, or at most easily explained by much more mundane activities like hacking.

Technological advancement does not require us to keep up, especially if new, more intelligent beings are eventually created. If we progress only at the rate of our own knowledge, than surely no Technological Singularity will occur.

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