Futurism



Singularity




Short Introductions My attempts to introduce the Singularity concept to readers who may be unfamiliar with transhumanist ideas, in 1200 words or less.

Evolution by Choice – It sounds like an incorrect answer given by a sassy teenager on a test, but evolution by natural selection is, in reality, just a bunch of stuff that happens.

The Greatest Leap – Since the rise of civilization, we have seen no appreciable increase in our level of intelligence. Remarkable as our human intellect may be, it is still a flat line along which we have shuffled in pedestrian fashion for the last 50,000 years. But we need not confine ourselves to this dusty old road. We can fly.

Investing in Immortality – Few would rush to accept an offer of immortality if each successive year were to bring an ever-increasing burden of broken hips, memory loss, and incontinence.

What are the Odds? – With recent discussion of AI taking place in the context of a wager, debates have tended to focus on the difficulty of the problem rather than the implications – as though the arrival of true Artificial Intelligence would only mean the difference between a robot making your coffee and brewing it yourself. What are the stakes, really? Why should this wager matter to you personally? And what, exactly, are the odds?

A Place to Stand – It is our ethical imperative as a global family to improve the human condition, but we owe it to ourselves – and especially to those who suffer most – to find the most effective and efficient means possible.

The Rapids of Progress – There are few causes that would not benefit from an infusion of Friendly superintelligence. But, more importantly, if we do not safely navigate the rapids of progress, we will not be around to worry about disease, poverty, or global warming.

Singularity Q & AOn my first blog, I began an ambitious look at the Singularity in a non-technical Question and Answer format. I didn't get all that far, but I think I covered some of the early ground pretty well. Links at left.

[Q&A] What is the Singularity?
[Q&A] How far off is the Singularity?
[Q&A] Is the Singularity inevitable?
[Q&A] How should we approach the Singularity?
[Q&A] Why are the thoughts of greater intelligence so hard to imagine?
[Q&A] How do we know greater-than-human intelligence is possible?
[Q&A] What are some specific aspects of intelligence that could be improved upon?
[Q&A] How can anyone write good science fiction if the Singularity is so mysterious?
[Q&A] Are there other kinds of Singularities?
[Q&A] Could the Singularity be followed by other Singularities?
[Q&A] Can there be a Singularity without superintelligence (or vice versa)?
[Q&A] Will we be able to comprehend a post-Singularity world?
[Q&A] Can we expect superintelligence to have any of the same values we do?
[Q&A] Are we living in a simulation?
[Q&A] Does the Singularity depend on the continuation of Moore's Law?
[Q&A] How does Moore's Law work?
[Q&A] Why would anyone refer to the Singularity as “The Spike?”
[Q&A] If superintelligence is possible, shouldn't extra-terrestrials have reached us by now?
[Q&A] Could a developmental Singularity be prohibited due to limitations in the speed at which the economy can absorb innovation?
[Q&A] What is the intellectual history of the Singularity concept?
[Q&A] How would neural interfaces work?
[Q&A] How could genetic engineering be used to improve intelligence?
[Q&A] Is genetic engineering the only way for us to keep up with our technology?
[Q&A] How could “neurohacking” improve intelligence?
[Q&A] Shouldn't we worry about the collapse of society if people end up spending most of their time in “virtual reality?”
[Q&A] What will it take to create Artificial Intelligence?
[Q&A] If AI has not been created yet, why does it seem like all new software claims to possess it?
[Q&A] If AI is possible, why has it not been created yet?
[Q&A] What were some important programs in the history of real AI research, and why do AI projects always seem so over hyped?
[Q&A] What are some noteworthy examples of “impostor AI”?

AnalysisMiscellaneous discussion of Singularity issues.

The Sysop Scenario FAQ – For an idea with such simple premises, the Sysop Scenario has unusually far-reaching ramifications. This FAQ attempts to introduce this provocative subject while simultaneously putting to rest many of the understandable concerns that inevitably follow it.

Simulations: A Primer – The simulations ahead could be so advanced that an individual would not even recognize being in a simulation without being informed. These simulations could be so versatile that they would become the preferred reality of mankind's future.

Singularity Blog EntriesPosts to blogs on singularity issues not included in the Q&A section above.

[SIAI] Food for Thought
[SIAI] Tragic Assumptions About Greater Intelligence, as Depicted by Termites
[Blog] The Naked Truth
[Blog] Kurzweil, Bostrom, Peterson on SIAI Advisory Board
[Blog] Signs of the Times







Technology & General Futurism




Technology Blog EntriesBlog posts on contemporary technology and run-of-the-mill issues in futurism. Links are to the left. Book reviews are below in the next section.

[Blog] Want a Manhattan Project? Take a Number
[Blog] Why Google Wants Your Data
[Blog] Mobile Text Entry Showdown
[Blog] X-Mas List Item #6: An Open, Fully Supported E-book Reader
[Blog] X-Mas List Item #5: Any Katamari PC Component
[Blog] X-Mas List Item #4: Nifty New Input Device
[Blog] X-Mas List Item #3: Keychain PC
[Blog] X-Mas List Item #2: Flash Hard Drive
[Blog] X-Mas List Item #1: A Viable VR Helmet
[Blog] Dear Quantum Future Santa
[Blog] The Golden Age of Biosecurity
[Blog] Interactive Storytelling and the Gamer, Part I: Hearts and Minds
[Blog] Interactive Storytelling and the Gamer, Part II: Nuts and Bolts
[Blog] Flickr of Interest
[Blog] Technology and the Psychology of Physical Fitness
[Blog] The Technological Double-Squeeze on American Wage Labor
[Blog] The Technology Squeeze: Janitorial Workers
[Blog] The Technology Squeeze: Truck Drivers
[Blog] The Technology Squeeze: Teachers
[Blog] The Toxins, My Friend, Are Blowin' In the Wind...
[Blog] I Want My Smart Receipts
[Blog] The Polygon Fallacy and Repellent Realism

ChatsI've only been the guest speaker for a chat once, but I can't think of another category to file this under.

Immortality Institute Chat of November 29, 2004 – Topic: Futurism in the Past and Present







Book Reviews




Futurism, Technology, Singularity Non-Fiction ReviewsFrom my blog. Links at left.

[Blog] 'Tomorrow Now': A History of the 20th Century
[Blog] 'The Spike': Wins a Mitchy
[Blog] 'Blur': When the Oracles Have Stock Options
[Blog] 'Profiles of the Future': A Blast From the Past
[Blog] 'Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind': The Title Says It All
[Blog] 'Our Molecular Future': Two Books in One
[Blog] 'Trends 2000': Angry Diatribe from the Age of Aquarius
[Blog] 'The Next Twenty Years of Your Life': Your Future as a Canadian

Science Fiction Book ReviewsAlso from my blog. Links at left.

[Blog] 'The Diamond Age'
[Blog] 'Transcension': Boy Meets Girl Meets Singularity
[Blog] 'Singularity Sky': Wishes and Warships








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