Wednesday, July 15, 2009

IEET's Treder singing the singularity

IEET's Mike Treder has published a balanced (perhaps a bit too balanced, but good) article on the Singularity:

http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/treder20090716/

My comment:

Hi Mike, great article. I will try to attend the Singularity Summit in NYC this year, will you be there? I look forward to seeing you guys.

Would a Singularity be a "good thing"? Well, from the point of view of a child, is growing up a good thing? I think in most cases it is -- basically life is what we make of it, and some people screw it up, but I still think growing up is a good thing.

Edited excerpt from a comment I wrote on Max More's blog:

http://strategicphilosophy.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-fast-will-future-arrive-how-will.html

I never believed too much in a hard takeoff, exponential Singularity. As an engineer, I know that the real world is not simple, clear and pristine like a mathematical equation, but often messy, chaotic and greasy. So while I do expect an overall exponential trend, I do expect one with roadblocks, false starts, backsteps etc., which will result in a fractal rising at a rate halfway between linear and exponential.

Concerning optimism, rapture etc.

For the reasons above, I always found Ray Kurzweil's predictions way too optimist and "clean". But I also find them refreshing against the often overcautious and defeatist attitude of other writers. I am not as optimist as Kurzweil, but I see him as the bard, the storyteller, the provocateur who shows wonderful possibilities to the rest of us. This is something good and, of course, things will be what we make of them.