Dame Folle

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I randomly found this post while skipping thru blogger.com and it just kinda stuck with me:

"As these things happen sometimes, the last three books I've been reading have dealt with "The Singularity." Two are fiction and one that I've mentioned earlier, Radical Evolution by Garreau, is non-fiction. The Singularity seems to have become a meme these days.

As simply as I can describe my own understanding, The Singularity is the point (date, year) when the accelerating curve of technology, which asymptotically approaches vertical, becomes vertical or close enough that no individual or organization or computer system can keep up with it. More knowledge has been added to the world in the last ten years than in all the rest of human history. Think about that.

What I find more interesting is that in all three books the authors have suggested that rather than a singularity what we really will have is a discontinuity. Obviously time must continue. The question is how does time continue after knowledge or computing power or human/machine ability becomes close to god-like? The math answer is that the X-axis doesn't stop there, but another curve (not sharing a point on the X scale with the first curve) picks up from Y-value zero and now asymptotically approaches some Y value that describes some fixed limit (or geometric increase) to knowledge, computing power or human capability. Visualize a hyperbolic curve where X and Y (or something close like Y= 0.01X) are the normal tangents to the curve.

So life will go on after everyone says "What the hell?" and some guy will climb into the technological equivalent of a '53 DeSoto and wonder how to make it faster as he drives off to his job calculating actuarial tables using a slide rule."

Talk amongst yourselves...


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