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Ernie on the Singularity

Ernie the Attorney has a rollicking piece on why The Singularity — the moment when the humanity-robotronics combo at last exceeds the merely human — is to be feared. For example:

Unless technology is somehow going to make us better thinkers then we are going to carry into this brave (and sudden) new world our very strong tendency to be led by fear and dogmatic beliefs (a/k/a “bias and prejudice”). The only way we won’t pollute this new “Singular World” with our pathetic cognitive weaknesses will be if only the “intellectually pure” are admitted. Or let’s put it this way, you can’t send a “representative cross-section” of our current world there, that’s for sure.

(This makes the second time today that I’ve heard Kurzweilians accused of replicating religion’s mistakes.)

3 Responses to “Ernie on the Singularity”

  1. This makes the second time today that I’ve heard Kurzweilians accused of replicating religion’s mistakes.

    And this makes it the second time today that I’ve see two ignorant, fear-induced “conservative” writers attack these ideas.

    David, I love to read your blog, and you are among the top thinker who have influenced me in this last year. I’m somewhat dissappointed at the bias (you seem to have had prior) toward relating to these two authors works.

    There are so many flaws in both of these authors writing that it would take me a week to deconstruct them.

    Needless to say both of these works continue to assume that all the flaws of human thinking and feeling will be blindingly amplificatied in a post-human future.

    This does not need to happen! Sure, in one respect any technology can be used for good or evil.

    However, genetic and nano- engineering have a promising potential to directly improving human health and emotional and mental functioning. As I get older, and with the help from a variety of “tools”, I have managed to improve all aspects of my health, well-being and intelligence. These newer technologies could amplify that endeavor a thousand fold.

    Most tools up to this point have done little to change the basic human flaws that we inherited through our genes – tendecies toward violence, war, and a variety of emotional plagues that we inherited through darwinian hormonal secretions, our parents upbrining, and living in a emotinally plagued society, etc.

    What if we gained the ability to improve our brain chemistry so that we no longer need to suppress our emotions and fall prey to their negative outcomes? More specifically, what if we gained the ability to establish balanced and highly tuned brain chemical states such that one experiences briefly on MDMA?

    Besides, the real point of all of this, is the alternative to pursuing nanotechnology is futile. Imagine the type of society that would be required to actually impose a global moratorium on this type of work. The end result would be that only the most clever outlaws would develop and have access to it. No, the sane alternative is to do everything possible to keep this type of research totally open-source and transparent to world. Since we cannot stop its development, the best approach is to encourage positive life-affirming use of these technologies early and often, while establishing a balanced and sane approach to minimizing their dangers.

  2. Ernie and David on the Singulaity

    Ernie the attorney, is afraid of the Singularity. He feels that we will take all of our flaws with us in this higly amplified post-human future, while neglecting to understand that it these very same technologies which can also liberate…

  3. Making it thru the Singularity

    I feel there is a lot more to be said about surving and thriving past the singularity. A book would surely need to be written to cover it all – and I am working on just that. In the meantime,…

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