Re: making microsingularities

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Wed May 23 2001 - 14:06:52 MDT


>However my main point was that when I read your subject line I
>thought you meant microSingularities, not miniature black holes.
>A microSingularity in the social sense would be a microscopic
>version of what we mean by a Singularity. What would that be?

>Imagine a discipline of Singularity Engineering. Usually we think
>of a Singularity as something which sweeps over a society,
>producing global changes of an extraordinary degree. But there
>could be many kinds of Singularities. It might be possible to
>alter the trajectory of a society as it moves towards a
>Singularity and affect the outcome.

>From this perspective, what would be a microSingularity? It would
>be a Singularity whose effects were limited. Imagine an AI which
>had virtually unlimited potentiality but which used its powers
>only in limited ways. A genie which grants only three wishes, or
>a special-purpose machine to view anywhere on earth in the distant
>past, might be examples. You could have devices or regions with
>near-magical powers, without necessarily seeing the entire cosmos
>restructured into a new form.

>Clearly, creating a microSingularity would be uncertain and risky
>and could easily backfire. It's not at all clear that you could
>create a system with such incredible power and still hope to
>constrain it in such specific ways. Still, it's not fundamentally
>different from trying to constrain an AI to be Friendly; it's just
>a finer level of control. If Singularity Engineering is possible
>at all, it may be possible to create microSingularities as well.

I think individual inventions could fit this definition, certainly
the printing press/movable type, and more recently the personal
computer have affected change on this level.

Perhaps the Extropy Institute or EXTRO-5?

Great post!


Extropy Institute,
Adler Planetarium
Life Extension Foundation,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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