> > I've never been a fan of such reasoning. It's kind of like saying "We don't
> > have to worry about running out of natural resources, because Jesus will be
> > returning in our lifetimes,"
> Come on, are you really comparing religious myths to logical
> consequences of ever accelerating technological progress? If you
> think that the idea of a [relatively near] Singularity/Doomsday
> is "silly", then look at the alternatives: perpetual technological
> stagnation due to "social" factors or because suddenly ("magically"),
> against all odds, human knowledge hits a permanent, fundamental
> ceiling which prevents us from developing "strong" AI *and*
> nanotech *and* intelligence augmentation by means of genetic
> engineering. Profoundly illogical, and almost as silly as waiting
> for Jesus IMHO.
No, the alternative is continued gradual improvement of technology and growth of the economy for many more years.
> Planning ahead for more than, say, 50 years is probably a waste of
> time. Planning ahead for more than a century is utterly absurd.
> By that time we'll all be dead or ascended.
Such statements are religious eschatology, not rational argument. I may not be surprized if such an event comes about, and I might even consider some part of it likely, but I don't think I or most people here consider it that inevitable in that short a term.
In 50 years, we'll both probably be alive and old, but reasonably healthy. I have $100 in 1999 US currency that says on October 15, 2049, US currency will still be in common use, most humans will be born the old fashioned way, live on Earth, and be speaking English or Hindi with their neighbors, and going to work to earn more of that US currency to spend on the wonderful high-tech gadgets that 50 years of slow, steady progress has created. (Fortunately, I can't lose this bet because if I'm wrong, I won't be around to pay off:).
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC