Re: Heinlein (1946) on the Singularity

Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 08:29:50 MST

Professor Broderick:

Was your post about Heinlein, evidence that he seemed to see a "singularity"
on the horizon? If so, neither his atomic war, nor a period of accelerated
technical progress actually occurred. Houses in 1946 look much as houses did
then, autos are gasoline powered, there's a computer in every home, but
surely not robots. No lunar colonies, as Heinlein predicted, and outside of
NERVA (1968), no atomic powered spaceships.

Heinlein may be beloved as a visionary, but his visions have nothing to do
with accuracy (a chore in itself!). So therefore, based on Heinlein's lack of
success in forecasting, perhaps a Singularity, much later, rather then much

<<. . We have entered a period of extreme change. I see two major
possibilities: either a disastrous atomic war which will destroy for a
long time the present technological structure, followed by a renaissance,
the nature of which I am unable to predict, or a period of peace in which
technical progress will be so enormously accelerated that only short range
predictions can hope to be reasonably accurate.

                *rumbles from the Grave* letter of March 16,
1946, pp. 41-2 >>

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