Re: Interesting Quotation

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 13:22:44 MST

From: "Jeremy Schafer" <>
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that the thought of
> putting the singularity on hold "indefinately" is rather contradictory to
> the definition of the "singularity" itself as it is impossible to impede the
> growth and advancement of current and future technological factors.

While the "thought" of putting the Singularity on hold is contradictory to the
way some people have defined it, there are many things which could definitely
impede the ongoing acceleration toward a technological phase transition. Aside
from the legal morass that I've mentioned, anything from a massive asteroid
hit, to incurable pandemic (e.g., air-borne AIDS), to global war, could put us
in the same predicament as previous failed civilizations, the ruins of which
continue to surface. If nothing else, the 9-11 attack should remind us that
there are lots of enemies of high-technology, as if the Unabomber didn't make
the point well enough.
Furthermore, not everyone agrees about how the potential acceleration graphs
out. Some see it as an S curve, while others see it as a cliff with a plateau
rather than a spike.
In addition, not everyone is happy with calling the phase transition a
"Singularity," as some have suggested other names for it, such as
Like the sage said, "Prediction is very difficult, especially when it involves
the future."

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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