Re: Singularity or Holocaust?

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (
Thu, 26 Feb 1998 13:15:32 -0500

I had a very telling and frustrating experience with the
Soviet "mini-singularity". There were lots of people
who were putting tremendous effort and lost more than
can be rewarded, to bring the system to the breaking point
- only to see all the opportunities seized by existing
power structures, both official and shadow, that in the
turmoil removed the ties of the previous laws, turned
the control they had into more explicit form, wiped
out the populations' savings and even the small social
guarantees they worked so hard to earn from the
previous regime, and legally acquired enormous wealth
and the right to use it. The power guys, from party
officials to the military, industry, and mafia, were
much better positioned to take advantage of the change
that the kamikaze dissidents worked so hard to bring.

The next echelon of beneficiaries were smaller scale
folk that used to be the backbone of the communist
regime - smaller officials, grocery store managers,

The people who actually brought all this change,
were not rewarded in any way, or even thanked.
Most of them are busy trying to earn some salary
from serving the new elite. Some escaped to lead
more protected, but usually very mundane lives
in the West.

I managed to engineer a little personal singularity
by using the events to escape to the _frontier_ of
the opened world. I wouldn't swap my position with
that of any of my former peers, but the transition
was extremely costly, lonely, and uncertain.

Now I have less motivation to expend my effort for
common Singularity.

Alexander Chislenko <>