Re: Singularity or Holocaust

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 28 Feb 1998 12:18:00 -0500

Eugene Leitl wrote:

> > Would I survive a technological singularity event? Maybe, but not without
> > being changed by it. Perhaps the lithmus test will be whether people can adapt
> Sounds very plausible ;)

Considering that most primitive peoples still on the planet think that the rest of us
passed beyond a singularity a long time ago, I think that our likely hood of going
through the singularity largely unharmed is highly likely. Why? cause we are already
in it. A singularity transcension is not an event, but an era that never ends. The
only thing that changes is the gradient of change gets steeper. Those going through
the events we currently view as 'the singularity' will not notice anything
particularly strange, although those who will be getting left behind like stone age
primitives as a matter of personal choice will notice the dislocation that they are
getting left behind. The most noticable indicator that will also cause the most
disruption is that the phenomenon now known as the 'generation gap' will tighten to
the point where those who do not keep pace with the cutting edge will quickly find
themselves out of touch with those that are. This is being seen now with computers.
The 386 PC with the 2400 baud modem owned by one of my coworkers is unusable in
dealing with 99% of current network technology. The people I am working with program
in COBOL and do their mailstream processing on an old mainframe using SPRI and BIM.
They sneakernet files from our NT network to the mainframe with 9track tape (at 1600
bytes per inch, oh wow). We have these 'baloney slicer' hard drives the size of a
refrigerator that carry a whole 100 megs. We even have an old PRIME. All of these
people have absolutely no conception of the change that is being wrought by the
internet. They look at it as a toy or a fad, yet while they are being outmoded by
technology, they are not being harmed in any way, outside of their future earnings

The one area that I think will be rather violent will be the reaction of outmoded
individuals in positions of power to the threat of being replaced. They will use
force, and rather willingly, against what they will see as abominations.

> > hinges on factors we have no real control over. If a holocaust of humanity
> > resides in the future then there is little we can do to avoid it. Such a
> > holocaust, if it is to happen, will ride in on the apparently inexorable tide
> > of technological progress.
> Er, what was that thing, what was it called.. Dynamical Optimism, like?

In order to prevent any huge die off from combat between generations in conflict, it
will require the same sort of do gooder busybody attitude that I abhor and den Otter
seems to embrace.


   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?