Singularity: Just Say No!

Chris Wolcomb (
Sat, 16 Jan 1999 08:59:17 -0000

Controversy Alert. You've been warned. This warning will not be repeated. :-)

People knowledgeable of the Singularity seem to be aligned within a quadrant of four extremes.

  1. In one corner, we have those who believe the singularity is inevitable and want it to come as soon as possible.
  2. Those who believe the singularity is inevitable but want it to come as late as possible .
  3. Those who believe the singularity is not inevitable but want it to come as soon as possible )


4) Those who believe the singularity is not inevitable, and do not want it to come at all.

I am definitely not in 1 or 3. I'm probably somewhere between 2 and 4. The Singularity may be inevitable, and I want it to come when *I* want it to come and not a moment sooner.

As extropians, we live are lives within two penetrating and sometimes contradictory precepts. On one hand we have a strong desire to create and shape the future our way by any means necessary, yet we see those strong desires tempered by a critical understanding of the laws of nature. Obviously we'll continue to search for ways to break those laws, but in the meantime we're stuck with them.

When it comes to the Singularity, the jury is still out as to whether it's a good, desired, or inevitable thing.

As an extropian, I want to shape my future around my desires. Any force which attempts to curb my desires we'll be met with the strongest resistance possible.

To begin, I see the Singularity as a direct assault on my freedom and desires as I define them. Does this mean I am a Luddite? Hardly! I embrace high technology in my life at every opportunity, but blind faith in High technology as savior is as irrational as any religious zeal. Why should I embrace a technology that offers no obvious appeal or fills no needs or wants? What does the Singularity offer me? According to several Singulatarians, quite literally nothing - it considers 'me' irrelevant. So why should I accept it or want it? If the Singulatarians are right, then the Singularity will sweep away everything we know in its rapid path to increasing complexity. What if I happen to like what I have? What if I don't want to be swept away? What if I would rather spend a lot more time as an individual roaming around the cosmos as an *enhanced* being rather than an *assimilated* being of this higher collective called the Singularity? Many may say I am resisting change, or perh aps the inevitable. Bullshit! I am not resisting anything; I simple want to do something else for a while longer. Besides, anything that forces me to do something against my will is not extropian anyway - its tyranny pure and simple. You may say one can't fight evolutionary forces. Again, I say bullshit! As an extropian who values exceeding limits of every kind, why should I now accept the blind limits of evolution? I want to exceed those too! I would much rather spend a few centuries in a place like Iain Banks' Culture, than become part of some blind singularity as soon as possible.

Now, what if I were to start a movement to stop the singularity from occurring? I think I'll call this new political movement - the Anti-Singularity Party. Some might say I I'm going down the path to curbing people's freedom - like freedom to build seed AI's. Yet, how is this any different from *them* creating a singularity and forcing me to be either be assimilated or weeded out through cybernetic natural selection? I see no difference, and I challenge you to show me otherwise. I say, fight tyranny with tyranny! If I can do tyrannical things today to prevent the singularity from occurring tommorow, I can prevent future tyrannies from being committed. Tyrannies which Singulatarians admit will completely render all of our desires irrelevant.

So what if most living transhumanists do not want to be absorbed into the 'sublime plenum' that is this singularity? I've heard Singulatarians say "too bad, you will be assimilated by the singularity anyway'.

So whose agenda is the greater tryanny again?!

Chris Wolcomb.
GSV Its Only a Matter of Time.

P.S. Eliezer, we now find ourselves on the opposite sides of a new political spectrum - those of you for the Singularity, and those of usagainst it. The future is shapiong up to be very interesting. :-)

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