Re: How to help create a singularity.

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sat Apr 28 2001 - 02:28:07 MDT

On Fri, Apr 27, 2001 at 07:53:03PM -0400, Jerry Mitchell wrote:
> Hi all,
> I just wanted to ask what the thoughts might be if someone wanted to assist
> in the development of a singularity, what would be a good approach? I was
> thinking I might enjoy learning a programming language, but I have tried my
> hand at C and its not exactly conducive to easy mastery. Are there other
> languages that might be a better approach to a novice programmer?

To learn to program, you need to learn several languages, not because
you will use them all but because they train you in the programming
mindset. While we are using java here at the Institute for beginners, it
is clear that it has a somewhat higher threshold than the scheme and
pascal we used before. I would suggest starting out by playing with
scheme, then moving on to java.

Taking a look at starlogo might also be fun - a very simple and easy
language, which helps learn about distributed agents, exactly the thing
to learn when nanotech programmers become necessary.

> Is it even
> worth trying to catch up to the cutting edge of development considering the
> pace that this edge keeps growing? What might be some ways to help other
> then programming? Thanks!

Somehow I doubt the singularity will occur before you have learned C or
become a proficient programmer :-)

I think this meme that the cutting edge is racing ahead faster than you
can learn is very dangerous. In many areas it is patently untrue, and if
it discourages people from joining there is a very real chance the field
will not be able to expand far enough.

Unlike some others on the list, I think the Singularity will not be a
question of a tiny cabal in a basement inventing a big AI, but rather a
global transition. It will take far more than programmers to bring it
about: we need investors, philosophers, biochemists, engineers,
politicians, artists, neuroscientists, reviewers, physicists, lawyers...
- the list just goes on.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 10:00:00 MDT