Re: How to help create a singularity.

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 03:25:16 MDT

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? 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!

Well, besides programming, you could donate time, energy, money and so
on to organizations and projects that are advancing the Singularity.
You could integrate Singularity with your life in the present as much as
you can and work toward the development of a plan to transition to what
you will need to be at each of your projected stages and to such a plan
that might be more broadly useful. And you can contribute to
organizations that do this also. You could become a meme "sneezer"
spreading extropian memes wherever you can no matter how small that
"infection" may appear.

In programming it is not very difficult to catch up with the "cutting
edge" of software engineering today. Especially not since the edge
keeps getting blunted and re-created every so often and not necessarily
in improved form. If you are interested in software then I recommend
getting the basics that will allow you to freely explore whatever you
wish and to have reasonable knowledge of the art. At minimum a good
computer language survey class, data structures class, computability
theory class, compiler class and an OS class. You could cover this in a
few years at most if you wish. Armed with this and fair mathematics you
could follow most software discussions or know where to find what you
are missing. Also get proficient in at least one computer language.

Mathematics at least through linear algebra, calculus and basic
probability is highly recommended for following technical discussions.
A good survey of philosophy would also be generally useful.

Not all of these may appear on everyone's necessary list and many are
much too elementary for the lists of others. At the least, if you wish
to assist, keep up with the possibilities projected for the technologies
and think about the implications from your own point of view and that of
people you know. Chew the information.

Read widely. It is not so important that you understand each detail of
everything you read as that you acquant yourself with the width and
breadth of what is coming as best you can.

- samantha

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