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"Michael M. Butler" <butler@comp-lib.org> posted:

*> The working definition I use: _A_ singularity is when everything
*

*> seems to be happening at once; the rate of change becomes so great
*

*> as to be incalculable.
*

To me there are two drastically different important meanings

to "singularity".

The first, will happen "just over the the horizon" of the

immediate future. While the second might never happen, and if it

does, it will effectively be the end of real time.

The second one, if it ever occurs at all, will likely be

something like Tippler's omega point during which everything and

everyone becomes truly omnipotent, omniscient, all good, all qualia

experiencing... In order for this second one to occur our progress

must be "asymptotic" or such that the slope of our progress becomes

infinite before some fixed real point in time.

If our progress is anything less than this, even if it is

fantastically "exponential" where even the 3rd, 4th... (or any finite)

order derivatives (or the slope of the slope of the slope...) are

forever increasing we will never really reach the truly infinite. We

will eventually surpass any finite measure of power, knowledge,

goodness..., and rate at which we achieve such, but we will never

become truly infinite. Remember, there is a HUGE (read infinite)

difference between any paltry finite being, no matter how fast they

are progressing, and the infinite.

Consider just one of the fantastic finite tasks (any finite

task is infinitely trivial compared to the actual infinite) which must

be surpassed and become easy for us all, long before we can become

truly infinite or achieve such a true singularity. We must all be

able to simulate and calculate all possible histories of the earth and

discover which of the near infinitely many is the one true history.

In other words, we must have the ability to perfectly remember and be

simultaneously aware of the location of all atoms that have ever been

within the biosphere of the earth for it's entire history.... Of

course such would necessarily give us the ability to resurrect every

animal, including those that are not cryonically preserved, cremated

or in any way ever "information theoretically" dead. All such finite

tasks are infinitely far away from being truly infinite. And there

are infinitely many of such finite tasks that are even beyond this

distant horizon beyond which we cannot yet comprehend.

Of course, 1000 years from now, according to our currently

very limited and finite reckoning, growth, progress, and everything

will be happening "at once" or "so great as to be incalculable." But

this is only relative to our current abilities to "calculate". I

think anyone would be absurd to think we could get anywhere near the

above fantastic and still hard to make out distant horizon within the

next 1000 years.

In fact, our ability to make or comprehend or perceive such

calculations is a limiting factor which will always prevent us from

making an instantaneous jump to beyond that horizon. We must all have

the ability to calculate how to get there, which must include the

ability to at least partially perceive what it will be like, before we

can actually achieve such levels of growth.

In order for our growth to be asymptotic, or for the second or

real singularity to occur, something like the "omega" point, in which

everything, including experiential time, becomes infinitely dense,

must be achieved. And even in this scenario, growth according to

"experiential time" which is constantly accelerating according to real

time is still merely forever "exponential" according to what we

experience. The fact that we can experience 1000 years in a few

nanoseconds is what will give us the power to push that horizon which

we can still perceive out even further, giving us the intellect

required to progress at such ever increasing rates. If we can

compress our experiential time experienced during any finite real

period of time to be infinite, this will enable us to push the horizon

out beyond the "asymptote" and enable us to make the jump to the

infinite before some real time limit. But remember - there is a huge

difference between experiencing any arbitrarily large finite period of

experiential time within any arbitrarily period of real time and

experiencing an infinite amount of experiential time within that same

amount of real time.

So you see, even in Tipplerian scenarios, where we do get

there before some finite real time, according to what we experience,

we will never really get there and we will never really be able to see

beyond that ever moving horizon beyond which we can't yet ever

perceive or calculate. Things in our future will always be just more

of the same increasingly exciting stuff and will always remain within

what we can perceive and comprehend. To think that some single "AI"

will make it far beyond that horizon before it becomes friendly enough

and easy enough for it to pull the rest of us up to near it's level to

help it along seems absurd to me. Things will forever get more and

more fun, but will never really get out of our control since more and

more people will be required to help push us all along that much

faster.

So while I do like to use the term "singularity" to refer to

that period of time just beyond our horizon, which will likely remain

1000 years or so of experiential time beyond where we are now. (or

perhaps your settling on a horizon that is much more clean and only as

far away as October 11th, 2007?) Such a time being when everything

will be "so great as to be incalculable" given our current abilities

no matter how fantastically finite they become. I dislike the term

because it is quite misleading. The term inevitably causes people to

falsely fear it, as if even when we are in it, we will be lost in and

unable to perceive its infiniteness. But this is a completely false

idea since we cannot progress any faster than we can perceive and

comprehend. It's a simple logical fact that we must all be able to

comprehend some place in time and be able to progress to that point

before we can have the ability to venture beyond it or any single one

of us to get way beyond it without all of our help.

One exception to all this might be achieving something like

the ability to either go back in time, or make computers that can

calculate faster than infinitely fast. For if we achieved such, the

answers to all questions could be answered before we could even ask

them, not to mention all the other logical paradoxes of such. But

again, it'd be my bet that such will not be achieved within the next

6, 7 or even 1000 years if ever. So I'm not to worried. The

"horizon" is truly far away and not really a point. It simply becomes

more and more vague and imperceptible the further out we look. and it

is my bet that it will likely forever remain that way as things

forever get funner, faster and more exciting and more fantastic.

When you think about it this is just a twist on the debate

theists have been having for thousands of years. Is God truly

omnipotent... or isn't he? We don't know.... Yet.

Brent Allsop

**Next message:**Brent Allsop: "Re: What is the singularity?"**Previous message:**Damien Broderick: "RE: What is the singularity?"**Maybe in reply to:**Harvey Newstrom: "What is the singularity?"**Next in thread:**Brent Allsop: "Re: What is the singularity?"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

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