Re: After the Singularity

Anders Sandberg (
Tue, 22 Jul 1997 09:11:15 +0200 (MET DST)

On Tue, 22 Jul 1997, Mitchell Porter wrote:

> In the interests of forming a clearer concept of the future...
> Does anyone have any suggestions regarding what might *not*
> have changed, after a Singularity?

The laws of physics are by definition unlikely to change, although if
you can build basement universes the constants and symmetry breakings
might be different ("Well, I have always thought having 2-dimensional
time is a bit gauché").

If there are limitations (which conservation laws seem to imply),
then there will likely exist scarcities, and economics of some kind
may apply. For example, in a rapidly growing technosphere
reproduction can be exponential but the amount of resources grows as

Memes are likely to remain, possibly in new forms. Replicating
information patterns seem to be the lifeblood of the singularity, so
they will definitely prosper. Whenever there is dense communications
and host systems they will have the opportunity to grow. Possibly new
levels of complexity can appear (like the 'kemes' mentioned in
_Sailing Bright Eternity_ by Gregory Benford: predatory
intelligent memes).

> Perhaps the consequences of a Singularity are highly contingent, in
> that they depend critically upon the goals of the beings that
> survive the nano-wars, or Transcend first, or whatever.

Yes. One could imagine a pluralist singularity, where diversity grows
exponentially as previous memes are amplified, mutated and selected
faster, or an uniform singularity where somebody actually succeeds in
becoming a SI and turning the solar system into food. In the later
(and partially the former) case the memes and values present will set
the future course.

> The consequences of the Singularity depend on what is done with
> those technologies; what does *that* depend 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