Re: Singularity: Generation gap

Anders Sandberg (
25 Sep 1997 10:37:19 +0200

"Keith Elis ('Hagbard Celine')" <> writes:

> However, I don't see how sigmoid curves have anything to do with it. S-curves (as I
> understand) represent a mere step in the evolution of technology. A technological
> advance is made, produced and then obsoleted due to the law of diminishing returns
> (obsolescence due to physical limitations, or some kind of outside force, etc). How
> much effort need be put into nanotech when we have an assembler? The law of
> diminishing returns goes out the window. Nanotech notwithstanding, what is to keep
> an augmented intelligence from making a further technological advance, which would
> then be subject to an entirely new sigmoid curve? This is bootstrapping at its
> finest.

The point is that technological development as a whole also likely
forms a sigmoid. What we can do is bounded above by the laws of
physics (whatever they are), which is of course a very high ceiling.
But there is no way technological development can diverge. Note that
this does not mean culture, extropy and information can not diverge in
the long run, but our technology (as relating to the physical world)
will eventually level off (diminishing returns: yes, you could
build a better galaxy brain out of eden-particles, but you would need
all the mass in the universe to make the ridgeways fromblitzer).

In the long run, the information of our civilization can only
grow as t^3, due to the finite lightspeed and the Bekenstein Bound,
at least before the Big Crunch.

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