Re: Singularity: Generation gap

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 23:06:56 -0500

Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> I suspect that I'm also classified as a "singularity rapturist."
> I'm 47 years old, and met my first computer at age 20 (I was age
> 20. It was age 10.) So, you theory may need some modification.
> I have been extremely future oriented since age 9 or so because
> of science fiction, and I've been a computer professional since
> age 21, But I didn't grow up with computers. I've been forced to
> the conclusion that the singularity is inevitable, and I'm
> optimistic about the outcome, but I still realize that a "positive"
> outcome is not the only possibility.

Anyone can make themselves comfortable with an idea. The question is what the
instinctive reaction is, and how long it takes thereafter.

I didn't mean to imply that everyone over a certain age would be left out.
Many people on this list like a Singularity. I was simply suggesting that my
generation, or the next one, might be more naturally comfortable with the
idea, that it would have less shock value. In other words, I was saying that
Generation S will go farther... not that "you old fuddy-duddies can't go anywhere".

I've often wondered whether the next generation's concept of the future will
be to the Singularity what the Singularity is to the domes-and-blasters vision
of the previous generations. *There* is a thought that even I find
frightening... because I have no conception, no conception at all, about what
that could be.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.