Re: Singularity: Vinge responds

Emmanuel Charpentier (
Thu, 17 Sep 1998 08:19:35 -0700 (PDT)

---Michael Lorrey <> wrote:

> One concept that I developed in my minds eye upon reading much of
> work is that a 'singularity' is not a destination, but the horizon
of any
> man's vision of the future. While extrapolating from Moore's Law we
> that the event horizon of the 'singularity' is going to come closer
> closer as we approach a given point that seems now to be
> However, given that amplification of our own intelligence is an
effect of
> approaching the singularity, our own ability to imagine future
> possibilities should also expand with our own intelligence.


> The singularity is ALWAYS in the future. It will NEVER be reached. And
> just as today there are savages and spacemen living on the same
> there will also be a whole panoply of civilizations within each
nation or
> ethnic group that at some point will be incomprehensible to each
> This is the 'generation gap' in the extreme, though it is not
> a matter of the age of the participants, but in the version numbers
of the
> participant's operating systems. As Moore's Law begins to contract,
> more than x number of software generations behind the curve will find
> themselves in a state of career and cultural obsolescence, as far as
> bleeding edge is concerned.

I totally agree with that view. The image of the horizon is just the right thing: everybody is on the verge of a singularity, we're constantly walking toward it! And there might not be just one horizon, but a continuity of them, in every domain of humanity's knowledge or ability.

To think there will be a change, any sort of change, be it philosophical, economical, social, technical...etc, to the very history of mankind, a change that is actually the end of history, looks very much like a doom theory. Well, it could/will look like it to a lot of people. Me included? Certainly, if I or my offsprings (genetically or not) are not part of it, and/or if it happens very quickly/violently.

When was the last time when the end of history was announced? Karl Marx. (note: I don't want to imply that communism is linked in anyway with the singularity, just want to draw an analogy)


[One of the last step we've done/we're doing toward the horizon, is the expansion of our ability to communicate, leading to a new ability: telepathy, or whatever the name]

Get your free address at