Re: Incomplete Singularity

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Oct 13 2000 - 12:21:16 MDT

Adrian Tymes <> writes:

> In short, the possibility I outlined at the start of this thread is but
> a major exaggeration of the world I personally face today. I do not
> take this as proof that the Singularity has already started, but it is
> tempting to do so. Main fact weighing in favor: the Singularity is, if
> I understand it correctly, the point where no one can make reasonable
> predictions about the future. Already, most of my friends have given
> up trying to predict their personal lives, or what tech will be
> available, even one or two years ahead.

Which is really giving up their own rationality. Of course, the future
is highly unpredictable but that doesn't mean one shouldn't plan for
it - this is where rationality becomes indispensable. A society that
doesn't do this will run into nasty surprises quite often.

I wouldn't say a Singularity makes everything unknowable, rather that
it makes things unknwoable for people standing too far away from
it. It will be an always receeding horizon, but close to it time
distances will be very short.

I found Brand's _The Clock of the Lond Now_ quite nice reading on
this, a kind of slow counterpoint to the transhumanist crescendo

> > What might happen is of course that the posthumans (or people of the
> > new economy or whatever) want to make sure people staying behind do
> > this due to their own values as a rational decision, rather than just
> > due to mistaken information, habit or something else. Hence they will
> > want to give an unbiased image of what they are missing out on (here I
> > will just assume ethical posthumans; posthumans with an ideological
> > axe to grind is another matter of course). Education becomes very
> > relevant.
> But, unless one can comprehend the way forward, how can one not have
> mistaken information about it? And if those who choose not to advance
> do (or seem to) universally not truly comprehend the way forward, how
> can one disprove that it is the lack of comprehension itself which
> causes people to stay behind?

There are many levels of ignorance, and some are harder to deal with
than others. Some are just due to mistaken facts. Others are because
you have not had the chance to interact and ask questions. Deeper
forms depend on preconceptions filtering all information into certain
patterns, and the trickiest kinds depend on values selecting which
information channels to view and what to even accept. Where education
ends and coercion begins is a hard question - but not a question we
must shrink back from.

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

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