Re: The Spike, nanotech, and a future scenario

Dan Clemmensen (
Sat, 04 Oct 1997 15:00:13 -0400

Steve Pruitt wrote:
> Could someone provide a short synopsis about this book? What is it
> about?
> Thanks,
> sp

"The Spike" was written by Damien Broderick. Damien is an
Australian writer of science fiction and science fact.
You can find a bunch of his stuff (but not "the Spike") at He is also a professor.

Damien is also a member of this newsgroup and the transhuan
newsgroup. Last year, a bunch of us began discussing the
singularity and related possible events that may occur
some time during the next 50 years. Some of us believe that
a singularity will occur in this time frame that will precipitate
an abrupt change from our existing civilization to its
successor: a "spike" in the graph of the rate of change,
by rough analogy, probably starting with a small group of
people. Others believe that the ternsision will be broader
both in the number of individuals participating in the early
phases and in the transision time: a "swell".

Damien converted this discussion into the core of the book.
He made it a lot more coherent, and added a lot of excellent
material, primarily relating to Moravec and Drexler.

It's fun to read the index, because essentially all of
the list participants in the discussion are listed. Many
of us are quoted at length.

I'm in there quite a bit, mostly because I'm the most radical
"singularitan," having predicted in May of 1996 that the
singularity would occur within a decade.

I really like the book.