Sat, 11 Oct 1997 01:57:59 -0400 (EDT)

I find that I am somewhat confused by the use of the term "Singularity" by
members of this list.

I've read Vernor Vinges essay by that same's been some time
ago...and it's a little vauge...and I have no current web I may be
mistaken...but I remember nothing regarding the web turning intelligent, all
humanity being subsumed into one vast Hive mind, or even "Powers"...(which is
a Vingean Literary invention...true...but purely SF...right?)

I have little doesn't stick...I've learned Calculus several
times...and forget it almost immediately...but from what I understand the
word "Singularity" is a mathematical term...

Astronomers use it in the mathematical sense when referring to a "Black

My understanding is that it means that up to a point things may be
calculated mathematically...the point beyond which they may NOT be
calculated...where the numbers turn weird...where predictions are the singularity...

Extrapolating current trends leads us to beleive we are approaching a
(mathematically defined) singularity...but since it IS a singularity we can
know nothing about what is beyond it...

This does not preclude the possibility that it has happened in the
past...perhaps many times...for example I reference Toffler's book "The Third
Wave"...would not each of his "waves" qualify as a singularity?

I welcome explanations from those more wise than I.