Re: Singularity

Gregory Sullivan (
Sun, 12 Oct 1997 13:05:44 -0400 (EDT) said:

>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?)

Vinge did consider the following possibility in his essay: "Large computer
networks (and their associated users) may "wake up" as a superhumanly
intelligent entity."

If you do get web access in the future you can read the Vinge essay at:

The notion of a network "waking up" also appears in an earlier form in the
Arthur C. Clarke story from 1965 entitled "Dial F for Frankenstein". In
the story, the telephone system, and its associated switches, computers,
electronic libraries, "telemetering", and tracking systems achieve
"criticality" which allows "a weird sort of consciousness". His fictional
prediction date for this event was December 1, 1975, at which point "every
telephone in the world started to ring." The story ends with a mixture of
solemnity and humor: "For Homo sapiens, the telephone bell had tolled."

Gregory Sullivan