Re: No Singularity?

John Clark (
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 12:54:27 -0500

Geoff Smith <>

> Have any singularitans drafted a critique of the following site?
> It's a well written essay, I have some problems with some of his
> points(especially with regards to AI vs. human intelligence), but in
> general it's a very well-reasoned argument.

I've debated with Lyle Burkhead <> a great deal about this and I really don't think his position is entirely consistent. Back in March, soon after his geniebusters web page went on line, he was on this list giving all his reasons why there would be no singularity, but then Lyle said the following which seemed to contradict all he said before:

>hang on for another 20 or 30 years, *and* if you affiliate yourself
>with the right group, it won't be necessary to die at all. [...]
>We are heading for one of the great extinction events in the history
>of this planet, probably the greatest extinction event in the last 200
>million years.

I agree with that but was a bit dumbfounded by the juxtaposition. I wrote " If extinction for most and the permanent elimination of death for a few is not big enough to be called a singularity or a discontinuity in human affaires, then I don't what is. Death is the most constant framework in all of civilization, if that ends I don't know what will happen but I do know things will be different, very very different." He made some sort of response to my comment but for the life of me I can't remember what it was, if it was enlightening I know I would have.

John K Clark