Tuesday, October 04, 2005

More talk on the 'Singularity'

The latest Ray Kurzweil book arrived today: 'The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology'. This is a subject that instead of going away as some 'fad' topics do, but seems to be exponentially increasing in both usage and recognition: both amongst lay persons, academia, as well as the techno-futurologists. The blurb to the book states:

'The great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is one of the best-known and most controversial advocates for the role of machines in the future of humanity. In his latest book, he envisions an event—the "singularity"—in which technological change becomes so rapid and so profound that our bodies and brains will merge with our machines.

The Singularity Is Near portrays what life will be like after this event— a human- machine civilization where our experiences shift from real reality to virtual reality and where our intelligence becomes nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful. In practical terms, this means that human aging and pollution will be reversed; world hunger will be solved; our bodies and environment transformed by nanotechnology to overcome the limitations of biology, including death; and virtually any physical product can be created from information alone. The Singularity Is Near also considers the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes, and is certain to be one of the most widely discussed and provocative books of 2005.'

I feel this book will be an important addition to the techno-determinists, as well as the optimistic futurists. I myself am drawn some way into this camp, yet as previously posted I feel it omits the part that conscious evolution needs to play in this path towards collective evolution. However, since I haven't yet read the book I am unable to make comment (and at 600 pages I'll be some time reading it!).

Yet the signs are increasing: and the questions too...How to merge our techno-sociocultural evolution with a conscious one. Will it be a co-merger, or a sacrifice of one to allow the other?

Still too many questions to allow complacency.

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