Posts tagged singularity

The Unbearable Present – Paul Currion

Futures, Present, Paul-Currion, dark-mountain, singularity, futurism, Accelerationism, Neoreaction

Marinetti’s automobile races on, but now it is Musk’s Tesla, an electric car that runs silently. What Musk lacks in Tsiolkovsky’s cosmic awareness, he makes up for in survival instinct, calculating that humanity has more chance of surviving if it becomes a multiplanetary infection, with Mars as Patient Zero. If Musk’s plans to colonise the red planet sound like science fiction to many people, this is partly because, like all entrepreneurs, creating his own mythology is almost as important as creating his own business. What could be more mythological than conquering the God of War himself, on a planet whose redness signifies the rubedo8Rubedo (“redness” in Latin) is the fourth, final stage in the Great Work of alchemy: the creation of the philosopher’s stone capable of transmuting the elements. of the alchemists’ Chymical Wedding, the point at which we discover our true nature? Yet the possibility of colonising other parts of the solar system is real, and they only sound like science fiction because science fiction was talking about it long before Elon Musk.


Web Design - The First 100 Years

intrenet, technology, perspective, social, IoT, singularity, White Nerds Burden, idlewords

These three visions lead to radically different worlds.

If you think the Web is a way to CONNECT KNOWLEDGE, PEOPLE, AND CATS, then your job is to get the people and cats online, put a decent font on the knowledge, and then stand back and watch the magic happen.

If you think your job is to FIX THE WORLD WITH SOFTWARE, then the web is just the very beginning. There’s a lot of work left to do. Really you’re going to need sensors in every house, and it will help if everyone looks through special goggles, and if every refrigerator can talk to the Internet and confess its contents. You promise to hook up all this stuff up for us, and in return, we give you the full details of our private lives. And we don’t need to worry about people doing bad things with it, because your policy is for that not to happen.

And if you think that the purpose of the Internet is to BECOME AS GODS, IMMORTAL CREATURES OF PURE ENERGY LIVING IN A CRYSTALLINE PARADISE OF OUR OWN INVENTION, then your goal is total and complete revolution. Everything must go. The future needs to get here as fast as possible, because your biological clock is ticking!

The first group wants to CONNECT THE WORLD.
The second group wants to EAT THE WORLD.
And the third group wants to END THE WORLD.

These visions are not compatible.

Among the Disrupted

NYT, technology, humanism, religion, posthumanism, singularity, metrics, quantifiction, humanities

Aside from issues of life and death, there is no more urgent task for American intellectuals and writers than to think critically about the salience, even the tyranny, of technology in individual and collective life. All revolutions exaggerate, and the digital revolution is no different. We are still in the middle of the great transformation, but it is not too early to begin to expose the exaggerations, and to sort out the continuities from the discontinuities. The burden of proof falls on the revolutionaries, and their success in the marketplace is not sufficient proof. Presumptions of obsolescence, which are often nothing more than the marketing techniques of corporate behemoths, need to be scrupulously examined. By now we are familiar enough with the magnitude of the changes in all the spheres of our existence to move beyond the futuristic rhapsodies that characterize much of the literature on the subject. We can no longer roll over and celebrate and shop. Every phone in every pocket contains a “picture of ourselves,” and we must ascertain what that picture is and whether we should wish to resist it. Here is a humanist proposition for the age of Google: The processing of information is not the highest aim to which the human spirit can aspire, and neither is competitiveness in a global economy. The character of our society cannot be determined by engineers.

Concluding Unscientific Posthuman to the Singularitarian Fragments – an Agalmic-Pathetic-Dialectic; a Mimic-Extropic Discourse

stross, review, digression, accelerando, singularity, sci fi, crooked timber

In honor of Manfred Mancx, Charles Stross’ venture altruist/seagull/submissive/catspaw/posthuman protagonist in Accelerando – who tries to patent six impossible things before breakfast, or something like that – here are a couple of possibilities to start things out.

The universe will fly like a bird

technology blindness, technolgy, futurism, humanities, singularity, ai, spaceweaver, rene

I admire Ray Kurzweil’s advocacy of radical ideas. However, like so many scientists and tech mavens he has never been able to frame the essential humanistic components of his master plan in a compelling way. When you promote powerful notions of human transformation it obviously becomes important not to portray humanity as something that must be overcome. Therefore it would seem to be essential to include a Future Humanities department as part of the Singularity University’s curriculum.

The Unbearable Stasis of “Accelerating Change”

stasis, futurism, transhumanism, extremism, robot cult, critique, tech bloom, singularity, Future-Sh

This is something that has struck me time and time again: The transhumanoids and singularitarians and online futurists love to congratulate themselves over their unflappability at the prospects of shatteringly onrushing changed futures. They literally have a whole “shock level” calculator, which is kinda sorta like a Cosmo sex quiz for pasty futurological males who think diddling themselves over cartoons of space elevators or descriptions of traversable wormholes demonstrates the awesomeness of their humanity-plus brains as compared to mehum (mere human) sheeple types.