By Tom Z
11:40 AM EDT, October 26, 2012
We’ve all lamented the death of online journalism, but one website that continues to publish interesting, in-depth articles is The Verge. This week the site posted a great article on Singularity, which for the uninitiated is that future moment when computers surpass human beings in terms of intelligence. I thought we had reached that point years ago but apparently not. Now, there’s a reason Singularity is such an intriguing concept, and it isn’t just because we want robots to do our dishes and fold our laundry. It’s because anything beyond the point of Singularity is unpredictable. Machines could rise up, destroy human beings, and become the next step in the evolutionary ladder. Or, human beings could combine with machines to achieve everlasting life. Singularity is like eating a Taco Bell chalupa. You’re really rolling the dice. You could experience ecstasy, or you could end up in the fetal position dry-heaving into a trash can. Of course I’m not doing the concept justice with my Taco Bell analogies, so I urge you to read the full article for yourselves. Here’s an excerpt:
I wondered if The Singularity might serve as a sort of substitute for faith among the Silicon Valley set who felt uncomfortable with some of religion’s mystical beliefs. "The Singularity resolves a lot of the problems that religion irons out for humans," said R.U. Sirius, a longtime attendee I chatted with. "The contradictions, the pains and suffering of living: these are deeply troubling for people who pride themselves on their rational minds. Here you can find a vision of absolute transcendence, but one that uses as its foundation long-term projections that are at least somewhat grounded in science."
Great article, but we should all ask ourselves one question. Is everlasting life really something we want to achieve? It already takes 20 minutes to get an order at Starbucks. Imagine how long that wait would be if NO ONE ON EARTH EVER DIED.
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