The Wingnut Singularity

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Alien Space Bats
Posts: 10073
Founded: Sep 28, 2009

Re: The Wingnut Singularity

Postby Alien Space Bats » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:52 pm


I'm disappointed with you folks, really.

Trotskylvania's OP is a great spoof of the Singularity, a pop-sci-fi concept that richly deserves to be spoofed.

The idea behind the Singularity is that the advent of pervasive AI's and cybernetically enhanced intelligence will result in the emergence of superintelligence, and with it the evolution of a transhuman race. It's called the Singularity because it will supposedly represent such a radical break in the human experience that everything which follows will be incomprehensible to us mere humans living on this side of the "intellectual event horizon".

From the web site for the coming movie (based on the book of the same name by Ray Kurzweil), "The Singularity is Near":

So what is the Singularity?
Within a quarter century, nonbiological intelligence will match the range and subtlety of human intelligence. It will then soar past it because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge. Intelligent nanorobots will be deeply integrated in our bodies, our brains, and our environment, overcoming pollution and poverty, providing vastly extended longevity, full-immersion virtual reality incorporating all of the senses (like “The Matrix”), "experience beaming” (like “Being John Malkovich”), and vastly enhanced human intelligence. The result will be an intimate merger between the technology-creating species and the technological evolutionary process it spawned.

And that’s the Singularity?
No, that’s just the precursor. Nonbiological intelligence will have access to its own design and will be able to improve itself in an increasingly rapid redesign cycle. We’ll get to a point where technical progress will be so fast that unenhanced human intelligence will be unable to follow it. That will mark the Singularity.

When will that occur?
I set the date for the Singularity—representing a profound and disruptive transformation in human capability—as 2045. The nonbiological intelligence created in that year will be one billion times more powerful than all human intelligence today.

Why is this called the Singularity?
The term “Singularity” in my book is comparable to the use of this term by the physics community. Just as we find it hard to see beyond the event horizon of a black hole, we also find it difficult to see beyond the event horizon of the historical Singularity. How can we, with our limited biological brains, imagine what our future civilization, with its intelligence multiplied trillions-fold, be capable of thinking and doing? Nevertheless, just as we can draw conclusions about the nature of black holes through our conceptual thinking, despite never having actually been inside one, our thinking today is powerful enough to have meaningful insights into the implications of the Singularity. That’s what I’ve tried to do in this book.

- Ray Kurzweil

Obviously, the futurists have it wrong.

It is not cybernetically-attained superintelligence that will shape our future.

It is ideologically-mandated superidiocy.

As wingnuttery reaches critical mass, ideology will overwhelm critical thinking; the result will be a future so stupid, so crazy, so utterly and totally incomprehensible as to be opaque to our present, Enlightenment-schooled minds.

To paraphrase Kurzweil, "How can we, with minds limited by reason, imagine what our future civilization, with its unbound idiocy multiplied trillions-fold, be capable of thinking and doing?"

That is the Wingnut Singularity.

Be afraid, campers. Be very afraid.

2012: The Year We Lost Contact (with Reality).
Last edited by Alien Space Bats on Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Daistallia 2104
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Founded: Jan 14, 2004

Postby Daistallia 2104 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:32 pm

Fnordgasm 5 wrote:What happened to the reasonable, intelligent Republicans? I know they exist, I've seen them on this forum and on the TV, yet they all seem to have fallen silent. I look across the pond and I don't know whether they're just not getting heard or if they are keeping their heads down because I just don't see them. It appears that their party has been stolen from them and it doesn't appear that they are doing anything about it. Is it the media? Are they not giving any time to these people? How did it come down to Gringrich, Paul, Romney and Santorum?

Quite a few of the intellectuals on the right have passed away in recent years. IMHO, that's a huge cause of the dearth.

Fnordgasm 5 wrote:It seems to me that the best thing for the US is if Santorum won the nomination and then lost to Obama because then the Republicans might realise that this quest for "ideological purity" is harming them. I worry that when Romney wins the nomination and loses to Obama it may force the Republicans further to the right or even worse, persuade some to pursue "2nd Amendment Solutions".

Earlier this week, my occupy group hosted former Weather Underground terrorist Mark Rudd for a speaking engagement on the topic of nonviolence, and that reminds me of part of his story of what went wrong. Basically, a seb-set of the SDS completely misread things. In their minds, they weren't failimng to progress because they'd become too radical, but rather they weren't radical enough, and decided that the best way forward was to discard the nonviolent organizing model, become even more radical, and engage in violence.

The connection here is that those Republicans supporting the radically reactionary policies of the likes of Santorum seem quite similar. They are more likely to continue down the rabbit hole, since they've already gone into it, than to suddenly realize they're going the wrong way.
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