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Old 12-08-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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I think it's for the same reason cryonics hasn't gone mainstream. People are afraid of change.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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Originally Posted by wrcousert View Post
I think it's for the same reason cryonics hasn't gone mainstream. People are afraid of change.
Agreed. And its complicated so that makes it hard to fully understand. I talk to people about it and more times then not their eyes glaze up and they don't fully understand what I am talking about.

Last edited by Josseppie; 12-08-2012 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:35 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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Originally Posted by Woof View Post
Has anyone mentioned the yeast graph? Yeast in a culture grows exponentially for a while, but if nothing changes, their own metabolic toxins poison the entire population. Maybe we're just not foreseeing the "toxins" in a technological singularity.
Very good, and an analogy most wine and mead makers are familiar with, since fermentation essentially stops when the level of alcohol produced by the yeasts, also slowly kills them off! Although among modern mead makers there is a new technique emerging where the yeasts are mostly kept at the bottom of tall "stratified" flasks, so that the alcoholic part keeps rising to the top, where it is continually ''racked'' (siphoned off), thus keeping the fermentation process going without killing off the yeast at the bottom.

Of course translating that ''method'' into ''social engineering'' raises too many disconcerting issues (like the ethics of always keeping the ''worker yeast'' at the bottom, and who gets to use and control the ''distillate'')!

Then again, to push the metaphor further, perhaps that's what we're already in the midst of doing... with ''worker yeasts'' in centers like Silicon Valley, Mumbai, Shanghai, etc. constantly cranking out new tech. And meanwhile the rest of the ''brew'' is busy self-stratifying itself thru increasing ''Balkanization'', slowly isolating themselves into their own cultural ''comfort levels''.... into urban areas, suburbs, 'ghettoes', ''hillbilly hollers'', etc..... which naturally begs the question, who, if anyone, manages the process and resulting ''by-products''?!

Finally, isn't Evolution really much the same thing, except that both the most successful yeast organisms and their higher-level ''product'' both rise to the top, while the less successful simply find their own level below (or die out)?

Last edited by mateo45; 12-13-2012 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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The problem with that analogy is sure at some point in time we might reach a technical level where we will not be able to advance anymore, a technical saturation point like what happens to the yeast, but we are no where near that now. In fact the universe is so big that even advancing exponentially there is no end in sight as to how much we can advance before we come close to it either. We could literally advance for millions or billions or even trillions of years and be no wear near the saturation point.

This actually is a good place to talk about the new development as it helps proves my point and is actually ahead of where More's law says we should be.

This is from the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC):

A team of Australian physicists has created the world's first functioning single-atom transistor, which could prove a critical building block toward the development of super-fast computers. The tiny electronic device, described today in a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, uses as its active component an individual phosphorus atom patterned between atomic-scale electrodes and electrostatic control gates.

The link: Team designs world's smallest transistor News in Science (ABC Science)

The impacts of this on virtual reality, medicine and super computers will be amazing and in less then 7 years. This is just more proof of the coming singularity so get ready!
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:13 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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Josseppie... guess I'm still kinda unclear how you're defining any future ''Singularity'' in a way that looks significantly any different from where we are now? And are you simply referring to technological change, or also including the social & cultural changes that often result from it (which IMO are way more significant, and indeed are already well past the ''event horizon'')?
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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The singularity is a point in time when one computer is more intelligent as all the humans on earth combined today. It will happen sometime between 2030 and 2045. I say today because by then we will have merged with computers so everyone of us will be way more intelligent then we are now.

So to answer your question its both. The impact on society will be so great that we have no idea what life will be like after the singularity. What kind of jobs will we have? How will we spend our free time? That is why its different then now as we know what life will be like now and even 10 years from now. I mean other then the advancements in technology my life is not that much different then my grandparents life was in the 1960's (just look at Mad Men) but once the singularity hits then life will be totally different in every aspect.

I hope that made sense because I know what I want to say in my head but I have a hard time putting it in words.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:25 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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Thanks, understood. Sounds like you envision some point at which human and cybernetic intelligence merge. Although I would contend we're already there, and it's just a matter of degree. Or perhaps you haven't noticed all the folks running around these days with those funny little bluetooth gizmos embedded in their ears, that enable them to be way more intelligent (at least information-wise), with instant access to knowledge, people, money, and power all around the globe. Or those flying boxcars, known as commercial jets, constantly ferrying hundreds of thousands of folks to almost anywhere on earth. Or that incredibly personalized mobile office/home/crashpad/boudoir/entertainment center known as the automobile... common enough for even the poorest folks to travel anywhere at will (if not live in 'em).

As Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog used to say,"We are as gods and might as well get good at it". Only now he says, "We are as gods and HAVE to get good at it!"

And yes, the tech has certainly changed a lot since the time of Mad Men. But arguably the social and cultural changes which we take for granted now, have been far greater (which is also part of the huge appeal of the series), including attitudes about:
smoking and drinking
politics
the relationship between work and family
consumerism and social change
male & female roles, sexuality, class, race, youth, gays and other minorities

Thousands of years of behavior and values, and all of it revolutionized overnight by Tech... by birth control, the auto, mobile phones, the computer, mass media, extended lifespans, robotics, cheap mass production, etc., etc.

Now if you'll excuse me while I stash the booze and cigs at my office, so I can ask Siri on my iPhone to read my email, and then book my vacation flight to Hawaii, after I check on my stock prices. And after that I'll probably sexually harass the pretty young hispanic secretary, the one with the tattoos and nose ring ... maybe by telling her a few off-color racial jokes!

Last edited by picmod; 01-10-2014 at 03:46 PM..
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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You are not the only one that makes the argument that we have already entered the singularity. In fact in the latest movie called the Singularity is Near there are people that make that very claim. However, even though life is different then it was in the 1960's for the most part we do the same things. Get up, go to work. Travel on vacation on jets, cars are a lot more advanced but for the most part do the same thing. Once we reach what I call the singularity life will be dramatically different so much so that if you took a person from today and put them there they would not know what to do. Where if my grandpa would of visited today he would be amazed with the progress but could still quickly learn to work in today's world. That is how much life is going to change in the next 30 years.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:13 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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Short of ''Beam me up Scotty'' teleportation, virtually every mode of transport, no matter how advanced, is always gonna wind up being some version of moving ''Spam in a can''. Same for employment. Despite predictions we'd all end up working from home, folks still largely commute to their jobs... which also fill many other social and psychological needs, as well as economic ones. And widespread robotics might eventually replace even dirt-cheap 3rd world labor, but we'll still always have some ''exchange'' of energy and resources (aka, an ''economy''), even if managed by cybernetics, human-enabled or otherwise.

The point is that humans have always been both remarkably resilient, and remarkably stubborn, in the face of great technological change. Just look at the Taliban, or for that matter Christian Fundamentalists, who still cling to ancient beliefs and tribalized social ideas, yet have no problem using computers and cell phones. So its unlikely that even (further) cybernetically enhancing those, or any other folks, is gonna change their underlying values, until they want to.

Although for anyone actually longing for a religious, or even a technological ''Apocalypse'' (or ''Rapture''), be careful what you wish for!
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,106 posts, read 20,428,458 times
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The kind of changes with the singularity will fundamentally change society in a way that we have never experienced. Honestly no one knows what life will be like after the singularity and that is why we call it that excpet to say life will be very different then the way it is now.
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