Friday, February 15, 2013

Post-Singularity? Really?

Yes, post-Singularity. Let me explain. Look at the following graphs (from the Wikipedia.)
Look at these graphs. They are "bell curves".  Many kinds of properties of things occur in distributions that look like this when they are graphed like this.

The green line is an exponential curve. (Ignore the red and blue lines, they are just hanging out, they're not part of this story.)
Now look at these graphs.  They are called (sometimes) "S-curves" because they look a little bit like the letter "S".

So what is the point? Why am I showing these to you?

Okay, first the "Singularity", as it's called, is the idea that our technology will exponentially accelerate and result in super-intelligent beings and radical technological "powers" (like living forever with super-medicine, etc.)

Most people who think or talk about this act like it's following the green line in the middle graph: accelerating ever faster towards infinity.

The more intelligent or thoughtful realize that we are actually in an "S-Curve" sort of a situation.  Right now we are moving from one flat bit to the next flat bit, and we're in the exciting and scary up-and-down bit just at the moment.

Now the interesting thing that I'm trying to bring to your attention is that not everyone is going through the up-and-down bit at the same rate nor at exactly the same time.

Some are going faster than others. And some have started earlier than others.

And some have started earlier and gone faster and arrived in the new flat bit ahead of the crowd.

Look at the "bell curves" in the first graph.  Imagine that a curve represented whatever quality it is, brains or smarts or whatever you like, that causes a person to begin to accelerate up that steep bit of the other curve, the "S-curve".

It only makes sense that some lucky bastards would arrive before everybody else, right?

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