|28 Oct 2002 @ 14:59, by Flemming Funch|
Another great day yesterday of hiking in beautiful nature in Utah while talking about big subjects. And a rather long drive back.
Singularity Watchers are futurists who pay attention to accelerating technological change. Particularly to the growing idea that many accelerating technological trends, such as processing power, artificial intelligence, and nano-technology are heading for a point where advances are practically instantanous, and we humans potentially can no longer keep pace with what we created. There are many different ideas about that, of course. My friend John Smart is very up on these things. Ray Kurzweil wrote The Age of Spiritual Machines. Many smart people are talking about it. I don't know. No doubt that things are accelerating, and most likely that leads towards a point of profound transformation. But somehow I can't get worried about computers becoming smarter than me and taking control. Because I don't think *I* am a computer, for one thing.
Extropians are people I usually get along well with, and there are many fascinating things to discuss. But I don't think I'm an extropian exactly. Extropians tend to be techno-geeks who are very interested in and optimistic about the future, and who usually are very into cryogenics, artificial intelligence, life extension, enhancement of the human body and mind, and quite a number of other things that might allow humans to transcend themselves, primarily in a material kind of way. And I guess it is the material part that I look somewhat differently at. I'm not very concerned about dying and then disappearing. I don't particularly want to download my mind to a computer, other than in the form of a personal organizer, and I certainly wouldn't want to have my body frozen down so I can get it back in a hundred years. I'd rather have a new one next time, and I'd rather be free to be a somewhat different person next time, rather than getting the same personality back. That would be a bit boring. I mean, I'm not THAT great.
I wouldn't mind enhancing my mind and my body with technology, though. I'd like a personal organizer that automatically keeps track of all information in my life. Infrared or X-ray vision would be nice. Shooting out spiderwebs from my hands so I can swing between tall buildings - that could come in handy too.
"The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades" --Timbuk 3