Philosophy Hurts Your Head

The blog of a cranky Philosophy PhD Student from Newcastle, Australia.

Singularity

Posted by Sam D on July 1, 2005

I’m happy to say that I’ve done nothing related to Kripke this morning, and as I’m working this afternoon, I’m not doing any at all today, or any day until Monday.

I have been, via some of the new Blogs listed, been reading about the concept of Technological Singularity . This is more like it! Why can’t we have honours course work about this sort of thing? The obvious answer has something to do with being respectable, responsible and suitably non-frivolous academics. But wake up and smell the dis-interest people! The general public, the Mass if you like (or don’t like as the case may be) tend to view us with an even higher level of distain and distrust than the wacky futurologists and speculators that we so often look down our noses at.

In any case I am very interested in this idea that there can be an advance in technology so rapid that it causes a fundamental break with the past. The term ‘singularity’ contains, albeit implicitly, metaphorical references to its effects and nature, both in the mathematical sense, and in the gravitational one; i.e. the acceleration will be exponential and we can’t see it coming from behind the ‘event horizon’.
While the surface of this and associated theories may seem wacky, it does mesh well with the ‘hyper capitalism’ theorisation of my colleagues such as Cooly McCool (See Dialectic Blog for his details).

I think that as well as a severe amount of dwelling on the past, philosophers could, and should put some effort into trying to think about the future.

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