There’s a great article by Jamais Cascio writing on Fast Company.com on the technosocial nature of the singlarity here: http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/jamais-cascio/open-future/singularities-and-society And an equally interesting response to the article by Michael Anisimov here: http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/2009/09/response-to-jamais-cascio-on-the-singularity-and-society/
While I’m perhaps in danger of adding more confusion to what ‘Singularity’ means I’m very aware that I’m not waiting for the singularity to happen because for me is has already happened in that I’ve made an ontological shift, a transformation in being from who I used to be to who I am now. AND looking back I’m now living in a different world to where most people are. OK so I don’t have all the cool technological toys that the technological singularity promises, or maybe I do, I truly love my iPhone 3GS largely because I get it’s NOT a phone, it’s a platform, in just the same way a desktop computer or a laptop computer is a platform. And it’s evolving, there’s lots of rumours of the bigger version Apple will be announcing shortly. And I’ve evolved in my use from desktop computer, to laptop computer to now a larger portion of the time I mostly just have my iPhone.
The singularity is a point of transformation. And the point of transformation that most people don’t get when they say they want transformation is that you can’t know from before what’s going to happen. If you did it wouldn’t be transformation it would be translation.
So for me looking back post my singularity. Part of this misconception or misperception is it’s like how many people think of enlightenment, you get it and like WOW you have everything, understand everything and that’s it.
I used to want Eckhart Tolle’s Power of NOW, now I’m here in the NOW I wonder what all the fuss is about, is this enlightenment? If so I’m a bit disappointed - where is the constant orgasmic bliss :-)?
But looking back it’s more like I’ve lost my innocence. Stepped out of Eden so to speak or is it realised that this is Eden. Gotten rid of the delusions, or become more structurally well-formed as my teacher and mentor Dr. Joseph Riggio Ph.D. might say.
Or even been reborn.
So now it’s time to start again. But starting from a different position, treasuring the scars of knowledge I’ve paid for. I’ve built a foundation that I can truly build something worthwhile from. Which is what most people fail to do, go down deep into themselves and build the foundation within themselves that guarantees success, (with the Chinese martial arts call nei gung).
No matter how much technology evolves, and I enjoyed the recent Bruce Willis film Surrogates, where the story is that people ‘wear’ remote controlled robot bodies that feel and sense just as human bodies do but you can design your body the way you’d design your clothes. But that is just a projection on how people think today, just translation not transformation.
What limits people is how they think, and I don’t think artificial augmentation (more brain power) will change the way you think. Because it’s how you do that thinking. It’s the old old computer phrase “garbage in garbage out” and most people spend all their time feeding themselves with garbage representations (that’s what television is, representations of reality that other people have chosen for you to think) and unless you develop the critical faculties and make the decision to choose what you input it’s like eating at McDonalds everyday and it wont super-size your brain. And the progress of technology just gives bigger and better representations, better picture, better sound, but it’ll never make a better you because you have to decide that for yourself.
So how are you evolving, will there be a YOU 2.0?
If you’re in New York this coming weekend there is the Singlarity Summit, details are here: http://www.Singularitysummit.com/
Or if you’re in the UK this coming weekend there’s Charles Moore’s MythoSelf Experience weekend where as an added bonus there’s the lovely Piernicola De Maria (a genuine Italian love god).