From the Mundane to the Glorious
by phil on Monday Sep 22, 2003 1:28 AM
When I doubt the speed about which the Singularity could be upon us, I look at the ways that miracle dream-scenarios emerge out of the mundane.
Here are three examples of things that would let us know we're close or in the Singularity:
(1) Holodecks (2) Everybody has all knowledge (3) Everybody is happy
Hell, I bet we're a third or a quarter of the way there on all three it's just not obvious...
(1) Holodecks - Lucid dreaming is becoming more popular. As we learn more about how the brain works, we will be able to eventually induce lucid dreams instantly, thus giving people those virtual freedom spaces to do whatever they want.
(2) Everybody knows everything - Google is an example of where it's there. You call me up and ask me a question, by the time the conversation is over, I'll already have the answer... eventually that time will come down to almost instaneous or at least as fast as normal human recall
(3) Everybody is happy - Positive Psychology is just now getting off the ground. What if the science of happiness becomes really specific and concise that we could create a formula or system to follow that would lead people to happiness with a high probability. Such a device would very easily spread due to the Internet, and thus we could achieve that. Religion is an inefficient pre-cursor, but it does show the inklings of a framework: do good things, be altruistic, be grateful, etc.., and look how quickly that had infected people. Plus there's hope about eden scenarios that have emerged from certain ancient civilaztions that wisely harnessed the power of psychotropic substances like mushrooms. So we could become enlightened ourselves in that matter... i.e. if scientists can properly synthesize a bliss drug that didn't destroy us, or wouldn't contradict our need for work (although machines are making work less and less of a necessity, and more of just an information recycling hamster-wheel thing).