Re: virus: Re: META: topical rules

Richard Aynesworthy (overload@fastmail.ca)
Sun, 9 May 1999 01:36:00 -0400 (EDT)

...the statement

> Not so, Within a hundred years, humans will be able to explain
> the whole universe.

is patently ridiculous. But hey, I like ridiculous, I can work with that, convince me. Every instant the universe provides me with a flood of information, much of which I find inexplicable, much of which I can scarecely conceptualize. We've been working on it for tens of thousands of years now, it's nice to know that all the answers are going to arrive within my possible lifetime. We must have come to some pretty stunning solid conclusions - whaat are they.

And within twenty years, computers will out
> think and surpass human intelligence (from "Age of Spiritual
> Machines" - Kurzweil).

...again, I think this is a little silly, but convince me. I did a little quick research at

http://www.freedomforum.org/technology/1999/1/29katz.asp

which pooped up after an altavista search and got this from one review:

By 2019, nonetheless, Kurzweil predicts that computers will be largely invisible, embedded in walls, tables, chairs, desks, clothing, jewelry and bodies sort of like the artwork going into Bill Gates' massive new house. People will use three-dimensional displays built into their glasses, "direct eye" displays that create highly realistic, virtual visual environments that overlay real environments. This display technology projects images directly onto the human retina, exceeds the resolution of human vision, and will be widely used regardless of visual impairment.

Paraplegics will routinely walk and climb stairs through a combination of computer-controlled nerve stimulation and exoskeletal robotic devices. By 2019, Kurzweil predicts, there will be almost no human employment in production, agriculture or transportation, yet basic life needs will be met for the vast majority of the human race. A $1,000 computing device will approximate the computational ability of the human brain that year, and a year later, the same amount of money will buy the computing capacity of about 1,000 human brains

...which seems to me to be more stuff along the lines of Negroponte and the other medialab exponents. It's interesting, and maybe even theoretically possible, but it's a vision that's only viable for a small etlite at best and not (to my way of thinking) something worth devoting significant energy pursuing. There's too much to see and do and learn without contributing to the elitist ambitions of an entrenched hierarchy of this sort (the goals of which are unstable from any sort of evolutionary or systems perspective)

> Don't underestimate evolution and it's ability to surpass itself,
> ie., the next stage in evolution is being created by us in the
> form of computers.

...don't limit evolution to us. Evolution is an all-systems metaprocess. Humyns are products of evolution, sure - but we're not "the product" of evolution. We're the present end of the line from our perspective but "the next stage in evolution" - who's evolution? what's evolution?

-psypher



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