Here follows my response to the article titled "Holy Singularity!" by Extropia DaSilva, published via H+ magazine.
I don't think the Singularity is or will be "holy" in any sense of the word. I reject the word "holy" in all connotations regarding the Singularity because of it's linkage to religion. Of course I do make occasional exceptions for Cheesy satire.
It is a logical fallacy to assume commonality indicates a shared identity, ethos, or cause. For example the ground can be wet due to rain but not all cases of the ground being wet means it has rained. A burst water pipe could make the ground wet but clearly it is fallacious to talk about the similarity between rain and burst water pipes. Petrol (Gas) is also wet but petrol is very different to water. My point is that a burst water pipe (or petrol spilled from a filling station) is not rain, and likewise the Singularity is not holy. Consider also how sneezing is a symptom of the common cold. All cases of sneezing should not be linked to the common cold; clearly it's fallacious to state pepper or dust is similar to the common cold. Pepper, dust, and colds are three very different things despite sharing a commonality; sneezing. Finally to emphasize the point regarding logical fallacies I will give one more example: cars are fast and cheetahs are fast but clearly a car and a cheetah are two very different things despite sharing the "fast" commonality. A car is not a cheetah. If you attempted to tell people cars and cheetahs are the same thing, or very similar, they would think you are insane, or on LSD.
People can be moral without invoking the divine. Molarity is merely rationality, it is a logical mode of social conduct. We can make our world a better place without that improvement being deemed religious. Improving the world (civilization) is not religious even if religions do want to improve the world. Wanting to live in a world free from crime and war does not mean you are holy, it is merely intelligent, sensible thinking. People have imagined curing cancer (or other diseases) for hundreds or perhaps thousands of years; often in our pre-science history and in our current history those imaginings have been based upon a belief in magic, but does this mean when science finally cures cancer that the cure is actually magic due to historical association? Is nanotechnology witchcraft? Is the internet Voodoo? Guilt by association is a logical fallacy. Is highly advanced nanotechnology the Philosopher's Stone for Alchemists?
The phrase ‘The rapture of the nerds’ is a merely a smear utilized when people cannot utilize logical deconstruction to invalidate a premise. If we are intellectuals we should reject the usage of smears. Logical deconstruction should be our prime mode of discourse.
I am intelligent enough to be able to state the Singularity begins with immortality, Post-Scarcity, and limitlessness. As the Singularity unfolds it will likely progress beyond human comprehension; nevertheless we can say it will be ineffable and we can also very logically be assured intelligence will also always be intelligent. I'm an exceptionally intelligent human thus I focus on the Singularity regarding the human benefits. I focus on the beginning of the intelligence explosion, the point where we can clearly see, if we look at the evidence, how medicine will create immortality, how technology will create Post-Scarcity, the point where we can see how intelligence will become limitless. I focus in the human beginning of the Singularity. Even if I did focus on the Posthuman otherness deep beyond the start of the intelligence explosion, which I don't, such a focus on the ineffable nature of highly evolved/evolving intelligence should not denote a contemplation of "otherness" in the sense of religiosity or worship. Merely because something is ineffable this does not mean it is religious.
I have a small amount of experience with extended pleasure and I have never wanted the pleasure to end. The joy of "joy" never wanes for me. For example many lovers say their relationship grows stronger and deeper over the passing years, their love does not wane, but there are many people who fall out of love, they divorce. A passion for life and an appreciation of joy will never wane for a truly intelligent individual, but we live in a world where people do become bored easily if they cannot consume the latest so-called "news" regarding the "Kardashians" (incidentally I have never watched the Kardashians but I seem to have the impression it is a reality TV show? I have a wilful blind-spot regarding that type of nonsense). In the future I suspect everyone will possess my type of intelligence, an intelligence of eternal inquisitiveness, an sharpness of mind where joy never becomes boring because a truly intelligent mind such as mine can always find ways to simulate the senses (intellectual curiosity) regarding the wonder of being alive, possessing consciousness. In the future my greater access to power will truly allow me to unleash my mind thereby experiencing infinite joy and wonder beyond the mundane constraints of a limited civilization where people value banality. A cool drink of water on hot day never loses its zest, in fact the joy of it deepens in tandem with a deepening mind. Greater intelligence allows for a greater appreciation of things, thus the joy of utopia will never wane, in fact growing intelligence will always improve its sweetness.
Progress is simply progress, it is not holy or religious. The Singularity is extreme progress condensed into a short space of time but fundamentally it is no different to the discovery or utilization of electricity, medicine, atoms, DNA, computers. The Singularity is simply science and technology, it is an awareness of scientific comprehension reaching a pivotal point regarding immense empowerment and comprehension of the natural world. Sadly we've seen how some people want to define science and technology in religious terms. When people attempt to classify the Singularity as being religious or holy, they are engaging in, or giving credence to, a modern form of Intelligent Design. Religious people see the religious in everything, even Cheese, or DNA, because, they may say: how can organisms evolve naturally; obviously there was an intelligent designer behind the evolution, and I reply: "Yes, it was the Holy Posthuman Cheese God."
The Singularity is not "a symbol of our perpetual desire to progress toward a state of holiness." The Singularity is simply the very rapid progress of science and technology, it is science and technology reaching a point where humans are liberated from the constraints of the natural world, which has always been the purpose of science; we have sought comprehension of matter to empower ourselves. Knowledge is power thus we create mechanical hearts ("Heart Stop Beating") to prolong our lives, we regenerate organs via Stem Cells, we communicate instantly with the world via the internet, we create nuclear power, solar power, wind turbines, and many other modern devices. The Singularity is a symbol of science, it symbolises our perpetual desire to increase our knowledge, our intelligence, which is why it is called an intelligence explosion, you could also call it a science explosion. It is definitely NOT holy, or religious, unless you see the entire world as being religious which some religious people do.
Doctors make the world a better place, they cure disease, they ease suffering, but this ever advancing path towards utopian medicine does not mean doctors are angels of agents of God. When doctors can grant immortality this will not be religious, it is simply medicine. When I switch on a light, or power-up my computer this is not a miracle by God, it is not magic or religious or holy. When 3D-printing allows me to create any object I desire this will not be holy transubstantiation. 3D-printers of the future may feed more than 5,000 people from a limited amount of matter but it won't be a miracle, it will be science and technology.
If you want to call something holy I would call Cheese holy, or maybe plumbers are holy too because rain comes from God and plumbers direct God's water through pipes. Do you understand logical fallacies now?
Notes from the pre-Singularity era:
- ► 2015 (14)
- ► 2013 (68)
- ▼ July (3)
- ► 2011 (50)